Sunday, 15 Harmony, 13:1066, (Night)/ Moonday, 16 Harmony, 13:1066 (Early morning)
With the dummies dismantled and the orcs drawing no nearer, the party ventured south, toward the trapped false tomb to Siryl Rex. In the waking world, Eudora never tried to open the sarcophagus, though due to her expectation that it would be trapped, Sigurd was subjected to a poison gas when he budged the lid. Apparently she had also expected Sigurd to be nigh invincible, as the gas had little to no effect on the massive barbarian. Inside the coffin, they found coins of an ancient make, all minted with Eudora’s face, likely somehow relating back to what Sigurd had expected to find. Perhaps chalking it all up to dream weirdness, they returned to the great hall and moved toward the orc sounds.
While the path to the orc sounds was blocked by secret doors in the waking world, Eudora’s familiarity with Osakay’s chambers caused the passage to appear as a pair of wide open entry ways. As the party approached, an orc grunted at them, speaking no language ever known. Once the party realized that the orcs couldn’t speak orcish because Eudora didn’t know orcish for them to speak, they decided to translate into the universal language: bloodshed. While they engaged the orcs, Osakay slid from his chambers, but
Talitha used a dream simulacra of one of the party’s beads of force, managing to trap Osakay in the doorway, preventing a manifestation of Eudora’s madness, in the form of a wild-eyed and disheveled doppleganger of the diviner, from entering the fray.
Once the orcs were dispatched, the party waited for the bead’s resilient sphere to pop. Having the drop on him, they dispatched him fairly quickly. When they moved in to corner the maddened dream manifestation of Eudora, she dove into an ivory-rimmed well. With little clue what it would have meant for her to escape beyond the rather obvious “probably not all that good, really” , they dove in after her. The well twisted and turned, revealing more glimpses into the dreams of sleepers at the House of the Silver Key, only this time all of Eudora’s fears and insecurities were leaking into the parlors.
When the dream undertow finally spat them out, the party found themselves in the same bathhouse where they escaped to enter Eudora’s dreamscape. There, they found Eudora’s madness-fueled dream doppleganger imploring Elliot Killian, the dream-tiger guardian of the bathhouse, that the party had to be stopped, as they were using the House of the Silver Key as a staging ground to assault innocent dreamers. Despite her rather convincing (if insane and rambly) argument, Erimus was able to call back on his training in delivering harsh truths that he received as an inquisitor to lay the situation out succinctly and convince the guardian of their true motives. Elliott was in agreement that the doppleganger had to be dealt with, though he insisted that it couldn’t be done in the bathhouse… and that the party would have to find their own way out of the dreamscape, as after this, they’d never be allowed into the dream halls of the House of the Silver Key. With no other choice (barring just assaulting the guardian animals and random dreamers in the house so that they could put the evil dream Eudora to the sword right there, on their termsm which, really, let’s face it, isn’t a smart option for a number of reasons) Sigurd grabbed the dream Eudora, and they leaped once again into the well.
This time, the well dumped them onto the sandy ground of an arena. While most of the party was a bit confused or bewildered, Sigurd recognized this as the arena where he fought his first battle in Axis. Just as they got their bearings, they heard a slow, sinister clap from the balcony at the far end of the arena. There, in his unmistakable peacock helm, was Siryl Rex, accompanied by his court wizard Mitcou and four members of his honor guard. Neither the party nor their opponents wasted any time in joining battle. They rushed forward, steel clanging on steel, and despite a fearsome initial showing, the dream manifestations of the Peacock Emperor and his retinue fell before the party’s might, no doubt spurred on by Sigurd’s confidence and the awe in which Eudora held them. With them dealt with, the party turned on Evil Dream Eudora, who once defeated, dissolved into a tangle of snakes, which then coiled together to form a fearsome naga. However, despite her gruesome transformation,she, too, fell before the party, dissolving into a black, roiling nothingness upon defeat. With this, the final manifestation of Osakay’s vicious hold over Eudora, finally defeated, the dreamscape began to collapse. With nowhere else to turn, they dove for the well that brought them to the arena.
Just as each of them broke through the waters of the dream well, they tumbled into a shallow ditch in the waking world. Frightened foot falls echoed down the narrow alleys of Horizon as each member of the party began to get their bearings. All of their gear could be accounted for in one of the three wagons that the staff had used to haul them away from the inn, but now they’d have to secure new lodgings for the evening, before setting out to make sense of everything they had recently discovered.
Session 13.1 – In a Ditch in Horizon
Next Session, #14