Upon traversing the doorway, left empty after the shattering of the door, between the back room and reception of the clinic, Morgraine was once again greeted by a destroyed room. Furniture knocked over and smashed in rage left pieces of wood and glass all over, while to her left she would see the corpse of a normal-seeming man, his torso cleaved halfway through diagonally. Past the corpse was another, lying in a disproportionately large puddle of blood; a humanoid that appeared dried up, almost mummified, and distorted in a way that was entirely different from how signs of the scourge of beasts manifested themselves.
Immediately in front of her and to her right stood a man with his back halfway to her, a hatchet held low and loosely in his right hand; a bit on the short side but fairly stout, Torquil
was staring towards the center of the room. Next to Torquil was another pair of Messengers with another piece of parchment, though the man did not appear interested in them for now.
On the opposite side of the room, to the right of the only door that seemed to lead to the outside, stood a young woman in the garb of the Healing Church; Adelicia
, and a little ways to the left of that door and towards the center of the room (E2
) sat an utterly and thoroughly blood-soaked man in what was faintly recognizable as another church garb, though this one armed with a much more remarkable weapon; though the small sword resting on the floor beside him might have seemed somewhat ordinary, the absurdly huge blade-scabbard he wore on his back marked it as almost certainly being the weapon of a Hunter, as no ordinary man would have been able to wield such a massive hunk of metal. Victor
had his back fully turned and seemed occupied by an ornate box he handling.
In the center of the room, finally, she would be met by a quite strange sight. Sticking bizarrely out of the floor was an unusually long, seemingly rigid skeletal arm, the hand of which held a lantern that bathed the surrounding area in a soft, blue light. A third man, this one unusually large man in dirty, but well-made clothes; Nigel
seemed to be staring into the lantern. A little to the left of the lantern from Morgraine's perspective was yet another pair of Messengers with another scroll.
Another instant passed, and as Nigel felt the calming light enshroud his consciousness entirely, he felt himself fall asleep... and as he did, Torquil let out a surprised yelp and Nigel's slowly slumping form seemed to suddenly lose opacity before fading from sight entirely, leaving not even a shadow in his place.
Nigel senses a power inside him stir, as if pushing the world around him.
Strangely Nigel, rather than experiencing a state of sleep, immediately transitioned from falling asleep to waking up... only when he awoke, he found himself slouching in an entirely new and different place than before. He found himself on an old, rough-looking cobbled path flanked by shrubs and weeds, among which stood scattered, disorderly and mismatched gravestones all over, intermingled with a few mostly leafless trees.
To his right, past a tall, wrought-iron fence was a single, massive tree, the leafless branches of which spanned the area around it imposingly beside a lone house sitting atop the sloped landscape on Nigel's side of the fence, where the path seemed to lead, transitioning to a set of stone stairs to reach its front door, with unusually large, flat and relatively similar-looking gravestones arranged to the right of the stair, each on its own small alter-like platform without raising it beyond reach.
At the foot of the stairs and to the right of the path was a birdbath, which appeared to be overflowing not with water, but with Messengers.
Trying to look to the distance somewhat broke the seeming normalcy of this place, however, as beyond the limits of this cozy little cemetery the ground seemed to simply fall away, instead opening up into a vast span of nothing but mist or clouds that stretched as far as the horizon and beyond. The only indication that there was something below this cover of clouds was strange pillars in the distance, rising far into the sky, and much smaller, jutting wooden poles below and among them, like the masts of sunken ships in shallow waters.
Just ahead of him were two figures right on the path he found himself on, both facing him as if expecting his arrival. One might have appeared to be a tall, beautiful woman in fine, almost noble-looking clothes, with perfect white skin like porcelain... except another glance might reveal that her seeming perfection owed to the fact that she was, in fact, a doll, though an animate, seemingly living one such. She had a submissive stance, her hands folded over her stomach and the gaze under her cute little hat downcast.
Beside her sat the second figure in an old, worn wheelchair, apparently reading a book, though whether this was truly what they were doing would be hard to determine. The figure was clad in a full set of the traditional Hunter's garb, only with the addition of a blindfold that naturally covered their eyes.
Then the atmosphere seemed to change, the air literally coming to rapidly feel thicker and heavier, and the soft white moonlight that bathed the cemetery grew rapidly darker, prompting both the doll and the person in the wheelchair to look up at the sky, their demeanor surprised.
And indeed, the beautiful star-strewn sky above with the remarkably pristine full moon was being subjected to a quite unusual phenomenon. From a spot up there – a spot directly above Nigel
– there seemed to rapidly spread huge, swirling masses of black clouds that swiftly grew to encompass the entire visible sky, casting the area in darkness.
Next came the familiar sound of sudden rainfall, along with the sensation of Nigel himself being rained upon with large, heavy droplets... only, it would probably not take long to realize the strong red coloration of this “rain”, or to recognize the smell, and realize that it was actually raining blood.
“Good Hunter,” the doll said softly, breathlessly, as she stared incredulously at this sudden change in weather, “I have never sensed something like this before. We welcome you to the Hunter's Dream, but... pardon my confusion. This is new.”