Out of the Shadows

Session 7
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Session 6
Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

Tracking Saphraic, Finding the Relentless Reaper

     Having promised that his Connectr deal with Loradan was proceeding ahead of schedule, Loradan sent Lar-Ry a message that included only a single word: “Saphraic”.  Reasoning that it was the name of the woman with the eye covering that he had asked about previously, so brought the subject up to the group.  With Daedryn and Zin still in jail, the rest of the party set out to make a concentrated effort to track down Saphraic somewhere in the dock warehouse district of Nebalich.  Combining what Buteo and Hatsya had learned with information gathered around the area by Dionaea and Lar-Ry, the group found a small shack hidden among the maze of warehouses, a forgotten office or guard house now abandoned and seemingly being used by Saphraic.  The shack consisted of simple, lived in features including a bed, a still burning cooking stove, and a table with scattered papers, a map, and the box that Hatsya saw her retrieve, now empty.  One corner of the room was cleared and heavy scratches were present in the floor.  The map they found was one of the world as it is known, but with a series of X’s and O’s drawn through various cities and features, as well as several large slashes drawn across areas of The Beyond.  Hatsya was able to find some clear tracks leading from the shack and after some discussion and planning, the four set off to follow Saphraic.

     The trail led to the region of the warehouse district where Buteo had previously been seen talking to Shanasa.  As they approached the clearing between two warehouses set off the main roadway, they overheard the tail end of an argument that was occurring between Shanasa, surrounded by several men, and Saphraic, accompanied by a Peerless.  Shanasa called Saphraic mad while Saphraic was accusing Shanasa of being a traitor.  Seeing Buteo, Saphraic directed her speech at him as well, saying that both Shanasa and Buteo had lost their way and did not understand her vision.  As the argument raged, Saphraic pulled something from beneath her robes, holding up a Hex Stringer and stating that the world should not be slowly consumed by The Fire, but wholly consumed by it.  Releasing the Hex Stinger at the direction of Shanasa, the creature flew into one of the men flanking Shanasa, stinging him in the neck as three Hexons raced forward from the warehouse behind Saphraic.  Soon the whole area became chaos as the men were either being turned into Hexon or killed by the advancing one, while two others moved to attack the players.  The Peerless eventually made its way into the warehouse were, before long, a now reawakened Relentless Reaper began tearing through the walls of the warehouse and the remainder of Shanasa’s men.  Dionaea, Hatsya, and Buteo did their best to fend off the Hexons that attacked them, while Lar-Ry called for the town guard and managed to rally the nearby workers and townspeople to action.  As Dionaea, Hatsya, and Lar-Ry fled to regroup and figure out what to do next, Buteo leaped into the fray to rescue Shanasa, who promptly made us of a cypher to vanish from the conflict and Buteo leaped away toward the water, but not before Saphraic managed to throw a knife with incredible accuracy, slicing through his lower leg.

Breakout Kings

     Meanwhile, Daedryn and Zin, having spent the night in jail, decided to become slightly more cooperative and layout the events leading up to their attempted break-in at Loradan’s estate and the many questions they had about him, Saphraic, and the missing Relentless Reaper.  While the guards did seem to be more receptive and consider to them after this, they were still confined awaiting a hearing.  Having made the decision to flee the city as panic and chaos began consuming the streets, the other players decided to attempt to free them from jail.  Managing to gain the opportunity to speak to them in the interrogation rooms, they recounted the details of what happened to Daedryn and Zin.  Without hesitating, they immediately decided to break out of prison, retrieving Zin’s belonging along the way while Daedryn brutally slayed more than a few guards in the process.  Quickly purchasing additional aneen, they gathered up all their belongings, as well as Cillic who had become Lar-Ry’s new apprentice, and promptly left Nebalich, leaving the missing Buteo behind in the process.

Traveling to Ephrimon

     Making use of Lar-Ry’s Messenger Swelth, the now party of five met up with their Nomad friends to rest and collect themselves, as well as Lar-Ry checking on the goods they were set to deliver.  That night, as the group restlessly slept in light of what has occurred, the Penumbra Fiend once again set upon the group, but was turned away once again.  The next morning, as more refugees passed escaping the seemingly overrun Nebalich, the players set north for Ephrimon.  Traveling with the Nomad was peaceful and uneventful, arriving a few days later at the edge of the Ba-Adenu before parting ways.  The remaining trip to Ephrimon was also uneventful, with the exception of a small skirmish with a family of Llaric Scorpions which Zin foolishly stumbled into, resulting in Hatsya adopting three baby Llaric Scorpions.  Soon they could see the wooden gates of Ephrimon and were eager to make their way inside.

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Session 5
Crime and Punishment

Crime Done Right

     At the request of Daedryn, Dionaea, Lar-Ry, and Zin decided to attempt to retrieve the ledger of items removed from Tollec’s estate after his passing.  Heading to the bureaucratic section of the city, just outside of the castle, Zin decided to attempt to retrieve the ledger through the proper channels, filling out endless amounts of paper work with mindless details.  After wrapping up some Connectr business, Lar-Ry decided to attempt the same approach, crossing paths with Zin in the administration building, scolding Zin for not hanging up Connectr flyers as he was asked, but then attempted to assist with the mound of paper work.  Meanwhile, Dionaea opted for a different approach.  First, prior to Zin’s arrival she attempted to find out the location of the ledger.  Being told it was in the file room in the back, but that paperwork was involved, she thanked the clerk and headed to buy a disguise.  After Zin arrived and began his paper work, Dionaea returned, entering through the rear entrance, and began searching for the file room.  Before long she found the correct room, but was greeted by a file clerk who seemed eager to help her, if she could just give him her employee information.  Being unable to convince him he didn’t need that or provide suitable information, the clerk said he could clear it right up and called for a supervisor.  With great haste, Dionaea made use of her new hand stinger mutation to attempt to sedate the clerk and quickly grabbed the ledger before attempting to flee.  She immediately ran into the supervisor in the hallway, but easily fast talked him into letting her be on her way.  Shortly after her escape, Zin and Lar-Ry could hear the calls of the supervisor for help and down guards as the file clerk had been murdered.

The One-Eyed Woman

     Meanwhile, Hatsya’s stake out became more interesting when he witnessed Buteo and Daedryn also checking out Loradan’s place, unaware of his presence.  A contact of Buteo’s was willing to pay him to retrieve a certain item from Loradan which he had won in the recent auction.  The decision was made that they would take turns watching the place until the opportunity arrived to collect the item.  Before long, as Buteo was leaving, the woman with the eye covering showed up to collect a package from Loradan.  Hatsya took the initiative and approached her, inquiring about the events at and after the auction house attack, however she remained stoic and refused to answer his questions, bidding him a good day and leaving.  Buteo, having paused some ways down the street and noticing this interaction, he decided to help Hatsya track her.  They kept a good distance from her and followed her for a long period of time, her movements seem natural but eventually it was apparent she was travelling as if trying to avoid being followed, doubling back and crossing her own path several times, taking a very long route to the dock warehouse district.  After a few sharp turns the two seemed to lose her, seemingly in thin air, among the warehouses.  During all of this, Daedryn spent his time at the city library researching the water and sewer systems of the city as well as his continuing fascination with airships.  That evening, having received the ledger from Dionaea, Daedryn noted several missing items, including the client ledger he believed Tollec kept in a wall safe, as well as some items of numenera, a Grey Sampler among those missing.

Crime Done Wrong

     That night, Daedryn and Zin decided to engage in more breaking and entering, this time targeting Loradan’s house.  Attempting a more straightforward approach, Daedryn took the front of the estate while Zin took the rear.  Zin was not as stealthy as he might have believed and was set upon by 3 Thumans in Loradan’s small garden.  Soon he was confronted by Loradan sporting a robe and several bits of numenera.  Daedryn attempted to smash the front door down in this time but was violently repelled by some kind of energy field.  He tried again, this time aiming for a window, and was met by the same energy field, but was able to break through this time.  Working his way through the house, he came upon Loradan, Zin now pinned to the ground by the Thumans and some numenera device on his chest, but otherwise unharmed.  Failing to injure Daedryn with some unknown artifact resulted in Loradan accidentally destroying Daedryn’s clothes.  Shortly, town guards arrived and a short standoff ensued before the two gave up and were arrested.

The Fall of Aqua-Margr

     The following day, Daedryn and Zin refused to participate in the interrogations being conducted by the town guard and the rest of the party was not particularly successful in getting them out either.  While waiting for the legal procedures, Buteo, Hatsya, Lar-Ry, and Dionaea agreed to investigate the rumors of a Margr sighting within town.  After gathering some information around the docks, they narrowed the area down to a spot right outside of the seedy bar that was home to Daedryn’s bar brawl and blackout.  Ambushing the Margr chief inside, the very one that Daedryn first kidnapped and lost on Deymish’s ship, they took him into custody, finding a few numenera as well, and turned him into the town watch for a sizeable reward.

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Session 4
Sins of the Past

Battle of the Auction House

     Tearing through the walls and patrons of the auction house, the Relentless Reaper focused its attention on Zin, his penance for a crime unknown to the rest of the group having come due.  A particularly difficult fight ensued as Zin was taken persistently by the Relentless Reaper while Dionaea and Lar-Ry attempted to stop it.  Hatsya, having brought no weapons with him to the auction house, quickly fled to search the premises for a bow or other weapon he could make use of.  Buteo had, unfortunately, stayed behind to guard everyone’s belongings and was not nearby to assist in the initial attack.  Daedryn, slowly succumbing to his more Rebellious tendencies, decided to capitalize on the situation, using the chaos and confusion as cover while he changed some names and information on winning bids, ensuring he would receive the goods instead.  Soon he came to his senses and joined the others in fighting the Relentless Reaper, also joined by Buteo who had heard the cries of fleeing citizens in the streets.

     Despite the sharp, whirling blades and crippling electric waves rippling off it, eventually the players managed to defeat the Relentless Reaper, it shut down after Dionaea placed two arrows in the back of its head as Daedryn collapsed its chest with his fist.  A quick glance around revealed much destruction and even a few deaths of bystanders.  The players decided the Relentless Reaper was unsafe to be left in the ruined auction house and attempted to disassemble it.  Unbeknownst to them, the Relentless Reaper was drawing bioelectric energy from their very contact and soon active again and again.  Eventually it was put down and the decision was made to leave it be, to let the city find a better way to handle in.

Taking Care of Business

     After all this excitement, the players took some time to get a few personal things done.  Lar-Ry met with Loradan about having Connectr serve his needs, having a package delivered from Ephrimon in this case.  Lar-Ry hesitantly agrees to put Connectr on the job and, after some deliberation, purchases a Messenger Swelth which he used to contact the Nomads about retrieving the package and delivering it to Nebalich for him.  Prior to his meeting, Lar-Ry noticed a middle-aged woman with soft features, very short sandy brown hair, and a large covering over one eye and a portion of her head who was meeting with Loradan, but gave it no thought.  He also took possession of his newly acquired furniture and spent some time setting up his office and looking for a new employee.

     Hatsya, worried about the resting Relentless Reaper, returned to the auction house only to find the Relentless Reaper was now gone.  Asking around the local area he heard rumors that seven people, six men and one red haired woman, had entered the building and with several bright flashes of light and the crackling of electricity soon toted the Relentless Reaper out on an aneen, heading east toward the docks.  He also heard that he was not the first person to inquire as to the whereabouts of the Relentless Reaper, but that a woman with half of her face covered had been asking around as well.  He later mentioned this to Lar-Ry who said he had also seen her meeting with Loradan.  When approached about who she was Loradan denied knowing, stating that giving away client information was bad for business.  While Lar-Ry accepted this answer, Hatsya decided it best to stake out Lorana’s estate in case she returned, so he could question her.

     In the evening, Daedryn and Zin broke into Tollec’s former estate while Cillic served as lookout.  They searched each floor, including the once secret basement.  Daedryn made note of all the pieces and things he once had seen there, now gone.  In the basement, he searched for where he believed a hidden safe was once located.  Instead, he found a hole in the wall and numerous scraps and signs of force having been used in the area.  Having heard that all the belongings that were removed were categorized and listed in a ledger by the city of Nebalich, he made a note that they needed to see that ledger.

     Buteo visited some old contacts he knew in the city, looking for work, and was tasked with retrieving and object from a nearby estate.  Meanwhile, Dionaea decided to venture through the city center exploring and seeing what news there was.  She came across a news article about her homeland, Charmonde.  The article pointed to recent political upheaval in Charmonde that has led to several prominent families of scientists, musicians, merchants, and diplomats fleeing the city, suddenly finding themselves under legal and social persecution by House Eledemer and their many nobels and allies who recently found themselves with more power.  This worried her, though Charmonde is very far from where she found herself.

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Session 3: Additional
The Blackout

     By drink number 6, Daedryn was starting to really feel the effects of the alcohol. It was much more potent than he recalled it being.  While midway through a regaling Cillic with his tale of how he captured a Margr chief, single handedly and with great easy as he told it, Daedryn was reeling back to pantomime how he tackled the chief off his aneen his elbow smashed the mug of the patron behind him, driving it into their face and spilling it down them.  Unaware, or too intoxicated to care, Daedryn continued his tale, even as the dock foreman turned to glare at him, shirt soaked.  As he finished his story, he was suddenly shoved from behind, the foreman and several of his crew angrily demanding an apology.  Daedryn began to sloppily work a half-hearted apology, but before he could finish it someone threw a punch.

     No one knows who started it, but a massive bar brawl ensured, clearing nearly every chair in the place, Daedryn, Cillic, Zin, and the foreman and his crew at the center of it.  Despite his intoxication, Daedryn deftly dealt blow after blow to the assaulting dock workers while letting most of the incoming attacks roll off him.  Cillic managed a few good swings as well, while Zin was more than happy to take one on the chin only to return the force of the blow as a bolt of energy.  A chair smashed across Zin’s back, but his unnatural nature allowed him to take it as if it were a light breeze.  Releasing the energy toward the ceiling, the cut the ropes of a chandelier, causing it to crash down on the attacker and his ally.

     The chaos increased, people from outside being drawn in, very few of the city guards were nearby in this area to quell it.  The scrap Daedryn was involved in flowed into an all an ally way, him easily beating the three men approaching him shortly after exiting.  Looking around for the next good fight his attention is drawn to someone standing at the end of the ally: a tall man, muscular and hairy, wearing soaking wet leathers, and with the face of a Margr.  Zin stepped outside of the tavern just in time to see Daedryn at the end of the ally, sprinting around the corner.

     A lengthy, tiring chase ensued through much of the docks and lower class living areas.  Every time Zin made progress in catching up to Daedryn something seemed to prevent that from happening: Daedryn made an unexpected turn or he entered a crowded market or he overturned a cart full of cabbages in his path.  All throughout the chase, Daedryn could be heard from up ahead bellowing as loud as he could “Here Margr, Margr, Margr. Here Margr, Margr, Margr.”

     Zin finally caught up to Daedryn at the water’s edge, looking out across the sea.  Daedryn was quickly stripping his clothes off, screaming at the water “You’re not swimming away again, Chief!”.  Zin wasn’t fast enough to stop Daedryn before he leaped, naked, into the water. For nearly 3 full hours, under the light of the moon, Zin watched as a drunk, naked, and fatigued Daedryn flailed in the water, hunting for “AquaMargr”.  A crowd slowly gathered on the docks to watch him, a few attempts made by the guards to retrieve him.  Finally, one guard managed to get a rope around his torso and pull him onto the docks where the guards proceeded to cover him with blankets and attempted to put his clothes on him.  Cillic managed to show up and work his way through the crowd, somehow convincing the guards not to arrest Daedryn, instead to be taken home and looked after by Zin.

     On their way back to the inn, Daedryn decided that he was hungry and wanted to go to the market for food, regardless of the time of night.  Stumbling through the mostly empty market he found a small vendor’s stall equipped with a makeshift grill and a meager amount of food to prepare.  With reckless abandon, Daedryn begin whipping up a truly masterful meal.  Or that’s what he told Zin he was doing.  The reality was much different as Zin constantly put out literal and metaphorical fires in the small kitchen, cleaning up behind Daedryn as he whirled and thrashed about.  This seemed to go on for ages before his “meal” was complete.  Zin then sat and watched Daedryn eat what amounted to salt and dirt caked bits of smashed, burnt, and undercooked food.

     The sun began to rise as Daedryn finished his meal, drifting in and out of sleep.  As the light hit is face he suddenly jumped up.  “The library!” he screamed and took off out of the market.  Zin was half asleep and slow to react as the large man took off.  Zin lost sight of him, but knowing where he was headed tried to cut him off.  Zin arrived at the library and waited to encounter the still drunk man.  But, he didn’t arrive.  A moment of panic came over him as he worried he was already inside.  Dashing in it became almost instantly apparent by the peaceful nature of the library the Daedryn was nowhere in there.  Zin back tracked to the market and spent most of the morning trying to find where Daedryn could have gone.

     When Zin saw the doors of a nearby school violently thrown open, the lock in pieces on the ground, he knew he had found him.  Inside, surrounded by books, scrolls, and tablets, Daedryn was thumbing through a particularly colorful manuscript, large letters printed on it.  He was muttering to himself, questioning the internal logic of what appeared to be a children’s book for learning to write.  Zin tried to talk him into leaving, but he was presented with a stack of scripts and told to “research these”.  After a long time of watching him pour of the children’s reading material for a variety of ages, one story caught his attention: the tale of the little boy who cried Margr.

     Daedrny suddenly grabbed Zin, who had nodded off, by the shoulders and yelled that he knew where to find “my Margr”.  In a confusing rant of poor speech and even worse logic, Daedryn concluded that the Margr chief loved aneen and so the only possible place he would be was the stables.  Fatigue taking its toll on him, he stumbled his way to the stables. Searching each of the pins and seeing no Margr, he decided a “trap” was best and he would wait for the Margr to arrive, hidden in one of the pins.  It didn’t take long for him to cuddle up to the aneen, once it had calmed down, and slowly drift off into a long and much needed sleep.

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Session 3
Life in the Big City

The Hunt

     Arising the next morning, worn out and groggy from their restless night, the players decided to investigate the Faceted Dome.  Managing to trigger the door mechanism and gaining entrance, they were greeted by rows of tall, blocky machines that created a jagged and twisting maze that ran throughout the Dome. Cautiously exploring the structure, they came across one particular machine that was no different from those around it except for a panel that had been opened on it.  A cylindrical carriage, the top half swung open, protruded from the open panel.  On the ground rested a solid cylindrical numenera device, previously white but with blackened burnt glass for a body.  Buteo recalled that in his previous night’s disruptive dreams he could clearly see the image of a burnt cylinder and the same open panel and carriage.  However, in his vision he also saw a clean, white, unburnt and glowing cylinder and how it was to be placed into the machine and sealed in.

     After some deliberation, the group decides that the Aeon Priests must have had the device with them, outside, when they were set upon by Margrs.  Gathering themselves and heading west, they track the Margrs through some low ridgelines and man-sized cliff faces.  Before long they can see a thin trail of smoking over a nearby berm.  The group realizes that it is still early enough, thanks to their miserable sleep, that the Margr are mostly still sleeping, only two on watch. After some scouting and some intense planning, the party springs into action, Dionaea, Hatsya, and Zin dispatching a majority of the Margr before they knew what happened.  The chief calls the remaining Margr to defend him as he goes for the nearest aneen.  Daedryn rushed forward to stop the chief from mountning his aneen, scaring the other three aneen as he did. He managed to grab a piece of the Margr’s leathers, but lost his footing as he did, and began being dragged behind the aneen as it ran.  Buteo, leaping incredibly far through the air thanks to his esoteries, he landed on an aneen, taking control of the animal. Lar-Ry quickly convinced the remaining Margr that laying down arms was in their best interest.  After searching the camp for what they came for, they realized they would need to track down the fleeing aneen and the Margr chief to find it. After tracking down the aneen one of the aneen and quickly dealing with, and kidnapping, the Margr chief, the party returned to the Faceted Dome where Buteo successfully repairs the machine.  Suddenly, a weight was lifted from the players that they hadn’t even realized had been there.   Upon arriving back in Redstone, they were greeted by a much relieved, though still fatigued, crowd of villagers.  A large feast was thrown in favor of the PCs and they were told they would always be happily welcome in Redstone.

An Old Friend

     After some much-needed sleep Deymesh and the players once again set sail for Nebalich, their Margr prisoner and a couple of aneen in tow.  Sailing was mostly peaceful as they made their way closer to the city, the surrounding area slowly becoming decorated with more and more habitants and structures.  The serenity was interrupted when the Penumbra Fiend returned once again, attacking the players relentlessly.  The beast did not prove much more challenging than their first encounter with it, but in the shuffle of bodies the Margr chief somehow managed to escape his captors.  Before too much longer the PCs arrive in Nebalich, eager to explore what the city has to offer them and to attend the auction of Tollic’s estate.

Homecoming

     Lar-Ry made it a point to visit his family while in Nebalich.  Given his recent successes in promoting Connectr around Seshar, he managed to convince his parents to invest as well, which they did in the form of purchasing him a building within Nebalich to serve as his headquarters.  Lar-Ry also met with the import/export specialist Loradan to discuss his needs and how Connectr could help him.  They agreed to meet on the afternoon of the auction where Loradan would have some work for him.

     Meanwhile, the others took to some shopping and exploring the city.  While shopping, Dionaea was approached by a man claiming to have numenera to sell.  He promised that for 75 shins he would provide her with a pill which would change her in new and exciting ways.  With great skepticism, and much debate, she decided to take him up on the offer and purchased the pill and, before long, ingesting it.  She immediately felt let down as no effects seem to take hold of her, feeling her shin was wasted.

     Daedryn, accompanied by Zin, ventured off to one of his old haunts within the city: a less attractive, more working-class area with an old warehouse that had been repurposed as a makeshift tavern for the locals.  There they met Cillic, an old acquaintance of Daedryn who used to help get supplies for Tollec.  After reminiscing about the past, Daedryn asks Cillic to bring him up to speed on things in the city, especially with Tollec’s affairs.  Cillic informs him that he has been out of the loop since Tollec, his main employer, passed.  The city officials took possession of his estate and are the ones holding the auction.  Very little about his death or anything within his estate is known by most, beyond that. Daedryn tries to ply more information from Cillic as they continue to drink into the night.  At one point, Daedryn and Zin inquire as to whether Cillic can get them a drug or poison which would can subdue a human or abhuman, instead of killing them.  He seems hesitatnt at first, but eventually Cillic agrees to get them some. The drinking continues, Zin showing much more restraint than Daedryn and Cillic, until the evening takes a turn. (See: The Blackout)

     Over the next evening and days, the group collects themselves, does some shopping, performing, exploring, and studying.  Having talked with Lar-Ry while travelling, Buteo had become curious about an odd object Lar-Ry had mentioned seeing in Daedryn’s bad.  As Dionaea held onto Daedryn’s belongings, Buteo insisted he’d like to look.  At one point, a tussle over Daedryn’s bag between Buteo and Dionaea resulted in the contents spilling out, an odd bit of numenera, which Buteo did not recognize at all, tumbling out as well.  Also, after having taken the strange pill, Dionaea slowly starts experiencing an odd, slightly uncomfortable sensation in her arm and hand.  Soon, from the base of her palm, a long needle began growing outward, like the stinger of an animal.

The Auction

     Finally, the day of the auction arrived.  Many of the early lots contained more day to day and common objects from Tollec’s estate.  In a stiff bidding war with an older, well dressed gentleman, Lar-Ry was able to acquire some very fine office furniture for his new headquarters, though it cost him a fair amount.  As the lots became more and more eccentric people began bidding on unknown and exotic pieces believed to be numenera.  The players once a few of these auctions, including Hatsya discovering this his was a particularly powerful singularity cypher.  Zin attempted to bid on several objects, but simply couldn’t seem to win any of them.

     As the last auction of the day rolled around he began his bidding.  It was looking like he was going to win, the gavel about to strike to close the deal, when suddenly a cry of panic came from the rear of the auction house.  Looking back, they players noticed people running toward them, further into the building, as the wall of the auction house is torn away by a large, hulking automaton.  A narrow, angular head with darting red lights searched the room, bladed arms making easy work of walls and furniture, a crackle of electricity surrounded its lower half as it drifted on eddies of energy and hot air.  It swept from side to side as if hunting for something, seeking a target.  Finally, its red optics found the image of Zin, bidding paddle still held high, and an odd buzzing and clicking began in what could be called its throat.  “Cenred Eketuss, for your crime, you have been scheduled for termination.  You reaper has arrived.”

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Session 2
Betrayal and Nightmares

     Having received their pay from Shanasa, the players found themselves still in possession of the box with the vague instructions to take it to Aldo in The Baron’s tent.  Eager to complete the job, Dionaea, Buteo, and Hatsya proceed to  The Baron’s tent to find the Aeon Priest and deliver the package.  Meanwhile, Zin, Daedryn, and Lar-Ry took the opportunity to do some shopping and exploring of the bizarre and tent-stalls of Madhaani amid the evening’s revelry amidst the slavers.

The Baron’s Tent

     Upon approaching The Baron’s tent, the PCs were casually waved in by the large, rough looking guard with no explanation needed.  Entering, they realized that the guard was acting more as a bouncer than a protector as the large tent was filled with carousing slavers who were feasting on some initially unidentified large animal.  Hanging from the poles of the tent in various locations were numenera devices that seemed to keep a waterfall of smoke suspended in midair, the smoke emitting a strange, but soft light that illuminated the tent as well as giving off a pleasant, spice-filled aroma.  All the tables were of equal size and no one table seemed to receive any favorable placement, however further back in the tent one table stood out: two men, one large and loud and the other much older and finely dressed, sat alone at a table, several serving personnel nearby with food and drink in hand. Making use of the two-way mirrors they found previously, Dionaea could show Daedryn what the situation looked like and periodically made use of it throughout their time in the tent.  Buteo and Dionaea forced their way through the mass of slavers to the table with the two men, the box in hand, while Hatsya took a moment to examine the food laid out in the center of the tent.  Hatsya recognized the animal as a large scutimorph and took the time to eat his fill and relax from their recent adventure.

     As Buteo and Dionaea approached the table, they immediately recognized the odd dynamic between the two men, The Baron and  Aldo Xantou, and the uncomfortable and alien conversation they were having.  Neither man seemed to really be paying attention to the other, The Baron telling off-color jokes and laughing loudly, constantly going on about some great idea and how it would change everything for him if only Aldo could tell him more about it.  Meanwhile, Aldo would simply nod, using his fork to play with his food, but never actually consuming any of it, and begin a very matter-of-fact response that seemingly had nothing to do with what The Baron was talking about, as if he had a pre-written lecture he needed to get back on track.  Buteo and Dionaea stood before the men, discussing how to approach them as they held the mirror up to give the others a look until they realized that both men had fallen silent.  After awkwardly introducing themselves and informing Aldo they had his package, who didn’t even so much as check it, they were met with a loud, roaring laugh by The Baron, who insisted they take a seat at the table and eat, food being delivered by the servers.  As if they hadn’t been interrupted at all, the two men went back to their attempt at a conversation, Buteo and Dionaea trying to make sense of the back and forth.  After several minutes, Buteo interjected and asked what exactly they were discussing.  The Baron told them of his troubles in managing his keeping his trade business profitable, as most of his trade is conducted via the waterways of Seshar, which are largely controlled by the pirates of Ingwald.  While he has a tenable relationship with the pirates, it also cuts into his profits and limits what he can do.  While recently leading a raiding party into the north-eastern part of the deserts of Seshar he noticed that above the trees of the nearby Ba-Adenu forest was a floating structure, almost like an island, which gave him an idea.  If he could discover what kept this relic afloat and use that same idea on a water-bound ship, he could completely bypass the pirates and expand his slave trade empire to rival that of the slave pits of Uxphon.  He made it very clear that anyone who could aid him in creating an aircraft of this type would be very generously rewarded and he was currently trying to gain more knowledge on the subject from Aldo, who seemed utterly uninterested in discussing the topic.  After several more minutes of watching  The Baron fruitlessly attempt to gain more information from Aldo and having finished their meal the players were provided with a very nervous looking escort to show them to Aldo’s tent to deliver the crate.

     Shortly after exiting the tent the PCs were approached by Elmon and VirionVirion, appearing very nervous and apprehensive, summoned up the courage to address Buteo, Dionaea, and Hatsya about the box they still carried.  Having seen what it is capable of he tells them that the device would be far more beneficial to the nomads and their way of life than it ever would be to  Aldo and his ilk (Aldo even admitted that they were going to use it as a novel addition to their cafeteria at the college).  He insists that the nomads would greatly be in their debt and they would share this gift with any they came across who were also in need.  He even went so far as to reference their recent choice to sign on with Connectr and how this would be a great example of the network in use.  After only a few moments of hesitation, it was agreed by the three that they would let them take the device, instead delivering an empty box to  Aldo’s tent.  After several long minutes of wandering, the guide they were provided being very uncertain as to the location of Aldo’s tent, they arrived at their destination.

In the Market

     With very specific goals in mind, Daedryn, Zin, and Lar-Ry approached the market and stalls which were lit up by large amounts of artificial light pouring out of numerous signs, whose writing was meaningless or in an unreadable language, and gadgets being used to mark various vendors.   Zin made sure to pick up some medium armor, in preparation for their later adventure.  Daedryn spent some time looking at various curiosities trying to find any hidden gems of numenera, but only managing to find a few oddities before picking up some supplies for future use.  Lar-Ry, having been the victim of a few unfortunately placed spears, needed to find some paper or means to transcribe his business plan for Connectr to replace the ones he lost.  To his surprise, he was easily able to find a large stash of supplies to replace his missing paperwork and was very eager to get to work on it.  Among the many piles of papers he sifted through to find what he needed he came across a buried flyer for an estate auction being held in Nebalich in two weeks.  The estate belonged to the former Aeon Priest Tollec and promised that many knick-knacks and interesting items would be up for auction.  Has he looked over the flyer, Shanasa approach him, pointing out that she had heard the auction was taking place as well.  A thought occurred to her: if Lar-Ry and the group were heading in that direction she had a business proposition for him, and possibly for Connectr.  A contact of hers in the city, a man by the name of Loradan, needed a way to constantly, and discreetly, get supplies delivered to him.  These supplies are not illegal or typically harmful in anyway, but he doesn’t trust his normal options for delivery as most of these items are numenera and he is afraid would be subject to theft.  Lar-Ry seemed very interested in helping and further advancing Connectr in the region.  Shortly after, Lar-Ry showed the flier to Daedryn, having recalled hearing the name Tollec from him before, and Daedryn commented that he had known Tollec.  After successfully shopping the three decided it best to reconnect with the other half of the group and set off to find them.

Aldo’s Tent and the Docks

     Hatsya, and Buteo entered Aldo’s tent first, while Dionaea remained outside with the  nomads, and realized that it was a mess with papers, books, trinkets, and numerous other odds and ends scattered around.  They quickly set the box down and turned to head out, but decided to take a moment to look around the tent and see what Aldo has been working on.  A caged bird, a messenger swelth, drew their attention and they took it out for a moment to play with it, discovering a slip of paper around its leg, not yet delivered that read “The simplest way is to travel using the conduit in the Empty Sanctum.”  Further investigation of the tent yielded a handful of cyphers as well, which the PCs eagerly took, but upon stepping out of the tent the various archaic devices Hatsya carried began humming and crackling, the various radiation and energies contained within reacting to one another, and with a loud pop each cypher fell inert.  They decided it best to leave these items in  Aldo’s tent, to not draw suspicion to the other missing items.  Shortly after, the other members of the party arrived, Daedryn looking over  Aldo’s numerous books and taking the thinnest one available, Zin deciding to take the thickest one, and Daedryn also gathered up many of Aldo’s papers and stuffed them into his bag, as well as taking the messenger swelth.  Not wanting to stick around, the players quickly fled the area, the nomads eagerly selling off their remaining goods and setting out for their camp that night, and the PCs moved to the other side of the slaver camp to rest for the night.

     The following morning the players awoke to yet more slavers partying as the crews of various ships that came in throughout the night picked up where others left off.  Despite this, the players awoke refreshed and feeling better than they had recently, except for Hatsya, who realized that the scutimorph he had consumed had perhaps been sitting out too long, food poisoning taking its toll on his system.  It was decided that the first order of business should be finding a ship departing Madhaani, before Aldo discovered their betrayal.  After checking into their various options for ships leaving for Nebalich, they decided to approach a man named Deymish, the veterean captain of a midsize ship, who tells them he will be willing to not only take them, but pay them to act has deckhands and guards along the way, however he won’t be prepared to leave till that evening and he will need to stop in the village of Redstone in order to drop off medical supplies for some sort of epidemic they are suffering there.  While they wait, several PCs decide to restock and buy new equipment in the market while Daedryn tried his hand at some street fighting.  However, after narrowly losing to a Lattimor, he was left worse for wear and the group simply waited till evening for the ship to depart.

Sailing the Waterways and Redstone

     The first day of travel was rather peaceful, the flowing, organic waterways of Seshar giving way to the more ridged natural formation of it as the moved south.  Daedryn and  Zin spent much of this time reading their newly pilfered books, while Dionaea entertained Deymish’s small crew.  Hatsya stayed on the lookout while Buteo attempted to repair his Gazer and Lar-Ry talked up Connectr with Deymish and continued his work on his Connectr paperwork.  It was also decided that the messenger swelth should be trained as a pet, however it flew off at the first chance it got.  The night was calm and serene, if a bit eerie with so little light making its way into the deep trenches that cut through the desert.

      The following day proved more interesting as Hatsya told tails of the various entities and dangerous of the waterways of Seshar, mentioning the fabled, and often though mythical,  Penumbra Fiend only moments before it appeared in front of the ship from the shadows around them.  Through the course of battle, Buteo found himself lost and disoriented within the Fiend’s billowy darkness and fell over the railing of the ship, managing to catch himself at the last minute.  Unfortunately, an arrow fired by Dionaea that failed to hit its mark instead found Buteo’s human hand and he lost his grip, falling into the waterway.  Deymish and his small crew made every effort to slow the ship quickly to avoid further hazards on the water as the fight raged on around.  While rather intimidating in appearance and with a viciously painful bite, the Penumbra Fiend proved to be no real challenge to the party as it swallowed  Zin in one bite, only to be torn apart from the inside out by him.  Like smoke from a candle the Fiend dissipated and the ship could continue its journey.

     By that evening, the ship pulled into the port of Redstone and the players exited, eager to deliver the goods and move on to Nebalich.  They were quickly greeted by some particularly grumpy and nasty citizens of Redstone who did not seem pleased to see the players.  Making their way to the Clave of the village, the Clave guard, Hataniah, informed the players that the Aeon Priests of the Clave are not available to receive the package and the Clave was currently closed.  Not wanting to leave the package without receiving their pay the players split up and attempted to discover what was going on in the village.  Daedryn,  Zin, and Lar-Ry tried to investigate the Clave itself while Buteo and Dionaea made their way to the quarry and spoke with Gillis Vehm, the manager.

     For several weeks, the villagers of Redstone have been having disturbing dreams, sights and sounds beyond explanation, which has kept them from getting any sleep.  To gain more information and attempt to confront the Priests of the Clave, Daedryn and Zin attempt to break into the Clave while Lar-Ry unwittingly distracted the guard.  After one failed attempt, they returned more prepared and managed to scale the three-story building and enter from the roof.  Digging through many of their belongings, they determined that the Aeon Priests believed the dreams are a possible result of some structure known as the Faceted Dome which one believed needed repairs.  From the state of the place it appeared that no one had been in the Clave for a few days, so they quickly grabbed what they could before being confronted by Hataniah and her brother Dal.  After finally leaving the Clave and discussing the situation with Corl Vehm, Gillis’ brother and mayor, the party decided it best to head to the Faceted Dome.  During this break-in, Lar-Ry also managed to very passionately sell the villagers of Redstone and Corl on the idea of Connectr.

     Traveling the 8 hours to the Faceted Dome, the players noticed what appeared to be signs of a struggle outside of the structure with evidence of a Margr raiding party and several strange symbols scribed into the dirt.  Deciding it best to rest before attempting to discover what has happened, the players found their night was cold and restless as the same dreams described to them by the villagers kept them from truly sleeping.  Buteo, perhaps due to his numenera nature, did not quite experience the same disturbing cacophony as the others, instead seeing a vision of the Faceted Dome and some procedure being performed on it, though the image was as distorted and disruptive as the dreams of everyone else.

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Session 1
A One for All and for All a One

Traveling into the Desert

     After gathering in Madhaani at the request of Aldo Xantou and meeting their contact, Shanasa, the players took some time to become acquainted with one another as they began their two-day travel to the site provided to them where they were to find and deliver a very specific container, intact and undisturbed.  Early the next morning, as they followed the last remaining starlight per  Aldo’s precise instructions, the PCs found themselves staring down a dune at a rather large group of marauding bandits who were quickly, and with ill intent in mind, approaching their camp.  Fate was not kind to the group as the ensuing battle proved to be rather lengthy and more dangerous than anticipated.  Every time the players felt they caught a break or were gaining the edge, chance disagreed and allowed the bandits to remain a threat or introduced a further complication, such as the fleeing of one of the Aneen, which had been loaned to them for use on this trip.  Over time, the players wore down and defeated enough bandits that the remaining ones decided it best to flee, especially after Dionaea fell their leader.  One bandit was less lucky, being captured and questioned by Daedryn, though ultimately, he was released.  The party then continued to their destination.

The Nomad Camp

     The players found themselves atop a large dune, the east side having been cleared away by the desert winds, revealing a portion of a once lost structure. A large, smooth surface that was a bizarre combination of purple and blue, seamless at first glance, loomed over a small camp that had been setup by a few families of nomads who had hoped to gain entry to the structure, allowing them to salvage what they could.  The players approached the camp and were hesitantly, but warmly, greeted by Royden, the patriarch and de facto leader of the nomads.  A short and earnest conversation took place where Royden admitted the nomads had no means to enter the structure and would gladly accept the party’s assistance, agreeing to allow them to take any numenera they saw fit, as his people had no means to use them.  He instead had hoped to salvage raw materials (stronglass, pliable metal, synthsteel, etc.) to use and sell in nearby markets.  Wanting to waste no time Dionaea, Buteo, Zin, and Hatsya began employing their knowledge and experience with numenera to look over the structure to discover the means of entrance.  Daedryn watched and took notes diligently, wanting to learn ever more about numenera from those more experienced with it.  During this time, Lar-Ry shared his visions for his new enterprise, Connectr, with Royden and shrewdly convinced him it was in the best interest of his people.  Before long, Dionaea had discovered the means to open the door and managed the appropriate gestures to cause a large portion of the wall to turn translucent and fade away.  However, before anyone entered, Daedryn swore he heard something from deeper inside the structure.  The wall was quickly sealed once again with the decision was made to explore it the following morning.  As a curtesy for their assistance, the nomads provided their hospitality for the night, sharing food, music, and stories as everyone watched the structure with a cautious eye.

     Come morning the players once again opened the structure and proceeded inside.  They entered a large room with several wide pillars that ran from floor to ceiling and were decorated with odd patterns and strange parts, perhaps once serving a function long ago but not powerless and devoid of purpose.  No or very little power seemed to be flowing through the structure, what light there was came from an ever-present ambient glow within the structure, yet the air seemed crisp and fresh, not at all stall.  Two walls created slightly smaller, but still spacious, chambers which flanked a long hallway at the far end of the room.  No door appeared to exist in these walls, however they were slightly translucent from the players’ perspective.  As Buteo, Lar-Ry, and Daedryn moved closer to one of the chambers the walls became fainter and fainter, a mere gossamer curtain hanging before them.  They found they could pass right through the wall as if it wasn’t there.  However, once on the other side they quickly realized there was no way out again as looking back the walls had become completely solid.  While communication between those on either side of the wall was possible,  Daedryn quickly became impatient and tried to fix the situation the only way he knows how: he punched the wall.  As a result, they were greeted with a louder, closer version of the noise they heard previously as several  Gazers detached from the wall and proceeded to engage those in the room.  Several Gazers approached those remaining in the large room, coming from the second chamber, though they were all easily dispatched by the party, including Lar-Ry showing off that he does, indeed, know how to fight.

     Scouring the rest of the facility, a handful of cyphers and oddities were discovered, in addition to an inert Gazer and spare parts taken by Buteo, as well as some artifacts: exploding arrows, a cypher bag, and two mirrors that allow you to see through one by looking into the other.  The package they were sent to retrieve by Aldo was also found among the containers in the facility.  While the box did not match the rest of the containers found, the description provided did perfectly match the vessel, to an eerie degree, and while nothing formally kept the box sealed it was decided that the group would not open the chest, despite some disagreement among the group.  The nomads celebrated their good fortune and thanked the party energetically.  Two of the nomads, Elmon and Virion, approached the party as they prepared to travel back to Madhaani asking if they would allow them to travel with the players, hoping to sell some of their new goods in the camp.  The players agreed and they all proceed on the long, hot journey back.

Return Home/High Speed Pursuit

     While the first day proved to be uneventful, that night a strict watch order was set to ensure the safety of the package and because some did not fully trust the nomads.  However, once everyone was asleep curiosity got the better of Buteo and Zin during their watch and they opted to open the box.  Inside was a sleek, strange looking container with many nobs and switches.  As Zin began handling the device to determine what it was, a distant and odd expression came over his face and he became silent and motionless for several moments.  Eventually he snapped out of it, looking slightly pale and cold, and told Buteo that he recognized the machine as a matter reorganizer, one that creates food, in this case.  The nomads, who were too anxious to sleep and had been watching the whole time, marveled at the numenera wonder contained in the box and commented several times about how beneficial such a thing would be to their group and others like them.  Eventually the excitement passed and the rest of the night was uneventful.

     Having set off the following day and making good time toward Madhaani, the group noticed a dust cloud approaching from behind and slightly north of them.  Before they knew it, a raiding party of  Margr, led by a particularly large and vicious looking Margr who was loaded down with 6 good sized axes, all mounted on long, thin lizards with large fins on their back and a pack of Broken Hounds accompanying them.  A high speed and dangerous chase resulted.  Without hesitation, or much thought, Daedryn activated one of this cypher and sailed through the air in a mighty leap, narrowly catching the fin of one of the beasts in the pack.  The members of the party began assisting his attack as best they could.  Hatsya and his reliable bow which was now equipped with explosive arrows, helped make short work of the Broken HoundsLar-Ry, drawing on his experiences as a motivational speaker, helped orchestrate much of the attacks of his comrades, with great effect, though this also made him the target and ire of the Margr leader.  Before long the Margr began to fall, but not before dealing a considerable amount of damage to Lar-Ry, including damaging and destroying his materials related to Connectr and removing the huge saddle fixed to his Aneen.  This sent him tumbling to the dirt, barely able to more, quickly being left behind by the others.  Hatsya and Dionaea managed to get his Aneen under control as Buteo and Zin, both of whom seemed to command the energies of numenera with seamless ease, finished up the last of the Margr party, save the leader.  In a moment of ingenuity, Buteo and Daedryn hatched a plan to stop, and hopefully capture, the Margr leader.  Using a cypher Buteo had which increased the weight of an object many, many folds they attached it to the pack leader in the hopes that it would bring the chase to an immediate stop.  And it did that with great effect.  The suddenly extremely heavy Margr was too much for the poor beast he rode and his sheer weight snapped the animals neck as he plummeted to the dirt.  The hind portion of the animal, as well as Daedryn, was immediately thrown over the Margr, killing him from the brutal summersault.  Daedryn also received a large brunt of the force as he was sent reeling and sliding through the dirt as well.

     After spending several long moments to gather themselves and tend to their wounds, the group finally managed to head back into Madhaani, where they were greeted by the rough equivalent of the town guard.  Shanasa had been waiting, almost as if she knew they would arrive at that moment, and immediately paid them each the agreed upon sum, not even checking the merchandise for herself, informing the players that  Aldo was currently meeting with The Baron and that they were welcome to deliver the package to him themselves in The Baron’s tent.

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Session 0
PC GENERATION/BACKGROUND INFO

Intro

     The PCs have been hired, via courier or job board or other means, by an Aeon Priest named Aldo Xantou to venture into the deserts of Seshar in search of an ancient and lost structure.  He has provided them with especially detailed directions, based on his research, and upon their meeting with his appointed agent, a woman named Shanasa, they were introduced to the others hired for this job (whom they may or may not have known them previously) and provided with rations and transportation for their journey.  A specific description of an object expected to be at this location was provided and payment of 100 shins each will be provided upon their return with this object, intact and unharmed.  All other numenera found within the structure are theirs to do with as they please.

Character Generation Information

  • Character Types: Glaive, Nano, Jack, Glint, Seeker
  • Descriptors: Anything from Corebook. Character Options and Character Options 2 with approval
  • Location Based Descriptors: Thaemic, Malvic, Pytharon, Milavian, Ephrem, Bazian, Icebound, Wasteland, Desert-Dwelling
  • Foci: Anything from Corebook. Character Options and Character Options 2 with approval
  • Starting Gear: As Corebook except: 5 shins to spend on weapon(s), 15 shins to spend on armor (keep difference).  Additionally: 3 Aneen (loaned), several days rations and water

Starting Area Information (as provided by Aldo Xantou)

  • Location: Deserts of Northern Seshar, East of Madhaani
  • Religions: Challifani, Fahat, Order of Truth, Our Order of the Lady of the Salt Way
  • Organizations: Convergence, Dioshen, Grey Company, Jagged Dream, Sarracenians, Steel Star
  • Weather: Dry, Arid, Hot (during day), Cold (during night), Infrequent storms (Magnetic Wind, Ground Clouds, Needlestorm, Iron Wind)
  • Wildlife: Aneen, Broken Hound, Caffa, Calyptor, Cragworm, Ferno Walker, Herder, Ithsyn, Slurge, Terror Bird, Tetrahydra
  • Other Hazards: Bandits and marauding Margr, Killist clans, and the occasional Rahenum
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