Week 81: Nightmares on Free Street

After beating the Mandagora swarms they retired to Tatzleford to report that the infestations were cleared, but that rangers and druids should check the area over to make sure that it hadn’t been permanently damaged by the otherworldly incursion. Only to hear of an earthquake in Horcroft – there wasn’t much detail, just the raw detail that there had been an earthquake in the city.

Back in Horcroft they discovered that it had been fairly localised. One tenement block had been destroyed; there were a number of injuries but not fatalities and only minor damage to surrounding buildings. Robert carried out healing, plans were drawn up to bring Dabur Golka, and the Lyre of Building, back to the city to help the re-building effort, Charles was instructed to provide temporary accommodation and he also implemented a charity scheme – so that people could donate to help replace the families belongings. And the whole area had a magical aura ….

But almost everyone in Horcroft had had nightmares that night, most to do with unstable floors and walls and all involving large black birds of one type or another. Rudy wracked his brains for clues and remembered a story about The Nightmare Rook, a monstrous bird associated with the First World of the fey, and even remembered that it had featured in a strange picture book published years ago in Pitax. Robert and Cassandra went to Pitax to investigate, while Rudy and Ox spent the evening at Ruler’s Roost going through the books ‘liberated’ from Irovetti’s library.

After a hard evening of reading through Irovetti’s collections (and a couple of bottles of wine) Rusy and Ox fell asleep in Ruler’s Roost – only to be plagued with nightmares of undead monsters rising out of the ground and chasing them, urged on by a massive black bird. Suddenly Ox awoke with a shout, to fine a floating corpse in his room with a rib cage that made a prison for a small ghost who was leering out at Ox. Battle followed, and Rudy managed to get there just as the fight was over - but Ox won fairly easily wielding his new Rod of Razors. Awake now, and not wanting to return to sleep, they went to visit the Pharasman’s (in the middle of the night) only to find them all awake and checking the grave yard out as they have all been woken by portentous nightmares about ghosts and zombies. Peter the Librarian was also consulted as well, as he had made a study of death and the undead. He too had been woken with similar nightmares, he didn’t understand the significance either – but thought the dreams foreshadowed something - perhaps Ox’s visitor.

Next day Robert and Cassandra met with an older noblewoman who had learned some time ago that someone important would need a copy of Zudigger’s Picnic. She wasn’t too forthcoming about the prophesies that she had received, or even about herself – and she set a high price on the book – 2000gp and a town named after her family. By investigation, they learned that Lady Silver Bergham is a member of and old Galtan family (deposed during the anarchy) but who had managed to retain much of their wealth outside Galt. They have a base in Gralton – they aren’t leaders and shakers there – but the family do seem to be legitimate. They tried bargaining, but Lady Bergham wasn’t interested in compromise, so they had to concede the full price. Although she did take Robert’s word that one of the new towns to be developed would bear the Bergham name – rather than insisting that one was renamed immediately. Ironically there are two candidates already - the group had already decided to develop an old mine north of Port Slough, and there is another town to be built in the south, as part of their arrangements with the Mivon Aldori.

The next night, they were all together again in Horcroft when the nightmares started again. This time they all involved big cats - Cassandra dreamt of trees full of pouncing big cats, Hebrin had sand coloured lions erupting out of a dessert, while Rudy’s featured a huge rook like cloud in the sky. Ignoring the Dire Tigers that were chasing him, he manipulated the dream so that he could attack the rook – then woke up screaming clutching a huge rook’s feather. Everyone else’s nightmare finished in a keening whirlwind of green energy – and that was the last of the living nightmares.

On investigation the feather is magical with an aura of transmutation and conjuration.

The clues so far

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