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Saturday, 11 November 2017

GURPS - Watery Grave - Sessions 9 - Piracy & Pirates

It has been a few weeks since this game so my memory of it is a tad fuzzy, but I remember most of the details so the write-up will hopefully still be sufficiently thorough.

Session 9 

Vils Mageblood - A skillful spellsword with a noble heart ~ 170 points
Firefist - Bruce Lee with hands of flame ~ 110 points

We picked up where we left off with Vils and Firefist in the Mages' library-dungeon. They found the missing scout party dead in the next room, swiped their jewellery for proof and headed back out with no further incident. The Mages then granted them their divination, and found the murder attempt was related to an image of an "owl with a cracked eye". The diviner informed them the owl was the symbol of the Sages, a secretive organisation of wizards studying meta-magic, who live in an island-palace a day or so from the docks. A Mage warned that the seas there are rife with pirates, and provided Vils with a magic scroll he could use to degrade a ship in a matter of minutes. Vils suggested borrowing a ship from the Eastern Lord in exchange for attempting to clear his name, so the Mages gave them a warrant and they set off for the Eastern capital.

A few hours down the road, they saw smoke rising from a village. An orc band had raided it the previous evening, and they supposedly had trolls. Vils and Firefist continue down the road until they come across a brutally mauled ox. Firefist hid in the rolling hills while Vils sneaked forward to investigate. The trail led to a troll, who unfortunately spotted him, and started charging. Firefist threw down a Smokescreen and they ran away until the thumping stopped.

They reached the Eastern Capital, were allowed entry, and soon had an audience with the Lord. He granted them use of the ship but warned that the North had anchored all their ships and denied the East use of them. Firefist figured they'd find a way and they headed North. Aside from a couple of very unsuccessful mugging attempts, Firefist winning some bar brawls, and them sneaking past some heavier Northern patrols, their journey back to the Northern Dock was relatively uneventful. They hired a few people to help them; Snik: a (human) dwarf with a proficiency with daggers; Percy: An experienced sailor with some Elven memorabilia and an incredible skill with his bow; and their trusty companion Dave. They discussed the plan with their hirelings then waited for dark to steal the ship.

Vils and Firefist hobbled up to the two guards blocking entry to the ship they wanted, feigning drunkenness. After they'd had a bit of fun with that, they swung for them, Vils missing terribly, and Firefist underestimating the density of their plate armour. They exchanged a few blows before the guards readied their pikes and Percy released an arrow into one's face. The fight was now getting noisy so they rushed for the ship with Vils and Dave covering the plank. A squad of five, including the Captain of the Guard, showed up. The shock of their appearance was soon outshone however by Snik firing the ship-mounted ballista through two of them. Dave covered their escape before running onto the ship last-second as they pulled away from the shore and into the open sea!

The crew was awakened in the morning with Percy's worried shouting of "Pirates!". The ship was larger than the party's, and flew a Jolly Roger infected with bulbous pustules and puss. Vils took control of the party, told Snik to man the ballista, and fished the Mage's scroll out from his pack. Once the enemy was within a reasonable distance, Vils told Snik to fire. He took out one of what they could see was about 15 men. Snik took a couple more shots before they closed, but didn't do much damage. The pirates smashed their ship into the party's, and their captain, a 7-foot, diseased mass of pustules and goo announced, "I be Nurg, and this be my crew! Prepare to be boarded!". Nurg was huge, green, and essentially barely human. He had a flintlock pistol (a rare and expensive weapon) at his belt. His sickly-looking crew were armed with curved knives dripping with Nurg's goo.

Vils kicked off the battle by casting the (apparently very powerful) scroll, which blew out some holes in the bottom of Nurg's ship, causing it to begin to sink. Nurg's crew started to board and half of them were easily cut down before Nurg stepped into the fray. Firefist rushed him, and Nurg fired off a shot at him, luckily only skimming his torso. Firefist closed and delivered a huge Burning punch to Nurg's torso, doing massive damage, but Firesfist's hand was burned by the corrosive goo seeping out of Nurg. Nurg took the opportunity to grab Firesfist's head with his free hand, slowly melting his face with the burning puss. Firefist collapsed from the damage, but Vils put a big cut in Nurg's arm, forcing him to let go. Snik dragged Firefist back from the fray while Vils and Nurg buckled some swash, and Dave mounted the ballista. After sustaining various injuries from Vils, Nurg backed off onto his own ship. Dave fired but missed terribly. Nurg collapsed after a thrown knife from Snik, and Nurg's ship began to pull away. Vils stepped up to the edge of the ship and readied a huge 6-point fireball, which he released straight through both Nurg's head and the ship, finalising its fate as doomed to sink. A couple of the pirates attempted to climb up the side as their ship sank, but Snik put an end to that with some finger-stamping. Vils healed Firefist while the pirates drowned in a traditional post-battle shark attack.

The next morning they arrived at the Sages' palace. It was a magnificent structure, with the only dockable point leading to the main building with a rope bridge. They docked and headed up the bridge. The palace doors suddenly opened, and a man in full plate with a greatsword stepped out. He spoke, "If your purpose is noble, one of you must face me, an undefeated warrior with a cursed sword that traps its victim's souls. Win or lose, you will be allowed to pass." Vils volunteered himself and went to hit the knight, but his sword passed straight through him; an illusion. A voice said, "You have been proven noble," and the doors began to slide open.

We ended the session there, this seeming a suitably suspenseful cliffhanger.

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