Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 150 (+10) points
Garreth (Zuljita), Half-Orc Fighter, 150 (+10) points
Ibizaber (Demented Avenger) Human Thief, 150 (+5) points
Durkerle (M.C. Warhammer) Dwarf Cleric, 150 (+7) points
Mostly-Inactive Player Characters:
Bernard (threethreethree) Human Fighter, 150 (+5) points
The Redcap (Humabout), Gnome Bard, 150 (+5) points
Dodger, Cat Familiar
Ikenvar, Half-Orc Slaver Leader
Melchin, Human Slaver Monk
Artin, Human Slaver "Monk"
Eggther, Human Slaver "Monk"
Alaster, Human Slaver "Monk"
Will, Human Slaver "Monk"
The would-be heroes resumed immediately where they left off last session, with Ikenvar, the big half-orc slaver leader they had tricked and ambushed, falling unconscious before he could reach the door he'd been running for, his screams for help unheard because of a Hush spell. They focused on finishing off Ikenvar and looting his body, but he'd made some noise before he was silenced, and it's possible he had friends nearby.
After a few seconds, the door that Ikenvar had been running for swung open, and out peeked a Slaver "Monk" with a loaded crossbow. But rather than immediately resuming the fight, Seépravir tried a trick: claiming that Ikenvar and the orcs had been ripping off the other slavers, and the party had been sent from Slaver Command to put him down.
It was an unlikely story, with the roll at a significant penalty, but I allowed the attempt. And then Seépravir rolled a 3. Maximum critical success. A 1 in 216 chance.
That generated an unlikely positive reaction, with the "Monks" allowing the party to finish off Ikenvar, and one of them even adding a crossbow bolt. Garreth noticed a key hanging from a string around Ikenvar's neck, and pocketed it. The slavers then looted their former leader's body, pocketing some coins. But then a loud meow came out of Ikenvar's chamber: another monk had come through the door on the other side, and he wasn't fooled like the others.
Garreth tried some more talking, but it wasn't working on the newly arrived monk, who immediately tried kicking him in the face. That didn't connect, but neither did the attempt to remove the kicking leg with a greatsword. The monk then realized he was severely outnumbered, with Ikenvar down and the other slavers duped, and ran back through the door at high speed. Garreth tried giving chase, but the monk was inhumanly fast and managed to get through the door and slam it behind him before Garreth could catch up.
The party went back out with the duped slavers, who were convinced that the monk from the north tower, named Melchin, was in league with Ikenvar and the orcs. After some additional promises of shares of treasure, the duped slavers went back to their barracks and back to sleep. (It still wasn't quite dawn.) Ibizaber went into Ikenvar's chamber, looking for a secret door leading toward the orcs. With some help from Dodger the cat, he found it, behind an Everburning Torch. He took the torch, and pulled down on its sconce to open the secret door, revealing a secret passage behind it.
At that point the rest of the party wanted to chase Melchin, but the door to his tower was locked, and Ibizaber, the one who knew how to pick locks, was more interested in the secret passage. So they all got to wait a bit while he explored. He found a door at the end of the secret passage, listened to it, then opened it up and found a big room with two more exits. Garreth followed Ibizaber in case he got in trouble, and noticed what looked like another secret door off the secret passage. Neither of them could figure out how to open it, though, so they called in the wizard. She couldn't find a way to open it either, so they gave up on that secret door for the moment, and convinced Ibizaber to come pick the lock leading to Melchin's tower.
He picked the lock, and behind that door was a 100' tall tower, with half of the first floor remaining about 10' off the ground, and none of the upper floors or the ceiling intact. Garreth threw a light stone up on the partial floor, but it didn't reveal anything. Ibizaber climbed up, and found nothing of interest. Durkerle found a pile of straw under the half-floor, probably an improvised bed, but nothing of interest. Melchin was gone.
At that point Seépravir cast Levitate on Ibizaber so he could climb the 100' tower without risking death if he slipped. He climbed all the way up, and reached the top just as dawn broke. He had a great view of the lake to the north, west, and south of the castle. Also the bluff to the east, and the other tower atop it. And a fallen tower to the south. What he didn't see was a hungry Blood Hawk, flying up behind him looking for a meal. The Blood Hawk achieved complete surprise and managed to bite Ibizaber's ear, but the bite did minimal damage. Ibizaber eventually managed to recover from his surprise and get a good stab in with his knife, which was enough to stun the bird. It fell a bit, recovered, and then got as far away from the unexpectedly sharp prey as possible. Ibizaber climbed back down.
The group decided to finish off the sleeping monks in their barracks, rather than risking them wising up and deciding to fight. Seépravir Silenced the doorway, then snuck in, hoping to find all the slavers asleep. One was awake, though, so she instead told him that Ikenvar's treasure had been found and he should come get his share. The slaver fell for it again, and got double-ganked by Ibizaber's knife then Garreth's greatsword when he entered the silent area. Garreth dragged his body out of the way, while Ibizaber tried to sneak up to the sleeping slavers and slit their throats. But he rolled a 17 on his Stealth roll for a critical failure, which meant two more awake "monks" and another round of leading them outside to their doom. The final slaver was very sleepy and easily dispatched, and the party didn't mess with the large hornet's nest that was in the corner of the barracks. (Who sleeps in a room with a hornet's nest?)
They grabbed a few coins and a few more monk outfits and fake holy symbols, then went back to Ikenvar's room to loot it more thoroughly. They found some coins and gems in a pouch hidden in the fancy bed, some papers in the desk (which told a boring story of inventories of mundane objects, but which Seépravir was pretty sure was some kind of code for slaving transactions), a cleric scroll of Major Healing in a hidden compartment in the desk, and a burned paper in a pot with "Underwood Coffins" barely legible.
At this point Dodger the cat was getting restless and headed down the secret passage, and everyone decided to follow him back to the big room that Ibizaber had found earlier. Durkerle wanted to try the south door, the cat wanted to try the east door, and the party sided with the cat. However, when they approached the east door, Durkerle heard a loud sound behind him.
A pile of large bones Ibizaber had earlier spotted in the rubble turned out to be the animated skeleton of a large creature with a beak. It came after Durkerle and almost managed to skewer him, but he retreated and blocked with his shield and just managed to deflect the blow. Durkerle got in a pretty good shield bash, then Garreth tried to run up and take its leg off. He initially missed, but with very little time left in the session decided to use his Luck, and landed a crippling blow. The huge reanimated bird thing went down hard. Durkerle got a good smash in with his mace, which did more damage than expected (brittle bird bones?), and that was the end of that. Seépravir thought it was a reanimated owlbear skeleton, and Durkerle though it might be the work of an orcish cleric.
At that point the delvers were out of time for the session. They had finished off four more slaver "monks", largely through trickery. Melchin the high-kicking monk was nowhere to be found. They also drove off a blood hawk and destroyed some kind of huge bird beast skeleton. And they'd found a secret door possibly leading toward the orcs that they hoped were still holding Dodger's master Lyssa hostage.
I expected most of the session to be devoted to a big battle against the slavers, but the critical success on the Fast-Talk roll mostly short-circuited that. No plan survives contact with PCs. There were three small quick battles this session: Garreth against Melchin, Ibizaber against the blood hawk, and Garreth and Durkerle against the owlbear skeleton.
The players pulled off an excellent ruse, did some solid exploration, and found some hidden treasure and two secret doors. So while they covered very little actual ground, they made a lot of progress.
Magical silence was effective again, allowing the PCs to defeat enemies in detail without their allies hearing.
After three sessions, the PCs still haven't gone back to town, because they're uninjured and really want to find Lyssa. Garreth took advantage of the Knight's privilege of being able to spend points on melee skills at any time to raise his Two-Handed Sword skill, so he's the first PC to progress beyond the starting 150 points. Everyone else will have plenty of points to spend when and if they ever make it back to Cillamar.
We played text-only this time (the vote was 3-1 with 1 player abstaining) and I think it worked well. I managed to sort out the Roll20 turn order that gave me trouble last time, and I don't think we had any dynamic lighting issues for once. So maybe things are coming together technically.
Next time: what's behind the door to the east?
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Date: 2018-05-18 Weather: Cool, cloudy Player Characters: Seépravir (Archon Shiva), High-Elf Wizard, 150 (+15) points Garreth ...
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