Monday, June 23, 2014

Numenera - The Devil's Spine - Session 3

Characters


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

*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

As the Catena started to move our brave and intrepid band of numenera hunters decided that they deserved a short respite.  Oswin and Torrent crashed in the chairs of the first car while Lynq napped in the second and Silus explored the third.  For being a millennia-old monorail, the Catena was in remarkably good condition.  A short while into their trip, while Silus was checking the middle car for loot and spoils, she heard the sound of heavy thumps hitting the roof.  At least three or four heavy "things" struck the top of the car, and they were walking around.  Noticing that there was an unsecured hatch on the roof, Silus jumped up to lock the portal, but whatever was on the other side was already starting to turn the wheel.  Thinking on her feet the stealthy jack attached her grappling hook to the wheel and then hopped down lashing the other end to a nearby couch.  The "thing" quickly lost interest and along with the others moved forward on the roof of the Catena.  Hoping to get the attention of the rest of the team, Silus found an intercom and tried to get the ancient piece device to work, but only succeeded in activating the external speakers.  For the rest of the party, everything was just peachy!

Lynq in particular was having a great time sleeping, sprawled out on one of the couches in the second car.  The glaive didn't hear the "things" walking across the roof, and didn't hear them stop at open the hatch.  It wasn't until the rush of air from outside the Catena hit his face that Lynq realized something was trying to enter the second car.  Standing up quickly, with sword and shield in hand, Lynq watched in horror as a large green blob poured through the hatch and quickly formed into a green and translucent three-hundred pound, headless ape-like monstrosity.  At first the creature didn't seem too threatening, just using it's weird tentacled arms to feel around the interior of the Catena, but Lynq wasn't taking any chances.  Without hesitation the rugged glaive stabbed the green form with his radiance blade.  In response the creature opened an orifice in it's body and sprayed Lynq with a caustic goo.  Lynq continued to swing his sword and bash with his shield while getting repeatedly spat upon by the creature.  Unable to repel the beast, the glaive was preparing for one more acidic spray when the green form exploded in a blast of electricity.  Torrent and Oswin heard the battle, and the clever lightning-riding jack went for a ride right through the monster, causing it to shatter into millions of little drops of lime-green Jello.

Oswin linked in to the Catena's controls and shouted back to the rest of the team that they weren't out of trouble just yet.  There were three other creatures on the craft, and at least one of them was starting to damage the coupling between the fourth and fifth car, which would undoubtedly affect the entire Catena.  While Torrent, Lynq, and Silus all moved into the control car and secured the roof access door.  Oswin was planning to detach the four remaining cars, hoping to send the rest of the creatures on their way.  Once the team was certain that they could continue in their travels without the other four cars, Oswin completed the procedures and everyone breathed a sigh of relief…

… and then two of the green monstrosities shattered the glass of the control car and attacked the party in a wickedly clever pincer attack.

Lynq swung away at the first creature, hacking off pieces of floppy gelatinous flesh, but also releasing a spray of gas into the room.  Everyone tried to cover their mouthes when this happened, but Torrent, as usual, had a bit of bad luck and managed to suck down at least one breath of the pungent mist.  Using his energy lance, Torrent returned the favor to the gassy beast, and with aid from Oswin's laser hand the first monster fell.  Silus stared down the second beast, and pulled out the Death by Angles artifact.  Aiming the beam device so that it would reflect off of four surfaces, the stealthy jack pulled the trigger.  First the beam hit a nearby wall, and then the portal, and then the control car's glass, and finally it struck Lynq's shield.  But the time it deflected to the green creature, the blast was so powerful that it completely incinerated the thing in a single hit.

When the Catena ended it's trip, the party found themselves in another station, however this one was in considerable disrepair.  The numenera hunters got out of the craft and headed into the rolling hills and sharp peaks of the Black Riage.  Beginning their trek along the path that Devola had set out for them, the band walked for a day and a half but stopped just before cresting a hill.  On the other side the team could hear horrific screaming and wailing.  Silus was the first to move forward and scout the path, but when she returned her description was terrifying.  Six screaming giants, fifty to a hundred feet tall were standing in a lake.  Lynq, Oswin, and Torrent looked at each other completely puzzled on how to handle the situation.  Considering going around the giants without combat, Oswin decided to get a look herself so that she could map out an alternate route.  Slowly hovering the nano stopped as soon as she too saw the strange sight.  There were indeed six screaming "forms", but they were obviously statues, eighty or more feet in height, of misshapen humans in absolute agony.  Whatever created the statues knew much of human physiology, but not how it fit together.  It was clear though that the sound of screams was coming from the statues themselves.

Hoping that the statues were in fact just a monument, the party moved down to the lake and found a small shack with a row boat pulled up alongside.  Pushing the boat into the water, the characters set out to cross the tiny lake and continue their path on the other side.  Lynq was fascinated by the waters and the statues, and took a look into the pool, incredibly interested in the fact that there were no living creatures swimming around.  Getting too close, however, Lynq found himself falling into the lake!  The water was somewhat toxic, and irritated his skin, but it wasn't too intolerable for the hardy glaive.  But the statues still called to Lynq, and he had a strong desire to swim over and make contact!  Lynq reached the nearest one, a large monstrous form, and touched it with his hands.  When the glaive returned to the rowboat, he felt a bit stronger than before… and his skin seemed to have changed color a bit, to a permanent light-green.

The party continued their trek on the other side of the lake.  After another full day of travel, the party descended into a long canyon, at the bottom of which was a ruined structure blocking the path.  Hidden at the base of the structure were three human forms, and on the other side the canyon led to a large and open plain.  The humans weren't making any sound, but they were motioning for the party to get down and hide.  Torrent moved forward to make contact with the trio.  Theobald was a treasure-hunting guide and, Askalar and Ederana claimed to be numenera hunters themselves.  They told the characters that they had a rather accurate numenera sensing device that pointed to something fantastic out in the Field of Towers ahead, but a horrible monstrosity known as a cragworm was aware of their presence and was now on the hunt.  Torrent and Oswin questioned the motives of the humans, and while Askalar and Theobald seemed to be telling the truth, the party's nano was able to probe the mind of Ederana and discovered that she was actually on a quest to face off with the Insidious Choir herself, and had two doses of a particularly nasty catholicon that could be used to battle the viral invaders.  But it wasn't time to push for more answers from the woman… there was a cragworm to deal with.

Our adventurous troupe of numenera hunters isn't afraid of any kind of worm!  Deciding that a frontal assault was the best option in this situation, Torrent arranged the rest of the party in a firing squad ready to unload everything they had all at once on the worm.  Oswin started by sending out a hunter/seeker to find the creature, and was successful!  She sent the poisoned homing dart right at the beastie, and struck home.  Now that the cragworm was alerted, the rest of the team opened fire.  Lynq and Theobald used their bows, Silus her crossbow, and Torrent and Askalar broke out some artifacts to take down the beast.  Unfortunately for the party, the creature was much harder to kill than they previously expected.  But Theobald had something that could kill the creature in one hit.  The treasure-hunter turned to Torrent and started to show him an immensely powerful cypher that could kill a cragworm instantly.  But just before he showed it to the jack, the cragworm descended on the guide and clamped down with its mouth.  The rest of the team watched horrified as Torrent held on to Theobald's feet and was carried off as well.  The clever jack tried to swing himself over to the worm's body, so that he could use his blade to slice the monstrous form open, but missed.  Torrent fell to earth, hitting hard, just as the worm tail slapped Oswin.

Silus was still hitting the beast, launching volley after volley from her crank-crossbow in a methodical fashion, each bolt doing a little more damage.  Lynq saw that Ederana was watching him as he drew his bow, winked, and launched an especially devastating arrow at the creature, sinking home in the cragworm's mouth.  The worm responded by hosing the glaive with sticky goo and then grabbing him so that he could swallow his new prey.  Oswin wasn't going to let her dear friend Lynq die, however.  With a single blast from her laser-hand, the mechanical girl sliced the head of the worm away from the rest of it's body.  The noggin-encased glaive hit the ground and rolled to a stop.  As the party looked at each other, realizing that they had just pulled off a rather impressive victory, they managed a team high-five, and prepared for the next leg of their journey.

Torrent's Days With the Defender:  5

Quotes


“Get that radiance blade and hack that thing in half, man!" - Sarah shouting at Nate, demanding that Lynq spring into combat.

"We're gonna be stuck in a jungle full of those gooey guys!" - Oswin feared that the Catena would break down and the party would be stranded in a less than desirable place.  

"I don't know how to tell you this, but there are some androgynous masculine beings like the statue of David but melted."  - Sarah's best explanation, word for word, for the Screaming Statues.

"I'm okay with not messing with it [the Cragworm], but I'll support you in your choices." - Oswin to the rest of the party when they were discussing a plan of attack.