User:Arrow Quivershaft/Forboding Dreams

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3P story universe

Forboding Dreams

Author: Arrow Quivershaft

We went back on the ship on the 18th, and it was a quick transit. The wind was behind us this time, so we made good time, with a planned arrival on the 19th. WIth a bit of luck and some drive, Dawn and I could make it down to the grove by the 20th and meet up with them for more planning. I was still worried about Nick, but there was nothing that I could do until we got there.

On the evening of the 18th, after dinner and some chatter, I’d gotten situated in one of the hammocks they had below decks and started to drift off to sleep, aided by the rhythmic rocking of the ship as we moved. There was some creaking noise but I was able to tune it out mostly. Dawn was already asleep, perched on top of my secured pack. I became vaguely aware of my marksense turning back on...we were back in realm. Good...we could make the grove and then...well. I tried to tune the worry out of my mind and drift off to sleep.

I don’t know how long it did or didn’t take, but suddenly I felt a sensation. I was floating, but not far above the ground. I opened my eyes and looked around, and there I was, in Selene’s grove. It was like...lucid dreaming. I knew I was asleep, and I was aware of it, but at the same time I had no control over anything. Like...a dream message, perhaps.

It was raining lightly, but not bad, just a gentle shower. Nick was visible nearby, waking up, like he’d just had a bad dream. I tried to call out to him, but no sound came forth. Nick stood up, and started searching for something, and as he moved, I felt myself being dragged along behind him, like an observer...something told me my job here was just to watch and learn, not to do anything.

After a short while, Nick found what he was looking for: Blossom, who was out tending to the grove with a few other wardens as per her duties. As I looked at her, she became backlit and I saw what she was doing; she was moving a spiderweb out of the rain. As she finished, Nick approached her.

“Hey...Blossom?” he said, trying to get her attention.

Blossom looked back at Nick. "What is it?" she asked, politely. Again, like a daughter asking her father.

"Know those dreams you keep havin'?" Nick said. I was vaguely aware of other things, but other people were masked in shadow, and beyond a certain distance, everything was blanketed by a thick fog. This was what I was supposed to pay attention to.

"Yeah?" Blossom responded.

"Had something weird go on...few hours ago. Where's Alex?" Nick inquired.

"I don't know..meditating, maybe?" Blossom suggested

"Oh, anyway I have a really bad feeling..." Nick trailed off, looking visibly ill. I couldn’t pin down how, but he looked sick. Something was wrong.

Blossom walked over towards Nick. "Alright...let’s go find him, then?" she said with a smile.

Nick smiled back. “Alri-...” Then his expression went blank, and empty. His eyes looked hollow.

Blossom blinked, staring at him "What is it?"

Nick suddenly started falling to the side, like all his muscles had gone slack.

Blossom jumped with amazing speed to catch him, and lowered him down to the ground. "Nick..? Nick!?" she called at him, trying to get a response. Nick’s eyes slipped closed and his mouth hung open slackly, no reply.

Blossom yelled, trying to get another warden over to help her. She got a response shortly from a dryad and a centaur, who came over. Blossom said something about getting Nick to the sleeping lodges as they hefted up the tiger-man. They responded, but I couldn’t hear it...I somehow knew they answered in the affirmative despite this. But that wasn’t my focus. I could tell Nick was simply dead weight. I could see the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed, but beyond that there was no activity from him. If I hadn’t seen the breathing, I would’ve mistaken him for a dead body.

Another backlight appeared, and some...fluid started dripping out of Nick. But not in a gravity fashion, more like it was being pulled by something else. A thick, viscous iridescent substance, like nothing I’d ever seen, came out of him through no visible hole or opening. I watched in shock as it fell to the ground and pooled...and then slipped right through the floor of the grove and disappeared out of sight, the backlight fading after it was gone. I didn’t understand what I’d just seen, but I was pretty sure there was nothing good that could come of it.

Blossom tried to shake Nick awake as she followed the centaur. "Nick, wake up...please.." Nick didn’t reply. Blossom ushered him out of the rain, crying a bit. It was hard to see with the rain, but yet I saw it. As they moved, I felt myself pulled along.

Soon, they approached the front of the earthen temple at the center of the grove. A backlight appeared again, and I saw Alex approaching in the distance as he became aware something was going on. He turned from the people he was with and hurried over, hop-running with his wings spread slightly for balance.

Alex suddenly glowed red, Sprout, the centaur, and the dryad glowed forest green, and Nick didn’t glow at all. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe...marks? Marksense? I couldn’t tell. The glowing stopped after a moment, and the lighting faded out as the centaur headed up the steps of the temple and went inside.

Following again, I saw them lay Nick out on an altar-like table. He started speaking in Hellenic. I couldn’t understand him, but I understood the gist...he wanted a healer. The reaction was instant, with four healers and what looked to be a high priestess appeared in short order, looking over Nick. Blossom stepped back to make room as Alex caught up. They started speaking, but the voices were muffled.

The glow appeared again, the green for everyone but Alex, (who was again red) with a very strong aura on the high priestess. So those were marks, probably...and that lack of glow meant Nick wasn’t generating one. But the mark was on your soul, so that meant...was that...was that his soul I’d seen earlier? The glow faded again.

The high priestess, another dryad, shook her head after a short while. "There's nothing wrong with his body." She paused. "His essence has... Somehow departed."

“What do you mean by that?" Blossom asked.

"He doesn't even have his mark ..." Alex said. That confirmed my earlier suspicions. "Is he dead?"

The dryad shook her head. "Not necessarily... His body lives. His essence continues... Somewhere. The two are merely separated by some means."

Blossom breathed in sharply at the “Dead” word, and then walked over to Nick, putting a hand on his chest as she started crying freely.

There was some more discussion. About what to do with the body, and a request to clear the room. But I became less aware of it...a fog started creeping in on the edges of my vision, and the entire place darkened. The sounds became fainter, more muddled, and after a moment, I woke up with a start, jumping up.

I looked around, trying to get my bearings...but other than another human who was staying up, who gave me an odd look, everyone was asleep. I looked around, but I didn’t want to wake Dawn right now. So I settled back into the hammock to try and get some more sleep, even knowing it wasn’t going to come easy. I spent some time reflecting on the dream, but all the answers I’d just got circled back around into more questions. I guessed I wasn’t going to get anything more without getting to the grove, and that’d be later...and as soon as I made that realization, I fell back asleep as surely as if I’d been clocked on the head.

Preceded by:
Lecce Pit-Stop
Three Pantheons Succeeded by:
Gathering the Team