Normally Moruz would have woken in an instant at the sound of commotion four rooms down; a heavy sleeper dies in his dreams, in the desert. But the last week he had been drifting in and out of half-sleep due to the pain in his face, and this night was the first time he could fully succumb to unconciousness. Moruz slept... and dreamt.
Darkness turned to a haze, and Moruz found himself standing in the middle of a featureless desert. Though there were no distinguishing characteristics, he felt the coarseness of the Kalcha desert, or Karikun in his language. The scene flickered.
Moruz raised his hands in front of his face - ten stubby fingers of a child stood in his vision. Moruz was twelve again and he stood, now, in the middle of the main row of western Bareka; the Ouzquin Dremorix capital. A small crowd had formed, and Moruz found himself at the front of it, staring in bewilderment at another child; perhaps fourteen years old, and kneeled on the ground, nursing his crushed left arm. The second child had been in the wrong place at the wrong time - he had darted from around a corner and spooked a horse, which reared up and bucked the poor adolescent with its hooves. His left arm had been caught underhoof, and he also showed a plethora of bruises and wounds - blood mixed with the sand. It was not the broken arm, or the child itself that had Moruz so shocked, however. It was the sight of a plain glass circlet laid - cracked in three pieces - on the ground, and all around it broken shards of glass which could have made up a small orb. In his dreams, Moruz felt the blood drain from his face.
After some time of staring, Moruz realised nobody was stepping in to aid the weeping child, and he took a step forward with the intent of helping. After a single step, he felt a firm hand on his shoulder, and Moruz looked up to see his father standing above him, shaking his head, "No, Moruz. It is too late; he is dead." The image of his father flickered for just an instant to a cloaked man, figure hidden by a drawn hood and a glint where his eyes should be, before falling back to his father, and Moruz thought he smelled rain on the wind. The child turned back to look at the horse-victim again, and in its place sat a pale, emaciated halfling, a sadistic grin on it's face and the glaze of death in its eyes. The ghoul leapt at Moruz with a hiss, and everything turned to black. Darkness reigned.
In the bed at the harpy's kettle, Moruz twisted and turned.
Moruz sat crying in the middle of a small crowd, nursing a crushed arm. He had just run around the corner and frightened a horse which reared up, trampling him, breaking his arm, two fingers, a toe and knocking his circlet off his forehead, which shattered on the ground. Blood mixed with the sands beneath him. Some people stopped as if to help, but when they noticed the shattered circlet, they shed a single tear then walked on. After some time an outsider child made his way to the front of the crowd and watched Moruz, who reached a pleading hand out to the outsider. The second child took a step towards Moruz, before bieng stopped by a shirtless dwarf - twin axes tattooed across his chest - who placed his hand on his shoulder and spoke, "No, Percy. It is too late; he is dead." Percy nodded and turned away, glancing at Moruz's weeping mother and father who stood at the forefront of the crowd before disappearing in the group of people. On top of the building across the street, a single vulture alighted, staring at the dying child hungrily.
"What are you all DOING!?" Two people pushed their way through the crowd - obviously outsiders - and stood before Moruz, one kneeling before him and trying to stanch the bleeding while the other was staring angrily at the crowd, demanding of them all why they were not helping. Just before Moruz blacked out, he heard a voice answer in the crowd, "Why stitch the wounds of the dead? It will not bring them back to life." The light gave way to black. Darkness reigned.
Moruz shuffled uncomfortably in his sleep; nearly roused by a loud shout some rooms down. Unconsciousness clinged on, however, and dreams swirled once more.
Moruz sat crying in the middle of a small crowd, nursing a crushed arm. He had just run around the corner, and ran into a furious half-ogre, who trampled him before running away, muttering something about insects and swatting at flies. Chasing the ogre was a man with manacles held out in both hands, as though he was trying to capture the large creature. Moruz's arm was crushed, and the circlet about his head had been knocked off and shattered on the ground. Blood mixed with the sands beneath them. As people walked by, one woman knelt down and soaked a paper scoll in Moruz's blood before walking away calmly. After some time, Moruz noticed a stocky dwarf at the front of the crowd, garnished with gold and silver necklaces and bracelets. Tattooes of gold rings were imprinted on his palms. After some time watching Moruz, the dwarf made to step forward, but next to him a man with a whip in his belt and a severed head in his free hand, placed a hand on the dwarf's shoulder and spoke, "No, Glordren. It is too late; he is dead." The dwarf nodded and turned away, glancing up at two weeping mages; one with a lizard standing on his shoulder and the other with a mouse standing on his.
"What art thou DOING!?" Two people pushed their way through the crowd. One wearing crimson robes with an image of a rising sun on the front, and the other with blood streaked across his garments, and two mirrored coins resting over his eyes. As the blood-stained man kneeled down to stanch Moruz's bleeding, the coins fell from his face and the cold glaze of death was apparant on his eyes. On the other side of the street, on top of a building Moruz saw a bald, painted man, arms crossed regally in front of him - the man spoke defiantly, "Why stitch the wounds of the dead? It will not bring them back to life." The sun was blotted out by the ghastly face of a dead priest, who bared his teeth hostilely. Everything went black. Darkness reigned.