The six adventurers clambered onto the shore, their clothes in rags and their minds filled with disorienting associations from lives lived in a dream world. They introduced each other by both their real and their otherworld names while doing their best to sort out their own memories. Greel didn’t mention his first name, but did reveal that he knew where they were, sort of, somewhere in the Ozark Mountains.
The lake shore around them seemed to be abandoned. There were a few houses, but they were mostly on fire. One asphalt road ran from a nearby boat ramp into the surrounding forest. Although the houses looked modern, there was no sign of any electrical or telephone lines. They could also see the remains of some concrete structures partly submerged and continuing out of sight under the water. There was a roughly cubical concrete structure up the hill, topped with a pyramidal cap (also concrete). Dream catchers were still crawling around on the rocks. Mirela conjured up a spirit to try and find out what happened (burning buildings, no one around, etc.). The spirit appeared to be a normal, if transparent, human at first, but then became more distorted, like a TV image with the alignment messed up. It was able to give only a partial, static-y report, including “Coin… Amon… Keys.” No one else could see the spirit, but Greel, realizing what Mirela was doing, used his own magic to reveal the conversation to himself, inadvertently making it visible to everyone and able to communicate with both him and Mirela. They were unable to to get much more out of the spirit before it turned into a giant worm thing and faded away.
Noticing the concrete vault up the hill, they headed that way and discovered the shadowy forms from multiple time periods traveling up and down the road. They tried to talk to them and Mark swung a stick through one, causing it to split into three shadows and attack the group. Mirela and Greel tried unto communicate with the shadows, but to no avail. Before the fight progressed very far, Mirela used her command undead talisman on them, which had the effect of reverting them to their docile ghost forms. She was then able to talk to them, discovering that they were tourists coming to the boat launch (which was not there) at Silver Cove. The ghosts were drawn on down the road as if by a wind and vanished.
At the crypt, they examined the structure, noting its near-complete lack of features, and wondered how anyone got in or out of it. They also deduced from the dates on the plaque that the son died before the father. They examined the keyholes in some detail, correctly deducing their function. Mirela tried to contact a spirit here but failed. From here, they could see the top of a concrete tower and decided to head that way, possibly as a place to set up a secure camp site because it was getting dark.
On the way, they saw the crumbling remains of a multiple hearth hotel chimney and decided to set up there instead. Mark and Penelope went back to collect some burning wood from the house by the crypt while the others searched the chimney area. Greel found a glimmer of metal while searching behind the rock pile at the top, but then tiny charcoal-like creatures stirred from the rubble and and attacked. After the fight, they found the shimmering metal key and set up camp in the ruined foundation.
During the night, Mark (also busy making spears) noticed that the dream catchers would try and creep close whenever he wasn’t looking. To see what they would do, he allowed them to get close to one of his sleeping companions. When he saw them start to web her up, he chased them off again. Later, they heard something crashing through the underbrush. It turned out to be zombie-like humans with huge black eyes. They killed two and overpowered another in an attempt to find out how he got that way. Greel and Mirela, working together, found a way to reach into its mind, where they discovered that it had been psychically drained the same way the dream catchers had psychically drained them. This was, apparently, what they would have become if they hadn’t escaped from the cocoons.
In the morning, they made their way to the tower, where they discovered the foundation of a large building with a basement (half filled with water) split into cell-like rooms below. In the tower, they could hear clanging and saw a group of battered-looking patchwork cyborgs with crystal chest implants. They were working diligently at a series of less than productive tasks. Penelope investigated the cells and, behind a section of cracked concrete, found a locked metal cabinet which contained the second key.
Meanwhile, the others were exploring the tower and watched the custodians doing their mad repetitive work. They thought there would be something hidden behind one of the fireplaces but couldn’t find anything. They had already determined that the custodians were not interested in them when Sarah decided that she needed to examine one of the cyborgs much more closely. It responded to this interference by clubbing her with its large metal arm. Undeterred, she tried it again. After a second clubbing, the others dragged her away before she could get herself killed.
Across the inlet, they could see the one intact house, so they worked their way around and saw two men hauling everything outside to be burned. Although mostly ordinary-looking, they were carrying strangely contoured conical devices that fit over the left hand. Before anyone could advise caution, Penelope, excited to see normal human beings, shouted a greeting and got shot at with the conical devices, which turned out to launch clouds of bees. They missed, and she dived into the water to avoid the scattering bees. Mark hit one with a spear. Although not mortally wounded, the two men burst open. Clouds of iridescent orange dust rose from their split husks and flew away, leaving the empty skin peels to attack. After the fight, they found a scroll one of them had, which Mirela was able to decipher as, “Be thorough. A true vestige will not burn.”
They were able to recover some additional equipment from the debris, including a cigarette lighter, gasoline, and a bow (modern). From there, they could see a house boat docked a little ways down. They found diving equipment (empty tanks) and depth finder stuff and all that. In a locked box with some other artifacts they found the third key.
Returning to the crypt, they inserted the keys and opened the tomb, revealing two coffins, which they opened. They found two mummified humans, one with a large silver coin around his neck. They fled the tomb as the mummies shambled towards them. Mirela, thinking quickly, snatched the coin on the way out. The mummies collapsed into dust. There was a flash of lightning and, as the whole area faded into mist, they briefly saw an obelisk across the water where there had previously been nothing but the rocky shore.
Then the tomb was gone, along with the lake. Below them in the newly exposed valley was a small, sleepy resort town.