Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 13 of the latest adventuring party in my "Vanished Lands" heroic fantasy campaign setting. After a two-month hiatus because of travel, the holidays, and health problems, the teleconferencing team resumed on Sunday, 16 January 2011. We've been using Pathfinder, Skype, 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 "Vanished Lands" to explore a world full of perils and wonders....
>>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. 1
-"Davven 'Digger' Hollysharp" [Robert A.S.]-male Faldine Halfling archaeologist (Tallfellow Rogue) from a pipeweed farm in Tarken; contact of "Tunnel" [Stuart C.G.]; CGn, Age 45, Lvl. 1
-"Asish Chen Ti" [Byron V.O. ]-male Tsucharim human archer (Mongol-style Ranger), escaped from service to Nannuattan (eastern Dark Elf) Wizard Arbalas; contact of "Sukhov" [Beruk A.] and owner of Akita dog Genghis and horse Onimusha; NGl, Age 20, Lvl. 1
-"Kazuo Takenaga" [Taum D. ]-male Nezumi (Rat-kin) Monk from the Zedu kingdom in the Therud Forest; LNg, Age 20, Lvl. 1
-"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
"9 to 11 August 1229 B.C.E.:" Encounters with aggressive Centaurs had led the adventuring party from the edge of the Wisalef Forest to a camp near the Hifalendorin (proto-Western European) human town of Kedetura. Digger and Kazuo went through a cleansing ritual so that they might meet the mysterious Vappu Lahja.
Later that night, eight Centaurs escort Digger, Asish, Jovinda, and Kazuo across the Plains of Sathendo. Jovinda is surprised that shaman Siobahn doesn't accompany them. Kovar follows at a discreet distance, while Favelhorn and Gawain stay behind to defend Kedetura during a harvest festival.
Digger notices that the rearguard may have sensed Kovar following, so the Halfling Rogue chats up Vasily. Asish makes extra noise so that the Half-Orc Paladin can more easily track the Centaurs' captives, and Jovinda keeps an eye on Digger, who she believes was compromised during the ritual. Nezumi Monk Kazuo quietly watches his companions.
At Digger's request, the Centaurs and their charges stop to rest for a few hours at a stream. Armored Kovar is confronted by Vasily, who adds him to the band. Kazuo is confused when the other bipeds pretend not to know the holy warrior of Mithras, but Kovar is careful not to lie.
The next morning, the group sees some ruined hill forts. Among the ivy-covered stones is another Centaur encampment. Vasily leaves the visitors in a roofless outbuilding, and they are soon visited by a handsome woman with black and gray hair, a dark velvet gown, and silver jewelry. She appears to be human, but the party speculates later on her true nature. Asish suspects dragonkind.
Vappu Lahja graciously receives her visitors, especially Digger and Kazuo, because they have undergone the ritual. Davven is honored to be invited to lunch and asks for new clothing since his previous outfit was burned in the rite.
Tsucharim Ranger Asish estimates that there are about 50 Centaurs in the hill fort, and Kovar Detects Evil all around them, with a particularly strong trail behind Vappu Lahja. Jovinda begins praying to her patron goddess, Mekkil, for a Detect Undead spell. The Centaurs throw a basket of apples, which Asish roasts. He also cooks some rice from Kazuo.
Digger, who is surprised to receive well-tailored Halfling garb, enjoys roast pork, dumplings, and mead with Vappu Lahja. Although Kazuo sticks to vegetables, the Rat-kin finds himself just as swayed as Digger by the lady's arguments that each race has a destiny that she can help fulfill.
Just as the Centaurs must rule the plains, Vappu Lahja argues, so too can Halflings find a place away from human domination and wars. Digger agrees to serve as a missionary, on the condition that he and his friends can pass through Kedetura before returning northwest to his homeland.
Kovar, Asish, and Jovinda are suspicious of Digger and Kazuo's new mission, but the Halfling and Nezumi try to reassure them that they're still themselves. The group warily rests for the night before bidding farewell to Vappu Lahja and being escorted back the way they came....
If I missed anything, feel free to post the details to the Google Groups message board. Although Byron and I are still recovering from pneumonia/bronchitis, it was great to chat with everyone last night! Dexter and Paul, we missed you. Feel free to begin updating your characters in Pathfinder to Level 2, which they'll reach upon returning to the town of Kedetura.
Since Team 1 of the FATE 3e "Vortex" space opera is meeting tonight (Monday, Jan. 17), I'll see Paul and Beruk at next week's face-to-face game. I look forward to continuing our adventures more regularly in the new year, -Gene