Chasing The Sunset & Luna Penumbra

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/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre

Last time, the Fellowship traveled to Vieport and were denied entry into the Adventurers’ Club.

A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer's Club, and Bertha.
A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer’s Club, and Bertha.

As the Fellowship leaves the Adventurers’ Club, Roddy quietly retracts his hand, holding a red membership card, into the indistinct shape of his ghillie suit.  The Fellowship wonders where to head next. The palace in the center of the city seems interesting. A guard challenges them at the entrance.

Eel Guard: Security is tight after the recent trouble. Are you members of the Adventurers’ Club?

Lucia: Roddy is.

Lucia Talk Sense 7-9 owe a favor

Eel Guard: OK, I’ll let you in, but you must leave your weapons here.

That doesn’t bother Edna at all. She hasn’t used her weapon yet, and she’s confident she can handle any trouble in the palace with her bare hands. She hands over a walking stick made of hard wood, shod with metal. Dryden reaches behind his cloak, moving all his weapons to his storeroom through the teleportation spell on the cloak’s underside. Averiela doesn’t like the idea of going inside without weapons. She considers sneaking back to retrieve her weapons. She nudges Lucia, suggesting she use her Royal Symbol.

Lucia: My sword is an heirloom. I can’t leave it behind. I’ll happily leave my throwing knives and arrow traps.

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: Grant an audience with anyone you show it to

The Eel Guard allows Lucia to keep her royal sword and sends another guard to tell the Sea Viper that a royal visitor has arrived. The Fellowship are instructed to wait on the roof. Half of the palace is underwater, and the roof is a nice place to receive terrestrial visitors.  The roof has some scaffolding around the edges, and all the furniture and tapestries are brand new. The decorative plants are mere cuttings. The Fellowship figures that the “recent trouble” the Eel Guard mentioned involved a fight on the roof.

There’s also a huge hexagonal metal mirror, held in a yoke that allows it to rotate in any direction.  Lucia and Dryden recognize this mirror, but Averiela and Edna don’t. Lucia and Dryden explain that the Moon is artificial and covered with mirrors like this one. Vampires hate the Dragons who built the Moon, and created an Anti-Moon Weapon to destroy it, but the test shot only broke off a few mirrors (like this one) which fell to the surface. Also, Dryden has a mirror shard, so he could open a portal to the Moon at any time.

The Sea Viper and his counselors arrive.

  • Sea Viper, mer-snake, he/him, ruler of Vieport.
    • A snake-like head, two arms, and a long tail instead of legs.  He’s always growing and nothing has managed to kill him yet, so he’s huge.
  • Emmett, human, he/him, Ghost Expert
    • He’s lanky, and bald. He’s wearing a wetsuit made of shiny scales, so it shimmers and flashes like a fish as he moves. He’s got a clear full-face mask that lets him breathe underwater, and propellers mounted on his shoulders for speed. He has flippers flipped up at the ankle and clipped to his knees so he can walk on land.
  • Robin, Lantern, she/her, City Engineer.
    • A woman with a glowing light hovering over her shoulder. Her self is actually the light, and the figure of the woman is a holographic projection that facilitates intertaction with humanoid life.
  • Agate, Spider, he/him, Special Weapon Expert
    • An arthopod that stands upright on two legs, and uses his other six limbs as arms.

Sea Viper: Welcome, Queen Lucia of the Forgotten Lands. What brings you to my domain?

Lucia: We are adventurers and explorers. My co-adventurers Dryen and Averiela must journey south, and this is the nearest port. We were intrigued by your beautiful palace.

Agate can’t help but brag about the latest addition to the palace: a powerful beam weapon! He gestures at the Moon mirror with several hands.

Dryden: What do you need such a weapon for?

Sea Viper: To destroy my enemies!

Agate: It will work better next time. I can focus the beam more precisely….

Dryden Speak Softly 6- Three questions, one unhelpful answer, one false answer

  • Tell us about the sea.
    • Only half of Vieport is on land. The palace is in the center of Vieport, and the water that the Fellowship overlooks from the roof covers the underwater half, home to most of the merfolk inhabitants.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the Sea Viper?
    • The Sea Viper is making a show of being hospitable and diplomatic, but he’s a tyrant. He’ll take what he wants by force if he thinks he needs to, and that includes any Artifacts of Power (like Infinite Windows in Dryden’s backpack, or the Dragon’s egg that Averiela guards)
  • What is the Sea Viper doing? What will they do next?
    • The Sea Viper wants to improve his beam weapon, so he’s acquiring the optics that Agate wants to focus the beam more precisely. Since the weapon is fixed in the center of Vieport, it’s more easily used against his own subjects, or passing ships, then for defense or invasion.

Lucia explains a little about the mission to the south. She says that they are traveling to meet with several Elven tribes, although she conceals the exact reason. The Sea Viper offers to provide the Fellowship with a ship for the journey, in exchange for political influence in the places they visit. Lucia could give the Sia Viper’s ambassadors good introductions with the leaders she meets.  The Sea Viper offers a Lantern ship captianed by Robin herself.  Lucia wants to learn more about Robin.

Lucia Speak Softly 6- Three questions, one unhelpful answer, one false answer

  • Tell me about the Lanterns
    • Lanterns are extradimensional travelers from a space (Robin pauses to search for a word) beside this world. Lantern are small floating lights, and project humanoid bodies because talking to “people” prevents humanoids from freaking out. Lanterns can project their solid holograms into other useful shapes, like bridges, shields, and weapons.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with Lanterns.
    • Lanterns can’t lie, and thus they can’t keep secrets.
  • Tell us about the upcoming voyage.
    • Robin predicts that traveling with a mixed crew will be comfortable, since they have such different biological processes.

Lucia Royal Treatment: leaders offer a meal and a room for the night

The Fellowship restores some stats with the Sea Vipers Food.

The Sea Viper prepares rooms for the Fellowship and allows them to consider his generous offer overnight. On the way off the roof, Dryden scoops up a handful of dirt from a flower bed. The Fellowship woud love to have a ship, but of course they don’t trust the Sea Viper. They immediately plan to commandeer the ship for themselves.

Averiela: I can’t reveal the location of my home to the Sea Viper.  If Lanterns can’t lie, maybe we can get Robin to defect with us.

Dryden: I want to destroy that beam weapon. It’s my duty to keep dangerous things away from those who would abuse them.

Edna: I could smash that thing easily, but it would be rude. He has shown us hospitality.

Lucia: But they took your walking stick.

Edna: Please! I don’t need a weapon. It’s not even alive.

Edna considers a long sea voyage. Her skin, teeth, and bones are part stone and metal, so she’s too dense to swim. That’s not a problem in rivers and lakes because she can get to the surface with a Mighty Leap to take a breath, but in the middle of the ocean, with miles of water below, she’d drown before she reached the bottom! Ol’ Jardinier reassures her that he has a spell for just such a disaster, and he’ll keep an eye on her.  Edna is overcome by this declaration of loyalty and scoops Ol’ Jardinier up in her giant hands.

GM note: The Fellowship really should have checked for eavesdroppers before planning a mutiny against their host.

The next morning, the Fellowship and the Sea Viper’s council reconvene.

Dryden: We look forward to sailing with Robin.

Lucia: And bringing greetings from the Sea Viper.

Robin goes to make the ship ready, and the Fellowship has some time to make thier own preparations. Edna spends a long time in the marketplace sampling the local cuisine.

Edna spends 1 Precious Item to refill her Food.

Edna meets up with the rest of the Fellowship followed by a third figure (besides her Companions Ol’ Jardinier and Viktor) A Human woman wearing chrome armor, with bubblegum-pink curly hair spilling down to her shoulders.

Edna:  Lucia, I met this lady in the market and I’m sure you’ll get along. “You have to meet my friend”, I said, “She’s also a knight.”

Dryden, Lucia, and Roddy look at the pink-haired woman with shock and horror, which she reciprocates.  She’s Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn, and they came to blows when they first met each other! She no longer has her unicorn sword or helmet. Now she carries a shield made from a huge turtle shell, and a short, broad blade.

Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: You! How dare you show your faces to me!

Dryden: As I recall, you dropped your weapon and helmet as your ran from our last meeting. Do you want to make a scene?

Averiela fades into the background to observe. Edna is dismayed that her new friends don’t get along.

Lucia: Last time we met, this lady used a weapon made from the horn a peaceful unicorn!

Dryden & Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: Two horns!

Dryden: I demand an accounting of that turtle shell, for I am a friend of the great turtle: Ancient One.  I’ll divest you of it.

Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: You steal my equipment and my servant, and now you want to take more from me? Come on, Roddy, shoot this fool!

Roddy freezes. Everyone is looking to see what he’ll do next, and he hates being the center of attention.

Dryden: All people can do what they will. You can’t order him around.

Lady Elizabeth Eleanor Eadwynn: You only say that because he obeys you. What if he wants to come back to me?

Lucia: We’ll be sad and disappointed, but he can do what he wants.

Roddy takes them at their word, and does the thing he most wants: get away from people and from confrontation. He leaves the party. Dryden wants a piece of his ghillie suit, just in case, but Roddy refuses and walks away.  Lady Eadwynn tries to follow him.

Dryden Keep Them Busy 10+

Dryden: I must know the lineage of that shield. I’ll take the shell.

Seeing that Lady Eadwynn is distracted, Lucia draws her sword and advances. Lady Eadwynn’s reflexes are impressive, and she gets her blade around before Lucia’s sword is ready.

Lady Eadwynn Spell Sword: When Lady Eadwynn is trying to fight you, anyone who gets close to them must Pay a Price to do so.

Edna Protect The Little Ones:  When your body is between someone and incoming harm, you suffer that harm in their place. This happens whether you want it to or not.

Edna Of The HIlls: spend 1 Special Armor to Protect The Little Ones

Edna’s been standing right next to Lady Eadwynn this whole time, and when she sees the swords come out, she just pops her knee forward to strike Lady Eadwynn’s sword arm, spoiling her stroke.

Lucia Finish Them (+Grace) 10+ TAKEN OUT!

Lucia smoothly steps in and knocks the blade from Lady Eadwynn’s unsteady hand.  Lady Eadwynn has no choice but to let Dryden take her shield as well.

Dryden:  Thanks. Go forth and hunt monsters only. These creatures should be living free in the wild!

Lady Eadwynn retreats in shame, cursing under her breath.

Edna: So, should I name-drop you in the future to avoid this kind of confrontation?

The turtle shield is from a large normal turtle, not a Great Turtle.  Edna thinks she could wear it as a helmet, but doesn’t because that seems disrespectful. Her new friends have to lay a lot of remains to rest! now the Fellowship is ready to set out on their voyage to the south.

GM note: The players built Robin’s ship, the Luna Penumbra, using the Ship Playbook. They are quite confident that they’ll successfully commandeer it and use it for a long time.

  • Luna Penumbra, A flying ship with sails that spring open like the Saucy Mare from ReBoot.
    • Cannon: +0
    • Engine: +2
    • Hull: +1
    • Crew: 2/4
    • Features: Smuggling Compartments, Escape Pods, Exo Suits, Sensors, Afterburners
    • Form: Boat, Airship

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

Chasing the Sunset & invitations

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/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre

Last time, the Fellowship learned about Dragon birth and death from the Hidden Library.

It’s unprecedented for one of her rank to call for a one, but Averiela feels she must call a Conclave of the Elves to determine what to do with the Dragon egg she found.  It’s been 700 years since all the families of the Elves last gathered.  Some families have since retreated deep into the high mountains, disappointed with the rest of the world. Finding and alerting all of them could take quite some time, and the Conclave may not happen for a year after the invitations go out.

Edna: Can we pop through Infinite Windows, give the message, then return? Do we have to spend the whole year there? I know Elven ceremonies can be quite long.

Dryden: Elves can take their time because they have a lot of time to take.

Averiela: Friends, I’m so honored that you want to help me. Do you want to spend a whole year on this quest?

GM note: “Friends”!? Averiela has always kept her traveling companions at a distance. This is the first time she calls them “friends”

Edna: We’ll have free time in the middle, right?

Averiela’s first destination is her home forest. Her Elf-stone brooch connects her to her home, so Infinite Windows can use it to open a portal to her home, but she doesn’t want to risk losing the brooch.

Lucia: I’m honored to be invited to your home. I remember my tutor told me about the Elven forests near the Forgotten Lands.

Dryden: That tutor didn’t like me. I couldn’t sit still.

Edna: I’m not familiar with either of your countries.

Averiela: We keep a low profile.

Infinite WIndows needs an object from the destination to open a portal, but the item may be lost if the spell does not go well.  Lucia recommands pulling a single thread from Averiela’s Elven cloak, but Infinite Windows requires a significant item, not just a scrap. Averiela offers her Ring of Eternal Flame. The ring contains a tiny flame taken from the Eternal Flame at home. The Eternal Flame is a light burning for all the Elves out adventuring. Part of it will go out if Averiela dies.

Ol’ Jardinier damages Overwhelming Power to assist: pick another option from Open A Window

Averiela Opens A Window 6- the window cracks & something dangerous comes out + keep the item

Dryden pulls Infinite Windows out of his physical backpack. It can’t go through portals, so he can’t keep it under his cloak. Averiela puts her ring into one of the shifting mirror fragments. Nothing happens. She pulls the ring back out, and large glowing fingers are holding on to it from the other side! A Fire Elemental comes through!

  • Fire Elemental: A 10 foot tall being of molten rock, perpetually on fire.
    • Burning Aura: Anyone who is not immune to fire cannot get close without paying a price.
    • Wildfire: The Fire Elemental is Burning and Dangerous.
    • Tough As Nails: The first time a Fire Elemental would be damaged or
      destroyed, damage this stat instead.

Lucia strikes quickly, hoping to sever the Fire Elemental’s arm before the whole creature comes through!

Fire Elemental Burning Aura: Lucia spends Armor to Pay A Price

Lucia Finish Them (+Courage, force retreat) 10+

Fire Elemental: Tough As Nails gets damaged first

It’s a powerful strike, but the Fire Elemental pulls itself through Infinite Windows and stands on the slope of the volcano, towering over most of the Fellowship.  Edna recognizes the danger it’s Burning Aura presents to all her friends, so she grabs the creature and throws it down the slope about 100 yards.

Fire Elemental Burning Aura: Edna takes damage to Pay A Price

Edna Toss Aside 7-9 Fire Elemental lands safely where Edna wants

The Fire Elemental is enraged and starts climbs back up the slope. Edna steps in front of the Fellowship. The Fire Elemental will have to get through her to get to anyone else, but for now, the Fellowship cna used ranged weapons without retaliation. Dryden pulls out his unbreakable two-handed Dwarven hammer and swings it in big vertical circles. He lets it go and it soars over Edna’s head and down the slope, falling head-first on the Fire Elemental.

Dryden Finish Them (+Sense, knock out) 6-

The hammer sinks all the way into the Fire Elemental’s body, a rough approximation of a humanoid, but made of molten lava. It stumbles, but recovers and keeps moving up the slops.

Drdyen signals Roddy by dabbing, but adds that Roddy should aim where his hammer entered.

Roddy damages Trick Shot to give Dryden an Advantage

Dryden Finish Them (+Blood, kill) 7-9 Fire Elemental damages Burning Aura

Roddy strikes true with his pneumatic rifle. The burning heat glowing through the cracks as the Fire Elemental moves fades, and most of its skin cools to black. Edna approaches to recover Dryden’s hammer.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna grabs the Fire Elemental’s shoulder to keep it in place, then jams her other hand down through its head, up to her elbow. She pulls her hand free, splashing lava through the air, gripping Dryden’s hammer. The Fire Elemental turns its fury on Edna, and Lucia throws some rocks to distract it.

Lucia Keep Them Busy 6-

Edna is twice the size of the Fire Elemental, so it’s hard to get a clear shot. Lucia hits Enda with the pebbles instead. Edna’s momentarily distracted, and the Fire Elemental strikes with a superheated punch!

Lava Elemental damages Edna

Averiela pelts the Fire Elemental with arrows.

Averiela Keep Them Busy 6-

The arrows are ineffective, and the Fire Elemental lands another blow.

Lava Elemental damages Edna

Lucia draws her sword and runs in.

Lucia Keep Them Busy 6-

Lava Elemental damages Edna

The Fire Elemental kicks her aside. Edna sees that she and her friends are in real danger. She needs to end the fight now!

Edna Toss Aside 10+ land where Edna wants & take damage

Fire Elemental damages Wildfire. TAKEN OUT

Edna lifts the Fire Elemental over her head and smashes it straight down into the ground. The lava that forms its body splatters and rapidly cools, leaving a shock-wave shaped sculpture of ingeous rock.

Edna: Phew! Let’s rest a bit before we open any more portals!

Viktor lays out one of Edna’s Giant Lunches, big enough to feed three people.  Lucia assists him with her special culinary expertise, stretching the food even further.

Lucia Wonder Chef: Fill Your Belly without spending food. People who share a meal with you heal an extra stat.

Lucia spends 0 Food to heal.

Edna spends 2 Food to heal 3 stats

Edna spends 1 Food to heal Ol’ Jardinier

Dryden spends 1 Food to heal Roddy twice

Averiela spends 1 Food to restore Elder Arts

Edna: Maybe this Artifact is more trouble than it’s worth.

Dryden: It’s very complicated magic.

Edna: I’m new, but I’ve never seen it work properly.

Lucia: Maybe we should go physically.

The Fellowship agrees to head south by the nearby river to the port, then try to cross the ocean to Averiela’s homeland.

As they walk down the mountain, they meet three people walking up. Lofar (the Dwarf miner that Dryden sent fleeing a while earlier) leads two Goblins in Power Suits equipped for mining up from Swallet. The Fellowship hails him and he says he’s back to mine the precious minerals from this mountain, like Moon Dust that falls on the peak.

Averiela: There’s no gold here. I’ve studied the land for many years. Try the other mountain.

The Goblins burst out laughing. What an obvious lie! The other volcano is part of Swallet’s infrastructure and has been extensively explored already.

Lucia: We buried a Dragon up there. You mustn’t disturb his eternal rest.

Lofar: There’s no eternity. You’ve hidden the gold under the Dragon!

GM note: Indeed, Dwarves have no afterlife. They come from the stone and return to the stone.

Lofar is the size of doll to Edna, and she picks him in one hand to bring him face to face.

Edna: If you won’t respect the dead, respect the living. I’m telling you there is nothing for you up there.

Edna: Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to desire to not get squashed) 10+

Lofar: Lucky for you these Goblins aren’t muscle.

He backs off and kicks pebbles towards Edna. She spreads her arms wide in a show of readiness.

Edna: Anytime!

Lofar and the Goblins retreat towards Swallet and the Fellowship make their way to Sugar’s Crossing.  A few months ago, Lucia and Dryden rescued some people when a huge metal mirror fell from the sky and destroyed the bridge across the river.  This started the legend of Star-Rider, the mysterious flying man who fell from the Moon. The story goes that he wears a long cloak to dim his celestial brightness. As the Fellowship wonders how to get passage downriver, a fan of Star-Rider recognizes Dryden!

  • Bingo, he/him Halfling youth. Someone has noticed what the fellowship is up to, and has grown to adore you and all you do.
    • Cheerleader: The fan can damage this stat to give someone Hope.
    • Danger Magnet: The fan loves to watch their heroes in action. When a Dangerous attack happens near them, the fan is always among the collateral.

Bingo: Wow, it’s Star-Rider! What brings you here? Did you help with that fire in Vieport?

Dryden: I didn’t fight the fire in Vieport, but I did fight Fire Elementals. I was also teleported into the forest of Vampire Fairies. Of course, the Unicorns helped us with them.

Bingo: Wow, that’s so cool! Can I come along on your next adventure?

Lucia: Ask your mother. Actually, we need your help right now. We need safe passage to the sea. Which of these ships should we take?

Bingo is thrilled to have quest from his hero Star-Rider, and his friends. He tries to run home and to the docks at the same time, and eventually picks a direction. After a short time, Bingo returns, pushing an elderly Halfling woman in a wheelchair.

Bingo: My mom wasn’t home, but I asked my Uncle, and my Uncle, and my Gramma!

Wilma: What’s this I hear? You’re taking Bingo away to fight Unicorns?

Dryden: Ah, good of you to come. How’s young Bingo’s schooling? Especially reading?

Bingo rattles off a list of relatives and their professions and what they teach him. His aunt at the theater is teaching him The Stories. His other aunt, his dad’s sister, lets him help with the cooking. Everything is a communal effort in Halfling culture.

Dryden: Excellent. I’l give you this scroll of basic magical techniques. You need to stay her to study this (and all your other subjects) so you can start on your own adventures!

Dryden Talk Sense (+Wis, appeal to desire to have adventures like his hero) 7-9 owe a favor

Bingo makes Dryden promise to come back when Bingo has studied this scroll to teach him other things. He also poitns the Fellowship towards a boat going downriver. He runs off, pushing his Gramma Wilma with the scroll stretched between the handles, trying to read and walk at the same time. Her scolding fades into the distance.

The Fellowship goes to the boat, which is a huge raft, propelled by a Giant with a long pole. His name is Wilhelm, he’s 24 feet tall, and he’s a true Giant. Ogres are much larger than most people, but calling them Giants is only colloquial. True Giants get much bigger than Ogres, and are completely unrelated to Humans.

Lucia spends 1 Precious Item for passage to the sea

Wilhelm poles down the river until the raft reaches a swampy area with spooky willow trees, and crows that seem to be keeping watch. They are keeping watch! This is the swamp of Samantha the Witch, so hates trespassers. The crows squawk and fly into the swamp, and a short time later, a bull runs out to the shore and transforms into Ferdinand, an Elf well-known to Lucia.  Wilhelm pushes the raft ashore so they can talk.

Lucia: Ferdinand, this is Dryden, a lifelong friend from the Forgotten Lands. He has come with news that I am now queen.  And this is Averiela. We met on our long journey, and the bonds between our people go back for generations.  Together we journey far and right wrongs.

Edna: And I’m Edna Crusher-Harcourt. Very pleased to meet you.

Averiela: How fortuitous! I thought the Shapeshifting Elves disappeared centuries ago! We are calling a conclave, for we carry a Dragon’s egg. I suspect my Queen of Whispering Winds in the Hidden Mist would welcome a representative of the Shapeshifting Elves.

Ferdinand: I’m the only Shapeshifting Elf I know. It’s just me and Samantha, and she’s Human. I will do my best to attend!

Ferdinand is a lot more confident than he used to be. Averiela is angry that she didn’t know about Ferdinand. She doesn’t accept any weakness in herself!

Dryden: Lucia has told me stories fo her adventures before I arrived here. What can you tell me about the Black Beast?

Ferdinand puts his hands over his mouth and giggles loudly.

Ferdinand: OK, OK! Lucia’s other friend, Gleador, could also transform, but into anything he liked. He was actually the Black Beast! There were two, but they were both him! He convenced everyone that one of them killed the other and they never suspected him! It’s so funny! He outsmarted them all and made fools of those awful people that stole our wine recipe.

Wilhelm inquires about the special wine. Perhaps people in Vieport would pay a high price for such luxury items. Ferdinand agrees to meet Wilhelm when on his return trip and set up a deal. Before Wilhelm pushes off, Dryden plucks a leaf from Samantha’s Swamp and adds it to his collection.

Wilhelm: I’m glad to meet your friend Ferdinand, but we’ve been delayed, and now we’ll have to traverse the Ghostlands at night! truly a frightening sight! All those red glowing eyes and vague transparent bodies lining the banks of the rivers, waiting for the living to wander in reach so they can devour them!

Lucia: Why don’t we camp overnight before we reach the Ghostlands and make the journey in daylight?

Wilhelm agrees to her very reasonable suggestion, and they wait until dawn to continue past the Ghostlands (less scary in daylight) and to the checkpoint at the northern edge of Vieport. Tall pylons surround the city, with lightning crackling between them. This Lightning Barrier separates the living from the hungry undead of the Ghostlands.

The guards in Vieport are Mer-Eels, with long reptilian faces, humanoid arms and torsoes, and long eel-like tails. They swim quickly through the water and board Wilhelm’s raft to check for anything suspicious or illegal.

Eel Guard: Welcome back, Theona. Headed to the Adventurers’ Club?

Edna: You must have mistaken me for someone else. I’m Edna Crusher-Harcourt. Very pleased to meet you.

Everything is in order, so the Eel Guards allow Wilhelm’s raft into the city. The Fellowship disembarks and seeks out the Adventurer’s Club the guards mentioned.

A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer's Club, and Bertha.
A map of Vieport, showing the lightning barrier, palace, Adventurer’s Club.

The Adventurer’s Club is a grand building next to a golf course, with high ceilings and canals in the floors to accomodate both terrestrial and aquatic adventurers. The clerk at the front desk is a Mer-Man whose fish half is a Betta fish, so his fins are luxurious and fade from red to purple.

  • Fred, he/him, Merfolk. A colorful tropical fish person, friendly but skittish.
    • Cowardice: After he takes damage, Fred will attempt to run away from the scene.
    • Friendly: The first person in the fellowship to Forge a Bond with Fred may write up to three Bonds with him, instead of just one.

The Adventurer’s Club is for members only, so each member of the Fellowship must either present a membership card, or some proof that they should be allowed to join.

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: Grant an audience with anyone.

Fred is very impressed by Lucia’s Symbol of Royalty, but the others struggle to prove that they are also great adventurers.

Dryden: Let me speak for my humble friends. This is Edna, who I have seen jam her mighty fist into the heart of a Fire Elemental. Averiela can strike a perfect shot from the shadows, and has single-handedly defeated a giant Sentry Droid. Perhaps you have heard the legend of Star-Rider, who saved people from the Shard of the Moon?

Drdyen starts pulling out all the treasures he’s collected and laying them out on the table. After a while, Fred tells him to stop.

Dryden Talk Sense (+Grace, dazzle) 6-

Fred says that they don’t have trophies or proof of their great deeds, so he can’t offer them membership. If they can produce trophies, or if they complete any of the bounties on the Bounty Board, then they will be allowed in, but for now, only Queen Lucia may enter. Lucia refuses to enter without her friends!

Edna is very interested in one of the daggers that Dryden pulled out of his cloak: a jeweled Dwarf-Made dagger. She asks to examine it, and holds the red gem in the hilt up to the light, but is disappointed. She knows someone looking for a dagger quite like this, but this isn’t the one.  Drdyen explains where he found it, and gives Edna a Dwarven lottery ticket that he found nearby. Maybe that clue will help her friend find what they were looking for.

GM note: Edna tried to use Infinite WIndows to go back to the other party at the very end of the session, but rolled 6- and we didn’t have time to fight whatever came through the portal. The timeline with the other party is all messed up. Hopefully Edna will soon be able to move back and forth between parties using Infinite Windows in a way that mostly makes diagetic sense.

END OF SESSION MOVE:

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location: NO
  • Did anyone find what they were looking for: YES, Averiela is working on the Conclave, her long-term goal
  • Did we discover something new about the world and its people: YES, Dragon birth and death rituals.

Two boons:

  • Level up: Edna & Averiela
  • Restore Gear.

 

Chasing The Sunset & renovations

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 explored the tower of the wizard Allan A Zham, who recently left Thaumatown to rule itself, and discovered that Allan a Zham is actually dead!

The Fellowship considers the impact to the town from revealing this news. The town seems to be doing OK with their new self-government. Vestri suggests telling the authorities privately.

Edna: Is this a common thing, that y’all find remains that y’all gotta lay to rest? This seems to happen a lot.

Yuri: It does. It does. We have very morbid luck.

Vestri: I think he should be laid to rest, but Humans have very specific rituals. We just put people back in the stone. We should tell someone, specifically the person who takes care of the dead.

They’ve seen all there is to see in the Wizard’s tower, so it’s time to leave. Edna prepares to jump from the balcony into the crowded streets, because she can’t fit in the tower’s stairs.

Edna: Look out below!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 10+

The crowd scatters and Enda lands on pavement, not people. A passing businessman barely breaks stride as Enda lands in front of him and scoffs as he passes.

Edna: Oh, you seem unafraid of death, good sir. Are you, perchance, the one who handles the dead in this town?

Businessman: Nah. I work 80 hours a week. I don’t care if I live or die. I have a meeting to get to. Get out of my way.

He walks between Edna’s legs and continues on his way. Vestri slowly takes the stairs, and Yuri prepares to jump down with his newly-learned leaping powers.

Yuri: Can you catch me? I am about to jump down.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Overcome 7-9 temporary solution

Edna bobbles the catch and Yuri is bounced around above the crowd!

Yuri: Like Daniel Craig Bond movie with parkour, I will do tucks and rolls!

Yuri Overcome 6-

Yuri fall onto a Spider carrying a package in each of his six arms. The packages are scattered across the street.

  • Ruby, he/him, Spider.  He can connect you to people who have what you need. He can mediate games of chance, auction proceedings, and bargaining tables equally.
    • Third Party: Ruby likes to stay neutral in his dealings, and avoids causing harm to anyone he deals with. He likes to keep things fair. You can always trust a dealer to do whatever hurts everyone else the least.
    • Five Aces: This stat is Secret. The entirety of Third Party is a lie, and Ruby will help whoever gives him the biggest cut. The person with the best offer for Ruby is their Patron. Ruby can cheat once per deal, tilting things either in his favor or in the favor of his current Patron. He has no desire to keep things fair, only to keep the appearance of being fair, and will justify any abnormality by citing the various rules and practices of their dealing.
    • Wall Walker: Ruby can walk across any solid surface with ease, no
      matter the surface’s orientation. He can also spin webs to cross gaps or
      create bridges or build homes.

Yuri damages Ruby’s Wall Walker

Yuri: How are you sir? I am so sorry I am falling from the sky and hitting you.

Ruby scoops up the packages within arm’s reach, and tries to shoot webs to retrieve packages further away, but his spinnerets don’t work.

Ruby: Ah, no. Don’t mess with my packages. Ow! You really messed me up.

Yuri: I am a doctor. I am not 100% on my non-Human anatomy, but I think I can help. Do you mind if I take a look.

Ruby: How much is this going to cost me?

Yuri: I hit you from the sky. I feel bad. I will do it pro bono.

Ruby extends a non-injured hand to shake on the deal. Yuri is interested to learn about Spider anatomy. Yuri chats with Ruby while examines his wounds.

Yuri Speak Softly 10+ ask three questions

  • What can he tell us about his species’ physiology?
    • Spiders have a jointed exoskeleton. Two of their limbs are legs and the rest are arms. They stand upright like humans. An electrical field surrounds them, not strong enough to be harmful to others. It looks like a plasma globe all over his exoskeleton that arcs harmless to Yuri’s hands and tools. It’s a non-visual sense that’s especially good at sensing other Spiders.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with him?
    • Ruby says all the right things about being a fair dealer, but he’s trying too hard to be seen as trustworthy.
  • How could I help him get healed?
    • Ruby’s exoskeleton will support a lot of weight, but is weak to folding. Breaking an arm is more serious for Spiders than for Humans. Yuri’s medkit will be effective.

Yuri spends Medkit to heal Ruby’s Wall Walker

Yuri: I see that you are a man–or Spider–who has connections, and I have two possible business propositions for you in a very vague way.  Have you seen anything related to this?

Yuri points at Vestri.

Ruby: I’ve seen Dwarves. I see lots of Dwarves.

Vestri reveals his jeweled dagger.

Vestri: Have you seen something exactly–almost exactly like this? Or do you know someone who specializes in such objects?

Ruby: I can’t say I have that in inventory, but I’m very good at finding things. I could go through channels to acquire it for you, but I’d need some money upfront, because this take significant effort to find this very specific item.

Vestri: Hmm, I don’t have coin for that right now, but I could pay for info about someone to talk to, so you don’t have to go through all that work.

Ruby: There’s no one better in town for getting rare items. You see the docks are a mess right now, delays! I can get through all that ineffeciency. What was the other item?

Yuri: This is more vague. No specific item. We were wondering if you have any knowledge or items that have to do with the Remnant?

Ruby: Yes, I do have a Remnant contact. Will any Remnant artifact do?

Yuri: The person that you know who is steeped in Remnant culture. They would be an excellent resource for me.

Ruby: Setting up a meeting for cultural exchange. Yes, very good!

Ruby wants a Precious item to set up the meeting. Yuri wonders if maybe he can do some work that is not illegal as payment.

Edna; Is this important for you, Yuri?

Yuri: This is how I believe I will be getting home, or stop the ending of this world.

Edna takes out her earrings (brooches for Human-sized creatures that she re-purposed) and gives them to Ruby as payment.

Yuri: That is incredible kindness. I feel like i should give you something.

Edna: I do love gifts!

Yuri: I know you like to Protect The Little Ones, and I have a little one. Would you like to have shared custody of Steven with me?

Edna: Wow, shared custody! That’s a big commitment!

Yuri: He is of sound mind and very independent. He just needs cuddles from time to time.

Edna: I am always up for cuddles.

Ruby accepts the jewelry and tells Yuri to meet him at a certain place after dark. Yuri worries that this contact is another Vampire, like O’Later in Port Fennrick. The Fellowship returns the to matter of Allan a Zham’s remains. How does this town deal with the dead? A morgue, Necromancers, a House Of The Dead? They start heading for the Civic Center in the middle of town, when suddenly…

Collateral Damage increases Thaumatown’s Response Level

Thaumatown gains Sheriff: someone will try to arrest a member of the Fellowship

  • Cowboy Sheriff: Lawman specialized in capturing outlaws and gun fighting.
    • Lasso: The cowboy can wield rope in unusual ways. They’re able to grab foes from a short distance away, tying them up to pull off of their mounts, or keeping them still for easy target practice.
    • Quick Draw: The cowboy has a six shooter (Ranged, Piercing, Reload). They always win in a contest of sharpshooting.
    • Rodeo: The cowboy can ride any animal big enough to hold it, and tame it for riding within a minute.

Sheriiff: Halt! Where do you think you’re going? And you, lady! Watch where you’re stepping. I heard somebody calling out about a dead Wizard. Is that you?

Edna: No, sir! I ain’t a dead Wizard. I’m quite alive. I don’t know any magic.

Sheriff: Yelling about dead Wizards could start a panic. We look up to Wizards in this here town. One was guarding us and only just decided we were ready to live on our own. We venerate Wizards around here. Are you going to tell me what’s going on?

Yuri: There’s a dead Wizard in the tower. Of at least a dead body. Maybe dead Wizard’s servant? An acolyte?

Sheriff: You’re coming with me and you’re going to show me!

The Fellowship takes the Sheriff back to the Wizard’s tower. Vestri leads the Sheriff up the stairs while Edna and Yuri jump to the balcony. The Sheriff bursts into tears at the sight of the bones in Allan a Zham’s distinctive robes.

Sheriff: But how? He showed himself to everyone! He told us he was leaving.

Yuri: He is a Wizard. He has magic. Or another Wizard also had magic.

Edna: It seems like you need to make a lot of arrangements to deal with this unfortunate circumstance, so we could just get out of you way, so you can hadle that.

Edna Talk Sense (+Wisdom, +hope from Yuri’s assistance) 7-9 owe a favor

Sheriff: Oh, I owe you an apology for stirring up trouble. You were just trying share the truth with me *sob* I gotta get all the town’s government in on this, Since you’re much faster than I, you gotta make your way to the clock tower and ring it out for all to hear. You gotta ring the bell four times. They’ll know what it means. A ring, a ring, a ring, wait, one, two, three, and then a ring! You got that?

Yuri: Fourth ring on four.

Edna: Ring, ring, ring. One, two, three. Then one, two, three, and then ring.

Sheriff: No you only do “one, two, three” once.

Edna: OK, so you ring one, two, three, and then you ring again.

Sheriff: No, it’s ring, ring, ring, one, two, three, and ring. I hope you got it, because if you do it wrong it’ll mean something totally different!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna leaps to the roof of the Civic Center.

Thaumatown's Clock Tower. A haxagonal tower with a catwalk spiraling up to six clock faces.
Thaumatown’s Clock Tower

She climbs the tower like King Kong and grabs the minute hand on the clock. She moves it back and forth past 12 to make the bell ring. Ring! Ring! Ring! . . . . . . Ring! The new goverment knows the code, but not the general public. Unknown to the Fellowship, Redstone hears this signal, but he’s a ways out of town and will take a while to return. Edna climbs down the tower and dangles her feet off the roof of the Civic Center, waiting for her friends to catch up with her. Once the Fellowship is reuinited, their next task is to meet Ruby’s contact at night.

Ruby meets the Fellowship in a dark alley after dark. Edna stands at the corner and leans in. Ruby appears to be alone.  His Remnant expert is nowhere to be seen. As a passer-by walks past the mouth of the alley, the shadow in the alley reaches out and engulfs them! The shadow-covered figure stops, jerks around, and walks shakily over to the Fellowship.

  • Lingering Shadow: A place where darkness rests, no matter how bright the light around it may become. Exposing the lingering shadow to bright intense light or fire destroys it, removing this threat.
    • Shadow Trap: This threat is Secret. When someone enters the shadow or steps too close to it, they are pulled in, then damage this stat.
    • Armor of Darkness: Anyone pulled into the shadows becomes engulfed by them. When they step out, the darkness is controlling them, acting as both armor and puppeteer. They become a Shadow Warrior until the armor is removed from them.

Shadow: Whaaaat is your business with the Remnant?

Yuri: Do you know Remnant language. If it was written down, would you be able to read it?

The Shadow nods and says a few incomprehensible words as evidence.

Shadow: Of course I speak the old tongue.

Yuri offers the Shadow the book he found in Allan A Zham’s study. Edna squints and wonders if her servant Viktor should fetch a lantern to make reading easier. The Shadow hisses in displeasure.

Yuri:  You are an actual Remnant! How? Not to be distracting from my own point, but I am so intrigued by your physiology! You used to be a person and are now a living shadow. How did that come to be?

Shadow: Thissss one makes mmmany demands.

Yuri: I don’t mean to be offensive. Feel free to ignore my words. You seem very nice.

Shadow is pleased to find someone interested in Remnants, since they are mostly forgotten. The book contains recipes of various remedies, but mostly for Dragons, not Humans.

Yuri: What if your culture could be celebrated again?

Shadow: Pleasing, but unnnnlikely.

Yuri: There is a cataclysm that is going to happen–I am sure of it–I’ve seen visions from a magical item. Your people are speaking to me through this sword. I believe that the Remnants, through me and the sword and this book, can end the cataclysm and so bring back the world’s knowledge of your culture.

Shadow: I would do thisssssss, but I am restricted to the sssshadows. I cannot leave this town or trrrravel in daylight.

Yuri wonders about how to transport the Shadow. In a light-proof box? Can the Shadow shrink to any size? Does it need a body to interact with the world? There is the dead Wizard up in the tower.

Ruby: I could get you a high-quality light-proof box so you can transport Shadow in the sunlight. No leaks, guaranteed! It will cost you.

Yuri: I have excellent knowledge–intel if you will–on several hoards of very expensive and uncommon items.

Knowledge and uncommon items are Ruby’s favorite things! Ruby accepts the trade. Yuri draws a map of the contraband warehouse in Port Fennrick. Ruby scuttles over the roof and returns a few minutes later with the box. The Shadow flows from the person into the box.

Passer-by: That is the worst thing that has ever happened to me!

Yuri forms a Bond with Heath.

He flees.  The Shadow, whose name is Heath, remembers a library inside a volcano to the south that could have more information about Yuri’s quest. Two volcanoes are visible from Thaumatown, just across the river. Edna offers to throw everyone across the river.

Vestri: I’ll agree to be thrown only if Gurtin is carried!

Yuri Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Edna Toss Aside Ol’ Jardinier, Viktor, Vestri, and Hundrin

GM note: the consequences for “Toss Aside” on a 6- are: the thrown person can decide where and how to land. If Edna throws a friend, she and they agree on where and how to land, so I don’t see any bad outcomes from throwing a friend. Edna’s player didn’t even roll.

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: life Gurtin the Drill Tank

Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

There are two volcanoes here. The eastern one smokes, and the western one does not.  On the plain between them, a ramp leads down into the earth. There’s a sign over the entrance that says “COME TO SWALLET AND” but the bottom half has been broken off. Yuri doesn’t think the Hidden Library would be in a city. He looks for roads, but there are none. There’s not even a road leading from the underground ramp. It reaches the surface and just stops.

Yuri: Do you, sir, have any idea which of the volcanoes has the library?

Heath: Nnnever been there myself. Nnnnever heard of Swallet.

Yuri: OK, thanks. Are you comfortable in there?

Heath: Darkness comforts me.

Yuri:  Very nice. Do you require treats?

Heath: I no longer eat … or breathe … or sleeeeep.

Yuri: I will find something to put in your box that is also dark and slightly malicious in nature.

The Fellowship heads down into Swallet to ask for directions. The ramp is plenty big enough to accomodate Edna.

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

Swallet is a bustling steampunk city built in an underground chamber. The ground the Fellowship was walking on is an artifical ceiling. The inhabitants here are mostly Goblins. The building at the bottom of the ramp is a burned-out shell.  The strange group of outsiders immediately draw attention.

Goblin:  There’s nothing for you fighters here. Fight Club is over, Just go away.

Yuri: Not interested in fighting. Interested in libraries. Is this where the library is?

Goblin: You should leave. We’ve had enough of outsiders coming in and trying to fix things. There was a fire. Trash service was down for weeks. A Dragon beat up City Hall.

Yuri: Dragon?

Goblin: She’s gone, thankfully. Most of the other troublesome outsiders are too.

Yuri: I’m very interested in Dragons. Did they leave any artifacts? Think of us as a Dragon clean-up crew.

Goblin: Oh, no! None of that! We’ve had people devoted to Dragons before! Look what happened. *points at burned building*

Yuri: We are not devoted to Dragons, just to cleaning. Oh, that’s not realistic. What did this Dragon look like?

Heath was, in fact, devoted to serving Dragons before his untimely death, so there’s a displeased rattling from his box.

Goblin: I didn’t see it myself, but my buddy saw it. He says it was 40 feet long, metal scales, big spikes. Very scary.

Yuri: Maybe it was a machine?

Goblin: We Goblins know machines. It was not a machine!

Yuri wonders how to get to the other volcano, since the library is not here. He remembers Gurtin, a Drill Tank specialized in digging through rock and earth.

Yuri: Do you mind if we dig–no structural damage–just bore a hole straight…

Goblin: Troublemaking outsiders! I’d better get Nub-Nub!

She runs off, with the Fellowship half-heartedly following trying to be friendly. They let her go, then wonder if they should even be in this town. Maybe they should climb the volcanoes. Why doesn’t anyone remember the library? Edna is disappointed that she missed Fight Club.

  • Nub-Nub, she/her Goblin wearing a Powersuit: This mechanized suit is more  vehicle than armor. Anyone wearing it is significantly more dangerous than they would otherwise be.
    • Powered Movement: The powersuit has rocket-powered boosters, and can leap to anywhere its wearer can see.
    • Rocket Fist: The powersuit is Melee, Ranged, and Piercing.
    • Heavy Armor: The first time the powersuit or the person wearing it would
      be damaged or destroyed, damage this stat instead.
    • Threat to the World

Nub-Nub leaps over a building and lands next to the Fellowship. Her seven-foot-tall Powersuit lets her tower over Goblins and most of the Fellowship.

Nub-Nub: Halt, outsiders! We’ve had enough disruption to our town. You should leave!

Vestri: I’m very good at fixing structural damage, ma’am!

Nub-Nub: No way! The last adventurous outsiders who promised to keep the town safe set half of it on fire. Anything you do on the surface, I don’t care. Just get out.

Yuri: Did you make that power armor?

Nub-Nub: Yes, do you want a demonstration?

Edna: If you try to hurt him, I’ll pry you out of that tin can and show you what hurting people means.

Insulting Someone In Charge raises Swallets Response Level

Edna Talk Sense (+Wisdom, emotions) 7-9 owe Nub-Nub a favor

Nub-Nub is willing to not attack Yuri if the Fellowship leaves immediately, which is agreeable. Edna walks up the ramp backwards, staring at Nub-Nub.

Back on the surface, the Fellowship discusses which volcano to drill through, and where, and what earth-moving equipment and skills they have. Edna suggests going to the top and looking down the big hole in each mountain to see what’s inside. The Goblins didn’t say which mountain their secret town was under.

Vestri: Let’s go the one that’s smoking the least.

Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Edna leaps to the rim of the eastern volcano and looks around.

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

Edna damages Sense

Edna teeters on the edge of the caldera,then falls in! A few seconds later, the rest of the Fellowship, thousands of feet down the slope, hear a loud, low-frequency ringing, like the biggest gong in the world. Yuri jumps up to investigate

Vestri: Wait, don’t leave– Well, Hundrin, they’re gone agian.

Yuri Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri looks down inside the caldera. The walls drop almost vertically quite a ways, but there’s a plug at the bottom. Edna fell on that, not into magma.

Edna: There’s a perfectly spherical ceramic shell down here. It’s not rock. Also there are stairs. Maybe I should have taken the stairs.

Indeed, two spiral staircases twist down opposite sides of the caldera. One staircase is broken near the top, requiring a scary jump, but the other is intact.  There’s a chunk missing from the rim of the caldera as well. Yuri motions to Vestri, then walks down the intact staircase. The ceramic shell is covered by a layer of debris that fell over the years. Edna’s impact knocked the debris aside, revealing the smooth white shell, but elsewhere, a casual glance might not notice the regular shape under the pebbles and scrubby plants.

Yuri Look Closely 10+ ask three questions

  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • There’s a crack in the ceramic shell (not where Edna fell) big enough for a human to slip through. It’s definitely too small for Edna. There’s a faint glow inside the crack.
  • Tell me about the architecture inside the caldera. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The shell is the result of a powerful magic spell. It wasn’t built or carved, like the two staircases, it was conjured into existence.
  • Tell me about the crack. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The library is inside the shell, and the crack is how to access it. Yuri approaches the crack and hears a ghostly voice: “Dooooo not reshelve boooooks!”

Yuri considers ways to enlarge the hole so Edna can fit into the library, but Edna wants to make a good impression by not opening with property damage. Yuri will go inside and see what’s up, while Edna waits at the rim for the Dwarves.

Edna Mighty Leap: Jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri slips through the crack and finds an unpleasant and creepy library.  Rows of shelves hold hundreds of books. Books are piled up in some areas. There are tables for reading, and everything is lit by unnatrual blue torches. A large desk in the back is clearly the librarian’s desk, and at the desk hovers the ghostly librarian! She’s a classic sheet ghost, with glasses floating in front of the eye holes.

Librarian: Welcome to the Library. Do you have a library card?

Yuri: Does it cost anything to sign up? I am a recent resident.

Since it’s dark inside, Yuri opens the box and releases Heath.

Librarian: Ah, Lingering Shadows. We have several specimens in the back. Do you wish to add to our collection of knowledge of creatures of darkness?

The Librarian actually hasn’t issued any library cards in a long time. She floats into the back section, past a sign that says “STAFF ONLY”. Papers and booklets hover around her and she tries to figure out what to do with Yuri.

Librarian: The Library’s reopening was recent and unexpected. The bylaws have not been updated. It’s says here you must demonstrate fealty to the ruler of the Forgotten Lands to get a library card.

Yuri: The Forgotten Lands, those are of the Remnant?

The Librarian is unfamiliar with the term “Remnant”. The Forgotten Lands are across the sea.  Their plan to remove themselves from the entanglements of the wider world must have been successful, since they are unknown.

Yuri: I am a champion of all lands because there is a cataclysm and I am going to stop it. I am championing not-death for everyone, including the Forgotten Lands.

Librarian: The last Champion who came here tried to take the knowledge of this Library to become a cataclysm.

Yuri: I would like to leave everyone alive, and also go home, so I have no reason to cataclysm.

Librarian: Life and home: two desires no longer available to me.

Anyone can use the reference section under the supervision of a librarian, so Yuri picks out a table and the Librarian collects some books.

Outside, Vestri and the Companions walk up the mountain to join Edna at the rim.  Vestri and Enda look around, perhaps for another entrance.

Vestri Look Closely (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+ ask three questions

  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • There is no second entrance.  The shell is a sphere that completely encloses the library.
  • What will happen if Gurtin tries to drill through the ceramic shell?
    • Dwarf-made items are almost unbreakable. A Dwarf-made item did make the initial crack, so Gurtin could slowly drill through the ceramic shell.
  • What do my senses tell me?
    • There’s evidence of an old, overgrown war-camp. There’s a graveyard with forty spearpoints stuck into the ground in rows, and a chunk of volcanic rock with the word “CRUSHER” carved into it.

Edna: Another Crusher, a few generations back, went out to prove himself.  He would sign up for any fight that he could find. The family lost touch with him. I think this is where he died.

Edna sits down and stares at the grave marker of a family member that he never knew. Vestri sits beside her in silence. Steven the housecat curls up in Edna’s lap.

Edna forms a Bond: Vestri mourned with me

Vestri forms a Bond: Edna was vulnerable before me.

Vestri sits in silence with Edna for a while, but his brain starts working on the engineering problem before him. He waits until the mood feels a little less heavy before speaking.

Vestri:  I think I can make a crack that we can all fit in. It will take a while.

Edna: I appreciate you thinking of me, but you should get permission from the librarians. It’s their place, not ours.

Vestri walks down the stairs to talk to the Librarian.

Inside the library, Yuri wants to finagle a library card, so he can trade it for something else later. Heath assists Yuri with his research, asking the right questions that lead the Librarian to relevant books.

Heath damages Armor of Darkness

Yuri Look Closely (+hope, Heath’s assistance) 10+ ask three questions

  • What can they tell us about the location of the door to which Yuri’s sword and scabbard are the key?
    • It is north past the Singing Hills.
  • What can they tell us about Remnant magic?
    • The Remnant had no need for magic that Dragons were good at.  Dragons are very direct, so the Remnant used subtle support magic. Their schools were Divination (seeing things), Abjuration (protection), and Enchantment (subtlely affecting other people)
  • What can they tell us about Redrock daggers?
    • Nothing about daggers specifically, but Redrock did help construct the underground tunnels in the area. (There’s an underground tunnel on the east wall of Swallet. A waterfall empties from that tunnel into a park.)

Heath compliments the Librarian on the powerful Abjuration that created the ceramic shell around the library. The Librarian didn’t personally cast the spell, and leads Heath and Yuri to the display dedicated to the attack on the library that required the creation of the shell.  A memorial to the Legends of the Past! Two heroes fought an entire army trying to come down and seize the library’s knowledge for an evil warlord. Snort Goldfarb, a Goblin in a mighty Powersuit, and Gwideon Greenhanded, the blind Wizard riding a magical horse, saved the day by delaying the army long enough for the magicians within to complete the powerful spell of protection.

GM note: The history of the library was established by a one-shot game I played with some friends. Snort Goldfarb and Gwideon Greenhanded are player characters.

Vestri: Hello, are you in charge of this place? You seem like it. I was just wondering, how would you feel about enlarging the crack?

Librarian: It is time to share this library’s knowledge with the world again, and most people won’t crawl through a crack for it. A larger entrance would be good.

Vestri: Hundrin will take Gurtin and start immediately. While I’m here, I was wondering if you have any books about Redrock daggers that look like this?

The Librarian pushes a couple of books that are already on Yuri’s table towards Vestri, because Yuri already asked this question. Hundrin and the Librarian co-ordinate for the best place and size for an entrance to the library.

Yuri: I hate to keep harping on this, but since we made an entrance for the library, does that show that we care enough about the library and the Forgotten Lands to get a library card?

The Librarian is convinced and issues Yuri a library card.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location? YES, Hidden Library
  • Did anyone find what they are looking for? YES, progress on Yuri’s quest
  • Did we learn something new about the world and its people? YES, the Remnant

Three boons:

  • Level up:
    • Vestri
    • Edna: learn Yuri’s “I know something you don’t” move.
      • Yuri: I learned this from a therapist. Is very much paying attention to non-verbal cues of the person you are dealing with, so you can tell exactly what their next move is. It never fails.
      • Edna: These therapists must be powerful and wise fighters!
      • Yuri: They are wise and powerful in their own way, but very non-confrontational if you get a good one.
      • Edna: Yes, I have found wandering sages, rumored to be legendary fighters, but they refused to fight me. Weirdly frustrating.
  • Heal
  • Restore Gear
    • Edna opens her jewelry case and puts on new Precious items
    • Polish Gurtin, sharpen drill-bits, and so on.
    • Yuri’s gear is irreplacable, but his Medkit was spent, not lost, so he can restore its use.

Chasing The Sunset & Reunion

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/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre (kinda?)

Last time, the Fellowship lost a member to a teleportation accident, and in searching for her, made a boat out of a Dragon skull mounted as a trophy by evil Vampire Fairies.

The Fellowship paddles east toward Doctor MacLeod’s Anti-Moon Weapon and away from the creepy Dead Forest to the west because Ol’ Jardinier’s magic says that Edna is to the east. They read the messages left by previous adventurers about the Vampires and the Anti-Moon Weapons’ destruction.

Lucia: These are very helpful messages!

The Anti-Moon Weapon is a mountain with a mile-long gun through the center, and huge slit cut into it to allow the gun to rotate. As the Dragon-skull boat floats past this mountain, pieces of the huge gun break off and start tumbling down the slope, causing an avalanche! No, that’s snow. A rock-a-lanche! The Fellowship has enough warning to avoid being buried in the debris, but the river is choked and starts overflowing its banks upstream from the debris.  Dryde nand Lucia survey the scene

Dryden Look Closely (+hope, Lucia’s aid) 10+

  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Most of the debris is rock and dirt from the mountain slope, but there are plenty of metal pieces too. Most of the metal pieces were broken by physical force: twisted or snapped. Some of the fragments have melted edges.
  • Tell me about the river’s path. What is it doing? What will it do next?
    • With the main riverbed blocked, the water is rising until it spreads and finds another path to take. Walking around the area and carefully noting the slope indicates the river can take a path further south.
  • What will happen if we leave the debris in place?
    • The river used to turn south a few miles ahead. This new path will cut of the “elbow” of the river, and whatever is in that area will lose access to the river.

People often depend on rivers to live, so the Fellowhsip wants to minimize disruption and restore the river’s path.  Lucia wonders how they can move al lthat heavy debris. Edna could do it, but she’s gone. Dryden has a solution, as usual.

Dryden considers the debris and wonders which gadget to use this time. Most of the debris is rock, but the metal pieces are almost pure iron. Back when Dryden was a child, his parents tried manay strategies to keep him out of places he wasn’t supposed to be, including securing those places with iron doors. Iron rusts, of course, so Dryden wondered how to speed up time to rust through the doors faster. He coudln’t figure it out himself, but he knew people who knew people. He met an alchemist who thought she was a failure because in all her research, she never produced gold, but she did find a way to turn an iron nail into rust almost instantly. Dryden used her technology to develop the itme which he now draws from beneath his cloak. A long tube inside another tube. he uses his unbreakable Dwarven hammer to make a dent in the piece of debris he’s going to destroy, and places the tube in the divot. He warns everyone to be ready to move.

Knows-Too-Much and White Sands escort Lucia to a safe distance. Averiela stands near Dryden in case something goes wrong.

Dryden Queen of the Wild: Command Lore about the local wildlife. Every Beast is a Companion to you.

Dryden notices Giant Eels in the river.

Dryden: Oh, we have to warn the fishfolk!

Dryden puts his head underwater and gargles out a warning, which the Eels appreciate. He activates the trap!

Drdyen Explosive Trap: open or block an entrance

Averiela Get Away 10+ Avoid harm, avoid notice

Averiela Poetry in Motion: pick another Get Away option: bring Dryden along

Averiela runs on the surface of the water and the Giant Eels pull Dryden to a safe distance underwater. After twenty seconds, the tube explodes in a cloud of rust! The metal piece crumbles and water is able to push through. Much of the debris crumbles aside. Some of the water will continue in the original channel, and some will flow to the south.

The Fellowship carries the Dragon-Skull boat past the debris and continues downriver in the original channel. To the surprise of Lucia and Dryden, this river flows just to the north of Lady Evelynn’s estate. Last time they visited Lady Evelynn, they left on bad terms and are surely not welcome back. They hope that since the water level is so low, they can hide the boat under the river bank. Averiela’s keen Elven eyes spot a woman in the observation dome on the roof of Lady Evelynn’s mansion, looking out towards the river. The boat has been spotted! A figure leaves the mansion and comes down the hill towards the river.

Lucia Quiet! Don’t Move. Hide allies as long as they don’t move.

Lucia hides everyone so the Dragon-Skull boat appears empty.

Lucia: Lady Evelynn is a pragmatic business woman. She won’t attack us without reason. She doesn’t know you, Averiela. You could get hosptiality and tell her what happened to the river.

Averiela sits up in the boat to greet the person approaching. It’s Kali, the sullen Tiefling servant, who works outdoors so she has less opportunity to be rude to Lady Evelynn’s guests. She’s five-foot-nothing, petite, red skin, with short vertical horns on her forehead.

Kali: Keep moving. Travelers are not welcome here. Don’t make trouble!

Averiela eloquently introduces herself and assures Kali of her pure intentions. Kali is unimpressed, spits out “Good!” and turns on her heel to return to the estate.

The Dragon-skull boat floats down the river, which bends from east to south and heads towards Sugar’s Crossing. Lady Evelynn’s sugar mill is only getting half the water it usually gets, and the new river channel is washing out the road from her estate to the town. Surely this will change the balance of power between the three millers in the town. Lucia and Dryden notice that the bridge over the river has been repaired. Two volcanoes tower over the east side of the river.

Roddy Eagle Eye

Roddy the Sharpshooter is usually very quiet and his ghillie suit makes him look like a bush, so it’s easy to forget that he’s here. A hand emerges from the shapeless bush that follows the Fellowship and points up towards the mountain peaks.

Roddy: Edna!

A few seconds later, Edna falls out of the sky and lands on the east riverbank, her feet skidding and digging huge gouges in the dirt!  Ol’ Jardinier runs to her and she scoops him us and tosses him in the air. She’s so happy to see everyone again. She sets down a very thin Human man and introduces Victor, her new butler. She’s introducing the rest of the Fellowship and realizes she doesn’t know Averiela’s full name. Averiela explains that she is “Averiela Star-Radiance, Last Child of the Westerwinds” and that Averiela means “Seeker of Truth” She has more titles, of course, but these will do for now.

Edna is excited to show Ol’ Jardinier some jewelry pieces she picked up in Thaumatown. Alas, the wizard who owned them won’t be needing them anymore. Perhaps Ol’ Jardinier could assemble them into some Ogre-sized jewelry for Edna to wear. Ol’ Jardinier sets to work with a combination of tools in his waist-coat and magic spells. He taps his bifocals and they turn dark. He touches his thumb and forefinger together and generates a spark, which he uses to weld the jewelry pieces together. Averiela wants to know the name of the jewelry that Ol’ Jardinier is making, since all powerful jewelry must have a name.

GM note: Edna needs a way to travel between the two Fellowships that I play with, so this jewelry will give Edna a way to interact with Infinite WIndows and teleport back and forth reliably, like a “Best Friends” necklace that can be split into two pieces. The piecee that stays with Dryden is “from” the other piece that Edna wears, so Dryden can offer that piece to Infinite Windows and find Edna whereever she is.

Drdyen wants to dispose of the Dragon skull properly.

Edna: Is this cursed? The other people wanted me to dispose of some remains and those remains were cursed. We might have cursed a whole town. I’m not sure. We left town quickly due to some unrelated unplesantness.

Lucia: We could let the Dragon skull float out to sea.

Edna: No! Mermaids live in the sea. You can’t just dump things in the sea!

Averiela remembers lore from her people that Dragons were either buried on the mountain where they annointed the King, or somewhere close to the sky. That mountain might be out east, but the legends are old and vague.

Lucia: How will we transport this huge skull all that way?

Edna reaches down and picks up the Dragon skull boat with one hand.

Lucia: Maybe the volcano that the Secret Library is inside is a Dragon mountain.

Dryden: The librarians aren’t fond of me.

Lucia: I’m queen, so I’ll go in. Averiela can join me. Her people are welcome from times of old.

The Fellowship starts hiking up the slopes of the volcano. Enda holds the Dragon Skull over her head and gets a running start, then thinks better of leaping directly to the peak and walks alongside her friends.

Dryden: What happened to you when you disappeared?

Edna: I was following the Wild Unicorns into the portal, ready to see the enchanted meadow, and next thing I knew, I fell onto a raft full of Platypeople!

Lucia: How are the Platypeople? We know they were having trouble with werewolves.

Edna: I don’t know about that. There were a few injuries, but I paid for the damage to the raft. Oh no! I said I’d replace the broken logs, but we left town so quickly I didn’t remember to fell any trees.

Dryden explains that the top of the volcano is home to many marmot varmints. He wonders if that treasure-seeking Dwarf that he scared off will be back. When the Fellowship reaches the summit, they see the marmot varmints, but no Dwarf.

Edna: Should we put the Dragon skull next to the graveyard up here?

Edna sets the Dragon skull boat  down near the rows of spear points from the ancient battles, and clears off the clay so the boat is a clean skull again.  Averiela places a ring of rocks around the skull. She carries sand from her homeland, and sprinkles some of it on the ring of stones while reciting sacred Elvish words. Lucia draws her sword, salutes the skull, and draws a circle in the ground around the skull, outside the circle of stones. Dryden is a commoner, so he does not have the proper lineage to do the rituals that he knows. He withdraws a respectful distance and makes a cairn.

After the provisional funeral, Lucia walks to the staircase down the inside of the caldera.

Edna: Y’all already know about the secret?

Edna leaps down from the rim and her force of her landing makes the ceramic dome covering the Secret Library ring!

Edna: I can’t fit inside, but I hear it’s really something to see!

Dryden: How do you know?

Edna: The entrance is only this big. I obviously won’t fit through.The other folks told me about it, though. Y’all just missed them.

Lucia and Averiela go through the crack in the ceramic dome to the Secret Library for the Forgotten Lands. The interior is lit by magical blue torches. The librarian, is a sheet ghost with glasses hovering in front of the eye holes in its sheet. Rows of shelves and stacks of books, scrolls, and maps stretch out into the distance.

Lucia: I and my comanions have come to learn about Dragons!

Lucia Speak Softly 7-9 three questions, one unhelpful answer

  • What can you tell me about hatching Dragon eggs?
    • Dragon Eggs must be kept hot for 49 days. On the 50th day, the eggs hatch. The parent Dragons use their claws to help the baby Dragons break through the hard eggshells. Averiela jumps in. The Elves know that the parents are actually tapping on the eggshells to signal the babies that its’ safe to come out. After hatching, the parents and babies do a bonding ritual. No one has seen it up-close, but Dragon roars echo through the land, and Dragon magic ripples outwards. Averiela’s lore says that tapping on the eggshell helps with the bonding ritual.
  • What can you tell me about the Dragons’ enemies?
    • The Librarian says there are no serious contenders to the Dragon’s rule of the world. Clearly a lot has happened since this library was sealed away, since Dragons are now extinct.
  • What can you tell me about how Dragons crowned their kings?
    • According to legend, the Dragons gather to crown a new king on the hottest day of the year, on the highest mountain in the world, far to the north.

Averiela wants to consult with her kin to see if she’s worthy of hatching the Dragon Egg she found. Alas, her homeland is across the sea, near the Forgotten Lands, a very long journey. The Sapphire Islands (home of Gleador) are closer, just south of this continent. She could also call a conclave and gahter representatives of the various Elf peoples to her.

Chasing the Sunset & Campfire Chats

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, Edna met Vestri and Yuri and they ran afoul of O’Later, the chief of Port Fennrick who is also an evil Vampire!

GM note: We ran out of time in the last session, so we’re doing the end of session move from that session at the beginning of this session.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location?
    • YES. the Robotic Facility
  • Did anyone find what they were seeking?
    • YES, Yuri found an item related to his magical sword, and he discovered that Lucy is exactly the sort of person he’s looking for.
    • GM note: I complained about Xanadu, the best roller-skating musical of the 1980s. A muse helps some dude realize his dream of making a roller rink and he thinks she’s the coolest girl ever and falls in love. Makes sense from his perspective, but she’s been helping the greatest artists in the world or centuries. Why should she be impressed by him enough to defy the gods to stay with him? Similarly, Yuri may be smitten with Lucy, but what can he offer her? Yuri plans to save this world and offer her access to a new world that she can exploit through capitalism. Yuri’s homeless now and has a medical degree, so he might as well emigrate to America.
  • Did we discover something new about the world and its people?
    • Nah

Two Boons

  • Yuri and Edna level up
    • Yuri learns Mighty Leap from Edna
    • Edna increases Courage to +3
  • Heal
    • Yuri heals himself, Vestri heals himself, Edna heals Vestri

Edna, Vestri, and Yuri run through the hole in the warehouse wall, pursued by O’Later and his minions: the Shadows and the Ogre Bork.

Edna. My goodness, you’re injured! Look what happens when I’m not taking care of you!

Edna forms a bond: “I must protect Vestri”

Edna forms a bond: “I must protect Yuri”

Vestri forms a bond: “Edna is a mighty friend”

Yuri forms a bond: “Edna is the mother I never had.”

GM note: My attempt to disrespect my fellow adventurers by implying they could not hold their own in fights backfired in the best way.

Edna: Are we going? Are we leaving town or should we go back and stomp that guy?

Vestri: I assumed run? I assumed run.

Yuri: We should leave and come back with a plan to beat O’Later at a later time.

Edna: Good thinking. Where’s that other Dwarf fellow. We mustn’t leave him behind.

Hundrin was near the exit, tinkering with Gurtin. Vestri points the way. Edna leans down and places her giant hand, palm up, in front of Vestri.

Vestri: All right, that seems faster.

Edna Toss Aside: an ally can ride you

Vestri climbs into Edna’s hand. Edna sees that Yuri is keeping up with her and does some small jumps to demonstrate her technique. He picks it up quickly, and is soon able to jump over a building.

Edna: Yeah, yeah, you’ve got it!

Yuri & Edna Mighty Leap: leap to anywhere you can see.

Yuri & Edna leap directly to Hundrin & Gurtin near the town gate.  Edna puts Vestri down. Unknown to the Fellowship, O’Later flies into the sky and uses the ultra-sonic voice of his bat form to signal Shadows all over the town. A group of Shadows that was guarding the gate springs into action to attack the Fellowship.

  • Group of Shadows
    • Group: able to affect 2 characters at once. When a group is destroyed, replace it with 2 Shadows.
    • Death From Above: Shadows can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When the Shadow 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 Shadow is Secret until they make a Cut. When they escape or hide, they become Secret again until they make a Cut.

Vestri Clear The Path: 7-9 leave a path, but get in trouble

Vestri charges through the Shadows to reach the gate, which is closed at night. One of the Shadows flies into Gurtin and damages the Drill Tank.

Hundrin: My baby! I just fixed her!

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: lift almost anything

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna kicks the Shadow aside, picks up the Drill Tank and runs to the gate. O’Lateris flying from the warehouse to the gate. He’s not on the scene yet, but he’ll arrive soon. Everyone runs to the gate, but they need to get it open. The door is a series of logs tied together. It hinges at the top and swings outward, so it’s inceonvenient to open from outside. Ropes and pulleys let a group of people inside the walls raise the heavy gate.  Yuri considers cutting the ropes, but the gate is designed to fail safely.  The weight of the gate naturally keeps it closed. Destroying the ropes and pulleys prevents it from being opened.

Edna: Use what you’ve learned. Just jump to the top!  Y’all get out. I’ll leave last.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Yuri leaps to the top of the wall, where the gate controls are. He pulls on the ropes and Edna puts her shoulder into the gate to push it open. The Shadows are recovering. Can they get the gate open before the Shadows attack again?

Yuri Overcome (+hope, Edna’s aid) 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once 10+

The gate rises enough to let Vestri & Hundrin scoot under. Edna plans to jump to the top of the wall to escape, but the Shadows are upon her!

Edna Get Away 6-

The Shadows climb all over Edna, stabbing her with their knives!

Edna Wobbles: no damage from normal weapons, just distraction

Edna can’t get proper form for a Mighty Leap until she deals with these Shadows. She stops, drops and rolls. She’s the size of a mini-van, so they’re about to get in a car wreck!

GM note: To estimate Edna’s size, I looked up specifications for a minivan: 16 feet long (Edna’s height) and 5000 pounds. I also looked up rhinos, which are 12 feet long and 5,000-6,000 pounds. Edna’s uncontrollable strength makes her body unusually dense, so she’d be even heavier than a rhinoceros.  5,000 pounds is a low estimate.

Edna Finish Them (+Courage, force them to retreat) 10+ TAKEN OUT

Edna holds the Drill Tank over her head, so she doesn’t crush it as she rolls on the ground. The nimble Shadows scramble the opposite direction, like log rollers, trying to not end up under her.  Most of the Shadows scatter. Edna gets up and pushes the gate open to escape.

Edna Overcome 10+

She ducks under the gate and now the entire Fellowship is outside of Port Fennrick. Will O’Later and his minions pursue them, or be satified with driving them off?

GM note: We get distracted by comparing the situation to various movies, and remember that Yuri can Command Lore about the world he came from, so he really could start talking about Marvel movies in-character.

The Fellowship looks around to decide where to go next. To the south is a marshy area. The Mighty River (which the Fellowship just sailed down) is to the west. To the north is a forest. Yuri considers the Fellowship’s long-term goals.

Yuri: Where do you think this dagger could be?

Vestri: I have no idea where the dagger could be, otherwise I wouldn’t be looking for it everywhere.

Yuri: I feel like Forest is good place for lost things. Maybe there is sword in stone — dagger in stone, or maybe door that needs sword-key.

Vestri: Edna, have you seen a dagger that looks like this?

Edna: Most daggers look like that. Is there something special?

Vestri: If you look at these stones and see this deep red one right in the middle of the hilt, If you look closely — I will hand it to you in one moment — look very closely, just tilt it around until it’s blood red, you’lll notice there is a symbol inside, It is my family crest. The Redrocks. Here you are. Take a look.

Edna: Oh, charming. I haven’t seen this particular one.

The Fellowship decides to go into the forest to look for magical folk, who may know things. Yuri presumes that magical folk learn these things in schools, but he’s not sure how education works in this world, so he asks.

Dwarves have an apprentice system. Each craftsdwarf teaches younger Dwarves about their trade. Librarians and scholars are taught in an academic context that is closest to a school in real life. There’s no value judgment on which profession a Dwarf chooses. A blacksmith may not know how to read, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid and less worthy than a scholar who studies books all the time. Everyone has a place in society, and each Dwarf picks what they want their place to be.  Choosing a parent’s profession is common, but not required. Dwarves have social mobility.

Edna’s family was rich, so her time was not taken up by working to survive. She had a tutor and can read several languages. She also learned to play tennis and ride horses, but obviously she can’t ride horses anymore.

Edna: I had a tutor. There are experts who have specialized knowledge. There are libraries. I heard there’s a great wizard who lives in the town up the river.

Vestri: Did we meet a wizard?

Yuri: I do not think so. We met an Eel, and a Vampire, and a water-man.

Vestri: And a Demon.

Yuri: And Dinosaurs. And people who corral dinosaurs.

The Fellowship decides to seek out this wizard, but to take a circuitous route through the forest, so they can search more area.

GM note: My various notes disagree about what’s in the forest to the north. We use my Horizon Location Generator to come up with something.

The unnatural-looking forest is a rough hike. Yuri and Edna can only jump to places they can see, and they can’t see far in the forest. Yuri looks around for clues on which direction to head. What’s interesting in this forest?

Yuri Look Closely 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once 6- ask one question, find out the hard way

Yuri Fresh Eyes: When you Look Closely, ask a player a question from the Speak Softly list

  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • The two Shadows from the gate followed the Fellowship!
  • What do the Shadows want and how can we help them get it?
    • O’Later wants to capture Yuri specifically because he likes rare foods. Steven the housecat is also very rare, but O’Later doesn’t like eating hairy things. Vampires bite people on the shoulders because

Shadow Death From Above: appear from hiding and kidnap someone

Edna attempts diplomacy in a loud and violent manner. Since one Shadow has grabbed Yuri, Edna picks up the other Shadow.

Edna Keep Them Busy 10+ Their attention is all on you

Edna: Let’s trade.

Edna Talk Sense (+Wisdom, appeal to desire to not be crushed) 7-9 owe them a favor

Edna Toss Aside 10+ they go where I want & land how I like: safely on their feet

Edna carefully tosses the Shadow to his comrade. The Shadow is good to his word and releases Yuri. Their kidnapping mission has failed, so the two Shadows leap backwards into the underbrush like ninjas. Yuri calls after them.

Yuri: If you tell him I’m dead, neither of us will be in trouble!

Yuri: Maybe we should press forward.

Vestri. Yes, let’s go! You ahead of us so we can keep an eye on you.

Edna: i could carry you.

Vestri takes off his helmet and wraps it in the braids of his beard so he has both hands free. He collects berries in the helmet as the Fellowship hikes through the woods.

The Fellowship stops for the night and chats around the campfire. Edna’s very athletic and loves to learn about the sports of different cultures. Yuri asks is she knows baseball. She doesn’t, but she tells him about the sport the platypeople play called “Fluming“. They stack logs on one side of a flooded field. You bring a log to your goal. Some teammates hold the log upright, and the other teammate climbs to the top to score a point, with a bonus point for doing a flip on the dismount.

Yuri: I know these Platypeople. I have the Fellowship of the Platypeople. I wish I had known this previously. Next time we are in area we can do this.

Edna: I’m taller than a regulation log. Do I have to put my feet on top of the log to score, or could I just put a hand on it?

Yuri: Maybe next time we bring huge log to Platypeople, so this is even competition.

Edna likes to customize games because it’s hard for her to fit in with other people. She wants to play Fluming with an enormous log. Scaling it up to make it a challenge sounds fun.

Vestri also has a favorite sport. Any number of people can play. Each person has a pile of rock and the object is to get to the center as fast as possible. It would be easy to adjust for Edna by giving her a larger rock. Dwarves already have a handicap system for scaling the rock based on the mass of the player. Sometimes humans want to play.  Dwarves look smaller than humans but are often more massive.

Yuri wants to explain baseball, but doesn’t think it would translate well. A game that everyone could play is darts.

Yuri: A dart is almost like a dagger, but an arrow at the same time.  And you throw it at a board that has rings and segmented numbers and you try to hit specific spots to get points.

Vestri:  Ah, like throwing axes.

Yuri: Yes, yes, like throwing small, fine-tuned axes.

Vestri: Like a lance, but very small?

Yuri: Since you like throwing axes, and you enjoy throwing everything, I think this would be a good sport for us. I would have to make a board.

Yuri learned how to appreciate eating plants from the Platypeople, so Vestri gathers various plants and brings them to Yuri to see if they are edible. Edna checks the tree branches for fruits and seeds.

Vestri: What do you eat?

Yuri: I am herbivore, so I’m vegetarian.

Vestri: I understood “herbivore.” What do you eat, Edna?

Edna: The unusual thing that most people notice about my diet is that it includes a lot of clay, and some sand.

Yuri: Interesting. What is the nutritional benefit of sand for you?

Edna: Strong bones and teeth.

Vestri: Yes, I understand. We eat some rocks as well. Only sedimentary rocks.

Yuri: Elementary.

Vestri: Sedimentary. I don’t know what elementary rocks are.

Edna: Gizzard stones are alimentary rocks!

Edna explains how she had to start eating sand and clay when she hit puberty, but it got a lot easier when her third set of teeth came in.

Yuri: Is it like shark with several rows where they kind of replace each other?

Edna: No. There’s baby teeth, then those fall out when I’m a child and the adult human teeth come in.  Those are permanent for most people. When I got Ogrism, they got replaced with stone teeth. That made eating clay a lot easier.

Yuri: So you wanted to eat more sand and clay after having these stone teeth?

Vestri: No it’s easier to eat with the stone teeth, but she already wanted to eat rocks, right?

Edna: Yeah, I had to get the minerals into my body to produce the stone teeth and stronger bones.

Yuri: Was the desire to eat clay always present? I’m interested in biology of Ogres.

GM note: After writing my fun monstergirl’s backstory, I looked back and found: teeth falling out, bizarre puberty, and unnatural desires. This is a horror story!

Edna: When I was 11 or 12. my mom said “Now, Eddie” — she calls me Eddie — “your body’s going to go through some changes soon, and based on our family history, maybe some other changes too.” I hit a growth spurt and didn’t stop. I kept growing and growing, eating a lot, then I wanted to eat clay and sand. Calcium bones stop working at a certain size. I need stronger bones.

Yuri: I’m afraid this is a sensitive subject but I’m curious. Are there natural Ogres, like Bork, or is everyone possible Ogre? What is the nature of Ogres? Are you half-human, half-Ogre?

Edna: I’m what’s called a “first-generation Ogre” so my parents are both human and I just got Ogrism. It runs in my family every few generations. That’s why we got the “Crusher” name, after the first Ogre in the family.

Yuri: If you were to have children with another Ogre, would your children definitely be Ogres?

Edna: Yes, there are some Ogre communities with their own culture. Some first-generation Ogres will join Ogre communities. Children of Ogres are always Ogres. We call them “native Ogres”.

Yuri: Is there a cultural divide between between these types?

Edna: It is cultural. I didn’t grow up as an Ogre. Mom tried to prepare me as best she could with stories passed down, but it’s always different living through it myself. I would have liked to get to know Bork better, but circumstances have come between us.

Yuri finds some wood that he can whittle into a dartboard. How can he make darts? He wonders if Vestri has some metal bits that could be made into darts, but Vestri doesn’t travel with a forge. He has the skill, but that doesn’t mean he can make precise tools at a moment’s notice in any situation.  Yuri tries whittling points onto twigs and throwing them, but they have no stability and never go straight. He tries pebbles, but they bounce off the board, so scoring is impossible. Finally, he figures it out.

Yuri: This is not exactly how darts would go, but we’ll make due. This will be fun.

He takes excess berries from the meal and sticks them on twigs, so they are vaguely like tiny axes. Where the berry splats shows how many points its worth. It wont be as precise as actual axes or darts.  The outer ring is worth one, then two, and the innermost ring is worth five. During supper, they throw berries at the board.

Normal Forest increases Response Level to 1

Normal Forest gains move Wild Animal: a Beast tries to eat the next character who goes out in the open.

In the morning, Edna looks for a stream to gather water. She stumbles on a Varg that was also drinking at the stream.

  • Varg: These massive wolves are large enough for a full grown ogre to ride, and surly enough to make an ogre think twice about doing it.
    • Cruel Beast: A Varg is wild and malicious, and cannot be tamed easily. Anyone trying to ride it must Pay a Price.
    • Go For The Jugular: A Varg that gets up on top of somebody instantly deals damage to them.

Edna has heard that Vargs can serve as mounts for Ogres so she tries to approach it calmly, but it leaps at her! Edna tries to grab it in mid-air.

Edna Overcome 6-

She misses and the huge Varg knocks her to the ground.

Varg Go For The Jugular: A Varg that gets up on top of somebody instantly deals damage to them.

Edna Wobbles: Normal weapons can’t damage you, only distract and slow you down

Edna’s teeth and bones aren’t the only parts reinforced with minerals. Her skin is also very tough, so the Varg’s teeth can’t tear through. The two huge creatures wrestle on the ground.  Vestri and Yuri hear the commotion and come running. Yuri feels bad about stabbing a dog, but it is trying to kill his friend. It’sa big mena monster, but it still deserves scritches. He leaps and comes down on the Varg with his magic sword.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

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

Yuri comes down with the pommel of the sword and knocks the Varg unconscious. It slumps over Edna. She pushes it off her, revealing Yuri.  Vestri emerges from the treeline huffing and puffing.

Vestri: Oh, I see you took care of it. Doing alright, Edna?

Yuri pets the unconscious Varg.

Harming Local Wildlife increases Normal Forest’s Response Level to 2

Normal Forest gains Stalker: someone starts following the Fellowship

The Fellowship realizes the woods aren’t a safe place to hang around, so they decide to head west to that Wizard’s tower.

Yuri: Da, fine with me. I’m not married to the woods

Vestri: What a strange expression. Why would you be married to the woods?

Yuri: Exactly. I’m not married to them so we to not need to stick around.

Vestri: That doesn’t mean anything. I’m not around my husbands and wives right now, but we are still married.

Yuri:  Cultural differences.

A Long Journey: each players sets a scene on the journey through the Normal Forest, the Mighty River, to Thaumatown.

As the Fellowship hikes through the forest, an eight-foot tall Platyperson with white fur steps out of camouflage and tells them they are being followed.

  • Marko he/him, giant albino Platyperson: The strongest of the Horde, they stand out from the Troopers. Elites make up for the weakness of their allies by taking hits for them.
    • Protect The Little Ones: Horde Elites are twice the height of other horde troopers and commanders. This makes them big, visible targets, which they use to protect the horde. This stat must be damaged twice. When an ally within reach of the Horde Elite would take damage, damage this stat instead.

Yuri: are you following us? Do you hail from Bogden?

Marko: What? No! Quick, stand aside. There’s an ambush.

Vestri: Are we the ones being ambushed, or are you ambushing animals?

Marko: You are the bait! How do you not — babes in the woods.

Edna: That doesn’t seem sporting!

Indeed a Varg has been quietly stalking the Fellowship. The archers under Marko’s command (normal-sized Platypeople) move to engage it.

  • Swarm of Arrows: A contingent of archers. The ammo they use is crude and ineffective, but there is a lot of it.
    • Covering Fire: Anyone being targeted by a Swarm of Arrows cannot take action out in the open without Paying a Price. The archers can only target one person at a time, or two if they are right next to each other.

Vestri: If you guys want the Varg, you can have it. Let me help you.

Vestri walks out in the open to be as loud and distracting as possible.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 10+ their attention is all on you

The Archers strike from the trees and the Varg never sees it coming. The ambush is successful. Yuri asks Marko about the hunting party.

Yuri Speak Softly 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once 6- ask three questions. One unhelpful answer, one wrong answer.

  • What are they doing, and what will they do next?
    • Marko: There’s only one reason anyone would come into this forest. Don’t play dumb. You’re after the treature too!
    • Yuri: Ah, I had no idea. I’m not from this world.
    • Marko: An outrageous, transparent lie!
    • Vestri: Oh, I wonder if we’re in the forest of Fulheim, because I’ve heard that a Giant Spider gairds a grove of flowers that grow only here, that can heal almost any poison. Is there someone sick that you’re trying to aid?
    • Yuri: Is Bogden OK?
    • Marko: Who’s Bogden?
    • Vestri: There are more Platypeople than just Bogden, you know.
    • Yuri: I’m not from this world. It seems like people live in sections. There are Dwarves over here…
    • Vestri: There are Dwarves in every mountain range!

Marko is confused by these strangers, who are obviously trying to steal the treasure from under him, but also seem too foolish to live.

Yuri: We could just leave. What if two of your archers follow us out so you see us leave.

Yuri Talk Sense (+Sense, explain plan) 7-9 owe Marko a favor

Yuri shows the Archers how to play darts. He shows them his makeshift dartboard.

Yuri: You can make a larger version of this, but this is a gift to you for letting us leave without being shot by arrows. There are three rings. Outside the ring is inaccurate. you do not make points. You have acrhers at set distance a they shoot at this and try to make the highest number of points with all arrows in scabbard.

Vestri: It’s like throwing axes.

Marko thinks archery is completely different from throwing axes. As the Fellowship leaves, every archer takes a shot at the dartboard simultaneously. The dartboard and the tree it’s leaning against are covered with arrows! This group goes for volume, not precision.

The Fellowship exits the forest and reaches the banks of the Mighty River. They secure transport on a boat going upriver to Thaumatown. There’s a mystery onboard. A wealthy passenger stored his backup crown in a lockbox in the hold, but the crown jewel has been stolen. The suspect is Jane, a Marilyn Monroe-type, but the crown jewel is not in her position. Vestri interviews the nobleman who lost the jewel.

Vestri Speak Softly 7-9 three questions, one unhelpful answer

  • How did he discover the jewel was missing?
    • The assistant to the nobleman, a thin timid Human, would attend the nobleman, then periodically check on the lockbox in the hold, since there was no guard in the hold. Halfway through the voyage, he checked and found the lockbox open, the crown inside, but the jewel was missing. This is a backup crown that still has sentimental and financial value.
  • What was he doing? What will he do next?
    • He’s very fat, and sit in a bathtub full of gravy. Sometimes he dips fried chicken into the gravy and eats it. So unsanitary! Vestri is disgusted.
  • What would he has us do?
    • The nobleman assumes that Vestri works on the ship. “I would like you to figure it out and get out of my cabin, so I can continue bathing in gravy.”

Vestri shares information with the rest of the Fellowship on the deck and recommends examining the crown. Yuri hopes that he is not suspected of the crime.

Edna: I’m very interested in jewelry, but you’ll have to bring the crown back up to the deck. I don’t think I can fit down there in the hold.

Vestri lets the timid servant know that he’s taking the crown from the hold and brings it back to the deck to examine it.

Vestri Let Me See That: ask 2 questions about an item

  • What’s wrong with it and how can I fix it?
    • There’s a big setting for a gem that’s empty. If the gem is placed in the setting, the setting can rotate and activate some gears.
  • Who made it and why should I care about them?
    • The crown was made by The Remnant, servants of the Dragons who were wiped out 100 years ago along with their masters. Yuri’s sword and scabbard were also made by the Remnant.

Edna chats with Jane.

Edna Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What does she want & how can we help her get it?
    • She wants to be absolved of the crime. Make sure that you catch the actual culprits.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with her?
    • She’s so commited to appearing innocent that she’d throw Edna or anyone else under the bus.
  • What can she tell me about the crown?
    • She saw the noblemen do a trick with the gems to make stars spin around, but he showed everyone on the boat. Anyone could have done it. He thinks it was me because he placed it on my head for the party a couple nights ago.

Edna considers Jane’s hairstyle. It’s not big enough to conceal the gem. Yuri talks to the timid servant, who is named Viktor.

Yuri Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What was he doing? What will he do next?
    • Viktor obeyed every random whim of the nobleman.  He checked on the crown, then the nobleman sent him to the kitchen with specific instructions to get a meal that took half and hour to prepare, and to stay in the kitchen until it was ready. When he returned with the meal, there were splatters of gravy on the floor of the cabin.
    • What can he tell us about the storeroom?
      • He was absent from the storeroom for the half hour needed to prepare the food. The lockbox was opened, and only he and the nobleman have keys. There was gravy in the storeroom.
    • What does he want? How can we help him get it?
      • He wants a new job. Not only is the nobleman messy and disgusting, he hasn’t been paying Viktor correctly.

Yuri inquires about Viktor’s interests. Viktor likes travelling , but although this boat travels up and down the river, it does not have any open positions. Edna offers Viktor a job as her attendant. She’s not replacing Ol’ Jardinier. She still palns to link up with him.

Edna: If it was practical, I’d just dump that man out of his gravy bath and look for the gem at the bottom.

Since Edna can’t fit below deck or inside the nobleman’s cabin, Yuri and Vestri go to confront him.  Viktor offers to help. He’ll probably be fired anyways if his testimony reveals his employer as a liar. Vestri brings a sailor along as a witness. Yuri and Vestri march in and try to dump the tub over. It’s heavy!

Yuri Overcome (+hope, Vestri’s assistance) 6-

Fool Me Once 7-9 pay a price for a permanent solution

Yuri damages Blood

Yuri strains himself, but the tub does fall over, spilling gravy all over the deck. The nobleman was hiding the gem in the tub! Yuri wonders why he’d steal his own property. Vestri suspects insurance fraud. Yuri’s amazed to discover this world has insurance. The nobleman is disgraced, Jane is pleased, and Edna hires Viktor.

Edna forms bond: I am a good employer to Viktor

The boat continues on, but just before reaches Thaumatown, it has to stop. The bridge over the river was damaged by a recent storm, and the river is blocked by debris.

Edna: Perfect!

Edna Uncontrollable Strength: lift almost anything

Edna wades into the river, tossing debris onto the shore. She finds a long beam among the debris and uses it to dislodge debris in deeper water that she can’t reach. Her body is so dense that she can’t swim, and sinks to the bottom of any body of water.

Edna Overcome 10+

Edna clears a path for the ship to path. The boat reaches Thaumatown on time. The captain is very grateful for the Fellowship’s assistance with the crime and the debris.

Two towers dominate the skyline of Thaumatown: the clock tower on the Civic Center, and weird a magical-looking tower at the back of town.  Vestri confidently heads for the magical tower.

Citizen: Oh, no, you don’t need to go there. The Wizard’s gone. We have a self-appointed government now.  It’s the new hotness.

Vestri: Where has the Wizard gone?

Citizen: I was there! He was on the docks. He walked out onto the water and told us that he’d taken care of us for so long, but we were ready to rule ourselves. Then he disappeared into the water and we never saw him again.

Vestri: Nice of him, but unfortunate for us.

Yuri: Maybe he went invisible and then went back to his tower. Has there been any lights on?

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna leaps to the balcony at the top of the tower.

Edna: Uhhh, there’s a dead guy here?

Yuri: Is he wearing wizarding clothes? That’s not good. Did you guys kill him?

The townfolk are shocked!  Vestri runs up the tower stairs to investigate. Hundrin says outside and tinkers with the Drill Tank. He’s not much for these mysteries and adventures. He likes traveling and Vestri is his cousin, so he’s traveling with him. He usually explores towns and sees the sights while the rest of the Fellowship gets into trouble. Yuri just leaps to the balcony.

Yuri Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Vestri Look Closely (+hope, Edna’s assistance) 10+

  • What is going on? what do my senses tell me?
    • A Wizard’s study with books and scrolls piled on shelves and tables. They all have water damage. The pages are wavy. There’s a skeleton wearing Wizard’s robes with a knife stuck in it.  Edna notices a spiral carved in the railing of the balcony that matches a faint spiral of fresh roof tiles on the Civic Center. A beam weapon was fired from here to there.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • A hidden switch causes a bookcase to slide aside, revealing a secret room!
  • How could the electric knife hurt me or help me?
    • The knife is unusual. Squeezing the handle makes electricity crackle along the blade, so the physical threat it poses is obvious. The indirect harm of revealing that the Wizard (who supposedly left when the people were ready to rule themselves) was actually murdered would cause an uproar in the town.

Vestri wonders if the Wizard really did abdicate, then came back and was murdered, or if he was murdered first, and an impostor abdicated. Maybe the dead body is also an illusion, so no one will ever go looking for him  Whatever happened, Vestri thinks self-determination is good. Maybe they should hide the Wizard’s body in the secret room they uncovered. He’s not going anywhere, so the Fellowship looks for useful items and information before deciding what to do about him.

Going through his papers reveals that he was paranoid about other magicians. He used Divination to foresee future threats and remove them preemptively. Yuri’s magical sword also seems to possess Divination magic. On a table is a Faraday-cage collar. It splits in two at a hinge to go over someone’s head, then closes and is locked from the outside. This is not a self-defense item. It’s something put on someone else by force. Yuri worries it was used to test experimental magic on prisoners.  Would a Faraday cage block the electricity from the electric knife? The room is disorganized enough that it’s hard to tell if anything has been taken. Vestri looks through some books but can’t read the script. Edna reads a note that says there’s something to find under the two volcanoes to the south. Yuri looks for anything with the symbol of the Remnant. The Remnants served Dragons, so their symbol is the shape of a poker head, because they tend the fire. Yuri finds a book with that symbol inlaid on the spine, but none no one can read the words inside.

Vestri takes Electric Knife (melee)

Yuri takes Mysterious Remnant Book

Edna takes Magical Trinkets

With their investigation of the tower finished, the Fellowship must now decide what to tell the townsfolk.

Chasing the Sunset & Omens

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 explored a decommisioned Robotics Facility, but that was just a distraction from their mission to take the ashes of a sword made from the horn of a Unicorn and cast it into the sea. Very bad energy to make a weapon by killing a creature so peaceful and good.

Vestri and Yuri book passage on a ship traveling from Thaumatown to Port Fennrick, which is on the ocean. Vestri anticipates spending the whole voyage very seasick. He does not like boats. Yuri looks through his Medkit but doesn’t have anything to help a Dwarf.

Yuri: I’m sorry that I am not equipped for this.

Vestri: I’m just not equipped to be on water.

Yuri books passage on a large Platyperson raft. Each side has rows of poles sticking out over the water, so Platypeople can hold on and swim to propel the raft.  There’s a cabin at the back and the rest of the raft is a big open space for passengers and cargo.

Yuri: Are you alright with this choice of boat?

Vestri: I already told you: I don’t like it but it’s fast.

Yuri sits in the cabin and Vestri sits in the head (a ship’s toilet).

GM note: I told my fellow players can Edna could appear at any time (since she left the previous group via teleporter accident) Now was the time to make a big entrance!

As the raft floats down the river, a horizontal window in the sky flickers open above it. The windows opens and shuts rapidly, and a woman the size of a minivan falls out of the window, hits the raft, and cracks three of the huge logs that form the raft’s deck! it’s Edna Crusher-Harcourt, 16 feet tall and 5,000 pounds.

Vestri feels the ship shake and rolls out of the head to the deck. He lies on his back and looks up at Edna, who also landed on her back. Edna gets up and looks around in confusion.

Edna: Where are the Unicorns? What are you people?

Yuri: Are you OK, ma’am? I am a doctor. You seem to have taken quite a fall.

Edna: Oh, I’m fine. I’m just worried about this boat. Oh, I’ve done it again.

Yuri Look Closely 7-9 ask three questions, one answer the hard way

  • What’s going on with the window in the sky?
    • The window in the sky is different from the teleportation effect that brought Yuri to this world. It’s stationary relative to the world, so the raft moves past it. It flickers for a while, then disappears.
  • Tell me about the crack in the boat?
    • Raeph, the captain of this raft, is an older Platyperson with greying fur and a tooth on a necklace as a badge of office. He comes out of the cabin to examine the damage to his boat.  It’s very hard to sink a raft, but the damage is significant enough that he wants to stop and make repairs immediately. He’s quite upset at Edna.
  • Tell me about the Platypeople. What are they doing?
    • Some of the passengers panic when Edna arrives and jump into the river to swim away.. They attract the attention of Hunting Birds, who won’t attack a group, but will go after stragglers.

Mighty River response level increases because Edna causes collateral damage

Mighty River uses Wild Animal: a Beast Threat attempts to eat the next person who goes out in the open

  • Hunting Bird: Birds of a feather hunt together.
    • Go For The Eyes: Hunting birds can only harm the stat Sense. If they would deal damage to someone whose Sense is damaged, the hunting bird Keeps Them Busy instead.
    • Eagle Eye: Hunting birds can see you coming a mile away, and will never attack the whole group at once. They go after stragglers, or those cut off from the group.

Yuri: Look at those birds. Look at how they are circling like vultures. Go not go out in the water.

Yuri Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 6-

Yuri Fool Me Once reroll to 7-9 they do as he asks, but he owes them a favor

Yuri: The boat can only sink, in which case you will be swimming. If you stay with the group, you will not be picked off by Vulture-birds. This is good plan, yes? Do not swim. Alone.

Some kids think Yuri is safe and clever, so they crowd around him, making it difficult for him to take physical actions. An acceptable trade-off for providing security, Yuri thinks.

Vestri jumps up and down and shouts at the birds to distract them from the swimming Platypeople.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 6-

Alas, a tiny Dwarf making noise is not an effective distraction. The Hunting Birds swoop down and injure a swimmer.

GM note: I hate injuring civilians! I’m so soft!

Edna looks at the Hunting Birds in the air and the Platypeople in the water. She’s not good at either element. If only this happened on stable ground!

Edna: Quick, is the water less than 20 feet deep? Fortune favors the bold!

Edna Mighty Leap: jump to anywhere you can see

Edna leaps into the water near the swimmers. Her departure rocks the whole raft, and her impact kicks up a huge splash, knocking Platypeople around. She immediately sinks because she’s dense, and the water is more than 20 feet deep, so she can’t reach the Platypeople on the surface. So much for grabbing them and leaping back to the boat. Yuri holds on to the children to keep them from falling.

Hunting Birds aren’t that dangerous, but Edna has no ranged weapons, Vestri hates the water, and Yuri is protecting children, so no one has a good answer for them. Edna slow-motion runs underwater to the bank of the river, then rips up chunks of turf and rocks and throws them at the Hunting Birds.

God of War: when you fight them by yourself, you can always Keep Them Busy.

Edna Keep Them Busy 6-

The Hunting Birds dive-bomb Edna

Edna Wobbles: normal weapons don’t damage her, only inconvenience her

Yuri: She is a very sturdy woman.

Vestri: I know! I was thinking the same thing.

The swimmers have stopped propelling the raft, so it’s just drifting downstream. Yuri wants to steer the raft away from the fight with the Hunting Birds and asks the Platyperson children to help him find the rudder. Raeph steps in and reminds Yuri that he is in charge of the raft. Yuri will have to convince him of his plan.

Yuri Talk Sense (+sense, explain plan) 6-

Raeph says that moving the raft is too dangerous. He drops anchor and gets his crew to work repairing the damage Edna caused. The Hunting Birds are still attacking people in the water. The Fellowship has barely made a difference.

Vestri Look Closely 10+

  • What are the Hunting Birds doing?
    • The Hunting Birds quickly realize that they aren’t hurting Edna and return to the easy prey in the river.
  • What do my senses tell me?
    • The river is near the ocean, so it’s flat and calm, good for big boats.
  • Tell me about the vegetation lining the river. How could it hurt or help me?
    • The bushes on the shore would hide the Platypeople from the Hunting Birds, but expose them to the Wild Boars that also live along the Mighty River.
  • 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.

Vestri: Dive underwater and come back to the ship! Be underwater as much as you can, Platypeople!

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

Platypeople can hold their breath for a long time and Hunting Birds can’t swim, so Vestri’s plan works well! All the stragglers disappear underwater and after about a minute they appear next to the raft. People on the raft pull them aboard and tend to the injured.

Vestri: Large lady, stamp your feet! There are Boars. Scare them and they’ll distract the Birds. I hear Boars are good eating.

Edna: Ugh, I can’t abide bores.

She crouches to leap, then stands back up.

Edna: I’ll walk alongside until you’re able to pull over.

Now that the passengers are out of danger.

Yuri: Children, go back to your mothers. Or fathers. Guardians. Jobs?

Raeph can concentrate on repairing the raft. The crew lashes the broken logs together with boards so they don’t shift and no-one can fall through the cracks. When that is complete, the raft resumes moving downriver towards Port Fennrick. Raeph does not pull over to let Edna board the raft, so she jogs along the shore.

Edna: I can pay for the damages!

GM note: A wonderful introduction. Edna shows up, uses most of her moves, makes a big impression, but actually ruins everything and doesn’t help. I love it!

Looking west at Port Fennrick on the delta of the Mighty River.

Soon the raft reaches the checkpoint at the entrace of the Port Fennrick, where the river splits into a delta.  Each ship enters a chamber with doors in front and behind and sits there for several minutes before a town official waves it through. Gossip on the raft indicates that travel on the Mighty River is usually safe now that the Crocodile is gone, and that the inspection at Port Fennrick is faster than the previous method. Weird that no one seems to inspect the boats, though.

Yuri wonders if they use X-Rays, but has trouble explaining what he means.  Vestri interrupts to suggest talking to the giant woman, since she suddenly teleported in, just like Yuri did. Yuri explains his involuntary teleportion was very different.

Yuri: It was very vicious and aggressive, and that was more of a beautiful opening in the space-time.

Port Fennrick also has a checkpoint for people entering the town on foot. Edna approaches the gatehouse and crouchs down to address the guard inside.The guard gives her a bit of trouble for saying she’s with the raft when she’s not on the raft, but when he realizes that she’s rich (she wears a lot of jewelry) he changes his tone and welcomes her to Port Fennrick.  After thanking him, Edna considers ducking under the guardhouse, then backs up and carefully jumps over it.

Back on the raft, Yuri is curious about this inspection with no inspectors.  He asks the passengers about it.

Yuri Speak Softly 7-9 three questions, one unhelpful answer

  • What can they tell me about this new inspection policy?
    • A new mayor came in to clean up the town and make everything run smoothly.  People who try to bring in contraband get caught, so they somehow know what’s onboard, even though no-one comes aboard.
  • What should I be wary of when dealing with the people in charge?
    • If you keep your nose clean, you’ll be fine, but they don’t like troublemakers. Socially-acceptable people have a good time here.
  • What do they want from stopping each ship?
    • It’s a mystery. No one knows what they’re doing.

Yuri still rambles about radiation hitting bones and seeing people without their clothes, but Vestri does not get it. The official in charge of the locks tells Reaph that his raft is damaged, but lets the raft through. When the raft docks, Edna approaches apologetically.

Edna: I’m so sorry for the trouble. I just gotta make it right. Let me pay for the damages. You’ll need some big logs to replace the ones I broke (I’m sorry about that. There are some trees around here. I could bring some likely-looking ones to you, if that would help.

Edna spends a Precious item.

Edna removes one of her bracelets, which is actually a ceremonial armor belt made of gold and set with jewels. It was built for a human’s waist, but it fits on her wrist. Raeph accepts the belt, weighs it in his webbed hands, and realizes that it will easily pay for the repairs,

Raeph:  That would be super-helpful. That would make up for the discrepency between this and the cost of the repairs. Thank you so, so much. You can leave them outside the city. We will send a team to pick them up. You don’t need to come near our boat again. Thank you.

Edna leaves thinking that went well. Raeph is terrified of her and wants her as far away as possible. Yuri and Vestri figure such a strong person could throw the ashes of the Unicorn Sword into the sea from where she stands.

Vestri: Ma’am! Before you go off to chop down trees or whatever, I was wondering if you could do us a favor.

Edna: I suppose I owe you for all the trouble I caused on the raft. I am Edna Crusher-Harcourt. What’s your name?

She offers one finger for a handshake.

Yuri: You can just call me Yuri. It’s wonderful to meet you, Edna.  I’m just curious about — I’m not from this plane of existence. How did — do you teleport?

Edna: Not usually. We were in the forest. Had some trouble with the Fairies. These Unicorns were going to take us to their meadow. I could see it through the portal. I go to walk through the portal and I fell out on the boat. Are there Unicorns around here? Maybe they are nearby.

Yuri: No, only Platypeople.

Vestri: I don’t know about any Unicorns, but if you could take this bag and chuck it into the ocean, that would be wonderful.

Edna: OK, what’s in it?

Yuri and Vestri stumble over each other to say “cremated ashes” but avoid saying exactly what was cremated. Edna recognizes a solemn ocassion and wants to say a few words, but doesn’t know which words.

Edna: It’s so tragic. To the earth we must all return one day. Most people, at least.

She turns and throws the bag across town and into the ocean.

Yuri: Do you have to train for that? How do you? Do you play baseball? Sports of any kind?

Edna: You know, sports training is appropriate for a young lady’s upbringing, but I quickly outgrew the competition at home.

Yuri: I see. You’re very talented. Gifted!

Edna: I guess you could call Ogrism a gift. That’s what my momma called it.

Yuri: Life is just chaos and you gotta accept the cards you’re dealt.

Edna: I suppose I do alright.

GM note: The Boss’s Agenda is Gracious Host, so the Fellowship will be invited to a banquet. My co-GM and I define the details necessary to meet the Boss face-to-face.

Suddenly a man in uniform is standing right behind Yuri. He hands an invitation to each of the three.

Official: O’Later the town chieftain is throwing a banquet for exceptional people and he’d like you to attend.

Yuri: Do you have an invitation for Steven, or is he my plus-one?

The official is very impressed by Steven, the only housecat in the world. Yuri shows the official how to properly pet Steven, who purrs. Once the Fellowship agrees to attend, the official disappears as suddenly as he appeared.

The banquet is after sunset in the town hall, easily visible because of the tall clock tower above it. The Fellowship has some time to explore and prepare before attending. Edna wears well-made traveling clothes, but has fancy clothes in her pack.

Edna: Come, Jardiner, we must prepare!

She looks around, under her jacket, inside her pack. Jardiner is not with her! He did not come through the portal. Edna hopes that he and the others are well. Yuri is concerned that she is separated from her companion. Edna does want to link up with him again, but he was with people who seemed nice, so she’s not too worried.

Yuri: Where in the world were you before, just out of curiosity?

Edna describes some landmarks and Yuri figures out she was far to the west, near Cloudhold. but definitely on this plane, unlike himself.

Yuri: It will be easy to reconnect you with your friends. Your French friend.

No one else knows about “French”. Edna looks for a large structure to get changed and leaves the scene.  Yuri gets the impression that he should dress up for this meeting with the town chieftain. The invitations are quite nice. he considers buying new clothes. Vestri plans to freshen up with a nice dirt scrub.

Yuri: I am confused how you wash yourself. You scrub youself with dirt. To be clean?

Vestri: Yes, you see, you use especially dry dirt, a high content of stone. It’s a scrub, so you loosen up all of the dirt and dead skin and then we have a scraper, so you can scrape off all that stuff.

Yuri: No water.

Yuri wonders about stinky pits. Each Dwarven mine has a stinky pit where they throw the garbage. Vestri goes off to prepare and Yuri ponders his magical sword.

GM note: Yuri’s player can Command Lore about the sword, so it’s up to them to say what powers the sword has and how Yuri interacts with it. The player is amazed to have such narrative power. The sword gives Yuri nightmares of some vague catalysm. Would the sword lead him to someone who knows about the disaster, or would it lead to the weapon that could cause the calamity. Is this like Halo, or Mass Effect, or The Witcher, or even Dr. Strangelove?

The players suggest that universes are colliding, starting with buildlings leaking through into the City Junkyard, and the sword points the way to stop all universes of smashing into each other! Yet another amazing explanation for the City Junkyard that isn’t the explanation I established. Alas!

Yuri doesn’t know much about dowsing, but he vaguely remembers a story, so he gives it a try. He balances the sword on a finger, just past the hilt. The blade starts turning to point at something and Yuri follows it. He finds himself at a secure warehouse. The building is surrounded by a fence with a sign that says “DO NOT ENTER – by order of Chief O’Later” Yuri doesn’t see guards patrolling. Security is suspiciously light all over the town. He decides to ask O’Later about it instead of breaking in.

After sunset, Edna, Vestri, and Yuri arrive at the town hall.

Edna: Oh! Happy to see y’all again! While I was gettin’ ready, these littel floatin’ eyeballs appeared, but they had little bifocals on ’em, so I knew it was Jardiner using his magical powers to check on me.

Vestri: I’m glad your friend’s doing well.

Yuri: that’s interesting and cool.

Edna: Yeah, yeah. Little bifocals. They’re amazing. They help him read real good and see far away with the other half.

The entrance and main chamber of the Town Hall are big enough to accomodate Edna. There are two tables set up: another Ogre sits at a large table, while O’Later (a Human man) sits at a human-sized table.

O’Later: Ah, esteemed travellers! Come, sit, sit!

Vestri sits on a human chair with his elbows up on the table, looking a bit like a child and digging into platters of food immediately.

O’Later: Apologies. We’ll get you a more suitable chair.

He snaps his fingers and a servant appears next to Vestri with a high chair suitable for a Dwarf sitting at a human table. Vestri struggles a bit to climb the rungs because he is still holding a plate full of meat.

At the big table, Edna introduces herself to the other Ogre, a woman named Bork.  Edna offers a handshake, but Bork uses a different greeting gesture.

Edna: Oh, I’m sorry, darling. I’m first-gen, not a native Ogre.

Vestri: Not a native Ogre? I thought Ogres were just born from other Ogres, no?

Edna: Yeah, when Ogres have children, they’re Ogres, but – you’re a doctor, you know about this – sometimes a human kid just keeps growing. Ogreism. It’s rare.

Yuri: Of course! Of course that’s how it happens. Sometimes.

Vestri: I thought it was like, you know a Dwarf is always a Dwarf. Sometimes a Dwarf comes from rock and sometimes a Dwarf comes from another Dwarf. Ogres can come from humans sometimes. That’s very interesting.

Yuri: Yes, a doctor has confirmed it.

O’Later: Ho, ho. Yes, it’s fascinating the many different way that different cultures have of propagating themselves. But now, tell me news of the outside world. I’m so busy here keeping Port Fennrick in tip-top shape.

Vestri: Just upriver, unfortunately Platypalooza had to end early this year, because of Werewolves, but don’t worry! The Werewolves have been –

Yuri: They are nowhere-wolves! They are no Werewolves.

O’Later: Ha! But seriously, Werewolves are a horrible plague upon the land. I hate them.

Yuri: Yes, the killing must stop!

Vestri: Yes, I agree also that the killing must stop.

O’Later thinks that an oddly specific phrase, but lets it pass.

Vestri: And I’m looking for the twin of this dagger! Perhaps you know something of its twin?

Vestri pulls out the Redrock dagger to show just the people at the table, not the whole room.  Edna is impressed. She likes pretty, expensive things.

O’Later: I’ve not seen precisely one of these, but we have many fine goods travelling through the port. Perhaps we could keep an eye out for it. I am not a weapon expert, but if you could tell this man the specific marks by which we could recognize it?

Vestri: As you can tell there’s a gem there with my family crest on it, and the other would have the same. It would look pretty much exactly like this one. It’s Dwarven make from the third century. I don’t know if you have something in your library about it being lost in a Dragon hoard or…

Everyone seems pretty unhappy when Dragons are mentioned.

O’Later: Fortunately those arrogant and ruthless lizards were wiped out some time ago. The world is much safer for it.

Yuri changes the subject by asking about O’Later’s recent rise to power. O’Later explained that he’s stopped unsavory dealing and contraband, makiing the city much safer for the good people of Port Fennrick. Yuri wonders how the city is so secure with no visible enforcement. No one boarded the boat, yet it was inspected.  Yuri’s wonder encourages O’Later to brag.

GM note: Me “Is anyone’s Blood stat damaged?” Players: “That’s ominous.”

Yuri Speak Softly 10+ ask 3 questions

  • What were the security officials doing?
    • O’Later says, “If people don’t know where you are, they act like you’re everywhere. It’s self-regulating. People won’t act out because they don’t know when they can be caught. But we back it up by being able to catch them. Look behind you!” An official appears behind Yuri, then steps back into the shadows and vanishes from view. Inspectors do board the ships, but no one sees them!
      • O’Later’s Shadows.
        • Death From Above: Shadows can climb along walls and ceilings as quickly as they can run, and as silently as a ghost. When the Shadow 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 Shadow is Secret until they make a Cut. When they escape or hide, they become Secret again until they make a Cut.
  • What can he tell us about what’s in the secure warehouse?
    • If my Shadows find contraband on a ship, or someone brings it in from Finsea, they confiscate it and store it in several secure buildings.
  • What does O’Later want? Why take over Port Fennrick?
    • O’Later doesn’t say it outright, but gives the impression that he serves some higher master, and has been sent out to expand their influence.

Yuri wonders what counts as contraband, and O’Later gives the non-answer of “things that aren’t conducive to the well-being of Port Fennrick.”

Yuri: Is it possibly getting very packed with all the contraband? Maybe you need assistance removing some? I feel a strong magical connection to one and I need to see it.

Edna: Yuri, do you want to throw all that stuff out in the ocean like I did with your other package?

Vestri: That wasn’t contraband. That was cursed.

Yuri: Cursed cremation. What the person wished for. Where they wanted to be. At peace.

O’Later: Someone with a curse wanted their ashes thrown into Finsea? Did they consult the mermaids?

O’Later tells an attendant to check with the mermaids who live in Finsea to see if the curse is afflicting them.

Yuri Talk Sense (+Sense, explain plan) 10+

O’Later is intrigued by Yuri’s directness and says that after dessert, they will go to the warehouse and see this item that calls to Yuri. No promises that he can take it. Yuri is quite grateful and shows off Steven, the only housecat in the world.

O’Later: Those reflective eyes! Those fangs! Clearly a child of the night.

Yuri: Yes, he is up all hours of the nights. Sleeps most of the day though.

O’Later: Relatable.

Vestri hasn’t been paying much attention. He’s eating everything and storing some to take back to Hundrin. Yuri leans over and discreetly asks if calling O’Later a vampire would be rude. Vestri’s shocked reaction tells Yuri that he should definitely not mention it ever.

At the big table, Edna chats with Bork, the Ogre in charge of O’Later’s forces. She’s uncomfortable in the role of enforcer, and extra uncomfortable at formal events. Her suit doesn’t fit quite right.  She half-shouts everything in a monotone.

Bork: I, you’re very pretty. Your clothes look nice.

Edna: Thank you very much. I think that suit would look really great with a little tailoring.

Bork: I definitely want more room in the shoulders. It’s very tight. I don’t like it. But I don’t know where to find Ogre clothes. It’s hard in small village.

Edna: If Ol’ Jardiner was here, I’d have him fix you up, but he’s off somewhere.  When I see some fabric that speaks to me, I buy it. When I get enough together, I have Ol’ Jardiner whip something up. There’s nothing like wearing custom-tailored clothes. You’ll feel like 10 Precious objects!

Bork sees a disturbance and gets up to deal with it, but as soon as the big Ogre gets up, the troublemakers settle down.

After dessert, O’Later and Bork lead the Fellowship to the secure warehouse. Bork slides open the massive double doors to the warehouse. O’Later pats Yuri on the shoulder and gives him a little shove forward, encouraging him to demonstrate his magical connection. Yuri clears his throat, takes a power stance, nd draws his sword and balances it on his finger. It turns and directs him to a certain box on a certain shelf.

GM note: I don’t really know what Yuri’s sword does, and neither does Yuri’s player, so we brainstormed a bit to invent what Yuri found in that box. A big magical crystal? Part of a machine?

Yuri finds a narrow cylinder about three feet long with a slot on one end and various bumps and projections along its length. Vestri scurries over to inspect the item before Yuri can pick it up. Artifacts and crafting are Vestri’s specialization!

Vestri Let Me See That

  • What was this made to do? How do I use it or break it?
    • It turns the sword into a key, but where is the lock? The sword blade fits in the slot on the end, so the cylinder is almsot like a scabbard, but twisting the sword inside the cylinder rearranges the projections on the outside.
  • Who made this and why should I care about them?
    • GM note: Would it be cool if the people who made this are now all ghosts? Players: Yes!
    • The makers are now known as The Remnant. They used to serve the Dragons, but they were all wiped out around the same time that the Dragons disappeared.

Vestri: Your sword fits inside it. It’s made to open something. it’s very interesting.  It was made by – you don’t know much about our world – there was a group of people known to worship the Dragons. The Dragons disappeared about a hundred years ago and so did they, so I’m afraid there’s no one we can ask.

Yuri: We have magic. Ghosts seem magic. Why not talk to ghosts with magic? Is that possible?

Vestri: Dwarves come from the stone and we return to the stone, but other creatures can leave behind spirits, as far as I know.

O’Later gives a signal and Bork slams the doors of the warehouse.  Shadows drop from the ceiling on Yuri and Vestri!

Shadow Death From Above: appear and kidnap Yuri

Shadow Death From Above: appear and kidnap Vestri

Yuri I Need To Know: Speak Softly no matter the situation

Yuri Speak Softly 10+

  • Tell me about the Remnant?
    • O’Later hates the Remnant, servants of his eternal enemies. He thought they were all wiped out, and had seen to many of them himself. He won’t let Yuri take thier artifact and continue their work.
    • Yuri: I have no intention of continuing any work. I would like to get home. I apologize for what the Remnants did. i am not Remnant.
  • What does O’Later want and how can I help him get it without dying?
    • He hates Dragons and all their allies and wants them all wiped out.
    • Yuri: Obviously there are stil some remnants of the Remnants. What if I am your spy and get all the information about the Remnants, and then boing bing bang boom! You can get them off your plane of existence.
  • What is O’Later going to do next?
    • GM note: How much will O’Later belive Yuri’s implausible but completely-true story? Edna could cause trouble. On a player level, what do you think about Edna starting a fight? Players: “Do whatever you’re going to do. Whatever’s true to her character, do it. The the thing! We’re always here to cause chaos.” I’m so used to being a GM and being careful not to force the players’ hands, because I have unlimited power and can take unilateral action. But now I’m also a player, and expressing my character through the mechanics available is something I’m allowed to do. I don’t need to ask permission!
    • O’Later’s plans evaporate when Edna gets involved!

Edna: This is how you treat guests? How dare you? Get off of them!

Edna grabs the Shadow menacing Yuri and throws him!

Edna Toss Aside 6- tossee’s choice

Edna tries to throw him into the wall on the far side of the warehouse. In mid-air, the Shadow uses his dual daggers in icepick grip to catch the row of boxes Edna threw him past and slow down safely. O’Later tranforms! He’s a Vampire Lord!

  • O’Later is Melee and Piercing, and he heals whenever he deals damage to a Blood stat. Sunlight and holy symbols deal damage to him.
    • Blood Frenzy: Your weakness is a vampire’s power. When your Blood is damaged, you are in Despair against O’Later.
    • Lord of the Night: Beasts and monsters will do as O’Later tells them to. Beast and Scourge threats cannot harm O’Later, and they always follow O’Later’s orders to the letter. O’Later can drink the blood of any Beast to heal. This kills the Beast.
    • Sunburns: When this stat has been damaged by sunlight or holy symbols, O’Later is filled with Despair and must try to flee the scene.
    • Threat To The World: Anyone acting against him must Pay A Price.
  • Bork: This massive creature 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.

Vestri Clear The Path 7-9

Vestri uses his low center of gravity and superior density to force his way out of the Shadow’s grip. He knocks the Shadow aside and charages forward, smashing into a stack of crates, which collapses on top of him.

Vestri damages Wisdom

Yuri has a path to escape, but he wants to talk to O’Later and get more information. He runs while calling back

Yuri Speak Softly 7-9 three questions, one unhelpful answer

  • What can O’Later tell me about vampirism?
    • O’Later: You will join the winning team. you will not die, in fact, you will live forever!
    • Yuri: Well, in sunlight I might die.
    • Vestri: Who wants to live forever?
    • Yuri: I could learn a lot of medicine and be with Lucy for a long time. How long do Devils live?
  • What is O’Later’s boss doing, and what will they do next?
    • O’Later refuses to answer.
  • If Yuri agrees to become a Vampire, can he trust O’Later not to kill him?
    • O’Later is fine with turning Yuri, since that would prevent him from helping his enemies. As a Thrall, Yuri would not be able to harm other Vampires.
    • GM note: I have ideas for a Vampire Destiny Playbook. Players could not embrace Vampirism, because all player have the agenda “Improve the world around you” and becoming an evil monster violates that. So they would start as a Thral and could advance to be cured, or to become a Daywalker. If Yuri gets bitten, I’ll have to write that up before next session.

Yuri: This is an interesting propostion. I’d like to mull this over. I don’t want to be evil. Do I have to be evil? Do you guys know that you’re evil? I don’t know the morality of this plan. You don’t have to eat people. You could start a blood bank. You don’t have to eat the people you rule from that shadows. Politics is like that anyways. Blood-sucking politicians.

Edna grabs O’Later and throws him into the warehouse doors.

Edna Pay A Price to act against Threat To The World

Enda Uncontrollable Strength: can always Pay A Price by causing collateral damage

Edna Toss Aside 6- tossee’s choice

Bork is in the way and O’Later strikes her instead of the doors!

Bork damages Eager To Please

Bork erases all Bonds with Edna

Vestri: What are you doing Yuri, we have to get out! Vampires and Dragons are mortal enemies because they’re both far to strong for any of us little folk to deal with.

Yuri: Dragons are dead and this vampire man could make us into Vampires…

Vestri: I don’t want to be a Vampire! Dwarves are made of stone and we return to the stone. I don’t want any of this living forever.

In all the confusion, the Shadow that Edna Tossed Aside slipped away and now drops down on Yuri!

Shadow Death From Above: appear and damages Yuri’s Grace

Vestri jumps on the Shadow to bowl him over, but fails.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 6-

Shadow damages Vestri’s Grace.

Meanwhile in the main aisle, the two Ogres clash. Edna still has some goodwill for Bork that she doesn’t have for her employer.

Edna Overcome 7-9 Pay a Price for permanent solution.

GM note: The warehouse is full of valuable items, so technically Edna could keep chooseing collateral damage, but the player characters don’t care about any of those items, so breaking them is not an interesting penalty. I need to choose something else.

Edna damages Armor

Edna shrugs off Bork’s blows and steps past her to engage O’Later. O’Later’s not scared, since Edna’s failed a bunch of moves.

The Shadow points one dagger at Yuri and the other at Vestri. Yuri lunges in to disarm him.

Yuri Overcome 10+

Yuri I Know Something You Don’t: gain an Advantage when overcoming an enemy’s attack

Yuri Finish Them( +Sense, knock out. +hope, Vestri’s aid) 10+

The Shadow is surprised that his dagger is no longer in his hand, and is unprepared for being pummeled unconscious by Yuri and Vestri. Vestri immediately turns and charges the other Shadow.

Vestri Keep Them Busy 10+

Vestri tangles up the Shadow’s legs and he collapses.

Yuri Finish Them (+Sense, knock out)

Yuri Fool Me Once: reroll Finish Them 7-9

Yuri damages Shadow’s Patience

Yuri strikes a blow, but the Shadow is back on his feet, still able to fight.

Meanwhile, Edna faces a Threat To The World by herself. She doesn’t respect O’Later as a threat, so she just grabs him.

Edna Toss Aside O’Later 10+ smash something and take damage

Edna damages O’Later’s Lord Of The Night

Edna throws O’Later through the wall of the warehouse near Yuri and Vestri so they can escape.

Port Fennrick Show Some Respect: increase Response Level for causing collateral damage

Port Fennrick Show Some Respect: increase Response Level for insulting the person in charge

O’Later Big Fish: Increase Response Level for angering the Boss

Port Fennrick gains Show of Force: Boss gains one free Hard Cut

Port Fennrick gains Famine: Pay A Price to Fill Your Belly

Port Fennrick gains Guardian: activate a Machine Threat

The crates Edna knocked over earlier scattered various items around the floor. One of those items is moving on its own!

  • Hidden Turret: A gun disguised as a prop of some kind, like a potted plant or a lamp post. It walks around on hidden tripod legs when no one is looking.
    • Ordinary Object: This threat is Secret while it remains immobile.
    • Open Fire: The hidden turret is a Ranged weapon.

A bubble blower uses compressed air and a series of hoops that dip into soap solution, but it clicks over to a different resrvoir and the little hoops now scoop up bullets and drop them into the tube of compressed air! The pressure increases and it starts firing at Yuri!

Vestri charges through the hole in the wall, knocking O’Later aside!

Vestri Pays a Price to act against a Threat To The World: damage Blood

Vestri Clear The Path 10+

Yuri remembers watching Jackie Chan movies and times a dive roll by listening to sound of the bubble blowerbuilding pressure to lethal levels before firing.

Yuri Overcome 10+

He gets around the corner and has a clear path to the hole in the wall.

Edna also runs for the exit

Edna Get Away 7-9 avoid harm.

Edna, Yuri, and Vestri all flee through the hole in the wall before O’Later can recover and stop them. Next time we’ll start with a chase scene!

END OF SESSION MOVE

Yes, but it’s late, so we will do it at the start of next session.

Chasing the Sunset & Dragon Skull

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/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre (kinda?)

Last time, the Fellowship met Edna and tried to follow Wild Unicorns into their secret meadow, but an adverse reaction with Infinite WIndows teleported Edna away and closed the portal, leaving Averiela, Dryden, and Lucia behind in the Fairy Forest.

GM note: A player called Edna “Etna” and I said that Etna would fit the naming scheme of Helen and Shasta (NPCs and acquiantances of Edna) The players laughed, then after a long pause asked “How?” I thought they were in on the joke, but apparently not. Helen and Shasta are named after volcanoes.

Dryden: Oh no, Edna’s gone! We just met her. Jardiner, do you know how to find her?

GM note: I get to play a character this session, just not my main character.

Ol’ Jardiner (Edna’s weird little Halfing servant) remained when his mistress was teleported away. He gets out a mirror, polishes it, and says magic words over it, casting Greater Scrying to see Edna where ever she might be.

Ol’ Jardiner damages Overwhelming Power

He sees Edna on the edge of the water with big ships going past.

Ol’ Jardiner: East. Far east. Different river.

Dryden takes a pepple from the unicorn’s cave, so he can return here later with Infinite Windows. He’s collecting items so he can return to anywhere he has been. Lucia surveys the scene. A stone ring on the back wall of the cave should contain a portal to the Wild Unicorns’ secret meadow.  The Wild Unicorns activate the portal by touching the stone ring with their horns.  White Sands is not a member of the Wild Unicorns’ herd, so she doesn’t know the secret to activate it.  The only entrance to the cave is covered by the waterfall, which is why faires can’t enter. Outside the cave, the Fairies could be anywhere in the dense forest. Averiela can conceal the Fellowship as they travel through woodlands, so neither group will detect the other.

Lucia retrieved a book from a burning cave shortly before the business with the Fairies and the Wild Unicorns. She examines it in the safety of the cave. It’s a large book bound in white scaly leather, called “Operations Manual, Volume 4”. The edges of the pages are singed, but the cover is undamaged. A few pages are torn out. It is a dry technical manual with procedures of maintaining and operating a complicated machine. The Fellowship tries to remember what this machine might be. It teleported Seeker somewhere. They should stop it to save the Dragons from the Vampires. They recall that Buckle posted on the message board that he blew up a teleporter to the Moon. That’s probably what happened in that cave, so the manual probably goes to the teleporter.

Lucia Look Closely 10+

  • How could the book hurt me or help me?
    • The book explains how to operate a teleporter. A pile of red stone inside the burning cave matches a diagram in the book. This teleporter can’t teleport to arbitrary locations, only to specially built terminals: pyramids of red stone.  It requires a huge amount of energy to run, probably an Artifact of Power. The Fellowship has already had bad experiences with teleporter mishaps.
  • What does the book tell me about the Kobolds? What are they doing?
    • The book was written for Kobolds, who are the proper operators of the teleporter. This book is not the original. It’s a very careful copy. The operation of these machines is something that Kobolds have been doing for a while and they want to keep doing it exactly.
  • What is hidden or out of place?
    • Context indicates that the missing pages revealed the locations of the terminals. The location of the near terminal is “immediately south of the Command Center” and the remote terminal is “below”

The Fellowship is pretty sure the other terminal is on the Moon.

Drdyen: Some thoughts. One, we know the Fairies are evil, so we could see what other mischief we could cause them. Two, we know the Fairies are evil, so we should wholeheartedly avoid them.

The Fellowship rests for the night in the the cave. Averiela collects berries and mushrooms and Lucia adds them to the rations they brought with them.

Fill your Belly spend Food to heal 1 Stat. When friends share a meal, one person heals an extra Stat.

Lucia Wonder Chef: Lucia does not spend Food to heal. Everyone who eats with her heals 1 extra Stat

Dryden Workaholic: Spend Food to heal a Stat belonging to Dryden or an ally

GM note: As a player said “We should have more feasts!”  Now for the hardest math in the game: figuring out how all these food-related abilities interact. We ruled that Dryden can allocate the 2 Healing he gets from Lucia’s power to 2 different characters.

Lucia spends 1 Food to heals Roddy’s 2 damaged stats

Dryden spends 1 Food to heal Will and heal Mara

Averiela spends 1 Food to heal Ol’ Jardiner

Ol’ Jardiner wonders what to do about Edna.

Dryden: We head east at the break of dawn!

Averiela: She’s on a different river, but all rivers have to go somewhere, so we could follow the river.

Dryden: We could build a boat! I’ve always wanted a boat. We’ll have to commandeer one.

Building a boat is a laborious process, so they walk along the river hoping to find one or find a village where they can buy or hire one. Stealing a boat from the Fairies would be fun, but Fairy boats are probably too small, and using Fairy equipment might negate Averiela’s concealment. Walking east along the river bank brings them to the Dragon skull suspended over the river. The skull is missing its lower jaw. The upper jaw is lined with flat triangular teeth, like shark teeth. Fake needle-like fangs have been attached to the skull, and an old sign above the skull reads “SO MUCH FOR THE POWER OF DRAGONS”

Dryden wants to cut it down, but Averiela thinks it should be left alone.  Ol’ Jardiner is already climbing the poles to cut the ropes. He opens his waistcoat, revealing an array of strange tools, and ponders which one to use.

Ol’ Jardiner: Flip it over. Fill the eye sockets with mud. It could float.

Dryden and Lucia think this is a great way to deny the Fairies an ominous threat and gain a boat.

Averiela: I will not ride in a desecrated skull! I will run along the river and because I’m fast enough, strong enough, resilient enough, I will keep up with you.

Dryden: We’ll give it a proper burial!

Averiela: After you ride in its head. Where the brains were, and the eyes saw, and the nose breathed. There you would sit.

Lucia: We are letting it free, instead of being a warning.

Ol’ Jardiner cuts through the ropes on one side and swings down with the skull to splash in the river. Converting this skull to a boat requires the Fellowship to stay in one place and make noise for a while. Averiela can conceal them while they travel, but not while they build a boat. Someone in the forest could find them. Maybe not the Group of Fairies they sent running at the cave. Maybe the reinforcements those Fairies were going to find.

Dryden has experience plastering artifacts that he found in his youth.  He did all sorts of exploring in all sorts of areas in the Forgotten Lands. He finds clay on the riverbank that can be mixed with leaves with create a strong plaster.  Ol’ Jardiner points Dryden to a slightly different patch of clay.

Ol’ Jardiner: Might as well use the stuff that doesn’t taste good. No sense wasting food.

Defacing a place of power increases Response Level to 4.

Fairy Forest gains Separation.

Averiela is annoyed by the others and decides to go scout around. She feels it is a great desecration of nature, and biology, and life to use something so precious as someone’s head to raft down the river.  She does not understand whatever morals these people seem to have.

GM note: I love how Averiela refuses to be friends with the rest of the Fellowship!

Dryden makes sure to plaster over the dragon’s teeth, so boat’s gunwale will be safe to touch. Lucia says converting the skull into a boat lets the Dragon continue to be valiant and resist the Fairies even in death! Sure enough, the Fellowship’s activity is noticed. A Fairy with pale blue skin pops out of the foilage and sounds an alarm. A group of Fairies fly in and transform into hideous Vampire Bats!

  • Fairy
    • Arboreal: Lemurs can climb faster than most can run. Anyone trying to
      catch or harm a lemur in the trees is in Despair.
    • Tricksters: Lemurs like to play tricks, and will taunt and prank anyone
      who spends time in their territory.
  • Group of Vampiric Fairies. Vampires are Melee, Piercing, and they heal when damaging a Blood stat. Sunlight and holy symbols deal damage to them.
    • Blood Frenzy: Vampires use your weakness to their advantage. If your Blood is damaged, you are in Despair when dealing with a vampire.
    • Dangerously Sexy: A Vampire’s beauty is beyond compare. If your Sense is damaged, you can not willingly cause harm to a Vampire, no matter what they try to do to you. You can still do as you like, as long as your actions do not cause harm to the Vampire.
    • Group: Can affect two characters at once. When this stat is damaged, all other stats are damaged, or this threat is destroyed, replace this threat with two Vampiric Fairies

The dense canopy of the forest blocks the sunlight and protects the Vampiric Fairies, but a sunbeam does shine down the center of the river, where no trees can grow. The Skull-boat is ready to go, so Dryden and Lucia pile everyone in and shove off, aiming for the sunlit center of the river.

Lucia Get Away (+hope, Dryden’s aid) 10+ avoid harm, bring someone along

The Vampiric Fairies fly after the boat, but can’t approach because of the sunlight. The little blue Fairy grabs a branch from a tree and flies above the boat to cast a shadow and allow the Vampiric Fairies to attack. Lucia wonders if she can hide the party with “Quiet! Don’t Move” but there’s really nowhere to hide in a small boat in the middle of a river.  Instead, she flips the boat, so everyone hides under the boat with their heads in the air pocket formed by the hull. The Vampiric Fairies can’t attack through the thick skull, but that protective hull is also casting a shadow under the water. The Vampiric Fairies dive into the water to swim after their foes, but their big wings make them slow.  Dryden notices that Averiela isn’t with them, but he can’t deal with that now. He needs a plan to deal with the Vampiric Fairies. The Fellowship will have an Advantage in melee combat underwater

Ol Jardiner: Hmm, if we let them eat one of us, the others could probably get away. It’ll take ’em some time.

Lucia: Thank you for that suggestion. If we get real, real desparate, we can try that.

Dryden sets a Dart Trap on the bow of the boat.

The Fellowship flips the boat right-side up again.

Dryden Overcome (+hope, Lucia’s aid) 7-9 pay a price for permanent solution

Pay a Price: not everyone gets into the boat.

Roddy didn’t make it into the boat with the rest of the Fellowship. Poor guy.  Being crammed under the boat already triggered his social anxiety something fierce! He’s menaced by the Vampiric Fairies.

Dryden Dart Trap: venom makes target sluggish, giving opponents Hope

As the boat is righted, the Dart Trap on the bow goes off, striking the blue Fairy, who had descended to mess with the hull. The Fairy struggles to stay aloft. Lucia strikes it with the pommel of her sword.

Lucia Finish Them (+Sense, knock out) Advantage: slow, just a little guy 10+ TAKEN OUT

The Fairy falls unconscious into the water. The Vampiric Fairies are chewing on Roddy, but one floats up to save their stricken comrade. They’re not monsters! OK, technically they are Monsters, but they have empathy for each other.

Vampiric Fairies damage Roddy’s Trick Shot

Dryden sends his Ranged Rope to pull Roddy into the boat.

Dryden spends one Ammo from Ranged Rope

Dryden Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

The whole Fellowship (minus Averiela and her Companions) is in the boat, which is in the sunlight, so the Vampiric Fairies can’t attack them directly. They dive to attack the boat itself. The Dragon’s armored skull is impervious to their fangs, but they can find and tear through the plaster sections. Dryden uses his two-handed Dwarven hammer to play wack-a-mole with the Vampiric Fairies when they surface to take a breath. Since they assist stricken comrades, each hit will remove two Vampiric Fairies from the attack. Dryden strikes with the broad side of the hammer to send waves through the water and further disrupt the Vampiric Fairies.

Dryden Finish Them (+sense, knock out) Advantage: clumsy underwater, coming up for air. 10+ TAKEN OUT

Dryden knocks out enough Vampiric Fairies to force the group to retreat. They pull unconscious Vampiric Fairies to the shore and do bat-CPR with their little wings. Two Vampiric Fairies are still able to fight, but after multiple failed attacks and with most of their comrades disabled, they retreat. The Dragon-skull boat floats downriver unimpeded, and the Vampiric Fairies fly upriver…

Far upriver, Averiela hasn’t noticed that the others have left. She was looking for her favorite berries but found an ancient nesting ground for Dragons. She hasn’t seen one for hundreds of years!

Averiela Look Closely 7-9 three questions, one answer the hard way

  • Tell me about the Dragon nesting grounds.
    • Dragons lay their eggs, then cover them in clay and bake it with Dragonfire, creating a tough shell that protects the eggs, but over the centuries that ceramic dome has collapsed, allowing access to the chamber inside. A certain type of glow-in-the-dark mushroom has been placed around the egg chamber. They were placed intentionally. They didn’t grow there.
  • Is something hidden or out-of-place?
    • Under the ceramic shell is a hidden chamber. Pieces of dragon eggshells litter the ground.
  • What will happen if I dig into this rock formation?
    • Averiela enters the chamber and digs into a formation. She finds smaller eggs that are different from the dragon eggshells elsewhere in the chamber. These are Mega Mantis eggs! A few have already hatched. They are relatively small, but still dog-sized!
  • Baby Mega Mantis: A giant insectoid predator that is always on the hunt for
    new prey.

    • Hopper: The Mega Mantis can jump to any surface it can see. When it jumps on top of someone smaller than the Mantis, they are pinned.
    • Scythes: The Mega Mantis has the tags Melee, and Piercing. When the Mantis pins someone, they take damage.

Averiela is disappointed. She was looking forward to an afternoon of exploring, not fighting bugs. One Mantis is right in her face, and another one is on the other end of the chamber.

Averiela Elder Arts: Sense Magic there is a Dragon Egg under the pile of Mega Mantis eggs.

GM note: Should Averiela be able to find an intact Dragon Egg after all this time? Buckle found one, so it’s not unprecedented. Plus I’m nice.

Averiela sends White Sands to dig out the Dragon egg. Knows-Too-Much distracts one Mantis and Averiela distracts the other.

Knows-Too-Much damages Loyal

Averiela Keep Them Busy 10+

White Sands is able to dig out the Dragon egg, but can’t pick it up with her hooves. Averiela draws her sword to force the Mantis back so she can run in and scoop up the Dragon Egg.

Averiela Overcome 7-9 pay a price for a permanent solution

Averiela damages a stat

Averiela pushes the Mantis back with elegant maneuvers (with the titanium sword from Thaumatown’s Robotics Facility) and gets over-confident because it’s just a bug. She goes to slide under the Mantis to reach the egg, but the Mantis slices her arm, leaving an unpleasant cut. She picks up the egg, but not as elegantly as she hoped.

Averiela acquires a Dragon egg

Averiela Get Away 7-9 avoid harm

Averiela Poetry in Motion: pick another option from the Get Away list. Bring someone along

Averiela and her companions leave the egg chamber and plunge into the underbrush.

Averiela Wood Elf: Cannot be followed by enemies when travelling through woodlands

Averiela can see the Mantises leaping out of the chamber and to different vantage points, but they don’t see her. She’s worried that one got a taste of her blood and might use that to follow her.  She returns to the river but her friends and the Dragon skull are gone. Two Vampiric Faries are flying up the river towards her. Will the Vampiric Fairies sense her blood? No! Averiela moves downriver, since that’s the direction Ol’ Jardiner said to go. She stays in the underbrush beside the river and the Vampiric Fairies pass by without noticing her. She washes her wound in the river and wraps it with a spare shirt from her pack. At least it’s not dripping.

GM note: The Fairy Forest’s Maze stat means that Averiela should have gotten lost in the forest and had trouble returning to the riverbank, but I forgot.

Averiela’s group meets up with the group in the Dragon-skull boat. Averiela recounts her adventure. She’s exasperated with Dryden and Lucia for leaving on their ill-founded vehicle.  Dryden noticed a rippling in the waters. It’s a Flying River Ray! Flying River Rays are nearly mythical. At night they live in water, but in the day they rise up into the air. They can be kind to travelers, because they themselves are travelers from water to air.  Dryden explains this to the Felllowship, but Ol’Jardiner just wants to know if they are good to eat.  Dryden asks Averiela if she has ever met a Flying River Ray in her long experience. Averiela avoided this forest because the Elves knew it was dangerous, so she never met a Flying River Ray, and she never found the Dragon egg, even though she spent a hundred years searching most of the world for a Dragon egg.

Averiela does know the River Dance. It’s well-known among those who deal with the people of the water. The River Dance must be performed on the water, which Averiela can do because she Touches The World Lightly. She can show Dryden and Lucia the steps, but they will have to stand on the shore. This way they can show respect to the Flying River Ray.  The dance alternates between earth and water the way the Rays alternate between water and sky. Since Dryden is so impressed by the Ray, Averiela will to the full 12-step dance, not the shorter 7-step version. She collects 12 rounded stones, dips her toe in the water, bows a courtly bow, throws a stone ahead of her, and alternates between the water and the stones, triwling and leaping and ending with one foot in the water and one foot on the shore.

Lucia: I know this dance! I learned it in the Forgotten Lands as a child! At the Festival of Brooks. As the snow melts in the spring and the brooks rise, they did that dance. I didn’t realize, because we have a different name for it.

Lucia does the dance as well as she can in the boat. Dryden holds her hand so she can dip one foot in the water without falling in. The Flying River Rays are impressed by the Fellowship’s perfromance. They show their pleasure by waving their tails between the water and the air. The Rays circle the boat to indicate that they’ll guide the Fellowship on their journey for a time.

Dryden: Jar-din-ay? Is this the right river?

Ol’ Jardiner: Mmm, no. It’s a different one.

Dryden wishes he could have captured a Fairy to ask about the Dragon, but during the fight there was so much going on he didn’t have a chance.

Averiela: Do you want to lay a trap for one?

Dryden: Oh, I can do that! This is why Averiela and I venture together.

It’s night-time, so the Fellowship goes ashore to rest for the night. The Vampires have the advantage at night, but Averiela and Lucia can keep the Fellowship hidden.

Dryden uses Immobilization Trap

Dryden lays a Bear Trap some distance from the camp. He reaches into his cloak and pulls out one of Roddy’s supersonic knitting needles (the projectiles from his pneumatic gun). Dryden figures something shiny and unfamiliar will lure a Fairy.  He considers putting it where the Moon will shine on it, but Lucia reminds him that Vampires hate the Moon, so he puts the trap in a deep shadow instead. Why do Vampires hate the Moon? Doctor MacLeod said something about destroyign the Werewolves. So why did the Dragons build the Moon? Maybe they wanted a mirror to shine sunlight on the Vampires at night, but it didn’t work. But Doctor MacLeod was damaged by sunlight from a mirror from the Moon. Lucia realizes she’s gotten wrapped around the axle and they don’t need to solve the mysteries of the world to set the trap.

In the middle of the night, the Fellowship hears a loud crash from the directio nof Dryden’s trap. Averiela wakes up Dryden, who slept through the noise.

Dryden: Averiela, how kind of you. Could you escort me covertly to my trap?

Averiela and Dryden run quckly through the forest. Averiela has to hold back when she realizes Dryden can’t keep up. The Trap has been crushed by a big log!

Averiela Look Closely 7-9 three questions, one answer the hard way

  • What do my senses tell me?
    • It’s dark. It got quiet after the crash.  Leaves shift in the breeze, so it’s easy to imagine shapes and figures. Some of the shapes are real. A Group of Fairies sits in some high branches.
  • Who dropped the log? How could the hurt or help me?
    • They Fairies complain about the wicked refined metal left out where it could injure someone. Refined metal represents industry, the opposite of Faries and their natural magic, so they hate it. They got together and dropped a log on it. They spot Dryden!
  • Is something hidden or out of place?
    • A panther was bothered by the noise and came to investigate. She’s annoyed by Fairies, and now there’s something moving through her territory that she can’t see, and a log is blocking her favorite walking path.

Dryden Queen of the Wild: Dryden’s player can Command Lore about the beasts in the area. Every Beast Dryden meets is a Companion

GM note: That move is so powerful!

  • Panther
    • Pounce
    • Stalk from the Shadows

Dryden reached behind me and grabs his Prank Weapon, a mirage with substance. Now it looks like a metal sun, the things that Vampiric Fairies hate the most! Averiela emerges from camouflage and darts across the clearing to gather whatever pieces of Dryden’s trap aren’t buried under the log. The Fairies now have several things to pay attention to that aren’t a silent Panther creeping up the branch behind them!

Dryden Prank Weapon: automatic 10+ result on Keep Them Busy

Panther damages Pounce to capture a Fairy

The Panther swats a Fairy and catches it in her mouth. She knows it doesn’t taste good and that Dryden wants it alive. She’s happy to mess with Fairies and teach them a lesson. She leaps down, flicking other Fairies with her tail as she leaves, and runs over to Dryden.

Dryden Get Away 10+ avoid harm, bring Averiela along

Averiela Wood Elf: Cannot be followed by enemies when travelling through woodlands

Once they dart into the underbrush, the other Fairies can’t follow them, and they return to camp safely. The Panther spits the Fairy out and pins it under its big paws.

Dryden Speak Softly 6- three questions, one false answer, one unhelpful answer

  • What can you tell us about the Dragon Skull?
    • One of the last great battles before our ultimate victory. That Dragon strayed into our territory and our brave leader Marigold fought him, and the other weiroes he brought: a guy on a motorcycle and a Spider. Marigold, with the help of a passign Mermaid, managed to kill this intruder and we put up the skull as a warning to other Dragons.
  • What can you tell us about the war with the Dragons?
    • But that warning wasn’t necessary. The Dragons are fearsome but stupid, so they didn’t see our allies infiltrating everywhere. When we struck, they were destroyed immediately. Vampires are totally the best!
  • What can you tell us about the Moon?
    • The Dragon’s last desparate super-weapon. It’s a giant rock that they planned to crash into Von Till’s castle.

Dryden: Well, small creature, we’ll leave you with your life. Many that die… What is it?

Lucia: Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?

The Fairy doesn’t realize it’s a rhetorical question and doesn’t read Tolkein.

Fairy: Well, we kinda give people life when we kill them. It’s undeath.

The Panther swats the Fairy out of the scene. The Panther also leaves, with a knowing nod to the Elf, who taught the big cats many things long ago. Some say that cats learned their grooming habits from the Elves, who always look pristine.

In the morning, the Fellowship continues down river. Averiela runs alongside the Dragon-skull boat. When the river emerges from the Fairy Forest, another river joins it. This river is sluggish and covered with moss and goop. This river flows from an icky marsh full of drowned trees overed in black moss. Averiela hates this unhealthy forest.  Dryden rode the Flying River Rays, but they stopped at the border of the Fairy Forest and put him back down on the boat. To the east, they see Doctor MacLeod’s Anti-Moon Weapon: the mountain with a slit cut in it. To the north, big snowy mountains: The Treacherous Mountains that Lucia and Dryden have crossed once before.

END OF SESSION MOVE

  • Did we thoroughly explore a new location?
    • Yes! The Fairy Forest.
  • Did anyone find what they were searching for?
    • Yes! Averiela got a Dragon Egg and learned truth about the Moon and the Dragon War.
  • Did we learn something new about the world and its people?
    • Yes! Ogres joined the world.

Three boons:

  1. Edna and Averiela level up
  2. Restore gear
  3. Restore gear

Chasing the Sunset & Edna

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

GM note:The “story” won’t start for a while. We talked as players (not as characters) about the game and made some changes to the structure.

Year in review

It’s the beginning of the year, so I checked in with my players about how the game was going, what they liked, what they disliked, what they wanted more of.

Lucia’s player started playing TTRPGs with Fairmeadow Fair in 2018 and said that this past year was the most fun they’ve had. At the start, they didn’t really know how to pretend to be an imaginary person based on some rules, so engaging with the fiction was a challenge, but a good challenge. It’s like driving a car. Once they have the experience to reach for the proper controls by habit, they can easily make the car do what they want. Similarly, this past year has been the most fun because they can concentrate on what Lucia wants to do, instead of on how to make Lucia do things.

The players really enjoyed “dungeons” — complicated self-contained areas that the characters can’t easily escape, like the science labs back in Fairmeadow Fair, or the Robotics Facility under Thaumatown.

Challenge is not a strong motivator. The players don’t need to feel like efficient tactics and good rolls are required to avoid total defeat. The fight against Doctor MacLeod at the Anti-Moon Weapon was the perfect level of challenge.

The players don’t draw strong borders between negotiations, fights, and investigations. Their preferred style of interaction is scrambling, or shenanigans.

All players, not just the GM, are authorized to add to the world.  Dryden’s player obviously loves that, and has a story for every gadget. Lucia’s player doesn’t do it much, but doesn’t feel excluded. Averiela’s player worries about being quick enough to think of things to add when the situation arises.

Averiela’s player loves mysteries, but Lucia’s player prefers a small, self-contained puzzle, like the elevator in Thaumatown’s Robotics Facility.

The party is satisfied with the companions they have accumulated. Meeting new people is nice, but adopting new friends and pets is not a priority.

Everyone, but especially Dryden’s player, like surprises: going new places and seeing new sights.

I said that I like Chasing the Sunset so much that I wish I could play a character myself. In fact I already knew which playbook I’d use, and what the character’s personality and style would be. I’d need another person to help referee if I joined as a player. Dryden’s player, who did a great job running Lasers & Feelings a while back, offered to step up to co-GM. I’m so happy! I worried that changing the structure of the party like that would be too much of a disruption, but my players — my fellow players — were supportive. I printed out a character sheet and created:

Edna Crusher-Harcourt, the Ogre

Meme references for Edna: Lady Dimitrescu, Dolly Parton, “How to Talk to Short People”, Big J from Worthikid’s “Wire

Edna, like all Ogres, is much taller than any human. I think somewhere between 15 (3x a 5′ woman) and 19 feet (2x Lady D’s height of 9’6″) tall, but I haven’t nailed it down. If she’s too big, she won’t even be able to crawl through Halfling, Dwarf, Goblin, or Platyperson buildings. She’s entering middle age and has lines on her face, especially laugh lines, because she laughs and smiles a lot. She wears an expensive but practical dress and fancy jewelry. She has broad shoulders and a powerful build, but is soft, not ‘cut’ like a bodybuilder.

She wanders where she likes because she’s so strong she does not think that she could be in danger. Enemies do not deserve her full strength, and she prefers to bully them into retreating. If they earn her respect or hurt her loved ones, she’ll draw a weapon and fight to kill! She can lift almost anything, throw anyone, jump anywhere, normal weapons only inconvenience her, and she’ll break things if she doesn’t move carefully.

She is a “mom friend”: affectionate and loyal to the “little ones” that she takes in. Receiving a gift is always very special to her, even though she’s rich, and she can heal a loved one that she holds in her arms. She travels with Ol’ Jardiner, a weird little Halfling man who was always puttering around her family estate on some vague duty. Turns out he’s a wizard!

Let’s begin

The fellowship: Dryden of Conwall the Collector/Hunter, Averiela the Elf/Elven Elite, Lucia the Brave the Heir/Halfling Sheriff, Edna Crusher-Harcourt the Ogre

Last time, the Fellowship said farewell to a companion and found the aftermath of an important battle.

Averiela has camouflaged the whole party, so they will not be harrassed by evil Fairies as they investigating the smoking cave. Averiela wants to retrieve the book visible withing the wreckage, since it’s probably involved in the Vampire’s plot to destroy the Moon as part oftheir ancient war with the Dragons. Lucia wonders if there ever really was a dragon. Averiela recalls the Swallet Fight Club, but Lucia says that “dragon” was really a giant Alligator. Dryden says the Alligator was a fake, pretending to be the real dragon that used to run the Fight Club.  Dryden reminds them that he just called to a herd of Wild Unicorns, and the ground will shake to signal their arrival.

GM note: Thanks, buddy, that’s a great segue to introducing my character!

The ground does shake, and into the clearing bursts not a herd of Wild Unicorns, but an extremely large woman! It’s Edna Crusher-Harcourt, the Ogre.

GM note: We started our introductions, then remembered that everyone except Edna was invisible! Oh no! As players, we know that these characters will meet and be friends, but the fiction is set up to prevent that! Lucia’s player thinks quickly.

Lucia is allergic to the tree that grows over the entrance to the tree and sneezes, breaking her camouflage. Edna stops short before stepping on her.

Edna: Hello, I didn’t see you there. Wait, you’re Lucian!  No, Lucky!

Lucia; I am Lucia, Heir of the Forgotten Lands.

Edna: Yes, Lucia!  Helen mentioned meeting you a while back.

Dryden appears and offers make make tea for Edna. She’s delighted.

Edna Loves Friendship: forge three Bonds when someone gives you a gift

Dryden uses the flask of scalding hot water that he took from Helen’s geothermal pit to prepare the tea. Edna travels with teacups, so she gets out her cup, made of fine china and the size of a serving bowl. Dryden sees the huge cup and uses more water.  Edna also pulls back her travelling cloak and puts down a small Halfling man that she was carrying. This strange man, wearing grubby clothes and beat-up pointed hat with a wide brim, is Ol’ Jardiner. He has his own plain ceramic mug. Dryden introduces the Fellowship over tea. Averiela stays camouflaged, since she’s not sure about Edna. Roddy isn’t using Averiela’s magical camouflage, but his ghillie suit still makes him hard to pick out from the other bushes around.

Lucia wants to retrieve the book form inside the smoky cave, but the rough terrain and thick smoke make that dangerous. She uses her cloak to fan the smoke out of the cavern. Edna assists with a hand fan that’s not much smaller than Lucia’s cloak.

Lucia Overcome (+hope, Enda’s assistance) 6-

They fan the smouldering embers back to life and flame rushes out of the cave’s mouth!

Edna Protect The Little Ones: take harm for allies within arm’s reach

Edna quckly pushes Lucia behind her and takes the brunt of the flames

Edna damages special Armor

GM note: Actually, two characters work together with Hope only if they have Bonds with each other. Since Edna and Lucia just met, they should get in each other’s way and roll with Despair.

The evil Fairies notice the commotion and move in to menace the Fellowship. Lucia dashes into the cave to retrieve the mysterious book.

Lucia Overcome 10+

She grabs it and gets back out safely.  The Fairies and taunt her and throw leaves and twigs.

Fairies: If you like dead trees so much, here’s some more wood!

Lucia Symbol of Royalty: grant an audience with whomever you show it to

Lucia displays her symbol of royalty and the Fairies are very impressed! Edna is also impressed. The Fairies emerge from hiding in the branches and crowd in to meet Lucia. It seems like half the leaves in the forest were actually Fairies. More sunlight reaches the clearing now. The Fairies assemble themselves into a group in the shape of Lucia.

Lucia Speak Softly 6- Ask three questions, one answer is false, another is unhelpful

  • Tell me about the book.
    • It’s an outdated volume. A failed wizard tried to use it and blew up the cave
  • What are the Fairies doing? What will they do next?
    • The Fairies came to see who made all the noise. Soon they will enjoy some entertainment
  • What would you have us do? How can we help?
    • You will be the entertainment!

Finally, the Wild Unicorns arrive! White Sands (Averiela’s tame Unicorn) is suspicious and stands aloof. The Wild Unicorns are terrifying and beautiful. They have twigs caught in their flowing manes, but each twig is perfectly placed. They are hesitant to trust outsiders, so they eye the strange collection of people in the clearing with suspicion. The evil Fairies don’t hesitate. They hate the Wild Unicorns and swarm to attack them. Edna whips her travelling cloak off her shoulders and interposes, waving the cloak around to block the group of Fairies.

GM note: Actually, two people are required to deal with a Group. If Edna used equipment with the Giant tag, she could keep a Group busy, but she herself does not have the Giant tag.

Edna Keep Them Busy: 10+ their attention is all on you

The Fairies see Enda approaching and reform into a rude word just before getting tangled in the cape.

White Sands recognizes the grand-mare of the Wild Unicorns, an ancient creature whose name in Elvish is “Her Majesty”. Long ago Averiela traveld with Her Majesty for a time, even saving her from a swamp. Averiela took a foal from Her Majesty (with permission, of course) and founded the herd of Unicorns of which White Sands is a member. White Sands rushes to meet her ancestor and they touch horns in the traditional Unicorn greeting. Her Majesty bestows a blessing on White Sands so her horn can shine with light.

Edna: I’m a little busy here!

Lucia draws her sword and shouts to the fairies, telling them that they are fools to fight these wonderful. pure creatures.

Lucia Finish Them +Wisdom 7-9

Group of Fairies damages Trickster

The Fairies are convinced that the Wild Unicorns are magnificent creatures, but not that they should join the forces of Good. They retreat to find reinforcements.

Lucia What Here Is Evil: the Fairies are evil

GM note: I thought it would be funny if Ol’ Jardiner was evil, but a player pointed out that one of his stats is “No Sense of Right and Wrong” so he must be amoral, not evil.

Edna: Do we have any further business here? Let’s adjourn before those Fairies return.

Lucia recognizes her Majesty as royalty and wants to cement friendship between their peoples.  She offers Her Majesty a lock of her hair. Her Majesty (translated by White Sands and Dryden) suggests they rendezvous in a secret place ofthe Wild Unicorns, where the Fairies cannot bother them. Her Majesty leaves directions, and the herd of Wild Unicorns gallops away. The Fellowship follows along. The path reaches a river, and they walk along the bank. They see a horrid trophy suspended above the river: a Dragon’s Skull with a sign reading “So much for the power of dragons”

The Unicorn’s special place is hidden behind a waterfall. The small Fairies can’t fly through the waterfall without being knocked down by the force of the water. Looking through the waterfall, the Fellowship sees not a cave, but tall grass in a sunny meadow. The Unicorns’ magic created a portal to another place. Dryden is not surprised. He adapted his transporter cape from unicorn magic. Dryden doesn’t actually hold all his gadgets under his cloak. The underside of the cloak is a portal to his workshop back in the Forgotten Lands. That’s how he can carry so many things and alway pull the right item quickly from under his cloak.

As the Fellowship walks through the waterfall, Infinite Windows reacts to the portal! Dryden must keep Infinite Windows in his backpack because it can’t travel through his transporter cape. The Unicorn’s portal dissapates and the Fellowship is in a small dark cave behind the waterfall. Most of them anyways. Edna was walking just ahead of Dryden and she’s gone!

NO END OF SESSION MOVE

GM note: Nobody knew that about the Unicorns’ portal until we got there, but it and the established interaction with Infinite Windows provided a great diagetic reason for Edna to show up somewhere else, so I can play with another group and co-GM. I’m so happy that my fellow players are taking more responsibility so that I have space to play this character, who I really enjoy. I’m reather embarrassed that I rolled twice in this session and broke the rules both times. I’m supposed to be the expert!