The Dark Horse Conan Sourcebook

Dion Pirenus’s Villa

Long before the unification of Aquilonia the various provinces of that nation were smaller warring nation fighting with each other for mastery. In those times Poitain was among the greatest of those countries, having the most fertile land, borders defended by nearly impassable mountain ranges in west and south, doughty and fierce knights. It was the last to be incorporated into the larger Aquilonian empire and was a matter or statecraft, not war. Its absorption was rather recent in terms of that nations history. Some Poitainains still believe that Poitain should have remained a separate kingdom and await an opportunity to divide from Aquilonia safely.

In those troubled times before unification, the Poitainains warred also with the Zingaran. At that time the Zingaran forces occupied land far west of their current borders into land now occupied by the Poitainains. After cementing their alliance with the Aquilonian empire Poitain turned its full attention to the Zingarans and drove them back beyond the Alimane river. The land was resettled by Poitain lords and became part of the larger nation.

In the process of this shifting of borders a number of fortifications of both Poitainain and Zingarain make that once occupied strategic points along the former front were now within the nation’s borders. These structures were no longer important to Poitainains and were abandoned to the decline of the ages. Generation later a shrewd merchant named Dion Pirenus purchased one of the fortifications of Zingaran make from a rather impoverished noble family. Though Dion has several houses within the important cities of Poitain, his dealings with rather powerful individuals- the most dangerous being the sorceress known as the Bone Woman- made the possession of a defensible structure a wise investment.

Dion had the structure refurbished and redesigned it with an eye to the aesthetic. Thought still defensible it lacked the dour lines and forbidding air that many fortifications possess. He also has the fortification manned with a number of sentries to keep out undesired visitors. The villa however could hold over ten times the men Dion could afford to hire and could not withstand a true siege or assault in it’s current state. Its walls are seemingly sheer to eyes of men such as Dion but are filled with cracks and seams that could utilized easily by a skilled climber. The villa contains several towers and domes that are lightly furnished with some of Dion’s prized works of art and oddities acquired in his life.

After failing the Bone Woman, Dion retreated to his with as many men as he could hire to protect himself from the coming of her assassin Janissa the Widowmaker. The villa was no deterrent to a person as skilled as Janissa. Dion Pirenus’s life was measured only in the time it took Janissa to reach his villa.

Adventure Hook: Hearing of the death of Dion Pirenus and his men, a party of PCs may be tempted to raid the villa for the treasures of Dion ere his heirs arrive to take claim of the villa themselves. Though Janissa slew all the men within the walls of the villa what else might have also arrived? Ghouls are know to stalk the wilds in that region and other more foul things may be attracted to the smell of carrion. Rival thieves might also have had the same idea. The heirs might show up as well, with forces of their own to secure the villa for themselves. A bandit chief might fancy to turn it into his base of operations. Dion and his men spirits might not rest so easily and haunt the halls of the villa n undying bodies or spirit. One or more of his objects d’art may be a sorcerous and/or cursed. The Bone Woman, eager to display her own powers might have left a curse to linger at the villa and its future inhabitants.
Here's another one that'll likely been anticipated.....

”You are a man of destiny, Cimmerian. For good or ill, it is within you to shake the world. But other there are who also walk with heavy tread, and cast broad and lengthy shadows. Your path and that of another draw close. It will prove interesting to see what comes, should these paths cross. Yes, interesting indeed…”

-The Bone Woman, Conan #8

The Bone Woman

Female Aboriginal (1) Level 4 Hermit/Level 16 Scholar [Level 2 Barbarian/Level 18 Scholar]
Hit Dice: 2d10 + 8d6 + 30 [78 Hit Points]
Initiative: +11 [+8 Reflex; +3 Dexterity]
Movement: 30 Feet
Defense Value: Dodge 20; Parry 18
Damage Reduction: None
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+17
Attack: Staff of knowledge +19 melee finesse [2d4+3; x2 critical; AP 3; Reach]
Full Attack: Staff of knowledge +19/+14/+9 melee finesse [2d4+3; x2 critical; AP 3; Reach]
Special Attacks: Versatility
Special Qualities: Arcane Sustenance; Fearless; Increased Maximum Power Points [quadruple]; Knowledge is Power; Scholar Background [Independent]
Saves: Fort +11; Ref +11; Will + 22 (2)
Abilities: Str 14; Dex 16; Con 15; Int 25; Wis 22; Cha 22
Skills: Bluff +15 (3); Craft [alchemy]+29 (4); Craft [herbalism] +33 (4)(5); Craft [weaponsmith] +31 (4); Diplomacy +15; (3)(5); Hide +12 (6); Heal +20 (5)(7); Intimidate +19 (3); Knowledge [arcane] +27; Knowledge [geography] +18; Knowledge [history] +18; Knowledge [nature] +18; Knowledge [nobility] +18; Listen + 14; Move Silently +12 (6); Sense Motive +22; Spot +14; Survival +20 (5)(6)(7)
Feats: Craft Magic Item; Craft Major Magic Item; Craftswoman; Diviner [see upcoming post on New Feats]; Iron Will; No Honour; Permanent Sorcery, Ritual Sacrifice; Self Sufficient, Tortured Sacrifice, Track

Reputation: Talented [Zingara, Hyrkania, possibly others- 26]
Code of Honour: No Honour
Alligance: None
Corruption: 8
Insanities: Sadism [major] [see upcoming post about New Insanities]

Base Magical Attack Bonus: +15 [+9 natural; +6 Cxharisma]; +17 with spells of the Divination style of Sorcery
Base Power Points: 15 [9 natural; +5 Wis]
Maximum Power Points: 60
Sorcery Styles Known: Cosmic Sorcery; Curses; Divination; Immortality; Necromancy; Summoning
Spells Known: Agonizing doom; astrological prediction; bone melding [see upcoming post on New Magic]; curse of Yizil; death touch; dream of wisdom; dream projection [see upcoming post on New Magic]; eternal youth; eyes of the dead; gelid bones; greater sorcerous news; lesser ill-fortune; life drain; master-words and signs; projection; psychmetery; raise corpse; sorcerous news; summon demon; summon essence; the stars are right; the time is right; visions; visions of torment and enlightenment; witch’s vigour

Equipment: Staff of knowledge; Robe; at least one of a set of crystal ball of speech and vision, ten doses of powdered Yellow Lotus Mash. Due to her skill and great age, the Bone Woman likely has created or has access to a large variety of herbal, alchemical and enchanted items that she can draw upon as needed.

(1) See upcoming post on New Races
(2) Includes Iron Will and No Honour Feats. Due to the No Honour Feat and her own Corruption the Bone Woman has only a +11 saving throw against Corruption. The Bone Woman has a +2 morale bonus to all Fear and Terror checks due to her Fearless special ability
(3) Includes effects of Corruption
(4) Include Craftswoman Feat
(5) Includes synergy bonus
(6) As an Aboriginal the Bone Woman has +2 racial bonus to all skill checks with this skill in Hill Terrain
(7) Includes Self-Sufficient Feat

[The above is an estimate of the Bone Woman abilities, powers and resources from the scant knowledge of her. It may undergo revision if future chronicles reveal more of her nature]

Not much is known about the mysterious individual known as the Bone Woman though legends about her abound. Those few who have seen her projection, or even more rarely her living form, describe her as an ancient and withered crone with thin wispy hair and lean, almost emaciated brown skinned body. Her eyes appear clouded by cataracts and she leans heavily on her gnarled staff. Few that are wise would think her powerless though.

The truth is that the Bone Woman is the last surviving member of the ancient Aboriginal races that preceded the Hyborian Age humans. Achieving the means of immortality through her art, the Bone Woman has survived these long millennia on the edges of human civilization, watching and brooding over the fates of men and other things. Of all the living sorcerers in the world, she is one that is most gifted in the art of Divination. She sifts through the fates of men and nations with her greater sorcerous news spell looking for individuals and events of great potential, seeking to bend their fates to her own goals. What these goals are and why she does this is unknown. She has grown so old that money, status, wealth or the other physical trappings of the world have no further meaning to her. She could likely buy kingdoms or command kings as puppets if she put her mind to it. Perhaps this game of hers is the way she prevents her mind from succumbing to the long ennui of the ages.

The Bone Woman likes her privacy though. Though many of heard of her, she knows if someone is seeking her well in advance and can take steps to remain hidden if she desires to. Those seeking to find information about her magically learn that she has used greater sorcerous news to eliminate all traces of her past and movements. If a person does stumble upon her it is because she wishes them to find her.

From time to time the Bone Woman takes a champion. Her usual method is to take a malleable youth of high potential and mold them with brutal means into a ruthless killer. She is never so course as to kidnap them or force them in her service but to let them find her and agree to her methods of their own free will. Her methods are severe- Janissa’s ‘training’ was a typical example. She is careful not to kill these potential champions out of hand- most injuries suffered will be not be life threatening but greatly painful and humiliating and the Bone Woman’s skill with healing is great enough to prevent them from dying unless she desires them to. A few of her potential champions commit suicide rather than submit to her will. Those champions that do survive typical wield the magical weapons that bear her name in her service.

On other occasions when a person of great potential but far too willful to break arises from the common lots of men, the Bone Woman seeks to suborn them to their will by offering them ‘advice’ and giving ‘favours’. Then she will begin to ask favours from these people and slowly but surely draw them into her web of manipulation until there are little but her puppets. Her current interest is the career of the young barbarian Conan. Sensing that the priest Kalanthes might need more assistance than Janissa could provide in his opposition to Thoth-Amon, she manipulated events so that Conan was hired by Kalathes as an additional bodyguard. This proved to be true. Without Conan’s assistance Kalathes would most likely been slain by Thoth-Amon and Thoth-Amon would have gained the mystical weapon known as Eye of Tik-Pulonga- making the Stygian far more powerful than the Bone Woman felt was safe. The Bone Woman predicted that Kalathes would succeed in destroying the gem but that Conan would be slain in the conflict between the two. That Conan survived surprised her greatly and spoke to the great potential he possessed. In a dream projection the Bone Woman tempted Conan with providing him her support and protection. Conan refused her and she departed relatively peacefully. She is likely not done with the Cimmerian giant and it is a good bet that she and her champion will cross paths with him again.

Roleplaying Notes: The Bone Woman makes an excellent ally, enemy or even interested neutral in any campaign. Most adventuring parties will be doing something of interest to her and she’ll gladly help, hinder or manipulate them as the circumstances call for. This will also likely mean that her current champion Janissa will be watching them from the shadows……
I must say, Im impressed with all the work youve done on this thread.

I havent fully perused the thread, so I have a question. Are the spells and such done in the RAW style. or your own, homebrew sorcery rules?
They are in the original Mongoose Sorcery system. My homebrew isn't yet a coherent or commonly known system so it seems unfair to ask every reader to be familiar with it to understand these poses. I'll likely convert the new spells here to "Raven's Rules" versions, but that'll likely come up in version 1.2. In the meantime, I didn't want to force people to have to wait until I got 1.2 done to be able to use information from this thread.....

Oh, and thank you for the compliment.
In that case I'll post the new Feat, spells, race etc. mentione din their description now rather than at the end of Volume Two as I was planning to so you can use their full potential.

Scorpion- do you want the collectd Volume One sent to you via e-mail?
Take your time. My campaign will probably not start until June/July timeframe. But I appreciate it and look forward to it. Thanks again.

New Race


Mankind has had many branches of evolution, but not all have blossomed so readily as the Hyborians and their ilk. There are many previous examples of men both extinct and extant. Of these are the earlier races known collectively as the aboriginal tribes. The aboriginals came from many different terrains and had widely differing characteristics in skin color, hair and eyes. They were on average slightly smaller and leaner than the more modern races of man. The retained a hunter gather lifestyle, preferring to remain in harmony with the land and as a rule never develop agriculture or the more advanced forms of civilization that come with it. Later races of men pushed the aboriginals from their lands and into the more desolate corners of the earth. Although most people assume the aboriginals are extinct if they know of them at all a few tribes still exist in small pockets of isolated communities that maintain little to no contact with the rest of the human race. The Bone Woman however is the last remaining member of her tribe who has kept herself alive by dark magic for centuries. It should be noted that there are several aboriginal tribes alive today, the most notable being the few tribes still alive in the deserts of Australia.

Culture: Aboriginals retain a Stone Age hunter gather society for the most part. Every able man of the tribe capable of holding a spear is a hunter and ever woman capable of pulling a plant out of the soil is a gatherer. Each day those members of the tribe that do not raise children or guard their home leave to collect as much food as they can. Marriages are usually arranged though occasional love match can occur. Unlike the Picts Aboriginals are not war-like for the most part, preferring to avoid contact with others than fight pitched battles. Hunters are expected to defend the tribe, but offensive raids and attacks on rival tribes are almost unheard of. An aboriginal society usually has an informal informal ruling council including several chiefs and in most cases a shaman.

Names: There are no recorded instances of aboriginal names in the Hyborian world. The Bone Woman’s nickname was given to her by those who have heard of her unique bone melding spell.

Religion: Aboriginals are animists, worshipping the spirits within nature itself and the ancestor sprits of their tribe. A shaman acts as the emissary to these spirits on behalf of the tribe, speaking with the spirits and appeasing them on behalf of the tribe so that might not grow angry and withdraw their favour. This almost never involves human sacrifice or the darker aspects of sorcery. The Bone Woman is an rather prominent exception to this tendency. Ceremonies usually involve fasting, dancing and singing and usually community events. Few aboriginals have any contact with Outsiders, considering them unclean. A shaman found to be consorting with these beings will be killed if possible, fled from if not. It is unlikely the Bone Woman enjoyed a good relationship with her former tribe.

Racial Features: All of the following are racial features of the aboriginals.

- -2 Intelligence; +2 Constitution. Aboriginals lack a literate culture and are poor at book learning. The harsh environments they dwell in tend to harden their bodies early in life.

-Illiterate. Aboriginals lack a written language. They start the game without the ability to read and write but may pay 2 skill points and gain the resources to learn that skill in order to get it at later date.

-Native Terrain. Aboriginals are masters of living in harmony their native environment, capable of vanishing into the underbrush or living off the land indefinitely. Upon character creation, a native terrain must be chosen for the character from the following list to represent the terrain their tribe lives on: Forest, Hills, Mountains, Plains or Swamp. In this environment this aboriginal has a +2 racial bonus to all Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot and Survival skill checks.

Background Skills: Hide; Move Silently; Spot; Survival

Favoured Class: Barbarian

Prohibited Classes: Noble, Pirate

Automatic Language: Tribal Dialect- each tribe possesses their own unique tongue. There is no ‘common’ aboriginal tongue.

Bonus Languages: Other local barbarian tribal dialects, the languages of the neighboring civilized, countries about them.
New Feat

Requirements: Divination Sorcery style; Base Magical Attack Bonus of +1 or higher

The mysteries and illusions of Space, Time and Fate are easily understood by the character. They receive a +2 competence bonus to their Magic Attack roll for all spells from the Divination style of Sorcery.
New Weapon

Exotic One Handed Melee Weapon
Cost: 150 silver luna
Damage: 1d10
Critical: 18-20/x2
Armor Piercing: 2
Hardness: 6
Hit Points: 8
Weight: 2 lbs.
Type: Slashing
Finesse: Yes

A nearly unique weapon a moonblade is not a product of any known culture. Likely it a design of a earlier culture that the Bone Woman pirated or perhaps it a product of her own extinct people. A moonblade combines the properties of an Arming Sword and a Scimitar to create a weapon well suited to killing but with several flaws. The blade rises out the hilt straight for a foot and a half and then curves in a crescent shape for three feet and ends in a narrow point. While this provides a unique leverage that gives the weapon an excellent damage potential it requires a good deal of practice to use properly. The thin blade and abrupt curvature of the blade also make it significantly weaker that a traditionally forged blade.

The only known example of moonblades are the Bone Woman’s blades.
New Magical Weapons

The Bone Woman’s Blades
Cost: In valuable
Damage: 1d10
Critical: 18-20/x2
Armor Piercing: 8
Hardness: 19
Hit Point: 36
Weight: 1 lb.
Type: Slashing
Finesse: Yes

Enchanted: The Bone Woman’s blades are enchanted and inflict damage on creature normally immune to physical damage such as those that are only harmed by fire and silver, out of phase, immaterial etc.

Preservation: The Bone Woman’s blades do not rust, tarnish or age in any way.

The only known examples of moonblades known to exist, the Bone Woman’s blades are typically the property of her current champion. As of Conan’s sixteenth year of life this is Janissa the Widowmaker. The blades are made of a metal with a coppery golden sheen that is far harder that conventional steel, even Akibitan steel itself thus compensating for the fragile design of the moonblade. The weapons are plain and utilitarian, hilted in gray bone and unadorned. They are among the most prized possession of the Bone Woman- should someone defeat her champion the Bone Woman will not cease hunting them until she recover her property. On more than one occasion she took the new bearer of the blades as her new champion- whether said individuals wishes to or not.
New Spell

Bone Melding [Advanced Spell of the Necromancy style of Sorcery]
Power point Cost: 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: Eight hours
Range: Touch
Subject: Self or one other creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Prerequisites: raise corpse Base Magic Attack Bonus of +6 or greater
Skill Check: Heal DC 20

Bone melding is a rather morbid method of healing used by necromancers in the Hyborian Age. The material component is a bone of a eleventh level or greater character which is strapped over the same bone of the spell’s target and left against the skin for the spell’s casting time. If the caster’s skill check is passed, the bone gradually dissolves into the person, transmitting the portion of the life energy of the bone’s original owner into the target. This has the effect of restoring all hit points and Attribute damage lost by the target. The effect is rather unsettling though to those unaccustomed to this sort of thing. Many choose to sleep through the entire process.
New Spell

Dream Projection [Advanced Spell of the Divination style of Sorcery]

Power Point Cost: 2 per minute or 4 per minute
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Distant [1000 miles plus 100 miles per level of Scholar the caster possesses]
Effect: One dram image of the sorcerer
Saving Throw: Special [see below]
Prerequisites: Astrological prediction; dream of wisdom; visions; ten ranks of Knowledge [arcaca]
Skill Check: Knowledge [arcane] DC 10 +1 per 100 miles distant the target is beyond the first 100 miles.

Dream projection is a spell designed to allow a projection of the sorcerer’s own psyche to invade the dreams of another. For this spell to work, both the target of this spell and the sorcerer casting it must either be asleep or meditating. Like projection this image can take two forms. For a cost of two Power Points per minute the sorcerer can appear as a duplicate of their own self within the target’s dreams. At a cost of four Power Points per minute and if they possess at least 3 points of Corruption can take the form of a black visage of shadow with multiple demonic visages peering from within it. If the latter image is used, the target must make a Corruption save for every full five minutes the image remains in their dreams. To the sorcerer’s eye the target appears in their dreams as a image of their waking self.

In either case the sorcerer may interact with the dreamer by talking with them, but cannot use any spell upon or engage with a War of Souls with the target. If the target wishes to prematurely end the spell’s effect, they may make Will save opposed by the caster’s magic Attack Roll to ‘push’ the caster’s image out of their mind once per round. The caster can of course end the spell anytime they wish. If the target of this spell is protected by a warding of any sort, the caster must penetrate it as usual for the spell to take effect.
Raven, if you ever get the Dark Horse Sourcebook collected as a pdf., please let me know. I'm really enjoying it-especially the bits about Janissa and the Bone Woman.
Hmmm....I'd have to learn Adobe first but perhaps I will when all is said and done. I do however collect each Volume as a Word Document that I send out to my Blackwell Press mailing list. Volume One is collected already- if you don't have it yet send me an e-mail address to send it too via pm and I will send it to you.
I made a word document with copy-and-paste jobs from this thread. Great work Raven. I can't wait for the next round!

Thank you all. Just to warn you though- if the weather stays good sitting in front of the computer is going to look less and less attractive so the pace of posts may decline over the next few months. Just be prepared that's all I am saying. Once late Fall swings around again I am sure I will catch up.

Those dumping bad weather spells on me in order to get more work out of me will be dealt with harshly.....