Chasing the Sunset & Letting Go

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 was teleported across the world. They determined that the Artifact of Power they carry is Infinite Windows, which can open portals to other places.

The City Junkyard

The Fellowship stands on top of the tower (which used to be the side of the tower) and surveys the area. A few humanoid figures shamble around the ruins, intent on whatever they are doing, ignoring the Fellowship.

Dryden investigates the coral fortress. The fortress has a few small windows, two feet across, but there’s also a big hole, seven feet across, recently drilled through the thick walls. The Fellowship walks through the drilled hole.  Inside, sunbeams from the portholes on top of the fortress make warm, inviting patches of light on the floor. Furniture and equipment has been re-arranged to form a huge table and chair, implying that the giant mentioned on the message board stayed here. As the Fellowship looks around, one of the humanoids from outside crawls through a porthole and approaches the huge table. This humanoid is a Ghoul!

  • Ghoul
    • Tough as Nails
    • Hungry

The Ghoul brings a handful of wilted vegetables to the huge table. Having accomplished its task, it reverts to its usual “Walk, walk, hungry” thought pattern.  Dryden was close by, trying to figure out what the Ghoul was doing, and thus is the Ghoul’s first target. The Ghoul clumsily tries to grab Dryden.

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Averiela along

Dryden retreats through the porthole that the Ghoul used to enter the fortress. The Ghoul walks past the rest of the Fellowship in its single-minded pursuit.

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

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • Averiela already got a good look at the scans the horizon. To the south, tall trees from an ancient forest. To the east, giant snowcapped mountains. A big storm covers the northernmost mountain. To the north, sharp, steep hills. To the west, shrubby hills and something floating over them.
  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • Two more Ghouls emerge from the Halfling villa. They have sad plants and tubers, and are approaching the coral fortress, which will take them past Averiela and Dryden. Also, Giant footprints lead southwest from the coral fortress.
  • What will happen if I attack the Ghoul?
    • The other Ghouls will notice and come to the its aid.

Averiela wonders if there are more Ghouls hidden inside the buildings. Dryden was going to attack the Ghoul chasing him, but Averiela figures the Ghouls are delivering food to the Giant, and she doesn’t want to disrupt that. Lucia and Dryden shout through the walls of the fortress to discuss plans. Lucia thinks they could just leave the area.

Dryden: There is a giant. The story of Odysseus tells us he’s not friendly and will probably try to eat us, but I kinda want to meet him.

Averiela: The ancient trees are calling to me. I would love to run south.

Dryden: Hey, are these Ghouls evil?

Lucia: Oh yeah!

Lucia Heir of the Forgotten Lands: What here is evil? Undead Ghouls are evil.

Lucia: If they’re keeping the Giant fed, seems like a nice symbiotic theng they’ve got going on. Why mess with a good thing? It’s not like the Goblin city, where we needed to right a wrong, which is my goal always.

GM note: Is Swallet actually better off then when the Fellowship arrived?

The Ghoul is slow, but the Fellowship has been standing around chatting for a while. It finally reaches the porthole and starts crawling through to attack Dryden. Dryden strikes with the flat side of his axe while it is constrained by the narrow porthole.

Dryden Finish Them (+sense, knock out) 7-9 damage one stat

Ghoul damages Tough as Nails

The Ghoul shrugs off the blows and keeps coming. Dryden hops on his Flying Device because he loves his Flying Device.

Dryden Get Away 6-

The Ghoul grabs the Flying Device to keep it down and bites Dryden on the leg!

Dryden damages Blood

Lucia runs out to join the battle. Averiela pulls out her bow and fires at the Ghoul, which is pretty immobile because it’s holding Dryden.  Averiela wants to scare the Ghoul away, but its too dumb to get scared. She doesn’t want to kill it because she doesn’t understand the socio-economic sytem it’s part of.

Averiela Finish Them (+Sense, knock out) 7-9 damage one stat

Ghoul damages Hungry


The Ghoul lets go of Dryden and falls to the ground. The other two Ghouls drop the sad produce they had gathered and prepare to fight. Lucia runs around the corner and whips out her throwing knives.

GM note: Lucia’s player argues that Lucia is fast enough to throw both knives and have the element of surprise to Finish both Ghouls. I have been quite generous already, but that seems like too much. I’ll allow a surprise attack on one.

Lucia Finish Them (+sense, knock out) 7-9 damage one stat

Ghoul damages Tough As Nails

Averiela is in danger from both Ghouls. Dryden flies up and swoops down with his Dwarven Hammer to smash one of the Ghouls. Averiela rolls away from the approaching Ghouls towards Lucia.

Averiela Get Away 10+ avoid harm, avoid notice

Averiela Poetry in Motion: pick another option from Get Away: bring the plants the Ghouls dropped

Averiela and Lucia duck back around the corner so the Ghouls can’t spot them. Dryden flies up to look around for Beasts that he can control.

Dryden Look Closely 6- Ask one question, find out the hard way

  • Tell me about nearby animals. What are they doing. What will they do next?

GM note: Dryden’s Queen of the Wild move allows Dryden’s player to Command Lore about animals in the area, so I thought I didn’t have to answer this question. Dryden’s player wanted to know more about the location so they could fill in animals that made sense.

  • The eastern section of the City Junkyard is swampy. To the west, there are lots of bugs, including Giant Spiders. (Not the Spiders that are people, the Giant Spiders that are spiders, but really big)

Dryden makes some animal calls and regroups with the others inside the coral fortress. They share a meal and heal.

Fill Your Belly: Spend Food to heal a stat

Averiela Elder Arts Camouflage: any number of allies become invisible

Averiela conceals the Fellowhsip and they follow the giant’s footsteps to the southwest. The Ghouls can’t see them. They can see the Giant before he sees them, just in case he’s dangerous. Most of the City Junkyard is unstable, but the Giant only walked where the ground could support his weight, so the Fellowsip are able to follow without fear. Sometimes there’s a building in the way, and it has been bashed open and thrown aside so the Giant could pass.

As they travel, they see a big mosquito, really big, too big! Several feet long.

Dryden Queen of the Wild: all Beasts serve him

Out of the sky, two Green-Backed Razorbill Herons swoop down to stab the Mosquito with its famous razorbill. The Green-Backed Razorbill Herons were almost hunted to extinction because their bills were prized as weapons. They’re seven feet tall. They stand in the water and wait, then stab fish with their razorbill. They are mossy green on their backs and light blue below for camouflage. They are easily offended.

  • Green-Backed Razorbill Heron
    • Eagle Eye
    • Go for the Eyes

GM note: I clarify that the Memory Mosquito is an Abberation, not a Beast, but Dryden’s player heard “Apparition” and thought the Heron could go right through an insubstantial illusion.

Green-Backed Razorbill Heron damages Go For The Eyes to give Fellowship an Advantage over Memory Mosquito

The Heron tangles with the memory Mosquito. Averiela could take a shot with her bow, but doesn’t want to kill something for no good reason. She nudges Lucia.

Lucia Heir of the Forgotten Lands: What here is evil? Memory Mosquito is just weird

  • Memory Mosquito
    • Memory Munch: eats and steals Bonds from nearby creatures

Memory Mosquito steals bond “I serve Dryden as long as he is in my territory” from Green-Backed Razorbill Heron

Averiela wants to protect her collegues, so she pulls out her bow and arrow and fires at the Memory Mosquito.

Averiela Enemy At The Gates: Finish Them with Grace from hiding.

Averiela Finish Them (+Grace) 10+ kill

Averiela Enemy At The Gates: Remain hidden on a 10+

Memory Mosquito TAKEN OUT

Splat! The arrow destroys the Memory Mosquito!

Memory Mosquito gives bond “I serve Dryden as long as he is in my territory” to Averiela

The Herons fly away, since they no longer have a bond to serve Dryden.  The Fellowship moves on and reaches the border of the City Junkyard and the Fairy Forest. The Fairy Forest is creepy and dense, with vegetation from the canopy all the way down to the ground. Any number of watching eyes could be hidden in those leaves, except the Fellowship is camouflaged, so watching eyes cannot perceive them. Getting lost is very easy in this dense forest, so travelers would be wise to stay on the path. Even the Giant’s footsteps get lost in the forest. The Fellowship finds a trail and a magical mesageboard at the trailhead.

Fairy Forest Message Board:

Stella: Fairies are trying to blow up Moon. Don’t help them. If you find Seeker, off to take him with you please!

Buckle: The Dragons made the Moon to kill Vampires. Didn’t work. I blew up the teleporter to stop them killing Dragons and Kobolds.

Lucia figures that the teleporter they carry (Infinite Windows) reacted with the other teleporter being blown up, and that’s why they ended up in the City Junkyard. They did find Seeker! It’s with them right now! It does not want to go back into the Fairy Forest.

Seeker: I just came from here. The awful Fairies are here. They’re so mean to me. I’ll have to find my own way. I’ll go to the West, through these hills.

Dryden considers sending Seeker through Infinite Windows to friends that the Fellowship made elsewhere. What artifacts do they have that can open a portal to an appropriate place? Dryden collects a stick from the Fairy Forest and some rubble from City Junkyard. Dryden suggests Shasta and Helen. Seeker doesn’t know those people, and isn’t sure it will enjoy staying with them. Dryden remembers that Helen made sure he ate when he was working. Dryden feels that the answer to so much of what he’s been seeking is inside the Fairy Forest: the Moon, the Fairies, and so on. He’s determined to explore it. But he doesn’t want Seeker to go off on its own and get eaten by a Giant or a Ghoul.

Dryden Speak Softly (+hope, Lucia’s assistance) 7-9 ask three questions, one unhelpful answer

  • What can you tell us about the Fairy Forest?
    • I don’t remember much before that robot gave me a name and told me to be my own person, but since then the Fairies were very mean to me, tricking me, getting me lost in the forest. They would say, “Here it is! I have your identity!” but it’s a stinging insect or something.
  • What do you want and how can we help you get it?
    • Whenever I tell people what I want, they tell me how to do it, and it ends up helping them instead of me. I’m done telling people what I want.
  • If you leave us, what will you do next?
    • I think I’ll go west. (There are scrubby hills covered in brush to the west) That’s seems like a good way for me to go.

Lucia: A part of your journey of learning who you are is learning who you can and cannot trust, and you know you cannot trust the fairies. This is an opportunity to put into practice what you have learned, and gain some self-confidence. We will be there to help you.

Lucia Talk Sense (+WIsdom, appeal to emotions) 6-

Seeker: People keep tryingto tell me what to do, but I’m pretty sure that making my decision is making a decision that’s mine, and not someone else’s. So, I’m leaving.

Lucia: Go in peace!

Dryden reaches behind his cloak and pulls out a parchment and quill. On one side, he draws a map of the world, and on the other side he writes “Seeker is my friend. -Dryden” He gives the parchment to Seeker. Seeker squishes the parchment into its body and leaves.

GM note: Can Dryden tear off a scrap of parchment and feed that to Infinite Windows to open a portal to Seeker and the rest of the parchment? Is the scrap “from” the larger piece, or is is “from” Dryden’s cloak, or is it “from” the place that made the parchment? I’m reminded of an earlier quandary about who owns pets and their items.

Averiela wonders if they should go to the Fairy Forest or follow Seeker. Lucia says that Seeker chose to leave and they should respect that. Averiela also wonders if it’s wise to bring a teleporter into the Fairy Forest, since another Adventurer blew up a teleporter that the Fairies were using for evil. They write on the City Junkyard’s message board, then head into the Fairy Forest.

City Junkyard Message Board.

Averiela: Boo! Beware the undead of you might lose your head!

Dryden: Unstable ground is easily found. Tread in the step of the Giant because he is reliant upon stable ground. Seeker went west.

Lucia: Watch out for the Shadowmaws. And keep the balance in the symbiotic relationship between the Giant and the Ghouls. Don’t get in their way.

Averiela Elder Arts Camouflage: the Fellowship is still invisible

Averiela Wood Elf: cannot be followed while in woodlands.

The Fellowship travels through the Fairy Forest undetected. Leaves and branches move all around them. Maybe the wind. Maybe hidden creatures. High-pitched voices complain about the explosion, plans being ruined, a bad situation. the trail leads to a clearing. A tree grows over a large rock, and under that rock is a hole with smoke pouring out. It looks like there used to be a lot of activity in this clearing, but no one is there now. The Fellowship recognizes this as the cave visible through one of Infinite Window’s portals.  Averiela and Lucia look around.

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

  • What is going on here? What do my senses tell me?
    • The area smells like fire. Inside the cave, the rock surface is glitchy and spiky, as if every particle of rock was teleported one foot, but not all in the same direction.
  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • A large book with a white cover is deep inside the cave.
  • Tell me about the Fairies? How could they hurt or help me?
    • Fairies are cruel pranksters and will get the Fellowship lost if possible. They are working with the Vampires to blow up the Moon. The Fellowship isn’t sure if they are pro-Moon or anti-Moon. Fairies know the secret paths through the woods and never get lost.

Dryden wonders if the book is worth breaking camouflage or risking the dangers of the smoky, spiky cave. Dryden feels something that he hasn’t felt in a logn time. It’s almost like a song that moves through the ground and fills the air silently. It’s the hoofbeats of a Unicorn. White Sands recognizes that these hoofbeats are from a different herd. She sniffs the air cautiously.

GM note: A herd of horses in a forest? I get all my information about fairy tales from the movie Legend, starring Tom Cruise and Tim Curry, and that definitely had unicorns running through a forest, so I’ll allow it.

These aren’t the pure white, immaculately-groomed Unicorns like White Sands. These are wild Unicorns. They are free, not subject to the Fairies. This was their land since before the Fairies came. Dryden reaches back and pulls out a long strand from a Unicorn’s tale. He blows on the taut strand and produces a note that calls the unicorns.

Lucia Heir of the Forgotten Lands: What here is evil? Small evil signatures all over in the surrounding trees and brush!

GM note: We had to end there because of time constraints. We’ll pick up next time with the Wild Unicorns arriving.