“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.8 — New in town

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.8, which was held on Sunday, 12 January 2014:

Long ago in a distant land, spirits and men directly traded bamboo, silk, and steel. Wars to the west, twisted monsters, and power-hungry sorcerers threatened the eastern kingdoms, so the call went out for new heroes of honor and tact….

Player Character Party 40 in Gene D.’s Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Asian-style telecom campaign, using the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Ed.) Oriental Adventures, plus house rulesSkype, and an online dice roller

  • Souji Nobuto ‘Sonny’ Yoshimitsu [Beruk A.]-male Shengtese Tian Kensai (eastern human weapon master) from a dishonored house in the Lion Clan, specializing in chain weapons; LNg, Lvl. 2
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 2
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 2
  • Soske’ Tiatoshe [Geoff C.]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest of Shang-ti and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things; LNg, Lvl. 2
  • Moon Jung-mo [Dexter V.H.]-male Nannuattan Ninja (Msamaki, eastern Dark Elf Assassin) who has left the Shadow’s Claw clan and is posing as a River Spirit Folk Yakuza (eastern Grey Elf Rogue); LNg, Lvl. 2
Shang Tao
Shengtese river town of Shang Tao

“24 to 31 March 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party had to fight its way out of a Gokuri outpost because Byong Sudae, its Nannuattan commander, was once a rival of diplomat Lady Yun Aei-Yong. The group narrowly escaped and returned to the Balef River.

The boatmen push the three barges southward, away from Dulthor. Saigo notices someone trying to keep out of sight and keep up on the western shore. Ember shifts to crane form to observe. She sees two Tsucharim (Mongol-style) human scouts and flies back to her companions to report.

Soske’ reassures Saigo that the two men won’t be able to keep up with the boats. He then serves tea while Jung-Mo provides impromptu entertainment by singing and dancing. Sonny and Toshi talk with Lady Yun, who says that pursuit is less likely as they travel eastward toward Sogewa, capital of the Principality of Silado/Tong Sheng.

After a day’s travel, the emissary and her escorts arrive at the walled town of Shang Tao. Su Yuwei and the other boatmen unload the horses and Jung-Mo’s carriage (discreetly containing Lady Yun and her Draconian guard Oh Kum-Ja). They bid farewell, since the team plans to head inland.

Shang Tao plan
Shang Tao from above

The party checks into the Ouzino Guest House. “River Spirit Folk” Jung-Mo and Shengtese human Soske’ share a room, but the former goes out to gamble while the latter looks for sake. Shengtese Sonny shares lodgings with Shan Sao Toshi, who builds a nest to sleep in.

Rather than spend more time with cloaked Lady Yun and Oh Kum-Ja, Hengeyokai Ember gets a room to herself, as does Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo. The group rests after its recent battles.

The next morning, the wanderers take turns guarding Lady Yun and exploring Shang Tao. Wu-Jen Toshi and Samurai Saigo visit Ii Yoshiyuki, a Korobokuru (eastern Dwarf) weapon smith.

Sonny walks by barracks by stone gate. The Kensai buys drinks for guards Yang Kong and Lo Jaini. The male Bushi (pikeman) is only too happy to chat about recent wars, while the female Ashigaru (archer) is more reticent, if less able to hold her liquor.

Wu Ember and Shukenja Soske’ attend to the steeds, including Toshi’s donkey Wako and Saigo’s warhorse Black Wind. Merchant Jung-Mo continues to flirt with Ember and spar verbally with Sonny.

Soske’ also asks Lady Yun and Oh Kum-Ja if there’s anything they want, since their movements are restricted in the human town. The Nannuattan asks for whatever is a local delicacy, and her Draconian follower requests a whole chicken.

Saigo trades excess knives, swords, and naginatas (pole arms) with Ii Yoshiyuki for arrows for the party. Toshi asks about shurikens (throwing stars), and the smith sends him to one Choi Gyong-Si. Saigo also asks where he can find a geisha and is referred to the “Wolf’s Den.”

With his priestly robes and staff, Soske’ is unsurprised by the friendly reception he receives in the marketplace. He haggles for charhar-aina (plates to wear over other armor) and a buckler (small shield). Fellow spellcaster Ember decides to hold off on buying lamellar armor, but fortuneteller Marala Soniakova and some jewelry catch her eye.

Toshi stops by the Ouzino Guest House to get Jung-Mo. They track down Choi Gyong-Si, who turns out to be a Bakemono (eastern Goblin) dung sweeper. They exchange not-so-subtle hints, and Choi takes the duo into an alley to show them his wares, including shurikens and Whippets (incendiary boomerangs).

Toshi then heads back to keep watch on Lady Yun, whom the party suspects of causing trouble on behalf of Queen Kagejusko. Sonny climbs to a quiet rooftop to practice with his chains.

On the recommendation of innkeeper Dao Ying-Ye, Soske’ buys freshly braised lamb and a chicken from butcher Yang Baio. He brings the food back to the guest house, where Jung-Mo and Ember return just in time for a lunch feast.

On his way to the “Wolf’s Den,” Saigo encounters triple-breasted Oni (Ogre Mage) Ahn Myng-Sun. He resists her amorous advances but buys her a drink. Saigo eventually meets Ikeda Hiroko, a River Spirit Folk musician.

From his perch, Sonny notices a group of Shengtese soldiers riding from the local lord’s tower. They ride about the town, and Sonny recognizes that they’re retracing his party’s steps. The martial artist jumps from roof to roof to warn those at the inn.

Rather than expose Lady Yun to awkward questions or worse, Soske’ stalls a guard at the door to their suite. Jung-Mo slips away and retrieves Saigo, who reluctantly rejoins the group.

A sentry explains that the visitors are summoned to an audience with “Jin Young” [John E./Non-Player Character], the local lord. They take their time getting to the tower. Saigo and Soske’ explain their mission to escort the representative of the kingdom of Gokuri to the capitals of Tong Sheng and Zedu.

Jin Young doesn’t believe that Gokuri will honor any truce with its neighbors, but he says that he’ll obey Gen. Shin Kyong-tsu and Duke Kou Fei Seng’s wishes. The local ruler considers attacking weakened Dulthor, but the wanderers recommend against prolonging border warfare.

Jin Young orders his troops to escort the visitors back to the Ouzino Guest House. Jung-Mo and Sonny keep a low profile, as do Lady Yun and Oh Kum-Ja. They prepare to leave the next morning.

Toshi and Soske’ pay their respects to the ancestors after talking to Phoenix Clan priest Zhan-Shi Yun at shrines to the Path of Order. Toshi later visits herbalist Lee Xiumin and is referred to Shan Sao woodworker Honda Maiko.

Ember buys a silver bracelet to match her magical necklace and accompanies Toshi to Honda Maiko’s shop. They buy ornately carved tiger and dragon talismans, which Toshi promises to animate. Meanwhile, Saigo goes back to Hiroko at the “Wolf’s Den.”

Among other things, Soske’ acquires the following supplies from River Spirit Folk trader Hojo Masaharu, whom he Blesses in thanks:

  • Bedrolls, blankets, and tents
  • Feed for the animals, wicker baskets
  • Food and water, six days’ worth for eight people (48 days)
  • Tools: axe, crowbar, rake, shovel, tinder box

After the party leaves Shang Tao, Soske’ suggests heading across the eastern Plains of Sathendo south to Chin Mok rather than east to Chung Kwang Shui, as the group had originally planned and told people….

It was good to see everyone online, and I’m glad to see the “A New Dawn” party back on the road! I also look forward to seeing some of you at tonight’s “Vanished LandsVistel’s Circus” face-to-face game or at next week’s character-generation session for Jason E.R.’s “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario (using Icons).