- An inhuman life form seems to be attempting to interface with the characters and is distressed to discover that it can’t because the characters have no memories. It probes them, causing terrible pain but jostling loose a series of images in their minds. Chief among these images: a city beneath towering mountains where an old woman stares at them in horror, a gray wooden hut squatting under a tree with human heads for fruit where some dude is laughing, and some other middle-aged guy looking down on them through some kind of rift or portal (maybe?), his face twisted in fury.
- There is more probing, and more voices (probably some their bodies are actually hearing in whatever room they are in), and another inhuman voice, and then they wake up.
- Except they don’t. Instead, they emerge into a shared nightmare, in a yellow city filled with yellow fog, wearing tight yellow robes and wearing featureless masks that seem to be sewn or glued to their faces, clutching weird objects.
- A laughing nightmare man hunts them all with a gleaming war razor and kills them each in turn, But then, with the feeling of being vigorously shaken, they wake up.
Campaign Day 1
- They really do this time! They find themselves each locked in their own dungeon cell, alone, watching an insane woman in a doctor’s coat torture a man to death, having no memory of who they are, where they are, or how they got there. Despite their circumstances, two members of the party manage to both kill the woman and get her keys to their cells into the Rotting Man’s hands.
- The characters leave their cells and explore their surroundings, collecting equipment (some of which they intuit to “belongs” to some of them) and searching for clues to who and where they are, as well as a means of escape.
- The characters continue exploring the level they woke up on before deciding to climb up the furnace chute.
- After a brief tussle with a zoog and two dire rats at the back end of a boiler room, Grip emerges into a hallway only to discover a barricade guarded by people with crossbows.
- A difficult (and painful) conversation with the people behind the barricade sends the characters off hunting doppelgangers in order to prove they aren’t shapeshifters themselves.
- The party battles a pair of giant centipedes in a ruined supply closet.
- The characters learn the hard way that basically everything here is a trap as they do battle with another doppelganger doctor and an exploding corpse, and the survivors behind the barricade remain unmoved by the challenges they are facing.
- Not even in rest are they able to find peace, and Grip suffers exceptionally from his own dreams.
Campaign Day 2
- The characters spend the day fighting disease, healing, acting shady, finding water, and getting to know each another through psychometry and hypnotism. They drag the body of Dr. Scaen up from the basement to deliver to their friends at the barricade before retiring for another night.
- As Ray gets sicker and sicker, his dreams grow nastier and nastier.
Campaign Day 3
- The characters fulfill their three-dead-doppelganger requirement, but not without another brutal fight—this time, in the laundry room.
- Gull remembers the dream he had while being knocked unconscious during the fight with Dr. Oathsday.
- Having cleared the laundry area, and survived a brief earthquake with Ray’s name in the thunder, the characters return to the barricade and are permitted to pass, though not without a few conditions.
- The characters pass the test of patience and sleep in the Briarstone chapel without fear of outside interference in their dreams.
Campaign Day 4
- The characters pass the test of charity and prepare to hear Winter’s tale.
Campaign Day 4, con’t
(Now known to be 27 Lamashan, 4718 AR)
- Winter explains what came before, and helps the party plan what will come next.
- Temporarily destroying the only obstacle between the chapel and the rest of the asylum (the wall of crying fungus), the party begins their exploration.
- The party survives an encounter with some Hungry Flesh, but it costs them even more of their dwindling resources. A strange new weapon appears on the scene with a big bang.
- Continued exploration through the asylum leads the party to the asylum’s Visitor’s Room.
- The party deals with the birdcage haunt in the Visitors Room and explores some more before they decide to split the party, sending Gull ahead to scout into the library on his own.
- Gull makes his way to Dr. Losandro‘s office and retreats from the weirdness discovered therein.
- Gull faces off with multiple Pickled Punks and Ratlings in the Briarstone library alone, until the party can join him and hold off the rising swarm.
- The party returns to the chapel for rest and Dora plucks an eerie vision from the recovered violin.
Campaign Day 5
28 Lamashan, 4718 AR
- The party rifles through the chaplain’s office and destroys the fungus haunt and remaining Pickled Punk before moving into the heart of the asylum.
- The party investigates Dr. Losandro’s office, including her journal and the rainbow fog. They learn there is something center of the fog when Grip throws books through it, and that entering the fog would bring both weal and woe.
- The party battles and defeats three yellow-sheet-clad people rifling through materials in the records room and personal effects storage.
- The party discovered their personal files in the records room, which universally spoke of the amnesiac fugue state that brought each of them to Briarstone, and which raised questions about Dora and Gull’s true identities that will need to be reckoned with.
Act 1 Interlude
4679, 4696, 4699 & 4705 AR
- Moments from the past are revealed, involving the visitation of being called “the Stranger” upon each of the PCs when they were 9-year-old children.
Sometime in the year 4703 AR
- We flash back fifteen years to four Andoran freedom fighters in Cassomir. They have come to stop someone known only as “The Stranger” from moving halfling slaves through a certain pier while the Stranger is believed to be off-continent. The mission parameters are: 1) free the halflings; 2) take out the slavers; and 3) escape, only if the first two parameters are met. The success of the mission currently remains unknown.
Back to Campaign Day 5
28 Lamashan, 4718 AR
- The party hashes out the information revealed in the Briarstone Asylum records room.
- Dora reveals that she shares her body with a being known as Thema Antea, and offers her up for questioning about their situation. Certain precautions are taken, and Thema is released. She clearly knows nothing more than Dora about their situation, and only uses the opportunity to beg for her release and stewardship of the body.
- Gull shares his theories about body-switching between Gulliver Vatticus and the person known as the Triangle Man. Dora performs a blood reading on Gull’s body, but very little information is gleaned. Grip discovers a record for the Triangle Man, which labels him a serial liar.
- The party sits for a moment with all they’ve learned, and comes to terms with it for the time being, before healing up and continuing the search of the records and personal effects rooms. The party clothes themselves properly for the first time.
- The party continues searching the area, finding some items of use and interest, and a small records room with a painting hiding a secret compartment full of records, including one for Ulver Zandalus, and a magical short sword.
- The party discovers that the passage down to the crypt they were looking for has collapsed into a pit, where Dora delves too greedily, and too deep, into the mind of madness, and suffers the consequences.
- Dora takes charge of caring for the fox, with whom she seems to be able to communicate, and whom she says is named “Reynard.” Gull shoots the insane man at the pit’s edge and the ground rumbles after his body falls into the pit, presumably landing on the thing below the earth.
- The party returns to Dr. Losandro’s office, where Dora uses detect thoughts to delve into the rainbow fog, where she determines there is someone in there with a low intelligence—as if it has been drained somehow.
- Returning to the chapel, they encounter a clothed ratling on the ceiling. Dora negotiates passage in exchange for a scroll, and the party is welcomed back to the sanctuary
- Grip and Denman discuss Airwynn and anger.
- Tolman asks for spiritual guidance from Ray, and ends up giving some as well. They pray together.
- Naysa and Mura share with Gull their discovery of the ecclesiastical records about people who came to see Briarstone's chaplain on matters of faith. Especially Patient #LKB20D9K, who is clearly Ulver Zandalus.
- Winter asks Dora’s advice on handling a situation with Airwynn, then asks Dora to take a look at Baisily, who she says they’ve had to drug. When Dora leans over Baisily to check on her, someone strikes her from behind with a deadly sneak attack.
- Dora is revived by her heretofore unidentified lesser talisman of healing power, and the party and the chapel survivors join together to take down Mr. Gabriel.
- Vaustin takes charge in the aftermath and the group develops systems for determining who is or isn’t a doppelganger.
- Grip approaches Airwynn, and pledges to protect her and the group. Airwynn acknowledges the change in him.
- The party, at long last, rests.
Campaign Day 6
29 Lamashan, 4718 AR
- On this day of rest, Gull spends eight hours training with Vaustin to help his aim at close range, in exchange for Winter’s ceremonial dagger from Maiden’s Choir. He then crafts ammunition for his alchemical torch with the assistance of the children, and he speaks with Tolman about marriage and divorce rites.
- Grip spends part of the day trying to make himself useful by accompanying Dora in the library. Later, Airwynn approaches him with an apology for telling others about the night Dr. Trice disappeared, and proceeds to tell him the story herself.
- Dora spends the day researching the history of Briarstone Isle and Briarstone Asylum in the library (while the ratlings eat the books she uses in her study) and speaking with Tolman.
- Ray spends his day preparing the chapel, and then in the evening, all the survivors gather with him for a memorial service for Winter.
Campaign Day 7
30 Lamashan, 4718 AR
- The day dawns with extremely high winds, forcing the yellow fog to eddy in unsettling ways, and due to Gull’s extreme illness, the party decides not to venture out.
- Dora spends 30 Lamashan in research and counseling, Grip keeps an eye on the ratlings in the library, Ray helps Dora with research, and Gull finishes the toy alchemical torch for Bates.
Campaign Day 8
31 Lamashan, 4718 AR
- The day arrives with a deific woman’s howl added to the winds outside.
- On 31 Lamashan, Dora continues her counseling with Tolman, and (with Ray’s help) her research in the library, learning more about the history of Thrushmoor and the Briarstone Witch. Afterward, the party talks though the information about Ulver Zandalus they’d recently found (while Grip expresses his restlessness with all the sitting around).
- Dora performs a psychometry reading on Ray’s morningstar, Hoarflame.
Campaign Day 9
1 Neth, 4718 AR
- On 1 Neth, Gull is finally recovered enough to be able to adventure. The party prioritizes finding medicine for Loic and the kids (Naysa says there’s a pharmacy in the East Ward), and returning to the rainbow explosion in Losandro’s office.
- Dora performs a psychometry reading on the office and the party learns the tragic history of what happened there on 17 Lamashan.
- After the reading, Ray steps into the rainbow fog and the party kills the oneirogen Dr. Losandro had become. During the fight, Grip, Ray, and Dora succumb to horrific visions from the fog (though Dora did not remember hers immediately).
- The party cleans up, and Ray removes his phylactery. Gull suggests they are adrift in the Dimension of Dreams and Dora tells Reynard it would be a relief if they all recognized the futility of their own existence.
- Gull scouts ahead into the Day Room and investigates the river of blood manifesting from a crumpled woman in a wheelchair (which Ray determines is a haunt). In the attached (and depleted) dispensary, Gull observes three Apostles in Orpiment partaking in the remaining pharmaceuticals.
- Gull also discovers a room filled with unnatural darkness and the sound of a crying child. He is attacked by some kind of creepy (ghost?) kid, but escapes.
- Moving into the Day Room as a group, the party unwittingly attracts a pack of ghouls.
- The party fights drugged-out Apostles in Orpiment and Ghouls in a two-front battle in the asylum’s Day Room. The apostles attack each other in their addled state.
- The party completes its search of the East Ward, discovering Brenton and Debis‘ former room, along with the Admitting Hall, where they fight horrific creatures made of wounds that may have infected some of the party with leprosy.
- The party comes to terms with what they know of leprosy, learning that if any of them have it, they are already contagious, and that won’t know for sure if they do have it until the next day.
- They break the western window in Dr. Losandro’s office, and head into the courtyard, intending to go north. Gull is immediately set upon by a Unicorn, which he shoots. It gores him in return, and he runs away while Dora uses diplomacy to diffuse the situation and gain passage to the north.
- The group enters the northern half of the West Ward, where a wall falls on Grip, and they enter combat with three Ghouls.
- The dream Dora had during the combat with Dr. Losandro comes back to her during a desperate moment of the ghoul combat, and it morphs into Thema’s dream, where Thema treats with the Tatterman.
- Gull hears ghoul sounds and pained animal noises beyond the next door, and Dora’s conference with Reynard has the others concerned about a mental break.
- Gull leads the group into the kitchen, directing them around a ring of stones on the floor, but when Ray tries to cast detect magic, he triggers a fight with an unknown creature from which he does not escape unscathed.
- Noise from the scuffle draws a group of Apostles to the party. The characters try to pretend they belong there, but a fight soon breaks out. The number of Apostles joining the melee grows larger and larger, and the situation seems quite dire, until a charming man claiming to be Dr. Elbourne rescues them from certain death.
- Dr. Elbourne takes the party to the Great Hall, where the Apostles are headquartered (learning that Ulver Zandalus resides in rooms above). Elbourne confesses that if the others learn that there are survivors in the chapel, the Apostles will go there en masse to kill and eat them.
- The party gains information from Dr. Elbourne about Zandalus’ activities since the earthquake, his defenses upstairs, and the location of the four “volunteers”—one of whom is isolated in the northwest tower. Elbourne offers his help in their efforts, in exchange for their promise to return.
- Returning to the chapel, the party must cross the North Courtyard a second time. There, they engage with the Unicorn again, but efforts at diplomacy and intimidation fail. They ultimately slay the creature, though it nearly takes Gull with it. The fight draws Thema out to play, as well as the Nightgaunt lurking in the courtyard.
- Thema releases Reynard into the fog, and when Dora re-emerges, she chases after him alone. She finds him wrapped around the corpse of a teenaged boy in a Briarstone patients’ gown.
- When they pass through the library, Ratch Mamby demands a scroll for passage. Dora is no mood to truck with him, and rudely denies him, but Ray hands one over anyway. The Ratling is not grateful, and threatens to eat the children if Dora doesn’t honor their agreement.
- After returning to the chapel and undergoing the doppelganger test, the party engages in some downtime activities.
- Gull trains with Vaustin (Day 2) and informs him and Naysa of the goings on outside the chapel. Tolman gives him a book of Pharasmin holy rites that he found in the chaplain’s office.
- In the chapel, Dora seeks counseling with Tolman, who uses Brenton, Maeve and Bates as intermediaries between her and Reynard.
- As Ray cleans the viscera and gore from himself, he realizes that Brenton’s shadow lantern may be the birds that Debis is looking for.
- Grip isolates himself alone in the chaplain’s office waiting to discover whether or not he’s been infected with leprosy. After his training session, Gull gives Winter’s cloak of resistance to him, and together they agree to kill Ratch Mamby in the next day.
Campaign Day 10
2 Neth, 4718 AR
- Gull confirms that Grip managed to avoid contracting leprosy, but breaks the news that he is infected with ghoul fever.
- Ray identifies the incense of open thoughts and Red Destiny.
- Gull approaches Dora for a psychometry reading of his wedding band.
- After the reading, Gull asks Tolman to assist him with administering a divorce proceeding between himself and Thema. This leads to a very strained conversation amongst the party.
- Immediately following the divorce conversation, Ray is approached by Maeve, who hands him a drawing of a rose and tells him that she had seen him before the events of the campaign, and that he had appeared glowing and flying “like an angel.”
- The party decides to launch an ambush on the ratlings. In the preparations that follow, Grip helps Dora secure Reynard in a carrying device that will prevent Thema from letting him go too easily.
- Grip and Gull attack a flat-footed Ratch Mamby in the library, but fail to assassinate him outright. Ratch warns Gull not to continue the attack, and says that the consequences will be on his head. Gull doesn’t back down, and Ratch and his fellow ratlings all vanish.
- Ray identifies that they had teleported (rather than turned invisible) and the party realizes that the ratlings are launching an attack upon the chapel survivors. The battle for the chapel begins.
- The battle for the chapel continues, with invisible ratlings casting spells, dire rats harassing Gull, and swarms overtaking the party members. In the end, all four ratlings are slain and none of the chapel crew is killed (though Bates ends up severely injured).
- While Ray heals the survivors of the chapel battle, Gull cooks and eats a piece of Ratch Mamby’s corpse (managing to resist the diseases transmitted by doing so).
- Ray informs Brenton of his brother’s death and Brenton gives Ray his shadow lantern in exchange for the toy knights.
- Before setting out for the day, Gull trains with Vaustin and Dora receives further counseling from Tolman, at the end of which she is able to recognize that Reynard is not really conversing with her.
- The party heads to the northwest tower through the library, whose knowledge they have exhausted, and the records room, where they find knowledge about the Bag Lady.
- The party puts the haunt in the north courtyard to rest with a ceremony over Brin’s body,
- Re-entering the northern half of the west wing of the asylum, the party gets embroiled with a pack of ghouls in very tight quarters
- The party finishes the fight with Klades and the ghouls in the northwest hall.
- They continue on and discover a champagne fox still alive. Reynard doesn’t like it, but Ray makes a gesture of welcome to it. They leave it in the room where they found it, and close the door, but it ends up following Ray anyway.
- The party finds the base of the northwest tower: a room of still yellow fog with twelve chairs rocking, but with no one in them. After tying themselves together to navigate the fog, they climb a set of rickety stairs to a room filled with boxes, crates, and barrels.
- Navigating the fog, they find an Oneirogen at the window, spilling yellow fog out of its mouth. Grip attempts to push the Oneirogen out the window but falls to the floor unconscious, and they are soon embroiled in another fight.
- When the party defeats the Oneirogen, they immediately see the fog out the window start to thin and reveal the thinnest ray of sunlight.
- A voice speaks to Ray in his head, seeming to come from the champagne fox that had begun following him around, briefly taunting him before grotesquely transforming into another creature all together. They defeat it in a brief tussle.
- The party decides to return to the chapel, but are forced to engage in an elaborate plan to deter the Apostles from following them. They succeed in their plan and also decide to barricade to the door to Dr. Losandro’s office.
- Before bed, Ray asks Gull about the elixir that Vatticus gave young Brayden during Dora’s psychometric vision. Gull thinks the color and effervescence of the brew were designed to appeal to a child and to mask the exact nature of the elixir. Gull wracks his brain to identify other references in the vision, including Market Street and the Wailing House.
- Dora asks Naysa about foxes used in patient therapy, with no satisfying results.
Campaign Day 11
3 Neth, 4718 AR
- When Dora wakes up in the morning, she finds she is spooning a naked man she’s never seen before in her life.
- The naked man is revealed to be Barnabus.
- The party deals with treating diseases, and Grip finally recovers from his ghoul fever.
- Dora performs a psychometry reading on Thema’s wedding ring and sees a book that fills her with an obsessive desire to claw at the sickly purple-gray flesh on the back of her neck. She sees an old Keleshite woman with leathery skin saying “It wakes… it wakes…” over and over.
- The party leaves the chapel and their allies seal the way behind them.
- They make their way through the courtyard and rejoin with Elbourne.
- Gull prepares to scout the area above the Large Hall before the party moves into the endgame, and some truths are told, in case this is the last time they see each other.
Chapter 35, Part 1
- Upstairs, Gull finds three Apostles and hears the sounds of the Tatterman screaming in the background. The party casts protective magic and ascends together.
- As the others approach, Gull sneaks to the other side of the room and catches a glimpse of Aggra Loomis hiding behind some rubble.
- Amidst the fog of the next room, he sees that the walls are covered with parchment pages depicting gorgeously beautiful scenes of impossible cities and ominous shapes. He goes limp, but resists the effect of the wall. He warns the others, but the Bag Lady overhears and a fight ensues.
- After they defeat the four cultists, Gull burns down the drawings so the party can pass through the next room without risk.
- Moving through the fog, Dora detects the presence of three Oneirogens ahead, and the party engages again, destroying them all.
- At last, the supernatural fog begins to clear from Briarstone Isle.
Chapter 35, Part 2
- Zandalus seems to be repeating some sort of pained prayer over and over, as if he is straining to hold someone (presumably the Tatterman) at bay. It strikes Ray as a prayer to Hastur, but it strikes Gull as lines from a play.
- When the party finally reaches Ulver Zandalus, he warns them of the “man with the glasses” (presumably Count Lowls) saying, “he’s going to do it, he’s going to find it.” Dora’s attempt to read his mind brings the Tatterman forward, and combat begins.
- Thema kills Ulver Zandalus’ body, fully freeing the Tatterman into the real world, and the fight continues.
- The party appears to defeat the Tatterman, but he is only feigning death. He rises once more with Dora poised over him… only to be utterly destroyed by Thema moments later.
- The party recovers The Chain of Nights and they take the shadow lantern to Debis, freeing his spirit to death.
- The people of Briarstone are able to step outside of the asylum for the first time in weeks. The party reunites with the chapel survivors, and Vaustin leads them all to a pair of rowboats by the pier, explaining that Thrushmoor is the closest settlement. Arrangements are made to transport everyone there.
- As they cross Lake Encarthan, the inhuman life form from the Prologue attempts to contact them again and each member of the party hears the sound of a bell and experiences visions.
- The Prisoner, chained in a cell, is terrified. It had just reached out to the PCs and failed to connect through the moment of their births as individuals—instead finding only memories from their later childhoods. It instead attempts to locate them by means of “another birth,” and the characters experience another vision, this one of meeting each other for the first time.
- Two rowboats cross Lake Encarthan towards Thrushmoor, and the real world works its way into their bodies as the party mulls over this new memory, what it means, and what awaits them.
- Thrushmoor appears unusually quiet. A fairly large ship is docked and lit up in the harbor. Some eerie glowing green lights are attached to a building on the shore. A tall standing stone is visible from the lake, the same as the one from the drawings at the Asylum. Rony spots a flickering blue light wending its way down the most inland hill.
- The party notes that halflings on the merchant ship are pacing the deck with crossbows in hand, but decides to approach with a white flag. They are greeted by what appears to be a human child wielding a hand-fashioned flag, who is deeply concerned with insect safety and duty, and who revealed themself to be a halfling.
- The party meets Skywin Freeling and Dabwick and are allowed to come aboard the Sellen Starling for the night, along with the survivors from the asylum.
- Skywin updates them on the grim state of affairs in Thrushmoor: Elaborate charcoal murals of weird cities have been appearing throughout the town. People are dying and disappearing, no one’s seen the new constable in weeks, and most of the militia has quit.
Campaign Day 12
4 Neth, 4718 AR
- In the morning, the party gets the lay of the land in Thrushmoor, and heads up to the closest Star Stela on a nearby looming hill.
- Before they can make an analysis of the stone, Dora spots an ashen man in red academic’s robes loping up the other side of the hill.
- Ray heals Grip and the party investigates the star stela, discovering that it is an artifact and that it seems to be tied to the worship of Hastur.
- The party checks back in at the Sellen Starling and reassures themselves that the halflings aren’t slavers.
- While heading into town, they spot an incredibly elaborate mural on a house depicting the city from their first nightmare, made of black charcoal and yellow chalk. These murals seem to be prevalent, but do not register as either magical or psychically significant
- Dora and Ray spot a humanoid figure with bulbous eyes scanning the star stela hill. Rony recognizes it as a Skum.
- When they reach Market Street, Ray is thrust back into a memory of one of his nightmares.
- The party goes to the Sleepless Agency, where Grip and Rony are immediately recognized. Grip intimidates most of the staff into dealing with them, and Cesadia Wrentz insists that Grip submit to some mental probing before being convinced that their story is true.
- Cesadia tells the party that people have been disappearing from Thrushmoor for some time. The party offers to help, and Cesadia tasks them with looking into the rumors about the return of the Briarstone Witch.