Monday, July 15, 2013

043 - To kill a demon, a picture story.

Act 43, Scene 1 - The temple guards of Mulkan

Three Lossoth temple guards to the rescue of Elder Tiani.
After sucking Elder Tiani dry of his life force, the company left the previous session with a number of charging temple guards. The bad news was that their weapons were clearly visible in the shadow world and this meant danger for them. The wraiths, wrapped in cool flames, flew above the charging guards that didn't flee following Kasper's casting of the Panic spell.

Arnadil remained close to Tiani's body while the hobbits and Thannolf swooped from the guard's rear. The Lossoth used their hooked swords to attempt to disarm Arnadil, but managed to get grazed by the sneaking wraiths from behind.

Discovering wraithiness... it is very effective.
Kasper, realizing that, by virtues of being a wraith, was no longer bound by his FP to cast spells [ Wraith operates under the Threshold-magic system.] [+], launched into another wave of Panic. This sent two of the guards fleeing. The remaining guard was surrounded and weighed down by the unconscious elder, but soldiered on while the wraiths were taking swipes at him.

Salvation came unexpectedly for the Lossoth when, while dodging spectral touches and dragging his friend, a scream came from above and grabbed the wraiths' attention. The wraith of Thannolf managed an awkward plunge into the floor and lost his bearing [ Ooops, a critical fail on a body slam while diving from above. It is going to take him a second to get his bearing back. ] [+].
The Lossoth rescue mission is going south.

To the guard's greatest surprise, all wraiths vanished by climbing up through the temple's roof. Left alone, he dragged elder Tiani out of danger. The timing was better than he realized as within a minute, the temple would be swept by Shapthui. The precarious dominance of Mulkan in the North was about to be swept and a world in shamble awaited elder Tiani when he woke from his terrifying slumber.

Act 43, Scene 2 - A demon enters the fray

Kasper just spotted something big coming from the West.
Kasper drew Arnadil's and Araliniel's attention to the West. A large mass of ice, rocks and snow was plowing down the downward slope toward the village. It was about 5 yards across and a few yards tall and trailed for about 10 yards behind. In the shadow world, the animated mountain of snow was swirling with wraith energy, making a whizzing sound that would soon become deafening.

The company's worries shifted from Tiani's body to the incoming storm. Arnadil started to fiddle with the five amulets that he had ripped from Tiani's neck. Hoping that holding one of them would allow him to command the demon Shapithui. However, the mass of snow didn't flinched and simply began to creep up onto the village's pavement.

Bracing for impact.

Shapithui is streaming through the Lossoth village, going
for the temple.

Incredulously, the company member gasped as the mass ripped through buildings and headed straight for the temple. At this time, most of them were high up in the sky and waiting to see what would happen next. Shapithui moved like an amoeba: shrinking in some places and growing somewhere else. The rumbling in the world of the living was awe-inspiring, while the whizzing in the shadow world unsettled the wraiths.
Reaching up to get at Arnadil. Dang, the GM didn't plan
this battle to be against wraiths.

Kasper and Finbert moved closer and descended in hope to find its heart. Through sheer luck (Critical), Finbert spotted a solid block of bluish ice, some 1 yd cubic, trailing near the back. Kasper approached the heart to ascertain its hardness: it was very hard and cold. Shapithui paused its advance to grow a pillar of snow to reach up to Arnadil. Arnadil easily avoided the demon's strike (see picture to the side). Meanwhile, Shapithui started to make headway into the temple as well.

Kasper, now up close,  spotted a glowing amulet deep into the demon's heart. Others were prompted to join him. Attempt at striking the heart were fruitless until Arnadil thrusted with his sword "Astor". The impaling sword chipped the surface and lodged into a crack in the ice.

Oops, the roof of the temple has collapsed, and the Palantirs
are absorbed by the demon.
Both Arnadil and Thannolf began to push and twist the weapon in the fault. The pillar that reached for Arnadil came crashing down on the temple's roof and smashed it in two. The temple, resting on pillars, collapsed in a huge crunching noise. The demon wrapped itself around the Palantirs' altar and ripped it from the floor (Picture to the right).

Shapithui, alerted by the assault on his heart, shifted his attention and began to rain on the wraith large pillars of ice that it grew for that purpose. The wraiths, pretty nimble for a start, had to let go of the sword more than once.

The heart is there! For Gondooooooor!
Arnadil pressed his luck and got trapped under Shapithui. He felt most of his essence dissipate and the pull to the underworld became alarmingly strong. The sword was recovered by Thannolf who kept on pushing it inward as the heart started to tesseltate. The amulet was in sight, but not accessible yet.

At this time, the demon sucked the Palantirs still mounted on the altar inside of its body.  He reversed its course to evacuate from the village. The heart got buried again, not to reappear at the surface anymore. The company members decided that, after all, getting the Palantirs out of Mulkan was in line with their plans and considered the turn of event to be pretty good. The question now was: it is better to pull them out of a demon than out the temple?

From the crest of the hill to the North, the shape of Halin, Galdor and their prisoner appeared. Down below, they could see the collapsed temple, fleeing Lossoths and a giant mass of ice writhing back to the safety of the land. Around Shapithui, wraiths were swirling like flies. Halin and Galdor took their leave of the prisoner and began to run to intercept Shapithui as it headed South.

Act 43, Scene 3 - Demons can die.

Following Shapithui south... on its way to? Hell?
The company was flying over Shapithui like a bunch of secret servicemen around the pope-mobile. They were trying to spot either the palantirs of the heart once more. From the far left, they could see Halin and Sir Galdor in an interception course at double trot. Most of the company member decided to ignore the newcomers as they weren't sure of how to interact with a live individual and didn't trust the new feelings beating in their ghostly heart. Thannolf, however, took the plunge and met with Halin near the ground.

They briefly explained to each other about their respective situations. Thannolf had to fight the desire to do harm to Halin and Galdor, but controlled his feelings and carried on. Irina an Finbert, the scout on duty, went ahead to find out what was coming, and the possible destination of the demon. The path was going along the fjord. The only thing that they knew about this area was that it lead to the Gate of Baatan, or the door to the underdeep.

The heart has been found! The end is nigh. 

Once that the heart was spotted again, Arnadil plunged from above with Astor in hand and managed to hit hard enough to get through [ That semi-ablative armor was starting to wear down. ] [+]. Sir Galdor climbed up onto Shapithui and took a mighty swing from under. The heart further cracked in many places. The final stroke came from Halin who, hoping up, tossed a few FPs to hit as hard as he could. The resulting blow shattered the heart like a block of tempered glass.

The wraith energy that was engulfing the snow flopped down like a parachute and got sucked into the ground.
Shapithui no more... nothing but a pile of snow
It all got quiet, the rocks and ice chunks of the demon were settling down and creaked. The wraiths remained suspended, in disbelief. Shapithui had apparently been slained.

Halin used his hammer to smash the altar and free both palantirs from their braces. The small Palantir of Arnor was a mere 40 lb, but the masterstone was over 900 lb. Without much consultation between the live and wraith company members, it was decided that the masterstone would be carried by the 6 wraiths while Halin and Sir Galdor would take the small stone by land back to the Raven.

A number of logistical issues were raised, some of them critical to the campaign. But these are problems for Session 16 - Dashing through the snow.

Sophie uses the models as a proof of concept.


  1. Coolest GURPS combat EVER! Wow, well played!

    1. I meant this combat to be against gravity-bound PCs. The PCs without a magic weapon were not very useful. But hey, flying has its perks too.

    2. Awesomeness... Dashing through the snow in the one horse open slay down the fields we go laughing all the way. HO! HO! HO!

  2. Unfortunately my tiny little hobbit was not much help, but it was, I think, the most memorable roll playing experience I have had with the models operating as they did. Visionary GMing for sure.

    1. by models I include the flying aspect as well as the snow demon. The way it moved was amazing. the whole evening was very cinematographic.

    2. We need t do more of this. How about I revive Shapithui for round 2?

    3. I say yes but I think the heart should be behind a hobbit shaped door and require a hobbit shaped hand to get it out!