Weird Tales of the Numenera

The Fungal Habitat

Date: April 28, 2017

Player Characters Present: Dzhudututsu, Jessamine, “The Major,” Frey

The group returned to Dzhudututsu’s village (Mirado) and found that one of the local villager’s children had mysteriously gone missing. The Major talked with the family of golthiar (a species of plant-like humanoids). Though they were incapable of verbal speech, he managed to glean that the child disappeared 3 days ago at around 4am. Frey used her temporal viewer cypher to re-watch the events that happened at that moment in time. While resting at night under the ground, Blue (the missing golthiar) dug himself up and walked into the woods without telling anyone. Strangely, Blue was covered in small mushrooms, unlike his family.  The Major followed his tracks until the group came to a large black dome of energy. After some trepidation, Frey barged her way through, phasing her way through the sticky green fungus that coated the inside of the dome.  Inside was a dark fungal forest, with tall mushroom trees, bioluminescent fungus, and a thick bed of green mold that creeped all along the edges of the dome. The air was damp and sticky, like a tropical forest.

Frey and the Major decided to explore the fungal forest, while Jessamine and Dzhudututsu decided to scout the perimeter of the dome for a proper entrance.  Though the dome did not have an entrance, Jessamine and Dzhudututsu did encounter a few travelers who had been inside the dome, and discovered that the fungus is destroyed when exposed to bright sunlight.  The travellers appeared to be affected by the fungus they ate, and were lounging in a dark, damp cave.  Inside the dome, Frey climbed a tall mushroom tree to scout the area, and found a black metal structure in the center of the dome. However, the mushrooms were too weak to hold a human’s weight, and started to topple! Fortunately, Frey was able to jump from across the tops of multiple mushrooms and landed safely, without injury.  Towards the center, the spherical metal structure was guarded by 3 humanoid creatures that looked like porcelain mannequins covering a sticky interior of green fungus. The fight was going poorly at first, but Dzhudututsu heard the commotion and fought alongside them, turning the tide of the battle. Inside the structure was a spherical control panel adorned with lights and a foreign language. The Major managed to learn enough of its operation to disable the dome, exposing the fungus to the bright light necessary to destroy the fungal forest.  Borgeal managed to locate Blue who was hidden underground, almost completely turned into fungus. He was narrowly saved from death by the Major’s Catholicon – a cypher that can cure any disease – and was returned to his overjoyed family. However, one disturbing detail remained: Two sets of tracks led to Blue, suggesting that someone had led him to this forest deliberately and maliciously.

Jessamine found a lead from a local nano botanist named Bish, who suspected a local drifter named Ushant because she saw him in the habitat before. The group tracked Ushant down to a ramshackle tent surrounded by garbage and empty beer bottles. After intimidating him for information, Ushant tells his story: He saw a person covered in bandages  sprinkle some strange green substance on the incapacitated golthiar before heading into the habitat’s control room.  The group told Ushant to leave the village, then went to confront the bandaged man.

Dzhudututsu recognized the bandaged man as Xinma, a diseased man who lived outside of the village. Xinma was rumored to be a nalurus, with a strange disease the causes anyone who sees his face to die shortly thereafter, or become a nalurus themselves.  Most of the group approached the door to Xinma’s hut head-on, while The Major went around the back to sneak in through the window. While Jessamine distracted Xinma in conversation, The Major found conclusive evidence that Xinma was not a nalurus, but was in fact a fungal alien – likely the same species that originally built the habitat. Through some coordinated diplomacy, the group convinced Xinma to leave the village and never return, avoiding an unnecessary conflict.

Loot:

  • 1 Chemical Factory Cypher (level 5)
  • 20 Shins (after selling scavenged synth)
  • Oddity:  An aerosol can that quickly grows small luminescent mushrooms when sprayed on most surfaces.
  • Artifact: Filtration Straw (level 3). Water that passes through this long, narrow synth tube is purified. Most other liquids other than water drawn through the tube come out as water (or mostly water).
  • Asset: Fungal Habitat Instruction Tablet (purple text written on a clear synth tablet). Confers a specialization in operating the fungal habitat (i.e., the dome that formerly contained the fungal forest). 
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The Beale of Borgeal

Date: March 31, 2017

Player Characters Present: Dzhudututsu, Jessamine, “The Major”

The adventure began in a pilgrimage route known as the Wandering Walk just east of Tremble Pass at the edge of the Beyond. The group heard rumors of a “resurrection machine” in the area and had gathered at a nearby camp of the Peregrines (pilgrims of the Wandering Walk).  After resting a short time, two young teens (Patel and Seria) arrived riding on a Scuttimorph – a large insect creature not known for being tamed and ridable.  Seria was suffering from some manner of brain illness, and Patel begs the group to accompany her to a nearby village called the Cylion Basin to get treatment, while he returns to his own village to defend against hostile creatures known as pallones. Though suspicious at first, the group agrees to help.

The trip to Cylion Basin took a bit more than a day, so the group camped for the night within some old alien ruins. At night the group saw one of the fabled light swarms, which lit up the sky with hundreds of luminescent blue-green orbs containing strange larva-like creatures. Dzhudututsu took a few to the camp, hanging the strange orbs on his antlers before heading to bed. However, he awoke to find that the larvae had hatched, and one was trying to force its way down his throat! After the initial surprise, he killed the small creature and saved the sleeping Major from a similar plight.

The next day, they arrived at Cylion Basin, a village known for its colourful healing springs.  In the village, they found a woman named Darvin who specialized in illnesses of the brain. She required some materials from the synth garden – a nearby garden that was cultivated to create healing herbs and synthetics. However, a pack of broken hounds had moved into the area. She strikes a deal: Get rid of the broken hounds and retrieve the materials she needs, and she will help Seria for free.  Jessamine stays behind to look after Seria, and Dzhudututsu and The Major go to clear out the broken hounds.  While talking with Seria, Jessamine discovers that Seria is a Beale – a psychic with the ability to calm and tame insects.  Her “illness” seemed to be some sort of psychic attack that was emanating from the Embered Peaks spreading indiscriminately throughout the landscape. As a Beale, she was more sensitive to its effects, and suffered terrible migraines.  Meanwhile, the Major and Dzhudututsu arrived at the garden and fought the broken hounds. After a brief bout of combat, The Major frightened off the alpha dog, and the rest of the pack followed suit shortly thereafter.  With the necessary materials in hand – a few long strips of red metal and a golden synth pear – Darvin was able to create a faceplate for Seria that blocked the psychic emanations, restoring her to normal.

After parting ways with Seria, the group traveled to the Embered Peaks in an attempt to locate the source of the psychic emanations. The inhabitants of the town were paranoid and violent, and there were signs of rioting and fighting. After making their way to the seat of government, they find Magistrate Yeiran, the only surviving government official.  The “resurrection machine” was a pale imitation, allowing people to ask the dead a single question. However, the dead would always answer each question with a lie.  The machine was clearly driving people to madness, and Yeiran more than most – he had killed all of the other government officials in his insane attempt to understand the machine.

The machine itself was a large gelatinous mass of black bubbles with glowing red interiors attached to the walls with mechanical bits and thick cords. The group could hear psychic cries for help. After fighting off blasts of psychic energy, the group managed to disable the machine and discover the poor tortured soul within: A stone brain with psychic powers named Borgeal.  Many years ago – perhaps even thousands of years ago – Borgeal was imprisoned for being a Beale and forgotten, and eventually turned into this form.  The machine tortured him and amplified his powers, causing many of the psychic disturbances in the region. The group rescued Borgeal, and brought him with them. They left Yeiran locked in the morgue below, leaving the citizens of the town to eke out their own justice.

Loot:

  • +3 EXP
  • 3 Random Cyphers
  • Artifact: A synth staff, 5ft long that ends in a foot-long metal bar that gives an electric shock. It inflicts 3pts of speed damage and stuns the victim, causing them to lose their next turn.  Depletion in 1d10.
  • Oddity: A synth cone that produces a light breeze when activated.
  • Oddity: A gemstone set in a metal circle that allows nearby sleepers to have pleasant dreams in which they eat their favorite foods.
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