Numenera: Mission Improbable

5 minutes

In a new adventure I’m running on Friday evenings, our group of adventurers and outcasts are performing a mission for some shadowy benefactor who has yet to make themselves known. Upon being picked up in a flying pod, which on the inside seemed to be some kind of windowless meeting room, the group were clued in on the mission particulars.

They were going to acquire an artifact, an artifact of great power known to be hidden underneath Cavern Rock. Agents of their employer had discovered that something existed below, and that in that something, the group would discover their prize. In exchange, each was being paid, either in shins, fame or other things less mundane and much harder to obtain. Whatever their reasons, the team was brought together for their unique blend of skills and abilities, something they’d all be needing to make use of before long.

Upon arriving at Cavern Rock, the group explored the town, heading up the main road that lead towards the central courtyard before the entrance to the Arena. Javini, an explorer and discoverer of artifacts that has a small measure of fame in the Steadfast, invested her shins in some throwing knives from Norlup’s Blade, and the master Mathematician/Bodyguard Knudsen scanned the results boards of the bookies, looking for patterns and identifying some promising bets. Ackaimo, the ex-cop turned bounty hunter, got in on the betting too and after some minor kerfuffles, they made their way into the Arena to watch a match and scope out the area, as while they’d been informed by a holographic messenger in their flying carriage of some of the details, seeing it themselves was quite different.

The favourite to win was a fighter called Jesper who had been fighting all day and was on 12 consecutive wins. His opponent, an nameless diruk. The fight started off with Jesper taking a strong lead, using a cypher to give him wings so he could use better maneuverability in the anti-gravity environment to fight the diruk. However, the diruk managed to rip off his wings and the tables turned. The angry electronic eye at the bottom of the spherical Arena began to pulse and in a mad rush to survive, the pair tried to get back on to the ledges, but they were too late and an angry red pulse of energy shot from the eye, disintegrating the diruk entirely and Jespers legs. With some help from some healers, Jesper survived to win.

Ackaimo and Knudsen both lost their bets against Jesper, while Javini won back what she put in, plus a single shin. Milling around in the bookies, Knudsen tried to lift some shins from an unsuspecting coin purse but failed, accidentally triggering an illegal detonation cypher his mark was carrying, rendering everyone deaf as the sonic burst blasted throughout the building. He quickly made his escape, using his black out ability to darken the room and cover his trail. However, Javini, suddenly deafened, used her illuminating touch ability to try and shine a light on her situation. However, due to the blackout it wasn’t working, so she touched everyone and everything possible, trying to figure out what was going on with her powers whilst also blinding groping for a way out. When she did get out, the blackout wore off and suddenly all the illuminated objects she’d created that were suppressed, suddenly all shone out, turning the inside of the building into a blinding white beacon of light.

There was some minor panic, guards trying to figure out what had happened and some people with glowing robes escorted away, but in the confusion the group managed to regroup and get another set of betting slips granting them access to the arena, as well as a sausage on a stick. Their plan was to use Knudsen’s tracer ability to trace the sausage, and chuck it down the Arena pit (or ‘accidentally’ drop it). Then they’d have a way of finding their way to it, which meant if they explored the might be able to find the other end of the tunnel that seemed to exit in the bottom of the Arena near the eye.

This fight went very quickly and the customers were none too pleased. The fighter, a woman called Lenna Streck, was met with much booing and yelling, while her opponent, a hulk of a man called Stritter was cheered on. Knudsen had earlier seen that Lenna was a survivor. The odds for her seemed strange - she lost as often as win, but one thing that was obvious was that she always survived. Some mental arithmetic later and Knudsen was sure she was making a steady profit and she would be a safe bet. The fight was anti-climactic to say the least. Lenna froze Stritter in mid-air above the eye using some kind of sticky-goo-ball cypher, then taunted the eye with another cypher, triggering it to vaporise Stritter, all without even leaving her starting position. The crowd was furious and felt cheated, but no rules were broken so there was nothing to be done.

Eventually she left the Arena and headed to the inn off the courtyard - the Flying fist - to celebrate. Before she left though, the players noticed she was talking with a strange automaton. The automaton was congratulating her, saying that Baz’s blessings were upon her. The players were undecided what they wanted to do from this point and the session came to a close.

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