Refreshed from another night in the Chapel, the group prepared to confront Ulver Zandalus. After performing some research into the Dimension of Dreams, the amnesiacs headed off towards the camp. Before leaving, Shadow tried to tag along, once again snapping at one of the children. But Cailyn was firm, and told Shadow to stay.
As the group entered a hall leading out of the Asylum's entrance hall, a group of Apostles in Orpiment rounded the corner, and accosted the group. After a short exchange of words, they attacked, and the group quickly defended themselves. After Lekovi bepselled a pair into slumber, and River sliced up a third, the fourth one distracted Cailyn, and then knocked her unconscious, before Taber finished him off. As the fourth Apostle hit the ground, his form morphed into something else. Caitlyn was able to identify the thing as a Faceless Stalker once she was back on her feet again.
As they looked for somewhere to stash the bodies, Taber pointed at a path outside the trophy room they had never visited. As they opened the door to the path, a strange sound was heard. Everyone paused, and then a mass of pale, wriggling things, a cross of worm and hairless bat, broke from the ground and took to the air in a swirl of pallid flesh. They quickly engulfed half of the group. Knowing how to deal with these abominations, Cailyn threw an alchemist's fire, only to have it catch on the doorframe. Taking the hint, Scorcher stepped up and used magical fire to destroy the swarm, finding just the right spot to not harm any of his group.
After dusting themselves off, and finishing the disposal of the bodies, the group continued back to the Orpiment camp. There, they found that the Apostles seemed to be gathering for war. All of the able-bodied Apostles were arming themselves. Rushing in to speak with Dr Elbourne, they asked what was going on. Dr Elbourne told them that Ulver Zandalus had discovered that the scary dark room was now empty, and had worked out that another camp lay in that direction. Dr Elbourne implored the group to go and deal with Zandalus now, before he could lead the raid. Heeding his words, the group hurried upstairs to Zandalus's chamber.
The room at the end of the hall was plastered with thousands of charcoal sketches, similar to the like they had already seen in Losandro's office, and the Oneirogen room, containing images of swirling skies, empty cities, towering monoliths, and threatening figures cloaked in mist. Standing in the back of the room was Ulver Zandalus himself, a gaunt man, with a ponytail of long and exceptionally straight white hair. He wore multiple patients' gowns that had been shredded and stitched to create a layered robe. His arms and much of his chest were exposed, revealing lines of charcoal and yellow chalk streaking his flesh, the most prominent of which was a yellow flame on his forehead, similar to that of the Apostles.
Upon seeing the group, Zandalus's eyes went wide, and his mouth fell open. A voice like tempest wind hissing over broken glass sheered from his split, motionless lips, as though something other than Zandalus himself spoke from inside his body. “You're supposed to be dead. I already, killed you” it hissed. “Why aren't you dead?” And with that, Zandalus began casting a spell.
Acting quickly, both Scorcher and Lekovi prepared spells in reaction to Zandalus actually casting and interrupted his spell, while the other three moved further into the room. Taber charged ahead of the others, striking Zandalus firmly with his three section staff.
The three melee combatants of the group continued to back Zandalus into a corner, as Lekovi and Scorcher magically assaulted him. Zandalus was able to throw off most of Lekovi's attacks, but Scorcher's constant force missiles combined with the melee attacks soon felled Zandalus. As he fell to the ground, a thick yellow fog began pouring out from all of Zandalus's orifices, and even wounds hat had been opened in his body.
Not sure what to do, the group tried covering the body, slashing it more, and covering it in alchemist's fire, but the fog kept pouring out. Suddenly, from out of the fog stepped a form familiar to the entire group – the Tatterman! Laughing, he rasped “Zandalus dies, and I am free. Free to kill…free to kill you!” and immediately lashed out with his war razor at Cailyn. A feeling of dread washed over everyone, and Scorcher, Taber and River all felt very afraid of this creature. Cailyntried slashing back, but found it very difficult to get purchase on the creature. Even when she did, most of the damage was resisted. River and Taber also tried to hurt the creature, doing some damage, but the wounds began to close almost immediately. Lekovi was able to positively identify the creature as the Tatterman, and from what he knew of it's legends, told everyone that it was a spellcaster of some power, and that it had no particular resistances to anything. Lekovi then attempted to psychically command the Tatterman, who looked at Lekovi and said “You will die last.”
The Tatterman's aura of fear intensified, and Taber and Scorcher were immediately struck with fright. River would also have been affected, but a talisman around his neck glowed with power, and he stood his ground. Taber and Scorcher both fled down the hall, back to the former lair of the Oneirogens. Trying to prevent them from running, Lekovi threw a sleep spell between them, but both of them shrugged it off. The Tatterman attempted to throw magic around, but failed to concentrate sufficiently. Cailyn, unsure of what might hurt the creature, drew Red Destiny, but could not land a solid blow. River dropped his shield, and applied silversheen to his battleaxe. Off in the distance, Taber wrapped the silver chain of a Shelyn holy symbol around his fist, ready for when he overcame his fear.
The remaining four combatants danced around each other for almost a full minute, trying vainly to land telling blows on each other. The Tatterman threw out several enchantments, including a lullaby, and vanishing from sight briefly, and finally a touch of terror on Cailyn, causing her to also flee the room, just as the other pair recovered. The Tatterman managed to put River to sleep, but Lekovi quickly woke him, while assisting the others to land blows. River, concerned at how difficult it was proving to hit the creature, used a wand of bless he had recovered earlier. Finally, with Taber's silver-wrapped fists, Lekovi's silver dagger, and River's silversheened battleaxe, the tide began to turn aginst the Tatterman. Still fighting, the Tatterman critically hit Lekovi, and knocked him out. The Tatterman suggested River hand over his axe, but River fought off the trick.
Just then Cailyn returned to the fight, launching arrows at the Tatterman. The Tatterman tried the suggestioin the trick on Taber, and Taber handed over his silver necklace. In retribution, River landed a critical hit, doing a grievous wound, and felling the Tatterman. Cailyn began searching the items that had been hidden under Zandalus's bed, River began some healing on Lekovi, and Taber went to examine the body of the Tatterman.
It was during this examination that the Tatterman suddenly lashed out at Taber with his war razor, to everyone's surprise! Reacting quickly, River, Taber and Cailyn again smashed their weapons into the Tatterman, this time inflicting grievous wounds on the creature, and it finally lay dead, and the yellow mist around the asylum began to clear at last.
The most interesting item found in the crate under Zandlus's bed was an ancient book entitled The Chain of Nights, which had been mentioned in Administrator Losandro's journal. Lekovi was able to later read the book, and determine that the book contained a number of spells, and a ritual for removing natural nightmares from someone. However, the ritual warned that if the cause of the nightmares was an extraplanar being, then instead of harmlessly dissipating the bad dreams, the creature would be summoned. The ritual also explained that if it went wrong, a backlash of damage would be inflicted on the recipient, and if that damage was enough to kill the patient, they would be turned into an Oneirogen. From what they had seen, Lekovi believed Zandalus had purposely failed the ritual to turn patients into the Oneirogens they had encountered.
The team of amnesiacs then gathered the few items remaining in Zandalus's den, and returned to the chapel. They found all of the Apostles in Orpiment standing around in a daze. Finding Winter back at the chapel, the group quickly went outside, and discovered the road from the asylum down to the small dock clear, and a boat waiting. While Winter and Captain York began ferrying the survivors across the waters of the bay to Thrushmoor, the group went to the corner of the island to examine the standing stones they had read about.
They found three ancient monoliths at the site, covered in Kellid runes and ancient pictures. On the smallest of the three menhirs, they found a large rendition of what appeared to be the Tatterman. The other runes and images were undecipherable, but Taber took a rubbing for later.
Upon returning to the dock, the group found the boat ready to ferry another load of people, and Captain York asked the amnesiacs to hop in. He rowed the 15 minutes to Thrushmoor, and the group disembarked on the shore, to find Winter seeing to the group of refugees already there. Cailyn took the initiative, and sought out the local Church of Pharasma, and led the way there.
At the church, there was only one person – a half-elven painter named Lelwyn Hasok. Talking to the painter revealed that the local priestess, Trilliss Mavaine had been missing for several days. Cailyn asked what other healers were in town, and Lelwyn directed her to Sentilar Ruoy, the alchemist at the HealersHouse. Travelling across the town, the group tried to convince the halfling alchemist to come help the refugees, but Ruoy refused unless he was promised payment from someone official, like perhaps a Royal Inquisitor. Ruoy also offered to sell the group potions to cure the Filth Fever a pair of them had. Heading back the way they had come, the group found Winter at New Chapel, and Cailyn asked for her Inquisitorial Seal. Winter explained that she was not actually an inquisitor, and only helping out the actual Royal Accuser, named Omari. She explained that Omari had planned on meeting her at the headquarters of the Sleepless Agency, the Sleepless Building. Feeling a little frustrated, Cailyn led the group next there.
The group was met at the door of the Sleepless Building by a young woman named Meg. She looked a little taken aback, but asked the group to wait in the lobby while she fetched her mistress. The head of the Sleepless Detective Agency entered the lobby a short while later, and introduced herself as Cessadia Wrentz. Lekovi and Taber saw a subtle change in the woman's attitude as she lay eyes on the group, leading them to believe she had some hard feelings about them. She brusquely addressed the group, asking what they wanted. Cailyn asked after Omari, but Cesadia refused to give any information, saying she did not trust anyone in the group enough to do so. She also seemed skeptical over Cailyn's claims of memory loss, and informed the group that perhaps if they wanted to prove they were indeed trustworthy, they should look into the disappearances that had recently plagued the town. Cailyn asked for a lead, and Cesadia suggested they look into the claims of a local fisherman named Toli Remsatter of glowing lights seen along the shore of the bay at night.
The group left, and decided the next logical place to go was The Silver Wagon. At the inn, they could get some food, take lodgings, and start talking to the locals. As soon as the group set foot in the inn, the barkeep spied them, and began shouting at them that they had been told to leave and not to return. Asking why, the proprietor said they knew damn well they still hadn't paid their bar tab, or made up for starting the bar fight, or any of the damages they had done. Handing over a pouch of 50 gold, Cailyn asked if this would be enough, and if they could have some warm food. Dena begrudgingly accepted the coin, and had them shown to a table, and given some 'cabbage soup', but refused to let them stay in the inn. Lekovi read Dena's surface thoughts, and confirmed she did indeed not like the group at all, and that they had been taken to jail after the bar fight. Attempting to talk to some of the patrons, the group found themselves ostracised after their entrance, but were eventually able to find that Toli would more likely be found at the local tavern, The Stain.
Relocating to the Stain, the group found some people to talk to, including Toli. Toli was happy to talk to the group about his experience – how he noticed a light glowing from a small cover along the shore, about a mile out of town. The amnesiacs asked for some details, and took note of the location Toli had described. Toli also mentioned how the town was a little on edge, due to the coming of the Briarstone Witch, just like Elgrior Nasmeth had been saying. When the group asked about Elgrior, Toli pointed him out, outside the tavern.
The group saw Elgrior, a grimy man in shabby clothing, carrying a signboard emblazoned with “The Witch is coming!”, and shouting “Doom is coming! The second vanishing is upon us! Pray for your salvation that the Briarstone Witch doesn’t take you!”. Moving outside to talk to Elgrior, the group saw the tavern keep watching the man disapprovingly. The group talked to Elgrior for a short time, hearing how he was convinced the Briarsone Witch was returning, and that anyone who dis not pray for salvation would be taken in the second vanishing. Elgiror also told the group how the local government were conspiring with the Witch, as evidenced by them all being in hiding. He espoused how the officials were just waiting for the vanishing to happen, so they could then come in and take all of the spoils. Elgrior was also adamant that they would not take his beetle collection! Lekovi offered Elgrior a tinfoil hat, and then the group watched him wander off, shouting to everyone along the way.
The next stop for the group was to do some much needed provisioning. Determining that they would likely have to live rough for a while, Cailyn went looking for camping supplies and magic. Food was available from the Fish Market and Farmer's Square. The group scoured the High Mart, and found that supplies from outside town would allow them to purchase common items (anything up to 2000gp). River went to visit the local smith, Binter's Smithy, and found that Kletta Binter ran a respectable business selling copper and lead ornaments. She did not stock any weapons or armour, or materials for making them, but she was willing to hire out her second anvil to anyone who wanted to use it.
After stocking up on various items, and offloading a few unrequired things, the amnesiacs left town, looking for a camp site…or perhaps they were searching for the cave?