Fellow role-players, here are my notes for “Vanished Lands” Session 39.56, which Drew S. hosted in Needham, Mass., on Monday, 19 January 2015:
In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. The “Vanished Lands” were blessed by the gods and cursed by prophecy. Travelers became adventurers, and adventurers strove to be heroes in the face of many perils and wonders. One such band began as circus performers, rescued slaves, and seeks to fight the dreaded Ghost Fleet….
“Vistel’s Expedition,” crew of the Zephyr, Player Character Party 39 in Gene D.’s “Vanished Lands” campaign, using D20 Pathfinder and FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre, as of spring 2015:
“Giacomo ‘the Mysterious’ Du Vane” [Beruk A.]-male Hifalendorin human Mage (Gypsy Wizard) with a checkered past and homunculus familiar Gerald; NGc, Lvl. 12
“Scully Strongbow” [Sara F.]-female albino Flind (Gnoll) Ranger, archer, and sailor, with owl “Owlicious”; NGl, Lvl. 12
“Corwin Windsong” [Bruce K.]-male Half-Elf Bard, wandering noble, warrior/mage, and mandolin player; CNg, Lvl. 12
“Elsa Fairbottom” [Rich C.G.]-female Hill Dwarf Druid outcast, cook/brewer, diplomat, and animal handler with banuq (winged cat) Penryn; NGc, Lvl. 12
“Rhys Davies” [Drew S.]-male Tinker Gnome (Minoi) clockwork gadgeteer, ship’s engineer, and impetuous Rogue; TNcg, Lvl. 12
“Tarwen Rinuendell” [Dana S.]-female Avariel (winged Elf) Fighter, unflappable but secretive scout; LGn, Lvl. 12
(See previous notes for “Hamfast” and “Brendan” [Brian W.], “Tempestade” [Josh C.], “Radius” [Jason E.R.], “Melchior” [Byron V.O.], “Sir Torrel” [Alex W.], “Brogar” [Brian S.].)
“20 to 22 May 1227 B.C.E.:” The Zephyr ’s command crew finished training and equipping in Alfhileno, capital of the Waletku kingdom of the Elves. It also met Avariel scout “Tarwen” [Dana S].
The adventurers then headed south to the Hifalendorin human town of Kedetura. They rejoined their airship and fought another nasty Grimm. Rhys and Tarwen snuck into Kedetura, where they found a tent city, many Centaur followers of Vappu Lahja, and Unseelie Fey running a twisted carnival based on Vistel’s Circus….
Giacomo uses a crystal ball to find the nexus of local ley lines, or currents of magical energy. The Wizard finds it near the center of Kedetura, where a statue of the pale lady siphons off mana. He recommends further investigation and possibly sabotage.
Scully says the group should sneak into the town to get as close as possible to the mysterious Vappu Lahja and identify her weaknesses. The Ranger reminds her companions that since troops from Nadwi or Alfhileno are far away, the crew of the Zephyr is their only backup.
Corwin urges his team to get close to the enemy leader, seize her, and then Teleport away before her thralls can defend her. The Bard also begins preparing Contingency spells to protect himself.
Elsa focuses on counterspells against Vappu Lahja. The Druid also Communes With Nature and learns that in addition to Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) humans, Centaurs, Satyrs, and Halflings, there are more extraplanar Grimms, Korred, and Redcaps in Kedetura.
Engineer Rhys says he would prefer to leave the occupied town rather than face Unseelie Fey again, but Fighter Tarwen is impatient for battle. Giacomo points out that the Gnome and Avariel (winged Elf) aren’t known as former members of Vistel’s Circus.
Giacomo casts a Contingency spell of Reverse Gravity on his homunculus familiar Gerald, and Corwin readies Resist Charm and Teleport. Elsa prays for Mass Hold Monster and Protection From Evil, and the group eventually agrees to walk into Kedetura.
Centaur sentries Nikodemus and Phyto escort the Zephyr ’s away team through the tent city and into the walled town. Giacomo, Corwin, and Elsa ask to meet with Vappu Lahja. Meanwhile, Tarwen uses her ring of Invisibility and flies behind them, carrying Rhys, upon whom Corwin has cast Improved Invisibility.
The Centaurs take the Hifalendorin human, Half-Elf, and Hill Dwarf to town hall, near the 10-foot tall alabaster statue. The Tinker Gnome has used a wand of Silence to aid the Invisibility and defend against Charm. The winged Avariel narrowly avoids obstacles as she follows the others into a meeting room.
Meanwhile, aboard the Zephyr, Scully and boyfriend “Capt. Niac” [Mike F./Non-Player Character] ready ballista bolts that Rhys has coated with cold steel, a reddish antimagical alloy. The Flind and Wolfen Paladin prepare for Rhys and company to Teleport back to them with Vappu Lahja as prisoner.
The adventuring party meets the coldly beautiful Vappu Lahja, as well as her retinue, which includes Centaur chieftans, a Grugach (Wild Elf) shaman, and Gilean, a diminuitive and malevolent Redcap whom they had fought in the haunted hamlet of Alarn. He recognizes them, but no one draws weapons immediately.
Elsa steps forward and presents a mirror, and Corwin sings a ballad that puts the legendary Vappu Lahja in a more favorable light. The Saganim prince weaves a counterspell into his song in the hope of releasing some of the Centaurs from magical compulsion.
Invisible Tarwen keeps a hand on Silenced Rhys as they sneak up to Vappu Lahja. He touches the woman, and they become visible, but she resists the Teleport Contingency!
Elsa calls upon Vulkan (Moradin) and hits the evil Redcap with Holy Smite. Arcanists Corwin and Giacomo cast Mass Charm Monster, preventing five Centaurs and several hovering Faeries from attacking.
Vappu Lahja stands up, and her silk robes turn to bark and then flexible metal. She Bestows Curse on Rhys, weakening him, and Gilean turns Invisible to maneuver and stab Corwin.
Rhys manages to empty his Bag of Holding, so that his clockwork spider and dragon can hurl cold steel pellets at the Unseelie Fey. Vasco, an automaton butler, joins them, while Rhys’ clockwork scorpion tries to sting approaching reinforcements.
Tarwen fires Blinding bolts from her magical crossbow and puts her ring of Invisibility back on. Elsa Wild Shapes into a bear and charges. Corwin casts Imprisonment, which successfully places Vappu Lahja in an underground cell that can be found only with Discern Location.
However, the would-be heroes still have to contend with her followers. Giacomo casts Shield and then See Invisible to locate the Redcap. Rhys throws a Tanglefoot Bag at Gilean but misses him.
The team hears rioting outside, as some Centaurs are freed from Vappu Lahja’s influence but other Fey folk fight them and Hifalendorin human townsfolk.
Tarwen flies up and sees numerous angry Sprites and five Grimms approaching the windows. She lands so that Giacomo and Corwin can Teleport the group out of the besieged town hall to Orlando Vistel, founder of Vistel’s Circus.
The adventuring party finds itself in a chilly tent, where “Papa” and “Mama” Vistel have been encased in ice! A “steward” greets them, as do several Ice Mephits. The Cold Rider hits Corwin with a frozen, shocking glaive and summons its steed, a large, unnatural elk.
The Mephits brandish poisoned daggers, and Corwin defensively casts Displacement and Invisibility on himself. Elsa casts another Holy Smite , destroying half of the Mephits. The others climb into the rafters and begin chanting.
Giacomo casts Bungle on the Unseelie Fey, as Rhys sends most of his constructs to attack. The Tinker Gnome orders his clockwork dragon to thaw out the Vistels with its fiery breath, and Tarwen shoots more Blinding bolts.
The frost elk’s antlers nearly pin Tarwen, and the surviving Mephits swarm around Giacomo and Rhys. Bold Corwin casts Storm Bolts and Magic Missiles, and pious Elsa invokes Mekkil (Gaia) to Channel Positive Energy and heal her allies.
Giacomo the Mysterious destroys the Cold Rider and the Mephits with a Scorching Ray. Nimble Rhys and airborne Tarwen fire at the Unholy steed but miss. Still in bear form, Elsa finishes off the ice elk.
While they debate over whether to try to rescue other circus performers, Giacomo and Corwin thaw out the Vistels with Flaming Hands. Rhys helps find and retrieve the following items:
- Antlers, from ice elk
- Bead of Force
- Daggers, Fey (1d4 + sleep, DC 15)
- Glaive, frost (1d10 + 1d6 icy burst)
Witch’s Ice Shard (Trap the Soul) — to have Sir Niac destroy because it’s a Necromantic item
As the sounds of strife in Kedetura’s streets get closer, Giacomo and Corwin again cast Teleport. However, instead of taking the team back to Scully and the Zephyr , the travelers find themselves on an island floating in midair surrounded by a sea of stars.
The spellcasters quickly identify their new location as somewhere in the Astral Plane, which is better than in the Zarendo Islands or the Nine Hells, where a certain Pit Fiend has tried to trap them.
Elsa notes that since nobody has a silver cord, if anyone is killed on this plane of existence, they are truly dead, but they are also harder to track. The arcanists need some time to rest before safely casting higher-level spells again.
The scouts spot a vessel approaching. Rhys is excited to see a Spelljammer skiff, which lands on their island. Thin, robed, gray-skinned humanoids disembark, and one greets the newcomers with a smile.
Rek’elma says that Modron Paladin “Radius” [Jason E.R.] told him to expect to find them. Giacomo and company ask how time flows in the Astral, and the Githzerai says, “Sideways.”
Rek’elma says that the “pale lady” has local allies and that she may try to head to a Githyanki fort to regain her powers. “Vistel’s Expedition” agrees to join Rek’elma in raiding the Githyanki tower….
Dana, I hope you enjoyed sitting in on our campaign, and Sara, I’m glad that you were able to Skype into our latest face-to-face session. Everybody should make sure that their characters and current item/spell lists are up to date.
I look forward to upcoming games of Dexter V.H.‘s D&D5e “Land of Lost Souls” and Jason E.R.’s FAE “Channel 37.” Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the latter! -Gene