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

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