Previously on Numenera
The party learned from Magistrix Iom that three thefts had happened recently in the vicinity.
An rare sleeping stone of unusual size stolen from Bodrov 4 weeks ago
An unknown item stolen from a rich merchant in Shallamas 3 weeks ago
An unknown item stolen from the Aeon Priesthood at their complex near the Amber Monolith 2 weeks ago
The party set out for the Amber Monolith where they learned that the gates into the complex were closed. In an attempt to learn more information, the party tended to the wounds of travelers seeking aid from the Aeon Priests. Priest Ponnark, the priest tasked with tending to the travelers, insists that he doesn’t know what you’re talking about but agrees to meet you at dusk at the complex’s gate. The party agrees, but suspects it may be a trap.
Mesmer: If its a trap, do we want to just walk into the trap to get captured, or do we want to fight our way out..but if it’s a trap and we start killing people we’ll be in the same situation we were before, but we don’t know what’ll happen if we go with them.
Elsewyr: That’s a good point, but I don’t know if I want to accompany them without my items. How tall is the wall?
A: It’s about 20 ft tall, without much in the way of handholds. Possible but difficult
Elsewyr: If they attempt to arrest us, we should be able to approach in such a way that we can flee. We’re free people, we haven’t done anything wrong – if they try to arrest us, they’ll be pretty shaky ground, especially out in the open. IF we can approach the gate, see how many people there, if there are lots of soldiers, we should not approach them.
Mesmer: We could bribe some pilgrims?
Cairn: Remind me what the guards said before at the gate?
A: People have been getting turned away from the gate since the theft, we were turned away without further information.
Mesmer: Has anyone been going in the gates?
A: Not that we’ve noticed
Mesmer: If our end goal is to investigate these thefts, and the reason we’re here is to investigate this theft, ideally this guy will tell us and we won’t need to go through the gates.
Cairn: I think that even if this is an ambush, we’re better off being ambushed than hanging out here, since we do need to get in and learn about what’s happening, and we have nothing unpleasant or harmful to tell them since we just want to find the thief and retrieve the item.
We walk up the road, the sun has set so there’s just evening light.
Elsewyr recommends as we approach, we should walk near to the wall to minimize the odds of being noticed before we see the guard.
The party sneaks over to the side away from the gate, and starts inching towards the guard. Lo and behold, there is a figure standing in the darkness, who looks like an Aeon priest.
Elswyr: Is the person alone? Is the gate open or closed?
A: Yes and open.
Elswyr: At least he’s alone.
Mesmer: Well, maybe he can handle himself.
Cairn: Well, the question is whether we can handle him.
The group agrees to approach the individual, and does so.
Elswyr: Good evening.
The Priest seems moderately surprised to find us approaching from that angle, and says “Whoah, I didn’t see you there.”
Elswyr: I hope we didn’t startle you. I am relieved to see you here. I hope we can assist the priesthood.
The Priest: Yes.
Mesmer: So, the first thing is that we think the theft that occurred at the Amber Monololith is not alone, but rather a series of related thefts. So any information you give us, we can use to connect the dots to further our search.
Priest: It is still unclear to me how you are aware of the theft; we have kept it quite secret that this theft has occurred.
Elswyr: We do what we can and are quite well connected; I’m sure the priesthood is well aware that knowledge is power.
Priest: Fair enough, but we already know about the other thefts. We already know about a spate of thefts across the steadfast.
Cairn: Are you making any progress in the case?
Priest: I’m not at liberty to discuss any hypothetical progress in these hypothetical case.
Elswyr: Your words are telling, priest. Is your hubris so great, that you would turn away honest individuals.
Priest: The issue is with the word honest. Aether, who I contacted since we last spoke, denies having told you that this happened.
glances at Jesus, subtly signals possibility of memory wipe
Cairn: We are unable to do as you ask; we are sworn to secrecy on this matter, but we genuinely desire to help you guys, is there some sort of task that needs doing that we might to do to convince you we are only trying to help.
Priest: I don’t think it would help.
Elswyr: I don’t think you understand my companions request – we are asking, if you have something that needs doing (enemies that need defeating, etc), we will happily demonstrate where our allegiances lie, if that will convince you to trust us further with this matter.
Furthemore, we want to plug into your efforts to deal with these thieves in any way possible, so as to bring them to justice: so please, point us in the right direction.
Priest: let’s say I agree with this offer. The cost will not be cheap, so if you want to back out, now’s the time.
Cairn: What do you mean by the ‘cost’.
Priest: There is no easy way to put this…let’s say I agree to encourage your investigation, one of you would have to stay here as collateral.
Elswyr: I didn’t think the priesthood was the type to take hostages. However, it would be good because Jesus is capable of healing, and I would like to pick his brains on these unorthodox techniques he showed before.
Jesus nods in acceptance.
Priest: Hmm…ok. Well, in that case – what’s your next piece of information about the quest? What’s your next lead?
Elswyr: Well, our intention was to come here, speak to the locals, look for the trail, try to find where it has passed through. Such a large object doesn’t vanish without notice. But if you can kick us off with that information, I guess there’s no need to go inside. We can get started on the trail and go from there,
Priest: Well, I can’t tell you exactly what it was until I have further evidence of your allegiance, but it was easy to conceal, but the thieves were advanced and had some numenara you probably haven’t seen. They were not averse to leaving behind damage. We do know there have been two thefts recently, (we know them), we were sending out parties to investigate the thefts at those locations as we speak.
Elswyr: Presumably this theft happened within the compound. They left survivors, this is a well populated area – what did people see? Are there clues as to their equipment or their steeds?
Priest: Based on eyewitnesses, the group left to the east gate. It was not seen what steeds they used, they vanished quickly into the forest and we were not able to track them further. While they were in the compound, they wore primarily black and red, using advanced ciphers as armor as well as slugthrowers and fairly advanced weaponry. They could pass through walls easily, and defeat any guards that came to stop them. This is no small task, given how well guarded the complex is.
Cairn: Did they kill the guards or just knock them out?
Priest: Kill them; it wasn’t indiscriminate, but they weren’t averse to killing.
Elswyr: We fought some of their agents before, one in particular, who bore some kind of mechanical armor made by a master craftsmen who is surely in league with these foes. We handled the craftsmen, but there’s reason to believe her creations are at large. They were black and metal and masterfully created. Does that match the description of your adversaries?
Priest: I’m guessing that most assassins wear black, so it’s difficult to match to your description, but these were highly technologically prepared people. Based on our knowledge of the thefts, they act as teams generally. It is entirely plausible that it is the same group (or persons or person) but purely based on the information you’ve provided, we cannot come to a definite conclusion. How’d you kill him?
Mesmer: Well, he tried to run away. I threw a rapier straight through his neck.
Priest: Wow, that is quite impressive.
Mesmer: Your guys should probably get gud
Priest: I’ll keep that in mind
Mesmer: Have you heard of any thefts more recent than yours?
Mesmer: How long has it been?
Priest: 2 weeks
Cairn: It took 2 weeks to mobilize a team to go investigate the other places?
Priest: No, we sent a team before, but we’re just now finishing our investigation here so we’re sending more people out to investigate further. The nearest city to hear is Charmon.
Mesmer: How can we get Jesus back – what is our goal here? Is there anything specific we’re looking for?
Priest: Bring us back information.
Mesmer: Any specific information?
Priest: No, just information.
Cairn: We’ve discussed as a group, and we’re prepared to leave him with you in order to begin our investigation. Unless you have further information to provide, we’ll be off.
Priest: Alright, sounds good, I’ll take one Jesus.
The group camps out, the hour of Cairn’s ability passes and Jesus appears to have been led into the compound. The night passes, nothing happens, the tent isn’t particularly comfortable.
We wake up in the morning, feeling almost exactly the same as we did the previous night.
A group of people passed through this part of the forest in great haste (farther spaced apart, several footprints instead of just one). Cairn follows the path, not noticing anything new, but he can follow the track. Still on the trail, notice that some branches are broken, indicating people ran by in great haste and not caring for their surroundings; they aren’t children and they aren’t giants. We then arrive at a creek where Cairn loses the scent.
As we leave the brush, we are overlooking the creek (which is a few feet wide), it is pretty stagant with algae grow, and has steep banks. Cairn manages to pick up the trail on the other side by finding some footprints on the other side, and the crashing resumed. We walk along the trail just a bit longer and come to a clearing. The trail seems to end, as the theives milled around in the clearing.
Elswyr notices some stones arranged in a firepit, as well as some that were cleared recently. Elswyr also notices that on one side of the clearing, there are scorch marks scattered around one side of the clearing, located a few feet apart from each other..
Cairn: That could be their point of transit out.
Mesmer: Maybe Fire Flyers, like we used before.
Elswyr looks closely, and discovers that there are 6 of them.
Cairn climbs a tree and finds a beautiful bird, but not much in the way of clues. I can see the path of the creek and some gaps where there are other clearings.
Mesmer suggests potentially going to Dracogen to follow up on this and report on all that we have seen. Cairn approves of this suggestion.