Tails of Coelumar

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Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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Vignette 1
The Wagon

First, the forest. A green, creeping thing, sending angry feelers and roots into the road that winds through it. Occasionally, the forest spreads its fingers, allowing glimpses of sawgrass clearings and herds of bison and small troupes of elephants. Every so often, ambitious and perhaps overconfident homesteaders have decided to wage war with the forest, hacking a space for a few squat farm buildings into the green underbelly.

Second, the sky. A brilliant blue, untouched by clouds. The sun hangs ripe in the west. A belt of skyrocks take their time swooning through the air, dipping low over the forest before drifting back out to the sky. In the distance, airships glide northward, catching the light on their sails.

The farmer makes his way down the road under the shade of the trees, admiring the ships and the stones gently hurtling through the sky, when he sees them. Before he sees them, though, he hears them. The sound of a cello echoes down the road. The tune is meandering and lackadaisical. In front of him, the road bends around a copse of old trees and sweeps past a grassy hill. And from this bend emerges the wagon.

It looks like a military transport vehicle, and it’s pulled by two large aurochs, heavy beasts, their horns swaying in time with one another. This is a back road, and it’s not paved – roots and potholes crack the trail. But the aurochs pay no mind to the uneven path; they pull the wagon with a relentless and lazy energy. The wagon is clean, but the canvas covering it is torn, shredded at parts. Several arrows are stuck in the side, the fletches quivering with each trudging step of the aurochs.

But the farmer has seen wagons in worse shape before. What he hasn’t seen, though, is a group as strange as this. Atop the wagon, a dragonborn lounges between the ridges of the canvas canopy. The creature looks around in wonder at the forest around him, and when he yawns, sparks leap out of his mouth. He plays a cello, an old looking thing.

The dragonborn’s tail loops down from the roof, and with each bump in the road, it swings into the face of the tiefling driving the wagon. She has a look of concentration on her face, and grips the reins in both hands. With each hit from the tail, she looks up at the dragonborn, her frustration visibly rising.

The farmer has only seen a few tieflings before. She wears a cloak with a hood up, even in the bright weather, and the farmer thinks her exotic and a little frightening. Her skin is purple, he sees now, and her eyes a shiny gold. Were the stories true? Beside her, though, sits a human, a large man with an imposing axe balanced across his lap. He carries with him an old book, a strange looking book, and it’s laid out atop the axe. His clothes are worn, the clothes of a traveler, and he looks out at the road ahead.

Despite the odd traveling companions, the human looks calm. Serene, even. The farmer has never seen such an odd group assembled. As the wagon approaches the farmer, the tiefling tugs on the reins and the aurochs come to a halt.

The dragonborn leaps off the wagon and lands awkwardly, stumbling into underbrush near the road. The tiefling and the human exchange looks. Exasperated looks. Then they turn to the farmer. The three of them look at each other expectantly, while the dragonborn curses and bounds out of the undergrowth.

“Hello,” says the Tiefling. For all the mystique surrounding her, the farmer thinks she sounds like anyone else. “What’s the fastest route to Old Kazolin?”

“We’re adventurers on a quest!” says the Dragonborn. His scales are blue. The farmer has never seen anything so strange. A blue dragonborn? Wet leaves and twigs from the dragonborn’s tumble in the underbrush stick to his arms and legs.

The Tiefling narrows her eyes. “We’re not on a quest. This isn’t a quest. This is important.”

“Actually,” says the human, a hand wiping sweat off his weathered brow, “We’re not ‘not’ on a quest. I think this qualifies as a quest. Also, quests can be pretty important.”

From beside the farmer, as if out of the earth itself, a shape appears. A human-shaped shape. The farmer steps back and gawks in amazement. A tall figure stands where, moments before, there was nothing.

If the farmer had to guess, he would place the figure as a half-elf. He’s fit, with a thick beard. Armed with a short bow, and clothed in hunter’s garb, he ignores the farmer completely. Pouches hang heavy from his belt, and pockets dot the half-elf’s appearance.

“The elephants,” says the half-elf. “They say that if we cut through a field of floatfruit to the right up ahead, we’ll hit a path that will lead us to a supply road from the Kobald Mines. From there we get back on the main thoroughfare. Cuts about 4 hours off our time.”

The others nod approvingly, except for the human, who simply regards the half-elf with a steely reserve. The farmer thinks he hears the human mutter something about ‘dark magic.’

The half-elf continues. “Also, I don’t think it’s a quest.”

From inside the wagon, the farmer hears a new voice. “That’s great! But I think it is a quest. We have an objective that we’ve got to do. Seems pretty quest-like to me.”

“What’s great?” asks the dragonborn. “The quest or the directions?”

The Tiefling pipes up. “A quest is a search! It’s when you’re trying to find something. We’re not searching for anything.”

“I think you’re interpreting the word too literally,” says the human. “We’re not searching for something, but we’re in search of a good outcome. We’re expending a lot of effort to try to do something.”

The half-elf moves to the front of the wagon and hoists himself up. “A mission, then,” he says. “Can we all agree that we’re on a mission?” The human slides away from the half-elf.

“What do you think?” asks the dragonborn. Each of these strange people turn to regard the farmer. He stands there, sweating as the strange assortment of characters look at him.

“Tell him I’m looking at him through the canvas,” says the voice from the wagon.

“Um,” says the farmer.

“He’s looking at you through the canvas,” says the dragonborn.

A long silence.

The Tiefling woman speaks. “A mission is given to you by someone. No one gave us this mission. It sounds too official.”

“Dekan gave us this mission with his dying breath!” says the human.

“Could it be a mission to complete a quest?” asks the voice from the wagon.

“That’s too tautological,” says the half-elf. “Let’s go, we’re wasting time.” He disappears into the wagon.

The Tiefling cracks the reins and the aurochs begin to lumber forward. “Thanks for your help!” she yells to the farmer.

“Well, he didn’t really help us at all, did he?” says the human. “So, I guess, just… goodbye.” he waves a dismissive hand to the farmer.

The dragonborn sprints forward and leaps onto the wagon. He shimmies up the canopy again, his scaled blue tail glinting in the sunlight. “Tautological,” he mutters. “Hell does that mean.”

The farmer stands there, mouth agape, as the wagon trundles past him. The cello begins to play again. As the wagon passes him, he peers into the canvas-covered interior. Out of the shadows, a thin figure appears. The farmer is rooted with fear. It’s a drow. The farmer’s fear melts into confusion. Atop the drow’s blonde, silver hair, he wears a bright red fez with a gold tassel. The word “ALONSO” is embroidered across the front in gold thread.

The drow raises his hand to cover his eyes. He shrinks back from the sunlight. He stares at the farmer and the farmer stares back. Then, inexplicably, the drow smiles, raises his hand, and waves. The farmer hesitates before raising his own hand and waving back.

“Have a good day!” the drow yells. The wagon continues down the road. The cello plays on.

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Vignette 2
Oath's Day Off

He didn’t like the sun, which was a problem because it was only midmorning and the sun was beating down upon his wagon with a relentless passion typically seen only in teenage lovers. He wiped sweat from his brow and looked out at the road from the covered wagon.

They’d pushed their wagon too hard; the animal trails Bjorn had found were too much, even for the military vehicle. The sun was hot and Oath was tired, so he volunteered to wait in the wagon while his companions walked off to Pigston to find a replacement wheel. He wasn’t sure what to make of them. The human didn’t seem to like him, and the Tiefling didn’t seem to trust anyone. They’d only been together a few days, but they’d managed to make it through Trap Kveen’s floating tower, though, and they’d had each other’s backs throughout their travels so far.

Oath yawned, and raised his hands behind his head. He could fall asleep anywhere. He looked over at his only companion in the wagon – the rigid corpse of Merish Taim, covered with a clammy sheet of canvas. Oath slid his fez down over his eyes. A bird chirped. The smell of honeysuckle drifted past him. A breeze rustled his silver hair. He slept.

He woke. Nothing had roused him; he was just well-rested. The aurochs that pulled the wagon had been hobbled, and languidly ate grass in the shade of the forest. He stretched his arms out and hopped off the wagon. He looked around. The road was empty, except for a shepherd leading some pigs. The shepherd smiled and waved. Oath paused, and then waved back.

A moss tortoise sauntered past him. He got on his hands and knees and followed the creature under the wagon. Lichen and moss crumbled off the creature’s ancient shell. The moss tortoise curled up in the shade. Oath leaned against a wheel and closed his eyes. An insect buzzed past him. He slept.

His morning passed uneventfully. Around noon, however, Oath was visited by three strangers.

“Hello?” a young voice said. Oath bolted up. He’d fallen asleep with his feet dangling out of the back of the wagon. He was faced with an elf, a human, and a child between them. The human man pushed the brim of his hat up. Blue eyes shined bright even in the sunlight. “I say, do you need any help, friend?” His country drawl drew out the last word.

Oath gawked. The family stared at him and he quickly wiped the drool from his chin, rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and mussed his hair down straight.

“Umm, no, I’m alright, thank you!” he said, smiling. People typically shied away from a drow, but this family beamed up at him.

“It looks like the rim of your wheel has cracked,” said the elf woman. “There’s a carpenter in town should be able to help you.”

“Yes, my… companions have gone ahead for help,” Oath said. “I’m staying here to guard the wagon.” The moss tortoise crawled out from under wagon.

“You were asleep though!” the young girl cried. “We heard you snoring!” The family laughed.

“Yes, I probably could have done a better job on guard duty.”

“Are you hungry?” asked the woman. “You’ve been here all morning over watch, yes? Have you eaten at all?”

It was at this point that Oath realized he was, in fact, very hungry.

“We’re having a picnic!” the girl said. And then she clambered atop the moss tortoise, riding it in slow circles around the wagon.

“We’d be happy to share with you, partner,” the man said. He extended a hand to Oath. “Name’s Chip Smithem.”

Again, Oath paused. These people seemed too nice, too trusting. In his experience, people this nice were typically hiding something.

“And my name’s Sad,” said the woman, dropping the wicker basket of food for a curtsey. We’ve got extra food if you’re willing to put up with our little monster.” From behind them, the girl let out a shrieking giggle.

Oath shook Chip’s hand, and leapt down from the wagon. Sad spread out a woolen quilt, and they sat on the loamy earth on the edge of the forest. Sad and Chip had come from Pigston. “Everyone’s nice in Pigston,” Chip said. “It’s the swellest place in Coelumar!”

They ate in the lazy heat of the afternoon, munching on fresh scones and iced cream with fresh strawberries. Oath was wary at first, but Chip and Sad spoke to him freely about their lives. They asked him questions about his past, and when Oath shied away from the painful truth, they politely changed the subject when they saw the sorrow in his eyes grow too great.

Their daughter, Bertie, took a liking to Oath, and braided his hair while he ate. With her parents’ permission, the young girl and Oath chased peacocks through the forest, and she taught him how to eat a floatfruit without getting any of the bitter rind.

When Sad and Chip began to pack up, Oath paused. He realized that he’d miss them.

“Hey,” he said. “Why… why were you so nice to me?”

Sad and Chip looked at him. “How do you mean?” The young girl climbed atop the auorochs and whooped in delight.

“I mean… you see a stranger, a drow, no less, a dark elf, on the side of the road, in a wagon that’s beat to shit -”

“No cursing!” said Sad, nodding at her daughter.

“Sorry! So, you see a dark elf in a beat-up wagon, a wagon covered with burns and cut up from swords and arrows, and torn to bits from the wilderness, and your first inclination is to just have a picnic with him?”

Chip and Sad smiled at Oath.

“Well, for starters,” Sad began, “Your wagon was so busted we knew you were stranded. And your aurochs was hobbled, and bandits don’t typically travel with a work animal like that. They tend towards faster animals. Plus, you were alone on a main thoroughfare in the middle of the day, and, well, you were asleep,” She smiled. “And I can take care of myself.”

“So there was that,” said Chip. “You also, well, you just seemed like a kind soul. Who are we to judge you on where you come from or what you look like?”

Oath shook his head in silence and smiled.

“You’re always welcome in Pigston. Like I said, it’s the nicest place in Coelumar and we’d be happy to see you again.”

“Thanks,” said Oath. He looked down as Bertie tugged his hand.

“Excuse me Mr. Oath,” she said, blowing wild hair out of her eyes. “I made this for you.” She placed a woven bracelet around his wrist. “I made it out of stuff I found by the creek. It’s a friendship bracelet. It means we’re friends. Let’s have a picnic again soon!”

Oath knelt down and hugged the half-elf girl. She hugged him back. He could feel the heat of her through her stout farm linens. He held her close.

“I don’t know where you’ve been, or what you’ve seen, Oath,” said Sad. “I imagine that you’ve lived through some tough times and seen some unsavory things. But even with all the evil and hardship, don’t forget: there’s still a lot of good people and beautiful things in the world.”

“Stay safe,” said Chip. “Stay happy.” He beckoned to his daughter. “We best get headed back to the town. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon! You sure you’re okay out here?”

“Yes,” said Oath. “I’ll be fine. Thank you.” He watched the family retreat towards the town. Then he climbed back up into the wagon, and stared out into the immense expanse of forest beyond him. The warm breeze tossed his hair, and a flock of Jungle Moths silently flew by. His eyes closed.

When he awoke again, it was to the sight and sounds of his companions returning from Pigston. They were bloodied and covered with ash. Jethroe limped towards the wagon, and Bjorn clutched a wound in his side.

Oath lept from the wagon towards his companions. He smiled wide and stretched out his arms, refreshed from his afternoon. The smell of burnt flesh filled the air. “Well now,” he said, “How was your day?”

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Return to Old Kazolin
Finding Glock Rari

The party enters an inn. The sun shines, but the smudges and dust on the window don’t seem to let much light through. As he passes the community bulletin board, Nero looks up, wipes his eyes, and lets out a cry. He grabs the sleeve of Shamaash, and pulls the rest of the party over to him.

Up on the board a poster looms large, the thumbtacks gleaming despite the lack of light. “PUBLIC EXECUTION” it states in large letters. “FOR THE CRIME OF ASSASSINATION OF THE MAYOR OF OLD KAZOLIN”

Nero trembles. “SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING AT SUNDOWN. ON THE NIGHT OF THE FULL NOON AT THE SQUARE OF THE BROKEN KING.”

“DEATH TO TRAITORS” it adds as an afterthought.

The party stares at the execution notice. And on the poster, frozen in a look of despair, the face of Glock Rari stares back.

Crabtree stumbles away. “We need to get out of here. I knew we shouldn’t trust her. We need to get out of here. Tell the Prime Minister about the Peace Patrol, let the government handle this. We’re in over our heads.”

“No!” Nero says. “We need to rescue her. I know Glock.” His voice rises. “She must be falsely imprisoned. She would never assassinate the mayor. This has to be a plot by whatever organization has overthrown the Peace Patrol.”

Bjoern clears his throat and steps between the two. “We don’t know whether or not to trust her. Here’s what we do know: Someone has overthrown the Peace Patrol from the inside. Without the Peace Patrol, there’s been a rash of assassinations, bombings, and terrorist attacks. Each continent blames the other. The two continents are preparing for civil war. Glock has been imprisoned.” He pauses. “That’s what we know.”

“It would appear that someone is trying to incite the two continents to go to war,” says Jethroe. “Death, destruction… Obviously, I think we should stop this, but that’s just me.” He looks at his companions.

“Regardless of what side Glock’s on, she’ll most likely be able to give us more information,” says Oath. “We need to rescue her. Tief, you’ve spent the most time in Old Kazolin. Do you know where the prisons are?”

“I never let them take me to prison,” Tief says, and smiles.

“If she’s this valuable of a prisoner, she’s most likely heavily guarded,” Nero says. “She may be at a Peace Patrol prison, she may be jailed somewhere in the city. It’s impossible to know.”

“Alright, as the leader of this fine organization, I say we go to the public execution and rescue Glock from there,” says Shamaash. “It’ll be difficult and dangerous, but it’s the only way.”

“You’re not the leader. But I agree – we’ve got to save her from the execution,” says Tief.

“Well, I’m probably the leader, and also, thank you” says Shamaash.

“I would rather leave than have you be the leader.”

“Well -”

“Enough!” says Bjoern. “The full moon is tonight. We’ve got about 8 hours. I say we rescue Glock from the execution, find out what she knows, and prevent this civil war. Also, Shamaash is not the leader.”

Nero cuts off Shamaash’s indignant cries. “Good idea, Bjoern.”

“That was my idea!” says Shamaash.

Crabtree speaks up. “We’ll probably need a quick way out of the city if we’re stealing a convicted assassin from her own execution.”

“We can split up and make preparations in the city,” says Nero. “Gather supplies, look for an exit strategy, talk to any old friends. I’ll go out to the square and get a lay of the land.”

“Let’s meet back up here an hour before sundown,” says Jethroe. “We can make a plan and go from there.”

The group nods at one another, and then head toward the door. As they exit, the sun beats down on them. It’s almost midday.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

1. You have roughly 8 hours before you reconvene at the Inn.
2. You can do whatever you’d like during that time. Buy supplies, steal things, reach out to old friends.
3. Let me (Sam, the DM) know what you plan on doing. We’ll have a sort of mini DnD session to determine the outcome of what you try to do.
4. You do not have to share what you do with the group.

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Vignette 3
Why Jordan Started Crying

He was free. He wept, but he was free.

Jordan streaked through the underbrush. The sliver of moon provided no light, but he careened through the forest, thorns and branches lashing out. He sobbed, he screamed, he laughed with joy. And above all else, he kept running.

Behind him, he could hear guards shouting and clanging bells to sound the alarm. A horse whinnied in the distance. Jordan knew that he should have stayed by his rescuers – the bearded man with the power of the sun, the sprightly drow who fought to rescue all the innocent. But when he finally escaped the suffocating dark of the outpost’s dungeon, when he finally saw that glimpse of inky night sky through the barracks door, he could not help himself. He had run for the open air, past the bunks of his former brothers and current tormentors.

Seven agonizing days in a prison cell. Seven days left to sit and rot and remember. He did not know who he shared a cell with, but they fed him and poured him water when the memories became unbearable and he could only shake and sob. Even before he had been taken by it, Jordan had been uneasy in the dungeons – the underground chamber, with its anti-magic wards and oily torches, filled him with dread.

But the oppressive prison was nothing compared to what he had endured.

He wasn’t sure when it had happened, when the Peace Patrol had turned on itself. There were no mutinies, no unconscious murmurs of dissent in the mess hall. There were no subtle glances and secret notes shared late at night. His comrades had left for their routine tasks, their patrols and investigations, and they had come back. They had occasionally returned quiet and glassy-eyed, but the job was taxing and exacted a mental toll on even the strongest of mind.

Before the letter arrived, he had helped Glock as she tried to uncover the root of the conspiracy gripping the peace patrol. After the business with the scientist hostage, when Trap Kveen had been killed, it had consumed Glock’s mind. As her Steward, he’d helped her search for the root of Trap’s betrayal. What they’d found was disturbing: bleached chicken bones splayed out in rune circles in unused prison cells. Profane etchings under bunks. Once, Jordan had entered the stables at night, only to find four soldiers standing in a circle, silent, their foreheads touching and their lips soundlessly moving. In the flickering light of the torches, they turned to face him and their mouths opened in unison, locked in a silent scream.

Then the letter had arrived. It was an ordinary day, warm and muggy, one that he had no cause to remember. He had finished cleaning Glock’s bedchambers, and arrived at her office with fresh mug of coffee and a leather folio of documents for her to sign. She was not there, and he found her desk drawers ripped open, her window shattered. The satin curtains stirred and the loose papers from her desk floating around the room.

The disarray filled Jordan with unease; the letter he found crumpled up near Glock’s mahogany chair filled him with dread. It was from the group of adventurers involved with the scientist incident. They believed the same organization that Trap Kveen belonged to was plotting to kill Glock. They urged her to flee to safety, wherever that might be.

Jordan was a calm dwarf, slow to action. But this letter shook him – he felt fear claw its way up his throat.

That was not all, though. On the desk, he found a drawing of a tall, shadowy man surrounded by tentacles. Runes covered the parchment, and he could see Glock’s notes as well.

As he stood in the disarray of Glock’s office, the curtains flailing around him, the door kicked open. Bartleby stood before him, flanked by guards.

“Hey man,” said Bartleby as he strode into the office. His face grew shocked as he took in the state of Glock’s office. “Where is Glock? Is she okay?” He knelt, and looked into Jordan’s eyes.

Jordan stared back. He had worked as Glock’s manservant for over a decade. She had stood for him at his wedding, they had sailed the skies together to spread peace across the land, he had carved her office chair from Entish elder mahogany as a birthday present just last month. She was his best friend, and the thought of her hunted, or killed, brought him nearly to tears.

Bartleby put his hand on Jordan’s shoulder.

“I… I don’t know,” Jordan said.

The rest happened quickly. Bartleby grabbed him by the hair, and ripped his head back. “Tell us,” he said, “Or we’ll break your mind searching for her.” Bartleby drew a knife, and Jordan stopped kicking. He stood motionless except for the heaving of his chest, Bartleby’s blade to his throat.

“You’re her butler, man,” Bartleby said. “You know, like, everything.”

“Steward, not butler.”

“Assistant, lackey, honor guard, whatever!” Bartleby was screaming, spittle flying from his lips. He threw Jordan to the ground and pressed a boot on his back.

“I don’t know where she is! I just got here!” Bartleby’s heel dug deeper into his back, squeezing the air out of him.

“Check the bedchamber, mates,” Bartleby said. From the floor, Jordan couldn’t see what they were doing. He could only feel the cool stone floor and the heel in his back, and hear the sounds of the room being torn apart.

When they found the letter, Bartleby sighed. “That… party did it. They changed everything. She was supposed to die.” He lifted up Jordan and struck him across the face with the pommel of his knife. “Glock was a dead woman!” He was screaming again, his half-orc features contorted in rage. “Dead!”

Knife still in hand, Bartleby closed his eyes and brushed his hair out of his eyes. “I need you to tell me everything you know.” The coastal drawl in the half orc’s speech had returned. “I need you to tell me everything Glock knows.”

Blood ran from Jordan’s mouth. He didn’t know why his comrades had turned on him, he didn’t know where Glock had gone, and he didn’t know what he was supposed to say now. So instead he stared at Bartelby, the shock of it all overwhelming him. He hung from Bartleby’s grip, speechless.

It was after this that he met It. They’d forced him to wait in Glock’s office for hours. He had sat on the ground, his back to the door, until his bones ached. When the door swung open, he looked up at the guards. Their eyes stared straight forward, and their mouths moved frantically, although no sound escaped their lips. He turned. And he was so frightened he could not even scream.

Running through the forest now, over a week later, he still did not like to picture it in his mind. The writhing purple tentacles surrounding the mouth. The teeth, sharp and glittering, dripping with yellow saliva. The chattering, sucking noises it had made. The way he felt… paralyzed when it gazed at him. He put his head down and ran faster.

It had stepped towards him, and he could not move. As It towered above him, the room appeared to grow dark. It bent down, hands behind its back, eyes glowing, and purple head pulsing. The tentacles began brushing over Jordan’s face, into his mouth, and around his head. Their touch was cold and clammy. Then the tentacles engulfed his head, and pulled him towards the creature’s unhinged mouth.

He did not know what had happened then. He felt as if someone had scraped out his brain, as if his memories had been shuffled like a deck of cards. His brain felt consumed. Important details were lost, whole patches of his life left blank. Now, when he thought back to his most cherished memories – his wedding, the birth of his child, the time he’d saved his brother from drowning in the creek behind their childhood home – they were marred with the presence of a shadowy, tentacled figure.

He was brought before it two more times. Each time, he lost more of himself to It. He grew moody and confused. He was not sure what it was taking from him. He only knew that he was deeply terrified of It.

When It was finished with him, it was as if he’d broken the surface of a lake after nearly drowning. He lay on his hands and knees, shaking and gasping for air.

They’d thrown him in the dungeons, but not before he’d seen several others like himself – shaking, sobbing, or blankly looking straight ahead. His guards, still dressed in the uniform of the Peace Patrol, dragged him through the dungeon antechamber and tossed him into a cell.

Looking back, Jordan was amazed he had not died. In the cell, he slipped in and out of consciousness, in and out of reality. The creature haunted him, and he sat there, searching for his memories, battling the creature for his mind. He sat on the stone floor of the cell for days, soiling himself, forgetting to eat unless his cellmates forced him to. Occasionally, the guards would drag out one of the inmates and torture them or leave them to die. His cellmates wept, they plotted, they took care of each other. Jordan kept to himself. The trauma of living on was too great.

And then, the group had arrived. When the tall man melted a guard with a burst of light, something within Jordan was awakened. He suddenly knew where he was. He remembered Bartleby. He remembered Glock. He recognized his cell.

But this awakening was painful too. He became conscious of his loss, his pain. He was angry, he was afraid. When the door to the cell opened, he bolted out, for any fate was better than the life he was living.

And yet still, he lived. He didn’t care if he died – if he died, he would never have to see It again. In the distance behind him, he could still hear the alarm bells. Vines and branches clawed at him, but he knocked them away. He would find Glock, and he would make sure that this creature, whatever it was, would never harm her.

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