Monday, 23 October 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 66: The Final Battle Part IV

Damien - Human Infernal Sorcerer (300 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (326 points)
  Boras Stormtouched - Human Initiate of Kord, the god of battle and storms (136 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (325 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian-Swashbuckler (333 points)

Day 196 (Cont.):
Amothius 36th, 2526
Weather: Clear
Virgil feinted Agdug the Invincible but failed to land the follow-up, while Agdug landed a solid blow in return.  Sidnri killed another orc soldier while Morgan used Madness to weaken Agdug and Damien cast Dispel Magic to get rid of whatever had reflected his Lightning.  Just as it seemed as though the party were sure to win, a large group of orcish reinforcements showed up: six each shieldbearers and greatswords and a pair of archers, all led by an orc captain with a red horsehair crest atop his helm.

Agdug fell back, babbling that this was all pointless as the Lord of Iron would not let him lose, and Virgil moved to capitalize but dropped his sword, while Sindri braced for the charging orc reinforcements.  Damien and Morgan hid from the orcish archers, while Boras flew forward in a flanking manoeuver to take out the (still-incapacitated) orcish wizard.  The reinforcements split into three groups; the shieldbearers and archers went up the middle, while the greatswords split up and went down both flanks.  Damien landed a Lightning bolt on Agdug, and another blow from Sindri knocked him out, thanks to a 17 on his consciousness check.

The flanking orcs lost several limbs to potshots from Morgan, while Damien fell prone to dodge arrows and then flew back to rest, out of FP.  Virgil took some minor wounds from the orc captain, but he was rendered harmless (and armless) by Morgan soon afterwards.  Boras finished off the wizards, then took an arrow while charging the archers, and the rest of the orcs were quickly either killed, disabled, or fleeing, and so the party returned to the command tent with Agdug (stripped of his weapons and armour) to rest.

Despite the party's victory, Sindri had been severely outmanoeuvred strategically; orcs had broken through the walls in four separate places and the defenders were taking extreme casualties.  Survivors from all four fronts reported the same story: an orcish commander showed up, and the defenders broke and ran.  Virgil and Sindri were healed, by both Boras and the Initiate of Erathis they had on loan, using up both of their energy almost entirely.

The party were pretty sure that the commander causing the retreats was Khagan Thrag, and so they waited for him to lead another charge so that they could take him out, and hopefully end the battle.  Sindri grabbed Agdug's large shield, figuring it was probably enchanted, and when the report of the main gate being abandoned came in, they ran to finally meet the supposed demigod.

Damien cast the usual buff spells (excluding Boras this time) as the party waited in ambush, while the orcish contingent marched down a wide street.  Khagan Thrag was at the front of the column wielding a giant maul made of jet, his face entirely hidden by a black mist within his helmet.  Behind him, a group of 24 heavily-armoured orcs with swords, tower shields, and throwing spears followed in tight formation, along with a pair of wizards, but before the party could attack, another large group of orcs emerged from across the street.

These new orcs were clearly more tribal, and led by what passes for an orcish cleric.  The cleric claimed (in Giant, meaning that only Morgan could understand) that he had spoken to Gru'umsh, who had revealed to him the truth: Thrag was not a demigod, nor was he even an orc!  Thrag responded that their god and his servants were all fools, and that their savagery would see the orcs languish on the plains for eternity; however, for the cleric's bravery, he would give him a warrior's death.

The cleric paused for a moment, yelled out that he offered up his one eye to Gru'umsh, that he might send a champion to smite the non-believers, and stabbed a sacrificial dagger directly into his eye.  His body shuddered, contorted, and expanded to almost twice its size before exploding in a shower of gore, leaving a 9' tall, loincloth-wearing, super buff orc in his place.

The big orc let out a cry of "BAGHTRU KILL ALL!", and the forces charged at each other, while the party debated what to do.  Thrag struggled to hurt the big orc, who threw his enemies around like ragdolls, while Sindri and Virgil moved in from the flank to thin out Thrag's supporters, and Damien and Morgan took up positions on a nearby roof.  As they approached, however, the colour and light seemed to drain out of the environment, the smell of blood seemed to smother them, and they felt pure terror fill their hearts.

The casters were able to shake this off entirely, while Sindri was deeply unnerved, and Virgil actually broke ranks and sprinted away in fear.  Sindri was able to get Virgil back in the fight thanks to his Leadership, while Morgan moved to fire a PK Lash at the surviving orc wizard; the other having already been killed in the battle.  Unexpectedly, the projectile came directly back at him, flinging him up into the air and knocking him unconscious.

Damien readied to cast Hawk Flight on Boras, succeeding after two attempts, while the orcish wizard put up a Force Wall, screening the battlefield from the casters on the roof (and vice-versa).  After taking a nasty punch from Baghtru, Thrag called out to Bane to guide his hand, before launching a flurry of blows which would have killed a normal man thrice over, but merely wounded Baghtru.

Virgil returned to the battle at high speed, charging to take out the wizard, while Sindri rapidly dealt with a group of four orcs with large shields with a series of feints into skull smashes.  Boras flew up to the roof and cast Awaken to get Morgan back up, while down below, the last of the tribal orcs perished, and Baghtru was soon surrounded and under heavy attack.  Thrag finally caved in the orc champion's skull, sending the body backwards, crushing one of the orc soldiers on the way down.

The enemy wizard cast a Force Wall between himself and Virgil, so Virgil flew up and around to get on the wizard's flank, but exposed his back to Thrag in the process.  With contemptuous ease, Thrag landed five rapid blows to the skull (one a double-damage crit), killing Virgil and sending his body backwards and through a wall.

As a gamble to keep from being surrounded, Sindri challenged Thrag to single combat, which the "demigod" accepted, waving his men off.  Sindri braced for an attack, but Unluckily failed to block, taking a small amount of damage and being knocked back a disproportionately large distance.  Boras healed Morgan, and the casters got ready to support Sindri in the upcoming battle... and flee if he fell.

This is the final battle of this story arc, after which we'll go on hiatus for a couple of other games.  I'm going to run a one-shot horror thing, Virgil's player will run an After the End game based on a pseudo-Waterworld, and then I'll run a different After the End game.  Amusingly, I'll be getting the DFRPG box set just after we stop playing it.

Boras' flanking charge was met with groans from the party, but hey, dude's got Impetuous.  The Lord of Storms doesn't brook cowards.

I've required people to be "standing" for them to fly at full move.  Not sure what the exact rules are, but this works.

I set up around 40 orcs for the final battle to scare the PCs, and then got rid of about half of them as they died in the battle between the groups.  It worked quite well.

Given how clustered the big battle has been, both Damien and Morgan have been lamenting their lack of area effects.

Once again, somebody gets wrecked by Reverse Missiles.  A truly amazing spell.

Bane is the god of war and conquest.  Boras knows that Bane and Gru'umsh are opposed, so that explains the mutiny, though what Thrag's after nobody's sure.

Unfortunately, Virgil's player didn't notice that he would have his back to Thrag, or that Thrag would be in range of him with a step, despite myself and Damien telling him so.  Oh well.

Unbeknown to the players, Virgil has had a curse inflicting Berserk on him since Session 42, but had managed to avoid it until now.  It would have finally come into affect, but he died before it could.

For some reason, Sindri hasn't spent any points on raising his combat skills, even though he knows that this game is going on hiatus after this battle.

2 for general success
2 for combat with Agdug
1 for roleplaying to Sindri
MVP went to Sindri for denying Thrag Tactics rerolls with a crit

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