The Search for Caidan Phorr

The Mygrant City
The Search for Caidan Phorr - Session 1

Seeking their fortune, a group of Ninth Worlders – Haro the Nano, the Glaives Karner and Tanasia, and the Lattimor Yeti Foan – have accepted a bounty contract for a man named Caidan Phorr. The bounty has been issued by Evara Madan, a member of the city council of Qi. Madan has provided no details, only that she wants Phorr returned. His being alive is not a requirement of the contract, only that he (or at least his head) is returned to her.

The only information they have is that Phorr was heading south, towards Rarmon in the Pythoran Empire. The hunters, some with their own reasons for leaving Qi anyway, have traveled south in pursuit.

During their travels, one night they hear what they at first think is distant thunder. They think nothing about it at first but when dawn arrives they see that a city has appeared on the plain relatively near them; a city that was not there the night before.

Haro recognizes the city. It is Mygrant; a city that moves throughout the world. It travels from place to place looking for the things it needs to support itself and its people. It has been known to trade with other cities and travelers if it cannot find what it needs on its own.

As they watch, a number of large, bio-mechanical “spiders” emerge from the city. Standing about three meters tall and four meters in length, they start moving through the area on their 5 legs. Every now and then one of them stops. A pair of tentacles “grow” from its underside and it digs something from the soil beneath it and brings it close to its underside where an eye appears and examines what it has found. Often it discards the found object but equally often it pulls it inside itself. The “spider” then resumes searching the area.

Haro also recognizes the “spiders”. They are “Collectors”: automatons tasked with the retrieval of whatever Mygrant has decided it needs at the moment.

The hunters go see what the Collectors are discarding. They find a dull crystal; its surface cracked and pitted. One of them realizes that the center of the crystal is hollow.

They decide to ignore the Collectors for now but think that the city may have some information on Phorr. They approach the city and find it surrounded by towers. Each tower has a pair of walls extending from it but the walls do not meet, leaving multiple openings into the city.

As they approach a strange creature emerges from the city. It stands about one-and-a-half meters tall and looks like an eyeball on top of a bird’s leg. The eyeball approaches each of the hunters in turn and looks them over.

When it reaches them it stands and stares at Haro for a moment, during which time she feels a mental pressure of some kind. After a few seconds the eye-creature hops over to Tanasia. He suddenly feels as if his entire life is being played out in front of him. He is momentarily stunned by a wash of memories, many of which he has not thought of in years. As this happens, a gong sounds from within the city.

Karner and Yeti Foan are also visited by the eye-creature but only feel the mental pressure. The creature hops away. Nothing else seems to happen and after a short discussion the characters enter the city.

Inside they find an odd scatter of buildings. There are no “streets” as such; the buildings are scattered about almost looking as if a child had thrown a handful of blocks down. They start making their way through the maze of buildings towards the center.

They are somewhat surprised to find no people. Looking around they see someone looking at them from a window but that person closes the shutter before they can get a good look at them. They try the door but it is locked.

Rather than try to do anything with that building they try the doors on several other buildings. Eventually they force their way into one. It turns out to be a shop of some kind, but the front displays have been pulled inside the building and the interior has been rearranged and “compressed”. They realize the buildings somehow fold in on themselves when the city moves and that these have not “unfolded”, indicating that perhaps the city does not plan to remain here long.

They exit the shop and find two more of the eye-creatures outside. The creatures repeat the stare that was done outside the city. Haro and Yeti Forn experience the wash of memories. Each time, they hear another gong from the center of the city.

They then hear mechanical noises from both the center of the city and from towards the perimeter. Looking, they see one of the collectors approaching them from each direction.

The collectors attack the characters, attempting to grapple them with their tentacles and pull them inside themselves. The characters at first attempt to fight back, then decide to flee. Unfortunately they run directly into a third collector.

The fight resumes and the characters are eventually victorious. Looking around, they see that a number of the city’s inhabitants have been alerted by the melee and are looking at them from various windows; though all of them still remain remain inside their buildings. The characters approach one building and the inhabitant opens the door and calls them inside.

Once there, they notice that the inside of this building is also compressed inward like the last they entered. A woman is in back, two children behind her, and is holding a quarterstaff seemingly made of light. The man who allowed them in first asks who they are then, without waiting for an answer, tells them that they have been identified by one of the “scanners” as something useful to the city and that they need to leave before they are “collected” and become part of the city forever.

The characters ask the man what is going on and he tells them that the city has stopped at the site of an ancient battle to collect the memories of those who died there. The characters appeared and were scanned and now the city thinks they are some of the memories that need to be collected. They will be taken to the library unless they can escape.

Without questioning further the characters thank the man for his information and immediately leave. They manage to get outside the city’s walls but see three of the collectors heading for them.

The characters attempt to flee but Karner falls behind. The rest of the group turns back to protect their colleague and the collectors are upon them.

The fight is difficult. Often the collectors grab one or more of the characters in their tentacles but the character is almost always able to break free. At one point Tanasia is pulled within a collector that attempts to leave with them, but a fortuitous use of a Cypher frees him. Eventually all of the collectors are destroyed.

Other collectors start towards the characters but they are now far enough away that they are able to evade them. Finally, a gong sounds from within Mygrant and all of the collectors leave their searching and pursuit and return to the city. Soon afterwards, the walls fold into the towers, all of the buildings sprout millipede-like legs, and the city starts moving off to the north. The characters relax and rest, then resume their pursuit.

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The Mechanical Beast
The Search for Caidan Phorr - Session 2

Arriving in Rarmon, Haro and Karner leave to take care of personal business while Tanasia and Yeti Forn begin their search for Caiden Phorr. They look through the scant info they have on Phorr and note that an interest in games of chance is listed as one of the few bits of information about him. They decide to check out the gambling houses of the city.

They are told that the premiere gaming establishment is called “Garran’s”, identified by the statue of a grazing garran out front. Yeti Forn decides that as a Lattimor he would be too obvious entering the facility and so Tanasia enters on her own.

Inside she sees a luxurious gaming hall, with numerous humans and abhumans wandering about in elegant clothing. While Tanasia was not denied entrance, they both realize that they would stand out within. They decide they need to earn enough shins to buy better clothing, at least, before they can enter.

To that end, they search for a more “rough-and-tumble” facility. They find that an inn known as “Charan’s Hoof” near the trading district will most likely be where they need to visit.

They quickly find someone who is looking to hire freelancers. The first job they are offered is one to retrieve an item from the estate of a member of the Rarmon city council, but are warned that doing so may compromise their standing with the city guard. They turn this job down.

They are then told about a job outside of town. A group of raiders with some sort of “mechanical beast” have been attacking trade caravans heading to and from the city. There is a reward of 250 shins for anyone who is able to get rid of the raiders. They decide this is something they can handle and accept the job.

They head out to where the raids have been taking place and find a small cluster of mountains that one of the main roads detours around. At the edge of this odd mountain cluster a canyon enters the mountains. They see two people standing guard near the entrance to this canyon and, after a bit of stealthy observation, see two more keeping watch from openings higher in the hillside. They dig in to observe the area for a while.

After watching overnight something finally happens; a group of six raiders leaves the canyon and starts up the road to the east. The two wait a bit then start following them.

They manage to catch up relatively quickly. They step out of cover and loose arrows at the raiders.

The raiders immediately turn and four of them charge the characters. The other two raise unwieldy looking metal frameworks to their shoulders and fire something in the direction of the characters.

The characters both dodge and a plume of purple “smoke” appears where the projectiles from the launchers land. The smoke does not dissipate despite the breeze and the characters both wisely avoid it.

Combat ensues and the characters are easily able to defeat their attackers. Near the end, one of the projectiles misses the characters but lands on one of the other raiders. That raider screams as growths start erupting from his body and he collapses. The players eventually defeat all of the raiders.

The raiders all turn out to be badly emaciated, wearing rags and (other than the two with the launchers) armed only with rusty swords. Of the two with launchers, one of them seems to be no longer functional but the other still has what resembles a caterpillar’s chrysalis attached to it. Tanasia takes the launcher.

The raider who was hit with a projectile from the launcher can no longer be found. Where he was there is now a large plant about 2 meters in height. The plant is covered with purple berries that smell wonderful but both characters for some reason decide to avoid them.

With the raiding party eliminated the characters return to their hidden observation site near the canyon. Most of the day passes, then a horrible mechanical howling sound begins deep within the canyon. Shortly thereafter, the “mechanical beast” emerges from the canyon.

The “beast” is a bizarre-looking amalgamation of what looks like junk. A roughly-rectangular box sits atop somewhere between 8 and 12 legs (the exact number seems to fluctuate as the thing moves). Jets of flame randomly shoot out from it in all directions and four more raiders stand atop it. The horrible howling sound continues and Yeti Forn finds himself terrified by it, but he manages to force himself to attack it anyway.

The duo both fire on it, Yeti with his crossbow and Tanasia with the launcher. Both miss and the beast turns towards them. The two guards near the gate leave their posts and advance on them as well.

The characters quickly find themselves at a disadvantage. The clouds of flame and smoke are making it difficult to attack the riders on the beast’s back while the beast itself is seemingly impervious to their attacks. Then, with an exceptional shot, Tanasia manages to land a projectile directly in the center of the riders. All of them scream as they are enveloped by the purple cloud as the plant growths erupt from their bodies, but the beast continues to attack with its flame jets.

By this point the two guards have closed with the characters and are attacking, though their attacks are relatively easy to avoid, and two other raiders have left the canyon and are running towards them. In desperation, Yeti uses a Cypher to contact the Datasphere and asks how they can defeat the beast. He immediately somehow realizes that it is extremely vulnerable on its underside.

Ignoring the guards now surrounding them, Yeti overcomes his fear and charges the beast, ducking past its flames and rolling under it to strike with all his effort at the vulnerable point on its underside with his maul. Immediately flames start erupting from beneath the beast. As Yeti Foan and Tanasia flee the area the beast staggers, emits an even louder howl, and explodes.

The two pick themselves up and turn to face the four raiders still surviving. Tanasia points the launcher at them and points out that the two of them just destroyed their beast and suggests they stand down.

The raiders lower their weapons and one of them addresses the characters. They have no choice but to attack everyone, they say. Their “Mother” needs to feed, and if they do not provide her with new victims they will have to let her feed on them. They plead with the characters to let them feed the Mother.

Yeti decides that the raiders are brainwashed cultists and that they cannot reason with them. The characters attack and kill the four remaining raiders.

The characters now decide they need some time to rest and recover before entering the canyon to finish the job. They retreat some distance away and set up camp to rest.

After a while they are discussing their next move when suddenly three tentacles erupt from the ground around them. Tanasia is grabbed by a pair of them and what they realize is the “Mother” erupts from the ground. The “Mother” is a fleshy mass that is constantly forming and absorbing eyes, mouths and other body parts. It pulls Tanasia towards itself, attempting to press one of its mouths against it.

Both characters try to attack the Mother but find themselves continually having to escape from the grapples of the tentacles. Tanasia is slowly being drained of Intellect while Yeti finds his attacks ineffectual.

Finally, in desperation, Yeti activates a Cypher that lets him go out of phase. With time to think but unable to interact with the normal world he watches helplessly as Tanasia is grabbed and drained further.

Yeti decides to try a desperate act. Still out of phase, he steps inside the Mother itself. There, he empties the contents of his pack, steps away, and cancels the out of phase effect. Immediately the pack’s contents materialize inside the Mother. With a scream, it and the tentacles collapse to the ground.

The battle over, the two patch themselves up as best they can then return to the canyon. The few remaining raiders avoid them as they search the area. They find a shallow well surrounded by bodies which they decide was where the Mother had been living. Nearby is a large pile of junk, debris and items taken from the missing caravans. The pile looks as if the items making it up have partially melted and merged together, and a part of it looks like a “mouth”, but they decide to leave it alone.

With nothing else of interest found they collect what Cyphers they can and return to Rarmon.

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The Murdered Heir (Part 1)
The Search for Caidan Phorr - Session 3

Back in Rarmon, Tanasia and Yeti return to Charan’s Hoof and deliver the news to their contact, Sinna Tor. Tor pays them then indicates that he may have more work for them. The two agree to return later.

The two first go on a shopping spree with their recently-earned shins. Since Haro and Karner are still away on their personal business, Tansia contacts two old acquaintances of her’s in Rarmon, the Jacks Crail and Uraz. The two agree to meet and the four of them head back to the Hoof.

There they ask Tor about the job. Tor warns them that it may involve friction with the town guard and after a brief discussion, they agree. Tor then gives them the details.

Yesterday Kyler Metcami, the eldest son of merchant Lord Metcami, was murdered. Lord Metcami has said that he does not trust the Rarmon city guard to investigate the case and wants someone from outside the city to look into it.

The hunters ask Tor about Metcami. He tells them that Metcami is one of the more powerful trading families in the city. He does not run any caravans or merchant stalls himself; instead he acts like a broker, buying and trading goods between the convoys and caravans that do enter the city. He owns a series of warehouses and brokerages and is one of the more respected members of Rarmon’s upper crust. He would be a good ally and patron. Also, as someone who deals regularly with many travelers, he would be in a good position to find any information on Caiden Phorr. The characters talk among themselves a bit then agree. Tor tells them that any further information will have to come from Metcami and gives him directions to his estate.

When the characters arrive they find that a runner preceding them has already relayed their agreement to help. The abhuman guard at the gate greets them then escorts them to a study within the estate. A few minutes later, an older man dressed in black but expensive clothing enters and thanks them for coming.

Before he continues he thanks Tanasia and Yeti for their work in defeating the Mechanical Beast, then he tells them why he needs their help. The day before, his son Kyler was killed; murdered in an alley behind a place known as “Gron’s House of Happiness”. He explains that his son was at a bachelor party; he was supposed to be married today.

Without being asked he continues to elaborate. Kyler was to be married to the Honorable Eveyl Camor, the daughter of Baron Camor. The Baron is one of the ruling families of Rarmon and part of the city council. Metcami freely admits that this was a political marriage; the Camor family is finding themselves in unfortunate financial straits and his family, though wealthy and respected, remains outside the nobility of the Pythorean Empire. This marriage would benefit both families; though Eveyl was not the eldest of Baron Camor’s children she and her children would still inherit his title and some portion of his holdings, while Kyler’s position as a member of the prestigious Metcami family would ease any financial concerns of anyone Camor wished to do dealings with. Everyone would benefit.

Except, he tells them, Eveyl was not happy with the arranged marriage. Since the city guard answers to the ruling families he feels that Eveyl’s obvious unhappiness with the arrangement may lead them to not investigate as closely as they should. He wants a group of outsiders to conduct their own investigation. He is willing to pay them 100 shins each if they can bring him any information as to what happened, with a bonus if they can tell him why he was killed. The players agree.

The players discuss their options and decide to start with Gron’s House of Happiness. They find their way there.

The House of Happiness is a circular, two-story building with an open courtyard. Construction crews are on the roof, apparently either adding or repairing an upper level. Despite this the building is open and they are able to enter.

Inside they make their way to the courtyard which is open to the sky. In the center of the courtyard is a pool of water with floating “lilly-pads”.

Surrounding the pool are a number of lounges, many occupied. Vines extend from the pool to the occupants of the lounges, all of whom have one of the pads attached to their foreheads. Some lounges have two (or three or more) people on them. In these cases the vine splits at the end and each of the people have a pad on their forehead. Every now and then someone will disconnect a pad, which retreats back into the pool. Sometimes the person leaves but usually they retreat with another guest to one of the private pavilions around the perimeter of the courtyard.

A hostess approaches the characters, a female abhuman with bird-like features and feathered skin. She asks if they wish to experience the pool. They decline and start asking questions about Metcami. The hostess tells them that all of the employees have been told not to talk with anyone about the incident and says they need to talk to Gron directly. She gives them directions to Gron’s office upstairs.

The characters proceed to the second floor. The office is to the left but they hear loud voices from the right and go in that direction instead.

They find themselves in a gambling room. There are the usual card tables and the like, but most of the patrons are standing around a machine of some type. Three players are at the machine, each with one arm inserted into an opening in the machine while they manipulate a lever with their other hand. Above them is a tower with a heavy ball rolling through a maze. The players are tilting the tower with the levers trying to control the ball.

Eventually the ball falls to the bottom of the maze, barely missing crushing the hand of one of the players, who jerks his hand out of the machine just in time. There is a mixture of groans and cheers as shins change hands between the watchers and players.

Curiosity satisfied, the characters return back to Gron’s office. Explaining their reason for being there to the heavyset Glaive at the entrance, they are allowed entrance and meet Gron.

Gron is a very short (less than 4 feet), hunchbacked human. Uraz notices that the hump on Gron’s back moves periodically but doesn’t say anything. His office is fairly opulent with a wide window providing a view of the courtyard below, though the constant hammering and construction sounds from overhead detract from the ambiance a bit.

The characters explain why they are there and Gron tells them what he knows. Kyler had been a regular at the House, and he had come for his bachelor party. He had been drinking too much and Gron had gotten the impression that he wasn’t looking forward to his marriage the next day. Whatever the reason, he had become angry with the entertainer who had been performing that evening; a minstrel named Jakka Chush. There had been a confrontation between the two and one of the staff had suggested that Kyler go outside to “cool down” while they got Chush out of the building. Once Chush was gone they sent someone out to bring Kyler back in, only to find him dead in the alley.

Gron lets slip that he is worried about a loss of business after the killing and wants to find out what happened himself. He gives the characters permission to talk to anyone at the House and asks that they keep him informed.

The characters split up into two groups. The first goes back downstairs to talk to the bartenders while the others go out back to check out the alley.

They don’t learn much from the bartender. He tells them that Kyler was a regular at the House and liked pretty much everything they offered; drink, gambling and “companionship”. He also tells them that Kyler had a bit of a temper.

The group in the alley has more luck. They find the crime scene with no problems, but Yeti then hears a sound coming from behind a garbage cart. Investigating, they find an odd man. Wearing rags and looking like a vagrant, he is very jittery, jumpy and distracted. Upon seeing the characters, he immediately asks if they have found “it”.

Under questioning, the strange character (who they learn is named Betis) slowly reveals information, seemingly accidentally. He works for someone he calls “Mistress Shen” and is looking for something he calls “The Scythe”. He says that he had given The Scythe to someone named “Toba” and that they were supposed to stab Kyler with it. He was then supposed to come and get Kyler and lead him back to Mistress Shen. But this Toba killed Kyler instead. Now, he needs to find The Scythe (which Mistress Shen somehow knows was never used) and bring it back to her so she will give him “things”.

They ask about “The Scythe” but he doesn’t seem to know much more about it. They do find out that he does work for Mistress Shen because she gives him “things” but the never get anything more specific than that.

They talk a bit more but get nothing else of use. Betis eventually wanders off and the characters search the area again. One of them uses his light to look for reflections. Looking for light, they see a dim glow from beneath a storm drain. They cannot tell what it is and are unable to remove the drain, which is mortared into the street.

They go back inside the House and retrieve the rest of the party. Returning to the alley, they examine the drain and hear the voice of Betis talking to himself from within it. Uraz shines his light through the drain and yells that they are the city guard. They hear Betis rapidly run away.

With the full party they work together and are able to pull the grate from the ground. Tanasia descends by rope and finds the source of the light; an unwieldy scythe-like weapon with a glowing patch on the handle.

Tanasia returns to the surface and they examine their find. It is a scythe, its blade made of a dark grey metal, but it is badly balanced to be used as a weapon. Anyone who attempted to use it as such would certainly find themselves at a disadvantage.

The only odd thing about it is its handle. There is what looks like a circular piece of glass set into it, and the glass is glowing a bright blue. They cannot determine anything else about the scythe and take it with them.

They decide to return to Lord Metcami. He welcomes them and they tell him what they have found. They then ask if he knows of a “Mistress Shen”.

He thinks a bit then says that he thinks he does.

Several years ago he became involved with another brokerage house in the city. They mostly dealt with tinctures and potions; a polite way of saying they traded in drugs. Unfortunately they had problems in the running of their business and found themselves in financial straits. He agreed to help them in exchange for a percentage of their business. The business was run by a man named Aman Drell and a woman named Taln Shen.

This turned out to only be the first of several times they came to him for help. Eventually he found himself in majority control of the brokerage. Realizing that the business could be profitable if it were better managed, he bought out the rest of the business from Drell and Shen (telling the characters he was careful to give them a fair price for their remaining share to protect his own reputation.)

For a while Drell and Shen lived in an estate in the merchant district but eventually sold it and left. He does not know where either of them are now, though admits they may still be in the city; there are so many partially-ruined buildings yet to be rebuilt or repaired that many people are squatting in them.

The characters also ask about “Toba”. Metcami does recognize someone with that name. During their arranged courtship many times the Honorable Eveyl would come by to pass the time with Kyler. She usually brought her personal guard with her; a man named Toba Hama.

This seems to confirm Metcami’s suspicion that the city guard was not investigating thoroughly. He thanks the characters and pays them 100 shin each. He then asks if they will do a bit more; if they will find proof that Hama, operating under Shen’s instructions, was the one who killed Kyler, and why. He finally asks that they keep him informed and leaves.

The characters elected to not tell Metcami about the Scythe. Their next plans were to find someone who could help them identify it. It obviously isn’t a very good weapon, so why was Shen so insistent that Kyler be killed with it. Why was she so upset when he wasn’t killed with it? And why was she so determined to get it back.

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The Murdered Heir (Part 2)
The Search for Caidan Phorr - Session 4

The characters leave the Metcami estate and return to Charan’s Hoof. There, they take some time to examine the Scythe. Uraz, who is trained in Numenera, determines that the blue-glowing glass in the handle is a “Soul Gem”. Such gems contain (depending on who you talk to) the soul, spirit, essence or memories of a person. They try to contact the person within the gem but do not seem to be able to do so.

Crail leaves to take care of some personal business, but Sinna Tor introduces them to two other customers in the bar. The jack “Billy” has heard that they may be facing some opposition and offers his services. The glaive Rosalina has seen visions of the other characters in random flashes from the Datasphere and has come searching for them. Yeti, Tanasia and Uraz accept their aid.

After welcoming “Billy” and Rosalina to the party and filling them in on what is going on the group decides to go check out Drell and Shen’s last known location. To that end, they head towards the east end of town.

This part of Rarmon is still mostly in ruins; the reconstruction of the city has not reached this area yet. There is trash in the streets and squatters are obviously living in all of the buildings. Suspicious eyes watch them as they make their way down a street partially blocked with debris from fallen buildings.

Tanasia suddenly senses trouble. They look around to see a group of four youths have stepped out in front of them while another four step out from side streets behind them. The leading gang members taunt the characters, calling them “townies” and asking why they were there.

The group attempts to intimidate the gang into letting them through but their efforts only result in laughter. The gang draws daggers and combat is joined.

The fight is brutal but extended when Yeti finds himself surprisingly trapped under a fallen gang member while Tanasia has two of her Cyphers suddenly merge into one and explode, injuring her severely. But outside of these incidents the battle quickly goes in the character’s favor. Four of the gang members are killed and the other four flee into the ruins. Tanasia and “Billy” attempt to loose arrows at them as they flee. One gang member is hit but he still manages to get away.

The group continues in towards their destination, the inhabitants of the ruined neighborhood avoiding them. They find it to be an odd, three-sided building seemingly made of dark-blue glass. The building is surprisingly undamaged, standing out among the ruins around it, and stands about a dozen meters in height.

The characters search the area but can’t find any way into the building. The then start discussing their options. Looking around, Yeti notices that the shadow of the building does not match the building itself; it is just the outline of the building. Then “Billy” notices that his pet seskii “Shorty” is missing.

“Billy” calls Shorty and the seskii comes running out of the building, passing directly through the glass. They think at first this is some sort of illusion, but attempts to simply walk through the result in bruises as they walk into a solid wall. “Billy” then gestures to the building and tells Shorty to “fetch”.

Shorty happily runs through the glass again and comes out carrying a stalk of some kind of plant. Unfortunately, when he drops the plant at "Billy"’s feet a bulb at the end explodes in a shower of spores. Fortunately they do not seem to affect anyone.

Finally Uraz decides that the problem is that they are seeing the building. He closes his eyes and walks forward, through the wall. He opens them to find him self inside the building.

The rest of the group soon follows and they are all inside. Looking around they see that the ground floor is covered with trash and debris. With his Numenera knowledge Uraz is able to determine that the wall of the building is made of an Observer Wall. As long as it is being observed, it exists. When it is not being observed, it does not. The “building” itself is just an open framework.

There is a spiral staircase leading upwards. After some deliberation the group heads up the stairs.

There they find a room that is mostly empty but containing several duffel bags and sacks. The floor is made up of a heavy canvas tarpaulin (like a sail) which is attached to the framework of the building. One of them looks under the tarp and sees a solid glass floor, at which point everyone feels the floor become more solid. They comment on the difficultly of living in a building where the floor disappears the moment you don’t look at it.

They search the bags. Most of them are full of clothing; once fashionable and expensive but now worn and patched. There are also a few trinkets of no discernible value.

One bag contains what they recognize as drugs. There are 6 crystals containing liquid. “Billy” recognizes these as Sensation crystals. When crushed against the skin the liquid enhances all senses, making everything more vibrant and intense. It could enhance perception but it could also enhance damage as the pain is more intense as well.

There are also three woven packets holding a coarse, yellow powder. This he also recognizes as Dust. When inhaled, this gives you visions; sometimes of the past or future, sometimes of other places, sometimes of what they think are other dimensions. The effect can be unsettling.

The characters collect the drugs. There seems to be nothing else of interest on this level so they continue on to the third.

This level also has the canvas floor, as well as two “hammock-like” beds. On one of the beds is the body of an old man.

The characters check and find that the body has been dead for a day or two. His shirt and coat are opened and he is lying back on the hammock as if relaxed. There is no evidence that he was resisting or fighting whoever killed him.

There is an odd diamond-shaped wound on his chest. They compare it to the blade on the scythe (currently being carried by Tanasia). So they know he was killed with the same weapon.

After some debate they decide to use the Dust they found to try to figure out what happened. Tanasia agrees and uses the drug, but is able to somewhat direct the vision she receives.

In her vision, she sees three people in the room the old man lying in the hammock, an older woman, and Betis. The man and the woman talk a bit (the vision is visual only, no sound) then embrace and kiss. The man then lies down on the hammock and opens his coat and shirt.

The woman gets the Scythe out of a duffel and goes over to the man. They talk a bit more then he closes his eyes and she shoves it into his chest. Tanasia sees the glass on the hilt light up.

The woman kisses the now-dead man then turns to Betis. She says something to him and hands him the Scythe. Betis bows obsequiously several times then leaves.

The woman collects some items, mostly clothing, from the duffels then, after kissing the corpse one last time, leaves. The vision ends.

Tasasia relays what she saw to the other characters and they discuss what they have learned. They decide to try using the Scythe on the corpse.

They re-insert it into the wound. The glow in the hilt fades and the corpse twitches violently several times, then lies still.

More discussion occurs and Rosalina and Yeti figure out what is going on. The Scythe is a soul transfer device. It absorbs the soul from whoever is killed with it. It then transfers the soul to the next person who is killed with it. The man and woman, who they are presuming are Drell and Shen, had killed Drell with the Scythe. They then planned to kill Kyler with it. Drell’s spirit would then return to life in Kyler’s body.

Betis was supposed to then lead Drell-as-Kyler to Shen’s new location, which was otherwise unknown. He would then (presumably) kill her with the Scythe. He would then go through with the wedding to Eveyl then kill her that night with the Scythe. Shen would return to life in Eveyl’s body and Drell and Shen would have been reborn in what will ultimately be the most powerful family in Rarmon.

The characters realize that they have accidentally “killed” Drell. He was “alive” in the Scythe but they tried to put him back into a body that had been dead too long for it to resuscitate. This is how Shen knew that Kyler had not been killed with the Scythe; Drell hadn’t come back for her.

The characters return to Metcami’s estate and are granted an audience. From their descriptions he confirms Drell and Shen as the people they have seen. He also accepts what they have discovered, but says he still needs to know where Shen is now. He also points out that Eveyl is still in danger (the characters have yet to reveal they have the Scythe) and that the city guard may soon be after them since Toba knows at least something about what is going on. The characters retreat to Charan’s Hoof to determine their next move.

View
The Murdered Heir (Part 3)
The Search for Caidan Phorr - Session 5

Once again at Charan’s Hoof, the characters discuss their next move. They realize they need to find where Shen is now since she by now knows they are after her. They also realize that they have done no research into Eveyl. They eventually decide to try to track Shen first.

Using “Billy’s” skecsis they track Shen from the Purple Tower through town to a guard tower at the outer wall. The characters find this unexpected but one of them approaches the tower and asks one of the guards at the door if they can speak with Toba Hama. The guard looks at them curiously and says that Hama is not stationed there; he is part of the palace guard. The characters want to ask about Shen but can’t come up with an excuse to ask about her and leave.

They next go to the palace. The palace in Rarmon is a large, perfect sphere that can rotate in any direction. When the city was attacked during the war it simply rotated so its entrance was underground, preventing the attackers from entering. (No matter what the palace’s orientation, “down” remains normal for anyone inside.)

Inside they find their way to a guard station and ask for Toba Hama. The guard on duty goes to the back of the station where the wall is lined with dozens of small cubbyholes each with a grated door on front. He opens one and takes out a small, bat-like creature. The guard whispers to the creature and releases it. The creature flies away. The characters wait and as they do they see several of the bat-like creatures flying around.

After a while the creature flies back in and lands on the guard’s shoulder. The guard takes it and listens to it then tells the characters that Toba Hama is assigned to the personal guard of Baron Camor and is currently escorting his daughter, the Honorable Eveyl.

The group then ask about Shen, saying that she is missing from her home in the Purple Tower. The guard takes another of the messenger bats and sends it off, but this time some of the characters follow it.

The bat soon enters a part of the palace that is off-limits to them, but they wait until it comes back out and capture it. Uraz is able to communicate with it and finds that Shen is under “protective custody” at the guard tower they tracked her to earlier.

They release the bat and it continues back to the guard. The guard tells the characters who had remained behind that they have no information on Shen. The characters thank then and leave.

The group next tries to track down Eveyl and find that she is attending a poetry reading at the Apool Garden. They go there.

They quickly find the location of the poetry reading. A rather bad poet is reading in the center of a gazebo while several rows of politely bored nobles sit around him. Eveyl is sitting in the first row, obviously uninterested. Other watchers and a number of guards are around the gazebo.

The characters realize they do not know what Toba Hama looks like so cannot tell which of the guards is him. In the meantime, they start looking around and quickly spot Betis in the crowd.

Yeti and Tanasia decide to approach Betis while Uraz keeps an eye on Eveyl. Betis sees them and starts to leave. The characters follow.

Betis ducks into the alley. Tanasia and Yeti, suspecting an ambush, follow him.

In the alley they do find Betis, hiding behind three members of the same gang that attacked them near the Purple Tower. The characters easily dispatch the gang members, capture Betis, and take him back to the Metcami estate.

Uraz, meantime, waits until the poetry reading ends. He sees Eveyl leave and quickly be met by one of the guards and another woman. He decides the guard is Toba Hama and starts following them.

Eveyl slowly makes her way though town, occasionally stopping at various stores and stalls. She seems to buy nothing and on several occasions is denied entry to a store by angry shop owners. Seeing the group enter a wine store, Uraz stops at one of the stores she was barred from to ask what is going on.

The shop owner readily tells him. When she thought she was getting married to Kyler Metcami, Eveyl went on a shopping spree. While the financial situation of the Camor family is well known, so was that of the Metcami family. With the promise of her having access to the Metcami fortune, the shopkeepers were more than willing to extend her credit. Now, with Kyler dead, it is unlikely that they will ever get their money back and so she is no longer welcome.

Uraz thanks him and returns to the street, only having to wait a few minutes before Eveyl and her group reappear, the woman with them now carrying a basket containing several bottles of wine. Uraz approaches them and waits until Toba Hama sees him. At that point, he pulls out the Scythe and holds it up so that Hama can see it.

Hama immediately points at Uraz and shouts that he is a thief. Several of the city guard hear this and start towards him. Uraz turns and runs. He is eventually able to outdistance his pursuers and returns to the Metcami estate.

There, they discuss everything they have found with Metcami, this time telling him about the Scythe but not that they have it. They realize that they have all the information in the case and just need to confront those involved with it with their findings.

They start with Betis. They are able to convince him to start working for them (well, for Metcami) by promising him all the “stuff” he needs. He is coerced into helping them.

Metcami then invites Eveyl to his estate to talk about what will happen now that Kyler is dead, knowing that Toba Hama will come with her.

Uraz and Yeti go to the guard tower where Shen is staying, Betis with them. They relay a message to Shen telling her that they are taking her to the Scythe. Betis acts as if he is about to reveal to her what is happening but they intimidate him into staying silent. She returns with them to the Metcami estate.

There they meet Metcami, Eveyl and Toba Hama and several other guards that Hama has brought along. The characters then reveal what they know and openly accuse Toba Hama of killing Kyler.

Toba Hama, realizing that everything is known, charges the characters along with one other guard. The other guards spend several long seconds in indecision before falling into the fight on the character’s side.

Toba and Shen are quickly subdued. With the evidence they have the characters are eventually able to get both Toba and Shen to confess to the plot.

In the aftermath they get the final story. Toba Hama was in love with Eveyl. Eveyl knew this and used it to manipulate Toba into helping her, but never reciprocated. This led to Toba’s anger. They also learn that Eveyl was not that interested in being married to Kyler but accepted it as the political marriage it was. She and Kyler had agreed to an open marriage in which they would have minimal contact, even producing an heir if necessary, but would otherwise not interfere with each other. This angered Toba, who learned of this through Eveyl’s handmaiden.

Drel and Shen approached Toba through Betis telling him that they could arrange for Kyler to be out of the picture. Betis told them to kill Kyler using the Scythe and assured him that he would be protected by Eveyl if he did, implying he was working for her.

Unfortunately, Betis did not sufficiently impress on Toba that he needed to use the Scythe. Toba realized that the Scythe was a terrible weapon and killed Kyler using his own sword. He then disposed of the Scythe (not realizing its importance) and reported that he had done what was requested.

Betis, and therefore Shen, realized something had gone wrong since “Kyler” was actually dead. Toba had told Eveyl that he had killed Kyler, expecting her to be grateful. She was not. She had made her arrangement with Kyler and had every intention of going through with the marriage. She told Toba her true feelings about him and held his confession of killing Kyler over him to continue having him work for her. (Toba’s attack on the characters was due to his realizing that he had truly lost everything at that point.)

By this time Betis and Shen were looking for the Scythe (which still contained Drel’s spirit). Shen, through Betis, had tried to find out from Toba Hama where the Scythe was but by the time Betis got to him the characters had already found it. Toba Hama never knew who Shen was or what the real plot was.

When the dust clears Metcami again thanks the characters for their help and pays each of then an additional 250 shins. He then tells then that he has some information on Caiden Phorr for them. Phorr had been in Rarmon for a while but left suddenly about two weeks ago; about the time the characters were given his bounty. He joined a caravan heading towards Far Brohn as a guard.

Enriched and with a new, powerful patron, the characters thank Metcami and resume their pursuit.

View
The Hidden Base
The Search for Caiden Phorr - Sessions 6 & 7

The characters make their way towards the south. About the midpoint of their journey they start seeing a strange visual distortion ahead of them. As they approach the distortion they find a camp beside the road consisting of several tents. Several trader’s wagons, goods still on board, are parked beside the road. The horses are tied beside some trees nearby.

There are also signs of a fight. Some arrows are scattered around, a broken sword lies near the wagons, and there is evidence of blood.

Searching, they find the camp has been searched. Some of the goods on the wagons have been searched through and broken and searched and all of the tents have been ransacked. They also find a shallow grave nearby with a number of bodies in it; apparently the traders and their guards.

Strangely, there are no signs of whoever attacked the caravan. Checking the horses it appears they have not had water or anything else for a day or so.

They examine the strange distortion for a while and find that if they throw something into it it will rocket away from them. They decide not to step into it.

The group looks around and can’t find anything else at first, until one of them notices that if they stand in one particular location they can see a corridor appear ahead of them, leading “into” the distortion. They decide to investigate.

Before they do they take one of the wagons and horses. They go through the trade goods, finding most of them to be various spices, herbs, and medicinal plants. There are a few weapons. They move what they think is the most valuable to one of the wagons, add their extra equipment to it, and lead it and the horse pulling it into the corridor.

The corridor is hexagonal with dark grey metal for floors, wall and ceiling. Light comes from tubes embedded in the wall that appear to be filled with a glowing mist. The light is a bit too harsh and bright and makes them uncomfortable.

The corridor ends in a wall. Beside the wall there is a panel that has been ripped open on the wall and a number of tubes protrude from it. After some experimentation, they discover that they can open or close the doors by blowing into or sucking on particular tubes, but they have to close the door at the other end before they can open the one in front of them.

The door lead to a shifting maze. The maze consisted of a number of triangular rooms, each the width of the corridor and with three corridors leading away from them at 120 degree angles. The tricky part was that if you came into a room from the “open” side the only choice was to make a 120 degree turn and head down the other corridor. If the party came upon a “closed” side then the corridor would appear to end in a wall, but a wall they could push open to the left or to the right. Doing so revealed another 120 degree corridor, but the wall of every other maze room would also move to the same configuration. So, as they went through the maze, it was constantly shifting around them.

Oh, the maze also wrapped back on itself, so if the party continued in the same direction they would eventually wind up back where they started.

Embedded in the maze were nine large, hexagonal rooms. These rooms fell into three types.

Four of them contained a large, central raised platform. To anyone who stepped onto these platforms the rest of the room seemed to disappear. They found themselves standing on what seemed like an endless plain of gravel, stretching out into darkness. In the center of the area was a small table under a beam of light. Sitting on this table was an object. One room had an elaborate clockwork woman’s head, one had a plain monocle with a faceted gem for a lens, one had a statue of a thin, winged, female humanoid, and the last had a clear box.

These objects could be picked up and carried away. When the person carrying the item reached the distance of the edge of the platform they suddenly found themselves in the original room again (and usually fell off the unexpected edge).

Other rooms held monsters or raiders that had gotten trapped in the maze. These they defeated without too many problems.

The central room contained another raised dais this one with four smaller tables around it, similar to the ones in the strange “gravel” places. The leader of the raiders was here and claimed that understanding this room was the key to understanding the complex. The characters fought him and defeated him.

They then started trying to understand the room themselves. At one point one of them starts examining the tubes that are producing the light and break it. A glowing gas starts escaping into the room and they start feeling ill, but the character collects some of the gas in a jar.

Before they can do much else a giant mechanical humanoid enters the room and attacks them. This is a long and difficult fight but the characters are eventually victorious. They then are forced to retreat from the room due to the escaping gas.

A bit later they return and find the gas leak has been repaired. They start investigating the room and what they have found again.

They come to understand the items they have found. With a key recovered from the raider leader they are able to wind up the clockwork head and learn that she is an intelligent automaton named “Ada”. Unfortunately, she says she has been damaged and has very little memory of what has happened or how she came to be there.

The monocle is much more dangerous. If a person puts it to their eye they suddenly gain an incredible ability at fighting and warfare (equivalent to a 4(!) level shift in attack/defense in combat). But, it also takes a difficulty 4 task to remove or control the “Occulus” once they are wearing it. Otherwise, they must fight and will attack the nearest person, even if they are friendly.

The clear box was the hardest to figure out. Eventually they determined that it was a teleportation device. If someone “enters” the cube they find themselves in the last room the cube was used. So the first time they use it they are in the room they are in.

But, if they then take the cube and carry it somewhere else then re-enter it, they find themselves in the first room again, and the cube is there with them. But now entering the cube takes them back to the last room they came from. The cube can always be used to return to the last room it was used in, but every time it is used the “last room” is reset.

Ada identifies the statue. It is a “navigation crystal”. However, she is not able to determine what crystal is is because the plaque (that the statue should be “holding”) is missing. So it is unidentified.

Ada also is able to tell them that the location they are in is a “shuttle” connected to a “Nightship” overhead. But the shuttle is locked.

The characters eventually determine that the way to unlock the “shuttle” is to place the items they found on the tables in those odd gravel-floored places on the corresponding tables in the central room. They do so, then place the navigation crystal on the central dais.

The shuttle is immediately somewhere else.

View
The Nightship
The Search for Caiden Phorr - Sessions 8 & 9

The characters find themselves still on the “shuttle”, but floating in space. Earth is visible far below them, but surrounding them is the Nightship.

It doesn’t take long before they learn that simply stepping off the edge of the shuttle causes them to teleport onto the ship. They start exploring.

The first thing they find is a corridor leading around the “inside” of the ship. The ceiling and the outside wall are transparent, giving a clear view of the shuttle floating in the middle of the ship, the Earth below them, and the Sun and stars beyond. On the “inside” of the corridor they see a series of dark ovals. Eventually one of then steps into the oval and finds themselves in another room.

The first room they find themselves in has a collection of tables and chairs along with a series of slots in the interior walls. The exterior wall and ceiling are transparent, as is standard for the entire Nightship. They soon determine that the slots are sleeping bunks (with entertainment and medical facilities) and that they can get food and drink from the tables. There are two rooms like this on the ship, each apparently set up to hold 7 humanoids. The original inhabitants were apparently close to (but slightly smaller than) humans.

The next room they explore is a mostly-empty room with a “cabinet” on each end. One cabinet contains a dead raider but they are unable to determine how he died. They cannot determine what this room was used for so they leave it.

The room on the opposite side contains racks each holding a clockwork body (without heads). They consult Ada who tells them that her people long ago abandoned their biological bodies for clockwork ones. They would swap their bodies for specialized ones depending on their needs. After some discussion they attach Ada’s head to one of the bodies. Grateful that she doesn’t have to be carried by one of them any more, she agrees to help them understand the ship.

They next investigate the two forward rooms. Each of these contains a set of long tables on which are set what they at first think are miniature landscapes. Ada tells them that these aren’t landscapes; they are actually samples from the planets they have visited. There are three tables, each holding seven miniatures, so there are 42 “samples” on the ship.

Ada shows them a by-now familiar raised platform at the end of the room. If one of the miniatures is taken from the table and placed on the dais, it “expands” to fill the entire platform. A person can then step “into” the sample landscape.

The characters pick a miniature at random, one showing a farmstead surrounded by fields, and place it onto the dais. They then step into it.

They find themselves standing in an open field full of dead wheat. The sky is grey overhead and a wall of mist is behind them. They know the farmstead is somewhere ahead of them and walk towards it.

As they do, Ada tells them these “samples” are about 20 kilometers across. The shuttle they came to the Nightship on is designed to be able to collect these samples. If a sample base is placed on the center platform on the shuttle when it returns to the ship, then it will “collect” the area around it. (Equivalent to the area of the visual distortion they observed when they first encountered the shuttle.) All of the sample bases are full at the moment, but if a used base is placed on the shuttle’s platform when it goes down, then it will “swap” the sample it contains for the new one when it returns; effectively replacing the new sample on the planet with the old sample.

They eventually reach the farmhouse and find it old and abandoned. They realize that this sample has been sitting unused and abandoned for some time.

The farmhouse is abandoned and falling apart and the barn contains skeletons of animals that died long ago. Eventually they find their way into a cellar which contains four glass tubes. Three of the tubes are dry and contain a humanoid skeleton while the fourth is filled with a greenish liquid and holds a human female.

They are able to figure out how to open the tube and do so. The woman, whose name they learn is Lenara, only knows that their farm suddenly became isolated, the stream quit flowing and the sun disappeared. Eventually her family decided their only choice was to retreat to their shelter and wait for rescue. As near as she can tell that was several hundred years ago.

Everyone is disconcerted by this, including Ada who says that they would never have left a sample alone for that long. Lenara refuses to go with them as they leave, insisting that she will stay with her farmstead and bury her family. They return to the edge of the “sample”, step into the mist, and find themselves back on the Nightship.

They start looking at the samples to see if any others seem to be of interest. They find one that seems to be an empty field containing a bright blue lake and place it on the dais.

Entering it they find sparse grass and mostly dead trees surrounding the lake. The lake itself doesn’t contain water, but instead is some thick, blue substance.

They try to get a sample of the substance but it seems to move on its own and extends tendrils towards them whenever they get near it. Finally, one character allows the tendril to touch him. He is quickly covered by the blue substance and is pulled into the lake.

There is a brief panic, but the tendril then extends from the lake again and pulls back, revealing a different person. This person is able to tell them that the “lake” is something called a “pattern”. It holds the “patterns” of dozens of beings. They have no idea how long they were held within the pattern; their existence there was a period of timeless bliss. They express interest in staying with the party for a while and the others agree; theorizing that the character in the pattern will not suffer harm while there.

((The player involved wanted to change characters; this was the method I chose.))

Finally, the characters explore the aft-most room on the Nightship. There they find a large room with transparent floors, walls, and ceilings; they seem to be suspended in space. High above them there is another clockwork, hanging from a series of tubes connecting them to the walls of the chamber.

They try multiple ways to contact the clockwork but it is unresponsive. They finally realize that it has wound down and they need to rewind it. Unfortunately, they have no way to get up to it.

One of the characters decides to become a clockwork. They go to the room with the two cabinets and the character enters the first. After a few minutes, the second cabinet opens revealing a clockwork head.

The characters then take the head to the room with the clockwork bodies and attach it to a body with wings. They all then return to the “pilot” room.

The character now with flying skills flies up to the suspended clockwork and winds it up. The clockwork comes to life and identifies itself as “Pilot”.

Pilot is now able to answer questions. He tells them that he has been inert for some time and has no idea what has happened in the interim. He tells them that the ship (which he never identifies by name) had been out exploring the galaxy and taking samples from the planets they visited. Along the way they ran into a carnivorous species that exclusively fed on intelligent life forms; apparently the fear and pain as they were eaten flavored the “meat” in a way they found delicious. They converted themselves to clockworks so that they would no longer be “prey” for the lizard-like species and erased much of their memories and records so the lizards would not be able to find their way back to their home world.

However, something must have happened. Pilot’s memories stop almost immediately thereafter, as do Ada’s. There should be a dozen or more other crew-members but none of them are here. And he does not remember coming to Earth, or even recognize the planet. From the condition of most of the samples in the sample chambers, it has been several hundred years at least.

The characters discuss what to do next. They learn that the ship can instantly move to any location, but that location is defined by a set of one or more “navigation crystals” that are placed on a console in Pilot’s chamber. However, they only have one crystal (the winged statue they picked up earlier) but it is missing the plaque that would indicate what it is. They can use it, but will have no idea where they are going.

One of them realizes that they also will not have any way to get back. They don’t have the crystals for Earth, or even know what the coordinates for Earth are.

From what records he does have, Pilot is able to determine that the Nightship is stationed above what it thinks is the location of a base on the planet but it has been so long since they have been here that the continents themselves have moved. They are over the wrong spot. He thinks he can get them to the proper location so that they can go down to the base. Hopefully they will be able to find a set of crystals there.

The characters agree and Pilot moves the ship to a different location over the supercontinent. The characters, along with Ada and the horse-drawn carriage (that they are still leading around) enter the shuttle and descend to the base.

View
The Nightbase (Part 1)
The Search for Caiden Phorr - Session 10

The shuttle arrives and the party finds themselves floating in an open shaft. Three openings can be seen around the shuttle, with a now-familiar gap separating them from the shuttle. The group steps off the edge of the shuttle and instantly are teleported to the opening beyond.

They follow a sloping, curving corridor downward until they reach a door. They are able to open it by using the tubes behind a nearby panel, as they did earlier. This leads to a room and another corridor that leads them to a room that is somehow “below” the shuttle.

The walls of this room are covered with what appears to be red velour, as is a cylinder rising from floor to ceiling in the center. The cylinder is covered with indentations, each of which in turn contain a small white disc.

The discs are each embossed with a stylized symbol. The symbols are a star, a moon, a sun, a claw, a flame, a winged lizard, and a human.

The characters start collecting the discs. They determine that the cylinder will rotate and that empty indentations will refill with a disc when it is out of sight.

They also find out that every time they collect three matching discs, a drawer opens holding a ring. The ring holds three slots, each properly sized to hold a disc. They try inserting discs and find that they can only insert three matching discs into the rings.

They then determine that if they wear one of the rings with the discs inserted they can think more clearly. ((Wearing an active “halo” increases Intellect Edge by one.))

The first side effect they discover is that if two characters wear a halo with the same set of discs then both characters start experiencing what each other is experiencing. This proves to be extremely disorienting as neither character can distinguish between their own senses and body and the other persons. They quickly sort out discs so that every character has a unique set.

Then, one of the characters wearing a halo sees a lizard-like creature standing near the doorway, watching them. As soon as the lizard realizes that it has been spotted it rushes away. Comparing who saw the lizard and who didn’t the characters realize they cannot see the lizard unless they are wearing the halo.

Talking with Ada they learn that these lizards are the carnivores her people feared. They also learn that the lizards cannot be seen unless you have heightened mental activity (as created by the halos). However, wearing the halos too long has a negative side effect; the mind becomes “dependent” on the halo and starts suffering.

((For every hour a character wears the Halo they must make an Intellect check or lose one Intellect Edge. This value can go negative. The first time they roll is a difficulty 1 check. It increases by one each time. If the character removes the halo they will slowly recover; they continue to make a check every hour and if they succeed they recover one Edge. The difficulty reduces each hour in this case. If they put the halo back on they have to make a check again at the current difficulty and it starts increasing again from that point.))

When the characters had taken enough discs to fill seven halos the cylinder splits open, revealing two of the navigation crystals. One statue is holding a sun while the other holds a claw. The characters take these then return to the shuttle.

The lizard they had seen earlier is nowhere to be seen. They activate the shuttle and it takes them “down” another level.

Again they find the curving corridors that eventually lead to a room “under” the shuttle. This room is filled with junk; bits of machinery, broken tools and the like. Searching through it they find a few Cyphers, but nothing better than what they are already carrying. They return them to the shuttle, drop them in the carriage, and drop down another level.

They find the usual room but this one is much more disturbing. Hanging from hooks, as if they were in a butcher’s shop, are the bodies of numerous humans and abhumans. Several of them have been mostly cut away but a few are still alive.

The characters free the still-living prisoners and talk to them. They tell them how the strange lizards simply appeared among them, grabbed some of them, and flew away. They discuss being tortured by the lizards who described in detail to them how they would be eaten, before taking some of them away.

The characters promise to help the villagers who were taken away. They leave the rescued prisoners where they are and go down to the next level.

They almost immediately encounter the winged lizards. These fight furiously using long tridents that do a surprising amount of damage. After the battle, several characters collect the tridents and find them surprisingly light but hard to balance, needing two hands to use. ((Heavy weapon.))

Proceeding down the spiraling corridor they continue to find the lizards. They continue fighting along the way, always successfully but slowly taking damage.

The room “below” the shuttle this time turns out to be a set of living quarters for the lizards. They kill a few more lizards here, then find on a table two dead and one barely alive human. The human has been partially eaten and some of their organs have been removed; they cannot tell how he is even still alive. Unable to save him, they kill him to put him out of his misery.

The characters by this point have taken substantial injuries and are not sure how much further they can proceed, but do not want to abandon the facility. Using the shuttle, they find that there are two more levels below them but they choose to not investigate either.

Using the shuttle again returns it to the top level. The characters are able to figure out that if they lock the shuttle here, then any lizards on the lower levels will be trapped there. But, doing so will also alert any lizards below them to their presence. Plus, they cannot return to the Nightship without unlocking the shuttle. They decide to make camp at the top level and continue their explorations after they have somewhat recovered.

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The Nightbase (Part 2)
The Search for Caiden Phorr - Session 11

The next day, having used and regained all their recoveries, they start down the shaft again. When they hit level 6 they are almost immediately attacked by lizards who were waiting on them. There is an intense battle but again the characters are victorious.

They proceed down the corridors, meeting resistance the entire way. Eventually they reach the room under the shuttle and find the walls covered in egg sacks. The lizards are breeding. They destroy all of the sacks except for three that they take with them. They then go down again.

Once again they are attacked as soon as the shuttle arrives. Clearing the initial guards, they go down the spiraling corridors.

These corridors are different. Instead of being an enclosed tunnel they are walkways over nothing, appearing as if they are falling through the air. Winds are rushing around them. They carefully make their way along them to the next room.

This one turns out to be a large chamber; the largest they have seen in the complex. In the middle of the floor is a large, glowing white, portal. Surrounding it are seven pedestals and on each pedestal is a navigation crystal. Occasionally, another lizard flies upwards out of the portal and joins the others flying around the room.

The lizards attack and the characters retreat back to the floating walkways. A few minutes later, the lizards attack.

The fight is long but the characters are eventually victorious. Several lizards are kicked off the walkway and carried away by the winds; they never return.

Returning to the portal chamber, the characters attack the remaining lizards there. Despite the fact that lizards occasional y appear through the portal, they eventually defeat the remaining guards. They start pulling the navigation crystals from their pedestals and immediately the portal closes.

Talking with Ada, they are able to piece together what had happened. The lizards had taken over Ada’s Nightship. She and the rest of the crew (now missing) had erased their memories and records to prevent the lizards from getting to their home world. Undeterred, the lizards started visiting random places in the Nightship, eventually finding their way to Earth.

There, they started looking for the old facilities of Ada’s people and eventually found the portal base. They immediately connected back to their home world and started bringing their own people through, planning to use the Earth as their next “farm”.

The players realize that they have prevented an invasion of the Earth. There may be other lizards still on Earth, but without the navigation crystals they will not be able to reconnect to their home world. Earth is (for now) safe.

They also know the coordinates of the lizard home world (from the navigation crystals) and the coordinates for Earth (from the symbols on the pedestals on which the crystals were resting). They realize that with the crystals they can now take the Nightship (or the portal) anywhere in the galaxies. They can become explorers of the Night.

They all agree that this is a good idea. However, one of them had the Spore Launcher artifact run out during the battle and wanted to recover another one. They remember that when they were fighting the mechanical beast the bandits riding on its back were armed with launchers. They destroyed them with their own launcher, but they reason that the launcher should still be there, surrounded by the deadly blue plants. They decide to go back and recover it.

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