Keep It Close

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Action and violence in a story (I use movies as my examples) can be fun, humorous, empowering, or spectacular. But I want to talk about action that makes the audience worry about the characters. How can we, as storytellers, maximize the apparent danger to the characters, and maximize the audience’s fear for their safety? Going bigger and louder isn’t the answer. It’s hard to keep track of 30 enemy soldiers, and blowing up the whole world seems abstract. No, for maximum peril, put the threat right in the character’s face and give them time to look at it. Keep it close.

This kind of danger has three axes. I’ll provide examples of the extremes, but remember that they are continuums, not binaries.

  1. Intimacy: How close is the threat to the character?
  2. Vulnerability: If the threat is not neutralized, how badly will it hurt the character?
  3. Speed: Does the audience (and the character) have time to understand the threat?

Intimacy: Far

The whole scene is a joke that the knight is not threatening at such a distance.

A knight charging into battle, far across an open field.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Intimacy: Close

Dodge This! There’s no room to dodge. No space between the threat and the character.

The Matrix (1999)

Intimacy: OVERFLOW

Body horror is especially potent because the threat is already inside, in a place that should be completely safe and under control.

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Vulnerability: Safe

She’s got a metal body and knows a secret martial art. She’d be fine even if she lost this bar fight, which she clearly won’t.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Vulnerability: Dangerous

A point-blank shotgun blast will kill a normal human.

The Terminator (1984)

Speed: Fast

The opponent’s strikes are so quick that the character can either handle them, or she’s already lost.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Speed: Slow

This creature isn’t moving, so the crew has time to try various ways to remove it and realize that none of them work.

Alien (1979)

Speed: Too Slow

The soldiers and Jeeps can’t keep up, so the Iron Giant just leaves. If the threat has no effect for a long time, or gives the characters plenty of time to prepare, it’s less threatening.

The Iron Giant (1999)

Combine these three axes to create especially intense moments.

  • Dangerous: Drowning is lethal.
  • Close: She’s gasping for the last inches of air as the water fills the cabin
  • Slow: The water rises slowly, and drowning is a slow death.
The Abyss (1989)

Another way to increase the danger is to use multiple threats. In the Abyss, even if Linds doesn’t drown right now, she’ll soon be vaporized by a nuclear explosion, and if that is prevented, she’ll suffocate later when the damaged rig runs out of oxygen. Too Slow threats now loom large in the distance. The disaster has reserves. Do you? To escape more than one threat, the character must use some or all of the following:

  1. Simultaneous solutions: The character needs to do more things than they have time for. Too Slow threats are now fast enough to be worrisome.
  2. Different solutions: If multiple threats can be neutralized by doing the same thing repeatedly or skilfully, that’s just one big threat.
  3. Opposing solutions: Neutralizing one threat makes another threat worse.

Here’s an example from Jurassic Park, where Lex is about to be:

  1. drowned in mud
  2. crushed by the car
  3. eaten by the dinosaur

The crushed car makes escaping the mud difficult. The mud makes escaping the car difficult. Inside the car is the only shelter from the dinosaur. Truly a terrible situation!

Jurassic Park (1993)

A special shout-out to portals like doors and windows, which give you close and slow for free.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Portals can also be used for irony: showing characters something they want or need, but denying them access.

Paddington 2 (2017)

Chasing the Sunset & drunk tank

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

The fellowship: Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship saved the world by slaying a Dragon and disabling a doomsday weapon!

The window in space opens. It happens often, but the timing is always a surprise.  Yuri and Vestri see Edna on the other side, coming back from adventuring with her other friends. But this time, instead of stepping through the portal as normal, she holds up a wooden bucket.

Edna: Sorry, I can’t come right now. I’ve been cursed.

Yuri: Ah! Feel better. Is that right?

Vestri: Depends on the curse.

The window closes and Yuri and Vestri are again alone atop the plateau that hides the Dragons’ doomsday weapon.

Yuri: Shall we find your daggers?

Vestri: Dagger. We only have to find one. I have one already.

Yuri: Then shall we find the dagger thieves?

Vestri: First question: How do we get down?

Yuri: Ask for stairs from the mountains, but not too steep!

Vestri Speak Softly with the earth 10+ ask three questions

Vestri Earth Friend: You may spend a question to ask the earth to move for you.

Vestri: Hello, cliff? It would be wonderful if you could make hand- and foot-holds. Close together. I’m short.

Yuri: Why not stairs?

Vestri: If you could make stairs, that would be great.

Platforms of stone fold down from the vertical surface of the cliff, like those hidden ironing boards in old houses. Soon a staircase leads all the way to the bottom of the precipice. Vestri and Yuri walk down and re-unite with Hundrin and Gurtin in the Singing Hills.

Vestri: I wouldn’t mind seeing if we could excavate more of the Dwarven waterways.

Long Journey: They set out for the Oolite Mines, far to the south. The forgers’ location was revealed by a bat, delivering a message from Lady Evelynn and her network of informants.

Long Journey: How do you find the route that leads south?

Vestri’s knowledge of Dwarven engineering lets him spot a hidden entrance to the Dwarven waterways near one of the lakes in the Singing Hills.

Yuri Look Closely 10+ ask 3 questions

  • Tell me about the rats. What are they doing?
    • Yuri spots some rats moving together as a group. Probably going from the nest to a food source.
  • What will happen if I follow them?
    • The tunnel mainly heads south. As Yuri follows the rats, they get scared and scatter.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Yuri finds a package left behind when Dwarves took the last raft from this station when it closed.

Yuri: There is a box over here. Is this something from your culture?  Should we open? Edna has me worried about curses.

Vestri: It’s not likely to be cursed.

Yuri tries to open the small stone box, easyto hold in two hands. It’s locked.

Yuri: Since it’s stone, can you ask it to open? Or maybe you should hit it with your mining pick.

Vestri Let Me See That: examine a device and ask two questions

  • How do I use it or break it?
    • The luggage is reasonably secure, but nothing that a pick couldn’t get through with a little time and safety.
  • Who made it and why should I care about it?
    • Vestri cracks the box open and finds a deed granting mining rights to Urist Yellowtree.

Vestri: The Yellowtrees no longer exist. They didn’t die out. They all married into other families. According to this, the grandson of old Yellowtree was getting married to one of the Jaderiver kids, and this was a wedding gift. The deed is for clay, which is not what my family uses.

Yuri: The land is in this universe, so it’s not good for me. Maybe I could use it for a vacation home.

Vestri: Vacation home? Why would you go home on vacation? I’d rather wander. Maintaining multiple houses is too much. Just rent.

They walk down the tunnel and wonder how they are organized. The tunnels are artificial, so they can flow in any direction, regardless of the terrain above.

Yuri: We could use a compass. It’s a little magnet that points . . . It wouldn’t work here. Your planet could have a completely different makeup.

GM note: We remembered that we’d solved the problem of navigating the tunnels in an earlier session. Vestri can read the Dwarven route marking at each station, even in the dark.

The Fellowship heads south. The exit from the station they wish to use is blocked off by stones.

Hundrin spends Drill Tank

Hundrin drills through the wall and into a passage beyond. The rest of the Fellowship follows. Yuri ducks to fit through the Dwarf-sized hole. They’re in the Dwarven city of Templeton.

A map of the city of Templeton, built into a cinder cone volcano.

Long Journey: Who is upset by the damage you cause?

Two Dwarven guards patrolling nearby hear the commotion and run over, quite upset.

Vestri: Hello, gentlemen.  We were just coming from the station.

Guard: That station is obviously closed. The entrance was collapsed!

Vestri: We didn’t know. We thought the collapse might be recent and we were doing you a favor.

Yuri: Yes, now you have access to the waterways.

Guard: Sabotage! Vandalism! You’ve exposed Templeton to hostile infiltration!

Yuri: Vestri, what are Dwarven legal statutes in this situation?

Vestri: We should let them take us to the baliff.

Yuri: I’m not resisting arrest!

Guard: This is easier than usual.

Yuri: Because we are not criminals.

Vestri: My friend is from a different land and doesn’t know our rules. I’m surprised to find that Templeton, home of the famous School of Mine, doesn’t approve of digging.

The two guards lead the Fellowship to City Hall, the deepest building in the city, built right in the center of the caldera. The guards lead them to an Orc woman, a little taller than Yuri, with green skin, wearing black leather armor and looking out of place behind a desk. She glares at the guards.

Beth: What’s this? Don’t waste my time

Vestri: Of course not. We’ll just go.

Guard: We found these strangers digging out the entrance to the old waterway station.

Yuri: We were trapped in the tunnels. It was traumatic.

Beth: You have suspiciously good knowledge of our city’s infrastructure.

Yuri Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 6-

Yuri is honest with Beth. He explains how they just fought the last Dragon to save th world from destruction, then got lost in the mines and came out here. The Fellowship has no designs for Templeton

Beth: A Dragon? You Found a Dragon and killed it? No way! Step outside for a moment, boys, I’ll get to the bottom of this.

Guard: Now, commander, remember the recent bulletin on authorized use of force!

Beth: FINE! I don’t want the Mayor in here again. What punishment is allowed?

Guard: We could hold them overnight, then community service: Maybe repairing the damage they caused.

Beth: OK, but they leave Templeton as soon as they are done.

Yuri: Thank you for your leniency.

The Dragonslayers, who could probably kill everyone in the room without breaking a sweat, allow themselves to be led to the holding cell. This is a college town, so there are always a few rowdy youths dumped here to cool off overnight. Tonight there are a few students who shaved their beards as part of a fraternity hazing ritual. They’re wearing scarves for modesty and because they are cold. The Fellowship doesn’t mind being in jail. It’s a calm place to rest for once.

Vestri: To be frank…

Yuri: Who is Frank?

Vestri: This reminds me of home. Back there I could always hear someone else’s voice as I drifted off to sleep.

Yuri: I’ve been to college twice. Undergrad. Medical school.

Vestri: Maybe we should go to sleep. Good night, Gurtin. Good luck with the beards, kids.

The next morning, the guards release the college students and escort the Fellowship to the entrance to the waterway station so they can repair the wall. Girtin and Vestri are in their element, Yuri assists as he can, and soon the wall is as good as new.

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

Vestri: We did our time and repaired what we broke, so we’re good, right? We plan to move on, but maybe we can make a stop on the way out of town.

Guard: As long as Beth doesn’t find out.

Vestri: We won’t waste Beth’s time.

The guards let them go instead of running them out of town immediately. The Fellowship goes to the city library to learn about the Oolite Mine. Yuri asks the librarian for assistance, because he can’t read Dwarven script.

Yuri Speak Softly 10+ ask three questions

  • Tell me about the Oolite Mine.
    • The library has records of shipments from the mine that abruptly stop 120 years ago, but just last month the Oolites came through Templeton, on their way to re-open the mine. Very exciting!
  • Tell me more about the Oolites.
    • The Oolite family were secretive about their mine. There are no public maps of the mine’s layout or tunnels. Then Oolites seems thrilled to recover the mine.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the Oolite Mine.
    •  Giant Dung Beetles live in the hills surrounding the mine. If you step wrong you may fall through a hole into their nests. The Oolites indicated that a great danger at the mine was no longer a problem.

Yuri thanks the librarian, and the fellowship leaves Templeton before Beth can notice them. They take the road west to a rest stop, before heading south overland.

A rest stop on the road from Fairmeadow to Templeton, protected by a magical campfire.

A magical campfire burns inside a large fire-pit at the center of the camp. Those lit by the campfire’s light cannot harm each other. Travelers keep the fire buring at all times by bring their own firewood and adding it to the campfire. The Fellowship looks around and spots a familiar face, Jane, who was falsely accused of theft in a previous adventure.

Jane: Thanks for clearing my name.

Yuri: Of course. What brings you here? Are you traveling alone?

Jane: I’m on my way to Templeton, because I hear those mining students are fit!

Jane flexes her skinny arms and grins.

Vestri: So you’re searching for a young man? Since we last met, we defeated a dragon!

Yuri: Do we help her find a beau? Or maybe food?

Jane: Dont worry about me. I’m great with people. Watch.

Jane walks over to a group of travelers and effortlessly adds herself to the group. Soon they are joking and laughing and sharing their supplies with her.

After a restful night of magically-enforced peace, the Fellowship leaves the road and travels south through rocky hills, carefully avoiding the Dung Beetles holes. As they come over a ridge, they see the Oolite Mine ahead, with miners scurries busily about. A closer look reveals a chocking fact: These Dwarven miners are made of metal!

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & deserters

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 found a no-longer-secret Library in a volcano, but the Ghost Librarian won’t let Buckle enter because he might set the books on fire.

Buckle: Do you have any fire-retardant equipment for patrons of a flame-like persuasion? I expect a fine establishment like this to be accessible.

Ghost Librarian: Ah, is that expected nowadays? The Library only recently opened its doors to visitors. I’m still getting used to it.

Stella: What about that suit?

Stella indicates the Goblin Power Suit displayed in a glass case in the library’s lobby.

Ghost LIbrarian: That’s a historical artifact! Snort Gorldfarb piloted that in his heroic defense of the library long ago, against a warlord intent on using the knowledge within for evil and conquest!

Buckle: So it’s a suit that protects knowledge?

Ghost Librarian: By keeping dangerous things out.

Buckle: Or in!

Ghost Librarian: Either way, it’s been shut down for over a hundred years. There’s no power

Power is no problem for Buckle, who wears the Medallion of Cleft Sky. He and Stella explain his plan to activate the Power Suit with the Medallion’s lightning power.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Sense, +hope, Stella’s aid) 7-9 owe a favor

The Ghost Librarian agrees to let him use the Power Suit this one time, but in return, he must acquire fire-retardant clothing for himself and other patrons of a flame-like pursuasion. The Ghost Librarian opens the display case.

Buckle: Maybe I shouldn’t activate it inside.

Ghost Librarian: Good idea. Better safe than sorry.

Ugg spends Bigger ‘n’ You

Ugg picks up the Power Suit in his big robot arms and carries it outside, onto the ceramic shell that covers the Hidden Library.

Buckle spends a charge from Medallion of Cleft Sky to activate the Power Suit

The Power Suit’s torso splits open, revealing a small seat inside. Luckily, Buckle is roughly the same size as Snort, the Goblin who built this Power Suit for himself. The old cloth covering the seat bursts into flame, and smoke curls out of the Power’s Suits vents, but it mostly works.

Goblin Power Suit: Only the creator can operate the battle suit smoothly. In the hands of anyone else, it is Clumsy, Slow, and Dangerous.

Buckle carefully gets used to the controls, moving each robot limb individually. Once he has the hang of it, he runs a few laps around the perimeter of the caldera.

Ghost Librarian: No running inside the library!

Buckle carefully and slowly walks inside.

Ghost Librarian: Perhaps it would be best for you to stay in the reading room. I can collect any books you require. What do you wish to learn?

Buckle Speeak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • Does the library have a basement?
    • The library was built on the volcano’s magma plug, so there’s nothing below it but solid stone. Well, the ceramic shell created by our defenders long ago completely surrounds the library, so that’s under the library as well.
  • What can you tell me about ghosts?
    • The library specializes in creatures of darkness. I will collect some books for you.
  • What can you tell us about a Source of Power nearby?
    • Knowledge is power. This library is the treasure under the mountain.

The Ghost Librarian floats away into crowded and messy stacks to pull some books. Buckle and Stella stay in the reading room.

Buckle: The Library itself is a Source of Power? How can I put the library in my pocket?

Stella: Why are you so interested in ghosts?

Buckle: On the river north of Vieport we were chased by hordes of hungry ghosts. The ghost running the library didn’t try to kill us, so she’s a different kind. Rook is a Remnant, which is yet another kind of ghost.

The other patron in the reading room, a Human man surrounded by tall stacks of books, turns around to scold them.

Brianiac: Please don’t disturb my studies!

GM note: The characters have met before. Brainiac wouldn’t recognize Buckle, who is now a flame monster, and I didn’t know if the character or the player would recognize this NPC that they met two years ago in real life. I gave the players a vague description and they found him in their notes!

Buckle and Stella whisper to each other.

Buckle: Do you recognize him? He seems familiar.

Stella: I feel like we chased him before.

Satisfied that they have lowered their volume, Brainiac returns to his studies. Stella sneaks up to see what he’s reading.

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

  • What is hidden or out of place
    • Brianiac is paranoid, and has a hidden trap ready for people who get too close for him.

Brianiac: Part of the Plan: When something goes wrong, the brainiac can damage this stat to make a Hard Cut immediately.

Some kind of energy field surrounds Stella and she’s unable to move!

GM note: I should have given Stella the cartoon standard “total paralysis” which allows characters to look around and speak. That’s more fun for the player than not being able to play until someone frees their character.

Brianiac: Spies! Backstabbers!

Buckle is startled. The commotion attracts the attention of the Ghost Librarian.

Buckle: What did you do to my friend?

Brianiac Too Clever For Their Own Good: The Brainiac will always pause to gloat and monologue when things go their way.

Brianiac: You simpletons! I’m used to fools like you trying to steal my brilliant research, but you’re not even good thieves! I can’t trust anyone. Even my former employer took advantage of my genius and took all the credit for systems that I built and operated! That’s why I’m independent now.

The Ghost Librarian floats into the reading area.

Ghost Librarian: Please be quiet, like the young lady, to avoid disturbing those around you.

There are no other patrons in the library besides Buckle, Brainiac, and Stella.

Buckle: I’m sorry, what’s your name?

Ghost Librarian: Uhh, Librarian?

Buckle: Librarian, tell him to release my friend!

Ghost Librarian: We do have a zero-tolerance policy for fighting in the library. I’ll have to ask you to leave.

Brianiac: I’ll return later when I can conduct my research in peace.

Brainiac gets up and pushes Stella towards the entrance. The energy field supports as well as binds her, so it’s like pushing something across ice. Buckle follows. When he reaches the historical display in the lobby, he gets out of Snort’s Power Suit and orders it to return to the display case

Buckle Overcome 6-

The Power Suit walks straight into the display case, not going around to the open door. The glass case shatters. The Ghost Librarian rises into the air, and a wind that no one else can feel whips her shroud around her. All the book carts in the library form a line and rush forward, pushing Buckle outside. The hole carved in the library’s ceramic shell has no door to close it, but the row of carts and the angry Ghost Librarian make it clear that the library is not open for visitors!

Buckle: Sorry. I’ll bring two sets of fire equipment!

Buckle turns angrily on Brainiac.

Brainiac: Not to worry. The energy field has a proximity component. It will wear off when I leave!

He hustles up the stairs, and soon the energy field around Stella disappears. She stands up and tests her limbs, moving each finger one at a time. When she’s good to go, the Fellowship climbs the stairs to the volcano’s rim.

Stella: Lesson learned. Don’t snoop around paranoid smart people.

Buckle: We meet lots of paranoid people.

Stella: Where can we find fire-proof suits?

Buckle: A blacksmith in Bogden should have some. We can ask for his supplier.

Stella: We’re not obligated to do it immediately, right?

Buckle: Yeah, let’s give Librarian some time. People just don’t like strangers.

They look around from their elevated position, and consult Buckle’s map. Sugar’s Crossing is to the southwest, but the Mighty River (where they left the Miranda) doesn’t connect to that river. There are high, forbidding mountains to the north. The Fellowship returns to the Miranda and heads upriver, towards the mountains. Eventually they reach rapids that the Miranda can’t navigate and tie the boat up at the river’s edge. A strange vehicle approaches, coming down the rapids.

The boat’s hull is completely above the water. Six stout posts, like three pairs of legs, raise and lower, moving back and forth on a frame to push the boat forward above the rapids.

Buckle: Do you think there are Spiders on that spider-boat?

Stella: Spiders have eight legs. How do you not know that? Silk has been here this whole time!

Buckle: Ah  I never counted.

It was originally a human boat, but after conversion to a walking boat it’s used by Halflings. The mechanism for the legs is mounted just above the gunwales, but Halflings are short enough to walk under it.  Stella recognizes this kind of ship from the Giant War, back in her homeland. They have a reputation for being unstoppable, and were used to transport critical supplies for the war effort.

The lookout on the ship’s prow hails them.

Seasit: You must be new here! Your boat won’t make it up the rapids.

Stella: Yes, that’s why we’re docked. I need help finding my brothers and sisters!

Halflings call each other “brother” and “sister” regardless of ancestry, so Seasit (also a Halfling) understands. He slides down from the look-out post to ask the captain. The boat halts, and stands firmly on all six legs. The Fellowship boards the boat and greets the captain.

Captain: I’m Ore Rockbottom.

Buckle: Or what?

Captain: Rockbottom. How can I help you, sister?

Stella: I bring important news. The Giant War is over! You can come home, if you like. If you are enjoying life on this continent, please continue.

The crew of the Stalwart Rockbottom does include some refugees, so a celebration is in order. It’s customary to provide a feast to Halflings that have done great deeds for the community, so Stella and her Halfling Companions (Gus, Rose, and Hamfast) go over to the Stalwart Rockbottom and start cooking. Gus takes charge of the galley because he’s a trained chef.

Stella spends Halfling Packed Lunch

Gus spends Snacks

Buckle acts as the bonfire on the deck, and the crew and the Fellowship gather around to eat the hearty stew that Gus prepared and to swap stories. Stella puts a corn-cob on the end of her sword and holds it out to Buckle. The heat from his fiery body makes the kernels pop!  The refugees among the crew don’t talk about what they did during the war. They’re actually deserters! Plenty of Halflings fled the war, which is fine, but these Halflings fled with critical military equipment! They ask why Stella was heading upriver.

Stella: I’m on a mission to tell everyone to come home. The war is over. They don’t have to prepare to fight anymore.

The refugees get really emotional at this, but don’t say why. Other members of the ship’s crew talk about their job. At the top of the rapids, between two waterfalls that fall from the Treacherous Mountains above, is an isolated village. They produce crafts from the local resources that can’t be found anywhere else, and they trade with the Stalwart Rockbottom for goods they can’t produce. The plush, pastel sweaters that many of the crew wear are from that village, knitted from the moss that grows by the waterfalls. The crew says that no Halflings live in that village, and not to try to take the Miranda over to rapids to reach it. Stella and Buckle think that’s suspicious. They’re trying to keep them away from the village! The celebration concludes, and the Stalwart Rockbottom moves on, but the Fellowship plans to reach that mysterious village!

NO END OF SESSION MOVE.

Chasing the Sunset & Technicalities

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/Knight

Last time, the Fellowship made a quick stop for fresh water during their long journey to the Forgotten Lands, only to stumble upon cursed pirates!

Dryden uses Edna’s Friendship Bracelet to open Infinite Windows. Edna steps through the portal, holding a Dragon’s head. She slams it down on the deck of the Luna Penumbra.

Edna: I just saved the world! I am invincible!

She regales the Fellowship with tales of her other friends, and how they saved the world from a doomsday weapon left by the Dragons as final revenge against the Vampires that ambushed them and wiped them out a century ago. The Fellowship are glad to have her and her companions back with them.

Lucia: Perhaps Ol’ Jardinier could break the curse.

Dryden: Yes, ever since I took this bucket, I’ve been having strange urges.

Edna grabs the bucket from Dryden and hurls it far into the forest.

Lucia: You defeated the Dragon, returned to us (which is great) and took the cursed bucket. Just to recap.

Edna: The what?

Edna took the bucket, so now she is cursed and Dryden is free. She and Lucia go into the jungle to find the bucket. Lucia’s exosuit cuts through the thorny vines, and Edna’s skin is too tough for the vines to cut.

Edna (+hope, Lucia’s assistance) Look Closely 10+

  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • They find the cursed bucket deep in the jungle. A Blighted Rat Swarm noticed its fall and are crowding around it.
  • Tell me about the Blighted Rat Swarm
    • They will attack anyone who gets close, which means anyone who tries to pick up the bucket
    • Blighted Rat Swarm: Hundreds of rats, all swarming and striking as one.
      • Ankle Biter: Anyone trying to Get Away from a rat must pay a price.
      • Corrosive Touch: Anything that touches a Blighted with their bare skin must pay a price.
      • Swarm: A swarm fills the space they are in. You cannot move into a swarm or Keep Them Busy without paying a price. A swarm can be pushed back or distracted by standard weapons and attacks, but they can only take damage from Burning, Dangerous, or Area attacks, or from attacks made by Groups, Gangs, Armies, or other Swarms.
  • What will happen if I smash the bucket?
    • It’s already broken from being flung such a distance, but is slowly pulling itself back together. The curse can’t be broken by destroying the cursed object.

Edna crashes through the vines and the rats to retrieve the cursed bucket.

Blighted Rat Swarm: A swarm fills the space they are in. You cannot move into a swarm or Keep Them Busy without paying a price.

Edna Pays a Price: lose 1 Precious item.

One of Edna’s bracelets snags on a branch and falls off. She reaches into the wriggling mass of rats to pick up the cursed bucket

Edna Overcome 10+

Wait, why is she enduring the annoyance of these tiny creatures? She just killed a Dragon. These Rats are nothing in comparison! She thrashes about, smashing branches and sending Rats flying and scurrying.

Blighted Rat Swarm: A swarm can be pushed back or distracted by standard weapons and attacks, but they can only take damage from Burning, Dangerous, or Area attacks.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: Your unarmed attacks are Dangerous

Edna Finish Them (+courage, force retreat) 10+ TAKEN OUT

The Rats flee and Edna and Lucia walk back to the clearing without interference. Dryden has been watchign the show from a distance and carefully touching nothing.  The entrance to the cave small enough that Enda has to liedown and slide feet-first into the cavern below. As she arrives, a Dwarf Skeleton digs its way out of the wall!

  • Jellylegs she/her Dwarf Skeleton
    • Just Bones: Skeletons do not take damage from anything that would slip right through them or is made to harm flesh. Most piercing weapons, ranged weapons, slashing weapons, and poison or fire-based attacks will have very little effect on a Skeleton.
    • Built Strong: When Jellylegs is damaged, she deals damage back.
    • Simple-Minded: Jellylegs loves one thing and one thing only, and
      she is easily distracted or persuaded by that one thing.

Jellylegs: New crewmember, eh?

Dryden: Molly abandoned ship and said she had the best job.

Jellylegs: If they were good jobs, they wouldn’t be curses.

Dryden: No-Eyed Jack doesn’t have his job anymore.

Jellylegs: Then they won’t make fun of me anymore. Nicknames stick, even though we’ve been here on land much longer than we were ever at sea.

Edna fills the bucket, scurries up the exit, dumps out the water, and slides back down. What a stupid, annoying curse!

Edna: Ol’ Jardinier, what do you advise?

Ol’ Jardinier: Clearly, give the bucket to someone else and leave.

Edna throws the bucket at Jellylegs. Falls to the ground and Jellylegs stares at Edna.

Jellylegs: You think we didn’t try that?

Jellylegs starts collapsing the tunnel she came out of, then starts excavating another tunnel. Averiela looks around for some clue to their dilemma.

Averiela Look Closely 10+

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • Water bubbles up through cracks in the stone floor. This cave is below the high tide line, so when the tide comes in, the chamber floods. The wall around the entrance is solid rock, but the toher side of the chamber is made of rock debris. That’s the side where Jellylegs emerged.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • The rock debris is all from Jellylegs’ tunneling. She must have dug and collapsed countless tunnels, over and over.
  • What will happen if I collapse the chamber?
    • The curse says that whoever holds the cursed bucket must keep the water out of the cave. If water can’t get in, the bucket will be powerless.

Dryden: We could bring down the ceiling!

Edna: What about sealing the cracks in the floor?

She wiggles up the entrance to dump out another bucketful of water. Dryden wants to know where Jellylegs has been. He reopens the tunnel she just collapsed with his two-handed Dwarven hammer. Jellylegs emerges from the tunnel she just started.

Jellylegs: No! You can’t!

She rushes Dryden!

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Averiela along

Dryden pulls Averiela into the niche that he just excavated, and Jellylegs misses them. She turns around and Dryden sticks out the handle of his hammer to trip her.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 7-9 but some time, but face retaliation

Dryden: Averiela, should we seal the floor, or open this tunnel?

Averiela: We should uncurse Edna!

She switches places with Dryden and harries Jellylegs with her titanium sword, deftly striking and dislocating smal bones: a phalange, a vertebra, a tarsal.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 10+ buy some time

Drdyen walks around the puddle of water on the floor of the cave, pondering. He kneels and tastes the water. He reaches behind his cloak and selects his underwater reaction trap. He puts his hand in the puddle and feels for where the water enters the chamber. He slams a vial down breaking it, and dives away. Three seconds later, water is flung into the air as the vial’s contents rapidly expand to fills the cracks in the floor.

Dryden Explosive Trap: block or open an entrance

Edna comes back down into the cave and tries to strike Jellylegs while her back is turned.

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

The curse stops her mighty fist just before it reaches Jellylegs! She must be loyal to the crew!

Jellylegs: Do you think we didn’t try that?

Dryden: How long have you been stuck here?

Jellylegs: I’ve hidden and rehidden the path 1233 times.

Lucia: How many tunnels can you dig per day?

Jellylegs: Hold on, let me deal with this Elf.

Jellylegs swings at Averiela, but Averiela blows a handful of powder into her face.

Averiela Elder Art Stardust: a magic powder that puts its target into a light sleep

Jellylegs looks very surprised, locks up, and falls over. Edna catches her, scoops up some more water and pushes Jellylegs and the bucket up to the surface. Jellylegs wakes up as she is manhandled (Ogrehandled?) but Edna’s body completely blocks the tunnel. She can’t get back down. Edna mocks her and swats away her ineffective blows.

Edna Wobbles: You cannot be harmed by most physical weaponry, only delayed and distracted.

Averiela Elder Arts: Sense Magic

Averiela senses magic through the wall of the cavern, and indicates the direction to the Fellowship. It’s not the direction that Jellylegs was digging. Her job is to keep the entrance hidden, and going straight for it isn’t very sneaky. Dryden digs in the direction Averiela indicates. He pockets a handful of rubble for future teleportation purposes.

Dryden Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Dryden damages Blood

Eventually, Dryden emerges into another underground chamber. In the center is a huge treasure chest, twice the size of a couch, wrapped in chains and padlocks. Lucia hesistates before going through Dryden’s makeshift tunnel.

Lucia Detect Evil: nothing evil in this chamber

Dryden wants to get into the treasure chest, but how will he unlock the padlocks? The friendly worms? Flash-freeze vial? No, the right tool for this job is the humble skeleton key! Averiela and Lucia laugh.

Dryden Curious Curios are useful

Dryden unlocks the padlocks, throws off the chains, and lifts the lid.  The chest is empty!

Lucia: A decoy!

Dryden drops some rubble into the chest. Nothing unusual happens. No teleportation. No traps.

Averiela Look Closely (+hope, Lucia’s aid) 7-9 ask 3 questions, find out 1 the hard way

  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Nothing. The chest is a normal, non-magical chest. There are no traps or secret compartments.
  • Tell me about the chest.
    • The chest is involved in the curse, but it’s not a cursed object like the bucket. They will not be cursed if they handle the chest.
  • Tell us about the chamber.
    • It’s a great place to hide treasure. It’s above the high tide line ,and hard to access, especially with Jellylegs repeatedly destroying the access tunnels. All that rubble from Jellylegs’ tunneling is unstable. Dryden’s tunnel collapses, trapping Ol’ Jardinier under rubble!

Lucia: This chest is so mysterious! Why curse the crew to guard nothing?

Ol’ Jardinier: *gasp* We have more pressing problems.

Averiela Overcome (+hope, Lucia’s aid) 10+

Averiela crawls into the rubble, carefully moving only non-load-bearing stones. Once she grabs Ol’ Jardinier, Lucia grabs her feets and pulls them both out.

Edna Cursed Bucket: If a scene ends and you haven’t tried to keep the cave dry for the whole scene, take damage.

Edna damages a stat

Edna’s been fooling around for too long. She scoots backwards down the tunnel and starts scooping up water again. Jellylegs follows and goes back to work, digging a new tunnel.

Back in the secret chamber, Lucia explains what they learned to Ol’ Jardinier. He laughs.

Ol’ Jardinier: Ha ha! The treasure was removed from the chest long ago.

Lucia: Should we destroy the chest? We could set it on fire, but it will repari itself, like Edna’s bucket. It’s difficult to move, but what if we take it away?

Dryden: We could shove it through infinite Windows. We could send it to the Treacherous Mountains, Vieport, Samantha’s Swamp (no, I lost that token) The Moon…

Averiela: If that doesn’t break the curse, would Edna have to leave us?

Dryden: Let’s send it to the beach.

Lucia Open Infinite Windows (+hope, Dryden’s aid): 10+ stable portal, expected destination

A portal opens to the beach on the surface. The Luna Penumbra is visible, hovering over hte lagoon. Dryden shoves the chest through, and throws the padlocks and chains after, just to be sure.

Just then, Jellylegs tunnels in.

Jellylegs: The treasure! It’s gone!

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & Vieraugen

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

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

Last time, the Fellowship explored a Remnant dungeon and found four items that should unlock the purpose of the dungeon, and the source of Yuri’s apocalyptic visions.

The Fellowship approaches the only door they haven’t yet been able to unlock. They aren’t sure what they will face, but are sure it will be their greatest challenge so far.

GM note: I thought there was a good chance that everyone would be Taken Out and encouraged the players to think about what that means for their characters. I also had to consider what would happen if the Doomsday machine actually went off. Actually destroying the world was not allowed because that would end the game for all three parties. Instead I imagined disasters disrupting nearby Locations. I was pretty excited to reshape the world!

Yuri: I’m willing to jump into a dragon’s mouth and die!

Vestri: I’m OK with dying … after saving the world.

Edna: I want to live!

Ol’ Jardiner: Should be a good time either way. I kinda want to see Yuri’s apocalypse.

Edna tears open some cans with her fingernails and pours the food into her mouth like Popeye.

Edna spends 1 food to heal 1 stat

Edna is holding the water orb and the ring of air. Yuri has the Toggluminator, the fiery sword, and the stone amulet. They open the the doors and see…

A two-storey chamber with a huge hourglass in the center. It’s actually a century-glass, and the sand has almost run out. Wrapped around the century-glass is a dragon, rousing itself from slumber. The Doomsday Device must be powered by Dragonfire, breathed into the left and right holes on the far wall. Dragons are proud and cruel, so they give their enemies a chance to de-activate the Doomsday Device, so they will feel worse when the Dragons inevitably triumph (because Dragons always win).  The failsafe for the Doomsday Device hides behind a poisoned waterfall in the center of the far wall.

Vieraugen, the dragon sleeping in the chamber, hears the door open and sees the Fellowship enter.

Vieraugen: Our final stronghold has been breached!

  • Vieraugen, Dragon, he/him
    • Weak Point: The boss cannot be damaged normally. It has a weak point, and only by striking this weak point can damage be done. You can only attempt to Finish Them with Blood or Sense, and on a 10+, you damage this stat instead of killing or defeating them. You cannot Strike From Advantage or damage any of their other stats while this stat is active. Once this stat is damaged, you can damage them normally.
    • Use The Key: The boss is unbelievably powerful, and nothing will give you an Advantage over it… with one exception. When you use the key to Overcome its attacks or Keep Them Busy, the boss becomes temporarily vulnerable. The player using the key cannot also attempt to Finish Them – you need teamwork to get through its armor. Once this stat is damaged, the evil is weakened, and you no longer require the key to gain Advantage over them.
    • Triple Threat: The boss is Giant. Their attacks can target up to three of
      the fellowship at once, and their Cuts apply to all of them equally.
    • Dragonfire: The dragon is Melee, Burning, and Ranged. When the dragon attacks, it may choose to deal damage to everyone in front of it instead of picking a target.
    • Wings and Claws: The dragon can fly, and its attacks are Piercing.
    • Unbreakable Scales: This stat must be damaged twice. When the dragon would be destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Vieraugen breathes fire on the entrance! Yuri leaps to the balcony!

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Overcome (+despair, damaged Grace) 10+ avoid harm

Vestri hunkers down to withstand the flames. His armor takes most of the damage, and the intense heat distorts and partially melts it.

Vestri Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Edna drops her snacks and takes a defensive posture.

Edna Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Edna: Activate the machine!

Ol’ Jardiner takes the Hoop of Air from Edna. She drops the Water Orb, and leaps into the fray. Vestri picks it up.

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna God Of War: You can Keep Them Busy no matter who they are or how bad your position is.

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

Edna jumps directly into Vieraugen’s head, wraps her arms around his jaws, and starts wrestling the giant reptile like she’s the Crocodile Hunter

GM note: Use The Key means that Edna isn’t giving her teammates an Advantage over Vieraugen, but she is preventing him from taking other actions

Yuri jumps down from the balcony, right in front of Vieraugen’s face, and anti-shines the Toggluminator at him, blinding his four eyes.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Vieraugen Use The Key: Only the Toggluminator can create an Advantage over Vieraugen

Yuri Keep Them Busy 10+

Finally, a foe that Edna respects. She usually fights bare-handed and sends her foes running, but for this mighty foe, she’ll use a weapon and fight to kill!  Edna takes her metal-shod walking stick and swings it like a bat into the back of Vieraugen’s head!

Edna Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 10+ TAKEN OUT

Vieraugen damages Weak Point

Vieraugen rears in pain, throwing Edna and Yuri off, and slashes at everyone with his claws.

Vieraugen Triple Threat: The boss is Giant. Their attacks can target up to three of the fellowship at once, and their Cuts apply to all of them equally.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri blocks with his magic sword!

Vestri Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Vestri ducks under Vieraugen and runs across the room to the waterfall.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna grabs Vieraugen’s huge clawed hand, turns and throws Vieraugen!

Edna Toss Aside 6- they go were they please + crash into someone, damaging them

Vieraugen is shocked to feel himself start to move against his will, but one flap of his mighty wings arrests his motion and he falls straight down onto Yuri.

Yuri spends Armor

Yuri’s pinned under Vieraugen’s bulk, but has a hand free to anti-shine the Toggluminator in Vieraugen’s eyes again.

Yuri Keep Them Busy: 10+

Vieraugen Use The Key: Only the Toggluminator can create an Advantage over Vieraugen

Edna: Sorry, Yuri! I’ll make it up to you!

Edna comes in with another mighty swing of her walking stick.

Edna Finish Them (+blood, kill) 7-9 damage

Vieraugen Unbreakable Scales: This stat must be damaged twice. When the dragon would be destroyed, damage this stat instead.

At the far wall, Vestri trips and the Water Orb rolls into the waterfall. The poison water is cleansed. Now he can see, through the clear water, a slot that will fit the Stone Amulet. He runs back towards Yuri to get the amulet. Vieraugen sees that his enemies are working on the failsafe and moves to defend it. Vestri gets in his face, a tiny figure facing down an enormous monster.

Vestri Keep Them Busy: 7-9

GM note: Again, Use The Key prevents Vestri from giving his teammates an Advantage over Vieraugen.

Ol’ Jardiner tries to use the Hoop of Air on the failsafe device, but can’t get it to work.

Yuri: Double team again?

Edna: Teamwork!

Yuri deploys the Toggluminator again, and Edna swings again.

Yuri Keep Them Busy: 10+

Vieraugen Use The Key: Only the Toggluminator can create an Advantage over Vieraugen

Edna Finish Them (+blood, kill) 7-9 damage

Vieraugen Unbreakable Scales: This stat must be damaged twice. When the dragon would be destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Vieraugen slashes again with his claws, threatening all three heroes.

Vieraugen Triple Threat: The boss is Giant. Their attacks can target up to three of the fellowship at once, and their Cuts apply to all of them equally.

Yuri blocks with his magic sword!

Yuri Overcome 10+

Vestri could duck behind Edna for protection, but defends himself instead of hiding.

Vestri Overcome 6-

Vestri damages Courage

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna grabs Vieraugen’s huge clawed hand and swings him around into the centry-glass.

Edna Toss Aside 10+ they go where you want, smashing into something and taking damage

Vieraugen damages Triple Threat

Sand and glass go everywhere! Yuri rushes over to the failsafe device and inserts the Metal Amulet. The device whirs and folds out, past the waterfall. Vieraugen rears back to unleash a deadly gout of flame on Yuri and Ol’ Jardiner.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Ol’ Jardiner along

Yuri grabs Ol’ Jardiner and leaps to put Edna between them and Vieraugen. Ol’ Jardiner drops the Hoop of Air as he’s yanked away. Vieraugen’s flame breath scorches where they stood a moment ago, but hits nothing. Vestri picks up the Hoop of Air and tries to use it on the failsafe.

Vieraugen breathes fire again.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna You Have My Shield: When you Overcome the harm an ally would suffer and roll a 7+, you can redirect the harm instead of stopping it.

Edna comes in with a wild haymaker to Vieraugen’s jaw, snapping his head to the right, so instead of burning Vestri, Vieraugen’s flame goes into the right side of the Doomsday Device! It’s halfway to activation! If Vieraugen can activate the other side, the fight (and maybe the whole world!) is over!

Vestri puts the Hoop of Air on the failsafe, and the gyroscopic effect of the air spinning rapidly within twists the mechanism, revealing a glowing red power conduit. Yuri leaps at the conduit with his magic sword, but Vieraugen tries to fly to intercept him!

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna grabs a wing, holding Vieraugen back for a moment. Yuri cuts the red conduit and the Doomsday Device falls silent. Vieraugen can no longer destroy the world. He’ll have to settle for destroying the Fellowship.

Vieraugen: Alas! The Moon failed. Our last device failed! The Vampires have truly defeated us!

Vestri: We’re not vampires.

Yuri: We have a common enemy.

GM note: Vieraugen really should have tried this first. Hubris is a great explanation for non-optimal choices.

Vieraugen hits a switch and mirrors on the ceiling reflect sunlight into the chamber.

Yuri: I’m glad we can see better.

Vestri: I forget that you can’t see in the dark.

Vieraugen: Thralls! Nevertheless, you will be destroyed!

Yuri I Need To Know:  You can Speak Softly even when you do not have time or safety. Enemies you Speak Softly with will answer your questions even if they would not talk to anyone else, and even in the middle of a fight.

Yuri Speak Softly 7-9: 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer

Yuri: What do you want?

Vieraugen: I must destroy Vampires, my sworn enemies!

Yuri: I can help. I know where one lives. We have connections.

Vieraugen is still processing the final loss of his civilization and the personal defeat he just suffered, so he’s not really listening. He breathes fire on the Fellowship, who have gathered by the failsafe.

Vestri Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Vestri ducks behind the waterfall, using the water as a shield.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna You Have My Shield: When you Overcome the harm an ally would suffer and roll a 7+, you can redirect the harm instead of stopping it.

Edna uppercuts Vieraugen so his flame blast goes high, destroying the mechanism at the top of the chamber that pumps the waterfall into the room.

Yuri blinds Vieraugen with the Toggluminator again.

Yuri Keep Them Busy 10+

Edna picks up her walking stick and swings one last time at the back of Vieraugen’s head.

Edna Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 10+ TAKEN OUT

The mighty Dragon falls, and does not move. They’ve done it. The Fellowship has killed a Dragon!

GM note: Vieraugen has so many layers of defenses that we had to stop and carefully go through his stats. We could hardly believe it, but Weak Point was damaged, and Unbreakable Scales was damaged twice, so a 10+ would kill. Yuri had more questions left from his Keep Them Busy roll, but the fight didn’t pause for him to speak, and it ended before he could ask the remaining questions.

Yuri: He did it to himself, trying to destroy the world.

Edna: No, I did it. With this.

Edna holds her walking stick high in triumph. She found a worthy foe, the strongest and most terrifying foe she’s ever seen, and it is dead. She feels invincible! Vestri is in awe of his powerful friends. After a short time, his adrenaline wears off and he starts shaking. Edna takes Vieraugen’s head as a trophy, and Yuri collects some scales. Vestri assumes that Yuri wants to make some armor. Yuri doesn’t admit that he really wants to give the scales as a gift to impress Lucy.

The Fellowship is no longer threatened by a Dragon or a world-shattering explosion, but they are stuck in a hidden fortress whose only dorr is hudrends of feet up a sheer cliff face. They need to find a way out before the end up like the Kobolds in the Infinite Spiral.  The sunlight that Vieraugen brought into the chamber had to come from outside. Yuri leaps up and finds some tunnels with a series of mirrors that lead outside.

Yuri & Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Toss Aside: an ally can ride on top of you if you let them.

With some careful leaps and a few trips, the whole Fellowship (including Viktor the butler and Steven the housecat, who had the good sense not to join the battle) find themselves outside, on top of a plateau.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: YES, the Remnant Dungeon
  • Did anyone find what they were looking for: YES, Yuri prevented the disaster in his visions, and Edna found a foe worth fighting at full strength.
  • Did we learn something new about the world and its peoples: YES The Moon was a Dragon weapon against Vampires. Cargo cult of Kobolds. What the Remnants did before they were Remnants.

3 boons: gear, heal, Level up Yuri & Vestri

Chasing the Sunset & Misdirection

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, Stella was pulled into interdimensional shenanigans by a mad scientist Lantern piloting a scarecrow. Buckle and the rest of the world were insulated from the effects by another Lantern named Mira.

Mira offers Stella a gift for helping contain the dimensional portals.  She offers the location of a secret library, a sword made of light, and a Wire Port.  Stella chooses the Wire Port and adds it to her Gear.

  • Wire port. With the press of a button, this grappling wire teleports the wielder to whatever the end of the wire is attached to, instantly moving them along the wire’s length (2 Uses).

GM note: The players had to remind themselves what they were doing before the bottle episode. One player has been keeping a map of their travels, and used that to chart their course. In general, I don’t keep secrets from the players, but in an exploration game, not knowing what’s over the next hill is part of the fun, so I don’t give them access to my map.

The Fellowship just fled Port Fennrick are are sailing up the Mighty River on the Miranda, their racing yacht. Long ago, they heard some great power was hidden under one of two volcanoes, and they were only able to explore one. They’re going back to explore the other.  They see two volcanoes to the south of the river, roughly across from the tributary that leads north to Bogden.  The peak to the east is smoking. The peak to the west is not.  The smoking peak conceals Swallet, a goblin city where Buckle met Ugg in a Fight Club. The Fellowship left hasily during a police raid on the facility. Buckle specifically remembers throwing food at cops.

Stella: I don’t want to go back there.

The Fellowship disembarks and walks inland. On the plain in between the two volcanoes, four Goblins are planting sod around a patch of disturbed earth. Buckle sends Ugg to investigate, since he’s a former resident and can blend in. He approaches and starts helping to move heavy rolls of sod with his robot arms, acting like he’s part of the work crew. He strikes up a conversation with one of the workers.

  • Gaubeau Goblin she/her. She wears an eye patch on her left eye, with a small periscope that goes across her nose so her right eye can see from her left eye’s position.

GM note: we thought it appropriate to roll this move with Buckle’s stats, even though his Companion is the one doing the action diagetically.

Buckle Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What can they tell us about this project?
    • “Now that Swallet is back in Goblin hands, we’re correcting the mistakes of the previous administration and returning to secrecy.”
  • What can they tell us about the previous administration?
    • “Ugg! It’s me, Gaubeau. We were in Fight Club together, but I had both eyes back then. When the cops raided Fight Club, Fafnir fought them all the way back to City Hall and took over. She had us install a ramp to the surface and big sign so that she could attract worthy opponents to fight.  After the second battle of Fight Club, Nub-Nub regained control of the city and she’s taking it back to its orginal purpose: to avoid notice by outsiders.”
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Nub-Nub?
    • “Any visitors to this area can go to the library. There’s a library in the other mountain. All this time and we never knew it was there.” There’s a saying among Goblins, “The invention I can’t complete”, which means something that a person just can’t do, no matter how hard they try. “The invention Nub-Nub will never complete is a machine to make her tolerate adventurers!”

Ugg stays to finish laying the sod. Gaubeau invites him to visit her, since he’s back in the area. Nub-Nub returns to the Fellowship, who stayed hidden a distance away, and recounts what he learned.

Ugg: Y’all aren’t welcome. You know how they are.

Buckle: The library in the volcano PEAKED your interest, eh?

Stella: Let’s go to the library!

Buckle: Yeah, I like books.

Stella worries about the ever-burning Buckle destroying precious tomes by touching them. The Fellowship heads up the western peak. There’s a faint trail leading up. Further up the mountain, there’s a rocky area where they need to scramble. There’s a Dwarf cutting steps into the rocks to make the trail easier. Stella compliments his craftsmanship.

  • Lofar Dwarf he/him

Stella: I haven’t seen stairs like these in 28 moon-cycles!

Buckle: Does the Moon have cycles?

Lofar: Don’t have much use for the Moon, but I can look it up in the library. I hoped to find treasure under this mountain, but I found knowledge. It changed my life.  Go right ahead! The library is at the top.

Buckle: Let’s go. Every time we stop to talk, someone tries to steal from us.

The Fellowship climbs to the top of the volcano. Two staircases spiral down the caldera to a smooth dome of ceramic at the bottom. One of the staircases has been repaired. The staircases are mostly carved out of the volcano, but the repaired steps are stone from elsewhere.  The Fellowship descends and finds a large entryway in the cermaic shell.

Stella: Stay out here. I’m not sure how much room there is inside.

Buckle agrees, although he doesn’t see much reason to fear his burning heat. It’s not doing anything to the ceramic he’s walking on.

Stella enters the ceramic dome through a large, square opening. Immediately inside are two display cases. One contains a Goblin Power Suit. The other contains four horseshoes. The Librarian approaches and greets Stella. The Librarian is a ghost: a sheet with two holes for eyes and glasses hovering in front of those holes. This is a different kind of undeath from the Remnant, and from the hungry dead in the Deathlands outside Vieport. Truly, this world has many ways to not completely die. Past the display cases are shelves full of books, and desks and chairs for reading. There are two other patrons: a Human man facing away, his desk piled high with books; and a Platyperson with a lot of gear. Stella recognizes him, but takes a moment to remember where. It’s Perry Ogre-Bane, whom they met when they stopped to repair the Miranda on that small island.

  • Perry Ogre-Bane Platyperson he/him. A cautious and highly skilled bounty hunter. They never move in unprepared.
    • Weakness Exploit: The hunter knows the weaknesses of their prey, and brings appropriate weapons and armor. Their weapons can damage anyone in the fellowship through any defenses they have, ignoring them entirely.
    • Tailored Resistance: The hunter has Protection. For each player in the fellowship, they choose one Move or Gear option to be immune to. That Move always fails against them, and that Gear doesn’t do anything to them. The hunter chooses their resistances at the start of each scene they appear in.
    • Equipment Reliant: The hunter is nothing without their tools. Their strength and speed are unremarkable, and they rely and gear to keep up. The hunter is in Despair if they are ever without their equipment.

Perry is engrossed in studying a map, and has a few books spread out on the table. Stella tries to make a cool entrance by pointing our Evelynn’s estate.

Stella: Hey, it’s not there! How old is this map?

Perry looks up, startled, and stares at Stella for a moment.

Perry: You! With the boat. You fought the Half-Ogre.

The Librarian shooshes him. He continues in a low voice.

Perry: It’s at least 150 years old.

Stella Speak Softly 7-9 Ask 3 questions. 1 unhelpful answer

  • What is Perry doing? What will he do next?
    • Perry has a new quarry that promises sizable rewards. He’s researching Dragons.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Perry?
    • Perry’s a professional. He’s polite and avoids burning bridges, but he’s ultimately after glory and money. He’ll kill you if he has a reason.
  • What can you tell me about the hunt?
    • There are reports of Dragon attacks out west. He’s checking old maps because Dragons have been gone for 100 years. He hopes to find how they used to move. He has not moved on to the stage of gathering equipment to counter Dragons specifically.

Stella’s not happy. Surely Perry is hunting Fafnir, a former member of the Fellowship! Fortunately he’s still doing research and isn’t close to attacking her.  Attacks out west? There are vampires out west. They hate Dragons for creating the Moon, right? Stella keeps a calm exterior, but is panicking internally.

Stella: Wow, what a cool adventure. Mind if I tell my team? They’d be impressed.

Perry: Are you going after it yourself? You’ve already taken one trophy from me.

Stella: I’m not interested in money.

Perry: You’ll understand if I don’t share my research with you.

Stella gets the hint that she should leave, and returns to Buckle at the entrance of the library.

Buckle: Well,what kind of books are in there?

Stella: More important than books. Fafnir! Perry is in there researching how to hunt Dragons!

Buckle has emotions! He hatched Fafnir from an egg! She’s out there alone. Can she fend for herself? Buckle starts to march into the library to talk to Perry.

Stella: No, you might put her in danger! He doesn’t know who she is, but we do.

Buckle: So should be do nothing?

Stella: We’re going to try to stop him. Maybe he needs travel companions. It’s a long journey out west, and Dragons are dangerous.

Buckle: Fafnir’s not that dangerous.

Stella gestures towards Swallet.

Buckle: Maybe she can take care of herself. Maybe she doesn’t need me!

Buckle sadly plops down and sits on his flat tail.

Stella: She needs you in this moment more than ever! Do you think you can talk him down?

Buckle: He seemed reasonable.

Stella: He’d stab you in the back for money.

Buckle: We can sort this out, Platyperson to Platyperson.

Buckle walks into the library and the Librarian stops him. His burnign presence is an unacceptable risk to the collection. She agrees to page Perry. Everyone hears a ghostly whisper right in their ears.

Librarian: Perry Ogre-Bane, please meet your party at the front entrance.

The Human with the piles of books almost jumps out of his chair at the sound. Perry is also uncomfortable, but comes to meet Buckle at the entrance.

Perry: I remember you. What’s the deal?

Buckle: Perry, I hear you’re hunting a Dragon. She’s my daughter, Fafnir, and Platyperson to Platyperson, I must ask you to stop.

Perry: Ah, it’s name is Fafnir–your daughter?

GM note: Platypeople incubate eggs, and Dragons hatch from eggs, so Buckle’s claim isn’t as outlandish as a Human claiming to have a Dragon daughter, but it’s still really weird! Dragons are extinct, after all.

Perry feigns concern to try to get Buckle to overshare and reveal some weakness he can use against Fafnir. Buckle senses the danger.

Buckle Overcome 10+

He doesn’t overshare, and even get Perry to reveal some information. Buckle says that he hatched Fafnir from an egg and took her on the Fairy Ferry because she wanted to ride it. Fafnir is very important to Buckle. She’s his responsibility!

Buckle Speak Softly 10+

  • What can Perry tell us about Dragons?
    • Dragons were powerful enough to rule the world. They can fly and breathe fire, and are generally great physical specimens. They are so rare that most people think they are extinct.
  • What does Perry want, and how can we help him get it?
    • Perry wants to test his skills and be recognized for them. If the Fellowship wants to help with those goals, two obvious roles are heralds and opponents.
  • What is Perry doing? What will he do next?
    • After he learns about Dragon’s weaknesses, he will go west and meet the Count who issued the bounty. Perry produces a wanted poster with Fafnir’s name and a vague silhouette of a winged reptile.

Buckle: My baby is wanted by the law?!

Buckle forgets that he’s also wanted by the law.

Buckle: I’m certainly not telling people how awseome you are if you kill my daughter!

Stella: He’ll tarnish your name!

Buckle: I’ll tarnish more than that!

Perry doesn’t want to deal with this anymore and tries to walk away. Buckle keeps engaging him in conversation.

Buckle Keep Them Busy 6-

Buckle: You could hunt other targets. There are Dinosaurs! A Spider with a laser cannon! Werewolves in Bogden!

Perry reaches into one of his many pouches and pulls out a case containing a number of Werewolf teeth. He walks past Buckle, but Stella is leaning on the edge of the entrance to the library.

Stella Talk Nonsense: Talk Sense by telling grandiose lies with a straight face 10+

Stella: I guess you’re not interested in Cerberus. Surely you’ve heard of the one and only Cerberus?

Stella Talk Nonsense: On a 10+ you may Sting Like A Bee

Stella Sting Like A Bee: You can only Sting Like A Bee against those who are
larger than you.

GM note: Stella and Perry are the same size, so she can’t Sring Like A Bee.

Dragons are rare, but a completely unique monster is too good for Perry to pass up.

Perry: I’ll tell the Librarian that I’m done with my research and we’ll get underway immediately.

When Perry goes inside, Buckle leans in to Stella:

Buckle: What Cerberus?

Stella: It’s a big dog with three heads

Buckle imagines Wallace, the magenta pomeranian he met in Port Fennrick.

Perry returns, ready to set out a journey.

Stella: You’re under the imporession I’m going with you. I have a mandate to find Halfings in this continent. Deviating from my mission with have severe consequences. I’ll pay you great riches to hunt this creature for me.

Perry: Half up front is standard.

Stella: I’m not carrying that much cash on me, but I can give you collateral.

Stella offers King’s Blades, a pair of oversized swords once wielded by a fierce Half-Ogre.

Perry: I won’t fake accomplishments and accept trophies from a battle I didn’t fight. I can go get cash from your stronghold.

Stella: I’ll mark it on your map. Take the river east to the sea, then head north along the coast. When you reach Castellum, ask how to find the dinosaurs. They’re my friends, and will show you my stronghold hidden in the jungle.

Perry produces a scroll with a template contract for hunting. He fills in a large sum for the reward, and Stella signs it.

Stella: Remember, tell Castellum that you’re with the dinosaurs.

Perry sets off, hoping for glory and a big payday, unaware that Castellum hates dinosaurs, and anyone friendly to them.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: YES, the pocket dimension
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking? YES, Buckle is protecting his loved ones (Fafnir)
  • Did we discover something new about the world or its people? NO

Two boons: healing, gear

Chasing the Sunset & Four Elements

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

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

Last time, the Fellowship explored a Remnant Dungeon related to Yuri’s magical sword, and found an item that will allow them to unlock more doors.

Yuri picks up the light left behind when the Abyssal beast exploded and wonders what to call it. It’s clearly a lantern, but Lanterns are a species of people in this world. Reverse Lantern? No, it emits as well as absorbs it. Polarity Lamp? Toggluminator? Yes, Toggluminator! The Fellowship returns to the bar and the surviving Remnants shrink from the Toggluminator. Shadows aren’t affected by normal weapons, but the Toggluminator can make them vulnerable. Also, the bright flash of the Abyssal Beast’s death just killed half the Remnants in the room. Yuri reads the room and puts the Toggluminator in his bag.

Remnants: We already died once. We won’t do it again!

Yuri: No need to fear. I mean you no harm. Feel free to leave.

The Remnants slink away into the trapped room to the east. Yuri uses the Toggluminator to unlock the door to the west, behind the bar.

  • A monster is defending something here. What are they protecting? A magical amulet that reacts to Yuri’s sword. It’s important to the quest.

The door opens to a storeroom shaped like a spiral. It has the small footprint of a multi-storey storage room, but heavy packages can be pushed up or down the sloped floor to any point in the room, no hoists or elevators required. The ceiling is 15 feet high, generous for the Human-sized Remnants, but just a bit to small for Edna. More urgently, a hundred Kobold Pokers have arrayed themselves against the door several ranks deep. It’s like they knew someone was coming! Behind them is a Kobold wearing a fancy amulet. He’s obviously in charge, and the amulet reacts to Yuri’s sword.

  • Gang of Kobold Pokers: These Kobold warriors hide behind shields and poke their enemies with a well-used spear.
    • Gang: This enemy can act against everyone at once. When this enemy is destroyed, this stat is damaged, or this is their only stat left, replace the Gang with two Groups of this enemy. This stat can only be damaged by Area, Dangerous, or Giant attacks.
    • Use the Pointy Bit: The Poker’s attacks are Piercing.
    • Big Shield: When an ally would be damaged while the Poker is near them, damage this stat instead.
  • Kobold Lord: he/him This kobold wears the amulet, making them the boss.
    • Amulet: Whoever has the Kobold Lord’s amulet is the current Kobold Lord. All kobolds obey the Kobold Lord so long as he wears the amulet. If this stat is damaged, the Kobold Lord loses the amulet and becomes a different type of  kobold. If another kobold picks up the hat, replace their stats with these ones.
    • Scamper Away: When the Kobold Lord becomes damaged, he runs away.

Yuri: Always enjoy a welcome party. I am owner of amulet. Ca nwe trade for it? I promise to return it when we’re done.

Vestri: Do you intend to keep that promise?

Yuri: Da, why not?

Kobold Lord: This intruder intends to overthrow our eternal society!

The Kobolds have been locked in the storage room for a very long time, and it’s all that they remember. As far as they know, they have always lived like this.

Yuri: No, no need to overthrow. It’s just that my sword reacts to your amulet.

Kobold Lord: You’ve got it backwards. The sword reacts to the amulet, so the sword must belong to us!

Yuri: Hmmm, convincing. What is use of amulet?

Kobold Lord: It’s my badge of office. Proof of my right to rule! What could be more useful that that which binds our eternal society?

Yuri: Provisions. We can reach the top shelves for you, or release you from this room.

A murmur runs through the ranks of the Kobold. They’re short, and don’t have ladders to reach the top shelves, so those shelves have remained full and untouched.

Kobolds: The top shelves? Their contents are legendary! Philosophers have long debated what is in those untouchable cans. Leave the spiral? Is there even anything outside? Those strangers must have come from somewhere.

Vestri: You’re going to run out of food eventually.

Kobold Lord: We’ve had food for all of history.

Vestri: How long is that?

Kobold Lord: The spiral is eternal!

Vestri: I’m from a world outside your spiral, and Yuri here is literally from another world besides that one.

Shocking revelations! One bold Kobold breaks ranks and approaches the Fellowship.

  • Tin-Tin III: Kobold he/him

Tin-Tin III: I want to go outside!

Kobold Lord: Seize that traitor!

The ranks of Kobold Pokers advance on Tin-Tin III. Edna reaches down and picks him up, far out of the reach of their tiny spears.

Edna Overcome 10+

Kobold Slingers emerge from thier hiding places in the shelves and fire a hail of tiny pellets at Edna.

  • Group of Kobold Slingers: These kobolds are well-practiced with their powerful slingshots, firing rocks at their enemies from afar and then running away immediately.
    • Group: This enemy can act against two people at once. When this enemy is destroyed, this stat is damaged, or this is their only stat left, replace the Group
      with two normal enemies.
    • Rock to the Head: When they fire at an enemy who does not know they are there, the Slingers can damage this stat to deal damage as a Hard Cut.
    • Scamper Away: When the Slingers becomes damaged, they run away.

Group of Kobold Slingers Rock to the Head + Group: Damage Edna & Tin-Tin III

Edna Wobbles: Normal Weapons can’t hurt you

Edna Protect The Little Ones: When an ally within your reach would Overcome incoming harm, they may choose to have you take that harm instead of rolling.

Edna puts her other hand over Tin-Tin to protect him, and flinches from the bullets like one might flinch walking out into heavy rain.

GM note: Since the Kobold Slingers were dealing damage as a Hard Cut, Tin-Tin III didn’t have a chance to Overcome, so Protect The Little Ones should not have triggered.

Group of Kobold Slingers Scamper Away: When the Slingers becomes damaged, they run away.

The Slingers see their attacks fail and retreat, having accomplished nothing. Since Edna has Tin-Tin III up so high all ready, she puts him on a top shelf. Tin-Tin’s spear point is a can opener, so he opens a can that no other Kobold has ever touched!

Tin-Tin III: It’s green beans! Green beans, just like on the lower shelves!

The Kobold Pokers are thrown into chaos! Long-held beliefs are confirmed and overthrown in an instant. Endless debates resolved just like that! Tin-Tin III pushes cans down and Kobolds swarm towards them. In the confusion, Yuri walks up and grabs the amulet from around the Kobold Lord’s neck!

Yuri Get Away 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once: re-roll 1 die 7-9 avoid harm

Some loyal Kobold Pokers notice Yuri’s theft and move to encircle him.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri baseball slides past them and between Edna’s legs. Edna puts her heels together, blocking pursuit. Edna has been filling her pockets with canned food from the top shelf.

Edna and Vestri restore all Food in their Gear

Now it seems like time to leave. To give the Kobolds permanent access to the upper shelves that seem so exciting to the little folk, she breaks shelves to form a ramp.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: uncontrolled actions cause collateral damage

Edna damages Tin-Tin III

The cans on the shelf/ramp slide and roll down into the crowd. The Fellowship retreat from the chaos, but leave the door open in case any Kobold wish to explore.

Vestri: Maybe some of them will explore the wider world, or at least the bar.

Yuri: They’ll be scared of the Remnants.

Vestri: They won’t be able to get down the cliff face at the entrance, so they’re still stuck in here.

Edna: What strange people!

Vestri: That’s the Eternal Spiral.

Yuri: The Eternal Pantry.

The Fellowship returns to the circular trap corridor and Yuri unlocks the north door with the Toggluminator.

  • What cool centerpiece makes up the majority of this room? A large statue in a pool.

The statue is a bit taller than Edna. The statue holds an orb aloft in one hand. Surrounding the statue is a pool of water, fed by a waterfall. It must drain to somewhere, because the pool does not overflow.  The statue is covered in glowing fungus.

Edna: Oh, this could be a life-size statue of an Ogre. but it might also be a monumental statue of a Human.

Edna Look Closely 6- ask 1 question& find out the hard way

  • Tell me about the statue. how could it hurt or help me?
    • The orb in the statue’s outstretched hand must be important. Fungus doesn’t grow on it. Edna moves in to examine the statue and slips as she enters the pool. She falls against the statue and the fungus releases a puff of spores. They are an inhaled poison!

Edna damages Grace

Edna takes a breath, chokes, holds her nose, and tries to Mighty Leap away, but can’t get good footing on the slick underwater surface. She falls back and scrambles out of the pool.

Edna: Don’t go! *cough, cough* It’s bad!

Yuri: Do you need medical attention?

Edna: I’m OK. Just don’t breathe that stuff.

Vestri wraps a handkerchief around his face. It’s not a particularly clean cloth.

Edna: I think the statue holds something important. Yuri, does your sword react to it?

Yuri Look Closely 10+ ask 3 questions

  • Tell me about the orb. How can it hurt or help me?
    • It will help solve the puzzle to access the boss, but there’s a risk of magical discharge if the orb is used improperly.
  • What will happen if I put the sword close?
    • The orb glows with caustic patterns, like light reflected from water.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • At the base of the statue, almost covered by fungus, is a small recess that might hold something.

Vestri: Edna, can you hold me up to grab the orb?

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

Of course she can. Vestri holds his breath, grabs the orb, and Edna pulls him out of the cloud of spores with no ill effects

Vestri: Here’s another glowing item to help you see in the dark.

Vestri gives the orb to Yuri and Yuri ponders the three magic items he has collected so far. The amulet from the Kobolds is a block of metal, twisted to match the Eternal Spiral. The orb is the size of a basketball, smooth like glass, with a faint aquamarine glow. It can purify water that it touches. Yuri’s sword has a flaming blade and gives him mysterious visions.

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

  • What will happen if I put these items together?
    • The orb is dim, and Yuri brings his flaming sword close to get a better look. The items touch, there’s a magical discharge, and the sword becomes searing hot to the touch!
  • Fake Firewall: The fire is an illusion. The heat and pain are not real. Only the  brave or reckless may pass.
    • 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.

Yuri drops the sword, and thinks about pushing it into the water, or splashing it somehow. He can’t bear to touch the sword directly.

Yuri: Maybe I could use Vestri’s dagger.

Vestri: My what? Absolutely not!

Yuri: Can you speak to the earth to make a little ramp?

Vestri Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What can you tell us about this chamber?
    • It was carved by Dragons’ claws.
  • What should be be wary of when dealing with this chamber?
    • The source of the fungus is behind the wall, in whatever recycles the water.
  • Please make a ramp so the sword will slide into the water.
    • Will do.

The sword slides down the ramp into the water, but the water doesn’t hiss and no steam rises the the sword.

Yuri: Maybe if I touch them together again.

He wades into the water holding the orb. When the orb touches the impure water, it reacts. The orb purifies water by heating it to 170 degrees, which kills most harmful microorganisms. The water around Yuri becomes uncomfortably hot!

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri scrambles out of the water before it scalds him. The orb heats and purifies the water, which drains and goes past the source of the corruption somewhere in the walls, then comes out in the waterfall again. Eventually all the water is pure, and Yuri can try again to grab his sword. Edna holds onto Yuri and yanks him out of the hot water as soon as he grabs the sword

Magic Sword False Heat: Hope is required to grab the sword

Yuri + Edna The Bonds That Bind Us: When two people with bonds with each other work together, they have Hope

Yuri Overcome (+Hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+

When Yuri grabs the sword, he realizes that the burning heat is only an illusion. Now he can handle it normally. He replaces it in its scabbard.

Vestri: Now, what have we learned about banging two magical items together?

The fungus at the base of the statue is now dead, thanks to the purified water, so the hidden recess may be accessible.

Yuri: I don’t want to mess with fungi. Is not fun for this guy.

Vestri: If only we had a way to put a lot of water on the statue.

The Fellowship backtracks to the bar, which is sure to have some way of carrying liquids, like mugs or barrels.  The few Remnants that they see retreat before them.  A few brave Kobolds are exploring the bar, led by Tin-Tin III. He wears a corkscrew around his neck to imitate the amulet that Yuri took. A Kobold finds a package of salted peanuts, which she’s never had before, and almost chokes on the strong flavor.  Edna waves to Tin-Tin III and grabs an empty barrel.

Back in the chamber with the statue, Edna uses the barrel to scoop up hot purified water and throw it on the statue to kill the rest of the fungus.

Edna overcome 7-9 Pay A Price

Edna damage armor

Between the splashing water and the puffs of spores, it’s dangerous work, but eventually the statue is clean. Edna and Vestri investigate.

Vestri Look Closely (+Hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • This statue is definitely a life-size statue of an Ogre. Ogres are stockier than humans, and with the fungus removed, the statue’s build is more apparent. Also, an inscription on the base of the statue identifies this as Walter the Unquenchable, an Ogre hero famous for protecting a Human village by defending its well from bandits. Fresh water is life, so saving the well saved the town.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Inside the hidden recess is a petrified finger. Walter the Unquenchable lost a pinky finger in his famous defense, from a strike that he mostly blocked. This is that finger.  Looking closely at the statue, Edna notices that it is missing a finger.
  • What will happen if I place the petrified finger on the statue?
    • Edna tries completing the statue with the actual finger, but nothing happens.

Edna keeps the finger, as it’s a link to Ogre culture. Since she was raised by Humans, she still feels a bit disconnected from her fellow Ogres.

Edna is curious about the door in the collapsed room that she can’t access.  Vestri can ask the earth to move and make space for Edna. Dwarves come from stone, so asking stone to move is like asking a relative for a favor.

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

  • What should I be wary of in this inaccessible space?
    • The collapsed half of the room is unstable. Move carefully.
  • Please excavate a ramp so Edan can climb down.
    • The earth moves, but the ramp is too small.
  • Please make the ramp much bigger.
    • The earth moves again, and this time Edna can reach the other side of the room.

Yuri opens the door with the Toggluminator. There’s a short walkway over a circular pit. Above the walkway, a large metal fan, and above that, a narrow chimney, presumably to the outside. A large switch is mounted at the end of the walkway. The collapsed room behind them had a planth where people could leave offerings. The good offerings were taken inside and put in the spiral storage room. The bad offerings went here: a room for burning trash. Dump the trash into the pit, then hit the switch to activate the fire and the fan that sucks the smoke out of the room. The Remnants used their Abjuration mgic to survive the fire tornado that filled the room, but the Fellowship doesn’t have access to such spells. Like the room next to it, this room has partially collapsed, so formerly smooth walls are rough and jagged, and bringing the rest of the room down wouldn’t be hard, especially for Edna.

Edna; This chimney is our way out.

Yuri carefully moves the amulet around to see if it reacts to anything in the room. Swinging his flaming sword around seems too dangerous. The amulet reacts to something inside the metal fan above.

Yuri: I could throw a rock to knock it down.

Vestri moves back to the entrance to avoid a rockslide.

Edna: If I jump up there, I’ll wreck.

Yuri: I could go. Will you catch me when I fall?

Edna: I’m always ready to protect you!

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri leaps to the beams that attach the six-bladed fan to the walls of the chamber. The assembly is in bad shape because of the collapse, so Yuri kicks the fan loose.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri avoids causing further collapse, and Edna tries to catch the falling fan gently.

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna leans over the edge of the walkway to catch the fan. It doesn’t hit or dislodge anything, but Edna is off-balance and could fall into the pit.

Vestri runs up and grabs Edna to steady her.

Vestri Uncontrollable Strength: Strong enough to lift almost anything

Vestri Overcome 10+

The Dwarf stabilizes the Ogre who is five times his height.

Vestri: What are you two doing? Get down from there.

Yuri: I do not have good footing for landing.

Vestri: fall into my arms.

Vestri (+hope, Yuri’s assistance) 10+

Yuri drops and Vestri catches him safely.

Vestri: I’m very good at being there for you. I’m a rock that’s always steady.

Edna tears the fan apart and finds an artifact inside the hub. It’s a metal hoop two feet across. it’s light, but difficult to rotate because of the gyroscopic effect of the air inside, which constantly spins at hurricane speed.

The Fellowship now has four Remnant artifacts representing the four elements of Dragons’ magic.

  • flaming sword
  • watery orb
  • metal amulet
  • windy hoop

With these artifacts, they can open the final door in the dungeon, revealing a terrifying monster and the source of Yuri’s calamitous dreams.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

 

Chasing the Sunset & Pirates’ Curse

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 stopped at the Sapphire Island and found a crew of Elves who can be trusted with the location of their final destination: The Forgotten Lands.  Edna is elsewhere.

Oloris Ovoran, a noble from the Sapphire Islands, comes along as navigator. He’s making an atlas, since he’s fascinated by the outside world, which residents of the Sapphire Islands do not visit often. He wants to chart a winding course to explore every part of the southern ocean. Lucia wants a direct route, because calling the Conclave is pressing business. They argue very politely, neither really saying what they mean.  Averiela rolls her eyes.

Averiela: Queen, may I suggest we visit certain outlying islands. Exploring them with only delay us two days, and we can refill our water supplies.

This compromise pleases everyone. Lucia gives the order, Oloris charts the course, and the crew gets to work. Soon they arrive at The Silver Ring, an arc of 9 islands. The sand on the beaches shines in the sunset, giving the islands their name. The largest island is to the south, and the islands get smaller as they go north.The second island has a fresh spring, but Elves whisper ancient rumors of a magical cave on the third island. Perhaps it hides precious treasure! Lucia orders the Luna Penumbra to the third island to seek the cave. The ship lands and anchors easily, but the surf hides sharp rocks, so rowing the lauches to shore is dangerous.   The Luna Penumbra can fly, so Lucia orders it to hover over the beach. Everyone but Will (the pilot) descends on ropes, then Will lands the ship in the harbor to await further orders.

The silver beach is about 50 feet wide, then the jungle begins. There’s no sound but the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks. No animals or birds. The leaves of the jungle are moving, but not rustling.

Dryden: Does the white sand make you miss your Unicorn, White Sands?

Dryden scoops some sand into a vial and stores it behind his cape.

Lucia Bloodline Power: Detect Evil

Lucia senses evil in the jungle, but Oloris wants to reach a high point and triangulate points for his chart, so he starts marching towards the jungle. Dryden approaches the jungle and sees that the trees and bushes are covered and choked by Stranglethorn Vines!

  • Stranglethorn Forest: A briar of tangled vines and thorns. The thick kudzu strangles the life out of all other plants and many smaller animals.
    • Kudzu Growth: The stranglethorn vines spread over nearby plants, killing them as they go. Food cannot grow here, and local wildlife must either adapt to the thorny, poisonous environment, starve to death, or flee the bastion.
    • Unnatural Forest: Rather than Aberrations or Undead, the forest is mostly filled with Blighted Beasts. Standard Scourge threats may still appear, they just make up the minority.

Dryden cuts a vine with his sword, but the vines aren’t especially mobile, so the vine just falls to the ground.

Dryden: What should we do here? Cut our way through? Fly over? Light a match and leave?

Oloris wasn’t listening and just marches right in. Soon the Fellowship hears him struggling against the grasping, thorny vines. Dryden considers which weapon to use to free him. The big Dwarven hammer? Can’t cut. The cursed sword that shows enemies their worst fears? Lucia draws her beautiful blade and hands Dryden her plain back-up sword. Simple, proven tools are best. Together they hack through the dense vines to reach Oloris.

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

GM note: the “temporary solution” turned into “added complications”

They reach Oloris and Lucia frees him from the thorns but the jungle is full of Blighted Rats!

  • Blighted Rat Swarm: Hundreds of rats, all swarming and striking as one.
    • Ankle Biter: Anyone trying to Get Away from a rat must pay a price.
    • Corrosive Touch: Anything that touches a Blighted with their bare skin must pay a price.
    • Swarm: A swarm fills the space they are in. You cannot move into a swarm or Keep Them Busy without paying a price. A swarm can be pushed back or distracted by standard weapons and attacks, but they can only take damage from Burning, Dangerous, or Area attacks, or from attacks made by Groups, Gangs, Armies, or other Swarms.

Dryden Queen Of The Wild: You are the leader of all Beasts, and they can’t help but serve you.

Dryden attempts to talk to the Blighted Rats, but they’ve been turned into Aberrations by the influence of the jungle. They are no longer Beasts! With diplomacy ruled out Dryden swerves hard to violence! He takes out the telescoping staff from the Robotics Facility in Thaumatown and jars of a substance used for the Everburning Brand. He smashes one jar with each end of the bo staff and the goop inside ignites!

Dryden Curious Curios Trickery: Add Dangerous tag until the end of the scene

Swarm of Blighted Rats Swarm: You cannot move into a swarm or Keep Them Busy without paying a price. 

Dryden pays a Price: lose a Strange Curio (Useful)

Dryden Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & they will retaliate

Dryden swings his flaming weapon about, driving the Blighted Rats back and igniting the dead plants under the Stranglethorn Vines. Lucia’s ready to hustle Orolis back to the beach, but their path is blocked by fire!

Lucia Get Away 7-9 bring Oloris along

Lucia damages a stat

Lucia grabs Oloris, climbs a tree, and goes over the fire. Well, over most of the fire. Back on the beach, Lucia signals the Luna Penumbra, although Will might already know something’s up from the smoke rising from the forest.

(Averiela didn’t pay attention to this commotion. She’s concerned about the trees that died under the weight of the Stranglethorn Vines, and started running around the island to see if any trees are left.)

Back in the jungle, the Blighted Rats recover from their surprise and start encircling Dryden. Drdyen spins his flaming bo staff with one hand and grabs his flying device with the other.

Blighted Rats Ankle Biter: Anyone trying to Get Away must pay a price.

Dryden loses leaf from Samantha’s Swamp

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, avoid notice

Dryden zooms up and back, through the smoke and away from the rats. One rat already climbed up his leg and grabbed the leaf from Samantha’s swamp before falling off. Since he’s already flying, he flies over the island to get a sense of the island’s geography, and look for signs of life. He sees Averiela around the other side.

Dryden: Averiela, what did you see?

Averiela: Nothing good. It’s like the whole island is covered in traps!

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

  • What’s going on? What do my senses tell me?
    • The island is about four miles across (Averiela runs fast!) and besides the thin strip of sandy beach all around, the jungle fills the interior.
  • What’s hidden or out of place?
    • There’s a bare outcropping of rock. Not the central peak of the island, but a local maximum.
  • Tell me about the bare patch. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The bare patch is free from Stranglethorn Vines, but there’s a skeleton dressed like a pirate there! He’s cutting vines at the edge of the outcropping with a huge set of shear made of two sabers.

Dryden lands and hails the strange person.

Dryden: Ahoy, matey! Looking for a way to get rid of the vines?

No-Eyed-Jack: Ay, they’re always encroaching on me rock.

Dryden: The easy way is to light the whole thing on fire. But your shears seem to work to defeat the vines, maybe you’re interested in defeating the evil on the island?

No-Eyed-Jack: Stick to the first one. I’ve got no flesh to burn.

Dryden: I’ve already started a fire. Is there anything you want preserved, or is the whole jungle dead?

No-Eyed-Jack: Sadly the vines are alive. I wish it was all like me.

Dryden: OK, thanks for your advice.  I’ll check with the queen about defeating the evil of the island.

No-Eyed-Jack: Can’t let you do that!

No-Eyed-Jack is the evil on the island! He advances with his giant shears!

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring No-Eyed-Jack along

Dryden uses Harpoon Gun

Dryden flies out of no-Eyed-Jack’s reach, then fires his Harpoon Gun. The hook passes through No-Eyed-Jack’s ribcage, then springs open, so No-Eyed-Jack is pulled along below Dryden. Dryden flies back to the beach, where the whole Fellowship is congregating.

No-Eyed-Jack: Howling Hurricanes! Put me down, you jackalope! Blatherskite! Coelacanth! You gibbering gelatinous gadabout!

No-Eyed-Jack cuts the harpoon’s line with his shears and falls towards Averiela.

Averiela Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Averiela rolls aside and No-Eyed-Jack lands shears-first, burying them in the sand with all his weight.

Averiela: Oh no, what has Dryden done now?

No-Eyed-Jack: No life-loving do-gooders with keep No-Eyed-Jack from his duty!

  • No-Eyed-Jack, Skeletonized Human, he/him
    • Just Bones: Skeletons do not take damage from anything that would slip right through them or is made to harm flesh. Most piercing weapons, ranged weapons, slashing weapons, and poison or fire-based attacks will have very little effect on a Skeleton.
    • Rampage: This threat is difficult to evade. If your Grace is damaged, you cannot defend against this threat’s attacks.

Lucia Bloodline Power: Detect Evil

Lucia detects that No-Eyed-Jack is evil, and advances, but realizes that her sword will do little to old bones. How does one kill what is already dead? What is this guy’s deal? She hopes to disable and question this aggressive skeleton.

Dryden Finish Them (+Sense, disable) 6-

Using flight to his advantage, Dryden dives with his heavy two-handed Dwarven hammer, aiming to knock No-Eyed-Jack’s arms off. No-Eyed-Jack gets his shears free and steps forward. Dryden smashes into the sand behind him, and how his weapon is buried to the hilt and unusable!  Averiela moves into engage No-Eyed-Jack blade to blade.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & they will retaliate

Lucia swaps her beautiful blade for nunchaku from the Robotics Facility, capable of bashing a skeleton apart.

Lucia Finish Them 10+ TAKEN OUT

Lucia knocks No-Eyed-Jack’s skull off. The body takes a few steps, then collapses.

Dryden: I was hoping to question him, but he was more formidable than I expected.

Dryden has never encountered living skeletons before. Averiela heard a story from old times, but hasn’t seen one herself until now. The story said something about separating the bones so they don’t find each other, but she doesn’t remember the specifics.

Dryden: So we chuck a bone overboard every day?

Lucia: Let’s bury the head now.

Averiela: We should bury it on that rock outcropping. If we bury it on the beach, the sand will wash away.

Lucia: Not near its lair!

Lucia buries the skull at the edge of the jungle. Luna Penumbra arrives and drops ropes to let the Fellowship board.

Dryden examines No-Eyed-Jacks shears. The metal is very old, but not corroded. He places them in a special bag, woven from spider silk (the spiders consented to have their silk used for this purpose, of course) The silk is very strong, so the sharp shears won’t cut through it. Dryden puts the sack behind his cloak.  The headless skeleton goes into a normal sack, and is hauled aboard the Luna Penumbra. There are no paths through the jungle to the outcropping, so everyone boards the Luna Penumbra and they fly there. As they approach they see another skeleton come out of a cave, pour a bucket of water off the edge fo the outcropping, then go back inside the cave.

Lucia Bloodline Power: Detect Evil

This skeleton is also evil.

Lucia: Why is it pouring water on the vines?

Dryden: Let’s make this one talk. How do we threaten a skeleton?

Averiela: We could offer some rum.

Dryden: nothing to do but go down and see. Maybe we should have someone on the ship’s guns?

The Fellowship takes stock of how Luna Punumbra can help them. Oloris is busy drawing a map of the island, so he’s no help.

Luna Penumbra Exo Suits: When a Quartermaster is assigned, they can give Protection to anyone leaving the ship. This Protection lasts only a few hours, and the Quartermaster must stay behind to keep it working.

Assign Mara as Quartermaster

Mara equips Dryden, Lucia, and Averiela with Exo Suits that will let them move through the Stranglethron Vines freely. The suits are covered with razors that slash through the vines as the wearer moves. The three descend on ropes into the jungle, and the ropes are pulled up behind them. They wait and observe the skeleton as it emerges from the cave with another bucket of water.

  • Molly Skeletonized Human she/her

Molly: No-Eyed-Jack’s not doing his duty. The outcropping isn’t clear!

She turns and goes back into the cave, just like she did before. Dryden has no problem laying a trap for her, since she has an obvious pattern and spends significant time out of sight in the cave. The next time she comes out, she steps right in it! Dryden’s Vine Trap is a bundle of small Ranged Ropes that burst out and entangle whoever triggers it.

Dryden Bear Trap: immobilize 1 enemy

Dryden: I tried to question the last one. Anyone else want to give it a try?

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

  • What can you tell us about your role?
    • The captain told me, “Molly, you keep that cave dry!” so every time the tide comes in, here I am bailing out the cave with me bucket.
  • What should we be wary of when dealing with you?
    • I ain’t telling you me secrets!
  • What can you tell us about the Stranglethron Vines.
    • Them’s new. Sure they make No-Eyed-Jack’s job harder!

Lucia: Especially because you water them.

Dryden: No-Eyed-Jack’s job seems a lot easier than yours.

Molly: You don’t pick your assignment. You just gotta do it.

Averiela: If you could, what would you pick?

Molly: Jellylegs has the best job, that’s a fact!

Dryden: You’d do better than Jellylegs, I’m sure.

Molly: They’d never trust me with such a task.

Dryden: I’ll take the bucket.

Molly: Finally!

When Dryden takes the bucket, Molly’s skeleton collapses. It’s constituent bones no longer hold together. Dryden has taken the cursed bucket that forced Molly to do her job long after her death, and now that job is Dryden’s!

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: NO
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking: YES, working on Averiela’s mission to deal with the Dragon Egg.
  • Did we learn something new about the world and it’s peoples? NO

1 boon: level up Averiela and Luna Penumbra

Dryden Workaholic: Spend 1 Food to heal a stat, belonging to you or one of your Companions. Heal Dryden.

Dryden Workaholic: Spend 1 Food to heal a stat, belonging to you or one of your Companions. Heal Lucia.

 

 

Chasing the Sunset & Professor Gummidge

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

The party: Professor Gummidge the Lantern/Mad Genius, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship hastily left Port Fennrick and sailed up the Mighty River on Miranda, their racing catamaran.

GM note: Buckle’s player stepped up to run this session. It’s a bottle episode with Buckle out of the picture, and a new character for the usual GM to play.

Without warning, a shimmering blue wall of energy surrounds Stella and her companions. She’s in a space that’s much larger than the deck of the Miranda. The boards of the deck underfoot expand and repeat to create a floor over what used to be water. In the center of the bubble is a crystalline building. It’s Lantern construction. Lanterns are creatures from another dimension who appear as floating bals of light. To blend in with the creatures in this dimension, they usually project holograms of humanoid forms. Buildings for Lanterns are solid transparent crystals, which Lanterns can pass through like most creatures pass through air. The bottom floor of this structure has traditional air-filled rooms, which Lanterns use to store physical objects in interact with other species.

Silouetted against the glow of the crystalline building is a lanky, eight-foot-tall figure with baggy clothes and a single glowing light in the center of its head. With startling speed it rushes across the bubble to stand right next to Stella!

  • Professor Gummidge. he/him. Lantern in Power Suit
    • The Power Suit (named Gallybagger) looks like a scarecrow made from an old wrought-iron lamp post, wearing worn and baggy clothes. Gallybagger’s head is the lamp enclosure, and Professor Gummidge (a floating ball of light) hovers inside, acting as the lamp.
    • Full arsenal: Dangerous, Ranged, or Piercing tags, but one at a time. Gallybagger’s arms end in multiple tools and weapons, covered by overlong sleeves
    • Rockets: Gallybagger can dash along the ground & take long horizontal leaps
    • Deployable Drones:  Two robotic Crows sit on Gallybagger’s head and shoulder. They are named Huginn & Muninn after Odin’s crows, because they bring information to a one-eyed person who seeks wisdom.

Stella: What are you doing here?

Gummidge: That’s a hard question. Where is here? Is here here? Here may not exist, and if it does, it may soon cease.

Gummidge was working with an artifact of power, hoping for interdimensional travel, but some unexpected interaction sent him here, and the artifact is shearing and twisting reality.

Gummidge Look Closely 7-9

  • Tell me about the shimmering wall around the space. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The shimmering wall is made of Lantern energy, so it was made by a Lantern
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • The Lantern who made the barrier is here!
  • What will happen if I try to break through the shimmering wall?
    • The barrier contains the artifact’s effects. If the barrier is removed, the reality-warping effect could spread to the rest of the world in a plague of interdimensional monsters!

A portal opens and a Wild Boar runs through. It charges at Gummidge.

Gummidge Bend Light Flash: blind everyone near by except you

Gummidge Overcome 10+

The lamp atop Gallybagger flares with intense light and the Wild Boar (as well and Stella and her companions) is blinded. Gummidge easily side-steps the boar, which continues straight forward until it hits the barrier with a reverberating thunk!

Wild Boar Wild Charge: When a wild boar charges, it keeps going until it hits something…. If the boar hits nobody, it damages this stat instead.

Wild Boar damages Wild Charge

Stella rubs her eyes. This situation is too chaotic for her comfort.

Stella: Everyone stop!

Stella Queen of the Wild: All Beasts are your Companions while you are in their territory

The Boar politely sits down next to Stella and she pats it on the head.

Gummidge approaches the portal the Wild Boar came through, but it closes. He returns to Stella and the newly-tamed Boar.

Gummidge Reveal The Way + Mind Trick: 7-9 Tell people what to do, even if you don’t mean it. Players can choose to follow advice or spite you (gain Hope on one roll either way)

Gummidge: You have a powerful way with words! Let’s work together. Don’t breach the barrier, lest the danger spread.  If your people can handle such monsters, maybe we’ll be alright in here.

Stella: That’s a me thing.

Gus, Stella’s cook, is claustrophobic, and doesn’t like being trapped in this strange space.

Gus: If we don’t do something, I’ll . . . I’ll cook that pig!

Gummidge Reveal The Way + Mind Trick: 7-9 Tell people what to do, even if you don’t mean it.They’ll do it in the way they think best, or only if you help.

Gummidge: Young man, be resolute! Don’t antagonize the monster.

Gus: OK, but we have to go somewhere. We can’t stay in this place.

Two portals open. One seems to lead to a hallway inside the crystalline structure. The other shows a bright, large expanse.

Gummidge: How important is it to you that you return to where you came from?

Stella: Extremely!

Gummidge suspects that these portals quickly close, like the one the Boar came through, so he looks for something that can jam them open.

Gummidge Eureka: Everything is Useful in your hands. When use use something Useful to help with a move, roll with Hope

Gummidge Jury Rig: Spend 1 use of something to make something out of existing materials. (+hope) 10+ It works!

Cutting tools emerge from Gallybagger’s sleeves and cut some planks from the floor. Gummidge nails them together and jams them into the portal to the large expanse, holding it open. Gummidge looks carefully at what’s visible through the portal before stepping through himself

Gummidge Eyes of Fire: Your eyes are unnaturally good, and you can see fine detail even through the darkest night or densest fog. When you Look Closely, you may study any location you can see, no matter how distant, as if you were standing right there.

Gummidge Look Closely 7-9 ask 3 questions, find 1 the hard way

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • It’s a large, bright room that stretches off into the darkness (irrelevant to Gummidge’s keen eyes) and infinity. The floor is bisected by a dark gap. There’s a rainbow bridge (which Lanterns often make) across the gap, but it’s flickering. This room may be inside the crystalline structure at the center of the bubble, but it’s been warped.
  • Tell me about the Lantern who made the bridge. What are they doing? What will they do next?
    • This bridge is powered by the structure itself, not projected from a Lantern.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • The darkness in the gap gets larger and starts spreading across the floor of the bright room and comes out of the portal!

Stella is displeased by this strange and hostile phenomenon. She retrieves a package of vegetable stew from her kit and throws it at the shadow, hoping to reveal the invisible creature that casts the shadow. The stew falls to the floor without hitting any creature. The shadow is under the soup and still advancing.

Stella: Where is that shadow coming from?

Gummidge: This is not the right place for young Gus. Not a calming atmosphere!

Gummidge moves to remove the device that’s keeping the portal open, and the shadow flows up and over Gallybagger, covering it in darkness!

GM note: Gummidge has a move that instantly destroys shadows, but he used it already to disorient a Wild Boar. Poor tactical decision. If only he had predicted the future!

Lingering Shadows Armor of Darkness: Anyone pulled into the shadows becomes engulfed by them. When they step out, the darkness is controlling them, acting as both armor and puppeteer. They become a Shadow Warrior until the armor is removed from them.

Gummidge ejects from Gallybagger, which becomes a Shadow Warrior!

  • Shadow Warrior: They would be an ally, if the darkness wrapped all around them weren’t forcing them to swing their sword at you. They can still speak and think as normal, but have no control over their movements.
    • Forced Movement: The shadow warrior was a friend, but they have been possessed by dark power. They have all of their normal physical abilities, except they are also Clumsy.
    • Entangled In Shadow: If you expose the shadow warrior to light or fire, the shadows are destroyed. They person inside the shadows still suffers whatever affects that light or fire would deal to them, but then they are free from the shadow’s control and this threat is destroyed.

Gummidge: Look out, Ol’ Gallybagger isn’t following my orders!

Gummidge Knight: Your little light can be used as a firestarter.

Gummidge tries to set the deck on fire to create a light bright enough to dispel the shadow, but the deck has been treated to resist fire. That’s the only way Buckle can stay aboard the Miranda without burning it. Gallybagger advances on Gummidge, flipping through the various tools and weapons hidden under its sleeves.  Stella knows that the treatment makes the deck slippery when wet, so she pours the barrel of potent alcohol (from O’Later’s contraband warehouse) on the deck underneath Gallybagger.

Stella Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & they will retaliate.

The booze causes Gallybagger to stumble, and lets Gummidge start a fire.

Gummidge Finish Them (+Blood) 7-9 damage Gallybagger’s Advanced Weapons

Shadow Warror Entangled In Shadow: exposed to light? TAKEN OUT!

The Shadow dissapates from Gallybagger from the bottom up. Gallybagger stops moving, and Gummidge inspects it carefully before returning to his normal position inside Gallybagger’s head. Now that he has arms again, Gummidge pulls out the bars across the portal. The portal unexpectedly remains open. Gus freaks out and runs for the other portal, the one that shows a hallway.

Gummidge: The lad has a point. Go to the source to solve the trouble!

Stella: What’s going on? What’s causing all this?

Gummidge: Well, certainly not my machine. But the trouble is around it.

Everyone runs after Gus through the portal, even Grunt the Pig. (Stella asked its name) The hallway twists axially, and gravity twists with it. Eventually the Fellowship emerges into a bright featureless room. There’s a barrier across the room, made of the same hard light as the bridge in the other portal, although this barrier isn’t flickering. Gummidge walks up to tap on the barrier and his hand goes right through.

Gummidge: It’s fake!

Gummidge walks through the barrier. Gus runs full speed and hits the barrier hard! He stumbles back, a banana falls out of his pack, and he slips on it, falling on his back.

Gus damages Rations

Stella: Hey, Gummy!

Gummidge: It’s Professor Gummidge!

Stella: What do you mean it’s not real? Gus ran right into it.

Gummidge puts his hand through the barrier. Stella pounds her fist on the barrier. Gummidge remembers that the barrier around the bubble was created by a Lantern, and presumes this same Lantern is frustrating the Fellowship now.

Gummidge: Come now, we Lanterns are creatures of science, not trickery. Reveal and explain yourself!

Gummidge Reveal The Way fails because there’s no one here.

Gummidge is surprised that his speech was ignored. A small portal opens nearby. Three lanterns are visible on the other side. They rush towards the portal.

Mysterious Lanterns: Gummidge, you fool!

The portal closes before they reach it. After waiting to make sure they are gone, Gummidge looks around the far side of the room. It’s featureless, except for a doorway that leads to a hallway that curves to the side, so Gummidge can’t see the other end. As he moves around to look at it, the curvature changes. If he goes down that hallway, he might not find a way back.  Gummidge deploys his robotic crows to extend his sight. Huginn flies down the hall until it can barely see Gummidge. Muninn flies past until it can barely see Huginn. They relay data back to gummidge: the hall continues to bend out of sight. To explore any further means losing contact with the others on the other side of the barrier, possibly forever. Gummidge recalls the crows and returns to the barrier in the middle of the room.

The Fellowship is stumped. Through the barrier seems like the only way to go, but the Halflings can’t pass through it. After a while, a Little Light (a Lantern that’s not projecting a holographic body) floats into the room aimlessly.

  • Little Light: If a Lantern Reveals The Way to a little light, they take the 10+ result without rolling.

    • Blindingly Bright: You cannot look directly at a little light. Anyone trying to Keep Them Busy or Overcome their attacks is in Despair. Anyone trying to Look Closely at them fails to do so.
    • Aimless: Little lights act arbitrarily, and there is no way to predict what they will do next.

The Little Light wanders through the barrier.

Gummidge: Of course! It’s a barrier to keep out!

Stella: Outsiders? We’re technically still on my boat.

Gummidge: Hmmm, you’ve got me there.

Stumped again, the Fellowship watches the Little Light wander around, then pick up a mouse and carry it through the barrier.

Gummidge Hook Shot: pull yourself to anything heavy. Pull anything light to you.

Gummidge emits a beam of light that attaches to Stella and pulls her through the barrier!

Gummidge: A triumph of observation and deductive reasoning! Form a queue and I shall pull you through!

Before he can fulfill his promise, the Little Light fires on Gummidge!

Gummidge Light Shield: protect from any damage you can see

Gummidge blocks the attack, and the Little Light wanders over to Stella and bumps into her. Stella’s not sure how to react to this unpredictable creature. Fight, flight, or freeze? She chooses flight.

Stella On A Mirror’s Edge: start free-running and gain 2 Speed

Stella parkours off the walls to distract and confuse the Little Light.

Little Light Blindingly Bright: Despair to Keep Them Busy

Stella The Courage Of Halflings: Never in Despair when rolling with Courage

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+

Gummidge: Look here, these shenanigans are unbecoming of a Lantern. Think of our reputation! What example are you setting for these visitors?

Gummidge Finish Them (+Wisdom, show the error of their ways) 7-9 damage a stat

Little Light damages Aimless

Gummidge: Thanks, much better. Let’s press on.

Stella: How? We can barely see with all the glare.

Gummidge: You should go away, back through the barrier

Gummidge Mind Trick: you can Reveal The Way without believing it’s in their best interest

If a Lantern Reveals The Way to a little light, they take the 10+ result without rolling.

The Little Light obediently leaves the scene. Gummidge pulls the rest of the Fellowship through the barrier. Now they face the curving hallway.

Gummidge: Stick close. I don’t trust these curving hallways.

Stella: Physical contact, everyone.

The Fellowship links hands and Gummidge leads the way down the curving hallway. As soon as the last person steps out of the room and into the hallway, the hallway straightens out and they easily walk into the next room.

This room is a control chamber. Instead of dials, switches, buttons, and levers, the controls here are all fiber optics. Lanterns send commands by shining different lights through different fibers. This is the maintenance area of a large Lantern building.  Such buildings have emergency generators, but emergencies are rare, so Gummidge thought could use the generator to power his experiment. No one would notice, so he didn’t ask permission. That was just before the mishap that created the bubble.  Back at the site of his experiment, Gummidge is inspired once more. Turning the machine off would be admitting defeat. any malfunction was surely the result of interference, perhaps from those three Lanterns they glimpsed briefly in the previous room.

Gummidge: I need to keep going to finish my experiment. I can reroute power from non-essential systems. We’re stuck halfway. I want to get us all the way through to the other side.

Stella: Back to my boat, right?

Stella is getting sick of all the hassle Gummidge has put her through.

Gummidge: My projections, based on the available evidence, suggest the boat.

Gummidge Jury Rig 6-

Gummidge pulls out and reconnects bundles of fiber, and the great machines hum and roar. Gummidge asks too much of the machines and circuit breakers kick in,  locking out the controls!

A portal opens, revealing an idyllic landscape, and those same three Lanterns from earlier. Now Gummidge recognizes them. They’re Lantern Peacekeepers that enforce the ban on interdimensional travel that was created after the Lanterns were trapped on this world. Gummidge wasn’t content to stay in this world. He didn’t want to go back. He wanted to go onwards! Anyways, now these squares are coming to arrest Gummidge for his illegal experiments!

Gummidge Rockets: run very fast

Gummidge Bend Light Wall: block a passageway with hard light

Gummidge dashes to the portal and puts a wall across it so the Peacekeepers can’t enter the control chamber.

Gummidge Keep Them Busy 6-

The Peacekeepers smash through Gummidge’s wall and enter the control chamber!

  • Group of Lantern Peacekeepers
    • 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.
  • Lantern Priest: A lantern who guides the lost.
    • Lead The Flock: The priest has control over The Innocents, and can command them to do anything.
    • Reveal The Way: Anyone who tries to Speak Softly or Talk Sense with the
      priest will receive the priest’s advice. Acting on this advice gives you Hope;
      acting against it gives you Despair.

Stella is still undecided on Gummidge, but she doesn’t want to be arrested, so she smashes the control panels with the King Of The Hill‘s sword! More portals open and the room warps and twists. The floor turns into a portal and everyone falls into a spooky temple. Gummidge has been here before. He recognizes the dias in the center of the room, and the artifact that hovers above it. This artifact looks like a jagged red fragment of glass, and acts somewhat like Infinite Windows, but for interdimensional travel. This is what Gummidge used in his experiments.

Stella: Time for Operation Apple Toss!

Stella Lived In A Shoe: You can shrink to the size of an apple

Stella shrinks to the size of an apple and Rose, her bodyguard, throws her at the artifact! Stella enlarges as she approaches the artifact and grabs it on the run. She’s yanked to a stop. The hovering artifact refuses to budge.

Gummidge Rockets: run very fast

Gummidge dashes to put the artifact between himself and the Peacekeepers. He sees Stella struggling with the artifact and tries to help.

Gummidge Hook Shot: pull yourself to anything heavy. Pull anything light to you.

The artifact is immovable, so Gummidge unintentionally pulls himself to it. It can’t move while any portals are open. Instead of trying to close all the portals, Gummidge opens another!

Gummidge Open Infinite Windows: 10+ stable portal to a safe place

Gummidge loses item Jewlery (Precious)

Gummidge uses a piece of Drawven jewelry to open a portal to Templeton, on the observation deck for the sundial. He jumps through.

Gummidge: Get through or get clear!

Stella would rather talk her way of trouble.

Stella: This is all a big misunderstanding.  I don’t even know how I got here. Gummidge isn’t at fault. There are other Lanterns making walls and trapping us here. it’s not fair. I just wanna go home!

Stella Talk Nonsense 7-9

Lantern Priest Reveal The Way: Anyone who tries to Speak Softly or Talk Sense with the priest will receive the priest’s advice. Acting on this advice gives you Hope; acting against it gives you Despair.

Preist: If you want to go home, help us catch this fugitive.

Gummidge Eureka: Everything is Useful in your hands. When use use something Useful to help with a move, roll with Hope

Gummidge Jury Rig 10+ it works!

Gummidge redirects the lens that focuses sunlight onto the sundial far below so it shines through the portal as a beam weapon! Not a very powerful beam weapon. The lens focus distance is quite far, so the beam is rather wide when it enters the spooky temple.

Stella Overcome 10+

Stella Lived In A Shoe: You can shrink to the size of an apple

Stella Jams King’s huge sword into the ground and shrinks to hide behind it. The sword’s shadow protects Stella’s companions, but the Peacekeepers are hit!

Peacekeepers damage Gauntlet Form

Stella: Strobe the beam!

Gummidge Eureka: Everything is Useful in your hands. When use use something Useful to help with a move, roll with Hope

Gummidge Jury Rig 7-9 only works once

Gummidge: This will only work once. Give me a sign!

Stella Lived In A Shoe: Change size within limits

Stella walks backwards in the shadow of the sword, drops off the dias, and returns to normal size safely below the beam of light. The Preist orders the remaining Peacekeeper to seize Stella.

Stella: Now is the time!

Gummidge blocks the beam.

Stella Lived In A Shoe: Change size within limits

Stella runs around the Peacekeeper, rapidly changing size to confuse him.

Lantern Priest Reveal The Way: Despair for ignoring his advice

Stella The Courage Of Halflings: Never in Despair when rolling with Courage.

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

Gummidge comes back through the portal and bonks the Peacekeeper on the head.

Gummidge Finish Them (+Sense) 6-

The Priest moves in to close the portal.

Priest Close a Window 7-9 portal moves to somewhere else

The portal to Templeton closes, but where the sunlight from Templeton hit the far wall of the temple, a new portal opens, back to the bubble where Stella found herself at the beginning of this adventure. Stella runs for the portal.

Stella on A Mirror’s Edge: gain 2 Speed

Stella spend 1 Speed to leap over an enemy in your path

Stella Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Silk along

Gummidge, left alone with his enemies, flails with Gallybagger’s damaged arms

Gummidge Keep Them Busy 6-

Lantern Priest damages Gummidge’s Armor

Lantern Peacekeeper damages Gummidge’s Iron

GM note: My notes get messy here, so I don’t have any exact sequence of moves. Just narrative.

Stella returns riding Silk, which makes her a threat to the world! While the Lanterns beat poor non-combat-focused Gummidge, Stella draws her other sword and cleaves their Little Lights. Their holographic bodies flicker and disappear. Stella turns back to the portal.

Stella: I’m going with or without you.

Gummidge: Go through, I’ll close it behind you.

As he gestures to the portal, smashed pieces fall out of Gallybagger’s sleeves. The Power Suits hands were destroyed trying to fend of the Latern Peacekeepers.

Stella: Fine, I ‘ll do it myself

Stella and her companions go through the portal and Stella pulls it closed.

Stella Close a Window: 7-9 leave something on the far side.

Stella: Nice working with you, Grunt! Goodbye!

Gummidge and the Wild Boar are left in the temple with the artifact, presumably to continue his dangerous experiments. All the portals are closed. The shimmering barrier around Stella collapses into a humanoid form, another Lantern. They’re all back on the deck of the Miranda with Buckle and the rest of the Fellowship.

  • Mira, she/her, Lantern

Mira: Thank goodness! It took all my strength to keep the barrier up.

Stella examines the deck. The damage they did to the floor inside the bubble is nowhere to be seen. Mira explains that she formed the barrier to contain Gummidge’s experiments and alerted the Lantern Peacekeepers, but she doesn’t blame Stella, who was caught up quite accidentally. For helping to prevent an interdimensional disaster, Mira offers to teach a Lantern secret.

The Fellowship gains the fellowship of the Lanterns.

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & Remnant dungeon

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 entrance to the secret facility that Yuri’s magic sword has been guiding him to. The entrance closed behind them, sothey must go forward and explore.

Vestri’s Drill Tank and his cousin who maintains it both stayed outside. Edna and Yuri try to remember which one is Gurtin and which one is Hundrin.  Hundrin is the Drill Tank and Gurtin is the Dwarf. They walk into the first room, an entrance hall of some kind.

The western half of the room has shifted down, leaving a gap between western ceiling and eastern floor of about a foot.  A plinth in the center of the room is pinned between the ceiling and floor, keeping the western side of the room from falling further. Desiccated fruit on the plinth reveals that this was a place where people would come and leave offerings. Edna scratches the metal plinth with her fingernail, then scrapes one of her diamond rings across it.

Edna: This is solid platinum. I’m not usually impressed by money, but this is worth quite a lot of money.

Vestri: Better leave it. It’s holding up the ceiling.

Yuri: We can get it on the way out. Speaking of, how are we going to exit? We needed a ride to reach the entrance and we don’t have a ride back out.

Edna picks up Ol’ Jardinier in one hand and sticks that arm through the gap into the sunken part of the room. Ol’ Jardinier calls out what he sees.

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

  • Tell me about the hidden door. How could it hurt or help me?
    • Obviously a door gives access to a new place. This door is secured by runes, and if you try to open the door without providing the correct offering, fire will consume you!

GM note: Shouldn’t there be a consequence for that bad roll? Oh well.

Yuri remembers that he is carrying a living Remnant in a light-proof box. Perhaps Heath would like to come out and help.

Yuri: We are in a Remnant house. Would you like to come out? It’s all desecrated.

Vestri: Desiccated.

Yuri opens the box and Heath emerges. It’s dark in here, but Heath thrives in the dark, and Vestri can see just fine in darkness.

Yuri: Did you live here?

Heath: Nnnno. We had many . . . towers.

Yuri: Can you read these runes? Maybe run you hand over them?

Heath: I don’t sssssee. Sight isn’t usefullll in the dark. I sense heeeeat.

Ol’ Jardinier begins describing the runes to Heath, heedless of the danger of reading magic waords aloud without understanding them.

Yuri: What if there was ice monster?

Heath: I sense cold too.

Yuri: What if air monster? You should gain eyes. I’m a doctor. I’m looking out for your safety.

Edna: Don’t mention “looking!” That’s insensitive!

Edna opens the door to the north, which is accessible to all and not locked by dangerous runes.

A short hall leads to a circuler area with a central column. From that column, various blades and spikes whirl around at different speeds, directions, and heights! The door didn’t need to be locked, because this room of traps would prevent intruders from going any further! The column appears to have controls which might allow safe passage. Vestri could figure out the controls if he could get close without being torn apart.

Edna Keep Them Busy 7-9 draw attention for a moment

Edna waits to get the timing, then stomps on the lowest spinning blade, pinning it to the floor. She grabs it with her hands to secure it and nods towards the central column.  The bottom two feet of the room are now clear of hazards, so Vestri prepares to move to the column.

Vestri: You could come if you crawl.

Yuri: I don’t trust that I can stay under two feet.

Vestri crouch-walks to the column to examine the controls.

Vestri Let Me See That: ask 2 questions about interesting technology or architecture

  • What is this for? How do I use it or break it?
    • These traps are to prevent traspassers from getting deeper into the facility. Pulling the four levers on the four sides of the central column will deactivate the spinning blades.
  • Who made it and why should I care about them?
    • The Remnants built this. They built the whole facility, which seems to be important to the calamity that Yuri is trying to prevent.

The blade starts to slip out from under Edna’s boot, and she tries to hold it back!

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna I Know Something You Don’t: Overcoming an attack gives you an Advantage

Vestri hustles back to safety. Edna hears the metal groan as the blade slips free.  It turns once, trying to pick up speed.

Edna Finish Them (kill, +Blood) 7-9 damage Trap Column

Edna strikes the lower blade as it passes by, snapping it off the central column. The area is now slightly safer, at least for very short intruders.

Vestri hears a rhythm in the motion of the traps and absent-mindedly starts tapping his fingers in time. Heath recognizes the beat. It’s an old Remnant song!

GM note: The players decided the song was Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.

Vestri: I think I’ve got this. Your friend Heath is singing something to me.

Vestri Overcome 7-9 pay a price (damage Wisdom)

Following the beat, Vestri confidently steps into the whirling blades and pulls the first lever. Wait, duck, step to the next lever and pull it. Carefully keeping time, with Heath hissing the song in his ear, Vestri moves around to pull the third lever. There’s a section of the song where the regular four-count rhythm changes to a six-beat rhythm, and Vestri doesn’t expect it, so he moves a bit early and gets clipped in the arm by a blade! He pulls the fourth lever and all the spikes and blades stop and retract. The room is now safe. The northern and eastern doors are locked by runes, so the Fellowship opens the western doors.

Vestri and Heath were still humming the old Remnant song. The rest of the Fellowship could almost hear it too. Edna throws open the doors to reveal a saloon full of Remnant shadows. They were singing the old song too. They stop and stare at the new arrivals.

Yuri: Good thing they are on our side. Look, Heath is not a captive! You can stay here. Go talk to them.

Heath tries to talk to them, but they hiss in an unknown dialect.

Yuri reveals the magical sword that guided him here. He hopes the Rements will recognize it and help him understand his quest.

Yuri Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotions) 7-9

Yuri Fool Me Once 10+

The Remnants indicate that the person in charge is through the double doors to the north. That’s who Yuri should go to.

Yuri and the Fellowship open the doors to the north and step into a featureless black void! The bar is still visible through the doorway, but the room they are in is featureless and black, They can’t even tell how big the room is, except for the great, softly-glowing serpent in the center!

  • Primordial Abyss Beast: A terrible serpent, glowing softly. It rests in the deepest and darkest corner of the world, where nothing can be seen but itself.
    • Primordial Beast: A primordial beast is ancient and perfect. Its attacks are Giant. It cannot be harmed by standard weaponry. It cannot be destroyed –  if it would be, it takes damage instead. This stat functions even while  damaged.
    • Abyssal Champion: This primordial beast has Protection from the perils of the abyss. It has unusual senses, and can see through the deepest  darkness. It always knows where you are. You cannot hide.
    • Terror of the Deep: The abyssal beast can hunt you throughout its domain. You cannot Get Away from it.

Yuri: This would be a good time to use that Wizard Dagger, Vestri!

Edna: Wizard-Killing Dagger.

For the first time in her adventures, Edna meets something she considers a serious threat. Fighting’s a game for someone as tough and strong as Edna, and she’s rarely serious. Now she wields her metal-shod walking stick as a Giant weapon and prepares to kill!

Yuri: Is it ethical to make Heath join this fight? Heath, how do you feel about attacking this creature?

Heath: Ssscared.

Yuri: I’m scared too.

The Abyssal Beast lunges for the doors, trying to trap the Fellowship in the dark with no escape.

Vestri Uncontrollable Strength: lift just about anything

Vestri Keep Them Busy 10+

Amazingly, the tiny Dwarf grabs the Abyssal Beast around the midsection and pins it to the ground! Edna rushes in to bash its brains in, if it has brains . . . if that’s really a head.

Edna Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 7-9

Abyssal Beast damages Abyssal Champion

Abyssal Beast Primordial Beast: Giant attacks hit three characters at once

The Abyssal Beast attacks everyone: biting at Edna, rolling over Vestri to crush him, and lashing at Yuri with its tail.

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna I Know Something You Don’t: Overcoming an attack gives you an Advantage

Edna jams her walking stick vertically in the Abyssal Beast’s jaws, preventing them from closing.

Vestri Overcome 6-

Vestri damages Grace

Vestri feels the Abyssal Beast shift its weight and braces in a squat to lift the creature’s coils over himself. His stance is wrong and the Abyssal Beast rolls over him.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Yuri I Know Something You Don’t: Overcoming an attack gives you an Advantage

Yuri leaps and catches the Abyssal Beast’s tail in mid-air.

Edna and Yuri see that they control both ends of the Abyssal Beast. Through a move that Yuri taught Edna, they both have an Advange over their foe. With a move that Edna taught Yuri, they can finish it right now! They leap in opposite directions! Like Beowulf breaking Grendel’s arm, they’ll use internal trauma where regular weapons won’t do.

Edna & Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Finish Them (+Blood, kill. +hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+

Abyssal Beast Primordial Beast: It cannot be destroyed –  if it would be, it takes damage instead.

Abyssal Beast damages Terror Of The Deep

Edna hit a wall as she jumped. The room has a form. It’s not infinite darkness. The Abyssal Beast retreats to the ceiling, wrapping around pitch-black stalagtites that eclipse its glowing coils. There is terrain here after all. The Abyssal Beast rips rocks from the ceiling of the cavern and throws them at he door, trying once again to seal the Fellowship in its lair. Edna leaps for the door while she can still see it!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: You are Dangerous, and any uncontrolled action you take can cause collateral damage or destroy the world around you.

Edna clears the doorway by knocking the rocks into the bar! Remants dive for cover and Steven (who had curled up on the bar to sleep) yowls!

Steven damages Purr-fect Rest

Vestri doesn’t carry ranged weapons, so he improvises, copying the Abyssal Beast’s tactic of tearing up rocks and throwing them up at the Abyssal Beast. He hisses in what he hopes are bad words in the Remnant language.

Vestri Deepdelve: see in the dark (to find rocks)

Vestri Uncontrollable Strength (to dislodge and throw rocks)

Vestri Keep Them Busy 7-9 their attention is on you & you will face retaliation

Yuri sees his chance and leaps to strike a deathblow with his magical sword!

Yuri Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once 10+

Abyssal Beast damages Primordial Beast

Abyssal Beast TAKEN OUT

The force of Yuri’s leap drives the sword into the Abyssal Beast up to the hilt. The glow from the sword fills the Abyssal Beast, which bursts, showering the chamber with light! The bits of the Abyssal Beast seem to turn to paint, splattering over the chamber so that was once black on black is now white on white! The intense light instantly kills Heath and any Ramnants near the doorway of the bar!

The only thing left of the Abyssal Beast is a curious lantern. This Reverse Lantern alternates between emiting and absorbing light at the flip of a switch! It can open the rune-locked doors the Fellowship passed earlier.

END OF SESSION MOVE:

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? Only half-done with this dungeon, so NO.
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking? Yuri still doesn’t know what the sword does, or what disaster he’s preventing. NO
  • Did we learn something new about the world and its peoples? YES, we learned about Remnants.

1 Boon: Heal