Latest “Vanished Lands” telecom team, Update 25: Flirting with danger

Arena of Arrakis in Nadwi
Classical arena

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.25 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Landsheroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 1 May 2011, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.

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

25 to 26 August 1229 B.C.E.:” After a few days in the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human city of Nadwi, the adventuring party continues gathering information and weighing options for missions. Curious Gawain and Digger spend most of their time at the libraries of the Magisterium (magic school), palace, and various temples.

The Wizard hopes to learn more about the mysterious Vappu Lahja and mage Octavius Karstus, while the Halfling scholar studies local lore, geography, and ancient languages. Kovar and Jovinda walk down Mercantile Row, where they find the smithy of Hill Dwarf Yohann Karsh.

The gruff metalworker is surprised to find a Half-Orc and an Elf, but he welcomes them just the same. Kovar explains that he wants to learn about forging high-quality armor and weapons but has little money. Yohann agrees to begin teaching the Paladin of Mithras his trade in return for help around the shop. Jovinda is fascinated by the smithy’s water and wind-driven machinery.

Meanwhile, Asish and Kazuo go to the Arena of Arrakis, where they watch young archers finish the morning’s practice. Among the people readying wooden practice weapons are a Hifalendorin woman, a Dragonborn (reptile woman Tu’Rokk) gladiator, and a Shengtese Kensai (eastern swordsman).

Young Asish notices an attractive woman of Shengtese and Saganim descent, and he asks Kazuo to buy some dumplings from the Halfling vendors/bookies working the bleachers. Jade Xi introduces herself, and the smitten Ranger soon learns that she has already met Gawain and Kovar and is an old classmate of Digger’s! He tells her of his own travels. (Somewhere, an archaeologist cries out in pain….)

Down on the sandy arena floor, Kylea Draconda [Taum/Non-Player Character] faces off with Kezui Ochima [Beruk/N.P.C.]. The Hifalendorin and Shengtese humans spar with quarterstaffs as the scattered audience cheers. Eager to prove himself, Asish ignores wise Kazuo’s caution and enters the competition, wearing a bracelet from Jade.

The Tsucharim scout challenges Kezui, who picks the shinai over the bo-ken. Although Asish does strike the Kensai once, Kezui makes quick work of him with three hits, as Kazuo and Jade chat in the stands. All four easterners find that they are equally strangers in a strange land.

Somewhat humbled, Asish dusts himself off and returns to Jade, and Kazuo goes to challenge Kezui. The Nezumi Monk fares better than his companion, both with the shinai and unarmed grappling, earning the Kensai’s respect.

Jade agrees to watch Asish participate in a demonstration of mounted archery the next day, and Kazuo and Kezui part as honorable (if not particularly tactful) opponents. Elsewhere in the city, Jovinda and Kovar find the shop of a Gnome named “Pip….” surrounded by ringing wind chimes, tin pinwheels, and other shiny artwork and gadgets.

Burly Kovar steps gingerly into the store, but Jovinda gets a windup bird caught in her feathered hair. Pip rides to them on bulldog Bruce and talks about his silver and clockwork wares. The Cleric of Mekkil asks for help locating her tinker father, and Pip says that he’ll look at his piles of correspondence.

Asish asks tanner Beredoc to save scraps of the unusual hides he’s using for barding to give to Gawain for magical scrolls. The Ranger also names the team’s mules “Miso,” “Basan,” and “Kishin” after eastern monsters and offers to take Jovinda to Saganim consul Lady Megan McDonnel to learn more about her missing father.

Jovinda, Asish, Kazuo, and Gawain meet at the “Deer’s Heart” tavern to compare notes over dinner. The wanderers are also waiting for an audience with the city council about the haunted village of Alarn to the north and the threat posed by Vappu Lahja’s Centaur followers….

If I left anything out of this update, please post to the Google Group message board for Rob, Paul, and Dexter. Rob, thanks again for your patience, and I hope you’re feeling better! Byron, I’m sorry that you’ll be missing our next game on Mother’s Day, but please give Cindy our regards!

Also, everyone should update their Player Character records and let me know your availability for Memorial Day weekend. Beruk and Paul, I’ll see you at Team 2’s FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: “Vortexspace opera session. Have a good week, -Gene