The Hidden Price - Numenera

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The Hidden Price - Numenera

Postby Brass Jester » 11:56pm on 08 Jul 16

This was run, with a few modifications, pretty much straight from the Core Rules. I’ll avoid revealing any major spoilers.

In Mulen, the adventurers gathered round the table in “The Queens Legs” and pondered over the map that Judson had got off Orrando. The target was an island, 50 miles off the coast and 3000’ feet up in the air. Some enquiries revealed that the city of Qi, capital of Draolis, used all manner of dirigibles and aerospheres. However, it was said that the machines would not function outside of the city due to the range of the beamed power towers. It appeared that many people in Mulen knew about the island, but no-one had actually visited it. It was one evening, when they had all but decided to give up, that the name Dracogen was mentioned.

“You want to get to the floating island? Dracogen’s your man. He’ll see you right, for a price”

“What’s his price?”

“Dracogen? Oh yes, he’ll help. But be warned, his price may be more than you’re willing to pay”

“What’s his price?”

The following day saw them heading for the outskirts of the city, where a curious coiled and twisted building rose above the surroundings. The top of the tower flared into a flattened bulb. As they approached, a door in the base slid silently open. Inside was a circular chamber, lit in purple and green from a dome in the centre of the ceiling. Seven smaller domes surrounded it and there were seven shallow niches in the curved walls. All of them pulsed in purple and green in a long, slow rhythmic pattern. In the centre of the chamber was a low circular table, flanked by two semi-circular sofas. After they entered, the outer door slid shut.

“Welcome”, said a soft voice from out of the air. “Please be seated”. From a passage in the wall opposite to the entrance entered a male human. He had dark hair and a short beard. His left eye was a construct of synth and crystal. He wore a trim tunic of grey cloth and a silver metal sphere hovered over his left shoulder. “How may I help?”*

The adventurers explained their dilemma and Dracogen considered. “I may have a solution, but it will take two or three days. Are you prepared to pay the price?”

“Here it comes”, thought Galadiir. “What is the price?”

“Any Numenera you find on the island, you will bring back here. You will place it all on the table and then you will spend the night here in the guest rooms. The following morning, you can collect your items and leave.”

They stared at each other suspiciously and then at Dracogen. “That’s it? What’s the catch?”

“There is no catch. That is the price. Do you accept?”

That evening, in “The Queen’s Legs”, they discussed this at length. ** They decided to do a little more asking around; Sonny used his Skill Flex to pick up some street gossip.

“Dracogen? He’s a sound guy; always keeps his word and delivers the goods.”

“He’s done good for himself. Don’t cross him though. You ever heard of Bajoz’s Boys? Well, you won’t hear of them again and they’ve never been found.”

Two days later, a small ball rolled into the tavern and bounced up onto the table. A small grille opened in it.

“You are wanted by Dracogen at the manse immediately. He has what you want”. The ball burst with a small ‘pop’ and smell of burnt cinnamon.

Inside the manse, on the table, lay four small packs with harnesses attached. On the buckle of each pack were four white crystals.

The voice spoke. “These cyphers will allow you to fly. Each has four hours of power; this is enough time for you to fly to and from the island and do some exploring. Remember the price”. The voice stopped and the outer door opened again.

Harrylock put on the pack; the crystals glowed and a small pair of wings sprouted from the pack. He ran his fingers over the studs and sliders set into the harness and shot up into the air; quickly followed by Sonny. Judson and Galadiir were not so adept; they collided on take-off and, hopelessly tangled together; careened off the top of a nearby building and spun into the air.

About an hour later they spied the island ahead through the drifting clouds. It was a rectangular slab of blue synth, with a large conical structure in the centre of the upper deck. The deck was slippery and wet but they all managed to land safely. Harrylock investigated the cone whilst Judson looked for any access through the deck. ***
Finally Harrylock and Galadiir managed to get the hatchway in the cone open and they entered. The inside was full of crystal and glass shapes, cones, rods, planes and blocks. At one point Sonny was dazzled by an intense flash of light and he stumbled; causing part of the structure to collapse onto the others; who took some damage.

Searching the chamber was not easy due to the razor shards of crystal and glass. They found some cyphers (a blue crystal pendant, a clear glass bauble and a synth rod tipped with a pointed gemstone), plus an odd curved piece of glass that spun round when there was any sound near to it. Harrylock took the spinning glass; there was a brief burst of intense light when he did so that dazzled him and Galadiir. Galadiir, meanwhile, was examining a glass tile with a micro-fine tracery of wires embedded in it. He couldn’t work out what it was, so Harrylock smashed it.

“Wait! Isn’t this island flying? That’s probably what was keeping us up.” The hastily made to leave; at this point they were all dazzled by an intense burst of actinic light.

They returned to Mulen safely; shortly after they landed the last crystal on the buckles faded. **** The door to the manse was open and they piled the Numenera onto the table. The other passage led to a dead end with four doors off; each led to a luxurious bedchamber with a table set with fine food and wine. Harrylock refused to eat anything; the others dived in. Judson saw to his horror that the Beast Timer was on two bars.

In the morning, after breakfast (not for Harrylock), they collected their items (which were all there and untouched) and left. They did not see Dracogen.

A week or so later, another ball rolled into “The Queens Legs”. *****
“Dracogen wants to see you immediately”.

==============================================
GM Notes
* Interestingly; the only suggestion of “let’s take him and loot his stuff” was actually shouted down by the others (“I think this guy is a bad-ass and way more powerful than us”).
** Some of the discussion was hilarious, but far too long to repeat here. It centred around “what’s he going to do in the night / why does he want us to stay the night / what’s he going to do to us in the night?”
*** Judson didn’t notice that his Beast Timer artefact had beeped; one bar had turned red (Judson has Howls at the Moon and the artefact warns him if a change is imminent; there are 5 bars, each gives a cumulative 20% chance of the change happening that night.)
**** I was going to put in an Intrusion where a pack failed prematurely and there would have to be a mid-air rescue, but we were running out of time (we only get 2 hours on a Tuesday due to work and college commitments).
***** They call these Dinklebots. I don’t understand the reference, but they think it’s funny
Brass Jester
2nd-level
User avatar
Location: Black Country
Thanks: 3 given/6 received
Playing: Thrilling Tales (Savage Worlds), Numenera solo
Running: Numenera
Planning: Ashen Stars

Re: The Hidden Price - Numenera

Postby Brass Jester » 9:24pm on 10 Jul 16

The Hidden Price - II
The following morning they awoke to a major uproar in the tavern. A woman had been killed in the room next to Harrylock’s. They went to investigate; she was lying on the floor beside a dresser with a large mirror. Her throat had been torn out and she was covered in bite marks. There was blood everywhere. Sonny used his (flexi) Medical Skill to determine that whatever had caused the bites was big. There was no sign of entry or exit and no tracks on the floor. She had few belongings, only an explorer’s pack and some travel clothes. A quick check at the front desk showed she had signed in with the name “Elly”. They left the matter in the hands of the Peacekeepers and headed off to Dracogen’s manse.

“You are late”, came the voice from the air. “If you work for me, I expect punctuality. Help yourself to food, and then we shall talk.” There was a single door off the side corridor with a table laid out with food and drink. Everyone partook, except Harrylock, who still did not trust Dracogen.

“You did well at the floating island, so I have another job for you. A piece of low-life scum called Millian has stolen an item from me. I want you to retrieve it. It is called a Revitalizer.”

“What does it do?” “It revitalizes, that is all. Millian is somewhere in the city, it is up to you to find him.”

“Do you want him dead or alive?”

“I want the Revitalizer.”

Back at the ‘Queens Legs’ they discussed tactics. They started by asking around about Millian; he turned out to be a well-known petty thief and snitch.

“He lives in the Challimone Building, out near the city edge.”

“You know, you’re the second person asking about Millian today. Some woman called Ehvera is looking for him.”

A few more questions established that Ehvera was connected with the criminal underworld and was a gang boss. She was new here, some say she came from one of the islands. She could be contacted by leaving a message at a tenement block down by the docks.

They decided on a plan – Judson and Sonny would go and talk to Ehvera; whilst Galadiir and Harrylock would check out Millian at the Challimone Building *

The dockside building was a five-storey building straddling a dock. The building was run-down; they entered into a hallway leading to stairs up to the upper floors and down to the quay. The hall was filled with dropouts, scum, layabouts and junkies. The air was heavy with the smell of Bentlam. As Judson and Sonny entered, two men struggled to their feet.

“You’re not wanted here. Get.”

“We just want to talk to Ehvera”

“You deaf? Which bit didn’t you hear? Get out.”

Sonny decided to barge his way through to the stairs and moved forward, pushing the man out of the way. The hall erupted; they all stood, pulling out an assortment of weapons. Sonny reacted quickly, pulling his verred and plunging it deep into the man blocking his way; he crumpled to the floor, mortally wounded.

“There’s no need for this”, called Judson. “Life is too short, look how short his was. We just want to talk to Ehvera.”

“And you’ve found her”. The speaker was a heavily-built woman, wearing black leather armour and carrying a verred. She descended the stairs and looked at Judson. “Let’s talk”.

(GM: I’m not going into detail here as I don’t want to reveal spoilers)**

Arriving at the Challimone Building, they found that Millian lived on the 5th (top) floor. There was no elevator so Galadiir persuaded Harrylock to carry him up the stairs. *** On reaching the 5th floor they knocked at the door. There was no answer so Harrylock broke the door down. Immediately a ‘beeping’ noise was heard; in the middle of the room was a round metal sphere with a blinking red light. As they watched, the light blinked faster and the sound became faster.

“Down the stairs!” yelled Galadiir; they barely made it as the entire top floor exploded in a huge fireball. The blast carried down and the 4th floor was also on fire. From one of the rooms they heard cries for help. Harrylock kicked the door in; they saw a young woman and a badly injured man. Harrylock picked up the man and Galadiir used an Ice Onslaught to try and hold back the flames. They ran down to the ground, but it was too late; the man was dead. The woman was very upset and clung on to Galadiir.

“Can I come with you? We were new in town and now I’ve got no-one to protect me. Please? My name is Leema.” Galadiir was not happy with this, but found himself succumbing to her (she was young, frightened and VERY attractive).

Back at the ‘Queens Legs’, they had a council of war. Leema was not included but stayed as close to Galadiir as she could. After much discussion, they voted on a choice of action (again; I’m giving no spoilers – sorry).

Whilst this was going on, Judson noticed some activity at the bar; a man was securing the services of one of the resident whores. They headed off upstairs; then suddenly all the lights went out. After a few minutes they came on again and from upstairs came screaming. The man was on the floor, his throat torn out and huge bite marks on his body. The whore was sobbing that she didn’t do it and that she heard or saw nothing. Suddenly her eyes widened and she broke free and ran off. Leema joined Galadiir and they all retired for the night,

Galadiir: “Where’s Leema sleeping?”

GM: “With you. She is VERY grateful that you saved her life today.”

In the middle of the night, Judson awoke and sat bolt upright. His timer was beeping and showed three red bars. Within him the Beast stirred and swelled, bursting out of his body. On the other side of the room was Sonny, asleep on the bed. Beast-Judson flexed his claws; opened his maw and lumbered across the room … ****
---------------------------------
GM Notes
* Yet again, they have split the party up!
** Let’s just say, they were on the horns of a dilemma.
*** According to Galadiir, he is not very strong and the climb would tire him out.
**** I had pre-determined this would happen, but from now on I’m going to use a real calendar and look at when the full moon is. If it’s around the Games night then there is a chance that Judson will transform. Easy to do and adds a little randomness to things.
Brass Jester
2nd-level
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Location: Black Country
Thanks: 3 given/6 received
Playing: Thrilling Tales (Savage Worlds), Numenera solo
Running: Numenera
Planning: Ashen Stars

Re: The Hidden Price - Numenera

Postby Brass Jester » 10:56am on 28 Jul 16

The Hidden Price – Part 3
In the middle of the night, Judson awoke and sat bolt upright. His timer was beeping and showed three red bars. Within him the Beast stirred and swelled, bursting out of his body. On the other side of the room was Sonny, asleep on the bed. Beast-Judson flexed his claws; opened his maw and lumbered across the room …

The Beast roared “like an angry squid” and Sonny leapt out of the bed. He moved to block the door and tried to calm Beast-Judson; to no avail, a massive fist knocked him flying on to the bed and the Beast charged at the door opposite. In his maddened state he misjudged the charge and stuck himself senseless on the door jamb. For a brief moment, the darkness grew deeper.

Judson struggled awake from a nightmare to find he was lying in a pool of his own blood. There was a huge bite mark on his chest. Harrylock dragged him into his room and they sent for a healer. Meanwhile, next door, Galadiir awoke next to Leema and was horrified to find that she was obviously pregnant. *

Over breakfast they made plans. Judson and Sonny went back to talk to Ehvera; whilst Harrylock, Galadiir and Leema went to look at the burnt-out ruins of Millian’s rooms in the Challimone Building. Galadiir didn’t want to take Leema, but he finally decided that there were too many unexplained attacks on people in ‘The Queen’s Legs.”

Talking with Ehvera revealed some more information, including the fact that there was a beast in the catacomb tunnels beneath Mulen that was killing off the tunnel gangs. Sonny offered their help in tracking down the beast; Ehvera just laughed at this.

“If it is killing off my rivals, then why should I worry about it? **

“How do we get into the tunnels?”

“There are entrances everywhere; through manholes in the streets, or doorways in forgotten basements.”

“We are going to hunt and kill the beast.”

“What! This creature has killed off many of the Tunnel Gangs and you two are just going to go in and kill it?”

Sonny nodded. “Yes.”

At the Challimone Building, Galadiir and Harrylock went up to the fifth floor; leaving Leema to slowly follow them up the stairs. The floor was badly fire damaged; in the bedroom of Millian’s Galadiir found another Detonation Cypher; this was unexploded.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” came a voice from the door. The speaker was a small man dressed in gaudy clothing, behind him stood a large thick-set man.

“We are looking for a man named Millian. Do you know him?”

“I’m Millian, this is my brother Graun.”

“Apparently, you stole an item called the Revitalizer from someone called Ehvera and she wants it back.”

“I didn’t steal it; it was a gift”

“Well, she wants it back and Dracogen also wants it.

The colour drained from Millian’s face. “You work for Dracogen?” “We used to” Galadiir replied. “Don’t lie! Once you work for Dracogen; you always work for Dracogen. “

He turned and bolted for the stairs down; followed by Graun. Galadiir grabbed hold of Millian in order to restrain him; there was an intense burst of light in front of his eyes; when they cleared Millian was already two flights down. He had left behind a cypher that exploded in green cloud of choking gas. Galadiir avoided the effects of the gas and ran down after Millian, yelling for him to stop. To his surprise, he did and there was some negotiation about the Revitalizer (basically, Millian wanted an artefact in exchange and Galadiir was not willing to meet the price.) Finally, seeing Harrylock approaching Millian broke off and turned to run; Galadiir froze him with an Ice Onslaught; intending to immobilize him; he misjudged the power of the esotery and Millian froze to death. Graun vowed revenge and ran; Harrylock went after him but an intense burst of light in his eyes caused him to stumble. When they cleared, Graun was gone. Galadiir took the Revitalizer from Millian’s body and they waited for Leema to catch up with them (she was heavily pregnant and not moving so quickly.)

Judson and Sonny returned to “The Queen’s Legs” and scouted out the cellars; they found a door into the sewers/catacombs beneath Mulen. They lit a glowglobe and went into a labyrinth of tunnels leading in all directions. Eventually they came to a lozenge-shaped chamber with a large silver metal sphere in the centre. Judson went up to it and touched it; he leapt back with a curse, nursing a bleeding hand. Although it looked smooth; the sphere was covered in millions of monofilament hairs. As he turned towards Sonny the sphere moved; rolling with impossible speed across the chamber. Judson was struck a glancing blow, the monofilament shredding flesh with the slightest touch. They ran for the nearest exit that looked too small for the sphere to get through; Judson slipped and fell. Sonny jumped back and distracted the sphere away long enough for Judson to escape.

“Hopefully it can’t follow us into here”*** Judson peered out into the chamber; to see the sphere slowly deliquescing into a flowing silvery puddle. ****

“Run!!”

Back at “The Queens Legs” they all met and compared notes. They were undecided what to do with the Revitalizer; they didn’t want to give it to Dracogen or to Ehvera; but didn’t really want to keep it either. It was getting late and Judson headed out of town; to spend the night in the woods. They decided to sleep on the problem.

Just then, the tavern lights brightened noticeably and two bodies were found outside; a man and a woman, torn to pieces and covered in huge bite marks.


-----------
* This caused much discussion around the table about parental responsibilities etc., with Matt (Galadiir) vowing to take care of Leema and the child. Hmm.

** There was more said but, again, no Spoilers!

*** No Spoilers here; I put this in. However; Ben and Jose were really freaked out by it

**** Ben’s fault – he said “I wonder if it’s like the Terminator out of Terminator II. So, of course, it was.”

***** Part of the reason that they want to leave

XP awarded = 2

GM Notes:
Judson and Sonny were really freaked out by the encounter in the sewers.

They have decided that Mulen is getting a little too hot and so they are going to move on.

Next adventure – Either ‘The Vortex’ or ‘The Key of Time’

Has anyone realised who (or what) Leema is?

Any comments on these write-ups welcome
Brass Jester
2nd-level
User avatar
Location: Black Country
Thanks: 3 given/6 received
Playing: Thrilling Tales (Savage Worlds), Numenera solo
Running: Numenera
Planning: Ashen Stars


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