After a very long hiatus due to Christmas, conflicting schedules and other issues, my The Strange/Numenera hybrid game had another session last night.
The team, having debriefed from their last mission, were approved to return back to the Ninth World recursion as the research team were very eager to discover more about this dense apposite gate cluster they had found. Translating back in, the players arrived where they left – the prison portal room, but in the intervening time the earthquake the had translated away from seemed to have left it’s mark, caving in much of the room and blocking the convention exit. With some luck, they could crawl out through a hole in the ceiling but Bhaltair, ever the strange one, entered the portal immediately and the others soon followed.
The group found themselves on a small platform coated with grime and gore, suspended in a huge, grey void. Crimson lights twinkled in and out of existence in the far distance except in one direction where there seemed to be a dark black sphere hanging in the grey expanse. From their platform, a beam of metal stretched out towards the sphere in the distance and they could also observe other platforms suspended in the air. There seemed to be no floor, so they feared falling into the abyss.
Stretching and straining to see if they could spot anything of interest, Selena slipped on the gore-encrusted platform and fell into space, pulling Asher with her as her tried to save her. Instead of plummeting to their doom, they found that once they had fell a few feet away gravity no longer applied and they were left floating in space. Mafini used his jetpack cypher to help them whilst Bhaltair, fascinated with the area examined the gore, and finding nothing of interest, explored down the beam towards the sphere. With the others in tow, Mafini decided to show off his new jetpack, flying after Bhaltair and spiraling around the beam. However, his lack of skill as piloting jetpacks, let alone in a zero-gravity environment, sent him hurtling off and he crashed into another platform, knocking two figures off and sending them flying into space. The recovered them, only to find one of them was long dead. The man looked malnourished and was more than a little crazy, claiming they were trapped in hell and that he was trying to find a way out for himself and his wife, who was sleeping.
They got very little information out of him but Selena, using her power of sight confirmed some of his babblings – the lights they saw far off were apposite gates, but they seemed dangerously unstable, opening and closing at random for a split second and generating dangerous energy.
Whilst they continued to question the old man, Mafini travelled past Bhaltair to explore the beam and incurred the wrath of a swarm of giant moths with sharp, scissor-like mandibles. With quick thinking he used is powers of illusion and Spinner trickery to convince the moths he was one of them, but by this time Bhaltair had caught up and they attacked him instead. A fight ensued and the moths were quickly dispatched.
Bhaltair used his biomorph cypher to induce a permanent mutation, but rather than use a mutation, we used something else from a new Numenera supplement I’m working on. This caused one of his arms to be replaced with an organic chainsaw. He later was given another biomorph injector by Mafini which made him turn translucent in direct sunlight.
Eventually everyone grouped together and they continued down the beam. Nearing the sphere, it was clear they were walking towards the surface of a planet and from their vantage point perpendicular to the surface they could see various settlements and strange pits in the surface of the black and barren world. As they came close to the surface, the gravity abruptly switched and they fell to the ground, luckily avoiding too much damage, Mafini landing safely using his jetpack.
The group decide to investigate a nearby settlement, and find it inhabited by terribly deformed mutants. Bhaltair and Mafini, using his illusions, approach and the situation rapidly devolves into a battle involving the two guards and their summoned leader, an immense, foul blob of a man with a huge axe. A chainsaw suppository and a rocket powered spear later, the group make short work of them. The camp they were trying to enter is little more than a collection of filth and ruin, full of a rabble of deformed mutants, clearly cannibals, based on the remains strewn about. A girl is trapped in a cage, but she runs when released. One of the mutants, one that seems much less deformed than the others, begs to come with the newcomers, telling them he can be useful, that he looks so normal because he is a runner, one of the few that can explore the mazes below the surface and come back to tell the tale with strange foods and animals that seem to appear there.
After some discussion, the group decide that exploring the maze is their best bet of finding their way out of this place.