What Happens in Dreams...
...Stays in Dreams
The following excerpts are from Integral’s mind. A foreshadowing of things to come — prophetic, if you will. They are shared here, now because the visions have bore fruit. A bitter, evil and incorporeal fruit…
A small form stands in the distance in front of you, silhouetted against a dim background. Wisps of fog swirl about it, seemingly embracing it. Keeping it still. You narrow your eyes to focus on the form and deduce that it is Lindi. You try to walk toward her, but your legs fail to move. Your lips part to call out to her, but no words escape.
As you try to pry your feet from the ground your heart begins to race. Perspiration beads on your brow. You look back to Lindi and see a gaunt figure standing motionless about ten feet from her. You yell again and feel the breath leave your tongue, but still no sound.
You bend forward and try to force your legs to move with your hands, to no avail. Again your gaze shoots to Lindi. This time, the new figure is standing behind her. In its outstretched arm is a dagger. The blade glows a dull, sickly white.
You watch as the arm comes down; the blade meets her throat and illuminates her face. On it is a look of terror. Tears stream down her cheeks and her mouth is agape, apparently screaming your name, but you cannot hear her. The blade slowly tears across her flesh, flaying it wide and letting blood spill like a fountain down her front.
Her terrified visage gives way to stillness. Her face appears pale. Her eyes, lifeless.
You awake in a cold sweat and feel drained, as if you had a terrible fever.
You settle onto the cot in the monastery and sleep quickly takes you. The embarrassing failure of breaching the blimp left you more exhausted than you thought. As the REM state takes hold, you find yourself in the main hall of the monastery. The candles and torches do little to light the area, and while they look cheerfully flame-colored they cast an ominous blueish hue over everything.
As you meander through the hall, seemingly in slow motion, you see one of the students Drake fought with talking to another figure shrouded in darkness. A sense of deja vu fills you as you realize the figure is the same from last night’s dream. Once this thought enters your mind they look at you and smile — their teeth jagged and large, like demons — then burst into a run down one of the side hallways.
You pursue them down what seems an unending maze of hallways. At each turn you take they are already taking the next. At the final hallway you see large double-doors that look like the doors on the barracks. You burst through and the room seems much larger and longer than before. The same eerie blue light fills it, and it is barren of any students of the monastery or Drake’s class.
At the far end, you see a flame roaring above the floor and a shadow pass by every so often. In your ear you hear a disembodied whisper: “Come, see what has happened.” You slowly head forward. Your feet feel as if you’re walking through a mire thick with undergrowth. When you finally reach the scene, your hair stands on end as you feel a cold chill you to the bone.
In front of you is the student, lying dead in a pool of blood. To his left is Mimic, picked clean of feathers and charred to the beak. You bring your eyes upward and there hangs Drake, pierced to the wall at the wrists by metal arrows fletched with blood-drenched raven feathers. Several other arrows penetrate above his stomach, which has been ripped open, letting his innards dangle from his corpse. The fire you saw from the distance was actually Drake’s red mane which lights his glazed eyes. Hanging around his throat by the string is a bow you recognize. Your bow.
You awake the next morning holding a broken shaft of one of your arrows in each hand, the same sickly feeling as before haunts you.
The night you spent in the wilderness on the way to the Wolf’s Head Inn was spared of nightmares, and as you settle in to sleep by the fire pit on the inn’s floor, you hope for another peaceful rest. In the middle of the night you wake suddenly. The fire has died and the chill has creeped in. You look around and see Drake and Lindi lying next to you, still fast asleep it seems, but Willup and Abib are nowhere to be found.
You stand and walk to the bar, fix yourself a drink, then bundle up and head through the kitchen and out the back door for more firewood. It is extremely dark outside, and your lowlight vision does little to keep you from tripping over a form in the snow. You get close and see that it is Willup. You can see now that he is curled into the fetal position and sobbing. You help him to his feet and he points into the darkness and starts walking forward. As you near the tree line, light pours from a full moon and from the branches you see a woman and a child hanging from their necks. Their bodies are covered in ice. You look down at Willup and hear him let out a muffled scream. The forms shatter into pieces and he runs forward to pick them up.
As he does, a flapping sound catches your ears. You look up, and see a black dragon swoop down from the sky, spitting a stream of acid onto Willup. The flesh melts from his bones until nothing but a skeleton is left, hands curled around the skull in a pose wracked with sadness and despair.
The dragon lands at your feet and you see Abib holding the reigns, but his face is flushed and etched in pain. He rolls forward and off of the dragon’s neck, hitting the snow with a thud. You run over to him and see a sword sticking out of his back. You hear another thud behind you as you notice the hilt of the sword. It is yours. You take it from your comrade’s corpse and spin around.
Walking through the steaming pile that was once Willup, the same shadowy figure approaches you. The teeth shine through in the same demonic toothy grin you saw before. You feel once again frozen in place, gripping your sword tightly. The figure finally gets close enough for you to make out his features…