Session/Game: Conan #4 Date: 5/2/04
Episode 4, "Hawks Over Shem"
Lord Valanus, Grodd and Vegeta were following up a lead. They had heard that a Stygian beggar in the tent-maker’s district knew the whereabouts of the Shushan slaves (presumably including the Oracle). They met this beggar, Morkesh, fed and paid him, and he told them that all the slaves had been taken to a cavern complex near an abandoned windmill 10 miles east of town. When the others left, Vegeta murdered Morkesh. Morkesh was in fact actually Tito the Zingaran in disguise; Grimjob, Vegeta and Conrad had left him for dead in the Eastern desert a year before.Day 2, Nippr
Limberger, Grimjob and the stranger rest to recover from their injuries. The stranger reveals himself to be Captain Hasdrubal, commander of the Assuri regiment in the city. He reveals that the Emir is guarded by fanatical Kushite spearmen, and advised by a Stygian sorceress called the Tormentor, who commands a force of Zuagir mercenaries. Hasdrubal also reveals that all of the slaves from Shushan were sold by the slave-dealer Magon. Grimjob challenges Hasdrubal to a duel (when their wounds have healed) since Hasdrubal was a commander in the force that betrayed Shushan. Although the two men like each other, honor must be served. Hasdrubal’s men are summoned to carry him home.
Grodd and Vegeta ride off into the desert east of town to scout out the windmill and caverns. They are spotted by a squad of 8 Zuagirs, and kill 5 of them. They then decided to skip the rest of the scout mission and go back to Nippr.
Valanus and Horsa knock around town looking for more information.Day 3, Nippr
Grodd and Vegeta sell off the bows and swords of the Zuagirs they had killed. They discover that these were from the Red Falcon clan. Conrad, Vegeta and Grimjob had massacred two score of them a year previously in the desert. Unknown to the heroes, Tito (a.k.a. Morkesh the Beggar) and the Red Falcons had arranged a large ambush for them once they noticed their return to Shem; the whole cavern/windmill lead was a trap not connected to the quest.
Valanus and Horsa decide to make a visit to Magon the Slave Dealer. Valanus poses as an interested buyer, and indeed is unable to resist buying a 3-piece set of Pictish tribal dancers for a low 175sp. Magon refuses to tell him anything about to whom he had sold the Shushan slaves. Finally, he does relent and say he did sell one to Enoch the Muleskinner. Since women may not walk on the streets of Nippr, Horsa and Valanus put the Pictish dancers into a “bitch sack” and carry them home.
The adventurers go to the shop of Enoch the Muleskinner, beat the snot out of him and learn nothing. After they leave, Vegeta returns and murders him.Day 4, Nippr
In the dark of night, all six warriors approach the house of Magon. Grodd and Vegeta creep to the front gate. Limberger climbs over the wall and sneaks to the door of the barracks of the Kushite spearmen, on loan from the Emir, who guard the compound. Vegeta and Grodd try to climb the wall, Vegeta gets up, but Grodd slips, and then decides to quit trying. Unable to open the front door of the barracks, Limberger resorts to knocking. One of the Kushites opens the door and is quickly killed; Limberger jumps into the room and kills the other two Kushites at the table. The commotion, however, wakes the rest of the spearmen within. Eventually they pile out and Limberger retreats to the courtyard and is trapped between those inside, and one Kushite who hurried over from the front gate. Limberger is stabbed so badly that one would have thought him slain and left him for dead. Meanwhile, Grodd fails several times to force open the gate from the outside, until Vegeta leaps down inside the courtyard, braves the spears of the Kushites and throws open the bolt. Grodd rushes in, and Grimjob, Horsa and Valanus ride their horses in too. A grand melee is joined and the Kushites are cut to pieces.
A half-dozen Kushites remain inside the main house, guarding Magon himself. After some negotiating, the Kushites agree to betray Magon, and throw him out to our heroes. Meanwhile, members of the Assuri guard appear outside of the complex. Magon is intimidated into telling them that it was an abortive slave rising that has been put down. Grodd chooses a pretty female slave, shoves her into a bitch sack, while Magon is shoved into another one and the party hurries off into the night.Day 5-6, Nippr
The party lies low in Nippr to recover from their injuries. Captain Hasdrubal has not been pressing the investigation too hard, since he is quite glad that some many of the hated Kushites were killed. During the nights, Vegeta is plagued by nocturnal arachnid visitations. After questioning Magon, they discover that all the Shushan slaves were sold to the Stygian known as the Tormentor, who has a tower overlooking her camp of Zuagirs, south of the city. Lord Valanus arranged to have his Pictish dancing team shipped off to his mother’s house in Aquilonia. Day 7, Tower of the Tormentor
After reaching the Tower south of the city, they saw that it was perched on a hill overlooking a large Zuagir camp, which contained over 200 warriors. But, the tower could be reached from the rear by scaling an 80-foot cliff, thus avoiding the Zuagirs. They planned to send up a climber to drop down a rope, but then realized they had no rope. Quickly they rode back to Nippr to get some rope. After having some trouble due to a surprising lack of mule skin in town, they eventually found some hemp rope and rode on back to the tower.
Grimjob had it in mind to sell their prisoner Magon off into slavery. But, since they couldn’t at this time keep him under guard, Grimjob released him. Grodd and Vegeta raced to see who could hunt him down and kill him first, but Grodd won.
After scaling the cliff, they entered the tower and killed off 10 Zuagir guards on the ground floor. Climbing the stairs they reached the main living level, where Grodd and Vegeta spent valuable time hacking down the unarmed servants, raising a great clamor in the process. Finally they reached the top room to find the Tormentor and 4 Zuagir guards waiting for them. As they entered the room, the Tormentor entranced Grodd, and 4 of the same sort of supernatural assassins that had attacked them and Hasdrubal leaped from the shadows inflicting some serious wounds. Grimjob then stepped forward and shot an arrow directly into the Tormentor’s eye, through to her brain, killing her instantly with one shot. This freed Grodd from her spell, and they all defeated the remaining assassins and Zuagir guards. For good measure, Horsa cut the head off of the Tormentor’s lifeless body. Lord Valanus destroyed the black rod the Tormentor had used to summon the assassins.
The party then descended into the pits beneath the tower. In the first level they were ambushed by evil Shambling Boar things. These caused some severe wounds. Vegeta put down the visor of his new helmet for the first time, only to find a large hairy spider in the faceplate. The fighting continued. Vegeta swooned from several tusk wounds, but the rest of the boars were then defeated.
In the deeper pit they found a few Shushan women prisoners. One of them was indeed the Oracle. She confessed to Grimjob that her powers were gone, lost when she was befouled at the hands of Turanian soldiers. But she offered hope to Grimjob. She said that between herself and Grimjob they possessed the knowledge and requisites to find a new Oracle and re-found the Order of Protectors.
They looted the temple and slipped away. Most of them off toward the West, but Grimjob and the Oracle to the desert fastness.