At first there’s nothing but whiteness and cold, so all-encompassing he wonders if he has fallen into a snowdrift, or gotten lost in a blizzard. In the dream, he can’t feel his body, only the paralyzing core of coldness he has been reduced to, a heart of ice with nothing left around it. With his dream-logical mind, he comes to accept it, even feels a sense of comfort in the fact that the ice and snow has stripped him of everything but this: here there is no battered, exhausted body imprisoning his soul, no Servants of the Six-Pronged Crown hounding his every step, no self-important Hazardians with unknowable motives to worry about trusting. There is only the cold, and the cold will never leave him.
The white blankness before him shifts. He is no longer buried within it, he is floating, and he can see different shades of white now: the dark white of the mountains and the ground below, pregnant with whatever lies buried beneath, the pitiless clear white of the sky, the blue-green white of the massive glaciers sliding inexorably between the mountains, carving out valleys, smashing into each other, sinking into hidden seas.
You will find me.
One of the glaciers is calling to him. He lifts his dream-sight toward the horizon, to a frozen ridge crusted thick with snow and glacial ice.
I will find you, and I will conceal you.
Zangua sees and knows his glacier immediately, set like a jewel within a mountain valley, snow resting upon it like a shroud.
You will conceal me, and you will seek to understand me.
He floats to it, allows himself to circle around it. There is a presence within the glacier, a state of being and potentiality so great his thoughts cannot contain even the idea of it, and yet, it is vulnerable. Zangua knows that.
I will understand you, and I will protect you.
The floating point of dream-perception that is Zangua drifts down closer to the glacier. The presence inside the glacier did not come from this land, did not seek out this place.
You will protect me, and you will attend to me.
It endures the cold. It is not of the cold. Zangua wonders, am I of the cold? Or do I endure it? Did I come from this land? Did I seek it out? Or was I placed here? He sinks down further, to the sides of the glacier, and sees the tracks in the ice and snow.
I will attend to you.
He circles around the glacier and sees the mouth of the cavern that leads within.
You will attend to me, and you will bring ME FORTH
Zangua wakes up. He is sitting upright, breathing hard, drenched in icy sweat. It’s light out, it’s only mid-afternoon. Felor is still snoring peacefully in the bed next to his. He blinks his eyes. Already the details of the dream are slipping away, receding like melting ice. Only the last voice that spoke inside his head remains a vivid memory.
He sits there for a long while, until his breathing slows, and the chill leaves his body. Within the span of half an hour or so he feels calm again. A bad dream in a bad city after a full day and night of madness, he tells himself. He gets up to refresh himself and clear his head with a hearty meal and a good drink, and considers finding his way to a weaponsmith to buy a glaive to replace the lost catchpole.
When Zangua returns to his bed, late that night, he lays his head down and sleeps peacefully, untroubled by strange dreams.
The next day, after enlisting Vhezyen’s help to identify and unload some of the treasures they took from the Badgerways, purchasing new equipment and provisions, and attending to some other long-neglected orders of business, the party reconvenes at the Caryatid for an early supper and to discuss their plans for the immediate future.
Once inside the common room, the proprietor approaches you. "You have visitors waiting for you in one of the private dining halls. A man of the Trigon and a young lady. This way, if you please." She gestures for you to follow.