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….
- “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. 5
- “Hamfast Hammerfist” [Brian W.]-male Zeda human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 5
- “Scully Strongbow” [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 5
- “Corwin Windsong” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 5
- “Elsa Fairbottom” [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with owlbear cub “Oswald”; NGc, Lvl. 5
- “Tempestade” [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 5
- “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.]-male Hifalendorin human Paladin of Otih, the lord of the sun and justic; LGn, Lvl. 5
- “Radius” [Jason E.R./departed]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 5
“21 to 25 November 1228 B.C.E.:” After meeting Sir Torrel, the former circus performers left Thadenis and traveled down the Warenthol River on their way to the distant ports of Falit and Gisar. They freed a group of Pernicon (Thri-kreen) from Dubwana (Hobgoblin) slavers.
The adventuring party arrives at the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human city of Sileran. Scully Strongbow asks her boyfriend “Sir Niac” [Mike F./Non-Player Character] to show her around and stay for one night. They are happy to get out of the rain at the midrange Moonbeam Inn, where each traveler pays proprietor Graham Edowald 5 silver pieces per cozy room per night.
After inquiring about the “Cone of Caloric Intake,” Hamfast Hammerfist retires for the evening. He surprises his companions by abstaining from alcohol before a planned visit to the temple of Nersago (a.k.a. Tvorst/Vulkan/Moradin).
Phelir, a Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human singer, entertains patrons in the inn’s common room. Time-displaced Tempestade is amazed when she plays a Barbari (Brazilian) song at his request!
Giacomo du Vane asks Phelir for “In Praise of Starlight,” a Quelanthi (High Elven) tune. Corwin Windsong also chats up the raven-tressed Bard and is impressed to learn that she also speaks Zuromm (Undercommon).
Rather than listen to Scully and Niac next door, Elsa Fairbottom buys some plum wine and heads to the Grove of Arbos. On the way, she sees a River Dwarf working on Sileran’s fortifications. Burdag enlists Elsa’s aid in setting up siege engines.
Sir Torrel goes to the temple of Otih, lord of the sun and justice, where he reports on the Pernicon slaves and Dubwana threat to Fr. Bran. The Paladin then returns to the inn to get to sleep early.
After Phelir sings “Mancatcher,” Tempestade asks her how she knew music from his homeland, and the skald replies that she looked into his heart. This doesn’t satisfy the Monk. By contrast, Zuromm lyrics make Giacomo’s skin crawl.
The next morning, Giacomo and Tempestade go to the local Magisterium (magic school/library). They meet Saganim archivist Bethany Drumgoule, who helps them with research into Falit, capital of the Ebir Sheikdom and their next destination. When the Mage’s divination into Tempestade’s origin fails, Bethany notes that Djinn in Falit could help them.
Gnoll Scully bids Niac a tearful farewell as the Wolfen heads back north to his duties in Thadenis, capital of the kingdom of Saganim. The Ranger and Paladin hope to travel together again soon.
Corwin and Elsa go to the Bardic College to inquire about Gisar. The Bard flirts with Fellona, Garweth, and Nydarelle, three worshippers of Brijitt, goddess of fire and poetry, while the Druid talks with an old sage. Witheril invokes Brijitt before explaining how that city has been plagued by Undead rulers, from vampires and a dracolich to the dreaded ghost fleet.
Hamfast and Elsa visit local breweries near Watcher’s Torr. The Zeda human Fighter buys a tankard, which he brings to Nersago’s forge. Hamfast is welcomed with open arms, and Dwarf Elsa later attends a midday service.
Torrel goes to the agora (market square), where he finds a Pernicon to talk to. Tch’tt (“Tochit”) uses a Gem of Translation to listen to the knight of Otih’s tale of slavers from the Garku Nasit. Tch’tt is surprised and tells Torrel to find him again to get an enchanted gem of his own in return for his service.
Witheril also tells Elsa about how the ghost fleet impresses sailors who are wounded in fights. Any so injured become Undead themselves in three nights, and curative spells can harm the victims, he says. Only powdered silver and holy water can delay the effect, and only Remove Curse can expunge the mystical ailment known as the Scourge.
Over at the Magisterium, Giacomo finds ancient tomes in Draconic. He then goes to Tobin’s Emporium, where “NimbleBlinkerQucikFingerBrassWorkerHodlingParty….” a Tinker Gnome is getting supplies for his shop on Lighthouse Lane.
Muriel Tekla, a Hifalendorin alchemist, recognizes Giacomo from their time together as students in the city of Hesolin. She agrees to extend credit in return for a Necromancer’s cart that the Wizard left in Thadenis, after verifying its provenance with a scry spell.
At the Garden of Nidonn, goddess of fertility, Tempestade asks a Sylvan Elf Druid for help returning to his former plantation. Shandra hands the Monk an apple. Tempestade bites into the fruit, which grants him a vision of his people, still enslaved and watched by an overseer in a conveyance with four metal legs.
The group reconvenes at the Moonbeam Inn for a late lunch. While Tempestade is eager to return to his home time to rescue fellow slaves, the team agrees to stay in Thadenis until the winter solstice to help repel a potential attack by the ghost fleet.
Giacomo suggests traveling over land, and Hamfast is interested in finding “glogg,” or mulled wine. Scully and Torrel are interested in fighting evil. Corwin wants to check with local authorities at the Eorl’s Torr, and Elsa plans to return to various temples.
The group goes to the temple of Gheket, mistress of magic. After his dealings with Lady Dolista, a Drow ambassador in Thadenis, Corwin stays outside. Hamfast and Scully wait in a vestibule, while charming Megara Anteia welcomes the others into her gargoyle-encrusted tower.
Sir Torrel is alarmed when he sees a visage of evil as he looks at the Achaean (Mycenaean Greek) priestess. The rest of the wanderers manage to convince curvaceous Megara to aid in the defense of the city against the forces of chaos as represented by the ghost fleet and the cult of Krakas.
Giacomo and Tempestade return to the Magisterium to continue their research on the Scourge. The “Dragonslayers” learned that “Capt. Jack Kildare” [Randy K.M./N.P.C.] was cursed about 30 years ago to sail with his Undead crew every Midsummer’s Eve. More recently, the Saganim captain apparently found a way to alter the terms of his curse and has built up a fleet on the Sea of Nagendwa.
Corwin visits Cormac ap Morgan, third earl of Saranir, at the Halls of Haranur. Prince Berek offers aid to his “uncle” and sword maiden Bronwyn, Brigadier Liam Muldoon, and Bard Uther ap Denis. Corwin and strong Hamfast then go to help Burdag with the city’s defenses.
Elsa has a scribe get notes from Witheril, then talks with a Sylvan Elf Druid at the Grove of Arbos. Caranthir observes that the heavy rains have been unnatural, with little break for sunlight. Malcolm Wickham, a hirsute herbalist, offers Tempestade three “happy” berries.
Scully brings her bird Owlicious and Elsa’s owlbear cub Oswald to the grove for exercise. Hamfast later recalls that the Ranger had smelled people in the swamps on the way to Sileran, which could have been a sign of renegade Druids affecting the weather.
The onetime members of “Vistel’s Circus” splash through sodden streets and watch the harbor as they compare notes on Hobgoblin slavers, evil cultists and Druids, Undead pirates, and ways to travel to Tempestade’s time….
Bruce and Rich, I hope I’ve covered all the current plot threads, which I’ve also posted to the Obsidian Portal wiki. Note that our next “Vanished Lands” sessions are scheduled for Oct. 14 and 21, and the “New Dawn” telecom group will also be starting soon.
In the meantime, I look forward to wrapping up the “Vortex: Terra’s Pride” telecom space opera and playing in Geoff C.‘s superhero one-shot in the next few Sundays! I’ll see most of you at Jason E.R.’s “Star Wars : Dark Times”game next Monday….