“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.41 — Finding the path into darkness

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.41, which Rich C.G. hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Monday, 16 June 2014:

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 D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and FATE3e Legends of Anglerre, as of summer 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 9
  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W.]-male Zeda (proto-Germanic) human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 9
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 9
  • Tempestade [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 9
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 9
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with Banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 9
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer; TNg, Lvl. 9

(See previous notes for Paladins “Radius” [Jason E.R.] and “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.].)

“11 to 12 March 1227 B.C.E.:” “Vistel’s Expedition” decided to explore the barbaric port of Gisar before heading into its sewers to help Tempestade get to a magical obelisk and his distant homeland. They met many colorful and strange people at local temples and taverns and learned about potential hazards.

Most of the onetime circus perfomers spend the night at the temple of Brijitt, goddess of fire and poetry. Hamfast is out carousing, but skalds (Bards) report that the Zeda human Fighter doesn’t appear to be in any immediate danger.

Giacomo recommends approaching the obelisk beneath the House of Xia during daytime so that the city’s vampiric rulers need more time to react to any incursion. Scully casts a Message spell to ask “Kemosh” [Byron V.O./Non-Player Character] in distant Falit for a local contact in the Order of the Golden Lion.

Tempestade is eager to free fellow slaves and suggests sending a few people to scout ahead rather than have the entire group explore the sewers and be detected. By contrast, Corwin wants to enter the ruined Magisterium (magic school/library) immediately rather than spend any more time in Gisar.

Elsa prepares wax and Daylight pellets as precautions against a Banshee said to be lurking in the House of Xia. Newcomer Rhys studies the map from the “Seekers of Lore,” a previous adventuring party that took serious casualties in the same dungeon.

Hifalendorin human Giacomo casts Wizard Eye, and with help from Hill Dwarf Elsa’s Find the Path, he peeks at the most direct route to the time/dimension travel-enabling obelisk, or “Joining of the Ways.” Giacomo sees rubble, a partially restored library, and winding passages beneath the House of Xia and the bar “Angkir’s Oars.”

Flind Scully communicates with Kemosh, who says that he thinks of her often. The Anpur Kahin (Jackal-Man Druid) says that she should look for an Atlantean (Theran/Minoan) human named Gregor Kratakis at the docks. Brazilian human Tempestade is reluctant to discuss any plans for resettling slaves from his former plantation.

Half-Elf Corwin casts Message to inform Saganim (proto-Celtic) human Cleric “Melchior” [Byron/N.P.C.] in Thadenis about the plan to get to the Joining of the Ways. Tinker Gnome Rhys readies his clockwork devices.

Giacomo also perceives necromancy and what appear to be a Vistani human aristocrat and a Dark Elf woman in a room on the way to the obelisk. He sees that the monolith itself seems undisturbed.

After sleep and more discussion, the would-be heroes visit the docks. At Angkir’s Oars, Scully finds Gregor and discreetly shows him her medallion from the Order of the Golden Lion. The Rogue knows little about the Magisterium ruins, but in return for information about the obelisk, he offers to create a diversion at Otto’s Ferry in case the vampires in Barovic Castle send forces againt the group.

Tempestade offers to Speak With Animals, and Elsa readies Commune With Natureas the adventurers approach a sewer outlet into the Bedoni River. Corwin says it’s better to attack the couple Giacomo spied upon than to fight through several tunnels.

Ancient temples
Ruined library

Rhys sends his scorpion device ahead and enters the sewers with Scully. Corwin, Elsa, and Giacomo follow, with Tempestade bringing up the rear. They have not gone far when a door to the east opens, and a squad of six Draconians exits from the nearby temple of Tiamat!

Druid Elsa Wild Shapes into a dragonfly, and Bard Corwin quickly casts Mass Invisibility. Diminutive Rhys presses himself against the damp wall, while Wizard Giacomo quietly backs up. The copper-scaled Kapak patrol marches past, and one Draconian spits acid in Elsa’s general direction.

Martial artist Tempestade uses his Boots of Spider Climb to hide by the curved ceiling, and Ranger Scully readies Protection From Evil. The squad is followed by a bronze-armored Bozak officer, but he doesn’t notice the invisible interlopers either.

Vistel’s Expedition breathes a sigh of relief and falls to arguing over how to proceed. Rhys points out alternate routes to the Joining of the Ways. The spelunkers eventually decide to attack the people in the room close to the obelisk.

Corwin casts Dimension Door and takes Scully, Elsa, and Rhys, while Giacomo casts Planar Step and takes Tempestade. They find themselves in a misty chamber. The fog coalesces into humanoid forms.

The alluring Lady Leafcutter is a Banshee, or undead Dark Elf, and the well-dressed but gray-skinned Count Radescu is a vampire and member of Gisar’s ruling class. Corwin boldly attacks, and Elsa shifts into dire wolf form.

Rhys hurls a Daylight pellet and scrambles to swap out the poison in his scorpion construct for holy water. Tempestade puts wax in his ears and confirms the enemies’ nature with Detect Undead. Scully dips her hollow-point arrows in holy water, and Giacomo casts Shield.

Unfortunately, Giacomo’s spell and wax don’t fully protect him against the Banshee’s wail, which nearly kills him. The Nosferatu leaps onto Rhys and begins drinking his blood. Corwin casts Storm Bolts, briefly stunning Lady Leafcutter.

Elsa invokes Mekkil (Gaia), goddess of nature, to Channel Positive Energy, healing her allies and harming the Undead. Tempestade calls upon Otih, god of the sun and justice, to do the same, thanks to a divine favor from Sir Torrel.

Rhys struggles to escape the vampire’s embrace, as his clockwork scorpion shoots holy water and his dragon device breathes fire. Scully’s Hold Person fails to affect Count Radescu. Worse still, Giacomo’s cursed tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra takes control of the injured arcanist and uses Planar Step to take his body to Hesolin, hundreds of miles away!

Lady Leafcutter’s touch causes Corwin to cower in fear, and Count Radescu continues to drain Rhys of life force. Elsa calls upon Vulkan (Moradin) as she summons a stone giant, which fills the room and tosses the vampire and unlucky Rhys.

Nimble Tempestade fights defensively, and righteous Scully casts Dispel Evil. Possessed Giacomo orders a tea in a Hesolin café while his homunculus familiar Gerald cries out for him beneath Gisar.

The tide of battle turns when Corwin regains his senses and manages toDisintegrate the vampire. Elsa’s Holy Burst destroys the Banshee. Giacomo eventually subdues Ezra’s consciousness and expends magical energy to rejoin his companions.

Elsa treats the injured Giacomo, Corwin, and Rhys. Unscathed, Scully and Tempestade search the room. They find the following items:

  • Bag of Holding (Type 2, up to 500 lbs./70 cu. ft.; claimed by Rhys)
  • Dust of Tracelessness (DC 20 to track; claimed by Tempestade)
  • Efficient Quiver (store up to 60 arrows, desired one always at hand; claimed by Scully)
  • Leather armor, + 2 (claimed by Scully)
  • Ring of Protection, + 2 (claimed by Corwin)
  • Robe of Blending (Alter Self, claimed by Giacomo)

Elsa thanks the giant before returning it to its home plane, and she claims no treasure this time. Corwin, Elsa, and Scully recommend retreating to rest and recover spells, but Giacomo, Tempestade, and Rhys argue in favor of pressing on toward the obelisk….

Brian and Jason, we missed you! Remember to update your characters’ spells and possessions on Obsidian Portal. Also, try harder to arrive at a consensus on what to do next before we continue our adventures next week.

See my other posts on the Yahoo/eGroups and Google Groups message boards regarding upcoming events, including Free RPG Day, the “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” telecom game, and Byron’s upcoming visit!