Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 16 of the latest adventuring party in my "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign setting. The teleconferencing team met on Saturday, 5 February 2011, and has been using Pathfinder, Skype, Scriblink, and an online dice roller.
In one ancient world, there was a region where strange majicks and demihuman races thrived. After "Holy Steel's" journey to the distant empire of Khemet, another motley group gathered in the northwestern "Vanished Lands" to explore a world full of perils and wonders....
>>Telecom party Player Character roster, as of spring 2011:
-"Kovar" [Beruk A.]-male Half-Orc/Saganim human Paladin of Mithras; raised as an orphan; contact of the Order of the Golden Lion; LGn, Lvl. 2
-"Davven 'Digger' Hollysharp" [Robert A.S.]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from Tarken; contact of "Tunnel" [Stuart C.G.]; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 2
-"Asish Chen Ti" [Byron V.O.]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from service to Wizard Arbalas; contact of "Sukhov" [Beruk A.] and owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 2
-"Jovinda Halflight" [Sammy H.]-female Half-Elf (Grugach/Hifalendorin) Cleric of Mekkil, goddess of nature; owner of horse Wyth-Amoi, or "Wind Spirit"; NGl, Age 23, Lvl. 2
-"Kazuo Takenaga" [Taum D'A.]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 2
-"Favelhorn Riftbringer" [Dexter V.H./absent]-male Mountain Dwarf Summoner; CGn, Age 51, Lvl. 1
-"Gawain Keary" [Paul J./absent]-male Saganim human Illusionist (proto-Celtic Wizard) and contact of "Kimo" [Beruk A.]; NGc, Age 20, Lvl. 1
"14 August 1229 B.C.E.:" The new adventuring party had tracked hostile Centaurs from the edge of the Wisalef Forest to a mysterious woman named Vappu Lahja. After enjoying a harvest festival at the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human town of Kedetura, the group returned to the northwestern borderlands. Favelhorn promised to catch up.
Digger and Kazuo grapple with the distrust of their companions after being compromised by Vappu Lahja's magic. At Jovinda's suggestion, the travelers talk about their pasts on the trail toward the city of Nadwi.
Nezumi Kazuo and Half-Orc Kovar are reluctant to discuss their family histories and assert that people should be judged for their deeds in the present. Jovinda says that, despite growing up among Grugach (Wild Elves), she is curious about her father, a Saganim human.
Digger explains that he grew up on a pipeweed farm in the area, unearthed an old tablet, and studied history in the Elven capital of Alfhileno, where Gawain went to the Magisterium (magic school/library). Asish recounts his escape from the Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elves), who still hold his clan captive.
As the group rides across the grassy Plains of Sathendo, it fights the summer heat and insects. Two days from Kedetura, the party turns north at the Aspar River and passes a ferry, first revisiting a farm that had been attacked by Centaurs. Matron Violet Sandia's barn is rebuilt, and the group continues to the hamlet of Alarn, which is strangely quiet.
Asish and Jovinda expect to hear sounds of livestock being herded in for the night, and Digger and Kazuo are surprised not to smell cooking. Jovinda, Kovar, and Gawain wait at the outskirts while Digger, Asish, and Kazuo stealthily enter.
Alarn's main street is quiet, the packed earth showing recent tracks of departing domestic animals. At the "Mellow Mule" inn, Kazuo hears someone drop a dish, but there are no lights within or in any other window. The common room is filled with dishes of spoiled food and drink, indicating that the patrons left in a hurry.
Meanwhile, Jovinda casts Speak With Animals to converse with a hungry heron. The marsh bird tells the priestess of Mekkil, goddess of nature, that argumentative Centaurs passed through several days ago and that the human peasants fled soon thereafter.
Digger, Asish, and Kazuo go back to Jovinda to compare notes. Kovar and Gawain watch over the steeds and the trail as their companions reenter the abandoned inn. Digger and Kazuo pass empty stable stalls on their way to a back door, while Asish and Jovinda creep through the common room. They meet at a back staircase, where scuff marks show Asish that someone recently descended.
Intrepid scholar Digger throws down an enchanted Sunrod, illuminating part of the kitchen/cellar. He holds out his hat, which is hit by a pebble. The Halfling Rogue leads the way but is surpsed at what he sees -- two short fellows dancing a jig!
The two men are about three feet tall, covered in long, wild hair. Knobby feet, hands, and noses protrude, and kilts flash beneath their bouncing bodies. Davven and Jovinda recognize the pair as some sort of Fey, while Asish and Kazuo think they resemble Korobokuru (eastern Dwarves).
The creatures let out a high-pitched laugh, momentarily stunning some of the explorers. Jovinda brandishes her quarterstaff, and Digger throws daggers. Asish maneuvers to flank his opponent, and Kazuo does the same. The dancing duo whips at the newcomers with long locks of hair, threatening to trip them!
Jovinda briefly blinds one foe with a Light spell, and swift Digger manages to draw blood with his blades. Ranger Asish swings his katana but initially misses, and Monk Kazuo reluctantly unleashes a Flurry of Blows. The hirsute looters counter with more laughter, tossed tangles, and tripping ropes.
Cleric Jovinda casts Guidance to help Digger, as archer Asish is grabbed by Stone Shaped hands from the floor! Nimble Kazuo tries to lead his combatant into range, but the injured Fey folk say they're just after the silverware. Jovinda and company lower their weapons.
The pair stops dancing and responds with eagerness to Digger's mention of Vappu Lahja. The Korred admit to capturing one human who had stayed behind and release a gasping warrior from an airless stone cell they had created beneath the basement....
I hope that everyone enjoyed our latest game, and note that we won't be meeting virtually again until Saturday, Feb. 19. If anybody wrote down the names of the two Korred, can you post them? Also, Beruk and Sammy, can you post the links to the pictures for your characters? I saved the images but not the links. Thanks. Don't forget to update your P.C. records to Second Level.
In the meantime, Dexter, I hope your daughter's belated birthday celebration went well. Paul and Beruk, I look forward to seeing you at tonight's FATE 3e "Starblazer Adventures: Vortex" space opera! Byron and Rob, I hope you're feeling better, and Sammy and Taum, I hope you have a good Valentine's Day reunion!
Since we have two weeks before our next session, feel free to post any ideas or questions to the Google Group (I've also uploaded some files to Google Docs). Take it easy, -Gene