True North

11th of Cylus 721

This is where the majority of dreaming threads will take place.

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Diana
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True North

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11th of Cylus 721

Although she’d only just been fired from her job two nights prior, the woman had decided to give herself something nice to cheer up.

Diana had acquired a box of nice beeswax candles. Said to burn slower, without the mess and smell of tallow, she was assured that it would persist and give light for many more breaks than the alternative. And so, lighting the wick with a match, she slid an insulating glass over it to keep it from sparking against anything and catching fire.

The night light set, she settled down for sleep, safe from the creeping awareness of shadow.




She was in the snowfields, north of Viden. Once again, a daisy chain of red lotus petals led her astray from the familiarity of her home city. She saw them trailing off toward the forest. The skies were clear over the pines and fir trees. Only the moons shone down, reflecting the brilliance of a sun hidden from the world.

As was her custom in these dreams, she dipped down to pick up the bitter petals. The wind blew furiously as she walked toward the northern fields. The stars were particularly clear on the night, and the ocean’s waves could be heard to crash on the icy shore to the west.

All around, however, it wasn’t dark. Here in the moonlight, Diana felt remarkably safe and protected. She slipped the bitter petals of red lotus into her mouth, chewing on them as she went along dressed only in her bedclothes. Nothing on her feet or hands.

There was something liberating about walking in such hostile conditions without fear of exposure or frostbite.

Yet, as she went along, munching on one more petal after another, the snow began receding before her feet. Soon enough, a dirt patch made its way forward from where she stood. It wound through the snowfield, toward the forest. Biting her lower lip, she considered the darkness of those woods.

Yet, with the moon overhead watchful, and the stars guiding her steps, she felt still safe and protected.

She turned on the path, walking over the exposed earth, which was strangely warm and muddy, getting between her toes as she went along.

There were shapes taking form even in the pale twilight, shadows that played on even the light sources of the heavens. This gave her pause, as she always feared shadows and darkness. Yet something beckoned her forth into the wildness of the lands further out from Viden.

So with one foot in front of the other, Diana followed the muddy path, picking up flower petals as she walked.










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Brent Forrester
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Re: True North

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True North
11 Cylus, 721


Brent was flying, higher than he had ever gone before. The wind was icy cold and tore at his clothing. And yet Sinir kept going higher and higher. They were nearly in the clouds. Pushing higher and higher and…

Suddenly Brent found himself in the middle of a forest. The trail he stood upon forked into three distinct paths. The cartographer frowned at the sudden inconsistency. Hadn’t he just been in the air? He looked around the quiet trees and his winged mount was nowhere in sight. They had been pushing upwards, almost as if pushing against the boundary of possibilities. He blinked. A sudden wave of lucidity swept over him. He was in a dream.

Although Brent still found it hard to distinguish his dreams while in them, the drastic change of landscape had helped. With new eyes, he looked around the forest. The trees were a mix of tall pines and leafy maples and oaks. He could smell of hint of cedar as he surveyed the trail ahead. It looked as though he had to make a choice. However, as the cartographer started walking along the right most path, something else caught his eye. While most of the forest floor was covered with dead leaves and pine needles, further to the right was a patch of soft white snow. Looking up through the canopy, he couldn’t determine where it had come from but decided to approach the fluffy flakes.

He took a small step with a soft crunch upon the snow, followed by another. A fleck of red caught his eye and it appeared to be some sort of petal. Pushing his way into the thick cedar trees, he continued to follow the unknown source of the snow. For a moment he felt resistance, like he shouldn’t be there or he couldn’t be there. He paused and closed his eyes, willing himself to explore and open himself to the dreamworld beyond. With a hearty shove, he broke through the thick vegetation.

What awaited him was a vast landscape of snow and ice. Three moons shone brilliantly from above, lighting up the scene before him. Glancing behind him, Brent could see a thick dark forest, yet it didn’t quite seem like the one he had just been in. However, what was indeed familiar, was the splash of red petals upon the snow. In fact, there was a small cluster of them on a bit of scorched earth. Brent strode over in his heavy boots and traveling cloak so that he could pluck one of the flowers with his bare hand. It was cool to the touch, but no more than what he would have expected in a harsh cold climate.

He started along what seemed to be a path heading away from the forest. Just as he was starting to wonder why he would be dreaming of a land so covered with ice and snow, he spotted a figure ahead. Every so often the figure would pick up one of the red petals strewn across the land. Brent stopped a moment and cupped the flower that he held, eyes widening for a moment at the surprising warmth. As they grew near, he could see that she was a tall and almost statuesque woman.

“If you’re looking for flowers, you can have this one,” he spoke as he offered the brilliant red flower to her.

“The moons are bright tonight.”

It was really the snowy landscape that reflected so much of the moonlight to cause such brightness. Yet it started to dawn on him that maybe this was no longer his dream. Maybe this was hers? He once had a woman enter his own dream. In fact, that woman said she had come from a land where plants and greenery were almost entirely absent and the world was cold and full of ice. Whereas this woman before him, she seemed blissfully unaware of the cold with nothing on her feet and hardly any kind of outdoor clothing. It was a dream, so maybe it didn’t matter, but he still had to wonder.

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word count: 697
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Diana
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Re: True North



They couldn’t all be tales of horror, of shadow demons terrorizing poor villages and butchering humans like cattle, and spitting their bodies above campfires. She assured herself, as she collected one red petal after another, trying to find the source. The thought came unbidden and vague, like a voice speaking above the ice fields as if observing the scene from the third point of observation. Yet it all seemed to her quite within the ordinary as she stooped for one petal after another, tasting their bitter fibers as they curled around her tongue. The snows grew softer with each bite she took off the petals, and the muddied path expanded, growing more solid as it did so.

Shoots of ivy ran up the alpine trees until they began to hang down like curtains from the edge of the wood. Diana was already feeling quite comfortable with the landscape, as it warmed the closer she got to those treelines. The ice field behind her a distant thought, so long as she didn’t cast her eyes that way.

There was a blossom often in these instances, which would grow from the muddy ground. Yet Diana couldn’t sense it. As if it’d been taken out of her reach.

No time glass marked her movements from one point to another and all sense of coordination and timing were gone from her mind. The sands might’ve measured in breaks or bits for all the difference she felt.

She could just lay down on the ice field, let herself sleep until her present life was forgotten and a new one began. Her hand lifted to the ice shard pendant around her neck. Diana twirled it around in her fingers, playing with the jewel as she cast about, looking for any sign of red. Yet the petals all seemed to have flown.

Then, a shocking flash of red color caught the corner of her eye. She turned toward its source almost too quickly, and there saw a man, bearing the flower. Had he taken it? She thought this ice field was hers alone, a place of solitude that none could intrude upon. Yet here was some strange man, with markings and bearing the trappings of a traveler.

Even so, she wasn’t afraid of him, for all that she was shocked to find anyone there. Diana thought it was intriguing, and wondered what stories he might have to share…

“If you’re looking for flowers, you can have this one,” The traveler extended the blossom to her, as if inviting her to take it, then remarked “The moons are bright tonight.”

The flower petals all seemed to coalesce around the one he held. It was different in character from the one she’d seen before. She only vaguely remembered, but this one seemed to have more of a stem, less in the root, as if it’d been cut off at the point of its growth. As Diana took it from his hand, she noted the sharp thorns on its stem. They didn’t harm her, however. Nothing could harm her, not while the moons shone on her icefield, and as Diana walked in an air of sleepy abandon.

She brought it to her face and sniffed. It smelled of jungle roses, the kind she’d find in the Southern Continent. This rose didn’t attack or show any sign of harming her, and so Diana decided that it wouldn’t.

Yet as she drew closer to the stranger, to see if he was real, she felt something slipping away. Like a gauzy barrier parting way, the closer she got to him. It was then she felt the sharpness of the thorns on the stem that her fingers grasped. Diana recoiled then, back behind the sheer, gossamer curtain that separated the two. Only then, the thorns stopped biting into her skin.

However, not wanting to be rude or putting this stranger off, Diana spoke to him, ” Thank you, for finding it. Those woods you came out of? Not a friendly place.”

She brought the blossom to her face again, to smell the delicate red petals. Her eyes were on the stranger, however, ” I’m Diana. Will you come and have a walk with me?” She smiled behind the flower, her eyes inviting him into the ice field with her, where it’d be safer.







word count: 732
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Diana
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Re: True North



She sniffed the flower, and as she did so, Diana felt a sudden shift. It was unlike any she'd felt before. She felt... awake, yet aware that she was in the dream. Unbeknown to her, she'd been brought to lucidity by the proximity of the Lucid dreamer that had stood before her. Yet as she turned her eyes up again at him, he vanished. And for the first time in her thousand years spent in slumber she became all too aware that she was dreaming. And it was terrifying. She gripped the flower, as it suddenly sprouted thorns, digging into her hand. She yelped at the prick on her hand, that the rose had draw before she let it fall to the ground. She heard shuffling behind her, the snarling of something that hungered. Something that had been stalking her for arcs beyond counting, and only now had caught her scent.

She bolted into the forest, breathing heavily and bursting through the branches and brambles. Her feet and shins whipped by brambles at speeds that drew bloody lines across her skin. She took to leaping over the brambles, clumsily making the jumps and then falling to the snowy ground with an 'oof'. Even as she went along, she felt the snow bubbling, boiling beneath the surface. Melting into the ground as it gave way to summer. The forests shifted, and became temperate whereas before they had been boreal.

She knelt on the ground, having sprained her leg on the leap. Her glance shifted, casting about and looking for the creature that stalked her. It would get her scent, she knew it. She had to wake up, wake from this nightmare before it found her. Diana had never felt such a real pain in a dream before, but there her hand bled, its red ichor sinking into the moist earth.

She saw the whitened teeth and fangs bared before her, in the darkness of the underbrush. She screamed her last, and then awoke in her room, but not before it left a mark on the hand that had dripped blood.


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Diana
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Re: True North



She awoke with a start, throwing off the furs and linens that provided cover from her bed. She was still breathing very heavily from the terror she'd suffered in the dream just moments before. Slowly her mind acclimated to the idea of being pulled out of the dreamscape, and into her small apartment in the Videnese Prism. She shifted in her bed, looking around the room, almost wary that this was yet another layer to the dream, to the nightmare. But no, the cold air and chill wind coming through the draft in her vented window let her know that she was very much at home.

She breathed a sigh of relief, easing into the mattress. But then, she felt the familiar pain from the dream, the feeling of her hand which was almost torn from her by the dreaming beast.

Scarcely left with enough courage to confront the reality of what had occurred, she brought the hand out from under the linens of the bed. To look at her hand, its palm torn open by the combination of the rose's wicked thorns and the beast. She screamed.

Strifa came moments afterward, almost with uncanny speed to the aid of her friend and Prism-mate. There, she saw the wound, and incredulously brought out some clean cloth to cover and wrap around the wound. At least until they could get it looked at. "We should get you to the infirmary, Diana.."

Diana shook her head, fearing that the people there might think her mad, or worse, and lock her up. She clung to Strifa instead, and hushed her, murmuring nothings into her shoulder as tears fell from her face.
word count: 281
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Doran
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Re: True North

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Diana:

Knowledge:
Endurance: x 6
Discipline: x 2

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: A scratched up hand, will take a while to heal with minimal physical activity.
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15
- - -
Comments: I like that Diana's threads all seem to be part of a bigger story and connected in some way, and I enjoyed the atmosphere that you created in your first post, with Diana walking in the moonlight, chewing on lotus petals.

It seems as if aspects of the waking world follow both Diana and Brent in their dreams. It didn't really surprise me that Brent dreamt of flying with Sinir which is something that he seems to do quite frequently when he's awake.

I thought that the initial interaction between Brent and Diana was well written. It's a shame that Brent never wrote more than that.

I appreciate that you didn't simply submit this thread for review as is, but finished it. I have to admit, the ending was a bit unexpected - and scary. I wonder what exactly it was that stalked her

I like that you wrote what happened when she woke up rather than ending the thread then and there. I wonder what her prism-mate thought!

Enjoy your rewards!

Brent, if you decide to come back, let me know which skills you used and which knowledges you want, and I'll edit this review and give you your rewards!
word count: 244

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