Chasing the Sunset & Infinite Windows

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

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff

Last time, the Fellowship left Swallet in arguably better shape than they found it, and sought out the Hidden Library to learn about the Artifact of Power they took from Thaumatown.

GM note: Whenever the teleporter terminal under the Fairy Forest is activated, something unrelated is teleported to the City Junkyard. In action movie tradition, blowing up a high-tech device counts as activating it.  I asked the players if they were willing to be completely derailed by events triggered by other players. For my players, that’s the purest expression of adventuring in an unknown world with other characters, so they agreed.

Averiela, Dryden, and Lucia finish their meal at the rim of the volcano that conceals the Hidden Library. They hear a cracking noise and see puffs of dust on the ground around them. Suddenly, they and a section of the volcano are inside a large dark chamber! The chamber is formed by many buildings of different types and construction all packed together. Even the roof is formed from the walls of two buildings on their sides. It’s quite unstable. These buildings are not meant to be here. Rubble litters the floor. The Artifact of Power hovers in midair in the center of the chamber, and since it’s in Dryden’s backpack, he’s also suspended in midair! Two portals flank the Artifact of Power. One shows a sunny sky, and light from that sky illuminates the chamber. The other portal shows fire and darkness.

Dryden is content to wiggle around in his backpack straps and look around at their new surroundings. Averiela also investigates with her keen Elven senses.

Dryden Look Closely (+hope, Averiela’s assistance) 10+ ask three questions

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • The chamber is definitely unstable. These buildings are all damaged and sections may collapse at the slightest disturbance.  They see movement in the dark corners where the light from the portal does not reach. These are Shadowmaws, creatures who move through shadows, cannot exist in bright light, and eat the living. They also hear a voice from inside one of the buildings, “Travelers? Where are you, Travelers?”
  • Tell me about the portal with fire. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The portal will let them escape this dangerous chamber immediately, but they don’t know where it leads. The danger on the other side may be worse.
  • Tell me about the speaker. What are they doing? What will they do next?
    • A door in the wall of the chamber opens, swinging downwards, because that building is on its side. A figure emerges that looks like a humanoid hastily sculpted from clay. Yet it lives and moves and speaks. It sees the Fellowship and waves, but a Shadowmaw approaches along the outside wall, where the figure can’t see it!

Lucia calls out a warning, and Dryden pulls out the Mirror Shard and bounces sunlight from the portal onto the Shadowmaw.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 10+

The Shadowmaw must flee before the sunlight, allowing the clay figure to run over to the Fellowship and introduces itself as Seeker.

Lucia introduces herself and shows her Symbol of Royalty. She has many questions. Where are we? How did you get here?

Seeker explains that it met Mr. Buckles Traveler (Seeker shrinks and changes shape into a Platyperson) and Stella Traveler (Seeker transforms into a Halfling woman) and they were in Fairy Forest looking for a teleporter, but when they found it, it exploded, and Seeker found itself here.

Lucia Speak Softly 10+

  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Seeker?
    • Seeker seems incredibly naive, so it could easily be tricked, or do something foolish out of ignorance. It can also shapeshift to perfectly imitate anyone it sees! First it forms a basic shape, then fine details, then it changes color to match tthe original.
  • Tell me about the Teleporter.
    • Seeker doesn’t understand how it works, but Marigold and Mr. Buckle Travelers thought it was very important. It was a big red stone pyramid.
  • Tell me about the other side of the door you came through.
    • It has a bunch of metal sticks, like that (Seeker points at Lucia’s sword) and there’s a cozy little ceramic room on one side.

Dryden calls down from from where he hangs in mid-air, asking of Seeker knows anything about Artifacts of Power?

Seeker: Who are you?

Dryden: I’m Dryden of Cornwall, the Mirror-Wielder.

Seeker: Pleased to meet you, Dryden the Mirror-Wielder.

Dryden: The second name is concrete and temporary. The first is more abstract. It was given to me, then I inhabited it myself.

Averiela runs over to the door that Seeker came from to investigate its odd description. Dryden used the Mirror Shard to shine sunlight on her so that Shadowmaws avoid her. She looks in and sees a Blacksmith’s shop on its side. the metal sticks are brooms, hammers, poles, various mundane rools, and not a trove of magical weapons. The ceramic room is a forge, long-cold. The back wall of the shop is stone, not the bricks that form the rest of the shop.  The stone is unnaturally jagged. If Averiela knew about computers, she might think the surface of the stone looks like videocompression glitches.  Averiela ducks into the dark blacksmith shop long enough to grab a lantern so she can create her own light. She considers also grabbing a broom to clean up after Dryden, but decides against it and returns to the Fellowship.

Dryden is trying to figure out how the Artifact of Power works.

Averiela: Remember in the robot factory? Your hand went through the Artifact into another robot, that had a pane of glass from the Artifact. It’s a teleporter.

GM note: The party figured out that the Artifact (named Infinite Windows) connects one place to other places through windows, so I revealed the custom moves to operate Infinite Windows.

Ideas and conjecture flow quickly. Lucia realizes that they can’t use Infinite Windows to escape and take it with them, because it won’t move while any windows are open. Dryden wonders about sending most people through and leaving someone behind to close the window. Averiela can Whisper On The Wind to tell that person where to rendezvous. But who knows how long and dangerous the path would be? Averiela thinks the Teleporter that Seeker saw may have had a pane from Infinite Windows in it. How many other panes are out there, linking them to know knows what bizarre devices? Dryden wonders if the uncontrolled teleportation could happen again.

Dryden: A very useful thing, now that we know what it is!

Averiela: Can we prove we’re on the same planet right now?

Lucia: Seeker is from our world. He knew Platypeople.

Lucia calls Dryden “Light-Wielder” and Seeker is amazed.

Seeker: You can change his name?

The Fellowship decides that they should get out of this chamber through mundane means and see where they are. Averiela wonders if she should get Dryden down, but decides to scout ahead and find a route first. She leaves the safety of the sunshine from the portal and ventures into the tangled of smashed buildings to find the surface, armed with a lantern. She’ll have to deal with Shadowmaws, but the unstable surfaces won’t bother one who is light enough to walk on water.

Averiela Overcome Shadowmaws 7-9

Averiela Pay A Price: Lose Lantern

Averiela Look Closely 10+ ask three questions

  • Tell me about the route to the surface? How could it hurt me or help me?
    • Averiela ducks through doors and windows, from one partial building to another, stepping lightly over unstable rubble and remembering where the safe paths are for the others. Eventually, she opens some shutters on the “ceiling” and light streams through. She’s reached the surface. She sees more buildings strewn about, including a fortress made of coral. A big hole has been drilled through one of the fortress’s walls. From the position of the sun, Averiela determines that she is far to the northwest of the Hidden Library.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • One of the structures on the surface is half of a Russian apartment, from Earth, probably built in the 1970s. Of course, Averiela doesn’t know what Russia is.
  • What are the Shadowmaws doing?
    • The Shadowmaws tried to attack Averiela as she moved through the dark interior. She evaded them all, but she did draw them to the route that she intends to lead the Fellowship through, so they will threaten the slower members.

Averiela returns swiftly along the same route, parkouring over obstacles. Around a corner, a Shadowmaw startles her. She rolls away from its jaws but drops her lantern. She keeps running, angry at her self. Imperfection is unacceptable!

Averiela: Should practice more.

She reports to her friends. Are they her friends? She reports to her traveling companions that she found a route through the buildings, and they are on the same planet. Ever cautious, she warns that if dimensional travel is possible, time travel is also possible, so they maybe in a different time. When warning about hte monsters on the way she has trouble remembering their names. Sloth monsters? Night? Stalkers?  “Shadowmaw” does not translate well into Elvish. Dryden wonders how tough these Shadowmaws are. Some still lurk around the edges of the chamber, but htey can’t approach the Fellowship in the beam of sunlight from the portal. Dryden dabs at one of the Shadowmaws and Roddy blasts it with his pneumatic cannon. They aren’t that tough, although in the dark where they can fight back may be a different story.

The two portals must be closed before Infinite Windows can be moved, and that will make the chamber dark, allowing the hungry Shadowmaws to move in. Averiela returns to the blacksmith’s shop to get some coal, so she can make a glowing path for people to follow. She does not have her lantern, and Dryden can’t bounce sunlight inside the shop, so she’ll have to go into darkness and risk the Shadowmaws.

Averiela Overcome 10+

She pauses at the doorway and senses a creature within, She takes a deep breath, then steps into the darkness. She senses the Shadowmaw’s attack and strikes with her Titanium Sword. The Shadowmaw makes a high-pitched scream and retreats. She quickly stuffs some coals from the forge into a bag. She feels horrible breath on the back of her neck and dives away before the second Shadowmaw can strike. She runs back into the chamber and out of danger.

Dryden ponders how he will close the portals, and what he’ll do when Infinite Windows comes loose and they both fall. Perhaps he could land on White Sand, Averiela’s Unicorn. Instead, he ties his Ranged Rope around himself, then orders it to connect to a wooden beam projecting from the ceiling of the chamber. When Infinite Windows drops, he’ll swing on the rope, order the Ranged Rope to release him at the right time, and zoom straight into the path to the surface. If all his calculations are correct.

Averiela lights the coals and lays out a path to the door that leads to the surface. Lucia makes sure each companion has a traveling buddy so no one is left behind. What will Seeker do? Averiela suggests sending it back through the fiery portal where it came from. The Fellowship realizes that Seeker must choose for itself.

Averiela; It’s an important part of your identity to know what you want.

Dryden: We could send you to a lonely volcano. There’s a libr . . . uhh, no one is there. You might enjoy the climate better.

Averiela: Identity is more than a home. It’s a true sense of self.

Dryden: You can journey with us as long as you like.

Seeker decides to come with them.

Dryden is ready go! He grabs the sides of the fiery portal and pulls them together.

Dryden Close Window 10+ window is closing on him!

He quickly moves from one portal to the other.

Dryden Close Window 10+ window is closing on him!

Drdyen Ranged Rope Autonomous: respond to simple verbal commands

Dryden Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

With all portals closed, Infinite Windows is no longer fixed in place. It and Dryden drop, then swing on the rope. Dryden orders the rope to release and he flies forward, rolls through the door and stands up with a flourish!

GM note: In hindsight, Dryden shouldn’t have escaped the closing portal by falling away from it. The portal has to finish closing before Infinite Windows is free to move. Oh well, it was a really cool moment!

Drdyen realizes he’s in a dark room with two Shadowmaws! He spins his bo staff to give himself a bit of space. Drdyen Ranged Rope Autonomous: respond to simple verbal commands

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm

The Ranged Rope is still tied around his waist. He orders it to attach to sometime in the main chamber and it flies to obey, yanking him out of the room as a side-effect. He lands on top of White Sand.

Dryden: The glow of the unicorn’s horn led me to safety!

Now it’s time to move out. Averiela explains the route to everyone. First there’s a room with Shadowmaws, then a tight squeeze that should be fine for most of them, but tough for White Sand, then a chamber of unstable rubble. The lgiht from the line of coals provides some safety in the main chamber, but as soon as they go through the first door, Shadowmaws are waiting, as Dryden discovered. Lucia goes first, sword ready for battle. The Shadowmaws engage, and Lucia runs through, swinging wildly.

Lucia Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Dryden along

Dryden follows, swinging his 2-handed Dwarven hammer.

Averiela Camouflage: make an number of allies invisible

Averiela turns everyone else invisible: Seeker, White Sand, Knows Too Much, Roddy, Will, and Mara. They quietly slip past the Shadowmaws. They regroup at the small window. Lucia leads Seeker, Knows too Much, Roddy, Will, and Mara through the window to the next chamber. Averiela and White Sand stay on the near side of the window, and Dryden stays on the far side.  Dryden and Averiela use their weapons to smash the wall around the window so White Sands can fit through.

Dryden Overcome (+hope, Averiela’s aid) 6-

Falling Block Trap: Hidden Trap. When someone must Pay A Price, trigger this trap instead

Falling Block Trap: Pile of Rubble: Nearby characters take 2 damage and are trapped

Dryden sees the wall start to collapse and dives towards it, not away!

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring White Sand along

Drdyen slides along the floor, sticking his Dwarven hammer up vertically to slow the falling debris just a bit. As he comes out on the near side, he kicks White Sand in the nose so he rears back, out of the way fo the falling debris.

Averiela Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Averiela leaps away elegantly. Now Averiela, Dryden, and White Sand are separated from the rest by a pile of rubble. Lucia and Mara run and start to clear rubble away to dig out their trapped friends. Dryden taps on the rocks.

Dryden: Lucia, I have a trap. Just stand back! Averiela, you and White Sand need to back up pretty far away.

They trust his wacky schemes, so they all move away from the rubble. Dryden pulls out a small black pellet. Dryden acquired this from an old friend who has a telescope that captures small pieces of distant objects. He places the pellet on the rubble and backs up.

Dryden: Don’t get caught. It took quite a while to recover my friend.

In 30 seconds, the pellet melts and reveals a tiny black grain of sand. The entire pile of rubble is sucked into the grain of sand and disappears!

Dryden Explosive Trap: clear or block a doorway

Dryden, Averiela, and White Sand join the rest of the Fellowship in the next room. Lucia recommends collecting objects from every location, so they can use Infinite Windows to return. Dryden scoops up some dirt and considers all the objects he has collected from various locations already. He is a Collector after all.

Now the Fellowship must cross an unstable room to reach the surface. Lucia and Dryden run ahead, leaving their companions behind again. The companions are still camouflaged, but that won’t prevent them from falling through the floor.

Lucia Get Away (+hope, Dryden’s assistance) 7-9 avoid harm

They reach the exit safely. Averiela advises Seeker to spread out into a flat sheet to distribute pressure and avoid collapsing any weak sections in the floor. That will allow the others to step safely over on Seeker and avoid injury. Seeker will save everyone and be a hero!

Averiela Talk Sense (+wisdom, appeal to desire) 6-

Seeker: I think Buckle said something about not letting people walk all over me.

Seeker does spread itself into a thin sheet, but slides over the ground on its own, escaping the dangerous room.

Lucia looks around the surface for ways to help her companions escape

Lucia Look Closely 10+ ask three questions

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • On the surface, she sees piles of buildings smashed together carelessly. The coral fort is the largest building in view, with the hole drilled through the thick wall.
  • Tell me about stuff that could hurt or help me escape the unstable room?
    • Lucia identifies some long boards in nearby buildings that could be laid down to provide stable footing
  • Is anything hidden or out-of-place?
    • That weird half-apartment of unknown construction

Lucia and Dryden get to work extracting the boards and building a bridge for their companions. Lucia is the brains and Dryden does the grunt work.

Lucia Overcome (+hope Dryden’s assistance) 7-9 Pay a Price for 10+ result

Dryden spends Ranged Rope to tie the boards together

With a secure bridge to walk over, everyone is able to cross the dangerous room and reach the surface!  Lucia ponders the strange landscape. Maybe this place used to be underwater! The coral fort was certainly built underwater. Buildings might have been built in all directions, ignoring gravity’s demands, then the sea drained and all the buildings fell like this.The appearance of the Moon may have changed the tides. If the Moon goes away again, this city may be restored.

Lucia: We have a piece of the Moon!

GM note: Wow, That’s even better than the real explanation!

Others note that the buildings are all different styles and sizes, not built by one civilization. They were teleported here, like the chunk of mountain that they were standing on when they were teleported. Why would Infinite Windows teleport everything here. Is this Infinite Windows’ home?  They ponder thier place in the world, and their ability to travel around it.


  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? YES, the City Junkyard
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking? YES, Dryden seeks progress and magical artifacts, and he now has control of Infinite Windows, an Artifact of Power
  • Did we learn something new about the world and it’s people? YES, we understand Infinite Windows and met Seeker.

Three boons

  1. Restore Gear
  2. Level Up Lucia & Dryden
  3. Level Up Averiela (Elven Elite destiny)