Dreams in a Jar
20 Far Eyre?
After their rest-that-wasn’t, the stragglers stranded in Dream set out to find their way out of this freakish Giant laboratory. Creeping up the stairs to the next level, they barely entered the hall when they were beset by more dream creatures and what appeared to be an insubstantial half-orc with maddened eyes and a wicked longbow. Fragments of dream, twisting in their shapes depending on who was looking at them, trapped the group in a hallway. But while Jak’s warhammer and Valna’s sword could make quick work out of them, their minds froze in pain for each one dropped. Even worse, a large amorphous blob of dream spewed more of these fragments for each one felled!
As Jak and Valna attempted to fight off their dazed state, the merciless fragmented dream blob appeared within the groups midsts and assaulted them all with psychic pain while extracting even more dream fragments to assault them. Zinnia as now exposed, and the creatures proximity to the drow Xenrohs both kept him from moving away and using his power. But the drow was not defenseless; an attack against him by the dream blob was mysteriously redirected at the unsuspecting Humphrey when warlock’s cloaks swirled about the drow; in addition, the dazed Zinnia’s magic were also deflected by the blob towards the put-upon hobgoblin. It did not help matters when, to protect himself, Xenhros called down darkness only he could see through. But this allowed him to reign down pain upon the blob before him, already grievously wounded by the hobgoblin’s precise strikes.
The battle was draining, especially with the mad half-orc raining down arrows upon the fray. But the group was triumphant, though the battle took more than expected. Searching about, the group found they were in a small storage area. Though much was dust and dream, Zinnia did find regents of an arcane nature and the silvery-gold residuum that is pure magic. The giants were indeed masters of the arcane.
Having no choice but to move forward, the group found another storage chamber off the main one. This one, however, was not empty. Instead, it was stocked with water and rations, some giant sized, others smaller. A hungry Jak soon discovered anything he took was magically replenished—the group had found the giant’s magical larder. But that was not all they found: Hidden in the stacks was the half-sane, insubstantial fragment of a gnomish explorer. Eager to talk, he introduced himself as Banra Greenwood, intrepid Aundarian explorer. In a roundabout manner, the gnome eventually explained that he and his fellows—a warforged warrior named Sixteen, their half-orc scout Thar One-Tusk, the Karrn warlord Vlad Voldios, and the shifter druid Redclaw—had excavated some hereto undiscovered giant ruins. There, they found the brain in the jar that now encapsulates them. He told of strange dreams that visited all but the warforged, and then the night that they all appeared here.
“We fought these dream things and found the notes explaining this place’s foul purpose and made haste on our plans to escape. But Sixteen was lost, Thar driven mad, and I separated from my fellows. I have been here for… I cannot rightly remember….”
Looking at the slowly fading gnome, the group knew his fate would be theirs if they did not escape. The “dream sickness” would claim them too.
On a tip from Banra, the group sought out what appeared to be the laboratory’s library. Ancient spellshards, malfunctioning due to age and disuse, were found. Zinnia delved into them like a demon possessed, but Jak and Xenhros had to work with her to translate the giant runes. The drow almost mistranslated a key section, but the minotaur corrected him while Humphrey and the others put together some of the more obscure pieces. It was soon discovered that the laboratory was used to research dream creatures due to an invasion of Xen’drik by the alien creatures of dream. The lab, and its founder Anabaraxus, were central in forming some sort of weapon to be used against the foul creatures. However, even more was found: Some sort of ancient dream machinery was used to create other dream weapons and to control the facilities. If this machine could be found, and the inner sanctum that controlled it breached, they might have found their way out.
Resting upon what they had found, the party formulated their plan of assault to escape the giant dream lab!