“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.12 — Mob, ghouls, and crones

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.12, which was held on Sunday, 2 March 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, as of spring 2014:

  • 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. 4
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) from the Tiger Clan with a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 4
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 4
  • 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. 4
  • 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. 4

“10 to 11 April 1227 B.C.E.:” The wanderers investigated a Tikbalang summoning and tracked a Wolfen bounty hunter, his Barbarian bandit quarry, and missing farmers. They questioned a geisha and bowyer/fletcher and found three peasants turned into Undead before capturing the bandit.

Toshi searches the Yamen-Ren (Barbarian) and finds a dagger, a short bow, a broadsword, a chain shirt, and dried meat but no necromantic items. Saigo questions Shiskikura Eiji, who admits to banditry but claims that he restrained the three farmers and that someone in the village sent Ivor Bloodpelt after him.

Ember and Soske’ dispose of the corpses so that they won’t return to haunt the village of Chin Mok. Soske’ points out that whoever created the Undead could also have summoned the horse-headed Tikbalang near a desecrated grove.

Jung-Mo and Sonny visit a nearby farm whose fields also show unseasonable neglect. They open the door to a large, musty house and hear something moving in the rafters. Jung-Mo quickly yanks Sonny back outside.

As Ember and Soske’ keep watch, they see more than a dozen people approaching from the Shengtese human village. Ember shifts into crane form to get a better look, and she spots Ji-Sil Yuen, who was angry that her husband is missing and who accused Ember and others of having poor morals.

Mob rules
Chin Mok peasants

Soske’ goes to warn Toshi and Saigo, who agree to hide Eiji in a barn. Saigo goes out to meet the mob, which Ember says doesn’t include village elder Fong Kien or militia leader Yang Kuang. Ember and Toshi perch overhead as birds, while Soske’ leaves to check on Jung-Mo and Sonny.

Scout Jung-Mo and Kensai Sonny get a glimpse of three unnaturally pale children climbing down the walls like spiders. They pull the door shut and hold it. Shukenja Soske’ arrives and offers to help deal with the Undead delinquents.

Jung-Mo runs to assist Samurai Saigo with the angry nong (peasants). Ji-Sil says that she has heard of “impure monsters,” but the adventurers suspect that she hopes to destroy any evidence of her own involvement. Wu Jen Toshi is able to communicate with Druid Ember since both are in avian form.

Saigo pulls rank and orders the villagers back to their homes, saying that his band needs time to address the threat. The assembly reluctantly disperses, and Ember and Toshi fly overhead for a while to make sure they leave the area.

The party regroups at the second farm, where Sonny lets go of the door. The children of the rice paddies grab at him and Soske’ with their blackened nails. Jung-Mo hurls a Whippet (incendiary boomerang) into the fray, missing and starting a small fire in the house.

Undead creature
Children of the rice paddy

Soske’ draws his bow, lodging an arrow in the neck of one ghoul, and Toshi casts Magic Missile. Saigo swings his no-dachi (great sword). Ember casts Bless on her companions.

After an initial miss, Sonny unleashes a Whirlwind Strike with his chains, hitting all three foes. One of the Undead is slain by Soske’s Positive Energy Burst, and Toshi destroys another. Saigo finishes off the third one in a cloud of dust.

The group retrieves and unbinds Shiskikura, saying that he must face justice, not an angry mob. Saigo and Soske’ lead the way to the third farm, followed by Toshi, the bandit, and Sonny. Ember and admirer Jung-Mo bring up the rear.

The clinking cups and laughter of a tea party can be heard outside the last house. Saigo opens the door and sees three women, but when they turn, they reveal half-withered visages. They are the ones who have ensorcelled the farms.

Shan Sao Toshi tries to Detect Undead but concludes that the crones are Mahotsukai (witches). Shengtese Soske’ shoots an arrow but misses, and Spirit Folk Jung-Mo isn’t stealthy enough for a sneak attack.

Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo cleaves into the evil trio, slashing two witches. One woman turns into a bat, another casts Mirror Image, and the third casts Cone of Cold. Hengeyokai Ember responds with Resist Cold, and Shengtese Sonny dispels four of the illusions with another Whirlwind attack.

Toshi casts Scorching Ray and Magic Missile at the bat, which Soske’ finishes off before falling back to heal Saigo. Jung-Mo again misses before hitting an Invisible witch with an arrow from his new folding bow.

Saigo slashes in the hope of hitting the hidden sorceress, who tries to escape. The other witch casts Lightning Bolt, injuring Jung-Mo, Sonny, and Saigo. Ember casts Cure Light Wounds on Jung-Mo and Toshi.

Sonny loops a chain around one enemy’s neck to interfere with her spell casting. The Kensai’s kicks force the other to drop her Invisibility. Toshi casts another Scorching Ray, finishing Sonny’s foe. He also tosses shurikens, but they miss, unlike Soske’s arrows. Saigo beheads the last witch.

The team searches the house, finding food likely brought from Chin Mok in the past few days. Sonny believes that a conspiracy of spurned wives led them to the sorceresses’ services. Saigo and Ember want to confront Ji-Sil Yuen, but Toshi and Soske’ note that she has swayed several peasants.

Jung-Mo says the group should remember its overall mission of bringing Gokuri emissary Lady Yun Aei-Yong to the capital and balance that with trying to help people and learn about hazards on the way. Soske’ and the others agree to leave Chin Mok as soon as possible….

Thanks again to all for your patience as we finish updating your characters to our latest house rules. Let me know if you have any questions as we upload them to Obsidian Portal, and I hope our games will run more smoothly in the coming sessions.

We’re also revising the “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” party, and I look forward to eventually continuing Jason E.R.’s “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario.