Sunday, February 1, 2015

GURPS: The White Cloaks: The Armory of Azog, part 1

 "Being the illuminated journal and further adventures of Templar Grand Knight Sir Joshua Hiffin."
 To review, the Saxon civil war has come to pass and the Templar order finds itself besieged on all sides while the King is away and the Templar army fights in Basque.  A company of Frisian mercenaries was hired by Earl Pasip to cut the lines of communication and supply between Basque and the Templar castle Derog.  Sir Hiffin and his Lightning Company were tasked with defeating this force and keeping the road open.
As by now is well known, to any student of higher military tactics, Sir Hiffin's defense of Boswell's Cross repelled the Frisian horde and also captured their King.
In the following negotiations with the Frisian holy man (the King's brother), it was revealed they took this mission because the Father Oswall had a vision that they should come here with their people to fullfill his brother's destiny of "saving a kingless land".  This all sounded rather convenient to Sir Hiffin, but this Father Oswall had a key to a nearby ancient dwarven armory.  Father Wolfgang had also had dreams that we would need these weapons to defeat the dark forces that were behind the start of the civil war.  All the stars were aligned.  We made treaty with the Frisians that we would enter this armory together and share its bounty.   A simple plan on parchment...
 The Father Oswall uses his mysterious key to open the door to the Armory of Azog.  It shudders and creaks open for the first time in 2000 years.
Squatters!  The bane of all land holders.  In the intervening eons since the Dwarves made these vaults, orcs have taken up residence.  They are quite surprised that this door has opened, but arm themselves quickly.  Finding no common language, negotiations turn sour quickly, and we are forced to resort to a form of communication that they do understand.
As fortune turns against the orcs, their leader flees down the cavernous hallway, pursued by Father Wolfgang.  Unfortunately he reaches his reinforcements and Father Wolfgang is forced to run back to the group, but misses his opportunity to report "They have a cave troll."
The Orcs form an impressive defense line, their shaman creates a cloud of "gloom", to counteract Father Wolfgang's light spells. The cave troll's discipline does not hold, however, and it comes charging down the hall at us.  (note:  The previous troll figure just didn't seem impressive enough so it was substituted for the ettin.  Couldn't find my GW/LotR trolls.)
Father Wolfgang and Sir Moore's weapons hack at the beasts ankle until they cripple it.  Mugabe's spear finds one of its eyes.  King Oswall's battleaxe rends flesh from its torso.
The great beast falls.  The party scrabbles over its corpse to press the attack.
"Let's go." 
When their leaders fall, the remaining orcs morale breaks and they scatter down the passages.
Descending to the lower level, our heroes see that orcs of tougher stock have taken up a defenseive position in the corridor.
Sir Hiffin leads the way.  The Frisian king follows him in but catches the club of the War Troll and goes sprawling into the wall, a little worse for wear. 
Father Wolfgang and Sir Moore answer with blows that manage to catch the troll off-foot and it falls over.
Sir Hiffin quickly steps up and plants his sword through the beasts eye before it can recover.  Sir Moore does the same on the opposite side.
The beast is dispatched by a series of blows before it rises again.  Things are looking good!
Then they are quickly looking "not so good".  The far end of the hall fills with more orcs...
...Followed by an undead troll being ridden by some sort of succubus.
"This way!"  Shouts Sir Hiffin.  "To the pit!  If we can't go back, we will go farther in."
But first, Mugabe spies that one of the orc leaders wears a key around his neck similar to the one carried by Father Oswall.  He makes a daring charge.  The orcs brace themselves for attack...only to see Mugabe snatch the key in one deft swoop (rolled a 3 critical success!) and sprint away!
The party flees to the pit room where Father Oswall uses his skill at deciphering dwarven runes to operate a mechanical device that lowers them swiftly down into the depths.  Once there will they have salvation- or just die tired?

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