Sunday, 1 May 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 5: Into the Mines

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (264 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (264 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (251 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (256 points)

Day 8 (Cont.)
The party headed to the Adventurer's Guild and got the briefing for the mine job from the halfling, who was initially very happy when Zaxod said "we'll take it", assuming he was referring to the wyvern head that was slowly rotting in the corner.  A group of miners had been massacred by some beast, and now others were refusing to enter.  There was one survivor of the attack, a man named Nebbit, who could probably be found somewhere in the Miner's District.  Before going into the mines, it would be a good idea to talk to Foreman Odwen, because he could point out where to start looking.  Pay is 20gp.

With that knowledge, the party went and found Nebbit (who seemed to have permanently blackened skin from working in the mines for so long) after several hours of looking around, and asked him about what had attacked.  From his vague description, Aurum was able to figure out it was probably a bulette, also known as a land-shark.  Now that they knew what they were in for, the group headed out the south gate, over an old bridge, and to the mines.

At the top of a large strip-mine like pit was a small shack, where they found Foreman Odwen, a very stressed dwarf.  He showed them roughly where the miners were killed on some maps, which Aurum copied, and gave them a brief overview of signs miners used to indicate hazards (ex. skull-and-crossbones in a circle means poison gas).  Arc cast Continual Light on his amulet/holy symbol, Aurum's staff, Mor'ath's hat, and Zaxod's back banner.  Everyone except Arc left their packs/sacks with Odwen, and then the party went down the pit and into the mines.

After about 45 minutes of navigating in the dark, they found several shredded bodies and 3 2m wide holes in the walls (1 on the left, 1 on the right, 1 on the ceiling), all of which carried on a short distance before turning away.  Mor'ath did some scouting, and then they debated what to do next for several minutes.

Several minutes later, Arc and Mor'ath felt a rumbling, and the party fell into back-to-back formation.  The bulette came out of the ground below Zaxod and Aurum, smashing into Zaxod and breaking his good (Dwarven, Balanced, Ornate, Weapon Bond, Signature Weapon) axe, while Aurum was able to successfully dodge.  The rest of the fight went smoothly, with Zaxod crippling both of its legs and Mor'ath landing multiple eye-stabs.

As the land-shark slumped over, Arc heard a faint clicking in the distance, further into the mines.  The party proceeded, and found the tunnel extended by a bulette hole into another chamber.  They moved in cautiously, and stepped over a pile of ancient bones to emerge into a large cavern with carved stone stairs and smoothed floors leading down to a 3m high crenellated wall with two large stone doors, and some strange writing above it.

At this point, Arc was able to make out the source of the clicking: a large black shape clinging to the ceiling.  Mor'ath and Zaxod moved in closer while Arc prepped a small Sunbolt, at which point the beast let out a shriek, fell from the ceiling, and kicked at Zaxod with its talons.  It had the head of a chicken, scythe-like talons instead of arms, and a beetle-like carapace on its back; Aurum identified it as a hook horror.

Zaxod crippled both of its legs, at which point it began backing away while continuing to shriek.  Nobody pressed the attack, fearful of its talons, and both casters missed multiple missile spells while it continued to retreat (and made about 8 HT rolls in a row to stay conscious).  Eventually, Arc landed a solid Sunbolt and knocked it down, at which point it was quickly dispatched.  Upon closer inspection, Aurum realized the writing above the doors was in Dwarven, though he did not know what it said.

I told Zaxod outright that parrying a slam from something so big could break his axe because he has Signature Weapon, but he parried anyway.  He seems confident he can repair it with Armoury, and deliberately brought a spare axe in case.  For now, he's dodging, because none of his other axes are Dwarven.

On another note, because the bulette weighs more than his BL, he shouldn't have been able to parry it at all, but I forgot that rule at the time.

They were lucky that Arc cast Continual Light at the max level.  Without it, they would have had -3 to see the hook horror, and it would likely have ambushed them.

2 for success
1 for roleplaying
1 for the hardest fight (the bulette)
1 for completing a minor quest (the wyvern quest, which I forgot to give them last time)
MVP was a 4-way tie, but I rolled and gave it to Mor'ath for doing about 80 damage with eye-stabs against the bulette.  The other option was Arc for his lights, which made the fight a lot easier.

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