Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.11 of our face-to-face D&D5e nautical game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on 28 September 2015:
In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihumans 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….
The “Storm Riders,” Party 41 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” fantasy campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of autumn 2015:
- “Kamar Alazar” [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) of the College of Valor, former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CGn, Lvl. 3
- “Nuriel Earendil” [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NGl, Lvl. 3
- “Kaelen Northsea” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf hunter and horde breaker (Sylvan/Saganim Ranger), seeking his father; NGc, Lvl. 3
- “Eldamir Tempestborn” [Rich C.G.]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed berserker of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CGn, Lvl. 3
- “Barret” [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a wanderlust; a would-be Eldritch Knight; LGn, Lvl. 3
- “Puliarus Aearion” [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CNg, Lvl. 3
- “Cassy Keelnipper” [Sara F./absent]-female Otter-kin Rogue, street urchin, and sailor; NGc, Lvl. 2
- “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
“26 to 28 October 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventurers left Drunstimlos aboard the mercenary ship Floating Eel, talked with Nuriel’s grandmother Itharides, and helped put down a mutiny. They stopped in the villages of Sanry and Semorn before arriving at Hesolin, capital of the human kingdom of Hifalendor.
The group goes to the Harbormaster’s Tower, where it reports to Lord Gideon Adams. Kamar shows a letter from Capt. Sheridan Driscoll of the H.M.S.Dauntless, a Saganim naval vessel. Lord Adams is suspicious of Barret, who is from the Silent Stalkers tribe, but Kaelen vouches for the Minotaur.
Eldamir hopes to find other Atlanteans, and the harbormaster says that several are stationed at a Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) naval base a few days’ sail away.
Puliarus asks about potential missions, and Lord Adams is willing to pay a total of 10,000 crowns (gold pieces) for scouting the port of Lirgad, far to the east in the Principality of Silado, a.k.a. Tong Sheng.
The “Storm Riders” say they’ll consider his offer, and Nuriel leads the way to the open-air temple of Addoh, known in Saganim as Ghanki. Halateriel, a Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) priestess of the sea lord, greets the travelers.
Nuriel asks Halateriel to replace drunkard Fr. Gwydion in Drunstimlos, but she notes that it’s unusual for a Hifalendorin temple to send clergy to Saganim (proto-Celtic human) towns. Halateriel also says that many priests have been assigned to ships in the Hifalendorin navy as a precaution against the mystical ailment known as the Scourge.
However, she is willing to send an acolyte to Drunstimlos if the adventuring party will check the port of Laguro on Bokor Island for cultists of Krakas, lord of the maelstrom. Cleric Nuriel and company are interested, but they don’t have a time frame in mind to travel south.
The “Storm Riders” then follow Sailors’ Walk into Hesolin. Rogue Kamar explains that Bokor Island is ruled by two black dragons, Artaxis and Zineida. Ranger Kaelen notices the “Saffron Scabbard” tavern and the Sallus Baths on the way, but Barbarian Eldamir recommends visiting the Library of Memir next.
Gladiator Barret feels the tug of cheers from the Ariyas Arena, and Sorcerer Puliarus wonders about the theaters around Bridge Plaza. The wanderers pass the Golden Horn Hotel on Castle Court and walk up Embassy Row.
Nuriel drops off a letter at the Waletku embassy to his family in the distant Grey Elven outpost of Silgath. He reports on his hopes of redeeming aggressive humans such as Eldamir.
At the royal library, Eldamir encounters an irascible archivist. Harold eventually helps the mercenaries find records for their various inquiries. Eldamir reads a tablet containing an old trade treaty between Atlantis and Hifalendor.
Puliarus learns that trade with the Sea Elves has declined in recent years because of corsairs from the Garku Nasit, pirates from Saganim and the Zarendo Islands, and Skaevingol raiders, not to mention the dreaded Ghost Fleet.
Harold also mentions that the Gusorin Confederation is no more. The Gokuri Empire has conquered the northern city of Tekugi, and the southern port of Gisar is ruled by the Undead. Hifalendor still views the human and humanoid tribes of the central Plains of Sathendo as a threat.
Bored Barret and Eldamir go back through bustling streets to the arena, while musician Kamar visits the Bardic College. Pious Nuriel strolls to the Temple Court, as lecherous Kaelen goes to the Saffron Scabbard. Curious Puliarus heads to the Istari Bazaar.
At the Arena of Ariyas, Barret and Eldamir ask Halfling bookie Waltod [Beruk A./Non-Player Character] to join the bouts in progress. The “Masked Minotaur” faces off against Aquila [Charles S./N.P.C.], a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) Monk, and tattooed Eldamir is matched with Lorgan [Bruce K./N.P.C.], a Wolfen Barbarian and follower of Torr (Thor).
Kamar chats with redheaded priestess Yvonne Valetta at the temple of Brijitt,goddess of fire and poetry. The Suthern (proto-Arabic) human performs to gain entrance in the College of Valor. Yvonne mentions that a brave but foolhardy band entered the nefarious kingdom of Zuromm to the northwest but hasn’t been heard from since.
Nuriel learns about mushrooms from Gaffy Barkeater, a Forest Gnome Druid at the Grove of Mekkil. At the vaulted temple of Corellan Larethian, Nuriel talks with Vellamo, another Grey Elf Cleric. Vellamo describes a premonition of evil from the Shadowfell creeping into the Wisalef Forest.
Half-Elf Kaelen has a good evening at the Saffron Scabbard, while Half-Elf Puliarus is intrigued by the magical shops, sages, and archives at the Istari Bazaar.
Eldritch arena duel
At the arena, Lorgan has gray fur, scars, and an ugly morning star. Eldamir stabs the Wolfen with “Tempest,” his trident. Barret charges at Aquila, who nimbly steps aside before striking him hard.
Eldamir and Lorgan trade heavy blows before the Atlantean knocks down the Wolfen. Waltod notes that the winner will have to fight the winner of the other bout. Aquila tries to trip the Masked Minotaur and switches to kicking him instead.
Barret surprises everyone, including himself, by knocking out Aquila with a Magic Missile from the brass orb on one of his horns! Waltod declares the match over on a technicality.
Cleavage can’t beat a muffin
At the Istari Bazaar, Puliarus buys a muffin from fortuneteller Tejai Marijukha [Bruce/N.P.C.]. A tall robed man named Perrin [Kim A.G./Drew S./N.P.C.] grabs the muffin and ducks into a tiny tent. Bystander Shang Dun [Beruk A./N.P.C.], a Shengtese Wu Jen (eastern human Wizard), watches with amusement.
Puliarus reaches for the tent but then sees a mighty Balrog. The storm Sorcerer casts Gust of Wind, which blows away the illusory Balrog and tent, revealing a mischievous Gnome munching his muffin. Perrin scurries off.
Voluptuous Tejai gives Puliarus a replacement muffin, and he enters the local Magisterium (magical academy). Harried librarian Leon the Blasphemer [Rich C.G./N.P.C.] directs him to Thyril Nailo [Paul J./Brian W./N.P.C.], an older Quelanthi (High Elf).
Shang Dun is skeptical that Thyril can help Puliarus with the scrimshaw that granted him his sorcerous abilities. However, the Elf is able to determine that the ivory came from an extraplanar source.
Thyril says, “Oops,” as a feeling of vertigo overcomes those present during a vision of a sea of stars. He says that others are looking for the scrimshaw.
Sometime later, the party reconvenes at the Golden Horn Hotel. Itharides and Cassy aren’t around. Kaelen plans to visit the Rangers’ Gate and quietly asks Nuriel for a Cure Disease. Barret and Puliarus share their magical findings. The team decides to head east first, then to Bokor Island.
Lord Adams gives the “Storm Riders” 5,000 crowns, which they save of an eventual ship of their own. He agrees to provide passage to the Hifalendorin naval base on the way to Lirgad….
I hope that those of you in the D&D5e telecom team enjoyed last night’s session, and I look forward to continuing our face-to-face adventures tonight!
I also look forward to eventually rejoining Jason E.R.’s “Star Wars: Dark Times” game. Let us know your availability for October.