My Journey Through the Land of Dreams
Run by the Chantry, a religious order, the Circle of Magi resides in a tower,
And they protect Ferelden from we Mages’ awesome and terrible power.
“Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him,”
The words of Andraste, the bride of our Maker.
In the tower the Mages are taught control,
While the Templars are vigilant in their patrol.
This place to me is both a refuge and a prison,
With the Templars being alert for any sign of corruption.
When my family realize my magical ability,
They unfortunately could not keep me solely because of humility.
This life is all I know, and I have lived my life indulged in my contemplation,
Letting my thoughts flow.
But upon an eve, I am dragged from my bed,
And I know I shall end up dead.
I am lead to a room that shall surely be my doom,
But it is not.
I am to take my test,
And I know that I shall do my best.
This test is called the Harrowing,
And I am doing quite a bit of following.
Many have taken this test before me,
Involving demons and a test of loyalty.
I am to face a demon armed with only my will,
And if I fail, the demon shall have his fill.
Into the Fade I shall be sent,
Into the land of dreams where my will might be spent.
When people sleep, except for dwarves, the Fade is where our spirits go,
But Mages travel there awake and aware,
And it gives the demons quite a show.
There are many different demons and they take strength from our sins,
And they wish to use Mages for their every whim.
If I was to fall, which I shall not do,
It shall prevent Templars from making my body go askew.
For if I am possessed by a demon,
I shall become and abomination.
And the demon shall be free to walk in the realm of the mortals,
Using my body to their discretion.
I must use a substance called Lyrium to gain access to the Fade,
It appears to be the color of jade.
In a flash I arrive in a dimly lit land like those of the past,
And then the first of my enemies arrives, but it does not last.
A small ball of lightning appears to be my foe,
But after my Arcane Bolt, away it shall go.
The small energy sphere hits my target,
And I must refrain from becoming a braggart.
I run along and I would prefer to mind my own business,
But ahead of me is a small mouse who wants to give me his assistance.
The mouse first bashes the test, the Templars and their deed,
And I most certainly agreed.
Then he takes the form of a man,
And introduces himself as best as he can.
He has spent countless years in the Fade,
Remaining in hiding in the shade.
In the past he, too, took the Harrowing,
And the Templars were most uncaring.
He took too long to complete his task,
And the Templars assumed he did not last.
Because of their assumption that he had failed,
With a blade he was impaled.
I express my apologies on the Templars’ behalf,
You are wasting time, he says, shooting my apologies back.
He becomes my advisor,
And my allowing him to come along makes me one of the wiser.
He tells me attacking everything is foolish,
And that there are spirits here whose help I would surely cherish.
When conversation ends,
I stop him again.
I wish to speak with him so as to be further enlightened,
But he says it is not safe to be out in the open.
I ask what he knows of the Fade,
And he gives me the obvious aid.
But then he adds info of another kind,
Telling me that demons feed on the dark parts of a person’s mind.
I then ask if I can somehow change forms as he can,
It looks like it would be useful in this land.
The only way for the wish to come true,
Is I need to somehow forget, that you are you.
I ask him about the helpful spirits that he had mentioned,
But the Fade has no signs, he can only point me in the right direction.
Mouse follows along and watches my next fight.
The little Wisp Wraith casts Lightning Strike.
He is another little ball of lightning,
But like the other, the energy sphere he does not see coming.
After that victory comes a treat,
I come across a helpful spirit upon the Wisp Wraith’s defeat.
He stands firm and confident as a warrior should,
Glowing white and quite transparent like a spirit would.
He realizes immediately why I am there,
And says it is because of cowards that I am here.
He believes we Mages should fight amongst ourselves to prove our mettle with skill,
Rather than be sent unarmed against a demon with just our will.
I agree and state that I did not have a choice,
He is aware and says the fault lies with those who should not have a voice.
He tells me he is Valor, a warrior spirit,
And that he makes weapons by his own will.
I ask what he knows of the Harrowing,
A name he did not recognize upon hearing.
He only knew that a demon had been called and told to wait,
And the demon cannot leave until of one us is dead — I am the bait.
He says he will assist, but there is a catch.
I must agree to a duel or he will close the hatch.
To receive a weapon I must win,
If I lose, he will remove my “skin.”
On him I use a spell that I hope will work,
It is called Weakness, which shall decrease his footwork.
With his sword and shield in hand,
Valor could have been the best in the land.
But after energy spheres and a Fire Blast,
He feels my strength is sufficient to the task.
The staff I am given will not last outside the Fade,
But I am grateful all the same.
I give Valor my thanks and he simply says,
May you find glory in all your achievements, mortal.
Again I move on to finish my burden,
Until three Spirit Wolves appear to make me bedridden.
These foes were more difficult, it is true,
But Arcane Bolt can get rid of a conflict or two.
Then Mouse warns me of a Spirit up ahead,
It is not the one I seek, but it might still want me dead.
It is a demon of Sloth having a slumber,
Hoping the demon I am to fight will leave scraps for his supper.
He is in the form of a bear,
The color of blood with spiky hair.
When asked about my opponent, Sloth simply says,
I know that you will fail your test.
He also says he wishes to see the mortal world with my eyes,
But he is, disinclined to begin such a struggle.
My response to this is a sarcastic, Lucky me,
To which he says, Indeed. Now, what do you want of me?
I tell him I would like his assistance,
And then Mouse suggests I could take on Sloth’s appearance.
Sloth finds me questionable, but Mouse commendable.
He had forgotten his human form long ago.
Mouse is not sure that idea is best,
A mouse is able to hide from all the rest.
I tell him he needs to face his fear,
And eventually he decides to take the wheel.
Unfortunately, Sloth is tricky,
He has decided to be picky.
I have to answer three riddles correctly,
Or I shall be his dinner directly.
I agree to his terms without a pause,
And I wish someone could have been there to applaud.
The riddles were interesting ones,
If I had not been there on borrowed time, it would have been fun!
I have seas without rivers, coasts with no sand,
towns without people, mountains without land.
What am I?
I passed and Sloth moved on.
I’m rarely touched, but often held.
If you have wits, you’ll use me well.
What am I?
I passed, to Sloth’s dismay.
Often will I spin a tale; never will I charge a fee.
I’ll amuse you an entire eve, but, alas, you won’t remember me.
What am I?
Upon the completion of my test, Sloth tutored Mouse, assisting in my quest.
New strength comes with his new form,
And mouse now assists me against a Spirit Wolf swarm.
Mouse slams into our foes,
Slaughters all those who dare oppose.
He had never felt anything like this before,
He is filled with a new strength that he now adores.
When asked how he survived so long as a mouse,
He says that the shadows had been his house.
After everything he had done,
It felt wrong knowing that later he would be left alone.
He is unsure of how I can help him since he has no body on the other side,
He chooses to stop thinking about it so we can focus on saving my hide.
The demon emerges from the ground,
A being of Wrath, covered in fire.
Soon I shall see the land with your eyes, creature.
You shall be mine, body and soul.
I warn him that the Templars will cut him down if he were to succeed,
And he laughs and doubts that they will be up to the deed.
He then calls upon Mouse and, as the conversation goes,
I become aware that Mouse might soon become one of my foes.
But Mouse remains true to my cause,
And attacks Wrath with his great bear claws.
While I cast Weakness on my possible possessor,
Four Wisp Wraiths take advantage of my distraction.
Mouse and I ignore the Halflings,
For we have to deal with a more important thing.
Mouse slams Wrath with a critical hit,
And I finish with a Fire Blast, doing my bit.
Upon our victory, the frightened Wraiths disappeared,
Mouse rejoiced and practically cheered.
Even though I should have been happy, I was too busy thinking to be;
I felt that the fight had been way too easy.
Mouse says it is because I am a true Mage,
Something he didn’t think he would see in any day and age.
He says he regrets the sabotaging he did in the past,
For I have shown him that there is hope at last.
His visage throughout the conversation has made me suspicious,
So I asked him what out of me he wishes.
He predicts that I will eventually be a great sorcerer indeed,
And that there was much more in store awaiting me.
But to help him leave the Fade he would need a host,
And it is I he wants the most.
I say to him, I’m starting to think the other demons wasn’t my test.
He starts to protest…
Then he laughs.
You are a smart one, he says at last.
I am hoping I won’t have to fight someone I was beginning to call friend,
And hoping that all this would quickly end.
Mouse’s form shifts again,
His skin changes to be the color of royals.
The deep purple figure stands over me as I back away.
I shall fight if I must to live through the day.
Keep your wits about you, mage. True tests never end.
What did you think of the poem?
- “Every Good Lie Has At Least 80% of the Truth In It” (becomempowered.wordpress.com)