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Cathedral of Provenance

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The Cathedral of Provenance is a large structure found anywhere throughout the Ninth World.

Background[edit | edit source]

The cathedral is an extrusion of the dimension called Celerillion, a plane of pure mind where the natives can change reality merely by imagining something different. The Tonbrium are of this place, but one happened to fall through a dimensional rift and ended up on Earth. At first she was confused, the tonbrium visitor found out that no one else seemed to possess er abilities to alter reality. Eventually she erected a cathedral in her own name, began accomplishing feats tat only the mightiest of Nanos or beings from prior worlds were rumored to do, and finally set herself up as some minor deity called Provenance.

PCs might discover the Cathedral of Provenance merely by chance, because they had heard of a strange, new "god" bending the rules of existence somewhere along the fringes of the Steadfast or Beyond, or simply because they were invited to help Provenance achieve some lofty goal.[1]

Outside the Cathedral[edit | edit source]

The windowless walls of the fortress are made from a class of clear "synth" never seen before on Earth. It's a smooth, burnt, amber-hued substance that wavers and shifts, as if something constantly on the edge of transforming into something else. Sometimes, out of the corner of the eye, a viewer will see the Cathedral as either a different color or substance, covered in some strange growth, or dilapidated and ruined, but such impressions are usually ephemeral.

There are usually 2-12 petitioners waiting outside the cathedral who had recently arrived, hoping to see Provenance and ask of her a boon. Most are in some degree of distress and hope that the stories regarding Provenance are true. Only a few are allowed in by Provenance's doorwardens at the entrance; more are turned away each day. According to the petitioners gathered, this wasn't always the case.[2]

Entrance[edit | edit source]

The sturdy doors of the front entrance are closed and barred from within, but twice a day (at dawn and then again at twilight) they're opened by two burly doorwardens. The doorwardens are outwardly humanoid, but one seems to have the head of a seskii, and the other the head of a ravage bear. Neither holds the capacity to speak, but through hand motions they make it clear if the next petitioner in line (or group in line) is allowed to pass. Most are sent away. It's a difficulty 5 Intellect task to persuade the doorwardens to let the PCs pass within.

If the characters are admitted as petitioners (or for whatever other reason), they will be escorted into the nave and left to fend for themselves.[3]

Side Vestibules[edit | edit source]

When Provenance created the Cathedral, she set aside side vestibules to display the amazing creations of her own minds to show off to the petitioners that she really was some minor deity. Each one is thus something of a minor spectacle, though most have now decayed (and some even vanished) because Provenance no longer maintains them. A few of these Vestibules are also used to store the offerings petitioners bring in order to help their case. An inspection of each chamber will yield, on average, 10 shins and a cypher.[4]

Plea of Provenance[edit | edit source]

This chamber was created to produce awe in others. It's what the tonbrium who calls herself Provenance hoped was grand enough to convince average visitors that they had entered into the throne chamber of a literal god. The ceiling appears lost in heights well beyond what the roof should allow, rolling with blue sky, fluffy white clouds, and golden light. Some of those golden shafts of light. Some of those golden shafts of light come down as physical columns that march the length of the chamber. The throne at one end is composed of blinding white light.

Sometimes Provenance sits within the throne for up to an hour at a time until she explodes in a blast of golden fire; other times a gory mess will slowly regenerate itself over a period of several hours. Provenance, thinking of herself as immune to any existential threat on Earth, contemplated too thoroughly the importance of resurrection to the image of an immortal deity. Now she's fallen into a loop in which she's unable to escape from.

If the characters find her upon the throne (or wait for her to reassemble), she will ask to hear their petition. Whatever it is, she'll tell them that if they can help her, then she will help them. She will ask that they travel into the Sanctum beyond, where they will pass into the Unfettered Range. There, they they must find something called a cerebral husk, and from it, they can harvest a conceptual jewel. If they can bring back the cerebral jewel, she will grant their wish, or at least try her best at it. What she will really do is utilize the conceptual jewel to break her never-ending curse, and then retire from her duties. Provenance will attempt to answer any questions characters might have of her, but she will be addled and absent-minded from what she's been through.[5]

The Nave[edit | edit source]

This tall, narrow chamber is lit by what appears to be glowing mist. Images will constantly swirl along an amber floor, and change depending upon what visitors the nave are thinking about. The images won't perfectly reflect the thoughts of their visitors, but rather are a blend of every conscious being currently present.

The doorwardens, when not opening and closing the entrance to petitioners, retreat to separate chambers closest to the chamber doors, and lapse into a state of meditation. Coaxing one to communicate, either by telepathic means or perhaps using the thought-responsive floor, is a difficulty 3 Intellect task. Upon a success, a doorwarden will indicate that all isn't really well with the cathedral. Visually, they show this by projecting the image of a female tonbrium in some resplendent dress (Provenance) sitting upon a throne. The image will suddenly scream in what seems to be gut-wrenching pain, and explodes. But the resultant mess slowly creeps back to form the original female. The process then repeats.[6]

The Sanctum[edit | edit source]

This chamber is essentially a door into Celerillion. Stepping into it would be the equivalent of stepping onto that plane.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 112. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  2. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 112. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  3. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 112. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  4. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 112. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  5. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 113. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  6. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 113. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  7. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 113. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6