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Thread: A New Nightmare

  1. #11
    Sweet Cinnamoth

    EXP: 37,606, Level: 8
    Level completed: 29%, EXP required for next Level: 6,394
    Level completed: 29%,
    EXP required for next Level: 6,394


    FennWenn's Avatar

    GP
    2,285
    AP
    0
    Name
    Fennik Glenwey
    Age
    Looks eight. He's definitely older.
    Race
    Frost Fae
    Gender
    More or less male.
    Location
    Corone

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    In a fur-lined hut all the way out in Berevar, one would be able to hear a variety of quiet snores were they to listen in at the entrance. Past the pelt that covered the door’s frame slept a small group of orcs. Their abode was lit — and warmed — by the faint wink of a guttering fire’s last coals. All seemed at ease. All of the slumberers seemed untroubled.

    All but for one.

    Shuddering and jerking, sweating, swaddled in a thick afghan patterned with fading flowers, a young orc tossed in her sleep. Her breath came in choking gasps — shorter and shorter.

    After a moment, she was still.

    ~ § ~ § ~ § ~

    This time, Fenn’s screeching began before the fall.

    Expecting the tunnel of terror did not make it less overwhelming in the moment. They hurtled, weightless, through a rush of heavy air that tore at his wings and cloak. It was all still a whir of flashing lights and noises that made him want to claw out his ears and eyes. And yet, it was almost a reprieve from the gruesome imagery before. Something about the puck’s sense for magic had tingled with familiarity as he’d helplessly watched Guntilde struggle against it, and then fall. It had him frozen in fear, before he’d been whisked down the rabbit hole. His knees had been locked in cowardice as it writhed its way through the orc girl.

    That… nightmarish force was the same creeping darkness from his own dream previous.

    Of that, he was certain.

    The screeching hell of lights ended with a gush of steamy air. There was splashing in the distance. His body smacked — hard — against a floor that was both polished and golden. And, dewed with water. Whimpering, he hid his head under his hands. There was a slightly heavier thump and a similar moan beside him; Morus. The fae heard him wheeze into a sitting position. “Fennik. Fennik… Open your eyes, young Fennik,” he heard the waif coax after a moment. It was a statement made with a rattling of the chest, and followed by wet coughing. A cool hand shook him by the shoulder. “We made it out.”

    <By the skin of teeth,> the fae mumbled back, reluctantly dragging himself upright.

    Now that he was alert, a part of him stirred in surprise at where they had landed. They were between a wall and a grand marble pillar, thrice as big around as the two of them put together, and carved with Fallieni stone-chasing — textured patterns. No, wait. Fenn tilted his head, squinting. It was Fallieni in appearance, and yet, something about it was not quite right. Fenn was certain he had been to Fallien before, at least before he’d lost a significant chunk of his memory. He recalled enough to recognize its architecture… sort of. The fae ran a hand down the engravings, frowning. The flourishes were too loopy. Too loose and unrefined. He was starting to feel that this was what one might think Fallieni chiseling might look like, had they never actually seen up close in Fallien.

    Some of the designs were quite flower-like.

    The words came out suddenly. <Guntilde didn’t make it, did she?> he asked, already knowing the answer. <She couldn’t have…>

    For once, Morus’ grim demeanor wavered. His gaze fell to his feet. “She did not.”

    <That’s our fault. We gotta make sure it doesn’t happen again. Bicker less now, and pay more attention. Okay? Let’s find the dreamer here. See what goes on with them,> he said, antennae twirling anxiously.

    A nod was Morus’ reply. While Fenn took a moment to calm his fluttering heart, rocking back and forth on the dazzling floor, the waif peered around the grand pillar swamping the rest of the dream from sight. Whatever he saw must have been astonishing. The waif teen’s face relaxed from his stoic stoney glare to something else. What emotion was that? Not one familiar to the puck; it was a little languid, a little wantful, and not entirely there.

    <Are you sick?>

    “From dream traveling,” Morus replied, brushing off the question with a heavy breath and… a flustered glance? “Obviously.”

    Fenn shook his head suspiciously as Morus returned to his gawping. No, dream traveling explained the waif’s wobbly legs, and the way he slumped against the grand pillar. Not the fuddy-duddy look on his face.

    Twitching wracked his antennae as a wash of steam drifted behind their pillar, carrying with it some strange perfume. Along with the sweetness of roses, he identified a weird musk hanging in the air ambiguously as… “lady”. It was a sort of scent he remembered faintly from… oh. His frown deepened slightly. That was one of those memories that wasn’t fully there too, wasn’t it? The only other figment attached to the lady-musk memory was a glimpse of violet. That was all.

    Suddenly impatient with intrigue, Fenn let out a last deep breath and hauled himself to his feet and peered out around his fellow dreamwalker.

    Their pillar was one of a set ringing a vast room. Pools burbled with turquoise waters, rose petals, bubbles, and hisses of steam. They were fed with jets of water from towering fountains. Seeing all the pearls crusting them made his thiefy hands itch. If only one could carry riches out of dreams! Alas.

    Oh, wait. Fenn closed his incredulous mouth. There was something else besides shinies in those pools; women. Fallieni women, draped in sheer cloth that clung to their every curve. They giggled amongst themselves, buxoms bouncing with an energy that Fenn (though not an expert on mortal anatomy) was pretty certain mammaries were not wont to possess.

    The real part of them that drew his gaze was their faces; they were all practically indistinguishable from one another. Fenn shivered as one of them glanced his way. Something about those empty, empty eyes made him wonder if he could get away with crawling back behind the pillar. The fae puffed his cheeks shyly as, upon a dais, he spotted a man atop a throne with one of the wall-eyed women draped across his lap. Two others fanned him delicately. A necessary task, Fenn thought with a muffled snrk of a laugh. He was heavyset and ruled by thick forests of blonde hair, like men of the north commonly were; even in nothing more than a loincloth, he was probably sweating a storm.

    As if sleepwalking, Morus stepped out from the pillar’s shadow. Fenn, wings aflutter with uncertainty, had no idea else he could do but follow.

    The heavy man’s eyes snapped up at the sudden movement at the edge of the pools he oversaw. “Ahh, visitors! Welcome, to the humble palace of Geogri,” the man announced through a meaty Salvarian accent, and with a proud lift of his multiple chins. “I expect that you will find-“ the man’s voice faded out as he stopped, squinting at the two younglings afar down from him in concern. “Wait. You aren’t the dancers I summoned for.”

    Oh dear. Fenn glanced to Morus, hoping for the quick-tongued waif to find an explanation for their presence here.
    Last edited by FennWenn; 07-27-2018 at 01:27 AM.

  2. #12
    Member

    EXP: 6,102, Level: 3
    Level completed: 28%, EXP required for next Level: 2,898
    Level completed: 28%,
    EXP required for next Level: 2,898


    Morus's Avatar

    GP
    999
    AP
    0
    Name
    Morus
    Age
    15
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Corone

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    The dreaming had been another cruel series of twists and turns. It seemed to pull and stretch at the pair as they correned through, screaming futile curses into the winds of the ether. Morus could swear that black tendrils had followed them in, cut off from their fetid source and desperately searching for a new host to burrow within. As waves of ice cold wind and ear shattering howls lapped at Fennik and the boy, the timeless seconds of dream travel felt like aeons stuck between the waking and sleeping. It was only when Morus felt he couldn’t stand a second more that the pair were finally depositing into yet another dream. Both were jolted from their fright by the sudden fall against cool marble.

    Truth be told, the dreaming wasn’t the only thing to scar the mind of the waif. He thought of Guntilde as she lay lifeless on the ground, her body but a shattered husk of what it had been. The orc girl had been an innocent. She had been targeted only because two invaders had barged into his sacred realm of dream. Her gardens of the mind were the fertile fields of her true soul, and now they were scorched and destroyed by an all consuming black that was hot on the heels of Morus and Fennik. How many more would suffer the same fate as the pair fled in their cowardice.

    ”How many more times can I stare helpless to watch somebody die,” the boy thought, meekly slamming a fist against the gilded floor.

    And what a floor it was.

    The pair found themselves in a palace so opulent, that even Morus had trouble recounting anything so fabulous from the many story books he had read. Wide pillars of intricately chiseled marble dotted the room from golden floor to a glittering ceiling. Warm mists flowed in the air, along with the sweet scent of fresh cut flowers. Pools of water sent waves of steam as the occupants inside splashed about in glee. And those occupants. Morus did not notice their identical faces or bodies, which was strange given how much he seemed to focus on them. In fact, he was so entranced he never heard Fennik’s further words, which he nodded to unthinkingly, and completely missed the large, hairy man at the top of a dais who demanded to know who the two intruders were.

    “Uh, don’t you remember, oh great lord, bidding for two humble servants to assist your greatness?” The waif thought on his feet enough on the street that such lies came easy to him, at least when he finally gained some semblance of awareness of his surroundings.

    “Geogri remembers a many things, an-”

    “Because he is as wise as he is mighty,” the boy said, cutting him off as seamlessly as he could. “But even the mighty need wine servers to watch their entertainment.”

    “Ah, yes,” the man fumbled. “You, moth lad, fetch the wine vase! And you, boy, grab the oil gourd before the dancers arrive.”

    “The oil what now?” Morus was flustered in word and appearance, reddening a bit from the steam as well as the implications.

    “The gourd, you fool. Quickly now, on the far wall to your left!”

    The boy nodded, but sent a look back at Fennik. A knowing, lingering look that meant they needed to speak when it became convenient for them, although who knew when that was when at the beck and call of a lecherous fool’s dream palace.

  3. #13
    Sweet Cinnamoth

    EXP: 37,606, Level: 8
    Level completed: 29%, EXP required for next Level: 6,394
    Level completed: 29%,
    EXP required for next Level: 6,394


    FennWenn's Avatar

    GP
    2,285
    AP
    0
    Name
    Fennik Glenwey
    Age
    Looks eight. He's definitely older.
    Race
    Frost Fae
    Gender
    More or less male.
    Location
    Corone

    View Profile
    Wine… vase?

    Fenn nodded twitchily at Morus’ telling glance, and grabbed a white vase brimming with purple liquid from where it suddenly stood.

    Boy! Were he not painfully aware that this wine was but a dream’s figment, he’d be more than ready to down the whole of the slosh himself. Why was this dream filled with such intangible temptations? A long-suffering sigh heaved out of him as he dragged the heavy porcelain behind him.

    Speaking of temptations…

    Fenn watched with the slightest of uncertain smirks as a red-cheeked Morus took hold of a container brimming with silvery oil, and then nearly dropped it as one of the wrong-faced women splashed past, his eyes about level with her b— oh. Ohh. Fenn’s smirk drew up to the edge of his ears. Suddenly, the fae was starting to catch on to what Morus’ current ailment was; hormones. Adolescent hormones! He’d heard that mortals got very strong reproductive urges sometime after hitting puberty. Obviously, his friend was addled by his own brain’s biology. An understandable plight, if rather inconvenient!

    …the fae briefly paused as a girl passed he himself. He tilted his head, squinting. Well, they were very squishy, but…. Hrmmmmmmm. Whatever nuances of extreme fascination were being picked up on by Morus were eluding him. Maybe he needed to study mortals more. It seemed he’d lost a lot of his understanding of them with his memories.

    “Wine boy! To me!”

    Shrugging, Fenn went back to dragging the vase up the slick steps all the way to Geogri’s curious throne. The weight jarred him uncomfortably with each step. Stupid wet stairs. It made him almost wish that he hadn’t made that pact with Morus; it’d be nice to just force the dream to accept that the wine jar was mysteriously at the very tip top of the path winding upward. He winced as a purple gob of wine spattered out. “Be careful with that!” Geogri called from on high. Dumb Morus. Dumb flower. Dumb dreamer-man. Dumb dumb wine that wouldn’t even make him a little drunk — if only he could douse his memories of the last dream away! Dumb inability to alter this one. Grumbling, he couldn’t help but find himself closing his eyes for half a second. His mind’s gaze strayed to the gilded fabric of Geogri’s dream. He was very definitely not pulling at the threads — not touching, not re-weaving.

    Just looking. Just curious. Yep. No touch.

    As one would guess, the ladies present were but projections; puppet’s of Geogri’s unconscious, his own idea of what “woman” was. Fenn watched their threads dance outward from the self-crowned king of this dream. It seemed odd, to construct this idea of a person based on one aspect of them. Should not other people be regarded as inherently unknowable until they had said something of themselves?

    <Mortals have funny heads,> he huffed at the top of the stairs.

    “What was that?” Geogri slurred as one of his personal lady-puppets at attendance took the wine vase a poured out a glass.

    <Nothing.>

    A hullabaloo — a great BANG — caused all to snap to attention. Fenn looked down, through and across the fountain’s spray. A grand entrance of a double-door that he was pretty sure had never been there before had burst open.

    “The dancers!”

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