“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.46 — Shore leave

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.46, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 25 August 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. One such band began as circus performers, rescued slaves, and seeks to fight the dreaded Ghost Fleet….

Vistel’s Expedition,” crew of the ZephyrPlayer Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” campaign, using the D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing GameDungeon Crawl ClassicsPathfinder, and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of summer 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) afflicted by a cursed tattoo; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Flind (Gnoll) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and sailor, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 10
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, wandering noble, warrior, and mandolin player; CNg, Lvl. 10
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer and impetuous Rogue; TNcg, Lvl. 10

(See previous notes for “Hamfast” and “Brendan” [Brian W.], “Tempestade” [Josh C.], “Radius” [Jason E.R.], “Melchior” [Byron V.O.], “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.], and “Brogar” [Brian S.].)

“26 to 31 March 1227 B.C.E.:” The newly dubbed Zephyr arrived in the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human port of Drunstimlos. Corwin and Elsa Teleported for a quick visit to Thadenis and reported on their plans. Scully was happy to meet an Atlantean contact, as well as Sir Niac and other knights.

Giacomo worried about his accursed tattoo and the suspicious return of a long-missing priest. Rhys worked on the steamboat, filched a Sea Elven knife, and got into a bar brawl. Tempestade and his fellow Brazilian freedmen left for their new homeland.

Over the next week or so, “Vistel’s Expedition” continues working to make its steam-powered riverboat seaworthy. Ship’s mage Giacomo decorates the Zephyr ’s square mainsail with an avian coat of arms but recommends against flying any one nation’s flag.

Sailor and scout Scully helps boyfriend Niac [Mike F./Non-Player Character], who is also a shipwright. Bard Corwin, who has some experience as a seaman, performs in the “Sailor’s Climb” inn and recruits the following crew members (at a total of 150 g.p. per month):

  • Almaric Dorimus: male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human navigator, Lvl. 2 sailor; LNg
  • Audrey Driscoll: female Saganim (proto-Celtic) human cook and sailor 1/Fighter 1; TNl
  • Cyric Ahearn: male Saganim carpenter and sailor 1; LNg
  • Emmet Banning: male Saganim sailmaker and sailor 1; NGl
  • Evan Bradford: male Saganim fisherman and sailor 1; TNg
  • Evelyn Morgwyl: female Half-Elf tinkerer and sailor 1; CGn
  • Fiona Chadwick: female Saganim sailor 1/Rogue 1; CNg
  • Glynnis Shannon: female Saganim sailor 1/Fighter 1; NGl
  • Gordon Selwyn: male Saganim sailor 1/Rogue 1; CNg
  • Holt Chapman: male Saganim farmer/stablehand and sailor 1; CNg
  • Kaitlin Ellis: female Saganim acolyte of Ghanki/sailor 1; LGn
  • Reginald Seward: male Saganim pirate, served aboard the Mad Saber and theBloody Manta; sailor 1/Fighter 2; CNe
  • Ronan Teague: male Saganim blacksmith and sailor 1; LNg
  • Tiernan Saunders: male Saganim cabin boy, sailor 1; NGc

Cook and healer Elsa ignores the case of the recently returned Father Gwydion, a priest of Ghanki, lord of the waters, who may be associated with pirates. Instead, she pays provisioner Lorne Alwinson about 200 crowns (gold pieces) for ship supplies and Halfling grocer Anika Hendriks 50 g.p. for a month’s worth of rations.

Engineer Rhys is most busy refitting the Zephyr, making the following enhancements with Niac’s guidance [see Classic Play: Book of the Sea and other D20/OGL nautical sourcebooks]:

  • ballistae, 4 (large crossbows, -4 to hit, 3d8 damage, 120 ft. range, 500 g.p. each, plus 50 g.p. for ammunition)
  • battlements (+2 to cover, 100 g.p. total)
  • dinghys/lifeboats/rowboats, 4 total (50 g.p. each, AC9, Hardness 5; 4 passengers each)
  • keel fin, retractable (1,000 g.p.)
  • masts and lanteen sails (triangular, under ship supplies)
  • wings, clockwork dragon’s (for future airship stabilizers)

The adventuring party reconvenes at the inn. Giacomo wonders about hostile relations between the kingdom of Saganim and the Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elves) of the Kelp Kingdom.

Scully offers Niac as a potential captain for the Zephyr . Elsa says another visit to Thadenis, the capital of Saganim, is in order before meeting with Capt. Scarlet of the Foamrunner, and Corwin agrees. They and Giacomo prepare Teleport spells.

In his quarters, Rhys pulls a robotic waiter that he had taken from Pais Doce, a plantation in future Brazil, out of his Bag of Holding. He is surprised when the boxy construct speaks. The Tinker Gnome asks Corwin for help translating Portuguese, and the Half-Elf casts Know the Words.

They learn that the clockwork automaton can learn simple commands. Rhys’ latest mechanical aide joins Giacomo’s leather-winged homunculus familiar Gerald among the team’s growing number of companions and followers.

The wanderers Teleport from Drunstimlos back to Thadenis. Elsa leads the way to the Royal Society for Cartography, where apparently indolent student Ilnadu Magevictor sleepily greets them. He fetches “Ulrich Vandermoor” [Ted A.H./N.P.C.], who is delighted to share travel notes.

medieval docks
Saganim seaport

Rhys, a first-time visitor to the large city, is pleased to find someone else interested in the Zephyr ’s plans. Ulrich pays 500 g.p. for a copy, as well as 100 g.p. apiece for recent maps of the Ebir Sheikdom, the Zarendo Archipelago, and the Gusorin Confederation from Flind Scully and Hill Dwarf Elsa.

Ulrich also mentions “Pruts…” [Patrick D./N.P.C.], another Tinker Gnome who once traveled with the “Dragonslayers” through the Ivory Mountains and Wisalef Forest. Scully studies maps of ports around the Sea of Nagendwa.

Rhys inquires about sources for coal to power the steamship. Ulrich replies that there are mines in the Zeda kingdom of the Dwarves and Gnomes, some of the Zarendo Islands, and the nefarious kingdom of Zuromm. Corwin expresses interest in buying a mine that’s readily accessible from the sea.

Corwin and company go to the Bardic College, where they meet Maeve Gallagher, a priestess of Brijitt. Corwin and Elsa donate hundreds of crowns to the temple of the goddess of fire and poetry. Giacomo excuses himself to visit Maggie Oakleaf, a droll Sylvan Elf adept he befriended at the Harandrim Academy.

Corwin gives an additional grant so that Daven’s Theatre, for which his exiled half-brother was a patron, is renamed after him. The prince also auditions Doyle Tunney as an apprentice. The young man performs on the harmonica, tambor, and harp and shows potential.

Maeve refers Elsa to Miss Crevan for setting up the first office in the Druid’s planned long-range communications network. Rhys shares tales he heard from the skalds in Gisar and gives the flame-haired priestess a copy of his notes.

The onetime circus performers are disturbed to learn that centaurs are allegedly fighting with Hifalendorin humans on the Plains of Sathendo. Maeve repeats rumors that Vappu Lahja, a pale woman from a fairy tale, has appeared and may be the cause of the unusual strife.

Sometime later, a chariot pulls up to the Bardic College, and Miss Crevan steps off. Elsa gives her 500 g.p. to set up the rental office and explains her ambitions for a stronger alliance against the dreaded Ghost Fleet.

Rhys asks “Brother Cathal Duartbell” [Atilla C./N.P.C.], the armored driver of the chariot, about enhancements that he notices. The Paladin of Edillon, lord of the sky, is happy to recount his heroic deeds with the “Lorewardens” and offers to give Rhys a ride. The curious Gnome agrees, and Ranger Scully sends owl “Owlicious” to keep an eye on them.

Duartbell and Rhys go careening through Thadenis’ busy streets, scattering scared pedestrians. As the two horses and the chariot charge through the mainAgora (market), Rhys presses a brass button, and scythe-like blades pop out of the wheels, obliterating several fruit stands!

Two members of the city watch stop the fancy chariot, and Sir Duartbell tells the “little man” to stay hidden while he offers apologies and recompense. The guards aren’t surprised to see the boisterous knight, and they warn him not to drive so recklessly again.

As soon as they’re out of the Agora, the Saganim human gives the reins to his new Gnome friend, and they speed back to the Bardic College. Bro. Duartbell names Hanuf Wazir in Falit and Guillaume Sixtus in Hesolin as craftsmen who supply him. Scully winks at Rhys, signaling that she knows about his latest mischief.

Corwin brings the party to the Hall of Thanes, where King Edmund II and Queen Margaret greet them while dealing with counselors asking for more security on the streets. The artist formerly known as Prince Berek asks for a more private audience, and they retire to a smaller hall for dinner.

Edmund the Strong is pleased with the party’s defense of Sileran against Undead giants and its escalating fight against evil. He gives each member an item from the royal armory:

  • Giacomo: Marvelous Pigments
  • Scully: Ring of Protection (+2 Armor Class)
  • Corwin: enchantment on his shark hide (+2 AC)
  • Elsa: helmet, horned (+2 AC)
  • Rhys: Gem of Tongues

Giacomo recommends against overuse of Teleportation because it could be tracked by a certain Pit Fiend in the Temple of Elemental Evil on Salhonif Island. Scully notes that removing Giacomo’s tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra is another top priority.

Corwin warns the king about Lord Caerdon, who may be involved with an unauthorized feud with the Sea Elves in Drunstimlos. He also catches up with his younger sister Karenna, who has matured from being a spoiled aristocrat.

Elsa gets approval from the king for her communications mission. Rhys plans to use his magical gem to enable Vasco, his robot butler, to communicate with the party.

The team stays at the Gilded Keep for the night. Corwin broods in his childhood chamber, recalling how he was falsely accused of murder. The prince casts Limited Wish to learn the whereabouts of Lord Dalek, the court mage who framed him for the disappearance of his wife (and Berek’s tutor and lover) Katarina.

Corwin has a vision of the Tiefling (demon-touched) Wizard in a room with Sean Sable, the son of Lord Stefan Sable (whose family is suspected of necromancy) and a friend of exiled Prince Daven. They are in the barbaric port of Gisar, no doubt scheming.

Angry Corwin awakens his fellowship. Giacomo is wary, having heard at the Bardic College that Daven is gaining followers in the east. Scully points out that there are many evildoers worth fighting, and Elsa suggests notifying former colleague “Hamfast” [Brian W./N.P.C.], who is still in Gisar.

The priestess of Mekkil (Gaia) and Vulkan (Moradin) also prefers to travel to Falitfirst. Rhys reminds the group that the Zephyr isn’t yet ready and of the need for paying missions. Corwin still swears vengeance and goes to look for “Melchior” [Byron V.O./N.P.C.], a sympathetic Cleric of Ulandt, goddess of the night….

Thanks again, Drew, to you and your wife for hosting and feeding us! I hope everybody enjoyed our latest session. The face-to-face groups will be taking a week off for Labor Day, but I look forward to resuming Bruce’s “PathfinderEberron/Reign of Winter” miniseries.

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