Sunday, 9 October 2016

GURPS Free Cities Session 22: The Grand Tournament Begins

Mor'ath Enanqua - Elven Swashbuckler/Thief (314 points)
Zaxod - Half-Orc Knight (320 points)

Players Absent:
Arc Sol - Human Cleric of Pelor, the god of the sun (330 points)
Aurum Red-Brand - Human Wizard (322 points)

Day 50:
Weather: Sunny
The party went to the arena first thing in the morning, and Mor'ath, and Zaxod were ushered into a side-entrance along with several other combatants to join up with the rest of their team for the melees, Chimera.   Arc was lead to the infirmary, and Aurum went into the stands to watch.  As the rest of Team Chimera arrived, Zaxod recognized Roberto, a pirate from his mercenary days, and Mor'ath talked to a goliath saber-wielder, who turned out to also be a practitioner of Red Cloak style.  Several competitors from Team Gryphon came by to antagonize them, and Mor'ath told one that he would kill him tomorrow.

Shortly after, Team Chimera entered the arena to great fanfare, opposite Team Dragon.  Looking around, it seemed as if the arena floor had been restructured to resemble a village.  High above, in the Autarch's box, Chancellor Spiros announced the 253rd Khalisfall Tournament open to the cheering crowd, and the first melee began.

The two teams rushed towards each other, and somehow, two elves with spears managed to flank Zaxod and Mor'ath.  Zaxod took a big hit to the vitals and was knocked down, while Mor'ath parried his opponent and then stabbed him in the eye.  Zaxod defended himself and made it to his feet, but was then forced away by a pair of swordsmen.  Mor'ath picked another target and blinded him, while Zaxod forced his way through to the spear elf only to overextend himself.  Luckily, the elf stumbled and lost his balance before he could capitalize, and Zaxod took the elf down with a heavy blow from one of his axes.

The rest of their team had been equally successful, and only Zaxod and one other teammate, a half-orc wielding a maul, required medical attention.  In the wake of their success, Roberto suggested that they meet up tonight at the Blue Pheasant and party, as they would obviously win their second melee the next day.  Several combatants bought healing potions (25% off for the tournament!), and the team went into the stands to watch the second fight.

In the intermission, a group of wizards shaped the floor of the arena, dismantling the village into sand and ruins.  The second melee, between teams Gryphon and Manticore, lasted longer than the first, and left many injured, but ultimately went to the nobles of Gryphon.  Back at the Blue Pheasant, Zaxod got Arc to patch him up while most of the team celebrated their victory.  Mor'ath partied a bit too hard, and ended up losing some sleep.

Day 51:
Weather: Sunny
The next morning, Mor'ath and most of the rest of Team Chimera felt sick (though not hungover), and some of the same nobles from Gryphon mocked them on their way to the arena.  Before the battle, Zaxod gave a rousing speech and managed to improve everybody's morale.  They entered the arena, and this time the floor had been reshaped to resemble a mountain peak, complete with icy footing and biting cold, which blocked the teams from each other.  Chancellor Spiros started the melee, and once more the teams charged into battle.

Zaxod tried to ascend to the top of the mountain, but was buffeted away by strong winds, and pushed directly into a Gryphon fighter.  Though off-balance, Zaxod landed a savage blow and removed the man's arm.  Mor'ath found the man who had taunted him the day before and, true to his word, killed him with a stab directly into the eye.  Once more, Zaxod tried to become king of the hill, but was again forced away by the biting cold.  Mor'ath stabbed another noble in the eye, while Zaxod forced another man to yield after being cut nearly in half, and the melee was won.

Despite their victory, nobody wanted to party this time.  As they left the arena for the day, they noticed that the bracket for the rest of the tournament had already been announced.  To start, Zaxod would face the half-elf swordswoman Sabeth, while Mor'ath was up against Galion, a heavily armoured soldier with a morningstar.

Day 52:
Weather: Perfect
After morning prayer with Arc, Zaxod was approached by a man in tattered clothes, who offered him $5000 to throw the match.  Zaxod responded with much yelling and several death threats, though he would regret this later.

The first bout of the day was Zaxod's, and he and Sabeth faced off in the now normal arena.  Zaxod wasted no time, and sprinted straight across the field to slam into Sabeth, but she made a quick attack to the torso with her broadsword and dodged out of the way as he ran past.  She then spun on the spot and landed two rapid blows to the skull which knocked him unconscious.  As Zaxod was dragged out of the arena by medics, Mor'ath cursed losing $50 on his bet.

After three more fights, it was Mor'ath's turn, and he remembered from the melees that Galion liked to get in close.  He and Galion took their place in the arena and cautiously advanced towards each other, Mor'ath evaluating his opponent and Galion holding his shield in a defensive posture.  Finally Galion closed, but was parried.  Mor'ath launched an unsuccessful feint followed by two eye-stabs but missed the first and was parried by the morningstar on the second.  Galion made a pair of attacks which were deflected, and Mor'ath followed up with a better feint and a stab to the left eye.  Reeling and blinded in one eye, but still standing, Galion yielded.

Day 53:
Weather: Overcast, No Rain
The second day's bouts went quickly, until Mor'ath and Roberto took the field.  The pair slowly moved towards each other while evaluating until Roberto finally closed and launched his first attack, only to be parried.  Mor'ath responded with a feint followed by two rapid stabs, but missed both.  Roberto continued to focus on a single, highly tricky attack, while Mor'ath preferred feinting.

Ended in the middle of the fight sadly.

Nobody used the optional rules to fight artfully at the expense of skill.  Oh well.

Normally wouldn't run with two players absent, but this session was very focused on Mor'ath and Zaxod so I decided to go ahead anyway.

Zaxod on slamming: "It was a 50/50 chance of instantly winning".  I rolled damage for fun afterwards, and had Sabeth not dodged, she would have been knocked prone and likely out of the fight.

After losing his fight, Zaxod realized that he should probably have taken the money in case he lost anyway.

For some reason, neither caster has chosen which of the fancy jewellery from last session they want.

I talked to Aurum afterwards, and he was glad he wasn't there because he would have bet thousands on Zaxod to win.

1 for general progress
1 for roleplaying
1 for worthy opponent in single combat
MVP went to Mor'ath for performing better.

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