Three On A Match
-- : Third on a match. Meaning: bad luck.

A Dream in a Nightmare

Inside a dream
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Carter was a tired man. He hadn't been sleeping well, at all, and it felt like things might have only been getting worse. He was on edge, his work was starting to suffer, and he was even starting to have trouble just leaving his house. Now he'd missed his stop. He missed his stop because when the train opened its doors there, he was asleep in his seat. No one woke him up, and more the pity for that fact as he quietly snored away and a man that wasn't there took the seat next to him and looked into Carter's head. Then the man who wasn't there faded away into the sleeper's dream.

Alexius opened his sickly yellow eyes and slowly turned a circle in the dream. 

It was an office with crisp white walls and cubicles. The dreamer was in his desk but wasn't working, he was making small model robots with his son who was next to him. Alexius moved forward, his exposed arms leaving twin trails of blood drops behind him as he moved. Stepping up to the cubical the shadow tilted his head, the blood running from his nose leaving a slanted line as it changed the direction it ran, then Alexius turned his head once more and looked down an empty hall this time. There was a dull sound akin to the world turning and the hallway grew long and distant, lights flickering and dimming in a second. He turned toward another hall and repeated the change. Again and again until the man's cubical sat at an intersection of four endless dark hallways. Windows flickered with red lightning that gave only the briefest flashes of the world outside.

Then the ghost stepped into the cubical and vanished. The small boy next to his father got a far away look in his eyes and asked a single question. "Why is the sky angry?" A single statement that put the father on edge. After all, he had been having nightmares every night and they all started with that same question. Why was the sky angry? The man turned away from his son and looked out the cubical into the hall seeing it stretch on forever dark and foreboding, when the flash of red was visible he tensed and looked for his son to protect him. But the boy was gone and the father was alone. The rumble of the sky dull but growing slightly louder.

Alexius looked down at the hallways like a gameboard displayed in front of him. His eyes grew brighter for just a second as the man started to run down a hallway and the board moved with him, the cubical fading into the darkness and the hallway extending on and on. Even if the man ran back he wouldn't return from where he came. This was Alexius' nightmare now. 

Cinder roll for Nightmare
7d6: 3 + 2 + 6 + 3 + 5 + 1 + 5
1d6: 3

3 passes = complete success
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Priya Dreams - 3 passes: complete success

When Priya made her way through the dreams of sleepers each night, her travel was like one long hallway, although everything changed when she passed through each door. She would run through an archway and emerge in a rainforest. Climb through an attic hatch into a space station. Sometimes, she would flit out of a bedroom closet and haul ass just as quickly the same way when she discovered she’d stumbled across an intimate moment.

She did the same when she found a nightmare. They were difficult to contend with, and she left them feeling like a duck covered in a film of oil. So, when she found herself in any such twisted place, she would turn back the way she came.

At least, she tried to turn tail. This evening, she stepped from a dance hall into a dim endless hallway and to her dismay, the door disappeared behind her. There was only the sound of the buzzing fluorescent overhead and, in the distance, footsteps. The footsteps were coming nearer. Priya pressed her back against the wall and stilled, watching and waiting. She was not afraid but cautious, especially when the dangers presented were as real to her as they were in the real world.

More often than not, nightmares ran their course, and then the dreamer woke up, so she had no qualms about leaving this one to play out. Typically, she tried to find another portal out of the dream, but she didn't want to meet whoever was running closer.

Priya pulled at the fabric of the nightmare, and the stale air was suddenly filled with the scent of summer rain. Grass sprung up through the linoleum, accompanied by blossoming wildflowers. Meanwhile, the flickering light grew in strength and warmth, becoming more like sunlight as Priya began sculpting an archway from the trees sprouting between the flowers.
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Nightmare roll
7d6: 4 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 5
4 passes: complete success

Carter ran through the dream, each window he passed showing a dark sky that seemed to grow heavier and more oppressive with every flash of lightning. The sky was angry and it was coming for him. It never moved closer yet he could feel it approach. As if a gaping maw was over him.

His footsteps echoed through the never ending corridor yet he could do nothing but run. All the while Alexius watched unblinking with pale yellow eyes. When the new presence entered the dream the shadow barely noticed it. It wasn't his prey. His victim. It didn't matter.

Then the new ghost started touching the dream. She made an exit. AN EXIT. Once an exit existed Carter's subconscious mind naturally reached for it. What had been an endless hall now reached a destination. A flowery archway that was forming.

Alexius narrowed his eyes then glanced above himself. His own emotions swam outwards into the Nightmare. Cracks formed all through the hallway, bits of ceiling being lifted up and out into the clouds. The sky was taking them, opening up the hall to the ever-expanding dark clouds above. As the cracks formed they sought to drag chunks of this new exit with it. To stop it for being formed.

As this will was wrought, Alexius figured formed at the end of the hall, blood dripping from his hands, chin, and the three holes in his chest. He watched the new spirit in his nightmare... seeing if it would keep interfering with his hunting grounds.
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Priya Cinder, Dream - 4 passes, complete success

It was impossible to miss the other mind as it shifted, enormous, dark, and unseen. The realization that she wasn't just in any mundane nightmare was like a bucket of cold water dumped over her head. Priya dragged in a gasp, distracted momentarily from her flowery work, and glanced around.

The roof became the sky, and the sky was heavy, color with weight, the dark roiling clouds outlined by her pathetic little spot of sunlight. The spirit's mouth dropped open, and then she upon around to see the approaching figure. The dreamer was running for her, terror plain on his face.

And beyond him... The other mind. The architect was unmistakable because he looked more real than the nightmare landscape. If she had lungs, a throat, and breathing air, Priya would've choked on her next breath, her legs going watery with fear as her heartbeat went rabbit quick. Her throat bobbed as she swallowed. It wasn't the blood that frightened her--it wasn't his appearance at all. It was the fact that this was another conscious mind, much like the huntress who'd visited a terrifying facsimile of war on her, and Priya was no good in a contest of wills. He terrified her because he could think and, as such, outthink her. That was what she believed.

She was, however, quite good at fleeing, and the resolve to do just that had her twisting her will around her archway. The wind whipped at it, pushing her hair into her face as it tore the leaves from the budding branches while the shorn wildflower petals swirled around her. As the tree supped on the nutrients of a nightmare, the bark began to gray, sap turning blood-red, but Priya kept it forming, the twining branches meeting to complete the arch.

It wasn't done yet, but Priya still extended a hand to the dreamer and called, “Come with me!”
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Cinder, Nightmare: 4 passes complete success

Alexius tried to rot her archway, twist and taint it and ruin everything it was and hoped to be. In return the other spirit reinforced it. Made it more, pulling in bits of the nightmare but never letting its shape break. His yellow eyes flashed at the spirit of the woman and then down the hall to Carter running for where his mind subconsciously sensed an exit. The fear spirit had never really contended with another dream shaper before. On some level deep inside his chest a spark of interest flickered in Alexius' mind. The yellow of his eyes faded a bit from their sickly color and a touch of brown swelled at their edges. Alexius had always hunted the mundane, the normal and afraid but never something that had any chance of defending itself, so finding a figure that could challenge it was different. New.

More importantly, Alexius recognized it as such which he would have never been able to do before coming to Easthaven. Still, recognizing something was just a baby step and the yellow tinge of his eyes flashed as the woman reached out for the dreamer hoping to help him.

The fear spirit's mouth started to twitch in rage, small micro expressions on his usually stoic face, and with a step of his foot the nightmare started to change again. New cracked formed all across the walls around Priya, all making out one word over and over again. MINE.


A thousand cracks forming the words over and over again. Then Alexius' eyes glanced at the archway and the walls started to shift and move again. If she was going to make an exit then let there be an exit, but not for Carter... and not here.

The ceiling was gone and the clouds in the sky began to shift and bend as if flowing upwards. A change in gravity, though not for the spirits but just Carter. His feet left the ground as he was flung off into the sky, his growing fear of such wide open spaces feeling rich against Alexius' senses. Once the scream of Carter started to fade, Alexius glanced back at Priya. The walls around them flickered and the hallways was different. Now a hospital, a familiar hospital to the spirit of fear, and the archway was nowhere in sight... though it still very much existed in the world. The strain to break it was too much, so Alexius built a maze around it. Fabricated from a twisting empty hospital.

His eyes watched the woman. He never moved much and never spoke... just watched to see what she would do.

This was all so new to him.
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Priya felt the other spirit's rage like an inferno roaring over her. Then, as the world around her shattered more, she spun in a frantic circle, watching the cracks thread words into the walls. Mine, mine, mine they said, just before everything ripped away into the sky.

The girl shrieked and dropped into a crouch, hands covering her head. The wind around her screamed, and the clouds swirled away into infinity, planets, stars, and the dreamer eaten by darkness. Then, as if the lid had been shut on a maelstrom, they were dropped into silence.

Priya lifted her head slowly, eyes cracking to slits, afraid of what she might find. The first thing that she knew was that her archway was gone, withered to death. The place where the keystone would be two thin branches reaching for each other across the gap but not touching. An incomplete doorway. The ground around her was scattered with crushed grass and flowers.

And the other spirit, standing there, silent, yellow eyes boring into her. Priya stood slowly, quivering, her hands covering her mouth. Now she took him in, and her breath hitched like a sob. He was fearsome, worse than anything she'd ever seen, and she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.

In the museum, the huntress had brought her horror in chaos. This was... horror in silence and emptiness, and it was somehow worse. He did nothing but watch her.

“Please...” she whispered, dark eyes bright and wide. The single plaintive word echoed out into the empty hallways, more than it reasonably should've, but this was a nightmare. It would echo on and on and on, leaving her to understand just how alone she was.
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
The world was breaking and Alexius watched Carter and the new spirit react to it. Carter reacted with screams, which was by design. He screamed and screamed as he fell up into the sky. He screamed until the wind sucked the air from his lungs and all he could do was hold open his mouth and pray something heard him.

Something did.

Alexius heard him and the sound was like honey.

The little spirit however, crouched down. She covered her head and shrieked. That sound was nice too but she wasn't his prey. So why did he keep focusing on her? He normally always stayed perfectly fixated on his victim. His sickly yellow eyes ran over the spirit as he considered her. Was it her fear? She was afraid. He could see that. He enjoyed that.

When she looked at him she stifled a cry. It made him wonder what he looked like to her, he had never really looked at himself. Never cared before to look. He knew he was bleeding but that was basically all he'd ever bothered to notice. The little spirit pleaded toward him. She had large brown eyes wet with the beginning of tears. The word bounced around the endless halls, over and over and over again. He'd heard that word many times before. It meant nothing.

Alexius' eyes flicked toward the archway Priya had been trying to build. Between the two reaching branches was no keystone... Instead a modern exit sign sat between the two. It lit up and bathed the hallways red with its lettering. E. X. I. T. Each letter flickered on until the whole word was alive then flickered off leaving the hall dark once more. Alexius looked back at her and then his gaze trailed past her down the hallways behind her.

The exit still existed. It was just moved.

He said nothing. He was the man who wasn't there.

Bleeding on the clean floors.
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Priya couldn't help following the other spirit's gaze past her. She spotted the lurid red of the EXIT sign, the way it seemed to beckon, but for all her willingness to rabbit, she had one distinct advantage over any other victim: she could not die.

As far as she knew.

She'd been crushed, torn apart, or even shot in dreams, but even if the darkness took her, she would reawaken in the wall. Perhaps it would be days later rather than the next sunset, but she returned to consciousness without fail. It almost felt like nothing now.

Although her fear did not leave her, when Priya looked back at the bloodied man, it was with the tiniest assurance that, whatever happened to her now, it would only be temporary suffering. As the silence stretched on and the other spirit did not move, that resolve grew and grew, her breathing slowly steadying.

As Priya shivered, her eyes followed the blood droplets as they dripped from his arms onto the floor. Her voice rang out again, just a whispered, “What's your name?”
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius made the exit visible, well the way to the exit... well the way toward the exit... eventually. He hoped the other spirit would run away in fear. Normal people did that. They saw a chance and tried to run. Alexius liked it when they ran away from him. It made him feel stronger... made him feel at all. Made him not feel scared. Not that he felt scared. He barely registered feelings. Or contemplated them... which he was doing right now. Curious. When the little spirit seemed to resolve herself her fear that had been so sweet before became bitter to the Fear spirit. She was still scared but it wasn't pure anymore and thus less palatable to Alexius.

Thankfully Carter was still miserable and screaming, well trying to scream, and that was still sweet.

The little spirit asked what his name was and this was another question he had often been asked. What are you, who are you, why are you doing this. What was the answer to this one again? A screaming father? A dying mother? Flesh striking flesh until it leaked red? There was a word tied to it all along with the image of water. The woman was watching the blood drip from his fingertips.

Carter's heart was beating a mile a minute... his fear was enough for the moment.

Alexius tensed his fingers and then snapped his yellow eyes at the blood on the floor. The dream seemed to shift again but not its structure, rather its gravity. It didn't seem like the shift would bother either of the dream shapers, yet it did pull at clothes and the general sense of balance. It also caused the two small puddles of blood to begin to run down the floor.

The ran in unusual lines until they spelled out a single name.

Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
It was difficult not to follow his eyes, the way they skipped around like film missing one or two frames. It was hypnotizing, and Priya wondered what it was that made him look so unique. She didn't wear any signs of... whatever made her like this. Neither did Pandora, as far as she knew. She did know that her magic had a specific scent to it, but beyond that...

Priya stepped to the edge of the hallway as the world tilted, grabbing the handhold that was normally there to help patients who were having trouble walking. Instead, Priya needed to anchor herself against the shift in gravity, watching the blood run in little rivulets across the tiles.

Priya stepped out of the way as lines of crimson rushed past and sunk into stunned silence as the word, the name, resolved itself. Her eyes lifted back to Alexius, thoughts stuttering over what to say. Could he speak? How did he do that? Why?

To say she was impressed wasn't accurate. She didn't like it, but something about the other spirit's heavy presence awed her. Alexius was like something wholly otherworldly, demonic, and terrifying. But she had so many questions now. She'd never met another dreamweaver, even if it didn't seem like he could weave dreams, necessarily...

Strangely, the thing that held her steady was knowing it would be impolite to ask his name and then run. Maybe afterward, she could--should--but she returned the favor at least. With a sweep of her hand, a gentle wind picked up the wilted flower petals left from her broken archway. They fluttered across the space, bright spots of color in the gloom, and then landed in the blood, sticking to the floor. The shapes resolved into letters, the letters becoming her name as she knew it. Priya.

She could've spoken it aloud, but... But she kind of liked Alexius' style.
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Strike roll: 4d6
3 passes >.>

Alexius stood watching the spirit read the word he had painted on the tile. She seemed to take in the word and her fear waxed and waned reading it. While she read the blood from his hands and mouth changed direction of their fall as well. No longer falling straight down they dripped down the hall seemingly forever. Should Priya look at the drops she might see in a kind of clarity the real would wouldn't give. Each drop held a person screaming or crying. No sound, just an image of anguish. The images eventually repeated themselves. He hadn't killed so many to never run out of victims... did he want to? Was that what he was doing? Killing forever? He'd never really thought about it before.

The three holes in his chest didn't drip but seeped down into his black shirt.

The world seemed to bend again, tilting gravity back to its normal standing. The other spirit used her own will to move the archway she had been making. Leaves drifted and landed on the bloody word Alexius. It smeared and changed the word to a new one. Alexius' eyes flickered to a dimmer brown color as he looked at the letters. P. R. I. Y. A. 

Alexius didn't know this word. The letters seemed familiar but he wasn't sure how they fit together in a sound. He didn't use sounds. Why did he not use sounds again? He couldn't really remember or think clearly of why he should remember. His eyes, now an amber brown and more natural looking, flicked back up to her face. Moving slowly, the man walked toward her. Each step seemed strained but became more stable as he neared her. He tilted his head and narrowed his eyes trying to figure something out from the lines of her face.

A drop of blood fell from his chin toward the ground. This close, it was clear that most of the blood on his face came from his own nose. It was broken at some point and was still bleeding. Ever so slowly the ghost raised his hand up, the blood looking dry for the first time, he reached up as if he were going to try and touch the line of her jaw. 

Then as his hand just started to move forward his eyes returned to their pale yellow. The blood on his hand grew damp once more and the faint traces of confusion and contemplation on his face fell away to the emotionless observer he had been up to that moment. Alexius, the spirit of fear, tried to reach out for Priya's throat. If he could grab her he could crush her throat, watch her gasp for air in fear.

Fear. He wanted her to be afraid. He wanted to feel her fear. That was what he did. Felt fear. Be afraid.

be afraid so I don't have to be.
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Cinder, Dream - 3 Passes: Complete Success

Priya did not trust his approach. Things in dreams were tricksters. After all, dreams were an illusion, and the mind was always ready to trick itself. But was he a part of a dream? She supposed not.

She caught the way his face changed, the way his eyes darkened from that sickly yellow to brown. He stumbled towards her, blood on his arms looking thick and tacky... But the almost human look on his inhuman face arrested her. Curiosity? She was undoubtedly curious about him...

Still, as Alexius drew near, the small of her back pressed hard into the handrail, her fingers curling around it until her knuckles were white. If she needed to breathe, she would've forgotten to do so. Eyes big, Priya had to tip her head to meet his gaze. He could've just been tall, but he also towered. Loomed.

As he reached for her, she pressed herself back against the wall, caught between scrambling away and saying something. She wasn't ready for him to be this close, and neither, it seemed, was he. The soft caress along her jaw made the spirit shiver, her eyes going wide and round, but then her mouth dropped open as his hand fisted around her throat, squeezing her voice from her lungs.

Priya made a tortured wheezing noise, hands gripping Alexius' wrist. However, rather than terror, she felt betrayed. Stupid. That was stupid to let him close. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

God, she hated this place. She hated this place and the only way she could feel better now would be to destroy his creation utterly. Make the nightmare a dream and steal away the dreamer. So, she bared her teeth up at the demonic man and smashed the hospital walls into rubble in a fit of rage. She cracked the tiles and made room for tree saplings to start forcing their way up through the holes. A forest was growing thunderously around them and reaching for the hungry sky. The trees were still made of black wood, their sap oozing red like Alexius' wound, but they were hers, and the branches bloomed with leaves the color of twilight. They met overhead, and Priya wished for them to block out the angry sky.

Luck: 3/4
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius strike roll 4d6: 2 passes

Alexius hand tightened around Priya's neck, leaving a bloody handprint against her throat. He squeezed but she didn't gove him what she wanted, she had new emotions. Somewhere deep down Alexius knew the feelings but they weren't what he sought. Like smelling your favorite dish and then having the scent overpowered by some food you've always hated. She wasn't more afraid and that fact disappointed the shadow.

No... concerned? Bothered? He wasn't sure what he felt. He wasn't sure why he cared what he felt. His mouth moved as he stared into the girls wide eyes. Was he trying to say something? No words came out. Instead a glob of blood fell and his chest ached dully. Some part of him, so very distant and small, thought of the gunshot that hit his lung.

It was a silly thought. He wasn't something that could be stopped by a gunshot.

Then Priya started to act. She raged against the foundations kf his nightmare and cracks formed all around them. She was changing his nightmare. His face didn't react, no scowl or snarl, he simply tried to tighten his grip further and crush her throat. He wanted to feel his fingers touch through her neck. But before he could life sprouted between the cracks.

A tree grew between them and pushed Alexius away from the woman. He took several steps back and watched the scene change. The hospital walls broke down as a forest rapidly expanded. It was blocking out his angry sky. It was trying to take the fear he'd been cultivating.

Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Cinder, Dream - 3 passes: complete success
Priya Strike: 2 passes vs. DC4 - miss

Priya made another wheezing sound as Alexius' fingers tightened, her rabbit-fast heartbeat hammering against his palm. His lips were moving, and she could do nothing but wait to see what he said... But it was nothing but blood.

The spirit couldn't run out of air, she couldn't die, but in the dream world, she still felt the pain and her vision darkened around the edges. Beneath the rage, another undercurrent of fear welled again, and Priya flailed wildly, kicking out a foot but hitting nothing.

Then, they were suddenly wrenched apart, a ghoulish tree exploding from the ground between them. Priya landed hard and dragged in a breath, a low sob hitching at the end. Then, as the forest churned and chewed its way through the hospital's ruins, Priya scrambled to her feet and spun in a small circle, looking for the other fearsome spirit. When she didn't see him, her rage flared once again. Crouching, she pushed her fingers into the blackened loam of the forest floor, feeling fat pale worms squirm around her knuckles.

This place was truly vile, but that was why Priya let the magic take its cut, going blind as she used more power than she could truly afford. The explosive growth of the forest reached for the sky, towering like redwoods, while aberrant deer burst from the forest floor. They pulled themselves from the ground and shook black clay from their pelts. They blinked too many milky eyes, their heads heavy with thick twining horns. When they turned to take off into the forest, they were graceful but still wrong while Priya did all she could to forge something beautiful from fear.

Luck 2/4
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Nightmare Cinder Roll: 2 passes - Partial failure
Alexius looked at the tree sprouting higher and higher as it covered his endless sky. His beautiful oppressive hungry sky. They were giving it something to be over... meaning they were giving it a down. A direction. Carter would start to fall soon. If the fall was sudden enough it would kill him in the dream and wake him up. If it wasn't then it would still give him enough direction to start making sense of things. To change his fear. Alexius' eyes flashed a brighter shade of yellow. Yet as he considered what to do several animals began to drag themselves out of the floor. They were damp with clay and mud and looked twisted.

They also were signs of life, of nature, and they weren't predators. Priya may have had trouble seeing the distinct change in the mood of the dream but Alexius felt it all around him. His lip trembled slightly as if trying to curl up... but in the end it remained still as the rest of his face.

The spirit of fear turned away from the tree and Priya on the other side of it. He focused into the distance his vision seeming to fill and expand with the far off landscape. He imagined a lake. Wide open water and the single tip of a building poking through the water's still surface. The devil's lake. Its water was red, not from blood, but still dyed crimson. He started to weave the nightmare tighter, trying to expand the water. Let it rise. Farther and farther up, as it had swallowed a town may it swallow this damn forest. Let it rise up until the treetops were submerged and the red lake could only reflect the endless sky. Alexius planned to let Carter strike the reflection of the water and fall still in a new red sky on the other side of the reflection.

But the water barely rose an inch. The lake existed but it was no vast sea to meet and match his sky. It was just water in a forest. The little spirit was too deep into his nightmare now, she was ruining it.

He started to wonder how he could kill her.
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Priya Dream - 1 pass: failure

If Carter did start to fall, though, the trees would open to meet him, pulling aside like the teeth of a hungry maw, offering the freedom of death.

With no sight, Priya only heard the sound of rumbling hooves, the sound of things braying with flanged vocal cords out between the trees. She knew, innately, that it wasn't right, but there was no fixing it now. The next things to push out of the loam were rabbits with six limbs, foxes with jaws that split vertically down the center, and blazing blue eyes. Next, there were flowers- roses, their thorns more like snake fangs dripping with venom. Finally, a monstrous beehive grew rapidly in the fork of one tree, the buzzing filling the air with the sound of an overbearing sonorous springtime.

But Priya didn't hear it. The magic took its toll once again, and her hearing faded out to a single tone. Blind and deaf, all she had was the feeling of the earth under her hands and knees, and she reached into it until she was buried up to her elbows, nearly burying herself in the nightmare soil. Then her mind flooded with thoughts of a bloody lake, a drowned town, and her control slipped. The water level rose once more, eager to meet the hungry sky.

Priya Luck: 2/4
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Nightmare, Cinder Roll: 5 passes = Exceptional success
Alexius watched more and more animals, life, and vibrance weave itself into his nightmare. His eyebrows twitched in annoyance and the changing surrondings.surroundings.

Ruining his nightmare. Trying to take away all his tasty tasty fear.

She was trying to take away the fear. Suddenly the sounds were far away as if they could only be heard through a very long tunnel. Alexius walked around the tree slowly until he could see the little spirit. Priya was digging her hands into the dort pulling up life from his wasteland.

Alexius grabbed at the nightmare, the fabric of the world that they shared, where she dug her fingers into it he soaked it. Like blood on fresh white linen. His will dyed the dream and spread. Spread and spread and spread.

Where her fingers dug the ground would grow cold and wet. Where he had walked water would swell and fill his footsteps. Alexius looked away from Priya and instead looked up as the trees parted way. Carter was falling from the sky toward them.

The swell of the water seemed both impossibly fast and agonizingly slow. The benefit of a dream, time was worthless. All the mattered was perspective. The red watter rose high as it swallowed trees and life and ground. It became the down and met Carter as he splashed and then found himself not in water but yet another angry sky.

While Carter existed in the reflection now, Alexius lowered his head to look at the other spirit. He was underwater, his short hair shifted left and right at his small movements, and a ruddy color sifted off of him from his hands, his mouth, and the three bullet holes in his chest.

There was no sound for him anymore. He was pushing himself farther than he ever recalled doing before. This thing. This Priya was making him bleed himself just to maintain control.

It made him feel something. Nervous? Maybe. He was unfamiliar with the feeling and unsure, but he liked that he had taken control back now. He liked feeling like he was suddenly winning.

Alexius Luck 3/4
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Priya Dream - 5 passes: exceptional success

The little spirit didn't see or hear the water as it welled up from beneath the dirt. She just felt the chill, the way it splashed across her hands, soaked into her trousers, and then started to rise. Sightless, Priya lifted her face to the sky as the water swallowed her, rushing into her eyes, ears, and mouth. She choked on it as it swallowed her forest, the aberrant life she'd pulled from the soil thundering away to escape the deluge. As bubbles exploded from her mouth, she didn't hear the chorus, the cacophony, the rage of the insects, and the frantic screaming of the foxes as everything she made was dragged under.

The water rose above the trees, a lake, a sea, an ocean—an ocean with a glassy mirror-like surface. Below, in her drowned woods, Priya realized she could not drown. And so she gazed up, sightless, the angry sky shining down through the water and illuminating her face with its crimson light.

Tied into the fabric of their nightmarish dream, their dream-like nightmare, she knew what was there without sight, sound, or (though she didn't realize it) smell. She knew the sky was red, knew the ocean was a mirror reflecting it. Knew Alexius was nearby, watching her.

Priya's pale blinded gaze shifted from the sky and searched through the darkness. Shapes moved in the depths, swallowing up the struggling forest creatures. Then they locked on Alexius. She stared back at him, unblinking, her dark hair drifting weightlessly around her head. Slowly, she stood, the black soil puffing up around her feet. Every movement was hazy. Dream-like.

He loved his red sky so much, didn't he? A mad smile spread across her face, and she looked up again and started to speckle it with stars. Fill it, saturate it. She painted great swaths of purple, blue, yellow, and pink over the red, turning it from angry red to a spinning cosmos. The mirror ocean soaked it up, exploding with the colors from the edge of the universe. It was unsettling in its own way, a dream that was too dream-like—ethereal constants, liquid solids, real and unreal. Nothing made sense, and it teetered on the edge of the nightmare, but Priya didn't care if she made something coherent or beautiful anymore.

Wearing her mad smile, she just dared him to do something about it.

Priya Luck 2/4
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Nightmare, cinder: 1 pass = failure

In the waters, the forest, the sunken town he didn't know the name of anymore. Beneath the angry sky. Beneath the red smooth water. Beneath a nightmare and between a dream. Alexius stood watching the spirit. Priya.

She began to change his nightmare again. He bled into the Dreamscape, dyed it with his will, his being. Be more of what he was. What he carried inside of him. A nightmare made from Alexius.

The other spirit. The Priya, she stood and faced him. Her hair shifted with the unseen waves as she altered the dream again. If Alexius dyed it in himself then Priya colored it with her own mind. He chose the scene, the consistency but she gave it vibrance and depth. Stars began to form.

No longer was the sky red. The blood that covered the light gave way to specks of golds and orange and purple. All the colors he couldn't imagine on his own anymore.

It reminded him of something. A small boy sitting on a roof, his eye and cheek bruised but his tears long dry... staring up at a clear night.

Alexius looked at Priya as she made something that still swirled a nightmare. Less fear and pushing close to madness. She seemed distant now.

He moved toward her, each step dragging lines of seabed with him. He reached out his hands to touch her, wanting to put his fingers through her hair and tilt her head upwards. He wanted her to watch the sky with him.

He tried to change it again, but there was already so much of him in the fabric of the dream. So much that it made small changes harder. The feeling of his skin fluttered away and he felt indistinct. Watching a swirling cosmos of color.

A cosmos that was no less horrifying for its vibrance, at least to poor Carter who kept falling. Alexius wanted to control the nightmare, he wanted to be in control, to not be was... scary. His vision seemed to weaken as his shape in the water began to grow slightly hazy.

He wanted the Priya to watch the sky with him. Then he wanted to consume her so that she could never return.
Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Cinder Dream - 4 passes: complete success

Of course, she couldn’t see him draw near. There was nothing to hear, taste, or smell, either. She had only the dream-like sense of Alexius as he came close, but she didn’t move. She only felt fingers in her billowing hair. She felt her head tipping back, pale blind eyes reflecting the cosmos and seeing nothing.

Priya was helpless, limp and pliable to his touch, like a woman drowned. But the dream felt like hers now, even if it could hardly be called a dream. She was responsible for Carter’s abject terror. A step backward, if she gave it any thought, but Priya had been selfish. This was never about saving the dreamer, no. Nothing so noble. This was about saving herself. Lashing out in her fear and rage, being willing to gnaw off her own leg to escape the trap.

Head still tipped back, her eyes shifted from the endless starry sky to Alexius’ face. A bubble oozed from her parted lips, drifted up along her nose to cling to her hair. One hand lifted to curl her fingers around his wrist. Priya should’ve been afraid, but she felt something closer to acceptance. She probably deserved this.
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Strike: 1 pass - Failure

Alexius kept his hands beside Priya's face as he tilted her up and let her pale lifeless eyes reflect the stars she was making. Her hair swirled around and a bubble ran the line of her face as it tried to flee to the surface. Alexius tilted his head slightly as he observed her through the tunnel vision that was taking his own sense of sight. His right thumb ran across her face and left a smear of red that was even then trying to escape into the water around them. She was making a new kind of terror for Carter, different from what Alexius sought but still... interesting. He thought this little dreamweaver wanted to take his prey from him but she was like him.

She was a tormentor. She just hadn't known it yet.

He let his right hand slide down toward her neck to wrap around her throat but he couldn't squeeze. He wasn't sure if he wanted to kill her yet or not... she made people fear just like he did. Was she hurting like he was? The thought came out of no where and his yellow eyes dimmed to a brown color. He wasn't hurting... he hurt others... he couldn't hurt if he was hurting others could he? He was confused and unsure suddenly. His vision had gone dark and he couldn't see the other spirit anymore. How did he reach her? He tried to remember...

The letters that made up The Priya. He knew them and knew they meant her. But they meant something else once too. A long long time ago... each letter meant something and they connected together to make something...

Alexius moved his mouth slowly, testing the feeling and unsure if he was doing it right. Then he spoke for the first time in nearly thirty years.

Priya Offline
Dream Spirit
Cinder, Dream - 4 passes: complete success

The fading spirit tipped her head like she heard something. She didn't. She just felt her name. It didn't reach her ears but just barely plucked at her fabric, and she knew what it had cost Alexius. Years of silence.

Priya smiled softly up at him, transparent, a ghost to a ghost. Then she pressed her hand to his chest. They stood together, the parody of a pair of lovers. Then Priya whispered two words that had no sound. It was only the force of her feeling, all of that fear, vindictiveness, and rage.

Get. Out.

Then, she shoved him as hard she could, using up the last of herself to try and eject Alexius from her stolen nightmare. With that, the well ran dry. The fire burned the oil, ate the wick, and then, with one final flare, winked out of existence. Priya was nothing but the string of smoke left behind, fading as the heat died.

Priya Luck: 0/4
Alexius Offline
Fear Spirit
Alexius Cinder: Empathy
5 Passes - Exceptional Success

With his vision faded, Alexius could only feel the other spirit... he felt her head shift when he made the sounds together. Her sounds. He felt her hand press against his chest. Felt a phantom pain as they pressed down onto his blood soaked shirt and into the three gunshot holes. Gunshot... they were gunshot holes... Contemplative about the strange thoughts and actions of himself, he stood there under the water reflecting an endless sky of stars with the Priya. Then she released her emotions at him.

Rage that pressed against him like a used up cigarette, harsh against his skin and hot. Vindictiveness that speared him like something sharp and spiteful. And fear. God and there was fear in her. The fear touched him like sandpaper against his form, it tore at the edges and ground at him. But it was sweet and he took it in like a man dying of thirst and allowed a single glass of water.

His eyes went yellow once more and he knew her. He knew her by her fear. The scent of it, the feel of it, the taste of it. He knew her. His arms were blasted away. His legs gone. His chest torn from the act as the three holes, he couldn't remember what had caused them anymore, widened until the simply pushed his shape away. The last of him was his eyes, caught in a wisp that almost kept his image... then he was gone.

Banished from the Nightmare.

With the taste of Priya's fear in him.

-1 Luck from Priya's "attack" and -1 for Empathy forcing him to fade further.
Alexius Luck: 1/4

This is an excellent exit for him as well.

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)