Sunday, 15 Harmony, 13:1066, Night (Real time) / Moonday, 9 Harmony 13:1066, Mid-afternoon (Dream time)
Having retrieved Eudora from her collegiate nightmare and convinced her to lead them to her research site, the party set out through the creepy well. Their sojourn through the Tapestry again pulled them into an ever-shifting vista, constructed on the fly by Eudora’s dreaming mind. Unfortunately, since the party was using the equivalent of service tunnels beneath the House of the Silver Key, the establishment’s dreaming patrons exerted influence over the dreams as well. The party crossed a fathomless sea, an endless abyss and a trackless desert to reach their destination: a dream construct of Siryl Rex’s tomb.
The party experienced a wave of fear, which each member could tell was not their own, wash over them as Eudora fidgeted and hesitated, trying to insist that they had no business being in the tomb, seeing as to how she already possessed the wand before finally following the party inside. The entrance to the tomb was humid, with a bizarre carpet of fungus stretching out from the ceremonial altar to the east. Large fungal structures, the rough size and shape of a small man, swayed back and forth while a larger mushroom, the stalk beneath its pale cap all bulbous and pruny, pulsated on the altar itself. The strange shapes turned and loomed in response to the party as they moved by, but didn’t seem to make any effort to attack or contact them.
Further down the hall, the party could hear the clanging of steel on steel. Where the orcs had fashioned a rough forge in the real world, Eudora’s dreaming mind had conjured up a fine smithy, staffed by a silent half-orc woman, her hammer beating out a regular rhythm, though she seemed to be working on something new and different every time someone paid attention to her. When Sigurd realized that she was using a hammer identical to the one he found in the real tomb, he offered it to her. She beamed a great, tusked smile at him and immediately went to work. She handed the hammer back a few moments later, though there was an unshakable feeling that her work had somehow taken hours to do. When Sigurd touched the hammer, he heard an ancient, unfamiliar dwarven war chant. Through the shouts, one voice rose above the rest, its deep dwarven brogue somehow familiar, yet unintelligible. Sigurd thanked the half-orc and the party moved further down the hall, to Mitcou’s final resting place.
Save for the lack of a secret door in the northeast corner, Mitcou’s crypt chamber seemed identical to the chamber in the actual tomb. The tunnel that led to the south, however, was markedly different. When Erimus had scouted earlier, he found the tunnel entrance to be narrow, but passable. Now however, it seemed to be covered with rocks and boulders which had been loosely packed to form a ramshackle barrier. When even Sigurd’s might wasn’t able to budge the stones, Arden assumed, rightly, Eudora’s unconscious mind had relied on his experience with cave-ins to create an impassable barrier. When he turned his attention away from the tunnel, they found it to be littered with debris, but passable. Making sure to keep their eyes trained on the rubble in order to prevent Arden’s dreams from reasserting themselves, they found the tunnel to be a winding passage that looped back around on itself, terminating in dead ends, each of which housed a well similar to the one they passed through, only rimmed with ivory. Not wanting to risk getting lost in someone else’s subconscious, they decided to explore the tomb itself further.
Where the real tomb only had stairs that descended to a lower level, the dream tomb had stairs that both ascended and descended, though like the actual tomb, the stairways were narrow enough that the party had to pass through single-file. Erimus took to the front, leading the party down through the right hand passage. When they finished their descent, they found that they had somehow actually ascended, exiting the stairway to the floor that they had just left, albeit through the fungal chamber near the entrance. When they next came to the stairs, Arian led them through the right hand passage, only for them to exit out the left hand passage. Not wanting to lose their way on the stairs a third time, Erimus cleared his mind and drew on the strange instruction he experienced at the hands of the Crusader’s High Inquisitor, finally allowing the party to descend the stairs to the lower level.
The stairwell opened up into the grand hall, with the din of conversing orcs to the west. In the real world, this chamber was occupied by orcs and trolls. While they were nowhere to be seen, their training dummies stood, inert sentinels propped up on large weapon racks. As Sigurd tried to make his way past, one of the dummies pulled itself from the rack, drawing steel from the weapons to double its considerable bulk. Nearby, another dummy lurched to life, pulling a torch from the wall and setting itself ablaze before setting upon Erimus. The dummy on the eastern wall rattled its rack until the swords and flails it held shook to the floor, then drew themselves into the forms of smaller, sharper training dummies. Despite the pitched battle, the orcish voices never drew closer, giving the party a much needed moment to catch their breath before exploring the tomb further.