Sunday, 9 July 2017

GURPS Free Cities Session 54: Crispy-Fried Bard

Locke Landen - Human Bard (294 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (299 points)
          Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (155 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (302 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian (298 points)

Day 169 (Cont.):
Amothius 9th, 2526
Weather: Clear
The iron golem finished off the drake with multiple staff-blows from within the darkness, while Morgan took down the last shield guardian and Virgil charged towards the darkness.  The golem's staff struck out, hitting Virgil in the neck several times, before it retreated, while Sindri shouted out its location to the others.  It then asked them why they were here, and Locke responded that they were looking for Kayra, a good friend of his.  Sadly, this answer wasn't quite good enough for the golem to let them go, and it dispelled the Force Wall at the entrance before exiting and putting up another immediately.

Morgan also used Telesend to message Bruno the Crimson regarding their current situation, but would get no response.  Now that it was safe, the golem continued with the conversation, and the darkness spell timed out.  After a bit of semantics ("You killed my drake!" "Technically, you killed your drake." "Your actions led directly to the death of my drake!"), they struck a deal; if they brought a live adult dragon back for the golem's experiments, it would give them Kayra.

This wasn't to be, however, as Locke tried to Command and then Mind Control the golem, but failed, and suddenly found himself trapped in a Force Wall that was soon filled with Create Fire.  After a bit of hesitation (not sure if he should risk annoying the golem further), Maurice tried to dispel it, but ran out of FP before he could succeed.  Morgan tried Telesend to ask Hestius if there was anything to do to save Locke, but found out that the Message spell had a substantial travel time.

Sindri tried taking off his meteoric armour, which would be able to pass through the Force Wall, but was too slow.  Locke burned to ashes, and with his dying breath, said "My real name is...".  At his death, the flaming armour golem that he had mind-controlled was freed, and attacked Virgil's neck from behind with its flaming sword (luckily, the shield golem that was also under Locke's control had already fallen apart from failed HT-checks).  It was quickly disposed of by Morgan and Virgil.

At that, the golem left, and after a minute, the Force Wall fell.  A cursory look down the grand staircase saw that the narrower door to the staircase back down the tower had been blocked with another Force Wall instead.  The party mourned for and then looted Locke (Virgil grabbed his skull as a memento), and then searched for other ways out, but found none.  They freed the troll, but Sindri broke its arm in the process, and it wasn't very cooperative afterwards, though it didn't attack.

After several hours, and some healing from Maurice, Virgil kicked down the locked door in the construct workshop, and found a human girl in her late teens with brown hair and a blue cloak in a makeshift bedroom, with a bed and several tables, one with a candle on it.  They tried lighting the candle, but Morgan accidentally lit the bed on fire with a low-power Pyro Bolt, though Sindri managed to smother it before it spread.  They spoke with the girl, who was confirmed to be Kayra, and were slightly embarrassed when their failed rescue was pointed out.  With nothing else to do, the party settled in to rest.

While they rested, Morgan used Telesend to tell Hestius that they had met Kayra and got a password from her to confirm that she was indeed there, and to send backup.  Hestius responded that they were still incapable of being scried, and that they would receive reinforcements, but was deliberately vague in case they were being overheard.

Several hours later, the door to the staircase opened, revealing a tall man of unknown race in a suit of heavy plate, his face concealed by a greathelm, with a sword and tower shield, with the iron golem shortly behind.  The man in plate said that Sindri had killed his son, and challenged him to a duel to first blood, which was accepted.  The rest of the party retreated up the grand staircase at an order from the swordsman, and a Force Wall was put up by the golem, blocking them out.

Up close, Sindri was able to better evaluate the swordsman's armour as very fine plate of dwarven make, and was surprised to find that the swordsman was faster than him.  He launched into a (failed) Feint, followed by a 4-hit Rapid Strike, with a single, heavily Deceptive Attack afterwards, all of which were blocked or dodged by Sindri.

Sindri followed up with a Rapid Strike of his own, and managed to land a good hit to the torso that managed to (barely) pierce the armour.  The swordsman yielded, commended Sindri for his skill, and, when asked, gave his name as Agdug "The Invincible".  He then posed Sindri a question: he was clearly a great warrior, so why serve those so much weaker than himself?  Sindri said that true strength came from defending the weak.

After some more philosophical discussion, Agdug offered Sindri the opportunity to leave, on the condition that he abandon Carda, which, he promised, would not be put to the sword or sacked.  Though it took him several minutes to decide, Sindri ultimately answered that he would not abandon the people.  Agdug said that he admired Sindri's conviction, but would be forced to keep him, and the others, imprisoned until after the city fell.

With that, Agdug left, and the golem put a Force Wall back up at the door to the staircase down before leaving.

Day 170:
Amothius 10th, 2526
Weather: Clear
Virgil spent the day Searching and found a secret compartment in the bedroom containing a foot-long iron staff, which he then touched to a great many things in the area, eventually discovering that it could lower the Force Wall which was holding in the humanoid fire elementals.  They were apparently thankful, though communications were vague at best.  Sadly, the rod had no effect on the Force Wall blocking the staircase down.

That night, the door out opened, revealing Bertio, Luccio, and Sabriel.  With some effort ("See guys?  It really is hard!" -Maurice), Sabriel was able to dispel the Force Wall, and the party, Kayra, the troll (who was, apparently, named "troll"), and the fire men all ran down the staircase.  Outside, they found several more mercs from the Dragons of Carda under fire from the orcs, who had apparently noticed them.

The group fled on foot, and a group of orcish cavalry gave pursuit as they tried to make it into the forest.

I've had a change of heart with regards to mind-controlling constructs, and, going forward, it won't be possible.

I screwed up a bit, because I didn't realize that the Magic Resistance spell gave 2 levels per FP put in, and then forgot that Magic Resistance was obvious if a spell was cast on somebody with it.  That didn't end up mattering too much, because the Command spell was already a step too far, but I only told Locke about it while he was already attempting Mind Control.

Could they have knocked a dragon out and then transported it back to the tower?  Maybe.  Locke went for the high-risk, high-reward strategy, but failed, and paid the ultimate price.

Turns out that going after a very skilled wizard without any preparation, or at least another wizard, is incredibly dangerous.  Oh well, they were given several opportunities to learn from prior encounters (with the orcish apprentices, which tried many of the same tricks) and never bothered to try any counters.

There is much debate on just what the iron golem is.  It seems capable of casting spells, but with no wizard, their Thaumatology is lacking (Morgan failed 5 rolls throughout the session to figure out what the golem might have been).  Morgan thinks it's just a golem that can cast spells somehow and that Zargothrax, the Iron Wizard, is somewhere else, while Sindri thinks that Zargothrax might have transferred his consciousness to it.

0 for no progress and being bailed out
1 for combat (the constructs)
-1 for PC death (Locke)
MVP went to Sindri for choosing to stick with his beliefs

No comments:

Post a Comment