Thursday, 13 April 2017

GURPS - Times of Turmoil: Session 1

The Beginning

2 April 2017

Thorm - Dwarven exile enlisted in the Imperial Army (around 160 points)
Rowley - Human sergeant in the Imperial Army(around 160 points)
Arakasi - Human monk with mystical abilities and a mysterious past (around 170 points)

The adventurers started out in a caravan bound for the ruined Imperial Capital with bringing supplies and and a company of soldiers to replenish and relieve some of the troops active in clearing the city. The caravan contains an equal number of civilians, some of which are settlers who will be continuing north with the caravan. The caravan stops to rest for a while and our adventurers gossip for a while, hearing rumours of a particularly horrible sergeant being present at the City, that you can't sleep at night around the City because of shrieking ghosts and that someone has been found drained of blood one morning, hinting at vampiric ghosts. Before setting off again, the commanding officer addresses the troops and civilians, telling reminding them that they are here (conscripted) to assist in cleansing the Imperial Capital and surrounding lands and to expect a devastated landscape, dangers, sweat and toil. He finishes with and a warning not to stray from the caravan or the road once they leave the forest.

As the caravan clears the forest, they all see the black and ash grey plains, void of life, stretching towards the City. Some members of the caravan become visibly downcast at seeing the city with its once shining towers now more resembling a burnt shipwreck with broken, stumpy masts. The caravan continues moving onto the blackened plains and does not stop until it reaches the large camp outside the walls. The camp is full of a bewildering number of tents of different shapes, colours and sizes, but the clearly marked roads.

Thorm, Rowley and Arakasi find themselves directed to make camp together with some of the other travellers in an area next to the straight lines of military tents. After setting up their tents and being ordered to help with chores, they finally find themselves sharing dinner and a fire with a number of civilians and soldiers and gossip, brag about old battles and finally settle down to some gambling. Thorm does well, winning some brandy as well as a few coppers while Rowley just about manages not to loose anything. Arakasi sits by the fire, meditating. After a while they all go to their tents to rest, sleeping undisturbed until morning. Seems that the rumour of shrieking, blood sucking vampire ghosts where all a pack of lies!

After breakfast Thorm, Rowley and Arakasi are assigned to go with a long-serving sergeant, his aide (a veteran soldier) and two torch bearers to start clearing out the first floor of a library in the western wing of the palace. They set out through the empty city and arrive at the palace unmolested. Everywhere they go they see soldiers on guard. Arriving at the palace they are directed towards the western wing and get to work.

The Library

The group enters the library which is set on three levels. The ground floor has a main "aisle" leading deeper into the library flanked by rows of book shelves. The levels above are in the form of galleries or balconies which line the room. The stairs are located further inside the room. The sergeant quickly divides them into two groups and have them start searching the rows of book shelves on the ground floor, keeping only a single book case in between the groups, in case of trouble. Our three adventurers go together with one of the torch bearers down one of the aisles, but find nothing of interest. The books are all old, but seem to be in good condition. The group clears a few aisles more, but the dwarf Thorm soon spots something through the gloom (Night Vision 5). It's a dark pile which upon closer inspection turns out to be a chain mail and a sword. As they approach the two items stir and float eerily into the dusty air. The floating sword strikes, but is blocked and quickly shattered by a might blow from Thorms two handed warhammer. The sergeant asks them if they are all right and receives enthusiastic answers.

The group continues to sweep the ground floor and soon come upon two more dark piles. This time Thorm charges one of them before anything can happen, and strikes a pile of chain mail before it has a chance to move. The other one, joined by a helmet, an axe and a sword, attack the fierce dwarf who is soon accompanied by Rowley who starts chopping at the enemy. The torch bearer and Arakasi are guarding the rear. With little warning, a mace comes flying through a book shelf, scattering books as it aims for Arakasi. He is too surprised and does not have time to move before the mace strikes his shoulder. Arakasi is spun around, but manages to strike at the mace with his staff. The mace vibrates from the strike, but goes to attack again. A second strike sends it flying and shatters it against the paved floor. Meanwhile, Rowley and Thorm have made quick work of the other possessed items.

Traversing the aisles, the group defeats more animated weapons and pieces of armour and soon finds that they have cleared half the library. They meet up with the sergeant and his team in the middle and are just about to start clearing the other side, when a swarm of weapons and what looks like small dust devils come at them. Rowley is sucked into a dust devil and is spun around and disoriented. The others start attacking the assortment of animated weapons, chain mail and helmets. Rowley soon manages to get his bearing and break free from the dust devil and attacks a nearby floating sword. Suddenly Thorm sees something moving towards them at great speed. It's vaguely human shaped, but larger and coarser. They guess that it is some kind of golem and Thorm charges with a battle cry. Arakasi clears his mind and starts to focus on the quickly approaching shape and a moment later a burst of flame appears around it and implodes. The brick coloured thing reels a bit, but keeps coming. Right then, Thorm reaches what is now clearly a golem, and strikes it square in the stomach with his warhammer. Big cracks appear all the way along its torso and the creature stumbles backwards. The rest of the group are now quickly approaching, but not before the creature can strike at Thorm who takes a heavy clay fist to his chest. This only serves to make him angry though, and with a massive over head strike he finishes the golem which bursts into shards.

This is where we had to break off as it was getting late.

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