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The Road Of The Eagles


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#1 Boot

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 08:20 AM

This is an action packed, cinematic, Conan story by REH and LSdC that you'll find in Conan The Freebooter. An excellent (I think its better than the prose version) version of it appears in Savage Sword of Conan (Vol. 4 of the reprint omnibuses).

This story serves as an excellent outline for a fantastic Conan RPG scenario.

You start the scenario in medias res with a sea battle (using the rules from Pirate Isles) on the south Vilayet Sea. Since an adventure scenario should have the same elements as its base story but not necessarily the same outcome, maybe the PCs will win this sea battle (Conan lost it).

Either way, the loser will make for the shore at the foothills of the Colchian Mountains. The PC ship will be so damaged in the fight that it will have to be grounded in order not to go over.

One of the ship is, of course, the PC's ship. The PCs can be the Captain and officers, or the GM can run the Captain as an NPC with the PCs as the lowling naval dogs.

On shore, the GM has several NPC groups to play with. All of them may be against the PCs, or the PCs may find allies in one or more groups, depending on play.

There's the native fisher-folk, the Yuetshi. There's the invading Hyrkanian nomad clan. There's the crew of the opposite ship, lead by notorious Turanian General turned Vilayet pirate, Artaban. There's Gleg, the Zaporoskan warlord, who dwells in an impregnable keep high among the peaks of the Colchians. And, there's even Royal Turanian troops.

Besides Artaban and Gleg, there's some interesting major NPCs, too: The beautiful Temptress Roxanna; the Yuetshi and Hyrkanian chiefs; the commander of the Royal Turanians; a honor guard made up of deadly, but mute, black men; and Prince Teyaspa--who is Yesdigerd's brother and heir to the Turanian crown!

There are several neat locations for the game, too. The deck of the vessels during the sea battle; the wilderness and Yuetshi village. Gleg's castle, high up in the Colchians. And an ancient burial site of a race that pre-dates the Archeronians.

There's lots of adventure to be had. I'd set this game up as a mini-sandbox with a few DM imposed events, and then just follow the players to see what they do. I'd use the story to guide the movements of the NPCs.

I suggest looking at the Savage Sword version of the story since the illustrations really bring to life the 3D geographical nature of this story. There's lots of climbing opportunities and maybe even a major inflitration of Gleg's imprednable castle.

I'd try to make the climax of the game akin to the story, with all hell breaking loose: The devil things are breaking out of their tombs. The PC pirates and Yeutshi fight the Turnian Imperials, Gleg's forces, and the Hyrkanians--all tis while the pre-archonian devil things are breaking out of their tombs, screaming, and tearing up any human, no matter which side he is on, who comes within arms length.

This adventure set-up should take a few game sessions to play, serve as a starting point for a campaign, and be loads of fun. There's even room to use either Mongoose's large scale battle rules or the abstract system found in The Free Companies book.

And, the story can easily lead to other campaigns in the area.

Heck, what if the PCs save Teyaspa and then, through the prince, challenge Yezdigerd for the throne!

There's lots of outcomes from this scenario.

It can even serve as a first adventure for players new to Conan.

#2 Guest_TheMIrrorThief_*

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:50 PM

I liked Howard's original version, especially loved the pirate turned muslim guy...he was great and I hate that he died.

#3 Boot

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:31 PM

I never read Howard's original. I'll probably get around to it one of these days. I think it makes for an excellent Conan yarn, though, and the story serves as an excellent example of where LSdC did an excellent job coverting Howard's original story to the Hyborian Age. Like so many pure Howard tales, Road of the Eagles speaks of so much more happening in the world. I love the reveal on Turan--how Yezdigurd's mother is really the power behind the throne; that there is a tradition of strangling siblings; the whole first-one-to-the-capital when the current monarch dies; and Prince Teyaspa, Yesdigurd's brother!

I really enjoyed the story.

#4 Ironhand

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:03 AM

Cutthroat seraglio politics was a hallmark of the Turkish sultanate, and often determined the succession.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#5 Boot

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:05 AM

Cutthroat seraglio politics was a hallmark of the Turkish sultanate, and often determined the succession.


But, we're not talking about Turks. We're talking about proto-Turks! 10,000 years before!

#6 Ironhand

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:27 AM


Cutthroat seraglio politics was a hallmark of the Turkish sultanate, and often determined the succession.


But, we're not talking about Turks. We're talking about proto-Turks! 10,000 years before!

But the proto-Turks were modeled after the Turks.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#7 Boot

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:46 AM

But the proto-Turks were modeled after the Turks.


Yes, of course. But, my point is that they're not 100% Turkish in culture. Therefore, many of their customs may be quite different from the more modern Turks.

#8 Ironhand

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:30 AM

The point I was making is that Cutthroat concubine-driven seraglio politics, such as we saw in TRotE, was a hallmark of the historic Turkish sultanate, and often determined the succession.

Edited by Ironhand, 14 March 2012 - 04:31 AM.

"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#9 Boot

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 12:14 AM

The point I was making is that Cutthroat concubine-driven seraglio politics, such as we saw in TRotE, was a hallmark of the historic Turkish sultanate, and often determined the succession.


Then, my queen mother...er...I mean, we're in agreement.