Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exploiting weapon reach in GURPS

I once wrote a sample combat in GURPS between a spearman and a swordman. I was disappointed by the lack of advantage that wielding a longer reach weapon. First, if you haven't seen this video first, have a look:

Easily impressionable people like me will be intrigued by the reach advantage gained by the spearman. Here are some thoughts about making the best of this assymetry, or mitigating its implications.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

035 - The wall of walruses, part I

Walruses sighted

There was over 100 miles of water to navigate before the Raven arrive to Hlethui. On the first day of navigation, the open water held nicely and the ship remained in sight of the ice attached to the shore. By mid-day, a moan-like clamor could be heard ahead. Reitu prompted the company members to come to the forecastle of the ship. "This is a lucky day for you, Southrons", he claimed. "These are the moans of a pack of walruses". He told them that the ivory of walruses was ideal for the ritual foundation of a tribe. He instructed to sever their heads, that only an elder should remove the ivory from the skull of these beasts. 

Araliniel tried to get herself out of this "harvest", but Reitu insisted that she participates. He excused himself from the venture as he already belonged to a tribe, and had no desires to count on a bunch of pink-skin Southrons to protect him from the terror

The Raven approached the ice and let out a gangway to the ground. The company stumbled down and peered at the colony of walruses some 200 meters to their right. These were not Earth walruses! These beasts were 5 meters long and their head standing over 2 m tall above the ice. More than 200 of them were huddled at the edge of water.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

034 - Everybody's life just got a notch more complicated

Entering the Ice-Bay of Forochel

Gwirith 24 FA 16

The Raven had finally weaved a difficult path through the ice floes into the Bay of Forochel. Forochel was created in the First-Age when the Valars came to destroy Mortgoth's fortress of Utumno. The place is the flooded site of the dark lord's gateway to the underdeep: a place so vast and and dark that Sauron managed to hide and survive the ordeal (with the results that we're all aware of). Keeping this in mind, the company members kept a close eye on the surrounding. The bay, in sharp contrast with the open sea left behind, was eerily quiet. A thick fog was covering the place. The light of day and night were no more than subtle variants in shades of blue.

A porpoise was circling the Raven, underneath Finbert's eyes. Something was out of sort, however. The porpoise was particularly skinny, if not bony. Finbert pointed out his observation to others, but no one could see the beast even when it passed under their eyes. The bony porpoise hit the hull of the ship a few times, but still no one but Finbert could hear the thuds. Finbert grew tired to be looked at as if he was insane. Nerve shot, he packed a pipe choke-full with Longbottom leaf and sat on a pile of ropes.  

033 - A winter in Tharbad

Wintering in a Frontier town

This post documents the abstracted character development of the PC in the campaign between Session 10 and Session 11. The next report referring to a live session is 034 -  The Lossoth people of Laakvesi.

Tharbad, circa Fourth Age 15

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Experience for Session 10 the the Palantir Commission

Session 10 has seen some interesting action. This post also covers the Winter spent in Tharbad (Play by Post). Here are the character points award for each character involved:

  • Araliniel
    • 1 pt - research
    • 2 pt - seeker
  • Arnadil
    • 1 pt - Leadership OR any other social skill
    • 1 pt - Tactics
    • 3 pt - Strategy and/or Intelligence Analysis
    • 1 pt - free (related to your Palantir Commission work)
  • Finbert
    • 1 pt - search
    • 2 pt - Bartending
    • 2 pt - Connoiseur (beer)
    • 2 pt - Brewing
    • 1 pt - Cooking
  • Galdor
    • 1 pt - Perception
    • 3 pt - Leadership
  • Halin
    • 1 pt - Wrestling or brawling
    • 1 pt - Metallurgy
    • 2 pt - Architecture
  • Irina
    • 1 pt - Fast-draw
    • 1 pt - Administration (Setting up Marksmanship course)
    • 2 pt - Staff or technique of (Sparring each day with her students).
    • Reputation 1 (entertainer) now extends to Tharbad (beyond the Shire)
    • 100 celebins in Performance proceeds
  • Kasper
    • 1 pt in Sleep
    • 1 pt in Panic
    • 1 pt in Two-Handed Sword
    • 1 pt in Stop Hits (Two-handed Sword)

Award for K06 - Many doors and Many chambers

Here is the experience for Session 3 - Many Doors and Many Chambers of the Reclaiming Khazad-dum campaign. 

  • Bain
    • Credits towards Cultural familiarity (Wood elves)
    • Credits towards spoken Sindarin
    • 2 pt towards an empathy-related skill (Detect lie, psychology (practical), etc.) or Will
    • 1 pt Politics
  • Donarik
    • 1 pt towards tracking or 
    • 1 pt towards Drum
    • 1 pt bow (lesson from the elves)
  • Gimvar
    • 1 pt Tracking
    • 1 pt Stealth
    • 1 pt Acting
    • 1 pt bow (lesson from the elves)
  • Khazek
    • 1 pt Teaching (last part of the session)
    • 1 pt Tracking OR stealth
    • 1 pt Naturalist
    • 1 pt Interrogation

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Proposal for a new melee combat option: Evaluate ( combat opening )

This post is a draft of a new combat option for the Evaluate action. Initial thoughts about this was posted here.

The Serendipity Engine

Screen Shot of the alpha version on May 21st 2013


Simulate how combats are made of serendipitous opening that perceptive and skilled fighter take advantage of. One can fight according to a plan, or be nimble and go with the flow. This option provides the "flow".


A skill contest between the Per-based melee combat skill of the attacker against the DX-based melee combat skill of the defender. In case of a success by the attacker, the attacker spot a combat opening with a benefit that is a function of the margin of success. If the margin is negative, but the Per-based skill check was successful, the bonus is applied to the next active defense.

To generate interesting openings, the random "table" is implemented as a web application. This has the potential to generate over a few hundreds different combinations of opening and conditions, and this number of permutations blows up into the thousands if we take into account the range of possible attack bonuses and defense penalties.


The phasing player may call an Evaluate(combat opening) as a melee combat move. The skill contest is resolved by the app, determine the success and generate an opening. In case of failure, the phasing player my be compelled to take a Do nothing action. In other cases, the phasing player is free to take advantage of the opening by converting the evaluate into a new action and immediately resolving it to exploit the opening, or take instead a Do Nothing or All-out defense action. The gamble here is that if the opening isn't desirable, the turn will be spent looking  for an opening and deciding not to take it.

  1. Declare an Evaluate (combat Opening)
  2. Per-skill vs DX-skill (handled by app)
  3. Pick Either of:
    1. Immediately convert to attack to exploit opening.
    2. Do Nothing

A critical fail on the Per-based skill check is narrated to the player like a criticl success, but is converted instead into a bonus for the opponent as a bonus to any form of counter attacks.


This is not a new idea, if you want a low-tech table instead, try Sean Punch's post of SJG's forum, or +Douglas Cole 's post on Gaming Ballistic. We're going to playtest the idea, but this is out there is anyone else want to give it a go.  Here is what I'm looking for in a playtest:

  1. Are players using the the Evaluate (opening)?
  2. When presented with an opening, are the players deciding to exploit the opening?
    1. If not,
      1. is this because of the condition being too restrictive?
      2. is it because the bonus doesn't outweigh the limitation?
    2. If so,
      1. Did it made the combat more fun?
      2. Did it incite players to try moves that they usually don't use?
      3. Was the bonus conferred too large?
  3. Web application, a good idea or would it be better with a much simpler table (see Sean Punch's post linked above).
If you give it a try, by all means, communicate your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.

Next steps beyond playtesting

  • Adding openings that are more contextual:
    • rough terrain.
    • Multiple opponents.
    • Presence of allies.
    • Long reach weapons.
    • Two-handed vs one handed with shields.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thannolf the Northerling


Birthday : 7th of Lothron (May)

Basic Stat block:  ST 11, DX 11, IQ 10, HT 12, Per 12

Early Life (Age 0 - 12)

Thannolf was born in the foothills of the Ettinmoor while the war of the ring was raging in the south. It was a dark time for Northmen as orcs and trolls descended from the mountains to raid settlements with increased regularity. Following the defeat of Sauron, the influx of orcs in the North became a real threat. Thannolf's community relocated to the West in the ruins of Fornost: the ancient capital of the Arthedains. With the arrival of travelers from the south, a fever started to spread, causing them to die or scatter away. Thannolf was separated from his family during a night raid by orcs when he was 12 y.o. He wandered south, and never found his kin again. 

Skills: Area Knowledge (North) [8 pts], survival (woodland) [4 pts], survival ( tundra ) [ 4pts], brawling [4 pts], weather sense [2 pts], 
Languages: North-tongue (Native, illiterate), Westron (Broken), 
Trait: Light sleeper, Luck, Dislike (Orcs), Empathy

Years of Wandering ( Age 12 - 13 )

He spent the first year of wandering on his own, fending off hunger, loneliness and wolves. He discovered a special affinity with animals: he could understand them even though they didn't speak the same language. He befriended a pack of wolves which stopped stalking him and coexisted with him for the rest of the summer. When winter came, the hunger became too much for the beasts: Thannolf had to leave their territory. Winter was a miserable time of deprivation and isolation. He eventually returned to Fornost to find a deserted place. He met with soldiers of Gondor who provided him with shelter and food against his services as guide and kitchen hand. When Fall came, the soldier marched back to Tharbad. Thannolf found himself alone and jobless in a foreign city.

Skills: Survival (woodland) [8], running [2], hiking [4], 
Language : Westron (Accented, spoken only)
Traits: Animal Empathy, restrictive diet (vegetarian)

Years of Soldiering ( Age 14 - 16 )

He was employed sporadically as a runner for the Commander of Tharbad, where he gained a taste for possessions. Earning money, trinkets and fine clothes went straight to his head. He seeked more earning opportunities, became bolder. He wanted to gamble for profit but the manager of the Alehouse, Lady Arda, refused to let him in. He was soon in the habit to steal from the army stores to resell on the black market. Eventually, he realized that living off crimes in a small community was dangerous: he took up an appprenticeship with the riverine sailors. With the sailors, he learned the ropes of river navigation and learned too soon to enjoy one too many drinks each day. His fellow sailors liked him, although they didn't trust him all that much: Thannolf was always ready to pick up extra work for a handful of coins.

Skills: carousing [2], gambling[2], streetwise[4], savoir-faire (military)[1], soldier[2], knife[4], brawling[4], head butt(brawling)  [2pts], knee strike (brawling) [1 pt], ,wrestling [2], smuggling [2], profession (sailor) [2], knot making [1], area knowledge ( West Gondor ) [4], lock picking[1], pickpocket [1], searching [4], Acting [4], Body Language [4], Acrobatics [4], Fast-Talk [8], Detect Lies [2]
Trait: Greedy, Compulsive carousing ( self-control: 9 ), Social Stigma (Northmen), combat reflex

Recent Events ( Age 16 )

Thannolf was caught stealing from the army store once more while on shore leave in Tharbad. He was thrown into jail until the new Captain of the Watch demanded to talk with him. 

Trait : Social Stigma (criminal)

Notes on playing Thannolf

Thannolf has had a hard life. He developed a near obsession with acquiring things. He likes to be able to afford the nicest booze, clothe items and other possession. If he sees a more valuable dagger than his, he will endeavour to get his hands one it. he is not fundamentally dishonest, but may freely choose to be if it helps in his pursuit for more stuff. Nearly all of his decisions comes down to whether this will be profitable for him or not. Another trait of Thannolf is that he has the disadvantage compulsive carousing. He must do whatever he can to party and drink alcoholic beverages each day. He is not alcoholic: his need is not a physical addiction but rather something that he has to indulge regularly. Resisting the urge to party requires a Will check, skipping a day temporarily gives him the disadvantage bad temper

It makes sense for Thannolf to join with the Palantir Commission because 1) it gets him out of jail, 2) will take him back to the great North and, 3) these guys are treasure hunters... Right?

What Thannolf knows about the Great White North

Thannolf's grand-father was from the Forodwaith, beyond the mountains of Angmar. He has heard tales of how terrifying the great white north can be: giant beasts, night terrors and snow wraiths. He speaks natively the North tongue and has some knowledge of the Ice Bay of Forochel from stories and tales. He knows the Lossoth people for the fierce nation of survivors that they are as some of their blood still flows into his veins.
Thannolf may teach North Tongue to his fellow Company members, but he himself osn't much of a teacher. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

An introduction to techniques in GURPS

The Palantir players are turning into GURPS sharks. We began the campaign with a streamlined combat system: using a pared down selection from the Basic Set:campaigns.  We introduced soon after a modified action point system to model short term fatigue. We then moved into a wider spectrum of combat options from GURPS Martial Arts. Once we got the hang of this, we introduced Extra Efforts. It is now great time to take this to the next level and get into techniques. This is what this article is all about.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

K06 - Many doors, many chambers.

Thranduil Hall, Gwirith 16th FA 15 (April)

This gaming session took place on May 14 2013 and involved +Arne Jamtgaard (Bain Stonetongue, viceroy), +Alex Safatli (Donarik Swiftfoot, ranger of the Ardacer), +Justin Aquino (Gimvar Arrowroot, ranger of the Ardacer) and +Jason Woollard (Khazek Strongmoss, Leader of rangers of the Ardacer). It was a continuation of K05 - Prisoners or visitors?  , where a dwarven diplomatic mission had to contend with a lukewarm reception in Thranduil hall. A visual representation of the social network is available here.

Act 6, Scene 1 - Breakfast with elves

The morning air was cool and crisp. The dwarves left their cottages and found their way to a nook in the Queen's ground where they were expected for breakfast. Already waiting were three of the Queen's retinue: Akshana, an haughty close advisor of the Queen, Lord Meldor, the Queen's administrator and Ngai, the Queen's stepdaughter and youngest child of the King. Bain sat first, followed by Khazek and the rangers. More fruits on the menu it seemed. Donarik and Gimvar were drawn to a gold carafe containing a sweet and sparlink fruit juice. "It's got alcohol in there", though Donarik. Good enough. Elves really don't drink ale for breakfast.

Lord Meldor proceeded to ask Bain a number of questions. Bain ran through his many-times rehearsed explanations while Meldor took notes. Then, out of the blue Akshanna asked whether business had anything to do with the Grey Mountain expedition. Bain and the other searche through their recollection but couldn't figure out what she meant.  Bain, a strongly empathic dwarf, got the strange vibe that Akshanna had broached a taboo topic. The others looked nervously at her. There was an awkward silence, then Meldor excused himself from the table. Soon the dwarves were left on their own. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

032 - Bulky trolls in narrow tunnels

Session 10 - Would you like to be my neighbor? 

This session takes place as the members of the Palantir commission are returning to Annuminas to determine what lies within the ruined city. In the previous session, they ran into a number of orc workers busying at erecting an enclave around a few rough buildings. 

An unexpected encounter

The last scene left the Palantir commission members in possession of an Orc prisoner and a pile of bodies. The orc camp was suspiciously featureless: an enclave made of a rough palisade and two buildings. The first building was built from stone walls from within a large ruined mansion, the other was a neater-built wooden structure.

While Galdor occupied himself finishing orcs laying about, Arnadil, Halin and Irina busied themselves in setting a watch. Finbert and Kasper entered the stone building from where a small plume of smoke was coming from. They found a rough kitchen. Something was cooking over the fire. A set of stairs lead to a lower level, some 15' down, and ended against a heavy grate. The grate was mounted over the door frame and could be removed by simply pulling two pins near the top. Whatever this grate was put up for, it wasn't to keep out smart invaders. The cellar was filled with junk: shovels and picks, fire wood. A torch was lighting the place. Finbert climbed on Kasper's shoulder and reached the pin with his hobbitish hands. Another grate was covering the approach from a set of stairs heading down. There was a door on the opposing wall, as well as a door on both left and right. The voice of excited children could be heard beyond the door on the right. Children, there is no such thing as juvenile orcs right?

Finbert fetched the rest of the company, but left Galdor to keep a watch and the prisoner. The company stacked behind the door and bursted in. The throng of children ran in fear to the far end of a wine cellar. The hobbits sneaked in the cellar to follow the children while Arnadil followed, sword in hand. They were met with a number of Northmen women interposing between the party members and their kids. One of them was holding a club, but to her surprise, Finbert snatched it from her hands, covered by Irina [ This was the first playtest of the Evaluate (combat opening), Finbert was standing in the shadow of an oak barrel and managed to remain unseen, he called for an Evaluate(combat opening) the outcome was a bonus for a weapon strike if he selected an all-out attack . Still unseen, Finbert decided to go for it with an all-out attack (determined), and got a net +5 to grapple the club and ripped it from the woman's hand ] [+]. Arnadil and one of the women began to argue. The women asked them to leave, she stated in broken Westron that nothing of value was to be found in this place. After a bit of interrogation, the women told the company that they were all cowering underground to protect themselves from the witch-king blight. They also told the company that there were some trolls in the lower levels [ Interrogation vs Will won by a large margin. Overall reaction was determined to be poor, but the women were in a position of weakness while protecting 13 children.] [+]. Arnadil ordered them to leave the camp with the children and locked them out after resetting the grate.

The witch-king blight was probably making reference to an epidemic of ghouls that was released by the WitchKing of Angmar during the war with the Arthedains. The company did not particularly looked forward to deal any more with the dead. 

They scoured the place, which was once the cellar level of a very large mansion. They found weapons, a large sharpening stone, about enough bedding for 20 orcs or Northmen. One of the Orc dwelling had a larger bed behind a makeshift wooden division. They found beside the bed a small chest filled with silver and some gold, and a collection of three elven skulls. At the far end was a lair for wargs, also empty at the moment. 

The only unexplored part of the cellar was now the set of downward stairs beyond the other grate. A small horn was hung on a peg beside the grate. Galdor released the women and children that were held prisoner in the kitchen and joined the company. The stairs were narrow and steep: a perfect place to engage trolls
coming from below.

Bulky trolls in narrow tunnels

The company knew that a number of trolls were present below the cellar level of the mansion. Arnadil sounded the alarm by blowing on the horn. He descended a few steps, followed by the other members. The hope was that the trolls would meet them and fight an uphill battle in a very narrow passage. However, although some noise could be heard in the distance, the trolls did not come. The company carefully advanced and reached the stairs' landing some 30 yards below. Another grate could be seen on the left, but the corridor itself kept on going straight ahead. It was possible to hear a quiet shuffle of heavy feet in the dark. 

Two charging trolls realizing that
they had just decided to run into the dreaded
troll slayers.

While Finbert was trying to pull on the pins, a large stone flew out of darkness into Arnadil's shield, making a large thunk. Behind followed two large female trolls, charging madly to close in on Arnadil and Kasper. The first troll collapsed, fast asleep, before reaching the company. The second troll jumped over her friend to slam into Arnadil. Arnadil cleverly side-stepped the charge [ Arnadil applied the side stepping technique described here ] [+] and made way for Halin's waiting hammer. The hammer lodged itself into the troll's leg but slipped from his hands under the momentum of the charge. While Halin was trying to wrestle his hammer back into his hands, Kasper and Arnadil delivered heavy blows to the troll's torso. In writhing pain, the troll attempted to grab Halin by the neck, but was then felled by one of Irina's arrow in her chest. Galdor dodged the falling body. The anemic trolls of Middle-Earth had yet again made a poor show of themselves and died too fast (Time to ramp up the challenge rating of the opposition, me think). 

The company entered the adjacent room beyond the grate and found a vault now used as a dormitory for orcs.  There was nothing much in there of value, except a small bag of coins underneath the pelts of  the leader's bed. They dragged the trolls into the room, laid one of them grotesquely on their dining table and the other in their leader's bed. 

The hobbits celebrating atop one of the female troll.
Beyond the vault, they found a complex of tunnels that was part of the defensive structure of the high-city in the days of the Arthedains. The troll lair was there. They traveled west up to the river crossing but found that the hall was flooded chest-deep in frigid water. Although Arnadil suspected that the tunnels would probably lead all the way to the citadel and the library, the company decided that soaking themselves up to get there was a bad idea. 

On their way out of the camp, they destroyed the sharpening stones and threw the little weapons of values under the ice of Lake Evendim. The women and the prisoner had left while they were exploring the camp. There was only a few hours of light, and no way to tell when the bulk of the orcs and Northmen would come back. They decided to head back to the horses and return to the Shire. They got to Longcleeve a few hours into the night. 

Reflecting on the day's toils over a warm hearth, they decided that the terrorized orcs would probably be on the defensive in the coming few days. They settled on returning to Bywater for a week. Then they could decide whether to return to the library as planned. Many in the company argued that this foray in Annuminas was not really helping the search of the Palantir of Arnor.

A glimpse of the Palantir of Arnor

The week in Bywater went quickly. Everyone busied themselves with merriment and errands. Halin, Finbert and Irina sparred together in mock wrestling contests: but the lightweight hobbits and the legendarily strong dwarfs were not exactly even matched. Arnadil spent the week riding his warhorse across the Shire. Galdor spent time with his dogs and played dice, Kasper read in the peace of his bedroom and Araliniel studied the seeker spell.

On the eve of their departure for Annuminas, Araliniel declared that she had managed to put together the pieces of the seeker spell and was about to be able to cast it. It took her two more days of high anticipation before she emerged from her room, a bright smile on her face,

"I have seen the Palantir of Arnor. It is atop an altar in a temple, somewhere on the frozen shore of a very desolate place". The news came as a big surprise as the Palantir was thought to lay beneath the waves of the frozen bay of Forochel. It seems somehow possible that the Palantir had been retrieved and placed into a temple somewhere in the frozen North of Middle-Earth. 

The company poured over maps. They needed to know more about Forochel, and find a way to get there. Traveling overland and off road into the Forodwaith in the stone-cold middle of an unnatural winter didn't appealed to them! The Shire was eating up their budget very fast. They decided to set winter quarter in Tharbad. There, they can send news to Tarquillan the High Seer, and hopefully get their hands on some information on the Ice bay of Forochel and the Lossoth people.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Creating and holding on to initiatives in GURPS combats.

Disclaimer: +Jason Packer has written down one of the point that I wanted to make. So I'll dodge the truly academy-style advice and try something more geared for GMs. I am missing the point a bit. You are warned.

Why did you leave your arm open like that?
Many good folks have toiled, racking their brains, to find an elegant way to pace GURPS combats. The obvious solutions is to encourage people to "Do nothing" or use evaluate actions. Do Nothing as in catching your breath, for example. The benefit from Evaluate actions rarely compensates for the lost turns that it exacts: why spoil a perfectly fine second of your life staring at your opponent if it isn't going to boost your overall "to hit" probabilities?

Other Melee-Academy Posts:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Web App for Hit Location and Realistic Wounds

We'll make this post an official web page for the app. The App implements hit location from GURPS Martial Arts and other elements from GURPS Baisc Set: Campaigns.

The App, located here, allow to either target a body part or roll randomly. Only the notes that are relevant to the damage type inflicted are shown.

We hope that GURPS players (and maybe other GMs looking for flavor in their combat storytelling) will enjoy the app.

Please pass along any comments, factual correction or suggestions in the comment thread of this post.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Generic 3D pieces for GURPS tactical combat

About 15 minutes in the workshop, and $7 later, the Palantir Commission just got itself a waldorf-style, very abstract set of components to build tactical scenes. Here is a screenshot from the last session:

The whole scene a few turns into the battle.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Experience for Session 2 of Reclaming Khazad-dum

This posts updates the characters for both two live sessions and the play by post. Let me know if I'm forgetting something.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

K05 - Prisoners or visitors?

Old Forest River, April 15th FA 15

Late in the morning of April 15th, the Ardacer arrived in Esgaroth and paused beside the bridge. The Fire Lot spent the night here and by the time the viceroy reached the structure. Goldo was already inspecting it to assess whether it would withstand the passage of the Emerald. 

The viceroy rallied the royal family members: Kalin, Goldo, Khazek, Gror and Drolf were present. The diplomatic objective of the viceroy was Thranduil hall, a forbidden place for all but wood elves. Kalin was opposed from the start in involving the elves and ruled himself out of the expedition. Drolf, while vague, hinted that his presence would hinder the mission rather than help. Gror was on the fence, but Drolf declared that he was needed in command as Lot-Herd of the Ledge. Khazek, reported that the barges heading up the river were small and would accomodate only a few dwarves. He selected four of his best rangers as an escort for the viceroy and made arrangements for their passage on the next trek up the river. Kalin muttered under his breath, Gror roared to rally his warriors, Drolf returned with Goldo to inspect the bridge once more. 

K04 - The vanguard leaves Erebor

Gates of Erebor, April 14th FA 15

Ten days of mobilization had turned Erebor upside down. The mines and workshops were now running at half speed as the dwarves from the Emerald Unit were outfitting, training and creating a nearly juvenile ruckus in the hallowed halls. Bain Stonetongue, son of Nain and Uncle to the King made sure that the event was tightly choreographed: banners unfurled, music echoing from the gates all the way to Dale. The King was to talk, then the viceroy and finally the Prime minister. The King was terse and mostly unarticulated, this didn't matter since his crowd working technique mainly consisted in getting people to cheer on at every punctuation mark. Then stepped forward Bain, viceroy of Khazad-dum, his voice penetrated the heart of all dwarves arrayed under the gates of the Lonely Mountain: