Sunday, September 17, 2023

Fistful of Lead Fantasy: Battle for the Goddess

 I've had cavemen on my mind lately; between seeing people painting Lucid Eye figures on Facebook, and David Sullivan's posts on his blog about the game Tribal, I've been itching for some stone age action. So I've placed another order at Lucid Eye for a copy of their "Savage Core" rules and some Ice Age-ready Amazons, and ordered Tribal 2nd edition with a tribe's worth of Bobby Jackson-sculpted cavemen. In the meantime, I got out some Lucid Eye "Neolithics" cavemen I painted last year, along with some "Cult of the Cyclops" cultists from Forge of Ice. Going through my terrain box, I found a Venus of Willendorf-style idol from Reaper Miniatures, and a scenario was born. 

A lush, isolated valley holds the ruins of an ancient temple, and with stands the Goddess - a fertility idol of untold age and potency. Two sinister groups - one, the Cult of the Cyclops, led by the vicious and conniving Kandar-Itaa; the other, a gang of thuggish prehumans led by a terrifying and alien Pterro-Man - have converged on the valley, both with evil intentions towards the idol. 


The Pterro-Man, with its second in command, Chief Mu-ok Man-God and his tribe, sought to perform a ritual at the feet of the Goddess that would give the Pterro-Man greater influence over other tribes of prehumans, bringing them under its evil sway. The Pterro-Man can fly and exert hypnotic influence over humans (in proper Burroughsian fashion), while the cavemen have an assortment of traits making them much more vicious in close combat.  


Meanwhile, under warlock Kandar-Itaa's direction, the Cult of the Cyclops seeks to corrupt the Goddess, ensuring that there would be a huge increase in the number of cyclops mutations born across all the kingdoms of the Hollow Earth. Kandar-Itaa himself has spellcasting powers, Urgu the Cyclops is large and frightening, and the rest of the cultists are armed with bronze swords and studded dinosaur-leather armor.

 Both groups began to fan out as they moved towards the Goddess; before long, Urgu and one of the cultists encountered Torg the Hunter and a lesser tribal warrior, while Kandar-Itaa blasted Mu-ok Man-God with a Searing Bolt. The ape-man chief, writhing with pain, lost his next activation, while Urgu bashed Torg to death with a huge, roughly-shaped chunk of obsidian. 


The smell of blood drew a huge predatory dinosaur into the valley, where it beelined towards the first humanoid it saw: Jaal, one of Mu-ok's tribal hunters. Jaal managed to stick the gigantic beast with his spear, and another tribal warrior raced to assist.  


The giant dinosaur quickly ate both Jaal and the lesser warrior, striking fear into the hearts of both the Pterro-Man and Mu-ok Man-God. The Man-God lived up to his name and shrugged off the fear, charging the dinosaur...and getting eaten. The dinosaur, sated, stalked off. 

 Meanwhile,  a pair of tribal warriors charged Urgu and a nearby cultist, savagely beating them with clubs until both the cyclops and the cultist fled the battlefield. 

The Pterro-Man, rattled by the dinosaur eating so many of its underlings, was not able to put up a strong defense when Kandar-Itaa and his followers arrived in the temple. The Pterro-Man died shrieking under the hacking bronze blades of the Cult of the Cyclops, while Kandar-Itaa himself polluted the mystical power of the Goddess. A new, darker future dawned for the tribes and kingdoms of the Hollow Earth...

All in all a great game, and a fast one too; I think this one was over in about four turns. No complaints here, because I got a late start playing tonight, so I'm very satisfied with how this one turned out.