The Ninth World

Session 18
A Web of Lies - Part 2

Previously on Numenera

The party learned from Magistrix Iom that three thefts had happened recently in the vicinity.

  1. An rare sleeping stone of unusual size stolen from Bodrov 4 weeks ago

  2. An unknown item stolen from a rich merchant in Shallamas 3 weeks ago

  3. 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.

Today’s Session

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.

 

Mesmer: 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?

Priest: No.

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.

View
Session 17
A Web of Lies - Part 1

The party returns to the room in which we found Magistrix Iom, and find him still hard at work on some equipment.

 

Jesus: Magistrix Iom! Thank you kindly for your generosity in compensating us for the loss of our equipment. We’ve acquired some items that should prove useful in our investigations. If you don’t mind, we have a few additional questions for you.

Iom: Not at all.

Jesus: Could you provide us with a description of the items that were stolen? In particular, is there anything particularly recognizable that you can think of?

Elswyr: And from where were the items stolen?

Iom: Let’s see… A rare crystal known as a sphere of sleeping was recently stolen from the city of Bodrov. Such a crystal is capable of putting people in its immediate vicinity to sleep, and this one was known to be particularly large, perhaps capable of rendering an entire building of people unconscious. A relic of the Aeon priesthood was stolen from the vicinity of the Amber Monolith; we’ve been unable to ascertain exactly what it was, but they were quite distressed at its loss. Finally, something of great value was stolen recently from a merchant in Shallamas; we were once again unable to determine the precise nature of the stolen item, but it was again an item of great value.

Jesus: Can you describe for us in detail what the Sphere of Sleeping looks like?

Iom: It’s a pure, quartz crystal sphere that periodically changes color. It’s quite recognizable, and there’s thought to be none as big as the one in question in the whole world.

Jesus: How big is it, exactly?

Iom: Roughly the size of a man’s torso, I’d say. Also, you might be interested to know that the theft in Bodrov was the least recent of the set, and took place a full month ago. The theft in Shallamas occurred three weeks ago, and that at the Amber Monolith, a fortnight ago.

 

The party sets out for the Amber Monolith. After several days of walking, we spot the Monolith in the distance. The Monolith is an enormous amber obelisk, suspended high above the ground by some unknown force. As the party nears the structure, intricate designs carved into the sides of the obelisk gradually become apparent. A small town sprawls around the Amber Monolith, and as the party approaches, the road grows more and more crowded with pilgrims of all walks of life.

 

The party enters the outskirts of town, which are composed of a large array of huts and shacks, evidently intended as residences for the pilgrims. The complex which surrounds the obelisk is walled off, and the gates are shut. A church stands outside of the gates.

 

The party approaches the gates, which are set into a wall of perhaps thirty feet in height. Two spearmen stand on either side of the gates, attired in rich amber armor. As the party approach, one guard calls to halt.

 

Guard: Halt! What is your business here?

Mesmer: We are travelers, and wish to visit the Amber Monolith.

Guard: The gates are shut.

Elswyr: Yes, but they can be opened?

Guard: You will be allowed through when they open.

Elswyr: Friend, I think we’ve been misunderstood. We’re here to speak to an Aeon priest.

Guard: Is your question of a religious nature?

Mesmer: Yes, and we wish to know where and when the Aeon priests hold service.

Guard: (Points to the church) There. A priest, Ponnarkt is there most of the time to address to the pilgrims’ needs.

Elswyr: Thank you, sir. Tell me, do the Aeon priests live within the compound?

Guard: Yes, as do the guards.

Elswyr: Thank you for your help.

 

The party retreats from the gates. Jesus approaches a pilgrim.

Jesus: Friend, where do the pilgrims stay?

Pilgrim: We are provided housing in the huts you see around you. But you’ll have to wait in line over there (points to a large, more permanent building near the huts, in front of which there stands a long line of pilgrims).

Jesus: Thank you.

 

The party joins the back of the line. Elswyr approaches the pilgrim in front in the line.

 

Elswyr: Hello there! Is this the line to get housing for the night?

Pilgrim: Yes it is!

Elswyr: Ah, excellent. I just arrived, and I was afraid that I might not get housing for the night. Tell me, is there anything a pilgrim ought to know? Any recent goings-on?

Pilgrim: Well, I just arrived myself, as you can see since I’m in the back of the line as well.

 

The party leaves the line, and Mesmer approaches a bored looking pilgrim.

 

Mesmer: Hello! Why are the gates closed?

Pilgrim: I don’t know – they’ve been closed for the past two weeks. I came here all the way from my home town to see the Amber Monolith, and if they don’t let me in, I’m going to be pissed!

 

The party walks to the church. Elswyr suggests taking an honest approach with the priest. Some debate ensues, after which the party decides to lie by omission. The party enters the church, and spots a hairy young man dressed in the robes in the Aeon priest, standing in front of a long line of pilgrims. The party decides to offer Jesus’ services to the priest in healing the sick in line, in exchange for some time to chat once the line is dealt with. The priest agrees. The party realizes Jesus may fail to heal some people, so Elswyr asks the priest for his supplies so she can treat any that are beyond Jesus’ ability to heal.

 

The group heals a man with a cough, a gardener with a bad arm, and many others. They all seem to leave satisfied, and most of them actually healed.

 

Mesmer approaches the priest and explains that we spoke to Ather the Aeon priest and became aware of the theft, and want to help.

 

Priest: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Elswyr: “We assure you we’re here to help. We are worried about the importance of these stolen items, and want to prevent them falling into the wrong hands. Can’t you let us help you?”

Priest: “I don’t think you should be talking to me about this.”

Jesus: “Who should we be talking to?”

Priest: “I think you should let this drop”

Elswyr: “Listen, I know you’re not telling us everything. And that’s understandable, we’re strangers. That’s why we haven’t told you all we know of the theft either. Clearly the priests havent recovered what was stolen yet. Shouldn’t you welcome new information?”

Priest: “Fine. Meet me at dusk at the gate”

The party agrees, but they fear an ambush or arrest.

View
Session 16
Assassins in the Dark - Part 7

Flame retardant belt

Spray cannister of lube (Elsewyr would recognize this anywhere)

Heat nodule (Magistrate uses it for soldering, could do extra damage if attached to weapon)

Syringe which adds 1 to Intellect edge for an hour

Glass that returns any liquid poured into it a cold, sweet drink

 

The Magistrix instructs us to head down to the armory, where we will meet up with someone from the organization. The party turns around, waves goodbye to the Magistrate (his pet belches a farewell fireball), and heads off to the armory.

 

We pass over the gap to a set of doors with helpful labels, selecting the ‘Laboratory’ option. We are greeted by a Laborater as the Mystery Crew, and invited inside to see what he has to offer us. The room is cleaner than the upper levels in terms of dust, but there is much machinery strewn about. On the central table, there is a metal spike, a shiny circle, another belt, and what appears to be a telescope.

Jesus: what do these things do?

Laborater: Let’s start on the end. This thing that looks like a telescope, is in fact a telescope. It has a 5 mile radius.

The belt is something we’ve been experimenting with in preparing for upcoming battles. Once you activate it, it increases the strength of your armor for about 5 minutes. It is fairly unstable at the moment, which is why it doesn’t last longer, but it could help in a pinch.

There’s also the spike, which was intended to be..well, it isn’t very pleasant, but you can stab it into someone’s skull which will inhibit their mental process until it is removed. The metal spike may or may not cause permanent brain damage, we haven’t tested it sufficiently, and may or may not be less likely to kill someone than just stabbing them in the head. It’s noticeably larger in size than an arrow.

The shiny circle also requires another metal component that you also stab into the head, but it doesn’t cause brain damage, instead training the user in a skill, but take 3 points. Laborater says that we can’t take the shiny circle because it’s still in development.

The Laborater takes us across to the Armory, commenting in passing that he noticed we have the hammer and the armor from Captain Sumoc. He inquires whether we could be interested in learning how the hammer works. The Armory contains shock gloves that deal two damage and ignore armor, but you can’t equip any other weapon while wearing the gloves

Mesmer/Jesus get crossbows and some bolts.

Elsewyr decides not to take anything downstairs.

Cairn takes the telescope.

Mesmer stabs himself in the head. After some flashing of lights and such, he feels a little dumber but quite sneaky. (3 intellect damage)

View
Session 15
Assassins in the Dark - Part 6

As the captain falls, Mesmer waves his hands in an arcane gesture, and with a sharp pop, an illusory one-way mirror comes into being between the party and the soldiers. Shaken up from the battle with the captain, the party takes advantage of the soldiers’ confusion to rest. Elswyr strips the captain of her armor, which has ceased to glow following the death of its owner. Setting aside her own armor, Elswyr dons the armor of the late captain, which seems to change its shape to better fit her own body.

 

Cairn hands Elswyr the HAMMER!, and as the mirror flickers out, Elswyr, dressed in the captain’s armor and wielding the mighty HAMMER!, leaps across the gap, and loudly states,

 

Elswyr: “Unless you want me to wear your armor next, I suggest that you stand aside.”

 

The soldiers cower in fear, and offer no resistance. The rest of the party jumps across, and Elswyr, stepping forward, says once more,

 

Elswyr: “Stand aside!”

 

The soldiers make way, and the party proceeds to the room with the pedestal. Upon closer inspection, the party finds that the upper surface of the pedestal seems to be some sort of control panel containing six small buttons and a much larger, red button.

 

Elswyr: “You soldiers! What is the purpose of these controls?”

Soldier: “Um, they’re used by a commander when defending the room, ma’am”

Elswyr: “What do they do specifically?”

Soldier: “They, uh, move the platform, ma’am.”

 

Mesmer moves to depress the large, red, button.

 

Soldier: “Don’t do that!! That’s not a good idea!!”

Mesmer: “Why not?”

Soldier: “It electrifies the floor.”

 

Elswyr turns to address the soldiers again, speaking in a milder tone:

 

Elswyr: “You, soldiers. Tell me – these events; these circumstances – do you believe in what you’re fighting for? Do you believe in your mission?”

Soldier: “Yes, we do. Our mission is good.”

Elswyr, hefting the hammer: “So if I were to ask you to leave and never have anything to do with this organization again, I presume you would take umbrage at my request.”

Soldier: “Well, yes, but we also don’t want to get smashed, ma’am”

Elswyr: “If we find that you get up to more mischief, we will find you again. It wasn’t difficult. And we will make sure that you do no mischief ever again.”

 

The soldiers hastily file out of the room. Once the soldiers leave, the party makes their way up the stairs. As they do, Elswyr turns to Cairn:

 

Elswyr: “Cairn, I’d like to offer you a deal. I’ll let you have this fine HAMMER!, but in exchange, I’d like your shock-stick.”

Cairn: “Done. Good doing business with you.”

 

Cairn and Elswyr exchange weapons. The party reaches the top of the staircase without incident, and find themselves in front of the opening to a large room. The room appears to be the highest in the facility, and is well illuminated from the evening sunlight filtering through a large skylight set into the ceiling. The pillar which has pierced through the previous floors terminates here in a pyramidal shape, and is surrounded on all sides by machinery and wires which cover the entire floor. A solitary figure stoops over a table on the opposite side of the room, his back towards the party. He wears simple robes, and a mechanical device of some sort is perched upon his shoulder. The man wields a wrench, and appears to be engrossed in work of some kind.

 

Mesmer silently draws his rapier, and walks into the room as quietly as possible. Before he walks more than a few steps, his feet tangle in a cluster of wires, and he loudly falls into a pile of machinery. The figure turns, and, speaking calmly, says

 

Iom: “Friends, there is no need for conflict. You’ve proven yourself more than capable and I have no need for more enemies. Perhaps we can come to a mutual understanding. You have been fighting against us but for what reason I cannot ascertain. You don’t seem to be careless mercenaries nor do you move as tactfully as malicious saboteurs. Would you care to explain your intentions?

Elswyr: “Perhaps it would be better if you explain yours first.”

Iom: “My brethren and I represent a revival of the ancient order known as the Convergence.”

Elswyr: “We haven’t heard particularly good things about you.”

Iom: “Ah, you’ve been talking with Aeon Priests, then.”

 

Elswyr: “I am no sympathizer of the Aeon Priests, but your tale seems inconsistent with our experience.

Iom: “With all respect, friend, you haven’t engaged with the upper echelon of the Aeon priesthood. Nothing passes in the Ninth World that the Aeon priests do not have a say.”

Elswyr:

Iom:

Mesmer: “I think my friend here refers to the villagers and others that have been kidnapped and used against their will.”

Iom: “Yes, we have been forced to move quickly and consolidate our resources.”

Elswyr: “It would seem that in an attempt to move against your foes you have become no better than they

Iom: we don’t move against old foes

Elswyr: Who then?

Iom: A new actor has joined the stage. Powerful numenera have begun disappearing, presum arsenal. Spies tell of high ranking officials presumably being seduced by the other side. How did you come to know of our organization? What brings you here?

Cairn: “Well, our most direct concern is that an item of ours that we value highly has been stolen, and the theft appears connected to your organization. We would certainly appreciate any help you could provide in retrieving it.”

Iom: “What item is this?”

Cairn: <describes it>

Iom: “Ah, yes, the hypercube. Unfortunately, we need the technology of the cube to activate the Venerator. However, we would be happy to compensate you for the use of the item. We have many rare Numenera which we would be willing to trade.”

Carn: “We will consider your offer. But another more urgent matter: on our way to the Sanctum, we encountered several creatures, seemingly wolves, but who upon their deaths reverted to human form. Inside the sanctum, we saw evidence that your organization was involved in “producing” these individuals.”

Iom: “Yes, the Ferals. The elixir we produce is responsible for them, yes, but they are all volunteers. They desired more power and were grated it. “

Cairn: “Were they fully aware of the risks involved?”

Iom: “Yes, and the elixir is temporary.”

Cairn: “If they were volunteers, why conscript?”

Iom: “Labor is scarce.”

Mesmer: “But we met somebody forced into service.”

Iom: “Again, labor was scarce.”

 

Cairn: “I’m curious. What then is this all trying to accomplish? I understand your feud with the Aeon priests, but why conscript villagers? Why the urgency? What do you want?

Iom: “We want to release the Aeon Priests’ hold over the people and the governments of the world. But more importantly, we wish to save the Ninth World from a much greater threat.”

Elswyr: “What is this threat?”

Iom: “Before I say more, I would know more about you and your motives.”

Mesmer: “Well, a friend of ours was murdered, and an item of ours was stolen. So at this point, perhaps you ought to tell us why we shouldn’t retaliate against you further.”

Iom: “We will compensate you for the item, and if you’d like, offer you assurances of safe travel back to Charmand.”

Elswyr: “From a moral standpoint, we’re concerned that you’re deriving profit from the suffering of the conscripted masses.”

Iom: “We make no profit.”

Elswyr: “Then why?”

Iom: “Can’t tell you until I know more about you. Or you could join”

Elswyr: “Won’t join something we don’t know about.”

Cairn: “Look, we’re trying to work with you here. But we need ot know more.”

Iom: “Alright, I’ll tell you what I can. Lots of numenera going missing recently. Even stuff that’s well guarded. The stealth with which they’ve done this indicates that they’re very powerful. Haven’t heard until recently, aso troubling. Evenheard that this ator has come from another world, which is super scary. Ninth world has hadto repel such an attack er before, and it has always lead to tragic loss of life.

Mesmer: “Hold on. If the Aeon Priests won the last war, why are they not working to defend the world from this new incursion? Why would you, as the losers of that war, attempt to do this?”

Iom: “It is our duty.”

Mesmer: “And you’re telling me that revenge is not a factor here?”

Iom: “Not at all. We fully intend to right the wrongs of the past.”

Elswyr: “With your leave, Magister, might we confer before we decide whether to offer you our support?”

Iom: “Very well. Please don’t break anything.”




 

Elswyr: I cannot in good faith let this group continue to operate. They claim to have the world’s interests in heart but that could be a lie they tell themselves. They should be rallying people to their cause, rallying leaders and governments—instead they take away freedom and bend men to their own wills. Even if their cause is just, they’re doing it in a way that is unacceptable.

 

Jesus: If what they say is true, then they can’t recruit because the Aeon Priesthood would retaliate.

 

Elswyr: They could be allies against a common threat!

 

Cairn: Public recruitment would not be viable also because of the unknown group. Covert tactics are their best option. If they are required to use covert means and this unknown group is also real, are we really taking away freedom of choice if we can choose to help the people help themselves.

 

Jesus: Basically, do the ends justify the means. Especially since the people would die anyways or be enslaved.

 

Elswyr: The ends do not justify these means.

 

Mesmer: They’re unreliable. The only group we’ve seen do awful things is them. Why do we trust them? They kidnapped, stole, and killed.

 

Jesus: Let’s ask for hard evidence. Or maybe we could get concessions.

 

Mesmer: They also did offer compensation.

 

E: Seems like a bribe.

M: Do we ever intend to do business with Dracogen? If so, we need to

 

E: Could Dracogen be the threat?

 

C: I’ve been thinking the same thing.

 

E: He hasn’t taken any of our things, but he could be looking for a specific thing.

 

M: We’ve only observed Dracogen helping us whereas this group has only hurt people.

 

J: If he was the bad guy, he wouldn’t have just given up the hypercube.

 

M: It doesn’t seem like Dracogen is much of a threat. If he was actually a threat, he would’ve known more. Even if he’s the threat, I’m more likely to side with him. I’m more likely to believe the group that has been wronged and is gathering power rather than the guy picking up random numenera.

 

E: We have the devil we can see vs. the devil we can’t. We should take action against people we know are doing bad things.

 

J: Let’s see if he has some evidence.

 

C: I am very reluctant to side with anyone because the Convergence could be wrong. I don’t like the Aeon Priests because they’re crazy weird political priests.

 

M: My best friend as a child who gifted me the grenade was an Aeon Priest

 

C: They’re destroying old ruins and nature.

 

M: Actually that’s us.

 

J: If it weren’t for the Aeon Priests, I wouldn’t be here.

 

E: I don’t think individual Aeon Priests are bad.

 

C: The Convergence could be a well-meaning villain.

 

M: Perhaps all they need is a moral compass. And Elswyr could be that. We could work there for a while and usurp power if they do something bad.

 

E: What if I help recruit if they promise not to use people against their will.

 

M: Also, compensation. And we care about Lermy.

C: If we do this, we are giving up connection on Dracogen.

 

E: We can’t let them keep using kidnapped slave labor. I also think this guy would be willing to admit to kill Lermy. If they’re murderers and kidnappers, we should choose the side of the merchant/collector.

 

J: We want (1) proof, (2) you to stop using slave labor, and (3) box or compensation for box + Lermy.

 

M: Ok, well if we want to find the box and escape, what’s the plan?

 

E: Or we could just tell Dracogen we don’t have the box and ask for his help.

 

M: We just don’t want to piss off two powerful factions. We want proof and compensation. If we’re satisfied, we promise to help if you stop doing the kidnapping and murdering. If we decide not to join, we’ll just get compensation.



 

Iom: Have you made a decision?

J: Magister, you’ve offered us no proof.

I: Well, I can show you the bodies of our agents, but I don’t imagine that would be as convincing to you.

M: What convinced you?

I: The bodies are of course more convincing to me, since I knew and recruited many of them. But I’ve heard many, many rumors, which I’ve used to put together a complete picture of the situation.

M: How do you know it’s not the Aeon priests?

I: Doesn’t seem like them.

C: What kind of patterns have you identified that lead you to these conclusions? Are tthere common grounds among people killed or things sttolen?

I: For one, the number murders and thefts have increased sharply. For another, the perpetrators have been described by survivors as extremely technologically advanced infiltrators. Unfortunately, such firsthand evidence is rare, asthey tend to leave few survivors. However, they leave behind distinguishing signs.

E: Say there is a threat as you say. What definitive steps are you taking to actually save the world?

I: We’re trying to accumulate enough power to be able to stop the threat.

C: What are your standards for that? How do you know when you have enough?

E: And power is the most generic thing ever. How are you going to direct it?

I: Fair point. We intend to generate enough power with the Venerator to exert an influence over the whole world. With the Venerator, we will power the world.

C: What does the world’s biggest power source do for you?

I: We can use it not only on the battlefield, but in the realm of research. And when the battle is done and the enemy defeated, we intend to use the power to improve the entire world.

C: What is the role of the hypercube in the technology? Can you replace it?

I: I’m not the most well versed in this topic. But once the threat is passed, we are absolutely open to working to find a replacement.

E: I’m not convinced that anybody should have that much power.

I: I understand your concern, but our belief is that the power is necessary to defeat this threat, and our goal is noble. We want to provide access to this power to everybody who needs it.

E: Listen. When you find that people are stockpiling weapons, why is it that your first reaction is to build the biggest weapon you can? Why not learn more about the politics?

C: And you have no reason to believe that you have a chance to win this arms race

I: We believe that this is our best strategy. Out of various proposals, this was chosen to be the best. We know very well that it might not suffice, but that is no reason to not try in the first place. And we’ve tried quite hard to understand our foe. Thus the dead spies.

E: What if we were to investigate this threat for you? We would need our box back, or at least some form of compensation, as well as assurances that you won’t kidnap any further people. If and when we return from this mission, we will also help to recruit for you. We are well-connected adventurers. Let us help you.

I: I would be happy if you merely left us alone, so your offer is generous. I accept.

E: I wish to emphasize that you are to kidnap no more. If we return to find that our conditions hae not been followed, there will be hell to pay.

I: I don’t think you fully understand the reasoning and methods of our organization, but I accept nonetheless. Besides, the… alternative methods… were mostly the work of Magister Tixszal. He wasn’t the most savory character.

View
Session 14
Assassins in the Dark - Part 5

We find ourselves alone in an antechamber full of boxes and contraptions, but hear movement up ahead. Jesus peeks around the corner. He sees a large open room, also filled with boxes and machinery. A large cylinder sits in the center, rising up through the ceiling and down through the ground. An exit stands across the room. The room holds about ten guards, though they don’t notice us just yet.

 

The party hesitates and deliberates for a moment, then decides on trickery. Mesmer weaves an illusion around Jesus to make him appear to glow with power just as the magister had. Then Jesus strides forward confidently, brandishing the staff. The party follows him, brandishing their weapons.

 

Jesus: “Behold! I have slain your former master, and now I bear his staff. Swear fealty to me or perish!”

 

The guards hesitate, dumbstruck. Jesus blasts one of them with his staff, trying to inflict only pain and not a mortal blow. A ray of red light streams from the staff, and the man is consumed by it, writhing in pain before collapsing, unconscious.

 

Jesus: “I said bow to me!”

 

The guards cower and submit, crying for mercy. Jesus orders them to follow the commands of the rest of the party as well. They interrogate the guards, and order them to lead the party towards the Venerator.

 

The guards lead us up a flight of stairs and back around. Room with metallic floor with a lattice pattern engraved on it. In the center stands a glass platform with 6 guards, who look more disciplined and better equipped than our guards. Also on the platform stands a crystalline pedestal. One of the guards speaks up.

 

Suspicious Guard: “Halt! Who goes there?”

Elswyr: “Your new overseers. Tell them.” gestures towards talkative guard

Ally Guard: “It’s true. We just came from the Empty Sanctum and brought them with us”

Jesus: “Magister Tixszal in his incompetence has allowed the fortress to be compromised. We saved these guards from the fortress and have brought them here.”

Cairn: “He left clues in town that were leaving unwanted attention. Some adventurers were going around asking questions”

Elswyr: “Have you never known a commanding officer who was utterly incompetent?”

Suspicious guard: “Where is Tixszal? We need to speak with him.”

Jesus: “The aforementioned adventurers stormed the castle, causing its collapse. They defeated Tixszal before we arrived and slew them.”

Suspicious Guard: “I will have to fetch the Captain. He will need to speak with you.”

 

He leaves to get the captain. The crossbowman in our group speaks up.

 

Crossbowman: “Wait! These four are lying. I was with them when they slew Magister Tixszal.”

Jesus: “Blasphemy!

 

Jesus zaps the crossbowman, and he collapses, writhing in agony. However, the gemstone on the staff cracks and the light in it fades. The guards begin to murmur in suspicion.

 

Suspicious Guard: “What was he going on about?”

Elswyr: “He was whispering blasphemy.”

Suspicious Guard: Squints at us “Very well. I will return with the Captain. Men, if they try to escape, kill them.”

 

The suspicious guard returns, along with a woman bearing a large warhammer and glowing blue armor.

 

Captain: “Who are you?”

Jesus: “Mercenaries hired by Tixszal”

Captain: “Tixszal was not authorized”

Elswyr: Shrugs

Mesmer: “We still expect to be paid”

Captain: “Why are you here?”

Elswyr “Listen, we’re here to work. Do you need muscle or not?”

Crossbowman: “They’re lying, I saw them cut down John and Tixszal”

Captain: “Can you explain what my soldier accused you of?”

Elswyr: “Do you tolerate such insolence from your subordinates?”

Captain: “I think our guests have overstayed their welcome. Guards, arrest them!”

 

The party flees back towards the stairwell. Mesmer uses his phase disruptor on the ground at the top of the landing, and the group watches from the stairwell, baiting their foes to follow. One man chases, eager to catch us, but falls into the pit and snaps his neck with a sickening thud.

 

Jesus throws his detonator across the gap towards the group of soldiers standing at the edge. It explodes in a flash of light, blinding the soldiers. Mesmer fires his crossbow and hits a soldier, and Jesus mind-blasts him. He falls over, dead. Elswyr fires an arrow but misses. Cairn stands on the defensive, trying to fend off anyone who tries to jump the gap.

 

The captain does just that, shoving her men out of the way and crossing with a mighty spring. Cairn tries to fend her off, but she blocks his staff with her heavy hammer, twisting inhumanly in order to block his swing in time (intrusion). Mesmer swings his sword in a mighty swing, trying to knock her off the edge. She almost falls, but again regains her footing with surprising grace (intrusion). Cairn hits her with his staff, and Elswyr’s spear finds a gap in the Captain’s armor.

 

The captain swings her hammer with a mighty swing, trying to hit all the heroes. They all leap out of the way, and the hammer crashes harmlessly into the wall, crushing it with the impact. The party retaliates with three well-placed blows. Jesus tries to heal Mesmer but his spell backfires, sapping some of his mental fortitude.

 

Finally brave enough to enter the fray, two guards leap the gap, while a third takes a shot with his crossbow. One soldier hits a surprised Mesmer, knocking him off balance. Mesmer tries to hit the captain, but his clumsy blow doesn’t even come near her. Jesus channels his magic, intent on succeeding where he failed last time, and with a growl of frustration infuses a huge amount of life force into Cairn, restoring much of his lost might. An emboldened Cairn strikes at the captain, hitting a sound blow. Elswyr lashes out at one of the spearmen and runs him through the heart, before kicking him off her spear into the pit. “You will not harm them,” she snarls, but she winces afterward, clutching her side. Her energy is nearly spent.

 

Jesus rushes over and restores the weary Elswyr. Mesmer misses the captain, but Cairn hits with his staff. Elswyr attacks another spearman but misses. The captain tries to retaliate, but Elswyr sees the blow coming. She dodges and knocks the captain off balance. The soldiers also strike at Elswyr. She dodges the first, but takes a grievous blow from the second. Jesus, already beside her, mends her wound.

Mesmer attacks with a swipe of his large, flat blade, and the captain falters from the impact of the blow. Elswyr finds an opening and drives her spear just above the captain’s pauldrons, running it through her throat. She sinks to her knees, then falls over with a heavy thud.

 

HAMMER! (2-handed weapon): Deals +2 damage on hit but you suffer -1 penalty to speed rolls

View
Session 13
Assassins in the Dark - Part 4

We make it to the edge of the forest, where we see a wall, where we expect the wall of the fortress to be. It’s roughly 10 feet tall. Mesmer leaps over the wall, and spikes a rope into the ground, helping the rest of the party climb over. The party sneaks northward towards the buildings to the north, and Elswyr inspects one of two strange objects on the grounds of the fortress. It is a large metal cylinder, lying on its side. One end of the cylinder is sealed with metal, while the other is covered in a strange opaque film, perhaps gelatinous in appearance. A tube runs from the tower to the cylinder, embedded in the film.

 

Jesus tries tossing a clump of dirt, and a pebble, and both pass through the film without apparently hitting the other side. Jesus then tries poking the film with a spike. There was a little resistance going in and out, but the spike remains unchanged. Jesus chucks another clod of dirt, looks at the other ring, and observes no changes.

 

Cairn presses the alarm tile, and can hear that there’s a set of people (~3) relatively close. They’re probably either in the building by the entrance, or in the other building to the north. The majority of the people sound like they’re on the other side of the fortress.

 

The party moves closer to the building on the north. Cairn presses the alarm tile, and hears one beep from the building. Cairn scouts out the building to the north. He sees three concrete structures. One has a door made of bars with a disheveled man inside.

 

Jesus throws a rock near the man. He shivers, but does not wake. Cairn CRUSHES the lock on the door, pokes the man with his quarterstaff, and flips him over. He doesn’t respond, but appears to be a normal man. Elswyr asks the man if he’s alright, and he awakes. Jesus goes in for the physical inspection, and determines that the man is gravely ill. He lays on hands, and the man is slightly healed.

 

Mesmer: “Who are you? How did you end up here?”

Norbrun: “My name is Norbrun. I was taken by the men here many weeks ago.”

Elswyr: “How do you know we’re not with the men here?”

N: “The men left me here to die”

E: “What can you tell us about these men?”

N: “They took several of us. Many haven’t returned. When I got here, there were others here. They were taken one by one, until yesterday, when they were all taken.”

Jesus: “How many are here?”

N: “I’ve seen at least a dozen come and go. They appear to be well-armed.”

M: “How were you abducted?”

N: “I was tending to my herd, when I was attacked from behind. When I woke up, I was here.”

 

Mesmer describes one of the corpses, and Norbrun recognized him as one of the men kept in a nearby building. The party leaves the man in the building, closing the door behind them.

 

The party decides to sneak behind the tower to the buildings behind it. We see a round building attached to the tower, but it doesn’t appear to have an entrance on this side.

 

Cairn is sent to scout out the front of the tower. He hears the sounds of scratching and growling, and communicates this to the rest of the group. The party walks around the building, trying to find an entrance. Elswyr leads, aiming to prevent harm.

 

The party sees a door leading into the building attached to the tower, and to the tower itself. Cairn gently opens the door to the building. Inside, there is a laboratory, with the stench of humanity. There’s a chimney and a furnace in the center of the room, along with a few people who are surprised to see the party at the door. Two people in robes bolt into a side passageway, yelling “Intruders.” The party gives chase. At the end of the passageway, the party enters the first floor of the tower. In that room, there’s a man in extravagant robes, two guards with crossbows, and two wolves. The robed men are scurrying away.

 

Extravagant robe man: “Stop! Who are you?”

Elswyr: “Is there anything you can say in your defense, such that I should not punish you?” [Fingering a grenade]

ERM: “Scoff scoff. Who gives you the authority to punish me?”

E: “I don’t need the authority.” [Throws the grenade]

 

The grenade lands right in front of the enemy party, exploding with a green liquid. The two wolves rear back in surprise, the liquid searing their skin. The guards quickly remove their now-burning armor. The robed man appears to be relatively untouched.

 

Mesmer rushes at the robed man, but trips and misses. Jesus tries to mind blast him, but the man is also unaffected. Cairn smacks one of the wolves with a great blow. The wolf is still alive, but is now enraged. It swings back at Cairn, but Cairn just barely manages to slip out of the way. The other wolf attempts to attack Mesmer, but he skillfully dodges and deals a devastating counterattack, slicing through and bisecting the wolf (dead). The two crossbowmen shoot at Mesmer. He dodges one bolt, and shrugs off the other.

 

The robed man declares “Behold the power of Magister Tixszal”. He whips out his staff from under his robes, with a crystal at the top. He points it at Mesmer and blasts a ray at him, scorching the ground. Mesmer dodges this ray of energy, Matrix-style. Not satisfied with killing the other wolf, he slices the other one apart as well.

 

Jesus sends out another blast of energy at one of the crossbowmen. He starts bleeding out his ears, but is still standing. Cairn charges him, CRUSHing his head with his quarterstaff, killing him. Elswyr thrusted her spear at the magister, but he nimbly dodges.

 

The remaining crossbowmen flees. The magister attempts to blast Mesmer again, and this time he succeeds, dealing 4 damage. Mesmer is overcome with pain, losing his next turn.

 

Jesus asks the man if he wants to surrender, but he responds “I will not be defeated in my own tower.” Cairn lands a solid blow with his quarterstaff, but Elswyr’s might spear misses again.

 

The magister shouts “you runts will not defeat me” while shooting his staff at Elswyr, landing a direct hit (dealing 4 damage, leaving her wracked with pain). He cackles and begins glowing, declaring “I feed off your pain.”

 

Jesus lays his hands on Mesmer, but he fails miserably, paralyzing Mesmer for a turn. Cairn, as the only conscious, competent member of the party, swings his quarterstaff at magister once more. The magister winces in pain and surprise, and warbles “you fooooools.”

 

The magister smites Cairn this time, striking yet another direct hit.

 

Mesmer attempts to shrugs off Jesus’s second attempt at healing to attack the magister, but he misses. Jesus slips pasts Mesmer’s defense to lay on hands, but this time he actually heals. Elswyr thrusts clumsily, disturbed by Mesmer’s brutal violence, missing the magister again.
 

The magister attempts to smite Elswyr, but this time she nimbly dodges.

 

Mesmer misses again, Jesus feebly heals Cairn, and Cairn smacks the magister again. “Perhaps you are the only one here who is not a fool.” Elswyr, of course, misses.

 

The magister attempts to smite Cairn, but this time he nimbly dodges. The magister curses Cairn’s name, as well as those of his ancestors.

 

Mesmer misses again, Jesus fails to heal Cairn, but Cairn misses the magister this time. “Hah! You missed.” Elswyr finally successfully thrusts at the magister, who, in his hubris, did not jump back, leaving him gasping for air on the ground.

 

M: “Who do you work for?”

T: “The convergence will end you. I’m not telling you anything”

J: “I can heal you. But if you don’t tell us what you know, I’ll leave you to bleed out on the floor.” He’s very intimidating

T: “Fine. I’ll talk. Just save me.”

E/J: “What are you trying to achieve?”

T: “We’re building an army… to regain the power that was once lost. We’ve almost completed the venerator. Once we have the power of [belush jazeeri?], no one will be able to stand in our way. The venerator will give us power beyond compare. It will let us destroy all those who stand against us.”

J: “Is this your main base of operations? Where is it?”

T: “No. I don’t it suppose it matters anymore. It’s at the golden sanctum. But even if you go there, you’ll be destroyed by those even more powerful than me.”

M: “What do you know of Mnoma?”

T: “She was employed by the convergence to complete the venerator. She’s already at the golden sanctum. Once the venerator is complete, we will have no more use for her.”

 

Jesus grabs the staff of extreme pain, and the party exits the tower, dragging the magister outside. The ground starts rumbling as the party goes through the doorway. The shaking intensifies as the whole fortress sinks. The party sprints towards the prison cells. Mesmer and Elswyr grab Norbrun from the cell. Jesus heals the magister, leaves him in the cell, and joins the rest of the party in fleeing. The rope is now dangling from the wall, so the party instead decides to follow the guards in jumping through the rings.

 

The party feels like they’ve been jolted with electricity as they pass through the ring. They come out on the other side disoriented, and appear to be in a strange space, with a transparent lights and no sense of depth. The guards are running down the path to bright light at the other end. The ring behind the party cracks, the film wavers, and the path starts fading and shattering. The party heads towards the light, and barely pass through the portal on the other side just before it cracks, emerging into a brightly lit room.

 

1 XP to Cairn for effectively CRUSHing the boss

View
Session 12
Assassins in the Dark - Part 3

The party decides to seek answers from the local Aeon priests. Upon knocking they are greeted by a small, wizened old man named Ather. Jesus speaks for the party, suggesting we are interested in the local culture and history. The man welcomes them inside. Jesus asks about farming and agriculture, and mentions the recent disturbances we learned of. The man doesn’t have much to say on the matter. He mentions the princess is getting married in a political marriage-alliance. Jesus inquires regarding the Princess’ popularity. The man seems hesitant, but Jesus and Elswyr persuade him to speak. It becomes apparent that the royal family is resented for their flagrant use of slaves.

 

When it becomes clear he won’t say  more on the matter, Jesus shows him the note. We learn that Bilu-sha-ziri is “Lord of the Seed”, a mythological power source. The Convergence was a sect – who were in conflict with the Aeon priesthood and later wiped out – who venerated Bilu-sha-ziri. Mesmer suggests that the Convergence might be experience a Resurgence, and Ather mentions that there is an old Convergence stronghold nearby called “The Empty Sanctum”.

 

Unsurprisingly, the party decides to search for answers in The Empty Sanctum. There’s an approach by road, and woods on the other side. The party decides to approach through the forest for better cover. It’s quite dark in the dense forest, but the party navigates it well thanks to Cairn’s compass.  All of a sudden, Cairn notices that the forest has gone dead silent. He pulls out his detector-tile, and senses four nearby beings – the party – and four distant ones. Wary, Mesmer pulls out his glowglobe to better illuminate the dark forest interior.

 

The light reveals a shadowy form between the trees, tall and bipedal, but savage and bestial. The party prepares itself, with Elswyr drawing her spear and shield, and spreading her wings. Elswyr warns the creature “Come no closer!”. The creature growls in response. Mesmer uses his illusory powers to make Elswyr’s eyes glow and causes her to make the same growling sound back, only louder. “Stay close,” Elswyr says to the party, and starts to circle around  the creature, always keeping her shield between the beast and the party.

 

The creature growls, and Elswyr warns Cairn to watch the party’s flank. Suddenly three more creatures fall from the trees and assault the party. Cairn and Mesmer jump out of the way, but Jesus is struck. Mesmer tries to strike with his greatsword, but hits a tree on his backswing and is staggered. Jesus takes a moment to heal his wounds, but Mesmer is struck by a creature. Sensing weakness, its allies pounce Mesmer. The warrior parries one blow but is struck by the second. The original creature charges Elswyr, but she slaps the attack aside. Cairn heals Mesmer with his healing potion. Elswyr strikes with her spear and successfully knocks the creature before her off balance.

 

Mesmer gets up from his staggered position and Jesus misses a thrust. Jesus takes another punishing blow. Two attack Cairn, and while he blocks the first with his quarterstaff, the second one hits him from behind. He retaliates with his shock-staff and stuns the beast. Elswyr strikes again, angering her foe, but it still stands.

 

Mesmer swings his sword and strikes a grievous blow against the creature attacking Jesus, causing it to shriek in pain and anger. Jesus activates his lightning fence offensively, telling everyone to get on the ground and causing it to spring into existence above their heads, shocking all the beasts. Both injured creatures are slain, and the others are sorely injured, their fur singed. Jesus dodges the retaliatory blows, grinning with elation. Cairn stuns his foe once more. Elswyr strikes a keen blow with her spear, the edge flashing tauntingly, waving the bloody tip in the creature’s face, goading the enraged creature into turning its attention towards her.

 

Mesmer slays the enraged beast with a swift blow from his enormous blade. Jesus throws the last of his might into a retaliatory blow, slipping his knife into the beast’s eye-socket and killing it instantly.

 

As the creatures expire, their bestial features fade and they revert into ordinary-looking humans. Oh the moral ramifications!

 

Jesus earns a bonus experience for fighting with such tenacity and flair.

View
Session 11
Assassins in the Dark - Part 2

Mesmer posits that we could throw a grenade through the offending window. Mesmer decides instead to run to the window to see if you can spot the killer. Mesmer sees someone on the rooftop carrying a contraption. Upon noticing you noticing him, the person of interestmstarts clambering down the roof. Mesmer jumps gracefully out the window to chase the assassin, Elswyr follows as she pulls out her bow and arrow. Cairn shakes his head and hurries after them through the door, followed by Jesus.

 

Elswyr shoots an arrow, it hits. The assassin continues to run away, now leaving a blood trail. Elswyr yells for Cairn to follow the trail. Mesmer decides to throw his sword across the street after the assassin, strafing his back and knocking him to the ground. Jesus rushes over to the assassin and performs a physical inspection. The first thing he notices is that the rapier was very effectively thrown, piercing his neck and killing him.

 

We check the assassin’s inventory, he has the known projectile firing weapon with two remaining bolts and a bit of money (steak money). He also has a variety of biomechanical enhancements, including attachments to his legs and arms. He appears to be a normal human in his prime.  Mesmer studies the enhancements carefully, realizing that these devices serve the purpose of increasing physical dexterity and strength, such as speed and power.  These are highly skilled enhancements, it is likely that someone with expertise in the field could identify their maker.

 

We stuff the assassin into the box, and on Cairn’s suggestion the team heads back to the inn to inquire after the location of a mortuary. Rathszaz agrees to have a quick chat in private, and Cairn attempts to inquire subtly after a mortuary. Rathszaz is a little suspicious, and so Elsewyr decides to open up to him/her/it about the situation.

 

Rathszaz confirms that such an institute but others are likely to be suspicious about their story, wondering if there is a reason it is so important they investigate the body. Mesmer points out that there are some very fancy enhancements on the body and they’re hoping to learn of their origin. Rathzaz indicates that there is someone in town very familiar with enhancement technology named Mnoma.

 

He/she/it will be able to arrange a meeting for them with Mnoma tomorrow. Mnoma will be easily recognizable. In the meantime, using the assassin’s money, we buy dinner. Steak for everyone but Jesus, who wants to find something more interesting, tries another item on the menu, and is still unimpressed.

 

We rest.

 

We find Mnoma, who is apparently a goth.

 

We approach Mnoma. Jesus indicates we would like to utilize her knowledge of enhancements to solve a problem, a problem of the highest delicacy and discretion. Mnoma says yes.

 

Mesmer prepares to craft an illusion. The illusion prevents anyone who isn’t the team or Mnoma from seeing the body. We lift an arm out of the box, and she denies all knowledge of the enhancement. Cairn unceremoniously lifts the body out of the box and drops it on the table. ‘Anything else?’ Mnoma stumbles back and is clearly flustered by this. ‘What are you doing’? “Maybe some other part of this seems familiar to you?” Mnoma attempts to leave, but Mesmer restrains her.

 

We explain that this man killed our dear friend, and we need all the information that she can provide. Elswyr not-so-subtly threatens Mnoma. Mnoma admits that she crafted the enhancements, and asks to see the box. Jesus hands the box delicately to Mnoma. Mnoma hits her side, and the air around her get shot. Elswyr sprays her legs and the floor around her. Jesus attempts to wrest the box away from her. Mnoma teleports to the other side of the square with a loud crack, begins to run, and slips and falls.

 

The party chases Mnoma to a building. They catch up to her as she runs into her apartment. Mesmer lobs a grenade into the room, but she teleports away before it explodes. Cairn enters the room, and is able to save some papers from burning. Jesus runs down the stairs in case Mnoma teleported back to the street below.

 

The papers say:

 

C: “The Convergence comes.”

M: “The Convergence eternal”

C: “We have almost gathered enough resources to activate the Venerator. We just require your expertise to complete the final elements.”

M: “I will come at once”

C: “If this plan succeeds and the Venerator works, Bilu-sha-ziri will make us powerful beyond the dreams of mortals.

(burned) Meet up with us using the

 

We return to the square, where a crowd has gathered, along with guards and crime scene investigators. We are recognized as the people who chased the “killer,” and Inspector Fulmirion approaches us.

 

We claim that the man had attempted to kill us, and imply that Mnoma killed him to keep her secrets. The inspector recognizes Mnoma by description, and says that she’s a very respected scholar and engineer. “I find it hard to believe that she would kill anybody.” We convinced the inspector that we weren’t responsible.


We confronted the innkeeper, who claimed no association with Mnoma. We decide to investigate further by talking to aeon priests.

View
Session 10
Assassins in the Dark - Part 1

Dracogen offers to return all the Numenera to us (yay!). He offers to let us keep the box of holding, provided we help him with an investigation. Apparently there is a shady organization operating across the Steadfast (at least the northern half), kidnapping people and searching for power (presumably Numenera). He tells us of an agent of his – Lermi – in the town of Charmonde. He asks that we speak to Lermi and learn more, then assist Lermi with his investigation. We are assured that we are always welcome in the Huts of Dracogen.

 

We ask if he has anything which can power the food machine; Dracogen offers that if we leave the machine, he will investigate it to see about a potential power source. We wonder if there is anything of note about the city of Charmonde (see rulebook here). It is apparently fabulous. Surrounded by large defending walls, which have not been utilized in living memory. Not a utopia: slaves and potential social discontent are present. But really good beef.

 

Dameen has ‘had enough adventure for a lifetime’ and is returning to her astronomical studies. Rufan doesn’t appreciate our talking behind his back and is staying with Dracogen.

 

We walk. Presumably. Who knows.

 

The tower comes into sight. We arrive at the city, and find a tall white marbled structure, surrounded by tiers of progressively less shiny city sectors. We walk around the city and find a natural kind of center, complete with visitor’s inn.

 

We are greeted by a reptilian creature whose name is Rathszas. Elswyr wonders if the name is “Ratsass”, and is indignantly rebuked. We wonder if there is a man named Lermi somewhere. Rathszas says that such a man wanders around the city, and drops by the inn regularly. He will likely be in tonight. We ask about the best steakhouse in town, and are told we’re standing in it. We inquire about the cost, and are offered a ‘reasonable price’. The group agrees that one shin per person is acceptable, and the price is accepted.

 

Clanging and fire and other accepted sounds occur in the kitchen, and some steaks are brought out. Mesmer analyzes the steak, and decides that it is very likely a cipher. Cairn and Mesmer agree that the steak is delicious, though Mesmer says so with some trepidation. Jesus agrees that it is pretty tasty, but misses the food from the food machine we left with Dracogen.

 

Jesus asks about recent news in the town of Charmonde. Apparently, the princess is getting married, complete with royal ball. Rathszaz is a bit bitter about not getting to cater. The orik farms have suffered a decrease in productivity, as a result of some farm hands mysteriously disappearing. Rathszaz wonders if we’d like to hear more, and we select Yes. Jesus wonders if we can keep Rathszaz, but she indicates that the only way such could happen is with a proposal of marriage. She is also unable to provide further information, other than that people are scared enough to potentially skip out on work. Elswyr is curious about whether non-farmhands are disappearing. Rathszaz is unable to confirm, having a clientele of ~100% farmhands. However, she can say that this has been going on for months.

 

Rathszaz pulled this inn together from her bootstraps, from back when these outer skirts of the city were just a collection of hovels. Mesmer successfully makes Rathszaz laugh and gets a coupon for a free steak.

 

-We wait for an hour. Browncloaked, plain looking farmers pass through, mostly containing mild enhancements such as limited strength increases or nightvision.-

 

The inn has gotten fairly lively. A man walks in, dressed slightly out of the norm. He spies our group, and approaches us. Lermi approaches and says ‘Do you have the coin?’ Mesmer flashes the coin, and Lermi relaxes a bit. ‘My friends, think you for coming to assist me. I’ve started to unravel this conspiracy, and I fear that the enemy is moving too quickly towards their goal.’ We wonder if this conversation would be better had in a private location, and Lermi agrees.

 

We exit the inn into the early evening, the sky slightly dim as night approaches, and start walking down the street. Jesus wonders out loud whether the inn is in fact the best steak house in the city. Lermi replies ‘Truthfully, the owner of that place has 11 brothers and sisters. All of whom claim to have the best steak house in the city’. Elswyr confirms though that it is a reasonably priced meal and Lermi agrees, saying that he ‘often goes there himself’. He doesn’t mention to Rathszaz that he frequents the siblings’ steakhouses as well.

 

We continue to walk, passing a number of alleys and other areas, before stepping into a building. Lermi says ‘This building is abandoned, we can talk here without fear of passers by overhearing our discussion.’

Elswyr wonders whether there is reason to believe that the random citizen is unlikely to be involved in this conspiracy. However, one can never be too careful, as their reach is wide and unknown.

Lermi: ‘As you may have heard from Dracogen, there is a group of people that is kidnapping folks from all across the steadfast. Individuals of all tiers are disappearing, not just farmhands from this region. High-ranking members of society do not wish to make this filtration public, so they hide the details from the masses.’

Elswyr: ‘Are there any patterns? Up and coming? Down on their luck? Sharing a cause?

Lermi: ‘They don’t appear to have anything in common. They vary from commoners, who have no such ideals, to those highly advanced in numenera related to engineering and biomechanics’.

Elswyr: ‘Is there any evidence that any of the disappearances have been unwilling’?

Lermi: ‘I have learned that some of these people have gone willing. Upon researching a nearby disappearance, I found out that the individual had been discussing with the group about the possibility of awakening an ancient power.’

Elswyr: ‘Is it possible that all disappearances are voluntary, that these people are being recruited in?’

Lermi: ‘Yes, it seems possible’.

 

A projectile flies in through the window from the outside and strikes Lermi in the chest. Jesus performs a physical inspection and discovers that Lermi is dead.

View
Session 9
Castle in the Sky - Part 5

Cairn requests to throw a glowing orb at the girl. Elswyr ignores the group and carries a glowing orb towards the little girl. Cairn follows close behind, alert for signs of danger. As we walk closer, the glow globe starts to sputter/warble/flicker/fade/become less luminous. The disturbance appears to be coming from the girl. Elsewyr stops moving. Elsewyr yells at the girl: “What ails you child?” The child responds, “Help me!” Corridor is maybe 6-10 ft wide, and the girl is located in the center. Jesus calls out “Come to us child!” The girl repeats her signature phrase. Elsweyr: “There’s certainly something suspicious about this, but we still need to get past her. Jesus, don’t you possess some…clairvoyance?” Jesus: “What does that mean? Oh, right.” Jesus scans the girl

 

Jesus senses no specified power level, but the ‘girl’ is considerably more powerful than a girl of her appearance ought to be; she is neither human nor metal, and is not solid. Amorphous?

 

Cairn suggests rolling a marble at the girl. We remove a marble from the bag, and Cairn rolls it towards the girl. As the marble approaches, the girl shies away, and exudes a sense of fear and unease, so much so that our hair stands up on the backs of our necks. We each unsheathe our weapons and gather our marbles. Mesmer seizes a handful of marbles and a glowglobe and approaches the girl. As he nears the child, the glowglobe winks out. Mesmer says, “Don’t worry girl, we won’t hurt you. We just want to figure out how to help you.” The girl again responds, “Help me!” but this time, with a somewhat more insistent tone. Mesmer attempts to light another glowglobe, but this glowglobe fails to light up. Drawing his rapier, Mesmer continues to approach the girl. As he begins to move past her, she emits a piercing, mental shriek. The party resists the shriek, and the girl’s form begins to grow unevenly, and the sense of dread in the hallway increases. The creature – for it is now a beast and not a girl – lashes out at Mesmer. A shadowy shape extends from the girl, slicing through the air and piercing Mesmer’s armor. Mesmer drops a grenade and dives away, and a thunderous explosion follows. When the dust clears, the creature has disappeared.

 

Dameen presses the button, and we hear only six sounds. We immediately begin to run further down the tunnel, and while we move, Jesus lays his hands on Mesmer and heals him. A short ways down the tunnel, we encounter an impenetrable inky darkness. Mesmer throws a marble into the darkness, and the sense of dread returns. The darkness seems to swallow the marble as it passes through. A shape suddenly emerges from the darkness and lunges for Mesmer, but Mesmer dodges out of the way, and the shape only grazes his armor. Cairn swings his quarterstaff at the cloud, and the staff passes through, seemingly without affecting the cloud. Jesus attempts to mind-blast the cloud, but the spell fails. Mesmer produces an illusory marble and throws it at the cloud. The cloud parts around the marble. Elswyr shoots her ray emitter towards the creature, and the ray blasts into the cloud, which consequently shrieks in anger.

 

Cairn inquires whether robot has any analytical functionality, which it does not. The robot also doesn’t have any ray emitters or other useful things. The group decides to engage in strategy, and takes up a defensive positioning around Jesus. The creature surges upwards to the ceiling, passing over the party, and performing a drive by slashing of Elsewyr. Elsewyr is properly offended. The creature lands on the opposite side of the party, and, with the way now clear, the party dashes forward. The cloud quickly overtakes the party, sweeping over them and blocking the way. As it passes over Elsewyr, the cloud performs another drive-by slashing, cutting through Elswyr’s armor and damaging her. Jesus launches another futile mental attack. Mesmer crafts a handsome illusion of himself, which walks to the cloud. The cloud furiously attempts to shred the illusion. Elswyr bellows a mighty roar, and smites the cloud with a crushing blow. The cloud staggers and screams in mental anguish. Elswyr stumbles after her exertion,, and Cairn, seeing her weakened, moves to defend her.  The creature shrieks loudly, a grating mental shriek, but fails to deal damage to anyone (perhaps thanks to Elsewyr bashing). Mesmer puts away the rapier, takes out the greatsword, and bashes at the creature with great vigor. His powerful blow slices the cloud in two. Jesus lays hands on Elsewyr and, with a golden glow, heals her mind and body. Jesus tosses Cairn his double-barrel shotgun disruptor, and Cairn discharges both barrels simultaneously. With a loud “wub-wub-wub-wub” sound, the “wubble-barreled” sonic blaster impacts the cloud, which bursts into cloud shrapnel and dissipates slowly into nothingness. Dameen presses the button once more, and we hear six loud beeps and no small beeps.

 

We walk to the end of the hallway and enter into a large hangar. Machinery is strewn about, but, due to the wear and tear of the elements over the years, most of it appears to be non-functional. Mesmer inspects the machinery, and the most useful element seems to be a somewhat functional half engine.

 

One side of the hangar leads out to the open air, and on the other side, a tower is built into the wall. Elswyr uses her wrist device to open the door the tower, and begins her ascent, accompanied by Jesus. They enter a room full of machinery. Elswyr asks, “Jesus, can you make head or tail of this?” Jesus, exhausted from his previous efforts, answers only that the control panel is indeed what it appears to be, and the equipment on the back wall, is attachable. Elswyr touches the panel with her wrist device, asking “Can I go home now?”

 

The machine responds with a flashing red display, accompanied by urgent beeping. Jesus says “Computer, run a diagnostic. What’s wrong?” The machine responds, “Critical system failure: reactor propulsion failing.” Jesus asks, “How long until reactor failure?” to which the computer responds, “Approximately five minutes remain until reactor failure.” Elswyr asks, “How many personal flying devices are in the hangar?”

Computer: “Five.”

Elswyr: “Can you run a diagnostic on them?”

Computer: “I am presently unable to do so.”

Elswyr: “Can you improvise a method of escape?”

Computer: “The hangar door is open.”

Elswyr (very reluctantly): “Are there any personal medical facilities available?”

Computer: “Yes.”

Elswyr: “Where?”

Computer: “On the upper engineering bay.”

Elswyr: “Jesus, if you can get us another flying device, you’ll be my hero forever. If not, I’m going to try something crazy.”

 

Cairn and Mesmer notice that the lights at one end of the hangar are beginning to flicker. Mesmer, disconcerted by what he sees, runs off in search of Jesus and Elswyr. Cairn stays behind to watch. Jesus and Elswyr spring down the stairs, and at the bottom they encounter Mesmer.

 

Mesmer: “The lights are flickering! Did we find anything interesting?”

Elswyr: “Nothing of particular interest.”

Mesmer: “…”

Elswyr: “Also, this place is about to go down. Get the flyers ready. I need to run an errand. In the meantime, try to improvise another flying device, but if I don’t get back in time, leave.”

Mesmer: “Alright, I’m going to go inspect the machinery in the tower.”

 

Mesmer inspects the machinery, and realises that some may be functional still. He detaches a piece of particular interest, and takes it down to show to Dameen and Ruthan. At the bottom of the stairs:

 

Elswyr: “Are you on to something? Do you have an immediate solution??”

Mesmer: “Going to ask Dameen and Ruthan now.”

 

They run to Dameen and Ruthan.

 

Dameen: “We might be able to improvise something to allow a fire flyer to carry two people.”

Mesmer: “Take a flyer with you, and run quickly.”

Elswyr: “Alright.”

 

Elswyr runs as quickly as she can back to the engineering bay. She asks: “Is there any way to repair my wings?”

Computer: “Yes.”

Elswyr: “How?”

Computer: “Place your wings on the indicated position.”

Elswyr: “How long will this take?”

Computer: “I can run a diagnostic on the wings as soon you assume position in the machine.”

 

Elswyr does so.

 

Computer: “The repair will take two minutes.”

Elswyr: “Do it.”

 

She closes her eyes, and feels an intense burning sensation as the muscles and veins of her wings are reformed and grown again in the machine. After an arduous two minutes, Elswyr emerges from the machine. Her wings feel wobbly, but whole. She sprints down the stairs, carrying the fire flier with her. As she runs, the station begins to shudder, but she keeps her footing as she continues to run to the hangar. Elswyr runs into the hangar, hands her flier to Cairn, and dives out of the hangar. After a moment of shock, the remaining members of the party don fliers and follow Elswyr out the hangar door.

 

The party leaves not a minute too soon. As soon as the last flier departs, the castle gives a final shudder and begins to fall. As it plunges down towards the sea, a faint shriek, reminiscent of the one produced by the black cloud.

 

Elswyr, meanwhile, struggles to use her newly repaired wings, and as she falls, the wings, still weak, fold up like an inverted umbrella, and her descent accelerates. Cairn maneuvers his flier into a steep dive, quickly reaching Elswyr and slowing her descent from below. With this reprieve from the violence of her descent, Elswyr tries once more to spread her wings and fly. The rest of the party also dives, and they gather around Elswyr and Cairn, adding the strength of their fliers to slow her descent. She tries once more, and finally stabilizes her descent.

 

The castle catches up to the party, and as it passes, we spot the girl standing in the hangar. Mesmer throws a marble as it passes, but misses completely. The castle crashes into the sea, accompanied by an immense splash.

 

Elswyr, having finally mastered the use of her wings, accompanies the party as they fly back to Dracogen’s mansion. We descend, and knock on the front door. Dracogen, answering the door, exclaims, “You’re alive! What numenera have you brought back with you?”

 

We open the box and display for him the contents.

 

Dracogen says, “A shame you were unable to capture the creature. It would have been such an interesting subject of study.”

Elswyr: “I believe it would have resisted most modes of capture.”

Dracogen: “Oh, there are ways to capture many sorts of creatures.”

Elswyr: “Ah. Can you offer us shelter for the night?”

Dracogen: “Of course! For such bold adventurers as yourselves, I offer you lodging in my mansion, free of charge.”

 

XP: +1 for everyone for completing adventure!

+1 to Elswyr for discovering her wings.

+1 to Cairn for being a badass and rescuing everybody.

+1 to Mesmer for creative use of illusions.

+1 to Jesus for his surprising ineptitude at inspecting numenera, and for keeping everybody alive and performing excellent “physical inspections.”

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.