The Chronicle Projector is one of many cyphers featured in my Numenera campaign The Paranoid Automaton.
Players first encounter the devices when they meet an elderly nano by the name of Nykalerim in the City of Fallen Star in Northern Iscobal.
Nykalerim, aside from an expert on the deserted metropolis of Fallen Star, is also an avid collector of Chronicle Projectors, metallic staffs with giant banners affixed on the top showing a brief historical scene (of unknown origins) in motion that repeats itself.
Nykalerim believes the projectors were originally used for educational purposes for creatures not of this time or world, but are now powerful and sometimes deadly tools sought by art collectors and those who seek power.
Usable: A 6-foot staff made up of five dark blue metallic silver rods wrapped up by several gold and copper-like coils. The staff holds up a giant octagon banner showing a monochromatic brief historical sequence that is constantly repeated.
Effect: To activate the banner, all five rods must be depressed together at which time tiny inscriptions throughout the rods glow as the chronicle is emitted as far as 30 feet away. The emission acts as a beacon for an unknown entity which senses the activation and materializes the main subject of the chronicle for a brief time.
Once the chronicle is discharged, the moving scene on the banner freezes.
The specific effect is determined by the chronicle’s scene. Below are a few known Chronicle Projectors and their effects.
WRATH OF THE MOLTEN GIANT OF AGYRIA – The chronicle depicts hundreds of multi-armed humanoid creatures laughing and holding up one of their own who clutches a crown made out of a giant’s skull. An angry giant with an elongated head then appears and opens its mouth releasing a deluge of lava-like material as the creatures run for cover.
Effect: The giant in the chronicle materializes, opens its mouth and unleashes a flood of glowing red hot liquid in a 30-foot area. Any target failing to dodge the liquid is burned and takes 10 damage and loses its turn for one round. There is an 80% chance that numenera the target is carrying is completely destroyed.
PHANDARIA’S REDEMPTION ARROW – The chronicle shows sickly humanoids in hundreds of circular chambers with their arms outreached. A female humanoid armed with an array of bows slowly enters the chamber and lightly touches one of the humanoids. The woman then fires an arrow into the sky which explodes. The woman begins to disappear as the humanoids rise out of their chambers.
Effect: The female humanoid materializes and fires an arrow into the sky. Those below the arrow’s explosion, covering a 30-foot area, regain 10 points.
SAGACITY OF THE AUTOMATON HEAD OF VAULU – The chronicle features a man and woman climbing a mountain, finding a passage and entering a chamber full of automaton statues. The couple find a statue with its head knocked off and place the head back on the body of the automaton. The head then begins to glow.
Effect: The head of the automaton materializes and offers two valuable insights into questions posed. If the head is unable to offer any information, the head glows giving 2 Intellect points to the owner of the Chronicle Projector.
THE EXPEDITIOUS JOURNEY OF THOURAN SENTURAN – The chronicle depicts a humanoid male with overly big metallic boots running night and day throughout a coastal city made out of glass.
Effect: The metallic boots materialize on the Chronicle Projector’s user who gains 8 points to their Speed pool for 24 hours.