The House at Codun

Grateful for the return of his prize Rukomol and true to his word, Ruko Uolis bought the Wayfarers a house on the edge of the town of Codun (in the Pytharon Empire).

                The sale took some time to go through; it was on the 29th of Prevaen when they headed out to view their new house. It wasn’t quite what they were expecting. A screen of hedges and vegetation hid a perfectly circular lake, crossed by four bridges at the north, south east and west. The bridges led to a circular island; on this was a building that looked like a pile of stone globes or spheres piled on top of one another in a random pattern. Many of the spheres had asymmetric curved windows set in them; some were obviously open to the sky, like balconies. There was one doorway, facing south, with a clump of smaller pods / globes next to it.

Galadiir strode towards the doorway. The nearest pod split open to reveal a tooth-lined maw and a set of grasping tendrils – an Orgulous! Galadiir was struck and grasped by the tendrils, which started to pull him into the mouth. Harrylock leapt forward to help him and a second Orgulous opened and attacked him. He was not so lucky; the stinging venom on the tendrils paralysed him and he was dragged towards the creature. Sonny charged his verred and severed the tendril holding Harrylock; Galadiir used Ice Onslaught to break free; almost immediately the creature grabbed him again. A second Ice Onslaught hurt the creature and it released him and closed up. Judson shot successive arrows into the other Orgulous and it released Harrylock and closed up.

They decided to come back later and deal with the Orgulous * Passing through the entrance, they went through a kind of force field and into an entrance hall.

(GM: The entire house is a series of globular rooms arranged on top of each other, linked by curving stairs, or sometimes on the same level, with just a slight step up or down. I gave them an expanded map of the house with named areas showing the links, and let them explore.)

They first of all went to the Force Room; Galadiir and Judson were seized by an invisible hand of force and thrown against the far wall, taking some damage. They continued up the outside stairs to the East Balcony, Harrylock and Sonny went up to the Kitchen.

In the Kitchen, they found it a well-equipped and spotless food preparation area. At one side was a large machine wearing a chef’s hat at a jaunty angle. There was a speaker grille, a dial reading 1-10 and a large green button. Sonny pressed the button. The machine spoke, with an outrageous French accent: –

“Ah, M’seur, you have made an excellent choice. I, Henri-Louis, will prepare for you Sauted Serand Roots with a Scange dressing. It will be ready immediately.”

A panel slid open and out came a plate with a steaming dish of food on it. Sonny tried the food; it was delicious.

Judson turned the dial to ‘10’ and pressed the button.

“Ah, M’seur, you have made an excellent choice for your banquet. I, Henri-Louis, will prepare for you Sauted Serand Roots with a Scange dressing. It will be ready in a short time”.

Sometime later, the panel slid open and out came ten plates of steaming food.

The East Balcony was overgrown with a moss-like flower. Galadiir and Judson went through into the Living Room. There was a dining table and eight chairs, as well as low sofas arranged around an opaque globe. The globe didn’t seem to do anything, so they went through to the Kitchen. Galadiir pressed the button.

“Ah, M’seur, you have made an excellent choice. I, Henri-Louis, will prepare for you a selection of Chatowsis in Arrakhee. It will be ready immediately.”

The panel slid open and a plate of food slid out. It was yellow balls of something in a thick brown sauce; it stank like an unwashed dog. Galadiir picked it up and threw it in the bin.

Judson set the dial to ‘3’ and got three plates of delicious Wegan Bean stew topped with flaked Scarrap. He ate all of them, stating he was hungry**

Galadiir and Judson headed up to the Library, Sonny and Harrylock went down to the Basement. They found the Cellar, stocked with all types of rare vintages; some possibly not of this world. The Imagination Room, with its weird shifting images, gave them a headache. They headed down to the Basement.

                In the Library, they found a windowless room with many synth panels covering the walls. A central dais held a circular panel on a pedestal. Galadiir found how to activate it; the Library was an Asset to any general research tasks. Moving up to the Study, this was another windowless room with a large synth panel on one wall and a table showing a map of the Steadfast. The map was not active.

“There must be a power switch somewhere. Is it in the basement perhaps?”

Sonny and Harrylock entered the basement; it was dark and they were using a glowglobe. Just too late, Harrylock yelled a warning; Sonny walked into a Steel Spider web that sliced into him. The spiders were alerted and moved to attack; Harrylock backed off; yelling to Sonny to do the same. Sonny elected to stand and fight;*** it soon became obvious that he was outmatched.  He did use a tactic of sending an electric charge through the webs; creating an area effect. However, he was bitten and badly hurt by the injected monofilament. He retreated back to the Kitchen.

The Observatory was a hemisphere; open to the sky but covered by a window field (they had found that all of the windows were covered by a force field that stopped wind and rain getting in.) In the centre of the room stood a three-armed device; designed to rotate. A simple examination showed that each of the arms was made to have something attached to it.

In the Upper Hall, Galadiir found a niche in the wall with a bracelet in it. The bracelet had a series of tiny lights set in it, along with the inscription ‘”Mi raba in nehati predvajati enega”. He did not recognise the language; he put on the bracelet.

Back in the Kitchen, they decided to take on the Steel Spiders in the basement. The fight was fairly straightforward, although Harrylock stumbled into a large piece of web and was hurt, this shook him as he is not used to taking damage. Eventually the spiders were killed. ****

Searching the room (taking extra care because of the monofilament web left); Judson found a Needle Pistol and Sonny found a Rejuvenation cypher. A control panel turned on the power to the house; they could seal the front door; turn off the Force Room and operate the lights in each room.

The day was drawing late and they decided to turn in for the night. There were six bedrooms available; each was identical. A bathroom / fresher removed all grime and dirt using sonic force; the bed was a disc on the floor with a suspensor field projected above it.

The following morning they awoke to find Galadiir was missing. A note was in the living area, on the table.

“My friends. The time has come that I must go away. I may return; but I may not be the same person that you knew. I have left some item in my room – use them wisely. G” ****

End of Adventure

XP = 2

===============================================================================================

GM

* Actually, their first thought was to go and find Uolis and beat him up for selling them a turkey.

** The 29th is the night of the Full Moon – Judson’s warning timer isn’t working.

*** Interesting. Sonny’s player (Joe) actually has a phobia against spiders.

**** So does Matt

***** This is actually a parting of the ways. Matt is off to university (in Leicester) and so will not be a regular Wayfarer.  We are hoping that, once he is settled in, that maybe we can Game still on a Tuesday using Skype.

 

 

The City in Shadow – II

The City in Shadow – 2

 

Judson, Harrylock, Galadiir and Sonny have travelled south to the edge of the Cold Desert in search of some stolen Rukomol. They are exploring a ruined city that is in the shadow of a gigantic floating pyramid.

 

Searching the top of the tower, they found a small pedestal holding a metal globe. It was quite light, made of metal and had lots of tiny holes all over it. Sonny set to examining it whilst Judson looked up at the base of the pyramid forty feet above them. There was no obvious way inside to be seen in the black surface. He took a glowglobe from his pack and used the crystal to float up to the base of the pyramid. He hovered for a moment; he saw a large protruding hemisphere surrounded by six smaller hemispherical depressions. As the power of the crystal faded he slowly floated back down.

 

“We don’t know how much power this thing’s got. We need to make another way down”.

 

They had plenty of rope from the packs they had found; they tied it round the pedestal and let it fall to the ground. Galadiir produced the drawing they had found on the bodies.

 

“I think this thing is the key”, said Sonny. He found a small twist-off cap, inside was a cavity with metal wires and contacts. Sonny reached in and used his Charge esotery; the ball sprouted six spindly legs, skittered around for a short time, then switched off. After some debate*, Sonny wired Judson’s portable heating device into it. They used the crystal to get up to the pyramid; Judson switched on the ball. It extruded six legs that fitted into the six depressions; the hemisphere rotated to reveal a tunnel. They entered; Galadiir used a glowglobe to signal to Sonny where to Bolt Ride to, carrying the crystal.

 

The hemisphere rotated them into a large room, at least fifty feet on each side. The room was full of pieces of equipment; control surfaces filled the floor and walls. There were exits in each wall; all but one was sealed. Most disturbingly, from the ceiling hung many metal tendrils or tentacles; often tipped with grasping claws. Several of these were waving and questing around blindly. Climbing out of the cylinder, Galadiir headed for the open exit.

 

“That’s far enough,” commanded a voice. “This is ours and we’ll have no thieves. Go back to where you came.”

 

Galadiir ignored the command and continued towards the exit. A bolt of white light came out of the shadows and hit him full on, knocking him backwards into a clump of tentacles that tried to grab him.

 

“That was a warning. Go back to where you came from. This is our stuff.”

 

Judson drew his verred and ran at the speaker; a balding man briefly illuminated in the light of his own energy bursts. A bolt of white light hit him; stopping him in in his tracks. Harrylock fired off his X-bow and Sonny drew and fired his buzzer; both shots missed. Judson loosed off an arrow that hit the speaker.

 

“Cheale, Derroch, take them. They will not steal our things”

 

Two others stepped forward; a man with a glowing energy blade and a woman with a long writhing whip of coiled metal.  Galadiir used his Ice Onslaught, it missed and several of the metal tentacles grabbed him.

 

“Wait!” yelled Harrylock. “We are not here to fight or hurt you.” ** “We just want to recover the Rukomol. Then we’ll go and leave you alone.” ***

 

“Rukomol?  You mean these things? Take them and go – they are no use to us.”

 

The next chamber had several control panels and a large floor to ceiling cylinder filled with a luminous blue mist. Also in the chamber were several unhappy Rukomol, one was missing a leg.

 

“We sent the Collector out to get some items to get through the doors. It came back with these things.”

 

An examination of the panels showed that the mist was a collection device; it could be set to collect technological or mechanical devices. It could also be set to return them; Sonny figured out how to do this. The mist flowed out of the cylinder, engulfed the room; and then vanished. So did the Rukomol and Harrylock.

 

“He’s been vaporised!”

 

“No, I don’t think so. Remember, he’s part mechanical as well.”

 

Despite Galadiir wanting to stir up trouble ****, Sonny and Judson persuaded him to leave the pyramid and return to Codun.

 

“Go, and don’t come back.”

 

They used the crystal to descend down to the tower and then climbed down the rope to the courtyard. Judson retraced the route back out of the city and they headed back to Codun. There they found the Rukomol safely back in their stables and Harrylock sitting in the tavern waiting for them.

 

Uolis was true to his word and purchased a house for them on the edge of the town. *****

 

XP = 2

————————————————————————–

GM

* Galadiir point-blank refused to put his Singularity Detonation cypher in it – to be fair; it’s difficult to see how it would have made it work; a bit like connecting a nuclear device to your central heating to get some hot water for a bath.

** “I am” – Galadiir

*** Unusual for Harrylock to string this many words together.

**** Why?

***** “Can we have a tree in the garden?” – Judson. “Certainly. Normal or flesh-eating?”

The City in Shadow – I

After their surreal experience in Xuanicli, the Wayfarers decided to find somewhere relatively normal to rest for a few days. They headed west and, on 10th Prevaen, came upon a town called Codun. The town was busy as the final of the Rukomol racing season was being held. Rukomol are huge biomechanical insects; ridden by a team of two riders.

** SPOILER ALERT! **

                This is a published adventure, out of ‘Weird Discoveries.’ I think that it ran differently enough (due to the ‘flex-keying’ system); I will endeavour not to reveal any hidden spoilers (unless they were my own). *

                In Codun, the Wayfarers rested and Harrylock found a repair shop that catered for the Rukomol trainers.  He picked up some more bits and had Sonny help install them. ** They decided to have a day out at the Rukomol races; the cost was two shins to enter and one shin for food and drink. It all came down to the final race; Galadiir bet three shins on Rukomol Number Six, ridden by Ruko Uolis and Ruko Tallek. The others spread their bets around; however Number Six was the favourite and won easily. *** Galadiir won thirty shins. He also got to meet Uolis, who invited him and the others back to his house for a celebration.

                Uolis had been a Rukomol rider for most of his life and was open, honest and generous. Number Six was his best beast though and he was considering retiring; having made a lot of money in his career. Sometime during the party, there was a commotion outside. They all crowded outside to see a sparkling, luminous blue mist receding down the street and into the distance.

                The following morning, at their hotel, they were awakened by a hammering at the door. It was Uolis.

“Come quickly! Something terrible has happened.”

                Out at the Rukomol stables, several of the beasts were missing, including Number Six. All that was left was a single severed leg.

                Judson used his tracking skill to examine the ground; while Galadiir questioned Uolis and Tallek. Neither of them knew of any sworn enemies; overall the Rukomol racing circuit is small and relatively friendly. Judson found no tracks; it was if the ground had been swept clean by a giant brush. Sonny examined the leg; it had been severed cleanly. Suddenly it jumped up and began hopping on the spot. It started to hop off to the south-east; pausing at times to allow them to catch up.

“Go, follow it”, said Uolis. “Bring back Number Six and the others. If you do, I will buy you a house.

“A house? Where?”

“Here, in Codun.”

Galadiir spoke to the others. “It would be good to have a base, somewhere we could call home.”

                For a day and a half the leg hopped south-east and the Wayfarers followed it. The wind blew cold; they were approaching the Cold Desert. Finally, ahead they saw a black pyramid; as they drew closer they saw it was floating in the air above a ruined city; the city was completely in the shadow of the pyramid. The leg stopped at the corner of the north-west wall and fell over, inert. There were two ways into the city; from the north or the west. Judson and Harrylock west into the west entrance; Sonny and Galadiir went into the north entrance. ****

                They quickly found that the buildings of the city were not roofed; and that it was dark under the shadow of the pyramid; despite the sunlight outside. Sensing that the whole thing was a labyrinth of twisting walls and islands; Judson and Harrylock climbed up on the wall and looked over the city. Eighty feet above them was the black, featureless underside of the pyramid. Suddenly the wall gave way beneath their feet and they landed in a courtyard. There was only one exit, and that was blocked by a huge reptilian form; a lizard with a huge maw and a red hexagonal crystal set in its forehead. The creature hissed; stalked forward and an invisible hand of force threw Harrylock into the far wall …

                Galadiir and Sonny entered from the north and found themselves in a twisting labyrinth of passages, chambers and dead ends. Many of the areas had remains of furnishings, stone chairs and tables and odd, abstract carvings. Eventually they found a chamber, draped over a stone bench were three bodies. They were human, it was not clear what had killed them, but tiny green lizards were swarming all over them. A search revealed three explorers packs from which Galadiir took three working glowglobes and Sonny took the three lengths of rope. They also found a piece of scrip with a drawing of a round object with several thin lines coming out of it at different angles. A scribbled note said “use this to open the door.” There was nothing else in the packs of any use, other than a small green ball that Galadiir took. After a short time they came into a large central square, directly under the centre of the pyramid. Here stood a tall shiny cylinder, Galadiir determined that it was numenera but there was no way to open it.

                Harrylock shook his head and picked himself up; Judson readied his bow and shot an arrow at the beast, which missed. The creature opened its mouth and went after Judson, who pulled his verred and struck a blow at the creatures head, aiming for the crystal. He hit the creature and found that it had quite tough skin.

“Run!” he yelled to Harrylock. “It’s too tough for us to fight”.

“Where to? There’s only one exit and that thing’s in the way”.

“Go through the wall. Break it down. You’re good at smashing things”.

                Harrylock turned and punched the wall with all his might; it teetered and, with a roar and cloud of dust, collapsed on top of him. Judson was bitten by the creature, he backed off and shot an arrow at it. It was an exceptionally bad shot; the arrow deflected off something and hit his shoulder. He ran back to Harrylock and helped pull him from the rubble; the beast took a final bite as they ran.

“Hee Hee”, came a cackling voice. “He’s got the taste of you now”.

                Back in the centre square, Galadiir and Sonny were still trying to open the silver cylinder, but to no avail. Galadiir kicked at it; the green ball sprang out of his pocket; hovered in front of his face and whistled; then returned to his pocket. Sonny examined the nearest tower; it was built of solid stone and was about forty feet high. There didn’t seem to be an obvious way of getting to the top. Sonny prepared to use his Bolt Rider esotery to travel up to the top of the tower when a noise disturbed them. Crawling into the square was a huge reptilian creature with a red hexagonal crystal set in its forehead.

                Galadiir’s first thought was to use his Stasis esotery on it; a foolish thought as the creature was at least twelve feet long. Instead, he used his Ice Onslaught esotery; he messed it up really badly and engulfed himself in the ice cloud. The creature hissed and looked at Sonny. An invisible hand of force picked him up and threw him backwards against the wall of the tower. Galadiir pulled his ice blade and moved in to attack. The creature turned on him; Galadiir managed to dodge the attack. Sonny dived forward and charged up his verred, he struck deep, the creature roared, turned and again Sonny was hurled backwards into the wall.

“I can’t take much more of this damage”, he thought.

                Judson and Harrylock stared at the apparition in front of them. It appeared to be a bag of rags with long straggly hair; a longer look revealed that it was a woman, with wild staring eyes. She was chewing on one of the green lizards. She was babbling and chanting lots of things; Judson tried to make sense of it. Harrylock got a little more forceful and the woman shot him with a dart from her fingertip.

“Lyra didn’t like that”

Finally they gathered that the crystal in the lizard’s forehead was something they needed. They left her cackling away and set off to find the others. The last coherent thing she said was “don’t forget to unlock the door”.

                They followed the sound of fighting to the central square in time to see Sonny, battered and bruised, struggling to his feet and Galadiir trying to hold off the creature with his ice blade. Harrylock and Judson ran forward and gave it a one-two; finally the creature rolled over, dead.

                They rested for a time; then Judson noticed that the corpse was being attacked by a swarm of the green lizards. He ran over and excised the red gem from its head. Galadiir examined it; it could be made to project a beam of force that lifted things into the air ***** They used the crystal to get to the top of the tower, Sonny followed, carrying the crystal, by using his Bolt Rider esotery.

To be continued ….

——————————————————————————————————

GM:

* I liked the adventure and the ‘Show Em’ pictures. I didn’t like the map itself; I find it difficult to describe dungeon passages and rooms to the players without their eyes glazing over. Nice maps are all well and good; but only the GM sees them. I use a nodal system of areas linked by connectors (of various kinds); something I’ve done for 20+ years as a GM. I redrew the map into my own style.

** Harrylock now has stats M30/1, S15/1, I7/0 (!)

*** A simple race system of six markers moving along a track by a die roll, the favourite got a bonus. He could have lost!

**** AARRGH! Yet again, they have split the party up! Someday, they are going to run across something they can’t handle.

***** He actually found this by accident; he was thrown forty feet into the air. Sonny was able to catch him as he fell.

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

RIP Tyrano Horse

As their aneen been killed (by having it’s head sucked off by something); the Wayfarers wrote deep, heartfelt messages on its grave.

“I always thought it’d be me to eat you. Love Judson xxx”

“We will never forget you, or how delicious your meat was – Galadiir xxxx”

“Long live Tyrano, the gel that held the group – Sir Harrylock, Hunter, Scholar, Gentleman”

“You will always be my true friend,  were taken too soon. I hope you are a good burger. SS. xxxxx I miss you”

 

Xuanicli

 

 

It was 7th Prevaen and the Wayfarers were heading north-west, away from Grailstone and into the Pytharon Empire, They entered an area of land where the vegetation was strange, made of clumps of jelly-like material, with the occasional larger, bulbous tube. The air smelt rank and like vinegar. Their pack aneen started to get jittery, despite Sonny’s attempts at calming it down. Suddenly, the ground opened beneath their feet …

 

They passed slowly through a suffocating, spongy mass until they fell into a globular chamber that smelt strongly of vinegar. The walls were sickly white and translucent. A diffuse light came from somewhere beyond the walls and occasionally dark shapes could be seen moving about. A screaming assaulted their ears!

 

“Xuanicli! Xuanicli!”

 

The sound came from a large fleshy toothless mouth in one part of the wall. Hovering around it were three tiny hexagonal machines, armed with a battery of nippers, scissors and scalpels, which they were using to pick apart the mouth. A hasty discussion on what to do resulted in them trying to negotiate with the machines. The machines intent was obvious as they started to attack the Wayfarers. However, they were no match; Galadiir froze one in a Stasis Field, Judson took one out with a superb arrow shot and Harrylock destroyed the last one. He examined it and found that several of its parts could be used to repair him. He gathered as much as he could and Sonny did some repairs.

 

The mouth was still saying the word “Xuanicli! Xuanicli!” No-one had any idea of what it meant. Next to it, hidden in a fleshy fold in the wall, was a bivalve, open and large enough to walk through. Galadiir elected to take this route; the others decided to be swallowed by the mouth*

 

Harrylock, Sonny and Judson entered the mouth; with an audible ‘gulp’ they were swallowed; pushed along by peristalsis down a twisting passage; through several chambers, to exit into a globular chamber similar to the one they had left. A number of flagellum were writhing around; they opened tri-partite mouths and lunged at the Wayfarers. Sonny drew his Varjellen sword and struck at the nearest; he hit it, but felt a sharp pain on the pack of his leg as another bit him. A poison coursed up into his brain and he felt an overwhelming urge to climb back into the orifice they had just emerged from. Harrylock ran for one of the exits; a bivalve again; he was bitten but the poison did not affect him. Judson jumped over the flagella and grabbed Sonny; shaking him hard. Sonny snapped out of the trance and they both ran for to join Harrylock. Pushing through the valve, a few drops of an acidic substance fell on them, burning their skin.

 

Galadiir made his way along the tunnel, emerging into a circular chamber that was a pleasant green colour. Piled around the chamber were small green fruit, like very large grapes. Galadiir examined one; then squashed it. It gave off a pleasant, sweet odour. He started to collect some; the walls began oozing yellow-white liquid and a large glob of an acidic substance fell on him; doing a chemical burn to his exposed shin. There was another bivalve exit; he went out of this one, into another passage. He noticed that the walls and floor were becoming moist.

 

“Whoah!” Judson teetered on the edge of a sheer drop. The tube/passage ended at an ovoid chamber. About twenty feet below was a roiling mass of yellow-white liquid and rivulets of yellow liquid dribbled down the walls. There were two exits, but there was no obvious way to get to them. Judson took the Merkadian blaster-sword that he had found** and jabbed it into the wall. He was rewarded with a spray of caustic acid full in the face; outside a shape moved towards the wall and a protoplasmic creature oozed in and repaired the damage.

 

“It’s a white blood cell.”

 

“I think we’re in the stomach of whatever this thing is. Falling into that down there would not be a good idea.”

 

“We need to go back and try another way out.”

 

They retraced their steps; noticing that the passage was becoming moist. A couple of drips of acid fell on them as they reached the flagella / snake chamber. Judson and Sonny used their Speed to good advantage and weaved and dodged across to the other bivalve. Harrylock was not so lucky; he was bitten several times but somehow shrugged off the effects of the poison. As he reached the valve and entered the tunnel his head jerked up.

“There’s something else in here with us.”

 

Galadiir entered a globular chamber to see a disturbing sight. In the centre sat a humanoid, obviously alien creature. It had large purple eyes; glazed over, an exposed brain, and stunted limbs with no hands. It was surrounded by a myriad of jelly-like globes, of all sizes. *** From the ceiling descended a long stalk that plunged deep into the exposed brain. Dimly outside could be glimpsed a huge black mass.

As he stood there; without warning a crippling mental assault stripped his mind. Galadiir realised that this foe was beyond him to tackle. There was another bivalve exit; he ran for this and got there; not before suffering another crippling mental attack. Galadiir fell into the passage; his head on fire. Dimly, he heard voices: – it was Judson, Harrylock and Sonny.

 

“Don’t go that way!” they yelled.

 

“Oh! I was about to say “Don’t go that way.”

 

Galadiir took some time to rest, even though the tube was now dripping with fluid. They decided to take on the tentacle-snakes again; Galadiir was bitten as was Sonny. Galadiir climbed in through the orifice and found him thigh-deep in a burning acidic substance. He managed to shake off the trance and dived back out into the chamber. Harrylock sliced off the top of another snake; the others abruptly pulled back into the floor, leaving no trace of their passing. Galadiir examined one of the ‘dead’ ones to see if it had a poison sac or gland; the poison seemed to be delivered through a narrow tube from somewhere else.

 

“We need to find a way out. This place is too frizzin weird.”

 

With the withdrawal of the flagella, some objects became visible. Despite being hurt, Galadiir the numenera expert took a look at them. There was a red hexagonal crystal; a Retaliation Nodule, designed to be fixed to armour; what looked like an artificial index fingernail that would create a Monoblade. The final device, a small serrated disc with a small switch on it, he couldn’t figure out. In the end, he just pressed the button. The device buzzed into life, swarmed up his arm and gave him a perfect close shave; then shut down. Galadiir was a bit annoyed; he had been rather proud of his ‘wizard’s beard’. He tricked Judson into having a shave as well.

 

Galadiir had been hurt by the acid and was Impaired. Despite the trick that Galadiir had pulled on him, Judson offered to carry him. Heading back to the chamber with the liquid; the place Judson termed “the stomach”. There were two other exits; fleshy orifices like the one they stood in. The only way was to climb.

 

“Don’t puncture the walls,” warned Judson. The walls were rubbery and damp. He judged the climb to be difficult if he was carrying Galadiir as well; he called on all his training and skill and completed it successfully.

 

“If I fall in there, I’m dead”, declared Harrylock ****

 

Of course, they had no rope of any kind. Sonny raised his arms and, with a crackle of discharging electricity, rode the lightning across the chamber to Judson and Galadiir. Harrylock shrugged and attempted the climb. To everyone’s surprise (including his), he made it easily.

 

A short passage led to a horizontal ovoid chamber. There was another bivalve exit, but in the narrow end was a closed tricuspid valve.

 

“That’s got to be the way out. Come on!”

 

As they ran across the chamber; huge acidic globs started to drip from the ceiling, spattering them with burning damage.

 

“The valve’s closed. How do we open it?”

 

“Stand back,” said Sonny. He charged up his verred and touched the valve, which bunched closed, then sprang open in a reflex action; then shut again. He did it again and again; Judson, Harrylock and Galadiir got out. Finally, he did it for the last time and got through; burnt badly from the acid. The other side was a narrow fleshy tube that they had to crawl up; the climb got steeper until they crawled out from the top of one of the bulbous tube-plants. They were not far from where they had fallen in.

 

“Tyrannohorse!” cried Sonny. Their aneen was lying on the ground, dead. Something had sucked its head off.

 

Not wanting to stay around, they moved on to where the vegetation seemed normal, then rested overnight.

 

During the night, Galadiir had a strange dream; he woke because somebody whispered “daddy, daddy” into his ear.

 

END

 

XP = 1

—————————————————————————

GM:

* Again, they have split the party up

** During ‘In The Key of Time’

*** A Quotien, although Galadiir failed to recognise it. This was its hiding place, until the Brain Drainer found it.

**** In any Game, climbing is not Harry’s strong suit.

 

This adventure was written using my Quick Adventure system. The Wayfarers really enjoyed it; however I think it would have benefited from some visuals; illustrations to show them. I love the ‘Show-em’s’ in ‘The Devil’s Spine’ and ‘Weird Discoveries’. I would certainly be interested in a sourcebook simply full of art that could be used.

Grailstone IV

In the laboratory, they searched around for clues and other items. Judson found that the blobs in the cylinder reacted when he touched the cylinder; some moved towards him, some merged and moved away. In a total fit of madness, he embraced the cylinder and got Harrylock to do the same from the other side. The results were startling. The blobs broke up into thousands of swirling motes and a chirruping alarm sounded …

They decided to run further into the complex, reasoning that the guards would probably check on Sonny and Galadiir first. The door led into a triangular corridor, a further door led back into the hospital area. Judson peered in; there were the human children still on the beds, with three Varjellens working at the monitoring panels. The Varjellen patients and Kasten were gone. They sneaked through and out of the other door; exiting the building via the security room. They returned to the village and found somewhere to sleep.

The following morning they were awoken by the thunder of the grailstone; after breakfast they headed for the courtroom. Tienne and a squad of Varjellen soldiers intercepted them.

“You have seen too much. You are arrested.”

For a moment it looked like Harrylock would make a stand; Judson convinced him that taking on a Varjellen Death Squad would not be a good idea and so they surrendered.* They were taken to an empty triangular Varjellen house and locked in.

In the courtroom; Galadiir and Sonny looked in vain for Judson and Harrylock. Mayor Sollars opened the trial.

“We have discussed the evidence presented and have reached the conclusion based on the fact that the Scrivener cannot lie. Sonny Silver is …”

“Wait!” called Galadiir. “I have one more piece of evidence to present.” Tienne and Mallis registered annoyance (it is hard for a human to read a Varjellen’s emotions).

“Scrivener! Draw a full body picture of Sonny Silver as you see him today. Now draw a full body picture of him as you saw him on the day of the killings. Hold them up for comparison.”

There was a collective gasp around the court. The two pictures were identical, except that the Sonny on the day of the murder clearly had six fingers on each hand.

“So what!” yelled Constable Brandick? “Many of us are like that.” He held up his hands; he too had six fingers on each hand. Galadiir looked round the room; several humans had six fingers and, significantly, none of them seemed to be a twin.

Tienne leaned over and spoke quietly to Mayor Sollars; who rose and announced “This trial is adjourned. All villagers will return to their homes.”

Galadiir quickly used his Read Mind esotery. Mayor Sollars mind was blank; the overriding thought was to adjourn the trial and return people home. The humans began to leave; Galadiir made to follow them out but his way was blocked by two Varjellens.

“You must remain here. You know too much.” Galadiir looked behind him; two more Varjellens guarded the door to leading to the laboratory.

Back in the house; Judson scouted out the structure. The walls were made of synth; fairly tough. Harrylock selected a spot and punched it with his full strength**; after a couple of blows the wall gave way and there was a hole big enough for them to get through. They ran to the woods on the edge of the village and hid, using a vantage point to observe the court building. They saw the line of humans leaving; it looked like they were being escorted by the Varjellens. They crept closer and tried to follow a group of Varjellens back inside.

“State name and purpose”. They had forgotten about the security system!

The Wayfarers were all gathered in the courtroom, guarded by ten Varjellen soldiers. Tienne and Mallis entered the room. Tienne addressed them all.

“You have seen and know too much about what is being done here. *** Your minds will be re-forged and you are allowed to leave. It, however, (Tienne indicated Sonny), stays here.”

“Sonny comes with us. He is a free man; he did not kill anyone”

“It belongs to us. It was made here. It did not kill anyone; it was its twin. It was bought here to lure the twin back to continue the experiment.”

“Sonny was not made here, he had a mother. Look, he’s got a navel!” Sonny lifted his shirt; to their amazement, where his navel should be was three concentric rings of scar tissue. Judson remembered seeing these on the children in the hospital.

“It is part of an experiment; its twin mutated and became murderous. The experiment must continue to eradicate this problem before it occurs again.”

“Let’s get out of here,” said Sonny and activated a cypher; a jewelled belt that produced a plane of force, separating off some of the guards and Mallis. The Varjellens produced their Intellect-draining web guns and opened fire; whilst the other guards drew swords and advanced into melee. Galadiir froze one with his Ice Onslaught and went after Tienne. Sonny activated another cypher, a defensive Time Dilation nodule that made him very difficult to hit. Harrylock was struck by two of the webs and became Impaired; he had to take some time out to recover. Suddenly there was a burst of light and a Varjellen fell; bitten cleanly in two! The jubilation that the Wayfarer’s showed **** quickly turned to concern as the Fiend attacked both Harrylock and Sonny as well. Tienne backed out of the door; Galadiir unleashed a massive Ice Onslaught and Tienne fell; part-frozen in ice. With a massive crunching sound the ice splintered as Tienne was bitten in half by the Fiend.

With the death of Tienne the guards stopped fighting. Sonny reached over and took Tienne’s Varjellen sword as a memento. They left the village; no-one tried to stop them. Before they left, Galadiir spoke to Mayor Sollars and told them that the Varjellens were experimenting with breeding twins in the village and that anyone with six fingers was a mutation. Mayor Sollars calmly told him that she didn’t care; Galadiir got the impression that once the Varjellens had a new leader then everything would continue exactly as it had before.

They headed north-west, heading for the Steadfast. That evening; a glowing red sphere of energy approached over the trees and hovered. Inside were six figure; the nearest one waved to Sonny.

“Greetings, twin brother. I liked how you dealt with the lizards; the Hand of Six thanks you. See you in Akkoris.”

The sphere rose and flew off over the trees.

THE END

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GM notes

* See what I mean about red herrings? Never once did I refer to the Varjellen soldiers as being a Death Squad.

** Using Effort

*** The PC’s, of course, protested that they knew nothing; of course the Varjellens didn’t believe them.

**** “It’s Barry!” They have named the Penumbra Fiend and consider it a pet!

Again, a really good Game, with some interesting twists. Also, finally a good use of cyphers (the Wayfarers are reluctant to use them for some reason.)

XP:

2 for the adventure, 2 for finding out what was happening in Grailstone and 1 for Sonny for closing a Thread. All of the Wayfarers are now Tier 2.