Numenera:Myths of the Fallen

Watch this hand

"Watch this hand." 

When Graff was young, Kaspar took him to a magic show on the streets of Qi. The old man draped in brightly colored robes dazzled the crowd with flash paper and rings that joined and separated. Graff thought he was too smart for such tricks of slight of hand, and when the performer asked the audience to watch his hand while he covered a caged lizard with a handkerchief, Graff watched his other hand instead. Sure enough, the magician was fiddling with the mechanism for a trap door on the platform. Graff felt very pleased with himself until Kaspar pointed out that while the bulk of the audience watched the hand the magician wanted him to and the "clever" members of the audience watched the hand he didn't want them to, no one was watching the small children pick the pockets of the oblivious audience members. Suspicious people stop being suspicious once they think they've "figured out" the trick. "The lesson" said Kaspar over their meager dinner that night "is to give people something to figure out so that they stop looking for your real trick.

Graff thought about this while he and Anders looked over the "Hand of Glory", the numenera that Phern presented as far more valuable than it really was. There was the exchange: an item of power in exchange for a crystal shard. There was the con: the item was little more than an oddity. Anders spotted it quickly and Graff recognized that Phern knew the item was a fraud. The question was why. The guardian was known to be shrewd, something like this wouldn't fool him. The con was doomed to fail.

Graff had little time to ponder as the ground caved in. He quickly found himself upside down, trapped in a stirrup. He cut himself loose, anchored himself to the sand with his adhesion clamps and grabbed tightly to Anders. When the whirlwinds appeared, looking to consume their numenera, he had Anders hang on his legs as he whipped knives at their foes, with variable success. Sadly, after an errant knife, one of the whirlwinds ate the adhesion clamps and the two barely avoided falling to their deaths down the newly created canyon.

Graff was more surprised than he cared to admit when Jericho and Tyran approached. He knew both, in very different contexts. After establishing that the pair weren't there to bring Graff in front of a judge, he agreed to follow down a series of tunnels, in search of treasure. After several days, they came across the wreckage of a space ship.

Left to his own devices, Graff would happily strip the ship of anything valuable and go on his way, but Jericho and Anders felt that the ship could be repaired. They just needed the crystal shard.

Which is good, because Graff needed the crystal shard too. He had a delivery to make, and with Phern out of the picture, their mysterious benefactor would have to meet with Graff directly to receive the shipment and he'd be able to ask her directly why she sold him to Kaspar when he was a small child.

Watch this hand.



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