Strange Aeons

These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes

https://youtu.be/41P8UxneDJE

A disparate group of characters became aware of each other, as they fled ahead of a wave of rolling yellow fog, through grey city streets. The group turned to face the threat…and one of their number, a Warpriest with a Battleaxe, was sliced to ribbons by an invisible foe.

The spray of blood on the wall seemed to spell out the word 'Up', so the group started trying to climb out of the way. The two physically capable warriors climbed their way up, but the two spellcasters were unable to make any progress, the Psychic of falling to the ground, only to be sliced to death by an invisible foe, his lifeblood seeming to spell out the word 'Me' on the ground.

The brave sorcerer unleashed a torrent of flame, and saw the outline of his foe. The unholy creature stepped forward, wrapped in what seem to be interchangeable strips of rag and skin, carrying a jaggedly sharp strip of metal, and sliced apart the poor Ifrit. Again, a word was spelled out by the gore – 'Save'.

The Changeling, unable to keep his grip with the horrible events unfolding beneath him fell, but was able to land well. He then took off into the mists. Behind him, he heard his last human companion bravely attempt to fight the foe, but heard him scream his last. As he did, he heard a faraway voice, scream a whispered word…'Wake'.

The disparate group awoke from their shared nightmare, to the sound of a man screaming 'Wake up, damn it, sand save me!'. Imprisoned in cells, surrounding a doctor tending to a patient restrained on a splintered wooden table…with half of what appeared to be garden shears. A bench held many other implements, including twisted scraps of metal, kitchen knives, and shards of glass.

The poor patient screamed as the doctor sliced into his thigh, adding to number of existing wounds – she had clearly been working on him for some time. Thinking fast, the sorceror cast a sleep spell at the doctor. Puzzlingly, the poor man on the table fell asleep, leaving the doctor apparently unaffected. The doctor stalked over to Scorcher, and pulling down her facemask, ordered him to be quiet. For a moment, the doctor's face flowed into a different shape, and looked just like Scorcher's, then returned to the previous form. The doctor turned back to her patient.

Across the way, Cailyn frantically began attempting to pick the lock on her cell. Taking advantage of the doctor's proximity to the cell he shared with Scorcher, Taber tried to punch the doctor through the bars, but failed to connect, the arms of his straight jacket catching on the bars of the cell. Flowing River attempted to force open the cell door, but it proved too well constructed. Lekovi psychically flung one of the blades at the doctor, but she dodged it.

As Cailyn continued working on her lock, Scorcher threw another blast of fire at the doctor. In response, she stormed over and thrust her claw into his stomach, and he fell to the ground, trying to stop his entrails from spilling out.  Taber punched the doctor in response, but she seemed to hardly feel it. While Flowing River continued trying to break the cell door open, Lekovi threw a pure blast of magical force at the doctor, and she clutched her head, dazed.

Cailyn finally unlocked her cell door, and threw the it open, and rushed over to give Flowing River the other half of the garden shears. Recovered, the doctor charged at Cailyn, slicing into her with claws. Taber unlocked and opened his cell door, while Cailyn sprouted claws of her own, and slashed at the doctor. The doctor retaliated, opening great gashes across poor Cailyn. Lekovi calmly flung another blade at the doctor, hitting her squarely in the head, but with the flat of the blade. Cailyn swayed unsteadily on her feet, Flowing River looking on helplessly. Taber  rushed out of his cell, thumping the doctor in the back, while deftly flicking the keys into Flowing River's cell. 

The doctor turned to face the new threat, and slashed Taber with her claws. Taber responded by knocking the doctor to the ground, unconscious. Flowing River, finally free of the cell, finished the doctor off with the garden shear. Before their eyes, the doctor changed shape, revealing herself to actually be some form of strange, humanoid creature. Cailyn identified the doctor as a doppelganger.

While most of the group searched for exits and gear, Flowing River did what he could to repair his companion's wounds. In a cold furnace adjacent to the cells, Cailyn makes a grisly discovery – the remains of many humanoids, burned. Behind a door, the group find another terrible sight – a pile of dozens of corpses. The corpses wear a mix of normal clothing, and what seem to be white uniforms. Recovering their gear, the group then decided to climb up through the furnace vents.

Taber emerged in a stone building with a wooden door. The rest of the group soon followed. Cailyn opened the door, to find a gardened courtyard, with heavy rain falling. Above, the same yellow fog the group had seen in their shared nightmare roiled around.

Stepping into the courtyard to look around, Cailyn discovered the rain was actually scalding, and quickly and quietly opened another door, leading into a dark corridor. To her south, she found a barricade manned by a pair of guards with crossbows, and quickly beckoned forth Scorcher to talk to the men.

The men pointed their weapons at the group, and called for their Captain. The Captain showed up, and began talking to the group, indicating he could not trust that they were not shapeshifting nightmares. To prove their intentions, the group needed to go kill some of the creatures roaming the halls, and return the bodies.

The group began exploring, and slew some groups of vermin. At the end of the corridor, they found a ruined office, damaged in some sort of collapse. Lekovi stepped forward to examine bodies in the rubble, and was able to see humans, as well as doppelgangers, and a new type of creature – ghouls! As he relayed this, as feared, one of the bodies attacked from the ground. In a panic, Lekovi tried to use a sleep spell on the presumed undead creature, but it failed to work, despite some additional psychic power. After some effort, the group were able to kill the creature, at which point it returned to it's natural shape, revealing itself to be another doppelganger.

Now badly injured, and with very few magical resources left, the group retreated to a boiler room near the guarded barricade, and rested for 24 hours, sleeping in shifts. Everyone suffered from horrible nightmares of the creature they had earlier seen in their shared dream. Worse, Taber was badly affected by his dreams, waking just as tired as he had been before going to sleep.

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