Tuesday, 30 August 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 19

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (322 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (318 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (316 points)

Player Absent:
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (298 points)

Day 44 (Cont.)
Weather: Sunny
Aurum, suddenly and mysteriously back from the nega-zone, asked Andreas Spiros if there was anything he could do for the tournament.  After being told that there were already trusted people who would take care of refereeing and gambling, he got desperate and almost offered to sell snacks.  Thankfully, he remembered that he Hates Merchants and decided not to become one.

While they were walking around, Arc noticed a man in a blue robe, rudely (and obviously) ran through the crowd to catch up to him, and asked if he was, by chance, part of a group looking into large magical metal slabs.  The man replied nervously that, no, he wasn't, so Arc let him go and apologised.  

Just as shops were closing, Zaxod bought some raw silver to edge his axe, and with that done, the rest of the day was spent helping heal the injured in the streets/playing knife games in the Blue Pheasant inn.

Day 45
Weather: Cloudy, Windy
With 5 days to go until the tournament, the party lazed around.  Arc continued helping the downtrodden, while Zaxod and Aurum hung out in the inn.  Aurum tried to find out some local rumours, but everyone was too busy talking about the tournament.  Eventually, Zaxod was forced to leave out of embarrassment after some of the attractive female tournament competitors tried to talk to him.

Day 46
Weather: Cloudy, Rainy
With 4 more days until the tournament, and too many attractive women in the tavern (stupid sexy elves...), Zaxod badgered the rest of the party into getting some work.  They went to the local Adventurer's Guild, where Zaxod introduced himself as "the Leader of Team Chimera for the tournament" while proudly wearing his red tabard, and they accepted a job to find a missing nobleman named Leonidas Marinos for 20 gold coins ($2,000).

As the party made their way to the noble district, they noticed that the number of tieflings increased until they were about as common as humans.  There were also many more guards, though few on patrol, and nearly all wore the heraldry of some noble house or another.  Most of the noble estates were designed similarly: a 9' wall made from the same red stone as everything else, and an inner estate, with many open-air rooms.  Eventually, they made it to the Marinos estate, where they met Leonidas' wife, Katerina, and her brother, Photios Lezarios, who was comforting her. 

She explained that the guards had seen her husband leave the night before to play cards with some friends, including Photios, at the Emerald Alehouse, but  had never returned home.  They questioned Katerina (who turned out to be surprisingly accepting of half-orcs) about jealous rivals, disowned children seeking inheritance, and various other common reasons for someone to be kidnapped, but came up dry.

The party left, along with Photios, to investigate the Emerald Alehouse.  On the way, Photios told them that he knew where Leonidas had gone, but that he could not tell Katerina, because she had a tendency to over-react (such as putting out a $2,000 reward to find someone who had been missing for less than a day).  Lymia, an old mistress of Leonidas', had came to the Alehouse the night before and ran into him after years away from Zerakim.  The two left late into the night, and the rest of the group had been too drunk/focused on the cards to care.

At the Alehouse, Arc questioned the innkeeper, and then a serving girl about Lymia and Leonidas.  The girl mentioned that Lymia had rented a room here with a man in a blue robe, but that neither had been staying there.  After a description of the man in blue, it seemed likely that he was the same person they had run into near the arena two days prior.

The serving girl also mentioned that she had overheard Lymia and the man talking about work for "Asilos", which Zaxod figured probably meant the noble house of Asilos thanks to Heraldry.  Photios confirmed that house Asilos were trade rivals with house Marinos, but their relationship wasn't considered so negative as to warrant violence.

Arc successfully persuaded the girl to let them see the rented room, and the party found that there were indeed no signs of it being lived in for the last week.  With new intelligence, the party asked Photios to lead them to the Asilos estate, but he declined, explaining that if he went with him, they would be barred entry.

So, without noble influence, the group went to the Asilos estate, and managed to talk their way into a meeting with Lord Riffin Asilos, the lord of the house.  They were brought to a pleasant outdoor sitting room where a fat man, Lord Riffin, relaxed on a recliner drinking wine.  Arc was frustratingly Honest during their discussion, and upon hearing that they were here looking for Leonidas, Lord Riffin threw them out.  While the guards forced them towards the exit, Zaxod shouted "DO YOU KNOW ANYBODY NAMED LYMIA OR A GUY WHO WEARS A BLUE CLOAK?", but Riffin didn't react in any perceivable way.

With that botched, the party struggled to figure out what to do next.  They came up with a plan to get the Asilos guards drunk, and found out that a lot of guards drink at the Greasy Spigot after work, but shelved that for later.

Eventually, Arc realised that the man in blue had likely been on his way back from the Grand Library of Bazionax on the eastern side of town when they first came across him, and the party headed over there to ask around.  At the Grand Library, they found a hunched old clerk who had helped the man in blue find several books on "history and whatnot".  After complaining that more wizards these days should learn about that kind of thing, he lead them into the library to find the books the man in blue had requested.

Aurum began reading and quickly established a pattern connecting the books.  They all contained sections about the Athaeneum, an ancient group of wizards that devised many different summoning rituals for devils, one of whom had founded the Grand Library.  Of worrying frequency was a ritual to summon a War Devil, which required a human sacrifice and specific planetary alignment that would occur in two days.  With that knowledge, the party asked if the clerk knew of any diviners, and were directed to Aegert the Green, who they hired to help confirm Leonidas was being held hostage before they made their move.

With Aegert in tow, Arc returned to the Marinos estate near sunset to grab a personal object to aid in the scrying, and ended up taking Leonidas' signet ring.  Meanwhile Zaxod and Aurum found an inn near to the Asilos estate, and rented a room.  The party regrouped in the inn, and Aegert attempted to cast Seeker, but failed.  He then suggested waiting until slightly later at night, so that he could cast Wizard Eye with less chance of being noticed.

While the rest of the party waited, Mor'ath and Aurum went to the Greasy Spigot, where Mor'ath successfully chatted up some guards and confirmed that both Lymia and the man in blue were working for Lord Riffin on some "secret wizard bullshit".  Around midnight, Aurum and Mor'ath returned to the inn, and Aegert cast Wizard Eye and infiltrated the compound.  Through sheer luck, he managed to find his way through several open doors, and observed the man in blue and Lymia readying a ritual space in the basement, which matched those Aurum had seen in the books earlier.

To get a better look at the inside of the compound, Mor'ath went in, with Zaxod as backup.  Mor'ath easily scaled the walls and attached a rope, but Zaxod struggled, yelled at the wall due to his Bad Temper, and eventually made it over.  Mor'ath then stealthily avoided the guards, maneuvered into the main building, and found a guest room with various books full of arcane gobbledegook (later confirmed to match the rituals from the library), a closed door with three faint voices from the room beyond (an older male, a younger male, and a woman), and lastly, a locked room containing an unconscious man matching the appearance of Leonidas Marinos inside of a locked cell.

Mor'ath noticed that Leonidas had been drugged and put to sleep, and tried picking the lock several times, but eventually gave up and headed back out, again without incident.  Zaxod again struggled over the wall and this time attracted the attention of a halberd-wielding guard.  After two more failed attempts, the guard had closed and was yelling for backup and for Zaxod to stay down, but Mor'ath climbed back up and over the wall and grappled the guard before he could swing.

The guard broke free, but Mor'ath put him in a choke hold and Zaxod punched him unconscious, just as more guards were rounding the corner.  Zaxod ran around the estate, past a group of guards (one of whom hit him with a halberd), out the main gate, and off into the night.

Another almost entirely roleplaying session, with only one combat, which doesn't even really count.

Aurum almost missed out on roleplaying XP by trying to get a job as a snack vendor (aka a merchant, which he hates) during the tournament.  His plan was to try to approach nobles to bankroll his dream of building a flying golden castle/wizard school while disguised.

The skill to gamble during the tournament is Games (Combat Sports) rather than Gambling.  Success picks out the likely winner, while Failure means you are unsure.  Crit Failure means I lie.

Detect Lies came up a lot today, but nobody has it.  Arc has Per 14, but even then he's rolling against 8.

Zaxod's Fear of Romance, negative Appearance, and Social Stigma all came up a lot today.

Mor'ath is the one who usually keeps notes, so the party had a fun time recording all the names and relationships.

A lot of the names are hard to remember, which lead to fun pronunciations.  People were referred to as "Brother-Man" or "The Assloads".

Clerics are not usually recognised in Zerakim, and when they are, they're frowned upon for causing more trouble than they solve.  Arc, however, has started to chisel out a positive reputation amongst the poor of the city.

Arc tried to figure out why an entire city might be Low Sanctity, but came up dry.  He took a sample of the red stone to see if it might be the culprit.

Aurum crit a Research roll, so they know almost exactly what they're going up against, and how much time they have left.

Aegert is a human wizard in his mid-twenties, as so many adventurers are. He wears green robes, is almost worthless in combat, and often says "I knew you'd say that!" while talking to people.

It took a lot of time to find exactly what spell they needed to cast in order to find Leonidas, and then it failed anyway.  Oh well.

Forgot the Choke Hold rules, but it didn't matter anyway.

Zaxod was actually a hindrance on the stealth mission due to his natural enemy: the slightly-too-high to climb with ST-based Climbing wall.  Meanwhile, Mor'ath has Climbing-18, and can easily climb just about anything.

A big part of the session was verifying that they had the right information, so Arc could be 100% certain that they were morally correct in attacking a noble house.

The halbardier did 11 damage after armour, but that's nothing to Zaxod.  It doesn't even cause a knockdown check.

1 for general progress
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight (2v1 against a terribly under-powered opponent)
0 for loot
0 for quests (they're not done yet)
MVP went to Arc for filling in as the face

Saturday, 20 August 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 18: Leaving Adusia

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (318 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (298 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (304 points)
Farric - Elven Bard NPC (??? points)
Herral - Human Hunter NPC (??? points)

Player Absent (In The Nega-Zone):
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (303 points)

Day 29 (Cont.)
Weather: Rainy and Windy
After finishing off the demons, Arc healed everybody up to walking condition, and they continued on through the forest, with Farric riding the levitating disk.  Once Herral had set up camp, Arc then finished healing everyone, including himself, back up to full, and Zaxod's blinded eye successfully recovered.

Day 30-33
The rain continued and escalated into a heavy storm that lasted for three days.  On the second day, the strong winds unearthed a boulder, which rolled down a hill and hit Zaxod in the stomach, but fortunately the rest of the trip was uneventful.  By morning on the fourth day, the weather had cleared up, and shortly before sunset they made it back to Cosium.

The party took Herral to the Wench and Flail inn, where they met with the hunters Brim and Aldric, who were happy to see their companion alive.  They thanked the party, and sent the carrier pigeon back to the Adventurer's Guild in Adusia, marking the mission as complete.  While all this was happening, Farric apparently left the party, though nobody noticed until well after he was gone.

Mor'ath hung around the Wench and Flail and learned that some blue-robed strangers had been around, asking after some sort of magic artifact, and informed the rest of the party of his discovery.

Arc asked Herral if he would teach him some wilderness skills (in particular, Tracking and Survival (Woodland)), which the hunter agreed to.  They trained over the next two days, while Zaxod purchased some leather and began making some gloves.

Day 34
Weather: Sunny
After Arc finished up his training in the morning, the party travelled back to Adusia to see about travelling to Zerakim for the tournament they had heard about when last they were in town, and to destroy the unholy items they had gathered in their journey.

Mor'ath split off to sell the bronze necklace he had squirrelled away, but was disappointed when it was only worth $5, while Arc and Zaxod went to the church of Pelor and burned the hobgoblins' spear, necklace, and flail.  The high priest then informed them that the priests had continued research of the Nexus of Creation.  While they had not discovered how to use its powers, they confirmed that it was enchanted with many, many spells, and that it was made of pure adamantium.

Zaxod overheard this, and immediately asked to destroy the Nexus to use the raw metal to make weapons and armour, but was overruled by Arc and the high priest, who were against desecrating an artifact forged by the gods themselves ("What if destroying it releases hell or something?" "I'll hit it with my axe!").

The party then headed back to the Adventurer's Guild to pick up their pay, and Mor'ath asked the man working the desk about the blue-robed men.  The guilder had seen them several days ago, and recalled that they were apparently looking for a magical artifact and were likely wizards.  Mor'ath then went to a local enchanter and confirmed that the blue-robed men were indeed after an enchanted, blue metal slab.

With this new intel and their pay, the party then spent the night at the Crimson Boot tavern.

Day 35
Weather: Sunny
The party went to the church and got the Nexus back from the priests.  Arc promised to the high priest that he would not lose it, and they made their final purchases in Adusia.  Later in the day, they found passage to Zerakim aboard the merchant freighter "Trident" for a modest fee, and set sail that evening.

Mor'ath asked around the crew a bit and found out that the current grand champion of the arena for the last three years was a man named Morthos, cousin to the Autarch of Zerakim, who fights with a magical, flaming sword.

Day 36-43
The trip to Zerakim went smoothly, with no pirates or sea monsters attacking the Trident.

Day 44
Weather: Sunny
In the afternoon, the party arrived in the port of Zerakim, and upon stepping ashore, Arc noticed that the city was apparently entirely Low Sanctity.  This would would partially explain why the priests looked down on the city (and vice versa).  It was also immediately obvious that Zerakim had a higher-than-normal population of Tieflings, about one-in-ten instead of the usual one-in-two-hundred or less.

The party set about finding accommodations for the duration of the tournament, and settled on the Blue Pheasant inn, which was a popular spot for competitors due to its proximity to the arena.  Mor'ath met with several other fighters for brief introductions before heading off to the arena to sign up.

They arrived to a crowded square with a small line in front of a noble tiefling, and after waiting for a few minutes, Mor'ath and Zaxod were signed up to join Team Chimera, with the first of the melees beginning in six days.  The tiefling, named Andreas Spiros, explained the rules and layout of the tournament, as well as the prize: a chest full of 1,000 gold coins ($100,000).

Arc declined to fight, but asked about being a healer for the tournament, and was surprised when Spiros inquired as to what his experience was, given how clearly he displayed the trappings of the church of Pelor.  He explained that he was a talented surgeon, and also capable of healing magic, but was informed that such spells were forbidden during the tournament, even if it would mean losing a life that could otherwise be saved.

Rolled no random encounters for 8 rolls straight, which made the trip back a tad boring.

Herral's skillset was quite useful, and managed to shorten their travel time by about 20%.

Arc has wanted to learn Tracking and Survival for weeks, but needed a trainer, as they weren't on his template.

It was noted that their rescue job actually cost them money, because of how much upkeep they'd have to spend.  They could have made more if they'd successfully identified and sold the "unholy" items, but burning them got them goods from the church instead.

Zaxod bought a loincloth to protect his unarmoured groin after discovering how easy it is to target.

Zerakim is primarily built of a muddy red-coloured stone.  The Autarch's Palace is built into a mountain to the west that overlooks the rest of the city.  The arena stands in the center of Zerakim, and its 50-foot walls are visible from almost anywhere in the city, as most buildings are only 1-2 stories.

Clerics are frowned upon in Zerakim because their powers become less reliable unless they're very powerful, which makes training initiates much harder.  Arc is one of few who can still cast more than half the time.

The other competitors they met in Zerakim were all Adventurer's Guild members.  A female high elf who wields a spear and wears an eye-patch, a female half-elf with a broadsword, and a male half-elf with a flail.

There are 4 teams in the tournament, each of which have a different-coloured tabard to identify them:
-Team Chimera is red, consists of Adventurer's Guilders, and typically performs very well
-Team Dragon is green, and its members are any fighters who are unassociated with the other groups
-Team Gryphon is blue, and consists of junior nobles, who are typically second-place after Chimera
-Team Manticore is yellow, and its members are mercenaries, whose performance varies greatly depending on which companies are willing to enter

Tournament competitors are expected to arrive for their matches.  If they don't, they are eliminated by default and charged a $500 fee.

The tournament lasts a week, and consists of:
Two rounds of melees, with three total battles over two days.  Two teams face off against each other in a 16v16 massed battle, with the last team standing moving on to the next round, and then the elimination fights.

Three elimination rounds, where the members of the team that won the melees fight each other one on one.  Each fighter will fight once per day for three days.

The final, another elimination round between the two best fighters of the tournament.  The winner of this fight is crowned champion, and moves on to fight in the grand final.

The grand final is an elimination round of the champion against the reigning grand champion, Morthos.  As reigning grand champion, Morthos does not need to participate in the earlier rounds.  The winner of this fight is crowned grand champion, and receives the 1,000 gold award, while the loser gets a still-reasonable 500.

I forgot to go over it, but there are special rules for both the melees and the elimination fights regarding use of Combart Art and some abstraction so we don't game out 16v16 fights.

1 for general progress
1 for roleplaying
0 for the easiest fight (there were none)
0 for loot (though it was pretty close)
1 for rescuing Herral
MVP went to Zaxod for agreeing not to destroy a sacred artifact

Monday, 8 August 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 17: Hobgoblin Battle Part 3

Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (313 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (303 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (298 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (299 points)

Day 27 (Cont.)
Weather: Perfect
Mor'ath waded into the growing pile of corpses, but dropped his sword mid-swing, while Zaxod moved in to attack the cleric and took a flail to the groin for his efforts.  Arc missed a Sunbolt, and Aurum finally got Farric on the levitating disc, and started charging a Fireball.

Zaxod finally landed a killing blow on the cleric, and with only 6 spearmen left, the hobgoblins surrendered, with one of their shamans taking over as leader.  Arc healed their wounds, and the party asked them a few questions.  They found out that the prisoner was in a nearby chamber, that the hobgoblins had been kicked out of their old home by orcs, and that their old home was somewhere to the southwest, several days from a human city (though the shaman did not know the name).

Arc and Zaxod went and freed the hunter, Herral, who was quite grateful, and then the hobgoblins gathered up their women (though the hobgoblin may have meant "wounded") and children, and left.

Mor'ath Searched through the piles of hobgoblins, and found a couple hundred dollars worth of coins, while Aurum took a knife and started cutting off ears for the bounty.  Arc took the priest's magic flail and the leader's electric spear and put them in the quarantine sack to be "purified" by his church in Adusia, so Mor'ath pocketed the bronze chain the leader had, rather than risking Arc taking it.

Mor'ath and Arc then scouted out the rest of the caves and found dead, partially eaten gnolls and a bolt of fine cloth, but no other treasure.  They also came across an unlit area of the caves, and wished that they could have asked the hobgoblins about it.  After some debate, they ended up voting against exploring further, though it came down to Zaxod's veto power.

Mor'ath and Zaxod moved all the hobgoblin corpses further into the cave, and then Aurum cast Shape Earth to close the entrance to the unlit area, and then again at the bottleneck.  Aurum suggested calling their party "The Sack-Boyz", and Zaxod was on-board, but Mor'ath vetoed that.  Zaxod then suggested "The Tigers", but Aurum vetoed that because he Hates Animals.  Arc cast Major Healing a couple times to get everybody back up to full, and then the party rested in the cave mouth overnight.

Day 28
Weather: Good
Aurum elected to ride the disc, but Farric was poorly suited for long-range travel and slowed them down.  Luckily, Herral was an expert in the local environment and made up for some lost time.  He was also quite capable at picking campsites and setting up blinds, so the party was uninterrupted overnight.

Day 29
Weather: Rainy and Windy
The party made worse time due to the weather.  Around noon, Mor'ath spotted some large vulture-like creatures with large, bull-like horns flying overhead, and asked Arc and Aurum what they were.  Arc looked up, figured that they were demons, though he didn't know what kind, and then yelled "DEMONS!  COME DOWN HERE AND DIE YOU COWARDS!", thereby negating all possibility of stealth.

While the vulture demons soared down, the party readied their weapons and Arc cast Shield on himself.  One of the demons gored Farric for light damage, while the other flew by and bounced off of Arc's holy defences.  The party was slow to react to the demons' superior speed, and struggled to position themselves properly while Farric passed out from a failed HT check, and Aurum fell off of his disc thanks to failed DX.

Zaxod tried slamming the demon that had gored Farric, but failed and moved past it, exposing his back, while Mor'ath and Arc focused on dodging the other one, Aurum stood up and figured out where their brains and vitals were thanks to Physiology, and Herral ran off into the underbrush to hide.  The demon near Zaxod switched to hovering and clawed his skull from behind, but his helmet negated the blow, while the other continued flying around and attempting to gore Arc, who continued to shout taunts.

Zaxod made an All-Out Attack and ended up doing light damage to his demon, but it responded by goring him in the eye, for 56 damage, which knocked him past two death checks, blinded him in one eye, and used up his Bless, which negated the -10 knockdown check.  Meanwhile, the other demon went into hover mode and gouged a hole in Arc, while Mor'ath moved in to help.

Zaxod then dropped his greataxe behind him mid-swing and moved to grapple his demon, but was clawed in the arm instead, while Mor'ath stabbed the other one in the eye, and Aurum launched a 9d Fireball for just shy of 30 damage, which killed the demon.  Arc healed Farric back into the positives while Mor'ath ran over to assist Zaxod, who had just readied his dual axes.  The other demon was stabbed and chopped to death, though it took far longer than the other one.

The hobgoblin battle is finally over.  The total hobgoblin death toll is 23.

Arc has Intolerance (Evil Religions) and Hates Demons, so he really loves burning (un)holy relics and yelling at demons to fight him like a man.

Aurum tried to argue that Physiology should let him know whether the demons were planning on flying back up and strafing the whole time.  No, that's Strategy (or maybe Psychology if I'm feeling generous).

Zaxod's dice are cursed.  Two critical failures in a row during the vulture demon fight.

The gore to the eye was actually also a crit, and the Bless negated the special effect (which was double damage, so that was lucky).  I forgot the -10 for knockdown during the gore to the eye completely, so I just wrote that off as being the Bless too.

Zaxod will probably never All-Out Attack ever again.  He also bought-up Axe/Mace mid-fight to increase his 2h Axe/Mace default by 1.

Mor'ath used his Luck to reroll on the critical table on an eye-stab on the second vulture demon.  Not sure if it's allowed RAW, but it wasn't a big deal.

Aurum spent the last 4-5 turns of the vulture demon fight slow-clapping.

A bunch of FP got spent on Mighty Blows, Giant Step, and Flurry of Blows, which is cool.

The party is pretty sure that the vulture demons were weak to fire, because the second one took way more damage to kill.

Nobody has spent XP in a while, though Arc wants to learn Survival and Navigation from Herral once they get back to Cosium.

1 for general progress
1 for roleplaying
3 for the hobgoblin fight (Worthy, Outnumbered 4:1)
0 for loot
0 for quests
MVP went to Zaxod for "taking that damage like a champ"

Monday, 1 August 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 16: Hobgoblin Battle Part 2

Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (303 points)
Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (298 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (299 points)

Player Absent:
Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (313 points)

Day 27 (Cont.)
Weather: Perfect
The hobgoblin leader got to his knees and hobbled backwards while 3 more spearmen moved in to block Zaxod's way.  Mor'ath turned backwards and started moving towards the lone hobgoblins that Arc and Aurum were still struggling with.

Zaxod attacked the hobgoblins holding the passage, and managed to land a grazing hit that almost killed one, but they held fast.  Further in the distance, the other hobgoblins rearranged, and some started unstrapping their shields.  Then, the hobgoblin cleric cast a spell and Zaxod was surrounded by darkness, unable to see anything, even with his Night Vision.  Two spear attacks missed him, and then he retreated.

Mor'ath finished off the spearman, and the party reevaluated their options.  The darkness made attacking impossible, but  Aurum figured he could dispel it.  Zaxod called the hobgoblins cowards, Mor'ath pointed out where the tripwire was so that nobody would step on it, and Aurum cast a minimal-strength Minor Healing, getting Mor'ath back above 1/3HP.  Once everyone was ready, Aurum cast Dispel Magic and revealed that the hobgoblins had fallen back into a shieldwall, with more fresh reinforcements at the end of the tunnel.

Zaxod tried "negotiating" ("Give us the prisoner or we'll kill all of you!"), but the hobgoblins refused to give up their new home, and readied to receive a charge.  After some deliberation, Aurum started casting Great Haste on Zaxod again, and once it was on, the half-orc charged back at the leader and 6 waiting spears, taking only minor damage thanks to Arc's Armor spell.

Mor'ath made sure to hold the choke point so no hobgoblins could make it through again, while Arc and Aurum started charging Sunbolt and Explosive Fireball.  Zaxod struggled to land a hit against the leader, and was attacked in his un-armoured groin multiple times, but managed to parry four or more attacks each round.

Mor'ath stepped into the room to provide a clear line of sight for the casters, but there wasn't much point.  Aurum missed, but still did some minor damage to the hobgoblins nearby with the explosion, and Arc's spell was blocked by one of the hobgoblins in the front rank.

Zaxod landed another attack and cut off the hobgoblin leader's foot, but he stayed in the fight, and landed a light hit to the torso, slightly shocking the half-orc through his mail.  Mor'ath moved into the fight proper, parried all the attacks directed at him, and then began eye-stabbing the lesser hobgoblins with ease.

Aurum grabbed Farric and started to move him to the levitating disc, while Arc cast Minor Healing to get him back into the positives.  Zaxod made to finish off the leader, but his main axe turned in his hand, and had to spend his second manoeuvre readying, while Mor'ath claimed another hobgoblin life.  The hobgoblin with the long spear overextended himself, crippled his arm in the process, and was effectively out of the fight.

Zaxod took a minor blow to the face from a second-rank hobgoblin, and then the leader stabbed him in the groin, and knocked him into the negatives.  Zaxod then struck back, but dropped both axes, and readied the great axe on his back.  Arc readied another Sunbolt while the fresh hobgoblins cycled in to replace their fallen comrades.

Even with the reinforcements, Mor'ath cut through the hobgoblins like butter.  Meanwhile, Zaxod swarmed the hobgoblin leader with attacks and killed him, nearly cutting him in half.  In spite of this, and the rapidly degrading situation, the remaining spearmen held steady.

Another 3 hours of combat! Well, 2.5 hours.  Aurum was late.  Since entering the clearing at the very start of the battle, 31 seconds have passed in game time.  In that time, 19 hobgoblins and their leader have been killed.

Arc's out of town for the next couple weeks, but he wanted his character to help.  A good choice, as almost nobody has any healing.  Also, Mor'ath and Zaxod would both almost assuredly be dead without the Armor and Bless spells.

The hobgoblins were far, far more difficult to fight once they organized into ranks.  The front line All-Out Blocking, with another behind making All-Out Attacks, and a single hobgoblin with a long spear in the third line to add in just a few more attacks.

My dice were on fire tonight.  Multiple crits, tons of under-10 rolls made, etc.

Zaxod has no groin armour, so his crotch acted like a magnet for spears the entire fight (4+ attacks per round).  Thank the gods for High Pain Threshold, Parry 16, and having 23HP.

Mor'ath's new tactic is "Rapid Strike Feint -> Eye Thrust", and it's incredibly effective, at least against the mooks

The hobgoblin leader performed amazingly well, in spite of the -6 from Missing Legs and -2 from Kneeling the entire fight, and later -2 for Bad Footing from corpses.

The series of crits for/against Zaxod was unreal.  The Crit Block for the leader, then two Crit Fails for Zaxod the next turn.  Needless to say, he switched dice.

Zaxod refused to offer anything in exchange for their prisoner, even when the hobgoblins explicitly asked for something, and nobody else seemed interested in negotiating.  Oh well.

The hobgoblins rolled to break when they lost their leader, but made the morale roll entirely due to bonuses for defending their home and their militaristic culture.

0 for no progress
1 for roleplaying
0 for the hardest fight (still going strong!)
0 for loot
0 for quests
MVP hasn't been claimed yet, but it's probably going to Aurum for getting rid of the darkness.