Alright so if you've been keeping up on social media there was a post that I'd put up about adapting an old family favorite cult film 'House II' into OSR games. The Crystal Skull that my player's PC's have isn't the one in the film. Oh no not at all & it very much has it roots going back further into the mists of gaming. DM Ricky & his buddy DM Steve were on my case about it yesterday. We first recovered the skull back in '89 or so after going deep into the Great Wurm road of Arduin.
We had the skull stolen by a band of Deodanth mercenaries belonging to a marilith matron who took the skull deep into the Abyss or so we thought. That skull was recovered after the destruction of a strange faux Aztec like pyramid below New York City. This was with a group of young adventurers recruited by Bill Towner in order to stop branch of the Starry Wisdom cult. The adventurers solid the skull in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy for a mere 10,000 gold pieces to a member of the cult of wizards. Not a guild but a cult. The adventurers kept the eyes of the skull rendering it magically less dangerous.
Flash forward to 2010 & now the PC's are back in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy investigating a sprawling ziggurat that was the home of a wizard's cult right on the edge of the demon lands. Yes it was a black ziggurat temple right on the edge of a half demon nation. And they came face to face with a marilith & her deodanth mercenaries.
The PC's managed to recover a copy of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis & the crystal skull based on information provided to them by the Royal Hawk. The Royal Hawk is Terrence a half elf broker of information whose been half a dozen campaigns as PC & NPC. Right at the moment the marilith has a half daughter living in Eighties L.A. working as high priced antiqities dealer market both legitimate & the blackmarket. I used James Mishler's Labyrinth Lord: Marilith-Kin Racial Class for the NPC.
Diana Reece is a high powered antiquities dealer whose been using various forms of black magick to try & divine the skull's location. For this NPC's rituals the RPGPundit Presents: The Old School Companion 1 has come in quite handy.
The big NPC deciding factor is going to be Stephen D'Amberville & his agenda for the Wilderlands of High Fantasy From X2 Castle Amber by Tom Moldvay. We'll get into him next time!