After the meeting and retire to my apartment. I dump the sack in the living room and ask Viola to keep watch after i explain it’a powerful necromancer inside. She agrees to do so while making a series of puns about the situation. They are apparently bad enough for Harrison to moan in annoyance but otherwise I try to go to bed.
The moment I hit the mattress I hear a knock on the door. Viola preoccupied with her puns I get up and ask who it is. The smell of bread announces that Jacket is outside and I open the door for him. His facial expression looks agitated and his suit looks dirty. I go outside and we have Jacketman Conversation 11. Near the end of that conversation I invite him into my apartment while I go confirm things. Viola is still tormenting Harrison, bypassing my instructions to ‘not touch’ him by passing gas near him. She quickly stops when she sees Jacket enter as well. I take my mirror into my room and we have Samantha Conversation 32.
I get the info I need and come back out with my weapons and cloak on. I instruct Viola to take off the bag over his head. Jacket asks if getting Harrison to work with us is the plan to which I reluctantly agree. This causes Harrison to laugh as the bag and gags are being removed. His body is badly bruised from being drug around the city in the bag and his arm is dripping blood from the ligament torn out of his shoulder. We have Harrison Conversation 3. The conversation ends with me vetoing Zane’s plan and instead seeking out Venyard for a way into the Shadow realm.
We travel to the Matroni district to the last known residence he was living in. I knock on the door to no response. I try the knob and find it unlocked so I open the door. A old woman shrieks as I do so claiming us intruders. I calm her down and state that I’m looking for Venyard. I enter the establishment to find several old people hobbling towards the door. They prattle on about a possible connection I might have had while Venyard slowly starts to wheel his way up front. When he sees me he starts to wheel himself around. We have have Venyard Conversation 5. He agrees to send us to the Shadow realm but he needs a innocent soul. I pick up Jacket and we return to my place to pick up one of the child souls. We stop by the Castle in order to pick up a guard to “clean up the mess” as Venyard put it.
We then return to Venyard’s residence. When we show up we see the old people moving around seeming to be setting up some intricate pattern onto the floor with their blood. The ones with good knees are dabbling it out while those who can’t kneel over are cutting palms. They make idle chatter and crack jokes as they form the dark ritual. Venyard is carefully gauging my expression. I am very confused and am speechless at the sight. He explains that the other residences are like him, people left over from various devil cults. Apparently magic akin to torture was done to all of them. After that he reminds me to never make deals with them, again stating that they are always bad deals. They ask us if we are ready and then begin the ritual after we give them the soul.
A thick fog begins to pour out of the mixture of soul and blood. The walls of the house fold away and we are sitting in a long dark tunnel. Without moving we traverse the tunnel until we come out the other end. The sky is a very faded yellow and the world seems incredibly dark. The shadows seem to be everywhere and none of the colors look quite right. The old people are still speaking but I can no longer hear them. Jacket grabs my hand and silently guides me through the landscape. It quickly becomes apparent physics don’t work the same as all sound comes out as muted and the houses become indistinguishable.
As we are creeping along I hear a whisper in my head “Welcome to the dream.” I instantly recognize the voice as Catemusinorrath. He flies in front of Jacket who seems to be caught by surprise and falls backwards. Cate comments that he won’t try to stop us and then flies off. I note that Jacket didn’t seem to hear Cate and we continue. While we’re walking i curiously look at what is normally my clawed hand. It now looks entirely like a normal human hand.
Eventually we see an artificial light. A small candle is burning on a table. By it is a gray humanoid figure, it seems to look similar to a large pile of baggy clothes roughly human shaped. It is uncomfortable to look at. Jacket points at the table and gestures for you to keep going. Now by myself I begin to feel the coldness of the place. I sneak towards the table and see dozens of objects of all sorts. I activate invisibility and start to sneak up to the table. I have a brief hallucination where it appears that there are more rods but I’m able to shake it off and approach the right one. As I get closer to the rod I realize some parchment is wrapped around it. I start to move it off and the grey form immediately spins in my direction. Not sure if it sees me I move out of it’s path and see it rush past me without a sound. I turn to see where it’s going and find Jacket running. I quickly activate haste and give chase. As we all run more gray forms start to appear and join in the pursuit. I’m able to catch up to Jacket and I shove the staff into his hands before I make him disappear as well. Jacket and the gray form both seem to be confused and the later seems to slowly move away. I use telepathy to tell Jacket to get us back and he slashes me with a knife he draws.
Suddenly we are locked inside a market stall in the blue poles. We have Jacket Conversation 11. I use my skeleton key to get us out of the stall we are locked in and we start to head back to the Mids. As we do so I see movement in the dark shadows, something that shimmers and twitches. I quickly get out of the area.