Tag Archives: legends of anglerre

"Vanished Lands: Vistel's Expedition" Session 39.37 — Hidden doors and dracosaurs

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.37, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 14 April 2014:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dragon-dinosaur crossbreed

Dracosaur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Vanished Lands: Vistel's Circus," Session 39.34 — The circle of death

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.34, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 3 March 2014:

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

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

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

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

On the savannas of Salhonif Island

“19 to 24 February 1227 B.C.E.:” On Salhonif Island, the explorers visited Estu, a village of civilized apes. They found Reptile Folk ruins, a disguised spy of the devil in the Ibafen Mountains, and a ziggurat with an idol and the Eye of Heaven, a magical gem possibly protecting the apes.

“Vistel’s Expedition” heads northwest toward the city-state of Selifa, across savannah rather than jungles. Scully and scout Makena Walabu lead the way across the dry grasslands. Giacomo’s back itches because the “Mad Mage” Ezra trapped in his tattoo senses the evil temple at volcanic Mt. Tilefa.

Hamfast explains to Elsa that their adventuring party chose the plains route over the rain forest because the latter has more spies of the Pit Fiend. Corwin reminds his companions that their primary mission is to get help from Queen Zapanga to find and free Lady Shadira, an Efreeti trapped in Shambling Mound form by devil Schm*ckF*ck.

Tempestade considers his plans to free fellow slaves from his own time by using a magical obelisk in the barbaric port of Gisar. He and Sir Torrel guard the porters and supplies.

The onetime performers’ hike is interrupted by seven hyenas. Flind Scully tries to warn them off with a snarl, but yelps indicate that the predators are surrounding the caravan. Hill Dwarf Elsa tries to Speak With Animals, but the hungry beasts continue to tighten their noose.

Hifalendorin human Giacomo casts Magic Missile, immediately killing three hyenas. Corwin wants to try Fireball, but the Ranger and Druid recommend against that in the dry brush. The Half-Elf instead casts Mirror Image.

Elsa Summons Woodland Beings, and two baobab Treants appear. Scully slays two of her distant cousins with arrows. Zeda human Hamfast swings his maul, mainly to clear the tall grasses around them and to fend off the creatures.

Tempestade, Sir Torrel, and Makena try to protect the porters. The pack runs around the large Treants. Elsa Wild Shapes into a lioness, and the remaining hyenas reluctantly lope away to rejoin the circle of life and death.

The Treants also leave. Scully uses the Lens of True Sight to verify that the dead are actually animals and not humanoid slaves or spies Polymorphed by the Baatezu.

That night, Elsa casts Grove of Respite, which creates fruit-bearing trees and a pool of potable water in the middle of the savannah! Hamfast and Corwin take the first watch and worry about disease-bearing insects and ravenous dinosaurs.

During the second watch, Giacomo and Scully hear the thunder of approaching hooves. A herd of zebras, which they have never seen before, streams around the camp. One of the striped equines at the back of the stampede falls, writhing in pain.

Ranger Scully wakes Bard Corwin, and they sneak out for a better look. The hapless zebra is covered in swarming army ants, which threaten to engulf those outside the oasis. The spellcasters protect themselves — Wizard Giacomo casts Invisibility, and Druid Elsa casts Repel Vermin.

Elsa then runs to the zebra to cast Cure Light Wounds, and Corwin casts Fly to stay above most of the insects. Giacomo joins him with Levitation. Scully runs back to the camp, where Fighter Hamfast and the others stay asleep.

Elsa uses Commune With Nature to assess the local area and sends the zebra back to its herd. Scully notes that other predators may still cull it, but that’s the way of nature.

The next day, the group beholds Selifa’s white stone walls. Guide Makena says that not only is the ancient city-state on the Bisuna River, but it’s also located where the plains, forest, and mountains come together, enabling farmers, hunters, and herders to coexist and contribute.

Corwin asks Makena about local inns, and she names the “Agali’s Cape” and the “Tilefa’s Tears.” The expedition goes to the first one to try dinner. Yetunde, the matronly proprietor, welcomes the visitors in Suthern.

Giacomo burns his tongue on spicy food, but Hamfast enjoys the shared meal enough to recommend staying at “Agali’s Cape.” Scully doesn’t like Yetunde’s wide hat and takes particular interest in the brontosaurus carpaccio.

Corwin offends their host by asking for female companionship for the night, so Elsa smoothes over the faux pas and trades plum wine for date wine. Makena later reports that the “Tilefa’s Tears” is quieter, but the group is satisfied with its choice.

The travelers retire to one of Yetunde’s guest houses, which has a fire pit surrounded by concentric clay ledges. The bottom one is for sitting by the fire and eating, the next ones are for storage, and the top tier has pillows and blankets for sleeping.

The next day, the former members of Vistel’s Circus hire a young man to wait in line to get them a royal audience. They then go to one of Selifa’s bustling markets. Coffee, chocolate, tropical fruit, and exotic stews fill the air with fragrance.

Most of the people are colorfully clad humans of certain tribes, with some tall plainsfolk, robed coastal traders, or stocky jungle dwellers. There are also Lizard People and a few demihumans in the city, including Agogwe (Halflings), Kitunusi (Gnomes), Ngoloko (Orcs), Utuchekulu (Dwarves), and Wakyambi (Elves; see D20 Nyambe).

Kobolds lurk in alleyways as bright clothes hang overhead. Elsa talks with Uzoma, an Utuchekulu whose tribe worships a mountain orisha. Her talk of sacrifices scares away the rest of the party. Giacomo buys spell components.

Hamfast buys souvenir fetishes and a flute, and Scully inquires about dyes and jewelry. She learns that gold and diamonds are somewhat more common in the Zarendo Islands than on the mainland, but iron and pearls are rarer and thus more valued.

Musa, an Ngoma (Bard), tells Corwin that artists gather in front of the palace each night to perform and compete for audience favor and coin. Elsa buys a bagpipe, and Corwin practices on the drums.

Hamfast and Elsa also notice various temples to the Zarendo pantheon. Elsa buys a long masterwork shield to present to Queen Zapanga. Giacomo and his homunculus familiar Gerald busy themselves enchanting his Wizard’s Staff.

Akinwole, who had waited in line, promises the outlanders that he will obtain a royal audience for the next day. As dusk falls, crowds move from the market to near the palace, where drummers and dancers quicken the pulse.

Hamfast and Elsa enjoy street food, while Elsa realizes that she needs to practice the bagpipe. Corwin strums his mandolin, and even though most of the islanders don’t understand what the Saganim prince is singing, they appreciate his melodies.

“Vistel’s Expedition” returns to the “Agali’s Cape” to await its summons to Selifa’s royal court….

I look forward to seeing everyone’s “Vanished Lands” characters in the new D20/FATE format on Obsidian Portal soon. Let me know if you need any help or if there are any people, sites, or items you’ll be looking for in Selifa before next Monday’s game.

In the meantime, I also look forward to our upcoming “Vanished LandsA New Dawn” and Jason E.R.’s “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” sessions, as well as non-gaming events.

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" Update 4 — Mopping up

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 4 of Josh C.'s Spelljammer: "the Show Must Go On" space fantasy miniseries. We met on Sunday, 29 April 2012, and have been using Skype, Google+, 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 in preparing to depart for Prince Andru's birthday celebration at the Rock of Bral. However, our heroes soon discovered that not all is as it seems….

-"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.]-male human Thief-Acrobat, juggler, and sometime cat burglar in "Le battant éléphant" circus troupe

>>While crossing the plogiston and Wildspace, the ethernauts and circus performers had encountered Undead pirates. About halfway in a week's journey to the Rock of Bral, the crew and passengers of the Drowned Swan find themselves entangled with magically animated rigging, mops, and buckets.

A scene from Disney's Fantasia

Fantasia's Sorcerer's Apprentice

Vangar, the Wild Elf head of security, dresses down the group that defied orders and explored the massive ship's inner decks. Oner tries to explain that he felt there was an imminent danger requiring investigation, while Scylla and Sam try to avoid eye contact. Vangar puts the wayward team on report, and he orders it to help the regular crew.

Zanzibar takes a journal she found to Nonius Vatinius at the Spelljamming section. The Elf Summoner grudgingly grants the Lizard Wizard permission to examine it in his cabin/library. Zanzibar soon confirms that the log belonged to a previous captain and a Necromancer, who had decided to use ghosts rather than living sailors.

Wily Oner tells Lorenzo that he still believes that answers to stopping the spirits and preventing potential mutinies lies below decks. Scylla tries to divine the future, which at first appears hazy. The dragon seer then has a vision of an onion with a purple light at its heart, bound by chains and a lock, no doubt a reference to the strange energies at the Drowned Swan's core.

Back on the top decks, doughty Sam struggles with a bucket as he tries to help the scared sailors. The Amazing Lorenzo Le May tries to pin down the moving mops and buckets. Oner then realizes that the ghosts are just trying to carry out regular shipboard duties.

The Wolfen on deck quickly checks with Lidia Kameneve, the Halfling first mate, and they agree to tell the regular crew to stand aside. Capt. Andraimon Ianthe, a tall human, orders his people to do other things for the time being while the spirits handle their tasks. Lorenzo juggles knives to entertain.

Scylla goes to Nonius' cabin to compare notes with Zanzibar. The women agree that the only way to stop the ghostly crew is to find out more about the trapped energy at the center of the old vessel. They are soon joined by Lorenzo, Sam, and Oner, who recommends checking with the strange entity known as the "Ship Mother."

The spelunkers visit the lush garden level, where food, air, and water are recycled. Instead of the talking tree, an attractive female humanoid emerges from the vegetation and introduces herself as the "Emissary."

Speaking on behalf of the Ship Mother, the Emissary demands to know why the Druids who should be stationed in this deck are absent. Lorenzo observes that he hasn't seen any divine or nature-based spellcasters aboard, but he and his companions promise to pass along her question to the captain.

The adventuring party goes to Winston Reisel III, who is in charge of the carnival. Zanzibar and Lorenzo tell the haggard man and Nonius about their findings thus far. Sam, Lorenzo, and Oner recall that some of the senior crew tried to hide deck plans when they first asked for permission to go below.

Zanzibar then boldly asks Capt. Ianthe for permission to go back to the previously sealed-off portions of the Drowned Swan. She notes the presence of "negative energy" and asks about the missing Druids. The imposing captain sends Sam to get Lidia.

Capt. Ianthe considers the reports and asks the Lizard Wizard and company to wait on further inquiries until they make port at the Rock of Bral in a few days. After Lidia relieves him at the helm, the captain angrily goes to the officers' quarters to ask about the missing Druids. Oner suggests that Zanzibar, as an officer herself, follow to find out what happens….

FATE 3e "Spelljammer" Update 3 — to the core

Fellow role-players, here are Josh C.'s and my notes for Session 3 of his Spelljammer: "the Show Must Go On" space fantasy miniseries, which met on Sunday, 22 April 2012. We've been using Cubicle 7's Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer AdventuresLegends of Anglerre, Skype, and an online dice roller.

The Wasp near the Rock of Bral

A Spelljamming vessel

>>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 in preparing to depart for Prince Andru's birthday celebration at the Rock of Bral. However, our heroes soon discovered that not all is as it seems….

-"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.]-male human Thief-Acrobat, juggler, and sometime cat burglar in "Le battant éléphant" circus troupe 

>>As the Drowned Swan made its way between crystal spheres to the Rock of Bral, a party of rogue crew members continues its exploration of the massive ship. Wolfen Oner notices musty odors of wood and oil.

The first time the group reached the hatch to the ship's bowels, The Black Heart of the Woods — a pirate ship hewn from darkened oak crewed by the damned — attacked. The eyes of the lost souls burned with hellfire. The crew fought valiantly, and the invaders were handily defeated, just as the damned approached Vermelle Rognoni, lead actress in the play "The Harrowing of Princess Crispina."

Fortunately, the damage is light and can be repaired over the next three days. The Drowned Swan sails to the sphere of Zeal and the port town of Halelbaovo. Zanzibar studies in the library of fellow Spelljammer Nonius Vatinius and considers Oner and Lorenzo's request to study the problem of space for the crew and passengers.

Sometime after the battle, Scylla and Sam lead the way back to the hatch to discover that the boards and wards against the restless dead have been carefully moved. As the covert party progresses, it finds another hull. The Drowned Swan apparently consists of multiple ships, each built around the one before, like layers of an onion. Zanzibar is disappointed not to find more Spelljamming helms.

The explorers find storerooms that were abandoned in a hurry, with rotten supplies as well as a trunk of some nice clothing. Zanzibar stashes some nice clothing, and Oner claims an officer's greatcoat. Lorenzo catches up and says that someone is following them.

After more stealthy climbing down ladders, the ship seems to attack: Rope rigging, cutlasses and sabers, and mops and buckets fly at the crew!

Sam snipes with "Guinevere," and Zanzibar warns against engaging. Scylla bumps into a mop, and her dragon's breath slows down the animated rigging. Oner draws his sword and happily parries the mops and swords. Lorenzo dodges attacks and heads for the wide mast.

Scylla nimbly avoids entanglement by the writhing rigging, while Wolfen Oner is slashed protecting her. Dwarf Sam punches a bucket and pins it to the deck with a quarrel. Juggler Lorenzo destroys another bucket with a well-thrown dagger, but a hovering blunderbuss blasts everyone!

Sam is singed, as are Zanzibar and Lorenzo, but scaled Scylla and furry Oner escape harm. The team beats a hasty retreat and descends to the innermost ship, an old galleon.

Oner is impressed at the ebony and silver staterooms, and Scylla notices a painting of a human mage shaking hands with an Elf admiral. Sam reloads his crossbow, which is powered by pressurized water rather than explosive steam.

In a desk in the captain's quarters, Lorenzo finds a journal, which he gives to Zanzibar. The Lizard Wizard looks at the leather-bound tome, whose last entry is dated five years ago and mentions the use of ghosts as crew.

The group's inquiries are halted when Vangar, the Wild Elf head of security for the Drowned Swan, drops down and angrily orders it topside. There, they find the regular crew fighting more animated rigging.

Oner slashes at flying sacks with his trusty cutlass, and Lorenzo jumps out of the way. Scylla replies defiantly to Vangar, who had ordered her to stay in her "elephant cage." Zanzibar goes to take the journal to her superior, Nonius. Sam finds himself staring down an approaching bucket….