Sica’s Journal IV – Auspar

Interlude 3 – Travelling from Qi to Auspar on foot. Distance is 550 miles, average 12.5 miles / day means it takes 44 days. Leave Qi 13th Ator.
C = 5
Q: Do they have a significant encounter? (50/50): 98! The encounter was to their favour.

They hitched a lift with a merchant caravan heading to Auspar via Castle Aventur and Kordech; they arrived on (22 days) 3rd Prevaen. Weather is turning cold and the mornings are frosty.
————————————————————————
Adventure 4: Auspar
Scene 1 C = 5

Auspar – capital city of Thaemor. Ruler – Holiva the First. Date = 3rd Prevaen

Date: 3rd Prevaen
Sica, Lorn and Dorn enter the city and looked for somewhere to stay.
Modified?: Roll 7, No.
They found a hotel called “Thaemon’s Eyrie”, a vertical building 10 stories high, shaped like a triangle. A central shaft carried them up to the reception area (anti-gravity?); the rooms were a reasonable rate. The rooms were on the 7th floor and were triangular.

Q: Is there anything interesting in the room? (50/50): Roll 25 = Yes.
CQ: What is it? Develop – Success
Q: Is it linked with Sica’s Quest for the Marker Stones? (50/50): Roll 61 = No

In every room was a synth panel set in the wall. As they unpacked; a musical note sounded and the panel lit up. A fanfare sounded and a voice announced “His Excellency, Holiva the First, Chief Architect of Auspar, Ruler of Thaemor and Voivode of the Shadow Herd; speaks to his people.” On the panel appeared a figure, lit by several glowglobes. A middle-aged man, with short brown hair and a cropped beard; wearing a brown tunic.

“People of Auspar and Thaemor, my people! Today I can announce a major breakthrough in our efforts to resurrect the Shadow Herd and restore our kingdom to its former glory. Under instruction from our vizier, the Hand of Melch; we have discovered a clue to where the last resting place of the Shadow Herd is.”

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
* Implanted larvae (Sica)
*Legacy of Nibovia
Chaos: No change = 5
XP:
Notes:
Stats: 14/12/16
NPC’s:
Lorn & Dorn 2(6)
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
————————————————————————–
Scene 2 C = 5
Date: 4th Prevaen. Weather is dry but cold. The Travellers go out looking for the Marker Stone.
Modified? Roll 6 = No

Q: Can Sica locate it easily? (Likely): 94: It’s not here.

“Seriously?” said Lorn (or Dorn). “I thought you knew where these Stones were.”
“Yes I do, although how I know this I can’t explain. It should be right here.”

They are standing on a street corner in the centre of Auspar, looking across a triangular plaza.

Q: Is there any sign that it has been moved? (50/50): 70: No.

“We need to find a library to do some research”

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
* Implanted larvae (Sica)
*Legacy of Nibovia
Chaos: +1 to 6
XP: 0
Notes:
Stats: 16/14/16
NPC’s:
Lorn & Dorn 2(6)
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
—————————————————————————
Scene 3 C = 6
Date 4 Prevaen
Sica, Lorn and Dorn are looking for information about the Marker Stone in Auspar.
Modified? Roll 5 = Altered.
They find that the current city is built on the ruins of a far older one. The Marker Stone is somewhere beneath the city.

The entrance to the underground is off a sewer passage; an ornate carved door. It opened at Sica’s touch; as if he was expected. Beyond the door was a series of stone tunnels; one led to a chamber with a spiral stair going down and the other led to an ornate stone carving. Sica looked at this for a long time.

“The Marker Stone is buried two levels beneath where we stand.”

They retraced their steps and went down the stairs. Sica led the way; as he reached the foot of the stairs two Broken Hounds leaped out of the darkness at him. Caught by surprise, he was badly bitten and yet managed to pull his blade-staff and take out the Hound attacking him. Meanwhile, the brothers took down the other Hound.
After a short rest they looked around. There was a statuette of an alien, a Kaplan; plus two cyphers – a Time Dilation Nodule (Offensive) and a Remote Viewer. Sica fixed the Time Dilation nodule on to his blade-staff.

Exploring further, they encountered two hostile Margr. The Margr attacked and to Sica’s horror, from out of the shadows stepped two more. After a furious melee that left Dorn badly injured, the Margr were defeated. They were carrying a total of 19 Shins.

After a short distance they found more stairs leading up, into a circular chamber. It was occupied by a space-black humanoid swathed in a skin of luminous plasma. An initial attempt at communication was met by a searing bolt of plasma; Sica tried again and was granted passage through the chamber for one day only.

Going up (by their reckoning, this put them back on the entrance level),entering a hallway with an exit West and steps down resulted in three Broken Hounds attacking them. Sica activated his Time Dilation Nodule on his blade-staff and took out a Broken Hound, Lorn and Dorn were not so lucky and both were injured before the Hounds were killed.

Going down the steps (remember; the carving indicated that the Marker Stone was on the third level below ground); Sica found an illustrated book about ancient battles. Hearing sounds coming from the next chamber; they encountered Itoll, a Varjellen Glaive seeking items to sell for profit. They got talking; Itoll did not know where the Marker Stone was. He agreed to accompany them until they left the tunnels.

Heading NE, passing through an archway, there was a chamber with a dais at one side. On it lay a piece of numenera, a triangular device with a pistol grip underneath. Sica picked it up and the Trawl grabbed him, pulling him out of phase.
Sica hit the Trawl with his blade-staff ( the Time Dilation Nodule is still active.) The Trawl reeled back and Sica followed up the attack, doing significant damage. To his surprise, the Trawl went berserk ; Sica ducked when he should have dodged and took a major wound. Sica desperately dodged the next attack and ran; managing to escape back into the real world. He was amazed to find that his companions had not even noticed that he had gone.

Neither Lorn or Dorn have healing skills and Itoll doesn’t understand human physiology (he offered to ‘reforge’ Sica but no-one understood what he meant.)

Even Sica realised that it was time to turn back, to recover and re-arm and make plans. They headed back through the labyrinth of tunnels and chambers; at one point they thought they were being followed, it turned out to be a false alarm. Wearingly climbing the steps to (1(6,1), they were ambushed by two Margr. They were totally taken by surprise; in the initial rush both Lorn and Itoll went down. Sica is Driven, his overriding goal is to complete his appointed task. He turned and ran for the exit, leaving the others to their fate.

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
* Implanted larvae (Sica)
*Legacy of Nibovia
Chaos: +1 to 7
XP: 1 (current =4)
Notes:
Stats: 16/14/16
NPC’s:
(Lorn & Dorn 2(6))
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
————————————————————————–
Scene 4 – In Auspar C=7
Modified? No
Date = 5 Prevaen

Back at the “Thaemon’s Eyrie”, Sica took stock of what had happened. He felt no real remorse about leaving the others, as far as he is concerned the Goal is everything. Out in the city he was the target of an attempted robbery, he intimidated the robbers into running off and then sold the Remote Viewer to a buyer for 30 Shins. He used some of the money to settle the hotel bill and upkeep to date (10 Shins). The hotel receptionist informed him that someone called Scylla was looking for him (Scylla the Nano in Green?)

Sica was still looking for a way into the underground tunnels, he followed up on a lead that led him to a ruined house. The entrance hallway looked like someone had been there before, there were two old backpacks in the room. Sica went over to them; they transformed into the leathery forms of Drebil. Sica really isn’t very good at spotting this sort of stuff and he was caught unawares and badly bitten and clawed. He managed to convince the Drebil that he wasn’t a threat.

“Sorry”, they said and reverted to looking like old backpacks.

Moving into the next room, Sica found a set of stairs leading up to the roof. On the west wall was fixed a bell-shaped device; suddenly this emitted a massive thunderous ‘boom’ of sound and Sica was sent flying against the opposite wall. His head hit the floor hard, striking a crystal nodule with a fastening on it. It was a Density Nodule. Not wanting to trigger the sound-cannon again; Sica crawled out of the NE exit into the next room. This was empty and the only exit led back to the entrance hall. Sica did a quick search, to his surprise he tripped a hidden panel that revealed a pair of goggles. He tied them on; everything he looked at was tinted in various shades of green. He shrugged and stored them in his pack.
Crawling back into the ‘thunder’ room, he made for the stairs up to the roof. On the roof there was nothing; as he turned to leave suddenly the Density Nodule in his pack activated and fell out onto the roof. There was nothing else here; the Drebils let him leave and he returned to the hotel.

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
* Implanted larvae (Sica)
*Legacy of Nibovia
Chaos: -1 to 6
XP: 1 (current =5)
Notes:
Stats: 16/14/16
NPC’s:
(Lorn & Dorn 2(6))
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green (currently in Auspar)
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
————————————————————————–
Scene 5: In Auspar C=6
Date 6 Prevaen
Sica is looking to recruit more companions to go back to finding the Marker Stone. He is heading for the Hiring Hall. He knows that the Stone is somewhere in the tunnels below the city; Lorn, Dorn and Itoll the Varjellen died in those tunnels.
Modified? Roll 3 = Yes: There were many warriors and hotbloods seeking work; there was a strong rumour that Holiva was looking to add more height to The Precipice and that the labour gangs would be out impressing people into service.
Sica was able to hire seven hotbloods (all 1(3)) for 1 Shin/day each. He arranged to meet at dawn
the following day. Unknown to Sica, from across the hall he was being watched.

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
*Legacy of Nibovia
Chaos: -1 to 5
XP: 0 (current =5)
Notes:
Stats: 16/14/16
NPC’s:
(Lorn & Dorn 2(6))
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green (currently in Auspar)
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
Seven L1(3) Hotbloods
—————————————————————
Scene 6: In Auspar C=5
Date 6 Prevaen
Sica and the hotbloods are heading back down into the tunnels to find the Marker Stone.
Modified? Roll 3 = Yes: Altered.

“Sica. You need someone to lead these men.” A man blocked their way into the tunnels. The voice was very familiar.

“Dorn! You’re alive. Where’s Lorn?”

“Didn’t make it; he’s somewhere down there. Maybe we’ll find his body.”

Sica was puzzled by Dorn’s reaction; he seemed to be genuine and to exhibit no ill-will towards
him. Still, there was ‘something’ about his manner.

“You must reach the Stone and activate it.”

They entered the catacomb of tunnels that led in all directions; including up and down. Eventually they came to a new area; a circular chamber held a rotating metal sphere. Without warning it spewed out gouts of metal fire, engulfing the party. Four of the hotbloods died instantly; Dorn brushed off burning fragments from his armour.

“Looks like you’ve lost half of your army.”
Exploring further, they found a chamber with two Syzgany Ghouls. Initially unfriendly; Sica negotiated with them, the Ghouls agreed to guide the party; in return Sica told them where to find the bodies of the fallen hotbloods. Dorn was outraged.

“You would sell the bodies of your comrades to these … things?”
The ghouls gave Sica details of a safer route through the tunnels. In a small chamber was a stone pedestal with a small jewelled dragonfly on it. Sica touched it; it whirred into life, flew in a circle around the room and then disappeared into a small crevice. A panel opened; Sica peered inside. A sixth sense warned him and he turned to see Dorn standing with a drawn sword.

“Sica, because of you my brother is dead. These men are loyal to me. Now it is your turn to die.”

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
Chaos: +1 to 6
XP: 0 (current =5)
Notes:
Stats: 16/14/16
NPC’s:
(Dorn 2(6))
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green (currently in Auspar)
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
Three L1(3) Hotbloods
—————————————————————-
Scene 7: The tunnels under Auspar C=6

Sica is facing Dorn in a sword fight over the death of Lorn.
Modified? No

Sica tried reasoning with Dorn. “Dorn, I did not kill your brother. But I have a purpose that must succeed. I have to activate the Stones. Surely you must see that.”

Dorn shook his head. “Scylla is right. Your quest cannot be allowed to succeed.”

Green light blazed and Scylla stepped from the shadows. “We meet again, Sica.” A blaze of green fire leapt from his hand. Sica dodged and rolled; also trying to avoid Dorn’s attack.

Sica pulled his bow a shot off an arrow at Scylla; the arrow missed but Sica was able to tangle Dorn’s sword and pluck it out of his hand. Emerald fire lanced into his shoulder and he nearly dropped the bow. Sica swiftly returned the shot; Scylla fell back, wounded. The Nano fingered a device at his belt and vanished. Dorn stared in horror and ran, not even pausing to recover his sword. The hotbloods just stood still, confused.

“Are you with me?” panted Sica, catching his breath and examining his scorched arm.

End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
Chaos: -1 to 5
XP: 0 (current =5)
Notes:
Stats: 10/14/16
Healing: 1A (+3 pts)
NPC’s:
Lord Sollars (in prison in Charmonde)
Zulkha (student)
Scylla the Nano in Green (currently in Auspar)
Lennite Sect (Qi)
Zhev Law Enforcer (Qi)
Lady Lissia (Secret: Nibovian Wife)
The Fool in Grey (Charlatan in Qi)
Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
Three L1(3) Hotbloods
—————————————————————-
Scene 8: The tunnels under Auspar C=5
Sica and three hotbloods are seeking the Marker Stone that is somewhere in these tunnels.
Modified? Roll 10 = No

They found a room full of old boxes and debris; Sica picked up a child’s toy; noting that it seemed remarkably heavy. Well, dear reader, you might have thought he’d learnt his lesson; having been caught this way once. But no, in his hands the toy transformed into the leathery rat-like form of a Drebil! The vile creature bit Sica; with blood streaming down his face he grabbed the Drebil in both hands and smashed it against the wall; killing it.
M7 (1 MP for the Bash). Rested 10 mins; gained 4 MP (11/14/16)

Headed west, a chamber with a staircase down (2(3, 5).
In the chamber was a floating device; like a three-lobed eye. As they entered, a slab of synth slid over the entrance and an iris opened in the ceiling, a spiral stair unfolded from this. The eye spat forth an invisible force that struck one of the hotbloods; he was instantly shredded into fragments. Sica needed no further prompting; he ducked and ran for the spiral stair.

He emerged in the steamy basement of a bath house in Auspar; he made his way back to ‘Thaemon’s Eyrie’ and rested.
End of Scene
Threads:
*Activate the Marker Stones in:
City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/
Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
Chaos: +1 to 7
XP: 0 (current =5)
Notes:
Stats: 12/9/12
NPC’s:
(A diversion from Mythic; I’ve decided to only list the most relevant NPC’s. All the others are kept on a master list; which may be called into play depending on events.)

Holiva the First, ruler of Thaemor (Auspar)
Scylla the Nano in Green (Auspar)
Dorn (L2)
—————————————————————-
Scene 9 – In Auspar C=7
Date 8 Prevaen
Sica took some time to rest and consider his next moves. He paid over some upkeep (41 shins left) then decided to go seeking a guide, someone who knew their way through the tunnels.
Modified? Roll 8 = No.

After some thought, he decided to go looking for a street brat; the urchins of towns and cities often know the hidden passages well. He found one, a teenage boy with a shaved head and a curious scar on his left forehead. His name was Flinx and he offered his help if Sica did something for him first. When Sica hesitated, a flash of anger crossed the boy’s face and he made a curious whistling sound; tilting his head as if expecting something to happen.

“I want you to find my pet; it is a flying snake. It is called Pip. A girl I knew stole him from me a few days ago. Harmless? Yes, he’s harmless; he doesn’t even have any teeth, so he won’t bite you. He does like thisk-cakes, so take a couple with you.

(GM: Does anyone recognise where I borrowed this idea from?)

“Do you know where she is?”
“No. I just hope she hasn’t sold Pip to get money.”

Sica went out onto the streets and made some enquiries; he struck gold almost immediately. The girl is called Alice IV; she is hiding in ‘Smade’s Tavern’ on the edge of the city and her former owners are looking for her.

(Was this just a little too easy?)

Smade’s Tavern was a run-down establishment on the edge of the city; as Sica pushed the door open a conflicting host of smells overwhelmed him. He headed for the bar; but a large man sitting by the door rose and intercepted him.

“Valarn of Glamis. You must be the man I’m waiting for.”

Sica looked at the speaker. He saw a rugged, tough man wearing a chainmail hauberk. An axe and shield were slung over his shoulder. Most strikingly, his eyes were silver; he had myriads of tiny blue crystals covering his head and his skin – ‘flowed’ is probably the best description. A plate of food stood on the table; Valarn held a half-eaten sandwich and his clothing was spattered with food stains.

“Waiting for? Waiting for me? Why, and who told you?”

Valarn shrugged. “I was half-asleep last night when a voice whispered in my ear that I would be needed to perform a rescue today and that a man wearing orange robes would tell me more.”

“Well, I am puzzled. Let’s see where this goes. I am Sica.” Sica watched Valarn for any reaction to his name; there was none. “The girl we are here to rescue is called Alice IV; let’s go get her.”

On being asked, the barkeep pointed to a door to the cellar; they went through and down some steps. A couple of glowglobes lit the cellar; there were piles of boxes and barrels. In the centre, on a box, was a small cage with a hinged lid; made of a very fine mesh. Inside could be glimpsed a snake-like creature. Sitting by it was Alice IV. She was a female human; as he drew closer Sica was horrified to see that every inch of her exposed skin was covered in tiny pucker marks.

“Alice IV? We are here to rescue you. But what, by the Faith, has happened to you?”

Alice IV turned sad eyes towards him. “I cannot and will not say what I have endured. However, I will take it no longer. If they come for me, then I will release the snake.”

“Yess. They and uss will all pplay the Game”

The dry, multiple whispering voices came from the shadows and two Slidikin came forwards into the light.

“Exxcellent, my dear. You hass brought uss two more for the Game.”

“Jaekals take you!” yelled Valarn, pulling his axe and attacking the nearest Slidikin. His wild blow missed; in return the vile creature plunged a needle injector from its index finger into his upper arm.

Sica’s attack missed; Alice IV pulled the bolt on the cage and Pip flew into the air.

Whatever was in the injector seemed to have no effect on Valarn; he swung his axe and dealt a massive blow to the Slidikin. Sica failed to dodge and was injected in his left side; he felt a burning sensation that soon faded.

Alice IV screamed something at Pip; in return the snake spat a black, smoking gob of something at her that hit her full in the face. She fell backwards, screaming; after a short time the screaming stopped.

“Sscore one ffor the Game. Perhapss we sshould watch”

“Flinx, you frixxin Sarrak. This thing’s not harmless at all. Also; it appears to be out of control”

Sica looked up; there was a net suspended from the ceiling.

“Valarn! Distract the creature and I’ll drop the net on it”

“I’ve got a better idea. You distract it and I’ll drop the net on it.”

Valarn shouted and waved at the creature; Sica threw a thisk-cake right under the net. As the snake swooped for the cake; Sica timed it right and cut the net, which fell and trapped the snake. They got it back into the cage; it apparently went to sleep.

“Excsellent. You are playerss in the Hideous Game. You will know when it iss your turn”

Alice IV was dead; the caustic venom from the snake had destroyed her face and killed her.

They took Pip back to Flinx; who professed to know nothing about any acid-spitting abilities. Sica suspected that he was lying; but Flinx took him down into the tunnels and Sica found the Marker Stone. He activated it and Flinx took him back out.

—————————————————————-
Aftermath
Date: 8 Prevaen
In the ‘Thaemon’s Eyrie’, Sica and Valarn ate a good meal (Valarn took a double portion). Sica pulled out his map. His finger stopped at Rarmon, capital of the Pytharon Empire.

—————————————————————-
GM Notes:
Whew! The longest session so far
The Tunnels were generated using a derivative of the Scarlet heroes system; biased towards N,E,S,W. Even so; the changes in level came very often.

Valarn – New PC
Tier 1
A Tough Glaive who Howls at the Moon

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