Chasing the sunset & the Kraken

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

Fafnir the dragon.

She just hatched yesterday, from an ancient egg that Buckle found and incubated. She’s has four legs, wings, and is about the size of a Golden Retriever.  She likes to strike from above with her sharp talons, but doesn’t always control her great power.  Perhaps other eggs or dragons have survived. She’s traveling to find them.  She heard that somewhere out there is a city made of gold.

Long ago, dragons ruled the world, but they were brought down by trickery and almost wiped out. They are vengeful, although not many survive to enact vengeance.  Rumor has it that they are also very greedy.

Buckle the beast.

He’s a Platyperson who has electrical senses to detect living creatures, venomous spurs, and the ability to breath underwater. Incubating eggs is normal for platypi, but it’s quite unusual for dragons to emerge from those eggs. He’s traveling for a reason that he has not shared with his companions.  He heard about a underwater crystalline cathedral.

Platypeople keep to themselves & don’t interact with outsiders much.  Their ‘cities’ (small compared to the cities of Elves or Orcs) can be underwater, on land, or both.  There’s a great festival called Platypalooza scheduled for the next full moon. Platypeople have a reputation of being ignorant, backwater folk.

Rook the remnant.

They is an incorporeal ghost, unable to touch or be touched by anything.  They died near the end of the war against the dragons, but they remains.  They remembers.  They heard that somewhere out there is a temple with the power to restore the dragons.

Long ago, their people served the dragons, but they were all killed in the same war that killed the dragons. Rumor has it that dragon sympathizers like Rook remain because they were cursed by witches!

Agnes Nutter the harbinger.

She’s a blind prophet, who has sight beyond sight. She riding a flying snake named Snek, who can shrink and coil around her neck like a scarf when flying is not needed. Agnes has a ring that lets her see through Snek’s eyes. She also has a vague sixth sense of things near her, so she won’t run into things, even without Snek’s help. She travels to find a legendary library of powerful magical tomes.

The blind prophets are nomads, and avoid each other, since multiple prophets close together cause magical interference, distorting the prophesies.  When prophets dream, they are possessed by some magical force and recite or write prophesies. These prophesies come from several different sources.  Rumor has it that the prophets are just high all the time, and their visions are drug-induced hallucinations.

The “new to them” world

This is not like Europe 500 years ago declaring that lands were unknown and uninhabited just because Europeans didn’t know about or didn’t live there.  Our characters know that the world is bigger than what they’ve traveled or heard about. They are going past the limits of their experience, not to some undiscovered country.  There will be people and nations out there.  Our characters’ ignorance of those people does not invalidate them.

Let’s begin

Agnes found a Fairy Ferry that runs across the sea to the land they will explore. This ferry is made of two enormous leaves. One forms the hull and another forms the deck.  The stem of the hull curves up, providing an elevated platform like the bridge of a human ship. The ship is driven by two propeller shafts, one on each side of the ship. The propeller blades are shaped like giant maple seeds. The shafts run inside the hull and are connected to basically bicycles. Teams of fairies take shifts pedaling to propel the ship.  Fairies are about a foot tall, extremely skinny and delicate humanoids. They fly on transparent insect wings. Their skin can be any pastel shade, and they favor flower names.  They are nude, except for accessories, like Captain Periwinkle’s impressive tricorne hat.  They have a constant glamour that makes it impossible for one to get a clear view of their bodies. They always seem obscured, un-detailed, PG-rated.

Buckle stands at the prow. He’d rather swim.  Boats seem like big-city nonsense to him.  Rook lurks at the entrance to the lower deck.  They can’t enter without permission. Agnes & Fafnir are below. Fafnir is hungry and licks a bench.  Maybe it’s salad.  Fairies powering the screws change shifts. A fairy named Crocus notices Fafnir and yells at her, Agnes gets a glimpse of something strange in Crocus’s locker that he’s trying to conceal. Agnes convinces him to give Fafnir candy in exchange for taking a shift on the bicycle. He gets fruit & candy from the locker, revealing an evil charm. A large splinter of wood with a dried tentacle wrapped around it, secured with twine.  Agnes takes a piece of fruit & uses it to look through Crocus’s eyes. He’s looking at he evil charm, muttering about “soon, close!”

Agnes goes above to gather the team & tell of the danger. Only now do Fafnir and Agnes notice that poor Rook was left outside in the rain.  Rook sinks through the deck to stick their head into Crocus’s locker, but is spotted.  Buckle’s electrical sense & Agnes’ ley lines detect something approaching from starboard, connected to the charm. They go to warn the captain. Periwinkle sends Rose, the burly first mate, to check on Crocus, who is running up to the deck to complain about Rook.

Just as Rose & Crocus meet, the Kraken emerges! Tentacles threaten the ship!  Rook tries to distract a crushing tentacle. It works! The tentacle attacks them, but passes through them and smashes through the deck of the ship. Another tentacle grabs Rose.  Fafnir runs to pin Crocus & hopefully take his charm.  She was thinking of just killing him, but restrained herself.  Crocus dodges & blasts her with fairy dust, damaging her Sense.  Also, the charm is still in Crocus’s locker, not on his person.  Since no one helped her, Rose is yanked overboard.

Agnes goes overboard somehow. Snek flies out to look for her.  Buckle jumps into the water and asks the Kraken to please let them pass.  The Kraken is surprised to hear someone speak to it, so it emerges to look at the situation more closely.

The Kraken’s squishy, bulbous head and giant yellow eye tower over the ship.  One tentacle is still wrapped around one of the propellers.  Snek picks up Agnes & Rose & carries them back to the ship. Fafnir flies up, drops onto the Kraken’s eye, and tears at it without restraint. Chunks of squid-flesh rain down on Buckle, who dives under the ship to safety. The ship can’t dodge & takes more damage.  The Kraken submerges, leaving Fafnir in the water.

Under the boat in relative peace, Buckle notices farms and buildings on the sea floor. He swims down to seek help.

Agnes sends Snek to retrieve Fafnir from the water.  Rook pretends to have Crocus’s charm. Crocus approaches, trying to get it back.  Rook backs up to the edge of the ship, hoping that Crocus will fall overboard, but Crocus can also fly, so they both float past the edge of the ship.

The binding tentacle that no one dealt with snaps off the starboard propeller shaft.

The Kraken re-emerges on the port side of the boat.  Fafnir does the same trick to score another hit, disabling the Kraken’s tentacles. She restrains herself and does not inflict collateral damage.  The Kraken submerges & Fafnir is left in the water again.

Buckle swims into a cave in the sea floor from which light is shining. Inside, there’s a mer-person working metal over a volcanic vent.  Buckle asks for help, but the smith demands something precious first. Buckle hands over a crocodile tooth, a trophy of a previous hunt. The smith starts planning how to turn it into an impressive necklace, but then remembers the business at hand and swims up to engage with his smithing hammer.

Fafnir swims over to the ferry and tries to climb aboard. Coco, Fafnir’s scheming Kobold minion, has planned for just such an occasion and helps Fafnir aboard.

Under the ferry, the mer-smith charges in, striking mighty blows with his hammer. Buckle is going to use the distraction to strike with his venomous spurs, but the Kraken attacks with its beak. The smith is caught in the terrible jaws and drops his hammer.

Agnes manipulates the ley lines to open a path to a closed space: the inside of Crocus’ locker. She grabs the charm and destroys it with her runeblade. The Kraken convulses as the blow is struck, and sinks limply to the sea floor below.

Buckle takes a trophy from the Kraken as it sinks. The smith claims the carcass as salvage, since it fell on his fields.  Even with half its propellers gone, the ferry is able to limp to port under the expert guidance of Captain Periwinkle.

Port Intrepid is built on stilts in a marshy river delta. Folks move around in town either by boat or on boardwalks. A platform overlooking the bustling dock has three important features:

  • Crew bosses shouting orders to workers below
  • A clock tower
  • A big Ogre, who is making a show of being menacing, but seems a bit uncomfortable with the role.

The party heals. Fafnir and Buckle level up. Fafnir teaches Agnes the “Dragoon” move that was so effective against the Kraken. Buckle gains another animal trait and teaches Fafnir how to use electro-sense.

Thus ends the first session of Chasing the Sunset. Next time, a different group of characters will have different adventures.