Strange Aeons

We have to get him to the infirmary right away.
Something's attached itself to him.

6th Kuthona Midday
After recovering from the fight against the hollow Munn, Taber leaned over the railing to take a look down at the surgery below. He could see neat rows of alchemical gear lining most of the walls, in between 3 dark, stained glass windows, each positioned in the middle of the south, east and west walls. Dingy white tiles lined the floor. In the southeastern corner of the room was a towering glass cylinder, containing some sort of yellowish fluid. Standing near the eastern window was an amalagamtion of tubing, wire, steel, and glass vats, filled with what looked to be offal held in an oily liquid the colour of decaying vegetation, that seemed to be an inanimate golem of some sort. Ignoring the elevator, the group prepared ropes, and climbed down onto the surgery table. As soon as feet touched the floor in the room, the golem moved over to the glass cylinder, and smashed it, revealing the contents inside to be an ochre jelly, which spread out and began attacking the ex-amnesiacs. Despite it splitting several times, it and the alchemical golem were shortly overcome.

Investigations of the surgery revealed a magical trap behind one of the stained glass windows, which Cailyn was able to nullify. Another of the stained glass windows was found to be covering a secret tunnel, lined with paving stones, leading down into the bedrock. Rather than investigate this tunnel or the elevator, the group decided to clear out the rest of the upper floors first, and used the elevator to re-ascend to the main building, and then climbed to the first floor above.

The room at the top of the stairs consisted of the entire floor, including another set of stairs to further floors above. The room itself appeared to be some sort of study, with many books and curios lining shelves around the room, a desk and stuffed chair in one corner, and a small table in another. In the middle of each of the walls was an unnerving-looking painting. Having already discovered a pair of traps, Cailyn cautiously looked about the room, and discovered that they were all magically trapped. After falling prey to the first two enchanted paintings while trying to render them inert, Cailyn decided to burn the rest, to avoid any further issues. The first had cursed her, and the second had inflicted a drowning sensation on her. Searching the rest of the room, and group found a safe, which Cailyn proceeded to try and open. Despite examining it first, she did not notice the poison needle trap, and upon trying to open the safe, was inflicted with purple worm venom. After completing the task, the group collected the wealth inside, and retired to Casomir for the rest of the day to recover.

7th Kuthona Morning
Venturing back into the infirmary, the group found little had changed since their previous foray. Lekovi, wondering what else lay above them, attempted to detect thoughts. He was able to detect what seemed to be a depressed mind, going over and over things it had had done wrong. The group then ascended back to the study, and mounted the stairs there to the level above. On the second floor, they found a gruesome laboratory.  Dozens of books, jars, and glass containers on nearly every horizontal surface contained chemicals, unidentifiable sludge the dissected bodies and alien-looking parts of creatures, and a rainbow of various slimes, molds, and fungi. Some of the largest containers were draped with a thick brown cloth. The overpowering stench of bleach, ammonia, and other unidentifiable chemicals filled the air. However, the thing to immediately get the group's attention were the pair of horrible figures in the room. The figures both looked like nothing more than scarecrows, only instead of being made of discarded clothing, they appeared to be constructed from flayed skins stretched over wicker frames, stuffed with straw. As the group began to attack these creatures, they seemed to fall apart quickly and easily, but flying out of the straw came swarms of demonic wasps, stinging with abyssal venom. Although the group was able to defeat all of these creatures in the end, several were weakened or overcome by the venom, and the group decided to withdraw to rest and seek healing. 

Before leaving, they looted the laboratory of many alchemical items. During the search, the group also found  a leather pamphlet, written in Kelish, describing the Mysterium, a library in Katheer. Several covered jars proved to contain the eviscerated and dissected flesh and bones of an old man, the upper torso and head of a ghoul, and the spine, head and one wing of an insectoid fungal creature of some sort. The search also turned up two other items of interest. 

The first was a sealed brass and translucent green glass bottle that contained what appeared to be a human brain. A curved horn made from metal and ivory sprouted from the top of the bottle, and a brass nameplate was stamped onto its base that read “A. Weigs.” Periodically, the horn emitted the quiet sound of whispered lullabies, but efforts to communicate with the brain proved fruitless. 

The second was a large glass jar, in the corner of the lab. The jar contained a fluid, and swirling constantly within it was what seemed at first to be some strange, amorphous sea creature, but after some examination, proved to be instead a whole, flayed human skin, somehow animated within the fluid preserving it. The face on the skin was noticed to be attempting to form words every time it swirled past, and Lekovi used magic to communicate with it. The conversation revealed the creature to only know itself as Number 61. It was a failed experiment of Munn's, produced in his attempts to produce the Hollow Ones, like the creature the group had met when first entering the infirmary. 

Number 61 told the group how it had overheard Lowls and Mun plan here. It knew they were heading to the Mysterium in Katheer, and that they were concerned about the guards there. Lowls eventually decided that bribery would be the best method to get in. Their goal was to steal a book called the Necronomicon from a part of the library called the Soul. Lowls greatly desired the book and the secrets within, claiming it would restore his reputation in Ustalav and bring him unspeakable success and fame. He kept talking about the library and the dangerous wards in the Soul of the Mysterium. He also spoke fearfully of the Mysterium’s guardian, a being known only as the Keeper. Although he didn’t know what the guardian was, he was very worried that he might end up meeting it and not be able to complete his mission in the library. Lowls also spoke about contacting his old friend, the gnoll slaver Biting Lash, in Okeno to help organize a trip to find the hidden city and acquire slaves and hirelings to serve as porters and guards, but seemed to regard the slaver with some amount of fear and trepidation. The pair then gathered a number of objects here and from other places in the infirmary before leaving the hollow ones in charge of the place. Number 61 also told of what Mun called his “anomalous friend.” in the attic, but did not know any more about it.

After this talk, Number 61 revealed that he wished to be put out of his misery. The group agreed, and followed his instructions to add a chemical to his jar, which then stilled Number 61's motion, and his skin slowly floated to the bottom of its container. As the group moved to leave, Taber noticed that there was a concealed trap door in the ceiling. A little searching around revealed that there was a ladder leading to the hatch, and that the ladder had been made invisible. Much excitement ensued, as the group envisioned all sorts of uses for an invisible ladder. The conversation continued, as the group left to find healing.

8th Kuthona Morning
After a refreshing night's sleep, and the application of many healing magics, the group again returned to the the old infirmary (also armed with several new purchases), and ascended again to the laboratory, and then Taber and River climbed the invisible ladder to the third story. In this area, the group found another ladder, leading up to the attic, and another Hollow One, sitting on the bottom rung, sobbing. The rest of the floor seemed to contain nothing but curtains draped about the room, hung from various cords. Closer examination, however, revealed the curtains to be to be scores of skins, taken in unimaginable agony judging by the looks on the faces that wafted eerily in an unseen breeze.

After talking to the Hollow One for a short time, River and Taber were attacked by unseen assailants. Calling for assistance, the pair were repeatedly hit in vital spots by projectiles, from various places about the room. Taber began slashing down the cords holding up the skins, trying to reveal their assailants. The rest of the group climbed, and flew up the ladder, and began assisting. Shortly, a Derro spellcaster was found hiding among the skins, and later, a second, female derro vivisectionist was discovered. The Hollow One also joined in the fight after being injured. After a drawn-out and vicious battle, the derros and Hollow One were destroyed, but at a cost to the group's health and resources. They ventured on, and once again climbed upward.

The group this time arrived in the large, open attic of the infirmary. In the shadows at the peak of the roof, the group found the source of the ivy that had spread over the walls of the stone building. However, the ivy here in the attic was clearly not very healthy, showing itself to be twisted and malformed, with putrid yellow berries sprouting like cancerous growths between the leaves. As the group examined this strange vegetation, Taber spied something hiding up amongst the ivy near the ceiling. Calling a warning, the group reacted to the threat, and the plant growth around them immediately thickened, and began grasping at their feet. The creature above proved to be an immature Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, a betentacled horror. The thing attempted to strangle and drain the vitality from several in the group, before they were able to destroy the aberration.

Once again, despite having arrived relatively fresh, the group retreated from the infirmary to recover again, after having retrieved a chest of riches from within the remains of the ivy. The chest proved to also contain the deed to the infirmary.

10th Kuthona Morning
Finished with the heights of the infirmary, the ex-amnesiacs this time descended back to the surgery, and then climbed down the hidden tunnel. The tunnel evened out after narrowing, and the group squeezed their way through, and emerged in a gigantic, lightless cavern, hung with chains. A rickety wooden walkway ran around the rocky walls, and the bottom of the cavern was filled to an unknown depth with murky water. A crowd of nearly two dozen derros were here, half of them arrayed on the walkway, and half hanging from the chains, all alerted to the group's approach by their light sources.

A great battle broke out, with a number of the derros firing crossbows at the ex-amnesiacs, while others attempted to engage them up close. Lekovi, thinking quickly, employed a large illusion, making the chains appear to have turned into snakes. This caused the Derros hanging from them to drop to the water below. In retaliation, a number of them unleashed bursts of sound at the group as they clustered in the entrance tunnel. Several of the derros proved to be adept at hitting vital spots, firing crossbows while hiding under the water, to avoid attacks from a flying Taber. River and Cailyn cleared the walkway of Derro, while Taber, Scorcher and Lekovi devestated the swimmers. Shortly, all was quiet again in the cavern, except for the rattling of chains, and the flow of water down the giant hole at the end of it.

After recovering from their wounds, the group next followed the walkway along, and found a short, doored corridor that led into another vaulted room, this one hewn from the rock rather than natural, and about half the size of the cavern. At the end of this large chamber was a door similar to that leading to the elevator in the surgery above. Guarding the room, aware of the group's approach, were a pair of derros, riding what appeared to be gigantic centipede-like creatures. They charged at the group, stabbing at them, and then moving back, and lobbing bombs. At one point, one of the mounts pulsed with bright, strobing blue lights, which confused some of the group, and one of the riders. After yet another struggle, the ex-amnesiacs prevailed. The old infirmary belonging to Miacknian Munn had been cleared of threats. After licking their hurts, the group retreated one final time to their accomodation, before joining the sailing vessel scheduled to take them to Katheer with the morning tide.

3rd Abadius
Following an uneventful two month journey, the group disembarked at the bustling metropolis of Katheer, one of the greatest cities in the known world. A sprawling mass of glittering buildings, side-by-side with ancient creations that struggled to remain standing. By comparison, Cassomir was a village. Thousands of vessels plied the river, darting in and out of Katheer’s port. Countless laborers, sailors, and merchants infested the port, and in places the river was so thick with boats that it almost seemed possible to cross it without getting wet feet.

The group first searched the city for a Doctor Anya Chawaar, sister to the unfortunate Doctor Arosh Chawaar of Briarstone, who's notes the group had recovered shortly after first awakening. Doctor Chawaar was greatful for the return of her brother's notes, and rewarded the group with a large sack of gold. The group next looked for information about the Mysterium. Although not well-known, they were eventually able to discover that the building was a library, and a place of study and instruction, located in the University District of the city. Travelling there, the group was able to locate the building, but also heard rumours about how the Mysterium had been locked down, thanks to the actions of a group foreign thieves triggering something terrible within. The group spoke to the guards at the Mysterium, but were turned back, and directed to speak with the present master of the library, Elder Lythiin. They were able to find the Elder, at her offices near the Mysterium.

Elder Thyrr proved to be an older woman, walking with the aid of a stick, and speaking in a soft voice. She was clearly out of her depth, and had no way of dealing with whatever had happened in the Mysterium. After talking to the group for a short time, and asking them about what they wanted, and why, she made an obvious and deliberate decision to ask for their help in resolving things. She revealed that her previous superior, Elder Lythiin, was the real expert on the library. Elder Lythiin, however, had entered the Mysterium after a group of foreign thieves had triggered the institutions magical wards almost a month prior. Something had caused the wards, which were supposed to summon axiomites to defend the knowledge within, to instead summon terrifying hound-like creatures, which Lekovi was able to identify as Hounds of Tindalos. Despite their abilities, the Hounds had remained within the Mysterium. Lythiin and a contingent of guards had eventually entered the Mysterium to deactivate the wards, but had not been heard from since. Thyrr, now with no way of dealing with the wards or creatures, had sealed off the Mysterium, hoping a solution would present itself. She now offers to trade access to the Necronomicon for the ex-amnesiac's help in shutting down the wards.

The group readily agreed, and Thyrr provided what information she could about the defences – mainly that the layout of the library may have changed internally, and could interfere with teleportation magics. She also informed them that shutting down the wards required venturing into the depths of the building, to the level that contained the Soul — a chamber at the very core of the library — to find an angel statue without eyes, and insert their fingers into the eye sockets. A tolling bell would signify the wards had been successfully reset. Elder Thyrr told them that once they were let in, the guards would seal the outer door, and the PCs would be allowed out only after the bell tolled, signaling that the Mysterium was once again safe.

To navigate the library, Elder Thyrr instructed the group that on each level of the Mysterium they needed to find four different angelic statues with heads that swivel. These heads must be turned to face the walls they stand before, and once they are all properly manipulated, the gateways between the different levels of the library can be opened. Thyrr warned the ex-amnesiacs of some lingering dangers in the lower levels of the Mysterium. She told how the last time the Mysterium’s wards were triggered (nearly a hundred years ago), many Nethysians and other scholars were killed; their lasting psychic impressions had been known to rear up at times in bizarre and dangerous manifestations when people were studying in the lower levels of the Mysterium. Those who ventured to the lower levels frequently knew to look out for these manifestations, and some even studied accompanied by a priest to have a greater chance at combating them. Many of these manifestations were purged, but there were still numerous haunts that the clergy hasn’t been able to figure out how to permanently get rid of. She also warned that some of these existing haunts might have warped and changed, much like the summoned guardians. She demanded that before she allowed the group to enter that they swore on whatever they held dear to find and secure Elder Lythiin or his body. She asked that one of them say a prayer over any Nethysian bodys they find, and to wrap them in funerary cloths that she provides. She promised in return to allow them unfettered access to the library for a week and provide them a cash reward.

Elder Thyrr lastly told the group of a spherical chamber in the ceiling of the Mysterium’s first level, built into the body of the pyramid. This chamber was used by priests who meditate in complete darkness while levitating, but Elder Thyrr believes that the chamber might provide protection from the guardian hounds of Tindalos if the PCs need a place where they can rest or retreat to.

After a short shopping trip for additional supplies, the group returned to the Mysterium, and Elder Thyrr bade the guards unseal the door. They removed the 3 sets of 3-inch-thick iron bars, lashed to chains to the circular door, taking almost a minute to remove the protection. They then unlocked the lock, with an unsettling grinding noise, and opened the door. Practically pushing the group in, the guards then set about sealing them in. The group could hear the bars being replaced behind them.

Beyond the door stretched a long hallway, branching quickly to the left and right, and continuing off into the distance ahead of them through another crossroad, eventually ending at a last t-junction, almost 80 feet distant. In the main corridor ahead, a number of doors branched off the main corridor. The walls of the outer corridors were also lined with shelves, each crammed full of books. Each of the doors was wooden, and carved with dozens of faces, depicting a wide range of moods. Angelic figures graced the architecture in many locations, holding aloft keystones, dancing as sconces, and lurking in corners. All were made of white marble, hued like sickly honey, thanks to a skin of pollution from smoke and dust. 

Almost immediately upon moving forward, the group heard the clicking of claws on stone, and the baying of hounds approaching. 4 hounds attacked the group, in two pairs. After closing with the group, the hounds then began to step in and out of angles in the walls, appearing in other angles far distant, to confuse the group's melee fighters. After a short struggle, though, the hounds were slain. As each died, they erupted in a frenzy of ripping entrails, breaking bones, and a terrible shriek that sounded like tearing metal. 

As River healed the group's wounds, Cailyn moved forward to the doors in the first segment of hallway, looking for traps, and searching the small study rooms revealed. Shortly afterwards, the group was again assailed by a group of four hounds, running around many different corners in the hallways. Again, the group was able to dispatch the beasts relatively quickly, but this time, they inflicted significant damage on the spellcasters in the group, downing Scorcher. After the pack was again wiped out, River again applied healing magic to the group, greatly depleting his stored energy. And again, as the group approached the central intersection of hallways, they were again assaulted by a pack of four hounds.

Although the hounds were again dispatched, this time, the cost was Cailyn's life. In a barely-controlled panic, Taber spotted a concealed hatch in the ceiling above the central intersection, and a short search revealed a ladder to reach it. The group climbed up, River throwing Cailyn's body over his shoulder, her former Rhino companion being left behind. The hatch proved to lead to the spherical meditation chamber Elder Thyrr had described, and the group spread out what bedding they had, and rested to recover their strength again. River used a purchased scroll to return Cailyn's soul to her body, doing what he could to reduce the debilitating effects.
 

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Save the dream!
Save the rebellion!

8th Neth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiW5Rm8YTf8

The group returned to the prison on the Moon, and made their way up the stairs to the floor they had not yet explored. There, they found a foul Moon Beast, which mistook the group for some of its minions, and asked what news there was of the usurper from the west. Quickly realising its error, it attacked the interlopers, and the amnesiacs fought and slew the abominable being. Exploring further, the group located a records room, containing various prisoner belongings. They also discovered a scale model of the prison building, and from it were able to determine just how the sliding wall section between the two halves of the prison worked, and confirmed their theories by trying out the lever here, moving down to examine the effects before returning and reversing the lever, and travelling back to the west, and climbed back to the torture chamber above the cell block.

Beyond, they discovered magically silenced solitary cells. The only one of them occupied contained the Yellow King. After some effort in calming the traumatised being, the group went upstairs to the final chamber of the prison, and were attacked by a second disgusting Moon Beast. Afterwards, they all returned to the Shantakk, and traveled back to the Forsaken Caravanserai with the Yellow King.

As soon as the group arrived back, they had the Yellow King escort them to the Reflective Oasis. Leaving the Yellow King outside the Oasis, the group approached over the dunes surrounding it, and spied the oasis, and the hut and tree beside it. The Tree's spores affected multiple PCs straight up, and they began approaching the tree. Scorcher was fireballing from afar. Lekovi approached the hut and tried the door to no avail. Both Taber and Cailyn ended up consuming headfruit, and eventually, the tree was destroyed.

The new quiet was broken by Abdul Alhazred emerging from the hut, and welcoming the amnesiacs back, addressing each of them by name. The group then told the Mad Poet what they were here for, and that they had gifts for him. He asked them to place them on the bench by the hut, and they did so. The Poet seemed pleased by their offerings, and spoike to them each in turn, presenting them with their own copy of the book he held, and asking them what they relied on the most. Each amnesiac answered, and as they flipped through their empty copy of the Necronomicon, felt a boost to their natural capabilities.

The mad poet next explained that Lowls seeks a city called Neruzavin. To learn of its location in their world, they must seek certain writings in the Necronomicon. The Dreamlands Necronomicon was of no use to them — he riffled the pages in his book to show it is blank. Alhazred explained to them that they can peruse the genuine Necronomicon at a university of the occult called the Mysterium in the Qadiran city of Katheer.He also mentioned that he had provided the same information to the count that he just shared with them, so Lowls was most likely headed to Katheer to obtain the Necronomicon for himself. He warned that Lowls wasn’t what he seemed, and that the Great Old One Xhamen-Dor had infected him. He surmised that Lowls intends to use the Star Stelae in Thrushmoor and Neruzavin to mark Golarion so that it can be brought into Carcosa. Doing so would help fully waken Xhamen-Dor, and Lowls would become the great old one’s champion for completing the task.

The poet offered to help the amnesiacs get a taste of the future — and perhaps of their past — by allowing them to speak with the “King of Neruzavin.” He invited them to step into the waters of the oasis, gesturing grandly with his free hand over the clear waters. Stepping into the waters, the group saw reflections of the last time they were here at this oasis, when Abdul Alhazred made the same offer to Lowls. In the reflection, Lowls shoved each of the drug-addled group into the pool. Their reflections writhed under the water and their faces went blank and distant. A thin mist leeched from the heads of their reflections; the mist contained images of Lowls greeting the group in a busy market, the group arriving at Iris Hill, the group performing various unsavory tasks at Lowls’s direction, and finally, Lowls admitting them to Briarstone Asylum. The mist coiled beneath the water, and rose to the surface, then broke it. As it did, each amnesiac felt all of their lost memories return in a dizzying flash.

The blank-faced reflections remained under the water while the memories coiled to the surface, but as soon as the group became amnesiacs no longer, the reflections stood up from the water. These reflections, now solid manifestations, attacked their future selves, displaying nightmarish capabilities and teamwork. A grand struggle ensued between the former amnesiacs, and their nightmare older selves, begun by Tabers and fireballs flying in all directions, and finished by the nightmare River being slashed to death by his modern counterpart. Sorely tested, the group had come through the adversity, and overcame their worst enemy yet – themselves. During the mighty struggle, the mad poet had slipped back into his hut, and disappeared.

Departing the Dreamlands for the final time, the group awoke again on the Sellen Starling. Over the course of the next 4 weeks, they uneventfully completed their journey to the Taldane harbour city of Casomir.

6th Kuthona - Casomir

Upon arrival at the docks, as the vessel began to be unloaded, a well-dressed man approached and asked to speak to the group. Despite their suspicions of betrayal, the man turned out to be a representative of Senator Daldamane, and presented the group with a promisory note for several thousand gold pieces, courtesy of the rescued ex-senator.

The ex-amnesiacs then spoke with the Captain about procuring travel beyond Casomir, and who they could talk to to track down their next target, the alchemist Miacknian Munn. Discovering they would have a short wait for passage to the south, they decided to investigate Munn. After some talk, they found he had been associated with an association know as the The Esoteric Knights of Evolvement. The group travelled to the reported regular meeting place of this group, an inn known as the Sceptered House. At the inn, the ex-amnesiacs spoke to the proprietor, and found that Munn had not been seen for some time, but they one of the other members of the Knights was present, a gnome named Ehtem Baler.

Ehtem turned out to be suffering from the Bleaching, and seemed only interested in some papers on the desk in front of him. Looking at the papers, the group saw what seemed to be ship plans and blueprints. Hoping to engage him, Taber used the knowledge he had picked up from his time on the Sellen Starling to engage in conversation. Ethem, taking more notice, and talking of his design of vessels, even mentioned he was responsible for designing the Sellen Starling, and that he was acquainted with her captain. A rapport now in place, Ehtem told the group that he had not seen Miacknian at the last two monthly meetings of the Knights. He also told them where Miacknian's home was. Feeling at ease with the group, he also disclosed his concernabout his associate: the fact that Mun has had a number of visitors over the past year, but that each vanished without a trace. Perhaps they all left unseen by night, but it struck the bleachling as odd. The gnome added that Mun has mentioned a mysterious colleague who lives with him, simply referring to him or her as his “anomalous friend.” The group took their leave of Ethem, and went to pay Munn a visit at home.

Munn's dwelling turned out to be a tall, stone building with a high gabled roof, at least 4 stories tall in all. The wrought iron fence and yard surrounding the building showed no sign of having been tended to recently. The ground floor was windowless, and all of the windows on the upper floors were sealed behind an iron latticework, behind which were visible internal, closed, iron shutters. A thick stench blew across the yard from the nearby Blackwood Swamp.

The group entered, and ventured around the grounds, looking for alternative egress, but finding none. They discovered an eclectic collection of weathered stone statues of swans and angels on the grounds, and confirmed the garden had been left to run wild for some time. There were signs of some tracks from the gate to the single iron door, but not much else.

Approaching the door, the ex-amnesiacs spied a dangling sign above, held by a trio of smiling angels. It read, “Give succor to the troubled.” A great iron
knocker hung at the door’s center, and Taber used it gather attention. After a short time, a tall, thin man, with sandy hair and glasses answered the door, and asked the group's business. They declared they were here to see Miacknian Munn. The stranger said that he was Munn, and that he was busy with work for the Taldan Navy, and could not be disturbed further until tomorrow. Over the group's protests, he closed the door, and retreated inside.

Not to be dissuaded, Cailyn unlocked the door. As she did so, a trap pumped a stream of acid over the area near the door. Checking for any further traps but not finding any, Cailyn cautiously opened the door and entered. Finding themselves in an entryway, the group moved around, and explored two smaller rooms to either side, identifying a small lounge (filled with many mildly disturbing knickknacks), and a Study (containing, amongst other things, a table made from the stuffed corpse of an owlbear).

The other half of the ground floor were revealed to be a single room, filled with books and medical curiosities. A handrailed opening in the middle of the area proved to be a viewing gallery to another large space below. Munn was here, and politely asked the group what they were doing in his home, and to immediately leave. The group continued to approach Munn, and ask about Count Lowls. Eventually, Lekovi attempted to influence Munn's mind, and he began to attack the group, strangely by slamming at them with his arms rather than a weapon.

In the ensuing combat, the thing the ex-amnesiacs faced proved itself to not be Munn, and in fact not even a person. The creature appeared to be a hollow piece of what appeared to be skin, although it was also resistant to being cut, similar to some constructs. 

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Just Around The Corner
from the journal of Taber

As our small band of adventurers walked down the lengthy corridor, I turned to Lekovi and signed, "I feel like we've forgotten something". Lekovi returned a puzzled look and casually shrugged. I frowned questioningly and slowly turned back around, only to be suddenly attacked from around a corner and slammed into unconsciousness.

As I quickly crumpled to the floor, Cailyn and her ponderous rhinoceros charged the three Denizens of Leng. The enemy proved cunning adversaries, choosing to ambush our party at a narrow corner. Fighting in the tight confines of the passage proved difficult, as many of the attacks were easily defended against or bounced harmlessly off the alien stonework of the hallway. Two of the creatures attacked ferociously with talon and tooth at the front, while one of the monsters launched magical assaults from the rear.

Resisting his natural instinct to immediately charge into melee, River paused long enough to administer an early healing spell to me. My eyes blinked open as I lay on the cold floor. Glancing up at Lekovi I gestured, "Healing! We forgot to heal up after the last fight." Lekovi shrugged again and let loose with a psychic blast, confusing one of the enemy.

As Lekovi and Scorcher launched psychic and magical attacks at our foes, Cailyn and her animal companion took the front position, while River lunged with his battleaxe from behind his comrade. After standing up, I attacked from around the corner. Sadly, to little affect. The restrictive space was proving a definite disadvantage. Spotting a brief opening, I surprised everyone by swiftly launching myself into the air. With a mighty leap challenging all belief, I vaulted over the front row of enemies, rebounded off the eastern wall and deftly landed behind the Denizen at the rear. As I regained my footing I attacked, striking a nerve and stunning the creature momentarily.

Suddenly, the enemy was surrounded and we were now certain of victory. We were winning! Or so we thought. Right up to the moment when a door on the eastern wall, just a little north of the corner, flew open and a gaunt figure stood ready in the doorway.

"Oh crap!" I thought.

Not sure of the newcomers intent, Cailyn tried to communicate with it, while the rest of the party continued to deal with the Denizen trio. The mysterious figure glared at Cailyn and raised its skeletal hand as a green light radiated between its clenched fingers. From this glow an emerald ray shot out and hit Cailyn fully in the chest. Shocked, she looked down expecting something terrible to happen. Nothing! Cailyn quickly glanced at the mysterious figure and noticed a questioning and disappointed look upon its ghoulish features. Cailyn afforded herself a slight smile as she advanced towards the new enemy, flexing her clawed hands with delightful anticipation.

As I fought in the adjacent corridor, with the enemy between me and my companions, I felt an ominous foreboding. My thoughts turned to the dark unknown behind me. What evil lurked just outside the comforting glow of my light? What monstrosity was staring at me now, intent on feasting upon my flesh while I was separated from my group? I was still sorely injured and doubted my strength against a determined adversary from behind. I tried to shake such thoughts from my head as I fought towards my companions.

As Cailyn faced off against the Leng Ghoul in the doorway, the rest of the group pressed our advantage against the Denizens of Leng at the corner. The one I stunned quickly fell to a flurry of blows. A second one soon followed, succumbing to a barrage of attacks from River, Lekovi and Scorcher. The rhinoceros continued to push forward, finally pinning the confused enemy between it and myself. We were winning! Until a cry from Lekovi and Scorcher told us otherwise.

"Crap!"

From the south end of the original corridor two sinister women strode into view. They were swathed in shadow and moved with lithe confidence. Glaring down the corridor at Lekovi, Scorcher, River and Cailyn, they cast some hypnotic spell over the group. Only Cailyn failed to save against the dark influence and she stood dazed and frightened for the moment.

I prayed to Desna, thankfully that the new enemy emerged from that end of the corridor and not behind me.

Noticing the momentary lapse in Cailyn's attack, the Leng Ghoul retreated further into its room. Cailyn, now full of fear and loathing of the two sisters, panicked and ran directly away from them, straight into the Ghoul's room. Instinctively, the creature shot another emerald ray at Cailyn and this time the evil magic worked. Cailyn froze, the look of fear now replaced with doubt and confusion.

As Lekovi and Scorcher turned to deal with the new threat, the rhinoceros, River and I dispatched the final Denizen of Leng and watched as its body, like the rest of its kind, dissolved into nothingness. With the original threat defeated, the three of us raced around the corner to aid Lekovi and Scorcher, only to be met with another sorcerous blast from the diabolical women. Unfortunately, I yielded to the spell's effect and I quickly felt the fingers of fear dance down my spine and clutch my heart. Horrified, I dashed down the adjacent hall, opened the double doors that stood at its end, raced through them and slammed the doors shut with all the frightened strength I could gather. Finally, falling with my back to the door terrified and totally alone. I frantically look around the quiet room and notice a flight of stairs ascending into the darkness above.

"CRAP! CRAP! CRAP!"

The Ghoul, now seeing its chance, clawed at the frightened and confused Cailyn. As the undead creature struck, Cailyn could feel a numbing effect spread over her limbs. With renewed confidence and a maniacal toothy grin, the Ghoul slowly moved towards the now paralysed and isolated changeling. However, before it could do further harm, Cailyn's faithful rhinoceros stampeded to her rescue.

With a supreme effort of will, I suppressed my fear, I opened the door and I ran back to the corner and my companions. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite overcome my fright completely and I only managed to run into another room off the hallway and slam the door shut. Bracing it with my back again. "Well," I assured myself. "At least I'm a little closer."

Lekovi, River and Scorcher bravely fought the Maenad sisters in the corridor, dispatching one of them in short order. The last sister howled with rage and, with bloody revenge her sole purpose now, frantically threw herself at her attackers.

Meanwhile, the rhinoceros continued to defend Cailyn from the Leng Ghoul.

Suddenly, the dread I felt subsided. Perhaps the fear effect ended when the first of the evil Maenad died. So I opened the door and started to run into combat. Only River continued the fight. My other two friends Lekovi and Scorcher were slain, their bodies lying on the corridor floor. Thankful that death in the Dreamlands only means an untimely awakening and an unbearable headache back in the real world, I leapt into the fight. However, with a final slash of his enchanted battleaxe, River ended the threat of the nightmarish fiend.

Together River and I turned to Cailyn's rescue. Initially we only noticed the large form of the rhinoceros lying on the floor, dead. Then we saw Cailyn rip her opponent apart with a blinding array of clawed slashes. She looked at us and with a blood smeared smile and asked, "What kept you?"

We stood exhausted, surveying the battle field. "Before doing anything else," I signalled to the others. "Maybe it would be prudent to heal up first." They both grinned and nodded in agreement.

After looting the bodies of the fallen, the three of us began to prepare for the lengthy trip back to the caravanserai atop the gigantic Shantak.

View
The Prison on the Moon

6th Neth, morning
Back to the Caravanserai.
Upon returning, the group cautiously moved through the entrance of the Forsaken Carvanserai to the stables. Recalling the secret doors at the back, the amnesiacs went straight to the office at the foot of the stairs to the Yellow King's room. Upon opening the door, they were greeted by another strange sight. A gaunt, tall humanoid, immaculately dressed in a colorful suit and wearing a stovepipe hat, poring through one of the dusty ledgers on the desk.

The group greeted the person, and he introduced himself as Mr Wanderlust, and asked if they knew anything about accounting or mathematics. When asked why, he stated that he hoped the group could help him break the cypher used in the writing in the old ledgers in the room. The group attempted to identify Mr Wanderlust's species, but were only vaguely aware of him being some sort of fey creature. After a short conversation, an uninvited spell was cast at Mr Wanderlust, and he responded with magic of his own. After a quick struggle, the group overcame Mr Wanderlust, and began looking over the ledgers themselves, trying to ascertain the secret. However, Lekovi soon became convinced the incomprehensible writing in the ledgers were actually the result of some sort of curse, rather than a writing system, and pronounced them utterly meaningless.

The amneisacs then mounted the stairs to where they had last seen the Yellow King, but found nohbody there. Some sign of a scuffle showed, and River moved over to the door, and out onto the balcony there. His eyes were met by the sight of a gigantic birdlike creature, fitted with an ornate howdah. Fixed on this sight, he did not notice a pair of Denizens of Leng that had been silently waiting besiude the door, and they attacked and killed him. During the ensuing struggle, the Lengian creatures also killed Cailyn and Scorcher before being put down. Lekovi and Taber assessed the situation and, after talking a little to the bird creature, woke themselves, rejoining their companions in the real world.

7th Neth, morning
After a day recovering, the group enacted the ritual and returned to the Caravanserai.Going straight to the balcony, they spoke for some time with the Shantak, and learned that the creature had been left behind as transport for Mr Wanderlust and the Leng Denizens stationed at the Caravanserai, while the Yellow King has been transported to a facility on the Moon by a Leng Denizen called Weiralai. Recognising this name as that of the first Leng Denizen they had fought, under Iris Hill, the group convinced the Shantak to follow the route, and take them to the moon.

The flight to the moon took 10 hours, during which the group were able to relax in the comfort of the howdah. Lekovi was able to work out that the howdah was, in fact, encahnted, and protecting them from the extreme cold of the Dreamlands void between worlds.

The Shantak landed in a small fenced paddock, a short distance from a squat but imposing building, perched over a dark, viscous lake. Approaching cautiously, the group moved around the obvious entrances, and went to examine the lake, finding it to be formed of what appeared to be a salty liquid with a thick, syrupy texture. Looking around the shore, Taber spotted a stone pipe about 4 feet in diameter, leading into the hill under the building. Examination showed the pipe quickly sloped upwards. Unsecuring the gril over the pipe's exit, the monk climbed up the pipe, and affixed a rope. Cailyn then followed, and unlocked the top grill.

The top end of the pipe led into what appeared to be a large prison facility, dark, but filled with a number of independant cells. Quickly moving around the area, the group located only two occupied cells. The first contained a lean, strong woman, with short black hair and an ugly scar across her brow and nose. She identified herself as Kelvetta Brix, a Chelish big-game hunter. Curious about how a native of Golarion ended up in the dreamlands, and thinking they might be able to use her egress as a way to the dreamlands, they questioned Kelvetta, but were ultimately disappointed to learn she did not exactly know where the portal she had used was located, and that it had closed after she had entered this realm. Kelvetta was happy to provide anything the group wanted to know, just as long as they could get her out of here as quickly as possible. She appeared to be terrified of something.

The second cell was home to a woman in a near-catatonic state. After being calmed by one of Lekovi's spells, she told them she had been captured, and saw little to no hope of being able to overcome the doom aimed at them all. Despite the spell's calming effect, she still seemed quite flat and downtrodden, but welcomed release. 

The group let the pair out, and escorted them out of the pipe, providing directions back to the Shanktak (River watching them expectantly the whole time, waiting for an ambush). 

Returning to the prison, the group located only three potential ways onward – a stone staircase leading up, and a pair of doorways. An unearthly sound of music and the occasional muted screams issued from the area above. Going to the doors first, the large double doors at the edge of the room (after Cailyn unlocked them) led into a 10'-square chamber, with a second set of double doors at the far side. The other side of these doors were sealed by a solid stone wall. Examining the area for secret doors, the group identified some strangely regular horizontal scratch marks along the walls, but no means of egress. 

Moving back to the central door, the group found that it led into what appeared to be a communal dining area, set with rough wooden tables and benches. The only way further on led to a small alcove, on the other side of an opening sealed by a metal grill, with no means of opening it. A funnel on the other side appeared to feed into the side the group were on, and was stained by the residue of something foul.

At a loss, the group rested here briefly.

The amnesiacs next Went up the stairs. The stairway opened out into another good-sized stone chamber, this one festooned with torture devices, each with oily tubes leading up from them, and meeting over at the far wall, in a mass of brass and bronze machinery and horns, with fluted pipes leading up into the ceiling. Working on the machinery was a pale-skinned humanoid woman, with short red hair, freckles and dark eyes. Wiping her hands on her coveralls, she greeted the group, introduced herself as Osephellius, and asked who they were. After a short conversation about being here to rescue people, the woman transformed into a large dragon, and breathed a blast of strong acid at the group.

Unnerved by the sight of a true dragon, River became panicked and fled, as Cailyn and Taber moved to engage the dragon. Several of the torture devices in the room suddenly animated, and attempted to grapple those moving past them. After a short struggle, Orsephellius overcame the other group members. Realising things had gone badly and that he was likely the last survivor, River continued running, and returned to the Shantak's paddock. After some negotiation, he convinced the creature to take him back to the Caravanserai by promising to let it eat him once they got there. The shantak agreed, and River followed through on his promise when they arrived.

8th Neth, morning
After regrouping and recovering from various insanities, the group steeled themselves to reenter the dreamlands. They spoke to the Shantak again, and convinced it to take them back to the prison, by delivering a load of livestock to it. Crawling back up the effluent pipe, the group prepared, and went back to attack Orsephellius. This time, despite Scorcher becoming panicked, the group were able to overcome the Nightmare Dragon. Scorcher, in his panic, had run to an unexplored area just off the main room, and revealed more machinery, with a conspicuous lever sticking out of it. The rest of the group also examined the lever, and decided to activate it. Machinery operated, and the group could hear a  loud grinding noise echo up from down below for a few moments. Wanting to know what this had done, they ignored the other exits from the room, and instead returned to the cell area.

A little exploration showed that the grinding noise had been caused by walls shifting inside the 10'-square room behind the double doors. A long corridor was now revealed behind them, leading around towards the front of the prison. The group moved further down the corridor, and reached a bend, just as a trio of Leng humanoids emerged from a door there. Both groups looked startled, and then combat began.

View
Dream Become Reality

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arstdwucOjg

30th Lamashan, morning
After several peaceful days further down the river, the a pair of Chuuls climbed on board and attempted to drag the group overboard. Despite them grabbing hold of River and Cailyn, the foul creatures were quickly destroyed, and the threat averted.

2nd Neth, afternoon
A few days later, the amnesiacs saw a trio of well-dressed men on shore, waving and calling for help. After checking with the group, Captain Freeling stopped, and brought the men on board. All three men were wearing expensive courtier's clothing, ruined by weather and exposure. One of the trio had a bandage on his arm, blood seeping through showing the wound underneath. The three thanked the group and crew for stopping, and pleaded for assistance and passage for themselves, and one other person. Despite being wary, the group agreed to help, and the trio led the group ashore, and up to an abandoned old barn.

Still expecting trouble, Cailyn and River checked for signs of tracks, and ambush, but found so obvious signs of anything other than four men. Entering the barn, the group were introduced to the occupant, a Senator Emilio Daldamane of Galt

A handsome and pleasant man, despite his current state, the senator explained how he had fled from his home in Galt a fortnight prior, after learning that the Revolutionary Council suddenly wanted him dead. for no reason that he could fathom. He was sure he had worked tirelessly for the Galtan people for his whole career. Shortly after learning this, Daldamane received a strange missive from a group calling themselves the “Stardust Augurs.” These Stardust Augurs expressed sympathy for the senator’s unexpected reversal of fortune and offered to shelter him within the northern Verduran Forest, in Taldor, if he could reach them. Lacking any other options, the senator fled Isarn with a few trusted courtiers. He felt that reaching the Stardust Augurs was his best option. After being robbed of his funds by bandits 3 days ago, the Senator had been holed up in the barn, while his companions tried to secure him passage. Senator Daldamane promised to repay any help he was given once he could contact his associates in Taldor. Impressed by the Senator's honesty, and sympathietic to his plight, the group agreed to escort him back to their vessel, and carry him to his destination. 

As the group escorted the senator back down the slope to the river, an armed band started attacking them. The band consisted of 4 bowmen, and the same masked Gray Gardner the group had encountered several days prior in Dabril. The amnesiacs defended themselves, and were quickly able to slay the bowmen, followed shortly after by the Gardner. River ensured the Gardner did not survive the encounter.

4th Neth, early evening
Over the next few days, the Sellen Starling sailed futher south. The Senator and his allies stayed out of sight, and Captain Freeling avoided the border town of Woodsedge. The day after passing the border, the group observed magical lights in the sky over the Verduran forest. The Senator identified this as the sign he had been told to expect, and asked to be let ashore. Again, although the group was suspicious, they directed the Captain to stop, and accompanied the Senator into the woods.

Not far from the river, the group encountered a group of six humans. The leader, a fiery human
Taldan woman with smooth features and short dark hair, welcomed both the Senator and the amnesiacs, saying she was expecting them all. Introducing herself as Hadranna Ibren, she welcomed the senator, and informed him that she wanted to escort him to her contacts in Taldor, where his compassionate political skills would be put to good use. The senator agreed to stay with the Stardust Augurs.

Hadranna spoke to the amnesiacs next, and explained she had experienced the powerful visions of the group's dream quests, and asked a number of questions about their journeys in the Dreamlands, as very few of them had ever actually been able to travel there. One of the other members of the Augurs introduced himself as Nestor Bindlay, and thanked the group for releasing him from the Dreamlands – he was the man who had been restrained, unconscious, on the trapped leaf in the Enchanted Wood. After some further chatter and storytelling, the group retired to the Sellen Starling to continue their trip.

4th Neth, evening
Bolstered by their successes, the amnesiacs again enacted the Dreamlands Excursion ritual, and descended the staircase. As they stepped off the bottom of the staircase, they knew no more…and then all awoke, on the floor of the cabin, the bright morning sunshine streaming in through the cracks in the doors. Confused by what had happened, the group checked themselves over, and looked out of the cabin, but found no immediate explanation. Scorcher attempted to pierce a suspected illusion, but found nothing. Lekovi checked to see if he was carrying his dream equipment, thinking they may actually be in the Dreamlands, but found only his normal, waking possessions. River and Taber went to talk to the captain, to find more information. The captain was dreamily staring off to the horizon, and constantly tilted her head to one side as she spoke to the amnesiacs, and could not offer anything new. She had just eaten second breakfast, and wasn't interested in the apple River offered her.

Looking around further, Scorcher noticed that the river was unusually clear, and fairly teeming with strangely iridescent fish. On shore, Cailyn and Taber noticed some grazing animals, but upon looking closer, identified them as Buopoths, waddling quadripeds not native to the Inner Sea. Lekovi looked around the barge, and discovered a chest inside the cabin he did not recall seeing before. Opening it, he discovered a cache of magical items…their own dream equipment, by the look of it, meaning they were indeed in the Dreamlands. As he called the others in, the captain appeared at the door to the cabin. 

Captain Freeling's mouth opened, and quickly kept opening far beyond it's normal range of motion, until the entire top half of her head flopped loosely against the back of her neck, and her skin dropped, intact, to the deck. A dark, hulking shadow Welled up out of the skin, exuding a palpable sense of terror, and began tearing into Lekovi. The creature's incorporeal claws sailed effortlessly through armour, somehow inflicting horrible wounds on the flesh beneath. Even worse, the wounds began oozing out Lekovi's very soul, and his force of personality was much weakened over the next few seconds. The creature also demonstrated an ability to teleport around, moving outside of the cramped cabin and beside Taber. Thanks to the support of his divinely-inspired weapon, and his training at using the weapon at long range, River was able to hit the creature reliably, and quickly hacked it apart.

As the group recvered from the disconcerting attack, they saw that the vessel with the blood-red sails they had seen earlier in their trip was approaching, and ready for boarding. Grappling hooks were thrown, and the two vessels slammed together. The pirates on board stood ready, firing crossbows at the amnesiacs. The captain, another denizen of Leng, gestured, and his first mate, a shadowy wraith, flew across to attack River. River quickly demonstrated the error in this decision, destroying the creature in a single mighty blow. Taber leapt across to the deck of the enemy vessel, behind the pirates, and began fighting them, while Cailyn and her companion locked up one boarding plank, and River the other. The captain moved around the melee, and attacked Taber and River. The captain was clearly a magus, protected by swirling mirror images, and dealing out blasts of electrical energy from his sword. Despite dealing some fearsome wounds, the captains crew were cut down, and he quickly afterwards.

Once the fighting had died down, and healing applied, and the downed foes were looted, the group began to explore the vessel, which appeared to be named the Bloodwind. While looking over the loot for magic, the group noted that the whole ship was, in fact, enchanted with transmutation magic. Lekovi had been expecting some form of teleportation magic, and was confused, but unable to tell exactly what the ship was capable of. Initially, it appeared to be a folding boat, but there were clearly some other threads of magic woven into the enchantments that he could not identify.

While trying to decipher this meaning, the bowsprit suddenly swung around, knocking Scorcher overboard. A quick fly spell corrected this accident. Taber was a little confused by this, as he felt no sign of wind, which would normally be the cause for this movement. Shortly afterwards, one of the oars swung around in it's oarlock, trying to knock Cailyn overboard, but Cailyn was too nimble.

The group searched the vessel, but found no other valuables. They had already recovered the captain's tricorne, and a pouchful of flawless but strange rubies. As they went to enter the Captain's cabin, the door swung shut of it's own volition. Lekovi tried to open the door with a telekinetic cantrip, but realised it wouldn't work on the enchanted ship. River walked over to open the door, and the door suddenly slammed open into his face. He instinctively blocked it with his shield, but was disconcerted nonetheless.

Disconcerted, Scorcher yelled at the ship to behave. Lekovi tried another solution, and attempted to cast Calm Emotions. Feeling the ship resist the effect, he cast again and again, the third time finally working. The ship stopped trying to harm the amnesiacs, and they completed their search, finding nothing more of interest.

Returning to the deck, the group began attempting to pilot the vessel, River having hope of using the ship to sail back to their home, carrying them and their dream possessions back. Alas, the folding boat began to fold in upon itself. Seeing no alternative, the group abandoned the Bloodwind as it compressed to a small box, and sank to the bototm of the river, River being the last to reluctantly let go.

Back on board the dream Sellen Starling, the group found a portal in the cabin. Disconcerted further, some of the group tried to awaken themselves normally, and other stepped through the portal. With a familliar sense of deja vous, they all awoke back in the cabin, feeling very uncertain as to where they were.

5th Neth, evening
The group spent the day resting and recovering from their ordeal on the dream Sellen Starling, trying not to imagine that everyone around them was another nigthmare creature. 

Having gathered all of the items the Yellow King had asked them to, the group again enacted the Dreamlands Excursion ritual that night, to return to the Forsaken Caravanserai. Arriving again in the heat outside the abandoned building, the group made their way towards the front entrance, Cailyn asking if maybe they could just climb straight up to the Yellow King's rooms, and wondering if the Formless Spawn was still in the baths. It was then that a pair of unearhtly howls rang out, although each of the group shook off the feeling of foreboding. Approaching more cautiously now, Taber saw the split door of the guardpost partly open, and barely catching a glimpse of the inhabitants, slammed it shut and held it. Cailyn moved up, and rammed a stake in at bottom of the door, holding it fast. Scorcher hasted the group, while the others moved forwards to face the threat.

Lekovi heard a voice from inside the guardpost ordering someone to stay, in Aklo, and claws swiped under the door, unsuccessfully trying to clear the obstruction. Taber then hauled the top half of the door back open, revealing a denizen of Leng standing inside the guardpost. Reacting quickly, Taber then tried unsuccessfully to haul the humanoid out of the room. As this happened, a flock of large Nightgaunts unexpectedly burst out of the stables, and flew towards the group, three of them flying up and over the roof. Lekovi quickly confused one of them, while Scorcher blasted apart another with fire. At the guardpost, the Leng denizen forced his way out, as did a pair of Yeth hounds. Over the next few moments, the group fought off the hounds and Nightgaunts, and finally slew the Leng denizen as well.

While healing and contemplating their next move, the group next heard a pack of dogs howling and rushing at them from the corridor opposite the guardpost. Reacting quickly, the group rushed into the corridor to head off the dogs. These creatures looked similar to the hounds from the guardpost, but larger, and somehow more shadowy, despite the bright light in the corridor. River, Taber, and Cailyn all moved to engage the beasts, hacking them apart. Lekovi followed them, and they all moved around the bend, expecting more opposition, while Scorcher stayed at the corridor entrance. Not wanting to be ambushed, Cailyn threw open the curtain the others had moved past, and moved into the ruined shop. Blazing into life on the wall was a magical symbol, and as the light shone out, Taber and Lekovi felt the strength drain from their bodies, Lekovi actually falling to the floor, unable to support his weight.

While this was happening, another Leng humanoid had snuck up behind Scorcher, and bit him, dealing a horrible wound and draining his reflexes. Now facing this new threat, the group rushed back out, while Scorcher backed away into the corridor, and Cailyn guarded Lekovi. As Scorcher came within sight of the symbol, it flared again, and he also felt his stremgth drain. Despite his weakness, Taber joined River in engaging the slippery humanoid, who rushed out of sight towards the stables. Expecting his opponent had become invisible, River used his speed to move methodically around the stables, trying to find the enemy, only to have him jump out of his hiding place, and ineffectually bite at him. Taber and River surrounded the creature, and were eventually able to finish him off with little further injury.

Deciding their situation had become untenable, the group forced themselves awake to rid themselves of the various hurts to their bodies.

6th Neth, morning
Rather than return straight to the Caravanserai, the amnesiacs decided to prepare further first, and instead took a trip to Dylath-Leen to procure more dream supplies. They then steeled themselves for the next trip, to the Caravanserai.

View
Murder on the Dance Floor

https://youtu.be/hAx6mYeC6pY
As the amnesiacs finally reached the top of the Sarnath sea wall, the green mist lit up out over the lake, showing several more Ib Shades. One of the shades, looking more resplendant than the others in regalia of some sort, brandished aloft a green stone statue, semmingly solid despite being held by insubstantial fingers. 

The group sprang into action, with Scorcher floating up, and firing another Fireball at the spectral amphibians.  Lekovi waited, to see what the creatures would do. Cailyn and her Rhinoceros companion, and Taber rushed towards the edge of the seawall, ahead of the others. The creatures then charged at the group, slashing at them with incorporeal claws, instilling a sense of foreboding into changeling and rhino. The translucent priest brandished the idol, and beams of power lashed out, visibly drawing the very moisture from the bodies of the amnesiacs. River charged at the creatures, calling on his faith to strike them solidly, and Lekovi then broke from his reverie, casting Haste on the group.

Just after Lekovi completed his spell, the green mist parted, and far out in the lake, the group could see a sinister bulk surging upwards in the water. Revealing itself to be the inspiration of the idol carried by the shades, a giant, scaled lizard, with a tangle of undulating tentacles falling from it's chin like an unnaturally motile beard. The creature began moving at a stately pace towards the city, seeming to both swim and walk upon the water. The sight of the creature filled the group with unspeakable terror.

Scorcher began throwing more fire at the Shades, drawing the attention of one of them, which then charged up towards him. Cailyn, River and Taber struck at the creatures, with varying levels of success, but slowly carving their spectral bodies assunder. The ghostly priest cast a Sound Burst spell, stunning River, and damaging the spellcasters. Fighting off the malign influence, Lekovi mentally attacked one of the shades, destroying it. The gigantic lizard travelled closer to the city, still at an unhurried pace, but caused the lake to surge up again. The resulting wave washed over the seawall, knocking Taber and River into the rear of the wall, and collapsing the stairs to the ballroom below.

Scorcher backed away from the creature threatening him, and destroyed it with beams of fire. Taber and River regained their feet, and together with Cailyn, destroyed the last pair of shades. Lekovi magically suggested the priest go meet with the lizard creature, which it began to do, carrying the idol out over the lake. Taber, realising the danger of losing the idol, looked askance at Lekovi, who just shrugged and smiled.

As the lizardlike creature moved closer, a fierce storm broke over the city, lightning and rain lashing down, but only over the building of Sarnath. Scorcher threw magic at the retreating Ib priest, while Cailyn attempted to shoot him, and Lekovi attempted to drag the statue away from him with telekinetic strength. Over the next few moments, the priest reached the lizard, came to his senses, and turned back towards the group, launching magical lightning from the storm at them. River began pulsing out healing energy to offset the assaults.

The lizard creature finally reached the walls, and snapped Taber cleanly in half with one mighty blow from his fanged maw. Almost physically stunned by this display of power, the group now rushed to try and recover the idol, the target of their trip here. Lekovi used magic to reduce the ghostly priest's strength of will, and continued trying to pull the idol from him, while River slashed at him with his axe, finally landing a killing blow. The stone idol crashed to the top of the seawall. Cailyn and her Rhino bravely faced the mighty lizard, which then proceded to thrash about, and snap them both painfully out of the Dreamlands.

River called for the remainders of the group to grab the idol, as he stepped up to the beast and chopped it at. It's hide provide too strong, deflecting the blow. Heedless of the danger, Scorcher swooped down to collect the idol, only to be snapped in two by the creatures razor teeth. Lekovi used one final burst of psychic power to snatch the idol to his hands, just as he saw the creature proceed to tear River to bloody chunks. Closing his eyes, Lekovi wished to be home…and awoke unharmed on the Sellen Starling.

Each of the amnesiacs found themselves badly affected by their experiences, and took some time to recover from their new maladies. River fought off a recurrence of a fugue state, while Scorcher was sunk into delirium. cailyn wanted nothing more than to swim, perchance to drown, while Taber believed he was still in the Dreamlands, and refused to be told otherwise. River was able to use magic to restore his current memories, and was then able to pray for further magic to restore the rest of the amnesiacs to what passed for normality.

22nd Lamashan, midday
Travelling further into Lake Kallas, the group saw a damaged and stranded fishing boat in the distance. Thinking them endangered, Cailyn requested a fly spell from Scorcher, and flew over with a rope. Upon arrival, though, the supposed fishermen revealed themselves to be malicious spellcasters. One summoned a swarm of poisonous frogs on the Sellen Starling, while a second magically warped the Sellen Starling's rudder. The other two drew hidden scimitars, and tried to kill Cailyn.

Scorcher reacted quickly, and launched a fireball at the deceivers, dealing serious wounds to them. The two previous casters changed to hawks, and flew for the Sellen Starling, while the other two duelled with Cailyn. After a brief flurry of magic and blows, the quartet were killed. Recovering the bodies revealed they all carried enchanted weaponry, and that they each carried a wooden holy symbol, carved to resemble a water rat. River identified this symbol as being beloved of Hanspur, and explained about Hanspur's faith.

Towards the end of the day, the Sellen Starling pulled into Riverton, on the south eastern shore of the lake. Captain Freeling told the group that the Starling needed repairs, and that this was the best place to have it done, even though she didn't normally like to be here for their dusk Hanspur services. As she approached the dockmaster to find carpenters, a strange group walked to the ship.

The group seemed to be mostly composed of human and half-elven woman, wearing mud-spattered robes, surrounding a blonde elf dressed similarly. The elf's hair was tangled and spiky with mud, and a feverish glitter was visible in his pale blue eyes. As he walked up to the barge, he threw his hands out, and shouted that he had seen them in murky reflections, and would impart Hanspur's wisdom in private. The group invited him into the cabin, and he joined them alone, leaving his coterie behind on the docks.

Inside the cabin, the man's demeanour changed somewhat, as he spoke more normally. The mad gleam still shone in his eyes, though. Introducing himself as Naerel Twice-born, he told the group that Riverton had been visited several weeks prior by a red-sailed ship. The ship's master seemed to be a man dressed in thick clothing, but some instinct told Naerel this was no natural man. Naerel related how this not-man had approached him, and described the group to him, asking if he had seen them at all. Naerel replied no, and the not-man had offered a ruby the size of a child's fist, despite the lack of information. Naerel offered this ruby to the group, and when they were reluctant, he dropped it on to the deck, saying he did not wish to keep it. Lekovi evaluated the ruby, and found it was likely worth at least 5000 gold pieces, depending on purity. Looking at it, the gem appeared to be more like a solidified form of some liquid than a gemstone. Lekovi checked the ruby and Naerel for magic, or for Psychic Significance, finding traces of suffering. Lekovi decided this meant the ruby had simply picked up some vibes from being on the slave ship.

Cailyn negotiated with Naerel for some healing magic for Taber and Scorcher, and he agreed. The group asked Naerel some other questions about his background, and the town, and his experiences. They also asked if he had seen Lowls. Naerel thought he had seen him some months ago, briefly. Naerel then invited the group to the dusk services. The group attended, and spent the night drinking at a tavern.

23rd Lamashan, midday
The group spent some time selling a number of items to travelling merchants, and purchasing some of the meager supplies in town. Captain Freeling then told them the repairs were done, and they could depart. As the Sellen Starling made it's way down the East Sellen river, a strange creature burst out of a treetop across the river, and swooped at the amnesiacs. Despite it flying swiftly, the group were not caught unawares, and quickly dispatched the creature. None of the group were able to identify the beast, but they searched the forest near where it had appeared, and discovered a treetop nest of sorts. Inside the nest, they discovered a pouch containing six small but flawless rubies. Suspecting the further involvement of the mystery not-man captain, the group returned to the river, and the barge sailed on.

23rd Lamashan, evening
Lekovi led the Dreamlands Excursion ritual again, and the group travelled to Dylath-Lenn, the city of dark basalt, and location of Ambassador Quaveandra. They took the final step off the staircase, and found themselves in a lavish drug den, filled with many humanoids vending and partking in all sorts of exotic addictive substances. Opium and flayleaf were the most familliar of the indulgences, but Lekovi saw many other strange and unusual drugs in use. When offered a dose of Opium, Lekovi immediately tried it, and relaxed into its embrace.

Cailyn spied the Night hag Ambassador, and approached respectfully, introducing herself as a niece. Quaveandra welcomed Cailyn and her compatriots, and asked about where they were from. Hearing they were from elsewhere, she leaned in, and whispered that she had a proposition, if they were interested. Cailyn leapt at the chance, saying they were looking for her heartstone, and asking if the Ambassador had previously seen either them or Count Lowls. Quaveandra replied that she had not met any of the amnesiacs before, but that Count Lowls had been involved in an attack on her several months ago, which resulted in her losing her heartstone. She also outlined how she felt one of her retinue was trying to assasinate her. The attack by Lowls was just one incident of many, including poisoned food, and even the anonymous delivery of a cursed Robe of Powerlessness. Through deduction and elimination, Quavendra had narrowed down the suspects to only three, and hoped the group would help find the culprit.

Cailyn led the interviews, and took them to speak first with Dol Theth, a fortune teller. Dol Theth boisterously greeted the group, and told them how they were destined for great things. River asked if he was destined to take her Dreamlands items to the real world, and he exclaimed that it would be so. Looking at Lekovi, Dol Theth began asking questions about a presence around him. Lekovi checked Dol Theth and himself for any signs of Psychic Significance, finding none. The group asked several questions about the recent happenings with Quavendra. His answers didn't give any indication that Dol Theth had anything to do with the assassination, so they moved to their next suspect.

Kavriki was a musician playing a lute. The group approached, and began asking about what she had seen recently. Overall, Kavriki didn't appear to have had any involvement with any of the assassination attempts, but Lekovi caught her lying about something. After a little more conversation, Kavriki suggested they talk in a more private setting, and led them to one of the curtained-off rooms. Taber attempted to subtly detect magic, and found Kavriki did have auras. As they walked into the private room, Kavriki subtly activated a switch beside the entrance, but Taber noticed it. He signed to Lekovi what he had seen. Kavriki told the group that Quaveandra was involved in trying to set up a new trade in souls from the Dreamlands. She tried to appeal to the group, hoping that they might decide they needed to shut this evil traffic down…and fell on deaf ears. Seeing she was getting nowhere, Kavriki attempted to attack, dealing some damage to Scorcher, before being beaten into unconsciousness by the rest of the group. The group discussed what had happened, and were still unsure what the plot had been. Cailyn looked at the switch, and found it had disabled a trap, which he then permanently disabled. The trap appeared to have contained poisonous gas. They confiscated all of Kavriki's combat items, and poisons, and then went to talk to Ammanetta.

Ammanetta turned out to be an older Tiefling woman who acted as a steward and secretary for Quaveandra. Comparing notes abut what they had found out about Kavriki, they finally decided Kavriki had been the assassin, and went to inform Quaveandra. Quaveandra was happy, and handed over her heartstone…which Lekovi recognised as just being a normal gem. The group called Quaveandra on her bluff, and she reluctantly handed over her real heartstone. They then awoke themselves.

25th Lamashan, afternoon
While docked at the Galtan town of Dabril. Skywin had gone into town to visit some contacts, taking half of the crew with her, and leaving the amnesiacs in charge. Not long after, the vessel was approached by a hooded Gray Gardener, one of the executioners of Galt's Revolutionary Council. The Gardner demanded to board and question the group, and the rest of the crew. Cailyn refused to allow the Gardner aboard, but agreed to allow private questioning at the gunwhales. The Gardner asked the group, and each of the crew members if they had met or knew the whereabouts of Senator Emilo Daldamane. Nobody had heard of him, or knew anything. At the end of the interviews, the Gardner examined each of the group with a Detect Alignment spell, and then moved on. The group observed the Gardner interrogating other ship crews.

25th Lamashan, evening
Enacting the Dreamlands Excursion ritual again, the group travelled to the city of Celephais, to visit the court of Viscount Pietro Brellin. They arrived in the middle of what appeared to be a ball, attended by many different well-dressed nobles, with a handful of merchants and peasants in attendance as well.

The amnesiacs approached the Viscount's dais. As they moved closer, they saw the Viscount coughing in the middle of his conversation, spattering the floor, his chin and clothing with a thick, tarry phlegm. Neither the Viscount, nor anyone present seemed to take any notice of this. The Viscount noticed the group, and waved them forward to speak. Recognising them as outsiders, the Viscount asked them their business. Cailyn again asked if the Viscount had met Count Lowls. The Viscount confirmed he had dealt with Lowls several months ago, making a deal to provide him one of his signet rings. Cailyn revealed they were also looking for a signet ring, and the Viscount offered to have one fetched for them, if they would perform a task for him. Warily, the group agreed, and the Viscount explained his problem.

He had apparently promised to perform the Sunset Waltz with several of the atendees at the ball. Afterwards, he discovered that, unexpectedly, his beloved would be at the ball for the Sunset Waltz, and he of course must dance with her instead. If the group agreed to tactfully inform the three other dancers of the change in plans, he would give them a signet ring. The group agreed, and the Viscount described the poeple he required them to talk to. Leaving the Viscount, the group asked other ball-goers about the people they needed to find. They could not find anything about Maudette, but did locate information about Lady Splinterbone, who the group strongly suspected of being a vampire, and Adrvin Telgriette, a merchant prince.

The first person was Lady Splinterbone, and the group quickly located her. She was a very beautiful woman, and had just finished dancing with a gaunt, pallid man. The group told the Lady of the Viscount's dilemma, and she agreed to forgo her dance…if one of the group would dance with her. River rushed to volunteer, but when she spied his holy symbol, Lady Splinterbone refused. Looking over the group, she also rejected Cailyn, and eventually settled on Taber. Taber reluctantly agreed to the dance, and joined the Lady on the floor. After a short time dancing, the Lady told Taber that if she was expected to keep quiet about the Viscount's actions, she wished to partake of a little of his blood. Even more reluctantly, Taber agreed, and the Lady bit his neck, draining some blood from him. Finally leaving the dance floor, Taber returned a little unsteadily to his friends, and River magically restored his health.

Still unable to locate anyone who knew anything about Maudette, the group decided to approach the merchant, Ardvin. The merchant appeared quite upset about losing the opportunity to do business with the Viscount, but Cailyn suggested an alternative, with Quaveandra's soul-trading business. Once Scorcher couched the offer in more flattering terms, Ardvin agreed.

Despite spending more time talking to guests, the group did not find anyone who had seen Maudette. However, they did spy someone suddenly being grabbed by a webbing lasso, and dragged up to the ceiling. Nearby partygoers actively avoided noticing the capture, and similarly purposely took no notice of the drops of blood that rained down afterwards. Looking more closely, the group noticed that several people had splatters of blood on them, and looked more closely at the ceiling. Above seemed to be a set of catwalks, positioned beneath what seemed to be a giant tangle of spiderwebs, with clouds of darkness above obscuring the ceiling.

At Cailyn's suggestion, Scorcher cast Fly on each of the amnesiacs, and they flew up, looking for Maudette. They quickly found her, bound in webs, and only partly conscious, but still alive. Surrounding her were a number of spiderlike creatures. Cailyn identified them as Giant Spiders, and some form of Ettercaps. The Ettercaps looked a little unusual, with each of them being purple and bloated, with an extra, useless arm hanging from the centre of their chest. The group quickly destroyed these hideous creatures, and rescued Maudette, returning her to the dance floor, and then returned to the Viscount.

The Viscount, despite another coughing fit, was quite pleased to see the amnesiacs return. He had his servants rewards them with one of his signet rings, and also a belt, which turned out to be a Belt of Mighty Constitution. A hush fell over the ballroom, and the musicians ceased. The partygoers backed away from the center of the dance floor as an immense, bloated, purple spider with seven legs descended from the darkness above the ballroom on a thick
string of webbing. The viscount stood, enraptured, and sighed, “My beloved!” as streamers of tarry drool dripped from his mouth. Viscount Brellin slowly made his way onto the dance floor to dance the Sunset Waltz with the monster to the polite applause of the revolted partygoers. The amnesiacs rushed to wake themselves, and leave the terrible visage behind.

26th Lamashan, morning
Awakening back in the real world, the group of amnesiacs realised they had only one dream quest left to pursue – the Captain's Tricorne.

View
Doom Comes to Sarnath

https://youtu.be/RidCe02KM_0

After assessing their position, and the likely lack of help available from either Razmiran to the North, or Kyonin to the south, the group decided to travel on, hoping to reach somewhere they could treat Taber's impairment sooner. Taber, wanting to speed their travel along, began spending time at the back of the barge, using his Decanter of Endless Water as an additional thruster.

That night, the amnesiacs attempted their next attempt at returning to the Dreamlands, but failed and called another Animate Dream. Experience was now telling, and the creature was destroyed even quicker, although not before it managed to apply the nightmare curse to Scorcher without the rest of the group realising, and the next morning, Scorcher also was suffering from a lack of restful sleep.

Hoping to find somewhere to recover, the group decided to leave their next trip to the Dreamlands for a while. Several further days down the Sellen River, a close-passing vessel raised the Razmiran flag, revealing itself as a hidden Faith Barge. The enemy vessel quickly closed in, and several enemy thugs leapt over to the Sellen Starling and attacked, but Cailyn and River killed them quckly. Scorcher launched a fireball at one side of the raider, avoiding hitting any allies. The enemy captain also leapt across to the Starling, and proved a more worthy opponent, laying about him with a Greatsword, but he also fell to the combined efforts of the group.

After searching the crew quarters and discovering a number of magical items amongst the captain's possessions, the group moved to the hold. Lifting the hatch, the stench of unwashed flesh rolled out. The group found all of the rowers on the vessel to be unchained, but no less enslaved. Convincing them they were safe, the group moved them over to the Sellen Starling, providing food and clothing. Despite Captain Freeling's reservations, she agreed to take the risk and try to help the slaves. Luckily, with the boost provided by the Decanter, the Starling left Razmiri shores a week later, and the group were able to locate a small fishing settlement willing to take the former slaves in.

Feeling a little safer now, the group decided to attempt another trip to the Dreamlands, and were finally successfully able to enact the ritual, and appeared in a gigantic open space, filled with celebrating people of all sorts. Singling out a couple of the revellers, the amnesiacs discovered they were in a city called Sarnath. This night was the one thousandth anniversary of the destruction of the neighbouring city of Ib, on the far side of the lake abutting the city. Just as the group started to wonder where the statue might be, the screams began. At the far side of the banquet hall, a commotion had begun, and the whole room started to stampede away, towards the exits. The amnesiacs, of course, began making their way through the crowd, toward the source of the disturbance.

As they neared the stairs leading up the sea-wall, the group saw a disturbing sight. Several translucent, green figures were attacking the retreating crowd, their clawed arms passing straight through the poor victims, but leaving behind terrible claw wounds. The group moved to engage the creatures, trying to distract them from harming the people around them. The creatures effortlessly moved through the crowd, and slashed straight through Rivers metal plates. Taber was able to dodge the blows a little more effectively, but he was also hit by the creatures. Despite several wounds, the creatures were soon dispersed.

Moving to the stairs, the group found water was flowing heavily down them from above. Climbing carefully to the top, the group saw the lake had risen to the tops of the crenellated wall, and was regularly lapping over it. At the head of the stairs, the group were attacked by previously invisible balls of light. Cailyn quickly identified the creatures as Will-o-the-wisps, as they unleashed blasts of electricity into the group. Despite the creatures being agile, the group quickly overwhelmed them, and moved to see what else awaited on the top of the sea wall.

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Dreamcatchers

After successfully enacting the Dreamlands Excursion Ritual, the group of amnesiacs emerged into the middle of a warcamp, in what appeared to be an enormous cavern, in the Underworld of the Dreamlands. Around them, many humanoids were preparing for war – sharpening weapons, strapping on armour, and sparring. As the group appeared, a group of six of the humanoids were chanting and beseeching Nyarlathotep for aid. Seeing the group, the chanters immediately began praising Nyarlathotep for providing help so quickly. One of the strangers approached the group, and introduced himself as Wilkins, a green-skinned Ghoul of Leng.

Wilkins explained that he and his fellow Ghouls were about to embark on a raid, intended to remove a group of Gugs that have settled into an ancient necropolis, that had formerly been the Ghoul's home. The Ghouls had abandoned the Necropolis several years ago, and despite their fear of Ghouls, the Gug's had decided to lay claim after the abandonment. The Ghouls, once they learned of this, consider the occupation to be a desecration of sacred ground, and are on their way to wipe out the Gugs. However, the Ghouls available for the battle were few in number, and Wilkins was concerned they would not be able to carry the day against the Gugs. Thus, they had turned to Nyarlathotep for aid, and that was when the amnesiacs had arrived.

Seeing this as a clear sign of support from Nyarlathotep, Wilkins asks the group to assist them in the coming conflict. After some questions, Wilkins assured the group that they would not need to be involved in the main battle, but instead, could guard a particular strategic place, named the Plaza of Bones, that would otherwise allow the Gugs to freely move their forces around.

The group, seeing opportunity, asked about the provision of a Royal Ghoul Skull as a reward. Wilkins apologised, saying that there were no Royal Ghouls involved in this endeavour. However, as it happened, the Plaza of Bones contained the mausoleum of Scarcrim Vost, a ghoul prince destroyed many decades ago. A number of the lesser Ghouls gathered around seemed a little offended by this offer, and muttered amongs themselves. When the group asked why, the lesse ghouls mentioned that there had been a theft of a jeweled ghoul queen skull several years ago. Some interrogation revealed that the perpetrator may have been a human.

The group agreed to the bargain, and set out accompanied by Ghouls. Soon, Wilkins led the Ghouls off in another direction, giving the amnesiacs instructions on where to find the Plaza.These instructions were easily followed, and the group soon entered a long, wide hallway, held aloft by pillars containing carvings of various bones and skeletons. The floor was also scattered with many cracked bones, becoming more numerous towards the end of the hall. The perceptive group members quickly discerned there were creatures of bone concealed along the pillars, and so attacked. The serpentine creatures, acoompanied by a Bone Golem, were quickly destroyed by the group, and they advanced down the hall, approaching the main Plaza.

The Plaza of Boines turned out to be a large cavern, with many ancient, dilapidated buildings clustered around its edges, built into the walls. A large, square building dominated the centre of the plaza, but the most striking feature were the literal sea of bones covering the floor like a bony snow drift. As the group approached the mausoleum, a group of Gugs attacked, and the amnesiacs discovered just how dangerous the creatures are, the enormous tooth-filled maws situated where most creatures have heads dealing horrendous wounds to those they bit.

The battle was brief, but vicious, with the Gugs almost winning out. But, in the end, they were put down. The group, anxious to be away before more appeared, approached the square mausoleum. Cailyn spotted the signs of an enchanted trap, and waved everyone back to remove it. Unfortunately, she managed to trigger it instead, and a chilling, spectral hand reached out and rapidly slapped her several times, stealing a large portion of her life essence, and left her severely weakened. River rushed forward, and healed the damage, and some of the weakness.

Searching the now-safe mausoleum, the group were able to quickly locate the skull they required, and left the Dreamlands with it. Along with the skull, the group recovered a strange, flanked rod, with several studs along the handle. This was later identified as a Rod of Lordly Might.

The following night, the group returned to the Dreamlands, this time to hunt down the Wamps. They emerged from the staircase in what appeared to be a square in the middle of a large, abandoned city. No life was initially visible. In fact, instead of weeds growing through the cobbles of the square, Cailyn instead observed what appeared to be carvings of weeds, made from a brittle, yellow ceramic. While puzzling over this, a group of humanoids in civillian clothing rushed howling out of the streets surrounding the square, and attacked the amnesiacs. The creatures looked like corpses, and were heralded by a nauseating stench. As this fetid odour washed over the group, Cailyn and Scorcher were overcome, and spent the ensuing fight retching. Luckily, the creatures appeared to be relatively weak, and the remainder of the group quickly finished them off.

As the group recovered from the brief struggle, several other humanoid creatures, in similar state to those that had attacked, timidly hailed the group. When it was clear they were not an immediate threat, the group spoke to them, and they explained their situation. They related how, over a century ago, this city had been a bustling centre in the Dreamlands named Arventon. Suddenly, on one day, a wave of energy had washed over the city, transforming anything not made of stone into the pale yellow ceramic, including the majority of the inhabitants, both human and animal. For unknown reasons, a handful of the citizens were transformed into the creatures speaking to the group now rather than turned to ceramic. Those creatures also developed a powerful hunger for dead flesh, which they were able to sate in the city's large cemetery, turning it into a giant larder. The citizens 'protected' the cemetery by placing a number of the now-statues around the wrought iron fence, and praying to their inscrutable gods. Despite this protection, several weeks ago, the cemetery became infested by bizarre, corpse-eating beasts, that looked like some sort of union between spiders and bats, with webbed feet. Cailyn recognised the description as matching the wamps they were looking for, and so they asked for directions to the cemetery.

Walking the perimeter of the wrought-iron fence, the group soon spied a break in it, and decided to enter this way. As they moved through the ring of ceramic statues, two of them suddenly animated, and began attacking them. A short struggle ensued, but Taber's bludgeoning fists made quick work of the brittle creatures, and the group continued into the cemetary.

Cailyn was able to find signs of wamp tracks and spore inside the cemetery, and the group were then able to track them down, and came across one of the creatures alone. Ambushing the creature, it called loudly, and soon summoned several of its fellows to the swirling melee. Once again, though, the group was able to dispose of these creatures with little effort. To be sure, they removed several of the red webbed feet from the creatures, and then gave the rest of the corpses to the local inhabitants, and returned to the waking world.

Over the next several days, the group, led by Lekovi, completed their research into all of the remaining Dreamlands gifts locations – the Viscount's Ring, the Captain's Tricorne, the Green Stone Idol, and the Ambassador's Heartstone. Eager to complete these quests, the group rushed through the now-familliar Ritual. Sadly, in their haste, they made several key mistakes in enacting the ritual, and an Animate Dream was spawned, immediately attacking the group. The creature proved clever and resourceful, but the confines of the barge did not allow it quite the freedom to move that the Carvanserai had the Dream Shopkeep, and it was soone dispatched. Before it was put down, however, it had managed to inflict a curse upon Taber, unnoticed to all. When the group attempted to sleep that night, Taber was afflicted by horrifying nightmares throughout the night, and awoke exhausted, his willpower weakened. River was unable to reverse the damage, and required another day to re-prepare his spells to properly remove the affliction, although Taber was able to fight the nightmares off during the second night.

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Rolling on the River

https://youtu.be/L-2Of9aznxg

15th Rova, morning
Refreshed after their last excursion into the Dreamlands, the amnesiacs relaxed as the boat made it's way into the Glass River, and began travelling towards the Sellen River proper. In their easy state, they were a little surprised to see an enormous turtle breach further forward in the river, and begin to aggressively swim towards them. Thinking quickly, Cailyn began calming down the clearly agitated turtle. It responded, and it's massive bulk ended up swimming by the barge, continuing towards Lake Encarthan.

15th Rova, evening
Feeling rested and confident, the group once again performed the Dreamlands Excursion Ritual, but this time using the passphrase for the Enchanted Woods. As they again emerged from the staircase, they found themselves on what seemed to be a giant treebranch, near the top of the canopy of a giant forest. As they stood, looking around, the group was suddenly assaulted by a strange creature, invisible at first, that became visible after charging through them. The creature looked like a horse, with elongated front legs, ending in clawed hands rather than hooves, and having a vaguely humanoid cast to it's features.

The creature bellowed angrily, as it ploughed through the surprised group, knocking over several of them. It immediately turned around, and charged back through the group, attempting to trample, and injuring several. With limited room to maneuver, the group did their best to get their melee fighters adjacent to it. River made use of lunging attacks to get to the thing around Taber's punching form, while Cailyn and her rhino attacked from the other side. The creature, sensing it was in trouble, stepped back and cast a Fly spell-like ability, but was then cut down in the next flurry of attacks.

As the group caught their breath, the rodent-like forms of a tribe of Zoog emerged from their hiding places, and congratulated the group on their victory. Without waiting, the Zoog immediately set to eating the creature, which they identified as a Tikbalang. Their leader mentioned that the creature normally hunted territory further away, but it had come hunting them.

Cailyn asked the creatures if they knew of any Pards in the area. The Zoog leader said that there had been a pard den in the area, but that they had attacked and wiped out the creatures not long ago. When asked, they revealed they did still have a tail left over, and would gladly trade it for a new meal of exotic feline. The Zoogs knew several tigers hunt a higher, sunnier portion of the Enchanted Woods canopy, and readiy gave clear directions to them. Cailyn enquired about their numbers, and the Zoogs said there was a pack of five, led by a larger, stronger tiger.

The group followed the directions of the Zoog, climbing along giant branches, and crossing from tree to tree, never quite able to see the floor of the woods, but steadily moving further towards the top of the canopy. About halfway into their journey, the amnesiacs saw a strange sight – on one of the giant leaves, there was a man, lying unconscious. Looking more closely, they could see the man had been bound and gagged, and was tied to the leaf by sturdy vines, tied to a stake made from giant thorns, driven into the leaf.

While the rest of the group looked on, wondering where the catch was, River moved out to examine the man. As he did so, the leaf collapsed, and both River and the man plummeted down. Taber quickly cast Feather Fall on River. Almost as quickly, Scorcher cast Fly, hoping to be able to reach River before he fell further, but finding he was just short.

As the aerial display started, the rest of the group was now attacked by four invisible creatures. These creatures appeared to be quite small, but their blows were dealing a significant amount of damage. They initially began attacking Scorcher, Lekovi, Taber, and Cailyn, although over the next few rounds, as they shifted about, their attack targets varied. The creatures could fly, but when they did so, the flapping of their wings caused them to become partly visible. Their precise pinpricks also applied a toxic substance that appeared to drain the strength of its victims. Both Taber and Cailyn were hurt quite badly, and Lekovi was knocked unconscious, followed soon after by Cailyn. Cailyn's Rhino and Taber fought on against several of the creatures, waiting for their compatriots to return.

While this was going on, River impacted a pile of acidic fungus below the leaf trap. Scorcher, flying in to rescue the warpriest, also was burned by the acidic spores, After applying a flying spell to River, Scorcher succumbed to his wounds and fell unconscious, but was soon healed by River. River, loaded down with gear, found it difficult to keep up with Scorcher, as the pair ascended to the action above.

Despite having knocked down one of the unseen creatures, Taber slumped to the ground from his wounds and died just as River and Scorcher re-entered the fray. River was well-armoured enough that the creatures had trouble harming him, but they were able to deal damage on occasion, and could hurt Scorcher. Still, the fight was over fairly quickly after River arrived, and things went quiet. After River had healed Lekovi and Caiyn back to consciousness, searching the area turned up a finger with a ring still on it tied to the trapped leaf. Neither Lekovi nor Scorcher were able to determine what the platinum ring with large emerald did, but were sure the magical aura was strong. The group then shook themselves awake, to rejoin Taber in the waking world. There, they found Taber had become afraid of heights.

16th Rova, midday
During most of the next day, Lekovi performed some further research, into their next target, the Skull of Ghoul Royalty. This required much reading through the volumes The Codex of Three Prescriptions, Manual of Silence, and The Unified Manual of Understanding. According to a folio regarding extraplanar undead, the ghouls of the Dreamlands were far more social— though no less wicked— than their bestial kin in the waking world. They had rich histories and large communities led by royalty. A discourse on the dread Plateau of Leng explained that a more powerful form of ghoul inhabited regions where the Dreamlands connect to Leng. These Leng ghouls are shrewder than their lesser kin. Lastly, Lekovi learnt a passphrase that would direct the Dreamlands Excursion ritual to travel to an underground location in the Dreamlands.

Later in the day, the barge was rocked by an impact. As the amnesiacs rushed out of the cabin, they found they were being assaulted by four River Giants. Two of them had hidden, crouched on a sandbank, and were now smashing the barge with great hammers. The other two were shadowed among the trees on the river's edge, rocks in hand.

Cailyn, Taber and River quickly rushed to the prow of the barge, and began attacking the giants in the river. Scorcher launched fireballs at the Giants on the shore, who retaliated by throwing boulders at him. Cailyn was soon knocked to the ground by the massive blows from the Giants in the river, while Taber and River avoided most of the blows, dealing harm to them. Lekovi assauted the minds of the creatures, while Scorcher continued to trade missiles with the giants on shore. River was soon required to fall back from the front lines to heal Scorcher, who jumped down behind the cabin to avoid further harm. The shore giants had also started wading towards the barge, and soon climbed up on the deck, just as their other kin were felled. After another short struggle, these two were also knocked down.

That night, the group again prepared to enter the Dreamlands.

View
Following in Footsteps

https://youtu.be/fe5E4FCEY7Y

6th Rova, Late morning
Turning to other areas of the Iris Hill mansion, the group descended into the rough hole dug under the carriage house. At the bottom, they found the hole opened out into a natural cavern. Inhabiting the cavern were two Elder Things. Thanks to a Comprehend Languages spell, a dialogue was started between the creatures and the group, and some explanations were made. The ancient creatures explained their nature, and their history, revealing they had arrived on Golarion millenia ago, during the Age of Serpents. They spoke about how they arrived here, in what would become Thrushmoor, in pursuit of their enemy, the Flying Polyps. The Polyps were the ones responsible for erecting the Star Stelae in Thrushmoor, and also, at a second site on Golarian, far to the south. An alliance of Serpentfolk sorcerers and priests and the Elder Things fought the Polyps here in Thrushmoor, eventually driving them off. These Elder Things had remained behind in hibernation while their kin left, in case the Polyps ever returned. After talking with the Things, food was brought to them, and they were left to rest and recover their strength, before they returned to the stars.

The amnesiacs next checked over the mansion again, ensuring they had not missed any information or loot. Finally satisfied, they took the trunk of books from the main bedroom back to the Sleepless Agency, and began researching Lowls journals for clues. After a solid day of research, Lekovi was able to determine that Lowls had spent considerable amounts of time and effort journeying through the Dreamlands, a vast and relatively stable section of the Dimension of Dreams. He learned some of the basic rules of that place from Lowls entries, and learned of his goals too – he planned to reach a mysterious hermit known as the Mad Poet. The Mad Poet had a reputation for being dangerous if not appeased, and Lowls had focused his investigations on how best to do so. Lekovi also learned that Lowls first destination had been a caravanserai in a vast Dreamlands desert. Here, he planned to talk with other dream travelers to gain information about how to locate and deal with the Mad Poet. Lastly, Lekovi was able to piece together the Dreamlands Excursion Ritual Lowls had used to travel to the Dreamlands, and how to use it to travel to the caravanserai.

Thinking it would be best to be protected while they undertook such a dangerous ritual, the group settled down in the Sleepless Agency, and tried it out. With some preparation, and the purchase of some materials, the group was able to rely on Scorcher and Lekovi to carry out the ritual with a high chance of success, and they did so. As they walked around the staircase, it enlarged, and dropped down below floor level. Walking down the staircase, the group emerged into a blindingly bright, hot waste, with a large building in front of them. Behind, there was no sign of the staircase any more.

The building appeared to have been long deserted. Through the large entrance (wide enough for pack animals), they could see no movement, and drifts of sand and tufts of weeds indicated abandonment. Also, the northeastern corner of the building appeared to have collapsed.

Moving inside, the group found entrances to the building to both sides of the front gate. They first checked the doors to their left, finding a collapsed corridor, and an abandoned guard station, with a barred door at the end. Behind this door, they found an ancient cell, and leaning against the wall was a rusty scimitar. Expecting trouble, Cailyn moved in, looking for traps. Finding nothing suspicious, she expectantly collected the scimitar, but nothing untoward happened. Returning to Lekovi and Scorcher, they were shocked to discover the weapon was a +1 Vorpal Scimitar…that such a valuable item should just be lying about was unbelievable!

Going back to the opposite door, they found a quietly cool, but well lit corridor, a twin of the collapsed corridor. It lead away to the west before turning a corner south. At the north edge of the corner was a doorway, with a tattered curtain hanging in it. The group approached the curtain, and upon entry, were greeted by a gaunt man with sunken cheeks. He straightened as the group entered, and enquired after their journey, and whether or not they needed supplies, although he bemoaned the lamentable state of his wares. Looking around, the group could see nothing but empty shelves. Taber also noticed that the man's robes appeared to trail off at the bottom into smoke, as though he were insubstantial. Lekovi, disconcerted, attempted to read the man's thoughts. The man resisted the intrusion, and started fighting the group.

The group found the man was indeed incorporeal, and difficult to harm. He was also easily able to fly through the solid walls that bottled the group up, and attack whom he pleased. The creature was also easily able to run it's hand through the solidest of the group's defences, it's chill group almost causing the hear of it's victim to stop. The touch also seemed to apply some sort of magical influence, that drained the mental strength of the victim. Several of the group became affected by this affliction. The fight ranged about the corridor, and eventually out into the open courtyard. The group was hard pressed, but eventually defeated the creature, at great cost in pain. Almost all of the group had suffered from the curse as well. The room they had found the creature in also turned out to contain a mighty treasure, casually hidden under a pile of rags – 5 enormous emeralds, and a magical gem of seeing.

A little shaken, the group returned to the corridor, and explored further south. The corridor contained several statues each holding a dry bowl, which appeared to have once been a fountain. In a mirror to the northern area, the corridor bent to the east, with a doorway in the south, a curtain covering the entrance. Parting the curtain revealed an elegant dining room, with a few plates and a pitcher stacked on a sideboard, all covered in dust. Fascinated by the pitcher, River advanced into the room to examine it. Several in the group then heard the sound of conspiratorial whispering, and after a short pause, a haunt triggered. Ghostly forms appeared throughout the dining hall, mimicking conversations of the past: a wealthy night hag with elaborately coiffed hair made imperious demands to human servants; three surly, turbaned humanoids conferred over a detailed image of the moon; and a group of hooded ghouls examined a human head made of terra cotta. Their voices grew in volume, and echoed in an overlapping, unintelligible cacophony, until several members of the group were overcome by feelings of discord, and turned on their allies. River, Cailyn's companion, and Lekovi, all attempted to harm their former friends. After a short struggle, the haunt was dispelled, and the afflicted amnesiacs calmed down.

During a short rest, River examined the pitcher again, and found it was indeed magical, and had the properties of a decanter of endless water.

Moving further along the eastern corridor, the group found another curtain-covered doorway, this time to the north, behind the courtyard. This room turned out to be a bathhouse, with two empty baths, and one filled with still, black liquid. Studiously avoiding the liquid, the group searched the rest of the room. Finding nothing of value, they turned to leave, but as they did so, the liquid suddenly boiled up out of the bath, revealing itself as an ooze-like creature. It expanded quickly to a large size, but it's tendrils whipped out and around up to a full twenty feet away from the creature.

Again, the group found this creature difficult to harm, and it appeared capable of healing itself. Several times, it engulfed and swallowed Taber and River. Despite them quickly cutting their way free, the holes in the creature closed up, and it swallowed another. Despite fighting hard, the creature eventually killed River, Cailyn and her pet, and Taber. Scorcher and Lekovi had also been badly injured, but were able to wake themselves up from the dream before dying.

Back in the basement of the Sleepless Agency, the group all found the wisdom Drain suffered in the Dreamlands had followed them out, and those who had died had become permanently mad. Realising they needed time to heal from these conditions, the group decided to move forward with their plan to travel by boat down the Sellen River towards the Qadiran city of Katheer, with a stop in Cassomir to find Lowls associate, Miacknian Munn.

7th Rova, Early morning
The group purchased some final supplies, and then went to the docks, looking for a captain and vessel they could take passage with. Upon arrival, they witnessed an exchange between an auburn-headed halfling woman, and a far man in an ill-fitting harbormaster's jerkin, about the way some cargo had been loaded onto the woman's vessel. Sensing opportunity, the group stepped in, and offered to help redistribute the load, in return for discussing passage. The woman introduced herself as Skywin Freeling, and happily accepted both the aid and the commission, reducing the group's fee if they promised to help defend the vessel. They agreed, and Skywing welcomed the group aboard her barge, the Sellen Starling. After the work redistributing the load of rare hardwood timbers, Skywin also introduced the group to her dozen crew, and two other paying passengers, Gossa Kelkin and Wreben Malliver, a pair of scholars returning to Cassomir after a sabbatical in Ustalav.

When the tide was right, the captain ordered the barge to push off. Being a shallow draft vessel, the Starling left Thrushmoor, and hugged the coast, running north east around the coast of Lake Encarthan, travelling towards the Glass River. The group spent the time healing their various mental injuries, with aid from River.

9th Rova, late afternoon
On the afternoon of the third day, the barge drew close to the town of Illmarsh. Captain Freeling let the crew know she did not intend to put in at the forsaken town, where no ship receives a friendly welcome. As if her words were a command, a chill fog rolled in off the lake, causing the crew to mutter darkly. The fog forced the Starling to hug the coast of Avalon Bay more closely than preferred, and in fact close enough to sight the dilapidated wharves of Illmarsh.

The amnesiacs, expecting trouble, were on deck, weapons ready. As the rotting timbers came into view, Cailyn and River saw cloaked figured on the wharves, about 200 feet away. The figures were passing a long, barbed chain from one wharf to the other, rendedring the jetties unapproachable by ship. Captain Freeling laughed at this, saying they hadn't planned on staying anyway. Lekovi and Taber spotted, about a quarter mile off in the fog behind the Starling, a longship with red sails. As soon as it was glimpsed, the ship was swallowed by the fog and lost to view. As everyone strained to see the vessel, a different threat presented itself…out of the mist suddeny swam a pack of Vooniths. They quickly swarmed up on board the barge, attacking the group, but despite their ferocity, were quickly dispatched.

14th Rova, evening
Finally feeling whole again, with all sign of mental illness  gone from the group(other than the normal), Lekovi again led them in performing the Dreamlands Excursion Ritual. Eager to avoid the Formless Spawn, the group entered the courtyard, and used a secret door at the back of a storage space they had spotted the first time, and explored the rest of the bottom floor of the caravanserai. They found the blocked off eastern corridor to be a mirror for the western, although this time with an actual door in the south wall, wedged open by a book. Pushing the door open, the room beyond proved to be some sort of office, with a low table and several dozen ledgers, and a steep staircase leading up.

The books proved to be quite brittle to the touch, crumbling at first handling. The books were filled with cramped handwriting in an unknown language, and even a comprehend language failed to decipher the writing. Taber and Lekovi, knowledgable on language, felt that whoever had written in these ledgers was illiterate, and was only mimicking written text.

Finding nothing of interest, the amnesiacs next climbed the stairs, finding they led into a tidy, sparsely but tastefully decorated, office. Framed paintings of several landscapes hung on the walls, including a many-spired city with marble walls and brass gates, a windswept waster beneath a distant, ominous mountain, and a gloomy port city constructed primarily of basalt.

Standing behind the desk in this room was a large man dressed in tattered yellow robes. He looked up in surprise at having visitors, quickly turning to an expression of delight. It was apparent that this man recognised the group, although when asked, he could not recall from where or when.

The man introduced himself as the Yellow King. His manner of speaking was a little addled, and full of large words. He spoke of various specialised subjects as though his audience were experts, and revealed himself to be no small expert on a number of esoteric subjects. When the group asked for further information on their goal, he said that he was desconstructed from a greater whole, and that the process could be reversed with the group. He advised that the group could retrace Lowls's steps to regain their memories and whole selves. The King could not call all of those steps, as it was 'after his time', but he knew the outcome – Lowls spoke with the omnious yet perspicacious prophet, the Mad Poet. The mad Poet had unimaginable power in the Dreamlands, but was fickle, and required a proper collection of gifts to placate and approach. The King also said that Lowls learned some truths from his time with the Mad Poet so mind-shattering, that it caused him to come into being. He deems it serendipitous he does not know what those truths are. The King lastly said that Lowls identified six or seven gifts to present to the Mad Poet, and that he recalled writing them down on the flyleaf of Dichotomous Translations of Aklo Syntax, although he couldn't recall what they were. He said Lowls had painstakingly scoured his tomes to research each gift, leadning where to find it in the Dreamlands and then dreaming of that location – he suggested the amnesiacs do likewise. Once they have their collection of gifts, if they return to him, he will lead them to the Mad Poet's oasis.

The group now awakened, and returned to the waking world. From here, they pored over Lowls's tomes, and found the list of gifts.
Viscount’s signet ring
Feline tail (blue and purple mottled fur)
Skull of ghoul royalty
Green stone idol of a water lizard
Night hag ambassador’s
heartstone
Captain’s tricorne
Red webbed foot

Further research into the books Monuments of the Forest, Tigers and Flies, and The Wise Harmony turned up information about the Feline Tail gift. According to a naturalist’s papers, felines with blue and purple tails are called pards, and they can be found the Dreamlands’ Enchanted Wood. One of Lowls’s diaries indicates his intent to seek the advice of zoogs, a race of intelligent rodent-like creatures native to the Enchanted Wood. Zoogs are carnivores and particularly enjoy feline flesh; Lowls assumed the zoogs would know where to find pards. Lekovi learned the proper phrase that allowed him to use the Dreamlands excursion occult ritual to reach the Enchanted Wood. They determined this would be their next exploration destination.
 

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