Chasing The Sunset & Redstone

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/Halfling Sheriff

Last time, the Fellowship explored a dangerous robotics facilty. At the bottom they found an Artifact of Power and its guardian.

A map of Thaumatown robotics facility, level 1. A ceramic bowl in the middle of an empty room. An elevator door to the west. A hole in the ceiling from the furnace.
Thaumatown robotics facility, level 1.
A Rogue Construct, an artifical creature of aether and energy. Most of its body is crackling puple energy ,but it has a golden mask for a face, hands that turn into sharp claws, and a ssingle metal spike instead of feet.
The Rogue Construct

This is Redstone, a being unlike all the other robots they have seen thus far. He was not built here, and is not powered by the powerplant like the rest. He’s a person, even though he’s artificial. The other robots just obey their programming. He also doesn’t attack mindlessly, but challenges the intruders, explaining why he’s about to fight them.

Redstone: Intruders! I won’t let you defile this facility, built by my master, the great Allan a Zham!

Lucia: Allan a Zham is gone.

Redstone: Nonsense. He would have told me if he was leaving.

Dryden: There’s a distinct possibility he’s dead. Not by us!

Redstone is even more upset, so Lucia quickly tries to calm him.

Lucia Talk Sense (+Wis, desires) 10+

Lucia: We’re trying to figure out what’s going on, and how to fulfill Allan a Zham’s will for this place.

Redstone: I’ve been serving Allan a Zham for a long time, even past his lifetime, apparently. Finding his will and continuing his legacy sounds good.

He flips his claws around to be hands. There will be no combat for now.  Lucia asks him a few questions.

Lucia Speak Softly 6- three questions, one false answer, one unhelpful answer

  • What were you doing?
    • Redstone points out three grooves in the stone wall of the chamber, and one groove in the floor. He’s been patrolling around the room for a long time
  • Tell us about this facility.
    • Redstone took a long elevator ride to get to the artifact chamber, so this powerplant must be far underground, probably under a volcano, based on the constnat jet of flame that comes through the hole in the ceiling.
  • Tell us about the artifact.
    • That’s top secret.

The Fellowship wonders if this facility is so old that it used to be powered by a volcano, before switching to the furnance that they saw and disabled last time. No, Thaumatown is on a river. There are mountains to the west and south, but certainly no volcano near town. Redstone must be wrong about that.

Dryden: We heard rumors that Allan a Zham may have left, but maybe that was an impostor.

Redstone: I’ve discussed theory of leadership and just use of power with Allan a Zham for many hours. If there is an impostor, I will find him out and destroy him!

Redstone opens the elevator door and sees an empty shaft. He looks in and sees the elevator car one storey above.  The Fellowship discusses how much to tell Redstone about the situation outside.

Dryden: Was Brainiac dismissed by the real Allan a Zham or by the false one?

Averiela: Do we care?

Averiela turns to address Redstone.

Averiela: Wait, you should know more! Brainiac is on a quest to find a dragon!

Redstone: Neither Allan a Zham nor Brianiac are helping the town. This is dire indeed.

Redstone starts climbing the rope that Dryden and Lucia used to access the chamber from the furnace above. Dryden wants to delay him.

Dryden: Any leadership tips?

Redstone: Proiritize the good of the people and don’t get distracted!

He continues up the rope and out of view. The Fellowship notices that he’s left the Artifact of Power unguarded! Averiela takes the opportunity to look around.

Averiela Look Closely 6- one question. one answer the hard way

  • What is hidden or out-of-place?
    • The chamber is carved out of stone. The artifact hovers in a ceramic bowl in the center of the room. The only other feature in the room is the open door to the elevator shaft. Averiela peeks inside and sees the elevator car  going up! Redstone took the elevator and left them behind!

Now the Fellowship must figure out how to get out of the chamber. The furnace above has a Magical Barrier that only lets robots through, and Redstone destroyed Averiela’s robot disguise. Lucia and Drdyen are inside the shells of Enforcer Droids.  Lucia wonders if she and Averiela could cram into her robot disguise, but Enforcer Droids are only the size of a refrigerator, so there’s not enough room for two. They also need to get the Artifact of Power out. It’s 2 feet on a side, all shifting panes of glass, like endless layers of windows.

Lucia: Will this facility collapse if we grab it?

The furnace might have destroyed the facility if it was left on without the artifact to absorb all the energy it produced, but they carefully shut that down to get in here. Averiela wonders if the Magical Barrier turns off when the furnace turns on. It would hurt for her to run through the furnace, but maybe that’s the only way. But they remember that when they saw the furnace in action from the control room, the magical barrier seemed to be active.

Dryden carefully examines the Artifact of Power. He has a lot of experience investigating magical artifacts, especially artifacts he’s not supposed to examine.  He has some little marbles that he can throw at things he’s not allowed to touch, to see how they react.

Dryden Strange Curios Useful

One marble is rectangular and magnetic. It adds magical energy. He tosses it at the Artifact of Power and it disappears into one of the shifting panes of glass. Part of Averiela’s robot disguise sparks and what servos are left move for a short time.

Dryden Strange Curios Useful

Dryden has another marble that disconnects. He built it when investigating an trapped orb. Whenever he touched the orb, the room would start to implode. for a while he’s touch it, the room would shrink, then he’d put it back. Using the marble to disconnect the orb from the trap made it much easier. Dryden throws the marble at the Artifact of Power and a signle pane of glass pops out of the shifting mass. Averiela dives to catch it before it hits the hard ground.

Averiela Overcome 6-

It slips through her fingers and breaks. The fragments have differnet colors, like stained glass. Perhaps when it was whole, it formed a image.

Lucia: Do we pull it apart pane by pane, wrap them in paper, and stack them for transport?

Dryden Strange Curios Useful

Dryden pulls out a magical knapsack. It stretches to fit whatever it needs to, and it’s unbrekaable from the inside, impervious even to swords and fire. A certain dagger did pierce it once. The repair is dodgy, so there’s a risk of rupture. It smells a bit funny, but it’s out of the hands of trolls, so Dryden is proud of it.

GM note: This knapsack comes from a story written by Dryden’s player

Dryden stretches the knapsack over the hovering Artifact of Power.

Dryden: Close!

The knapsack’s drawstring pulls tight!

Dryden: Now no one can get to it. Oh, Knapsack! Listen to Averiela and, uh, Lucia.

All this time together and Dryden forgets Lucia’s name? Rude! Dryden considers flying the others up the shaft to a higher floor, but the overcharged Flying Device can only carry two people. Also, they can’t enter the elevator car from the shaft  because there’s no door on the bottom of the car.

Dryden Modification: Flying Device is always Overcharged

Dryden flies up the elevator shaft. There are two doors on the third level and four doors on the second level. The elevator car blocks the first level. Dryden opens the North door on the second level. Inside, a Group of Warrior Droids and a Diamond Commander lie inert, deactivated because the powerplant is turned off. Dryden pushes two Warrior Droids down the elevator shaft. Averiela and Lucia start fashioning another disguise for Averiela.

Drdyen examines the deactivated robots.

Dryden Look Closely 7-9 three questions, one answer the hard way

  • What are the robots doing?
    • The robots are completely inactive. They have no power.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Dryden flips the turtle-shaped Diamond Commander over carefully so as not to break its glass shell.  He digs around inside the robot and finds a pane of glass that looks like one from the Artifact of Power. When he tries to touch it, his finger goes right into the window, and he feels a tap on his shoudler from inside the knapsack!
  • What happens if I try to take the commander’s parts?
    • Dryden salvages enough parts for a one-time use item that will momentarily make him Dwarf-made to negate a hit.His hands get pinched in the complex machinery
      • Robot Shield (Armor, 1 Use)
      • Dryden’s Blood is damaged

Meanwhile, Averiela’s new Warrior Droid disguise is complete. Averiela and Lucia climb the rope from the chamber ot the inside of the furnace. It has cooled and is no longer dangerously hot. They pass through the Magical Barrier and wait by the elevator door.

Dryden leaves the room with the Warrior Droids and opens the door to the Recycling Swarms. He flies near the top of the door and the Recycling Swarms can’t reach him. They spill out of the room and fall down the shaft. He investigates the chute by which trash is delivered from above. It’s spring-loaded and only opens with weight from above. He flies back to the elevator shaft and opens the door to the factory. The conveyor belts, cutters, and crushers are all inactive. They were also powered by the powerplant below. He could look down through the conveyor belts and see Averiela and Lucia in the furnace room below. Looking up there’s no access to the first level.

Dryden flies back down the shaft to the third level to confer with Lucia and Averiela on how he might reach the first level and regain control of the elevator. He has the keycard that will let him bring it back to the third level, but he needs to get inside the car to do that.

GM note: This is when I told the players that Dryden could have just given his robot disguise to Averiela. He exited through the elevator shaft, not the Magical Barrier.

Lucia: Go break that chute yourself. Don’t you have an explosive trap?

Dryden Explosive Trap: opens or seals a door

Drdyen flies back up to the Recyclinsg Swarm room and blows open the chute. He emerges into the Repair Bay. He opens the door to the elevator and finds a wall. The elevator car is rotated away. He walks through the broken door from the Repair Bay to the Entrance. Knows Too Much, Averiela’s pet wolf, is there! He’s not happy to see Dryden because Averiela is not with him. Dryden enters the elevator from the Entrance, inserts the keycard, and brings the elevator down to the third floor to pick up Averiela and Lucia, and they all ride the elevator up and exit the facilty! They escaped! The robots are shut down forever and they have the Artifact of Power!

Averiela: Walter is overeager and underqualified. Do we leave him to his own devices?

GM note: Walter can’t use Allan a Zham’s devices anymore!

Lucia looks for a pane of glass inside her robot disguise and uses it to poke Dryden through the Artifact of Power.

Lucia: The town probably won’t die and there’s no robot army. That’s good.

GM note: I checked in with the players to see if they were interested in forming a new goverment in Thaumatown, or teaching the residents how to operate a government. They were not interested, so we’ll just leave. They are leaving the town in pretty much the same state as a normal village, so they’ll be mostly fine. They are certainly in better shape than when the first Fellowship came through!

Redstone found Walter in the Civic Center. The Construct grabs the small man and lifts him off his feet.

Redstone: Where is Allan a Zham?

Walter explains that Allan a Zham abdicated, leaving him (Walter) in charge as a duly elected representative, then disappeared into the river. Walter points and Redstone drops him and moves aggressively in the direction Walter indicated.

The Fellowship approaches Walter, who dusts himself off.

Walter: I’ve never seen one like that. I’ve never been treated so unkindly!

Dryden: Good thing we went down there. He was lurking down there,along with a bunch of robots. How many did you destroy, Lucia? A dozen? Twenty?

Lucia: Warrior Droids were about to come out and enslave you!

Walter: No, the robots don’t enslave us. They serve us.

Drdyen brings out the collapsable bo staff he took from a Warrior Droid and extends it.

Dryden: WIll they serve you with weapons like this?

Walter: As long as it’s pointed away from me, it’s fine.

Lucia: We are leaving. Good luck with democracy.

Walter: Good luck with adventuring or whatever you do.

The Fellowship leaves Thaumatown and collect White Sand and Roddy from the edge of town where they were waiting. They set out towards Swallet, where a Dragon apparently challenges all comers.

GM note: usually this calls for a Dangerous Journey scene, but we were running out of time, so we just arrived at Swallet and I described the town as a tease for next session.

The Fellowship returns to the secret tunnels and goes south with the current. They ignore a branch in the tunnel that goes west. The underground tunnel comes out as a waterfall in a big underground chamber! An entire steampunk city fills the chamber. The waterfall falls into a park. The ceiling of the chamber is artifical, held up with girders, with crystals bringing sunlight from above into the city. To the south, a big ramp comes down from the surface. It’s well-made, not unstable, but it seems hastily built with little concern for aesthetics or fitting in with surroundign architecture. Signs on the ramp say “Test your might!” and “Challenge the Dragon” The ramp leads to a large building labeled “Fafnir’s Fight Club”


  • Did we explore a new location?
    • Yes, the Robotics Facility
  • Did anyone find what they were looking for?
    • Yes, Drdyen gained magical power with the Artifact of Power
  • Did we learn more about the world & its people?
    • Yes, Redstone and the Artifact of Power

Three boons:

  • heal
  • level up Averiela and Lucia
  • gear