Our tale need now relate what happened to those left
atop the canyon with the mounts.
Know you now that the Praxians with their leader
Burgua Two-Scar refused to approach closer than three leagues to
the canyon. That left Garthael and Lothar with Varax and Began Ok
to watch the herd next to the waterfall.
With a great clamour the party were surrounded
on three sides by a mass of Giant-Eaters. The Giant-Eaters screamed
and danced and unleashed volley after volley of arrows. The sky
turned dark as ten thousand flights leapt yelm-ward and fell in
a hissing hail among the defenders and the sables.
Began spake that the creatures were speaking an
ancient dark-tongue and calling for the death of the “Tree-Killer”
. She unleashed a great darkness across the land allowing Garthael
and his companions to withdraw over the serpent as ten thousand
more flights fell, and ten thousand more. A wave of small figures
swarmed over the twitching forms of the sables and a cloud of blood
arose from the mass of bodies. Garthael strode back into the serpent
and summoned Humakt’s powers of death, he funnelled those dark powers
into a great shout that sent hundreds of the lilliputians fleeing
in abject terror – the rest ignored him and continued tearing into
the hapless animals.
Finally the struggling carpet of creatures broke
up and they all trudged off dragging pieces of sable to their caves.
It was shortly after this that the rest of the
Quest returned with their plunder. Upon hearing of the assault Argrath
spake his desire to destroy the Giant-Eaters but elected not to
waste the time trying.
The Companions fared the three leagues to Burgua’s
camp and found naught but bloody trails in the dirt and Burgua himself.
He was propped against a tree trunk where the Giant-Eaters had left
him after severing his legs and cauterising the wounds. “They left
me with a message,” he said. “This is revenge on the Giant Tree-Killer”.
At this point the Friends made council of their
situation. They were deep in the Wastes with no mounts and several
man-weights of wealth that they needed to busk with themselves.
They decided to call upon the Monkey King for aid. Argrath pulled
the monkey’s paw from his tunic and asked the King to send them
mounts; one of the fingers on the paw curled over but nothing else
Over the next few days the Friends carried their
newfound wealth up the cliff and poled their rafts back up the rapidly
dwindling serpent. A league further north from the Praxian’s camp
they were again greeted by Kettul Black-Fur.
“Where you be? You call Monkey King, he send us,
we wait, you no come.” The Friends asked Kettul for his advice and
how they could find more mounts. He suggested raiding or trading.
“Morocanth stay close-by here.” The Companions decided to trade
with the Morocanths for the supplies they needed.
Two score baboon sorted the Companions’ load and
grinned in delight, “Shinny” they said and shook the boxes and crates
in interest. They carted it off over the chaparral after Kettul
and the Friends.
They journeyed to the east and fared well arriving
at the Morocanth’s camp the next morn. Kettul knew of the Morocanth’s
khan and secured guesting for he and his friends.
It must now be told that a Morocanth is a Praxian
nomad like any other, except they are not human. They are great
rodents who kept their intelligence and gained herds of herdmen
from Waha when he created the great tribes of Prax. They look like
tapirs standing upright but use tools – though they lack thumbs
– and take slaves.
The Friends saw that this was a wall used watering
hole and that an entire clan of the Morocanth tribe rested here
with their mounts and herdmen.
Goryeuthorue Keen-Eye took them into his tent
and sat Kettul on his right side with the Friends sitting next to
him. Goryeuthorue’s elders were seated to his left side. He clapped
his paws and his women brought bread and salt into the tent and
Goryeuthorue shared it with his guests in the Ritual pledge of peace
Like the shrewd trader he was, Goryeuthorue got
straight to business, “Kettul say you trade.” Argrath spake of their
needs for mounts and tents, torches, water skins and saddles; at
this last the Morocanths laughed among themselves for they used
them not. Goryeuthorue set a price of a pound of silver per mount
and agreed to trade 20 mounts for 5 sturdy swords, helms and byrnies.
After trying to dicker Argrath realised that he had no position
to bargain from and completed the deal.
Goryeuthorue told Argrath it would take three
passings of Yelm for them to collect the animals. The Friend’s took
that time to rest for their rest of the journey. Bronwyn studied
the tomes they had collected.
After three days Goryeuthorue spake that it would
take two more passings of Yelm; the Companions realised that the
Morocanth’s were raiding for the animals.
Week 5 in the Wastes
On the fifth day, Goryeuthorue brought the Friends
to his herd. His hunters had collected eight bison, 12 sable, 20
llama and 10 impala. Argrath refused to accept the impala, as they
were too small to carry any load. Goryeuthorue agreed to trade them
for more sables at another pound of silver each.
As Argrath returned to his camp he was grabbed
from behind. Von and Rolf his bodythanes drew their swords and Argrath
twisted desperately in the embrace – to find Undan hugging him in
joy . Argrath greeted him with pleasure and asked after Yurgwah
the Sept leader and he gifted Undan with a small gem. Undan grinned
“Pretty!” and swallowed the stone.
Argrath bade Undan return with Yurgwah and they
could trade tales, which he did. Yurgwah and the Companions talked
of this and that. It seemed that Yurgwah was still seeking Verthun
who was now in the Wastes with the Wild Hunt. Argrath spake of their
journey to the Plateau of Statues and asked for any lore Yurgwah
may have. Yurgwah spake of three routes to the top but he knew not
what they were. He spoke of an encampment of Storm Bulls north of
the plateau who may know more.
So it came to pass that the Friends learned that
a band of thirty Storm Bulls had joined the camp. Gudny greeted
one of them and asked to see their leader. “Gertah with cow” replied
the surly guard. Gudny stared at the berserk intently and asked
when it would be convenient to see Gertah; the guard blinked and
said he would fetch him immediately .
Gertah, called Iron-Leg for the heavy greave he
wears on his left shin, came forth grumbling and tucking himself
into his pants. He was a large man with heavily matted hair and
years of built-up grime; Gudny could smell him from 20 ells.
Gudny learned that the band was indeed faring
for the Tunnelled Hills and asked to be taken there with his Friends.
Gertah peered at him and spake thusly, “You smell like Bull. I like
you. We take you, no fee. You friends, need pay.” They settled on
the price of a funny story every night as the price of his friend’s
When Theya again entered the world the band fared
forth. Though they were nye on thirty leagues from the plateau it
was plainly visible on the horizon for it stretched nearly a league
into the sky. Gudny regaled the Praxians with his tales of baths,
white cloth and the perfume that the city dwellers used; the nomads
laughed until they cried and slapped each other on the back in their
The Friends asked Gertah for news on Argrath White-Bull
and learned that he was often in these parts. It seemed that he
went onto the plateau frequently and returned with plunder. Often
he would go there and stare into the Otherworld and there were times
when he did not come down but approached out of the Wastes again.
Three days into their journey they were approached
by an Aggimori hunting party. The Aggimori are also called Man-an-a-half
for the shortest of them stand a head taller than Sigmund and the
average was nearly half again his height. Their skin was a dark
brown and they ran over the chaparral as easily as an antelope and
as tirelessly as the impala.
Gertah hailed them and they learned that the Aggimori
were hunting Quimm-spawn, a form of chaos infestation. Utmeshi Four-spears
was their leader and he told of a great gathering in the north to
repel Horse-Demon raids . When asked they spake of the White-Bull’s
being in the north gathering the tribes. They were greatly impressed
with White-Bull and Utmeshi told how he had joined the Two-Spears,
a band of Aggimori that supported White-Bull.
The next day, Rorgueh Broo-Biter, from the Bison
Nation, scented chaos in the air. The band plunged off seeking the
source and found a small cave from which it emanated. Altwyae the
Clean, a small impala riding Storm Bull, scouted the cave and told
of a pack of feral broo.
The Storm Bulls started hopping from foot to foot
and chewing on their beards. They called to their mighty god for
strength and the band raced into the cave frothing at the mouth
and with madness in their eyes. The broo looked up in surprise and
seized bones from the floor as weapons. Argrath smote on with Orlanth’s
lightning and Gudny set a whirlwind on another. The remaining five
disappeared under a welter of falling ax-heads and the Friends quickly
left to avoid any accidents with the berserks.
As the Storm Bulls rested and celebrated their
great victory Wyrmquill investigated the cave. He thought that there
may be, and found that there were, fossils there-in. Among the scattered
bones and the stinking bodies Wyrmquill found human bones and then
wyrm-bones. At the back of the cave he found a drinking-horn carved
from a great bison horn covered in carvings. None knew what it was
and decided not to reveal it to the Storm-Bulls.
That night, as the band camped, a strange wind
sprang up. It grew stronger and they all seized their weapons and
peered about them. Out of the south a great whirlvish approached,
it was headed directly towards them across the chaparral.
Gudny immediately went about preparing his magic
while Bronwyn arranged the rest of the Companions to aid Gudny.
Borne traced the Storm rune in the soil, five ells across. Sigmund,
Argrath, Borne, Vedda and Djarn followed Gudny as he danced the
Wind-lord’s dance. Bronwyn used his co-ordination magics taught
to him as a battle mage of the EWF to funnel power from the rest
of the band to the dancers.
Gudny danced along the rune stopped at the centre,
staring at the approaching tornado. One after another, the other
dancers stopped at the beginning of the rune and let a drop of their
blood fall on the rune. A great wind sprang up and raced along the
rune finally engulfing Gudny in a twisting, turning tornado. Gudny
could be seen calling on Orlanth and dancing within the madly swirling
winds. He stopped and clapped his hands once and both tornadoes
Those standing near heard him speak thusly:
The Wild-hunt bays like a bitch in heat
But Storm-Lords sneer at snivelling dogs
And set the cat on them.
The next day the band arrived at Only-Safe the
Storm Bull’s camp at the Tunnelled Hills. We need tell how this
is the only human settlement in the hills and was inhabited by ten-score
of the Storm Bull’s followers. The chaos city of Than-Ulbar lay
close by and birthed a never-ending stream of filth into the hills.
Here the Companions learned of the three ways
up the plateau. The Bloody Path along which one had to fight viscous
chaos guardians, the No-Go path which was infested with desiccating
insects and no water and the Upward Crack which was a near-vertical
climb to the summit a league overhead.
The Friends shrugged at the daunting descriptions
and told their audience they would fly up.
 Most of the bullion the Companions had
taken from the Mesa was in nuggets that looked like animal pellets.
 Check Argrath’s blasting of a tree in Gwandor 34.
 Undan was the Shaman of the Gyaldo sept of the High Llama who
helped the Friends in their quest to recapture Sartar’s Lamp from
 Since Gudny’s completion of the Gorangi Vak quest to tame the
Sky Bull he has an aura of authority that many Storm Bulls find compelling.
 Horse-Demons are horse nomads from Pent. They and the Praxians
hate each other.
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