As the adventurers jump through the portal at the top of the Crimson Tower they lose consciousness only to wake up in the camp of the cursed crusaders. Their dreams were very foreboding and felt like they had some prophetic meaning to them.
A nightmare haunts you all while you sleep. Luca, it chases you through a dark, abandoned monestary, lit only by the light of the Bloodmoon filtering through cracked, stained glass windows and the occasional glow of ghost mushrooms growing from the decaying wood of broken pews. Your panicked footsteps disturb a colony of bats, which whip and screech past you.
Quentin, the nightmare chases you through a dark, hedgerow maze, lit only by the pale blue light from the Darkmoon above, the other moons fully eclipsed. The maze is confusing and you pray that you won’t head down a dead end.
Emrys, your chase is through the broken, marble pillars of an elven ruin, the arrow riddled bodies of human scavengers are all around you. Sehanine’s light filters through the dark, angry clouds above you and the glow of will-o’-wisps darting in the air around you confuses your escape.
James, the mare chases you through a dark, vaulted catacombs, lit only by the green glow of the phosphorescent moss covering the stones. Stones are slippery and slick with sewage, preventing you from making a fast getaway.
Each of you tries to outrun the thunder of the flaming hooves behind you. Despite the panic which constricts your throat, you notice the smell in the air is earthy and damp.
Luca, it reminds you of the smell of the mushrooms you got from the peddler’s guard back in the Elder Foothills. You were looking for books to read, but ended up being cursed with visions which sent you on your quest.
Quentin, you are reminded of the walk you and your beloved shared together through one of her family’s vineyards. Around you, the vintners were directing the peasantry on where and how to irrigate, while she was telling you the terms and conditions of your quest.
For you, Emrys, the smell conjures up the painful memory of Voriel’s disappearance. He was tutoring you in the moon circle, in the woods close to your village when he vanished without a trace. The smell in the air was exactly the same earthy, damp smell. You have come to associate it with fear.
James, the smell reminds you of the stink of the ancient waterways, which you explored growing up in order to infiltrate the opulent estates of Ravensbourne and the Hill, which in turn lead you to be noticed by the Steady Hand and changed your life forever.
With every terrorising bray of the nightmare behind you, with every panicked glimpse of the smoke shrouded mare you see as you look over your shoulder, you see flashes of the future.
In each flash you are travelling to different places, both foreign and familiar. In each place fighting has broken out. In each fight, people are pitted against people, people are pitted against beasts and monsters.
You see unspeakable atrocities; burning cities, people pierced by stakes, children dashed against rocks, women tumbling from battlements, men torn apart by tusk and talon.
Leathery winged abominations flying overhead, sowing chaos and spreading destruction. Hordes of people, poisoned by the chaos, hunger for blood. Any blood.
Armies of wicked people driven into battle ahead of large, horned generals, ever spurring them to further violence, feeding and growing off their cruelty.
It is hard to tell people from beast and monster.
In the middle of these two forces stands a small group, about to be overwhelmed. They wear steel armour coloured red, white and blue, lead by golden warriors with wings of light.
As the armies and hordes swallow the ones caught in the middle, the hooves of the nightmare behind you catch up and thunder down once more, breaking your back, pulverising your bones and liquefying your organs. The flames of the hooves engulf you, but you no longer feel anything as your body is consumed and you die frightened and alone in the dark.
The last thing you see, Luca, is your blood rapidly seeping into the cracks between the tiles of the monastery, sprouting mushrooms around you. The thick bulbs of the mushrooms release a cloud of noxious spores as all goes black.
Quentin, your blood gets soaked up around you and you see the hedges around you grow dry and wither away like a spoilt harvest. You watch the sickness spreads further and further, you at its epicentre, as you die.
As you take your last gasps of air, Emrys, you see your blood seep into the broken marble around you. It jerks through the veins of the stone to the beat of an invisible heart. It grows stronger as yours grows weaker.
You, James, watch as your blood pours from your wounds and mixes with the sewage before rapidly trickles down a nearby drain. The last thing you see as life escapes your grasp is a strange eye stalk rise out from the drain, like that of an overgrown slug, to watch you die.