D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 8 — On the way to Vantal

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 8 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 22 March 2015:

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

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 4
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 4
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 4
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K./absent]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 4
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./departed]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 4

The adventuring party delivered a long-lost grandson to Obould Many-Arrows, who gratefully held a feast in its honor. Maddie defeated a large guard drake in a trial by combat as her team persuaded the Orc king to withdraw his armies attacking human and Dwarven realms. However, some of the assembled warlords refused to cooperate, and the group fled south.

Cal asks Rowan about ruins of Vantal, where they are headed while waiting for owls from Thorbardin. The Skald tells the Paladin that the city was supposedly built by Ogres before most of them were cursed with barbarism.

Sam and Maddie scout ahead as the group hikes northwest through passes in the Khalkist Mountains before turning south. Santiddio watches spellcasters Redrik and Perogen, and Skilelo had left previously to warn the Dwarves of Thorbardin.

On the second day out of Bloten, the team notices a patrol of six Orcs and a Dark Elf. Sam guides the group to higher ground, while Maddie senses a pack of wargs on the trail. Cal asks Itchum for help, but the invisible faerie dragon is annoyed that he wasn’t called upon earlier in Orcish territory.

Uruk-hai

Orcs attack

 

Still, Itchum casts Hallucinatory Terrain so that his companions can hide and reverse the ambush. Three wargs approach, and Ranger Sam casts Hail of Thorns, injuring one. Wizard Perogen casts Chill Touch on the same canine, driving it away.

Cal hits another warg with a javelin and follows Maddie in closing to melee distance. Rowan also maneuvers to join the Barbarian. Cleric Redrik casts Scorching Ray on another beast, which howls.

Sam draws his long bow and drops the retreating wolf. Perogen’s Chill Touch kills a second one, and Maddie strikes the third with her great axe. Rowan hits with his long sword, and Redrik finishes the last one with another Scorching Ray.

Redrik, Maddie, and Perogen drag the carcasses off the path. Once the rest of the patrol gets within 100 feet, they spring out to attack. Two of the larger Orcs attack Maddie and Rowan.

Orc and Goblin

Humanoids

 

The other humanoids disbelieve Itchum’s Hallucinatory Terrain. Tired of such skirmishes, Maddie rages and charges at the female Drow, who tries to taunt her. The Dark Elf casts Faerie Fire on the shapeshifter and draws a hand crossbow.

Rowan casts Heroism on himself and Maddie, as Cal casts Wrathful Smite. Redrik casts Silence on Maddie to prevent the Drow from using spells. Perogen continues the focused attacks on the enemy leader with Chill Touch.

Sam casts Hunter’s Mark on the Drow, and four Orcs close in on white-robed Perogen, who hits them with Magic Missiles. The two larger Orcs try to step out of the area of Silence to cast Spiritual Weapon, but they are hit by Cal, Maddie, and Rowan.

Mighty Maddie swings with her great axe, but the Dark Elf evades with her innate Darkness ability and draws two poisoned short swords. Sly Half-Elf Rowan still finds his foe with his long sword, as does Sylvan Elf Cal.

Hill Dwarf Redrik invokes patron deity Paladine with Divine Radiance, dispelling the Darkness and burning the Orcs’ eyes. Perogen verifies that Silvari, the white moon of his patron, is in ascension. The human then successfully casts Sleep on four Orcs.

Sam hits the Drow with arrows and a successful Ensnaring Strike.She wriggles and touches a clan amulet, Teleporting away. Rowan tells the remaining Orcs that they can leave or die.

The Orcs are surprised at the Bard’s mention of King Obould and agree to depart. They say that the Dark Elves came from the south a few months ago and “promised a return to the old ways.” The nefarious Drow are growing in number, worrying Cal.

In addition, the Orcs offer some maps in exchange for their freedom. One parchment describes the top level of Vantal. Redrik and Rowan heal injured party members as they prepare to resume their march to the ruins….

Bruce, we missed you last Sunday night, although it was good to see you at Drew’s for your fun Dread: Beneath a Metal Sky one-shot! I also look forward to Jason’s “Channel 37” miniseries next Monday and returning to our “Vanished Landsgame.

In the meantime, remember to update our “Land of Lost Souls” characters to Level 4. Be seeing you….

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orc high king

King Obould Many-Arrows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typical RPG bar brawl

Carousing

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Star Trek: Restoration" Episode 5 — Gift of the Ferengi

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for our fifth “Star Trek” session, which we played at Drew S.’s place in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 9 March 2015:

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

About four decades after the Enterprise E fought the Borg and Remans [Nemesis], among others, the United Federation of Planets (U.F.P.) and other interstellar states are slowly recoveringfrom wars and ecological disasters. A refitted vessel takes a new crew on its first missions of defense, diplomacy, and exploration….

Player Characters for Gene D.’s " Star Trek: Restoration" space opera scenario, using D20 Prime Directive, FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures, Bulldogs, and Mindjammer 2e, plus house rulesObsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org online dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • “Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Kyerak” [Bruce K.]-male half-Vulcan with a temper, in the U.S.S. Rotha ’s command division
  • Chief Ravi Chandler" [Brian W.]-male Altairian human, non-commissioned officer and transporter expert assigned to aid Lt. Kyerak’s mission
  • “Froot” [Rich C.G.]-male Ferengi (short, large-eared extraterrestrial) merchant and negotiator, DaiMon and owner of the trade vessel Love’s Latinum Lost
  • “Kimbal Tegan” [Beruk A.]-male Trill (long-lived symbiont), operations specialist aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost
  • “Tau” [Drew S.]-male Ferengi, medic aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Absent:

  • “Lt. Jarric Jameson” [Dexter V.H.]-male genetically modified human colonist (former Maquis) communications and wilderness survival expert
  • “Lt. Orzzek Kalifa” [Byron V.O.]-male Andorian (blue-skinned humanoid with white hair and antennae), assertive science officer
  • “Lt. Mari Killu” [Sara F.]-female Caitian (felinoid) security/tactical officer
  • “Lt. Boran’ Gorir” [Josh C.]-male Jem’Hadar (Dominion soldier), aggressive envoy/engineer

Previously, in “Star Trek: Restoration,” the U.S.S. Rotha uncovered an Undine infiltrator during a diplomatic mission and faced off against Romulan and Klingon ships in the Neutral Zone. Some junior officers then accepted a covert mission to investigate offworld interference in a former member of the United Federation of Planets.

“Stardate 95248.047 (15 April 2418):” At Alpha Tauri III in the Aldebaran system, the away team joined Ferengi traders and defeated a Romulan spy in the science station of Nar Instel. The crew also found a rogue Federation scientist in the militaristic state of Irdrant.

A landing party beams down to the sprawling agricultural community of Folkhar. Most of the Starfleet lieutenants stay behind in orbit on the Love’s Latinum Lost to watch prisoners Dr. Sarlic Pramantha and Illiana Drah’el.

Tau offers Ravi a tip, but the human transporter chief declines the Ferengi medic’s gold-pressed latinum. DaiMon Froot leads the way into a dusty town, while Kimbal covertly scans for anomalous subspace transmissions. Lt. Kyerak notices that most of the inhabitants are human.

A blue-skinned Andorian rancher riding a horse draws the newcomers’ attention. Lissan th’Zerath isn’t interested in Kyerak, Froot, or Tau’s overtures, but she directs them to a general store.

Populous Folkhar has regressed technologically even more than other Aldebaranian nations, with draft animals, labor-intensive farming, and relatively few power tools. The explorers walk by a wainwright’s shop, where a Klingon and his son warily watch them while repairing carts.

The "Ancient West"

Frontier town

The infiltrators follow Lissan’s directions to Tellarite Bol Kerv Shaloo. Froot happily negotiates with the porcine provisioner, who collects items from the colony’s past as an interstellar crossroads. The Ferengi captain trades an inoperative comm badge for a Klingon sash, which he adds to his crown and fancy cane.

Kimbal and Tau conceal tricorders as they look for transmissions that would violate Starfleet’s noninterference Prime Directive. Shaloo mentions that he recently traded fine tools to the Klingons, even though they don’t need them.

Back at the wainwright, Tau learns that young Kolad is eager to please customers and his father, Kurgh, son of Kulam. Kyerak and Kimball talk to the gruff widower, who years to be in contact with other Klingons.

Their conversation is cut short when Froot pulls a Tribble from under his robes, getting the outlanders thrown out. The group then walks to the mayor’s office. Maria Conchitez says that her people are tired of fighting with Irdrant and seems disgusted when Froot drops some jewelry with circuitry.

As the Starfleet personnel and their Ferengi companions leave Conchitez, Ravi notices a man hanging around her office. Darius Littlefeather says little and returns to his farm. The away team heads to the ranch of Lissan th’Zerath, whom Froot found to be suspicious.

The Andorian catches the interlopers snooping around her barn, and Froot knocks her out and ties her up. Tau makes sure that Lissan is OK, but Ravi and Trill Kimbal find no subspace radio. The party rushes back into town.

They run into Littlefeather, whom Kyerak puts to sleep after conducting a mind meld to see if the mayor is responsible for the unauthorized radio. The half-Vulcan learns that Darius is in love with Maria, but little else.

Froot wants to return to Bol Kerv Shaloo’s shop, but the others determine that the Klingons are their most likely suspects. Kimball and Tau corner Kolad, while Kyerak and Ravi question tense Kurgh.

The lonely mechanic eventually admits that he has cobbled together a subspace transmitter. The Starfleet officers are relieved when Kurgh says that he hasn’t heard back from the Klingon Empire, but he adds that he has received a mysterious response, which Kimbal records.

Kimbal and Ravi tell Kurgh that his radio could draw attention from Irdrant. He shuts it down, and they take key components. Kyerak and Froot talk with Mayor Conchitez, who asks them to help open trade between Folkhar and Irdrant.

Froot notes that they are wanted by the authorities in industrial Irdrant. Kyerak later contacts Huang Peipei, director of the Nar Instel science station, to mediate and help reunite the colonists of Alpha Tauri III.

The team beams back up to the Love’s Latinum Lost and makes a rendezvous with the U.S.S. Rotha at Deep Space K-7. Lt. Kyerak reports to Capt. Andelina Nobatu, who is pleased that his team was able to defeat Tal Shi’ar agent Stuvek, arrest Dr. Pramantha, and convince Kurgh to cease subspace transmissions with limited bloodshed or violation of the Prime Directive.

Ambassador-class refit

Refitted starship

Loyal Kyerak tries to defend Cmdr. Nasami Wahid’s harsh orders to “eliminate” any offworld interference, but Capt. Nobatu reprimands her Trill first officer. Froot is skeptical that Starfleet can live up to its lofty ideals and recommends covertly reaching out to its former colonists in the Aldebaran system.

Chief Chandler requests reassignment from away missions because he doesn’t like having primitive slugthrowers drawn on him. Kimbal supervises the remaining refits to the Ferengi vessel promised for its assistance.

Tau says farewell to the Federation citizens as they return to their ship, but Capt. Nobatu invites the Love’s Latinum Lost to come along into deep space as the Rotha explores the source of the unidentified signals detected by Kurgh….

I hope that everyone enjoyed the conclusion of this story arc! Remember that your characters have attained Level 4, and we can upload them to Obsidian Portal.

In the meantime, I look forward to our next sessions for Dexter’s D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls,” Jason’s “Channel 37,” and my “Vanished Lands!” Remember to check the Google and Yahoo message boards for our discussions of upcoming games. Live long and prosper….

D&D5e "Land of Lost Souls" Session 6 — On a wing and a prayer

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 6 of our D&D5e game, which was held on Sunday, 1 March 2015:

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

  • Kalidren ‘Cal’ Haraishur [Gene D.]-male Qualinesti (Sylvan Elf) Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, god of valor; folk hero and a potential member of the Legion of Steel; LGn, Lvl. 2
  • Redrik Stoneflow [Byron V.O.]-male Neidar (Hill Dwarf) Cleric of Paladine, god of justice; outcast, guild artisan, and silversmith; LGn, Lvl. 1
  • Maddie Moonfang [Sara F.C.]-female wolfing Barbarian, skin changer from the plains and former thrall of an evil wizard; TNc; Lvl. 2
  • Perogen Hawke [Josh C.]-male human Wizard of the White Robes, sage; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Rowan Kar-Thon [Geoff C.]-male Half-Elf Skald (Bard), outlander and storyteller; NGc, Lvl. 2
  • Santiddio Sefrayn [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Rogue (thief), charlatan and professional treasure seeker; CNg, Lvl. 2
  • Enyilarur Skilelo [Drew S./absent]-male brass Draconian Eldritch Knight (Dragonborn Fighter), noble and arcanist, with three reptilian retainers; CGn, Lvl. 2

The band of adventurers visited the Dwarven capital of Thorbardin to give warning of an approaching Orcish army. It also questioned a Dark Elf prisoner, acquired supplies and flying mounts, and met King Ivor Stoneaxe in an alley. Part of the group defeated would-be assassins in a Gnome’s shop.

Maddie keeps the surviving thug in a chokehold, while Perogen casts Detect Magic and finds amulets with two faces. They give the Goblins the illusory guise of Dwarves. Rowan confiscates two daggers that are cold to the touch.

Members of the city watch arrive and question Gnome shopkeeper Smigem. They are wary of the outlanders but take the Goblin into custody. The trio regroups with its companions at the “Dragon’s Forge” inn on the city’s outskirts.

Cal, Sam, and Santiddio report on how they met King Ivor Stoneaxe, who approves of their mission to bring Half-Orc Root to his grandfather, King Obould, in the hope of avoiding bloodshed. They, Redrik, and Skilelo prepare to head out.

Dwarf scout Shadowfox asks the group to make note of what it sees in the New Coast region between Thorbardin and Bloten, the capital of Blodehelm, about 300 miles away. He assigns two underlings to escort the team to the edge of Orcish territory.

That night, Princess Eina visits the tavern. The wanderers hear laughter but don’t immediately see who is with her. Cal asks Perogen what he can perceive, but Sam simply asks the princess. She introduces Itchum, a violet-scaled faerie dragon whom the king has asked to join the travelers.

Cal and Sam are reluctant to bring the mischievous drake along, but Maddie and Rowan take to Itchum. Redrik realizes that he must leave his boar Gristle behind, and he hopes that the steeds will be safe as Thorbardin comes under siege.

Eleven giant owls set forth from the capital and fly northeast:

  • 2 for the Dwarf scouts
  • Sylvan Elf Cal and Half-Elf Santiddio
  • Half-Elf (Irda) Sam and one snow leopard cub
  • Hill Dwarf Redrik (the heaviest in armor)
  • Plainswoman Maddie, human Perogen, and the other cub
  • Half-Elf Rowan
  • 2 for Skilelo and his three Draconian followers
  • Half-Orc Root (the second heaviest)
  • One spare, for provisions
Giant owls

Owl riders

The first day is uneventful as the adventuring party flies out of the Kharolis Mountains and over a caravan on the hot Plains of Dust. When the Dwarves spot something else large in the air, the group turns north to avoid it.

Cal and company plan to switch to nighttime flying for the owls’ sake. They also set the following watches when resting:

  1. Maddie, Rowan, and Itchum
  2. Redrik and Santiddio
  3. Cal and Sam
  4. Perogen and Skilelo

On the third day, the explorers camp in the grasslands of New Coast [Marker 2]. During his and Ranger Sam’s watch, Cal hears something just outside the perimeter. The Paladin sees a green woman, which one of the intelligent owls recognizes as a Dryad.

The sentries are wary of the fey and wake their friends. Nyera says that others have passed through her lands, including Orcs and mysterious Dark Elves. The nature spirit also talks with Barbarian Maddie’s cub, which she says is grateful for being rescued after its mother was murdered.

Cal and Cleric Redrik explains that their mission is to relieve the impending siege of Thorbardin by Orcs and to fight for justice, but Nyera is more concerned with nature’s balance. Cal also asks about the Qualinesti homeland in the Wayreth Forest, which has fallen under an unnatural shadow. The Dryad says that she is in occasional contact with her kin there.

Nyera also hints to Skald Rowan and Rogue Santiddio that there are “new players” among the outer planes of existence, potentially adding a “fourth power” to the sources of divine magic. Spellcasters Redrik and Perogen aren’t happy to hear that. The Dryad grants the group one favor while it’s within her lands.

Later, on fourth watch, Perogen has a vision of a woman whose face and upper body match that of the recently captured Drow and whose lower body is that of a giant spider. She asks him to join her. The shaken Wizard shares what he has seen with the group.

The next evening, the owl riders see another Orcish army encampment. It’s not as large as the horde approaching Thorbardin, but Sam sends one of the taciturn Dwarven scouts back to warn the city.

The would-be diplomats fly through the night and stop to rest at the ruins of Netheltan, just across a large bay from Blodehelm. Root tells Rowan that Orcs are usually organized in tribes that fight among themselves; large, unified armies are unusual.

Sam notes that most Orcs came through a planar rift about a century ago. Redrik speculates that the Dark Elves could have reopened the rift and be former allies or enemies of the Orcs. The priest of Paladine isn’t happy to learn that the humanoids trade with Ogres and human knights of Takhisis.

Sam recommends having a cover story of being tomb raiders, merchants, or mercenaries, and Rowan is confident that any of those identities should be fine. Perogen gives Cal and Redrik the amulets of illusion, since they’d stand out most.

In the fourth night, the group reaches the plains of Blodehelm. The owls drop off the wanderers in the foothills of the Khalkist Mountains, which separate the Orcish plains and swamps from the more urban Ogres of Blode [Marker 18].

Maddie shifts into wolf form to scout ahead with stealthy Sam, Santiddio, and invisible Itchum. Cal takes on the guise of an Orc warrior, and Redrik appears as a Goblin shaman. They hike through passes south and then east toward Bloten.

Orcs riding wargs accost the party. Impatient Root announces himself as King Obould’s heir apparent, and the Orcs shoot him with arrows. Santiddio and Rowan manage to calm down both sides by surrendering, and Redrik rushes to heal the Half-Orc.

Cal claims to be from the Broken Arrow clan, and Skilelo and the other Draconians balance out the Half-Elves in the Orcs’ eyes. They take their companions’ weapons. However, Urphaer, the leader of the warg riders, is unimpressed with the “bastard” Root.

He marches the newcomers into the city of Bloten and tells them to wait. The humans and demihumans keep their nerve despite being surrounded by numerous Orcs.

Bloten

Orc city

The group is eventually brought before King Obould and a female Orc shaman (whom Cal senses is evil)….

Please note that we won’t be meeting next Sunday, March 8, but the “Land of Lost Souls” should resume on March 15. Happy Birthday to Dexter!

In the meantime, remember to update your character records on Obsidian Portal to Level 3, and let the Game Master know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing some of you at Jason E.R.’s FAE Channel 37” game tonight….

"Star Trek: Restoration" Episode 4 — Tracking transmissions

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for our fourth “Star Trek” session, which we played at Brian W.’s home in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 23 February 2015:

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

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

Player Characters for Gene D.’s " Star Trek: Restoration" space opera scenario, using D20 Prime Directive, FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures, Bulldogs, and Mindjammer 2e, plus house rulesObsidian Portal, Skype, and the Rolz.org online dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • “Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Kyerak” [Bruce K.]-male half-Vulcan with a temper, in the U.S.S. Rotha ’s command division
  • Chief Ravi Chandler" [Brian W.]-male Altairian human, non-commissioned officer and transporter expert assigned to aid Lt. Kyerak’s mission
  • “Froot” [Rich C.G.]-male Ferengi (short, large-eared extraterrestrial) merchant and negotiator, DaiMon and owner of the trade vessel Love’s Latinum Lost
  • “Kimbal Tegan” [Beruk A.]-male Trill (long-lived symbiont), operations specialist aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Absent:

  • “Lt. Jarric Jameson” [Dexter V.H.]-male genetically modified human colonist (former Maquis) communications and wilderness survival expert
  • “Lt. Orzzek Kalifa” [Byron V.O.]-male Andorian (blue-skinned humanoid with white hair and antennae), assertive science officer
  • “Lt. Mari Killu” [Sara F.]-female Caitian (felinoid) security/tactical officer
  • “Lt. Boran’ Gorir” [Josh C.]-male Jem’Hadar (Dominion soldier), aggressive envoy/engineer
  • “Tau” [Drew S.]-male Ferengi, medic aboard the Love’s Latinum Lost

Previously, in “Star Trek: Restoration,” the U.S.S. Rotha uncovered an Undine infiltrator during a diplomatic mission and faced off against Romulan and Klingon ships in the Neutral Zone. Some junior officers then accepted a covert mission to investigate offworld interference in a former member of the United Federation of Planets.

“Stardate 95248.042 (11 April 2418):” At Alpha Tauri III in the Aldebaran system, the away team visited the science station of Nar Instel under the pretense of being Ferengi traders. It found a Romulan spy who planned to train unwitting students in the ruthless methods and beliefs of the Tal Shiar.

The explorers still have to find the remaining two sources of subspace transmissions in the former U.F.P. colony, which has regressed to a pre-warp level of technology. They had tracked the signals to the industrial city of Irdrant and the agricultural community of Folkhar.

Lt. Kyerak decides that the landing party should visit Irdrant next. Chief Ravi Chandler notes that his upbringing in the militaristic Altair system should be helpful in dealing with this nation-state of Aldebaran.

DaiMon Froot notes that the team will have to teleport from theLove’s Latinum Lost because defense forces would spot a landing starship. Kimbal Tegan scans the city and narrows the transmission site to a single neighborhood.

Industrial colony

Irdrant

Kyerak wants to negotiate with local authorities to find whoever is sending the subspace signals in violation of Starfleet’s non-interference Prime Directive, as he did in Nar Instel. Froot argues in favor of backup false identities as police officers.

Ravi changes out of his uniform, and Kimbal tunes into local radio stations. The other crew members from the U.S.S. Rotha stay with the Love’s Latinum Lost as the foursome beams down to an alley on the surface.

Vulcan Kyerak and human Ravi head toward “Nel’s Diner,” while Ferengi Froot and Trill Kimbal walk around the block and spot a military security post before entering the eatery.

Kyerak observes that most of the diner’s patrons are human, except for Illiana Drah’el, a Cardassian administrative assistant. Muscular Ravi impresses Bajoran waitress Kala Voshen and other women.

Froot watches as a well-dressed human executive arrives from the radio station across the street. Both Illiana and Kala defer to Sarlic Pramantha. Ravi listens to Sarlic confidently predict Irdrant’s inevitable victory over Folkhar.

Entrepreneur Froot offers some jewelry to Illiana, who asks for a gold and platinum earring. Half-human Kyerak doesn’t trust the Cardassian either, and he and wary Kimbal pose as potential advertisers to Pramantha, who agrees to meet the next day.

The four offworlders get rooms at the Sentinel Hotel. Kimbal examines local radio waves and finds that Irdrant’s armed forces are secretly sending messages encoded within commercial and propaganda broadcasts.

Kyerak uses a tricorder to search for Cardassian signals but finds that the subspace emissions match U.F.P. frequencies instead. Froot gives Ravi an item that Illiana touched, but her DNA isn’t in Starfleet’s records.

Froot beams up to the Love’s Latinum Lost to replicate the jewelry that the secretary requested and to plant a bug in it. Ravi confirms that the subspace transmitter must be hidden in Irdrant Tower, the same skyscraper that hosts the radio station.

Kyerak visits a library to research recent history and people who might be offworlders interfering with the former colony. Kimbal and Froot are skeptical that the Starfleet personnel will be able to uphold the Prime Directive between their mission and native Aldebaranian politics.

The next morning, the team visits Nel’s Diner for breakfast. Froot gives Illiana the earring she requested. Kyerak pretends to be clumsy and bumps into the secretary to briefly scan her telepathically.

The lieutenant learns that she plans to dismantle the jewelry for parts, presumably for the subspace transmitter. Kala avoids the Cardassian, even as the Bajoran waitress tries to flirt with Ravi.

The four explorers leave their weapons and ultra-tech tools at their hotel rooms before going to Irdrant Tower. They are patted down by strict Betazed officer Sgt. Anker Theophilus before taking an elevator to the radio station.

Illiana gives the visitors a brief tour, and Ravi sees no sign of the secret transmitter. Kimbal and Froot make a sponsorship pitch to Pramantha, who seems receptive. He invites them to dinner to close the deal. On the way out of the office, Kyerak asks Illiana to join them.

Pramantha sends a car to pick up the party. Kimbal finds that cabbie Maurice Thibaud is happy to share his opinions on numerous topics. He says that Sarlic is connected to many powerful people in Irdrant.

Lt. Kyerak, Mr. Chandler, Capt. Froot, and Mr. Tegan meet Mr. Pramantha and Ms. Drah’el at an old-fashioned steakhouse. Sarlic introduces them to Maj. Juanita Madeira, a human officer who is curious about the supposed investors.

Froot engages the major in conversation, while Kimbal finds that Illiana is fiercely loyal to Pramantha. Ravi notices that the wait staff is hovering suspiciously around their table, and Kyerak realizes that the Irdrantians mean to capture or kill them.

The impetuous Vulcan draws his phaser and stuns Pramanatha. Kimbal tries to warn Maj. Madeira, who admits that she gave the order for security forces to move in. Froot stealthily grabs Illiana’s purse to prevent her from finding the advanced bug in her jewelry.

Strong Ravi flips over a heavy table as the waiters open fire with slug throwers. Kyerak stuns Illiana, and Kimbal grabs unconscious Sarlic. The Trill tries to explain to Maj. Madeira that the radio executive is the threat to Irdrant, not him.

Froot scrambles over to Kimbal. As more troops arrive, Ravi initiates an emergency beam out to the Love’s Latinum Lost. Sarlic and Illiana are put in separate cabins as a makeshift brig, and Ravi takes blood samples.

When the prisoners come to, Lt. Kyerak and DaiMon Froot lead the interrogation. Kimbal moves the ship to a higher orbit to avoid detection by Irdrant, and Ravi and Tau find that Sarlic has antibodies consistent with interstellar travel.

Illiana says that Sarlic “is a great man who will lead Irdrant to dominance” of Alpha Tauri III. The media manipulator admits that he was a Federation sociologist assigned to covertly observe the colonists.

Sarlic also confesses that he was helping the military and sending out subspace signals in the hope of finding like-minded people willing to break the Prime Directive. He claims to be unaware of the Romulan spy in Nar Instel.

Froot is sympathetic to the need to reclaim systems before the Klingons, Romulans, or Cardassians, who are also recovering from disasters, can do so. Kyerak is unmoved and intends to turn over the rogue scientist to Starfleet Command.

Kimbal and Ravi beam down to Sarlic’s office to destroy histransmitter and any trace of advanced technology. They manage to avoid local security forces, and Kyerak begins planning to visit Folkhar, the origin point of the third and final set of subspace signals. To be continued….

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for playing Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek TV series and movies. He lived long and prospered, and he will be missed.

I look forward to continuing our adventures, but in the meantime, we have Dexter’s D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls,” Jason E.R.’s FAEChannel 37,” and my own “Vanished Lands” campaigns to play!