• Quest Friends!

Ep. 9: The Clockwork City, Part 5

Updated: Apr 29, 2019


Our heroes figure out which flavor of bad guy they're dealing with.

Listen as they:

REUNITE with an old nuisance!

UNCOVER more of Hop Scotch's sordid past!

ILLUMINATE the motivations of the Jagged Dream!

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

Previously, on Quest Friends…

[Opening theme, “Friends” by Miracle of Sound, begins..]

Kyle (as Don)

And what brings you to Charmonde?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Mr. Mako. We’re looking for Mr. Mako.

Kyle (as Don)

So, you’re looking for trouble.

Hallie (as Hopper)

No, I’m looking for Mr. Mako.

Kyle (as Mako)

Now, before you hear the rumors and get impassioned, I did take a job with Queen Armalu in Charmonde. But--but! I think I’m onto something both you and the professor will want to know about. The wife and I also worked together to give you this pin.

Kyle

So this is the formula for what Mr. Mako was working on, called ANNEX.

Tom (as Xoc)

It would be a shame, wouldn’t it, if the queen did know something.

Kyle

And she’s going to give you a dead look.

Kyle (as Vera)

Well, things don’t always work out the way they’re expected to.

Kyle (as Vera)

Thank you so much, and if you ever need anything, right outside the door is your attendant. He’s not perfect, but, he--he was--he was the only person who was available, so I apologize for that.

Kyle

And, sporting a very large mustache and a very large frown:

Kyle (as Don)

Ugh. You again.

[Opening theme intensifies..]

Hallie

Nooo! [Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

You again.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hello. How are you?

Kyle (as Don)

I see you still have the hat, ma’am.

Hallie

[Choking laughter.]

Kyle (as Don)

That’s good.

Emily (as Elee)

I will always have the hat.

Kyle (as Don)

So how did you get here so quickly?

Emily (as Elee)

[Deadpan.] We took the tour.

Kyle

He just turns to himself,

Kyle (as Don)

I fucking hate the tour.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom

Wait, is this the border--the border guard?

Kyle

It absolutely is.

Emily and Hallie

Yes. [Laughter.]

Tom

Okay. I--I wasn’t sure if we were meant to actually know who he was.

Hallie

Yes.

Ari

Me neither.

Tom

So Xoc will go:

Tom (as Xoc)

Oh, it’s you! We met you at the edge of the city!

Kyle (as Don)

[Defensively.] What do you mean by that? A man can have multiple jobs. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Tom (as Xoc)

Isn’t serving the kingdom one job, though?

Kyle (as Don)

It feels like more.

Kyle

And he sighs:

Kyle (as Don)

I need to say this: [Sighs, voice emotionally dead.] Hello, my name is Don. I am here to help and serve you in any way you need. Ask me anything and I will assist.

Ari (as Misha)

Salutations, Don. My name--

Ari

And Misha’s just going to introduce themselves to Don. [Laughter.]

Emily [Laughter.]

Hallie

Did you do that at the border?

Ari

Yes, but Misha is going to do it again.

Hallie

[Strained.] Okay.

Emily, Hallie and Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Don is staring at you. He is dead inside.

Hallie

Uh, Hopper is just gonna:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey. Nice to see you again. Uh. We’re--we’re gonna go.

Hallie

And then just--he’s just gonna go.

Emily (as Elee)

Don? Can--can I call you Donny? Donno? Donnet? Duu-- Dede?

Kyle (as Don)

[Heavy sigh.]

Ari

Donut?

Kyle (as Don)

What do you need ma’am? I’m not holding your rat.

Emily (as Elee)

I was just gonna say, you can, uh, probably go home.

Kyle (as Don)

Not allowed to do that. I need to follow all of you to your locations as per Miss Vera’s rules.

Tom (as Xoc)

But we’re going to different places.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah.

Kyle (as Don)

Well, that’s not sustainable. You have to figure out somethin’.

Tom (as Xoc)

I’m afraid that Miss Vera did not confirm those rules. She said we could move freely.

Hallie (as Hop)

It’s--it’s true.

Kyle (as Don)

I know what you’re trying to do, sir; I remember you doing it at the border.

Kyle

And he pulls out a little booklet with rules, and he says:

Kyle (as Don)

But this time, I’m prepared, sir. Rule seventy-six nine B question mark: All guests must stay together with their attendant at all times to ensure their safety and happiness.

Ari (as Misha)

But what if our safety and happiness is not ensured by this rule? Can we then break it?

Kyle

He flips a few more pages.

Kyle (as Don)

Well, I suppose you’re right. I would be fine [Sighs.] going with just one of the two groups and letting some of you go on your own.

Kyle

And he gives a look to Elee.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, Misha and I are just staying in the palace, so, you know, we’ll be, we’ll be fine.

Hallie

And then he’s gonna shoot an “I’m sorry” glance at Elee.

Emily (as Elee)

Look. Donnet. Dono. Dino. Don’t follow me. It’s better for all of us if you don’t follow me.

Kyle

Are you trying to intimidate?

Emily

Yes.

[Dice rolls.]

Emily

Nine.

Kyle

Nine?

Tom

Eehh.

Kyle (as Don)

I’m sorry, ma’am; I have to follow the logic of the system, and the logic of the system does say that those going out would be under more danger than those coming in. Staying in. Those staying in. I haven’t slept in four days.

Tom and Hallie

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

You could just take a nap

Kyle (as Don)

Not ‘til m-- all my shifts are over, sir. I’ve got two left.

Hallie (as Hopper)

How understaffed is this palace?

Emily (as Elee)

C’mon, Donut.

Hallie

Hopper is concerned for the working conditions. This is a side goal, now: improve the working conditions of this palace.

Tom

This is not OSHA compliant.

Kyle

So we are gonna start with our party of four, but not our typical party of four. This one is comprised of Elee, Xoc, Jesse, and Don. Yeah, so you’re all walking. Jesse is proudly marching forward and they’re grilling both Elee and Xoc on a whole host of questions about what it’s like to explore, and, and, and adventure with Hopper Scotch. Is it great, and like, you know, is this rumor true, is that not? You know, what, what’s a calzone, have you had one before? Uh--

[5:24.]

Emily

It’s a calzune, excuse you.

Kyle

What’s, yeah, sorry, what’s a calzune, have you had it before, stuff like that, and then Don is reluctantly but diligently following about five feet behind you.

Emily

Oh, Donut.

Kyle

Right now, you’re just walking towards one of the four districts on the anthill.

Tom

Xoc wants to, as smoothly as he can, which isn’t very, mention:

Tom (as Xoc)

So, you’ve been traveling with Hopper Scotch before?

Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, uh, no, no, no, no, I, I’ve, I’ve never traveled with, with Hopper Scotch, um, he’s just, uh. I really look up to him. I’ve been, you know, I, I, I remember the first time I, I, I heard of, of the great things he did to, to help a town and, I don’t know, I’ve just been following him ever since an-and reading up on his adventures.

Tom (as Xoc)

You probably know even more about Hopper Scotch than I do.

Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, well, I mean, I mean, you-you’ve met him, like, you’ve talked to him and stuff. I’ve just heard stories and, and you know, those can only mean so much.

Tom (as Xoc)

I’d be interested in hearing some stories.

Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, of course! Yeah!

Tom (as Xoc)

You said he used to have another companion he traveled with? A Miss Lorraine?

[Funky music plays.]

Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, m, y-- oh, no. Oh, Miss Lorraine, oh, she’s so tricky. No, Miss Lorraine, she, um, is like-- ah, have you ever heard of the idea of, like, there were two brothers, like the yin and the yang? And like, one needed the other? Like, th-- she’s, she’s his yang. Whenever Hopper Scotch goes to fix things, that’s because Miss Lorraine is causing trouble in those places. And of course, he always wins and it’s always okay in the end, but-- No, it’s like, i-it’s like, wherever one of them is, the other one is, is there causing trouble, and it’s, it’s just, it’s-- I don’t know. And like, they, they claim to, you know, all the reports claim to hate each other, but if you really hate someone that much, would you really spend so much time with them?

Tom (as Xoc)

That is all very interesting.

Hallie

This is all really painful to listen to on my end.

Kyle

A-alright, so then you’re gonna--you’re gonna keep on walking unless you have more questions.

Tom

I mean, he’ll probably ask-- and we don’t need to really show that, so we can get to the rest of the action, but he’ll probably ask for more stories about Hopper Scotch, because he’s genuinely curious.

Kyle

Um. Hallie, give me a d20 roll.

[Dice rolls.]

Hallie

Twelve.

Kyle

Yeah, and, and they’re, they’re pretty alright. There’s, like, one or two embarrassing ones, but they’re not too embarrassing. Um, but you still got a little bit of ammo against Hop Scotch.

Hallie

Goddamnit. For a second, I want everyone to know that I thought I rolled a twenty-one, and I was like, oh my god! I’m amazing, and then I was like, oh no, Hallie, that number doesn’t exist on this die.

[Jaunty bagpipe music plays.]

Kyle

Alright, Jesse’s gonna take a turn at one of the districts, which is called the Seskii District. A-and as Jesse explains, the way the districts are made is that in the mountainside, the anthills form four images. One of a sun, one of a tanager bird, one of a crocus flower, and one of a seskii, which is like a dog with kind of, like, dragon-like scales, and the Seskii District is the officially sanctioned black market. It’s really vibrant and exciting. You see stands selling numerous things, some sketchy and some concerningly innocuous. Uh, this is the only part of the district where you have animals going around, so you have aneens going:

Kyle (as Aneen)

Aneen! Aneen!

Kyle

And in fact, uh, if you walk, you’ll see one, it looks like it’s trying to sell things. You see an aneen holding, like, a smaller aneen.

Tom, Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And then, you see a-another guy i-in the corner, saying:

Kyle (as “another guy in the corner”)

Come see Stinley’s Magical House of Wonders! All the most magical things in all of Numenera! It’s a veritable house of mystery!

Kyle

Half the people are dressed really vibrantly, and then the ha-- other half are in really drab, greenish clothes, and you can see in the clothes very clear imprints of vestlike armor, and two capsule-sized bumps on their shoulders, which, if you remember the way armor works, means that probably half this town is cops, just like, very poorly undercover.

Tom

[Whispering.] sjlhfsdh jesus

Emily

Elee’s glaring at the cops.

Emily (as Elee)

I don’t trust authority.

Tom

Xoc is gonna, like sidle over to Elee and sort of try to whisper:

Tom (as Xoc)

Do you think we can, we can ditch the, the guy from the palace? H-h-how are we going to do this?

Emily (as Elee)

I mean, usually my escapes aren’t very sneaky.

Hallie

[Raspberry laughing sound.]

Tom (as Xoc)

That’s a good point. Maybe we can lose him when we reach Miss Mauve.

Emily (as Elee)

I think that’d be best.

Kyle

As you’re walking through these hallways, which, remember, it’s, like, kind of like dirt above you, dirt beneath you, dirt to the side, and then open air on the southern-facing side of it. And you’ve seen a couple of, like, outcroppings, like, you know, some are wooden, some are, like, really nice outcroppings, where people have, you know, maybe bigger storefronts on the southern side. And what you eventually see is you see kind of one of those, like, manufactured ponds, so you see some stones, and then you see about-- I’d say maybe diameter of twenty feet, a little pond that seems to be on the southern side overflowing kind of in, like, a waterfall. Don’t worry how water gets back up there. And connected on a post next to this pond, you see what looks like a covered wagon, but it’s a little bigger, and it’s a boat. So imagine, like, uh, the covered wagon back, and then just boat in front of it, a general boat-like space. You see a sign that has the M logo, the one with the M on top and then the M with a mustache, and it says “Mauve and Mako’s School for Explorers and Medics,” and Jesse turns over and says:

Kyle (as Jesse)

That’s it th-th-that’s where she is!

Kyle

So as you walk forward, you see three people. You see an elderly woman holding a cane with a T handle standing near the canopy, and to her right, it basically looks like a pail, like a, just a large, floating, rusted, pail. And on the deck, you see a bunch of ice, and you see this very young person essentially standing there with a sword drawn. So they’re kind of slipping and sliding on the ice as these wooden figures pop up on the boat, like from the deck, and he bats them back down like whack-a-mole, and after doing that a few times, suddenly you see this young person turn around, and you see their eyes flash for a second and their irises change color. And they turn and they start swinging behind them. Almost as soon as they start swinging, a figure pops up from the deck and gets knocked back down. As soon as that happens, you see the woman look disapprovingly at the young individual and say:

Kyle (as Mauve)

Everett! What have I told you about using your nano abilities? You can’t just rely on the abilities you have; you have to be able to go blind.

Kyle

Everett turns over.

Kyle (as Everett)

Well, I mean, if I have it, can’t I use it?

Kyle (as Mauve)

Everett, you--you gotta be able to use every part of your body. You can’t just rely on one ability. Ugh, ya nanos.

Kyle (as Jesse)

Uh, Miss Mauve! Miss Mauve!

Kyle (as Mauve)

Oh, Jesse! It’s a pleasure to see ya! How are you doing today?

Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, I’m-I’m doing great! I-I have Hopper Scotch’s friends with me!

Kyle (as Mauve)

Who?

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, if you’re friends of Jesse’s, then you’re friends of mine. Uh, you, you can take a break, Everett.

Kyle

And you see her cane, which has this, uh, line of icy blue fluid, you see her turn the T handle cane, and that icy blue fades away and is replaced by a fiery red. And she places her cane down on some of the ice, which you just see slowly melt and evaporate away.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Miss Mauve. I run this facility. Treadmill, do you mind cleaning up everything around there?

Kyle

And she points to the pail, which starts going around and, and, and cleaning up some of the, the debris and scooping it inside of itself.

Tom

[Mournfully.] Treadmill.

Hallie and Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I’m sorry; I couldn’t think of a name.

Tom

Oh, poor Zoomy. How far you’ve fallen.

Hallie

Zoomy, what has he done to you?

Kyle

I couldn’t think of a good name that wasn’t Zoomy!

Hallie

You just had to add a Y onto, like, any verb. Tready. Like.

Kyle

Alright, We’ll do that.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Tready, do you mind cleanin’ that up?

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Alright, how’s that? Is that better? Is Tready better?

Hallie

It’s better. I accept Tready.

Kyle

Okay.

Hallie

Plus, it sounds like Teddy. Call him a Tready bear. That was a really bad pun; I’m sorry.

Tom

Uh. Xoc will just sort of look around awkwardly, say:

Tom (as Xoc)

H-hello!

Tom

Wave.

Tom (as Xoc)

We-- my friend and I-- uh, my, my name is Xoc. This is Elee.

Emily (as Elee)

I’m Elee.

Tom (as Xoc)

We were wondering if we could ask you some, some questions.

Kyle

She looks at you for a second, then turns back and says:

Kyle (as Mauve)

Oh, Don, it’s a pleasure to see ya! I haven’t seen you in a while!

Kyle

She turns over to Jesse and says:

Kyle (as Mauve)

Jesse, can, can I trust these guys? They’re with, you know.

Kyle

She starts motioning towards Don.

Emily (as Elee)

Can you go home now?

Kyle (as Don)

Ma’am, I’m supposed to stay with you until I’m done.

Tom (as Xoc)

Well, you are. I mean, it’s just like at a room, right? Where you stand outside while we go inside? We’ll just go inside the boat, a-a-and you’ll--you’ll stay outside, and that’s, that’s the same thing! It’s the same thing. You’re still right here keeping an eye on us. Figuratively.

Kyle (as Mauve)

You know, I think that’s a marvelous idea. Don, darlin’, can you just stay outside and watch the boat?

Kyle

Don grumbles and Mauve takes you all inside.

Emily

It’s a mauve-llous idea.

Hallie

Eyyyyy!

Tom

I was very strongly tempted to tell him that he could stop, since he already is Don.

Hallie

Eyyyyyyy! Give them some XP points, Kyle.

Kyle

Tom and Emily, you each get an XP.

Emily

Yes.

Tom

Yes!

Kyle

You discovered two puns.

Emily

Yes.

Tom

Beautiful.

Kyle

So she walks the tree of you in to this small canopied-like space. It’s kind of like a covered wagon, so you’ve basically got two benches on the side, and the only really fancy thing you see, attached to one of the walls, kind of like a mantlepiece, you see uh, a rapier, that seems to be kind of held up and not used anymore.

[15:20.]

Kyle (as Mauve)

Oh, please, please, t-t-t-take a seat, how can I help you today?

[A clock ticks.]

Emily (as Elee)

Be-- uh, before we start, I just-- I was curious: Mauve, what’s your favorite time of day?

Kyle (as Mauve)

Wha--

Emily (as Elee)

Or night. Or night.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, I-- well, I, I tend to like the day more than anything else. It’s n--

Emily (as Elee)

Do you have a fondness for clocks?

Kyle (as Mauve)

N-no? I think people who follow clocks are relying too much on predictability. If you try to plan everything out, then nothing’s gonna go right, but if you try to plan nothing out--

Kyle (as Jesse)

Well then nothing can go wrong!

Tom

[Laughter.] Oh, Jesse.

[Ticking stops.]

Emily (as Elee)

[Inhale.] You ever killed a man?

Kyle (as Mauve)

You, you two aren’t cops, are you? ‘Cause you have to tell me. That’s, that’s how the rules of Charmonde work; you have to tell me if you’re cops.

Emily (as Elee)

Haha, no.

Tom (as Xoc)

We’re not, we’re not, we’re not cops, we, we don’t--no.

Emily (as Elee)

I don’t get along with cops.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, in that case, can I get you anything to drink?

Kyle

And she picks up the small bowl and starts swishing it around a little bit.

Tom (as Xoc)

Water is nice.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, alright.

Kyle

She takes the bowl and, like, pours it down, and you see the fluid come out and form into the shape of a glass, and then the rest of it continue to pour down and make a glass of water.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, careful, that only lasts about five minutes or so.

Tom (as Xoc)

Thank you. A-actually, we, um, we were wondering if you could help us. We came to this city looking for a Mr. Mako. We thought he might know how to cure a...kind of sickness where a black spider gets under your skin.

Emily (as Elee)

I stabbed it. It didn’t work.

Kyle (as Mauve)

A-a-a black spi-- I’m sure he could help you, but un-unfortunately, he’s not--he’s not available right now.

Tom (as Xoc)

We’ve heard. Um, a woman at the palace, Vera--

Kyle

She sneers at that a little bit.

Tom (as Xoc)

You aren’t friends?

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, I will say that Vera is the most interesting woman in the city, and that we came here specifically to meet her, but no, we’re not friends.

Emily (as Elee)

She’s, uh, actually, uh, the woman I met who [Emphasizes each word significantly.] really likes clocks.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Okay, you’re going to have to be more clear, ma’am, I don’t understand what you're talking about.

Tom

Xoc gives a look over at Elee and says:

Tom (as Xoc)

I...don’t know exactly what my friend is talking about, but I think we might be in a lot of danger. I think Vera has been lying to us, and I think I might have helped her get something that Mr. Mako was working on.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Oh yeah, the, the cure for the Queen or whatever nonsense like that.

[Detective music plays.]

Tom (as Xoc)

I don’t know what her intentions are for it, but I suspect she has selfish means. She told us that she wanted to use it to get Mr. Mako out, and that he-- she knew he was innocent.

Kyle (as Mauve)

She has no interest in that. Why would you want to break someone out when you’re the one who locked them up in the first place?

[Music swells.]

Kyle

Hello and welcome to the announcement break for episode nine of Quest Friends! I am Kyle, your GM, and I’ve got some things to talk to you about today. First, just a couple of things to clear the air, uh, as I said last week, Ari’s audio was a bit weird for this session. I checked next session, so the next couple of episodes should be good, so we just gotta get through this one before we get back to our typical audio quality. I also just wanna deal with the horrible, terrible fact that I had a random NPC call The Ninth World Numenera. Numenera is the name of technology, Ninth World is the name of the world. Also, uh, just to quickly explain the Zoomy thing: a lot of the characters in this campaign are loosely inspired by characters from previous campaigns I did with my friends. There was a robot named Zoomy, and instead of just taking that name, because none of you are familiar with the character of Zoomy, I decided to come up with the name...Treadmill. Absolutely, definitely, one hundred percent not on the fly. Our intro song is Friends by Miracle Of Sound, our outro song will be different. It is called The Heist by Paper Yellow, and those songs, as well as all the other sound effects we use, can be found in the description below. Finally, I got a call to action to ya this week, it’s an oldie but a goodie: tell one friend, one person you think might be interested in Quest Friends! about Quest Friends! You can do it on social media, you can do it in person, you could even send them a signed, sealed envelope, although that would, frankly, be a waste of paper, but, eh, you could do it. Thanks so much for listening. We are back on schedule, which means our next episode will be released on Monday, February twenty-sixth. See you then.

[Detective music picks up again.]

[20:16.]

Kyle

Alright, so, uh, Hop and Misha, we’re gonna flash back in time. Everyone has just left. Now you have the freedom to explore.

Ari

Ey!

Hallie

I, actually, I’d like to go back to Mr. Mako’s room, ‘cause I want to look at all the stuff he burned.

Kyle

Okay. So you start walking back to that room and you go to open it and it is locked.

Hallie

[Sighs.] I do not have any lockpicks, but I do have that magic key that I just bought.

Kyle

What is the magic key called?

Hallie

Uh, it is-- I will know in like two seconds. Shaper key. The shaper key. I found it.

Kyle

Alright, you just slap this putty on and it slowly creeps into the lock and disappears before popping back out with a little handle that you can turn to open it.

Hallie

Woo!

Kyle

And now you have a key that will always work on this lock.

Hallie

Yay!

Kyle

Alright, you open it, and you open the door and step into the room, which is...pitch black.

Hallie

Aaaaugh, damn, she had the magic light key. Damnit, I forgot about that. I don’t have any light sources. Uh...

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, shoot.

Hallie

He says out loud.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Do you have a light source, Misha?

Ari

Uh, I don’t think I have anything that I can light up. However, in response to Hopper saying shoot, Misha is going to say:

Ari (as Misha)

But I do not have any weapons, let alone a gun. I cannot shoot in this room, and this room is pitch black, so I cannot really shoot anything in this location, Hopper.

Hallie (as Hopper)

No, no, not like I’m commanding you to shoot something. “Shoot” is, like, a phrase.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh!

Hallie (as Hopper)

When something is bad, like we don’t have a light source, so shoot!

Ari (as Misha)

Oh. That is quite an interesting verb to use as an expression. But I unfortunately do not have a light source to provide, so shoot!

Ari

Ee’s going to be, like, doing a, a thumbs up thing.

Hallie

I think there are glowglobes in the explorer’s pack.

Kyle

Yeah, two minor glowglobes.

Hallie

Yes! Okay. Oh, I don’t have my pack, though, because they took all of our stuff.

Ari

We could look for a candle or something. Is there, is there another light source? Like, is there another thing that you can click and it turns on?

Kyle

Give me, give me a roll.

Ari

Okay. I’m just saying. Give me one second. Uh, roll. I have an eleven.

Kyle

Well, if you turn behind you, you remember that, that hole was the thing she used to take light and pull light, right?

Ari

Yes

Kyle

Well, you see a hole that looks an awful lot like that for the hallway right behind you.

Hallie

Could we try using the shaper key in it? Because it’s formed into a key now, right?

Kyle

Yeah, but a key for the room, not for the--

Hallie

Well, I said try, I didn’t expect it to work.

Kyle

Okay, yeah, give me a try.

[Dice rolls.]

Hallie

Oh, that’s a four.

Kyle

Uh, it breaks.

Hallie

No!

Kyle

The key just breaks.

Hallie

Damnit. Hopper will say:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Damnit!

Hallie

As it breaks. Well, I guess we’d better go to the creepy rooms on the third floor to look for candles. I hope no one’s up there with a scythe.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I’m going to intervene for a second. As you turn over, you hear a tiny voice saying:

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Toooouuuucchhhh meeeeee.

Ari

That is terrifying.

Hallie

I don’t like that at all.

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Don’t go away. Touuuuuchhhh meeeeee.

Hallie

Um, do I have to roll to figure out what’s creepily chanting at me?

Kyle

The sound is coming from inside your head. It’s not something that you’re externally taking from around you; you just hear it in your brain.

Ari

Eeeuugh.

Hallie

I touch...my temples. Like, he’s confused. This is just his first reaction, to be like [‘I don’t know’ sound.]

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

That looks duuuuuuumbbbb.

Hallie and Ari

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Touch meeeeeee.

Ari

Misha’s going to turn to, uh, Hop, and be like:

Ari (as Misha)

Are you okay? Did you have a, a headache I can assist you with?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Do you hear anything, Misha?

Ari (as Misha)

I hear your voice.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay, good, so it’s juuuust me. Uh.

Ari (as Misha)

What do you hear?

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

I’m alllll aloooone in the daaaaark. Hooooold meeeee.

Ari (as Misha)

Is someone doing a, a, I believe it perhaps may be a telepathic connection, like the one Xoc and I may have.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Telepathic.

Hallie

Can I try to talk back to the voice?

Kyle

In your brain?

Hallie

Yeah, but I’m just gonna start up with:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hello.

Hallie

‘Cause I’m not sure how else to start.

Tom

It’s me.

Hallie (as Hopper)

It’s me.

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Hiiiiiiii.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Can you help me turn on a light?

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Toooouuuch meeee.

Hallie

Damnit. Can I roll, like, a perception check to think about this?

Kyle

Yeah.

[A die clatters.]

Hallie

Nineteen. Finally.

Kyle

As you’re feeling around, you reach into your pocket and you feel a bit of pain.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Ow.

Kyle

As you move something around. And you pull this thing out of your pocket, and you realize that the Mako and Mauve pin had somehow accidentally gotten jabbed into your thigh.

Hallie

[Inhales. I forgot the fucking pin.

Kyle

And as soon as you pull it out, the voice stops.

Hallie

So Hopper will pull out the pin.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, that was weird. The voice just stopped. I guess we can use the pin for some-- I forgot we had this.

Ari

Misha’s just going to look confusedly at Hop and be like:

Ari (as Misha)

I--I trust you.

Hallie and Ari

[Laughter.]

[25:01.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright. That makes one of us.

Hallie

Uh, can we try to stick the pin into the light thingamajig? The hole in the wall?

Kyle

Yeah. It does nothing.

Hallie

God damnit. Is there something I can manipulate the pin into doing, or is there, like, a pin-shaped hole in the wall?

Kyle

I’m going to remind you that the pin was not in your pocket. We-- like, it was in your pocket, but specifically, you see a little bit of blood on the pin, because somehow, once it was, like, in your pocket, at some point, it got pushed into your thigh.

Hallie

So I pulled it out of my thigh. Does it take blood to work?

Kyle

I mean, you can roll to see.

[Dice rolls.]

Hallie

Thirteen.

Kyle

[Indignantly.] No, I mean, it’s not a cultish object. Like, you don’t have-- you’re not gonna, like, put blood on it in order to make it run.

Hallie

Can I put it on to see if that helps? Like, pin it to my shirt?

Kyle

Yeah, you pin it to your shirt. You hear nothing.

Ari

Can I scan the thing? Like, this is not googling it, this is just scanning the hole to see if I can understand what its mechanism is.

Kyle

So the hole and not the pin?

Ari

Can I scan both things? I want to scan both things.

Kyle

Okay, give me a scan first for the hole, and then for the pin.

Ari

Alright, for the hole it will be a roll of sixteen.

Kyle

Okay, so yeah, the way that works is essentially, they’re a special kind of keys that hold light inside of them, and when you put the key into this hole, the light basically transfers into the walls, so, so long as you have a substance that can successfully hold onto this light and transfer it between rooms, it should work fine.

Ari

Ahh. But it has to be a special type of light, it can’t just be like, looking for a flashlight and then flashing it into the hole.

Kyle

No, it’s a special type of light that works with this-- it’s, it’s this yellow type of, like, almost living light. It’s like a fluid, kind of.

Ari

Okay. And now I’m rolling for the pin, and I got a one, so I am so sorry about that, Hallie.

Hallie and Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie

I genuinely have no idea what to do with it. Is there anything else I can do to manipulate the pin? LIke, it’s on my shirt, but is there, like, a hidden catch on it, or, like, a button that I need to press?

Ari

Is there anything else in the room that can be manipulated with this?

Hallie

I-if the door is open, is a little bit of light in the room? Like, from the hallway?

Ari

Tom is pointing at your hand, for whatever-- at his hand, for whatever reason.

Tom

Emily and I are trying to metagame.

Ari

Prick your hand?

Hallie

So, yeah, I was gonna ask if I could prick my finger, but then I rolled and it didn’t seem like blood activated it, so I’m ju-- I guess I’m gonna try to prick my finger.

Kyle

Okay, you prick your finger, and as it goes in, you hear the voice say:

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Yaaayyyy

Kyle

And as it goes back out, you don’t hear it anymore.

Hallie

Well, I thought of doing that.

Ari

Yeah, she, she said that, but I thought that wouldn’t work.

Kyle

Uh, it’s got blood on it now, but it’s not working. It was, like, happy when you stuck it in, then once you stuck it out, you stopped hearing it again.

Hallie

Do I have to keep it in my skin? [Sighs.] Hopper, realizing what this means, just goes:

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Sighs.]

Hallie

And then just sticks it in. Not, like, to the point where it’s going to keep his finger from moving or anything, and then he’s gonna hold it in place, gritting his teeth.

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Yaaaaaayyyy. Touch meeeeeee.

Hallie

I’m touching it!

Ari

Do you have to touch the switch with your pain-encrusted hand?

Hallie

I don’t want to leave blood at a crime scene!

Ari

We could clean it up after.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Shouting.] What do you want? [Laughter.]

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

For you to touuuuch meeee.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Loudly] I am! I’m holding you in my finger!

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

That’s not meeee.

Hallie (as Hopper)

What? Well then, what are you?

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

[Quietly.] I’m waiting in bed for youuuu.

Hallie

[Sighs.] Hopper will slowly move to the bed, checking for traps, and just, like, sidle up, and look at the bed, I guess.

Tom

[Softly and with confusion unbounded.] What?

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Soooo clooooose.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Do I have to get on the bed?

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

You caaan, but you don’t haaaave tooo.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay, but what, what do you want? What is on the bed; I don’t understand; who would invent this?

Kyle

You’re gonna hear it start saying:

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

I’m callllinnnnng.

Kyle

And I want both Misha and, uh, Hop to roll.

Ari

Okay.

[Dice Rolls.]

Hallie

Nineteen.

Ari

Three.

Kyle

Okay, Misha, you are really, you’re like, the key to this mystery is that light hole. They said the bed? Fuck it, this is it. This is where the answer is. Hop, you see one of the four bedposts. You see a light start to emanate from the top of it. You know how, like, bedposts have that little, like, knob on top? From beneath the knob, you see some lights kind of--

Hallie

Yeah. Can I climb up on the bed, and then look at it? Or is it tall enough that I don’t have to climb on the bed?

Kyle

No, it’s like, it’s like, you know how, like, beds have those little bedposts that, like, go up, like, three feet?

Hallie

Oh, okay, so it’s a short one.

Kyle

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hallie

Yeah, I’m just gonna look at it.

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Touuuuuch meeee.

Hallie

I touch it. Jesus Christ.

Kyle

So Hop, you use the pin hand and you touch the knob, and it just kind of like, like a hatch, it just opens up, a-and as it opens up, you hear the voice go:

Kyle (as Mysterious Voice)

Yaaaaayyyy.

Kyle

And then slowly disappear out of existence. And so you see a couple of things. At the bottom of this, like, little knob, you see one of those pins and it’s connected to something called-- it’s connected to a cypher called recording gum. Recording gum is a piece of sticky food? Question mark? That you chew for a few moments. It will record specific instructions on what to say and under what conditions to say it. It’s usually pretty quiet, but it can be attached to some sort of external speaker, so it looks like in this case, it was attached to one of the pins. And as you open it up, you also see that the inside of this bedpost has been hollowed out and there are a bunch of papers inside of it.

[30:16.]

Hallie

Oooh! Okay, I’m guessing that I can take the pin out of my finger now?

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

Okay, yeah, Hopper’s gonna take it out and kind of, like, wipe the blood on the side of this terrible, ugly green uniform, and then-- Actually, no, because you said it had, like, reddish-brown lines on it, right?

Kyle

Uh, it has a little reddish-brown emblem.

Hallie

Can I add it to the emblem to disguise it into the reddish-brown color of the emblem?

Kyle

It actually looks a little bit better, to be honest.

Hallie

Yes! Okay, then, uh. So Hopper will do then, and then kind of shake the pin off and wipe the rest of the blood on the pin off and be like:

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey, I found something!

Hallie

To Misha.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh!

Ari

Misha’s going to say, like:

Ari (as Misha)

Did you find something to, to manipulate this light source pocket? I believe this is the key to the whole, uh, endeavor.

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

The key to the whole endeavor! [Triumphant noise.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

I don’t think so. It looks like the pin wanted me to come to this bedpost. That was weird and I hated it. I hate this pin. Uh, but there are papers in here, which is great!

Ari (as Misha)

Ah, I see. What do these papers say?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Uh, let’s find out.

Kyle

Alright, so you pull out all the papers, I’m just gonna kinda go through them. I’m sorry for the high exposition dump.

Hallie

Go for it.

Kyle

So the first thing you see is you see a closed letter, and it says “Mauve” on it. The second thing you see is a map of the city’s sewage systems and a bunch of calculations, which involve the queen’s gifts, which include the number of gifts she receives on a daily basis, how the variety of the gifts that she seems to actually use, their general size and volume, basically a-all the things that are given to the queen, and then you also see some other calculations relating to the city’s garbage, and you see the note that says, “take the best, burn the rest.” The second thing you see is a description of an arm, a gauntlet-like thing. It’s a pliable metal glove with wires criss-crossing over it. The palm had a circle with a gem-like shape carved into it, and, uh, it has this note that says, “The original model disguises itself as part of the wearer’s body. Yikes. But as a result, forms an attachment that seems more parasitic than symbiotic. When under normal stress, it operates the same as any limb, but when put to its intended use, the device seems to pull energy from the rest of the user’s body, inhibiting pain sensitivity, motor movement, and sound judgement. At my age, I need all three of those as much as I can! A different power source is needed.” And next to that, there are a lot of items that are written, then crossed off, and the one that’s left is called hematium, which is described as a bright red dust that’s often used by weary or lazy travelers to lighten their gear. It’s often used by stage nanos--which are this world’s version of magicians--to create the illusion of flight. It’s got great untapped energy, but why bother with that when you can make walking marginally easier? So it looks like it’s a very good energy source, but people usually use it just to make things lighter. And the last thing you see is a selection of a book that’s under the title “Jagged Dream.” [Ominous music plays.] The Jagged Dream is a cult determined on evolution of humanity through conflict. The cult is interested in creating worldwide conflicts to plunge humanity into growth through survival of the fittest. It organizes itself into small isolated cells. Members wear a secret sign on their clothing or tattooed on their flesh. Each cell’s symbol represents one of the ideals of the Jagged Dream, those being conflict, action, and patience. Next to conflict, you see an arrow pointing to a small--a drawing of a small knife with a serrated blade. Next to action, you see a drawing of a black raptor swooping downward, and to the last one, for patience, you see it drawn to a clock with f-- clearly visible gears, no times on it, and two hands.

[Music ends.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Elee, what did you mean about clocks?

Kyle

Yeah, so you’re back in this room with M-- with, uh, Mauve, and you’re still talking to her.

Emily (as Elee)

Wel, I, I had this old friend, and he had a tattoo like a clock, and he said it meant he was part of an organization, and, pretty sure I saw that on Vera’s hand as well.

Kyle (as Mauve)

What organization did your friend say he was a part of?

Emily (as Elee)

The, uh, Jagged Stone? Jagged Dream, that’s what it is.

Tom (as Xoc)

We, um. We want to help Mr. Mako, and we’ll probably need both of your help, because we may or may not have unleashed a horrible, terrible evil that you may have sealed away forty years ago.

Kyle (as Mauve)

A what?

Emily (as Elee)

Oh, yeah.

Tom (as Xoc)

So, your, your friend Sue hired us to investigate a town, uh, and beneath that town, we found a machine intelligence that had attached itself to some kind of pod? Uh, and we separated it from the pod to, to shut it down, but when we did, the pod opened and started spilling out black spiders, and these obsidian tiles started flying around and there was a man in armor with horns. And we ran, but when we got back to Rhubarb, everyone was frozen and dead.

Kyle (as Mauve)

And Sue?

Tom

Xoc sort of looks down at his feet and says:

Tom (as Xoc)

She didn’t make it. I’m sorry.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Well. I supposed when you prepare for the unexpected, you can sometimes still be surprised. And you said there was a man in horns?

[35:02.]

Tom (as Xoc)

He was in the picture that Sue had with all of you.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Told him it was a bad idea. Well, if--if the Apocrita is back, then it would make sense that the Jagged Dream was making their move now. The Jagged Dream is a, a cult. They’re not, they’re not a gang. Gangs are small. Gangs don’t want to orchestrate worldwide conflict. The Jagged Dream has been working since, since I was born to make a war that no one could escape and that would never end. Five years ago, in the country of Ancuan to the south, they started a coup that plunged to whole country into war, and the fields of the Pyranthion empire have been scorched. They’ve had to go to other countries to get their food, and the only thing keeping this world together is the peace between Charmonde and Qi, and if the Apocrita is back, and the queen is as paranoid as she’s ever been--

Emily (as Elee)

Is that why you let him get captured?

Kyle (as Mauve)

Excuse me?

Emily (as Elee)

You said the only thing that’s keeping things together is--

Kyle (as Mauve)

I didn’t let anything happen to him. We’ve been trying nonstop to get him out for the past three days. Tready has gone personally by himself to break him out of jail. Why do you think there are so many cops on the street? Did th, did the news not tell you of a massive jailbreak?

Emily (as Elee)

I don’t know. We’ve kind of been outside the city. Sorry, lady, I just figured you had a plan.

Kyle (as Mauve)

Plans aren’t my forte. Action is. And when you understand what love is, you’ll understand that there’s no way I would have just let this happen.

Emily

Elee grits her teeth and stares Mauve down.

Tom

And then Xoc, oblivious to all of this, just says:

[Outro heist music plays.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Well, we have a, an opening into the palace, actually. Vera is, at least for the moment, letting us stay there, and at least as of now, she doesn’t know yet that we’re onto her, which means we can maybe get you inside. We can maybe shut down the Jagged Dream’s weapon, and, and we can get Mr. Mako out, and we can figure out how to stop the spiders. I-it’ll be great!

Kyle

She looks at you and says:

Kyle (as Mauve)

There’s an awful lot wrong with this plan, but there’s an awful lot worse with not doing it. [Dramatic pause.] Let’s get to fucking work.

[Outro music continues, fades.]

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Numenera and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC. Content derived from Monte Cook Games publications is © 2013-2017 Monte Cook Games, LLC. Read the full disclaimer here.​

Intro/Outro music by MiracleOfSound

Intro: "Friends" (YouTube, Bandcamp)

Outro: "Hitoshio" (YouTube, Bandcamp)