“Uncommon Companions” Update T3.41 — Tea house and terror bird thief

Stock image of a Chinese tea house
Tea house in Alfendi

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.41 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Saturday, 4 February 2012, 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 group of adventurers gathered in the northwestern “Vanished Lands” to explore a world full of perils and wonders.

After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, the “Uncommon Companions” encountered the Centaur followers of the mysterious Vappu Lahja and Unseelie Fey in the increasingly dangerous borderlands….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2012:

-“Asish Chen Ti” [Byron V.O.]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from Gokuri; owner of Akita dog Genghis and horses Onimusha and Gashmu; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 4

-“Jovinda Halflight” [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Saganim) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; has horses Wyth-Amoi and Meth-Fenna and falcon Ana-Quessahr; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 4

-“Kazuo Takenaga” [Taum D’A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 4

-“Hateem Shisakli” [Josh C.]-male Suthern human Dervish (proto-Arabic Bard/Battledancer) visiting the cold north; Lvl. 4

-“Suki” [Sara F.]-female Tengu Mahotsukai (raven-folk Sorceress/Illusionist) and fugitive; Lvl. 4

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

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

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

>>”16 November 1229 B.C.E.:” After recovering from their long journey across the Plains of Sathendo, the travelers continued exploring the city of Alfendi in the Waletku kingdom of the Elves. After asking around about where other easterners may be found, they visited the tea house of Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) Seng Shiu Jun.

Asish recognizes a tea ceremony in one paper-walled alcove and orders wulong with honey. Jovinda asks for white tea and observes Sylvan Elves in kimonos. Kazuo is reminded of the scents of his distant homeland and orders green tea. Hateem, who is from far to the southwest, asks the confused wait staff for a hookah.

The adventuring party discusses what it has learned so far in Alfendi, including Ranger Asish‘s training with Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elf) exile “Thalissa” [John Z.G./Non-Player Character] and his upcoming dinner date with Saganim/Shengtese human Rogue “Jade Xi Aschent” [Sammy/N.P.C.]. Cleric Jovinda is unsure of how investigating abandoned border forts will help in thwarting Vappu Lahja’s intolerant followers on the Plains of Sathendo.

Monk Kazuo is not interested in more shopping in the city, while Dervish Hateem is pleased when he is eventually brought a small and rare hookah. They wonder how a small establishment in the western Wisalef Forest manages to trade tea with Tong Sheng and the Zedu kingdom despite the barbaric Gusorin Confederation and oppressive Gokuri being in between.

The group orders dim sum, including dow sa bow (red bean paste buns), wu tao go (taro root pudding), larp cheung guen (steamed sausage rolls), and gow gee (dumplings). Kazuo agrees to help guide Asish in the martial arts, on the condition that he abstain from meat and alcohol.

As hostess Seng Shiu Jun greets each of her guests, Asish overhears a woman asking for safe haven in Shengtese, but he unable to see the speaker. The Tsucharim horseman feels honor-bound to offer aid, but his companions recommend caution.

Some of Asish’s questions are soon answered as the fugitive prepares to leave the tea house. She is a Tengu with black and white feathers, blue eyes, robes, and several pouches hanging from her belt. Rather than draw more attention to themselves, the group and shy Suki go outside to talk. However, she sees someone trying to steal Jun, her Axebeak steed!

Swift Kazuo runs after the would-be thief, as Bard Hateem maneuvers to keep up. Archer Asish draws his bow and fires two leaf-headed arrows, hitting his quarry. Sorceress Suki casts Magic Missile. Jovinda, priestess of nature goddess Mekkil, calls Ana-Quessahr (Sun Wing). The falcon tries to rake Jun’s rider with his claws.

The thief spurs the Axebeak, and Nezumi Kazuo’s Stunning Fist misses. Suthern human Hateem casts Grease, but he trips Kazuo rather than Suki’s steed. Asish whistles for his dog Genghis and horse Onimusha and fires more arrows. Half-Elf Jovinda casts Spiritual Weapon, summoning a staff to whack at the thief.

Fortunately, his flight is interrupted when the Axebeak slips, and the rider jumps clear. Kazuo circles around the slippery spot to fight him, and Hateem swings his scimitar. Genghis tries to bite the assassin, who strikes Kazuo with a poisoned blowgun dart.

Suki’s Magic Missiles eventually finish off the thief. Asish offers to take Kazuo on Onimush to the Chalice of Healing near the temple district, but the Monk declines, insisting on limping there alongside the Ranger. Hateem questions Kazuo’s state of mind, but he and Kovinda search the assassin’s body. Suki tends to her mount.

Jovinda identifies a vial as Black Smear poison. Weakened, Kazuo manages to get to the local hospital, where Asish consults Halfling dentist Glechi Drax. Quelanthi (High Elf/Eladrin) physician Meredemario asks for a sample of the poison for antidote and payment. Asish sends runner Laenvin to report to Aldarion at the Rangers’ Guild.

Back in the alley by the tea house, Hateem finds 200 crowns (gold pieces) and a masterwork dagger and thieves’ tools. Suki claims a disguise kit and notes that Ninjas have been pursuing her. They are surprised when the thief’s visage changes from that of a Sylvan Elf to the blank features of a Changeling!

Asish and Kazuo return to the alley in time to give statements to High Elf guard Gavalaraen, who promises to investigate the possibility of infiltration by spies from the nefarious kingdom of Gokuri. The city watch won’t press charges against Suki for self-defense, and the “Uncommon Companions” go back to the “Unicorn Moon” inn, where they see a chrysanthemum delivery….

Welcome, Sara, to this telecom game! I look forward to our next regular session on Sunday, Feb. 12, our last before you and Josh — and Janice and I — move! I expect my campaigns, including the FATE 3e “Vortexspace opera, to resume in early March.

In the meantime, please remember to take advantage of our Google Groups message board, the Obsidian Portal wiki (which Josh has updated), and stay in touch!