- Story Arc
- Visit Ouroborus to Flashback to this story
- Issue 7
- Ghost Widow (Grandville)
- The Sand Riddle
- 40 - 45
- Mission #8: Numina, Hero (Freedom Phalanx)
Stop the attack
I have agreed to work with you, Dread Tomax, but know this: I do not trust you. Oh, it's not that I have anything in particular against you, it's just that I was very short on trust when I died, and the dead cannot change. Though that also means I have little to worry about physical harm, you could hurt my political standing within Arachnos, or worse, you could harm my Lord Recluse. So you must excuse me if I regard our relationship with some trepidation. Still, you can be useful to me, particularly for more dangerous things. For example, Longbow has attacked a secret Arachnos facility I had constructed on Mercy Island, a facility where I've stored some important things. It would not do to see the items within that base fall into heroic hands. You must go at once and stop the attack.
This base was a closely guarded secret, Dread Tomax. I must know how that secret got out. Then, I may have something else for you to do.
Arachnos base @ Grandville (Longbow,Freedom Phalanx,Circle of Thorns,Crey,Carnival of Shadows)
The air in here has the heady, powerful feel of magic recently cast. Someone has been doing spells here.
Objective: This safe is full of mystic research.
Mission Complete: You have stopped the Longbow raid.
There were Mu present? Sent by Scirocco? Interesting. How did he know of my base, or that it was under attack? I will need to speak with him at some length. I do not like this kind of interference in my affairs. Remember that, Dread Tomax. Still, what truly upsets me is that Longbow found that base at all.
Free the mystic
I have spoken with Scirocco. He says that he had learned of the Longbow attack from one of his Mu mystics, who had been working on a special project. Unfortunately, that mystic's role in that project same to light, and the heroes have captured him. Scirocco tells me that if I have you recover that man, he'll share how he learned what he knows. I need you to free that mystic, Dread Tomax.
Try to bring this man out alive, Dread Tomax. He is the key to learning what Scirocco knows.
Longbow has managed to dot little hidden bases even near the Grandville coast.
Mission Complete: You have freed Scirocco's mystic.
Excellent. Scirocco and I have been talking. It's provided some interesting insights. It seems that he learned of the discovery of my base because he has been trying to keep the discoverer out of his own affairs. That person is no less than Numina, the spirit mystic of the hated Freedom Phalanx! And we have drawn up a plan against her.
Secure the spell components
Numina and I are alike, in a way. We are neither of us alive. But whereas I am a ghost, she's an astral form. It makes it difficult for the two of us to hurt each other. But Scirocco's research has uncovered an interesting spell that might be able to effect her. Regrettably, a few of the components are quite rare. However, the Circle of Thorns often keeps what I'll need around for similar spells of their own. And I will need you to get those components from a Circle encampment beneath Thorn Isle in the Nerva Archipelago.
There should be three components you'll need to find. Once we have those, Numina will soon come to regret her interference in Arachnos business.
Objective: You have found a pouch of herbs.
Objective: You have found a mystic sigil.
Objective: You have found the Oracular Octavo.
Mission Complete: You have the spell components.
Excellent. I feel Numina's time growing short. But so is ours. We must hurry to prevent further interference.
Set a trap for Numina
We have the incantation. We have the components. The only thing we're missing for this ritual is Numina. But don't think you can just go busting into Paragon City to find her. No, she's clever, and will have to be lured into our territory, then trapped long enough to hold her to the fight. And while I have an idea of how to trap her, I need to know more about how to lure her in. And that's where my spies have come in handy. It turns out that the Crey Corporation recently did a strudy of Numina. I want you to get it for me. Their more scientific perspective may give me the clue I need to draw Numina into the trap.
Get to the Crey facility on Grandville. There, find out everything they've learned about Numina.
Crey collects data on all heroes, large and small. No doubt they'll have files on Numina.
Objective: You found files on Numina.
Objective: You found files on Ghost Widow!
You weren't expecting to find this. These are Crey's files on Ghost Widow. They posit that the reason all previous attempts to exorcise Ghost Widow have failed is because her spirit is somehow bound to Arachnos itself. If she was to somehow find herself in conflict with Arachnos, it could create enough dissonance within her to force her into a fight she would otherwise escape from.
Mission Complete: You have the spell components.
So. Numina is sensitive to psychic emanations, I see. I will need to find a way to take advantage of that. I think I'll also report to Lord Recluse about Crey's study of me. I doubt he'll be pleased, and that will bring bad business to Crey. That does leave the matter of those Malta Group people, but I don't think that's going to concern us for a while.
Speak to Scirocco
Numina is drawn to psychic emanations, but even once she's been drawn in, she'll need to be kept in place to keep her from escapaing. I have spoken with Scirocco, and he's been very willing to help me. He's almost... nice... to me, actually. It's strange. But then, neither of us wants Numina poking her astral nose into our affairs. Scirocco thinks he may have a way to draw her in. I want you to speak with him about it. At the same time, ask him if he's found a suitable group of Carnival folk. I have a plan to hold her in place, but I'll need some of the Carnival of Shadows' face-masks for it. I asked him for help finding a Carnival of Shadows group, so he'll be able to tell you where to go.
A word before you go. Scirocco has been ery helpful to me, but then, so have you. I greeted you with such distrust, and I tell myself that the dead do not change, so that is just my nature. But though death is this strange stasis, one can find that there are parts of one's self that are not gone, but merely disused and forgotten. I mean, I was a whole person before I died, even though I concentrate mostly on who I was at the moment of my death. What I'm trying to say is, thank you. You have been a great help.
Ah, yes. Dread Tomax. The rising star among our legions of darkness. I have heard that Ghost Widow herself has come to depend on you, and I see evidence of this in your presence. As she prepares her trap for Numina, she sends you to speak with me. Yes, I can create a spell that will act as a beacon for Numina's psychic sight. And while I am preparing it, no doubt the Widow seeks a group of Carnival revelers for their masks. I know of just the place, out on St. Martial. You'll need to gather about six of the lesser masks that have not been bonded to a wearer. You should also take the mask of the revelry's leader, a woman named Riallia.
Abandoned Warehouse @ St. Martial
Looks like you're just in time to crash the party.
Objective: You found a carnival mask.
Objective: You pull Riallia's mask off of her face.
Mission Complete: You have stolen the masks you need.
You arrive as just the proper moment. I have created this self-sustaining beacon, I call it the sand riddle. Once set into motion, it will produce a great deal of psychic noise, all of which will look very ominous indeed to Numina. Take it to Ghost Widow as a token of my good will to her.
But I should warn you. Drawing Numina in, and even holding her in place are but a start. Those actions alone will not guarantee you victory. I seem to recall a story about bells and cats that might be appropriate, but I'll leave it up to you to handle.
Excellent! My trust in you has been rewarded. I will take those masks, and the spell. Soon, Numina's interference will be at an end. And it will all be thanks to you.
Draw out Numina
I have forged Scirocco's spell and the most powerful mask you found to make a trap. Once activated, it will lure Numina, but prevent her from leaving. Now, go to a Longbow base and plant the beacon to lure Numina out. Numina will be drawn to it, like a fly to honey. When she arrives, as she surely will, you may do with her as you wish. The spell I have performed will allow you to attack her, and defeat her.
The best place to do this will be inside one of the hero bases in the Nerva Archipelago. Subtlety is not a necessity here. I will have my own agents place the six lesser masks at hidden points to make certain that Numina will never be able to escape!
Oh, and it you wish to make Numina suffer, that is your own affair. Personally, it would not grieve me at all.
This Psychic trap will capture Numina for sure!
Numina won't be the first hero you've taken out, or the first ghost. But it shouldn't be a memorable experience nonetheless.
Objective: The psychic beacon should draw Numina, and the trap will keep her.
Numina was born Tammy Arcanus, daughter of Tommy Arcanus of the Midnight Squad. Tommy delved so deeply into the metaphysical that his very being was affected, and Tammy was born with magical powers. In the 1960s, Tammy and the Midnight Squad were sent into a series of caverns surrounding the Earth's molten core where a Soviet villain known as the Red Threat intended to destroy the world. To save the Earth, Tammy possessed the body of the Red Threat. her body was destroyed but her consciousness survived, trapped within the Red Threat. During the Rikti invasion, the Red Threat was destroyed and Tammy's astral form was at last free. She renamed herself Numina and threw herself into the war against the Rikti. In the war's aftermath, Numina uses her abilities to nurture the next generation of heroes.
Mission Complete: You have defeated Numina!
|Ghost Widow's Betrayer|
Awarded for completing the final mission of the arc
You did your job to perfection. I felt the moment of Numina's defeat. Unfortunately, one of my handmaidens and her guardians were ambushed on the way to place one of the lesser masks by Blue Steel. I fear that Numina's spirit was able to escape, but even so, she will be weakened and of no concern for some time as she tries to re-gather her spectral essence. You have done well, Dread Tomax. Well indeed. You are an asset to my organization, and to Arachnos. I am... I am glad, yes, glad that you chose me as your patron. And now that Numina's interference is done with, I can move forward with my greater plans. Plans that will now include you, I think.
It is difficult for the dead to learn to trust, but you have done much for me. I think I will trust you. Contact me at any time.
Souvenir: The Sand Riddle
This self-perpetuating puzzle was created by Scirocco at the request of your patron, Ghost Widow. While it's now little more than a desktop trophy, it once served as a psychic beacon to draw in one of Paragon City's most powerful defenders. It's still a potent reminder of the adventure you like to call:
It began with a Longbow raid on one of Ghost Widow's hidden bases. Ghost Widow was disturbed by the loss of the base, but even more disturbed by how it came to be found. Its location was, after all, a wel-guarded secret. Even the fact that some of Scirocco's Mu mystics had been there to help upset her, and she promised to have words with him.
Scirocco offered to share what he knew, but only if you tried to help one of his Mu mystics escape from Longbow captivity. Afterwards, he explained how he knew about the raid: He'd been tracking the entity who had found Ghost Widow's base: The ghostly sorceress Numina, of the Freedom Phalanx!
Since Numina's astral form shared certain traits with Ghost Widow's undead existence, it makes it difficult for them to fight each other, but Ghost Widow had a plan. First, she needed spell components, so she sent you to rob a Circle of Thorns base. You returned with the items she requested, and now the spell was ready.
Unfortunately, there was one critical element missing: Numina. You had to figure out how to draw the meddlesome spirit out of hiding so that you could destroy her. You broke into a Crey base to access their files on the heroes of Paragon City; there you learned that Numina was especially sensitive to psychic emanations. She could sense them from miles away. The trouble is, even if she was drawn in, she could easily escape through the astral plane.
You needed to create psychic emanations powerful enough to draw Numina out into the open, then find a way to stop her where she could be attacked. Ghost Widow had a plan to trap her, and Scirocco had offered to create a psychic beacon to draw her in. On Ghost Widow's behalf, you approached Scirocco to get the beacon, and also asked him for the location of a group of Carnival of Shadows revelers, so that you could bring their masks to Ghost Widow for her trap. Both were soon done, and with the beacon and the masks, you returned to your patron.
Ghost Widow performed the ceremony that would give you the power to attack Numina's spectral form. Then you took the beacon to a Longbow base and activated it. Though Numina arrived with many guardians in tow, you defeated her, dissipating her spirit. Unfortunately, she managed to escape the trap and final destruction, but your work will keep the Astral Sorceress out of Ghost Widow's plans for long enough. Your stock has risen considerably, within Ghost Widow's organization and within Arachnos. It only remains to be seen what task your patron will have for you next.