Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thoughts On The Yugoloth in Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers Of Hyperborea

"There Charon stands, who rules the dreary coast –
A sordid god: down from his hairy chin
A length of beard descends, uncombed, unclean;
His eyes, like hollow furnaces on fire;
A girdle, foul with grease, binds his obscene attire."The Roman poet Virgil describes Charon, manning his rust-colored skiff, in the course of Aeneas's descent to the underworld(Aeneid, Book 6), after the Cumaean Sibyl has directed the hero to the golden bough that will allow him to return to the world of the living

Charon as depicted by Michelangelo in his fresco The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel

I've been putting a lot of thought into what DM Steve had put our party of adventurers through the other day in our weekend Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea game. I believe we in a Hell of a lot more danger then what was presented in the other day's AS&SH game! According to the wiki entry on Charon; "In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Charon is a powerful altraloth, a lord of the yugoloths, reportedly transformed into a more powerful creature by the night hags of the Gray Waste. Charon's role is to provide travel on the River Styx, but he always charges a steep price and kills those who cannot or will not pay. Charon commands a legion of marraenoloths who provide the same service.

Charon's name comes from Charon." 
The fact is that if Charon survived the events of Ragnork then the rest of  the yugoloths, might be a part of the underworld of Underborea. This doesn't sound like a big deal but its big if you think that the Mezzodeamons are also there as well. A roving pack of horrors that comes from the bottom & between the layers  of the Abyss there's the Mezzodeamons! Coming from the D3 Vault of the Drow by Gary Gygax , these deamonic bastards would later find their way into the Fiend Folio. Charon himself made it into the Monster Manual II.

According to the wiki entry on the Yugoloth;
"The mezzodaemon and the nycadaemon first appeared in first edition in the adventure module Vault of the Drow (1978),[2] and reprinted in the original Fiend Folio (1981); the guardian daemon also debuted in this book.[3] The arcanadaemonCharon (The Boatman of the Lower Planes), the charonadaemon, the derghodaemon, the hydrodaemon, the Oinodaemon (Anthraxus), the piscodaemon, the ultrodaemon, and the yagnodaemon first appeared in the original Monster Manual II (1983)." The Yugoloth then a part of the underworld feeding on the corpses of the gods who feel in the far future events of Ragnarok in the underworld of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea? 

DM Steve & I both came up back in the Eighties in my uncle's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons/ BECMI Dungeons & Dragons mythological hybrid campaign. The events of Ragnarok were on the table during that time but our PC's never got to experience them. I've used the back story of Ragnarok as a part of the far future history of my own AS&SH games many, many times. The gods die as a part of the future history. Their corpses are still in many of the cold hells of Hyperborea being tortured by  the Yugoloth. This was copied by my uncle from the mythologies of Jack Kirby and classic DC comics. Would DM Steve use this same background for his own games?! Sure he would after all turn around is far play.

What's the one group that we've not seen in the Don't Fix A Price saga
? The 'hags' of AS&SH whom I think might be behind the events of our game manipulating the god Charon. These horrors have a lot of power in the covens,huts, & back room tents of many different witches on Hyperborea. So what do they want with the Trident of Nodens? 

If night hags are involved in this then our PC's could be in deep trouble & we may be looking at becoming a part of the underworld soon then later. The gods might be in far more trouble then we realize.
The last time that our party had visited Zothique some months ago there was a run in with a night hag & her 
mezzodaemon servant Zat. I don't relish dying on the claws of those things. The cult of Nodens is protected by several other much less savory & dangerous Lovecraftian gods. So are we being set up to cause a dire political situation between some of the cults of Hyperborea? I have no desire for my PC  to suffer the fate of Barzai the Wise from The Other Gods by H. P. Lovecraft if I should be so lucky

"The moon is dark, and the gods dance in the night; there is terror in the sky, for upon the moon hath sunk an eclipse foretold in no books of men or of earth's gods . . . There is unknown magic on Hatheg-Kla, for the screams of the frightened gods have turned to laughter, and the slopes of ice shoot up endlessly into the black heavens whither I am plunging . . . Hei! Hei! At last! In the dim light I behold the gods of earth!"
And now Atal, slipping dizzily up over inconceivable steeps, heard in the dark a loathsome laughing, mixed with such a cry as no man else ever heard save in the Phlegethon of unrelatable nightmares; a cry wherein reverberated the horror and anguish of a haunted lifetime packed into one atrocious moment:
"The other gods! The other gods! The gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth! . . . Look away . . . Go back . . . Do not see! Do not see! The vengeance of the infinite abysses . . . That cursed, that damnable pit . . . Merciful gods of earth, I am falling into the sky!"

In no way shape or form is Jeff Talinian responsible for this sort of speculation this is for a personal table top campaign of AS&SH. 

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