A modern everyday whitebread middle-class college student awakens to become a Dreamspeaker
A young white male in his early 20’s with shoulder length brown hair, tied back in pony tail. He has an average looking face with an odd looking scar over his eye. It stretches from just above his eyebrow to the middle of his cheek. He has many similar scars over his torso, upper arms and legs. They seem to be ritualized scaring done by some unknown tool or branding iron.
The young man who had been known as Eric Winters, not so long ago stopped and looked in the window of the pawn shop. Other pedestrians might have thought he was looking at some trinket wondering how much it cost. Material possessions, for most part, had less meaning for this man standing on the sidewalk. Instead he stood examining his reflection in the shops window.
“Would my mother recognize me? My brother? or sisters?” he thought, “ for that matter do I? Am I who I was? Or is he who I am now?”
He, who was Eric Winters, let himself think back to the time before – the time when Grandfather Thunder first spoke to him and he thought himself insane. A little smile crossed his face now thinking back; to know so little of oneself or the magical world which one lives in, it amused him.
He remembered, how Grandfather Thunder had talking to him, cajoled him and finally tricked him into going to the hidden grove deep in the Appalachian mountains. He remembered on arriving being meet with suspicious stares and angry grimaces by those people living there. He was an outsider unwanted, and unwelcome, but Grandfather Thunder wanted him to be here so he would be tolerated …for a while.
The last real memory of Eric Winters’ was that moment standing before the waterfall as reality was about to split open. He saw himself reflected in the waterfalls rippling pool – a senior college graduate with a dull future as an accounting drone in some corporate hive. It all seemed such a bright future then…before the gurou mystic opened up the barrier to the spirit world and he who was Eric Winters, crossed over to his new destiny.
Then it was open, that untempered schism of the umbra and all those things he could sense were real, but couldn’t see before – rushed over him like a tidal wave crashing upon him, threatening to drown him with the wash of unfamiliar senses. It seemed as if he could taste colors, smell textures, hear warmth of sunlight and feel the ethereal essence before him.Part of him wanted to go mad, another part wanted him to run, still another part forced him to stand and gaze unblinking into the ephemeral void and he could sense, for good or ill, that the void was looking back at him too.
“ Enter now…quickly…if we hesitate we maybe lost forever!” He heard a rasping whisper. The voice sounded familiar yet distant like it was from the past, someone that he knew from a long time ago? Or perhaps a forgotten childhood friend just remembered? But the voice had come from within him, hadn’t it?
He who had been Eric Winters, entered the portal between worlds, which closed shut and he stood…or that was as best he could understand it. To actually mean “stood” – that would be imprecise, there wasn’t an up or down he merely “was” in this spiritual realm. It would be easy to say that he heard, but it would be more accurate to say that his entire essence understood as waves of communicating emotion crashed into him, “THERE IS NO TIME—-MUST TEACH NOW—-PREPARE YOURSELF!!!”
The pain that he felt as his limbs were forced and twisted out from his body and then pulled to the limit of human endurance was only lessen by the greater pain of the sheering heat as a flamed claw raked his body. Each time a claw raked his body, he felt his mind and his soul burn, but also he felt new knowledge and understanding come with it. It was a knowledge of nature, harmony, spiritual existance and magic. When the pain seemed to much to bare he would hear the voice whisper soothingly, “ Endure, you must endure; we can become so much more than we were…hold on a little longer.”
Then he who was Eric Winters found he wasn’t any longer. He who was with out name, found the strength to somehow hold on longer, and endure. Soon he realized he was becoming more than he was- he was becoming a Dreamspeaker.
“I am a room, but I have no doors or win…?” Began the nameless one as he continue to weaver the ephemeral threads of the spirit world together.
“I am a mushroom!”, said the large black raven sitting on the nameless one’s chest, then it asked, “Do you give up?”
“No!”“OK, my turn…I have an eye but cannot see, what am I?”, asked the raven.
The nameless one was beginning to be desperate. He had started by asking the sphinx’ s riddle, but the raven had cut him short and answered before he had finished the riddle. The raven had done that to every riddle that the nameless one had ask.
It seemed as if, the raven knew every riddle known or ever asked by man. Of course, the nameless one was not very good with riddles as the one called Eric Winters and it seemed that he wasn’t any better now. Nine riddles into the game, the nameless one began to wonder if he had any chance against the raven and still his hands were weaving above his head.
“ I am a pota….no, wait”, The nameless one stopped himself short. A potato has “many eyes” and cannot see, the raven had said “an eye”. The raven was trying to confuse and trick him. The nameless one continue to weave while he thought about the riddle.
“Do you give up?” asked the raven.
“NO!”, said the nameless one, then asked, “ Why do you insist on asking that?”
“Because the game will continue until one of us concedes, obviously’, said the raven indignantly.
“ I see”, said the nameless one, though he was quiet certain he didn’t. Trying to answer the raven’s riddle and weave this…this…what hell was he trying to weave out of this ethereal webbing anyway?
“Nameless one?”, asked the raven
“ Do you give up?”
“NO!!” The nameless one stated loudly with frustration and anger raging in his voice, then he continued to speak trying to remove the anger in his voice, “ the answer to your riddle is – I am a needle.”
The raven studied the nameless one a long moment and then said, “Correct your turn.”
The nameless one understood why the bird might think he had giving up, for every riddle the raven asked he had taken longer and longer to answer, because every riddle was tougher or trickier. The nameless one suspected very soon it would both. The last riddle the raven had asked had almost tricked the nameless one it was so simple that almost caught him of guard. How could the nameless one stump the raven with a riddle if raven knew all the riddles every asked before?
“No, I don’t give up.” the nameless one said flatly.
“ Oh?…OK, but I was just going ask what is your riddle?”
Right, what riddle could one ask this raven if he knew the answer to every riddle even before one asked it? Unless….
The nameless one asked his riddle, “In my youth I sleep, but from my chrysalis I exit never to slumber again, though my time may seem short to you, I am eternal, revolving one life to the next …what am I?”
The raven stayed silent and studied the nameless one. The raven crooking his head one way then another and it seemed as if the raven was frowning. The nameless one found himself wondering if ravens really could frown? Eying the nameless one the raven, crooked it’s head one last time and said, “What is the answer?
“I am….” Began the nameless one in triumph, then he stopped himself short. It was to easy. Like the last riddle the raven had given him there was a trick, he was missing something but what?
“Well…?” asked the raven.
What was it abot the raven said about the game? It would continue until one of them conceded…were the riddles just a diversion to hide the true test?
“ I am waiting or don’t you have an answer?” the raven mocked him.
“Do you give up?” asked the nameless one.
“Well played mortal! So what is the answer?” the raven asked impatiently.
“Do you give up?” asked the nameless one, “ Well…do you concede?”
This time the nameless one was certain he saw a wicked smile cross the raven’s beak, “Yes…I will be your totem and accept this bond with you.”
Suddenly, the nameless one found a leather medicine pouch in his hands a powerful fetish made by him but with his totem’s knowledge and skill. The Raven totem spirit with it’s beak took a black feather and placed it in the pouch and then placed the pouch around the neck of the nameless one. The Raven then whisper the true name of nameless one to him and he who was no longer nameless shivered as he truly understood who he was for the very first time.
The Raven said, “Now you see we are connected, I am as much a part of you – as you have become a part of me. Keep your true name safe and we both shall be safe. The people of your world shall call you ‘Raven Tongue’ for you shall act and speak in my name in your world, but you must follow my ways for me to aid you”
“I understand”, said Raven Tongue
“ Good! Now tell me what was the answer to your riddle?” demanded the Raven
Raven Tongue answered, “I am an awakened mage”
The Raven’s head rolled back laughing, “ Ha Hah hahahahaaa! Yes, yes…I see it now, well played Raven Tongue, well played!