Sunday, May 19, 2024

DF Session 193, Felltower 131 - Olympus Gate II, Part I

Date: May 19th, 2024

Weather: Sunny, warm.

Chop, human cleric (301 points)
Duncan Tesadic, human wizard (300 points)
Hannari Ironhand, dwarf martial artist (316 points)
Persistance Montgomery, human barbarian (300 points)
Thor Halfskepna, human knight (306 points)
Vladimir Luchnick, dwarf martial artist (266 points)

We started off in town, with the group gathering rumors before heading into the dungeon. They briefly debated a different destination, as Thor was nowhere to be found, but he came rolling up late and they were able to head to the Olympus Gate.

Their trip to the gate was uneventful, except for the close air of the "apartment level" causing Percy some trouble. They also smelled a sulfurous smell as they neared one intersection, which they chalked up to a nearby gate.

They reached the gate, cancelled their spells - recalling what they'd read of previous trips - and headed in.

Sure enough, all of their spells - light stones, Walk on Air, etc. were cancelled. They found themselves in on a tiled floor, surrounded by columns, with a fountain in the center. Light came from somewhere centered on the fountain, perhaps the unseen but implied ceiling. Next to the fountain was an older man with a short grey beard, holding a wineskin. He spoke to them in a language they didn't understand.

Hanari gestured to him to give them a drink. Instead the old man spoke louder and slower, and only after seeing that didn't work he offered them a drink. They drank - and Vlad (Gluttony (6)) and Thor - (Impulsiveness and Curiousity) both drank enough to become Tipsy. The oracle - as he describe himself, drew them a map on papyrus and told them of the locations of most interest in this land. They quickly broke out into discussion about what to do while oracle waited impatiently. Finally, they calmed down and he told them there were only three ages - the Age of Myth, which had passed, the Age of Heroes, which is now, and the War of the Gods, which will come.

Armed with a list, the PCs decided to take the areas of interest in what seemed like a logical order.

First up, was the "Field of Teeth," where dragontooth warriors waited for them. They were more and less than men, and more and less than they appeared, they were warned. Once the PCs left the Home of the Oracle, it disappeared behind them.

The PCs headed West, hoping to encounter some locals to get more information. After a few hours they found some well-tended grape vines and an olive grove. The footprints around it were from an enourmous single being with sandled feet. They kept heading west and soon found that being - a 12' cyclops tending a flock of giant sheep. They greeted him. He asked their names, most of whom gave theirs, but Vlad decided to be clever and called himself "Noman." The cyclops, Brontes, warned them off of the Mountain of Chronos, where some of his too-tough-for-them brothers live. He laughed at Vlad's question about the warriors of the field of teeth being either long-toothed or dragonborn (which aren't even a thing in my world, because I think they'll powergamey nonsense.) He did provide some more details. He then asked for a gift for welcoming him to his lands and offering information. Duncan pulled out a pack of wolfsbane he scrounged up between sessions, and said this would help keep wolves away from Brontes's sheep. The cyclops declared it a "wise" gift, and sent them on their way.

They reached the Field of Teeth, which proved to be a stone-edged, long, fallow field. They formed up in an excellent order to avoid getting flanked, but then only a few yards ahead a dozen skeletons rose from the dirt as they stood unable to react. The skeletons attacked with shields and falchions.

The skeletons were very, very quick, and extremely skilled with their falchions. They made quick work of Hanari, who was hacked down into unconsciousness in a few seconds. Thor fended off a number, as Vlad ran back and Duncan walked up out of reach. Percy slew one quickly, only to see it fall to dust along with its weapons. They fired blunt arrows and Stone Missile spells, but the skeletons didn't seem especially vulnerable to anything. In the end, though, the PCs defeated all 12 of them, with only minor wounds to anyone except Hanari.

They found 12 dragon's teeth where the skeletons fell, and determined they were powerful supernatural items but not wizardly magic nor clerical magic. They moved off the field to find a place to camp. Night fell quickly as they sought a place to sleep. They found a place near some trees. They were relieved to see stars and a moon above at night.

The next morning, they checked out the nearby shoreline - it was cliffs, with no clear place to beach a ship.

Next they headed to the Temple of Victory, where they were told a wand awaited those who could defeat the champion.

They found a beautiful temple with a female figure - a goddess of some kind, with a sword in one hand and an owl on the other. The temple was decorated with pillars and statues of horses. Guarding it was a stern looking 6' tall black-haired woman wearing a Corinthian-style helm, a white cloak, a spear, and a shield - and nothing else. Behind her was a pool, with a bronze sword floating in midair over it.

She told them they could challenge her for Agar's Wand. Naturally, there were demands of "Who is Agar?" "What kind of challenge?" and so on, which she ignored except to say that Agar was the first wielder of the wand.

They saw she was protected by some kind of shimmering force once she pulled down her helmet. So they went to buff up Thor, their chosen champion. Chop put Shield +6 on him . . . and to their dismay the Guardian of the Wand got Shield +6, too. So they bailed on giving him +2 HT, as well, a fateful choice.

Thor edged forward, and engaged with the Guardian. They exchanged blows - he used Rapid Strike to strike twice per second with his sword; she, three times per second with her spear. In short order she got a critical hit which not only ignored his defenses but also her spear parted his armor like air and wounded him badly. She didn't strike too hard, but her weapon gave her an offensive edge that negated Thor's defensive edge of heavy armor (he's DR 10 or so normally.) They fenced, with Thor unable to land much of anything, and she tagged him another time. He dropped his sword on a critically failed parry, and went for a slam. She dodged aside. He pulled his meteoric long knife, and - since it ignored her Shield spell, and went to work. But still, she landed a third strike. He managed to cut her once badly, despite some kind of resistance from a shimmering field around her that didn't get ignored by Meteoric.

Thor pushed her back, and then she dropped her spear on a critical miss thanks to his critical parry. He stood in her hex and slashed away, hitting her several times but for very little damage, rolling quite poorly. She kept grabbing for her spear, first failing a kick-up, and then crouching down and spending a few seconds trying to make the DX roll for ready in Close Combat. In the end, she got her spear and stood up . . . just as Thor finally passed out from his wounds.

She let them drag the defeated away, and immediately healed up and retook her position.

They looked around for another champion . . . and are trying to decide between Duncan (going in with a maxed-out Stone Missile) or Percy (buffed like crazy with spells that can be ignored with Thor's meteoric long knife.)

That's where we left it.


Not much time tonight, so I'll do notes tomorrow and back link here.

Thor's player was really frustrated with his rolling, but also with the fact that the guardian was able to ready her spear and he couldn't just stomp it back down to the ground and pin it. I'm sympathetic, but he had plenty of chances to do that before she did her Ready. Once a person has executed a Ready, it's over - GURPS doesn't allow for interrupting an action partly through except in a few cases involving Wait. It was a good idea but thought of too late. I do like the visual idea of stomping a spear down as someone tries to ready it, but it was already Ready. So, sympathetic, but there was an automatic success for Thor waiting for several turns and then it was too late as there was a rolled sucess for the guardian.

XP was 4 each. MVP was Duncan for some nice damage inflicted in the skeleton fight and the wolfsbane gift. Percy's player wasn't around, be knowing it was a 2-3 session delve, he asked if we could bring his guy along as he was stuck unable to play. I allowed it.

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