Date unknown, Location: flying castle, Time since Awakening: 6 days
Dagon’s response is predictable. “These concerns are below me Wendigo.” Timmy breathes a sigh of relief, though only in body language. The Wendigo snarls and talks about Timmy being a coward once again and preparing to die. Timmy is concerned not by the Wendigo’s words but by the viscera that keeps dropping all over his castle-wife and wants to get this over with as soon as possible. The other monster snarls and orders him to prepare himself, warning that if any of us step in after preparations are done he’ll summon his own help.
Dagon sets himself up in a nice little nook overlooking the foyer where the action will take place. Nanfoodle and I start setting Timmy up with all the spells we can think of to prepare him for combat with what looks like a nimble and dangerous opponent. A space of pure life energy, invisible shields, some beast totems, and mirror images later and Timmy is ready to duke it out. Dagon amuses himself by commentating the fight as it begins.
The Wendigo is faster on its feet, charging Timmy with a flurry of claws and teeth. Luckily Timmy’s armor and hide protect him, but something does happen. He stumbles and bows over, overly long arms clutching his stomach. Dagon says something about being near a Wendigo causing intense hunger and chills. It seems Timmy shakes it off in time to defend against the Wendigos next attacks, though he has to pull a magical shield in front of himself to do so. His retaliation is with multiple spells, cutting deeply into the Wendigo and setting something under its feet. He backs off, drawing another attack that he blocks.
When the Wendigo charges after him once more an explosion of sound and light engulfs it, exploding outwards. Timmy defends another assault, then follows it casting more spells to set mines under its feet. A flurry of back and forth hits and the Wendigo finally draws blood, a great gash that swiftly starts closing because of Nanfoodle’s life energy. Another series of back and forth attacks, the Wendigo grabs another chunk of Timmy’s flesh, this time in its teeth. More images of Timmy pop as it continues its assault. It doesn’t hit often, but when it does Timmy visibly reels. Timmy continues to get hits in, slowly bleeding the Wendigo out. Dagon has gotten bored by this point and left, but Nanfoodle and I are on our toes, ready to step in if things get too out of hand. Twice Timmy falls to the floor as the Wendigo gets hits in, but Nanfoodle’s precautions drag him back to consciousness. Eventually, after much fighting, the Wendigo falls. Timmy proceeds to eat it then cleans the castle halls.
Feeling a pull towards the large black rock Timmy directs the castle towards it, tugging at his amulet. There is one problem. Several problems. A woman with long blonde hair. In a white and blue dress. Holding two massive fireballs. Surrounded by Fire Elementals. And Brightstone Goblins whose gems are glowing red. This can’t be good. Seravin says this is probably Alice and that she’s looking for Dreamers to kill. Dagon doesn’t care, he just wants the ruby necklace she’s wearing off to free another god. Behind the welcoming committee is a slot in the enormous black stone. Aukan takes off the amulet as we consider ways to get him behind Alice. Nanfoodle and he start digging themselves under the snow to approach while Seravin and Dagon go to talk to Alice with me behind Dagon’s large bulk.
Alice calls Seravin a “soulless suck up to the Ghoul King” and demands that Dagon get back into his necklace. Dagon demands that Alice release Kerakle from the Ruby. Aukan takes this time to pop from the snow throwing his magic handaxe, bearing the amulet, at the black stone trying to slot it in. Alice slices her hand open trying to grab it as it returns to Aukan when it misses. Dagon is startled by the handaxe and starts attacking, breaking down diplomatic relations.
Alice throws a large fireball at our party, burning everyone, and ordering the fire elementals and goblins to attack. She wants the black amulet retrieved and Aukan’s corpse. Strangely some of the goblins are too scared by Dagon’s appearance to get near us. I guess we’re all used to it now. The rest, and the elementals, swarm us. Ultimately nothing happens to us, allowing me to engage an elemental as Nanfoodle begins casting spells. Aukan rushes forward, dodging the attacks brought against him and making it to the Black Stone of Urg. He slips his amulet into the waiting hole, causing the thread holding it to disintegrate and a burst of light to spread out. Aukan’s limbs burst open, he grows to double his height, shaggy fur covers his body. He is now Timmy, permanently.
Dagon begins throwing his weight around, rushing towards and smacking Alice around, “Release Kerakle!” constantly coming from his strange mouth. Alice drops another fireball, this time on herself, consuming multiple goblins, causing them to explode, and injuring everyone further. She then conjures a dagger made of flame and stabs Timmy as hard as she can. Luckily Timmy is made of tough stuff and can shrug off the hit, though he’s not looking too good. Sevarin fights off more goblins, causing each of them to explode. I demand Alice to explain why she’s working with the Crawling Chaos while attacking the elemental in front of me. She doesn’t respond, too focused on Timmy.
Timmy does…something. That strange light spills from his mouth before a column of smoke starts coming out. It consumes him, writhing like a living thing, going up, up, up into the air. The smoke disperses revealing a new form. Ithaqua the Headmaster whispers to me. I can’t describe how immense, how intangible, how terrible Ithaqua is. Dagon was bad, this is easily worse. Ithaqua doesn’t even need to reach down, he just extinguishes the nearby fire elemental and explodes the remaining goblins with his presence. He looks at Alice, whispering, shouting, being. “Suffocate.” The blustery and frigid North and South winds form, slipping between Alice’s lips and pulling out her breath. She collapses, pale and lifeless.
Smoke. Heat. My rebirth as Medraut flashes before my eyes. Alice’s body is consumed in flame. The wicked fire rises, growing to many times the size of Alice’s body, only Ithaqua being bigger than it. The flames of the creature, god, being twist and whisper insanity. Kerakle, twisted by the Crawling Chaos, says the Headmaster. The two polar opposites rush each other, coming together in a column of burning flame and icy wind, each working to extinguish the other. The fire elemental I fight continues its assault, burning me, making it hard to breathe. I work to extinguish it while keeping an eye on the three gods fighting mere yards away. Kerakle does something, heat exploding. It’s hot. I’m boiling alive! My armor, I can’t reach its catches…
I die. I feel my soul leave my body, free of the mortal coil. I slip into oblivion. I awaken in the Headmaster’s office. He stands behind his desk with cold judging eyes and his magnificent mustache. “So Darcsen… have you learned the most important lesson yet?”
“Trust nothing. It’s been the most painful thing to learn so far.” The thoughts of the witches flash behind my eyes. If only I could have saved them from their fate. Gobogeg, the giant. Hearing whispers of another traitor making its way to Camelot. Dagon, playing word games. Seravin revealing himself as a vampire. I can’t trust the words of my fellows. I can’t trust my senses. I can only trust myself, and even that is shaky at best.
“A good lesson, but not the most important,” says the Headmaster. He looks disappointed. I wrack my brain. I come up blank.
“Then I haven’t learned lessons. I have taken to working against the Crawling Chaos out of need. Need to survive, too thrive, away from the threat of the extinction of everything.”
His smile is grim, his mustache drooping. “Then you’ve got the essence of it… you will lose everything in this fight. Your friends too, though I doubt they realize it yet.”
Despair. Pure despair I haven’t felt since the death of the witches. I shake. I consider. I am empty of all calmness. I am manic. I don’t understand. Cannot understand. “Tobias has already learned. Is struggling even worth it? Can we win?”
The Headmaster grows more serious. It seems he cannot express this enough. “You are the only ones who can. I spent my entire life and failed because I fought alone.” Wait…Fighting alone. Trading stories with the other orphans. Learning what they have seen. What they have read and figured out during their own explorations.
“Headmaster… do you know anyone by the name of Perry?”
He smiles, “Yes…Yes I do.”
Pieces start falling into place. “Your wife misses you, you know.”
His smile turns bitter. He has to turn away and face the Knickknacks in his office. “I know. The hardest part was leaving her behind.” He turns back and looks me in the eye once more. “Nyarlathotep took me like he took Tobias…Only my wife’s memory remains of me in the waking world.”
There is nothing to say to that. I can’t. I wonder if or how I will return to my comrades. To fight Nyarlathotep.
Date unknown, Location: unknown, Time since Awakening: unknown
I awaken. Something is wrong. Nanfoodle got bigger. Much bigger. Then I notice Seravin also got bigger. And Dagon must have been eating a lot. Wait. The black rock is gone. My skin is darker. I can see in the darkness despite there being no light. I feel like Medraut, I haven’t changed to Korth.
“Boss!” Nanfoodle cries. “You’re back! The Siege Perilous worked. I thought that Svirfneblin was crazy walking up to you, but then your soul did something and now you’re here!” Oh gods. I think I’m going to hurl. Memories are imparted on me of both the life of this gnome and of Headmaster Perry’s plan. He had a family, friends. A life. And he just decided to walk in this direction, for days. As though he knew.
No! No time for more sorrow. Headmaster Perry’s words come back. “You must unite the denizens of the Dream Lands to fight back against the coming forces of the Crawling Chaos. Rescue the gods to gather the strength needed to challenge the Black Pharaoh. He has them hidden beyond Leng in Unknown Kadath. Return the Dark Messenger to the Nuclear Chaos to preserve the Dream Lands.”
There is much to do and not much time to do it…