Two Roads Diverged in a Crystal Wood

Silent Dream found himself walking through the mosaic tile garden of illusions in Renvin. Like his trip here with Moli the other day Dream witnessed a wondrous artificiality disguised as breathtaking nature all around him. Sights, smells, even touch were all presented to his senses in ways meant to dazzle, impress, and maybe even to inspire. This time however he was alone to witness it. He walked among the glittering projections until he came to a fork in the path.

He peered down one direction. The Western direction. He could see himself and his friends as faint shadows. Shadows of projections of illusions of memory. Dream watched as they left Renvin for the Crystal Kingdom. The shadows blurred and were less defined as he looked further down the path. He saw the shadows, barely recognizable, in the Western Empire. They fought a witch. The fight went poorly. He could not make out details of how or why. One shadow fell. Another fell. The whole path became dark and dangerous and uninviting. Dream forced himself to look away.

He looked down the Eastern direction. He saw himself and his friends as shadows again. On this path their departure from Renvin put them in Llorn. He recognized it from Cherkanan‘s descriptions. There they received gifts from the Duke. But not gifts of empty platitudes; gifts to serve them in the times ahead. Looking further down the path Dream saw the Crystal Kingdom again. Past there was the barely recognizable shadows of CrIsis, in the Western Empire, fighting the witch again. But this fight did not go poorly – or at least, not as poorly as the other direction. Dream strained to see more but it was so far away. He blinked and the visions disappeared.

Still standing at the intersection, Dream was barely registering the sights he saw when suddenly he realized with crystal clarity that he knew this branching fork. He saw it in the gardens when Moli took him on the tour. They did not approach at the time but this realization was sudden and clear. As he realized it, he awoke.

“I know that place,” he said aloud, forgetting he wasn’t alone.

“Whazzat?” a sleepy voice said next to him in Wolfen. The fur-covered beauty barely stirred.

“Nothing, Rolling Hills. It was just a dream I had,” Silent Dream lied to her.

She nuzzled up to him. “This was a dream I had too,” she told him, still mostly asleep. He smiled at her but did not say anymore. He thought about what had woken him. He realized it was no dream – it was a vision. He felt mentally drained in a way which didn’t happen from regular dreams. The message was clear to him: going to Llorn offered CrIsis a better chance in the fight which awaited them in the Western Empire. But why did he so vividly remember that specific location in the Crystal Garden?

He closed his eyes and resolved to tell the others in the morning. And maybe it would be worth checking out that spot in the gardens too before they left. He said a silent prayer of thanks to the Gods as he closed his eyes and mused over the vision. It didn’t take long for sleep to reclaim him.


Note: This clairvoyant vision and subsequent events occurred to Silent Dream early in the morning on the 29th of Ra, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.

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5 Responses to “Two Roads Diverged in a Crystal Wood

  • So glad you got this important vision out! Well done!

  • I loved it! Very clear and concise.

  • “But this fight did not go poorly – or at least, not as poorly as the other direction.” Such is the optimism of CrIsis.

    On a cheekier note; Would love to get a gander at Rolling Hills “Hills”. Wonder how she got the moniker “Rolling”

    • The Kankoran do not ask each other about the names they choose upon surviving their right of passage. It is considered rude to ask what about their trial provoked or inspired the name they took. That name is deeply personal – it represents a moment (or moments) of the trial which had a special deep significance or meaning the exclusively applies to only that Kankoran. It becomes the roots of their new identity in Kankoran life as well as a constant reminder of the trial itself and what they overcame in order to survive.

      That doesn’t mean they never share that information. But when a Kankoran provides that information to another being it is a sign of great trust and respect.

  • “Dream within a dream.” Luvvit!

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