Chasing The Sunset & mutual retreat

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 was exiled from Castellum, but they were leaving anyways. They head towards a volcano that Buckle heard about long ago, but when they are waylaid in Port Fennrick!

The Miranda (the Fellowship’s racing catamaran) stopped at the edge of Port Frennrick’s docks, following instructions from Bork, an Ogre who seems to be in charge of the docks.

  • Bork, she/her, Ogre. This 18-foot-tall woman is smarter than she looks and eager to prove her worth.
    • Big And Scary: Anyone trying to act against Bork is in Despair.
    • Caught One!: When Bork deals damage, she also picks up and grabs the person she damaged. If she is not stopped, she’ll walk off with them.
      Eager To Please: Bork is trying her best and just wants to be loved. Anyone who is nice to Bork immediately forms a Bond with her. When Bork is harmed, erase all Bonds the fellowship has with her. Bork will not join the fellowship as a Companion unless someone can form three Bonds with her.

A man appears behind Buckle and snatches the Medallion of Cleft Sky from his neck. The Medallion isn’t on a normal chain. It emits a crackling cord of electricity that expands to fit its wearer. Where did that man come from/ The Fellowship didn’t see anyone board the ship.

  • Agent, he/him, Human
    • Death From Above: Agents can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When an Agent drops down on an enemy from above, they can either kidnap them or deal damage to them as a Hard Cut, their choice.
    • Patience: The Agent is Secret until they make a Cut. When they escape or hide, they become Secret again until they make a Cut.

Agent: O’Later will want to know about this!

Buckle: That’s mine! Who’s O’Later?

Bork: O’Later’s the boss!

Buckle: I don’t remember him.

Bork: The town is under new management.

Another Agent emerges from the cabin holding the Pheonix Egg. Buckle’s eyes surge with flames.

Buckle: That’s my baby! What are you doing with it?

Bork: Don’t interfere. This is standard procedure.

Buckle: What procedure?

Bork is taken aback. This is more resistance than she’s used to.

Bork: I don’t have all the procedures and clauses memorized, but O’Later can explain it to you.

Bork indicates that the Fellowship can follow her, and the Agents prepare to take the Phoenix Egg and the Medallion of Cleft Sky. Buckle’s close to lashing out.

Stella: We want safe passage through here in the future, so let’s talk. Hey, Bork, where are you taking our stuff?

Bork: Contraband warehouses. There’s one there, and there’s another over–

An Agent frantically motions for Bork not to reveal such sensitive information. Bork stops talking, grabs a rope tossed by an Agent and pulls the Miranda in to the dock. Buckle starts walking up the ship’s ramps and the Agents realize that Buckle is on fire and most of Port Fennrick is wooden boardwalks. They scramble to fetch barrels of water and pour them in Buckle’s path. Buckle carefuly steps only on the wettests portions to avoid setting the town on fire.

Buckle Overcome 10+

The strange procession passes the Port Fennrick message board. Buckle and Stella sneak a peek in passing.

GM note: The messages board is a way for players to send messages to other players that they don’t meet in real life. NPCs don’t read or censor the messages.

  • Port Fennrick Message Board
    • Edna: O’Later is a poor host and a Vampire. Please get Bork some properly tailored clothes!
    • Vestri: O’Later is a Vampire and Bork is his subordinate. Don’t hang out with them at night. They have contraband in a warehouse.
    • Yuri: Soldiers lurk in the shadows and there is a great wealth of confiscated goods.

Stella looks at Bork’s bouncer outfit, which seems a bit too small and bunches in certain spots. Buckle leans in to whisper to Stella.

Buckle: Did you read the message board/ We’ve fought Vampires before. Does our reputation precede us?

The procession reaches the town hall, a large stone building which Buckle won’t destory on contact. Bork opens the large double doors, and an Agent rolls up the red carpet so Buckle won’t set it on fire. Buckle thinks Bork seems nice-ish, so he offers to buy her some custom-tailored clothes. He has Ugg take measurements and gets permission to leave the party and find a tailor.

Bork forms a Bond: Buckle offered me a gift.

After a few minutes, O’Later arrives, He apologizes for the modest reception, since he was not expecting them. Another Agent offers a plate of Halfling and Platyperson snacks. There seems to be no distinction between O’Later’s servants and his secret police. They wear the same uniforms. Buckle makes conversation.

Buckle Speak Softly 6- 3 questions, 1 unhelpful answer, 1 false answer

  • What can O’Later tell us about contraband?
    • Contraband must be confiscated to preserve order and safety in the town. It’s for your own good, of course! Thus, the contraband will not be returned when you leave town.
  • What was O’Later doing? What will they do next? (Particularly how did he come to rule Port Fennrick?)
    • O’Later found the town leaderless and in chaos, so it was his responsibility to bring order.
  • What should we be wary of when dealing with O’Later?
    • Buckle mentioned the Moon, and immediately O’Later gets mad.
    • O’Later: The Moon has been trouble ever since it appeared. It’s to blame for werewolves! Something should be done about it!
    • Buckle: Yes, we had to kill some Platypalooza.

While Buckle talks with O’Later, Stella pulls Bork aside.

Stella: Are you hungry? Seems like you’ve been on the clock for a while.

Bork: Thanks. Sometimes we find good food to confiscate, but not tonight.

Stella spends Halfing Lunch

Bork forms a Bond “Stella fed me.”

Stella overhears O’Later ranting about the Moon.

Stella Talk Nonsense 10+

Stella: We can take care of that! We were on our way to a big cannon in a mountain. We need the Medallion to power it.

Buckle: Yeah! The azimuth is slightly off.

Stella Sting Like A Bee steal a small item

Stella steals a large key from O’Later. The key’s teeth are shaped like fangs.

O’Later: A cannon in a mountain? When did you see this ? Tell me about it.

Stella: We’ve been travelling for a long time. The facility was abandoned when we found it, but we read some notes that indicated this facility was important. Maybe all the bad things happening these days would stop if the Moon was gone.

O’Later: A noble goal! We will return your Medallion and escort you to the mountain. Bork will make all the arrangements, and we will leave tomorrow at sunset!

Bork escorts the Fellowship towards the contraband warehouse (the one she pointed out earlier) with Agents pouring water in front of Buckle. Stella chats with Bork along the way.

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

  • What can you tell me about your past?
    • Bork doesn’t want to talk about it.
  • What do you want? How can we help you get it?
    • She wants job satisfaction: the sense that she’s doing good in the world. Guarding the city is indirect and boring. She’s not fulfilled.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Bork?
    • Bork’s physical power is obvious, but she’s also easily manipulated, which makes her dangerous.

Buckle: What would make the world a better place?

Bork: Hmmm, maybe fighting werewolves? We rarely get any here in town. O’Later says the Moon is to blame, so I’ve tried throwing things at the Moon before.

Stella: When we get the cannon working, we’ll throw something that will hit the Moon.

They reach the contraband warehouse. Bork easily lifts the bar holding the gate closed and the Fellowship enters.  The warehouse is dimly lit, because Agents like the dark.  There’s a pile of knifes, coins, and other metal objects near the entrance. Most of the warehouse is orderly stacks of boxes, but some boxes have been pushed aside to make a clear space for the Medallion of Cleft Sky. The Agents assigned to the warehouse are standing a respectful distance away, pondering this strange and dangerous item that forced them to discard all their metal equipment. Buckle goes to pick up his Medallion and the Agents move to intervene until Bork calls out.

Bork: We’ve got a special mission. This comes straight from the top.

Buckle: Where’s the egg? Its’s important to me. It must be protected and I can’t trust these buffoons to do it.

Buckle isn’t sure what “buffoon” means, but hostile people have used that word against them.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to emotions) 10+

Bork: Give him the egg too.

Buckle reclaims his items. He wants to look around for more cool items in the warehouse, but the Agents don’t want him to set anything on fire or strike anything with lightning.

Buckle: I need to find materials for the mission to the Anti-Moon Weapon. I could get something to upgrade the payload, or use messenger robots to communite back to Port Fennrick.

Buckle Talk Sense (+Grace, trick them) 7-9 owe them a favor

The Agents are impressed by the mission. They’ll let Buckle look through their stuff, so long as he takes them along to the anti-Moon Weapon.

GM note: This is just Buckle’s player asking for trouble. Show me something cool, and show me how it can go wrong.

The first item that catches Buckle’s interest is a cask of exotic liquor. It was confiscated because it kept starting fires and fights. Not a safe object for someone who sets things on fire with a touch.

Buckle Overcome 10+

The Agents open the cask and as Buckle approaches to inspect it, the vapor coming off the cask starts to ignite! The Agents slam the cask shut quickly, and Buckle backs away.

Next Buckle sees some kind of robotic weapon. He sees a space where  a battery should go and zaps it with the Medallion of Cleft Sky. The robot starts powering up. It’s a Killbot! It looks around to select a target!

  • Killbot: They have a kill limit, but it is quite high. Killbots are targeted assassins – they have someone (or a list of someones) to kill, and anything that gets in their way is collateral damage.
    • Exterminate: Killbots are Melee, Ranged, and Piercing. If they are trying
      to kill you specifically, you need to pay a price whenever you go near a Killbot.

Buckle Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Buckle fumbles for an access panel as the Killbot stands up, spikes protruding in all directions. Buckle pulls a wire and the killbot collapses. A panel opens and reveals a countdown!

Buckle: I think it’s off, but it’s counting down. We might need to leave.

The Agents freak out. An explosion in this warehouse, full of valuable and dangerous items, would be catastrophic. Stella confirms that the KIllbot can’t stab her, then works to protect the warehouse.

 Stella spends 1 Pit Trap

Stella Wizardry: Push, pull, or grab as if you were somewhere you can see.

Stella sets a Pit Trap, retreats to a safe distance, and remotely pushes the Killbot into the pit.

Stella Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Stella spends a bag of coins (Precious)

The Killbot slumps into the pit, but the spikes sticking out prevent it from falling all the way in. Stella throws a heavy bag of coins at the Killbot, which knocks it the rest of the way into the pit. A moment later, an explosion shoots striaght up from the pit, blowing a hole in the roof of the warehouse, but sparing the stacks and stacks of boxes all around.

Buckle: Stella, maybe you should look through the crates.

Collateral damage increases Port Fennrick’s Response Level to 2.

Port Fennrick gains Response Move: Sheriff – someone will arrest a member of the Fellowship.

Bork: I’ve made a mistake letting you in here. You’re dangerous.

She moves in to scoop Buckle up in her giant hands.

Buckle: It was just an accident. We need these supplies for the mission to make O’Later happy!

Buckle Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to desires) 6-

Bork damages Buckle

Bork Caught One!: When Bork deals damage, she also picks up and grab the person they damaged. If she are not stopped, she’ll walk off with them.

Bork grabs Buckle, who is about the size of a stuffed animal to her, and starts walking out of the warehouse. Stella runs after them.

Stella On A Mirror’s Edge: gain 2 Speed

Bork stops suddenly and kicks back with a giant boot!

Stella spends 1 Speed to avoid an enemy attack and keep going

Stella Get Away 7-9 take Buckle along

Stella damages Courage

Stella leaps up on Bork’s foot, climbs her body, and snatches Buckle from her hand. Channeling the power of her loyal mount, Silk, Stella leaps striaght up to the roof of the warehouse!

Stella Animal Trait: Jumping Spider

Buckle: The egg!

Buckle rushes to the hole in the roof and looks in to see if the PHoenix Egg survived.

Agents Death From Above: Agents can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When an Agent drops down on an enemy from above, they can either kidnap them or deal damage to them as a Hard Cut, their choice.

The two Agents inside the warehouse are waiting for Buckle, standing upside-down on either side of the hole!

Buckle Medallion of Cleft Sky St. Elmo’s Fire: surround someone with a dazzling aura to make an attack miss.

St. Elmo’s Fire crackles around Buckle’s body, dazzling one Agent, but the other strikes true!

Agent damages Buckle.

Buckle goes for the Medallion again!

GM note: The Medallion is a custom item. Buckle’s player made some suggestions for potential powers, and the Framework was supposed to write up an official version, but didn’t, so we are just winging its powers in this session.

Buckle Medallion of Cleft Sky Aurora: impress and distract spectators, Keeping Them Busy with a 10+

Bork can’t climb the warehouse, can’t reach the figures on the roof, and this is one building she’s unwiling to tear down. She looks around for a big rock or a long pole that she can use to reach Stella and Buckle.

Stella: You’ll never get us with logs! We are Fluming champions!

Stella Keep Them Busy 10+

It’s a standoff. Stella and Buckle are keeping all their opponents from advancing or attacking, but if they stop, their opponents will strike! The tense moment is interrupted by the slow arrivals of new adversaries. The uniforms they wear are smiliar to the Agents, but fancier, so they’re probably higher rank. Unlike the slippery, agile Agents, these Enforcers stomp heavily and stiffly towards the warehouse.

  • Ghoulish Enforcers, it/its, undead humanoids.  Preserved corpses, sustained by an ancient curse.
    • Cursed Strength: Enforcers are incredibly strong, and can toss aside anyone trying to Keep Them Busy. If your Blood is damaged, you must pay a price to attack an Enforcer in melee combat.
    • Tough As Nails: The first time an Enforcer would be damaged or destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Buckle drops the Aurora and goes to the edge of the roof to appeal to Bork.

Buckle: We’re all on the same side, working towards the same goal!  There’s just dangerous stuff around.

Buckle FInish Them (+Widsom, show the error of their ways) 7-9

Buckle damages Bork’s Big And Scary

Bork Eager To Please: When Bork is damaged, she erases all Bonds with the Fellowship.

Bork: You tricked me! I thought you were my friend!

Bork throws the Phoenix Egg at Buckle as the Agents emerge onto the roof! Buckle must catch the precious and fragile egg!

Buckle Overcome 7-9 pay a price

Buckle damages Webbed Hands

The impact of the huge egg (nearly as tall as Buckle) injures his hands and the momentum pushes him backwards towards the edge of the roof! He rolls with it.

Buckle Get Away 7-9 take Stella along

Buckle grabs Stella and they both slide past hte shocked agents and fall to the ground! Buckle lands on his back with the egg on top of him!

Buckle damages a stat

Buckle Firestarter: declare a fire starts if you had a chance to plant material before hand.

Buckle won’t start a fight, but he’ll finish one! He snaps his fingers and the warehouse bursts into flames! He was secreting explosive goo all over the items he was examining.  The exotic liquor explodes, turning the front of the warehouse into a hail of debris! The Agents on the roof are sent flying, their capes on fire. The Enforcers don’t look at the fire, continuing to walk straight towards Buckle until a pile of debris collapses on them. Bork kneels and braces herself, keeping her balance as the shockwave passes her. She slowly gets to her feet, sweeping splinters and flaming bits from her arms. The pile of flaming debris is thurst aside and the Enforcers stand up and continue walking forward.

Bork, Enforcers, and Agents all take damage

Buckle & Stella took full advantage of the distraction to flee the scene!

Buckle (+hope, Stella’s aid) Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Ugg along

They run for the Miranda as fast as their short legs will carry them, but they remember to swing by the tailor’s shop to get Ugg before fleeing town. There’s no disguising their trail. Buckle is setting fire to the boardwalks as he flees.  Buckle throws a coin purse in to the tailor, Ugg gathers up the huge suti in his big robot hands, and the whole Fellowship reaches the Miranda.

Port Fennrick: Upset someone in Charge: increase Response Level

There’s commotion all over town as the crew of the Miranda casts off and sails upriver. They have to go all the way across town to reach the river! Bork appears ahead on the boardwalk, with a flaming beam from the warehouse weilded as a club. Even her impressive reach isn’t enough to engage the Miranda in melee combat. She picks up a Ghoulish Enforcer and throws it towards the Miranda. It explodes in mid-air!

Buckle Anarchy Reigns: create an explosion, even if you could not have planted the bomb beforehand.

O’Later’s security forces are taken aback. Can they even approach these criminals? The confusion continues as Stella calls out and ugg throws a bundle from his post atop the mainmast.

Stella: Bork, catch!

It’s a custom-tailored suit. In all her time with O’Later, he never gave her such an expensive gift. She stares at the clothes for a moment, then drops them and grips her flaming club. Bork and the Agents follow the Mirnada upstream, but try to stay behind cover. They dont care approach openly.  O’Later appears in the sky, confirming his vampiric nature by flying in as a bat!

Buckle: We’re leaving! Dont worry about it!

Stella: Gus, garlic him!

Gus, Stella’s cook climbs the other mast and throws cloves of garlic, forcing O’Later to keep his distance

Gus spends Special Ingredients

Stella Get Away 10+ avoid harm

Stella pilots the Miranda upstream, out of Port Fennrick, and onto the Mighty River. The checkpoint that used to stop boats at the edge of the city has been dismantled, so they have no trouble escaping.  O’Later’s invisible inspections are effective 99% of the time, but fail in this exact scenario. The Fellowship is frustrated, even though they reclaimed their items, put the town’s forces to flight, and were able to continue their journey. Why do things keep goign badly? Why can’t the kings and chieftains they meet just be reasonable? They didn’t want to fight. They tried to talk it out so everyone could be happy.