Chasing The Sunset & Trash

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 finished up in Thaumatown and finally arrived at the underground Goblin town where a Dragon might be able to tell them something about the Moon.

A map of the Goblin city of Swallet. The city is at the bottom of an underground carvern. On the eastern wall, a waterfall falls into lake with a park around it. In the middle of town, a big ramp leads down from the surface to a building at the south edge of town, with big signs advertising Fafnir's Fight Club and urging all comers to challenge the dragon. At the west wall of the cavern is a large building with lots of pipes coming out of it. Some kind of industrial facility.
A map of Swallet

The secret underground tunnel they used to travel suddenly ends in a waterfall, 100 feet above the floor of a large underground cavern. There’s an entire Goblin city down here!  At the base of the waterfall, there’s a lake and park, where many Goblins frolic.  In the middle of town, a big ramp leads down from the surface to a building at the south edge of town, with big signs advertising Fafnir’s Fight Club and urging all comers to challenge the dragon.  At the west wall of the cavern is a large building with lots of pipes coming out of it. Some kind of industrial facility.  Most of the party was riding on Ancient One, Dryden’s giant turtle friend. Averiela just walks on top of the water. They need a way to safely drop 100 feet to the ground below. The end of the tunnel is broken, not finished. This isn’t a planned feature of the town, so there are no maintenance ladders or elevators. The Goblins just found this tunnel and built a park around it.

Averiela Looks Closely (+hope from Dryden’s assistance) 7-9

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • Goblins have lots of vehicles and machines, all unique and custom-made.  It’s very hot down here. The roof of the cavern is artificial, and conceals the cavern from the surface. The ramp and entrance from the surface is very new, and is built over existing buildings.
  • What are the Goblins in the park doing?
    • The Goblins are playing in the water, which helps them keep cool in the city’s sweltering heat.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Averiela’s keen Elven eyes see through the windows of the facility on the far side of town. There’s something large and glowing moving around inside.

Swallet Location Stat Inferno: heat protection required.

Dryden remembers his spelunking phase when he tried to reach the magma. this was extra-difficult in the Forgotten Lands, which don’t have volcanoes. Also, his family was unhappy when he returned from his expeditions covered in soot. Far beneath the surface he finally found Fire Fish, which look like jellyfish and float up and down in super-heated vents. Time to call on these old friends.

Dryden: By the way, you’ll get wet!

Dryden throws a Shadow Ball out ahead of the Fellowship. Ancient One swims into it and disappears. Dryden reaches into the Shadow Ball and pulls out a Fire Fish. He plans to float down to the park, then fire the Harpoon back up so the rest of the party can rappel down. Lucia’s not happy about having the harpoon aimed at her. Dryden considers his Ranged Rope, then summons two more Fire Fish so Averiela and Lucia can float down too.

Dryden Curious Curios: 3x Useful Item + Living Collection

Roddy doesn’t like crowds, so he stays up in the tunnel. Dryden sets up another signal: when he dabs, Roddy will shoot what he’s pointing at.  The Fellowship floats down to the lake and wades to shore. There’s a metal cauldron nearby: a hemiphere of metal on four long legs. It’s full of water and a Goblin is bathing inside.

Gabber: Outsiders are coming out of the walls now! The giant ramp isn’t enough? I suppose you’ll want to go to the Fight Club.

Lucia: Greetings, we are humble explorers!

Gabber: Explorers? Weird. Most foreigners come here to fight.

Lucia: What happens at Fight Club?

Gabber: I don’t go there. It’s all dangerous foreigners.

Lucia tries to continue the conversation, but Gabber has had enough and presses some buttons inside his cauldron. Panels on the underside of the cauldron open, dumping out the water. A canopy snaps closed over Gabber, and the cauldron walks off on its jerky mechanical legs.

Averiela: Do we go to Fight Club or to the industrial facility?

More importantly, how will they deal with this heat? For short-term relief, they soak themselves in the lake. They go into the city and find a market set up under the ramp to Fight Club. Goblins hawk all sorts of wares, including innovative cooling vests. Tubes run through the vests, distributing cold fluid. The fluid comes in a flexible tube. Bending and ‘cracking’ the tube (like a glowstick) releases two different liquids which become very cold when mixed. The tubes goes into a slot on one side of the chest. Cranking a flywheel on the other side sends the fluid through the tubes, cooling the whole body.

Lucia trades Piles of Cash (1x Precious item) for 3 Cooling Vests

Cooling Vest provides Protection against Heat

Lucia pays with coins from the Forgotten Lands.  The Goblin merchant puts his drink down and eagerly accepts the pile of coins. He’s never seen these particular coins before. He dips a coin into his drink and the liquid turns green. That means the metal is genuine! Dryden strikes up a conversation.

Dryden Speak Softly 7-9

  • Tell me about the city?
    • This is the most exciting Goblin city. All these new people coming in for Fight Club. Plenty of opportunities for ambitious Goblins like me!
  • What should I beware of when dealing with the people in control
    • Fafnir is an invincible dragon! No one has defeated her yet!
  • What would you have me do next?
    • Buy more of my wares! I have Swallet memorabilia, and an automatic luggage carrier! This claw on the top holds the luggage, and the legs underneath will walk towards this keyfob, which you put in your pocket.

Lucia trades 1x Food for Automatic Luggage Carrier

Lucia offers some traditional traveling food from the Forgotten Lands, tasty meat wrapped in leaves, like dolmadakia from Greece.The merhcant has never seen such food! So exciting!

The Fellowship heads to the industrial facility on the western wall. On the way, they see trash piled up in alleys and sometimes in the middle of intersections.  The industrial facility is blocked off by two layers of barricades: first wooden sawhorses, painted in warning colors, then a layer of cement barricades.  A Goblin rushes out from a nearby building, tosses a bag of trash over the barricades, and starts to retreat.

Dryden: Is this your cool trash disposal facility?

Goblin: It used to be!

The Goblin flees back inside. Averiela and Lucia look around.

Averiela Look Closely (+hope Lucia’s assistance) 10+

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • Big roller doors reveal bins, vats, and conveyor belts for sorting. There are no Goblins inside, only a 12-foot-tall Fire Elemental! A vaguely-humanoid blob of molten rock, covered in flames!
  • Tell me about the Fire Elemental? How could it help or hurt me?
    • Fire Elemental
      • Burning Aura; Pay A Price to get close
      • Wildfire: Burning & Dangerous
      • Tough As Nails: insta-kill protection
    • Obviously, it burns everything that gets close. Perhaps it is the source of the city’s uncomfortable heat.
  • What is the Fire Elemental doing? What will it do next?
    • The Fire Elemental detects the bag of trash thrown by the Goblin and comes out of the facility towards it.

The Fellowship back up to avoid the Fire Elemental’s Burning Aura. Lucia conceals them.

Lucia Quiet, Don’t Move: Conceal self and nearby allies

The Fire Elemental creates an arm from its amorphous body and engulfs the bag of trash like a snake, pulling it up through the arm into the body. The Fellowship wonders how to deal with this creature. Maybe its heat would be valuable to a Dwarven forge.  Perhaps this is how the city got rid of its trash and it just got too big.  Could the Fire Elemental and the Dragon fight? Dryden considers leaving trash like a trail of candy to lure the Fire Elemental to the Fight Club. Averiela finds a bag of trash and puts it just outside the barricades to see how far the Fire Elemental will venture from its lair. It doesn’t react to the trash. Dryden and Lucia investigate the feasibility of leading the Fire Elemental to the Fight Club.

Dryden Look Closely (+ hope from Lucia’s assistance) 10+

  • What will happen if I lead the Fire Elemental through the streets?
    • The main streets are wide enough that the Fire Elemental’s Burning Aura won’t affect the buildings on each side, but side streets and alleys are unsafe.
  • What do my senses tell me?
    • There’s flammable material everywhere, and not just trash. Goblins build their own experimental gadgets, often powered by flammable liquids or powders. There are wires running above the streets, but they aren’t phone lines. Little rocket-powered capsules zoom along these wires.
  • What is hidden of out of place?
    • Inside the trash sorting facility there’s an oxygen-replacement bomb: an emergency fire-fighting tool. Triggering the bomb will replace all the oxygen in the building with an inert gas, which is bad for anyone inside the building who needs to breath oxygen!

Lucia Forgotten Lands Trait: Detect Evil on Fire Elemental

Lucia does not detect Evil from the Fire Elemental, but creatures don’t have to be evil to cause trouble. While the Fellowship discusses how to handle the Fire Elemental and the Dragon, a Goblin appraoches wearing a power suit. This humanoid vehicle makes the three-foot Goblin seven feet tall! The powersuit has a sharp-looking black & white paint scheme, but some markings have been sanded off.

Averiela: Greetings, clever one! You must be very clever to own such a suit!

The Goblin’s face falls. The Power Suit is a sore spot for her.

Goblin: You’re here for the Fight Club, right? Just go get beat up and leave.

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: get an audience with anyone

Lucia: I am Lucia of the Forgotten Lands. I am traveling to learn about other cultures and reconnect with other nations.

Nub-Nub: I am Nub-Nub, formerly of the Swallet Police Department.

Formerly? That’s why she’s not proud of the suit, and why its markings are sanded off. Lucia asks some more questions.

Lucia Speak Softly 10+

  • Tell me about the Fire Elemental
    • That used to be our trash disposal facility. The Fire Elemental appeared about the same time the weather turned hot.
  • What would you have us do?
    • Get rid of the Fire Elemental so the city isn’t full of trash!
  • Tell me about the dragon
    • This was the worst day of my life! We tracked some trouble-makers to Cloorick’s Fight Club, so we raided the place. Fafnir was in there and she fought us al the way back to headquarters, defeated everyone and took over! She’s small, about the size of that wolf there, but so strong! Fire breath! Wings! Scales! Fast!

Dryden: The Dragon is that small? We can take him!

Nub-Nub: Good luck with that.

Nub-Nub leaps from the street to the roof of a nearby building and leaves.

Dryden: I gotta get one of those!

Back to the matter at hand. The oxygen-replacement bomb seems like a good way to kill the Fire Elemental, but they no one wants to walk past the Fire Elemental to press the button and have all their oxygen replaced. (Y’all remember how Godzilla ended, right?) Maybe Roddy could shoot the button from his perch in the tunnel. He can see all the way across the city, but how can they signal him? The dab only works for nearby people. Averiela doesn’t have a Bond with Roddy, so she can’t Whisper on The Wind to him. Dryden digs through the trash until he finds a piece of cardboard and something that makes marks. He writes “Red bomb button when dab” and holds it up facing the tunnel.  He smiles and waves, then dabs!

Roddy uses Eagle Eye

Dryden Finish Them (Sense, disable) advantage: oxygen-replacement bomb 7-9

Roddy damages Fire Elemental’s Tough As Nails

Roddy did have line-of-sight to the button! The oxygen-replacement bomb explodes! The flame surrounding the Fire Elemental is immediately extinguished, and the surface of its lava body turns black.  It’s still for a moment, the nglowing cracks form in the black surface and it roars in rage. There is no obvious target for its anger, no opponent who caused its pain. It finds the column that supported the oxygen-replacement bomb, grabs it, and super-heats its hands, melting through the column! Dryden runs into the facility and readies his gravity-warping knockout-gas bolas. Will the gas affect an elemental? Is the gas flammable? He throws the bolas and immediately runs away!

Dryden Finish Them (Sense, disable) advantage: range, distracted 6-

The gas is flammable! The bolas explode! The building shakes and one of the many chimneys and pipes coming out of the building shakes loose and falls towards Averiela!

Averiela Get Away 6-

Averiela spends Armor

Averiela dives away (into the trash. Ew!) but not far enough. The edge of the chimney clips her, damaging her armor.

Dryden Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Dryden runs out of the facility with the Fire Elemental pursuing, but it’s slow.  The Fellowship flees towards the Fight Club, using main roads so the Fire Elemental’s aura won’t damage anything.  Dryden leaves trash in the center of the roads to keep the Fire Elemental in track. The first trash he leaves as bait is the sign for Roddy, destroying the evidence that he angered the Fire Elemental!

Nub-Nub leaps in, firing a Rocket Fist into the Fire Elemental.

Nub-Nub: Outsiders! Always causing trouble and running away! You have no respect for this city!

Lucia Talk Sense (+Wisdom, desire to defeat Fafnir) 7-9 owe a favor

Lucia: We’ll let the Dragon and the Fire Elemental take each other out.

Nub-Nub: Ok, but you have to guarantee the safety of the civilians

Averiela runs ahead, shoving civilians out of the Fire Elemental’s path. Dryden stays ahead of the Fire Elemental and yells.

Dryden: Flee! Elemental is coming! If only the mayor was strong enough to protect us!

Averiela Overcome (+hope Dryden’s assistance) 7-9 pay price for permanent solution

Averiela damages Wisdom (this is a dumb plan)

They guide the Fire Elemental to the Fight Club without any damage or injuries. Three hopefuls stand outside, trying to talk their way through the front door.

  • A short male human with a fancy mustache, bouncing with nervous energy.
  • A 16-foot-tall female Ogre (Theona from Vieport)
  • A old female human in a dark hooded robe, hunched over, carrying many heavy bundles.

The front door of the fight club is like the door of a speakeasy, with a slot at eye level for a bouncer to peer through. A Goblin  is currently peering through and telling the assembled fighters that they are unworthy to face Fafnir. The fighters are arguing their case when a crowd of new dangerous people arrive: Averiela, Dryden, Lucia, Nub-Nub, and the Fire Elemental! A confusing scene! The bouncer closes the slot in the door, then appears at a hidden door off to the side.

Goblin Bouncer: Whoever takes out that Fire Elemental gets a match with Fafnir!

The Bouncer quickly steps back inside and closes the door before anyone can approach, But the small man with the mustache is gone!  Theona moves to engage the Fire Elemental. Dryden doesn’t want a big fight out in public. The Fire Elemental is supposed to fight the Dragon, not these randos. They plants an Exploding Trap on the Fight Club’s door and warns the old woman to step away.

Dryden Exploding Trap: open a door

The Exploding Trap blows the metal door off its hinges. Inside, Goblins are running back and forth in confusion, yelling “Stop him!” Over here!” and “He’s too fast!”

  • Theona the Ogre
    • Larger Than Life: can’t be hurt by little folk
    • Stronger Than Is Reasonable: Melee, Giant, Dangerous.
    • Toss Aside: sends enemies flying

Theona runs up to the Fire Elemental, which doesn’t even come up to her shoulders, and initiates with a superman punch! The top quarter of the Fire Elemental (which would be a head on most creatures) splatters all over the intersection, setting fire to nearby buildings. (One is a black market and the other is a legit warehouse)

Nub-Nub: You promised! This isn’t safe!

Dryden: Call the Fire Department. We’ll lure it inside.

Nub-Nub: We had a deal!

Dryden has a fire suppression item from his pyromaniac youth: a series of black ice crystals. They suck in heat and transfer it to the forge of an old friend. Dryden pulls them out and raises his hand to throw, but the crystals are yanked out of his hand and sucked into the bag that holds the Artifact of Power! How does this work? He opens the bag and points it at the fire on one of the buildings. Nothing happens. The Artifact Of Power doesn’t just absorb any source of energy. What is the pattern?

The old lady makes her move. She throws her bundles to the ground. They burst open, revealing human bones! The bones assemble into a Group of eight Skeletons! She sends them to ambush Theona, whose attention is completely on the Fire Elemental.

  • Ozzy the Necromancer
    • Flanking Command: minions have Piercing
  • Group of Skeletons
    • Group: can attack two characters at once
    • Just Bones: immune to some weapons
    • Weapon Training: Armor x1

Lucia Forgotten Lands Trait: Detect Evil

Unsurprisingly, the Necromancer and her Skeletons are evil. The Skeletons ineffectively bash against Theona’s massive boots. She barely takes her attention off the Fire Elemental and kicks backwards, smashing a couple Skeletons.

Lucia runs inside the Fight Club and comes face to face with Grinkle, a Goblin with a spiked helmet and chainsaw rollerblades!

  • Grinkle the Berserker
    • Blind Rage: can’t defend if Grace damaged
    • Reckless Valor: can damage this stat to damage opponent

Grinkle: Intruder! Charge!

Lucia Overcome 6-

Will Watch Out!!! prevent damage to an ally

Grinkle revs up his chainsaw skates, puts his head down and rushes at Lucia. Will pushes her out fo the way and takes the hit in her place!

Dryden: Theona, why fight the Fire Elemental instead of walking in and fighting the dragon?

Dryden Talk Sense (+Wisdom, desire to fight Fafnir) 10+

Everyone turns to enter the Fight Club!

GM note: We were out of time, so we have to leave on a cliffhanger. What a mess! The Fellowship met every single NPC I had prepared, plus two more I made up on the spot. I thought there might be a few duels with the other fighters, but no, everyone fights all at once. Hard to keep track, but it’s fun!