Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.25, which was held on Sunday, 27 July 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 D20 Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Ed.) Oriental Adventures , plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of summer 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. 7
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 7
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 7
- “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. 7
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 7
- “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. 7
“16 to 17 May 1227 B.C.E.:” The band of adventurers had escorted Lady Yun Aei-Yong, an emissary from the kingdom of Gokuri, to the city of Silado. After the mysterious arrival of Prince Zu Ji, Duke Kou Fei Seng had asked the party to investigate an army approaching the provincial capital of Tong Sheng.
The wanderers returned and reported to the duke, who was now under house arrest. Lady Yun managed to persuade Prince Zu to leave Sogewa before Lady Fu Hao can lay siege with her forces. They also let the emperor’s favored concubine know that they and the crown prince planned to head north, toward Akilu Castle.
Jung-Mo meets with Tsuji Eizo, who is actually Park Chulsoon, a fellow Nannuattan Ninja. They agree that Lady Yun has positioned herself to be the winner no matter who rules the human principality.
If the duplicitous prince raises an army and “liberates” Sogewa, Gokuri gains an ally to whom it had extended asylum. If the warrior queen captures him and/or the city, Lady Yun can claim that she helped restore Shang honor.
Toshi sends messages to fellow air elementalist Peng Arong and Yuen Yongyue, a priest of sea lord Ano Wasu, warning them about the potential dynastic conflict. Toshi also mentions the bulettes encountered out on the eastern Plains of Sathendo.
Ember visits a friend in the Lion Clan, followed by jealous Jung-Mo. Ember warns Kamachi Yushiro about Lady Fu’s army, and the young Samurai offers his services. Ember allows Kamachi to escort her back to her guest quarters and is bemused to notice Jung-Mo lurking in the shadows.
Saigo returns to the House of the Red Lotus, but the two geishas he had met previously are not available. Han Young-Nae brings him to a private room and serves tea. Toshi follows in bird form to try to keep his friend out of trouble.
Han Young-Nae plays some music, nearly enthralling Saigo and Toshi. Her neck stretches out to inhuman lengths, and her face twists into a frightful visage. Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo draws his katana and slices her neck, which heals instantly.
Toshi flies in and shifts back to Shan Sao form before sliding open the door. The scary woman tries to bite Saigo, who slashes at her with his sword. Toshi casts Fire Shurikens, missing Han Young-Nae but setting the room ablaze.
The creature, which Toshi identifies as a Rokurokubi, draws a pair of sai and strikes Saigo. Wu Jen Toshi invokes the wind lords and uses his Storm Gauntlets to cast Lightning Bolts, wounding the long-necked monster.
Samurai Saigo dodges the Rokurokubi’s fangs, but Toshi is drained of some blood. The eastern Halfling kills the demonic creature with more lightning, casts Wizard Mark on her corpse, and takes the sai.
Saigo quickly searches the burning room and is entangled by living shrouds around the bed. The eastern Sylvan Elf manages to cut through the Ittan-momen and hastily leaves the House of the Red Lotus with Toshi.
Back at the palace, Kamachi-san asks Ember for a token, but she declines. The Hengeyokai Wu instead asks him to defend the innocent within the city, but she doesn’t tell him about Lady Liao Qianru, who she recently discovered is an old red dragon.
Jung-Mo doesn’t trust Lady Yun, but Sonny says that allowing her to talk Prince Zu Ji into leaving Sogewa should avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Soske’ prays to ancestral spirits for guidance in containing the growing chaos in the countryside.
Toshi and Saigo hop on a water taxi to the temple of Ano Wasu. They meet Shengtese Shukenja Chang Baio and Sea Spirit Folk Sohei Sun Min, two Clerics of the sea lord. Toshi offers 100 tael (50 gold pieces) and a Fireball scroll for healing and to remove any curses Saigo may have acquired.
Saigo then takes the lead to find a gift shop near the docks. Even though it is late in the evening, he bangs on a door, awakening the proprietor. Hong Feng is deferential to the knight and court mage, and he sells Saigo a silk origami bird and a jade amulet of the city for a total of 60 tael.
Hungry Sonny and Ember take advantage of the palace kitchens before they leave, and Soske’ continues to avoid his nosy extended family. The rest of the night passes uneventfully.
The next morning, Prince Zu Ji meets Lady Yun with 50 people. Shengtese human Sonny observes four courtiers and potential spellcasters in robes among the royal guards.
The Halfling Wizard privately warns his companions that they must carefully navigate between their vows to protect the Nannuattan diplomat, and now her Shang ally, with their desire to help Sogewa and Lady Fu Hao’s army.
Saigo rides near Lady Yu’s carriage and Prince Zu. He recognizes a few of the mercenaries who had arrived with the rogue royal now dressed in uniforms with the imperial seal. The prince seems unconcerned about the army pursuing him.
Ember spots two riders in Tsucharim (Mongol-style) dress, and she lands before them. She presents the foo creature battle standard of Lady Fu Hao, and the horsemen say that some of the queen’s troops have encountered resistance. Ember asks them to let Lady Fu know that the prince has left Sogewa.
Upon flying back to the caravan, Ember signals to Sonny to get their companions to discreetly regroup. They eventually agree to hold back in the hope that they can avoid being caught between Lady Yun Aei-Yong and Prince Zu Ji on the one side and Lady Fu Hao’s army on the other….
Geoff, we missed “Soske’” and I hope you’ll be able to rejoin us this coming weekend. I’ve posted separately regarding Bruce K.’s “Pathfinder: Eberron / Reign of Winter” miniseries, Guardians of the Galaxy, and “JasonCon 2014 B.”