“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” Update 39.11 — Inheritance interrupted

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished LandsVistel’s Circus” Session 39.11, which Rich C.G. hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 8 April 2013:

In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races 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.

Various groups of mercenaries and diplomats have fought humanoids in the northwestern borderlands, encountered pirates on the Sea of Nagendwa, and wandered the hostile Halmed Desert and the wide Plains of Sathendo….

“Vistel’s Circus,” Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s ” Vanished Lands ” heroic fantasy campaign, using the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, as of spring 2013:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; NGc, Lvl. 3
  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W./absent ]-male Zeda human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 3
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 3
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 3
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with owlbear cub “Oswald”; NGc, Lvl. 3
  • Tempestade [Josh C./departed ]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), roustabout; CGl, Lvl. 2
  • Radius [Jason E.R./departed ]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 1

“2 to 4 March 1228 B.C.E.:” The performers had caroused and conducted research in Thadenis, capital of the (proto-Celtic) human kingdom of Saganim. They also obtained an audience with King Edmund II and Queen Margaret and got permission to discreetly investigate possible corruption in the court.

Celtic costumes
Warriors of Saganim

Scully Strongbow returns from hunting with Grugach (Wild Elf) Badgertail outside of the city. The Gnoll Ranger says that they found tracks of a Lizard Folk warband while hunting deer. It is unusual for such humanoids to venture so near to Thadenis.

The next morning, Giacomo Du Vane visits the Harandrim Academy and finds a modest building near the “Happy Brownie” inn and the Royal Society for Cartography. The Mage buys a Tincture of Energy from Akael Nightmist and chats with Maggie Oakleaf, a droll Sylvan Elf student.

Giacomo joins Corwin Windsong in the Agora (market square) to get a silver and ruby pin of a tree for Maggie. Bard Corwin buys an opal necklace for Maeve Gallagher, a priestess of Brijitt, goddess of fire and poetry, he met at the Bardic College.

Crowds gather for the investiture of Prince Daven. A parade leads from the Agora, where Vistel’s Circus is encamped, to the Isle of Valor. Hamfast Hammerfist mingles with the peasants. Leaders of various craft guilds go first, followed by members of the clergy.

Elsa Fairbottom walks with Anatoly Yusoprov, a Dwarf priest from Nersago’s Forge. Druid Elsa also notes the presence of Clerics of darker gods Libitoh, Nenashen, and Gheket.

Scully watches from a riverfront rooftop overlooking the East Rush. She spots a rare Wolfen [“Niac,” Mike F./Non-Player Character] with the Paladins of Otih, god of the sun and justice. Different orders of warriors come next, including caber tossers, the Jaden Spearmen, and the Tartan Guard.

Sir Banor Finney, whose late squire Adric Thumon had enslaved Goblins at a silver mine near Androth, rides with other knights. Finally, aristocrats, diplomats, and councilors cross the Cavalier’s Bridge to the Isle of Valor.

Corwin and Giacomo slip across the Temple Bridge with Maggie and Maeve. They try to avoid being seen by the Tiefling Mage Dalek and Lords Stefan and Sean of House Sable. Corwin notices a man with a bushy beard and a yellow hat talking with one of the queen’s handmaidens — “Melchior Merryman” [Byron V.O./N.P.C.].

King Edmund announces that he is naming Prince Daven heir apparent. A blonde woman arrives on a hippogriff and presents it to the crown prince. Maeve explains that the rider of the winged steed is Princess Julia, who is expected to soon be betrothed to the ambitious Prince Daven.

However, sharp-eyed Scully notices a commotion at the Sailor’s Gate. Two ships (later identified as the “Charming Princess” and the “Wind Duke”) pass the Isle of Grief. Reptile Folk pirates force a path for Prince Garamond, Daven’s older half-brother.

Honorable Garamond challenges Daven’s ascension on the grounds that their eldest sibling, Prince Berek, is still alive and is innocent of the murder of Dalek’s wife Katarina. King Edmund and Queen Margaret are displeased by the public strife and take the argument into the Cathedral of Edillon.

Elsa and Scully manage to catch up to Giacomo and Corwin. Giacomo bribes sentry Aerith into letting them into the temple. They hear the nobles arguing under winged statues in the echoing halls.

Lord Stefan takes notes as Prince Garamond says that he doesn’t want the throne, but Daven doesn’t deserve it either. King Edmund asks Garamond how he knows that Berek is alive, and Princess Karenna tries to be inconspicuous.

Corwin steps forward and reveals himself as the exiled Prince Berek. Dalek is angry to see him, but Queen Margaret and her guards keep any blood from being spilled in the cathedral. Elsa, Giacomo, and Scully vouch for Berek/Corwin’s character.

King Edmund says that he will let the incomplete ceremony stand, leaving Prince Derek the heir apparent for the time being. Berek must first clear his name of the years-old charges before he or Garamond can challenge their half-brother. Lord Stefan suggests a trial by combat.

The weight of ruling his realm upon him, King Edmund agrees to reconvene two days hence. In the meantime, Vistel’s Circus will perform in the Agora, and Berek and Garamond must stay within the city’s walls, if not yet in the Gilded Keep. Giacomo and company are given permission to continue their research.

The princes and their companions go to “Ghanki’s Gin Pub,” near the Ironhooves Arena. Giacomo plans to investigate House Sable and reopen the records surrounding Katarina’s disappearance. The Wizard asks Maggie to help.

Garamond tells brother Corwin/Berek that he searched for him on the Sea of Nagendwa, but lost his original crew when he was shipwrecked in the Zarendo Islands. Garamond eventually fell in with the Lizard Folk and returned home.

Wise Elsa notes that with Daven in line for succession, the king and queen may be in danger as the older princes wait for trial. Corwin asks Garamond to send his crew to guard the circus, while his allies try to sneak back onto the Isle of Valor to protect the crown.

Corwin warns Orlando Vistel about the heightened danger, but the circus founder expresses confidence in his master of ceremonies. Scully and Elsa bring their animal companions to the Grove of Arbos, where they meet Druid Lorcan Mahoney and Pfenik, a friendly Brownie.

Vistel’s Circus begins its show in the Agora (another is planned for the nobles in a few days). Corwin introduces acrobats, fire dancers, and additional artists wrangled by Maeve. Some of the audience is curious about his true identity.

Giacomo returns to the Hall of Thanes, ostensibly to read up on Saganim laws, but he also has an Invisibility spell ready and is looking to warn Queen Margaret or her agents. Scully and Elsa leave the circus early to head to the Isle of Valor “to hunt rats” with Owlicious.

Corwin casts Change Self to disguise himself. The once (and possibly future) Prince Berek looks for his half-brother Daven and foes Dalek and Stefan in the gloom….

Please remember to make sure that your Player Character records are up to date, and let me know if I’ve left anything out. While my notes are accurate, I haven’t done justice to the fun role-playing of our recent sessions. I also look forward to continuing our adventures tonight!

In addition, I’ll try to post an update for last night’s ” Vortex: Terra’s Pride” telecom space opera soon, and remember that we won’t be meeting next week. Josh, good luck with your “Steam Wars” game. Jason’s “Barsoomian Adventures: the Tenth Ray of Mars” planetary romance will resume on April 29. Later, -Gene