Sunday, 9 July 2017

Return to Tombogo - another Jimland AAR

The Diary of Ambrosius Ballroom

Once more the urge to explore is upon me. Rested after my previous travails I am now ready once again to lead men of less stout heart in search of wealth in the mysterious interior of Tombogo.
Fine fellow that he is, the noble Tweakers has again signed on (though truth to tell I have no idea how else he’d fill his days) and naturally Flaherty will be by my side. I am determined not to have the d***able Scandewegian Scout along with us this time. His death on each previous expedition has caused great inconvenience. I sent Tweakers to locate a replacement and I’m pleased to report he has found a fine and capable chap. The fellow in many respects bears a close resemblance to the little lamented Svensson – in fact, were it not for his luxurious black moustache (such a contrast with his blond hair) one might think them brothers! The new scout gave his name as Svens Err-Thompson, I was at Eton with one of the Err-Thompsons so I suspect this is a distant relation – I feel sure he will prove excellent. We depart at dawn tomorrow!

God Save the Queen!

Day one

I have decided we shall head westwards and have instructed the party so. Almost at once my instincts proved correct as we came upon mysterious and ancient ruins from some long lost civilisation. Tweakers and I made numerous sketches of the ruins and Flaherty used his strength to dislodge some of the crude carvings which I’m certain will assume pride of place in a great museum in London.
As we departed the ruins a party of natives approached. They seemed friendly enough and Err-Thompson exchanged pleasantries with them. They offered us food in return for our trade goods, but I declined.


Day two

Westwards once more, however the scout was clearly not paying attention! A wrong turn and several of the party plunged into a deep ravine. One of the Askari and both of the trade goods bundles (and the men carrying them) were lost to us. An unfortunate loss of valuable goods so early in our expedition.

We decided to follow the river that forged the ravine however as we entered a clearing Err-Thompson held up his hand in warning. I quickly ordered us to form up in defensive positions and not a moment too soon as natives burst forth from the surrounding trees.

 Savage Archers emerge!

A defensive pattern is formed

Sneaky savages!

There appeared to be five natives armed with crude bows and five warriors with spears. We gave fire and my unerring ability with the rifle immediately put down one of the bow armed devils.
Two of the archers returned fire, but their aim was off. Meanwhile their fellows broke cover and rushed toward the column.

 The fight is on

Flaherty wreaks havoc with the enemy

Flaherty immediately ran forward to engage one of the spear armed natives and with a mighty right hook despatched the fellow – native guile no match for brute British strength!

The rest of us took aim, I parted the hair of one archer and Err-Thompson too narrowly missed. Tweakers was more accurate and took a native clean through the breast.

Tweakers finds his range

More native arrows rained down on us, but none found their mark. The charging natives found their opponents. The fool tackling Flaherty went the way of his predecessor – this time Flaherty squeezed the life out of him in a mighty bear hug! One of the Askari ducked a spear thrust and then clubbed the native to death with his rifle butt. The scout and the man fighting him circled one another warily but neither landed a blow.

Flaherty, his dander well and truly up rushed to help Err-Thompson and a swift punch to the solar plexus saw another native go to meet his maker. Tweakers took aim and bagged another native, though the rest of our shots proved wild.

Flaherty claims another victim

In return the remaining natives fired their bows to no great effect and, as they melted back into the jungle, Tweakers took aim and bought down a third.
A brutal and savage fight but at no cost to the expedition. We shall keep eyes open for more hostile intent!

Day Three

I was awoken in the cold light of morning by the sound of someone going through our baggage. I rushed from the tent in time to see several savages fleeing back into the jungle. Fortunately my quick thinking had prevented anything being taken. Tweakers slept through the whole affair.
We followed the river southwards deeper into the jungle.
Late in the afternoon we were approached by natives who had elaborate masks and beautifully woven rugs for sale. Through my clever bartering we exchanged some of our food to obtain these wonders that will bring a pretty penny back in Tomsville.
At camp this evening Tweakers and I took out the cards and enjoyed a game of Thruppeny Wordsworth, though our enjoyment was somewhat curtailed by Flahertys mournful crooning.

Day Four

I awoke early this morning and left the tent and almost immediately encountered Err-Thompson. A trick of the light made it appear he had no moustache and I mistook him for the d***able Scandewegian Svensson. I made a loud exclamation and he ducked back into his tent. He re-emerged seconds later and I could see his moustache firmly in place and we both laughed heartily at my error.
We again headed south into the jungle.
Nothing of interest occurred all day.

Day five

Flaherty reports that some of the food has gone bad – we are now low on supplies and I have advised we make progress back toward Tomsville. We headed east, again following the river, which turned northwards late in the day. Err-Thompson advised we should follow it but I overruled his suggestion – we shall continue eastwards.
A quiet night in camp. Tweakers shared some of the romantic poetry he has been working on. Awful guff.

Day six

As we left camp today a large jungle cat emerged from the trees and seized one of the bearers carrying trade goods and dragged him into the jungle.
Tweakers blasted away ineffectually but despite our best efforts we were unable to save any of the valuable goods.
We pushed on despite this setback. In the mid-afternoon a small party of natives emerged from the jungle and tracked us for some hours. We ignored them (but kept our guns handy).

Day Seven

This morning dawned bright and clear and we struck out northwards in good spirits. Tweakers was humming one of those infernal songs from the Music Halls he holds so dear.
Soon after leaving camp we wandered into an expanse of bright red flowers, however barely had the front of the party entered the fields than the men began screaming in agony.
We retreated, but two of the Askari at the head of the column and a bearer collapsed covered in angry welts raised by the poisoned spines  of the seemingly beautiful flowers!
This unfortunate event has left us short of food. And Askari.

As Err-Thompson led us in a circuitous route about the scarlet flowers his keen ear picked up a noise and he motioned us to a halt. I immediately formed us up in a defensive position and not a moment too soon as tribal natives burst from cover and rushed at us across a small stream.

 Another ambush

With my usual unerring accuracy I bagged one of the fearsome tribesmen as he broke cover both Tweakers and the scout failed to hit home.

The natives pressed on their attack, with one sneaky cover trying to work his way down our flank – fortunately the Askari sergeant was wise to his wiles and put a round right between his eyes!

 They are upon us!

Flaherty squares up to the Chieftain

Flaherty, his blood boiling at the sight of the native chieftain urging the savages on rushed out of the line and with a mighty blow dashed the native leader lifeless to the ground

And then the natives were on us. My skilful technique and lithe figure meant my opponent was unable to land a blow on me, though I too failed to find my mark.

The remaining Askari ran to our assistance and one distracted a native long enough for Tweakers  to land a deadly blow. The savage locked in combat with me thrust his spear into my chest, but the small hand painted broach of Binky I keep in my pocket turned the spear-point at the last moment!

Alas Err-Thompson was not so fortunate and a lucky blow from his opponent laid him low, just as he himself disembowelled the tribal warrior.

The fall of Err-Thompson

To our rear the undergrowth suddenly parted and a full grown lion emerged and made for the bearers. Fortunately the man was able to parry the mighty beast with a container of stewed prunes.

A life and death struggle

At this point Flaherty roused himself from his ongoing dance with the native and snapped the fellow’s neck as if it were a twig and with that the remaining natives and the lion al made off into the jungles.
Sadly the Scout died of his wounds. His pitiful claims that it was just a scratch and he’d soon get better could not fool an old soldier like myself. When he refused the offer of a cremation and responded with a stream of seemingly Nordic invective I resolved to leave his body where it had fallen.
We camped for the night in good spirits, though I am worried that food supplies are running low.

Day Eight

We marched northwards. Nothing else to report, save that we have now eaten the last of the supplies.

Day nine

More infernal drums in the night. Awoke to find another bearer had vanished. Tweakers says he finds the drums soothing and slept through everything.
We are still at least a day’s march from our camp and have no more food but I resolutely pressed on.
Shortly after lunch we were greeted by the most marvellous sight. A small herd of the rare, shy and impossibly beautiful Quangar’s Onlyx skipped by our column. Truly they made a majestic picture bounding like ballet dancers  through the undergrowth, their movements almost poetic in their gracefulness.
Tweakers shot them all and we ate like kings at camp tonight.

Day ten

We returned to our campsite. A smaller and wiser party than had departed, but richer in both knowledge and simple drinking vessels fashioned from Onlyx skulls.
Some hours after our return the dead scout blundered into camp as well. He cannot be long of this world.

On our return to Tombogo our discovery of the ancient city garnered some interest and a small reward from the local antiquarians and together with our other resources and information I have made a small profit on the expedition. I look forward to a return to the jungles in due course.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic. I've got Jimland but have never managed to get round to buying figures and playing.