Sunday, 4 June 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 50: Ambushed in the Iron Forest

Locke Landen - Human Bard (294 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (273 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (150 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (298 points)

Gareth Conbert IV - Human Agent (~125 points)

Player Absent:
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (292 points)

Day 158 (Cont.):
Date: Peris 45th, 2526
Weather: Rainy
The imp relayed that its master, Hadriex, would either be given the Tears of St. Carmine or his forces would join the orcs, and then poofed away before Virgil could throw his sword again.  Sensing confusion, Hestius, the overweight man in gold robes, informed those assembled that the Tears were a holy artifact owned by the church of Erathis.  Deciding to deal with the task at hand first, the party, led by Hestius, climbed down the false well and started down the escape tunnel.

On the way, they asked the diplomat, Gareth Conbert IV, why he had accepted such a dangerous job, and were told that, as someone untrained in the ways of war, this was an excellent way of fulfilling his civic duty.  They arrived at the dead end, and Hestius cast a spell to move the earth aside, cast another spell, and told them that he would be able to detect when they came back and would open the tunnel half an hour or so after that.  Morgan cut a symbol into a nearby tree so they could find it later.

The party debated walking through the night, but decided to make camp instead, so they wouldn't have to deal with the superior night vision of any orc patrols.  Instead, they were ambushed by a group of goblins in the middle of the night and surprised.  Locke was on watch, and took two arrows to the back (luckily absorbed by his armour) before he realised what was happening.

Virgil was swarmed by goblins who blinded him by stabbing both eyes, while Morgan lit a goblin and his tent on fire with Pyro Bolt.  Sindri was stabbed in one eye as well, but managed to get up without further wounds, while Gareth struggled to get out of bed and Locke Mind Controlled the apparent goblin leader, was annoyed by another arrow hitting him in the back, and then took stock of the situation.

There were about 15 goblins that had surrounded their camp, minus the one that was on fire, 5 of which were provided ranged support with (flimsy) shortbows.  Locke Mind Controlled another one that was trying to murder Gareth, Maurice dealt with two goblins in his tent without taking any serious damage from their pathetic knives, while Virgil rolled over to shield his eyes and tried to blindly grapple any nearby goblins.

Sindri regained his feet and began the slaughter, felling three goblins immediately, while Morgan finished putting out his flaming tent and then lit Maurice's tent on fire, killing a goblin in the process.  Locke played a Dissonant Strain and stunned 7 of the goblins, and from there it was more or less over.  Maurice took a staff to the back of the skull but his enchanted helmet prevented any actual injury, and retaliated by knocking the shaman over, who was then burned to a crisp by Morgan.

The goblins near Virgil were unable to pierce his armour (even with All-Out Attack Strong), and resorted to grappling to attempt to turn him over, while Sindri made his way around the battlefield, killing a goblin here and a goblin there.  With almost none left alive other than their Mind Controlled friends, the goblins retreated.

Except for one near Virgil, who he managed to grab and squeeze to death over the next 10 seconds.  Maurice set about casting healing spells, Morgan looted the goblins of what little they had, and the party went back to sleep.

Day 159:
Weather: Clear
Virgil had recovered completely, but Sindri's left eye was still blind, and Maurice diagnosed that sight would not return for several months.  Early in the day, Morgan sprained his ankle, so they were forced to slow down.  While making camp, Virgil noticed Dire Beaver tracks, and relocated, then made lean-tos for himself and Maurice.

Day 160:
Weather: Clear
After hassling Morgan the day before, karma saw fit to cause Maurice to sprain his ankle, and again, progress was slow.  Still, they arrived at Kral Narthis around midday, and, after a warm reception to all but Virgil, decided to stay in the town for the night and try to gather any information they could about where the Dragons of Carda could be.

They discovered that the Dragons' camp was somewhere in the forest to the south, and also that Bertio, the captain of the Dragons, hated the Duke.  Several people went to the temple of Moradin, the dwarven god of craftsmen, and paid to receive a Blessing, while Locke won a rock-off against the band in the Silver Axe Tavern instead.

Day 161:
Weather: Clear
Virgil was able to find the tracks the mercs had left several weeks ago, and they made reasonable time, considering the thick undergrowth that gave the Iron Forest its name.  That night, on Morgan's watch, a group of drakes attacked, but were luckily spotted by the psion, and did not gain surprise.

Two Rage Drakes charged into the camp, while four Acid Drakes hung back and spat gobs of corrosive slime.  Locke Mind Controlled the ragers before they could do much damage, and the battle was soon over, but the acid drakes' spit had heavily corroded both Sindri and his armour, while Morgan's (Fortify 2, Fine) armour had been completely melted.

Day 162:
Weather: Clear
They lost 2 hours due to Sindri's Healing Slumber, during which Virgil skinned the Rage Drakes.  Thanks to good rolls, they arrived at the Dragons' main camp, a wooden-walled fort on a hill, at sunset, and Locke was sent forth to greet the guards.  Thanks to a natural 17 Reaction Roll (raised to over 20 thanks to being a Bard), Locke and the party were let through and led directly to Bertio and his officers.  They recognised Bertio and Luccio, but not a Goliath on crutches or two elven women.

Gareth tried to negotiate but it was clear that Bertio's hatred for the Duke carried over to his lackeys, so Locke took over.  During the negotiations, they discovered that Bertio was the Duke's (gasp!) illegitimate son, and desired to be legitimised as his heir.  They ended up making a deal by offering to take the Dragons' non-combatant followers and wounded through the secret tunnel, to pay them more money, and to help get Bertio legitimised.

Virgil sold his drake skins for far less than their true value to the camp smiths, while Morgan (who had been bare-chested since the battle with the drakes) bought some replacement plate armour and a shirt, and Sindri picked up enough spare material to repair his.

Day 163-165:
Weather: Clear
The Dragons spent the next two days packing up and then started the march down to Carda, relying on Virgil's Absolute Direction to find the secret tunnel.

Day 166:
Date: Amothius 6, 2526
Weather: Clear
As night fell, they arrived at the secret tunnel, and, rather than waiting for Hestius to show up, Bertio ordered one of the elves, Sabriel, to open the way forward, and, with a quick word, the earth moved aside.  Several minutes later, they passed Hestius in the escape tunnel, and the situation was somewhat explained.

They then went to the Duke to inform him of the specifics of the deal, leaving until the last that, oh yeah, Bertio also wanted to be legitimised as his heir.  They took their money and went back to the Jovial Unicorn to rest.

Finally got random encounters; woo!

Ambushes with tiny murderers with Night Vision are terrifying, especially if they use their SM difference to go for the eyes.

Interestingly, all three arrows that hit Locke did 0 damage, as I rolled two 1s and a 2.

Luckily, nobody's eye was destroyed, as Regeneration costs far more.

Sindri's limited Dark Vision finally paid off, but he wasn't here.

Morgan was annoyed that his armour had been reduced to slag, but, in a way, he was lucky, because that armour had been cursed this whole time.  His Will of 16 was high enough that he was never affected, but he would have been driven Berserk.

Sindri got screwed, despite not being here.  Between armour repairs and (a possible) Instant Restoration, he's out over $6k.  It's actually way cheaper to just buy new armour, as his is meteoric.

Might get rid of quest XP, because 6XP is a bit much so long as I give 2 points for just showing up.

2 for general success
2 for combat (1 for goblins, 1 for drakes)
1 for loot ($1k from the duke)
1 for completing a minor quest
1 for roleplaying to Locke for Overconfidence for refusing to get a Bless
MVP went to Virgil for getting stabbed in the eyes and just not caring

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