“Star Trek: Restoration” Episode 6 — Into the Betreka Nebula

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for our latest “Star Trek” telecom game on Sunday, 23 August 2015:

“Space, the final frontier. Our starship’s mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Almost four decades after the Enterprise-E fought the Borg and Remans [Nemesis], among others, the United Federation of Planets and other interstellar states in the Alpha Quadrant are slowly recovering from wars and ecological disasters. A refitted vessel takes a new crew on its first missions of defense, diplomacy, and exploration….

Player Characters for Gene D.’s ” Star Trek: Restoration” space opera scenario, using D20 Prime Directive, FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures, Bulldogs, and Mindjammer 2e, plus Starships and Spacemen 2e, house rules, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.orgonline dice roller, as of summer 2015:

  • “Lieutenant Kyerak [Bruce K.]-male half-Vulcan with ambition and a temper, in the U.S.S. Rotha’s command division
  • “Lt. Jarric Jameson [Dexter V.H.]-male genetically modified human colonist (former Maquis) and commando
  • “Lt. Orzzek Kalifa [Byron V.O.]-male Andorian (blue-skinned humanoid with white hair and antennae), assertive science officer
  • “Lt. Mari Killu [Sara F.]-female Caitian (felinoid) security/tactical officer
  • “Lt. Boran’ Gorir [Josh C.]-male Jem’Hadar (Dominion soldier), aggressive envoy/engineer
  • “Chief Ravi Chandler” [Brian W.]-male Altairian human, non-commissioned officer and transporter expert aboard the Rotha
  • Froot [Rich C.G.]-male Ferengi (short, large-eared extraterrestrial) merchant and negotiator, DaiMon and owner of the trade vessel Love’s Latinum Lost
  • Kimbal Tegan [Beruk A.]-male Trill (long-lived symbiont), operations specialist aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost
  • Tau [Drew S.]-male Ferengi, medic aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Previously, in “Star Trek: Restoration,” the U.S.S. Rotha faced off against hostile starships in the Neutral Zone and covertly investigated interference in a former Federation member world.

Ambassador-class starship
The U.S.S. Rotha

“Stardate 95306.39 (22 April 2418):” The U.S.S. Rotha and the Love’s Latinum Lost leave the Aldebaran system. Capt. Andelina Nobatu orders helmsman En. Brandon Marks to set course for Psi Ursae Majoris because an unidentified subspace signal originates from that area.

Lieut. K’dex points out that the Betreka Nebula is on the way. Not only is it similar to the hazardous Badlands, but it’s also between Federation, Klingon, and Cardassian territory, points out the Edosian science officer.

Capt. Nobatu agrees with Cmdr. Nasami Wahid’s recommendation that the crew go to yellow alert for the duration of skirting the nebula, and the Trill first officer relays her order to Security Chief  Pierre McDonnough.

DaiMon Froot requests permission to accompany the Rotha, and Capt. Nobatu reluctantly orders engineer Lt.Cmdr. Akira Gorou to extend the starship’s warp field to enclose the Love’s Latinum Lost.

Lt. Kyerak asks Capt. Nobatu permission to observe her command style so that he may learn from it. The Terran human gives her consent for him to stay on the bridge, as long as the half-Vulcan is able to fulfill his regular duties.

Lt. Jarric Jameson goes to ask Mr. Kyerak a question, but when he sees the officer with the captain, the human colonist turns on his heel and goes the other way down the corridor. Jarric then bumps into a half-Klingon and a Trill.

After listening to Ferengi crewmates Froot and Tau talk about oo-mox (earlobe massages), Kimbal Tegan requests permission to leave the Love’s Latinum Lost for the Rotha. The Trill pilot seeks out Cmdr. Wahid, with whom he has a shared history.

Lt. Orzzek Kalifa conducts research on the Betreka Nebula. The Andorian science officer learns that the nearest charted worlds are the Nuburon colony; Tammeron, known for smuggling biotech; and the former slavers of Skagaran. The nearest U.F.P. members are Risa and Betazed.

Lt. Jameson asks his superior, Lt. Artemis Borellis, for permission to study advanced tactics and munitions in addition to his existing survival skills. The Betazed counselor approves.

Sometime later, the Rotha’s junior officers compare notes in the “Starlight Lounge,” as Bolian bartender Mr. Vallcin provides food and drink. Kimbal notes that the area is rife with smugglers and bandits and recalls a Bajoran prophecy of a wanderer finding paradise.

Back on the Ambassador-class starship’s bridge, Lt. Kalifa scans the nebula and finds a protostar emitting charged particles but no warp signatures. Lt. Kyerak takes a shift at the helm, while Mr. Tegan reaches out psionically.

The Rotha detects a Starfleet hull in the nebula. It is the U.S.S. Essex NCC-173, a Daedalus-class ship believed lost with all hands more than 250 years before, many parsecs away near the Mab-Bu IV.

The Essex
Derelict Daedalus-class starship

Mr. Kyerak searches Starfleet records for the Essex crew and learns of Capt. Bryce Shumar, Cmdr. Steven Mullen, and Lt. Morgan Kelly. Orzzek finds that the derelict vessel has lost pressurization and that its warp core has been dumped.

Jarrick checks with Dr. Jones, the holographic chief medical officer, for supplies such as vacc suits for a potential survey of the Essex.

Kimball informs his Ferengi friends of an opportunity for salvage, and Capt. Nobatu approves an away mission. She assigns security officer En. Scalzi to join Lt. Kyerak, Lt. Jameson, Lt. Kalifa, and Mr. Tegan.

Lt. Jameson pilots a shuttle to the Essex. The away team makes its way aft, toward life support. The five explorers hope to restart the antique fusion reactors for sublight power and life support.

Lt. Kyerak then makes his way to the command center, but he finds bridge controls nonresponsive. Lt. Kalifa examines the main computer core and finds corrupted code.

Mr. Tegan and En. Scalzi keep in contact with Lt. Jameson and check sickbay. They report that it has been strangely stripped of medical equipment and move on to main engineering.

Kyerak searches the officers’ quarters and finds that the archives have been wiped. He does find old uniforms and a notebook of Atina Xdar, an Andorian who was the starship’s acting captain when it was disabled centuries ago.

Daedalus starship interior
Daedalus deck plan

Orzzek observes that the corrupted code in the ship’s computer tries to jump to his tricorder, and he recommends tech quarantine procedures. As Kimball and En. Scalzi search for a ship’s library, Jarric calls them back to the shuttle. He says that he has been unable to raise the Rotha, which is apparently suffering from power fluctuations.

The away team undocks and reads the final entry in Xdar’s journal: “They’ve gotten under our skin. We’re spacing the dead.Remember us….”

While I’m sorry that I missed Jason’s latest “Star Wars: Dark Timessession, I look forward to continuing our adventures tonight and the D&D5e “Vanished Lands” nautical crew tomorrow! Live long and prosper….

Advertisements

“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….

“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!

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.47 — Wyvern of the wastes

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.47, which was held on Sunday, 26 July 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

“22 to 25 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party defeated a demon at a ruined pagoda, and it learned from a geisha about more lieutenants of the chaos dragon it has been hunting. A Kitsune assassin confessed to killing a local priestess as ordered by Ninja Desc Soo-Ann, whom the team found and slayed.

The onetime diplomatic escorts continue hiking north into the Bamor Mountains. Jung-Mo scouts ahead, and Saigo rides his steed next. Sonny talks with his horse Yip and wonders if tribute from the dragon’s followers took this trail.

Sonny also notes that Kenmotsu Masashi, the mayor of Hei Kuan, may have fled in this direction after the scheme to sacrifice villagers to the Yao-Mor (demon) was revealed. There is no initial sign of the Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) and his panther-headed aide.

Toshi rides tiger Amaya and tells his companions of recent spells — a scroll of Permanancy for See Invisible for himself and a Contingency of turning Invisible if he is seriously wounded.

Ember watches Niruth, Jung-Mo’s young wyvern. Although the Druid shares some dragon lore, she doesn’t know a lot about a Chole Lung (chaos dragon). Soske’ and Toshi study maps of the Dragon Pass.

Saigo sees a shadow fall across the rocky path between Jung-Mo and him. The Samurai signals the team, which slows. Ember and Soske’ spot a full-grown wyvern with a humanoid rider circling around.

Wyvern rider
Charging on a wyvern

The Oni dismounts, hovers, and casts Rock to Mud, slowing those on the ground. The wyvern dives as Ember shifts to crane form. Wu Jen Toshi casts Fly on Saigo, while Amaya climbs out of the mud.

Samurai Saigo looses an arrow before switching to his sword in midair. Meanwhile, Invisible Ninja Jung-Mo maneuvers to higher ground. Shukenja Soske’ casts Protection From Evil on himself and Ember.

Kensai Sonny jumps clear of his horse and the muddy trail. The Oni, Gu Hyong-Kim, levitates rocks and hurls them at Toshi and Soske’. Saigo dodges the lightning breath of wyvern Gwang Mi-Ja.

Ember casts Silence at the Ogre Mage, who resists. The Oni is less successful against Toshi’s Lightning Arc and Sound Lance. Saigo repeatedly slashes at Gu Hyong-Kim, as Jung-Mo tosses poisoned darts. Soske’ and Sonny shoot more arrows at the Earth Yai.

Gu Hyong-Kim pushes Saigo away with Repel Metal and conjures stone spikes against Toshi. Gwang Mi-Ja attacks Saigo.

Hengeyokai Ember casts Protection From Lightning on Saigo, closes while Wild Shaped as a falcon, and starts a Summon Storm ritual. Shan Sao Toshi casts maximized Magic Missiles at the Oni.

Nannuattan Jung-Mo poisons the wyvern, paralyzing it and forcing it to crash. Shengtese human Soske’s Flame Strike injures the Oni, whom Spirit Folk Saigo then subdues. Shengtese Sonny verifies that the wyvern is dead.

Saigo secures prisoner Gu Hyong-Kim, and Jung-Mo and Sonny strip the Oni and wyvern of the following gear:

  • great club (masterwork Kanabo) 2d8 — Sonny holding for party
  • bracers of Armor + 2 — Ember claims
  • 200 tael (100 gold pieces) — party fund
  • leather wyvern saddle — Jung-Mo claims
  • ring of Regeneration (+ 1 HP/rd) — Saigo claims

In addition, Saigo gives Jung-Mo hollow-point arrows, Sonny a potion of Levitation, and Ember an eggshell grenade. The Samurai threatens Gu Hyong-Kim, who tries to Meld Into Stone to escape.

However, quick-thinking Jung-Mo uses his ring of Stone Shape to keep the Oni from escaping. Sonny hogties the Earth Yai, who is confident that his master Kaosu Uirumu will prevail. As prophesied, Toshi executes the prisoner.

The wanderers venture deeper into the dragon’s territory, as the landscape grows twisted around them. They consider sending Jung-Mo in disguise as Gu Hyong-Kim to lure the dragon from his lair.

Dragon Pass
Hiking through the northeastern Bamor Mountains

Sonny likes the idea of taking on the chaos dragon away from its stronghold and remaining minions, and Toshi offers to cast Animal Growth so that Niruth can impersonate Gwang Mi-Ja.

Ember isn’t happy about fighting a fellow dragon, but she notes that Kaosu Uirumu most likely comes from the Abyss rather than the Celestial Court.

Soske’ is quiet as he contemplates the possible end of his quest, while Saigo is eager to avenge his grandfather, who was ambushed and captured for a time in the Dragon Pass….

It was good to see everyone online, and I’m glad that Skype and your tactics worked well. Don’t forget to work on your characters for our upcoming higher-level D&D5e campaign!

I’ll try to post an update for our latest face-to-face nautical session soon, and I also look forward to the Boston Comic Con and “Star Wars: Dark Timesat “JasonCon 2015!”