Better to fall to a rusted blade,
Ande Suffer a Leper’s Caress,
To be graced by the Serpent’s Kiss,
T’is then to provoke the Sorcerer’s Ire.
Our heroes, still drunk on victory, entered the Citadel the next day, to reap from it great rewards while the purple men celebrated victory over forces unfathomable with cactus wine and song. With weapons bared they prowled the maze, fighting its disease ridden guardians. Easily they fell, but not without consequence. It was Sago who suffered little more then scratches, but a scratch was enough. All who are touched so by the undying servants of Uyu-Jadhmogh must perish in the end. Now infected with Leprosy, the Sorcerer Sago lived on borrowed time, though it was written it would not be leprosy that would lay him low in the end.
From the hidden tomb of Uyu-Jadhmogh they took great spoils, ornate plate, a golden deathmask and a masterful blade, forged with ancient techniques long lost in this decadent age. A shrine too, was discovered, filled with a hundred statues of unknown hideous gods, marked with bloody handprints. Aping the acts of numberless thousands before them, they took their chances and gave blood to unknown gods.
For Circe, there was nothing, for she was too blind to see. For Kamicollo, there was a vile curse, for he was unworthy of divine favour. For Sago, there was knowledge, a single question to the ancient ones. And Sago was wise and crafty in the ways of Sorcerers, asking for a means to cure the loathsome bane coursing through his veins. And lo, the unknown gods provided, saying he need but the Blood of the Diseased Guardian, the fetid amoebial substance from the Protoplasmic Pits of the Primordial Ones and a rare herb that grew only in the Hanging Gardens of Azatoth. So informed, Sago nodded sagely.
It was Satiros, who Listens, that was truly tested. For the blood from his hand did multiply and spread out into a great crimson pool. And time stilled like a stinging insect in amber for all but him and the thing that emerged from within the pool, being in every way his twin in appearance and ability. It was fortunate indeed that Satiros was still exhausted, having already spent his prodigious psychic ability that day. With ornate ritual knives drawn, they battled, knives inflicting great cuts, until finally Satiros prevailed over this changeling. And the gods were pleased by this test of strength, and Satiros was tempered and grown more hardy by the undertaking.
With great golden armour they sojourned without, leaving the frozen hosts of Uyu-Jadmogh for another time and hailed by the Purple men as heroes. Travelling down from that hideous Citadel, they feasted on fried lizard, fermented fungus and the calves of Brown men in joyous celebration, gifting the Sorcerer’s formidable sword to the Lustrous King, noble and tall leader of the Purple men, in recognition of his beneficence. All seemed well and good, and our heroes did celebrate mightly and became honourary members of the tribe besides.
But all was not well indeed. Though they rested for days and did bind their wounds and prepared for the journey westward in victory, Satiros was stricken with a hideous premonition of approaching doom in the evening. Heeding this strange vision but departing not, whether through loyalty, foolishness or courage, our heroes prepared for war, readying carts and armament and sleeping but lightly.
T’was ill conceived, and in the dead of night, unharmed by sword and clothed in the substance of the night, came the God of the Primal Void. Conjured by the vile masters of Carcosa, it descended upon the village, a great darkness quenching fires and freezing blood with its ethereal touch. T’was Kamicollo, utilizing his strange staff, to see the creature for what it was, and well did he flee and depart from the battle. Approaching from the east, it swept through the village like a farmer’s scythe, harvesting the lives of the purple men sent to stop it, for terrestrial weaponry harmed not this hideous ultratellurian terror.
And though our heroes did fire their beam weapon into its heart and by Kamicollo’s sage council, did assay its vulnerability to fire, they could but recoil in horror as it drank the life of the Lustrous King and his picked men. T’was Satiros that fled whilst Sago, Circe and Ko, who was slow by his hideous serpentine undercarriage and could escape by no means, did linger, conceiving to set their stores of lamp oil alight to hurt the creature mightly. A cunning gambit, but for nought, and soon the creature swept over them, freezing the blood of mighty Ko with but a touch. As Circe broke left, Sago did barely escape its touch by the breadth of a hair and our heroes fled the village to the wailing of their allies. When day did strike upon the domain of the Lustrous King, it was little more then a frozen graveyard. Such was the fate of those that marched against the City of Sorcerer’s.
Sighing forlornly, our heroes travelled on to the river-village and domain of the Embrace of Regret and the blue merchantmen. On their way they did encounter a band of inebriated blue men, not from the village they sought, and did conceive them to be plotting treachery and thus resolved to pre-empt them. Using feminine wiles, cunning Circe, uplifted by the loss of her domineering father and monstrous husband, convinced them to sit in a great circle and participate in a harmless game. As they closed their eyes, unsuspecting, our heroes did fall upon them and pried from their dead hands much needed rations and equipment.
Ill fate struck them as they passed across the plains of grass where dwelt the great Stegosaurus herds en route to the village of the Embrace of Regret, there to sell their great treasures. Three dolm worms, emerging from the ground and hungry for their blood, did fall upon them. Thinking quickly, our heroes sped towards the herds, leaving their retainer Nolan to carpenter to face the hunger of the worms.
As the worms fell upon the herds of dinosaurs afterward, desiring greater prey, great bone spikes jutting from their hides like some inverted hedgehog’s quill’s in the dreadful melee of titans that followed, Kamicollo did get that gleam in his eyes that men have learnt to fear. Swiftly he spoke, convincing his companions, who needed little prompting, of the glory that would be theirs should they slay these vile creatures. He primed the alien explosive unearthed from the cairns of the Primordial ones and strode forward, dodging launched tail-spikes and running for cover of the hills where his companions awaited as the device went up, consuming both the herd and the worms in a great orb of nuclear fire. Our heroes, huddled behind thick earthen hills, did see the creatures brought low and scattered to the winds and celebrated and jeered. They did not emerge unscathed, for the hideous radiations of the device did twist the flesh of Satiros and Kamicollo. Satiros gained an extra eye in the front of his face, though it was blind, and Kamicollo was twisted in flesh and eyesight to hate and fear the sun from thereon out. It mattered little, for they had won a great victory on the horrors of Carcosa on this day.
With a great mushroom cloud in their backs, they journed merrily to the village of the Blue men, hungry for ale and more adventure.
Death toll: 23
[A] Rohnan (Specialist 1) the Incautious: Eaten by giant spiders
[B] Jaxxon Windwaker (Ftr 1) the Choleric : Impaled by Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
[C] Mongo the Red (Sor 1) the Cautious : Impaled by Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
[B] Klak (Specialist 1) the Mad : Skull crushed by Animate Snake-man statue
[B] Kristal (Ftr 1) the Unfortunate: Drowned in Quicksand
[D] Kakarot (Sor 1) the Stout: Beheaded by Jale Berserker
[A] Midros (Sor 1) Friend to Horrors : Bissected by Jale chieftain
[E] T’Click (Spec 1) the Traitor: Butchered by treacherous Ulfire men
[B] Kris (Spec 1) Eater of Entrails: Gutted by Elite Yellow Temple Guardian
[D] Rake (Ftr 1) the Doomed: Devoured by Dolm Worm
[A] Sayeed (Ftr 1) the Rash: Drowned in the Great River to be food for the creatures below
[A] Ronaan (Spec 1) the Gambler: Beheaded by the mighty Bone man champion in honourable single combat
[B] Jahlin (Spec 1) Slayer of Sorcerers: Taken by the invisble horror of the Great Canyon
[A] Menon (Spec 1) the Bold: Cut down by the vile and contemptible Ulfire Slavers
[B] Sarumon (Ftr 1) the Inheritor: Mind-wiped by alien technology and imprinted with memory and personality of the Master.
[E] Speaker to Animals (Sor 1) the Schemer: Mind-wiped by alien technology and imprinted with memory and personality of the Master. Body Slain by Tellurium Beam Weapon.
[B] Hannibal (Ftr 1) the Unprepared: Perished by the harsh clime and dangerous climb of the Tsaggasoth Peaks.
[D] Asuz (Ftr 2) the Reckless: Slain by the Gaze of the Sartoom
[B] Mordak (Ftr 1) the Defiant; Consumed by the Guardian
[A] Ragnar (Sor 1) the Brave; Struck down by the Ninefold Banes of Uyu-Jadh Mogh
[B] Ythrak (Ftr 1) the Liar: Beheaded in honourable single combat with the Lord of the Wastes
[B] Pharron (Spec 1) the Greedy: Felled by the arrows of the vile and contemptible Ulfire Slavers
[A] Ko (Ftr 2) the Twisted: Blood frozen by the hideous caress of the God of the Primal Void.
Compatriots & Henchmen: 10
Burlap – Cut down by the Master of the Valley.
Sextus (the name of the Green Man) – Dissolved by Dolm Ooze (or Pudding).
Silent One (purple man) – Devoured by the Guardian
Hannibal (ulfire man) – Struck down by the Ninefold Banes of Uyu-Jadhmogh
Unnamed Purple man – Frozen to death. Eaten by his erstwhile companions
The Four Who Are One (Red men) – Struck down by a Master of Carcosa
Nolan the carpenter – Eaten by Dolm Worms
Desertions and betrayals;
4 Brown Men – Deserted because of poor morale and abhorrent treatment.
The Captain of the Ulfire Men – Pledged allegiance to the City of Sorcerers, cast into the pit by Circe, chieftain’s daughter, warrior maiden and bethrothed of Ko.