Chasing the Sunset & Forgeries

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

The fellowship: Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre, Vestri the Dwarf, Yuri the Outlander

Last time, the Fellowship announced the death of one ruler, threatened the life of another ruler, and found a library with information about the Remnants (the civilization that made Yuri’s magical sword)

While Vestri drills through the library’s protective shell to make a proper entrance, a window in space opens and Edna steps through to visit her other friends. She returns shortly after Vestri finishes.

Vestri says he kept Edna in mind and made the entrance to the Library big enough for her to enter. Edna reveals that a friend in the other party had a dagger that looked very similar to the dagger that Vestri’s looking for, but the gem in its hilt did not have the Redrock seal. The other party found an old lottery ticket near the dagger, which has an address. Vestri thinks that dagger was a forgery, but the forger might have the real dagger, or know where it is. The Fellowship sets off to find the address written on the lottery ticket (graciously provided by the other party) and learn more about Vestri’s missing dagger.

Vestri: I don’t mind a few detours on the way.

Vestri realizes that once he has the dagger, he’s supposed to go home. He’s not quite ready to stop adventuring with his new friends.

Vestri: When a group gets together to do something, we should achieve everyone’s quest, right? So if we get the dagger I should assist you returning home.

Yuri: I would appreciate it.

Vestri: And I’m not sure what your goal is out here.

Edna: I’m always achieving my goal! I’m out here to have a good time and meet new people.

The other party says the false dagger was found in an underground tunnel near Thaumatown. Vestri knows of many underground tunnels. Yuri remembers the tunnel they flooded just outside Bogden. Vestri wants to take a different path to  Thaumatown and avoid retracing their steps. Edna remembers a large pipe coming out of the wall in Swallet, the nearby Goblin city. Edna kind of threatened the leader of Swallet on their last visit, so she figures they would not be welcome. Vestri is quite compact, but Edna is no good at sneaking. Yuri suggesting drilling into the tunnel from the surface, but that requires precise knowledge of the tunnel’s location.

The Fellowship hikes down from the Hidden Library to the plain between the two volcanoes. There’s the entrance to  Swallet with the ramp leading down. Swallet is an underground chamber with an artifical roof, so if Gurtin the Drill Tank digs in the wrong place, it will break through that ceiling and plummet to the city far below!

Yuri and Vestri slip down the ramp just a little to look for the tunnel, hoping to get in and out without drawing attention.

Yuri Get Away (+hope, Vestri’s assistance) 7-9 avoid attention

The Fellowship’s previous intrusion was the last straw and Nub-Nub installed traps on the ramp! Arrows mounted under the rim of the ramp entrance fire as Yuri walks under them.

Yuri damages Grace

Yuri: You’re a doctor. Deal with it. That’s what Hot Fuzz said. It’s a movie.

Vestri: What are movies?

Yuri Spout Lore about the world he comes from. He bought the Cornetto Trilogy shortly before coming to this world, so it’s fresh in his mind.

Yuri tells the Fellowship where the tunnel is relative to their location on the surface, as well as what movies are, and why Edgar Wright is great at making them.

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

Edna Love! Once per scene, erase a Bond with someone in your arms to heal them.

Edna erases “I must protect Yuri” and heals Yuri’s grace

Edna scoops up Yuri and tells him that he did a very good job. He got the information for the team, and even though he was hurt, he’s being very brave about it. She considers going down the ramp and smashing those cowardly traps, but Yuri was careful not to cause a commotion, so she won’t either.

GM note: I went on a tangent about using movies with giant characters as inspiration for how Edna interacts with the world and ended with “I just love it when weirdos love each other, and I guess I’m playing that character.”

Yuri walks east a ways and marks the dirt with his show. Hundrin operates Gurtin to drill down at an angle where Yuri indicates.

Gurtin spends Drill Tank.

Hundrin feels Gurtin drilling through dirt, hitting a layer of bricks, and then nothing. He quickly stops before Gurtin completely breaks through the roof of the tunnel and falls in. Vestri directs Hundrin to back out of the hole. The Fellowship stands around and stares at the hole, as you do, wondering the best way to proceed. Edna slides down and kicks at the bricks to enlarge the entrance to the tunnel, then drops in.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: causes collateral damage if she’s not careful

The tunnel is circular and about as tall as Edna. Water up to her knees flows towards Swallet and pours down a waterfall into a park.  The bricks that Edna kicked out to make room are carried by the current and fall into the park. Edna lifts the smaller party members down into the tunnel.

GM note: We had to use two different heuristics to figure out how high “up to her knees” on Edna would come on the smaller characters. Characters are some number of “heads” tall, and knees are two heads high.  Edna has triple the dimensions of a 5’4″ woman.

The water is about 4.5 feet deep: over Vestri’s head if he tries to stand in the middle, but if he walks up the slanted sides of the tunnel he can keep his head above water.

A Powersuit leaps up to the mouth of the tunnel, but it’s not a combat suit like Nub-Nub’s.  It’s brown and orange with a rollcage around the cockpit, like construction equipment.

  • Oobie, Goblin maintenance worker, she/her

Goblin women have pointier ears than the men. Some other races think that skin color is a gender marker, but that’s incorrect.

Yuri: Hello, ma’am. What brings you up here?

Oobie: The falling debris? In the park?

Vestri: That seems very unfortunate. I hope no one was hurt.

Oobie: No one was hurt, but a device was broken. People are always using devices in the park. Wait, did you do this?

Edna: Yeah, I just wasn’t thinking about where the bricks would go.

Vestri: I didn’t think there would be bricks. We don’t usually use such a thing.

Yuri: How upset are you about the property damage? We are just trying to access tunnel but did not want to disrupt you. Is an apology enough?

Oobie looks at the half-dozen figures surrounding her including a spiky machine and an Ogre scraping the ceiling.

Oobie: No. I’m not offended at all. I’m just going to . . . get some parts.

Oobie jumps away to get reinforcements. The Fellowship decides not to be around when she returns.

Vestri: Hey Edna, I know I’m heavier than I look, but could you carry me a little? Just hold on to my shirt and I’ll kind of swim.

Vestri Get Away (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 7-9 avoid harm

The Fellowship is pretty far down the tunnel when Nub-Nub arrives at the mouth of the tunnel. She doesn’t pursue the Fellowship, but gives orders to plug the hole to the surface and add traps here too.

The Fellowship continues upstream through the tunnel, mainly heading north. The mouth of the tunnel provided some light, but as they get further away, it gets darker and darker.

Vestri Deep Delve: see in the dark

Viktor Let Me Get That: useful tag

Viktor holds a lantern on a stick high over his head, about Edna’s shoulder level. The Dwarves don’t need the light, but the Ogre and Humans depend on it. Steven the housecat curls up on the brim of Edna’s hat, far away from the water.  There’s some evidence that machinery used to line the tunnel, but it’s all fallen into disrepair. Most has been swept away by the current over the years.

The Fellowship approaches branch in the tunnel. A tunnel from the east meets the north-south tunnel the Fellowship is walking along. There’s a cutout in the side of the tunnel, above the waterline. It’s basically a bus stop. There’s a little seating area and a staircase going up to the surface.

  • Yuri Look Closely 7-9 3 questions, 1 answer the hard way
    • how could the Dwarven Tunnel hurt or help me?
      • It’s a waterway hidden and protected from the elements. It was once a fast, secure way to move through the world.
      • Because it’s abandoned and fallen into disrepair, it dangerous.
    • Is something hidden or out of place?
      • Vestri: I have heard that Dwarves from the Clay Plains hide some of their richer ores in places of travel because it’s good luck. We don’t do such things like the soft clay Dwarves.
      • Edna: Rich soft clay, you say? That sounds delicious!
      • Vestri: These bricks were heated by the furnaces of the soft clay Dwarves, so if you don’t mind something crunchy these might be good for you to eat.
      • These tunnels were abandoned long ago. When the Dwarves retreated, they took the hidden ore and replaced it with a trap.
      • Curse-Touch: This dark poison leaves a burning wound that does not heal.
        The damage they took is Necrotic.
    • If something is hidden, what will happen if I poke it?
      • Edna pulls some bricks out of the wall and eats them like candy bars.
      • Edna Uncontrollable Strength: causes collateral damage if she’s not careful
      • A chunk of the ceiling collapses, and poison goo falls on Yuri

Yuri damages Grace (Necrotic)

Edna Bonds That Break Us: Edna erases a Bond with Yuri

Edna examines the bricks in her hands to see if any have bits of goo on them, then discards them just to be safe.

Vestri Let Me See That: take a few moments to investigate interesting architecture, then ask 2 questions

  • What was this made to do & how do I use it or break it?
    • It’s a public transit system. Rafts used to float with the current on one side of the tunnel. On the other side, a system of waterwheels linked to conveyor belts would move rafts against the current. Most of the conveyor belts and waterwheels have collapsed from decades of neglect. Getting it working again would be a big project.
    • Yuri recalls that the Platypeople are surprisingly good at technology. They could help get this running again. the Fellowship has influence iwth Bogden after saving them from Werewolves.
  • Who made this and why should I care about them?
    • Vestri Spout Lore about Dwarven history
    • The Clay Dwarves made this. There used to be a lake between the two mountains, which produced all the clay that the Clay Dwarves used to make these tunnels. But after some eruptions, the lake disappeared and a sinkhole opened up. The Clay Dwarves moved away, and the Goblins came in and built Swallet inside the sinkhole.

The in-Vestri-gation (as Yuri calls it) reveals the location of the stop the lottery ticket came from.  The Fellowship heads north.

The next stop is at a junction with a tunnel coming from the west.  This is where the lottery ticket was sold.

Vestri Look Closely 7-9 3 questions, find 1 answer the hard way

  • What is going on? What do my senses tell me?
    • This stop is larger than the previous one. There are more dusty stone benches, and a shop carved out of the back of the room.  Yuri hopes the dagger is sitting on one of the shop’s shelves, but the shelves are empty. Behind the counter, a hidden compartment is open and empty.
    • Down the tunnel to the west, there are metal spikes driven into the walls like punji sticks, as if preventing something from coming from the west.
  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • Vestri finds a second hidden compartment, which contains a puzzle box. He knows that Dwarves are careful with treasure, especially where creatures come expecting riches from a lottery. Sometimes lesser treasures are revealed so thieves won’t look for greater treasure. Hopefully the forgery was easy to find and the real dagger is in here.
The raft encounters punji sticks pointing the other way.

Yuri wonders what sort of creature would require such defenses. Vestri explains that Sea Serpents are a concern, but rarely because Dwarves live mostly in mountian, not the shore. Murderous flame gods are also a hazard. Yuri doesn’t have murderous flame gods in his world, only murderous people.  Edna recalls time that a 10-foot-tall (she gestures about chest height) guy made out of magma came out of an artifact and tried to set her on fire. Vestri says the murderous flame gods usually take the form of four-legged creatures, but nothing prevents them from being humanoid.

GM note: Vestri’s player didn’t ask a third question because the first two revealed all the important information.

Vestri All That Glitters: is there a trap or ambush here?

There’s some kind of magical trap in the puzzle box. Vestri isn’t sure of the solution, but will try anyways. Yuri’s been hit by two traps already today, so he stands back. Edna’s first impulse is to throw the box really hard against something far away, but admits that might not be wise to smash a box containing a precious item. Alas, Edna is too big to fit through the Dwarf-sized spiral staircase that leads to the surface. Vestri can speak to the earth and ask it to move, but that won’t work on bricks. He clears out some bricks with his pickaxe to access the earth.

Vestri Earth Friend: When you Speak Softly to the earth, you may ask it to move.

Vestri Speak Softly 7-9 ask 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer

  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the earth?
    • The earth refuses to answer
  • Could you move so that Edna can reach the surface?
    • Yes, the earth retreats from the hole in the brickwork until there’s a sloped tunnel that leads to the surface.
  • Where are you going? Where does this staircase come out?
    • Vestri sticks his head out of the hole and sees that he on the south bank of the Mighty River, and Thaumatown is just across the river on the north bank.

Edna climbs to the surface and stretches, glad to not be constrained by a ceiling. Steven (still curled up on her hat) wakes up and stretches in the sunlight.

Mighty River Response move – Wild Animal: A Beast tries to eat the next player who goes out in the open.

  • Wild Boar: These wild beasts are popular among both halfling war riders
    and halfling chefs.

    • Pig-Headed: Boars are ferocious and territorial beasts. When you gain a Boar’s ire, it will chase you until this stat is damaged. They will follow you into a new scene if ignored.
    • Wild Charge: When a wild boar charges, it keeps going until it hits something. The first thing in their way that has a damaged Sense stat or is distracted takes 1 damage and is knocked aside by its wild charge. Anyone who is not distracted and has undamaged Senses can easily avoid the charge. If the boar hits nobody, it damages this stat instead.

GM note: At Response Level 6, threats can appear in Gangs, which means it’s possible to be attacked by 30-50 feral hogs.

A Wild Boar is offended that Enda intrudes on its territory and prepares to charge. Edna sees an opportunity to apply the training Yuri gave her and stands her ground.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna I Know Something You Don’t: Gain an Advantage when you Overcome an attack

Edna steps aside and grabs the Wild Boar as it runs past. She drags it in a semi-circle around her and throws it down on its side. Edna looks at Yuri in truimph!

Edna: Ha ha! Just like a therapist!

Edna gets down on on all fours, face to face with the Wild Boar. She releases her grip, and as soon as it gets up, she head-butts it!

Edna Finish Them (+Courage, force a retreat) 7-9 damage 1 stat

Wild Boar damages Wild Charge

The head butt knocks Steven from his perch on Edna’s hat. To keep him out of danger, Edna grabs Steven and carries him towards Yuri, with the Wild Boar pursuing. Yuri stretches out the lower hem of his shirt, making a little basket for Steven to jump into. Edna stops to let Steven jump to Yuri, and the Wild Boar slams into the back of her leg.

Edna Wobbles: normal weapons annoy but do not damage you

The Wild Boar single-mindedly bashes into Edna’s leg over and over. By taking a wide stance she’s able to avoid losing her balance. The Wild Boar wn’t give up, even though its efforts are in vain.

Yuri Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri Finish Them (+Sense, knock out) 10+ TAKEN OUT

Yuri leaps high in the air and comes down hard on the Wild Boar, knocking it unconscious.

Edna: Can we get the boar to set off the puzzle box? I’m not cocerned for its well-being.

Vestri: I’d prefer solving it to breaking it. What if it’s got liquid inside that will destroy whatever’s inside?

Vestri Let Me See That: take a few moments to investigate interesting architecture, then ask 2 questions

  • Who made it and why should I care about them?
    • It was made by the Clay Dwarves to protect the treasure inside.
  • What was this made to do? How do I use it or break it?
    • The puzzle box has meny levers and catches. If one person holds them all in the right positions, another person can reach in and extract the item inside. The trap that’s activated when someone fails to solve the puzzle will suck nearby people and items inside like a vacuum, but it will wear off after a few hours.

Vestri: I didn’t know the Clay Dwarves could make such items. I thought they were more interested in decorative items, not useful items, which is perhaps why theyy have not survived as well as Stone Dwarves. Sometimes Clay Dwarves are nomadic, which is rare among Dwarves. Maybe that’s why they need puzzle boxes, to protect treasure while on the move.

Yuri Overcome (+hope, Vestri’s assistance) 10+

Yuri’s a surgeon, so his hands are very steady. He follows Vestri’s directions to solve the puzzle box, then Vestri pulls out the item within. It’s not the dagger. It’s a ledger book. This ledger belongs to Tomay and Soday, two Dwarven brothers who copied fine Dwarven crafts and sold the inferior copies to non-Dwarves who can’t tell the difference.  These con-men stole the original items that they copied. The ledger ends abruptly when they were discovered and chased out. The brother took only the original items and fled.  The Fellowship must now track down these forgers to reclaim Vestri’s hierloom.


Mighty River messageboard:

Vestri: Beware of the tunnel entrace. Do not fall in. We have not repaired the waterway yet.

Yuri: Beware nectrotic goop traps living behind brick