“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” Update 39.1 — “On our worst day, we’re just odd”

Fellow role-players, here is Update 39.1 of my “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” fantasy campaign, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Massachusetts, on Monday, 10 September 2012:

In one ancient world, there was a region where demihumans migrated and strange majicks thrived. The “Vanished Lands” were blessed by the gods and cursed by prophecy. Travelers became adventurers, and adventurers strove to be heroes in the face of many perils and wonders.

After various bands of mercenaries and diplomats fought humanoids in the northwestern borderlands, encountered pirates on the Sea of Nagendwa, and wandered the hostile Halmed Desert, another group journeyed across the Plains of Sathendo….

>>Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Landsheroic fantasy campaign, using the “Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game,” as of autumn 2012:

  • Giacomo the Mysterious” [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; NGc, Lvl. 1
  • Hamfast Hammerfist” [Brian W.]-male Zeda human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 1
  • Scully Strongbow” [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 1
  • Corwin Windsong” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 1
  • Elsa Fairbottom” [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with owlbear cub “Oswald”; NGc, Lvl. 1
  • Radius” [Jason E.R.]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • ?” [Josh C./absent]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), roustabout; CGl, Lvl. 1
Hifalendorin village of Androth
Hifalendorin village of Androth

>>”1 to 3 February 1228 B.C.E.:” A line of wagons hastens to the village of Androth, seeking shelter from winter winds. New performers have recently joined “Vistel’s Circus” as it crosses the (proto-Western European) human kingdom of Hifalendor.

Giacomo the Mysterious is a prestidigitator anxious to escape the fate of his corrupted tutor. Hamfast Hammerfist and Elsa Fairbottom have hiked out of the Ivory Mountains, and Scully Strongbow is unlike most of her barbaric humanoid kin.

Strange but honorable Radius has been “summoned” across the planes of existence, and Corwin Windsong, the latest addition to the troupe, has offered to serve as ringmaster. Corwin rides with Orlando and Wilhelmina Vistel, founders of the circus.

Mage Giacomo practices card tricks, while Fighter Hamfast and other roustabouts rest in preparation for pitching camp. Ranger Scully practices her archery, hitting a weathervane with an arrow as the circus enters Androth.

Paladin Radius explains to Druid Elsa that he was exiled for his “asymmetry.” Corwin discusses with Orlando the lineup of acts, which includes the following:

  1. Sharpshooting and knife throwing with Scully Strongbow
  2. Escape artist Seamus Feanor (a Saganim human)
  3. Fire breather Amur of the Desert Flames and dancer Tamara the Veiled Wonder (Suthern humans)
  4. Trained animals: Scully’s owl “Owlicious,” Elsa’s owlbear cub “Oswald,” dogs, ponies, and fainting goats
  5. Magic show: Giacomo the Mysterious
  6. Finale: The “Flying Perhutens” — acrobats Carolus and Simona (Hifalendorin humans)

Orlando steps back from being the master of ceremonies to focus on taking admissions fees, and “Mama Willie” is in charge of sewing costumes. The carnival folk also agree to have the following wandering attractions:

  • Clown: Graham Tervin (Saganim human)
  • Guess your age: Modron Radius
  • The fearsome Barbarian: Hamfast Hammerfist
  • Freaks: Malinzel the Devourer (Zarendo Islander Lizard Woman) and Gnoll Scully
  • Caricature painting: Alberto Barrowright (Harfoot Halfling)
  • Singing: Lucille Barrowright (Harfoot Halfling)

Saganim (proto-Celtic) human drover Cerdwyn mab Ardain supervises the camp setup, aided by taciturn rigger Baskor Steadyhand, a River Dwarf who flirts with Elsa. Zeda human Hamfast is happy to be working, unlike Graham.

Statuesque Cerdwyn also sets watches for the night with Hamfast, Baskor, Graham. Those not on guard go to their bedrolls early. Cheerful Seamus tries to engage Radius in conversation, while Giacomo tries sleight of hand with young Lucille.

Elsa cooks dinner with Willie and Miranda Barrowright, a Harfoot Halfling priestess of Yondalla. They plan to go to the market the next morning to buy more food and other supplies. Scully, Radius, and Malinxalxochitl (a.k.a. Malinzel) clean up any leftovers.

Corwin and Giacomo accompany Orlando in visiting the manor of the local lord. A middle-aged woman named Renata answers the door and introduces them to Sir Valerius. He is grateful for an opportunity to entertain his vassals during the depths of winter and agrees to waive any taxes as long as there isn’t any trouble.

At the “Gully Jug” tavern, some of the performers announce their arrival and order drinks. Harfoot Halflings Jacques and Claudia serve the newcomers. Elsa asks Radius to keep an eye on Corwin as she and Elsa leave the village to let their animals hunt.

Giacomo watches peasants Terence and Branwyn argue, and Corwin asks for the rarest beverage available. Jacques gives the Half-Elf Bard a Gnomish cordial, just as Forest Gnome Liskjaf… shakes his head and departs. Soon, Corwin is standing on a table and singing rousing ballads.

Shortly before dawn, Hamfast is on watch when he is hit by a snowball! The tall human looks around the edge of the circus camp and the town square, and he spots footprints leading to a downspout. After getting hit by another snowball, Hamfast spots a Goblin hiding in the eaves of a building.

Bruisefoot begs for help. Apparently, the Goblin’s tribe has been “captured by bad men” across the frozen Aehonir River. Hamfast wakes a few of his companions, and they find Bruisefoot hiding in a chimney. The needle-toothed humanoid repeats his plea for help and says that his people are about two days’ walk away.

Giacomo and Corwin (who is nursing a hangover) are reluctant to help Bruisefoot. Radius and company check with local constable Adelard, who says that the Goblins are little more than a grain-stealing nuisance. Elsa argues in favor of helping the green-skinned humanoids, and Hamfast and Scully agree.

But first, the members of “Vistel’s Circus” have a performance to prepare for….

I hope that all of you enjoyed our first session back in the “Vanished Lands,” and let me know if any of you have questions about the “BFRPGcharacter-creation and house rules. Josh, I look forward to your Monk eventually joining the party. The next session for this fantasy group is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 24.

I also look forward to continuing the FATE 3e “Vortex” space opera telecom team and city and character creation for Josh’s “Mystic Adventures in the ‘Big D,'” using FATE 3e Dresden Files next Monday! Take it easy, -Gene

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