Disclaimer: Unfortunately enough the world of Osten Ard and all its characters belong to Tad Williams. I promise to give them back when I'm done playing.

Grey whirlpools swirled into another. Within a non-ending dance they circled each other for long seconds just to merge a few moments later. He almost thought to recognize pictures, moulded out of smoky outlines and countless shades of one and the same colour. The vague forms came into being and dissolved within the same moment so the observer couldn't be sure they had been there at all. Grey – it was just a single colour and even so it was so much more in the end. The Road of Dreams as this odd demimonde made of shadows and illusions was called, spread itself between the realms of living and the death. It was the fact that it never changed and never stayed quite same, which created a part of its charm. He smiled. Something had drew him from the emptiness of his dreamless sleep out to this demimonde without his intent. The Road of the dreams was inscrutable at the best times so he didn't waste his time to search for reasons. Instead he waited.

This wasn't the right way. It couldn't be the right one. She tried to force down her uncertainty while she let her spirit roam the shapeless enviroment. She was quite afar of her known territories and knew she had to be very cautionous – no matter how urgend and important her concern was. Silly rashness would spoil everthing and there was so much to loose. She had to find the right way. She wouldn't stop searching until she found it. The smoky grey swirled around her and again she could feel the sense of being lost rising in her chest. She forced it away. No more than loosing to rashness she could lose to her fears. Sooner or later she would find the answers and ways she was looking for.

At first the change was almost insignificant. The structure of his enviroment seemed to change. The cloudy hustle seemed to grow weary. Suddenly every movement left noticeable currents and shapes. The enviroment, which had been restless within its way of changing until now, started to transform itself into something more deep and quiet. Within his observations the patience of his immemorial folk mingled with the curiousity of his youth. Yes, he had been reproached for his curiousity countless times for it was the reason, which caused him to move on where the older ones decided to stay back. Slowly he reached out to touch one of the whirlpools, which slipped to existence just beside him. At his gentle touch the delicate whirlpool disintegrated itself like a swarm of butterflys.

Suddenly the place, where the center of the tiny maelstrom had been, turned blue. It was like a heavy cloud cover broke up to give away the blue sky beyond. The dab of blue started to spread itself. At some places the blue was lighter and at some other it was darker. A varity of shades developed – just as the grey had done before. The shades, which danced before his admiring eyes, went from the milky blue of ice to the dark blue of deepest night.

Her unrest faded once the unfamiliar grey dissolved into the shades of a more known realm. She stoped for awhile to recover and to enjoy the sudden familarity of her enviroment. Could it be? Did she finally find the right way? The way leading to the trinket, which would bring peace and help for so many. She hoped so, for she had left the only home she ever knew to find this trinket. Within the blue depths little lights began to sparkle like stars on the night sky. Even though the little lights came near to her and even encircled her she wasn't able to touch just one of them. The sparkling members of the shining swarm simply evated her touch. A smile tightened her lips and she followed the wild round dance to the infinity depths of blue.

In contrast to the grey, the blue wasn't suggestive of ever-changing pictures but of calm even movements, which were almost similar to sea waves. Somehow there was a different aspect about it. Peace and comfort started to settle over his spirit, which had been widely awake just moments ago. The feeling was a remant of a time without memory. It awoke some of his primal emotions, which had been lost since the time he had been carried beneath the beating heart of his mother. Suddenly it seemed impossible to think a concious thought. Even if his life had depended on it, he wouldn't been able to speak a single word. Something had started and there was no way to stop it.

The silence she was drifting through was undisturbed and utterly. Although her shiny companions never left her side, they kept lingering just outside her touch. She didn't mind, feeling her spirits rising nevertheless. This was the tranquillity she needed to find her destination and find it she would eventually. The smile blooming on her lips hold a sense of triumph in it. A proud feeling did arise in her chest. She had been right! She knew many thought of her voyage as silliness even if they kept these thoughts to their own. These were the same people who had pushed her mother to prepare for war. But her mother – praise the ancestors – resisted them and gave in her daughters urging in the end. Joy took hold of her heart, a rare feeling during these dark times indeed. Suddenly her laughter was ringing through the realm of dreams. Silver and bright it was and like a smooth pebble bobbing over the water's surface it seemed to cause circular waves in her surroundings.

A distant sound caused him to listen attentively. It almost sounded like laughter he decided but it was faint and distorted. Before he could identify anything else, the sound was gone. Whatever it had been, it felt natural in this environment, as if nothing more was needed to truly take in this familiar but alien place.

Despite his leaden weariness the thought of that clear and even pleasing sound did not fade. In fact it did graze a string of his being but he couldn't think of any reasons for that. For just one fleeting moment a fierce knowledge seemed to hit him like a blow. After what could have been an eternity or just a second, it was over and he tumbled breathless into blue nothingness - the vague need to find the faded laughter again being the only thing left in his mind.

She stopped her dance and allowed her senses to examine the blue width. Even though the feeling had been faint and only lasted for a few seconds, she was sure that she had felt another being. Not a being of this world, such as the little lights, which had accompanied her dance, but a being of the waking world – the very world she was supposed to return to soon. She felt a wave of conflicting emotion rising in her chest. On the one hand she felt drawn to this other being; then again she felt this dark sense of foreboding, which resided in her heart since the day her father's heritage revealed her a piece of her destiny. Although the sense of the other one wasn't unpleasant, she tried to withdraw herself from her current location and return to the outer parts of the road of dreams. But to her dismay, she wasn't able to do so. Her glittering companions resumed their dance, but this time their movements weren't enticing anymore but solemn as if they were part of a ceremony.

Carefully he approached the presence before him. It felt …fitting…fitting to the sound, which had drawn him here. He felt the other being's presence strengthen and it almost immobilizing him. After a few confusing moments, he could account the presence as a female existence. The feelings of uncertainty, which emanated from her, ridiculed the thought that she might be the initiator of their meeting. Just like him she seemed drawn to this place, but that she was his purpose for being here he did not doubt.

The foreign one slowly made his way to her. And even though he seemed to be as puzzled as she was, she was alarmed by the very fact of his gender. Her surroundings darkened and the little lights sped their dance up until they swirled like little galaxies. More than a bit unsettled she used what was left of her strength to protect herself from the oncoming other.

He felt her non-acceptance and tried to comply with her wish by advancing backward. But somehow there was not such a thing as 'backward'. Something shoved him towards her, made him penetrating her protecting barrier.

He still made his process towards her! How was that possible? She was losing the control about this encounter and she was frightened by it. Driven by the fear, she used all her energy to strengthen her protecting barrier.

He could feel the pain. Dumb at first it raised in intensity until it seemed to burn his true self.

She felt her energy ran dry. There was no way to keep him away. He would reach her.

Suddenly all of the pain was gone. Before he could regain his senses the darkness around them busted into dazzling light. He felt a stroke and his hidden self being was merciless drawn from him. Something returned and even though it felt similar to what he lost, it was not his own self but hers.

She felt him. His true self flowed through her like a river. She could see all the hopes and fears, the treasured memories and fragile emotions, which he had kept hidden from the world. Paralyzed by the impact of this foreign life, she let go of her resistance.

Weariness reclaimed him as he was about to lose himself into this foreign existence. The laughter was back, sounding from different direction at the same time. He was bewildered but felt no fear. In a strange way it was beautiful. Bound forever in this place, they would be, illuminated only by the dancing lights. He felt a trace of sadness. There were people who would mourn for him. But his thought existed only for a moment, before it was consumed by the blinding light.

She felt her true self opening itself, ready to reveal all of her secrets, and her fear transformed itself into anger. She wouldn't share her true self with anyone without her consent! She could feel him clearly now, could feel his acceptance and even the trace of sadness, which emerged and disappeared again. Deep in her heart she felt sorry for him but she couldn't let that happen.

Her repulse hit him like a vast stroke and he was hurled away. Away from her, away from the blue he was thrown, back to grey of the road of dreams. His true self was stretching so painfully that he thought it was about to rip apart. Suddenly the bond, which had held him so merciless, broke and freed his essence. As it finally returned to him he discovered to his utter dismay that a small part was missing. Where it was supposed to be, the tiniest fragment of the female being's self glimmered.

By the vehemence of their parting she too was hurled away into the nothingness. Helpless she reeled though the darkness, which finally became the normal dream road grey. She tried to ignore the fragment of the foreign being, which clung to her. She hoped that she would be able to take care of that later. Her sprit crossed the boundaries of the waking world.

With a violent jolt she sat upright, tangled in her own blanket. As her lungs refused to catch breath the way they were supposed to, she started to cough.

The shadowy shape next to her turned around on his blankets and looked at her. "Uyulala," a somnolent male voice asked, "is there something amiss?" Her movements as she shook her head were slowly and stiff. "It's nothing. Go back to sleep". There was a sound of rustling feathers as her companion laid back. She sighed. She did not feel well at all but it was no use, they had to proceed their journey at first day's light. As she lay back to her blankets and watched the stars above her, her heart felt heavy and cold.

At Jao é-Tinukai'i another dreamer suddenly awoke from his restless slumber. Sitting upright, Jiriki tried to fill his lungs with air but for a moment his body didn't obey his spirit's commands. As it finally did and the warm night air filled his chest, the Sitha let himself drop back into the cushions. Through the translucent fabric of his bedroom walls he could see the shape of the moon, whose cool light bathed the whole elven city. Weariness and numb pain accompanied him as he re-entered the dreamless elven sleep.

As said before: English isn't my native language, so I ask you to be indulgent to me concerning spelling and grammatical errors.

Please RR