Ellabon's Conquest

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Chapter 1.0 - Into the Deep

Numenera Gaming Session 1: Into the Deep

Our adventurers find themselves together in the morning, sitting at a table in the common room of the inn the Northern Star. The previous night was interesting to say the least. Lysander (Chase) has acquired a taste for a peculiar phosphorescent blue drink, and the hangover that accompanies its overindulgence. Helios (Bri) is left pondering the night’s events…
Helios is fairly well known throughout the city of Stirthall, in one form or another, for one thing or another. One such dalliance with the fair Cresellis didn’t end well for Helios. Cresellis is a mistress of Gresh (one of many, though one of his favorites), a major noble within the city and 2nd cousin to the current regent of Malevich (a city-state in the Steadfast) Ellabon. Gresh is a prideful man and doesn’t take kindly to anyone enjoying what he considers “his.” Upon finding Helios in his bed Gresh went into a wild rage. The destruction that followed in the city as he and a group of his guards tried, unsuccessfully, to capture Helios is well known and was not looked upon fondly by Marrizek (governor of Stirthall). Though he has been reprimanded for his outburst, he harbors a grudge and has employed a number of unsavory individuals to aid in the capture of Helios. Gresh isn’t known for patience, or his lasting memory, and given time will likely forget all together his anger and his revenge.
As such Helios has made it a priority to make himself scarce for a while. Using disguises he has so far been able to evade his captors, but all locations get sniffed out eventually and Helios knows a change in scenery is needed. His thoughts went to one of the only places he knew he wouldn’t be followed; the abyss of the Voil Chasm. He started poking around and asking questions in the seedier parts of the city about the Voil and discovered tale of a man whom had apparently arisen out of the Voil itself. Too good to be true but too lucrative to pass up, Helios went looking for, and found his man, Lysander.
After a lengthy conversation where Lysander explained the plight of his home town and his harrowing trip to the surface, Helios succeeded in convincing the stoic man to be his guide, promising that an expedition could uncover the plight of his people. The next step was to garner the support of a wealthy patron to fund the expedition. Helios knew his best chance was to appeal to the governor of Stirhall, Marrizek and her desire to call the Voil chasm fully her domain. Reaching her however seemed quite out of the question so they needed to find a way to gain access to her sanctum. When Helios learned of Marrizek’s youngest son, Jongo, and his penchant for flair, he knew he had his mark.
A clever disguise and a little eyelash batting later, Helios gained admittance for himself and Lysander to one of the most lucrative entertainment houses in the city, The Creshenebon. This is where Lysander learned of Mithrak, a bluish alcoholic drink of exquisite taste, and price. The night was rowdy, confusing, and entertaining. By the end of it Jongo was discovered, and turned out to be right under their nose the entire time, toying with the duo for his own entertainment. He led Hellios and Lysander to a private room on the second floor where Hellios explained their goals of exploring the Voil and its treasures. In the end Lysander had the final play in convincing Jongo to help get the expedition underway. He gave Jongo one of his cyphers, a metallic sphere that when split and attached to the shoulders sprouts a set of faintly purplish-pink translucent wings. Jongo took the group to the roof of the Creshenebon donned the wings and jumped from the roof with a howl of laughter. It turns out Jongo is a cypher junkie and more than anything relishes the pursuit and use of new and wonderful Numenera.
Bewildered and left alone on the rooftop of the Cheshenebon, Hellios and Lysander returned to the Northern Star. Upon their return they were given a note: “Meet me at the Black Gate in three days’ time. Dawn. –Jongo”

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Chapter 1.1 - Divide and Empower

Session 2 – Divide and Empower

Zisk is a wanderer, always looking for the next adventure. Zisk, a swift nano that rides the lightning, is a man that loves speed. He’s fast, more than fast, he’s quicker than anyone you know. For all that, he’s still human, and he’s 27 and single. His desires are predicated by his age. He grew up in family of transient folk, moving from place to place. This was not only to find greener pastures, but also to avoid the danger of the 9th world. Traveling is a dangerous business in the Steadfast, but in its own right, it’s a number of steps safer than settling down. Raiders are always on the move, as such, what is safe and what will be safe continues to change with time. The meandering pace of a traveling community wasn’t fast enough for Zisk though. Sure, new things were seen, but the pace just wasn’t quick enough. At the age of 26 Zisk decided to set out on his own, and as chance would have it that meant his closest destination was the city of Stirthal. The new experiences of city life invigorated Zisk and each day brought something new.

Zisk has a talent for speed, and anyone with a talent to be exploited isn’t far away from Helios. It only took a few weeks before Helios recruited Zisk for a job. Helios was planning a major heist and needed someone with Zisk’s talents to bypass a particularly devious trap. After this first job the two continued to work together and grew to understand each other and the powers that each commanded. Helios showed Zisk the high life and the ever changing and fickle nature of the upper class, in return Zisk provided a unique skill set that Helios grew to find indispensable.

After learning of the machine that was going to help them descend into the Voil, Helios went to find Zisk and recruit him for the cause, knowing his talents may be the only thing able to bring them back from the brink. He found him in his typical watering hole, running up a typically large tab. It took about three words to convince Zisk to join the exploration team. As the two were sitting and discussing the details of expedition Zisk got a funny sensation, a tingling at the back of his neck. His attunement to electricity alerted him to the imminent danger brewing behind him. After quick shout to Helios, Zisk dove for cover behind the bar, landing on the bar maid and taking her with him to the floor. Helios, forgetting about the sharp instincts of his old companion stood there puzzling over what was going on. As he heard the whirring sound of something winding up he knew it was already too late. He jumped to the side as the bar above Zisk was destroyed by a ball of crackling energy. Luckily for Helios the blast was either not intended for him, or poorly aimed. The concussion of the blast and bar shrapnel battered Helios soundly, but left no permanent damage. Reacting quickly, Helios turned to face his attackers. One man had a huge piece of numenera strapped to his chest. The device was smoking and he was fiddling with controls, undoubtedly trying to set it up for another blast. A second man, armored and with a broad sword stood next to the first. Thinking to cripple the man with the numenera device, Helios let his dagger fly. The daze of the blast and the distance to the man proved too much and the blade flew harmlessly past to lodge into a wooden beam behind the attackers. The second man with the sword suddenly rushed forward and tried to jump over the bar in the place where it was blasted apart. He didn’t make his jump and came flying over, blade first, right on top of the bar maid. Zisk was ready for him and deflected his body to the side with a jolt of electricity through his hands, sending him flying back over the bar to land in a stunned heap. The machined man started powering up his device again moving to aim towards where Helios stood. Not wanting to be in front of the next blast, Helios jumped over the bar and hugged the ground. The man kept his sights on where he saw Helios jump, intending on blowing another large hole right through the bar. Just as the machine started to hum with energy Zisk popped his head out from under the bar and unleashed a bolt of energy from his hand directly into the device. The charge of the bolt in conjunction with the energy building in the device overloaded it. There was a loud popping sound as the machine detonated blowing everything in an eight foot radius sky high. The man was vaporized and there now stood a smoldering whole in the wall eight foot across leading into the city. Zisk grabbed a bottle from the bar took a swig and helped the bar maid to her feet, giving her a charming but nonchalant smile.

They questioned the surviving man, whom had no fight left in him, and found out that they were hired lackeys of Gresh, meant to capture Helios. Zisk took the man’s sword and they let him go. At this point they made a hasty retreat, big holes in walls tends to attract the authorities, unwanted questions get asked, and repair bills are given. They found a quiet place to discuss the upcoming trip and Zisk studies the plans for the device in question. The device is immense, a huge platform measuring 25 by 20 feet and 2 feet thick. It has the ability to slowly float in any direction for short amounts of time, but at the expense of tremendous amounts of energy. Thinking it a good idea to learn more Zisk suggests they visit Quanon, a being more machine than man, and an expert with all things energy.

After making contact with Quanon, they discuss the ins and outs of the machine, called “The Rift Walker.” Quanon lets them know it is a terribly inefficient device, capable of “flight” for only 10 minutes on a single charge of the device. It moves slowly, only 80 yards a minute. It can be charged with solar energy, but slowly, requiring 5 hours of sunlight to charge the device. Specific power cells could also charge the device, but would be consumed in the act. Quanon agrees to help improve the device under two conditions. First, he makes the two sign a contract giving him first rights to any numenera found and recovered from the Voil. Second, he wants a very special energy source from a Stirthal noble that is unwilling to part with it. How the acquisition occurs is of no consequence to Quanon, just that it is acquired for his use. He promises anonymity, saying he will change the structure of the source so that it will be unrecognizable. The two agree to the terms, then choose their upgrade. They are given a choice a between increasing the efficiency of the device, giving it an incredible one time boost in upward propulsion, or fitting a one-time use device that would allow the Rift Walker to safely descend (and move side to side) at a speed of 5 miles an hour for 8 hours. The two decide that getting down quickly will be the most beneficial in their exploration and count on finding numenera that can be re-purposed to help them on their return journey.

The plan and path is known and the stage is set for the Voil Chasm expedition.

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Chapter 1.2 - The Decent

Session 3 – The Decent

Helios, Lysander and Zisk make their way down to the obsidian gate on the morning the expedition is to begin. The crew is assembled and making last minute checks on the equipment and supplies needed for the journey. The full team includes:
3 Pack Chiefs– Skilled with pulleys, weight distribution, goods packaging and organization
3 Warriors – Armed with double bladed pole arms and heavy crossbows
2 Gravity Engineers – Skilled in the use of the gravity machine known as the Rift Walker
1 Numenera Expert – Skilled in basic numenera knowledge
1 Captain – Skilled in combat and leadership and armed with a broad sword/shield and long bow
1 Taskmaster – Skilled in organization, camp set-up, scavenging and cooking

As the team makes their final preparations what looks to be a young girl runs up shouting. She demands that the group take her with them, which is quickly refused by Lysander. The girl, Gess, tries to intimidate Lysander using a trick to lightly buffet the air around him. Just as tensions start to escalate one of the gravity engineers comes forward, recognizing the girl. He tells her to walk off the cliff. Gess, understanding the man’s intent follows his instructions. As everyone watches, the young girl steps off the cliff edge, then suspends in midair. She begins floating around, demonstrating her control over gravity before settling once more on the ground. A short conversation later and they accept one last companion on their journey, knowing she may be of use with the Rift Walker. To prove the point just minutes later, Gess halts the launch and completes an integral step that was missed by the gravity engineers. Now happy to have the young machine girl around, the launch goes off without a hitch.

Zisk notices Quanon standing on a bluff high above the Obsidian Gate as they launch. It can only be assumed he’s watching the effect of his enhancement to the Rift Walker. The decent is largely peaceful and two hours pass uneventfully as the group plunge into the darkness of the Voil Chasm.

Sometime after the two hour mark things take a turn for the worst. The group’s reverie is shattered by the piercing sounds of hidden flyers. Lysander recognizes the sound and his heart sinks, these are no ordinary birds. These were the pinnacle of evolution in the skies within the conch, the Thrisall as his people named them. So profound was their predatory ability that Lysander had only seen two killed in all his years. Those kills could not even be confirmed, as a corpse was never found. That they could be killed was known though. For the master of the hunt had the ultimate trophy, a suit of incredibly light armor woven from the scales of a Thrisall. Lysander poured his concentration into listening, blocking out his other senses to try and get an accurate count of their number. Their movements were too fast and as a best guess he thought there might be eight. He’d never actually seen that many in one place before, in fact he’d only seen more than one once, when he was very young. That battle left 14 of his people dead or taken, with not a single kill counted against the beasts.

Dread fills Lysander’s heart, but also determination. There was nothing he could do as a child to stop the slaughter, he would do everything in his power to change the fate of the group around him now. Lysander snaps out of his reverie as Gess makes a comment about being able to ascertain the enemy numbers. A strange device begins to come straight out of her eye, looking as if the eye itself was popping out. It is as thin as a few atoms and completely disappears if viewed from the front or back. Once fully exposed the thing zooms off to start circling the Rift Walker, moving in larger and larger circles. In the span of two breaths the little device returns at a break neck speed to Gess’ eye and slowly enters again. A moment of concentration later and Gess has her answer, “There are four.”

The attacks come swift and hard. Half of the crew is doing everything they can to tuck in and hide from the creatures. The warriors, the captain and our hero’s take places around the perimeter. Helios takes up position to guard those not combat trained. Lysander and Zisk attempt to supercharge a glow globe in order to maintain better eyes on their enemy. The target proves too small and Zisk misses the mark. The Thrisall take first blood, revealing themselves with attacks on two warriors and Lysander. Lysander is able to fend the beast off with a quick dodge and a deflection from his crossbow. The warriors don’t fare as well and are simultaneously picked up and dropped to their death, miles below. Though Zisk failed to light the globe, his energy projection was bright enough to light up the area, if only for a few seconds. This precious light allowed Zisk to anticipate the first strike of one of the creatures and he launches a perfectly timed bolt of lightning straight into the creature’s chest. The Thrisall must have had something lodged in its scales because when the bolt hits, it lights up like a Christmas tree. It’s throwing out enough light to illuminate its immediate area and seems to be getting brighter. As the group continues to try and pepper the Thrisalls with ranged attacks the alpha makes his appearance. Easily 50% larger than the others, he charges in with speed and cunning, dodging flying projectiles and striking for the largest threat, Lysander. While able to fend the creature off, it’s not without taking heavy rakes across the flesh of his shoulder and back. As the alpha resets for another pass one of the Thrisall comes thrashing in to the Captain. He’s knocked off balance and topples from the platform, catching himself on the edge with one hand. The Thirsall that was lit up by Zisk earlier is glowing brighter than ever now, lighting up everything within 50 feet of it. It’s wounded and looking for easier prey. Trying to target one of the cowering engineers, it swoops in, only to be driven away by Helios’s attack.
The alpha makes another pass then, directly under the Rift Walker. Zisk sees it, but can’t get a shot of quick enough. He readies himself for when the captain is plucked off the edge. Lysander tries to move towards the captain, but knows he won’t close quickly enough. As the captain is ripped from the edge Zisk lets out a blast of lightning. The alpha is too quick and drops quickly to avoid the blow.

The alpha tries to shake off the Captain, but he won’t be thrown. Through the combined efforts of Zist, Gess and Helios, they are finally able to drop the Thrisall lighting up the area. Just then another Thrisall flies directly across the platform aiming to grab the final warrior. Gess sees it coming and rallies her effort for a concentrated blast on the creature as it passes over. Her timing is off however and her blast is just too late. It passes across the platform and nearly rips one of the gravity engineers in half. Helios immediately drops and tries, successfully, to stabilize the man. The Thrisall passes through unscathed and grabs hold of the warrior. It doesn’t drop the man, but carries him off, screaming, into the black abyss.

Meanwhile, Lysander puts a hastily thought plan into action. One of the Thrisall comes charging down on him. He readies himself for his next move and allows it to close in, far too close to avoid taking any hits. As he absorbs the slashing from the Thrisall he moves in to grab hold of the creature. He’s able to get a grip on the creature’s neck and swing himself up on to the beast’s back. As the Thrisall continues its flyby Lysander guides the creature slightly to the left in order to pass nearer to the alpha. His plan works and with a great leap he flies from one back to the other. The alpha begins to thrash around, trying to throw its two passengers, but doesn’t have any luck. Gess sees the dire situation and readies her powers of gravity manipulation in an effort to guide the two back to the platform should the alpha plummet. Lysander moves with resolve, trying to force his will upon the alpha. Seeing this, and guessing at his purpose, the captain begins to distract the alpha, kicking at its head and body. The distraction works and Lysander is able to crash land the bird into the platform. Gess, seeing the trio hurdling straight towards her, backs up to try and get out of the way. With a great crash the two land in a heap on the platform, shaking it mightily. Helios is thrown from the platform, where he catches himself on the edge. Moments later swarms of hands grab hold of him to pull him back to safety. Upon impact the alpha’s right wing smashes into the controlling device, denting it and causing it to start to short circuit. Everyone gasps as the Rift Walker drops a few feet as the pull of gravity starts regain control. Gess moves over to the box and focuses her will, mustering all her knowledge of numenera in an effort to stabilize the device. After a few tense moments of pure darkness as the device shuts down and starts to free fall, the familiar drone of the generator fires back up slowing their decent to more manageable speeds.

The alpha gets to its feet, snapping its sharped tooth mouth at the group as it tries to regain use of its right wing. Lysander runs over to grab his pole arm and face the creature. Zisk prepares to flank the alpha and Gess continues to monitor the Rift Walker, making sure it has fully stabilized. Helios runs up to the creature baiting it to snap in his direction. At the right moment he launches his charm device directly into the mouth of the beast. With two snaps the bottle shatters and sends the alpha into frothing rage. In its flailing it falls directly off the back of the platform, howling and screeching. All is quiet for the span of 30 seconds, it feels like an eternity. The group collects themselves, weary but still vigilant. Another loud screech sets the team on alert. They no longer have the light to see incoming attacks and try to rely on other senses. Just as a Thrisall arches down towards Helios it is intercepted by the alpha at an incredible speed from above. Another eternity passes, with the screams of the creatures piercing the air, then silence. They feel the wind before they see they alpha, but they are ready. The alpha blazes in and lands squarely on the platform. Screeching loudly, it stares intently into the eyes of Helios. Out of the corner of his eye Helios see Lysander approaching and Zisk flanking. His cries to back away fall on deaf ears. With her attention elsewhere, the alpha doesn’t react in time and the deadly thrust from Lysander pierces deeply. The blow sends the alpha into a frenzy. The creature turns to face Lysander fully with the look of rage and death in her eyes. She swings her wing down hard on the pole arm, ripping from Lysander’s hand but leaving it lodged in her breast. Zisk, now fully flanking, hesitates only for a brief second at Helios’s appeals, then gathers his strength for one massive blast of lighting. The bolt hits home and lights up the pole arm, sending the bolt straight through the creature’s nervous system and bursting its three hearts. It falls to the platform heavily without another sound.

Sometime later the group reaches the ground. Sorely wounded and exhausted, the group has made their destination. Three warriors lost their lives in the decent, one engineer is critically wounded, but most made it, a good day. They go about setting up a base-camp. In the distance, maybe three miles, they see the massive wreckage of Lysander’s home…

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Chapter 1.3 - The Broken Path

Session 4: The Broken Path

After taking two days to recover from their wounds and entrench themselves on the chasm floor the group is largely ready to start their exploration.

As the camp houses all the supplies for their extended trip, a selection of the group stays behind to guard the base camp. Gess stays behind to continue working on repairs to the Rift Walker while Lysander, Helios, Zisk, Billum (Captain) and Ruby (Numenera Expert) start their journey across the broken pieces of Lysander’s home, the conch.

The going is slow as they make their way across the broken pieces of the shell. The ground is broken by huge boulders, undoubtedly the cause of the conch’s collapse. As they make their way across the broken landscape, Lysander scavenges for food, plant life found on the inside of the broken pieces of the conch.

A few hours into the trip Zisk feels the hairs rise on the nap of his neck again. The group starts to drop into a little bowl made by falling rock debris and pieces of the shell. Zisk has yet to drop in and notices a few creatures on two sheer pieces of rock lining the side of the bowl. He shouts a warning and preps a bolt of lightning, targeting one of the creatures on the top of the cliff. Lysander, confident in his mastery of his homeland, brushes off the warning and continues his way obliviously up the shell to the other side. Helios, having learned his lesson, jumps to attention and spots the creatures over the top edge of the sheer rock faces. As Lysander turns his head grumbling towards Zisk he fails to see a piece of loose shell and his feet go out from under him. He starts an uncontrollable slide down the upper sloped portion of the shell. As he slides he sees one of the creatures, a kargriff, resembling a Bulette in many ways (though a bit less stout, with a dorsal and tail fin and a metallic head made of incredibly strong material), jump of the cliff to try and land right on him. He’s unable to get purchase on the slick shell and knows he won’t be able to avoid the attack. Helios acts quickly and stops Lysander’s slide, helping him up just enough for Lysander to launch to the side to avoid the creature. It bangs into the shell, shaking the platform and throwing off a loud, but dull, ringing sound. Billum moves himself and Ruby down to the back edge of the bowl to avoid getting flanked and sets up a defensive position.

Zisk lets loose with his bolt, but misses the mark as the kargriff takes two quick steps and launches itself back in retaliation. Zisk dodges deftly under the creature then up a portion of the sheer face to gain a tactical advantage. The final kargriff leaps straight down the bowl at Helios, who drops to the shell, sending the creature flying over the top of him and into the far edge of the bowl. Zisk lets loose with another bolt that is dodged. The kargriff attacking him pursues and Zisk retreats again to higher ground, but not before taking a wicked bite along the left thigh and calve.

Lysander has fought these before and moves deftly with a jump attack to try and penetrate the creature’s soft spot behind its impenetrable head. His first blow is deflected by the creatures head, but his next strike hits true and blow instantly kills the creature, thumping into the underside of the hard head. Lysander lets out a bestial roar as he survey’s the battle.

Billum deftly places blows on the creature fighting Helios, always keeping up his defensive stance, protecting Ruby. Helios recognizes the soft neck of the creature and aims his blows there. Just like Lysander, his first blow is rebuffed by the creature’s head, but the second finds its mark and the kargriff goes down under the combined efforts of Billum and Helios.

With the final kargriff hot on the heels Zisk, Lysander moves to intercept. He takes two long strides, jumps on to the platform Zisk started the battle on and springs himself straight to top of the sheer edge of the left cliff. He grabs the edge with his hand, a single hand, using the momentum of his leap, his dexterity and the strength of his climbing hand to sweep a foot on to the plateau. He moves to intercept the charge kargriff and meets the creatures charge. He stops the creature’s momentum with a well-placed thrust from his glaive into the hind quarters of the creature. Zisk capitalizes on the creatures weakened state and distraction. He jumps to the side of the kargriff and places a blast right between its shoulders, dropping it in a sizzling mass.

As Zisk works to bandage his wounds and the group organized itself, Lysander moves in a clinical pattern, trying to find the nest of the kargriffs. He’s successful in finding the nest quickly and upon looting the bodies there find a few cyphers and some rations they can use along their journey.

They rest for the day upon a tall outcropping of rock, providing them high ground and views of the surrounding area. The next day they continue their journey and reach the edge of the broken part of the conch. They can see the expanse of the remaining intact piece, rough half, and look to make their decent off the rubble to the shell’s floor. Just then they hear the screech of a thrisall. The team forms up, ready for another heated battle. A lone thrisall comes into view and Lysander lets loose a bolt from his crossbow. The bolt flies wide and swoops around to try and pick off Ruby, who is the middle of the group. Hawking the creature’s movements, Lysander drops his crossbow, pulls out his glaive and heads to the far side of the group, trying to intercept the path of the thrisall as it comes through. Zisk unsuccessfully sends a bolt of lightning toward the creature and Helios misses the mark with his sword. Ruby crouches to the ground as the thrisall passes over and Billum deflects it’s grab with this shield. As it passes over Lysander is waiting and with a might thrust puts a gash into the underbelly of the beast. It screeches and flies off into the dark.

The group makes their decent with Lysander guiding them; he’s able to keep Zisk from taking the fast route to the bottom. Once they reach the bottom they search for ways through the rubble, hoping to angle back through along the ground, towards Lysander’s village. His knowledge of the land allows him to navigate quickly along natural terrain features that would likely provide enough space to traverse under the crushing weight of broken shell and rock. In a matter of hours they reach the village, or what’s left of it. The group can hear the creaking and groaning of rocks and shell as they unstably shift ever so slightly. It’s a ticking time bomb and no one knows how long they have until the whole thing goes. They begin a frantic search of the remaining buildings, hoping to find anyone yet alive.

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Chapter 1.4 - The Letanzi

Game session 4: The Letanzi

Upon entering Lysander’s village, the group knows they don’t have much time. They can hear groaning and creaking, and pieces of rock and shell rub and shift against each other creating a feeling of tremendous instability.

They quickly start searching the remaining buildings that weren’t completely crushed looking for survivors. Lysander finds a very strange hole in one of the buildings, but logs the event for later and continues to search for members of his tribe. Billum calls out before too long, saying he’d found someone. The group rushes together and Lysander recognizes the boy of 12 as Nisha’s little brother Aloon. He is unconscious but still breathing. As Ruby tries to diagnose the injuries of Aloon a few of the other fan out in order to hopefully find some medical supplies.

Both Lysander and Helios are successful in finding separate supply cashes and net some healing stims and a few cyphers. During their search the entire area begins to rapidly destabilize. Huge crashes can be heard from not far away as parts of these underground passages collapse. The group sends Billum, Ruby and Aloon back to base camp while they continue to explore. A few minutes later another large crash and a scream from Ruby is heard. They find out everyone is okay, but they’ve been cut off from the path Billum took and can no longer follow the same route. They group continues to look for other passages that might leave but run out of options.

Lysander brings the group back to the hole in one of the buildings and using one of his minor glow globes investigates it. They discover that the ground is extremely loose around the hole as it falls down into the depths with the slightest agitation. After tying together both of his ropes (100 feet), Lysander ties off the rope to the building and begins to descend down the hole. After 50 feet there is no longer any earth on the sides of the hole and he finds himself in a perfectly round smooth cylinder made of a blackish looking material. It is cool to the touch and without blemish on its surface. Lysander has Helios and Zisk drop their ropes down, where Lysander adds another 100 feet to the rope and continues his descent. The tube continues down, perfectly straight, with no end in sight. At this point the adventures start to get nervous. They have been climbing for about 20 minutes, and fatigue is setting in on Helios and Zisk. To find out if there is a bottom to this Zisk, with help from Lysander braces himself and lights a piece of scavenged wood using his shocking power. They then drop the flaming piece of wood and look down into the blackness hopefully.

Helios and Lysander both think they see the shine of something that at their best guess looks about 200-250 feet down. Then the torch continues to plummet. It does hit the bottom eventually, a long ways down. It doesn’t make a sound and the flame goes out almost instantly, so they aren’t left with much of an idea. Zisk decides to use one of his numenera devices, it’s a short range projectile tracking device, but gravity will easily extend the range. After firing this off below they find out that ground zero is 700 feet below their current position.

Helios gives Lysander his darkness lenses, which when inserted into his eye socket fuse to the surface. Lysander’s eyes go completely black and he loses the ability to see at all in any kind of light, but in total darkness his vision is utterly perfect. Over time they break down from the enzymes in the eyes, returning vision to normal.

Lysander removes his boots and begins his trip down the strange circular tube. His climbing experience and the added grip of his feet allow him to make the descent easily. 200 feet below a metallic ladder starts. It continues down as far as he can see. The rungs come straight out of the tube and aren’t connected to each other and are perfectly equidistant. Lysander braces himself in the tube at the top of the ladder, in an effort to stop the momentum if his companions don’t navigate as well as he did.

After helping each other remove their shoes while hanging from the rope, Zisk is first to make the climb. He starts of well, making tremendous time and gaining a fools confidence. About 120 feet down he loses his footing and begins to slide. Franticly Zisk concentrates all his strength and effort into his hands and feet, trying to apply the pressure necessary to stop his momentum. He’s able to do it, but not without a few significant friction burns. After this he slowly makes his way down the rest of the tube and arrives safely a few minutes later. Helios fares much better and efficiently makes his way down the tube.

Once they all reach the ladder they make their way to the bottom of the tube. When they reach the bottom the path continues out 90 degrees away from the ladder. The tunnel looks exactly the same as the tube they came from, though it’s a little bigger. They notice that there is nothing on the ground when they get to the bottom, and wonder where all the dirt went that was knocked down at the start of this journey.

Not having any other plan, they continue down the path, traveling for hours without so much as a single detail change. In order to discover more about the strange tunnel Zisk fires off a bolt of lightning down the path in the direction they came. As the bolt leaves his hand the lightning almost immediately begins to arc into the tunnel itself and is completely dissipated within 15 feet. Zisk performs another test and localizes a blast of electricity at a specific point on the wall. It absorbs the same way, but his proximity to it allows him to notice a slight discoloration in the wall, lightening from the black to a deep purplish red. It fades almost instantly, but Zisk is sure he saw the change.

Again, with nothing else to do they continue down the path until fatigue takes them. They all rest up as best they can in the round tunnel and start off again after what seems like 8-10 hours. A few hours later the silence is broken, both Lysander and Helios hear it. It’s a faint sound, but definitely a sound. The group quickens their pace and readies themselves for what may lie ahead. The sound is unmistakable now and they can see light at the end of the tunnel, rushing water is ahead. When they round the corner there is five more feet of tunnel, then it stops, opening abruptly out into a massive cavern.

They can see a massive waterfall in front of them, lightly spraying them with mist. There is a purplish hue to the light in the cavern, but it seems to be emanating from a point in upper center of the cavern and also lights up as far as their eyes can see. The scene below is beautiful, full strange lush trees and unique land forms. They also see some kind of settlement in the distance, brightly lit up in a white light. The cavern floor is about 700 feet and the three wonder how the hell they are supposed to get down.

They start search around the exit for anything that might help them down. Zisk stumbles upon a switch of some kind built into the bottom of the tube at the opening and works it until he’s able to pull out a small metallic piece. While messing with it he turns it, where it locks in place, then begins to automatically suck back into the tube wall. The group hears a whining sound, then the sound of something releasing. A few moments go by with nothing, then Lysander notices a light behind him. He peaks around the corner back down the tunnel and see a brilliant yellow light screaming down the tunnel accompanied by a rushing sound like a turbine whining.

Thinking it to be some kind of purging device Lysander decides to take his chances with the 700 foot fall and grabs on to Zisk and Helios and he leaps from the edge. Luckily he isn’t fast enough and the light makes it to the edge of the tunnel before his feet leave the ground. The light seems flows around them and crystallizes into a pipe of brilliant yellow that guides them downward. Thrown wildly by Lysander’s leap they tumble down the newly created tube in loops and circles, always moving down. They move too fast to slow themselves, but not fast enough to cause them harm. Suddenly the group is shot out the end of the tube, taking a 30 foot sail through the air and landing squarely in the basin of the waterfall.

After collecting themselves on the far side of the waterfall they notice a pair of creatures. They look like raptors with webbed toes, and fins along head, back and tail. The creatures see them and make their way down the river the basin empties into. They watch as the creatures easily make a 25 foot leap over a narrow portion of the river and come running their direction. The group finds some moderate cover around a thicket of bushes and prepares themselves for the encounter.

Helios tries sneaking around the back side of the thicket, to try and flank, but his movements are too quick and one of the creatures peels around to his side of the brush to attack. Helios and the creature trade attacks, but neither can find the mark. On the other side Zisk lets loose a blast of lightning, which the creature dodges as it charges in. Lysander scores a solid hit, severely wounding the creature, while evading the counter attack. It loops around the brush in a wide arc and starts to run away as quickly as its legs will carry it. Lysander since then moved around the thicket, where the creature makes another pass at Helios. Both again favor defense and trade dodges. Lysander takes advantage of the distraction and with a great force of effort pierces the creature straight through the head with his glaive, killing it instantly. Seeing the wounded and fleeing creature, Lysander drops his glaive, pulls out his crossbow, steadies himself on one knee and lets a bolt fly at significant distance. The bolt drives home, ripping through the flank of the creature, dropping in a writhing heap.

After gathering themselves, the group makes their way toward the settlement. Everything is extremely well lit in a white light and there looks to be no doors on the entrances. As they move closer they find that there is some sort of force protecting the doors, quite impassable. They begin yelling to get someone’s attention, as the enclave looks deserted, but to no avail. They start trying to manipulate the door of force, to see if they can find of way in. This somehow alerts some people inside and three people come to the door, two guards accompanying an older strange looking man.

After the leading man worked out communication with a translating device the group learned that some of Lysander’s people found refuge here. They meet up with the three survivors and learn that there may be as many as 15 people that were on the safe side of the conch during the collapse. After an exhausting journey, with a new people, in a strange underground community, everyone needs a little break. They decide to rest the remainder of the night after being offered such with a promise of further discussion in the morning.

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Chapter 1.5 - The Escape

Session 5: The Escape

After a day and half of interrogation at the hands of the Letanzi, things move from bad to worse. Confined to their quarters again, they get all their gear equipped, knowing one way or another; things will be coming to a conclusion quickly.

A short while later the group hears agitated voices that escalate in a series of explosions. Merlin opens the door and hurriedly places something along the edges of the door. He then shuffles into the room, covered in a sheen of sweat, a strained smile on his face.

Merlin speaks in a rushed voice as he preps some device in front of opening, covering the door; “There is very little time, trust in what you saw, share the truth. No man here has claim to take the lives of innocents, and it won’t happen while I draw breath.”

With that, he hands Helios a three foot rod made of what looked like copper with seven prongs coming out of the top. Merlin tells Helios to drive it into the ground, compress the trigger and make a circle around it, linking hands. As the group does this Merlin activates the device in the front of the door, which expands to cover the entire opening in a pentagonal shaped grid of a light orange color. The rod begins to spin and arc lightning around the group.

The outer door gets blown to pieces and large parts of it strike the barrier, but nothing penetrates. The rod continues to build up, arcing in a near solid stream to each person in the group. Merlin looks back on last time, smiling as large blast shatter the shield. At the same moment the group blinking out of existence and reappears on the Rift Walker.

After settling back in the camp, Lysander gathers his belongings and makes his way to the far side of the conch, where he hopes to discover more of his people alive. Ruby, Billum, Helios, Zisk and Guess all take head off after Lysander. Billum and Lysander have a little bickering spat while descending to the covered side of the conch which leads to Billum falling and knocking Lysander off the cliff side at about 80 feet up. Guess is ready for any mistakes, floating slowly next to them and blasts both of them with a web cypher that plasters both to the cliff, in a compromising position.

On their way across to the high point of this side of the conch, Lysander, while bickering with Helios, falls straight through the ground into a subterranean tunnel system. Landing in the middle of a group of kargriffs, Lysander jumps straight into action. Not realizing the camaraderie already developed, Zisk, Guess and Helios follow down into the hole to defend Lysander. One thing after another seems to go wrong and just when the battle seems in hand something else goes awry. In the end they narrowly defeat the group of kargriffs and chase off a brood mother. The group is able to find a number of cyphers as well as an artifact. Lysander figures out how to use the device, it’s just a simple trigger mechanism, and uses it to try and blast the brood mother kargriff. He misses but when it makes contact with the packed earth of the cavern it completely disintegrates everything it touches. They don’t fully understand the device, but its power is undeniable.

Haggard and near death, every one of them, the group makes their way back up to the surface. They meet back up with Ruby and Billum shortly after, who were lagging about 30 minutes behind because Ruby needed rest.

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Chapter 1.6 – The Nelja Nexus

Chapter 1.6 – The Nelja Nexus

After recovering the group makes it to the high point on this side of the conch. There they find Lysander’s people, 15 in total, including the Lord of the Chase and Nisha. Over the course of the next month the group temporarily splits. Lysander works tirelessly with the Lord of the Chase, honing his skills and learning the secret techniques of his people. Meanwhile, the rest continue to try and locate the marker on the map they saw in the Letanzi enclave.

It’s a frustratingly long month as Helios, Zisk, Ruby and Billum search unsuccessfully. Gess over the month works on bringing over the Rift Walker to the other side of the Conch, so that the base camp is closer to their point of search. When the going stalls Zisk comes to the rescue and uses his mastery of lightning to keep the Rift Walker charged and moving steadily.

After completing his training Lysander joins the rest of the group and they decide to start searching the cliff sides. With his leadership they make better progress than they otherwise would, but the going is slow. After five days on the cliff side without discovery spirits and supplies were getting low. The group starts to make their descent back to the ground to resupply and figure why they are wandering along miles of cliff side and what could possibly be worth it.

Like clockwork, as they near the ground Zisk loses his grip on the rope and starts to free-fall from about 45 feet up. Helios is on the rope below where Zisk is and sees his fall. He braces his weight and tries to shuffle to the side of the cliff in order to not be taken out with Zisk. His maneuver starts without issue but as his foot slides back to find purchase there is no wall where there should be wall. The lack of a solid surface puts Helios into small spin but he’s still able to get his hand out in time to grab hold of Zisk. The momentum built from the fall is far too much for Helios to bear and the force swings his body violent. It’s all Helios can do to hold on to the rope, but the maneuver has its intended effect and slows down and changes the direction of Zisk’s fall. Zisk is able to use the forward momentum to effectively roll out of the fall without taking any damage thanks to Helios’s intervention.

Confused at the lack of cliff, Helios turns to figure out why his feet never made contact with the wall. After a little bit a searching Helios finds an extremely clever natural design in the cliff that hides a secret entrance to an unknown chamber. As the group all gathers in the tunnel that form out of the entrance the excitement and tension rises. The tunnel is perfectly round, and made of the black shell material as the conch itself. As the group progresses into the tunnel they come to the end, which opens into a perfect hemisphere, all lined in the black shell. They start to poke around the edges and Helios discovers a switch near the entrance. He figures out how to manipulate it and the entire room light up, lighten emanating from every direction. The brightness is overwhelming at first, but the group adjusts and begins to explore the room.

The group finds five devices, cylinder shaped numenera. Through dialog with the “Oracle” a spherical AI that communicates with the group through telepathy they learn the room was created as a production facility and has the ability to manufacture various devices depending on the protocol initiated. The five cylinder shaped numenera devices, called Protean Enablers by the Oracle, can be used to enhance a physical being or object in certain specific ways. Each of the five companions (Gess staying back to continue working on the functionality of the Rift Walker) ends up using one of the Protean Enablers.

Lysander thrusts his glaive into one of the enablers, which transforms his favored weapon into a beastly sharp silvery metallic glaive. Helios enacts a protocol that infuses his flesh with nano-mites. The nano-mite protocol continuously restructures the surface of his skin, providing immunity to contact poisons/disease, bleeding and blemishes of any kind. Zisk steps in his and has synth implants placed all over his feet, attaching to the skeletal system. This enhancement isn’t visible through the skin. When activated with a thought it allows him to move normally over any solid (or liquid) surface as though he were moving on solid flat ground, though his feet never actually touch the surface. When the power is activated the soles of his feet emanate a faint blue glow, though shoes mask this light. Ruby has her eyes replaced by synthetic parts giving her vision in various spectrums and Billum has his skeletal structure reinforced, turning him into a human mule.

After depleting the protean enablers the group discusses and decides on which protocol to activate. They decide on the major protocol for transportation and a minor protocol of gadgetry. The Oracle at that point expands and extends from ground to ceiling in the center of the room. After the concentric metal plates at made up the sphere expand the blue gel like substance at its core expands along with it, growing brighter and brighter. A sudden flurry of activity starts to happen in the back of the room, where piles and piles of synth material were stacked and jumbled together in an unrecognizable fashion. As the light grows brighter and brighter it gets harder and harder to see, to the point where everyone has their eyes closed and are trying to find cover from the blinding light. The whole process last for a few minutes, and when they are finally able to open their eyes again they see the room transformed. The light has faded from the ground and now emanates from the walls and ceiling in a much more tolerable white-blue hue. The jumble of synth has formed a station with various pieces of equipment, a gadget assembly station. Also with the area are two massive assembly line stations, with huge pieces of equipment lining movable tracks in the ground. There are two terminals, one in front of each assembly station.

Helios, Zisk and Ruby go around the stations to try and learn more about their operation. Zisk is able to activate one of the assembly station control panels, choosing an option to create a flying machine. Ruby does the same on the other, creating some sort of ground vehicle. Helios has no luck with the machines or the gadget station and gets together with the rest to watch the action. The build is set to take about a week to finish. It works feverishly for a while, then remains inert for long periods of time before starting again. Zisk moves on to the gadget station and gets his hands right into it, taking time only to eat as he begins to create using the various pieces and testing equipment available.

The rest of the group explores the rest of the room and discover a large entrance to a platform that is open as far as the eyes can see. They get on the platform and Helios senses a presence tied to the platform. He mentally commands it to ascend. The machine moves quickly, but there seems to be some field protecting them from the air resistance. After about 30 seconds the platform reaches its stopping point and the group follows the only path and winds around and up. They reach a dead end, where the path, lined in black shell, runs at an angle into the earth. Billum uses the artifact found in the kargriff den to blast a perfect circular hole in the earth above them. Twelve feet above natural light floods into the pathway. They make their way to the surface and find they are only a couple miles outside the city limits. Ruby refuses to head back to the city at this point and starts back down the path towards the complex underground.

Reluctantly everyone returns below as they try and decide how to proceed. Everyone wants to see what will be created and they know they need to bring back some numenera to fulfill their mission. There is also the challenge of getting all of the people from the conch to the surface and set on their new path, whatever that might be.

Over the next week Zisk successfully creates a number of transportation based cyphers and all the people from the conch (55 in total) relocate to the chamber, dubbed the Nelja Nexus bases on Ruby’s findings. Gess and the original crew of the of the rift walker prepare to transport the rift walker back to the surface using one of the cyphers created by Zisk. Both the ground and air vehicle finish being created, and the group continues to learn more about the Nelja Nexus and its purpose.

Through study of the chamber and the numenera inside, the group learn a number of interesting details about the facility:

There is a trigger mechanism that will deploy a massive piece of the shell material into the air above. This is directly connected to the facility and will power it through it’s harnessing of the sun’s energy. When it deploys it will be a signal to anyone with 100 miles that something is here. The assembly lines and gadget station won’t run without deploying the shell. The room is now extremely dim as its energy has been depleted.

The flying machine and the ground transport both are very complex, but come with a device that can be attached to the back of the brain stem to impart knowledge of how to operate it. The device works only once. If you plan on giving these things to Jongo and his mother, it would be wise to allow them to choose who will get the knowledge.

When the trigger mechanism is deployed it will actually work in tandem with three other identical facilities that are all located in various parts of the Steadfast. These other facilities are as yet undiscovered, but the shell energy harnessers will be a beacon for any number of curious people and they are unlikely to remain so.

In order for the production lines to operate they also need a source of raw materials. Just about any material can be used, as the facility will manipulate the source at an atomic level. Stone or Rock seem like the best sources, as they are pound for pound the most material for the least space and are plentiful.

The assembly lines have a number of different potential devices that can be created, but neither will create anything like the original flying machine or ground transport. They are one of a kind and superior in technology to anything that will be created in mass.

To fully operate the facility there will need to be teams of individuals working together.

The group will have to decide how to proceed, with the knowledge that Ruby and Billum are both on the city’s payroll and may potentially disagree with choices that don’t place this facility in the hands of their benefactors.

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Chapter 1.7 - Race to the Nelja

As the group figures out what to do with the facility and learns more about its impact in the Steadfast, Lysander strikes out with his people to the surface of the planet. Where the tides will take them is anyone’s guess.

Left to their own devices in the shadows of the Nelja Nexus, Helios and Zisk’s moral compass drops to zero as they scheme ways to take everything they can from the course of events and strike out on their own without pursuit. Zisk remembers some of the technology at Quanon’s disposal and thinks better about betraying him. Honor among thieves after all.

In an attempt to milk every gain from the situation they fool and betray Ruby and Billum, asking them to strike out while they guard the nexus. While Ruby and Billum journey to town Zisk and Helios take the flying device to parlay with Quanon, hand over the matter displacer artifact and bring him to the nexus, where he officially calls their debt paid after they help him relocate the 5 protean tubes to his compound under Stirthal. They then double back to meet with Jongo before Ruby and Billum arrive in order to claim the full bounty of the reward for themselves before anyone else makes it back to town.

Jongo is shrewd and sees partially through their lies. Only through quick thinking a honeyed tongue is Helios able to keep the two out of a prison cell. During the conversation, Jongo’s sister Cecilia enters the room with her bodyguard Elward. Helios instantly tries to put a move on Cecilia which is utterly lost on her, but not Elward. True to form and without a moments delay a feud and rivalry has begun, sure to play out in endless banter criticising the other for their ill advised perspective on life. Cecilia gets involved with the conversation and poorly tries to buy the loyalty of Zisk and Helios out from under her brother. Used to the foibles of her younger sister, Jongo allows the situation to play out, manipulating it to his gain in the end.

With a number of guards, the group heads out to the nexus. Through various pieces missing from the facility everything is uncovered and all pieces of numenera, including the flying machine, are disclosed. Helios is still able to spin it so that they don’t look fully like thieves, and surprisingly, Jongo doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that Quanon has taken some of the tech from the facility.

Cecelia digs right into the numenera and discovers the presence of the other facilities, another omission by Zisk and Helios which they try awkwardly to explain. Cecelia discovers that various protocol can be run at these facilities and that by running the medical protocol she may be able to discover the missing link to finish her incomplete crop splicing artifact. She requests that Zisk and Helios take her to another facility in order to active the medical protocol. Her aire is commanding, though somewhat lacking the presence of authority. She comes off as aloof, someone who’s used to getting her way. Whether this is the truth, or just a lack of ability to discern appropriate ways to communicate effectively remains to be seen.

Since it was their intent to visit another nexus, and wanting to save face in the catastrophe that was their backstabbery, Zisk and Helios agree to lead another expedition to another Nelja nexus, and they decide to go to the furthest away, in the northern most point of the kingdom of Ghan.

Using the flying machine, they are able to make decent time, though the trip will take a couple days. The craft doesn’t move terribly fast, but it is stable as a rock, and full of undiscovered utility. One such discovery was the cloaking device. Along the journey Helios fuels the fire that is his place as the aggravator of the group’s martial power. Egging on and irritating the serious seems to be one of his favorite past times.

Cecilia pours her concentration into the study of the flying machine and is able to discover she can boost the speed temporarily at the cost of disabling the stealth field for one day. She is single minded in her pursuit of the Nelja nexus and jury rigs the speed increase without consulting anyone. They arrive at the Nelja nexus, seeing the great spire of shell, glowing in the sunlight, and survey the land around. It looks like there are a number of small groups of people making their way towards the nexus, but no one is within a few miles of it yet, unless they are already inside.

The group lands inside the nexus and Elward activates a cypher givien to him by Jongo, which teleports him into the chamber with them. With their previous understanding and the help of Cecilia they are able to identify all the possible upgrades to the 5 protean chambers located inside the nexus. Jongo, Cecilia, and Elward step in to benefit from the device. Both Zisk and Helios waver, thinking on whether or not they should change their upgrade or stay with what they originally received. Before anything further can be discussed Cecilia digs into the Oracle, figures out how to activate it and triggers the medical protocol, with a minor protocol in gadgetry again.

As the group waits for the nexus to power up and begin its transformation the group discusses what will become of the technology here, how they might use it and what they plan to take with them, if anything.

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