Sunday, 26 February 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 39: The New New Party

Locke Landen - Human Bard (250 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (258 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (126 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (250 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (250 points)

Locke Landen aka Davis Connors aka Landen Locke is a totally trustworthy bard who would never tell a lie.  He started adventuring at age 3, slew his first dragon at age 4, and single-handedly stopped the demonic invasion of 2519, but those damned historians covered it all up.

Sindri Blackshield is the son of a Zerakim noble house who had fallen on hard times.  He seeks to enrich his families coffers through adventuring, and to improve public opinion on Tieflings by upholding a chivalric oath and slaying the devils of the Nine Hells.

Virgil the Grim was born in Hell as a slave to the ruling devils, but managed to escape with his brother after he stole a magical sword that could open portals.  Once they had escaped, his brother stole the sword.  Virgil wants to find him and take it back.

Day 114:
Weather: Clear and Warm
Date: Peris 1st, 2526
The party arrived in the city of Adusia, having met on the boat ride there, and decided to look for work with the local branch of the Adventurer's Guild.  While everybody else got a job to put a stop to unusually frequent wild animal attacks that were occurring around trade road near the Iron Forest in the south, Locke went to go "find some accommodations" at the Crimson Boot inn across the street.

The rest of the party found him standing on a table inside, playing a song on his lute with a tankard (somehow) in hand, and dragged him off.  After buying a map of the area, they decided to go to Cosium, which was the largest of the four villages, and was situated on the southern trade road to Carda.  Travel took most of the day, and they arrived at Cosium tired and ready to rest.

As soon as they had entered the inn, however, a horn sounded to the west, and they could hear shouting off in the distance.  The party ran to the west, and arrived at the 12' wooden wall at the edge of town, where the shouting became more clear; something about despoilers having taken too much from the forest, and it being time to return to nature.  Then, something let out a horrendous roar and charged the wooden town walls, which shook but held steady.

Sindri rallied the three nearby guards with Leadership while Morgan convinced an elderly peasant family to let him in for cover, and Locke caught up after hanging back at the tavern to "question the locals".  The walls shook twice more, and a storm cloud in the shape of a man, with burning eyes of lightning, flew over the wall and fired off a lightning bolt at one of the guards, but missed.  Morgan took an opportunity shot with Kinetic Lash, but had almost no effect.

Finally, the walls gave way, and a 10' tall cactus-bear monster charged in through the gap, followed by two dire wolves.  Virgil attacked one of the wolves, stunning it, and Maurice finished it off, while Sindri attacked the cactus-bear and tried to block a lightning bolt from the elemental, only to be lightly fried and stunned.

Morgan tried inflicting Madness on the cactus-bear but failed, while the guards fired crossbows at the wolves and elemental, though only one managed to hit.  The remaining wolf bit onto the prone Sindri, and the cactus-bear charged forwards to nearly bite one of the guards, trampling Sidnri in the process.  Virgil finished off the other wolf, while Morgan tried a Pyro Bolt, which seemed to have great effect on the cactus-bear, and Sindri recovered from stun, only to be covered by several thousand pounds of spiky plant-monster.

Locke played a mesmerising song on his lute, and successfully Mind Controlled the cactus-bear, only for it to immediately fall unconscious, and Virgil helped Sindri get out from under the cactus-bear, which two of the guards chopped with axes.  The third guard was cut off by the body of the colossal plant, and was stuck dealing with the elemental, which quickly flew out of reach and hit him with lightning.

Maurice healed Sindri a bit, while Virgil ran off to go get to th elemental, and Sindri shield-rushed a peasant door down to create a shortcut (which ended up being a dead-end, as there were no windows looking out over the rear alley).  Locke began packing away his equipment, and Maurice sat down to eat a chicken leg he'd stuffed away, while the rest of the party followed Virgil, who arrived in time to make a single attack with his greatsword while jumping 40" in the air, but had almost no effect.

The air elemental retreated back over the wall and away, and a group of drunken hunters with bows ran onto the scene, ready to fight, only to find everything dead.  Following Locke, they went back to the tavern to continue drinking.  The rest of the party talked to the guards, and learned that this was the first attack with those kinds of monsters.

There was supposedly a group of druids somewhere, but nobody knew more than that.  The next day would be market day in the nearby village of Kral Barakzar, so that might be a good place to find more info.  The party rested for the night, with plans to head west to Kral Barakzar the next morning.

Day 115:
Weather: Light Clouds, Warm Breeze
Date: Peris 2nd 2526
After Brother Maurice healed Sindri some more, the party headed to the west, and arrived at a tiny settlement their map called Heyfield, with two fairly large houses, and a third that was only 5' tall.  They heard women yelling in one of the houses, something about someone's daughter being a "no-good whore", and decided to investigate.

For some reason, Virgil went in first, and was immediately shouted back out the door.  A gnome farmer walked out of his tiny house and up to the party, and asked them not to be to annoyed with the women, as two of their children had disappeared, and both blamed the other family's child for seducing the other.  Locke went into the house next, and, thanks to his silver tongue, was able to convince the women to stop arguing and tell them what had happened.

Through many insults at each other's families and children, the women told them that the pair had disappeared off into the forest, surely to get away from the other overbearing family.  Locke said that they'd help track them down, and that he was looking for the druids in the forest.  One of the women fetched a rough map of the area she had received from a cousin who had died, and said that the druids were southwest of a large lake.

Locke promised to search for the lovers, and left the house, only to immediately try to convince the rest of the party to leave because he'd already gotten everything he needed out of the peasants, and because the lovers would surely be fine and had probably just ran off to another village.  Sadly, the gnome said that he'd found a pair of tracks going into the forest, and Sindri and Virgil were convinced that they needed to help.

Three hours of trekking through the forest later, the party heard a song in an unrecognisable language.  Shortly after, tarrived in a glade where the most beautiful woman they'd ever seen, with green skin and a dress made of leaves, sat singing on the bough of a tree with the two lovers sitting idly nearby in a daze.  All of the party except for Locke ("I can sing better than that!") and Maurice were struck by her beauty, but reacted in different ways.

Sindri stood in place, stunned, much like the lovers, while Morgan used Telesend to introduce himself.  Virgil, however, tried to climb the tree she was in while yelling "I love you!", and, when that failed, threw a bola at her, which missed and soared off into the forest.  Locke talked to the woman and managed to convince her to let the lovers leave, but before they could go, she mentioned that she would appreciate it if they could get her a white rose.

The flower was up a hill only a short distance from the glade, but she could not leave, and so rarely got company.  Immediately, Sindri ran off to the hill, only to find a 10' wide chasm, 20-30' deep blocking the way.  Though there was a branch lying across it, he figured it wouldn't hold his weight, and so he began climbing down, only to lose his footing and fall.  Once at the bottom, he started to climb up the other side, but fell again, this time landed on his (helmetless) head, and passed out.

Maurice fell down the chasm but was uninjured, and healed Sindri before casting Awaken.  Despite Maurice's urge to continue resting, Sindri tried climbing, again, and fell, again, once more losing consciousness.  At this point Virgil returned and threw his bola at the woman, hitting her this time.  She yelled out in pain, and fell into the tree, which began to creak and groan as it stood up.

Though he tried to keep his distance from the 40' walking tree, Virgil was nonetheless grabbed with an enormous wooden hand, and held aloft, though not injured.  Thanks once again to Locke's amazing Diplomacy, a deal was struck: once they had rescued their comrades, they (mostly Virgil) would leave forever.  The rest of the party then realised that none of them had any rope, and so Virgil jumped into the chasm for some reason.

Maurice again cast Awaken, and Sindri revealed that he had some rope, which Virgil threw up to the top of the chasm.  Of course, now that Virgil was down there, nobody up top was strong enough to lift up the rest of the group.  Except for the tree.  Locke managed to convince it to help lift them out, only for Sindri to pass out while holding onto the rope.  One more attempt later, and everybody was out, and they headed back to town, lovers in tow.

The party made it back to Heyfield after sunset, and headed off to Kral Barakzar, with Virgil carrying the now-unconscious Sindri.  They arrived close to midnight, but were let inside the town gate thanks once again to Locke's Charisma.

Day 116:
Weather: Light Clouds
Date: Peris 3rd 2526
Despite more healing from Brother Maurice, Sindri still needed two healing potions to get back into walking shape, and Locke and Virgil went around town while Maurice rested.  They found out that the druids were east of a tower on a hill (a feature which was luckily on their map), and that a group of soldiers had been asking about the druids yesterday, but had since left to the east.

Their heraldry was either a black dragon on blue or a blue dragon on black, which Sindri would later realise meant that they were either from the Dragons of Carda mercenary band, or an ancient elven noble house.  With the market day over, and Kral Barakzar apparently out of clues, they decided to try the village of Wystead, hopefully narrowing down the search area further.

Wystead was east of Cosium, meaning they had to backtrack for most of the day to get there.  When they arrived, they found the outskirts of the town empty, and pressed on to find all of the villagers gathered around a large oak tree in the centre of town.  Virgil asked around and discovered that it was a funeral for a priestess of the goddess Melora, who had been killed by wild animals while meditating.

After the funeral, he rudely interrogated the high priest and informed him that they were looking into these attacks.  Despite Virgil's best attempts at alienating him, the priest (a human named Aldinas) escorted them to the grove where the priestess had died.  Virgil found a razor-sharp humanoid tooth, and tracks leading off into the forest.  Sadly, he lost the trail and the party gave up, heading back to Cosium to start their journey into the Iron Forest the next day.

When they were deciding how good of a map/compass to buy for the area, Virgil realised that he has Navigation-17.  So, crappy map with no text except for ads for the Crimson Boot Inn it is.

The math for Shield Rush is kind of weird in that, thanks to the static bonus, you are far more likely to knock someone down if you move less.  As a result, we're using a houserule: instead of adding DB (1/1/2/3) to slam damage, you add the shield's HP to your own (12/14/18/22).  We'll see how it works out.

On another shield houserule: instead of tracking HP, a "major wound" to your shield (or weapon) breaks it.  This is as low as 2DR/7HP to a Light Shield, up to 4DR/12HP for a Large.  Again, we'll see how it works.  Almost nobody attacks shields, though, so it might not come up much.

Sindri took a beating this session, and it seems that his racial Unluckiness affects the player as well.  During his big fall, I rolled a 4 on the random location table to hit his skull, and then 11 on 2d for damage.  Meanwhile, Maurice took 3 to the torso (down to 0), and Virgil took 5 to the torso (also 0).

Speaking of Sindri, all of his attacks should have been at -2, because he has a large shield but no Shield-Wall Training.  On another note, he may take the quirk "Preferred Tactic: Dynamic Entry".

Brother Maurice (pronounced Morris most of the time) looks almost the exact same as Brother Horace, but with a thin pencil moustache.  He gained the quirk "Sarcastic to Patients" thanks to Sindri's climbing-induced injuries.

While it may have been a bit... extreme, it's understandable for Virgil to not quite follow social mores.

Double XP to Locke, Sindri, and Virgil to catch up to Morgan.  Stops at 259.
2 for general success
1 for combat
0 for loot
0 for quests
1 for roleplaying (Sindri only)
MVP went to Virgil sarcastically

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