Some sensations are periods of sleep that take up all the extent of the mind, like a fog. They don't let us think, don't let us act, and don't let us be.
No nightmares during my repose. It is the same for the others… so they say. The magic-wielders seem able to regain their strength, but it's possible they were holding out before… to protect their own hides. This place is a breeding ground for the insane, maybe the corrupt.
Winter, the cleric of Pharasma, and Edgar seem to be making progress with the injured children; the boy's broken bones are mending and the girl doesn't appear so ill. Overall, it looks like people are in better spirits, and everyone but the little Mountain seems to have given up on trying to get me to talk. Do they not understand that words lead to pain? I can already smell the sulfur.
Let them continue their little talks, like the coos of a victim when it sees a predator approaching. I'll check on the barricade, move silently behind the Captain and two guards. I need to know their strengths and weaknesses in case something goes wrong. The mute notices me, tries to take the silver dagger, but my tail slaps her hand away. Still, she makes no move to point out my presence to the others.
Captain York jumps when he finally sees me. He should. So did I when I first saw what was under the mask. I gesture for him to tend to the firewood, confirming my place at the barricade. The pretty guard introduces me to the mute. I just stare. I wish I had a soothing voice to share with you, one that did not invoke pain and punishment.
Now we must get the mirror, going back to that demented laundry room with the fallen cleric. It was a mercy; I had to do it. Kit, the cat, and Gray join me down the hall at first. Stay here. Nothing suspicious… yet. Heading into the hanging room it looks like rubble has moved near the crack in the floor. Not large enough for a creature, like one of those dopplegangers, but maybe a rat. Why don't they care? Gray seems to be losing whatever faith he had left. His comments are increasingly bleak. The mirror is light, but Kit is strong, so we head back.
While we were away the crazy X eye found its way into Crystal's forehead. Between the weird shadow and now this eye, Crystal needs to be watched. Despite it not seeming to hurt Crystal at all, or have changed her demeanor, they all want to surgically remove it from her forehead. Any excuse to make something bleed, I guess. Fine. I'll remember. So we head to the furnace and hold her down while Edgar carves her new eye away. So much for no more nightmares. The Mountain puts it in the magic bag while Edgar heals Crystal's wound.
Gray thinks the mirror is suspicious and I agree. The Mountain takes a look and finds it's a special type of metal that is remarkably light, but also very fragile. Then Gray moves the curtain and we see yet another horror. An eye the size of a wagon wheel with teeth in the pupil and stringy yellow fungus around is plastered on the door and stone. Fight back the horror. Fight back the madness. But showing it the mirror works and it immediately begins to shrink. Words are not always required. We hear "What have I become?" as it disappears, leaving behind a warped doorway.
Kit and Edgar leave to report to Winter and the Captain. While they're away I confirm the others heard the voice. Despite Gray's abysmal attitude and crippling social behavior, he seems to understand my miming best. Hooray?
I recommend making a new barricade; the others agree. Captain York wishes to follow our progress from the doorway once it's broken open. They will fill in the barricade but be able to see us from the other side. All York cares about is leaving. Is he blind? The fog and that thing will find you! York insists we can make it to Thrushmore or off the island using boats. We agree to check out the front door, and hopefully we will have a map sooner than later from someone the Mountain and Edgar talked to in the chapel. Why would we trust this map?
Before we head into the next area, I remember the room we have not searched – Tollman's room. It is a nice room, a stark contrast for the rest of this damned place, but he does have a barred section that is locked away. I start picking the lock as they tend to the barricades, finishing with the lock very quickly. Inside the file cabinets are patient records, and some magic items.
Following up on individual progress, Gray's broken mind becomes obvious to everyone, and the Mountain takes him aside. Can you fix his personality with that wand, too? The magic of the wand, and maybe some encouraging words from the big personality, immediately changed Gray. Even he admitted it. Or he's faking it.
Before heading into the now-open entry room, the mountain gives me a scalpel, saying it is "magically enhanced and will help me strike truer." It will help me make our enemies bleed, and from their blood we'll grow a garden of roses.
Kit looks over the front door and finds it swollen. Maybe it has an eye on it, too?! Some people look over the desk in the center of the room while I study the library doors and storage door. York confirms he's going to shut what's left of the door into the entry room, asking us to give him a sign, but quickly realizing they're dependent on our success and words.
The storage room door is blocked, and even I cannot slip through it. What's in here? More bodies? Another pile of 50? 60?
Despite saying he was going to close the door, York calls out and asks why we fear the mist. A quick moment of unfiltered honesty from Edgar does not make too large a difference to York. "You said you would check," he says. Kit does not want to be a liar. Well I don't want to be dead. You open the door. Several of us try to help, but it still won't budge.
The next door in the hallway isn't blocked and upon opening it we find the wall burst open, probably by some creature, because then we find a pile of 6 corpses. Crystal asks for a ring on one of their fingers, and I grab it. A few days ago that pile may have bothered me, but I'm starting to see death everywhere. Am I an agent of death? Or does it just follow me? Or maybe one of my "friends"?
The next room we enter is the visitor's center, which several of the others seem to have forgotten. Stuffed birds in a cage start chirping a happy tune. I don't trust it. Nothing happy can stay here. Just as I'm getting used to it, the tune changes to a shrill screech; Gray starts floating off the ground, showing us how the corpse impaled on the horns of a taxidermy figure met his end. i try to help him down, but I'm not strong enough so I leave the room, following Crystal. Breaking the bird cage ends whatever curse was on the room.
Re-entering the room to search it, finding some magic items like potions, Gray brings up a concern from one of his dreams. "Beware the yellow walkers." One of the corpses on the floor is wearing stained yellow clothing. They start cooing again, so I walk over to the corpse and slit its throat. Stop debating things that don't matter or we'll die. Nothing else of consequence in this room, so I head to the door that seemingly heads outside. The others step away.
I hold my breath and open the door. I see wilted flowers and yellow fog, and I hear giant wings overhead. I smell sugary candy on the fog. I look around and see leathery flesh, and bulbous masses moving ahead us in the fog. Fight back the horror. Fight back the madness. I close the door and Crystal immediately asks me what I see. I don't want to remember, but I'll never forget. I point to my leather armor, make flapping motions, and point up. We agree to keep this to ourselves for now.
Then I head to the library. I don't hear anything from the other side and the door isn't locked so I open the door. At the center of the large room is a table with uncomfortable chairs, with sagging shelves along the edge. There is a smell on the air, some unnatural scent that smells more like a wild animal than the simple smell of books. Then I hear a shrill, tiny voice say something quickly in a language I don't understand. It must have been a warning, because that voice causes growling from something else in the room.
A single rose begins the garden. Keep planting and eventually one will emerge.