Numenera: From Many, One

Sins of the Father
The mini-session

Pikok, Ross, and Chuckman…
Tour thru maze of transparent pipes
Ghosts in the central chamber—they tell the party that a rock-man is holding the original Osmus hostage
Crawl thru pipes up to hatch, leading to an elevator room above the maze
Elevator takes them to the Heart of Arun—Ily doesn’t appear to be there yet

  • Glowing crystals with faces inside to left of entrance, O in stasis in the far back, blinking computer lights and a monitor to the right. A very dimly lit room.

However, Ily fades back into the room (glowing green and with afterimages of himself doing other tasks) for some exposition:

  • He explains that he wants to destroy humans because he’s afraid of them; they have not evolved over thousands/millions of years, and they were gone from the Earth only to return millennia ago as if they had never gone. Ily has never learned why, and thus his scheme.

Ily’s son, Pikok, says he’s too much of a coward to go along with his father’s plan, so Ily reluctantly decides to kill him and his new human friends, Ross and Chuckman.
Chuckman throws an ice detonation sphere into Ily’s mouth, which freezes Ily’s volcanic digestive system and gives Ross something corporeal to hit. When Ross does, Ily’s husk collapses into itself, explodes, and then gets sucked out of the material plane. However, Ross has a feeling this isn’t the last of Ily, especially since Pikok told him about Ily’s previous mysterious disappearance…
The Heart of Arun thanks the party for saving the original Osmus, creator of the Cloudbridge and the crystals encasing the formerly-human minds. The Heart informs the trio that there’s a teleportation circle that can take them anywhere they want to go, which allows them to arrive at Sharash instantly…

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This is Snow Time for Suffering
Are we at Sharash yet?

In Medias Res; a fight with three hounds of Tindalos, fresh on Shilko’s tachyon trail.
—Yasimod gores a hound with his partisan, M casts a spell, and Shilko makes a clean attack with his buzzer thru the head.
—Y stabs the second in its shoulder, Shilko’s buzzer goes thru its haunch.
—Y thrusts underneath the creature’s belly and lifts it into the air.
—Shilko finally figures out that the three are Hounds of Tindalos.
—Y seriously wounds the last beast, and Margal slits its throat as a mercy killing.

END OF DAY 1
—Avoid oily black hail, get into cave.
—Mark rolls a 1, gets ambushed by an ellnoica. Tentacles all over head. Stabs it in its brain case.
—Shilko fails to stab it with rapier.
—M shakes up ellnoica with Onslaught.
—Yasimod easily frees himself from the monster’s head-grasp (rolls a 19).
—Y swiftly grabs his partisan but gets caught in its grasp AGAIN (another 1).
—Shilko thrusts his rapier through its back and hits it in its heart, freeing Y and leaving the creature to bleed out.

DAY 2
—Lots of rest in cave.
—Yasimod explores the cavern, finds a box guarded by a laser trap that shorts out when he pokes the air with his partisan. The box has three cyphers TBD.
—The party ventures out of the cave and back onto the road, feeling wonderful from the godsend wind that fully heals them and makes them travel twice as far as they otherwise would have.
—Six orcs accost them and proclaim that they are full of misery and suffering.
They are specifically looking for a master for them to hate and be beaten by. Shilko tells them to serve his jimbo, Yasimod, as their great and powerful master, but Y throws his lutin light device and puts them to sleep. Our heroes hide, and the orcs leave, totally confused but still dedicated to their cause of spreading their woe to others.
—Sudden snowstorm hits, and Shilko walks into a wall of rock slide debris (a 1). Y climbs up the sheer wall of rock debris like a boss and ties it off so that S and M can climb up it w/o problems.
—They find their way to a peaceful village, where the mountain guides who live there attend to Shilko’s exhausted and concussed condition. When Margal mentions that the party is headed to Sharash and the Steel Star, some confusion erupts because of the Steel Hunters’ similar name.

DAY 3
—One of the guides, Derng, leads M, S, and Y thru a mountain tunnel that shaves off a lot of time. The reason is that there’s a pre-Ninth World conveyor belt/PIG pipeline. He doesn’t know how it works, but it’s used to get supplies when snowed out.
—The party gets inside the two conveyances (S and M in one, Y in the other), which launches them to a spot only a few miles away from Sharash by early eve.
—A needlestorm tornado comes barreling toward the party, but Yasimod takes no damage and leads the way thru to the small city of Sharash.

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Behold the Cloudbridge
and a displacer squid

NUMENERA—Session 4

After returning Phlebitson safely to the Colm Academy, Ross Meyer, Pikok, and Chuckman travel first to Osmus in order to track down what remains of the Steel Hunters (who may or may not be connected to the Steel Star resistance movement in Sharash).

After a cold reception in Osmus, they meet the Evaluator, who explains that the villagers are afraid of newcomers after the events of session 2. While trading some of their goods, a disguised Pikok buys a motion sensor and a disguise kit after he fails to purchase a marble statuette that he wants to eat. Chuckman and the Evaluator also excitedly discuss art, including the figurine and a pleasant-feeling cloth that has nano fibers that directly stimulate a person’s nerves.

Finally, after great length, the Evaluator gives the party a free pass across the Cloudbridge. As they approach, two villagers walk toward the party from the bridge, the toll booth just barely within sight and the impressive bridge glinting in the sunlight of high noon. The men mutter that the three explorers are fools and that no traveler who has set foot in the bridge ever returned. Ross takes huge offense to these whispers, so he lifts one pedestrian by his scrawny little neck to get more information out of him. Pikok “helps” by turning the man’s skin purple and showing his true form, which actually makes the interrogatee more willing to talk. He claims that ghosts have been seen roaming through the bridge and even at the outskirts of Osmus, including one that looks like a rock-man. Alarmed at that tidbit, Pikok tells Ross and Chuckman the story of his insane father who may have been caught in a trans-dimensional accident, the same one that gave him his phase-shifting powers. With that, Ross lets the hapless villager go.

An eight-foot-tall toll collector and guard, however, gets out of his booth and draws his ax, demanding to know why the group is roughing up one of the villagers. Ross clears up the predicament and Pikok produces the pass, which the ogre accepts. He even offers the adventurers some helpful advice—while he claims to not have seen any ghosts, he’s heard rumors about giant bugs that nest in a maze in the center of the bridge.

See bridge devastation, caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in centuries past.
Find three corpses of so-called giant bugs (actually varakith).
Recover a fire “explosive sphere”, an old diary about the final days of a doctor who lived in the Cloudbridge, and a book of medicine that Pikok wants to use to train in healing.

At dusk, just as the party reaches the maze entrance and starts to make camp, a blurry shape approaches them and tries to attack. It is an ellnoica, a two-legged squidlike beast that normally lives underground. It first lashes out with its tentacles at Pikok, who is completely unfazed by the attack. Ross grapples with it, allowing Chuckman and Pikok to savagely cut a tentacle off and cut open its side. When Ross loses his footing and gets his left leg stuck in a hole, the creature breaks free, but Pikok swiftly beheads it and helps Chuckman lift him out. They look down through the hole to a beautifully-lit valley full of trees and grass—a thousand feet below them…

Night approaches, bringing with it a small full moon and a multi-colored lightning storm that looks almost like fireworks blazing in the distance. At last, it is safe enough to sleep.

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The West Side Pigeons
are not a joking matter...

Summary

Ross “Viertis” Meyer, formerly of the Steel Hunters, has received word from his mentor at Colm Academy that one of the institute’s star pupils, Chas Phlebitson, has disappeared after going on a second journey to a ruined compound along a mountain trail in the southeastern part of the Black Riage. Contact from the academy has been sporadic at best since Meyer’s graduation, so he travels back to his alma mater in haste. Along the way, he recruits “Klingklang” Chuckman, an amnesiac drifter whose throwing skills are unrivaled; Ghulam Ali Ayoubi Faezal Az-Allit Az-Lokhar, a nano who’s mastered lightning; and a tall, hooded axe-wielder going by the name of Pikok. Together, the quartet of heroes makes their way to the lonely cliff-side campus of Colm Academy.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
- The Academy, short-staffed while its students train in the field, is under attack from eight foolhardy bandits. Pikok pulls back his hood to reveal a surprisingly-featureless face and beheads three of the bandits in half a minute. Chuckman tosses around his sisks and kills more thugs just as swiftly, Ghulam zaps an outlaw with an electrified crossbow bolt (?), and Ross makes an implacable walk to the remaining three attackers, leaving only one alive.
- Our heroes walk to the gym to take the two survivors (the tased bandit was revived) somewhere private for interrogation, but they find a group of 100 teachers and students inside. Ross reunites with two of his professors, an elderly historian named Selyn and a tactical expert named Jaron, the latter of whom contacted Ross about the missing student in the first place.
- While Ross, Ghulam, and Chuckman take one of the bandits aside, Pikok requests that he deal with the other. He hauls the thug in a fireman-carry to a restroom, deactivates his visage changer, and reveals that he is a diruk to his captive, who screams his fool head off. Pikok further frightens the man by dexterously pulling a rotten molar out of his gums, writing “Pikok” on the top with a stony finger, and attaching it to the guy’s necklace. The diruk re-enters the gym and realizes that everyone can see his true form, but he is surprisingly met with applause instead of fear for uncovering the bandits’ purpose:

  • Some of the Colm Academy students have formed a gang called the West Side Pigeons and feuded with the 27s, as the bandits are called. The latter group got some technological assistance from a mysterious group called the Steel Hunters to launch a massive assault on Colm Academy when it was at its weakest and loot it for the money.

- Ross is surprised and displeased at hearing the name of his old unit again. He’s also disappointed to learn that the school’s administration nearly bankrupted itself by financing a series of secret, failed expeditions into various ruins and sites of forbidden knowledge.
- The four adventurers accept help from a West Side Pigeon rookie to take the fight to the 27s in a town below in Thaemor. They track down the gang to a museum for the numenera in said town, where they acquit themselves well in a frontal assault. Finally, they discover the missing graduate, Chas Phlebitson, in an underground storage room under guard. Ghulam and Chuckman dress as 27s and pretend to relieve the watch for the next shift, then free Phlebitson and return to the party having successfully eradicated the bandits once and for all.

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Osmus of Osmus
and a Debate with the Odlarks

Outline (will expand later)

1—Arrival at the Village of Osmus
—Margal, Shilko, and Yasimod join a caravan for the easiest passage into the Black Riage, and from there, to Shamash. They first journey south to the capital of Thaemor, Thriest, and then proceed directly southeast and onto a winding mountain trail that leads to the very small village of Osmus, passing by the old cliff-side Colm Academy along the way.
—S and Y halt a 200-member group parading in honor of Osmus, leader of the village named after him, to offer goods to trade and ask for safe passage on the Cloudbridge.
—Osmus and his Evaluator offer an augmentor harness, a pair of music-making gloves, and toll-free travel in exchange for a pleasant-feeling cloth, a motion sensor, and a request to represent him in a debate with the odlarks on the meaning of suffering and how to fix it.
—Shilko shows off his music-making gloves to Margal, tapping his fingers together and caressing her face when M asks what they’re up to. She procures supplies for the next leg of their journey by foot, as the caravan will go no further south or east.
2—Debate among the Odlarks
—A climb into a ruined city carved into the mountainside rock goes successfully.
—Odlarks lead S and Y to an indoor amphitheater where they meet Chirrup, their challenger.
—Chirrup takes the view that suffering comes from longing to fill a void, so anything must be done to fill it. If you knew that your mind was incomplete, he argues, or was broken by a traumatic event, would you not do anything within your power to make it whole?
—Shilko responds with a long argument about the meaning of suffering with various sources quoted, and then says that without suffering, how can one feel joy? Life is dynamic and unpredictable, or it is not life.
—Yasimod adds from his personal experience that one must take the good with the evil. He was treated differently because of his deformities and cybernetics to help fix them, so he lives to fight evil without losing the good.
—Chirrup is impressed and gives S and Y a tour of the grup factory in honor of their victory. Shilko gives the transdimensional gate to Chirrup, who gives it to the whole odlark tribe in turn.
3—Zarg Fight and Conclusion
—After the climb back down, S and Y see the village of Osmus under attack by four zarg warriors and their shaman leader.
—Margal helps kill three of them, Yasimod kills two and throws a corrosive shrapnel lutin device to slowly kill the rest. However, the townspeople see what Y looks like underneath his cloak when Tablebeasti fumbles an attack roll, so Elder Crasni tries to rally the villagers against him and Shilko. Only Osmus’ timely arrival defuses the situation, but he tells Margal, S, and Y to leave ASAP and turns down Shilko’s request to legally free Y.
—Shilko privately tells Y that he considers his “jimbo” a free man now. Regardless, Y stays in the party willingly, and they continue toward the Cloudbridge toll house.

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Crime, Mistaken Identities, and Baking
The three things a player wants most in an RPG

“It takes a lot to bake your doom…”

Based on Daggers at Midnight by Mike Mearls, “Something’s Cooking” by Andy Collins, and Basement Drug Lab by Cancelion

Outline (full summary will come soon)

In the city of Jyrek, Shilko Shimilko and his bodyguard Yasimod had just come from a friend’s house not too far from the main square, when suddenly—

first,
—mindwipe Stefos; he says nothing

next, look for nearest merchant and ask him for info on Gregor
—failure, city guards and Krell show up
—they agree to meet at Blue Caffa (pretend to want to help PCs)
—Shilko fails to deceive guards that he and Yasimod have Madarius; Krell sees thru lie and gives signal for bartender to close up Blue Caffa
—Yasimod stabs Krell to death with his partisan
—another guy dead; three guards agree to cover it up as a dispute btw two victims
—mindwipe bartender to forget brawl
—one of the guards fills S and Y in on most of the plot; bartender tells them that Gregor is lodging in the Blue Caffa
—S and Y build a shelter for the homeless out of construction foam to guilt-trip the guards into leaving them alone; a PR campaign to beat them in court of public opinion if necessary
—also pay for Gregor’s room

then,
—Gregor comes, realizes he has made a doop
—Shilko “you’re getting in the way of our good deeds” and “your note cause trouble for we.”
—Gregor offers to tell whole story as long as the PCs are discreet
—a datasphere search reveals that a man matching Madarius’ description is dead in a swamp. Yasimod puts some sneak on to confirm M’s identity, get his corpse to show to Gregor; Shilko mindwipes coroner
—Gregor looks at body, sees Steel Star insignia planted on it
—gives a plan to pose as a moonshine merchant to get them into the building and gain the Steel Star’s confidence before stealing the artifact. Shilko mindwipes Gregor and proposes the plan as his own, to which Gregor enthusiastically agrees.
—sleep at a high-end hotel near the Eyren before the dawn

finally,
—guard accosts the party and Gregor outside bakery, but Gregor makes it work
—S and Y kill guard after Andolyn takes down the other; Gregor stays behind to buy calzones from Andolyn
—one bandit killed, another held as hostage, the other five take 10 shins and flee, so the second bandit lives and gets to run too
—S and Y find Gendrew, who tells them the calzone golem is in a rage and must be destroyed; it was already attacked by bandits. Just then, it busts out of lab at that moment, S and Y get Gendrew to safety and then come back to attack
—a female lab nano, Margal, helps fight the golem before experiencing a trance for a minute, then proposes that she go somewhere with Shilko alone and “see his erection” (actually the homeless shelter).
—Gendrew helps repair Yasimod’s cybernetics
—Gregor gets 30 shins as reward; splits 10 each for S and Y, saves 10 leftover for Madarius’ burial

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