Chasing the Sunset & new direction

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

The party: Buckle the Beast/Heart of Earth, Stella the Halfling/Hunter

Last time, the Fellowship brought a companion home, fought a hostile, empowered dinosaur, and claimed another Artifact of Power.

After recovering in the hostile wasteland, protected by Stella and Buckle’s special powers, the Fellowship remembers that Snapjaw sent a group of creatures to attack the nearby town of Castellum before it fought Buckle. That was a week ago. Is Castellum OK?  They barely got out of Castellum without a fight last time, so they consider their approach carefully. Kitty (a dinosaur) and Buckle (set some stuff on fire) will stay back, along with Hamfast. Stella and her companions (Silk, Gus, and Rose) will go check on Castellum.

As the Halflings approach, they are spotted by a Sentry on the town’s walls.

Sentry: Are you being pursued? To the gates, quickly!

Castellum sees itself as a bastion of civilization against a dangerous wilderness, so it has a responsibility to offer sanctuary to any people who wander into the Cracktooth Wastes.  As the Fellowship gets closer, the Gatekeeper recognizes Stella as one of the people who caused so much trouble last week and doesn’t want to let her in. The Sentry and the Gatekeeper argue. Surely their responsibility to save people from monsters is the highest priority, but these particular people did break some of the town’s defenses and left on bad terms, so letting them come back would be foolish.

Stella: Please let me in. I have important tactical information for your leader!

Stella Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 10+

The Sentry is convinced, and comes down to activate the gate mechanism. The Gate slowly rises, and Stella and her Companions enter. The Gatekeeper quickly shuts the gate behind them. The interior of Castellum is budy, with many people rushing around reparing damage from last week’s attack. Mega Mantis’s can jump over any walls and attack from above, so Priscilla, commander of Castellum, is overseeing repairs to the roofs of some buildings.

Priscilla: You were lucky we let you leave in peace last time. Why do you return?

Stella: My crew & I went into the wastes to figure out what terrorized the town. We found Snapjaw was sending dinosaurs to attack you. He’s dead now.

Priscilla: Good news, if it is true. Do you bring a trophy as proof?

Stella must pause to remember if any of Snapjaw’s remains survived. The fight and resulting forest fire was quite destructive, and the Fellowship focused on the Artifact of Power when Snapjaw died.

Stella: My companions and I are small of stature, so we carry no trophy, but Snapjaw’s skeletal remains can be found at the edge of the forest.

Priscilla calls up to the Sentry to confirm, but the forest is too far, and the Sentry can’t see from his tower.  People rarely venture from Castellum to the Cracktooth Wastes, but confirming Snapjaw’s death is so important that Priscilla will send an expedition. Of course she’ll lead the expedition. She won’t ask anyone to take a risk that she wouldn’t take herself. Cam the Halfing will pilot the War Wagon, and Priscilla and the Sentry will ride it.

Back at the edge of the forest, Buckle sees the War Wagon approaching. He and Kitty scramble to hide. Kitty lies down in some underbrush, and Buckle hides behind her. Alas, Kitty is a huge tyrannosaur, and Buckle’s body shines brightly.

Sentry: I see a glowing Tyrannosaur!

That fits Snapjaw’s description, and it’s not skeletal remains like Stella promised. Priscilla must determine if this fearsome creature is dead, but it’s so dangerous!

Priscilla: Cam, send our cheapest scout.

War Wagon Rock Ballista: Ranged, Dangerous, Reload weapon

Electric Artifact St. Elmo’s Fire: deflect an attack

Cam fires a rock from the War Wagon’s roof-mounted Ballista.  Buckle sees the rock flying in and freaks out. Blinding electricity crackles around Kitty and the rock is shunted aside! Buckle jumps up and yells at the people who attacked him unprovoked.

Buckle: What do you think you’re doing?

Priscilla: That electric dinosaur’s not dead! Back to town!

Cam turns the War Wagon around and heads back to Castellum at full steam! As he stokes the furnace, he tosses in a bundle of dried branches, so the smoke from theWar Wagon’s engine turns yellow. The War Wagon carries several bundles of different branches, leaves, or moss to send different signals back to town. This color of yellow means “We are in danger!”Buckle follows them, but at a distance.

The Sentries call out to the Gatekeepers, who spring into action.  Stella can tell that everyone is worried. The Gatekeepers look at markers some distance from the wall, and when the War Wagon passes a certain marker, they start opening the gate.  The War Wagon drives straight for the gate without slowing down! The gate raises just enough for the War Wagon to drive underneath, then the Gatekeepers lower the gate again. The War Wagon skids to a stop and the expedition exits. Priscilla is furious.

Priscilla: Snapjaw is not dead!

Stella: Really? You saw a T-Rex? With skin?

Cam: We saw a shape in the brush. I fired at it, and sparks surrounded it.

Sentry: There’s a glowing person approaching!

Stella: How could this happen? We burned Snapjaw a lot, down to his bones. You must have seen something else. Maybe my friends taking a nap.

Priscilla: You’re friends with dinosaurs?!

Buckle walks up to the walls of Castellum, furious, shouting about their treachery, their impoliteness, their recknessless, in attacking people who are just minding thier own business, not hurting everyone. Castellum is in an uproar. Strange travellers. Their greatest enemy slain, but not. Priscilla invokes the cruelest punishment known to the fortress city: Banishment! Stella and her companions must go out into the Cracktooth Wastes and will never enjoy the protection of Castellum again! The crowd murmers with shock. The Gatekeepers open the gates a little, and Stella and her Companions exit the city and meet Buckle just outside.

Stella: At least the dinosaurs are nicer than you! Buckle, we’re leaving.

The Fellowship heads back to the Miranda, docked a little north of Castellum on the shore of the Cracktooth Wastes.

Buckle: That went well, I think. What happened?

Stella: Priscilla needed proof of Snapjaw’s death. I told her to find his remains.

Buckle: They shot us with a rock!

Stella: I need to be more specific.

Castellum Message Board:

Stella: Friendship is magic and there is nothing magical about these people!

Buckle: This fortress is full of dinosaur bigots who throw rocks at you. One star.

Buckle has been making a map of his travels and sees that long ago, he heard about two volcanos near Bogden, but he never investigated. The Fellowship sets out to explore these mountains, which means heading south along to coast, then inland at Port Fennrick, where Buckle and Stella first arrived on this continent long ago.

As they sail south, a larger ship approaches. it’s the Hibernia, which helped them run the blockade at Vieport. They went different directions after leaving Vieport, so seeing the Hibernia this far north is unexpected.  Buckle hails the larger ship.

Buckle: Ahoy! How did the Tinker like my gift of Dragon Fire?

Tinker liked the gift very much! She’s thrilled to see Buckle and the crew of the Miranda again. The Hibernia slows down to rendezvous with the Miranda, but Tinker can’t wait for a rowboat. She launches herself off the deck with an experimental jetpack! She heads in the general direction of the Miranda, but she’s going to overshoot and land in the water!

Buckle: Do we have, maybe, some nets?

Tinker hurtles overhead and crashes into the water. Buckle remembers what emergency equipment the Miranda has, and throws a life preserver to Tinker. It’s an inflated animal skin on a rope.

Buckle Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Tinker grabs the life preserver, but Buckle’s super-heated hands caused a leak, and the jetpack is quite heavy. Tinker is still sinking and Buckle can’t haul in the rope because he’d set it on fire! Stella smacks Buckle with the corner of her cloak.

Stella: Just ask Kitty!

Buckle: Kitty, help!

Kitty uses Crushing Jaws

Kitty carefully takes the rope in her powerful jaws and pulls Tinker onto the Miranda’s deck. Tinker seems unphased by her near-death experience.

Tinker: Buckle! So great to meet you! Thought we wouldn’t see you again. We’re on a new route for new customers. The control vanes don’t have enough yaw. I’ll replace them It’s so good to see you!

Tinker pulls heavy welding gloves from her belt, puts them on, and shakes Buckles’ hand. The Hibernia pulls up alongside and Captain Frost calls out.

Frost: Come on, Tinker, this is a rush delivery! We had to take some bad terms for this journey, so we can’t afford to be late! But stay there! We’ll send a launch to get you.

Buckle: If you’re in a hurry, this’ll help you get more power.

Buckle spends 1 Use of Dragonfire

Tinker is thrilled to receive a second vial of Dragonfire. The launch arrives and Tinker boards it.

Buckle: Wait, you never told me your name!

Tinker: It’s Tanja. Tanja the Tinker!

Buckle gains a Bond with Tanja. Spend the Bond and Tanja will appear with some contraption to bail Buckle out of a jam.

The Miranda continues south while the Hibernia sails north. It’s night when the Miranda approaches the river delta of Port Fennrick, with its boardwalks and buildings on stilts. An Ogre stands at the edge of the dock, holding a huge torch. It’s an entire sapling, wrapped in cloth and set alight. The Ogre waves to indicate the Miranda should stop before entering the city. The Fellowship complies, and the Ogre just waits there, staring at them. Very odd. Then a man appears right next to Buckle and grabs his Lightning Artifact!

Mysterious figure: The chief will be very interested in this trinket!


Did we learn something new about the world or its people: YES, Castellum’s war against Snapjaw

Did someone find what they were looking for: YES, Buckle collects Artifacts of Power

Did we thoroughly explore a new location: YES, Castellum

Three boons: Level up, restore gear, heal.