When you pull yourself off the ground you see that you are in the clearing of a mixed forest. There is a small pond in the centre and the clearing slopes gently upward towards the forest edges. After looking around the perimeter Beans sees a human run off to the east. Before you can give chase the portal shimmers back to light behind you.
You can see back into Mora’s safe house and there are Multijoints and Squided discussing. Before they finish they are interrupted by Mora coming down from the ceiling and unleashing mayhem on the unsuspecting intruders. She curses out loud as 2 multijoints (one being “one-arm”) and 3 squided (one being Jessica) follow you through the portal then speaks into your minds words of thanks for returning her to her safe house but that you really should have been more careful not to lead Cryllovesk’s creatures to it. She glows bright and unleashes a blinding flash and the portal winks out leaving what looks like heat waves in its place.
The party lead by James all decided to run and Beans carried Gwen until she woke up in his arms part way along the trail to follow the human that ran off after seeing them. Jamal looked back to see that the creatures that came through behind them were not chasing them but rather were scrawling runes in the ground near where the portal once was. Once they realized they weren’t being chased they decided to divide up the belongings from the lockers James had wisely shoved in the cooler and escaped with. A few of them had a hard time remembering what went to who, when Gwen spoke up showing them her notes of what they found where in Mora’s safe house, which sorted them out.
Not knowing what to make of the objects in their possession most of the group fiddled around with various things of theirs and their new companions. Capsules from Beans’ case were thrown on trees, silvery tattoos and eyes attempted to shoot lasers to no effect, until Mike was decided (and was encouraged) to eat one of the three flowers from his locker. He immediately fell unconscious as he chewed and swallowed it and fell into a dreamlike state. The others made sure he was OK and after deciding he was, they continued off eastward to follow the human that ran from them (with Beans carrying the now unconscious Mike).
After a short while they heard talking from on ahead in what initially sounded like a foreign language but more and more english words resolved out of the speech until Jamal called out a hello to them and the talking up ahead stopped abruptly. Our companions continued moving toward them until they came to a man with a sword, standing between two trees. Jamal attempted to engage the man in conversation but there was somewhat of a language barrier. More and more words the man shouted at them resolved into english as Jamal tried drawings and interpretive dance in order to communicate with them until every word the man uttered was english. The bandit told them to put their belongs on the ground or die. When only Jamal complied he told his compatriots in hiding to attack and the group had to fight for their lives.
Beans set Mike down behind them and braced himself for what looked like a dangerous confrontation. The bandits started off strong attacking Beans (the largest and perceived threat) cutting him with a short sword and hitting him with a crossbow bolt. When Beans fought back he crushed collarbone and shoulder with his fist and forced the bandit to switch sword arms. Gwen meanwhile recognizing the leader for the one doing all the talking tossed her dagger at him only to miss him and hit the tree beside him. The lead bandit tried to take her dagger out of the tree but embarrassed when he couldn’t simply told his crossbow wielding friends to focus on the big one (Beans). Jamal went to try and wake Mike but his dream state was very deep and he would not wake. When a bandit attacked James, he responded by scratching a rune from his book into a sheet of aluminum and pointing it at the bandit and screamed. While nothing observable happened for the bandit (he was convinced they had come upon deranged folk), James notices the rune he scratched into the thin metal sheet is glowing and now he can feel a power running from his brain down his spine like a river.
After Gwen observes the bandit leader fail to take her dagger out she can clearly feel the daggers location and sense a vibration like a hum coming from it. She pulls on the dagger with her will, attempting to return it to her silvery tattooed (now gloved) hand, but instead reality distorts around her and she ends up beside the bandit leader holding the hilt of her dagger in her gloved hand. She yanks it free easily and slashes at the leader but he manages to dodge most of the blow. As the fight between Gwen and the bandit leader continue (ultimately ending in Gwen cutting him down), Jamal continues to notice shadows seem to move out of the corner of his eye while fighting a crossbow min with his long dagger. He ends up attempting to grab the shadow of the crossbowman after stabbing it to no effect and the shadows race toward him and a 20ft sphere of pure dark springs to life originating where his hand was. This panicked the crossbowman now impaled by Gwen’s dagger which she expertly tossed into his abdomen, and he ran away from them until he came out of the terrifying void without light or sound. After defeating a short sword wielding bandit with the help of Beans, James continues to experiment with runes until in a final effort he unleashes a huge fart that temporarily causes everyone to look in his direction. The group ends up defeating the bandits without losing anyone but Beans has taken many wounds and lies down near Mike after Gwen captures the fleeing crossbowman now bleeding out.
Some of the group interrogates the crossbowman to learn a little about the town of Verden and the surrounding area while James loots the bandits for coins (23 copper circles and 12 silver triangles) and any usable weapons. Gwen who was treating Beans informed the group that she did the best she could for Beans, but they needed to find a town to help him further. After consuming what little rations the bandits had on them (small bits of dried meat and some stale bread), the group sets out toward the east where they have learned the town of Verden is located (the injured Beans is carrying the still dreaming Mike).
When they enter the outskirts of town they see abandoned farms and buildings that seem to be in varying states of disrepair before coming to farms that seem to be still in use. Clearly the town has seen more prosperous times. When they enter the town proper their gaze is drawn to a floating tower 3 stories in the air, which hovers above even the highest buildings which are only 2 stories tall. They see a black and a white church, a graveyard and many shops and residences. They speak to a guard and learn a bit about the town, and are told not to mess with the sorcerer’s floating tower, because they abandoned it temporarily and the town doesn’t want to upset them. The guard is very suspicious of the travellers and tells them not to leave town without seeing the town’s lord, but when they try and seek out the Lord after getting Beans mended at the white church by a priest named Melthidan, the group is denied access and told they need to prove their intentions and worth before speaking to Tesh Anol. The Black church they entered was deserted and had a very large tome open to a page that James attempted to read. It was written in strange writing that slowly resolved into english as he spent time with it.
The entire time Mike dreams, and nothing seems to wake him despite his or his companions efforts. He first dreams of the forest clearing with the pond, where he can’t leave because every time he walks into the forest he comes out on another side into the clearing with the pond. He attempts to go deeper into his dream and dives into the pond. This takes him into an underground caverns with robed figures and runes drawn in blood. They stand around a jagged portal with a list of names and utter things initially unintelligible but as he listens more and more of their speech becomes english. He learns they have a list of people to capture and the next two names on the list are “Davdak Sc 12” and “Carvik Wz 10”. Mike then attempted to go deeper into his dream and walked through their jagged portal and into a stone spire in the mountains with a similar portal and robed figures. He could see the ocean and after attempting to fruitlessly walk down the spire’s staircase he climbed a dragon like gargoyle and it flew off into the sky with him on its back. He had it dive into the ocean and came out of the frenzy of bubbles and water in the pond back in the forest clearing. This time the runes around the heat waves were more pronounced and they had small structures similar to termite mounds that were too hard to kick over or break open. He saw that multijoints sat in the trees and watched, but none seemed to notice him. He went deeper into his dream by stepping through the heat waves and ended up back in New York in an increased state of destruction and slavery. The sky was darker, people were penned and being forced to eat squids or sacrificed to Cryllovesk. Mike attempted to learn more about the massive god-like creature and inspected him carefully. He learned that he has 3 mouthes, channels on his head and is truly a large monstrosity before willingly jumping into his mouth. After the first time brought him back to the ruined buildings he tried jumping in again only to be brought back to come out of the pond in the forest clearing. Mike noticed this time that multijoints were watching from the trees and he looked for signs of his companions passing but found none. Mike’s internal dream journey ended the next day where he woke with his companions in The Ugly Cup’s inn rooms. He was filled in with all that had transpired since his consumption of the flower and he shared his dreams with them.
James returned to the black church day after day and spent time reading the black tome until more letters resolved into english or his vision blurred. When his eyes were tired of reading the black tome he experimented with runes from his book and attempted to free the river of power he could feel flowing from the crevices in his brain and collecting into a river that ran down the length of his spine.
Jamal spent the next few days doing odd jobs and gaining favour with the guards, or trying to coax the shadows into spheres of pure dark again. At night Jamal threw rocks at the sorcerer’s tower testing its defences (but finding none) and examining it for runes or symbols (which he located along the base of the tower).
Mike did odd jobs that townsfolk needed doing and attempted to inquire for simpler jobs with the mercenaries guild. Beans joined him on many of these and the two became known as the friendly strangers who were willing to do pretty much whatever for small fee.
Gwen spent her time in the white church attempting to learn how the white priests healed Beans. They explained that their god, “Lumen”, instills some worthy individuals with varying amounts of his power. They seem to worship this antlered god of light and fire and look to save this town and those that still worship “Dakken” the god of death.