I’m quite tired so at the moment I’m just going to write some notes and let ChatGPT do the work from there, with a bit of editing or rewriting to match my vision.
The Tower of the Ghost was once a revered and sacred site for the state religion of the Kazu Empire. The empire was named after the oligarchy that ruled it, who were worshiped as demigods by their subjects. The tower was built by the religious order in their honor, as a symbol of their power and control over the empire.
The tower was a massive structure, with 17 distinct areas that spanned both above and below ground. It was designed to serve as both a place of confinement and containment for those who defied the rule of the oligarchs, as well as a defense against any threats to the empire.
However, the religious order’s obsession with greed and avarice, as well as their belief in their own superiority and control over the cosmos, led to the tower’s downfall. The tower’s sentience, fueled by the wrath and war that was central to the empire’s beliefs, proved to be too much for the order to handle. The tower was eventually abandoned, its secrets buried beneath the centuries.
As the explorers enter the tower, they find themselves facing the remnants of a once-great religious order and the power-hungry oligarchs they worshiped. But they also find themselves facing the unexpected sentience and cosmic alignment of the tower itself, as well as the wrath and war that still linger within its walls. The tower may hold great treasures and secrets, but it also holds great danger for those who dare to explore its depths.
Snow lopers tied up outside entrance with sufficient food and water for 2 days. Group does not intend to stay overnight inside the tower, however.
Dana leads way, followed by Sarca then Kas. Rifle at the ready.
Common, 1 danger. Library; environment has lichen / mold / moss / fungus. Danger: Creature (beast, akin to deer / horse / camel). 2 exits, down or left.
The ancient library of The Tower of the Ghost is a musty and damp room filled with the growths of lichen, mold, moss, and fungus. The wooden shelves have long since rotted and crumbled, leaving only the stone ones standing. The books and scrolls have been devoured by time, leaving only a few scraps behind. In the corner of the room, a creature akin to a deer, horse, or camel grazes on the vegetation growing from the stone floor. The room has two exits, one leading down a staircase and the other leading to the left. The musty smell of decay is heavy in the air and the sound of the creature munching on the vegetation fills the room.
The creature in the library is not a typical deer, horse, or camel, but rather a strange hybrid of all three. It has the body of a horse with the antlers of a deer and the hump of a camel. Its skin is a deep blue color and covered in shimmering, iridescent scales. Its eyes are large and glowing with an otherworldly light. The creature seems to be in a state of perpetual rest, feeding off the moss and fungus growing in the room. Its presence is almost peaceful, but it is unclear what would happen if it were to be disturbed. The creature’s strange appearance and behavior suggest that it is not from this world, but from some other realm beyond human comprehension.
Dana will try to maneuver group around the creature, then move on to the next room to the left. Success with no complications or stress. Dana dubs the creatures “fluxgrazers”.
Dana leads the group quietly through the library, her skilled eyes scanning the shelves for any danger. The group cautiously tiptoes past the strange beast, its peaceful presence contrasting in contrast to their tense movements. The fluxgrazer seems oblivious to their presence, its body still and serene. The group continues on, leaving the shelves and their mysterious contents behind. The peaceful atmosphere of the library is broken only by the sound of their footsteps as they move to the next area, leaving the strange creature behind.
Unique, 1 danger, 4 discoveries. Hall of Trials; environment has breeze/sound/echo as well as drip/seep/puddle/stream. Danger: Trap (chopping / slashing / slicing). Discoveries: books & scrolls; blocked exit on this level; well / pool / fountain; supplies / tools / gear. No additional functioning exits.
The Hall of Trials is a dimly lit chamber with rough stone walls, pocked with various nooks and crannies. The air is thick with the sound of dripping water, echoing off the walls in a confusing chorus. Puddles and streams of water flow across the ground, making the footing treacherous. The walls are covered in shelves and alcoves, filled with books and scrolls that have been protected from the elements.
The main feature of the Hall is the large, ornate well or fountain in the center of the room. Water pours from the top, cascading into the basin below. The room is quiet, save for the sound of the water and the constant draft that blows through the chamber, causing the pages of the books to rustle.
But the room is not without its dangers. A trap, triggered by unsuspecting explorers, is activated when they cross into the room. A series of blades, hidden in the walls, slice out to chop at anything in their path. The group must be careful not to trigger it if they want to leave the room unscathed.
The only exit from the Hall of Trials leads back to the entrance, blocked by debris. The group must find another way out, either by using the supplies and tools they find or by using the books and scrolls to decipher the puzzle of the room.
Dana attempts to disarm the blades as a skilled trapper. Kas assists. Success with a complication as well as stress for both. Complication: spear breaks.
The Hall of Trials is a maze of echoing sounds and rushing winds, with streams of water trickling through its passages. As the explorers make their way through, they are met with a deadly trap - a series of blades that chop and slice through the air. With Dana’s expertise in traps and Kasciuto’s assistance, they attempt to disarm the blades and navigate the danger. Despite their efforts, one of the spears breaks and the tension increases as they navigate the treacherous path.
From tools, everyone gets 1 additional item.
What do the books and scrolls say?
Sarca takes the books for possible future use, either study or sale.
Kasciuto tries to unblock the door with a crowbar. Success with a complication but no stress. New condition: fatigued.
Common, 1d4 = 3 dangers. Guard station; environment has broken structure / furniture. Dangers: Creature x2 (deer / horse / camel, similar to from before); Creature (vermin akin to dinosaurs). No additional exits.
The guard station is a small room with broken furniture scattered about, possibly from years of neglect or from the creatures that now call it home. The walls are adorned with ancient markings and symbols, hinting at its original purpose as a stopover for guards patrolling the tower.
The area is inhabited by two fluxgrazers, similar to the one encountered in the library, possibly offspring or descendants. These creatures are grazing peacefully, their large eyes reflecting the dim light filtering through cracks in the walls. In the corner, a scaly, vermin-like creature is gnawing on the remains of what was once a wooden chair.
Despite the danger, the room still holds potential for discovery. The broken furniture could contain hidden compartments or trapped caches, and the ancient markings may hold valuable information for those who can decipher them.
Kas searches furniture for hidden compartments or trapped caches. On success, reroll for dangers & discoveries. On failure, perhaps spring a trap or disturb the creatures. Success with no complications or stress. 1d4 = 2 dangers and 1 discovery. Dangers: ambush by vermin; evocation / destruction trap. Discovery: collapse / obstacle.
Dana fires at creatures: success with complication but no stress. Complication: other creatures are alarmed and run out (die of fate: they do not attack).
Kasciuto sets off fireball trap, tries to dodge it. Success with no complications or stress. Fireball explodes harmlessly.
The group moves through the guard station, with Kas searching the broken furniture for hidden compartments or trapped caches. During this search, he is ambushed by more of the tiny lizards and and sets off a magical trap. Dana successfully scares off the creatures with a shot, but the noise alarms other creatures and they run out. Kasciuto sets off a fireball trap but is able to dodge it and the explosion is harmlessly contained within the room.
The fireball trap, triggered by Kasciuto, initially appears to be a destructive force, but upon closer inspection, it is revealed to have opened up a hidden passageway. The intense heat and energy from the fireball blast has melted away the debris and debris blocking the entrance, revealing a previously unseen path. The pathway leads deeper into the ruins and seems to be the only way forward.
Common, 1 danger, 1 discovery. Library, environment has bones/remains of fluxgrazer with absurd / impossible aspects. Danger: Creature (fluxgrazer). Discovery: trinkets / clothing. One additional exit up.
The Library is a macabre scene, filled with the bones and remains of creatures that have long since passed. The bones themselves are not what one might expect, as they are covered in strange and impossible markings, as if they’ve been altered by forces beyond understanding. The air is thick with the scent of decay, and there is an unsettling stillness about the room.
In the center of the room, there is another of these large creatures. Its body seems to be in a constant state of flux, its shape twists and turns in ways that defy logic, and its eyes glow with an otherworldly light. The creature is the source of the absurd markings on the bones that litter the ground. It is a fluxgrazer, a creature that feeds on the energy of the surrounding area, warping and changing everything in its path.
The explorers find a few trinkets and articles of clothing scattered throughout the room, but it is the exit that draws their attention. A staircase winds upward, leading to the next level of the tower. The group takes a moment to steel themselves before proceeding, wary of what other dangers might await them in the Tower of the Ghost.
The trinkets the explorers find in the library are the remnants of those who have fallen to the dangers within the Tower of the Ghost. They consist of ornate pins, beaded necklaces, silver earrings, and intricately carved bracelets. One trinket is a silver brooch in the shape of a wolf’s head, with red gemstones for eyes. Another is a delicate chain with a pendant in the shape of a stylized sun, made from gold and studded with pearls. Yet another trinket is a leather pouch, intricately embroidered with silver thread, that contains a set of brass dice with strange symbols etched into each face.
Spatial warping by the fluxgrazer is dangerous for Sarca and Kas, as they are still affected by the gravity trap from the day before. Sarca tries to move them past it, gulping down a dose of the quicksilver found earlier. Success with no complications or stress.
Common area, 1 danger, 1 discovery. Kitchen / dining hall, environment has tracks/marks/scratches. Danger: Creature - monster - wild humanoid (abhuman: murden). Discovery: bridge that provides the one exit (forward).
Numenera Discovery p. 243:
Murdens are abhumans. They walk upright but would never be mistaken for humans. Backs hunched dramatically forward, skin covered in shiny black down, huge black eyes perched above a sharp, dirty yellow beak—these things seem almost like enormous ravens with spindly arms rather than wings. Tattered leather cloaks cover their backs, and many carry a leather bag or wear one on a strap to hold the various objects they have collected.
Murdens don’t speak. They communicate with one another telepathically. However, their telepathy annoys other intelligent creatures. The presence of a living murden fills the minds of nearby creatures with a sort of mental static. Add this irritation to their paranoid mindset, their cruelty, their selfishness, and their duplicitous, scheming nature, and there is little to like about a murden.
“Murden”, © 2018 Monte Cook Games, LLC
Let’s rewrite with less bias, similar to what we did with the yovoki.
Murdens are a unique species of abhumans with a distinctive appearance. They walk upright and have an appearance that resembles a combination of ravens and humans. Their skin is covered in black down, and their eyes are large and black. They communicate with one another through telepathy and often carry leather bags to hold their collected objects. Although their telepathy can be irritating to other intelligent creatures, they should not be solely viewed as hostile.
Now we can envision the scene:
The kitchen and dining hall of the ancient ruin is a sprawling area, dotted with broken and rusted cooking implements and long-abandoned dining tables and chairs. The stone floor is covered in tracks, marks, and scratches, evidence of the many creatures that have passed through here over the years. The air is still and heavy, with a musty scent of old stone and age.
In the corner of the room, a solitary murden is rummaging through a pile of debris, searching for anything of value. Its black eyes dart back and forth, wary and alert, as it senses the presence of the explorers. The murden is a strange and unsettling creature, with shiny black down covering its skin and a sharp, dirty yellow beak perched above large black eyes.
At the far end of the room, a sturdy stone bridge spans a deep chasm, providing the only exit from the kitchen and dining hall. The bridge is narrow and poorly lit, but it seems sturdy enough to cross. The explorers must navigate this dangerous area, avoiding the murden and crossing the bridge to reach the next area of the ruin.
How does the murden react to their presence? Die of fate: cautiously but not hostile.
The murden cautiously moves about the kitchen, its large black eyes scanning the room for any potential threats. It emits a low, guttural caw, communicating telepathically to any other murdens in the area. The creature’s presence fills the minds of the explorers with a jumbled static, but it does not seem aggressive. It moves cautiously, keeping a watchful eye on the group as it heads towards the discovery of the bridge leading to the next area. Despite its cautious demeanor, the murden is clearly on high alert, ready to defend itself if necessary.
From the description of murden and combat:
Typically, murdens bear slings and long, wicked blades. When possible, they attack from the shadows with ambushes and hit-and-run tactics. They normally flee in the face of real danger.
Although it is inadvertent, their inherent telepathic powers are irritating and harmful to nearby creatures, who perceive it as an annoying static that scrambles thought. Creatures within immediate range of a murden must make an Intellect defense roll; if they fail, all of their actions are hindered. This hindrance lasts until they leave the area of static influence.
Those who have experienced a murden’s static firsthand report that strange voices and long-forgotten memories sometimes arise in the mental interference in haunting and disturbing ways.
Group will try to resist the mental static, with Sarca burning ritual incense: success with no complications or stress. The murden moves across the bridge and the group decides to head back to the outside world to rest and recover.
The group picked up some new equipment and tomes with minimal costs (in the form of exhaustion and conditions). For their recovery rolls, Dana and Sarca both recovered one die, and Kas managed not to recover any of his 3 exhausted dice (poor guy). I’ll clear the “warped” conditions on Sarca and Kasciuto now.
I really did roll that “deer / horse / camel” fluxgrazer creature several times, so I figured the dice were telling me something. They will become more of a theme in the next session.
ChatGPT did me a solid on a night when I wanted to play but my brain was not in the mode to write detailed stuff. I still envisioned everything as much as usual, but words felt hard and the AI did a great job helping me with those. Also, listing fewer details about the dice rolls felt good.