Feed Pelican Town – A Stardew Valley Challenge

Stardew Valley is an open-ended farming/fishing/mining/building/friendship game with so much to do and such loose win & loss conditions that I like to work towards a goal that I set for myself, like completing the Community Center in Year 1, maxing out my heart level with every villager, or cooking every dish.

The Feed Pelican Town challenge imagines that the farm actually provides the food that the villagers in Pelican Town eat. I’ll need to learn the villagers likes/dislikes and their schedules, and create a diverse farm to meet all those needs.

The rules:

  • Give every villager two gifts per week
  • The gift must be food
    • Is Maple Syrup food? NO, it’s inedible.
  • The gift must be edible
    • Is Pufferfish food? NO, it removes 100 energy when eaten. That’s poison
  • The gift must restore at least 1 health or 1 energy
  • The villager must Love the gift
    • I’m really broke at the start of Year 1 and only have access to a few items
  • The gift must be Loved if possible, otherwise it must be Liked
    • Dwarf only loves Magic Rock Candy, an incredibly expensive item
      • Look, just let me get through Spring. I’ll deal with that later.
  • You don’t need to feed villagers that you can’t access, like Sandy in the Oasis, Kent who is off at war, or Krobus hidden in the sewers.

Attempt 1

Cookie of Feed Y'All Farm, 4 Spring, Year 1

The year starts on Monday. By Saturday (after the first batch of crops come in) I’ll give everyone their first gift, so I can give them their second gift on Sunday, the last day of the week.

What’s that? The “two gifts per week” week runs Sunday to Saturday? So it’s already too late to give two gifts in the first week if I didn’t give the first gift by Friday Day 5 at the latest?

FAILURE

Attempt 2

Cookie of Feeder2 Farm, day 4 of Spring, Year 1

I won’t make the same mistake twice! Six days to give two gifts to everyone, so I must give the first gift to everyone no later than Day 5.

But the Community Center doesn’t open until Day 5. So I can’t get the letter from the Wizard and gain access to his tower until Day 6. It’s impossible to give the Wizard 2 gifts in the first week!

FAILURE

This is really hard!

New rules

  • The Wizard only needs one gift in the first week.
  • Gifts given in Spring, Year 1 must be Liked at least. No requirement for Loved gifts, even if they are available.

Attempt 3

Foodie of Diner Farm, Day 5 of Year 1

One more time. I have my spreadsheet of gifts. I’m maximizing my income so I can spend so much on gifts and still invest in my farm. I got a lucky drop of Sashimi in the Saloon, which is cheaper than Salad, so I save some money buying gifts for people who don’t like anything I grow at the start.

Day 1: plant lots of Parsnips. Parsnips grow in 4 days, the fastest of any crop, and are liked by all but 5 villagers. They are my main source of gifts.

Day 5 is rainy. The Community Center doesn’t open on rainy days, so meeting the Wizard is delayed by a day. That means I don’t meet him at all in the first gift week, so that’s fine, right? He doesn’t need food if he’s not available. That’s like the rule for Krobus and Sandy. The Parsnips come in, so I harvest them, sell a few for money, and pass out the rest as gifts. Half today, half tomorrow (Saturday) and then the week rolls over.

On rainy days, Elliott does not leave his house. I can’t enter his house because we’re not good enough friends. I can’t give him a gift on Day 5. I couldn’t give him a gift on Days 1, 2, 3, or 4 because I can’t grow Parsnips that fast. I can give him one gift on Day 6, but that’s only one for the week.

FAILURE

Consulting the wiki carefully, I realize that I could have foreseen and avoided this. The weather report on TV predicts the next day’s weather. If I check the weather on Day 4 and see that Day 5 will be rainy, I can go to the Saloon, buy a gift for Elliot and deliver it on that day. Then he’s inaccessible on Day 5 when the Parsnips come in, and I give him a Parsnip on Day 6. But what if it rains both on Day 5 and Day 6? Unlikely but possible!

Future plans

i still like this idea. I imagine by year 2 I’ll have a kitchen in my house, cooking up people’s favorite dishes. I’ll stockpile some ingredients in season and grow others year-round in my greenhouse. I’ll have fish farms and a shed full of artisan goods. But this challenge is so hard at the beginning that I can’t get out of the first week!

Next time, I won’t give any gifts in the first gift week (Days 1-6 of Spring, year 1) Every resource is precious at the beginning of the game, so relieving the huge stress of providing 55 gifts in the first 6 days will let my farm grow a lot more, and I’ll be able to start the second week giving gifts immediately, so missing one day won’t immediately cause failure.

I could also give myself a little leeway on the rules to allow for occasional slip-ups. “No hit” challenge runs are like that. The runners start out by seeing how few hits they can take, eventually do a no-hit run, then get consistent at zero hits.  A runner who restarts the run every time they take a hit will probably never finish. Alas, that’s not my style! All or nothing!

Some tips for portraits

Zoom/Magnification/Field of View/Focal Length

Focal length is measured in millimeters from the front of the lens to the back. A prime lens has only one focal length, e.g. a 50mm lens. Zoom lens can zoom in and out and have a range of focal lengths, like 28-135mm.  A small focal length, like 10mm or 28mm is wide-angle. Large numbers like 135mm or 200mm are telephoto and magnify a small area, like a telescope.

Wide angle

A wide-angle lens will exaggerate poses, which is good for fun, energetic moods. It’s dramatic, but can easily look weird or unnatural.  Small changes in subject’s pose and your camera position can have a big impact, so if a picture looks weird, make some adjustments.

Wide-angle images have a lot of distortion around the edges, so avoid putting people’s faces near the edges.

Wide angle lens will include a lot of the background, so it’s more important to have a background that you actually want in the photo.

Telephoto

Telephoto lenses let you fill the frame with a subject even from a good distance away. That can be nice, but sometimes you won’t have enough room to properly use a telephoto lens.  Telephoto lenses have less distortion than wide-angle lenses, so they are good for photographing faces.

Telephoto lenses compress distance and make things look closer together. Compare the two photos below. The distance from gun to face is about the same in both, but they feel very different.

Wide-angle lens: high distortion, expanding distance

Telephoto lens: low distortion, compressed distance

Depth of field

Depth-of-field is a range of distances from the camera in which objects are in focus. Small f-stop numbers like f/2.8 give shallow depth-of-field. Big f-stop numbers like f/16 or f/22 give a deep depth-of-field.

Shallow

Shooting “wide open” with the smallest possible f-stop lets in the most light and has the shallowest depth of field. This is good for isolating the subject and melting the background into blurs, called “bokeh” That’s good for calling attention to one object, making the background less distracting, and for being pretty in general.

The drawback of shallow depth of field is that only one thing is in focus. The photo above shows one dancer very well, but the dancer behind her is completely blurry.

A closeup with a narrow depth of field could have a depth of field of one inch or even less! See how her cheek and hair on camera left are out of focus, while the eye on camera right is sharp. Be very careful with your focus in these situations. Focusing on the near eye is a safe play.

If you’re photographing more than one person, either be very careful to get them all the same distance from the camera, or increase your f-stop so the depth-of-field is big enough to cover all of them.

See how the background isn’t as blurry in this shot of two characters? That’s because my depth of field is bigger to make sure they are both sharp.

Deep

Use a big f-stop number (f/16, f/22) to get deep depth of field. Beware that this reduces the amount of light coming through the lens, so you’ll have to trade exposure time or ISO.

It’s easy to get multiple people in focus, even if they are different distances to the camera

Everything is mostly in focus, so the subjects feel more connected to their surroundings. That’s a benefit when you have a nice background.

Everything is mostly in focus, so distractions in the background are hard to hide. That’s a drawback when the background is messy, ugly, or hard to control.

Some artistic things I like

It will take a while to figure out the exact kind of photo you like to make. Try lots of things and pay attention to how you and your subjects react to them! What I love may be boring or ugly to you and that’s OK! Even if you don’t like the following examples, think about why you dislike them and you may get closer to what you do like.

People interacting

Interaction is specific and revealing. I like portraits that show who people are (or who they are pretending to be) and interacting with others can be a way to reveal that.

Backgrounds: use them or lose them

If I can, I want the background of a photo to be part of the story. That can be challenging. I have to know the subject’s story and be able to walk to a place that matches.

Interacting with the environment is active and specific. This picture wouldn’t exist without the fallen log.

If I can’t find a good background, I aim for a non-distracting background…

…or melt the background into irrelevance with bokeh (What camera setting would do that?)

Depth and layers

I like things happening at all different distances from the camera.

Chasing the Sunset & mutiny

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre

Last time, the Fellowship secured passage south on a ship provided by the Sea Viper. They don’t want to spread the influence of this obviously shady ruler, and they don’t want to reveal the secret lands of the Elves, so they plan to hijack the ship once underway.

Preparing the ship for its voyage takes a while, so Edna uses Infinite Windows to visit her other friends.  When the ship is ready to launch, Dryden uses Edna’s Friendship Bracelet to open a portal to her. She’s sitting in a fancy mansion.

Edna: Oh, good to see you! I’m afraid I can’t get away right now.

She closes the window. Lucia and Dryden recognize the mansion as Lady Evelynn’s. They’ve been there before and it didn’t go well. What exactly Edna mean by “can’t get away?”

The Fellowship shuffles crew assignments around since Edna and her Companions are no longer available.

Lucia takes Doctor position: Luna Penumbra’s max crew increased by 4

Long Journey from Vieport to Sapphire Islands. Each player introduces one scene

Scene one: the passenger list

Robin: We can’t leave without all our passengers. Where is Edna?

Lucia Detect Evil on Robin. Not Evil.

Lucia: Edna and Ol’ Jardiner come and go as they please. They are free spirits and always manage to find us. Ol’ Jardiner is a wizard, you know.

Lucia Talk Sense (+Grace, trick Robin by not mentioning Infinite Windows) 7-9

Robin agrees to leave and let Edna join them en route, but she wants Ol’ Jardiner to explain how exactly he manages such a feat.

The Luna Penumbra deploys its sails, which pop into existence like opening new windows on a computer. It lifts out of the water and floats into the air

Luna Penumbra Leaves Port: gain +2 crew for Captain, Doctor, Quartermaster. Crew = 8/8

Scene two: the Sirens

The ship sails south over the ocean overnight. The next day, the lookout spots some Mermaids down on the surface. As the ship approaches, everyone hears their beautiful song. That beautiful, enticing song. The crew wants to bring the boat down to the Sirens.

Dryden: Lucia, what here is evil?

Lucia Detect Evil: the Sirens

Dryden: I thought so. There’s a weird pitch in the song. It’s trying to sound good.

Dryden Strange Curios are Useful

Dryden lights a match and tosses something overboard. A second later, the object explodes into geometric shapes with a very loud noise.  Dryden invents these fireworks to drop from his Flying Disk, but the Luna Penumbra is also a suitable platform.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 6-

The loud bang does not distract the crew from bringing the ship down towards the surface, but it did go off near Lucia, temporarily deafening her!

Lucia damages Sense

Lucia: Dryden, leave the Pilot station!

Dryden abandons Pilot position. Without a Pilot, the ship can’t move.

The Luna Penumbra stops about a hundred feet above the water. The crew is still determined to reach the Sirens below. One of the crew transforms into a rainbow bridge, spiraling down to the water, and the rest of the crew hurry down. Robin follows them, yelling orders to return to their posts.

The Fellowship did plan to hijack the Luna Penumbra, and Robin did just abandon the Captain role by leaving the ship to chase her crew. Isn’t this exactly what they wanted? Lucia can’t bear to leave them all to some horrible fate.

Dryden: We can’t leave them! Drive the Sirens away!

Averiela rolls her eyes.

Averiela: We accomplished our goals. Let’s take the ship and run.

Dryden: This is how Ursela got all those critters in her cave!

Lucia takes Captain role.

Leaving Doctor role reduces Crew to 4/4

Lucia assigns Will to Gunner role.

Luna Penumbra Finish Them (+Cannon) advantage: attacking from above at range 7-9

Will aims the ship’s cannons down and fires on the Sirens, who are concentraing on their song and the crew, who are so close to the surface!

Group of Sirens damages Siren Song

They’re hit! They stop singing and the crew realize the folly of their actions. The crew and Robin turn around and run back up the rainbow bridge. The Sirens pursue. Will no longer has a clear shot.  Averiela and Lucia hurl arrows and throwing knives to cover the crew’s retreat

Averiela spends 1 Ammo from Bow

Lucia spends 1 Throwing Knife

Averiela Keep Them Busy +hope, Lucia’s assistance 10+

The Sirens must slow to dodge the hail of projectiles, and the crew safely returns to the Luna Penumbra. The Lantern creating the bridge turns it off with the Sirens halfway up!

Luna Penumbra Finish Them (+Crew) advantage: Keep Them Busy 6-

The rainbow bridge dissolves under the Sirens tails and they fall, but they gracefully pivot and dive safely into their watery home. The crew is shaken by their close call.

Crew reduced to 2/4

Scene three: The mutiny

Robin returns to the ship to see Lucia in the Captain’s role.

Robin: I knew it! The mutiny, just as they planned!

She flees down from the bridge to her cabin.

Dryden tries to grab her with his ranged rope.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 6-

She escapes down the stairs, and the rest of the crew advances on the Fellowship.

  • Group of Lantern Peacekeepers
    • Group: can affect two characters at once
    • Little Light: Gauntlet Form: When the peacekeeper hits you with their
      gauntlet, you become immobilized in a cage of light.
      Civic Duty: The peacekeeper has proper protocol to follow. They will not
      act without reason, and will act to disable all aggressors when possible.

Lucia: Robin didn’t give me a change to give the Captain’s post back! We had to take over to save you from the Sirens.

Lucia Talk Sense (+Sense, plan to talk it out with Robin) 10+

The crew thinks that’s reasonable. They’ll wait for Robin to return and everything will be explained. While they wait, Lucia chats with the crew

Lucia Speak Softly 6- ask 3 questions, 1 false answer, 1 unhelpful answer

  • What was your job in Vieport?
    • The crew are all marines. They usually don’t operate a ship, although they’ve spent enough time around sailors to know a little.
  • Tell me about this trip.
    • They were told from the start that this wasn’t a normal trip, so the ship didn’t use its normal crew. They were warned that the Fellowship would attempt a mutiny, so they were surprised that the Fellowship saved them from the Sirens. That’s partly why they agree to let Lucia talk to Robin instead of just arresting them all now.
  • What do you want?
    • This mission is important to the Sea Viper, so succeeding will bring the marines glory!

Luna Penumbra Smuggling Compartments: only the Captain knows where they are and they hold secret items.

Robin was prepared for this mutiny. The fools discussed their plans in the Sea Viper’s palace. He offered them hospitality and they conspired against him! They weren’t even smart enough to know they were being observed in their rooms. Fortunately, she has just what she needs to deal with them in the Smuggling Compartment in the Captain’s Quarters.

  • Robin becomes a Hidden Figure
    • Ambush Tactics: Groups led by the hidden figure can launch an attack
      from ambush as a Hard Cut. The hidden figure can never be seen or heard
      while they are lying in wait.
    • Coward: This stat is always damaged first. After this stat is damaged, the
      hidden figure will attempt to flee the scene.
    • Master Plan: The figure always comes with a hidden trap (Fake Firewall).
      This trap is always set up in such a way as to protect the figure.

Robin appears behind the crew and orders them to grab Lucia!

Robin Ambush Tactics: Groups led by her can attack as a Hard Cut

Group of Lantern Peacekeepers Gauntlet Form: immobilize target in cage of light

GM note: Maybe the group should have immobilized two characters. Taking tow of the three player characters out of the fight immediately seemed scary though. I’m too nice.  There’s a fun story even if the whole Fellowship is captured. This isn’t an OSR game where everyone dies and the story is over.

Before anyone can react, Lucia is immobilized in a cage of light.  Averiela draws her bow and fires at Robin, pinning her down.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 10+

Dryden Prank Weapon gives 10+ on Keep Them Busy

Dryden’s Prank Weapon is a mirage with substance. It looks like a rubber banana, but when he throws it on the deck, it explodes into a cloud of mist that forms itself into the shapes of ghostly Sirens! Half the Peacekeepers are holding Lucia and half of distracted by the ghost Sirens, so Dryden has an advantage!

Dryden Queen of the Wild All Beasts are his Companions

Dryden calls on all the nearby beasts for a show of power.  Fish leap from the ocean, and seabirds gather and land on his outstretched arms.

Dryden: Behold my power! You can’t defeat us. You should join us instead!

Dryden Finish Them (+Wisdom, show the error of their ways) 7-9

Group of Lantern Peacekeepers damages Gauntlet Form

GM note: Somehow Lucia makes another Finish Them move. What was her Advantage? Dryden used up the Prank Weapon’s distraction with his Finish Them move.

Lucia: We’re your friends. We used the cannons to rescue you from the Sirens!

Lucia Finish Them (+Wisdom, show the error of their ways) 7-9

Group of Lantern Peacekeepers damages Civic Duty

Group of Lantern Peacekeepers disbands into 2 undamaged Lantern Peacekeepers.

The Marines are confused. They were prepared to fight ruthless pirates, but these strangers seem nice and are making a lot of sense. Most of the Marines stand down to see how this plays out, but two are still loyal to Robin.  They rush Lucia and Averiela.

Lucia Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Lucia leaps from the bridge into the ship’s rigging, abandoning the Captain’s post.

Averiela draws the Titanium Sword she took from Thaumatown’s Robotics Facility and slashes a nearby barrel of water. The water inside splashes up and she runs up the waterdrops to safety.

Averiela Perfect Grace: Run on anything. Hope to Get Away

Averiela Get Away (+hope) 10+ avoid harm, take Dryden along

Dryden is sort of hovering, held by a flock of sea birds. Averiela grabs his cape as she passes and drags him along. All three are in the rigging of the Luna Penumbra’s masts, looking down on the bridge.

Robin Master Plan activate a hidden Trap

  • Fake Firewall This threat is Secret.
    • False Heat: Anyone who gets close to the fire feels its intense heat. Even those who are normally immune to flames will find it uncomfortably hot, and even painful to touch (this is a hint that it is not real flame). This pain is not real, but only those with Hope can muster the strength to pass through.
    • Disbelief: If someone becomes convinced that the flames are fake, they may attempt to Overcome the fire and walk through it anyway. But the pain is immense, and they will roll with Despair. Once someone makes it through by this method, damage this stat.

A dome of intense flame surrounds the bridge, separating Robin and the two loyal Marines from the Fellowship and the rest of the crew. Robin controls the Captain’s post now, and unless the Fellowship can figure out a way through the flames, they can’t contest her command. They inspect the flames. Intense heat radiates out from them, but the flames themselves stay exactly in place, not spreading across the deck, nor igniting any nearby objects.

Dryden pretends that this latest setback is too much for him and dramatically flings himself overboard.

Dryden Flying Disk: fly for the rest of the scene

Once below the ship, Dryden catches himself with his Flying Disk. He has heard of giant Sea Serpents that spray water, which may be able to put out the fire. Years ago he tried to meet hte eldest Sea Serpent, but he was not worthy.

Lucia Yes, My Liege: order any civilized folk, including followers of those who show you Royal Treatment

Back on deck, Lucia realizes that she’s royalty, and can give orders to the Lantern marines who are outside the done. They don’t have bodies of flesh and blood like the Fellowship, so maybe they interact with fire differently. Lucia asks if they are able to pass through the fire. The Lanterns give it a try.

Lantern: It’s hot! So hot!

They flinch away from the dome of fire.

Hovering below the ship, surrounded by a swarm of seagull, Dryden pulls waterproof fireworks from behind his cape and drops them into the ocean. Sound travels better underwater, so these firecrackers will summon Sea Serpents from a great distance. The Sea Serpents are wardens of the ocean. Sirens have to sing in the air, because if they sang underwater, the Sea Serpents would hear them and drive them away.

Dryden Queen of the Wild: Spout Lore about local Beasts.

Dryden rises up, surrounded by birds, to dramatically appear on deck! The crew and Lucia switch from staring at the Firewall to staring at him.

Dryden: No fighting? Uhh, Ba-caw?

Dryden lands on deck and instructs the birds to sit on the rigging, just not directly above anyone in the Fellowship.

Dryden: Are you guys cool?

Lantern: No, the fire is extremely hot!

Robin and Lucia are at an impasse. Lucia can’t get to the bridge to take control, but Robin doesn’t have a pilot, and can’t do much confined inside her firewall. Dryden wonders if he could drop Infinite Windows onto the bridge to cut a hole in the dome of flame. He imagines fire and a square chunk of deck suddenly appearing in Lady Evelynn’s manor. Infinite Windows can’t move while a window is open, so that won’t work.

After some time, the flames from the Firewall burn as bright and hot as ever, but have not consumed the bridge or spread even an inch from their perfect dome shape.  A Sea Serpent approaches from the west. Dryden leaps overboard with his Flying Disk to meet it. The Sirens lurking below flee as their natural enemy approaches.

Dryden: Don’t chase the Sirens!

Dryden Queen of the Wild All Beasts are his Companions

The Sea Serpent lets them flee. Although the Sea Serpent is impressively large, it is not large enough to reach the Luna Penumbra, floating a hundred feet above the water. Dryden would land the ship, but the Pilot’s position is on the bridge, inside the firewall. Averiela goes below deck to take the Engineer’s position. From there she can turn of the anti-grav drives that keep the ship in the air, ideally in a safe and controlled manner. Dryden orders the seabirds to grab the rigging with their feet and flap upwards to slow the Luna Penumbra’s descent (like James and the Giant Peach).

Dryden spends a stat from Seabirds to give Averiela Hope

Averiela Hull Holding 10+ avoid harm

Averiela disables anti-grav fields one by one. The Luna Penumbra starts falling. The birds flap upwards. The sails tilt up to act as parachutes. The impact with the water does not cause any damage.

Sea Serpent spends Water Blast

At Drydne’s command, the Sea Serpent fires its water blast at the dome of fire. Mist and steam cover the back half of the ship, obscuring everything. The Fellowship waits for the mist to clear.

Luna Penumbra Escape Pods; Each pod can hold 4 people and gives a 10+ to Get Away

THUMP! A loud noise from the stern, and an escape pod speeds away to the north. The escape pod is shaped like a seed. Two wings unfold, shaped like a Maple Seed, and spin quickly to propel Robin and her loyal Lantern Peacekeepers back towards Vieport.

The mist clears and the dome of fire burns as brightly as before. It’s completely unchanged by the Sea Serpent’s water blast.

Dryden: Thank you, great serpent. Hunt well!

The Sea Serpent dives into the water to pursue the Sirens.

Since Robin abandoned the ship, and all the remaining crew members obey Lucia, Lucia is clearly the Captain now.

Luna Penumbra Smuggling Compartments: the Captain knows where they are.

Lucia is able to identify the dome of Flame as a Fake Firewall. The water blast didn’t extinguish the flames because they were not real. That’s why they didn’t spread or consume the deck. Dryden noticed that the flames behaved oddly, but thought that they were magical flames. Lucia deactivates the trap. There’s a trapdoor between the bridge and the captain’s cabin below. There’s a compartment in the cabin where the Captain can store secret items, but Robin took hers with her when she left.

Forward, near the cannons, Lucia opens a hidden panel in the floor and finds a large bomb with a long, slow-burning fuse! Dryden cuts the fuse. On the floor of the bomb compartment are two short bits of fuse. One end is burned and the other end is the original end of the fuse, not burned or cut. The Fellowship wonders what this means. Clearly a booby trap of some kind. if they had not discovvered it, the bomb would have gone off some time in the night and triggered the cannons and their ammunition as well. But why the short bits of fuse? Did someone cut the fuse like Dryden, then re-light it later?

GM note: The Long Journey has one more scene, but we had to end the session there. We’ll pick up next time with one final complication as they arrive at the Sapphire Islands, home of former character Gleador!

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we learn something new about the world and its people? YES, the Sirens.
  • Did anyone find what they are searching for? YES, this mission supports Averiela’s goal to hatch a Dragon egg.
  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? No, the Ship itself doesn’t count.

Two boons

  • Level up: Averiela, Luna Penumbra
  • Level up: Dryden, Edna

Chasing the Sunset & new direction

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship brought a companion home, fought a hostile, empowered dinosaur, and claimed another Artifact of Power.

After recovering in the hostile wasteland, protected by Stella and Buckle’s special powers, the Fellowship remembers that Snapjaw sent a group of creatures to attack the nearby town of Castellum before it fought Buckle. That was a week ago. Is Castellum OK?  They barely got out of Castellum without a fight last time, so they consider their approach carefully. Kitty (a dinosaur) and Buckle (set some stuff on fire) will stay back, along with Hamfast. Stella and her companions (Silk, Gus, and Rose) will go check on Castellum.

As the Halflings approach, they are spotted by a Sentry on the town’s walls.

Sentry: Are you being pursued? To the gates, quickly!

Castellum sees itself as a bastion of civilization against a dangerous wilderness, so it has a responsibility to offer sanctuary to any people who wander into the Cracktooth Wastes.  As the Fellowship gets closer, the Gatekeeper recognizes Stella as one of the people who caused so much trouble last week and doesn’t want to let her in. The Sentry and the Gatekeeper argue. Surely their responsibility to save people from monsters is the highest priority, but these particular people did break some of the town’s defenses and left on bad terms, so letting them come back would be foolish.

Stella: Please let me in. I have important tactical information for your leader!

Stella Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 10+

The Sentry is convinced, and comes down to activate the gate mechanism. The Gate slowly rises, and Stella and her Companions enter. The Gatekeeper quickly shuts the gate behind them. The interior of Castellum is budy, with many people rushing around reparing damage from last week’s attack. Mega Mantis’s can jump over any walls and attack from above, so Priscilla, commander of Castellum, is overseeing repairs to the roofs of some buildings.

Priscilla: You were lucky we let you leave in peace last time. Why do you return?

Stella: My crew & I went into the wastes to figure out what terrorized the town. We found Snapjaw was sending dinosaurs to attack you. He’s dead now.

Priscilla: Good news, if it is true. Do you bring a trophy as proof?

Stella must pause to remember if any of Snapjaw’s remains survived. The fight and resulting forest fire was quite destructive, and the Fellowship focused on the Artifact of Power when Snapjaw died.

Stella: My companions and I are small of stature, so we carry no trophy, but Snapjaw’s skeletal remains can be found at the edge of the forest.

Priscilla calls up to the Sentry to confirm, but the forest is too far, and the Sentry can’t see from his tower.  People rarely venture from Castellum to the Cracktooth Wastes, but confirming Snapjaw’s death is so important that Priscilla will send an expedition. Of course she’ll lead the expedition. She won’t ask anyone to take a risk that she wouldn’t take herself. Cam the Halfing will pilot the War Wagon, and Priscilla and the Sentry will ride it.

Back at the edge of the forest, Buckle sees the War Wagon approaching. He and Kitty scramble to hide. Kitty lies down in some underbrush, and Buckle hides behind her. Alas, Kitty is a huge tyrannosaur, and Buckle’s body shines brightly.

Sentry: I see a glowing Tyrannosaur!

That fits Snapjaw’s description, and it’s not skeletal remains like Stella promised. Priscilla must determine if this fearsome creature is dead, but it’s so dangerous!

Priscilla: Cam, send our cheapest scout.

War Wagon Rock Ballista: Ranged, Dangerous, Reload weapon

Electric Artifact St. Elmo’s Fire: deflect an attack

Cam fires a rock from the War Wagon’s roof-mounted Ballista.  Buckle sees the rock flying in and freaks out. Blinding electricity crackles around Kitty and the rock is shunted aside! Buckle jumps up and yells at the people who attacked him unprovoked.

Buckle: What do you think you’re doing?

Priscilla: That electric dinosaur’s not dead! Back to town!

Cam turns the War Wagon around and heads back to Castellum at full steam! As he stokes the furnace, he tosses in a bundle of dried branches, so the smoke from theWar Wagon’s engine turns yellow. The War Wagon carries several bundles of different branches, leaves, or moss to send different signals back to town. This color of yellow means “We are in danger!”Buckle follows them, but at a distance.

The Sentries call out to the Gatekeepers, who spring into action.  Stella can tell that everyone is worried. The Gatekeepers look at markers some distance from the wall, and when the War Wagon passes a certain marker, they start opening the gate.  The War Wagon drives straight for the gate without slowing down! The gate raises just enough for the War Wagon to drive underneath, then the Gatekeepers lower the gate again. The War Wagon skids to a stop and the expedition exits. Priscilla is furious.

Priscilla: Snapjaw is not dead!

Stella: Really? You saw a T-Rex? With skin?

Cam: We saw a shape in the brush. I fired at it, and sparks surrounded it.

Sentry: There’s a glowing person approaching!

Stella: How could this happen? We burned Snapjaw a lot, down to his bones. You must have seen something else. Maybe my friends taking a nap.

Priscilla: You’re friends with dinosaurs?!

Buckle walks up to the walls of Castellum, furious, shouting about their treachery, their impoliteness, their recknessless, in attacking people who are just minding thier own business, not hurting everyone. Castellum is in an uproar. Strange travellers. Their greatest enemy slain, but not. Priscilla invokes the cruelest punishment known to the fortress city: Banishment! Stella and her companions must go out into the Cracktooth Wastes and will never enjoy the protection of Castellum again! The crowd murmers with shock. The Gatekeepers open the gates a little, and Stella and her Companions exit the city and meet Buckle just outside.

Stella: At least the dinosaurs are nicer than you! Buckle, we’re leaving.

The Fellowship heads back to the Miranda, docked a little north of Castellum on the shore of the Cracktooth Wastes.

Buckle: That went well, I think. What happened?

Stella: Priscilla needed proof of Snapjaw’s death. I told her to find his remains.

Buckle: They shot us with a rock!

Stella: I need to be more specific.

Castellum Message Board:

Stella: Friendship is magic and there is nothing magical about these people!

Buckle: This fortress is full of dinosaur bigots who throw rocks at you. One star.

Buckle has been making a map of his travels and sees that long ago, he heard about two volcanos near Bogden, but he never investigated. The Fellowship sets out to explore these mountains, which means heading south along to coast, then inland at Port Fennrick, where Buckle and Stella first arrived on this continent long ago.

As they sail south, a larger ship approaches. it’s the Hibernia, which helped them run the blockade at Vieport. They went different directions after leaving Vieport, so seeing the Hibernia this far north is unexpected.  Buckle hails the larger ship.

Buckle: Ahoy! How did the Tinker like my gift of Dragon Fire?

Tinker liked the gift very much! She’s thrilled to see Buckle and the crew of the Miranda again. The Hibernia slows down to rendezvous with the Miranda, but Tinker can’t wait for a rowboat. She launches herself off the deck with an experimental jetpack! She heads in the general direction of the Miranda, but she’s going to overshoot and land in the water!

Buckle: Do we have, maybe, some nets?

Tinker hurtles overhead and crashes into the water. Buckle remembers what emergency equipment the Miranda has, and throws a life preserver to Tinker. It’s an inflated animal skin on a rope.

Buckle Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Tinker grabs the life preserver, but Buckle’s super-heated hands caused a leak, and the jetpack is quite heavy. Tinker is still sinking and Buckle can’t haul in the rope because he’d set it on fire! Stella smacks Buckle with the corner of her cloak.

Stella: Just ask Kitty!

Buckle: Kitty, help!

Kitty uses Crushing Jaws

Kitty carefully takes the rope in her powerful jaws and pulls Tinker onto the Miranda’s deck. Tinker seems unphased by her near-death experience.

Tinker: Buckle! So great to meet you! Thought we wouldn’t see you again. We’re on a new route for new customers. The control vanes don’t have enough yaw. I’ll replace them It’s so good to see you!

Tinker pulls heavy welding gloves from her belt, puts them on, and shakes Buckles’ hand. The Hibernia pulls up alongside and Captain Frost calls out.

Frost: Come on, Tinker, this is a rush delivery! We had to take some bad terms for this journey, so we can’t afford to be late! But stay there! We’ll send a launch to get you.

Buckle: If you’re in a hurry, this’ll help you get more power.

Buckle spends 1 Use of Dragonfire

Tinker is thrilled to receive a second vial of Dragonfire. The launch arrives and Tinker boards it.

Buckle: Wait, you never told me your name!

Tinker: It’s Tanja. Tanja the Tinker!

Buckle gains a Bond with Tanja. Spend the Bond and Tanja will appear with some contraption to bail Buckle out of a jam.

The Miranda continues south while the Hibernia sails north. It’s night when the Miranda approaches the river delta of Port Fennrick, with its boardwalks and buildings on stilts. An Ogre stands at the edge of the dock, holding a huge torch. It’s an entire sapling, wrapped in cloth and set alight. The Ogre waves to indicate the Miranda should stop before entering the city. The Fellowship complies, and the Ogre just waits there, staring at them. Very odd. Then a man appears right next to Buckle and grabs his Lightning Artifact!

Mysterious figure: The chief will be very interested in this trinket!

END OF SESSION MOVE

Did we learn something new about the world or its people: YES, Castellum’s war against Snapjaw

Did someone find what they were looking for: YES, Buckle collects Artifacts of Power

Did we thoroughly explore a new location: YES, Castellum

Three boons: Level up, restore gear, heal.

Chasing the Sunset & Forgeries

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre, Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship announced the death of one ruler, threatened the life of another ruler, and found a library with information about the Remnants (the civilization that made Yuri’s magical sword)

While Vestri drills through the library’s protective shell to make a proper entrance, a window in space opens and Edna steps through to visit her other friends. She returns shortly after Vestri finishes.

Vestri says he kept Edna in mind and made the entrance to the Library big enough for her to enter. Edna reveals that a friend in the other party had a dagger that looked very similar to the dagger that Vestri’s looking for, but the gem in its hilt did not have the Redrock seal. The other party found an old lottery ticket near the dagger, which has an address. Vestri thinks that dagger was a forgery, but the forger might have the real dagger, or know where it is. The Fellowship sets off to find the address written on the lottery ticket (graciously provided by the other party) and learn more about Vestri’s missing dagger.

Vestri: I don’t mind a few detours on the way.

Vestri realizes that once he has the dagger, he’s supposed to go home. He’s not quite ready to stop adventuring with his new friends.

Vestri: When a group gets together to do something, we should achieve everyone’s quest, right? So if we get the dagger I should assist you returning home.

Yuri: I would appreciate it.

Vestri: And I’m not sure what your goal is out here.

Edna: I’m always achieving my goal! I’m out here to have a good time and meet new people.

The other party says the false dagger was found in an underground tunnel near Thaumatown. Vestri knows of many underground tunnels. Yuri remembers the tunnel they flooded just outside Bogden. Vestri wants to take a different path to  Thaumatown and avoid retracing their steps. Edna remembers a large pipe coming out of the wall in Swallet, the nearby Goblin city. Edna kind of threatened the leader of Swallet on their last visit, so she figures they would not be welcome. Vestri is quite compact, but Edna is no good at sneaking. Yuri suggesting drilling into the tunnel from the surface, but that requires precise knowledge of the tunnel’s location.

The Fellowship hikes down from the Hidden Library to the plain between the two volcanoes. There’s the entrance to  Swallet with the ramp leading down. Swallet is an underground chamber with an artifical roof, so if Gurtin the Drill Tank digs in the wrong place, it will break through that ceiling and plummet to the city far below!

Yuri and Vestri slip down the ramp just a little to look for the tunnel, hoping to get in and out without drawing attention.

Yuri Get Away (+hope, Vestri’s assistance) 7-9 avoid attention

The Fellowship’s previous intrusion was the last straw and Nub-Nub installed traps on the ramp! Arrows mounted under the rim of the ramp entrance fire as Yuri walks under them.

Yuri damages Grace

Yuri: You’re a doctor. Deal with it. That’s what Hot Fuzz said. It’s a movie.

Vestri: What are movies?

Yuri Spout Lore about the world he comes from. He bought the Cornetto Trilogy shortly before coming to this world, so it’s fresh in his mind.

Yuri tells the Fellowship where the tunnel is relative to their location on the surface, as well as what movies are, and why Edgar Wright is great at making them.

A map of the Goblin city of Swallet. The city is at the bottom of an underground carvern. On the eastern wall, a waterfall falls into lake with a park around it. In the middle of town, a big ramp leads down from the surface to a building at the south edge of town, with big signs advertising Fafnir's Fight Club and urging all comers to challenge the dragon. At the west wall of the cavern is a large building with lots of pipes coming out of it. Some kind of industrial facility.
A map of Swallet

Edna Love! Once per scene, erase a Bond with someone in your arms to heal them.

Edna erases “I must protect Yuri” and heals Yuri’s grace

Edna scoops up Yuri and tells him that he did a very good job. He got the information for the team, and even though he was hurt, he’s being very brave about it. She considers going down the ramp and smashing those cowardly traps, but Yuri was careful not to cause a commotion, so she won’t either.

GM note: I went on a tangent about using movies with giant characters as inspiration for how Edna interacts with the world and ended with “I just love it when weirdos love each other, and I guess I’m playing that character.”

Yuri walks east a ways and marks the dirt with his show. Hundrin operates Gurtin to drill down at an angle where Yuri indicates.

Gurtin spends Drill Tank.

Hundrin feels Gurtin drilling through dirt, hitting a layer of bricks, and then nothing. He quickly stops before Gurtin completely breaks through the roof of the tunnel and falls in. Vestri directs Hundrin to back out of the hole. The Fellowship stands around and stares at the hole, as you do, wondering the best way to proceed. Edna slides down and kicks at the bricks to enlarge the entrance to the tunnel, then drops in.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: causes collateral damage if she’s not careful

The tunnel is circular and about as tall as Edna. Water up to her knees flows towards Swallet and pours down a waterfall into a park.  The bricks that Edna kicked out to make room are carried by the current and fall into the park. Edna lifts the smaller party members down into the tunnel.

GM note: We had to use two different heuristics to figure out how high “up to her knees” on Edna would come on the smaller characters. Characters are some number of “heads” tall, and knees are two heads high.  Edna has triple the dimensions of a 5’4″ woman.

The water is about 4.5 feet deep: over Vestri’s head if he tries to stand in the middle, but if he walks up the slanted sides of the tunnel he can keep his head above water.

A Powersuit leaps up to the mouth of the tunnel, but it’s not a combat suit like Nub-Nub’s.  It’s brown and orange with a rollcage around the cockpit, like construction equipment.

  • Oobie, Goblin maintenance worker, she/her

Goblin women have pointier ears than the men. Some other races think that skin color is a gender marker, but that’s incorrect.

Yuri: Hello, ma’am. What brings you up here?

Oobie: The falling debris? In the park?

Vestri: That seems very unfortunate. I hope no one was hurt.

Oobie: No one was hurt, but a device was broken. People are always using devices in the park. Wait, did you do this?

Edna: Yeah, I just wasn’t thinking about where the bricks would go.

Vestri: I didn’t think there would be bricks. We don’t usually use such a thing.

Yuri: How upset are you about the property damage? We are just trying to access tunnel but did not want to disrupt you. Is an apology enough?

Oobie looks at the half-dozen figures surrounding her including a spiky machine and an Ogre scraping the ceiling.

Oobie: No. I’m not offended at all. I’m just going to . . . get some parts.

Oobie jumps away to get reinforcements. The Fellowship decides not to be around when she returns.

Vestri: Hey Edna, I know I’m heavier than I look, but could you carry me a little? Just hold on to my shirt and I’ll kind of swim.

Vestri Get Away (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 7-9 avoid harm

The Fellowship is pretty far down the tunnel when Nub-Nub arrives at the mouth of the tunnel. She doesn’t pursue the Fellowship, but gives orders to plug the hole to the surface and add traps here too.

The Fellowship continues upstream through the tunnel, mainly heading north. The mouth of the tunnel provided some light, but as they get further away, it gets darker and darker.

Vestri Deep Delve: see in the dark

Viktor Let Me Get That: useful tag

Viktor holds a lantern on a stick high over his head, about Edna’s shoulder level. The Dwarves don’t need the light, but the Ogre and Humans depend on it. Steven the housecat curls up on the brim of Edna’s hat, far away from the water.  There’s some evidence that machinery used to line the tunnel, but it’s all fallen into disrepair. Most has been swept away by the current over the years.

The Fellowship approaches branch in the tunnel. A tunnel from the east meets the north-south tunnel the Fellowship is walking along. There’s a cutout in the side of the tunnel, above the waterline. It’s basically a bus stop. There’s a little seating area and a staircase going up to the surface.

  • Yuri Look Closely 7-9 3 questions, 1 answer the hard way
    • how could the Dwarven Tunnel hurt or help me?
      • It’s a waterway hidden and protected from the elements. It was once a fast, secure way to move through the world.
      • Because it’s abandoned and fallen into disrepair, it dangerous.
    • Is something hidden or out of place?
      • Vestri: I have heard that Dwarves from the Clay Plains hide some of their richer ores in places of travel because it’s good luck. We don’t do such things like the soft clay Dwarves.
      • Edna: Rich soft clay, you say? That sounds delicious!
      • Vestri: These bricks were heated by the furnaces of the soft clay Dwarves, so if you don’t mind something crunchy these might be good for you to eat.
      • These tunnels were abandoned long ago. When the Dwarves retreated, they took the hidden ore and replaced it with a trap.
      • Curse-Touch: This dark poison leaves a burning wound that does not heal.
        The damage they took is Necrotic.
    • If something is hidden, what will happen if I poke it?
      • Edna pulls some bricks out of the wall and eats them like candy bars.
      • Edna Uncontrollable Strength: causes collateral damage if she’s not careful
      • A chunk of the ceiling collapses, and poison goo falls on Yuri

Yuri damages Grace (Necrotic)

Edna Bonds That Break Us: Edna erases a Bond with Yuri

Edna examines the bricks in her hands to see if any have bits of goo on them, then discards them just to be safe.

Vestri Let Me See That: take a few moments to investigate interesting architecture, then ask 2 questions

  • What was this made to do & how do I use it or break it?
    • It’s a public transit system. Rafts used to float with the current on one side of the tunnel. On the other side, a system of waterwheels linked to conveyor belts would move rafts against the current. Most of the conveyor belts and waterwheels have collapsed from decades of neglect. Getting it working again would be a big project.
    • Yuri recalls that the Platypeople are surprisingly good at technology. They could help get this running again. the Fellowship has influence iwth Bogden after saving them from Werewolves.
  • Who made this and why should I care about them?
    • Vestri Spout Lore about Dwarven history
    • The Clay Dwarves made this. There used to be a lake between the two mountains, which produced all the clay that the Clay Dwarves used to make these tunnels. But after some eruptions, the lake disappeared and a sinkhole opened up. The Clay Dwarves moved away, and the Goblins came in and built Swallet inside the sinkhole.

The in-Vestri-gation (as Yuri calls it) reveals the location of the stop the lottery ticket came from.  The Fellowship heads north.

The next stop is at a junction with a tunnel coming from the west.  This is where the lottery ticket was sold.

Vestri Look Closely 7-9 3 questions, find 1 answer the hard way

  • What is going on? What do my senses tell me?
    • This stop is larger than the previous one. There are more dusty stone benches, and a shop carved out of the back of the room.  Yuri hopes the dagger is sitting on one of the shop’s shelves, but the shelves are empty. Behind the counter, a hidden compartment is open and empty.
    • Down the tunnel to the west, there are metal spikes driven into the walls like punji sticks, as if preventing something from coming from the west.
  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • Vestri finds a second hidden compartment, which contains a puzzle box. He knows that Dwarves are careful with treasure, especially where creatures come expecting riches from a lottery. Sometimes lesser treasures are revealed so thieves won’t look for greater treasure. Hopefully the forgery was easy to find and the real dagger is in here.
The raft encounters punji sticks pointing the other way.

Yuri wonders what sort of creature would require such defenses. Vestri explains that Sea Serpents are a concern, but rarely because Dwarves live mostly in mountian, not the shore. Murderous flame gods are also a hazard. Yuri doesn’t have murderous flame gods in his world, only murderous people.  Edna recalls time that a 10-foot-tall (she gestures about chest height) guy made out of magma came out of an artifact and tried to set her on fire. Vestri says the murderous flame gods usually take the form of four-legged creatures, but nothing prevents them from being humanoid.

GM note: Vestri’s player didn’t ask a third question because the first two revealed all the important information.

Vestri All That Glitters: is there a trap or ambush here?

There’s some kind of magical trap in the puzzle box. Vestri isn’t sure of the solution, but will try anyways. Yuri’s been hit by two traps already today, so he stands back. Edna’s first impulse is to throw the box really hard against something far away, but admits that might not be wise to smash a box containing a precious item. Alas, Edna is too big to fit through the Dwarf-sized spiral staircase that leads to the surface. Vestri can speak to the earth and ask it to move, but that won’t work on bricks. He clears out some bricks with his pickaxe to access the earth.

Vestri Earth Friend: When you Speak Softly to the earth, you may ask it to move.

Vestri Speak Softly 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer

  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the earth?
    • The earth refuses to answer
  • Could you move so that Edna can reach the surface?
    • Yes, the earth retreats from the hole in the brickwork until there’s a sloped tunnel that leads to the surface.
  • Where are you going? Where does this staircase come out?
    • Vestri sticks his head out of the hole and sees that he on the south bank of the Mighty River, and Thaumatown is just across the river on the north bank.

Edna climbs to the surface and stretches, glad to not be constrained by a ceiling. Steven (still curled up on her hat) wakes up and stretches in the sunlight.

Mighty River Response move – Wild Animal: A Beast tries to eat the next player who goes out in the open.

  • Wild Boar: These wild beasts are popular among both halfling war riders
    and halfling chefs.

    • Pig-Headed: Boars are ferocious and territorial beasts. When you gain a Boar’s ire, it will chase you until this stat is damaged. They will follow you into a new scene if ignored.
    • Wild Charge: When a wild boar charges, it keeps going until it hits something. The first thing in their way that has a damaged Sense stat or is distracted takes 1 damage and is knocked aside by its wild charge. Anyone who is not distracted and has undamaged Senses can easily avoid the charge. If the boar hits nobody, it damages this stat instead.

GM note: At Response Level 6, threats can appear in Gangs, which means it’s possible to be attacked by 30-50 feral hogs.

A Wild Boar is offended that Enda intrudes on its territory and prepares to charge. Edna sees an opportunity to apply the training Yuri gave her and stands her ground.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna I Know Something You Don’t: Gain an Advantage when you Overcome an attack

Edna steps aside and grabs the Wild Boar as it runs past. She drags it in a semi-circle around her and throws it down on its side. Edna looks at Yuri in truimph!

Edna: Ha ha! Just like a therapist!

Edna gets down on on all fours, face to face with the Wild Boar. She releases her grip, and as soon as it gets up, she head-butts it!

Edna Finish Them (+Courage, force a retreat) 7-9 damage 1 stat

Wild Boar damages Wild Charge

The head butt knocks Steven from his perch on Edna’s hat. To keep him out of danger, Edna grabs Steven and carries him towards Yuri, with the Wild Boar pursuing. Yuri stretches out the lower hem of his shirt, making a little basket for Steven to jump into. Edna stops to let Steven jump to Yuri, and the Wild Boar slams into the back of her leg.

Edna Wobbles: normal weapons annoy but do not damage you

The Wild Boar single-mindedly bashes into Edna’s leg over and over. By taking a wide stance she’s able to avoid losing her balance. The Wild Boar wn’t give up, even though its efforts are in vain.

Yuri Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Finish Them (+Sense, knock out) 10+ TAKEN OUT

Yuri leaps high in the air and comes down hard on the Wild Boar, knocking it unconscious.

Edna: Can we get the boar to set off the puzzle box? I’m not cocerned for its well-being.

Vestri: I’d prefer solving it to breaking it. What if it’s got liquid inside that will destroy whatever’s inside?

Vestri Let Me See That: take a few moments to investigate interesting architecture, then ask 2 questions

  • Who made it and why should I care about them?
    • It was made by the Clay Dwarves to protect the treasure inside.
  • What was this made to do? How do I use it or break it?
    • The puzzle box has meny levers and catches. If one person holds them all in the right positions, another person can reach in and extract the item inside. The trap that’s activated when someone fails to solve the puzzle will suck nearby people and items inside like a vacuum, but it will wear off after a few hours.

Vestri: I didn’t know the Clay Dwarves could make such items. I thought they were more interested in decorative items, not useful items, which is perhaps why theyy have not survived as well as Stone Dwarves. Sometimes Clay Dwarves are nomadic, which is rare among Dwarves. Maybe that’s why they need puzzle boxes, to protect treasure while on the move.

Yuri Overcome (+hope, Vestri’s assistance) 10+

Yuri’s a surgeon, so his hands are very steady. He follows Vestri’s directions to solve the puzzle box, then Vestri pulls out the item within. It’s not the dagger. It’s a ledger book. This ledger belongs to Tomay and Soday, two Dwarven brothers who copied fine Dwarven crafts and sold the inferior copies to non-Dwarves who can’t tell the difference.  These con-men stole the original items that they copied. The ledger ends abruptly when they were discovered and chased out. The brother took only the original items and fled.  The Fellowship must now track down these forgers to reclaim Vestri’s hierloom.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Mighty River messageboard:

Vestri: Beware of the tunnel entrace. Do not fall in. We have not repaired the waterway yet.

Yuri: Beware nectrotic goop traps living behind brick

Chasing The Sunset & Luna Penumbra

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre

Last time, the Fellowship traveled to Vieport and were denied entry into the Adventurers’ Club.

A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer's Club, and Bertha.
A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer’s Club, and Bertha.

As the Fellowship leaves the Adventurers’ Club, Roddy quietly retracts his hand, holding a red membership card, into the indistinct shape of his ghillie suit.  The Fellowship wonders where to head next. The palace in the center of the city seems interesting. A guard challenges them at the entrance.

Eel Guard: Security is tight after the recent trouble. Are you members of the Adventurers’ Club?

Lucia: Roddy is.

Lucia Talk Sense 7-9 owe a favor

Eel Guard: OK, I’ll let you in, but you must leave your weapons here.

That doesn’t bother Edna at all. She hasn’t used her weapon yet, and she’s confident she can handle any trouble in the palace with her bare hands. She hands over a walking stick made of hard wood, shod with metal. Dryden reaches behind his cloak, moving all his weapons to his storeroom through the teleportation spell on the cloak’s underside. Averiela doesn’t like the idea of going inside without weapons. She considers sneaking back to retrieve her weapons. She nudges Lucia, suggesting she use her Royal Symbol.

Lucia: My sword is an heirloom. I can’t leave it behind. I’ll happily leave my throwing knives and arrow traps.

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: Grant an audience with anyone you show it to

The Eel Guard allows Lucia to keep her royal sword and sends another guard to tell the Sea Viper that a royal visitor has arrived. The Fellowship are instructed to wait on the roof. Half of the palace is underwater, and the roof is a nice place to receive terrestrial visitors.  The roof has some scaffolding around the edges, and all the furniture and tapestries are brand new. The decorative plants are mere cuttings. The Fellowship figures that the “recent trouble” the Eel Guard mentioned involved a fight on the roof.

There’s also a huge hexagonal metal mirror, held in a yoke that allows it to rotate in any direction.  Lucia and Dryden recognize this mirror, but Averiela and Edna don’t. Lucia and Dryden explain that the Moon is artificial and covered with mirrors like this one. Vampires hate the Dragons who built the Moon, and created an Anti-Moon Weapon to destroy it, but the test shot only broke off a few mirrors (like this one) which fell to the surface. Also, Dryden has a mirror shard, so he could open a portal to the Moon at any time.

The Sea Viper and his counselors arrive.

  • Sea Viper, mer-snake, he/him, ruler of Vieport.
    • A snake-like head, two arms, and a long tail instead of legs.  He’s always growing and nothing has managed to kill him yet, so he’s huge.
  • Emmett, human, he/him, Ghost Expert
    • He’s lanky, and bald. He’s wearing a wetsuit made of shiny scales, so it shimmers and flashes like a fish as he moves. He’s got a clear full-face mask that lets him breathe underwater, and propellers mounted on his shoulders for speed. He has flippers flipped up at the ankle and clipped to his knees so he can walk on land.
  • Robin, Lantern, she/her, City Engineer.
    • A woman with a glowing light hovering over her shoulder. Her self is actually the light, and the figure of the woman is a holographic projection that facilitates intertaction with humanoid life.
  • Agate, Spider, he/him, Special Weapon Expert
    • An arthopod that stands upright on two legs, and uses his other six limbs as arms.

Sea Viper: Welcome, Queen Lucia of the Forgotten Lands. What brings you to my domain?

Lucia: We are adventurers and explorers. My co-adventurers Dryen and Averiela must journey south, and this is the nearest port. We were intrigued by your beautiful palace.

Agate can’t help but brag about the latest addition to the palace: a powerful beam weapon! He gestures at the Moon mirror with several hands.

Dryden: What do you need such a weapon for?

Sea Viper: To destroy my enemies!

Agate: It will work better next time. I can focus the beam more precisely….

Dryden Speak Softly 6- Three questions, one unhelpful answer, one false answer

  • Tell us about the sea.
    • Only half of Vieport is on land. The palace is in the center of Vieport, and the water that the Fellowship overlooks from the roof covers the underwater half, home to most of the merfolk inhabitants.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the Sea Viper?
    • The Sea Viper is making a show of being hospitable and diplomatic, but he’s a tyrant. He’ll take what he wants by force if he thinks he needs to, and that includes any Artifacts of Power (like Infinite Windows in Dryden’s backpack, or the Dragon’s egg that Averiela guards)
  • What is the Sea Viper doing? What will they do next?
    • The Sea Viper wants to improve his beam weapon, so he’s acquiring the optics that Agate wants to focus the beam more precisely. Since the weapon is fixed in the center of Vieport, it’s more easily used against his own subjects, or passing ships, then for defense or invasion.

Lucia explains a little about the mission to the south. She says that they are traveling to meet with several Elven tribes, although she conceals the exact reason. The Sea Viper offers to provide the Fellowship with a ship for the journey, in exchange for political influence in the places they visit. Lucia could give the Sia Viper’s ambassadors good introductions with the leaders she meets.  The Sea Viper offers a Lantern ship captianed by Robin herself.  Lucia wants to learn more about Robin.

Lucia Speak Softly 6- Three questions, one unhelpful answer, one false answer

  • Tell me about the Lanterns
    • Lanterns are extradimensional travelers from a space (Robin pauses to search for a word) beside this world. Lantern are small floating lights, and project humanoid bodies because talking to “people” prevents humanoids from freaking out. Lanterns can project their solid holograms into other useful shapes, like bridges, shields, and weapons.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Lanterns.
    • Lanterns can’t lie, and thus they can’t keep secrets.
  • Tell us about the upcoming voyage.
    • Robin predicts that traveling with a mixed crew will be comfortable, since they have such different biological processes.

Lucia Royal Treatment: leaders offer a meal and a room for the night

The Fellowship restores some stats with the Sea Vipers Food.

The Sea Viper prepares rooms for the Fellowship and allows them to consider his generous offer overnight. On the way off the roof, Dryden scoops up a handful of dirt from a flower bed. The Fellowship woud love to have a ship, but of course they don’t trust the Sea Viper. They immediately plan to commandeer the ship for themselves.

Averiela: I can’t reveal the location of my home to the Sea Viper.  If Lanterns can’t lie, maybe we can get Robin to defect with us.

Dryden: I want to destroy that beam weapon. It’s my duty to keep dangerous things away from those who would abuse them.

Edna: I could smash that thing easily, but it would be rude. He has shown us hospitality.

Lucia: But they took your walking stick.

Edna: Please! I don’t need a weapon. It’s not even alive.

Edna considers a long sea voyage. Her skin, teeth, and bones are part stone and metal, so she’s too dense to swim. That’s not a problem in rivers and lakes because she can get to the surface with a Mighty Leap to take a breath, but in the middle of the ocean, with miles of water below, she’d drown before she reached the bottom! Ol’ Jardinier reassures her that he has a spell for just such a disaster, and he’ll keep an eye on her.  Edna is overcome by this declaration of loyalty and scoops Ol’ Jardinier up in her giant hands.

GM note: The Fellowship really should have checked for eavesdroppers before planning a mutiny against their host.

The next morning, the Fellowship and the Sea Viper’s council reconvene.

Dryden: We look forward to sailing with Robin.

Lucia: And bringing greetings from the Sea Viper.

Robin goes to make the ship ready, and the Fellowship has some time to make thier own preparations. Edna spends a long time in the marketplace sampling the local cuisine.

Edna spends 1 Precious Item to refill her Food.

Edna meets up with the rest of the Fellowship followed by a third figure (besides her Companions Ol’ Jardinier and Viktor) A Human woman wearing chrome armor, with bubblegum-pink curly hair spilling down to her shoulders.

Edna:  Lucia, I met this lady in the market and I’m sure you’ll get along. “You have to meet my friend”, I said, “She’s also a knight.”

Dryden, Lucia, and Roddy look at the pink-haired woman with shock and horror, which she reciprocates.  She’s Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn, and they came to blows when they first met each other! She no longer has her unicorn sword or helmet. Now she carries a shield made from a huge turtle shell, and a short, broad blade.

Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: You! How dare you show your faces to me!

Dryden: As I recall, you dropped your weapon and helmet as your ran from our last meeting. Do you want to make a scene?

Averiela fades into the background to observe. Edna is dismayed that her new friends don’t get along.

Lucia: Last time we met, this lady used a weapon made from the horn a peaceful unicorn!

Dryden & Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: Two horns!

Dryden: I demand an accounting of that turtle shell, for I am a friend of the great turtle: Ancient One.  I’ll divest you of it.

Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: You steal my equipment and my servant, and now you want to take more from me? Come on, Roddy, shoot this fool!

Roddy freezes. Everyone is looking to see what he’ll do next, and he hates being the center of attention.

Dryden: All people can do what they will. You can’t order him around.

Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: You only say that because he obeys you. What if he wants to come back to me?

Lucia: We’ll be sad and disappointed, but he can do what he wants.

Roddy takes them at their word, and does the thing he most wants: get away from people and from confrontation. He leaves the party. Dryden wants a piece of his ghillie suit, just in case, but Roddy refuses and walks away.  Lady Eadwynn tries to follow him.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 10+

Dryden: I must know the lineage of that shield. I’ll take the shell.

Seeing that Lady Eadwynn is distracted, Lucia draws her sword and advances. Lady Eadwynn’s reflexes are impressive, and she gets her blade around before Lucia’s sword is ready.

Lady Eadwynn Spell Sword: When Lady Eadwynn is trying to fight you, anyone who gets close to them must Pay a Price to do so.

Edna Protect The Little Ones:  When your body is between someone and incoming harm, you suffer that harm in their place. This happens whether you want it to or not.

Edna Of The HIlls: spend 1 Special Armor to Protect The Little Ones

Edna’s been standing right next to Lady Eadwynn this whole time, and when she sees the swords come out, she just pops her knee forward to strike Lady Eadwynn’s sword arm, spoiling her stroke.

Lucia Finish Them (+Grace) 10+ TAKEN OUT!

Lucia smoothly steps in and knocks the blade from Lady Eadwynn’s unsteady hand.  Lady Eadwynn has no choice but to let Dryden take her shield as well.

Dryden:  Thanks. Go forth and hunt monsters only. These creatures should be living free in the wild!

Lady Eadwynn retreats in shame, cursing under her breath.

Edna: So, should I name-drop you in the future to avoid this kind of confrontation?

The turtle shield is from a large normal turtle, not a Great Turtle.  Edna thinks she could wear it as a helmet, but doesn’t because that seems disrespectful. Her new friends have to lay a lot of remains to rest! now the Fellowship is ready to set out on their voyage to the south.

GM note: The players built Robin’s ship, the Luna Penumbra, using the Ship Playbook. They are quite confident that they’ll successfully commandeer it and use it for a long time.

  • Luna Penumbra, A flying ship with sails that spring open like the Saucy Mare from ReBoot.
    • Cannon: +0
    • Engine: +2
    • Hull: +1
    • Crew: 2/4
    • Features: Smuggling Compartments, Escape Pods, Exo Suits, Sensors, Afterburners
    • Form: Boat, Airship

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & invitations

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre

Last time, the Fellowship learned about Dragon birth and death from the Hidden Library.

It’s unprecedented for one of her rank to call for a one, but Averiela feels she must call a Conclave of the Elves to determine what to do with the Dragon egg she found.  It’s been 700 years since all the families of the Elves last gathered.  Some families have since retreated deep into the high mountains, disappointed with the rest of the world. Finding and alerting all of them could take quite some time, and the Conclave may not happen for a year after the invitations go out.

Edna: Can we pop through Infinite Windows, give the message, then return? Do we have to spend the whole year there? I know Elven ceremonies can be quite long.

Dryden: Elves can take their time because they have a lot of time to take.

Averiela: Friends, I’m so honored that you want to help me. Do you want to spend a whole year on this quest?

GM note: “Friends”!? Averiela has always kept her traveling companions at a distance. This is the first time she calls them “friends”

Edna: We’ll have free time in the middle, right?

Averiela’s first destination is her home forest. Her Elf-stone brooch connects her to her home, so Infinite Windows can use it to open a portal to her home, but she doesn’t want to risk losing the brooch.

Lucia: I’m honored to be invited to your home. I remember my tutor told me about the Elven forests near the Forgotten Lands.

Dryden: That tutor didn’t like me. I couldn’t sit still.

Edna: I’m not familiar with either of your countries.

Averiela: We keep a low profile.

Infinite WIndows needs an object from the destination to open a portal, but the item may be lost if the spell does not go well.  Lucia recommands pulling a single thread from Averiela’s Elven cloak, but Infinite Windows requires a significant item, not just a scrap. Averiela offers her Ring of Eternal Flame. The ring contains a tiny flame taken from the Eternal Flame at home. The Eternal Flame is a light burning for all the Elves out adventuring. Part of it will go out if Averiela dies.

Ol’ Jardinier damages Overwhelming Power to assist: pick another option from Open A Window

Averiela Opens A Window 6- the window cracks & something dangerous comes out + keep the item

Dryden pulls Infinite Windows out of his physical backpack. It can’t go through portals, so he can’t keep it under his cloak. Averiela puts her ring into one of the shifting mirror fragments. Nothing happens. She pulls the ring back out, and large glowing fingers are holding on to it from the other side! A Fire Elemental comes through!

  • Fire Elemental: A 10 foot tall being of molten rock, perpetually on fire.
    • Burning Aura: Anyone who is not immune to fire cannot get close without paying a price.
    • Wildfire: The Fire Elemental is Burning and Dangerous.
    • Tough As Nails: The first time a Fire Elemental would be damaged or
      destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Lucia strikes quickly, hoping to sever the Fire Elemental’s arm before the whole creature comes through!

Fire Elemental Burning Aura: Lucia spends Armor to Pay A Price

Lucia Finish Them (+Courage, force retreat) 10+

Fire Elemental: Tough As Nails gets damaged first

It’s a powerful strike, but the Fire Elemental pulls itself through Infinite Windows and stands on the slope of the volcano, towering over most of the Fellowship.  Edna recognizes the danger it’s Burning Aura presents to all her friends, so she grabs the creature and throws it down the slope about 100 yards.

Fire Elemental Burning Aura: Edna takes damage to Pay A Price

Edna Toss Aside 7-9 Fire Elemental lands safely where Edna wants

The Fire Elemental is enraged and starts climbs back up the slope. Edna steps in front of the Fellowship. The Fire Elemental will have to get through her to get to anyone else, but for now, the Fellowship cna used ranged weapons without retaliation. Dryden pulls out his unbreakable two-handed Dwarven hammer and swings it in big vertical circles. He lets it go and it soars over Edna’s head and down the slope, falling head-first on the Fire Elemental.

Dryden Finish Them (+Sense, knock out) 6-

The hammer sinks all the way into the Fire Elemental’s body, a rough approximation of a humanoid, but made of molten lava. It stumbles, but recovers and keeps moving up the slops.

Drdyen signals Roddy by dabbing, but adds that Roddy should aim where his hammer entered.

Roddy damages Trick Shot to give Dryden an Advantage

Dryden Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 7-9 Fire Elemental damages Burning Aura

Roddy strikes true with his pneumatic rifle. The burning heat glowing through the cracks as the Fire Elemental moves fades, and most of its skin cools to black. Edna approaches to recover Dryden’s hammer.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna grabs the Fire Elemental’s shoulder to keep it in place, then jams her other hand down through its head, up to her elbow. She pulls her hand free, splashing lava through the air, gripping Dryden’s hammer. The Fire Elemental turns its fury on Edna, and Lucia throws some rocks to distract it.

Lucia Keep Them Busy 6-

Edna is twice the size of the Fire Elemental, so it’s hard to get a clear shot. Lucia hits Enda with the pebbles instead. Edna’s momentarily distracted, and the Fire Elemental strikes with a superheated punch!

Lava Elemental damages Edna

Averiela pelts the Fire Elemental with arrows.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 6-

The arrows are ineffective, and the Fire Elemental lands another blow.

Lava Elemental damages Edna

Lucia draws her sword and runs in.

Lucia Keep Them Busy 6-

Lava Elemental damages Edna

The Fire Elemental kicks her aside. Edna sees that she and her friends are in real danger. She needs to end the fight now!

Edna Toss Aside 10+ land where Edna wants & take damage

Fire Elemental damages Wildfire. TAKEN OUT

Edna lifts the Fire Elemental over her head and smashes it straight down into the ground. The lava that forms its body splatters and rapidly cools, leaving a shock-wave shaped sculpture of ingeous rock.

Edna: Phew! Let’s rest a bit before we open any more portals!

Viktor lays out one of Edna’s Giant Lunches, big enough to feed three people.  Lucia assists him with her special culinary expertise, stretching the food even further.

Lucia Wonder Chef: Fill Your Belly without spending food. People who share a meal with you heal an extra stat.

Lucia spends 0 Food to heal.

Edna spends 2 Food to heal 3 stats

Edna spends 1 Food to heal Ol’ Jardinier

Dryden spends 1 Food to heal Roddy twice

Averiela spends 1 Food to restore Elder Arts

Edna: Maybe this Artifact is more trouble than it’s worth.

Dryden: It’s very complicated magic.

Edna: I’m new, but I’ve never seen it work properly.

Lucia: Maybe we should go physically.

The Fellowship agrees to head south by the nearby river to the port, then try to cross the ocean to Averiela’s homeland.

As they walk down the mountain, they meet three people walking up. Lofar (the Dwarf miner that Dryden sent fleeing a while earlier) leads two Goblins in Power Suits equipped for mining up from Swallet. The Fellowship hails him and he says he’s back to mine the precious minerals from this mountain, like Moon Dust that falls on the peak.

Averiela: There’s no gold here. I’ve studied the land for many years. Try the other mountain.

The Goblins burst out laughing. What an obvious lie! The other volcano is part of Swallet’s infrastructure and has been extensively explored already.

Lucia: We buried a Dragon up there. You mustn’t disturb his eternal rest.

Lofar: There’s no eternity. You’ve hidden the gold under the Dragon!

GM note: Indeed, Dwarves have no afterlife. They come from the stone and return to the stone.

Lofar is the size of doll to Edna, and she picks him in one hand to bring him face to face.

Edna: If you won’t respect the dead, respect the living. I’m telling you there is nothing for you up there.

Edna: Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to desire to not get squashed) 10+

Lofar: Lucky for you these Goblins aren’t muscle.

He backs off and kicks pebbles towards Edna. She spreads her arms wide in a show of readiness.

Edna: Anytime!

Lofar and the Goblins retreat towards Swallet and the Fellowship make their way to Sugar’s Crossing.  A few months ago, Lucia and Dryden rescued some people when a huge metal mirror fell from the sky and destroyed the bridge across the river.  This started the legend of Star-Rider, the mysterious flying man who fell from the Moon. The story goes that he wears a long cloak to dim his celestial brightness. As the Fellowship wonders how to get passage downriver, a fan of Star-Rider recognizes Dryden!

  • Bingo, he/him Halfling youth. Someone has noticed what the fellowship is up to, and has grown to adore you and all you do.
    • Cheerleader: The fan can damage this stat to give someone Hope.
    • Danger Magnet: The fan loves to watch their heroes in action. When a Dangerous attack happens near them, the fan is always among the collateral.

Bingo: Wow, it’s Star-Rider! What brings you here? Did you help with that fire in Vieport?

Dryden: I didn’t fight the fire in Vieport, but I did fight Fire Elementals. I was also teleported into the forest of Vampire Fairies. Of course, the Unicorns helped us with them.

Bingo: Wow, that’s so cool! Can I come along on your next adventure?

Lucia: Ask your mother. Actually, we need your help right now. We need safe passage to the sea. Which of these ships should we take?

Bingo is thrilled to have quest from his hero Star-Rider, and his friends. He tries to run home and to the docks at the same time, and eventually picks a direction. After a short time, Bingo returns, pushing an elderly Halfling woman in a wheelchair.

Bingo: My mom wasn’t home, but I asked my Uncle, and my Uncle, and my Gramma!

Wilma: What’s this I hear? You’re taking Bingo away to fight Unicorns?

Dryden: Ah, good of you to come. How’s young Bingo’s schooling? Especially reading?

Bingo rattles off a list of relatives and their professions and what they teach him. His aunt at the theater is teaching him The Stories. His other aunt, his dad’s sister, lets him help with the cooking. Everything is a communal effort in Halfling culture.

Dryden: Excellent. I’l give you this scroll of basic magical techniques. You need to stay her to study this (and all your other subjects) so you can start on your own adventures!

Dryden Talk Sense (+Wis, appeal to desire to have adventures like his hero) 7-9 owe a favor

Bingo makes Dryden promise to come back when Bingo has studied this scroll to teach him other things. He also poitns the Fellowship towards a boat going downriver. He runs off, pushing his Gramma Wilma with the scroll stretched between the handles, trying to read and walk at the same time. Her scolding fades into the distance.

The Fellowship goes to the boat, which is a huge raft, propelled by a Giant with a long pole. His name is Wilhelm, he’s 24 feet tall, and he’s a true Giant. Ogres are much larger than most people, but calling them Giants is only colloquial. True Giants get much bigger than Ogres, and are completely unrelated to Humans.

Lucia spends 1 Precious Item for passage to the sea

Wilhelm poles down the river until the raft reaches a swampy area with spooky willow trees, and crows that seem to be keeping watch. They are keeping watch! This is the swamp of Samantha the Witch, so hates trespassers. The crows squawk and fly into the swamp, and a short time later, a bull runs out to the shore and transforms into Ferdinand, an Elf well-known to Lucia.  Wilhelm pushes the raft ashore so they can talk.

Lucia: Ferdinand, this is Dryden, a lifelong friend from the Forgotten Lands. He has come with news that I am now queen.  And this is Averiela. We met on our long journey, and the bonds between our people go back for generations.  Together we journey far and right wrongs.

Edna: And I’m Edna Crusher-Harcourt. Very pleased to meet you.

Averiela: How fortuitous! I thought the Shapeshifting Elves disappeared centuries ago! We are calling a conclave, for we carry a Dragon’s egg. I suspect my Queen of Whispering Winds in the Hidden Mist would welcome a representative of the Shapeshifting Elves.

Ferdinand: I’m the only Shapeshifting Elf I know. It’s just me and Samantha, and she’s Human. I will do my best to attend!

Ferdinand is a lot more confident than he used to be. Averiela is angry that she didn’t know about Ferdinand. She doesn’t accept any weakness in herself!

Dryden: Lucia has told me stories fo her adventures before I arrived here. What can you tell me about the Black Beast?

Ferdinand puts his hands over his mouth and giggles loudly.

Ferdinand: OK, OK! Lucia’s other friend, Gleador, could also transform, but into anything he liked. He was actually the Black Beast! There were two, but they were both him! He convenced everyone that one of them killed the other and they never suspected him! It’s so funny! He outsmarted them all and made fools of those awful people that stole our wine recipe.

Wilhelm inquires about the special wine. Perhaps people in Vieport would pay a high price for such luxury items. Ferdinand agrees to meet Wilhelm when on his return trip and set up a deal. Before Wilhelm pushes off, Dryden plucks a leaf from Samantha’s Swamp and adds it to his collection.

Wilhelm: I’m glad to meet your friend Ferdinand, but we’ve been delayed, and now we’ll have to traverse the Ghostlands at night! truly a frightening sight! All those red glowing eyes and vague transparent bodies lining the banks of the rivers, waiting for the living to wander in reach so they can devour them!

Lucia: Why don’t we camp overnight before we reach the Ghostlands and make the journey in daylight?

Wilhelm agrees to her very reasonable suggestion, and they wait until dawn to continue past the Ghostlands (less scary in daylight) and to the checkpoint at the northern edge of Vieport. Tall pylons surround the city, with lightning crackling between them. This Lightning Barrier separates the living from the hungry undead of the Ghostlands.

The guards in Vieport are Mer-Eels, with long reptilian faces, humanoid arms and torsoes, and long eel-like tails. They swim quickly through the water and board Wilhelm’s raft to check for anything suspicious or illegal.

Eel Guard: Welcome back, Theona. Headed to the Adventurers’ Club?

Edna: You must have mistaken me for someone else. I’m Edna Crusher-Harcourt. Very pleased to meet you.

Everything is in order, so the Eel Guards allow Wilhelm’s raft into the city. The Fellowship disembarks and seeks out the Adventurer’s Club the guards mentioned.

A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer's Club, and Bertha.
A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer’s Club.

The Adventurer’s Club is a grand building next to a golf course, with high ceilings and canals in the floors to accomodate both terrestrial and aquatic adventurers. The clerk at the front desk is a Mer-Man whose fish half is a Betta fish, so his fins are luxurious and fade from red to purple.

  • Fred, he/him, Merfolk. A colorful tropical fish person, friendly but skittish.
    • Cowardice: After he takes damage, Fred will attempt to run away from the scene.
    • Friendly: The first person in the fellowship to Forge a Bond with Fred may write up to three Bonds with him, instead of just one.

The Adventurer’s Club is for members only, so each member of the Fellowship must either present a membership card, or some proof that they should be allowed to join.

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: Grant an audience with anyone.

Fred is very impressed by Lucia’s Symbol of Royalty, but the others struggle to prove that they are also great adventurers.

Dryden: Let me speak for my humble friends. This is Edna, who I have seen jam her mighty fist into the heart of a Fire Elemental. Averiela can strike a perfect shot from the shadows, and has single-handedly defeated a giant Sentry Droid. Perhaps you have heard the legend of Star-Rider, who saved people from the Shard of the Moon?

Drdyen starts pulling out all the treasures he’s collected and laying them out on the table. After a while, Fred tells him to stop.

Dryden Talk Sense (+Grace, dazzle) 6-

Fred says that they don’t have trophies or proof of their great deeds, so he can’t offer them membership. If they can produce trophies, or if they complete any of the bounties on the Bounty Board, then they will be allowed in, but for now, only Queen Lucia may enter. Lucia refuses to enter without her friends!

Edna is very interested in one of the daggers that Dryden pulled out of his cloak: a jeweled Dwarf-Made dagger. She asks to examine it, and holds the red gem in the hilt up to the light, but is disappointed. She knows someone looking for a dagger quite like this, but this isn’t the one.  Drdyen explains where he found it, and gives Edna a Dwarven lottery ticket that he found nearby. Maybe that clue will help her friend find what they were looking for.

GM note: Edna tried to use Infinite WIndows to go back to the other party at the very end of the session, but rolled 6- and we didn’t have time to fight whatever came through the portal. The timeline with the other party is all messed up. Hopefully Edna will soon be able to move back and forth between parties using Infinite Windows in a way that mostly makes diagetic sense.

END OF SESSION MOVE:

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: NO
  • Did anyone find what they were looking for: YES, Averiela is working on the Conclave, her long-term goal
  • Did we discover something new about the world and its people: YES, Dragon birth and death rituals.

Two boons:

  • Level up: Edna & Averiela
  • Restore Gear.

 

Chasing The Sunset & Snapjaw

Chasing The Sunset & Snapjaw

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship neared Kitty the Tyrannosaur’s home, but approached Castellum, a human town fortified against frequent dinosaur attacks. They were not welcome, but withdrew without too much damage.

On the shores of the Cracktooth Wastes, the Felowship wonders what to do. Surely they don’t just kick Kitty off the boat and sail away. Perhaps they could return to her family. The humanoids doin’t realize it, but that’s insulting!  “Leaving the nest” is an important step in a Tyrannosaur’s life. An adult Tyrannosaur retirning to its parents means that it has failed as an adult, and its parents failed to raise it properly. That’s right out!

Buckle: What about your flock? Not who raised you. People you hang out with.

Kitty approves and leads the Fellowship from the shore towards the cracks in the north of the region.  This big cracks in the ground create narrow paths that a Tyrannosaur can block, and if its prey tries to flee, it will probably fall. Mega-Mantises live down in the cracks. Their powerful leaps let the move bakc and forth from the surface with ease. As the Fellowship approaches the cracks, a Mega-Mantis emerges from a crack and leaps at the nearest victim available: Buckle!

  • Mega Mantis: A giant insectoid predator that is always on the hunt for
    new prey.

    • Hopper: The Mega Mantis can jump to any surface it can see. When it
      jumps on top of someone smaller than the Mantis, they are pinned.
    • Scythes: The Mega Mantis has the tags Melee, Giant, and Piercing. When
      the Mantis pins someone, they take damage.

Mega Mantis Hopper: Buckle is pinned!

Mega-Mantis Scythes: Buckle is damaged!

Buckle: Kitty, help!

Kitty shoves the huge insect away from Buckle and growls, forcing it to retreat.

Kitty damages Gigantic to give Buckle the advantage “not pinned”

Buckle Mammalian Adaptation: Protection from Location Stat “Deadly”

GM note: Buckle’s Protection means that not everything should be out to kill him, so I refunded the damage from the Mega-Mantis, since it should have chosen someone else ot pounce on.

Stella; Did it think we were from Castellum?

Beyond the cracks, there’s a crater sunk into the ground, and a small thundercloud hovers over that crater, with an almost constantarc of lightning going straight down. There’s not much vegetation in the Cracktooth Wastes, except for the forest to the south. The Felowship wonders if Kitty really likes living in such a desolate place. She prefers the long sight lines. Mischievous fairies can’t sneak up on her here, like they did in the Fairy Forest. Buckle wonders about the strnage thundercloud, and when the Fellowship reaches the rim of the crater, they see Snapjaw, the Boss of the Cracktooth Wastes, at the bottom! The thundercloud hovers about Snapjaw, and lighting constnatly arcs between them. Lighting also arcs across Snapjaw’s skin as it moves.

  • Snapjaw: it/its. This is a tyrannosaur with lightning coursing through its body, making it even more dangerous than its deadly cousin.
    • Crushing Jaws: Anything Snapjaw bites is destroyed. Companions are immediately Taken Out and players take 3 damage from being bitten.
    • Lightning Veins: Snapjaw can spit bolts of lightning (Ranged, Piercing, Reload). When this stat becomes damaged, Snapjaw lets out an explosive blast of lightning in every direction. Everyone hit by this blast takes damage and drops everything they are holding.
    • Gigantic: Snapjaw and its attacks are Giant.

Snapjaw appears to give orders to a couple of Mega-Mantises and Komodo Dragons, who set off with purpose. They are not heading towards the Fellowship, but towards Castellum.

Stella: They weren’t very nice. Should we help?

Buckle: Let’s stay out of it. Hey, Snapjaw!

Buckle Wildspeaker: Speak the language of Beasts. Always have a chance to Speak Softly

Buckle Speak Softly 6- three questions, one unhelpful answer, one false answer

  • What are you doing? What will you do next?
    • Pushing the humans into the sea!
  • What do you want?
    • Snapjaw is a Champion and Bully, so he wants to fight anyone who is a threat ot his strength, and that’s Buckle!
  • What would you have us do next?
    • Stay there, so I can come up and formally challenge you

Buckle: Kitty, is this challenge some kidn of dinosaur ritual?

Snapjaw Lightning Veins: spit lightning bolt!

Lighting strikes from the thundercloud, moving up its tail to its head, then it spits lightning at the unsuspecting Buckle! Buckle scampers up Kitty’s leg!

Buckle Get Away 6-

Snapjaw damages Buckle

But he’s struck by the lighting bolt before he can reach her! Stella mounts Kitty, taking a powerful stance to prepare for potential battle. Snapjaw follows his lightning attack by charging up the slope of the crater towards the Fellowship!

Stella Queen of the Wild: Become a Threat to the World when riding an ally

Stella: Should we retreat, or fight here?

Buckle: Run! Save yourself!

Buckle Get Away 10+ avoid harm

The Fellowship runs towards the forest, pursued by Snapjaw. When Buckle enters the underbrush, his superheated body sets it on fire! Will that prevent Snapjaw from following?

Buckle Keep Them Busy 6-

No! Snapjaw bursts through the flames! Buckle stumbles back into some dangerous plants!

  • Entangling Web: A briar grove that just won’t let you go.
    • Sticky Feet: Anyone who falls into the web becomes entangled, unable to leave unless they Overcome this trap, or an ally rescues them. Trying to Get Away through this place is impossible, and the move cannot be made.
    • Shifting Walls: The web shifts and changes, both in response to damage and at the whims of the creature that controls it. Whenever the web is damaged, and whenever a monster here has the spotlight, open a new path and block off an old one through the web.
    • Highly Flammable: If fire or a Burning weapon are used in this place, the whole area lights up. The entire region becomes Dangerous and Burning. Anyone who gains the spotlight within the web will take damage if they are still in the web when the spotlight moves on from them.

Entangling Web Highly Flammable: the area bursts into flames!

Buckle Heart of Earth: Immune to fire

Stella switches to Silk (a much smaller mount) and runs into the flames to disrupt Snapjaw by running around and between its giant, clawed feet.

Stella Queen of the Wild: Become a Threat to the World when riding an ally

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+ their attention is all on you

Entangling Web Highly Flammable: Stella takes damage

Buckle is cowering and whimpering, but he finds peace in the flames surrounding him. He opens his eyes and sees his friends fighting this huge monster in the flames, and he’s filled with rage and lets out a gutteral scream

Buckle: Leave my friends alone!

Buckle Pyromania: Gain Hope when surrounded by flames and chaos

Buckle Pay a Price to act against a Threat To The World: spend 1 Dragonfire

Buckle Finish Them (+Blood, Kill) 10+ TAKEN OUT

Buckle spits fire from his mouth, like his opponent recently shot lightning, but Dragonfire is more powerful and strikes Snapjaw down! The lighting tether from the thundercloud snaps, but the little thundercloud remains, hovering above the trees.

GM note: This is exactly how they killed the previous Boss they fought: Start a forest fire, then Silk & Stella run underfoot, distracting the Boss so Buckle can land a fatal blow with Dragonfire.

Stella cloak is singed. The dinosaur is dead, but she’s still in a forest fire and needs to get out!

Stella Overcome 6-

Stella tries to escape, but a buring tree falls and blocks her path!

Stella takes damage

Buckle sees that the thundercloud is its own thing, not part of Snapjaw. Maybe the lighting came from the cloud, not Snapjaw itself. Maybe Snapjaw was not in control of itself when it was so aggressive. But his friend is in danger. Should Buckle help his friend, or a potentially innocent dinosaur? Of course he helps his friend! He crashes through the burning log!

Buckle Overcome 6-

The burning log holds! Lightning flashes from the thundercloud, striking Buckle and a non-burning tree, which falls into the fire that Stella and Buckle are stuck in. Perhaps they could balance on that tree to reach safety.

Buckle damages Sense

Stella tries to push through the flaming debris again.

Stella Overcome 6-

Stella pipeleaf catches fire, spreading an intoxicating cloud. Usually that’s fun, but it will make quick action more difficult if they breathe too much of it!  Buckle tries running along the non-burning tree that just fell.

Buckle Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Stella along

Once clear of the fire, Stella stops, drops, and rolls to make sure she didn’t bring any flame along, then looks up at the little thundercloud floating above the forest.

Stella: What do you think that is?

Buckle: I don’t know, but I think it’s painful. How could anyone control lightning?

Stella: How do you control fire?

Buckle: Maybe we can put it in a bottle.

Eventually the cloud drifts over some trees that aren’t burning. Stella climbs a tree to get a better look at it.

Stella Look Closely 6- one question, find out the hard way

  • What will happen if I hold these metal swords above my head?
    • Stella holds the two wicked blades formerly wielded by the Half-Ogre who called himself King. Lightning strikes from the thundercloud! Stella holds on, not willing to lose these trophies in the forest below!

Stella takes damage

Anyone carrying metal Gear cannot hold this Artifact of Power without being hurt

Stella carries many metal items: these two swords. Her Halfling sword. Money. She won’t give all that up for an unknown artifact. Buckle doesn’t carry much, but he does have a bag of silver coins.

Buckle: Stella, hold my silver!

Buckle Get Away 7-9 bring artifact along

Buckle runs up the tree as fast as he can, outrunning the flames his footsteps leave behind. At the top of the tree he leaps and grabs at the cloud! The cloud collapses into a small, solid object that fits in Buckle’s webbed fist. hangs in the air for a moment, realizing that he has nothing holding him up, then falls to the forest floor!

Buckle takes damage

GM note: I knew Snapjaw was empowered by an Artifact of Power, but I intentionally did not completely define its powers. My players and I brainstormed for a while. This Artifact of Power is Gear with a number of uses and a number of powers. Surely those powers include ranged attacks, like Snapjaw used, but I didn’t want it to be only a weapon. Thinking about other forms of lighting an electrical phenomena led to the following powers:

  • lightning bolts: Ranged, Piercing, Reload
  • some kind of dash move
  • St Elmo’s fire: a bright glow around an ally that causes an attack to fail
  • Aurora Borealis: a dazzling performance that can make friends

The commotion leads the other Companions to Buckle, Stella, and Silk, after they were dispersed in the chase. Buckle holds the Artifact of Power aloft and an aurora surrounds him, making the rest of the world dim.

Buckle Enchanting Performance 7-9 form a Bond with one observer

Buckle forms Bond with Kitty

Kitty is amazed that Buckle defeated Snapjaw, and is also amazed by this new display of power.  She traveled across the world to return home, but she was with the right people all alone. She decides to stay with the Fellowship where ever they go! But they won’t go right now.

Buckle Mammalian adaptation: immune to Deadly stat

Stella Queen of the Wild: all Beasts are Companions

Between Buckle and Stella’s powers, the Fellowship can rest safely in the Cracktooth Wastes.

Fellowship Recovers: restore all Gear and Stats

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing The Sunset & renovations

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The fellowship: Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre, Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship explored the tower of the wizard Allan A Zham, who recently left Thaumatown to rule itself, and discovered that Allan a Zham is actually dead!

The Fellowship considers the impact to the town from revealing this news. The town seems to be doing OK with their new self-government. Vestri suggests telling the authorities privately.

Edna: Is this a common thing, that y’all find remains that y’all gotta lay to rest? This seems to happen a lot.

Yuri: It does. It does. We have very morbid luck.

Vestri: I think he should be laid to rest, but Humans have very specific rituals. We just put people back in the stone. We should tell someone, specifically the person who takes care of the dead.

They’ve seen all there is to see in the Wizard’s tower, so it’s time to leave. Edna prepares to jump from the balcony into the crowded streets, because she can’t fit in the tower’s stairs.

Edna: Look out below!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 10+

The crowd scatters and Enda lands on pavement, not people. A passing businessman barely breaks stride as Enda lands in front of him and scoffs as he passes.

Edna: Oh, you seem unafraid of death, good sir. Are you, perchance, the one who handles the dead in this town?

Businessman: Nah. I work 80 hours a week. I don’t care if I live or die. I have a meeting to get to. Get out of my way.

He walks between Edna’s legs and continues on his way. Vestri slowly takes the stairs, and Yuri prepares to jump down with his newly-learned leaping powers.

Yuri: Can you catch me? I am about to jump down.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna bobbles the catch and Yuri is bounced around above the crowd!

Yuri: Like Daniel Craig Bond movie with parkour, I will do tucks and rolls!

Yuri Overcome 6-

Yuri fall onto a Spider carrying a package in each of his six arms. The packages are scattered across the street.

  • Ruby, he/him, Spider.  He can connect you to people who have what you need. He can mediate games of chance, auction proceedings, and bargaining tables equally.
    • Third Party: Ruby likes to stay neutral in his dealings, and avoids causing harm to anyone he deals with. He likes to keep things fair. You can always trust a dealer to do whatever hurts everyone else the least.
    • Five Aces: This stat is Secret. The entirety of Third Party is a lie, and Ruby will help whoever gives him the biggest cut. The person with the best offer for Ruby is their Patron. Ruby can cheat once per deal, tilting things either in his favor or in the favor of his current Patron. He has no desire to keep things fair, only to keep the appearance of being fair, and will justify any abnormality by citing the various rules and practices of their dealing.
    • Wall Walker: Ruby can walk across any solid surface with ease, no
      matter the surface’s orientation. He can also spin webs to cross gaps or
      create bridges or build homes.

Yuri damages Ruby’s Wall Walker

Yuri: How are you sir? I am so sorry I am falling from the sky and hitting you.

Ruby scoops up the packages within arm’s reach, and tries to shoot webs to retrieve packages further away, but his spinnerets don’t work.

Ruby: Ah, no. Don’t mess with my packages. Ow! You really messed me up.

Yuri: I am a doctor. I am not 100% on my non-Human anatomy, but I think I can help. Do you mind if I take a look.

Ruby: How much is this going to cost me?

Yuri: I hit you from the sky. I feel bad. I will do it pro bono.

Ruby extends a non-injured hand to shake on the deal. Yuri is interested to learn about Spider anatomy. Yuri chats with Ruby while examines his wounds.

Yuri Speak Softly 10+ ask three questions

  • What can he tell us about his species’ physiology?
    • Spiders have a jointed exoskeleton. Two of their limbs are legs and the rest are arms. They stand upright like humans. An electrical field surrounds them, not strong enough to be harmful to others. It looks like a plasma globe all over his exoskeleton that arcs harmless to Yuri’s hands and tools. It’s a non-visual sense that’s especially good at sensing other Spiders.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with him?
    • Ruby says all the right things about being a fair dealer, but he’s trying too hard to be seen as trustworthy.
  • How could I help him get healed?
    • Ruby’s exoskeleton will support a lot of weight, but is weak to folding. Breaking an arm is more serious for Spiders than for Humans. Yuri’s medkit will be effective.

Yuri spends Medkit to heal Ruby’s Wall Walker

Yuri: I see that you are a man–or Spider–who has connections, and I have two possible business propositions for you in a very vague way.  Have you seen anything related to this?

Yuri points at Vestri.

Ruby: I’ve seen Dwarves. I see lots of Dwarves.

Vestri reveals his jeweled dagger.

Vestri: Have you seen something exactly–almost exactly like this? Or do you know someone who specializes in such objects?

Ruby: I can’t say I have that in inventory, but I’m very good at finding things. I could go through channels to acquire it for you, but I’d need some money upfront, because this take significant effort to find this very specific item.

Vestri: Hmm, I don’t have coin for that right now, but I could pay for info about someone to talk to, so you don’t have to go through all that work.

Ruby: There’s no one better in town for getting rare items. You see the docks are a mess right now, delays! I can get through all that ineffeciency. What was the other item?

Yuri: This is more vague. No specific item. We were wondering if you have any knowledge or items that have to do with the Remnant?

Ruby: Yes, I do have a Remnant contact. Will any Remnant artifact do?

Yuri: The person that you know who is steeped in Remnant culture. They would be an excellent resource for me.

Ruby: Setting up a meeting for cultural exchange. Yes, very good!

Ruby wants a Precious item to set up the meeting. Yuri wonders if maybe he can do some work that is not illegal as payment.

Edna; Is this important for you, Yuri?

Yuri: This is how I believe I will be getting home, or stop the ending of this world.

Edna takes out her earrings (brooches for Human-sized creatures that she re-purposed) and gives them to Ruby as payment.

Yuri: That is incredible kindness. I feel like i should give you something.

Edna: I do love gifts!

Yuri: I know you like to Protect The Little Ones, and I have a little one. Would you like to have shared custody of Steven with me?

Edna: Wow, shared custody! That’s a big commitment!

Yuri: He is of sound mind and very independent. He just needs cuddles from time to time.

Edna: I am always up for cuddles.

Ruby accepts the jewelry and tells Yuri to meet him at a certain place after dark. Yuri worries that this contact is another Vampire, like O’Later in Port Fennrick. The Fellowship returns the to matter of Allan a Zham’s remains. How does this town deal with the dead? A morgue, Necromancers, a House Of The Dead? They start heading for the Civic Center in the middle of town, when suddenly…

Collateral Damage increases Thaumatown’s Response Level

Thaumatown gains Sheriff: someone will try to arrest a member of the Fellowship

  • Cowboy Sheriff: Lawman specialized in capturing outlaws and gun fighting.
    • Lasso: The cowboy can wield rope in unusual ways. They’re able to grab foes from a short distance away, tying them up to pull off of their mounts, or keeping them still for easy target practice.
    • Quick Draw: The cowboy has a six shooter (Ranged, Piercing, Reload). They always win in a contest of sharpshooting.
    • Rodeo: The cowboy can ride any animal big enough to hold it, and tame it for riding within a minute.

Sheriiff: Halt! Where do you think you’re going? And you, lady! Watch where you’re stepping. I heard somebody calling out about a dead Wizard. Is that you?

Edna: No, sir! I ain’t a dead Wizard. I’m quite alive. I don’t know any magic.

Sheriff: Yelling about dead Wizards could start a panic. We look up to Wizards in this here town. One was guarding us and only just decided we were ready to live on our own. We venerate Wizards around here. Are you going to tell me what’s going on?

Yuri: There’s a dead Wizard in the tower. Of at least a dead body. Maybe dead Wizard’s servant? An acolyte?

Sheriff: You’re coming with me and you’re going to show me!

The Fellowship takes the Sheriff back to the Wizard’s tower. Vestri leads the Sheriff up the stairs while Edna and Yuri jump to the balcony. The Sheriff bursts into tears at the sight of the bones in Allan a Zham’s distinctive robes.

Sheriff: But how? He showed himself to everyone! He told us he was leaving.

Yuri: He is a Wizard. He has magic. Or another Wizard also had magic.

Edna: It seems like you need to make a lot of arrangements to deal with this unfortunate circumstance, so we could just get out of you way, so you can hadle that.

Edna Talk Sense (+Wisdom, +hope from Yuri’s assistance) 7-9 owe a favor

Sheriff: Oh, I owe you an apology for stirring up trouble. You were just trying share the truth with me *sob* I gotta get all the town’s government in on this, Since you’re much faster than I, you gotta make your way to the clock tower and ring it out for all to hear. You gotta ring the bell four times. They’ll know what it means. A ring, a ring, a ring, wait, one, two, three, and then a ring! You got that?

Yuri: Fourth ring on four.

Edna: Ring, ring, ring. One, two, three. Then one, two, three, and then ring.

Sheriff: No you only do “one, two, three” once.

Edna: OK, so you ring one, two, three, and then you ring again.

Sheriff: No, it’s ring, ring, ring, one, two, three, and ring. I hope you got it, because if you do it wrong it’ll mean something totally different!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna leaps to the roof of the Civic Center.

Thaumatown's Clock Tower. A haxagonal tower with a catwalk spiraling up to six clock faces.
Thaumatown’s Clock Tower

She climbs the tower like King Kong and grabs the minute hand on the clock. She moves it back and forth past 12 to make the bell ring. Ring! Ring! Ring! . . . . . . Ring! The new goverment knows the code, but not the general public. Unknown to the Fellowship, Redstone hears this signal, but he’s a ways out of town and will take a while to return. Edna climbs down the tower and dangles her feet off the roof of the Civic Center, waiting for her friends to catch up with her. Once the Fellowship is reuinited, their next task is to meet Ruby’s contact at night.

Ruby meets the Fellowship in a dark alley after dark. Edna stands at the corner and leans in. Ruby appears to be alone.  His Remnant expert is nowhere to be seen. As a passer-by walks past the mouth of the alley, the shadow in the alley reaches out and engulfs them! The shadow-covered figure stops, jerks around, and walks shakily over to the Fellowship.

  • Lingering Shadow: A place where darkness rests, no matter how bright the light around it may become. Exposing the lingering shadow to bright intense light or fire destroys it, removing this threat.
    • Shadow Trap: This threat is Secret. When someone enters the shadow or steps too close to it, they are pulled in, then damage this stat.
    • Armor of Darkness: Anyone pulled into the shadows becomes engulfed by them. When they step out, the darkness is controlling them, acting as both armor and puppeteer. They become a Shadow Warrior until the armor is removed from them.

Shadow: Whaaaat is your business with the Remnant?

Yuri: Do you know Remnant language. If it was written down, would you be able to read it?

The Shadow nods and says a few incomprehensible words as evidence.

Shadow: Of course I speak the old tongue.

Yuri offers the Shadow the book he found in Allan A Zham’s study. Edna squints and wonders if her servant Viktor should fetch a lantern to make reading easier. The Shadow hisses in displeasure.

Yuri:  You are an actual Remnant! How? Not to be distracting from my own point, but I am so intrigued by your physiology! You used to be a person and are now a living shadow. How did that come to be?

Shadow: Thissss one makes mmmany demands.

Yuri: I don’t mean to be offensive. Feel free to ignore my words. You seem very nice.

Shadow is pleased to find someone interested in Remnants, since they are mostly forgotten. The book contains recipes of various remedies, but mostly for Dragons, not Humans.

Yuri: What if your culture could be celebrated again?

Shadow: Pleasing, but unnnnlikely.

Yuri: There is a cataclysm that is going to happen–I am sure of it–I’ve seen visions from a magical item. Your people are speaking to me through this sword. I believe that the Remnants, through me and the sword and this book, can end the cataclysm and so bring back the world’s knowledge of your culture.

Shadow: I would do thisssssss, but I am restricted to the sssshadows. I cannot leave this town or trrrravel in daylight.

Yuri wonders about how to transport the Shadow. In a light-proof box? Can the Shadow shrink to any size? Does it need a body to interact with the world? There is the dead Wizard up in the tower.

Ruby: I could get you a high-quality light-proof box so you can transport Shadow in the sunlight. No leaks, guaranteed! It will cost you.

Yuri: I have excellent knowledge–intel if you will–on several hoards of very expensive and uncommon items.

Knowledge and uncommon items are Ruby’s favorite things! Ruby accepts the trade. Yuri draws a map of the contraband warehouse in Port Fennrick. Ruby scuttles over the roof and returns a few minutes later with the box. The Shadow flows from the person into the box.

Passer-by: That is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!

Yuri forms a Bond with Heath.

He flees.  The Shadow, whose name is Heath, remembers a library inside a volcano to the south that could have more information about Yuri’s quest. Two volcanoes are visible from Thaumatown, just across the river. Edna offers to throw everyone across the river.

Vestri: I’ll agree to be thrown only if Gurtin is carried!

Yuri Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Toss Aside Ol’ Jardinier, Viktor, Vestri, and Hundrin

GM note: the consequences for “Toss Aside” on a 6- are: the thrown person can decide where and how to land. If Edna throws a friend, she and they agree on where and how to land, so I don’t see any bad outcomes from throwing a friend. Edna’s player didn’t even roll.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: life Gurtin the Drill Tank

Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

There are two volcanoes here. The eastern one smokes, and the western one does not.  On the plain between them, a ramp leads down into the earth. There’s a sign over the entrance that says “COME TO SWALLET AND” but the bottom half has been broken off. Yuri doesn’t think the Hidden Library would be in a city. He looks for roads, but there are none. There’s not even a road leading from the underground ramp. It reaches the surface and just stops.

Yuri: Do you, sir, have any idea which of the volcanoes has the library?

Heath: Nnnever been there myself. Nnnnever heard of Swallet.

Yuri: OK, thanks. Are you comfortable in there?

Heath: Darkness comforts me.

Yuri:  Very nice. Do you require treats?

Heath: I no longer eat … or breathe … or sleeeeep.

Yuri: I will find something to put in your box that is also dark and slightly malicious in nature.

The Fellowship heads down into Swallet to ask for directions. The ramp is plenty big enough to accomodate Edna.

A map of the Goblin city of Swallet. The city is at the bottom of an underground carvern. On the eastern wall, a waterfall falls into lake with a park around it. In the middle of town, a big ramp leads down from the surface to a building at the south edge of town, with big signs advertising Fafnir's Fight Club and urging all comers to challenge the dragon. At the west wall of the cavern is a large building with lots of pipes coming out of it. Some kind of industrial facility.
A map of Swallet

Swallet is a bustling steampunk city built in an underground chamber. The ground the Fellowship was walking on is an artifical ceiling. The inhabitants here are mostly Goblins. The building at the bottom of the ramp is a burned-out shell.  The strange group of outsiders immediately draw attention.

Goblin:  There’s nothing for you fighters here. Fight Club is over, Just go away.

Yuri: Not interested in fighting. Interested in libraries. Is this where the library is?

Goblin: You should leave. We’ve had enough of outsiders coming in and trying to fix things. There was a fire. Trash service was down for weeks. A Dragon beat up City Hall.

Yuri: Dragon?

Goblin: She’s gone, thankfully. Most of the other troublesome outsiders are too.

Yuri: I’m very interested in Dragons. Did they leave any artifacts? Think of us as a Dragon clean-up crew.

Goblin: Oh, no! None of that! We’ve had people devoted to Dragons before! Look what happened. *points at burned building*

Yuri: We are not devoted to Dragons, just to cleaning. Oh, that’s not realistic. What did this Dragon look like?

Heath was, in fact, devoted to serving Dragons before his untimely death, so there’s a displeased rattling from his box.

Goblin: I didn’t see it myself, but my buddy saw it. He says it was 40 feet long, metal scales, big spikes. Very scary.

Yuri: Maybe it was a machine?

Goblin: We Goblins know machines. It was not a machine!

Yuri wonders how to get to the other volcano, since the library is not here. He remembers Gurtin, a Drill Tank specialized in digging through rock and earth.

Yuri: Do you mind if we dig–no structural damage–just bore a hole straight…

Goblin: Troublemaking outsiders! I’d better get Nub-Nub!

She runs off, with the Fellowship half-heartedly following trying to be friendly. They let her go, then wonder if they should even be in this town. Maybe they should climb the volcanoes. Why doesn’t anyone remember the library? Edna is disappointed that she missed Fight Club.

  • Nub-Nub, she/her Goblin wearing a Powersuit: This mechanized suit is more  vehicle than armor. Anyone wearing it is significantly more dangerous than they would otherwise be.
    • Powered Movement: The powersuit has rocket-powered boosters, and can leap to anywhere its wearer can see.
    • Rocket Fist: The powersuit is Melee, Ranged, and Piercing.
    • Heavy Armor: The first time the powersuit or the person wearing it would
      be damaged or destroyed, damage this stat instead.
    • Threat to the World

Nub-Nub leaps over a building and lands next to the Fellowship. Her seven-foot-tall Powersuit lets her tower over Goblins and most of the Fellowship.

Nub-Nub: Halt, outsiders! We’ve had enough disruption to our town. You should leave!

Vestri: I’m very good at fixing structural damage, ma’am!

Nub-Nub: No way! The last adventurous outsiders who promised to keep the town safe set half of it on fire. Anything you do on the surface, I don’t care. Just get out.

Yuri: Did you make that power armor?

Nub-Nub: Yes, do you want a demonstration?

Edna: If you try to hurt him, I’ll pry you out of that tin can and show you what hurting people means.

Insulting Someone In Charge raises Swallets Response Level

Edna Talk Sense (+Wisdom, emotions) 7-9 owe Nub-Nub a favor

Nub-Nub is willing to not attack Yuri if the Fellowship leaves immediately, which is agreeable. Edna walks up the ramp backwards, staring at Nub-Nub.

Back on the surface, the Fellowship discusses which volcano to drill through, and where, and what earth-moving equipment and skills they have. Edna suggests going to the top and looking down the big hole in each mountain to see what’s inside. The Goblins didn’t say which mountain their secret town was under.

Vestri: Let’s go the one that’s smoking the least.

Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Edna leaps to the rim of the eastern volcano and looks around.

Edna Look Closely 6- one question, find out the hard way

Edna damages Sense

Edna teeters on the edge of the caldera,then falls in! A few seconds later, the rest of the Fellowship, thousands of feet down the slope, hear a loud, low-frequency ringing, like the biggest gong in the world. Yuri jumps up to investigate

Vestri: Wait, don’t leave– Well, Hundrin, they’re gone agian.

Yuri Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri looks down inside the caldera. The walls drop almost vertically quite a ways, but there’s a plug at the bottom. Edna fell on that, not into magma.

Edna: There’s a perfectly spherical ceramic shell down here. It’s not rock. Also there are stairs. Maybe I should have taken the stairs.

Indeed, two spiral staircases twist down opposite sides of the caldera. One staircase is broken near the top, requiring a scary jump, but the other is intact.  There’s a chunk missing from the rim of the caldera as well. Yuri motions to Vestri, then walks down the intact staircase. The ceramic shell is covered by a layer of debris that fell over the years. Edna’s impact knocked the debris aside, revealing the smooth white shell, but elsewhere, a casual glance might not notice the regular shape under the pebbles and scrubby plants.

Yuri Look Closely 10+ ask three questions

  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • There’s a crack in the ceramic shell (not where Edna fell) big enough for a human to slip through. It’s definitely too small for Edna. There’s a faint glow inside the crack.
  • Tell me about the architecture inside the caldera. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The shell is the result of a powerful magic spell. It wasn’t built or carved, like the two staircases, it was conjured into existence.
  • Tell me about the crack. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The library is inside the shell, and the crack is how to access it. Yuri approaches the crack and hears a ghostly voice: “Dooooo not reshelve boooooks!”

Yuri considers ways to enlarge the hole so Edna can fit into the library, but Edna wants to make a good impression by not opening with property damage. Yuri will go inside and see what’s up, while Edna waits at the rim for the Dwarves.

Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri slips through the crack and finds an unpleasant and creepy library.  Rows of shelves hold hundreds of books. Books are piled up in some areas. There are tables for reading, and everything is lit by unnatrual blue torches. A large desk in the back is clearly the librarian’s desk, and at the desk hovers the ghostly librarian! She’s a classic sheet ghost, with glasses floating in front of the eye holes.

Librarian: Welcome to the Library. Do you have a library card?

Yuri: Does it cost anything to sign up? I am a recent resident.

Since it’s dark inside, Yuri opens the box and releases Heath.

Librarian: Ah, Lingering Shadows. We have several specimens in the back. Do you wish to add to our collection of knowledge of creatures of darkness?

The Librarian actually hasn’t issued any library cards in a long time. She floats into the back section, past a sign that says “STAFF ONLY”. Papers and booklets hover around her and she tries to figure out what to do with Yuri.

Librarian: The Library’s reopening was recent and unexpected. The bylaws have not been updated. It’s says here you must demonstrate fealty to the ruler of the Forgotten Lands to get a library card.

Yuri: The Forgotten Lands, those are of the Remnant?

The Librarian is unfamiliar with the term “Remnant”. The Forgotten Lands are across the sea.  Their plan to remove themselves from the entanglements of the wider world must have been successful, since they are unknown.

Yuri: I am a champion of all lands because there is a cataclysm and I am going to stop it. I am championing not-death for everyone, including the Forgotten Lands.

Librarian: The last Champion who came here tried to take the knowledge of this Library to become a cataclysm.

Yuri: I would like to leave everyone alive, and also go home, so I have no reason to cataclysm.

Librarian: Life and home: two desires no longer available to me.

Anyone can use the reference section under the supervision of a librarian, so Yuri picks out a table and the Librarian collects some books.

Outside, Vestri and the Companions walk up the mountain to join Edna at the rim.  Vestri and Enda look around, perhaps for another entrance.

Vestri Look Closely (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+ ask three questions

  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • There is no second entrance.  The shell is a sphere that completely encloses the library.
  • What will happen if Gurtin tries to drill through the ceramic shell?
    • Dwarf-made items are almost unbreakable. A Dwarf-made item did make the initial crack, so Gurtin could slowly drill through the ceramic shell.
  • What do my senses tell me?
    • There’s evidence of an old, overgrown war-camp. There’s a graveyard with forty spearpoints stuck into the ground in rows, and a chunk of volcanic rock with the word “CRUSHER” carved into it.

Edna: Another Crusher, a few generations back, went out to prove himself.  He would sign up for any fight that he could find. The family lost touch with him. I think this is where he died.

Edna sits down and stares at the grave marker of a family member that he never knew. Vestri sits beside her in silence. Steven the housecat curls up in Edna’s lap.

Edna forms a Bond: Vestri mourned with me

Vestri forms a Bond: Edna was vulnerable before me.

Vestri sits in silence with Edna for a while, but his brain starts working on the engineering problem before him. He waits until the mood feels a little less heavy before speaking.

Vestri:  I think I can make a crack that we can all fit in. It will take a while.

Edna: I appreciate you thinking of me, but you should get permission from the librarians. It’s their place, not ours.

Vestri walks down the stairs to talk to the Librarian.

Inside the library, Yuri wants to finagle a library card, so he can trade it for something else later. Heath assists Yuri with his research, asking the right questions that lead the Librarian to relevant books.

Heath damages Armor of Darkness

Yuri Look Closely (+hope, Heath’s assistance) 10+ ask three questions

  • What can they tell us about the location of the door to which Yuri’s sword and scabbard are the key?
    • It is north past the Singing Hills.
  • What can they tell us about Remnant magic?
    • The Remnant had no need for magic that Dragons were good at.  Dragons are very direct, so the Remnant used subtle support magic. Their schools were Divination (seeing things), Abjuration (protection), and Enchantment (subtlely affecting other people)
  • What can they tell us about Redrock daggers?
    • Nothing about daggers specifically, but Redrock did help construct the underground tunnels in the area. (There’s an underground tunnel on the east wall of Swallet. A waterfall empties from that tunnel into a park.)

Heath compliments the Librarian on the powerful Abjuration that created the ceramic shell around the library. The Librarian didn’t personally cast the spell, and leads Heath and Yuri to the display dedicated to the attack on the library that required the creation of the shell.  A memorial to the Legends of the Past! Two heroes fought an entire army trying to come down and seize the library’s knowledge for an evil warlord. Snort Goldfarb, a Goblin in a mighty Powersuit, and Gwideon Greenhanded, the blind Wizard riding a magical horse, saved the day by delaying the army long enough for the magicians within to complete the powerful spell of protection.

GM note: The history of the library was established by a one-shot game I played with some friends. Snort Goldfarb and Gwideon Greenhanded are player characters.

Vestri: Hello, are you in charge of this place? You seem like it. I was just wondering, how would you feel about enlarging the crack?

Librarian: It is time to share this library’s knowledge with the world again, and most people won’t crawl through a crack for it. A larger entrance would be good.

Vestri: Hundrin will take Gurtin and start immediately. While I’m here, I was wondering if you have any books about Redrock daggers that look like this?

The Librarian pushes a couple of books that are already on Yuri’s table towards Vestri, because Yuri already asked this question. Hundrin and the Librarian co-ordinate for the best place and size for an entrance to the library.

Yuri: I hate to keep harping on this, but since we made an entrance for the library, does that show that we care enough about the library and the Forgotten Lands to get a library card?

The Librarian is convinced and issues Yuri a library card.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? YES, Hidden Library
  • Did anyone find what they are looking for? YES, progress on Yuri’s quest
  • Did we learn something new about the world and its people? YES, the Remnant

Three boons:

  • Level up:
    • Vestri
    • Edna: learn Yuri’s “I know something you don’t” move.
      • Yuri: I learned this from a therapist. Is very much paying attention to non-verbal cues of the person you are dealing with, so you can tell exactly what their next move is. It never fails.
      • Edna: These therapists must be powerful and wise fighters!
      • Yuri: They are wise and powerful in their own way, but very non-confrontational if you get a good one.
      • Edna: Yes, I have found wandering sages, rumored to be legendary fighters, but they refused to fight me. Weirdly frustrating.
  • Heal
  • Restore Gear
    • Edna opens her jewelry case and puts on new Precious items
    • Polish Gurtin, sharpen drill-bits, and so on.
    • Yuri’s gear is irreplacable, but his Medkit was spent, not lost, so he can restore its use.

Chasing The Sunset & Ocean Cruise

Chasing the Sunset is a West Marches-style exploration game using Fellowship 2nd Edition‘s Horizon rules.

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship escaped Vieport and reached the sea, so they can finally sail up the coast and find Kitty’s home: the Cracktooth Wastes.

Stella spends Halfing Packed Lunch to heal Gus, Kitty, Buckle

As they sail along the coast they see an island with stone structures being slowly washed away by the tide. no sign of life. They sail on.

The shore of the mainland becomes marshy, and they see a Platyperson on a raft in that marsh. A giant, albino Platyperson!

Stella: Look, it’s Pomplamoose!

Buckle: Please, that’s offensive.

They steer the Miranda towards the raft and ail the occupant. His name is Divot, and he’s a completely different giant albino Platyperson, not Pomplamoose at all. Buckle is like no Platyperson Divot has seen before: glowing orange fur with piercing white eyes.

Divot: What are they feeding you?

Buckle: Fish. What about you?

Divot gives Buckle an odd look and doesn’t answer. The Fellowship explains that they met Pomplamoose once and would like to see her again. Divot sends out a signal by slapping his flat tail against the water, and after a while, Pomplamoose arrives. She recognizes Stella, but not Buckle, who has changed greatly since their last meeting.

Pomplamoose: You finally arrived! Good thing I went on ahead.

Stella: Things came up. We had to take some detours.

Buckle: Now we’re taking another friend home.

He points to Kitty, the Tyrannosaur. Pomplamoose warns Kitty that the Fellowship might get distracted and leave her to find her own way home.

Stella: We didn’t leave you!

Divot: Wow, this is awkward. I thought since y’all were old friends with my kin, I’d invite you to tonight’s barbecue, but I see it’s not like that.

Buckle: Would you show us around for old times’ sake?

Pomplamoose: I don’t really want to.

Deflated, the Fellowship sails away and continues north along the coast. They pass a port city built on a river delta and enter the Straits of Trransmutation. The islands in the the straits are unnatural geometric shapes: cubes, spirals, spheres. The rocks are somehow smooth and shiny, perfectly shaped in a way that erosion or chisels couldn’t match.

Buckle is fascinated and leans over the railing to look closer, then falls overboard! The sea explodes in steam when his superheated body touches it and he starts sinking. Stella wants Kitty to help, but doesn’t speak Kitty’s language. She mimes fishing Buckle out of the water with a long tail. Kitty stares blankly at Stella, then nudges her with her tail. Stella yells at the companions who can understand her to form a chain and grab Buckle.

Stella Overcome 6-

Stella also falls in the water. As Buckle sinks, he sees weird twisted fishes swimming in the depths. Some have upside-down heads, extra fins, spiral bodies.

Buckle Wildspeaker: Beast understand you. Can Talk Sense to them.

Buckle asks the strange fish to carry him up to the surface.

Buckle Talk Sense 7-9

The fish can’t touch his super-heated body, but he’s attracted the attention of the Wizard who rules these islands: Mer-Lynn (she/her, mermaid) Mer-Lynn summons a spiral column of stone from the seabed that quickly rises under Buckle to carry him to the surface!

Buckle Get Away 7-9

The ride is so fast that Buckle is disoriented.

Buckle damages Grace

Once Buckle is safely back on board the Miranda, Mer-Lynn says she’s very impressed how far he’s transformed from a normal Platyperson. Mer-Lynn is obsessed with transmutation, turning things into other things. Buckle asks about her favorite creations, which is nice, because she lovesto talk about her work. She says she’s reached the limit of transmuting rocks and fish, and wants to take her work further, to transmute something’s nature, not just it’s shape. She offers to transmute the Fellowship, swapping one Stat or Move for something else, something unpredictable. There’s a small chance of being completely transmuted, losing all form and becoming a Chaos Beast, but only a small chance. She also wants to move to a location with more interesting subjects.

Buckle obliviously mentions that they’re going to a cool place with lots of dinosaurs. Stella doesn’t want Mer-Lynn to follow them and recommends the excitement of Vieport! So many people! Ghosts! Electric barriers! Hard light bridges!  Stella is more convincing, so Mer-Lynn decides to head south to Vieport.

Stella: I’ll call you a ride!

Stella Queen of the Wild: All Beasts are Companions

Stella calls up a “limo” fish that is extra long and has two sets of every kind of fin and orders it to carry Mer-Lynn to Vieport. The Miranda continues to sail north.

Next, the Miranda approaches a fortress built on the coast of a wasteland. Kitty recognizes this wasteland as home, so the Miranda sails towards the fortress.

Castellum lookout: They’re coming by sea now! Battle stations!

  • Castellum Lookouts, human
    • Powder keg: If this stat is damaged, the gunner explodes, causing
      collateral damage.
    • Sturdy Rifle: When the gunner has an open shot, they may damage this stat to immediately deal damage to anybody. If they can get some time and safety, they heal this stat.

The two lookouts on the eastern towers aim their guns at the Miranda, and there’s a commotion in the fortress.

Buckle: I’ll go talk to them.

Buckle jumps into the water, sinks to the bottom in a column of steam, and walks along the bottom to the fortress and climbs up on the dock. An intimidating display!

Buckle Finish Them (+Courage) 6-

Castellum Lookout damages Buckle’s Courage

The lookout isn’t frightened and fires at Buckle! Buckle is only knocked down. The bullet struck a book in Buckle’s vest pocket: Bleckenridge’s “You too can speak Dwarven!” Buckle takes out the book,which bursts into flame in his hand, and throws it towards the gunner and his explosive stash of gunpowder!

Buckle Finish Them (+Blood) 7-9

Buckle Damages Castellum Lookout’s Sturdy Rifle

The lookout on the other tower takes his shot!

Castellum Lookout #2 damages Sturdy Rifle to damage Buckle

Stella uses her telekinetic powers to push the Lookout’s gun away from Buckle and towards the other Lookout.

Stella Keep Them Busy 7-9 draw attention, face retaliation later

Buckle scales the fortress’s wall.

Buckle Overcome 7-9

Buckle Survivor: when you Overcome 7-9, you also Get Away 7-9

Buckle reaches the top of the wall without further harm. Now he can look down into the fortress. It’s not just a keep. There’s an entire town inside these heavy walls. Many soldiers are runnig out of buildings and mustering in the town square.  The towers on the landward side have ballistae (huge crossbows) mounted on top, and those ballistae and turning towards him.

Buckle: “Wait, this is all a misunderstanding!”

Buckle Finish Them (+Wisdom) 6-

The soldiers are not convinced! Stella drives the Miranda to the dock.

Stella: Blow it up!

Buckle runs towards the nearest ballista, leaving a trail of flammable oil.

Buckle Keep Them Busy 6-

The ballista fires at the Miranda!

Stella Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Stella reaches the docks, where the walls of the fortress block line of sight from the ballista at the far side. The ballista bolt sails overhead. A War Wagon emerges, ready to join the battle. Alarms are ringing. People talk of invasion!

  • Halfling War Wagon: The War Wagon is a halfling carriage converted to war. Covered in spikes, it is mounted with a rock ballistae and a kitchen, for that extra taste of home.
    • Rock Ballistae: The War Wagon is Ranged, Dangerous, Reload.
    • Built For War: The War Wagon is Melee, Piercing.
    • Spiked Armor: Anyone trying to board the War Wagon or attack it with
      melee weaponry takes damage.

The door from the dock into the fortress is closed and barred, so Stella rides Silk up the wall.

Silk spends Wall Crawler

Buckle: You started this! Why?

Stella Address Book: Find a friend in any town & gain 1 Bond

Stella recognizes the machanic attending the War Wagon: a Halfling named Cam. During the Giant War, Cam was trapped inside a War Wagon that was flipped over, and Stella pulled him free.

Stella: Cam, it’s me, Stella! This is a big misunderstanding!

Stella Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotion) 10+

Cam convinces the soldiers in the fortress to stop attacking, at least for a little while. Buckle hides under the Ballista, setting it on fire.

The commander of the fortress emerges and confronts Stella. Priscilla is a human woman in armor, resembling a Roman Centurion.

Priscilla: How can you justify yourself? Bringing a dinosaur here! Setting fire to our defenses!

Stella: Let’s be clear. You attacked us. You wouldn’t listen.

Buckle: (from under the ballista) We tried to tell you.

Stella: Why are you so afraid of dinosaurs?

Everyone within earshot laughs bitterly. Only a fool wouldn’t be afraid of dinosaurs. Priscilla explains that the dinosaurs in the Cracktooth Wastes constantly attack her fortress of Castellum, and their military might is necessary to prevent the town from being wiped out.

Stella: Have you asked them why? This sounds crazy. No beast attacks for nothing.

Buckle: (still hiding) You didn’t even talk to them?

Priscilla: Get out of my fortress! Go talk to the dinosaurs yourself, since you’re such good friends with beasts!

Stella agrees to leave and calls to Buckle, who scampers away.  They take the Miranda and land on the shore some distance away from Castellum.

Stella: Buckle, ask Kitty what all that was about.

Buckle Wildspeaker: Speak the language of beasts & monsters

Buckle does. Kitty explains that Snapjaw, a powerful Tyrannosaur, stirs up the dinosaurs against the humans.

END OF SESSION MOVE:

  1. Did we thoroughly explore a new location? YES, Castellum
  2. Did anyone find what they were looking for? YES
  3. Did we learn something new about the world and its people? YES, transmutation magic

Three boons:

  • Heal: Buckle’s Courage, Buckle’s Grace
  • Heal: Buckle’s Wisdom, Buckle’s venomous spurs
  • Gear: Buckle’s Dragonfire, Stella’s Halfling Lunches