Numenera: Shadows of the Past

Aftermath Act III

Heart and Soul

September 15: Afternoon

The party recovered at Fort Toinette, where Guardian Commander Giden worked with Sir Umain to assess causalities. They discovered the fort’s ancient cannons drained the last of their energy cores in the battle, and needed to be restored in the outcome of a second Gaian attack. Giden tasked the party with retrieving ‘hearts’ found within crystalline entities called the quishamis, known to inhabit the Cloudcrystal Skyfields. Once obtained, the guardians could then use the hearts to recharge the fort’s defences.

The party set out with aneen mounts to investigate the Sky Tear, while keeping watch for quishamis.

September 18: Afternoon

As the party crossed the rocky barren plains beneath the enormous crystal clouds, they encountered three quishamis, their large floating forms of crystal shards distinguishing them.

Aegan made first contact with the beings, using her ability to communicate with creatures to try and enlist their aid with Fort Toinette’s defences. The quishamis refused to help the Aeon Guardians. When asked why, the entities used their shards of crystal to etch an image into the ground, depicting Aeon Guardians standing side-by-side with Gaian lycanthropes, seemingly at peace as the quishamis observe from the sky.

Uncertain of what the image meant, the party tried another approach and had En’ir transform into a lycanthrope to provoke a reaction. The quishamis released a harmonic song while Tranavaros observed from a distance with Ay’lin, noting the sharp buzzing noise of numenera activity.

Before the party could react, the quishamis shattered into a single floating stream of razor shards. The stream encircled En’ir, Jinx, Maxxos, Aegan, and Theron. The mutant raised his arm against the stream in a bid to escape. The shards liquefied and re-solidified, encasing his hand in a segment of crystal wall. Upon withdrawing his arm, the crystals shattered and returned to the encircling stream.

With no obvious escape, the party stood and attempted to come up with some plan to get free. In the distance, a great roar was heard.

A reptile of colossal size, colourful as a jungle flower, charged towards them on two powerful legs. Tranavaros and Ay’lin readied for a fight, while En’ir and Jinx attempted escape from the quishamis. En’ir equipped anti-gravity boots, rising into the air and beyond the reach of the crystalline entities.

Catching the attention of the ferocious reptile, En’ir was struck and knocked to the ground with bone-shattering force. Unable to move with several broken bones, he could only watch as Jinx crawled over the makeshift crystal wall and rushed to help Tranavaros and Ay’lin.

The three fought the monster, knowing a single mistake would lead to their deaths. As Tranavaros and Ay’lin attempted to distract the beast, Jinx was caught in its razor teeth. The jack fought for his life, escaping death before climbing upon the beast in the hopes of killing it. The creature wrestled against him, trying to shake his grip.

The arrival of Gaian warriors ended the battle. Two Parahni among the group charged the reptile, forcing it to retreat, though at the cost of their lives. Unable to move out of the monster’s path, En’ir was crushed under its weight.

With the monster out of sight, the quishamis stream shifted from the party and surrounded the body of En’ir. The party watched in awe as the glaive’s broken corpse was restored to life, bones completely healed.

The leader of the Gaians, a warrior named the Urgevek, stepped forth and declared En’ir one of the Parahni — the Chosen. The quishamis had determined En’ir worthy to protect the Skyfields and Lostrei, a destiny he was meant to follow in the eyes of the Gaians. Their song had called the Gaians to them after seeing En’ir’s ‘true’ form, but also unintentionally summoned a jiraskar — a Great Guardian. The quishamis had encircled the party to protect them, not trap them.

When questioned, Tranavaros explained their mission was to close the Sky Tear, though avoided the topic of why they engaged the quishamis to begin with. Urgevek informed the Seeker that Gaian scouts sighted a ominous black cube resting in the air above the Scorpion Crater. The cube, Tranavaros reasoned, was the same one connected to the Venerator and held the Bilu-sha-ziri star.

When the Convergence originally found the anomaly, they likely built the sanctum around it to conduct their plans, since the object couldn’t be moved without the use of an ancient artefact — the Rifter, now in the Seeker’s possession.

Urgevek sanctioned their mission and allowed them to continue, sending his son, Bishen, to guide them the rest of the way. Before parting, Urgevek warned En’ir that the time would come where he must choose to accept his calling, or fight against it.


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