- Hópgehnást “Keel-Breaker” Nihtbealumann, Beastly Minotaur Barbarian (404 points) (played by +Emily Smirle): TBA. Tagline: “TBA.”
- Nergui, Half-Orc Scout (395 points) (played by +Josh Burton): TBA. Tagline: “TBA”
- Rashi Talonfurr, Human Cleric of Fire (404 points) (played by +Christopher D.): TBA. Tagline: “TBA”
- Ashe, Shen of Fire Skirmisher (410 points) (NPC): Likes to make things burn. Likes punch things. Likes to punch and burn things. Also, dances. Tagline: “[disconcerting giggle].”
- Jarick Farweather, Servant (125 points) (NPC): Valet of the Tarrel family. Sone of the Valet of the Tarrel Family (and so on). Snooty. Tagline: “Would sir car for some more?”
- Kinnmonaqro “Crow” Rikah, Half-Elf Cutpurse (0 points) (NPC): Tiny terror. Karemesie wanderer and half-breed. Tagline: “I’m small, but I’ll still cut you and you bleed just fine”
- Luirlan Tarrel, Noble??? (??? points) (NPC): Rich. Very rich and from a noble family. Has a good heart, but acts first and thinks never. Tagline: “I’m the 8th richest man in Aramore, you know.”
- Niranash “Nash”, Shen of Knowledge (570 points) (NPC): Deadhead. Spirit of wisdom, knowledge, and death. Incurable lech (not lich!). Never shuts up. Ever. Tagline: “Your eyes are clearly not down here, but let me look just in case.”
Previously . . .
When last we left off the PCs recovered the brother of Amaryllis Rholdun Uldar, leader of the Bitter Rose, and got a job from Luirlan Tarrel to clean up the “rats.” Luirlan has an old estate that he’s trying to refurbish with designers, decorators, and carpenters (oh, my!). He just came into a bunch of money (his uncle died and left him this junk estate). And while he was fairly rich before, being the sole heir of the 8th richest family in the area has made him richer. He offers the PCs 4 gold dracs (about $2,000 GURPS dollars) per person and will be allowed to keep (re: steal is such an ugly word) anything that isn’t directly related to his family. Oh, and Luirlan will be accompanying the PCs to the estate; they’ll have to function as his entourage and body guards until they get him safely back to the city.
Aramorian Shopping Spree
Keel-Breaker, Nergui, and Rashi Talonfurr
Bahart (Third Month), 4th, 981 F.R., 2nd Hour of the Sun (7:00 am)
Aramore, Northern Veneficia, Sicatra
Luirlan shows up the next morning at the PCs quarters in Souther Aramore and is aghast that they will be on traveling on foot. Luirlan can’t have his retainers on walking and drags them to the market for a wild shopping trip. Keel-Breaker gets the world’s largest cart-horse as his mount (GM: Yes, I fudged the rules here a bit to get a beast big enough for the 600 lb. minotaur to ride; sue me). Luirlan then whisks the PCs off to pick up some fabric and takes Keel-Breaker to a tailor to show them the wonderful patterns on the minotaur’s fur (and to order fabric in that pattern). Keel-Breaker eats a lot of fabric samples. Lots of them. The PCs don’t escape without all being given tabards of the Tarrel family sigil (two fish, one white, one black, on black and white fields circling one another), but Rashi manages to escape and claiming religious exemption (it’s flammable!).
It’s about a hard days ride, but the PCs burn over half a day in the market (mostly due to their patron buying random things) and have to camp overnight. Fortunately, Luirlan is an even bigger schmuck than Keel-Breaker and bought a fantastic self-heating magical tent that’s bigger on the inside than the outside (A tentardis, if you will), with dividers, hot baths, a hot buffet, and other “amenities.” Luirlan’s valet, Jarick Farweather, is pissed off at having to work with “terrible” materials, but manages to “make them work.”
The Bridge of Watery Doom
Keel-Breaker, Nergui, and Rashi Talonfurr
Bahart (Third Month), 5th, 981 F.R., 4th Hour of the Moon (10:00 am)
Outside of the Tarrel Estate, Northern Veneficia, Sicatra
The PCs get to a bridge (we’re I joke that they’re fighting an air kraken – because kraken) that is wooden and little rickety, but the stone pylons are sturdy and built to last. Luirlan orders the PCs to dismount and go across one by one as he doesn’t trust it (another thing he’ll need to fix) – the Mr. Farweather will be stuck leading the horses. Keel-Breaker shoves Nergui to one side and goes first, because he’s biggest and these little people need to be protected. Keel-Breaker’s promptly blasted straight through the railing and four yards upstream into the water by two fire-hose blasts by five water elementals that pop up out of the river (56 points of knockback damage). Nergui rapidly draws and fires three arrows into a water elemental, to little effect. Rashi fires a Holy Bolt into one (2 points of crushing), again to little effect (Note: I forgot to ignore the DR of the elementals for this combat making the Holy Bolt way more effective than it was). An elemental rushes Keel-Breaker and tries to blast him again, but Keel-Breaker dodges gracefully, like in an aquatic ballet. Crow rushes to the water’s edge and screams for the elementals to leave Keel-Breaker alone. Meanwhile, Keel-Breaker says back “I’m FIN . . .” *cough* *splutter*. The minotaur takes on some water as he interrupts his bull-paddle to Fast-Draw a potion . . . a Liquid Ice grenade. Keel-Breaker then decides to grapple the water elemental (something I allow as the elementals are not just water, but water and ice, much like the river) and inflicts 12 control points.
Rashi prays to the Eternal Flame (his god) and is enveloped in an aura of burning air, ash, and flame (a Divine Favor roll that succeeds by 5+ for both activation and reaction). This consumes one of the water elemals with holy fire and evaporates it in a whiff of steam (9 points of burning damage that bypasses DR and a failed HT roll for a major wound does that) – the others are sizzling. A bush explodes into flame as well and continues to burn for the rest of the combat (more on that later). A water elemental snags Crow and yanks her into the water, enveloping her with 10 control points. A second elemental tries to jet Keel-Breaker, but its aim is ruined by minotuar’s arms all over it; clearly Keel-Breaker had him by the arm or spout or spigot or . . . power washer or whatever. Luirlan rushes into the water to try to rescue Crow, while Nergui follows, cursing all things and all stupid people, including himself (the two of them get a combined 7 control points). Keel-Breaker shoves his fist inside the elemental and crushes the grenade and yanks his arm out in time as the elemental freezes solid into a giant funny-shaped ice-cube which floats away downstream.
Rashi wades in to the last water elemental and critically succeeds at delivering a Holy Fire-wreathed quarterstaff smash (doing a colossal 8 points of crushing damage that gets through DR thanks to a crit and another 9 points of burning damage). Steam boils out of the elemental, but it continues to drown Crow. Luirlan continues to tug at Crow – as does Nergui – who successfully manages to free her from watery death (getting another 5 control points and freeing the little girl from certain drowning). Keel-Breaker swims over and seizes the last elemental in a tight grasp (doing 11 control points). Luirlan and Crow struggle back out of the water, while Raashi continues whacking at the elemental (doing another 2 points of crushing damage after DR), with a bit of splashing. Keel-Breaker, improbably, Fast-Draws another Liquid Ice grenade and shoves it into the final elemental and crushes it, rendering it unto another elementalsickle.
Raashi goes over to check out the burning bush and finds a tiny Ashe inside, doll sized, made of fire, but sleeping in the ashes. Rashi uses Alchemy (under the supervision of Nash the skull) to render the water elementals into an water-elemental soup worth 500 energy for enchantments in the Water college (GM Note: I’m using “The Material Difference” from Pyramid $3/66: The Laws of Magic for this campaign). Luirlan is fascinated by this and comments that his uncle was a wizard. The uncle who’s estate the PCs are cleaning out. The PCs promptly degenerate into panic and a desire to back out of the agreement, but it seems that it is magically enforced via a sorcerous contract. Including the bit about where we cannot burn down (or up-, or side-, or wonkavator-ways) the house.
After Action Report (GM)
We were missing a player (Travis) today – who was also supposed to introduce his new character today. He’d had a hard night without sleep and it caught up to him. The game was fairly short – I prefer at least 3.5-4 hours, but we started early (1145 hours EST) and stopped later (1500 hours EST). Overall, a great game and acting out Luilan’s mannerisms and his valet’s disgust was fun for me as a GM. I admit fully wanting to try out the water elementals dangerousness another GM had told me about them. I found that they could have been even more dangerous if I had not decreased they could be grappled due to the partially frozen nature of the spirits.
My players are paranoid of water at this point as they know I like mixing it up near such places so when they saw the bridge (and, well, the map, duh. Tactical combat happens when the GM breaks out the tactical maps) they knew something nasty was happening. Emily’s clever use of the Liquid Ice (despite the enhanced DR I gave the water elementals for being partially frozen to begin with) was an ugly surprise for me as a GM.