Road Of Kings thru Kenzankian Mountains



I've got to run an adventure tomorrow night (Saturday) where the party takes the Road of Kings from the Eastern Desert (starting in Shahpur, Turan) over the Kezankian Mountains and into Zamora.

My main question is, is the road over the mountains passable by horses? How many abreast? What about chariots? Cart and oxen must be possible as it is a trade route.

What race/class/level should I use for Kezankian hillmen?
Anonymous said:
My main question is, is the road over the mountains passable by horses? How many abreast? What about chariots? Cart and oxen must be possible as it is a trade route.

What race/class/level should I use for Kezankian hillmen?

I would say it is likely to be passable by horses, camels, carts, chariots and so forth, although I doubt anyone would ride a chariot through there; they'd walk beside it. Shock absorbers hadn't been invented yet, you know.

Class for the hillmen would probably be barbarian. Race, probably an offshoot of Zamorian or some basic aboriginal race.
Do the hillmen wear any type of armor? What are their favored weapons? If they are Zamorian offshoots then they have a high Dex and should use bows or finesse weapons.
Hillmen would want a high dex so they can balance themselves on crags and cliffs and nail intruders with their bows and spears.

With all the trade routes passing through those mountains, as well as trade conducted with the Zamorians, one could argue their possession of virtually any weapon or armour, although I doubt they would wear heavy armour as that would interfere with their climb skill.

They probably would not be all that different from a Himelian hillman.
I have no idea. If it were me, I'd make one up, probably something akin to the grey apes in the region. Perhaps Hanuman would serve. I'd likely make up some horrible, slavering demon-god, though.
The Kezankian hillmen are possibly best represented by a Barbarian/Borderer multiclass using a Himelian tribesman as the racial template, except with the Zamorian racial stat modifiers added (-2 Strength, +2 Dex). I'd say Barbarian 1, then Barbarian 1/Borderer 1, then Barbarian 1/Borderer 2. Borderer in the reverse of the usual borderer pushing the edges of civilization forward---the Hillmen are trying to keep pushing civilization backward. Borderer gives them a nice boost in flavor and power: track, favored terrain and combat style. They can track in the books, are best on their home turf...

Considering how often Kezankian hillmen are used in the pastiches (and how many people will be playing campaigns set in between Zamora and Turan), I'm bugged that these guys aren't in the rulebook.

Vincent, thanks again for your help. Invaluable!
Considering how often Kezankian hillmen are used in the pastiches (and how many people will be playing campaigns set in between Zamora and Turan), I'm bugged that these guys aren't in the rulebook.

Pastiche is the magic word. The rulebook is suppose to be 99% pure REH.
I started my Players in the town of Arenjun, just after Conan has 'dealt' with the Sorceror Yara in The Tower of the Elephant (IE: the tower is now in ruins, as per The Law of Impermience ... I presume).

I was using the scenario 'The Slavers Caravan' that I got from one of the Hyborian sites. The Party were hired as escorts to Hamadras, a Slaver (But also Sorceror in my game - using the 'stock' as he pleases, trading to others of his ilk).

They soon tired of Hamadras, and decided to all gang up on him one evening. The fighters, lead by Shadriya of Cimmeria (Barbarian female they rescued) entered Hamadras's Caravan through the back door. Shadriya (unfortunately!) immediately locked gaze with the sorceror, and was almost lost to his Evil Eye (Entrance with Domination to follow).

Lord Yavid from Poitain pushed past her and made a herioc tumble (With a fate Point added in) across the floor, thrusting his poniard into the groin of the surprised Hamadras (Critical, and over the 20 points ...) ("Die Wizard!"). Hamadras had barely enough time to utter his dying curse, before his head was parted with his body.

The Players then had to decide what to do with a wagonload of female 'stock' - many of whom turned out to be of high class origin. They released most except for a Khitai Noble Lady named Lady Si'Lina, and decided to escort her back to her home city of Kusan ...

Anyhow - the Players were crossing the Kezankian Mountains, and had to go through them to get to the Steppes of Turan (Thence to Aghrapur). I eventually made some Turan Encounter tables, Kezankian Hill people and a nasty 'Special': The Bloodstained God (modified from the story).

Kezankian Hillmen

Hit Dice: 2d10+1 (Ave: 16hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 30 ft
DV Dodge: +4
DV: Parry +2
DR: 3 (Hairy padded coats)
Attack: Khezankian Longknife, +4 melee finesse(1d8+1/Cr.x2, AP:2), Hunting Bow +2 (Range Incr: 50'/ D=1d8/Cr. x2/ AP:1), or Heavy Warclub (D=2d6+1/Cr.x2/AP:4).
Full Attack: LongKnife +4/+4 or W/Club. (Many use 2 knives)
Special: Illiterate, +2 Circ. bonus to Hide, Listen, Move Silent, Survival and Spot while in their mountains/ hils; +2 to Will saves V's Fear.
Saves: Fort +3, Refl +5, Will +2
Abilities: STR 12, Dex 17, CON 13, INT 8, WIS 9, CHA 7
SKILLS: Jump +6, Hide +9, Listen +4, Move Silent/ Ambush +9, Spot +3, Survival +3, Tumble +8
FEATS: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Endurance, Fighting Madness, Two Weapon Combat(As Borderers), No Prisoners(Pg. 190, RoKs)

Numbers Encountered:
i) Hunting party (1-2 L) of 6-10, Plus Leader or Shaman (4-5th L)
ii) Raiding party of 20-30, plus War-Leader (Borderer/ Barbarian) or Shaman (6-8th L)
iii) Vilages of 50-100 including 2-3 War-Leaders, High Shaman and Cheif (8-12 L). The Shaman will have some Nature Magic and Summoning Spells and Sorcery Feats.

The Temple of the BloodStained God : Modified from the story ...

The God is located inside a mountain enclave, with a huge bronze door at the entrance. The door is trapped, and designed to fall flat, opened incorrectly (An obvious handle crank that must not be used!). Anyone failing a Reflex save within 30' of the door will be crushed ... (Fate Point to automatically leap free). The pathway to the entrance is located adjacent to a sheer fall into a ravine, with the other side overlooking the Temple.

The local Shaman probably worship Yog: Lord of Empty Abodes (Also worshipped in Zambuola and Dafar. Page 292, Conan RPG/ Religion).
Yog has dominion over Empty Places (Deserts, Caves, The Outer Dark).

Another theory is that the Idol is sacred to Dagon, the (Zembabwean) God of The Underworld, Fertility and Grain. Maybe the Shamen offer human sacrifices to the Bloodstained God to appease Him and ensure the survival of the local village for another year, I chose this deity, because it states He is worshipped in the form of a Gold Idol (Matching the description of Mr Bloody).

The Bloodstained God: The statue is squat, hollow 'enchanted' gold (Super hardened, and enchanted with myriad red rubies). It counts as a HUGE Animated Construct of DR: 8 (Enchanted Gold: If 'disenchanted somehow, it reverts to normal soft gold). See Page 69-70 Scrolls of Skellos. It is a Guardian also, and cannot leave the cave of the Temple or it 'de-animates'.
It is unarmed, but the fists count as two huge Warhammers (Or War-Mauls).

Huge Construct: 25' tall, 'squat, golden and bejewelled with rubies.

Hit Dice: 8D10 + 40 (Ave: 84pts)
Initiative: -1 (slow)
Speed 30' (cannot 'run', only hustle)
DV: 10 (+3 natural, -2 size)
DR: 8 (Enchanted Gold)
Base Attack (Grapple): +6/ +19
Reach: 15'
Attack: Slam+9 Melee (2d8 +7 damage)
Full Attack: Slam x2 as above
Special Abilities: Darkvision 60', low light vision, Blind in full Sunlight, Ingesting Sacrifice ('Eats' those Grappled!)* see notes *
Saves: Fort +2, Reflex -1, Will +0
Abilities: STR 20, Dex 8, Con-, Int-, Wis 1, Cha 1.
Environment: The Temple interior in the Kezankian Mountains.

* Notes * (This departs from the written story). The Idol NOW 'eats' those that are grappled sucessfully. This usually only happens to Sacrifices, but is metted out to Temple trespassers and violaters as well. The statue holds and eats a victim by using it's metallic teeth and crushing metal jaws. A victim will be thus bitten in half first, streaming blood down the fron of the idol (Bloodstained God). Shortly afterwards, a new blood red ruby will form on the outside of the idol, set into It's golden 'skin' (The ruby glows bright, fire red).
The victims death Provides all Socerors/ Shaman within the Temple one extra level of sorcerous ability (per victim) while reamining within the Temple, and lasts for 1 hour per ingested victim. Shaman of The Blood satined God gain power points as per the Ritual Sacrifice feat as well.

A character may save themselves by using a Fate Point to slip free or maybe jam a blade into the 'mouth' of the Idol. Roll a special D20 save Using the weapon's hardness as a guide. Under the hardness rating gives the charcter one more round to do something. Over - and the weapon breaks ...
The Bloodstained God could alternately be a lesser servitor of Al'kir - the god of lust, pain and death. I prefer Yog, since it matches the cannabalistic descriptions of it's worship.

Please add your own ideas, modifications or ideas.
Additional: The body of the 'ingested' sacrifice is consumed into Void of the Outer Dark, and is not recoverable ...

PS: GREY APES from the same region are horrible ! My Players fled for their lives when attacked by a moderate band of them.

I recall that Conan was nearly killed by one in single combat (Front cover of Conan : The Flame Knife?
Isn't there another kind of ape that's a lot less deadly and easier to kill?

LokiOne from Perth W.Australia