“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.43 — Guitar heroes

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.43, which Rich C.G. hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Friday, 27 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.].)

“14 to 15 March 1884 A.D./C.E.:” The would-be heroes rested in the chambers of a vampire and a banshee beneath Gisar’s ruined Magisterium (magic school/library). They fought cultists of Krakas, a spectre, and a gargoyle. The group also encountered four golems, a gelatinous cube, and Draconian priests of Tiamat before activating an obelisk and traveling to Tempestade’s time….

Giacomo checks to make sure that he is in control rather than his cursed tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra. Scully notices that someone other than Gregor Kratakis, a fellow member of the Order of the Golden Lion, has traveled with “Vistel’s Expedition.”

The man falls into the Brazilian jungle and defensively casts Darkness and Detect Curse before talking. “Melchior” [guest Byron V.O.] has been summoned from Thadenis, capital of the (proto-Celtic) human kingdom of Saganim. Corwin explains the situation to his countryman.

Tempestade climbs a tree to get his bearings and recognizes the trading post of Rio de Cidade. Elsa Wild Shapes into a toucan, while Rhys verifies that his clockwork devices still work. Back in barbaric Gisar, Hamfast continues carousing.

“Vistel’s Expedition” debates on how to rescue slaves from Tempestade’s former plantation and get them back to the “Vanished Lands.” Capoeirista Tempestade recommends talking to people in the village before going to Pais Doce.

Cleric Melchior, who has traveled through time before, warns Wizard Giacomo and Bard Corwin that their arcane spells may not work reliably. Ranger Scully and Druid Elsa sense their patron Mekkil (Gaia), but not as strongly as they expect.

Tinker Gnome Rhys, however, is excited at the prospect of encountering more technology. Hifalendorin human Giacomo Polymorphs his homunculus familiar Gerald into a monkey. Gnoll Scully dons a Hat of Disguise to appear as an attractive woman, since Tempestade says most of the locals are human.

Saganim human Melchior notes that the team should have a plan and that it would be better to bring the escapees somewhere other than vampire-ruled Gisar. Half-Elf Corwin wants to spend as little time in the future as possible.

Scully suggests entering Rio de Cidade as “Vistel’s Circus,” since most of the group has experience as performers. Hill Dwarf Elsa, whose winged cat Penryn is back in Gisar with Hamfast, agrees. Tempestade leads the way toward the river port.

Giacomo casts Comprehend Languages, and Corwin casts Know the Words. Melchior uses a scroll of Tongues to speak Portuguese. They buy clothing to blend in. Tempestade, Scully, and Corwin go to the local church, where they talk with Padre Franco, a Jesuit sympathetic to the peasants’ plight.

The Roman Catholic priest says that Armadeiras Fonseca, the leader of Tempestade’s mocambo (rebel band), recently visited Rio de Cidade for supplies. Taciturn Tempestade is glad to learn that his onetime allies are still alive, because he remembers them being slaughtered as he was sent thousands of years back in time to find help.

Meanwhile, the rest of the company goes to the town hall. On the way, wary Giacomo and burly Scully restrain curious Rhys from running to a steamboat at the docks. They promise to let him look at it later. Foppishly disguised Melchior and intrepid Elsa Detect Undead and ask a clerk about maps and records.

They see Lord Yves d’Agneau, owner of the Pais Doce estate, giving orders to servant Brizida Magalhaes. After some introductions, Lord d’Agneau insists that the carnival folk come for dinner and stay the night before arranging a performance for his restive slaves. Giacomo proffers a lace handkerchief gift (so he can magically track the man later).

Nimble Tempestade runs out into the jungle to find Armadeiras, followed by Scully, who Wild Shapes into a falcon, and her owl “Owlicious.” Prince Corwin rejoins the others with a planned rendezvous at the church.

But first, they follow a red-headed man matching Tempestade’s description of the nature spirit who sent him through time. The short sorcerer boards the steamboat, much to Rhys’ delight.

Rogerio Ribeiro says he knows why they have come and proves his power by emptying the cargo hold of sugarcane and lumber with the snap of his fingers. He and Lord d’Agneau have already been in the state of Mina Gerais for centuries and are longtime trading partners.

Still, Corwin and Elsa ask for help evacuating about 100 slaves, and the imp says he can take them “upriver,” meaning back to their home time, if not necessarily back to Gisar.

In return, Ribeiro wants them to take a message — “I sacrifice a rook” — back to the Pit Fiend they encountered in the Zarendo Islands. Giacomo and Melchior are reluctant to make such a deal, but they agree that securing the slaves’ freedom is a top priority. Rhys is just happy to examine the boat’s steam engine.

Tempestade and Scully find Armadeiras at a mocambo camp deep in the Amazon rain forest. They warn him that a planned rebellion is doomed without their help. Armadeiras agrees to accompany them back to the village and to tell his forces to wait.

The voyagers regroup at the church before going to Pais Doce for dinner. Giacomo once again presents himself as “the Mysterious,” and Melchior casts Heroes’ Feast to refresh his friends. Scully poses as a “warrior princess” circus act, and Tempestade gets help dressing as a Suthern/Arabian prince.

Corwin regains lost spells through Restoration and wears a white linen suit, while Elsa remains in bird form and perches on his shoulder. Rhys studies the steamboat, which he learns can turn into an airship!

The adventuring party goes to Tempestade’s former plantation, passing guards in mechanized walkers. Lord d’Agneau is a gracious host, offering many delicacies and suspicious red beverages. Giacomo covertly casts Detect Magic and finds wards above the windows and doors.

Melchior senses Undead and declines the wine. Scully smells blood, and Tempestade silently swears vengeance against his former master. Corwin recognizes servant Brizida, and Elsa nudges him to keep the conversation light by talking about art.

Diminuitive Rhys jumps onto the table to eat, and he later excuses himself to find out how the servants are bringing food so quickly from the distant kitchen. The Tinker Gnome finds a wheeled robot with metal arms and a hotplate, and he quickly stuffs it into his Bag of Holding. Pleased with himself, Rhys returns to dinner.

After the meal, Melchior and Corwin create a diversion by offering to entertain Lord d’Agneau and his household. Melchior plays his mandolin “Jolene” and casts Charm and Obscuring Mist.

Scully follows Brizida to a lavatory, where the woman draws daggers from her corset! Giacomo, Elsa, and Rhys go to aid Scully, while Tempestade prepares to fight in the foggy hall. Lord d’Agneau reveals his true form, with no hair, sharp teeth and claws, and a long, tentacle-like tongue.

Melchior cast Web, slowing the slave owner. In return, Lord d’Agneau tries to drain his memories but can’t because of the Cleric’s ring of Mind Shield. Corwin’s Symbol of Death has no effect on the Outsider. Tempestade lights the drapes with a candle.

Brizida slashes at Scully, who draws her sword in close quarters. Elsa casts Silence and heads back to the lounge, while Rhys shoots his repeating crossbow. Giacomo smacks the would-be assassin with his staff.

In the misty main hall, Melchior casts Sound Lance and Shadow Bolt, and Lord d’Agneau summons two vampires. Corwin casts Storm Bolts and Ice Storm, and quick-thinking Tempestade throws the burning curtains on d’Agneau. Elsa joins that battle by Wild Shaping into a dire bear.

Brizida cuts Scully with a poisoned dagger, but the Ranger and Rhys hit her as well. Giacomo finishes her, and Rhys goes to prepare the steamboat for passengers.

The vampires claw at Melchior and Corwin, who casts Magic Missiles. Melchior calls upon Ulandt, lady of the night, and Channels Positive Energy. Violet light heals his allies and harms the Undead.

Similarly, Elsa invokes Mekkil, goddess of nature, for a green glow. Tempestade calls upon Otih, lord of the sun and justice (similar to the Christ), for a yellow burst, which destroys Lord d’Agneau. Corwin finishes off the vampires, and Melchior casts Consecrate.

Elsa recommends that Tempestade hold off on burning down the manor house until all the slaves have left, and Melchior and Corwin search the area. They find the following items:

  • Alaria’s Saddle Blanket (3 preset steed forms, up to CR4; claimed by Scully)
  • Deck of Illusions (claimed by Melchior, who gave masterwork mandolin “Jolene” to Corwin)
  • Ring of Resistance (+ 2; claimed by Elsa)
  • Ring of Water Walking (claimed by Tempestade)
  • Vial of poison (from Brizida; claimed by Scully)

Tempestade readies to rally the slaves to escape from Pais Doce, as Giacomo readies his Robe of Blending to impersonate the late Lord d’Agneau and delay raising an alarm….

Boston-area face-to-face groups
“Vistel’s Expedition,” summer 2014

I hope that everyone enjoyed our extra games and Byron’s visit! I’ll try to post my notes for our second “Star TrekRestoration” session later this week.

Congrats again to Drew on your wedding, and good luck to Thomas & Kai-Yin and Sara & Josh with your upcoming nuptials! Our thoughts are also with ailing Stuart in New York. I look forward to seeing most of you at our next one-shot.