Day 6-The Wall of Death
What the Priestesses Say
When the demon Rauchous arose from the sea and attempted to abduct her, the Butterfly Girl's suitors had to fight their way through biting spray and screaming winds to reach her side and defend her. You must endure the stinging hail and bitter blows to win through to the Harvest Queen who waits beyond the Wall of Death. In this event each contestant must pass along a section of the town wall, unarmored and weaponless. No spells or other magic may be used in this event. As the competitor moves, five expert archers fire blunted arrows at him. If the competitor is incapacitated or falls off the wall, he is disqualified. A competitor may also withdraw from the event at any time, by jumping off the wall. Any contestant who is still standing uninjured on the wall after all arrows have been fired at him is a winner, and he receives three points. (Thus, more than one person may win this event. If no one even made it to the end, the first-place winner is the contestant who got the farthest along the wall, and wounding is only taken into account if competitors fell off the wall in the same place. If this occurs, the points are awarded against the least amount of wounding. If fewer than three contestants have remained standing after all arrows have been fired at them, second and third place are determined by furthest progress along the wall without being disabled or withdrawing (as described above). Free healing is immediately available after each run. (Adjust this scoring depending on the rules choices made from the options below.)
Defying the Arrows.
As the competitor begins to run, the archers one by one fire at him. They are DCV5, with 5 levels in bow, for a total of DCV 10 and the arrows do 4d6 normal damage. Since the wall is narrow, each hit requires the target to make a DEX roll to keep his balance. An acrobatics roll may be used instead or as a complementary skill.
3 or more under DEX roll
The runner does not even pause
2 under DEX roll
The runner keeps his balance easily
1 under or exactly on DEX roll
The crowd lets out a roar as the competitor flails his arm, and almost falls from the wall
1 over DEX roll
The arrow strikes the competitor causing them to totter: make a second DEX roll or fall off.
2 over DEX roll
The character is struck by an arrow and staggers. They must make a DEX roll at -2, or be propelled from the wall
3 or more over DEX roll
The character slips from the impact of a well-aimed arrow and falls from the wall
In addition any character who is stunned, will be a sitting target - but doesn't have to make any extra rolls apart from the single DEX roll for impact. Any character knocked unconscious, will of course fall off the wall.
The fall is 6 metres, doing 3d6 normal damage versus PD and like all falling damage is Penetrating.
Contestant Strategies for the Wall of Death:
Carylon - He simply runs as fast as he can, with his overall level in DCV.
Promidor - He moves more slowly, dodging all the way, with his level in Dodge.
Vathmar - He doesn't have any levels in Dodge, but he also moves slowly and dodges the arrows. He also tries to catch an arrow (simple grab vs an OCV of 7: the arrows are slower than normal arrows) but will give up if hit.
Myrrhyn - He simply runs trusting in his combat luck and also (if the Sandrian trick succeeds) in his BLESSING spell.
Sir Barharach - Shows up smeared with Rhino Fat again, but the judges tell him to wash it off before he can compete. He takes a different approach trusting in his toughness: instead of running or dodging, he walks deliberately alongthe wall, bracing himself for the arrows. This means he is at half DCV, but gets to make a STR roll to resist a fall (13-) before rolling on the "Defying the Arrows" table.
Jarst Daro - He is just going to run for it.
Samadrian Trick - Agrestis uses his DECEIVE THE SENSES spell to cover the fact that Myrrhyn casts BLESSING on himself just before starting his run, making it seem that Myrrhyn is just standing there.
The Gherent's Trick - there's not much it can do here so it simply sits by quietly.
The Wall of Death Prize:
The first prize for this event is a skilfully crafted target shield, which Sir Davis' herald will emblazon in the winner's colors or crest. The workmanship is such that it is light and easy to bear and adds +2 DCV despite its relatively small size.
The Shield Push
The Klinthe Armigers play their Samadrian equivalents in a furious Shield Push grudge match on the Parade Grounds before a large and partisan crowd. The Push holds fast for two or three nail-biting minutes, moving a few feet in either direction only a few times. Then, when the Samadrians have a small advantage, someone shouts "Now!" in Samadrian, and two of the largest Samadrians grab a smaller colleague and hurl him over the heads of the Klinthans. The ranks collapse, and a Klinthan (who seems not remotely fatigued by the Push) has his way cleared through the Samadrian team by his burly fellows. He sprints for his own team's helmet, but the Samadrian makes it over the line a moment or so ahead of his rival, and the Samadrian contingent raises a huge cheer.
The victorious Samadrians then challenge all. The Ostragyan, Krogar Wolfhelm, rushes around town, seeking to put up a team that can beat the Samadrians at their own game. Suitable Characters are approached, particularly if they have no love for the Easterners. A small crowd causes a commotion when Krogar approaches Sorghall and Solanthos to present the Ostragyan team. The two nobles decide on a further two contests, and toss a coin. It is agreed that the Ostragyans will push against the Klinthans in half an hour, and against the Samadrians a half hour after that match is concluded. So the Characters have half an hour to come up with some kind of tactics, because none of the other team members have a clue. The GM and the players can play out the Shield Push game. More than just a match, the game takes on political significance and offers the local armigers a chance to embarrass their rivals without fear of reprisal.
Klinthans vs. Ostragyan:
If the Klinthans gain five steps, or on the seventh round (unless they have lost seven or more steps in ground) one will shout 'Fall Back!'. The middlemen will collapse, and the men either side will push into the ranks of the suddenly advancing Ostragyans, effectively grappling and blocking (unless a Character can make a dodge against OCV 6 and break through). The Klinthan on each end will be free (unless a Character makes a successful grab, and impedes them) to run for the helmet. If the Characters act first, then the Klinthans react as best they are able.
Ostragyan vs. Samadrians:
The Samadrians know they must win, and win quickly before the Characters can act. When they have the advantage of four steps, a Samadrian will shout 'Grapple!', and they all drop shields and grab. That is except for one who is second from the end. He will quickly drop back and run wide. He has DCV8 with his shield to avoid any attack launched at him, and 8" of Running. The Character/NPC who is free closest to this end must avoid being grabbed before he can act. If the Samadrians win two victories, they and their followers loudly proclaim their superiority in all-night celebrations. Their taunts may goad bitter losers into fights. If the local team wins two victories or beats the Samadrians, the already boisterous crowd goes wild! If they beat the Klinthans but lose to the Samadrians the celebrations are more subdued, and it is seen as a minor bad omen. If they lose both contests, long faces predominate in Houndsgor that night.
During the evening's drunken celebrations, a Character may notice (PER roll at -3) Jarst slipping away with a young woman. Both appear to be very drunk (she is; he is only mildly so- just enough to risk another feed). On a night like this, such a scene is not uncommon, but in this case the couple are seen going into the fields. If the Character follows, and Jarst notices, he abandons the girl and slips away but appears for the next day's event. It could be suitably atmospheric if the Character was isolated from any friendly support, and forced to follow the suspected murderer alone into the night. The Gherent might of course also notice his new 'shadow' and react appropriately. If the Character does not follow, another mangled corpse - one that the Character can identify as the woman who accompanied the Gherent - is discovered in the morning. If a lone Character fights the Gherent, make sure that combat is suitably challenging against this horrible enemy. The Gherent will use all his resources to win out, and perhaps the Character will be saved by the last moment intervention of the female victim, clobbering the Gherent with a rock. The Gherent may still flee if he can. The Characters may go to the Magistrate, or the priests and priestesses, with their suspicions about the Gherent, but the fact that this person might have a special ability to hide their wrongdoing, will not will not even be seriously suspected unless hard evidence is provided or strong support comes from an independent notable. If the Gherent is identified, the priestesses reluctantly insist that the suspect be allowed to finish the contests. Removing him now could compromise the ritual. However, if he won, the downcast priestesses admit, the consequences for Houndsgor would be monstrous.
The brown-robed man is seen again by a random player, apparently intently watching several people in the crowd, while taking care to keep out of their line of sight. The men he is watching are members of the The Black Hand - who may have come to the players' attention earlier. Again, if he is approached or realises that the players are watching him, he will flee most adroitly.