((OOG note: the writing is scrawled and messy, but still legible))
After a rather lengthy conversation I’ve been made to realize that my current methods of trying to spread information have been much too roundabout and ineffective. So with no more codes and no more unclear terms I’ll start by telling the story of my encounter with the doppelgangers and then what Dr. Heimdell told me after he saved me from them. Some of this information will overlap with what Mina has already discovered, but I’ll still include it for the sake of confirming what is known.
Myself and a group (8 of us total) chased a necromancer into a cave, and when we were fighting the undead I walked around a ritual circle to get to them without stepping inside and the unstable ground gave out beneath me. I fell a long way and came face to face with 5 doppelgangers, all in their “natural” forms. They had sickly grey skin, and faces without features or even eyes. Limbs too long, joints too many, their true forms reflect that which they are on the inside, a mockery of the lives they seek to steal. I fell and I came face to face with these creatures, and as soon as I locked eyes with one, or rather where its eyes would have been, I felt the pull of sleep immediately. I tried to invoke the power of my draconic spirit, hoping the rush would keep me awake, but when I did so a blue(?) energy glowed from the doppelganger’s eye sockets as it mimicked the ability, even though I had not yet fell to slumber. I managed to keep myself awake by shocking my system with a blast of radiant energy. I don’t think the type of energy affected it one way or another, simply the way I used it was of importance. The ground opened up beneath me once more and I fell again, oh how far I had fallen, blast after blast of energy to keep myself from falling into The Dread Sleep. And then Dr. Heimdell reached out and pulled me to safety… Relatively safe. He used smelling salts to wake me up fully and prevent me from falling asleep.
*Important to note, it’s entirely likely that the pain of having a dislocated shoulder was also helping to keep me awake at that point.
Anyway, what happened next is that Dr. Heimdell told me all about the doppelgangers. First and foremost, the doppelgangers most folk are familiar with, the arkanites that change faces as frequent as the moon, he called those arses Type A doppelgangers. Type B are mimics. The bastards in our basement that we now have to deal with are called Type C doppelgangers. They are really bloody weird. To take on the form of someone they first have to put them to sleep. Not exactly sure how this works but if you look at them in the where their eyes should be you quickly start to fall asleep, and if you succumb the doppelgangers take over. Any equipment the person had on them, mundane or otherwise, is copied for the doppelganger. “They don’t seek to erase, they seek to replace.” They act the same as the people they replace, seeking to be superior versions of them while also spreading their kind. The qualities they look for in their victims are people with goals, aspirations and power. That can be either true power or money and influence. Or all three, but anyway this is why they prefer nobility, merchants, Travancians and the like. Fortunately this also makes them unlikely to take the place of the common folk, unless they feel it would help another get to someone of higher station. IF they did that though however, it would be a big sacrifice, because the doppelgangers can only get one body.
There are no metaphysical or scientific ways of identifying whether or not a person is a Type C doppelganger. The only way to tell is to catch them in their lies and finding where the real person sleeps, and waking them up. Even the person’s spiritual essence is copied, if a person’s doppelganger is killed even looking at the soul in the spirit realm and resurrecting them will not reveal the face-thief's ruse. The doppelgangers employ the tactics of whoever it is that they are impersonating. In their raw forms they don’t really have any battlefield tactics or any coordinated infiltration strategies, they act like an infection. However, one who has already taken over a body will try to lure you to where unchanged doppelgangers are so that they may take you over.
Our meeting sealed in stone ended with Dr. Heimdell injecting me with some extremely enhanced adrenaline to keep me awake, and then using a very peculiar looking timepiece to turn me incorporeal and send me back to the party I was with. If I remember anything else of importance I’ll add it onto this posting when I do. And for those who’ll be wondering how am I doing? Not great, but it’ll all be fine eventually I hope.