Numenera: Those Who Move Clouds, Session 1

When a Shadow of the Demon Lord campaign I was running came to a close, I had everyone vote on what would I would run next, from games on The List (almost 100 different campaign ideas I have on the back burners). It was a close run between Deadlands and Numenera, but Numenera won out and we started the campaign on alternate Saturdays over Discord. 


Our campaign starts in Awgere, a coastal aldeia (village) off the Sere Marica known for its salt harvesting operations. The PCs have found themselves in Awgere for their own reasons, becoming acquainted through work or other means. One balmy evening, right as the sun starts to set, an explosion echoes from the marsh nearby the settlement. Many people rush to the scene, fearing the worst for their fellow residents. The PCs arrive to an already gathering crowd to find the remains of a person badly mangled from a localized explosion.

No one gathered could identify the individual, and pieces of scrapped numenera and other devices led Yanusen to believe that a reaction from gathered cyphers had caused the explosion until a device was found that was still functional. Upon activation, the device played an audio message stating "Transmission complete. Mission failure." Interested in what this mission could be, the rest of the group ask Yanu to see if he can get more from the device, which he easily does after manipulating it for a few moments. "Secure objective: Mazen. Return to Astaria rendezvous. Payment upon completion."

This alarmed everyone, especially Mazen, who became even more alarmed when the party decided that the best course of action was to head toward Astaria, putting them closer to whatever group wanted them captured! Plans were hastily made to make the trek overland and after collecting pay and informing those who needed to know where they were going, seeding false information in case anyone was feeding Mazen's pursuers intel, they headed for Astaria on foot.

A more inland route is chosen and the group set off, their travel the first day takes them into the grasslands inland from the coast and they pass a few aldeia until later in the day when they decide to rest at the next one they encounter. The party spots a dead man slumped on the porch of a small hut. He had been dead for just a short time, and some sort of black substance had been placed under his skin from a puncture between his shoulder blades. Finding they could do nothing for the man, they move on. Just down the road, they come across a chimney-shaped building with robed and hooded residents that pass them on the road as they enter a place called Jutte.

A man named Trummel greets them as they enter Jutte, asking what their purpose is and offering information if they need anything in the town. He points them to a hostel and the market square for lodging and food and answers a few questions about crime in the area. He answers a question about the hooded people they saw before and bids them well, letting the PCs go about their way. Trummel meets them in the morning and walks them to the edge of town as they leave, making small talk.

Once far from the safety of the aldeia, the group see an oorgolian kneeling on the road ahead, petting two broken hounds he has with him. When it stands, it points to Mazen stating "Give us that one and nobody gets hurt," stating again that Mazen is the one it's after and projecting a hologram of their likeness to confirm. Mazen and their companions balk at this and after a short exchange, Asimra charges into battle. The oorgolian pleads with Mazen to come along peacefully throughout the encounter, but its voice becomes more digitized as the fight wears on, as if encoded. One statement too many and the alien explodes just as he's about to say something else, shredding the sole hound left standing and leaving the group pincushioned with shrapnel.

With the mercenary and his hounds defeated and another clue pointing to Astaria, the band are left pondering what lies ahead as they mend their wounds before setting off again.

Cast of Characters
Mazen,  A Swift Nano who Controls Gravity (Sam)
Yanusen,  A Calm Nano who Commands Mental Powers (Taylor)
Asimra, A Strong Glaive who Works Miracles (Chanz)
Errol, A Graceful Glaive who Fights with Panache (Rachele)
Raide, A Strong-Willed Glaive who Rides the Lightning (Brenden)
Lincoln Ford Mercury, A Strong-Willed Nano who Works Miracles (Chris G)

1. Playing this game on Discord allowed for some of the people not in our normal group to play and made it easier for some of the players who had scheduling conflicts to participate, but attendance has still been an issue. I've called off games a few times before, and we settled on playing Wilderlands when we can't get four players for a session so we don't have a dry week of gaming.
2. I lean quite a bit more into the sci-fi than I think is intended. Assumptions are made that people aren't idiots and terms and basic knowledge would spread at least a little. This might be colored by having played Torment: Tides of Numenera?

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