Strange Aeons

Dreams in the Mist

https://youtu.be/mrZRURcb1cM

After finding one of their number were infected with some affliction, the group asked Winter for assistance, and discovered that not only had Scorcher caught Filth Fever, but Cailyn had somehow been infected with Leprosy. Although Winter was not strong enough to heal either condition, she was able to relieve Scorcher's suffering, and began helping to provide long term care. Winter also reminded the group that the refugee camp was running low on supplies, and would run out in only a few days. She also told the group that Administrator Losandro's office had been situated in the centre of the assylum, and that it may hold further clues to the happenings, or their identities.

The amnesiacs returned to the area they had previously been searching, and continued north along the hallway. They examined each of the small bedrooms along the way. The ceiling in the first had collapsed, but thankfully nobody had been harmed. Three more corpses were in the next room, two in the yellow robes they had seen previously, but the third an old man, holding a fine boot with a bloodstained heel. The pair in yellow appeared to have been beaten to death. The third room contained a pile of pillows and blankets, and the group discovered a pair of toy, carved knights among them. The fourth and last room contained a grisly, human-shaped carnage lying on the bed.

Moving further north, the group spied something strange in the next large open area by the light of Taber's conjured lights – what looked like a river of blood. Not wanting to chance leaving an enemy behind, the group firstly checked a door off the main hall.

Behind the door, the group found a long room, with a row of beds, separated by curtains. All of the beds were also fitted with restraints. The bed in the middle of the row contained a sleeping man, restrained at waist, arms and legs. The man thrashed about, clearly in the grip of some disturbing dream, and began calling out “No! Not again!”, “Keep away!”, “I don’t want anything from you!”, “Get away from me, bastard!”, in an increasingly panicked voice. While Lekovi searched for traces of magic, Cailyn approached the man, and attempted to rouse him, with no success. With a final, piercing shriek, the man stopped struggling, and lay still. River approached, to confirm the man was dead, and to try to discern the cause of his fate. Almost unsurprisingly, as Flowing leant across the man to listen to his hear, his eyes flicked open, and he bit down hard on River's wrist. Rushing into action, the group quickly dispatched the poor, restrained man. Searching the room, the group found a spare straightjacket, and a hoodwink cowl.

Moving back to the hall, the group continued north to a large, open area, with large windows to the east. Before the windows, facing away from the group, was an old woman, sat in a chair. A constant stream of blood seemed to flow from the woman, and then pooled on the floor beneath her, before flowing down a west-running hall, and then forming a vertical pool.

Looking at this, Lekovi recognised it as some form of haunt. Despite this, Scorcher tried to attack the form of the woman with Disrupt Undead, to no effect. Taber and Cailyn approached the woman's body, and looking at the front, discovered she had a gaping hole in her chest, from which the blood was running. Taber attempted to cast a stabilise cantrip on the woman, which seemed to distrupt the blood flow briefly, but had no lasting effect.  Lekovi tried to disrupt the blood with his foot, which caused a large wave of blood to sweep him down towards the pool, but he was able to struggle out of the flow. Cailyn tried making a bandage from a sheet, and stuffing it into the wound, but the blood rushed up and swept Cailyn across the room as well, but she was also able to struggle free from the flow. River moved to the woman, and applied a cure spell, and the corpse's wound closed up, and the flow of blood diminished, showing a door further down the hall.

Once again not wanting to leave unexplored areas, the group investigated a serving hatch further north. Cailyn climbed in silently, and crept ahead. Behind the hatch was another dark room, containing three more people in stained, yellow robes. Reacting quickly, the group turned the tables on the men, and subdued them. The group awoke one, and questioned him, finding out about the 'scary, dark room' leading north through double doors, and that Ulver Zandalus was leading the forces of the cult. They also asked about the kitchens, finding out they were futher north as well. The group then dragged their three prisoners back to the ward, and left them restrained on the beds.

The group opened the double doors to the north, and found an area that not even darkvision could penetrate. Thinking better of exploring this area for the moment, the group closed the doors, and checked the next door north.

This door led to a storage room, containing clean and dirty linen, cleaning supplies, and a corpse on the ground. Not taking any more chances, River took the corpse's head off before examining it. He discovered the man had been stabbed to death. Lekovi checked for magic, and found several items of note, including a cloak, which Taber claimed.

Continuing east, through the door that had been covered by the vertical pool of blood, the group found another hallway, with several doors leading north and south. Cailyn moved quietly in, and heard sounds of activity to the south west. The group prepared to rush in, and were able to surprise two more men in yellow, and quickly dispatched them. The room also contained many records, which the men had been in the process of searching, and were now strewn all over the floor. Once again not wanting to risk leaving enemies behind, Cailyn moved to the doors across the hall before they examined the records, and found a third yellow-robed assailant, who was also quickly disabled.

The northern room turned out to be some sort of storage room, containing all sorts of personal items and junk, although they were able to discover several magical vials, containing silversheen and an oil of align weapon.

Back in the southern room, the group were able to find some records that seemed to pertain to them – they contained no names or much in the way of personal details, but the descriptions matched the amnesiacs. The files indicated that the group had all been in a catatonic state, and had all been committed on the same day, almost two weeks prior.

While searching amongst the patient records strewn on the floor, the group also discovered a record for Ulver Zandalus, shown below.

Moving to the last door in the hallway, the group opened it, revealing an enormous, expensively-appointed, two-story office. Apart from a wrought iron gallery wrapping around the top floor, the most striking feature was the kneeling Garundi woman, surrounded by a large pool of blood. Her head was bent to the sky, her mouth open in silent scream. At irregular intervals, rainbow-coloured mists spurted forth from her open mouth, before dissipating into a gritty residue. 

The group explored the room, and discovered several curios, including a wooden box carved into the likeness of a brain, bookends depicting twin screaming and crying figures, and a brass sculpture of an Osirion pyramid. Several valuable books were also to be found amongst the large collection in the office. On top of the desk were six framed charcoal sketches, showing vistas of a familliar, deserted city. Copper plates at the bottom of the frames revealed the artist to be Ulver Zandalus, and showed dated the sketches over a period of seven years, the most recent being about 12 months prior. Searching the desk revealed a locked drawer, which Cailyn was able to open. A number of enchanted items were in the drawer, and several alchemical items, but nothing of immediate use, along with Administrator Losandro's journal.

Over a long period of investigation and experimentation, the group were able to determine that the kneeling woman was unresponsive, and unbreathing, despite appearing quite alive. Examination of her throat revealed some sort of opening inside the woman's body, which appeared to be the source of the mists spurting from her mouth. The amnesiacs were also able to detemine that the puddle of blood was not actually blood, but some sort of planar energy field that caused anyone spending time in it to fall asleep. While asleep, the group members dreamed of several different experiences within the deserted city they had dreamed of before. River also dreamed of meeting an ancient Keleshite woman in a room in the city, who advised destroying the sources of the mist.

Unsure of what further action they could take, the group turned to divine inspiration – they each tried using the phylactery of faithfulness they had found earlier to determine if killing the woman would be against their alignment or religion. They also checked if leaving her alive would be so antithetical, and Taber determined that leaving her alive would be against Desna's teachings. Unhappy but resigned, the group ended the woman's life. The mist stopped, and the pool of planar energy dispersed. The group took their findings, and retreated again to the chapel to rest, taking with them

The contents of the journal are largely mundane – filled with notes from staff meetings
and interviews with the families of would-be patients - but in entries written during the last year, the names Haserton Lowls and Count Lowls appear with increasing regularity. The most recent contents of the journal are shown below.


 

Comments

The comment made in the ‘Development: 11/4702’ about the standing stone sounds interesting. We’ll have to investigate THAT!

“Tomorrow our experiment begins.” Hmmm… that does not sound good.

Dreams in the Mist
 

The group does have access to a large reference library…research is an option.

Dreams in the Mist
YogoZuno

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