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

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.46, which was held on Sunday, 5 July 2015:

Long ago in a distant land, spirits and men directly traded bamboo, silk, and steel. Wars to the west, twisted monsters, and power-hungry sorcerers threatened the eastern kingdoms, so the call went out for new heroes of honor and tact….

Player Character Party 40 in Gene D.’s Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Asian-style telecom campaign, using AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules and an online dice roller, as of summer 2015:

  • Moon Jung-Mo [Dexter V.H.]-male Nannuattan Ninja (Msamaki; eastern Dark Elf Assassin) who has left the Shadow’s Claw clan and is posing as a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Souji Nobuto ‘Sonny’ Yoshimitsu [Beruk A.]-male Shengtese Tian Kensai (eastern human weapon master) from a dishonored house in the Lion Clan, specializing in chain weapons; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
  • Soske’ Tiatoshe [Geoff C./absent]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

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

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

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

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

Greater Oni

Yao-Mor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ninja gear

Ninja and gear

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

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

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

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

D&D5e "Vanished Lands" Session 41.4 — The "Downeaster Alitasse"

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.4 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 29 June 2015:

In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. The “Vanished Lands” were blessed by the gods and cursed by prophecy. Travelers became adventurers, and adventurers strove to be heroes in the face of many perils and wonders.

Sometime after a group of former circus performers wandered aboard the airshipZephyr and a team of diplomatic escorts fought chaos in Tong Sheng, past heroes reunited, and another band gathered on the Sea of Nagendwa….

Initial Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” nautical campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of summer 2015:

  • Kamar Alazar [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 1
  • Nuriel Earendil [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 1
  • Kaelen Northsea [Bruce K./absent ]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/Saganim Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 1
  • Eldamir Tempestborn [Rich C.G./absent ]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed member of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CG, Lvl. 1
  • Barret [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 1
  • Puliarus Aearion [Charles S.]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 1

Backup characters:

  • “Ludovico ‘Ludo’ Rosso” [Beruk A.]-male human ex-gladiator (Monk; see Bruce K.’s Pathfinder: Eberron/Reign of Winter); LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Brian W.]-male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Fighter, pragmatist; LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Sara F.]-female ?; NG, Lvl. 1
  • “Drogan” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Orc (Saganim) Barbarian, with a great sword; CN, Lvl. 1
  • Sebastian Leafsworn [Rich C.G.]-male Sylvan Elf Monk and sage, with forbidden lore; LG, Lvl. 1
  • “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of theZephyr ’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
  • Antoun Miner [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1

“4 to 6 October 1227 B.C.E.:” Cassy joined the new team, which traveled to Tir na nOg and managed to return to the barrows near the town of Drunstimlos. The group evaded traps in the old tombs and defeated a Necromancer and his skeletal minions.

Nuriel notes that time flows differently in the fey Otherworld than on the Prime Material plane of existence, so it’s possible that they have been away for days or years rather than hours.

Barret and Kaelen lead the way across the wide Plains of Sathendo back to the camp where they had encountered a roaring bunyip.

Kamar points out that the bunyip’s blood is still damp on the heath, and Cassy sniffs the smoldering campfire. They conclude that not only have they returned somehow before they entered the barrows, but they also have time to catch a ship out of town!

Eldamir helps guard prisoner Morgwyn, who is bound and gagged. Puliarus recommends turning the Necromancer over to the proper authorities in Drunstimlos. Kamar and Cassy are tired as they hike back.

Geraint, the innkeeper at the “Sailor’s Climb,” directs them to a guard tower at the eastern side of the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human town. They see a sturdy woman training bored adolescents in the use of staff and spear. Brenda O’Connor dismisses her students and questions the motley crusaders.

The adventuring party testifies that it caught Morgwyn practicing Necromancy in the barrows, and O’Connor agrees to take him into custody and to notify Lord Caerdon. She also pays the group a silver talent (50 silver pieces) as bounty for the criminal.

The militia leader says that she’ll pay two more (100 s.p. or 10 gold pieces) once she gets approval from Lord Caerdon. O’Connor is also interested in learning more about bandits and witches threatening travelers around Drunstimlos.

Barret picks up the butted metal horn caps he had commissioned, and the group heads to the docks to catch the H.M.S. Dauntless, a Saganim naval cruiser. Cmdr. Perry Maxwell is pleased to get two maps retrieved from Fr. Gwydion, an erratic priest of Ghanki.

Kamar and Puliarus keep copies of the old maps of the town and a desert island, as well as one detailing the area around the barrows. First officer Maxwell gives the newcomers a tour of the dromond and introduces them to Capt. Sheridan Driscoll and his crew.

Warship plan

Saganim naval vessel

Suthern human Kamar flirts with Alitasse Vorwende, a Thalassaquendi (western Sea Elf) and the ship’s bursar. Grey Elf Nuriel is more pleased than Half-Elf Puliarus to meet her. The spellcasters also compare notes with Lt. Vitalis Durand, a Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Wizard and navigator.

Otter-kin Cassy agrees to take shifts on lookout in the crow’s nest. Half-Elf Kaelen and Atlantean human Eldamir join some of the crew in the rigging and take shifts in the nightly watches. They see four ballistae mounted on the main deck and hammocks in the crew deck.

Barret notices Lt.Cmdr. Brock ap Corgan berating the sailors as the ship gets under way. The Minotaur happily tries the oars and later peels vegetables forHarfoot Halfling cook Bungo Longtoes.

Nuriel sings in Quelithan (High Elven) to bid the shore farewell and welcome the Sea of Nagendwa. He also receives some implements and an invitation to services from Brother Egil, a Cleric of sea lord Ghanki. The priest of Corellan Larethian enjoys gazing up at the stars before clouds move in.

Kamar joins the crew in sea shanties and composes a song in Alitasse’s honor. Cassy and Puliarus are glad to be able to take an evening swim. Barret is determined to become the best at each role aboard the Dauntless.

The next morning, Cassy spots a plume of smoke rising from a coastal village. Capt. Driscoll sends an away team to investigate, accompanied by two rowers. Amphibious Cassy and Puliarus swim ahead of the dinghy to the beach.

They see 10 Merrows (aquatic Ogres) attacking brown-skinned humans. Bold Puliarus yells at them to stop in the name of the kingdom of Saganim, and the Merrows turn their attention to him. Cassy tries to hide in the sand.

Kamar, Nuriel, and Barret come ashore and leave the two guards with the rowboat. The Bard readies True Strike, the Cleric draws his bow, and the Barbarian loads his crossbow. Cassy throws daggers at the Merrows, but they fall short.

Aquatic Ogre

Merrow

The sea Orcs thrust harpoons at Puliarus, wounding the storm Sorcerer. Swashbucking Kamar borrows a spear from Nuriel and joins the skirmish. Puliarus casts Fire Bolt, but the Merrows are tough and agile.

Burly Barret hits one foe with a bolt, and Nuriel’s Warding Flash protects him. Unfortunately, the elegant Elf’s bowstring breaks because it was dampened by salt water. Rogue Cassy switches to her rapier.

The Merrows injure Barret, but five are pushed back by Kamar’s Thunderwave.Puliarus joins him and advances with wind magic. Barret gets his second windand shoves two of the monstrous humanoids.

Nuriel pulls out a crystal, mutters, and outlines one of his opponents with Faerie Fire. Cassy strikes a blow before she and Puliarus are knocked unconscious by the Merrows. Kamar draws his rapier and casts another Thunderwave spell.

Nuriel hits some of the Merrows with a white flare from his crystal (Burning Hands). Kamar gives Barret Bardic Inspiration but is also knocked out by the Ogre-kin. Barret stabilizes Kamar, and Nuriel heals Puliarus, who wisely casts Fog Cloudso the team can fall back to the boat.

Nuriel and Puliarus grab Cassy, and Barret carries Kamar, as Kaelen and Eldamir arrive with Brother Egil and a few royal marines on a second dinghy from the Dauntless….

Two nights, two tough battles in a row! I look forward to continuing our D&D5e game, but note that I’ll be out of town later this month.

In the meantime, I also look forward to upcoming “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” and “Star Wars: Dark Timessessions. Have a great Independence Day!

"Vanished Lands: A New Dawn" Session 41.45 — Pagoda sombrero

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.45, which was held on Sunday, 28 June 2015:

Long ago in a distant land, spirits and men directly traded bamboo, silk, and steel. Wars to the west, twisted monsters, and power-hungry sorcerers threatened the eastern kingdoms, so the call went out for new heroes of honor and tact….

Player Character Party 40 in Gene D.’s Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Asian-style telecom campaign, using AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of summer 2015:

  • Moon Jung-Mo [Dexter V.H.]-male Nannuattan Ninja (Msamaki; eastern Dark Elf Assassin) who has left the Shadow’s Claw clan and is posing as a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Souji Nobuto ‘Sonny’ Yoshimitsu [Beruk A.]-male Shengtese Tian Kensai (eastern human weapon master) from a dishonored house in the Lion Clan, specializing in chain weapons; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
  • Soske’ Tiatoshe [Geoff C.]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K./absent]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

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

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

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

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

Reptilian miner

Zukojin

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

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

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

Asian gazebo

Pagoda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D&D5e "Vanished Lands" F2F nautical Session 41.3

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 41.3 of our face-to-face D&D5e game, which Drew & Divya S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 15 June 2015:

In one ancient world, there was a place where strange majicks and demihuman racesthrived. 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.

Sometime after a group of former circus performers wandered aboard the airshipZephyr and a team of diplomatic escorts fought chaos in Tong Sheng, past heroes reunited, and another band gathered on the Sea of Nagendwa….

Initial Player Character roster for Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” nautical campaign, using Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, as of summer 2015:

  • Kamar Alazar [Beruk A.]-male Suthern human swashbuckler (proto-Arabic Bard) and former member of the “Liberators” and “Dragonslayers”; CG, Lvl. 1
  • Nuriel Earendil [Brian W.]-male Grey Elf acolyte of light (Cleric of Corellan Larethian); NG, Lvl. 1
  • “Kaelen Northsea” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf scout (Sylvan/? Ranger), seeking his father; NG, Lvl. 1
  • Eldamir Tempestborn [Rich C.G.]-male Atlantean human soldier (Theran/Minoan Barbarian), tattooed member of the Order of the Kingfisher, specialist in the net and trident; CG, Lvl. 1
  • “Barret” [Drew S.]-male Minotaur wrestler and gladiator (Fighter) with a crossbow; LG, Lvl. 1
  • Puliarus Aearion [Charles S./absent]-male Half-Elf sage (Thalassaquendi storm Sorcerer), seeking to befriend all; CN, Lvl. 1

Backup characters:

  • “Ludovico ‘Ludo’ Rosso” [Beruk A.]-male human ex-gladiator (Monk; see Bruce K.’s Pathfinder: Eberron/Reign of Winter); LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Brian W.]-male Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human Fighter, pragmatist; LN, Lvl. 1
  • “?” [Sara F.]-female ?; NG, Lvl. 1
  • “Drogan” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Orc (Saganim) Barbarian, with a great sword; CN, Lvl. 1
  • Sebastian Leafsworn [Rich C.G.]-male Sylvan Elf Monk and sage, with forbidden lore; LG, Lvl. 1
  • “Vasco” [Drew S.]-male clockwork butler (Warforged), former member of theZephyr ’s crew, displaced in time and space; LN, Lvl. 1
  • Antoun Miner [Charles S.]-male Hill Dwarf Druid, healer curious about the sea; TN, Lvl. 1

“3 October 1227 B.C.E.:” The would-be adventurers consulted with the grieving parents of a young pirate, as well as with a local wizard before following an old map to some barrow mounds. They encountered a loud Bunyip on the way and found a strange portal in the tombs.

Meanwhile, back in the Saganim (proto-Celtic) human town of Drunstimlos, Nuriel ends his reverie and searches for his newfound companions at the “Sailor’s Climb” pub. Instead, the Grey Elf meets Cassy, an Otter-kin who says she saw them hiking north. The duo sets out after the motley crusaders.

Kaelen and Eldamir are worried when Kamar, Barret, and Puliarus step through the magical doorway into what appears to be a pleasant glade. They shrug in resignation and pursue them, just as Nuriel and Cassy catch up.

Nuriel is also entranced by the flowers, trees, and butterflies, which Kaelen, Eldamir, and Cassy perceive as more sinister. They spot a pirate’s bones. A small figure with a large nose peers out at the newcomers from behind a gnarled branch, and Cassy circles around to surprise him.

Small fey

Kilmoulis

The Kilmoulis welcomes the visitors to Tir na nOg, or the “Otherworld.” He whistles, and more diminutive Fey appear. They offer to take the team to meet their “larger cousins,” whom Nuriel identifies as Sidhe, kin of the Elves.

Cassy, Kaelen, and Eldamir politely decline and manage to get the group back to the portal and the tunnels beneath the barrows. Minotaur Barret takes the lead, followed by Cassy and Kaelen.

Kamar and Nuriel follow, with Eldamir and Puliarus bringing up the rear. HumansKamar and Eldamir light torches, and Nuriel coaxes his enchanted crystal into glowing. The spelunkers pass stairs and backtrack to an intersection near where they entered.

They then enter a long passage with three pairs of alcoves. Barret notices that the metal torch sconces aren’t rusted, despite being centuries old. Cassy scampers onto his shoulder for a closer look.

The Rogue suggests that they could open a hidden door, so the burly gladiator grabs one on each side of the hallway. The floor drops out, revealing a pit with spikes! Cassy hangs onto Barret, who hangs onto the sconces.

Kamar and Kaelen look 15 feet down into the pit, whose spikes are coated with grease or poison. The Bard and Ranger also see the skeleton of an unlucky grave robber. Cleric Nuriel uses Thaumaturgy to detect magic but senses none.

Barbarian Eldamir and Sorcerer Puliarus throw a rope, which Cassy uses to secure Barret and herself. Barret then jumps to the far side of the pit, while Cassy lowers herself into it. Kamar carefully joins her, and they retrieve an antique sword and a few intact arrows.

They then spike the trapdoor shut and follow Barret. The Fighter points out a pair of statues, and Cassy checks for more traps but finds none. At the third set of alcoves, the explorers decide to leave the (empty) suits of old armor alone.

The tunnels fork again. To the right (south) is some rubble, and the north passage leads to stairs down into a burial chamber. Three limestone sarcophagiare in the center, and each wall has more doors.

Nuriel and Barret are uncomfortable when Kamar and Kaelen use crowbars to look inside one sarcophagus. They find the remains of a blond chieftain clutching a long sword and wearing many rings. Cassy and Puliarus watch the doorways.

One exit leads to a corridor choked with webs, and another leads to more stairs down. The party descends and finds another crypt. Six skeletons attack with bronze blades!

Undead tomb guardians

Skeletal warriors

Quick-thinking Cassy rolls marbles down the stairs in an effort to slow the Undead. Bodyguard Eldamir steps in front of Nuriel, who readies his light crystal. Kaelen and Barret replace the lid of the sarcophagus and draw weapons.

Kamar readies True Strike but doesn’t have a clear line of sight in the staircase. Puliarus holds a lantern and stays on rearguard. Cassy slips into the shadows, while Eldamir rages and charges with his trident.

Kaelen destroys one skeleton, and Nuriel falls back with Puliarus. Kamar grabs a crowbar and maneuvers, as Barret moves to aid Kaelen. The skeletons hit Kaelen and knock Kamar unconscious. The group glimpses a man in black robes laughing in the crypt beyond.

Cassy switches to her rapier, and enraged Eldamir destroys two skeletons. Kaelen finishes two more, while Nuriel revives unlucky Kamar. Barret advances to reinforce Eldamir, but one skeleton injures Kaelen.

The Necromancer summons six more skeletons. Eldamir charges through them to the enemy spellcaster. Kaelen and Barret hold the stairs, as Kamar heals the Half-Elf. Nuriel tosses his crystal into the room.

One skeleton hits its ally rather than Eldamir, but another strikes the Atlantean. The Saganim human Necromancer casts at Eldamir, but he successfully resists. Barret gores and bashes the monsters in his way, and Cassy scores some hits at the top of the stairs.

Eldamir drops his rage and casts a net over the Necromancer, immobilizing him. Kaelen destroys another Undead with his swords, and Kamar gives Barret anInspiring Word. Nuriel casts Prestidigitation and steps forward, hitting two foes.

The unquiet dead wound Eldamir and Cassy, but the Necromancer is unable to get free from the net. Barret gets his Second Wind and smashes two more skeletons.

After a few tries, Eldamir manages to knock down the Necromancer, whom he then pummels. Kamar destroys a skeleton, and Nuriel finishes Kaelen’s two opponents. Cassy and Barret take care of the last skeletons.

Eldamir, Kaelen, and Kamar search and interrogate the Necromancer. Morgwyn says that he was conducting research and that he has friends in a manor outside of Drunstimlos.

Nuriel recognizes the holy symbol of Gheket, mistress of dark magic, and Barret recalls that one of the maps they got from Fr. Gwydion at a decrepit temple of Addoh showed a house on a hill surrounded by water. It also showed signs of bandits and sorcery.

The party plans to pass on some of those maps to Cmdr. Perry Maxwell as a condition of employment aboard the H.M.S. Dauntless. Barret mentions that he has memorized them.

The wanderers debate over whether to continue exploring the barrows or to return to town in time to catch the Dauntless. They eventually decide to leave the tombs for later and to bring Morgwyn to the local authorities….

Welcome back, Sara, to our face-to-face games! Charles, we missed you this past Monday, but I’m glad that you were able to meet more people at Bruce’s fun cookout last weekend.

Don’t forget to upload your new (and backup) characters to Obsidian Portal if you haven’t already. Also, reemember that the D20/FATE “Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” telecom team won’t be meeting this coming Sunday because of Father’s Day.

I look forward to continuing our adventures, as well as to seeing some of you at Brian S.‘s place for next Monday’s session of Jason E.R.’s “Star Wars: Dark Times!”

"Vanished Lands: A New Dawn" Session 40.44 — The Reaping

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.44, which was held on Sunday, 14 June 2015:

Long ago in a distant land, spirits and men directly traded bamboo, silk, and steel. Wars to the west, twisted monsters, and power-hungry sorcerers threatened the eastern kingdoms, so the call went out for new heroes of honor and tact….

Player Character Party 40 in Gene D.’s Vanished Lands: A New Dawn” Asian-style telecom campaign, using AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinderand FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of spring 2015:

  • Moon Jung-Mo [Dexter V.H.]-male Nannuattan Ninja (Msamaki; eastern Dark Elf Assassin) who has left the Shadow’s Claw clan and is posing as a River Spirit Folk (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Souji Nobuto ‘Sonny’ Yoshimitsu [Beruk A.]-male Shengtese Tian Kensai (eastern human weapon master) from a dishonored house in the Lion Clan, specializing in chain weapons; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
  • Ember Talon [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
  • Soske’ Tiatoshe [Geoff C./absent]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Saigo Kasugi [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
  • Tokoro Gawa [Drew S./departed]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10

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

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

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

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

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

Eastern river village

River trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ancient Osaka

Between the Bamor Mountains and the Therud Forest

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

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

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