View Full Version : Journal Strange Aeons Campaign Journal [Pathfinder]

2017-03-26, 01:30 PM
~Strange Aeons~

Mark the Walker in the Waking.
Forsooth, the Lion of Dandy's crown in slumbering decay.
Gage the gentle blooded intent - when thy truths befouled and nowhere went

You remember the sound of water, and a gentle rocking sensation. There were others around you. Quiet. Neither sulking nor waiting nor anticipating. Light and shapes and muted colours existed only as the disregarded changing of space around you. When the rocking stopped and you and the others were guided to your feet and onto solid ground, you lightly rocked where you stood - the sensation somehow significant and familiar.

Voices and lights and unobtrusive hands are a distant thought. Rather, it is the skyline of a city that shimmers at the edges of your frayed tendrils of consciousness. The city, and the cloying yellow mist that coils about its streets.

Perhaps what you lost is in there...

Welcome to a Pathfinder Adventure ‘Strange Aeon’s’ campaign journal! You may know some of our motley crew of adventurers from Curious-Puzzles journals ‘The Romanov Incident’ (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?372167-The-Romanov-incident-(a-3-5-campaign-journal))and ‘Curse of Artaith. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?436134-The-Curse-of-Artaith-(a-3-5-Campaign-Journal))’ This is our first campaign using the Pathfinder system, and I will be taking the ‘patients’ through a pre-written adventure so SPOILER ALERT if you ever plan to partake in this particular series [109-115].

So because the nature of this campaign starts with our dashing adventurers having no memory, I have included patient files until such a time as their identities become known to them. (and you, good reader).

Physical Description:

Black Hair
Green Eyes
Pale Complexion

Physical Anomalies

Hand shaped mark on left side of back. Not recent.
Small tattoo on wrist ‘IV’


Originally unresponsive
No signs of recent physical injury
Apparent reluctance to sleep followed by nightmares


Headbutted an orderly, breaking his nose while cawing/laughing. Nearly caused a riot in the garden. Moved to basement until stable to avoid disrupting other patient treatments.

Effects stored

Raven familiar arrived in similar state. Sent for processing to ensure it does not harm itself and cause its master further distress.
Worn travelling clothes and booths
Heavy leather greatcoat with raised collar
Tricorn hat, leather
Worn leather journal (wet, fell out of coat pocket on the boat)
Harrow deck
Coin purse

Physical Description

Dark Skin
Dark Hair
Brown Eyes
Lithe build

Physical Anomalies

Scar down his right eye
Small tattoo on wrist ‘IV’


Originally unresponsive
No signs of recent physical injury
Apparent reluctance to sleep followed by nightmares


Tendency to vanish for hours from any public spaces and break into other patient rooms - found in same unresponsive state.
Stole medical masks
Forced to confiscate sharp objects he had been collecting. Moved to secure basement rooms to ensure patient doesn’t vanish again.

Effects stored

Dark set of pajamas(?)
Strings of sharp throwing stars

Physical Description

Unable to determine hair colour - chemically treated to change colours
Bright green eyes

Physical Anomalies

Old chemical burn scars on hands
Small tattoo on wrist ‘IV’


Originally unresponsive
No signs of recent physical injury
Apparent reluctance to sleep followed by nightmares


Hoarding medication (his own and other patients’)
Bit nurse trying to give injection since he wasn’t swallowing his pills - bite mark turned blue.
Relocated to the secure basement rooms for quarantine purposes until cause of strange wound can be determined.

Effects stored

Numerous vials sent for content testing
Wrist catapult

Physical Description

Black Hair
Green Eyes
Olive Complexion

Physical Anomalies

8 major scars - none recent
Small Tattoo on wrist ‘IV’
Old scarring around wrists and ankles


Originally unresponsive
No signs of recent physical injury
Apparent reluctance to sleep followed by nightmares


Resisted physical inspection - fought with orderlies
Required three times the regular sedation dosage
Stored in basement rooms until right medication dose found.

Effects stored

Two Falcattas
Basic armor
Amulet with red gems

Onto the Main Event!

Four find themselves wandering the dark stone alleyways. The walls are high and the sky is obscured by thick yellow smog. The street twists before them with only sad withered strands of dead grass poking up between the weathered stones. Behind them the fog approaches, and in it are footsteps and a figure fast approaching. The road divides to the left and to the right. The four split - doubling their chances of survival. Maybe. The fog follows both groups.

The First dies as ribbons of decaying grey and yellow bandages whip out over the Second’s head and drags the victim back into the fog. There is the sound of his life cut short in a single wet screech as something stabs into him. A blood splatter crashes against the wall next to the Second’s head and forms the word ‘up’ as the Second runs down the left alley.

The Third and the Fourth run right. They hear the scream behind them, and somehow collide with the Second before all three are faced with a staircase that runs up and another that runs down. The Second runs down hoping the unseen threat in the fog will go after the pair instead of him, the Third and Fourth run up the stairs - the Fourth declaring that the laws of gravity will save them.

The fog pursues.

A figure in tattered grey bandages is seen in the citrine mist, and the Third takes the initiative to turn around and with a dark word and gesture, lights ‘it’ on fire. Flames dance around the bandages, but the figure in the mist does not burn. The Fourth takes the opportunity to run farther and leave the Third to his fate as the figure in tattered robes and surrounded by mist falls upon him. The Third’s dismembered head goes flying, lands in the Fourth’s hands, and yells the word ‘ME.’ The Fourth tosses the head aside and keeps running.

The Second skips stairs in his charge downwards, desperate looking for a hiding place. There is none. Ahead, he can see a man running up the stairs towards him. It’s the Fourth - the mist hot on his tail. Seeing the dead end and the yellow fog closing in around them both - the fourth charges into the mist past the Second - there’s no escape, so a fight is the only answer.

A wet tearing moment later - the Second’s boots are wet as the blood sheets over the staircase - save the stones that remain clean and spell out the word ‘SAVE’ The mist overtakes him, and the footsteps stop behind him. He turns around and feels cold claws slam into his chest as he is lifted up to eye level. The mouth full of sharp teeth then yell the words ‘WAKE UP. SAVE ME!’

From the yellow haze four sets of eyes open to a dimly lit cellar with bars between them and a white coated figure standing over a rickety operating table with a scalpel - cutting into a man who yells again. “WAKE UP DAMMIT - SAVE ME!”
The Four wake up with a start in cells. They are all garbed in greyed-white outfits with numbers sewn onto their lapels. 1214 (the First) is the smaller lithe man with the quick fingers, 7800 (The Fourth) is with him - large and covered with scars and with obvious signs of being restrained still on his wrists. 2319 (the Second) is the small gnome who immediately looks around his cell for something useful. 1408 (The Third) cautiously approaches the edge of his cell closest to the ‘doctor’ for a better look at what’s going on.

Seeing 1408 from his restrained place on the table, the man on the table manages to kick the doctor into 1408’s door. He makes his check to grab the keys. In anger, the ‘doctor’ returns to her subject and violently begins stabbing him to death. 1408 takes the opportunity to unlock his door and is starting to open it carefully when the ‘doctor’ begins to turn around. 1214 takes the opportunity to start mocking the ‘doctor’ - drawing her attention away and allowing 1408 to slip out.

The ‘doctor’ rushes at 1214 telling him to ‘shut up, cause HE’S NeXt!’ and mimicking his face before returning to the table. 1408 has just enough time to duck behind the table before she turns around. 2319 reaches out and makes the door behind her sound like it’s opening and someone is walking away into the next room. Livid, the doctor follows and leaves the room.

1408 wipes his bloody hands off on the dead man’s pants (the floor is pretty filthy) and after giving the gnome across from him an apologetic look, goes to the cell with the two men first and unlocks it before 2319’s. With some extra time to spare, 2319 (my alchemist) asks if there’s a toilet or anything in his cell. There is, in fact, a privy bucket - and despite his enthusiasm, he is not allowed to make a stink bomb out of it. Not to be deterred by level one limitations, the gnome still grabs the bucket - quite sure he can still make use of the methyl sulfides and the benzopyrrol volatiles mixed with the cholride, sodium, potassium, and creatinine that has been stewing in his bucket. This actually becomes a good move later. Stay tuned.
Wherever the ‘doctor’ has gone, something is keeping her busy. She can be heard arguing with... herself? The inmates take a moment to take stock of their situation.

They have no idea who they are, how long they have been here,
They vaguely remember one another from the dream
1214 insists (lies convincingly) that he actually works here
They have no names, but they do have numbers to identify themselves. Inmates? The man on the table doesn’t look like a guard. Not really. He’s beefy and well build, but he’s wearing what looks like a medical uniform. Perhaps an orderly? Which, given their attire - would likely make them patients. The idea isn’t a comfortable one.

The back of the cellar appears to have recently collapsed. They avoid poking at the pile of still settling stone just in case.

After some searching they do find labelled bins with matching numbers that contain some of their affects. Or, rather, items that seem to suit them. 7800 finds some armor and weapons that fit him and his grip, 1214 finds some comfortable light armor and a string of shrieks that he can dance along his fingers, 2319 almost bursts a vein when 1408 tosses him his sack of goodies - loudly declaring that 1408 needs to be more careful - he could have killed them all! Given there’s an alchemist’s pack in there? That could be entirely possible. 1408 finds a pouch, a spear, and some trinkets (but not his badass coat and hat yet for reasons).

A quick check around the back of the room reveals a cold furnace - with plenty of bloody drag marks that lead to the mouth of the now cold monolith. Corpse disposal seems to have been interrupted by the ‘doctor’s obsession with cutting the now dead man on the table. The gnome takes a quick peak inside, but when he doesn’t find anything of value, crunches back over the dead bodies and tidies himself up with a prestidigitation before they feel ready to take on the ‘doctor’

1214 especially seems anxious to do so. Something important was missing from his pack, and after a flutter of wings and pained squawk, he’s adamant they take care of her now. *They make enough ruckus to draw the loudly screaming doctor back into the room and into an ambush. Surprised, the newly re-equipped batch of ‘patients’ cleave into the ‘doctor’ and are rather alarmed when she doesn’t go down. Instead, she claws deep into 7800’s shoulder, leaving him with 2 HP after one swipe.

Now quite concerned, there’s some shuffling to make sure she can’t full attack anyone in a single round.

Remember the gnome’s bucket? 2319 sure did - he takes his turn to throw the contents at the ‘doctor’

Personally liking the idea, I give her a reflex save to avoid getting it anywhere hampering. Not a hard one. But a one is a one.

The ‘doctor’ hacks as a piece of gnome poop lands in her mouth and she proceeds to spit, cough, and claw at her tongue after being hit in the face with the contents of a waste bucket. She loses her next turn and the patients stab her enough times that she falls back against the swinging door and leaves it open - her features returning to some grey and malformed creature. A quick check, plus 1214’s account of her copying his face is enough to determine that the creature is a doppelganger.

And that the smell outside the room is probably more bodies.
The next room is quite small. There is a small staircase to the right that leads to a collapsed stairway, a tunnel to the left is collapsed, and the main feature of the room is a chute that opens up 8 feet off the floor under which is a pile of a dozen or so bodies of more nurses and orderlies. The flies are already settling in. Unsurprisingly, 2319 is in the corpses like a dirty shirt looking for loot. (Some of you who read Artaith may recognize this pattern of behavior from a certain forged with spider legs who likes to look for loot anywhere. Yes. It is the same player) he finds 12g worth of spare coins and cheap jewelry (yay?)

More importantly for 1408, there is a massive black bird, a raven, who looks quite distressed. Feathers have recently been cut - likely by the ‘doctor’ who was trying to get him to shut up. 2319 takes a break from his corpse diving to declare that ‘dinner is served’ or something along those lines. The Raven tries to flap away, but is unable to due to the chains on his feet and the lack of primary flying feathers. His loss bought them enough time to prepare for the ‘doctor.’ 1408 recognizes that the bird is his...... “FAMILIAR, IDIOT, GET ME OUT OF THIS!” The distressed and talking bird yells before holding a leg up so 1408 can remove the restraints. He quickly hops up 1408’s arm to his shoulder and glares at everyone - including his master when asked if he knew what was going on. The bird doesn’t answer, but warbles unhappily.

After some investigating, it is determined that the chute with the bodies is the only way out of the cellar. 2319 tried crawling up the duct in the furnace, but was unable to push the grate at the top off - and was glad he couldn’t when he drew the attention of two dire rats who stared hungrily at him from above.

1214 ‘ninja’s’ ahead to make sure that it’s safe. He climbs up the chute and pops out in the middle of a muddy courtyard in the middle of a rainstorm. Above is the thick yellow fog that haunted their dreams. There currently isn’t anyone in the courtyard - so he signals everyone up. 2319 requires a bit of help from 7800 who easily pushes him up the entire way.
The Four managed to get through the chute and across the worn and muddy courtyard to a door that leads into the building. There is evidence of yet more recently collapsed stone on one side of the courtyard and at the north end of the hallway they enter. Since the way North looks cold, wet, and miserable - the four decide that heading South towards the small barricade seems like a better plan. They don’t get too far when they are spotted.

They are ordered to halt as four anxious, mistrusting, and desperately exhausted men with crossbows warn them to back up. The leader (aka the one that is willing to talk to the group) doesn’t buy their whole ‘we just woke up and have no idea where we are boo hoo sally sob story.’ He’s seen one too many doppelgangers pull all kinds of crap in the last couple days - and he ISN’T going to fall for it. Especially from a bunch of new inmates.

With some quick diplomacy from 1408, the leader admits that he saw them (or people that looked like them) all arrive on the same boat a couple days back and when they weren’t catatonic - they were all causing issues. He’s not keen on patients - especially when most of them revolted around the time that the yellow fog *appeared and things started going crazy. He also tells them that this place is Briarstone Asylum - a sanitarium of repute. Or at least it used to be.

Finally the guard decides that if the group brings back a freshly killed doppelganger (one of ‘their own’) that he’ll consider letting them in. One won’t do either. Oh no. One doppie for one entry. He last saw a couple up at the North end of the hallway. At least one was hanging around the Washing Room.

As a last minute thought, 7800 asks the guard if 1214 is one of the guards. He scoffs - of course not. He came on the boat same as the rest of you. Caught in his lie - 1214 turns his attention to the guard - demanding that he be given some sort of weapon to defend himself against the doppelganger he’s going to go against. The guard scoffs again - no way is he handing over a weapon to a doppie. 1214 persists, stepping closer even after being warned not to. A cross bolt ends up in the wall next to his head a moment later. It looks like a warning shot (happens when you roll a 3 for an attack roll with a level 2 npc).

The other three quickly gather up their strange companion and head north up the hallway in search for doppelgangers to kill.
The north most end of the hallway is partially collapsed. Bodies are pinned under the rubble and as they get close to the laundry rooms’ door - one of them twitches. They make quick of the floating head that rocketed towards 2319, and the hands that tear at the belly of the corpse resulting in a mass of waving entrails that tried to grab onto 1214. Lucky for him, he’s a nimble bugger and they were able to kill the rest of the partially revived corpse quickly. 1408 makes a knowledge arcana check to realize that there is some seriously bad/evil mojo in this place that is warping the fabric of reality. The others look concerned - none of them have forgotten their shared dream, but they all would really like to find somewhere safe to rest and some answers - so they press on.

They listen before opening the door to the folding room and hear ... wet chomping sounds and whimpering. When they open the door, besides the majority of overturned folding tables - they see three figured chained to the pipes on the far wall. The far person is dressed in the same dingy grey outfits they are, but he has strange yellow markings on his forehead and is leaning as far as he can from the dead woman who is the only thing between him and the ghoul chained on the other side. The Ghoul is in mid chomp when the party enters. The patient, upon seeing the group - yells “PRAISE!” and the ghoul... rolls his eyes.

As veteran players, 7800 is quick to head for the ghoul and kill it quickly. He, and his character, are both shocked with the Ghoul in a moment of self preservation, pleads for him to wait! He introduces himself as Argand, he explains he was a patient here too. He casually mentions that he was turned into a Ghoul at some point - though he’s not particularly concerned as to the why or how. His focus keeps slipping to the corpse next to him whom he dearly wishes to get another bite of - even in mid conversation with the group.

Hoping for better luck with the still human patient, they approach Mr.... Cranewater (yay nametags! There is some pouting that they have numbers instead of names on their uniforms). Unfortunately for them - Mr. Cranewater is only capable of saying three things. “Praise!” “Zandalus Sees!” and “Words Fail.” He musters a great amount of versatility and emotion into the three phrases, but it doesn’t help answer many of their questions - especially those about who Zandalus is and what does he see? (Words fail!) *

With some inspection, 1408 realizes he recognizes the symbol on Mr. Cranewater’s forehead. It is the symbol of Hastur - and while he can’t remember much about the religion, he does know it’s not a good one, and is likely responsible, in some fashion, to the shenanigans happening in Briarstone Asylum.

Remembering that there’s supposed to be doppelgangers around here - they ask Mr. Cranewater who looks towards the large set of swinging laundry doors that lead into the actual washing room (Zandalus SEES!). 7800 still kills the Ghoul once they’re done talking - much to the relief of Mr. Cranewater (PRAISE!) who is somewhat disappointed when they don’t free him (Words Faaaaiiillll).
A couple of the folding tables have been dragged in to be used as makeshift operating tables. Three corpses have been picked out of the pile stacked in the corner and heaved onto the tables in front of the massive laundry Vats.

More concerning is the silhouette of someone standing over another table behind a sheet at the back of the room. When 7800 charges it; however, there is no one there. There is only the faint sound of something padding around one of the vats. While 1214 carefully climbs the ladder to see what’s making the noise, 1408 checks for any lingering magic in the room. It and his focus lands on one of the ‘corpses’ on the table. He gives ‘the signal’ to 7800 who raises his falcatta high above his head and.... Pauses as the older woman on the table screeches that she doesn’t want to die oh please don’t kill her!!! She tries to roll away on the table, but her leg (horribly bruised and swollen) makes her cry out in pain and she curls into a ball covering her head with her hands.

She introduces herself as [name] - she’s dressed in the same grey attire they are, and when she isn’t immediately killed, almost hyperventilates as she tries to explain what she was doing there. Suspicious (well duh) all Four make their sense motive checks, and quickly feel like absolute wankers for just about offing a lady old enough to be their mother.

With some comforting and assurance that they are not dopplegangers, [name] calms down slightly. Originally admitted for anxiety, the poor bird was trampled during the patient revolt, knocked unconscious, and when she woke up she was in this awful place and saw some grey faced creature cutting up corpses to feed to that - that thing! She points to the vat where 1214 has found an emaciated ghoul clawing towards the top of the vat. He quickly puts the pathetic creature out of its misery.

She didn’t see the creature leave - and quickly screeches that it must still be in here! The group spreads out - determined to find the creature before it gets them! 7800 stands by [name] to protect her - and fails his initiative as she spits out a word in Aklo and vanishes from sight. (7800’s player, at this points out HE KNEW IT - FKN BTCH) and dashes after her. The rest follow hot on his heels! Her invisibility only lasts a round and they quickly begin peppering her with bombs (2319) hexes (1408) shurikens (1214) and a big ass swing from a falcatta (7800) Once again the group is alarmed that their combined actions do not bring the monstrosity down.

The doppleganger pulls out her new knife and with a wild sweep - manages to cut 7800 across the throat for a nasty critical (knocking him unconscious) before laughing and running out the second set of doors past Mr. Cranewater (ZANDALUS SEES! ZANDALUS SEES!) 1408 manages to dash after her and throws his newly returned spear - catching the doppleganger in the back so she falls face first into the hallway and skids to a bloody stop. 2319 shoves a healing potion down 7800’s throat to get him back on his feet, and they all decide to leave Mr. Cranewater chained up for the time being.

They drag the corpse of the doppleganger back to the guards who (thanks to a high perception check) saw the kill themselves. It isn’t the originally agreed upon deal, but the group looks worn, weary, and genuine enough in their now shared hatred of dopplegangers. They are invited into the Chapel, the last sanctuary in Briarstone.

That's it for this week! We usually play every other Sunday. :)

2017-03-27, 05:56 AM
Another journal of my favorite group of players :D
I'm excited to read about all the new shenanigans.

2017-03-27, 09:10 AM
Recently finished this campaign myself. Will be fun to read another group's take at it. :smallbiggrin:

2017-03-27, 09:25 AM
Recently finished this campaign myself. Will be fun to read another group's take at it. :smallbiggrin:

Haha. Someone has a little insight into the intro part then :)

Welcome Prism! Unfortunately thanks to an all weekend work event (and 2319 being out of country) the next game will be delayed a couple weeks. Puzzle (1408) had been pestering me all week to get this up lol.

2017-03-28, 05:48 AM
Welcome Prism! Unfortunately thanks to an all weekend work event (and 2319 being out of country) the next game will be delayed a couple weeks. Puzzle (1408) had been pestering me all week to get this up lol.

Purposefully or not, you've offered some hints as to their identities already.
I'm certain I can eventually figure out who is who :P

2017-04-16, 10:03 PM
We killed things, no-one went insane, AND I got my jacket back. All in all a successful night *nod nod*.

2017-04-16, 10:25 PM
Update is on its way. Sometime in the next couple days after I shank the Lothric bros in DSIII. (Stalled out on them last time with my assassin, having more luck with a knight.)

But yes! Progress was made and our loveable adventurers even know their names now!

2017-04-28, 09:26 PM
So after a missed game and delays in posting: Let's get back to our loveable group of psychopaths!

Our [brave?] adventurers drag their tired and bloodied selves behind the guard and into the small chapel that’s been repurposed as a communal survivor’s camp. Pallets have been covered in tired blankets to create makeshift beds, and chunks of furniture have been hacked away at to fuel a small cooking fire.

The survivors are a mix of mostly patients with a few staff and an orderly guard on overwatch. Several are children who are being put to ‘bed’ in one of the quiet ‘corners’ of the room - one young boy falling asleep with a strange lantern clutched tightly in his arms. Two of the survivors are obviously injured and resting - everyone looks tired and suspiciously at the newcomers. Given the number of problems caused by doppelgangers - it isn’t surprising. They don’t approach the group.

The guard invites them to find a corner to sleep in - and says that Winter (who is obviously the person in charge) will talk to them in the morning - or whatever passes for morning these days. The light doesn’t change, the storm doesn’t let up, and the rain leaves a dark and oily residue on the stain glass windows of the chapel.

1408 immediately takes advantage of a quiet moment and settles against one of the small altars... and habitually reaches for a hat that isn’t there and the collar of a coat he isn’t wearing. After grumbling to his familiar who also complains that his shoulders are too narrow - he manages to nod off after a short while.

The rest of the group isn’t quite ready for bed. 2319 breaks out his alchemy set and gets to work restocking his tinctures. 7800 sets himself up as over watch, and 1214 decides to do a little snooping around. He didn’t get stabbed after all - 7800 did plenty of that for everyone else.

After a disappointing attempt to find anything of value on the guards, he turns his attention to the end of the hallway outside the chapel where a nervous guard stands in front of a curtain. A stellar stealth roll and a fail perception check means that 1214 manages to sneak past the guard and behind the curtain. He comes face to face with a wall covered in some sort of fungus and an eyeball the size of a wagon wheel. When it sees him the eye ‘pupil’ opens into a mouth of sharp teeth and it SHRIEKS! The guard pulls back the curtain on the right and 1214 exits swiftly on the left and down the hallway - nearly running into a striking woman with long black hair, heterochromatic eyes, and a holy symbol of Pharasma around her neck.

It doesn’t take the priestess long to realize the man she doesn’t recognize is one of the new arrivals the guards brought in. She implores him to stay in the sanctuary - she plans to speak with them once she too has had a chance to rest.

1214 immediately runs off to tell 7800 and 2319 about the strange creepy eye they’re hiding in the hallway. They also discover that they all have a small ‘IV’ tattoo on their wrists - a clear connection between them and a past they can’t remember.
1408 is just nodding off to sleep when someone runs over his legs - a patient by the look of his shapeless grey outfit. He is quickly followed by a middle aged nurse who quietly apologizes as she takes after him and tries to corner the man who is in distress holding his hands over his ears and quickly waking up and disturbing the rest of the survivors in the sanctuary. Realizing he’s not going to get anymore sleep unless this is dealt with, he shuffles to his feet and helps the nurse corral the man against the wall. Grateful for the help, she lets him know that if they can just get him to take his medicine - he should calm down.

Now - a good diplomacy or even some reassuring roleplaying is supposed to be enough to get the distressed man to settle down. 1408 doesn’t have time for any of that poppycock - he hits the poor man with an evil eye and intimidates him into a sniveling mess of mental patient. The nurse isn’t pleased with his methods, but the man does take his medicine - and probably won't remember any of it later anyway.

Grateful for his help, the Nurse introduces herself as Nayla and answers a few questions. This place is Briarstone Sanitarium on an island in the mouth of the Danvier river outside of Thurshmoor. She insists that this place was one of science. She has worked here for years and is very protective of her patients - she’s worried how long they can remain in the sanctuary. Once again the name Count Lowels comes up - as he was the one who dropped them off on the island. She apologizes that she doesn’t know his name - but says that he could likely find details in his patient file.

She sees his eyes glaze over as she describes how to get to the records room, and takes him out into the hallway to where a simple evacuation map of the sanitarium is wedged behind glass. Recognizing its value, 1408 pries it out of its case and folds it into a pocket. When he gets back to the chapel he makes sure that his legs are not hanging out into the room where they might get run over again. A caster needs his sleep after all.
After a restful sleep devoid of nightmares, they wake up to 7800 trying to put together a half decent breakfast out of the meager supplies. The smell that comes out of the cooking pot quickly draws the attention of the room - and the group is heartily welcomed as heroes by people used to eating miserable rations of tasteless watery soup. 1214 even goes out of his way to take bowls to the guards on duty - making friends and taking the opportunity to swipe a couple crossbow bolts. Because he can.

Winter, glad to see some life in the group of survivors, joins the group for breakfast. She welcomes them and thanks them for their help with the dopplegangers. She only arrived a few hours before the revolt - she was originally helping a Royal Accuser with an investigation on the local ruler, Hasteron Lowls, who had spent a great deal of time at the Sanitarium in the last year. She and her guards ended up saving as many of the survivors as they could as the patient led revolt (more like a religious movement really) sprang up. Then the awful yellow fog and THEN the earthquakes... it’s been a nightmare. She is both curious and concerned that they are somehow connected to Lowels, but discerns that their lack of memory is genuine, and she needs their help more than she needs to continue her investigation.

She shares that their situation isn’t good. The survivors holed up in the chapel have maybe a week of healthy living left - and they need to find a way off this island. She has a plan, but until they arrived, she didn’t think they’d have the manpower to make it happen. She asks the group to clear out the rest of the Northern hallway - and then she wants them to search for a way off the island. She’s less worried about the fact they were patients and is more interested in their ability to kill cultists and monsters. She happily offers healing to keep them running as best she can. She suspects the cultists are responsible for what has happened to the island - and after the number of staff and patients they’ve killed? She’s not concerned about their welfare.

The group is on board with this plan. They then systematically purge the northern hall of the last doppelganger (sneak attack followed by the fighter crit) the centipedes (more fighter crit) and the dire rats without so much as a scratch - racking up the XP and badass points. (and loot.)

Satisfied that any immediate threats have been dealt with on one side of the asylum, Winter leads them to the creepy eye wall. It blocks the path to what should be a door into the main lobby of the Asylum and will need to be dealt with before they can move forward. Upon seeing the group the mouth of fangs in the iris of the eye yells ‘WHAT AM I BECOME!’ and continues to weep ammonia while making hissing shrieks of sound. 1408 recognizes the obstacle as yet another haunt - and after some trial and error (with the wall healing and pulsing after it’s poked and prodded by spells and bombs) the group decides that the best option is to fire upon it from afar until the haunt is subdued - and then proceed to send the fighter in to hack away at the wall until he breaks through - the subtleties of haunts clearly lost upon them.
Or a rather broken lobby of cracked marble floors and Silent Hill-esque peeling paint. The big windows show yet more of the thick yellow fog on either side of what is clearly the main entrance. Cautiously, they peek out the windows into the fog to see if there’s anything crawling about - and manage to catch glimpses of large mound-like shapes moving in the mist. Wisely, they decide not to venture out that way just yet.

They explore the main lobby instead, finding an office of patients and orderlies killed, lined up, and with bags around their heads - the barricade they set up useless after the wall behind them collapsed during the tremors. Not wanting to get caught unaware - they decide to check out the other rooms before heading North to the Library.

Once such room is labelled for visiting - and looks like it was pulled straight from a country cottage magazine with warm inviting tones, comfy furniture, and a cage of colourful taxidermy birds. It would be quite pleasant ... except for the body of a yellow-robed patient skewered on the horns of an elk above the fireplace and another behind the couch that looks like he was beaten to death. Inevitably, 1214 gets bored of poking around trying to decide if they could make a break for the D wing of the asylum through the thin patch of mist along the garden path - and starts poking around for valuables...

And sets off yet another haunt.

Cheerful tweets of birds turn into shrill mechanical calls. 1214 manages to keep his feet, but 1408 starts levitating. He tries to right himself by stabbing his spear into the ceiling, but doesn't have the strength to hang on and pancakes onto the floor a moment later. 7800 also goes for a short flight while 2319 and 1214 stab, roast, and flambé the bird cage until the haunt is destroyed. He hits his head a little harder on the edge of a desk. Thoroughly tired of how messed up this place is from the creepy magic that permeates the air - they grumble and rid the bodies of the cultists of any valuables before making sure the door is firmly closed behind them.
Content that without going outside (no thanks) through the visitor room or the main doors, the only way to go is through the Library and make a bee-line for the administrator’s office which, according to the map, has backdoor access to the personal affects storage room AND the records room.

While 1214 prepares to ninja vanish (literally) and stealth/scout ahead - 7800 decides he’s tired of being subtle and careful and barges through the library door - and promptly gets hit in the face with a book. Several more texts fly his way from the upper reaches of the library - along with a fair amount of high pitched and somewhat threatening sounding challenges. 1408 recognizes it as Aklo, and manages to call for a tentative ceasefire. 1214, disappointed in the lack of violence, remains on stealthy standby as 2319 loads another bomb into his mini wrist-catapult (our fluffed version of the bomb thrower). The ratlings demand shinies (and are quite happy with the coin 1408 tosses their way), but start to get greedy and also demand food as tribute - specifically a sandwich. They are less impressed when 1408 admits that they don’t have one - and they begin chanting ‘SANDWICH, SANDWICH, SAND-HRK”

Unsure what the rodent creatures were chanting, knives are thrown - nearly killing one of the ratlings and sending them all scurrying away in a panic shouting death threats as they vanish - leaving the impressive looking (though slightly ruffled) library empty. 1408 tries to explain they only wanted food - while 1214 grumpily realizes that the silver dagger he threw is still stuck in the ratling that vanished.

1214 gets to scout past the Northern Library door without fighter bravado interruptions - and except for the creepy slime on the hallway floor, determines that they could quickly get to the Administrator’s office with no immediate threats barring their way. The only open door leads to a room with a collapsed roof and another crushed corpse. A corpse with a giant syringe filled with a healing potion - much to the delight of the alchemist (2319) who pockets it upon 1214’s return. They all make a quiet dash from the Library to the Administrator’s office - managing not to disturb what yet lurks in the boardroom and behind closed doors.

Then they meet Administrator Eliege Losandro
The lavish and well furnished (two story) office is difficult to appreciate with the kneeling form of a woman with her head tilted back and belching an otherworldly hazy rainbow of coloured mist that swirls around her... in the centre of an unhealthy pool of blood. Her fingers occasionally twitch at her sides, but she gives no other signs of life or ability to respond.

1408 crushes his knowledge check and recognizes that she is likely now an oneirogen - connected to another realm that ‘leaks’ out of her in the form of mist. At least he’s pretty sure. He can’t remember if there’s anything they can do to help her.

1214 flicks another shruikan between his fingers and into the woman’s throat. She collapses and stops ‘leaking’ rainbow mist. There. Problem solved. He really can’t understand why they keep trying to complicate things. 2319 shrugs and scoops up a sample of her blood in one vial and the thin (and quickly dissipating) *mist in the other. FOR SCIENCE.

Given the woman was the head of the sanitarium, they start rummaging through her office for any helpful clues (and more loot of course). They find their first real answers in her daily agenda/journal after 1214 does some lock picking. 2319 waits until he’s reasonably sure it’s safe to approach the corpse and grabs the useful set of keys at the Administrator’s waist that he spotted while inspecting the cadaver from afar.Oathday:
Another unexpected call from Count Lowls. These have become so common and Lowl’s focus is so singular that they no longer leave me apprehensive. He requested to see me after his visit with Zandalus, though. He claims to have a theoretical solution for the poor man’s condition. I don’t know what the Count and my prized patient have been discussing - and Lowls again refused to share - but I doubt that lordly amateur psychologist has truly hit upon anything of worth. Regardless, I’d be a fool not to humor my liege.

Lowl’s ‘solution’ was not at all what I expected. I have no clue where he turned it up, but on his most recent visit he brought along a copy of Valhadis’s The Chain of Nights, a near-legendary collection of psycho-arcane studies and treatments focused on dreaming. While I abhor arcane tampering, if there’s a permanent solution to Zandalus’s nightmares, it could be here. Lowls allowed me to study the text for the duration of his visit, but staunchly refused to leave it in my possession.

Lowls has made me an offer: his copy of The Chain of Nights. All I must do in return is accept a handful of new patients - former associates of his that have suffered some unprecedented manner of group amnesia. I might accept this as charity on the count’s behalf, but he insists that I keep no record of their committal. The terms make me suspicious, but I can learn more of these curious strangers once they’re in my care. If it means the possibility of a cure for Zandalus and others, I welcome the bargain.

The Chain of Nights is a marvel. It will take years of study to unravel all its possibilities, but already I’ve discovered a process by which chronic dreams might be drawn forth and disposed of like so much psychic gristle. Tomorrow our experiment begins!
While many of the items in the Administrator’s office could be of value, there are two rooms of keen interest and worth to the group of men who have only just started to unravel the mystery of their presence in the sanitarium and the lack of memory. They head down the dark and narrow hallway to the storage room first. The dingy and dusty room is in a fair amount of disarray; especially as people have already been through that.

Correction: are currently going through it. One yellow robed individual is bent halfways into a box and is heedlessly tossing junk behind him into a pile on the floor. And another has set up a small ‘classroom’ with a bunch of dolls in the far corner wearing something that doesn’t belong to him. Namely, a rather worn and very bloodborne-esque traveller’s coat and hat (neither fitting particularly well). 1408 just manages to point and yell ‘THAT’S MINE!’ before 7800 cuts the cultist down. He adjusts his blade in time to do non lethal damage instead - knocking the cultist out cold in short order while 1214 and 2319 fill his partner with holes and blow him up and into the box he had been hanging over when they first arrived.

1408 relieves the thief of the coat and hat, quickly don them, and almost feels ‘normal’ again. His Raven familiar quickly agrees that this is much better, and given the worn claw markings on the shoulders... it is a familiar perch.

While the happy reunion of man and coat goes on in the background, they restrain the knocked out cultist with a set of manacles they found, and then wakes him up again with some smelling salts from the late Administrator’s desk.

The unnamed cultist henceforth dubbed ‘Gary’ wakes with a start and does a poor job of playing loyal to the cult whose mark is scrawled in yellow chalk on his forehead. 2319 quick bypasses any hesitations as he unzips the man’s pants and puts a grenade with a long fuse all nice and snug with the family jewels. Gary spills - desperate to tell them whatever they want. He only joined because it was join the cult or die. He didn’t want to turn into a monster like the others. Zandalus was the one who did that ‘thing’ to the administrator, but it didn’t turn out right. The others though - it worked that time. Now they sit and spew all the yellow mist and OH GODS WHY ARE YOU LIGHTING THAT STOP!

His voice goes frantic. He tells them where they can likely find Zandalus. How many cultists he thinks there are and - tries kicking and screaming as the last of the fuse is burnt away and... faints after nothing happens. 2319 removes the empty grenade grins as the rest of the group nervously laughs in sympathetic relief.

And then break his neck just to be safe.

No not really. They left him chained up in the room until they could come back for him later and drag him back to the survivors. Part of the Chaplain’s office was barred off and serves well enough as a cell.
Feeling a little more armed and fashionably dangerous; they move onto the records - yet another room that’s been tossed by another cultist. She was ready for them (made her perception checks and everything!) but one poor cultist against this group doesn’t last long. She does manage to leave a nasty gash in 7800’s arm at least before she dies on the thin carpet of loose papers and patient records that she’s been scattering around for ... at least an hour. Most of the drawers are hanging open and some have been ripped apart.

2319 shrugs and sets to work looking for his record, and he’s ready and willing to take the time to sort through all the loose pages to find it. It takes some time and some good search checks, but they eventually find files with patient numbers that match the numbers tagged on their uniforms. The names and dates; however, have been redacted - but the files I shared in the first post are what they find.

2319’s player is especially pleased with the fact that he bit a nurse.

There is disappointment that their names yet elude them, but a second door with ‘special records’ at the back promises some faint hope. The Administrator’s keys open the door to a dusty room that the cultist had been trying to get into (evident by the marks around the door frame). The files all date back further than they’ve been at the Sanitarium. It’s 2319 (whose short gnome stature gave him a better perspective) who notices the hinges behind the painting on the far wall. A little prying and they find a secret narrow stash of select unredacted patient files and a small lock box with goodies in it.

They each grab their file and are finally able to introduce themselves.

2319 is Cole
7800 is Falanar
1408 is Mordren
And 1214 is Phillup.

They make fun of each other for their strange names (Especially Phillup the ninja), but it’s generally good natured. They have a firm piece of their identities in hand. They also find files on Zandalus:Patient Record: Ulver Zandalus
Male, Varisian descent, approx age 47

Committed: 2 Sarenith 4685
Circumstances: Transferred from Pharasmin lamentations in Rozenport
Attending Doctor: Eliege Losandro

Zandalus exhibits complete withdrawal from society and an inability to care for himself in any but the most basic modes. The symptoms of his passive antisociality chronically present as mutism and blankness. Frequent night terrors result in brief but dramatic nocturnal outbursts - shouting, shaking, fear responses. Zandalus grasps the difference between sleep and wakefulness and typically recover from the nightmares quickly.

Treatment: Therapy, antipsychotic regimen, observation

Development: 2/4687 - Zandalus proves to be a gifted and prolific artist. He has enthusiastically taken to using a charcoal drawing set to create dramatic but fanciful works of art, typically of surreal architecture and skyscrapes. Art calms him in the wake of nightmare. He will be afforded basic supplies to continue such art therapy.

Development: 11/4702 - A shift has occurred in Zandalus;s art. He has repeatedly almost perfectly illustrated one of the ancient standing stones situated at the northwestern corner of the asylum grounds. As the ilse’s shores are off limits to patients, I do not believe he has even seen the subject of his work. The significance or coincidence of this brooks further study.

Development: 3/4715 - Count Haserton Lowls has taken an interest in Zandalus: first his art and now the artist. Lowls has become a repeat visitor, spending hours with my patient, but refuses to explain his interest.The search of the room having taken quite a while - it is later than they would prefer to be exploring the sanitarium. They grab Gary the Cultist and quickly and quietly make their way back to the Chapel.

-End of Session 2-

I don't have an automatic rez mechanic to keep track of player deaths like Puzzle - I'll take suggestions for a different counter though lol

2017-05-06, 07:04 AM
I Like It!!
Will be eagerly awaiting updates. Though, I suppose you won't be as bloodthirsty as Puzzle is in Artaith. :P

2017-05-15, 01:48 PM
Holy crip on a cracker forums are back! Double update incoming! (Just not right now on my phone at work :P)

2017-05-20, 06:35 PM
This post is long overdue - somewhat delayed by the forums being down for a while and other excuses.

The safety of the chapel means that no one suffers horrific nightmares over the course of the evening (sigh). The survivors are glad to see them return, even if the next meal prepared isn’t quite as amazing as the one they had last night. Winter checks in with them on what they’ve found so far and promises to keep their prisoner separate from the others until a way out is secured. Cole’s (2319’s) Myrrh has helped the injured heal over the course of the day and the faintest bits of hope trickle about the small chapel.

The next morning the group gathers around their ‘evacuation’ map and considers their options. The majority of the cultists are likely in the Northern part of the Sanitarium. The West hallway has collapsed, which means they either have to chance the creaking door that leaked blood back in the records hallway, or risk going outside on the garden path from the Visitor room where the bird-haunt tossed them about like rag dolls.

Not keen on either option; they decide to check out the large east courtyard to see if there’s another way in - and to check out the garden shed for any tools that might be useful (the fact that it doubled as an entrance to the old morgue tweaks Phillip's (1214’s) interest.

They make their way into the courtyard, players wary as I pull out the map markers and gleefully demand that Phillip’s player get me some appropriate minis. Where Mordren (1408) fails in stealth, he makes up in perception as he hears the sound of heavy leather wings flapping above; just in time for the black skinned, faceless demon-like creature to swoop down and grapple him! (Couldn’t see the gnome or ninja and NightGaunts are supposed to go after the frailest looking party member). Mordren reflexively glares at the eyeless creature, throwing a sleep hex and... the Nightgaunt slumps over. Still hugging the witch-boy with its massive talons. (No hit dice cap sleep effect WHAT?!). Mordren only partially manages to untangle himself carefully when Falanar (7800) comes around and coup de graces the helpless creature. It does not make its second save against the damage and twitches in the greasy looking grass. Meanwhile, Phillip has unlocked the Garden shed and whistles for the rest of them to follow.

I sigh and get the moist paper towel to erase ‘one of the most dangerous creatures to enter from the dream realm’ encounter from the map.
The garden shed is full of dusty tools, wheelbarrows, and tomato cages. A couple of cinder blocks rest in the corner - it takes a moment to find the entrance to the old morgue. There is speculation about the cultists using it as a hideout, and they’re determined to check it out. Or at least they would be, if the rickety staircase didn’t end eight steps down before dropping into an abyss of darkness. Curious, a light spell on a pebble is dropped down, and using ‘science’, the group figures out it’s at least two hundred feet down when it finally lands and rolls to one side.... And then the other....and back again....and then to the second side. It keeps rolling from side to side; much to their confusion.

Since they were already ‘sciencing’ Phillip decides to grab one of the cinder blocks to try dropping something heavier down there. Cole and Mordren scurry up before he does so - not trusting the damaged staircase. Falanar doesn’t quite make it as Phillip heaves the cinderblock down over the last couple of steps - and the island shakes after it lands. Falanar just manages to hang onto the railing before grabbing the collar of Phillip’s shirt and heaving him back up the stairs. Whatever is down there, they can’t risk it doing that again. The tremors have already significantly weakened the building - any more and Briarstone could collapse completely.

Which leaves them back where they started. Bloody door, or Garden path?
They decide to go back to the blood-leaking door - after checking out the offices they bypassed the day before on their way to the administrator’s office. Phillip decides to follow the slime trail to the conference room and beckons the rest as he finds the trail ending at a storage closet at the back. They all stand at the ready to destroy whatever comes out as Phillip pulls open the door and... they look upon shelves of pickled brains, parts of brains, and other body parts floating in jars - all carefully pack with pieces of someone.

Cole finds the display fascinating and goes in for a closer look when nothing comes out to attack them. He even uses a mutagen to make himself tall enough to see all the shelves - just in time for one of the jars to go flying off the shelf towards his face. It misses, but splashes at his feet as the glass breaks. He catches a glimpse of something fleshy wriggle behind more jars. Rather than calling in backup - he calls for a box.

His intent? To capture it.

The second pushes another jar out - splashing Cole with more preservation fluid that could easily cause a rash - if he’d stop making his saves. Phillip, not wanting to miss out on the fun, grabs a jar and yanks out the non-moving specimen to house the second creature. Not wanting to harm any more of their brethren, the small rubbery creatures run out to attack! One looks like a sort of tumor that tries to bite Cole. After some careful scraping, both Pickled Punks are encased in sturdy glass jars filled with preservation fluid. Falanar and Mordren are less than thrilled with the keeping of small necromantic creatures - but they seem content to swim around their jars, and Phillips’ even purrs after he drops in a meaty bit of whoever they used to pad the nest into the jar for it to eat.

With their new pets in tow - they decide to check out the other rooms. The first is a cramped office where what’s left of two jr. doctors are slumped at their desks - the backs of the skulls clawed open and the brains removed. Somehow the tumor looks mildly guilty in its jar.

Impatient with their pacing, Phillip goes off on his own. Confident he can sneak about easily enough while the rest of the group can handle whatever they run into. He spends a couple minutes going through the late Dr. Chanwar’s office and picks up a spare doctor’s coat for himself.

The others shove their way into a room with a sagging ceiling and a deep crack in the floor. They startle a pair of dire rats and their ratling master who attack! The tiny ratling stays close to his escape hole back into the library while the dire rats lunge at the closest enemy - backing them up with acid bolts that eventually render Mordren unconscious while trying to avoid being cooked alive by all the alchemist fire Cole is gleefully tossing at the hole.

Fed up with the tiny creature - Falanar manages to grab it while it starts shrieking for them to please stop - offering information about HIM if they spare him. Cole shoves a potion down Mordren’s throat - waking the witch up with a start who looks quite haunted as he comes too. *Mamby, as the ratling introduces himself - half apologizes, he thought they were cultists. His people have a warren beneath the island, but the recent tremors have cut off their way in or out - until they can dig one back in that is.

As for HIM - well Mamby reveals that he knows about the Tatterman - the servant of Hastur. The creature was also connected to the Briarstone Witch and the disappearance that happened hundreds of years ago. It is a creature of the dreamlands - and it is responsible for many of the deaths at Briarstone - and the nightmares. Mordren nods solemnly - having just experienced his own close encounter with the Tatterman again while he was unconscious. *Falanar makes it very clear to the ratling that they’re not to bother them again. They should stay here and out of sight until they can get home. Mamby agrees and goes on his way - but not before Cole picks a shiny brooch off the creature. Spoils don’t always have to come from the dead.

They meet back up with Phillip who has pocketed some rather important looking research notes and after making sure Mordren has a little more health (easy to top up at low levels thankfully) they make their way to the bloody door.
Upon close inspection they realize that the door isn’t just bloody at the edges, it’s slightly curved in from the weight of whatever is behind it. That, and the blood drops don’t seem to obey gravity - they fall out towards the far wall instead of to the ground. Suspecting it’s another haunt - they rig a long fuse on one of Cole’s bombs and take refuge in the personal effects room. After a small explosion, the tinted windows are coated in a thick smear of blood as the wave passes and hits the back wall some sixty feet back. The initial wave passed, they are not surprised to see that the door has instead been replaced with a wall of blood that drips along the ceiling, walls, and floor equally.

Phillip decides that sticking his hand, and then his arm in is the best course of action. When that still leaves him shoulder deep in warm sticky blood he pulls it out and takes a couple steps backward - enough for a running start. Before anyone can convince him it’s a bad idea - Phillip takes a running dive into the blood-wall. He’s gone for a full round before he’s spat back out looking like he came fresh of the set of Evil Dead. Once he’s cleaned his face off enough to talk without blood crawling into his mouth again - he confirms that he got far enough to feel air on the other side before it pushed him back, but it’s a good solid 15 feet of blood swimming.

They turn to Falanar the fighter with the strength score to possibly make the swim and strength check. Better blood than dream fog! They tie a rope around him and after an encouraging pat - he charges in. It’s a warm, sticky, coppery mess of a swim, but he makes it to the other side after beating all the checks- leaving the sticky red mess with a plop in the open Day room of the sanitarium. The source of the blood appears to be coming from an old woman in a wheelchair - with a massive hole in her chest that looks like something burst from inside. The blood runs across the floor and covers most of the west wall - pooling in the doorway he just charged through. Once he’s sure she’s not going anywhere, Falanar gives the rope a couple tugs and pulls the rest of the group forward and through the gravity defying blood pool. Cole uses his once per day prestidigitation to help clean everyone up. A couple of them will be making filth fever checks later.

Upon closer inspection they find the source of the haunt to be an old woman - very dead and still ‘bleeding’ an impossible amount. Her eyes are shut tight and her hands clutch the handles of her wheelchair in fear. She does not appear to have suffered any trauma besides the obvious hole in her chest. Any attempts to wheel her away are met with her sudden vanishing a reappearing back in her old spot. Secretly stabbing her again doesn’t help either (nice try Phillip you evil prick). Stumped, they leave the poor dear alone for now and begin to explore the rest of the new section of the sanitarium.
After checking the first set of double doors (and leaving it alone when they hear ethereal sobbing on the other side) they move on to the Nurse’s station where they handed out medication - and find three cultists stoned off their pumpkins. They insist they were just trying to take their medicine - and default to Phillip in his Doctor’s coat. Noticing this, he takes charge of questioning him while Cole looks around for something useful and Mordren takes a peek at the medical charts on the wall.

The cultists explain that they got separated during a ghoul attack. They left the kid behind in the room next door and hid in here where it was safe. They also didn’t dare go past Mrs. Hemming - so they’ve been here. They happily tell the ‘doctor’ that the rest of the group is in the main assembly hall - that there’s at least forty people still alive and making sure no more ghouls get in... at least there was.

Cole finds enough to put a healers kit together, and Mordren’s hunch turns out right. He finds Mrs’ Hemming’s medical chart and sees that besides dementia and arthritis, she was on medication for a heart condition. With Cole’s help he finds her ‘medication’ and goes back out to the bleeding corpse. After telling her that he has her medication the corpse opens its eyes and looks relieved. Mrs’ Hemmings opens her toothless mouth for him to carefully pour the concoction of pills in, and as her grip relaxes the blood falls from the walls and quickly dries and blows away as dust - leaving a peaceful looking corpse in a chair without a *hole in her chest.

High fives are given out as the group finally solves a haunt instead of having to bash it to submission.
Mistrustful of keeping the cultists around; while the group is dealing with Mrs Hemming (seems to be a pattern happening here) Phillip leads one patient back to the common sleeping room, gets him into bed, tells him to shut his eyes - and then slits his throat. (and the Evil alignment is declared with a CLANG). He covers the cultists with a sheet and is about to leave for another when he hears the sounds of someone having a nightmare on the other side of the room. Curious, he stealth's over and sees a man in restraints tossing and turning in deep sleep. He makes enough noise that the rest of the group follows and shows up in time to hear the man scream for someone to ‘GET AWAY - NO! LEAVE ME ALONE!’ before he starts shaking and then dies in front of them. The perceptive ones see a whiff of yellow mist purl from his mouth - right before the corpse begins shaking again. Before their eyes the man turns into a ghoul that awakens and tries to bite them - unable to while strapped to the bed. The only sensible thing they get out of it was ‘the bastard finally got me’ before putting the creature out of its miserable existence. No one really remarks upon the murdered cultist on the other side of the room. I’m not sure if it’s to avoid Phillip’s attention or because they really do have bigger things to worry about.
Fairly certain yet another haunt lays between them and the assembly hall, the group decides to check out the other rooms first. Much to Phillip and Cole’s delight, they find an eighty something year old man looking smug as heck with three dead cultists around him beaten to death. In his hand is a bloodied boot of excellent make. Cole declares that the boots are his - even if they are thigh-highs for the gnome. He looks FABULOUS OKAY?

Falanar finds a room with the ripped apart remains of a ghoul’s meal, and Mordren finds a room with two twin beds pushed together and two toy knights under a nest of blankets. He takes the toys, wondering if they might help with the haunt. After disposing of another ghoul slightly south of the rooms, they decide to head back to the doors where they heard the sobbing.

They crack the door open a ways and are greeted with darkness. Even the pebble with the light spell disappears - winking out after a very brief look at the room. The mangled remains of ghouls have been shoved to the sides, and a small figure his curled in the centre of the room; crying. Mordren calls out to the child, placing one of the knights just inside the door - the sobbing stops and the toy goes flying and the door slams shut as a child’s voice calls out ‘Brendan, Brendan the light’s gone out!’ and the sobbing resumes. A blood wall is one thing - creepy kid in the dark is another. No one moves to open the door again, but Mordren has pieced together some details. Brendon is the name of the kid back in the chapel with the lantern - which likely makes this his twin brother.

They make their way back to the chapel, and Mordren as he looks over the group, realizes that he’s probably the best person to try and convince the young boy to give up his lantern. It’s a situation that needs to be handled delicately - or so he tells Cole who was also vying for the job. Unfortunately, the encounter kind of goes like this:

“Hi Brendon, you had a brother right?”
“Wha? I HAVE a brother. His name is Briton and he’s lost okay? He’ll be back - we just got separated.”
“Er - right! Listen, can I borrow your lantern? I think it can help him. You can have these back in the mean-time.”

He offers the wooden knights, and Brenton agrees to give up the lantern. Mordren is appropriately mortified at his slip up, and Cole makes sure the rest of the group knows about it.

“THAT was handling it delicately? Hey Kid! Your Brother’s dead right? You’re awful with kids!”

They quickly make their way back to the room, this time with the lamp. It’s light pierces the darkness and the child sized figure’s sobs turn into sobs of relief as it waddles forward to grab the lantern. It’s made of child’s drawings for clothes and has a skull for a head - but once it wraps its arms around the lantern it vanishes - as does the unnatural darkness in the room. A sigh of relief goes around the group - who now turn their attention to the double doors on the opposite side of the room. Even now they can hear the sounds of a community on the other side.

They have finally reached the cultists.

And while there was a little more - I’m going to roll it into next week. That ends social blunder session #3!

So I am a session behind in journaling now. With any luck while the players are painting tonight I'll finish typing it out. :)
No promises. It's been a long day and I may be prone to a nap lol.

Sidenote: if some of you who have been through this campaign are confused by some of the name changes, it's because I don't always have the book handy to reference and make some names up on the spot. Especially spot names. :P

2017-05-21, 10:58 AM
Bwahahaha!! I'm loving it. Looks like everyone had some fun times this session.

My two favorite parts: 'Adorable' and 'alignment declared with a CLANG' :elan:

2017-06-10, 11:59 PM
Phew. Okay. I have two sessions (a month) worth to catch up on because I've been neglecting this poor journal. I will try to be better. ^.^;;

Session 4!

After a quick peek through the broken glass and a fantastic stealth roll, Phillip the ninja decides that rather than fighting their way through - he’s going to go in and create a distraction while the rest of the gang make a break for the kitchens on the far left hand side. His plan? Set some fires!

Thankfully, Falanar asks him if he’d like to borrow a tindertwig to start said fires BEFORE he slips into the assembly hall. Phillip sheepishly thanks him with a mumble of “I would have figured something out” before taking off into the hall. He manages to get two small fires going that will take a couple minutes to start causing panic before he in his doctor’s coat runs (mostly out of bad luck) straight into a gaggle of cultists who are surprised to see ‘another’ doctor running around. They ask if he’s here to help Dr. Elbourne, and he of course nods and plays along - until they offer to take him back to the Dr.’s tent.

Knowing that the fires are going to be spotted soon and not keen on being escorted, Phillip activates his ninja vanish around a corner - well timed with the shouts of alarm of a fire breaking out in the camp.

The hidden members do their best ‘clip board’ march through the camp with borrowed cultists coats and throw in a couple ‘fire! Over there!’ towards the patrolling guards for good measure.

They all manage to meet back up in the kitchen (or what’s left of it) and congratulate themselves on making it past the crazy people camp.

Once in the kitchen they find it strangely (mostly) abandoned. They can hear people in the smaller preparation room, but no one is near the three main cooking stoves. They do hear a big pot clattering in the far corner - but decide to leave it well alone.

There is a brief moment of panic as one former staff member (former as in she now wears a yellowish headscarf) bursts out the prep room door and bee-line’s it to the assembly hall... not giving any of them a second look. They cautiously check out the prep room, and while the two guards and the rather tired looking cook do look their way, they seem more concerned about watching the door out into another large courtyard. The group convinces the guards they’re supposed to go see Zandalus (yes, even if that means going out into the fog again because they REALLY don’t like the haunted clattering pot in the other room). The guards shrug and let them pass, warning them that the ghouls have been on the move again, but they look like they can handle themselves.

Once back out in the yellow fog the group hastily power-walks to the door into the next section of the asylum. No. They don’t want to check out the sound of hoofbeats on the far side of the courtyard. No they don’t want to stop and try to find the corpse of the guard that got snagged by the Nightgaunt the day before. Nope nope nope they are going for the next bit of secure building and the hells to this fog.

Once in the Northwest section of the Asylum Phillip does a bit of super sneaky scouting to the North. So sneaky in fact, that the other sneaky thing in the fog doesn’t see him. Problem is, Phillip doesn’t see it either. The sneaky sneaks part ways without ever knowing the other was there.

Convinced there is nothing but a room of fog to the north hallway, the group heads west further into the asylum... and hear ‘NOW!’ a little too late. The south wall is pushed over onto them by a trio of ghouls who have been waiting for some tasty morsels to mosey on by. The collapsing wall does more damage than the ghouls, and after they kill the ghouls they dig an unconscious Phillip out of the rubble and shove another one of Cole’s potions down his throat.

Quite tired of all the ghouls, Falanar discards stealth for shock and awe and barges into the group therapy room determined to rid this hospital of the ghoulish infestation. What he finds is a body pantry of people in pieces in cages and three ghouls busy with a crate at the far end of the room - one standing on top as their argument is cut short by the arrival of the “heroes.” Surprisingly, there is a survivor (patient by the looks of what’s left of his bloodied outfit) - tied to a propped up bedframe who kind of gives them a tired wave after one ghoul threatens to tear out his throat if the group comes any closer.

Phillip kills him first from the shadows because omg sneak attack and high initiative sneak attack UGH *dead* Some more ghoul curb stomping later and the group divides in two. Falanar goes to check out what’s still moving and struggling in the crate, and the others check on their survivor.

Falanar discovers a cute white fluffy dog! The poor thing first barks at him, and then whines and wags its tail before standing on its legs and hopping around lightly with a big happy puppy smile on its face. A softer side of Falanar comes out as he picks up the puppy, and succumbs to the cuteness factor. Daw <3

“Um. You don’t want to hold it that close.” The survivor says

Falanar looks back at the dog he has cuddled against his chest to find that it’s head has turned into a leech and it’s wide slimy and rubbery face is full of teeth about to bite him.

“UGH!” WACK WACK WACK! *awful dying noises and twitching body here*

Fairly certain that Ilki (as his name reads) is probably friendly or at least not hostile, they set him loose. His wrists actually not in bad shape because of all the bandages around... them. Oh. Ilkithanks them in a very Eeyor-everything-is-rain manner and explains that he had been here for a while since he and the ‘others’ (he gestures to the piles of what was people in the crates) fled from the cultists. Joining the cult seemed pretty pointless, and if the world was going to end. Well? He just kind of shrugs.

Not necessarily grateful for being saved, but remarkably unphased by the horrors he’s witnessed, NAME explains that Zandalus had been going around declaring himself a prophet and was going to show them the way to the Dream realm by dragging the whole sanitarium in with him. Anyone that didn’t join or flee got crucified on the walls, and those that fled were quickly snatched up by ghouls. He does ask if they’ve taken care of the leader yet, which they realize they haven’t when he starts describing a much larger and one handed ‘ghoul’ that goes by the name Klades.

Fairly certain they don’t want to leave ghouls behind them before heading up to where Zandalus and his cronies are - a decision is made to take care of them before going forward. The only issue that arises is what to do with Ilki. When offered a weapon he sticks his hands and bandaged wrists in his pockets and mumbles something about not being allowed to have sharp things. They don't want to send him back into the fog and into the assembly hall/camp...

“Can you hide?” Mordren finally tries. Nat 20 roll means that Ilki nods, crawls under mattress propped up against the wall, pulls a broken chair closer and disappears a moment later. He seems content to curl up in a dark corner in the grisly mess of a room.

It isn’t difficult to find the thick trail of gore and scratched tile to the main public showers. Phillip (who later decides he wants his name to be Stephen, but we’ll save that change for later) carefully sneaks a peek at the inside before they go barging in. If they thought the ghoul pantry room (former group therapy) was bad, the warm wet stench coming off the human stew where the swimming/wash pool used to be. It’s in full swamp floaty human bits mode having been clogged from the ... yeah.

Further in is a sort of throne made from steam-stripped bone and tied with sinew where a one handed Gast, not a ghoul, sits overseeing his lovely waterscape and the handful of ghouls that are loitering about along the far wall where the showers are - hoarding their favourite picks of pieces deemed ‘ready’ from the ‘pool.’

If Phillip (soon to be Stephen) wasn’t an evil SOB himself, it might have made him queasy. Fairly certain the ghouls haven’t heard them coming with all the chomping and slurping happening in the bathrooms, Falanar does his best LEROY JENKINS and storms in ready to bait the ghouls into range.

They, and Klades, happily oblige and charge in towards the fighter. Some well placed hexes mean that the Ghast Klades is suddenly easier to hit and seems to have a harder time hitting the intruder. Even better placed bombs means the ghouls go up in flames, and taking a turn to sneak around the fight means that Phillip (soon to be Stephen, just giving everyone time to adjust here) gets to throw sneak attack shurikens at an alarming rate. Falanar manages to make his saves not to be paralyzed, and as both Mordren and Cole realize they’re getting low on spells - they resort to mundane weapons like Cole’s sling and Mordren’s surprisingly effective spear. Even with just one claw/attack, Klades proves to be a dangerous foe and a stray crit catches him deep in the shoulder - taking him down to those single digit hit points.

Poor Klades, quite sure that he’s about to finish off the only real threat to him in the room, suddenly collapses and reveals Phillip (STEPHEN) cleaning off one of his daggers.

“Right then. That’s enough of that.” He grins and the dagger vanishes a moment later.

There is some light poking about the bathroom to see if there’s any ‘valuables’ left, but no one is keen on wading through the carnage pool to do any serious looking. I mean, I was ready to let them go for a swim, but they decided against it. Something about running low on resources and still wanting to deal with Zandalus today before another night passed and the sanitarium was dragged into the dream realm. *shrug*

More healing potions are handed out and stock is taken of remaining resources. It’s already been a long day, but after realizing that they’re going to have to make their way back out the assembly hall to find somewhere safe to rest... they decide to press on. Once again Stephen (we were calling him Phillip for a long while, but he decided to change his name again) takes point and stealths up the stairs to the second floor where the smog seems to be coming from and Zandalus is supposed to be.

The second floor is in rough shape, but he finds several cultists sitting around playing some sort of gambling game with a tarrow deck and enjoying what looks like some real food. Among them is a grey haired lady with frighteningly wide eyes and a pink overcoat and rubber boots. The fact that she gets a description and her eyes narrowed in Stephen (once Phillip’s) direction screams DANGER to the PC who ghosts back to the group. A devious and cunning plan is made to try and bait them into the stairwell for an ambush - with Stephen as bait since he is (very) likely going to go first in initiative and can probably get their attention at a distance with some nasty shurikens.

The plan... mostly works. Two of the three charge after him down the stairs, but one pauses before running off to his death and the creepy old lady? Is nowhere to be seen.

A brief chase and a short death puts the fight in their favor, but as Stephen sneaks into the common area again, he plays another game of ‘sneaksies can’t find other sneaksies’ and misses the cultist who sneak attacks Falanar’s poor battered hit bar into the negatives.

Which also means the fighter isn’t up when Aggra the bag lady appears behind the cautiously moving casters and almost has her fingers around Mordren’s neck before the witch makes his perception check and manages to scramble out of the way. Without her sneak attack, she’s far less dangerous, but the murderous patient is a tough old bird and yells repeatedly about driving out the disbelievers. Another combination of hexes, spells, eventual flanking, and the three actions against one finally brings Aggra down - and the badly battered trio manage to wake Falanar from a nightmare with another healing potion.

Officially out of spells and bombs and hit points, the group turns to the only other exit in the room - where a thick wall of yellow smog covers the source of the chanting they can hear, but not see in the mist.

They stand the risk of the other cultists finding out what happened here, but they can’t risk another big fight. The group heads back, and even remembers to pick up Ilki on the way. They make sure their disguises and yellow marks are back in place before slipping back to the courtyard, and then the kitchen after clipboarding about taking care of the ghouls like Zandalus asked. The guards are happy to welcome them back, and don’t even seem to count that they have an extra person with them. Back at the assembly hall someone does notice - but Ilki raises his hands and gives a monotone ‘Hail the mystery’ which is enthusiastically repeated like a new catch phrase.

Ilki is officially the chill NPC. They make it back to the chapel after a long trek back, glad to see that the blood wall hasn’t returned and that the Ratlings are keeping to their hole digging - even if it’s creating a rather large pile of dirt in the library.

Session 5!
Ho Boy, such is my consequence for falling behind on journal entries! *fingercrack rootbeerswig TALLY HO!*
Between Winter giving out some healing and a good rest, the group is feeling bold and capable again. Falanar in particular wants to go back and settle some of the ‘haunts’ that were missed the day before. Mostly because his player wants some extra XP (I may have noted that they were a little behind after skipping a bunch of encounters) and because after learning that there was a unicorn in the mist, Falanar is CONVINCED it will help them.

The clanging pot in the kitchen is solved by dragging out the former head cook’s corpse and giving him a proper burial - even if the grave was ‘dug’ quickly by Cole who didn’t want to waste any time and just buried a bomb in a smaller hole and then they dropped his corpse in the bigger one that was left after it went off. They call the assistant cook out to say a few words... and the pot stops clanging. Huzzah!

The unicorn in the misty courtyard is a different story. Falanar wants to go see it, Cole and Mordren are sure it’s just going to attack them if they go that way, and Stephen just wants to stir the pot a little. As they get close and Falanar manages to catch a glimpse of the majestic and very much out of place creatures... Stephen fires sneak attacks up its butt until it keels over dead before the end of the first round. Agast, Falanar goes over to inspect - a soft squishy place in his heart for good and kind creatures in the world pierced by Stephen who was secretly hoping to get the creature to attack so Falanar would have to kill it himself.


Falanar does see the twisted corpse of the man who had been grabbed and dropped by the Night Gaunt a few days ago, and retrieves a nice looking ring. Waste not want not I guess.

Things are quiet as they enter the Northwest part of the sanitarium once again. The ghouls have been cleaned out, and they’ve managed to convince the guards in the kitchen that they are Zandalus’s new favourite lackies and clean up crew.

The bodies of the real lackies are where they left them on the second floor. As a side note, they had stripped them of all things valuable last time they were here. Cole now sports thigh high leather boots from the man who beat a cultist to death with them, a fancy red leather sheathed short sword, and a woman’s short pink coat (used to be the old lady’s) that is full length for him. The mental image is ridiculous and amazing at the same time. Suffice to say the gnome alchemist looks FABULOUS. After steeling themselves for what they’re about to encounter, they step through the hole in the wall and enter the thick smog. They keep close to the wall and the fluttering pages of charcoal sketches of the strange city they keep returning to in their nightmares. The twisting landscape and the chanting almost makes the smog in the drawings spiral... and Falanar and Stephen both get lost in the drawings. Cole and Mordren shake them back to their senses a few moments later - especially as they realize that they’re approaching someone in the middle of a thick fog of yellow smoke.

The figure stands facing out of the broken wall spewing more of the smog into the air outside. Judging by the thickness of the smog across the hall a ways, they deduce that they’ve found the source of the smog and are more than ready to end the creation of the nightmare fog.

If only so easily said as done. Getting into melee with the Oneirogens subjects Falanar and Stephen to sleep saves, which they manage to make. If you don’t get close enough; however, the smog obscures their presence and makes them almost impossible to hit.

Worse still is the fact that once one Oneirogen is attacked, the others pile in - forcing more saves. Cole’s attempt to step around the gathering crowd of sleep inducing and dream realm spewing individuals leaves him asleep on the ground. I believe the same happens to Mordren - making the situation dicey as the ninja and fighter and their will saves are the only thing keeping the party from all slipping into what promises to be a very dangerous sleep.

Side note: I will have examples of each of the nightmares in a day or so - I’m just trying to get caught up for now before game tomorrow. (SHAME! SHAME!)

Thankfully, Falanar and Stephen’s dice hold out, and one by one the oneirogens are cut down. Almost immediately there is a lift in the atmosphere around the sanitarium. It will take some time for the smog to clear, but the thunder that sounds like laughter seems further away, and the air doesn’t smell like blood. Well. Besides the poor former patients bleeding out on the floor - though not as badly as they should be. Once Cole and Mordren are woken back up, Cole inspects one of the corpses and finds that the man has no internal organs left. They look like they were ripped out and sent Gods know where.

The group looks down the battered hallway - the walls half missing and at the end a thin curtain that ripples lightly in a faint non existent breeze. The end to this nightmare is so close they can taste it.

The entire room behind the curtain has been patched together with more drawings - most of the city in their dreams, and some of a monument like structure they recognize as the Star Stelae - though none of them are quite sure how or why they can recall that memory.

Dressed in layers of resewn robes and in a makeshift throne of pallets, debris, and pieces of finer furniture that have been lashed together is a man in a long white ponytail. He seems to stir from a meditative state upon their arrival - his eyes bloodshot and angry as he sees the group and though his mouth doesn’t move, he hisses in displeasure.

“You?! I already killed you!”

Like a puppet on strings he snaps upright and into the air - setting off the initiative. Unlike many of the hungry ghouls or great many cultists, Zandalus uses his throne for cover and trades spells with Mordren and Cole while Falanar and Stephen get into a flanking position. Besides a couple magic missiles, Zandalus doesn’t lay into the group very much - and between Cole crawling up onto the throne to throw a bomb at his feet and a crit from Falanar, the leader of the cultists takes a falcatta deep in the chest as it slices through his collar bone.

Victory is short lived as thick yellow smog begins to pour out of the man’s wounds. Thinking fast, Cole drops a sticky bomb of sorts on the corpse (?) to slow the leakage. Stephen hides around a wall and Falanar backs up - not sure what’s about to happen, but fairly certain that he doesn’t want to be next to Zandalus when it does.

Finally free of the last bits of Zandalus’s waking mind, the Tatterman climbs out of the corpses’ wounds and into reality - his mouth full of sharp pointed teeth and the wickedly curved blade in his hand only slightly sharper looking than his claws. He shrieks at the impertinent souls who somehow escaped him in the dreams - and the fear aura kicks Falanar’s save in the teeth. Cole’s too - though he can’t run nearly as fast in thigh high boots and a pink long coat. Mordren turns pale as he realizes he’s currently the only one the Tatterman can see and is grinning at very very very pointedly.

He vomits up a small swarm of spiders to harass the creature from his nightmares, throws a burning hands, a glitter dust?!?! Nothing seems to stick - and the creature’s injuries slowly stitch back together nearly as quickly as he can fire them off.

Laughing, the Tatterman floats into the air, turns invisible, and charges the witch with the intent to gut him like a fish. Thankfully, the glitterdust is still up and Steven and his two silver daggers swoop in to deliver some nasty sneak attacks - along with wounds that won’t heal. Despite ever instinct telling Mordren he should get as far away from the Tatterman as possible, the being’s shriek of unhappy pain and Stephen’s need to sneak attack mean the witch rushes in with his spear and starts poking the Tatterman in backside. The wounds he causes don’t go in deep, and they all almost heal, again, as quickly as he can stab the Tatterman, but it gives Stephen a chance.

Which he takes - putting that two weapon fighting feat to work as the ninja stands toe to toe with the Tatterman. They trade slash for gouge for a couple rounds. Falanar almost makes it back to help, but fails his fear save again and runs back the other way, leaving the ninja and the witch on their own again.

Unable to ignore the silver damage Stephen is doing, the Tatterman focuses his efforts on trying to kill the man. A missed attack means that the Tatterman, and not Stephen, drops first as he drives a silver dagger home into the creature’s chest with two hit points remaining and still bleeding. As the Tatterman disintegrates (in a very rasputin from anastasia way https://youtu.be/lrGIfJdbUHY?t=2m) Stephen manages to get a smart alec comment in before collapsing himself from the blood loss. Mordren manages to wake him up again with a quick heal check just as Cole and Falanar (both feeling rather ashamed that they weren’t very helpful that fight) finally make it back.

It takes a moment, but the finally realize what the strange sound is that they can hear in the distance... waves. Water. And somewhere past the thinning fog - the lights of a town on the shore.
The nightmare, it seems, is finally over.


Phew. Okay! Done. Puzzle can stop text-shaming me now for falling so far behind while he stays up to date with the Artaith Journal.
Question for the readers!

Who's special nightmare do you want to hear about first? Besides being chased again by the Tatterman, all four players fell asleep or unconscious at one point or another and were given a nightmare specific to them that may (or may not) hold some clue as to the kind of people they were before.

2017-06-12, 10:11 AM
The hells with that fog, most definitely.
I'd face the haunts and ghouls any day over that.

Who's special nightmare do you want to hear about first? Besides being chased again by the Tatterman, all four players fell asleep or unconscious at one point or another and were given a nightmare specific to them that may (or may not) hold some clue as to the kind of people they were before.

Mordren the Witch first.
Then Falanar. I'm hoping his love of things cute and fluffy will be involved somehow :p

2017-06-14, 08:59 AM
A gift for Falanar.

If you have enough spare cash and craftiness available. :elan:

2017-06-14, 09:17 AM
A gift for Falanar.

If you have enough spare cash and craftiness available. :elan:

<3! Oh this is precious. I'm going to make sure he sees this STAT

2017-06-14, 10:15 AM
An awkward video to watch at work lol.
I am Falanar BTW! Also I play Spotter in the other campaign, nice to meet you 👍

2017-06-15, 07:22 PM
As per request from Prismcat - Mordren and Falanar's Nightmares!
They're short little things - I do hope you enjoy.

Mordren stood at a dressing mirror in someone else’s room. He certainly couldn’t remember when, if ever, he last owned a dress suit or tie. It was both starched and pressed making it uncomfortable and stiff. The room around him was also a maid’s nightmare of white. Carpets, drapes, furniture, fixtures, and reflective surfaces anywhere he might care to look - except that his rapt attention was fixed upon the mirror and the warped reflection within. It hurt to look at - his eyes couldn’t focus on where his eyes should be or on the fact that his own grimace was punctured with perfectly white and straight teeth. Badb was perched on a chair behind him - his feathers being gently scruffed by that unseen force that liked to grab onto the back of Mordren’s head like a vice every so often.

Well this has been fun. It was Mordren’s voice in his own head, but they weren’t this thoughts. All these emotional scars tearing through to the in between; solidifying in your pallid world. Almost a shame it’s coming to an end.

Mordren fixed his tie a tighter than it needed to be; involuntarily to the point where it was hard to breathe, and the pressure at the back of his head intensified -

No more false mentors. No more comfortable loitering. No more hints or warnings of the future for you witch-boy, but wear another’s symbol upon thy brow again, and I’ll carve my own in its stead. You are mine.

The sharp crack of the waking slap fell in time with the disciplinary mental strike that clung to Mordren’s waking mind as Falanar hoisted him to his feet.

Falanar sat slumped, paralyzed, and naked in the bottom of a large lidless wooden box he couldn’t see over, but he could hear a crowd of somethings pressing against the sides - making the old splintering boards creak and groan under their persistent weight. Around his wrists, ankles, and neck were clasps of metal attached to chains that dangled into narrow holes-one in each of the sides of the box.

It was only a matter of time before someone pulled on one - dragging his arm painfully to one side of the box and his body to ragdoll behind it. Another pulled his leg to the other side - stretching painfully and making the metal shackles dig into his skin. The chains pulled taunt and went lax one after another - dragging Falanar like a demented puppet from one side of the box to the other.

Briefly he saw out one of the holes and the ashen bodies on the other side with wide eyes and white broken teeth - dressed in fine silks. The laughter rises - more like barking at times than belly-chuckles. It is a grand game to them - this torment of his.

He almost punches Cole who was tugging on his arm to wake him up after the cultist’s sneak attack. Almost. The scars around his wrists feel a little raw for the rest of the day...

Journal to follow later this evening - but the end of the journal kind of needs Mordren's Nightmare to really have that punch. :)

2017-06-15, 08:14 PM
Session #6 already! Onto the next book of the series!
Apparently I was feeling verbose - a couple of these are kind of long. Sorry? Or you're welcome. I guess it depends how much you like writing lol

By the time they finish cleaning up all the drawings, gathering what loot they can, and carefully sidestep the mangled remains of what was Zandalus, Briarstone is a mass of activity. Some cultists have shed their robes and are running to the shores in a lack of clothing, some are plodding about sheepishly as the sky clears up, and a couple familiar faces from the chapel are guiding some of the more complacent ones towards the lobby of the sanitarium. It’s going to take some time to gather everyone up, especially with a good chunk of the staff dead/missing/turned into doppelgangers and ghouls - but it’s progress.

Winter is happy to see them alive and well - certain that she has them to thank for the clearing air. One of the staff members and her guards is already outside making sure that there’s still a boat out on the dock. She certainly understands if they want to be on said boat and get to shore as quickly as possible. Winter does ask where they plan to go once they reach Thurshmoore, and in response to their blank expressions mentions that there is ‘an’ inn in town - she’ll be at the Sleepless Building (the local detective agency) as soon as she has a chance between coordinating getting the patients off the island and finding the Royal Accuser Omari.

After a week sleeping on pallets, haunts, ghouls, doppelgangers, cultists, and that awful yellow smog - a good night’s rest at the inn sounds like heaven. They plan to head their first.

Thrushmoore is a small city that’s about as bleak looking as the weather. Everything looks old, but time tested and well watered. It includes a couple of the small islands just off the shore connected by bridges. York, Winter’s guard and the one who’s now in charge of finding more boats to help ferry people across - mentions that if he sees them at the Stain (local bar) he’ll owe them a round for all their help. His friendly and grateful mug; however, is the last one they will see for some time.

The weather is bleak, the town is bleak, and the few people that are out and about seem to notice the arrival of the big fighter, the creepy witch, the slight ninja, and the FABULOUS gnome. Notice as in give slightly dirty and fearful looks before whispering amongst themselves and walking away. It doesn’t take any of the group long to notice that they are recognized here - and not, it seems, for the better. They are pleased to find; however, that they don’t require directions. Even if they don’t remember Thrushmoore or their time in it, they seem to remember where to go and how to get there.

The Silver Wagon seems like ye olde traditional establishment. The upper stories are clearly rooms, and the main floor is a well lit common area with intact windows and a roof over the veranda that keeps the rain off the front entrance and might offer some outdoor seating when it isn’t wet and miserable out. It isn’t a particularly loud establishment, but the sudden hush as the group walks in is telling. The woman behind the bar speaks up first when Cole enters.

“Oh no! No no no - I’m not having this discussion again Cole. Out. You’re no longer welcome here.”

There’s some confused looks and accusatory group stares towards the gnome’s way who honestly can’t remember what he did.

“I’m...I’m sorry good madam may I-”
“Don’t bother Cole. You and your friends are not welcome here.”

Stephen is silently dying of laughter in the corner. Falanar watches as his dream of a hot meal and a soft bed crumbles before him. Mordren tries to step in and help - or at least ask for clarification.

Turns out Cole is banned from the Silver Wagon for an outstanding tab and for what he did to her ale stores after she banned him in the first place (vindictive little prick). His tab? Four hundred gold - a ridiculous amount to owe a bar and certainly more than one gnome (or a gnome and his ‘friends’) could consume. The amount is also tied to the amount of product and loss of business that Cole ruined by slipping laxatives into random barrels in her stores. The altercation ended with the local militia being called and Cole spending a night in prison.

Cole doesn’t remember the events, of course, but his player doesn’t argue. “Sounds like something I’d do.”

All but Mordren shuffle out miserably. The Witch tries to kind of get a feel for what amount or favor might get them invited back, and the owner huffs in his general direction - one of the few people that doesn’t seem intrinsically wary of them. “I dunno what you’re trying to accomplish with this whole ‘polite and turning over a new leaf’ bit Mordren, but I’m not buying it. Go home.”

“Where’s that?”
“Well unless you were fired for some reason,” The owner looks rather confused, “Still Iris Hill.”
Where the Count’s Manor is. Turns out they didn’t just work for the Count for a while - they’ve been working for him for years. At least three.

With the Inn a non-option, the Heroes head for The Stain - the local pub on the far side of town that caters to locals and travellers alike. Much like the Silver Wagon, they don’t need to stop and ask anyone for directions. Unlike the Silver Wagon, the slightly run down establishment doesn’t kick them out. The Owner is a man with an incredible handlebar mustache - and asks them ‘the usual?’ before shuffling off to get a round of drinks and a decent enough meal.

Grateful, they dig in and quietly discuss amongst themselves what they’ve figured out thus far and what their next move should be. Mainly - that they are known associates of the Count. Not partners but lackies and thugs. They’ve been around for a couple years; long enough that most people steer clear, but a few outspoken individuals aren’t afraid to tell them off. They figure the chapel is their best chance to find somewhere dry to sleep for the night (they haven’t had a chance to rest since their fight with the Tatterman after all). They also learn that the Count left a couple days ago - right in the middle of their ‘adventure’ in the sanitarium.

While they chat, a younger man in a hat blinks their direction, recognizes Mordren, and after excusing himself at his table - makes his way over; mug in hand.

“Well **** Mordren, thought you woulda left with the Count!”

Keldrin pulls another chair to the table, and gives the rest of a group a nod before making sure he’s sitting closer to Mordren than them. He asks where Mordren’s been, if it was any fun, why they weren’t heading out with the count - he’s a very chatty dude. He does notice the strange looks he’s getting and his ‘friend’ Mordren acting rather suspiciously. Once they explain that they had been dumped on Briarstone and had been trapped there for the week and have lost their memories - he goes into helpful mode. He reintroduces himself, and Mordren gets a brief flash of familiarity - mental images of them hanging out, drinking ale, playing cards. Keldrin does appear to actually be a rare friend in this hole. A helpful one to.

He explains that the Count left a couple days ago. That they hired a bunch of ‘creepy looking’ new staff at Iris Hill, that the local magistrate appears to have left and the fort has been locked up for a day or two now. There have been an influx of visitors to Thrushmoore, and people have been disappearing - almost 20 in the last week. It got worse when the smog appeared on the lake. People are scared, some are leaving the city, and there’s rumors that the ‘Thrusmoore Witch’ is back and snatching people away like she did all those hundreds of years ago. The local priestess and the Royal Accuser are among some of the missing. Strange graffiti has been appearing on buildings, and on top of all that - a spirit/ghost/apparition has been seen wandering about Thrusmoore after *midnight.

It looks like their troubles certainly haven’t ended at Briarstone.

Before he leaves for the evening (he doesn’t want to be out late with the kidnappings happening) Keldrin mentions that while Mordren didn’t often speak about his work for the Count, he had been rather grumpy about ‘that bitch’ up on Iris hill. That... and the last time Keldrin saw him, he was stashing a leather pack under pier 19.

“A good place to hide stuff you don’t want people to find. Maybe you left yourself a note or something.” A tip of his hat, and Keldrin heads out into the rain and home.

It’s high time they also settled somewhere for the night.

After paying for their drinks and food (not wanting to owe anyone anything more than they already do at the Silver Wagon) the group heads out to the church. On the way they start hearing *a man yelling. Not in fear, not in anger, not in surprise... nope. It’s a good old THE END IS EFFIN NIGH preaching sir complete with wearing a sandwich board - complete with greasy rained on curly hair, deeply tanned skin, and missing a few teeth. He yells at anyone he catches on the street that the Witch has returned, that Thrushmoore’s authorities have abandoned them in a grand conspiracy to claim everything they own after the Witch makes the town vanish! PRAY FOR REDEMPTION YOUR TIME IS NIGH! THE LAKE IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!

3/4 people are ready to ignore the man. Falanar accidentally makes eye contact and doesn’t feel like listening to any more crazy than he’s already had to deal with at Briarstone. His attempts to ask the man logical questions are met with spittle laced proclamations of doom. REALLY tired of this bullshut - he gets in the crazy man’s face, flexes a little, lets a vein pop out of his forehead and tells the man to GO HOME! His intimidation check, checks out and after doing a great impression of a fish out of water - turns and grumbles down the street. (Spoiler, he’s back the next day, but this time Falanar and co. are agents of the Witch and going to kill again!)

To top off their evening, as they approach the church the group finds themselves following a small mob with torches and pitchforks. Tradition and knowing how unreasonable people are as a mob; Mordren understandably shuffles to the back of the group. They follow them up to the small Chapel gate and start yelling for someone to come out and confess! Not keen on having their only hope for a half decent place to sleep lynched, the group shuffles closer in time to see a half elf with a nicer coat than the mob put together and an umbrella step out of a smaller building set beside the chapel.

As the only known artist currently living in Thrushmoore - the fault of the elaborate ‘chalk’ drawings of cities has fallen on him - an outsider. NAME tries to reason with them as only a man who’s tired of defending himself with obvious logic can. He doesn’t use ‘chalk’ he’s a painter! He’s only got a couple more weeks of work on the Chapel’s mural and he’ll be gone! The mob doesn’t believe/care. They’re a bunch of scared individuals with someone else to blame.

Having scared off one crazy man with a good enough intimidate, Falanar tries again!
And fails. The rabble gets more angry as the ‘Counts’ Lackies’ get involved; their former reputation not aiding them.

Hasok gets a rock thrown at his face and loses what little patience or composure he has left and attempts to charge the mob - stopped by Mordren who manages a stellar diplomacy check to calm Hasok down and remind the crowd that it’s getting dark and it’s not a good time to be wandering around at night. There’s some grumbling, but they wander off.

Hasok is extremely grateful and invites them all into his studio out of the rain. He explains that he was commissioned to do a mural for the renovated Church, but when Priestess Trillisa vanished a lady from the Sleepless Agency asked if he’d look after the Church until she returned or a new priestess was sent. It’s been a trying couple of weeks and he’s keen to leave once the mural is done - if only inspiration would strike sooner! The only thing he’s been inspired to work on is this picture of four people he saw in a dream...

It doesnt’ take Hosak or the players long to recognize that the figures in the painting, on a background of a strange city soaked in yellow mist, is them. Kind of hard not to when there’s a gnome in a pink coat and thigh high boots. Hosak is immediately excited and offers to pay them to each sit so he can finish the faces properly. Everyone but Steven accepts - he has no interest in sitting still for someone to paint a portrait - even if the artist was inspired by a dream where a voice told him that the figures he was painting would determine the destiny of Thrushmoore.

They agree to sit for their portraits in the morning, but head off to a small lodging building closer to the Chapel and not in the same studio as the painter. There’s a sigh of relief as none are afflicted with nightmares during the night.

The next morning the sky is still a dreary grey, but the rain seems to have turned into a light misting. The group shares Hosak’s breakfast of hardboiled eggs and sits for their portraits - except for Steven. After learning that they used to live on Iris Hill with the Count he had vouched that they ‘go home’ and sleep there instead. He had been outvoted, but took their busy morning to walk across town (avoiding people as he went) to check out the place. Much to his frustration the entire place is surrounded by an unnaturally tall and thick hedge- save the rather secure looking gatehouse.

After the clip board effect worked so well in Briarstone, Steven tries it again here and knocks on the front gate. A small hole slides into view as the blind is pulled back and a pair of yellowish eyes set in rather tanned skin glare out at the slight man who’s come knocking. Steven gives his name and says he needs to grab a few things from his room. I’m actually quite surprised he doesn’t sneak attack murder the guy through the hole when he gets stonewalled with a bored and repetitive message that the Count has left on a trip and the Estate isn’t accepting visitors until further notice.

He does set fire to a part of the hedge though.

He does return to the group helpfully around the same time Hosak has finished painting their faces. Now rested and refreshed - they set out to find Pier 19 and whatever it is Mordren hid before they all lost their memories and were shipped off to Briarstone.

Unlike the other piers being used by fishermen and the like. Pier 19 is empty. No one is using it or the piers on either side. It’s rather ‘fishy’ (hur hur) but the promise of potential answers makes ... Modren and Falanar boldish. Steven and Cole have no intention of walking into an obvious TRAP.

Mordren gets to the end of the dock and his hands around the first knot when a wet slimy sloshing sound along with the gnashing of way too many teeth announces the arrival of the Gibbering Mouther whom had been lurking in the water


Mordren acts first and hexes the creature - giving it a penalty to saves. Falanar also rushes in to hack at the beast - smugly shows of ANOTHER 20, and then gets grumpy faced when he only gets to roll normal damage. (Immune to crits AND precision dmg. Maybe the monster will last more than a round with team murderfest!).

The gibbering mouther then starts yelling and scrambling brains. Everyone but Cole and Falanar *fails Hard. Satisfied that it’s got something right close by to full attack, the Gibbering Mouther starts chewing on Falanar’s face/shoulder/arm/hand/chest/leg (six attacks baby!) and manages to grab on with one mouth. Rather than attack, Falanar (wisely) pulls free of the grapple before it can start sucking his blood.

Steven gets confused (or so he says) and tries to ventilate Cole’s kidney’s, but rolls a one - which is really too bad, because I’m fairly certain Steven has the ability to mostly goob a caster type in a single round lol. Rather than cackling as planned, Mordren decides that rushing at the beast with his spear is the best course of action! His luck with the spear doesn’t hold out; however, and he also misses - this allows for his first hex to wear off which is bad news for Mordren. This time when the Gibbering mouther attacks it spits acid into Falanar’s face - blinding the fighter who stumbles back rather than take all the attacks... leaving the poor witch mordren on his own for the half the bite attacks. He also fails a grapple check and is caught tight in its grip.

Cole, having drank one of his tinctures that makes his bombs not explode allies as well, throws his first bomb at the Mouther - and the damage thankfully seems to stick.

Steven can’t get close enough to attack just yet (he was waiting at the edge of the doc and doesn’t want to waste throwing stars on something that’s immune to sneak attack, so he draws his swords and is ready to start shanking next round.

Not keen on getting his blood sucked, Mordren attempts a sleep hex! If he had been able to extend the lowered will save by cackling instead of charging the Mouther - it would have fallen asleep as it succeeds by one. Not impressed with the attempted hexing, the creature then proceeds to engulf Mordren entirely. Omnomnom.

Before he can start chowing down; however, Cole throws another bomb and just manages to knock it into the negatives. Mordren almost loses his hat as the fleshy toothy creature slides/burns off of him and back into the water where it floats around like an unsightly cloud. It takes a moment or two before Falanar manages to rub the corrosive spittle out of his eyes, but everyone seems to be in decent condition despite the ambush. Nervous laughter abounds and Cole walks away with MVPC - his bombs the only real source of damage that fight.

Mordren finally pulls up the large leather bag that’s wrapped in a waterproof coating, and is pleased to see his initials stamped into the leather. They side down at the edge of the dock for the loot picnic. There’s a couple potions, a wand, a couple scrolls, a disguise kit AND an antidote kit, and a strange doll made of rags. That, and 120 gold and 9 platinum pieces. It looks suspiciously like a ‘bug out’ bag.

Mordren’s attention; however, is drawn to the final item carefully packed and sealed in its own parcel. He only looks a little pale

A well starched, pressed, and carefully folded suit. Complete with a tie.

2017-07-06, 08:55 PM
More nightmares before the Journal!

The room is a world of grey and dust; a child’s room full of worn toys with splintering edges and unravelling seams. He knows each one by the death he granted them. The doll was hung, the rocking horse’s throat slit, and the tin soldier burned at the candle-wicked stake. None of the small sacrifices opened the door to the prison - and only made the voice on the other side angry.

You are not to be seen. You are not to be heard. You do not exist unless I say so.

Steven found himself nodding. Submissively. Insides wracked with anger and a desperate need to hear something other than chiding. The walk to the small dirty window to the outside world is short - he can see the strange city beyond in amongst the yellow smog. A dream. It has to be. Another awful dream. He grits his teeth as he feels the room contract around him - foot by foot, inch by inch - threatening to crush him in the small dusty and grey world.

He could still taste the dust in his mouth when he came too under the rubble of the wall.

Cole stands surrounded by his alchemical equipment on three sides. It would be far too cramped for a man to stand where he is in the closet of a workspace, but Cole is no man. His fingers dart about the tunnels of tubes and flasks at an urgent pace. He has little time, nay, no time to finish - but finish he must! He pulls an empty beaker from the side and turns a nozzle on his own neck for the next ingredient. Other nozzles sit at his wrist, his sides - there’s even one at his knee. He is covered in tubes and needles that allow him to draw from different fluids, different necessary ingredients for his work. His work!

The door behind him rocks on its hinges as they bang against the door; demanding his attention. He’s out of time. The claws that punch through behind him are a new addition; an unfortunate familiar as the Tatterman claws through the door - reaching for him.

Cole flinches as the grip on his arm drags him from his nightmare and into the waking world. The smog from the Onegerien slowly listing away as Mordren hits him a couple more times with the healing wand. “Welcome back.”

2017-07-06, 09:03 PM
Onto session #7! Brought to you by raspberry ice tea and a couple Dragon Age references.

We rejoin our motley band of not-heroes back on the pier. Mordren packs up his bug-out bag once again and they start debating what they should do next - especially since past-Mordren was SOOOO helpful and put a note explaining the entire situation in the bag! (no, he didn’t). Cole demands that Falanar retrieve the floaty-corpse of the Gibbering Mouther so that he can extract useful materials from it... and some teeth. He then promptly starts marching off towards the fishermen on the mainland across from them - hoping for a reward for dealing with the foul beastie. Mordren goes with him because SPLITTING PARTY BAD!

Spoiler: there is no reward, and the fishermen don’t want to buy the teeth off Cole. They do; however, manage to be polite and not give them dirty looks for approaching. It’s a safe bet that they’ll likely spread the word of who got rid of the monster on the pier. DING! General populace attitude improves towards the PCs ever so slightly. They have a long way to go before they’re a welcome sight out here though.

While Cole and Mordren speak to the locals, Falanar finds a closed up shop veranda to hide from the rain under and try to catch some rest. Steve wanders (as he’s prone to do) up the hill on the island towards a stone monument of sorts. He is later joined by Cole and Mordren as they get their first look at one of the Star Stelae. The 12 foot structure is made out of a strange sort of stone, is covered with strange markings, and has the same tall star at the top that they’ve seen on some of Zandalus’ work. After some inspection, it does in fact still radiate with faint abjuration and conjuration magic, but while theories about how it could be destroyed or where it came from are tossed around, the group seems content to leave the little excursion to a simple sight seeing one before heading back into town proper.

That is, until they stop to pick up napping Falanar and Mordren gets a rather strange sense of familiarity and deja-vu at the entrance to the closed up... book shop? Given how quiet it is in the area, they decide to discretely let themselves into the shop. For a small city, the selection is quite good - though any of the rare/expensive/worthwhile books have been removed carefully. It doesn’t look like anyone’s been around in at least a month.

After some searching Falanar picks up a cook-book, Steven keeps watch (they are breaking and entering after all), Cole finds a book that he wrote with alchemical formulas in it... except that all but the first are cleverly encrypted - and he doesn’t remember the key. After unsuccessfully looking for any magic-laced books, Mordren’s attention goes to the paperwork under the front counter where he finds a hefty stack of unpaid invoices made out to the Count. The names of the books listed are both rare and expensive - and the earlier ones that had been paid for had mostly been signed for by..... Mordren. The last two months a different name appeared though - Mellisen. The hints of who they were pull the group almost in two - half want to head to Iris Hill and the Count’s estate right away, and the other half want to see if Winter has made any progress at the fort looking for the Royal Accuser.

The group has even numbers, so when it’s split two to two... the fact that the Fort is on the way to Iris Hill means that they can stop by there first and then head to the manor after if there’s nothing of note to look at.

The Fort isn’t more than a couple blocks north of the Sleepless Agency, and while there is a short road leading up to the fort, they can still hear a rather agitated Winter yelling at someone through the door - even if they can’t make out the words. She doesn’t see them as she storms away from the door until she’s halfway down the road, and her expression changes abruptly. She knows the Royal Accuser Omari was last seen headed towards the fort and vanished somewhere between the Sleepless Agency and that building. It’s not that far of a walk but no one has heard, seen, or admits to anything! Also, since she’s only part of the investigation team and not THE investigator, the Constable refuses to open up the Fort to Winter. The Magistrate is gone, left orders that the Fort was to remain on lockdown until he got back, and only an order from the Count (also gone) could supercede his orders.

Winter knows something is wrong with the fort, the city, and the whole situation; but she can’t prove anything. When the PCs offer to try to get the Constable to open up the fort, she openly welcomes them to try - grumbling something about ignoring any ‘noises’ she might hear on her way back to the Sleepless Agency.

The group make their way to the door and take a crack at getting inside. An equally irate and exhausted woman’s eyes can be seen through the spyhole that she opens - and they widen in recognition a moment later.

They try to take advantage of their known position as Lowel’s lackeys and try to bully their way in with the ‘you know who we represent, open up’ routine - but unlike many of the denizens of Thrushmoore, the Constable isn’t intimidated by them and their bluster. *She also knows they were sent off to the ‘looney bin’ and hasn’t heard anything to say that they were welcomed back by the Count before he left on his excursion (Good riddance).

She eventually becomes tired of dealing with them and shuts the spyhole on them and tells them to go see what the Sleepless Agency is doing about ‘it’ which encompasses the missing Royal Accuser, the kidnappings, the strange drawings - all of it. Her exhaustion and frustration both seem sincere, and the group starts to shuffle off. Partway down the road Falanar says they might as well go for a rest since he’s all beat up still from the Gibbering Mouther fight. Appalled that the fighter didn’t bother even to ask for a healing pot, Cole throws one at Falanar’s face. After a quick fumble Falanar drops the potion and when he bends over to pick it up, notices a rather deep and strange footprint in the mud. It has talons for toes and it appears to be heading towards the fort...prompting the group to decide that it may be worth giving the place another look before dismissing it.

The Fort is still quiet when they reach the door again. Actually - now without the Constable there yelling at them, it’s uncomfortably quiet. As Falanar tracks the footprints to the entrance, it’s Cole who finally notices the bloody tinge to the base of the thick wooden door. Steven checks for weak points of entry, but it’s Cole who has the mad scientist idea of shrinking down into a tiny creature with one of this tinctures, climbing through the arrow slit on the side, and then opening the door from the inside. There is the risk that if there are any guards in the area, that he’ll be seen, but the Alchemist scoffs. It’s too good a plan to not carry through!

In a sense, *he’s pretty much right. His stealth roll is so high that even 20s for the two merc guards inside the doors don’t see him. Now able to see the quiet and rather patient guards, Cole grabs one of his Thunderstones and just as the tincture is wearing off - throws it towards the back of the small room. He then scoots to the door and manages to throw the bar out of the slot and push it open for his friends. LET THE MURDERFEST BEGIN!

It’s quickly apparent that all is not as it was presented once the doors are open. The floor is covered in blood, and the guards - while animated - have a rather leathery appearance to their skin that couldn’t be seen from a distance. A good knowledge check manages to pinpoint that these are a type of suped up zombie that someone has cast ‘gentle repose’ on to make them look a little more human than they should. They’re also a lot tougher than one might anticipate the undead to be, but some well placed flanks for Steven and a crit from Falanar, plus appropriate debuffing from Mordren and one gnome supervising smugly means that the fight is over without too many injuries sustained.

It turns out Winter’s gut was right - something wasn’t right with the Fort, and the group realizes that the only people probably able to tackle this problem is... them. That said, they have an entire fort to clear out, and there hasn’t been any sign of the constable that they spoke to minutes before returning.

They decide to check out the Magistrate’s office first. And by check out I mean pillage and raid for anything useful - with Stephen making a save against the poison needle that would have knocked him unconscious for a couple hours.

Mordren finds a mirror hanging on the back of a door, and sighs as he finds himself without a reflection - something that he recognizes often happens to him, and normally before another one of his bad headaches. He decides to break the mirror - his nightmares from Briarstone feeling a little too real in the waking world. Remembering that there was another mirror back in the lobby - and not wanting to stay in the Magistrate’s office in case someone comes down the stairs, the group heads back into the lobby.

Mordren’s reflection is back in the second mirror - right before it smiles with sharp mirror-reflective teeth and stabs him for most of his remaining health. The not-Mordren figure finishes sliding out of the mirror covered in skin that looks like a mirror with two short swords in hand. When she giggles, the glassy sound scrapes in the air - and combat inevitably begins.

Problem is that she’s fast - super fast. And gets her mirror images up before anyone can strike at her. *There is, understandably, some nervous grumbles about the PCs about having to deal with mirror images at level 4, but they move into position anyway to try and take the Soulsliver Rogue down. Smartly, Falanar’s first move is to run up and smash the mirror behind her - cutting off her escape.

Mordren’s player, Puzzle, is rather put out when his sleep-hex is thrown off after he tactically retreated out of the Soulsliver’s reach, and Cole is also rather upset that his splash weapon doesn’t snuff out all the images, but Steven manages to get in behind the Soulsliver, make it past her images, and sink a dagger into her. Falanar is not so lucky for the next two turns as images are slowly popped and the soulsliver cuts into the PC’s. Steven’s looking rather rough when Falanar’s dice (who hate all my monsters) both managed to hit the Soulsliver AND confirm a crit. Mordren’s hexes that chop her AC down, and make it harder to hit the offending players, plus Cole’s continuous splash damage finally slay the creature - at which point she shrieks, and then explodes into mirror-like shards; hitting the entire group in the wee lobby. The sound draws the attention of the juju zombies in the barracks, and the door opens a round later - forcing the group into a long and drawn out combat.

Steven, with three hit points, hides under a cart in the corner of the room with no intention of dying again. Coward or practical ninja? I’ll let you decide lol.

Actually glad for an opportunity to try out his new frost-bomb, Cole is (yet again) disappointed to find out that juju zombies are immune to... cold attacks. They’re also surprisingly resistant to his fire bombs. Falanar manages to get in front of the door and tank the three new juju zombies that would love to hack apart the casters and squishy guys in the back. Mordren keeps cackling maniacally after throwing out his hexes - keeping a string of dice up to keep track of how long all the debuffs keep going while Mordren tries to keep out of the archer’s line of sight and keep pressure on the wound that the Soulsliver gave him some.... 8 rounds ago? Cole all but exhausts his entire bomb stash trying to ‘burn’ through the zombies fire resistance and help out Falanar who is slowly, but surely, hacking the zombies down one at a time.

It’s around the fifth round of trying to cut the three extra zombies down that the group realizes that they may want to look at/invest in some different damage types. *Combat doesn’t end until the 13th or so if you include the soulsliver? I was mean.

Steven, who had still been shot at while under the wagon, had ninja vanished and taken off down the road away from combat. He does manage to pull himself together long enough once the sound of combat stops, to make it back to his ‘friends.’

Everyone is tired, hurt, and spell exhausted by the second room of Juju zombies. They need to rest, but they don’t want to leave the Fort in case something worse moves in while they’re resting. That said - they have no idea if there’s a secure place in the fort that they can barricade up enough to get a safe and good rest. They check out the barracks to see if it might be suitable. Besides the rotten jug of milk by one of the beds - they are able to lock the doors to the towers on the second floor that lead to the stairways into the barracks, and they can lock both doors on either end of the room with, as fortune would have it, enough beds for everyone.

They settle in for a rest, and pray that no one notices they’re down there.

And that’s where I left them - with no promises that someone wouldn’t check on the zombies, or there weren’t any patrols, or or or - there are so many things that could go wrong for a party that’s low on health and resources trying to hole up in an enemy controlled fort. <3

2017-07-07, 11:07 AM
Mordren’s player, Puzzle, is rather put out when his sleep-hex is thrown off

Well yeah, it's quite upsetting when I can't trivially end encounters with a nose-wiggle and finger-twitch.

after he tactically retreated


And that’s where I left them - with no promises that someone wouldn’t check on the zombies, or there weren’t any patrols, or or or - there are so many things that could go wrong for a party that’s low on health and resources trying to hole up in an enemy controlled fort. <3

Just need 8 hours, and then my new shiny spells come on-line...

2017-07-07, 11:52 AM
That was an exhausting fight. With my improved shield bash and my defensive flurry up I'm hard to hit at 21ac, but I can't hit very well with -4 to both attacks.
Next level I effectively remove all my penalties thanks to additional traits feat!

2017-07-08, 01:36 PM
An awkward video to watch at work lol.

What kind of work doesn't allow the teaching of making a rug from one of the purest 'good' creatures in existence? This is necessary knowledge we should all learn about. :D

2017-07-08, 01:54 PM
What kind of work doesn't allow the teaching of making a rug from one of the purest 'good' creatures in existence? This is necessary knowledge we should all learn about. :D
Only the manliest of jobs lol

2017-08-03, 01:01 PM
July the 23rd session! I'm bad at keeping count :P

Exhausted and in dire need of a rest that would allow them to technically ‘level up’ (pft. Meta) our intrepid heroes settle down for the night after setting up watches. Cole sets up his portable lab to get some work done, and they all keep a wary ear and eye out for the sound of their little hiding place being discovered.

On Falanar’s watch he kept an eye on the courtyard. Four massive hounds take turns patrolling the area - keeping wary eyes on the walls above their muddy enclosure. They’re not monstrous creatures, but obviously agitated and on high alert. When one starts sniffing around the well, Falanar’s eyes go wide as something reaches out and drags the hound into the well before it can even make a surprised ‘woof!’

Shortly thereafter - he spots a pair of eyes looking his way - peeking out from the shadowy depths of the well... and then turn to the main entrance to the courtyard that leads to the lobby of the fort. Imagine his surprise when a bloodied man (with a large falchion and a breastplate with the symbol of Pharasma etched into it) hoists himself out of the well and is about to make a break for the entrance... only to land on his face after his foot gets caught on the edge of the well. The remaining hounds charge - hackles raised and growling as the man pulls himself up.

“We got a survivor!” Falanar hisses to his companions as he grabs his falcata and opens the barracks door into the courtyard. The mystery man has already cut down one hound and is about to take another swing as Falanar calls from the doorway - hoping to get his attention before the hounds start barking and alert the fort to their presence.

Not pleased with being awoken twenty minutes after he got to sleep. Mordren grumpily sits up in bed and grumbles towards the window before looking at one of the remaining hounds and hexing it into sleep with a magically bolstered ‘SH!’ One of the hounds does manage to sink its teeth into the mystery man’s ankle before he slices it within a hitpoint of death - after which it retreats away from the WELL MONSTER. Said mystery man quickly takes advantage of Falanar’s invitation into the barracks and out of the open.

Stephen hasn’t moved (beauty sleep is required). Mordren kind of waves before going back to bed. And Cole has vanished (for now), which leaves Falanar to get the mystery well-man’s story. He introduces himself as Sanya, a paladin of Pharasma and yes - he was one of the Royal Accusers retinue that was ambushed in the lobby. He had been hit hard by the mirror creature early in the fight and they must have thought him dead as they dragged off his friends and employer before tossing him down the well. He is adamant that he survived the fall by his goddess’ grace, as he hit the lip of the well in an underground room some fifteen feet down instead of the full sixty to the bottom of the pit.

After spending a day recovering from near death in the small room with the heavy wood door (locked) behind which he could hear voices, he decided to make a break back into town at night. He is glad to hear that Winter has made it back from the island, but upon learning that the group plans to clear the fort of the abominations (undead) and whatever else has taken it over, Sanya decides to join them; though he is slightly impatient about the fact that he has to wait until the rest of them have finished resting.

(Angela’s player from Curse of Artaith joins as Sanya the Paladin! When asked what the party needed when discussing character options... it wasn’t a certain class that came up. The word was CONSCIENCE.)

To that point. Cole does reappear eventually - after sneaking up on Sanya and stealing a handful of coins from the Paladin before running back to his bench. Sanya is both pointed and patient in getting said coins back with an open hand and the OH NO YOU DON’T look. The gnome alchemist eventually complies.

As soon as minimum sleep and rest requirements are met the party decides to continue making the rounds through the fort to clear out the remainder of the invaders and hopefully find more survivors, though everyone but Sanya is pretty sure they’re already dead/gone.

They open the north door of their little sanctuary, and I read off the description about the storage area, what kind of things there are and amounts... and then in true pathfinder adventure fashion - notice the monsters listed at the very end.

Boxes. Camping Supplies. Well stocked. OH YEAH MORE UNDEAD SURPRISE!

We all kind of facepalm at that, and I make a note of double checking the ENTIRE area passage before I start reading. Thanks pathfinder *thumbs up*

Not so surprising, a rested group with an additional big melee swinger with a high crit weapon means that the three undead that had taken rounds upon rounds to deal with the day before - are cut down quite quickly between sneak attacks, a cackling witch that blinded two of them, and the fighter and paladin doing a do-see-do to make sure they can get in and swing at the undead in the narrow room.

Except for Cole. Cole is tired of these particular monsters being immune or resistant to most of his tricks and proceeds to open a can of peaches he found (somewhere) and munch while supervising for the three-four rounds of combat it takes to bring the juju zombies down. Only Stephen takes any real damage, and mostly because he ran out into the room ahead of the beatsticks in order to pretty much kill a zombie before combat started. Probably worth it. Mostly.

The next room appears to be yet more barracks which leans to hallway with a set of stairs heading down and doors leading into the fort. A nice perception check means that the group spots some muddy webbed footprints leading up from the stairs. Footprints like the ones that got their attention outside the fort when they were about to give up trying to get in... Curiosity peaked, they decide to head down the stairs and check it out.

The come to a wood storage room, but the door ahead of them is slightly ajar and a strange gurgling language can be heard from the lauder. Strange looking fish people are somewhat surprised by the sudden appearance of people they don’t know at the door, but when two of the three fail against the Witch’s sleep hex, well... it’s a pretty short fight. They do keep one alive for questioning, but it’s hard to get any answers when all it seems to speak is the weird fish language no one knows. They drag it out into the first room, and it begins calling out. Loudly. Falanar doesn’t waste time introducing his falcata to its voice box once that nonsense start - but not before it gets the attention of whoever is behind the rather heavy looking wooden door on the east side of the room.

Cole continues to finish off his tin of peaches while his friends clear the jail of yet more ‘Skum’ after they unlock the door... from the outside. Inside the small jail are three cells, another door, and on the far wall another one of those elaborate drawings.

The first cell is empty, the second has a couple of corpses in it (that were obviously restrained and then ritualistically murdered - both of whom Sanya confirms were part of his original group), and the third? Well. A familiar voice is almost as shocked to see them as they are to see him!

Kendril pokes his nose out between the small barred window door of his cell. He looks rather roughed up, but grateful to see them. He tells them he got jumped on his way home from the bar the other night by hooded figures who bagged him and dragged him here through ‘that thing’ he points to the drawing on the wall. They questioned him about Mordren and his friends, and he guiltily admits that he did share that they appeared to have lost their memory. He apologizes, but the party doesn’t seem too shook up about it.

He confirms that there were more ‘blokes’ who looked like Sanya’s group in the other cells, but most had been taken for ‘sacrifice.’ The two in the cell came back last night - apparently their bodies were going to be dumped down the well or something like that. Stephen has difficulty with his lock for a while, so he stays quite chatty to make sure they don’t leave him down there. Meanwhile, Mordren heads back to the pantry, finds a couple glass bottles, and breaks them up under the drawing on the east wall. If people are using these to jump around town, he wants to make sure the next people to jump through this one regret it.

He also notes that the magic that lingers around the drawing is very similar to the magic surrounding the Star Stelae... curious.

Once they get Kendril out, Falanar offers to escort him back to the lobby and make sure the man is well on his way down the road and back to the Sleepless Agency to give Winter an update. Kendril promises to do so, but he does plan to leave town as soon as possible - he suspects once he’s seen no longer captive that he won’t have long to live.

As Falanar makes his way back, the team has been inspecting the other room connected to the jail. It appears to be a storage room of sorts, but a strange corner where the plaster has begun to crack gets their attention. A little bit of prying and they realize that it’s a walled up section of the fort with a potential secret room behind it!

Finally done his jar of peaches, Cole rushes in close to see if he can find an optimal place to stick one of his bombs and excavate the hidden room faster! He JUST manages to lean out of the way as a ghostly hand reaches out through the plaster and tries to brush against his face.

End of Game!


PS. Take THAT Puzzle!

2017-08-03, 01:58 PM
Yeahhhhhh Falanar is not happy about ghost hands coming through walls..... He doesn't even have a magic sword! This seems like a job for a witch anyway...

2017-08-03, 02:11 PM
You mean the witch that isn't going to be there on Sunday for game? Lol

2017-08-03, 04:45 PM
You mean the witch that isn't going to be there on Sunday for game? Lol

Ok then paladin you're up

2017-08-04, 11:29 PM
Sanya is both pointed and patient in getting said coins back with an open hand and the OH NO YOU DON’T look. The gnome alchemist eventually complies.

Cole has no master. Cole is a free Gnome!!

Ok then paladin you're up

When in doubt, throw a Paladin at it.
If it's still moving afterwards... run!

PS. Take THAT Puzzle!
https://i.imgflip.com/1tly7g.jpg (https://imgflip.com/i/1tly7g)

2017-09-01, 11:41 PM
I was promised a journal entry...


2017-09-02, 02:15 AM
This does seem to be conspicuously void of our last session....
Which, considering our next game is Sunday, is cutting it a might close!

2017-09-03, 01:31 PM
Cutting it close? Yes. And perhaps not as accurate as it might have been if I had done this sooner. I blame it on two weeks vacation and too much free time of the right kind lol. Still got it done before game tonight though!

For the sake of ease because his player was at a wedding - Mordren is the PC who escorts Keldrin ALL the way back to the Sleepless Agency; not Falanar. His adventure is a short story unto itself and will be posted separate from the rest of the journal summary bits if you really want to read what the Witch was up to :)

So after Cole’s narrow and quite literal brush with death! (a dead thing) we get to leap right into initiative right at the start of the game! Cole rushes to the back of the room making high pitched and unhappy noises while Steven hides, and the big beefy unicorn loving fighter.... Retreats out of the room calling the paladin up. His player insists that without a magic weapon he’s useless in this fight - and it quite content to play cheerleader for the holy knight who is pretty much designed to take on this kind of fight. How generous *coughcough*

Objects in the room start flying around as an emaciated looking ghost-man in a loin cloth and covered in eldritch looking tattoos flies through the wall wielding the ‘bad’ touch in his little finger that starts taking chunks out of the party’s health pool at an alarming rate... until I remember there’s a save for it and the fight goes from ACK HELP! To NOT GOOD, BUT WE CAN DO THIS!

Until the Paladin crits on a smite.

*book toss, table toss, dice rain*

The ghost shrieks, turns into a sickly fleshy coloured mist, and seems to be sucked back into the ‘wall’ from whence it came. Satisfied that the creepy apparition is at least defeated for now, the party decides to finish knocking down the rest of the plastered wall, dig out the old straw behind it, and finally come to a locked wooden door with air wafting from the grate that smells like they just opened a tomb. Sure enough, inside is a naturally mummified corpse of a man with tattoos curled up in the centre of the room.

As a Paladin of Pharasma, Sanya is quick to determine that between the claw marks at the door and curses scratched into the walls... that the man did not die well and was likely ‘buried’ alive. They will need to come back and ensure that he has a proper burial if his ghost is to be laid to rest - something they don’t have time to do at this very moment with a fort full of enemies.

Ever the loot hunter - Cole goes to inspect the body and makes his perception check to see a strange bulge in the mummy’s throat. Curious, he starts coaxing it up the leathery throat until the clack of stone hits the back of the skull’s teeth. A bright blue and red stone falls out after giving the head a quick shake, and Cole is yet again rewarded for corpse desiccation - under the guise of ‘science.’

After finishing up in the basement and quite certain there are no further hidden surprises, loot, or enemies (after dispatching an ooze in the hallway near the well room where Sanya had been hiding after being mistaken for a dead corpse) the grand party of adventurers heads back upstairs to continue clearing out the fort. Side to bottom to other side to... top. They’re being thorough.

After sitting out the ghost fight, Falanar is ready to go in guns blazing into the next room with a closed door. His attempt to kick it down with a 2 for a strength check roll; however, garners an eyeroll from Stephen who slips in, unlocks the door, turns the handle to open it slightly, and gestures for Falanar to ‘try again.’ Which he does. With great enthusiasm - into a ready wall of more Skum who have had a couple rounds to prepare for the impending invaders.

Ghosts are above his paygrade, but Falanar is pretty certain he can take on a bunch of fish people, and he does manage to lay one to waste in a single turn, but there are eight of them - and one fighter surrounded by tridents. Even so - they have to roll 17’s to hit him.

Even even so so - somehow three of them manage not only to hit Falanar, but CRIT as well! Their synchronized attacks spear into the fighter who’s rather perturbed at the sudden competence of creatures that the party had been mopping the basement with all of last session.

Falanar manages to cut a path into the room so more party members can slip in and soak up some of the sheer number of attacks, and the fight is over a few rounds later. The dining room that they had entered looks like a nightmare sushi bar and smells like a fish market, but no more enemies come running. (Since they were all already there to play ‘crit greeting party’). They explore the rest of the kitchens and the courtroom (by explore I mean look for anything shiny that might count as loot), and then head up a set of stairs ON TO LEVEL 2!

Up the stairs they find a little records room and after locking the door that leads out onto the walls of the Fort, take some time to go through hoping to find something of interest while the beatsticks drink some potions. Cole finds his arrest record and the origin of the ghost in the basement - a doctor that had tried to poison Count Lowels the III (Current is the IV) and was sentenced to death by the Count personally after his interrogation. With more time than they feel like spending in here they could learn all sorts of dirty little town secrets, but the party is hungry for victory and there are only a few rooms that haven’t been cleared out.

They ambush the juju zombies still patrolling the top of the wall and head towards the room above the Magistrate’s office.

Now - this group has been a very effective murder squad, and looking at the last two encounters I already know what kind of boot stomping fish juicing is about to happen, so I make the executive decision that rather than having the two named fish people sitting in their respective rooms waiting for death - that they decided to have a little afternoon meeting together along with their shape shifting ooze. It’s not unreasonable right?

The party enters a bedroom with a bed, fire place, and stairs that lead down to the office - and three fishy looking people, two of which look a little more like they might have names in an adventure module!

The ranger fish person is neatly tucked into a corner to ambush the first human that comes through the door (and avoid getting flanked), the one with a headband is closer to the cold fireplace, and the regular looking but particularly dopey looking skum is watching the stairs.
Cole manages to stun the one by the fireplace, Sanya the Paladin rushes the one at the back of the room to keep it from ganging up on the party, and Falanar squares off against the one in chainmail right by the door with Steven.

Sanya’s player is rather irate when his smite doesn’t crit the way it should and he realizes that he’s not actually fighting a fish person, but not as table-flip unhappy as Falanar when the skum by the door full attacks and lays his health pool to waste. By the second round of full attacking Falanar is down (but not quite dead) and Cole has to spend his turn shoving a potion down his throat while Stephen keeps the creature’s attention by stabbing at him with some ninja tricks to make sure it still counts a sneak as attack - but it has a lot more health than they’re used to.

Falanar manages to get up and take another swing thanks to Cole’s potion, but the fish person takes him down again with a single swipe of his claw and puts Stephen in the red with the other two. With Sanya tied up with the shapeshifting ooze and a sorcerer coming out of his stunned state... I begin to see poor things happening for the future of the group. Maybe my confidence was misplaced? Does the witch really contribute that much firepower?

The sorcerer fishman vanishes - half confident that his companion can take care of the party with the help of his ‘bodyguard ooze’ and runs off down the stairs.

Stephen drags Falanar out of the room and back onto the wall to try and keep the murder-fish from killing Falanar while he’s down, but it’s only a delay tactic. Sanya backs up to try and block the door... and grits his teeth against the oncoming onslaught... and grins as the Paladin recognizes the voice of his former companion calling for Pharasma’s favor. Winter comes running out of the records room behind them and into range to channel enough positive energy to wake Falanar up, give Sanya enough health to not fall in a single round, and keep Stephen from running away from certain death.

Able to concentrate their fire a little better, and with a healer handy, the ooze and the fishman in chainmail fall a few rounds later.

Everyone is rather spent, but Winter confirms that she had no trouble running through the entire fort to get to them. She is glad to see Sanya is alive, and not surprised that the Royal Accuser is still missing. She advocates that if it wasn’t for the group, former employees of the Count, that she and the others wouldn’t have escaped from the island and that thus far, they’ve proven themselves helpful and trustful... to a degree. Sanya agrees to continue working with them at Winter’s request - they’re a shadow of the force that arrived in town and the group seems interested in finding the Count and what’s going on with this town, same as them.

Sanya agrees, and now the group has some legitimacy!

Winter also reports that Mordren did make it back to the Sleepless Agency, but was attacked on the way back. He and Keldrin are waiting for them back at the Agency. She reluctantly insists that they lock the fort behind them and don’t tell the town what’s happened here - yet. Thrushmoore is on the edge of a panicked riot, and every agent of the agency is on one mission or another trying to alleviate fears.

They all agree to head back to the Agency and plan their next move.

2017-09-22, 09:38 PM
I just caught up on this journal, and it's quite entertaining. :smallsmile: My fave thus far is Cole; I can appreciate an Alchemist player who tries to apply real chemistry, plus he's clearly the best-dressed party member.

I haven't played this adventure, so I'm very interested in seeing how this goes. And if Falanar will ever get to pet a unicorn.

2017-09-22, 10:57 PM
Eep! people are still here lol. I guess I'll have to catch up on the posts here soon then! Lol

2017-09-23, 11:41 PM
Eep! people are still here lol. I guess I'll have to catch up on the posts here soon then! Lol

Dang Skippy! We're quitely waiting at the edge of the table, begging for scraps. :)

2017-09-24, 03:03 PM
Eep! people are still here lol. I guess I'll have to catch up on the posts here soon then! Lol

Yes Please. anxiously awaiting.

2017-11-09, 11:44 AM
We will return to this game! I myself am champing at the bit for more story, but real life gotta come first :smallsmile:

We shall return when routine permits!


2018-02-02, 04:46 AM
Posting in this to mark it in case it ever updates again. I passed over reading too far into this when I came across it awhile back because my group was running it at basically the same time and I didn't want any potential spoilers. However we've just concluded it, so I'll be curious to see how things go in a group that I imagine will play it quite a bit differently than us for a number of reasons. Fun read so far.

2018-02-02, 01:27 PM
Posting in this to mark it in case it ever updates again. I passed over reading too far into this when I came across it awhile back because my group was running it at basically the same time and I didn't want any potential spoilers. However we've just concluded it, so I'll be curious to see how things go in a group that I imagine will play it quite a bit differently than us for a number of reasons. Fun read so far.

Lol. I do have half a write up sitting in a google doc I should post - and we will come back to this. The introduction of tiny people into our lives has shaken our old gaming schedule lol.

2018-02-02, 04:09 PM
The introduction of tiny people into our lives has shaken our old gaming schedule lol.

And in a few years, you have even more players!
We'll expect even more journals then. :smallbiggrin:

2018-02-02, 05:35 PM
Lol. I do have half a write up sitting in a google doc I should post -

And haven't.


2018-05-31, 12:50 PM

This is an aside part of a narrative - the 'What Happened to Mordren?' while the others were busy kicking ass and taking names. It is a longer bit, as Puzzle and I are prone to when just writing out. I have some journal writing to catch up on as the end of Artaith (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?436134-The-Curse-of-Artaith-(a-3-5-Campaign-Journal)&p=19714752#post19714752) draws nigh.

I'm trying to finish up a section and then the actual session that has been more than half a year in waiting will be posted - because reasons.

Mordren's Aside

“Look I didn’t mean to cause you trouble, and I shouldn’t have said nuthin to them when they started asking about what you and your co workers were doing back in town.” Keldrin mumbled sheepishly as they finally cleared Fort Hailcourse and were making their way back down the road towards the heart of the city and the relative safety of the Sleepless Agency. Hopefully one of the agents could escort him home long enough for Keldrin to pack up his life and leave town - at least until things had calmed down.

“You should come with me. You were leaving anyway -” Keldrin paused and then came to an abrupt halt as a cloaked figure appeared in the road ahead of them. The rich burgundy of the cloak was trimmed in ornate gold embroidery, and her boots were remarkably well made and clean given the amount of rain and mud around them. Actually - the raindrops were still dark on her hood - she hadn’t been out here very long.

“Ah! Mordren Rhys. A pleasure to make your acquaintance... again sir.” The hood obscured most of her face, but enough daylight leaked through the storm to expose her amused grin. “I’m afraid I need to insist you come with us, Mellisen wishes to speak with you and it is rather urgent. We can see Mr. Keldrin the rest of the way, of course, as compensation for the inconvenience.”

Mordren swayed to a halt as the name echoed in his ears. Rhys. Mordren...Rhys. It felt right. It felt like his name.

And this smirking sycophant mocked him with it. Spoke it like it was part of some joke that only Mordren was missing the punchline to.

The small patch of weeds beneath Mordren’s boot wilted and curdled as his expression hardened and eyes narrowed. He strained his ears and quickly scanned his surroundings for the woman’s unseen acquaintances. Fine clothing-knows Mellisen-knows Keldrin-clothes aren’t wet enough-appeared out of nowhere-

-Part of the group using those symbols to teleport.

Keldrin had already spun around to face the four robed figures that had ghosted in a short distance behind them, and Mordren caught sight of the three in navy robes just beyond the treeline - no more than thirty feet away.

"Course they give you the courtesy of asking if you want your lights knocked out first." He grumbled under his breath.

"Your answer Mr. Rhys? Your colleagues' courtesy only goes so far..." The first woman prodded with a gentle kind of threat normally reserved for higher society.

Mordren sighed as he adjusted his hat, posture becoming more relaxed. When his face was obscured by his hat, though, his gaze flicked to Keldrin.

“Stay close.” He murmured just before the hat went back on and he stared the mysterious woman in the eyes. Mordren opened his mouth as if to speak, then exerted his will.


As the woman’s eyes fluttered and rolled back, Mordren was already rushing forward, a wicked dagger flashing in one hand. He caught the slumping woman and stepped behind her, knife-blade pressed against her throat.

“Back!” Mordren barked at the other cloaked figures. “Back or you’ll be wearing her blood!”

Keldrin had sprinted alongside Mordren and was obviously feeling a little better about their situation than he had been a moment ago. Despite the threat; however, the four cultists that stood across from them spoke quite calmly amongst themselves.

"You know - I think I liked him better as a gibbering paranoid mess."
"Or a vegetable." another added helpfully
"Well he obviously isn't either." the third scoffed - "and neither of you were around when he wasn't a madman. I have no particular interest in fighting him, personally. Remember Theodis' face?" A chorus of distasteful hisses clicked around him. "There's a reason he used to be the Count's favourite." He finally turned to face Mordren with his slumped prisoner and took a delicate step forward with empty palms.

"No one's keen on dying today Mr. Rhys - even on orders to retrieve who we could from your little group. I'm more interested in seeing you and Mellisen square off properly. I have a thousand crown on your victory if you're finally back in proper form."

Mordren and Keldrin continued shuffling in the direction of the Sleepless agency, knife still pressed to the throat of his hostage who already began to stir.

“Then just keep your distance, sir.” Fine clothes, refined speech, smooth palms, exorbitant bet - aristocrat of some sort. Mordren switched over to the harsh and unnerving tongue of Aklo as his grip tightened on the woman’s hair, gaze still rapidly flicking back and forth. “<And what would Mellisen think of your treacherous little bet?>”

The woman started to rouse from her forced slumber and quickly found both her feet and the sharp edge of the dagger before she had the chance to struggle - actually making it a lot easier to hold her upright.

The man tucked his hands behind his back, content to follow Mordren at the shuffled and slowed pace for a little while longer, though he kept an eye on the treeline.
"<Well hopefully she'll be more worried about your return than my 'loyalty.' She'd also have to leave the basement and her little project - unlikely given the recent breakthroughs.>"

"Gio you bastard - take him!" The woman hissed, drawing her cloaked companion's attention.
"Why? He'll come soon enough. Him and the others. Try not to give too much away my dear?" He smiled and might have pat her on the head if he was close enough. "One last thing Mordren, before you 'get away.’ - Tell me, have you seen the yellow sign?"

Images flashed through Mordren's mind. An underground chamber/temple, Another Star Stelae, a foreign woman with dark skin patronizing him as Mordren struggled over a passage as another migraine tore across the back of his head, and the symbol of Hastur etched across the floor in broken yellow tiles.

Mordren reeled as the images blasted across his mind, a strangled scream forcing its way out. He staggered, his hold on the woman loosening and the dagger point drawing blood.

After a sharp cry as the dagger nicked at her throat, the woman elbowed her way free and pulled a sap free from her belt in time to crack Mordren across the face with it (10 points non lethal damage). Keldrin's attempt to tackle her left him in the mud (yay nat 1 for a commoner!), and 'Gio' stepped in quickly to pull her away with an insistent hand on her shoulder - his gaze and tone turning slightly sour towards Mordren.

"Well that's disappointing," he sighed. "I'd really hoped you were over those." Mordren’s response was to bare his teeth and reach out with his hand. With a twist, the witch strained his magic to seize this “Gio’s” bones and break them.

The dull pops somewhere in Gio's chest weren't nearly as loud or as numerous as Mordren had been hoping for, but they did wreck his composure and Keldrin's who swore and scrambled to his feet as more of the cultists rushed towards them - the slick black saps all in hand, except for Gio who instinctively went for his rapier instead.

"Shhhhhiiiiii-HELP! KIDNAPPERS!" Keldrin called towards the town and the Sleepless Agency that was so close, and yet so far away.

Mordren gauged the distances between the pair in front of him, and the gang rushing up from the other direction. Best to strike at the apparent leader first. He cupped his hands together, summoning up a flickering flame. With a deep inhale, Mordren opened his hands and blew, sending a sheet of supernatural flame across Gio and his nearby companion. The sudden roar and hiss of heat and steam was nearly as loud as Keldrin’s shouts, and certainly brighter. As the flames slapped into the pair, Mordren hissed to Badb.

“Get out of sight!”

Badb pushed off from his perch and swooped down the road towards the Sleepless Agency - trying to expedite any potential help while Gio's already shallow cry from likely broken ribs was smothered in flames as he landed in the mud. Likewise, the woman shrieked and clawed the burning robe off of her. Her hair still smoldered and her skin was burnt raw as she gave Mordren a hateful look before backing away while pulling a potion from her belt and yelling at the three still blocking the fort off. "Don't just stand there!"

The three in navy robes swooped in a moment later; the first was a little close but leaned out of Mordren's retaliatory dagger strike. The second drove her sap into Mordren's side (7 non lethal dmg) and the last hesitated slightly before he struck - missing the witch that had just roasted his companions alive.

Keldrin took a bar-brawl swing at the third cultist and missed horribly. Somewhere in the distance Badb's urgent cawing sounded off like an alarm. Mordren gritted his teeth from the kidney shot and pivoted off to the side, keeping his guard up against more strikes. One of the three cultists met Mordren’s eyes as the witch called up his power again.

“Go to sleep!”

The cultist's eyes fluttered, and she reeled for a moment before giving her head a shake and lashed out with her sap again - only to have it bounce off Mordren's arm instead of across his jaw. The second jabbed the witch in the stomach (4 non lethal) and the third suddenly found Keldrin's fist in the back of his head. (WOO NAT 19)

The smug woman pulled the stopper with her teeth and vanished after downing whatever was in the potion, and the three that had begun to close in paused as Badb's alarm was peppered with the sounds of voices calling out from the south.

“Run. Run while you’re still capable of doing so.” Mordren snarled as he glared at the cultists, locking his face in a grimace to hide the pain throbbing through his body. He readied another attempt to hex a different cultist if they didn’t break and flee.

“Enough of this. Let’s go.” One of the three cultists thad hadn't made it into the fray hissed after looking over Gio’s still smoking ‘corpse.’ A few more nervous looks at Mordren, and the rest silently agreed and retreated as Winter and one of the Sleepless agents came around the bend with Badb overhead.

“Halt!” Winter called in vain as the cultists began to vanish one after the other. The half elf beside her threw dark needle-like missiles at the one cultist Keldrin had cracked across the back of his head, and one stumbled briefly as she managed to throw off Mordren's hex, but by the time Winter and the agent reached Mordren - they were gone.

“Dammit!” she hissed before dropping to a knee next to Gio and checking for a pulse. Keldrin sat down, mindless of the mud, whipped off his hat and ran his fingers over his hair breathing a shaky sigh of relief. The half elf; however, gave Mordren a congratulatory slap on the shoulder. “you good mate?”

Mordren winced at the slap, his whole body aching from the beating he had endured. He glared half-heartedly at the mage, but nodded with unspoken thanks.

“Look, I found one of the people responsible for the disappearances. I suspect you can look to the Count’s estate for more of the culprits.” He held an arm up for Badb to land on before looking over at Winter. “What, the bastard isn’t dead?”

Badb flit back to his usual place; glaring at the fallen cultist.

"Not quite." Winter confirmed as she pressed a glowing finger to Gio's forehead - the smallest bit of healing magic she could manage without actually waking him up. "Shevan, get them back to the Agency - Keldrin should be able to help you drag this one back safely."

The half elf narrowed his eyes, "and where are you going to be?"
"I'm going back to the fort. The rest of them might need some help."

Mordren nodded and shuffled over towards Winter, mostly ignoring the sensation of his entire body being bruised.

“Well, should probably get there before the whole place explodes or something like that.”

Winter placed a gentle, but obviously blocking backhand across Mordren’s chest. “Not you. Just me. You’re a lucky hit away from being out cold, and my resources are limited as they are. Go back with Shevan and Keldrin. Get this overcooked hunk of disgrace secured somewhere his ‘friends’ can't steal him away, and try to get something useful out of him before I get back.”

Mordren bristled, but a renewed throb from the side of his face stole the legs out from under his indignation. That, and as much as he didn’t appreciate being bossed around by the priestess, her plan made perfect sense.

“Tch, fine. Would you like your cloak pressed and hung while we’re at it?”

"Cold water only, gentle spin to dry. Don't want to dark brooding colour to fade." She handed him her over-cloak with a wink before scooping the dark red and rather badly singed cloak out of the mud that the woman cultist had shed before vanishing. She handed it to Shevan with an expectant eyebrow and after a sigh Shevan grabbed it, gave it a shake with a few arcane words and it looked... mostly new. Wearable at least.

After he handed it back, she slipped it on and pulled the hood up while her features began to shift. Her hair turned brown and started to curl into waves while her pale brown eyes darkened and her face narrowed slightly - not an exact replica of the woman Mordren had almost killed, but close. "Passable? Good. Get that piece of filth behind bars. Cresedia should have some healing potions to get him on his feet. Then get your friend out of town until this is over."

Mordren turned to Shevan and Keldrin.

“Well, you heard her. Back to the Agency with him.”

*drag drag drag*

Keldrin might have been less than selective about what rougher parts of terrain the unconscious cultist ended up bumping against as they dragged him back to the agency. Only Cresedia was there when they arrived, and while she clearly wasn't impressed by the amount of muck clinging to the trio, she didn't voice it aloud as she motioned to a door that lead to the basement.

It was a dry and clean sort of place with low hanging beams and heavy supports to keep the main floor from falling in despite the rain. The wood floor had a couple stains, but nothing that hinted at any recent morbid activity. From a nearby locker, Shevan pulled a length of chain complete with finger locking cuffs and secured their ‘guest.’

While the aristocrat-turned-cultist was being chained up, Mordren waved the wand of healing over himself, sighing in relief as the bruises and aches faded. Turning to Gio, he jabbed the man in the side with the wand, releasing as little healing magic as possible.

“Wake up, Gio. I have questions for you.”

Shevan raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything as he did a final check that everything was locked up tight and pulled the cultist's hood down before quietly padding off to the side and sitting on one of the bottom steps; observing, but certainly not intervening.

Which left poor crispy Gio coughing as his first not-unconscious breath tore through his rather singed lungs. a good chunk of his goatee and eyebrows had been burnt clean off, but whatever he had been using to keep his hair slicked back was stubbornly adhering to the task even as he managed to get his coughing down to a sort of wheeze.
"Oh. Now he wants to talk." Gio gave a sort of pained smile as he tried to shift into more of a sitting position than a propped-up one. Better for the back and all that. "Except I'm not the one you should be talking to." Mordren didn’t say anything in response, just stared flatly at the smug man. Phantom whispers echoed in Gio’s ears *Evil eye saves and then skill checks*

As he finished trying to sound smug and vain the chained cultist withered under Mordren’s gaze. Trying to look away didn't help, it just made the darker corners of the basement more ominous. Gio swallowed hard as he tried to reign in some measure of composure... and failed miserably.
“****.” he hissed under his breath as he tested the hold of the restraints on his hands and wrists to no avail.

“You don’t want to die, Gio. You don’t want to have your lips and eyes stitched shut, to be dressed in a tacky suit and stuffed in a wooden box. You don’t want to be buried in that shameful side corner of the graveyard because of the circumstances of your death.” Badb let out a warbling little chuckle as Mordren stepped steadily closer. “To have the worms gnaw tracks through your flesh as it swells and rots, your bones twist and bend as they soften and crumble, until there’s nothing left of you.”

“And that’s just your body. That ragged excuse of a soul? You don’t want to be standing in line at the Boneyard, naked and shivering, awaiting the terrible Judgement you know Pharasma has in store for you.” Mordren’s hand drifted to just over Gio’s heart, hovering above without touching him. “And you know that as bleak a fate as that is, I know what tomes you’ve read, what you’ve learned. You know what awaits you if you flee that judgement, what hungers in the dark for the marrow of your spirit.” His hand curled into a fist with a soft pop.

“You’re damned at best, or a plaything for the Old ones. You don’t want to die, Gio. So tell me what I want to know, and live longer.”

Gio flinched away as best he could away from Mordren's hand, his skin went pale despite the fresh burns, and his breathing shuddered.

"No I don't." He confirmed in a hybrid of a whisper and a hiss. "What do you want? I wasn't inner circle material, I've just been here longer than a lot of the others. Bringing you back was going to help with that - maybe. Mellisen doesn't really let anyone help her!"

“The people that have been disappearing. Why?”

“They're sacrifices.” Mordren rolled his eyes and made a ‘go-on’ gesture.

“For what, Gio? Details, details.”

“I-it has something to do with that thing in the basement and the other Star Stelae. It powers or recharges or something. It’s what makes us able to teleport around the city.”

“Thing in the basement?” Badb cawed again, making Gio twitch.

“Well you can't exactly ritually sacrifice townsfolk on public monuments. Tends to draw attention.” Mordren nodded absently, mind racing.

“How many in your little social club? And then we need to talk about Mellisen.”

“um...” Gio looked to the side and back again; distracted. “Maybe a dozen junior members? A handful of full initiates? Lots of Krum - you already ran into the fish people; can smell it on you.” Not taking his eyes off Gio, Mordren raised his voice briefly.

“Shevan? Could you please check what has our friend distracted?” He gestured with his head. “Now, tell me everything you know about Mellisen.”

Shevan got up and moved towards the side of the basement Gio had been looking at. He ran his hand along the wall, and even snapped a small light spell into existence between his fingers to check the underside of the floorboards. When his search proved unsuccessful he muttered a few words under his breath and his eyes glowed a faint blue.

"Someone's trying to communicate with him." He frowned. "It's not like any sending spell I've seen before. It's faint, subtle." His eyes flicked back to normal. "Tied to his holy symbol under his shirt."

Gio somehow managed to lose some translucency in his face. "I didn't answer. This wasn't part of the bargain or the plan." He almost pleaded. "Melissen was your replacement after your ... episodes started. The Count brought her in first to help, but when you kept getting worse..." He trailed off slightly before picking up his train of thought again.

"She had most of the staff fired and then brought in this... old friend of the Count's to replace everyone with those barbarian Krum while he prepped to leave. She also called in the cells from around Ustalav - claiming she had 'unlocked' the Star Stelae."

Mordren slowly pulled a wickedly sharp sickle out from under his jacket. Just as slowly he hooked the top of Gio’s shirt and dragged it down. “Don’t move, wouldn’t want to slip.” He cautioned as he sliced Gio’s shirt open, then hooked the holy symbol with the tip of the sickle.

Gio obliged and even held his breath for a moment until Mordren's sickle had a firm hook on the symbol that had been painted on the foreheads of the asylum patients back at Briarstone. Instead of chalk; however, this one was made of topazes and set in gold. It was smaller - more like a charm and more easily hidden than a medallion.

"Look." Gio's voice still shook, "I don't know what all she's doing down there, but it ramped up as soon as the Count was gone and you 'lot' were out of the way. When word got out you were back and acting strangely she had us follow you until we saw an opportunity to bring someone back for questioning."

A firm tug parted the charm’s cord, and a stomp-twist of his boot dealt with the distasteful sign. Mordren rubbed at his neck; it felt constricted all of a sudden, like a too-tight shirt collar. What was in his other hand? Oh, the sickle was still there...Mordren thought he had put that away already. Badb clicked his beak next to Mordren’s ear, and he jolted back to awareness, sheathing the sickle.

“They more likely to be coming to rescue you, or kill you?”

"I don't know. Depends how busy Mellisen is." Gio replied cautiously after watching his interrogator's expression shift into a pallid shade of momentary madness.
"Anyone loyal to the Count left with the Count or ended up in Briarstone. Melissen is in charge with her little army of Kuru barbarian thugs. Big brutes with the scarlet tattoos - can't miss them."

“So then Mellissen is the most likely one to know where the Count went.” Mordren rolled his neck. “Any dirty tricks of Melissen’s I should know about?”

“You’d know better than anyone if you hadn't lost your memory. She had to take over your work after all - and from what I heard you weren't pleased about that. Never worked with her myself.” Gio admitted.

“All right. Last chance to tell me anything that will prolong your life, Gio.”

“Let me go and I’ll leave. I got in over my head and I see that now; saw it awhile ago actually. I’ll leave the city and even try to convince those who came with me it’s time to leave as well if you wish. I never had any intention of acting against you Mordren. I knew better.”

Mordren’s only response was a vicious grin, and then everything went black for Gio.

*Slumber hex and then bag over his head* Gio slumped over and went quiet under the bag.

Mordren turned back to Shevan.

“He’s admitted to kidnapping and murder, by association at the least. Do what you like with him, I should catch up to Winter and the rest.”

2018-05-31, 01:20 PM
All right. Now we're back to the actual campaign as the group gets back together at the Sleepless Agency after clearing out the fort. :)

The rest of the party returns to the Sleepless Agency and Mordren catches up with their adventures while explaining what he’s learned from his captive. Most of the Agency’s agents have taken on some of the tasks around the city that the PCs have out-leveled, which leaves the party to take on the root of the problem at Iris Hill and Count Lowles’ manor. They decide to leave in the morning and take some time to heal/rest. Winter grabs the less damaged cultist cloak, and promises to do what she can to keep the cultists in town busy.

Falanar manages to stretch three people’s worth of stew into five (Falanar’s player always likes to give his characters some sort of cooking/crafting ability) and they sleep in relative safety.

The next morning they make their way up to Iris Hill and the gatehouse that Stephen had poked and prodded around a few days ago. The guard/cultist stationed there today; however, is either not as bright and certainly not as awake as the last one Stephen ran into (rolled a 1 on his ‘sense motive’) and readily opens the door for the crew who ‘have an appointment’ with Mellisen. He is quickly shanked to death by Stabby Stephen and the other two big brutes with sharp teeth, red tattoos, and cornrow braids dressed in chain mail ready themselves for combat.

The gatehouse is only ten feet wide and twenty feet long, so things get crowded quickly as the melee rush in to hack and slash at the guards before either can run a warning into the estate. Things end quickly as the gate is officially crashed.

After dispatching the guards, the group gets their ‘first’ look at Iris Hill Manor and the Grounds through the window. There are several small buildings (guesthouses and the like) besides the main building with paths leading between and a large fountain in the center. Convinced that this place is full of evil wrongdoers - instead of worrying about sneaking around the buildings and before the rest of the group can figure out where they want to start, Sanya the Paladin marches out onto the grounds issuing a challenge!

He is somewhat surprised when the giraffe topiary responds by charging him. MORE INITIATIVE!

Besides the Giraffe there is an octopus topiary and... I think I made the third one a camel. Being plants, they are immune to most of the group’s shenanigans with sneak attack and sleep hexes that have been ending fights alarmingly quickly. Cole’s player; however, is grinning like the mad scientist he plays. “Plant’s eh? I BET THOSE AREN’T RESISTANT TO FIRE!”

No. No they are not. The paladin and fighter basically hold the topiaries off while the gnome alchemist runs around throwing fire bombs like an ugly little pyro fairy - cackling maniacally. Soon the living shrubberies are smoldering semblances of themselves while Cole passes his peaches can to Mordren.

No one in the other houses can seem to make a spot or listen check to save their miserable lives, so after no one comes rushing out to see what the blazes (literally) is going on - the group continues to run amok. Not to the front door - nah. Those are for sissies. Stephen sneaks up to the lovely double french doors leading to a fine dining room where a handful of cultists can be seen speaking amongst themselves in front of a fireplace. They too, can’t roll above single sad digits to spot the encroaching doom. The party lines up by the doors, ready to crash in, while Stephen moves around and finds a window, opens it, and starts things off with ninja throwing star sneak attacks before vanishing as part of his ninja act.
Distracted by the sudden assault behind them, the cultists turn their attention to the window - one of them even makes it out and begins looking around for the culprit. The other cultists inside are not so lucky as Sanya and Falanar dramatically boot the lovely french doors open and provide a nice choke point to start wacking cultists while Cole and Mordren fire upon them from outside. Besides nasty poofs of negative channeled energy, the group doesn’t suffer much in the way of injuries that a wand of healing can’t fix. Mordren does notice that they do go through a fair number of charges, but wanting to keep the element of surprise - they quickly press on ... upstairs! Why not? That seems like a good idea.

The group file up the narrow staircase to a closed door to a sitting room. Cole rivals Stephen in the title of ‘sneakiest SOB’ so he cracks the door open a little and listens closely. He can hear a small amount of chittering and a soft rustling sound like dry skin brushing against dry skin.. But he can’t see what’s making the noises. His answer is to call Stephen forward.

“Looks clear!”

Stephen nods and prepares to sneak in. I give him one more chance to save himself from the... no? You rolled a 2 for your perception?

Cole sees Stephen’s limbs seize as something grabs hold of him and begins chewing on his shoulder. Whatever it is... it’s big and Stephen’s pained sound of surprise is quickly snuffed out.

So Cole closes the door on Stephen and gives a ‘no good’ head shake to the party members behind him. While Stephen gets more blood sucked out of him by the large tentacled creature with claws and teeth that slowly begin to emerge into view as it slowly consumes him.

Cole’s player doesn’t know it, but the creature would have been invisible for the fight if it didn’t have a ‘meal’ before the fight began. Having seen only one creature enter its lair, the ‘Star Vampire’ risks exposing itself to feed. It has more hit dice now, but when the party does finally enter, they’re able to target it normally.

Stephen doesn’t make his will save to stop being eaten alive by the Star Vampire for the rest of the fight. When Cole finally opens the door and moves in to try and help his ‘friend’ who is conveniently keeping the Star Vampire busy, the large creature’s form is outlined in blood. Stephen’s blood. The rest of the part files in and the assault begins! Cole’s frost bombs leave dark and brittle patches on its skin, Mordren’s hexes don’t leave it asleep on the ground to be coup de grace’d, but disadvantage sucks. So does lowered will saves. Witch debuffs are real. Don’t let any player tell you otherwise.

Falanar is grazed by a sharp clawed tentacle, but valiantly begins to swing and chop away at the massive creature. Then Sanya arrives. Obviously, anything that drinks blood isn’t a ‘good’ creature, so on a hunch he designates the Star Vampire as the target of ‘smite evil.’ Max power attacks, crits, and yeah... cleaves deeply into the monster. The rest of the party’s damage is more than enough to finish it off in the next round - even with its DR and passive healing and increased hit point pool. Stephen is finally released - looking rather pale and unhappy. No one is sure what the creature is other than 'awful' and 'ugly as sin.' Now that it is dead; however, they are able to pass through the room and into the next hallway full of doors... with names upon them. Their Names.

The gnome's room is less of a bedroom and more of a miniature lab; a lab that someone had ransacked and hadn't bothered to clean up. The others have difficulty moving about, but the spaces between bookshelves, tables, and his tiny bed are perfectly suited for the small alchemist. There is an awful cloying smell when the door is opened, and it takes some time before they find the source. A secret panel between the foot of his bed and a bookshelf opens to another hidden room - one with an operating table. The thing upon it is hooked up to empty tubes and hanging containers and covered with a sheet. When Cole finally gets around to pulling the sheet away that hides the subject on the table, he is rather surprised to find an exact duplicate of himself... except at least three days dead and the sorts of discoloration and swelling that goes along with being dead. He isn't sure why he had a duplicate of himself on a table, but perhaps his encrypted journal can tell him more.... once he remembers how to decipher it. oh bother.
Compared to the clutter of Cole's room, Falanar's room is downright spartan. There is a place to hang his armor and weapons, and a small cupboard with the items he'd need to maintain it. A small table with a place to wash and shave stand in another corner by a modest mirror, and his bed looks like it was tightly made and someone decided to nap on top of it. Even after breaking open the footlocker, he finds little that might hold some clue as to the person he was before he lost his memory.
Mordren has some difficulty opening the door to his room as there is no handle in the door, and is a sour smell that wafts about from the collection of mostly empty glasses with curdled white residue in their bottoms (milk). The mirror above the dresser has been smashed, and any handles to his closet, desk drawers, or even the windows have been removed. A small bookshelf contains journals similar to the washed out one he found in his pockets back at the Asylum. A brief look through them reveal research and notes on the nature, history, and examples of haunts from any place or source imaginable. Several of the journals (they are numbered) are missing.
The door to Stephen's room... locks from the outside. Or at least it would if it hadn't been broken recently. He slowly peeks in to see a rather dusty room with a barred window, children's toys scattered about in corners, a moose head with cutlery protruding from its eyes and nose, and a blonde woman snoozing comfortably in a chair in the middle of the room. Stephen manages to back out quietly enough to not wake her and call the others to alert them to her presence.
Ugh. It's been more than half a year since this actually played out. Forgive me for forgetting details, but things basically par down to this:

Rishi is caught unprepared because Stephen is a stealthy mofo, and she wakes up to find the group of them at the door. The blonde woman with the rapier plays her situation coolly, not wanting to die, so she is helpful, though somewhat evasive on where Mellisen is. She tells them how to get into the basement, and after stripping her of her weapons and tying her to the chair, they lock her in the room and head off down the hallway to the Count's room - where the stairway to both the attic and office are - as well as his personal office.

Aaaaand that is where we left off. Take that Puzzle.

2018-05-31, 09:00 PM

This surprise update brought to you by my cruel and ruthless mockery of Picanet until she posted.

You're welcome.