Dreams of the Yellow King – Part 19

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The Terrors of the Dreamlands

I write this whilst cowering in the desert some distance from the Caravanserai where we hoped to meet with the Yellow King again. My sister has been driven from me, banished to the ethereal by the terrors that dwelt within until she can gather herself back together and reform at my side. Most of us fled from the things that now dwell in that place, but fortunately none of us were lost entirely.

This morning, things began as normal. We left the Isle of Arenway with the blessing of the druids, and continued our journey down river. That evening, we settled down to begin the ritual to enter the Dreamlands, falling into a slumber as our dream-selves descended the stairs to the desert.

It was night, with a full moon and a clear sky of stars. Before us was the Caravanserai we last visited when we first entered the Dreamlands all those nights ago. The buildings were lit with torches, and fearing that the place had been re-settled since we last cleared it out, Ray and Gregor scouted ahead whilst the rest of us waited in the desert.

Ray vanished from view – turning invisible and sneaking into the buildings to see what he could find. After some minutes he re-appeared, and both returned to us to report what they found. Inside the buildings were several hooded and robed Denizens of Leng, and with them were hairless Yeth hounds. There were creatures on the roof as well, though they didn’t know what they were. In the room we wanted to get to, where we hoped the Yellow King would be, was another man that Ray did not recognise. Finely dressed, but with teeth filed to sharp points.

Gregor was sure that there was also something lurking above the entrance to the Caravanserai – something large, but possible sleeping. Catiana took on her incorporeal form, and flew up to get a better look, and peering through her eyes I recognised it as a Shantak – a huge winged beast capable of flying between worlds, even out amongst the Dark Tapestry.

Our plan then was to move quietly and try to get inside, where we would be shielded from the flying creatures. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t go as well as we hoped.

We were spotted before we got to the door, and Yeth hounds bounded (if you count their unnatural habit of floating just above the ground as bounding) out to attack us. Worse, the smaller creatures on the roof took wing and swooped in towards us. They were nightgaunts – things we had met before back in Thrushmoor.

Initially, the fight went well. Gregor was able to take down several with his bow, and Erasmus and Ray dazzling bursts of light and balls of fire to both blind and burn them. We managed to make our way into the building, with Catiana blocking the hounds and Denizens from surrounding the others. Then one of the hounds let loose with an unearthly howl that terrified us, causing myself, Catiana and Ray to panic and flee. Another howl panicked Erasmus, though he managed to keep control of his terror and stood his ground.

Catiana fled through the walls, and becoming too far from me lost her grip on this reality and faded into the ethereal. Myself and Ray fled the Caravanserai, leaving everything to Gregor and Erasmus. Fortunately by this point enough of the creatures had been taken down or weakened that they were able to finish them.

Things are quiet again now, and we have managed to gather ourselves together, though the spirit of my sister will need time to reform herself. The Shantak still lurks somewhere and has not yet taken any action against us, for which we are grateful. Next we need to decide whether to push on further into the Caravanserai, and seek the finely dressed gentleman with sharp teeth, or to fall back and try again another night.

Samuel Penn

Samuel Penn