The Ninth World

Session 8
Castle in the Sky - Part 4

Jesus and Elswyr inspect the remains, Elswyr seems perturbed by what she sees. The adults seem to have many mechanical enhancements, and pieces of electronics/machinery scattered around them, presumably further enhancements that had integrated with their fleshy bits and fell off when the bodies decayed. They try interacting with the enhancements by having Elswyr touch them while Jesus holds on to them. Only the wrist devices react with a very faint beeping. Elswyr concludes the devices are out of power. Jesus also determines from damage to the bones that they suffered extensive injury. The children suffered some injury, but their remains are too close together to judge if they died violent deaths.

 

The party inspects the rest of the room. There’s a machine by the entrance, some equipment to the side, and a red square panel rising slightly from the ground. Jesus takes a look at the equipment. It contains several handheld devices that look like they could be explosives, a device that resembles the party’s currently phase disruptor, and a ray emitter. Tommy takes the ray emitter, Elswyr takes the phase disruptor, and everyone picked up an explosive.

 

Mesmer inspects the machine and determines that it projects some kind of energy field, and had been placed near the door.

 

Mesmer tries to step on the tile. However, it is not affixed to the ground, and he slips on it. However, it changes from red to blue, beeps steadily 6 times, then reverts to red. Mesmer repeats his experiment, then picks it up. He notices that the first beep is slightly louder than the others.

 

Cairn proposes putting some of the depleted numenera attached to the remains on the red tile. Upon being triggered, the device produces two loud beeps instead. The group theorizes that the tile may be drawing charge from the device, but it still beeps when touched to Elswyr’s wrist. Elswyr steps on it and gets two beeps. Mesmer tries again and gets two beeps. Jesus gets three and Elswyr concludes the beeps measure the number of distinct people who have touched it. The group approaches and Ruthan touches it, producing 6 loud beeps. Cairn concludes it is a proximity detector. He leaves the room, Ruthan touches it, and this produces 5 loud beeps. It is a proximity detector!

 

The group puts the proximity detector in the box, along with the energy projector and both wrist devices. They leave the armory and head down another corridor, the one with the gas leak. They pass a broken pipe with a valve that indicates moderate flow of gas. They pass another electronically-locked door enter a large room with another console. Elswyr interacts with it using her wrist-device and is told she lacks authorization. She uses one of the deceased people’s devices and gains access.

 

Device: “Welcome to the control room”

Cairn: “What can we control from here?”

Device: “Environmental and engineering systems”

Cairn: “There appears to be a broken pipe. Is there gas and is it dangerous?”

Device: “Problem with oxygen system, compressor has been damaged. Slightly elevated carbon dioxide levels.”

Jesus: “Can we control the trajectory of the facility from here?”
Device: “Yes”

Mesmer: “Are there any recordings of the interior of the facility?”
Device: “Your wrist-device has them”

 

The device lists 5 logs and the group plays them in chronological order:

 

  1. It’s an honor to be assigned to this facility. I’ll see less action but have a lot of impact on the next generation

  2. Personnel shortages – This teacher was assigned to protect an outpost from cannibals. They repelled the attacks

  3. Another attack – all “guardians” slain bearing strange wounds. Dead cannibals also had same wounds

  4. Success – the guardians killed the enemy (cannibal?) leader and seemed relieved the threat is dealt with.

  5. There’s something out there. Something attacked us. We don’t know it got aboard. It looked like we were fighting a large cloud of smoke.

 

The machine explains that the command console is offline, and can only be repaired by going to the lower levels and rewiring things. However, Elswyr recalls that the path below ground is caved in. The group also learns that the remaining area is the living quarters and cafeteria.

 

The group heads to the living quarters. They find a piece of curved broken glass that responds to sound by spinning in place. They also find a set of large marbles made of glass with dark impurities that seem like they might be moving, and glow faintly in the darkness. The cafeteria has a device that when interacted with spits out some food. Jesus tastes it and is overwhelmed by its deliciousness. The party separates the device from its enclosure and puts it in Ruthan’s box.

 

The party hears a creaking noise from the main chamber. They return and find that it is the shutter that they had triggered which was repeatedly trying to close off the glass ceiling. The proximity detector reveals the presence of a distant entity.

 

The party, fearing the dangerous creature that killed the guardians, tries to think of an escape plan. They think about leaving, but remember they are short a fire flyer. They head to the control room.

 

Cairn: “Can we change course?”

Device: “Insufficient power”

Jesus: “Can we increase speed?”
Device: “We are at absolute minimum power to maintain trajectory and cannot adjust speed or trajectory.”

Cairn: “Is there any other flying devices on the facility?”

Device: “There are the thrusters built into the facility, and flyers in the hangar below.”

 

The group resolves to use phase disruptors to clear the rubble and get below. They find that the piece of metal is also partially blocking the way, but can be crawled past. Elswyr crawls into position and activates a phase disruptor, clearing a section of the rubble. The group crawls through and sees stairs leading down. They test the proximity detector, and the unknown entity is definitely closer.

 

They run down several flights of stairs, and the beeping gets louder after every flight. Interestingly, on one landing there is no seventh beep. Finally they reach the bottom and find a corridor. In the middle is a figure wrapped in shadow. It looks like a small girl with wings like Elswyr’s. It turns around and whispers.

 

“Help me.”

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Session 7
Castle in the Sky - Part 3

The party gathers in the lobby of the inn, and prepares for the journey to the castle. They begin by training on the Firefliers for a half-hour, practicing flying along the beach where hopefully no one sees them. Then they take off over the ocean.

 

The party approaches a large cloud, which seems to be roughly where the castle would be. They ascend around the edge of the cloud, and see the edge of the castle through the fog. It appears mostly shrouded by vapor, but there is a platform sticking out beyond the cloud, with four towers ringing it.

 

The party makes for the platform, but a siren begins to sound, accompanied by a garbled voice. Elswyr ignores the noise and heads for the platform, executing a graceful landing. It becomes clear the noises are coming from one of the towers, which is now turning as if to “face” Elswyr, creaking as it turns. Mesmer attempts to land on the tower, while Elswyr attempts to inspect one of the other towers while staying in the moving tower’s blind spot.

 

Mesmer identifies slits on the side of the tower, as well as rusted plates. He tries to damage the plates, but is unable to break the metal with his sword. Elswyr discovers a door on the side of the tower, and a metal plate beside the door. She touches the metal plate, and the moving tower grinds to a halt. She signals for the others to land. Cairn touches down safely, and Jesus drunkenly falls into Cairn’s arms. Mesmer screws up his landing from the tower, hurting himself and hitting the fireflyer, which begins to smoke. After debating what to do with the fireflier, Ruthan takes matters into his own hands and tosses it off the edge of the platform.

 

The party walks towards the castle, and finds another door with another metal plate. Elswyr places her hand on it and the door opens for them. They find themselves in a small chamber with another door and another plate. Jesus speculates it might be an airlock. The group gets inside and Elswyr triggers the next plate. The door behind them closes and the door ahead of them rolls to the side. They are faced with a long hallway. After crossing it for 2 or 3 minutes, they find themselves in a large circular chamber with a glass dome, apparently the center of the castle. The room is partially shrouded in darkness, the only light coming from the glass ceiling. There are hallways leading from this chamber in different directions, like spokes from the hub of a wheel, of which is blocked by debris. In the center of the chamber is what appears to be a mechanical console.

 

Jesus inspects the console, but it seems to be without power. It has multiple switches, and wires lead down into the floor beneath it. Jesus toggles all the switches, which appears to briefly turn on lights in some of the hallways. A hissing sound also emanates from one of the hallways. He flips back the offending switch, and the hissing sound stops. Another switch appears to control a panel that blocks the glass dome, but it seems to be jammed.

 

Mesmer suggests consulting the map to see if it will provide an interior layout. Elswyr steps into the shadows so that the map will function, and turns it on. It does in fact show an interior map, but the map has no labels and shows the caved-in corridor as still open. The caved in corridor appears to lead to a lower level. One of the other halls leads to a cluster of small rooms. The other three lead to larger rooms, one rectangular, two circular. The hissing sound came from one of the two hallways leading to circular rooms.

 

Jesus suggests heading towards the rectangular room. The smaller rooms had many desks and chairs, and Jesus speculates they may be classrooms. The rectangular room has a large ring-shaped desk. The desk has a display with a button on the side of it, but the button doesn’t do anything. The screen itself seems to make noises whenever the party produces a sound. Jesus suggests putting the map device near it. Elswyr turns it on and holds it near the screen. Suddenly the warbling becomes intelligible, at least whenever it responds to speech. Jesus addresses it in a friendly manner.

 

Jesus: “Hi, can you tell us anything about this place?”

Screen: “Welcome to the library”

Jesus: “I’d like to borrow a book”

Screen: “Please present your ID”

Elswyr: Presents device

Screen: “Please present your book.”

 

The group looks around for books. The walls look like kind of shelf-like, but seem to be mainly displays and circuitry. These screens do not turn on or produce any noises.

 

Jesus: “What else can I do here?”

Screen: “I am a reference terminal.”

Jesus: “Are there any references on this place?”
Screen: “What would you like to know?”

Mesmer: “Its history.”

Screen: “This facility was built in ?, by ? for the purpose of training [young warriors]. It was built in the sky to protect it from attack by ???” (Its translation seems to be awkward for certain proper nouns.

Jesus: “Can you provide recent history?”
Screen: “I can provide diagnostics.”
Jesus: “Yes please.”

Screen: “The facility was last powered on at ?. Due to an emergency, it was shut down except for core functions at ?.

Jesus: “How does one restore full functionality to the facility?”

Screen: “You will have to reset the reactor and replace the following components. [Lists hundreds of items]”.

Cairn: “Does this facility have any weaponry?”

Screen: “Yes, the facility is heavily fortified and contains an armory for training purposes as well as defense.”

Cairn: “Can we get a location for the armory?”

Screen: Shows a map of the facility, highlighting the armory, which is down a different corridor

Cairn: “Can you tell us if there are any other life forms in the facility?”

Screen: “There are six life-forms, all in the Library.”

 

The party heads towards the armory. The door seems to be controlled by another metal plate. Elswyr tries to open the door, but the plate rejects her with a red flash and a disapproving sound. The party fishes out one of the cyphers they got from Santa, which turns metal brittle. They spray it on the door, then Jesus kicks the door to pieces.

 

The party sends Ruthan in with some glowglobes, and he seems fine, so the party follows him in. The room seems to contain two large skeletons and a group of smaller remains. The latter are huddled at the back of the room, while the former are near the door. The larger remains seem to have metal components integrated with their skeletons, and metal wings protruding from their backs, much like Elswyr’s.

 

Ominous silence

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Session 6
Castle in the Sky - Part 2

Elswyr decides to seek answers in this fortress. The party asks if they can join her, and she assents. Dameen also asks to join, and the party consents. The party is worried about the distance, but Dameen has an idea. She knows someone who is rumored to assist adventurers, even in extraordinary situations. He lives close by, so the party decides to go ask for his help.

 

Dameen leads the party up the trail that leads north out of town into the Black Riage. There’s a stone archway, guarded by two giant statues bearing large weapons. Only the statues are actually alive, and appear to be guarding the area. They say they represent “Dracogen”, and Dameen confirms this is our contact. Jesus explains that we wish to meet with Dracogen, and the “statues” let us pass.

 

We cross a lavish courtyard leading to a house carved out of the mountain, naturally all black thanks to the hue of the mountain’s stone. The lighting makes the stone seem to gleam like tongues of flame. Black flame. Ooh.

 

Elswyr asks if Dameen has ever seen Dracogen or one of his representatives. Dameen shakes her head, and Elswyr muses that Dracogen must acquire supplies somehow, and his method for acquiring supplies might help them travel faster. They enter, and find themselves in a large interior, the walls decked with numenera.

 

In walks a handsome middle-aged man dressed all in black and flamboyant clothing. He introduces himself as Dracogen. Elswyr shows him the map, and offers to trade him loot for help with travel. He agrees, and goes to fetch something. Jesus notices some grenades and a pair of environmental suits among the numenera. Dracogen returns with a levitating cart, explaining that his gift to us will enable us to fly across the continent within a day. Elswyr expresses doubt regarding the safety of the contraptions, and they get a mildly reassuring answer. He also provides a box for safely transporting numenera without fear of complications, and requests that we bring him back all we find so he can choose his cut. He also insists we take along one of his representatives.

 

He introduces a life-like automaton named Ruthan, who was damaged in a tragic accident long ago. There’s an extra flying device for him, and Dracogen assures us the automaton can defend itself.

 

We hop into the pods and fly off. Jesus attempts to communicate with the robot to learn how to stop the flying devices, but is drowned out by the wind. Cairn wobbles his flying apparatus over to the robot, and learns that there is a button on the left side of the device which is the braking method.

 

—geography fluff

 

The party tries to land. Jesus nearly crashes, but Cairn manages to maneuver under him and snatch him. Elswyr almost crashes as well, but her wings help her maintain control. The party helps a beleaguered Mesmer land safely as well. It’s late, so we decide to rest. Ruthan seals our fire-flyers inside the box for the night.

 

The group enters the town, which Mesmer recognizes as a fishing village from maps he’s seen, but can recall no more detail about the otherwise nondescript town. They find the town church and inn. Dameen announces she will stay at the church. Elswyr expresses concern over Ruthan betraying the, and suggests Dameen and the priests examine him. But Dameen reassures us that he has been a patron to many travelers, and many of them multiple times. She departs with Ruthan for the church.

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Session 5
Castle in the Sky - Part 1

The party opens Santa’s gifts:

  • Coat hanger that generates an wall of electricity

  • Healing bandage

  • Injection of talent

  • Wrist-mounted sprayer that turns metal brittle

  • Tile that attaches to something and puts it out of phase (ethereal) for an hour

  • Small electronic component with LEDs

Party decides to travel back through the Black Riage to the town of Legrash, making their way back towards the Steadfast. The town lies in the middle of the pass that runs east/west, and a pair of small switchback leads north/south into the mountains themselves. The northern pass has a stone arch. Town has a round stone building at center, a market, and a residential district. The party decides to go to the inn and ask the innkeeper for some quests.

 

Apparently the innkeeper is a bitch trying to run an honest business and tries to charge the party 5 shins per person for the night. The party offers her scavenged numenera instead. She suggests they try to sell them to a merchant in the market. With some bargaining, Jesus manages to sell the disease cure and the bandage for 5 shins.

Just as the transaction is going through, a teenager shoves into Cairn and takes off. Mesmer quickly realizes Cairn has been pickpocketed. With a mighty sprint, he catches the boy, but the thief slips out of his shirt and keeps running. The party follows him into a courtyard, where he hands the sack of coins to a sketchy looking man. The man introduces himself as Baba, and presents his band of 14 thieves, who draw their weapons. Mesmer brandishes a detonator device, which Cairn makes seem even more dangerous with some illusory magic. Some bandits cower in fear, but Baba does not seem fazed. Mesmer lobs the grenade and injures a few of the bandits.

 

At the same time a figure appears at the other exit from the courtyard. A woman, dressed in piecemeal leather armor, with braided blond hair, and axe on her hip and a shoulder on her back. As she steps into the light, the party sees that she has a pair of mechanical wings sprouting from her back.

 

The thieves, seeing themselves cornered, surrender. Jesus orders them to fork over their weapons and belongings. The woman approaches and introduces herself as Elswyr, and reveals that she had been trying to shut down this gang for some time now. When she goes to shake Jesus’ hand, her hand begins to burn, and the glowy-light object he’d been holding also gets hot to the touch. It flies out of his hand and attaches to Elswyr’s forearm just below her wrist, where it begins to embed in her skin. The lights begin to flash more regularly, forming symbols instead of random blinking.

 

The party strips the thieves of their belongings, then leaves them injured to fend for themselves. Elswyr is invited to stay with the party, but declines. She does ask Jesus about the oddity that fused with her, and he explains that he doesn’t know much but would be happy to explain what he does know sometime in the future. Before they can part ways, a crowd begins to form, having heard the grenade.

 

At their head is an Aeon priest, who introduces herself as Dameen. She asks to inspect the oddity in my forearm. Elswyr shows the priest her arm. Dameen asks if Elswyr will follow her back to her workshop, where she will try to translate the script. Dameen also invites the rest of the party, assuming them to be Elswyr’s companions. Elswyr seems about to protest, but the party heartily agrees, and she stays silent.

 

Dameen finds a book in her workshop and begins to use it to translate the symbols on Elswyr’s forearm. It appears to be a riddle.

 

“It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,

Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.

It lies behind stars and under hills,

And empty holes it fills.

It comes first and follows after,

Ends life, kills laughter.”


The answer comes unbidden into Elswyr’s mind: “darkness”. Dameen suggests the answer to the riddle is a key to unlocking the true message of the device. Elswyr suggests turning off the lights, and when they do, the device projects the glowing image of a map into the air above them. It is a map of the Steadfast and the Black Riage. A glowing red light denotes some location within the Steadfast, far to the west. It seems to be moving east, towards the coast, almost imperceptibly slowly. They tap the red dot, which expands to reveal the image of a fortress floating amid the clouds. Jesus recalls it having been referred to in an ancient scholarly book. Dameen produces a copy, for which she is working on a translation. She explains that the fort

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Session 4
Madness in the Mountains - Part 4

The mysterious man nods at us briefly as we enter and he stands up. The man is well-dressed in clean gray robes with a rectangular silver brooch.

MM: Are you here to help me?

C: What do you need help with?

MM: Could you hand me that tool over there?

(points at an embalming tool)

Cairn walks over to pick up the embalming tool and passes it to him. He begins to quietly wrap cloth around the dead man he was just listening to.

C: Who was that? (pointing to the

MM: He was one of our order who passed.

C: It looked like he had some last words.

MM: Yes, but it was not what I hoped to hear.

A: Umm isn’t he dead? How were you talking to him?

MM: Yes, but for some time, the dead have been speaking?

C: For how long?
MM: Weeks?

A: Doesn’t that seem a little odd?

MM: We were too at first, but now, it’s a commonplace occurrence. I have come to rely it on in fact.

C: What kind of things do they say?

MM: Depends on what you say. You can ask a question. Only one question. I apparently did not choose the right question this time.

M: What did you ask?

MM: I asked him one of many questions i’ve pondered lately—one of many permutations, combinations, to see how i could lift the curse from the town. It seem the dead are conspiring against me even now.

C: Is it related to the chaos in the town?

MM: Maybe… If a machine can talk to the living, ti stands to reason it can talk to the dead. Hand me some cloth?

C gets cloth.

M: Machine?

MM: It lies beneath the town and empowers the dead long enough

C: Are these things the dead would have known alive.

MM: No, I believe the machine is speaking through them. I killed as many as I dare to get the answers I need.

M: Have you tried destroying the machine?

MM: No, I cannot bring myself to do it. You must cut him loose or kill him. He was a man once, I think. I can lead you to him but you must help me.

A: Yes, we’ll help you.

MM: I’m sorry it’s come to this but there is no recourse.

He unlocks a large door leading to a light-filled tubular passage slanting downwards. We follow him down the passage to a great triangular room filled with a giant translucent mass of black balls with red lights glowing inside. There are wires going in and out of the mass. It appears to be a tech junkyard of sorts. We hear in our minds an unintelligible shriek for help that seems to be emanating from the mass.

MM: This is the machine.

He produces a long tool with a spiked pinwheel at one end. He hands it to Mesmer.

MM: I believe this will cut him loose. I don’t know what will happen next.

Mesmer decides to do a visual inspection of the fractal-like mass. He is unable to recollect anything of this kind from his studies/travels. There does however appear to be a seam on the back of the mass. It appears to be about the same thickness as the spikes in the pinwheel.

Jesus scans the mass. He feels a living intelligent presence within (level 5). It appears to be mostly synthetic but not entirely.

A: Sir Magistrate, what’s so special about this tool?

MM: It just seems like it’s very well-fashioned for the task of cutting along this particular seam.

Mesmer goes to try to cut open the seam with the spiked pinwheel. He begins to cut and the mass parts easily as if a gel. It begins to quickly separate from the wall and as Mesmer finishes the cut, the mass begins to collapse in on itself and bubbles to the ground as the lights wink out. Inside the mass is a somewhat round metallic looking object like a seed in the middle of an over-ripened fruit. And then, we feel vibrations and begin to hear scraping sounds as pieces of junk/the mass begin to be drawn to the object and clings to it. It forms a larger and larger mass that lifts the seed up off the ground until the mass begins to resume a crude human body. The internal voice that was mumbling is now rising to an angry shriek. Our minds feel assaulted by noise and hatred. You feel very afraid.

Mesmer and Jesus go on guard. Ano casts Ice Armor and Kaladin lightning hands.

A large chunk of metal flies from the wall and sweeps Mesmer’s legs out from under him. Mesmer is now prone. Jesus attempts to grab a piece of sheet metal and as he does, it feels no pull towards the object.

We feel an explosion in our brains. Ano and Mesmer take 6 points of Intellect damage. Cairn walks up and whacks the mass with his staff, dealing 6 damage, knocking aside a few pieces that do not reconnect with its body. The creature seems staggered by the blow but lashes out in response, dealing 2 damage. Ano attempts to strike the creature but the blade bounces off ineffectively. The creature lashes out again, dealing 2 damage. Kaladin attempts to strike the creature with his lightning fists which misses, but manages to block the creature’s response with his shield. Mesmer nimbly flips up from prone, sword in hand. Mesmer plunges his sword through the creature which opens a gaping hole through its chest, dealing 7 damage. The creature retaliates, dealing 1 Might damage. Jesus heals Mesmer 4 intellect points and as he steps back, he realizes the magistrate and apprentice seem to be out of their minds with anger. He shouts a warning to the rest of the party. Yaron the magistrate and Shahil the apprentice attempt to attack the party. They both miss horribly with their flailing arms. The nameless machine turns toward Mesmer who hears a shouting in his mind who shakes it off as the voice diminishes.

Cairn lunges with his staff, but the creature bats aside his attack and strikes Cairn for 2 damage. Kaladin attempts to punch the creature again but the creature brushes aside his attack and strikes back. Kaladin deflects the attack again with his shield. Ano hits the creature with her sword, dealing 4 damage. The creature’s retaliation is absorbed by Ano’s sheen of ice which glows on impact but holds. Mesmer clumsily thrusts at the creature who bats it aside, but Mesmer manages to avoid the creature’s attack in response. With great effort, Jesus heals Ano 2 intellect points. The creature shrieks mentally again. Mesmer and Ano take 6 points of intellect damage which impairs Ano. The villagers babble in confusion.

Cairn misses the creature with his staff; the creature strikes back for 2 damage. Kaladin powers up his lightning spear for a mighty thrust striking the creature for 6 damage. The lightning sizzles the creature’s body potentially dealing additional damage. The electrocuted creature manages to land a blow against Kaladin dealing 1 might damage. Ano, weakened, misses her next attack and takes 2 might damage in return. Mesmer swings with his greatsword which the creature dodges. The creature clumsily attempts to strike back but misses. Jesus puts on his magnetic repulsor gloves. He feels objects pushing against his hand, mostly coming from the machine.

J: rus-roh-dah!!!!!

The machine is thrown back against the wall and appears to be pinned there though the gloves feel to weaken rapidly. The creature appears to be unable to move. Yaron and Shalil run at Jesus. Yaron misses, but Shalil manages to hit Jesus, dealing 2 might damage. The machine screams mentally dealing 6 damage to all but Cairn and Jesus (?).

Cairn strikes heavily against the creature, stunning it and dealing 4 damage. Mesmer is able to tell that the creature appears to be heavily damaged.

K: shock first!

He crushes his fist into the machine. Electricity crackles through the machine and pieces start to slough off. The metal object falls to the ground with a heavy thud. Yaron and Shalil look confused, blinking.

We decide to rest briefly.

M: Are you ok? Do you have control of your mind again?

S: It feels like I’m emerging from a fog. Did all that just happen?

A: Yes.

S: Oh dear, well I’m so glad that it’s gone. I have no conception of what kind of mind lay it in the contraption.

As we approach the dark obsidian-colored metal sphere, we realize it’s actually shaped like a human brain with 3 alternating symbols across the top

Symbols: o |-| o |-| o |-|

HOHOHO

Kaladin realizes that there is still electrical charge within the brain, and that the electrical charge is storing distorted information. With a sufficiently keen mind and the ability to apply electrical current, he may be able to decipher it or insert his own information.

K: Jesus, once more into the breach!

Kaladin attempts to apply his electrical current while Jesus uses his knowledge of numenera to help. They probe its contents which appear to be divided into 2 data stores which are “naughty” and “nice”. There is room to add more data into either group. Kaladin decides to try to insert our names into the “nice” data store. ‘

We loot the room and we find a small synth cone that produces a light breeze when activated. We also find another oddity: a gemstone set in a metal circle of unknown usage/power. We find a 5-foot long metal staff with electrical leads on the ends. Kaladin thinks that he could use it to attempt to reconfigure the brain. He can feel our names move to the “nice” data store and he moves Yaron’s name to the “naughty” list.

We leave the building and outside, the people are no longer suspicious or violent. They all realize they were being controlled by the voices in their head. As we make our way down the mountain road out of the town, we all gain 1 XP for finding an interesting object (the electrical staff). We can 1 XP for finding the truth of the machine. We gain 1 XP for protecting the town. 1 extra XP goes to Kaladin for adding us to the nice list. As we receive the extra XP, a whistling noise approaches from above. Jesus and Kaladin are smacked in the back by a large fuzzy red bag. The sound of bells recedes towards the mountains. We each find a satchel with a red bow for each of us.

In a previous eon, an android Santa was made. The satellite that controlled the naughty and nice list fell to Earth and in its confused state, attempted to protect itself. The orbiting sleigh gave us a gift now that we were on the nice list.

http://www.joeydevilla.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Darkseid-vs.-Santa.jpg

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT

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Session 3
Madness in the Mountains - Part 3

Previously on Numenera:

We’re in the town of Sileon Basin, a medical resort town, where basins of therapeutic colored liquids. We’d come here in search of Seria and to sleep for the night before we head off to the ominous hand rocks which the elder suspect may be agitating the forest creatures.

 

Seria is staying with a woman, Darvin, who claims she has a remedy for Seria that is currently unavailable because broken hounds (otherwise known as ass-ducks) have overrun the community garden. We exit her home and approach a chain-link enclosed garden. Strange-colored shrubs and synthetic plants grow in the garden. A half-dozen or so of these creatures rustle through the brush.

 

(Jesus is in town learning to be a better healer).

 

We decide to approach the garden in true YOLO style. Mesmer notices the villagers observing us from a distance as we approach. Cairn observes no hidden weapons amongst the villagers.

Mesmer charges the damaged gate and shoulders it aside. He swings his sword down on the nearest unsuspecting hound, crashing down on the hound. The creature shivers and collapses.

Ano rushes in and strikes another hound, slashing open it’s shoulder.

Cairn moves in to aid Ano in fighting the now weakened hound. With a crack, he fractures the hound’s skull and it drops.

Kaladin, tired from his marathon, stumbles over to the rest of the adventurers.

The 4 remaining hounds leap forward in eerie silence, attacking Ano as a pack. Ano spins to the right, kicks aside one of the leaping hounds, and dodges the other two—nimbly avoiding all 4 attacks.

Mesmer thrusts his greatsword at one of the nearby swarming hounds, crushing the tiny hound under the weight of his attack.

Cairn swings his quarterstaff with tremendous might, smashing another hound’s ribcage.

Leaping after the hound that Ano kicked aside, she pierces the hound’s side.

Kaladin thrusts his lightning-charged spear at the uninjured hound, frying the creature’s nervous system.

The last hound turns and run through a gap in the fence.

Cairn recognizes a few medicinal herbs growing in the garden, “Nice herbs.” The group recognizes the red and golden plants we’re supposed to find. We find a row of plants with leaves of long red metal. We find a single bush with golden pear-shaped objects. Cairn grabs four of the red metal leaves, and as he moves to grab the golden pear, he gets mildly shocked, but is able to pick the pear.

As we leave the garden, there are some cheers and congratulations from the crowd.

Darvin finds us and brings us back to her home.

D: Thanks. It’s handy having folks with you. The villagers will be very thankful. We can’t really provide our services without it. I have Seria prepared but it’ll take a day to fashion a cure. You’re welcome to stay with us

Innkeeper: They’re welcome to stay at my inn free of charge!

K: Is breakfast included this time?

I: Yes of course!

Some of the villagers offer gifts. One villager offers an elixir that he promises will purge the body of poisons. Another villager offers one that heals minor cuts and bruises. Cairn accepts the gifts and bows to thank them.

The day passes quickly and we just kind of chill out around the town. As we settle in for the night, we are awoken by the sound of screams and thrashing.

A: Quick! To the sounds of screams and thrashing!

The sounds are coming from the basins. Three shapes climb out of the basin covered in a sheet of what appear to be a liquid sheet of bugs. Their bodies are covered in small purple bruises. Other people begin arriving trying to help the injured.

M: This looks suspicious… Though it’s outside my expertise.

C: Samesies.

Villagers (general fearful muttering): This is just our luck… First the hounds… Now this?! Everything’s going to shit…

People start dispersing and the muttering dies down. We head back to the inn and go to sleep. After we wake, Jesus approaches smiling, saying he feels great. We enjoy a fantastic free Continental breakfast.

A: Let’s go check out the basin from last night.

We’re not the first people who arrive. There are a few people already in the basin, sitting in the liquid. Apparently, a kid had slipped in earlier but nothing was wrong so the villagers decided to use it.

C: Has this ever happened before?

Villager: Not that I can remember

A: What is this basin supposed to do?

Villager: They say if you rest in the basins, it heals cuts, heals sores, you feel better, and I’ve been feeling pretty good. My back’s not aching as much.

C: Alright, let’s go check on Seria.

We return to Darvin’s house. Darvin fetches Seria who stands in front of us smiling, looking energetic and outgoing. She is sporting red and gold metal stripes across her left cheek.

S: “Oh, it is so good to see you!”

She runs to Ano and hugs her.

M: So Darvin, what did you do to her?

D: Well, it’s difficult to explain, but I had a feeling that there was some sort of resonance that was occluding her thoughts and assaulting her mind. I fashioned a remedy that would shield her mind from this resonance.

C: Will she still be able to control the bugs?
D: I’m not entirely sure that she can control bugs (keeping in mind that Darvin hasn’t actually seen the scutimorph)

A: Oh Seria, how are you feeling?

S: Oh much better, i’m so glad you feel better.

C: Have you been to the basins?

S: No I’ve just stayed with Darvin. (shy) I’m not sure I’d get alon g with the other children.

C: are you ready to go home?

S: Yes, I’m ready. I’d like to see my family again.

C: Where’s the scutimorph?

S: I let him go. He wouldn’t like it in the town.

C: What happened to the mother and son?

S: Idk but I can head back myself.

 

M: Why don’t you come with us?

S: Where are you going now?

A: Hand-rock mountain.

Seria sits in the dirt and begins drawing. She draws a rendition of the mountain.

S: Is that what you’re looking for?

A: Yes

S: Be careful.

A: Why?

S: There’s a man there. He feels… scared but he’s in my head and he makes me feel bad. I don’t want you to help him but I think you have to.

C: Is that why you need that numenera on your cheek?

S: Idk but he’s not as loud anymore. I can ignore him if I want to.

Before we leave, Kaladin decides to shock the black basin. It’s cool to the touch, but nothing happens—he doesn’t feel anything.

We head out of the town and when we reach the crossroads, Seria says goodbye and heads east. The rest of the party heads northwest toward the mountains. At evening, we reach the foothills and see a town up ahead. We arrive in the town. On the outskirts, the buildings are carved out of the rock. The town appears to be decrepit. Some of the thatched roofs appear to have burned and windows broken. We see a man with an injured arm and another muttering to himself.

Approaching the injured arm man:

A: What happened here?

Villager: What didn’t happen? Everybody started attacking everybody else! I barely got out alive. Are you crazy too?

A: We’re not crazy, we’re out of town.

V: Listen, listen, help me. I don’t like how everybody sits around chanting in the middle of the night like they’re praying to a dark god. I think I need to kill everybody.

C: How long have you been out here?

V: Days…

M: Why don’t you stay here? You’re too injured, we’ll do some scouting for you.

A: You’re doing a great job. Just stay here.

V: Alright…

We head into the town. The buildings grow closer together. A crowd of people are ahead, muttering with heads bowed. They see us and start pointing and muttering about us.

3 other people are by a well in the center of town, sitting on a bench. All the windows are broken. Hay is strewn everywhere. This small group of people is staring and muttering at the larger group of people.

We approach the 3 people.

 

Villager #1: Well, what do you want? Where

A: We’re peregrines, from the trail.

V1: Nah, way up here? Tell me who sent you

V2: Well they might be.

C (talking to V2): What’s your name?

V2: …

V1: Did Roak send you? That slimy son of a bitch…

M: We don’t know who Roak is. Who’s your leader? Who’s the mayor of this town?

V1: Why would I take you to my leader?

C: Why wouldn’t you?

V1: Why would I? I don’t trust you. How do I know you won’t kill you in our sleep?

M: What do you want from us?

V1: You see those guys (pointing to larger crowd) over there? They got some kind of strange machine in their brains. You can see it when they talk. They’re not right in the head. We’re just talking and we’re thinking that we know where they sleep. We might just burn down their huts tonight. Can you help us?

A: Alright, well can you take us to your leader so we can offer our services?

V1 (whispers): Don’t tell anyone… I’m the leader. You can call me Malefirious

A: Alright, well here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to go infiltrate the other group and figure out what their plan is b/c you KNOW that they’re plotting against you.

We approach the other group and they go quiet as we approach—3 women 5 men.

A: Hello.

V3 (one of the women gestures to the other group): What did you want with them? They’re the weirdos. (everybody nods)

M: Why are they the weirdos?

V3: They’re always looking at us like they know something… But they’re shifty (more nods).

K: Have they always been the weirdos?

V3: Idk…  I guess… I guess they wasn’t always weird… I can’t remember when exactly… At least a while… Like once I caught him looking at me

V4: Oh yea, that’s… uh… uh… Jamantha

V3: He used to be a cavot farmer. I caught him once… Looking at me as I was doing my business… It was weird…

A: Is there anybody else in the town?

V3: We see people from time to time. They’re not in our group though (more nods…)

C: And yours is the best group?
V3: Well… at least we know we’re sane.

We decide to start walking through the rest of the town. As we walk down an alley, a man runs at us, sandals slapping on the cobblestone.

A: “Hey, stop!”

The man grabs Cairn’s quarterstaff and says:

Man: You’re going to kill me, aren’t you?

C: Yes

We decide to walk past him and keep walking down the alley. The rest of the people we see are talking in groups but they don’t approach. We’ve explored most of the town when we realize that we’re being followed. We see the frantic man following us.

C: Hey, you can stop following us now.

The man hides behind a building and he doesn’t emerge again. Cairn sees an unusual building—it’s circular and made of stone. It’s the only circular building we’ve seen and it has a bit of open space between it and the next few buildings. There is a heavy door on the far side. We knock on the door and we hear scrambling on the other side. A disheveled-looking young man with well-kept robes

YM: Yes?

A: Are you crazy?

YM: Not last time I checked. What can I do for?
M: Do you know what’s going on?

YM: I would like to know. I am trying to determine it. But hard to say.

C: What is this building?

YM: Ummmm this is the forum. You’re not from around here, are you? We are the devoirs—we attend to a form of the dead. We do that and record the town’s history.

A: So you have a recent history of what’s happened in the town?

YM: Uhh it’s not a written history.

A: So is this an oral history?

YM: Oh yes.

A: Would you mind telling us what happened in the town prior to people going crazy?

YM: You better come in.

He leads us into what appears to be a ransacked office with papers and machinery everywhere.

YM: Well umm the harvest was alright. 342 cavots… Umm… we had 5 merchants. They were alright. Passed through. Not many peregrines come through. Jory got married. Didn’t like the bride. Umm she might have burned. Big fire. Mobs. Don’t know who survived.

K: What were the mobs for?

YM: Strange motives. Agitation. Paranoia. Unclear cause. The other devoirs are looking into it. But we don’t really know yet. We try to know things but even the magistrate even he has no answers yet I think.

C: Where’s the magistrate?

YM: He’s very busy. Trying to understand.

A: Could we meet him? We might be able to help?

YM: Why?

A: We just helped a town to the north and one to the south. We’re experienced adventurers so we may be able to help.

YM: Well you do look like you’re from out of town and you might have news. We need to correlate with outside events. yes… Come! There’s no one else to let you in.

He produces two keys from his robes and opens a door to a room with a chest and a desk. He lifts a rug and produces a third key which opens a door into a dark hole. He begins walking down a circular stairwell and motions to follow. We follow him down the staircase which smells of rotten flesh.

We see flickering torches at the bottom of the staircase. He touches a mirrored panel and speaks inaudibly. A door opens into a mortuary with a bunch of dead people resting prone on benches wrapped in purple-dyed . Each person has a mark branded into his forehead and their faces are slack-jawed and wide-eyed.

There is a tube coming from the wall into a vat of bubbling water that appears to be sparking. At the center of the room, there is a man leaning over a dead man. The dead man’s lips are speaking to the listening man.

+1 XP to Daniel for roleplaying

View
Session 2
Madness in the Mountains - Part 2

One glowy shard thing starts attacking Kaladin, slashing his bicep. The other attacks Cairn. The other 4 begin descending on the remaining villagers.

Jesus has identified the creatures as level 2 pallones, that aren’t very intelligent but are sharp.

Ano begins glowing icily as does Kaladin. Ano smashes down with her blade and as the blade touches the glowy sharp thing, it instantly crystallizes into a snowflake and shatters into a million pieces.

Cairn runs forward to protect the villagers and moves to strike with his staff, barely missing the sharp jellyfish as it floats out of range.

Mesmer thrusts at the nearest spinning sawblade, catching the sawblade on its flat edge and it shatters down the middle, falling to the ground with a thud.

Kaladin rushes to Cairn’s and the villagers’ aid, and thrusts his crackling spear at the pallone. It feels as if it hits a hard surface, clanging and forcing the creature back, with a crack down its side.

Jesus rushes to the side of one of the fallen villagers.

The pallones begin to retaliate. The injured one attacks Kaladin. One attacks Jesus, and another two attack the villagers.

Jesus dodges the creature’s attack.

Kaladin is caught wildly by surprise as the creature smashes against him, dazing him.

Ano rushes forward and cleaves through the injured creature, shattering it.

Cairn moves to Jesus’s aid, striking the creature with his staff. A chip breaks off from the creature which disappears and reappears 10 feet away.

Mesmer chases after the chipped pallone and thrusts at it, piercing it through. It falls to the ground dead.

Kaladin: “What’s still alive here?”

There are two pollones still attacking the villagers.

Kaladin thrusts his spear at one pollone, damaging it leaving a lightning-scorched mark on its underside.

Jesus casts healing touch on the dude who is bleeding out on the floor. The blow of flood starts to slow and eventually stops as scar tissue begins to form on the villager’s neck. His eyes flutter open in fear and disbelief. Jesus begins singing a lullaby to soothe the wounded villager.

The injured pollone attacks Kaladin. The other one turns toward Cairn.

Cairn: “Goddammit. What did I ever do to them?”

Kaladin is struck again by the pollone. Cairn is able to deflect the attack against him using his staff.

The injured villager pulls himself to his feet and picks up a fallen spear. He makes a strained thrust and manages to damage the pollone attacking Cairn.

Striking down the injured pollone attacking Kaladin, Ano scores a hat trick!

Cairn accidentally himself with his quarterstaff and feels disoriented. Blinking, Cairn finds himself next to Ano, appearing to have disappeared and appeared back next to Ano.

Cairn: “Mesmer, avenge me!”

Mesmer: “FOR CAIRN!”

Mesmer shouts as his greatsword slides through the pollone without resistance, leaving the shattered remains of the pollone falling to the ground.

The weary villagers begin helping the other injured villagers. The Jesus-healed villager brings a more nicely dressed man with a bandaged thigh. The injured villager says: “Welcome. Your arrival was quite timely. Thank you for your aid. You are welcome to stay and hopefully we can partake in another meal before the next attack.”

Cairn nudges Patel first. The elder sees Patel and says: “You’ve returned! Have you brought these fellows to us?”

Patel nods.

Elder: “Naedi will want to see you”

Patel runs toward the village.

Elder: “Come.”

In the village center, there is a medical center set up and stew brewing. Some villagers seem relieved, but others seem weary. They seem focused on their stew.

The elder gestures for us to sit on a fallen log and gestures the two cooks to bring us some food.

A middle-aged woman in a leather shirt and pants arrives with Patel: “Thank you for helping “

Jesus: “We sent her on to Seleon Basin in good company.”

Naedi: Thank you but the last few days have been plagued by attacks by various creatures. Yesterday was ravenous birds, today was these pollones. We’ve seen them before in the forest, but we don’t know why they’ve attacked us. Perhaps we cleared too much away from the forest and agitated them.

Kaladin: Can you tell us more about the clearing?

Naedi: This is our home. I was born here, my mother was born here. We make a living hunting the creatures of the forest.

C: Have you seen the pollones before?

N: Rarely, but they’ve never been a problem before.

K: You said something about clearing too much away. Could you tell us more about that?

N: When we need more space, we burn the mesh at the top of the trees which causes the tree to fall and we can clear the space. This happens rarely, but a new family joined us this month. I- I- I- don’t know if this caused us. This doesn’t happen often.

J: Who was this new family?

N: A merchant family tired of traveling decided to settle down. They brought wares with them so we accepted them.

M: Did burning the mesh let the pollones in?

N: Idk. That might be it.

Elder (placing hand on N’s shoulder): I feel that whatever is troubling the creatures, comes from beyond our small village.

The elder walks away.

K: What do you know of these strange abilities that your daughter has, like controlling the scutimorphs.

N: She’s always been blessed. She’s always communicated well with animals. She’ll be a fine huntress one day.

C: Has she ever interacted with the pollones.

N: Idt she’s ever seen them. We see them from afar from time to time, we’ve never even been close to one. I don’t see what

K: Just curious, never met anyone with that kind of ability before. What do you hunt in this forest? Scutimorphs, or something else?

N: Oh no, they’re much too dangerous. We generally leave them alone.

Villager (slurping soup noisily): Scoff

K:

Villager: Normally they’ve been generally jittery in the last few weeks. They drove past us in a limousine and shot centipede eggs at us. It happened twice in the last few weeks.

It happened just as Seria ran off. I’m not saying she had something to do with it. Draw from it what you will.

Seria tells us not to worry but idk how she’d know anything. A few days later, we’ve got these crazy things cutting off our hands and legs and Seria ran away. How could they send her away, but not the rest of the kids? Seems kind of suspicious that she can talk to the scutimorphs.

N: IT’s not the scutimorphs that are the problem. It’s these flying saws.

K: Why did you send her away?

N: For safety of course. Couldn’t stand to have her here while they were cutting us to ribbons.

K: So you sent them to us?

N: We sent them for safety and to find help if they could.

M: Is there anyone else in the forest? Besides the village.

N: Not as far as I know. We’ve hunted through most of it and afaik, we’re the only ones here. we’d know if other folks come through.

Kaladin rests. Jesus rests. Mesmer rests.

K: Jesus, any help would be appreciated.

J: Who needs help from Jesus? Jesus is going to come work a miracle.

J approaches the healed villager.

J: Has anything been odd in the last month?

V: People have talked about the animals acting odd. I don’t know if it’s something with the village or from beyond, but they don’t seem to respond the way they used to. They’re agitated. Something weird has its grip on the whole forest.

K: Any major events in the last 6 months that might be in any way related.

V: 6 months is a long time. Families growing up. Got the new family. We don’t really keep track of time here. I just never thought I’d have to fight monstrosities; I thought I’d just hunt peacefully.

K: Nothing odd, no Iron Winds?
V: Thank heavens no.

J: Should we spend the night?

C: Let’s stay the night and see if there is any sign of attacks in the morning.

E: You are welcome to stay for the night. We  could use your aid in case of another attack. We’ll have to clear out a collapsed building to offer you shelter for the night.

C: We could help for that.

E: Splendid (gestures for anybody to come help clear out the rubble)

K: So how are you related to the village?

E: I have some family here. Seria and Patel are my grandchildren. I think they’re the last of them. I have a daughter; you met Naedi. Her husband passed.

C: In the fight?

E: Nope, it’s been many years.

C: How did they take it?

E: They were very young.

C: Did Seria show signs of the gift before that?

E: Idk if she has any gifts aside from her warm disposition.

SASS ALERT

C: Well nobody else can do it in recorded history so I’ll just call it a gift for now.

E: Not sure, she’s been able to do it forever, but that girl can take care of herself

K: Why’d you send her away then?

E: No need to expose her to needless danger.

K: What about the rest?

E: We kept the other children safe.

K: Did you send her away b/c you suspected her of being the cause

E: It’s not her.

M: No disrespect intended.

E: There are certain things you feel in your bones. Whatever shadow is being cast from beyond the forest. I feel the fingers of the west.

K: That’s a direction. Can you get us to the source of this pull?

E: I cannot abandon my people and I cannot spare any of the villagers.

K: Maybe you could all come with us?

E: I will not abandon our home to some floating blade disc things.

silence

The building is cleared out. The villagers provide some furs to sleep on. We decide to set a watch. After a night’s sleep, the villagers provide a meal. Kaladin remembers that there is a town nestled in the foothills of the Black Riage with a formation resembling the fingers of a hand rising from the rock.

A: Elder, are those finger rocks the ones you’re thinking of?

E: I can’t know for sure, but I feel like something troubling is coming from the mountain.

C: Let’s get outta here. Time to move on.

As we’re leaving:

N: If you’re going back the way you came, and if you can spare some time, let Seria know it’s safe and to come home.

A: We are headed west first, but if we come across here, we’ll be sure to pass along the message.

N: I would be ever so grateful.

A: You’re welcome.

We leave the forest, passing chittering scutimorphs. We see the winding road and Mouth Cairns in the distance. We see the occasional peregrine and the road leading NE to the Great Slab in the distance. We cut across dusty plains to get back to the road toward the Black Riage. We can see the silhouette of the finger rock town in the mountain range, due west.

We could go due west across the plains or head due south along the road. Going across the plains might be slower with less shelter but it’s a shorter distance. Heading west also ends up at a hill in the middle.

C: Let’s take the road, shelter is important

K: We might also meet somebody with info.

By noon, we reach the road and soon reach the outskirts of the Mouth Cairns. We pass the occasional travelers, but none wish to speak. It’s late afternoon by the time we reach the last of the Mouth Cairns. We decide to head south toward Seleon Basin to reach Seria and hopefully have the scutimorph carry us to the scary finger rock place.

In the pitch black of night, we hear a chittering and see purple flashes of light erupt around us. Many flying insects brush pust us and begin to weave together in a cloud of light.

Jesus takes out his cypher goggles and begins recording the intricate dance of the insects. After a minute, the goggles stop humming and go silent.

C: It’s potentially dangerous, let’s enjoy this, but enjoy this in motion.

After a few minutes, we leave the cloud. we see the faint lights of a village ahead. The road runs straight into the town as a central avenue with buildings on both sides. One of the most noticeable things is a series of large circular basins on the side of the road. We pass 5 of the basins on the side of the main street. There are signs on the buildings, but they are not legible in the moonlight.

We enter the town pub. There’s a fire burning in the hearth and several villagers speaking in low voices. There’s a bar as well as a second floor. The barkeep waves us closer.

Barkeep: “Goodnight to ya! It’s awful late for travelers, but you’re welcome to stay”

A: Thanks!

M: We’re looking for a girl who rides a scutimorph who may have come into town recently. Have you seen her?

B: One moment, let me think.

M: She would have come in from the north and would have had a mother and a boy come in. They would have come in yesterday.

B: I haven’t heard anything.

C: Thanks, we appreciate your hospitality.

B: It’s 1 shin/night

A: I got this

C: -1 shin for food

In the morning:

B: We sell all kinds of things here. Remedies for travelers, etc. Somebody here will have news for you.

The main street is a series of planks laid between the basins. Each basin is ~20 feet around, filled with different-colored liquid. People and creatures are resting in the liquids of the basin. One basin oddly appears as if it were filled with pitch black ink. Stores and stalls are set up alongside the road. As C pokes his quarterstaff into the inky basin, a child splashes him and his clothing with ink.

C: Let’s go find the town drunk. And see if he has some info to give us.

Cairn sees one and asks about the girl:

D: You should check out Roro’s over there. Lots of people come away happy. (DRUGSSSSS?)

C: We’re just looking for the girl.

D: Oh, you’re not here for the basins?

C: Thanks for offering, we’re looking for somebody who’s lost not somebody is hurt. (Turning to rest) he’s asking if any of you need medical attention.

M: So you haven’t seen this girl.

D: I haven’t seen this girl. Have you been to the inn?

C: I’ll pay you for info.

D looks confused and suspicious.

D: It’s not everyday somebody comes by here looking for stuff from me.

Grabs money from C.

D: Try the store at the back of the street with a brain on it.

We walk down to the brain store. There is a wooden sign with an actual brain nailed to it. From its size, it doesn’t appear to be human.

Beneath the sign is a woman with metal protruding from around her eyes, near the base of her nose, and around her mouth. When she sees us approaching, she says “Come. I have a feeling I know what you’re here.”.

She brings us inside the building where there are wires and organic matter strewn across the working laboratory.

W: So tell me why are you here?

A: We’re a group of travelers looking for a girl riding a scutimorph.

W: Why?

C: We’re here on behalf of her family.

The woman returns with her hand around Seria’s shoulder

S: He-hello… Is Patel well?

C: He’s good. Where’s the scutimorph and your companions?

S (nervous): I left him; he’d just scare people. But Darvin has been kind to me

D: Don’t strain yourself. You’re still not well.

Pours her a drink

D: She was a brave girl to come here on her own.

C: Alone? She had companions with her

We hear clinking

S: We-well I had to go on my own.

D: She’s not quite well though. THe villagers brought her to me when they say she had trouble speaking clearly. They thought it was something mental and I agree. Ordinarily, I’d have a solution for her but I’ve had an issue lately. We have a garden. All of our healers take from it. Problem is not long before Seria showed up, a group of broken hounds broke in and won’t leave. Seria here bravely offered to shoo them off. I told her it was too dangerous. If I had access to the garden, I could help her.

K: Let’s go do something about it.

D: Well you seem like capable people. I don’t want to impinge on you, but i think this would be best for helping Seria. The town would owe you all too.

C: Seria, do you want us to clear out the broken hounds?

S: We-well, if- if- Darvin thinks it’d help, please help her.

A: Let’s help her out.

To ourselves:

K: I’m suspicious of Seria always having animals chasing her around.

View
Session 1
Madness in the Mountains - Part 1

We find ourselves on a road across a dusty, arid plain. The road is known as the Wandering Walk, a wilderness/pilgrimage trail that crosses the Beyond. It is speculated that the trail circumnavigates the world, but it is unknown. Pilgrims who travel along this trail are known as peregrines and it’s considered a point of pride to demonstrate how long you’ve been on the trail. Peregrines demonstrate how long they’ve been on the trail by carving a long scar into their arm known as the Blood Scar.

We’ve all stopped for the night at a rest stop. Who are you? What are you? Why have you come here?

Tommy: Battered shield

Peregrin: Cairn – a wiry and thin man, long shaggy dirty blonde hair, long unkempt beard, worn light armor, hefty backpack, quarterstaff

Tom: Mesmer – Warrior’s build, chain mail, greatsword, flashy bright clothes, tall and broad-shouldered

Daniel C.: Kaladin – tan, dark hair, dark brown eyes, lots of scars, late teens/early twenties, cynical/mature, spear and shield, leather armor

Daniel Z.: ?

We find ourselves at a small group of hovels known as The Mouth Cairns. The Mouth Cairns sit  in the leeward side of a large metal structure. The hovels are made of the jawbones of peregrines. Local legend has it that you must make a pledge of good intent to prevent The Mouth Cairns from swallowing you up. Rumor has it that people have been disappearing at night.

About a half-dozen travelers sit near the hovels around campfires and glowglobes. The conversation turns to the recent rumors of disappearances which makes the travelers nervous. Some believe it is not The Mouth Cairns, but something else that

In the morning, to their surprise, the travelers realize no one is missing. The animated travelers go about their day, but soon they hear what sound like the hoofbeats of an army arriving. Soon they see an insect, a scutimorph (12 feet long), running across the plain with two people riding on its back—one small and one large. This is considered odd as nobody rides a scutimorph. Soon enough the riders arrive at The Mouth Cairns. The larger rider is a seriously but not mortally wounded young man. The smaller rider is a young, concerned girl. Neither of them seem like peregrines nor do they seem like they’ve been in the plains long. Tommy seems to realize that the scutimorph seems to be controlled by the young girl.

The young man, Patel, says that he rides from the north. He says he needs to go back to defend his family. And he needs somebody to escort his sister, Seria, half a day to the south.

Ano: Who attacked you?! What’s wrong?

Patel: These creatures attacked our village!

Tommy: Allow me to heal your wounds and come back to your village.

Patel: There’s not much time…

Peregrin: It won’t help your family to make your wounds worse.

Tommy: It won’t take but a moment.

Tommy walks up to Patel. Tommy closes his eyes in meditation and the two are surrounded by a small glow. Patel pulls his hand away from his side. A clot seems to have formed and his wound has sealed. The crowd whispers astonishedly.

Patel: Th-thank you! If you’ll come back … thank you! I’m sure others need help as well! But somebody still needs to help my sister!

Seria (anxiously): No-, I think- I think you should come back with us! You can help our family

Tommy lays his hands on Seria in an attempt to heal her. He hears a guttural but lyrical animalistic language. He feels vaguely connected to her which distracts and unnerves him to the point of preventing him from healing her (GM intrusion, +2 exp, 1 distributed to Cairn, the other to Jesus). Tommy focuses in an attempt to ignore the distraction. She takes a deep breath.

Seria (sedately): Thank you. You really must go with my brother.

Mesmer: I will accompany Patel northward.

Ano: Kaladin, what do you want to do?

Kaladin: I think we should take the girl south.

Cairn: No, this is a mistake. An unknown force and unknown power should be met by the most powerful among us. You (points to the augmented-eye mother peregrine), take the girl south!

Woman: Alright, a visit to the basin is always nice. My son and I can go.

Kaladin: Very well.

The woman and boy cautiously board the scutimorph. Seria gives a concerned look to her brother.

Seria: Be safe, brother

Seria rides off

Kaladin: Oh shit, maybe we should’ve taken the scutimorph with us…

Patel: Seria is the only one who can tame the scutimorph. She’s a little strange that way, but I think it’s a blessing.

The adventurers being walking north. The sun passes overhead. A forest seems to appear out of nowhere in the middle of the plains. As the forest enters vision, Jesus begins to feel uneasy and hear an odd thrumming in his head. As we approach, this feeling of unease starts to dissipate, and the adventurers realize this is in fact The False Forest, with slate-colored hollow 20 ft tall cylinders floating ~2 ft off the ground. A green synthetic mesh forms the canopy of the forest. After the first few rows, the adventurers realize they are not alone. There are many scutimorphs coiled around the trunks of these “trees”.

Kaladin: How far are we from your village?

Patel: Near the heart of the forest. Not far from here.

Kaladin: Are we in danger from them?

Patel: Oh no no, as long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

K: When did they attack?

P: In the morning. At dawn.

K: Dawn? How much light was there?

P: They were hard to see like wisps even in the light

K: How did people die?

P: I didn’t see.

M: How did you get that wound?

P: They cut me, it was sharp.

K: Jesus, how deep was the cut?

J: It was a cut all the way to the ribs.

K: How did you know others were attacked?
P: My father told me to grab Seria and run.

C (shouting): Cease this ridiculous questioning. Either go investigate or abandon this boy to his fate. We’ve come this far, we might as well go further.

The shouting echoes through the forest. As the echo dies down, a wild scutimorph has appeared! It winds its way down the tree and rears back hissing with mandibles wide. It’s angry at all of us.

Cairn knows that scutimorphs have no natural predators.

Mesmer draws his sword and moves to Bash the creature. The sword clangs off the creature’s carapace uselessly.

Kaladin’s spear begins to crackle with electricity and moves to Bash the creature with his spear. His spear bounces off harmlessly as well.

Jesus decides to Scan the monster. He senses that this creature is a scutimorph and he again hears the buzzing in his head. He can tell the scutimorph is angry but confused. He detects that absent special modifications, it’s a level 3 monster (typically has 9 health)

Ano draws her sword and strikes the monster. Despite successfully hitting the monster, it slips across the grooves of the carapace and fails to injure the creature.

Cairn tries to distract the creature by throwing a rock.

The scutimorph bares its mandibles and strikes at Ano who dodges nimbly out of the way of the attack.

Patel attempts to distract the creature by stabbing at its tail from behind

Mesmer thrusts his greatsword at the beast, barely piercing its armor (dealing 7 damage before armor). The tip of Mesmer’s sword is covered in ichor.

Kaladin pulls a syringe from his bag and injects himself (The difficulty of attacks are reduced by 3 steps). Kaladin begins moving with unnatural grace and Thrusts his spear directly between two plates of carapace (dealing 9 damage before armor). The spear sinks deeply into the beast and it hisses in rage.

Jesus circles the beast and attempts to mount the beast. Despite stumbling, Jesus climbs aboard the beast’s back. Using a similar technique to what he observed Seria do, Jesus attempts to calm the beast, which fails miserably but he is thrown off.

Ano circles around the beast as well to protect the distracting Patel.

Cairn mounts a ruby on his quarterstaff and swings his quarterstaff at the beast. The beast dodges away striking the ground and leaving a small divot.

The distracted scutimorph lunges at Kaladin. Kaladin jumps to the side, dodging the attack.

Patel keeps poking its tail to distract it.

Mesmer: I guess I’ll keep thrusting.

Mesmer’s thrust is deflected again by the scutimorph.

Still feeling powerful, Kaladin thrusts his spear at the scutimorph’s lower abdomen. As the scutimorph reels back, it chitters and turns back, knocking Kaladin of his feet and skittering up a tree.

The thrumming in Jesus’s mind calms. The other scutimorphs chitter but remain still. Kaladin no longer feels as powerful.

The adventurers move forward into a clearing that appear to hold the remains of a small village. There are three triangular buildings that contain some kind of living substance that appear to be made of the same material of the canopy. There used to be 12 buildings. There are a number of humans rebuilding, stooped in fear, exhaustion, and sadness. When they see you, they reach for their weapons.

Ano notices that the people are looking above us not actually at us. She looks up and sees an unusual reflective glints in the sky descending on the clearing. A half-dozen of these circular creatures float down like jellyfish into the clearing. As it nears one of the villagers, it spins rapidly and flies at a villager. He fends it off but is left with a long gash in his arm.

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