The Abyss Stares Back

Dreams, Part III

We find ourselves on a dark plane with a foreboding castle looming in front of us, with tall dark towers reaching up into the sky and a dark mountain stretching up from behind it. There is a large front door banded with iron that appears to be unguarded, and a column of mist rising up from the left side of the building. We assume that the front door would be worse than it appears to be, so we head for the mist.

It is rising from a tunnel under the building, and we can tell as we get closer that the mist is very hot, though probably survivable. Mads, now a sorcerer because of insanity, travels down the tunnel by making himself immune to the heat. At the bottom, he finds a grate leading out into a bath chamber of some kind, populated by maybe sexy devils? He sends his raven back up the tunnel to tell us what he sees, but decides that he shouldn’t start a fight by himself so he comes back to us. After he describes the scene, Johanna confirms that what he saw was probably succubi that could maybe be reasoned with?

He decides to use his time rewinding watch to return to the bottom of the tunnel and opens up the grate, falling into the spa pool with one of the women who introduces herself as Kallista. She is interested in him and his purpose here, as are her three friends. They offer to open up a door to the upper floors if Mads can entertain them sufficiently. He gives it his best shot, but it turns out that they are most entertained by draining his life force.

We finally hear his screaming from the other end of the tunnel and toboggan our way down there to save him, minimizing our burnination. He doesn’t specifically need saving since the girls are done with him. They offer to party a bit more with the rest of us, but we politely decline and leave for the upper floors.

On the way up, we approach a hallway with screams emanating from it and go in to investigate. There are cells along both sides of the wall with people in them – people with their eyes closed, trapped in what looks like their own nightmares. A larger room at the end has more torture victims and a larger demon. One that is eager to fight us, it seems.

The fight ends with Mads essentially materializing inside of the demon’s chest and exploding outwards. Milosh sort of frees some of the torture victims, although they don’t seem to realize it. Mads imagines that one of the victims is Sebastian having a nightmare about climbing out of his own grave, which makes him regret his life choices even more.

We move on, coming to a small room filled with artwork, where each of us becomes immersed in a nightmare based around our own insecurities. But we defeat art through a combination of cleverness and pure stubbornness!

Next up is a dining room with Johanna’s history with our demonic target carved on the wall. According to the surely trustworthy and complete words on the wall (filtered through Mads’ inner wackiness), Lamoracanthus used to be the land itself, before his brother stole it from him and became the mists. His brother then got a champion in the form of Strahd, so Lamoracanthus got his own champion in Johanna. She needed a Synod, so he brought us. And to get us, he sent the heir, the unmoving one, Milosh.

After some grousing about the implications of all of this, we move on, all a bit crazier for the wear.



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