“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.50 — Crouching tiger, hidden devil

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.50, which was held on Sunday, 16 August 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 summer 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. 11
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • 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.]-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. 11
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

“30 to 31 August to 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party had escorted a slippery envoy for the Gokuri Empire and helped defend border communities against monsters and Undead. It also learned of clan intrigues in the capitals of Tong Sheng and the Zedu Kingdom.

The wanderers then tracked the source of growing disorder back to the northeastern Bamor Mountains. There, they fought a feline Bauh-Yin and a gruesome Gibbering Mouther before slaying the powerful chaos dragon. A summoned devil and a large army of Undead remain, however.

Sonny readies his whip and closes on the diabolical woman, and Toshi casts Animal Growth and Protection From Chaos on his tiger Amaya. The Shiko Me swings at Sonny with her naginata (glaive) and flies 40 feet up into the air.

Eastern devil
A Shiko Me

Meanwhile, the skeletal soldiers, which include hopping vampires as officers, marches into the pass. Soske’ Channels Positive Energy to heal his allies. Ember casts Rock to Mud to slow the horde.

Jung-Mo’s first volley misses the Baatezu, while Saigo drinks a potion of Flight to engage Lady Shiori of Vondur in midair. Sonny vaults off Amaya and uses a potion of Levitate to get closer to the devil. The Kensai wraps his whip around her legs to pull her down.

Wu Jen Toshi moves to direct Amaya’s attacks and casts a Sonic Blast. The Shiko Me claws at Sonny but is unable to blind or poison him. Shukenja Soske’ aims hisUndead Bane bow at the hopping vampires and destroys two of them.

Wu Ember Calls Lightning to thin out the front ranks of the enemy army. Ninja Jung-Mo maneuvers for a sneak attack on the devil. Samurai Saigo strikes with “Thundering Blade,” his Outsider Bane sword. Sonny is unable to get Lady Shiori all the way to the ground.

Toshi reads a scroll to summon three huge air Elementals to fight the Undead troops. Amaya bats at the floating but entangled Baatezu with her paws and bites her. The Shiko Me again hits Sonny but fails to drain him of life.

She also casts Ray of Enfeeblment, weakening Sonny, Saigo, and Amaya. The shambling soldiers fight the Elementals, but Soske’ slays two more vampires. Ember buries part of the enemy army with another Rock to Mud.

Shengtese human Sonny limits Lady Shiori’s movement, but she refuses to surrender or leave. Shan Sao Toshi summons three more Elementals, which wade into battle. Hengeyokai Ember again Calls Lightning, and Nannuattan Jung-Mo finishes off the Shiko Me.

Spellcasters Toshi, Ember, and Soske’ supervise the destruction of the remaining armored skeletons. Warriors Sonny and Saigo take dragon Kaosu Uirumu’s head for proof for their respective rulers and destroy his carcass.

Scout Jung-Mo goes to check on the eyestalk worms that the Chole Lung had sent down the trail toward the frontier village of Hei Kuan. The scout then leads his companions to the dragon’s lair, where they find the following:

  • armor, silken ceremonial (+ 2 AC) — claimed by Ember
  • bow, short, masterwork composite (+ 5 Str), with 20 arrows — Jung-Mo to sell to upgrade his existing bow
  • coins, 60,000 tael (10,000 gold pieces each, but 15,000 for those staying at Level 10)
  • miscellaneous magic (+ 4 enchantment each, but note item limits for upcoming Lvl. 10 D&D5e team)
  • naginata (+ 1) — Sonny
  • poison, black lotus extract (3 doses) — Jung-Mo
  • samisen, masterwork (+ 1 lute) — Toshi

The party also retrieves some gear from the fallen Undead to eventually equip its own followers. Sonny plans to inform local authorities about members of the Daidoji House in the Crane Clan who collaborated with the Reaping in Hei Kuan. The weapon master hopes to restore the Lion Clan’s honor.

Druid Ember announces her intention to journey south and west as she continues her quest to regain her true form as a gold dragon of the Celestial Court [see upcoming D&D5e party]. Jung-Mo expects to divide his time between Ember and training his wyvern, Niruth.

Soske’ plans to report to Lady Fu Hao in Sogewa and to establish a fort on the northern frontier to guard against agents of chaos. The Shengtese human Cleric also plans to return to the “Sandy Cornertavern on the Balef River to ensure that the people there have continued to honor dead guardians.

Toshi plans to establish a Wizard’s tower near Chin Mok and to ask for Dryad Suki’s hand in marriage. Once he has received a title and land, knight Saigo hopes to woo Princess Nayoko in Bazran Hai. Sonny offers to organize bachelor parties for both of them.

The victors prepare to part ways for a time but agree to remain in contact as they continue to defend the eastern “Vanished Lands”….

Congratulations to the “New Dawn” team on a successful telecom campaign! I hope that all of you enjoyed it! Remember that the characters advancing to D20/FATE Level 11 — Sonny, Toshi, and Saigo — get a new hit die and five skill points to spend. Ember, Jung-Mo, and Soske’ should be converted to Level 10 in D&D5e.

In the meantime, I look forward to more “Star Trek: Restoration,” the face-to-face D&D5e “Vanished Landsnautical crew, and Jason E.R.’s “Star Wars: Dark Times.”Our adventures will continue!

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.49 — The coming of chaos

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.49, which was held on Sunday, 9 August 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, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of summer 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./absent ]-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.]-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

“29 to 30 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party was attacked in camp by cute Keukegen, and disguised scout Jung-Mo set an ambush for the chaos dragon by sending a cowardly mayor and his mysterious aide ahead.

At Toshi’s recommendation, Jung-Mo uses his ring of Stone Shape to create a rocky overhang to provide partial cover for some of the team in the Dragon Pass. Jung-Mo then moves to higher ground. Ember shifts into crane form and flies up the mountainside.

Sonny moves from one switchback to another on the narrow road. Soske’ casts Heroes’ Feast for his friends and later takes a position lower on the trail. Saigo hides between two boulders. Toshi hangs back to guard the horses and Niruth, Jung-Mo’s young wyvern.

Kenmotsu Masashi, the onetime mayor of Hei Kuan, and Nadisu Rajendra, his jaguar-headed aide, reappear at the northern stretch of the path, even though Jung-Mo had sent them to report to the dragon several hours ago and miles away.

Peering from a hideout, Sonny sees something other than the Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) mayor shambling down path. Toshi also disbelieves the illusion and identifies Masashi’s true form as that of a horrific Gibbering Mouther.

Gibbering Mouther
Henchman/victim of the chaos dragon

Samurai Saigo steps out and tries to Charm Rajendra, but the cat-headed Bauh-Yin resists. He says that Masashi’s state is the result of failing the Chole Lung (chaos dragon). The mayor had been involved in a scheme to sacrifice villagers to a demon in a pagoda.

Ninja Jung-Mo sneaks around and shoots poisoned arrows at mushy Masashi. Kensai Sunny charges up the hill toward Kaosu Uirumu’s spies.

Druid Ember lands, Wild Shapes into an elephant, and charges. Shukenja Soske’ casts Ancestral Weapon to get a Dragonbane composite short bow. Wu Jen Toshi begins preparing spells.

Soske’ casts extended Divine Power on himself, and elephantine Ember slams into Rajendra. The Bauh-Yin misses Ember with his claws, and the Gibbering Mouther misses her with multiple toothy maws.

Jung-Mo looses poisoned arrows at the dastardly duo, killing the Gibbering Mouther. Sonny strikes the Bauh-Yin with a flurry of blows from his Dire flail. Saigo slashes at Rajendra with his sword.

Shengtese human Soske’ hits the feline foe and ducks behind cover. Hengeyokai Ember then gores the Bauh-Yin, who leaps onto her back, digs one paw into her elephant hide, and Enlarges himself. Nannuattan Jung-Mo fires more poisoned arrows.

Shengtese human Sonny bats at the cat man, and Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo eventually kills Rajendra with a thrown dagger. Jung-Mo and Saigo pour oil on Masashi’s remains and burn them.

Soske’ spots a cloud of dust and something huge and winged approaching. He soon realizes that the dust is being created by a skeletal army marching south. Jung-Mo had noticed an old battlefield in his scouting, and Shan Sao Toshi points out that the dragon had probably set Animate Undead as a Contingency spell.

Behind the dust cloud is the chaos dragon, source of many monsters and intrigues that the diplomatic escorts have encountered in the course of their travels. Jung-Mo uses his ring of Stone Shape to dig trenches to slow the army. The Underdark exile also prays to the Lords of Order.

Sonny drinks a potion of Levitation and climbs into position, while Ember shifts back to crane form. Soske’ casts another Ancestral Weapon, this time to obtain an Undead Bane bow. Saigo quaffs a potion of Heroism.

The chaos dragon passes overhead, but the wanderers bravely hold their ground. The beast flies on huge, ragged wings. Kaosu Uirumu has tentacles instead of forelegs, and his irregular black scales are inscribed with red, glowing runes.

The Chole Lung
Kaosu Uirumu

The Chole Lung breathes noxious gas at Sonny and Saigo, who manage to cling to their sanity. The Undead army begins filling in Jung-Mo’s first ditch with bodies of skeletal warriors. Ember Wild Shapes into a swift hawk and outmaneuvers the dragon.

Soske’ draws his magical bow and releases a volley, as Sonny uses his Levitationto jump closer. Saigo drinks a potion of Flight, while Jung-Mo hides in shadows. The dragon tries to crush Soske’ with its tentacles.

Ember casts Holy Smite and flies toward the chaos drake, who is the antithesis of her true form. Soske’ heals himself and quickly casts Divine Wind, which slows the soldiers and forces the dragon to land.

Sonny misses Kaosu Uirumu with his whip, but Saigo strikes with his Outsider Bane sword. Jung-Mo’s arrows get caught up in Soske’s wind, so he uses the ring of Stone Shape to briefly trap one of the dragon’s hind legs.

The nightmarish Chole Lung breaks free and knocks Ember out of the air with a wing buffet. It also swings its massive tail at Soske’ and claws at Saigo. Shapechanger Ember readies Call Lightning, as pious Soske’ shoots arrows at short range.

Wary Sonny downs a potion of Haste, and armored Saigo draws blood with hisnodachi (great sword). Stealthy Jung-Mo moves through shadows, while Toshi and tiger Amaya face the first wave of Undead.

The chaos dragon breathes at Jung-Mo and Saigo and flaps its wings at Soske’ and Ember, but he misses all of them. Kaosu Uirumu then slaps Sonny with his tail, bites Saigo, and summons an imposing-looking woman.

Lady Shiori Heikkaki changes her appearance and cuts Jung-Mo with a naginata (glaive). Ember tries to cast Baleful Polymorph, but the dragon resists. Soske’ and Toshi identify the woman as a diabolical Shiko Me.

Sonny switches to his Vorpal whip, and Saigo switches blades. Jung-Mo swings hisninja-to (short sword) at Lady Shiori but misses.

The Chole Lung slams Saigo with his tentacles, bites Soske’, and tries to buffet Sonny away. The cocky dragon also slaps Ember with his tail and Dispels Soske’s Divine Wind.

The Undead soldiers begin filling in Jung-Mo’s second trench. Ember says a quick prayer beseeching the Celestial Court to allow her to return to her true draconic form. Sonny swings his enchanted whip and beheads the chaos dragon!

I look forward to concluding the “New Dawntelecom campaign, but because of absences, we’ll be revisiting the “Star Trek: Restorationscenario in the next few weekends.

I enjoyed “Star Wars: Dark Timesat “JasonCon 2015,” and I look forward to seeing some of you at face-to-face D&D5e nautical sessions, not to mention our upcoming higher-level party….

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.

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.48 — Eyes in the Dragon Pass

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.48, which was held on Sunday, 2 August 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, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of summer 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.]-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

“26 to 28 August 1227 B.C.E.:” While hiking in the Bamor Mountains and hunting a chaos dragon, the onetime diplomatic escorts were attacked by a wyvern-riding Oni. They defeated the Earth Yai and learned more about their quarry.

The adventuring party rests in a winding canyon. Jung-Mo prepares to scout ahead in disguise as the Oni Gu Hyong-Kim, with Niruth enlarged by an Animal Growth spell to appear as adult wyvern Gwang Mi-Ja.

However, Soske’ points out that Wind Walk would enable him or Saigo to travel more easily. Jung-Mo and Ember are glad to not endanger the young wyvern, and the Nannuattan Ninja flies off.

Sonny and Saigo take first watch, while Toshi, Ember, and Soske’ recuperate from recent battles in camp. Jung-Mo flies north over an old battlefield, with bits of armor poking out of the snow.

Wu Jen Toshi swaps out Fireball and Mass Snake’s Swiftness for Suspended Silenceon some shurikens (throwing stars). As night falls, Saigo and Sonny spot six furry creatures popping up from the rocks.

Jung-Mo recognizes the panther-headed aide to Kenmotsu Masashi, the mayor of Hei Kuan who fled after a plot to sacrifice villagers to a demonic Yao-Mor was revealed. Still in disguise as the Oni, Jung-Mo lands and asks the Bauh-Yin about Masashi’s whereabouts.

Bauh-Yin
Jaguar-headed agent of chaos

Nadisu Rajendra says that he is tired of babysitting the Bamboo Spirit Folk, but he challenges “Gu Hyong-Kim’s” tale of a close encounter with outlanders (Jung-Mo’s team). Feline Rajendra eventually agrees to report to Kaosu Uirumu. Jung-Mo hopes to lure the chaos dragon into an ambush away from its lair.

Back at camp, the cute critters begin attacking the horses, plunging hollow, needle-like tongues into the animals. Saigo initially plays dead while Sonny wakes the rest of the party.

Soul sucking monster
Deceptively cute Keukegen

Kensai Sonny smashes the one attacking his horse Yip, and Samurai Saigo saves his own steed. Toshi kills another with a shuriken, but Soske’ only grazes one with an arrow. The Shukenja identifies the attackers as Keukegen.

Ember keeps the panicked mounts from running away, while one Keukegen latches onto Saigo’s face, draining him of blood and spirit. Sonny fails to rip the furry facehugger off the Bamboo Spirit Folk.

Soske’ dodges a soul sucker, and Saigo manages to slice the Keukegen off with his sword. Toshi finishes off the remaining vermin with shurikens. Soske’ also casts Cure Disease on Saigo to keep him from turning into an Undead, and Druid Ember heals the horses.

Out in the Dragon Pass, Jung-Mo stealthily follows Rajendra as he acrobatically moves through the rough mountainous terrain. The flying Ninja’s attention is diverted by a swarm of snakes or worms headed toward the camp. He descends for a better view and is disgusted by a writhing mass of eyes on crawling stalks.

One-eyed worm
Eyestalk monster

Jung-Mo backtracks to where Najendra told him that Masashi was hiding. Again posing as the Oni, he interrogates the cowardly mayor and tosses a poison dart at him as a warning. Jung-Mo then sends Masashi after the panther man and toward the eye stalks before returning to his companions.

Sonny recommends that those camped under an outcropping off the main trail stay out of sight. The eyes pass the camp, and Toshi and Soske’ believe that they are some sort of spell cast by the Chole Lung (chaos dragon) rather than a particular type of monster. The group readies for its final confrontation….

We’ll see whether we’ll have quorum in the next few weekends. If not, I can continue the “Star Trek: Restorationscenario, and we should wrap up the “New Dawn” campaign in early September.

In the meantime, don’t forget to work on your higher-level D&D5e characters, and I’ll see some of you at “JasonCon 2015” or upcoming face-to-face nautical games!

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
Warship

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!