On the frontier, life is tough. As well as the unending battle to grow enough food, the threat of raiding—either by orcs, bandits or a rival kingdom—is a constant worry.
Use the table below, to add minor points of interest to a raid on a frontier settlement. Of course, many of the entries below can be used for raiders of any ilk; simply change any mention of orcs to suit the raiders’ identity.
- A small, snivelling child huddles behind a barrel, trying to hide from the rampaging orcs.
- Fire suddenly takes hold of a nearby building and smoke from its burning thatch fills the air. Indistinct screaming comes from within…
- Shouts, screams and the sound of battle fill the air. One particularly loud, piercing scream ends suddenly.
- A mother dashes across the street dragging one child behind her. In her other hand, she carries an old spear.
- The sprawled and bloody corpse of a militia member lies in the street. He has been hacked to death and lies in a pool of his own blood.
- A jumbled collection of scattered household goods—clothes, a cooking pot and so on—lies scattered on the ground outside a home.
- An orc raider—covered in blood and gore—sits slumped against a wall. An arrow protrudes from his throat and the orc’s face is frozen in a grimace of hate and pain.
- Smoke blows across the street, obscuring the PCs’ view of events. Humanoid shapes move within the smoke—and they seem to be running directly toward the party!
- A broken barrel lies on its side amid a puddle of wine. A crude, bloody handaxe is embedded in the barrel.
- A villager—an axe embedded in his back—crawls down the street. In great pain, he spots the party and loudly begs for aid.
- Two orc raiders drag a woman from a smouldering house. Their backs are to the PCs and they do not appear to have noticed the adventurers.
- A javelin flashes passed the lead PC’s face and embeds itself in a nearby wall.
- With a crash, a blazing outbuilding collapses in on itself, throwing up a cloud of sparks and smoke.
- Two children—one clutching a baby to its chest—dash from a side street and run straight at the party. Their soot-stained faces are streaked with tears. Behind the pair lumber two drunk orcs—intent on easy pickings. At sight of the PCs, they turn away.
- The frenzied squealing of a horse in tremendous pain breaks through the clamour of battle.
- An arrow falls from the sky and lands—quivering—at a PC’s feet. There’s no indication who shot the arrow in question.
- A handcart lies on its side in the street—vegetables along with a few hand tools lie scattered on the ground.
- A villager—clearly very dead—stands transfixed against a wall by a large spear driven through his chest.
- A raider lies dead in the street, his skull caved in. Near his outstretched hand lies a yet burning torch.
- The thatch of a nearby building is beginning to smoulder—a raider threw a torch onto its roof moments ago. A villager dashes out of the building clutching a load of possessions to his chest. He dumps them onto the street and then dashes back into the building.
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This article will appear in the upcoming GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things compilation releasing in 2016. You can read more about the book, here. Alternatively, you can read even more 20 Things lists on our Free Resources page.