Mx Hood, Burrke and Dr. Smith were relaxing at the station’s bar when it was discovered that someone at a nearby table had collapsed. The individual, an artist named Cillian Rourke who’d made an appeal to them for aid following the Pryxzod situation, seemed to be in a coma. Dr. Smith brought him to the station’s medical facility and found that two other people had similarly succumbed to an unexplained unconsciousness. After a series of in-depth scans, Smith found that there was an unusually high level of brain activity and a substance in the system that gave off an unusual energy signature that was throwing off the medical scanners. Smith provided the others with information about what was likely a drug in the patient’s system. Burrke used his contacts to learn that the drug was being distributed by a very tall alien from a room in the station’s community center. Mx Hood did a search for information about the drug’s energy signature and found that the type of energy – which had something of a phasing quality to it – was very rare, only showing up in situations involving ultraterrestrials.
Quite suddenly, Dr. Smith found herself falling through the air in a way very reminiscent of a dream she’d had recently. She and some of the station’s medical staff were falling toward a strangely-colored medieval landscape. But right before they hit the ground, they found themselves once more in the station’s medical facility. Burrke and Mx Hood encountered a similar situation when they met with Burrke’s contact Mickey on their way to the community center. A nearby storage compartment appeared to be a window into a Restoration-era boot shop. They had a brief conversation with the cobbler, then the vision faded. The cobbler (who now appeared to be a normal resident of the station) lay unconscious on the floor of the storage compartment.
Seeing that it was having hallucinogenic effects, Dr. Smith analyzed the chemical portion of the drug and concocted an antidote for it. Burrke and Mx Hood proceeded to the community center and found the tall alien they were looking for in a meeting room. In an effort to throw it off, Burrke immediately accused the being of trying to muscle in on the station’s drug trade. The creature was indeed taken somewhat aback, responding that the drug was being given freely to those who consented. He introduced himself as Arroloth. Mx Hood realized this was Arroloth the Executor, a solitary being from another dimension, known also as Arroloth the Undying, The Opener of the Way and The Custodian of Nightmare. Arroloth worked to convey the will of powerful beings known sometimes as the Outer Lords, most often one called The Binder on the Threshold.
Arroloth advised them the Binder was responding to the despair felt recently by the people of Mea Culpa in the wake of the Pryxzod incident, and was offering them an opportunity to join the dream reality of the Binder’s Web. He then tried to tempt Burrke to take some of the drug by showing him its potential to manifest his thoughts and dreams into reality. A vision of children looking up to Burrke surrounded him. He responded by attacking the imaginary children. Mx Hood saw the same vision before it passed and they found that Arroloth was no longer in the room with them.
In the medical center, which was now filling up with unconscious patients, Dr. Smith encountered another brief vision of the strange landscape she’d seen earlier – one she realized looked somewhat like Cillian Rourke’s paintings – but that too passed. She injected Cillian with her antidote. He awoke, but continued to hallucinate as though in a dream. He spoke of how much happier things were now that he’d entered the Web before going back to speaking to people Dr. Smith could not see.
Meanwhile, Burrke and Mx Hood did everything they could to flood the station with messages of positivity to counteract the station’s despair. While this helped, there was still great unrest as sections of the station continued to phase in and out of a dreamlike reality. Some of those whose minds were connected to the Binder’s Web were transforming into energy and moving completely into it.
At about this time, Ambassador Razan of the Flux, who’d arrived at the station earlier, visited Dr. Smith in the medical center. She called on them to help close the connection to the Web by drawing energy from the portal to her home dimension. Razan confirmed they could do this, sealing the portal in the process.
As this began, Mx Hood cobbled together an interface allowing them to briefly enter the Web. They found themselves on an underground island surrounded by a sea of napalm with coffins floating in it, much like the ones in the last dream vision they’d had. They followed through to the core of the station’s connection to the Web – Cillian’s dream (in which he was reunited with his family in the lands he’d created in his mind).
From that place, the Binder looked out at them and stated that they’d not interfere with Mx Hood’s actions, agreeing to let them exercise their best judgment over the situation out of respect for their people, but that future interference with the Binder’s work could have devastating effects on the balance of the universe. Mx Hood pulled back all the minds of those who still had physical bodies away from the web and back to consciousness.
Afterward, Arroloth presented Mx Hood with the box he’d been carrying (which contained DNA samples, infusion devices for the drug and a dimensional interface allowing access to the Dream Web), advising them that the minds of Mea Culpa would be their responsibility now.
NAMED NPC ENCOUNTERED
Arroloth the Executor – a being who acts as an envoy for the Binder on the Threshold and the other Outer Lords
Cillian Rourke – an artist who lives on Mea Culpa
Dr. Damian Joshi – one of the doctors in Mea Culpa’s medical facility
Mickey – a well-connected smuggler of artisinal goods