This being a pulp serial adventure, the session started with the PCs at the bottom of the cliff, instead of on the top, where they were when session 11 ended.
The PCs witness the Warlord Conan and Warrior Maiden Mihrimah step out before their armies and face off against one another. Conan stands 7’ tall if an inch, while Mihrimah easily tops 6’. Even with Conan’s armor it’s not clear who would win, both look to move gracefully (despite their size) and Mihrimah carries her huge spear with ease. Conan holds his weapons wide and shouts “What’s wrong Warrior Princess Xena? Are you not entertained?” Edward, hearing someone mention Xena and quote the movie Gladiator facepalms, realizing Conan isn’t a primarch... he’s just another gaming geek.
What follows is a bout of trash-talking that makes several PCs shake their heads. It also shows the two commanders to be rather petty and/or childish, although Cyan is fairly positive the two really do hate each other and would fight to the death once the talking stops. Going around this mess isn’t an option, Conan’s army extends across the Trade Road and numbers countless thousands. Also, this is the man who indirectly caused so much trouble and strife back in Virava and has been doing his best to put all of the Plains to the sword.
Debate as what to do is resolved when skirmishers from both sides spot the PCs and race off to tell their commanders. The school-yard spat in the middle of the battlefield grinds to a halt as the newcomers are pointed out. Donovan decides it’s time to parley and walks out to confront Conan and Mihrimah. Edward follows, while Marcus and Vilgerther prep the wagon and weapons. Billy Jo and Cyan prepare for the possibility of things going south
while Calvin starts to sketch the scene and goes into a fugue state.
The PCs mode of dress (flight helmet, body armor, long coat, and so on) makes both commanders realize something is up and they turn to Donovan and Edward to hear them talk. Donovan states he’s pretty sure the two warriors come from somewhere else at which point Mihrimah recognizes him as the man in the airline uniform from the front of the plane. Conan questions their gear and Donovan has Marcus fire an electron bolt into the sky. This makes Conan very interested in what technology the PCs have. Cutting to the chase, the two agree to a sit-down meeting in order to hear more about the nature of the Well and who’s really in control of it.
Using a Trade Road way-station, Conan sets up a feast. He brings himself and 6 soldiers, Mihrimah is allowed the same. The PCs have Donovan as their spokesman and the rest follow, although Calvin sneaks off after a bit. Donovan explains about the “gatortroopers,” the Snake Men and their technology, the capturing of outsiders, and the Center of the Well being the base of operations. He also mentions the PC’s quest to overthrow the Snake Men and free the Well of their tyranny. Conan, who hears the words “control of the Well is found at the Center” decides to recruit the PCs to assist him in taking the Snake Men fortress. Mihrimah also decides to join forces, seeing as her survival is at stake. The PCs decide not to press the issue about who’s joining who (Conan has the army after all) and discuss logistics and the like.
When the feast is over, Conan returns to his camp to talk to his commanders. Mihrimah asks Billy Jo to come back to her camp to see what things are like there. She eventually takes him to her tent and tells him that when she was on the plane he never looked at her twice (to be fair Billy Jo has no idea who she could have been on the plane) but what does he think of her now? Billy Jo takes one look at the undressed Mihrimah and is more than willing to spend the night.
Calvin returns the next day, looking a bit worn out. He states that Conan is a self-absorbed dick and mentions having found the Warlord’s harem tent. He doesn’t go into details, but does tell Donovan that Conan has 18 women stashed away in said tent. Donovan is a bit aghast at that bit of news.
Conan starts to mobilize his army and spends 2-3 days doing so. He sends off most of his cavalry, requests more infantry and support, and states he will take the Trade Road to the coast. Form there they need to look into ships to take them across the Ocean to the Center. After more bickering, it’s decided that the Trade Road will be for the PCs and Conan’s wagons. Foot troops can walk in the plains to either side. Conan and Mihrimah will use the road as well.
1) Conan’s army in the field is around 5,000 men. His camp is around 8,000 people all told. He has infantry, archers, cavalry, and skirmishers. They mostly wear metal armor, carry square shields, short swords, spears, and are in 100 man cohorts. Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine heraldry is used to designate each cohort.
2) Mihrimah’s army has been ground down to a mere 500 men, but they seem to make any advance a costly one. They are mostly infantry, with some archers and slingers. Her troops, for the most part, wear trousers, moccasins, and helmets, and use long swords and shields.
3) The Plains must be what the Great Plains must have looked like before the white man arrived in force. Grasses six feet in height, low hills, scattered rivers and small stands of trees. It is an amazing sight.
4) Calvin later states that Conan was your generic gamer geek before his transformation. Mihrimah was around 5’1” and weighed in at around 100 lbs.
5) Based on his dialogue, Conan was a big-time tabletop and online gamer. Edward guesses he was probably in IT. Marcus distracts Conan with questions about codexes for his cohorts and can tell Conan runs his army like a resource management game. So far it seems to have worked, mainly because Conan is serious about his supply lines.
6) Mihrimah admits to being a scholar and/or professor of Celtic folklore and myth. Her present form seems to be a side effect of her heavy research into classic Celtic heroes as well as the character concepts she’s been developing for a series of novels she’s writing.
7) Based on various comments, Conan is probably stronger than Billy Jo and faster than Edward. Amazingly enough, Mihrimah is even stronger than that! (It’s said she can lift a chariot over her head.) However, she’s not as fast. Also, the two have fought to draw in their previous matches. Conan wants to capture Mihrimah to make her one of his sex slaves. Mihrimah wants to try and kill Conan and thus cause his empire to collapse.
8) The ground between the two armies was littered with casualties. For all their bickering, that was a real war they were having right until the PCs showed up.
You’ve met the following people:
The Warlord Conan: He stands 7’ tall and weighs in at around 400 pounds. he has the body of a Greek god and looks like he walked right out of a Boris Vallejo painting. He wears armor of mail and plate and carries (and fights) with an axe in his left hand an a sword in his right. Both are weapons most men would need two hands to lift. His hair is black and falls to his shoulders, and he wears a thick black mustache that frames his mouth down this his jawline. He, like the PCs, was on the airplane and has been in the Well for years and years. At best guess, he might have been here for a decade or so.
Warrior Maiden Mihrimah: She’s a tall woman, with lightly-tanned skin, long rippling blue-white hair, and brilliant gold eyes. She has an athletic build, full breasts, and a sculpted rear. Unlike Conan, her only armor is vambraces and greaves of plate. She wears a simple white tunic-like garment that’s has a diamond-shaped opening from neck to navel and is cut high over the hips. Her weapon is a 12’ spear that just looks heavy, but she carries like it was a toothpick. She too was on the plane and recognized both Billy Jo and Donovan.
Conan's Harem: Calvin has made several new friends. They'll be detailed later if/when their names and the like become important.
Return to The Well Of The Worlds