• Solo • Eight Sleepers

6th of Vhalar 721

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Woe
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Eight Sleepers



6th of Vhalar 721


What Woe had seen in his glimpse into Augusta's dreams had troubled him enough that he, in fact, hadn't returned since that night in Ymiden, where he'd sought to see what damage might be lying beneath the surface of her mind. The revelation that her mother, Olga, was alive and well in her dreams had taken him aback. He hardly realized that she was in fact holding her mother as an unattainable idol, that she in fact hero-worshipped her mother. The implications were mind-boggling, and Woe couldn't begin to unravel them even with his intuitive understanding of human thoughts and behavior. It just had surprised him that much, to see that a part of her wanted to be the decadent siren of the Lair, Olga Dolizar.

Still, as the seasons wore on, and she took on the duties of caring for and educating Iago and sometimes Toutouye, Woe found himself wondering if this woman was even fit to watch over his children. Far be it for Woe to judge another's odd predilections, especially those that were conjured up in dreams. But he had to know what the source of this obsession was. The opportunity came on the Festival of Dreams, where eight people were volunteered to take a sleeping drought, that would keep them at rest throughout the day.

Surprisingly, it was Augusta that approached Woe about this event. She came to his office in the home in Scalvoristown, the one that had once belonged to Faith and Padraig Augustin. Now it was Woe's, as he'd jumped at the opportunity to own such an isolated home as this. The barriers to entry were almost too hard to pass up.

Augusta was wearing a simple robe, cinched at the waist with a corded belt. She looked impassively at Woe feigning nonchalance, though her hand-wringing told a different story. Woe looked up at her, "Woe... I was wondering..."

Woe stood up from his chair and gestured for her to take a seat opposite him. Once she made herself comfortable, he sat down again, folding his hands on his desk to wait for her to say her piece. "Woe, would you accompany me to the Festival of Dreams? I've volunteered to be one of the sleepers."

Clearly, his luck was the greatest, as this would be the perfect opportunity to delve into her dreams and do so for an entire trial. He put on airs of nonchalance and appeared to give the issue some thought. Well to be fair, he was giving it some thought and wondered if it would be sacrilegious to use Dreamwalking during the Festival of Dreams. In the end, he shrugged, and said to her, "I was actually thinking of going myself, and wasn't sure who to ask." Woe said with a small smile. Augusta let out a breath she'd been holding, and untensed her shoulders at that.

"Well... good. That's settled. I hear they're doing something special with it this year... almost theatrical." She smiled wistfully, "And I'm sure Sage can take over the tutoring duties of Iago and Toutouye while we're gone."

This all settled, Woe made preparations to depart for Scalvoristown.

The bridge led all the way out to Scalvoris from his house. They walked along the length of it, Woe still not having gotten over the last attempt to ride the cable car that served as a conveyance still from the house. They walked for a few breaks until they reached the wharves of Scalvoris. Once there, it was a short trip to the tent that was central to the festival.

Woe and his companion, Augusta, arrived at the tent where the eight participants would be put to rest. Woe saw the other six, dressed in sleeping robes of various colors, their belts colored a specific pattern. Woe and Augusta were escorted to separate stalls in order that they'd change their robes to something suitable for the ceremony. It all seemed very peculiar and deliberate to Woe, but he was coming to terms with such a focus on the ceremony and details of things. It was part of what it meant to be a Scalvorite, he supposed. Idly, he wondered if any of them even remembered exactly why they kept to these old details in these traditions.

They were given some robes and items in order to prepare, and directed toward dressing partitions within the tent, set up for privacy. Woe and Augusta were the last of the eight to show up to volunteer, and so the tent's entrance was closed to any other comers. They took a few bits to get into the new clothing, but when they did, they emerged from their dressing partitions. He was clad in black robes, with a red corded belt cinching it at the waist. Augusta was wearing a lilac-purple-colored robe with a black corded belt at the waist. , to meet with the rest of the eight in the circular center of the tent, where the attendant was ready to take their questions and brief them on what to expect.

One of the attendants of the Celebration of Dreams spoke up then and told them what to expect for the ceremony, as was customary. "There will always be eight dreamers for each town, volunteering themselves for the honor of participating. This is one of the more sacred rituals in Scalvoris, even more now that Jesine has died, not less. We believe that by offering ourselves to the dream world in this way, we can forestall such a disaster as another fall of Emea. With Jesine's lingering protection, it will be done."

That canned speech out of the way, Woe wondered if they really thought that such a ritual might have an effect upon such cosmological events. It almost seemed absurd. Not only for the fact that they thought giving themselves to dreams might spare them and their loved ones from some unspecified harm, but that Jesine still had power in death.

Woe approached the attendant and nodded to them with a friendly smile. "Is there a reason you require eight sleepers for this ceremony? If so, do you know what it is?" He watched her carefully, trying to suss out any evasiveness or attempts at generating confusion.

The attendant seemed taken aback by the question, perhaps unused to such curiosity toward their oldest traditions. But Woe wasn't a Scalvorite, nont originally, and he had curiosity toward their rituals. If they did them with deliberation, or if they knew not from whence the particular customs came. His attention toward any signs of deceit were in vain, as she was both sincere and entirely ignorant of the ritual she was overseeing, from what she said next.

"Eight sleepers, it seems like a good round number. Our tent has eight sides, and nels have eight corners... It's a lucky number, I suppose?" She shrugged at him and went about her business. Woe saw no reason to bother her with any more questions. Perhaps he'd seek Professor Thetys' insight into specific rituals of the Scalvorites. He was intrigued by this one in particular.

The rest of the 'dreamers' were preparing themselves, taking a position in the circle around which they'd be sleeping. Each octagonal side of the tent was reserved for one of the dreamers.

Woe took Augusta's hand and squeezed it to reassure her. She looked a bit nervous. "A day of sleep doesn't sound bad, does it?" He said, not mentioning that he had no intention of giving his mind a rest, planning on going lucid and rising above the veil to join in her dreamscape. Yet she didn't need to know that, yet.

Augusta smiled and nodded, then they went to take their positions. Each of them was given a small candle, and a cup full of the draught that would put them to sleep. Once they were all comfortable in their cots, they took the drink, and the candles were lit.

Woe didn't go under immediately,, but watched as Augusta drank her potion. He kept his focus on her, remembering the purpose of their participation in this ceremony. Woe rarely got so much as six hours of sleep every night, so it was a rare opportunity to explore his dream walking capabilities, as much as he can when so much of what was possible is no longer.

Woe blinked several times, as he watched Augusta go under into sleep. His eyelids grew heavy with each passing moment. As he felt the sensation of losing the battle for consciousness, and lucidity, he slipped the small candle onto the nightstand next to his cot. Then, his eyes grew heavy, and his head filled with mental fog as he slipped into rest.
word count: 1485
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Doran
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Re: Eight Sleepers

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Woe:

Knowledge:
Detection: x 2
Etiquette: x 2
Seduction: x 2

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 10, for being one of the Sleepers at the Festival of Dreams.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: I really enjoyed the thread where Woe studied Augusta’s dreams, so I’m glad that you decided to continue this plot so soon. The Festival of Dreams was a good opportunity for him to find out more about the source of her obsessions. I was surprised when Augusta herself approached Woe though!

It was a fortunate coincidence that they seemed to be missing a sleeper (Unless they were counting on Augusta to bring the eighth sleeper?).

I really enjoyed all the details in this thread. Woe’s thoughts about the festival and his wondering as to why people kept to those old details in the traditions were interesting to read.

I wonder if any of them actually know that there were eight Originals, and that’s why the number eight plays such a big part. The attendant seems to have been clueless, at least!

With that being said, I look forward to reading the next thread in this series. I wonder what Woe will find in Augusta’s dreams. According to the calendar, it is said that the dreams had on this night are most likely to be prophetic or significant!

Enjoy your rewards!

P.S.: I would have added “Deception” to the list of skills used. When Augusta asked him if he would accompany her, he put on airs of nonchalance and appeared to give the issue some thought, for example, even though he already seemed to have thought about it previously.
word count: 282

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