The Ninth World

The Whispering Mountain - Part 3
Tentacle Nonsense

We have mounted the lizards and are now heading towards the town in pursuit. It should be noted that Xiong wants to start a lizard breeding operation. We attempt to herd the lizards towards the town.

Everybody takes a rest and Xiong vigorously hugs everybody in the party making them feel refreshed.

Jesus heals Xiong as thanks for the hug.

Cairn attempts to rein the lizards in using his wilderness knowledge and intuition. Over the course of riding, several of the lizards start to stray. We attempt to wrangle them back, but 3 of them escaped. That means we have 8 remaining.

 

We begin passing through a dark forest. We hear the sound of movement through the brush—leaves rustling and branches crackling underfoot. Then we hear a feminine cry for help. And then out of the brush comes a woman in a tattered dress and she’s covered in dirt and grime and her dress is torn from running through the ticket. She runs onto the road, sees you, and shouts, “Please! It’s behind me! Please!” as she runs towards you. You hear more larger sounds coming from the forest behind her.

 

Cairn and Mesmer surge forward on their lizards.

Xiong dismounts from his lizard and moves towards the woman.

Jesus stays back on his lizard.

We see something begin to claw its way from the brush… A writhing mass of 15-20 mucous-dripping eyed tentacles with a jaw with long mandibles on its main tentacle.

 

The woman runs to Cairn and Mesmer and is clambering up their mounts.

The tentacle monster flails at everybody in a 20 foot radius (i.e. everybody). Everybody is struck dealing heavy damage. The woman is struck in the back by one of the tentacles and is knocked forward onto the ground.

Jesus touches himself, feeling invigorated.

Mesmer wrangles his mount into a forward charge, he stabs his greatsword forward into the center of tentacle monster, dazing the monster. Blue blood spills out and sprays all over you and the girl who cries out.

Cairn leaps off the lizard, throws the girl over the saddle and remounts the lizard deftly. Fanfare plays at this deft maneuver.

Xiong remounts his lizard, says “Alright, let’s go now!”, and readies to defend Jesus from attack.

 

Jesus is distracted by a small bird. Cairn, using his situational awareness, notices something about the creature. The monster appears to lash out but it hesitates, stares at you, and then flees.

 

Jesus heals Cairn.

Mesmer pursues the monster, but misses his next blow.

Cairn yells out “Who goes there?”

Xiong is able to see a cloaked silhouette figure in the woods and calls out to the party: “There’s a suspicious figure in the woods!”

The flustered girl straightens herself out.

The tentacle monster runs deeper into the forest.

Mesmer shouts at the departing monster “And don’t let me see you on this road again!”

But when Mesmer and Jesus around, nobody can see the figure anymore.

Mesmer berates the cowering lizards for not being as brave.

Xiong smells no sign of the mysterious figure but does smell the unusual flesh of the tentacle monster, and thinks he could recognize it in the future.

(Jesus at this point has scanned the girl revealing that she is a normal human but he does sense some kind of transdimensional energy on her person which he relays secretly to the rest of the party).

 

C: Who are you?

Girl: My name is Mira. Is it gone? I’m so glad I found you. I don’t know what I would have done.

C: We’re happy to help, but why were you fleeing a giant tentacle monster?

Mira: Because it was chasing me… I was going to deliver pie to my sick grandmother in the woods, but the monster chased. I didn’t even know what direction I’d gone in, but I’m so glad you scared it away.

X: Are you talking about Twin Forks?

Mira: Yes, how’d you know? (double takes and stares at Xiong because I’m a bear)

C: We’re on our way there. Would you like your own lizard while we travel?

Mira: I don’t know how to ride them; I’ve never seen them up close before.

M: Just assert your dominance.

C: Let’s talk on the way back to your village.

(After a period of time, we emerge from the forest and see some light greenery and rock outcroppings.)

X: How far are we from the town?

Mira: It’s all different by brehm than on foot… On foot, it would take me 6 hours from here…

 

We decide to stop for the night.

 

X: Hey Mira, we’re going to scope out the area. Here’s Cairn’s sleeping bag, feel free to go to sleep.

Mira: Thanks, brave adventurers (paying apparent attention to Cairn and Mesmer)

 

The party without Mesmer moves off to the side of the camp. Mesmer begins playing his drowsy instrument to put her to sleep.

 

J: Hey Cairn, while I was riding around on my glamorous steed, I was secretly telling Mesmer and Xiong about the girls’ transdimensional status.

C: Let’s not make judgment without evidence.

(The result of the scan was roughly what you would expect for a human’s composition. The one unusual thing is some kind of energy that he understands from his studies to be associated with portals or rifts).

X: Do you think this is an active portal or a dormant one? Or both? What is the nature of the portal?

J: Not necessarily an active portal, it could be a person from another dimension, just some trace energies, or a cypher that draws energy.

 

X: Should we talk to her about the transdimensional energy?

C: I think we just ask her straightforwardly about the energy and if she doesn’t respond well, we can erase her memories.

X: Let’s have Jesus talk to her 1-on-1 tomorrow morning.

C: I’ll take first watch, then Jesus, then Mesmer, then Xiong.


+1 XP to Mesmer for creative oddity usage, skillfully stabbing the tentacle monster, and berating lizards

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The Whispering Mountain - Part 2

Previously on Numenera

We were ambushed by some bandits on the way to Twin Forks while searching for Lothar the Shiv. We’re looking for him because he saw a mountain with treasure. Now there’s a bunch of people with pointy throwy things in the woods, and people with pointy stabby things.

Session Notes

Mesmer attempts to mightily blow 2 nearby archers. He misses the injured archer but critically injures the other.

Jesus deftly runs around the invisible wall using his normal people powers to join Mesmer and Xiong and escape from the nearby enemies. He does so at a normal speed.

Xiong smacks an injured archer upside the head and kills him.

Cairn runs around the wall and fires through one of the arrow slits in the fake wall and snipes a bandit in the head, killing him instantly.

The bandits pursue Cairn around the wall. Two ran too long a distance to attack, but the third was able to attack, but Cairn nimbly dodges the clumsy bandits’ attack.

 

(Jesus falls asleep)

 

Mesmer, Cairn, and Jesus all dodge incoming arrows, but Xiong takes 2 hits turning him into a prickly bear.

Mesmer again mightily blows 2 fleeing archers, cleaving them into halves.

Jesus runs over to Mesmer.

Xiong notices that one archer is under a rotting tree propped up against the crook of another. Xiong smashes the rotting tree with his bear arms. The archer notices and jumps away, but his legs are crushed under the falling tree, leaving him alive but badly wounded.

Cairn drops Jesus’s crossbow and draws his oversized hammer. He takes a swing at one of the nearby brigands but misses.

The 3 brigands gang up on Cairn. He dodges 2, but is hit by the last attack which dazes him temporarily.

The crushed archer screams in pain.

The other 3 reposition and all shoot at the bear. The bear dodges 2 arrows but takes the 3rd.

Jesus lays his hands on Mesmer, healing him.

Mesmer swiftly runs towards the archer and kills one and misses the other with his mighty blow.

Xiong notices aerated ground behind one of the archers where he suspects Kaffa (insect larva) may be lying underground. He punches the archer really hard, knocking him back onto the aerated ground.

Cairn runs away towards the rest of the party, away from the bandits and the fake wall. He takes a short breather to recover.

Jesus runs to Cairn and heals him.

The crushed archer pulls himself with bones cracking away from the log. He feebly whistles.

The knocked back archer shoots Mesmer, injuring him greatly. The other archer shoots Xiong. The 3 melee bandits run to the trees to close the distance.

Xiong bear hugs Mesmer, healing him with the power of love.

Cairn smashes a bandit with his hammer.

The two melee bandits attack Cairn and Xiong but both miss. Xiong ignores the arrow that flies past him. The injured archer whistles and a large lizard slithers out of the brush and hisses non-aggressively at the crushed archer. The lizard doesn’t care about you.

Mesmer steps up to the injured archer who whistled the second time and cleaves through his armor, cutting off his arm and killing him. The lizard doesn’t care.

Jesus runs over and heals Xiong.

Cairn swings at the bandit and it misses, bouncing to the ground.

Xiong mauls a bandit, bats his shield away and claws his chest open.

The man grabs the lizard and slaps its side, it pulls him away. The rest of the bandits run away.

Jesus wanders off. Xiong manages to track the lizard man to a clearing where a bunch of pet lizards are tied up. You see the tracks of the man lead on the road and go toward the town.

We investigate the lizards and find 17 shins strapped to the lizards. The lizards don’t mind us. There are 11 lizards.

Next time, we’ll start at the lizard farm.

 

+1 XP to everybody as a global apology for making this guy get away automatically

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The Whispering Mountain - Part 1
Session 26

Elswyr, responding to a personal calling to discover more about her past, decides to strike out on her own.

From Dracogen, you received the following gifts:

  • Mesmer

    • Sleeping instrument (Oddity) - A stringed instrument that causes those aside from the player to feel weary and tired
    • Banishing nodule – For the next 28 hours, each time the weapon the nodule is attached to strikes a solid creature or object, it generates a burst of energy that teleports the creature or object struck an immediate distance in a random direction (not up or down). The difficulty of the teleported creature’s actions (including defense) is modified by one step to its detriment on its next turn.
    • Anti-fatigue pill – resist mental effects that cause fatigue or weariness
  • Cairn

    • Not enough space
  • Jesus

    • Water breather – a one-use cypher that allows you to breathe underwater for 10 minutes
    • Lubricating gel – single-use lube spray
  • Discarded

    • Firework made from old parts

You are returning from Legrash and passing through the Kingdom of Malevich. It lies in the central eastern region of the Steadfast with the Black Riage bordering it to the east. The party is approaching the southern end of the kingdom and expects to encounter the Voil Chasm, a vast, deep, and unexplored chasm.

You make camp for the night. You all awake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat from nightmares that seem to fade away from your memory as soon as you wake. You remember a feeling of fear as well as longing almost to the point of grief. All of your dreams were different, but you all felt like the object you were longing for was just out of reach. The dreams were full of teeth and in the dream, you were in the shadow of a black, twisted, two-tipped (horned) mountain. After a few minutes after waking, these feelings fade.

On breaking camp, Jesus shares that he had a strange dream. Mesmer admits to it as well. Cairn says nothing but tries to identify the mountain from his knowledge of natural history but cannot recall anything that matches its description.

The next night, you all have a similar dream. You take different routes, but the shadows are there. The longing is there. The mountain is there.

There were words in the dreams, but you can’t make them out.

After another night of dreams, you arrive in a small town that lies a few days away from the Voil Chasm. Harker’s Ferry is the town’s name despite the river having dried long ago. You can make out a few non-residential town buildings—a blue ferry building, some inns with swaying signs, and a general store. (The party would know the kingdom is poor and has been ravaged from war.). The town represents a modest refuge from the bleak and desolate poverty of the people and the land surrounding it.

C: Let’s go to the tavern since barkeepers have a universal ability to tell local stories.
J: That seems reasonable

You locate an inn that you originally thought was a tavern. There’s not much of a social scene there, but you see some people walking toward a building marked with a swinging fish sign, naming the tavern, The Spawning Trout. The tavern is filled with gritty hardworking folk. There are a few dozen people, there are a few pairs of people at various tables, there’s an older man by the fire sitting by himself, and there is a bear sitting in a corner munching on food. The bear is wearing a green cap and a simple cloth tunic. There is a walking stick and a traveler’s bag leaning against the wall behind him. He is not obviously armed. He is eating a fish.

M (upset at his lack of sleep): Barkeep, are there any mountains in the area that are black, twisted and horned?
Barkeep (with a dark, suspicious look): No I do not know of any such mountain. Are you gonna have something to drink?

Mesmer hands the barkeep a shin for a round of drinks. You sit down and another man orders a few drinks and gives one to the old man by the fireplace. The old man thanks him and begins telling the story of the town.

Old Man: The town got its name from Harker who set up his ferry here due to its strategic location for traversing the river. But one day, a filthy decrepit man asked for a ride across the river, but said he had no many. He was refused. He asked again, saying he was poor. He was refused again. Harker told the man “we don’t need your kind here”. The man revealed himself as a powerful nano. “I am Mortan, you must give me passage.”. Harker said “Come abroad, oh powerful one.”.

Mortan was outraged at Harker’s charity to only those more powerful than him. Mortan gathered his power and dried the river into the cracks of the mud below. Mortan left the now impoverished Harker, never to be seen again.

The old man takes a large drink and mutters something about the folly of young men. There is some nodding from the other patrons of the bar.

C: Do you want to see if we can ply the old man with more drinks to get more stories?
J: I would propose, let’s first ask him about the mountain and then see what he has to say.

You get another round of drinks plus one more for the old man. You give one to the old man who accepts it gratefully and squints at you as if to recognize you. Cairn hands the drink to the man who stares at him in awkward silence.

C (after a moment): Hey that was a fascinating story… Do you tell a lot of them?
OM: As many as the folk here have a mind to hear.
C: We’re looking for a story that you might want to tell about a mountain somewhere. A black mountain with tall… two tall peaks.

Everyone at the tables around you look away and shift uncomfortably

OM (with a serious expression, nodding slowly): Now I’m no wise man, I’m just an old fool. But it’s clear that something has come to our small part of the world. Now what it is, I don’t right know what plagues us so, but it ain’t natural and it reminds me of an old tale I’ve heard.

Some people listen back in while the others lean away in feigned disinterest

OM: Before the beginning of history, in a place far from here, … now mind you, I heard this from a passing traveler… in a place of danger, a mighty creature whose name was so powerful its name could be said. It had a lair atop a mountain of untold treasure. For a generation, it was left untouched and unmolested by common man, but one day, a visitor from another world appeared atop the mountain. On its peak the battle was fought, with both killed and the fortune unclaimed.

Finding the mountain is nigh unto impossible as it only appears in any given place for a short time. My traveling friend said he saw it once but was too terrified to pursue it. When he went again, it was gone, but he had heard 20 years later a similar story in a faraway land. The rumor is that this mountain moves about every 20 years, gone some of the time, back some of the while, never in the same way.

Always in desolate places, always casting its dark shadows on those who cannot resist it. I haven’t thought of that in a while, but it just came to mind. I don’t know if it’s a good story of fortune and adventure or a bad one of fear and greed, but lately, I’ve been thinking of it often

He settles into silence

J: Where was the last sighting?

OM: My friend never said, so it’s hard to say if it’s myth or truth, but it had a measure of truth to it. My friend may still know.

M: Who is this friend?

OM: Lothar the Shiv. I haven’t seen him in a couple of decades, but he lives in Twin Forks, a village not far from here.

M: Well, we may end up seeking this friend of yours out.

OM: Remember the lesson about greed.

J: How long ago has the river been dried up?

OM: In my parents’ time, before I was born.

M: What’s your name?

OM: Fedrick. Old Fedrick, they call me.

The bear picks up his things and lumbers over to the party. The bear asks to share a room to split the cost of the inn.

J: As the poorest member of the party, I will share a room with you.

M: Might you introduce yourself, sir?

Xiong: My name is Xiong. I’ve been traveling around these parts. I like fish. I grew up in a large town many miles away, but wanted to travel and explore the world.

After another night of restless sleep:

X: Guys, I had the weirdest dream last night.

J: Tell us about it.

X: I had this really strange dream. (describes dream)

M: We’ve been having similar dreams. That’s why were asking Fedrick about the mountain. We plan on seeking out more information about it. Would you like to join us?

X: Sure, it’s disrupting my sleep.

The party begins the 2-day walk toward Twin Forks. Cairn searches for sustenance in the vegetation and provides food. Jesus offers his “wine”. At the end of the first day, we approach a bend in the road with a stand of trees. Xiong smells other people up ahead.

X: I smell people up ahead, we should be prepared to meet them.

The party readies for battle. After several snapping sounds, a volley of arrows flies out of the thicket towards the party. (Each arrow does 4 damage before armor). Xiong and Mesmer are both struck by arrows while the rest of the party is able to dodge away. In dodging the first arrow, the second arrow furrows into the wood of Mesmer’s crossbow.

Mesmer squints at the trees but can’t make out the attackers. Mesmer runs forward and begins throwing up the illusion of a large wall with small windows. He looks around and places a large wall directly between the attackers and the party.

Jesus pokes his head out from behind the wall, but doesn’t see anything and so runs up to Mesmer’s wall.

Xiong sniffs the air, but can only tell that there are many people in the forest.

Cairn runs up quickly and Jesus tosses Cairn his crossbow. Cairn sees glints of metal in the forest, but can’t make out the individual figures. He shoots an arrow into the trees and is rewarded by a yelp of surprise.

You hear mutters and low shouts, “What should we do, boss?” “Well, somebody shoot!” Another volley is released. One arrow strikes Cairn.

Mesmer bursts forward from the illusion and stabs at two of the archers, injuring one but missing the second.

Jesus sees 8 archers and fetches a bow from one of the archers’ hands. It appears in his hands.

Xiong barrels towards the forest. He sees 3 archers—1 injured, 1 recoiling, and 1 undeterred.

Cairn shoots at the archer he shot before. The archer is injured but not down.

Everybody but Xiong hears footsteps behind them. More bandits have climbed out of pits in the ground and charge at the flank i.e. just Jesus. 2 of them close the distance in time to take a swipe at Jesus, the other 2 are still climbing out. 1 misses but the other strikes true.

The startled archer pulls his injured friend back. The one Cairn injured pulls back. The undeterred one shoots Mesmer successfully. The rest unsuccessfully attempt to shoot Cairn through the illusory wall.

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Session 25
A Web of Lies - Part 9

Jesus touches himself. Cairn uses his extensive knowledge of Shibari to tie up an unconscious Mnoma. Jesus goes to investigate the chrome sphere the bird left behind, and discovers patterns swirling inside it, as if something is moving inside the sphere. He steps closer to inspect it better. Upon touching it, it grows uncomfortably warm and begins to shake. He drops it and it cracks in half. A smaller version of the bird crawls out of it. Jesus soothes the baby phoenix, and the party debates how to properly restrain Mnoma so she cannot escape and/or steal back the bird.

 

Cairn rouses Mnoma by rattling his greatsword. She comes to.

 

How did you get in?

Same way as you.

Do you know the way out?

Of course I do.

If you want to make it out alive, you’ll take us with you.

Okay.

So how do we escape?

Mnoma points at Mesmer “You’re going to need to take about 15 steps that way.”

 

Mesmer moves and trips over the same spot Elswyr tripped on. He discovers it’s a platform. He asks Mnoma how to use the platform. She replies that there’s a console behind the platform that when used will send you back.

 

Elswyr warns that the party will be sent into a flaming room full of guards. Mesmer finds the controls. Elswyr demands that Mnoma tell the guards to stand down when we arrive, and she agrees. She tells the whole party to stand on the platform, and they warily comply. She tells Mesmer to find the big red button, and he smacks it. The party’s vision fades, and they find themselves back in the fortress.

 

The room is no longer on fire, there are a lot of corpses, and the party is confronted by a group, led by Ruthan. The man beside him tells the party that he’s been sent by Dracogen to extract us and the box. He insists we leave quickly and leave Mnoma behind. A man draws a weapon and approaches Mnoma. Elswyr asks the man in charge if they know anything about Mnoma’s abilities or motives. He replies that she’s been a dangerous agent for the Convergence for some time and knows too much to be allowed to live. Elswyr reluctantly agrees. Cairn and Jesus also protest.

 

Mesmer suddenly frees Mnoma by cutting her bonds. Jesus tries to stop him but Mesmer is closest to Mnoma and acts first. Mnoma flees with a curse. Too worried about the approaching army, Dracogen’s agent tells the party to follow him out. They follow him out a back route, through a hole in the rear of the fortress. They learn from Dracogen’s agents that the Priesthood is on their tail. Mesmer thinks he spies scouts ahead, though they haven’t noticed us yet, and assumes they are part of the priesthood army. He points them out and the group skirts the scouts.

 

The party finds a horse and carriage, which brings them back to the mountain. Dracogen welcomes the party and receives the box. He announces that he can finally resume his preparations, and can offer us lodging in the meantime. He also informs Jesus that he’s found an alternate power source for the food-generator, to which Jesus is ecstatic. However, it is a fixed power source and cannot be moved, so the party will have to come to the mountain to partake of it. Jesus is still sad, but less so.

 

Elswyr asks how the box will help Dracogen get home. He explains that Shilomen is the expert, but the box will basically create a portal to take them home. Elswyr asks if the immense power will destroy this planet, and Dracogen reassures her it will not. Elswyr then asks Shilomen if he knows anything about her wings or what is happening to her. Unfortunately he does not, having been preoccupied with his plans to travel home.

 

Cairn asks if the duo know anything about the Ninth world and its history, but unfortunately they do not.

 

The party, out of questions, joins Dracogen for a delicious feast.

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Session 24
A Web of Lies - Part 8

The group searches in vain for an exit. Suddenly, two figures appear with a flash of light: Magistrix Iom and Mnoma. Without missing a beat, Mesmer flings his rapier through the air, and it pierces Mnoma. She pulls it out and snaps it in two. The bird on Iom’s shoulder hops down and begins to grow. Mnoma discards her cloak and vanishes amid the darkness.

 

Mesmer charges at Iom, swinging wildly, and misses. Jesus reacts quickly, hitting Iom with a mind blast of pure force. The bird lunches at Mesmer, but he dodges its savage attack. Mnoma appears from the shadows with her hands replaced with cruel claws and lunges at Elswyr, but she nimbly dodges both blows. Meanwhile, Cairn takes a short rest, recovering some strength for the rest of the battle. Elswyr goes on guard against further attacks towards Cairn and Jesus.

 

Mesmer swings and misses again. Jesus directs another blast of force at the Magistrix, which slams into him again, leaving him wincing in pain.  The bird stomps down on Mesmer, knocking him to the floor. Mesmer roars in agony as the bird’s sharp talons violently twist his leg. Meanwhile, Mnoma disappears once more into the darkness, and Magistrix Iom darts behind the bird, hiding himself from view. Cairn spots Mnoma as she attempts to slink away, and aims a furious blow with his hammer. Mnoma nimbly dodges away as the great hammer crashes down inches from her side.

 

Mesmer staggers up from the floor and takes a moment to compose himself. Jesus flies to his side and heals him. Elswyr attempts to follow, but stumbles over a piece of debris and lands sprawling on the ground.  The bird spits a ball of flame at Mesmer and Jesus, but Mesmer, fighting through the pain, grabs Jesus and leaps out of the way. Mnoma swipes at Cairn with her claws, hitting with one of them. Cairn dodges the other, spinning around gracefully and using that momentum to crush Mnoma with his hammer, denting her skin. Elswyr gets up and runs the rest of the way to the bird.

 

Mesmer rushes towards the bird, slides between its legs, thrusting into the bird, and ends up on the other side, facing Iom. Jesus attempts to slice Mnoma’s mind, but her middle-aged-resilience easily shrugs it off. The bird spews fire at Elswyr and Jesus. Elswyr nimbly dodges out of the way, but Jesus gets roasted. Iom slams down his staff and chants, healing the bird’s wounds slightly. Mnoma slashes at Cairn again, hitting with one of her claws, but Cairn is able to sweep her off her feet with his hammer, leaving her on the ground Elswyr swings at the bird and misses.

 

With a mighty swing of his greatsword, Mesmer slices the magistrix and his staff in half. Jesus steps back and touches himself, healing some of his wounds. The bird gobbles in rage and smacks Mesmer. Mnoma gets back up. Cairn smashed Mnoma with his hammer, but she managed to bear the brunt of the attack with her left arm, disarming her. Elswyr attacked and missed.

 

Mesmer thrusts back at the bird, further angering the bird. Jesus walks up to Mesmer and heals him. The bird spits fire at Mesmer and Jesus. Mesmer easily dodges out of the way, and Jesus narrowly avoids being singed. Mnoma shoots a poisoned needle at Cairn, leaving him impaired (hale -> impaired without affecting pools), but Cairn is able to incapacitate her with another blow. Elswyr bashes the bird, leaving it dazed.

 

Mesmer slices deep into the core of the bird, and it shrobbles in pain, beginning to glow. The air around the bird heats up, and a ball of fire consumes the bird. Mesmer dodges out of the way, but the explosion leaves Jesus impaired and Elswyr badly wounded. A ball appears where the bird exploded.

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Session 23
A Web of Lies - Part 7

The party uses the invisibility cloak to shuttle people back and forth and climb over the window. Cairn scouts out the interior, which is quite dark. We find a lit room with guards, two scary looking robed guys, and the box, seemingly connected by pipes to the building. Jesus uses his mystical sensing abilities and determines that the cube is radiating large amounts of power. The group debates whether to use diplomacy, combat, or stealth. Upon realizing how good sneak attacks are, they decide to launch a surprise attack and try to take out the leaders before they can react, then sprint out of the fortress.

 

Jesus and Elswyr fire arrows at one of the robed figures, and he falls over. Mesmer the fleet-footed rushes towards the other robed man with incredible speed despite his heavy armor and huge sword, and buries his sword in the enemy’s head. Jesus touches the cube and disappears in a flash of light. Elswyr searches for him in vain. Cairn and Mesmer overwhelm the guard captain with their mighty weapons and fell him. Elswyr tries to knock the cube off the pedestal by throwing her shield, but it just disappears as well. The guards flee in terror as Cairn growls at them. Cairn tries to knock down the pedestal with his hammer, but it proves incredibly solid. Cairn willingly touches the box to follow Jesus. Mesmer greases the entrances to the room with his can of lubricant. Guards start rushing in, only to fall down. But the room quickly fills with enemies. Thinking quickly, Mesmer produces his wall of fire, facing his foes, burning them slowly. Elswyr and Mesmer return their attention to trying to free their friends from wherever the box took them. Naturally, Mesmer tries stabbing the  with his rapier. It sparks. He tries smashing one of the many machines standing nearby. The machine sparks and sends out a blast of light. Elswyr and Mesmer feel a sharp tug, are dazed, and their vision goes to black.

 

As their vision returns, they see pinpricks of light and a warm glow around a large red globe. Everything else is still pitch black.

 

While Jesus had been trapped, he attempted to investigate the realm he found himself in. He determined that no matter how far he seemed to walk away, the orb appeared the same distance away. He scanned the ground, and found that the substance was foreign to him, millimeters thick, and that beyond it was only vacuum.

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Session 22
A Web of Lies - Part 6

We snuck up to the fortress, scared some culovas, used invisibility and ambushed some folks

 

Mesmer intimidated a bunch of spider people. Cairn climbed up some trees. And Elswyr was the only one who didn’t fall in the tree hole.

 

Jesus went to physically inspect the portal, finding that it is made of robust but complex machinery and electrical things. And there appears to be a pipe with presumably power running between the keep and the portal.

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Session 21
A Web of Lies - Part 5

After Jesus rejoins the party, the three venture back into town to purchase some worker’s clothing. Having disguised themselves appropriately, the party begins their attempt to infiltrate the palace grounds. Having established a meeting point in the palace grounds, Cairn and Jesus retrace Jesus’ steps from his previous excursion, passing uneventfully through both gates under cover of the invisibility cloak. They take up their position at the meeting point (a distinctive clump of bushes in a corner of the grounds) and settle down to wait under the cloak.

 

Meanwhile, Elswyr leaves the city and hikes back to the clearing where the party stashed the fire-fliers. As night falls, she dons a flier and makes her way over the city towards the palace. Once she reaches an altitude of about 600 feet above the grounds, she cuts the engine and spreads her wings in an attempt to glide silently to the ground. However, the bulky fire-flier prevents Elswyr from fully extending her wings, and she begins to plummet rapidly towards the ground. With a mighty effort, she frees her wings from the flier, and with an acrobatic front-flip, gracefully glides to the ground. She stealthily sneaks to the bushes, and nearly trips over Jesus and Cairn in their cloak.

 

Each party member swallows a sleep-preventing pill, and Cairn, garbed in the invisibility cloak, approaches the great hall and lobs the sleeping stone into the hall. With a soft thunk, the stone shatters on the floor, and guards and servants alike slump to the ground in a deep slumber. The party immediately rushes forward into the room. Elswyr pulls the sleeping guards into the hall, and shuts the doors, blocking them with heavy chairs. Jesus approaches the candelabra, and, fortunately, discovers that one of the candles functions as a lever. He pulls the lever, and the sound of gears whirring and clicking reverberates through the hall, and the seal in the center of the hall slides to the side, revealing a dark shaft below. A ladder leads down into darkness.

 

Cairn leads the way down the ladder. At the bottom, a single, dim passageway leads away from the shaft, and Cairn, hand on his hammer, ventures cautiously down the passage. As he steps forward, a bone-white tile depresses slightly under his foot. A rushing sound fills the corridor, and Cairn jumps back just in time to avoid a searing jet of flame from the wall that engulfs the space where he stood just moments before. Upon closer inspection, the party finds that the passage is tiled in four colors: bleached white, frostbite purple, dried-blood red, and sickly yellow.

 

Cairn cautiously reaches out with his hammer and depresses a purple tile. No visible change results. Jesus scans the immediate area, and detects no anomalies. Cairn cautiously walks forward, stepping only on the purple tiles. The last purple tile is some distance from the end of the corridor, though, leaving Cairn with no choice but to jump. He takes a flying leap, and clears the remaining tiles. Jesus follows in his footsteps. He reaches the last tile and jumps, but slips at the last moment, stumbling on a sickly yellow tile before sprawling across the floor at the end of the hallway. Three doorways open up silently, and from each doorway crawls a menacing, mechanical creature, one shaped like a crab, another like a scorpion, and the third like a metal lizard.

 

As the three approach, Jesus scrambles to his feet, and Cairn gleefully raises his hammer. He smites the crab with a devastating blow, sending it flying down the corridor. The creature ricochets off a wall and lands on its back on top of a white tile, and a gout of white-hot flame flashes above its body. Elswyr springs into action, leaping across the purple tiles while freeing her spear, and, at the last hop, thrusts it into the scorpion, raising her shield and shouting, “Don’t touch my friends!!”

 

The scorpion lunges towards Cairn, and plunges its stinger into Cairn’s leg. Searing pain shoots through Cairns body, and the wound throbs with poison. Cairn, enraged, strikes back with his hammer, smashing the heavy weapon into the scorpion’s carapace. Jesus draws his crossbow and quickly fires a bolt at the crab. The bolt flies wide and ricochets off the wall near the crab. Elswyr stabs his spear once more into the metal scorpion, which seems to shudder in agitation. The lizard leaps onto Cairn, grappling with him with its sharp claws. The crab rights itself and shuffles towards Elswyr, who evades its snapping claws. The scorpion strikes Cairn again, taking advantage of the opportunity afforded by the lizard’s distraction.

 

Cairn thrusts the lizard away and takes up his hammer, ready to do battle once more. Jesus lays his hands on Cairn, and a soft, healing light surrounds him, invigorating him and soothing his wounds. Elswyr thrusts her spear again, but, off balance from the crab’s attack, misses the scorpion.

 

The lizard launches itself at Cairn, latching on once more, while the scorpion strikes yet again, dealing a powerful blow. The crab snaps at Elswyr, who nimbly dodges its claws.

 

Cairn rips the lizard away, and with a cry of rage, throws it bodily onto a white tile, which obligingly blasts it with searing flames. Jesus heals him once again. Elswyr raises her spear, and impales the scorpion with a mighty blow. The scorpion quivers once, and is still.

 

The lizard rushes back to Cairn and bites him. The crab snaps at Elswyr, who scornfully deflects the blow with her shield.

 

Cairn crushes the lizard’s skull with a powerful blow, and Jesus heals him again. Elswyr stabs the crab with her spear and attempts to leap to safety. She stumbles, and depresses a blood-red tile. Current courses through her body, and she falls, stunned, to the floor at the end of the corridor.

 

The crab snaps at Cairn, who leaps back, avoiding the metal claws. Cairn raises his hammer and smashes the crab to bits.


 

We see a mechanism holding a man in suspension. He has long white hair covering most of his face, but we can still see a large scar on his face. His old looking face contrasts his strong looking body. The color of his body appears as though it was stone, and he is surrounding by a shimmering gel. There is also a pedestal with a single, circular opaque tile.

 

Jesus inspects the pedestal, and does not see any explosives or other immediate signs of danger. He also scans the dude, who appears to be made of not-quite-stone – in all appearance human, just made of stone rather than flesh.

 

Elswyr tries pressing the tile, nothing happens. Elswyr then tries pressing the tile with the staff, which seemingly releases the person, who looks like a person under the stone and slime.

 

Jesus says Hi, Shilomen. Shilomen says Hi back. Jesus explains we’re here to rescue him, he requests that we help him just a little further. He is tired and weak, but not injured. Jesus engages in physical inspection, and prepares to heal. Jesus tries to heal several times before hitting his stride and Shilomen stands up straight, expressing his surprise and Jesus’ power. Shilomen recommends we get the hell out of dodge.

 

We successfully jump across the purple titles, get the hell up the ladder, open the front door, close the dungeon doorway, and hurry outside. We see the guardsmen are asleep, and head down to the gate to try and get out. The gate is locked from the other side, but there are stairs up to the guardhouse. Jesus heads up to the guardhouse, where he finds two levers. He pulls the lever facing left towards the palace, and the left door opens. The guards start to stir, but we scram into the city.

 

Bishop Ardentia calls out to Jesus as we hurry through the city, but we ignore him and run for it. We bring Shilomen back to Dracogen and meet back up with Mesmer. Shilomen, as it turns out, is an engineer, who is going to build a portal back to their world. He explains that the cube is highly useful but not necessary, but without the cube we would be long dead before the portal was complete.

 

Dracogen summons Ruthan, who says that the Golden Sanctum, which is hidden deep in the West Woods – fairly unfriendly place. The forest is full of creatures with a penchant for killing those who enter. Ruthan has been scouting from air, watching the Convergence gathering their power. Ruthan opens his mouth and projects an image of the Golden Sanctum. Incidentally, we flew over the West Wood earlier when we were headed to the castle.

 

The Sanctum is a busy place – there is a massive stone wall, and loggers are busily logging, getting massive timber to support the defenses. Doing all this activity are both people in peasants’ clothes, who likely were pressed into service.

 

--tactical discussion—-

 

The group decides on the ‘Use the Aeon priesthood to attack the Convergence and in exchange for the information they will give us the cube. We’re telling them the cube is an ancient relic we found – any attempt to put a human touch inside the cube results in tremendous pain, which we’ve used before for “enhanced interrogation”.

 

We go to Charmon to the house where the bishop is staying, and approach the guards. Jesus requests an appointment, announcing them as a group carrying an object that would be of great interest. The guard says that the wedding is over, and the bishop has a bit of time. The guard escorts us into the building and announces us. The bishop comes in, and Jesus apologizes for having to run away last time we saw him. The bishop took no offense, and Jesus explains we have information of great importance.

 

Jesus explains that we’ve spent the past while investigating and tracking down the Convergence, and we believe that we have found a key stronghold of there’s. The bishop inquires why we were talking about the Convergence. Jesus explains that in our hunt for the key Numenera, we encountered them. The bishop acknowledges that he is aware of the Convergence and that they are terrorists. Jesus offers a deal where we point out the stronghold, they give us the box if they find it. The bishop acknowledges that as reasonable. Jesus dramatically hands the bishop the staff, who wraps it in an unused curtain.

 

The bishop wonders where the sanctum is; Jesus explains it is in the West Wood. The bishop says that the West Wood is in his jurisdiction, so he will gather troops at the amber monolith.

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Session 20
A Web of Lies - Part 4

While Dracogen prepares to wipe out the Convergence, he tasks us with one of his missions. We are to rescue a prisoner by the name of Shilomen. This person is held by Navarenean royal family, within their palace. He offers us the sleeping stone (and pills to resist it), along with an invisibility cloak. He also offers a keystaff that opens a door to the prisons. We are also reminded that there will be a wedding occurring soon for the princess.

 

Elswyr asks about the prisoner’s appearance and reason for incarceration. Dracogen explains that Shilomen is a man who most often appears as an elder with white hair and beard, strong of form with a scar across the forehead. He was imprisoned because he is not from this world. Elswyr asks if he is likely to not want to come back to Dracogen, but Dracogen assures us that will not be the case.

 

Dracogen offers us fireflyers, and we set off with them. We stash them near the town. Jesus asks a local about all the wedding preparations, feigning ignorance. We learn that Prince Trythsa is marrying Prince Jym of Thaemor. Jesus also asks about the wedding customs. We learn that it will begin in the great hall of the palace. There will be a reception with guests. Then at noon the bells ring, and the couple moves to the church to be married. We also learn that the wedding is 2 days from now.

 

Cairn suggests that we use the fireflyers to approach. Elswyr points out that we would surely be spotted. It’s suggested that Cairn and Jesus approach on foot using the invisibility cloak and Elswyr fly up high under cover of night and then glide on top of the castle.

 

Elswyr suggests we perform some reconnaissance, so the party approaches the castle. There seems to be a lot of traffic back and forth, guests and workers. There are guards at the base of the hill where the road to the castle begins. There are more guards at the top of the hill at the on which the castle is built. Both sets of guards seem to be checking people. There are many guests and hired help as well. Every group of hired help has some kind of supervisor who has a pass or invitation of some kind allowing them to enter. The guards check the pass, then wave the group on without talking to any of the workers.

 

Cairn prefers the flying/cloak approach. Elswyr prefers the servant approach. Cairn suggests a compromise, and Elswyr pounces on the idea. They can enter the courtyard by flying/cloak at night, bearing servant attire and paraphernalia. In the morning they pose as hired help and have their run of the grounds. However, she also suggests someone have a look inside the castle and flag potential threats, using the invisibility cloak. Jesus volunteers.

 

Jesus dons the cloak, and waits for a large group, then crosses with them. He focuses hard on being stealthy, and sneaks past the checkpoint. He enters the main building and looks around. He sees many servants but can’t find one alone to interrogate. Instead he heads to the bathroom, takes off his cloak, and pretends to accidentally barge into a man. He asks about the basement, and the main directs him towards the wine cellar. He puts the cloak back on and heads to it. He enters, and finds a seal on the floor of the cellar. He scans it, but it seems ordinary. He goes back out to the great hall and finds a similar seal. He scans it, and detects an opening beneath it. Jesus looks for a mechanism to lift the seal. He finds a gap beneath the stone, perhaps a secret chamber?

 

Having explored as far as he dare, he flees the estate. He trips over another group of workers and nearly reveals himself, but through sheer luck escapes notice beneath his cloak. He returns and rejoins the party.

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Session 19
A Web of Lies - Part 3

Previous on Numenera

The party met with Priest Ponnark at the gates and convinced him to share some additional information in exchange for them keeping Jesus as collateral (the Priesthood being interested in his unusual healing abilities). The party learned that the thieves were well-equipped, dressed in red and black, bearing advanced equipment and enhancements, which could possibly be linked to the assassin enhanced by Mnoma. Cairn also tracked the thieves’ trail to a clearing in the forest where Elswyr found 6 sets of scorch marks, ~10 feet apart each. The group suspects that this could be the result of a fire-flyer-like technology and plans on going to Dracogen to inquire about who may have similar technology or to discover if he is the culprit.

 

Broader Recap

There are 3 factions that you are “indebted” to so far. You owe Dracogen the box, but to get the box back from the Convergence, you offered to help them with the investigation. To advance the investigation, you gave Jesus to the Aeon Priesthood.

 

Additionally, Dracogen wanted to find out about the disappearances in Charmonde which you have mostly confirmed are linked to the Convergence. The Convergence wants to know more about this new threat stealing powerful numenera which could be Dracogen. It’s unclear what the Aeon Priesthood want other than to physically inspect Jesus and to get their shit back.

 

Today’s Session

REMINDER +1 XP to Cairn for his forestry last session! Don’t forget to spend your XP everybody!

 

As the party approaches the city of the Aeon Priests, they see in the distance an ornate caravan leaving the city. A messenger detaches from the caravan and speeds quickly towards the party. As he approaches, he calls out to the party,

 

Messenger: Ahoy, mateys! My master, Bishop Ardensha, wishes to speak with you, and to return your friend.

Elswyr: Why, was he making a ruckus? Perhaps physically inspecting everybody?

M: Well, I’m not authorized to tell, unfortunately. My master just thought it would be convenient to deliver your friend to you as we cross paths.

E: Very well, we will meet with your master.

 

The messenger departs, and after a while, the party approaches the caravan. The most notable part of the caravan is a large palanquin, suspended above the ground through the work of some strange numenera. The messenger meets the party outside, and invites them into the palanquin. The party accepts the invitation, and steps into a lavishly decorated chamber. Surrounded by wall hangings and all manner of finery, Jesus and the Bishop are seated around a small table, upon which rest a number of snacks.

 

Bishop: Welcome, adventurers! Please, join us and partake of our modest meal.

 

Party sits.

 

Bishop: I must apologize for the behavior of my subordinates. They were rather… overzealous… in the performance of their duties, and should never have held your friend here hostage.

Elswyr: Don’t trouble yourself about it; we’re just happy to be reunited with our friend.

Bishop: I’m glad to hear it. Is there anything you’d like to ask about before you depart?

E: I mean, all of our interactions thus far have been with the purpose of helping the priesthood, and I think we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, so to speak. We have the same goals, and I know it’s a stretch, but is there anything else you could tell us at all that might help us on our quest?

B: Well, the reason why security was so tight and the reason why the priest was unwilling to tell you what was stolen is because the thing that was stolen was an important relic known as the Keystaff.

E: What is the keystaff, exactly?

B: It is a relic of great power, but over time we have lost the knowledge of its use.

J: What was its original use?

B: We have only records to tell us, and we know that the original Amber Pope was able to use it to access the Amber Monolith, but nobody since then has been able to use it, and its purpose now is largely symbolic. Nevertheless, its loss is a severe blow to the Aeon priesthood.

E: Yes, I could understand why you would be distressed by its loss.

Mesmer: We’ll make sure to let you know immediately if we learn anything of it.

Cairn: Is there anything else that would be immediately relevant to our investigations?

B: Not that I know if. I believe we’ve told you everything we know, and we’ve sent teams to investigate the other thefts. I’m on the way to the princess’s wedding in Charmand, myself, so I’ll be out of touch with these matters for the next days.

 

Later

 

J: Is the groom in the coming wedding well-liked among the citizens of Charmand?

B: Well, and don’t tell anybody I said this, but he’s perhaps not the most powerful of princes in the area, and the princess, being quite popular in Charmand, is thought by some to be marrying beneath her status.

C: Do you approve of the marriage?

B: Me? Yes, I approve wholeheartedly. Political marriages like this can provide much-needed stability in trying times like this.

 

C: So, what news of the world?

B: Well, these thefts have certainly been interesting, but apart from that, nothing particularly noteworthy. Although I did hear of a castle which apparently fell from the sky some time ago.

C: That sounds like an old wives’ tale if I’ve ever heard one.  

B: Stranger things have happened.

 

The party parts ways with the Bishop, and, after confirming Jesus’ identity via physical inspection, questions him regarding his imprisonment and interrogation.

 

TImeskip!

 

The party has arrived at Dracogen’s house, and Cairn knocks on the door. The party enters, and finds Dracogen at the back of the room.

 

Dracogen: Ah, welcome back, friends! It’s been some time!

C: We come bearing news, both good and bad.

D: Is that so?

C: We travelled to Charmand and met with Larmy as planned, but our beautiful relationship was cut tragically short by an assassin. So if you haven’t heard from him in awhile, that’s why. _____call cut out_____ …bioenhancement provider with links to an organization known as the convergence. Are you familiar with them>

D: Well, that was a lot of information. I suppose first of all I am saddened by Larmy’s loss. He was a good friend. With regards to the Convergence, I’ve heard stories of them, but I wasn’t aware that they still operated.

C: They have returned, and have a new quest – they’ve become convinced that the thefts that have occured in recent months are connected, and directed towards a greater diabolical goal. And that brings me to the second piece of bad news – over the course of our attempts to track the convergence, the excellent box that you gave us was stolen, and we were unable to recover it.

D: Before we address that, what indications did you find of Larmy’s connection to the Convergence?

C: (((Noma stuff)))

D: So, then, to be clear, you left my box in the hands of a terrorist organization who killed my friend?

C: It certainly wasn’t voluntary – it was stolen from us, and we were told that the only way to get it back would be to cooperate with them.

E: Dracogen, long story short, here’s what happened. (((Summarizes events))) So that’s what brings us back here, and leads us to ask you what you know of these events.

D: Well, first I have a few questions of my own. As your friend Cairn explained, you managed to defeat two castles of Convergence soldiers. And yet you claim a cordial relationship with these men?

E: That’s not exactly how it went – after having killed the soldiers with no sign of the box, we encountered a higher-up in the organization, and rather than responding with deadly force, we confronted him and interrogated him, and it is the information we acquired from him that we convey to you now.

D: I will ask you two very direct questions. Firstly, did you have anything to do with Larmy’s death?

C: No, certainly not! At least we hope that nothing that we did led to his demise.

 

Cairn notes that as Dracogen asks the question, he seems to focus intently, and one eye changes color.

 

D: Secondly, given the Convergence’s clear hatred of my friend, why would you cooperate with them? Are you working for them?

 

(((Call cut out .)))

 

E: Listen, we did as much as we could. What did you expect us to do? Hold their leader at swordpoint until he led us to another, inevitably guarded castle, fought our way through that and killed everybody until we recovered the box?

D: Perhaps I didn’t impress upon you well enough the immense importance of this artifact.

 

(((Call cut out again .)))

 

D: …I had heard rumors, but I wasn’t aware that these things were possible in the Ninth World. I think it is best that this box be immediately retrieved or destroyed.

E: I agree that we certainly owe you something for this loss, but we have gone through an incredible amount of trouble in our attempts to retrieve this, so it


 

(((Call cut out yet again, and for a longer time :’( )))

 

We find out that it is in fact Dracogen who has been stealing the items that have recently gone missing.

 

E: Listen, we’re willing to put in the effort to retrieve your box. But I need to know that you don’t have any kind of nefarious intentions for this box. We want to be sure that we’re not putting in this effort to help a man intent on doing evil.

D: I assure you that my motives are far from nefarious. But I’m curious: why do the Convergence care so much about these thefts? What is their motive?

E: I wasn’t clear about that either. They seemed to think that the person collecting these items was doing so for the sake of creating a world-ending weapon, and the Convergence has decided that the best response would be to create their own doomsday device.

D: But why do they think this? What do they know about me?

E: I don’t know why they think this, but I can assure you that they know nothing of who you are.

C: They also told us that they believe that the entity behind this perceived plot is something not of this world, and with enormous potential for harm. They want therefore to create a weapon even stronger than this being and its weapon.

D (chuckling wistfully): I am surprised at the extent of the Convergence’s knowledge.

M: Are you suggesting that you are from another world?

D: Yes, I am an exile here. My thefts have been an attempt to find a way to return to my world, but also to defend myself against the Convergence and those like them who would prevent me from achieving my goal. I will not commit violence unless provoked, but as this is the only place I have left, I must defend my stake in it with my life.

E: Alright, Dracogen. If you will equip us for another expedition, then we will steal back or destroy the box from the Convergence, so long as you promise that unless violence comes to this valley, you will not commit violence elsewhere.

D: I think the time for delay and subtlety is past. I intend to destroy the Convergence, and you are welcome to accompany me, but I have made my decision.

 

Party huddles

 

J: Dracogen, the Convergence has a documented tendency to use innocent people as pawns in their schemes, and we would like to minimize their suffering. How do you intend to destroy the Convergence?

D: (GOing to try to minimize collateral, but need to do what needs to be done.)

J: What would be the consequences of their use of the Venerator?

D: The Venerator harnesses the power of the stars, and in the wrong hands, it could destroy the world.

J: Fair enough. What do you intend to do once you have the box?

D: Well, as I said, I am an exile, and I wish to return to my home.

J: Can you do that immediately once you have the box?

D: No, not quite. There are still several items I must acquire.

J: How easily can they be acquired?

D: That depends upon the amount of resistance I encounter.

E: I like Jesus’ line of questioning, and I think that we ought to ensure your departure comes to pass as soon as possible. Your presence here is a continuing source of conflict, and we would end this as soon as possible. Tell me, could the artifacts be returned after you return, or will your use consume them?

D: They would be consumed.

C: Just wondering, but you said you were an exile. Doesn’t that mean you’re not welcome back home?

D: Well, in addition to the means to go home, I intend to bring some additional means to… convince my people to take me back.

J: What nature of things?

D: Let’s just say that I intend to return by force if necessary. My people are not accepting of weakness; the way to win them over is through power.

 

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