Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” Session 39.20, which Rich C.G. hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 26 August 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 summer 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. 4
- “Hamfast Hammerfist” [Brian W.]-male Zeda human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 4
- “Scully Strongbow” [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 4
- “Corwin Windsong” [Bruce K./absent]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 4
- “Elsa Fairbottom” [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with owlbear cub “Oswald”; NGc, Lvl. 4
- “Tempestade” [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 4
- “Radius” [Jason E.R./cameo]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 4
“29 to 30 October 1228 B.C.E.:” The erstwhile performers had found cultists of Krakas, lord of the maelstrom, in the sewers beneath Thadenis. They had rescued would-be sacrifices and hoped to stop a Theft of Sleep ritual.
Hamfast Hammerfist and Elsa Fairbottom go Moradin’s Forge to ask for help from the clergy of the mountain god. On the way, the Zeda human and Hill Dwarf recognize a cloaked figure in the temple district.
He turns out to be Radius, a former traveling companion continuing his lonely quests. The strangely taller Modron Paladin Lays Hands on Hamfast and agrees to help in their fight against the forces of chaos. The Clerics of Moradin give Elsa vials of holy water.
Scully Strongbow, Tempestade, and Giacomo du Vane go to the tower of Otih, lord of the sun and justice. Scully asks boyfriend “Niac” [Mike F./Non-Player Character] for reinforcements to guard the sewer exits. The Wolfen Paladin agrees and gives her six Everburning Torches.
Corwin Windsong is called away by his half-brother, Prince Garamond. The heir to the throne of the (proto-Celtic) human kingdom of Saganim explains that the cultists have retaliated for the fishmongers’ escape by kidnapping people from the Bardic College, including Maeve Gallagher, a priestess of Brijitt and friend of Corwin’s.
Corwin tells the group to return to the sewers without him, as he and Garamond’s pirate crew go to rescue Maeve and the other prisoners. Corwin and Garamond also send word to the Gilded Keep to notify King Edmund II and the city watch.
Elsa, Hamfast, and Radius stop by the Grove of Arbos, where Elsa asks fellow Druids to watch the East Rush River. She considers bringing Oswald, but Hamfast recommends against putting the young owlbear at risk.
Scully and Tempestade bring Giacomo to the Houses of Healing. “Melchior” [Byron V.O./N.P.C.] tells them that the rescued fishmongers are recovering, and he agrees to warn fellow worshippers of Ulandt, lady of rest, to beware of Undead in the sewers. Melchior provides a Cure Serious Wounds potion.
At the Royal Society of Cartography, “Ulrich” [Ted A.H./N.P.C.] accepts Elsa and Tempestade’s latest sewer maps for Thadenis. The adventuring party meets at the Happy Brownie Inn, and the next morning, it heads back beneath the Temple Tor.
Hamfast leads the way, followed by Radius, Tempestade, Elsa, Giacomo, and Scully. They pass through the passages they’ve already explored and come upon two Troglodytes. Monk Tempestade slides between the slimy humanoids to attack from the rear.
Fighter Hamfast charges, and one of the Trogs hits him in return. Ranger Scully holds her fire, waiting for a clear shot. Cleric Elsa prays to Moradin and Gaia/Mekkil, as Paladin Radius draws his longsword. Wizard Giacomo casts Magic Missile but misses.
Tempestade hits one of his reptilian foes but slips, and Hamfast smashes the remaining Troglodyte. Giacomo notes that these were easier to defeat than the hordes previously encountered, suggesting that the cultists have moved deeper beneath the city.
The spelunkers continue east, and Hamfast slides down scree to another tunnel, which appears to have been created by a huge worm. The team crawls before coming to a partially submerged section. The surefooted Monk and Dwarf help the others get through.
The group finds a set of double doors with squid-tentacle handles. Cautious Giacomo casts Invisibility on himself, and burly Scully guards the rear. Stoic Hamfast considers tying a rope to the limp appendages, as nimble Tempestade checks for traps.
Elsa jokes about rock lobsters and sprinkles holy water on them. The tentacles shrivel, and guilless Radius is able to swing the doors open. The Undead squid behind the doors are disposed of without raising any alarm.
The next door south leads to a set of twisted ramps and stairs. Tempestade ventures forth and finds that gravity changes as he walks. Hamfast tries to disbelieve. Flind Scully smells rotting flesh, and Radius is confused. Giacomo and Elsa push forward.
An echoing voice greets Tempestade, who offers tea. The booming Brasscap asks why the intruders have come. Scully spots the Undead Minotaur, who is standing on the opposite side of the ramp from the Barbari human Monk!
Scully dips wrapped arrowheads in holy water, and Hamfast readies his maul. Tempestade acrobatically leaps around to be on the same plane as Brasscap, who attacks him. Giacomo casts Web, slowing the monster, and Elsa casts Light to blind him.
Radius strikes Tempestade by mistake. Scully fires arrows into the Minotaur, and Hamfast swings wide. Brasscap tears through Giacomo’s webbing, and the mage again misses with Magic Missiles.
The Undead beast gores Tempestade and slashes Radius, and Giacomo begins to Levitate the Minotaur and grappling Monk. Elsa invokes her gods to heal Tempestade and Radius, as Scully’s bow and arrows miss their mark.
Tempestade lets go of Brasscap, whom Giacomo Levitates into the ceiling before dropping to the floor. Elsa castsBless and throws holy water on the unliving creature. Unfortunately, Scully, Hamfast, Tempestade, and Radius all miss.
Giacomo hits the Minotaur with another Magic Missile spell, and Scully beheads him. Hamfast takes the tulwar (+2), and Scully finds a Ring of Water Breathing. Tempestade retrieves Boots of Spider Climbing, and Elsa hacks off Brasscap’s horns.
A door to the north leads to a 20-foot-deep shaft. Tempestade hears sibilant chanting below, so he goes to investigate. Dark eyes glint in the gloom, beckoning him to join them. When the Monk doesn’t return, his companions begin to climb down on ropes.
Hamfast drops an Everburning Torch, revealing three snakelike priests. Scully hurls the Brasscap’s corpse down at them, missing ensorcled Tempestade. Giacomo hurls Magic Missiles, and Hamfast slides down a rope.
Elsa’s Hold Person has no effect on the Ophidians, who cast Entangle at Hamfast. Radius follows Hamfast on a rope, but Scully grabs the Minotaur’s head and jumps down to the stone altar. Giacomo feels itchy as he casts Scorching Ray and Color Spray, to no avail.
Hamfast swings his new sword but is still getting used to the wide curved blade. Elsa casts Protection From Evil and readies her sling, “Seeker.” The serpent folk cast Darkness, which Raidius counters with a Light spell. Tempestade comes to his senses and connects with a flying kick.
Scully slips on the altar, and Invisible Giacomo falls into the unholy shrine and maneuvers. Elsa casts Bless and healsHamfast. Radius hits his opponents, but not as often as he’d like. The Ophidians strike Hamfast and Tempestade with chain whips and poisoned daggers. The cultists also cast Blur and Mirror Image.
Scully dispels one of the images with an arrow, and Giacomo kills two of the followers of Krakas with a Scorching Ray. Elsa’s sling stone dispels the last magical image, and Scully kills the last Ophidian. The Theft of Sleep ritual, which stole rest from the residents of Thadenis in order to wake a slumbering Outsider, is disrupted.
Radius observes that the raiders have found no sign of a high priest or the previously seen Scrags (aquatic Trolls), but Tempestade is content to declare victory and return to the surface. Spellcasters Giacomo and Elsa retrieve scrolls ofCommand Serpents, Disguise Self, Heal, and Spiritual Hammer.
Hamfast and Scully find masterwork daggers, spiked chains, and Unholy water, as well as scraps of parchment with prayers to the lord of the maelstrom. The dungeoneers report to the knights of Otih and priests of Moradin and Ulandt, who plan to secure the sewers….
I hope that everyone enjoyed last night’s game, and Bruce, we missed you! I hope you’ll be able to attend this coming Sunday’s “Vortex: Terra’s Pride” telecom space opera, and note that we’re not meeting on Labor Day.
Jason, it was good to have you back in the “Vanished Lands,” however briefly, despite “Radius’” poor luck with the dice. I look forward to starting your “Star Wars: Dark Times” miniseries (using Savage Worlds) in two weeks!