Chasing The Sunset & volcanoes

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

The party: Agnes Nutter the Harbinger, Buckle the Platyperson, Rook the Remnant

Anges and Rook quickly leave Thaumatown and arrive in Bogden in the aftermath of a werewolf attack!  Most of the people who arrived to celebrate Platypalooza are fleeing in panic.  Those bitten by the werewolves have been put in cages. There is spirited debate about how dangerous they are and what to do with them.  Festival goers are mourning the victims of the werewolves, and the werewolves themselves. Agnes grabs a fleeing Buckle and they all duck into an empty shed. Agnes demands an explanation from Buckle. Buckle gives a brief summary of last night’s werewolf attack. Buckle’s consistently bad at telling stories, but Agnes gets the gist.

Nobody wants to stay in Bogden to help, and they aren’t welcome in Thaumatown either.  People in both towns indicated that twin volcanoes to the south were important, so the crew decides to head that way. They join the hurried exodus of partygoers.  Crowding is no problem for Rook, who just floats through people. This startles someone, who throws a punch at this strange phantom. Her fist goes right through Rook and hits the next person. This causes a confused scuffle/stampede! Rook shrugs, since the fight won’t affect him any more than the crowd did, but he uses his hypnotic voice to dazzle the crowd into calming down.

The crew reaches the Mighty River and needs to get across. Rook just floats across, dragging his toes in the water.  Wallace (the magenta Pomeranian) is scared of water and won’t approach the river!  Buckle makes a blindfold of Wallace, and holds the dog on his belly as he floats across. Agnes flies over the river on Snek.

On the far bank, they are beset by Platythugs: young ruffians with switchblades shaking down travelers for cash!  Agnes is not impressed. She declares a terrible curse in a big spooky voice. Whenever they threaten someone, they will poop their pants! To break this curse, they must help 20 people. One platythug doesn’t believe this weird lady and her big talk, so he threatens her, and finds out she wasn’t kidding! The whole gang flees in terror!

The crew approaches the twin volcanoes and must decide which one to investigate.  Anges flies ahead on Snek to scout. She discovers that the smoke from the eastern peak isn’t volcanic smoke. It’s from wood and garbage. She also sees Brainaic (who arrested her in Thaumatown) climbing the eastern peak. She flies into the Caldera and sees it’s covered with pipes, smokestacks, and hatches. A very unnatural mountain.  She returns to share this information with the team. They sent the Brainiac this way to get rid of him, but he’s on the trail of something amazing!  Rook says “We thought this was a fool’s errand” and Buckle replies “We are also fools.”

Buckle and Agnes follow Brianiac stealthily. Brainiac looks over the lip of the caldera, gets excited, and rappels over the edge. Rook just floats through the mountian, but discovers metal structures that count as “inside” that he cannot enter without permission.  Buckle & Agnes peer over the edge to see what Brainiac is doing.  Brainaic swings at the end of the rope to reach a door in the wall and go inside.  Agnes and Buckle look around, but there are no doors or access panels on top of the caldera. To get inside, they need to go down into the pit.  Buckle uses Brianiac’s rope to swing to the same door that Brainiac used. He invites Rook inside, and Agnes flies in as well, thanks to Snek.  Inside the door is a smooth metal ramp leading up into the mountain, with a swinging door at the end.  Rook scouts ahead and peeks their head through the door. It reveals the top of an elevator shaft, and the elevator car is headed down with Brainiac inside!

When the car reaches the bottom of the shaft, Brianiac slips out and hides as a team of Goblins start loading trash into it.  Rook returns to report to the rest of the team, and htey discuss what to do next. They take so long discussing that the car is filled with trash and sent to the top of shaft, where it tips out and starts sliding down the ramp! The crew is trapped between an avalanche of garbage and a sheer drop! Not Rook, of course. Trash just passes through them. Agnes flies out, and Buckle runs for it, but is bowled over by the tide of garbage. Agnes, flaoting by the mouth of the chute, grabs Buckle as he falls out, but she’s pulled off of Snek by his weight, and now they are both falling!  Snek dives, coils around both of them, and pulls out before they and the mass of garbage smash into the ever-burning trash heap below! Agnes gets bonked on the head by a toaster, and the whole scene is witnessed by an amazed Goblin on a lower walkway!  Agnes waves and the Goblin hurries back inside the mountain.  Buckle would very much like to be put down now.  Snek deposits him on the walkway that the Goblin used, and they all follow the Goblin inside.

Rook asks the goblin to help them find Brainiac, saying that he’s a shady character who means the Goblins ill.  This seems reasonable to the Goblin, whose name is Grickle. Buckle is just tickled to meet Grickle. With Grinkle leading the way through the tangle of pipes, catwalks, and tunnels, they spot Brainiac down below. He activates a booby trap, bursting a steam pipe and burning Agnes!  Brianiac runs for it and Rook follows. Agnes sends Snek ahead to block Brainiac’s escape route with a cloud of poison gas! This lets Rook catch up to Brainiac, but Rook lets him go.  Brainiac flees the facillity, passing a crew of Goblins headed to repair the damage from his trap. The Goblins arrive at the broken pipe and blame the unauthorized intruders (Agnes and Buckle) for the damage. Agnes says they are after the real intruder, who actually did the damage. Grickle confirms her story. Agnes asks the repair crew to help search for Brainiac, but they need to fix this pipe first.  (Also, Agnes is pretty creepy.)

So the crew leaves the sanitation facility and emerges into Swallet, the underground city of Goblins.  It’s really hot down here, and they don’t know where Brainiac went.

Chasing The Sunset & Thaumatown

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

Party: Agnes the Harbinger, Lumen the Lantern, Melvin the Rain, Rook the Remnant

GM note: In the original West Marches, it was easy to have new characters team up, because everyone went back to a single home base. In Chasing the Sunset, characters can be in different places, and we players must contrive ways for them to meet in a single place.

Lumen (last seen on a racing yacht docked at Port Fennrick) has a problem projecting herself into reality and uses Melvin as a beacon to pull herself back into this dimension.  Melvin, fresh from busting up mafia headquarters, still wears the form of one of the gangsters, and Wallace, Agnes’ new dog, recognizes him and runs back to him. Agnes and Rook run in after Wallace a short time after. Lumen asks Agnes “Do you know this dog?” Agnes asks Wallace, “Do you know this being?” But they make introductions and realize that they are follow adventurers and should go on adventures together.  Melvin tries to shake Rook’s hand, but the shapeshifter and the ghost can’t touch each other.  But what adventure should they seek? Lumen swore to protect Jensen from the shady people that she was smuggling contraband for, but the mafia is already destroyed. Agnes and Melvin saw to that. They decide to head upriver, and try to get a ride from Jensen. She would help, since she owes them for saving her from the mafia, but her boat is wrecked, so she can’t.

Our crew heads for the mouth of the river to look for a boat that could give them passage. There’s a raft piloted by a giant, and a longboat with a crew of humans. Agnes gets a doomy sense from the longboat, so they choose that one, and exchange work for passage. Melvin uses his Rain powers to clean the boat, while Rook floats above and keeps watch.

Agnes checks in on Johnny, the mobster who has been fleeing upriver for some time. There’s interference in her vision, like the interference when two Harbingers are close to each other. Through the interference, she sees a crowded city with narrow streets.  That’s Thaumatown, and the longboat is headed there.  Agnes doesn’t want to go to a town with another Harbinger, but she’ll go anyways. Anything could happen.

Thaumatown is a crowded, bustling city. There are clockwork robots everywhere. Automatic cranes load and unload boats at the docks. Flying surveillance drones watch everywhere, and police robots expertly direct traffic to keep the crowded streets moving. The streets are narrow and the buildings loom over them, so they sky is barely visible.  Two towers are visible over the roofs of the other buildings: a large clock tower on the civic center, and a wizard’s tower on the far side of town.

Melvin drops into the water to look around while the rest of the crew disembarks like normal people. The police robots direct them like they direct everyone, but it seems the robots are taking a special interesting the crew. Melvin finds some big pipes taking in water from the river, and dumping water into the river, He swims up the pipes into a water treatment center. His formless body can squeeze through the filters, but it will take some time. As he’s squeezing through, he sets of water quality alarms, and someone is coming to investigate, so he abandons his search of the water treatment plant and flows through other pipes under the city.

Some police robots approach Agnes and tell her to follow them. They clear crowds out of their path, quickly leading Agnes, and Lumen to the civic center. In the central chamber of the civic center, there’s a piston rising all the way up the clock tower. This piston retracts, and on the end is a fancy chair, and in that chair, Brainiac, who controls all of the robots, and thus the entire town, from this central location.

GM note: Not the comic book character. A very smart man.

Brainiac explains that he works for a wizard, an amazing man who can see the future! He foresaw that one day another Harbinger might come and threaten his rule, so Brainiac devised a plan to ensure the stability of the town.  Brainiac gestures, and a police robot brings a weird hinged cage, like a tea strainer, but two feet long, up to Agnes. It’s like a Faraday cage for magical powers, and will block the interference that Anges is causing the wizard, and vice versa.  Brainiac demands that Agnes wear the helmet!

The crew decides to go loud instead of accepting captivity! Lumen’s light flashes ,temporarily blinding the police robots and surveillance drones, but Brainiac was prepared and sends the surveillance drones crashing into Lumen’s last known location. She didn’t move, so she’s hit.  Melvin arrives at the civic center and lets Rook in.  Rook floats in and whispers spookily in Brainiac’s ear.  Lumen starts fighting the police robots with her knife and light. In the melee she drops her knife and smashes her bare hand into the unyielding armor of a police robot.  Brianiac raises his chair to escape to the clock tower, and Rook floats up after him, but Brainiac is prepared and activates an electric grid beneath his chair, zapping Rook & stopping his advance. Brainiac arrives at the top of the tower, where huge control panels and screens are arrayed before him, letting him control everything in the city. He’s sure to call in reinforcements.  Agnes uses the ley lines to reach out from Brainiac’s position, flipping switches and yanking wires. Traffic goes haywire as the police bots malfunction and direct people into impossible patterns.

At this point, the wizard decides to step in. A beam of energy from the top of his tower cuts across the twon and into the side of the civic center, burning a spiral pattern through the wall and into the floor, widening and widening until Agnes is hit! The harbingers interfere with each other’s vision, so Allan a Zham had to fire blindly towards the densest static in his vision.

The tactical situation changes in an instant. The crew needs to close the distance since they can’t match Allan’s power at range. Lumen’s light moves to shield Agnes. Melvin causes a fog to appear, hampering Allan’s vision. Agnes puts on the Faraday cage helmet, so she disappears from Allan’s view.  Lumen, Melvin, Rook, and Agnes all fly, float, or clamber over rooftops and across alleyways towards the wizard’s tower and Allan continues to fire on them.

Rook is floating straight in, confident in his incorporeality, when a flask of holy water teleports right on top of him and bursts! Agnes is flying on Snek, Allan’s attacks force them down below the roofline, towards police droids!  Melvin and Lumen are running over rooftops together and a fireball explodes under them just as they leap from a barbershop!  Barbers are thrown through the air with a perfect four-part harmony of screams! Clients stagger out of the rubble, haircuts burned away.  Melvin and Lumen are singed, but escape further fire and confront Allan a Zham in his sanctum at the top of his tower!  Windows look out over the city. Screens show camera feeds from surveillance droids. Maps, scrolls, and books are stuffed into shelves and piled on tables all over the room.  Allan is furious! HE knew that someday someone would come to overthrow him, and now these adventurers have come even to his inner sanctum. He will tolerate no threat to his power!  Melvin causes rain inside, soaking reams of irreplaceable magical research. Allan is momentarily distracted by the destruction, and Lumen seizes her chance!  She uses her survival knife as a focus for her Light, and fires it with laser precision into Allan’s head, killing him instantly!

Down on the streets, Anges is receiving conflicting instructions from two malfunctioning police robots. One orders her to take a path blocked by the second, which tells her to turn around. They will get rough if she doesn’t obey, so she stalls for time and starts a fire inside the second robot. When it is too damaged to insist, she obeys the first robot and just walks away.

The whole drew assembles in the wizard’s upper room. Most of the papers are ruined, but there is one note about twin volcanoes. Sure enough ,the two peaks are visible to the south.  Rook speaks with the spirit of the slain wizard, asking why he attacked them. Allan wanted order above all, and proactively removed anything that could cause upheaval or disruption.

Melvin shape-shifts into the exact likeness of the wizard and leads the crew back to the Civic Center. Allan a Zham had a “I can do what I want” badge, and flashing that to the police robots allows Melvin to ignore their senseless, contradictory orders. The citizens of Thaumatown are not so lucky.  One group is being sent in a never-ending circle by a few police robots, and an automated crane on the docks just shoved and entire shipment off the deck of a boat and into the water.  Brainiac has put the Civic Center in panic mode. Big metal shutters cover all the doors and windows, and a Stone Sentry has been activated inside to eject any trespassers.  The crew gets onto the roof and climbs up catwalks to the outside of the clock tower.

The clock faces are transparent, and they can see Brainiac desperately trying to regain control of the city.  Brainiac is suprised to see the wizard with some of the troublemakers, but Melvin assures him that it’s fine. Brainiac opens the window and lets them in. He gives a situation report to Melvin, who he thinks is his boss.  The damage is severe, but in another six hours he cna have the robots back to 65% efficiency. Brainiac requests that Allan a Zham lend his magical aid, since the situation is so dire.  Melvin says, “Are you implying you’re not up to the task?” Brainiac is cowed and promises to work even harder. Lumen whispers “You should fire him” to Melvin. Melvin agrees and tells Brainiac he’s be reassigned because he’s handling this crisis so badly.  Melvin hands over the paper with the twin volcanoes on it and tells Brainiac to go take care of it.  Brainiac pushes back a little. It’s such a long and dangerous journey that he’s going to take a surveillance drone. That way, he can call for help if he needs it. Melvin agrees to these terms, having no intention of actually helping if Brainiac gets in trouble.

Finally, Melvin appears to all the people on the docks. He says that the people are strong and capable. They no longer need rulers over them. He tells them to elect representatives, then walks out onto the water and sinks in. The rest of the crew also slip out of town, which has no king, no overseer, and whose overcrowded streets are jammed with malfunctioning police robots.

Chasing The Sunset & depression

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

Party: Fafnir the Dragon, Stella the Halfling, Agnes the Harbinger, Buckle the Platyperson, and Rook the Remnant.

Fafnir spent the night sleeping under a porch after chasing a lanky black cat. The next morning, she happens upon the rest of the party as they are walking through the streets.  “Good to see you, Dad,” she says to Buckle.  She doesn’t know anything about the trouble last night, and just wants breakfast.  The black cat is walking along with them and Agnes has a vision that this cat will save the world. A magenta Pomeranian appears and chases the black cat.  As the party chases the two animals, a mobster named Billy appears to grab the Pomeranian.  That’s not OK! These are our pets now! Agnes tries to wrest the dog away from Billy and he tosses her aside.  Fafnir flies past at high speed and grabs the dog, but Billy punches her as she passes.  Billy sees that it’s five against one and flees.  Rook floats silently after him, hoping that he’ll go somewhere dark. If he does, Rook will make sure he never emerges.  Since it’s morning, even the narrow alleys aren’t dark. Billy returns to the aquarium and goes inside. It’s dark in there, but Rook can’t enter without an invitation, so they returns to the rest of the party.

The magenta Pomeranian that the mobster was after is named Wallace.  Agnes wants to know who owns this brightly colored pooch, so she holds its collar aloft.  She sees through the eyes of the owner, swimming over kelp fields towards and underwater city, holding a large bag.

GM note: We had a lengthy discussion about the definition of ownership. Is Wallace a possession of its owner? What happens if Agnes holds a mobster aloft? Do pets own their toys and collars? We decided that living creatures are not possessions, but objects given to pets belong to their owners.

Agnes holds Wallace up to Buckle, who can speak to any beast and asks questions through her interpreter.  Wallace lives in a house with other animals. He can’t read and is colorblind, so he can’t give an address or describe the place satisfactorily. Agnes asks if she is his favorite, and Wallace heartily agrees, licking her hands for emphasis.  Agnes tries to overcome her grim demeanor and smile, but it’s hard. Wallace does remember the way home, so he leads the group there: an aquarium

Agnes uses sight beyond sight to look through the wall of the building and sees two figures: a human and a Platyperson. The team prepares to breach the building. Fafnir and Stella are on the roof, reaching it through flight and wall-crawling spider mount, respectively.  Agnes, Buckle, and Wallace the magenta Pomeranian form up at the back door.  Stella’s companions, Gus and Rose, cover the front door. Rook is ready to float to whichever area needs help.

Paulie, the Platyperson, bursts out of the back door.  Fafnir leaps from the roof, grabs Paulie’s head on the way down, and smashes it into the boardwalk with all her weight behind it. Paulie’s still conscious. She gathers herself and lifts her head despite Fafnir’s efforts to keep her down. Paulie draws a nasty weapon, the limb bone of some large creature, with one end snapped off into splinters. She flails about, endangering everyone nearby. Rook approaches and uses his hypnotic voice to calm her so Buckle and Fafnir can get clear. Stella puts a pit trap in the boardwalk between Paulie and her friends.

Billy, the human mobster that fought the crew earlier today, makes a break for the front door. Gus and Rose try to hold him back. Gus is a cook, and forcibly Cinnamon Challenges Billy. While Billy is busy sputtering and coughing, Stella runs over to talk him down. Billy went after Wallace so aggressively because his whole life had been disrupted when the mob was betrayed by one of their own, their leader exiled, and their prized animals scattered. Billy was trying to reclaim the animals (like Wallace) to reclaim a semblance of the order his life used to have. Stella is sympathetic, but says that holding onto the past doesn’t work, and that Billy needs to act on what’s happening now, not what he wishes was still happening. Billy is really encouraged by these wise words.

Paulie is still mad and goes after Buckle, but falls into the pit trap, which drops her into the river. This just lets her escape, since Platypeople are excellent swimmers. Buckle dives in to pursue her, and has a heart to heart talk with her.  She and Billy were trying to hold on to the mobster way of life after their headquarters was smashed up and their people scattered. Paulie (mechanically a “Beast Loner”) realizes that she doesn’t need to cling to this structure that doesn’t even exist anymore. She’s capable on her own. She swims off to make her own way in the world.

Things seem handled here in Port Fennrick, so the crew decides to head up the Mighty River. As they walk upriver, they meet a boat coming down river. It was attacked and is on river. Buckle uses Tail Slap to splash water over the burning boat and put it out.  They ask how the boat caught fire, and the captain says that it certainly wasn’t a fire-breathing lizard. Those have been extinct for a hundred years!  Fafnir fumes, literally.  Agnes tells her to behave, or she’ll withhold Fafnir’s snacks. Fafnir’s Kobold companion Coco will feed Fafnir, so Agnes’ threat is blunted.

Further upriver, Stella’s riding spider (named Silk) bolts off the path after a bird. It’s the chrome songbird that Ori and Melvin released a while back. The chrome bird, (a Crow-m, perhaps?) sings a piercing note that resonates at the frequency of reality itself, and manifests a coiled spring underneath Silk, sending Silk flying into the air. Silk and Stella decide not to mess with this bird and return to the path. Rook is happy, because Songbirds were considered extinct. Nice to know a few are still around.

Further upriver, mysterious music floats through the air. “Do you hear that?” Agnes retorts, “I’m blind, not deaf!”  Fafnir flies ahead to investigate and finds Slick (ex-pirate) playing a harmonica next to a campfire, with a traveller’s bindle nearby.  This is what people do when they are sad and they have nowhere to go, right?  Fafnir likes his music and asks to hear more. Slick is pleased and plays very fast.  Fafnir is impressed. People would like to hear this music. You could be in show business.  Slick is encouraged to hear this. He’s got a goal to aim for now.  He thanks Fafnir and runs towards Port Fennrick at incredible speed to start a new life as an entertainer!

Further upriver, Agnes notices something sparkling on the riverbed. Fafnir hates water and won’t investigate. Agnes sends Wallace, but Wallace is unable to dislodge it from the riverbed. Agnes cuddles him and tells him he’s a good boy and tried his best.  Agnes sends Snek down to investigate and discovers that it’s a hatch, mostly buried under mud. Snek has no hands and can’t open it.  Agnes tells Buckle to go open it, but he puts his foot down and demands that he use his proper name. In the last day she’s called him “Beagle”, “Bickley”, and “Buckley”. His name is Buckle!  With that settled, Buckle swims down to grab the valve. With remote assistance from Agnes, he pulls the valve open, revealing a tunnel beneath the river! Rook floats down into it and finds a hidden tunnel network. There’s a station nearby with a stairway concealed by a false rock. Fafnir pushes the rock aside from the top, and the crew heads down into the mysterious depths.

Chasing The Sunset & mobsters

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

The party: Buckle the Platyperson, Agnes Nutter the Harbinger, Stella the Halfling, Rook the Remnant.

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

Buckle, Agnes, and Rook have just limped into Port Fennrick on a damaged fairy-ferry that was attacked by a Kraken.  Fafnir the Dragon was also onboard, but is nowhere to be found now.

GM Note: Fafnir’s player wasn’t here for this session. One of the concepts for West Marches is being able to mix and match characters into different groups, so I didn’t want to make a big deal of a character’s absence, but that’s what the players wanted to role-play, so we did it.

Rook is especially worried by Fafnir’s absence, since they was dedicated to caring for dragons in their former life.  Agnes magically senses that Fafnir is fine, and says not to worry.  Rook isn’t happy about this and drags their feet as they floats down the road after her. The party doesn’t know what’s going on in town and looks around for excitement. There’s a commotion at the back of town, where the Mighty River enters. They get closer and see a Giant yelling about pirates upriver.  As people listen to the Giant’s story, a damaged longboat arrives with its own story about a battle with pirates.  People waiting at the checkpoint to go upriver start complaining to the inspectors.  “You say these inspections and regulations are for our safety, but you can’t keep us safe from these pirates! Why are you even here? Get out of our way!” The party decides not to get involved.

It’s evening, so they go to a tavern for food and a room for the night.  Stella, the newest player character, has some space at her table in an otherwise crowded tavern and invites the party over.  Rook sort of floating through a chair, but can’t really sit in it.  Introductions all around. Stella is a halfling. She’s traveling with two friends and a giant riding spider which is out back in the stables.  At another table, Sebastina (navigator of an ill-fated charter boat) tells of her brush with the Kraken.  She never saw the beast, but our party knows exactly what she’s talking about, because they fought and killed it. Buckle interrupts to tell his story, but he’s not good at public speaking, and the crowd shouts him down.  He buys a round of milk, which also does not endear him to the hard-drinking crowd.  He does get a big reaction when he says he was traveling with a dragon, since dragons have been extinct for about 100 years.  The rest of the party decides that Buckle shouldn’t talk anymore and drags him away.  They pile into Stella’s crowded room upstairs for the night.

In the middle of the night, two figures slide open the window and creep into the room where everyone is sleeping. Rook isn’t sleeping, because Rook doesn’t sleep. They screams, waking everyone up.  Stella is near the window and grabs one of the figures clambering through. She pulls him into the room, but he rolls with the movement and throws her to the ground.  Agnes shoves the second figure out of the window. He stumbles off the roof of the porch and falls to the street below.  The one still in the room grabs Stella, but Buckle makes him drop her with a tail-swipe.  The invader turns his attention to Buckle and jams a canvas sack over his head.  The invader is human-sized, and Platypeople are only four feet tall, so the invader has a big weight advantage. As he struggles to fit Buckle completely in the bag, Rook floats through the window after the second figure. Rook is alone in the dark with an enemy, and, using their terrifying ghostly powers, silently rips the life out the would-be kidnapper. Back in the room, the kidnapper has Buckle in the bag and tries to toss the bag out the open window. Agnes steps in a blasts the kidnapper’s leg, wrenching it into a very unnatural position. Snek (Agnes’ pet flying snake) enlarges and coils around the disabled kidnapper, flicking its tongue in his ear.  The kidnapper is unmasked and must explain himself.  Outside, Rook casts Speak With Dead on the other kidnapper ot gather mostly the same information.

the kidnappers were sent to grab Buckle and bring him to the boss, because Buckle knew about a dragon, a rare and valuable prize. The boss is Louie, and he runs the underworld here in Fennrick. Anything that’s not above-board belongs to Louie. The live kidnapper that’s being constricted by Snek is Johnny. The other one that fell out fo the window is Jimmy. Agnes takes Johnny’s ring that marks him as a member of Louie’s gang.  She says that if Johnny crosses them again, she’ll find him, and she won’t be so kind.  She heals his leg. The ruined flesh grows back brand new, pale as a Seattlite, soft as a baby, and hairless.  Snek releases him and they send him out the window. Rook returns at the same time and passes through Johnny, an unpleasant cold sensation.  Johnny finds Jimmy’s dead body, and, keeping to secret gang traditions, disposes of the body. Only Johnny and Rook know that Rook killed Jimmy. No one else saw anything.  Stella’s friends keep watch for the rest of the night, but there are no further disturbances.

In the morning, Stella shares her Halfling food with her new friends. Buckle wants fresh game, so he swims under the city to catch some fish. Port Fennrick is built on a river delta, so most buildings are built on stilts over water.  As he pursues fish, he realizes he is being pursued by a Mermaid with a trident and net. A mermaid mermydon. A mermaidon! he outswims the Mermaid and reaches land, where the mermaid can’t follow. He rejoins the party without fish.  Agnes holds Johnny’s ring aloft to see through is eyes. He’s on a road, holding a bag. He looks over his shoulder, and Port Fennrick is receding in the distance. Johnny skipped town.  Agnes wants a possession from every party member so she can see through their eyes. Buckle doesn’t have many possessions. He won’t give up his hat, and doens’t like the idea of cutting off a lock of fur. He offers a treasure that he took from the Kraken, but Agnes just whips out her runeblade and takes a tuft of fur. Stella refuses to give her a possession.  (These new friends of hers are a lot!)  They linger and ponder their next step until the innkeeper knocks on the door. The inn is busy and need to either pay for another night or make way, because other people want the room.  They leave, and decide to track down the mob boss that keeps sending goon after them.

Chasing the sunset & the Kraken

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

Fafnir the dragon.

She just hatched yesterday, from an ancient egg that Buckle found and incubated. She’s has four legs, wings, and is about the size of a Golden Retriever.  She likes to strike from above with her sharp talons, but doesn’t always control her great power.  Perhaps other eggs or dragons have survived. She’s traveling to find them.  She heard that somewhere out there is a city made of gold.

Long ago, dragons ruled the world, but they were brought down by trickery and almost wiped out. They are vengeful, although not many survive to enact vengeance.  Rumor has it that they are also very greedy.

Buckle the beast.

He’s a Platyperson who has electrical senses to detect living creatures, venomous spurs, and the ability to breath underwater. Incubating eggs is normal for platypi, but it’s quite unusual for dragons to emerge from those eggs. He’s traveling for a reason that he has not shared with his companions.  He heard about a underwater crystalline cathedral.

Platypeople keep to themselves & don’t interact with outsiders much.  Their ‘cities’ (small compared to the cities of Elves or Orcs) can be underwater, on land, or both.  There’s a great festival called Platypalooza scheduled for the next full moon. Platypeople have a reputation of being ignorant, backwater folk.

Rook the remnant.

They is an incorporeal ghost, unable to touch or be touched by anything.  They died near the end of the war against the dragons, but they remains.  They remembers.  They heard that somewhere out there is a temple with the power to restore the dragons.

Long ago, their people served the dragons, but they were all killed in the same war that killed the dragons. Rumor has it that dragon sympathizers like Rook remain because they were cursed by witches!

Agnes Nutter the harbinger.

She’s a blind prophet, who has sight beyond sight. She riding a flying snake named Snek, who can shrink and coil around her neck like a scarf when flying is not needed. Agnes has a ring that lets her see through Snek’s eyes. She also has a vague sixth sense of things near her, so she won’t run into things, even without Snek’s help. She travels to find a legendary library of powerful magical tomes.

The blind prophets are nomads, and avoid each other, since multiple prophets close together cause magical interference, distorting the prophesies.  When prophets dream, they are possessed by some magical force and recite or write prophesies. These prophesies come from several different sources.  Rumor has it that the prophets are just high all the time, and their visions are drug-induced hallucinations.

The “new to them” world

This is not like Europe 500 years ago declaring that lands were unknown and uninhabited just because Europeans didn’t know about or didn’t live there.  Our characters know that the world is bigger than what they’ve traveled or heard about. They are going past the limits of their experience, not to some undiscovered country.  There will be people and nations out there.  Our characters’ ignorance of those people does not invalidate them.

Let’s begin

Agnes found a Fairy Ferry that runs across the sea to the land they will explore. This ferry is made of two enormous leaves. One forms the hull and another forms the deck.  The stem of the hull curves up, providing an elevated platform like the bridge of a human ship. The ship is driven by two propeller shafts, one on each side of the ship. The propeller blades are shaped like giant maple seeds. The shafts run inside the hull and are connected to basically bicycles. Teams of fairies take shifts pedaling to propel the ship.  Fairies are about a foot tall, extremely skinny and delicate humanoids. They fly on transparent insect wings. Their skin can be any pastel shade, and they favor flower names.  They are nude, except for accessories, like Captain Periwinkle’s impressive tricorne hat.  They have a constant glamour that makes it impossible for one to get a clear view of their bodies. They always seem obscured, un-detailed, PG-rated.

Buckle stands at the prow. He’d rather swim.  Boats seem like big-city nonsense to him.  Rook lurks at the entrance to the lower deck.  They can’t enter without permission. Agnes & Fafnir are below. Fafnir is hungry and licks a bench.  Maybe it’s salad.  Fairies powering the screws change shifts. A fairy named Crocus notices Fafnir and yells at her, Agnes gets a glimpse of something strange in Crocus’s locker that he’s trying to conceal. Agnes convinces him to give Fafnir candy in exchange for taking a shift on the bicycle. He gets fruit & candy from the locker, revealing an evil charm. A large splinter of wood with a dried tentacle wrapped around it, secured with twine.  Agnes takes a piece of fruit & uses it to look through Crocus’s eyes. He’s looking at he evil charm, muttering about “soon, close!”

Agnes goes above to gather the team & tell of the danger. Only now do Fafnir and Agnes notice that poor Rook was left outside in the rain.  Rook sinks through the deck to stick their head into Crocus’s locker, but is spotted.  Buckle’s electrical sense & Agnes’ ley lines detect something approaching from starboard, connected to the charm. They go to warn the captain. Periwinkle sends Rose, the burly first mate, to check on Crocus, who is running up to the deck to complain about Rook.

Just as Rose & Crocus meet, the Kraken emerges! Tentacles threaten the ship!  Rook tries to distract a crushing tentacle. It works! The tentacle attacks them, but passes through them and smashes through the deck of the ship. Another tentacle grabs Rose.  Fafnir runs to pin Crocus & hopefully take his charm.  She was thinking of just killing him, but restrained herself.  Crocus dodges & blasts her with fairy dust, damaging her Sense.  Also, the charm is still in Crocus’s locker, not on his person.  Since no one helped her, Rose is yanked overboard.

Agnes goes overboard somehow. Snek flies out to look for her.  Buckle jumps into the water and asks the Kraken to please let them pass.  The Kraken is surprised to hear someone speak to it, so it emerges to look at the situation more closely.

The Kraken’s squishy, bulbous head and giant yellow eye tower over the ship.  One tentacle is still wrapped around one of the propellers.  Snek picks up Agnes & Rose & carries them back to the ship. Fafnir flies up, drops onto the Kraken’s eye, and tears at it without restraint. Chunks of squid-flesh rain down on Buckle, who dives under the ship to safety. The ship can’t dodge & takes more damage.  The Kraken submerges, leaving Fafnir in the water.

Under the boat in relative peace, Buckle notices farms and buildings on the sea floor. He swims down to seek help.

Agnes sends Snek to retrieve Fafnir from the water.  Rook pretends to have Crocus’s charm. Crocus approaches, trying to get it back.  Rook backs up to the edge of the ship, hoping that Crocus will fall overboard, but Crocus can also fly, so they both float past the edge of the ship.

The binding tentacle that no one dealt with snaps off the starboard propeller shaft.

The Kraken re-emerges on the port side of the boat.  Fafnir does the same trick to score another hit, disabling the Kraken’s tentacles. She restrains herself and does not inflict collateral damage.  The Kraken submerges & Fafnir is left in the water again.

Buckle swims into a cave in the sea floor from which light is shining. Inside, there’s a mer-person working metal over a volcanic vent.  Buckle asks for help, but the smith demands something precious first. Buckle hands over a crocodile tooth, a trophy of a previous hunt. The smith starts planning how to turn it into an impressive necklace, but then remembers the business at hand and swims up to engage with his smithing hammer.

Fafnir swims over to the ferry and tries to climb aboard. Coco, Fafnir’s scheming Kobold minion, has planned for just such an occasion and helps Fafnir aboard.

Under the ferry, the mer-smith charges in, striking mighty blows with his hammer. Buckle is going to use the distraction to strike with his venomous spurs, but the Kraken attacks with its beak. The smith is caught in the terrible jaws and drops his hammer.

Agnes manipulates the ley lines to open a path to a closed space: the inside of Crocus’ locker. She grabs the charm and destroys it with her runeblade. The Kraken convulses as the blow is struck, and sinks limply to the sea floor below.

Buckle takes a trophy from the Kraken as it sinks. The smith claims the carcass as salvage, since it fell on his fields.  Even with half its propellers gone, the ferry is able to limp to port under the expert guidance of Captain Periwinkle.

Port Intrepid is built on stilts in a marshy river delta. Folks move around in town either by boat or on boardwalks. A platform overlooking the bustling dock has three important features:

  • Crew bosses shouting orders to workers below
  • A clock tower
  • A big Ogre, who is making a show of being menacing, but seems a bit uncomfortable with the role.

The party heals. Fafnir and Buckle level up. Fafnir teaches Agnes the “Dragoon” move that was so effective against the Kraken. Buckle gains another animal trait and teaches Fafnir how to use electro-sense.

Thus ends the first session of Chasing the Sunset. Next time, a different group of characters will have different adventures.