Strange Aeons

Thrushmoor Part 9
Iris Hill continued

The party continued their explorations of Iris Hill. In the Carriage house stables they encountered a haunt of a spectral horse that nearly kicked Chesna. In the carriage house itself they found a deep hole under the carriage parked there. It was so deep they couldn't see the bottom or even heard the drop when they threw a stone down there. They went upstairs and were attacked by a large potted plant. They found that the bed chambers upstairs had several tapestries on the wall and one had a Yellow Sign painted on the back of it, hanging above an altar with burnt incense.

They found a study containing a ledger for Iris Hill's accounts which was trapped with a Sepia Snake Sigil, which you identified as a type of trap for books that when read encases the victim in amber. Having dodged that bullet, the party read the ledger and found that not too long ago all the staff and servants at Iris Hill were fired and new ones were hired from someone named Weiralai. You also found that before the count left, he had ordered a number of books delivered, which you noted the names of: Argument Against Reality, Delusion: A Pact with Sanity, Esoteric Delves into the Waking Mind, and Mystical Sites of Eastern Casmaron.

Next, the party investigated the servants quarters and found a number of Kuru barbarians holing up there which they dispatched. Finally they moved on to the estate proper, they crashed a dinner where several cultists were eating in the dining room. They then headed upstairs and encountered an invisible creature that was later identified as a Star Vampire, an aberration of the void that is invisible until it feeds on blood, at which point the blood inside it makes its form visible. 

In the next room they found two headless bodies, later identified as Penanggalen, and were attacked by one of the owners of those bodies. Right before they were attacked, Chesna found a notebook in the guestroom which detailed Lowls' experiments on a number of test subjects, apparently in preparation for some ritual or something he was going to perform on you guys. He also mentioned his suspicions that a patient named Ulver Zandalus (whom the party recalled from Briarstone) was the key to finding the lost city of Neruzavin. 

 During the fight with the Penangalen, a rat swarm showed up and the party's old friend, the assassin lady showed up and nearly killed Connor. After defeating the monster, the assassin, and the cultists, we wrapped it up.

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Thrushmoor - Part 8
Into Iris Hill

The party spent some time debating how best to get into Iris Hill. First Chesna snuck up to scout the perimeter and determined that the hedge wall was too thick to cut through. Instead they put on the yellow cloaks and Yellow sign symbols that the cultists were wearing and tried to pretend that Chesna and Ralen and Josiah were cultists who had captured Krakrox and Connor. The guards were suspicious. At one point they shut the viewing slot and Chesna heard them talking to someone mentioning Melisenn and describing the party. When the guard came back he asked Chesna if she had seen the Yellow Sign. Chesna recalled that this was a phrase common of the dogma of the King in Yellow. It was sort of a way for followers to identify each other. She couldn't recall what a proper response would be though, only that it had something to do with Carcosa. 

Ultimately the doors burst open and the party was attacked by a couple of bestial looking humanoids, which Chesna identified as the Kuru barbarians that the captured cultist had told you about before. The party managed to dispatch all of them and enter the estate grounds. The grounds were dark and gloomy with clouds overhead and a mist covering much of the grounds. Krakrox tried to get a better vantage point by climbing a large tree. From that tree he attempted to jump onto the roof of a nearby building but ended up hitting the wall and catching the windowsill of a second story window. He crawled inside. Meanwhile the rest of the party tried to look for other ways into this building when the topiary hedge sculptures around the garden came to life and attacked them. Krakrox had found a solarium on the second floor with floor to ceiling windows and saw the battle ensuing outside so he bull rushed through the glass and dove out into the garden to join the fray. 

Once the party had dispatched the topiaries, Krakrox remembered he had heard voices inside the building. Assuming that anyone in here must be evil, he immediately, still enraged, burst through the door where he saw a man and a woman in fine noble attire sipping wine. The woman turned to offer Krakrox a glass just as he barreled into her and smashed her with his hammer. Another fight ensued wherein the party did eventually dispatch both of them. 

Chesna searched through their things and found a number of items (see Chesna's notes). 

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Thrushmoor part 7
Leaving Fort Hailcourse

The party finished off the last of the ju ju zombies in the fort before leaving and heading back for the town. They first went to the Inn to check that Sholn made his way back safely, which he had. Holissa mentioned they were planning on leaving town in the morning. The party then made their way to the Sleepless building but on their way there they were accosted by a ghostly incorporeal figure of an older woman with strange tentacles and growths on her face. She attacked Krakrox and after she had drained a substantial amount of Krakrox's Charisma, the party managed to fight her off. During the fight, Winter showed up with an Elf you later learned was named Ralen.

They advised you that Ralen had been another Briarstone survivor, that they had apparently had the same dreams of the yellow city and the Tatterman as you had, that they had woken up in a collapsed underground cavern and were eventually rescued by Captain York who had been combing the asylum for other survivors. Connor recalled the staircase the party had gone down which had appeared to lead to nowhere as though the basement that was once there had vanished, or apparently collapsed into a subterranean cavern during the earthquake.  It seemed Ralen had also been an employee of Lowls and was suffering a similar bout of amnesia. All they remembered was a connection to the rest of the party that they couldn't explain.

The party then met with Cesadia and informed her of what was going on at Fort Hailcourse. She concluded that the next logical lead to follow up on was Iris Hill. The party agreed and went back to the bunkhouse to rest. Early the next morning Chesna went out to investigate a strange noise and found one of those eerie murals on the back of the bunkhouse. As she went to inspect it, a finely dressed man with a yellow hood and cloak leaped out of the mural and attacked her. As the rest of the party came to investigate, more murals started appearing on various walls around them and several more similarly dressed and armed men and women emerged from the walls to attack the party. They were ultimately defeated as 3 were incapacitated and the 4th ran away and disappeared. 

The party debated what to do with them for a while, but ultimately tied them up and brought them in for questioning. Krakrox meanwhile went to the Sleepless agency and spoke with Cesadia who provided him with an elixir of truth. Once they gave that to the cultist, they interrogated him and learned that the current leader of the cult is Melisenn, the count's steward, that the assassin who had been tracking you was named Risi and was either a good friend or perhaps lover of Melisenn, that Melisenn spent a lot of time in the basement of Iris Hill, and that the Star Stelae are involved with the cult's activity. Specifically he mentioned that the Star Stelae were being used to create the murals which allowed teleportation through the town from one mural to another, but the murals have to be within 200 ft of the Stela that created them. You also found that he was a follower of an Outer God called Hastur, sometimes known as the King in Yellow. A being of the Dark Tapestry and that his unholy symbol was a Yellow Sign. 

He told the party that he's unclear on the Count's role in all this, but assumed the Count is involved. However the Count has been gone since before this cultist arrived. Finally he told the party  that Melisenn had hired the Skum to guard the fort with promises of gold and slaughter, and had hired savage barbarians called Kuru to guard Iris Hill itself. He didn't elaborate on details but alluded to the fact that Melisenn also had contact with a number of extraplanar beings as well, one of whom being Tilsitari (the Soul Sliver shapeshifter you slew in Fort Hailcourse). Seemingly satisfied that he was being forthcoming, you gave him the gold you'd promised and he promptly left. 

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Thrushmoor Parts 5 and 6
The raid of Fort Hailcourse

The party continued their explorations of Fort Hailcourse. They cleared out the top floors where several fish people you knew to be skum were hiding out. They also encountered the Soulsliver when it took on Chesna's guise and attacked you. The party dispatched the shapeshifter and withstood an attack from more fishmen as they tried to rest in a top floor bedchamber. When they went down to the first floor, they found more ju-ju zombie guards and more fishmen. They also found a records room with several records of note. Specifically they found that Count Lowls IV had been ordered to pay for an occult book he had not returned, but was unable to actually make the payment for several weeks. They also found a request from the family of Lowls' mother to inspect and take custody of the body, which ultimately was refused. The party also found a record of a man being sentenced to be locked up to die in his cell for the alleged murder of Nemira Lowls (the count's mother). Finally the party found record of the arrest of one Krakrox and Connor MacDonald for a bar brawl for which they spent a night in lockup and Lowls paid to have brushed away.

After the records room, the party headed down to the basement where they found a few more fish people, but more importantly they found Sholn, the boy they'd been asked to track down by his sister back in town. They escorted him back out of the fort before investigating an odd room that seemed to have had a hallway hastily blocked off with a rock wall. While trying to break down the wall a ghost attacked them which the party determined to be the ghost of Lowls' mother's supposed murderer. After defeating the ghost they made it through the wall into the cell beyond where a withered, naturally mummified body lay. They identified some tattoos related to occult matters of creatures from the dark tapestry. They  also found an ioun stone inside the man's stomach, apparently having swallowed it. 

They decided to rest in one of the unused cells. During their rest a woman in black chainmail armor with a hood hiding most of her face peeked into the room, seemed to see Chesna through the slot in the cell door, smiled and left again. Later the party found that they had been barricaded into the room. When they broke through, they found that a rudimentary dart trap had been set up and Krakrox was struck with a poison dart. He managed to shake off the poison though, and with that the party was on their way back to out of the fort to reflect, recuperate, and plan their next moves.

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Thrushmoor - Parts 3 & 4
The Witch's Grotto and Fort Hailcourse

The party rested up and made their way out to the docks in the morning to meet with Toli the fisherman. They piled aboard his boat and made their way out to the cave Toli had spoken of. Immediately upon making their way inside they discovered that there was something living here as the entrance was rigged with a trap that nearly cut Krakrox in half and an assassin vine dropped down from the cave ceiling and attacked. 

Once that was dealt with, the party discovered a set of tracks coming in and out of this cave, confirming their suspicions that someone was living here. Inside the cave they found a makeshift gate made of driftwood and vines blocking off passage to a larger portion of the cave. Krakrox decided to rush headlong at it and burst through. On the other side they found a woman dressed in leather armor, wielding a spear with wild hair and leaves and vines adorning her. In front of her were two wolves that appeared to be made of fungus. Said wolves immediately attacked. Throughout the fight, the party was poisoned by the wolves' spore clouds and eventually the woman put up a cloud of fog and disappeared, apparently attempting to escape. Before she could get away though, the party did stop her despite a phantom fungus showing up to the fight and nearly killing off Krakrox. 

Once the threats had been dealt with, the party searched the cave and found an alchemist's lab and ingredients for making several poisons and hallucinogenic mushrooms. They also found a letter requesting "more of your dream inducing brew and more of that oil" signed by someone named Melisenn. 

Upon speaking with Cesadia later on, you learned that Melisenn is the Count's steward and is managing his estate in his absence. Cesadia knows little of Melisenn other than that she's a foreigner who the count brought in as an assistant several years ago. Cesadia seemed convinced of your motivations now and offered what info she had. Her primary concerns were the lack of leadership in the town, with the Count gone, the Magistrate gone, and the Constable shuttering the fort, there is little in the way of leadership left. Even with the mercenaries defecting, shuttering the fort entirely is very odd especially given all the other troubles in town. The disappearances the party was already aware of. Cesadia had little other information about that other than that they're still happening. She was approached just that day by a girl named Holissa asking for help locating her older brother Sholn who had disappeared. On top of that, the murals appearing all over the town and a sudden influx of foreigners coming in had Cesadia suspecting cult activity, but she has no solid evidence and is stretched thin on resources.

With this information the party decided to head out and talk to Holissa. You found her staying at a room in the Silver Wagon. Apparently her parents were gone and with her brother now disappeared she didn't want to stay in her home anymore. She mentioned that Sholn disappeared in the middle of the night while they were sleeping. When the party went to investigate the house they found that the parents' room which was covered in a thin sheet of dust showed some signs that someone or something had come through the window somewhat recently. Additionally you found that one of the murals you'd heard of was on the back wall of this house and a dusty footprint was on the wall beneath the window. While this was happening a nosy neighbor asked what you were doing, apparently concerned that you were snooping around the girl's house. After being convinced that you were working with the Sleepless Agency, he eventually relayed to you that the night of the disappearance he hard some strange noises outside and when he looked out his window he saw some small shadowy figures that he presumed to be children playing running in the neighbor's backyard. He was reluctant at first to divulge the next part of his story, but eventually admitted he thought he saw them emerging from the back wall, but figured he must have still been sleepy or still half-dreaming. 

While investigating the wall, Josiah determined that there was a faint magical aura about it, but none of the party couldn identify it specifically. Josiah was able to determine that the magic was associated with conjuration. With that information in hand the party decided to check out Iris Hill. Upon knocking at the door they were met with a very gruff guard opening the shutter and telling them to go away. Repeated attempts at reasoning with the guard resulted in threats to leave "or else". The party seemed to take this as a challenge and decided that explosives were the logical course of action, so Connor tried to blow the door open. He succeeded in damaging it, but the bar held the door shut. At this point the door was thrown open and about a dozen guards in full plate armor marched out with shield and spear and advanced on the party warning them away. The party decided that discretion was the better part of valor and did in fact leave. 

They then decided to check out the Fort. They met a similar, though less hostile reception there. The constable listened to their concerns but ultimately told them that there was little she could do. With the mercenaries all gone she'd had orders to shutter the fort and she doesn't have the resources to really help. She said she'd sent messenger birds to neighboring towns to ask for reinforcements, but so far had received no responses. After some continued pressing by the party, she eventually became exasperated and told the party that she would love to help but she simply doesn't have the resources and to ask the Sleepless Agency for help. After that she asked them to leave and that was it.

Later that afternoon as the party returned to speak to Cesadia, they noticed a gallery of portraits of the prominent people in town, the current and past counts, magistrates and constables. Chesna, with a keen eye noticed that the portrait of the Constable had a scar over her right eye. The constable that the party had spoken to earlier had had a scar over her left eye. Now convinced that they had been speaking to a doppelganger or at least an imposter, the party decided they needed to return and find another way in to investigate.

But first they needed rest. And so they went back to their bunkhouse out by New Chapel and went to bed. Their rest, however, was interrupted when a woman snuck into their bunkhouse and stabbed Krakrox in the chest, not quite killing him, but dealing a significant amount of damage. She had struck with a poisoned blade, which Krakrox as able to resist. Once everyone had woken up and joined the fray, they found a woman with slightly tan, freckled skin, reddish blonde hair ties back in a pony tail, dark black chain shirt covered by a dusty gray trenchcoat. Her face was partially concealed by a bandana over the lower half of her face. Her belt held several vials of dark liquids, small crossbow bolts and daggers. The woman seemed surprised that Krakrox was not dead and fought on the defensive before ultimately being driven off and disappearing before the party could capture her.

After taking another couple hours to finish resting and have Winter heal you up, the party set out for Fort Hailcourse under cover of darkness. They snuck around to the backside of the fort where Connor levitated up to the top of one of the guard towers and anchored a roped for everyone else to climb up. A fight then ensued where the party found themselves attacked by what at first seemed to be guards wearing Ustalavic guard uniforms, but on closer inspection turned out to be ju-ju zombies. 

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Thrushmoor - Part 2
The Plot Thickens

To continue their investigations, the party went back to Dena at the Silver Wagon to advise her they had dealt with Elgrior. She thanked you and said she would lift the ban if you decided to stay there again. Rather than do that, the party left and were met by Winter who asked them to come with her to the Sleepless Agency to meet with their leader Cesadia.  Cesadia seemed distrustful of the PCs. She seemed to know them from their time working with the Count. She also seemed very concerned about the goings on in Thrushmoor. She reiterated the stories of people disappearing, the Count being out of town, the fort being shuttered, and general unease bordering on panic within the town. She wasn't willing to discuss details as she didn't fully trust the group yet. After speaking with her, she eventually agreed to use her resources to help the PCs if they would make a show of good faith and follow up on something for her. She asked the party to follow up on a rumor being spread by a local fisherman named Toli. They agreed and continued their investigations with Connor heading off to study the Star Stelae, Chesna went to go hunt down one of these murals that are popping up, and Krakrox went off to the local taproom.

Chesna found one of said murals on the side of a house on the west end of town. She determined that it had been placed there by magic, though she was not sure of the precise nature of said magic. She tried to ask the inhabitants of the house about it who seemed afraid of her and when she mentioned the mural, those within seemed convinced they'd been marked by the Briarstone Witch and immediately started running around to pack up. 

Meanwhile, Krakrox joined a dice game that was happening at The Stain, the local taproom. He spent the afternoon speaking with the fisherman who seemed to recognize him and were intimidated by him while he waited for Toli to arrive. 

Connor studied the Star Stella and took some sketches of it.

Eventually everyone ended up at the Stain and while waiting  for Toli, they were confronted by a man who seemed to recognize Chesna and approached her in a very friendly manner. He seemed to know Chesna pretty well. He asked her about where she went. He mentioned that the last time he saw her she mentioned she was going to be gone for a while. After they talked for a bit, you eventually admitted to him that you'd lost your memories. He re-introduced himself as Keldrin and told you that he and Chesna used to be pretty good friends and that last he saw her she was out on Pier 19 stashing something under the pier. 

Chesna went with Connor and Josiah to check out the Pier. Chesna leaned out and retrieved a leather bound package from under the dock. When she did so she had a flash of memory where she remembered a friendship with Keldrin, meeting for drinks a number of times, and she remembered putting this package here having a sense she was going to be gone for a while, but no other specifics as to why.  Before they could open the package they were then attacked by a fleshy mass of writhing mouths full of fangs that had pulled itself up out of the water. One of Connor's bombs was overheard by Krakrox, who was still back at the Stain, and he came running out to join the battle. Eventually the party managed to defeat the thing and go back to the Stain. There they spoke to Toli who was happy to tell his story. He said that a couple weeks ago he was out fishing and saw weird lights coming from a cave a couple miles down the bay. He suspects it to be a sign of the Briarstone Witch returning to Thrushmoor. He agreed to take you out there at dawn.

The party then made its way back towards the bunkhouse behind the Chapel when they were attacked again by a walking corpse with glowing red eyes that came straight for Krakrox. Chesna was able to identify it as a Revenant, a type of undead brought back to life by a powerful hatred to seek vengeance against their murderer. During the fight, Krakrox had a flash of memory where he recalled himself beating this man to death with his fists in a nearby alley while Connor seemed to be keeping look out on the streets. Eventually the party managed to subdue the Revenant but not before Krakrox was knocked out. They got him stabilized and brought him back to the Chapel where Winter healed him back to consciousness.

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In Search of Sanity Part 10 / Thrushmoor - Part 1

The party then continued down the hall to find Zandalus sitting on a pallet with yellow swirls all over his skin. The room he sat in was plastered from floor to ceiling in drawings of forlorn, surreal landscapes. Later inspection revealed that many of the drawings depicted the same city and same monoliths. All of the party had a spark of memory looking at these though they didn't know why. Something about it seemed familiar. 

Zandalus seemed to be being used like a puppet by some other force as words came from his open mouth without him talking and he moved with stunted, jerky movements. The voice claimed that the party should already be dead, and Zandalus proceeded to attack. After slaying Zandalus, yellow mist poured out from his body and eventually coalesced into the physical manifestation of the Tatterman and another battle began. The party narrowly managed to defeat this nightmare and the yellow mists began to recede more fully.

Back down in the cultist's camp, most seemed to forget about the Apostles in Orpiment when they saw the mists recede and the blue sky again. They threw down their weapons and yellow robes and ran for the exit. The party met up with the survivors from the chapel again and Winter thanked them profusely for ending their confinement. With that done, Captain York began ferrying everyone to the mainland, to Thrushmoor specifically.

Once in town, Winter noticed that Krakrox looked sickly. In order to help cure him of the diseases he had contracted, she recommended they go to New Chapel. Upon arriving there, they found that there was a crowd forming around the small house behind the chapel. The crowd was angry and shouting at a man named Lelwyn. They were accusing him of vandalism. They said he was the one who had been painting the eerie murals on the outside walls of various buildings at night. They seemed scared and desperate but not violent. Eventually the party managed to disperse the crowd by promising to find out where the murals are coming from. Lelwyn invited you inside for some tea to thank you. It turned out he was an elven painter who was hired to come to the newly constructed Pharasmin chapel to paint the frescoes there. Lelwyn mentioned that the priestess in charge of the chapel disappeared several days ago. He is now the only one here and has been acting as caretaker while he finishes his work on the paintings. While speaking with him, Chesna noticed an unfinished triptych depicting four figures standing amid an alien cityscape shrouded in yellow mists. The figures' faces were unfinished, but they bore an uncanny resemblance to the PC's. When asked about it Lelwyn looked back and forth between the party and the painting before seemingly realizing something. He seemed surprised and revealed that he had been dreaming about these same four figures for the last several days. The dreams always had them in this alien, yellow tinged city. The only other thing he could remember was this feeling that somehow Thrushmoor's fate would be decided by them. He offered the party a small sum of gold to sit for him so that he could finish the painting and get your features right. 

The next day, the party got Krakrox a potion to remove his disease and spent a little time trading at the apothecary, the blacksmith and eventually at High Mart – the merchant's district in the richer part of town. During this time Krakrox attempted to secure lodgings at the only Inn in town, The Silver Wagon, however when he walked in the proprietor seemed to recognize him and very sternly reminded him that he'd been banned from this establishment. She mentioned that he and his friends (apparently Connor and Chesna) had been banned for an outstanding tab, and for some altercation that took place which had resulted in some broken furniture. Krakrox attempted to smooth things over and she did eventually agree to unban them if they paid the outstanding tab and got rid of the local doomsayer who was scaring away her business. 

When they found the doomsayer, a man named Elgrior, they found him shouting to all the marketplace about how the disappearances were due to the return of the Briarstone Witch and that this was the start of a second vanishing. Questioning him didn't get many clear answers about the disappearances he spoke of, though others around town had confirmed that this part of his ravings was not inaccurate. People have been disappearing, the Count is missing, and the mercenaries at Fort Halicourse have all seemingly deserted. 

The party did eventually convince Elgrior to stop his doomsaying.

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In Search of Sanity - Part 9

The party made their way to the room at the base of the northwest tower where they found a number of ghouls sniffing about looking for something. They charged in and dispatched the ghouls. After this they managed to eventually climb up the broken staircase to the top of the tower where they found a large room overlooking the asylum grounds, with shattered windows letting the yellow fog roll through. At the center of it all, wandering slowly about with a vacant gaze was a man who looked like he once might have been a patient here. He wore the yellow stained robes of the Apostles in Orpiment, but as he slowly trudged around the room, his mouth hung open in a silent scream and sickly yellow fog billowed forth from his mouth. They deduced it to be one of the oneirogens that Wren had spoken of and in short time managed to cut it down. 

Upon doing so, you found that the mist began to retreat from the immediate area and became thinner outside the window. It turned out that Wren's hypothesis about the oneirogens being a key to the mist was likely correct. Thus, the adventurers made their way back to the cultists' camp and spoke with Wren, informing him of what happened. They then trekked back to the chapel to rest while Chesna took the time to continue researching in the Library (see The Briarstone Witch .

After they were fully rested, they went back to the cultists' camp and ventured up into halls that Zandalus was supposed to be hiding out in. As they got to the second floor they found a room with three Apostles playing cards and an old lady sleeping in the corner. A fight ensued wherein the old lady, who you deemed to be serial killer The Bag Lady, nearly beat Krakrox to death.  The party managed to dispatch them all however and then continued on to a large crumbling hall supported by pillars where one wall was completely gone and yellow mist rolled out from the room. On the south wall were a collage of charcoal drawings on the backs of pages of a book. The drawings seemed to have some kind of supernatural effect to them which nearly hypnotized Chesna. Also in the room were 3 more oneirogens which the party again dispatched. 

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In Search of Sanity Part 8

Continuing their investigations of the North eastern hallways, the party were attacked by ghouls who pushed a wall over onto them. They managed to fight the ghouls off. They found another room with several ghouls all clustered around a cage with a weird creature inside of it as well as an apparent survivor strung up to a bed propped against the wall. They managed to kill the ghouls. The thing in the cage escaped and joined the fight. It was identified as an Esipil, a sort of snake/dog aberration not native to this plane. They also freed the survivor who they brought back to the chapel. 

Continuing on, they came to what once was the showers, but now is a gruesome throne for a one-armed ghast. They dispatched these ghouls as well. And that's where we left off. 

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In Search of Sanity Part 7

Continuing their explorations of the western wing. The party ventured into a large sitting room where the found the source of the river of blood they had encountered previously. A woman, apparently dead, with a massive hold blown out of her chest as though it had exploded, sat in a wheel chair with blood endlessly pooling away from her into a river down the hallway. After a few unsuccessful attempts to bypass the river, eventually Krakrox just smashed the old lady into oblivion and the river stopped. Continuing onward, the party found a room of unnatural darkness with something inside that kept screeching out to turn a lantern back on. Chesna deduced that it was the spirit of Debis, Brenton's brother who had been lost in the uprising.  Krakrox ran back to the chapel and convinced Brenton to give him the shadow lantern in return for the  toy knights he had found in their room. The shadow lantern did pierce the darkness of the room where Chesna beheld the tortured undead remains of Debis, who upon touching the lantern cried out in relief and disappeared. 

Further explorations yielded some healing materials and some more cultists that the party struck down. During one fight, Krakrox ran off in a rage through a door to find a massive auditorium/cafeteria style room that appeared to have been turned into a sor of makeshift tribal camp for the cultists. Several cultists came to intercept him, but a man professing to be Doctor Wren Elbourne stepped forth and told everyone that Krakrox and his friends had come to gaze upon the wonder of the orpiment. The Doctor quietly whispered for the party to follow him and they did where he explained that he was a relatively new Doctor at Briarstone and told the party all he knew of the cult: that Zandalus used to be just a quiet artist before this happened but has now convinced everyone he's some sort of prophet that will lead them to the land of dreams, that Zandalus hides out in the remains of the halls upstairs, that some have bought into this creed but most are just scared patients who didn't know what to do, that the crucified people with the bagged heads were victims of Aggra "Bag Lady" Loomis, and that Zandalus' most devoted acolytes he calls oneirogens. Most stay locked upstairs but at least one watches over the northwestern tower. Doctor Elbourne asked you to go and wring what info you could from that one to figure out how to get rid of this awful mist. He offered some healing supplies and indicated he would help how he could, but he is not a fighter. 

From there the party made their way through the kitchen back into the eastern halls where they fought some extraplanar creature that Chesna identified as a Voonith. 

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