“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.54 — Encountering “Ereval”

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.54, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 29 December 2014:

In one ancient world, there was a region 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. One such band began as circus performers, became defenders of the kingdom of Saganim, and voyaged aboard the Zephyr….

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

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) afflicted by a cursed tattoo; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Flind (Gnoll) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and sailor, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 11
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, wandering noble, warrior, and mandolin player; CNg, Lvl. 11
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer and impetuous Rogue; TNcg, Lvl. 11

(See previous notes for “Hamfast” and “Brendan” [Brian W.], “Tempestade” [Josh C.], “Radius” [Jason E.R.], “Melchior” [Byron V.O.], “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.], and “Brogar” [Brian S.].)

“12 to 15 May 1227 B.C.E.:” “Vistel’s Expedition” slayed a gruesome Grimm and fought a band of Grugach (Wild Elves) while crossing the northwestern Plains of Sathendo. Both Unseelie Fey were apparently in league with Vappu Lahja, the mysterious woman stirring up strife among nearby Centaurs.

Druid Elsa prays to Mekkil (Gaia) for extra help with Transport via Plants, and the adventuring party arrives at the heart of the Wisalef Forest. The white walls and tall spires of Alfhileno, capital of the Waletku kingdom of the Elves, are visible through the trees.

Giacomo senses strong magical energies nearby. Scully sniffs and smells late-spring flowers before sending Owlicious off to hunt. Rhys secures his clockwork automatons in his Bag of Holding. Corwin leads the way to the nearest gate.

Unlike most human cities they have visited, the wanderers see relatively little traffic as they enter Alfhileno. Elsa Wild Shapes into a bird, and Corwin introduces himself to sentries as “Prince Berek, son of Lyrilian Moonshadow.”

Half-Elf Corwin points out the flets or talans, the arboreal platforms where most Quelanthi (High Elves) live. In the shadow of the lofty palace, the group scatters across broad, tree-lined lanes.

Arboreal residences
Talans or flets in Alfhileno

Giacomo visits the embassy of his homeland, the (proto-Western European) human kingdom of Hifalendor. The Wizard talks with Sir Nigel, who explains that the Centaurs have served as a buffer between Hifalendor and the barbaric tribes of the Gusorin Confederation.

Scully searches in vain for fellow members of the Order of the Golden Lion. She then goes to the headquarters of the Ranger Guild. At a large lodge, the Flind finds refugees from the villages that Vappu Lahja’s followers have raided.

Corwin checks in at the embassy of the (proto-Celtic) human kingdom of Saganim to get help obtaining a royal audience. He meets Lady Kaitlin Ashley, who turns out to be his aunt! They catch up, and she refers him to Arlas, a Sylvan Elf Bard at the temple of Brijitt, goddess of fire and poetry.

Back in Hill Dwarf form, Elsa walks to the Grove of Mekkil, where she meets other priestesses of the goddess of nature. Quelanthi Inrawel says that any who would follow Vappu Lahja rather than the Seelie Court should be dealt with severely, and Sylvan Elf Valine believes that as many as a third of Druids have been corrupted.

Rhys finds the bustling Gnomish guildhouse on Faerie Lane. The Minoi (Tinker Gnome) asks “Koja…” [Mark D.L./Non-Player Character] about experimental airships. The Rock Gnome metalsmith refers him to “Pruts…” [Patrik D’H./N.P.C.].

At the local Magisterium (magic school/library), Giacomo asks “Charon Galacticus” [Carlos C./N.P.C.], a onetime member of the “Children of the Elder Gods,” about the tales of Vappu Lahja and scrying her current whereabouts. They speculate that the Drow of Zuromm could be manipulating the Unseelie Court.

Scully accepts Soval’s offer to join Alfhileno’s Ranger Guild. The Grey Elf introduces her to “Rory” [Beruk/N.P.C.] and “Ewan” [Rich/N.P.C.], an angry Hifalendorin human and a Harfoot Halfling farmer, respectively, who lost their lands to militant Centaurs.

Scully also meets “Dionysus” [Bruce/N.P.C.], an older Centaur still loyal to the Waletku kingdom but sympathetic to his kin, and “Malekith” [Drew/N.P.C.], an armored Sylvan Elf.

Lord Galion Luincolla” arrives and wonders why nobody is alarmed at a Gnoll in their midst. Soval reassures his superior that Scully is a defender of the wilds and the innocent.

Arlas agrees with Corwin and Giacomo that there are similarities between the legends of Vappu Lahja and “Capt. Jack Kildare” [Randy K.M./N.P.C.], leader of the Ghost Fleet. Both were cursed decades ago but somehow found a way to gain followers despite their long exiles. Corwin thinks about visiting the consulate of the nefarious kingdom of Zuromm.

Meanwhile, Elsa talks with some exalted animals at the Grove of Mekkil. Badger “Tucker” [Drew/N.P.C.] reports that some forest animals have moved to follow the “White Lady” (Vappu Lahja).

Rabbit “Cracker” [Bruce/N.P.C.] says that the territory now controlled by Centaurs and Satyrs is strangely peaceful, which he doesn’t like. Elsa suspects witchcraft in addition to clever political appeals.

Wolf “Wynona” [Sara/N.P.C.] hates the rogue Fey who slaughtered her pack, but “Bob” the bear [Beruk/N.P.C.] smokes a pipe and tries to keep a mellow attitude.

Prince Corwin eventually receives a summons to palace. Lady Cynthia Acheson, a Quelanthi Paladin of Corellan Larethian in mithril armor, brings him and Giacomo through glittering halls. Soft music fills the air.

Beneath a scion of the Tree of Life are courtiers including Wizard “Xander Sunspot” [Rich/N.P.C.], representatives of various Elven tribes such as the winged Avariel, and proud Centaur tutor “Lord Naresh” [Drew/N.P.C.]. Most petitioners are surprised when a scruffy Half-Elf scout sits on the throne.

“Giacomo, king of jesters and jester to the king” [John Z.G./Beruk/N.P.C.; apologies to The Court Jester ] announces “Ereval I” [Steve A.L./N.P.C.], bearer of sword Black Razor and high king of the Waletku kingdom and the Seelie Court. The wise Ranger once known as “Mouse” tells Corwin that their fathers, Halikos Kelannir and Edmund the Strong, once traveled together.

Corwin asks the Elves to join the naval alliance against the Ghost Fleet. King Ereval notes that the Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elves) do not acknowledge him as ruler, but he agrees to provide materiel to neighboring realms.

Giacomo asks on Elsa’s behalf if the Waletku kingdom would participate in her nascent long-range communications network. Xander says the Quelanthi already have access to powerful magic, but Ereval grants “Vistel’s Expedition” access to Alfhileno. The king also orders the immediate mustering of troops to the border to contain Vappu Lahja’s followers.

Alchemist and former “Dragonslayer” Pruts… tells Rhys that his brother Flap… works for the Royal Air Corps. But first, the Tinker Gnome regroups with his companions at “Tabby’s Tavern” among the restaurants of the Halfling Quarter.

The command crew of the Zephyr compares notes on what it has learned in Alfhileno and how to help Hifalendor with the Centaur uprising as part of its strategy against the Ghost Fleet. Giacomo and Corwin prepare a Contingency spell of Greater Teleport for whenever they meet Vappu Lahja.

Scully, who is now a member of Saganim’s Royal Society for Cartography, the Order of the Golden Lion in the Ebir Sheikdom, and now the Waletku Ranger Guild, is eager to get back to “Capt. Niac” [Mike F./N.P.C.].

Elsa recommends trying to parley with Vappu Lahja, since her forces are numerous, and the Elves don’t want to fight fellow Fey folk. The diplomatic Dwarf considers commissioning a portrait of the pale lady or buying a magic mirror. Skeptical Corwin agrees to find or compose a favorable version of Vappu Lahja’s fairy tale.

Rhys invites Elsa to join him at the Royal Air Corps. They are awed by the pegasi, gryphons, and other steeds ridden by Quelanthi cavalry. Gilda Swanmay says that the Elves once had more contact with metallic dragons, but many were slain in past wars. The officer takes Rhys and Elsa into a large hangar.

“Sir Elandor Lightblade” [Mark B./N.P.C.] greets the visitors and offers curious Elsa a Pegasus ride. She quickly accepts and gets an aerial tour of leafy Alfhileno.

Rhys is happy to compare notes with Pruts’ brother Flap, who says other experimental vessels patrol the Waletku kingdom’s northern frontier. Rhys also shows off his clockwork butler Vasco, which attracts much Gnomish attention.

Mischievous Rhys also jokingly trades insults with “Jiriki i-Sansorei” [Jon W.P./N.P.C.] about how the wooden H.M.A.S. Longshot II is inferior to the Zephyr, which has a metal hull. The Paladin retorts that his vessel has been battle-tested and has a crew of Elven knights.

The Zephyr’s away team prepares to head back to the Plains of Sathendo to rescue their former traveling companions in Vistel’s Circus from Vappu Lahja and deal with her minions’ growing raids on Hifalendorin farming communities….

This session is dedicated to the memory of Steve A.L. I look forward to seeing most of you at tonight’s “Vanished Lands: A New Dawntelecom game, Jason E.R.’s “Channel 37” dimension-hopping scenario tomorrow, or upcoming “Vistel’s Expedition” sessions.

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Sessions 40.40 to 42 — Leaving Bazran Hai, Oni, and Ki-rin

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Sessions 40.40 to 42, which were held on 14, 21, and 28 December 2014:

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 the D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Ed./D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinder, and FATE 3eLegends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of autumn 2014:

  • 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.]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

“1 to 10 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The wanderers interrogated a Yuan-ti spy who was disguised as a gardener, and they delivered him and Saigo’s grandfather to the rulers of the Zedu kingdom. The adventurers then agreed to pursue a dragon of corruption in the northeastern wilderness.

At the “Dragon’s Beard” hotel in Bazran Hai, the onetime diplomatic escorts discuss what they would do with the titles and land offered to them by Zedu’s rulers. Jung-Mo says he would like a private base of operations, far from prying eyes.

Sonny plans to recruit followers and start a dojo (martial arts school). Like Jung-Mo, he hopes to restore his clan’s honor. Toshi prefers a defensible location, preferably in a valley between the Bamor Mountains and the Therud Forest. He notes that a shared stronghold should be possible.

Ember puts in a request for a dragon-sized tower, while Soske’ intends to raise an army for the next war against the forces of chaos. Saigo hopes that becoming an aristocrat would help his chances of wooing Princess Nayoko.

Tokoro returns to the more immediate concern of fighting the evil Wu (Druids) of the Scarlet Order. Ember studies the report of Gen. Shinso, Saigo’s grandfather, about the reddish dragon. It is most likely chromatic, she says, but the exact typeis unclear.

Wu Jen Toshi and Shukenja Soske’ spend the next week in Bazran Hai enchanting items for their companions. Jung-Mo names his young wyvern Niruth (“Storm Bringer”) and trains it on the outskirts of the mountain city. The Ninja looks for other Nannuattan, but they have gone to ground.

Sonny reaches out to Lady Yun Aei-Yong before the ambassador’s return to the Empire of Gokuri. The Kensai also runs into Brother Jo, a Shengtese human Monk who once traveled with him.

Samurai Saigo spends time with his father, Gen. Hirokazu, and Princess Nayoko. The Samurai learns that Nayoko’s brother, Prince Mutsuhito, will be escorting Lady Yun home.

Hulinyuan Tokoro keeps watch with his otter Mala and explores the winding caverns and underground river beneath the Korobokuru (eastern Dwarven) capital.

Ember goes to the temple of Shang-ti, emperor of heaven, and kneels and prays to be restored to her true gold dragon form:

“I am sorry, father, for what I have done in the past. My time among the mortals has changed me significantly. I’ve learned about true love and the value of friendship. If not for myself, but for safety of my friends that I care greatly about and the innocent lives I can save. I am now in need of my powers. I fear this evil dragon we are about to face has fallen deeper into corruption, killing the innocent and befouling the earth, which has given him great power. Please grant me the strength I need and break the bond of this collar!”

As the crane Hengeyokai speaks, tears fall from her eyes and fall onto the holy ground before her. Ameratsu Mitemi, a Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) priest, sees Ember and tries to reassure her.

Soske’ stops by the temple and asks Ameratsu about Mi-Shao-Shur, the chthonic (Chaotic Evil) deity of the Yuan-ti who had infiltrated Bazran Hai. The Sohei says that if the followers of the dragon are similarly chaotic, their ranks could include aberrations, demons, and other shapeshifters.

Ameratsu warns Shengtese human Soske’ not to expect predictable tactics or chains of command as among Gokuri’s armies, where Bakemono (Goblins), Oni (Ogre Magi), Draconians, and Minotaurs serve the Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elves).

Back at the local Magisterium (magic school/library), Jung-Mo asks for Toshi’s help in researching dragons and potential vulnerabilities. The Shan Sao and Nannuattan agree that stealthy scouting will be at least as important as weapons or spells when dealing with the dragon’s monstrous minions.

While roaming the city, Tokoro recognizes Hojo Etsuko, a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) who serves the same master as he does. She had been swayed against Shengtese human farmers by Desc Soo-Ann, a Nannuattan hunter from the Shadow’s Claw clan disguised as a courier.

Tokoro follows Hojo out to the main bridge leading into Bazran Hai. The carp Hengeyokai briefly loses her in traffic, but he hears sounds from the boards beneath his feet. The Ranger pries up a board and sees Hojo sliding down a rope, which is nowhere near long enough to take her to the bottom of the chasm.

A flying creature with the head of a dog, the body of a sheep, and the tail of a lion flies beneath her, and Hojo joins the rider and leaves. Tokoro returns to the Dragon’s Beard to tell his friends about the strange encounter.

Jung-Mo wonders if Ember knows of other friendly or metallic dragons in the area. Soske’ asks Saigo to contact fellow Samurai to join their fight against the chaos and dragon. As Toshi puts the finishing touches on magic items, the group gets provisions and prepares to head east to mountain outposts.

Rather than take Jung-Mo’s carriage (and Niruth’s magical cage) into rough terrain, the party buys some carts and sturdy ponies. The team rides out from Bazran Hai but makes slow progress in the Bamor Mountains.

That night, Sonny and Tokoro take the first watch, followed by Jung-Mo and Ember. Soske’ and Saigo are set to take the third and final watch. Toshi studies spells and writes letters to his betrothed, Suki Amarna, by the campfire.

During the second watch, alert Ember spots something large moving on the rocky slope beneath the campsite. Stealthy Jung-Mo and Tokoro go to investigate. They see a two-headed giant. One head is ugly and speaks crudely, and the other is well-groomed and more eloquent.

Tokoro sneaks back to wake the rest of the party, and Toshi and Ember shift into bird form. The Wizard identifies the creature as an Atamahuta Oni. Soske’ wants to take the fight to the unnatural enemy, but Saigo and Tokoro want to let it go.

Jung-Mo continues to follow the Atamahuta, and Ember casts Heat Metal on the Ogre’s double axe while flying as an owl. Toshi shifts back into Shan Sao form and readies Magic Missile. Tokoro rapidly fires a volley, hitting once.

Soske’ casts Ancestral Weapon and asks for a bow vs. Chaos. Jung-Mo sneakily attacks the Oni, striking it with an arrow. Sonny slides down the slope toward the fight, followed by Saigo.

Toshi’s Magic Missiles injure his hated foe, and Tokoro hits again with arrows from his Thunderbow. Saigo slashes the Atamahuta with his katana, as Soske’ casts Divine Power on himself.

The Oni strikes Saigo with his Urgosh, chilling the Samurai with magical cold. Ember retaliates with Flame Strike, which unfortunately also affects Saigo. Sonny unleashes his Vorpal whip while Jung-Mo darts among the rocks.

Rather than bury his allies beneath an overhang or hit those in melee with Arc Lightning, Toshi casts Lightning Bolt. Tokoro and Saigo both miss, but Soske’ continues wounding the humanoid.

The Atamahuta Oni casts Wall of Fire, injuring Jung-Mo, Sonny, Soske’, Saigo, and Tokoro. Ember treats Saigo with Cure Serious Wounds, and Sonny’s whip decapitates the giant, removing its dumber head. Jung-Mo finishes off the Oni. The victorious band finds and divvies up the following items:

  • Armor, banded mail + 2 — to sell
  • Gems, assorted, worth 1,000 tael (2,000 gold pieces)
  • Mithril coins, worth 3,500 tael (7,000 g.p.)
  • Ring of Animal Friendship — claimed by Jung-Mo
  • Urgosh (Orcish double axe, 1d8 + 2) — to trade as part of cover
  • Wand of Desecrate (as per 3rd-lvl. caster) — Soske’ destroys

Toshi gives about 500 tael (1,000 g.p.) to each party member, plus a similar share to a party fund. Sonny, Ember, Saigo, and Toshi, who didn’t claim any magic this time, get 1,250 g.p. each.

Back on the trail, the travelers discuss their plans to infiltrate territory controlled by the Scarlet Order. As they cross the Rodyui Stream and enter the hamlet of Rodaki, the would-be heroes pose as a merchant caravan.

Jung-Mo is disguised as “Xiaoming Chida,” a River Spirit Folk trader of mundane and “special” items. As an arms dealer, he plans to check for Yakuza or Nannuattan connections. Jung-Mo keeps his wyvern in its magical cage, where it appears to be a simple songbird.

Sonny uses his middle name “Nobuto” as an alias and serves as a “marginally competent” sellsword and drunkard escorting the merchants. Toshi sends his tiger Amaya to discreetly trail the team and poses as “Tiye Akamoto,” an herbalist selling medicines, tobacco, and poison.

Ember takes on the identity of “Jinsong Chida,” the meek daughter of Xiaoming, leading to much teasing from her and Jung-Mo’s companions. Soske’ poses as “Shishi,” a soothsayer and fortuneteller.

Saigo joins Nobuto as a ronin (masterless Samurai) and guard. Tokoro isn’t worried about his otter Mala attracting any undue attention as he volunteers to be river trader and scout “Mu Kawa.” Toshi/Tiye helps the group to dress down for the part.

As Xiaoming and company set up stalls in Rodaki, they are accosted by a Korobokuru (eastern Dwarf) wearing leather scale armor. Oinuma Eiji welcomes the traders and buys a jeweled dagger from the Chidas.

Oinuma directs the newcomers to the “Sacred Ewe,” a combination town hall, temple, and inn. Mu Kawa notices a wok-like bowl atop the building. It contains the largest fish from the Rodyui Stream.

Usami Sakuko asks Shishi to read her fortune. She has a grandchild bring a sacrificial pig, and Soske’ casts Augury. The shaman sees the old woman choking on a bone and warns her. In return, Usami invites him to join her family for dinner.

Nobutu and Saigo watch the carts as the others disperse at dusk. They notice that the Korobokuru, who are normally at home in the dark, rushing indoors. A night watchman urges them to seek cover but doesn’t explain why.

Ziaoming and Jinsong dine at the Sacred Ewe, where they see shepherds and miners drinking heavily. They prepare to leave for a midnight stroll, but Oinuma recommends against it. He offers a bench in the common room as a bunk for the night.

Shishi and Tiye eat with Usami Sakuko, whose family tells the spellcasters of a “guardian spirit” watching over the hamlet. Their description is similar to that of aKi-rin.

Mu Kawa climbs onto a roof to get a better look at the bowl of fish. The Ranger waits until he sees it rattle. A creature with golden scales, a long neck, antlers, sparking hooves, and a flaming tail appears. As it hovers over the Sacred Ewe, Tokoro climbs over.

The brave scout asks the Ki-rin its purpose. The hovering creature says that it is protecting “its people” and that they may meet again if Mu Kawa continues traveling through its territory. It then disappears into the night, having eaten the fish.

The next morning, the dragon hunters compare notes. Jung-Mo checks on his wyvern. Sonny wonders if the “Ki-rin” might actually be the chaos dragon or one of its minions in disguise. Ember worries about other dragons, and Toshi notes that Ki-rin aren’t usually carnivorous.

Soske’ agrees that it’s strange for such a creature to ask villagers for tribute. Saigo points to a map and says that the Scarlet Order’s reach may extend from the Dragon Pass almost as far south and west as Bazran Hai. Tokoro prepares the pack animals to continue eastward….

Bruce, I’m sorry that we missed you last night, but I hope to see most of the gang at tonight’s “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” session. I also hope that everyone can make our additional telecom game this coming Friday.

I hope that all of your holidays have been happy so far. I’m glad to be home after the past month or so of travel, and I look forward to continuing our adventures into 2015!

“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.53 — “I’m done being Ms. Nice Elephant”

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.53, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 8 December 2014:

In one ancient world, there was a region 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. One such band began as circus performers, rescued slaves, and seeks to fight the dreaded Ghost Fleet….

Vistel’s Expedition,” crew of the Zephyr, Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” campaign, using Pathfinder and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of autumn 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Flind (Gnoll) Ranger, archer and sailor, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 11
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, wandering noble, warrior, and mandolin player; CNg, Lvl. 11
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer and impetuous Rogue; TNcg, Lvl. 11

(See previous notes for “Hamfast” and “Brendan” [Brian W.], “Tempestade” [Josh C.], “Radius” [Jason E.R.], “Melchior” [Byron V.O.], “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.], and “Brogar” [Brian S.].)

“8 to 11 May 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventurering party left the Zephyr in the city of Nadwi and ventured across the Plains of Sathendo. They spotted an Orcish camp and entered the haunted hamlet of Alarn, where they found a Redcap who had murdered five of their former companions in Vistel’s Circus.

The Redcap escaped, but the onetime carnival performers were able to resurrect their friends, if not restore their severed hands. “Vistel’s Expedition” sent them to the relative safety of Nadwi and called for its airship to evacuate the remaining traumatized peasants.

Giacomo prepares another Contingency spell for his familiar Gerald. Scully scouts ahead, while Corwin and Rhys ride in a reclaimed circus wagon. Elsa Wild Shapesinto an eagle, joining her winged cat Penryn and Scully’s owl Owlicious in the air.

After about a day’s ride southeast, the travelers spot a large humanoid loping from the direction of Kedetura toward their caravan. Wizard Giacomo castsShield on himself and identifies the creature as a fierce Grimm, another Unseelie Fey.

Ranger Scully readies her long bow, and Bard Corwin casts Comprehend Languages and Displacement on himself. Druid Elsa shifts into a dire bear and casts Enlarge Animal on herself. Gadgeteer Rhys checks his clockwork automatons and loads his crossbow.

The Grimm and Elsa charge and rend each other with claws and teeth. Scully looses a volley of arrows as Corwin casts Greater Heroism on Elsa. Giacomo hits the beast with Magic Missiles, but Rhys’ first quarrels miss.

Flind Scully casts Protection From Evil on Elsa to protect the Hill Dwarf from the Grimm’s fell aura. The muscular monster Calls Lightning, but the dire bear avoids the blast. Elsa continues wrestling with the Grimm, and Half-Elf Corwin casts Displacement on her.

Hifalendorin human Giacomo’s Phantasmal Killer has no effect on the gruesome Grimm. Tinker Gnome Rhys tries hurling bars of “cold steel,” a reddish antimagical metal alloy, but they fall short.

In between firing more arrows, Scully attends to Elsa’s wounds. The slavering Grimm Ethereal Jaunts from Elsa to Corwin but is slowed by his Stun Bolts. Giacomo casts Acid Arrow and more Magic Missiles.

Elsa finishes off the tough Grimm and shifts back to demihuman form to make sure its carcass is incinerated. Rhys claims an enchanted katar (punching dagger, 1d8+2), and Giacomo detects an evil sickle.

Elsa casts Lesser Restoration to help Corwin regain his strength, and the Zephyr crew members resume their journey to rescue the rest of Vistel’s Circus from the Centaur followers of the mysterious Vappu Lahja.

Sometime later, Scully and Elsa see five Elves riding stags. Giacomo and Corwin recommend caution, while Elsa argues that they need allies against the forces of evil. Scully says that learning more about the area is worth some risk, and Rhys plans to make puppets resembling argumentative Corwin and Elsa.

Corwin uses his Hat of Disguise to appear as a full Elf, and Elsa hails the riders wearing fringed buckskins and feathers. The Grugach (Wild Elves) treat the team as intruders in their territory, even though they’re all in the human kingdom of Hifalendor.

Giacomo and Corwin are annoyed when Elsa mentions that she’s looking for former traveling companions, as Scully and Rhys hang back and watch the Grugach. Uller Tolvo says that his patrol has been hunting for exotic animals for a circus.

Antero Korkonen doesn’t seem surprised when Elsa warns of an Orcish warband from Zuromm nearby. Asser Rantasila notes that creatures such as the Grimm have been seen in the borderlands, and Heikki Makinen doesn’t respond when the Druid offers the blessings of Mekkil (Gaia). Scully sniffs for clues.

Pasi Vanhala doesn’t mention Vappu Lahja by name, but the explorers suspect that the Grugach are in league with the woman claiming to be a figure from a fairy tale. They continue riding their separate ways.

Elsa casts Pass Without Trace as Scully finds a defensible position. Elsa then casts Grove of Respite to create a restful (and alarmed) campsite. Giacomo and Corwin take the first watch for the night and notice that fewer animals than expected are moving on the grasslands. Scully and Rhys don’t set a fire during their watch.

On the third watch, Elsa and Rhys sense people sneaking up on them from all directions. Elsa again Wild Shapes into a burly bear, wakes the others, and dispels the grove. Diminutive Rhys climbs up on the bear for a better vantage point.

Stealthy Corwin casts Displacement on himself, and Rhys whistles to send his constructs to beat the bushes. Wary Giacomo casts Mage Armor, and Scully says, “I’m done being Ms. Nice Elephant” as she Wild Shapes into an animal she saw in the Zarendo Islands.

The Grugach shoot flaming arrows, injuring Corwin and Scully. Elsa casts Entangle, slowing the Wild Elves, and Corwin retaliates with a Fireball. Rhys again misses with his crossbow, and Giacomo casts Magic Missiles at Heikki and Pasi.

Singed Antero and Pasi shoot Scully, Antero and Uller hit Elsa with arrows, and Heikki targets Giacomo. Corwin runs to Pasi and hits the injured Elf twice. Elsa casts Greater Dispel Magic in case the Grugach are somehow ensorcled by Vappu Lahja, but she notices no immediate effect.

Rhys recalls his automatons, while Giacomo activates his Contingency spell, again causing homunculus Gerald to take on the Form of the Dragon. Heikki runs but is caught by the gold dragon.

Scully charges, and the Grugach fire at her and Gerald. Elsa casts Wind Wall to deflect further arrows and orders the Elves to stand down. They lower their bows. Giacomo has Gerald release Heikki.

Corwin angrily asks the hunters why they attacked. Asser says that Vappu Lahja will eradicate all “civilized” interlopers on the plains. Scully and Rhys keep an eye on Antero, Pasi, and Uller.

Elsa prays to Mekkil for a Positive Energy Burst, healing her allies, and she covertly casts Remove Curse in another attempt to disrupt Vappu Lahja’s sway. With Gerald still overhead, the Grugach back off.

Giacomo reiterates the need to keep a low profile while searching for the captive Vistel’s Circus. Scully keeps watch for the Grugach, and Corwin wants to confront Vappu Lahja.

Elsa, however, notes that the sorceress may have many followers and that they need to find out more about the situation in the borderlands. Rhys points out that Giacomo and Corwin’s Teleport spells could be dangerous because of a certain Pit Fiend looking for them.

The wanderers discuss visiting the Waletku kingdom of the Elves in the Wisalef Forest, which is just north of Hifalendor. Corwin states that his mother was once respected in Alfhileno, the distant capital.

Giacomo is reluctant to stay anywhere for long, and Scully worries about Elven prejudice against humanoids like herself. Rhys is curious about rumors of other Gnomish airships.

Elsa is interested in expanding the alliance against the dreaded Ghost Fleet and her nascent long-range communications network, so she begins preparing a fewTransport via Plants invocations….

Happy Birthday, Rich! I hope that everyone enjoyed our latest face-to-face “Vistel’s Expedition” sessions, and I look forward to continuing this fantasy campaign early next year! The “New Dawntelecom team should resume this coming weekend.

I also look forward to concluding Rich’s “Tunnel Vision” modern supernaturalminiseries next Monday and to starting Jason E.R.’s “Channel 37” speculative fiction anthology. In the meantime, make sure your character records are up to date on Obsidian Portal, and stay in touch….

“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.52 — Revealing the Redcap

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.52, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 1 December 2014:

In one ancient world, there was a region 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. One such band began as circus performers, rescued slaves, and seeks to fight the dreaded Ghost Fleet….

Vistel’s Expedition,” crew of the Zephyr, Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” campaign, using Pathfinder and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of autumn 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Flind (Gnoll) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and sailor, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 11
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, wandering noble, warrior, and mandolin player; CNg, Lvl. 11
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 11
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer and impetuous Rogue; TNcg, Lvl. 11

(See previous notes for “Hamfast” and “Brendan” [Brian W.], “Tempestade” [Josh C.], “Radius” [Jason E.R.], “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.], and “Brogar” [Brian S.].)

“1 to 7 May 1227 B.C.E.:” After a week’s refitting, the Zephyr was airworthy and left Hesolin, capital of the human kingdom of Hifalendor, but Princess Priscilla and Lady Matilda stowed aboard.

The airship’s shakedown cruise northward went relatively smoothly, and Elsa befriended a Treant. In the city of Nadwi, the crew reassured the ruling council that it meant no harm to the princess and offered to help deal with a Centaur uprising.

Freed from his cursed tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra, Giacomo goes to the local Magisterium (magic school) and the Library of Memir to research Vappu Lahja, the mysterious woman named in an old fairy tale who is now stirring up conflict between the Centaurs and humans [see notes for the “Uncommon Companions”].

Scully stretches her legs outside Nadwi’s walls, but she keeps an jealous eye on Svetlana Taildunker, a Wolfen sailor who has recently come under her boyfriend “Capt. Niac’s” [Mike F./Non-Player Character] command.

Corwin visits the temple of Brijitt, goddess of fire and poetry, and talks with priestesses Anastasia and Claudia of the Harp. They relay messages from “Melchior” [Byron V.O.], who is watching Corwin’s enemies in the barbaric port of Gisar. The Bard also learns some Centaur songs.

Elsa still hopes to negotiate between the Centaur raiders and the Hifalendorin peasants, so she brews beer and bakes bread as gifts. Rhys spends all his money on provisions for the airship and takes fellow Gnome Mathilda sightseeing.

After learning at the Grove of Mekkil (Gaia) that some fey are nearby, Druid Elsa and Ranger Scully take their fellowship to meet them. They find a traders’ camp outside the city gates, including some Skaevingol (Viking-style) and Tsucharim (Mongol-style) humans, Wolven, and a few Centaurs.

“Rakhnar Longtail” [Rob A.S./N.P.C.] tells them that much of his tribe has left to follow “the white lady.” The shaman believes that Vappu Lahja is using a combination of ensorclement and clever political arguments to sway so many of his people, as well as Satyrs/Fauns and some Grugach (Wild Elves).

The Centaur asks the commanders of the Zephyr to look for and rescue Antiochus, a kinsman of his. In return, he warns about Theocles, a warlord following Vappu Lahja who could be a dangerous and cunning foe.

The next day, “Vistel’s Expedition” rides northeast, along the Aspar River. The wide Plains of Sathendo stretch to the south and east, and the caravan sees scattered hills to the north. Beyond them are the dense Wisalef Forest and the tall Ivory Mountains. To the west is the nefarious kingdom of Zuromm.

Wizard Giacomo brings Gerald, his homunculus familiar, leaving adept and girlfriend “Dread” Maggie Oakleaf back with the rest of the Zephyr’s crew in Nadwi.

Corwin argues with Elsa about whether to allow Princess Priscilla to join the expedition, but he is outvoted. Scully wants to bring Svetlana to keep her away from Niac, but she reluctantly agrees to have her watch the princess.

Rhys notes that Mathilda isn’t as much of a potential liability and stuffs his three automatons and clockwork butler Vasco into his Bag of Holding. The Tinker Gnome also builds a platform for himself on the saddle of his pony.

Elsa casts Locate Object to find the ring of Baskor Steadyhand, a roustabout in Vistel’s Circus, which has been captured by Vappu Lahja’s followers. It leads the Hill Dwarf toward the hamlet of Alarn, about four days’ ride away.

Flind Scully hunts with her owl “Owlicious” to supplement the team’s rations with small game. Hifalendorin human and city slicker Giacomo recommends that the Ranger or Druid cast Speak With Animals to see if the circus has passed recently.

Half-Elf Corwin sings as a thunderstorm passes over the plains, and Tinker Gnome Rhys is careful to keep his contraptions dry. Scully spots tracks of three quadrupeds with cloven hooves. She scouts ahead and sees three unicorns with Elven riders, but the group decides against a detour to meet them.

Sometime later, the scouts see something more worrisome: tents not in the Hifalendorin or Saganim style. Giacomo, Corwin, and Rhys stay back with the horses, while Scully Wild Shapes into a sparrow, and Elsa transforms into an auroch (ancient bovine).

They observe humans wearing patchwork armor and a ragged black pennant with angular red and silver symbols — the flag of Zuromm. Scully shifts into rat form to get a closer look, while Elsa realizes that she might be mistaken for livestock or prey and heads back to the party.

Scully crawls into one tent, which is more crowded and orderly than its exterior might suggest. She sees components for shamanic rituals and a muscular, green-skinned humanoid in black armor. The Ranger dodges hobnailed boots and runs out of the Orc encampment.

Giacomo recommends pressing on toward Alarn through the night, avoiding the Zuromm troops. Scully points out that a proper detour will take hours. Corwin wants to fight, but Elsa wants to stay on mission. Rhys notices that the enemy forces are headed toward the town of Kedetura, which is where Vappu Lahja is believed to be.

Stealthy Scully takes the lead as the group rides on. Rhys follows, protected by aSilence spell from Giacomo. The wary mage also casts Invisibility on winged Gerald. Corwin sulks in his saddle, while Elsa and her banuq (winged cat) Penryn take rearguard. She also casts Message to warn Prince Andre de Giles in Nadwi about the Orcs.

The tired travelers eventually reach Alarn, which they find mostly abandoned. Farmers huddle in their houses, and the lone thoroughfare is empty. The adventuring party passes a boarded-up chapel and stops at the “Mellow Mule” tavern.

They meet a toothless old man playing a battered harmonium and a young girl with lank hair and a tattered dress. The visitors quickly realize that they are ghosts and hastily leave. Elsa again casts Locate Object, which indicates that members of Vistel’s Circus are in a vine-shrouded barn.

The dark leaves shudder as if from an imperceptible breeze, and roots break out of the dry soil toward the group. Giacomo casts Detect Magic and Shield, and Scully draws her long bow and maneuvers. Elsa looks for cover and Wild Shapes into a vulture.

Corwin casts Displacement and Fly on himself, while Rhys readies his clockwork scorpion, which spits acid, and his dragon construct, which can produce fire. Elsa casts Control Plants and has the vines tear the barn doors off their hinges before parting.

The explorers enter the barn and see the wagons of their former traveling companions in the carnival. They hear a high-pitched voice welcoming them, and flying Elsa, Corwin, and Giacomo see small figures made out of twigs moving in the rafters.

Corwin casts Light and reveals a short, bearded man dressed all in red, from his floppy cap to his pointed boots. Despite some similarities, Rhys knows he is not a Gnome. The fellow introduces himself as Gilean and shows off a necklace of hands, one of which has Baskor’s ring!

Prince Corwin casts Lightning Bolt at the evil fey, and Elsa has the vines entangle the Twigjacks. Giacomo activates a Contingency spell on Gerald, and Rhys sends his devices to the carriages to search for survivors. Scully fires arrows.

Gilean shrugs off his electrical burns, and Elsa has the vines rip the roof off the barn. The Dwarf Druid then casts Lightning Strike. Wizard Giacomo casts Mage’s Sword while his familiar turns red as he takes on the Form of the Dragon.

The Redcap refuses to admit defeat. He stomps on the ground three times, causing it to tremble. Gilean then phases into the earth, escaping further spells and arrows. Giacomo sends enlarged Gerald to fly over Alarn to see if there’s any further sign of him.

From Books of Faerie
Redcap

Scully searches the hamlet and tries to reassure the remaining peasants, who tell her of previous attacks. Rhys finds five bodies in the wagons: Dwarf rigger Baskor Steadyhand, Saganim drover Cerdwyn mab Ardain, Suthern fire breather Amur ibn Wayat, Hifalendorin acrobat Simona Perhuten, and Halfling caricaturist Alberto Barrowright.

Elsa mourns her friends, who likely put up a fight, and Corwin vows vengeance and begins preparing spells to Raise the Dead. The onetime performers deduce from the looted carriages that the rest of the circus has probably been sent on to Kedetura.

The wanderers rest in Alarn for two days, resurrecting the carnival folk, but the spellcasters aren’t able to restore their severed hands. The five people are put on Phantom Steeds, which can run down the Aspar River toward Nadwi, away from hostile fey.

Elsa sends for the Zephyr to warn Prince Andre and evacuate the remaining farmers. With grim determination, the away team prepares to head to Kedetura to confront Vappu Lahja and her Unseelie Court followers….

We’ll be picking up next Monday, Dec. 8, right where we left off. That’ll probably be the last regular “Vanished Lands” face-to-face game of 2014!

“Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Session 40.39 — The serpent society

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.39, which were held on Sunday, 30 November 2014:

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 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Ed./D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinder, and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of autumn 2014:

  • 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; LNg, Lvl. 9
  • 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. 9
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 9
  • 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. 9
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 9
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S.]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion; CGn, Lvl. 9

“8 to 31 July 1227 B.C.E.:” In Bazran Hai, capital of the Zedu kingdom, the onetime diplomatic escorts encountered Kobold and Nannuattan spies. Jung-Mo recognized a fellow Ninja as his former lover, and Soske’ communed with ancestor spirits and the god of judgment to learn the whereabouts of Saigo Kasugi’s grandfather.

A Limited Wish summoned Gen. Shinso Saigo from captivity beneath Bazran Hai’s citadel, but his memories were limited. The group followed a suspicious landscaper into the sewers, where it captured him after defeating two Yuan-ti Abominations.

Shengtese human Sonny asks Jung-Mo if he has encountered the serpent folk before, and Jung Mo answers in the negative before revealing his true form as a Nannuattan to interrogate the prisoner.

Shan Sao Toshi casts Message to help his companions covertly communicate. Crane Hengeyokai Ember waits outside the makeshift cell in the “Dragon’s Beard” inn and casts Control Wind to chill the room.

Soske’ recalls that the Yuan-ti worship chthonic deities, and the Shengtese human wonders if there is a connection to the chaos spreading across the countryside. Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo joins Jung-Mo in questioning the faux Shijo Joshifumi.

Tokoro keeps watch on the roof for more enemies. Via Toshi’s Message spell, the carp Hengeyokai observes that while the group recently encountered, captured, and released a Kobold and a Nannuattan Ninja, it probably won’t be so merciful to the Yuan-ti.

Jung-Mo politely asks Shijo about his mission, and the Yuan-ti says that it is likely the same as the eastern Dark Elves’ — watching and undermining the leaders of the Zedu kingdom and Tong Sheng. He is not afraid of torture but is surprisingly forthcoming. Sonny recommends more specific questions.

Saigo wants to know why his family’s home was being watched. Shijo admits that he was watching several influential households in his guise as a master gardener. Soske’ recognizes Shijo’s mention of evil deity Mi-Shao-Shur.

Toshi casts Mind Read and verifies that the Yuan-ti are connected to a dragon seen by Gen. Shinso before he was captured, as well as to the Red Wastes to the northeast. The adventuring party also learns of a backup plan involving a Yuan-ti Pureblood disguised as a Korobokuru (eastern Dwarf).

Shijo explains that his cell planned to infiltrate the citadel with knowledge from Gen. Shinso and was close to completing his likeness. Toshi sees images in the shapeshifter’s mind of a plot to get close to and replace the daimyo and shogun.

Jung-Mo learns that the scaly folk have infiltrated several cities and that they report to the dragon. Saigo asks whether the Korobokuru silversmith who met with Oh Ok-Sun, Jung-Mo’s former lover, is also working for the Yuan-ti.

Toshi asks about Lady Shiori Heikkaki, whose name was on a scroll of Summoningconfiscated from the Kobolds. Shijo says that the diminutive reptilian canines have been useful in keeping track of Gokuri’s agents in Bazran Hai.

On the roof, Tokoro notices some troop movements but nobody from the nefarious Gokuri Empire or the Scarlet Order. Jung-Mo finishes the questioning by knocking Shijo out with a poisoned dart before he can cast any rituals.

Sonny suggests checking out the Yoshifumi house, and Ember, Soske’, and Tokoro agree to go. Toshi writes a note to Lady Fu Hao, the favored concubine of the distant Shang emperor. Saigo sends a messenger to seek an audience with his superiors.

At the Yoshifumi house, Ember Wild Shapes into a ferret, briefly attracting the attention of Tokoro’s otter Mala. The Wu creates a diversion by running pastguard dogs and leading them through the living quarters.

Soske’ casts True Seeing to watch the comings and goings. The Shukenja spots a few disguised Yuan-ti among the groundskeepers. Tokoro sneaks into the workshop and finds tools with hidden weapons. Thanks to Ember distracting the dogs, the Hulinyuan manages to hide the questionable tools and slip out undetected.

Back at the Dragon’s Beard, Jung-Mo makes sure that Shijo has no suicide poison. Jung-Mo also watches the hotel, his young wyvern, and Toshi’s tiger Amaya while the others regroup and head to the palace.

Sonny tells Jung-Mo that he trusts him, even if the Kensai doesn’t always understand the Ninja. Wu-Jen Toshi casts Arcane Mark to help track the Yuan-ti if necessary.

Ember is torn between staying with Jung-Mo and going to the royal court, but her curiosity about other dragons is piqued. Saigo is relieved when guards arrive to escort the prisoner and Gen. Shinso in a covered carriage. Saigo arms his grandfather with the katana of Wounding confiscated from duplicitous Gen. Wang Tung back in Sogewa.

As they enter the citadel, the wanderers recognize previous acquaintances. Ember avoids Murakami “Murray” Ryozo, a court adept, but Soske’ isn’t so lucky. His Uncle Manny finds him and wants to hear all about his travels.

classic Oriental Adventures
Kara Tur

The young priest manages to get his kinsman to wait outside while he joins his companions. They bow before Ryoushi Manabu, the Bamboo Spirit Folk shogun (eastern Sylvan Elf general); Hei Wan Ling, the Korobokuru shogun; and Hou Keung, the Korobokuru daimyo (king).

Samurai Saigo explains that his team has rescued Gen. Shinso and discovered a nest of Yuan-ti in the capital. Wu Jen Toshi casts Dispel Magic, revealing Shijo’s true reptilian visage, and he warns about the silversmith in the lower tier. Hei Wan Ling orders soldiers to be sent to that tier and the tunnels beneath the citadel.

Sleestak
Reptile folk

Druid Ember is uncomfortable with the talk about hunting a dragon north of Hei Kuan but acknowledges her expertise on dragonkind. Outlanders Sonny, Soske’, and Tokoro keep quiet until asked to testify on the demihumans’ behalf.

Ryoushi Manabu reconsiders sending the group to escort emissary Lady Yun Aei-Yong home to Gisokuri. Instead, he decides to send Prince Mutsuhito, brother of Saigo’s lover Nayoko, because he already knows the way to the capital of Gokuri.

Hou Keung offers to grant each of the adventurers a title and land if they will deal with the dragon of corruption in the wilderness. They accept the mission and head back to the hotel.

Jung-Mo thinks about his divided loyalties between defending the innocent and restoring the honor of the Shadow’s Claw clan. Sonny makes a rendezvous with the slippery Lady Yun and writes letters to fellow survivors of his own disgraced house in the Lion Clan.

Ember continues to help with training Jung-Mo’s young wyvern, and Toshi spends the next few weeks enchanting items for his friends. The air Wizard also proposes marriage to Suki Amarna, and the Bisan Wu (Dryad Druid) accepts.

While still avoiding nosy family members, Soske’ hopes to thwart the forces of chaos. Similarly, Tokoro wants to protect the headwaters of his home streams. Saigo studies maps and hopes to learn more about the dragon’s followers….

Welcome back, Sara! It was nice to see everyone online and at our latest “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” session. Remember that the “New Dawn” team will hit Level 10 as of our next session in two weeks, and you can update your characters on Obsidian Portal before then.

Remember that we won’t be meeting virtually on Dec. 7, but I look forward to continuing your quest!