D&D5e “Vanished Lands” F2F nautical Session 41.6 — The Bronze Storm

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.6 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 27 July 2015:

In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihuman racesthrived. 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….

Initial Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” nautical campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of summer 2015:

  • Kamar Alazar [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 2
  • Nuriel Earendil [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 2
  • Cassy Keelnipper [Sara F./absent]-female Otter-kin Rogue, street urchin, and sailor; NG, Lvl. 2
  • Kaelen Northsea [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/Saganim Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 2
  • 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. 2
  • Barret [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 2
  • Puliarus Aearion [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 2

Backup characters:

  • “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
  • Sebastian Leafsworn [Rich C.G.]-male Sylvan Elf Monk and sage, with forbidden lore; LG, Lvl. 1
  • “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of the Zephyr ’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
  • Antoun Miner [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1

“9 to 12 October 1227 B.C.E.:” An away team from the H.M.S. Dauntless got reinforcements and defeated 10 Merrow raiders. The explorers talked with the former refugees in Novo Cidade and continued patrolling the Saganim coast. They then saw a woman riding alone. Esmeralda invited a few of the men to her cottage and turned out to be a Sea Hag who was quickly defeated.

Back aboard the Dauntless, Kamar gets a light crossbow from Barret, which gives him an excuse to chat with Alitasse Vorwende, the Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) purser, to ask for bolts.

Nuriel takes his leave from Brother Egil and visits Halfling chef Bungo Longtoes in the galley. Cassy also stays below decks as the dromond is tossed on the Sea of Nagendwa.

Kaelen sees a storm approaching and helps Cmdr. Perry Maxwell and the rest of the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human crew batten down the hatches. Eldamir and Puliarus welcome the wild weather, while Barret removes his armor for safekeeping.

Autumn winds and rain lash the deck, but Atlantean human Eldamir and storm Sorcerer Puliarus view it as an expression of the Sea Lords. Kamar checks on Cassy and Nuriel, who has quaffed a strong cordial.

Kaelen checks with Lt. Vitalis Durand, the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human navigator. Barret helps the sailors on the oars. After several tense hours, the warship manages to ride out the storm.

Capt. Sheridan Driscoll learns that they have been blown off-course eastward, and he orders Lt. Durand to correct it in the morning. The captain also gives his crew extra time to rest.

As the Dauntless approaches the Saganim port of Sileran, another naval vessel moves to intercept it. It unfurls a flag with a stylized white horse on a green field beneath a blue sky. The H.M.S. Brave Duchess sails alongside, and Capt. Magnus Johnson asks to come aboard. Capt. Driscoll welcomes his peer.

The adventurers squeeze into the map room to listen to the captains’ discussion. They report on the shores between Drunstimlos and Sileran, including the settlement at Novo Cidade.

Capt. Johnson isn’t overly surprised to learn about the Merrows (aquatic Ogres) and Sea Hag from the Blood Current, and he agrees to relay the villagers’ resettlement request to Thadenis, the capital. The blond officer also warns of humanoid corsairs from the Bay of Ethalgo.

In addition, Capt. Johnson mentions the status of the kingdom of Saganim’s neighbors, from the Halmed Desert to the Plains of Sathendo. In return, Capt. Driscoll agrees to continue patrolling and to return to the town of Drunstimlos.

The Saganim ships part ways before curious Kaelen and Barret have a chance to explore the cog Brave Duchess. Capt. Driscoll orders Lt. Durand and his crew to set course back north.

Medieval cog

Sometime later, Puliarus and Cassy are out for their regular swim when Puliarus notices someone else in the water with them. The Half-Elf and Otter-kin discreetly return to the Dauntless, and Kaelen borrows a spyglass to look. He spots a shark man, also known as a Sahuagin or Samebito.

From the crow’s nest, Nuriel sees another ship approaching. A fast four-masted schooner unfurls a red flag with a white cutlass. Kamar recognizes the colors as those of the Bronze Storm, a pirate ship captained by one Henry “the Ghost” Grayson.

Capt. Driscoll waits as the ships close the distance between them, even as the crew and mercenaries grow anxious. When Capt. Grayson demands surrender, Capt. Driscoll orders battle stations before potential reinforcements arrive.

Kaelen readies his bow in the forecastle, and Puliarus gets ready to dive. Nuriel stays behind Barret port side amidships, while Eldamir prepares to dive from the stern. Kamar waits by the tiller, and Cassy serves with damage control below deck.

Puliarus and Eldamir take to the water as the ships continue closing. The Sahuagin swims toward Eldamir. Kaelen aims at the man at the Bronze Storm ’s wheel, presumably “the Ghost.”

Puliarus stealthily swims toward the pirate ship, while Barret helps Saganim sailors load ballistae. Kamar casts True Strike as he watches people loading a trebuchet on the Bronze Storm. Nuriel waits for his light crossbow to come into range.

The Sahuagin stabs a spear at Eldamir, who makes a reckless attack with his net. A Gnome artillerist orders the trebuchet to fire, and balls of flaming pitch kill two men, Vargas and Reilly. The Dauntless’ forecastle also catches fire.

Ranger Kaelen fires arrows at Capt. Grayson, as do other Saganim archers. Puliarus casts Fire Bolt at the enemy’s mainsail, and Fighter Barret hits the Gnome, Neil Bruton. Bard Kamar offers Eldamir an Inspiring Word [to the tune of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”].

Rogue Cassy and others fight the fire, and a few of Cleric Nuriel’s quarrels find their mark. Cmdr. Maxwell notices that the Dauntless has drifted dangerously close to being broken in half by the Bronze Storm, and he orders Lt. Durand and the oarsmen to make a quick course correction.

Beneath the waves, the Sahuagin breaks free of Eldamir’s net and claws at the Barbarian. Pirate snipers hit Barret, Kamar, and Kaelen with arrows, but some of them are distracted extinguishing Puliarus’ flames.

Eldamir eventually skewers the Sahuagin with his trident, and Half-Elf Kaelen sets his Hunter’s Mark on “the Ghost.” After a few misses, the Dauntless’ archers and ballistae begin hitting their targets.

Sorcerer Puliarus creates a Fog Cloud on the enemy tiller, making it harder for theBronze Storm to steer, even if it also provides cover to Capt. Grayson.

Barret kills one of the people loading the trebuchet with a heavy bolt, as Suthern (proto-Arabic) human Kamar casts another True Strike. Sharks swim toward the slain Sahuagin.

Arrows from the Bronze Storm strike Barret and Kaelen, but the next volleys from its Bruton’s trebuchet miss the Dauntless. Eldamir swims toward the pirate ship and jams his trident into its rudder. Kaelen shoots the Gnome, killing him, as Puliarus casts more Fire Bolts and Magic Missiles at the sails.

As the ships get closer to each other, Barret tries to swing out on a rope, but the swashbuckling Minotaur is still too far to board. Still, Lt.Cmdr. Brock ap Corgan orders his Royal Marines to be ready for boarding.

Barret fights ship to ship
Minotaur swashbuckler

Persistent Kamar gives Kaelen an Inspiring Word and disables the trebuchet by casting Sleep on one of its remaining tenders. Nuriel and the other archers continue raining arrows on the enemy’s deck.

Bold Eldamir climbs onto the fog-shrouded Bronze Storm and pulls a Bugbear overboard. Puliarus cheerfully swims over to help. The Dauntless draws up alongside the pirate ship, as their crews draw blades and ready for melee combat….

Sara, I hope you’re feeling better, and I look forward to seeing most of the gang at our next “New Dawn” and face-to-face sessions!