As I’m closing in on the completion of a chapter of my Numenera RPG campaign, The Paranoid Automaton, I thought I would give a brief progress report.
The writing is going very well with the current chapter, “Zelectran’s Spectral Festival of Sound,” nearing completion at almost 20,000 words (I expect it to be around 21k at the end).
The next chapter I’m planning on tackling is “The Dreamnauts of Faulkirk” which is currently comprised of basic ideas, NPCs, antagonists and plots. My first draft of the campaign did not include this location, but after talking with players and writers, I decided to add another location to give the campaign more of an epic globe-trotting quality.
This week I was also able to playtest a portion of the campaign where I introduced the players to a tribe of android scavengers known as The K’Shakra Sharawynn tribe led by the Fatelthord, Crytothane. The players run into the tribe after spotting giant insect like creatures with shells running across the dunes of the cold desert of Matheunis.
On close inspection, the players find that the creatures have been manipulated so that they are mechanical crafts used by Crytothane and his people. The PCs have been searching for the tribe since learning they may have a vital piece of information.
Below is a brief excerpt and summary from the campaign about the tribe, with some dialogue from the playtest added. In the playtest, the PCs are searching for a Holotablet that was lost by an ally, Osgareth, in the deserts of Matheunis.
CRYTOTHANE OF THE K’SHAKRA SHARAWYNN TRIBE
Crytothane and his tribe of abhuman cyborgs, known as the K’Shakra Sharawynn, have been searching for the giant mechanized worm The Murdaunus, a 70-foot long two-headed automaton worm-like creature that bores through the earth.
Crytothane believes that the Murdaunus’ original purpose was not to kill but to construct; a machine used by a bygone era to tear into the hard southern lands in order to make way for extraordinary cities deep underground. He believes from his scouts and other tales he has heard of the Murdaunus, that it is one of several hundred buried beneath the earth and was somehow awakened, and is now rampaging through Flandanathem.
It was Crytothane and his tribe’s efforts which allowed Osgareth and others at a caravan to escape with their lives from the Murdaunus’ latest attack.
But, as payment for their services, his tribe took what was left from the caravan, including the Holotablet, and now seek to sell or trade them to further fund their mission to destroy the Murdaunus.
Crytothane reveals that another group, which he does not relate any information about, sought the Holotablet. According to Crytothane, they were of poor character however, since they offered an outrageous price for such a thing which in turn led Crytothane to believe it was a very valuable piece of information. The tribesmen leader then said he would have to think on the deal and he would have a decision by week’s end.
Crytothane can be persuaded to let the PCs obtain the Holotablet if they are able to do what his tribe has not been able to do…and that is to bring down the Murdaunus.
“The Haadi Ultanai told me in my voyage through the Baahirin in my last dreamlight that I would encounter two clans of scavengers seeking a map to a metal Jafri talon once used by a fool who followed another fool whose foolish thoughts fooled her people and made her the ultimate fool,” says a soft male voice whose voice reverberates with a laser emitting sound like quality.
“Fatelthord Crytothane is no fool who can be fooled by the foolish,” says Crytothane who sits with his men who are all cloaked in off-white robes, with dark red and brown boots and gloves.
“Let me tell you of the story of Maisara Baduur who sought a great Kaif-Nano who killed her child. As she searched for him in the Beyond, she came upon a useless Aatika shell which she thought was only good to small pintau creatures who sought shelter from the foresaken Mastoora, known to you people as the Iron Wind,” says Crytothane as he points to the sky while some in his entourage nod their heads.
“But on a whim, Maisara took the shell because she liked the weird Zabreen colors , and used it to create a Rafeeda to help cover her head from the blistering sun that season. Two wealthy nanos then approached her one day and wanted the colorful shell. She could not decide which one to give it to, so she called forth for a Furqaan, a contest between the two parties. Whichever nano could locate the Kaif-Nano, she would reward with the shell,” Crytothane then looks at the PCs one at a time. “In this instance, my friends, the reward is the Holotab for the heads of the Murdaunus.”