Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 19 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 6 March 2011, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.
In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. After “Holy Steel‘s” journey to the distant empire of Khemet, another motley group gathered in the northwestern “Vanished Lands” to explore a world full of perils and wonders….
>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2011:
-“Gawain Keary” [Paul J.]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard) and contact of “Kimo” [Beruk A.]; NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 1
-“Kovar” [Beruk A.]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras; raised as an orphan; contact of the Order of the Golden Lion; LGn, Lvl. 2
-“Davven ‘Digger’ Hollysharp” [Robert A.S.]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; contact of “Tunnel” [Stuart C.G.]; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 2
-“Asish Chen Ti” [Byron V.O.]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from service to Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elf) Wizard Arbalas; contact of “Sukhov” [Beruk A.] and owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 2
-“Jovinda Halflight” [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Hifalendorin) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horse Wyth-Amoi, or “Wind Spirit”; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 2
-“Kazuo Takenaga” [Taum D’A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 2
-“Favelhorn Riftbringer” [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1
“16 August 1229 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party had previously encountered Centaurs raiding a farm near the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human hamlet of Alarn. After investigating the followers of the mysterious Vappu Lahja, the group returned to find Alarn abandoned.
The wanderers debate what to do with the haunted rooms at the “Mellow Mule” inn. Kovar wonders whether they have stumbled across some unholy Fey ritual that has yet to reach completion. Asish’s recommendation that the inn be burned to the ground is voted down, partly because spellcasters Gawain and Jovinda aren’t sure if that would contain or release the evil spirits.
Digger and Kovar lecture Jovinda about releasing the magically enlarged eel they had found in the Aspar River, and the Cleric agrees that the beast could still endanger more people. On the other hand, Kazuo notes that human lives aren’t necessarily more valuable than those of other creatures.
Scouts Digger and Asish show Gawain the giant footprints they had found on the hamlet’s outskirts. The Illusionist says they could have been made by a storm giant (corresponding with weather described by two Korred) or an enlarged human.
Ranger Asish and Paladin Kovar talk with fellow horseman “Sir Bonner of Runnymeade” [Jon W.B./Non-Player Character], who is still recovering from being captured by the Korred and having his steed slain. They recommend riding on to the city of Nadwi to report to local authorities.
Grugach Jovinda goes back to the “Mellow Mule” and invokes her patron Mekkil, goddess of nature, to channel positive energy, disrupting some of the unnatural conditions in the guest rooms. Kazuo points out that the mischief and murder could have been committed by evil Fey or a misguided Druid rather than followers of Vappu Lahja.
Nimble Digger carefully brings out the pieces of an enchanted mirror so that Kovar can further smash them and avoid the temptation to gaze into the eyes on the other side. Arcanist Gawain identifies the magics in the mirror as belonging to the Conjuration, Divination, and Transmutation schools.
Digger reminds his companions of the farm north of Alarn, and they agree to check it out. Kovar and Asish gather kindling and prepare a pyre for the innkeeper, found hung upside-down in an upstairs room, as well as the remains of Sir Bonner’s horse. Jovinda makes sure that the “Mellow Mule” is marked with warnings for future travelers.
The party fords the Aspar River and passes several Hifalendorin peasants working the fields outside Alarn. Digger reminds one of how he helped drive off the Centaur raiders a few weeks before, and grateful Tad brings him to the main farmhouse.
Rogue Digger and Nezumi Kazuo smell freshly baked pies, while wary Kovar and Asish keep an eye on the farmhands. Matron Violet Sandia greets the newcomers and invites them to join her clan for dinner. Gawain and Jovinda wait on benches in the dining room, while Digger helps in the kitchen.
Kovar, Asish, and Kazuo help Sir Bonner find a place for the horses, and they look for recent Centaur tracks but find none. Jovinda and Gawain talk with a young girl named Daisy and learn that several members of her extended family recently arrived, presumably from Alarn.
Jovinda plans to ask about the strange goings-on around the nearby hamlet, and Asish and Kovar are concerned about the recent movements of Fey folk such as Centaurs, Satyrs, and Korred, as well as humans and Halflings. Digger and Kazuo want to make sure that if “misguided” followers of Vappu Lahja committed the crimes, they’re caught and held responsible….
Please remember to use the “Holy Steel” Google Group message board between sessions. I’m glad to see that some debates have led to good role-playing and character development, but don’t forget to give the quieter folks a chance to express their opinions!
Note that this and other recent posts are mirrored on various sites as I consolidate my blogs. I’m working on updates for the FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: “Vortex” space opera, and our next “Vanished Lands” telecom game is scheduled for Sunday, March 13. Take it easy, -Gene