Sunday, March 23, 2014

Numenera - The Devil's Spine - Session 2

Numenera Session 6

The Devil's Spine - Session 2

3/23/2014

Jen - Oswin, an Intelligent Nano who Fuses Flesh with Steel
Nate - Lynq, a Rugged Glaive who Explores Dark Places
Tom - Torrent, a Clever Jack who Rides the Lightning
Sarah - Silus, a Stealthy Jack who Exists Partially Out of Phase

*SPOILER ALERT* - If you haven't played The Devil's Spine yet, but plan to as a PC, please DO NOT READ this blog!

Summary

The room was large, full of bottles, tanks, pipes, and other containers that housed chemicals and various juices of unknown varieties.  But these strange devices, as odd and mysterious as they were, were of little import to our brave and somewhat desperate band of numenera hunters.  For at the center of this large and dark room was a gargantuan coiled serpent, Devola the Nagaina Matron, who asked the four intruders the reason for their trespassing, despite already knowing the answer.  The party’s clever jack who had a tendency to ride electrical currents was afflicted by an enormous parasite, presumably one of Devola’s young, that would eventually kill him.  It was the hope of the party that Devola would make a deal, that she would somehow assist the party if they had something to offer her in return, for it was rumored by the Lily, a stone construct they had met earlier, that the Nagaina Matron was prone to making deals.  

At first the party searched through their oddities.  They had fireflies in bottles, and a mirror that showed the user a picture of his or her father, but none of these even sparked an interest from Devola.  They moved on briefly to their cyphers, but when the serpent-worm took a look at the party’s gear, it scoffed at this as well.  It was clear there was nothing that they could offer in direct trade, but Devola mentioned that perhaps the numenera hunters could perform a task to gain her assistance.  The nagaina matron was clear that even though she could not remove the parasite now, she could do so with the proper materials.  She would require a chemical known as gharolan to allow her “patient” to live through a medical procedure that could be performed with the Impossible Blade.  Neither the chemical nor the blade were in her possession.  She knew that the gharolan was located near deep sea thermal vents, and told the party that they could meet with a man named Cagyn in Harmouth who could assist them in it’s finding.  As to the blade, she could only give a description.  Help with this surgery, as she reminded the team, would only come after they completed their end of the deal.  There was an intelligent “virus” known as the Insidious Choir that “infested” a portion of the Back Riage south of Uxphon.  This awakened and intelligent virus was a threat to all life, as it had found a means to create giant walking colonies the size of men or larger, as well as communicate with other virons of it’s own kind through a transmitting tower.  Although Devola seriously doubted the party’s ability to eradicate the virus completely, she tasked them with knocking out the communication tower. 

Hoping to garner some further assistance Torrent tried sweet talking Devola but had little success.  So Oswin the mechanical woman moved in and used her own sciency words to try and appeal to the beautiful mind of the female serpent-worm.  While the rest of the team looked on in abject horror, Oswin’s flirtations somehow appealed to the creature, and she began offering various things to aid the numenera hunters in their task.  First she told them of a station where a great shackled beast could quickly transport them to the part of the Black Riage where the Insidious Choir’s communication tower was located.  Next Oswin talked Devola into handing over some choice artifacts and cyphers.  When Oswin’s emotional probing was finished, Devola offered an inoculation against the virus, which each of the party happily accepted.  The nagaina matron bid the party adieu, and told them not to return until they had completed their tasks against the Insidious Choir and acquired the Gharolan and Impossible Blade.

The path to the “station” that housed the shackled beast was easy enough to follow.  The team of numenera hunters wanted to move quickly so that they could make good time as they only had a few months until Torrent would fall to the parasite defender, and for science’s sake no one knew how long their three missions would last.  The path eventually led to a large metal door.  Silus passed her head through the door, saw that there was a dimly lit “train station” on the opposite side, and set the boys to task opening the door.  Although the door gave Lynq a little trouble, with the help of Torrent he was able to force it open.  This led to a large open chamber, just over 120 feet from top to bottom, with a “train” located at the center.  Torrent, Silus, and Oswin were limited in what they could see, just barely making out the features of the area, but for Lynq’s darkvision he could see just about everything as if it were broad daylight.  

There was a control panel of sorts to the left of the platform on which the party was standing upon.  Silus ran her fingers across some braille-like bumps and received images in her head of the craft’s operation.  Called the Catena, this craft would start moving as soon as three levers were disengaged, each corresponding to one of the clamps holding the craft in place.  The craft would begin to move as soon as the third clamp was disconnected, so the team would have to be ready to go once this happened.  So the challenge was to find all three levers in this area.  Luckily for the party, which was relying on glowglobes and ambient light from some of the nearby machinery, Lynq’s tendency to explore dark places came in quite handy as he could see everything in this area as if it were broad daylight.  He easily saw the first lever through the metal grating thirty feet above the party’s head on a raised platform.  Silus put her magnetic boot cyphers on and climbed the wall until she reached the platform.  When she moved towards the lever, however, she found her faced snagged by a razor-sharp metallic strand that was attached to the floor and stretched to the ceiling.  Lynq climbed up, aided by a rope Silus tossed down, and was able to see four of the strands, each dangerously encircling the area.  Using his unbreakable shield Lynq severed all of the strands.  Figuring that this would be the easiest lever to move, they left this and continued their search.

Oswin was particularly interested in the Catena itself.  The party found that the access panels in the roof of each Catena-car were easy to open, and the team explored the craft car by car.  While most of the cars were simply for passengers, containing dusty yet comfortable couches, the front-most car had an automatic control system that Oswin was able to access with her “plug-and-play” internal wiring.  Navigating the system’s dormant controls, Oswin figured out a way to end the Catena’s autopilot system, so when the third lever was activated, the craft would not automatically travel off on its own.  When the rest of the crew decided to leave the Catena and look for the other two levers, Oswin chose to stay behind and lounge in the craft.

There were access points to an area below the Catena, and since the other two levers didn’t seem anywhere to be found Lynq led the team down a ladder into the lower level.  Strands of silvery metal were all about down in the dusty chamber, and Lynq continued to cut each strand using his shield’s edge, right up to the lever itself.  But that last strand that was cut didn’t pop the same way as the others, and may have been attached to something different than the others.  It wasn’t but a few moments after the lever was pulled that the steel spiders appeared!  Four of the creatures came up from a chamber below the lower-level, charging the party.  Lynq’s radiance blade was quickly unsheathed, Torrent unleashed his beam lance, and Silus pulled her crank crossbow.  Lynq was able to drop one before it reached them, and the beam lance and crossbow proved effective, albeit somewhat limited due to the tough armor of the spiders.  When the attack came, Torrent and Silus were able to dodge the metal mandibles, but Lynq wasn’t so lucky.  The nasty bite from the spider injected metal into his veins, causing excruciating pain and agony.  The remaining spiders were no threat to the team, although Oswin’s help would’ve been great.  Torrent injected an antivenom into Lynq’s arm which helped with some of the discomfort.

The party found the last lever in the sub-basement area, but it was surrounded by metal threads.  Using the magnetic boots, which were still active for a few minutes more, Silus climbed into the chamber carefully and activated the lever.  Lynq would climb up to the last lever while Silus and Torrent boarded the train, and once all three clamps were disengaged the party was on it’s way to a visit with the Insidious Choir!

Torrent's Days With the Defender:  1

Quotes

“Do you really want the baby on his back, on his back?  Do you want you baby back, baby back, baby back?” - Oswin was starting to get sassy with Devola the Nagaina Matron.

“Weren’t you the one who got us shot at last time?” - Sarah wanted to remind Jen where her antics got the group in previous encounters.

“It’s a Pegasus!” - Tom was fairly excited as to what sort of beast of transportation awaited them at the underground station.

“You gonna give me some sugar before I leave?” - Oswin’s sass turned to full on flirting as she began to ‘come on’ to Devola.  

“I’m starting to think that we should vote Oswin off the island.” - Sarah to the group regarding Jen... again.


“You just one up’d me!” - Lynq after watching Torrent go nuts with his beam lance.