Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.2, which was held on Sunday, 17 November 2013:
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
- “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. 1
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) from the Tiger Clan with a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 1
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 1
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 1
- “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. 1
- “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. 1
“3 March 1227 B.C.E.:” Delegates from three realms met at the border village of Hazokuwi to discuss a truce after recent wars. A group of wanderers rescued two sidekicks and a prince briefly possessed by Bakemono-summoned spirits.
Saigo Kasugi and company bring Prince Mutsuhito into the Zedu kingdom’s army camp. The Samurai asks Yamashina Miki, a River Spirit Folk Ashigaru (eastern Grey Elf warrior) with a naginata (halberd), to watch the prince as he sleeps off his night of carousing.
Brother Jo, who is still recovering from being possessed, searches for Souji Nobuto Yoshimitsu. However, Sonny is avoiding the enthusiastic young Monk and retreats to nearby woods to meditate and practice with his chains undisturbed.
Ember Talon finds a cot with the help of Shiokawa Shiori, a no-nonsense Spirit Folk quartermaster. The women exchange few words, and in the morning, Ember looks for a private place to bathe.
Soske’ Tiatoshe gets his meddlesome Uncle Manny, who was also possessed, to a healer’s tent. New acquaintances Toshiharu Sembutsu and Moon Jung-Mo remain back at the village.
Dutiful Saigo reports to his father, Gen. Hirokazu, and Korobokuru (eastern Dwarf) Gen. Shin Kyong-tsu. The Zedu generals ask Saigo’s friends to help keep watch around the truce negotiations. Gen. Shin is more optimistic than Gen. Hirokazu.
Sonny and Ember run into each other in the woods, and the Kensai and Wu agree to avoid Brother Jo and others in the camp. At Gen. Shin’s request, Soske’ goes to the human representatives of Tong Sheng, a.k.a. the Principality of Silado, to warn them about the Bakemono (eastern Goblin) attack.
Shukenja Soske’ observes a prayer service, in which priests beseech the ancestral spirits for success, before talking to Baron Xin Pronunc Hu. The baron orders Hazokuwi’s residents to stay indoors for the duration of the peace talks and sends Soske’ back to the Zedu generals to inform them of his readiness.
While fetching water for Yamashina on the banks of the Balef River, Ember recognizes a gambler from the “Swimming Ki-Rin” in Hazokuwi. Vivek Ram, a Vanara (monkey) soldier, lights a pipe and introduces Ember to his fatalistic friend Fjodor, a Wolfen mercenary.
Saigo checks on hungover Mutsuhito before returning to Gen. Hirokazu. The Bamboo Spirit Folk officer reminds his son to keep searching for missing grandfather Shinso Saigo and to be wary of the Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elves) of Gokuri.
On the way back to Gen. Shin, Soske’ stops for an oatmeal breakfast. He also meets Shiskikura Manabu, a skittish Usagi Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (hare scout). The shapeshifter tells the Shengtese human that he has seen strange shadows in the nearby woods.
Sonny, Ember, and Soske’ regroup with Saigo at the Zedu kingdom’s encampment. Gen. Shin Kyong-tsu, Gen. Hirokazu, and Prince Mutsuhito prepare for guests, as Yamashina and other Spirit Folk and Korobokuru Bushi stand guard.
Baron Xin Pronunc Hu and Sister Li Ho Xiaojun arrive with human soldiers to represent Tong Sheng. Sonny recognizes Sohei Li Ho as a member of the Daidoji house, rival to his own within the Crane Clan.
Last but not least, a small but well-armed delegation arrives from the empire of Gokuri. Tsucharin (Mongol-style) horsemen, masked Nannuattan on giant lizards, and Draconians escort Lady Yun Aei-Yong. Ember isn’t happy to see the twisted spawn of dragons.
Saigo sits at the table with the three sets of emissaries, while Ember waits with the Zedu guards. Sonny and Soske’ stand with Shengtese observers watching the Gokuri troops.
Gen. Hirokazu, Saigo, and Yamashina’s distrust of the Nannuattan seems justified, even though Lady Yun accepts a halt on the expansion of her queen’s domain. Col. Vasil Ustinov, a crude Tsucharim officer, says that Gokuri merely wants to restore trade, including that of slaves.
Sonny asks Ember to see if she can talk with any animals in the area. The Hengeyokai Druid goes into a bamboo thicket and tweets with songbirds. They describe human-sized shadows flitting from tree to tree. Ember shifts into crane form and flies north, but she loses the trail and turns back.
Soske’ shares a drink with Sister Li Ho and Oh Kum-Ja, a Draconian guard. Sister Li Ho talks of rumors in the court of Sogewa, and Oh Kum-Ja describes passing through strangely altered tunnels on his way to the gathering.
Saigo watches as the delegates of three kingdoms discuss stabilization of borders, repatriation of prisoners, and exchanging emissaries. The demihumans of Zedu have suffered the worst casualties, so Gen. Shin reluctantly surrenders some territory in exchange for peace.
Baron Xin agrees to open Tong Sheng’s borders to caravans, and Lady Yun volunteers to visit Bazran Hai and Sogewa on behalf of Gokuri’s humanoids. In return, Prince Mutsuhito and Sister Li Ho will be sent to Gisokuri.
Rather than provoke more fighting by crossing foreign territory with armies, the diplomats agree to travel with a relatively small armed escort. Samurai Saigo agrees to accompany Lady Yun eastward.
When Saigo asks weapon master Sonny and Shukenja Soske’ if they’ll join him, they agree, but only on the condition that Brother Jo and Uncle Manny be left with the Zedu army. Ember is eager to leave, if only to avoid the attentions of Zhou Li, another Samurai.
The new adventuring party returns to Hazokuwi to get supplies before bringing Lady Yun to its capitals….
Dexter and Byron, we missed you, and I hope that you’ll be able to rejoin this group soon! In the meantime, I hope that everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and I expect to be back home and online in time for this coming Sunday’s session. -Gene