1866-10-06: A Restless Night
A Restless Night
Summary: Clara is awaken in her quarters by a strange recurring dream.
Date: 10/06/1866
Related: Through Dangers Untold

Another restless night.

The first few nights, just before Clara left Pacitta to return to Sunsreach, were restless…but otherwise uneventful. It was just a matter of being away from home too long, thought the Princess. Just a little bit of home-sickness. That was all.

But, then Clara returned to Sunsreach. And the restless nights continued. But, with a new wrinkle.

The dream. Not dreams…but singular. The same dream, repeated. Ever since Clara stepped through the Sunsreach faegate, the dream came…and it was always the same.

It starts with the room.

The room is perhaps 50 yards in diameter, it is circular, and spaced evenly at twenty-yard intervals around the circumference are arched doorways, leading into darkened corridors. Light is provided by both globes of light positioned on the sides of each door, giving off a pale white light that doesn’t quite look like Everlight. What lies above, however, is far more spectacular…a vast array of those globes, of varying sizes, all suspended by no visible means, floating idly through the air in a slow-swirling dance, weaving amidst each other seemingly randomly. They even frequently collide, giving the room a light, musical chiming noise that almost seems akin to metal wind-chimes. Taken altogether, this impossibly-suspended “chandelier” gives the room a pale light, but also casts it in strange patterns of shadow as it churns above.

It is a grand room, and Clara stands in the middle. But, she isn’t alone. For some reason, Emilia is with her. And, there is a gate….not a gate that Clara has ever seen before.

It appears as a free-standing archway exquisitely carved from flawless crystal, perfectly transparent and really only visible from the manner in which the light plays across it, which seems to give the reflections discernible patterns upon its’ surface. Indeed, what looks like glyphs of various sizes and shapes seem to appear and disappear in waves along that surface, despite no sign of actual carving to achieve such an effect visible.

The dias is there, but not really seen…but more felt. Also, after a moment of wonder, the tone grows dark…mysterious. A flash of fear. The impression of something, or someone, vile and repugnant, with too many teeth and not enough charm. There are words, but too fleeting to grasp. They flutter like fairies, with all the substance that a fae creature brings…which is hardly none at all.

Then, the scene changes. From all appearances, it seems now that Clara and Emilia are wandering in a maze.

This is indeed a labyrinth they find themselves in. It is lit by those same globes of light seen earlier, hung at irregular intervals on the wall (and not easily removed in case anyone tries). The whole thing remains seemingly devoid of dust and dirt. It’s odd…otherworldly. All the more so for the fact that instead of a ceiling, the Labyrinth (whose walls are smooth and about twelve-feet high) opens to a massive domed chamber, the scope and scale of which is hard to grasp even as one looks upwards at it. It could be miles across. Looking back, the gate room appears to have a smaller dome enclosing it, but it does appear to be the center of the maze, at least based on the dome overhead, which has several more of those glowing orbs floating beneath it, casting pale light…some of which are many times larger than those in the gate room. Every so often they pass a patch that is not so smooth, but instead almost seems as though it’s crumbling. These patches are filled with unease…even dread, but it fades as soon as they reach “smoother” ground again.

Is it hours, days, or merely minutes that pass? Dreamtime is so hard to judge normally, and even so, it seems that it is an endless path of twists and turns that Clara navigates through instantly or slowly…or both at once. Yet, together, both girls find another room as the dream shifts once again.

Another archway appears, leading into what appears to be a well-lit room beyond.

Upon entering, they find the room lit much as the others have been, with those strange globes of light, though the ones found here seem to be more the smaller variety, both on the walls and floating above. There is furniture here, but its’ make and size seem…a bit off. It’s deceptively simple…what appears to be polished wood frameworks and wicker, but a close examination will note that the bands of wicker are impossibly engraved with a vast multitude of designs and pictures. The closest thing to a grand throne is clearly the carved-out and polished remnants of a great tree stump, though clearly a great deal of work went into its’ creation, and there are furs and cushions aplenty to make it comfortable. No sign of a bed or wardrobe or privy, and the only other item of interest is a circular pool, raised up about two and a half feet from the ground, and as far as can be discerned, containing perfectly placid, perfectly clear water, though looking into the pool is a bit dizzying, as it quickly drops to an inky abyss, save for small motes of light that seem to float lazily deep down within.

How did they find this room? Why are the girls wandering in what seems to be an underground maze? These questions fill Clara’s mind as she continues to slumber, the dream images jumbled and disorienting. A flash of white…possibly long hair, but impossibly white. A slender figure…too tall to be a man. The sense of power…and timelessness. This…whatever this is….is old. Ancient beyond Clara’s comprehension.

And then, words. The only words that are understood. They fall like a leaden weight within Clara’s subconscious, the sound of them echoing deep within her mind.

”You will remember your time here in the Labyrinth.”

Remember your time…


With a start, Clara awakens. In the darkness of night, she stares up, seeing without really seeing the canopy above her bed, with the translucent curtains drawn close. In the silence of the evening, her thoughts race. Why the imagery? What purpose does the maze of corridors serve? What was the reason for the dread? And, ultimately, what is she supposed to remember?

Sleep will be a hard time coming, as nothing but silence is presented in response to the questions adrift in her consciousness. However, sleep does finally come, as the dream fades enough to allow the exhaustion to wash over any other resistance.

Perhaps tonight will be the last night.

Or…perhaps not.

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