Musings on the chaos plane
My head is filled with dreams of a life long gone.
At first, I was busy integrating the mole people with our own who were trapped on the chaos plane. Too busy to sleep, let alone dream. The work was exhausting, yes, but there were always more contacts to be made, more problems to resolve, and more disputes to smooth over. I slept in fits and starts; an hour here, half an hour there.
Once we finally consolidated our power base, I could manage a couple of hours of rest at a time, but still not enough to dream. Instead, I took the lead in our campaigns of conquest. Having lopped off the head of the chaotic opposition, we had a methodical mop-up ahead of us. But because I could grow so big and blink so that no one could hit me well, I was both the leader of our allies and target of our foes. And there was always another battle to be fought. Another ambush to ward off. Another trap to spring.
Only when our influence spread through a quarter of the chaotic Mindosia could I string enough sleeping hours together to have fragments of dreams invade my consciousness. Still, I could never rest long enough. The chieftains of each realm through which we marched sought audiences with me, always at the strangest hours. Sometimes they wanted counsel – counsel, from me! Sometimes they wanted to lay tribute at my hooves – my hooves! Not Duke Rezohodo’s. Not Quelrun’s. Mine.
The others saw me as the leader of the resistance. And I think that was Duke Rezohodo and Quelrun’s plan all along. If I succeeded, everyone would know they were behind me. If I failed or fell, they would be left behind to take up the slack. First Quelrun, then Duke Rezohodo himself. Theirs was a cunning plan, insulating them from consequences either way my work turned out.
If I had a taste for power, I could easily turn their strategy against them.
Fortunately for them, I still want to live the life of a soldier-diplomat, not that of a leader. Though outside of Cheolia, there is little territory we can consider truly our own, we have enough support from locals throughout half of Mindosia to guard us or alert us when our protectorate is threatened to be overrun. Our travel may not be free, but the populace is eager to hear our message of freedom. We may still travel under cloak of darkness, but they all see how we will lift the darkness from Mindosia.
As our position has become more secure, I finally have been able to sleep through full nights. And now, the dreams assault me. First, there were dreams of Shyrrik and Aedra. They must have been dreams, for Aedra was the reasonable one and Shyrrik the impetuous party-imperiler. New faces passed in, and old ones faded out. I even had dreams of a quicksilver Glim. I tried rubbing the stone he gave me after those dreams, but there was still no answer.
Now, Ejnar haunts every dream. I see her with Amrit. I see her with Mirabella. She was always in their company. They must have kidnapped her. Threatened her. Forced her to work with them. But why? To protect our friends? Her sister? I fear something terrible must have befallen her.
In my last dream, I saw her at a gate. It was keyed to her and her alone. The gate led here. This was clearer than any other dream I have ever had. I saw the opening of that gate onto the chaos plane. I must find that opening so that I can be there when she arrives. I will take her into my arms, then sweep her behind me and brain whatever foes storm through behind her.
Together, we will use that gate to retake our Mindosia.