“Vanished Lands” Update T3.35 — Team at Tarken

Mongol-style horseman
Tsucharim rider

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.35 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 13 November 2011, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.

In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. After “Holy Steel‘s” journey to the distant empire of Khemet, another motley group gathered in the northwestern “Vanished Lands” to explore a world full of perils and wonders….

After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, an unlikely band of adventurers encountered the hostile Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja on the Plains of Sathendo….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of autumn 2011:

-“Asish Chen Ti” [Byron V.O.]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from the kingdom of Gokuri; owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 4

-“Jovinda Halflight” [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Hifalendorin) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horse Wyth-Amoi, or “Wind Spirit”; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 4

-“Kazuo Takenaga” [Taum D’A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 4

-“Favelhorn Riftbringer” [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1

-“Gawain Keary” [Paul J./absent]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard); NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 3

-“Kovar” [Beruk A./absent]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras, god of contracts and brotherhood; LGn, Lvl. 3

-“Davven ‘Digger’ Hollysharp” [Robert A.S./absent]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 3

>>”2 to 5 November 1229 B.C.E.:” Upon emerging from the barrow of a talking unicorn and Sidhe, the trio of Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo found that nearly two months had passed. They visited the border village of Tarken to learn the whereabouts of their traveling companions and steeds, as well as the fanatical followers of the mysterious Vappu Lahja….

Asish rises shortly after dawn, little the worse for wear after drinking too much cider the night before. The Ranger finds Jovinda praying and Kazuo meditating outside the “Charging Cow” inn.

After breakfast, Halfling innkeeper Dwight directs Asish to the Hollysharp pipeweed farm. Jovinda and Kazuo talk with Holsaf Silbirch and Charon Galacticus [Carlos R./Non-Player Character], two Sylvan (Wood) Elves, to ask about their onetime traveling companions.

Holsaf, an arcanist with a bejeweled longsword, says he is visiting colleague Charon, who carries scrolls and a longbow. The latter Elf recalls meeting Digger, Kovar, and Gawain a few weeks ago [in “game time”]. Holsaf is visiting from Evesboro, which he says has been relatively quiet since the Orcs and Drow of Zuromm turned their attention south, to the human kingdom of Saganim.

Unaccustomed to hiking on foot, Asish makes his way to the farm of Digger’s family. The Tsucharim human finds industrious Faldine Halflings processing pipeweed for shipment. In one low-ceilinged hall, Asish meets Jamian, Digger’s eldest brother.

The brusque merchant accepts a gift of dried tea leaves and complains that Davven would rather wander than stay at the academy in Alfendi or work in the family business. Jamian admits to trading harsh words with his brother when he last visited, and he believes that the scholar and his retinue headed north, toward the Elven city of Alfendi, after looking for Asish.

Serious Holsaf and flirtatious Charon express some interest in trading and studying enchanted items, which Jovinda hopes to trade in exchange for cash for replacement steeds. Monk Kazuo wants for few provisions, but Cleric Jovinda is curious about the party of “Jade” [Sammy/N.P.C.] and notes that paying missions would be nice.

Asish asks for help acquiring travel rations and horses, so Jamian directs him to another brother, Panros, whom he had met previously. After some haggling, Panros sells Asish two riding horses and a mule with harness, tack, and feed for 292 crowns (gold pieces). The scout agrees to collect them the next morning and to not tell Jamian about any bargains.

Meanwhile, Jovinda and Kazuo go to a stable at the edge of the village to offer their services. The priestess of Mekkil, goddess of nature, asks ostler Gothard if any stray animals have been found in the past month or so. The wiry human says that some peasants found a horse wandering several weeks ago.

Jovinda is delighted to be reunited with Wyth-Amoi (“Wind Spirit”), and she and Kazuo agree to tend to injured or sick animals for 40 crowns. The Nezumi later tells Asish of their good fortune, and the scout is determined to find his own horse and dog again. Gothard recovers Jovinda’s saddle and clothing, which she had also thought lost, from the farmers.

Asish sells a magical dagger to Charon and decides to still get two horses even though Jovinda has recovered Wyth-Amoi and Kazuo has no interest (or skill) in riding. The next day, Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo head north, following the Aevril Stream and a map of Ley lines.

Kazuo’s keen nose detects that a dog has recently marked trees at the edge of the wide Wisalef Forest. Asish is excited to find tracks of a horse, presumably Onimusha, and a dog, likely Genghis, and he presses on. The Tsucharim rider soon detects another set of footprints, belonging to a creature he can’t identify.

The trio hears barking and runs to see Onimusha and Genghis raggedly defending themselves against a large monster with canine hindquarters, long forelimbs ending in grasping claws, and a head that resembles a steaming rabbit skull!

Angry Asish draws his bow, wise Jovinda invokes her patron Mekkil, and nimble Kazuo maneuvers around….

Even though we’ll have to wait until Sunday, Dec. 4, to play this game again, I’m sure we’ll be eager to pick up where we left off! Byron, I look forward to seeing you when you visit the Boston area this coming weekend! Sammy and Taum, I’m sorry that you won’t be able to join whatever one-shot we play next Saturday, but I’ll try to touch base with you between our virtual sessions. Take it easy, -Gene

“Vanished Lands” Update T3.30 — Happy meals for barbarians

Wallpaper from Paizo
Werewolf attack!

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.30 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 19 June 2011, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.

In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. After “Holy Steel‘s” journey to the distant empire of Khemet, another motley group gathered in the northwestern “Vanished Lands” to explore a world full of perils and wonders….

After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, the adventurers encountered the hostile Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja and a haunted hamlet on the Plains of Sathendo….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of summer 2011:

-“Kovar” [Beruk A.]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras, god of contracts and brotherhood; LGn, Lvl. 3

-“Asish Chen Ti” [Byron V.O.]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from the kingdom of Gokuri; owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 3

-“Jovinda Halflight” [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Hifalendorin) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horse Wyth-Amoi, or “Wind Spirit”; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 3

-“Kazuo Takenaga” [Taum D’A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 3

-“Gawain Keary” [Paul J./absent]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard); NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 3

-“Davven ‘Digger’ Hollysharp” [Robert A.S./absent]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 3

-“Favelhorn Riftbringer” [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1

29 to 31 August 1229 B.C.E.:” After reporting to local authorities, conducting research, training, and obtaining a map as requested by mysterious mage Octavius Karstus, the adventuring party prepares to leave the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human city of Nadwi.

Kovar provides testimony to guard Lionel Tarchon about the assassination attempt on antiquarian Eligius. The Half-Orc Paladin also checks with Sir Rodrigo Adelmo about various threats to the kingdom of Hifalendor. The knights agree that the recent coordination among factions in Zuromm, Gokuri, and elsewhere is too extensive to be a coincidence.

Asish and Digger send messages to “Jade” [Sammy/Non-Player Character]. The scouts also buy provisions and take Eligius’ map of the northwestern borderlands to leatherworker Beredoc. The most recent markings on the parchment are of current communities, and Beredoc helps bring out older indications of Ley lines, currents of mystical energy.

Jovinda asks Gnome silversmith “Pip…” about her missing father’s companion and gets the name “Gottfried van Lauritz.” Pip notes that the Tinker Gnome’s shorter, human-style name is further proof of a rare friendship with the Half-Elf’s father.

Kazuo declines to investigate the disappearance of gladiator Marcus from the Arena of Arakkis and tests his patience in waiting for his companions to be ready to leave the city. Gawain wraps up his historical and arcane research at various libraries.

After telling Sir Rodrigo about his itinerary, Kovar goes to thank Dwarf smith Yohann Karsh for his instruction about various metalworks. Asish has Carlos Clothard prepare a copy of the map at the Ranger’s Guild and asks Digger to forge a misleading version. They also leave word with Octavius Karstus’ stonemason contact Marcel that they have the map, diverting attention from Eligius.

Jovinda and Kovar meet with Gawain at the local Magisterium (magic school/library), where they ask Lady Ingrid Sufielastra about her analysis of the shards of an enchanted or cursed mirror. The Quelanthi mage (High-Elf/Eladrin Wizard) says that the mirror is difficult to study without reconstruction, but she reluctantly agrees not to try to reassemble the dangerous item. Jovinda informs her fellow Clerics at the Grove of Mekkil and the temple of Otih to keep an eye on this study.

Kazuo points out that the map indicates the presence of Ley lines close to the hamlet of Alarn. Gawain agrees that a knowledgeable and talented spellcaster would more easily inflict the enlarged creatures, mischievous Fey, and haunted inn on unlucky peasants with access to such energies. But who’s responsible?

The next morning, the wanderers leave Nadwi. Asish, his steed Onimusha (“Demon Slayer”), and his dog Genghis lead the way. They ride north, past farms, with the Aspar River to their right, rolling hills and the village of Rockney to their left, and the Wisalef Forest and Ivory Mountains far ahead. Summer breezes chang to overcast skies as they cross the Plains of Sathendo, back toward Alarn.

Happy to be outdoors again, Jovinda follows astride horse Wyth-Amoi (“Wind Spirit”), and Kazuo keeps up on foot. Armored Kovar maintains rearguard behind studious Gawain and Digger, who compare linguistics notes. The first day passes uneventfully, and the team pitches a cold camp on a rise partly protected by brambles. A campfire burns in the distance, and wolves howl late into the night.

After a few hours’ ride, Asish and company enter the abandoned camp they had seen the night before. Tent stakes, a smoldering fire pit, and a musky smell detected by Kazuo’s fine Nezumi nose are all signs of a rushed withdrawal. The group hopes to find another place to bed down, but heavy clouds hasten dusk. The howls return, and weapons are drawn.

Five loping humanoids with shaggy hides approach. Squinting into the murk, the travelers soon realize that they’re werewolves! Jovinda invokes Mekkil, goddess of nature, and casts Shield of Faith on Kazuo. Asish whistles to Genghis to guard Jovinda. Both the Cleric and Ranger draw their bows and the lycanthropes close in.

Kovar readies his spear and shield, and Kazuo maneuvers. Digger and Gawain take on one of the monsters. Jovinda and Asish’s first arrows miss, but Asish draws first blood from the larger leader with a silver arrow. It tries to trip Onimusha but is trampled instead.

One of the were-creatures chases Jovinda, and Genghis puts himself between the Cleric and her attacker. After missing Kovar, another werewolf turns on Kazuo, who is already fighting one of its pack mates. The Paladin of Mithras, god of warriors and contracts, charges and Smites Evil, while the Monk punches one opponent.

Wise Jovinda climbs back onto Wyth-Amoi and casts Spiritual Weapon, summoning a quarterstaff to smack the bestial bandits. Asish wheels around, with only one of four arrows finding its mark. The werewolves are similarly unlucky, with only one managing to bite Jovinda.

Burly Kovar knocks one prone with an overrun, and Kazuo takes an opportunity to flank and attack with a Flurry of Blows. Digger does better than Gawain initially against the last werewolf. Jovinda rides over to Kazuo and Kovar and casts Guidance on the Monk.

Agile Asish fires multiple silver-tipped arrows at a time, loaning two to Kazuo and injuring the pack leader. Kovar casts Detect Evil to see if there are more lycanthropes lurking (there aren’t), but he slips from his saddle. Kazuo grabs the arrows that Asish fired into the ground near him and promptly tries to skewer his foe, which bites him.

After a few volleys, Asish’s arrows slay the lead werewolf and the one attacking Jovinda. Kovar’s spiked shield and swift Kazuo’s arrow-tipped punches finish another, and the remaining two run away. Jovinda attends to her and Kazuo’s wounds, and she reassures Asish and Kovar that they are not infected.

Each of the three slain lycanthropes, reverted to human form, is carrying 2 crowns (gold pieces) in assorted coins, and Kovar finds a shirt of mail among some shredded clothing in the abandoned camp. The Paladin claims a masterwork sword, leaving three normal ones for his companions, and the group finds two short bows with 15 arrows each.

Unfortunately, the clothes are too shredded to identify the men or where they originally came from. Asish recommends caution as the party continues to ride north….

Byron and Rob, I hope that you had a happy Father’s Day, and Rob, I hope that you and your family are feeling better! Paul, we also missed you, and note that Team 2 (the crew of the “Appomattox”) is meeting next Monday, June 27, for the FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: “Vortexspace opera.

In the meantime, feel free to post to the Google Groups message board if I’ve missed anything. Have a good week, -Gene

Latest “Vanished Lands” telecom fantasy team, Update T3.26 — Comparing notes

Pathfinder image
Fantasy RPG

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.26 of the latest adventuring party in my “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 8 May 2011, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.

In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. After “Holy Steel‘s” journey to the distant empire of Khemet, another motley group gathered in the northwestern “Vanished Lands” to explore a world full of perils and wonders….

After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, an unlikely band of adventurers encountered the hostile Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja on the Plains of Sathendo….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2011:

-“Gawain Keary” [Paul J.]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard); NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 2

-“Kovar” [Beruk A.]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras, god of contracts and brotherhood; LGn, Lvl. 3

-“Davven ‘Digger’ Hollysharp” [Robert A.S.]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 3

-“Jovinda Halflight” [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Hifalendorin) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horse Wyth-Amoi, or “Wind Spirit”; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 3

-“Kazuo Takenaga” [Taum D’A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 3

-“Favelhorn Riftbringer” [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1

-“Asish Chen Ti” [Byron V.O./absent]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from the kingdom of Gokuri; owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 3

26 to 27 August 1229 B.C.E.:” After a few days in the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human city of Nadwi, the adventuring party takes a break from training to compare notes over dinner. Asish is absent because he had gone out with “Jade” [Sammy H./Non-Player Character] and then to the temple of Ulandt, lady of rest. Digger had already met Clerics Sylvia Cloudtree and Nidra there.

Gawain notes that an enchanted amulet that Vappu Lahja had given should soon arrive by courier, and Kovar explains that he has been working at the smithy of Dwarf Yohann Karsh. Jovinda reminds her companions of their promise to Nelly O’Keefe, priestess of Yondolla, to help find the farmers who had fled from the haunted hamlet of Alarn.

Digger complains that he needs more money to fund his research, and he proposes an expedition to long-abandoned border forts built by King Memir I of Hifalendor. The ruins could be of historical value and provide clues about the Fey followers of Vappu Lahja, says the Halfling scholar.

In addition, Davven says, the fortifications are near the villages of Evesboro and Tarken. The Rogue’s original mission to get a map of the area from merchant Eligius on behalf of mage Octavius Karstus could still be accomplished.

Kovar inquires about Marcel, an associate of Karstus in Nadwi. He learns from Yohann that the stonemason is respectable, if not particularly trustworthy. The Half-Orc Paladin of Mithras, god of contracts, agrees to go with Jovinda to the temple of Otih, to see if holy warriors will cleanse Alarn from Undead.

Kazuo returns to the Arena of Arakkis, where he had bested Shengtese Kensai [eastern human swordsman] Kezui Ochima. The Nezumi (rat folk) Monk finds a cigar-chomping lanista (gladiator trainer) named Hans Jeffers who eventually admits him to his ludus (gladiator school) after assessing his capabilities and unarmed fighting style.

While sparring with burly farmboy Dalan, Kazuo learns that his predecessor Marcus recently disappeared. The martial artist makes discreet inquiries around the ludus and finds that Marcus is known to be pious, predictable in his habits, and unlikely to go to the arena at night. However, Marcus was seen visiting the arena and temples late shortly before disappearing.

The next morning, Gawain and Digger walk from the “Deer’s Heart” tavern in the Dagger District to the local Magisterium (magic school/library). The Illusionist and Rogue discuss mutual interests in linguistics, the planes of existence, and architecture and haggle with booksellers on the way. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Jade.

Digger exchanges barbs with his former schoolmate at the Royal Academy in Alfhileno, and Gawain avoids taking sides. The young woman admits some past indiscretions and reveals that she’s also trying to find out about Vappu Lahja, even though Digger and Gawain haven’t mentioned her! They plan to meet back at the inn and talk to a certain Tsucharim Ranger later.

Jovinda returns to the shop of Gnome toymaker and silversmith “Pip…” to inquire about her father. Pip says a Gnome tinkerer traveling with a human would be a rare partnership. The Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature, plans to meet Kovar at the temple of Otih, lord of the sun and justice, as their companions wait for a summons to report to Nadwi‘s city council….

Please post to the message board if I left anything out and to plan and role-play between our virtual sessions. Byron, we missed you, and I hope that Cindy (and Susan and Linda) had a nice Mother’s Day! While the FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures: “Vortex” space opera will be meeting on May 16, the “Vanished Lands” group is skipping a week because of Damon F.P.’s visit and a cookout.

We’ll reconvene on May 22, but Sammy and Taum may be absent. I don’t know yet if we’ll game during Memorial Day weekend, and in the meantime, don’t forget to contribute to the ongoing threads about potential missions, whether to continue using Google Groups, and treasure. Have a good week, -Gene