Numenera

Session One
Johnah Hammer

Johnah Hammer wondered anew what he was doing in Finnegan’s. The tavern was loud. Even for a tavern in Qi, one of the largest if not the largest cities of the Steadfast. The celebration was not one he expected to fall into. All about him people in green tinted clothing often decorated with a four leaf clover.
It was madness.
Johnah idly wondered if perhaps he should have worn his armor after all but such worthless musings were worthless. He knew as did most others that in the city of Qi, it was… discouraged form wearing anything over say a leather jerkin. Something about looking to invite trouble.
Thankfully those thoughts did not transfer over to his weapons. Indeed, without his great maul and heavy crossbow, the ‘Hammer’ would have felt naked.
Johnah slowly sipped his beer. It was a heavy dark dry stout that resembled oil more than a good beer. Still, in his early years training in the monastery, he learned to not waste and so nursed it.
More disturbing to Johnah were those he sat with. He could not recall how they had all gathered at this particular tavern in Qi, at this particular table at Finnegan’s, but there they were.
To his right sat Dameris ‘the Immortal’. She was a pale white beauty but there was something rotten about that beauty. Despite her appearance, no one asked that ivory statuette to dance. Something about her manner unnerved even the most resolute individuals.
Next to her say Drugah Voss. He remained fairly ‘normal’ in terms of some of the things the Hammer had seen. Johnah knew that such apperances could be deceiving though.
Across from him sat Hugo Hall. Johnah shuddered. The man was more machine than meat. The eyes always searching out new pieces of Numenera either to visually fuck or to dreamily lust after. The unnaturalness about it brought a shudder to the Hammer who had to control himself from downing his dark stout.
Next to Hall sat Luselm. She moreso than Drugah was unremarkable in the loudness of Finnegan’s.
A thick mustached man with red hair pointed to us across the room. His face as red as his beard.
Next to eh man was a smaller one.
“You’re at our table. Leave!”
Johnah looked to the ivory one. “I didn’t understand him.”
“Nor I. Perhaps if he spoke normally?”
The red haired one introduced himself as Angus and demanded we leave.
The Hammer looked Angus dead in the eyes rolling his huge shoulders. “We need no anus at this table.”
The little one smirked but Angus swelled like a balloon being blown up. “What? What?”
“No anus here friend. It’s not needed.”
The little one stepped in. “What my friend means is that we would like to join you. I be Smith, Roger Smith.”
The Hammer nodded to the two who pulled up some seats and wondered again at what he was doing here. Some second hand information brought him here to seek out new work. Things had been different for the Hammer since his time at the Monastery.
Roger pulled forth a clockwork bird and began winding it up. It was gold and brass and its movements were fluid.
Hugo’s eyes glossed over and his hand reached out towards the bird. The bird lifted a leg and emitted some dark based liquid, darker than the stout Hammer drank.
Hugo stuck one finger into the vicious liquid and tasted it.
The Hammer laughed. “The bird craps and you would taste of it? This is why I often think people of the city are dirty.”
Hugo didn’t smile but the others at the table did. Hugo didn’t seem insulted by such words. Indeed, the look on Hugo’s face was almost one of scanty as if he looked past the physical nature of the waste and was determining what it was on a larger scale of things.
The tavern increased in tempo. A bard played with Numenera white gloves that left notes visible in the air that the bard then played with the white gloves as if the music were a physical entity.
The commotion became louder still. Then panic. People ran into the room screaming that “It’s Happening again!” Robots had gone mad for some reason. These security droids designed to keep the peace gone mad. Wires twisted all around a metal skeleton.
“Are you going to put that in your mouth next?” The Hammer sneered at Hugo.
“No. We should be leaving.” Hugo replied in a matter of fact manner.
Drugah disagreed. “We need to take this thing out!”
Hammer wasted no further time on talk and with Roger, the two flipped the table over to act as cover. While it looked like mere wood, the material was far stronger. People drunkenly brawled had cracked bone with the steins which shared the wood look, but also shared the far stronger durability.
Having taken shelter behind the flipped over table, The Hammer smiled. This reminded him of the many caravan trips he had made since leaving the Monastery. His skills had proven invaluable on many of this trips, saving lives and exploring the wilds.
The pulled out the heavy crossbow and fired a shot but was over.
The white one did something, but it appeared to have no effect. No, that wasn’t quite true. Something flicked around the metal skeleton and the barbed wire slashed it to pieces.
Drugah looked at one of the tables and it rose and flew towards the metal menace. The table flew into different directions.
Luselm seemed possessed of madness running towards it with a dagger. She evaded the razor wire around it and struck the creature, but it was no deer to be skinned with a mere dagger. She rolled back and avoided the thing’s wires again.
Hugo threw a mug at the creature. The mug was hit so many times by the barbed wire that it ceased to exist.
The thing looked at our group. It raised a rod with red glowing light that aimed at Roger. Angus stepped in front of the blast and smirked.
The rest of the group looked on in horror. What Angus didn’t realize at first was that a hole had formed in his chest large enough for even the barrel chested Hammer to put his arm through.
Angus twitched and fell.
This time, the Hammer paused for a moment as he aimed. The heavy bolt struck true this time into the creature’s skull. The barbed wire danced about the creature cutting those foolish enough to be near in two save for Luselm who easily dodge the wires.
“Another is coming!” A person yelled.
The Hammer wasted no time on pondering and instead loaded his heavy crossbow with another bolt.
Luselm began looking over the metal corpse. The rod it used to kill Angus shattered into powdered metallic glass that dissipated into the floor.
Dameris, the white beauty stood over Angus. She placed hand on neck and the Hammer wondered, “What the hell was she doing?” Clearly Angus was dead. Past all hope.
Drugah looked over the creature with Luselm. His intention seemed more investigative. His eyes more interested in what was happening behind the scenes. “Perhaps they have been hacked? This would seem to be a mode designed to repel intruders.” He said what many of us though.
Hugo examined the fallen creature as well. Was he seeking to incorporate it into his own man machine frame?
Hugo unlike the other two investigators, became one with the machine. The Hammer could see numbers and data actually flashing over Hugo’s eyes. It was a terrifying change of man from machine.
The screams became more audible. Another of the metallic skeletons were approaching. Hugo went to one side of the door and Luselm to the other.
Before it entered though, Drugah’s pop’s a pill. His face took on a look of effort and outside, one of the poles housing a glow globe smashed down upon the metal enforcer.
Dameris walked outside ignoring the hysteria of the ‘common’ people. She straddled one of the corpses outside and injected it in the neck with a needle while kissing the dead forehead.
The thing that was once dead screamed. A final breath shot out of its lungs. It began to rise, picking up a piece of debris as a club. It then moved onto the machine.
The Hammer took a moment to aim and smiled. Be a shame if he hit the newly created zombie but firing into combat was a risk he was willing to take. Undead and machines? Either one would make a good target.
But his aim was true. The bolt smashed through the skull casing again.
The Hammer went outside. It was chaos.
The machines fought each other. Those that were in ‘red’ mode were easily defeating those in ‘blue’ mode. People were losing limbs and others were exploding.
The Hammer pondered the end of Qi.
Hugo looked at us. “We need to find a hub. At this hub, there is something infecting these creatures.”
Luselm has a look of confidence on her face. “I know exactly where we can find this local hub.”
The people in Finnegan’s barricade up. They failed to appreciate that one had come in through the roof. The sounds of their slaughter is not pleasing but there is no time to waste.
Luselm’s mastery of Qi is unprecedented as she leads the group through the city. Through alleys and under spires. Through quick underground passages and abandoned buildings. Most of the group walked like mere mortals but Drugah? He rides a disk of mental energy his arms folded across his chest.
After a few moments, all of us are lost. Hugo cries out, “You’re lost aren’t you. You’ve doomed us!”
Luselm’s smile reveals that we are not lost as she leads us into an elevator shaft. “We’re here.” The elevator leads us down and ahead we know that there are guards.
Dameris sends the undead thing forward and the guards obligingly follow it.
Drugah summons a extra hand that grabs a baton from the walkway.
And the cause of all this madness?
A preteen wearing a uniform of the Aeon Priests. His mad laughter is directed towards a holographic series of images ahead of him. Plugs and jacks go from his shaved skull into a variety of machines under him. He doesn’t sit but rather floats above the chair.
Hugo pays these things no mind and instead tries to seize the boy’s head and electricity crackles from his hand. The two engage in something not quite a battle of wills but neither moves for a brief few seconds which stretch into eternity but it does reveal that the child is surrounded by something. Some sort of barrier.
“You would stop the Doom Ladden? Prepared to taste pain!” The voice that comes from the child? It’s not child’s voice. It is one of cold and metal. Worse still, when it speaks, red lights spill forth from its mouth.
Luselm moves so stealthily that even as the others watch the scene in front of them, she disappears for a moment and then appears again and brings down her dagger into the seeming child. It does not take the stabbing as the field that protected it from Hugo’s hand of death, easily deflects the dagger.
Drugah commands his extra hand wielding the truncheon to smash the youth and with his own power, pulls forth a piece of stone. Both attacks seek to smash the youth. Some of the ports and cables are knocked loose from the child’s skull but it does not fall.
The Immortal smiles and looks deeply into the youth’s eyes. “How dare you!” The child cries out. “You think to best me?!?” And the Immortal’s perfect smile cracks and blood seeps from her nose.
Johnah tries to avoid shooting his comrades and gets the right angle, the right position and the right time. The heavy crossbow fires true but the thing grabs the bolt from the air and flicks it away.
Between Hugo and the child, the air weavers. Hugo cries out “No!” and apparently isn’t consumed by whatever the child was doing. Hugo pauses for a second, catching his breath. And without warning, reaches forward, ignoring the child for a second, and pulls at something behind the child, a cord leading into it’s back.
Then the field surrounding the child, the wavering energy flux, fades.
Luselm’s smile is not friendly as she realizes that the child’s defenses are gone and she doesn’t hesitate as the knife comes down.
Drugah continues to focus his dual efforts, the truncheon and the sheer force of his will, against the child. The concrete slab smashes against the child knocking more wiring lose and almost crushing the child’s skull.
The child falls from the air unto the floor. Metal plating revealed under the torn skin. One eye looking to the right seeing nothing.
But it still lived.
The Immortal sneered at the child seeing it weakened. She raises a hand and energy crackles at the tip of her finger.
The child laughs and Dameris’ finger explodes in blood.
The Hammer walks forward past the white one.
The child looks up. It’s one good eye focusing on the heavy crossbow.
“Free me!” It begs and for the first time, it’s in a human voice.
The Hammer does.

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Return to Qi

I was back in the large city of Qi. Dirigibles filled the skies. I’d heard the mayor of Qi lived in a dirigible filled with naked boys. The language here was called The Truth, and technopriests in the city belonged to The Order of the Truth. Major buildings in Qi included the Cathedral for the Amber Pope, infallible leader of the technopriests, and the University of Kee.

I met up with some comrades. We were all drinking at Finnegan’s pub and eating Cornish hen, a purplish bird with a grayish sauce that tasted of chicken, apples and happy memories. The other people in the pub were factory workers, still dirty from their labor.

Two unusual characters insisted we move from their table. We learned the short guy with clockwork was Roger Smith and the big guy with armor, a tophat, and red hair was Ian DeHaynus. Soon our new acquaintances were dead, though.

Outside, three of the zhevs – the robots that stunned folks when they tried to climb up to the higher levels of Qi – were outside attacking guy. It was unusual for them to come down to this low a level, and rare for them to use lethal force. But here they were, stabbing and shooting people, following “termination protocol.”

Hugo said the zhevs were being controlled from a central command center. When he described it, I knew right where it was. I took the shortest route – over some rooftops, through some basements – to lead Hugo and my other comrades there. Drugah Voss followed us on his floating disc.

In the central command center, we found a young man, dressed as an Aeon priest, who had plugged himself into the command system. We managed to disconnect him. He begged us to end his life, and we did.

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Hugo research log
Part 1

Two day ago, I answered an ad for “brave adventurer”, I thought it would be a good chance to field test my modification to my HUD and interface feeds. At Finnegan’s tavern, I met a couple of other researchers from the University, one was an Eerie Medic student called Dameris and her friend Drugah a physicist who seems to move object with a localized gravity. Also at the table was a Brute called Johnah who seems favor bashing thing with large hammer or shooting people with a heavy crossbow. The last member at the table was Luselm, I specialist in the black market, that I have used in the past for “special materials”. As we sit waiting for our employer, who no one had ever met, we were approached by large red haired Brute with a lisp (I believe that a minor therapy would fix that) and a small man with a Clockwork Canary that runs on little gear but seem to release an oil substance when touched. After a few moment of small talk, we were alerted to a disturbance outside. I was about to have the bartender contact the Peace Keeper. When one of them burst through the door began fire on the bar.

Johnah fired his crossbow at it and Drugah sent a mug of beer hurling at it. Both attacks were ineffective as it defensive ring of blades were active. Luselm managed to sneak up on it and slip a dagger in to its core processor and Johnah put a crossbow bolt in it skull which incapable it and allow me to investigate the malfunction machine. I turned on my wireless interceptor and was able to directly interface with core feed from the local hub—it appeared be infected a recursive neo-arch double crypt worm code. Just as I finish my analysis, a patron burst through the door yelling that another one of the Peace Keeper were attacking people outside. The “brave adventurers “charged out and managed to disable the rabid Peace Keeper. I also analyze it and it had the worm code running in it. I surmised that the core feed from the local hub was being corrupted by something. I asked Luselm if she knew a quick way to the local hub. Luselm lead the group through several back alleys and up and down stair and service lift until even with my full recall, I was lost. When I confront her about being lost, she pulled a switch and there was the hub and 3 more rabid Peace Keeper. One of the local merchant that Dameris had saved volunteered to distract the 3 Peace Keepers so I could get to the hub and analyzed it. When I round the corner, I noticed an Aeon Priest attempting the shut the hub down, but as I watch it appeared that the Aeon Priest was being also infected with the worm, so I attempted to reset his connection. Infected Aeon Priest attacked the group and we had to forcefully cut his connection, unfortunately this caused him serious brain damage and it was decide that he could not live in this state. Once the Aeon Priest was unhooked, I was able to trigger the anti-worm problem that cleaned the system reset all of the Peace Keepers. The Order of Truth was so happy with us. We receive some shin and a cipher. Mine was spray-on nano armor, so I went back to the lab and began studies the cipher and compile the information the rogue peace keepers and a corrupt Aeon Priest.

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Book of the Dead
1

I am in the city of QI, what a strange place. I find myself in the bar “Finnagins” with my childhood friend Drugah Voss. It has been a long time since I have seen him, is it luck? Fate? Who knows. I feel that something will happen. When? “No I don’t know where your family is” Damn the voices of the dead. Sometimes I can not control when I hear them.

There are others here with us, Hugo Hall, The Hammer, and Luselm. We seem to be here to get a job, things have gone fast since I left the school.

Two people walk in, one who can not seem to make a coherent sentence and another who seems to have a lot of clockwork items.

Next thing you know the cities Peace Keeper are going crazy, killing people. After the initial combat we head to find the source. Luselm is able to lead us to the network hub that is the reason for all of the chaos.

Some strange little boy is doing it, I wonder if he will give in to the energies I control. The short answer is no.

We are able to stop the boy, and save some lives. I still cant see what my cousins Vexor Mallus and Jake Denon enjoy about being a hero.

The priests thank us for the help. Just like most of the people they show up afterword and take the credit. Oh well time to rest and let myself heal. Tomorrow will be a better day.

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Introduction
PC Beginnings

Today you woke to the sounds of the city.
The big city. Qi, THE biggest city of the Steadfast.

The sounds that woke you today were the same sounds to wake you every day of your entire existence.

Today, though, was different.
Today your life would change.
You would change it.
It was time to end the routine.
Time to end the monotony.
Time to end the just getting by.
Time for you to drive your life in a new and exciting direction!

Your contemplation broken by the shadow of a patrolling Zhev passing by your window, you took stock of your belongings.

A handful of Shins.
A pack of adventuring supplies.
A weapon or two.
A rudimentary suit of armor.
A couple minor bits of numenera.
All of it hard won during the months of planning and scrounging leading up to today.
It would have to be enough.

You quickly ate the last meal you’d have in the hovel you’ve called a home.
Equipped your gear.
Left your keys on the table for the landlord or the next tenant to find. Time to go.

Perhaps you set out alone, or perhaps with a friend or acquaintance.

First, you plan to explore the few areas of the city you haven’t yet seen.

Then, it would be off to wherever the road took you, in search of the unknown.

Exploration and adventure await!

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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