“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.46 — Incense and blood

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.46, which was held on Sunday, 5 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 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./absent]-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

“21 August 1227 B.C.E.:” At Hei Kuan, the wanderers prevented Spirit Folk and Shan Sao villagers from unwittingly becoming sacrifices. They fought six reptilian Zukojin and a large demon in a pagoda.

Sonny gets Saigo, who was escorting people back to the village. The Samurai politely bows to the demonic Yao-Mor, which swings at him with hooked swords. Saigo then readies a potion of Cure Serious Wounds. Ember casts Protection From Fire on Saigo, while Jung-Mo sneaks around the burning pagoda.

Toshi and Soske’ fall back, and Sonny lashes at the three-eyed demon with his Vorpal whip. Lung Jua (“Claw of the Dragon”) taunts Saigo, who initially misses with “Thundering Blade,” an enchanted katana (+3 Outsider Bane long sword).

Druid Ember casts Lightning, and Jung-Mo pelts the four-armed Yao-Mor with arrows. Soske’ heals himself. Saigo slashes at Lung Jua, and his sword resists the monster’s Rust spell.

Greater Oni
Yao-Mor

In a step toward fulfilling his prophesied destiny, Wu Jen Toshi turns the greater Oni into a nasty puddle with Sound Lance. Jung-Mo and Kensai Sonny carefully place the “Dragon Talons,” Lung Jua’s two swords, on Toshi’s floating disc.

Soske’s Detect Curse doesn’t register the hooked blades (1d10 + 2), but the Shukenja does sense something evil shifting within them. Toshi later determines that they can each create copies that steal life to heal the wielder.

Jung-Mo also finds and claims a ring of Stone Shape with eight charges from one of the Zukojin. Soske’ heals his companions. The warriors return to Hei Kuan, the last outpost before the Dragon Pass in the eastern Bamor Mountains, but they are unable to find mayor Kenmotsu Masashi.

Saigo goes to the House of the Glowing Carp to ask Miyamoto Narumi about the duplicitous mayor’s whereabouts. The River Spirit Folk geisha (eastern Grey Elf courtesan) says that the Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) and his panther-headed lieutenant fled when villagers came back from the shrine and the Yao-Mor.

Miyamoto admits that she has heard of Gu Kyong Kim, another Oni (Ogre Mage), and Gwang Mi-Ja, a wyvern, as other servants of the chaos dragon. She pauses to write the dragon’s name on a silk scroll but gasps for air when she is poisoned by the ink.

Ember quickly Neutralizes Poison, and Miyamoto writes the names of Desc Soo-Ann and Kaosu Uirumu. Jung-Mo recognizes Desc Soo-Ann, or Desan, as a fellow Nannuattan Ninja encountered a few times in his travels. He says that Desan probably planted the poison and may still be lurking nearby.

Kaosu Uirumu is the Chole Lung, or chaos dragon, that Shengtese human Soske’ and company have been hunting for the Zedu kingdom in return for the promise of land and titles. Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo thanks Miyamoto for her help.

The group goes to the house of Shiomi Romi, a Korobokuru (eastern Dwarf) alchemist and Shukenja of the Path of Order. On the way, crane Hengeyokai Ember recognizes Endo Mayumi, a Kitsune (fox Hengeyokai). The shapeshifter says that she is leaving town.

Saigo demands a look at Mayumi’s bags, but she is evasive and tosses them past him. The Kitsune tries to shift into vulpine form, but Shengtese human Sonny trips her with a flail. Saigo punches Mayumi, and Ember Wild Shapes into a wolf to subdue her.

Toshi notices that one of the woman’s bags is bleeding, so the Shan Sao opens it. He finds the head of Shiomi Romi and angrily threatens Mayumi with a Lightning Bolt until Jung-Mo and Ember can tie her up. Soske’ keeps watch as the people of Hei Kuan are confused in the wake of the Reaping Festival.

Mayumi admits killing the priestess on Desan’s orders. Jung-Mo beheads the assassin. In the other sack, the adventuring party finds 1,200 tael (600 gold pieces), and Saigo claims 1,000 (500 g.p.) of it.

Sonny takes a potion of Haste, and Toshi gets a scroll of Permancency. At Shiomi Romi’s temple, Jung-Mo finds a shuriken, and Soske’ gets a scroll of Remove Blindness. They also find trip wires left by Desan.

Jung-Mo narrowly dodges a falling axe. After some encouragement by Toshi and Ember, the scout disables poisoned darts and a trap that would crack the altar.

Meanwhile, Sonny and Saigo bury the bodies in the adjacent graveyard. They hear a tree branch creak beneath an unseen spy’s weight. Saigo drinks a potion of Flying and attacks, and Sonny discreetly climbs the tree.

Desan drops his Invisibility by tossing a powder grenade at Saigo and draws hisninja-to (short sword). Hearing a commotion outside, Toshi shifts into bird form, and Jung-Mo and Ember follow.

Ninja gear
Ninja and gear

Jung-Mo drops his fellow Ninja with his own poisoned darts. He retrieves the (+ 3) ninja-to, studded leather armor (+ 2), a few eggshell grenades, and a masterwork disguise kit.

Sonny claims a signet ring stolen from one of Tong Sheng’s rulers, and Saigo takes a ring from the Zedu kingdom. Toshi studies a map of the dragon’s lair….

Geoff, I’m sorry that we missed you during our latest Google+ hangout! What does everyone think: Should we switch back to Skype?

Remember that we won’t be meeting virtually again until July 26, but in the meantime, I hope that you’re able to update your characters and finish creating or revising those for our upcoming D&D5e telecom game! -Gene

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 41.45 — Pagoda sombrero

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.45, which was held on Sunday, 28 June 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./absent]-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

“21 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party arrived at Hei Kuan just in time for the Karitori Matsuri, or “Reaping Festival.” The group’s search for followers of a chaos dragon led to reptilian Zukojin and a three-eyed, four-armed creature outside the village.

Jung-Mo throws whippets (incendiary boomerangs) to start a fire to help screen the retreating peasants from the scaly folk. The civilians had been walking in an entranced procession toward a lit pagoda containing the large monster. Saigo shepherds the Spirit Folk and Shan Sao back to town.

Sonny, who had spotted a member of the rival Crane Clan, moves through the crowd after seeing Jung-Mo’s signal flare. Soske’ joins him. Toshi and Ember, who were following a Kitsune (fox woman), change into bird form and fly out to investigate.

Jung-Mo creeps through the nighttime darkness as the six Zukojin approach the path leading from Hei Kuan to the pagoda. Toshi and Ember land nearby and shift back to Halfling and Hengeyokai form, respectively, to cast spells.

Reptilian miner
Zukojin

Sonny and Soske’ run to catch up, passing Samurai Saigo and those returning to the walled village. Ninja Jung-Mo fires arrows at two of the humanoids, and one succumbs to his knockout poison.

Druid Ember casts Obscurement, creating more mist to help the stragglers escape the Zukojin. Wu Jen Toshi looses a volley of shuriken-shaped Magic Missiles at the lizard-kin, who attack him and Ember.

Shukenja Soske’ shoots arrows, and Kensai Sonny continues to close in. Jung-Mo knocks out another Zukojin and runs after two retreating toward the pagoda. Ember Wild Shapes into a black panther and pounces on one of her foes.

Asian gazebo
Pagoda

Toshi finishes off that opponent with more Magic Missiles, and he kills the three remaining Zukojin with Fiery Dragon. Jung-Mo reaches the shrine and gets a better look at the demon. He falls back to report to his companions.

Toshi recognizes the description of a Yau-Mor named Lung Jua, or “Claw of the Dragon,” no doubt a reference to the chaos dragon they’re hunting. The Shan Sao Wizard is eager to fulfill his destiny and slay a major Oni (Ogre Mage).

Soske’ suspects that the local authorities have been corrupted or misled into sending villagers as sacrifices to the pagoda under the pretense of a harvest festival.

Nannuattan Jung-Mo and Toshi (back in bird form as a black baza) stealthily maneuver to the rear of the pagoda. Ember casts Warp Wood on the roof, causing it to collapse. The Yao-Mor belches flame and casts Power Word: Blind, but the would-be heroes resist.

Soske’ casts Dispel Evil, as fellow Shengtese human Sonny hits the demon with his Vorpal whip. Jung-Mo looses magical arrows, a few of which hit, and Ember casts Heat Metal on the cruelly hooked blades in two of Lung Jua’s hands.

Toshi casts Cone of Cold and narrowly evades the demon’s Baleful Polymorph. The Yao-Mor swings its swords at Soske, who ducks beyond the monster after missing it. Sonny realizes that his whip isn’t enough to affect the massive beast, so he goes to get Saigo for backup.

Jung-Mo dodges burning debris, and Ember slows Lung Jua with Rock to Mud on the stone steps. Toshi’s Cold Ball helps, but the spell unfortunately catches Soske’ in its blast. The Yao-Mor can’t reach Soske’, but it does hit Toshi.

Soske’ backs up and casts Divine Power on himself, and Ember hits with Call Lightning. Toshi joins in with another Cone of Cold, as the team presses its fight with the demon….

Bruce, we missed “Saigo” this past week! I look forward to our last “New Dawn” sessions, as well as to more of the new D&D5e “Vanished Lands” face-to-face teamand Jason’s “Star Wars: Dark Timesgame. In the meantime, have a happy Independence Day!

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.44 — The Reaping

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.44, which was held on Sunday, 14 June 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 spring 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./absent]-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

“16 to 20 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The travelers hiked deeper into the Bamor Mountains while hunting a dangerous dragon. On the way, they passed poor Korobokuru (eastern Dwarven) hamlets, met honorable mercenaries, and fought aquatic daemons.

The former diplomatic escorts discuss their mission for Hou Keung, the Korobokuru daimyo and ruler of the Zedu kingdom. Jung-Mo recalls Nannuattan tales of rare shadow dragons lurking in the Underdark.

As they approach the village of Hei Kuan at the northern edge of the Therud Forest, Sonny wonders how to engage minions of the chaotic drake. Toshi recommends using previous cover identities and asking if anyone knows Zhu Xiaoping, an infernal inquisitor they defeated near the Chieng Hsien Stream on the eastern Plains of Sathendo.

Saigo recommends using previous cover identities, and Ember agrees to pose as bait if needed to draw out the dragon’s spies. Soske’ isn’t worried about finding enemies, only about how and when to fight them.

Disguised as merchant “Xiaoming Chida” and his daughter “Jinsong Chida,” Jung-Mo and Ember, respectively, enter Hei Kuan’s busy market. As guard “Nobuto,” Sonny watches River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elves) and Shengtese humans unload boats at the headwarters of the Hei Kang River.

Eastern river village
River trade

The trio meets Kaji Kiyoshi, a Korobokuru blacksmith who mentions the Karitori Matsuri, or “Reaping Festival.” He agrees to trade weapons with “Xiaoming.”

As herbalist “Tiye Akamoto,” Toshi finds the “House of the Glowing Carp.” Saigo accompanies him as Ronin “Shiraso Takadashi,” while Soske’ poses as soothsayer “Shishi” and guards the team’s animals.

At the tea house, “Tiye” and “Shiraso” talk with attractive geisha Miyamoto Narumi. She mentions Shiomi Romi, a priestess of the Path of Order who knows some alchemy.

The infiltrators later regroup at the Mastical Inn at the edge of town. They pay 40 tael (20 gold pieces) for one night because of demand around Karitori Matsuri.

Nannuattan Jung-Mo identifies some coins for Shan Sao Toshi as coming from the Empire of Gokuri. Shengtese human Sonny chats with his steed Yip on what they have observed so far.

Hengeyokai Ember checks with Shengtese Soske’ on the state of the horses, tiger, and wyvern. Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo plans to spend 3,000 tael (1,500 g.p.) on potions of Resist Acid and Fire.

Toshi and Ember volunteer to scout from overhead in bird form. The Wu Jen and Druid tell the others to rendezvous at the House of the Glowing Carp.

Jung-Mo and Saigo resume their disguises and stealthily approach the center of town as night falls. The Ninja and Samurai both have Invisibility as a backup. Kensai Sonny, however, walks directly to the reaping festivities.

Kenmotsu Masashi, Hei Kuan’s mayor, gives a brief speech. The Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) is joined on a dais by a man with a panther head. Jung-Mo asks a bystander what happens after the surprisingly raucous celebration and learns of a procession out into the woods.

In the crowd, Sonny recognizes Seng Ying Hu from the Daidoji House of the Crane Clan. The Shengtese (East Asian) human was involved with the disgrace of Sonny’s house in the Lion Clan. The Monk talks with other courtiers.

Toshi watches as fellow Shan Sao (eastern Halflings), including a Sohei with a large mace, carousing. Ember notices a strange-looking woman, so she and Toshi follow her. They eventually spot the tails of a Kitsune, a mischievous fox woman. Endo Mayumi makes sure that the townsfolk stay drunk, leading Toshi to conclude that she may be an agent of the chaos dragon.

Jung-Mo, Sonny, and Saigo follow the throng that parades out of the village, while Toshi, Saigo, and Soske’ watch those who remain. The Shan Sao, Spirit Folk, and human peasants carry torches and lanterns as they stagger along a northward trail.

Saigo spots reptilian humanoids shadowing the crowd in the fields on either side. Jung-Mo peers through the darkness at a pagoda ahead and sees a 12-foot-tall creature with three eyes, greenish scales, a bull’s horns, and four arms.

Swift Jung-Mo throws a flash pellet to briefly illuminate the Zokujin, and Saigo boldly draws his weapons and shouts for people to return to the village.

Still in bird form, Toshi spots Jung-Mo’s flare, and he signals fellow shapeshifter Ember that they have to leave the village to help their friends…

Ancient Osaka
Between the Bamor Mountains and the Therud Forest

After several months, it was good to get back to this adventuring party! I look forward to wrapping up this scenario in the next session or two, and I hope that we’ll be able to start on time next time.

Thanks again, Bruce, for hosting a fun cookout! Remember that we won’t be meeting virtually next weekend because of Father’s Day. We’ll try a Google+ hangout on Sunday, June 28.

In the meantime, remember to review your characters for this and the D&D5e groups. I look forward to seeing some of you at upcoming nautical and “Star Wars: Dark Timesgames.

“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Sessions 57, 58 — Astral raid and vanquishing Vappu Lahja

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Sessions 39.57 and 58, which Jason E.R. co-ran and Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on April 6 and 20, 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….

Vistel’s Expedition, crew of the Zephyr, Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” campaign, using the D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing GameDungeon Crawl Classics, Pathfinder, and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of spring 2015:

  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Flind (Gnoll) Ranger, archer, and sailor, with owl “Owlicious” and boyfriend “Capt. Niac”; NGl, Lvl. 12
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, wandering noble, warrior, and mandolin player; CNg, Lvl. 12
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, diplomat, and animal handler with banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 12
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer, shipwright, and impetuous Rogue; TNcg, Lvl. 12

Cameos, departed:

  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W.]-male Zeda (proto-Germanic) human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 10
  • Tempestade [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 10
  • Radius [Jason E.R.]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 9
  • Sir Torrel [Alex W.]-male Hifalendorin human Paladin of Otih, the lord of the sun and justice; LGn, Lvl. 7
  • Melchior Merryman [Byron V.O.]-male Saganim/Hifalendorin human Cleric of Ulandt, lady of rest/Defender of the Night, hunter of Undead; former member of the “Seekers of Lore”; NGl, Lvl. 8/3
  • Brendan Quinn [Brian W.]-male Saganim (proto-Celtic) human Rogue, explorer; NGl, Lvl. 9
  • “Brogar the Barbarian” [Brian S.]-male Skaevingol (Viking-style) human Barbarian, happy warrior; NGc, Lvl. 9
  • Tarwen Rinuendell [Dana S.]-female Avariel (winged Elf) Fighter, unflappable but secretive scout; LGn, Lvl. 12

A band of onetime circus performers had sought adventure on the northwestern Plains of Sathendo. They freed Goblin slaves, investigated intrigues in the Saganim human capital, and defended the port of Sileran from an attack by giants.

“Vistel’s Expedition” also sailed to the wondrous city of Falit and the Zarendo Islands, where it infiltrated a Temple of Elemental Evil. After journeying to the barbaric port of Gisar, the wanderers traveled through time and space to rescue Tempestade’s kin.

Back on the Plains of Sathendo, the command crew of the airship Zephyr confronted the mysterious Vappu Lahja in the occupied town of Kedetura. It neutralized several of her Centaur followers and magically imprisoned the pale sorceress.

After rescuing the founders of Vistel’s Circus from more Unseelie Fey, the groupTeleported but found itself not at the Zephyr, but in the Astral Plane! They joined some Githzerai in preparing to raid a floating Githyanki tower.

“23 May to 31 August 1227 B.C.E.:” Rek’elma explains that the Spelljammer  T’unarathi (“Dragon Rider”) is disguised as a Githyanki ship. The gray-skinned Githzerai says that he’ll be wrapped up as one of his hated foes, while most of his crew waits below decks to attack. The outlanders will have to take point, he says.

Giacomo casts Shield on himself as the T’unarathi approaches a spherical island with four towers and a docklike projection. Tarwen Teleports out uncontrollably and is replaced by Scully, who is initially confused.

Corwin demands time to recover his spells. The impetuous Bard then dons his hat of Disguise and casts Comprehend Languages and Displacement.

Elsa prays to patron deities Vulkan (Moradin) and Mekkil (Gaia) for guidance regarding how metaphysics works in the Outer Planes. The Druid then Wild Shapes into a mouse and jumps into one of Rhys’ pockets.

Rhys is excited to be on a Spelljammer, but the Tinker Gnome is worried when his Bag of Holding, which contained his automatons, is seemingly empty.

The T’unarathi floats next to two void cruisers. Four Githyanki, plus two more with red armor and strange pistols, watch the gangplanks behind Walls of Force. Corwin, disguised as a Githyanki, sings to Enthrall the guards.

The Half-Elf also asks about Vappu Lahja, for whom he claims he has a gift. Ranger Scully is intimidating in her true form, an albino Gnoll. Wizard Giacomo cackles happily with his homunculus familiar Gerald. Rhys hides, and Elsa casts Calm Emotions.

The red guards notify Capt. Perragroup, who was recently stationed at Sheldar and mentions something about a “mating run.” The gaunt Githyanki orders the sentries to take the newcomers to commander Vimhanock.

As they follow the Githyanki into the fortress, Corwin casts Web on two guards. Rhys holds his action, but Elsa helps create a diversion as a scurrying mouse. Giacomo casts Obscuring Mist. Scully quaffs a potion of Invisibility, and Rek’elma disembarks with 12 crewmates.

Hifalendorin human Giacomo casts Reverse Gravity, causing some of the Githyanki to float. Hill Dwarf Elsa Wild Shapes into a dire bear, and Rhys dodges plasma blasts from the pistols.

Saganim prince Corwin casts Wail of the Banshee, and Scully races down corridors looking for traces of Vappu Lahja. Rek’elma’s Githzerai engage the Githyanki guards in a running battle. Elsa is wounded in the crossfire.

Giacomo casts Ray of Enfeeblement on Capt. Perragroup, and Elsa casts Dominate Animal against a snarling Gith hound. Corwin’s Fireball incinerates the eight hounds, as the raiding party reaches the quarters of the void cruiser captains.

Scully uses Find the Path, while Giacomo casts Magic Missiles, killing the last Githyanki. Elsa drops Perragroup and mauls a guard. Rhys runs after Scully, and Corwin draws his sword and dagger.

They find a room with six exits and go down. A ball of coins floats at the center of a spherical chamber, and a large red dragon coils around it! She awakens, pinning Rhys to the wall and grabbing Invisible Scully with a clawed hand.

Meanwhile, Corwin grabs the following items from the Githyanki (to be divided later):

  • armor, splint
  • ring of Enlarge
  • ring of Protection, + 2
  • 2 shields, +1
  • 2 swords, long, +1, silvered

The Githzerai fight off Githyanki reinforcements while the Zephyr ’s away team looks for Scully and Rhys. The Gnome artificer tries to talk to the dragon, who pushes him out of her chamber. He then reports to his companions that Scully is held captive.

The wanderers warily approach Itolpakugon, who says in a smoky voice that her kind has an ancient pact with the Githyanki. Elsa claims to be a trader “cheated by Perragroup.” Giacomo readies a Contingency spell on winged Gerald.

The red dragon says that she wants freedom for her son, who is being used as a steed by Capt. Okemokik. In return for clearing the citadel of Githyanki, Itolpakugon will grant the group access to “the pale lady” (Vappu Lahja), who may be as much a prisoner of the Githyanki as a guest.

Itolpakugon teaches Corwin a song so that her son will recognize him as her ally. Scully is released, but she notices the scent of three dragons in total.

The group ascends to the officers’ quarters. Giacomo uses his robe of Blendingand casts Invisibility on Gerald. They sneak past the rooms of Gish (Wizards) Morkemo, Toroka, and Vlakith. In the last chamber, the group sees a statue of the Lich Queen on an altar.

Okemokik rests on cushions in another room, apparently spent after a “breeding session.” Itolpakugon’s son lies nearby. Elsa crawls to a corner of the room and tries to calm the dragon. Scully draws her bow and waits in the hallway with Rhys, who borrows a short sword and masterwork short bow.

Corwin sings Itolpakugon’s lullaby, but Okemokik jumps up and casts Magic Missile at the infiltrators. Giacomo sends Silenced Gerald into the room to limit the Githyanki’s spellcasting. Elsa’s Dimensional Anchor is unsuccessful.

Scully and Rhys fire at Okemokik but miss, and Corwin casts a Lightning Bolt at him. The enemy captain’s Touch of Corruption fails, and he jumps into a black tapestry! Corwin chases Okemokik through the magical portal.

Elsa binds wounds and manages to get the young dragon to go back to its mother, and the rest of the group follows Corwin. They find themselves in a throne room with a female Warlock, her honor guard, and a Shadow Knight, as well as Okemokik.

Thanks to his hat of Disguise, Corwin appears to be Mikanuck. The Bard joins the Githyanki in laughing at the injured Okemokik but refuses when the Shadow Knight orders him to kneel before the Warlock.

The Shadow Knight tries to strike Corwin, but his Armor of Retaliation reflects the blow. Corwin casts Wail of the Banshee, which kills four guards and the Warlock’s Mephit familiar, and the party wades back into battle.

Okemokik and the surviving guards miss, and the Warlock casts Lightning. Unfortunately, for Okemokik, he is fried when Corwin’s ring of Spell Battle redirects the bolt at him. Rhys jumps on a guard and pulls his former Bag of Holding over his head.

The Warlock casts Control Undead to direct her slain sentries and familiar, and Scully limits enemy spellcasting with Silenced arrows. Giacomo casts Magic Missile against the Warlock’s Shield and Ray of Enfeeblment against another guard.

Elsa Wild Shapes into bear form and charges. The Druid fights the resurrected Githyanki with a Positive Energy Burst and Invisibility to Undead. The Warlock Dispels the Silence from Scully’s arrows and casts Cone of Cold at Elsa.

Rhys suggests retreating, and Scully casts Heat Metal on the Shadow Knight’s armor. Giacomo manages to slay the Warlock with Mage Sword, and another Positive Energy Burst finishes the Shadow Knight.

Scully follows Vappu Lahja’s scent back past Itolpakugon and Akko’sutor. The voyagers prepare to fight the pale lady. Giacomo casts Silence on stealthy Rhys, who is also carrying a wand of Dispel Magic.

Corwin casts Eagle’s Splendor, Greater Heroism, and Displacement on himself, while ursine Elsa Enlarges herself. Giacomo also casts Mage Armor and Shield as scouts Scully and Rhys enter the room. They see another shrine to the Lich Queen and another tapestry. However, this one appears to be burned out.

Rhys and Corwin also find a concealed door. It leads to a narrow passage trapped with Teleport and Divide the Soul wards. The team backtracks to the throne room, where an undamaged tapestry could lead home.

Elsa and Rek’elma communicate via Message spells. The Githzerai says that he and his crew have what they came for and are leaving. Elsa wishes him good fortune, and Rek’elma responds with “Happy hunting!”

The travelers enter the tapestry and get a brief glimpse of a certain Pit Fiend who has been hunting them. They find themselves in tall wheat fields — apparently, spring has turned to summer back in the “Vanished Lands” while they were in the Astral Plane!

In the distance, Scully spots the walled town of Kedetura. The Zephyr is fighting a red dragon, no doubt Itolpakugon’s other child, who is being ridden by none other than Vappu Lahja.

Dragon vs. airship
Dragon vs. dirigible

Giacomo, Corwin, and Rhys Teleport to their airship. The Gnome engineer notices that the gas bag is filling with water, probably as a result of the Pale Lady’s spells. Scully and Elsa turn into horses and approach Kedetura. They are relieved to see that most of Vappu Lahja’s Unseelie followers are gone.

Rhys dumps his again-full Bag of Holdling at Vappu Lahja and her dragon steed, forcing them to make evasive maneuvers. Corwin tries to leap onto the dragon but misses. Fortunately, the acrobatic aristocrat manages to cast Web to swing back onto the Zephyr.

Giacomo wraps his Whip of Entangle around Vappu Lahja’s throat, pulling her out of the saddle. Elsa Wild Shapes into a falcon to fly up to the fight, just as the dragon breathes fire on Corwin and Giacomo.

Vappu Lahja manages to free herself from the Wizard’s whip, and she casts Fly to try to escape. Rhys uses his ring of Featherfall and dives after clockwork butler Vasco.

Corwin casts Ice Storm, and Giacomo casts Form of the Dragon so that his familiar Gerald is a match for the red dragon! Elsa climbs the dirigible and dumps Dust of Dryness into its gas bag to keep it from crashing.

The red dragon casts Summon Swarm, gathering wasps, and it claws at Gerald, who breathes fire at it. Vappu Lahja heads toward some woods outside of Kedetura. Rhys uses a wand of Silence on his clockwork dragon, which then flies after the sorceress.

The woman in white robes resists Giacomo’s Hold Person, and Elsa Summons Nature’s Ally, conjuring an air elemental she nicknames “Gusty.” Rhys watches as some of his automatons hit the ground, and he uses the wand of Dispel Magic on Vappu Lahja, forcing her to land.

Elsa uses a Positive Energy Burst to heal Giacomo, and Gusty uses a whirlwind to disperse the swarm that the dragon summoned. Vappu Lahja Heals herself and runs, but her former steed fumbles in its aerial attack on Gerald.

Elsa impales Vappu Lahja, who had incited racial hatred between Centaurs and other fey against human farmers, with javelins of Holy Ice. Corwin casts Storm Bolt, slaying the witch.

Giacomo restrains the red dragon with a Force Cage, and Corwin and Elsa help it return to its senses with the song from Itolpakugon. Gerald returns to homunculus form. After some discussion, a Plane Shift spell sends the dragon home to its mother.

The exhausted explorers are hailed as heroes by the Hifalendorin human residents of Kedetura. Wizard Giacomo plans to return with girlfriend “Dread” Maggie Oakleaf to Hesolin’s Magisterium (magic school/library).

Ranger Scully is happy to be reunited with Wolfen Paladin “Capt. Niac” [Mike F./Non-Player Character] aboard the Zephyr. Gnome engineer Rhys also decides to stay with “his” airship, and Elsa recommends using the city of Falit as the home base for her long-range communications network.

Corwin plans to track down his hated foe, the Tielfing mage Lord Dalek, and scheming half-brother, Prince Daven, in Undead-ruled Gisar with help from Melchior. The Bard then hopes to resume courting Princess Priscilla of Hifalendor.

The Zephyr sails off with its brave crew into the sunset….

Thanks again to guest Game Master Jason, and I hope that everybody enjoyed this D20/FATE campaign over the past two and a half years! I look forward to wrapping up the “New Dawntelecom team and continuing our adventures in the “Vanished Lands” with our first D&D5e parties!

D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls” Session 7 — Before Obould Many-Arrows

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 7 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 15 March 2015:

Player Characters for the “Land of Lost Souls,” Dexter V.H.’stelecom fantasy miniseries, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth EditionAD&D2/D&D3.5 Dragonlance, the D&D4e Forgotten Realms, Palladium Fantasy, Obsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 3
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 3
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 3
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 3
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 3
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O./absent]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 3
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./absent]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 3

After evacuating two villages ahead of a spreading shadow and an Orcish army, a group of would-be heroes accepted a mission from the Dwarves of beseiged Thorbardin. They flew on giant owls over New Coast to Blodehelm, land of the Orcs.

In the city of Bloten, the group is brought before King Obould and a female Orc shaman. The great hall is lined with animal trophies and clan banners. Obould Many-Arrows invites the visitors to join him for a feast to celebrate the return of his long-lost grandson, Root.

Orc high king
King Obould Many-Arrows

Elf Cal and Dwarf Redrik are disguised as Orcs. They learn that the king is less interested in raiding his neighbors than some of the tribal warlords. Sam chats with Chief Quetti.

Sam and Santiddio learn that Strunge, chief of the Green Moss tribe, doesn’t want to squander the current unity of Blodehelm’s ruling council. Although the Orcs arrived in the “Land of Lost Souls” about a century ago, they have mostly been at peace with other races.

Rowan talks with the shaman, who is less interested in peace with other races and mentions one-eyed Gruumsh. The Skald doesn’t recognize the reference.

Perogen observes the humanoid banquet and ponders the lessons of his test at the Tower of High Sorcery, as well as a black spell book. Skilelo had returned with the second Dwarf scout to warn Thorbardin about another Orcish army on the march.

The Orc chieftains demand that Obould and the outlanders participate in a trial by combat before they’ll consider withdrawing their forces attacking human and Dwarven lands. They admit that Dark Elves have promised them territory.

Both Rogue Santiddio and Rowan volunteer, but the group eventually agrees on Maddie as its representative. The plainswoman is brought down to an iron-bound arena, where she faces off with a large guard drake.

The lizard charges at Maddie, who strikes it in return. In the rowdy audience, Paladin Cal prays to Kiri-Jolith, lord of valor, and Cleric Redrik prays to Paladine. Ranger Sam watches both those making wagers and the combatants to make sure there is no cheating.

Wizard Perogen tries chatting with some of the Orc, and Rowan starts a chant in favor of wolf-skinned Maddie. Others invoke Gruumsh as they cheer for the reptile. Santiddio talks with Strunge, who is sympathetic to the idea of peace.

The drake claws at Maddie, whose Barbarian rage helps her resist injury. The lupine warrior slays her scaled opponent, disappointing its handler but encouraging the non-Orcs.

Obould proclaims that his troops will no longer go to war on behalf of the manipulative Drow. He orders runners to be dispatched. Cal, Sam, and Redrik accept the king’s offer to stay the night in his keep.

Victorious Maddie goes out carousing with Perogen, Rowan, and Santiddio. A burly Orc challenges Perogen and Santiddio to a drinking contest, while Rowan spins tall tales.

Typical RPG bar brawl
Carousing

After a pint of “Demon’s Brew,” Perogen passes out, so Maddie has to bring him back to his room. During the first watch, there is a knock at the adventuring party’s door.

A servant named Gribba says she brings word from Obould. The young female Orc says that the king has lost sway over several tribes and that the travelers should leave before a possible coup d’etat. She says they should return to Thorbardin if they can.

Gribba leads the group through the castle’s garbage-strewn lower levels. Through a combination of guile and stealth, the team makes its way past sentries. The wanderers make a forced march through the Khalkist Mountains until they are many miles from the Orc capital.

Since they have to wait a few days to rendezvous with their owl steeds, the adventurers head south, toward the ruins at Vantal….

I look forward to continuing our adventures tonight! Remember thatour characters have attained third level.

I also look forward to Bruce’s Dread: Beneath a Metal Sky one-shot at Drew’s place tomorrow night. Be seeing you….