Useplanb's Strange Aeons AP - Group 1

Campaign Journals

Grand Lodge

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I am getting two different groups put together to play the Strange Aeons Adventure Path. This post will be for the players to first post their characters and then to eventually post their journals.

Some of those that may be interested in reading these posts may be familiar with my other campaigns. (Sadly most have run out of steam and probably wont be completed. The successful one was my first one, Rise of the Runelords which took 2-years to complete for a party of 8-9 players.)

I was heavily influenced from work done by Order of the Amber Die. I read a quote that I really fell in love with, " took years of playing optimized characters to realize that even though it made our PCs better--it didn't make our games better." So after reading through a lot of their posts I have blatantly stole a few of their ideas for this campaign.

My rules for their character creation are core rules only for race. 20-point build, natural characteristic maximum is 20, no evil alignments, and must take one of the campaign traits.

During the campaign I am encouraging each player to post a journal (their first post will be their characters). Journals will give the player a d20 reroll that can be used by them to reroll a d20 or to force me to reroll a d20 that was used against them.

I will intend to deal with character death in the same manner as the Order of the Amber Die in that any starting character will be level 1.

I will occasionally make posts updating certain facts or to share entertaining results from the game. Hope you will enjoy this, I am positive I will as well.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm running a Strange Aeons campaign as well (have a thread on here).

I 100% agree with that quote as well, I think it's more fun to play characters that have been designed to be fleshed out avatars instead of following the same old toughness -> weapon focus -> power attack optimized spreadsheets.

We are trying the AP with only three characters and it's going fairly well so far I think, though there has been an NPC that travelled with the group for parts of the first adventure, he's out of the picture for the second adventure. I've also streamlined a few encounters so the party won't always be tapped out of resources...

Anyway I will be interested to see how your campaign goes, asking the players to make journals seems like a cool idea, but I could also see how some players wouldn't be down with that at all - those ones just want to play, that's it. Cheers!

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YOU KNOW….Most persons of any sense know never to just… come upon a body all willy-nilly acting as though we’ve met before. For all that calculate with lucid trinomials and forbearing quintile theorems, find it in your being to cough, or harrumph, break wind or verbalize in the low range so as not to startle….otherwise chance finding yourself the recipient of undesired wrath! Whew!

Before you….barged into my solitude, I had nearly come to a manageable number. Now I must start recalculating. Lucky for you this has happened before and I do not have to start from the very beginning. Do you have any possible idea how difficult it is to estimate how many planes of existence there are…hmmm? DO YOU!?! No...I thought not! I mean first you must make certain considerations, such as…well… for instance the “ABYSS” is no infinite, never ending, conglomeration of discordant choasium. NO! Only complete idiots and round eyed humans gobble up a profoundly ignorant and stupid non-complexity such as that. I have come to the understanding that it is a solitary plane that was deviously and purposefully sabotaged by a wholly corrupt force into an implosive temporal existence, centrally flawed by an entropic singularity slowly and continuously feeding upon and recreating itself over eons….never thought of that DIDJA!?! NO!! I didn’t see YOU ciphering that out in your monkey brain either. NO, I suspect you haven’t studied for decades on anything have you? Color spray me surprised! I mean, who are you to come here and question me about WHO I AM, or WHAT I KNOW? I’ll have you know I apprenticed with renowned scholarly specialists before focusing in the art of evocation. DOLT!

Well that is until I met Halcyon Breakwater. That wicked half elf introduced me to the dark art, the one that will shrivel your bits into currants. He also introduced me to…JUST WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!?? Do you have any credentials at all or are you more of a pedigree type? Why am I talking to you? Oh fancy this…I once quantified the requirement for the matriculation of lubricatious causation in the circumference of a summoning circle for the druids of bramble spire henge. It was MAJESTIC! It was nearly as enjoyable as counting the planetary rings of the third celestial body with Elandrilisa. Though to be honest I was distracted by her beautifully curved...err…I have grown quite tiresome of your company, do speak your business with me with haste or I shall be required to call the guard. Where is my staff? WHERE IS IT!? Do you see it? DO YOU HAVE IT? YOU SIR ARE A DISTRACTION AND AN ANNOYANCE, NOW HELP ME FIND IT! It is as fine a piece of snap-ruby ash as you will find, rich color, fine grain, and capped with a red electrum knob. Ahh, here it is…now GO! I must prepare for a party… dinner awaits…did you bring the cake? I had an instructor whose cat liked to rub his butt in the icing. I HATED THAT CAT! You’re not a cat are you?!? Don’t tell him I said that! But if you talk to him tell him Thinculous Arclight sends his regards and salad spoons.

Thinculous Arclight
evocation wizard-elf (CN)
Drawback Cruelty
Campaign trait Methodical Mind
Religion Trait unhinged mentality :)
MaGic Trait Focused mind
Spell Focus Necromancy
Arcane bond Staff

Lets address stats again...
seems a better use of a 20pt buy

Grand Lodge

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Thinculous Arclight wrote:
Color spray me surprised!

This is going to become one of my favorite sayings already!

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Dotting. I followed along with your RotRL campaign, and found it thoroughly enjoyable, although my face to face group got tired of the slog through Runeforge and decided to table the campaign.

Out of curiosity, would Thinculous Arclight be the same player as Moxie?

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G'day, name's Evan; have we met? Was snuck out of Cheliax when I was just a sprig, ended up in Andoran. Spent a bit of time there, but just didn't seem to measure up to those fine tall uniforms. Managed working passage on an old trader and landed in Absolom; a huge, beautiful, strange, confusing, deadly place to try to grow up in. Survived on wits and quick feet until happening upon Cayden's Rest; an inn run by a fine old codger named Georgi. Took pity on a half-starved runt and had me clean up around the place and run errands. Was nice to sleep indoors and not have to worry where the next crust was coming from.

Started gaining a few skills, not sure what to do with my future. Didn't think I'd be able to follow the boss' path, don't have the right frame of mind. At first, nobody told me how tight Georgi was with the place's namesake. Concord related a couple tales from "The Old Days" that got my attention and reminded me not to take things at face value.

Life was going well, and one day... and there was the thing... then something happened...

Where exactly is this place?

Evan Sumak
Halfling Rogue(Unch)

Str 5
Dex 17
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 16

Meticulous Enduring Stoicism Tireless Logic Fate's Favor
Fleet of Foot Believer's Boon: Travel

One should be able to extract oneself from the dungy at least as fast as one charged headlong into it.

Grand Lodge

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Phntm888 wrote:
Out of curiosity, would Thinculous Arclight be the same player as Moxie?

It would be! He has a definitive ... style. :)

There is a certain similarity in the writing of Thinculous Arclight and Moxie. I look forward to more phrases, like "Color spray me surprised!"

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Where? Who? Follow? Why? But this is where I belong. It's what I deserve after betraying her like I did. She sent for me? What? I suppose so, do I have time to gather my things? Thanks, they're all I have left after the dark. What is your name? Do you know mine. Do you know me? No, no one knows me not even her.

You say I don't belong here but how do you know if you don't know me? Group 2? What do you mean I'm in group 2. Where am I? Group 1? Well it's not my fault someone put me here maybe they know who I am, no I suppose not. But you're sure I'm in group 2. Well that's just great. Where is group 2? What, they don't exist yet? WTF mate? If they don't exist what about me? Great, just great, I don't!

See you all in Group 2. If you exist at all.

And one more thing, group 1, I hate you, who ever you are. :^)

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Phntm888....Ssshh! kiss...giggle!!

One more, one more thing, Thincolors Oflight, who sir look like an ELF!!!!!!

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How marvelously astute of you! Your powers of observation astound!I hope they serve you at least as well in grope 2, but thanks for your cooperation...DOLT! Oh and by the way, you sir resemble that of a carnival clown...correction creepy,under the bed,woods dwelling,creepy-CLOWN. Good day CLOWN!

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Additionally I find it quite amusing for someone whose name begins with an "X" has difficulty with the pronunciation of both of mine. But that has more to do with my pointed ears and almond shaped eyes now doesn't it? While you float about in limbo I would share, while only half manifest here, group 1 is fully manned. What I can't accomplish from afar our dutiful and handsome "Stab Rabbit" Evan will surely complete...WHY ARE YOU HERE?

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Thincolors oflight, it's group 2, not grope 2. But I saw what you did there. Cute, fairy Elf.

I wish I could stay and chat but as you can see the nice young men in they're clean white coats are coming to take me away...I hope they're not from United.

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Who? What?...err... Yes!! That one...over there...take him away. Whew! No I'm fine, you white coats have all you can handle, now be off...Right!! Stab Rabbit aren't we supposed to have an escort? Where are they off to?

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Aaaaaand... here comes trouble! :-P

Where's the spoiler tags! Now I'm going to know everything about the campaign!

Or is that something the GM should know...

Smurf it all, no FAQ button! It's the off topic debacle all over again!

Grand Lodge

Well, I don't worry about Spoiler Tags on a Campaign Journal post. It's sort of implied. ;)

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Thinculous Arclight wrote:
Additionally I find it quite amusing for someone whose name begins with an "X" has difficulty with the pronunciation of both of mine. But that has more to do with my pointed ears and almond shaped eyes now doesn't it? While you float about in limbo I would share, while only half manifest here, group 1 is fully manned. What I can't accomplish from afar our dutiful and handsome "Stab Rabbit" Evan will surely complete...WHY ARE YOU HERE?

My name is pronounced, "Luxury Yacht".

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Hail and well met... I think? I don't remember much of what has happened. All I remember is gearing up for the march to the World Wound and my lieutenant pulls me out of ranks. He mentions something about Ustalev. And now I am here, where ever here is.

It is my duty to serve. A long family tradition of service to Iomedae and Sarenrae. Taldans have been sending the bravest soldiers to fight the vilest beasts and abominations for decades. My family has always answered the call.

Theodric is my name. Holy Champion of Iomedae.

STR: 17
DEX: 12
CON: 12
INT: 11
WIS: 11
CHA: 14

Campaign Trait: Driven by Guilt
Religious Trait: Purity of Faith(Iomedae)

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Moridins Shriveled pinky toe! It's the big Taldoran! Come Evan, let us make our acquaintance...Theodric is it? Is that what you answer to or are you more of a Ted or Teddy, Theo, Thed, Theed, Theawd...which is it? SPEAK UP MAN!..At any rate, well met indeed!

Come to think of it, now that you say that...I'm out of sorts as well. I have no idea of where or when this is? I'll work on that, but first a bit of house keeping, our stature-challenged friend Evan here may have need of your swarthy brutish strength...say if he were to fill up his bag, could you assist? It barely holds more than a large belt pouch, more along the lines of a Ustalavian man purse really. Oh and watch yourself! Theres a lunatic about talking crazy, calls himself the Exigent Bear or some such. The white coats led him away.

Have you seen the other...umm...whats his face...there is another...isn't there?

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Thanks. Thin, is it? Wonderful, but if you don't mind, I'll just stay over here in my safe space. All I can do to keep from getting trampled. For an escape-proof cell, this place gets more traffic than the ridged airship station in Absolom. And a lot stranger.

First, with the exception of the shapely halfling with the interesting hair, there will be NO groping. Second, where might I get one of those nice white coats(14 Short), and could I lead myself away wearing one? Just a thought.

One more thing; where the feth are "we", and what is the safe occupancy limit on this pest hole? And does it include that shadowy form staring off into the distance?

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My name is Herbert West.

By my surroundings I seem to be in some sort of... institution.

My name is Herbert West; I am taldan.

Before this I remember... working with a mercenary group? No, it was the crusades, and I was a butcher? No a or chirurgeon, yes that's it.

My name is Herbert West; I am Taldan; I am a surgeon.

Though I know not where I am precisely, I am comforted by a feeling that I have friends nearby.

My name is Herbert West; I am Taldan; I am a surgeon; I am not alone.

My dreams were not what I would call pleasant before waking, and truth be told I have no way of knowing how long I've been here, or how much memory I've lost to time.

My name is Herbert West: I am Taldan; I am a surgeon; I am not alone, and something dark is lurking in the horizon.

(will post character stats tomorrow)

Herbert West
Human - Chirurgeon

STR: 8
DEX: 13
CON: 12
INT: 18
WIS: 14
CHA: 12

Foe of the Strange (Campaign trait)
Sacred Touch (Faith trait)

Wonderful, wonderful; always nice to pack a few more warm bodies into this cubicle. Mind the foot traffic, it can be rather brisk, and whatever you do, don't get the two bigguns over there started. Those two elves over there(not positive about the one in the hat), if they get talking, they will NOT shut up.

As someone who has the look and smell of an individual trained in the production of potables. In any rewarding endeavor, a stiff belt(or three) is almost always key to success. And couldn't hurt when enduring this endless chatter. As soon as I find a few odds and ends, we'll pop out of this coop and get on with the very important(and lucrative) work I was in the midst of; as soon as I remember what it was, where we are, and...what did you say your name was, again?

Group 1 manned and ready sir....Whats that?

Right then....all you lads of group 1 listen up. The ole man in the moon just said we're all doomed so cinch up the belt on the big boy pants as it appears as though we have been volunteered to receive!

Anyone else have a splitting headache? Any of you guys tired? I am dreadfully tired...right sleepy in fact...(yawn)...WAIT!? I am elf, I have no need of slee....(THUD!)...zzzzZZZ.

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In the bruised twilight I find myself wandering in a gray brick walled maze of alleys. Unfamiliar and strange this place? A yellow-ish fog…sulphur? I am quite certain that…I (?)….have….positively NO IDEA WHO I AM! Oh how horrid! I don’t want to go back to that place, they lie and enjoy it! None can be trusted. How am I to….what am I….where am I….where are the townsfolk? This is a town? This doesn’t seem right. Something is amiss. Something approaches in the fog. RUNNING! Around corners and uphill I collect what appear to be two humans and a child, all running until the alley ends in a brick wall. TRAPPED! In the ever thickening yellow fog the four of us braced as the footsteps advanced. A shadowy figure stepped from the parting fog to reveal a bipedal creature made of rags wielding an augmented barbers tool. Undaunted the noble knight stepped forth to do it harm as the fog engulfed him. The sounds of combat did not seem to favor the knight, sickly flesh tearing, bone splitting, gurgling sounds. Pool of blood rapidly advancing, blood sprayed along the grey bricks followed by the meaty thump of a head as it rolled from the fog breathing the word “ME”. As I surveyed the scene in terror my gaze fixed on the blood spattered wall. As the spray streamed down the wall….it formed “ME”. The fine hairs on my neck stood firm confirming the fear. To my amazement, more accurately shock, the child, or what I had taken as a child leapt at the creature who had stepped from the thinning fog. My reflex of action sent an arcanic bolt from my hand into the ragman as the fog once again enveloped the melee. Short and unpleasant were the sounds of the struggles as the scene was repeated. As the small head rolled from the fog it whispered “UP” and though I knew better, curiosity compelled me to check the blood sprayed wall again. I was less than comforted to see it flow into the word “UP”. I managed to finish the corpus aegis incantation prior to being enveloped in the fog and raised my snap ruby staff to block the advancing ragman….

BIZZLE-SNAP! The spine tingling feeling you get when compulsively witnessing someone else experience an unexpected excruciating physical pain ripped me from a state of deep and unusual slumber. Vision and mind fogged and blurry. The smell of old straw, mold and excreta motivated my limbs to stand. It was then a scream came from beyond the dungeon cell. “WAKE UP DAMMIT!” Shook to my bones I tried to focus on my surroundings. First I noticed I shared this cell with a familiar face, a small comfort, but still no specific recollection of his or my name. Then to the light source, a small candle illuminating a table covered with jagged sharp bits of junk, all of which bore traces if they were not covered in blood. Next the motion of a woman clad I a white bloodied coat…the kind the doctors wore…strolled about a table carrying what appeared to be one half of a pair of tree trimming shears. The blur of my vision completely gone I noticed in the dim light what was on the table…..GOOD GRAVY! The woman was attempting the old, death by a thousand cuts, on that poor HELPLESS soul! I froze in horror at the prospect of having to witness this event! Not that the cutting bothered me mind you, but the helpless nature of the victim! She sliced his leg in a nonchalant fashion as she moved about the table eliciting a soulful protest from her victim.

Suddenly a face in a cell from the other side of the scene lit by the candle demanded the woman “LEAVE HIM ALONE!” The doctor’s verbal response was swift. The woman walked around her tabled victim when my comforting cell mate made an overture as well. That is when the woman doctor responded again only to further horrify me when her face changed to match my cell mates for a brief moment! That is when the man on the table kicked the “woman” from behind into our cell bars with a leg he had freed. My cellmate lunged to grab the “woman” and I tried to help but both were unsuccessful. The man kicked a second time knocking the “woman” into the wall forcefully which caused her to fall to the floor. “She” rose with a violence lashing out at her victim. That is when the child from my dream, who wasn’t a child at all, appeared at our cell door with a set of keys and unlocked the door. We three were free from our cells before the “woman” finished her gruesome task…thankfully she was thorough! I cannot abide those lingering on the threshold to the afterlife! My cell mate engaged the doctor with a random selection of sharp objects from the table; the key master ran to free the man across the way, while I pondered which of the instruments would best suit my future needs. I quickly chose the broken bottle and slashed as she made her way near me. My cell mate was wounded in the swirling melee. The human burst from his cell and threw himself at our captor. Outnumbered our resident torturer dropped its disguise presenting us with a nose-less, gangly, grey beast which promptly made haste for an exit. The others pursued. I took the candle and wished to see if other cells held prisoners as the chamber appeared bigger than our light source. That is when I happened upon a pile of equipment. Low and behold therein I found all of my possessions, minus the component pouch, DAMMIT! There was grumbling about the lighting conditions at the exit and some exertion so I turned to see what the fuss was about. I was met by the wee key master who franticly snatched the candle and ran for the exit. While they pushed and pulled at the door, I strapped and belted my equipment and stood at the ready. The door was pushed in, the wee burglar ran in with the light and a grisly fight ensued. That is when I found an unattended bag on the floor which contained…my spell component pouch! MAJESTIC!! The sounds of the fight resembled the butchery of my dream and I watched as the human succumbed first, like in the dream, then a squeal from the light bearer, and then it came back in the chamber for my cell mate and I! I had sent two bolts into the creature and readied a third when the creature lurched and fell dead…followed in quick order by our wee stab rabbit! I stepped away from the dying as my stomach wrenched from the close proximity to the mortally wounded. However the quick action of my cellmate brought them back from deaths door. I helped get them to comfort within the room. The cellmate and I spoke at some length where we found we had shared a common dream experience before waking here. I returned to the pile of equipment and realized the remaining equipment belonged to our slumbering wounded and it was dispersed. Among their belongings was a string instrument of exceptional quality…but no bow? On inspection I retrieved a small piece of parchment from its cavity with the name “Auseil” written upon it. I also found the boiler in this area had been used as a crematorium! Oh and that it was possible, but likely very difficult, to get out through the chimney if other avenues did not seem viable. There we rested until the wounded were ambulatory again.

During my reverie I found myself pulled into the foggy alley again, though this time it seemed to be strewn with numerous shadowy figures, one of which came close enough to make out. A white haired man filled with a desperation near insanity. I called out to him and he spoke “We’re all lost here, never to escape! What have I done?” This had never happened to me before and was quite unsettling. Once all had eaten and been helped into their arms and equipment we looked to our escape. The promise of stairs leading out led to disappointment when we found them hopelessly blocked. Within the room was a large pile of “recently” deceased human bodies resting below a coal chute….non appealing! At the point where it was suggested we climb out over the bodies, I shared the existence of the chimney as a possible option. It was spelunked and found wanting, so over the dead pile we climbed. First our resident midget, then I, until all had gained the room above, a rather simple effort in climbing really. Much of our time here we could hear the sound of rain and thunder. I for one looked forward to the rain and the cleansing refreshment it promised. We entered the “courtyard” only to find the rain a scalding, painfully burning downpour! Quickly we chose an adjacent door and ran inside. There we found a long hall which was barricaded on one end. The barricade was quickly filled with human men at arms and a call to halt, which we did.

They looked haggard and nervy. Their marshal accused us of dopplegangery to which we protested. He demanded proof by way of a trey of doppleganger heads. I was delighted that we could retrieve the head of the one masquerading as the doctor until he explained how they employed their skullduggery and disguise…and then my cellmate offered his assistance in its retrieval. That unnerved me! But not so much as the answer to a question posed to them about where we were! The answer came back “the Briarstone Asylum.” That locked my spine…anxiety welled up…and I don’t know why!?!? Something filled me with mistrust! I spoke to our knight saying “Don’t trust anyone who works in an asylum…EVER!! They LIE!!” It just came out…from wear I don’t know or remember. With more trepidation than before my cellmate and I returned to the dungeon rooms and retrieved the head of our first doppleganger and threw it to the men at arms…twitchy that bunch! So off we marched to earn our passage. The first room was a boiler room, which had shifty lights dancing about beneath yet more boilers….lots of em in this place! Suddenly large filthy rats lunged at us from the rubble in the room. I swung at one with my staff, missing. Then it sunk its nasty jagged teeth into my leg…MOTHER OF PEARL…but that hurt! With that I backed into the corner and sent a gout of flame fanning from my wide spread fingers, roasting the enormous beasts! The throbbing in my leg required a limp even with the assistance of my staff….PEELERS PECKERKNIFE, WOW THAT HUUURRRTS!!! I’ll probably contract some nasty leprous foul rotting infestation now, DAMMIT! Then group assembled back in the hall after collecting a few sundry bits and moved onto the next door, I limped along beside the knight. The stab rabbit opened the door and got stung by a wiggly centipede, a big one! The rabbit took an involuntary nap. I stood over him and cooked the interior of this linen closet which was met with stingage in my other leg….HOLY FIRE THAT BURNS!!! I loosed a second gout of flame with a staff call cooking those crawling bugs! That’s gonna swell…its gonna swell up…its gonna swell up hard as frostbit purple martin, turn black and fall off!


Can we take a break? I walk like a pirate with two peg legs, no really, can we take a minute and think about this please?

Thankfully with the rabbit incoherent, the knight still reeling from the fight with the first doppleganger, and my new legless future it was agreed we should rest until we had sufficient health and mobility to try a foe with our equipment and vitality in full bloom. At which I drifted off into another fitful SLEEP! This time I dreamt that I was in the yellowy fogged ally and that wretched, frightful, ragman approached from the thick fog, seemingly surprised at my return. He cocked his head in disbelief and reached out for my face….and I woke in a sweat soaked state of panic. I don’t know what my cellmate puts on my wounds but I suspect it has a sleeping agent in it!

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Prison of the Mind, Part 1

I open my eyes. My head feels like it was just released from the jaws of a lion. In a daze, I try to gather myself and stand up. “Who am I?” I think to myself. I don’t know my name. I look around and notice 3 others. They too appear to be waking from a similar stupor.
Dread suddenly fills me. A mist of yellow fog begins to cover the area. Impending doom rises in my subconscious. Where are we? We have to move. I look around and realize we are in an alley of some old uncared-for city. The walls of the buildings are sagging. This area has been left to die.
The yellow mist moves in closer, becomes thicker. My new companions… I need to protect them. I must be a guard. They must be important. “Move,” I shout. Footsteps can be heard approaching from behind. All of us begin to move in the same general direction though no of us can seems to get solid footing and balance. An intersection… Without thinking I go right. My 3 companions turn with me. The alleyway starts uphill. The footsteps are getting closer. The yellow mist follows us up the alley. I evaluate our defensive capabilities. We have a tall, thin man; a stout man; and a boy. We are greatly outnumbered and out classed. I decide that if we are to make it, I would need to confront this creature head on allowing enough time for companions to escape.
I reach for my sword to draw it, which is not there. I feel on my belt for my light mace and make the commitment to engage our pursuer. Pulling my light mace, I turn around and charge into the mist. The mist clears just enough that I find my target, a fleshy creature with gray skin and fluid face. I strike with all my effort hitting solidly on the creatures face. It seems to only glance off with no true effect. In shock, I hesitate leaving myself open for all comers and takers. The creature returns the favor with a hideous weapon connecting with ease to my chest. The blade makes quick work of my armor and plows deep into my flesh scraping the bones. I cannot breathe because the air has been stolen from my lungs. I am dazed if not staggered; it is all I can muster to stay standing. I can only watch as the creature follows up with a back hand that sends me to the ground and into unconsciousness. I can only hope that my companions have enough time to flee to safety.
I hear a muffled noise surrounded by a high pitch screech. A moment passes and I realize the muffled voice is a man yelling for me to wake up. I open my eyes only to see darkness. I am lying on a stone floor. My head is numb and my ears continue to ring. Again the man yells and I turn in the direction of the voice. I see a dim light broken up by steel bars. I am in a cell. I stand up and move to the bars. The man is lying strapped to a table; his flesh is cut multiple times. He is struggling to break free. A woman is walking around the table, dragging a knife along his flesh toying with the threat of next slice. A single candle sits upon an altar illuminating the room.
I need to protect him. I yell, “Leave him alone!” The woman responds with, “Quiet! You will have your turn soon enough!” Without hesitation I reply, “I’ll take mine now!” She just stares at me and I hear from behind her an echoed sentiment from a familiar voice that they would take their turn now as well. I am not alone in the cells in here. I see now a cell with another occupant across from me. Barely making out the figure, I realize it is the stout man from the alley. The woman turns her back to speak with my cell block neighbor. As she begins to speak, she is thrust into the cell bars as a result from being kick by the man on the table. Her head and body slam into the steel. My neighbor tries to grab her, but cannot hold on. She turns to deal with the man on the table and is kicked again into the bars. A shiny metal object flies across to my side of the room but not at me; instead it lands in a cell next to mine. I have yet another neighbor as I can hear the movement of a small creature. I move to the cell door and try to open the door, but it is locked solidly. I begin to shake and rattle to door to cause noise and distraction. I feel a compulsion to determine if this foul woman is in fact evil. I concentrate for a second and am greeted with the knowledge that she is in fact a most foul creature. I am now compelled to end the woman existence on this earth.
A small figure darts across the room to the other cell. The small figure is that of the boy from the misty alleyway, he had survived. Not a human boy however, a Halfling fully grown. The Halfling continues to try and free the neighbor from across the way.
The woman realizing that her dark ritual was not going to be complete accelerates her plans immediately and moves to finish the man on the table. Repeated she stabs the man’s chest with the frenzy of a woodpecker creating a nest.
The door opens on my neighbor’s cell; he steps out, grabs a sharp object off the altar and engages the woman. Another figure steps out of the cell behind him, the tall, thin man he too had survived. Not a man at all, but an Elf.
The Halfling traverses the room again and opens my cell door. I spring into action, leaping across the room in an attempt to tackle the woman. I hit my target squarely, but I cannot hold on and fall to the floor without my prey. There is a slight scuffle between the woman and my neighbors. I get to my feet and scan swiftly for a weapon only to be disappointed. The woman begins to flee the room toward down a hallway to a door. The Halfling pursues her. I run to the altar in search of a weapon but realize she is escaping and give chase.
I hear the sound of a door slamming as I run down the hallway after the woman and Halfling. I discover my holy symbol of Serenrae spilling out of a bag on the floor. I scoop it up and put it on. The Halfling is trying to push the door open and cannot seem to overpower the woman.
Suddenly it becomes dark. I tell the Halfling to move so that I can try the door. The Halfling pushes past me back down the hallway. I try with all my might to slam myself into the door. Without the light of the dim candle, I miss the door completely and slam into the stone wall. I ready myself for another attempt on the door. The man comes up behind me and says he will aid me door. Just as we try, the Halfling returns into the hallway with the candle. The man and I push the door again with our combined strength the door thrusts open. The woman flies backward from the force and hits something hard about half way across the room. The Halfling runs past us into the room with the candle barely evading a strike from the woman’s long arms.
The man tosses an object from behind me. It hits the floor behind the woman and ignites a fireball explosion. The woman did not seem phased by the explosion; she must have a resistance to this type of magic. A bolt of magic flies overhead and strikes the woman in the chest, this time she feels the full affect. I step forward intending to end this woman, but again come up wanting. I hear another object hitting the ground behind her. This time the explosion scorches the woman severely; not so resistant after all. Another bolt of magic whizzes past me connecting with the woman damaging her more. I punch her in the face and connect solidly; she is tough and rolls with it.
The woman returns my strike with a clawed fist and knocks me unconscious to the ground.

A nightmare ensues; it is the alley again. This time I find myself alone and again surrounded by yellow mist. I hear the footsteps approaching. I have no weapons. I backup against a wall and say a prayer. The mist parts revealing a gray figure stepping out to confront me. The figure is surprised to see me. It reaches out to my caress my face…
I wake up.

I awake, lying on the floor. I find my holy symbol still around my neck. I pray to Serenrae, asking for forgiveness for failing to save the man on the table. I sit up to look around the room I find my armor, weapons and gear. I ask how long I have been asleep. The Human man states that I have been out for several hours. The elf states that it was more than a day, correcting the man. I however feel as though I need to rest longer. I am still weak and disabled. My companions cannot wait any longer for something else may come looking for the foul woman. I force myself to don my gear. We gather our things and decide to leave this dungeon. As we are leaving I am told that the Halfling killed the woman which was not a woman at all. She was a doppelganger.
We exit this room and enter the room where we fought the woman/doppelganger. There is a pile of bodies in the corner to our left and a small hinged door above it. To the right, there is a stair case that winds upward. We decide that this would be the best way to leave. We are forced back down after only 2 flights as we discover the remaining stairs are blocked with debris from a collapsed building. The remaining exit will be up the pile of bodies and through the small hinged door.
The elf climbs the pile of bodies and investigates the small door. It opens freely. The elf discovers that there is a chute that angles up like a steep ramp. The Halfling chooses to make the climb first. He is followed up by the Elf. Once the elf has made it through the door, I decide to begin my accent. I struggle with the climb as my strength has yet to return. I stumble on a rotting corpse. The man tries to help me climb the pile, giving me words of encouragement. I finally make it into the chute and begin the climb. The man follows closely behind me. It is hard to see in the darkness. I can hear rain at the end of the tunnel.
I emerge from the chute in a small room. The rain is really loud now. The Halfling and Elf have lit some candles so that we can see. There is a single door in the corner. The Halfling moves to the door and opens it.
The rain is deafening. The door leads outside to a courtyard. Flowers and trees line the courtyard walls. There are a few mud paths that are over saturated. The flowers have been trampled down.
The Halfling, Elf and man head outside to look around. I choose to stay in the door way still feeling the staggering effects from yesterday’s battle. The Halfling returns to the safety of the room almost immediately, complaining that the rain is burning him. Confused by the claim that a hard loud rain could somehow “burn” the flesh I raise my shield horizontally and let the rain hit the shield. Steam rises up from the rain drops. The water is in fact boiling hot. I use the shield as a cover over my head and enter the courtyard. The courtyard is not large and is surrounded by tall gray stone walls. There is a door through the wall adjacent to the door back into the chute room. The human approaches and opens the door. The Elf follows the man into the new building. I in turn follow the elf. The Halfling darts out of the chute room and into the new building.
The new building offers new challenges. First, we are in a long hallway about midway down. To our right are several doors providing us with yet more options and possible hostilities. To our left and about 30 feet away is a makeshift barricade. This is where our second challenge is waiting. Two guards greet us holding crossbows.
The barricade and guards are now the priority. Trying not to agitate the situation, we all stand with our hands up. The guards order us to hold our position. One of the guards yells for others stating, “We have more.” Then two more guards step out of a side room training their crossbows on us. A fifth guard approached from further down the hallway and walks up behind the other four guards. This fifth guard appears more seasoned than the other four.
The veteran demands our names and what our business is here. My companions and I stand looking at each other confused. It is just now that we all realize we are in the same situation; we do not know who we are or why we are here. The Halfling asks, “Where is here?” To which the veteran replied, “Briarstone Asylum.” The Halfling tries to explain to the veteran what our current situation is, but alas he does not believe us. The Halfling pleads our case however I do not believe there was any amount of diplomacy that would have convinced the veteran or soldiers. The veteran states that we could easily be doppelgangers and are trying to invade further into this place. We are challenged to prove ourselves; we must bring the heads of 3 doppelgangers. The veteran then turns and leaves back up the hallway.
The elf feels extremely confident that this can be done and accepts the challenge. The elf and human volunteer to go retrieve the head of the woman that we battle last night and leave myself and the Halfling here in the hallway. This was for the best as both the Halfling and I are not feeling well.
After about 15 minutes the elf and man return with a sack. The elf then up ends the sack and out drops the head of the woman doppelganger. One of the guards states that we still need two more heads.
We decide to investigate the doors on our side of the barricade. We will go room by room until we find more doppelgangers. It should be noted that no one in their right mind would go looking for doppelgangers voluntarily, but I do not if we are even in our wrong mind so onward we go.
The closest door leads into a rather dark room, however the light from a spell the elf has conjured up seems to help significantly with that. There is a large metal tank on the other side of the room, a boiler perhaps but it is not lit and is cold. Two chimney stacks rise up through the floor continuing up through the ceiling. The Halfling cautiously tries to look around behind the boiler, but is quickly greeted by two dire rats and another small rat-like creature. The man sees these foul beasts and informs us that this rat-like creature is a zoog. My companions make quick work of abominations. The rest of the room offers up a usable lantern, a hammer, and three winter blankets. Satisfied there are no doppelgangers here, we press on.
The next room is on the same side of the hallway as the courtyard door. The Halfling opens the door and skittering heard from inside the room. Two giant centipedes move to attack the Halfling. The centipedes are faster than the Halfling one bites the already injured Halfling. The pain is extreme and proves too much for the Halfling who passes out and falls to the floor. The elf steps up and fires off another spell; this time flames burst from his hands and fill the room. The centipedes recoil from the flames, but only for a moment. A moment is all that was needed, because the man reached into the door way, grabbed the Halfling and dragged him out of the room. The Elf steps back and shoots fire from is hands once more. This time the flames proved too much for the centipedes and the parish to the floor. The Elf enters the room and takes a quick look around. He finds only a 10 foot chain as his two flame bursts have rendered anything else in the room useless.
The man tends to the Halfling who wakes up a few minutes later. It is at this point we decide that our fighting capacity has dropped too low and we would not be effective if more challenging foes were to appear.
With the blessing of the guards at the other end of the hallway we decide to rest and get some sleep. Throughout the night, I had a nightmare of a whitehaired man running around asking in a panic what it is that he has done. Since I have no idea as to who this whitehaired man is or what he has done I am only more confused and fear I may have been involved.

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Grimy alley, crumbling walls, thick fog. No help, could be anywhere north of the Inner Sea. Maybe not the north; thanks be to Him there's no snow to wade through. Pursuing footsteps, heavy tread,time to move. Just need to get a decent lead on the bigguns and find a bolthole. Several corners, moving uphill, seem to be a few running with me; wonder what we did? Face first into a wall; deadend; trapped; Feth, I hate this fog. Spoke too soon; fog parts and reveals a man made of rags swinging a scythe blade like it's a razor. What did I(we) do to make it so mad? Have almost nothing on me, so obviously didn't finish. One of the others rushed it; couldn't see through the swirls, but it sounded like a horse getting butchered. Blood sprayed and it was past time to leave. I swore to buy Him a bottle of the good stuff if He could get me out of there, and dashed into the mists. Perhaps I was unclear as to HOW good it would be, and ran right into it; the wall gave more. Motion, pain, darkness; why is it all those people say there's a light to walk toward, it's always dark as pitch. A small light would be nice, don't want to trip and bust your beak on the way to the afterlife. Couldn't get a place in line, and came to slowly; no surprise, there's bars. Screams, sweat, blood, peoples terror; wonder if I know anyone here? Wearing someone else's clothes, I get up from the filth and find nothing useful; not even a bit of wire. Noise comes from a biggun strapped to a table, being carved by a woman using various sharp bits of debris, most of which I could us to escape this pit; she really enjoys her work. Shouts from other cells for her to stop cause her to turn and yell, as the meat on the table frees a leg and boots her toward a cell. Arms try to grab, but she's a nimble one. Meat gets her in the breadbasket, and she goes down. All I can see is the keyring sliding my way; grab, open, cross, open, cross again, open. Grab a rusty nail that's been honed down, and spot her running. Give chase, but the door closes before I can reach it, and somehow lack the leverage to open it. Men arrive to take over, and have to chase down the git, who wandered off with the only light to rummage for loot. Can't fault the intent, shows good initiative, but there is a time and place. Get back in time to see the doorburst open and the...thing? stumble back into a pile of bodies; somebody's been busy. Dodge through with the light, and it shows me my purple worms, using some foot-long claws. Leaning against a wall, I watch the others pelt it with anything at hand. The guy doing most of the yelling goes down, and thing moves back toward cells. I stumble across the sloping room and lunge at the one in the middle; goes dark again, getting old now. And again, the queue is endless, and I'm back in the stink. Not surprising, just a bit shopworn. Git's been busy; there's a pile of stuff next to me, and it could be mine. Just need to figure out who me is, probably important. Real nice viol,no bow; made for a big, but could be played like a bass in a pinch. Time to go, stairs blocked, best option is the corpse chute. Easier than it looked, arrive in a small room that leads to a rainstorm; be nice to rinse off the slurm. Move into a small courtyard looking for an exit, and discover what it feels like to be one of those big shellfish they boil alive at the waterfront. Finally get into the main building to find nervous guards with crossbows, guess it's back to the queue. Lots of yelling about dopplebangers, no trust, prove we're real, asylum; not sure if they're escaped residents, or just pesh heads. We have to produce three of the things heads to "prove" we're not them(?), and the git and the guy who can still walk get the one from down below. Next room had two rats bigger than me, a furry thing I've never heard of, and a couple of light sticks. Continued finding linens, lantern, centipedes...Feth! Back in the queue again!

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I don't recognize this street. The sky's wrong, like an unholy storm is about to break. Vitriolic yellow fog is bellowing this direction. A child runs by and I realize I'm not alone. I find myself running too, though when he ducks left I go right, we end up at the same dead end. Two others must have been behind me, their faces unfamiliar. I notice the child is no child but one of the little-folk; there is a tall slender man, elf perhaps; and another in armor I feel is familiar, though I can't place why, the otherworldly pressure of this place is constricting my thoughts.

We all turn to face the advancing fog as it parts and some tall leathery creature glides forth, it's evil intent deafening in its silent approach. The man in armor charges the wraith and though his sword lands solidly, the creature is unfazed. It raises an oversized straight razor and deftly guides it through the man’s neck, his disembodied head rolls back as the miasma engulfs the creature and his slumping corpse. The head seems to look at me and I swear I hear it sound out “me” in a hoarse dead hiss. The little one darts forth, I can only guess he was trying to get by the creature unnoticed; however, a splattering of blood came forth from the fog verifying his demise. I must be mad, for in the pattern of the bloody spray I read the word “up”. Imagining this as some warning I looked up to see nothing but thick clouds move in unnatural, unseen currents. They appeared to writhe as though a nest of snakes was waking from their slumber, they mocked me in their rolling forms, undulating together and apart in a mesmerizing fashion. Feeling sick I pulled my gaze back to the terror before me just in time to see the elf step forward into the fog. Flame shot forth from his hands lighting the scene in a hot red light. It lasted just long enough for me to see the faceless creature work the razor across the elf. Another headless shape sagged beneath its unsupported weight. From the fog the elf’s head rolled to my feet, it too whispered a word “Save”. I could no longer bare it, the miasma closed in and just as I felt hot steel on my throat the word “wake” shot into my mind and the world went dark.

I lurched up and filled my lungs instinctively with acrid air. It was dark save for a small flickering light coming from the other side of some bars. I heard the breath of something nearby. Reaching out I found it to be another person. I softly asked if they were awake and I got an annoyed hiss to stay silent. I stood, trembling, and went to the bars, holding them firmly as I could muster for fear of crumpling back down. The scene before me was horrid, though not as vile as what I had just awoken from… or so I thought.

In the center of the tight stone room there was a thick slab with a man tied to it. Around him prowled a figure in some sort of apron, perhaps a hospital garb, though not of a style I recognized. She cooed and purred with delight as it gently ran half of a shearing scissor down the thigh of her prey. On a small table held a candle and every type of improvised scalpel you could imagine. Shards of glass and stone and flint, lengths of rusted steel with edges most likely ground on the very stone slab her prey was ensnared on. Across from this were two other cells and from one peered the face of a man I desperately wish I didn’t recognize; it was the face of the armored man from my nightmare.

His bravery did not die with my sleep, for as I spotted him he called out to the woman, challenging her to leave the man alone. She snapped at him to be silent, hissing that he too would get his turn. Emboldened by this show of foolish bravado, I too spoke up saying that I was impatient and would rather go now. The man spoke in a parallel manner at nearly the exact instant I did. This visibly perturbed the woman, she snapped at him to shut up, then turned to me. I hardly heard what she said, as she turned to face me I watched in horror as her face morphed into… was that MY face...what do I look like? It felt familiar and distant all at once but before I had time to contemplate the queries suddenly surging into my mind, her form was thrust towards my cell and her body slammed against the bars. Instinctively I lashed out, attempting to hold her against the bars. She pulled away before I could get a grip on her, but she once again was slammed against the bars as the man on the slab had gotten a foot free and was kicking at her with all the vigor he could conjure. In a flurry of anger she bolted up and appeared at her prey’s side, slamming down the half scissor with all her might; puncturing his chest repeatedly with such force that I swore I could hear the cracking of his ribs beneath the savage blows. It was at this moment I saw a child bolt from across the room to my cell, but it was no child, it was the little-folk from my hellish vision. He had somehow gotten the keys and unlocked my cell, then darted towards the other man’s cell. I did not have time to ponder how, or why. I needed to act, and act with as much speed and violence as I could muster if I wanted to live.

I stepped up to the table with all her cutting tools and grabbed one, throwing it at her as best as I could manage in my current state. It was as though my vision was stunted to that of a pinhole, I watched the shard burry itself deep into her flesh and she spun around to glower at me. Hot steel opened my chest in a deep gash spilling my life’s blood down the front of my person. She obviously delighted in the splattering that flashed across her face from the blow. She was about to finish the job when she realized she was quickly becoming outnumbered, and she fled out of the room slamming a door behind her.

The little one ran to the door in a surprising pursuit, but was at a stalemate trying to get the door open with the creature holding it shut. The other human (the one who had been armored in my dream) rushed to the door to assist the halfling. He stopped near the door as something caught his eye, I followed his hand as he reached down into a bag that had toppled over and retrieve a pendent that he stared at familiarly. I saw somethings in the bag that caught my eye so I went to investigate. There were vials and tonics that had an air of intimacy to me. I began to pick them up as the elf took the candle and went to the far side of the room leaving three of us in total darkness. Annoyed I carefully started identifying the contents of the vials by scent and positioning them on my person. By the time I was done the elf had returned with the candle and I was able to move forward to help the human with the door as the halfling had moved back.

The two of us were able to overpower the creature and force the door open. Obviously cornered the creature dropped its improvised weapon as its claws elongated into ferocious points. Instinctively reaching for a couple vials I mixed the contents and quickly corked the solution. I could feel it getting very hot as I lobbed the flask over the heads of my ally and the creature. The vial burst just past the creature dowsing it in a flaming volatile liquid. It lashed out feverously at my companions slashing the human across the arm and chest hard enough to knock him down. I threw another explosive mixture at the creature once more covering it in fire, but it still stood. It glared at me with piercing eyes and I felt the cold hand of death reaching for me. Just as it entered into the hallway to finish me off its eyes went wide in surprise and it fell. Behind it the halfling had buried a knife into the creatures back killing it, however the action apparently took all the little guy had left for he too slumped into unconsciousness.

Rushing forward I started to look over my fallen allies, their wounds could have easily been lethal however they hadn’t succumbed yet. I pulled them away from the creature and started working on the wounds. The elf brought over some equipment he found on the other side of the room and there was a familiar healer’s kit in the lot. I was overjoyed to see just the tools I needed to stitch these two back up and clean the wounds properly… not to mention my own savage wound. While I was working on the wounded the elf and I began talking. Looks like he had the same dream I did, and when I mentioned the words I saw it clicked. “Me” “Up” “Save” “Wake” These words were penetrating the dream from the man on the table manifesting themselves as visual and auditory forms, he was screaming “Wake up”, “Save me!” With this dark realization, and with my patients stabilized I went to inspect what it was that put us in this predicament.

After looking at its corpse for a few minutes I remembered what it was, though I’m not sure why I would’ve known in the first place, but it was a doppelganger. A horrible creature able to shift its form to infiltrate groups or tribes with the sole purpose of expanding its own wealth. I told the elf of my realization and the others when they eventually woke; however, the elf and I had quite a bit of time to talk before that happened. We spoke of our current quandy and what we could remember. Neither of us could remember when our last memory was, or very simple things, like our names or where we were.

Once my companions woke we decided it would be best to leave this place as quickly as possible. It was discovered that there was no good way out. We would either have to scale a smoke chimney through a furnace or up an old coal chute that has recently been used as a corpse delivery system. We decided to climb up the chute and the halfling volunteered to go first. He easily shimmied up the chute followed by the elf. The man, now in his full armor, was having more trouble getting his footing, he was still weak from his wounds and lack of peaceful sleep. I gave him some calming words and helped him find his footing, then followed him up.

At the top of the chute was a small room, beyond the single door we could hear a thunderstorm under way. Opening the door and entering the courtyard was an odd experience, there was an oppressive heat and the rain was scalding hot. I quickly burst through the closest door and found myself in a long hallway as the others come in behind me. To my left there was a barricade made of chairs, tables and anything else with enough substance to cause impedance. Using the barricade as a rest, two crossbow men in matching uniform hollered at us to halt. I immediately raised my hands explaining that we were of no threat to them. Three more uniformed men joined their brethren at the barricade, two more crossbow men and a superior officer who engaged us. He demanded we tell him who we were and explain our presence. We unfortunately had no answers for him, only questions. He informed us that doppelgangers were a serious issue and these soldiers had held this hall for a while, we also learned that we were in a place called Briarstone Asylum. He refused to let us on the other side of the barricade, he simply didn’t trust us; said the only way he would let us past is if we brought him three doppelganger heads.

Disheartened we realized we were stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. We had no choice but to continue on into the depths of this asylum. The elf and I went down the chute to collect the first head and return it to the soldiers. We then collected our wits and pressed on down the looming hallway. The first room we came to was appeared to be a boiler room, and after we had entered a number of creatures burst out from beneath a couple of tanks. There were two large rats, and one odd creature I recognized as a Zoog, a small magical creature that resembles a mole mixed with a rat. They have minor magical abilities like the ability to speak with animals and detect magical objects with a light that shines from their eyes. We were able to dispatch these creatures without too much issue and made a quick search of the room, finding a couple of hidden sun-rods. The next room we encountered was a small laundry closed, although it held a nasty surprise of a couple large centipedes that attacked the halfling quite fervently, opening his wounds and knocking him out. I pulled him from the room as the elf drenched the room in fire flowing forth from his outstretched hands.

Though we’ve only been going for a couple hours my companions and I are too beat up and depleted to be useful in a fight, so we decided to rest up again while I attend to the wounds of my companions.

OK, this is getting old, fast.

Slowly return to the land of the suffering. Still dark, still hurt, looks like my stop. Stagger upright taking a quick count of parts; when you're my size, each little bit is important. The git has made lights, which is very helpful, if somewhat nauseating. Up and attem, we got heads to collect!

Move past collapsed walls, some kind of clerk area. Broken desks, chairs, bodies; well, pieces of them. If someone really liked puzzles, we might know how many (note to self, cut out the morbid) (note back at self, then quit dying!). Under some rubbish, there's an old woman calling for help; go on, pull the other one! As the group cynic, I try to imagine the last time any of the "guards" came out from behind that barrier. The bomber feels duty-bound to help the poor wretch, and is rewarded by it leaping up and trying to eat him. He falls back as the fascist rushes in, and I shiv it for good measure. Claws, teeth, purple snakelets.....

Hey guys, good to see you again! Where did you get the nice bench? Has to make the wait easier and prevent fallen arches. Hope no more of the guys show up, getting a little crowded. Talk for awhile and compare wounds, maybe we can get wheels on this thing. Seem to have stopped bleeding, feeling a little better. Think I'm going back again, I'll try to stay longer, but no bets. Save me an armrest, just in case.

Back in the hall, flat on my back (as usual) with the bomber looking down at me(yep). Shelve the pain for now, heads and loot to be gathered. In the next room, there are three shackled to the wall; a crazy, a corpse, and something eating the corpse. When's the part where we sit down in a friendly inn and enjoy a proper meal? Riding a floaty disc the git conjured up, I carefully free the crazy, and the fascist takes out the "ghoul". Others pursue the nut as I sweep for usefuls. All I find is an eyeball wrapped in a hanky; probably worth a good bit to the right weirdo, but where am I going to find one here? Right on que, the git trades me a shiny knife for it(I win!)

Back to the barrier with our squishy trophies, and are allowed in, after turning over weapons, because we're obviously stabbing hobos. You're welcome. They're packed into a chapel and a cleric of Pharasma is riding herd. Name's Winter, and she seems alright(something about the eyes) just stretched pretty thin. We pitch in, try to help where we can. Playing my lute quiets the noiseier ones, and gives the rest a bit of calm. The boss thanks us, and figures we're not there to slaughter them all. She is an attendant to a Royal Accuser (shrink back into the shadows a little more) who went of to Thrushmore, a town to the north. We are in the remains of Briarstone Asylum, in County Versex, Ustalev. For the record, I'm supposed to be in Absolom doing important things, and probably have a great deal of explaining to do. Just saying, not that it's going to get me out of here any sooner. She lost her escorts to the patient riots following the earthquake(?) and ended up here with this bunch. As all the windows are handily fortified, we have to carve our way to the front to get out. Shiney!

Wake up in the morning feeling Wonderful; Winter has regained her symbol, and Higher has doled out the juice and she's topped us off. Can't remember the last time I had this many HP. We head Nord and find a washroom/abattoir, where a female dopp (in a proper nurse outfit, won't be able to un-see that) is filleting multiple bodies. Hold my ground as the others thunder in, missing an easy shot. The bomber pins it as I move in to remove its' kidneys, and whiff again. It responds by shoving a huge blade through my chest, and and pushing my spine out the back....

Hey, guys! Thanks for saving my perch, this might take a while; Sigh!

Course of action…

Under protestations in consideration of our sorry state both collectively and individually it was decided we would advance further down the hall away from the barricade and men at arms into a collapsed portion of the building to a room with a pile of rubble with numerous bodies piled together. It looked to be the outcome of a battle between humans and dopplegangers. As we moved closer, I pushed the lights into the proximity of the pile. My cell mate noticed that one of the bodies still clung to life and warily approached until the knight warned of a dark aura about the survivor. The survivor complained of a severely broken leg and on closer inspection it appeared the victims had suffered from doppleganger claw attacks giving us all a moment for pause. Our brave knight discerned foul intent from the victim who we approached cautiously. Suddenly combat ensued and the intent of the “victim” confirmed as crossbow bolts began to be traded. I loosed an arcane bolt as it moved in among us. I applied mystical armor. Stab rabbit moved to advantage delivering a telling blow and woefully punished sending him to the floor nearly lifeless. Under the circumstances I found it necessary to make haste for the door out of proximity of the near deceased and close melee with the doppleganger “victim,”but not before loosing a second arcane bolt. Being the only effective manner in which I am able to contribute in such endeavors I loosed yet a third bolt which was immediately followed by a potion bomb adroitly thrown by my cell mate….henceforth to be known as the “Grenadier,” because the explosion all but obliterated the escaping doppleganger.

During the inspection of the scene it appeared that samples had been collected. Skin samples of humans and….dopplegangers? I can only shudder at the thought who or what may be collecting samples of dopplegangers and for what purpose. At any rate I rolled the strips up and packed them away for further investigation at a later date. I also found a holy symbol that was of curious and vaguely familiar design though the affiliation escaped me. I also found a lovely finely worked silver dagger that I instantly offered to the stab rabbit, who had been restored to a bit healthier state. A silver mirror and a pair of red boots were also collected. In our inspection of our latest foes remains we found the door that he had wished to escape by and attempted to enter with caution which was swiftly abandoned and forced.

After collecting the requisite number of doppleganger craniums we returned to the barricade to buy passage beyond. Sadly we found it to be a holdout sanctuary with no avenue of escape. The good Watch Captain Vosten York then introduced us to Lady Winter Klazcka who we found was an attendant to a Royal Accuser…(pause!). She explained many number of things. Our location was the aforementioned asylum in Versex County, Ustelav…(GASP!) Accounts of rebellion and religious movements, factions known as apostles or apostates of orpiment? Names such as Danveer, Dr. Lesandrio, and Xandalus who is apparently a poet and artiest of some reknown that painted some famous or infamous city scape? This was the reason the Royal Accuser…Olmary was dispatched. And then there was the devastating earth quake and foul otherworldly weather. The sanctuary housed survivors and patients within a chapel with food, water and mundane necessities at a premium. We offered up water we were able to spare and lent a helping hand. Lady Winter seemed affiliated with a specific shrine in the temple, that of Pharasma which happened to be the holy symbol I had recently acquired. I offered it to her hoping to gain more trust and improve morale. One further comment. A portion of the sanctuary was curtained off and guarded. Upon inquiry Lady Winter reluctantly showed us what was behind it. A great nasty odd looking EYE had manifest Upon and within the wall with an “X” on the pupil…MAJESTIC! After a period of recuperation we continued our trek through the building in an attempt to find an exit from this accursed shatter asylum.

The scene before us was one of despair and madness. Three bodies changed by the hands to pipes running over head. One a corpse, the second feeding on the first and the third alive but hopelessly mad. His only response to any query was “Praise Xandalus, Xandulus sees!” followed by “Words fail.” Thankfully the knight was able to separate the others from the mad and he was freed. Unfortunately he immediately fled out of the room and down the hall. Myself and others gave chase to avoid what we knew was about to happen. I even losed a bolt in hopes of slowing his progress of making him fall so others could lend a helping hand, alas his fate was to end in a heap near the barricade with a crossbow bolt in his forehead. We returned to our exploration to find another doppleganger, dressed as a nurse (?) performing exploratory surgery on another doppleganger? Though try as we might our party was again sliced up pretty well by this foe but by some stroke of luck we were victorious. We will resume our course as soon as we can. Although it vexes me mildly I must say my prize to date was presented to me by the stab rabbit, a disembodied eyeball that seems to be...still functional…ing!?! A more strange and wonderful mystery!

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From the window of souls to the physicians phantasm.

Upon our recovery we informed Lady Winter of the dead end situation we had discovered in the section of the building we had searched. She told us that this news was disturbing as the only other exit was blocked by the nasty giant eyeball behind the curtain. She also added the offices adjacent to the curtained area held records of patients which interested us. Maybe some small clues could be collected as to our reason for being in the asylum? During the initial search of the room we heard whimpering cries come from the hall. All the residents had been locked into the chapel to lessen their exposure to the eye or any affects that may result in our interaction with it. When we investigated the whimpering we found it emanating from the eye itself. There was no response when I attempted to speak to the disembodied voice. The knight expressed his intent to club the eye and I asked if he would appreciate a protective incantation. He agreed and I cast it upon him. At this he boldly stepped into a great strike. The foul smell of ammonia assaulted our senses as great yellow ooze erupted from the wound inflicted from his strike. The eye responded by trying to bite back. The pupil formed into a prehensile limb ending in a toothy maw which snapped at the knight missing thankfully. This was immediately followed by three overlapping odd sounding voices shouting “WHO HAVE I BECOME” in unison. Crossbow bolts pierced it and it eventually dissolved into a puddle of ammonia. The knight and I came to the realization that this was a haunt or for the uneducated dolts, a physical manifestation of evil. As the eye dissolved I sent an arcane bolt into the brick wall it had been attached to. This quickly exhibited the ability to regenerate, and while the knight tried to bash his way past it with brute force I remembered haunts may be overcome however if not properly remedied the re-occurrence was assured. That led me to consider what had been shouted by the eerie voices. This was an eye calling out to SEE WHAT IT HAD BECOME….so show it. We gathered up the standing mirror from the other room and carefully placed it in front of where the eye manifested, though behind the curtain. While others returned to the chapel stab rabbit and I combed the medical records for clues. It took some time but the eye did reappear behind the curtain and once shown it’s likeness both the eye and wall disappeared. Beyond it was a door frame with shattered remnants of a door. Before we ventured further into the asylum one of the guards, a garundi named Tolman presented us with a drawing he had made. It was of our group and he had captured us in the our individual acts of trying to help on the night of our arrival.I praised and thanked him and rolled it carefully placing it in my scroll tube.

Beyond the door was a great reception hall, once splendid, now stood in ruin. Tall arched and barred windows allowed vision to the exterior and the roiling yellow fog. These windows flanked a set of double doors leading to the outside and said strangely active fog. Not a favorable option at this point! A large desk and chair sat at the center of this tall room. The Captain and Winter had mentioned building a new barricade at the shattered door and I felt this desk would provide a great bulwark to that end. So the Grenadier pulled it towards the door whilst I supervised lending the occasional hand as the need required. Across the room a wide hall lay out before us dark and lonely but we chose to check the remaining doors of this room first. The single door was immovable, likely collapsed and blocked or well barricaded, either way we did not make entry…though maybe later we could take the door down for fire wood for the sanctuary just to be certain it isn’t a barricade. The double doors opposite the main entrance doors opened into a once grand library filled with works commensurate with treating the maladies of asylum inmates. An extensive collection of texts which seemed, in part, to have been pilfered or “borrowed” from schools further afield. To my disgust it was found to be infested by more rat-things….HECATES HOMONCULUS, HOW I DO HATE RATS! Three tiny rat bodied, human headed and limbed beasts assailed us with thrown books and until we all got our bearings for combat, they battered our group mercilessly. WHO THROWS BOOKS!?! I unleashed a couple of arcane bolts as the others shot crossbows and cleaved at them. More tomes flew from the shelves at us and try as we might it seemed our efforts were lacking in effect. FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF POLYMEDES STOP!! I was at the precipice of unbridled rage when I was struck on the bridge of the nose with the back binding of a sizeable codex. “YOU PRE-GALORIAN, PRE-FRONTAL LOBE, PRE-ERECT BYPEDAL KNUCKLE DRAGGING, INBRED MOUTHBREATHER…YOU DIE!!!” Abandoning my teachings I took my elven blade in hand and ran a ratling, and the book he shielded himself with, through, lifted him aloft and slammed him to the floor, stepped on the book removing my blade from the rat and flicked the remaining fluid from my blade then, as if in unison and by design, each of our band in turn inflicted grievous mortal wounds upon these foul creatures. The knight accepted the surrender of the last one, a “female” of the species calling herself “Jenny Two Tails”…and yes she did...have two! She offered information. I was uninterested in her blathering’s in my seething anger and in time she was permitted to flee with her life. But not without stern warning. They had attracted other rats which I dispatched with great pleasure using an application of minor electrical discharges as they skittered about in the open. Now mostly devoid of vermin we rested and addressed our needs finding our success in this room and the rest of the asylum to import some encouragement, enlightenment, confidence and satisfaction in our ability to work as a team. Personally I can tell you some light reading helped to clear and open my mind. That clarity helped resolve a mental block preventing the solution of theorems and opened the path for the use of new arcane mysteries!

As we began to move to the next room Our stab rabbit requested light in one of the rat holes in the wall. He wanted to see if the room to which it led held any surprises beyond the next door we would be opening. So I conjured a small torchlight and sent it through the hole. The stab rabbit spied another ratling and to enormous rats. The ratling launched an arcane bolt at stab rabbit and I returned the favor on his behalf. And before I knew what was transpiring the grenadier and stab rabbit lunged through the double doors and into the hall while the knight and I remained near the rat hole in the library. Suddenly a great flash and muffled explosion engulfed the room beyond the rat hole that led to barely perceptible thumps leading me to believe the enormous rats had met their doom. Then I heard the pat of tiny feet running through the hole towards the knight and me. Only the shuffle of paper gave away his invisible position. I charged my free hand with as much electricity as I could stand and reached for the ratling. I had him in hand but before I could release the charge he slipped away. However he did not dodge the knight’s blade as blood dribbled on the pages upon which he stood. Straight away the wretch savaged my calf…who knew such tiny creatures could inflict such painful, nasty, gaping wounds? Oh and its really bleeding!...gentlemen?...oh guys?...I seem to be losing a substantial quantity of blood here! All the while the group managed to box the little vermin to a wall and once visible, I grabbed his furry scruff and discharged the lot into him. His smoking, dazed, cut and bruised little rat-self then sued for peace…”FOR ALL THAT IS REAL AND TRUE…WHO TAUGHT THESE MICRO-HOMO-RODENTI THE FINER POINTS OF DIPLOMATIC CHIVALRY!?!? I WOULD LIKE TO MEET THAT PERSON IN A YELLOW FOG ALLEY!!!” Fine…I spit anger at him saying “CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY!” as I completed the ethermatrix summons for the next force bolt. The raw energy coalesced into a tiny translucent blue ball in my static discharging hand that had recently shocked him all but senseless. I would have taken great glee in shooting it into his tiny rat carcass but he actually began to spew some relevant verifiable information! So this rat demon seeds name was Rach Mamby and spoke of the ancient times, the final dream, the tatterman or shredman who was summoned from beyond the stars from the king in yellow by the woman witch. It was credible information so he too was released but not before a few parting queries. I asked if he knew of Jenny Two Tales and he disparaged her for her frequency of procreation and her less than acceptable standards which truly did not surprise me. Rach sweetened our parting with a shiny bauble. Anyway, we parted with the understanding that he would NEVER return to the library…EVER! Our apparently, learned Grenadier was able to confirm the rats story in that a witch had summoned something that had destroyed the town of Thrushmoor some 700 years prior, and then was rebuilt around 400 years ago as the story goes. We also put together the reference to the king in yellow being a “Great Old One” by the name of Hastur from an ancient mythology that supposedly predates the settlement of Golarian and the Starfall. There was mention of the long dead witch having built and used stones around “THIS ISLAND”….who knew we were on an island? Stones…interesting! In his profound wisdom and generous benevolence the knight imparted a mystical divine sort of faith healing upon me and the grenadiers formulae that was applied to the stab rabbit also overflowed health to both myself and the now renamed….Holy knight. Though it was a shambles, the library was, for the moment, secure.

( You know I have a plan right? In my spare moments ;) Between unseen servants and prestidigitation I will have it suitable in no time. Oh, and Servants with a floating disk to move rubble into the rat holes…this is a done deal!! :P)

Leaving the library we moved down a thin hall over a collapsed portion of wall and into a room with a large table. This table was my perch. Stab rabbit made for a door and was nearly brained by a falling ceramic jar. Suddenly two misshapen lamprey mouthed grayish colored infant like creatures appeared in the doorway as stab rabbit retreated. I fried the ambitious, angry little buggers with a fan of fire. They are intriguing but highly aggressive. OH, and they explode after they expire….interesting!!? The Grenadier called them “pickled punks”….now I’m really intrigued! The room was full of specimen jars filled with brains and tumors (snicker!) Of course they had nested and had been feeding on the remains of what appeared to be one of the asylum’s doctors…OK, NOW THAT’S UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR! In another room we found evidence of their aggressive nature in the form of more deceased staff. Retracing our steps we found the buried remains of another Doctor and with a little effort retrieved a wand of divine inspiration and an alchemist’s hypodermic syringe capable of delivering formulae to those in need. MAJESTIC FINDS INDEED! Across the hall we found a doctor’s office and on the walls where numerous medical drawings of cerebral growths and deformities! COLLECTED! Oh and a wonderful book entitled “The Hydrocephilus” a very valuable piece! It was written by Arosh Chawahr presumably the nest of the pickled punks by the slime trails and empty specimen shelves. Foot notes within the work appear to be penned by Anya Chawahr…I wonder if she is among the dead staff already found? Maybe and maybe not?

The next room would be through a set of double doors and upon opening we found an amazing sight, a once in a lifetime occurrence…much more rare actually. The room itself was still in good repair, an opulent two story office and if not for the recurring nightmares outside of the chapel it would be a preferred spot to hole up. It was the office of someone important at the asylum no doubt. While this was more to my liking and taste what was at the center of the room commanded attention. There on the floor in a pool of blood sat a woman. She sat on her legs, her arms hung to her sides touching the floor, her head facing to the sky, eyes glowing bright blue with a pale violet misty vapor swirling up from her mouth. This was High Magic. Many consider it accidental but some do not. Some say it can be voluntary and by the nature of things in the immediate area especially the rumors of occultism I would not, in haste, label this accidental. This unique event is what is known as an Oneiragen. The individual suffers from a curse of some sort it is said, and didn’t we just get word of a witch’s involvement in centuries past? Some say it is from a divination gone awry causing a sliver sized planar rift to open within the person. Generally open only to one plane of existence it transforms them into a magical fountain, with the misty vapors surrounding the oneiragen acting as a conduit to see into the other plane in a dream like state. I had to know what this was like. I had to experience it! I suggested and volunteered to do this. After the moment of shock wore off and their faces returned to normal the Holy Knight suggested I be tied to a rope so they could retrieve me if something unseemly were to happen. With myself secured to a rope I approached the Oneiragen in mild trepidation and overwhelming curiosity. I reached out to the mist in full acceptance of what lay beyond.

I found myself in that same eerie city, yellow fog and for what seemed like days I tried to find the alley where our collective dream had happened. Finally exhausted I found the dead end alley evidenced by my party’s severed heads and then….the sound of footsteps, but different. Lighter steps moving away quickly. When I turned back to the scene in the alley I saw the Tatterman looking at me inquisitively, turning his head trying to understand why I was there. He raised his hand shaking his finger as if to warn me not to do something, and with his other hand he raised his jagged razor knife and lunged to strike…and that’s when I woke up surrounded by my peers…in the fancy office with the orneiagen. I shared my experience which they assured me was only momentary though it felt like an eternity. We all agreed that this person was suffering at the delight of the Tatterman and agreed it should come to an end. With that the Holy Knight ended her nightmare and the high magic. Many additional clues and interesting tidbits were collected to include that the orneiragen had been what remained of Doctor Lesandro. Onward.

Back already?! Didn't even finish a hand of cards... Thanks Lady! Excellent work, keep up the good fight. Now, where was I?

Right, back at the shrine. Ignore the glowering woman for now, work on that later. Seems the N just isn't working out, time to head E (was really hoping to avoid the big eyeball). Cleared non-combatants from the first area, earning a death stare from the girl (what is it with the females around here?). Eventually got past some bars to check cabinets; some holy stuff and records, later. Move to the eye, smort guys say it's a Haunt(?). Fascist lays into it with all his angst and pops the eyeball, but the wall seems unimpressed. There's a bright light over the git, and he starts yelling about mirrors. To humor him, we shlep back and wrestle the big one we found earlier to the wall, but have to cover it and wait for the eye to return. You know, for science. Guess it's later, now for hours of mind-numbing paper shuffling. On the up side, the kids have piles of more paper to fold.

Eureka! The groundhog(pardon, Eye) saw itself and vanished, with the wall. Gain the entry hall, only to see yellow fog through all the windows. Looks like we won't be going walkabout, just yet. Look around and shove large desk in front of door we entered, to slow down monsters. Git stops and starts yelling about backpacks. With all the excitement, some loot has been forgotten? Shiny things are handed around, and I end up with a leather treehouse; with shoulder straps! Dubiously, I pick it up and find it quite light for it's size. Looking inside, can't seem to find a bottom. No telling how much loot I can stuff in here, if I can just find a shovel...

Enter the library, and the git almost faints. Books are torn apart and scattered around. Ratlings appear and start hucking volumes at the party to some effect. Hop on a table to avoid swarms, and begin missing anything I aim at. One finally drops, did I do that? Must be careful; when others see you do that sort of thing, they expect it all the time. Last one gave up, and these nuts let it go; feel better for some reason. Checked exit for traps, and peeked through rathole to next room. Missed the ratling and two big rats, and got missled for my trouble. Flanked around and shot a rat with acid (wait, when did this start? what have I contracted?) and the scrum is on. Explosions, biting, bleeding; ratling surrenders and is questioned? Very confused.

It prattles on about the ragman, some guy wearing yellow, and a witch who's been dead a long time. Then it's released in exchange for some jewelry, guess I can work with that. Move on to a meeting room, where I'm attacked from a closet by tiny mutants. After they are blown up, the remains of the doctor are found in their nest, being used as topsoil for a bumper crop of tumors. If I ever get out of this hellhole, am going back to the church and will pray for His bounty to wash all of this away in a wave of blessed alcohol poisoning.

More rooms, more bodies; the doctor's office is lined with truly disturbing drawings and notes. The git loks a bit like a pesh addict as he gathers them lovingly to his chest; guess we all have few stories others would rather not share. Last door leads to a large office that is very nicely appointed, except for the big pool of blood with a woman kneeling in the middle. Appears to be the missing director, but as she seems to have a rift to another plane in her, I'll leave her to the professionals. Git volunteers? to experience the mist floating around her, ties on a tether, and walks up to it; promptly passing out. Haul him back and wake him up, not sure how to fix this. The only decent thing to do is to grant her final grace. The thug lopes off her head and she can rest. Not pretty, but the connection is severed and the bad stuff goes away. Time To Loot!

Don't really want to think this out loud, but we've gone all day and I haven't seen the queue once. Kinda miss the guys on the bench, but can do without the soul-wrenching trips back and forth. Try not to let this get around, don't want someone to "remember" they're supposed to be tormenting the short guy.

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