Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.49, which was held on Sunday, 9 August 2015:
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 AD&D1/D&D3.0 Oriental Adventures, Pathfinder, and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, plus house rules, Skype, and an online dice roller, as of summer 2015:
- “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 Niruth; LNg, Lvl. 10
- “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. 10
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O./absent ]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) with tiger companion Amaya and a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 10
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 10
- “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. 10
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 10
- “Tokoro Gawa” [Drew S./departed ]-male carp Hengeyokai Hulinyuan (amphibious shapeshifting Ranger) seeking to protect streams; with otter companion Mala; CGn, Lvl. 10
“29 to 30 August 1227 B.C.E.:” The adventuring party was attacked in camp by cute Keukegen, and disguised scout Jung-Mo set an ambush for the chaos dragon by sending a cowardly mayor and his mysterious aide ahead.
At Toshi’s recommendation, Jung-Mo uses his ring of Stone Shape to create a rocky overhang to provide partial cover for some of the team in the Dragon Pass. Jung-Mo then moves to higher ground. Ember shifts into crane form and flies up the mountainside.
Sonny moves from one switchback to another on the narrow road. Soske’ casts Heroes’ Feast for his friends and later takes a position lower on the trail. Saigo hides between two boulders. Toshi hangs back to guard the horses and Niruth, Jung-Mo’s young wyvern.
Kenmotsu Masashi, the onetime mayor of Hei Kuan, and Nadisu Rajendra, his jaguar-headed aide, reappear at the northern stretch of the path, even though Jung-Mo had sent them to report to the dragon several hours ago and miles away.
Peering from a hideout, Sonny sees something other than the Bamboo Spirit Folk (eastern Sylvan Elf) mayor shambling down path. Toshi also disbelieves the illusion and identifies Masashi’s true form as that of a horrific Gibbering Mouther.
Samurai Saigo steps out and tries to Charm Rajendra, but the cat-headed Bauh-Yin resists. He says that Masashi’s state is the result of failing the Chole Lung (chaos dragon). The mayor had been involved in a scheme to sacrifice villagers to a demon in a pagoda.
Ninja Jung-Mo sneaks around and shoots poisoned arrows at mushy Masashi. Kensai Sunny charges up the hill toward Kaosu Uirumu’s spies.
Soske’ casts extended Divine Power on himself, and elephantine Ember slams into Rajendra. The Bauh-Yin misses Ember with his claws, and the Gibbering Mouther misses her with multiple toothy maws.
Jung-Mo looses poisoned arrows at the dastardly duo, killing the Gibbering Mouther. Sonny strikes the Bauh-Yin with a flurry of blows from his Dire flail. Saigo slashes at Rajendra with his sword.
Shengtese human Soske’ hits the feline foe and ducks behind cover. Hengeyokai Ember then gores the Bauh-Yin, who leaps onto her back, digs one paw into her elephant hide, and Enlarges himself. Nannuattan Jung-Mo fires more poisoned arrows.
Shengtese human Sonny bats at the cat man, and Bamboo Spirit Folk Saigo eventually kills Rajendra with a thrown dagger. Jung-Mo and Saigo pour oil on Masashi’s remains and burn them.
Soske’ spots a cloud of dust and something huge and winged approaching. He soon realizes that the dust is being created by a skeletal army marching south. Jung-Mo had noticed an old battlefield in his scouting, and Shan Sao Toshi points out that the dragon had probably set Animate Undead as a Contingency spell.
Behind the dust cloud is the chaos dragon, source of many monsters and intrigues that the diplomatic escorts have encountered in the course of their travels. Jung-Mo uses his ring of Stone Shape to dig trenches to slow the army. The Underdark exile also prays to the Lords of Order.
Sonny drinks a potion of Levitation and climbs into position, while Ember shifts back to crane form. Soske’ casts another Ancestral Weapon, this time to obtain an Undead Bane bow. Saigo quaffs a potion of Heroism.
The chaos dragon passes overhead, but the wanderers bravely hold their ground. The beast flies on huge, ragged wings. Kaosu Uirumu has tentacles instead of forelegs, and his irregular black scales are inscribed with red, glowing runes.
The Chole Lung breathes noxious gas at Sonny and Saigo, who manage to cling to their sanity. The Undead army begins filling in Jung-Mo’s first ditch with bodies of skeletal warriors. Ember Wild Shapes into a swift hawk and outmaneuvers the dragon.
Soske’ draws his magical bow and releases a volley, as Sonny uses his Levitation to jump closer. Saigo drinks a potion of Flight, while Jung-Mo hides in shadows. The dragon tries to crush Soske’ with its tentacles.
Ember casts Holy Smite and flies toward the chaos drake, who is the antithesis of her true form. Soske’ heals himself and quickly casts Divine Wind, which slows the soldiers and forces the dragon to land.
Sonny misses Kaosu Uirumu with his whip, but Saigo strikes with his Outsider Bane sword. Jung-Mo’s arrows get caught up in Soske’s wind, so he uses the ring of Stone Shape to briefly trap one of the dragon’s hind legs.
The nightmarish Chole Lung breaks free and knocks Ember out of the air with a wing buffet. It also swings its massive tail at Soske’ and claws at Saigo. Shapechanger Ember readies Call Lightning, as pious Soske’ shoots arrows at short range.
The chaos dragon breathes at Jung-Mo and Saigo and flaps its wings at Soske’ and Ember, but he misses all of them. Kaosu Uirumu then slaps Sonny with his tail, bites Saigo, and summons an imposing-looking woman.
Lady Shiori Heikkaki changes her appearance and cuts Jung-Mo with a naginata (glaive). Ember tries to cast Baleful Polymorph, but the dragon resists. Soske’ and Toshi identify the woman as a diabolical Shiko Me.
Sonny switches to his Vorpal whip, and Saigo switches blades. Jung-Mo swings his ninja-to (short sword) at Lady Shiori but misses.
The Chole Lung slams Saigo with his tentacles, bites Soske’, and tries to buffet Sonny away. The cocky dragon also slaps Ember with his tail and Dispels Soske’s Divine Wind.
The Undead soldiers begin filling in Jung-Mo’s second trench. Ember says a quick prayer beseeching the Celestial Court to allow her to return to her true draconic form. Sonny swings his enchanted whip and beheads the chaos dragon!