The Story So Far....


I've seen several other groups post their adventures in this forum, and thought it was a great idea. I wanted to do so a long time ago, but wasn't able to, so I typed up their adventures into a pdf, but our players wondered what others may have thought of their evil, comic and sometimes scary adventures, so instead of just typing what happened last time, I thought I'd put in the whole summary. Our players have changed, and characters played by core players have changed, so I'll list them in bold at the beginning of each post. PC names are in red. I'll put each adventure in a different post.

The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar)
· Arcavius (male Aquilonian Thief)
· Rinaldo Maximus (male Aquilonian Soldier)
· Nazir al’Habal (Hyrkanian Nomad)

In the first adventure, Arcavius, recently separated from the pirates on the west coast, traveled into Shem. Along his travels he came across a tribe of Meadow Shemites and cautiously snuck into what he believed to be a more promising tent to loot it. Within he met Yaelît, the chief’s daughter, a girl of 16 who took a liking to him. He spent the night with her and left the next morning in secret. Erstwhile, Akriphon was awoken nights before in his temple in Stygia to the ring of steel on steel in the courtyard below, and was commanded by Sadelek, the Commander of the Guard, to ready himself and flee. He did so with such acolytes as were roused and with Tretankmun, their leader priest of this stem of the Black Ring society, attacked by the High Order of Stygia for sedition. Akriphon and some other acolytes sped into the night. Many days’ travel later they were in Shem traveling north towards Zamora, when they were beset by a party of Shemites led by the chieftain Abamidab. Great was the slaughter, but Akriphon escaped. Fleeing westward, he stumbled into a shallow gorge wherein were camped Rinaldo Maximus, an exiled Aquilonian soldier in the company of the Shemite Gezal (nomad 1, hp 12). Arcavius himself was fleeing the vengeful father Abamidab and several horsemen who had discovered the ravishing of the chieftan’s daughter and had pursued the reprobate’s trail. The four miscast adventurers rallied in the gorge as the chieftain, his brute Gurambash, Maazenabi and 5 others assaulted them, but were repulsed. Also joining them by chance came a Hyrkanian bowman, Nazir al’Habal.

After the fight, they recollected their journeys, upon which Akriphon deduced from Arcavius’ recollections that his surviving brethren may have been held hostage in the Shemite camp Arcavius stayed in earlier. The group decided to infiltrate the camp and see what lay in the black Stygian tent. Gezal, too wounded from the fight, remained by a stream in a lightly wooded area nearby. They approached the tribe’s camp. Arcavius returned to the chieftain’s tent and made ado again with Yaelît while the others snuck round to the black tent. The girl told Arcavius that a despicable Shemite named Habal (no relation to the Hyrkanian nomad) was intermediating between her tribe and a mysterious stranger. Arcavius rejoined the group and they snuck into the black tent. A musky scent lingered within the tent, drugging the intruders, who saw several bodies reclining in deep slumber. Overcoming the lotus powder, they retrieved the still slumbering Tretankmun and the acolytes Enéhan, Kuman, and Tsetalamun, all of whom were drugged and as such remained unconscious for the next week’s time. As they returned to their campsite, they found Gurambash torturing Gebal, trying to locate the PCs. They snuck up on the Shemites and ambushed them with flights of arrows and swords swinging. Gurambash was slain with the other Shemites, and Arcavius and Rinaldo rode after the fleeing chief Abamidab. Rinaldo’s sword and Arcavius’ shouted challenge forced him to surrender, whereupon he surrendered his sword, which proved to be of Akbitaanan make. Arcavius returned the chieftain to his camp, and the grateful chief offered his leadership and the hand of his daughter to the boy, but Arcavius swore not until he’d earn it. Nevertheless, he made love to the girl some more before leaving.

Here the adventurers parted company. Arcavius remained with Akriphon until his comrades awakened several days later. The scholars engaged in sorcerous divination, and learned that their assailant who engaged Habal is none other than Xopalun, a Stygian priest of Set and Tretankmun’s enemy who led the order to destroy their compound and exile them. Tretankmun bade Akriphon and Kuman go to Arenjun in Zamora and speak with the high priest of Yaz, whereupon they traveled to Arenjun with Arcavius. They found the city ancient and evil. Having made their way to the Temple of Yaz, they spoke with the High Priest, but his order was cryptic to say the least. The Stygian scholars were invited to stay within the temple until they were ready to return. Bewildered, Akriphon tried to speak with Kuman, but the other acolyte was weary from the travel and ordeal and took rest, so Akriphon sought Arcavius or at least diversion visiting other temples.
Please note: this adventure is adapted from the Mongoose pdf adventure The Black Stones of Kovag Re, and contains SPOILERS!!

The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar 2)
· "Tiberius" (aka Arcavius) (male Aquilonian Thief 2)

The Black Stones of Kovag Re. Tiberius (for such was an alias Arcavius had invented) awoke roughly, splashed with water by soldiers seeking to take him. He denied them their fun, however, but was eventually brought to the palace of Oleksa the Stout, and Akriphon was brought in soon after. Tiberius had been gambling and drinking the night before, but Akriphon it seems had been drugged. Oleksa bade them locate his missing bride, for the city leader could not afford it to become known that she had gone missing on their wedding night, and the adventurers are forced to consent. They searched her chambers upstairs and Tiberius found signs that she was not forcibly removed but a man left with her after Oleksa had been bashed over the head by a candlestick. The oily servant Lubomyr angered Tiberius with his evasive inquiries. Further investigations in the city discovered that a man had left in the night on horseback with a woman and headed towards the nearby mountains to the east. The adventurers traveled thither, beset with traps along the way and discovering that the bandits were entrenched veterans. Taking a difficult pass along the mountains they came upon a camp hidden within a narrow vale, but before they could approach shots ran down upon them, as well as the soldiers within the camp, for they had been tracked by the two-timing Oleksa and his guard. The two adventurers took flight up the hillside from which the arrows rained down, evading the fight between Oleksa’s soldiers and the bandits of Bogdan (the former Captain of Oleksa’s guard and lover of his forced bride Julina). Tiberius and Akriphon stumbled along a narrow cliff ledge until they ambushed their would-be ambushers, killing all but one who told them what had happened. Bogdan and his men retreated within caves in the mountainside hemming their camp. Oleksa, smelling sure victory, followed his soldiers in after them, while the few killed by Tiberius and Akriphon had remained to slay them. But not long after Oleksa ran forth from the cave, screaming mad and frothing at the mouth. Tiberius saved the last of the guards, who swore to leave them be after his master was found frothing mad and died at their feet. Bogdan and Julina (I renamed her, Juliana didn't fit IMHO) left the crags for obscurity and the chance to raise a family. Tiberius cut off Oleksa’s head and brought it back to the fat man’s palace, where he revealed the head to Lubomyr before killing the servant. The heroes made ready to leave the city, Akriphon returned to the Temple of Yaz to recover his drugged compatriot. They were both approached by one friendly-seeming Jovas, who lured each of them with scented promises. But they awoke to harsher days….
I took an adventure idea proposed on this forum based on the Howard story and adapted it for our group, it may have spoilers.
The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar 3)
· Arcavius/Tiberius (male Aquilonian Thief 3)
· Ebola M’Gumbo (male South Islander Barbarian 3)
· Hadram (male Turanian Nomad 3)

Shadows in Zamboula. The adventurers awoke in a slave cart, huddled among a dozen chained men and women. They discovered that they had been tricked by Jovas and were destined to be slaves once they’d reach Zamboula. Tiberius and Akriphon decided to break out, and were aided by Hadram, a Turanian nomad also chained within the cart. In a fantastic escape, they managed to kill Yariaz, the captain of the soldiers and many of his men, capture Vanko, their supposed master, and reel in the caravan to Zamboula to sell for their own profit. On the way they discovered two corpses at an oasis and found a strange map on one of the slain. Not long after they encountered a group of Zervaji tribesmen and a Brythunian youth. Tiberius had made friendly with a Zamorian girl named Oxana who had helped Akriphon, but when they reached the slave market Akriphon put her on the block. Tiberius tried to buy her but was contested by a (Stygian) Zamboulan noblewoman, and Akriphon bought her for a fortune only to slit her throat before the assembled crowd, as a lesson to Tiberius. Having done this, the three men bought wares and sold goods in the myriad markets and drank sour-tasting Ghazan wine. Tiberius approached a robust South Island barbarian seeking to procure a bodyguard against his Stygian ally whose recent exploits filled him with doubt and fear, but bungled negotiations turned hostile. It took several hours passing before Tiberius and Ebola M’gumbo would re-join company.

Still vexed at being defeated by a woman in the slave market, Tiberius vowed revenge and sought out the palace of the Stygian noblewoman Thesila, and convinced Hadram and Ebola to join him, but they failed to climb over the wall to the Nobles’ Quarter. Sighted by guards, the struggle left Tiberius wounded and unconscious. Hadram and Ebola grabbed him and sought to flee, when several haunting shadows skulking the dark alleys came upon them. Frightened beyond reason, Ebola went berserk and slashed with deadly fury, as Hadram fought lustily beside him. The 'demons' were seen to be black Darfari slaves prowling the streets, and so they discovered why all the locals hide behind walls and barred doors as the sun sets in Zamboula. Akriphon likewise was beset by a horde of darfaris, but using his arcane speech he scared them off. The adventurers holed themselves up in an inn for the rest of the night, and pursued the mystery of the map discovered in the oasis the next day.

They went to the house of Aram Baksh, a fat middle-aged man of a deceptively soft tread who let them in and offered them free stay in his inn while he would negotiate with the mysterious Kessek. The wounded Tiberius slumbered in a spacious room in the inn, and after muddling around the others eventually likewise went to bed. Drums were heard outside in the night, and Akriphon remembered such playing the previous night, but they all continued slumber. Only Ebola is awakened late in the night by a skulking shadow within the supposedly secured chamber! The adventurers rose to combat and slew more giant darfaris armed with cudgels. Tiberius ventured outside and discovered more darfaris without. He jumped from his hiding perch and cut down two, then he raced back within the inn compound. The bodies were discovered by more darfaris who summoned reinforcements. While the adventurers tried to figure out what to do, over 30 darfaris gathered without the compound and assaulted it. The adventurers sought Aram Baksh’s head, but he was not to be found within his inn. Eventually they found a trap door in the floor of his chambers. Tiberius spent the night hidden atop the inn’s roof, while the others escaped via the tunnel. The next morning they met up, sore of spirits and a little bruised, desperately wanting revenge on the Zamboulan who sold them to the would-be cannibals.

The adventurers skulked safely away and spent the next several months seeking clues as to the location of the stolen treasure map and eventually made their way back into Zamora.
NOTE: like the previous adventure, this adventure is taken from the Howard story of like name and the Conan story altered by DeCamp, and so contains Spoilers.

Adventure Session #4: The Curse of the Bloodstained God. Returning to Arenjun they came upon several bravoes torturing a Hillman in a chamber of a stone house wound within the lurid streets of the Maul. The adventurers intervened and killed several of the bravoes, but several fled into the night. Akriphon revived the wounded Hillman and, using his demonic speech, struck fear into the Hillman and forced him to give directions to the temple of the fabulous blood-stained god.

The adventurers gathered horses and headed into the nearby mountains, which locals avoid, as they are inhabited by fierce tribes of hillmen. They encountered one such tribe. They convince the chieftain that the adventurers are just pilgrims passing through. The chieftain allows them to continue on their way, sending along 15 of his men “to escort the pilgrims.” On the second night or so, Akriphon started to lead them in a prayer to their god Bel. Akriphon deceptively inures his diabolical arts and a blast of sorcerous magic engulfs most of the hillmen. The rest of the party cleans up, hacking them all to death (15 dead in about 3 rounds).

Having slain the hillmen, the adventurers continue on to the temple. Along the winding trail they come upon old ruins of a stone wall set across the path, taller than even Ebola. Here they are ambushed by the surviving rogues (who were torturing the Hillman in Arenjun and had escaped). The adventurers kill all of the rogues save one, who is convinced to join them, Arshak.

Not long after they arrive at the entrance to the temple, set with a massive iron door with intricate carvings and panels. They argue over how to open the door or whether it is booby trapped when Ebola brazenly approaches the door and sets off a trap. The door suddenly falls downward, and only his barbarian instincts save Ebola from being smashed beneath its herculean weight. The startled group sees that the door was rigged with chains such as a drawbridge might secure, and rather than swinging aside on its false hinges it instead fell. Hoping the cryptic phrase about the god’s need for sacrifice is secured, the adventurers enter the chasm. After they enter, the door is pulled upright again by the chains. Inside its pitch black. With a torch they see a large golden idol with ruby eyes. Built like a dwarfish man with large splayed feet, he nevertheless stands taller than even Ebola. There is a large chasm near the idol, and large heavy chairs made of some unknown dark and heavy wood bedecked with precious stones flank the idol on either side. Paintings on the wall depict blood sacrifices by the priests of old, and Akriphon decides that another blood sacrifice is needed as payment to the god to open the door. Tiberias decides he'd rather pick the lock, and examining the wall near the door he finds a mechanism which opens the door. Akriphon is curious about a sacrifice, so he bids Ebola hold Arshak and he approaches him with malevolent eyes and a dagger in his hand. (Well, actually Akriphon missed a couple of times with his dagger so Tiberias slit Arshak's throat). As soon as blood is spilled, the idol animates. The party retreats, leaving Arshak on the floor. The idol picks up the body of Arshak and tosses him into the pit. Driven with primitive desperation, Ebola rushes the idol, knocking it also into the pit. Akriphon is not happy that he didn't get chance to investigate further, or discover the source of the power. And so the dispirited, bewildered adventurers retreat.
The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar 3)
· Arcavius/Tiberius (male Aquilonian Thief 3)
· Hadram (male Turanian Nomad 3)
· Thorgrim (male Aesir barbarian 3)

Red Revenge in Arenjun. The year is (–28 Hour of the Dragon) the Year of the Horse. Arriving back in the City of Thieves, the adventurers ply the bazaars teeming within the city. Akriphon seeks some scholars to consult with and sorcerous items to buy, Ebola marvels at new wonders in the bazaars and wanders off, while Tiberias and Hadram seek the man who blackguarded them, Jovas. The adventurers eventually consider the slave markets, across the city at the southern gates in the Caravan grounds. Walking thither they pass ruins, which Akriphon remembers were the shining Elephant Tower and marvels at the ruins of what were a magnificent fortress but a year earlier. Eventually Akriphon is reunited with them, and they meet with a slave master who tells them he has business with Jovas and that the man can be found at the Tavern of Abamatas, in the Dens of the Western Thieves. The slave master’s bodyguard sneers that Jovas’ woman, a sleek brothel dancer named Mirilini plys her dance in the tavern and Jovas always comes to watch her dance. Seeking vengeance, the adventurers go thither.

The Tavern is a busy place, and the adventurers muster to a table near the dancing ring at one end of the tavern floor. A commotion at a nearby table catches Tiberias‘ attention, and he approaches a grim northern barbarian (an Aesir) and proposes he joins them in their enterprise. Lured by the prospects of violence and action better suited than the strange games civilized men play at tables, Thorgrim agrees and joins them. But while those two are so engaged, Akriphon sneaks upstairs to rooms above the dance floor at the back of the tavern, grabs a dancing girl and she reveals that Mirilini’s room is not far away. Akriphon slits her throat to vampirically draw her life force so that he can channel more arcane power. As he was skulking towards Mirilini’s room, a crash of tables is heard in the tavern floor below. Bravoes, angered by Thorgrim’s, Hadram’s and Tiberius‘ interference betwixt their game and watching the girls dance, insult them and draw weapons, and the adventurers quickly draw weapons and engage the bravoes. The fight stirs the Aesir’s bloodlust, and frightened men and girls within the tavern scatter. A great melee ensues, as Akriphon seeks the girl Mirilini, but is thwarted. The adventurers clear the tavern of enemies, only to discover that the girl is not within, for she had crept out her back room to a ledge without, and seemingly had escaped.

They rush out onto the lurid streets of the Den of Western Thieves, and Thorgrim’s keen barbarian eyes spot the girl’s dainty footsteps in the dirt alley behind the tavern, and he scents her perfume on the wall. Desperately Tiberius hoists a grapnel rope to the tavern’s roof and he, Hadram and the Aesir scramble topside, while Akriphon scrambles around the tavern seeking a round way behind the maze of haunts. Achieving the roof, the 3 adventurers spot a lean wiry man leading the voluptuous woman across the roofs, and they speed upon the fleeing lovers. A desperate fight ensues, as Jovas desperately tries to defend his woman and dodge the murderous lustful strokes of Thorgrim’s blade and the jabbing daunts from Tiberius‘ arming sword and Hadram’s scimitar, and the adventurers are dismayed as Jovas is able to throw his lover across an alley to a neighboring rooftop, where the athletic dancing girl scrambles down to safety. Slashing desperately at his foes, Jovas turned and jumped, but the quick-acting Tiberius smote him as he was jumping, and he stumbled and fell to the ground where Thorgrim slew him.

But the girl did not escape to safety for, achieving the safety of the street, she turned to seek her lover follow her down, and espied the stygian sorcerer approach on stealthy feet. Terrified, she had not even time to scream, as he came up to her, a blasting flame of sorcerous might burned the very brick of the building she had shrunk against. By the time the other adventurers arrived, they saw only the form of Akriphon with a sinister gleeful smile upon his face.

As the shouts of the approaching city guard echoed down the murky streets, the adventurers sped away, seeking escape from the City of Thieves. Heading for the North Gate, Tiberius came upon a horse merchant he had had dealings with weeks earlier and stole horses for his comrades. And they fled from Zamora for a time, making their way south for the lands of Shem. They parted company for a while, as Akriphon returned to his master of the Black Ring and Tiberius and Thorgrim returned to the Aquilonian’s wife in a Shemite camp.
The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar 4)
· Arcavius/Tiberius (male Aquilonian Thief 4)
· Thorgrim (male Aesir barbarian 3)

The House of Xopalun. Adventure follows the conclusion of events in “Red Revenge in Arenjun”. The year is –27 HoD, the Year of the Lotus. Akriphon was questioned by his mentor, who then told the young Stygian that he had discovered a location where Xopalun, their enemy, lay within the borders of Shem. Tretankmun bade the adept go to the house, discover what secrets he could, kill the priest if at all possible and, if Xopalun were destroyed, to return with his scrying objects. Tiberius and Thorgrim, meanwhile, had returned to the Shemite tribe of the Aquilonian’s wife and, after spending a glorious night with his wife Yaelît, Tiberius was interrupted in the middle of things (hint hint) by an annoyed (although disgustedly amused) Akriphon in the morn. The Stygian told him to finish his rutting and prepare to depart, for business awaited them. Akriphon asked where Thorgrim lay, and then went to interrupt the likewise busy Aesir. Although annoyed by the base desires of the men, Akriphon waited for them to finish their business before they departed. Yaelît offered some useful information about the location of a mysterious house built not more than a couple of leagues from their present encampment. She believed that Habal traveled thither at various times.

They arrived near a broad house set upon a hill, and they sighted several Shemites standing guard outside the entrance door. They encircled the broad house and decided to wait until after dusk before approaching. Thorgrim waited for Tiberius to circle round to the back of the large house, then noisily the Aesir approached the front gate. The nomads at the door gave a challenge, but Thorgrim charged them. Tiberius ambushed a guard at the rear end of the house and cut him down. He then opened the rear door and peered inside, but the room within was utterly dark, and the two decided to meet Thorgrim at the front entrance. Spurred on by the clang of steel on steel, they came upon the Aesir trading swordstrokes with the remaining guards. But their vigor turned to shock, for guards which had just been felled rose again, though lifeless, they were animated by sorcery to attack the intruders again! The adventurers fought to gain entrance to the door as they battled the risen dead and the last surviving Shemites. Desperately they wrestled to open the 2 heavy doors which were being grappled by Shemites within. Trying the front doors, Tiberius narrowly avoided being spitted by several more Shemites within. Though recently cut down by the barbarian, Akriphon mustered his own powerful sorcery upon the slain, which lent them new vigor, and several rose and came upon the surviving Shemites. The intruders entered a large and spacious room decorated with rich divans, copper braziers lighting the space, ermine rugs on the floors, and dashed about the rich furnishings while fighting Shemites within. They went several routes pursuing fleeing Shemites, or seeking a way to the interior den of the Stygian priest they had sought, for the opening chamber bore three doors across from the entrance door, one in the middle wall and two near either end. Traversing the three routes, the adventurers traverse various halls and small, ornately built rooms, eventually coming to a large chamber with several pillars and lit by braziers, a stone dais rose several feet at the far end, the far wall hidden by rich curtains.

Thorgrim cast aside the curtains and jumped back, his blade hissing in a sweeping arc and the hairs rising at the nape of his neck, for a monstrous beast stood but a few paces from him grimacing it’s massive boar-like jaws, the dead black eyes seeming to mock with leering intelligence. But the barbarian’s blade crashed as if against an invisible wall from which sparks flew. The man-shaped boar-beast capered as the barbarian swung with all his fury against the barrier. Thorgrim’s blade hacked and chips flew to the ground revealing a crystal-like barrier. The others entered, Akriphon surrounded by his animated corpse guard. The room was pitched in darkness as Tiberius activated a pressure plate on the floor of the audience chamber, and the flames in the braziers was extinguished, though none saw howsoever it was done. Tiberius withdrew to the hallway from which he came and retrieved a torch set into a wall sconce, returning with light. Thorgrim, maddened by the barrier frustrating his attack on the monstrous shambling boar-thing, continued to hack at the wall until a hole was made, but noticed that the boar-thing had withdrawn and was no longer awaiting him. He entered an alcove, built as like the columned entrances to the temples in Stygia, and found an entrance, but as the others entered the alcove, four flasks fell crashing from the ceiling, and a noxious yellowish smoke issued forth. However, the adventurers bashed open a door and fled the alcove into what they discovered to be a wide u-shaped corridor surrounding the alcove, with a spiral stair flanking the alcove room walls, and a room of like dimensions set protruding from the far wall of the house. Tiberius opened a door to this room, and realized it was set with the rear door to the house, which he had spied into when the adventurers had initially sought entrance. Akriphon this time had been marveling at a stone chair set in the alcove, cut from a strange black stone set with gold frieze and inscribed with this rune:

The Lord of this chair owns those who surround it
and dooms those who oppose it

Akriphon desired ownership of the massive chair, and bade his zombie escort carry the chair from the alcove to where the others worked. Thorgrim meanwhile peered up a spiral staircase beside the door he had just burst through to escape the alcove. He began to climb the stair, and the others behind him, although it pained the Stygian to think he would have to leave the chair at the ground floor. But as they ascended, they heard a bestial grunt, and the stairs disappeared beneath them, and they fell tumbling down to the floor. A boar-like squeal, almost as if in delight, was heard, and with it a definitely human grunt of approval. Furious at this dubious turn, Thorgrim scrambled on the stairs, trying to master the ascent. Akriphon and Tiberius circled the u-shaped hallway and made for the other spiral stair opposite the one they had just fallen down. Both studied the stair, but finding no working machinations Tiberius attempted a stealthy climb, but a voice called down mocking him, and this stair also flattened it’s steps to form a slide ramp alike the one Thorgrim still struggled against. But the intruders would not be denied their quarry, and driven by blood-mad desire to revenge themselves in blood lust against their mockers, they found an ascent up the leveled stairs.

Thorgrim, the first to ascend, vaulted off the staircase into a vast chamber on the second floor of the house. The entire floor was one spacious open room, set with pillars and lit by braziers like the smaller audience chamber below, framed by hanging silks. As he lit upon the floor, he came face to face with the boar-creature which had taunted him below stairs, but now there was no protective crystalline wall to protect them. With a rumbling grunt the shambling boar-thing rushed Thorgrim, it’s jaws slavering as it threw punches at the Aesir, who dodged and parried with his blade the inhuman strength of the boar-thing. Tiberius desperately bounded for the stairs his Aesir companion had just achieved, and desperately made his way to the vast chamber.

Ghroz (the Shambling Boar Thing) has waited for such sport, he will have a merry chase with you” taunted the Shemite who stood, hand on a lever at the other spiral staircase opposite where the barbarian and the boar-thing danced at furious death play. Habal taunted until he caught sight of Tiberius leaping off the stair opposite (for the Shemite had been distracted by noise below, dubiously made by Akriphon and his risen dead still holding him in the black throne), then two pairs of beings danced at lethal play in the vast chamber. Thorgrim slashed with desperate fury at his inhumanly swift and strong opponent, while Tiberius dueled with Habal. Eventually, as Akriphon was making way up the stairs, Tiberius out maneouvered his opponent and struck a deadly blow. As Habal fell gurgling on his own blood, the Aquilonian bounded to aid his Aesir ally, and the monstrous boar-thing soon lay dead at their feet. And Akriphon made the ascent up the stairs. Still sweating from his deadly martial exertions, Thorgrim was about to give a curt phrase to the southern adventurer, when a figure shambled down the stair at the end of the room.

It was a Shemite, or rather had been in life for, though not atrophied it was distinctly dead. But all eyes went to the thing borne in it’s lifeless outstretched hand rather than the dead unseeing eyes, for the risen dead gripped a small crystalline ball about the size of an infant’s head. As Thorgrim saw the crystal, he started in horror, for he beheld swirling black tentacles and a dark fog issuing from the crystal and writh about him. He struggled desperately, and felt his very life’s soul at war with the horror enveloping him, but his herculean might of will broke the spell, and the zombie was cut down. Akriphon seized the globe and they ascended the stair. They emerged into a vast shadowy chamber with a pungent swirl of smells. The alchemical chamber was in fact but a third the size of the palatial hall where they had just battled the minions of the Stygian sorcerer-priest Xopalun, it likewise had some rich curtains on the walls. There lay a square dais of dark steps, at the top of which lay heavy tables with leaves and other sundry items atop them, and various liquids boiling in flasks set amidst the burning coals of a couple braziers. And Xopalun stood upon the dais opposite them, terrible in his eerie gaze. The ceiling over them was absent, and they gazed upon the night sky overhead. “So, you have come for me, minions of my ancient enemy” he almost sighed, though indeed it sounded a sneer.

Akriphon strode before him, mindful of his master’s command, but intrigued by the power of his erstwhile enemy. He spoke with him in a demonic tongue which the others did not understand. Tiberius, feeling ever more ill at ease as the two scholars conversed in demonic tongues, bad Akriphon to cease the banter and finish off Xopalun. Akriphon cursed at Tiberius to be quiet. Fearful of both stygians, and angry at his allies’ lack of action, Thorgrim burst forth with surprising speed and slew Xopalun. And Akriphon was sorely vexed, for he had been negotiating with Xopalun to see if he could learn new sorceries from his enemy which he hadn’t obtained from his mentors of the Black Ring. But now, he felt as he lent to summon a defensive blast to burn the very soul of Xopalun, he felt his very sorcerous power being drawn from him, and he scratched at the cut on his neck which Tretankmun had put on him as he quested him to kill Xopalun. And he heard his master’s voice in his head, cursing him for betraying his order seeking to curry favor from the very enemy who had tried to kill them all. And Akriphon felt truly alone at that moment, and for a long while thereafter.
The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar 5)
· Arcavius/Tiberius (male Aquilonian Thief 5)
· Ebola M’Gumbo (male South Islander Barbarian 3)

Tiberius, fearful of the evil dwelling, told Akriphon he was leaving for his wife’s company in the Shemite camp from which they’d come, and Thorgrim departed with him, leaving the Stygian to scour the dwelling for secret treasures. The Stygian poured over the books and relics, seizing a book on the dichotomy of torturing captives or virgins for sacrifice, whereupon to better wreak writhing havoc upon their life forces. Although the book made no mention of what such torture could gain a scholar, aside from fiendish satisfaction, Akriphon poured over the academic book for nights afterwards. Already found in the top floor were resins, sulphur, and herbs; parchments, several of which were made from human skin; a silver ritual knife; a large black cauldron and massive brazier which were used in the making of alchemical mixtures. And as Thorgrim and Tiberius discovered when they returned a day later, there were silken tapestries and curtains throughout the hold, of varying values.

The two adventurers had returned to the Shemite camp and the embraces of luscious ladies. Speaking to his wife of their adventures, Tiberius decided to ask his father-in-law for a cart or mounts to take back to the abode and seize such valuables as could be gathered, and perhaps to retrieve the errant scholar as well. Abamidab decided his tribe would depart, for no good could come from remaining near the house of a slain evil sorcerer, but he sent several of his men to aid Tiberius, who would know how to find the departing tribe. The men arrived at the house, persuaded Akriphon to depart, and they departed. Tiberius gave Yaelît and her father several cushions and rugs for their tent, and then said he must leave with the Stygian. Pleased with the gifts from his son-in-law, Abamidab sent several men to drive the wagons east and guard the party and it’s contents. Asked about the journey or places where they could store the two wagon- loads of uncommon goods, Abamidab told them of the vast port of Sultanapur to lose themselves in, and of an inn known by the Shemites as “the Crippled Camel” some score day’s distance at a hard drive being a good stop on the way. Thorgrim however would not be moved to depart from the buxom beauty he had spent the night with, nor would he be moved from her tent that next morning. (And after the aberrant behavior of the Stygians ere he slew Xopalun, he didn’t trust Akriphon).

Several nights later, as the party had lain up an encampment on the arid plain, Tiberius roused with a start, searching about him. He felt the hairs on the nape of his neck stand out in alarm. Cautiously he checked the camp, and found one of the Shemites laying between the shied horses tied to stumpy, scraggly trees near the wagons and fire. The Shemite nomad lay in a grimace of death, his eyes starting from the face. As Tiberius yelled an alarm, Akriphon lay upon the wagon bearing the seized alchemical equipment when the very shadows enfolding the plain seemed to gather into a sinister form and tower behind him. A withered hand chill as death seized his shoulder, paralyzing the Stygian in a paroxysm of pain and fear. Tiberius, seeing the scholar gripped and stilled by a sinister shadow writhing head and shoulders above the tall Stygian, leapt upon a horse and spurred the beast forward, overpowering it’s fear by kicking and reigning the beast to obey. The young rogue reigned the beast beside the frozen Stygian and pulled him across the saddle, setting heel to the beast’s sides and sending it charging forth with unbridled fear. As they rode, Tiberius felt fear at his back, and looking behind he saw the very darkness of the night in flight of pursuit, but the horse ran with such fury that the shadows gained no ground, and after a time were seen to have broken away and the plains regained their normal hues under bright clouds lit by a gashed moon and bright stars overhead. Then the adventurers returned to the camp.

The four surviving Shemites were unnerved, their fatalistic views of death hinging on a sense of doom after the shadows emerged and slew one of their dog-brothers, but Tiberius attempted to cheer them. But five nights later, as the group was still traversing the broad broken plain and had again halted and made camp for the night, a devil in jet-black skin with a leering, powerful jaw and pointed ears with ram like horns atop his powerful skull suddenly appeared and stole for one of the carts. Akriphon was caught unawares, but in a commanding demonic voice he called to the black fiend to stop and spoke with it in the evil tongue. It is not written what had happened during this exchange, but though the black fiend had made it known it had come to take several crystal spheres which Akriphon possessed, it did not do so, nor did it kill the bold adventurers. Tiberius found himself leery of his Stygian companion yet once again, and kept a close eye on his traveling companion after.

Eventually they arrived at a broad inn, standing alone in the bleak desert plains with a broad stable beside it. The inn lay some 400 miles from Sultanapur - their destination, a broad wooden and adobe structure with a barn and a well beside the barn. A boy took their horses and stabled them, and Tiberius spoke guarded words of warning to the boy. The men entered. The Shemites who had traveled with them begged leave to return to their tribe immediately, and Tiberius’ efforts to make them stay with promises of gold and glory fell on muted ears. After a minor rebuke, he dismissed them and returned to the tavern.

They were met with a moderate surprise within. Seated among the some odd 14 patrons was a familiar barbarian, as out of place in that den of desert rats as he would be anywhere civilized or near-civilized men of the northern kingdoms would be found. Ebola rose from the bar and crossed to them, as old comrades - though not trusted friends - would so do. Akriphon asked for the owner of the place, and a bald middle-aged Shemite whose lank hair hung long from the back and sides of his bald head approached with an easy face and introduced himself as Aghabaz. Akriphon asked the owner if he had space where goods could be stored and was told yes, but how much storage room was required and for how long? Akriphon countered with “As much space as you can spare.” The two men haggled while Tiberius and Ebola spoke of what they had done since parting ways, and in the end Akriphon bought the tavern for the price of one cart’s worth of silken tapestries. Akriphon bade Aghabaz stay on and oversee the place, just leave the new owners to their own wiles and stay out of the basement. The others were told of the purchase of the inn, and they took a brief survey of the abode. Which is to say, Ebola surveyed the three serving wenches, Akriphon had the alchemical apparatuses moved into the basement, and Tiberius spoke with the guests and spoke with the boy in the stable and old man in the kitchen who also worked there.

Akriphon spent several hours into the evening setting up his alchemical laboratory in the basement of the tavern. He poured over the book on torture, seeking hidden words of power, not noticing how the smoke from the torches down in the basement seemed to coil eerily as if of their own volition. The eerie coils bore a blue hue and grew in mass and length, forming from the main stairs and moving in a single, intelligent mass for the unsuspecting Stygian pouring over the book at the far end of the room. Not noticing the demon forming in the laboratory, Akriphon called out to one of the servant girls upstairs and bade her bring him supplies. The girl froze near the top of the steps, seeing the living smoke writhing towards the hapless Stygian, gave a shriek and fainted on the steps. Then the smoke lashed out like a striking serpent and began constricting around Akriphon who started with a jerk. The Stygian’s silver ritual dagger lay nearby, and he struck at the smoke demon and seemed to have stricken living flesh, and the smoky coil withdrew. Despite never having seen this new demon, Akriphon called out in the dark voice and bad it depart, drawing up his power and swelling as a swimmer sucking air before plunging into the depths would. But Akriphon felt as though his power were drawn from him once again, though not all of it. The smoky tendrils of the serpent demon wisped into nothingness.

Later that evening, after the Stygian had set up the gains from the house of Xopalun he entered the common room, seeking a guest who may have gotten drunk and been unable to rise, and he found a desert traveler asleep in a puddle of spilled sour wine. Akriphon summoned Ebola and bade the South Islander barbarian bring the drunkard down below. Shrugging his massive shoulders, the barbarian complied. Strapping him to the table in the basement, Akriphon opened the book on torture he had retrieved from the house of Xopalun and began carving the flesh of the nomad with the silver dagger also retrieved from the house. As the man began writhing, coming out of his drunken state by the slashes being inflicted, Akriphon bade Ebola gag him and pin him to the table. The sluggish moans were not heard above, and he was not missed at that time, for the other guests had retired already. The desert dweller expired after an hour. The barbarian, in the strangest twist known yet in this continuing tale, asked, "Can I cook him?" The Stygian dismissed the question with, "What do I care, just get rid of it." To which Ebola asked, can I use that big iron pot you got?” And Akriphon replied, “Just don’t get in my way.” Ebola cut the man into chunks, careful not to leave whole limbs or feet or hands together. He gave the boiled skull to the Stygian, who fashioned it into a leering primitive goblet. Ebola left for a while to gather whatever foodstuffs he could find in the kitchen on the common floor, and left the Stygian for a while.

The next day as the guests entered the main room, Ebola emerged with a large pot crying “Good soup, only 2 silvers” and ladling it out. The devilry was soon discovered (for the GM rolled eight 20’s for Spot) and several guests angrily rose from their tables. Ebola feigned innocence in a comedic manner, Tiberius instantly grew vexed and made preparations to depart, and Akriphon spoke in a cruel manner to Aghabaz in the kitchen. However, surmising what had truly happened, Tiberius challenged Ebola and would have had several of the Shemites hang him, had not Akriphon just taken a kitchen knife and slain Aghabaz in the kitchen, and he emerged carrying the soup victim’s skull, drinking from it, and in a demonic voice he halted the guests and strove fear into them, saying ‘twas Aghabaz who did this foul deed. Though those few with able swords wanted to kill all three owners, and no one believed the Stygian, none felt they could succeed and were cowed into silence. One man, however, would not budge, to whom Akriphon strode up and killed him, swearing that none would leave the tavern, as tried to ease anger and fear. Tiberius pretended to be satisfied and dragged out the body as if to do away with it, but he entered the stables and had one of the stable boys wrap Aghabaz’s body in a burlap sack and they hid it away in a shallow grave, as he ordered the boy to prepare food and belongings for several days’ desert travel. Tiberius then bided his time, waiting for the best chance to flee his erstwhile friends.

The surviving patrons are forced to stay in the tavern and are forced to eat only the stew made from the two slain Shemite patrons and tell Ebola how delicious it tastes as they gagged. Continuing his work as the other two rogues dwelt above later on, the Stygian stopped his work as he felt an eerie foreboding five days later. He sensed although he could not see anything, a bodiless thing in the alchemical space, dripping slimily and mouthing obscenities he could not hear yet was nevertheless aware of. Akriphon moved for the dagger on the table when he felt a fiery blast which singed and burned him. Reeling, he felt himself grappled by slimy, cobweb-like powerful arms, though naught could be seen. Panicking, he called out for help. Although Ebola was so busy in the bedroom with the three tavern wenches that he didn’t hear, Tiberius did and dashed for the stairs. He could not see any opponent below but did see Akriphon writhing as though pinned, his body burned and his strength sapping. Thinking quickly, Tiberius ran headlong back to the kitchen and, scanning furiously about, his eyes fell on a sack of flour on the floor away from the cooking pot. He grabbed a cutting knife and cut open the flour and cast open the trap door below where he had last seen the Stygian writhing. Groaning with the effort, Tiberius toppled over the sack of flour and shouted out, for the flour covered a demonic being grabbing the reeling Stygian sorcerer. As the barbarian was dashing down the stairs from the rooms above, Tiberius flew down the ladder and slashed with the knife and his arming sword. The demon seemed to reel from the new onslaught and soon disappeared. A general panic ensued, and several guests fled the inn. Arriving to late to help the Stygian or prevent the patrons from fleeing, Ebola returned upstairs and, finding the serving girls still there, forced the them back into bed. Cleaning himself off without offering thanks, Akriphon returned to his dark studies immediately. Tiberius, finally disgusted beyond doubt by the other two, ran to the stables and grabbed a stable boy (the other fled with the guests) and had him dig up the corpse of Aghabaz, the owner slain when the previous demon appeared, and had the boy help him toss the body into the well before they rode off.

The next day Akriphon announced that the tavern would be called “the Dancing Demon.” The remaining adventurers sought to garner a bizarre reputation by digging a pit behind the inn where pit-fighting could occur, with betting and ‘free medicines’ by the Stygian (wink, wink). After fleeing the tavern, Tiberius began to doubt whether the Shemite stable boy could prove trustworthy upon meeting the desert’s nomads, and he drew his blade and killed the boy, from whence he leaves our story.
Thanks guys. You'll get to find out what happened to Tiberius, but I've got one day left on my OCR program license so I'm frantically scanning a TSR adventure to convert to Conan rpg!!! Will try to get back to the writing in a couple days....

I found it helps to list the characters at the top of each adventure, as player schedule conflicts meant we had a continually rotating cast of characters. Also, a couple characters were so put off by the group's evil and masochistic behavior that they will not associate with the group --but note-- we're talking characters, not necessarily players! RPG groups have had tensions in the past, but these guys are role-playing so well, and bringing out hard belly-aching laughter amidst what are essentially evil acts, that it's really wierd.

Anyway, hope these posts help. As our Yahoo group site is running out of memory, I thought this board would be great to recap our group's exploits.
Please note: this adventure is adapted from the Mongoose pdf adventure The Coming of Hanuman, and contains SPOILERS!!. I altered the plot path to reflect the ongoing campaign.

The Adventurers –
· Akriphon (male Stygian Scholar 5)
· Ebola (male South Islander Barbarian 4)
· Chernye Nalyvaiko (male Kozaki Nomad 4)

The year is –26 HoD, the Year of the Gazelle. It has been a year since the demons attacked at the tavern and Tiberius had left. The tavern has been renamed “the Dancing Demon” and the clientele has changed as well. Deciding he wished to continue carving up living humans for his diabolical experiments, Akriphon convinced Ebola that they should construct a pit behind the tavern where patrons could engage in pit-fighting, and they would “offer leeching or other such services to injured patrons for their engagements.” The South-Island barbarian cheerfully agreed, as the victims, once disposed of by Akriphon’s torturing, could be made into people stew. Strangely enough, their plan was having some success, and a dubious sort of clientele frequented the tavern.

One day a northern wastrel entered the tavern, a broad brown-skinned nomad from the northern steppes, his hair black streaked with grey, his eyes black as coal, his face grim but curious. Chernye Nalyvaiko came to the tavern, exiled from his own kozaki tribe after a dispute with the chieftain, and hearing rumors of dire games he came hither. He had just approached the tavern when a dozen robed horsemen arrive in haste; their robes and hawklike features show them to be zuagirs, Shemite nomads. The riders alighted from their horses and hastily entered the tavern, and Chernye followed. The nomads scattered about the tavern as Ebola tried to get them food and, after asking who’s in charge, one of the nomads approached Akriphon and warned him that the Turanians were on a march of conquest, trying to convince those inside not to await their arrival. He spoke of a strange terror lurking his people’s lands, which these scouts were trying to find, when the thunder of horses was heard, and the Zuagirs ran from the tavern to flee. Chernye likewise made himself scant, a kozaki is no friend to the Turanians but are hunted on sight. Some other of the guests took flight, others stayed. He entered the stables and hid in the upper loft. Turanians in bright uniformed armor rode hard at the tavern, numbering in the hundreds. They secured the premises and their leader, proud, bold and cruel, entered the inn. The Hawk of Aghrapur, Mahath Agha proud and stern in his oiled mail and silken cloak, entered the inn, barking in Turanian that the captured dogs be brought before him. He called for the tavern overseer and questioned Akriphon until he was satisfied that the Stygian and his South Islander barbarian cook maintained the premises.

Two Zuagirs were dragged, injured and bloody before the Agha, who questioned them on their tribe’s whereabouts with an occasional cuff across the face. The Zuagirs were beaten but still defiant, they returned questions with defiance and spoke of evil spirits, which roused the curiosity of Akriphon, who asked the Agha if he might question these men, being a scholar of arcane lore as it were, and the Agha agreed. The Zuagirs told him that they were besieged by mysterious demons from the desert; but he could not get more from them. The Agha then grew impatient and ordered the two executed, and the tavern must be closed immediately since the Zuagirs were seen riding from it when he approached. A map was found, penned on parchment on one of the men, and as the Agha looked at it a grim smile played on his face. The men staying there were pressed to work for the Turanians, and the merchant and his girls were forced to leave. The Agha said that he could use the skills of the Stygian, and bad him ride out to try to find the Zuagirs and their leader using his sorcery, and that the Turanian army would be nearby and follow them. He handed the map to Akriphon. Intrigued by the tale of desert demons, Akriphon decided to ride out to discover what he could of this strange tale, and he and Ebola began to pack. The Agha left the tavern and gathered his army and rode into the desert.

Since closing a tavern is not a simple affair to muster, it took them the rest of the day. Ebola was despondent, for he did not know if the three girls who worked there (and shared favors with him) would remain when he returned. Akriphon’s large laboratory in the basement took much care, and still covetous of the book on human torture and the three crystal globes, he decided to hide his special treasures and pack other things to take with him. The men were slightly surprised when the door opened and Chernye entered. Suspicious at first, the questioned the kozaki but were told they’d need a nomad to scour the desert, and he’d heard the soldiers speaking rumors while he hid in the stables and he didn’t trust them, but perhaps they could find the zuagirs and learn more about these strange goings on. The others agreed.

Later that evening, another group of riders came to the tavern, and in swept a young proud Zuagir with eyes like soft gold. He cast a suspicious look at Chernye (for while the kozaki and Zuagirs were both nomads who hated the Turanians, they were not allies), but seeming satisfied, he merely nodded. He ordered his men scatter and be ready to depart at once, and asked to see the owner. Akriphon and Ebola entered and the four men spoke. The prince said he would not have come to the tavern so soon after the Turanians had departed, but he was forced to. Akriphon spoke cruel words to intimidate him, and discovered that the prince was called Bahim Baal, and he had foolhardily harried the Turanians who were marching across his people’s lands, claiming them. The prince said he had been successful, but recently strange things were happening that were plaguing his people. Akriphon pressed him to speak clearly, and the proud prince said that two of his people’s villages had been attacked in the past month. All men and the old were brutally slain, and the children and young women missing, and no trace of the attackers or the missing could be found, and he attributed this to demons plaguing his people sent by the Turanians. He looked hard on the adventurers, and deciding he asked them to help him solve the mystery and not betray his people to the Turanians. Akriphon sued, saying he might need men to sacrifice to empower his sorceries, and made the Zuagir swear not to harass the tavern, and they made plans to leave the following morning. Chernye and the Zuagirs slept outside that night under the stars, and Akriphon and Ebola closed the tavern.

They rode out into the eastern steppes of Shem, now being claimed by Turan in an overcast morning. They rode two days before coming to the first ruined site. Tents were scattered and rent, the slain lying scattered about. Zuagirs dismounted and moved to prepare the bodies, but Akriphon stopped them, and searched the site, as did the other two adventurers, but no trace could be found of the attackers or the women and children. Bahim Baal told them that this site had been ravaged two weeks ago, but he had not been able to arrive before now. As he was saying this a Zuagir rider charged upon the scene and yelled to the prince, who went over and spoke with him in whispers. The adventurers noticed he paled, and he turned and barked for his men to leave the camp immediately and ride hard. The adventurers did likewise in confusion, and the troubled prince did not answer their enquiries. They rode hard for several hours until smoke was seen in the distance. Crying out, the Zuagirs rode with desperate fury, and they all came upon a recently savaged camp. The prince tore from his horse crying out a name, but no living could answer him. The adventurers also dismounted and searched the site, like the one they had recently seen but this one only hours old. With newer slain, the adventurers discovered that the men and old were not only rent with blades but raked as if by talons and battered as if by massive clubs. Peering over a corpse, Akriphon pulled a large black talon, almost humanoid but for it’s thickness and the blackness of the rough nail, it was a bestial find, but nothing further could be found. Chernye stopped the frantic prince and pressed him tell him who he was searching for, and the prince answered that his sister had been in this camp. Chernye asked the prince to describe the landscape and was told that the Kezankian Mountains lay some leagues to the northeast. Remembering the map, Akriphon pulled it out and saw the landscape marked on it.

As he was doing this, another rider rode hard upon the group, another of the Zuagir’s outrider scouts, and reported that the Turanians were marching for one of their camps, and the frustrated prince withdrew his men, saying he must act for his people, but begged the adventurers ride after the demons and try to save his people if they yet lived. Akriphon told him to leave two men that he could sacrifice for his sorcery, and the prince looked with disgust but the Stygian gave him another intimidating stare and said that if he wanted to see his sister alive he’d do it. The prince got two trusted men to go with the adventurers, and the Zuagirs rode off in haste. The adventurers left the other way, heading for the Kezankian Mountains.

After several more hours ride, they entered broken foothills and crags, the vast mountains looming in the distance. An eerie feeling assaulted them, as if of unseen eyes probing them. In the distance lay the outline of some apparently ruined stone buildings, almost hidden at the base of a short cliff wall. Suddenly, a shrill feminine cry rent the air, a scream of terror coming from the ruins. The adventurers rode towards the ruins, and saw a young naked Shemite woman scrambling across the escarpment, looking frantically over her shoulder. She was beautiful to behold with raven hair. At her heels raced a terror to behold, a vast creature almost running but using its misshapen arms as well as its equally long legs as it ambled after her. Taller than the men and much broader, covered in coarse dark hair, it looked to Ebola like the great apes which haunted the forests of the Black Kingdoms, but this creature was not wholly ape it seemed to him. The men attacked the beast, and after a desperate fight they slew it. The woman was near hysteria, but they made her stop crying and tell them what had happened. She told them that she was Nameela of the Zuagirs, and her people were slaughtered by beasts such as that which had pursued her here, but that they took the young women and children. They have a master, a beast like them but cunning, much more cruel and evil, it could speak several human tongues and it wanted her for its mate! She began to sob at this, thinking of what the master had done to her, and the men noticed that she had bright golden colored eyes like the prince. She begged them to rescue her people held captive in the ruins, and when questioned she said that most of the beasts had left not long ago, perhaps on another raid, and she took the chance to escape but was discovered by one of the things that had chased her.

They entered the ruins, built by some long-forgotten race and nestled at the base of a cliff. Most of the buildings were ruined, but several had roofs as well. After a while, they realized that the city was filled with innumerable statues of an apelike being, which Akriphon deduced were images of the base god Hanuman. The girl tried to lead them to the place she had escaped from, but the adventurers saw a building in the center of the ruins that intrigued them and they went thither, and Akriphon deduced that it was an old temple. Within lay a dilapidated altar, the entrance to which was blocked by a large white stone slab with strange, monsterous carvings. Ebola, Chernye and the two Zuagir men heaved it aside and descended down stairs to find a lone human male prisoner chained to the stone floor. He looked old and bent as if he had been tortured for years both of body, mind and soul. They rescued the withered man, who told them in a broken croak of a voice that he had summoned a ritual in his native Zamora to awaken a man-ape, hoping to use it as a guardian servant, but his magic had gone awry and the beast got too smart and imprisoned and tortured him. It then gathered scores of it’s race, and they came to these ruins. The man said the beast had gleamed almost all of his magic, and he feared that he would soon be killed. The man called himself Ravu of Yezud.

They came to a large white stone building with the god’s monstrous visage peering from the roof’s four corners. The windows were all blocked up with piled rocks, and a soft Shemitic voice whispered from within. The adventurers questioned the woman within and learned that there were women and children within, and two apemen guarded the door on the other side. The adventurers snuck away and spied the two apemen on the other side and they attacked the beasts, Chernye using his bow as did one of the Zuagirs, while Ebola and the other Zuagir attacked with swords. The fight was fierce. Chernye was hurt as one ape-man charged the bowmen, and the other rushed Ebola, Akriphon and the other swordsman, killing the Zuagir instantly. Dropped by the ape-man’s savage blows, Akriphon emitted a sorcerous blast of damnation which destroyed the man-ape….

And we will see if they survive when we conclude this adventure tomorrow.... :twisted:
Please note: here follows the conclusion to the adventure The Coming of Hanuman, and contains SPOILERS!!. I altered the plot path to reflect the ongoing campaign.

The withered sorcerer was able to gather by the last man-ape, which lay at Chernye’s feet, and by killing the beast he was able to draw enough of it’s life force to raise the two man-apes as his new zombie guard, along with the third one slain earlier pursuing Nameela. The survivors gathered at the entrance, which the man-apes were guarding. While the weakened sorcerer leaned against the building to rest, Chernye and Ebola freed the Zuagir captives. The two eyed Nameela as well as the freed women, but Akriphon warned them not to touch her, so they grabbed several young attractive women and had their way with them, ignoring their fear. The disgusted surviving Zuagir warrior took Nameela and the other freed captives aside so as not to see the spectacle. Akriphon warned them not to stray too far, however, lest other ape-men still might be lurking around the ruins. Not long after, a thundering of hooves was heard and Bahim Baal, the Zuagir leader, was seen riding to the ruins at the lead of a hundred zuagirs. Unable to locate Chernye quickly, Akriphon kicked the heel of Ebola as he lay rutting on the ground outside the makeshift prison. Bahim Baal dismounted with a mighty leap and spoke with a stern, commanding voice that filled the desert, “Where are my people, and what of my beloved sister, o tavern-dwellers?” Akriphon supplicated the prince, and his men rounded up the relieved women and children as other kept outside the ruins, keeping watch.

They were making plans on how to ride off with the freed captives outside of the makeshift prison when several scouts rode hard into the ruins, as the thunder of approaching horses was heard from the desert. The Turanian cavalry, some 500 mounted warriors, were riding for the ruins, and the adventurers and zuagirs found themselves trapped within. Thinking quickly, the prince ordered twenty of his men to sneak the women and children out of the ruins by climbing the cliff face by the mountainside wall, while he and the rest of his zuagirs hid within the ruins to fight the Turanians to buy precious time. The adventurers decided to join the defenders. Akriphon dragged Ravu of Yezud by the scruff of his neck without the ruins and they hid in the rocky desert. After a quick war counsel with the prince and laying tactics for the Zuagirs, Chernye hid by the ruined wall, raising his bow in aim, waiting for the Turanians to ride near, and Ebola hid some distance away, gripping his spear ready to thrust riders entering the ruins. Some zuagirs stayed by the adventurers, emboldened by their grim determination. The Turanians rode hard for the ruins, their lances and bows mercilessly seeking prey to cut down. The desert nomads waited until they were near, and fired their bows as the Turanians drew close or entered the ruins. Chernye shot several arrows, felling Turanians as they rode, and his companion zuagirs did likewise. Several passed through a broken section of wall where Ebola lay in wait, and the barbarian skewered one with his spear as several rode in, and after losing the spear he drew his cutlass and spun the blade in arcs of death. The fighting was fierce on both sides, but the defenders seemed to have the advantage in their placement of defence in the ruins and the skill of their leaders, as well as the prowess of the adventurers. Akriphon still lay hidden in the rocky desert, drained of his sorcerous energies after unleashing them on the man-ape guard earlier; he kept Ravu with him, and bad his still standing man-ape zombies stand guard over him, and their deathly stance kept the Turanians from investigating too closely, after arrows lodged in their sides as if without effect.

Suddenly, a bloodcurdling howl roared out, freezing the men in terror. They looked up to one of the craggy cliff tops where the shadows gave way to a vision of brutality and chaos. A gang of beasts, ape-men like those the adventurers had defeated not long ago, albeit clothed and armed as true humans, abominations of another, more degenerate race. They ferociously roared and lept as they charged down the mountainside towards the battling humans below, their bestial faces full of a primal, instinctive hate, which is much deeper than any conscious understanding of enmity. An unnatural dust storm rose and a dark wind blew among the warriors, as the devilish Master of the ruins had arrived at last. Driven to crazed fear by the approaching array of ape-men, they men stopped their fighting and united to try to stave off the approaching marauders. Akriphon dragged Ravu to his feet, as the broken scholar bade him slit his throat. Akriphon drew his silver ritual knife and slashed it across Ravu’s throat, and the dying man crumpled to the ground with a look of calm on his face. The Ape-Master, it’s arms raised conducting the sorcery it had cast, froze in a look of panic, it’s face took on a dumb look, then it contorted in a grimace of bloated pain. It’s claws tore at it’s pained face before the brute burst with a thunderclap, as it’s sorcery had spun out of control and the very world shook in wrath. The charging man-apes checked their gate, as if robbed of the force of will which had bent them to charge, they became fearful and confused, and most scattered back into the crags of the Kezankian Mountains. Those few who continued to charge the humans were eventually cut down.

As if the destruction of the Ape-Master had stopped the fear which plagued the humans, Turanians and Zuagirs raised their arms against each other and renewed their private war. Chernye and Ebola quickly killed the Turanians attacking them, and then set about aiding their Zuagir allies. This became a plight for Chernye, as the Turanians attacking his Zuagir neighbors were having the better time of it, and more Turanians entering the ruins quickly surrounded the Kozaki. The Turanians surrounding him almost got the better of him, as their blades were making cuts on him by shear force of numbers, although he was dropping many of the Turanians. Ebola saw his plight and tried to assist him, but was himself harried by more incoming warriors. Eventually the Kozaki cut a desperate path free, and ran around a nearby standing building. He rounded the structure, and saw the Agha on horse as the general cut down a Zuagir. Chernye roared in hatred, and grabbed his bow, nocked an arrow and let fly. The arrow found it’s mark, it pierced the general’s chest clear through the heart, and the general died with a shocked look of disbelief on his face. As this happened Ebola finally reached those Turanians pursuing Chernye and the barbarian quickly cut them down, not having seen the masterful critical hit landed by the Kozaki on the General.

Eventually, the outnumbered Zuagirs routed the surviving Turanians as Chernye roared in primeval glee after killing the General, and they scattered to the winds. Bahim Baal met the adventurers, bloodied but smiling grimly. He offered the warrior adventurers acceptance among his people if they wished, but they refused, casting their lots with the Stygian sorcerer instead. And so they parted ways….
I am running this adventure right now. The PCs are just leaving Zamboula (after a scary night peeking out of closed shutters)
I like the idea of Bahim Baal finding them in Zamboula, and the PCs riding off with him. Nice plot change. Think I may tweak mine a bit along those lines.
Big difference is, Mahath Agha has one of the PCs family in custody 'for safety reasons' while the PC scouts out this Zuagir map :)

Should be interesting.

Great stories!!!