Strange Aeons

Sleeping in a Dream

The Moon Prison

There are creatures in the Dream Lands that fly through the emptiness of space like a swim across dark waters.  We refreshed our appetites and rested in its protective hut as it flew ever closer to our destination: the multi-colored moon melting into the unknown.  We know it was home to a prison as well as different kinds of beasts, none of whom we expected to be friendly.  For that reason alone, our rest was important.

When we arrived the creature was concerned its companion was not also present, so we asked if it would be content waiting for us to return.  It agreed, saying it would not journey beyond the beach on which we landed.  On the beach I found some tracks in the sand Drago was able to follow.  We eventually came to a series of buildings decorated with crystals made from an unknown rock or metal.  I'm not sure Andrea even knew their origin.  But the trail stopped at a specific doorway that was barred from entry, and a creature seemed to be waiting in a cell by the door as little more than a messenger.

"Go away," it kept saying.  "You don't belong here."  True, but we had to continue forward so the others tried reasoning with it.  The thing wanted to trade but there was nothing we were willing to give up, especially since we were not certain if the creature was a prisoner, warden, or something else entirely.  Eventually, it started pulling out scrolls of magic and throwing fireballs at us.

I tried to get to it, but even with with the long arms extract I could not reach.  The others tried attacking it in various ways, especially Drago who turned into some kind of huge reptile.  The creature was still difficult to hit but Drago landed a few shots.  That's when I pulled out the Rod of Lordly Might and tried hitting the creature again.  Even with my greater reach, I could not land a blow.  So instead, I turned to the door and pressed the button that extends like a ladder.  The door held shut, but a few seconds later I got some help and the door finally gave.  The creature disappeared from its cell.

The next room opened into a hallway of stone and more of that strange crystal.  I scouted ahead and found some denizens in a room with several arrow slits, and the creature from before was talking to them about us; they speak Aklo, one of the languages of darkness.  I don't think they ever saw me, but one of them might have hard me walking away.  I signed the scene ahead when I returned to the others, and we formed a plan of attack.  Argo would throw a smoke bomb once I threw one of the fireball necklace beads into the room with them.  It worked, but they moved around as the fight turned into a melee.

I could not get great positioning, even with Drago in the form he took when we entered the hallway a few minutes earlier.  The denizens were keeping their back to walls, so I had to move through them to reach their vulnerable parts.  Denizens are strange.  Their anatomy is unlike a human – inconsistent and almost supernaturally defensive, but I did manage to land a few truly deadly hits with the sunblade.  They're quick, and I fear my reliance on wielding two weapons at once slows me down.

I was never harmed, but that came at a cost.  Drago was getting hit a lot – Shade, too.  It turns out the denizens bite made you slower, so when Drago kept getting bit he was getting easier to hurt.  Eventually one of them got a really good strike in and ripped him apart, making him disappear as we are expected to do as visitors of the Dream Lands.  The denizen was frustrated when its kill disappeared, growling "Dreamers!" with blood coming from its deranged and fanged mouth.

We dispatched the remainder a few seconds later and when the question was asked if we continue without Drago, I signed a very clear "NO."  He and Shade are far too valuable in a fight, and if not for Drago's protective magic he gave me, I fear I, too would have been killed out of sleep.

When we awoke from our visit, it was obvious Shade was agitated.  He had been "killed" before we even went to the moon, and hours had gone by in the dream.  We usually wake up just a few minutes, if not seconds, after one another.  Shade was not prepared to wait for his master.  Drago also seemed out of it, like a man grasping at specks of dust floating through the air.  Yusei used his magic to check on the condition of the group.  As he did so, I studied his eyes, which were looking more and more like my one remaining natural eye – black and empty.

Yusei said Drago would require months of therapy and until he received it, he would not be able to do anything that required focus, which definitely includes using magic.  I don't know what the name of that mental hurdle is called, and I don't remember if Yusei said it, but it sounds to me like his mind is broken.  Fortunately, the brokenness disappears when we go into the Dream Lands, and Yusei can perform the therapy in the Dream Lands to make it go even faster.

So we decided to journey back into the Dream Lands and try again.  Our transportation should be waiting for us back at the Caravanseree because we told it we were leaving, but would be back there as soon as we could.  We'll see what happens next.

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