Lessons in the Dream World
Posted 12 August 2011 - 06:50 AM
The next day felt like a blur – exhausting and busy. Though she was sleep deprived, Rixan did not feel tired until she was sitting once again on the soft cushions in the Wise One's tent. She had cleaned herself off this time, leaving the dust in a sweat tent instead of on Nephuria's cushions. The dust had been earned, however, as the apprentice had spent the day doing every task that her greatmother could think of, and then more. She'd only glimpsed the top of Adai's head during her chores – the other girl seemed just as busy.
Now, though, her eyes felt grainy and her mind sliding toward that sluggishness. She pinched herself on the thigh, feeling a tiny spike of adrenaline. On her side, Adai did the same. The Wise One had her back to them, doing something. Rixan looked over at the other girl, relieved to see that she looked just as tired. We can do this, she mouthed, hoping Adai understood.
Rixan Apprentice Wise One
Posted 12 August 2011 - 06:57 AM
The two had been given single minded tasks all day, it was to help them concentrate on only one thing at a time, making it easier to change things in the dream, although she was unaware if either girl had matched the two together.
"Be welcome to share my shade and water, Apprentice. We will await the other girls arrival before we begin. In the mean time take this rag," Nephuria handed her a damp cloth. "and clean yourself as best you can; it's hard to be comfortable when the days events still linger on the body."
Edited by Amore, 12 August 2011 - 07:07 AM.
Posted 13 August 2011 - 06:46 AM
Her back ached and muscles were tense as she entered the wise one's tent and took her seat next to Rixan. When she sat she couldn't stop herself from letting out a silent yawn. She hadn't had much real sleep after their first lesson, and she knew tonight would be no different. She was looking forward to the first real sleep after her final lesson in the dreamworld, but she would have to earn that glorious luxury. She was here to learn. One more task in the end of her day. But just because it was the last one, and just because she was tired, did not mean that this task any less important than others, or that she wouldn't give it all she had.
Adai tried to still her yawns and wake herself. She saw Rixan pinch herself when the Wise One's back was turned. Following the other apprentice, Adai pinched herself as well. The rush of pain and adrenalin filled her and she smiled at Rixan. That would be enough to keep her alert until the lesson started. Hopefully the information she would learn would be enough to keep her alert throughout the lesson.
WO in the Works!
Posted 29 September 2011 - 11:09 AM
Cutting a vanilla bean in half she dropped it into the mixture along with the cane sugar for sweetener. Her smile was genuine as she placed three cups before herself, waiting on the tea to come to a boil. Once the bottle whistled she carefully removed it from the heat with her algode skirt; allowing it to cool for a moment and for the herbs to steep.
She smiled at the worn apprentices and made a gesture with her hand. "I do not know how your herb classes progress, but I will tell you this even if it is repetitive. Chamomile is a part of the yellowed flower family,known for it's sweet taste and relaxing properties." she held up a leaf as she spoke, then sat it down to pick up a root. "This is Valerian root, used as a mild sedative when stitching someone up, or to help find sleep." Moving on she picked up the vanilla bean, split long ways. "This is vanilla, it does little more than give a pleasing taste. And lastly" she picked up a foot long cane the had the tip sliced off and was cut down the middle. "Cane sugar, used as a sweetener. Together, boiled down with tea leaves, it makes for a relaxing drink at the end of a long day."
She finished speaking and poured three glasses, handing one each to the girls and taking one for herself. "This should help ease your muscles, for we have a long night ahead of us." She sipped her tea, smiling as it tasted rich and sweet. She leaned back againsta pillow, and studied the women.
"When you are ready, close your eyes, and as we did last time, enter the world of Dreams. Find me here, and we will continue our training." The Wise One's eyes were half open, but suddenly she was alone in the second world. She could see the true world, but was less than halfway present in it.
Edited by Amore, 29 September 2011 - 07:40 PM.
Posted 29 September 2011 - 02:07 PM
The cup was hot as her hands cupped around it but Adai didn't pull back or flinch. She let the heat soak into her hands, and the sensation reminded her she was still alive. The scent of the vanilla filled her nose and the steam felt relaxing on her cheeks as the liquid poured onto her tongue. It was hot, but the heat was welcome. She could almost feel the drink course through her body. She wanted to savor it, sip at it really, but she knew she couldn't take too long. It was a tool, not just a treat. She knew there was a long night ahead and she needed to be relaxed and asleep before their lesson could really start. The longer she stayed up enjoying her tea the longer she make the Wise One wait. She took her pace after the Wise one and her fellow student, and when she was done she set the cup away.
When she was laying comfortably Adai closed her eyes and tried to block everything out to sleep. The sounds of the room around her existed only for moments, then they were gone. The light of the candles flashing on her eyelids were distracting, but then they too were gone. She steadied her breathing, slowed it at her will and forced all thoughts out of her head. She wasn't sure how long she was laying there before she began to drift but just at the point of slipping fully into sleep she pulled herself up again. But when she opened her eyes she was not quite where she had left from. Though the room looked the same it did not feel the same, and she smiled as she saw the Wise One waiting there for her.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:31 PM
Nonsense. She told herself, and pushed off the shovel to once again start digging. Hours later, sitting in the Wise One's tent she found her mind flitting back to those thoughts. The Wise One was preparing some sort of drink. Pinching herself again, Rixan focused on the strong back of the woman in front of her as she finished her task. As the Wise One turned around, several herbal smells caught Rixan's nostrils and she almost sighed in relief. Chamomile was one of her favorite herbs of late – helping her get a small amount of sleep after these lessons. A soothing tea was something her greatmother had taught her long ago – during one of the many sleepless nights where she'd called out for a mother she'd never known. She listened carefully to the other ingredients Nephuria described. She'd heard of all of them over the course of her life, though she knew there were many herbs of which she had no knowledge.
Rixan sipped the tea, sighing as the hot liquid flowed down her throat and into her stomach. She felt warmth radiating from her middle, spreading languidly up and out to her extremities. She leaned back against the pillow, her eyes already half-lidded. "When you are ready, close your eyes, and as we did last time, enter the world of Dreams. Find me here, and we will continue our training." Nephuria stated, closing her eyes. The air in the room stilled some, acknowledging that while her body was here, her presence of mind was the in the Dreamworld. Setting her cup on the floor next to her, Rixan shot a glance at Adai and then closed her eyes, letting the peacefulness of the tent and the warmth of the tea overcome her.
She flickered into the Dreamworld and nearly scowled to find that she was the last to arrive. Instead, she curved her mouth up into a small smile, glancing at Adai. Nephuria smiled and nodded to both of them, beginning to take a step before a strange look crept across her face and she vanished. Worried, Rixan looked over at the Adai – the other apprentice had the same look of horror that she did. What do you think happened? She sent to the other girl, should we follow her out of the Dream? Not waiting for her response – there was comfort in merely asking the question “aloud” - Rixan locked her jaw and forced herself back to her body.
She awoke to an empty tent. Adai was slowly coming to next to her. The fire roared in the middle, crackling loudly as if to ask where the Wise One went. Knitting her brows, Rixan looked around for a moment before she cursed and pushed her weary body to its feet. “You can stay here if you wish, but I'm going to find out what happened to her.” She almost barked this at Adai, feeling shameful for a moment, but knowing that she did not owe her toh when the other woman merely nodded. Perhaps she felt as if the situation needed a clear leader, as Rixan did.
Throwing back the tent flap, the apprentice saw commotion in the camp. Maidens and men of various societies were packing up their belongings; Wise Ones in algode blouses and wide skirts were talking animatedly, pointing to the northwest. Rixan noticed that one such was Nephuria. She started toward the group, trying to figure out what she was going to say, when the other woman broke off and started running alongside a group of Maidens. Her wide necklace slapped against the top of her chest, just above the laces of her shirt, but she ignored it. Her feet matched pace with the women next to her until they were small enough to miss in the near dark.
Rixan stared around the camp for a moment, trying to figure out what to do. She nearly asked herself what her greatmother would do, but she stopped. It was enough that she was treading the same path, she needed shame herself more by trying to make decisions exactly as Maldena. Standing there in the midst of controlled chaos drew the attention of the Wise Ones from which Nephuria had departed. One spoke briefly to the group before jogging over to the confused apprentice. Motioning toward the tent, she held the flap back for Rixan to enter first. She followed.
The Wise One settled on the other side of the fire and appraised Adai and Rixan with cool ice blue eyes. “Nephuria expressed a need for you to continue training in the Dreamworld. We are lucky that I arrived today, else your training would have need to wait. She explained to me rather hurriedly some of the things you've learned.” She stared at each of them for a few long moments before she continued, “you will find I am not as patient a teacher as Nephuria, so ...keep up.” Then, while she was staring at them, awareness of her presence left. Her body still sat up, her eyes open but glassed over. Rixan's mouth settled into an 'o', and she shared a glance with Adai. How was she supposed to sleep now? The events of the night, and the new Wise Ones mannerisms – she hadn't even introduced herself to the pair of them – had made her heart start beating wildly. It was still thumping loudly as her eyes moved back over to the body across from them.
“Well, we'd better figure out how to follow.” Rixan said, annoyed at the lack of instruction. She reached down to pick up her cup and found to her dismay that it had tipped over when she'd stood previously. Bloody goatash, she thought to herself, further annoyed. Chewing on her lip, the apprentice mulled over how to follow, her anger receding to the challenge the Wise One had presented. How is it that we get there normally? Through dreams...through our subconscious...closing her eyes, Rixan forced herself to surrender to her subconscious, drowning out all the rest of the noise. When her green eyes snapped open, she found herself staring at the stern woman across the fire. Adai popped into focus next to her and Rixan thought she saw the ghost of a smile on the elder Wise One's lips.
OOC: Okay Kat, I've finally revived this :). It's your turn next. I didn't name her as I wasn't sure if it would be the new NSW or if we were just going to keep her fairly anonymous since we're only using her in this thread. I got us to enter at will, now if you'll proceed to have her instruct us to target dreams and get us started on that, we'll be rolling!
Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:11 PM
They pulled back out from the dream and Adai was stunned to find the empty space across from her. She only just stopped herself trying to reach out for the wise one, as she had in the dream. She shared a concerned glance with Rixan but before she could speak the other apprentice, “You can stay here if you wish, but I'm going to find out what happened to her." Adia heard a bit of bite in the other girl's tone, but she wrote it off it off as shock and concern. Of course Adai would not sit by with their teacher missing, a wise one would never sit idly by while any member of her clan was missing. Even if the Wise One had left for a reason, it was the apprentices' job to figure that out, and she couldn't do that sitting on a pillow in an empty tent. Without word she stood to join Rixan in the search. She was no less dedicated to her position than Rixan and she would make it known.
Outside the tent Adai saw the signs of the oncoming raid. Her body roared to take up and join the fray of the preparing crowd. This was not her first time experiencing a raid, and she knew just what she would do a year ago in the same circumstance. It was hard not to fall in line. But she was not who she was a year ago, and Wise Ones did not do what she would have done. She knew she was no Wise One and to try to do as they were doing now would only mean more toh than she could ever recover from and she knew it. So she stood, almost paralyzed, in the intermittent stance of an apprentice, unsure of what she should be doing. She supposed she had toh for that now. Standing idle, not knowing her place in a crisis was not acceptable. Before she could dwell on that thought a new Wise One was before the girls ushering then back to the tent.
After a quick warning to keep up the Wise One seemed to drop out of consciousness in a blink. Adai turned to Rixan, trying to hide her uncertainty. She had had far more than her share of uncertainty this day and she was pleased. A small amount of pleasure returned to her when she saw the same look of uncertainty on Rixan's face. They both knew there was only one choice, and the longer they waited the more trouble they'd be in when they finally did figure out how to join the new trainer. How she was supposed to do that with her heart and mind still racing baffled her, but she had to try, and fast. She sat on her pillow across the fire from the waiting Wise One and tried to figure out what to do.
Alright. Sleep. I've had a long enough day, I should be able to sleep. Somehow the weariness from earlier in the day would not come. Adai sighed. But I must sleep. I must get to the wise one before she gets angry. How could she possibly drop off like that. She was gone the moment she sat. Only minutes ago she was running around helping with raid, how could she possibly drift off to sleep so fast? Aggh! This thinking is not helping! Alright. Relax. Stop thinking. Slow my breathing, empty my mind. Maybe if I can push out the rest of the world I can force myself to sleep. She let out a slow breath as she tried to follow her own advice. She was surprised how quickly it came, and the surprise almost drove her throughts back to her mind, but she pushed them out again and settled into the feeling of drifting off to sleep. She opened her eyes to see Rixan and the new Wise One waiting. With a glance at the other apprentice she couldn't help but wonder how long she had been waiting. She wished she didn't feel it, but for just a moment she filled with jealousy.
Emotions and thoughts in the dreamworld were dangerous, and jealousy in the waking world could be more dangerous than the things hiding under rocks. At least with those creatures you knew what poison you'd be dealing with and you'd get warning when it was about to strike. Jealousy did not work like that, and Adai wasn't sure how it could affect the dreamworld so she made it vanish. It didn't matter that Rixan found her way first, Adai had found her own way and that is all she had control over. And she had controlled it.
"Welcome." The word seemed to float from all around them, but it was clearly the wise one's voice. "You have completed our first task, just by finding your way here at will. Do not forget this skill. Recall the state of mind just before you were fully aware here. You kept your eyes closed, but had you opened yourselves to this place, and held your consciousnesses just in that state, you would be present in both the waking world and Tel'aran'rhiod. A very good skill to develop, especially for times such as we are experiencing today."
The wise one looked both girls over in turn, as if trying to read them. Adai wasn't completely certain that she wasn't truly reading her, she wasn't about to put the possibility out of the question. Many things she never would have believed possible she had seen with her own eyes here. When she seemed satisfied the new instructor continued.
"I was told you have learned well of the dangers here and that you have an early understanding of how to form the world around you as we see it here. It is time to move forward. What I am about to show you will end this place being the game you have experienced it as. I have been told you are ready for the responsibility that comes with the privilege of coming to this place. This becomes more than a dangerous playground now. Changing your clothes and location are only a small part of what we are capable of doing as Dreamwalkers. Just as we can stay consciously between the waking world and the dreamworld, we can also travel somewhere between the two.
Soon you will follow me to place that is just as different as the place we are as it is the same. You will not have your body as it appears here. Instead you feel as though you are floating through a sea of stars. Each of the stars represents the dream of someone sleeping in the world. As you get used to this place you will be able to identify the dreams of certain people. Keep your emotions in check, for any feelings of great love or hate for someone can see you pulled into their dream. Once in, there is no guarantee you will get out. Leave people their privacy, for if you snoop in on the dreams of the wrong person, you will be sure to regret it."
She stopped suddenly, as if to enforce the order. "Follow me." Just as soon as it was out of her mouth she disappeared. Adai had just barely time to take in all the Wise One had explained when the woman shifted out. Adai looked to Rixan "I hope I caught all that." she joked as she followed the Wise One. Just as she was warned, she was stripped of her body and surrounded by small bright shining lights that looked as the stars in the night sky did.
When three were together, floating bodiless in the endless scene of dreamstars the words of the Wise One came again. "Just as I can send my thoughts out to you here, you can send your thoughts into another's dreams. This is the purpose we teach you of here. This is how we get information to each other, and to others from other clans. If ever you have dire news and need to share it, but cannot make the journey in the waking world, come here and seek out the Wise One you must address. Carefully near her dream and send your thoughts to her. Be aware of this in your own dreams, as you become more versed in the dreamworld, and move through your time as apprentice into wise ones yourselves you may well find other dreamwalkers contacting you in this manner.
Now, it is time test this. I will instruct each of you to find the dream of a Wise One. When you find the dreamwalker, carefully near it and speak into their dream. Ask her to join her us in our tent in the dreamworld. We will then go back there and wait for the Wise One to join us."
Adai left herself drift through the space and lights seemed to speed past her, though there was no true 'her' to speed past. She reached out, willing herself to be drawn to the wise one she had been told to find and somehow she just knew when she found her dream. Not completely sure in the technique, she called out into the dream and sent the invitation. She wished she could be certain that the wise one received the message, but she knew she wouldn't be completely convinced until they were all in the tent.
With all she could do done Adai focused her thoughts on reentering the dreamworld and bringing herself back to the comfort of the tent to wait and hope that the Wise One she called for would appear.
Wise One Apprentice
Edited by Kathleen, 25 May 2012 - 07:51 AM.
Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:21 PM
Present in both the waking world and the Dreamworld? I wonder how that feels – would I be able to carry on a conversation in both places? Curiously, Rixan probed at what she thought was her connection, to see if her body in the Threefold Land would respond. It did not. She began to frown, but made a mental note to ask the Wise One instead of dwelling on it herself. Besides, she was ignoring the lesson being presented to her now! She would have toh if she did not focus. Gritting her teeth she turned her attention completely to the new instructor. She would not shame her greatmother and her Clan by casting aside that which was offered to her.
The Wise One began to speak of the dangers that were hinted at earlier in their training. It was difficult to tell if the new trepidation was from a change of instructors, or a merely a more advanced lesson. It was late in their training, after all, Rixan and Adai had been training for several months in Dreamwalking; it was bound to become more taxing the more they learned. Rixan listened intently as the Wise One spoke of dreams. She remembered touching the Dreamworld once as she was sleeping, only to be accompanied back to her own dream by an elderly Wise One. The woman had smiled and told her it was not her time yet. Only a year later the woman had woken from the Dream. That memory had served as a worrying piece for a decade until she was approached. Then it had become clear.
“Follow me,” the Wise One instructed before she blinked out of sight. Rixan almost laughed at how she was getting used to that. Adai turned to her and joked about being able to remember everything. Rixan gave her a short smile before focusing on the task at hand. She thought of the Wise One and almost immediately felt as if she were a gara shedding its skin. She felt weightless, amorphous, and comfortable. Blinking, the apprentice found herself staring at a sea of stars. She “looked” down to find that no physical form existed here. Almost as if she were dreaming the odd dreams that one could experience after drinking too much oosquai.
A bright star shone to her left and Rixan realized it as her brother’s dream, she hesitated around it, scuttling backward at the bright light pulsated toward her. She hadn’t seen Jaeric in so long; she had never been separated from her twin for this long before. She imagined facilitating messages for their small family through the Dream and felt pride once again at her talent. I’m sorry Jae – I must focus on my lesson, she firmly told herself and traveled a wide berth around the star. Sometime later, perhaps minutes, perhaps hours, perhaps mere seconds, she found the star of the Dreamwalker she’d been tasked to find.
Entering someone else’s dream was interesting – it felt like being sucked into a long tube. She scrubbed a hand across her face, starting that she had a body. Her own body by the looks of things, thankfully complete with an algode blouse and wool skirt. Turning to her left, she saw an amused Wise One sitting at a table with a handsome older man. “Apologies Wise One,” Rixan said quickly, “I was sent to deliver a message and I seem to have mixed up the proper way to speak in a Dream rather than enter it. I have toh,” she finished, immediately dropping to her knees.
“Oh, get up child,” the Wise One said, the surroundings immediately vanishing until they were occupying a tent not unlike the one where Rixan’s body sat in the real world. “Knowing your instructor as I do, I doubt she told you how to do so. You owe me no toh, though if you insist, you might. Come, let me show you how to send a message.” The air shimmered and the Wise One vanished. Rixan followed her immediately, and listened attentively as she explained how to send a message without entering the Dream. After Rixan practiced twice, the woman instructed her to return to the real world where she would be along shortly.
Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:07 PM
It wasn't long before the two Wise Ones they had invited through the dream arrived at the tent. Adia poured a cup of tea for the Wise One she invited and as she handed it off she could see Rixan pouring a cup as well. She assumed it was for the Wise One she had called on. She had her cup served first so she poured a cup a for the instructor, then settled back onto her cushion.
The Wise Ones spoke for a few minutes, giving an update on the raid and voicing their thoughts on Rixan and Adai's lessons. When their cups were empty Adai was going to offer them more, but both guests declined and instead rose to leave. Adai was going to clear their cups, but their instructor stopped her.
"Come, let us practice staying conscious between this world and the dreamworld." The Wise One instructed the girl to let themselves steady their breathing and let their minds drift to the dreamworld. She told them to keep a hold on this world as they drifted. Adai slowed her breath and closed her eyes, trying to draw back to the dreamworld. The Wise One continued talking as she moved through the process. She kept her voice soft and almost hypnotic as she asked the girls to find her in the tent in the dreamworld just as they were in the real world. Adai held onto her voice in the real world and opened her eyes to the dream. The Wise One was there, sitting silent across the fire from her with a smile on her face. The voice in the real world never missed a beat as she continued coaxing Rixan in. It was such an odd sensation that it was almost hard to keep the balance until she got used to it. But that didn't take long. When Rixan did blink into the dream the Wise One began to ask questions in the real world and the girls took turns answering her there.
he first time Adai tried to answer she found her dreamself speaking it. She apologized to the Wise One and fought off a blush, and then she concentrated on the link to her body and found her second attempt worked much better. When Rixan was done answering her question and the Wise One was sure both girls had a handle on how to stay in both states at once she asked them to let go of the real world so they could continue their lessons.
Adai slowly gave more concousness to the dreamworld and felt her body relax into sleep. Fully in the dream world the Wise One did not wait to continue on.
"I've shown you the dreamfield, that space where all the dreams are stored. You have learned to speak into them, and you have been warned of how your emotions can draw you into them. Do not fear entering the dream of another, just be aware of it and be cautious as you were in the nightmares. Never let your self forget it is a dream, and always be aware of ways out.
There is one last lesson you must learn. One more purpose that the Wise Ones use the dreamworld. If someone is sick or injured, and efforts in the waking world do not seem to show progress, we can enter their dreams and encourage them along from there. By bringing them pleasant dreams and encouragement we can facilitate faster healing. This will not be an instant fix, so do not expect to wake to your patient fully recovered, but returning nightly you should see progress.
You are much too inexperienced to try this unattended this night, but I know of someone in need and I will allow you to come along. Your help in easing his dream will be expected, but remember, it takes considerably more effort to change things in another person's dream than in your own. You must overcome their will and force your reality onto theirs."
Adai followed the Wise one back to the sea of dreams and found the one of the boy they were to help. The Wise One did not say what put him the state that he needed their help, but that was not important. Her only job was to help the Wise One give him a pleasant dream. She neared the light of the sick boy's dream with caution and slowly let herself be pulled into it.
The dream seemed heavy, as if all the pressure in the world was in it. Adai pushed against it until she felt like she could breathe. The world around her was a full on battle. Aiel were running in every direction with veils over their faces and spears at the ready. It was a full on raid. Adia kept her back straight and her head up as she followed behind the Wise One as she walked confidently through the midst of it all. Rixan was by her side and the three made a small triangle with the Wise One in lead. They were untouched as they moved through the battle, some of which was due to altering the dream where spears would have hit them and some of that was due to the maker of the dream knowing that no harm would come to the Wise One.
After a few steps into the dream the Wise One flashed forward to the rock ledge that had looked a good distance off, and without much hesitation Adai jumped forward with her. It is just a dream. I do not have to walk the distance. When they were close to the rocks Adai noticed the young boy laying under them. He had a boulder laying on him and he was panicing, fighting desperately to move away from it. All around him were snakes, ready to strike at him.
"He is in such turmoil by day that he come to turmoil in the night. He goes back to the day it happened, reliving it night after night. He will heal from the wounds, but his body is very weak. This stress is not doing him well. His body flails in the night to fight off the dreams. It must rest so the healings can do their work. Go girls, and calm his dreams while I calm his spirit through talking to him."
Adai nodded to the Wise One, and as Rixan blink out somewhere else in the dream Adai focused on each snake and fought the boy's mind to win out. She tired to force the first snake out of existance, but it showed its fangs and hissed. This was not her dream, and she had not willed that snake into existance. Willing it out would not be simple. But killing it would, she thought. Adai thought of herself holding a sharp stick and it suddenly appeared in her hand. She stricked out with it and stabbed the serpent just behind it's jaw. She let it wriggle for a moment and then jerked the stick out. That seemed be enough to convince the boy it was dead and Adai quickly repeated the process until all the snakes were dead.
She blinked away from the boy to give the wise one space to speak alone into his dream and went about changing what she could in his dreams until the raid and panic feel was gone. When it was done Adia was called out of the dream and back to the tent.
Wise One Apprentice
Posted 04 June 2012 - 05:46 PM
The two summoned Wise Ones entered the tent and Rixan shoved her thoughts to the side – there would be time to examine them later. She poured a cup for the woman she’d invited and almost hastily shoved it at her – pulling her arm back at the last moment to offer it smoothly. Each accepted her cup, and settled into a discussion about the day’s events. The new Wise One asked their opinions on the apprentices’ lessons and Rixan carefully kept her face neutral as the elder woman she’d found congenially chided their new instructor on her “leave ‘em to it” approach. Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw Adai struggling to maintain a straight face as well.
As the other women left, Rixan and Adai both made movements toward cleaning the remnants of the meeting. Before either had actually stood, however, the Wise One now in charge of their lessons encouraged them to resettle on the pillows. "Come, let us practice staying conscious between this world and the dreamworld." Rixan wrestled down the thought of sleep, resisted the urge to roll her eyes and reminded herself that she had a duty to her family and her Clan. Closing her eyes, Rixan focused on her heartbeat, consciously slowing it. She began matching her breath to the dull beats of her heart and thought of the Dreamworld. The Wise One was still talking gently, though her voice was becoming more muted as Rixan followed the shimmering thread back to the Dreamworld. The Wise One’s voice almost slipped away, but the apprentice bit the inside of her cheek and pulled herself back to the real world – splitting herself between the Dreamworld and the present.
Rixan and Adai took turns answering questions – alternating between the Dreamworld and the real world. The Wise One seemed pleased with their progress – albeit if only from her decision to press forward in the training. Rixan could tell that this woman was not one to mince words, nor to delegate any type of praise. Idly, as Adai answered a question, she wondered if the woman had a family. Where are all these random thoughts coming from tonight? She scolded herself.
Following orders, Rixan drifted away from the real world until she was firmly in Tel’Aran’Rhiod. Or, as firmly as one could get …as far as she knew. The Wise One wasted no breath as she barreled on to another lesson. As she discussed entering someone’s dream, Rixan felt a faint blush creep into her cheeks. She had already accomplished that lesson unbeknownst to the instructor and Adai. Still, it was nice to know that betimes there would be a reason to enter someone’s dream. The Wise One spoke of healing a person from the inside out. How their ancestors had learned that sickness not only affected someone physically, but also mentally. Healing the mental agitation led to quicker physical healing. Knitting her brows, Rixan could not keep the surprise from showing on her face. That was unexpected.
The Wise One made sure to note that she and Adai were not experienced enough to attempt this lesson alone, but they would be aiding her in the recovery of this young boy. As Rixan fell into his dream, all she could think of was her brother and how similar his dreams must have looked after the death of their parents. Though she would never discuss it, for then she would owe him toh, she could remember Jaeric crying out in the middle of the night and of her greatmother attempting to soothe him with cold compresses, loving arms, and the knowledge that it would all be over soon.
A battle waged. This had the looks of a raid, but the proportions were much more one-sided than she’d ever experienced or heard. Rixan peered around them, curious, though calm. The men were faceless – often disappearing just to reappear and reenact the same fifty steps. The boy was instantly aware of their presence, the spears falling toward them instantly changing paths. The three women walked through the battle until they flashed toward a rock ledge. Rixan grinned as they jumped, this was something she loved about the Dreamworld, though her face fell as she saw the young man trapped under the boulders.
"He is in such turmoil by day that he come to turmoil in the night. He goes back to the day it happened, reliving it night after night. He will heal from the wounds, but his body is very weak. This stress is not doing him well. His body flails in the night to fight off the dreams. It must rest so the healings can do their work. Go girls, and calm his dreams while I calm his spirit through talking to him." The apprentices nodded simultaneously. Rixan saw Adai’s eyes flicker to the snakes and she knew the other girl would focus on ridding him of the poisonous terrors. So, it was up to her to stop the larger battle. Pursing her lips, she jumped back to the battle. Observing for a moment, she saw a weak point in the fight.
Putting her fingers in her mouth, Rixan whistled loudly. Half of the faceless men turned to stare at her, though half continued fighting. Stomping her foot, she yelled loudly for them to listen to her. She was their Wise One and they would listen! Marching between the sets of men, she repeated several of the firm statements she’d often heard her greatmother make. The dream hiccupped, sending the men back into battle, but Rixan clenched her teeth and repeated the whistle and the stomp. She WOULD fix this dream. Just try me little one, she thought to herself. I’ve not met anyone more stubborn than myself except for perhaps my greatmother. She held her vision of the dream so firmly that her fists clenched and her jaw began to ache, but the wavering stopped. The men suddenly dropped their heads and began to file away – one group retreating to the north and one to the south.
As she watched the groups file away into the distance, Rixan felt a tugging on her physical body. She leapt toward it, feeling the heaviness of her exhausted body as she re-entered the real world. It was threefold what it had been before. She blinked to remove the sleep from her eyes and noticed light pouring in from under the tent. Her eyes felt grainy, her eyelids like lead, and her head like cotton as she slowly moved her gaze back to the Wise One.