This dream occurs the first night you spend in the inn in the Elven city.

Seemingly just after you drift off to sleep, you fall into a vivid and disturbing dream. You feel as though your soul drifts from your body, out of the inn, and into the city, picking up speed as it goes. By the time you've left the city - heading east, you think - everything around you is an unintelligible blur as the landscape streaks by.

Within moments, you find yourself hovering bodilessly above a body of water. You're completely turned around and unsure of where you are and what direction you're facing, and you don't recognize anything of the area. The moon, directly overhead, shines down on you seemingly bright as the midday sun. In front of you, an expanse of white sand stretches away as far as the eye can see. All that breaks the monotony of the seemingly endless sand is the sight of four travelers trudging wearily along the shoreline.

Interested, you drift closer to the party of travelers. Silent as the wind, you drift up behind them. The four march in deliberate order, not quite military yet not quite //not, all clad in heavy robes. Slipping up from behind, you first glide past a stocky and strongly-built woman. Turning as you pass, you see a plain face surrounding deeply-compassionate eyes. She's whispering words you cannot hear and fingering something hidden beneath her plain and dusty robe. Her olive skin glistens with tears she's desperately trying to blink away, and she keeps glancing to a spot ahead of her.//

Passing her, you come to a wiry man, thin but tall and strong. His darkly-tanned skin is weathered; you'd guess he's at least a decade older than the woman behind him, though he may be older than that. Despite his age, he looks strong and healthy. His robes are rich and well cared for, and he looks as though he wears no armor beneath them. His face is drawn and tired, his lips set in a firm line as he trudges onward.

Next in line is a younger man of diminutive stature. He practically seems to float over the sand. As you look at his face, you realize that despite his grace he must be near-exhausted, as his eyes keep drifting closed.

Turning away, you finally come to the last member of the group. Her robes are torn and stained and have not been mended; through them, you can see the glint of metal armor. She carries a sword and shield openly, the only member of the group with her weapons unsheathed. As you pass her, you recognize her face; how could you not? It's been burned into your brain since that night… she is the dark-skinned demon that crossed the Bridge! Her features are set in grim determination despite the tear-tracks that line her dusty face. You glance down and notice something dangling from a chain in her sword hand as you feel the scene receding. As though your body is forcibly reeling you in, you feel the landscape stream by you senselessly again until you are slammed back into your body. You awaken with a startled gasp at the sensation of falling.

So… chances it was Pelor's Compass dangling from the chain?

(Int 13) It was a circular amulet dangling from a chain.

*wakes up, buries face in hands*
Where is the compass after this dream?

Where did you put it before this dream?

Probably someplace safe. Maybe deep in a pouch in my backpack. When traveling I'd have in a more accessible pouch so I can consult it surreptitiously.

Okay, before it was in a pouch in your backpack. When you wake up, you're on your back, and you're clutching it in your right hand.

Of course I am.

Hey, you could've been clutching it n your right foot…

So… *starts to cover face with hands, slams compass down on pillow, covers face with hands for a few minutes. It's part nearly tears, part Picard. The assumption, of course, is that her cheeks were stained with tears because Pelor's Compass had just given her a dream in which the nonsense-speaking idiots on the other side of the bridge refused to listen and then killed her.*

*After grinding out these bitter emotions unhelpfully for a few minutes, Maleos takes a deep breath, wipes his half-started tears away with his hands, and meditates on his Source for a bit, trying to clear his mind.*

I'm so interested in this reaction

Does he successfully bring his emotions into check?

Oh, yeah. How long it takes depends on how emotional he was.

It'll take a while. It's sorrow, regret, and guilt, all boiling down into angry, impotent rage, which is what comes naturally to him when he suddenly realizes he's staring down the barrel of Fate. He's also convinced that the impotent part is a fallacy. Which is why he wants to work around it. It is in the way between him and understanding the Enigma which is obviously trying to be understood, just bad at it.

But there are clues for yous!
Honestly, it's only a riddle wrapped in an enigma.

So once he finds his center enough to calm himself, he picks up Pelor's Compass and takes it over to his backpack and puts it away. Assuming that action can be accomplished without supernatural interference, he gets out some paper and starts making a list of the possibile intepretations and clues which support or detract from them.

Yes, it can.

Once that's completed, he'll take out the compass and hold it in front of his face, quietly contemplating the gaze of Pelor.

Now that you've met these people, you realize he kinda looks like one of them.

This is going to hurt.
And I REALLY wish I'd taught myself Eye Guard instead of True/False

Study study!

Maleos spends a bit focusing and rationalizing his feelings. Honing them from fear and rage into grim determination. Then he quietly tells the Compass:

"Obviously the traditions I was raised in are a bit misguided. You can be from Across. You can be of the trees. And Saul tells me any natural relationship between us will be as Unique as the individual. As Unique as the metaphor by which a mage understands his craft. Very well."

"I will seek you on those terms, Pelor. I will meet you halfway. I will discover what the unique relationship is between us. And I will strive to make it a healthy. Productive. And mutually-beneficial one. But if it takes me the rest of my life. If I have to construct my own Bridge from scratch. You. WILL. Communicate fairly."

And, of course, the Compass itself doesn't answer you.


You wouldn't be happier if it had?

I would probably be blind right now if it had.
I'm basically growling at the Sun God.

Quite true.
Thankfully, he's sometimes nice!

Sometimes! But Maleos simply does not understand how a being can make all the food in the world grow, but not cast a simple level 4 translation spell and lay down some straight talk when it sends the Dreams.

But does he make all the food in the world grow?

Well, that's one of the more prominent legends. Time will tell. Probably.

I mean, he doesn't make the food grow so much as he makes the dayball glow…. which makes the food grow.

Well, yes.

Maybe the food growth is just a happy side-effect of some really, really important troll-burning he's constantly doing in the sky.

Maybe he's just really flatulent.

*deep breath, lets it out* "All right. I feel better now. Obviously, you want something. You only see fit to communicate in pictures. I suppose I can see how there might be a certain utility to that. There's no confusion rooted in how people from different places speak differently. But some concepts don't translate very gracefully into pictures. And you're only giving me one bite at a time. I can't help but feel like we could be helping you plan… whatever this is. Preparing for it. Getting our shit together. Rather than just marching off blindly into the wilderness to fight whatever it is that ties our fate to that of these people. I don't like the drama, you understand. I'm worried I'll screw it up. And as I'm sure you can tell… I'm not sure I can trust you."

There is still no response from the Compass.

Right. It's basically just a face that symbolizes Pelor for Maleos to direct his speechifying at. In his mind, he is trying to talk to Pelor. For whatever Pelor chooses to make of that. He's trying.

*blinks, suddenly, as an idea occurrs to him* "Oh, there's *no way* it could be that simple…" *closes eyes, concentrates*

"A means of lingual, non-ambiguous communication directly with the deity known as Pelor!"

Int (16)

You struggle with the Compass as you do when trying to select its goal, but you can't redirect it.

*chuckles softly* "That's okay. We can try this again later. As many times as it takes. We'll figure this out. Together." Considers the face for a moment more. "I thank you for your patience." *puts the amulet and his notes away, goes to breakfast*

Enjoy your nuts and fruit porridge! :)

After a stunt like that? You're damned right I enjoy my nuts.

He he he…

He's gonna try and do the compass thing a few more times while in town, just in case it points him back towards the temple of Pelor. He's also going to study it and its aura in detail and attempt to determine whether it has charges or not. This naturally dredges up memories of Esme and he'll probably have to churn through some residual survivor's guilt that he sure as hell HOPES is a fallacy.

Okay, remind me about the compass thing when we're talking about things that happen during your "down time" in the Elven City. Also, let me know if there are things you specifically want to do there.

Quench, Comprehend Language, Tongues, Protection from Fire. Basically telling the Priests of Pelor "Spells that do X will make it more likely that we will succeed. Tell me what you can, let me study the formulas with you while I'm here. If I can learn them now, great. If I can't, I'll take whatever notes you can provide me with and learn them myself as I travel."

Okay. You can get some notes for sure. You can talk to the priests for a start, but they'll direct you to some other people fairly quickly. The other people are various wizards.

"Oh! And Saul's healing spell. Gotta learn that one. Everyone should learn that one."

The priests will give you notes on the healing spells, too.


I'll make a note, though, 'cause you'll wanna run part of that interaction. I need to prep for it a little, though.

Heh. All right.

Oh, you'll also probably want to write up a journal page or something about the dream and your reaction to it.

Meta-humor? On the internet!?

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