Numenera: Marauder Kingdom

The Grey Queen

husk.jpg

Day 14: Evening

The Peers charged the armoured titan, attacking from all sides with every ounce of strength they could summon…

…They left hardly a scratch on him. Phaenna and Garrus devised a plan to use a cypher to trap the monstrous warrior in a void, but he was too strong and too fast. The titan wrestled free of Garrus’s hold and slammed his greatsword at Phaenna, shattering her kite shield to pieces and tearing his blade into flesh and bone. Twarog moved swift-footedly to reinforce his comrade, though the titan’s blade caught him fast in his side, slicing through fat like a hot knife through butter.

The titan was winning, and they needed a plan.

Realising he was still fighting against the magnetic repellent Twarog’s blood was emitting, the Peers threw all the metal they had, coating the titan in metal tools, melted batteries, and oddities to weaken his resistance. Slow and distracted, the warrior was overwhelmed by the Peers.

Phaenna returned her wound in kind, stabbing her Needle sword into the titan’s eye. Dahm and Reina pressed upon him, wounding him in both his shoulders. Lumos and Garrus rained bolts, distracting him long enough for Dahm to thrust his blade deep into his sinewy thigh. Blood sprayed out, coating Dahm in the colour he was infamous for: crimson.

The titan’s body shook and a bellow of laughter came. He raised his greatsword and cast a shadow over Dahm, placing the sword on his back and tying it in place with chains. He commended their fighting spirit and decided against killing them…for now. Instead he would take them to the Grey Queen — who was in need of capable warriors — on the condition that the Peers forfeited their cache to him.

Knowing they were still outnumbered and too injured to continue fighting, the Peers agreed and asked the name of the man they were surrendering to. Meanwhile, Lumos secretly activated a cypher, sending a message to warn Dhaval of their situation.

The titan Introduced himself as Rrogan taij Aman of the Undying Tribe, a captain of the Grey Legion. He was assigned to overseer the margrs’ operations to supply the legion with all they needed. With introductions out of the way, he tied the Peers with metal wire and led them to the Grey Queen.

Day 15: Morning

After riding all night on espron mounts they arrived at the Husk, a mobile fortress with powerful anti-gravity engines. Clearly numenera in origin, the guts of the Husk was stuffed with built-in apartments of wood and metal, standing 150 feet high with fourteen storeys. Atop its domed shell was mounted ballistae and archers. Surrounding the fortress was a war camp consisting of thousands of brigands and armoured warriors — the Grey Legion.

Rrogan’s party was met by a sortie of riders heading to the great Southern Wall, led by a young, auburn-haired woman named Euanthe. The two shared friendly banter, the woman noting the titan’s extensive wounds and supposed abilities of the Peers. She wished them luck as she rode away.

Inside the Husk, the Peers were brought to an enormous hall packed with hundreds of men, women, and visitants from all regions of the Beyond and the Steadfast. Smoke of various burning weeds and plants choked the air; the pungent smell of strong wine that resembled clotted blood intruded their noses; brawls ignited across the tables, and orgies occupied all corners of the room. Worn and blood-stained banners displayed the emblems of various kingdoms, cities, and orders that made up the bastard legion.

The Peers were brought to the back of the hall, where a dark-skinned woman occupied an ugly throne made of poorly melted metals and encrusted with hundreds of gems. Before her were two brawlers; a muscled lattimor with horns and a spike for one hand, and a barbaric grush. The lattimor brought a quick and brutal end to the fight, bashing his giant fist into the abhuman’s face until his skull broke and collapsed to mush. The victor shouted to the hundreds in the hall, demanding another challenger for Gravish-Morel, the Pirate King of Ingwald. Rrogan and others stepped forth to meet the challenge, but it was the woman, the Grey Queen herself, he faced.

The brute strength and size of Gravish-Morel did not serve him as well against the faster, more skilled queen. Her movements were blurs, her strikes fast and piercing as if her very bones were steel. Gravish-Morel crumbled against her calculated hits. Skin tore from her knuckles, yet still the strikes came quick as the flutter of hummingbird wings.

His ribs broken and the air knocked out of him, the lattimor yielded and laughed off his defeat. With the champion crowned, the queen turned to Rrogan and confronted the Peers.

Her name was Dissicaeli, and she demanded to know why she shouldn’t kill them for their attack on the margrs and one of her captains. When Reina pointed out that the cache Rrogan stole was theirs, Dissicaeli corrected her by saying it was now hers. Lumos interjected, arguing they were more useful to her as allies than the margrs.

Dissicaeli studied the boy with eyes black as volcanic glass, and ordered Rrogan to take them to a man named Gislen to patch-up their wounds.

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