The Vortex

Session 1
When the adventurers meet for the first time

Weary of traveling Kalain sat down down on the grass in a clearing. He could feel the sun heating his metal parts of his body. It was a strange feeling. He could not feel the sun, per se, on his metal arm and leg, but he liked the warm feeling he had when he touched the surface after laying in the sun. It made it feel more natural, closer to the body warmth his human half of his body had.

Even stranger was how only half his body felt tired. He was wondering if the squeaks that could be heard sometimes from his servo joints, especially after long walks or demanding periods, where the robotic way of telling him that he is tired.

He has been walking for at least 4 days now, mostly through the wilderness. He did not know where he was or where he was going. For the past couple of days he had a feeling that he is being followed.

This morning he asked M-Bot 9000 to keep his distance. If he was indeed being followed, probably no one was mad enough to confront him while that hulking piece of metal and synth was constantly at his side. “This way I’m going to look more exposed, more vulnerable” he said to MBot.

Though not making any sense to it, MBot accepted Kalain’s request and quietly stayed at least 200 meters behind him, keeping off-sight.

It’s been a quiet morning for Kalain, though he never thought he’ll admit it, he was missing M-Bot’s constant chirping in his head.

As he was laying down, eyes closed, meditating, he felt a sudden change in the air he was breathing. Pulling himself out of the self-induced trance he was in, opened his eyes only to be blinded by an intense bright light followed by a loud boom! that made his lungs vibrate. After a couple of moments of dizziness he jumped back on his feet and looked around.
There was no trace of anything out of the ordinary that could justify what he just experienced, as if it was all a dream or a machination of his imagination. M-Bot was no where to be seen either.

Shortly after he heard moving coming from the wilderness behind him. He was expecting M-Bot to appear, alerted by what has happened, but instead he saw a young woman followed by an older man, running towards him.

The woman had a very fit and athletic body. She was moving with great precision and swiftness across the branches that where felled on the ground, she barely made any noise at all. Her top was covered by a fitted breastplate that was squeezed very tight which didn’t seem to bother her moving at all. She was carrying a crossbow in her hand, but Kalain could make out a pair of light blades sheathed on her back.

Behind her, barely keeping up, was an older man. Though dressed in a light robe which didn’t seem to weight too much, he nearly seemed out of breath as he was trying to make his way across the land. On his sash Kalain noticed a small knife that looked mostly useful for cutting plants or small animals instead of being actually used for combat. On the other side the man had a huge book hanging by a piece of cord that looked like it was made of some strange, almost transparent material. The book was large and heavy enough to come in the way of the old’s man running.

Session 1 summary:

  • The adventurers met for the first time, brought together by a loud noise that was heard
  • They agreed to group together and investigate the direction from where the noise seems to have originated
  • As they advanced forward, they found a freshly set camp area, with tents, woodcutting tools and a camp fire that seemed to just have been lit.
  • Near the tents they saw an empty cart and in front of it the body of a butchered Yol
  • Investigating the area the PCs found that there where not signs of fighting in the camp, but no one was there also, it was deserted.
  • Further investigation revealed that the Yol has been killed swiftly by some sort of piercing tool – maybe a spear – and pieces of it’s body have been rashly cut out and where missing
  • Faroon used her perception skills and was able to find bloodied hoof-like footprints that where leading away from the area where the Yol was murdered
  • The PCs decided to follow the bloody hoof-prints to see where they where leading
  • Arriving near a clearing between the wilderness trees, the PCs started hearing strange goat-like sounds, as if some beasts where talking to eachother
  • They decided to try and sneak up on the goat like creatures, but Sharad caught his robe in branch that was lying on the ground, fell and made a lot of noise.
  • The creatures, hearing the noise, quickly ran from the clearing.
  • The adventurers found the missing pieces of meat that where taken from the Yol and also found a baby beast-man hidden near some rocks.
  • As they where approaching the baby beast they where ambushed by for beasts and their leader
  • Sharad identified the creatures as Margr. He was quite acquainted with these sort of abhumans.
  • The PCs started fighting the band of Margr. Faroon had already her guard up and as the Margr ambushed them she was able to fire a dart directly to the head of one of the Margr
  • Kalain almost managed to defeat their leader, but before he was able to strike his final blow, the leader pulled a horn like device made seemingly made out of bone, blew threw it and then ran away from the fight.
  • Faroon saw what was happening and she rashly fired a dart toward the direction of where the leader ran. She was not able to stop him, but instead hit the baby Margr and killed it in place.
  • Because of the rushed shot, the string from her crossbow broke.
  • Moments after the leader’s escape 3 more Margr reinforcements came and the fight continued
  • As the PCs finished the last of the standing Margr quiet returned to the forest area. Faroon searched the bodies of the slayed Margr and was able to find 12 Shins and the skull of a large, unidentified creature, that she kept as a trophy for herself.
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Session 2
When the adventurers find the Narthex
  • As the PCs where looking around for traces of the escaped Margr leader they came about a small cavern entrance covered with some dead vegetation, near the rocky formation where the Margr baby was slain
  • They decided to go inside hoping that they will be able to find the wounded Margr leader an put an end to the Margr thread in the area
  • As they followed the dark tunnel, upon exit, they found themselves back near the camp site – near the area where the Yol was slain
  • There was no trace of the Margr leader to be found, but it seems that the Margr used it to reach the camp site without being detected.
  • As the PCs exited the tunnel the noticed that, above the tree line, from the hill across the nearby river, they could make out what it seemed to be a wooden structure, or a watchtower
  • They decided to try and cross the river and head in the direction of the hill. Climbing that watchtower would give them a better view of the surrounding area, maybe even reveal the source of the bright light and loud noise
  • Reaching the river Kalain advanced and crossed the shallow waters without much effort, but getting his feet wet in the process
  • Farroon decided to attempt and jump over the river. Being skilled in jumping she managed the task without effort.
  • M-Bot tried to jump as well, but being considerable heavier and clumsier than the two he fell in the middle of the river, getting himself wet in the process
  • After the river was crossed the adventurers attempted climbing the hill on a rocky surface which made climbing a bit easier
  • Faroon went first and she was able to climb quite fast and without effort
  • Kalain followed, but since he had his feet wet, near the top he lost his balance and fell
  • MBot 9000 attempted to climb but slipped and fell almost immediately
  • Faroon used one of her ropes that she was carrying in her backpack and helped the two. First Kalian climbed on the rope and then both helped pull MBot to the hill top.
  • Upon nearing the tree line the adventurers overheard a conversation between two people. One was encouraging the other to climb the watchtower faster and make a drawing of what he was seeing
  • MBot and Kalain crossed the tree line and greeted the two. Faroon remained behind readying herself for any possible threat
  • The two persons presented themselves as Hitz and Rummy, two woodcutters from the nearby village of Jutte. They were the ones that setup the camp across the river. When they heard the loud noise the rushed to the hill top so they can see the numenera
  • Hitz and Rummy knew from local legends that a couple of times per year the wilderness would house a strange numenera device that was home for an organization that was called The Cult of the Vortex
  • They told the PCs about the cult people, and the fact that twice per year they would come to Jutte to restock on supplies – it was about time they showed up
  • When Hitz and Rummy heard the loud noise, they knew that it had to be coming from the numenera so they where prepared to make a drawing of it to take it to the village elder
  • Kalain told Hitz and Rummy that their camp was attacked by Margr and about their dead Yol
  • Grateful that they where saved from the Margr threat, Hitz and Rummy awarded the adventurers with 7 shins.
  • Kalain asked Rummy for the piece of paper he was holding and his pen. MBot 9000 climbed the watchtower and made a very accurate drawing of the numenera that he saw
  • From the top of the watchtower MBot saw the ruins of the old wathtower behind him, he saw the numenera device in front of him, about 300 meters away, down from the hill, he saw that the vegetation near the numenera had a strange color as if it was burnt and frozen at the same time and saw that a white light seemed to pulsate from the ground near the numenera.
  • To his right, across the river, he saw the smoke that was coming from the camp setup by Hitz and Rummy
  • Further ahead he saw the mountain line and a path that seemed to make its way across it.
  • MBot 9000 climbed down from the watchtower and handed the drawn piece of paper back to Rummy
  • The adventurers decided to hurry towards the numenera device and investigate further from upclose
  • Rushing downhill MBot slipped and fell on the climb down, damaging some of his exo-skeleton exterior
  • Reaching the immediate vicinity of the numenera, the three started looking at the strange writing and markings across its surface
  • MBot made an attempt to connect to the datasphere in an effort to gather more information about the device, but he was not successful
  • Faroon and Kalain both tried to find a way inside the strange structure but they were unsuccessful.
  • As they were looking for a way inside, a group of people coming from the mountain pass approached them
  • They where 5 people in the group, all wearing yellow, tarnished robes. There where 4 men and 1 woman. The men in front of the group was a bulky character, had a long knife attached to his sash and a glowing device on his wrist. Behind his robe the PCs could see that he was wearing a leather armor. The rest of the group seem to follow him.
  • Behind the leader there was a tall man, with a long nose. He was carrying a backpack. He also had a knife and was wearing a leather armor behind his robes
  • Following the tall man there where two other. Both where wearing chainmails behind the yellow robes. One of them, older, had a two handed axe while the other was carrying a two handed sword. Both of them had packs of supplies on their backs.
  • Last was a young girl. She seemed to be very excited about her surroundings, almost had a naive like attitude.
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Session 3
When the adventurers loose the Narthex
  • The yellow robed man approached the adventurers and asked them what they where doing there
  • Faroon attempted to deceive the leader and told him that they should get away from there, because the place is radioactive and could hurt them
  • The leader, who presented himself as Gregor, was bothered by Faroon’s attempt to deceive him and aggressively told the PCs that they should not be there, that structure was called the Narthex and it was the cult’s home. They where all members of The Cult of the Vortex – the true holders of truth.
  • After hearing the cult’s description, Kalain and Faroon both asked if they could join the cult
  • Gregor laughed at their request and refused it. Only people born in the cult or taken from a young age could join the cult
  • After a sharp exchange of words the tension grew as the PCs refused to leave the cult people alone and remove themselves from the are of the Narthex
  • One last attempt made by Gregor to avoid the blood shed – he asked Ashlyn, the youn cult woman to give each adventurer 2 shins so they would just leave
  • As the young woman approached Faroon to give her the shins, Faroon grabed Ashlyn by the hand, pulled her close and put her blade to her neck, holding her hostage
  • Seeing this Gregor and the remaining cultists drew weapons and prepared to attack. Fean – the tall man – put his backpack down and pulled a strange device from under his robe, aiming it at the PCs
  • Kalain urged everyone to keep calm, and eventually managed to convince Faroon to let Ashlyn go. Faroon accepted only if Ashlyn would give them all the shins she had and if the rest of the cultists lay their weapons down
  • Both parties agreed on the conditions. Faroon took the pouch from Ashlyn, which only contained 7 shins, and let her go
  • The adventurers crossed the river behind them, but shortly after, being sure that no one from the cult was following them, they sneaked back and hid behind some rocks that where nearby the Narthex
  • They saw the 5 cult members performing a strange ritual. Their leader, Gregor, pulled out a scepter like metallic device. It looked like a half-moon on top, and near it’s bottom 4 tubes of metal where sticking out in a strange pattern – it looked like a key of sorts.
  • Gregor opened a small hidden door on the side of the numenera and placed the bottom of the metallic scepter inside. As he did this, some of the markings on the structure started to lit up, the lights on its surface pulsated at an accelerated course and steam strated blowing out from one of its sides.
  • Seconds later part of its surface started shifting to a side and then lowered – clearly denoting an entrance. The 5 cult members entered the structure and the door closed behind them.
  • The white light that covered the ground near the Narthex started fluctuating at an ever accelerating pace. As if it was closing to something
  • The PCs waited behind their rocky cover to see what was going to happen.
  • In a flash of white light, followed by a loud noise the numenera device disappeared in front of their eyes
  • The pulse created by the device knocked out the already dying tress around it and affected the overall fauna, however the adventurers where unharmed behind the cover of the rocks.
  • The PCs approached the location where the Narthex used to be and started investigating the place. They found out that one of the cultists forgot his backpack on the ground.
  • Looking through the backpack they found a map of the Ninth World, another map which had some areas marked and some numbers next to them. On the second map they found they identified the village of Jutte and nearby it a marked location with the number 6. Not very far from Jutte, there was another marked location, with the number of 7.
  • Besides the two maps the PCs found a large notebook. It seemed to hold some recent history of the cult, some information about the current cult leader, but most important it kept track of all the movements of the Narthex in the past 20 years or so.
  • Kalain quickly figured out that the Narthex will reappear in 5 days or so, north of Jutte, approximately 1 and a half day’s walk

As they where reading through the notebook found in Fean’s backpack Hitz and Rummy came rushing in.
They asked the PCs if they saw what happened. After some discussion Rummy asks Kalain if MBot can draw another image of a numenera, like the one that he drew of the Narthex.
Rummy told the adventurers that they know where another strange device can be found, hidden behind some rubble from the old watchtower.

The adventurers agreed to follow Hitz and Rummy. By the time they reached the location, night fell. It was already too late for them to attempt the 6 hours walk to Jutte.

Hitz pointed to the PCs the location where they knew the numenera was hidden.
MBot went ahead and started moving the rubble out of the way. As he was moving the stones he disturbed a nest of Laaks. 8 laaks jumped it.
Amused by MBot reaction, who threw himself on the ground and started rolling in an effort to get himself rid of the ambushing Laaks, Faroon took out a device that she held in her bag and turned it on.

The device started playing a soft, unpleasant music, which much to everyone’s surprise seemed to attract the laaks.

Kalain and Faroon quickly killed the laaks that where coming towards Faroon, while MBot managed to squish the remaining one, still crawling over his exo skeleton.
The adventurers managed to rid themselves of the laaks with almost no damage. One of MBot’s servos was slightly affected, but nothing that couldn’t be repaired.

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Session 4
When the adventurers arrive in Jutte

After fighting the Laaks the adventurers dug through the remaining rubble to uncover the numenera device, helped by Hitz and Rummy.
They found a strange box-like device with a couple of levers and buttons on a front pannel.

Sharad joined them and used his numenera lore to try and identify the strange device. He was not able to find out what it was used for, but was able to identify the build and type of technology used. He showed the PCs from where to open the device and how to activate it.
After opening the lid of the strange box-like device, they found out that one of the crystals that was powering the device was broke. Sharad told them that those where low power crystals that could be replaced by basically any electronic device that still had power. Sharad used one of the glowglobes he had to pry it open and jumpstart the numenera.

Once activated the lights and buttons on the front panel and the arrow symbols on top if it activated. The arrow was pointing upwards.
Faroon kept her distance from the device, but Kalain and Sharad decided to turn it on. Pushed both levers in the upward position and turned it on by pressing the green flashing button.

All movable objects and characters within a 3 meter radius of the device suddenly lifted off the ground, 6 meters up. Faroon, keeping her distance was not affected by the sudden shift in gravity.

Sharad asked for Faroon’s help to get them back on the ground, but she was reluctant to enter the area. Sharad advised her to first throw a stone in the area next to the device, to see if it was still affecting new objects that entered its radius. The rock fell normally back on the ground.
Faroon then approached the device’s controls. Sharad instructed her to first lower the right most lever. Doing so, everything that was floating in the air suddenly fell 3 meters down, but where still 3 meters up from the ground.
After the change Faroon fell a bit dizzy, as if she was heaving trouble breathing and couldn’t bear her own weight. Scared, she pushed the red button of the device, before Sharad got to tell her to slowly lower the other lever.
As a result, everything that was floating in the air abruptly fell the remaining 3 meters. Faroon, expecting this to happen, quickly jumped back in order to avoid the falling rocks from the air. Kalain and Sharad where slighty injured from the abrupt fall, Hitz and Rummy where mostly terrified of the happening but where otherwise fine. Unfortunately one of the rocks fell on the device, crushing it.

Sharad was able to salvage the core of the device and took it with him. Annoyed on Faroons rash actions and the fact that she was laughing about what just happened he used one of his cyphers that had a similar effect as the device, to let Faroon hang in the air for about 1 hour.

After the hour passed Faroon slowly started descending from the air, and the PCs along with Hitz and Rummy returned to the camp for the night.

The night passed uneventful, the following day they made their way to Jutte.
About six hours later they arrived in Jutte, at dusk.
They where greeted by Trummen, the military leader of Jutte. He is an experienced Glaive who was in charge of the defense of the village. Hitz and Rummy introduced the PCs to Trummen and told him about their adventures, and the fact that they defeated the Margr that killed the enthodolon in their camp.
After gathering some facts about the PCs and about their purpose in Jutte, Trummen thanked the PCs and agreed to put a good word for them with the village merchants and the innkeeper.

Faroon asked if there is someone in town that can help fix her broke crossbow. Trummen wrote a note on the back of a village map, to the blacksmith in town, to fix Faroon’s crossbow free of charge. Then gave the map to Faroon.

After a bit of chat, Trummen told the adventurers about some strange occurrences at the nearby lake, Dog Lake, as he called it. The village lives mostly of fishing, and lately the fishermen are to terrified to go there anymore. Yesterday in the morning the Dervish brothers gathered their courage and went to Dog Lake to face whatever was there. They haven’t returned since.
In exchange for investigating Dog Lake and handling whatever is there, Trummen agreed to give the adventurers the cart left in the woods by Hitz and Rummy, if the two can get it back.

The adventurers next went to Gralle’s house. The old woman is the spiritual leader of Jutte and certainly the wisest person in the village. Unfortunately lately she has fallen sick and tends to keep to herself, in the house, most of the time.
The PCs find Gralle at her desk, strange machinery was laying in front of her, she was working on some device.

Though seemingly distracted and mostly ignoring the adventurers, once they mentioned the Narthex and showed her the notebook they found in Fean’s backpack they certainly peaked her interest. She quickly looked over Fean’s notebook and wrote some information down. She asked the PCs if they had any drawing of how the Narthex looks, but they didn’t, they gave the paper back to Rummy.

Sharad showed the remains of the gravitational shift device to Gralle. She asked them to place it on the podium behind her. She then went to the console at her desk, activated something and suddenly some metal disks started hovering the remains of the device. Red and green lights surfaced of its area, from the metal disks.
Gralle analyzed the results and told them that it was a common grav shift numenera. If the machine would’ve been whole maybe it would be worth something, but looking at it’s core it’s nothing more than a cypher now, maybe on use left.

Before they left, Gralle told the adventurers that her and Trummen are well aware of the cult’s existance. They come in town twice per year and they value their privacy. Both Trummen and her agreed that they should not make a big fuss about it, and especially tell the village people about the cult of the vortex, since that will probably draw a lot of unnecessary attention to the cult and the wood they are coming from.
She asked the adventurers to try and keep that information for themselves, and not spread the word around the village people.

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