Episode 4 – Bad News Comes in Threes
After returning from the tree harvesting expedition, Polmak and the PCs report to mayor Aako-Hris-Am. He is skeptical and it takes an Opposed Roll of Intelligence + Influence / Persuasion verses Aako’s Willpower + Discipline / Mental Resistance to convince him. The Grik artifacts provide a two-step bonus to skill. If the PC’s succeed, Aako discretely contacts several of the most trustworthy fishermen he knows and send out four feluccas out on a scouting mission to see if additional evidence of the Grik menace can be found. If the PCs fail, Aako has enough faith in Polmak to send out two feluccas, if the PCs Botch based purely on his faith in Polmak, he sends out a single felucca. If the PCs should roll an Extraordinary Success, he sends out six feluccas.
It takes an AVERAGE (7) Intelligence + Perception roll to realize that the Macao Clipper can search a much larger area than any number of feluccas can cover. A HARD (11) Intelligence + Perception / Deduction or Tactics roll to figure out the optimal area to search. A success will locate a three ship Grik scouting party in three hours, while a failure will take twice as long, a Botch will take three times as long, but an Extraordinary Success will only take two hours. A HARD (11) Alertness + Perception / Sight roll spots one of the feluccas. Leading the felucca piloted by Selkan-Ghe-Al to where they can see the Grik takes a HARD (11) Ship’s Agility + Piloting roll.
On returning to Davao, the PCs find Aako has invited Sedje-Sar-Ak to hear what the scouts have found. Convincing the two will take a HARD (11) Willpower + Influence / Persuasion roll to get them to believe that the ancient enemy has returned. When Sedje grimly announces that he will verify this story for himself, the PCs agree to fly top cover as well as have marksmen aboard the great Home to provide additional heavy firepower.
The Tellana sails out to meet the Grik and run directly into them as they pursue Selkan directly towards Davao. The pilots of the Macao Clipper will have to make HARD (11) Ship’s Agility + Piloting rolls to hold the plane on a level course at a high enough attitude above the Grik to avoid ground fire. If the pilots fail their roll, the marksmen have a two-step penalty to their Guns skill. If the pilots roll a Botch, they accidentally drop so low that the Grik are able to shoot at them with crossbows. Each marksman is attacked as an individual and can only roll Innate Defense, but gain the +8 bonus for having the equivalent of Medium Cover. The Grik attack with d8 + d8 and the bows do d4W damage.
The PCs aboard the Tellana will have several opportunities to turn the tide of battle in addition to their direct fire support role. As the Grik longboats approach the Tellana, they will have ample chance to pick off Grik leaders. Spotting the more ornately garbed officers, is a FORMIDABLE (15) Alertness + Perception / Sight roll. Fortunately, the massive Home provides an extremely stable firing platform allowing for sniper shots without a penalty.
The Grik are second-rate hunters and will grapple with the Tellana just as quickly as is possible with the intent to board. Each ship carries 200 warriors and will send all 600 of them in a single massive attack. The Tellana has 400 Guards and 1,200 Reserves plus as many humans as wish to join the fight. The massive battle will be abstracted with most of the fight being described in a running narrative of wild clashes of melee weapons and twanging bows.
How the humans aboard ship are deployed vary wildly, but a HARD (11) Intelligence + Perception / Deduction or Tactics roll to place the automatic weapons as a base of fire for each 100 guard company Lemurian guards. The height advantage of the Tellana allows the Lemurians to inflict heavy casualties as the Grik, but the fire weapons of the Grik drive back the defenders enough to allow a force of seventy-five Grik to successfully board the Tellana and engage in the brutal close-quarters melee action that is normal for this world.
Each PC will have to roll a HARD (11) Intelligence + Perception / Deduction or Tactics test during the fight to reduce their exposure to the brutal fighting. A successful roll will means the Guards hold back the bulk of the Grik, but the human will have to fight one of the warriors on their own. If the PC Fails this roll it results in the Guards being driven back and the human having to fight two Grik warriors. If the PC Botches this roll, the Guards defenses are broken and the human will face three of the Grik.
How long the brutal fight lasts will depend on each Guard company succeeding in a HARD (55) Complex Action of Intelligence + Perception / Deduction or Tactics with each roll representing ten minutes. If the company fails to make this roll within an hour an a half, the will be defeated by the Grik with 50% casualties. If the company succeeds, the Grik are driven into the sea with the Lemurians suffering 6 + 2d6% casualties. If the humans try to assist in this task, they will have to gain the trust of the guard captain with a FORMIDABLE (15) Intelligence + Linguistics roll to properly communicate the complicated tactics correctly and it will take a second skill test of a HARD (11) Willpower + Influence roll to get the captain to follow their orders. Each guard captain has Intelligence d6 + Perception d6 / Tactics d8.
Once the Grik have been defeated, Sedje limps the damaged Tellana to Davao. The bodies and artifacts from the Grik ship provides the evidence the humans need to prove that the Grik have returned and are on the hunt.