Strange Aeons

Chronicles of One Luna Teak: Day 4 and 5

The possessed body of Administrator Losandro fell sideways into the massive pool of blood with a sickening wet thud. Everything was silent as the rainbow mists slowly dissipated. Outside, we could hear the sound of rain beating against the large windows to the north of her office. To the south, directly in front of Losandro's body and the pool of blood, was a large desk. To our left was a wrought iron spiral staircase leading up to a small loft. Two doors led from the room, one to the southeast, and the other to the southwest, from where we cam.

We made a quick search of the room and found some interesting, morbid curios: a brass sculpture of pyramid, bookends depicting decomposing figures, and a wooden box carved with the shape of a brain. Searching through Losandro's desk, we found a magnifying glass, 2 vials of alchemist's kindness, smelling salts, 4 doses of antitoxin, 2 vials of opium, 3 scrolls, magical incense and candle, and three talismans, the first with a winged figure, the second being a cross on a leather cord, and the third a hammer on a chain. The loft contained a small library, but nothing magical, so we left the books. Searching Losandro's body, we discovered a ring of keys, potions, and Dr. Losandro's journal. As Brawl Dar and Ku'uvlin searched the room, something caught my eye. A number of grotesque paintings were lined against the northern wall, in between the windows facing the north garden. Under each painting was a name plate bearing the name Ulver Zandalus and a date, ranging from 4687 to 4716. I was drawn in, utterly engrossed, feeling as if I were falling through unnatural angles into cyclopean landscapes. Ku'uvlin put his hand on my shoulder, shocking me out of my fugue, before I was drawn in too far, but I felt cold and shaken to the depths of my soul. "It's not good to stare too long at those paintings, Luna. Take it from me…"

Looking outside, we could see the already fog dimmed day was receding into night. We needed to hurry back to the chapel, as we were still nursing our wounds and exhausted. From Administrator Losandro's office, it was a short journey short through the research labs and doctor's offices to the library, and out the second story window. However, we were concerned about being attacked again by monkey-rats in the library. Ku'uvlin pointed down the west hall of the research labs, to a collapsed section of rubble. "There's some kind of trail of slime running down this hall," he muttered. "But look, that collapsed section to the west looks like the northern section of the courtyard near the chapel or the collapsed hallway where we fought with the shapeshifting doppleganger."

Brawl Dar and I began clearing the rocks – noisy work. Ku'uvlin kept watch, continually jumping at the whispered voices, chittering, and skittering sounds coming from down the hallway. "Luna, come here, listen…" I stood near him but didn't hear anything. "You're just jumpy, Ku'uvlin." As he tried to convince me that there was really something in the hallway, we heard a loud exclamation "Brawl Dar is doing it!" As rocks flew back into the hallway from the ruins, a thin yellow mist began seeping into the hallway, and we could hear the sound of the thunderstorm outside, sounding disturbingly like laughter. Brawl Dar let out a belly laugh as he heaved rocks "Ku'uvlin was right! Our little miner!" We redoubled our efforts and the pallid yellow fog poured into the hallway. 

"Uh, Luna, there's definitely something here…" Ku'uvlin shrieked as some … things brushed past him and a horde of rats poured out of the mists, crawling, biting, and clawing at him. Three monkey-rats suddenly blinked into visibility as, as they chanted in Aklo, bursts of energy striking Brawl Dar and I the last thing I remember.

Day 5

I woke up in a dark room, my heart racing and my head cloudy. I fumbled around, feeling for my weapons and a light. My hand touched something wet and slimy on the ground. Ku'uvlin quietly chanted a spell and a crack of light appeared in our lantern. He explained "That's a trail of slime on the ground leading from the hallway into this room," as he adjusted the door of the lantern. He sat, a grim look on his face. "Ku'uvlin, I saw … things … while we slept." He nodded, knowingly. Brawl Dar bolted up, sword in hands. We stared at him, and after a moment he got his bearings. "Brawl Dar had bad dreams!" We all had bad dreams, bad enough that Ku'uvlin was not able to meditate and refresh his spells. 

"Why didn't those rat-monkey's kill us?" I wondered. Brawl Dar and Ku'uvlin were at a loss to explain. After the initial assault they retreated back into to the fog, apparently. I peeked around the crumbling wall of the room into the hallway. I could see about six meters down the hall, into to billowing yellow fog that was now coming through the openings in the pile of rubble. It was still too small to squeeze through. Other than the strong whistling sound of wind outside, I heard only silence. Rather than risk another attack while we attempted to clear rubble, Ku'uvlin, Brawl Dar, and I decided to try to sneak back through the library and out the window.

As we quietly approached the library, we heard no scampering or chittering. We quickly climbed the spiral stairs to the second story and approached the broken window, from which yellow fog was billowing into the library. Ku'uvlin scanned the room while Brawl Dar removed the ladder from the window and placed it outside. As Ku'uvlin started descending the ladder into the western courtyard, a book struck me on the back of my head. The monkey-rats were throwing books at us! I could hear them chittering in Aklo (a very difficulty language to understand) "Leave! Library belong ratling!" As I started climbing down, Ku'uvlin scanned the sky with his crossbow drawn and Brawl Dar continued. "Uhf! Don't throw books little rats! Books for reading!" As Brawl Dar began climbing down, a I attempted to stabilize the ladder against the foetid smelling wind. Brawl Dar nearly tumbled down as the ratlings grabbed the top of the ladder and began pulling it up. The wind blew stronger, and Ku'uvlin cried out "I hear that thing giggling, hurry up!" We ran through the courtyard to the western ward of the asylum as the ratlings pulled the ladder up and continued throwing books at us. 

We made it back to the chapel, where we met the robed elf from our dream with the ragged stalker. He introduced himself as Talendian. He had a similar dreams, in which he was stalked and murdered by the ragged creature with the blade, and awoke with no memory of his past life. He was escorted by guards to the chapel, where he met with Winter and introduced to the group. As he rested in the chapel, he gathered a pen and paper, and began scribbling madly, until he realized he was writing spells. He was a wizard! Talendian used his newly rediscovered magic to find secret doors and magic, but to no avail. He spoke with Juglan Rivercaine in the basement dungeon, but Juglan said very little other than "Zandalas sees!" and "Praise!". 

We finally were able to get some rest. Waking up in the early evening, we discovered that Baisley, our friendly somnambulistic patient was missing. We searched the area near the laundry where we had battle Dr. Oathsday - she had been doing gruesome experiments. Talendian found Baisley curled up on one of the tables asleep, amidst the corpses. She told us that she had a terrible nightmare of being stalked by the ragged figure in tattered yellow robes.

We were now faced with a dilemma – were were stuck in the western hall of the asylum. The gruesome eyeball door was blocking our passageway to the east. The ratlings had blocked our passageway through the library. We pondered what to do and I recalled the nightmare that I had after I was knocked out by the winged creature – I was washing my face, and my eye began itching. As I scratched it, it swole and blistered, gruesome pulsating veins reaching from it into my cheek and forehead. The eye grew bigger and bigger, and a soft weeping filled the air. I resisted the compulsion to turn away, and as I stared at the eye, the weeping grew more intense, as the eye shriveled and the veins retreated, finally returning my eye to normal.

Brawl Dar, inspired, went to the chaplain's office and grabbed a mirror hanging on the wall. He carried it to the hallway and I pulled the curtain back. Before us, the Argus Eye began to dissolve and dissipate into the ether. We propped the mirror nearby and went east through through the door into the foyer of the asylum. This was the area that Ku'uvlin had explored earlier. To the north was the library. To the east was a hallway leading to the patient's quarters. To the south was the front door, leading outside, to the pallid, yellow mist.

In the silence, I opened a storage closet. Cleaning supplies were scattered on the ground; the back wall of the room was collapsed. I stepped over the debris and rubble, crossbow in one hand and lantern in the other, and tripped over something large on the ground. As I focused the light on the object, I gave a cry in panic as I realized what this was. Half a dozen bodies were laid out in a row, cloth bags covering their heads. Brawl Dar, Ku'uvlin, and I cowered in the corner, terrified at what might come out of the bodies if they were disturbed. Talendian chuckled at our fear and examined the bodies. "Interesting. It appears they were all strangled, and the bags placed over their heads after they were killed."

We returned to the cathedral to rest.

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