Chasing the Sunset & Sapphire Islands

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

Last time, the Fellowship took commandeered the ship that was taking them to the Sapphire Island in the name of the Sea Viper, and now they sail (fly) under thier own (metaphorical) flag.

Dryden uses his half of the Friendship Bracelet to open Infinite Windows and retrieve Edna from the other party. The window opens to show a tunnel going straight into a rock face. Edna’s giant silhouette and several smaller figures are walking down the tunnel away from the entrance. The entrance closes and disappears, leaving only blank rock. Dryden looks around and sees that Infinite WIndow’s portal is hundreds of feet in the air. Edna nad her friends just walked into the middle of a cliff face.

Dryden: Well, she’s not a huge fan of water.

The final obstacle between the Luna Penumbra and the Sapphire Islands is a fierce storm. High winds and driving spray threaten anyone on deck, e.g. the pilot! Averiela plots a course through the storm because she knows where the Sapphire Islands are even if she can’t see them.

Averiela takes Navigator position

Dryden: Ranged Rope, lash me to the wheel!

Dryden Modifications: Ranged Rope is Autonomous & follows simple verbal commands

Dryden spends 1 use of Ranged Rope

Dryden Overcome (+hope, Ranged Rope’s assistance) 7-9 temporary solution

Dryden is blown off his feet by the winds and the rope barely holds. Any further shock could dislodge him.  He clings to the wheel of the ship and activates the afterburners, hoping to push the ship above the storm into clear air.

Luna Penumbra Afterburners:  make the ship move in a way it isn’t supposed to

Luna Penumbra Engines Primes: to rush past danger, Pilot rolls Get Away +Engines

Dryden Get Away (+Engines) 7-9 avoid harm

The ship rushes up and up, through blinding rain and wind, then bursts into peaceful sunlight! Above the storm the air is clear and quiet. Luna Penumbra arcs down from its wild climb, but Dryden doesn’t come down with it! The rope has come loose from the ship and trails along behind Dryden like the string on a balloon as he is thrown off the ship!

Averiela Perfect Grace: run along any surface

Averiela leaps overboard and runs on top of the storm clouds to catch Dryden.

Averiela Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

She grabs the end of the rope, but Dryden falls through the clouds and his weight drags Averiela down with him! Lucia’s freaking out, but her speciality is leadership, not derring-do. She orders Will to take the Pilot’s position and use emergency power to catch up to their falling crewmembers.

Will assigned from Gunner to Pilot

Will Push The Engines 6-

Luna Penumbra damages Engines

Dryden stops fooling around when he sees a plume of smoke billow from the Luna Penumbra. He deploys his Flying Disk and gives Averiela a ride back to the ship.

Dryden Modifications: Flying Disk is always Overcharged

Overcharged Flying Disk: can carry 2 people for a few moments

Dryden: Sorry, guys. I wants to see you be awesome.

The Luna Penumbra limps along above the clouds. It reaches the edge, and the crew looks down and sees the Sapphire Islands spread out below them. A circle of islands in the middle of open ocean, surrounding a blue lagoon. The lagoon used to be a volcano that exploded long ago, throwing huge chunks of rocks that became outlying islands. They are called the Sapphire Islands for two reasons. One, the bright blue water of the lagoon. Two, the actual sapphires, which can be found on the beaches and are used as currency. Magic keeps the sapphires on the islands. Locals speak of “holey thieves” who try to sneak sapphires out only for the gems to rip through their pockets, leaving holes. Hot springs are common on the islands and the lagoon is heated by volcanism to a cozy temperature. The lagoon is salt water like the surrounding ocean, but the climate and wildlife of the two bodies of water are different.

Dryden takes Pilot Position

Dryden reclaims the ship’s wheel from Will and steers the Luna Penumbra towards the inner islands. It lands in the lagoon and sails toward a vilage that extends over the lagoon on stilts. There are no docks for large ocean-going vessels like Luna Penumbra, since the ocean and lagoon are separated. Dryden steers the ship to the largest dock, which is used by passenger ferries that cross the lagoon connecting variou villages.  The Elves on the docks stare at the unfamiliar ship. The first person to greet the Fellowship is Canderon

  • Canderon, Elf, he/him, Bard
    • What News Do You Bring?: The bard will tell you one interesting fact or piece of news for each that you share with them, once per person.
    • What Tales Do You Sing?: The bard can sing magical songs. They can perform a song of power, giving Hope to all who hear it; a song of sorrow, giving Despair to all who hear it; or a song of joy, distracting all who hear it.

Averiala: Greetings, cousin.

Canderon: How do you come here in this strange ship, with these strange companions?

Averiela: I can’t vouch for my companions, but I am here to call a conclave of the Elves. We have found the last Dragon egg. At last, there is hope again!

Canderon What News Do You Bring?: The bard will tell you one interesting fact or piece of news for each that you share with them, once per person.

Canderon: Amazing! The prince of that island held a wedding banquet and didn’t invite the queen mother of that island there. The bride was the Druid’s daughter from over there.

Canderon What Tales Do You Sing?, sing a song of joy, distracting those who hear it.

Canderon signs the news of the conclave and the Dragon egg and everyone on the docks gathers to listen. This is disruptive for Lucia, who has to wait for dockworkers to attend to the ship.

Luna Penumbra spends 1 Crew to repair Engines

Luna Penumbra spends 1 Crew to repair Afterburners

Luna Penumbra spends 1 Crew to restock Ammo

Luna Penumbra’s arrival upsets the natural order of Sapphire Islands. Response Level increases to 1. Sapphire Islands gains new stat: Jungle

While the crew and dockworkers restock the ship, the Fellowship has a meeting in the captain’s cabin.

Averiela: I wonder if we can take the crew of Lantern marines to the Forgotten Lands. Dare we reveal its location to strangers?

Dryden: We could send them away through Infinite Windows.

Averiela: An Elf crew would be more acceptable. Perhaps we could hire locals.

  • Lucia Speak Softly with Lantern marines 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer
    • What do they want?
      • They want to go home to Vieport, but they can’t! Robin will have told the Sea Viper that they mutinied. They’ll be branded as deserters!
    • What would they have us do?
      • Dryden’s suggestion of teleporting them somewhere sounds good.
    • What can they tell us about their home dimension?
      • The Lanterns lost access to their home dimension. Now they’ve lost their home city of Vieport. They are double-stranded!

Lucia and Dryden go to trade gossip with Canderon.

Canderon What News Do You Bring?: The bard will tell you one interesting fact or piece of news for each that you share with them, once per person.

Lucia: We sailed from Vieport and must warn you of the treachery of the Serpent Ruler. He sent a ship, hoping to learn the secrets of the Forgotten Lands. We thwarted his plan.

Canderon: There’s another foreign ship?

Lucia: No, we commandeered his ship.

Canderon: Well, we did have a visitor from far away come through recently. Not a ship, though. A spear-fisher saw some mechanical bits floating in the water and poked them. The water rose up into the shape of a person! This person is called Baess, and said the fisher was thoughtlessly poking things they didn’t understand, but I think that describes Baess herself. She set up some experiment on the beach and dissolved half of it! The sand and rocks just flowed right out into the sea!

Dryden: We found a mountain turned into a weapon to destroy the moon! On top of this mountain, we fought and slew a Vampire and her minions! Some people seek to destroy the world, but we try to save it. You may have heard of Star-Rider at the bridge of Sugar’s Crossing?

Canderon has not heard of Star-Rider, but has gossip to share nonetheless.

Canderon: There’s a big debate between two influential Druids about contact with the outside world. One says we should keep to ourselves and preserve the Sapphire Islands’ specialness. The other says that the whole world is wonderful, and we diminsh ourselves by not gong out and experiencing it. In fact, the isolationist prince snubbed the exploratory king’s mom because she was born elsewhere and people from her side of the family have been moving in. It’s been 400 years, which is a really long time to hold a grudge.

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

Lucia asks Canderon to meet the head Druid. Protocol dictates that she meet the chief of the island before the head Druid. Canderon looks part her towards the interior of the island and says that the chief is coming to her.

  • Scintilia, Elf, she/her

Scintilia is very old, even for an Elf. Her white hair would extend past her feet if it were not held by attendants who follow her. As she walks she leans on a living staff with leaves and flowers.

Scintilia: Word has reached me on the wind of your arrival.  What brings your strange company to my shore?

Lucia bows her deepest. most formal bow.

Lucia: We are on a quest, returning to the Forgotten Lands. Averiela can tell you more.

Averiela: Deep in the Fairy Forest, we found a Dragon Egg. The heart still beats within. Perhaps it can be revived. Perhaps we can restore the Dragon alliance!

Scintilia: You’re calling a Conclave? Can I make the journey? It’s been so long since I have left the lagoon.

Attendant: Don’t trouble yourself, lady. Oloris can go.

Oloris Ovoran is the exploratory king from Canderon’s rumors. The isolationist prince he’s feuding with is Felenor Ivan. Both are approaching across the lagoon on speed-canoes! Oloris is happy to see travelers, but Felenor is upset.

Felenor: I demand the Trial of Iguana Shrikes! The storm heralds invasion. Let these outsiders prove themselves. As the ancients said, “Much will be risked for truth, but little for deceit.”

Oloris: That’s an archiac tradition. We haven’t needed it for 2000 years. We have a ring of defenders now. It’s a technicality that the law is still on the books.

Storms sweep in packs of Iguana Shrikes. They are wolves of the sea, amphibious predators that bring destruction. The Elves of the Sapphire Islands mobilize to hunt them, but it’s dangerous, so surely any outsiders who joins the hunt truly cares for the welfare of the Sapphire Islands.

Averiela: I’m offended! Of course we’d help, but not if you force us.

Lucia: As a fellow ruler of lands that value secrecy, I understand the desire to protect your land. Aggression will lead to aggression inresponse. Peaceful visitors will no longer visit, but hostiles will come prepared.

Felenor: You call yourselves peaceful visitors? Look at this warship! Behold the cannons and harpoons!

Lucia: The sea is dangerous. Gotta be prepared. If you listened for two minutes, it wouldn’t come to this. We’re on a quest. Averiela is calling a Conclave so we’re going to he Forgotten Lands. We’re looking for others who wish to join.

Felenor: Lies! Are you asking to kidnap us?

Lucia makes a final appeal to avoid the Trial, and Felenor sees that public opinion is against him.

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

Felenor: Scintilia likes you, and I trust her wisdom. The Trial is an old tradition that’s not technically required. The defenders will suffice.

Felenor backs down dipolomaticaly, without actually admitting that he’s backing down. Since it’s not a requirement, Averiela is now interested in hunting Iguana Shrikes.

Lucia Royal Treatment: when you introduce yourself to the ruler of a place, you and your friend are given a room for the night and a hot meal to Fill Your Belly.

Scintilia hosts the Fellowship for dinner. It’s a “sungle dinner” that combines delicacies of sea and jungle.  Oyster shells full of meats marinated in fruit. Dessert tastes a bit like a plantain crepe. It’s boiled in the hot springs, then floated across the water to the table, so they arrive at the perfect temperature.

Oloris talks with the Fellowship about their upcoming journey. He’s so interested in the outside world that he’s making an atlas. He’d love to add the Forgotten Lands to it, but Lucia isn’t so sure about revealing the location of her homeland. Since the Lantern Marines aren’t allowed to sail to the Forgotten Lands on the Luna Penumbra, Lucia asks Oloris if they could crew one of his ships that sail to the outside world.

Lucia: The Lanterns could protect your ships. They are trustwo…capable!

Lucia Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 7-9 owe a favor

Oloris agrees to assign the Lanterns to one of his ships, but he really wants to join the Luna Penumbra for its voyage to the Forgotten Lands. Lucia has to think about it.

Lucia Yes, My Leige: When you issue a command to someone below your rank, they do it immediately. Someone is below your rank if they follow someone who has shown you Royal Treatment.

Lucia realizes that she can order Oloris to keep the Forgotten Lands out of his atlas, so she agrees to take him on as navigator.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & rapids

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 found a ledger: people who bought forgeries from the scammers who probably stole Vestri’s dagger. One of the customers is Lady Evelynn, whom Edna met at a gala some years ago, so they went to her estate.

Jayce, the butler, asks the Fellowship to wait in a ballroom until Lady Evelynn can greet them.  It’s a grand building with high ceilings, so Edna can move comfortably. although she does have to duck under doorways.  The decorations in the room are expensive and fancy, but slightly dangerous. Taxidermied creatures, paintings of hunting parties, and so on.

Lady Evelynn arrives after a few minutes. She looks mostly like a Human woman. She wears a black & purple dress and little round Pince-nez glasses with no earpieces.  She has long gold claws on her fingers, which might be expensive jewelry, or might be part of her body. It’s not immediately clear which.

  • Lady Evelynn, she/her
    • Superiority. She is bound by rules of decorum, and anyone being impolite to her is in Despair.

Edna and Evelynn shake hands. Evelynn’s extra long fingers wrap around the one giant finger that Edna extends.

Evelynn: Welcome to my home. I hope your journey was pleasant. Your parents are well?

Edna: Quite well, thank you. Your manor is lovely. I hope it is running well.

Evelynn: We’re actually ahving some problems.  Debris in the river has diverted some of the river. The road to town is washed out and my mill isn’t getting enough water. This is really going to hurt my position against the Millers and le Grind.

Edna: This is Yuri. he’s a physician. He’s from far away. This is Vestri Redrock of the Redrock dwarves. Vestri, you’ve got something to tell Evelynn, right?

Vestri: Do I? Oh, we found this!

Vestri thrusts the ledger towards Evelynn.

Vestri: I won’t make you read it, but basically, some persons have been taking items of great value and making forgeries. We found your name in the ledger and believe they sold you a forgery and that is a very rude thing to do! I feel like that is something that you would probably be displeased. We are displeased.  Perhaps you could help us find the people who sold you these forgeries because I believe they have an item of great sentimental value to me and my family. Perhaps we could return the real item to you.

Evelynn grits her teeth in barely-restrained fury.

Evelynn: I can’t believe anyone would dare to…may I see the ledger?

She snatches the ledger from Vestri and hands it to Jayce, who looks through it.

Jayce: Ah, yes, the Double Bill, the transforming pole-arm.

Evelynn leads the Fellowship up the stairs to the second storey and to a pair of locked double doors. She sticks a claw into the lock to open it. Behind the double doors is a trophy room with many rare and expensive items along the walls, on tables, and on a metal pedestal in the center of the rom. Jayce finds the Double Bill, a pole-arm that’s longer than he is tall. There’s a collar on the shaft that, when manipulated, changes the configuration of blades and spikes on the head.

Jayce: Here, ma’am. This is the item which the ledger says we bought from those Dwarven gentlemen. I must admit I am not an appraiser and cannot tell you if it is indeed a forgery.

Evelynn takes the weapon and stares at it angrily. These is evidence of a crime against her, and even with it in her hands, she can’t detect the crime!  Getting tricked is worse that getting robbed. At least she knows when she’s been robbed.

Yuri looks around for Remnant items. He finds a shield made of a special ceramic that must be baked in Dragonfire.

Yuri Look Closely 6- ask 1 question, find out the hard way

  • Tell me about the shield. How could it hurt or help me?
    • It protects better than a mornal shield. Armor (2 uses)
    • Messing with Evelynn’s prized items could get him in trouble. As he examines it, he bumps it and it falls!

Yuri Overcome 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once reroll 1 die 10+

Yuri bobbles the shield, but catches it before it hits the ground.

Evelynn: Is that a forgery too?

Yuri’s not an expert, but Vestri is. He examines the shield, being careful not to touch it.

Vestri Let Me See That: ask 2 questions about an interesting item

  • Who made this and why should I care about them?
    • This shield was made by the Remnant, the same extinct civilization that made Yuri magic sword. It must be over a hundred years old, because that’s when the Remnant were wiped out.
  • What’s wrong with it and how might I fix it?
    • It’s in excellent condition. It has been kept as a trophy and not used for combat.

Vestri: It is not a forgery. No, no, very much the real thing.  So maybe don’t touch it anymore.

Evelynn:  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will definitely take steps to remedy this injustice. Will you be staying the night?

The Fellowship accepts Evelynn’s offer and she tells Jayce to prepare rooms. He’s still holding the Double Bill, so he returns it to its stand before leaving. Edna, Vestri, and Yuri get the nice rooms on the second floor. Their companions get smaller room on the ground floor. Hundrin drives Gurtin into the stables.

Evelynn is impressed by Steven (the only housecat in the world) because he is a tiny, perfect predator. She extends a long, clawed finger and Steven sniffs it once, then pushes forward to scratch against it. When the Fellowship is settled in their room, they chat and plan their next move.

Edna: I think that went very well. Lady Evelynn seems like a very nice lady.

Yuri: Her fingers are very cool. So long and pointy.

Vestri: They remind me of spiders.

On Earth a big spider might be the size of child’s hand, but on this world, there are spiders big enough for Halfings to ride. Dwarves are too heavy.  There are also Spiders, a humanoid species that are roughly Human-sized.

Edna: We don’t have any new information, do we? Do we go find the next customer?

Vestri: We could ask her over breakfast if she remembers where she bought it.

GM note: The players did not explore the spooky mansion full of weird trophies with a mysterious and sinister owner.

The next morning, they go downstairs for breakfast. Viktor (Edna’s valet) is impressed as Jayce and his staff zoom around serving everyone. Vestri talks with his mouth full.

Viktor: This is what a well-run house is like? My former employer was such a mess!

Ol’ Jardiner: I didn’t sleep well. Vermin in the walls or something. I wasn’t comfortable.

Yuri: Steven gets the zoomies late at night.

Vestri: Morning! Good morning! I’ll take a little of this and a little of this. How did you sleep?

Evelynn: I didn’t sleep. I was putting out feelers to locate these criminals.

Vestri: i am also searching for these criminals for other reasons — great sentimental values and all that — I was wondering if you learned anything maybe you could share with me and my companions….

Vestri continues to ramble, but eventually says that the Fellowship would use any information Evelynn could offer to personally track down the scammers.

Evelynn: Ah, you offer to be my agents?

Vestri Talk Sense (+sense, plan) 10+

Evelynn requests that the Fellowship bring back not only  the real Double Bill, but the scammers as well. She sends Jayce to get a beacon that her messengers can follow. Jayce brings a large glass bead (the size of a shooter marble) on a chain.

Vestri: Is this the form of communcation or the thing that we show to your messengers?

Evelynn: That is what will draw my messengers to you.

Edna puts the chain around her wrist. The Fellowship prepares to leave and as Vestri tries to thank Evelynn, Edna steps in front with more practiced, formal words.

Edna: We appreciate your hospitality. The Harcourts will not forget this kindness. If you are ever near the family estate you can count on a warm welcome.

GM note: This is the only visit to Lady Evelynn’s manor that didn’t devolve into violence!

No doubt it will take some time for Lady Evelynn to send them information about the scammers, so the Fellowship has some time to pursue other interests. At the Hidden Library, Yuri learned that his sword and scabbard will open a place that is north, past the Singing Hills. That’s back the way they came. The previous journey through the Clay Dwarf city was bad and scary, so they want another path. They can climb over the mountains, or cross the Raging Rapids in the foothills. Edna and Yuri can jump. Vestri and Edna are very strong. The natural world does not harm Yuri. Surely all these powers can be combined to get the whole party across a river.

The Fellowship sets off on a Long Journey. They head south from Evelynn’s manor. The new river branch washed out the path, so there’s a temporary bridge. That channel is draining, since Vestri cleared the debris. They enter Sugar’s Crossing, mainly a Halfling town, and see the two other mills that Evelynn mentioned. A highway crosses the river, so the Fellowship can just walk across a sturdy bridge instead of trying to make their own crossing.

A map of the city of Sugar’s Crossing showing the river flowing south the the center, three mills, docks, and other landmarks.

With Sugar’s Crossing behind them they are in endless fields of beets, which the mills refine into the sugar that gives the town its name.  Beets are vital in Yuri’s culture. He wants to teach the locals how to make borscht.  He just walks up to a farm house.

Yuri: Ah, I see that you are farmers. Did you know? I have borscht recipe!

Yuri meets an old Halfing woman whom everyone calls Granny. She loves food, and senses a kindred spirit in Yuri, who is also excited about food. She leads him into the kitchen, which has a high ceiling for Halflings, so Yuri can stand up comfortably. When the cooking starts he realizes that the high ceilings keep the smoke and steam out of the Halflings’ faces and right in his! The counters are also lower than he would like, so he has to sit down to prepare the meal.  Edna stays outside because she’s taller than the building. Vestri stays in the kitchen. He doesn’t help preapre the meal, but he’s around and will accept any morsel that a passing Halfling may offer. He accepts a lot of morsels.

Borscht is a vegetable stew, mainly beets, but whatever is available. The vegetables are peeled and cooked in chicken stock until they are soft. The beets make the stew bright red. The vegetables in Russia aren’t quite the same as Halfling vegetables, but the recipe is flexible, so it still works.

Soon the Fellowship share a hearty dinner with their new friends.  After everyone else is served, Edna uses the cauldron and ladle as a bowl and spoon.

As they continue down the highway, Yuri remembers a monster flying around the Singing Hills. Vestri

The Fellowship leaves the road and heads north to the Raging Rapids. The rapids are wide, broken up by patches of slick, mossy stone. The rocks rise in the middle of river, so one bank is not visible from the other.

GM note: That last detail was specifically added because Yuri and Edna can jump to anywhere they can see, and jumping over the river was too easy.

Viktor spends Let Me Get That!

Viktor hands Edna a coil of stout rope.

Edna: OK, we’re going to do a two-step process. Vestri, you’re strong, hold the other end of this rope, or maybe tie it to a tree. You’ll have to climb the rope too.

Edna leaps to the top of the rock so she can hold the rope and her small friends can climb to join her.

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 6-

Edna leaps to the top of the slippery rocks but her feet don’t stick and she disappears down the far side. The rop she’s still holding goes taut and breaks the tree tied to the other end! Suddenly a tree is moving iwth surprising force and speed through the rest of the Fellowship!

Vestri: Timber!

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere he can see

Yuri leaps aside, but Vestri steps in front of the tree, hoping to grab it.

Yuri Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Vestri Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Vestri wrestles the tree to lie across the rapids, forming a bridge for her friends to run across, but it’s not easy. The current is trying to drag the tree downriver, and Edna is pulling on the other end of the rope, trying to climb back up the rocks.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 10+

Everyone is able to run up the tree and reach the middle of the river. As Hundrin drives Gurtin up the tree, Vestri considers how he’s caused his cousin a lot of trouble during their adventures, but this is one time when he’s helping. Edna climbs up the other side and is surprised to see the consequences of her actions.

Edna: Vestri, hold on to the rope. I’ll pull you in.

Vestri holds the rope with one hand and cuts the rope off the tree with the axe in his other hand.

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

Yuri Top Of The Food Chain: nature will stay out of his way & avoid harming him

Now everyone is on top of the rock pile. When Yuri lands from his jump, the rocks become dry and the water flows around them, so no one is in danger of slipping and faling now. They are halfway across the river.

Raging Rapids increases response level to 1 due to collateral damage

On the other side of the river is a Walking Boat, designed to climb up rapids. It drives posts down to the bottom of the river to raise the boat up above the water, then pushes the boat forward, where another set of posts push the boat up again. The boat is currently between the Fellowship and shore.

Edna considers carrying people by jumping back and forth, but also considers throwing people. Throwing is rejected by the others. Perhaps the rope trick will work this time. Yuri will stay on the rocks until everyone else leaves to keep them safe, then will jump to the far side.

Edna Toss Aside: an ally can ride on her

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere she can see

Edna ties the rope to Gurtin the Drill Tank, picks it up, and leaps to the far side of the river. The rope crosses above the Walking Boat, and it’s rising to meet it.

Vestri: I never liked Walking Boats. They are very strange, in my opinion.

The Fellowship decided to stay away from the Walking Boat entirely. To the amazement of the boat’s crew, Edna jumps back and forth over them, ferrying her friends to the far bank. Yuri stays to keep the rocks dry until everyone is across, then jumps across himself.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere he can see

With yet another eventful river crossing behind them, the Fellowship moves on into the Singing Hills. Constant wind beats against these hills, so only grass and scrubby shrubs cling to them.  Standing stones on top of each ill whistle a unique tone as the wind blows through carefully carved slits.  The Fellowship camps for the night. A big weird bat flies in and flutters around the campfire. Enda tries to shoo it away and notices that it’s following the motions of one of her hands. She holds out her hand and the bat lands. It’s attracted to the glass bead around Edna’s wrist, because this is Lady Evelynn’s messenger! It’s carrying a little note that says the forgers have been located far to the south at the Oolite mines. Should the Fellowship continue to their destination, or divert to track down the forgers?

Yuri: I think we should follow the forgers. They seem mobile. Once they are found out, they are likely to flee. Time is of essence, whereas Remnants have been dead for centuries…

A spooky voice croaks from Yuri’s light-proof box.

Heath: Decades.

Yuri: I lose all track of time traveling inside and outside the universes.

Vestri: We should decide based on the information that we have.

Going south to the Oolite Mine requires crossing the river again.

Edna: We’ve come all this way. We should finish one journey before starting another.

Vestri: I think we should head to whatever distance is a shorter distance. I think we’re closer to Yuri’s thing. Frankly I don’t like rivers very much, so I would like to take a break going back to cross.

Yuri: Let’s continue then. I’m not married to idea.

Edna: You’re married to that demon lady, right?

Yuri: Da, da, quite soon! I have not made any affections towards her, but I feel like she knows.

In the morning, they set off north to find the Remnant artifact. They don’t know what they are looking for, but Yuri’s sword guides them towards it. They approach a cliff face and find the keyhole halfway up! There’s no flat ground for hundreds of feet above or below. Heath is a shadow, so he can probably slide up the wall, but he can’t carry the sword and scabbard. Yuri and Edna can jump to the keyhole, but with nowhere to land, they’ll fall right back down. Vestri can ask the earth to move, creating handholds to climb, but affecting stone as such a distance is a stretch. Edna can’t punch handholds into solid rock, and even if she was strong enough, she lacks finesse. There are no trees to repurpose as scaffolding. Truly a challenging problem.

As they crossed the Singing Hill yesterday, Edna saw something flying in the distance. She wonders if it could carry them to the door. Since it’s moving, she worries that she’ll miss if she jumps at it. Vestri suggests getting under it, then jumping up and down to get its attention. Vestri also suggests not breaking any of the standing stones on the way.  Edna agrees and leaps from hill to hill. When she’s directly under the creature, she realizes it’s bigger than she assumed!  It’s a huge Sky Serpent, at least 100 feet long.

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere she can see

  • Haku, he/him, Sky Serpent, Boss of The Singing Hills
    • Threat to the World
    • Drop-Off: Haku can deploy Giants into the battlefield
    • Mostly Peaceful: Although Haku is huge and powerful, he avoids attacking little folk directly.

Edna jumps straight up and calls out to get his attention. When she rises up to Haku’s level, she sees two Giants riding on his back! One of the Giants drops off Haku as Edna starts to fall from her second jump. They both hit the ground and stand up. Edna’s an Ogre, but this person is a true Giant. She is 20 feet tall, head and shoulders above Edna.

  • Fum, she/her, Giant
    • Crushing Blows: deals 2 damage
    • Like Flies: anyone who fails a roll or pays a price while on a Giant is flung off, in addition to usual consequences
    • Proper Weapons: She carries two ship anchor at her hips, connected by a length of chain wrapped around her body in an “X” pattern. Dangerous.

Fum: What are you doing? This is very strange!

Edna explains the plan to fly the Fellowship

Edna: Hello, so great to see that this Sky Serpent carries passengers. My friends and I are trying to reach something halfway up the cliff face to the north. We were wondering if we could get your Sky Serpent to lift us up there. I see it is very big and strong, able to hold passengers like yourself.

Edna Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 6- they demand an expensive, difficult, or demeaning favor

Edna got off on the wrong foot by implying that Haku, Ruler of the SInging Hills, was some kind of pet. Fum demands that Edna do pennace for her insult, and says that Haku will carry the Fellowship if they first clean his scales. Edna is scandalized!  That’s servant’s work! She puts on a fake smile.

Edna: I’ll go tell my friends about this. There’s that lake. We’ll meet you there.

Edna leaps back to the Fellowship.

Edna: Ugh. The Sky Serpent totally takes passengers. There are Giants riding it already. It could carry us all no problem, but they say “You have disrespected him. You didn’t address him properly. You have to give him a bath.” I think that’s ridiculous. We can come up with another plan.

Yuri: I bathe Steven regularly. We they say we all have to do it? Maybe you could sit this one out.

Vestri: All we have to do is give it a bath? Why is this a problem?

Edna: It’s insulting! It’s a power play by this Giant to embarrass me.

Vestri: I have two things to say to that. One, I think it would be hard to clean yourself if your legs were that short and your body was that long. But also, why do you care about his opinion? Maybe he does want you to do something stupid, but then we get a ride and we never have to see him again.

Edna: I! Uh! So we get the last laugh?

Edna is convinced and the Fellowship hikes over to the lake. Haku has landed and curved himself along the shore. He’s over 100 feet long!

Vestri: Well, let’s get ot scrubbing!

Yuri: I wish I brought power washer.

Yuri has to explain this unknown technology.

Yuri: Is like, you know hose? If you make tip very small, the water pressure is very strong.

Vestri: No, no, yes, yes. I understand. I understand. That’s genius. Let me see, let me see if I can make something like that. Hold on. That’s a very exciting idea actually.

Yuri: Yes, Humans are very ingenuitive.

Vestri looks around to see what he has to work with and notices bubbles rising from the bottom of the lake. Vestri recognizes Dwarven crafts, and sees that a false rock is actually a valve regulating water flow to something subterranean, like a system of underground waterways. but that’s not important right now!

Vestri can carve a nozzle out of a rock with his tools, but he still needs something like a hose that’s flexible and hollow. Weaving one out of reeds would probably take longer than just washing Haku by hand. The water pressure is also a problem. Gravity is easy, but probably insufficient.

Ol’ Jardiner: Mmmmm, what if I conjured bellows?

Vestri: That would be amazing. I didn’t know you could do that. Yes, yes, perfect.

Ol’ Jardiner spends Overwhelming Power

Ol’ Jardiner’s bellows feeds water to Vestri’s nozzle. Edna provides the power to operate the bellows, and Yuri is strong enough to direct the jet of water over Haku’s body to clean him. Pressure washing is satisfying to watch, so Edna has a good time.  Pressure washing also feels good to receive, so Haku is quite happy too!  Teamwork! Invention!

Yuri: I do not follow Prime Directive. A directive where you keep the world in its prime.

Edna forms a Bond: “Vestri helped me swallow my pride”

Haku forms a Bond: “Edna gave me a lovely scrubbing”

Haku Heart of Fire: Bonds to not make him a Companion. Players can erase a bond to buy a reprieve.

Haku keeps his end of the bargain and flies the Fellowship up to the middle of the cliff face. Yuri combines his sword and scabbard to form a key and turns it in the hole in the rock face. The Fellowship walks inside and the hole closes behind them!

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing The Sunset & mutual retreat

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 was exiled from Castellum, but they were leaving anyways. They head towards a volcano that Buckle heard about long ago, but when they are waylaid in Port Fennrick!

The Miranda (the Fellowship’s racing catamaran) stopped at the edge of Port Frennrick’s docks, following instructions from Bork, an Ogre who seems to be in charge of the docks.

  • Bork, she/her, Ogre. This 18-foot-tall woman is smarter than she looks and eager to prove her worth.
    • Big And Scary: Anyone trying to act against Bork is in Despair.
    • Caught One!: When Bork deals damage, she also picks up and grabs the person she damaged. If she is not stopped, she’ll walk off with them.
      Eager To Please: Bork is trying her best and just wants to be loved. Anyone who is nice to Bork immediately forms a Bond with her. When Bork is harmed, erase all Bonds the fellowship has with her. Bork will not join the fellowship as a Companion unless someone can form three Bonds with her.

A man appears behind Buckle and snatches the Medallion of Cleft Sky from his neck. The Medallion isn’t on a normal chain. It emits a crackling cord of electricity that expands to fit its wearer. Where did that man come from/ The Fellowship didn’t see anyone board the ship.

  • Agent, he/him, Human
    • Death From Above: Agents can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When an Agent drops down on an enemy from above, they can either kidnap them or deal damage to them as a Hard Cut, their choice.
    • Patience: The Agent is Secret until they make a Cut. When they escape or hide, they become Secret again until they make a Cut.

Agent: O’Later will want to know about this!

Buckle: That’s mine! Who’s O’Later?

Bork: O’Later’s the boss!

Buckle: I don’t remember him.

Bork: The town is under new management.

Another Agent emerges from the cabin holding the Pheonix Egg. Buckle’s eyes surge with flames.

Buckle: That’s my baby! What are you doing with it?

Bork: Don’t interfere. This is standard procedure.

Buckle: What procedure?

Bork is taken aback. This is more resistance than she’s used to.

Bork: I don’t have all the procedures and clauses memorized, but O’Later can explain it to you.

Bork indicates that the Fellowship can follow her, and the Agents prepare to take the Phoenix Egg and the Medallion of Cleft Sky. Buckle’s close to lashing out.

Stella: We want safe passage through here in the future, so let’s talk. Hey, Bork, where are you taking our stuff?

Bork: Contraband warehouses. There’s one there, and there’s another over–

An Agent frantically motions for Bork not to reveal such sensitive information. Bork stops talking, grabs a rope tossed by an Agent and pulls the Miranda in to the dock. Buckle starts walking up the ship’s ramps and the Agents realize that Buckle is on fire and most of Port Fennrick is wooden boardwalks. They scramble to fetch barrels of water and pour them in Buckle’s path. Buckle carefuly steps only on the wettests portions to avoid setting the town on fire.

Buckle Overcome 10+

The strange procession passes the Port Fennrick message board. Buckle and Stella sneak a peek in passing.

GM note: The messages board is a way for players to send messages to other players that they don’t meet in real life. NPCs don’t read or censor the messages.

  • Port Fennrick Message Board
    • Edna: O’Later is a poor host and a Vampire. Please get Bork some properly tailored clothes!
    • Vestri: O’Later is a Vampire and Bork is his subordinate. Don’t hang out with them at night. They have contraband in a warehouse.
    • Yuri: Soldiers lurk in the shadows and there is a great wealth of confiscated goods.

Stella looks at Bork’s bouncer outfit, which seems a bit too small and bunches in certain spots. Buckle leans in to whisper to Stella.

Buckle: Did you read the message board/ We’ve fought Vampires before. Does our reputation precede us?

The procession reaches the town hall, a large stone building which Buckle won’t destory on contact. Bork opens the large double doors, and an Agent rolls up the red carpet so Buckle won’t set it on fire. Buckle thinks Bork seems nice-ish, so he offers to buy her some custom-tailored clothes. He has Ugg take measurements and gets permission to leave the party and find a tailor.

Bork forms a Bond: Buckle offered me a gift.

After a few minutes, O’Later arrives, He apologizes for the modest reception, since he was not expecting them. Another Agent offers a plate of Halfling and Platyperson snacks. There seems to be no distinction between O’Later’s servants and his secret police. They wear the same uniforms. Buckle makes conversation.

Buckle Speak Softly 6- 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer, 1 false answer

  • What can O’Later tell us about contraband?
    • Contraband must be confiscated to preserve order and safety in the town. It’s for your own good, of course! Thus, the contraband will not be returned when you leave town.
  • What was O’Later doing? What will they do next? (Particularly how did he come to rule Port Fennrick?)
    • O’Later found the town leaderless and in chaos, so it was his responsibility to bring order.
  • What should we be wary of when dealing with O’Later?
    • Buckle mentioned the Moon, and immediately O’Later gets mad.
    • O’Later: The Moon has been trouble ever since it appeared. It’s to blame for werewolves! Something should be done about it!
    • Buckle: Yes, we had to kill some Platypalooza.

While Buckle talks with O’Later, Stella pulls Bork aside.

Stella: Are you hungry? Seems like you’ve been on the clock for a while.

Bork: Thanks. Sometimes we find good food to confiscate, but not tonight.

Stella spends Halfing Lunch

Bork forms a Bond “Stella fed me.”

Stella overhears O’Later ranting about the Moon.

Stella Talk Nonsense 10+

Stella: We can take care of that! We were on our way to a big cannon in a mountain. We need the Medallion to power it.

Buckle: Yeah! The azimuth is slightly off.

Stella Sting Like A Bee steal a small item

Stella steals a large key from O’Later. The key’s teeth are shaped like fangs.

O’Later: A cannon in a mountain? When did you see this ? Tell me about it.

Stella: We’ve been travelling for a long time. The facility was abandoned when we found it, but we read some notes that indicated this facility was important. Maybe all the bad things happening these days would stop if the Moon was gone.

O’Later: A noble goal! We will return your Medallion and escort you to the mountain. Bork will make all the arrangements, and we will leave tomorrow at sunset!

Bork escorts the Fellowship towards the contraband warehouse (the one she pointed out earlier) with Agents pouring water in front of Buckle. Stella chats with Bork along the way.

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

  • What can you tell me about your past?
    • Bork doesn’t want to talk about it.
  • What do you want? How can we help you get it?
    • She wants job satisfaction: the sense that she’s doing good in the world. Guarding the city is indirect and boring. She’s not fulfilled.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Bork?
    • Bork’s physical power is obvious, but she’s also easily manipulated, which makes her dangerous.

Buckle: What would make the world a better place?

Bork: Hmmm, maybe fighting werewolves? We rarely get any here in town. O’Later says the Moon is to blame, so I’ve tried throwing things at the Moon before.

Stella: When we get the cannon working, we’ll throw something that will hit the Moon.

They reach the contraband warehouse. Bork easily lifts the bar holding the gate closed and the Fellowship enters.  The warehouse is dimly lit, because Agents like the dark.  There’s a pile of knifes, coins, and other metal objects near the entrance. Most of the warehouse is orderly stacks of boxes, but some boxes have been pushed aside to make a clear space for the Medallion of Cleft Sky. The Agents assigned to the warehouse are standing a respectful distance away, pondering this strange and dangerous item that forced them to discard all their metal equipment. Buckle goes to pick up his Medallion and the Agents move to intervene until Bork calls out.

Bork: We’ve got a special mission. This comes straight from the top.

Buckle: Where’s the egg? Its’s important to me. It must be protected and I can’t trust these buffoons to do it.

Buckle isn’t sure what “buffoon” means, but hostile people have used that word against them.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotions) 10+

Bork: Give him the egg too.

Buckle reclaims his items. He wants to look around for more cool items in the warehouse, but the Agents don’t want him to set anything on fire or strike anything with lightning.

Buckle: I need to find materials for the mission to the Anti-Moon Weapon. I could get something to upgrade the payload, or use messenger robots to communite back to Port Fennrick.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Grace, trick them) 7-9 owe them a favor

The Agents are impressed by the mission. They’ll let Buckle look through their stuff, so long as he takes them along to the anti-Moon Weapon.

GM note: This is just Buckle’s player asking for trouble. Show me something cool, and show me how it can go wrong.

The first item that catches Buckle’s interest is a cask of exotic liquor. It was confiscated because it kept starting fires and fights. Not a safe object for someone who sets things on fire with a touch.

Buckle Overcome 10+

The Agents open the cask and as Buckle approaches to inspect it, the vapor coming off the cask starts to ignite! The Agents slam the cask shut quickly, and Buckle backs away.

Next Buckle sees some kind of robotic weapon. He sees a space where  a battery should go and zaps it with the Medallion of Cleft Sky. The robot starts powering up. It’s a Killbot! It looks around to select a target!

  • Killbot: They have a kill limit, but it is quite high. Killbots are targeted assassins – they have someone (or a list of someones) to kill, and anything that gets in their way is collateral damage.
    • Exterminate: Killbots are Melee, Ranged, and Piercing. If they are trying
      to kill you specifically, you need to pay a price whenever you go near a Killbot.

Buckle Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Buckle fumbles for an access panel as the Killbot stands up, spikes protruding in all directions. Buckle pulls a wire and the killbot collapses. A panel opens and reveals a countdown!

Buckle: I think it’s off, but it’s counting down. We might need to leave.

The Agents freak out. An explosion in this warehouse, full of valuable and dangerous items, would be catastrophic. Stella confirms that the KIllbot can’t stab her, then works to protect the warehouse.

 Stella spends 1 Pit Trap

Stella Wizardry: Push, pull, or grab as if you were somewhere you can see.

Stella sets a Pit Trap, retreats to a safe distance, and remotely pushes the Killbot into the pit.

Stella Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Stella spends a bag of coins (Precious)

The Killbot slumps into the pit, but the spikes sticking out prevent it from falling all the way in. Stella throws a heavy bag of coins at the Killbot, which knocks it the rest of the way into the pit. A moment later, an explosion shoots striaght up from the pit, blowing a hole in the roof of the warehouse, but sparing the stacks and stacks of boxes all around.

Buckle: Stella, maybe you should look through the crates.

Collateral damage increases Port Fennrick’s Response Level to 2.

Port Fennrick gains Response Move: Sheriff – someone will arrest a member of the Fellowship.

Bork: I’ve made a mistake letting you in here. You’re dangerous.

She moves in to scoop Buckle up in her giant hands.

Buckle: It was just an accident. We need these supplies for the mission to make O’Later happy!

Buckle Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to desires) 6-

Bork damages Buckle

Bork Caught One!: When Bork deals damage, she also picks up and grab the person they damaged. If she are not stopped, she’ll walk off with them.

Bork grabs Buckle, who is about the size of a stuffed animal to her, and starts walking out of the warehouse. Stella runs after them.

Stella On A Mirror’s Edge: gain 2 Speed

Bork stops suddenly and kicks back with a giant boot!

Stella spends 1 Speed to avoid an enemy attack and keep going

Stella Get Away 7-9 take Buckle along

Stella damages Courage

Stella leaps up on Bork’s foot, climbs her body, and snatches Buckle from her hand. Channeling the power of her loyal mount, Silk, Stella leaps striaght up to the roof of the warehouse!

Stella Animal Trait: Jumping Spider

Buckle: The egg!

Buckle rushes to the hole in the roof and looks in to see if the PHoenix Egg survived.

Agents Death From Above: Agents can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When an Agent drops down on an enemy from above, they can either kidnap them or deal damage to them as a Hard Cut, their choice.

The two Agents inside the warehouse are waiting for Buckle, standing upside-down on either side of the hole!

Buckle Medallion of Cleft Sky St. Elmo’s Fire: surround someone with a dazzling aura to make an attack miss.

St. Elmo’s Fire crackles around Buckle’s body, dazzling one Agent, but the other strikes true!

Agent damages Buckle.

Buckle goes for the Medallion again!

GM note: The Medallion is a custom item. Buckle’s player made some suggestions for potential powers, and the Framework was supposed to write up an official version, but didn’t, so we are just winging its powers in this session.

Buckle Medallion of Cleft Sky Aurora: impress and distract spectators, Keeping Them Busy with a 10+

Bork can’t climb the warehouse, can’t reach the figures on the roof, and this is one building she’s unwiling to tear down. She looks around for a big rock or a long pole that she can use to reach Stella and Buckle.

Stella: You’ll never get us with logs! We are Fluming champions!

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+

It’s a standoff. Stella and Buckle are keeping all their opponents from advancing or attacking, but if they stop, their opponents will strike! The tense moment is interrupted by the slow arrivals of new adversaries. The uniforms they wear are smiliar to the Agents, but fancier, so they’re probably higher rank. Unlike the slippery, agile Agents, these Enforcers stomp heavily and stiffly towards the warehouse.

  • Ghoulish Enforcers, it/its, undead humanoids.  Preserved corpses, sustained by an ancient curse.
    • Cursed Strength: Enforcers are incredibly strong, and can toss aside anyone trying to Keep Them Busy. If your Blood is damaged, you must pay a price to attack an Enforcer in melee combat.
    • Tough As Nails: The first time an Enforcer would be damaged or destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Buckle drops the Aurora and goes to the edge of the roof to appeal to Bork.

Buckle: We’re all on the same side, working towards the same goal!  There’s just dangerous stuff around.

Buckle FInish Them (+Widsom, show the error of their ways) 7-9

Buckle damages Bork’s Big And Scary

Bork Eager To Please: When Bork is damaged, she erases all Bonds with the Fellowship.

Bork: You tricked me! I thought you were my friend!

Bork throws the Phoenix Egg at Buckle as the Agents emerge onto the roof! Buckle must catch the precious and fragile egg!

Buckle Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Buckle damages Webbed Hands

The impact of the huge egg (nearly as tall as Buckle) injures his hands and the momentum pushes him backwards towards the edge of the roof! He rolls with it.

Buckle Get Away 7-9 take Stella along

Buckle grabs Stella and they both slide past hte shocked agents and fall to the ground! Buckle lands on his back with the egg on top of him!

Buckle damages a stat

Buckle Firestarter: declare a fire starts if you had a chance to plant material before hand.

Buckle won’t start a fight, but he’ll finish one! He snaps his fingers and the warehouse bursts into flames! He was secreting explosive goo all over the items he was examining.  The exotic liquor explodes, turning the front of the warehouse into a hail of debris! The Agents on the roof are sent flying, their capes on fire. The Enforcers don’t look at the fire, continuing to walk straight towards Buckle until a pile of debris collapses on them. Bork kneels and braces herself, keeping her balance as the shockwave passes her. She slowly gets to her feet, sweeping splinters and flaming bits from her arms. The pile of flaming debris is thurst aside and the Enforcers stand up and continue walking forward.

Bork, Enforcers, and Agents all take damage

Buckle & Stella took full advantage of the distraction to flee the scene!

Buckle (+hope, Stella’s aid) Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Ugg along

They run for the Miranda as fast as their short legs will carry them, but they remember to swing by the tailor’s shop to get Ugg before fleeing town. There’s no disguising their trail. Buckle is setting fire to the boardwalks as he flees.  Buckle throws a coin purse in to the tailor, Ugg gathers up the huge suti in his big robot hands, and the whole Fellowship reaches the Miranda.

Port Fennrick: Upset someone in Charge: increase Response Level

There’s commotion all over town as the crew of the Miranda casts off and sails upriver. They have to go all the way across town to reach the river! Bork appears ahead on the boardwalk, with a flaming beam from the warehouse weilded as a club. Even her impressive reach isn’t enough to engage the Miranda in melee combat. She picks up a Ghoulish Enforcer and throws it towards the Miranda. It explodes in mid-air!

Buckle Anarchy Reigns: create an explosion, even if you could not have planted the bomb beforehand.

O’Later’s security forces are taken aback. Can they even approach these criminals? The confusion continues as Stella calls out and ugg throws a bundle from his post atop the mainmast.

Stella: Bork, catch!

It’s a custom-tailored suit. In all her time with O’Later, he never gave her such an expensive gift. She stares at the clothes for a moment, then drops them and grips her flaming club. Bork and the Agents follow the Mirnada upstream, but try to stay behind cover. They dont care approach openly.  O’Later appears in the sky, confirming his vampiric nature by flying in as a bat!

Buckle: We’re leaving! Dont worry about it!

Stella: Gus, garlic him!

Gus, Stella’s cook climbs the other mast and throws cloves of garlic, forcing O’Later to keep his distance

Gus spends Special Ingredients

Stella Get Away 10+ avoid harm

Stella pilots the Miranda upstream, out of Port Fennrick, and onto the Mighty River. The checkpoint that used to stop boats at the edge of the city has been dismantled, so they have no trouble escaping.  O’Later’s invisible inspections are effective 99% of the time, but fail in this exact scenario. The Fellowship is frustrated, even though they reclaimed their items, put the town’s forces to flight, and were able to continue their journey. Why do things keep goign badly? Why can’t the kings and chieftains they meet just be reasonable? They didn’t want to fight. They tried to talk it out so everyone could be happy.

NO END-OF-SESSION MOVE

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 & Clay

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 found the trail of Vestri’s missing dagger. Another Fellowship found an imitation of the dagger, and following their clues led to the ledger of Tomay and Soday, Dwarven scammers who stole and copied valuable items.

The ledger contains a list of customers. They have fake items, not the originals, but maybe they know how to get in touch with the forgers, or will want to find them when they learn they have been scammed.

Yuri tries to explain the concept of police, but gets caught trying to explain “red herrings.” Vestri and Edna can’t understand why a fish would appear, but not be important. Edna remembers that the boss in Swallet was police. She doesn’t like police.

Customers in the ledger:

  • Lady Evelynn from Lady Evelynn’s Manor. She’s a collector.
  • Beth from Templeton. An Orc living in a Dwarf town who wanted a weapon for everyday use.
  • O’Later from Port Fennrick. He has several weapons in his warehouse
  • Pepe from Fairmeadow. The Sheriff confiscated a weapon from the auction at Fairmeadow Fair.
  • Merfolk blacksmith in Finsea.

Edna remembers Lady Evelynn attended a gala at the Harcourt estate years ago. Edna remembers shaking her hand because of the amazing gold jewelry Lady Evelynn wore on her hands, but that was the extent of their interaction.  Yuri figures a wealthy person like Lady Evelynn would have the resources to go after the forgers. Edna points the way towards Lady Evelynn’s Manor, which involves crossing the rapids of the Mighty River. Vestri prefers an underground route.  The Fellowship walks along the river until they see the rapids and the mountains above.

Treacherous Mountain’s The Tunnels Below; The Dwarf can find the tunnel entrance for free

Vestri realizes that one of the tunnels in the Dwarven Waterways led under this mountain. Vestri says that going through the mountain is much better than going over the mountain. The Fellowship returns to the tunnels. Edna carries Gurtin so it doesn’t have to drive through several feet of water.

The raft encounters punji sticks pointing the other way.

The first challenge is getting past the metal spikes.

Yuri: Maybe they are for keeping giant monster out. Or in?

Edna: Given enough time, I can bend the spikes flat, but if they are important in Dwarf culture I don’t want to deface them.

Vestri: Obviously each house has its own rules, but nothing that I know of. Destroy them if you want to.

Edna Overcome 6-

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: incautious activity causes collateral damage

Edna grabs the spikes on the ceiling and yanks and twists. The spikes come free, along with most of the bricks forming the ceiling! A big pile of debris falls, partially blocking the tunnel. The water level starts rising, endangering the shorter members of the Fellowship!

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

  • Can you make enough room so that the water can continue to flow?
    • Yes. The earth squishes itself to the sides of the tunnel, letting the water flow through the center
  • What footprints has it been feeling?
    • No footprints for a short time, but a moment ago, someone floated past.
  • Where is it going? Where does this path lead?
    • A place of new growth.

Vestri prefers old growth to new growth. Old growth is established, but new growth is unstable and full of competition. Vestri is sure that he is older growth than Yuri, because he’s 102 years old.  Yuri wonders about Dwarfen lifespan and lifecycle. Dwarves come from stone and return to stone. Yuri wonders if that stone can become a Dwarf again. like reincarnation, but stone forgets, so Vestri can’t confirm or deny that.

Yuri: Is all stone Dwarves? Are we standing on Dwarves?

Edna: No, these are bricks.

Vestri: There is more stone than there are Dwarves.

Yuri: This is like square and rectangle. All Dwarves have been stone, but not all stone has been Dwarves.

Edna: You told me about this before. It’s Moose and Square-l.

Yuri: That is from cartoon show. It is Rocky and . . . moose.

Edna: So the square is like the rock and the rectangle is like the Dwarf. It’s Square-l and Rocky. I’ve got this figured out!

Yuri: Do you eat? As a physician — how does the biological component… do you poop rocks?

Edna: I’m concerned that I may have eaten some Dwarves without knowing. Do they stay Dwarf-shaped?

Vestri: Once they return to stone they are no different than stone. We live in stone ourselves.

Yuri: Is that cannibalism? Houseism? I am confused about Dwarven culture.

Vestri: You are confused because you are seeing it through the lens of your strange man-shaped body. The only lens I can look through is the Dwarven one, so I think your way is very strange.

The collapsed dirt and rocks have moved aside, allowing the water to flow again, but the spikes still block the path.

Vestri: Let’s see if I can use my brute strength. I’m not quite your height, but I’m quite dense!

Vestri Clear The Path 7-9 leave a path for your allies, but damage something important

Vestri smashes the spikes aside and the tunnel starts collapsing! The Fellowship must move quickly to end up on the right side of the debris.

Yuri Mighty Leap jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Yuri leaps through the falling debris, over Vestri’s head, and lands safely.

Edna Get Away 10+ avoid harm

Edna charges through. The whole Fellowship is through, and there’s no going back. The water in the tunnel flows down into the mountain and the debris prevents new water from replacing it, so the water level slowly drops.

Two alcoves

Just past the punji sticks are two alcoves on the side of the tunnel. Their floors were just above the old water level, about half-way up the tunnel. Edna can look in, but Yuri can to walk up the curved side of the tunnel to peek over. Each alcove is about 3 meters on a side and has a dry floor.  Yuri enters the near alcove. There’s a door at the back fo the alcove that leads to a spiral staircase that goes up. The wall between the alcoves is in disrepair. The second alcove has some equipment on the back wall, and broken crystal pieces on the floor. Yuri thinks heath might know something about crystals and lets him out of his lightproof box.

Yuri Look Closely 10+

  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • Vestri recognizes a rare moss: pale sage green with flecks of yellow pollen.
  • Tell me about the equipment. How could it hurt or help me?
    • It’s a machine with an empty receptable. The crystal probably went there, but it was removed and broken. The machine was another barrier to prevent people from getting through the tunnel.
  • What will happen if I ask Heath to inhabit the equipment?
    • Heath: Something closer to my old form is more comfortable for me to inhabit.
    • Yuri: That is fair. We will find something for you.

The Fellowship continues down the tunnel. This section is better preserved than the other tunnels they have explored. There are sections of conveyor belts powered by paddlewheels that can carry things against the current. Some platforms on the side of the tunnel look like bus stops, but seem long-abandoned. There are burned and melted trails across the platforms, probably caused by lava.

There’s a glow and hiss ahead.  The tunnel has been breached by a lava flow. The water is flowing into the lava and evaporating, causing the hissing sounds and a cloud of steam. Heath shrinks away because bright light will destroy him. Yuri recommends Heath returns to his box, and Heath agrees. Steven, the only housecat in the world, finds a spot on a tram station bench that is warmed by the lava and curls up for a nap.

Yuri: Can you ask the lava to stop? Lava is stone.

Vestri: I never tried speaking to melted stone before, but why not?

Vestri Speak Softly 10+

  • Could you harden and make a path for us to cross?
    • Yuri: Make sure it will support the weight of a Dwarf.
    • Vestri: The earth is my friend. Of course it will support the weight of a Dwarf
    • GM note: Vestri weighs about 300 pounds. Edna weighs about 8,000 pounds.
    • The surface of the lava hardens leading from the tunnel at the bottom left to the large room at upper right. (The other end of the tunnel is full of lava.)
  • What can it tell me about its course?
    • The chamber is tall and the lava only fills the bottom. So the flow of lava used to be much more and it’s slowly waning. The lava comes from the most energetic part of the earth where new things arise.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the lake of lava?
    • Some of the lava has youthful energy, and has a will of its own.

The Fellowship walks out on the path across the hardened lava. When they are all in the middle of the lake of lava, the surface rises and takes shape!

Treacherous Mountains – The Demons Below: A Titan appears to threaten the Fellowship!

  • 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.

Yuri wonders if they can sneak past this fearsome creature, or call in an ally to fight it. Edna does not pause to think and rushes to protect her puny friends.

Edna God Of War: you can try to keep them busy now matter who they are or how poor your position is.

Edna Keep Them Busy 10+

Edna stands at the edge of the hardened path over the lake of lava. She’s almost twice as tall as the Fire Elemental and spreads her arms wide to block its approach.

Vestri: What a dame!

Vestri forms a Bond: Edna’s extremely impressive and she makes me feel even braver.

The Fellowship hustles past her to enter the large room on the far side of the lake of lava. Yuri wastes no time and leaps to safety.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see.

The whole side of the large room has been melted away by lava in the past, leaving it open to the chamber. Vestri looks around for some stones to throw, but this city was built by the Clay Dwarves, and they use bricks, not stone. He won’t be able to kill the Fire Elemental with bricks, but it may give Edna a chance to disengage.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 6-

The Fire Elemental turns toward Vestri and makes a throwing motion with one arm. Everything past its elbow disconnects and flies towards Vestri (and anyone standing nearby) in a splattery mess!

Vestri Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Yuri along

Vestri dives back into the room, tackling Yuri along the way. The lava hits and sizles on the floor where they were standing moments ago. The Lava Elemental lurches towards the room. Edna reaches out her arm from the edge of the hardened path to stop it.

Edna Overcome 6-

The Fire Elemental just keeps going. Its liquid body flows around Edna’s outstretched arm, burning it. Maybe that was not a smart move.

Edna damages Sense

The large room, site of the imminent battle, is where the Clay Dwarves fired their bricks long ago.  Two huge beehive-shaped kilns dominate the center of the room. Shelves along the side walls store bricks and clay, which dried out long ago. Shovels, carts, and pallets are trewn about.

Vestri: Can we trap it in one of the kilns?

Edna: I can’t fit in the kiln to bait it, and I can’t push on it to force it in.

Yuri: Steven’s small enough to fit and probably quick enough to escape, but I won’t risk him!

Yuri tries to discern the Fire Elemental’s motives. What does a rock want? It seems to be territorial. Yuri thinks of tempting it with something in the chamber, but it could have accessed that chamber at any time. Edna has no time to think of good ideas. She must remove threats to her friends!

Edna Toss Aside 7-9 it lands safely on the far side of the lava chamber

Yuri forms a Bond: Edna has the strength of a god!

Edna: I suggest we leave!

Lucky for Edna, the corridor leading out of this chamber is large to allow carts of raw materials to access the kilns. She has no chance of fitting through a Dwarf-sized hallway. Most of the Fellowship runs down the corridor and out of the kiln room. Edna crawls out, and Ol’ Jardiner crawls under her the other way

Ol’ Jardiner spends Overwhelming Power

He tele-kinetically lifts all the bricks from the shelves and lays them over the doorway, several bricks deep. The Fellowship is plunged into total darkness since the only light was from the lava.

Vestri: I did not know he could do that! Impressive.

Yuri: Very impressive. We should probably go. Molten lava can get through brick very fast.

Edna cranes her neck to see Ol’ Jardiner’s trick and realizes her clothes are on fire!

Fire Elemental Wildfire: The Fire Elemental is Burning and Dangerous.

GM note: Edna should also have paid some prices because of the Fire Elemental’s Burning Aura. Ah well, the party still fled in fear, so it’s not like it failed to present a challenge.

Yuri: Stop, Drop, and Roll!

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: uncontrolled actions cause collateral damage

Edna flails and rolls around in the cramped tunnel. The flames disappear and smoke fills the tunnel. Steven, who was hiding on Edna’s clothes, dashes out of the smoke and climbs up Yuri’s legs.

Edna damages Steven’s Purr-fect Rest

Edna’s Bonds That Break Us: Edna caused Steven to be hurt, so Edna erases a Bond with Steven

GM note: The danger is past.  The Fellowship has overcome every challenge of the Treacherous Mountains. Instead of skipping to the exit, each player describes an area of the abandoned Clay Dwarven city that the Fellowship passes through on their journey.

The Fellowship takes the large corridor, since that’s easiest for Edna to pass through. This is the path that the carts took, so it leads to a prepping space. There’s a mill for crushing chunks of soft rock. There’s a powder-sifting area where different kinds of dust are sorted by grit. Last, the dust is mixed with water in a big drum to reach the perfect consistency. The clay then went on conveyor belts where Dwarves shaped lumps of clay into bricks, which were loaded onto carts and taken to the kiln room. Edna is amazed. She looks into the drum, hoping for wet clay, but everything here is dried out and centuries old.

Edna: If only I was here when this was working!

Vestri: The Clay Dwarves were the most interested in experimenting with colors. Usually we just let the stone speak for itself.

Vestri points out some dye packets. Edna takes the dye and gives it to Ol’ Jardiner to add to his cooking supplies.

Next the Fellowship moves into a residental area between some apartment blocks. Edna can crawl through the main paths, but can’t enter any of the apartments. These aren’t like surface-dwellers’ buildings, where the path is at the bottom and the buildings rise above it. Dwarven apartments are centered on the path, half of the storeys above and half below. Small hallways branch from the central path, then ramps lead up and down to each floor.

Despite coming from stone, Dwarves eat mostly the same things that other living creatures eat, but more for fun than sustenance. Thus salt is as valuable to them as it is to the surface dwellers. There is a salt mine here, a vast chamber with salt sparkling in the walls, criss-crossed by skinny stone bridges. Across the chamber, the flow of daylight is visible. The Fellowship is almost out! Yuri grabs a chunk of salt off the wall as a treat for Steven.

Edna: I think ya’ll should go find the exit and I’ll jump there. I’m sure these bridges were built to code, but that was a long time ago and for much smaller people.

Edna watches the other members of the Fellowship scurry from bridge to bridge, higher and higher until they reach the exit.

Vestri: I think you’re clear now!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see.

Edna leaps to the exit and and joins everyone on the surface. They are now on the south side of the Treacherous Mountains. To the south there is a river, and across that river, a large estate. There’s a fence, then topiary gardens, and a large mansion rising over all of it. This appears to be the back of the estate. There’s no large gate on the north side of the fence.  The river is very low in its banks, about half full. The river flows from west to east, then turns to the south. No bridges are visible. To cross, they’d have to drop down a precipice, then get through water that’s over everyone’s heads, then climb the other side. Edna could ferry everyone across by jumping back and forth many times.

Yuri: Edna, what is protocol for rich person entrances?

Edna: We must make an offical call at the front gate. Jumping over the fence or using a service entrance would be uncivilized.

The party looks for a river crossing and chooses to walk west by chance. On the horizon, they see a mountain with a slot cut through it.

A mountain with a slot cut all the way through, with some kind of machine inside. A few buildings are connected by stairs around the mountain.
The mountain with a slot through it.

A landslide from that mountain has filled the river with debris: rocks and fallen trees. This landslide caused the river to split. The Fellowship is walking upstream along the northern branch, and another branch of the river flows southeast. Vestri is very interested in the sliced mountain.  There’s no lore about this. None of the great Dwarven houses did this. Yuri recommends visiting Lady Evelynn first and comign back to this mountain. Vestri agrees. The Fellowship considers how to safely cross the rubble blocking the river, which is the closest thing they have found to a bridge or ford.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see.

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see.

Edna Toss Aside: You are strong enough to lift anyone, and an ally can ride
on top of you if you let them.

Yuri jumps across, and Edna ferries the Companions across. once the rest of the Fellowship is safe on the southern bank, Vestri runs through the rubble! This landslide looks like a recent disruption, and he wants to return the river to its normal channel.

Vestri Clear The Path 10+

Vestri gets through to the far bank and the rubble shifts and collapses behind him. The water returns to the northern channel.

Yuri: I wonder what consequences that might have on the mill.

Vestri: I feel like it would be useful, diplomatically, to let this lady know that we fixed her river.

Yuri: Da, da. We should check the consequences first to make sure they are good consequences.

The Fellowship walks around and finds the front gate. A path leads south from the gate and has been washed out by the southern fork of the river. A hastily-built wodden bridge crosses it, allowing the estate to reach a town further south.

Vestri: See? She didn’t want this river here.

The main gate is wrought iron with “EVELYNN” across the top. Inside are rows of topiary, all carved into predatory animals.

Yuri: That is ominous. I don’t like this.

Yuri worries that Lady Evelynn turns her enemies into plants, but these topiaries are not life-size, so he discards that worry. The person at the gatehouse looks a bit like Lucy. She’s five-foot-nothing, petite, red skin, and small pointed horns emerging vertically from her forehead. She wears a leather jacket against the weather and a cap with cutouts in the brim to fit around her horns. She saw the Fellowship coming up the path, but doesn’t react until the Fellowship reaches the gate and Edna greets her politely.

  • Kallie, she/her, Tiefling

Kallie: Lady Evelynn no longer offers hospitality to travellers. You are more trouble than you’re worth.

Yuri: I feel like we are worth quite a lot.

Vestri: We have already fixed a problem for Lady Evelynn!

Edna: Oh yes, I can vouch these are quite helpful folks, and we are not just travellers. See, I have an inviation here from Lady Evelynn that says if I ever drop by she would meet with me, because of her friendship with the Harcourt family. I am Edna Crusher-Harcourt.

Kallie takes the invitation and examines it. It’s legit, which means work for her. How annoying. She leaves the Fellowship outside the gate and walks back to the mansion. Soon she returns with a Human man. Clearly this is the butler. He wears a fancy coat and white gloves. His hair is going grey at the temples and his posture is perfect.

  • Jayce, he/him. Human

While Kallie opens the gate, Jayce welcomes the Fellowship and escorts them inside.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? YES, the Dwarven waterways and the abandoned city of the Clay Dwarves.
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking? YES, we’re on the trail of Vestri’s missing dagger
  • Did we learn something new about the world or its people? YES, the Clay Dwarves

Three boons

GM note: is the end-of-session healing magical

  1. Heal: Steven, Gurtin, Edna
  2. Heal: Ol’ Jardiner, Viktor, Heath
  3. Level up: Vestri gains Uncontrollable Strength from Edna, Yuri takes Apex Destiny

GM note: Some lore that doesn’t fit anywhere else. Dwarves created themselves when stone saw living beings having fun and wanted to join in. So the whole world is potentially Dwarves. Maybe the world could turn into one huge Dwarf, like Unicron!  Yuri plans to return to his own world when his quest is done, and is willing to bring the others with him. Would Vestri turn into a statue of a Dwarf when he leaves his world and enters ours? Would that kill Vestri, or would he wake up when returning to his world?

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