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Ocean of Nightmares

Initial Brief

A number of priests of the Dreaming Ocean have made a pilgrimage to Acryn, seeking the promised one who will journey to the source of the Ocean and fix the evil which has taken residence there.


Adventure Summary

The party are provided a detailed plan for defeating the entity which has invaded the Dreaming Ocean. However, as soon as they enter the Ocean they promptly forget their mission and the fact that they're dreaming.

Seemingly making their way through Acryn, people in the streets deform into reptilian monsters and attack, and a shadowy being resembling a person slowly stalks towards them. Seemingly invincible and overwhelmingly powerful, the party are soon brought low by this being. They wake up thanks to the efforts of the Dreaming Ocean priests, and are sent back into the dream, told that if that happens again they will probably die.

Back at the start of the dream, Gidner gets the sense that they should go to the ocean, so the party head to the docks, this time fleeing the creature and its minions. They meet various people there, who utter various fragments of their forgotten plan. They don't have much time to take it all in, though, as the creature stalks ever closer. They flee into the water.

Descending into the ocean but still able to breathe, the party pass some fish and sharks, the creature slowly gaining on them, and reach a pearl which seems to take them within itself. Inside they see visions of the past of one called “Adama”, a Primal who saw it as his duty to impose his will on the world, and his friends Polion (a.k.a. the Watcher), Ceciline, Moulder of Worlds, Xanthos the Necromancer, Sufi the Wind Walker and Voivodies, Painter of the Future, as they fought various dragon spawn shortly after their creation. The party see Polion having died, and Xanthos using their powers to return him from the dead out of misguided love for his partner Ceciline, and Adama expressing his concerns that this might be going a bit too far, as Polion comes back just a little wrong.

Before they can really process all of this, they then find themselves in a glade having a picnic with the dreaming souls of various people from around Acryn, as well as several iterations of Adama. They rush off to one side to discuss what they have seen, much to the chagrin of the others. They eventually come back to talk to people. One Adama is young, brash and all about imposing his will on the world. Another is a bit older, and having just witnessed the resurrection of Polion is having serious doubts about all of his life choices. The third is old and has become a lot more zen about things, planning to give up his ego to become one with humanity.

A serious of confusing discussions with a certain amount of dream logic take place over lunch, during which Brother Miller and Saffron convince the confused and doubtful Adama that his main problem is that he's not getting any and Saffron and he go off to sleep together, Penelope responds to the put-downs of a particularly nasty cousin of hers by repeatedly invoking the Traitor's power to stab them in the back (which the Traitor agrees is kinda deserved in this case), reducing them to tears, the completely unaware Heather Goodwill is granted the Divine Favour of the Splintered Man after Howard attempts to grant his favour to someone's dream image of her, and Gidner works out that Adama gave up his ego to become the Dreaming Ocean, and that the Ocean can't fight back against the draconic entity that is invading it because it has no concentrated will with which to do so.

Eventually the party find themselves back in the ocean, the creature still behind them ever drawing closer, and the pearl held in the jaws of a leviathan. Retrieving the pearl, they continue to find a second pearl caught up in some seaweed down a crevice with various sea creatures lurking within. The party make their way inside, free the pearl, where it becomes apparent that these pearls are the ego of Adama, and make their way back out of the crevice.

When most of them return, they find the Walker, the creature chasing them, has pretty much caught up, and promptly themselves. Nonetheless they manage to get away, and are met by some of the Dreaming Ocean priests who have come to check that the plan is going okay and ensure that they don't do something silly like put the ego back into the Dreaming Ocean, which would basically amount to killing their god.

Around the world people are starting to descend into deadly existential nightmares, and the priests have some dreamers they have rescued from their nightmares in tow. Gidner and the rest of the party attempt to slow down the chasing creature to buy them time to get away, and trusting Gidner to come up with a sensible plan when they reach the source of the Source of the Ocean, the priests take the traumatised dreamers to get them to safety, leaving the party to cut through some Carleon cultists who have come to take the pearls and corrupt Mudra (again) and get to the source.

At the source they find Adama's body in dream, a meditating old man. Gidner attempts to use the Dreaming Ocean's powers to draw the party into him, and they find themselves in a dark space surrounded by the whispers of all those within the ocean, as they attempt to formulate a plan and prepare for what may be about to come. The vague consensus seems to be that there is no temporary way to restore the will to Adama necessary for him to fight off the dragon, and one of them needs to act as an avatar for the Ocean by taking the Primal's ego upon themselves and doing so in his stead.

Eventually drawn back out into the dream, Gidner entrusts Nobody as a fellow priest of the Ocean with the pearls so that he can insert them into him, but Nobody promptly indicates how inappropriate Gidner himself is for the task on account of being the wrong shape, which is the result of him no longer being Primal. Things almost get violent as the Walker slowly looms ever closer, but Nobody points out that Brother Miller or Penelope would be fine, and Penelope offers to do it.

However, as Nobody starts the ritual to insert the pearls, Penelope feels her body being torn apart and suddenly realises that this will cause her to irreversibly be wiped from the waking world and become a thing purely of dream, the eternal avatar of the Dreaming Ocean. Not feeling that this is entirely for Acryn's benefit, she rejects this. Realising that instead they can split the power between them in a way that won't outright kill anyone, she, Saffron and Vincenzo share the power and become able to harm the Walker. Howard attempts to get in on the action too, but finds the power of the god clashing awkwardly with his own, and steps back.

Together they fight to bring down the Walker, and with the final blow Penelope strikes it with the miracles of the Traitor, calling on her full power to rid the world of this “foreign god”. Not quite realising that the target is in fact a full-on dragon, or indeed the consequences of doing this where the target is in fact a full-on dragon, it all goes a bit weird at this point.

The party find themselves avatars of the Founders, in a heated battle against an enormous lizard. After an intense fight they bring the beast down, and Nobody and Saffron attempt to communicate with Mudra. Confused and angry, it becomes apparent that corruption still lies within the dragon, and that if they push on into it they can purge it of some of this corruption.

In a strange painted scene in a library, they fight off twisted draconic creatures, ensuring that they keep the parts of the dragon which are good and not corrupted alive. However, during the fight, Saffron, who has been appearing progressively more pregnant throughout their journey through the dream, begins to give birth. Vincenzo helps to deliver the baby whilst the others fend off the remaining corrupted draconic creatures. This done, they have a brief moment of calm.


The party are left on the edge of a dragon, an ocean behind them, the monsters defeated. Glancing in the mirror blessed of the Splintered Man that he has to see what is outside his current location, Nobody sees only a single yellow eye staring back at him.

Saffron has given birth to a flock of 5 small winged lizards. She attempts to call to them and gather them, but they're having too much fun flying around. Calling on the Tender's power, Vincenzo performs a miracle of animal empathy to win the babies over and convince them to come down. He is able to determine that three are female, and the other two are male.

Using his empathic nature as one Born from Possibilities, Howard attempts to communicate with them and asks their names. They give their names as Apep, Vritra, Luhng, Druk, and Zmeu. Saffron feeds them some of her rations and tells them more about home as Vincenzo attempts to teach them of right and wrong and Howard gives his lecture on what makes a man righteous. They seem to understand, and seem like reasonably smart children. Nobody has Howard ask if he can steal their identity, but they say that others shouldn't look like them.

Starting to think about how they'll get home and taking a more detailed look around, the area ahead doesn't seem to make sense. The world the party are in just stops, and ocean begins. Gidner steps through to test the nature of the ocean and reverts to merman form. Seeing a man ahead covered in seaweed and anemones tips him off that this is in fact the actual ocean in the real world, and that this is the true body of Adama, the Dreaming Ocean.

Brother Miller steps through and promptly begins drowning, until Gidner uses his Oneness with the waters to create a bubble of air around him. He brings the bubble to the edge of the draconic space and the rest of the party work hard to convince the dragon babies to go through, though this proves about as easy as convincing a cat to take a bath. They eventually get them through, though, and with everybody in the bubble it gently rises to the surface. Gidner gathers driftwood at the surface to give them something to grab onto when they reach the top.

Saffron uses her skills to fix together a makeshift net and sets about fishing for food for her babies. Meanwhile, now that they have a moment to take stock of things and get the awkward conversations out of the way, Vincenzo asks Penelope why, when they became the avatars of the Founders, she was the Traitor and not the Leader, as one would expect of a Leader priest. Awkwardness ensures, in which Brother Miller and Vincenzo ask her if she is in fact a Traitor priest. The implication is that the answer is, in fact, yes. Howard suggests that he has come to the opinion that the Traitor isn't actually so bad.

Gidner questions her on her feelings when exposed to the power of Adama's Primal ego to allay his concerns on this revelation, and Vincenzo grabs her hand and shoves it into the Tender-stigmata stab wound in his heart, telling him that this was the work of the Traitor. He claims that the Traitor church's willingness to do anything necessary at whatever cost is unacceptable.

Penelope at some point says that she still wants the Cargan family to get what they deserve, which unsurprisingly doesn't go down well. An argument ensues about Penelope's deception and what she was doing to her poor cousin during the picnic within the dream. In the end, Brother Miller doesn't seem especially pleased with her behaviour and Vincenzo is outright against it, whilst the others avoid taking any particular side. Gidner comments on the awkwardness of the situation, and separates out the driftwood to keep the conflicting party members apart lest someone get thrown into the sea, and offers a safe return to Acryn for all of the party regardless.

Eventually the conversation turns to what they actually managed to achieve on their adventure into the dream, though no-one is really sure. Nobody suggests that they've got rid of some bad bits in Mudra and that the dragon is now better as a result, though this remains to be seen.

Following considerable amounts of bickering interspersed with awkward silence, the party eventually arrive back at Acryn. The first thing they do is go back to the priests of the Dreaming Ocean to check on their bodies, since before somehow ending up out at sea via a dragon they'd left their waking world bodies sleeping. They find that their bodies had dissolved into seawater, and whilst the priests had tried to declare them dead, the city officials had decided to leave it a few weeks before declaring them dead, because where adventurers are concerned it can be hard to tell for sure with these things.

The party report that they drove Mudra out of the Dreaming Ocean and cleared some of the bad bits out of Mudra. The priests confirm the first of these by informing them that the situation in the dream has been a lot improved lately, and give the party 100 Riel each.

Before they part ways, Vincenzo has a word with Saffron and offers to help her look after her dragon babies. She tells him that she was planning on renting extra space for them and will be taking care of them, but provides him with her address so he can visit. She builds a dragon roost as their home and tries to encourage them to always come back and treat it as their home. She tries to teach them her morals, telling them that it's okay to steal if they need to do so to live, but not for the sake of stealing. Generally, though, they behave like slightly more moral cats. For about a month they live there, but they grow fast, and as they grow, they begin to visit less and less.

As time goes on, Vincenzo begins to receive reports of the children being spotted further and further afield. At first, just the areas around Acryn, but eventually there are reports of them turning up near Margush and beyond. Gidner meanwhile tracks down a citizen of Caul who spotted one of them, and is interested to learn that the children still looked reptilian even to them.

Nobody finds that he is no longer being puppeted by Mudra. It remains to be seen what other effects the party's efforts have had on the dragon. Meanwhile, the Splintered Man's mirror in real world appears like regular mirror.

Before putting his ultimate plan into action, Gidner goes to find Nobody, and tells him to spread the idea of the Dreaming Ocean in Acryn and help people understand that the Ocean is about people living together and working together, and the bonds that link people. He wishes him luck and leaves.

He then travels with the Splintered Man to the place where Adama's body dwells. The god Worldshapes an island above the body, a huge diamond-shaped affair with a small mountain above the surface and most of the landmass below, heading down to sea floor in a big pillar. The island has lots of reflective surfaces, and one side of mountain is sheet glacier. The land includes houses, docks and plenty of fishing opportunities. A pool at top of the mountain goes down through the middle to body at the ocean floor. This done, the Wayfinder uses Permanent Stabilisation to ensure that it sticks.

Gidner says his goodbyes and merges with the ocean. He uses his new powers over the ocean and engineering talent to make an environment in which people can live, and is left with a pillar of water going down from the island which is inhabitable. A device spits out alchemy into this water which transforms those who enter into sea creatures so that they can live there.

He has become a spirit of place here, and sends out dreams to advertise it as a place to live. People come, slowly at first, starting with pilgrims of the Dreaming Ocean, some of whom stay. Over time, a small community begins to build up. To protect it, Gidner generates some souls as guardians, sticking them in nearby fish and other sea creatures. He also affects the area and its immediate surroundings such that the water generates Veil potion, and tries to use his connection to the Dreaming Ocean to share this with those in Acryn. Sailors passing through the area begin to find their dreams more vivid and portentous, and those back in Acryn who are so inclined start of find a slight tendency towards portentous dreams too.

Some time later Howard comes to visit his underwater paradise, and descends to the body of Adama. He uses his abilities to try to communicate with the old Primal, and whilst he is able to, this occurs using concepts as opposed to words. He emits his concept of a god at Adama, and in response receives a variation on the concept which is more of a state of being allowing those connected to merge with all of humanity. Howard passes in concepts asking what it is like to be him, and Adama returns a sensation of being cold and at the bottom of the ocean. In addition to him also feeling cold and being at the bottom of the ocean.

He tries to meditate with Gidner and the old god, but finds himself slipping into godhood. Each time he tries, he feels less sure that he wanted to snap out of it.

Meanwhile, Vincenzo reports to the council, telling them of all that has happened. He informs them of Saffron's babies, reporting that they're not hostile, and warns that Nobody may have done something inadvisable with dragons. From the name “Nobody” and extremely generic appearance, however, there isn't much they can do at this point.

He then goes to Walter Cargan to have a few words about Penelope. Telling him of what happened when they embodied the Founders, he hints that his niece may be a Traitor priest. However, Walter is pleasantly surprised by the revelation, and suggests that she should be trained for a career in politics since she was able to deceive them and is clearly more competent than they suspected. Vincenzo storms out and goes to sulk in his church for a few weeks.

Following the revelation, Walter Cargan throws Penelope a “coming out” party in celebration of her success as a Traitor priest, causing her to become one of the most known Traitor priests. A few awkward weeks later someone turns up in her room, telling her that normally they are more subtle about these things. They do, however, indicate that they can make use of this situation, directing her to instructions which guide her to a newly build Church of the Traitor. She is to be in charge of it, but must say what is the right thing to say. Those of her church say that they will be in contact, and provide some drop points in case she needs to be in touch sooner.

She is provided some sample sermons, which are generally along the lines of “Do what you must”, but are carefully written to avoid crossing the line. They tend to follow the theme of “making the hard choices”, without the “at all costs” side of things. At some point, the church gets a visit from Hierarch of the Church of the Founders. He walks around with candelabra lighting candles, then leaves without saying anything.

After emerging from his church and finding out about all of this, an enraged Vincenzo sends some of his people to keep watch on the church. He gets some feedback on who visits, though nobody particularly notable comes up for now. He goes to council and expresses his dislike of this whole situation. However, the various recent issues with the Leader church and legal complexities that could be involved make them somewhat reluctant to deal with it. For now, they consider it better where people can see it than working in shadows.

Howard blesses a mirror in an attempt to move towards being able to step into it and send reflections out into the world. For the power he can spare for now, he gets a mirror with reflection of himself that can go to other mirrors, which he can use to spy on things.

Brother Miller, meanwhile, takes his pay and attempts to get a badass tattoo of the Founders fighting the dragon on his back. This proves more painful than expected, and it's a different, cutting sort of pain. As the deed is done, the tattooist seems timid and hesitant, and Miller gets frustrated with how long it's taking. The tattooist meekly asks if they can stop, but he insists they keeps going as they break down sobbing. An hour and a half later he runs out crying. Brother Miller finds a mirror and checks his back to see what he's been left with, and finds a tattoo is of a pleased woman with red hair grinning and giving him a double thumbs up. Satisfied, he leaves the tattooist their pay and leaves. He now has a holy tattoo of the Warrior.


Brother Miller

  • Divine Tattoo: the ink within his tattoo seems to have been infused with either the Warrior's own will, or at least been influenced by his experiences with the dream of the Warrior. At minimum, a sword on his arm will tend to point him towards the nearest fight. A GM may choose to deliver information relevant to the Warrior via the tattoo. During 1 encounter where he is particularly in tune with the spirit of the Warrior he gains 2 uses of Agility. If he should ever be slain, his body will rise up with flaming hair and finish his fight (this refreshes all encounter and adventure abilities).
  • Collosus of Battle Epic Tree

Howard Branch

  • Repeated interactions with the first god have resulted in easing Howard's transition, Howard can now trigger the transition to fully manifest god instantly. It is likely that these interactions have also guided the nature of his final form. With his ascension progressing as smoothly as it is, he may also use Miracle a second time during an adventure. However, doing so will require a psychic combat to prevent him ascending as he does so.

Vincenzo Cargan

  • Guardian of Dreams Epic Tree
  • Truly Favoured of the Tender

Penelope Cargan

  • Guardian of Dreams Epic Tree
  • True Face of the Traitor Epic Tree


  • Nobody's increasing connection to Mudra means that once per an adventure he may safely take on the identity of a Dragonborn, effectively gaining the Dragonborn epic tree for that encounter. The first time he does this he will become aware that Mudra is ashamed of what he did to the Dragonborn. Nobody MAY choose to use this a second time during an adventure, if he does this he will permanently gain the Dragonborn epic tree at the end of the adventure but lose the ability to ever cast Identity Theft or Belief Enhancement (any XP in these skills may be re-spent in the Dragonborn skills).


  • Guardian of Dreams Epic Tree
  • Contacts: Drakes
  • Bestial Protector Epic Tree - Zmeu sits upon the peak of the world, and will occasionally swoop in to protect you.
resources/adventure/ocean_of_nightmares.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/23 14:29 by thomasl