D&D5e “Vanished Lands” F2F nautical Session 41.7 — First aboard

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.7 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 3 August 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 airshipZephyr 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.]-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 theZephyr ’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

“12 to 13 October 1227 B.C.E.:” The Saganim naval cruiser Dauntless braved a storm on the northwestern Sea of Nagendwa and reported on recent coastal threats to the H.M.S. Brave Duchess near Sileran. On the way back to the port of Drunstimlos, the patrol engaged the pirate ship Bronze Storm.

After several tense moments as the ships closed, exchanging artillery fire, the crews ready for boarding and melee. Otter-kin Cassy dives into the water, and Half-Elf Kaelen casts Cure Light Wounds on himself.

Half-Sea Elf Puliarus grabs Rista Facebiter, the Bugbear whom Eldamir pulled overboard, and deals him a Shocking Grasp. Eldamir is unable to retrieve the shaggy humanoid’s sword, so the Atlantean human swims back to the surface.

A volley of arrows from the Bronze Storm hits Nuriel, Kaelen, and Barret, but the pirates’ first attempt to grapple the Dauntless with chains and hooked boarding planks fails. Kamar grabs a rope and swings across, knocking over a barrel of pitch on the enemy deck.

Nuriel drops his bow and uses Thaumaturgy to amplify the commands of Lt.Cmdr. Brock ap Corgan, leader of the Royal Marines. Minotaur Barret also swings over and smashes one of the brigands.

Cassy climbs out of Puliarus’ Fog Cloud around the Bronze Storm ‘s helm and duels with a cutthroat in the rigging. Kaelen swings over from the warship and stabs another pirate, as Puliarus’ Shield reaction protects him from the struggling Bugbear.

Eldamir climbs past Puliarus to the helm and swings wildly through the fog. Enemy archers hit Kamar and Barret, but the sailors aboard the Dauntless strike their marks in return.

Kamar ignites the spilled pitch near the trebuchet and casts Sleep on one of the men surrounding him. Nuriel holds his position on the Dauntless to repel boarders, while Barret gets into a shoving match with a mass of pirates.

Pirates fight
Boarding action

Rogue Cassy stabs her foe with her rapier and climbs up to another. Ranger Kaelen finds himself facing a female pirate and switches to the flat of his two short swords. Sorcerer Puliarus disengages from the drowning Bugbear and climbs onto the Bronze Storm.

Barbarian Eldamir grabs a random sailor in the fog and jumps overboard with him. The pirates slash at Kamar, Nuriel, and Barret, while some members of both ships’ crews are busy putting out fires.

Bard Kamar quaffs a potion of Healing, and Cleric Nuriel kills four would-be boarders with Burning Hands. Fighter Barret slams two pirates and gores a third. Cassy trades blows in the rigging, as Kaelen knocks the woman unconscious and kills another pirate.

Puliarus returns to the sea when he sees the fracas on deck and then Flame Boltsone of the raiders who has gone overboard. Back on deck, Eldamir grabs a cutlass and heads below.

Kamar slays one seaman as Nuriel comes to his side. Barret, Cassy, and Kaelen miss their opponents, even as the Dauntless and Bronze Storm are locked in combat. Puliarus retrieves “Tempest,” Eldamir’s trident, from the pirates’ rudder.

Below deck on the Bronze Storm, Eldamir finds himself surrounded by two pirates and face to face with Capt. Henry “the Ghost” Grayson. The brave Barbarian notes that much of the crew is dead, and he recommends ceasing hostilities.

Capt. Grayson reluctantly agrees and escorts Eldamir back to the main deck to surrender. Capt. Sheridan Driscoll of the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human navy accepts his sword.

Out of a crew of about 30 people, the H.M.S. Dauntless has lost five, while theBronze Storm has lost more than a dozen out of 40 and suffered more damage. Brother Egil and Halfling chef Bungo Longtoes help Nuriel attend to the wounded on both ships.

Cmdr. Perry Maxwell and Barret, nicknamed “Stompy” by Eldamir, supervise the disarming of the pirates. Nuriel, Kaelen, and Eldamir accompany the captains as they discuss terms, while Cassy and Kamar join Lt.Cmdr. Brock in looking at the hold of the enemy vessel.

Puliarus stays with fellow mage and navigator Lt. Vitalis Durand, who notes that the ships should disengage as soon as possible, in case the corsairs have reinforcements in the area. Capt. Driscoll offers Capt. Grayson the following options:

  • Have the Bronze Storm follow the Dauntless to the nearest Saganim port, where its crew will all be hung.
  • Set the pirate commanders adrift in a rowboat or maroon them, leaving the rest of the crew to its own devices.
  • Release the Bronze Storm and its disarmed crew, with the vow that they never again trouble Saganim ships or be destroyed in a future encounter.

Atlantean human Eldamir successfully intimidates “the Ghost” and asks Capt. Driscoll to consider allowing the pirates to become privateers in service of the kingdom of Saganim. He agrees to consider it but adds that the laws of the sea are clear.

Suthern human Kamar sings a sea shanty [to the tune of “The Man Down Under”] in an attempt to distract the Dauntless officers from Otter-kin Cassy. They find two chests full of coins, as well as some jewelry and a book of spells.

Cassy filches a silver bracelet worth 25 sovereigns (gold pieces) and an embroidered handkerchief worth 20 g.p. Cmdr. Maxwell supervises distribution of the rest of the pirate booty:

  • 2,000 pence (copper pieces) — to the Dauntless crew
  • 700 shillings (silver pieces) — to the Dauntless crew
  • 100 sovereigns — plus payment = 30 g.p. to each party member
  • potion of Water Breathing — to the Dauntless officers
  • spellbook, Wizard’s — to Lt. Vitalis Durand (to share with Puliarus)
    • Level 1: Illusory Script (D&D5e Player’s Handbook p. 252), Unseen Servant (PHB284), Feather Fall (PHB 239), Protection from Evil/Good (PHB 270), Catapult (EE 15), Ray of Sickness (PHB 271), Tenser’s Floating Disk (PHB 282), False Life (PHB239)
    • Level 2: Ray of Enfeeblement (PHB 271), See Invisible (PHB 274)

Capt. Grayson accepts the sentence of stripping the Bronze Storm of all weapons and releasing it with its full crew under oath. Barret breaks the last gangplank, and the Dauntless sails away before any more pirate ships can arrive.

Kamar invites Alitasse Vorwende, the Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) purser, to a candlelit dinner. Nuriel and Puliarus discuss tactics with the dromond’s officers, while Cassy and Barret celebrate their recent victory with the crew in the hold.

Kaelen and Eldamir argue over who did more to defeat the pirates, drawing a rebuke from Cmdr. Maxwell, who notes that excessive boasting from sellswords can hurt crew morale. He recommends that they seek other employment while the Dauntless is in port for repairs.

As the naval vessel returns to Drunstimlos, Cassy tells her companions about a ship from the Zarendo Islands supposedly laden with slaver gold….

It was good to see some of you at our latest “Vanished Lands: A New Dawnvirtual session and “Star Wars: Dark Timesat “JasonCon 2015!” Note that I’ll be running “Star Trek: Restorationand this D&D5e crew for the next two weeks.