Chapter 15 - The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice … At Least

As planned, Ornrik and Urol took the last watch, preparing spells and meditating as they did, while the others got some rest. Unfortunately, it was a very fitful night for them all and nobody felt truly rested. Thunderstrike was clearly upset. She’d been increasingly skittish since she debarked the Sea Wyvern, but now she was almost wild and required Urol’s constant attention.

As everyone began collecting their equipment, and it was clear that everyone was awake, Urol spoke, “Hey, you know, normally I wouldn’t say anything. I had a pretty weird dream last night – very disturbing. Like I said, I wouldn’t bring it up, but dreams have proven prophetic in the past in this group, so I’d rather err on the side of too much information than keep it to myself and miss the opportunity to share potentially useful information.” He did not stop tending to Thunderstrike, but he continued, “We were waking through jungle – just like this. I felt like we were lost. I also got the feeling that we were being watched. Of course, I know that we actually have been – there is this thing hunting us – but this was different somehow. I looked around trying to find the source of the feeling. Then, there was a break in the trees, and I could see the sky. What I saw caused me to shudder in a way I cannot explain. The fear that gripped me – It was as if my whole concept of reality had left me. I saw two sets of eyes looking down as if they were four moons – I can’t really describe it. It was horrifying. I thought I’d lose my mind. I was so relieved to wake up and realize it was just a dream, but I’m not so sure.”

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Ornrik spoke up, “I had a similar dream. It didn’t involve two pairs of eyes, but it did involve something really big. There seems to be a force or being coming to this world that is beyond our understanding. I think we are being forced into the forefront of world changing events.”

Saris shook his head, “I don’t know about any of that, but clearly we need to get out of here. I don’t like this accursed place.”

“I agree,” Avner said, clearly stricken. “I was glad to be away form the gargoyles, but there is something not right in this jungle.” He seemed not to realize that he was touching his face and chest as if to make sure everything was in place – it was actually an odd display.

Viselys nodded, “Alright. Let’s move out as quickly as possible.”

The jungle was fog-shrouded and gloomy. Leaves dripped with condensation, and the canopy above sung with strange bird calls. An inordinate number of small serpents made their home on the jungle floor, but avoided people (and Thunderstrike). While the undergrowth was relatively light, the ground was wet and muddy, verging on swampland in places. Game trails wound back an forth, it was just a matter of picking one.

Urol, ever the naturalist, examined the flora and fauna closely. “None of this is right…” he mumbled at one point.

“What is it?” Saris asked.

“These plants… they don’t belong here. I’ve never seen anything like them before. And the animals … I have yet to see one that isn’t deformed, off-color, or bloated with twitching growths. The trees are twisted and deformed in that direction,” he pointed, “and those over there sport large tumors that leak pale green ooze,” he pointed in the opposite direction.

“This fog is so think, I can’t see more than, what? Sixty feet?” Avner added.

Urol took a large leaf and formed it into a cup. Then he used it to collect the condensation from some of the other leaves. He tasted it. As he did, he made a sour face, but he swallowed nonetheless. “Even the water is off,” he pointed out. “It’s not poisonous, but it’s … wrong.”

Continue to Chapter 16...

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