Rested, I woke up this morning to the sound of singing. A rare event these days. A nurse was holding Bates in her arms and was trying to comfort the boy. He didn't look good. I asked the nurse what's wrong and she said that he's out of meds, Valaxian. The seizures eventually will kill him. We have to find more at the dispensary near the dayroom that was overrun with those yellow-robed cultists.
Brawl Dar was still wearing the yellow robes and had that weird mark still on his head. York had a fit. Brawl Dar had to remove both and convince the idiot that he wasn't a cultist. Ku'uvlin shared his vision – a man with long hair crying out "When I sleep, he walks. When I am awake, he stalks!" No one seems to know what it means. He was able to convince Winter to make the guards give me more ammunition for my crossbow.
Denetta, the orderly that we rescued from the closet the day before informed us the woman with the bleeding chest wound was a patient named Vera Freeling. She was a hypochondriac, suffering from dementia.
Denman approached us. Since Juglan died, he had … changed. The way he played with his knife seemed more … casual than nervous fidgetting. He had a cold look in his eyes as he told us that before the uprising, he had worked in the kitchens. Some of his friends may still be alive and may have bene forced to join the cultisits – they weren't all willing converts. Please don't kill them indiscriminately, he asked us.
Another patient named Loic claimed he could hear his sister, Canda, out there in the rain.
Winter had bad news. An earthquake had recollapsed the stairwell to the basement, and the only path left was through the chute. DaNae's body had been found in the courtyard, her bones had been crushed. It looked as if she had fallen from a great height. Winter told us more about . what brought her here.
When Mother Thestia, high priestess of Maiden’s Choir Cathedral in Caliphas, personally called for me, I my life was about to change. Well after midnight, before the great statue of Pharasma in the cathedral’s sanctuary, the High Mother introduced me to a severe woman who identified herself only as Omari. This stranger, Mother Thestia explained, was one of the nation’s Royal Accusers, secretive agents who were sworn to Ustalav’s crown and operated outside the country’s baroque hierarchy of titles and privilege. Omari came requesting the service of one of the cathedral’s sisters on an undertaking that would lead them to Thrushmoor in the neighboring county of Versex. The High Mother didn’t deign to reveal the terms of the church’s bargain with the Royal Accusers. Rather, she explained only that I would aid Accuser Omari until the errand’s completion. Dutifully, I promised to serve to the best of her ability andfaithfully represent the church, fully aware that, when it came to twists of fate, Pharasma’s blessings and curses often appeared much the same.
The journey to Versex proved quiet enough. There were no interruptions, and all members of the investigation rode along in silence for much of the trip. Upon arriving, Accuser Omari left to keep some private appointment, a short task from which she returned with errands for each of her aides. Omari handed me a badge deputizing me with the authority of the Royal Accusers, and sent me along with a small contingent to nearby Briarstone Asylum to inquire after a handful of recently committed patients previously in the service of Haserton Lowls, count of Thrushmoor.
Following the insanity that gripped Briarstone, I became a prisoner within. I had met only briefly with Administrator Losandro and had learned little of the asylum’s workings or those I’d been sent to inquire after, though I had been promised a chance to interview the patients. Even during my brief visit, I inferred something of the strangeness unraveling at the sanitarium and had been granted leave to explore the grounds. It was during this investigation that the first of the quakes struck and the patient uprising began. In the chaos that followed, my compatriots and I found themselves attacked by ghouls, which overwhelmed my companions. Desperate to escape, I made my way to the asylum’s entry, but found that I wasn’t the first to be trapped by the unnatural mist surrounding the grounds. At my suggestion, a handful of survivors made for the nearby chapel to hide—and pray. My desperate plan saved the lives of several of the asylum’s patients and staff, who still linger in the chapel. I never expected the asylum's chapel to become my new home, but with no options for escape and terrors crawling through the halls beyond, fortifying the holy place and holding out for as long as possible seemed the only choice we had for survival.1
Ku'uvlin shared the Briarstone Asylum patient files and Administrator Losandro's journal with Winter, hoping that maybe they would help explain what was going on. Winter wanted us to locate more patient records especially the recent ones, as she wanted to find out more information about the new group of patients that were admitted right before everything went to hell. She also suggested that the library may hold more information.
We headed back to the library. Listening at the door from the entrance hall, we heard chittering conversation inside, which I recognized as Aklo. Talendian cautiously opened the door and the chittering suddenly stopped. Fog was billowing in from the broken windows on the second floor. Ku'uvlin and Talendian informed Brawl Dar and myself that the ratling creatures are intelligent and magical. From inside the library, we a voice called out in Aklo "This is ratling territory. You can't pass unless you trade us something! You give us your magic, you can come through!" The little bastard rodents wanted our scrolls. One for each of us to pass through their territory. Ku'uvlin casted a spell, ghost sounds, to bluff the rodents into believing there was a small army outside. They didn't buy it. Brawl Dar intimidated them to let us pass with 2 scrolls (Fox's Cunning and Cure Light Wounds). We all searched the library and found nothing.
We made our way to Losandro's office. The weird pool of blood was still there. There was a lofted library in there. I searched the books looking for Chain of Nights. No luck. Only a few rare books that I grabbed. Never know when hell will end and might need some cash. We didn't find anything more in Losandro's office. We exited out another door and found a hall leading to more offices.
We stopped by the first door and heard a crash. Brawl Dar kicked down the door. A couple of apostles were searching though the office. Brawl Dar immediately hit and later killed one. Ku'uvlin hit and killed the other.The room was filled with file cabinets and a pile of records were off to one side. The stack were records of patients who have a connection to Zandalus. We found another group of records of the newest patients to arrive at the asylum. It's us. Crap. Winter was brought here to investigate us. Apparently, we all worked for Count Lowls and were living in Thrushmoor. No one in our group remembered any of this. There was a large painting off to the side. Ku'uvlin immediately took it down and turned it around. We found a tiny locked box that contained a journal with detailed clinical notes on Zandalus for the last 40 years. In the box, there was 40 gold pieces, 6 pearls and a business card for a detective agency in Thrushmoor. Brawl Dar found a new sword, Red Destiny. We decided to stick around and try to determine what some of the mystery magical items were. Talendian and Ku'uvlin couldn't figure out the candle or pearl. The last amulet with a hammer was Warrior's Courage. It can protect against fear. The file cabinet was filled with files documenting all the weird events happening at the asylum.
We left that office and tried another door. It was blocked with a cave-in. We thought it might have been a patient's room at one time. We head to a second door. Talendian casted a spell to open the door. Damn handy spell. Two cultists were inside. One mf-er was teaching to a bunch of dolls. The other was searching through storage items that once belonged to patients. Talendian froze the hand of the teacher and hit him again with the freeze spell. I hit them both with bolts. The teacher wounded me a couple of times with a blade-ruler. Bastard. Ku'uvlin mage-handed the weapon out of the scavenger and hit another with a pick a couple of times. Brawl Dar fatally crit hits one. The teacher was subdued.
From the room search, we found 3 vials (2 magical and 1 not). Ku'uvlin and Talendian found out that one vial can be applied to a weapon to give the weapon the properties of silver. Another vial contained the Oil of Aligned weapon.
There was door at the end of the hall. I did notice there was blood beading on it, but I ignored my instincts. The keys didn't work. Brawl Dar kicked it open and a tidal wave of blood crashed down on us. I got knocked out. The following were the events according to Ku'uvlin, Talendian and Brawl Dar. Brawl Dar made his way to the Losandro's office. Talendian rode the blood to Losandro's office to safety. Ku'uvlin was hiding in the doorway behind us and escaped the blood wave. He wrapped himself in a sheet and made his way to the room as well. He pulled me into the room with his pick. Ku'uvlin was able to stabilize and heal some of my wounds.
We head back towards the library. The ratlings demanded more scrolls. Rat bastards! We go back to Losandro's office and notice cobblestone paths outside.
Until next time…
1. Adapted from F. Wesley Schneider's adventure path.