Umbral
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Art by Piesol - PL



It has been long since I was told about the Umbral, but still I recall.

Two parts there are, the Ritual and the Dream.


See yourself in your mind's Eye, while Hypnos takes you from your bed.

Grasp your quest, the entrance, the Gate.

From intent forge yourself a Key: to be in dreams a Wanderer.

Close your eyes.


And Dream.


Recall yourself amidst Morpheus' haze, twin silver doors will find you.

The Umbral stands before you, Dreamer.

And the Ritual is complete.




    • _



    See the light in my Eye, Dim Dreamer, and ask that which you know not.

    You shall learn what dreams I've dreamt.

      • _


      The elevator, the Umbral, stands amidst the haze of dreams, twin silver doors open for me. Why would it ever be closed? I would not have found it if I did not intend to enter.

      Our pact is sealed with a metalic whirr as I enter and the doors close.

      No turning back now.

      I press a button, any button. It matters not: the numbers on the control panel are all in disarray, unknown glyphs and symbols catching my eye every now and then.

      It hurts to look at them.

      The cabin shakes as our descent, or our ascent, begins.

      I am a Seeker and a Finder.

      I am a Dreamer and a Wanderer.

      Into the unknown I go.


      A fishing village awaits past the doors. The ocean's breath fills my nostrils, salt and humidity cling to my flesh; a warm sun shines unopposed.

      The sea is nowhere in sight.
      Something feels wrong…
      There is a village, damp and sunny and empty. There is no soul in sight, not even gulls, though from afar I hear their cries.
      Why… so strange… so wrong…
      The sea remains unaccounted for.
      It IS wrong…
      How is a fishing village far from the sea?
      No! NO!
      It is not, something tells me. It is simply unseen.
      WRONG! SO WRONG!
      I walk among the wooden houses, corroded by salt and breeze. Fishing vessels lie abandonned, yet you know there are fishermen… somewhere…

      One, at least.

      There he seats, smoking his pipe. He hasn't even noticed you've approached him until you're standing right next to him.

      You?

      Me.

      The perspective is changing, shifting. You see– I see me– I stand besides the fisherman, and we talk.
      It is still there!
      I do not recall our conversation.
      RUN!
      Nothing.
      GO BACK!
      Nothing at all.

      Just that voice, his voice, the voice of the sea, calling.


      Wrong…

      WRONG!

      Something so terribly wrong…

      Run back…

      RUN!

      For the storm shall soon drown the calm.

      The elevator stands in the midst of dream haze.

      I step back inside. AND THE STORM BREAKS.

      Another button.

      Again…


      From the elevator I step into the rain, gentle caress of the starless sky on whose pitch black darkness shines full a sickly Green Moon.

      I stand on a train station at the center of a clearing. Beyond it, a black forest, pointed trees reaching like daggers towards the sky, extends in every direction. It quickly become an abyssal ocean's waves, trunks and branches rocked by wind and rain. An impenetrable fog covers the floor, covers it all…
      Green.
      And so you stand, beneath the Green Moon…
      Beneath the Green Moon…
      Trains come and go, passengers venturing from and into the fog, parading around, a carnival of black silhouettes…
      They come, they go…
      Form-fitting leather and latex. High heels and needles. Masks like mirrors, windows into the void.
      Like BDSM enthusiasts…
      They pass you by, silent, enigmatic.
      Who are they? What is this place?
      You? Me. They pass me by.
      What lies beyond the forest, beyond the fog?
      And thus I stand in quiet admiration under the Green Moon.
      UNDER THE GREEN MOON.
      Under the Green Moon.

      Who? Who is…?

      Hey you!

      I am addressed, the voice unknown.

      Knowledge you begged for; knowledge unto you shall be delivered. Ask and you shall be given. Beg and you shall be saved. Stay and know. Stay and know the secrets. Stay under the Green Moon.

      Under the Green Moon…

      Here come the Inquisitors.

      Ask and you shall be given. Ask and be taught the secrets. Learn and pay… pay what is due…

      I gaze at them, five… Or six.

      They march towards me, slowly, deliberatelly.

      Masks colossal, larger than their heads, iridescent animals and geometry clashing and melding and bleeding into each other… changing…

      A lion, an eagle, a pyramid, a dragon, a spider, a thing with too many angles…

      Melding and changing and becoming One. A chimera, bursting forward.

      Run.

      Run.

      I do not wish to approach them. No knowledge is worth such fate, such monstrous fate.

      Back to the elevator, back into the haze…

      Under the Green Moon.


      A market sprawls out of sight, beyond your my sight.

      Immense. Immeasurable. Impossible.
      Lost…
      So easy to walk by, to explore.
      Lost…
      Linger, remain.
      Lost…
      But the risk…
      Lost…
      To get lost here, stranded. To be led astray by the labyrinth, and end up at its jaws…

      I wish to explore, to lose myself walk far and wide, to know the things I cannot buy, for I cannot take them with me.
      Lost…
      What marvels lie beyond? Sellers and wares blur as I pass them by, as I tempt fate and risk it all…
      Lost…
      I must not linger for too long. It changes, it changes…

      What are you taking, ladies and gentlemen?

      What am I buying?
      Lost…
      A way out of here.
      Return…
      Away from temptation, away from the honeytrap.
      Safe for now…


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      Fearing the darkness, I beg for the elevator to close its doors. Dread creeps upon me as I realize the light behind me cast no shadow, no shape. There was nothing, nothing but the unending darkness… forever…

      What would have happened if I had dared step forward, set foot into the void?
      To fall… to fall forever…
      The primal fear grasps my heart, but the doors have opened once anew…


      The elevator has stopped at a park, the chirping of the birds a welcoming sound.

      I am back in the sun, no longer under the Green Moon.

      Fountain.

      There is a fountain at the center of the park, where birds come to drink and Another sits…

      Another.

      I know this other one. From the waking world…

      Why are you here?

      I dream, and find myself at peace.

      You learned of the elevator, then, of the Ritual.

      What ritual? That is not how I arrived here.

      I want to question him more, to learn more, but something is amiss. Is this my dream… or his?

      In the depths of my being, something stirs, something telling me to return, not to influence the dreams of others. I leave my mentor, my teacher, to contemplate the well-earned rest his dreams have wrought, the peace so terribly denied to the other layers of the dreamscape.

      Time to wake up.




        • _



        I see my words have spurred in you, Dim Dreamer, a desire to follow in my steps.




        A word of warning, however.



        This the Oneiroi will not tell you.

        So I will.

        Return to the Umbral before you wake.



        Or else...




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