Heroes of the Dark

The Scream

Like a Waking Dream, Part 1

Teth laid back in his bunk to think about the affairs of the past twenty or so hours.  The purple plumes over the great Spire played over the city, signaling night in the World Above.  He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but the nightmare images that played through his mind erupted forward again, and he found himself meditating instead.

It had started with a persisting dream that unsettled Dyan'ette.  The Eldest Son had developed a sort of nervous tick in the form of night terrors.  He kept them to himself because the dreams were the stuff men were sacrificed for—killing his matron.

Over and over again, thoughts turned to plans, turned to images racing through his mind, but thus far he had managed to resist.  It was the first time he realized he had blood on his blade and muddy boots that something was actually happening.  But what could he do?

Du'rann, the lizardfolk shaman that had invoked Lloth in a series of sick and twisted rituals, cutting the heads off of several serpents and tying them to a stick to symbolize a Llothian whip.  Then she saw fit in her broken memories of the City of Spiders to purify the entire city from its sickness.

Starting with her son.

It was her magic that had reawakened his dreams.  She had, after all, spent at least twenty years dominating her own son and beating him into submission when magic failed, until he felt intense pain at the slightest thought of betraying or even upsetting her—and so she had reached out from beyond the grave and through a mile of rock to torment him.

Du'rann had been Diann, the matron of House Sel'rue, but now, defeated and reincarnated as one of the lizardfolk she had been introduced to a following of escaped slaves and naturally rose to rule them.   In her broken dreams and thoughts, they saw these people as fellow faithful followers, and worked to reclaim their city, together.

Killing, using Dyan'ette, seemed the easiest endeavor.

Teth rolled over a got himself some tea.  He reached for a mushroom cake and found himself holding a bloody severed ear.  Dropping it suddenly with a sharp intake of breath, he watched as the mushroom cake fell harmless to the ground.  Was this a normal reaction to a psychic surgery? he thought to himself.

After the tea, Teth remembered that he had given Dyan'ette one powerful suggestion, to "forgot those who used magic to dominate his will and damage him for their amusement, and for a time he worried that this might make Dyan'ette forget him, too.  The ritual had not been without its losses.

All he could do now, was wait.

And hope.

The next time he dreamed, it was Teth, not Dyan'ette, who dreamed of a man standing over a defenseless woman and slaying her.  It was going to be a rough recovery.  Meanwhile, two people slept peacefully in their rooms in the Tower Firth, unaware of the pain in another man's dreams.

And in his hands.


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