Tuck received a delivery orb to bring to King Asour-Mantir.
Finally, an opportunity to get out of this cess pool of boredom and vacuous pursuits. If it wasn’t for Skylar, I would have gone insane in this place from the sheer monotony. Tuck desires my presence for the journey and, to put it succinctly, I need to get away.
I would like to think that I convinced Skylar to join us on our intrepid adventure across the vast unknown lands. I’m not entirely positive as to the veracity of such a thought but it comforts me in the darkness of these most unpleasant of nights. Oh the nights… these past nights. The horror… but before I descend into that sordid memory of terrible revulsion, having Skylar nearby is a balm to my unease of departing the solidity of the urban purlieus into the foreboding nastiness of the wilds.
I will have to work on Tuck some more. That thing could be so useful and it trusts me enough ever since I discovered just what IT is. Still, between me and me, it is rather likeable in the rather innocent manner of a very sharp blade with a mind of its own and a will of implacable morality. A true upstanding pillar that Glaive is. It will be for the best for me to bend it a little. Perhaps more than a little. Imagine the possibilities: my own morally unrestricted Glaive unbound to the rigid limitations of an outdated and unprofitable code of ethical probity. Yes, Tuck, you and I are going to be the best of friends.
There is another to our little bevy of adventurers. Shiro. I have a weird feeling about Shiro. When he is near it is like there is a displacement in the nano ether that shifts the fundamental perception of his aura. There is something… compelling about him. I need to explore this.
I hate the ground. I detest rocks.
Rocks are not as some claim in their misleading and categorically false fables of adventure the “land’s pillows.” No, rocks are eldritch vehicles of absolute terror and torture. Rocks are brutal devices born of pain and suffering that bring such swathes of misery that their very existence exudes anguish.
After thirty some days something other than that hideous and ridiculous labor known as travelling happened. We were ambushed by tree things. Seven Tree Things. Some name them tree “people” but they are about as people as fleas. To think, we were walking off the daily discomfort and pain of the night’s miserable sojourn when those beasts descended around us.
Tuck muttered some inane rambling. I don’t know what it was. As per usual I was not listening to him. Listening to him is so painful. His sudden burst of violence saved us from one of THOSE conversations that are the pinnacle of brilliance.
Shiro proved himself. He screamed and fell over. Yes, there is definitely something there.
The beasts attacked with a depraved lack of coordination. I slipped a couple that lunged at me and threw down my Cypher of Energy Wall. Naturally, I killed them all and saved everyone. After the raging energy tempest faded and the results of my perfectly timed intervention were revealed, we saw the smoldering remains of seven happy piles of… assorted ravaged bits. Upon closer inspection I found what appeared to be a leaf. After studying said leaf I discovered that it would turn cold when pointed to the south. Why does it do that? What is this thing? I need to know. I must learn.
Since we suffered nothing significant in our encounter, Skylar was hurt but she’s had worse, we continued on to Ishlav. By all that is glorious and good beds are found once more.
I spoke to the archetypical “mysterious stranger” in the tavern. Why do these guys always exist? I mean, seriously, every single tavern seems to have at least one. Everywhere. I wonder if they are but an expression of the Numenera forming a predictable method in which one can discover useful and potentially worthwhile secrets. These guys are so predictable. It’s always the same thing. The same hood. The same aloof and oh so enigmatic personality. I may test my theory on this personification and realization of Numenera the next time I meet one in a tavern.
He said we encountered tree people. What a horribly unoriginal name. I prefer my beasts. He did mention that there would be cyphers found where the cold points to. So south somewhere is a cache of cyphers. Maybe. Unless he was lying. Which he might be. But, most mysterious strangers don’t usually lie like that. That’d be more the thing of the shifty and obtuse scrawny fellow with beady eyes sort of thing to do.
Either way, we went to the priests and checked in with them. I talked Joseph into giving me his cypher. It’s a Personal Climate Stabilizer. It might be useful. He confirmed that the Leaf should lead to a cache after the prerequisite challenges of almost certain death and peril.
We spent the night in the glorious comfort of sheets, linens, pillows, and bedframes. Oh, the joys of such splendor. I do not know what was wrong with Shiro and Skylar to camp outside the gates. There is no accounting for taste. Oh, the sublime ecstasy of uninterrupted sleep devoid of the monstrous cruelty of rocks.
We’ve discovered something amazing or, perhaps, frightening.
After more days of abominable travel whereby the terror of rocks rose up and overwhelmed the natural and proper cycle of nocturnal bliss we were forced into a cave in a metal… hill? The Winds were coming so we had no choice and Shiro pushed us in. Oh Shiro, you are proving to be very special indeed. I don’t know what you were thinking when you threw up your hands in such a remarkable display of show, poise, and performance but it did not seem to do anything. Perhaps you have a very subtle control of the Numenera that evades my perception of the ethereal vapors. Not likely.
As we descended into this cave with Skylar taking the lead we discovered a pedestal. Upon the pedestal was an orb. I tried to figure out what this device could achieve but was interrupted by the floor disappearing. There were some red beams that spread out from the orb and into the air just before this happened as I was studying said device but, naturally, that could not have been me. I was being careful. I suspect that it was a timed response to some external stimulus that precipitated a normal behaviour. I had nothing to do with it.
We fell and landed in a cave. This cave is remarkable in that when we finally discerned its bounds it was not significantly large but would traverse the area with ourselves at its edge. Now how did we finally discover the dimensions of what was around us?
A being of metal. A form of living metal that managed to communicate with us. At first it spoke words of an ancient tongue or, perhaps, gibberish but after we spoke about what it could be it started to interact directly. Shiro revealed his specialness once more by tying up this flowing metal being. Yes, he went through the effort to tie up a being that coalesced from the metal wall. Perhaps in the confines of his mind he thought that rope would constrain a being that could flow through metal. It didn’t.
I held up one of my books of the Numenera to this thing. The enticing subject of this delightful grimoire is that of how one’s mental strength interacts with the nanites and how one can train oneself to manipulate the fields around us. Perhaps even to the extent of manipulating the minds of those around through their perceptions of the Numenera. I love this book and have been studying it regularly. How can you not be enthralled by assertions such as, “Through the differential perception of duality combined with a singularity of projection and focus one can discern the ephemeral patterns of the third transcendent realm of perspicacity?” It is brilliance.
The living metal entity, upon completing said text, disseminated back to the metal only to return not long after (as I was sure it would) to converse fully with us. My compatriots desired to leave this remarkable enclosure of knowledge and discovery. This being revealed to us seven of what it named planets and then opened a GATEWAY that caused us to be unable to breath but showed us the most incredible sight. I wish I could learn more of it. I need to learn more of these planets and this realm that was opened.
Blind to this wealth of knowledge my companions insisted on departure. The metal being appeared to be swayed by the assurance made by Shiro that we would return and thus would permit us egress from the structure. Apparently others before us have been within and the lifelong companions of the metal creature. There is evidence to this claim in the fact that Skylar found a cypher amidst a veritable cornucopia of personal belongings of previous permanent visitors.
However, it has finally come to the attention of my companions that the being, that I have dubbed for its pleasure and ego as Master, did not release us from this knowledge structure. They are now anxious to leave its confines while I wish to delve deeper into these mysteries. If I can convince Master to share with me the key to its language what untold mysteries would I discover? What new paths of knowledge? Perhaps I could transcend from my furthest perspicacity and evolve my awareness to a higher continuance. There is so much to be learned here.
Mayhaps I can convince Master that I am on its side as to the matter that pertains to my companion’s desire to exit. And, in exchange for my assistance in convincing them that this realm of bounty and gratification is worthy of, at least, some study I would be given the keys to its power. Master has made mention of its body in the sands and that it could not find it. The floor is not sand so we need to explore further.
As a note, Master seems capable of twisting our perception of reality and granting us our desires. This is something I had read about in my book of Numenera but had not managed to achieve as yet. I will attempt to learn all it knows of this ability and perhaps discern how it learned the technique. The similarities are remarkable to what is within the text.