Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.16, which was held on Sunday, 6 April 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 rules, Skype, and anonline 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. 5
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) from the Tiger Clan with a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 5
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 5
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 5
- “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. 5
- “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. 5
“23 April 1227 B.C.E.:” The wanderers visited Sogewa’s gardens and temples, talked with aristocrats and criminals, and sparred with fellow warriors. They also learned of an impending royal visit, border unrest, and clan rivalries.
Jung-Mo goes to a bar in a disreputable district of the city. The “River Spirit Folk merchant” buys a round of drinks for Tsuji Eizo, who appears to be a Shengtese human Yakuza. Jung-Mo makes small talk and covertly signals Eizo in Undercommon. The Rogue responds that they should meet in private.
After flying past the manor of Lady Liao Qianru and seeing a dragon, Ember flies back to Silado Palace, where she and the other escorts of Gokuri emissary Lady Yun Aei-Yong are staying. Waiting for her is Kamachi Yushiro, a young Samurai from the Lion Clan. The Shengtese human explains to the Crane Hengeyokai that he hopes to serve their mission.
Saigo and Sonny visit the House of the Red Lotus, a large and hospitable building surrounded by blooming trees and burbling fountains. A young woman nicknamed “Dogwood Blossom” greets the Bamboo Spirit Folk and Shengtese human and asks what entertainments they wish to receive.
Meanwhile, Toshi continues his arcane research and studies records in Tong Sheng’s archives regarding the sorcerers of Gokuri. Soske’ visits local temples and reluctantly prepares for a dinner with members of his extended family.
Jung-Mo walks across the capital with Eizo, who confirms that he is Park Chulsoon, a fellow Nannuattan from Gokuri. Park asks about Jung-Mo’s orders and commander, but the exiled Dark Elf says he doesn’t need to know that information.
Wu Ember casts Force Shapechange, but the confused Samurai is as he appears. Kamachi accepts her explanation that it was a test and invites Ember on a moonlight tour of Sogewa’s canals.
Handsome Kamachi shows Ember the capital’s many neighborhoods as they cruise waterways lit by paper lanterns. The Happy Market is relatively quiet, but floating food vendors and musicians offer their wares.
At the House of the Red Lotus, Dogwood Blossom introduces geisha Ryon Kyng-Hwa. They serve Sonny and Saigo tea and snacks and play music on a harp and flute. Samurai Saigo pays 24 tael (12 gold pieces) — twice the asking price — for extra women for himself and Kensai Sonny for the night.
Eizo/Park and Jung-Mo also go to the House of the Red Lotus to converse more discreetly. Neither Nannuattan wants to reveal too much, but they agree to stay in touch in case Gokuri’s matrons have espionage tasks for them.
Jung-Mo returns to the palace, just in time to see Kamachi and Ember disembark from their canal cruise. The knight gives the Druid a white rose, and she embraces him and kisses him, surprising both Kamachi and Jung-Mo!
Ember retires for the evening, but a distraught Jung-Mo stealthily follows Kamachi back to the Lion Clan compound. The infiltrator slips away before guards can spot him. Jung-Mo steals a gold vase from a merchant shop, and breakfast with the entire group the next morning is awkward….
Byron and Geoff, we missed you at this past weekend’s virtual session, and Dexter, I’m sorry that you had to deal with travel and connectivity challenges. Note that we’ll be meeting next Sunday, April 13, but probably not the next two weekends after that.