Session 1: Our heroes arrive in Mulen during a festival of the Numenera. An exhibition is interrupted by an attack from a startlingly real series of illusions. Our heroes discover that certain items of theirs are missing, and they track a possible culprit to an underground sewer system nearby.
Session 2: In the sewers, the group discovers a hidden room that contains most of their missing belongings, which appear to have been rifled through by a thief. Vinaya’s item is still missing. Further into the tunnels they come upon Jynx’s childhood friend, Jev. Together, they find another hidden passage in the sewer system and travel through the tunnels before emerging in Pauper’s Point.
Session 3: Jev suggests a nearby tavern, the Sallow Tail, where thieves go to fence stolen items. There they find the missing item — a strange orb — but cannot pay the “recovery” price. But Vinaya finds another way to meet the price: trial by combat in a black market arena.
Session 4: While waiting for the fight to begin, Jynx meets a noble named Dracogen who funds the efforts of explorers. As the fight begins, Book encounters a strange, many-mouthed figure in the crowd — it harasses him and then leaves, but not before murdering someone nearby. Vinaya wins her combat by shooting an arrow through the mouth of her competitor, Xanendra, Master of Flails.
Session 5: The next morning, Vinaya is encouraged to become one of the new arena champions. The group departs and has little luck in tracking down more info on the attack. They visit the local headquarters of the Order of Truth and leave Vinaya’s orb with one of the Aeon Priests for study. They end their day visiting Dracogen, who offers to fund an expedition the next morning.
Session 6: The group travels by boat several hours north, and ascends by floating harnesses to a crystalline structure high up in the clouds. They investigate the strange facility and come away with many cyphers gathered from the reflective surfaces of the interior. On their journey back to the boat, they encounter Dornaver, a drunken Angulan Knight enjoying a period of leave.
Session 7: Another boat has pulled up. The group meet a noble named Kor Sarromere. He offers to sponsor Vinaya in the fights. The group return to Dracogen’s estate and drop off their found items for study. Then they head to the festival’s parade, where they see a strange sight — a child who appears to be dreaming in a floating sphere. The sphere floats atop the back of a tall, many-limbed creature that attacks the crowd. The ensuing events scatter the heroes into two groups, with Jynx and Jev running down into the lower city and Vinaya and Book escaping back to the sewers – though not before Vinaya angers a noble of the Lorian clan, and encounters the very thief who stole their belongings, who identifies himself as “Ahver.”
Session 8: Jynx and Jev drop by the shop of Felmin, a parts dealer, numenera tinkerer, and info broker. He discourages Jynx from getting involved with Dracogen, and encourages her to come to him for any help needed. Then the two make their way back to the sewers, where they’re confronted by two members of the Masked Legion. A fight ensues as the insectile creatures known as the coccitan appear, and in her escape, Jynx causes a flood that saves Book and Vinaya elsewhere in the underground tunnels.
Session 9: After the group reunites, they visit Dracogen’s estate. He tells them that a member of the Masked Legion had come by to inquire about them, after the battle in the parade. He offers them a job to get them out of the city for a while and lower their profile. They travel to Rachar, several hours to the south, in search of a man by the name of Milian who reportedly stole an artifact of Dracogen’s called the Revitalizer. They find the man hiding in an ancient ruin and learn that he took the item to heal his son, who has a rare genetic condition. Our group takes the artifact but abandons the man and his son after being attacked by a tentacled creature that radiates cold. On their return to Mulen, they discover a small tribe of abhumans about to attack a group of monks, and they leap in to defend them. The monks escape into a strange synth building that promptly vanishes, but Book manages to salvage a journal from a bag dropped by a monk.
Session 10: Prompted by Vinaya, the group returns to the Order of Truth’s tower to retrieve her orb. Once at the plaza in Westview, they see a crowd gathering, reacting to a swarm of strange spectral forms that seem to be phasing in and out of the tower. They’re approached by Ahver, who offers to help them gain entry to the tower while he samples the “merchandise” on display. Book agrees, while Jynx and Vinaya turn him down. As Book ascends through the tower, he discovers that the specters are otherworldly beings called abykos, and that they’re liable to attack if provoked. He manages to gain entrance to the upper levels, where he retrieves Vinaya’s orb — but in the meantime, the Angulan Knights arrive on the backs of their xi-drakes to drive the abykos away from the tower. In so doing, they smash through several floors of the tower, destroying much of the structure, but also allowing Book to escape.
Session 10: The group has been staying at a warehouse of Dracogen’s on the eastern side of the city, but is out of touch with him. Instead they visit Felmin again, and he recommends that they seek out another contact to research the orb. Zhennova Kesteron is a former Aeon Priest who was expelled from the order for the unorthodoxy of her research interests and methods, and her studio is located in a subterranean dwelling at the end of a winding thicket of streets in Pauper’s Point. She appears fascinated by the orb and agrees to study it for a small fee.
Session 11: Our heroes explore the city, attempting to uncover additional information. They visit the wayhouse of the Friends, an order devoted to connecting people and cultures from around the world. The gossip among travelers is that someone’s trying to sabotage King Noren’s control of the festival of the numenera. Jynx agrees to a contract from her friend Aronne to construct a swiveling art installation of light and mirrors for a play opening soon at the Grand Theater. The group also discovers that they’re being followed by another cloaked figure through the city, but they manage to lose the tail.
Session 12: As Book and Vinaya return to Zhennova’s studio, they’re confronted by two of the many-mouthed figures seen before. They mock and jeer our heroes, teasing them with the knowledge that “she’s already dead!” Upon arriving at the studio, Zhennova’s grandson Kolbin says she’s been killed and taken by strange blue ghouls — different in description than the figures encountered above ground. They track her through a false cabinet into another underground cemetery and through a tomb, finding a hidden entrance to the temple of a people called the Syzygy. Their gaunt, blue-hued leader appears to be consuming Zhennova’s brain. He claims that his people only removed her body after an assassin’s strike, and if our heroes want her knowledge, they’ll bring the Syzygy another “body of knowledge.” They leave, encountering Jynx, but upon exiting through Zhennova’s studio they’re attacked by a strange beast seemingly made of light.
Session 13: Vinaya and Book hatch a plan to reenter the tower of the Order of Truth to find a body for the Syzygy. They manage to slip inside. Meanwhile, Jynx leaves a note for her sister at the drop box, and later, while searching the city archives for news of her parents, learns of a family relative in a town to the east. Afterward she finishes her contract art gig, collecting her payment from Aronne. The morning after Jynx finishes her work, Jev quietly enters the studio and begs for her help.
Session 14: Jynx learns that Ahver and the Mirror Guild are pressuring Jev. He’s being asked to persuade our heroes to help them infiltrate Dracogen’s estate. Jynx visits the thieves guild at the Sallow Tail, where they threaten to expose Felmin to the city guard if she does not help. She assures them of her assistance. Meanwhile, Book and Vinaya are knocked unconscious by a cypher in the Order of Truth’s tower. They’re interrogated separately by the king’s magister and chief artificer about recent events, but let go soon afterward – Book explains to Vinaya that he has friends in high places. The two save the body’s brain and deliver it to the Syzygy, who reveal that the dead man was the leader of the Aeon Priests of Mulen (and the king’s brother).
[WHERE TO PLACE FIGHT w/LIGHT CREATURE??]
Session 16: Details of Zhennova’s memories. Know they need to head to Uxphon. Wrapping up loose ends. Goodbye to Jev. Delivery for Dracogen.
Session 17: The theatrical play. Attack. Captured.
Session 18: Waiting. Philethis.
Session 19: Escape into river. Sight of bridge crossing. Book remembers Vortex, arrival.
Session 20: Exploring facility. They meet Evanna. Encounter w/king’s soldiers.
Session 21: Evading the cultists. Finding Abrassal, forcing him to run, saving Shome. Abrassal locks them in, fight with the guardian. The vortex.
Session 22: Voice in Jynx’s head. Meet members of the Vortex, post-fight. Leads to strange facility. Encased in armor.
Session 23: Entering the vortex. Facility. Armored knight. Freeing Arridomos. Each gets a “gift.”
Session 24: Fight w/knight—light creature hybrid. Escape, smash machinery.
In which we meet our heroes: Jynx, a Clever Jack Who Crafts Unique Objects; Vinaya, a Rugged Glaive Who Hunts With Great Skill; and Book, a Ghostly Nano Who Knows Too Much. Each have found their way to the city of Mulen, the capital of the nation of Iscobal. They arrive during the Festival of the Numenera, being thrown by the crown to encourage a celebration of and inquiry into the ruins of the past. The festival kicks off with an opening ceremony in the vast urban park of Merion’s Green, and many performers attempt to awe and amaze the assembled crowds.
With a sudden clamor the event is interrupted by an attack by land and air — brigands invade on beastback and soaring through the air above. Each of you act to defend yourselves, soon enough discovering that the entire incident is an illusion, a sham. Three become one as you find yourselves banding together to follow the trail of someone who seems to have left the scene in a hurry, a member of Masked Legion (the crown’s enforcers and secret police) left half unconscious on the ground.
At the same time, Jynx and Vinaya discover that they are both missing items of import. The trio trace the unknown personage through the park and down a series of stone steps into a sewer system that seems to channel the water for the park’s artificial waterfall. There they discover a hidden room that contains evidence of theft — a pile of ruffled-through bags and packs without much left behind. Jynx finds the personal item she was desperate to retrieve, but Vinaya is still missing hers.
Upon leaving the secret room, the trio follow the sound of footsteps running down the corridor — only to discover that it’s Jev, a childhood friend of Jynx from the streets of Mulen. He explains that he was exploring the underground chambers on a hunt for loot, and that he did not see anyone else come his way.
Further exploration reveals another hidden passage — a false bar of metal that continues down the sluice tunnel. The quartet travels down this dark path, eventually encountering a rubbish-strewn den occupied by strange, humanoid insect-like creatures who seem to gather the sewer’s roaches around them like a flock. Despite having no knowledge of these creatures, our protagonists opt for caution and manage to slip away from the encounter.
The trail ends at another engine room and out a window to the neighborhood of Pauper’s Point above. At the point of egress, Vinaya discovers a single earring lying on the cobblestone, a thin, spiraled shell ending in a point. It’s no large comfort compared to the item she has lost.
The group wonders which path to pursue. Jynx suggests asking her connection Felmin for advice. Jev mentions that he knows a spot where goods can be bartered quickly, with no questions asked — the pub and inn known as the Sallow Tail. Might someone have attempted to offload the stolen items there?
The crowd at the inn begins to grow as the night continues, the gathered patrons sharing rumors about the attacks earlier in the day. Before long, the group is led through a back hallway, past rooms intended for simple pleasures, to a fortune-teller’s booth. Jev produces the correct password, and the group is led through a false wall into a small, well-guarded room.
It quickly becomes apparent that Vark, the man behind the counter, is in possession of the item that Vinaya seeks — a strange, metallic orb of impressive size and moderate weight. Vark claims that the purveyors keep no history of their wares and names a price. Unable to meet it, Vinaya agrees to another method of payment, no questions asked. Only after agreeing is it revealed that the price is trial by combat.
Vinaya is conducted through the underground facility by a man named Andar Harbin who seems to be the master of ceremonies. She’s given a meal and time to warm up and train in advance of the evening of bloodsport, which begins in only a few hours. Meanwhile, back in the inn, Book, Vinaya, and Jev get to know one another and attempt to rest after what has already been a very long day. The fights begin in a few hours.
Eventually, those waiting are led into the arena, a surprisingly large, cavernous underground room surrounding a sunken pit. The entertainment begins with beast fights and boxing. As the crowd cheers and makes bets, Jynx catches the eye of a well-dressed nobleman in the reserved stands. He motions for her to join him, and she learns that his name is Dracogen and that he’s a student and collector of the numenera.
Eventually Vinaya is led into the arena, armed with her bow. At the other end, Xanendra emerges, a taut, wiry, weathered woman with a patch over one eye and scars crossing her skin. She holds a blade in one hand and a flail in the other. The two play cat and mouse, Vinaya attempting to get distance to shoot arrows as Xanendra closes upon her. After a series of tangles, Vinaya lands a lucky shot. Xanendra falls to the ground with an arrow through the back of her throat.
But the match was not uneventful for the onlookers. Above, at the rim of the pit, Book has encountered a strange, incredibly tall cloaked figure standing nearby. Alarmed at what appears to be a profusion of whispered voices emerging from the cloak, Book turns to examine this personage — while at the same time it extends a three-fingered hand and pull Book’s glove off his arm, all the while muttering in one of its voices about “the game that must always be played.” Amid the confusion, it backs away into the crowd and soon a scream is heard. A body lies on the ground, quickly losing blood.
Book gives the cloaked figure chase but it disappears past the exit to the arena. In a moment that steals some of Vinaya’s thunder, a cry goes up, one man having noticed Book’s rather strange arm. Book is soon accused of being the culprit, but Dracogen intervenes, claiming that Book is not responsible. His words appear to carry some weight, and Book is released from suspicion. Interested in meeting the new champion, and with a proposition for the group, Dracogen invites the trio back to his estate the next day.
The group is put up for the night in the Sallow Tail’s meager lodging. In the morning, the three convene to put all of their cards on the table. Vinaya explains that she’s on a mission to discover the import of the strange orb she carries, but Book and Jynx find no insights after examining it. Book reveals that he had a dream compelling him to come here, and that he’s interested in traveling with others in the hopes that his purpose will become clear. Having reclaimed what she needed, Jynx is less eager to get wrapped up in this, but she eventually agrees to help after extracting a mutual promise of help from Vinaya in a matter that Jynx has not yet revealed.
The trio agree to first visit the festival grounds to see if any of the masters of the numenera have insight into the orb (and to discover more about the previous night’s events). Before leaving the inn, they are confronted by Andar Harbin and an associate, who sit them down and explain the benefits of being a sponsored fighter in the arena. Their talk does not come across as a threat, but their words are weighted to pressure young fighters to return and enjoy fame, glory, and wealth.
Upon returning to the Causeway and Merion’s Green, the group discover a city still busy with commerce but more heavily patrolled by soldiers and even members of the Masked Legion, who often operate behind the scenes. They find Vestna’s Trading Outpost but quickly learn that her prices are astronomical and that she has little interest in their goods. Instead, they decide to consult Oglun the All-Knowing. Vinaya comes away from a private consultation with little to claim for it, and Book emerges later and explains that Oglun is now very tired and done for the time being.
Afterward, you visit the headquarters of the Order of Truth. It occupies the entirety of one of the tall glass towers that Mulen is known for. Sure enough, the Order has established a sort of consultancy for numenera items: identification, education, trade. But the line is long, and the group use their wiles to skip ahead and visit the office of a woman named Endra Ben on the second floor. She seems to be a sort of ambassador to the public, and she expounds on her theories regarding the attack of the previous day — someone must want this festival to fail — and encourages Vinaya to leave her orb for further study. They place it in the hands of a man named Garron in the building’s workshops.
The afternoon finds the group at Dracogen’s estate, a remarkable structure built much like nautilus shell — looped layers of synth folding in on each other — perched near the top of a cliff in the city’s Westview district. Dracogen appears, and over an ample meal explains that he’s a regular funder of expeditions to recover numenera devices for his studies. He has just such a proposition for the group — travel north of the city to a floating platform that may not have been touched in centuries. The group would enjoy room and board this evening at Dracogen’s estate, and the only price is that they must allow Dracogen to study anything they return with for up to a day’s time, and give him the right to claim any particular item he finds to be especially noteworthy. The group can keep the rest. They agree.
The trio awakens before the light of dawn to venture down to the wharves. They’re led out to sea by Olegander, a sailor who seems to be under the occasional employ of Dracogen. His vessel, the Saltmarsh, is unconventionally driven by a pair of tame cutter whales.
He leads the group out to a northerly cape about two hours’ journey from Mulen. There they each don a pack-like harness that gives them the power to levitate. After some experimentation and a not unhealthy amount of trepidation, they pilot themselves up into the clouds and eventually locate and land on the platform, which appears to be composed of curved synth and an incredibly sturdy crystalline composite.
The platform appears to be locked, but using an old trick to trace the smudges on the glass, they find the correct pattern of key presses on a glowing screen filled with symbols. Upon entering, they find a bizarre facility built largely from a crystal substance, with strange tools and machines made of a kind of glass. During their explorations, they injure themselves after dislodging a massive diadem that crashes to the floor. But their explorations are largely without incident and they uncover a wide range of devices to bring back and decipher.
Upon floating back downward, they’re met in the air by a rather outgoing (and slightly drunk) young man riding on the back of a xi-drake. He’s an Angulan Knight — a member of an order dedicated to the preservation of humanity amid the alien influences of the ninth world — and he introduces himself as Dornaver. He follows them downward, gallivanting on his mount, and insists on joining them for an early lunch. As the group descends, they see not too far away another ship that was not previously present, and Olegander offers his suspicion that the ship has drifted closer than is normally considered prudent for the laws of the sea.
Dornaver the Angulan Knight makes too big of a first splash, his xi-drake scaring the cutter whales into fleeing … right in the direction of the interloping boat. Though circumstances seem tense at first, the authorities that be on the other boat announce themselves, saying they mean no harm. They insist on boarding to share a meal together, and so a man and a woman sail over in a skiff, guarded by a tall, muscular woman in heavy armor.
The man and woman introduce themselves as cousins, Kor and Isterna respectively, of the Sarromere family. Kor Sarromere admits to an ulterior motive: He just had to meet Vinaya, the champion of the pit fight, firsthand. He conveyed his amused thanks that Vinaya defeated the champion sponsored by his rival, Hakob Lorian of the Lorian family. And privately he conveyed what seemed to be his own invitation to sponsorship, in the form of an invitation to join him at his family’s estate in the Spirehold neighborhood. The note is accompanied by 100 shins.
After Kor and Isterna take their leave, Olegander insists on relaying our protagonists back to Mulen at speed. Upon returning, they drop off their newfound numenera with Dracogen’s head of household, Uveen. From there, Jynx and Vinaya head to the Sarromere estate and return the letter with the shins. Book finds a good spot atop a merchant’s rooftop to view the Festival of the Numenera’s parade, and his two companions soon join him. Jev ends up nearby and joins them to watch the festivities.
But after a series of troops and performers parade through with pomp and circumstance, a strange sight confronts the crowd: An incredibly tall Ferno Walker — like an elephant shaped like a giraffe, with vestigial arms and a long, jagged maw — lumbers along the parade route. Floating atop its back is a sphere that contains a sleeping girl of about 7. She seems to be dreaming, and the images from her dreams dance above her head in the form of merry animals. The crowd begins to whisper of the return of long-forbidden numenera.
Upon the walker’s back appears a tapestry bearing the sigil of house Lorian. This catches the attention of the Sarromere troops in front of the creature, and they begin to break rank, moving toward the creature to investigate. The Lorian troops do likewise, and before long they’re locked in a confused, chaotic skirmish. Vinaya jumps atop the head of the beast and attempts to subdue it, but her blades suffer against the creature’s thick hide. The sphere on the back of the creature begins to float away, and Book rises to follow it.
Eventually, after plunging her blade into the walker’s eye, Vinaya falls off the head of the beast … and directly into the carriage of what appears to be one of house Lorian’s military vessels. Its occupant, a crisply dressed officer with a sharp nose and long blond hair tied back in a cord, wastes no time in stabbing his dagger into the shocked Vinaya. She escapes, aided by Jynx, and the man gives chase, jumping on the back of brehm lizard courser. Jynx and Vinaya flee down an alley, only to discover that a handsome young man garbed in a cloak has joined the fray against their pursuer. Jynx jumps down from the rooftop onto the back of the pursuer’s mount, knocking him off and subsequently tumbling off herself.
As Jynx escapes toward the lower city, Vinaya discovers that Book has run afoul of the local law enforcement. She jumps on the back of the mount being ridden by the mysterious cloaked man and discovers that he wears a spiral shell earring that seems a perfect match for the one found the previous day. As he rides away through Merion’s Green, and as the bubble containing the girl floats off into the sky, it becomes clear that there are many hidden forces that have their own designs on the city.
Shortly after escaping from the mayhem on the Causeway, Jynx is hailed by Jev, who followed her through the crowd. They think about retracing their steps after some time, but the stairs up to the Causeway are being guarded by a detachment of the city guard.
Instead, they go to visit Felmin, the parts dealer. His shop is a fixture of the Benker’s Slump neighborhood. There, they meet with him briefly in a back room, where Jynx asks if he knows of a figure by the name of Dracogen. Felmin says he’s heard the name — he associates it with a powerful, connected figure who he’s heard a lot more about of late. All he knows about the figure is that he apparently funds adventurers who hunt for numenera and that he’s supposedly not someone to mess with.
He cautions Jynx against running in circles with people like that, and encourages her to come to him with any of her needs — from parts to trading to numenera identification. He wishes her well, and then Jynx and Jev depart to hunt for their friends. They head to the Pauper’s Point entrance to the sewer system …
… where Book and Vinaya have recently escaped to from the Merion’s Green entrance. But after collecting themselves in the pumping room, they encounter a pair of city guardsmen who insist on taking them in for questioning. Book turns upon them and a fight ensues. Both guards are knocked unconscious, but not before one of them releases a cypher that coats everything in the room in a slippery yellowish slime that makes actions more difficult.
Fleeing, the pair follow their previous footsteps down the sewer tube and into the tunnels where they previously encountered the large, humanoid insect creatures. They encounter the creatures down one of the long tunnels and the creatures react differently this time — a fight ensues, and both Vinaya and Book are wounded.
They retreat to the garbage chamber and take the path they hadn’t followed before, which opens into an impressively large, oval chamber with artificial ramps leading up either side. They dart up the ramp and discover a series of interlinked rooms that seem to have been previously occupied by people many decades or even centuries past. They discover a damp, sunken tiled chamber covered in a green moss, as well as a storeroom of sorts with broken vessels that once contained various tinctures, and a wardrobe that contained the moldering lumps of various robelike vestments and two cyphers. Book also recovers some kind of large tome with notes written inside.
Meanwhile, Jynx and Jev make their way down into the pumping station below the bridge in Pauper’s Point. Their access is unimpeded. Jynx finds the door to the tunnels once again locked, but this time she figures out the exact workings of the lock and gains an asset for opening them in the future.
Shortly after entering the tunnels, they find what appear to be three oblong egg-shaped objects lying on the ground, covered in a thin veil of slime. They also spot a tunnel they hadn’t seen before, one small enough that it would only accommodate a crawl. They advance back through the tunnel but soon hear the sound of hissing and clacking everywhere, and so they retreat back to the pumping station —
Only the pumping station is now lit by a torch. They discover a pair of Masked Legion members who call for them identify themselves and drop their weapons. But as one descends to the chamber floor, the door from the tunnels creeps open … and one of the insects pokes its head through, followed by another, and another. Sandwiched between two opposing forces, Jynx and Jev learn the creatures are called “coccitan” and a fight ensues.
Jev disappears up one of the large tubes in the room, and Jynx activates a glove cypher that controls metallic objects. Before long she’s ripped the entirety of the large, shuddering machine from its wall socket, flooding the room with water and washing the coccitan away. Jynx and Jev make their escape back up into the city …
Soon Book and Vinaya are cornered in the chambers by two groups of advancing insect creatures … only to be confronted by the loud rushing sound of a huge torrent of water rushing into the chambers, washing the large piles of rubbish and clusters of eggs away. They throw a detonation cypher at the creatures, which appears to have little effect, but the other cypher produces a strange, ovular sponge-like curiosity that drips a liquid that reeks of rotten nuts and spice.
With a cry, they both leap onto the makeshift raft and hang on tightly as they’re swept through the chambers, fighting off a coccitan before toppling down into a whirlpool chamber from which they manage to narrowly escape. Exhausted and soaked, they collapse on a ledge of cave floor and rest for an hour. Afterward, they discover that their only tunnel forward ends in a formidable metal gate permanently sunken into the cave wall. While attempting to figure out a way past, Book concentrates too hard and passes out, falling to the ground with blood running from his nose. Upon waking moments later, dazed and distant, he has a solution — using one of his cyphers to add a tremendous amount of weight to the keystone arch over the metal gate. They do so and the gate collapses.