GURPS Banestorm PBBB narrative thread


Ranar Bolijyr

With Jibril and de Courcy at his sides, Ranar would've expected the guard to have been thoroughly engaged, but somehow, he had slipped through into the rear ranks and skewered Thwip. That was just not allowable. But this guard was somehow too nimble to fight straight up. Grunting deeply, Ranar jumped and threw himself at the guard again, this time with open arms.



Issac pokes at the sun. There is a slight hiss as it burns his fingers. Sticking them in his mouth he observes Thwip sitting on the rings of Saturn as Johannes Kepler lectures him.

"First you must zee zat the Zun is not at the cender of ein orpit. It is at the focal point of the orbit. Vich, I stress akain, is not ein circle. It is ein ellibze."

As Kepler turns to point at Titan to illustrate, Thwip mouths to Issac, "I can't understand a word he's saying."

Issac gives an apologetic smile and shrugs as he mouths back, "Yeah. What can you do?"



Nicolas de Courcy

The longswordsman was dishing out a masterclass in fencing. Every blow countered with the minimum effort, every movement impossibly fast.

De Courcy could've sworn there was no way it could have dodged Thwips shot at that range. Yet it had happened right before his eyes.

As he hears Thwipp gasp and crumple behind him, and sees his two other companions throw themselves at the enemy in a rage, a cold calm settles in de Courcy's gut.

No time for quips. No time for the joy of smiling back in death's grinning face. Time to fight.

"I think..." the Shaman begins.

Right. If your opponent is faster, you have to be smarter.

Something niggles at the Arlaiseman, something on the edge of his comprehension.

Its leg moved at the last moment, its sword twitched at the last moment. Every movement at the last moment.

De Courcy settles into a guard, keeping between Arron and the enemy to cover his approach, and closely evaluates the longswordsman's movement



The goblin steps out of the water, surfboard under his arm, trying to ignore the way his colorful shorts are clinging to his genitals. Issac, still clad in black ruffles and wig, stands on the beach near their belongings. A frown to replace his scowl. Far too much skin is visible in his opinion.

Thwip did appreciate being introduced to the athletic activity of the surf but felt it would have been more appreciated when he was alive. Still, Omar Khayyám's enthusiasm for the curl of the wave was infectious.

"You see it, man?" Omar gusts, "How our boards cut the circle of the wave? That's the solution to the cube, dude! Radical yeah?!"

Thwip hops with a straight-legged landing as he slaps the side of his head. "Sorry. I think I got some coefficients in my ear."


@nimelennar @Daaksyde @Mitchell @William_George @daneel


After Thwip falls, the guard once again spins its back to the wall, moving into the corner next to the door. As it does so, it thrusts at Jibril. Although the lithe Wazifi attempts to avoid the blow, he also proves unable to evade the deadly swordsman. As with Thwip, the blade passes clean through his chest, leaving him shocked and staggering.

Ranar follows the guard’s move, continuing to bash away with his hammer. However, he continues to fail to penetrate the guard’s excellent defences, as his blow is turned by an elegant parry.

Showing the caution of an experienced warrior, de Courcy steps back to evaluate his foe. As he does so, Jibril collapses to the ground, and Hawk continues to shout over the din of battle.

Meanwhile, Aronn presses forwards into the room, swinging slowly and clumsily at the guard with his magic-infused staff. However, blows as crude as this have almost no chance of getting through; the guard casually deflects the blow with his shield.

Jibril dealt with, the guard turns its attention to Ranar. A ferocious strike comes scything down as the dwarf presses forwards; although he lifts his shield to defend, it is not quite in time. His extensive armour prevents the blade from splitting him from shoulder to pelvis, but the mere force of the blow is enough to audibly crunch into Ranar’s bones.

Ignoring the pain, Ranar continues forwards and attempts to grapple, swinging his pick behind the guard’s legs in a wrap shot. However, even Ranar is not immune to pain; the shock of his injury slows him down, and the guard skips aside from his questing grasp.

As Nic continues his surveillance, Hawk continues his speech. Meanwhile, Aronn tries another futile swing, once more casually swatted aside by the guard. However, Aronn’s persistence has drawn the guard’s attention; after skipping around Ranar, it once again extends into a lunge, this time with the elvish invalid as its target. The blade sinks home once more, instantly dropping Aronn to the ground.

Enraged by his dismissal, Ranar spins and swings again. Once more, the guard deflects his strike with textbook elegance.

Deciding that time was running short, de Courcy steps forward to act. Feinting towards the guard’s visor, he quietly exults as the guard’s balance is clearly thrown off.

However, before he can follow up his feint, the guard once again brings its long blade crashing down onto Ranar’s shoulder. Although the edge once again fails to penetrate Ranar’s mail and plates, the impact is even stronger this time; it seems certain to have broken at least a collarbone. Although the dwarven warrior does not fall, he is visibly battered by the strike; his blow in return is perfunctory, never coming close to the target.

Loosing a battle cry, Nic takes his chance. Swinging with all his might, he aims a blow at the guards leg, from an angle newly exposed by his preceding feint. Finally, one of you manages to defeat the guard’s defences: Nic’s rapier goes in cleanly, striking with a resounding crash against the guard’s leg armour.

Where it fails to penetrate, although it does leave a visible scratch.


(PLAYER CUE: you’ve now had time to absorb Hawk’s statement. Nic, Hawk and Ranar (barely) are still on their feet; Thwip, Jibril and Aronn are KO’d)



Schrodinger sits across from Thwip, tea cup held in his lap. Nearby Issac pours milk for several of the numerous cats that fill the room. Schrodinger's eye twitches at each meow.

"The cat thing was facetious."

Thwip nods and sips. He stops to fish a cat hair off of his tongue.

"It was to illustrate the problems with the Copenhagen Interpretation. You know of it?"

"Thup, thak, huck, huhyes. We met with Bohr earlier. Thht." Thwip's tongue flaps as he tries to blow the hair off, resisting the urge to scrape it with his fingernails.

Schrodinger nods. "Then suddenly I'm the guy stuffing cats in boxes, you know? I don't know who started it. I bet it was Albert. Then all these cats started showing up. I'm fine with cats, you know? I even got rid of all of the boxes here to make sure nothing bad happens. But they just keep coming and I'm running out of patience. Someone's is going to have a bad day once I find out who it is I swear!"

Thwip nods in sympathy as a large cat rubs against his leg, leaving white fur on his dark trousers.


Blue Hawk

Hawk is now frustrated. No one seems to react to what he's saying until he finishes saying the whole thing, despite the fact that "Retreat" was one of the first few words out of his mouth, and really the only prudent idea. He'll have to remember to keep his suggestions to as few words as possible, in future, so that this lot can comprehend them.

In that spirit, "Shield me! Then retreat!"

Against his own advice, Hawk drops his spear and shield for mobility's sake, and tries to lunge through the door to grab Lord Arron. Aware of his defenseless nature, he tries to keep de Courcy between himself and the Gladiator.

Gladiator. Fake weapons. An idea drifts across Hawk's mind, but he doesn't have the attention to ruminate on it and rescue their sponsor at the same time.


Ranar Bolijyr

Straining from pain Ranar takes a second to catch his breath while Nicolas engages the guard. Blue Hawk's shout finally sinks in. Although he is still burning with rage, he's also starting to weaken. And with half the team down, retreat seems reasonable. Hefting his shield, he moves to push past the guard and get to Jibril.



Issac bristles. His wig seeming to leap off of his head from the intensity of his rage. Thwip steps back warily.

"What did I say?"

"We. Will. Not. See. Him."


"Do. Not. Say. His. Name."

"But everyone say he's the master of..."


"Sheesh. Fine. Let's go see someone else then. Edison here was telling me about... Hey! He stole my wallet! Stop!"


Nicolas de Courcy

By the time Hawk reached the word retreat, Jibril was down. Before de Courcy could safely disengage, Arron was awkwardly pressing his attack. There was no way, he was leaving the money-dispencer behind.

De Courcy could barely make out what Hawk was saying over the fight. The crack of Ranar's bones drowned out the shaman completely at one point.. the green, something something injured.

And there was something after that about it's not what we think.

-If anyone survives this, someone needs to point out the middle of combat isn't the right time for a soliloquy. Battle calls should be..-

"Shield me!.."

  • like that.-

De Courcy notes Ranar heft his shield, and catches his glance at Jibril. -here's hoping Blue Hawk can still save him -

The Aralaise-man prepares to throw everything into defending whoever it attacks.
"Duck!" he shouts, as Ranar begins to move taking advantage of the dwarf's height to lean over and guard him as they cross-over. Once Ranar's past, de Courcy slips in behind him to close on the guard.



"It might help if you imagine a gun that shoots dozens of bullets at a time." Hedy Lamarr patiently tries to explain frequency hopping to Thwip. She is not confident he has the intelligence to understand. All he does his sit there staring at her with his mouth hanging open.

"Guns, yeah."

Hedy forges on. At least Issac left them alone. He was always needlessly hostile towards her for no good reason that she could see. There's a guy that needs a date. "On each bullet is a piece of the message. If one word is blocked at least the rest of the message arrives."

"Message, yeah."

Hedy sighs. Reaching over to the table she picks up the package of cigarettes. She taps out a stick and puts it to her lips. "Do you mind if I smoke?"

Thwip's leg begins to twitch uncontrollably.


@nimelennar @Daaksyde @Mitchell @William_George @daneel


Following Nic’s elegant but ineffective attack, Hawk shouts, drops his weapons and sprints for Lord Aronn, reaching him without incident. Snatching up the slight but long frame of the unconscious elf, he begins to laboriously haul him towards the doorway.

Meanwhile, the guard thrusts at de Courcy and steps back, placing its back against the wall once more.

Nic does not even bother to parry; the thrust was off target. Instead, he steps forwards, cooly evaluating his opponent once more, searching for a weakness.

While the guard’s attention is focused on de Courcy, Ranar takes the opportunity to run to Jibril. Despite the size difference the dwarven warrior easily hefts the unconscious Wazifi rogue and turns towards the door.

The guard turns to keep both Ranar and Nic in view, and thrusts at de Courcy. As Nic moves to parry, he realizes that this thrust was a mere feint; although he moves quickly to recover his guard, the effort does throw him slightly off balance.

As Ranar hauls his cargo towards the door, the light from Jibril’s fallen torch reveals something of interest. In the back of the alcove that the guard emerged from, there is yet another Arabic inscription engraved on the wall. This one says:

أنا سوف طاعة

Unfortunately, Ranar does not speak Arabic.

Stepping forwards, de Courcy moves to cover the fallen, focusing purely on defence. As he does so, the guard brings its longsword around in a scything stroke, directed exactly upon the line opened by his preceding feint. Although Nic steps back and whips his sword around in a desperate parry, it is not enough; defence weakened by the lack of his usual cloak, his parry just barely fails to arrive in time.

The longsword seemingly whips clean through de Courcy’s torso; he collapses to the ground, sword and lantern falling from his hands.

As it falls, the lantern shatters, spreading a small pool of flaming oil onto the ground beside the Aralaise swordsman’s body.

(PLAYER CUE: what now? Ranar is the only who's seen the second inscription, and he can't read it, even phonetically. All of your light sources are on the floor near the guard. Aronn's glowing topknot went out when he fell)

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Siting on a grassy hill under the stars, Thwip inhales deeply. He coughs and passes the pipe weed back to Carl Sagan.

Sagan takes a puff and begins to speak, "Once we overcome our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe that..." He is interrupted by the sound of Thwip's snoring. Sagan smiles tenderly at the goblin. "The magic voice works every time."

Sagan lays down and embraces Thwip to keep him warm.


Ranar Bolijyr

Ranar squeezes through the doorway, drops to one knee, and lays Jibril down quickly with a grunt and a gasp for breath. He might not've been heavy, but long and floppy and awkward to carry when deadweight. Especially with Ranar's shoulders aching so.

Looking up at Blue Hawk and Nicolas, he says "There's s-s-some runes-not-runes Um.. calligraphy in there. Like what we saw before. Words that aren't words to me. If that matters now."

Hefting his shield and hammer with a wince, he moves up beside Nicolas, crouching low, ready to defend what's left of the team - at least, as well as he can.

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Blue Hawk


The shaman finishes dragging his companions out of the flames, gives everyone a brief check for injuries, and retrieves his weapon and shield.

"Guard the others. Try to wake them if you can. I will try to read the words."

Giving a brief beat upon his drum, Hawk calls upon the spirits to help guard him from the gladiator, and sets forth into the room.

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@nimelennar @Daaksyde @Mitchell @William_George @daneel


As Hawk checks his companions for injuries, Ranar drags Nic out of the flames. Clutching the horn necklace that was the symbol of his position in the north, Hawk throws all of his power into calling on the spirits to protect him, then charges back into the guard’s hall.

As Ranar follows, moving to guard Hawk’s flank, you see that the guard has taken the opportunity to move back to the centre of the hall, where it faces you, sword and shield at the ready. With the lightning reflexes that are now becoming depressingly familiar, the guard again steps forwards to engage Ranar.

The strike comes lancing in with deadly accuracy as before; this time, however, Ranar is a match for it, deflecting the sword along his shield. He presses forwards, shield raised high, trying to cover both the door and the unarmoured shaman.

Meanwhile, Hawk continues to cautiously edge along the wall towards the alcove. Reaching the entrance, below the engraved عبد (eabd, slave/gladiator), he risks a glance into the back of the small room. Racks of weapons line the walls. Across the back wall is engraved أنا سوف طاعة : 'ana sawf taea, “I will obey”.

As he reads the inscription, the guard darts past Ranar and brings its longsword slicing towards Hawk's neck. Scrambling away from the strike, Hawk desperately ducks behind his shield, and manages to retain his head for the moment.

(Player cue: what now? Hawk, use the words described on the other thread, or change 'em up a bit?)

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Blue Hawk

"I will obey..." Of course it will, it's a slave...

Hawk raises himself to his full height and tries to look into the eyes of the guard's helm. In quick succession, he issues the guard the following orders in Arabic:

"Eabd, halt!"

"Eabd, stop fighting!"

"Eabd, return to your position!"

"Eabd, wake those who have fallen!"



Thwip sits alone atop of the celestial sphere that contains Yirth. The vaster cosmos twinkles above him but he pays it no mind. He is thinking deeply of the events that have transpired since his skewering. Of the knowledge gained. Of the people met. Of Hedy Lamarr and his reconsideration of miscegenation.

There is a familiar shuffling behind him. The sort of shuffling done by someone pretending to be old and feeble. He has thought about this as well. One dramatic reveal might be a sign of the afterlife. Several in a row means something else. He does not turn around. He waits for the old man to sit down next to him because he knows he doesn't need Thwips help despite his noise about never getting it. He sits with a loud extended grunt.

"At least yah coulda helped me sit down yah olive-skinned bastard!" complains the dwarf.

Thwip makes a dismissive sound. "We both know you're a figment of my imagination, you ancient geezer."

Archmage Eyegouger laughs the hearty laugh Thwip fondly remembers each day. The old thumb was long-lived even by the standards of his people, yet not even a slouch betrayed this secret. He slaps Thwip on the back, causing the goblin to pitch forward. "I knew yah were a bright lad. Howdja figure out yah weren't dead?"

"No one I cared about met me when I died. Why would I be welcome to Heaven by a bunch of pinkies? Just because they think they own God and can reshape Him in their image doesn't mean that they do. It's not their afterlife."

"Yah. If yah believe in that stuff." There is the sound of a nostril being cleared in a violent manner into the grass.

Thwip smiles a small smile. An old argument that has caused any number of screaming matches yet is strangely longed for. "I've missed you, old man."

"Like yah should, lad. Like yah should. Yah got bigger problems right now so tell me this: Yah figure a way outta yah own head yet?"

"Maybe some sort of disbelief? The guard seemed to be able to cut right through us in much the same we we should have cut through it. But the ways of the mind are an even greater mystery than the workings of the heavens and I don't know if I can escape this nor how long it may take. I am doing what I can, but my hope largely lies with the others."

"Yah trust them not to just leave yah lying there?"

"They haven't failed me yet."


@nimelennar @Daaksyde @Mitchell @William_George @daneel


At Hawk's cry, the guard freezes and then marches back into the alcove. It stands facing the entrance, immobile.

Your companions do not stir. Thwip was stabbed about thirty seconds ago.


Jibrīl Al-Las'as

Jibrīl stirs. He moans, and his hands reach up to his chest, where he'd felt the sword go through, but his hands find nothing.

Ya khabar abyad! How...?