Salt Pans (#28/30, #332/365)
"This flat stretch of land where the deserts meet the uplands is a salty plain covered in glittering white crystals. Here and there you see Xoroa warriors, standing guard over large pits, each containing some weird reddish-brown humanoid creature, scraping salt out of the hole and into a pile on the side."
Contents: The XOROA here have repurposed the weird cannibalistic humanoids known as ANT SYMBIOTES as salt-miners, extracting salt from the dirt of the plains and storing it in glass jars.
Heroes that enter this area in
hostile fashion will immediately be engaged by 1 of 2 Xoroa Warriors on
guard duty, while the other blows their horn to summon any further
Warriors present at the salt pans. The Ant Symbiotes are no cowards, and will leap out of their pits, bone scrapers in hand, to fight alongside the Xoroa.
The Xoroa are however highly amenable to trade. All Warriors have 1 point in a heavily click-based version of Allansian, while anybody with any points in the Xoroa language can halve all prices listed below. If the Heroes are non-hostile and keen to buy product, these are the following prices (and current contents of the salt pan that are for sale):
2-12 jars of chemical Salts, various colours. 5GP per Jar.
2-7 XOROA WARRIORS, SKILL 10 STAMINA 11, Spear or Javelin.
Each Xoroa Warrior is armed with a Spear and two Javelins and carries a carved-bone summoning horn, which, when blown, will summon all other Xoroa Warriors to the area. They also have 1-6 GP each in a leather pouch.
2-12 ANT SYMBIOTES, SKILL 6 STAMINA 10, Bone scraper (as per club). Every time an Ant Symbiote wins an Attack Round, ants from it also crawl onto the victim. After an Ant Symbiote has won three Attack Rounds, there will be so many ants on the victim they will lose 1 STAMINA every Attack Round due to ant bites, unless they spend 1-3 Attack Rounds ridding themselves of the insects..
Glassworks and Smithy (#29/30, #333/365)
"In a cave under a rocky outcrop on the edge of the uplands, you spy a curious scene. The cave contains a wooden wheeled contraption, upon which a giant beetle lumbers, apparently powering a bellow-like device that spits fire in two alternate directions; first to one side where a Xoroa smith appears to be forging weapons, and then to the other side, where another Xoroa is using the flames to create exquisite glassware."
Contents: The XOROA here have built a smithy and a glassblowing workshop to be closer to the raw materials they need, for greater trading opportunities outside of Kul-Tha, but also to produce a wider variety of merchandise for sale back in the the Xoroa main settlement. The Giant Scarab Beetle is highly trained and provides them with a source of mechanical power in exchange for food.
Heroes that enter this area in
hostile fashion will immediately be engaged by one of the Xoroa, while the other blows on a horn to summon any Xoroa Warriors in the area. If the Giant Scarab Beetle is released or freed, it will rumble around the cave, hurling objects at the Heroes.
The Xoroa are however highly amenable to trade. They have 1 point in a heavily click-based version of Allansian, while anybody with any points in the Xoroa language can halve all prices listed below. If the Heroes are non-hostile and keen to buy product, these are the following prices (and current contents of the smithy/glassblower cave):
2-7 chunks of iron ore. 10GP per chunk.
1-6 Spears. 10GP per Spear
2-7 empty glass jars. 2GP per jar
2-12 glass vials. 1GP per vial
2-12 empty glass eggs. 1GP per egg - for Gas Egg creation.
XOROA SMITH, SKILL 10 STAMINA 11, Warhammer or Throwing Hammer.
Hammers are identical to Throwing Daggers for damage and range
purposes, and will damage creatures like Skeletons normally. However
they cannot be coated with Blade Venom or other poisons.
The Xoroa smith is armed with a Warhammer and two Throwing Hammers and carries a
carved-bone summoning horn, which, when blown, will summon all other
Xoroa Warriors to the area. They also have 1-6 GP each in a leather pouch.
XOROA GLASSBLOWER, SKILL 10 STAMINA 11, Glass Vessel, Glass Wand.
In each of the first three Attack Rounds, the Glassblower will attempt to smash an acid-filled Glass Vessel against its opponent, on a successful hit it causes 4 STAMINA damage but is destroyed. The Glassblower will then fight with a long acid-filled wand that causes 3 STAMINA points of damage (and has enough acid in it for 2 battles only).
The Xoroa Glassblower also carries a carved-bone summoning horn, which, when blown, will summon all other Xoroa Warriors to the area. They have 1-6 GP each in a leather pouch.
GIANT SCARAB BEETLE, SKILL 7 STAMINA 8, Large Bite, Medium Armour. Where possible, the Beetle will roll objects at its attackers - Test for Luck to avoid or suffer 2 STAMINA when knocked over, plus -1 Attack Strength to next Attack Round while getting back up.
Trail Predator (#30/30, #334/365)
"There is a faint trail wandering through the dunes, all skittering tracks across the sands, like the marching of an entire army but only several files deep. At one point it walks through a patch of scrub between the sand-dunes, the trail partially covered beneath windswept leaves and fallen branches."
Contents: A GIANT ANTLION has set up a lair here, on the trail between the Xoroa outpost and the settlement of Kul-Thai, deeper into the desert. It has dug a deep pit in the middle of trail, covered it with bushes, and rests at the bottom of the pit, ready to consume anything that falls in.
It requires a successful Awareness Special Skill roll to notice the camoflaged pit, those that don't fall five metres to the bottom, taking normal falling STAMINA damage unless they successfully Test for Luck. The repulsive Giant Antlion, all barbed jaws and bristle-covered body, will then attack.
Also at the bottom of the pit are the chewed up remains of various creatures; not just Giant Ants and Xoroa workers, but also antelope, jackals and hyenas. Among the bones can be found 1-6GP in a pouch, a Spear, a Javelin, and a spiked bone Club.
GIANT ANTLION, SKILL 8 STAMINA 8, Very Large Bite, Light Armour, +1 to the Damage Roll.
The GIANT ANTLION, also known as the GIANT DOODLEBUG for the tracks it traces in the sands when relocating from one lair to another, is a giant beetle-like insect with huge curved and barbed mandibles, but no armoured carapace. It excavates deep pits in the sand or dirt near the nests of GIANT ANTS, XOROA, and similar creatures, and preys on any stray Worker or Warrior that falls in.
Interestingly, this creature is just the larval stage. After consuming prey in such a fashion for up to a year, the Giant Antlion will then make a cocoon for itself, and undergo a dramatic metamorphosis into its adult form, which resembles a GIANT DRAGONFLY (SKILL 8 STAMINA 4, Small Bite). This adult has a brief period of life, for several months during the cooler winter season of the desert, when sparse rains may fall, before mating, laying eggs (that hatch into GIANT ANTLIONS) and then dying.