Weird Tales of the Numenera

The Iron Wind

Session 6: The Iron Wind

Date:  August 18th, 2017

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

The two groups begin travelling together towards Harmuth. The rival adventurer group was generally friendly, but wary of revealing too much information. During the trip, the group was tracked by a bounty hunter – presumably, one hired to find Frey and the Major after recent events in Charmonde – but she was wary of engaging such a large group, and disappeared into the woods once her position was located. A while later, the group heard the drums of a Yovakai war band chasing after the group for stealing numenera devices from their “god.”  The group is forced to pick up the pace to avoid armed conflict.

While taking a short break, the weather takes a turn for the worse. In the distance, the Iron Wind – a giant cloud of irrational, black nanomachines that transmute all matter erratically and indiscriminately – started bearing down on their location. Jessamine used a cypher to create a stone house, which they pushed into the river, sealing the door behind them to put as much matter in between them and the storm as possible.

The Iron Wind’s effects were dramatic and chaotic. Giant stone slabs were created and fell into the water. Water turns into acid, then flowers, then coral and half-alive fish before dying again. Lightning crackled on the surface of the water, dirt transmuted into lava instantly boiling the water, and the earth shook and cracked open, forming a giant waterfall to deep underground. Just as things seem to be calming down, a barely-working clockwork machine assembled by the storm lands on top of the house and tips it into the crevice below, and the group is separated as they fall.

When the dust settles, Frey finds herself trapped under large slabs of rock with Horrick. She uses phasing powers to slip through the rocks to safety. However, Horrick is unable to free himself with strength alone, so Frey uses a cypher that creates a powerful cutting beam that slices through the rocks and allows Horrick to escape. They find themselves in a maze of rusted metal corridors unearthed by the Iron Wind. As they attempt to find their way out, they hear a terrible howl. The bounty hunter was caught in the Iron Wind, and fused her with her two guard dogs into a horrific amalgam of dog and human. It attacked Frey and Horrick, who speedily put it out of its misery.

The Major fell into a chamber with a large metal door on the ceiling that slammed shut, trapping him inside. A small trickle of water from was slowly filling the room. Nils was outside, but tried to intimidate the Major into telling him what they were really doing at the Machine in the Wall instead of opening the door. The Major ignored this, and simply took the pins out of the door hinge, causing Nils to fall into the room and into the mud below. As they made their way through the remainder of the complex, they also came across a lone Yovok separated from his tribe. Nils tried to kill the creature in cold blood, but the Major convinced him to back off.

Jessamine fell into a large open chamber filled with dust, along with Tavarana and Aadle. Tavarana’s backpack was damaged in the fall, and her belongings were spread all over the chamber. Jessamine took this opportunity to read the scroll with Countess Loverich’s seal on it. Inside, she found that Tavarana was hired to locate the finding rod; moreover, the letter gave the impression that Tavarana was also Countess Loverich’s lover. Jessamine confronted Tavarana about this, and with a heavy dose of charm, managed to befriend her and convince her that they didn’t really have the finding rod. As they both make their way forward, they come across an electrical field created by a broken machine – Jessamine convinces Tavarana to close her eyes while she uses her powers to safely siphon the energy out, making her way to the rest of the group.

Dzhudututsu and Yeri fell down a longer shaft. Though Dzhudututsu managed to grab onto a rocky outcropping, Yeri’s utility belt got tangled in his antlers and she found herself dangling from his antlers 100ft above the ground.  Fortunately, Gieger (Dzhudututsu’s pet lizard) brought them a cypher that allowed them to levitate safely to the ground. On the ground was some sort of central bunker with large stores of food, a computer, and a black, cylindrical stasis pod. Dzhudututsu used the pod, and found himself transported to an alien dreamscape of orange fields with seven-toed-animals. At first, he was unable to free himself – his body lay unconscious in the pod while he had these visions – but was able to escape by asking Borgeal to move his hand in the real world with his psychic powers.

At last, the whole group was together again and they celebrated. The majority of the group decided to rest for lunch, while Dzhudututsu fiddled with the computer in the bunker below. Unbeknownst to everyone, Nils poisoned the food with a powerful nonlethal poison that caused almost everyone to fall unconscious. The Major managed to resist the poison, but feigned falling unconscious. Nils rummaged through Jessamine’s bag, and retrieved the finding rod. However, before he could do anything else the Major used a powerful cypher: A homing missile that injected Nils with a toxin that put him into a short coma, and caused him to forget everything that happened in the past 28 hours! With that, the Major retrieved the item and had the good sense to return it to Jessamine’s bag before everyone awoke. Meanwhile, Dzhudututsu managed to activate a set of surface video cameras. He spied the remaining Yovakai who were planning to ambush the unconscious heroes. Fortunately, he managed to activate old defense systems, and put them to sleep with an orange gas.

In the end, Tavarana, Horrik and Yeri left the party on friendly terms and took Nils with them to face judgement in Charmonde. Once the group was a fair distance away, Jessamine used the finding rod to locate her sister. She saw an image of a tribe of antler-clad people. Her sister was wearing a similar headdress, and gave a quick kiss to one of the members of the tribe. The terrain suggested that her sister was in a Gaian tribe to the north in the Cloudcrystal Skyfields, and Jessamine decided to head there next.

Notable Numenera / Loot:

  • Discovery: The Secret Bunker. A labyrinth of old, rusted corridors hidden deep underground that linked to a central chamber originally meant for some manner of 7-toed alien. The chamber contained metal cans filled with a green, paste-like food and an large cylindrical device that could make the user fall into a deep, dream-like state where they wandered an alien world bathed in orange light.
  • Trigger Trap (level 2). A small, rather complex box of metal sensor plates, wires, and controls.  A cypher of virtually any kind can be added to this trigger device to turn it into a trap. First, the cypher is added to the device (an Intellect task with a difficulty of 4), and then various wires and plates are affixed permanently to something—a nearby surface, door, hinge, and so on. When the trap is triggered, the cypher is activated. The trigger is a motion sensor within 3 feet. It can be either a generalized 3 foot sensor, or tied to the movement of a specific object, such as a door, window or tripwire.
  • Oddity. A remote controlled dragonfly with tiny, handheld controller.
  • Oddity. An amulet that projects holograms of fish when worn.
  • Oddity. A small device that plays a hologram of Dzhudututsu’s experiences in the stasis chamber.
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Please Help Us

Date:  July 14th, 2017

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

Frey and The Major decide to leave Charmonde as soon as possible to avoid getting arrested by the Dog Catchers. The local mutants are sympathetic, and a mutant merchant named Mousra offers to ferry them down the river to the ruins, since he was headed to Harmuth to deliver his cargo of whisperlocks. Jessamine overheard a rumor at the party that a powerful numenera device known as the “finding rod” was hidden away at a newly discovered set of ruins to the West of Charmonde, so the group decides that they will travel with Mousra half-way so they can explore the ruins. After spending the better part of a day helping Mousra pack up his cargo, the group embarks down the river on a small numenera-powered riverboat. As they are leaving the city, a group of Dog Catchers ferrying two captured slaves spot Frey and The Major, and fire a harpoon at the boat which stops it from going further downriver. While her comrades distract the Dog Catchers and cut the rope free, Frey phases through the bottom of the boat and swims to the Dog Catcher’s boat. She uses a cypher to melt through the back end of their boat, sinking it. In the confusion, they save the two slaves and make their escape.

The rest of the river ride is uneventful, and Mousra drops the group off close to their destination around nightfall. While looking for a spot to camp, the group hears cries for help. After investigating, they find a group of four explorers trapped in a metal cylinder buried in the ground with a tiny barred opening. After talking to them, their leader (Tavarana) tells them that they were on their way to Harmuth when they came across a metal panel on the ground, which opened up and trapped them. They had been trapped in there all day before the group arrived. Moreover, one of their allies (Neumos) was nearby recovering after a fight with a large animal of some sort. The group finds Neumos nearby horribly injured and unconscious. After bringing him back, the group decides to camp and wait until morning. During the night, a ravage bear – a large, eyeless beast with massive muscles and sharp tusks — attacks the camp, having tracked the scent of Neumos’ blood. A tough fight breaks out, but the group emerges victorious with The Major striking the final blow with a crossbow bolt. However, as the creature dies it goes into a mindless rage, and charges towards Frey! With the aid of a ride-enhancing cypher, Dzhudututsu jumps on the back of the beast to tip it over, stopping it inches before crashing into Frey.

The next morning, the group starts exploring the wooded area surrounding their camp for the ruins and for some way to save the explorers.  They come across a lone tribal yovok (a jaundiced, goblin-like humanoid) carrying a bag of squirming insects. After surprising him, Jessamine manages to calm him down and convinces him to bring everyone to his tribe so that they can meet his “god.”  Once they meet the other yovakai, it’s clear that they are emboldened by larger numbers and threaten to attack. Dzhudututsu uses a paralyzing beam cypher as a display of power. Intimidated by the numenera, the yovokai retreat without a fight.

Nearby, the group finds a large inactive machine, half-embedded into the wall with numerous tubes, crystal shards and strange cylinders. The yovakai set up a small shrine of small fetish sticks, bones, and other junk, apparently worshiping the machine as a god. After exploring the inner workings of the machine, the group manages to activate it by placing a large orange crystal on top of the machine, which refracts sunlight inside, causing the machine to hum to life with unknown purpose. After exploring the activated machine further, the group finds a short rod with a sphere-shaped appendage on the end – clearly the key needed to save the explorers from their prison. Dzhudututsu attempts to explore the machine’s true purpose, and inspects it more closely. Unfortunately, he activates some long-forgotten mechanism, and is sucked into the machine for about a minute. When he is ejected from the machine, he is wounded and has a small set of metal cybernetic horns installed. After this, Dzhudututsu takes the solar gem powering the device and the group leaves to free the other explorers.

After freeing the explorers, Jessamine notices that Tevarana carries a letter with the seal of Countess Decilia Loverich, a rival noble who holds a grudge against her family. The two groups tentatively decide to travel together to Harmuth, though neither is fully aware of the goals and motives of the other.

Notable Numenera / Loot:

  • Discovery: Machine in the Wall. An ancient machine of twisting metal, crystal shards, spinning cylinders and clear tubes filled with various liquids. The machine is mostly embedded into a stone cliff face, and is worshiped by a clan of Yovoki. The machine’s true purpose is unknown, but it is capable of introducing machine-like body modifications to humanoids.
  • Oddity:  Solar gem.  A glittering orange, multifaceted gem about the size of a fist. . When held up to the sun, it refracts light to a fine point like a magnifying glass. It was used as a central component to activate the Machine in the Wall.
  • Oddity:  Emergency beacon. A triangular piece of glass and metal taken from an old ruined generator.  It is some manner of one-way, long distance communication device that will send a message to an unknown source, presumably the creators of the generator.
  • Cypher: Finding Rod (level 9). Can be used to locate any single person in the Ninth World that is known to the user. It’s functional range is unknown, but is likely 100s of miles.
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Mutant Slaves in Charmonde

Date:  June 23rd, 2017

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

Jessamine is invited to the Empiternal House for Queen Armalu’s 253rd birthday. As she begins her preparations for the party, the group encounters a scaly mutant child fleeing the “dog catchers” – a group of internal security from the palace charged with hunting down rogue slaves. All the slaves wear a numbered metal collar that is tuned to a glowing numenera glove that can pull the collar towards it. The child hides in an alleyway; before the dog catchers can find him, Frey distracts the guards by sending them down a different alleyway, saving the child. The child was a slave at the Empiternal House who attempted to escape with his mother, but was separated from her during the escape.

A cheerful mutant named Mora whose eyes adorned long prehensile stalks was watching this take place, and offered to take the child somewhere safe. Though initially suspicious, the group followed Mora to a transdimensional space hidden in a narrow alleyway between two residential buildings. Inside the space was a spherical "warehouse" made of green metal with windows leading to a starry void.  A small group of mutants dedicated to rescuing slaves from the Empiternal House dwelled within the space, hidden from their previous owners. Raiyanne, the leader of the mutant resistance, begged the group to help save the child’s father (Odan) from the Empiternal House. Odan had a distinctive mutation that gave him gills and allowed him to breathe underwater, so he was charged with cleaning the reservoir in the Empiternal House. The group tentatively agrees to help. Jessamine prepares for the party, but refuses to share her invitation with Dzhudututsu. As a result, Dzhudututsu leaves the party to make his own preparations for the party – planning to crash it as Jessamine enters.  Frey tries to get some information on the child’s mother from the dog catchers, but they see through her deception and alert the other dog catchers to her presence.

That evening at the Empiternal House, Jessamine and Aadle arrive at the party in their formalwear. As they are presenting their invitations, Dzhudututsu appears dressed in a formal suit with his antlers adorned with beautiful jewelry. Much to Jessamine’s chagrin, Dzhudututsu talks his way into the party pretending to be Jessamine’s extended family.  Once inside, Jessamine is accosted by Countess Decilia Loverich, a woman from a rival noble family  who attempts to publically humiliate her by spreading rumors about her family and by criticizing Dzhudututsu, who she insinuates is a mutant.  Fortunately, through charm and force of personality, Jessamine manages to emerge from the encounter with her reputation intact.  Meanwhile, while enjoying the many amenities at the party, Dzhudututsu notices a dark-skinned man with a black trenchcoat and numerous face piercings vaping by the hedge maze. After trying to engage him in conversation, Dzhudututsu realizes that this man is a mercenary with a group of black-clad lackeys who are eyeing Jessamine suspiciously. Eventually, the man makes his move and attempts to kidnap Jessamine. However, he is stopped quickly when Dzhudututsu uses a explosive web cypher that entraps him in sticky strands of web. Jessamine diffuses the situation, saving Dzhudututsu from being taken and “interrogated” by the guards.  When things finally calm down, they talk to an Aeon Priest named Daphan, who tells them that the kidnapping attempt was arranged by Baron Gusta Buckwood, an inconsequential noble in the Queen’s court. Daphan was hoping to curry favor with Jessamine’s family and wanted to arrange a meeting with her father. However, after he leaves Jessamine reveals to Dzhudututsu that her father has been in a coma for some time, unbeknownst to most in the public. Otherwise, she decides to ignore the Baron’s kidnapping attempt.

While the party was occurring, Fray and the Major sneaked into the Empiternal House by scaling the wall. They quickly subdued two guards and stole their uniforms, using them to walk down the wall’s ramparts towards the reservoir.  The disguise worked for a time, until they encountered Magnola, the captain of the dog catchers.  As a perfectionist who obsesses over minor details, she interrogates them because they were off the regular guard patrol schedule.  In the process, Magnola recognizes Frey from the report she received earlier in the day, and attempts to apprehend them both. A short fight ensues: Frey finds herself collared by one of the slave collars, but they manage to escape to the slave quarters below after the Major fires an arrow at Magnola’s glove, disabling her control over the collar.  In the slave quarters, the Major barricades the door with pliable metal and they both manage to convince the slaves to riot against their captors. They also discover that the child’s mother was killed during her escape. In the ensuing confusion, they manage to slip by the guards and find Odan cleaning the reservoir.  After explaining the situation, Odan activates the resevoir drainage system that they can use to escape the Empiternal House. Magnola tracks them there and briefly captures Frey by calling the collar back to herself. However, Frey uses her phasing abilities to escape the collar, falling backwards into the water and freedom.

Notable Numenera / Loot:

  • Discovery:  Transdimensional Warehouse. Secret base of the mutants with a portal hidden in a narrow space between two buildings.  
  • Oddity: Small jar of black paint that refills itself each day
  • Oddity: Glass cube that shows what seems to be live aerial view of an unknown, ruined city
  • Artifact: Magnola’s Sword (level 5). A wide-bladed cutlass made of black metal. There is a button on the hilt. When pressed, the blade glows green with kinetic energy for 1 hour or until deactivated. While active, the sword does an additional 2 damage, for a total of 6 damage. Depletion 1 in 1d10.
  • 3 Cyphers
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Power Everlasting

Date:  May 19th, 2017

Player Characters Present: Dzhudututsu, Jessamine, Frey

The group hears about an old ruin a few days away from Mirado that crackles with electricity, and decide to explore it. Frey leads the navigation to the ruins, but it is soon clear that the group has become very lost.  They find themselves in a strange inverted forest, where the trees had green trunks and brown leaves with poisonous star-shaped yellow fruit.  The only animal anyone could see was an abundance of beaver-like rodents that seemed almost everywhere and had an unusual allspice taste when cooked. While Frey hunted and then roasted a few of the creatures for dinner, Dzhudututsu explored the surrounding area. He came across a metal numenera disk embedded into the ground with strange symbols adorning the periphery. After tinkering with the object for an hour, he managed to activate it. Dzhudututsu sank into the ground, seeming to his companions to have completely disappeared.  However, Dzhudututsu perceived something very different: He was floating above the forest on top of the disk, and could survey the forest around him and his friends directly underneath him. The inverted forest seemed to stretch on as far as he could see. After interacting with the globe-like controls, he was able to “move” the forest, as though parts of it faded through an invisible wall as it spun around a central point. Amazingly, these changes appeared to really change the forest below. Using these controls, Dzhudututsu was able to make the exit to the forest close to their camp, and they were able to leave and continue on to their destination.

Their destination was a large black Icosahedron-shaped building crackling with electricity. A cluster of jagged purple crystals adorned the top, periodically erupting in a bolt of powerful lightning that arced into the sky. Inside, the hallways were jagged and askew, apparently built with a series of triangular metal tiles.  After avoiding a sealed, radiation-filled room they came across an 8-foot tall metal automaton with six spindly metallic arms arranged around its spherical midsection.  The creature was erratic, destroying inanimate objects seemingly at random.  It approached Jessamine, plucked out her hair ribbon and disintegrated it. She responded defensively by draining some of its energy, after which a it attacked with deadly intent. It was hard to crack the creature’s armor, but Frey managed to phase inside the automaton and started tearing at wires, damaging it severely. Shortly thereafter, everyone managed to destroy the automaton, salvaging the remains for parts.

Deeper inside the building, they found the a control room of sorts, and deduced that the structure was some sort of fueling station for large space ships and robots, long since abandoned for an unknown reason.  They also found a sort of “living quarters” which contained icosahedron-shaped recesses filled with unconnected wires.  Dzhudututsu decided to explore one of these recesses. The wires quickly moved and connected to his body, piercing his body and attempting to inject some sort of metallic, insect-like devices into him. Fortunately, Frey managed to quickly pull him free and saved him from a terrible fate – recovering one of the strange insect-like devices in the process. After fully exploring the building, the group sealed the doors to the building and made their way to Charmonde – The nearest large city and the capital of Navarene –  to sell unneeded numenera.   

Notable Numenera / Loot:

  • Discovery:  Inverted Forest Control Disk. It is a strange device embedded in the ground that seemingly “moves” the mysterious inverted forest a few days outside of Mirado.
  • Discovery: The “Thunder Dome.” A large black Icosahedron-shaped building crackling with electricity. It was apparently some manner of power station used to power large space ships and robots.
  • Oddity:  A pair of contact lenses that turn your eyes completely white. Additionally: These contact lenses can be used to view the screens, and thus operate the computers in the Thunder Dome.
  • Bonded Artifact: Cybernetic Tick. Frey got a merchant to fashion an oddity she found into a cybernetic device. While installed, this device gives Frey +1 on all recovery rolls. It cannot be removed without surgery.
  • Artifact: Cypher containment crystal (level 3). This purple crystal can be used to increase a person’s cypher limit. Cyphers can be attached to the side of the containment crystal, as though it were a magnet. Cyphers added to the cypher containment crystal do not count against a character’s cypher limit. A maximum of 3 cyphers can be attached to the crystal. Depletion 1 in 1d20 (check each time a cypher is added to the crystal).
  • 2 Cyphers and a bunch of shins (I forget how many!)
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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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