Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.36, which was held on Sunday, 26 October 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, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Ed./D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinder, and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of autumn 2014:
- “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 (eastern Grey Elf) merchant; with a young wyvern; LNg, Lvl. 9
- “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; with talking horse Yip; LNg, Lvl. 9
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) from the Tiger Clan with a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 9
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 9
- “Soske’ Tiatoshe” [Geoff C.]-male Shengtese Tian Shukenja (eastern human Cleric), priest and animist from the Phoenix Clan, prophesied to do great things but plagued by family and ancestor spirits; LNg, Lvl. 9
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 9
- “Tokoro Gawa” [Drew S.]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion; CGn, Lvl. 9
“19 to 26 June 1227 B.C.E.:” The diplomatic escorts passed Korobokuru (eastern Dwarven) checkpoints in the Bamor Mountains and entered Bazran Hai, capital of the demihuman Zedu kingdom. They presented Lady Yun Aei-Yong, the emissary from the Gokuri Empire, to the daimyo and were temporarily relieved of their mission.
Sonny, Ember, and Tokoro fended off a curious Samurai and tracked down a squirrely Wu Jen. Toshi rented out the entire “Dragon’s Beard” inn, Saigo reported to his father about his missing grandfather, and Soske’ went sightseeing.
Jung-Mo spotted courier Desc Soo-Ann, nicknamed “Desan,” who had tracked him from Sogewa and stirred up trouble between human peasants and nature spirits in the village of Yao Shung. Jung-Mo stealthily followed Desan to an alley.
Jung-Mo steps into the alley and confronts Desan and what appears to be a Shan Sao (eastern Halfling). Although they are all in disguises, they speak in Bamoric, the language of the Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elves) and humanoids of Gokuri.
While Saigo has gone off to covertly meet with Princess Nayoko, the rest of the adventuring party follows Jung-Mo at a discreet distance. Sonny tells Toshi, Ember, Soske’, and Tokoro that he senses something large passing overhead.
Desan says he knows that Msamaki left their homeland without permission from the disgraced Shadow’s Claw clan. Jung-Mo says that he will redeem its honor, but the other Ninja considers bringing him back to their cruel matrons.
Ember Wild Shapes into a silent owl and spots a storm wyvern, a full-grown version of the hatchling that she and Jung-Mo have been caring for. She flies back to inform the others.
Jung-Mo says that his friends are nearby and offers to stay out of Desan’s affairs if he’ll leave them alone. The “River Spirit Folk” (eastern Grey Elf) and “Shan Sao” say they’ll see him again soon and leave.
Wary of other assassins who might be watching, Jung-Mo circles back to his companions. The Nannuattan Ninja explains that his clan is operating in Bazran Hai in an attempt to regain honor on Gokuri.
Sonny suspects that the Shadow’s Claw infiltrators might try to undermine Lady Yun’s truce, which has yet to be ratified. Ember is concerned for Jung-Mo’s safety. Toshi agrees that the presence of Ninjas is bad news, but Soske’ and Tokoro prefer to wait and see what they might do.
Jung-Mo, Ember, and Tokoro follow Desan’s tracks to try to learn more, while Sonny, Toshi, and Soske’ return to their hotel to tighten security and check on supplies.
Hulinyuan Tokoro follows tracks that split. Desan turned north, and Wu Ember confirms from the air that the wyvern went in the same direction. The Shan Sao turned south and joined other small humanoids. Jung-Mo decides to follow the latter trail to a narrowing passage.
The trio notices that all the windows are boarded up and gets ready for an ambush. Four Kobolds step behind them, and one says in a high-pitched voice that Msamaki will pay for trying to follow Desan. Jung-Mo retorts that the small humanoids are not worthy opponents, and they draw weapons.
Hengeyokai Tokoro holds his action, but Jung-Mo draws his short bow and fires arrows at the leader, missing. Kobold Moezumi [“Moe”] pulls out a scroll and begins casting from it. Cheng-di [Geoff/Non-Player Character, “Shemp”] throws a packet at Tokoro, and it erupts into spiders.
Wah-Ree [Beruk/N.P.C., “Larry”] and Qu-Li [Bruce/N.P.C., “Curly”] throw smoke grenades and disappear. Crane Hengeyokai Ember disrupts Moe’s spellcasting with Silence, and Tokoro’s otter companion smashes the venomous spiders biting the Ranger.
Jung-Mo hurls whippets (incendiary boomerangs) at Cheng-di, who throws a stick at Tokoro. It turns into a snake and also bites the carp Hengeyokai. Silenced Moe tumbles past the melee into the alley. The two unseen doglike reptiles circle around.
Druid Ember Wild Shapes into a wolf and pounces on Moe, who rolls aside. Tokoro grabs the scroll and backs away to cast Abundant Ammunition. Jung-Mo drops Moe with a sleep arrow. Wah-Ree maneuvers, but Qu-Li slips and falls from his rooftop perch. Cheng-di hits Ember with poisoned shurikens.
Lupine Ember tosses unconscious Moe aside and tries to bite Cheng-di. Swift Tokoro looses a volley of four thorn arrows, killing Qu-Li. Wah-Ree tries to run away, but stealthy Jung-Mo catches up to the Kobold and knocks him out.
Cheng-di grabs Moezumi and dives into the sewers. Jung-Mo [Byron] drags Wah-Ree back to the others and reluctantly acknowledges that chasing the two surviving Kobolds into booby-trapped sewers is a bad idea. The Ninja later disposes of Qu-Li’s corpse.
As Sonny, Toshi, and Soske’ finish a relaxing dinner, Jung-Mo, Ember, and Tokoro arrive with Wah-Ree, who is bound and gagged for later questioning. The group splits up the Kobolds’ items from the surprisingly difficult skirmish.
Shengtese human Sonny claims a rubber chicken, and Ember attends to the wounded. Jung-Mo and Tokoro examine two ninja-tos (short swords), six shurikens (throwing stars), and a vial of poison (5 doses, DC 14, – 1d4 Con).
Toshi and Soske’ determine that the scroll of Summoning came from Desan and would call a woman from Bazran Hai’s royal court. Soske’ treats Ember and says that he’ll pray for more healing in the morning.
After a romantic night catching up with Princess Nayoko, Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) Saigo uses Jung-Mo’s robe of Alter Self to appear as a palace guard and return to the Dragon’s Beard. Jung-Mo checks on his wyvern hatchling.
Toshi reviews the party treasure. He, Sonny, and Saigo have sold or traded two or three things each, for a return of about 36,000 tael (18,000 gold pieces, or one + 3 item) per party member. Jung-Mo, Toshi, and Tokoro say they’ll think about what they might need.
Kensai Sonny asks for Bracers of Blinding Strike (+ 2 init., + 1 AT per day) and silk armor from one of the Crimson Moth cocoons (equivalent to chain). Wu Jen Toshi offers to enchant an Amulet of Mighty Fists (+2 to hit) so that Ember can strike with more accuracy in animal form.
Shukenja Soske’, who can guarantee the masterwork quality of any item, considers a Periapt of Wisdom (+ 4) and Bracers of Falcon’s Aim. Saigo asks to improve the No Dachi of the White Scorpion (from + 1, Life Stealer, to + 3) and his banded armor (from masterwork to + 3). The Samurai also plans to buy an Amulet of Health (+ 2) and holds onto the traitorous Gen. Wang Tung’s katana (+ 2, Wounding).
While he awaits word of Lady Yun’s mission, Jung-Mo remains wary of Desan and the Shadow’s Claw clan. Sonny suggests checking in with the leaders of the Zedu kingdom or hunting down the Gokuri spies.
Toshi gets to work crafting various magical items, and Ember tries to dodge inquisitive Samurai Zhou Li. Similarly, Soske’ hopes to avoid more meddling family members. Saigo is eager to use his ring of Limited Wish to rescue his kidnapped grandfather, Gen. Shinso, but Toshi recommends waiting until they are fully equipped.
Tokoro tracks down court mage Murakami “Murray” Ryozo, whom he views as a potential threat for casting openly during their recent audience. The Ranger sends Murray new clothing to replace those stained when Jung-Mo had spilled wine on him. After a few days of training and shopping, the onetime diplomatic escorts regroup at their inn….
It was good to see some of you at last night’s “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Expedition” game, and I look forward to continuing Rich C.G.‘s “Tunnel Vision” miniseries. We should also talk about Jason E.R.’s upcoming “Channel 37” scenario, D&D5e, and various one-shots. Be seeing you, -Gene