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November 20, 2005, 9:43 am

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The Well of the Dreamer


It is said that somewhere in the wilderness, there is a well with miraculous powers.  Some said that it bestowed eternal youth.  Some said it contained all of the knowledge in the world.  There were other rumors.  But they remain only rumors, for of all of those that sought the well, only two returned.  And they did not return the same…

For as long as anyone can remember, there have been legends about the miraculous Well of the Dreamer.  No one was quite clear on what the water of the well did.  The stories were wild and varied.  But only stories.  Or so everyone thought.
A few years ago, the Prince of the Realm came into possession of a map that claimed to reveal the location of the Well of the Dreamer.  Needless to say, he and twenty knights rode out to find it.  Everyone was of the belief that the Prince would bring back great stories of the great well.  But that was not to be.  The Prince did indeed return, but alone.  He bore some scars he had acquired since setting out for the well.  But that was not the worst.  He returned, stone-faced and unspeaking, with terrible, blank eyes.  Of course the opinion at the time was that intriguers had attacked the Prince, killed his guard, and put a spell on him.  But no matter what any of the court magicians did, they could not break the Prince’s horrible silence.  Inevitably, people decided that the Prince had indeed reached the well, and something there had done something to him.  A steady stream of brave knights and greedy men followed the directions to the well, trying to find a cure.  None returned.
Finally, people stopped going after the well.  Still the Prince remained as he was.  The last person to try to find the well was a dancer, who secretly loved the Prince.  She went alone, and opinion is she found the well.  She is the only other to return.  But she returned in a similar state to the Prince, with the same blank eyes and expressionless face.  She moved with jerky movements, like a puppet or a sleepwalker.  She too bore some scars she had recieved in her quest for the well.  Unlike the Prince, however, she spoke once after she returned.  It is said that her voice was flat and devoid of expression.  “The Well of the Dreamer is a well, and fine-named indeed.”  (Or some other, more fitting mysterious statement.)  After that cryptic remark, she too lapsed into silence.  Since her return, no one has attempted to go to the well.  No one knows what to do for either the Prince or the dancer.  But the people are frightened, and the King is not getting any younger.
The people of the kingdom would be willing to part with much if anyone could find a cure, and someone who could go to the well, and come back unchanged, would be well rewarded indeed…  Even someone who could give them a clue as to what is happening would find them grateful. 

Perhaps the Well of the Dreamer is only a blind, and enemy magicians are indeed responsible for the affliction that the Prince and the dancer are suffering from.  Their reasons remained to be seen…

Perhaps the Well of the Dreamer is well guarded by all sorts of unnatural monstrosities.  Those who never returned were killed, and the catatonic state the Prince and the dancer are in is merely a result of the mental stress and shock they endured.  They may or may not recover.

There might be no well, and the Prince was mortified that he’d made a fool of himself.  He killed his companions, and returned, pretending to be under an enchantment.  Of course, that doesn’t explain why no one else returned, or the state the dancer is in…

Maybe the Well of the Dreamer does have strange and wonderful properties, but it is also cursed.  This curse is what the Prince and the dancer are suffering from.

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Comments ( 3 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

April 4, 2003, 22:43
Maybe the well is really a slurpie fountain and they both have an extended case of brain freeze.... :lol:

A more serious possibility is that a spirit of dreams, at the very least, if not a god, is trapped in the well and desperatly wants to be free, but it's powers are such that anyone gazing at it is stricken into a dream state, like a kinda coma. So everyone else who's seen it was stuck there and died of starvation and/or exposure. So why did the prince and dancer return?

Maybe the prince's dreams showed him the dancer's love for him and the strength of it left him to dream walk. But, since he is still dreaming, he can not find in reality what has trapped him in his dreams. The dancer could be likewise afflicted, both of them lost to wander the dream world, searching for the object of thier desire to wake them from thier fantasy.

Sounds like the PC's need to go on an astral quest. Maybe when the prince and dancer unite and wake, that intteruption in the spirit's powers will free it from it's prison.
Ria Hawk
April 19, 2003, 17:23
There is also the possibility that if something is trapped in the well, it was trapped for a reason, and should remain so.
Voted valadaar
June 24, 2013, 9:28
I like this apart from there being to many possibilities and not enough details. Its really a well conceived idea, but I'd really like to know what you thought should be beyond the curtain.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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