It had been an extremely busy and exhausting day for both of us. I was ready to drop into bed, but Laurenna had other plans.

"Get dressed up!" she said. "We've had enough excitement for one, or even two days! We're going to dinner."

I looked at her with the eyes of a tired puppy. Then she said "Oh, come on, my treat!"

"Oh, if you insist!" I said. I was tired, and she knew it, but I could see she was trying to perk my spirits up.   


It was early evening, the sun sinking into the west, with a gentle breeze blowing from the north.

We put on our finest clothes and headed our now regular hang-out, The Eight Plates.   


Once there, we found a spot and ordered some of the local dishes, including nix-hound meat stew and steamed ash yams and saltrice, with a big bottle of brandy to wash it all down with.   


The innkeeper asked if I'd like to make some extra money by performing for the crowd.

I tried telling a few jokes, and while some of them were funny, I was told not to quit my day job.

Laurenna thought they were funny, though.   


After a little too much brandy, Laurenna started dancing around me.

I could tell she was having a really good time. After running around in the sewers of Vivec, I guess it was this was like a little vacation from the world of problems we had been encountering.   


It was nearly midnight when we decided to give the evening up and head off to home, and to bed.

Before we had started our trip to Vivec, Laurenna had complained that she was restless, unable to sleep. I must admit, I had felt the same way.

Hopefully, the evening's fun had removed enough of this energy from each of us, and we'd finally get a good night's rest.   


Once we got home, we got ready for bed.

"Why don't you tell me some of those old war stories?" she suggested.

I told her some of my best stories that night.

Shortly thereafter, we both fell into a deep sleep.  


That's when the nightmare intruded into my dreams.

It was about a tall figure with a golden mask. He greeted me, saying "There are many rooms in the house of the Master. Be easy, for from the hands of your enemies, I have delivered you."

It seemed I had died, and I could see myself laid upon a table lit by candles. But with my own hands, I touched the figure, and the figure drew breath, opened eyes, and rose from the table. Then the room was gone, and the world filled with light.

I awoke, sweating, my heart pounding, as if I had been running from something. I had remembered another dream, some time back, about a man wearing a golden mask. Laurenna had a similar dream about this individual as well.

Why? And more importantly, why no dream until now? The first one happened weeks ago, then nothing, and then, suddenly, this one.

I decided I would think about it in the morning. Nightmares cannot harm you, I thought. I looked over to Laurenna, sleeping soundly, and decided not to worry about it tonight.

That was when the second nightmare came into my sleep.

I dreamed that a tall figure with a golden mask spoke to me, but I understood not a word. He smiled, and seemed pleasant, but when he reached to touch me, it terrified me, and I tried to escape, but I couldn't move! I tried to cry out, but I couldn't make a sound. The figure kept smiling and talking, but I felt sure he was trying to cast some sort of spell on me.

I awoke with a start, but I couldn't recall how the dream ended.

To have one nightmare, that's one thing. But to have two of them in one night, on the same subject, that was something else. Plus the fact that this would be the third dream concerning this mysterious man wearing a golden mask.

I heard Laurenna cry out and sit up, sobbing. She had also had a dream about a man wearing a golden mask, but couldn't remember much about the details, just that it involved lots of dead people, strange settings, and words she couldn't understand.

It took hours trying to calm her down. She was afraid to go back to sleep.

I decided that since Caius had given me some time off, perhaps we should head back to Lokken island and visit her mother, get away from this place, and find the 4th dragon.

Laurenna finally drifted off to sleep in my arms.

I probably got an hour's sleep before the sun poked it's head up over the eastern horizon. This "bad dream" issue would definitely have to be dealt with.