The train left Dylath-Leen and the investigators got their much rewarded sleep. Waking up early the next day there was Frank, Hermann, Boris and Edvard. Odd how the Dreamlands manifestations interchanged the investigators…
They decided to look up that odd looking thin, pale man. They found him in the Men’s Saloon grabbing breakfast. With him were two of the Sarnathians and they seemed eager to talk to the man as well. They were pushing him on some matter but hesitated as the investigators walked in. “May we join you?” asked Boris as the man sat down. “Yes, my pleasure” he replied courteously. His name was Mironim-Mer and he was a Sarrubian wine merchant of the finest quality. The investigators remembered him slipping a bottle to Henry as he boarded last night in Dylath-Leen. He was courteous but distant and not much was conveyed. He did warn the investigators to get off at Zar as it was a dangerous place of broken dreams.
The Sarnathians were listening in to the conversation trying to catch the eye of the investigators, who were well aware of that. “I ignore them” said Boris player and tried to pump Mironim-Mer without success. Eventually the Sarnathians introduced themselves as Theophed and Caromel. “We are here on an important errand. And who might you be?” They were as always courteous but somewhat cool, almost arrogant with finesse. The conversation was short and polite and the Sarnathians seemed to have a delicate interest in the Waking World.
The Dreamland Express entered Zar and the investigators had a chat with Henry. Frank could not resist but had to ask him about the gloves and mask. “You did not wear them last time we saw you in 1893. What happened to you?” Frank’s player even rolled for Persuade whilst Boris and Edvard refused as they did not want to hurt or offend their friend Henry. “I had an accident” he said sadly. “There was a fire in 1895 aboard the train. I had to help my passengers. A woman and her daughter. Unfortunately I did not make it myself and hence got these severe burns.” Henry became rather distraught so the investigators quickly changed topic. Zar was no good! Henry warned them to get off there. “You might not return and we only stop there to save any lost dreamers.” Boris and Edvard smiled wryly. “Of course we have to get off there now that everyone warns us from it.”
As the train pulled into Zar train station they could see the broken palaces and pillars that looked like ancient Greece. Not so many people, here and there they could spot a lone soul. Surprisingly at the station there was a man waiting. He looked odd in tattered clothes and wild hair. In his hand the remains of some paper note, perhaps a ticket. His eyes… There were no eyes. Just empty sockets. The investigators opened the window trying to see more and keep an eye on him as Henry went out to greet his new passenger. Suddenly the wild man tried to strangle Henry! The investigators went bananas with Edvard and Hermann jumping out the window to Henry’s rescue. Frank and Boris ran out through the ladder. The madman continued to strangle Henry who was turning blue. Hermann succeeded with a fighting maneuver (end strangle hold) and Henry was released. Frank drew his sword and cut him down over the left shoulder and arm for 9 damage. The madman fell prone to the ground (failed CON-roll due to massive damage). The tentacles intervened and hold the madman to the ground in all of his four limbs. Boris successfully applied First Aid to him so they could interrogate him. But he was long gone, mad from his time in Zar. “The things I have seen!” he cried. “I tore my own eyes out, yet I can still see!” He clutched his broken ticket that had bite marks all over it.
Henry did not want to take the madman aboard his train fearing the safety of his passengers. But the investigators insisted. Boris succeeded with Pyschoanalysis and cooled the madman down so they could put manacles on him. Boris diagnosis was that he could cure the madman so he would calm down for longer periods at least. With that the players rolled for Persuade with a bonus die and again succeeded. Henry let them take the madman aboard. They chose between the Padded Compartment or the Baggage area. Henry told them about the “odd creatures” in the Padded Compartment and so the investigators chose the Baggage area where the madman was tied to his manacles and a post railing.
The investigators decided to investigate Zar despite all the warnings. As the wanted off the train and walked around the city of broken dreams their mind was affected negatively and they had to roll for Sanity. All succeeded (1 Sanity point penalty) except for Hermann who got 3 Sanity point penalty (1d4). They met with some lost dreamers, poets, artisans and artists. They were mellow almost sad. Nothing and nothing just an empty void. But when Boris asked about the Sorcerer they suddenly woke up. “Beware of the Sorcerer” they said. “Beware of the Sorcerer.” Boris asked them where the Sorcerer was but they did not know.
Back at the train they noticed a slimy, jelly creature stuck up at the corner of the ceiling. It was just stuck there looking at them. It had tender claws but did not say anything or even move. The stench and foulness surrounding the creature was so bad that the investigators had to make a CON-roll. Again it was Hermann who failed and got nausea so he had to leave (penalty die on all skill checks for now) immediately back to the compartment. As they were moving about Karakov came running from his sleeping car (Car nr 6) with his hand in bandage and it looked like blood as well. He ran past them in haste.
As the investigators were about to enter their compartment they heard the Sarnathians sing and play guitar in their compartment. A party was going on. “Perhaps we should join them?” said Boris and smiled hoping to see vodka in their bar.
To be continued…