Adventure log: Tabor Tooms
This chapter starts with the party existing the ancient temple of the forgotten people of the desert, with Clinton dead and strange artifacts in hand retrieved from the Dybbuk chamber, only to find the Mad Wizard Al Hazared and his retinue have laid an ambush.
Hazared floats upon his carpet, with Peloquin bound and held hostage in front of him, while a small army of archers are arrayed around and behind the adventurers. Faizal and the Old Man are taken hostage. Hazared offers a deal: his Efreeti summoning necklace in exchange for the parties lives.
Radcliffe retrieves the necklace from Urnyci and recalls that Hazared used a code phrase to activate it at the celebration in Sidron, but cannot recall the word. Miraculously, Porkins recalls the phrase activating the necklace, which burns Radcliffe who drops it. Hazared drains Radcliffe’s life force with an Enervation spell.
As the archers start firing a hail of arrows, Radcliffe then protects the party with a shell of stone, while Peloquin further miraculously causes Al Hazared to descend to the ground with a Command spell. Pat uses the opportunity to charge Hazared with the Silver Spear while Porkins retrieves the necklace and manages to hold on it it, commanding the summoned Efreet to attack Hazared in exchange for it’s freedom.
A commotion is seen among one row of archers as the Old Man appears to polymorph into a huge brass dragon, which blasts the archers with sleep gas before pinwheeling into the sky, dispersing many of them in horrow. Meanwhile, Faisal mounts Habibi and harasses archers with his bow.
Mounted Knights of the White Lion charge and disperse the remaining archers, Pat and the Efreet strike the killing blows on Al Hazared, ending his reign of terror. The party takes his treasure and places his wrapped body on Habibi for transportation.
Recognizing Pat as “The Spear Carrier”, Lady Estrella hails the party and invites them to the Fortress of Shabbas, where they celebrate and rest. Knights of the Order provide information on the legendary Sextarma- the mythic weapons that are fortold to meet on a great field of battle. They provide Letters of Recommendation for the party and offer them an escort, Sir Keplinger, to Malagra, where they can have the Bishop revive Clinton.
On arrival at Malagra, Faisal breaks off to return to Sidron (with Al Hazared’s body) and hopes to help Dinarzade win control of the city. Keplinger provides instructions for where to meet the Bishop and where to stay in the city, as well as a wizard named Aldo Novas who can help the party understand the treasures they have found and potentially teleport them home.
The party visits the Bishop of Malagra to raise Clinton. They then visit and befriend Aldo Novas, who offers to trade them a Soul Diamond in exchange for some of their treasures and transportation home, but says the party must return the next day so he can retrieve his Soul Diamond.
During the evening, Porkins has a disturbing nightmare about the destruction of Peckton by three hags riding a tidal wave and a tall man in a top hat. He awakens fatigued but uses magical incense to restore himself.
The next morning, the Innkeeper awakens the party to the arrival of one Inspector Iago, who wishes to question them. Iago informs the party that an acquaintance of theirs- the merchant Balthazar who traded them the map, has alerted him to their presence at the location of the Inn (although the party purposefully stayed at a different Inn then the one mentioned by Keplinger). Iago convinces the party to follow him to Balthazar’s townhouse, where he shows them the body of Balthazar’s (now headless) wife. Balthazar was taken to the asylum as he was ranting about the party, the end of the world, and Tabor Tooms, a serial killer.
Agreeing to meet Iago at his precinct, the party pieces together other details including the legend of Tabor Tooms, a murderous, impeccably dressed Tailor who would kill his customers and sever their heads 40 years ago. Although Iago was present at his hanging and the burning of his body as a young constable, murders continued every few years. Most recently he names a young woman named Elvira who was murdered shortly after being released from an orphanage, even though she was under the protection of a priest that warded her against undead.
The party accompanies Iago to the Malagra Asylum where one Dr Poth allows them to question the now-insane Balthazar, who claims that Al Hazared showed him the coming of the Old Gods but denied killing his wife, claiming it was Tabor Tooms.
The party returns to the Bishop to look for records of Elvira where they rebuffed by the now-disturbed Bishop, before returning to Aldo Novas, whom they inform that they intend to stay to solve the mystery. The party sleeps under the protection of Aldo Novas apartment, taking turns on watch.
When the party awakens they find Peloquin murdered, his head removed. The party splits up to find help and search the Bishop’s records, but the streets are eerily dark and quiet. While split up, Radcliffe is attacked by living walls and a pool of blood, but protects himself with a resilient sphere…
Meanwhile the rest of the party breaks into the Cathedral to search the Bishops records. They find a cabinet filled with records, but every record is about Tabor Tooms. Then, the Bogeyman himself attacks alternately Radcliffe and the party with his knived hands and fear spells.
Radcliffe is the first to recognize the events as a dream and awaken himself while fighting Tooms inside the resilient sphere, even while Clinton receives healing from an unknown source, and the cathedral ceiling opens up to a raining sky (as Porkins heals Clinton in the real world and Radcliffe pours water on them). Eventually Clinton and Pat are awoken, leaving Porkins to fight Tooms and take serious injury, before he too is awoken.
Realizing the death of Peloquin and other events were a dream, the party leaves Aldo Novas apartment to put together more clues. They encounter a apologetic Bishop who reveals that he was the priest that tried to protect Elvira from the undead but could not. He points out that his notes on Elvira are incomplete but that the Precinct has more. They consider re-entering the dream world to confront Tabor Tooms but decide against it when, with Iago’s help , they realize that all of Toom’s victims since his death were related to or connected with someone incarerated at the Asylum.
Leaving Peloquin with the Bishop, the party and Iago return to the Asylum, where after a short inquiry the Dr excuses himself due to an “unruly patient” while his party escorts them out. The party proceeds to find a way into the asylum while Iago heads to the Library to research more town records.
As the party explores the Asylum they hear Dr Poth warn the occupants of “intruders”. They search the Dr’s office and other locations where they are attacked by a Mimic, Gibbering Mouthers, and Tabor Tooms himself, who seems to favor hit-and-run sneak attacks on separated members. They discover cells containing not only inmates but jars of human brains which attempt to communicate with them (and which the party destroys). Seeing them destroy his life’s work, Dr Poth confronts the party in the surgical theater where he is operating on Balthazar’s brain; his nurse grows black feathered wings and attacks the party with a flaming bow while Dr Poth uses strange psionic abilities to attack the party and his orderly attempts to subdue party members and remove their brains.
While Dr Poth manages to stun almost the entire party, after taking serious damage and healing himself, eventually Urnyci and the returning Iago manage to land death blows on the good Dr, while Porkins wounds the hellish “Nurse” enough for her to flee in a burst of fire.
As the constables secure the asylum, the party and Iago retrieve documents, maps, and other clues to review later. It becomes clear that Poth was using his advanced mental powers (of unknown origin) and the Tabor Tooms legend as a cover to remove people that were too close to discovering the dark secrets of the asylum, as well as to collect brains for his experiments. He had been collecting individuals at the asylum that had, through their madness, claimed to foresee the end of the world, so that he could gather information to help the “old gods” return, as well as prevent the outside world from learning of their impending doom.
The next day, the party commits to have Aldo Novas teleport them home, who searches their brain and attempts to transport them, only to find that the Golden Shield is acting as a dimensional anchor, preventing their travel. The party leaves to decide who to send home to warn Tyn while someone escorts the Shield by boat, when they are approached on the street by Captain Bonnie and the Grudge, whom they haven’t seen in years, and who demand an audience.