Tag Archives: Holy Steel

FATE 3e "Spelljammer" Update 5 — Someone's looking to get flogged

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5 of Josh C.'s Spelljammer: "the Show Must Go On" space fantasy miniseries. We met on Sunday, 13 May 2012, and have been using Skype, Google+/Tabletop Forge, an online dice roller, and Cubicle 7’s Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed. Starblazer AdventuresLegends of Anglerre.

>> From the “Grand Show,” a port shaped like a top hat floating in the Hysgeu sphere, the performers of “Le battant elephant” and the “Dragon Fly” workers joined the crew of the Drowned Swan as it departed for Prince Andru’s birthday celebration at the Rock of Bral. However, our heroes soon encountered a potential mutiny, mysteries deep within the huge ship, Undead pirates, and more ….

-"Oner Walek" [Gene D.]-male Wolfen sky pirate, romantic swashbuckler, prestidigitator and deck hand hailing from the "Vanished Lands" now aboard the Drowned Swan

-"Scylla" [Sara F.]-young female Amethyst Dragon fortuneteller, raised by Gypsies and devoted to protecting the weak

-"Samael Muckblood" [Geoffrey C.]-male Hill Dwarf hunter, sniper, and “bad cop” serving in ship’s security; has a steam-powered crossbow “Guinevere”

-"Zanzibar" [Robin H.]-female Lizard Wizard, pyromaniac mistress of time and space (Spelljammer)

-"The Amazing Lorenzo Le May" [Byron V.O./absent]-male human Thief-Acrobat, juggler, and sometime cat burglar in " Le battant éléphant " circus troupe

Rock of Bral

The Rock of Bral

>>Upon returning to the Drowned Swan’s top decks to be reprimanded for unauthorized exploration of its inner hold, a rogue band helped the regular crew avoid mops and rigging wielded by ghosts that a former captain had summoned.

Capt. Andraimon Ianthe berates Winston Reisel III for neglecting to find Druids to tend to the “Ship Mother” before leaving port. The huge vessel continues on its way to the Rock of Bral.

Still curious about secrets hidden below, Oner helps the sailors and “Dragon Fly” workers. Sam eyes the animated buckets suspiciously and brandishes Guinevere before going off to down more grog.

Scylla finds Zanzibar in the cabin/library of lead Spelljammer Nonius Vatinius. They continue their research and determine that the ghostly crew can be dispelled, but the dragon and lizard wizard agree that it’s best to wait until the Drowned Swan is safely in port.

After an exciting week’s journey, all are relieved to arrive at the Rock of Bral, a bustling spaceport. The Drowned Swan passes sky piers and goes to the lower docks, near a huge cave mouth. Oner helps Vangar make sure that no unauthorized personnel come aboard.

The Wolfen on deck also asks Lorenzo to keep an eye on the performers in " Le battant elephant " as the troupe joins the throngs gathered for Prince Andru’s birthday. Winston asks Sam for an armed escort as he goes ashore, and the crossbowman goes to get his fellows.

Zanzibar scrubs the ship of Undead and goes to sun herself on a rock. When the reptilian mage awakens, she finds herself surrounded by others of her kind! They are angered to learn that Zanzibar isn’t part of their crew, but she dismisses them.

Oner helps Scylla stow and secure her possessions, and they then meet Sam and Winston. Sam talks with fellow Dwarf Raknog. Winston posts a sign offering three days’ wages in silver to anyone who can find a Druid for hire.

The away team chats with Bob… a talkative Tinker Gnome who runs an elevator to the floating city’s upper tiers. Winston tries to haggle for stage space, and Oner helps by mentioning diva Vermella Rogili. "Le battant elephant" gets permission to set up near a road and to seek smaller, “more intimate” venues.

Winston admits that he asked for Sam and company to accompany him as an “entourage” to help with the initial round of negotiations. Scylla and Oner realize that the man is in over his head, so they offer to split up to help look for Druids.

While Winston goes to the Elvish District to drum up business for the carnival, the wanderers go to a quiet neighborhood on the Rock of Bral. Zanzibar, Sam, Scylla, and Oner find the Pantheist University, the House of the Path and the Way, the Polygot Shrine, and students of various races and worlds.

In the Polygot Shrine, they see bear worshippers of various pantheons, and in a nearby grove, Zanzibar meets a laid-back group of Elves. Silvermoon Lunawalker languidly says that he’ll consider her offer to serve as the “Ship Mother’s” caretaker aboard the Drowned Swan.

Sam is distracted by something and wanders away, so Zanzibar telekinetically grabs his hat. The Dwarf crossbowman ignores the Lizard Wizard, who then reaches for “Guinevere.” Oner ducks behind Scylla as Sam turns back to Zanzibar.

Three Dwarven thugs emerge from a shadowy alcove and greet Sam as a long-lost kinsman, but all present feel the tension between them. Fortunately, dragon Scylla’s size is enough to scare them off, but they promise to find Sam again later.

Unruffled, Sam retrieves his hat, glares at Zanzibar, and pays his respects at a shrine to Derin, the beggar god. Scylla divines the way to an orchard near the campus, where a group of people deny being Druids to blunt Zanzibar.

Oner asks another Elf about good places to eat. Farrelly recommends the “Enchanted Butterfly” in the Elven district and “Eat Like a Halfling” in “the Burrows” (the Halfling district). The travelers opt for the latter and see a sign with an overflowing cauldron.

The Lizard Woman, Dwarf, Wolfen, and dragon enjoy a long and hearty meal, and Oner recognizes and greets some shipmates. Sated, Sam and Scylla return to the Drowned Swan for a nap, but Zanzibar wants to go drinking in the Lower Market, so Oner follows her to keep her out of trouble.

In the thieves’ district, Zanzibar finds a sauna run by an Orc accustomed to reptile folk. He shows her to some heated rocks and strong alcohol. Periwinkle mentions a "Lizard Folk scene," while Oner tries to stay cool with strange, frozen beverages.

Zanzibar falls asleep, and furry Oner worries about spending the night in the sweltering sauna. The swashbuckler hears a commotion overhead and wakes the assistant Spelljammer — winged Scylla is taking Sam flying! Those on the ground are amused by the Dwarf’s misadventure, and Oner and Zanzibar go to meet them back at their ship….

I’m glad that we were able to play, despite the latest technical difficulties with Google+/Tabletop Forge and Skype. Byron, we missed you at this past weekend’s game!

I look forward to Jason’s "Glassworks" superhero scenario using Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, as well as whatever Rich, Bruce, and others run on alternating Monday nights. I expect to eventually return to my own long-running Pathfinder: the Vanished Lands" and "Vortex" campaigns.

If I remember correctly, we won’t be meeting this coming Sunday, 20 May 2012, and I won’t be available during Memorial Day weekend. I hope to see all of you virtually in June!

FATE 3e "Spelljammer" — Getting under way

Fellow role-players, here are Josh C.'s and my notes for his Spelljammer: "the Show Must Go On" space fantasy miniseries, using Cubicle 7's Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer AdventuresLegends of Anglerre, Skype, and an online dice roller.

Treasure Planet port

Ships in space

>Floating in the Hysgeu sphere is a station shaped like a top hat. The "Grand Show" is a port of call for the curious, pleasure-seekers, and experienced spacefarers alike. It's also the home to a fleet of merchant vessels and itinerant shows. Coming aboard the huge ship the Drowned Swan, we find our heroes:

-"Oner Walek" [Gene D.]-male Wolfen sky pirate, romantic swashbuckler, prestidigitator and deck hand hailing from the "Vanished Lands" now aboard the Drowned Swan

-"Scylla" [Sara F.]-young female Amethyst Dragon fortuneteller, raised by Gypsies and devoted to protecting the weak 

-"Samael Muckblood" [Geoffrey C.]-male Hill Dwarf hunter, sniper, and "bad cop" serving in ship's security; has a steam-powered crossbow 

-"Zanzibar" [Robin]-female Lizard Wizard, pyromaniac mistress of time and space (Spelljammer) 

-"The Amazing Lorenzo Le May" [Byron V.O.]-male human Thief-Acrobat, juggler, and sometime cat burglar in "Le battant éléphant" circus troupe 

>About a week ago, these notifications were posted around The Grand Show:

To all members of the Grand Show. The Drowned Swan will be space-worthy ahead of schedule. Because of this, the ship has been scheduled to attend the Festival of Festivals commemorating the 45th birthday of Prince Andru of the rock of Bral.

Performers of the Drowned Swan production should report to Winston Reisel III for housing and general information. Le battant éléphant will be accompanying them to the festival. In addition, Le battant éléphant has some openings for new members. Please speak to Winston Reisel III to arrange an audition.

Work crew "Dragon Fly" has also been assigned. Vangar and One-Eyed Willie are still assembling the crew; please speak Vangar for ship security and One-Eyed Willie for carnival security. Be advised, space is limited due to the large staff.

Upon reading this poster, several members of the crew were tapped. Sam Muckblood, a Dwarf from a backwater planet, was approached by Grugach (Wild Elf) Vangar for the security team. Vangar noted that "Guinevere," Sam's steam-powered, multishot crossbow, would be handy to help with the ship's defense.

Oner Walek, a Wolfen about the deck, was approached by One-Eyed Willy, a lanky Halfling. Oner had a reputation for discretion and a good pair of ears, useful traits both shipside and dockside.

Scylla met with Winston Reisel III. The dragon fortuneteller expressed interest in joining the show. Her reputation preceded her, and a haggard Winston accepted her petition after they finished some paperwork and herbal tea.

Zanzibar, a lizard woman mistress of dimensions, was approached by head mage Nonius Vatinius, an Elf Summoner. Since Zanzibar was one of the few "Spelljammers" in the crew, Nonius recruited her to help propel the Drowned Swan, but only after reminding her of her lowly rank.

Lorenzo, a long-standing member of Le battant éléphant, was also included in the show roster. He amused himself by juggling on the top deck. After Sam signed up, he went to his bunk to check out the cramped setup and research ways to secure his weapon.

Meanwhile, Oner obtained some refreshments for the crew after consulting with quartermaster Numen Yucebs. Oner walked around and ingratiated himself by offering water and grog. The Wolfen eventually found Muckblood in a nearby bunk taking measurements and muttering to himself. After a brief conversation, they parted ways.

Oner continued to explore the ship, eventually finding a large, pastoral room filled with the "Garden of Delights." He was greeted by an entity calling itself the "Ship Mother." It shooed Oner away, saying that only her staff was permitted to attend her. He thanked her and walked off, finding that deeper levels of the ship were blocked off.

Dragon Scylla, who was unable to fit in the regular crew compartment, asked for a proper tent for shelter on the main deck. Zanzibar met Capt. Andraimon Ianthe, an imposing man, as well as Lidia Kamenevem, the Halfling first mate, and Mario, an insectoid (Neogi?) Spelljammer.

As the "Dragon Fly" work crews rushed about, trying to avoid collisions with the regular hands of the Drowned Swan, the performers of Le battant elephant tried to find space to rehearse. Scylla observed beasts in the "elephant wagons," and Zanzibar laughed at a haughty blonde woman who was startled by nonhumans aboard the ship.

Vangar and One-Eyed Willy warned Oner and Sam to stay out of the way of the various groups, notify superiors of any problems, and to "gently eject" unauthorized boarders such as pirates. The guards' resolve was soon tested when they met diva Vermella Rogili, star of the "Harrowing of Prince Caspian." Fortunately, the acting ship's owner discreetly escorted her away.

Sometime after that, Rafael Galves held a secret meeting of some of the carnival folk. During the meeting, he rallied against the poor treatment of the workers. Disgruntled Galves got the circus performers riled up, and in general nothing happened, but none walked away happy.

Oner and Lorenzo had attended the meeting on behalf of the security team but were unable to keep quiet. After dodging irate carnies in the Drowned Swan's labyrinthine corridors, they suggested to Vangar and One-Eyed Willie that some of the sealed-off portions of the ship be used to expand the crew quarters.

The officers promised to tell the captain, but they were clearly hiding something in addition to the onion-like deck plans they were studying. Oleg later quietly suggested to Lorenzo that they find some help and covertly explore the forbidden areas….

Note that the next FATE 3e "Spelljammer" game will be on Sunday, 8 April 2012. Byron might be late because of Easter celebrations, but we should have quorum. We'll eventually return to my "Vanished Lands" telecom fantasy game.

The Boston-area face-to-face groups may also be taking a break from my FATE 3e "Vortex" space opera after April 23 to play a superhero game, as suggested by Jason E.R. In the meantime, happy gaming!

"Uncommon Companions" Update T3.41 — Tea house and terror bird thief

Stock image of a Chinese tea house

Tea house in Alfendi

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.41 of the latest adventuring party in my "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Saturday, 4 February 2012, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.

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

After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, the "Uncommon Companions" encountered the Centaur followers of the mysterious Vappu Lahja and Unseelie Fey in the increasingly dangerous borderlands….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2012:

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

-"Jovinda Halflight" [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Saganim) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; has horses Wyth-Amoi and Meth-Fenna and falcon Ana-Quessahr; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 4

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

-"Hateem Shisakli" [Josh C.]-male Suthern human Dervish (proto-Arabic Bard/Battledancer) visiting the cold north; Lvl. 4

-"Suki" [Sara F.]-female Tengu Mahotsukai (raven-folk Sorceress/Illusionist) and fugitive; Lvl. 4

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

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

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

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

>>"16 November 1229 B.C.E.:" After recovering from their long journey across the Plains of Sathendo, the travelers continued exploring the city of Alfendi in the Waletku kingdom of the Elves. After asking around about where other easterners may be found, they visited the tea house of Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) Seng Shiu Jun.

Asish recognizes a tea ceremony in one paper-walled alcove and orders wulong with honey. Jovinda asks for white tea and observes Sylvan Elves in kimonos. Kazuo is reminded of the scents of his distant homeland and orders green tea. Hateem, who is from far to the southwest, asks the confused wait staff for a hookah.

The adventuring party discusses what it has learned so far in Alfendi, including Ranger Asish's training with Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elf) exile "Thalissa" [John Z.G./Non-Player Character] and his upcoming dinner date with Saganim/Shengtese human Rogue "Jade Xi Aschent" [Sammy/N.P.C.]. Cleric Jovinda is unsure of how investigating abandoned border forts will help in thwarting Vappu Lahja's intolerant followers on the Plains of Sathendo.

Monk Kazuo is not interested in more shopping in the city, while Dervish Hateem is pleased when he is eventually brought a small and rare hookah. They wonder how a small establishment in the western Wisalef Forest manages to trade tea with Tong Sheng and the Zedu kingdom despite the barbaric Gusorin Confederation and oppressive Gokuri being in between.

The group orders dim sum, including dow sa bow (red bean paste buns), wu tao go (taro root pudding), larp cheung guen (steamed sausage rolls), and gow gee (dumplings). Kazuo agrees to help guide Asish in the martial arts, on the condition that he abstain from meat and alcohol.

As hostess Seng Shiu Jun greets each of her guests, Asish overhears a woman asking for safe haven in Shengtese, but he unable to see the speaker. The Tsucharim horseman feels honor-bound to offer aid, but his companions recommend caution.

Some of Asish's questions are soon answered as the fugitive prepares to leave the tea house. She is a Tengu with black and white feathers, blue eyes, robes, and several pouches hanging from her belt. Rather than draw more attention to themselves, the group and shy Suki go outside to talk. However, she sees someone trying to steal Jun, her Axebeak steed!

Swift Kazuo runs after the would-be thief, as Bard Hateem maneuvers to keep up. Archer Asish draws his bow and fires two leaf-headed arrows, hitting his quarry. Sorceress Suki casts Magic Missile. Jovinda, priestess of nature goddess Mekkil, calls Ana-Quessahr (Sun Wing). The falcon tries to rake Jun's rider with his claws.

The thief spurs the Axebeak, and Nezumi Kazuo's Stunning Fist misses. Suthern human Hateem casts Grease, but he trips Kazuo rather than Suki's steed. Asish whistles for his dog Genghis and horse Onimusha and fires more arrows. Half-Elf Jovinda casts Spiritual Weapon, summoning a staff to whack at the thief.

Fortunately, his flight is interrupted when the Axebeak slips, and the rider jumps clear. Kazuo circles around the slippery spot to fight him, and Hateem swings his scimitar. Genghis tries to bite the assassin, who strikes Kazuo with a poisoned blowgun dart.

Suki's Magic Missiles eventually finish off the thief. Asish offers to take Kazuo on Onimush to the Chalice of Healing near the temple district, but the Monk declines, insisting on limping there alongside the Ranger. Hateem questions Kazuo's state of mind, but he and Kovinda search the assassin's body. Suki tends to her mount.

Jovinda identifies a vial as Black Smear poison. Weakened, Kazuo manages to get to the local hospital, where Asish consults Halfling dentist Glechi Drax. Quelanthi (High Elf/Eladrin) physician Meredemario asks for a sample of the poison for antidote and payment. Asish sends runner Laenvin to report to Aldarion at the Rangers' Guild.

Back in the alley by the tea house, Hateem finds 200 crowns (gold pieces) and a masterwork dagger and thieves' tools. Suki claims a disguise kit and notes that Ninjas have been pursuing her. They are surprised when the thief's visage changes from that of a Sylvan Elf to the blank features of a Changeling!

Asish and Kazuo return to the alley in time to give statements to High Elf guard Gavalaraen, who promises to investigate the possibility of infiltration by spies from the nefarious kingdom of Gokuri. The city watch won't press charges against Suki for self-defense, and the "Uncommon Companions" go back to the "Unicorn Moon" inn, where they see a chrysanthemum delivery….

Welcome, Sara, to this telecom game! I look forward to our next regular session on Sunday, Feb. 12, our last before you and Josh — and Janice and I — move! I expect my campaigns, including the FATE 3e "Vortex" space opera, to resume in early March.

In the meantime, please remember to take advantage of our Google Groups message board, the Obsidian Portal wiki (which Josh has updated), and stay in touch!

"Vanished Lands" Update T3.39 — Entering Alfendi

Alfendi 2

The Elven city of Alfendi

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.39 of the latest adventuring party in my "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 15 January 2012, using Pathfinder, Skype, and an online dice roller.

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

After meeting in the Wisalef Forest, an unlikely band of adventurers encountered the hostile Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja and Unseelie Fey in the increasingly dangerous borderlands….

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2012:

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

-"Jovinda Halflight" [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Saganim) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horses Wyth-Amoi and Meth-Fenna; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 4

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

-"Hatem Shisakli" [Josh C.]-male Suthern human Dervish (proto-Arabic Bard/Battledancer); Lvl. 4

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

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

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

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

>>"14 August 1229 B.C.E.:" After reporting to the Grove of Mekkil and the local Rangers' Guild, the trio of travelers rested at the "Unicorn Moon" inn. The next morning, Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo continue their exploration of the Elven city of Alfendi.

At the main market square, Asish buys fruit and wine and inquires about leatherworkers for skins he recently took from a fallen Ettin. The Ranger learns of tanners on River Street near the North Square and asks them to rework the hides into barding for horses Onimusha and Gashmu.

Jovinda asks Kazuo if he'd like to visit the arenas or temples to look for other Monks, but he declines. The Cleric also makes plans to summon a hawk companion and to help Asish with a ritual for his dog Genghis, probably outside the high city walls.

Meanwhile, after a journey of several months from the Halmed Desert far to the southwest (see the "Broken Chains"), Hatem Shisakli arrives in Alfendi, seeking enlightenment. The Dervish finds his way to the bright cathedral of Corellan Larethian, where he obtains an audience with high priest Felhis Kallen.

Tsucharim archer Asish asks various merchants about a bowyer/fletcher and is eventually referred to a Sylvan (Wood) Elf named Hasariel who has a shop near the North Park. He reunites with Jovinda and Kazuo at the temple of Corellan, where they wait in line with an impatient Elven knight to speak with Felhis. The Quelanthi (High Elf/Eladrin) high priest is speaking with a dark-skinned, robed human.

Sir Japeth talks with the Clerics of Corellan, head of the Sylvan pantheon, leaving the other visitors to wait a bit longer. Jovinda introduces herself as a priestess of Mekkil, goddess of nature, to Hatem, but Nezumi Kazuo is quiet, and Asish recalls Kovar's usual wariness.

Felhis Kallen returns and apologizes, saying that he had urgent business with the Paladins. Jovinda repeats her warning about the spread of Vappu Lahja's intolerant teachings and corruption of the Fey folk between the Plains of Sathendo and the Wisalef Forest. She also asks for access to the temple library.

The high priest offers to help with holy water and healing, and he asks Hatem if he might find knowledge by traveling with the group. After some consideration, Hatem agrees to go with Jovinda, Asish, and Kazuo. Sir Japeth pledges to continue smiting evil, and Jovinda gives Felhis and scribe Lejorian an old map of Ley lines and border settlements to copy.

The grateful group leaves the temple district and goes to Alfendi's Hall of Records to search the civic library for more information that might help them against Vappu Lahja. At the front steps, an attractive Saganim/Shengtese human woman recognizes them.

Smitten Asish stammers a greeting to "Jade Xi Aschent" [Sammy/Non-Player Character], but Jovinda and Kazuo are not impressed by Digger's onetime rival. Hatem is bemused. The tomb raider exchanges strained pleasantries and makes a dinner date with Asish back at the "Unicorn Moon," where she also happens to be staying.

In the Hall of Records, Quelanthi librarian Celondoril helps the outlanders conduct their research. Asish looks for more maps and records of past wars. Hatem shows his new companions where he is from. "Hijiri" Jovinda asks about Druid meeting places, and she and Kazuo study dusty tomes for variants of the legend of Vappu Lahja.

The group also learns that hundreds of years ago, the junctions of the Saganim empire, the Waletku kingdom of the Elves, and the Zeda kingdom of Dwarves and Gnomes — not to mention the Orcs of Zuromm — were very different from the present boundaries. Dwarven outcasts Konar, Rollin, Nesil, and Gofdur helped early Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) humans, and their sons may still be alive.

After a few hours, the wanderers leave Celondoril to his stacks because they have meetings planned with Ranger Aldarion, Jade, and others in Alfendi….

Welcome again, Josh! I look forward to continuing this telecom team's adventures on Jan. 29. See also my separate posts regarding multiclassing and prestige classing.

In the meantime, the "Broken Chains" — using FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre — will be meeting virtually tonight (Sunday, Jan. 22) because Sammy & Taum won't be available. Team 1, the crew of the Blackbird and Dragonfly, will be playing in the FATE 3e "Vortex" space opera tomorrow, weather permitting. Be seeing you, -Gene

"Vanished Lands" Update T3.38 — Arrival in Alfendi

Entering Alfendi

Arrival in Alfendi

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session T3.38 of the latest adventuring party in my "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Sunday, 8 January 2012, using Pathfinder, Google+, and an online dice roller.

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

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

>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2012:

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

-"Jovinda Halflight" [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Hifalendorin) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horses Wyth-Amoi and Meth-Fenna; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 4

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

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

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

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

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

>>"13 to 14 August 1229 B.C.E.:" After a long ride from Alarn, the would-be heroes arrive at the city of Alfendi. As the trio passes through the Thelloc Gate, Jovinda is surprised to find so many buildings of brick and stone, betraying Dwarven influence. Most of Alfendi's inhabitants are Alvari, or Sylvan Elves, but there are also some Quelanthi (High Elves/Eladrin), Faldine Halflings, Forest Gnomes, and humans.

Asish is more disturbed to see the local Magisterium (magic school/library) on Sparrow Lane and shops such as "Malgwyn's Rods" and "Scroll Lust." As a former slave of the sorcerous kingdom of Gokuri, the barbarian has no love of arcane spellcasters.

Kazuo notices sporting activities at the Arena of Enduril, the parade grounds next to the governor's palace, and the People's Arena, as well as tree-lined cobblestone streets. He is not impressed at the prancing steeds of Elven equestrians. Despite his unusual appearance, the Nezumi isn't accosted by curious children or potentially racist peasants.

The travelers dismount and enter the Temple District, where the shining spires of Corellan's cathedral overlook shrines to the rest of the Waletku pantheon. Jovinda asks for directions to the Grove of Mekkil, the goddess of nature. Sister Elizabeth greets her fellow priestess and her companions, and she directs Kordar, a Hill Dwarf Druid, to help guide them around the city.

Jovinda warns Elizabeth and Kordar of the spread of Vappu Lahja's influence and unnatural creatures in the southern Wisalef Forest. The Druids are concerned about these and the possible fouling of Ley lines.

At Elizabeth's recommendation, Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo go to the "Unicorn Moon" inn, where they obtain room, board, and stabling for 6 crowns (gold pieces) for two nights. Sylvan Elf concierge Galdor summons Frik, a Halfling porter, to take the trio's luggage to their small but well-furnished and seemingly secure rooms on the second floor.

Asish tends to the horses, mule, and dog, while Jovinda and Kazuo go to the public baths across Well Square. The Grugach (Wild Elf) enjoys a hot soak and chats with other women, but the ratkin Monk keeps to himself and quickly cleans. They return to the hotel relaxed, so inquisitive Asish then goes to wash away the dust and strains of the road.

In the main market square, Asish sells various pelts and weapons that his portion of the party has acquired to Tigen Sanar for a total of more than 600 crowns. Finally flush with cash, Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo go to the Rangers' Guild, a log structure on the Wainway in Alfendi's northeastern quadrant.

They find scruffy scouts wearing green cloaks lounging around the main hall. Kazuo sees relatively few beast-kin like himself, unlike back in Alfhileno, capital of the Waletku kingdom of the Elves. Jovinda recognizes one Ranger as a blond Saganim human, like her missing father.

Asish admires the assortment of bows on one wall and approaches another Ranger, a Grey Elf wearing chain armor with his boots up on a desk. Silver-haired Aldarion turns out to be friendly and receptive to the Tsucharim rider's warnings about the Unseelie Fey in Alarn.

Aldarion leads his three fellow explorers up a ladder to a room with no windows but numerous oil lamps and maps of the entire region. He offers to immediately take six gryphons to raze Alarn, pleasing Jovinda and Kovar, who recall the reluctance of some council members in the Hifalendorin human city of Nadwi to intervene. Two groups of knights were lost in ill-advised forays.

Asish asks for a brief delay, noting that Aldarion should probably check with Alfendi's authorities and that he has other questions to address. Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo show the Ranger the map of old border forts and Ley lines, as well as a jade chop taken from the Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elves).

While he knows little about the markings on the chop, Aldarion says his wife might be able to help. He notes that Delvalatar Juteriel, with whom the travelers had also shared the map, is known to the guild as a bounty hunter. Jovinda suspects that Halfling Rogue Digger or Saganim/Shengtese scholar Jade could be Delvalatar's true quarry.

Aldarion agrees to meet the trio for lunch the next day at Zed's pub, and Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo leave the lodge to explore more of the city….

Thanks again for your patience as we dealt with Skype problems this past weekend. Since Google+ hangouts worked fine, we'll try that again for our next regular Sunday game. Sammy, I may be at Arisia, a genre entertainment convention near Boston, but I'll try to log in early this coming weekend to dscuss "Jade."

By now, you may have seen Josh C.'s Suthern human Dervish and Sara F.'s Tengu Sorcerer, as well as my blog posts about D&D5e. Josh and I will also eventually post notes for the latest Team 1 session of the FATE 3e "Vortex" space opera, and Team 2 meets next on Monday, Jan. 16. In the meantime, have a good week, -Gene