Dreamers Deep - A Strange Aeon's Campaign

Another day, another trip into darkness

Every time that we think that this place couldn't get wore, that it couldn't get weirder, that it couldn't up the gut wrenching terror; we get proven dead wrong.  On the upside I didn't nearly die in the past couple of days, so that's looking up.  Winter's helping to get me over this bug that the rat swarms gave me.  Being sick always makes ye more cranky I've found. 


So we went a traipsing around the asylum some more, looking for answers, and while we did find some, they also gave us more questions.  We found the administrator in charge of the whole place with some sort of odd miasma coming out of her mouth, think her name was Eliege Losandro.  Ranger put her down before anything really bad happened.  Sleuth figured out that there was some sort of fracking portal inside her body.  Seriously…a portal.  To where, no one knows, but doesn't look to be a normal place.  Upside, we got some keys.  Oh…almost forgot.  This was creepy bleeder number one for the day.  The admin was just bleeding all hemorrhagic style out of anything that could leak and it had puddled down on the floor.  Seriously, more than what should have been inside her but we've stopped questioning that sort of thing. 


Next, we talked down one of the crazy folk and dropped a couple more of the dyed in the cotton cultists.  They were looking for any info on their master and while they didn't find it, a couple of keys and some digging did.  We got a running decades long history on Zanadalus, Ulver Zandalus as it turns out, his history and the crazy level of drugs the guy had taken along the way.  Then the interesting part happened.  We found documentation with our names(?) on it.  Brief descriptions of what had been going on with us when the Count, Haserton Lowls IV,  came across us and some notes.  Nowhere near  the whole story on any of us, but a beginning.  Oh, and names.  Turns out we all have 'em and we might have given the correct ones to the count.  Though that's still in question as bow boy is apparently named Grilled Cheese. 


So, papers in tow we continued on in search of supplies and got to another crazy haunted thing up in here.  This one deluged me with blood.  Seriously like slid me back as it dropped a wave of blood.  So that was more than a little wrong.  I really am getting done with all of the haunts in this creepy arsed place.  We figured out the blood was all coming from an old lady sitting in a wheeled chair looking out some windows whose heart had literally exploded out of her chest. 


Continuing our sweep found us at a room so dark I couldn't see inside…so dark.  Inside was a wee one's voice calling out for his brother.  When we tried to talk, something from that darkness came out and bit me.  Took the strength right out of me it did and that's just embarrassing. Thinking on it we went to go get the lamp that his brother has to try to coax him out, and so we returned to "camp" to talk to the wee one's twin.  He won't hand over the lamp until we've proven we can bring it back, so he wants a couple o' his toys from his room, some soldiers.  So off we trot. 


Crap, almost forgot, we did some more library time as well.  Started looking into one of the multiverses true boogey men, a creature that is apparently responsible for the wendigos.  Research and write, at the peril of your own sanity.   

I hate it here.

Yep, I definitely hate it here.  To be fair, I don't think anyone enjoys being in an asylum under the best of circumstances, but still.

Two points of joy.  One, I killed a giant eye by being a smartass.  Two, we found books.

So we started moving towards trying to find a way out, and get more supplies.  Winter reports that they only have about a week's worth of rations, and then things get bad.  Supposedly there are more supplies in the kitchen, if we can get there.  If they are there.  In theory there should be, as the rampaging cultists have to be eating SOMETHING, right?  Not sure I want to eat what they want to eat though.

So we do some talking, do some research, and then go look at the big eye that is blocking the door out.  Yup, big eye.  We know it can talk, as it is reported to say "What (have, am, something) I become?"  So we try communicating with it first, but not much luck.  Doesn't have ears, so maybe it can't hear us?  Tried writing on paper, but it didn't respond.  Eye could be illiterate.  Stupid is apparently catchy in here.  I'll have to be careful.  Anyway, I decide to hold up a mirror to show it what it am become.  Figured it would get some sort of reaction out of it.  Wasn't expecting it to shrivel up and die though.  So that's new.  Wonder if that would work with beholders.

So we move on, searched a few closets and things without much luck.  Found a foyer/garden, but didn't bother with that yet.  Found the waiting room where a stuffed bird decided that it wanted to throw us around.  Literally.  Tried picking things up and it starts yelling an alarm and raised Blue up in the air and slammed him against the wall.  Someone beat up the inanimate object and things stopped.  Left there after that.

The big thing though was finding a library.  It was filled with some human faced rat things that threw books at us and summoned rat swarms.  I'll admit, I wasn't thinking (again, stupid catching down here?), but focused on fighting the summoned critters instead of the summoners.  Took down 2 of the 3, and the last surrendered.  Jenny Two-Tails.  Self-serving surrender, but I'll take it.  She was full of information, and directed us to speak to her leader.  They're eating books, so I was (still am) tempted to kill them all, but we need allies at this point.  Got some information on where they came from, general knowledge of how things lie in the building at the moment.  We've been warned away from a particular door, as both Jenny and her leader said that "bad things happened there."  They haven't gone in, just know it is bad.  So that's the next spot we go I guess.

Also, fought some pickled punks.  Others were offended when I looked to see if there were any more bottled to take with.  Hey, I would never make the things shudder, but where we're at and what's going on, I'm taking any advantage I can to survive this.

Other than that, did some research in the library, and got some rest.  Supplies continue to dwindle.

I hate it here.

Dopplegangers and Cultists and Eyeballs

I get the feeling that things are not going to improve anytime soon.  Mainly because we are apparently rescuing the rescuers in an asylum.  Of which, we may have been inmates of the asylum as well.  But that's getting a bit ahead.

So, after taking a bit of a rest, we charged ahead to "prove" that we weren't dopplegangers to the guards that have had a bit too much head trauma to really think things through.  I'm trying really hard to not explain to them how they are being dumb, but I don't know if I will end up having that much patience.

Anyway, we continued searching the area away from the "guards," and came into a wash area where there was a chained up ghoul, a dead body, and a raving madman wearing a piss-stained sheet.  He only was able to say a few words – "Zendallas" "Sees" "Praise" "Words" "Fail".  Mix those words up how you like, I think he said pretty much every combination of them.  Killed the ghoul, still not sure what will happen with the live one.  We moved on and encountered someone who was begging for help.  Yeah, was the crazy dopple who we first met trying to torture us.  Unfortunately s/he/it had a friend along.  Things got ugly fast.  We got out of that one by the skin of our teeth, with the exception of the dwarf.  He…I think he died?  But didn't?  He should have been dead anyway.  He has acted "normal" (I think, but hard to tell since I have a whole day as a baseline for what "normal" is, and that includes fire rain), but will have to keep an eye on him.

Found an eyeball that rolls around and looks at you.  So that's a thing.

The guards finally deigned to let us into their special safe area after we did their work for them.  They seem to have one competent person in Winter.  Cleric, but has been needing to withhold resources as she reports that they are trapped on two fronts.  One wing is filled with ghouls.  The other is filled with cultists, lead by the aformentioned Zendallas.  Cultists call themselves Apostles in Orpament, or something like that.  I'd be surprised that I never heard of them, but yeah, lack of memory.

There are many people from the asylum here who have been rescued, such as it is.  Some inmates, some workers.  We got a name for where we are though – Briarstone Isle.  Winter and her people were asked to come here to check things out, and that she was supposed to rendezvous with someone, but didn't have much more information than that.  Currently they are trying to hold out while they wait for someone to notice that they are missing.  Not much of a plan, but I can see where they are coming from, especially trapped and pincered in.  Plus, the weird weather.

There is also talk of the Argus Eye.  Bothering it bothers the patients.  There is a covering on one of the doors out, so we may be disturbing a lot of things in the near future.

Anyway, tried to help people out as much as we could.  Not much for me to do due to lack of resources, but I was able to discern the nature of the Desna statue here.  Staying near it during sleep does prevent some of the bad dreams and influences that appear to be happening elsewhere around here.  Not sure if it is a result of the cultists, or if whatever happened triggered Glorious Leader Z and began everything else.  Not sure if it matters much, really.

So, we're stuck, trying to find a way out.  I'm going to take a nap.

This really sucks

Good news first, I guess.  The only good news, really.  If you die in your dreams, sometimes you don't die in real life.  At least not this time.

The last few hours have been moving from one terrible thing to the next.  Woke up with no memories other than my name and knowing what I can do.  Full amnesia otherwise.  The others that I find myself with appear to be in similar circumstance (or so they say.  More on that in a minute).

The dream was almost standard nightmare fuel.  The only thing non-standard was in how vivid it was, and that it was a shared dream with us all being devoid of our memories.  We were in an asylum.  Sunnydale, Sunny Acres, Sunnyville, whatever.  Something.  Had other things on my mind.  It was all too big.  Maybe cyclopian?  Don't really know.  Place was cleared out, and there were doors that the dream would not permit us to go.  It was almost a lucid dream, really.

But then there was the fog thing.  With the razor blade.  Chasing us through the deserted city where walls and fences seemed to spring up out of nowhere to stop us.  We were picked off one by one.  All died.  Until we woke up.  At least I think we've woken up?  Hard to know yet, really.

Again, we woke up in an asylum, though it is a different one.  Normal big size for one, as opposed to the big big size of the other.  Crazy lady (?) torturing someone on a table.  The others that appeared in the dream were there as well, locked in cells.  Of course, I was thrown in the fire to be burned (I honestly wonder how that would have worked out).  Lots of yelling, crazy torturer changed her face briefly while yelling at the dwarf.  Then violence ensued, people got out.  I was out of the furnace by then and picked up some rocks.  Attempted to intimidate her, though I'm not sure if that succeeded, or if she ran because we were all free and trying to take her down.  My stuff was in the basement.  I think some of my charges that are used for crafting bombs were missing, as if I had actually used them in the dream, but not remembering I cannot be sure.  More of a gut impression, because really, that's all we have to go off of at this point.

Everyone else's stuff was there too.  Everyone else.  Huh.  No memory of them beyond the dream that we shared, which implies that there is some sort of connection prior to our dreaming and awakening.  Even if it was 2 minutes before we all got whammied by…whatever is going on.  There's a dwarf who appears grumpier than usual for a dwarf.  Couple humans.  One's got a bow, the other…mind daggers or something?  Gut feeling is that he's on the up and up, but going to keep an eye on him.  The samsaran is another issue.  Beyond the other issue that I'll get to in a moment.  Like hell the samsaran doesn't remember anything.  It's against their nature to forget things (I think).  Think he's ok, but he's holding something back.  Little too self-assured, and hell if I know how amnesia works with quasi-ancestral-self memory.

The other problem is that apparently we're in a destroyed asylum that has been overrun by dopplegangers and fucked up weather.  Guards are sure that we're dopplegangers, and honestly, one or all of us could be?  Again, gut is telling me no, but who knows?  Certainly not us.  We don't remember yesterday, much less anything that we can't prove with our own eyes.  Weirdly, the samsaran is about the only one who is in the clear, since..well…his blood is clear.  So, normal?  I think?

Anyway, had to climb up an enormous pile of bodies in various states of desecration and decay to get outside, where…it was boiling rain.  Later, wind going up.  We encountered some incompetent guards who were dressed very importantly that want us to do their dirty work for them.  Said if we kill dopplegangers, that will prove that we are not dopplegangers.  Like hell it does.  We find some dead dopplegangers (or admittedly kill some real ones, like the doctor (?) doppleganger), hand them over, that just proves that we can drag corpses.  Not going to press that point with the guards though.  Appears their tiny minds are already at capacity by dressing themselves this morning.

Killed some big rats, including one with glowing eyes and a tentacle mouth.  Guards didn't say if it belonged to anyone.  Few big bugs that, admittedly, I was completely surprised by.  Was paying too much attention to trying to find useful chemicals.  The fight against the doc dopple was kinda ugly, so we retreated to the boiler room where we fought the rats.

So, in theory we are awake, in theory we are alive, in theory we are not dopplegangers, and in theory we knew each other before we lost our memory.  Will have to wait and see how much these theories bear out.

Adventure Log Rewards for Strange Aeons
Welcome to the Strange Aeons Campaign!

Hello everyone! After several false starts and scheduling conflicts, we are on track to kick the campaign off this Sunday!

I wanted to take a few seconds to talk about the Adventure Log function here on Obsidian Portal and how I will be rewarding the party for updates for the Strange Aeons campaign. For those of you that are unfamiliar (mostly James), this is where the party can record their adventure for later review.

In the past, each post has been worth a set XP value. Over time though, the adventure log always stops getting updated in the later stages of the campaign. The XP values needed to level become quite high, and the relatively small amount of XP awarded for updating the adventure log seems almost not worth it. I'd like to try a new approach by tying the adventure log to something else I haven't been very good at doling out in the past – Character Points.

So, for the Strange Aeons campaign characters will have an opportunity to earn up to 4 Character Points per book of the Adventure Path (there are six total books). The distribution will be as follows:

  • All PCs earn a base 1 Character Point at the successful conclusion of each book of the Adventure Path. It's your reward for overcoming the challenges of the adventure.
  • Characters can also earn up to 1 Character Point per book in the adventure path for excellent role playing or brilliant creativity over the course of that book (excellent roleplaying of madnesses, in-game sacrifices to stay true to character, coming up with and implementing a cunning plan that bypassed or gave the PCs a big advantage in a major encounter or otherwise makes life easier for you, etc).
  • The final 2 Character Points can be earned for the adventure path book if an Adventure Log has been created for every session. If no adventure logs are missed, all PCs will each earn the bonus 2 Character Points. If at least half (but not all) of the sessions have posted adventure logs at the end of the book, all PCs will earn 1 Character Point. If less than half of the sessions have posted adventure logs throughout the adventure path book, then PCs earn 0 Character Points for updating the Adventure Logs.

By the time we get to the final climactic encounter of the Strange Aeons adventure path, PCs will have earned between 7 and 21 Character Points (this total includes the 1 Character Point everyone gets at character creation).

Adventure Logs won't be "due" until 7:00 on the first Sunday that we begin playing in the new AP book, but one adventure log will be needed to record each session played. It will probably be easier to record each log the week after it is played than it would be to try and reconstruct them at the end of each book. Character Point awards for each book will be given before the second session in the new AP book.

My hope is that this schedule creates a reliable way for you to budget how you want to spend Character Points throughout the adventure path. And to provide a reliable method for handing them out without destroying the balance of the game.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

I'm looking forward to seeing you all this Sunday at 7:00!

The Story So Far.....
The Strange Yellow City

You find yourself in a strange yellow city with a handful of other people that you do not know, but whom you nevertheless feel a strange connection to. As you realize that you don't remember who these familiar strangers are, you are also alarmed to discover that you don't even remember your own name or history! Vague shards of memory flicker through your mind but vanish like a mirage when you try to grasp them. You have no memory of how you came to be here, where "here" is, or even how long you have been here. The confusion on the faces of your companions as they look at their unfamiliar surroundings leave you with little doubt that they have as few answers as you do.

Before you can ponder any further or ask questions of your companions, a sickly yellow mist billows around the south corner of the alley that you are standing in. The mist is impenetrable and fills you with foreboding. You don't know how you know it, but that mist contains your doom. As you start to race down the alley and out onto an empty street, the cloud of mist follows relentlessly. It snakes through the alleyway and expands to fill the street behind you and your companions before continuing in your direction like a living predator on the prowl.

Though you don't remember them right now, your companions may be the difference between escaping this strange nightmare city and perishing in a lonely alley in this forsaken and forbidden place….


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