Chasing the Sunset & Family Medicine

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

The fellowship: Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship saved a dinosaur ranch from a disaster that they caused, and were not greeted as heroes. They set out via old Dwarven tunnels, accidentally flooded the tunnel they were in, and took refuge in the nearby town of Bogden to recover.

They read the many messages on the Bogden Adventurer Message Board. Lots of stuff about werewolves! Vestri looks to the moon. It’s a half-moon waxing. Vestri relaxes, sure they have two weeks before the full moon brings out any werewolves. They actually have about eight days, still enough time for them to Recover and leave.

GM note: I asked the players some questions to let them fill in some lore about the world.

Yuri remembers the moment he was teleported from his world to this world. It was very sudden. He heard a cracking sound and saw cracks appear in his apartment walls, then he and half of his apartment were instantly in the City Junkyard. Fortunately Steven the cat came along with him.

Vestri looks at his family’s prize dagger, whose twin is the object of his quest. The hilt and blade are one piece, made in a style specific to the Redrock family. Some gems are mounted to the hilt with runes carved in the undersides. The runes are hard to notice unless one is specifically looking for them and shines a light on the gems at the right angle. The runes give luck for battle. The pommel bears the crest of the Redrock family, a very specific shape of rock. Anyone who really knows their rocks would know what mountain it came from! Yuri does not know rocks that well. He is not from this world.

Bogden is a party city built on an artifical marsh.  The river has been dammed and the area behind the dam is level and saturated with water, especially now that it’s raining so hard. Platypeople like marshes, so they built one for their town  Much of the area within Bogden’s palisade walls is festival grounds for Platypalooza, the yearly Platyperson festival. There’s a Fluming stadium, various stages, and many boothes, all packed up and empty. During Platypalooza, the town’s population triples! The permanent residents and their permanent dwellings only take up a corner.

Every morning, Vestri walks outside and circles the town, looking in the river and what washed ashore. All sorts of interesting stuff wash up. On Vestri’s daily walks, he runs into The Champ, a large Platyperson so seems unfriendly.

The Champ: Are you looking for something? My eyes are the keenest in town. I bet I’ll spot it before you do.

Vestri: Probably. I am very short you see and I can’t see very far. I’m a curious fellow and I’m waiting for my friends to wash ashore.

The Champ: You are quite a curious fellow.

Recover: all stats and gear (including lost Companions) restored

One day, Vestri sees Gurtin (the Drill Tank) floating past with Hundrin sitting on top. Vestri runs over and drags Gurtin ashore. Vestri shares the breakfast he was eating with Hundrin and they start fixing Gurtin.

Each day, after Vestri finishes his walks, The Champ comes over to show off what he found washed up on shore that Vestri missed.  Vestri is impressed, which makes The Champ very happy.

Vestri: Have you ever heard stories told of a dagger? A lost dagger?

Vestri Speak Softly 10+ ask three questions

  • Tell me about lost daggers
    • Folklore and ancient stories are boring. Probably something Anter knows about. He doesn’t need a magic dagger to fight his battles! He uses his muscles and mighty tail!
  • What does he want. How can we help them get it?
    • People have been looking nervously at the moon. Speaking of ridiculous stories, some guy gave Anter a ‘cure” for werewolves, but it won’t work. We should just go kill them before they turn into werewolves. That’s the way to keep the town safe.
  • What should I be wary about when dealing with him.
    • He’s egotistical. If he thinks you will outdo him, he will absolutely sabotage you.

Vestri wants to be amiable and keep The Champ happy, so he asks if he won big at the recent festival. The Champ gets angry. The Fluming Finals were disrupted by a werewolf attack. The Champ points out that he slew one of the Werewovles himself. Vestri reassures him that he would have won.

Vestri meets Anter, the Elder who knows all the stories. She’s an old grey-furred Platyperson with a cane. She’s a little deaf and Vestri has to repeat his greeting.

Vestri: I travel, searching for stories in every region. Perhaps if I offered you a biscuit, you’d like to sit and tell me any stories you may know about a certain subject.

Anter likes telling and hearing stories. She wants to trade. Yuri has a great story to tell.

Yuri: Once upon time, there was Russian man from greatest country on Earth. He was having nice day off…

Anter: Why was he in a hurry?

Yuri: Oh, he was not. He was from Russia. Mother Russia. His country? On Earth. Planet I am from. Best country.

Anter: Oh, his mother is Russia. OK.

Yuri: Da, we’ll go with that. Taking day off from hospital becuase he is doctor. Very very nice man. Sitting, reading, petting cat. Cat is in lap. Very nice. Very cozy. Then roof starts cracking! Dust starts falling! Cat starts sneezing and *snaps* he is in field with half his apartment, two baseball cards, and cat.

Vestri realizes that he knows this story!

Yuri: He was only person. He, not I. He sees sword standing, sitting, whatever swords do, and he touches it and he is assaulted by visions of a future where this world will die or everyone on it will die or something very terrible.

Vestri: I did not know that bit.

Yuri: It is very dramatic! And now I, he holds sword close because he does not know when world will crumble, and that is the story of Yuri.

Anter is very pleased with this story and asks which story he wants to hear from her. Vestri pulls out his dagger (he didn’t want to show The Champ) and asks Anter if it reminds her of any stories.

Anter: You visitors all have such strange weapons. Here in Bogden we just have simple weapons.

The weapons in Bogden are all one piece, a corrosion-resistant alloy that’s quite hard and stays sharp well, which seems odd because the Platypeople live in wooden huts in the mud. Yuri wonders where they get such nice tools, and how they are built.

Yuri Speak Softly 10+ ask three questions

  • What can you tell me about the alloy?
    • Anter doesn’t think it’s very interesting, but she takes them to the blacksmith. Seems like the Platypeople have good tech, but don’t really care about it. They aren’t obsessed with progress. A durable hunting knife is good because one can whittle a bunch of sticks without having to sharpen it. The blacksmith uses the recipe passed down to him. The atomic weight of the constituent elements have a 3:5 ratio, which is a lucky number, so the resulting alloy is strong. The tools don’t require much maintenance, so the blacksmith isn’t researching any improvements.
  • What can you tell me about my sword?
    • Anter knows stories about the past, not the future. Yuri saw buildings on fire, but couldn’t say what caused the destruction. Anter has heard of dragons burning down entire towns, but all the dragons disappeared before her time, around the time the Moon showed up. Yuri wonders if the Dragons left for the Moon.
    • GM note: I forgot that Anter saw Fafnir, a young Dragon, at Platypalooza, just two months ago.
  • What can you tell me about Vestri’s dagger?
    • Anter is pretty sure it’s Dwarven. She thinks the collapsed tunnel outside of town is Dwarven as well. She really doesn’t know much.

GM note: the players decide not to forge a Bond with Anter because they don’t want to take an old lady on their dangerous journeys.

Yuri: I am very honored you would like to come with us, but I am afraid your body is very weak and I do not want you to be hurt. We have had fights with giant Eels that fly in the sky.

Vestri: He went inside its stomach!

Yuri: Yes, I did. I would not recommend it.

Anter: Well, Our town has problems of its own.

Yuri: Is it that Champion? He is very loud.

Anter explains that two months ago, werewolves attacked and Platypalooza ended in a panic. Last month, three more people turned into werewolves, and some travelers managed to subdue them all with weird magic stuff. They left some items that they said would cure the werewolves, but the werewolves have to transform in order to use the cure. Hopefully the infected Platypeople will voluntarily allow themselves to be restrained before transforming, but it’s a scary situation and Anter doesn’t want to administer the cure herself. She hopes that Yuri and Vestri, who have experience dealing with scary situations, will stay and help. Vestri enthusiastically offers Yuri’s assistance.

Anter opens a cabinet which contain two potions and something wrapped in cloth. She explains that the infected are supposed to drink the healing potions before transforming. She hesitates, upset by the next part. She unwrapps the cloth and reveals a fancy rapier with a blade made from a unicorn horn. Someone killed a peaceful, magical creature and turned its horn, symbol of healing, into a weapon. A disgusting artifact! An atrocity! Anter is very embarrassed. The traveler used it last month and it seemed to work. They are desparate enough to try using it, but it’s awful and Anter hates having it around. Yuri recommends burying the sword after the ritual.

Vestri: Don’t bury it. We don’t want it in the earth either

Yuri: What do we do? Shoot it into outer space? Give it to dragon?

Vestri: Cleanse it and burn it.

Yuri: Put it in a boat.

Vestri: Burn it. It can be the ocean’s problem.

Anter: Send it down the river?  To Port Fennrick?

Yuri: I do not know where that it. Will that have negative ramifications?

Anter: It’s downriver. It’s easy to get to.

Yuri: We will cross that bridge when we finish with the Unicorn blade.

Anter: No, the bridges cross the river. So if you take the river, bridges cross you.

GM note: Eh? Eh? Because he’s from Soviet Russia?

The plan: before the infected people turn into Werewolves, the drink a Healing Potion, so there’s healing energy inside them. Then after they turn into Werewolves, stab them with the Unicorn Sword, so the Unicorn’s healing magic from the outside hits the Potions healing from inside and heals them of lycanthropy.  Healing Potions are colorless and hard to distinguish from water, except for subtle differences in viscosity.

Yuri thinks this method is suspicious and not peer-reviewed. He’s excited to be the second trial and confirm or disprove the results of the first trial.  They agree to wait until the full moon and attempt the cure. In the mean time, they go meet the infected Playtpeople. Sallet (infected) is the teenage son of Sally (infected) and Froob (not infected) They live together in a house. Sallet’s room has been repainted recently. Froob has a bunch of chemistry equipment in the lving room. He’s been looking for a cure on his own. Yuri is happy to meet another man of science.

Yuri: Hello, Sallet, Sally, and father. We are here to help with the Werewolfism.

Froob: Lycanthropy.

Yuri: Lycanthropy, yes.

Vestri: He’s a doctor!

Froob is happy to meet a fellow doctor, and explains the solution he’s invented. Of course, the solution can only be tested once a month, and the test is extremely dangerous! He has two tubs set up. He’ll pour in a special solution, and as long as Sally and Sallet are submerged in the tubs, the lycanthropy will be restrained. Yuri is worried that they will drown, but Platypeople are amphibious. They are used to being underwater and holding their breath for a long time. Yuri asks if the solution will interact with Healing Potions.

Froob: Anter has this idea that she’s going to stab my family with that horrible sword. It should have been cursed and thrown out as soon as we got it.

Vestri: Burn it and throw it in the ocean.

Yuri: Yes, da, this is what we will do. But, we should have it as a backup, just in case your one little plan does not work, so we can finish it all in one go.

Sally and Sallet do not want to be finished in one go! Yuri assures them that he wants to heal them, not maim them, like a scalpel incision during surgery. Yuri assures them there’s a 90% chance of success. He’s only lost one patient ever, who was in a car accident, and on the way to the hospital, the ambulance also crashed.

GM note: I remind the players that besides these two methods, there’s also The Champ’s idea to kill Sally and Sallet before the full moon. They reject that plan and would rather use the war crime sword.

Most of the village expects to use Dryden’s plan and chain up the infected Platypeople so they can’t avoid being stabbed once they transform.  Yuri asks Sally and Sallet to wear the big chains that the village has prepared while in Froob’s tubs, just in case, for the safety of the doctors.

Yuri Talk Sense (+Sense, explain plan) 10+

Sally and Sallet convince themselves that they aren’t going anywhere anyways, so it’s not that much of an imposition. Yuri assures them he’ll be right there with the key.

Just before sunset on the night of the full Moon, Yuri and Froob prepare their medical station, laying out the manacles, the key, the Unicorn Sword, a hand-washing station, gloves. Froob’s gloves are for webbed Platyperson hands and don’t fit Yuri’s human hands. Yuri thanks him anyways. The goop reacts to the person in it, so only Sally should touch the goop in Sally’s tub, and so on. Yuri must wear gloves around the tubs.

Vestri: We should wipe down the sword between hits.

Yuri: That is only if the goop is not working and if the goop is not working then it doesn’t matter if the one is in the other’s tub.

Sally and Sallet drink the Healing Potions, sit in the tubs, put the manacles on their legs, let Froob put the manacles on their hands, then lie down and submerge in the anti-Lycanthropy goop. Worried townsfolk surround the house, and Yuri tells them they should not hang around in case the werewolves break loose. Several Platypeople are convinced to leave.

Suddenly, an arrow (made of that nice platyperson alloy) comes through the window, striking Sallet’s tub and starting a leak. Champ is making good on his threat to kill the infected before they transform!

Yuri: Champ! You are just in time. We are needing you for the third phase of our plan.

Champ: I only need the one plan!

He’s going to continue firing!

Yuri yells to the crowd that the werewolves are loose!

Yuri Keep Them Busy 7-9

The crowd panics and runs, ruining Champ’s aim and revealing his hiding spot. The Champ is furious at Yuri now and fires his next arrow at him instead of the infected patients. Vestri runs to shoulder-tackle Yuri out of the way, but because of height differences, hits him in the legs.

Yuri Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Champ is aiming through a small window from outside, so he needs to re-position to target Yuri from his new position, giving the people inside a small reprieve. Froob is lying down next to Sallet’s tub to avoid the arrows, and pressing a towel to the hole to keep the goop from leaking. He tells Yuri to get the metal bonder from his alchemy supplies to seal the hole. Green bottle with a square cap. He reachs up and points at the shelf and as he does, another arrow flies through the window, breaking a bottle. Yuri tucks and rolls past the window to get near the alchemy shelf.

Yuri Get Away 6-

Yuri damages Grace

As Yuri approaches, an arrow strikes a bottle of corrosive clear liquid, which explodes and splatters on Yuri’s pants. He’s got to move gingerly now! Vestri sees that Yuri doesn’t have this completely handled, so he bursts (through the door, not the wall) outside to find The Champ and distract him.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 7-9

It works, giving Yuri time to retrieve the correct bottle and seal the leak in the tub. Yuri wants to prevent future attacks from outside, so he grabs a bed (Froob directs him to the least expensive one) and props it up over the window.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri is over six feet tall, so the size and weight of the bed aren’t a problem. The main challenge is maneuvering himself in a room built for much smaller creatures. he can’t even stand up straight in here. He manages, and secures the room against outside assault.

Outside, The Champ really wants to turn this into a contest, which is what he’s good at. He sees that Vestri is a fellow man of action. There are two werewolves to kill and two of them. The Champ thinks he can kill one before Vestri can kill the other.

Vestri: I need to hype myself up before I kill any werewolves, make sure I’m fast and strong enough, so why don’t you race me around the building so we can get our hearts pumping?!

The Champ A Challenger Approaches: never turn down a challenge.

The Champ immediately agrees and sets the start and finish lines. Vestri figures The Champ has to wait until he finishes to gloat, so he jogs instead of running, allowing The Champ to win easily. The Champ pops off so hard that he hurts Vestri’s feelings. The Champ laps Vestri and runs alongside, insulting him, and Vestri is deflated. He’s usually cheery even in ridiculous situations, but The Champ is really getting to him.

Back inside, Sally and Sallet are completely submerged in the goop. They only need to stick their noses out to breath every ten minutes. When they do, their noses start to grow black fur, but the fur goes away when they go back into the goop.

Yuri: You made a permament solution for this without having to stab them. That is very good. We can just yell at this angry man and tell him we have solved the problem.

Froob: You can do that. I will stay in here will my family. Keep him out of here.

Yuri: Sure. Make sure you have the sword handy in case something happens. I would like you to stay safe and alive.

Froob: I’m not going to stab my family!

Yuri: Not stabbing. you are a pricise incision, cutting away the lycanthropy. I believe in you.

Yuri leaves, sure that Froob will not wield the Unicorn Sword. He sees Vestri and The Champ jogging around the house.

Yuri: Well, they died already. We killed them. Werewolves are gone. You can all go home. Sorry Champion, I have beaten you to it. You can take the credit though! It was that one dagger that came through. Got them both in one fell swoop!

Yuri Talk Sense (+Grace, a trick) 10+

The Champ is convinced. He goes off, cheering himself.

Yuri: I can’t believe that worked.

Yuri and Vestri stay the rest of the night to make sure nothing happens. Vestri sits in the corner and pouts. Each time one of the infected people sticks their nose out to take a breath, black fur grows on it, then disappears when the nose goes back under the goop, In the morning they carefully sit up and they remain Platypeople. They made it through the night without transforming!

Froob: I’m a genius! It worked! Give me the key. Let’s get them out of these chains.

Yuri wants to make sure that there’s a plan to produce more of these goop and there’s a strict schedule because missng even one treatment would be disasterous.

Froob: Don’t worry, there is nothing more important to me than making sure this works.

Anter arrives to pay respects and is surprised to see them alive and unharmed. The Champ told everyone that they’re dead. She was ready to make the funeral arrangements. She’s pleased and will hug anyone who will accept. Yuri and Vestri accept! Vestri needs a hug after The Champ’s abuse. Next, Anter wants to get rid of the Unicorn Sword.

Yuri: Da, wash your hands of this.

Vestri: Literally, wash your hands!

Yuri gets the recipe for the Lycanthropy-suppressing bath from Froob, but it will be a challenge to gather the ingredients and replicate it. Yuri talks about science and biology with Froob, happy to find a collegue. Yuri asks if any diseases have been troubling the community. The Platypeople have a nasty-tasting syrup that is a traditional remedy for what ails you, but is actually a broad-spectrum vaccine. It required a research lab to invent, but the Platypeople thought research was boring and tore down the lab to build a Fluming stadium.

Anter takes the Unicorn Sword to the blacksmith for disposal. The Unicorn Sword is not common knowledge. Anter didn’t want to show it off. When she reveals it, the blacksmith heats the furnace extra hot to make sure the sword is definitely destroyed. He switches out the tray underneath the furnace and puts heavy foil down, so after the sword is destroyed, he wraps up the ashes and slag into a package. The Platypeople don’t want to throw it in the marsh or the river, so they ask the Fellowship to take it to the ocean to dispose of. Yuri agrees once he’s sure that passers-by won’t immediately think he’s a war criminal for holding the package.

In his mind, not with his ears, Yuri thinks he hears a cracking noise, like the noise that signaled his teleportation to this world. Something has happened, somewhere.

News of Sally and Swallet’s cure spreads throughout the town. They carry Sally and Swallet around the fairgrounds on their shoulders in celebration.  The Champ is shocked, but what can he do? He’s not going to charge into a parade and attack the guests of honor in borad daylight. Yuri suggests that a story about how The Champ won a race that night might make him feel better, but he wonders if Vestri will be alright with being immortalized as the loser. Vestri agrees, but Yuri must give him a mug of ale every time the story is told. Yuri asks Anter to cook up a fake story for The Champ. People are used to placating The Champ’s ego. It comes up a lot.  Anter will tell the story of The Champ fighting the werewolves at Platypalooza. He walked up under a werewolf’s wild swing, clocked it in the jaw, made it look a fool, and emboldened those around him to fight on, because the werewolves were not invincible. He loves that story.

Yuri: That poor person could have been submerged in a tub! If only we were here a month sooner!

Vestri wants to get rid of the Unicorn slag as soon as possible, so the Fellowship plans to head downriver to the ocean. Along the way, Vestri will look for mountaintops that reminds him of stories of old.


Yuri: Champ is a chump, pacify with contests. Werewolves need a bath so talk to Froob. Help these folks get supplies.

Vestri: -Werewolf Problem Solved -Froob is a really clever alchemist! -Anter knows all tales, trade stories -Champion obsessed with competing, sore loser, sore winner -Food Shortage