The Thing in the Attic

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We continue our exploration of the Old Infirmary from the previous session of our Pathfinder game of Strange Aeons. With the exception of something bad in the attic, most of the dangers have been dealt with so there is more time to look around and try to pick up clues, as well as being haunted by the voice of the disembodied elf.

Sunday, 27th Pharast, 4716, continued

With the Derro having escaped down into the depths of the building, we decided to try and see whether there was anything of interest on the upper floors. The three score or so skins that were arranged around the room seemed to be of various races, not just humans. On closer inspection, they had ‘faces’ – eyes and mouths in the middle of the stretched out skin. What was even more disturbing, was that they seemed to have fasteners and holes in them that would allow them to be ‘worn’. This was not right.

Whilst we looked around, a sudden noise came from above – the sound of footsteps, and then a creaking noise and the entire building seemed to ‘shimmy’ to the side. Then a voice spoke in our minds.

It reaches its tendrils through the minds of those who know of it. It reaches beyond the veil of dreams. Hurry.

What the elf said the eighth time

My sister looked shaken by the noises, as did Gregor, and neither wanted to go up to investigate. Sheena however wanted to see what was causing the noises, so climbed up the ladder to a trap door and tried to force it open. However, it seemed like something was blocking it – she managed to push it open slightly, and ivy seemed to push its way down through the gap – ivy with putrid yellow berries.

I tried to ignore the noises, and find several sheets of paper clutched in the hands of the dead hollow one – they seemed to be remnants of some scribbled notes. They mention something about an otherworldly protector of the Mysterium and the Soul within an iron puzzle box, but there’s not enough here to really make sense. One fragment seems to be a note, which says “Afterward, meet with Biting Lash. A ship has been arranged.”

Who is Biting Lash? And a ship arrange for where? Lastly there is a note that reads “Swivel heads in the right direction to delve deeper”, scrawled in the margins around pictures of angels.

Having recovered her composure, Catiana goes incorporeal, dropping her amulet to the floor as she does so making me pick it up. She floats up to the ceiling and through it, entering into an attic room filled with ivy as well as a sickening scent of decay. The roof arches up to a point, and light filters in through broken windows mostly covered with ivy. By now Sheena has managed to force open the trapdoor, and clambers up to join Catiana, shortly followed by Ray.

The ivy seems to be wrapped around some empty void up in the ceiling, so Catiana pierces the veil hiding it, and sees a thing lurking there – a tree-like beast on broad hooves, with a faceless, eyeless oval bod ringed with gaping, whistling mouths. Long grasping tentacles reach down grasping towards us.

It seems to speak words, which drive Ray insane and leaving him to babble incoherently in the corner. Catiana becomes ectoplasmic, stepping in to fight it and Sheena dives foward at the now visible beast, stabbing furiously with her rapier.

By now Erasmus and Gregor have climbed up, and Erasmus summons a pillar of fire onto it. It seems to dislike this, and its tentacles reach out and grasp at him, almost crushing him to death. Between us though, we eventually defeat it, and its body drops to the ground.

It sends its tendrils through their minds to gather its strength, but despite your knowledge you are clean. You can stop it. Don’t let it infect this world and serve it to Carcosa.

What the elf said the ninth time

Erasmus has to put Ray to sleep to prevent him from hurting himself or us, and Catiana carries him downstairs. Meanwhile, the rest of us finish our search of the upper floors. Amongst other things, we find a pamphlet written in Kellish, which seems to be a visitors guide to the Mysterium in Katheer, an envelope containing the deeds to the building, a brain in a jar labelled “A. Weigs” and various bits of jewellery. Sheena investigates the jar containing some skin which flaps around and asks to be freed, but we cover it over and try to ignore it.

It is late afternoon by the time we head back to the inn, where we meet up with Winter Klazcka who is able to Heal Ray’s insanity. We talk to her about what we found there – she is somewhat bothered by the skins, especially the loose skin in a jar that was asking to be released.

Moonday, 28th Pharast, 4716

After having had a good night’s rest, we head back to the old infirmary with Winter and explore more of the upper floors. I try to get a sense of any psychic echoes lingering on the items we find, though this leaves me feeling more unnerved than before.

On the first floor are some paintings which we mostly ignored previously, but they have a hint of magic about them. There is an unsettling cityscape, a drowned city, a picture of people dancing and the swirling maelstrom of Hell.

Ray tries to examine the picture of dancing people, and seems to trigger a magical trap which causes us all to be overcome with a sudden desire to dance. Fortunately it doesn’t last too long. The painting of Hell triggers something worse – a Dorvae crawls out of the painting, which chases us down to the ground floor until we are able to drive it off.

It seems that each time we look further through the infirmary, we find more things which we don’t like. So far though there is no sign of Miacknian Mun, so we probably need to delve further and deeper.

Next session.

Samuel Penn

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