In the morning, we learned that Juglan has escaped and that the chaplain (who had been transformed into a ghoul) was strangled. The survivor-guard, Denman Winopress, had fallen asleep, and apologized profusely for doing so during his shift.
Talendian and Ku'uvlin attempt to identify the multiple items in our possession.
- From Dr. Oathsday: a +1 dagger (carried by Luna), a handy haversack containing 3 platinum and a pearl radiating powerful magic (carried by Kuuvlin), and a Phylactery of Faith in a box with Pharasma engraved on it (carried by Kuuvlin). Brawl Dar claimed a set of well kept surgical tools. A potion, packet powder, and syrup remain a mystery.
- From the chaplain's office, a restoration wand with 40 charges, Incense of Open Thought which allow for telepathic communication with animals in the vicinity, and a candle which remains a mystery.
- From Dr. Losandro's office, three wooden talismans:
- the first, engraved with a cross, which will automatically provide heading power 4d7+7 HP when the bearer falls below half hp, then crumble to dust;
- the second, engraved with a set of wings, will automatically cast feather fall when the bearer falls over five feet once per day;
- the third, engraved with a hammer, remains a mystery.
I tried to get more bolts from from the survivors, but Winter wouldn't allow it. There were now two barricades in the hallway outside the chapel – the one we originally came across and the one facing the door. The survivor-guards facing the newer one kept the mirror at hand to prevent the Argus Eye from growing back.
Outside the weather continued raining and foggy – all the trees which we had gathered food from had died. There was about a week's supply of food left for the survivors. We decided to head go to the kitchens to search for more more food.
We headed through the front reception hall of the Briarstone Asylum to the eastern wing, where the patient's quarters were. After considering our options, we decided to avoid the library – as it was apparently ratling territory – and we didn't want to risk going outside. As we approached the semi-collapsed areas of the eastern wing, we could make out the Eastern Garden to our left side. Through the sickly yellow fog drifting in from our left, we could hear the screeches and tittering of the winged creature that had thrown me to the ground (after tickling me…). We could see that the stairs to second floor had completely collapsed.
We crawled through the rubble into the intact eastern patient's quarters. It was dark and, other than the sound of the rain from the Eastern Courtyard behind us, the only sound we heard ahead was of something feeding. We approached slowly, and through the dim light, it appeared that whatever was eating was hiding behind a curtain in an alcove, and whatever it was feeding on left a bloody trail of ichor to its hiding place. Brawl-Dar stepped forward and pulled open a curtain to reveal a ghoul feasting on a human femur. Tolendian and I blasted it with spells and bolts, but the creature quickly fled down the hallway into the darkness.
Now that the curtains were drawn, ambient light broke the gloom a bit. I approached the window, commenting on how the rain had stopped and the thick fog was dissipating. As I wiped the condensation from the window to get a clearer view, some … thing … struck the window. A formless mass of flesh covered in eyeballs and mouths smacked onto the window, and slid down, leaving a trail of slime. I jumped back and closed the curtain, not getting a clear view of what the shape was attached. to.
We explored some of the patient rooms past the rubble, to the south. The first room appeared empty and unused. The second room appeared to be Debis and his brother's room, where we collected some chess knights under the beds. The third room had three dead bodies – two were cultists. Tolendian find a very fine pair of boots. The fourth has a chewed up body, missing the femur.
As we continued down the hallway exploring patient rooms, we began to notice an astringent smell. We proceeded to what appeared to be a admitting for new patients, with a strong smell of rubbing alcohol. Curtains drawn across the room divided it in half, and on the other side of the curtains, saw steady light. Tolendian pointed out that it must be magical, as it didn't flicker. He pulled the curtains open with a mage hand, revealing piles of filthy rags and a lantern resting on a chair. The lantern contained a flame, but it didn't flicker. "Strange…" said Tolendian, as Brawl Dar reached out for the lantern. As soon as he touched it, the flame flickered rapidly and the oil drained, and the light went out in seconds. As we stood bewildered by this, we heard sloshing sounds and movement under a pile of rags. Bloated puss-filled pustules crawled slowly toward us.
Tolendian torched the first with burning hands, while I shot the second, causing acidic pus to spray over Brawl Dar and Ku'uvlin. Brawl Dar cleaved at the creature while Ku'uvlin hacked at it with his pick. Tolendian shot a magic missile at the creature and I shot again, hits the same creature with another bolt. Brawl Dar again struck the creature and was splashed with burning goo as it burst.
As we gathered our breath and tended to our wounds, we felt an earthquake. We heard the sound of collapsing rubble and from down the hallway to the north, a cloud of dust wafted towards us. The second floor had fully collapsed, blocking our retreat from the patient's residence. We could see a door leading outside to the south. A stone path led to another door to the west. The fog was thinner and we saw no horrors outside. As we debated whether or not to risk going outside, we heard a sound from behind us. The ghoul had been watching us. As soon as it saw us, it scampered off into the hallway towards kitchens in the north.
We headed north, past more patient's quarters. A long room with a row of beds separated by curtains lay empty, except for a man, manacled to one of the beds. He appeared asleep, but in the midst of a nightmare. He shouted "No, stay away, get away… No!" He stopped thrashing and lay still. His mouth opened and yellow mist poured out. We stood agape as his flesh tightened around his body, claws grew on his hands, and his skin turned a sickly pallor. As he transformed into a ghoul before our eyes, Brawl Dar stepped forward and chopped his heads off. Tolendian read his patient chart: Jeprin Mears. In a supply cabinet we found a straightjacket and hoodwink cowl.
We continued north into the a large dayroom. Tables, couches, and chairs were haphazardly scattered around the room. In the middle of the room, a woman sat unmoving in a wheelchair, blood dripping from her body. It pooled on the floor and was running in a stream to a hall in the west. At the end of the hall, it pooled up vertically, creating a wall of blood.
Walking around the blood stream, we came to a window to the north leading to a nursing station. In the station a door stood ajar, from which we heard voices and saw a light. Brawl Dar climbed through window and knocked on door. Three men and women with yellow robes and rags were inside, digging through the cabinets. Empty bottles and syringes littered the floor. The cultists each had a yellow flame painted on his head. One of them looked up at Brawl Dar. "Have you seen the yellow sign?" Brawl Dar answered innocently "Of course …" The cultist emphatically pointed at his forehead "But how can you see the yellow sign?" He reached over to Brawl Dar's forehead and dug his finger in. Brawl Dar, nodded in agreement. "Well, perhaps you can help me see?" One of the other cultists passed over a small vial to the leader, who applied it to Brawl Dar's forhead. "Let me have your robes," Brawldar said, but none give them up. The leader explained that they been sent to gather supplies, but were now cut off from the rest of the Apostles. The Apostles had taken refuge in the dining area. However, the area leading into the dining area was now darkened and a thing was guarding it.
Brawl Dar entered the room, and it was competition dark, snuffing out his lantern light. A complete darkness that was unnatural. He heard dozens of voices of patients and doctors whispering. As he felt his around room, felt something brush his arm, a sharp prick, as if a creature such as a cat bit his arm. He tried to call out but, now sound emitted from his throat. He felt enervated and fatigued, stumbling out of the darkness towards me, Ku'uvlin, and Tolendian. Ku'uvlin used the Wand of Restoration to reinvigorate Brawldar.
While Brawldar had been with the cultists, Ku'uvlin was trying to deal with the stream of blood. He first built a build a makeshift dam with the furniture to try and block the stream of blood to no avail. The blood forced is way through, breaking the dam after being momentarily diverted. Mean while, I heard sounds emanating from a closet. Exploring, I found an orderly with multiple stab wounds hiding behind some bins. Her name is Denera Hobs. She explained that was grievously wounded by cultists while she tried to protect some of the patients. She had been hiding in the closet for two days and having nightmares about a figure in tattered rags stalking her. She appeared to be human so Ku'uvlin agreed to heal her. Denera recognized the woman in the wheelchair as Vera Freeling, a sweet but hypochondriac old lady. "She was one of the patients I was trying to protect."
Wounded and running low on energy, we chose, to brave the garden path we noticed earlier. We opened the door, the fog, while sickly yellow, was thin. Denera walked outside first, and as she made her way along the path, the earth started to boil, as hundreds of tiny snorting worms surged up and onto her legs and. We followed, trying our best to avoid being engulfed by the snorting swarm.
We made our way through the door at the other end of the path. Bursting into the visitor room that we had explored day before, everything was as we had left it. The bodies of two cultists remained – one impaled on a set of antlers hanging from the wall, and another crumpled in the fireplace. Brawldar reached for the cultist in the fireplace, overcoming his fear of the corpse. "You won't be needing this anymore, my friend, and Brawldar needs it to join the cult!" As he removed the clothes, taxidermied birds in a cage in the middle of the room, began chirping pleasantly. This was short-lived however, as the chirping became klaxons. We rushed out of the room, but Brawl Dar continued removing the robes. He was lifted bodily into the air and thrown against the wall. He crawled over to the robes and finished removing them before being lifted and thrown again. He fled the room with robes, kicking the cage over on his way out.
We finally returned to the chapel and reported to Winter. We had been unsuccessful in retrieving food, but she was glad to see we had found another survivor.
Seeing that we were exhausted, she promised to explain more about why she was at Briarstone Asylum in the morning. As Ku'uvlin completed his meditation, he had a vision of a blonde man, Zandalus, who cried out "What can I do? While I stir, he stalks in dreams! While I sleep, he walks again! Please help me!"