Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.23 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 3 April 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….
After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, an unlikely band of adventurers encountered the hostile Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja on the Plains of Sathendo….
>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2011:
-“Gawain Keary” [Paul J.]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard); NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 2
-“Kovar” [Beruk A.]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras, god of contracts and brotherhood; LGn, Lvl. 3
-“Davven ‘Digger’ Hollysharp” [Robert A.S.]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 3
-“Asish Chen Ti” [Byron V.O.]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from the kingdom of Gokuri; owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 3
-“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. 3
-“Kazuo Takenaga” [Taum D’A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 3
-“Favelhorn Riftbringer” [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1
“22 to 23 August 1229 B.C.E.:” The travelers ride south from the haunted hamlet of Alarn and the village of Rockney. They follow the Aspar River, which glitters in the summer sunlight like a silver ribbon winding across the brown plains and fields. The stone ramparts of Nadwi encircle the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human city, rising 30 feet from the packed earth.
At the North Gate, the group waits with various farmers’ wagons to be admitted. Gawain notices pennants of the neighboring Waletku kingdom of the Elves in addition to the banners of Hifalendor and Nadwi. “Sir Bonner of Runnymeade” [Jon W.B./Non-Player Character] offers to introduce Kovar to a local order of knights.
Digger tells the skeptical guards that he and his companions are travelers who plan to visit Nadwi‘s libraries and temples. The Halfling scholar also asks for recommendations of inns. Asish watches for Centaurs or enemy spies.
Jovinda looks in wonderment at the buildings and throngs of her first human city. The Half-Elf had been reminded of her missing father by the tinkering gear of Taras of Rockney, who had been slain by scarecrows. Kazuo is uncomfortable in the crowded, cobbled streets.
On Wood Street, Gawain and Digger go to the Boar’s Head Inn, where liveried coachmen hold the doors for them. Concierge Hiram Connors offers the party a suite at 15 crowns (gold pieces) per night, or 20 for the week. The Illusionist and Rogue quickly realize that the hotel is beyond their means and leave.
Meanwhile, Sir Bonner takes Kovar to a knight’s tower near the fortified palace. Sir Niles Hawthorne greets his old friend and listens to Sir Bonner’s tale of woe, including how he was trapped by two Korred in Alarn and freed by Kovar and company. Sir Hawthorne gives the Half-Orc Paladin of Mithras a writ of safe passage and recommends that he seek fellow holy warriors at the temple of Otih, god of the sun and justice.
Kovar and the spare horse (and the party purse) rejoin their band at the Temple Court, in the shadow of the palace and Arena of Arrakis. Next to the columned temple of Ismiltar, goddess of magic, is the modest chapel of Yondolla. Worshippers of the goddess of the hearth and Halflings sit on low benches. In return for offerings, they are fed by acolytes.
Digger and Jovinda say they were referred by Seglinda, a priestess in the town of Kedetura. Nelly O’Keefe leads the pilgrims to a quiet alcove, then to a comfortable sitting room beneath the main hall. Jovinda explains how Davven and Kazuo came under the magical sway of the mysterious Vappu Lahja, who shares a name with a fairy tale wise woman and is too old to be human. Gawain theorizes that she is some sort of devil.
Nelly responds by offering everyone freshly baked scones and tea. Digger eagerly eats a few scones, but Nezumi Kazuo needs some persuading. The Rogue and Monk soon find their attitude changing and mood lifting, restoring trust within their fellowship. They are disturbed that Vappu Lahja’s rituals compromised their judgment and ask for Nelly’s help in getting an audience so they can report to the local authorities.
Sometime later, the wanderers cross the busy market square and follow Galnoris Avenue into the Dagger District, by the docks. At the Deer’s Heart Tavern, Gawain slides up to the bar and asks Neil Heckler about room rates. The innkeeper tells him it would be a crown per day for the group and its mounts, but Digger haggles the price down to 3 g.p. for four nights.
Impatient Digger has a verbal altercation with a drunken River Dwarf. “Jeevus McMarne” [Randy K.M./N.P.C.] mocks the Halfling Rogue and tries to provoke a bar brawl. Tsucharim Asish sits at a table with his back to the wall and offers Gawain a wager on the outcome.
Diplomatic Jovinda steps between Digger and Asish, trying to calm the patrons, and burly Kovar warns the Dwarf to avoid trouble and move on. Kazuo quietly backs up Digger, whom Gawain reminds of the group’s desire to keep a low profile. Jeevus is eventually placated with a round of drinks.
The Deer’s Heart’s rooms are spare but clean. Gawain and Digger share quarters, Asish and Jovinda split another room, and Kovar and Kazuo take a third. Digger and Kazuo ask to be left alone to meditate. The next morning, they plan to look into the mission from mage Octavius Karstus to inquire about a map of Evesboro from merchant Eligius and deliver information to associate Marcel, a stonemason.
Arcanist Gawain goes to the local Magisterium (magic school/library), where he expects Digger to join him in the coming days. Armored Kovar goes to Dwarven metal smiths along Mercantile Row, and Ranger Asish plans to ask tanners to refit barding confiscated from Centaur raiders for the party’s steeds.
Asish and Jovinda also visit bowyers, fletchers, and other Elven craftspeople near the Waletku consulate. They also intend to make inquiries at Gnomish tinkers’ shops, the Saganim consulate, and the Grove of Mekkil, goddess of nature….
Thanks again to those of you who have used the “Holy Steel” Google Group to discuss party plans for Nadwi, treasure distribution, and images and backgrounds for your characters! I’ve revised your characters’ experience levels above (Gawain should catch up soon).
Please note that we’ll be meeting next Sunday, April 10, but not the two weekends after that because of holidays. I’ll be checking with the FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: “Vortex” teams tonight regarding the schedule for the face-to-face space opera game. Have a good week, -Gene