Against the Ape Cult

Day of the Hare (1st), Black Witches’ Moon, Year of the Titan

A mission for Storm Bull

Ockasiola convinced the other members of his party to fight the ape cultists. They made their way to the temple of Storm Bull, and from there to the sewer entrance, guided by a young initiate (formerly a street urchin) called Kregen

The ape cult temple – lower level

Blundar spotted a secret entrance just near the main one, and Aranduil showed a surprising ability to pick the lock. Kee-Ree crept down the quiet corridor, lit by smokeless torches dipped in a glowing green substance.

Poisoned doors

Kee-ree entered a chamber with four doors. His armour saved him from death as two poisoned darts shot out at him.

The ape lair

Through one of the doors a giant ape roared behind bars. Though he could speak with animals, Aranduil could see that this one would not be reasoned with.

The chambers of the Strangler

They continued to explore and found bedchambers, a laboratory, and stairs upwards. Yucta picked up some Fire Dust. Along one corridor were prison rooms, filled with ordinary Lankhmarts. ‘Help us,’ they implored. Ockasiola was determined to do so!

The Inner Sanctum

The Strangler and several of his white-robed cultists were performing a ceremony. They were fanatics and leaped to attack. Yucta flung his Fire Dust and several were consumed with flames. Aranduil swooped on the Strangler in eagle form. Kee-ree, Ockasiola, Blundar took care of the rest. Ockasiola toppled the ape-idol and released the prisoners with the Strangler’s keys.

The Stars Are Right

Night of the Beaver (29th) and Day of the Crab (30th), Harvest Moon, Year of the Titan

Stars and Sky

Ockasiola followed Jengo’s man Reynold at midnight through the Park of Pleasure to the tower of an astrologer. Nesting in the park, Aranduil returned to human form after communing with the thirteen perfect eagles. Jengo told of his customer: a sorcerer called Ooorn the Red-Eyed, who had frightened away other bidders with his dark reputation. The meet would take place at the conjunction of Astorian and Ranstar.

Scrolls and Smoke

A trip to the Great Library was called for, to find out the significance of these stars (they enhance bargaining). On the way back through the Street of the Gods Aranduil and Ockasiola met the priest of Storm Bull, who urged them to sack the temple of the Ape God. Ockasiola agreed.

Sorcery and Sale

On the night of the conjunction, Yucta demanded to be present. Aranduil observed from the rooftops while Ockasiola, Blundar and Kee-Ree guarded the gate. Tall, gaunt Erei arrived in a cart pulled by black horses, and clutching what looks like a bloody bandage. Aranduil observed the scrap of cloth was ornamented with stylised eyes. When Erei departed Aranduil interrogated the frightened horses. In the warehouse with Jengo and Yucta, Erei donned the red blindfold of eyes. Ooorn saw through them and all felt his presence. Jengo and Ooorn sealed a bargain and Erei departed, exhausted, promising later payment.

The Spider-God's temple

Night of the Beaver (29th), Harvest Moon, Year of the Titan

Evening at the warehouse

Kee Ree and Ockasiola did not want to wait at the warehouse. They ventured into the streets in search of Yucta and Blundar

Enfreel the beggar

Ockasiola helped Enfreel the beggar reach the Green Keg Inn. Enfreel told them he had seen Yucta in the old part of the docks.

Reunited at the old church

With some luck and Kee-Ree’s keen eyes and tracking skills, he and Ockasiola found the old church and scaled the wall, just in time to see Blundar and Yucta at the entrance.

Spider guardian

There were several lightless rooms in the church. In one, a paper-rustly giant un-dead spider attacked them. They defeated it and found a trapdoor, from which chanting could be heard.

The new-formed cult

Kee-Ree descendend the staircase and found a basement temple with six chanting cultists. He heard two of them say their names. Stealthily he advanced upon them — then struck with his whirling blades! Almost before Yucta and Blundar could join the fight, it was over.

Black Garrick’s reward

Back at the Noisy Nun, Black Garrick seemed surprised about the spider cult, but paid his agreed fist of gold to all four.

Skull business

Day of the Beaver (29th), Harvest Moon, Year of the Titan

Jengo’s Famous Auction House

Yucta’s first reason for being in smoky Lankhmar was to find a buyer for the skull of the Icewyrm, which he and his companions had lugged all the way from the cold Northlands. Fortunately Blundar had heard of the Plaza of Dark Delights, where all goods are bought and sold. So they searched there and found Jengo’s Famous Auction House.

Jengo seemed to be legitimate. He directed Yucta, and Blundar to store their merchandise at his warehouse, which was located near the Grand Gate. Yucta decided to move their base from the tavern on Nun Street to a quiet inn called the Green Keg in the Plaza district, not far from the warehouse.

Blundar and Yucta travelled back to their inn via the Street of the Gods, where they dropped in on the priest of Storm Bull whom they had met earlier. He was excited. “Tell Ockasiola that there is a cult of Chaos — an ape god — to smite in this city!”. Yucta nodded and backed away slowly

A job for Black Garrick

When they arrived at their inn, they found a man in the bar waiting for them, surrounded by several scantily-clad slave girls. He offered them a drink and introduced himself as Black Garrick, a pious and upstanding member of the Thieves’ Guild, “the real power in this city”. He offered them a job to track down a couple of ‘rogue’ cutpurses, who he’d heard had surfaced at an abandoned shrine in the harbour district. In return he offered a handful of gold each, and the benignity of the Guild. And he needed the job done this night.

The abandoned shrine

Yucta and Blundar made their way to the shrine, surrounded by looming warehouses. The gate was chained and the building was surrounded by a high but crumbling wall, which they climbed easily. The shrine stood in an overgrown garden with a well. The grass had been trampled between the well and the church but otherwise grew wild. Blundar and Yucta entered the building through its ancient doors. Yucta’s glow globe cast light inside to reveal a huge mosaic of a spider inlaid in the floor. Several doors exited the chamber.

Comforts of the South

Day of the Bat (25th), Harvest Moon, Year of the Titan

Kvarch Nar

The city of Kvarch Nar was a welcome sight after so many days in the wilderness. It was a graceful, tree-lined place.

Recalling Mylo the brandy merchant, they sought his house. They soon found it, a mansion on Wool Street, and gained admittance. Present were Mrs Mylo and another merchant named Jhonen, a friend and business partner of Mylo’s. They made the adventurers welcome, with warm beds and a delicious breakfast.

Jhonen told of the dangers of the eastern roads; that beastmen, bandits and even a sorcerer in a golden mask caused trouble for merchants heading that way.

Jhonen took it upon himself to escort them around town and help them with their errands. Yucta wanted to purchase a lead-lined box in which to conceal the sorcerer’s skull; and also to secure passage to Lankhmar. He felt sure that the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes would be an ideal market for the Icewyrm skull which they had so laboriously transported from frozen Olathoe.


In the market square, they chanced upon an argument between a man and a young woman, which had attracted a crowd of onlookers. The man had taken the woman’s arm and she was threatening to slap him. Yucta approached and the man stormed off. The young woman smiled. “I should reward my rescuers,” she said, and produced a gold crown for each, including the stunned Jhonen.

“Who are you?” asked Yucta as she walked away. “Look me up,” was her reply.

Silently, Jhonen turned over the coin to reveal the young woman’s profile. “Helena, daughter of Movarl, who is overlord of the Eight Cities”, he said.

From Lobster Wharf to the Inner Sea

Jhonen had organised (and paid for) passage to Lankhmar on the merchantman Pride of Sarheenmar, which was loaded with timber and ready to leave on the morning tide. Out of respect for Jhonen the captain delayed departure until the next day for the adventurers.

For three days the ship sailed across the Inner Sea, with the sailors singing:

I got wood in Kvarch Nar!
I got wood in Kvarch Nar!
I got wood
He got wood
We all got wood in Kvarch Nar!

He got wood
They got wood
I got stoned in Mlurg Nar

I got wood in Kvarch Nar!
I got wood in Kvarch Nar!
I got wood
We got wood
We all got wood in Kvarch Nar!

City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes!

dockside.pngLankhmar! Perhaps only in his dreams had Yucta, Ockasiola or the others seen such a city, though Kee Ree Nigh Ran-ax said that spired Tisinilit was a fairer place. The gleaming towers of the Rainbow Palace were visible first over the grey sea, then the bustling docks of the Harbour District on the banks of the brown River Hlal.

Yucta made arrangements with the harbourmaster to transfer the crate containing the dragon’s skull into a secure warehouse. The group then found themselves an inn in Nun Street, somewhat away from the noise of the docks and not far from the Great Library of Lankhmar.

A walk down the Street of the Gods

Ockasiola had heard from the sailors that temples of all the gods of the world could be found in Lankhmar on the Street of the Gods, though none could build their temple closer to the head of the street than the decrepit stone fane dedicated to the Gods of Lankhmar. Ockasiola wondered if the words of Storm Bull might be known in this great city.

They walked the length of the Street of the Gods, past droning priests and cultists of a thousand faiths. As they approached the Marsh Gate on the far side of the city, the tenements and temples became more and more shabby and small, with some cults even sharing addresses. Finally, Ockasiola spotted a set of lopsided horns — the sign of Storm Bull! Inside was a snoring priest with crumbs on his vestments. But he awoke and praised Storm Bull, especially when Ockasiola placed his gold coin on the collection tray.

The Savage North, session 4

Day of the Lizard (8th), Harvest Moon, Year of the Titan

The Oracle of Crag Don

Inside the Long House of Crag Don the feasting continued. Medicine Woman Quinn beckoned to Yucta and the others. They followed her outside into the snow. They climbed the hill to the standing stones, where the great caldron bubbled over a fire maintained by two white-cloaked acolytes.

Quinn threw some herbs into the caldron (Yucta was unable to identify them) and breathed the fumes.

“You carry the skull of a wizard. Such things are always dangerous. This one is sought by Khaakht, the Ice Wizard, who would use it to bring woe and ice to Nehwon.”

“Let’s destroy it!” said Ockasiola

“Not a good idea,” replied the oracle. “A wizard’s bones sleep ever uneasy. Instead you should take it away from here, where Khaakht’s power is strong — lands too close to the ice and the land of Death. Take it somewhere warm, where life is all around. Somewhere Khaakht will be unable to perceive it.”

“The Jungle of Klesh, my homeland, is such a place.”, said Yucta uneasily.


Medicine Woman Quinn thanked the heroes for their efforts against the Wodemen, and offered them sleds and guides to take them to Cold Corner. The barbarians knew their lands well, and four days later they had descended the great plateau of the Cold Waste and arrived at Cold Corner, a meeting point of sorts between the barbarians and the folk of the Eight Cities. There the northerners left them. Yucta negotiated favourable terms as caravan guards on the way to Illik Ving.

“A good thing too,” one of the merchants muttered, “something terrible has happened to the Marshmallow route between Sarheenmar and Kleg Nar. The market has all but dried up. No wagons get through. Monsters in the woods. I heard of a wizard in a golden mask…” He lapsed into silence.

However neither wizards in golden masks nor floating globes of ice menaced the adventurers; the guard work was mundane and a week later they arrived in Illik Ving. It was a frontier town, not much to look at and smaller than Pavis, but a metropolis compared with what they had seen of late. They ate and slept well at the Double-Tusked Boar Inn.

The Forest Road

The party bought horses and set off south on the road to Kvarch Nar. The Great Forest closed about them. A couple of days later they heard cries for help and sinister laughter. A merchant was defending himself with a stick against three robed foes with sharp swords. They spun to face their new attackers and their faces were alien, sunken, corpselike. They were skilled with their blades but they were up against tough heroes. They did not flee but Blundar, Yucta, Ockasiola and Kee Ree cut them down. The merchant was grateful. His name was Mylo, a brandy seller of Kvarch Nar. He offered his hospitality if they were ever in that city.

The Savage North, session 3

Day of the Minnow (2nd), Harvest Moon, Year of the Titan

The Cold Waste

Bandits of the pass

Griffin Pass was behind them. Yucta Axotylata, Ockasiola, Blundar and Kee-Ree Nigh Ran-ax observed the Cold Waste before them: a desolate land of snowy forests and hills. Behind a nearby boulder there came a noise and out stepped several bandits, natives of the area. They demanded a toll, but their smiles faded when they saw the toughened warriors before them, and the Icewyrm head they carried. The bandits melted away into the hills.

Crag Don

A day after meeting the bandits, a smallish eagle appeared, landed on a tree for a while, then flew off a short distance before landing again. Ockasiola took it as a sign from Storm Bull. They followed the bird to a raised mound which was clearly inhabited — or had been recently. Smoke rose from the hill and around and about were Northerner bodies and signs of a recent battle. The adventurers hurried to the hilltop. This was Crag Don, a holy place for the barbarians.

In the Druid’s hut

Ockasiola recalled that the Northmen were ruled by their women. Sure enough they found a wounded Great Druid being tended by her acolyte. The Druidess was Quinn: Medicine Woman. She told them that the mound had been attacked by Wodemen from the foothills. The Wodemen had taken prisoners, including Quinn’s neice Gwyneth. She urged the adventurers to give immediate chase, offering fresh horses. Ockasiola agreed at once. Quinn spoke to the eagle who had guided them here and it transformed into a bald man. He was a druid called Aranduil, who had accidentally been trapped in eagle form on the way here. He decided to join in the hunt for the Wodeman war party.

The Wodemen hunt

cibo00_Haida_Indian_Tattoo.pngA chill wind blew across the plain as the riders pursued their quarry. The tracks were easy to follow. Near the end of the day they spotted a dead Wodeman, his corpse withered sucked and drained by sorcery.

On the second day of the hunt they found the ashes of the Wodemen campfire and encountered two trappers who had seen the war party headed for the sinister Forest of Ayoon nearby.

The forest of Ayoon

Dusk was falling as they entered the darkening forest of Ayoon. They had not gone far when arrows started flying their way – from Wodeman sentries high in the trees. The sentries were quickly killed, but not before they sounded a warning. Blundar scaled a tree and spotted a clearing containing a mound of ancient standing stones. There were drum noises coming from the clearing.

Battle at the old mound

They entered the clearing. The shaman was there, wielding a huge sacrificial knife over the hostages, who were tied to the standing stones. With a roar the Wodemen charged over the crest to do battle! Ockasiola, Blundar, Yucta and Kee-Ree fought off the horde. Aranduil changed into eagle form and launched himself screaming at the shaman. The eagle raked the shaman with its talons, then transformed back into the druid and CRACK! broke the shaman’s arm with a blow from his quaterstaff. Meanwhile, the Wodemen were being beaten back in spite of their fanaticism. Soon all were dead, the shaman’s demonic ritual prevented and the prisoners freed.

Three days later the heroes returned to Crag Don, where a the druids prepared a feast in their honour.

The Savage North, session 2

Day of the Squirrel (26th), Satyr’s Moon, Year of the Titan

Lost in the forest

The quiet snow-covered forest stretched all around. The three southerners were lost. The heavy clouds hung low. Yucta Ockasiola could not get his bearings. Blundar Oddly was a man of the soft cities; he knew only legends of the northlands. Ockasiola prayed to Storm Bull. A bolt of lightning from the heavy clouds overhead struck the forest somewhere ahead. A rumble of thunder followed.
“Thank you, Storm Bull!”

The others shrugged. One way was as good as another. They began to walk, picking their way between the trees with Krassius Vror’s horse and the sled carrying the Icewyrm’s head. Then the heavy rain came down.

The apple glade

After an uncomfortable night the skies cleared somewhat and the cold wind blew through the trees. At noon they came to a clearing. In the centre was a gnarled apple tree, lush with bright fruit. Around it were bright red poppies. Yucta was suspicious, especially when he spied a skull among the flowers. He would not set foot in the clearing. Ockasiola and Blundar saw the fruit and greatly desired some. Their food had been icewyrm steaks for days. Ockasiola shot an arrow; it pierced an apple and knocked it off the tree. Cautiously, Blundar ventured into the clearing to collect the fallen apple. He took a bite, and declared it delicious. Ockasiola tasted some too. By this time Yucta had made it around to the other side of the clearing with the sled, and was moving on. As Blundar stepped from the clearing with an uneaten apple in his pocket there was a rustling sound. Eight thin figures stepped forth from the trees, gnarled like wood. They carried shining swords which they had unsheathed from the bark of the nearby trees.

“Trespassers, none shall take the fruit of sacred Donya from the grove” came a voice like rustling leaves.

“We are very sorry. We meant no disrespect to holy Donya” replied Blundar, dropping the apple and motioning Ockasiola to do likewise. There was a pause, then the figures stepped back into the trees, mollified by his words.

The cold dead men

That night Satyr’s Moon was a mere sliver. Yucta stood on watch and thought he saw a dark globe pass in front of the moon. The night was so dark he did not see the figures until they were almost upon the campsite — eight eerie dead men creeping unnaturally through the snow. Yucta heard a rasping whisper: “Give us the skull.” He shouted a warning and the others struggled to their feet as the zombies attacked. Ockasiola was slow and a zombie clubbed him badly. Yucta swung his mace at the attackers. He was confident he could send several back to Hell but eight against three? He didn’t like those odds.

The whirling blades of Kee-Ree nigh-Rahn-ax

From out of the night came a cry, and a fresh attacker launched himself at the zombies, whirling his blade so fast it was mesmerising. The newcomer was fast, very fast, and between the four of them the zombies were soon dismembered and twitching on the snow.

Fellow traveller

The stranger was Kee-Ree nigh-Rahn-ax, a demon hunter from the Eastern Lands. He was short, dark-skinned and always moving. His family had been killed by demons and he had dedicated his life to their destruction. In such pursuit he had been transported by a magical portal to these frozen lands. Certainly he seemed ill-dressed for these cold woods, though he claimed not to feel the cold. Nevertheless he was grateful to share the fire.

Griffin Pass

griffin.pngOver the next few days the land gradually rose and sheer mountains loomed ahead. Fortunately, there was a pass dead ahead. The four spotted a huge nest up on the cliff side. Although they moved cautiously, it wasn’t long before the owners of the nest — two enormous Griffins — came to investigate. A shot from Blundar’s Arbalest and a Flame Arrow from Ockasiola was enough to frighten them away however.

The hanged man

The pass led through a high-walled valley, a little warmer and greener than the cold forest they had traversed. Near the entrance to the valley a bloated, unrecognisable corpse hung from a tree. Civilisation, of a sort, then?

The Savage North, session 1

Day of the Bat (25th), Satyr’s Moon, Year of the Titan

Into the forest

Yucta Axotylata helped Krassius-Vror to rig up a small sled. They loaded the Icewyrm’s head upon it. Krassius was keen to get moving back to town to claim his reward. The party set off into the vast snowy forest which surrounded the ruins of Olathoe. The snow crunched underfoot as they made their way slowly through the still, white woods. Evening came down quickly, and the chilly stars began to come out. It was time to make camp.

Spiders of Leng

They took watches. On Blundar’s watch, he sniffed the cold air. Something was not right. He looked up and saw five gigantic purplish spiders — each as big as a small room — descending quietly from the trees. He shouted a warning and loosed his loaded arbalest at one of the monsters — splattering its abdomen. Krassius-Vror hurled an axe and a second spider retreated, dripping green ichor. The remaining spiders squirted sticky webs which covered Yucta, Ockasiola and Blundar.

“The Spiders of Leng!” cried Tech-na as he jumped back from the webs. Then the spiders were upon them.

Krassius-Vror and Tech-na found themselves fighting for their lives while the others struggled to free themselves. Krassius-Vror nimbly dodged the poisonous mandibles and Tech-na interposed his staff. Blundar ripped the webs from himself and impaled one of the spiders with his rapier. It shrieked and turned to flee, dripping green goo from the wound. But then — disaster! Just as Ockasiola was struggling free Krassius-Vror tripped and fell on his back and the spider was upon him, biting and stinging. Krassius arched his back in agony and green foam came from his mouth. He was dead. Tech-na was distracted by the sight and the second spider bit him too. Agony wracked him from the poison and he knew no more.

Finally Yucta escaped from the webs and he, Blundar and Ockasiola killed one spider and drove off the other. The spiders retreated into the tree tops. Enraged, Yucta lit a huge fire at the base of the tree, but the spiders were no longer visible. They had disappeared back to the dream dimension.

Dreams up in smoke

The three survivors of the attack watched as the pyre consumed the bodies of their companions. Tech-na chuk chuk Wakae Hazar who had voyaged to the Moon and seen Thran the Beautiful was no more. Krassius-Vror’s dreams of wealth were at an end also. Yucta took the rune-engraved sorcerer’s skull and Tech-na’s pebble ring from Sarnath. Ockasiola took his sacred staff.

The next day, the ashes were cold. Yucta Axotylata, Blundar Oddly and Ockasiola the Zebran trudged onwards into the snow without looking back.

Horn Gate, session #4, 30th August 2013
Day of the Shrew (24th), Satyr's Moon, Year of the Titan

Horn Gate, Ice-cursed

The stone box

Once again, Tech-na examined the runes which covered the stone box in the star chamber below the cold ruins of Olathoe. They were definitely magical, and they matched those on the shields of the warrior frescoes which surrounded the chamber. Blundar Oddly stepped forward and cast a spell of trap detection. “It’s trapped —” he said, before slumping into unconsciousness. Either the spell had worn him out or something particularly sinister was in the air.

Ockasiola watched Blundar until he awoke. Meanwhile, Krassius-Vror wandered back the dead Icewyrm to hack off its head. Yucta Axotylata also tried to harvest as many dragon parts as practical for potions.

When they returned to the star chamber, Oddly had regained consciousness. Krassius-Vror strode forward impatiently and reached for the box lid. He opened it a crack, then staggered back with a brief screeching in his brain. The lid fell closed, but he noticed that the box was moveable. He pushed at it and there was a grumbling sound. The stone frescoes stepped out of the wall as armoured warriors!

Stone warriors attack

Cold blue lights burned behind the warriors’ helms. Krassius-Vror leapt on to the stone box as the warriors advanced — all except for one which succumbed to Ockasiola’s Glue spell. The magical warriors fought grimly and defended well. They wounded Ockasiola and Blundar. But back-to-back the adventurers cut down one, then another until all lay in piles of rubble and the walls were blank. It had been a tough fight though and Tech-na suggested they rest and return the following day. They returned to the cold air above and sheltered in the necromancer’s tower. The night was quiet.

The sorcerer’s skull

Ben tatoo skullThe next day they returned to the stone box. Krassius, Ockasiola and Yucta heaved the lid off. A ball of flame engulfed Krassius as the others leapt clear. Krassius screamed and rolled about on the floor. The others succeeded in dousing the flames and tending to his serious burns. The box lid lay on the floor. In the box was an old skull, covered all over with mysterious runes. The skull of Anothep-Soth! Tech-na recognised the name as that of a powerful sorcerer of the Li’Tan order, a group of wizards who travelled to the Dreamlands and beyond. He thought such a skull might be useful, so he tried ventriloquism to make the skull appear to talk. But the others saw his lips move. They laughed, but let him take the skull anyway.

Ghost of the watchtower

Before they left the ruins, the adventurers investigated the lone tower beyond the ruins, which seemed to be intact. It was some way beyond the city ruins toward the mountain pass. Piles of rubble marked with strange faces covered the door. Tekna recognised the faces as warning masks made by the Inutos, a savage northern people long gone. Krassius and the others cleared the rubble, while Blundar deftly scaled the wall (still wearing his armour), peered through the dark window, slipped and fell heavily on top of Ockasiola. The doorway was cleared, revealing a dark stone staircase winding up the inside of a hollow tower. They climbed to the battlement at the top. There, a hollow-eyed ghost stood, with sword and spear of ancient appearance.

“I was the watchman of the city of Olathoe, last outpost of Lomar,” sighed the ghost. “Magic made me sleep at my post when the Inutos attacked, and now I am doomed to stand at my post forever.”

“How can we help you, spirit?” asked Yucta

“There is no way.”

“What about this skull?” asked Tech-na.

The ghost said: “That is the skull of Anothep-Soth, who opened a gate for the people of Olathoe to escape when the Inutos came. The Inutos’ master, the wizard-thing Khahkht sought him here.”

“Wizard thing?” Yucta queried, rolling his eyes. But there was no more answer from the ghost, so they left it and descended the tower.


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