Jonathan's Numenera Game

Delver of Secrets

The party gets an early start the next day, knowing that it is the last day they have to clear Delin’s name and determine the true identity of the killer. Not wanting to repeat their past experiences within the labyrinth, Ignus and Delin stock up on chalk with the intention to mark their progress through the pipes. Once the preparations are complete, the party moves to the hidden panel under Goodman’s bridge, where the twelve guards Ignus requested keep watch stand vigilant.

The party climbs through the hidden panel, and descends down the ladder into the pipe complex. The first hour goes relatively smoothly as they travel through familiar ground. The next finds the party at a pipe with a strange, decrepit control panel built into the side. Leanna gingerly runs her fingers along the panel, feeling the circuits. Despite her best efforts however, she cannot discern its purpose. Delin pushes Leanna out of the way and jams his fingers against the buttons, only to find that the panel itself is unpowered. Ignus strikes the glassy panel, shattering it, and collects a few shins off the now destroyed panel for his trouble.

After another hour of traveling, the party reaches a T Junction in the tunnels. Towards the right is a green glow and the sound of metal scraping against metal. Towards the left is darkness, and further descent into the pipes. Delin sneaks up towards the junction and lets loose a dagger against the opposite wall, attracting the attention of the Disassembler.

Ignus requests permission to pass from it, but the Disassembler responds by holding out two of its talons and grasping at the air. Leanna attempts to communicate with it and performs a similar grasping motion with her hands. As the Disassembler hovers closer towards the Chakram hanging on Leanna’s belt however, Leanna lets loose a beam of light from her fingers towards the machine. Not one to die without a trophy, the Disassember deconstructs Ignus’ great axe into fuel for itself before the party manages to take it down. The party notices that the tunnel from which the machine came is incredibly hot, and decides to walk towards the other side of the T Junction.

After another hour of walking, the party comes to a corroded hole in the pipes. From the hole, they see a rusted catwalk, barely able to withstand the weight of three humans. On the other side of the catwalk is an entrance, covered with a brackish film, that leads into a large metal cylinder spiraling down. Beneath the catwalk itself is an enormous cavern filled with odd devices and vats filled with creatures of unknown origin, and a single, massive, entity. In addition, the party can see rows upon rows of what appear to be generators, putting off immense amounts of heat and dimly lighting the cavern. Delin prods the film with his dagger, which passes easily through. He then throws himself against the film and crosses uneventfully to the other side where there is a ladder leading towards the base of the cavern.

The party follow Delin across the catwalk and into the cylinder containing the ladder. As Delin climbs down the ladder, the massie creature at the bottom of the cavern uncoils and slithers towards the ladder. Delin lets go and slowly hovers towards the ground, as ignus grabs the ladder and quickly slides down as far as possible. The creature raises its head up to ignus, seventy feet above the bottom of the cavern and begins speaking in several languages as Ignus retreats in fear. Finally, the party understands the creature say, “Why are you here?”, in a monotonous, metallic voice. Ignus responds by saying that they mean it no harm, but the creature simply laughs to itself and responds that they most likely couldn’t harm it if they tried, and that it senses one of its children with them. At this point, the party senses that the creature is not hostile, and moves down to the bottom of the cavern to speak with it. As they do, they get a better look at it – a gargantuan purple snake with dozens of tentacles around its neck, each wielding a different tool.

The creature introduces itself as Devola, and speaks to Leanna about how she is currently the host of one of its children. Leanna asks the creature if there is a way to remove it from her back without killing her, and Devola contemplates for a minute before responding. She responds that she is willing to remove her offspring from Leanna’s back, but that she requires several components. The first is a sophisticated chemical compound known as gharolan, which is typically found in deep-sea thermal vents. The compound is required in order for Leanna to survive the procedure – without it, her chances of survival are zero. The second component that she needs is an ancient numenera device called the Impossible Blade, which the party has already heard about from the fortuneteller Salazia.

Finally, Devola requires payment from the party in return. She tells them of a tower that has been recently constructed in Navarene. The tower acts as a communication device for a race of bird-like abhumans that have been expanding in the area. Devola explains that their continued growth is a threat to her and her offspring, and that although she doesn’t expect the party to be able to stop the abhumans from expanding, she expects them to at least slow them down. Looking at Leanna, she notes that she most likely only has a few months left before the parasite embedded in her spine finishes consuming her, so it would be in her best interests to complete the tasks she has laid out quickly. In order to help them, Devola shows them the location of a cache, the resting place of several adventurers who were not as fortunate as they, and bids them farewell.

The party makes their way towards the entrance of the labyrinth, growing more desperate as they had yet to discover the identity of the true murderer. Leanna leaves and goes back to Frei in an attempt to buy them more time by explaining the wonders of the deep underground maze of pipes, while Delin and Ignus scour the entrance for any sign of the creature that had attacked them. Finally, they manage to find a few tiny scales embedded in the ground, and follow its trail until they find the purple and green snake they were searching for. They recognize that the creature is berserk with hunger, and move to dispatch it before it can eat them. Although Delin manages to avoid the creature’s attacks, Ignus gets caught while trying to move away from it, and it bites down hard on his neck, disabling him. Delin cuts the creature open while it tries to eat ignus, freeing him and leaving a mutilated corpse on the ground.

The two grab the corpse and return to the entrance, where they find Leanna, Frei, and several guards. Bloodied and covered in bite marks, Ignus explains that the creature they killed is the true culprit behind the murders, and that the wounds he received fighting it should match the wounds the victims received exactly. The party goes to Jyrek Central Hospital to have a record of Ignus’ wounds written down, and to have the creature examined by their researchers.

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One Last Chance

Understanding that they have only a few days left, the party splits up to cover as much ground as possible. Delin goes to the Wayward Tavern, in hopes of finding Orellik or more information about his whereabouts. Leanna heads to the shop of Om the Osbergian, one of the witnesses pointed out by Constable Frei, and Ingus goes with Armiger to inspect the Goodman’s bridge for any clues they may have missed before.

Delin:
Delin goes to the Wayward Tavern, crowded during this time of day, and finds that the conversation has turned to the events at the Goodman’s Bridge earlier today. He starts asking around about Orellik, and meets someone by the name of Rollo, who agrees to take him to Orellik, under the condition that he work to clear his name. Rollo takes Delin to a hideout under the River’s Edge Tavern, where he finds Orellik and learns that Orellik couldn’t have possibly committed the murders as his left arm has been rendered completely unusable. Although Orellik is hesitant to go public with this information as it would mean an end to his mercenary days, Delin convinces him that he still has a life with Salazia, and that with this information, he’ll be able to clear his name. With clear proof that Orellik could not have been the killer, Delin goes back to Magellan’s Estate to wait for the others.

Leanna
Leanna goes to the shop of Om the Osbergian, hoping to find out what he knows. What she shes is a strange, pale, seven-foot tall man with six appendages on his hands and feet, sitting cross-legged in front of a glass display case filled with mechanical oddities. She asks about Frei, and despite some communication issues, Om eventually takes her to the back of the shop to talk. As she tries to ask about what he knows about the murders, she gets increasingly frustrated as Om continues to speak in nonsensical sentences and roundabout riddles.

He begins speaking about a story from his youth, a story of a young man and his bridge. He says that there was once a man, a good man, and the man loved the bridge, and the bridge was happy. But time went by, and the man grew older, and the bridge was often alone. One day, the man came by and the bridge said to the man, "Come, man, come and walk across me and be happy. The man began crying, and said to the bridge, “My house burned down and my family is dead, I will dismantle you and build a new home and a new family.” The bridge pleaded with the man, begging him not be so hasty. The man grew more angry, and the bridge cried out, “Please, no! I’ll give you my secrets! Just don’t take me apart!” The man cried out in rage, demanding the bridge’s secrets, and the bridge sobbed as it told the man about a hidden panel on the side of one of its pillars, leading to a secret that would allow the man to build a new home.

Om finished his story about the bridge, and although Leanna was stunned by the story, she slowly made her way back to the estate, wondering if there was a hidden meaning to his message.

Ignus
Ignus takes Armiger from the mansion to the Goodman’s bridge, in the hopes of having him find anything that was missed the last time they investigated it. Ignus spends about thirty minutes searching the bridge, looking at every nook and cranny. Eventually, as he looks under the bridge, he sees a panel in one of the pillars slide open, and a large purple snake with tentacles behind its head emerge and start slithering towards him. He moves to engage, calling out for the guards on top of the bridge to come down and help him. The snake immediately grapples ignus with its tentacles, but he sets himself on fire and singes the tentacles off of him. The creature, facing resistance, turns around and slithers back up the pillar and into the opening. Ignus immediately hurls his axe at the opening to try and prevent it from closing, and yells to the guards to grab the rest of the party, Frei, and Adachi, with the hopes of showing them the true culprit behind the recent murders.

When everyone arrives, Ignus explains the situation, and the party elects to enter the pillar and chase down the creature that attacked them. They climbed up to the opening, and found a ladder leading down deep into the labyrinth of pipes underneath Jyrek. However, they underestimated just how extensive the network was, and spent several hours wandering around before finally returning to the entrance. With the knowledge that the labyrinth would be a far greater trial than they ancipated, they returned to the mansion to rest and prepare for the following day.

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And the Killer is...

As Delin runs from the hospital to Magellan’s Estate, he towards the Goodman’s bridge in order to cross over to the Silver District. Although he runs to a relatively out of the way section of the river with plans to quietly swim across it, he runs head first into guards who were on patrol around the river. Thinking quickly, he covers his face and runs head-first into the guards, scrambles down the shore, and leaps into the river with Qualue on his back. However, the river current quickly becomes too strong for him to cross with someone on his back, and he returns to the shoreline where he find the guards waiting to take him into custody.

Delin is taken to a jail on the east side of Jyrek, and questioned by Constable Frei, who claims to now have indisputable evidence that Delin is the one behind the recent series of murders. Given that he was caught in the middle of kidnapping a noble and taking her body to the river under the Goodman’s Bridge, Delin agrees that it certainly looks bad. Frei continues by saying that the bodyguards that Qualue employed were found brutally killed in her hospital room, and that their bodies had been beaten and mutiliated, even after they had died. Delin tries to explain the story from his side, and although he gives Frei the full account of what had transpired since the previous day, Frei responds by saying that the widow Qualue’s words hold far more power than his, and that without solid evidence against her testimony, he will surely be convicted.

Frei agrees to allow Delin one last chance to clear his name and find the murderer. He sets Delin free with the condition that if he has not found evidence clearing his name in two days, he’ll be brought in for execution. Delin leaves the jail and walks towards the Goodman’s Bridge, hoping to find the rest of the party and tell them about this recent development.

During their search for Delin, Ignus and Leanna find their way to the Goodman’s Bridge, where they see Adachi standing on a small wooden crate and attempting to calm an angry crowd. Several guards have been stationed around the bridge and instructed not to allow anyone through, thanks to the recent attempted kidnapping and assumed murder of Dara Qualue. One individual stands out in the crowd – a young boy, no more than fourteen years of age, wearing a brown trench coat, and beside him, a large, quadrupedal, fur-covered beast with tusks and a single massive talon where each of his hands and feet would be. Although the rest of the group is still relatively under control, the boy’s angry, high-pitched insults can be heard above the crowd.

Ignus walks to Adachi in the middle of the group and tells him that he’ll calm the mob of people trying to cross the bridge. Adachi responds by stepping down off his crate and asking Ignus to talk to the young boy with the strange beast, fearful that his insults will turn to violence. Although he is unsure of whether or not the beast will attack him, Ignus goes to the young boy, who introduces himself as Samson Araios, a member of the noble Araios family. The two talk about Samson’s reasons for being so upset, and Ignus learns he is simply sick of the guards in the city who pretend to have power, and that he wants to get to the bottom of the recent murders. Although Ignus states that he also shares Samson’s frustration and wants to help him, the boy refuses to agree unless he can prove that he has the power to change the city.

Ignus responds by turning to the guards guarding the gate, and setting himself and his armor on fire. The people around him immediately move away, and he calls out in a loud, clear voice, “Open the bridge!” Unsure of what to do and startled by the power behind his proclamation, the guards move apart and allow people to cross. Leanna gains a newfound respect for Ignus, and she notices that her light begins to glow a faint blue when she is around him. The party follows the moving people across the Goodman’s Bridge, where they meet Delin and learn of their new deadline for solving the murders and begins to formulate a plan.

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You Want to Kidnap Who?!

The party goes to visit the woman in the hospital that Delin rescued, only to be informed that she is currently not accepting visitors, and that her bodyguards have arrived to retrieve her. Ignus appeals to her sense of justice, stating that although she is not interested in an audience, she is a key witness in the recent murders, and that he and his party are under orders by Constable Frei to bring the murderer in. Although she hesitates, she says to the party that she will cooperate with them, and tells them at the woman they brought is in Dara Qualue, the widow of Count Qualue whose body was found three weeks ago under the Goodman’s Bridge.

Delin and Ignus move up to the second floor, where there were told the woman would be, only to find that the door to her room was locked and that her bodyguards were preventing anyone from entering. Delin immediately tries to break down the door with his head and is thrown against the ground by a more level-headed Ignus, leaving a head-sized dent in the floor.While Ignus searches for anyone capable of unlocking the room, Leanna stays near the receptionist and asks for any way to numb the pain from the parasite attached to her back. She is informed that although her operation resulted in many interesting research questions, the hospital is under no obligation to provide her with additional treatment. Despite her protests, the receptionist refuses to budge, and Leanna moves up to the second floor to join the rest of the party.

Ignus manages to find a key to widow Qualue’s room with little effort, and unlocks the door to find a very angry Drune and his companion, as well as the woman they rescued sitting upright in a wheelchair. Drune immediately recognizes Ignus, and pulls out his greatsword to attack. Leanna makes the first move, firing a beam of light at Drune’s companion. Drune yells at him, “Drast! You get her! I’ll handle the others!” The woman starts screaming, as Drune moves to the doorway to block the party from entering. However, Delin shoves him back, and Drune is forced into the middle of the room.

The party enters the room, as ignus starts swinging his greataxe and Delin begins flying towards Drune and Drast, hoping to catching them off guard. Drast draws two small blades from his belt and flings them at Leanna. Although she manages to dodge the first one, the second grazes her arm, and a black liquid begins spreading from the wound and numbing her arm. Drune and Ignus continue their duel, as Delin bounces around the room, head-butting Drast in the side. Undeterred by the poison in her arm, Leanna continues blasting Drast with her Onslaught. Ignus moves around Drune as Ignus stands between them to prevent him from chasing, and brings his great-axe down on Drast, leaving him on the floor in a puddle of his own blood. As Leanna blinds Drune with her light, Delin and Ignus move to either side of him and strike him down, ending the skirmish in the hospital room.

The woman begins crying and tries to wheel herself away from the party, but they trap her in the hospital room and began talking to her about how the two men they just attacked were trying to kill her. She tried to explain between sobs that they were here trusted bodyguards, and that they were there to protect her. Clearly undeterred by this information, the party continues to try to talk to her, even though she is clearly upset by their presence. Finally, they decide to knock her out and take her back to Magellan’s Estate, where they hope to have more time to convince her of the the danger that they supposedly saved her from. Delin knocks her out and throws her over his shoulder, while Ignus and Leanna break the window and leap down from the second floor. They move quickly to the Estate to prepare Dorial to receive their new guest, while Delin leaps down and returns to the mansion a different way to throw them off their trail.

Ignus and Leanna make it back to the Estate undisturbed, and while Dorial is clearly upset by their story, he hopes to learn more about why they kidnapped Data Qualue when she arrives. However, after thirty minutes of waiting for Delin, it becomes clear that something has happened to him on his way from the hospital, and they go back to investigate.

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A Noble's Armor at a Noble's Price

The next day, the party goes over the information that they’ve collected, and heads over to Mishen’s Masterworks to continue their investigation. They find his shop in the center of town, with the unmistakable clanging of his hammer striking metal resonating throughout the markets. Athough he appears to be in the middle of forging a weapon, Ignus walks up to him and begins asking questions. Mishen quickly interrupts him and says that the his waiting list is hanging from the post in the front of his shop, and that he can write his name and order at the bottom of the list.

As he moves away from Mishen to ponder his next move, Ignus sees two men approach Mishen and begin speaking in an angry tone. The larger of the two men, with a greatsword strapped to his back, says to Mishen, “Hey, you got that sword ready yet? I paid a lot of money for it, and a lot more to get past your stupid waiting list, so I better see that sword in my hands right now!” Mishen replies that his sword will be done tomorrow, and rushing the sword in this state would only decrease its quality. The smaller man addresses the larger as Drune, and agrees with Mishen in a high, scraping voice. Although Mishen’s requests are more than reasonable, the two men refuse to leave, so Ignus moves to try and convince them that even though he also has business with Mishen, interrupting him in the middle of his work would be rude, and that they should return tomorrow when the weapon is completed.

Although the larger man scoffs at Ignus’ words, the smaller appears to listen, and repeats to Drune that they should return tomorrow after heading to the hospital and checking up on Qualue’s widow. The two men walk out of the store, leaving Ignus and Mishen alone. Mishen turns to Ignus and says that although he had the situation firmly under control, he still appreciates the assistance, and asks what business Ignus had with him. ignus explains that he would like a set of armor for Delin and himself, and that he is also here under the order to Constable Frei to ask him what he knows about the recent murders. He learns that Mishen has indisputable evidence that Orellik is the murderer, and wants Ignus to give his testimony to the Frei in order to make sure his testimony is taken seriously, and in response, he will be happy to craft Ignus’ armor at a cheaper cost and move his order to the top of the waiting list. While he understands that his testimony is valuable, Ignus responds that he would prefer to gather more information before convicting Orellik, inadvertently infuriating Mishen by saying that he wasn’t going to execute a man based solely on his word alone. Mishen repeats his offer, and asks that Ignus leave and return only when he is ready to accept his testimony as truth.

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The Fortuneteller's Bargain

A day after Leanna’s operation, the party sets off begins their investigation of Orellik in earnest. The first place they stop is the business of the fortuneteller, Salazia. Her fame in Jyrek certainly precedes her, and the party has no problem finding her. The party steps into a large blue building adorned with purple banners, although they are informed by the two attendants at the entrance that audiences with Salazia must be booked months, if not years in advance, their relationship with Count Magellan buys them an exception.

The party moves onto the large stage where Salazia holds her daily shows, and they are confronted with a slender woman wearing a gold-laced purple dress. She has a thin veil over her head, but a close look shows that she wears a full-faced black mask covered with depictions of eyes.

“You are here for two things. Information about my beloved Orellik, and about your friend’s unfortunate ailments.” She displays her psychic abilities freely, addressing each of the party by name. She says to them that her fiance is innocent of the crimes that he is accused of, and that she has no interest in providing any further commentary. However, she does tell the party that if they return to Frei with reports of Orellik’s innocence, she would reward them with the information they sought about the parasite on Leanna’s spine. In a show of good faith, she tells them that the only way to remove such a troublesome creature is with an ancient device called the Impossible Blade. However, more information would have to wait until Orellik was cleared of suspicion.

The party leaves Salazia, hopeful that they’ll be able to convict Orellik of the murders in order to gain more information about Leanna’s condition. Ignus, Leanna, and Lloyd decide to return to Magellan’s Estate in order to plan out their next move and gather more information, while Delin decides to spend his time scouting out the Goodman’s Bridge. He finds the that bridge is now being watched by guards belonging to Constable Frei, although from what he’s seen, they haven’t been very effective.

That night, Delin activates his gravity powers and hovers over the bridge, watching for any suspicious activity. While the guards are still watching the bridge, he still sees a lone woman, dressed in fine clothing, quietly speak to one of the guards and walk onto the bridge undeterred. She walks to the middle of the bridge and spends a few minutes sitting on the railing overlooking the river below. She then places one leg over the railing, and before Delin can react, leaps off the bridge and disappears into the darkness.

Delin rushes down to the river, where he quickly scans the surrounding area, hoping to find the woman. He sees slight movement in an area underneath the bridge, and finds the body of the woman who jumped floating just underneath the water. He scoops her up to find that she is still breathing, and rushes her over to Jyrek Central in order to receive treatment. Afterwards, he returns to Magellan’s Estate to discuss his findings with the others and rest until the next day.

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Of Hospital and Home

Lloyd:
Llyod wanders through the slums of Jyrek and manages to find a completely abandoned warehouse on the south-west side of the Puddles. He determines that the warehouse could easily be used as a temporary hideout, given its out-of-the-way location, and with a little work, could be made into a serviceable living space for a time. He then goes back to their previous location in order to meet Delin.

Delin
Through his contact, Delin gains the location of Orellik’s house and his likely location during the day: the Wayward Tavern. He meets up with Lloyd after finding this information and the two of them go off to Orellik’s house to find more information.
After 20 or so minutes of walking, they find themselves in a small residential area on the east side of the city. Oreillk’s house is small, and rather than being discreet, Delin unsurprisingly head-butts the door in. They find nothing of value in the house, but they are confronted by the landlord of the building who loudly states that they have no right to be there and that the guards are on their way. Delin and Lloyd quickly subdue the landlord, and in a desperate act to escape before more people arrive, sprint through a wall in the back of the building, leaving a Delin-sized hole. They then head off to Jyrek Central Hospital to find Leanna.

Leanna:
Leanna attempts to check herself into the Jyrek Central Hospital, only to be badgered by the receptionist about her health insurance and ID. Instead, she puts on her shirt that displays internal organs, and shows the receptionist two very interesting and previously-unknown problems: the two-foot, scaled purple worm attached to her spine with multiple tendrils extending out to her organs, and the fist-sized region of complete darkness in the middle of her chest. After seeing this, the receptionist calls over several nurses to take Leanna into a room where her problems can be diagnosed.

After an hour surrounded by a swarm of doctors and nurses, Leanna learns that the purple worm appears to be some kind of parasite that provides temporary physical enhancements. However, as the worm matures, it will continue growing larger and larger until it consumes the host and moves on to the next state of its life cycle. They could not determine the species of the worm, but recommended attempting to remove it immediately. The area of darkness in her chest could not be diagnosed, but was thought to be related to her waning vision.

Leanna is informed that the operation to remove the worm would have to done while awake, due to complications with blood pressure and heart/lung stress that could impact the process of removing such a large parasite. However, they would be able to temporarily disable certain nerve endings leading to the affected areas. Leanna is prepped for surgery, as she is moved into a large auditorium for researchers and other curious observers to watch the operation.

Leanna is placed face down on the operating table, and as the first few incisions are made into her back, it is immediately apparent that the creature will not be simple to remove. With numerous tendrils already embedded in several vital organs, it would be very difficult to remove the worm without harming the host. In addition, over a dozen attempts were made to penetrate the worm’s thick outer shell, first with scalpels and and bonesaws, then with industrial cutting lasers and trying to shatter the shell by freezing it. The only technique that was able to cut the shell was a high-powered chainsaw with ultra-dense synth edges traditionally used for cutting through thick metal walls. However, cutting into the creature caused it to extend more tendrils into Leanna’s heart, lungs, and liver. Seeing this as a threat to the patient’s life, the doctors stopped the operation.

Ignus:
In an attempt to secure a base of operations in Jyrek, Ignus asks around about Count Magellan’s Estate, since he already has documents stating that the party is in the city under the orders of the Count. Ignus is directed to a large, crystal and white marble mansion in the Silver district. The mansion itself looks like it contains at least twenty bedrooms, and the outside is surrounded by a well-kept rose garden dotted with several small gazebos. He convinces the guard to send for the housekeeper through his noble demeanor and relevant papers, and soon, a tall, gray-haired man walks out to greet him.

“My name is Dorial, and I am the head housekeeper of Count Magellan. What business do you have here?” Ignus explains that he is currently investigating the murders in the city, and since his father was well acquainted with the Count, he was hoping the Count would be able to provide him and his party a place to stay while in Jyrek. Dorial explains that the Count is currently away on business, but that the party is free to stay in the mansion during the course of their investigation. With a new home in Jyrek located, Ignus goes to Jyrek Central Hospital, worried about Leanna.

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On the Case! Tale of the Nobleman Murders

The party arrives in Jyrek after two weeks of travel from Tremble Pass. During this time, they pass by a number of travelers and merchants on the way two and from Jyrek, and slowly learn about the general state of the city, as well the layout of the city itself. Rumors of murders have been slowly trickling out of the city, but very few concrete details can be found.

During this time, Leanna notices that her vision is getting worse, and that the sun appears to be in the direction of the north-east. However, the party continues to Jyrek, with the hope of finding someone who remove the creature from Leanna’s back.

After stepping through the southern gates of the city, Delin immediately disappears into one of the back streets, stating that he’d be right back. Meanwhile, the party is confronted with a mob of peasants, shouting at a sheepish man as he addresses the crowd from his position above a small wooden crate. Moving closer, the party learns that several nobles have been killed, and that the nobility have responded to these murders with strict curfews and heightened surveillance. However, the lower-class has been suffering as a result of these new measures, since the increase in guards only results in an increase in taxes. In addition, the murderer is yet unknown, with very little evidence being left at the scene. Ignus attempts to convince the people to leave, but his declaration of his noble birth draws more hate from the crowd.

Delin returns during Ignus’ speech with several IDs, stating that the party is here under the employ of a Count Magellan. He states that the IDs are fake, but that he has an old contact in the city who can provide him with information and other such materials. Delin tries his hand at calming the people, but only succeeds in head-butting several of them. Still, the crowd disperses, most of them running away from Delin, and the party is left alone with the man on the wooden crate.

He introduces himself as Adachi, one of the members of the police force and assistance to Constable Frei. As you talk with him, you learn quite a bit about the ongoing investigation, including the names of the four victims, and the location of the crime scene: Goodman’s Bridge. However, before you can speak much more with him, a booming voice grabs your attention. “Adachi! How many times have I told you not to talk about case to outsiders?”

The voice belongs to a man who introduces himself as Constable Frei, the head of the police force in Jyrek. Ignus mentions to the Constable that the party is here under the order of Count Magellan, and presents the relevant paperwork. As a result of this, Frei provides the party with information about the murders, and asks for their help in gathering evidence about the main suspect, a sellsword named Orellik. He tells the party that four people have been murdered over the past few months:

Eelos, who was found on top of Goodman’s Bridge two months ago. He had been clearly strangled, and several of his bones were crushed.
Faenouc, who was discovered a half-mile downstream of Goodman’s Bridge one week after Eelos’ death. The cause of death was not able to be determined
Qualue, who was found underneath the bridge three weeks ago. The body was crushed much like Eelos. Frei supposes that the man was killed underneath the bridge, rather than being dragged down from the top of the bridge.
Yiaen, who was found on top of Goodman’s Bridge two days ago. His death was very similar to that of Eelos.

In addition, Frei gives the party a few leads to investigate. Orellik owned a small house in the Puddles. In addition, he provides the names of a few people who might know more about the night of the murders, or Orellik himself: His mother, Salazia the Fortuneteller, Mishen, the owner of Mishen’s Masterworks, and Om the Osbergian, a well-known researcher of the Numenera.

Armed with this information, and with the promise of a reward if they bring Orellik in, the party promptly splits up with the hope of covering more ground and completing their tasks. Lloyd and Ignus each go off in search of a more permanent residence than the local Inn, Delin goes off in search of more information about Orellik and Leanna weakly limps by herself off to Jyrek Central Hospital in order to ask about treatment for her parasitic spine-worm.

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Birth of a Pantheon

When night finally fell, and the people of Legrash went back to their homes, the party moved to the temple, careful to avoid attracting the attention of anyone still awake. They found that the temple was empty and lit only by the soft glow of the Lloydstone. As they opened the curtains that led to the back of the cavern, they took extra care not to wake Pollen, who spent his nights sleeping in Lloyd’s old tent. As they approached the mine shaft, Ignus lit a torch and volunteered to operate the crane that served as a makeshift elevator. Delin, Leanna, and Lloyd stepped onto the wooden pallet that served as the elevator’s floor, and descended into the darkness.

As they traveled foot after foot into the mine shaft, they saw the progress that they people of Legrash had made. The shaft opened out into a small area every fifty feet, serving as storage space for crates of supplies and other necessities. Several small indents were made in the walls of the shaft, solely for the purpose of putting a statue of Lloyd inside. Still, as they continued further, they began to see a number of strange formations in the wall, almost as though the rock there had been melted away by something. Similarly, there were a number of rough tunnel openings about three-feet wide that appeared sporadically along the walls. These formations increased in frequency the further down they went, and when they finally reached the bottom, they found the cause.

When the elevator touched down against the pockmarked stone floor, the first thing that the party saw was several brown, moving objects at the openings of the tunnels in the shaft walls. When they sensed the presence of movement at the bottom of the shaft, the objects popped out of the tunnels and revealed their true form: stubby, three-foot tall brownish-green creatures with hard chitinous plates protecting their head and back, and rows of razor sharp teeth lining the insides of their flat, wide mouths.

Before they had a chance to react, one of the creatures opened it’s mouth wide and launched a globule of viscous green goo at Delin. He managed to just barely dodge it, and it splattered against the back wall, sticking to the solid rock and melting it into a greenish-gray puddle on the ground. Thinking quickly, Lloyd, placed a thick metal tube bisected by an orange glow of light onto the ground, setting up a force field that separated them from two of the creatures. Leanna, in her now light-less state, barely managed to summon forth the energy to create an Onslaught, but what little remnants of light remained collected themselves in the tip of her finger and she focused it at one of the creatures. Delin followed up by launching himself towards the creature and wrapping his arm around its head in an attempt to keep it from spitting more goo at them. Meanwhile, the other two creatures curled up into balls and began spinning, their thick outer shells grinding and cutting into the stone floor.

With one of the creatures immobilized by Delin, Leanna and Lloyd finished it off with a quick burst of light and jolt of electricity. Noticing that the other two creatures had disappeared into tunnels cut into the floor, Lloyd pulled out a burnished metallic sphere with a single white lens on the outside, and readied it for when the creatures returned. They never did, however, and the mine shaft remained quiet. Now, they were ready to put their plan into action. Lloyd, for some reason, insisted on being naked and covered in explosive goo, so Delin and Leanna did their best to accomodate his strange wishes. Afterwards, Delin and Leanna returned to the surface on the elevator, leaving Lloyd alone in the barren mine shaft, and waited until dawn when followers would arrive to continue the previous day’s work.

When dawn broke, the sounds of activity could be heard outside. Pollen walked into the room, surprised to see someone else in the cavern. “What are you all doing here? I wasn’t expecting you to be here so early.” Ignus explained that they felt a strong presence here, and came to determine the cause. Pollen went down into the mine shaft by himself to investigate, and several minutes returned with a gooey and shivering Lloyd. Pollen took off his robe and gave it Lloyd, as he turned to the party and exclaimed “This is truly a great day! Lloyd has returned to us in the flesh to lead us to the heart of the mountain! Please Lloyd, you must come with me, your followers need to hear your message from your own mouth.” Still covered in goo, Lloyd walked with Pollen out of the back of the cavern, while the party slowly followed behind.

When they reached the main hall, Lloyd addressed the people who were gathered there. “This is a great day for us all! The one true Lloyd has returned!” He beckoned Lloyd to move up to the pulpit so that he could speak to the audience. As Lloyd spoke, he could see that many of the followers were completely caught up in his presence, and stared at him with eyes full of excitement. There were, however, several in attendance that did not accept a naked, goo-covered man to be the almighty Lloyd they had heard about, even if he looked like him. They shouted jeers while Lloyd spoke, calling him out and forcing him to prove his abilities in front of the audience. Lloyd charged his hand with electricity, in an effort to show his power, but the few unruly audience members pointed out that Pollen used the same ability on a daily basis. “Lloyd has only just returned to this world, he has not yet had time to regain his true powers.” Still, even as he said this, there was a look of expectation in his eyes,

In an effort to prove himself, Lloyd moved to the Lloydstone and shocked it with a surge of electricity from his hand. However, almost as if taunting him, the Lloydstone remained inert. At this point, other members of the congregation had started to question Lloyd’s authenticity. Seeing that the crowd was beginning to turn against Lloyd, Ignus stepped forward, ignited his armor in a blaze of orange and crimson flame, and addressed the people with the confidence of a nobleman. He explained that he and his companions were indeed gods, and had come here to collect Lloyd for a mission of great importance. To support his words, Leanna summoned forth as much energy as she could, causing her skin to emit a bright yellow light. Delin, in true Delin fashion, kicked off as hard as he could and launched himself into one of the cavern walls, leaving an imprint of his forehead in the dense rock. Both appreciative and deeply disappointed, Ignus continued with his speech and told the people that Lloyd was indeed the one true Lloyd, although weakened by his battles, and that when he next returned to Legrash, he would prove himself to them many times over.

None of the people there could deny that the four individuals in front them held unique abilities, and caught up on Ignus’ words and attitude, the crowd prostrated themselves in front of the party and begged for their forgiveness. Ignus bade them to stand, and told them that they would be in Legrash until tomorrow morning, when they would set off for the Steadfast to continue with their world-changing mission. Pollen stepped forward and declared that everyone in town should take this day to celebrate the return of Lloyd and his allies, and learn as much as they could from them before they left. Satisfied with the way things had gone, the party left the temple and went off to mingle with the people of Legrash.

Lloyd spent the day basking in the apologies of those for doubting them, and immediately started accepting offerings. He requested an embroidered pillow from one of the children, with full understanding that it was the child’s prized possession, and commented that now that he had returned, the village should spend its time selling gems and materials from deep inside the mountain to gain wealth. He mentioned that the next time he came back, he hoped that the village would be more accommodating and less muddy. Pollen had been following him for some time, and although he kept a smile on his face, there was a look of pain in his eyes. Ignus asked around for an armor-smith, capable of making him armor fit for a noble. Although the people of Legrash were not capable of creating such armor, he heard from a visiting merchant that the city of Jyrek in Thaemor would most likely have what he was looking for. Similarly, Leanna inquired about someone able to remove the creature attached to her back, and she was told that a big city such as Jyrek would likely have the resources needed to detach it.

After spending the night at the Rusty Nail, the party leaves Legrash in good spirits. The village sends them off with heartfelt goodbyes, and wishes them the best on their journey. Pollen, however, is not around to see them leave. They party travels for another week along Tremble Pass, facing few issues, save for a pack of wandering Pallones. When they reach the Steadfast, they spend some time among the pilgrims that set up camp along the entrance to the pass, and learn more about their destination. Leanna notes that the sun is still fixed in the sky, now to the north-west, but for the other members in the party, the sun is moving across the sky normally. Still, the party decides to move south to Jyrek, where they hope they can find answers to a few of their many problems.

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It's Pronounced Lay-graus

A small mountain town dug into the side of Mt Zanlis, Legrash is the only sign of civilization along Tremble Pass. Although the pilgrims of the Wandering Walk report it as being a disease-ridden hellhole full of murderers and pickpockets, the current reality is strikingly different. The roads have been crudely paved with stone, providing a pathway through the mud-covered earth. The old, decrepit buildings have been patched up with scrap wood and clay, and a number of new buildings have even been erected. The most noticeable changes, though, are the large, clay statues of Lloyd, standing tall by the entrance to the town, and in the distance, a temple that has been cut into the side of the mountain.

As the party approaches the entrance to town, Lloyd notices the multiple statues that bear his likeness, and promptly throws up his hood to prevent anyone from seeing his face. As he does, a white-robed man, feet caked with mud, moves from the entrance of town to meet the party.

‘Howdy there, travelers! How ya’ll doin’? Look like you’ve been traveling for quite some time!" He pulls back his hood to reveal dirty-brown and gray hair, and a smile missing more than its fair share of teeth. “My name’s Lester, lemee tell you somthin’ about old Legrash here.” Lester goes on to explain about Legrash’s newfound religious beliefs at the hand of a prophet who arrived several months ago. The prophet displayed great and awe-inspiring powers, which he said he received from the great Lloyd, patron saint of Mt. Zanlis, Although Lloyd was no longer walking among them, the prophet said that he would prepare the way for him to return by carving a path deep into the mountain. “That prophet’s taught us all kinds of things, and he tells us the words of the great Lloyd every day during his sermon. If you’re got time, it’s in a couple hours. Why don’t you stop on by?”

The party decides to stick around town for a while and gather information, in the hopes of figuring out why Lloyd is suddenly being worshiped as a god in a backwards mountain town. Delin keeps making silly faces at Lloyd whenever someone mentions his name, hoping that he might explain himself. Still, Lloyd appears to have no idea why people are making clay statues of him, so he goes along with the party to the local temple, keeping his hood over his head all the while.

The temple itself is fairly large and spacious,. A large cavern cut into the mountain, it appears to be capable of holding over 200 people at a time. Rows of stone benches line the floor, and the walls are decorated by crude paintings and statues of Lloyd. In the center of the room lies a large stone altar with a head-sized yellow crystal resting on it, and in the back, a set of heavy wool curtains separate the main chamber from the cavern beyond. Faint sounds of whirring machinery can be heard from beyond the curtains.

As the party enters, a large bolt of lightning strikes the ground behind them, and where it hit stands a young man smelling of singed hair and dressed in a dusty white robe. He introduces himself as Pollen, and while the others have never seen or heard of him before now, Lloyd recognizes him as a slightly older, more mature version of the boy he saved on Mt. Zanlis. “You’re welcome to join us for the sermon,” Pollen says, “but I’d be happy to show you around a little beforehand. We get many visitors here who are interested in learning more about the one true Lloyd.”

He beings to take you around the main temple area, showing you the various artworks and statues that the people of town have created and displayed here. As the party continues asking him questions about Lloyd and how he came to be worshiped here, Lloyd takes you beyond the curtains into the back rooms of the cavern, where all kinds of mining equipment is stored. He shows you a shrine to Lloyd, a small corner of the cave with a tattered tent and charred climbing equipment that he says was used by Lloyd as he ascended up the mountain. He continues on to say that when Lloyd reached the top of the mountain, a blinding flash of light hid him from view, and the next time he saw him was in a dream, a room of pure white filled with strange people standing around them as Lloyd lay by his side.

Finally, he leads you to the back of the cavern, where a large mine shaft has been dug several hundred feet into the rock, and where the clanging of metal against rock can be heard even from this far above. He rolls up his sleeve to reveal a marking etched into his skin: a jagged circle with a lightning bolt-shaped dagger running through the center of it. He concludes his tour by saying that this was the mark he received as proof of Lloyd’s blessing upon him, and that he and his followers dig tirelessly into the mountain in the hopes that Lloyd will return to them.

By the time that Pollen finishes his tour and explains the five tenants of Lloyd, people have already started gathering outside for the sermon. He invites the party to find seats in the main hall and be blessed as he delivers Lloyd’s message to the people. Then as quickly as he appeared, he vanishes in a burst of lightning. The party leaves the back of the cavern and heads back out to the chapel, where they can see Pollen standing by the door, greeting townspeople and visitors alike.

After sitting down in the back of the chapel, the party listens intently to Pollen, as his speaks about the virtues of manliness and courage in the face of adversity. He reminds them that a truly manly person takes care of his home and his family, and that Legrash will become a prospering village with enough hard work and dedication. And finally, he invites visitors to come up and touch the Lloydstone, the yellow crystal in the front of the chapel, and understand the true power of Lloyd.

Both Ignus and Delin take his offer and walk up to the altar, where they are instructed to place both their hands on the Lloydstone. When they do so, an sharp, electrical sensation surges from the stone into their body, but causes no pain. When they release the stone, they find that both of their hands have been blackened, but that the color is caused by ash that easily rubs off.

When they return to their seats, Pollen concludes the sermon and moves to speak with some of his followers. The party leaves the temple and heads over to the Rusty Nail, one of the taverns in Legrash that provide room and board to visiting pilgrims and merchants. They devise a plan to have Lloyd miraculously return during tomorrow sermon, and rest the remainder of the day, waiting for nightfall to put their plan into action.

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