Shared Visions (Isle of Mist)

This page will serve as a repository for all visions, dreams and portents that party members have chosen to add to Darias's Cold Crystal.

As far as we know, no information regarding the existence of Isle or its location has ever been added to the Cold Crystal by anyone.

Maleos is compiling a non-encrypted timeline on a piece of paper, currently stored in Maleos's Big Book O' Conspiracy Theories. Unlike nearly everything else in that book, this page is at serious risk of containing useful information.

First Night in Kaede

Aida, Darias, Maleos, Saul

This dream occured the first night you spend in the inn in the Elven city of Kaede.
Aida and Maleos both voluntarily added it to the Cold Crystal while on the road after the defeat of the Ice-Blood Empress. Original text for both players was confirmed to be identical.

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.1 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.

After the (Purging) Fire

Saul

Immediately after the death of the Purging Fire

After the defeat of the Purging Fire, Saul was immediately overcome with a strong impression of battle. He caught a glimpse of the dark-skinned warrior-woman fighting an overwhelming number of indistinct foes. He felt a sharp pain as something raked across her ribs.

He was then immediately pulled into a whirling miasma of colors. After a long moment of disorientation, he began to recognize certain patterns in the colors. He couldn't say why, but he suddenly realized that if he called Maleos over and they performed the ritual that was being dumped into his brain it would be helpful to them. He can't remember specifics about what he saw or why he suddenly knew this ritual, but he does remember that he just suddenly knew this would be helpful.

Deep in Hallvar

Aida

This dream occurred the night after the second meeting with Rido.
It was voluntarily added to the Cold Crystal by Aida while on the road following the defeat of the Ice-Blood Empress.

As you're drifting off to sleep, you feel a shiver run down your spine. Immediately, you find yourself out of your body, spinning slowly on a mountain peak. The night is clear and the moon is bright; you can see clearly down the slope to a clearing on the next peak over. Dull embers glow an angry red, illuminating a handfull of tents clustered close together.

You begin to slowly drift toward the campsite, and suddenly you're standing in the shadows near the campfire. A dark shape stands next to you, staring out into the oppressive ring of inky blackness. You turn to see the dark-skinned warrior-woman, her face resolute but masking a distinct shadow of fear. Her eyes dart from tree to tree. You drift slowly closer and realize you can hear her heart pounding and sense her exhaustion and paranoia. Suddenly you're inside her, looking through her eyes. You can feel eyes watching you/her from the darkness. You feel her regret and grief, sense that she feels responsible for something, some great loss. She's pushing herself to the limits of her capabilities and beyond just to stay awake and upright. You can feel the warm stickiness of blood on your/her left hand where she's been digging her fingernails into her palm.

Suddenly, off in the distance, you hear a terrifying falcon's screech. A low rumble rolls across the ground a moment later. You/she tenses her grip on your/her shield and whips your/her sword from its scabbard without thinking, turning to face this new threat. A yell catches in your/her throat and dies as a great raptor sheathed in lightning rises into the sky miles away yet unimaginably large. Once again you're standing next to her in the dark. Despite your rapidly fading link, her sense of relief is palpable. As your vision fades, you see her sink to her knees and hear her muttering under her breath. As you fade back to dreamless sleep, you realize her words are a prayer of thanks for the brief respite.

here's what you realize:

When you fought saw the dark-skinned warrior woman on the Isle, she appeared to be somewhere in her mid to late 30s. When you had your vision-dream, she appeared to be much younger, perhaps early to mid 20s.

Maleos

This dream occured the night after the second meeting with Rido.
It was voluntarily entered into the Cold Crystal by Maleos on the road after the defeat of the Ice-Blood Empress.

You snap back to reality with a start. You've been daydreaming again; Esme's droning lecture fades back to the forefront and you shake yourself and try to catch up. You realize that Esme is behind you, and you momentarily tense, waiting to be cuffed about the ear for drifting off while she's talking. When no such punishment is forthcoming, you slowly turn, careful not to make a noise or reveal that you hadn't been paying attention.

You turn slowly on the stool, and the surroundings wash over you. You're sitting in the familiar confines of Esme's spare, yet warm, cottage. A cool morning sun shines redly through the windows, glinting dully off the well-worn yet meticulously-maintained tools hung with care upon the otherwise-plain walls. An old woman, short and slightly rotund, kneels arthritically in front of the file, carefully stirring a small pot of some noxious-smelling herbal mix. Her loam-hued hand peeks out from under a long-sleeved tunic, one of Esme's favorites. She is still speaking, and you finally begin to concentrate on her words.

"…which is dangerous, as you have discovered. This is the first lesson you must learn, apprentice, and learn it well. My miners had a saying you would do well to learn. 'Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.' I would add to this that there is a difference between hurrying and rushing. You are rushing, and you have paid for it." With a start, you realize that you've been holding a handkerchief to your nose. You glance down and notice that it's soaked with blood. "You may hurry, child, but do not rush. You're starting a walk down a road fraught with both wonder and peril. Take this road slowly at first, and listen to me, child. Don't go rushing ahead until I've shown you how to watch for the potholes and the rockslides." With that she looks at you. Though she's been speaking with Esme's voice, she is clearly not Esme. She's very short and much more rotund than Esme ever was, and her skin is a dark, rich brown that nearly exactly matches her eyes. Her face snaps into focus and you recognize her as Reka, the brown-skinned dharven magicker from the meeting earlier that night. You now also recognize this situation, this memory.

You're re-living a memory of many years ago, something that happened less than a week after you'd signed on to apprentice for Esme. She'd shown you and your father some tricks during your interview with her, demonstrating her skills and abilities to your father before he agreed to hire her. You'd watched, fascinated, and vowed to learn these spells. You'd asked her to repeat one of the spells your second day of working with her, then when she'd turned her back to gather some supplies for you, you began trying to replicate her actions, trying to replicate the spell at a lower level of power. The next thing you remember was her pulling you off the floor and pressing a cloth to your face. Thankfully, you'd only passed out momentarily and hit your head, causing a severe nosebleed and even more acute embarrassment. You'd been disoriented and thought you'd missed her lecture, but apparently some of it had stuck somewhere in your subconscious.

As realization dawned on you, the script of your memory continued to play out. Reka/Esme brought you a mug of her foul-smelling pick-me-up and you tried to stand to take it, blacking out for a second time, but thankfully only for a split second. As the darkness took you again, though, this time it dragged you down back into a dreamless sleep.

In the morning, when you wake, this dream is still crystal-clear2 in your memory.

Saul

Saul's Dream
Hallvar
The night after the second meeting with Rido.
During his short sleep, Saul dreamed of his death.

Saul had been spending so many hours with his alchemical setup, so many hours pouring over the small sample of slime he'd been given. He hadn't told his friends yet, but the worms disturbed him more than they could imagine. He had a visceral terror reaction every time he thought of them, and he couldn't say why. Something about them seemed to pick at the scab over his memories, and it was painful.3

It had now been more than 40 hours since Saul had last slept. Despite his new-found stamina, this was still far longer than was comfortable for him, and he needed to rest, just for a couple of hours. Tearing himself away from his tray of reagents, he slumped over into his bed and pulled the blanket over himself. His eyes closed and his mind shunted instantly to… somewhere else.

He found himself standing in a dense forest or jungle of some sort. He felt as though he'd been here before, but he was unable to place anything specific. Slowly, he turned a circle; behind him stood a stone temple covered in the growth of ages, barely visible through the vegetation. At once it felt both comfortable and off-putting, familiar yet frightening at the same time.4

Slowly, unwittingly, he walked toward the entrance. Darkness fell around him as he passed under the massed limbs and vines arching over the old walkways and doorways. Water dripped from the ceiling and down the walls, and the halls were choked with vegetation. The inside was a maze of corridors and rooms, but somehow Saul confidently strode through the labyrinth deep into the center of the structure. Finally, he found the room he was looking for: an altar of some sort, buried deep within the temple. Fires still burned in the censers. Feeling strangely confident, Saul pushed through the half-blocked door and into the shrine room. As he did, he was blinded by the censers suddenly flaring up. He felt himself burning, consumed by fire. He woke feeling himself burning to death.56

Throne Visions

At the Dharven Thrones, Maleos and Darias both immediately put their Throne-visions into Darias's Cold Crystal upon waking up. Later, after defeating the Ice-Blood Empress, Maleos convinced Aida to add hers. Later that day, it was revealed that YM had had a dream similar to those the group had been having, and Aida encouraged YM to talk to Maleos about it. YM added her dream to the crystal at that point, and Maleos and Aida decided to add their dreams, as well.

Aida

As Aida settles into the throne, her vision fades to greyscale. She's suddenly somewhere else, underground, standing. A large, brawny, possibly dharven7 man stands next to her. He is broad like the dharven, though not much shorter than she. He wears bladed plate mail; she can see little of him through that. He swings a large smith's hammer8 hard and fast onto some metal creation, willing it into place with a combination of muscle and determination.

Aida can feel that odd boredom-thrill, the feeling she has just before a battle, just after she's realized that something will happen but before it actually does. She turns away from the possibly-dharven man and his damnable hammering. She stares up at the too-low ceiling, irritated with the wait. Suddenly, she hears the pounding at the gates, the sound she's been waiting for. She pulls her massive warhammer9 to her and rushes the door.

As she reaches the entrance, the stone before her shatters open. Quick, lithe, flashing figures blur past her, but she does not concern herself with these; they are not foes.10 The foe is before her, a vast and unseeable void in her vision. Closing her eyes, she gives over all trust to her instincts and begins to flash her hammer about as if it were made of balsawood. There - contact! And again, and again! She twists and dodges the unseen tendrils of her masked foe, letting her eyes fall open again. She can see the purple-black ichor11 spurting from the void as she mercilessly slams her hammer into the abomination before her. Distracted, she falters; a tendril flies past her to her left. Before she can react, she catches a golden glimpse12beside her, and the tendril pulls back. She has no time to thank her benefactor, though, as she redoubles her efforts to press her foe.

Despite the momentary slip, she and her allies have played to their plan. Slowly, deliberately, they've turned the face of the battle nearly 180 degrees from where it started. Elated, she calls out to her allies; in her battle-fury, she cannot remember what she called, only that it was the time to do so.13 She hears the distant slamming of metal on metal, and with a final spray of purple-black fluid, the void before her clears, leaving her in a long daze. As she comes back to herself, a glance around her shows that the ichor has hardened and turned yellow-orange. She notices some on the head of her beautiful hammer, sunk into the lines and glyphs she'd so painstakingly woven into the metal; she is momentarily disgusted. Before she can scrape it from her, though, she feels a restraining hand. She begins to turn, but suddenly is overwhelmed with veritigo.

Moments later, when the world stops swimming around her, Aida can see nothing but a pale blue, a blue so pale as to border on white. She can feel nothing, not the air, not the throne, not even her clothing. She cannot see herself, only the blue-white. There is no air, and she is freezing. She fights back panic, thinking of her many swims, how she would force herself to hold her breath as long as should could under the cold, blue waters of the river. "This is just another river" becomes her mantra. As her burning lungs reach their limit, the blue suffusion fades to black.141516 For a moment, she thinks that she's been blinded, but the dim light of the cavern once again trickles into her eyes and she finds herself once more sitting on the cold throne, heaving great lungsfull of air into her chest. She glances down to see her hands have turned ice blue and are only slowly regaining their color.

Darias

As Darias settles into the throne, his vision blacks. He sees brief flashes of light and hears the ring of hammer on metal as his vision suddenly adjusts to the dark. Before him stands the dull red glow of recently-forged metal. He realizes that he's hammering an unusual metal into a massive structure of some sort, bending and shaping the metal to keep it all a single piece while still crafting it into a complicated, boxy structure.17 The metal seems to glow a faint silver, but upon closer inspection, thousands of colors dance along its skin. Oranges fade to reds and burst forth into golds before fading again to blue-green, whipping through a rainbow of colors to fast for Darias to process.18

Looking back over his shoulder, he catches a quick glimpse of a vast red maw as his vision again darkens.19 He feels himself pulled through a fine mist of memory as if by a rope attached to his sternum.20 Whipping to a stop, he is disoriented for a moment. He looks down to see that he's still grasping his hammer, then looks up again just in time to see a vast, dark tendril thrusting towards him. Before he can react, a blur of gold passes in front of his face and the tendril retreats.21 He glimpses motion to his right and left, and through the din of battle, he hears yells of instruction. He can't hear them, can't understand them, but he somehow knows what he is supposed to do. Turning quickly, he throws open a silver-gold door, colors dancing along its skin hypnotically.22

Again, blackness, and then it passes. Darias's heart is pounding in his chest, but the excitement seems to be over. He looks to his hands again, sees his hammer in his hands. It's made of that same opalescent metal, but it is clearly his hammer. There is some purplish-black fluid on it. As he looks on, the purple-black fluid hardens and crusts over to black, then turns an unmmistakeable yellow-orange.23 Disgusted, Darias slams his hammer against the floor, shaking the rapidly-hardening flakes onto the ground. He turns and limps away, suddenly feeling beaten and exhausted.

Once more, the world goes featureless, and Darias loses contact with everything. He can feel himself growing rapidly chilled in the freezing void, but he cannot feel anything outside himself.24 Everything is a dull red, so red as to border on blackness. All sensation of the air, the throne, everything around him is gone. He starts to panic, feeling that he cannot breathe, cannot move, when the world once again bursts into light and warmth. Despite the dimness of the underground isle, Darias is momenetarily blinded. His head pounding, he pants hard for a long minute, trying to catch his breath and understand what has just happened to him.25

Maleos

As Maleos settles into the stone throne, the vision of another world fades in, replacing his view of the cavern. He glances around, confused, finding himself on a mountain road in a wintery forest. He is aware that someone else is there with him, watching him from the trees, but he doesn't turn, doesn't acknowledge them; they don't concern him. He is looking for something else, an auspicious location. It must be nearby. He closes his eyes, feeling the flows of magic in the forest around him, letting them guide him.26

After a long moment, his eyes snap open. He strides confidently to a large tree overhanging both the road and the mountainside. The tree has grown near a magical node, and its wood has tasted that magic as it has ebbed and flowed through the years. Maleos regards the spot for a moment, then nods. He starts preparing his tools, pulling his backpack from him, but pauses for a moment to incline his head apologetically toward the forest. That done, he pulls out a hatchet, reaches up, and begins carving ornate designs into the trunk of the tree.27

Lost in the work, night falls around Maleos. Panting and sweating, he finally stands from his kneeling position. He steps back and looks upon his work; it twists and writhes in his vision, dancing unreadably before his eyes. Again, he nods in satisfaction and retreats across the road into the forest, preparing his crossbow for what he knows will come.28

Maleos snaps awake. He's still crouched near the edge of the forest, looking upon his rune-tree, his crossbow propped carefully beside him. His muscles are stiff and sore from sleeping kneeling against a tree, but he dares not risk moving. He can sense a presence nearby, the presence, coming toward the tree. Slowly he eases the crossbow onto his lap, waiting for the moment.29

Time creeps by. Maleos draws long, slow breaths to keep his movements steady and his aim from drifting. The forest has gone silent, but the presence has not yet shown itself. Suddenly, the rune-tree crumples and implodes, a formless void snapping into place where it once stood. There is no time to think. Maleos feels his finger tighten on the trigger of his crossbow before he's even aware of it. The bolt leaps toward the void, but Maleos doesn't pause to see its effect; before it's reached the target, he's already sprung onto the roadway, running toward the sea.

The time that was crawling now flits by in barely-remembered flashes, moments of terror that cannot be fully appreciated until long after the moment has passed. He stumbles, costing him a few steps, but likely saving his arm as a sharp fire flashes through his shoulder. He hears a rush of air near his head and throws himself to the side as a vast, unseeable tendril whips through the space his head had just occupied. He leaps and bounds away, occasionally throwing hindrances behind him but never daring to turn, never daring to look.30

Before he knows it, Maleos has come to a wall of stone, a dead end. He whips his last trick from his now-empty back, dashing it to the ground and rolling aside as a dozen more of him spring to life in front of him. Without hesitation, the pursuing tendrils smash through six of his decoys, sundering their forms back to mana and shattering the brittle stone of the cliff face before him.31

Again, time seems to leap forward as the fight moves into the freshly-hewn cavern. Maleos hears cries all around him, the clash of steel, the creaking of leather… and then, with a final resounding thunderstroke, only panting is left. Maleos hears someone nearby cough out "It is done! Begin the ritual!", and, blearily, he stumbles over the now-glowing metal wall before him and begins chanting. Thoughts again leave his mind as he falls into the pattern of the ritual….32

An unknown time later — could it have been minutes? hours? days? — Maleos's thoughts return to his head. The ritual around him is finishing, but his part is complete. The earth is shaking like he's never seen before, bucking like a maverick horse under his feet. The cavern is suffused by a boiling red light. Maleos's instinct is to run, to flee, but between his exhaustion and the lurching of the cavern floor, he can barely stumble toward the light. He feels hands on his arm dragging him toward the entrance. The next thing he knows, he's on the roadway outside the cavern entrance. The ground still bucks beneath him, and he collapses and turns to look back. He is dimly aware of others collapsing to the ground around him, but he can't tear his eyes away from the cliff face as the bucking earth sunders it from the rest of the mountainside and throwns it down into the beckoning sea.33

Everything before him becomes a foaming mist of sea spray. Maleos shudders and blinks, clearing his vision as he realizes he's sitting in the throne, his hands tightly gripping the ivory staff.3435

The Watchtower

Saul

The night after the battle with the snake-ladies at the ruined watchtower, Saul had this dream.

He was wet, submerged, surrounded by water. For a second, he is surprised and almost panics, but he realizes that there is no need. He has plenty of breath. He can see through the crystal blue waters to the silvery, moonlit surface above. Relaxing, he swims toward the surface and breaks free, blowing out a big gasp of air and taking fresh air deep into his lungs.

Saul splashes around for a while, enjoying himself. The night wears on and the moon sinks into the sea as the first rays of sunlight break over the horizon. As the sun rises, Saul pulls himself onto the shore and dries himself. As the sun fully emerges into the sky, Saul begins chanting a spell. He feels himself shrink down and grow feathers. With a burst of effort, he throws himself skyward and flies up over the beach and away from the rising sun, basking in its light.

Ice Melter Dreams

These visions occurred while spending the night in the cavern of the Ice-Blood Empress.

Aida

The dream fades in with Aida overhearing a conversation among a group of people inside a very large guardhouse. She feels as though she's watching something from outside and has no power to interact with it, like she's watching a play or an coldcrystal-image recorded long ago. No one there seems to notice her. She can hear people talking to one another and can see 4 shapes, but the voices are garbled and indistinct, the faces and forms out of focus. There is something large dominating the center of the room, but it does not interest her.

Turning to the people, Aida can see that it's not even that they're out of focus, it's that they're multiple people all at once, all overlapping and shifting rapidly. The forms before her change so constantly, so rapidly, that she can't make heads or tails of who they truly are.

Suddenly, Aida feels a crushing pressure over her entire body, agonizingly tight. Fighting through the pain, she follows the shapes to the edges of the room. They pull out indistinct weapons that shift with their forms and begin desperately fighting something Aida can't see, but something that obviously terrifies them.

When she wakes up the next morning, Aida remembers very little about the room or the people, but she remembers the battle clearly. The battle is almost impossible to clearly follow because of how quickly the people change shape, but Aida remembers them flashing from place to place, slashing and flashing their weapons around so fast they blur. She also clearly remembers the spray of golden ichor misting into the building as the defenders lashed out at the unseen attackers.

Darias

The dream fades in with Darias overhearing a conversation among a group of people inside a very large smithy. He feels as though he's watching something from outside and has no power to interact with it, like he's watching a play or an coldcrystal-image recorded long ago. No one there seems to notice him. He can hear people talking to one another and can see 4 shapes, but the voices are garbled and indistinct, the faces and forms out of focus. All he can see clearly is a gigantic machine, something far larger and more complex than even the Brightmill. It is clearly unfinished, and the people are, Darias feels, discussing some elements of its construction. Darias watches as they place and carefully adjust pieces. He cannot discern what the machine is for, but he feels that it is something of great, almost unfathomable importance.
Turning to the people, Darias can see that it's not even that they're out of focus, it's that they're multiple people all at once, all overlapping and shifting rapidly. The forms before him change so constantly, so rapidly, that he can't make heads or tails of who they truly are.
Suddenly, Darias feels a crushing pressure over his entire body, agonizingly tight. He can't move or breathe. The people seem to feel something at the same time, springing into panicked action. they rush to the sides of the room. Darias can't turn to follow or watch them, but he can hear shouted commands and sounds reminiscent of battle.36
When he wakes, Darias cannot remember the machine as a whole, but he can remember pieces of it, elements of it. In particular, he remembers a complex shape in the middle, full of overlapping curves. It appears to be made of that odd metal Darias first saw in his Throne vision, and it has a complex etching on it that looks like it's inlaid with gold. As the sights and sounds of the dream faded from Darias's mind, he remembers the etchings on the odd shape shifting, with a smaller piece of the gold inlay drifting aside one of the largest inlays.37

Maleos

The dream fades in with Maleos overhearing a conversation among a group of people inside a very large laboratory. He feels as though he's watching something from outside and has no power to interact with it, like he's watching a play or an coldcrystal-image recorded long ago. No one there seems to notice him. He can hear people talking to one another and can see 4 shapes, but the voices are garbled and indistinct, the faces and forms out of focus. All he can see clearly is a gigantic apparatus, a magical construct far larger and more complex than anything he's ever seen aside from the Bridge. It is clearly unfinished, and the people are, Maleos feels, discussing some elements of its enchantments. Maleos watches as they carefully weave bindings into the material base. He cannot discern what the apparatus is for, but he feels that it is something of great, almost unfathomable importance.38

Turning to the people, Maleos can see that it's not even that they're out of focus, it's that they're multiple people all at once, all overlapping and shifting rapidly. The forms before him change so constantly, so rapidly, that he can't make heads or tails of who they truly are.39

Suddenly, Maleos feels a crushing pressure over his entire body, agonizingly tight. He can't move or breathe. The people seem to feel something at the same time, springing into panicked action. they rush to the sides of the room. Maleos can't turn to follow or watch them, but he can hear shouted commands and sounds reminiscent of battle.40

When he wakes, Maleos cannot remember the apparatus as a whole, but he can remember pieces of it, elements of it. In particular, he remembers a complex shape in the middle, pulsing with bright lines of arcane light. As the sights and sounds of the dream faded from Maleos's mind, he remembers the pulsing shape shifting, spinning a small vortex of beating light off one of the largest pulsing patterns..41

Saul

The night after killing and butchering Iealdith, Saul lies down to sleep in her cavern, handing off the watch to the now-rested Aida. As soon as he lies down, he drops off to sleep.

Upon falling asleep, Saul is immediately whisked away to a cold, rocky shore. He looks around to see a group of four people standing on the shorline discussing something. To his surprise, one of those people is himself. He feels as though he is groping for a memory he can't quite reach.

He floats quickly over the shore to where the four are talking. He looks upon himself, a younger self with less-scarred armor and clean weapons. He is standing across from a tall, strongly-built, and stunningly-beautiful blonde woman with pale, almost translucent, skin and ice-blue eyes. Her long hair blows back and forth as the wind twists and turns along the shoreline. She is speaking, but Saul can hear nothing; the memory-dream is silent. She seems to be asking the dream-him a question; the dream-him answers, but though he strains, he can't quite remember what he said. Something drifts through his mind about "going away," something about "fighting his way through"… something. Perhaps there is some war and he was going to get help? He can't quite be certain.

As the woman talks to the dream-him, he turns to inspect the others participants in the dream. A shorter, broad man stands beside the woman. He shares the woman's pale skin, but his hair is darker than hers and streaked with mud and soot. He is wearing odd leather-backed armor layered with varnished wood strips and metal scales. He is frowning as the woman speaks with dream-Saul; he's clearly worried about whatever they are discussing.

Finally, Saul turns his attention to the woman standing next to dream-Saul. The woman is smaller, he'd estimate average-height or shorter. Her skin is lightly tanned and her originally-blonde hair is dyed brilliant colors and cut into a horse-mane. She is worriedly fingering an dagger as the other woman and the dream-Saul ask her questions; her answers seem tentatively positive.
After a few minutes, the group seems to come to some kind of consensus. One by one, the group embraces dream-Saul, the blonde waiting until last and whispering something into his ear as she does. Saul cannot remember her words, and this stabs at him. They separate, and dream-Saul slowly gathers up the equipment he'd had sitting next to him. He takes a long, hard look at the afternoon sun, then slowly begins walking toward the west. As he starts walking, the dream fades out, and Saul wakes.

Yoshirou-Mura

The night after the party and Yoshirou-Mura fought the Iceblood Empress, Yoshirou-Mura felt sick and weak. Her ice-burns itched badly and her head pounded. When she slept, she had a terrible but vivid dream. The dream started similarly to the first vision the PCs had so long ago upon their own Ascension: she was popped to a desert and saw a party of five trudging across it. Unlike the PCs' vision, she didn't feel as though she was watching live, more that she was watching some form of recording (later she would liken it to viewing the PCs' version of the dream in the coldcrystal).42

After she'd seen the people, she was popped to a different area, though still in badlands, rocky and desolate. This time, she felt as if she was standing there next to a lake rather than just viewing a "recording." A few scraggly tress poked from the ground here and there. There was a pile of turned earth before her, twin crossed daggers set atop and partially buried by the whipping winds. She felt a sadness at this spot of earth, though she could not explain why.

After that scene, she was pulled to another site far away. This time, she felt the piercing cold as she looked around to see where she was. Snow covered the ground and the pine trees. She stood at the edge of a lake where a river ran into it. Again, there was a pile of turned earth before her, this one fresh. A broken staff lay across it. Again, she felt the unexplained sadness.

The dream ended with her feeling pulled back to her body. She has a dim suspicion that the last site she dreamed may have been somewhere to the northwest of where they are now.

Rest in Peace

These dreams occurred at the Haunted Lake North-by-Northwest of Akihito-Raime, after the remains of Carbry Righi were laid to rest.

Saul

Them again. All four of them, still walking, but this time along a lakeshore. They looked tired, scared. Their weapons are out but dragging. The dark-skinned warrior woman keeps checking something in her hand as they walk.

In the distance, they see a small grove of trees and a river. Beyond the river is a ship, beached and broken. Quickly, the robed man and the full-figured woman begin chanting, weaving spells over the group. The strain is evident on their faces; something is wrong here, very wrong, and holding the spells together is more difficult than it should be.

The unseen commotion of the spellcasting disturbs something in the lake. The water roils and huge tentacles emerge, swiping at the group as they scatter.

The fight is short but fierce. The woman lash out with steel as the robed man fights to fling spells into the fray. The smaller man has vanished from sight, reappearing only in brief flashes here and there as flashes of silver spring from his hand and seek soft spots on the thrashing lake monster.43

The dark-skinned warrior woman lops off a tentacle as the other woman lands a blow that causes another to disintegrate before her eyes. Thrashing in pain more than rage now, the tentacles lash out once more. One strikes through the staff of the robed man, shattering it and staving in his ribcage. A yelp of anger and guilt escapes the throat of the dark-skinned woman as the other woman momentarily falters, but the blow opened up the lake monster to the unseen man. Stepping out from behind a tree, he fires a blue-wreathed bolt into the momentarily-exposed eye of the creature. The bolt disappears inside the bulbous head. A fraction of a second later, the creature begins to turn a pale white, its now-powdering flesh dissolving into the water as it thrashes its final throes.

Within moments, all three stand by the crushed body of the robed man. The other woman tries again and again to craft a spell against his cooling body, but each fails, and with each attempt her face grows paler and more drawn. After the fourth attempt, she can barely keep her head upright. The three talk for a while, whispering to one another quieter than the wind. Finally, with visible reluctance, they strip him of much of his equipment. Tears streaming down their faces, they dig a grave and bury him, whispering unheard words of prayer over it and delicately laying his broken staff across the unmarked resting place.

Yoshirou-Mura

There is a commotion. She wakes.

Something is not right. She isn’t in her bedroll in camp. She’s in a bed, in a house, one she hasn’t seen before. Confused but not alarmed, she stands and looks around the small bedroom. A dressing table and wardrobe stand along one wall, the bed occupying most of the other.

She leaves the room and enters the hallway outside. It leads to a stairwell. The commotion is coming from downstairs. Unhurried, she walks quietly to the stairwell and looks down.
A man is there, a man in an ornate uniform she hasn’t seen before44. The man leads a young boy45 by the hand, murmuring something to him. She can hear his voice but cannot understand the words, though the tone seems reassuring, calming.

The boy is very small; he must reach high above his head to grasp at the man’s hand. Slowly the man leads the boy outside.

There are still noises in the house, the sounds of labored breathing and muffled gasps. She walks down the staircase quietly, carefully looking around to see who else might be in the house. She sees no one, but she can still hear the faint noises coming from the back. Turning away, she moves toward the door.

The door suddenly swings open. She deftly ducks behind it to hide. The uniformed man barges into the room. He has traded the boy for an older woman, flabby and pale, carrying blankets and pouches. They rush for the back of the house without looking around, heading with urgency for the sounds.

She slips through the door before it closes and finds herself on a street in a bustling city filled with humans. The sun has long since gone down, but through the thick fog she can see nothing of the sky. People still roam the streets, some selling the last of their wares to others who are finishing up the business of the day. The boy is down the street; another man46, again in that unfamiliar uniform, is leading the boy into another house just down the way.

She looks again at the masked sky, unnerved by the oppressive dome of fog overhead. As she does, a brief breeze kicks up, clearing a small window to the sky. Through that window, she can see an omen in the sky, a three-tailed comet glowing a dull red just east of north.47

Maleos

Maleos awakens. The surrounding area is still disconcertingly quiet, and despite his sudden ability to go long durations without sleep, the quiet still disturbs his slumber from time to time. He never thought that the sounds of insects and night-birds would become comforting rather than creepy. Rising and stretching, he carefully crawls from his tent to look around.

The other tents are gone. Maleos can see nothing but a bluish fog for hundreds of yards all around. The fog dances with odd glyphs and icons, too many for him to parse. He can only recognize a vanishing small percentage. Those that he can recognize remind him of the glyphs on the Compass and on Aida's hammer. They appear to be trying to tell him something, but he can't make sense of it.

Suddenly, a stone vessel appears on the ground in front of him. The vessel looks like the jar the party found in the damaged lockbox. More strange glyphs flit across its surface too fast to catch.

Maleos steps forward and leans down to pick up the stone vessel. He lifts it to eye level. The last thing he sees before the vision ends and he wakes for real is a single glyph, somehow floating inside the jar yet still visible, burned into his memory.

The Stone Cask Incident

Maleos

brief flash of tall, thin human wearing black, leathery cloak. Brief flash of lean, tanned man wearing backpack, carrying walking stick, with grey-blue eyes like clouds (Fharlangn Passion aspect, or similar to it). Also remember brief flashes of other places: forests, rivers, lakes, oceans, caverns, places you can't recognize, even a black and glittery place.

YM

YM's vision: various places like Maleos. Also brief flashes of diamond-and-ruby carving shaped like a feminine dharven but significantly larger and brief flash of storm-grey-haired beautiful woman with equally stormy grey eyes

Aelphin woman

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