Chasing The Sunset & Ancient Wisdom

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

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

Last time, the party saved the town of Bogden from werewolves. They spent the next week recovering in Bogden

Dryden gains Destiny: Hunter

Party Recovers: remove all marks from health, gear, and spells

The grateful citizens of Bogden offer the party several boons to choose from:

  • Two Platypeople will join the party as companions
  • Anter (the vilage elder) will share her wisdom
  • Shady individuals with certain useful skills will owe them a favor

The party have trouble choosing between these enticing options.  Perhaps they should bring Sallet and Sally (the lycanthropes) along with them, so they can deal with their transformation on the next full moon. The Champ thinks the lycanthropes should be killed to protect the rest of the town.  Eventually they decide that the greatest treasure is knowledge!

Fellowship move: The Elder. Each character asks one question and receives a truthful answer

Lucia: Who built the Moon?

Anter is 85 years old, so she was not born when the Moon appeared 100 years ago, but she memorized the stories passed down from the Elder before her. The Moon was the Dragons’ greatest weapon, but it didn’t work. Shortly after the Moon appeared, the Dragons disappeared.

Dryden: How can I ensure the two werewolves and the whole community are safe.

Anter: The Champ wants to kill them to protect the community, but they are part of the community, so that will not keep the whole community safe. We could exile them so they don’t attack their fellow townspeople, but since they are part of the community, that does not protect the whole community. We could build cages and contain them on the night of the full moon. The best, but most difficult option, is to cure their lycanthropy.

Averiela: How do we stop the greatest threat to the world?

Anter: That’s the Moon’s purpose. Make the Moon work the way it’s supposed to.

Averiela: We should find the Dragons.

Dryden & Lucia: We know where one is.

Dryden explains the method he uses to cure the werewolves last week. He gives Anter two Healing Potions, but the Unicorn Sword (the other half of the ritual) is spent.

GM note: The Unicorn Sword is not part of Dryden’s gear, so it is not affected by the Recover move.

White Sand uses Holy Horn: restore one charge to Unicorn Sword

White Sand uses Infinite Compassion: restore one charge to Unicorn Sword

Averiela’s live Unicorn shares her power with the Unicorn Sword so that Anter can use it on the next full moon. Anter thanks them for their help, then quickly wraps the Unicorn Sword in a cloth and puts it away. Using the horn of a peaceful creature like a Unicorn as a weapon is an atrocity, and Anter’s really uncomfortable looking at it.

Dryden gains location bond with Bogden: I cured the werewolves in Bogden

Bogden Minimum Response Level increases to 1

Bogden Response Move: Bad Weather: rainstorm

Clouds and rain move in as the party finishes Recovering. The clouds and thick sheets of rain reduce visibility, and the ground turns to mud. The Platypeople love this weather, but it’s inconvenient for adventurers used to dry land. Tammeas the giant turtle loves the rain, but Knows Too Much is cranky.

Before they leave, they write on the Bogden Message board.

Lucia: Anter can be an ally. Watch out for Champ. The mayor will talk you to death (metaphorically) Also Sally and Sallet are werewolves (maybe)

Averiela: Whoa, that might cause prejudice!

Lucia crosses out Also Sally and Sallet are werewolves (maybe)

Dryden: If the full moon possess
And healing occurred,
Seek Anter.
Your worth she’ll assess,
If you be not deterred.
I have six words to spare!

Averiela: Do Sally and Sallet have Lycanthropy? Help them.

Lucia and Dryden want to find the Dragon in the Goblin city mentioned by Brianiac.

Averiela: Is that really the last Dragon?

Lucia & Dryden (in unison): It’s the only Dragon we know of.

Dryden: We head for Dragons or the edge of the map, where the water flows up! I’m going to insult that Dragon and bait it into fighting me!

Anter gives directions to the twin volcanoes: take the river that flows out of Bogden south until it connects to the Mighty River. From there, walk overland towards the twin volcanoes visible on the southern horizon. The party prefers the secret tunnels, but worries that the rainstorm has flooded them. The tunnel to Bogden has enough water in it to flow toward the main tunnel, as it did before it collapsed.

Dryden & Averiela Fill Their Bellies & assign the extra healing to White Sand

Just before they leave, they remember that Roddy is still in a cell!  He does not recognize Lucia’s authority, so she can’t order him to do anything.  Dryden tries the diplomatic approach

Dryden Finish Them (Wisdom) Advantage: can’t avoid conversation while imprisoned 10+

Dryden points to White Sand, a live unicorn, and says that Unicorns are noble beasts, but EEE, who adopts the aesthetic of Unicorns by killing them, is evil. Roddy should join the authentic good team. He could be an asset!

Roddy forms bond with Dryden and joins as a Companion

Now they head out for real! They enter the secret underground tunnels and continue south. They approach a fork in the tunnel. Both sides go roughly the same direction, but one has water, and the other does not. Averiela scouts up the dry tunnel and finds a station. These tunnels were a transportation network long ago, and this was a large station with plenty of seating, and a counter that used to provide some amentities, maybe food and drink. All that was long ago, and the stone benches are covered in dust, and all the shelves are empty.  Averiela’s keen Elven vision detects a slip of paper dovered in Dwarven runes: a winning ticket for a lottery that hasn’t operated in centuries. She also finds a secret compartment containing an ornate locked box.

Dryden investigates the box: picking it up, spinning it in his hands, knocking on it. The mechanisms remind him of ancient trap techniques he learned from The Trapper.  Dryden was a student of The Trapper, but never saw his face. Dryden would go to a certain place for a lesson, trigger a trap, then figure out how to get out of it. The last time he went for a lesson, he didn’t get trapped. Instead of a trap, The Trapper left his scrolls explaining his techniques. That’s how Dryden found out that he had graduated.

Averiela: So can you unlock it?

Dryden: Yes and no. I’ll hold all the moving parts in the correct positions, and you should be able to remove the contents. We don’t want to be in a subterranean position to try thing. The trap collapses in like a vaccuum, and wears off in 6-12 hours.

This station has a spiral stone staircase leading to the surface, like the other stations the party has seen in these tunnels. They push back the covering at the top of the stairs, which turns out to be a curtain of flase grass, hiding the entrance in a meadow. They are just south of the Mighty River, which flows west to east. To the east, rapids coming down from huge white mountains, the Treacherous Mountains that Dryden and Lucia crossed not long ago. To the west, the Mighty River flows on for a long way. To the south, twin volcanoes are visible: one smoking, one dormant. On the north bank of the Mighty River is a town.

Averiela: Let’s open this box far from the entrance, so we don’t affect travel. Also far from the town.

Dryden: The radius of a trap this size is only 50 yards.

Drdyen will operate the puzzle box and put just the right pressure on the hidden mechanism on the bottom. Lucia will open the lid and grab what’s inside. Both must be ready to get ot a safe distance at any moment. Dryden has final instructions for Averiela, who is standing well clear.

Dryden: If we get stuck, wait it out. Throw stuff into the effect to use up its energy faster.

Lucia (+Hope w/Dryden assist) Get Away 10+

Everything goes as well as it could, which means Lucia and Dryden dive aside as the box and nearby landscape collapse into a tiny ball, but Lucia holds the prize in her hand!

DM note: Clearly this treasure of the Dwarves would be Dwarf-Made and Precious, but I had the players roll 2 d6s to select more item tags

It’s a Ceremonial Throwing Axe, used to show authority in Dwarven culture. It’s definitely still a weapon, but aesthetics were more important than efficiency. The handle is made of gold and the axe blade is deep blue crystal, sliced from a geode.

New item: Ceremonial Throwing Axe. Dwarf-Made, Precious, Thrown, Clumsy

The party heads to the nearby town of Thaumatown. Its narrow streets are crowded by tall narrow buildings. It seems claustrophobic, and looking closer only intensifies that impression. The streets are packed full of people rushing every which way. Enforcer Droids bark orders and direct traffic, but each Droid gives contradictory orders, pushing people into endless loops and traffic jams. In the air above, metal eys with buzzing wings watch over everyone.

Roddy, Knows Too Much, and White Sand stay at the edge of town. They don’t like crowds. Dryden shows a secret arm signal that indicates trouble. Roddy can watch for it with the scope of his pneumatic gun. Dryden identifies the Enforcer Droids as a public menace, and wants to figure out how to fix them. Maybe there’s a cool reward! As they try to enter the town, an Enforcer Droid warns that they are violating traffic regulations.

Lucia Symbol Of Royalty: grant an audience with anyone

Lucia demands to meet the ruler of this town. The Enforcer Droid recognizes her royal symbol and starts leading her towards a tower at hte back of town, ordering everyone out of it way. Before long, another Enforcer Droid directs Lucia’s Droid into a dead-end alley, then a third Droid closes the main road so they aren’t allowed to leave the alley.

Lucia Symbol Of Royalty: grant an audience with anyone

Lucia sees how this works and orders every Enforcer Droid that gets near her to take her to its leader. Soon an entire formation of Enforcer Droids are leading her to the tower, leaving a sector of town free from their nonsense orders. Living townsfolk cheer in relief. The Enforcer Droids open the doors at the base fo the tower, and Lucia and Dryden go inside. They climb the stairs and reach a study at the top. A balcony provides a great view of the city below.  Bookselves line the walls, and tables are covered in scrolls and parchment. Everything is wrinkled and water-damaged. Most importantly, and most unfortunately, they find the dead body of a Wizard and the knife that must have killed him. This town has no ruler. Hasn’t had one for while, judging by the state of the body.