Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fragments of the Last War 1.19

I decided to switch the characters over to GURPs 4 edition this week.  The players liked the depth of their characters.  Even though these were established characters, disadvantages were relatively easy to come up with: Nota'Cor is selfish and suffers delusions of grandeur among others.  Malpais is overly curious and intolerant of humans.  Grind has major social stigmas being an ogre and is hunted by the fae.  Louis and Gretel were not present for the session.

Cymru, Tirane, Eifer, 
Ogronn 12, 21OC 

The morning of the 12th day of the month Orgronnios turned cool.  In the farms surrounding the valley wheat and olives were being harvested.  During the previous month, the Irregulars had used the money they received from Hawkin Jones to build a smithy, outfit a magical/alchemical laboratory, build a library near the portal room, and generally furnish their eating hall, bedrooms and kitchen.  Nota'Cor also managed to translate a significant portion of one of the books.

Now, running low on funds, Grind sent a note to Sgt. Duncan Bordeaux of the Cymru City Guard, asking if he had any work for their company.
Duncan responded asking them to a late lunch that day at the Decapitated Dolphin, an inn and tavern located between their headquarters and the North Market.

Arriving that afternoon, they find the Dolphin to be an aging though cared-for inn.  Inside over a roaring fire sat the stuffed head of a dolphin.  A gnome bard played lewd songs.  The barkeep and owner, Avika Kaijita - a half-elven woman with numerous blue tattoos - offered them the "stew" for lunch until Grind told her they were there to meet Duncan.  She then advised against the stew and had another gnome show them a private dining room.

They drank and snacked on fried meat pastries until Sgt, Duncan Bordeaux and his team - Corporal Oric, a ur-akesh (half-orc); Manny, a minotaur; and Fynn, a halfling - arrived.  Lunch was tense.  Duncan enjoyed discussing Ogrin history with Grind as well as military tactics, but Manny insulted the Gun-Knights throughout the meal much to Mal's ire.  Oric attempted to find out where Nota'Cor came from with little success.  Fynn asked if Louis was coming and when told no, he disappeared.

Returning to their headquarters after lunch, the trio came across a crowd and some yelling.  Grind, who towers over everyone, saw a group of blue skinned goblin-like creatures holding up a sign, badly written in Dwarvish, "Rat Cat Cher - We RIDE Your Rat."

Nearby, a group of dwarves with the holy symbol of the church of Grumbar, yelled "Drive these creatures out, they are followers of chaos!" To which the blue creatures responded, "Look, we have a permit to run our business in the city."  Malpais intervened by insulting the dwarves and saying some confusing things about gold and chaos.

The crowd became very agitated.  Nota'Cor and Grind also defended the blue creatures' right to be in the city as they had been granted permission by the Guard and given a business permit.   The dwarves withdrew, but told the trio they had made poor impression that day.

The blue-skinned creatures, led by one called Hark, identified themselves as xzarts and thanked the party.  Grind insisted he be paid for protecting them, and Hark gave him 3 copper wenith.  Then they were invited to a church service in the South Docks to hear their priest extol the virtues of their god.

Later that evening, they decided to make their way to the poorer southern side of the Outer Cymru until they came to the slums of the South docks.  There they found the make-shift temple and were welcomed by Hark and the other xvarts.

A congregation of humans, ysoki and xvarts waited until Grey Seer Thanequeel - Nota'Cor's old traveling companion - emerged and began preaching about the virtues of following the Horned Rat. Thanequeel, with three zombies behind him, asked the crowd when they had ever seen a priest of another god actually cast any magic.

The party first thought of the oread in Darvik, but realized he was only a healer not a priest.  Nota'Cor then became convinced that the Horned Rat was the only god with power.

Ogronn 13, 21OC 

The next morning, they traveled to the local Cymru City Guard station to meet with Sgt. Duncan.  He said the guard had unsuccessfully been investigating a series of well poisonings in the South Docks - Cymru seems to have fresh water in caverns under it that aren't salinated by the ocean. He offered to pay them 300 silver ceffy to find the source of the poison. The trio agreed.

Returning to the South Docks, Malpais speculated Thanequeel might be responsible, which drew much disagreement and ire from Nota'Cor.  Grind seemed to think anyone could be and neither should jump to conclusions.

Entering the South Docks, they passed a Ysoki, attended by a human, preaching of the wonders and benefits of the Horned Rat. Later they passed a group of men in brown robes with a seven pointed star pattern of silver thread sewn in the front.  These were denouncing the dwaves and their apartheid.

Finally, they saw some red clothed orcs with the symbol of a red arrow trying to recruit strong warriors for their cause.  A cause which was never revealed to the trio.

Closer to the bay, they split up to check out some of the wells, but each found they were no longer poisoned.  Malpais spotted a procession of xvarts near a warehouse.  He wandered over to watch and one waved at him.  They chanted and soon hundreds of rats poured out of one of the warehouses.  Malpais followed the xvarts to the edge of the city. Feeding the rats, petting their heads, the xvarts sent the rodents on their way beyond the city gates.  Hark saw Mal decided to walk with him.  The xvart extolled the virtues of worshiping the Horned Rat, which for him mostly consisted of being friends with rats.

Back inside the city, he pointed to a strange oily slick in the bay.  Mal followed the slick to a drain pipe  Grind and Nota'Cor met back up, but seeing no sign of Malpais, made their way to his last known location.  They found the well he was to inspect, but again find no sign of him, and then began making their way through the alleys.

Malpais followed the pipe - visible occasionally through street grates - through the mostly muddy streets.  He did not notice he had been followed by a group of six ruffians (3 human, 2 ur-akesh and a halfing) until one of them told him they wanted his money and his gun.  When Malpais refused, one bopped him on the head with a stick.  Malpais turned and unloaded his shotgun into the ruffian, severing the man's leg.  The others fled.

An alleyway over, Nota'Cor and Grind heard the explosion and ran quickly to find Mal and the injured man.  Nota'Cor used "first aid" (a fire spell to cauterize) and Grind intimidated the crowd that gathered into not interfering.

These actions resulted in Mal receiving a negative reputation modifier in the South Docks as well as a increase in unrest in Cymru.  As the khuzd (dwarves) have increasingly alienated non-dwarves with their economic and social structure (non-dwarves are excluded from power and finance), the tensions in the city have risen.  With the fall of the Gracchi family, agitators in Cymru now use this as an example of the vulnerability of the government.  Since Grind told the crowd the trio represented the Cymru City Guard, the crowd also associates the extreme violence as part of the Guard's strategy. 

Malpais told his companions about the oil slick and the three follow it further up the street, leaving the injured man for his companions. After a few deadends, they discover a structure (four shacks with boards nailed around the outside so as to form a compound) with a pipe dripping the oily poison. Grind began the assault - as that's what it quickly became - by pulling off some boards from the compound wall.

They were quickly attacked by three figures in thick wrap.  Nota'Cor attempted to blind them with their own clothing, while Grind attacked one with his naganita.  Mal spotted one a human who poked his head out of a shed and then shut the door.

The grippli leapt across the yard, knocked open the door, dodged a bolt of energy and then shot the human. Nota'Cor set the attackers on fire and they realized the men were actually clothed skeletons.  Grind destroyed one brutally.

Another saw Malpais and ran.  Then Nota'Cor boosted Mal's jumping with telekinesis sending the grippli barreling into the fleeing man and knocking the human into the mud.  Grind finished off the skeletons while Nota'Cor, taking a blast of energy to the chest chased down the fleeing wounded caster and accidentally killed him with a fire.

Mal identified the compound as the source of the poison.  They also noted the men wore brown robes with the silver seven star pattern.  Returning the prisoner to the nearest Guard station they then visited Duncan for their reward.

My first GURPS game tonight. I was amazed at how easy it was to run. The players really liked the system. Combat was brutal, they felt pressured and when they won felt they had earned it. All in all I was afraid it would be too difficult and think I went easy on them, so next time the stakes will be higher.

The story continues with Fragments of the Last War 1.20: A Game for Knights, part 1.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fragments of the Last War - Dwarvish/Khuzid Calendar

The following calendar is used by the Khuzd (Dwarves) of Cymru as well as the other cities and caers of Eifer to mark the months of the year. As the Khuzd (Dwarves) are the most developed civilization on Eifer, their language and calendar

An old calendar, it dates the War of the Horrors some 10,000 years earlier.