Chasing The Sunset & The Cure

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

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

Last time, Averiela joined Dryden and Lucia and they found a secret underground tunnel and talked their way past an armored crocodile. Now that the crocodile has left, they can either go back the way they came from or press on. Of course they go forward into the unknown!  Dydren, Lucia, and their companions ride on the back of a giant pod turtle. Averiela is walking on the surface of the water (a perk of being an Elf) and carrying her wolf (Knows too Much) across her shoulders. Her unicorn (White Sand) is on the surface, awaiting magical communication from Averiela to know where to go. They travel quite way down the dark tunnel, following the current caused by the slight slope in the tunnel.

They come upon another tunnel that joins theirs from the right. The water in that tunnel is stagnant. It slopes up away from them, but there’s no more water coming down. Eventually, the slope of the tunnel will rise above the water level. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but too far away to make out what it is.

GM note: False choices are bad, but I ended up giving the party two in a row. Do you want to see a new thing that might be fun, or not have fun?

Lucia wants to investigate the side tunnel, so Dryden has to come along, because they are on the same turtle. As soon as they enter the side tunnel, Lucia is struck by metal spike, and half a second later, they hear an echoing “thunk” like a giant bottle of wine being opened, and some scrambling and clattering of stone.

Roddy (Sharpshooter) Eagle Eye: damages Lucia’s Wisdom

Lucia sighs, because she should have expected that. Dryden picks up the “supersonic knitting needle” and puts it in his cloak next to the other one. Averiela (who didn’t see Roddy in action) is shocked and concerned for Lucia.

Lucia: Hello, Roddy! I’m so happy to see you again. Hoping to come find you. Do you want some tea?

Roddy (Sharpshooter) Social Anxiety: retreat from people talking to him

Averiela sends Knows Too Much down the tunnel to scout and report back

Knows Too Much (Wolf) Pack Hunter: advantage, gather information from afar

Averiela Look Closely 7-9

Knows Too Much swims to the end of the water, and walks up the tunnel. The ceiling has collapsed, so there’s a pile of rubble and a hole open to the sky above. Knows Too Much climbs up and sees a flat plain with a few trees and bushes scattered around. One of the nearby bushes smells like meat and has a long metal tube sticking out of it. Roddy retreated from the tunnel, but is covering the entrance, so if a person sticks their head up, Roddy will shoot them. A good distance away, a group of Platypeople spot Knows Too Much and move aggressively towards him. They are specifically hunting wolves! Unlucky! Knows Too Much runs back down the tunnel and tells Averiela what he’s seen, but those Platypeople won’t be far behind.

Dryden tells Tammeas, his giant turtle, to come out of the water and take a nap. Everyone is on the dry floor of the collapsed tunnel.  Dryden readies the wands they are using for light for their alternate use as one-time flashbangs!  He got this idea from New Year’s party supplies and used it to escape detection back in the palace. The key is that the the projectile makes a ‘pop’ sound that makes people look shortly before exploding in a blinding flash. Dryden gets close to the tunnel exit and fires the wand up to blind Roddy.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 6-

The wand goes off prematurely and Dryden blinds himself!  Two Platypeople climb down into the tunnel, close enough to menace Dryden with a torch and pitchfork.

Meanwhile, Averiela has sent Knows Too Much far down the tunnel to avoid the hunters.

Averiela Elder Arts Camouflage: become invisible

She walks invisibly past the Platypeople coming down into the tunnel. She knows where Roddy is hiding and sees him turning to aim at the other two Platypeople still above ground. He wasn’t expecting people to approach from that direction!

Averiela Finish Them (Grace) Advantage: invisible 10+ Taken Out

She takes a moment to determine the location of Roddy’s neck through his ghillie suit, then gives him a nerve pinch that knocks him out instantly!

Back in the tunnel, Lucia hails the Platypeople.

Lucia: Hello, Platypeople! We are friends! I am Lucia the Brave of the Forgotten Lands, and I’m exploring these lands with my companions.

Lucia Symbol Of Royalty: grants an audience with anyone

Platyperson hunter: You must go to the Mayor. And quickly. Night will be here soon, and with night, the Werewolves!

Averiela: Werewolves? You two drag me into the worst situations!

Two of the hunters will escort the party to the nearby town of Bogden, and the other two will continue to hunt for the wolf they saw earlier. Dryden fears for the safety of the other animal companions.

Dryden: How do you feel about giant turtles?

Platyperson hunter: I hear some grow so large they can fit a castle on their backs!

The party continues to be shifty and try to prevent the hunters from going down the tunnel and finding Knows Too Much.

Averiela: Can’t we just come clean?

Dryden: There is a wolf on my turtle’s back.

Averiela: Wolf, not Werewolf.

Dryden: I have never known a Werewolf to ride a turtle

Dryden Talk Sense (+hope for Averiela’s assistance) “Don’t kill our wolf” 7-9

The Platypeople won’t kill him, but they will place Knows Too Much in custody for the night, just to be sure. That’s what they are doing to the other suspected Werewolves. As they all walk towards the town, Dryden and Averiela provide glowing character references for Knows Too Much. Averiela carries the unconscious Roddy and signals White Sand to come to her.

Averiala Elder Arts: Whisper On The Wind. Send a short message

The town of Bogden

Fairmeadow is a town that contains a fairground, but Bogden is a fairground that contains a town. Platypalooza is a huge event for Platypeople everywhere and the population quadruples during the yearly celebration.

When they reach town, the hunters put Knows Too Much in one of six cells that are set up outside the stadium. One contains a Platyperson, one contains a Human with two other Humans visiting. Roddy and Knows Too Much are placed in the next two, and two more are empty. Each cell is about 2 meters on a side, made of bamboo jammed into the ground, and covered with a roof.  Each cell stands alone, several meters from the next cell, so if any of the occupants do turn into Werewolves, they won’t be able to grab and bite their neighbors.

Mayor Belvo greets Queen Lucia The Brave and her companions, and prepares a banquet for them. Alas, Platypalooza last month was disrupted by Werewolf attacks (the reason for the increased vigilance tonight) and all the vendors fled prematurely. Usually Platypalooza buys all the leftover food, but now they are regretably a bit short.

Bogden location stat: Famine. When the party Fills Their Belly, one character must pay a price

Dryden Pay A Price: 1 food

Dryden contributes some of his food so that everyone has enough. He also works on his magical collections a bit

Dryden Workaholic: spend 1 food to restore or switch gear

Bogden location stat: Famine. When the party Fills Their Belly, one character must pay a price

Dryden Pay A Price: 1 food

He sees a small Platyperson child looking at his extra portion with big sad eyes, and he can’t resist.  Using his knowledge of traditional Platyperson food, he selects a Fried Giant Spider Leg On A Stick to give to the child. Dryden insists that the Giant Spider Leg is still “squeaming” and his companions insist that “squeaming” is not a word at all, and it’s certainly not the action that makes people “squeamish”

Belvo explains that Platypalooza is the biggest Platyperson cultural celebration around, and last month it was disrupted by Werewolves! The Werewolves were all slain, but three people were bitten, and all the festival-goers fled in a panic. Two of the bite victims were locked up in the cells outside, and the third victim is missing. Maybe they were one of the vistors and fled in the confusion.

After this useful story, Belvo won’t shut up, but Lucia corners him in conversation, matching each of his stories with a story about her travels.

Belvo Mixed-Metaphor-a-Minute: will damage Sense by talking

Lucia Keep Them Busy 7-9

GM note: I ruled that, instead of distracting Belvo temporarily, Lucia was able to limit the damage to herself, which is more like the 7-9 result of Overcome (pay a price to take the 10+ result) It made sense in the fiction.

Averliela wants to know more about the Werewolf situation and seeks out a wise Platyperson. She finds Anter, a village elder. She tells Averiela that when the full moon rises at sunset, which is quite soon now, normal people who have been bitten will transform into Werewolves and rampage. The webs on their hands pull back, revealing big claws!  Their bills thicken and spout horrible fangs!  A bite will cause a victim to turn into a Werewolf on the next full moon, if they survive. Not everyone survives a Werewolf attack.  She also points out that Belvo is excusing himself from the dinner party, supposedly on official business, but really to hide in his home from the werewovles. Belvo’s a coward.

Dryden ponders how to cure a Werewolf. He does have a unicorn sword with healing powers. Unicorns are creatures of healing, opposed to Werewolves, creatures of destruction. A Werewolf’s bite pierces and injects a contaminant unwillingly. If a victim willingly took a healing potion, then was pierced by a unicorn’s healing horn, the healing in the horn could combine with the healing in the victim’s system and overcome the curse!

GM note: It’s clever and costs a lot of resources, including both charges of the Unicorn Sword, which are not easily regained, plus Dryden has to fight Werewolves to administer the cure, so I was convinced that this was an appropriate solution.

While Dryden explains his plan and gives his healing potions to the two prisoners, Lucia looks around for sources of evil.

Lucia The Forgotten Lands unique feature: Detect Evil

The prisoners seem kind of evil, but not really, like the evil is hidden or overlapping with something. She detects evil clearly from a large Platyperson pacing back and forth at the entrance of the town, spoiling for a fight. Also at the entrace of the city, White Sand arrives.

The sun sets and the two prisoners in the cells turn into Werewolves! The human prisoner’s friends are close to the cage one is grabbed by the Werewolf!

Lucia Get Away 7-9 bring someone along

Lucia grabs the human and pulls her free, but the Werewolf slashes Lucia with its claws.

Werewolf damages Lucia’s Blood

Averiela Elder Art Stardust

Averiela blows a puff of stardust from her fingertips into the Werewolf’s face, and it collapses in magical slumber.  Dryden asks the humans were their friend was bitten, and stabs he sleeping Werewolf in that same spot with the Unicorn Sword.

Dryden Finish Them Sense (advantage: asleep) 10+Taken Out!

When the healing energy of the Unicorn sword enters the Werewolf and meets the healing energy inside, there’s a flash of brilliant light that momentariloy makes the entire circulatory system glow through the Werewolf’s fur.  It’s hruts for a moment, then the monster’s body shrinks into its normal human form.

The group moves to the next cell, where the Werewolf is tearing at the bars.  Dryden sets up a dart trap pointed at the cell, and Averiela tries to interfere with the Werewolf’s escape.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 6-

She gets too close and the Werewolf’s claws catch her and pull her against the bars. Lucia rushes in and together they overpower the wolf and pull free

Averiela Get Away (+aid Lucia) hope 10+ avoid harm

Dryden fires the dart trap. Inside the small cage, the were wolf can’t really dodge

Dart Trap poison: Werewolf is sluggish, giving Hope to deal with it.

Dryden Finish Them (sense) advantage: poisoned in a cage. hope 10+ Taken Out!

Dryden steps in and stabs the Werewolf with the Unicorn Sword. Again, the two healing energies meet, mix, and dispel the curse. As the last of the healing energy in the Unicorn Sword is spent, it releases a pulse that smells like warm spring grass.  Both Werewolves in the cells have been cured.

The group hears screams from elsewhere in the village.  The third Werewolf victim was hiding here all along!  Averiela wants Knows Too Much released, so Lucia gives the order, and it is done!

Lucia Yes, My Liege: those of lower rank obey Lucia without question

They run towards the source of the sound, and see an injured Platyperson stagger out of a house. The Champ, the large and evil Platyperson Lucia noticed earlier, is also running towards the house.

GM note: I linked the floor plan of a house in the teleconference

Dryden and Champ enter the Great Room via the south door.  Lucia enters the Great Room from the east door. Averiela enters the Studio Bedroom, also from the east porch. Averiela geussed correctly, and sees a bed with broken restraints, a Werewolf, and Sally (a Platyperson) in imminent danger!  Stardust is no good, since Sally is panicing and her screams would wake the werewolf as soon as Averiela put it to sleep.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 6-

Averiela whips out her bow and fires several arrows to deter the Werewolf. One nicks the creature, but not enough to distract it from grabbing and biting poor Sally.  Lucia is next to arrive, running in through the bedroom door, reversing her grip on her longsword and aiming a knock-out blow with the pommel towards the Werewolf’s skull

Lucia Finish Them (Sense) +despair 7-9

Werewolf damages Tough As Nails

The Werewolf staggers and drops Sally, then stands up and turns to attack Lucia. The Champ enters the room at high speed and delivers a vicious tail slap to knock the Werewolf away.

Dryden’s knockout bolas (Melee, Dangerous, Clumsy) + Magical Collection (+Ranged tag) + Curious Curios: Fast (-Clumsy tag)

Dryden prepares his space-warping knockout-gas bolas for a quick strike from outside the room.

Dryden Finish Them (Sense) advantage: kicked by The Champ 10+ Taken Out!

The bolas entangle the Werewolf and spew debilitating gas, knocking the Werewolf unconscious. The cloud of gas spreads, threatening everyone in the Studio Bedroom: Averiela, The Champ, Lucia, and Sallet. Lucia warns Averliela and they dive out the door together onto the porch.

Averiela Get Away (+aid Lucia) hope 10+ avoid harm

The Champ and Sallet both collapse.  Quiet settles over the village. The Werewolf attack is over. Dryden leaves the bolas out for the rest of the night, until the Werewolf turns back into Sallet: the son of Sally and Froob (the injured Platyperson who fled the house)

Averiela wants to find Patient Zero and figure out this Werewolf curse. She tries to get information out of Froob, who was clearly hiding a bite victim and put himself and the whole town at great risk.

Averiela: We need you to be honest. We’re not trying to get you in trouble.

Averiela: Speak Softly 6- Ask 3 questions. 1 untrue answer, 1 unhelpful answer

Averiela will not be able to gather any clues from the Werewolf that bit Sallet. It was killed by a high-speed flaming log, which completely destroyed the body.  Froob is only thinking about his son and finding a cure.  Averiela notices potions and chemistry equipment in the house. Perhaps Froob is turning to dark magic in his obsessive quest.

GM note: The players intend to stay in Bogden to Recover, and foiling the Werewolf attack gives them the Fellowship of the Platypeople, which will grant everyone a fellowship move, and unlock a few Destiny Playbooks. Too much to deal with at the late hour. We agreed to handle this at the beginning of next session and said good night.

GM note: This session could have been a lot more interesting! Stuff I missed, or which was overcome by accident

  1. Dryden’s Unicorn Sword is an atrocity. People should have reacted to it.
  2. Didn’t push the personalities of the Werewolf prisoners
  3. No investigation for the missing third Werewolf victim
  4. Werewolves are easy to defeat when locked in small cages
  5. Champ was going to kill all the infected, but Dryden unintentionally knocked him out before he could try.