“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: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.43 — Guitar heroes

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.43, which Rich C.G. hosted in Waltham, Mass., on Friday, 27 June 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.

Various groups of mercenaries and diplomats have fought humanoids in the northwestern borderlands, encountered pirates on the Sea of Nagendwa, and wandered the hostile Halmed Desert and the wide Plains of Sathendo….

“Vistel’s Circus,” Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” heroic fantasy campaign, using the D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and FATE3e Legends of Anglerre, as of summer 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 9
  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W.]-male Zeda (proto-Germanic) human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 9
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 9
  • Tempestade [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 9
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 9
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with Banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 9
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer; TNg, Lvl. 9

(See previous notes for Paladins “Radius” [Jason E.R.] and “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.].)

“14 to 15 March 1884 A.D./C.E.:” The would-be heroes rested in the chambers of a vampire and a banshee beneath Gisar’s ruined Magisterium (magic school/library). They fought cultists of Krakas, a spectre, and a gargoyle. The group also encountered four golems, a gelatinous cube, and Draconian priests of Tiamat before activating an obelisk and traveling to Tempestade’s time….

Giacomo checks to make sure that he is in control rather than his cursed tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra. Scully notices that someone other than Gregor Kratakis, a fellow member of the Order of the Golden Lion, has traveled with “Vistel’s Expedition.”

The man falls into the Brazilian jungle and defensively casts Darkness and Detect Curse before talking. “Melchior” [guest Byron V.O.] has been summoned from Thadenis, capital of the (proto-Celtic) human kingdom of Saganim. Corwin explains the situation to his countryman.

Tempestade climbs a tree to get his bearings and recognizes the trading post of Rio de Cidade. Elsa Wild Shapes into a toucan, while Rhys verifies that his clockwork devices still work. Back in barbaric Gisar, Hamfast continues carousing.

“Vistel’s Expedition” debates on how to rescue slaves from Tempestade’s former plantation and get them back to the “Vanished Lands.” Capoeirista Tempestade recommends talking to people in the village before going to Pais Doce.

Cleric Melchior, who has traveled through time before, warns Wizard Giacomo and Bard Corwin that their arcane spells may not work reliably. Ranger Scully and Druid Elsa sense their patron Mekkil (Gaia), but not as strongly as they expect.

Tinker Gnome Rhys, however, is excited at the prospect of encountering more technology. Hifalendorin human Giacomo Polymorphs his homunculus familiar Gerald into a monkey. Gnoll Scully dons a Hat of Disguise to appear as an attractive woman, since Tempestade says most of the locals are human.

Saganim human Melchior notes that the team should have a plan and that it would be better to bring the escapees somewhere other than vampire-ruled Gisar. Half-Elf Corwin wants to spend as little time in the future as possible.

Scully suggests entering Rio de Cidade as “Vistel’s Circus,” since most of the group has experience as performers. Hill Dwarf Elsa, whose winged cat Penryn is back in Gisar with Hamfast, agrees. Tempestade leads the way toward the river port.

Giacomo casts Comprehend Languages, and Corwin casts Know the Words. Melchior uses a scroll of Tongues to speak Portuguese. They buy clothing to blend in. Tempestade, Scully, and Corwin go to the local church, where they talk with Padre Franco, a Jesuit sympathetic to the peasants’ plight.

The Roman Catholic priest says that Armadeiras Fonseca, the leader of Tempestade’s mocambo (rebel band), recently visited Rio de Cidade for supplies. Taciturn Tempestade is glad to learn that his onetime allies are still alive, because he remembers them being slaughtered as he was sent thousands of years back in time to find help.

Meanwhile, the rest of the company goes to the town hall. On the way, wary Giacomo and burly Scully restrain curious Rhys from running to a steamboat at the docks. They promise to let him look at it later. Foppishly disguised Melchior and intrepid Elsa Detect Undead and ask a clerk about maps and records.

They see Lord Yves d’Agneau, owner of the Pais Doce estate, giving orders to servant Brizida Magalhaes. After some introductions, Lord d’Agneau insists that the carnival folk come for dinner and stay the night before arranging a performance for his restive slaves. Giacomo proffers a lace handkerchief gift (so he can magically track the man later).

Nimble Tempestade runs out into the jungle to find Armadeiras, followed by Scully, who Wild Shapes into a falcon, and her owl “Owlicious.” Prince Corwin rejoins the others with a planned rendezvous at the church.

But first, they follow a red-headed man matching Tempestade’s description of the nature spirit who sent him through time. The short sorcerer boards the steamboat, much to Rhys’ delight.

Rogerio Ribeiro says he knows why they have come and proves his power by emptying the cargo hold of sugarcane and lumber with the snap of his fingers. He and Lord d’Agneau have already been in the state of Mina Gerais for centuries and are longtime trading partners.

Still, Corwin and Elsa ask for help evacuating about 100 slaves, and the imp says he can take them “upriver,” meaning back to their home time, if not necessarily back to Gisar.

In return, Ribeiro wants them to take a message — “I sacrifice a rook” — back to the Pit Fiend they encountered in the Zarendo Islands. Giacomo and Melchior are reluctant to make such a deal, but they agree that securing the slaves’ freedom is a top priority. Rhys is just happy to examine the boat’s steam engine.

Tempestade and Scully find Armadeiras at a mocambo camp deep in the Amazon rain forest. They warn him that a planned rebellion is doomed without their help. Armadeiras agrees to accompany them back to the village and to tell his forces to wait.

The voyagers regroup at the church before going to Pais Doce for dinner. Giacomo once again presents himself as “the Mysterious,” and Melchior casts Heroes’ Feast to refresh his friends. Scully poses as a “warrior princess” circus act, and Tempestade gets help dressing as a Suthern/Arabian prince.

Corwin regains lost spells through Restoration and wears a white linen suit, while Elsa remains in bird form and perches on his shoulder. Rhys studies the steamboat, which he learns can turn into an airship!

The adventuring party goes to Tempestade’s former plantation, passing guards in mechanized walkers. Lord d’Agneau is a gracious host, offering many delicacies and suspicious red beverages. Giacomo covertly casts Detect Magic and finds wards above the windows and doors.

Melchior senses Undead and declines the wine. Scully smells blood, and Tempestade silently swears vengeance against his former master. Corwin recognizes servant Brizida, and Elsa nudges him to keep the conversation light by talking about art.

Diminuitive Rhys jumps onto the table to eat, and he later excuses himself to find out how the servants are bringing food so quickly from the distant kitchen. The Tinker Gnome finds a wheeled robot with metal arms and a hotplate, and he quickly stuffs it into his Bag of Holding. Pleased with himself, Rhys returns to dinner.

After the meal, Melchior and Corwin create a diversion by offering to entertain Lord d’Agneau and his household. Melchior plays his mandolin “Jolene” and casts Charm and Obscuring Mist.

Scully follows Brizida to a lavatory, where the woman draws daggers from her corset! Giacomo, Elsa, and Rhys go to aid Scully, while Tempestade prepares to fight in the foggy hall. Lord d’Agneau reveals his true form, with no hair, sharp teeth and claws, and a long, tentacle-like tongue.

Melchior cast Web, slowing the slave owner. In return, Lord d’Agneau tries to drain his memories but can’t because of the Cleric’s ring of Mind Shield. Corwin’s Symbol of Death has no effect on the Outsider. Tempestade lights the drapes with a candle.

Brizida slashes at Scully, who draws her sword in close quarters. Elsa casts Silence and heads back to the lounge, while Rhys shoots his repeating crossbow. Giacomo smacks the would-be assassin with his staff.

In the misty main hall, Melchior casts Sound Lance and Shadow Bolt, and Lord d’Agneau summons two vampires. Corwin casts Storm Bolts and Ice Storm, and quick-thinking Tempestade throws the burning curtains on d’Agneau. Elsa joins that battle by Wild Shaping into a dire bear.

Brizida cuts Scully with a poisoned dagger, but the Ranger and Rhys hit her as well. Giacomo finishes her, and Rhys goes to prepare the steamboat for passengers.

The vampires claw at Melchior and Corwin, who casts Magic Missiles. Melchior calls upon Ulandt, lady of the night, and Channels Positive Energy. Violet light heals his allies and harms the Undead.

Similarly, Elsa invokes Mekkil, goddess of nature, for a green glow. Tempestade calls upon Otih, lord of the sun and justice (similar to the Christ), for a yellow burst, which destroys Lord d’Agneau. Corwin finishes off the vampires, and Melchior casts Consecrate.

Elsa recommends that Tempestade hold off on burning down the manor house until all the slaves have left, and Melchior and Corwin search the area. They find the following items:

  • Alaria’s Saddle Blanket (3 preset steed forms, up to CR4; claimed by Scully)
  • Deck of Illusions (claimed by Melchior, who gave masterwork mandolin “Jolene” to Corwin)
  • Ring of Resistance (+ 2; claimed by Elsa)
  • Ring of Water Walking (claimed by Tempestade)
  • Vial of poison (from Brizida; claimed by Scully)

Tempestade readies to rally the slaves to escape from Pais Doce, as Giacomo readies his Robe of Blending to impersonate the late Lord d’Agneau and delay raising an alarm….

Boston-area face-to-face groups
“Vistel’s Expedition,” summer 2014

I hope that everyone enjoyed our extra games and Byron’s visit! I’ll try to post my notes for our second “Star TrekRestoration” session later this week.

Congrats again to Drew on your wedding, and good luck to Thomas & Kai-Yin and Sara & Josh with your upcoming nuptials! Our thoughts are also with ailing Stuart in New York. I look forward to seeing most of you at our next one-shot. 

“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.39 — Sea quest

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.39, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 26 May 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.

Various groups of mercenaries and diplomats have fought humanoids in the northwestern borderlands, encountered pirates on the Sea of Nagendwa, and wandered the hostile Halmed Desert and the wide Plains of Sathendo….

“Vistel’s Circus,” Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s ” Vanished Lands ” heroic fantasy campaign, using the D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and FATE3e Legends of Anglerre, as of spring 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 8
  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W.]-male Zeda (proto-Germanic) human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 8
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 8
  • Tempestade [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 8
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 8
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with Banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 8
  • Rhys Davies [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer; TNg, Lvl. 8

(See previous notes for Paladins “Radius” [Jason E.R.] and “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.].)

“5 to 9 March 1227 B.C.E.:” After debating how to proceed through the Temple of Elemental Evil, the expedition distracted Ogres, defeated a Beholder, and destroyed the contact binding an Efreeti to the Pit Fiend ruling Mt. Tilefa. The group made a hasty retreat to Tarvulis Island.

Giacomo worries that the devil Schm*ckF*ck will send minions to pursue the onetime circus performers. He recommends entering the city of Gisar overland. Hamfast is eager to return to the barbaric port, which he briefly visited thanks to Tequila, the pseudodragon familiar of Drow archmage “Vasec” [Alex J./Non-Player Character].

Scully reminds her companions that they have agreed to help Tempestade get to an obelisk beneath Gisar so he can return to his own time and free slaves from his former plantation.

Corwin would prefer to visit the Gusorin Confederation as briefly as possible, and Elsa is curious about rumors of evil Druids, the cult of Krakas, and fighting the dreaded Ghost Fleet. She wishes that Paladins Radius and Sir Torrel could help deal with the scourge of Undead on the high seas.

After sending an urgent magical message to Capt. Scarlet on the Sea Elven schooner Foamrunner, the wanderers prepare to return to the mainland. Wizard Giacomo talks with “Tondra” [Rob A.S./N.P.C.], a Zarendo Islander human shaman (East African Cleric), about getting the accursed tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra removed from his back.

Fighter Hamfast waits outside and pounds on a leech with his maul on behalf of recently departed Sir Torrel. Ranger Scully sends a love note to Wolfen Paladin “Niac” [Mike F./N.P.C.] and allows Vasec’s scribes to copy her maps of the temple on Salhonif Island.

Martial artist Tempestade explains that he wants to resettle fellow escapees and that he hopes to help clear Gisar of evil upon his return. Bard Corwin buys a potion of Water Breathing and scrolls of Invisibility to Undead and Restoration.

Elsa writes several letters. She asks Baskor Steadyhand, a roustabout in Vistel’s Circus, about how owlbear Oswald is doing. The Druid also sends soil samples to Barry the Gardener on Emein Island and warns the Royal Cartographer’s Society in Thadenis about Mt. Tilefa.

Tondra, who is packing for a seasonal visit to the Hifalendorin human capital of Hesolin, gives Giacomo a Periapt of Wisdom (+2) to help him fight Ezra’s control. Hamfast and Tempestade find her zombie gardeners unsettling.

Vasec and his students bid “Vistel’s Expedition” farewell as the team boards Capt. Scarlet’s sleek catamaran. About a day’s sail north, however, the Foamrunner ’s crew and passengers are tested by a storm.

Giacomo casts Rope Work, and Scully and Corwin help the Sea Elven sailors in the rigging. Hamfast and Tempestade stay with the oarsmen below decks, but Elsa comes up from the galley to cast Calm Winds. After being tossed around by huge waves, the Foamrunner manages to ride out the tempest.

Sometime later, a lifeboat with six storm survivors is spotted. Hifalendorin human Giacomo readies spells, and Zeda human Hamfast waits in reserve. Scully readies a grapple and casts Detect Evil, but the albino Gnoll senses no malicious intent from the castaways.

Brazilian human Tempestade helps cast lines to the dinghy, and Corwin casts Detect Magic and then Fly to help rescue the newcomers. The Half-Elf spots a Gnome clutching a wooden chest and slowly carries them to safety.

Elsa summons a water elemental, but it turns on the Hill Dwarf, saying, “We’ve been looking for you,” no doubt in reference to the Pit Fiend’s followers. Capt. Scarlet orders her crew to maneuver, while Vistel’s Expedition tries to get the six shipwreck survivors aboard and fights the Grue.

Elsa invokes Mekkil (Gaia), goddess of nature, to Call Lightning. Corwin drops off the Gnome and begins lifting the Suthern human corsairs. Hamfast comes up to the main deck, and the evil elemental slams Scully.

Giacomo casts Dispel Magic, to no effect, and Scully misses a rope, landing one of the Suthern sailors in the drink. Tempestade runs on the side of the ship with his Boots of Spider Climb and grabs the man. Rhys, the Tinker Gnome, opens his chest and readies a fancy crossbow.

Pious Elsa Wild Shapes into an orca (killer whale) and rams into the Varrdig. Flying Corwin and nimble Tempestade continue pulling castaways aboard the Foamrunner. Mighty Hamfast grazes the Grue with his maul but also gets slammed by a blast of water.

Clever Giacomo casts Scorching Ray, seriously wounding the elemental, which sniper Scully finishes off with a Flamestrike. Rhys is disappointed that he didn’t get to show off his repeating crossbow or clockwork creations.

Capt. Scarlet and the travelers welcome the gadgeteer and promise to drop off the Suthern sailors soon. Divine spellcasters Elsa and Scully attend to the wounded.

Sometime later, Rhys spots a second rowboat with his telescope, and Giacomo casts Wizard Sense to get a closer look. Scully dives into the Sea of Nagendwa and Wild Shapes into a dolphin. Elsa shifts into squid form and Channels Positive Energy to turn a large skeletal barracuda.

Giacomo reports that the people on this dinghy are contagious Undead, so Capt. Scarlet orders that it be set ablaze from a distance. Scully supervises the arbalests and ammunition, as Corwin watches for other ships from the crow’s nest with Araswe, one of his lovers.

The Foamrunner sets its passengers ashore about two days’ march from Gisar. Saganim Prince Corwin gives Capt. Scarlet several hundred crowns (gold pieces) in thanks. The rescued sailors scatter and head west, back toward the distant Halmed Desert. Vistel’s Expedition begins hiking east to the city.

Approaching Gisar
Any port in a storm….

On the wide central Plains of Sathendo, the adventuring party hears the thunder of approaching hooves. Ten Wolven in Tsucharim (Mongol-style) armor lower spears and surround the group. Mads, their leader, is not impressed by the outlanders but offers to trade for fellow canine humanoid Scully.

When she resists, the Wolven close in. Elsa casts Charm Animal on Mads’ horse, and Corwin incinerates three riders with a Fireball. One raider picks up Scully, and others stab at Hamfast and Tempestade.

Scully breaks free and draws her long bow, as Tempestade runs toward the Wolfen who had grabbed her. Giacomo slays two more foes with Magic Missiles, and Hamfast smites another. Rhys fires bolts with his crossbow.

Elsa Wild Shapes into a dire boar, causing the horse to throw Mads to the ground. Corwin kills two Barbarians with Ice Storm and dodges another. Scully angrily looses arrows, while Tempestade unhorses one Wolfen and kicks him.

The Wolven hit Hamfast and Tempestade and badly hurt Scully. Giacomo drops Tempestade’s opponent with a Lightning Bolt, and Corwin finishes off Mads. Scully claims a tooth and the tail of one Wolfen as trophies and a warning to other would-be slavers.

Hamfast says the corpses should be left for the carrion fowl as his friends search the steeds. Each one has a masterwork saddle, and the warriors had chain shirts, spears, hand axes, and long swords. The group also finds two short bows, 40 arrows, 140 silver coins, 200 crowns, and 10 platinum pieces.

Now with horses, the expedition continues toward Gisar. That night, Elsa castsGrove of Respite for shelter, food, and rest. Saddlesore Hamfast and inventive Rhys take the first watch as the moon comes out from behind light clouds.

Corwin and Scully, with her owl Owlicious, take an uneventful second watch. Elsa Wild Shapes into dire ape form to watch with her winged cat Penryn and Tempestade. Giacomo studies tattoo magic, aided by his homunculus familiar Gerald.

Elsa and Tempestade hear children’s voices in the tall grass around their camp. Elsa walks to the edge of the grove, while Tempestade wakes the others. Giacomo successfully Detects Evil and warns his companions.

Hamfast turns over in his bedroll, and Rhys readies his clockwork devices. Scully casts True Seeing and finds that the children are actually doglike reptilian Kobolds. The small humanoids turn down Elsa’s offer of food, as the fears of a trap are reversed. They disappear into the grasslands.

The next day, the party sees the ruined outer walls of Gisar, a long-suffering city plagued by Barbari tribes and the Undead. Rutted streets wind through crowded neighborhoods of narrow houses. The mostly human population wears drab clothing and avoids direct eye contact.

Giacomo reminds the Corwin that the locals don’t like arcane spellcasters. Hamfast recommends staying near the Mahadi Racetrack, where a restless crowd cheers on a polo match using someone’s head. As “Gareth Greywind,” Corwin pays 10 crowns to stable and feed the horses for a week.

Hamfast, Scully, and Elsa buy beets, cabbage, and turnips on their way into the port, but Tempestade tenses up as they pass a slave market. The group passes saloons, shrines, and vacant shops.

A map from the “Seekers of Lore” from Thadenis indicates that there is a way beneath the House of Xia to the ruins of the local Magisterium (magic school/library) and the magical obelisk.

Corwin, Elsa, and Rhys argue in favor of immediately entering the sewers. Giacomo, Hamfast, and Scully want to scout out the area, which includes a temple to Tiamat guarded by Draconians, but the others say that’s looking for trouble.

Tempestade ultimately decides to head straight to the obelisk. The spelunkers hide Rhys’ chest with a Stone Sphere, and he and Scully agree to travel with Tempestade through the portal, even as their companions prefer to stay behind.

Vistel’s Expedition makes its way to an alley between the House of Xia and the Angkir’s Oars bar, where a sewer spills into the Bedoni River…. Meanwhile, far to the northeast, a new band travels on the Balef River….

Drew, I hope that you and everybody else enjoyed your first regular session as “Rhys!” Don’t forget to keep your characters up to date on Obsidian Portal, especially as we approach “name level.”

I look forward to continuing our adventures next Monday, June 2, before we wrap up Jason E.R.’s “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero scenario and begin Bruce’s Pathfinder: “Eberron/Reign of Winter” miniseries.

“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.38 — Temple run

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.38, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 5 May 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.

Various groups of mercenaries and diplomats have fought humanoids in the northwestern borderlands, encountered pirates on the Sea of Nagendwa, and wandered the hostile Halmed Desert and the wide Plains of Sathendo….

“Vistel’s Circus,” Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s ” Vanished Lands ” heroic fantasy campaign, using the D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of spring 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 8
  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W.]-male Zeda (proto-Germanic) human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 8
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 8
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 8
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with Banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 8
  • Tempestade [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 8
  • Radius [Jason E.R./departed]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 5
  • Sir Torrel [Alex W./Drew S.]-male Hifalendorin human Paladin of Otih, the lord of the sun and justice; LGn, Lvl. 7

“3 to 4 March 1227 B.C.E.:” “Vistel’s Expedition” ventured further beneath the volcanic Mt. Tilefa on Salhonif Island, encountering Wights, dracosaurs, and an insane cultist as it searched for safety and a diabolical contract.

The group rests in Tychon Doomdreamer’s hidden rooms. Giacomo studies spells, and his homunculus familiar Gerald offers to prepare meals. Hamfast keeps watch, and Scully attends to her owl Owlicious and Elsa’s winged cat Penryn.

Tempestade reminds Sir Torrel of his plan to free fellow slaves from his former plantation. The adventuring party had traveled to a Temple of Elemental Evil inthe Zarendo Islands as a step in his quest.

In return for promising to liberate Efreeti (fire spirit) Lady Shadira from her bonds to a devil, the Djinni Tarzu in Falit told Tempestade how to use an obelisk in the port of Gisar to travel through time to Brazil.

Corwin tries to assess the team’s current capabilities, and Elsa argues in favor of heading to the temple at the top of Mt. Tilefa. Pit Fiend Schm*ckF*ck corrupted the portal of commerce between Elementals and people on the Prime Material plane of existence to build a cult around himself.

However, Ranger Scully points on a map to show that it’s possible that the would-be heroes have already passed the tablets used by the Baatezu to enslave various people. There are unexplored tunnels on the level with an arboreteum and a so-called nursery. Giacomo casts Wizard Eye to explore.

The mage follows the pit from the dracosaur lair back down to a level with unholy shrines and a library. A spiral staircase leads past two gargoyles and floating, spherical monsters to the garden level, which is above an underground river and a secret entrance from the besieged city-state of Selifa.

Giacomo perceives a room lined with tiles that could be the contract tablets. Fighter Hamfast and Paladin Torrel watch for other minions of Schm*ckF*ck. Monk Tempestade impatiently waits, and Druid Elsa Wild Shapes into a dire ape.

Meanwhile, Corwin experiments with a magical brass doorknob that he used to enter Doomdreamer’s chambers. The Bard exits, puts the knob on the concealed door, and twists it the other way. The door now leads to a fiery scene with flaming humanoids and lumpen slaves. The others pull him back.

Elsa and Sir Torrel are not afraid of directly confronting the Pit Fiend, but they are eventually outvoted. Scully finds a narrow passage leading down, and the onetime circus performers descend through volcanic tunnels.

Nimble Tempestade leads the way, followed by Sir Torrel with his large shield. Corwin and Elsa (now in dire badger form) crawl behind, followed by Giacomo, Hamfast, and stealthy Scully. They pass around a few cultists’ cloaks for disguise.

The passages widen, and Giacomo and Scully recognize the garden level. Corwin finds and disables oil and deadfall traps and recommends that the party take the left at each intersection. This eventually leads to rooms full of Ogre guards.

When one steps into the hallway to relieve himself, Corwin casts Charm to learn more. Earl says that he is stationed with Splitnose, Bone Tongue, Thunderbutt, and Pisslips. They recently dug into graves. Corwin tells Earl to get his friends and check for intruders. The burly but dumb Ogres leave their post.

The spelunkers quickly search the Ogres’ room. Giacomo casts Detect Magic, and Hamfast readies his hammer. Scully has to hold her snout from the smell, and Tempestade and Sir Torrel listen for returning sentries. Corwin and Elsa find a secret door and hasten their companions through to another corridor.

The wanderers pass through an old Zarendo crypt without incident. A few more winding passages and staircases later, they find a set of double doors. Scully looks through the Lens of True Sight and sees that two people have been magically imprisoned in the metal doors.

Tempestade wants to free them with a wand of Dispel Magic, but Giacomo notes that they may not be friendly and that unarmed civilians wouldn’t survive long this deep in the temple complex, at least as long as Schm*ckF*ck’s followers are around.

Beyond the doors is a ballroom with tapestries on the walls, ornate rugs on the floor, and a large chandelier. Scully again uses the magical monocle and instead sees mosaic tiles and a Beholder kin instead of the chandelier!

In the Temple of Elemental Evil on Mt. Tilefa
Beholder battle

Half-Elf Corwin casts Disintegrate, but the Eye Tyrant shrugs it off. Zeda human Hamfast charges with his maul, and Hill Dwarf Elsa hurls a Spear of Purity. Hifalendorin human Sir Torrel draws his sword but misses.

Tempestade launches into a flying kick, and Hifalendorin Giacomo successfully casts a maximized Magic Missile, badly wounding the Beholder. Flind Scully shoots an arrow with Silence on it so the creature can’t cast spells.

The Beholder grazes Hamfast with an electrical blast and fires a Ray of Frost from one eyestalk at Tempestade. Corwin responds with Lightning Bolt, and Hamfast hits the gasbag again. In hummingbird form, Elsa partially blinds it with Color Spray.

Sir Torrel misses, but Tempestade uses his Ring of Jumping and Boots of Spider Climb to get on top of the globular monster. He disables one eyestalk, as Giacomo casts another Magic Missile, slaying the Beholder.

Giacomo sends Gerald to retrieve some of the smaller eyes for spell components. Scully explains what she saw, so Corwin uses the wand of Dispel Magic to remove the illusory tapestries. Elsa and Sir Torrel help heal Hamfast and Tempestade.

The investigators pull a few tiles of the wall and confirm that they are inscribed with the names of Schm*ckF*ck’s thralls in various languages. Tempestade and Sir Torrel hate slavery and want to destroy the tablets, but arcanists Giacomo and Corwin demand more time to study them and maybe use them as bargaining chips with the devil.

Giacomo casts a locator spell and tells Tempestade to retrieve Lady Shadira’s contract from high on one wall. Despite everyone’s objections, the Barbari human smashes the tile with a high kick, raising an alarm. Another Beholder arrives with fire Elementals, gargoyles, and Ogres!

As the Pit Fiend and other devils arrive, Giacomo and Elsa scramble to castteleportation spells for a hasty retreat. Vistel’s Expedition finds itself back on Tarvulis Isle, about 300 miles from Salhonif Island.

Drow Wizard “Vasec” [Alex J./Non-Player Character] isn’t happy to learn that the travelers have stirred up trouble at the Temple of Elemental Evil and come directly to him. He warns the visitors that they have made a powerful enemy. Still, the archmage scrys to verify that Lady Shadira has been released from Shambling Mound form.

Giacomo, whose tattoo of the “Mad Mage” Ezra was uncovered on Tarvulis Isle, warns his colleague to be ready for an attack. Hamfast looks forward to returning to Gisar, where Vasec’s pseudodragon familiar Tequila had given him a preview of the barbaric city. “It’s everything I ever wanted,” he says, even if it is ruled by Undead.

Scully returns the Lens of True Sight to Vasec and gives the handful of tiles that she was able to grab to Zarendo human shaman “Tondra” [Rob A.S./N.P.C.]. Despite his brush with death and being yelled at by Giacomo, Corwin, and Elsa, Tempestade is pleased to be one step closer to returning home.

Prince Corwin sends a message to Capt. Scarlet on the Foamrunner to ask the Sea Elven schooner to retrieve the team. Elsa considers setting up a long-distance communication network and says the group should get ready to fight the dreaded Ghost Fleet on the Sea of Nagendwa.

Sir Torrel announces that Otih, the god of the sun and justice, has other plans for him, so he bids farewell as Vistel’s Expedition prepares to sail to Gisar….

Welcome, Drew, to our group, and I look forward to helping you create your own P.C.! I hope our team returns to harmony as it begins the next phase of its journeys and begins looking ahead to “name level.” Let me know who of you will be available around Memorial Day.

In the meantime, I look forward to continuing the “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” telecom campaign, wrapping up Jason E.R.’s “Glasworks: the Devil’s Den” superheroscenario, and starting Bruce’s “Pathfinder: Eberron” miniseries! -Gene

“Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” Session 39.37 — Hidden doors and dracosaurs

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.37, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 14 April 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.

Various groups of mercenaries and diplomats have fought humanoids in the northwestern borderlands, encountered pirates on the Sea of Nagendwa, and wandered the hostile Halmed Desert and the wide Plains of Sathendo….

“Vistel’s Circus,” Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s ” Vanished Lands ” heroic fantasy campaign, using the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of spring 2014:

  • Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) and stage seer, embittered by experiences in Hesolin’s Magisterium; with homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 8
  • Hamfast Hammerfist [Brian W.]-male Zeda (proto-Germanic) human Fighter, mountaineer, “barbarian” strongman, and laborer; TNg, Lvl. 8
  • Scully Strongbow [Sara F.]-female albino Gnoll (Flind) Ranger, archer, knife thrower, and scout, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 8
  • Corwin Windsong [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, runaway aristocrat, ladies’ man, and former ringmaster with a mandolin; CNg, Lvl. 8
  • Elsa Fairbottom [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, and animal handler with Banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 8
  • Tempestade [Josh C.]-male Barbari human Monk (Battledancer/capoeirista from outside the “Vanished Lands”), former roustabout, now a follower of Otih; CGl, Lvl. 8
  • Radius [Jason E.R./departed]-male Modron Paladin of Primus, lord of Nirvana; exiled to the Prime Material plane; LGn, Lvl. 5
  • Sir Torrel [Alex W./departed]-male Hifalendorin human Paladin of Otih, the lord of the sun and justice; LGn, Lvl. 7

“1 to 2 March 1227 B.C.E.:” The infiltrators continued exploring the tunnels of Mt. Tilefa on Salhonif Island. They chatted with Gargoyles and Troglodytes, evaded traps and Ogres, and fought a librarian/sorceress. They also defeated flesh golems before resting, deep in a Temple of Elemental Evil.

The adventuring party recuperates from recent skirmishes in a dark vestibule. One passage has doglike figurines on pedastals and Walls of Force, another leads to a hexagonal chamber with a black orb, and the last leads back through a purple-carpeted passage with statues in alcoves.

Giacomo manifests a third eye to peer around, and Hamfast looks at three levers behind a curtain on one wall. Scully looks for illusions with the Lens of True Sight, while Tempestade keeps watch. Corwin dismisses Herme, the Girallon (four-armed gorilla) he had charmed, and searches for traps. Elsa also tries to decipher the switches.

Despite his companions’ warnings, Hamfast pulls on the left lever. A stone column rises out of the floor near the door to the hexagonal room. The middle switch raises a second column next to the door. The Zeda human resets the first two levers and pulls just the third, and a horn sounds.

As Gnoll Scully predicts, when the three levers are pulled from left to right, a portal appears between them, obscuring the unholy shrine with the dark cyst. Giacomo and Corwin step through first and are attacked by three Wights.

Half-Elf Corwin casts Fireball, damaging the Undead, but he is weakened by their chill touch. Hill Dwarf Elsa Wild Shapes into a bird of prey, and Hifalendorin human Giacomo destroys all three Wights with Magic Missiles.

Elsa flies up with a rope, and the group climbs out of a volcanic crater. Unfortunately, two huge reptiles are waiting for them — strange crossbreeds of dinosaurs (found in Salhonif Isle’s jungles) and black dragons!

Dragon-dinosaur crossbreed
Dracosaur

One dracosaur breathes acid, burning Hamfast and Scully. Tempestade uses hisRing of Jumping and Boots of Spider Climb to get on the monster’s back. Pious Elsa invokes goddess Mekkil (Gaia) for a Healing Burst to aid her companions.

Giacomo shields the team with a Wall of Force, and Corwin’s Disintegrate injures one of the creatures. Scully uses the Lens of True Sight to discern that the larger dracosaur is more like a dragon and the other is less intelligent. Hamfast swings his maul at the leg of the winged beast.

The dinodrag grabs Hamfast in its mouth! The Fighter narrowly avoids being swallowed whole by keeping the haft of his hammer in its jaws. The dracosaur with Tempestade on its back yells at the martial artist and claws at Scully.

Tempestade chokes the creature with his chain, and Druid Elsa Wild Shapes into an elephant. Wizard Giacomo casts Ray of Enfeeblement on the reptile holding Hamfast, slowing it. Bard Corwin defensively casts Mirror Image, creating four duplicates of himself.

Ranger Scully looses a volley of arrows, and Hamfast pulls himself clear of the toothy maw and backs up with a spear. The dracosaur strikes Corwin’s duplicates, as the dinodrag swings at Elsa. Tempestade continues choking the latter lizard and jumps clear when elephantine Elsa charges and knocks it down.

Giacomo successfully casts Paralysis on the dinodrag and Magic Missile on the dracosaur. Corwin hits with his sword and dagger. Scully shoots more arrows, and Elsa tramples her foe. Hamfast cooly finishes off the two creatures and claims some teeth.

Gerald, Giacomo’s homunculus familiar, removes the dead dinosaurs’ eyes, and Scully takes some hides. She and Sir Torrel attend to the wounded. Elsa spots a concealed door, and Corwin finds a polished stone set in brass like a knob on the opposite wall.

Corwin puts the knob on the door. The Saganim prince barely dodges a spike trap. A man wearing a horned helmet and a loose robe floats toward the spelunkers. He says that they will soon serve his master, the Pit Fiend Schm*ckF*ck, or realize their worst nightmares.

Before the cultist can cast any deadly spells, Elsa restrains him with Hold Person. Corwin ties a rope around the hovering man and pulls him down. Hamfast, Scully, and Tempestade help disarm Tychon Doomdreamer, and Giacomo tries to blind him with Color Spray.

Further interrogation reveals that Tychon is insane and homicidal, and Corwin dispatches him. The devil worshipper’s possessions include a censor and three balls of odiferious incense, a potion of Haste (given to nimble Tempestade), and enchanted full plate (+2, claimed by mighty Hamfast).

Cautious Giacomo puts 30 crowns (gold pieces) in the party pool, and Elsa studies an unholy symbol of a crescent moon or horns with a bloody spike. Perceptive Scully notes that the party still needs to find the contract binding Lady Shadira, an Efreeti trapped in Shambling Mound form.

Tempestade had promised to help free the devil’s slave as part of his quest to return his distant homeland via a magical obelisk in the barbaric port of Gisar. Corwin turns the knob to the left, and the door opens into a well-furnished room, probably Tychon’s quarters.

Giacomo ignores the tattoo of “Mad Mage” Ezra on his back and claims the bed for a nap. The others search a dresser and chest. They find 450 crowns, an ornate bracelet worth 240 g.p., and a potion of Darkvision. Corwin uses a wand of Dispel Magic to circumvent wards on a case containing scrolls of Commune, Heroes’ Feast, and Raise Dead.

Under a false bottom in one drawer, Scully finds the insane Cleric’s journal and a partial map of the volcanic warrens. Hamfast recommends resting in the room, which is hidden and defensible.

The spellcasters recommend trying to turn the knob the other way and find a passage leading to other parts of the Temple of Elemental Evil….

Alex, we miss “Sir Torrel,” but we wish you luck with work and your Saturday group! While I won’t be running the “Vanished LandsA New Dawn” telecom game this coming Sunday, April 20, I look forward to seeing some of you next Monday night.