Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.44, which was held on Sunday, 14 June 2015:
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 AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinder, and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of spring 2015:
- “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 (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
- “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; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 10
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
- “Soske’ Tiatoshe” [Geoff C./absent]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 10
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
- “Tokoro Gawa” [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10
“16 to 20 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The travelers hiked deeper into the Bamor Mountains while hunting a dangerous dragon. On the way, they passed poor Korobokuru (eastern Dwarven) hamlets, met honorable mercenaries, and fought aquatic daemons.
The former diplomatic escorts discuss their mission for Hou Keung, the Korobokuru daimyo and ruler of the Zedu kingdom. Jung-Mo recalls Nannuattan tales of rare shadow dragons lurking in the Underdark.
As they approach the village of Hei Kuan at the northern edge of the Therud Forest, Sonny wonders how to engage minions of the chaotic drake. Toshi recommends using previous cover identities and asking if anyone knows Zhu Xiaoping, an infernal inquisitor they defeated near the Chieng Hsien Stream on the eastern Plains of Sathendo.
Saigo recommends using previous cover identities, and Ember agrees to pose as bait if needed to draw out the dragon’s spies. Soske’ isn’t worried about finding enemies, only about how and when to fight them.
Disguised as merchant “Xiaoming Chida” and his daughter “Jinsong Chida,” Jung-Mo and Ember, respectively, enter Hei Kuan’s busy market. As guard “Nobuto,” Sonny watches River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elves) and Shengtese humans unload boats at the headwarters of the Hei Kang River.
The trio meets Kaji Kiyoshi, a Korobokuru blacksmith who mentions the Karitori Matsuri, or “Reaping Festival.” He agrees to trade weapons with “Xiaoming.”
As herbalist “Tiye Akamoto,” Toshi finds the “House of the Glowing Carp.” Saigo accompanies him as Ronin “Shiraso Takadashi,” while Soske’ poses as soothsayer “Shishi” and guards the team’s animals.
The infiltrators later regroup at the Mastical Inn at the edge of town. They pay 40 tael (20 gold pieces) for one night because of demand around Karitori Matsuri.
Nannuattan Jung-Mo identifies some coins for Shan Sao Toshi as coming from the Empire of Gokuri. Shengtese human Sonny chats with his steed Yip on what they have observed so far.
Hengeyokai Ember checks with Shengtese Soske’ on the state of the horses, tiger, and wyvern. Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo plans to spend 3,000 tael (1,500 g.p.) on potions of Resist Acid and Fire.
Toshi and Ember volunteer to scout from overhead in bird form. The Wu Jen and Druid tell the others to rendezvous at the House of the Glowing Carp.
Jung-Mo and Saigo resume their disguises and stealthily approach the center of town as night falls. The Ninja and Samurai both have Invisibility as a backup. Kensai Sonny, however, walks directly to the reaping festivities.
Kenmotsu Masashi, Hei Kuan’s mayor, gives a brief speech. The Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) is joined on a dais by a man with a panther head. Jung-Mo asks a bystander what happens after the surprisingly raucous celebration and learns of a procession out into the woods.
In the crowd, Sonny recognizes Seng Ying Hu from the Daidoji House of the Crane Clan. The Shengtese (East Asian) human was involved with the disgrace of Sonny’s house in the Lion Clan. The Monk talks with other courtiers.
Toshi watches as fellow Shan Sao (eastern Halflings), including a Sohei with a large mace, carousing. Ember notices a strange-looking woman, so she and Toshi follow her. They eventually spot the tails of a Kitsune, a mischievous fox woman. Endo Mayumi makes sure that the townsfolk stay drunk, leading Toshi to conclude that she may be an agent of the chaos dragon.
Jung-Mo, Sonny, and Saigo follow the throng that parades out of the village, while Toshi, Saigo, and Soske’ watch those who remain. The Shan Sao, Spirit Folk, and human peasants carry torches and lanterns as they stagger along a northward trail.
Saigo spots reptilian humanoids shadowing the crowd in the fields on either side. Jung-Mo peers through the darkness at a pagoda ahead and sees a 12-foot-tall creature with three eyes, greenish scales, a bull’s horns, and four arms.
Swift Jung-Mo throws a flash pellet to briefly illuminate the Zokujin, and Saigo boldly draws his weapons and shouts for people to return to the village.
Still in bird form, Toshi spots Jung-Mo’s flare, and he signals fellow shapeshifter Ember that they have to leave the village to help their friends…
After several months, it was good to get back to this adventuring party! I look forward to wrapping up this scenario in the next session or two, and I hope that we’ll be able to start on time next time.
Thanks again, Bruce, for hosting a fun cookout! Remember that we won’t be meeting virtually next weekend because of Father’s Day. We’ll try a Google+ hangout on Sunday, June 28.