Dream Evil

Tribe 8 – RPG/TRPG Session

Run by Chris (alcoholandaphorism)

Tribe Members;

Lady Quinn – Me

Brhyannon – Jason (jymmijamz) ABSENT

Aulderush – Will

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Ghost Hunt

It is becoming a late autumn evening as Aulderush stands there in the pale moonlight, realising that the ghost of Jackers the Joanite, is even now as he stands, walking his way back to the Vimary, and more than likely going the way of the bridge from Hom.  Aulderush and Lady Quinn stand there looking at each other wondering what to do next.  The water nearby lapping against the shore in the dark silence.

Considering how far the ghost could have got to by now, and the possibility of where it will be by now.  They decide to quickly head out right now and try to see if they can cut the ghost to the chase.  Hoping to catch it before it crosses the bridge out from Hom.  Immediately securing the dead body of the Joanite out of sight, they quickly head west along the coast.

Avoiding the main settlement area where the Squats are camped. Aulderush leads them around a safe direction, along long forgotten path and track ways.  Coming very close to an odd settlement or two, hearing the voices and chanting nearby.  Soon they see the main path to the bridge before them.  A cold thick mist creeping across the ground underfoot.  The mist gradually envelopes everything as they make their way to the path, feeling a dampness on their feet.  And with luck, through the mist they see a white shadow slowly edging it’s way forwards towards the bridge.  The flesh they can see as they get closer is peeling from it and dissipating as it falls away.  The ghost form of Jackers is coughing as it makes it’s way forward.  The gaping wound in it’s throat visible.  His hands clasped to his chest as he stumbles forward.  The pale red colour barely visible through the grey form.

The ghost makes several steps before stumbling, looking down and reaching out as it stops.  Then it looks up at the gateway to the bridge and begins to walk again.  It appears that the ghost is laboured with each step, making several before slowing, stumbling, reaching out and then beginning again, it’s eyes focused on the other side of the bridge.  Aulderush and Lady Quinn race towards it, glad to have found it with ease.

Aulderush steps before the ghost and calls out the Joanite’s name, Jackers.  The ghost pauses for a moment looking at him, muttering something before taking another step forward.  “Toms are cold.  Toms are cold.”  It makes it’s way around Aulderush carrying forward.  Aulderush turns to watch it slowly pass.  “Toms are cold.  Toms are colder.  The foul fiend vexes.  Aaahhh…”  Aulderush begins a small meditation.

Aulderush connects with the River of Dreams again.  Feeling the lapping of the cold water against his flesh.  He focuses on the ghost before him, and encourages him to turn back towards the Cage, binding him to where he was slayed.  With a pained expression crossing the ghost’s face, it reluctantly turns with difficulty and makes it’s way towards the location of the Cage.  It’s hands reach out to the Vimary as he turns away, tears running down it’s cheeks.  “Nooo.  No.  I’ve come so far.  No.  Don’t die.  Don’t let me forget…….”  His face turns back towards the way he is now walking, his expression goes blank.  The ghost looks empty and quiet now, as if nothing but an ethereal shell.

Toying with his inner emotions and considering what to do with this ghost, which will ultimately not stay in Hom for long, Aulderush reluctantly settles on taking a more serious action to deal with the ghost for good.  Entering the River of Dreams through his meditation, he searches out the ghost in the Dreams.  Lady Quinn helping out with a group ritual and her somewhat connection with death.  Lady Quinn holds her tainted blades within her hands, concentrating on the lives they have taken.  Aulderush feeling the air around him becoming colder and colder, as the mist wrap around him in a lover’s embrace.

Aulderush and Jackers are the only ones stood there in the dream veil.  The Joanite turns to look at Aulderush, staring at him, noticing that Aulderush’s eyes are as black as death.  The world falls away, hearing a loud roaring tempest on the outside.  The rushing of water sounding like screams.  Then like a dam bursting, the water surges forward like a tsunami.  Jackers screams a muted scream, the edge of his skin flayed by the razor sharp water.  And then the ghost of Jackers the Joanite is gone, the mists around Aulderush suddenly drop and gone.  Finding himself now stood back in Hom next to Lady Quinn, aware that the ghost is now lost to the River of Lost Souls.

Taken from site - activeperformingarts.org.uk

Looking at where the ghost had once stood, Aulderush feels so very tired.  The first rays of a new day slowly creeping over the horizon.  With haste, and in their tired state, both Aulderush and Lady Quinn quickly make their way back to the place they had left the body of the Joanite.  Again they avoid all the camps and shantytowns of the Squats, skirting the edges and head back east to the location beneath the bridge.  It seems to take longer to get back there, Aulderush struggling on through the pain of his old wounds and the tiredness.

They find the secured corpse where they left it.  The sun now getting higher in the sky, they can see the body is rotting in the daylight, small creatures starting to feast on the decomposing flesh.  Lady Quinn suggests to Aulderush to go ahead and rest while she tends to the dead body.  She finds some kind of weights to tie to the corpse, and then toss it in to the water to sink without a trace.  And then she keeps watch over Aulderush, allowing him to have a pained nightmarish rest.  Herself feeling exhausted now as the morning creeps on to midday.

While Lady Quinn takes her turn to rest, Aulderush tends to making some more pain killers for himself, the pain of his old wounds getting the better of him.  His disturbed sleep didn’t help, waking from dreams that seemed real, solid, like something brushing against him.  His first batch aren’t created very well, struggling as he does with his foggy mind.  He takes a sip without realising gurgling it in his mouth, and then quickly disgorges it back up, his body instinctively reacting to what he is now aware of him nearly ingesting a poison.  His throat is burning like hell, and his mind is now fully clear.  With only one batch of herbs left he carefully makes his last batch, taking his time.

Now late in the afternoon, and Aulderush feeling less pained and all with it.  The two Fallen, Aulderush and Lady Quinn head back in to the Hallows, wanting to stop off and see Barber in the hope of procuring some more herbs.  The dark starts creeping over the sky as they draw near to the large metal wheel once again.  Shadows begin to form around the buildings and ruined structure as they make their way.  Furtive movements and muffled noises keeping them on edge, but luckily it is not as bad as when they last ventured this way, no one is trying to take the wheel now giving up on the idea.

Barber greets them as they come close.  He has already been lowered and stands on the ground.  He asks if they have come to take another watch.  Aulderush, after their initial greetings, asks Barber if he has any herbs that he can acquire.  He doesn’t admit it to Aulderush, but states that this is not his usually trade.  He does believe he can procure some for him, asking what Aulderush has for trade.  He looks at Lady Quinn suggesting that she may have some drinks to trade in, but she just looks over at Aulderush.  Aulderush says he prefers to pay his way.

After some haggling, Barber puts the cost to Lady Quinn’s drinks tap up.  So she just tells him in no simpler terms than to fuck, saying she will remember how helpful he was.  Barber shrugs and turns back to Aulderush to see what he can put forward.  So reluctantly Aulderush tosses his two medical books at barber, which he digs them out from the bottom of his bag.  Barber takes a look over the Evan manuscripts, tossing one back saying that the one he is keeping is enough for now.

Aulderush and Lady Quinn spend the night resting near to the wheel, feeling it better to get a full nights sleep before confronting Dain Hadis.  Again Aulderush wakes with a feeling of someone or something been pressing against his throat and gasping for breath.  A light frost is gently caressing everything as they make their way to the glass plains where the temple is situated far to the east.

As they approach the temple, a woman’s voice commands down from the parapets above.  “Halt all those who approach the Doomsayers hallowed grounds.”  They look up to see several guards with bows drawn and notched pointing down.  Aulderush and Lady Quinn stop and hold their hands to the side and open, showing they have come unarmed.  When asked Aulderush introduces himself as such, and then turns to introduce Lady Quinn.  Lady Quinn gives a deep theatrical bow.  They allow them to pass, giving them instructions as to where to head, and warning them not to enter unless they are asked.

Taken from site - myanimelist.net

They walk along cold passageways and up winding stone stairs, half worn away from age.  Glancing within to open rooms as they pass, they can see people with scarifications on ruined tiles floors.  No pattern now viewable only the cold grey concrete beneath.  In the distance they can hear humming and chanting, the noise sounding like it is vibrating through the walls and stone columns.  As they climb higher they can see light breaking through from the roof above.

One person stops and turns to Aulderush as he passes, muttering that it is him, the one who helped the servant of Halos.  Then the person and those around him look up reverentially at him, asking for Aulderush to speak highly of them to Dain Hadis.  Then the guard that addressed them out side comes down and instructs them to a side staircase, stating that it is where she awaits them.

After climbing the stairs they head along another corridor, this one more dank with dark mould growing on the walls.  Some bright coloured tapestries are hung in places to cover this, depicting abstract symbolism of possibly anger or mystery.  At the end of the corridor is another winding stairs up, and as they arrive at the foot of the stair a woman wrapped in turquoise clothes comes crashing down, bouncing on the cold hard floor.  “Right!  And next time, when I say pain is a great teacher, don’t take it so literally and put six blades through your labia!  You fucking moron.  Go off, think about it, and when you have two fucking brain cells to rub together, come back and tell me exactly why you are so stupid.”  Dain Hadis is stood at the top of the stairs looking down with a sigh she spots Aulderush and Lady Quinn.  “Oh it’s you two.”  She turns muttering something about Halos always annoying her by being right.  She then tells them to hurry up and come in, demanding to know what they want.

Cinnamon and Batwings

After many insults directed at both of them from Dain Hadis, Aulderush manages to get across the point of his visit.  To discuss the vision she had.  Once she knows the reason of their intrusion she commands them to sit down and to shut up, to not say a word or even play with themselves.  She is going to need all the concentration she can muster now.  Lady Quinn ignores all the comments from Hadis, only maybe giving a smile, holding her head high.

Dain Hadis then goes over and rummages through an old wooden chest, pulling out a large spherical stone, probably about twice the size of a fist.  This she places on the ground in the centre.  She then etches a circle around this object on the ground.  Once done she sits before it cross legged.

Aulderush and Lady Quinn begin to feel a sweat break out on their brows, then the room seems to shake and cracks form in the walls around them.  Tendrils spreading out from the cracks, faces visible for brief moments within.  A nausea swells within them as anger and rage of everything around them bangs from within.  Dain Hadis sags for a moment before her head snaps up, her eyes rolled to the back of her skull.  She then plants her hand on the stone, and the ground cracks beneath it.  Hadis bites down on her lower lip through the pain, blood trickling down her chin.  She mutters “No you don’t you fucker, not this time.”  Bits of dust and stone swirl around, particles dropping in to their hair.  Suddenly everything goes hazy and they feel light headed.

Dain Hadis stands up, picks up the stone object from the floor.  There seems to be a chain attached to it now.  She tosses the object over her shoulder.  She asks them if they know what has happened, again being insulting as she does so.  She tells them that they are now in the dreaming.  There was also so foreboding that came near, that was not for her and she didn’t care for it, plus Halos whispered in her ear about the mark of Joshua on this, Dain Hadis tells them.  “Congratulation.  You’re here, walk where you will.  Try to not get killed, and if you learn any useful information do tell me.”

Dain Hadis turns to Lady Quinn and tells her that she hadn’t thought to learn how to use the dreams useful.  She rolls her eyes and sighs, and then walks over to her and goes to slam her hand on Lady Quinn’s head.  Lady Quinn blocks her believed attack, so Dain Hadis tells her to stop being an idiot.  Allowing Dain Hadis to put her hand on the forehead, Lady Quinn moves her hand reluctantly but keeping her eyes on her.  “How are you with pain?”  Dain Hadis asks.  Lady Quinn just smiles back.  Then a pain shoots through her skull like a knife being rammed in.  Lady Quinn winches and bite down on her lips but utters no scream.  Then a scent of cinnamon invades her senses and she can suddenly remember her forgotten dreams.

Then with a wave of her hand, Dain Hadis demands for them to get out of there, and the back wall disappears revealing a perfectly still ocean.  A massive ball rising in the sky, water still dripping from it, this being the moon climbing high.  Aulderush knows that this is the River of Dreams.  The moon a perfect silver and a fire dancing on the sun so close in the sky.  Lady Quinn stands up and begins to walk out looking back at Aulderush.

Taken from site - richardcassaro.com

They walk on the water, a frosty path beneath their feet.  Aulderush can see a dark human shape, a hole where a person used to exist.  He can also hear far distant screams from the lost.  They can both smell the scent of cinnamon in the air around them.  This brings to mind her dreams so Lady Quinn shares this information with Aulderush.  Telling him that a pale blue woman was invading her dreams and asking for him, the smell is associated with her.

As they talk about the scent and how it seems to be turning up in odd places.  Lady Quinn asks him why they are actually in the River of Dreams.  And then there is a light lilting laughter behind them.  Turning they see the pale blue skinned woman, her totally white eyes and aquamarine silks standing there.

“A pleasure to finally meet your acquaintance Aulderush.  It has been quite difficult to enter your dreams, unlike our good Lady Quinn here.  She has been most helpful with bits of information on what has been happening.”  Lady Quinn looks daggers at her, growling under her breath.  She then tells Aulderush how impressed she was with his actions against the ghost earlier.

Aulderush asks the woman why she wishes to speak with him.  She tells him it has to do with loose ends, and how good he has been with dealing with them.  “I have not had to do anything since I have been here.  Do you not remember the first time we met, back when your mentor was trying to kill that poor old woman.”  Aulderush admits to being aware of a presence.  She tells him if he was aware of her other presence, like when she killed his mentor the following day.  The woman then goes on to tell of how Jackers the Joanite seems to be picking up on things and was coming to see him.  And as Aulderush seems to know more than she would like, this would not be good, especially if the Terrashibans where to find out.  “Now no one likes the Terrashibans do they?  Lets face it, if it wasn’t for them you would all be back in the bosom of the Tribe.”

Aulderush ignores her teases and gets to the point of asking what it is that she wants.  She asks if he means short term or long.  Then she asks if they would love to have some green tea, and promptly begins to set up the ceremony.  “This only really exists in dreams anymore.  Such a shame.  I saw the first in a Keeper’s mind once, and couldn’t help myself craft it in here.”  She begins to boil some water as she places a few measures of green powder in to a ceramic vessel.  She then pours the water in to the bowl and begins to mix the concoction with a delicate bamboo whisk.  The water turning green and frothy.

The woman talks as she sees to the tea.  She tells them how Terrashiban has too much control over the Tribes, claiming authority where she doesn’t.  This of course would bode ill for Hom as she is stringent compared to her Fatima which is more of the subtle things.  She tells Aulderush that they need to be able to make little changes, little tweaks here and there to keep things moving smoothly.  The woman pushes over a small ceramic bowl to both Aulderush and Lady Quinn, turning the bowl several times, offering them good health as she takes a sip from her own.

The woman then gets down to business, stating how she worries how difficult Aulderush’s mind is to erase, and offers to make the Terrashibans restrained for allowing her to take his memory of her and her kind from his mind.  Aulderush states that she is gaining everything and he is receiving nothing.  The woman sighs, telling that they had thought to send someone in the brutally murder him.  She asks what it is that he wants.  They talk about the safety of Hom, Aulderush wishing to keep it safe, while the woman couldn’t careless.  Aulderush tells of them wanting to find an artefact.  And when prompted again, Aulderush asks for information and assistance on the task of finding the artefact..  She sighs, “Oh very well.  You gain yourself a seasoned dream traveller for your vision quest.”

The moon carries on climbing in the sky, and the pale blue cinnamon woman leads them on through the River of Dreams, stepping up the water droplets from the moon until they reach the surface.  By the time they are upon the surface they are so very high up looking down.  They can see spirits flying back and forth, diving in and out of the ocean on wings.  “I believe this will be your vision now.  Let watch and see, it should be interesting.”  The woman steps back.

Being as high up as far as they can go, the three look down amongst the tall grey monstrosities, buildings from the world before, reaching up and nearly touching the sky.  Screams seem to echo from within the centre of the darkness.  There in the centre is a mass of spider webs, and nestled within is a body screaming, half white and half black, a duality of both shadow and light.  Things and of memories are moving about in the shadows of the buildings.  Smoke of the camps drifting in the air, of rape and torture, the memories flying like the spirits.  They then see a reoccurring number.  Nine creatures, nine passing specks of dust, nine windows open.  The number represents a start.  This is where the first clue will be found on the hunt for the object.

The path is a long one and it continues out.  It bends and twist, and then they find themselves back on the ground walking.  Woods are all around them, as far as they can see.  They keep looping around and around.  Now the figure eight is the key.  Eight trees, eight wolves, and realise they have been walking in a figure of eight, endlessly in infinity.  Something in the dark laughs, and somehow the loops ends and they see people who are wearing masks upon masks.  In the centre is but one person who wears none, fury raging from within.

At this point the vision breaks and they find themselves stood back on the dripping moon surface.  Aware that the vision first pointed to the Sky Realms and the screaming avatar within, then to the woods in the far west where only Lady Quinn knows.  Finally settling on the gift of Joshua, that of fury, and this being the sign of the end of their quest.  Now they know where they need to go for the Joshuan artefact.

As they discuss what they saw, the cinnamon woman begins to asks what it is they saw, Lady Quinn reminding Aulderush that the woman bared witness to the whole of their vision and got a lot more from her bargain.  The woman suddenly warns them to get their weapons ready as she draws her sword and swings it around.  “I think it is about time I earned my pay.  Something saw us there and it is coming.”  They look to see a dark dot in the distance heading towards them rapidly.

Taken from site - courant.com

They all make a run for it.  The woman, being the first to make it down the dripping water, as she dances and leaps from droplet to droplet with her toes, landing with a splash as the water parts on impact.  Followed by Aulderush, the water freezing beneath his feet making solid platforms as that of a ladder for him to descend.  However Lady Quinn is less fortunate, as rubbery wings envelope her, becoming her world.  Fangs being the only things visible in the dark embrace.  Six bat like wings wrapping around Lady Quinn, eyes in the centre and tendrils forming as they look at it.

Aulderush races back to assist Lady Quinn.  Lady Quinn struggles from within, unable to move and is trapped.  She can see and feel her blood breaking out from her veins, watching it jet towards the creature.  The blood evaporating as it touches the thing.  Lady Quinn goes pale and drops to her knees.  Aulderush manages to gain ground on the creature and strike at it, but it just manages to move out of the way in time.  The woman attacks next, plucking a flower from tin air, drawing the thorn across her blade as she strikes.  The creature reels in pain from the slash on its body, the cut looking like a petal.

Both Aulderush and the woman swing at the thing, Aulderush cutting in to one of its wings.  The woman blows across her open hand, and a smell of cinnamon wafts in the air.  The creature begins to boil from within, causing it to blink to the distance away from the attackers, leaving the badly injured Lady Quinn on her knees.

With difficulty, Lady Quinn picks herself up and makes her way away from the scene.  The woman offers to help her down the water, but Lady Quinn refuses, holding her head up and bearing the pain.  Once down the woman tells them that she will be going a different way and holds her hand out for the memories.  Aulderush reluctantly hands over a rip apple, which she takes a big bite from.  The juice running down her chin.  “Succulent.”  She then turns to Lady Quinn who tells the woman that she never agreed.  The woman takes the memory, tapping Lady Quinn on her head.  They both blink to find the woman gone, and any memories of her gone too.

A wall reforms around them, and they find themselves back in the presence of Dain Hadis, who is holding the stone.  Blisters have formed on her hands from where she has been holding it.  She cusses stating that they have returned.  She then asks if they had learned anything they would like to share.  Aulderush tells of them learning that have to go to the Sky Realms.  Dain Hadis states that if they where learning the most efficient for suicide, then she could have told them that.  She then tells them that they are done, and in no uncertain terms, commands them to sod off.

Lady Quinn looks down at herself, feeling very weak.  She sees that both her wrists have wide sealed gashes.  Her arms feel like lead weights at her side.  They both quickly leave the warm hospitality of Dain Hadis.

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