When you sleep, you dream of water. Vast, unending, undulating oceans of water. The scenes come in waves of images, so fast and fleeting you’ve barely made sense of one before the other is upon you, like waves that crash against your subconscious. Many just seem full of pain and fear, but some stand out to you, their memorability so strong:
Prologue or September 2013 Event
A kingdom of coral and stone, castles full of what look to be men and women milling about, each in a mottled brown mantle of some form, each slightly inhuman, but still handsome in their own way. Sometimes, you remember, they look like seals as much as they look like humans – It doesn’t much make sense, but dreams rarely do. You see a father, their King, and two sons, alive, healthy. Sometimes one son kneels, and accepts his father’s crown. Other times the father mourns, one son fallen before him, the other son in his crown.
The predatory eyes of a female creature with a turquoise-hued complexion. A spindly black scepter encrusted in crystals sits at her feet, and in her hands she balances an insect of some kind with glittering wings, and the pearlescent horn of golden unicorn on either side.
Then a room, also of coral and stone, circular with many doors, leading to many passages. Through their thresholds you see diverse lands, strange ports. You recognize some as familiar, the ports of your homeland, of places you’ve visited. The focus narrows on one in particular, a port full of ships flying flags of black and red, the sigil of a serpentine drake emblazoned upon them. One great galleon stands apart, richly appointed in flags of shimmering blues, green, and purples gracefully waving in the late summer sun.
You see the same port, the skies now dark, the air chilled and cold with oncoming winter. You stand upon the docks now, looking out towards the starry horizon, dread filling you as you watch the approaching sea serpent making its way towards your home, his dorsal fin and needle-like teeth glistening in the moonlight. A haunting song fills the air, getting closer and closer. The dockworkers around you are transfixed, and despite your protests launch themselves into the water, in search of the source of the melodies. They vanish beneath the surface, and do not return.
Last night you saw something different. Last night you saw something new - a young woman, waking, startled from the dream you share night after night. She rises, tears in her eyes, and after peering in to look at her sleeping parents she slips out of her small home. She looks out over those same docks, and heads north seeking help from the one place that may have answers, to the people who have sworn to protect her and the lands of Travance.