Bethen, the Lost Dream
Ten Thousand Gates > An Impromptu Picnic in a Starlit, Ancient Arena

We tarry and talk in a place of growing danger; this is foolishness. I would not act as an unschooled girl, giving tales to dreamers and spirits, but the path ahead narrows to this and this alone - I have never seen such a thing, pressed on all sides by this Hunger which stirs below and beyond. By you also, I am sure, and for all I cannot feel it, for Rias is more and greater than Rias appears, no?

Very well. My path was through Amande's dream, Amande who burns with sharptongue venom. She will neither wake nor heal until I banish the serpent spirit who torments her - the vileness in it has swallowed her self and poisoned a swathe across the lands of her dream. This blackened trail I have followed for days of dreaming time though memories, wishes and desires. I have come know Amande as I would a sister since taking the womensroot and lying by her side in the healer's rooms.

Amande worked amongst the Esem menfolk at the river head. Even hard riding, Lilen and I were near too late. The venom spirit has wormed her self from the lands Amande dreams to the lands that spirits dream. She will perish before the sun rises in waking time, thus I must seek and slay the serpent with these sharp blades of silver.

Where the trail left ruins of Amande's house, venom laid waste a vision of the Three Valleys - but far above flew a golden greatwing that Amande would never dream. Spirits that guide are fickle and strange, but I took to Amande's sky to follow the guide of my mother and her mother before her. The greatwing soared on wings of dripping gold, I on wings of sharp silver, on and over the crags dividing the poisoned dream of Amande from the endless dreams of spirits.

So I followed into a purple sky and the lakes that rain from above, but a spirit-dreamed storm of black leaves and gold feathers swept me away to this place. I am so far from Amande, so pressed by this Hunger, that I cannot yet see the dream path to return - but do not think that a serpent spirit will elude me, nor that I will fail to save a lost dreamer.

[ Posted by Reason on April 1, 2006 ]