Friday, May 2, 2014

K29 - The dwarf bride

In the previous episode, Interview with a tombstone, the intrepid royal party has made their way to the crypt level of the old city. Bain, in a dream, can hear the plight of a young female trapped in a sarcophagus. The dream is true alright, as he is wearing the Eye of Irmo, which lets him travels around during his sleeping hours. 

The party is made of 13 dwarves: Bain, viceroy of Khazad-dum (PC ); Thordar, right-hand of the viceroy and daredevil-fencer-rogue (PC); Khazek, irreverent ranger-extraordinaire (PC); Lathmelen, Niece of the Elf-Queen of Greenwood (PC); Gror, son of Bain and frontline commander; Gesdrek, Maiar loremaster; and 7 dwarves from a Battle-guard of the Bronze Attack (Nalik, Rogi, Helg, Kelvar, Volkvak, Rakmir, Nordan). 

Delving silent, delving deep

Gror "butterfinger" faces off with the pudding while a wraith
prances around with Khazek's elven blade.
The night was long for the dwarves as they bunked deep into Arvin's crypt. There was whimpers, and Volkvak certainly lost sleep and looked terrible when the delvers woke up.

Bain explained to the other how to get to the Bride's crypt. The party ate a bit and set out along a major artery to the West. Khazek demonstrated an almost prescient sense of direction and lead the dwarves soon into a side passage in order to keep as close as possible to the description provided by Bain. Lathmelen stayed close behind, as ever impressed by the "young prince".

They wove deeper to the the far reaches of Khazad-dum. Khazek had a close encounter with a wraith and swing wildly into the dark. The wraiths had started to accumulate on their tails, both repulsed and attracted by the dwarves' torch light. The wraiths were particularly interested in Khazek's Ghost Blade and Lathmelen's glowing sword. It occurred to Bain that, after seeing Khazek nearly trip and struck down by a wraith (a pissed one), that if their guide was to go, they would be prisoners of an impossible labyrinth.

Bain's pulse quickened, he started to stumble. He was acutely aware that the minds of his dwarves had started to fade because of the Balrog's curse. He became agitated, jumping around to dodge the real and the imaginary wraiths of his ancestors. Khazek picked up on this and became agitated as well. The other dwarves grew concerned, but did their best to sooth the torment of their friends.

Lathmelen kept a steady eye and found a hidden passage which concealed entrance had been damaged in the past. They wondered about the architectural patterns, but none of the party member could identify details. They proceeded inward to eventually enter a large hall.

The flaming pudding

The light of their torches was sufficient to light dimly a very large room. It looked a bit like a chapel, and a bit like a crypt as rows of benches were setup to face a sarcophagus on an elevated platform. Behind the sarcophagus, the statue of Durin and a beautiful female dwarf were standing. The bulk of the wraiths of ancestors had lost interest by then, but three ooze form were wandering in this hall. 

A huge mass of mud-like ooze was creeping on the floor slowly toward them. The dwarves puzzled on the nature of this puddle until a large protuberance extruded itself and hit Khazek with much violence on the chest. 

Lathmelen, Thordar and Gror threw themselves to the forefront while Bain approached the mass with his torch. Khazek's heavy chainmail was burning off and smoking while he himself was fighting off a powerful chemical burn on his chest. Thordar severed the protuberance and was encircled by the pudding. Lathmelen could hear the muted thud and cries for help coming from the sarcophagus. 

While Khazek opened the way into the hall, other dwarves followed. Gror did much damage to the pudding until his axe slipped from his hand and he also got himself surrounded by the acidic creature. His axe was now fuming as well, and as shiny as the day that it came out of the forge. 

Khazek slipped south to get around the pudding and close in the sarcophagus. He was assaulted by a wraith that wrestled his Ghost Blade from his hand, causing a terrible chill to traverse his body at once. He let go of the blade and dashed for the sarcophagus. Behind him, Thordar struck the Ghost blade hard enough the make it fall to the ground. The wraith picked it up and headed for Gror.

A second wraith, no longer unaware of Khazek presence, charged Lathmelen to take her sword. Lathmelen covered Kahzek's sprint which ended in an acrobatic leap onto the sarcophagus. By then, the Black Pudding was fighting back and blocked the way once more. At the other side of the hall, Gror was now leading the battle-guard into a coordinated attack which made the pudding recoil and ease the pressure off the others near the sarcophagus. Lathmelen tried a leap but her foot slipped and she landed into the pudding. Quickly, her boots started to smoulder as a wraith charged from behind to wrestle her sword from her hand (it is also a magic sword that exists both in the real and shadow world).

Love at first sight

High moment in drama, both Thordar and Khazek have found true love!
Lathmelen was shocked by the wraith and burnt by the pudding, but off the sarcophagus. Khazek pushed the stone cover to the side and free a frail, pale young maiden. She was a dwarf, with an old fashion beard. She was weak; on the verge of collapse and maybe on the verge of death. As she gasped for air, her knuckles were raw from banging on the stone from the inside. She set eyes on Khazek and struck him dumb by her beauty. It was like he knew that he was to meet her at this time... that he knew that this moment would come all along, but was revealed to him only then [Khazek got then struck with obsession(must be loved by the bearded bride)]. As a tear of joy was about to bead off the corner of his eye, Thordar arrived. He laid a hand on her cheek and she turned her head to see who he was. Thordar promise to never let her go out of his sight as she trembled of fear and despair.

Thordar didn't feel like crying, however, as when he lifted his eyes he saw how greatly mistaken Khazek had become and he couldn't bear to see the youngster look a his bride this way. 

Ok, Romeos, I'm dying here... You mean,
you didn't slay the pudding yet?

And this, kids, was another day at the office for whoever are trying to Reclaim Khazad-dum.


  1. Oh she's a keeper, alright! What an amazingly fantastic #GURPS session this was! Thank you Christian and Arne and Alex and Gordon. (and no thanks to Paul too! I see a duel in our future!)

  2. Thanks for that image. What has been seen cannot be unseen...

    Except by the proper erase memory spell.

    1. Oh she is a beauty alright. You are welcome.

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