Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.11, which was held on Sunday, 23 February 2014:
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 the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Ed.) Oriental Adventures , plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of spring 2014:
- “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; LNg, Lvl. 4
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) from the Tiger Clan with a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 4
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 4
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 4
- “Soske’ Tiatoshe” [Geoff C.]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest of Shang-ti and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things; LNg, Lvl. 4
- “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 Yakuza (eastern Grey Elf Rogue); LNg, Lvl. 4
“8 to 9 April 1227 B.C.E.:” After a giant flaming boar attack on the village of Chin Mok, the wanderers visited a desecrated grove. There, they met a strange girl, who turned into a horse-headed monster. They slayed the Tikbalang but had questions about who summoned it.
Jung-Mo and Toshi look for disreputable types who may know where Wolfen bounty hunter Ivor Bloodpelt may have gone. Jung-Mo poses as a Yakuza, and Toshi changes to baza (bird) form.
Meanwhile, Saigo and Soske’ visit the village elders. They report to mayor Fong Kien and militia leader Yang Kuang, who says that Ivor hastily left Chin Mok, do doubt feeling guilty over disturbing the nearby sacred grove while hunting Shiskikura Eiji, a Tsucharim human Yamen-Ren (Barbarian) bandit.
In addition, Sonny and Ember return to the “Pelican’s Chin” inn, where they check on Lady Yun Aei-Yong, the Nannuattan emissary from Gokuri, and Oh-Kum Jah, her Draconian guard. They also look for tea houses and other drinking establishments.
Jung-Mo and Toshi find three people rolling bones at the edge of the village — a female Wolfen trapper, a Tsucharim (Mongol-style) human lumberjack, and a dusty Tsucharim drover. Marina Snowcrunch, Yarin Gavrovich, and Vladek Ilyanov let Jung-Mo gamble with them.
Yarin repeats a rumor that Ivor left because he had fallen out of favor with the local council, and Vladek wins a few tael. Wu-Jen Toshi watches the dice but can’t communicate openly with Jung-Mo. Marina eventually mentions that she and Ivor frequented hunting camps not far from Chin Mok.
Yang Kuang directs Saigo and Soske’ to Takara Yoshifumi, a bowyer/fletcher occasionally patronized by Ivor. The Samurai and Shukenja find the archery shop ransacked, with three quivers of broad-headed, hollow-point, and flight arrows and some food missing. The Hulinyuan says that Ivor was a decent customer.
Sonny meets geisha Takabe Miho and acquires a room to talk. The thin woman says she wants to go to the city of Sogewa and performs for the Kensai. Ember, who posed as his companion, is accosted by an angry farmer’s wife. Ji-Sil Yuen accuses the Wu of low morals, saying that women like her and Miho have corrupted three missing peasants.
After losing a few coins, Jung-Mo wins 12 tael (6 gold pieces) and discreetly eases out of conversation. Toshi distracts the gamblers by flying in front of a horse-drawn cabbage cart, upsetting it, and they head back to the “Pelican’s Chin.”
Takabe says he has no enemies, but Saigo and Soske’ notice a broken window latch and tracks outside leading north. They also return to the inn to rendezvous with their adventuring party.
Jung-Mo, Toshi, Saigo, and Soske’ find Ember being yelled at by Ji-Sil Yuen. Ember stands abruptly, her honor as a former member of the Celestial Court insulted. Toshi loudly tells Ember that there’s no need to kill someone so far beneath her, and Yuen bows to Saigo before quickly retreating.
Jung-Mo stops Yuen outside the tea house and learns that a few farmers have been missing for days. Most wives assumed that they had fled for shame, but planting season waits for no man. Jung-Mo and friends suspect that the missing peasants are related to the Tikbalang summoning, Ivor, and Shiskikura.
Jung-Mo runs upstairs to check on Sonny, followed by Saigo, who asks Soske’ for holy water. They find Saigo and the geisha otherwise engaged but not in any obvious danger. Jung-Mo keeps watch, and Saigo goes back downstairs to strategize.
Toshi and Ember check on Lady Yun, who agrees that the missing bounty hunter, bandit, and farmers are worth investigating. Sometime later, the wanderers regroup and follow the tracks north, through untended fields.
Soske’ notices empty farmhouses and casts Protection From Evil on Sonny and Saigo. Toshi casts Detect Magic and senses something from one of the seemingly empty buildings. Jung-Mo prays to the ancestors, and Ember shifts to crane form.
Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo draws his katana, which Shengtese human Soske’ temporarily enchants, and kicks the door in. The room reeks, and three men are tied up to chairs. They have tried to kick at objects in the room to get the attention of passers-by. Shengtese Sonny watches the area.
Outside, Spirit Folk Jung-Mo sees movement behind the farmhouse, and stealthy Shan Sao Toshi casts Web, preventing someone in a furred cloak from retreating. Hengeyokai Ember flies ahead and Wild Shapes into a bear.
Saigo ungags the farmers, who claim that Ji-Sil Yuen captured them in vengeance for her husband’s infidelity. However, he notices that the three aren’t breathing and says, “Dude, you’re dead.” Sonny sees that they have been systematically bled over three days.
Jung-Mo and Soske’ fire arrows at the runner, whom Ember confirms is the Yamen-Ren. Toshi casts Magic Missiles, which appear as orange daggers.
Soske’ confirms that the three struggling men, who ask to be unbound, are incipient Undead. Sonny draws his kama, and he and Saigo behead them. Toshi is exasperated at not being able to question them, but Ember knocks down the Barbarian and restrains him.
Jung-Mo notes that there are still many unanswered questions, and the group prepares to secure the farm and look for more clues….
Thanks again to everyone for your feedback as we convert your characters to the latest D20/FATE hybrid house rules! Note that the “A New Dawn” party is now Fourth Level. I’ll post the latest refinements separately.
I look forward to seeing some of you at Jason E.R.’s “Glassworks: the Devil’s Den” superhero session tonight, and remember that the “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” game resumes in mid-March. Be seeing you, -Gene