Chasing The Sunset & First Blood

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

The party: Lucia the Brave the Heir, Dryden of Conwall the Collector

Last time, Lucia and Dryden spared Lady Evelynn’s life, but she’s sure to warn Doctor Diana MacLeod about them. They agreed to help Dr. MacLeod find a more powerful warhead for her Anti-Moon Weapon, but they actually think she’s dangerous and needs to be stopped. If they don’t hurry, Dr. MacLeod will learn of their true intentions and won’t welcome them to her mountain-top facility.

They reach the facility ahead of the news of their treachery, because Addison at the gate house doesn’t suspect them.  They say they have a Source of Power to give to Dr. MacLeod, and Addison opens the gate for them and takes them up the covered stairs to the main building near the summit.  There’s a space there for guests, with floor-to-ceiling windows facing north giving a gorgeous view of a tall mountain range. Like all buildings on the mountain, this one is overshadowed by a huge umbrella, extending far over the walls on all sides.  Dr. MacLeod is busy preparing the Anti-Moon Weapon for its next shot, but she will join them for dinner in a few hours.  Dryden goes over to lay down on the couch that he trapped on his previous visit. The trap goes off! Who could have predicted this? Lucia applies a healing poultice to Dryden’s self-inflicted wound.

They plan to attack Dr. MacLeod when she arrives for dinner. Dryden has a trap that could immobilize her, but she’ll definitely know they are unfriendly when that goes off, so they don’t want her to trigger it pre-maturely. Dryden sets the trap near the back wall. It’s a Chameleon Bear Trap. It’s made of goo, like Ooblek, that changes color to match its surroundings. When someone steps in it, it hardens. Like the novelty finger-traps, struggling makes it grip tighter.  Dryden breaks into his stash of Curious Curios, Useful items that aren’t magical like the more important items in his collection. He uses Fusion Tape to attach a mirror shard (from the giant mirror that fell on Sugar’s Crossing) to the harpoon gun that he stole from Lady Evelynn’s trophy room. Fusion Tape is very sticky, but he can remove it with his Fission Cutter when he needs to. He puts sticky-tack on the harpoon gun’s handle, so he can mount it to a table.

As they are preparing, a cook comes into the room. Dryden quickly throws a cloth over the harpoon gun.  The cook is there with snacks. Dr. MacLeod doesn’t want her guests to get low blood sugar.  Dryden requests some nuts, which the cook quickly provides.

Finally, it’s dinner time, and Dr. MacLeod arrives to greet her guests.  She’s still wearing a leather apron with pouches around the middle and long rubber gloves covered in some strange purple goo.  She asks about their trip (supposedly to retrieve a Source of Power for her Anti-Moon weapon) They don’t mention beating up Lady Evelynn, since the two are friends.  Dryden shows the harpoon gun with the mirror shard attached.  They say that a giant mirror fell out of the sky in Sugar’s Crossing.  Dr. MacLeod is sure that it came from the Moon. Finally, she has confirmation of what it’s made of.  She had several theories about how the Moon was constructed, while Lucia and Dryden hadn’t considered that the Moon was constructed by anyone! They ask if she’s sure the forces who made the Moon are enemies that need to be destroyed. She’s very sure! What a foolish question! They mention the Goblins making roads to a city led by a dragon. Dr. MacLeod’s eyes go wide. A dragon? Alive? Where? This is the most important thing they’ve said yet.

There’s a map on the back wall, near the gooey trap. With a bit some sweet-talking and maneuvering, they get her to step in the trap. The goo hardens around her feet!  Dryden fires the harpoon gun, launching the mirror shard through the floor-to-ceiling window and onto the edge of the overhanging umbrella, where it can catch the rays of the setting sun. He orders the mirror shard to shine on Dr. MacLeod. The sunlight burns her, because she’s a vampire!  She lashes out with a flame attack, burning a hole in the wall and harming Lucia. Lucia uses her bloodline power to make her forget the last few minutes. The attack, the mirror falling from the Moon, the Dragon, all gone.  She takes a red vial and a blue vial from her belt pouches and throws them at her feet. The chemicals within react and explode, destroying the goo trap.  Lucia and Dryden dive away to avoid the explosion.

Dryden: The power source is attacking!

He performatively and ineffectively wrestles the harpoon gun. Dr. MacLeod goes through the hole she burned in the wall into the kitchen, where the mirror can’t target her. She sends a couple of cooks out to break the mirror. Dryden urges restraint.

Dryden: It’s the power source we have to show her.

Lucia: Wait, maybe I can get it.

She throws a grappling hook out to the mirror shard. The cooks want credit for securing the powerful artifact, so they jostle her to pull the rope in themselves. She has to steady herself and grabs the broken edge of the window. Dryden hits “retract” on the harpoon gun to secretly assist her.  Dryden gives another order to the autonomous Harpoon Gun

Dryden: Shoot the heart of the face you saw.

The cooks proudly go into the kitchen to show Dr. MacLeod the harpoon gun with attached Mirror Shard. The Harpoon Gun sees Dr. MacLeod and fires! She shrieks in pain and explodes into a swarm of bats! Two of the cooks are injured. The third cook, a fat sweaty guy, is unharmed by the swarming bats because he is also a vampire!  Lucia gets a faceful of angry bats.  Dryden deploys a prank weapon to keep the bats away from himself.

Dr. MacLeod starts retreating further into the facility and away from any reflected sunlight.  Dryden pulls out the prize of his collection, a priceless artifact. Anyone who sees it wants it!  He says that this is the real Source of Power!  Dryden backs up into the lounge, but Dr. MacLeod won’t follow. While everyone is distracted, Lucia retrieves the mirror shard from the harpoon gun.  Dr. McLeod sends her cooks to take it by force. They rush Dryden with cleavers and rolling pins. Lucia trips the fat one. Dryden meets the advance of the two human cooks with his two-handed Dwarven Hammer.

Dryden: This is a poor way to repay us

Dr. MacLeod: Give me the prize and you won’t be harmed.

Dryden: Not after last time!

On the ground, the vampire cook recovers and Lucia uses the bloodline power to make his forget the fight. He’s a bit confused because he doesn’t why he’s on the ground and the lounge lounge is smashed.

Cook: I gave you treats.

Lucia brings the mirror shard down with both hands, stabbing the vampire cook in the heart, killing him!

GM note: This is the first time Lucia has killed a person. A big deal! Vampires are evil at the best of times, but these vampires have world-shaking evil plans. That was enough to convince Lucia to use lethal force.

Dr. MacLeod is advancing towards Dryden and sees Lucia kill her fellow vampire, but she can’t be swayed from her course.

Dr. MacLeod: Price of progress.

To avoid her, Dryden overcharges his flying disk and flies out the broken window into the sunlight. He tries to quickly deploy a Dart Trap, but that’s such a dumb plan that his WIsdom is damaged.  Lucia tries to sneak up on Dr. MacLeod, but she is spotted and tackled by one of the human cooks.  Dryden Fusion Tapes the prize to the flying disk and orders the disk to stay in the sun. Dryden leaps back into the lounge to defend Lucia. He uses his poison-gas, gravity-warping bolas, but misses his throw. The bolas hit and deploy the debilitating gas behind Lucia, Dr. MacLeod, and the cooks.  One of the cooks gets a whiff and collapses. Lucia breaks away and avoids the gas.

Dr MacLeod summons a gust of wind to blow the flying disk & prize into the room, which also sends all the broken glass flying through the room.  The other human cook is taken out. Lucia throws her cloak around her, which protects her, but her longsword is blown into the kitchen.  Dryden orders the flying disk to return to him, heedless of the flying glass. He’s cut up, but he has the Prize.

Dr. MacLeod: I must have the power source!

Dryden throws it into the cloud of knock-out gas. Dr. MacLeod is taken aback, unsure of how to proceed. Dryden seizes the opportunity and fires his ranged rope at her. She sees it coming, grabs the rope, and pulls Dryden into her grasp. Lucia rushes in, using the bloodline power to make Dr. MacLeod forget the fight again. Dr. MacLeod is confused but obviously surrounded by enemies and lashes out. Lucia’s bodyguard Will (who has been here the whole time) takes the blow meant for Lucia, and Lucia and stabs Dr. MacLeod in the heart with the mirror shard! Dr. MacLeod’s body burns from the wound outward, quickly turning into ash and blowing away.

Lucia and Dryden have killed the mad scientist in charge of the Anti-Moon Weapon, so it probably can’t be used in the future. But there’s a whole mountain full of loyal scientists, technicians, and so on, and who knows how many of them are also vampires? Satisfied that they have removed a threat to the world, Lucia and Dryden make a hasty exit.

GM note: As I feared when this power was first invented, “forget everything for the past few minutes” is indeed too powerful.  Lucia’s player will have to pick a replacement power next time. Big character development for Lucia, going from never killing to killing twice in quick succession.  End of session move: restore gear, restore gear.