Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.1 of our face-to-face D&D5e “Vanished Lands” game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 18 May 2015:
In one ancient world, there was a place 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.
Sometime after a group of former circus performers wandered aboard the airship Zephyr and a team of diplomatic escorts fought chaos in Tong Sheng, past heroes reunited, and another band gathered on the Sea of Nagendwa….
- “Kamar Alazar” [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 1
- “Nuriel” [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 1
- “Cassy Keelnipper” [Sara F./absent]-female Otter-kin Rogue; NG, Lvl. 1
- “Kaelen Northsea” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/? Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 1
- “Eldamir Tempestborn” [Rich C.G.]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed member of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CG, Lvl. 1
- “Barret” [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 1
- “Puliarus” [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 1
- “Ludovico ‘Ludo’ Rosso” [Beruk A.]-male human ex-gladiator (Monk; see Bruce K.’s Pathfinder: Eberron/Reign of Winter); LN, Lvl. 1
- “?” [Brian W.]-male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Fighter, pragmatist; LN, Lvl. 1
- “?” [Sara F.]-female ?; NG, Lvl. 1
- “Drogan” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Orc (Saganim) Barbarian, with a great sword; CN, Lvl. 1
- “?” [Rich C.G.]-female human Wild Mage (Sorcerer); CG, Lvl. 1
- “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of the Zephyr’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
- “?” [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1
“1 October 1227 B.C.E.:” Kamar arrives in the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human town of Drunstimlos, trying to forget his recent past. The wanderer goes straight to the “Sailor’s Climb” public house, where he warily watches newcomers.
He soon notices a large tattooed man staring at him. Eldamir comes over and introduces himself as the guard of Nuriel, a slight and well-dressed Elf behind him. They begin talking about finding jobs aboard one of the ships in the harbor.
This draws the attention of Kaelen, who promptly asks barkeep Geraint for a recommendation. The scout is directed to old salt Charas Thulba, who names the following vessels in return for a round of drinks:
- The Unbroken Colt: A Saganim galley headed to distant Bokor Island, captained by the ruthless Shane Moriarty
- Two Tuns of Fun: A merchantman headed to the (proto-Western European) kingdom of Hifalendor, captained by the unlucky Lewellyn Tergannon
- The Dauntless: A Saganim navy cruiser, set to patrol near the port of Sileran, with Capt. Sheridan Driscoll in command
Friendly Puliarus joins the table and offers his services as a sage of the sea. Kaelen notices the shadow of someone lurking outside the pub’s door, so he goes out to investigate.
The Half-Elf finds himself face-to-chest with a Minotaur! Barret says that he is looking for a fighting ring, and Kaelen offers to help him if he’ll join the new group inside.
After some discussion, the motley crew agrees to seek employment aboard the H.M.S. Dauntless. Eldamir helps Nuriel pick an outfit before they head to the docks, where they see fishwives and the warship and the other vessels Thulba had described.
Two guards holding spears and shields stop the mercenaries at the end of the gangplank. Kamar and Kaelen introduce themselves and their companions and ask about employment.
Cmdr. Perry Maxwell, first officer of the Dauntless, studies Nuriel’s letter of introduction and says that the Saganim cruiser will set sail in a few days. In the meantime, he says, the band can prove itself by retrieving some maps that he has been unable to directly acquire.
Cmdr. Maxwell directs the would-be sailors to the local temple of Addoh, lord of the waters. The group sets off, climbing winding cobbled streets until it finds a decrepit church.
Broken shutters creak in the breeze and paint peels from the walls. Ranger Kaelen knocks on the open door as the team enters. A layer of dust coats most surfaces, including rotten pews and a stone altar. Grey Elf Nuriel, a priest of Corellan Larethian, notices carvings of sea animals on pillars.
Suthern human Kamar is suspicious when he spots a pile of ragged clothing and beddings. Atlantean human Eldamir calls out, and Father Gwydion appears. The Saganim priest is sunburned and somewhat confused. He claims that he has been away for a few years, hence the neglected state of the temple.
Sly Sea Elf Puliarus gets behind Fr. Gwydion and casts Charm Person to get him to be more coherent and cooperative. The Cleric almost resists the storm Sorcerer, but his eyes betray compliance.
In return for some help cleaning and repairing the building, Fr. Gwydion agrees to give the maps, but he warns the visitors, as he did Cmdr. Maxwell, that “they lead to nothing but trouble.”
The men find brooms and begin cleaning. Nuriel casts Prestidigitation to wipe the altar and fix some rafters, and tall Barret happily clears cobwebs from the rafters. A cloud of dust obscures everyone’s vision, and Fr. Gwydion disappears for a moment, only to reappear with some scrolls in hand.
The as-yet-unnamed band looks at the faded parchments. One is an old map of Drunstimlos as it appeared decades ago, based on its smaller size. Another is of an uncharted island in the Sea of Nagendwa.
The third map is most curious: It shows a forest, a stream, a tower, and a large house on a hill and/or surrounded by a moat. Kamar wonders about the double doors on the building, as well as hills with an possible cave entrance that remind him of pyramids, ancient tombs far to the southwest.
There is a stylized wolf’s head on the right side, and an ornate, upside-down trident on the left, which Nuriel suspects is a compass indicating the bottom of the map as north. Kamar wonders if the maps are guides to hidden pirate treasure.
As the squad leaves Fr. Gwydion and the temple, Puliarus offers to compare the maps with others in town to see if he can learn more about their location….
I’m glad that we’re off to a strong start for our new campaign! Don’t forget to complete your Player Character (and backup) records and post them to Obsidian Portal or give me copies. I look forward to our adventures, as well as to Bruce’s cookout in June!
In the meantime, we also have the end of Dexter V.H.‘s D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls” and my D20/FATE “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” games, as well as the relaunch of Jason E.R.’s “Star Wars: Dark Times” scenario! Stay in touch….