7/31/13

"Retiring to Run a B&B"--Final GURPS Sessions in the Majestic Wilderlands

Our GURPS campaign in the Rob's (Bat in the Attic) Majestic Wilderlands came to a fun and satisfying ending a week ago. We have had a few sessions since my last Magestic Wilderlands update. Delvin, my dwarf PC, provides a summary narrative below. Chris (The Clash of Spear on Shield) and Tim (Gothridge Manor) also have some excellent posts on the end of the campaign (here and here). And now I will turn over the computer keyboard to Delvin so that he can tell his last tale.
The baron loaded us down with some goodies and wished well on our journey. The Plain of Cairns is nothing to take lightly. There is some nasty mojo there and we have been lucky to come back alive. The evil there is ancient and powerful, but it is like a bees nest. You only get stung when you go poking around. Only fools get stung. As we were foolish enough to start building our inn at the edge of the Plain, we are foolish enough to get ourselves stung as well.

We traveled carefully across the Plain of Cairns, towards the henge that seems to be the epicenter of the evil. As we neared the henge, the sneakier members of our group moved in closer and noted that some sort of ceremony and excavation was going on. We were told that we needed to find the taig that was given the task of protecting the Plain of Cairns in order to defeat the evil we were witnessing.

After doing our bit of spying, we crossed the Plain and found a simple stone building on the southeastern edge of the Plain. We entered the building and performed the simple ritual that was required of us. The taig demanded a shard of crystal, without which the taig would be unable to help us cleanse the Plain of evil.

Not knowing anything about this crystal shard or its whereabouts, the only thing we could think to do was go back to the center of the Plain and spy again on the hende and the activities. So this is what we did. We noticed that robed humans were leaving the henge and traveling to the northeast, so we decided to follow.

We followed the little procession to a battered keep. It turned out that the robed humans were actually skeletons and the keep--nothing more than a stone tower--was closely guarded by the undead. We retreated a short distance to safer ground. In the process, we encountered four evil-looking humans. We killed a mage and some sort of knight, plus one of their henchman. We captured another of their henchman and he seemed willing enough to go along with us. I guess he didn't like the alternative, as he had witnessed the quick demise of his friends.

Having settled into our camp, we made plans for the taking of the tower keep. It would not be an easy task. We were outnumbered and on the outside looking in. Our plan called for Brom and myself, as the stoutest fighters of our little party, to create a fuss about 100 feet from the door of the keep. We would draw the attention of the sentries by the door and the archers on the top of the tower. In the meantime, Kermit and Durgo would sneak up to the back of the keep. Kermit would use magic to move some stone to create an entrance on the backside of the tower. Then Kermit, Kermit's magic warrior, Durgo and the captured henchman, would move in and attack.

The plan worked to perfection. Even so, it was a tough battle. We were heavily outnumbered [never a good thing in GURPS]. Brom and I had some mighty poor luck and were pushed back. However, I finally was able to get in some solid axe strikes and we were able to take out the outside sentries and some of their helpers. Inside the keep, our party achieved surprise and made it count. We took the keep without loss of life on our side.

We searched the keep and, alas, found no shard of crystal. That was a bummer. We did assure ourselves that we had removed a significant danger from the Plain of Cairns.

We were at a bit of a loss and decided to search the northeastern sector of the Plain, in the hopes that something might turn up. I think that one of the guys in the party had learned a little bit more about the shard and its location, but, as a dwarven warrior, I sometimes miss those sorts of details. We ended up in the ancient ruins of a small village. There were wererats and giant rats a plenty. We made our way into a nearby barrow, found it inhabited with said wererats and giant rats, fought a nasty little skirmish, and led us to the shard. We almost didn't survive the combat, but the near death experience was worth it just to see Durgo leap over the crowd, somersault in mid-air and attack. It was amazing. In all of my many years as a mercenary, I had never seen anything quite like it. He missed, by the way.

The barrow served as our camp that night, despite the heebie-jeebies it was giving us. As we rested, we could hear excavating all around us. We decided to make our escape by riding out on horseback at full speed from the barrow. Fortunately, we had brought the horses and ponies inside after the battle.

We made haste to ride back to the taig. With more than a little trepidation, we offered him the shard. He took the shard and was transfigured before us. Cloaked in frightened power, the taig tore off towards the henge with us trailing far behind him.

The taig took out most of the minions at the henge but we were able to join the fray before it was over. I thought the taig would easily prevail, but I was wrong about that assumption. The nasty evil human mage was quite a spellcaster and he was able to stun the taig. It was good that we were there. We got the jump on the mage and took him out.

It was over.

The taig was effusive in his thanks, bestowing on us the blessing of his protection. Our inn would prosper after all. It was time to settle down and retire.

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