SUNSPOT is a Numenera campaign that uses the first edition Numenera core rules and is set in the Numenera mythos. In the lands of the Beyond, an untamed and alien place for those of any civility, at the base of the famous Beanstalk that all Jacks know of, a lone merchant had lost a trinket he held dear to a thief in the night some many years ago. Delascus Ferrit, humble proprietor of the Bean Counter, store of trinkets, oddities and supplies, so aptly named because of its proximity to the stalk’s towering structure, settled on a decision that would unknowingly affect the lives of a small band of adventurers, slifts as there kind were known to be at that time, of no particular renown.
He knew on that fateful day of Seridus 16, 932 9E that sadly he could not continue to be without his beloved artifact any longer. The languishing nightmares plagued his sleep, leaving him lost for life, and the irrational calling he felt regularly to the Field of Embered Spires pulled at his insides, detaching him from that around him. He had weathered this fate far too long, and from his pondering that morn, he had determined with great certainty that it must without a doubt end, by help from another in retrieving his lost treasure, or by his own hand in helping the icy grip of death. Surely though, he reasoned, some able bodied slift interested in delving through the ruins of an age passed would find and return his stolen artifact, and pilfer some secrets the numenera still had hidden away along the journey. He could make time for such a group to help him, for he did have things in this world he still cared for. But would such a clan come to his aide?
He knew all too well that the trek through Dessenadi, the Jagged Wastes, those gnarled glass plains with rough crystalline shards jutting to and fro, able to take a man in half with their razor sharp edges should he forget to take care of his surroundings, would be a deterrent at least to most who would take up such a charge. Then they would need to travel past the Sheer, that perfectly cut path of seventy miles wide that flows straight through the otherwise impassable, ominous mountains that make up the Clock of Kala, the ones said to envelop the mysterious Augur people in a perfect ring, giving them sanctuary and solitude from the rest of the known world. This stretch of journey did not bother him, much… There were of course those few stories of entire bands of merchants or travelers turning and vanishing between the two mile high perfectly smooth walls of the Sheer’s over three hundred mile length, never to be heard from again. Yes, this too was concerning he confirmed. But last, they would need to make the most dangerous leg of the journey, navigating the millions of ashen pinnacles that made up the surreal landscape of the Field of Embered Spires, and delve into the depths beneath through one of the metal jaws jutting above the ash-filled earth. This worried him most, because few knew of what lay below the ashen earth, but many knew that no merchant, slift, or even member of the Amber Papacy traversed the faintly glowing charcoaled protrusions and delved into the depths below, should they care to return. Even so, he continued to tell himself, for days in fact, there must be somebody willing to make this journey. For the right reward, that is, and luckily rewards he did have plentifully.
And so, reluctant as he was, he posted at the base of the Beanstalk’s towering vastness, on that revolving board of requests that looms a quarter mile high, a simple request that had but few clues to those he did beckon, hoping for something, anything, to come to his rescue:
To interested parties:
A request of an able bodied group
is put forth to retrieve
that which was stolen from me.
The journey will be long,
and perhaps arduous,
but the reward matches the challenge.
Proprietor, the Bean Counter
I confer to those
who complete my request
any two items, regardless of value,
from my shop’s vast hold
for each participant in this task,
up to six in number,
one upon embarking,
and one upon return.
Now, the group that set their gaze upon this note, by word of mouth and certainly a few mistranslations therein, knew of the Bean Counter’s vast stores, and of the relics within that could make a small fortune or any slift jealous. However what they could not know as they entered his shop unassumingly the next week, nor could even Delascus Ferrit know, was that this trek, through perilous plains and into the heart of the unknown, would take them much farther than this destination, to places unimagined, and would face them with decisions men should not have to bear. And so a few souls, minuscule in comparison to the infinite machine that is existence, like that of a sunspot on the vast face of the solar body that impossibly fuels life in the Ninth World, would begin an unlikely adventure, and by it be changed forevermore.