Kingdom of Thorn and Sands

Lane, The Dream that was not

I awoke in some sort of expanse, standing on a gray path, which continued behind and in front of me, further than I could see. Far off in the distance I could see what looked like a wall of some great height that ran in either direction for what appeared infinitely. I started following the path in the direction of the wall, and after a time I found that the path I was on had changed colors, and Njall was now standing behind me, where moments ago she was nowhere to be seen. Being a dream I decided that trying to talk to Njall would be as productive as talking to myself, which actually would be more productive than actually talking to Njall. The girl is nice, but not too bright. I continued down the path and one by one I ran into Dieg, and Linnea; why them I had no idea. They all tried to talk to me, but aside from mumbling that it would be useless to speak to them because they weren’t real I ignored them and kept walking. I eventually got to the wall, which turned out to be a massive hedge of brambles. I found a path and started through it. You aren’t supposed to feel pain in your dreams as I have read, but these brambles actually felt like they were hurting me; the pain must have been psychosomatic though, because there was no way this was real. Once through and on the other side the landscape changed completely and now I was standing on the edge of a vast desert, similar to that of Tucson, but more extreme. There was smoke off in the distance. I figured I might as well head towards that, better to keep moving and maybe have an interesting dream rather than stand around and be bored to death.
I was only a ways out when I walked by two figures riding on road runners, one dressed like a typical cowboy, only larger, and the other simply looked like a person…made of liquid metal. I tried to ignore them and walk by, but they decided not to ignore me. Their names were Doriak and Gunderson, and sparing the rest of the details of the conversation they were able to convince me to go along with the idea that this may not be a dream, and that this place was dangerous, especially for children. Doriak lent me his mount, and they took me towards the smoke.
Instead of the campsite I was expecting to see when we arrived at the smoke, I was surprised to find a tower. The place seemed to be some sort of establishment, like a saloon you would see in an old Wild West film, with some modifications here and there, like the fact that it was a tower…
I guess it was more like a club than a saloon, because you had to pay to get in and there was a bouncer at the door. The bouncer looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. I had to borrow some money from Gunderson; I think that is what it was, even though they looked like glass baubles, to get inside. Inside it looked more like a regular saloon. All around there were people, if you could call them that, since most of them looked like something out of a fairy tale, drinking, laughing, and gambling. I saw John standing by the bar so I walked over to him to say hi, but then remembered he might just be a dream and there was no point in talking to him, especially since he wasn’t as interesting as the other might be dreams Doriak and Gunderson. He said something about having been there two days, but I don’t really recall since I wasn’t paying much attention. Since I was good at numbers, and I owed Gunderson some money I figured I would try my hand at one of the games and see how I did. Gunderson was in the middle of explaining one of the games to me when I saw my other housemates come in. I explained to them that I planned to gamble, but that I didn’t have any money. Dieg had apparently acquired some money somehow and lent me enough to join the game, with the stipulation that I paid Dieg back, plus a bit of interest.
The game was called Three Dragon Ante, and as it turned out, I was very good at it. I spent the next few hours gambling, raking in what I thought was loads of money, but later when I compared it to the entry fee to get in and when I compared that to the average entry fee of a popular nightclub I estimated I had earned something in the area of seven dollars…not very impressive. This certainly wasn’t Vegas, not that I have ever been to Vegas.
My other housemates were either very tired or had had too much to drink, because Njall had fallen asleep under the table and Dieg looked like Dieg was going to nod off any second, and may have already done so once or twice, but I wasn’t the least bit tired and I was going to continue gambling through the night but my plans got cut short when someone/something out of a nightmare walked in the bar. His skin was dark and covered in black fur, he had cloven hooves, and coming out of his head were stag horns. He went up to the bar, ordered a drink that looked strong enough to fuel a semi, gave the bartender a wanted poster and then went into the back.
Shortly after that Doriak came to the table and said it was time to leave, because when that stag horned fellow comes back out we aren’t going to want to be here. I got his drift, and quickly exited the saloon, and then I woke up.


Yatsko Asmordikai

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