The Crimson Moons

The Besh

Calen and Running Dog wandered the city of Wrah. They had found Penelope and she had refused to go home so essentially the job had been completed. Penelope had given them her necklace and told them to tell her parents that she was dead. Perhaps the thought of telling the parents that their daughter had died is what kept them from going back. They decided to stay in town for a couple days and enjoy the celebration. It was called the Besh and though they knew little about it, the Besh seemed like a lot of fun. Dionysia the queen of the people of Wrah appeared on the wall of her castle to give a rousing speech to an adoring crowd. The rest of the day the group enjoyed the celebration.

The next day Calen and Running Dog set out with the masses towards the Besh still not quite sure what it was. The Besh was a place, but also a celebration and also a competition. After a days journey to the north they arrived at the Besh. The Besh was an enormous stadium. The base was made of stone walls 100 metres high. Set on top of the wall was a transparent dome that reached maybe a kilometre into the sky. At the centre of the dome was a tall obelisk that pierced the centre of the dome and stretched upward another 300 metres.

Ionus was feeling quite unsettled, the dying words of a man he barely knew and certainly wasn’t important enough for Ionus to remember his name had struck a chord of dissonance in his soul, if he still had one. Ionus couldn’t even Haiku anymore. Over the past two days Ionus had become a disheveled shell of his former self, drinking himself to sleep while questioning his own existence. The nightmare had been terrifying and when Ionus awoke he was standing outside of some strange stadium wondering how he had gotten here and what was the point of life altogether.

Even the sight of his old friend Calen and Running Dog could not lift his spirits. So while Calen and Running Dog enjoyed the festivities Ionus was trying to find oblivion. Olivia (whom you would have read about in the last session had I gotten around to writing about it) met up again with the group and as always was having fun with her favourite battle scarred man Calen. It was Olivia that told them the Besh was an ultimate competition that would reward the victors with powers above those of normal humans. The more herioc your actions the greater the reward. There would be a gong to start the competition and then six more. On the seventh gong the competition would end and all those who had made it into the Besh (the obelisk at the centre of the stadium) would be rewarded. the higher up the Besh you made it the greater the reward. Not everyone who reached the Besh would be permitted into it, given that an unknown number of competitors would be permitted in the Besh competitors also fought each other.

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A Moonless Night

Things got off to a strange start as Calen and Ionus found out over breakfast that Leve was alive and well living in town as the leader of The Crimson Moons. Further it was becoming more and more apparent that the few days maybe week at the High Tower of Ku had somehow been a year or so to the rest of the world. They had spent a few days recuperating from their last adventure at the Hard a Port but some of these inexplicable things needed explaining. After hearing that The Crimson Moons have a Guild of some sort in town Calen and Ionus set out to find out what was going on.

They found the residence of The Crimson Moons and went inside. The duo proclaimed their rights to the name The Crimson Moons and that they were the founders. The small unbelieving crowd kindly told them that if they needed help they should talk with Rosamund Datchery, as she takes care of all the business negotiations. Ionus tried some haiku which while it was quite moving did not seem to sway anyone into believing that they were the real Crimson Moons. So they went to talk with Rosamund.

Rosamund was a no nonsense woman who didn’t have much time for Ionus’s silliness. She knew who the two were as Leve had told her about them and had held onto hope that they would one day return. In fact he maintained three rooms for his friends at the Crimson Moons headquarters. This was a little more reassuring for Calen and Ionus who were still struggling to come to terms with a world that was utterly confused about how much time had passed since they were last in town. A messenger brought word of a vermin infestation in a town called Angus. The Crimson Moons were asked to come and help. Ionus and Calen were considering heading out when Rosamund approached them with another job. The customer a short balding man named Linus Bridges.

Mr. Bridges explained that many young women in the town of Noreu had gone missing, his daughter among them. He wanted the group to go and figure out what was going on. Ionus and Calen stated their expertise in saving daughters and took the job. They decided to bring one of the newer members of The Crimson Moons with them to see if the young blood could keep up with the original Crimson Moons.

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The High Tower of Quu

Reijnold bid The Crimson Moons farewell, as a parting request he asked the group to drop off a sphere which was obviously a cypher of some sort to his cousin Hagar in the town of Porthust. With no other destination in mind The Crimson Moons decided that Porthust was as good a place as any to look for some interesting work.

It took a little while to figure out how to maneuver the flyers but after a while it seemed fairly straight forward. They were the fastest the group had ever moved before and it was exhilarating.

They reached the city of Porthust after a very long day of flying. Leve was not feeling well so he found a room and crashed for the night. The rest of the group decided some drinks and and food were in order and found a tavern called Hard a Port which provided the required nourishment. Ionus, always one to entertain the masses, recited one of his finest poems ever. His beautiful words brought a young red haired woman to her feet applauding and calling for an encore. The young woman was Brigina who was travelling to the High Tower of Quu on some sort of vision quest. Ionus volunteered to help the Brigina, promising that Emont and Calen would lay down their lives to protect her.

The next day the group delivered the orb to Hagar who gave them a couple cyphers as payment. They also bought some red paint from him to give the flyers a new paint job. Calen noticed that he was getting a lot of looks at his scar and decided a red cloak was also needed. Calen and Emont also heard rumours of some potentially interesting adventures (see rumours wiki). While Calen and Emont painted the flyers Ionus was busy wooing the beautiful Brigina. Leve continued to feel unwell and was unable to take part in the adventure.

The group took off for the High Tower of Quu but their flashy start came to a slow halt as the flyers seemed to run out of energy. There were of course accusations that Reijnold had screwed them over but then Ionus found a compartment where a cypher could be placed and used as fuel. the group replaced the cyphers and started out again. Some noticed an immediate difference in the abilities of the flyers. Ionus who had used a very strong cypher noticed a greatly increased speed, better maneuverability, and a higher achievable altitude (see flyer wiki for details).

The group reached the mountain where the tower of Quu should be but it was not there. Brigina was certain it would be there soon so the group decided to camp out and wait. By the river the group noticed some heads dancing and mumbling in the water. After further inspection it turned out the heads had in fact been severed from their bodies and some giant crustaceous creature had the heads on the end of giant tentacles. Calen got stabbed by one of the tentacles and the group ran away. The creature did not give chase and instead slipped back into the river.

While trying to figure out what to do next Brigina noticed the High Tower of Quu. After a few moments of Ionus confusion the group came to understand that the tower had appeared and at the base of the mountain the door into the tower had also appeared. Calen tried opening the door but it wouldn’t budge. Brigina tried and the door opened.

Upon entering the tower the grup stepped into a room that was impossibly vast. There were no walls and instead of a ceiling there was a blue sky with soft white clouds floating lazily in the warm gentle breeze. The floor appeared to be made of glass and about fifty feet below was the ground, they could see the flyers and the door they had just stepped through underneath them. Ahead of them were five mountains that appeared to be identical to the mountain they had just entered in every way except for size. They were smaller versions in and the tower at the top of the mountain had become a golden doorway while a symbol carved into each mountain replaced the door they had used to enter. All but one of the symbols represented one of the four elements, the other was some sort of flower.

The group decided to try the doorway of the mountain with a flower since it was the odd symbol. The group found themselves in a humid jungle where small grey monkeys played in the trees. In the trees were wooden walkways and small huts. The group climbed the trees and started searching for a way out of the jungle. They came across a 12 foot statue of a monkey with cyphers, fruit and nuts scattered at the bottom. the monkey held out a hand with a key in the hand. Wisely Ionus placed a cypher in offering at the base of the statue and took the key (averting the cleverly crafted encounter created by the GM and losing all chance of being infected with a monkey virus that would turn the group into the little grey monkeys).

They made their way out of a door they found in the jungle and found themselves outside at the base of the mountain again. Once again they entered the room with the 5 small mountains. Instead of just trying random doors the tried to decipher which was the correct door. It was Calen that noticed the elements were perhaps out of order and that Earth which generally the first element was in the fifth position and posited the earth door was actually where a fifth element should have been and therefore it was the correct door. He was right and the group found themselves in a room surrounded by 7 pillars with a door trimmed in gold at the base of the giant pillars. The pillars had symbols representing seven of the eight planets in the solar system. Since they had just come from earth the group thought going to earth would be the correct route. It turned out that it was not.

They found themselves in in a field with a forest on the other side. A storm was raging and the group had to dodge lightning as they ran for the forest. In the forest they were attacked by a pack of Chirog. They defeated the Chirog and went through the door. Here they found themselves in the bottom of a volcano with a door on the other side. They tried to make their way across but Calen fell into the lava screaming in pain as he disappeared. A moment later the rest of the group tumbled into the lava.

They found themselves back in the room with the five small mountains, yes this again. They made their way back to the planetary room and put their minds to figuring out the right room. they decided that Neptune was the furthest from earth and tried that door.

The GM had never considered this rationale for picking this room believing it being the seventh planet too obvious to miss. Sure the first room with the fifth Mountain representing leaving earth was a bit weak, but he thought he had recovered by mentioning that it was the fifth Mountain. So the GM believed that there would be no trouble with the last room the 5 7 5 pattern of the High Tower of Quu far too simple. He believed he had not really put enough effort into the last puzzle room, but then the group picked the wrong door and he felt better about the whole thing.

On the floor of the last room were five holes (again five mountains, seven planets, five holes). Each of the the five holes had a shape. The first a circle (one continuous side), the next a line (a stretch but but as close to two sided the GM could get), then a triangle, a square and a pentagon. certain the right answer was the circle the group jumped into the hole and landed in a room made entirely of coloured squares. When they stepped on the squares in the wrong order they got shocked. The group decided to follow the colour spectrum of a rainbow which turned out to be ingenious if not entirely correct. The actual pattern was a secondary colour then a primary colour that was part of the secondary colour. Their way worked though and they found themselves on the other side and going through a door.

Back in the room of the five holes they eventually settled on the pentagon because it was the most complex shape. Again totally missing the 5 7 5 pattern of the High Tower of Quu This worked for them and they found themselves in the final chamber. Brigina told Calen and Emont they could come no further but offered to let Ionus come with her if he was willing to marry her. (This decision was left up to a dice roll which made the GM cringe as he quickly thought of an alternate ending never having considered the possibility of a no answer. Luckily the dice obliged the GM and he didn’t have to make the group find a way out of the tower which was good because he had never put a door in place for that possibility.

Ionus went with Brigina into a dark room where the two married, sort of (see wedding of Ionus and Brigina wiki). After the wedding Ionus realized that he was the father of the universe, he had literally given birth to it. He found himself out of the tower unable to stay because he had been touched by darkness which sounded rather cryptic. the group climbed onto the flyers and headed back to Porthust. They searched for Leve but found he had left six or seven months earlier. This was a little confusing because they believed they had only been gone a few days. What was happening? Had the been shifted to a new alternate universe created by Ionus? How had so much time passed? Where the hell did Leve go? All questions they will try to answer to find soon.

See the rumour wiki pages for some reminders of what the group heard about, and jobs they could pursue

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De'art of Abduction

A few bewildered patrons sitting nearby had turned their attention to the group’s table. Emont sat staring in disbelief as Ionus recited a haiku at the unsuspecting crowd. This was The Last Bastion the busiest drinking hole at the edge of the civilized world, a town where people were under constant threat from murderous thieves, savage beasts that roamed the Levenal Woods, and of course attacks by the Uraeyl who viewed humans as humans would livestock. Of course what the townsfolk of Minmorthei perhaps feared most was the idea that they were uncultured louts in an untamed land. So the folk of Minmorthei tended to grasp onto whatever bit of culture they could. So as Ionus recited poems about angry robots and lunar feces, there was to Emont’s surprise some scattered applause and the end of each poem.

The group known as The Crimson Moons had just returned from retrieving some stolen Numenera. The thieves had been easy for Calen to track and dispatching them had been a relatively simple task as well. So it turned out that one of the group’s simplest jobs to date was also their most profitable. As the group sat enjoying free drinks and fine haiku in The Last Bastion they were also considering what job might come their way next. As it happened the town was talking about the abduction of Baron De’Art’s daughter Julianne, some asking if The Crimson Moons were going to save the day yet again. There had not been any reward offered for her return just yet and Baron De’Art had sent out a contingent of guards to track down the thieves that had abducted her. There had yet to be a ransom demand.

As the group discussed whether it was worth trying to retrieve the girl and hope for a gracious reward if the guards that had a day head start did not find her first they were approached by a thin well dressed man who introduced himself as Bardellow Densirk. Bardellow had been sent by his employer Reijnold Baltsinder with a job offer for the group. The group headed out to speak with Reijnold and learn more about this job that might possibly pay them better than their last.

Reijnold turned out to be a large man standing almost 7 feet tall. He hard dark hair, and a great scruffy black beard. He told how some travelers had come across a couple dead bodies on the side of the road the same day as Julianne went missing. Reijnold son Tenevist (who’s name would cause a moment of confusion when Emont tried to do some math later) had taken seven of his father’s personal guard thinking that whomever had killed the two men on the side of the road might also have abducted Julianne (it was at this time Emont had an AHA moment, thinking Reijnold had said ten of us went out rather than Tenevist went out). The did find the abductors at an old Uraeyl keep in the woods. As Tenevist and the guards attacked the thieves a group of Uraeyl that were out hunting for humans attacked them all. The Uraeyl greatly outnumbered the humans and were easily winning, Tenevist, Julianne and a couple others manged to get inside the keep. One guard managed to get away and return to the Reijnold far. The job offered the group was to go and rescue Tenevist and Julianne, but he also wanted his son to get all the credit for the rescue. The group also had to agree to leave the Zare region for one year, their payment would be three flyers. The group accepted.

The Crimson Moons set out, following Tenevist’s trail. They discovered the two dead bodies off of the road hidden in the forest, which seemed strange since the travelers that had discovered said they were found on the road. The group continued along the trail following it into the woods. Ionus lost in conflicted thought as to whether the line of his poem should be mothers nipple’s or grandmother’s nipples did not notice the group of thieves waiting to ambush the group, it turns out none of the group were paying too much attention.

A Crossbow bolt narrowly missed Calen while Ionus was attacked by four large green lizards known as Laaks. Initially the surprise attack worked for the thieves, Ionus was severely injured and poisoned by the Laak. To make matters worse it began to rain. Instead of water it was an oily bluish grey liquid that came down from the sky. Everything became slippery making the battle much more difficult. The tide of the battle started to change when Leve’s onslaught of pure energy vaporized one of the thieves, and a second onslaught attack eliminated another. Emont managed to dispatch one of the remaining thieves. Calen successfully disarmed the crossbow wielding thief but when the loaded bow hit the ground it loosed a bolt that left a hideous gash on Calen’s face. An angry Calen thrust his dagger into the heart of the thief dropping him to the ground. while Ionus who had managed to kill one of the venomous lizards was struggling due to the extent of his injuries. With all the thieves dead, including their master, the Laak retreated into the woods leaving the members of the Crimson Moons to tend to their wounds and like all good adventurers loot the bodies of the fallen. Of note was a rejuvenation orb, which was used right away by the badly wounded Ionus, and an ear piece that allowed the wearer to understand all languages. Ionus named it the Ear Kazoo.

After a short rest and some much needed bandaging the group set out to follow the trail of Tenevist. They at last came to the Zeenar ruins. Much of the old keep had crumbled over the years but a portion was still standing and in front of the doors the group needed to enter were two Uraeyl. A plan was hatched to try and scare the two Numenera shy foe, with an orb that would project the image of Ionus reciting his poetry through interpretive dance. Activation of the orb required Leve to eat the apple like substance and then regurgitate it. It somehow retained its ball like shape and the image of Ionus was recorded. The two Uraeyl stared at the image of Ionus, at first in disbelief but then in awe. The beauty of the dance brought tears to their eyes, but the finally was too much for the Uraeyl mind and they fled into the Levenal woods in terror. Before the entered Leve swallowed a pill which caused a crystal to grow out of his eye. He broke off a piece of the Crystal and left it by the front door where he would now be able to see if anybody approached. As further precaution Ionus left his stink grenade to ward off any who approached.

The group headed into the keep. Inside the entrance way the went through a set of double doors. Though they tried to be quiet, the hinges on the hundred year old doors squealed as they entered. There was one Uraeyl warrior in the room who tried to run at the sight of the group. The group tried to kill him before he got out of the room, Emont had struck the Uraeyl with his katana and Calen had buried a knife in the fleeing Uraeyl’s neck. Ionus who made the last attempt stumbled when a bandage on his head fell down over his eyes getting oil and blood into his eyes and blurring his vision. Emont’s chased down the Uraeyl and his katana felled his foe. As Calen was retrieving his dagger from the Uraeyl’s neck two more Uraeyl walked in from another room, it is hard to be inconspicuous when pulling a dagger from a dead body. The two Uraeyl fled back into the room and tried to barricade the door. The group wanting to block the exit tried to knock over a large statue to block the door. The statue fell with a thunderous impact that caused the head to come flying off and shatter the door they were trying to block. The group attacked the exposed Uraeyl. Leve lunged in for an attack but was overwhelmed by the hideous smell of one of the Uraeyl and started vomiting. Emont severed the head of the stinky one and the group went deeper into the keep.

They reached the tower of the keep which was surprisingly still standing. They heard a human voice call out for help at the top of the tower and raced up to help. the human had been hung and gutted by the time the group got there, but they exacted vengeance on the three Uraeyl that had done the deed. Leve did notice that the man was still alive and mercifully slit his throat with his bladed rapier (see Leve’s guide to bladed rapiers wiki). The strap of Calen’s backpack got cut spilling the contents all over the floor, as he killed the last Uraeyl he stepped on a torch causing him to fall and the Uraeyl he had just killed toppled on top of him.

In the centre of the room there was an orb. At first the group thought it was bad and that they should destroy it. Leve wanted to study it, he touched it.
Leve’s mind was filled with visions of dark streets where Gothic stone buildings towered above him. Thick black clouds lumbered along revealing hints of a blood red sky. A small child dressed in ragged clothes burst from an alley and fell at his feet. The looked up at Leve his face and bald head are covered in dirt and soot, below his left eye is large blackish growth. The child coughed sputtering blood on the ground and then begged for help. A large beast with several eyes strangely located around it’s tumorous looking body leaped from the alley startling Leve. The creature opened three gaping mouths and pounced on the child. Leve stood stunned incapable of moving watching as this beast ripped chunks of flesh from the child. It was a horrific scene. The beast seemingly now bored with the dead child turned and looked at Leve. Its three mouths opened in wide gaping smiles ‘You are different then the other one, do you seek power or wealth? The beast started laughing a hideous shrill sound and then leaped at Leve. Leve gasped and pulled away from orb. His head throbbing from the vision. Everyone then decided to give it a try, and got a similar vision of a dark strange place. they also got the same throbbing headache.

At last the group headed into the basement where they came across what would turn out to be the last of the Uraeyl. The group dispatched of these Uraeyl quickly and found Tenevist and Julianne behind a hidden door. they had been trying to block the door so they could make an escape. Leve could see a large group Uraeyl approaching the keep, so they needed another way out. fortunately the group in the next room the group would discover the always popular escape tunnel. Before they left the keep Calen found an ornate dagger which he added to his collection, while Leve found a strange jeweled necklace. The group escaped the keep with Tenevist, Julianne, and one of the thieves that had managed to survive. Julianne spoke not a word the entire voyage home and neither did the thief. Perhaps Julianne was just out of sorts from being abducted. Tenevist was grateful, and Reijnold was true to his word giving the group the three flyers for returning his son.

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