Ch. 4: Ahu-Y’hloa (The Nursery)

Chapter 4: Ahu-Y’hloa (The Nursery)

Having made a few of the right friends, our adventurers are going to learn just how frightening the wrong enemies can be.

Terror has a new face.


DM’s Note:  Our characters are now level 3.

Carling was not able to make it to this session, and as such, her character Alana was absent for the events.  It was retconned that she had been missing since that morning, before the group had searched the stables.  This is explained in the first part of this upcoming session.


Session Record (December 9, 2012)

DAY 4 (continued):

The party of adventurers continued their trek towards the Royal Quarter of Yaneth’lei, hoping to find their best answers there.  They loosely followed the “Song of Triumph” current as it flowed down past them, carrying food and warmth out to the rest of northern Yaneth’lei.  The cavern had a system of naturally-occurring currents, and city architecture had grown up around them to take advantage of them.  In turn, the proliferation of buildings had further confined and defined the currents, until they became as clearly marked (and as regularly traveled) as roads.

As the party continued their trek into the district of Ahu-Y’hloa, they considered the recent disappearance of their friend, Alana.  Damash had been the last to see her the night before, and he reported she seemed bitter about being such a poor adventurer.  On more than one occasion so far, her compulsiveness had nearly gotten her and those around her killed.  Damash wasn’t sure if Alana had left to practice her stealthy skills on her own, or simply to relieve the party of her as a burden, but all hoped she had not gotten into danger.

As the party entered the “Olden Fair” district of Ahu-Y’hloa, a distant humming or buzzing noise could be heard.  It was very deep in pitch, rumbling through the rocks beneath them as well as the water around them.  It was a sound that the group could feel in their bones, and it would prove to be very irritating, very quickly.

The sound itself seemed to be coming from the direction of a destroyed residential building in the Olden Fair area.  The travelers slunk through a covered food market area to get a closer look.  Originally five floors, the structure had nearly been destroyed when a giant orthocone “tower” had impaled it, falling from some incredible height.  As it was, the entire third floor had collapsed like a house of cards.  (Afterwards, the party would refer to the old fourth and fifth floors as simply the new third and four floors, to avoid confusion.)

 The arrangement of the two buildings.

Orthocones were the ancient (and large) ancestors of Tialka’s squid friend.

As the travelers remembered from their studies, Yanethlien buildings could come in a variety of shapes and materials, including biological specimens like giant mollusk shells. Furthermore, with their deep knowledge of genetics, Yanethliens could literally breed creatures to produce exactly the shape of building they wanted, internal rooms and all. However, the orthocone used to form the “tower” must have been very large indeed.

Drawn most to the peculiar, out-of-place giant shell, the adventurers decided to begin their search there.  While Vhankor and Tialka raced each other through the open water to get to the spire first, Surrn crept stealthily up along the outside of the building, casting Light inside a few of the barred and overgrown windows.  He caught a flurry of movement from within, but could make out nothing more.

Tower, Floor 6:

Little was left of the “sixth” floor of the destroyed tower, as the walls had been scorched black by some cataclysm.  The broken edges twisted away from each other, as if blown outwards in an explosion that caused the structure to drop from its original anchor.  However, there were no other clues the party could find, and they continued down a spiral staircase to the next floor.

Naturally-occurring spiral stairs lead downwards into the tower.

Tower, Floor 5:

Staircases were not always needed, as most denizens could swim, but they were useful for moving heavy objects or just making sure silt and debris didn’t simple settle to the bottom of a tower.

As opposed to the sixth, the fifth floor was littered with signs of a fierce struggle.  The group found a total of four skeletons (one Hu-nan and three Aventi), though none were lying in one piece.  They looked as if they had been clawed or blown to pieces when they died.  There were scorch marks along the walls here as well, though none powerful enough to blow out the walls.

One interesting fact Vhankor noticed was the complete lack of weapon or armor remains on the bodies.  Instead, brushing the accumulated growth from the skeletons, he found rotted strips of a fine robe material.  ”Mages,” he muttered to himself, remembering that the Aventi were more naturally adept with magic than the other sub-races.  This would probably have been a wizardly tower of some sort then, and gave some suggestion to the source of the blast marks.

(Behind him, Tialka kicked over a shell and found a strange white pearl, too large to be used as coinage.  Making sure no one had seen her, she said nothing and quietly pocketed the item.)

Tower, Floor 4:

While there were no bodies on the next level down, there were a number of glyphs that had been hastily scrawled across the walls in some kind of wax.  The text adorning each glyph was unfamiliar, and Surrn found himself completely unable to memorize the shapes, despite a high level of concentration.

When informed by Tialka that the writing did not appear religious, Vhankor decided to take the most direct route.  He moved over and touched one of the glyphs with his hand.

In response, the writing itself seemed to lift from the surface of the wall for a second, then explode into a cloud of acid around the party.  Only Damash and the squid reacted with enough speed to get out of the way completely; all others found themselves fleeing to clearer waters, rubbing acid from their eyes and rinsing it from their clothes.

Someone with magical training had apparently left traps hastily on this floor, perhaps to guard a retreat.  There was no current in this part of the building, and the acid cloud would take some time to dissipate.  The group skirted the spreading green area and continued downwards.

Tower, Floor 3:

A loud Message began playing as soon as the four entered this level:

The Enemy have breached the perimeter!
Retreat to the inner chambers!

Apparently triggered simply by their presence, this Message repeated as long as the four were on the level.  The group quickly grew tired of the information and, seeing nothing else of import on this floor, made their way further down.

Tower, Floor 2:

It was here that the party discovered the shear between the two parts of the orthocone tower, invisible from the outside.  The rest of the “tip” was separated from them by the collapsed rubble of the third floor.  To continue down to the last two levels, they would need to return up the way they came, then proceed through the residential building proper.

They decided to do just that.


This is a common arrangement in Yanethlian architecture.

Residential, New Floor 4:

As many larger buildings in Yaneth’lei were constructed, the residential structure used a hollow central area as an easy way for swimmers to access all levels of the structure. Entrance was usually at the top, underneath a simple roof to keep sediment from drifting inside.  Richer residents actually stayed on the bottom, farthest away from prying eyes or predators.

The four adventurers had been planning to completely bypass floors three and four of the building itself, aiming instead directly for the remainder of the shell tower, but circumstances intervened. Just as they were passing the level of the destroyed 4th floor, a swift scorpion-like creature leaped out of the shadows at the closest figure, Surrn.

See the smaller one?  It’s not that one.

The Pterygotus proved to be a cunning opponent, beginning its attack with a large ink cloud that erupted 30 feet in every direction.  The party’s superior low-light vision was suddenly completely useless.  Surrn felt sharp claws close into his torso, and it was only through a stroke of luck that he avoided becoming grappled by the creature.  Still, he had already been badly wounded, and the foe could be anywhere.

Reeling from the surprise attack, the others tried to collect their wits.  Knowing he had only a vague idea of where the creature was, Surrn let loose with a ranged electrical touch attack.  He soon realized why such spells were completely banned in Yaneth’lei, as everyone around him arched and cried in pain–the water had conducted it in every direction.  Everyone, it seemed, except the creature.

Vhankor managed to think more clearly.  Vhankor first expelled a cone of steam in the direction he had last seen his foe.  Fortunately for him, the bubbles disturbed the water just long enough for the others to see the creature.

Tialka then cleared the area with a Gust of Water, and the others moved in to tackle the foe.  The beast proved quite resilient to any magical strike, and physical attacks seemed to have the most success (including a grapple by Tialka’s squid, something it was becoming very proficient at).

Still, the Pterygotus seemed exceptionally clever, and it broke away from the group, circling around towards their rear at a phenomenal speed.  Surrn, who was still licking his wounds, had only enough time to cry out in surprise as claws sank into his flesh.  He went limp from the crushing pain, and the creature turned to go–carrying its next meal with it.

Vhankor, knowing he had but seconds, slammed head-on into the creature, knocking Surrn from its grasp with the impact.  Taken by surprise, and slowly being whittled down by the others, the Pterygotus finally sized up the situation and fled.

The group took a much-deserved break for lunch.  They used the time to patch their wounds and nurse Surrn back into consciousness.

Tower, Floor 1-2:

Vhankor rubbed the sides of his temples as the party resumed their travel downwards. The ever-present droning hum was driving him to distraction.  It was like listening to someone humming off-key in a nearby room, and it was making it very difficult for him to focus on anything else.  [DM's note: failed Will Save for 1 point of damage to Wisdom.]

As planned, the group bypassed the third floor of the residential building and proceeded into floors two and one of the “tip” of the conical tower.  As floor two had been the site of the shear, there was very little left of it to explore.  The first floor, on the other hand, proved to be an observation room of sorts, ringed by windows.  The windows had been blown inwards by the force of the original impact, and the entire floor was buried in silt and debris, making this a dead end for the party.

Still, a quick search revealed a half-buried pair of goggles that had somehow survived the crash.  There were Yanethlien citizens with poor eyesight, and corrective goggles were not unheard of.  However, this pair seemed to bring everything into sharp and detailed focus, allowing the wearer to make minute searches more easily. The group saved the object for Alana, who they felt would make the best use of them.

Reemerging from the top of the broken cone tip, the adventurers were greeted by a long scream of agony, somewhere close by.

Residential, New Floor 3:

The sound was coming from the residential third floor, the same floor they had exited onto. Casting apprehensive glances at each other, the party cautiously approached the first of the four rooms left undestroyed.  Poking their heads inside, they were greeted by two simultaneous oddities.

First, the room was in good repair, the walls repaired neatly with planks of wood fiber and the windows neatly shuttered.  The walls had been repainted in an odd shade of pink, and nine baby cribs were space equally against the walls.  Inside, small bundled shapes lay. 

Second, the walls were covered in humanoid faces, each spaced about a foot apart.  All together, there were easily hundreds.

Tialka nervously touched a nearby face and confirmed it was Hu-nan and not an artistic imitation. Leather could not be made underwater, as it was impossible to dry and cure skins in the environment, so the tissue had been cured with some preserving chemical.

“Well, it seems we’ve discovered where all the missing faces have gone,” Vhankor commented.  As per course for his impulsive nature, the fighter/mage moved over and unwrapped one of the bundles in a cot.  Inside, he found a faceless baby.

Able to handle the stressed thrown at it so far, Vhankor’s mind finally stumbled.  He locked into a catatonic state of shock, his eyes wide, his arms rigid, his brain unable to process all he’d discovered.  The others, realizing something was amiss, were understandably concerned at his frozen state.  Thanks to his reactions, they were more prepared for the discovery inside the swaddling clothes.

When Vhankor finally broke from his stony silence, he simply yelled, “Kill it!” and brought his ranseur straight down into the aberrant babe.  The force of the blow cut the infant cleanly in two, along with the crib it had been lying in.

Stunned at Vhankor’s suddenness, the others could only stand by as he cleaved another child and crib.  Taking the initiative, Surrn placed himself between Vhankor and his next target but was forcibly shoved against a wall for his trouble.  A third infant fell into pieces.

Finally, the rest of Vhankor’s friends decided to step in to end his rage.  Although he had returned from his temporary insanity, there were still the after-effects to deal with, and the silent children were paying the price.  Damash and the squid both tackled Vhankor in a grapple, and Tialka helped them to subdue him with nonlethal damage until he was unconscious.  (Except for the squid, that is, who was not yet intelligent enough to pull its bite.)

Exhausted in both mind and body, those left conscious decided to make an exit through a window newly-opened by Surrn and beeline it back to “friendly” territory–in other words, where the kobolds could provide a safe place to rest.  There they would collect their wits and deal with Vhankor, when he woke again.

. . .

“You go on,” Surrn said, as the others turned to go.  ”I’ll catch up in a bit.”  When the rest had departed, Surrn took one last moment to look around the room.  The “infants,” if they were truly that, bore other peculiar details than just a lack of face.  Inside their cross-sections, Surrn could see the expected skeletal structure and organs, but the blood oozed slowly from the wounds.  They had no heartbeat or breath that he could tell, yet their temperatures were just above room temperature.  They were almost living, but not quite.

Against his better judgment, he wondered what would happen if he took down one of the faces hanging on the wall and placed it on one of the faceless children.  But as his hand reached out to take the nearest visage, he froze.

There, hanging on the wall in front of him, was his own face.

. . .

Surrn was unnaturally quiet when he returned to the group, but he refused to talk about anything he had seen.  His only explanation was that what they’d witnessed in the nursery had also affected him, and he’d just as well not dwell on the matter.

Vhankor stayed his violence when he re-awoke, though he would sometimes throw Tialka’s squid silent, threatening glares.

Before they went to bed, the group remembered to get in touch with their respective contacts–Surrn, the empathic kobolds; and the rest, Professor Oort-Ba at the School. The kobolds had nothing definite to say about the mysterious building, other than it was completely avoided by the kobold, and that it was somehow associated with the monster image with things protruding from its face.  The closest analogy Yanethlien speech had to the avoidance was “haunted” or “cursed,” although Surrn felt the quarantine was more from rigid tradition than superstition.

To Prof. Oort-Ba, they sent an abbreviated update on their discoveries thus far, focusing on the bodies of the Strighten expedition, the faceless babies, and the faces covered the walls.  His response:

This is a new one.
Need time to research at
Library.  Strighten was most recent
expedition from Cradle, lost without
explanation.  Stay safe.


Day 5:

Residential, New Floor 3 (continued):

The next day, newly rested and prepared (albeit still mentally reeling from the events of yesterday), the four returned directly to the nursery through the unbarricaded third floor window.  Everything was as they had left it yesterday, including the destroyed cribs and the bodies.  They were relieved to find nothing in wait for them.

Still, tensions set in almost immediately.  Whereas Tialka and Damash wished to continue on to wherever the screaming could still be heard from, Vhankor and Surrn sized each other up suspiciously.  Each had their own secret motives for being the last to leave, and for being unobserved when they did–Surrn, to study the rest of the faces without alerting the others; and Vhankor, to finish the job he’d started.

Eventually, after some pointless bickering, Surrn conceded to a quick, fruitless glance about the room, after which he stood in the doorway while Vhankor went to work.  In total, eight cribs and eight faceless infants met their end.  The ninth was left untouched, as it mysteriously (and unsettlingly) was empty.  Outside, the rest of the party stood by awkwardly until the deed was done.

The screaming became more distinct the closer the party got to it, and the four found its source in the room diagonally across from the nursery.  Inside, a man hung crucified by iron nails against a wall.

In front of him, three chairs either sat or lay overturned.  The growth on the chairs suggested they had been there for some time–years, even–but the man was still very much alive and struggling.  In his screams, however, were the addled wails of a man who’d lost his mind long ago.

Vhankor and Tialka used their knowledge of Spellcraft to study the arcane writing clearly visible on the spikes, but were unable to tell more than a confusing mix of magical schools.  Following the more practical route, Vhankor pulled out the spike in the man’s right foot; he received a momentary electric shock as his hand touched the iron, but this abated once the point was clear of the flesh.  In response, the man ceased his convulsing and screaming, but his head and tongue hung limply to one side.

On the removal of the next foot spike, the man’s wounds in his hands and feet began bleeding freely.  The dots slowly connecting in Vhankor’s mind, he finally pulled the last of the two spikes.  The prisoner drifted slowly to the bottom of the room, where he withered and died in a matter of moments, as if from old age.  However long the poor soul had been kept imprisoned here in unending torture, it was too long for any sane man to contemplate.

It took some study and use of the knowledge of Spellcraft, but the group was eventually able to identify the spells placed on all four spikes:

  • Bear’s Endurance
  • Fast Healing
  • Shocking Grasp
  • Raise Dead

When all used together, the spikes essentially allowed something to be tortured, killed, and brought back to life indefinitely–until they finally died of old age, that is.  (No known magic could extend life past this point.)  The depraved nature needed to construct this torture chamber fit in well with what was known so far of the “Enemy.”

A search of the rest of the floor brought nothing else to light, save a heavy fiber shield.  In the corner, however, Vhankor was already combining his jury-rigging abilities with his insatiable curiosity by strapping the Shocking Grasp spike to the end of his ranseur.

Residential, Floor 2:

The party progressed to the second floor, and the buzzing hum that had plagued them became instantly more intense.  Even Damash began to feel its effects wearing on his mind, and hoped they’d eliminated it soon.  The group began to slowly spread out in the darkness of the second level, where piled mounds of plant growth and debris concealed the source of the sound.

Surrn was the luckiest (or unluckiest) of the group when he literally stumbled into the creature first.  He finally realized he was in trouble when a large eye on a mass of coral and plants moved to focus on him.

Can you see it?

A devilfish revealed.

The scuffle against the vicious devilfish was made more intense by several factors.  First, there were actually not one but two of the ugly fish; the other took opportunity to jump Surrn as soon as he’d gotten clear of the first.  Second, the fish were covered in thorny spines, which they made sure to drive into their opponents with vigorous thrashing.  The spines were not poisoned, but they were very painful; and both Damash and Surrn soon had hampering barbs broken off in their flesh.

While Vhankor did his customary ranseur damage, Tialka took opportunity to summon a few helpful friends.  A small Water Elemental distracted the fish long enough for a bright Steaming Sphere to roll on top of them, and the party were soon enjoying roasted (if a bit spiny) fish meat.  In addition, they discovered the original reason the two fish had been guarding this room, using their humming bodies to warn predators away–piles of fish eggs lay hidden in the rubble.

Above all else, the friends were glad to find the ceaseless buzzing and humming sounds had finally ended.  And yet–a new sound finally reached their ears, a sound (until now) indistinguishable in the din.  It was a distant, arrhythmic tap-tap sound…a sound coming from even deeper in the recesses of the building.

Residential, Floor 1:

The first floor is a collapsed mess of rubble.

An opening at the far side of the fish hatchery led to the first floor, which was fortunate to still be standing at all.  The party ducked in and out of half-collapsed passageways and made their way carefully past creaking supports towards the rear of the level, from which the tapping noise emanated   Eventually, they rounded a corner to find another live body crucified and contorting in agony.  However, unlike the previous victim, only his wrists had been nailed to the wall, leaving his feet to drum freely; this is what they had heard from the level above.  Also, his entire face, along with part of his brain, were missing.

“Quick,” admonished Tialka, “try to calm him; tell him we’ll try to help him!”

“He can’t respond,” Vhankor returned.  ”He doesn’t have a mouth!”  He gestured towards the figure in front of them, then stopped in a sudden realization.

The crucified man’s left hand wore a familiar serpentine ring.  A ring he had seen on a recent addition to their party.  A ring that somehow connected the owner with a secret goddess they privately worshiped.  A certain ring he had not seen on the “real” Surrn for approximately the last day or so.

A slow, horrifying realization began to dawn on Vhankor, and he spun around in terror.  He was just in time to watch the “real” Surrn behind him rip apart right down the middle.

Instead of pink fleshy organs, the gaping maw of the creature held a mass of teeth and eyes.  The three humanoids left stared in blank horror; and as “Surrn’s” face tore, Damash felt a bit of his mind tear as well.  The Thing smiled evilly with both sides of its head and moved forward hungrily.

Tialka and Damash hurried to help the real Surrn, whom they now realized was nailed to the wall in front of them.  He had been so, in fact, since whenever the Thing had stolen his face.  They pulled the spikes from his hands and eased him downwards, worried about the lasting damage.

Meanwhile, Vhankor and and the squid stood bravely toe-to-toe with the monster, but they were unsure if they were dealing any real damage against the thick, squishy hide.  In return, the Thing struck them with overwhelming strength, sending Vhankor reeling nearly into unconsciousness with a single blow.  The arm that had delivered the strike had stretched out a surprising distance, and Vhankor realized he had lost the advantage of range.

“Kill it with steam!” Vhankor yelled, suddenly recalling an important detail learned the previous day.  Together, he and Tialka washed scalding Steam Magic over the twisted abomination, and were pleased to see its skin begin to blister and peel–certainly more reaction than their physical attacks had been provoking.

But it did not seem to do enough.  In response, the other Thing simply grinned…and erupted a new, giant scorpion’s tail from a tear in its body.

Another bat from the creature sent Damash spinning, and things were indeed looking grim. Frantically racking his brain for any weapon he could use against the monster, Vhankor’s hand brushed against a small bottle–the bottle the kobold Story-Teller had given as a gift. His eyes widened with sudden realization, and he held it up in his hand for the Other to see.

“Surrender, or die!” he yelled in intimidation.  Then, giving Tialka a knowing stare, he whispered, “Run!”

The Thing sized both Vhankor and his little bottle up for a brief instant.  Then, with an evil smirk, he lashed out his scorpion tail at the desperate mage.  In response, Vhankor flung the bottle with his full strength directly into the monster’s face.

The resulting explosion blew out the first floor of the residential building and was heard halfway across Yaneth’lei.



Appendix: Sanity

Definitions:

Quoting from the Unearthed Arcana variant rule book:

Sanity is the natural mental state of ordinary life. Normal mental balance is endangered when characters confront horrors, entities, or activities that are shocking, unnatural, and bewildering. Such encounters cause a character to lose points from his Sanity score, which in turn risks temporary, indefinite, or permanent insanity. Mental stability and lost Sanity points can be restored, up to a point, but psychological scars may remain.

In the Shadowsea campaign, an event will require a sanity check if it significantly challenges a character’s views of the world around him.  This would include monstrous aberrations or ancient gods (as anticipated), but it could also include something as innocuous as a letter–if that letter informs the reader he is possibly the last of his species.

Things that challenge the sanity of our protagonists are meant to be defining events, and as such will not occur every session.  At the same time, the methods for recovering sanity are long and difficult, and characters may be thankful for every restful moment they get.

  • Starting Sanity:  A character’s starting Sanity equals his Wisdom score multiplied by 5.
  • Current Sanity:  A character’s current Sanity score fluctuates almost as often as (and sometimes much more often than) his hit points.
  • Maximum Sanity:  A character’s current Sanity can never be higher than 99 minus the character’s ranks in the Knowledge (forbidden lore) skill. This number (99 minus Knowledge [forbidden lore] ranks) is the character’s maximum Sanity.

Making a Sanity Check:

When a character encounters a gruesome, unnatural, or supernatural situation, the GM may require the player to make a Sanity check using percentile dice (d%). The check succeeds if the result is equal to or less than the character’s current Sanity.

Sanity Loss:

The following list gives some examples of severe shocks, and the Sanity loss each one provokes.

Sanity Lost1 Shocking Situation
  1. Loss on a successful check/loss on a failed check.
0/1d2 Surprised to find mangled animal carcass
0/1d3 Surprised to find human corpse
0/1d3 Surprised to find human body part
0/1d4 Finding a stream flowing with blood
1/1d4+1 Finding a mangled human corpse
0/1d6 Awakening trapped in a coffin
0/1d6 Witnessing a friend’s violent death
1/1d6 Seeing a ghoul
1/1d6+1 Meeting someone you know to be dead
0/1d10 Undergoing severe torture
1/d10 Seeing a corpse rise from its grave
2/2d10+1 Seeing a gigantic severed head fall from the sky
1d10/d% Seeing an evil deity

Temporary Insanity:

Whenever a character loses Sanity points equal to one-half her Wisdom score from a single episode of Sanity loss, she has experienced enough of a shock that the GM must ask for a Sanity check. If the check fails, the character realizes the full significance of what she saw or experienced and goes temporarily insane. If the check succeeds, the character does not go insane, but she may not clearly remember what she experienced.

A character suffering from temporary insanity remains in this state for either a number of rounds or a number of hours; roll d% and consult Table 6-8: Duration of Temporary Insanity to see whether the insanity is short-term or long-term. After determining the duration of the insanity, roll d% and consult either Table 6-9 or 6-10 to identify the specific effect of the insanity.

Successful application of the Heal skill (see below) may alleviate or erase temporary insanity.

Permanent Insanity:

A character whose Sanity score falls to -10 goes permanently insane. The character becomes an NPC under the control of the Game Master.

Gaining Or Recovering Sanity:

IMPORTANT:  For the Shadowsea campaign, there is nearly no method of restoring sanity points points via magic.  Mental disorders are a complicated process that require time, patience, and (most of all) support from one’s friends.

  • Level Advancement:  A character’s current Sanity can become higher than her starting Sanity as a result of gained levels: Whenever a character gains a new level, she rolls 1d6 and adds the result to her current Sanity.
  • Immediate Care: When someone suffers an episode of temporary insanity, a therapist can bring him out of it—calming his terror, snapping him out of his stupor, or doing whatever else is needed to restore the patient to the state she was in before the temporary insanity—by making a DC 15 Heal check as a full-round action.

    A therapist can also use immediate care to stabilize the Sanity score of a character whose current Sanity is between -1 and -9. On a successful DC 15 check (requiring a full-round action), the character’s Sanity score improves to 0.
  • Long-Term Care:  Providing long-term care means treating a mentally disturbed person for a day or more in a place away from stress and distractions. A therapist must spend 1d4 hours per day doing nothing but talking to the patient. If the therapist makes a DC 20 Heal check at the end of this time, the patient recovers 1 Sanity point. A therapist can tend up to six patients at a time; each patient beyond the first adds 1 hour to the total time per day that must be devoted to therapy. The check must be made each day for each patient. A roll of 1 on any of these Heal checks indicates that the patient loses 1 point of Sanity that day, as she regresses mentally due to horrors suddenly remembered.

Magical Effects:

Although magic generally cannot restore sanity, it can help ease the effects of its loss.

  • Calm Emotions:  This spell cannot restore Sanity directly, but it can temporarily mitigate the effects of temporary or permanent insanity. While the spell is in effect, the targets act calmly and ignore behavior changes caused by Sanity loss.
  • Heal:  In addition to its normal effects, heal restores removes all forms of temporary insanity.
  • Mind Blank:  While the spell is in effect, the subject is immune to Sanity loss.
  • Miracle:  This spell can restore a character to maximum Sanity even if his current Sanity has dropped to -10. Miracle even heals permanent insanity.
  • Restoration (any type):  Any restoration-type spell will remove the effects of Temporary Insanity.  It will not, however, prevent the patient from having realized the significance of what he has seen, however; and sanity loss must be treated differently.
  • Wish:  This spell can restore a character to maximum Sanity even if his current Sanity has dropped to -10. Wish even heals permanent insanity.
  • Wish, Limited:  This spell can restore a character to maximum Sanity even if his current Sanity has dropped to -10. Limited wish does not heal permanent insanity.

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