Friday, 26 May 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 49: Battle of Carda Part II

Locke Landen - Human Bard (274 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (270 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (144 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (292 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (293 points)

Day 156 (Cont.):
Date: Peris 43rd, 2526
Weather: Clear
As the orc leader hit the still-stunned Virgil with his greatsword a second time, Sindri Giant Stepped through the hole that Maurice had made in the magical purple force field and smashed the orc's torso with his flail three times thanks to Rapid Strike and Extra Attack.  Locke played his Dissonant Strain again, but only stunned 1 orc out of 5, while Morgan finished off the orc sergeant with a Pyro Blast.

A shield rush and some grappling attacks by the orcs pushed Morgan and Locke further back, but didn't manage to inflict any wounds, and Maurice, now at 0FP, began readying a major healing potion for Virgil, who finally recovered from stun.  The orc leader managed to make it to his knees before Sindri rained another 4 attacks on him, knocking him back down, and Locke Mind Controlled the orc that only had a shield and ordered him to defend, while Morgan provided more covering fire.

One of the orcs who had been harassing the back line took a good opportunity to bash Sindri's skull in from behind, knocking him down, while the black orc with the knife was grappled by the shield orc and took a greatsword to the back from the other one.  The orc wizard finally recovered from stun, and Maurice unstoppered the healing potion only to collapse from exhaustion.

Virgil started to regain his feet and realized that the orc leader wasn't moving, and had probably died to one of Sindri's many attacks.  Locke dropped his lute and pulled out a knife, which he threw at the black orc only for it to pathetically clink off his armour (he rolled a 1 for damage), while Morgan lit the orc wizard with another Pyro Bolt, burning him to ash.  The other orc smashed Virgil's head in, knocking him out, before being lit on fire, and, after breaking free from the shield orc, the black orc realized how bad his odds were and surrendered.

They had won their combat, but the rest of the battle was still raging; the peasant levies and orc soldiers within the walls seemed not to have noticed, while the crash of cavalry could be heard from beyond the wall.  Locke removed the leader orc's three helmets before cutting its head clean off, while Sindri drank Maurice's healing potion and fed him the other paut on his potion belt before sitting down to rest.

Locke picked his lute back up and played a victory song while Maurice held the orc leader's head and helmet aloft, and both sides were distracted enough to stop fighting.  The orcs quickly surrendered or fled, while the defenders let out a cheer.  From the right flank, Cuthbert and another paladin of the Brotherhood of Divine Order emerged to thank the party for their heroism, and, with Locke's help, Maurice took credit for defeating the orc leader.

Between Maurice's spells, one of the paladin's Faith Healing, and a collection of healing potions, Sindri and Virgil were both brought back to the positives.  Sindri grabbed the orc leader's horned greathelm and noted that it was of incredibly fine construction (Critical Failure on Armoury), but left his greatsword, which was completely normal (Failure on Armoury).

The party retired to the Jovial Unicorn tavern for the night, where Locke sang songs of Maurice's heroism.  Sindri was put into a Healing Slumber while Virgil preferred to "party" or, as he put it, "brood in the corner with a big smile".

Day 157:
Weather: Rainy
Some of the party went to the Ducal Palace in the morning to collect their pay; Locke stayed at the inn because he hates the rain and Maurice decided to help the wounded, which had been moved to the town square in the Ducal District, where they would be closest to the churches.  After walking up the hill to the palace, they dropped off their weapons and headed into the throne room, where the duke and several others were assembled around a table, and failed to notice the party.

The party recognized Bruno the Crimson, Dugald Ironheart of the Brotherhood, Adalhard the Captain of the Guard, the knight who had suggested they charge forth before the battle, and the overweight man in gold robes, but none knew the fat elf also sitting at the table.  The men were discussing the orcs, and how they hadn't retreated into the forest but made camp.

Morgan loudly cleared his throat, and the duke finally noticed them and motioned to his servant, Jeeves, to bring forth their payment of 50 gold coins.  Virgil asked if they were going to be on retainer, to which the duke said no, but asked that they stay in the town for the next while in case more work came up.  Morgan asked Bruno if this meant that his work would be postponed, and he sadly replied yes.

The party took their leave and split up for the rest of the day; Sindri went to the church of Erathis to receive a level 1 Bless and then bought an umbrella for Locke so he would leave the tavern, Morgan found somebody to teach him the basics of the Giant language, and Virgil helped bury the dead, and didn't even rob any corpses.

Day 158:
Peris 45th, 2526
Weather: Rainy
The party checked in at the Adventurer's Guild for work, and were told that the Brotherhood wanted to meet with them at the church of Erathis.  They made it past the many wounded, Maurice was thanked by the paladins, the stories of his exploits having grown even more embellished, and were informed that the situation had changed.  More orcs had emerged from the Iron Forest but had not attacked, and the duke had work for the party, but nobody had been able to find them.

Again, they headed up the hill and into the Ducal Palace, this time not having to hand over their weapons because Maurice was with them, and entered the throne room.  The duke informed them of the situation: thousands more orcs had arrived overnight, but had not attacked, opting instead to make camp out of range of any defenses and block the city off from the north, west, and east.  Largely thanks to the party's efforts, they had survived the first wave, but they were badly undermanned and in dire need of reinforcements.

With severe reluctance, the duke asked that they escort a noble into the Iron Forest to seek out a band of mercenaries known as the Dragons of Carda, so that they could be hired to assist.  Despite Virgil's enthusiasm to kill all the orcs blocking the roads, they would be taking an ancient escape tunnel out of the city that night.  Nobody was sure exactly where it went, as the exit had collapsed some time ago.

Locke offered to go take a look through it with Glasswall, and they were lead by Jeeves into a courtyard and down a fake well to a stone tunnel which ran for several kilometers before arriving at a dead-end.  Locke cast his spell on the ceiling, and was able to see that they were somewhere in the Iron Forest, and that there were no orcs immediately above them.  Virgil asked Jeeves how they would clear the cave-in, and was told that "Master Hestius would take care of it".

That night, they returned to the throne room, and met the noble they would be escorting; a thin, scared-looking man who was unarmoured and carried only a dress smallsword.  As they made to leave, a 2' tall, red-skinned humanoid with wings appeared 20' in the air with a pop, and Virgil, who recognized it as a devil, threw one of his swords but missed it.

The imp then imparted its message, cautious to stay out of range of the barbarian running across the room to grab his sword; it was here on behalf of its master, Hadriex, who was looking to make a deal.

Turns out I've been making more rules mistakes.
-Morgan's attacks (both Pyro Blast and PK Lash) can't be blocked (I figured it was like a Missile spell)
-Mind Control uses Speed/Range penalties, not -1/m

There was some confusion regarding whether you can use psi at 0 or less FP, stemming back to the near-TPK in the alchemist's lab in the dwarven ruins, where casting spells out of HP came up.  So, psis can't use HP to cast, but can deliberately go into negative FP, which inadvertently costs HP, all the way down to -FP, at which point they automatically fall unconscious.

Locke finished the fight barely above 1/3 FP and unwounded.  Contrast with Morgan and Maurice (unwounded but negative FP) or Sindri and Virgil (well into negative HP), and he did very well.

Will Maurice buy Reputation (Hero)?  No, because he didn't actually earn it.  He has a good set of temporary reaction roll modifiers, partly thanks to Locke, but after a couple of weeks, his heroics will be mostly forgotten.

2 for general success
2 for combat (Worthy foes plus a bunch of fodder)
1 for loot ($1k from the duke)
1 for roleplaying to Morgan (Pyromania) and Sindri (Code of Honour: Chivalry)
MVP went to Morgan for lighting a bunch of people on fire

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