Xenofos — At Night The Weasels
????, Sea Season, Season/Fertility Week
Sea Season/Fertility Week/Winds Day/Night in temple of Uleria [[[s02:session-38|Session 38]]]
Xenofos rests his shoulders to the wall and lets his chin and eyelids fall.
Someone does offer him the chance for a bed, and a little hand with smooth nails and only a hint of feathers rests on his shoulder.
He tries to understand what he is told and follows the lead meekly.
Mists are on the rise.
Hands undress him only enough to be comfortable while sleeping, and a blanket is pulled over him. A grey-feathered figure strokes his hair back, pecks him – gently – on the cheek, and departs.
Then dreams come.
The mists twirl left, always to the left.
Everything has changed. Everything has always been changing. Xenofos stands on ground that shifts beneath him, sometimes sharp rocks, sometimes eater sand, sometimes a comfortable sward. Around him there are mists and vortexes. A woman, half fish, swims out of them towards him, almost in his arms by the time she is seen.
There is something familiar in her, and I think I should know her.1 (( OK, let’s have Stasis, Love Berra, Loyalty Varanis, and anything else you want to use. Not Truth. Once in the dream you’re dreaming, and it’ll seem real. )) B Pass stasis, fail love Berra, pass loyalty Varanis, fail moon, crit Earth, fail fertility X
She twines around him briefly and then is swimming away, but the mists have closed up, and do not move, and her look at Xenofos is of sudden betrayal.
Xenofos looks at her numbly and wonders why this does not move him. Has he forgotten something?
She turns into multiple tiny fish to swim away. The sounds of other people and things trying to move through solid mist and finding only static, unmoving ice is all around now. Ice creaks in his tiny cage. The ground has stabilised. Frozen. It is not cold, but nothing moves.
Xenofos feels around, he remembers the face of Varanis. Pale, in anguish. He tries to move further but icicles gather into his beard and eyebrows and he is up to his knees in snow.
And there, cold and pale, frozen and shivering just like he recalls her, is Varanis. The ice that he brought has done this.
He tries to reach her but snow just keeps on rising. 2 Failed fire for good measure..
If she shivers, she is still alive at least.
Varanis whimpers, and a trail of vomit escapes her. No dignity. She scrabbles in it, seeking something that has just escaped her.3 01 love family?
This place is past dignity. Even my own guilt does not matter now.
Nor that she sent me away. I must get to her.
A trickle of salty water – that was yellow bile a moment ago – drips through the ice, bearing Death Runes with it. Varanis picks one up. Salted Death.
Close the eyes to not see the draconic death, I must get to her.
There is a sound like crunching, chewing, and the ice snaps. Varanis swims away through it, powerful claws and armoured tail propelling her after a little blue fish.
Alive, she is alive. I did not kill her.
The blue fish is devoured, silken scales and all, and the dragon … the crocodile – hunts a white gazellet, the most beautiful thing. It is marked with Saiciae markings, and it pushes its way fearlessly among the ice.
Xenofos wades through the water for Varanis should not slay a Saiciae. No one should slay such a thing of beauty.
She swipes at it, and her claws cross a scar that it already bore. For a moment, an old Scribe’s joke becomes very real. Three Death Runes, close together, make the shorthand Rune that is sometimes used for ‘Trade’. A Harmony Rune, crossed by a single line.
The gazellet stops being different from the ice. Just white. It trades its life for the crocodile’s moment of violence.
Xenofos falls to his knees and cradles the head of the dead gazellet, closing it’s unseeing eyes.
They are, of course, frozen open. White and unseeing and made of ice, like everything. Only the wild, destructive beast that still swims away from him is different – warm and brown, almost golden. It eats everything in its path, mermaids and trolls and ice demons and grandmother and it grows until it is the size of a cave, and then it rests.
Xenofos tries to warm it’s eyes with his hands, but there is no warmth in them. He feels like he should be crying, but no tears fall from his eyes.
He looks at reflections of the beast multiplied the prisms of the broken ice.
Nothing uneaten. Except him. It has a body stuck between its teeth, of someone he knows. His mind refuses to name them.
He remembers a goddess who could help. Uleria. But she is far. Can she hear him? 4 ((Passed devotion Uleria.)) (( OK. Time to find out if this is an OK dream or a nightmare. POW x 3 please… )) 60/51 fail
All that the beast does is lie looking at him, as he crouched frozen to the ice. Sweat covers him and freezes. His eyes cloud. And nothing changes. Just the bright, draconic eye watching him, and the ice, holding him there. Nothing moves.
This is not death.
I know death, I have seen it.
This is worse.
Waking comes with sleep paralysis. For a few long moments he can feel his body, and the bed, and nothing will move.
I am trapped. Forever?
And when he can move, he curses silently.
He visits the altar for morning prayers, leaves a proper donation and leaves the temple. Yelm is already high in the sky.
- 1(( OK, let’s have Stasis, Love Berra, Loyalty Varanis, and anything else you want to use. Not Truth. Once in the dream you’re dreaming, and it’ll seem real. )) B Pass stasis, fail love Berra, pass loyalty Varanis, fail moon, crit Earth, fail fertility X
- 2Failed fire for good measure..
- 301 love family?
- 4((Passed devotion Uleria.)) (( OK. Time to find out if this is an OK dream or a nightmare. POW x 3 please… )) 60/51 fail