The following dream sequence is for Wynter:
We are bound, you and I…
Before the destruction of our family and my entrapment, the bond between us would have been simple. We would have found a balance in our mind, heart, and soul. We would have been stalwart hunters of those that would renounce the balance of life and death and rebirth… You would have been trained in your duties. I would help you usher those damned souls to their rightful afterlife.
Our old life was taken from us, my friend.
To you, Wynter, truly, I am sorry. These are things you should have learned as part of your training, your upbringing. But let me educate you both now. The voice you hear, the eidolon you have bonded with. Her name is Seraix. She, like myself and others, have served Pharasma with your clan for many thousands of years.
The gifted, such as yourself, are chosen as servants of Pharasma. Those that bond with Seraix are hunters as Seraix has told you. Myself? I speak with your ancestors. I teach witches, those that came before and those that will come after. I also chronicle the happenings of your people.
But there came a day where that all ended. I was told to flee with the ages of knowledge, to preserve that which could be passed to be rebuilt before it was stolen and lost for all ages.
Flight was most certainly the correct course of action, scholar. I remember blood. But little else. It was like being struck by lightning, it was over with that quick… Try as I did, with such a quick death I was unable to complete the transfer to my new mask because you, Wynter, were but a babe a few hours old and unable to. I could feel necromantic energies binding me away from you and our family. I was locked in darkness in turbid power that I could feel seeping into my being, infecting me in ways I couldn’t comprehend through new uncontrolled feelings. I realize now, that this energy was having the same effect on you as well. 15 years. 15 years that has infected us both with its corrupting influence of whatever magic was used against us…
Knowledgable I may be, but summoning, aside from its basics, is beyond my ability to teach. I taught you the ways of witchcraft. Fortunately, the hand of Pharasma has guided our steps and fates to one who could complete the bonding…
Being freed from the prison did not free me from the corruption that infected us both. Our power as summoner and eidolon is based on indifferent balance except where undead are concerned. Undead are a perversion and are dealt with accordingly with a dispassionate removal. Think fulfilling duty without thought to law, chaos, good, or evil… But this darkness. I can feel it, and you can too. It’s the whisper of chaos, of emotion before thought of balance. Of seeking control of fate. The passion, and the warfare… I feel the fear in you, as we are mirrors of each other.
You both must find that balance, and soon. Seraix, my friend… I have not seen a Sahik in ages, but that anger you displayed is a terrifying sign. We have not had one of ours fall since before Starfall. But your anger with Smythee… It was a thing to chill even our blood. And you, child. Your heart seeks to control everything around you through blood and destruction, and your passions burn so much so that those around you will burn in that uncontrolled conflagration of emotion…
It is so much to process… I’m a little freaked out by you both right now. Intellectually, I can see the wisdom in what you have told me. I had decided, before I knew you as a pair of psychopomps, that Pharasma was my path. But unlike you, Seraix, I was born to this chaos in our hearts.
I can only be what I am…
I need to think about all this.
The following dream sequence is for De’de:
You awoke to the sensation of the wind upon your flesh. You know you are dreaming, and yet you can recall the gentle caress of the wind’s touch upon your skin as it blows in from the ocean. A phantom memory, fresh from your collective thoughts. You feel the shifting of sand beneath your hands, your feet. Your logical mind reminds you that this too is just a memory of sensation. The sand clings to your naked flesh as you rise up to survey your surroundings. Familiar surroundings.
You have been here before. This particular beach. You remember it fondly. You were but a child when you swam in these waters, laughing and playing with your friends. It isn’t far from your village by the shore. The ocean that was blue, lapping the golden sands with the cold water of an early spring tide is now more black than the night sky. The surface moves in the slick way oil does with a rainbow sheen that holds no beauty. You look up into the sky and see that there are no stars out.
Just a uncomfortable darkness.
But even in this canvas of darkness you can see everything as if it was clear as day.
There are people ahead of you.
Several women and a few men. The men were garbed in ceremonial robes, carrying torches that dance angrily in the night. The women shuffle behind their elders, garbed in sheer white robes. You could see the swell of their hips, the curve of their breasts, and further details of their femininity against the soft fabric. All of them wore masks. The ugly visages of totems displaying whale, turtle, dolphin, and shark. The shark masks oddly remind you of the horrible piscine heads and toothy maws of the sahuagin.
And that is when you see them. The sahuagin. The devil men of the deep depths. They rise out of the sea as silent predators and begin to approach the masked villagers upon the beach with ill intent. The women are afraid, but the men hold their ground. They are not afraid. That is when you realize they’re not going to fight. That is when you realize the sea devils are here to collect the daughters of the Tulita. The men welcome them as aumakua.
You remember from the chants that the sahuagin acted as the Devourer’s evangelists, teaching the Tulita horrific, bloody arts. They led the converted in battle against worshippers of the old gods, and when no tribe stood against the Devourer, the Shark God set his loyal Tulita against each other to keep the blood flowing.
The sea devils provided bountiful harvests of fish to the converted. They offered protection from the many predatory dangers of the Fever Sea, and an occasional exotic treasure from the ancient past dredged up from the depths of the ocean. In exchange, the Tulita paid homage.
In sacrifice. In blood. In flesh.
One of the women breaks away from the others and begins to flee. Screaming. She does not want to take part in the Tulita traditions. In the traditions of the Devourer. You know you are powerless to intervene.
This is just a dream, your logical mind reminds you. You are a watcher and cannot take part in what is to come. This is your history. The history of your people.
You cannot help her.
She falls before your feet in the sand, crying. Her mask has fallen and you can’t help but notice that her mask resembles a shark.
Not a shark. A sahuagin.
The Tulita men pull her up to her feet as she struggles against them, screaming the words, “No! No!” over and over again as a primal chant of panic.
You can see in the darkness as if it is clear as daylight. Because this is a dream. You can see the men, and how some of them look familiar. Uncles. Cousins. Family friends.
The horror begins to sink in. The doubt begins to sink in. You think this can’t be true. Dreams often take what you know and warp them as a metaphor. They take what is familiar and twist it. It is your mind trying to make logical sense of a situation using your memories as puzzle pieces to form a picture. But you can’t help but feel dread begin to creep in as you see them take away your mother.
So young. You don’t remember seeing her so young. And she is screaming, reaching her hand out to you. You make eye contact and you can see that her fear matches your own.
You feel a pain in your stomach. A cramp. You reach down with your hands. With your finger tips.
You feathery touch your navel, a navel that resembles a gaping fish mouth. With rows of sharp teeth.
The mouth is laughing.