Aftermath

Aftermath Log 10

Madness Followed arc, 1

Upon reaching Gale, the group found the town in ruins – blood pooled in the streets, fires had raged unabated, and strange inhuman tracks covered the streets, and everywhere was scrawled a strange sigil the group remembered on the forehead of the white mask of the gypsy caravan. Sometimes in yellow paint, sometimes in blood, sometimes clawed into the wall, they found the sign staring back at them from every wallspace they could see. The group was further horrified to hear, within the remaining walls of the town’s buildings, sloshing slurping noises the farther into the town they moved. They had just decided to begin investigating the towns buildings when a horde of misshapen forms poured out of the former tavern and the maddened villagers began attacking the party, to be joined by the formidable visage of Saral Xern, the town’s former constable.

Just as the party was finishing putting down the townsfolk, a massive green slug (which Ian later identified as a planar aberration called a whyste) burst through the burned-out wall of the tavern. The party rushed in to destroy the creature and finish off the last of the mutated tentacular townsfolk. They then moved throughout the town to try to find some explanation for the strange transformations and madness they found in the people of Gale. While searching the the quarters of the nasiph, which the group realized must have been the space given to the players to prepare for their show, the group found a series of notes scrawled in a chaotic hand, retelling a story about a strange vision of the vast drowned city of Carcosa, and containing a list of the names of townsfolk “likely to attend” a performance. Written after the names was a final note: “Likely not enough…Lamid, perhaps?” Hidden behind the bookcase, as though left in a hurried forgetfullness, they found a strange tome, written in a language only Ian could read, and the margins filled with the same scrawling bizarre script the group found in the stack of notes.

Upon returning to the Shantytown, the group conferred. They knew that Lamid meant traveling into the territory of Eoluk, but they couldn’t bear the thought of the doom that became Gale falling on an even larger populace if they could in any way prevent it. However, this left the matter of Maegan. After some discussion, Ian decided to take Maegan and the strange book with him to Dusk, in the hope of finding healing for her and answers for the others. Mot decided to travel with them as a guard against the hazards of the wilderness, and begin her search for the woman called Lyshkara in the city of New Haven. With decisions made the group decided to rest and leave at first light, along with their new friend, the Eidonite paladin, Henric Tyrson.

The group pressed on throughout the next day, arriving at Lamid in evening. But as they drew near, they saw a city in chaos. Fires burned everywhere, and roars and strange cries echoed throughout the city. Everywhere was panic, death, and destruction. As the party drew near the city’s centered, they picked up a floating bit of rubbish that turned their hearts cold. The King’s Player’s had been here, a larger town this time, and madness followed. They moved into the city center and met a small group of guards and militia trying desperately to hold a barricade. They were introduced to the town Saral, Colbert Radcliff, who explained that violence had erupted following a flash of sickening yellow-green light at the end of the play. The guard had been called, but a huge mob now controlled the Amphitheatre and the town center, and were only just being held back by the hastily-constructed barricades. Worse, somewhere in the madness was the nasiph of Lamid, a man named Bresnik. The party was called on to rescue the mayor and put down the mob. As Ipster and Sullivan Keth moved to the rooftops to give covering fire, the party scaled the barricades and descended into the madness of the square.

The square was filled with chaos. A mob roamed the area, and the town-center was filled with pools of blood and what remained of the corpses on which the mob was feeding. At the center of the square, sunked into a natural hollow, was the Amphitheatre of Lamid, now filled with waist-deep murky foul water, and in the midst of the pool stood a man (matching Radcliff’s description of the mayor) screaming encouragement and nonsense to the roiling mob.

“The King came for us all and gave us the wisdom of lost Carcosa!” “He chose his flock and we are his children now.” “The Harbingers brought us gifts from the King in Yellow!”

The mob, already filled with a wanton bloodlust, on seeing new prey drop over the barricade, moved to attack and violence erupted in the square. Kiera was savaged by the rough hands, booted feet, and savage tentacles of the swarm. Gunfire, shrapnel and arrows rained from the rooftops. Swords clashed, blood flowed, new bodies fell to be crushed on the hard cobbles, and finally the mob scattered leaving the party to swarm and put-down the largest beast of the mob, a heavily armed swarthy brute whose head had become a mass of writhing snapping tentacles. After the mob dispersed the party separated to aid the militia in clearing the city of as many of the twisted monstrous humans they could find.

While traversing the byways and alleys of the town, Henric and Nuana Kornis were each individually confronted by a twisted winged visage that seemed to flicker toward them through the shadows until it stood toe-to-toe with them, it’s golden eyes flashing and it pungent iron-tinged sulphurous honey scent enveloping the alley. “Have you found the Yellow Sign?” it demanded. As they stood confused it demanded again, “Have you found the Yellow Sign?!” They began to explain about Gale when it cut them off demanding even more forcefully, “Have you FOUND the Yellow Sign”, and then before they could speak, it growled, “Beware. The Limper has put Reavers in your shadows. Find the Sign. Seek the King. End the Madness.” At that it leapt into the air and flew out of sight.

Still confused about the creature and its message, the party found out that in all the confusion following the flash of yellow light, the King’s Players had headed out of town on the road toward Eoluk’s chief keep, Wight Hall. The group rested for the night, and then mounted swift horses and headed out the next morning, hoping to reach Wight Hall in time to prevent the large city falling to the fate of Lamid and Gale.

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Qoheleth

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