Dr. Skull's Conan Cult Campaign : Session 9 Back to Dr. Skull's Conan Cult Campaign

Session/Game: Conan #9         Date: 7/11/04

Episode 9, "Oh, the Humanity!"
Campaign Date: Year of the Falcon, Ducet 5 - 30
GM: Dave Nelson
Templar Grimjob, Shemite, Soldier/Scholar, level 4/1 (Andrew Smith)
Grodd, Cimmerian, Barbarian, level 4 (Bob LaForge)
Vegeta, Southern Islander, Barbarian, level 5 (Marlon Kirton)

NPC’s who would have been very useful and tipped the balance of many encounters if even one had been taken along, but were all killed by the PC’s instead:
Wid, Pictish Barbarian, level 4
Rolando of Shamar, Aquilonian, Soldier, level 4
Mefesto the Mysterious, Shemite, Scholar, level 4

Grimjob, Grodd and Vegeta flee from Nemedia southward. Taking stock of things, they decide to help Vegeta free himself from the curse of the Spider God, which has been plaguing him for quite some time. They find themselves in a dusty town in Khoraja, talking things over in a tavern.

Day 1—Khoraja
Grimjob is approached by a chicken-salesman in the tavern. When the salesman mentions that this particular chicken is so white that even the red bits are white, it catches the notice of a cripple soothsayer sitting nearby. The soothsayer says that this must be a Sacred Chicken of Mitra. Grimjob and the soothsayer bid for the chicken, but Grimjob wins and pays 10sp for it. After a friendly talk, a few coins and a few drinks, the soothsayer explains that if the chicken’s liver is burned with frankincense and the vapors breathed in, it will grant a prophetic vision. Grimjob, Grodd and Vegeta then quickly visit Frank’s House of frankincense and head off to a mountain campsite. They sacrifice the chicken and inhale the fumes as instructed. They do all indeed receive a vision telling them that the Spider God will be appeased if Vegeta returns a lost Spider Gem to the priests in Zamora. The gem is in the hands of a renegade Stygian cult in the Mountains of Fire.

Day 2—Khoraja
Back in the tavern, Grimjob, Vegeta and Grodd discuss plans to cross the desert and search out the cult in the Mountains of Fire. They are overheard by a Shemite scholar named Mefesto who mentions that he and his comrades Wid and Rolando are also seeking to fight this cult of Stygians. Mefesto and Grimjob begin to talk. Unfortunately so does the Pict Wid and Grodd the Cimmerian. Soon Wid and Grodd come to blows, joined by Rolando and Vegeta. Grodd kills Wid, and Vegeta kills Rolando, as Grimjob wrestles and subdues Mefesto, to prevent him bewitching anyone. Mefesto refuses to help the men who just killed his friends, so they kill him too. An angry mob soon appears, but Grodd throws Wid’s head at them and they are scared off by his bloody tirade. All three adventurers ride off quickly to a small village on the Khorajan border.

Day 3—Khorjan Border
The party rests at a small village on the Khorajan border. Grodd intimidates the local healer to sell a healer’s kit to Grimjob at a discount.

Day 4—Day 6 Shem Desert
Grimjob, Vegeta and Grodd ride across the narrow stretch of desert between Khoraja and the Mountains of Fire.

Day 7—Near Mountains of Fire
While approaching the Mountains of Fire, they spot two oases in the distance. Since they are low on food and water, they ride towards one of them, only to encounter a party of Turanian soldiers. The soldiers allow them to water-up but order them to ride off toward the north, since the Stygian border is closed. Grodd has other plans and charges them on his horse. He kills two archers and scares off a third. But, he is soon surrounded by 4 soldiers wielding 2-handed tulwars, who hack him down, and he falls to the earth, his armor crashing about him (only the whims of fate make none of the wounds mortal). Having an extra barbarian or swordsman present might have prevented this, but we shall never know. Grimjob and Vegeta turn the tide and kill all 5 of the Turanian swordsman. The last archer, scared by Grodd, manages to ride off with all the Turanians’ horses.

Day 8—Oasis 1
The party rests under the care of Grimjob.

Day 9—Oasis 2
The adventurers decide to investigate the second oasis, riding all day to get there, and entering during the dark of night. They think that the oasis is deserted, but once they relax a horde of 8 small lizard-men and 4 large lizard-men leap up out of the sand in ambush. They inflict some wounds on our heroes, but the three warriors flee in terror from these obscene mockeries of nature. They ride toward the mountains in the dark of night, and find a safe set of hillocks about midnight and collapse there exhausted.

Day 10—Desert Hills
They rest for the day.

Day 11—Mountains of Fire
They travel to the Mountains of Fire and skirt the western edge. Discovering an entry pass near nightfall. They spot a set of watch fires and discover a group of 10 Stygians at a makeshift rampart in the pass. Grodd leads the charge, flanking the rampart, with Vegeta behind him and Grimjob providing archery support. They are soon set upon by some well-armed axe-men and spearmen. One of the Stygian spearmen shoves his war spear into Vegeta’s bowels and he falls to the earth, his armor crashing about him (only the whims of Fate prevent this from being a mortal wound). Perhaps if there had been a Pictish barbarian or Aquilonian swordsman in the heroes’ battle-line, this might have been avoided, but we shall never know. Grodd then burst through their line and slays the Stygian leader, a sorcerer titled “The Banner of the Serpent” who had just failed to bewitch Grimjob. When the sorcerer dies, the Stygians break and flee. The warriors gather up Vegeta, plunder the Stygian camp for food and water and hide on a mountainside along the pass.

Day 12—Mountain Pass
They rest in the pass.

Day 13—Mountains of Fire
The party explores the passes and valleys. They decide not to enter a box canyon, into which are lizard-man tracks. During the night the camp is attacked by a huge Son of Set serpent, which nearly crushes Grodd to death, because Grimjob couldn’t hit the thing at all, ever. If there had been an extra barbarian or soldier present, Grodd would likely have suffered far less serious injuries.

Day 14—Mountains of Fire
The party rests in a mountain cave.

Day 15—Mountains of Fire
The party explores mountain valleys and discovers a smoking volcano.

Day 16—Mountains of Fire
The party explores mountains. At night their camp is attacked by 3 Stygian spearmen and 3 Stygian archers. They kill all three spearmen and one of the archers, the other two are driven off. This is not before one of the spearman again stabs deep into Vegeta’s bowels and he falls to the earth, his armor crashing about him (only the whims of Fate prevent this from being a mortal wound). If there had been a Pictish barbarian or Aquilonian swordsman in the heroes’ battle-line, it would have been almost certain that Vegeta would not have suffered this wound again.

Day 17-18—Mountains of Fire
The party rests. If they had had a better skilled healer, say a full-time Shemite Scholar, they might have shaved a day off here.

Day 19—Serpent Gulch
They at last find the cult’s headquarters in the mountains. In the first rush, Grimjob is blinded by the Stygian leader (the so-called Pharaoh of the Serpent) using tomb-dust. Grimjob, Grodd and Grodd’s horse manage to kill the Pharaoh in short order, however. Grodd, Grimjob and Vegeta suffer some painful wounds from flasks of Kothic demon-fire hurled by the second sorcerer (the Prince of the Serpent) and three expert Stygian slingers. Vegeta and Grimjob do battle with the 3 slingers and 2 archers while Grodd tries to kill the Prince. The Prince’s foul witchcraft lays Grodd low, however, but use of the “Dreaded Serpent” spell. Vegeta then rushes the Prince and wounds him greatly, causing him to unleash a defensive blast, putting Vegeta down too. By this time the Prince is helpless, out of power and alchemy. Only one archer remains alive to support him. Grimjob, still effectively blinded attempts to kill the archer, but himself is shot from his horse. If they had but one man more on their side, perhaps even a lowly Pictish barbarian, it is a positive certainty they would have killed the spent Price and the wounded archer.

Day 20—Mountains of Fire
As Fate would have it, the three warriors were not dead after all. The remaining weakened Stygians were soon attacked and killed by a Lizard-man hunting party. Our heroes awake in a lizard-man food-storage pit. Grimjob manages to break his bonds and free his comrades. They all escape into the mountains with nothing but their loincloths and a club.

Day 21—Mountains of Fire
They rest in a cave, eating raw rats.

Day 22—Serpent Gulch
They manage to sneak back to Serpent Gulch and retrieve the Spider Gem from the crown of the Pharaoh. They then rush out of the mountains to the first oasis to gather food and water.

Day 23-25—Shem Desert
Grimjob, Vegeta and Grodd travel across the desert to arrive at the secret desert hiding place of the new Oracle of Shushan, which is also Grimjob’s home.

Vegeta wanders up into Zamora and returns the Spider Gem to the Priests of the Spider God. The god is mollified about Vegeta’s former blasphemy in Stencovar and the curse is lifted.