Numenera: The Instruments Of Fate
Let Sleeping Gods Lie
Synopsis: An ultraterrestrial being of titanic proportions, the so-called Zephyr Lord, lies in a torpor, slowly dying of prolonged exposure to the alien atmosphere of the Ninth World. Priests that venerate this epic life-form as a god have sought ways to prolong the life of their dying deity.
Before it slipped into its ailing slumber, the deity uttered instructions in a few gasps of breath to one such priest, Thraler Maum. It imparted to him ways to preserve its life using numenera devices located inside it’s sanctum, a dimensional traveling starship. All the giant required to sustain itself were compatible hosts from which it could harvest human genetic material. These genes, properly sequenced into it’s own DNA would enable the titan to adapt to the alien environment.
To this end, the priesthood, under Thraler Maum’s leadership secretly began a program to breed human/ultraterrestrial hybrids. Fifty years ago, they captured pregnant women from the nearby mining town of Nular. Gene splicing the unborn children with samples taken from their god, the priests then waited for the children to be born and grow to adolescence, the perfect time to harvest them.
Thraler wanted the technology for himself. To extend his own life gave him the selfish reason he needed to pursue his “divine” mission. Given longevity, impressive strength, unnatural height and mysterious powers that allowed them to control the local weather, these children became known as the Children Of the Storm.
Becoming incensed upon discovery of his true destiny, one such child, a powerful individual named Lort, seeks vengeance upon The very priesthood that created him. He has turned his gaze upon the wild margr tribes of the mountains, whose own history is marked by volatile clashes with the priesthood. Perfect soldiers for this particular vengeance quest.
Act 1: Scorlan the Golden hired the PC’s to guard a caravan through margr infested mountains, leading to the frontier town of Nular.
The wagon train, owned by the less-than-truthful trader Impetrio was soon waylaid by margr who used a landmark known simply as the ‘Rock Face’ to spring an ambush. Having defeated their attackers, the PC’s learn that these attacks have become more chaotic in recent months, almost as though the margr are leaderless. The leadership of the tribe were recently taken up to Zephyr Point, home to the priests who venerated their grid, the Zephyr Lord by a tall, pale stranger.
News reaches the inn the PC’s are staying in. An old beggar woman known as Megdra whose wild claims included her knowledge of the plasmars and their secret deal with Kush, was found dead outside that very inn. Nuri, using her powers to consort with the dead gleaned the following from Megdra’s corpse: priests captured her as a young girl and experimented oh her unborn child. The child was then stolen from her by those same priests. Recently, a tall pale stranger claiming to be her son began visiting her. He accidentally blinded the beggar woman with his electricity powers whilst defending her from an attack by ravage bears. He fled in shame, leaving her with only a oddity he’d found up near Zephyr Point: a heart-shaped device.
On their first night spent in Nular, the PC’s uncover a deeply-held secret: the town’s power supply comes courtesy of energy beings called plasmars. The extraterrestrial power generator was damaged, requiring periodic bursts of energy from these entities. Moser Kush the town leader struck a bargain with them: numenera devices rich in energy are taxed from visitors to feed the plasmars in return for their help powering the town.
Drawn to the heart-shaped device they took from Megdra’s body, the plasmars take it and flee town towards distant Zephyr Point. The Frost Glare, an eye-like opening in the mountain’s summit filled with blue radiance is suddenly dimmed as the plasmars reach it.
Act 2: On the slopes, they encounter a flock of Norobex, fleeing a 15m long cragworm. The PC’s are caught in the middle of the stampede. If they kill the cragworm, they earn the gratitude of the shepherd, an elderly margr called Ghastorra. Despite his disheveled appearance, the goat man has aregal bearing about him. He claims he was once leader of the abhumans in this region, before the Zephyr-Born took over and cast him out. They must brave going to a margr camp to find out where the Zephyr-Born are now. Ghastorra aids them by coming before the new chief of the tribe, Kurff. Ghastorra enacts the old Rite of Challenge to Kurff, for leadership of the tribe. Both parties are afforded the opportunity to select their champions. Ghastorra selects the PC’s, Kurff selects his, a mighty snow beast. If the PC’s win the fight, Kurff hands over leadership to Ghastorra, but not before he poisons his rival’s drink with a slow-acting venom. Kurff says that priests who have great restorative powers live up in the mountains, where the frostglare shines. They are the ones that took the Zephyr-Born, If they wish to save their new friend, they’ll all have to go up their and hope the priests are in a giving mood.
Act 3: PC’s make the treacherous climb up to Zephyr-Point. Inside they find the Zephyr-Born are being used to heal their “father”, a giant of a humanoid being. No one knows the true goals of the Zephyr Lord or why it came to this place originally. If it is willing to use it’s own progeny to sustain itself perhaps it’s motives aren’t truly altruistic. Then again, perhaps this was the only way it could survive, It claims to want to help the many peoples of this land with all the technology and as-yet-unseen powers that it possesses.