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Circles in Red is a timed side quest in Torment: Tides of Numenera. It involves catching the murderer butchering people in the Underbelly before more people are killed. One person is killed every night, which means that after getting the quest, every time the party rests, another victim is found.
This quest is acquired by speaking to Fulsome at the scene of the crime in the south of the Underbelly, who asks for help discovering the identity of the murderer.
The first victim is Fulsome's protege. If neglected for several rests, the murderer will kill the following characters, in order:
The first step to solving the murder(s) is to examine the murder scene(s). Fulsome will agree to allow the Last Castoff access to the scene if asked. Examining the pool of blood shows that only a skinned hand is left of the victim and the bloody circle on the wall triggers Anamnesis which:
- Yields 2 XP for the first memory.
- 2 more XP (at the cost of some health) for surrendering to the second memory, no matter how much it hurts.
Fulsome suspects Matkina the assassin is involved, and directs the Last Castoff to Mapper, who might know where she is. When she is found at the end of The Cold, Calculating Jack quest, she denies her involvement. When told about the bloody circles on the wall, she immediately recognizes it as the symbol for the cult of the Children of the Endless Gate, an offshoot of the Dendra O'hur.
The next logical step is to visit the Dendra O'hur Chapel in the Undebelly, and speak to its members. The cultists will not speak about it until given permission by their leader, Imbitu. Imbitu himself has an alibi: he was with Fulsome on the night of the murder.
After obtaining permission to question the cult, three suspects remain:
- Mallet is violent, ambitious and hungers for revenge. He had a rivalry with the victim, and doesn't shy away from admitting it. When confronted about Kiyatawa's accusations about him killing people, he readily acknowledges that he killed one person, but only the one. (2 XP) He also seems to be troubled by the memories that come with eating the dead.
- Kiyatawa sneaks, plots and keeps secrets. She clearly doesn't feel at home in the cult. When confronted with what Mallet said about her eating a corpse on her own in an alley, she confesses that she ate on her own, and shares her mistrust of her 'colleagues', thinking that they might eat her one day. (2 XP)
- G'zei comes from another world, where the only sustenance comes from eating her own kind. She doesn't define murder in the same way as humans do, perceiving a killing as an honor as long as the entire body is consumed, thus preserving the soul. She thinks that the 'murderer' is young and doesn't know better than leaving a hand and a pool of blood behind. She adds that the other two cultists have been sneaking around at night, and keeping secrets.
The Last Castoff can then return to Fulsome to give their opinion about who is the murderer. If accused, G'zei and Mallet will be hanged, despite their professions of innocence. Kiyatawa, however, flees the city.
- 40 XP for accusing someone.
- 100 shins (not given if the Last Castoff objects to G'zai or Mallet's hanging)