[Actual Play] Lost on Carcosa Part V: Of the Gratitude of Ulfire Men and the Wrath of Snake-men

(Posting activity has gone down somewhat. I’ve been reading Lovecraft and Leiber and a new Horus Heresy novel came out and i am doing shit and it gets in the way of elfgamefagging. Still, 50 posts!)

So continues the chronicling of our ragged band of adventurers on far off, daemon-haunted Carcosa. When we last left off our heroes had slain the accursed monstrosity that lived below the river, earning the dubious gratitude of the vile gods of Carcosa. Exploration, using their newly aquired prisoners as trap-detectors, revealed blasphemous works of corpse-art within its cavernous lair, as well as a strange red-veined stone idol of terrible significance. Unfortunately, only a Sorceror of intermediate ability could decipher the runic inscriptions that revealed its operation. Prolongued examination caused great headaches and nosebleeds, thus they resolved to take it with them. Interrogation of the Ulfire men revealed nothing, for they were stoic in their denial, and unfazed by promises of a swift but painful end (on Carcosa, a swift but painful end is considered mercy, not threat).

Our heroes set out towards the white village instead, leaving behind T’click the Ulfire man to watch over the prisoners, as they seemed to consider him in a favourable light, being a fellow Ulfire Man. As they set on their merry way to reap their just rewards, the Ulfire Men convinced noble T’click that he would be better off co-operating with them and reaping the reward. T’click considered their generous offer, set them loose, and scouted out a suitable ambush location with one of the prisoners whilst the other uncovered their hidden canoo and travelled to the village of the Ulfire men beyond the Great River, to fetch warriors for the ambush. The Ulfire men stressed that the others would be used to take the brunt of the assault whilst they would remain at a safe distance, to fetch the spoils. After a suitable ambush location had been found, the Ulfire Man tried to strangle noble T’click with a rope, for such is the gratitude of Ulfire men. After a short but brutal struggle, T’click stabbed him in the stomach and sat down to do some much needed contemplating.

Our noble heroes, led by valiant Remus, set out to claim their generous bounty from the Passion of Circumstance, the benevolent adolescent ruler of the noble and heavily armed White Men. The Passion of Circumstance informed them that regretably, the death of the White warrior, who was precious to the village, meant some compensation would have to be detracted from their reward. He also inquired what had happened to the box of oil that he had generously lent them, and was wrought to find it had been used. Further detractions would have to be made from the promised reward when it turned out the chain armour that was lent to our monster-slaying misfits had been worn by non-white men, making it Unclean in the eyes of the village, and thus it could not be returned. As Rake restrained a Remus trembling with murderous rage and Sayd suggested a single death was nothing compared to the great victory, further angering the Passion of Circumstance, who was by then also trembling with barely restrained murderous fury, the band quickly took its paltry 50 gold pieces per man and left the village.

Outside, they were met by the howdah of Kalak, Black merchant and aquiaintance of the band, who cashed in the promised price for his black lotus poison, ineffective though it proved against the nameless horror, reducing the sum total to 8 gp per player. Such is Carcosa. Our band, now poor and unwilling to co-operate with the treasonous White Men, inquired after further job opportunities, and was delighted to discover Kalak was in need of the rare magnetic ores that can only be found in the Tsagassoth Peaks. At the promise of 100 gp per kilo, with a limit of three thousand gold pieces, our band rose to the challenge, but first set out to collect T’click.

T’Click, faced with the choice of leaving his old allies to face an ambush of vicious Ulfire men and talk his way back into the surviving group or face them all down himself and hide the evidence, chose the second option for reasons that are unclear even to this day. He found the narrow path up the river’s edge, improvised a trap with his magnificent bushcraft skills, prepared the ancient and wholly functional beam weapon they had taken from the Purple Men (they had been given a functional power-cell by the White Men) and took cover behind some rocks.

They came on in 8 boats, 16 vicious warriors, chanting monotonously, faces pierced by manifold bones and cacti needles. T’Click waited until the last was in range afore opening fire. Let hit be known he sank two of their boats, killing four, and slaid a fifth one afore they reached the shores and did slay him with their weapons. In his death throes, he burst open, revealing the hideous lamprey-like creature that inhabited him, causing them to flee to their boats whilst the creature claimed a sixth one and then slunk off into the river, to breed within itsths.

Our heroes, destitute and ill-humoured stumbled upon his corpse as it was being examined by a Bone-Man Sorcerer. Seeker of Truth, Speaker to Animals had travelled far from his village in the West, to discover the identity of the mysterious and terrible Ulfire Slavers that had plagued him also. After much pointing of Spears and distrustful mumbling, the party accepted him into their ranks, setting course for the Tsaggasoth Peaks.

The party was diverted from its resolve after a day of travel by the sight of the ancient Snake-man fortress that had claimed the lives of so many. They resolved to examine it once more, to discover whether the Snake Men statues were still active. They were. The Beam weapon proved more then a match for many, and by keeping their distance and kiting the statues, they killed five. Emboldened by success, they went into the fortress once more and discovered twenty-five more had emerged, now following them constantly. A great pitched battle at the gates, where the two Sorcerers, who had discovered chanted commands in the language of the Snake Men could control or at least temporarily halt some of the Statues, held them at the drawbridge while the Nameless Man fired the weapon into them again and again, slaying seven before the party had to fall back, for mighty Sayd almost lost his life. It was by the actions of Remus and Rake that the warrior managed to escape a dire fate. Low on ammunition, with Sayd grievously wounded, they fled.

Thus our heroes ran, persued by slow-moving but tireless snake men statues, now 18 in all. Marching all throughout the night, our exhausted heroes now came upon the village of the Yellow Men, ruled by He Who Sits on the Polychromatic Butterfly Throne. What grim course of action they followed, we shall soon see.

Total Deaths: 8
[A] Rohnan (specialist 1) – Eaten by giant spiders
[B] Jaxxon Windwaker (ftr 1) – Impaled by Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
[C] Mongo the Red (Sor 1) – Impaled by Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
[B] Klak (spec 1) – Skull-crushed by animated Snake-men statue
[B] Crystal (ftr 1) – Drowned in Quicksand
[D] Kakarot (Sor 1) – Beheaded by Jale berserker
[A] Midros (Sor 1) – Skull split in single combat with Jale chieftain
[E] T’Click (spec 1) – Hacked to pieces by Ulfire Men


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