Sunday, September 7, 2014

GURPs: Mystery at Spider Keep, part 1

The spire of ‘Spider Keep’, originally called the ‘Castle of St. Perry’ was raised by the pious yet paranoid Lord Vicar Jan Elphinstone some 20 years ago at the conclusion of the Third War of Ascension against the country of Ankskaven, in the Province Hapsalog.
Recently this past fall the Lady Miranda Elphinstone, the favorite niece of the Vicar Jan, contacted Father Michaels because she too had not gotten a letter from her uncle for several years.
Father Michaels states:
" I smell something foul, and I am not going to forsake and old friend and mentor. So having secured permission from the Queen, he is dispatching a handful of Templars to Port Bax and if necessary to Spider Keep. This is considered to be a religious matter, and your inquires are to be concerned with any foul Druidic activity, do not, and I must repeat, do not get involved with the political side, we have no standing there, and if the Templars get a reputation for interfering with the political affairs of Duranor, our travels could become a matter of scrutiny from many quarters."
"You will, Sir Hiffin, along with Sir Father Wolfgang proceed to Port Bax to inquire with the Lady Miranda and if necessary proceed to Ankskaven. Take no more than a couple men. The House of Bruce has used the Civil War to negotiate a high level of autonomy from the rest of the Empire. They are known to have Druidic allies, and so you must exercise caution."

After a 6 week voyage from Saxony, the Templars arrive at the port of Narwalk.
Grand Knight Hiffin and Father Wolfgang go ashore while Mugabe mucks about with trying to get their horses off the ship.
Upon arriving they view a funeral rite in progress.
Suddenly a mob arrives, led by the local constable, the dead man's brother.  He accuses the daughter of using witchcraft to kill the man.  He is set upon casting he onto the funeral pyre.  Sir Hiffin, respecting the Templar mandate of no political interference, suggests to the constable that if he puts the witch into the bay without the proper incantations it could curse all the fish.  This doesn't sit well with the mob.  Sir Hiffin suggests that they could take the witch to the Bishop for proper "disposal"
The constable is happy to be rid of the girl, and the group sets off towards Spider Keep with her.  She is eventually released into the custody of some nuns.  After a days travel and some curious encounters, the Templars arrive the Hamlet of Greenkill where a cousin of the Bruce is being crowned the new Thane and lord of Hapsolog.  After the festivities are dying down, the Templars slip out of town and up to the abandoned Castle of St. Perry.
Upon enetering the keep they discover the undead remains of a band of looters.

"This is my bread and butter!" Shouts Father Wolfgang as he charges headfirst into the fray, his blessed mace swinging wildly.  "Good man"  encourages Sir Hiffin.  "We've got your back"
After passing through the doorway it suddenly slams shut, cutting Father Wolfgang off from the others.
"Arise, Sir Etheldstead!"  beckons a booming voice that trembles throughout the house.
"Coming, Master!  I'll deal with these uninvited solicitors."
As if that is not bad enough, the zombified corpses of the Castle guard come pouring down the stairs.  Father Wolfgang uses his holy words to scare some off.
Mugabe comes up with a plan:  "Let's use this table as a battering ram!"
"Good thinking, lad!"  1...2...3....crash!   "We're coming to save you, Father!   Oh, you're not Father Wolfgang...."
Sir Hiffin and Mugabe have a desperate fight in the doorway with the undead knight.  Mugabe splashes it with Holy water, Sir Hiffindeftly parries its deadly blade, sending it to the floor.  Mugabe quickly scoops it up, depriving it of its main weapon.  The creatures evil aura is slowly sapping the health of the Templars however.  Sir Hiffin grabs its shield to interfere with its defenses  "Hit it Mugabe!"  Their blows chip away at it slowly.

Finally Father Wolfgang returns from scaring away the zombie guards and knocks the fiend down with a blow to the back.  A few more rounds of combat until it is finally put to rest.  Sir Hiffin hangs onto the edge of consciousness and Mugabe is on his knees suffering two crippled feet.  They will recover quickly with Arken's healing.
Now the Keep is to be searched and and answer sought as to what happened to the Lord Vicar.

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