Don’t Speak His Name

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After finding Miacknian Mun, our party of adventurers clear out the rest of the second level of the library of the Mysterium in Katheer, as we continue our Strange Aeons adventure path.

31st Pharast, Oathday (continued)

Having got what information we could out of Miacknian Mun, we locked him up with a ring of sustenance and went to investigate the ‘trap’ which Ray had found on his first exploration of this level of the library. Ray spend some considerable time examining the area but was unable to find any signs of traps, magical or otherwise. So he carefully made his way up to the corner of the library where the angel head was located, and then backed off as he started to feel tinges of cold, heat and electricity in quick succession.

After some more discussion and examination, we come to the conclusion that it’s a haunt – the spirit of something that hasn’t been allowed to find rest in the afterlife. I try to sense a feeling of the place, and get an idea that the issue is something to do with a missing book. So after some discussion we go back and take Mun’s notebook, adding annotations to it to describe how we want to protect the library and the books within it, then mage hand the book up into the area.

There’s no bad effect, but Ray still doesn’t want to go up there, so Sheena volunteers. She runs up there and grabs the angel head, turning it to face the stairwell that goes down. However there is a surge of energy as the haunt awakens, so I try to purge it – putting it to rest permanently.

Working our way around the bookcases, we encounter a second area which seems to have a haunted feel to it, so we backtrack again. Ray tries to investigate from the other direction, and runs into one of the guards of the place. He doesn’t look too well, and stumbles slowly towards Ray, who backs off. The guard suddenly vomits onto the floor – seemingly vomiting up his internal organs leaving behind just a husk of empty skin.

The mess on the floor rapidly grows and reshapes into an oozing tentacular mass that towers up to the ceiling, reaching out for us in a most unpleasant fashion. Sheena runs at it and Gregor shoots it, and it screams with a spirit shattering noise. I summon etheric shards to try and pin it in place and cut it up, and that weakens it enough for Sheena to be able to parry one of its tentacles and then run it through with her rapier. It slumps to the floor, defeated.

Beyond where the guard was is the last angel head, which we turn to face the entrance down. There is a click, click, clunk, and all the heads turn back to their original position.

We go to check on the exit down, and realise it’s completely buried in rubble, a minor detail that we’d forgotten about. Some time later, mostly after effort from Catiana and Sheena, the rubble is cleared.

Rather than trying to open it again, Erasmus tries to talk to the remaining haunt, using his shaman magic to make contact and ask questions.

How did the haunt come about?
His name is here, and he gains strength through his name.

How do we lay you to rest?
In all the books in this library, in one is written his glorious name. Destroy that book.

What is his name?

This last was probably a bad question to ask, since when the haunt speaks the name into Erasmus’ mind his skin sprouts fungus and other infections as a curse takes effect on his body. However, Erasmus is able to find the book, and we burn it. That puts the haunt to rest, but doesn’t help Erasmus.

Rather than going down, we decide to go back up a level and get some rest, where we very carefully select sleeping arrangements that much us nowhere near Erasmus who by now is muttering about the Inmost Blot and other disturbing ideas.

That night we dreamt of strange things. We were standing on a featureless plain, with strange bone pillars and rocky cliffs which flicker in and out of existence. A couple of figures appear – indistinct and not always there. One is maybe female, maybe an elf. The other is a strange conical shape with four writhing appendages.

Maybe they are one, possible an elf than is also some form of aberration.

Samuel Penn

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