Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 40.15, which was held on Sunday, 31 March 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. 5
- “Toshiharu ‘Toshi’ Sembutsu” [Byron V.O.]-male Shan Sao Wu Jen (eastern Halfling Wizard) from the Tiger Clan with a destiny; NGc, Lvl. 5
- “Ember Talon” [Sara F.]-female Crane Hengeyokai Wu (shapeshifting Druid), actually a young gold dragon banished from the Celestial Court; NGl, Lvl. 5
- “Saigo Kasugi” [Bruce K.]-male Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai (eastern Sylvan Elf Cavalier) discreetly serving his daimyo; LNg, Lvl. 5
- “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. 5
- “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. 5
“22 to 23 April 1227 B.C.E.:” The retinue of Lady Yun Aei-Yong was unable to track the man who had spotted the Nannuattan emissary, so it departed from the town of Kuan Chou. The group traveled via canals to the magnificent city of Sogewa, where it met Duke Kou Fei Seng.
After its audience, the adventuring party splits up to explore the provincial capital of Tong Sheng. Jung-Mo slips away to the docks, where he recognizes members of the local Yakuza and Tong by their tattoos.
Sonny tarries at Silado Palace to check official records regarding the Daidoji house, which is part of the Crane Clan and a rival to his own in the Lion Clan. Toshi learns that Col. Zhan-Shi Hu Ho, who is occupying Kai Sou Xian Haknam (“the tower of Master Haknam”) near the village of Chin Mok, is not a member of the Crane Clan, which once ran that outpost.
Ember is reminded of home when she sees dragon statues at the temple of Shang-ti, lord of the heavens. Soske’ asks sisters Bai Le Qing and Dao Lei Qing for an introduction to the Dragon Clan so he can return gold recovered from accursed thief Ba Lang Liangde near the “Sandy Corner” tavern on the Balef River.
Jung-Mo decides to be more discreet in his underworld inquiries. The Spirit Folk Yakuza goes to a tea house by the docks in Sogewa’s outermost ring of canals. He hopes to find agents of the nefarious kingdom of Gokuri.
Meanwhile, Sonny suggests to Lady Yun that she visit the homes of various aristocrats to build goodwill for her diplomatic mission. The Shengtese human Kensai hopes to overhear some gossip.
Toshi goes to some of the local Magisteria (magic schools/libraries) for weather spells and visits the temple of Ano Wasu, the lord of storms. The Shan Sao Wu Jen also pays his respects to Ami Koshi, goddess of nature, and Tsu Komi, lord of craft and the moon.
Ember and Soske’ learn that Zu Ji, the heir apparent of Emperor Zi Zhao in distant Yin [capital of Shang China], is expected to visit Sogewa soon. Hengeyokai Wu Ember wonders if the prince is an immortal.
Saigo meets with Gen. Wang Tung, who once fought alongside his grandfather Shinso against Yamen-ren (Barbarians) and Mahotsukai (Sorcerers) from the red wastes far to the northeast. The aged general recommends the oracles of Yen Yuang, the slumbering god, to the young Bamboo Spirit Folk Samurai.
Sonny goes to the Garden of Flashing Blades to practice, and Toshi collects leaves on which to write letters to his beloved Bisan (Dryad), Suki. Jung-Mo tries to avoid being noticed.
Ember and Soske’ pass lovely topiary gardens on their way to the manor of Lady Liao Qianru, an elder in the Dragon Clan. Ember recognizes a glint in the woman’s eye as she accepts the gold, but Lady Liao is grateful for the restoration of honor.
At the temple of Yen Yuang, Saigo meets a woman in a room whose walls are covered in symbols. The oracle releases a glowing stone, which orbits around Saigo’s head. The knight has a vision of his grandfather alive but on his knees before a frighteningly armored warrior somewhere in the mountains.
Ember and Soske’ stop for lunch in the bustling Happy Market before going to the quiet monastery of the Way of Harmony. Ember tries to restore her center by meditating, while Shengtese Shukenja Soske’ reports on the number of monsters and Undead they’ve encountered in their travels.
Brother Yang says that the principality is beset from all sides because its leaders aren’t setting a strong enough example of the pursuit of perfection in body and mind. Soske’ mostly agrees and is directed to Kiyoshi Takahashi, a priest of the ancestor worshippers at Our Fathers’ Steps.
At the Garden of Flashing Blades, Sonny finds flagstones arrayed in rings as martial artists take turns sparring. Saigo joins him. Jung-Mo and Toshi continue their research and plan to meet later at Yang Ying’s Mushroom House and the Sparkling Alchemists.
Tian Sambu [Byron/Non-Player Character], a young Bushi of the Crane Clan, challenges Saigo. They trade blows with bo kens (wooden swords), and the Samurai makes quick work of the warrior.
Aggressive and muscular Modaru [Geoff/N.P.C.] strikes Saigo with the butt of his naginata (halberd), but Saigo manages to prevail. They shake hands and take a break as chain master Sonny steps into the ring.
He is challenged by Li Jun [Byron/N.P.C.], a cocky Scorpion Clan Yakuza with two katars (punching daggers). Li Jun gets in some body shots, even though Sonny entangles one hand and a short sword with his chain. After a head butt, bruised Sonny yields.
The wanderers reunite for a dinner with Soske’s nosy family…. Sometime later, Ember sneaks out of the royal precincts to reconnoiter the home of Lady Yiao. The Druid shifts into crane form and flies toward the manor.
However, she is spotted by a large dragon coiled around wide pillars! Ember turns and hurriedly flies back to the palace. Saigo and Sonny go to the House of the Red Lotus in the theater district to lick their wounds….
I’m glad that we were able to level up your P.C.s quickly, and remember to also update your records for “Vistel’s Expedition,” “Holy Steel,” and the “Star Trek: Restoration” crew!
I look forward to seeing some of you at tonight’s face-to-face game, and let me know if you have any questions or ideas for Sogewa. Later, -Gene