Previous on Numenera
The party met with Priest Ponnark at the gates and convinced him to share some additional information in exchange for them keeping Jesus as collateral (the Priesthood being interested in his unusual healing abilities). The party learned that the thieves were well-equipped, dressed in red and black, bearing advanced equipment and enhancements, which could possibly be linked to the assassin enhanced by Mnoma. Cairn also tracked the thieves’ trail to a clearing in the forest where Elswyr found 6 sets of scorch marks, ~10 feet apart each. The group suspects that this could be the result of a fire-flyer-like technology and plans on going to Dracogen to inquire about who may have similar technology or to discover if he is the culprit.
There are 3 factions that you are “indebted” to so far. You owe Dracogen the box, but to get the box back from the Convergence, you offered to help them with the investigation. To advance the investigation, you gave Jesus to the Aeon Priesthood.
Additionally, Dracogen wanted to find out about the disappearances in Charmonde which you have mostly confirmed are linked to the Convergence. The Convergence wants to know more about this new threat stealing powerful numenera which could be Dracogen. It’s unclear what the Aeon Priesthood want other than to physically inspect Jesus and to get their shit back.
REMINDER +1 XP to Cairn for his forestry last session! Don’t forget to spend your XP everybody!
As the party approaches the city of the Aeon Priests, they see in the distance an ornate caravan leaving the city. A messenger detaches from the caravan and speeds quickly towards the party. As he approaches, he calls out to the party,
Messenger: Ahoy, mateys! My master, Bishop Ardensha, wishes to speak with you, and to return your friend.
Elswyr: Why, was he making a ruckus? Perhaps physically inspecting everybody?
M: Well, I’m not authorized to tell, unfortunately. My master just thought it would be convenient to deliver your friend to you as we cross paths.
E: Very well, we will meet with your master.
The messenger departs, and after a while, the party approaches the caravan. The most notable part of the caravan is a large palanquin, suspended above the ground through the work of some strange numenera. The messenger meets the party outside, and invites them into the palanquin. The party accepts the invitation, and steps into a lavishly decorated chamber. Surrounded by wall hangings and all manner of finery, Jesus and the Bishop are seated around a small table, upon which rest a number of snacks.
Bishop: Welcome, adventurers! Please, join us and partake of our modest meal.
Bishop: I must apologize for the behavior of my subordinates. They were rather… overzealous… in the performance of their duties, and should never have held your friend here hostage.
Elswyr: Don’t trouble yourself about it; we’re just happy to be reunited with our friend.
Bishop: I’m glad to hear it. Is there anything you’d like to ask about before you depart?
E: I mean, all of our interactions thus far have been with the purpose of helping the priesthood, and I think we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, so to speak. We have the same goals, and I know it’s a stretch, but is there anything else you could tell us at all that might help us on our quest?
B: Well, the reason why security was so tight and the reason why the priest was unwilling to tell you what was stolen is because the thing that was stolen was an important relic known as the Keystaff.
E: What is the keystaff, exactly?
B: It is a relic of great power, but over time we have lost the knowledge of its use.
J: What was its original use?
B: We have only records to tell us, and we know that the original Amber Pope was able to use it to access the Amber Monolith, but nobody since then has been able to use it, and its purpose now is largely symbolic. Nevertheless, its loss is a severe blow to the Aeon priesthood.
E: Yes, I could understand why you would be distressed by its loss.
Mesmer: We’ll make sure to let you know immediately if we learn anything of it.
Cairn: Is there anything else that would be immediately relevant to our investigations?
B: Not that I know if. I believe we’ve told you everything we know, and we’ve sent teams to investigate the other thefts. I’m on the way to the princess’s wedding in Charmand, myself, so I’ll be out of touch with these matters for the next days.
J: Is the groom in the coming wedding well-liked among the citizens of Charmand?
B: Well, and don’t tell anybody I said this, but he’s perhaps not the most powerful of princes in the area, and the princess, being quite popular in Charmand, is thought by some to be marrying beneath her status.
C: Do you approve of the marriage?
B: Me? Yes, I approve wholeheartedly. Political marriages like this can provide much-needed stability in trying times like this.
C: So, what news of the world?
B: Well, these thefts have certainly been interesting, but apart from that, nothing particularly noteworthy. Although I did hear of a castle which apparently fell from the sky some time ago.
C: That sounds like an old wives’ tale if I’ve ever heard one.
B: Stranger things have happened.
The party parts ways with the Bishop, and, after confirming Jesus’ identity via physical inspection, questions him regarding his imprisonment and interrogation.
The party has arrived at Dracogen’s house, and Cairn knocks on the door. The party enters, and finds Dracogen at the back of the room.
Dracogen: Ah, welcome back, friends! It’s been some time!
C: We come bearing news, both good and bad.
D: Is that so?
C: We travelled to Charmand and met with Larmy as planned, but our beautiful relationship was cut tragically short by an assassin. So if you haven’t heard from him in awhile, that’s why. _____call cut out_____ …bioenhancement provider with links to an organization known as the convergence. Are you familiar with them>
D: Well, that was a lot of information. I suppose first of all I am saddened by Larmy’s loss. He was a good friend. With regards to the Convergence, I’ve heard stories of them, but I wasn’t aware that they still operated.
C: They have returned, and have a new quest – they’ve become convinced that the thefts that have occured in recent months are connected, and directed towards a greater diabolical goal. And that brings me to the second piece of bad news – over the course of our attempts to track the convergence, the excellent box that you gave us was stolen, and we were unable to recover it.
D: Before we address that, what indications did you find of Larmy’s connection to the Convergence?
C: (((Noma stuff)))
D: So, then, to be clear, you left my box in the hands of a terrorist organization who killed my friend?
C: It certainly wasn’t voluntary – it was stolen from us, and we were told that the only way to get it back would be to cooperate with them.
E: Dracogen, long story short, here’s what happened. (((Summarizes events))) So that’s what brings us back here, and leads us to ask you what you know of these events.
D: Well, first I have a few questions of my own. As your friend Cairn explained, you managed to defeat two castles of Convergence soldiers. And yet you claim a cordial relationship with these men?
E: That’s not exactly how it went – after having killed the soldiers with no sign of the box, we encountered a higher-up in the organization, and rather than responding with deadly force, we confronted him and interrogated him, and it is the information we acquired from him that we convey to you now.
D: I will ask you two very direct questions. Firstly, did you have anything to do with Larmy’s death?
C: No, certainly not! At least we hope that nothing that we did led to his demise.
Cairn notes that as Dracogen asks the question, he seems to focus intently, and one eye changes color.
D: Secondly, given the Convergence’s clear hatred of my friend, why would you cooperate with them? Are you working for them?
(((Call cut out
E: Listen, we did as much as we could. What did you expect us to do? Hold their leader at swordpoint until he led us to another, inevitably guarded castle, fought our way through that and killed everybody until we recovered the box?
D: Perhaps I didn’t impress upon you well enough the immense importance of this artifact.
(((Call cut out again
D: …I had heard rumors, but I wasn’t aware that these things were possible in the Ninth World. I think it is best that this box be immediately retrieved or destroyed.
E: I agree that we certainly owe you something for this loss, but we have gone through an incredible amount of trouble in our attempts to retrieve this, so it
(((Call cut out yet again, and for a longer time :’( )))
We find out that it is in fact Dracogen who has been stealing the items that have recently gone missing.
E: Listen, we’re willing to put in the effort to retrieve your box. But I need to know that you don’t have any kind of nefarious intentions for this box. We want to be sure that we’re not putting in this effort to help a man intent on doing evil.
D: I assure you that my motives are far from nefarious. But I’m curious: why do the Convergence care so much about these thefts? What is their motive?
E: I wasn’t clear about that either. They seemed to think that the person collecting these items was doing so for the sake of creating a world-ending weapon, and the Convergence has decided that the best response would be to create their own doomsday device.
D: But why do they think this? What do they know about me?
E: I don’t know why they think this, but I can assure you that they know nothing of who you are.
C: They also told us that they believe that the entity behind this perceived plot is something not of this world, and with enormous potential for harm. They want therefore to create a weapon even stronger than this being and its weapon.
D (chuckling wistfully): I am surprised at the extent of the Convergence’s knowledge.
M: Are you suggesting that you are from another world?
D: Yes, I am an exile here. My thefts have been an attempt to find a way to return to my world, but also to defend myself against the Convergence and those like them who would prevent me from achieving my goal. I will not commit violence unless provoked, but as this is the only place I have left, I must defend my stake in it with my life.
E: Alright, Dracogen. If you will equip us for another expedition, then we will steal back or destroy the box from the Convergence, so long as you promise that unless violence comes to this valley, you will not commit violence elsewhere.
D: I think the time for delay and subtlety is past. I intend to destroy the Convergence, and you are welcome to accompany me, but I have made my decision.
J: Dracogen, the Convergence has a documented tendency to use innocent people as pawns in their schemes, and we would like to minimize their suffering. How do you intend to destroy the Convergence?
D: (GOing to try to minimize collateral, but need to do what needs to be done.)
J: What would be the consequences of their use of the Venerator?
D: The Venerator harnesses the power of the stars, and in the wrong hands, it could destroy the world.
J: Fair enough. What do you intend to do once you have the box?
D: Well, as I said, I am an exile, and I wish to return to my home.
J: Can you do that immediately once you have the box?
D: No, not quite. There are still several items I must acquire.
J: How easily can they be acquired?
D: That depends upon the amount of resistance I encounter.
E: I like Jesus’ line of questioning, and I think that we ought to ensure your departure comes to pass as soon as possible. Your presence here is a continuing source of conflict, and we would end this as soon as possible. Tell me, could the artifacts be returned after you return, or will your use consume them?
D: They would be consumed.
C: Just wondering, but you said you were an exile. Doesn’t that mean you’re not welcome back home?
D: Well, in addition to the means to go home, I intend to bring some additional means to… convince my people to take me back.
J: What nature of things?
D: Let’s just say that I intend to return by force if necessary. My people are not accepting of weakness; the way to win them over is through power.