Before leaving to reality, the players pierced deep into the deeper dream. The Dreaming is finished, perhaps gone for good? The players make their way out of a dream realm and hopefully back into the real world. But, what is real and what’s really going on? Being stuck in The Dream for so long was certainly no accident. And so, ends the first part of my zany adventure (that I originally intended not to last this long!)
The players escape a twisted hellscape that was once the lodge, only to wind up in a portal at the bottom of the lodge’s external food storage. Beyond the jump point, everyone finds themselves into a long and stretching hallway. Each door, a different reality that’s switched up by simply closing and opening again. The first room is two worlds of black and white. After much tampering and removing of the door, the worlds fused into a grey world. They then found a doorway to an alternate lodge. The warlord is busy, but without the general store owner to keep himself busy. Each time the door opens again, it’s a look into another part of the lodge. Team members fighting off shadowy horrors, an alternate library, etc. The last couple of rooms are a sprawling hallway, a wizard’s meeting room and an island that exists in a variety of climates.
Delvin escapes to the island, wanting rest. He enjoys some rest and relaxation, while everyone else tries to understand this seemingly empty island… save for the monkeys. Some of the team try to escape the island, while the rest are flung off by the monkeys after trying to mess with them. They witness a whirlpool, which eventually takes them after a failed attempt to escape. Below are three strange castles. The first two are inconsequential to the party, who avoid going too close. They go to the last one, which looks strange. They enter and find themselves in a lavish hotel lobby. Everyone tries to mimic the locals in order to blend in, only to discover they’re in Orvald… or at least a form of it. And what luck, they’ve stumbled upon a party. They learn that the land they called home was eradicated eons ago in an apocalyptic event. They find a man who claims to be the current king, more of a figurehead nowadays. As the crowd simmers down and a presenter takes the stage, the party is ambushed by a troop of nightmare-obsessed assassins. Amidst the chaos, Voltam escapes. Everyone else, blanks out for a moment… only to come to in a version of the room devoid of color.
Everything seems to freeze up. Attempts to fiddle with the world around them fail, as things lock into place and don’t budge in this monochromatic version of the party hall. Even the cops that were charging onto the scene are frozen in place. Sweetgrass explores and finds there’s still movement, the curtain on the stage! He takes a whiff of what’s beyond and it smells horrible. He pulls the curtain to reveal an inky void that continues to slosh like gelatin. The party pushes through the mold-like wall and into a void-like floating space. The space forms into a series of ominous and vicious looking faces. The faces reveal themselves as Punembra. He admits a lot of this was out of his control, something else was behind much of this… including trapping the characters in the realm of dreams. When asked what’s going on, he reveals that something is slowly killing him. The team begs for an exit, as the faces shift to a feminine form. It reveals itself as Antumbra. She asks them to get to the bottom of this, as she reveals a hallway leading out. The rest of the realm begins to get unstable, as if everything is falling apart.
Everyone rushes through the hallway and into a wintery mountain ahead. They all collapse into the snow, remembering the words of the fading dream gods… They’re not complete, they’re phantoms. Everyone figures the best course of action is retracing their steps into the storage shed. Much like in the Deep Dream, they uncover a hatch leading down into the depths below. Instead, they see a wine cellar with a bunch of bodies that are tied to chairs. It’s them! Lifeless, soulless bodies! Their bodies! They reach out to the bodies and fuse back into one. Looking around the cellar, there are stones missing to reveal runic symbols carved and traced into the surface beyond the plied stones. An arcane circle glows as the symbols are focused on. As everyone prepares to bail, they see a mirror with a lost and confused Voltam on the other side. He’s shaving the faces (and fur) of some of the characters, thinking this is just another trick. As players try to interact with the mirror, Voltam is unsure if he hears something and storms off. The mirror then turns into a symbol of the fading Dream Gods, as another presence beckons them.
A snow storm is starting to pick up again, so the crew bunkers down in the burnt ruins of the lodge from the dream world. This one was ravaged by a mix of fire and some sort of magic. However, it’s as if something was also trying to protect it. Inside are a bunch of burnt corpses, as well as fresh mind flayer corpses. Ha’shar investigates some of the back area, while the rest stick close to the front. Delvin “inspects” the bar. Sweetgrass and Jev’eng search the library, where two roasted wizard bodies lie… with fresh parchment. Both parchments mention something diabolic. Sweetgrass jumps to some books, only to learn that they’ve been had. Someone wanted them trapped in the Plane of Dreams as detached spirits, stuck there forever. Also, something is powerful enough to slay gods. Ha’shar rummages upstairs to find a general store key, which he uses to open a keepsake box within the general store. Inside? A letter and a diabolic book of rites! Very sinister. The letter paints the king as a lunatic, looking to bind a devil in the name of the kingdom. Meanwhile, Jev’Eng rummages through some dead mind flayers as well as toasted stiffs. Mostly a few odd things here and there… except some interesting warnings and items on the Flayers. A spell scroll and a word of warning. As everyone groups back together, three disturbed madmen dash into the entryway and attack! One of them carries a most unusual gun. After the three are dispatched, the gun heats up and explodes. It looks like it has already been shoddily repaired. As the team ponders about the “Sad King”, devils, the madmen and more… the sconces barred to the walls begin to glow a sinister shade as a voice beckons them to find it and speak.
Image Credit: Bloodborne Screenshot – From Software