“Vanished Lands” Update T3.30 — Happy meals for barbarians

Wallpaper from Paizo
Werewolf attack!

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.30 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 19 June 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, the adventurers encountered the hostile Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja and a haunted hamlet on the Plains of Sathendo….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of summer 2011:

-“Kovar” [Beruk A.]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras, god of contracts and brotherhood; LGn, 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

-“Gawain Keary” [Paul J./absent]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard); NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 3

-“Davven ‘Digger’ Hollysharp” [Robert A.S./absent]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 3

-“Favelhorn Riftbringer” [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1

29 to 31 August 1229 B.C.E.:” After reporting to local authorities, conducting research, training, and obtaining a map as requested by mysterious mage Octavius Karstus, the adventuring party prepares to leave the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human city of Nadwi.

Kovar provides testimony to guard Lionel Tarchon about the assassination attempt on antiquarian Eligius. The Half-Orc Paladin also checks with Sir Rodrigo Adelmo about various threats to the kingdom of Hifalendor. The knights agree that the recent coordination among factions in Zuromm, Gokuri, and elsewhere is too extensive to be a coincidence.

Asish and Digger send messages to “Jade” [Sammy/Non-Player Character]. The scouts also buy provisions and take Eligius’ map of the northwestern borderlands to leatherworker Beredoc. The most recent markings on the parchment are of current communities, and Beredoc helps bring out older indications of Ley lines, currents of mystical energy.

Jovinda asks Gnome silversmith “Pip…” about her missing father’s companion and gets the name “Gottfried van Lauritz.” Pip notes that the Tinker Gnome’s shorter, human-style name is further proof of a rare friendship with the Half-Elf’s father.

Kazuo declines to investigate the disappearance of gladiator Marcus from the Arena of Arakkis and tests his patience in waiting for his companions to be ready to leave the city. Gawain wraps up his historical and arcane research at various libraries.

After telling Sir Rodrigo about his itinerary, Kovar goes to thank Dwarf smith Yohann Karsh for his instruction about various metalworks. Asish has Carlos Clothard prepare a copy of the map at the Ranger’s Guild and asks Digger to forge a misleading version. They also leave word with Octavius Karstus’ stonemason contact Marcel that they have the map, diverting attention from Eligius.

Jovinda and Kovar meet with Gawain at the local Magisterium (magic school/library), where they ask Lady Ingrid Sufielastra about her analysis of the shards of an enchanted or cursed mirror. The Quelanthi mage (High-Elf/Eladrin Wizard) says that the mirror is difficult to study without reconstruction, but she reluctantly agrees not to try to reassemble the dangerous item. Jovinda informs her fellow Clerics at the Grove of Mekkil and the temple of Otih to keep an eye on this study.

Kazuo points out that the map indicates the presence of Ley lines close to the hamlet of Alarn. Gawain agrees that a knowledgeable and talented spellcaster would more easily inflict the enlarged creatures, mischievous Fey, and haunted inn on unlucky peasants with access to such energies. But who’s responsible?

The next morning, the wanderers leave Nadwi. Asish, his steed Onimusha (“Demon Slayer”), and his dog Genghis lead the way. They ride north, past farms, with the Aspar River to their right, rolling hills and the village of Rockney to their left, and the Wisalef Forest and Ivory Mountains far ahead. Summer breezes chang to overcast skies as they cross the Plains of Sathendo, back toward Alarn.

Happy to be outdoors again, Jovinda follows astride horse Wyth-Amoi (“Wind Spirit”), and Kazuo keeps up on foot. Armored Kovar maintains rearguard behind studious Gawain and Digger, who compare linguistics notes. The first day passes uneventfully, and the team pitches a cold camp on a rise partly protected by brambles. A campfire burns in the distance, and wolves howl late into the night.

After a few hours’ ride, Asish and company enter the abandoned camp they had seen the night before. Tent stakes, a smoldering fire pit, and a musky smell detected by Kazuo’s fine Nezumi nose are all signs of a rushed withdrawal. The group hopes to find another place to bed down, but heavy clouds hasten dusk. The howls return, and weapons are drawn.

Five loping humanoids with shaggy hides approach. Squinting into the murk, the travelers soon realize that they’re werewolves! Jovinda invokes Mekkil, goddess of nature, and casts Shield of Faith on Kazuo. Asish whistles to Genghis to guard Jovinda. Both the Cleric and Ranger draw their bows and the lycanthropes close in.

Kovar readies his spear and shield, and Kazuo maneuvers. Digger and Gawain take on one of the monsters. Jovinda and Asish’s first arrows miss, but Asish draws first blood from the larger leader with a silver arrow. It tries to trip Onimusha but is trampled instead.

One of the were-creatures chases Jovinda, and Genghis puts himself between the Cleric and her attacker. After missing Kovar, another werewolf turns on Kazuo, who is already fighting one of its pack mates. The Paladin of Mithras, god of warriors and contracts, charges and Smites Evil, while the Monk punches one opponent.

Wise Jovinda climbs back onto Wyth-Amoi and casts Spiritual Weapon, summoning a quarterstaff to smack the bestial bandits. Asish wheels around, with only one of four arrows finding its mark. The werewolves are similarly unlucky, with only one managing to bite Jovinda.

Burly Kovar knocks one prone with an overrun, and Kazuo takes an opportunity to flank and attack with a Flurry of Blows. Digger does better than Gawain initially against the last werewolf. Jovinda rides over to Kazuo and Kovar and casts Guidance on the Monk.

Agile Asish fires multiple silver-tipped arrows at a time, loaning two to Kazuo and injuring the pack leader. Kovar casts Detect Evil to see if there are more lycanthropes lurking (there aren’t), but he slips from his saddle. Kazuo grabs the arrows that Asish fired into the ground near him and promptly tries to skewer his foe, which bites him.

After a few volleys, Asish’s arrows slay the lead werewolf and the one attacking Jovinda. Kovar’s spiked shield and swift Kazuo’s arrow-tipped punches finish another, and the remaining two run away. Jovinda attends to her and Kazuo’s wounds, and she reassures Asish and Kovar that they are not infected.

Each of the three slain lycanthropes, reverted to human form, is carrying 2 crowns (gold pieces) in assorted coins, and Kovar finds a shirt of mail among some shredded clothing in the abandoned camp. The Paladin claims a masterwork sword, leaving three normal ones for his companions, and the group finds two short bows with 15 arrows each.

Unfortunately, the clothes are too shredded to identify the men or where they originally came from. Asish recommends caution as the party continues to ride north….

Byron and Rob, I hope that you had a happy Father’s Day, and Rob, I hope that you and your family are feeling better! Paul, we also missed you, and note that Team 2 (the crew of the “Appomattox”) is meeting next Monday, June 27, for the FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: “Vortexspace opera.

In the meantime, feel free to post to the Google Groups message board if I’ve missed anything. Have a good week, -Gene