Villainous Penumbra - A Numenera Game

Session 1 - Invasion!
First Session, Coming Together

We then picked up in Charmonde the capital city of Navarene which is under siege by a Cloud Entity called The Wyvern or Sombra Nevoa. The party started off immediately in combat when the city’s force wall defenses ceased to function. The Wyvern immediately sent invaders to suppress the citizens and supposedly reclaim the power source taken by the Priests and Agents of the Queen. The party fought bravely and was able to destroy and push back several invasion teams. During this the party recovered (from the invaders) several strange crystals with open, watching eyes in the middle of them, as well as a flat sky-blue disk that had a diameter of 6" or so. Also during this time, the party witnessed the Wyvern dumping large portions of a strange cloud-like substance that, when it came within contact with the city, began to warp the surface causing large sections of the city began to push up or down forming perpendicular angles with the areas around it.
Also during this time the party witnessed a strange figure moving through the fights. A Pumpkin Headed figure well over 7’ tall wielding a strange Axe with a spinning chain that moved around the outer edge of the blade. The creature was observed to have supernatural speed and fighting ability, dispatching a group of the Noble caste warriors (Kshatriya) with no difficulty. And the party had attracted his attention. The party began to run to get away with the figure slowly gaining. The party only managed to escape by jumping onto a section of the city that had been affected by the Entity’s mist and the city section was rising up and away from the creature.
Shortly after this the city’s Force Walls were restored and the remaining invaders were dispatched.
Once this happened a Kshatriya captain named Eladr of House Mau’di (the most militaristic, and largest noble House). He conscripted the party into service for the city to help recover those injured in the city and also help clean up those areas most affected by the attack.

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Aftermath & Rescue
Picking up the Pieces in Charmonde

2nd Session (Nov 12):
Picking up right after the last session the characters continue to help the city. They discover that many of the mages employed by the city have put areas of the city into a paused stasis. This allowed the limited number of rescue workers time to clear a section without having to worry about neglecting other areas. Some of the sections of the city returned to their original positions but many other sections did not. Over the next week the party began hearing various rumors including:

  • Pumpkin Killer being called Hallowe’en Jack
  • Pumpkin killer is an agent for The Seer (an unknown being or device)
  • Pumpkin Killer is the ghost of a deposed king
  • The Seer is in contact with the Wyvern
  • The Noble House Mau’di was responsible for the shield dropping in order to weaken the queen
  • The Crime Syndicate Upper Quarter has a way out of the city, but the price is the soul of a pure child
  • The Ruin Loded woman, Hectate, foresaw the attack and disappeared but has now returned, her house was somehow undamaged despite the rest of the neighborhood being affected
  • The Noble Houses have decided to get all of those who showed some prowess during the attack and send them out to battle the entity.

Jace/ Virdane wanted to follow up with some of these. He was especially concerned about the rumor of innocent children being taken. He and Otis/AJ decided to go talk with the strange woman named Hectate. Hectate was discovered to be a fortune teller, gypsy-type women who sold ointments, potions, and other non-traditional remedies. During this meeting they discovered that she really knew nothing about innocent children showing some disbelief that any such rumor could be true. She read Vidrane’s fortune and then asked Otis if he wanted his read. During this time she began speaking in a strange language, that only AJ could hear, that he thought were just equations and mathematical formulae. Otis then froze and to Virdane it appeared as if everything was in slow motion. He tried to move towards them but found his movements were slow and it felt like he was trying to walk though water. As she spoke Otis began to see strange images and at the very end began screaming uncontrollably. Afterwards he said that he had seen the Pumpkin Headed killer running towards him and then cut off his hand, which wouldn’t respond for a short time. The woman also kept a strange notebook in which she wrote in numerals and other mathematical symbols as she spoke.
The party then began hearing more and more rumors that the noble houses were gathering large groups of people to create a giant army that could go out and confront the Entity. After hearing this the group initially thought this was a good idea but after examining the plans realized that this was probably a way to kill those people who could resist if the noble Houses were planning on staging a coup to overthrow the Queen. House Mau’di as the most militaristic and second most powerful was recruiting the most, and eventually confronted the party to get their commitment to help. Virdane spent some more time talking with various people about the missing children rumor but came to believe that the rumor was mostly true in that this Underworld gang had a way out of the city but didn’t need children as a payment.
During this time the party continued to help with relief efforts. During one such mission they came across a woman dressed in Aeon Priests robes, that appeared to be several centuries out of date. She thanked them and began telling them that she was in the city to find help for the village she oversaw, but shortly after she arrived the city became under siege and she had been stuck here. She asked the party to help her find someone who could help her village Gisaku and gave the party a slightly damaged artifact. After repairing the artifact the party was able to view a message recorded within it. It was a woman from Gisaku who said a powerful artifact that the village used for farming had been stolen. The artifact made the area around the village especially fruitful, it allowed the farmers to harvest extra crops each year, it replenished much faster the nutrients in the soil and water, and allowed the farmers to plant any crop they wanted without having to fallow the fields between harvests. This area was very prosperous but with the loss of the artifact the land was reverting back to its natural state, which was not a very fertile area. The village needed a group of people to come and discover who had stolen it and retrieve it for them. They were willing to pay 500 shins as well as offer a few choices of minor artifacts that they had in their possession.
The party began to realize that they were being set up and that they needed to get out of the city before it was too late and the offer of the village in need also gave them a place to go. Going on the rumor they found out that a gang called the Upper Quarter had at least the possibility of getting out they began to try to figure out how to contact them. They discovered that the name of the leader of the gang was James White. But as a wanted man he was also very cautious about where he could be found. Unless you had a way to introduce yourself to him then it was impossible to see him. But the party did manage to find out that James’ main lieutenant Ryan Stephens had been recently captured and was being held by House Al’Thor. A House whose main business is trade and mercantile (with consistent rumors with ties to smuggling). So in all likelihood Ryan had been snatched as a way to curb their competition. He was being held in their main house, an old tower, several floors below the surface. The party went and scouted the location managing to find a secret entrance in the wall surrounding the property. Scheduled guard shifts could be observed as well. After sneaking into the compound they hid in a tool shed and happened to notice that there was a secret entrance in the floor of the tool shed. They snuck in and began working their way down the stair to the 9th sub-level. As they descended the environment became increasingly colder until it was almost unbearable (did damage after so many rounds). When they got to the level they first encountered a group of automatons that carried large rifles. After the fight ensued Virdane managed to convince them that he was actually an Al’Thor member. This tripped up the guards but they still attacked the other members. They were finally defeated and the party began to move farther into the level.

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Into Al'Thor Tower For Ryan Stevens
Connecting with the Upper Quarter

Session 3 (Nov 26):
Picking back up in the Al’Thor prison the party moved into the level trying to figure out where Ryan was. They came across another pair of automaton guards in the form of dogs with long expanding tails. They were able to dodge around and defeat the dogs quickly. Virdane saw a console that would have a list of the inmates, but during his attempt to open it, he accidentally alerted the rest of the house that he was an intruder. The whole tower was immediately put on alert and the doors that they had used to come down were shut and locked. Acting quickly they went around and figured out which cell Ryan was located and opened it. Ryan at first glance appeared to be human. He was approximately 5’10 but very stocky. He had a long reddish-brown beard and bushy eyebrows. Upon closer inspection it became obvious that he wasn’t entirely human.His shoulders were too wide, his face was larger than normal, his eyes smaller and reflected the light, and his hair appeared shinier than normal. After explaining to him who you were he agreed that if you got him out he would get the party an audience with James.

Knowing that the doors were out the party looked for an alternative way out and discovered an access hatch. These led into long narrow hallways or corridors (if you’re familiar with Star Trek think Jeffries Tubes) that gave access to plumbing, environmental controls and other lost technology. The party could begin to tell that they were being pursued. After overcoming some initial hurdles they came into a large room that was full of raw sewage pools, steam, floating parts of corpses, and other nasty smells. The fog was so thick it limited how far the party could see. They split up to go around and knowing that their exit was supposed to be on the far side of the room. They also saw some strange writing on the wall. Athough no one could translate exactly what it said they knew it to be some kind of warning about danger in the area. As they moved slowly around large creatures emerged from the pool, with large long claws and attempted to slash members of the party before grabbing them and dragging them down into the pool to finish them off. The party managed to survive and push on past the room.

After spending several hours navigating the tunnels they were finally getting close to the surface. Otis had managed to find and disarm several traps along the way but failed to see the next one. The floor began falling away and they had to move quickly over the collapsing floor before being stuck on the wrong side as Genny/ Crissi was crossing the piece of the floor she was standing on crumbled away out from under her although she managed to leap at the wall and her mechanical hand was able to grasp a piece of it and kept her from falling. The party managed to get a rope out to her and pulled her to safety. After spending the whole night underground and in theses tunnels the party knew it had gotten back up to the surface level when the tunnel they were in ended where there had been a cave in. Backtracking slightly they managed to find a secret entrance leading into a very large room. The room was very poorly lit and the whole area was covered in dust. Moving into the room the party saw large piles of debris arranged around the room and upon inspecting it discovered them to be old shelves. After seeing this Otis realized that this probably had been a smugglers closet. Goods either being smuggled into or out of the city probably came here and were held until they could be safely moved again, but had been abandoned for many, many years. The party slowly made their way across the room until to their surprise a large dog-like creature with strange bits of technology sticking out of its skin, as well as being covered in a combination of green scales and purple fur. The creature was an extremely formidable foe. It attacked with its massive claws and bit, or out of its mouth would come 3 large tongues and if they struck a foe would drain the energy out of the minor cyphers the characters carried. Although all were strained and had little energy left they managed to kill the long-lost guardian of the room. They got to the other side and discovered that it was not a door in the traditional sense, but a teleportation/ transportation device, which made a lot of sense. Knowing that the smuggler could bring his wares to an unsuspecting location and then be teleported to this location, would’ve made the hideout even more valuable.

The party stepped through the portal the emerged in a storage room of what was once an inn. It had been destroyed during the invasion, but the portal had survived. The sun was beginning to rise over the horizon signaling the start of the next day. It had taken all night to get Ryan and then escape back out of the compound. Upon exiting Ryan looked around and then turned to the party and said “You have fulfilled your part of the contract, now I will fulfill mine. I will reach you in 2 days’ time. I will know where to reach you, plan on hearing from me in that time.” And then he left soon disappearing in the morning mists. The party then headed back to their rooms and await the signal from Ryan.

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Waiting on James White
Tensions in Charmonde Growing

Session 4 (Dec 10)

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Meeting the Upper Quarter
Leaving Charmonde

Session 5 (Jan 7)

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Recovering the Jewels
Meeting James' Demands

Session 6 (Jan 21)

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