Ant was freaking out with the sun. He was getting weak — he hadn’t eaten. I sighed.
“He needs water?” Alex asked.
But it was Nox with a flaming bird behind him that said. “No. He needs something else.” He pulled his sleeve up and pulled Ant’s contraption from his face and looked up at me. “Let’s watch the onlookers.”
I nodded and moved to hide Ant. Alex moved with me but he kept watching as Nox pushed his wrist towards Ant’s mouth. His eyes grew wide when his fangs sank into his wrist. A soft growl left Ant’s lips and grabbed Nox’s wrist.
The strange man was oddly calm as Ant’s fingernails dug into his arm. He tapped Ant on the shoulder. “That’s enough.”
Ant didn’t let up and I was about the step in when Nox flared to life shrouded in flame and Ant flung himself backwards from the boy. The flames died as quickly as they started and Ant looked better but he stared at the man and gave him a nod. “Sorry.”
He smiled brightly. “No worries.”
“You let him bite you.” Alex leaned in and whispered to Nox, but I still heard him. “Now you are bleeding.”
Nox chuckled and zapped himself with a first aid pen he kept in his pocket. “I’ll be okay. I’ll heal. He hadn’t fed. And he can’t stand in the sun.”
Alex frowned. “I know what a vampire is. But he should be toast.”
I laughed. “Not exactly — not as strong as he is.”
“Neat trick there.” A strangers voice sounded nearby but not from where the translation came. Nox’s comm unit automatically translated the strange sounding tongue. Nox stood up and smiled. “Fire’s always been kinda my thing.” He nodded back towards the bird behind him. “This is Nyx.”
The man opened his mouth but a horn sounded before the translator picked up the words that left and he turned towards the sound. “He comes.” Was all that came from them.
“Who comes?” I asked wondering what could make the whole town silent. The horn sounded the entire village went silent — not a sound was heard and anyone who had been in sight was now gone. There was no one except us on the streets.
The sounds of feet stomping on the ground headed our way and plumes of bright reds and golds peaked above the roof tops that were otherwise the dull yellows of the entire village. Marching men in next to nothing stomped through the street as they rounded the corner. A small boy walked between the lines with the plumes bobbing as he walked.
Nox and Ant both took a deep breath and I looked from them back to the boy. They both saw something distrubing. I reached for my connection to Ant and let him in my head. What did you see? I asked in his head.
Ant said nothing more. Nothing, he stared through the goggles he’d doned again once he’d feed from Nox. Alex had his hand on the crook of Nox’s elbow like he intended to pull the other man back. I stepped in front of them all. Not as leader but as a shield and Nox put his and on my elbow and stepped up next to me. He wasn’t going to hid behind me. Ant stayed in the shadows, Alex behind him.
Nox whispered. “Together then.”
We all nodded. “Together.” I said.
The boy came up to us and his guards ringed us like we were the enemy, their spears pointed at us.
“First the beasts. Then these four.” The boys sounded like a broken speaker or two sets of tracks that were slightly offset — two voices sounding at once but not in sync.
“They scared off the beast.” The warrior said.
The boy laughed and it echoed through the town walls. “They come to take our water.”
“We don’t.” I said. “We only seek shelter from the sun, and at night we will leave.”
Nox’s translator did the work and the boy looked curiously at us with that puppy dog look with the cocked head weighing the words he heard versus the ones we said.
“What magic is this?”
Nox smiled. “Not magic. It’s technology.”
He didn’t understand. Nox then pointed at the ring on his middle finger. “The sound goes in and it comes out something you understand.”
The boy held out his hand. “Give me.”
Nox shook his head. “I’m sorry. I can’t.”
The boy’s eyes darkened. The air around him felt cold with anger. “You won’t!”
Nox shook his head again. “I can’t.” He pressed his fingers to the ring and pulled. “It is melded into my body like bone. It and I are one, and if you take the finger then it will cease to function since the finger will be dead. I power the tech.”
Alex looked at him. “Who did this to you?”
Nox smiled. “No one.”
“You did this to yourself?”
Nox shook his head. “No. It was a byproduct of saving my life as a child. An unknown mishap.”
“I will have him.” The boy shrieked and the ring of spears pressed in upon us.
We all held up our hands in surrender and we allowed them herd us off into some unknown building.
Ryan Elliot is a Intelligent Former Chevalier Warrior with a PhD who Slays Monsters and is an Anchor from Purple Shift #45
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Abilities: calm, bond, mental link with drifter, create anchor
Weapons: unarmed 2 – eased, long sword 4, blaster 4 long range
Q: Will the Warrior help them?
(1d20+0: +0 = 18)
Q: Will he do it for free?
(1d20+0: +0 = 9)
No, but [“Republic”, “Angular”, “Diversion”]
Q: Does he send them on a quest for water for Ant?
(1d20+0: +0 = 4)
Q: Do they trade for water?
(1d20+0: +0 = 20)
Yes, and [“Curiosity”, “Alcohol”, “Undead”]
Q: Does the specter visit them?
(1d20+0: +0 = 19)
Yes, and [“Slave”, “Dream”, “Guard”]
Q: Does he send them on a quest?
(1d20+0: +0 = 14)
Q: What type of quest?
(1d20:  = 15)
Steal an item
Q: What type of item?
[“Implicate”, “Damage”, “Forbidden”]
[“Weird”, “Cloying”, “Beast”]
Ant bites Nox and use his one drain required.
The boy wants Nox’s tech thus him
Cypher System disclaimer and Open Game License
Numenera, the Cypher System, No Thank You, Evil!, Invisible Sun, and their respective logos 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 © 2013-2022 Monte Cook Games, LLC.