One of these days, I’ll be able to just bang out a short story that gets straight to the point. Until then, I felt inspired to write something a bit longer, so I hope you enjoy.
The story’s got a D&D sort of flavor to it, and the stat block at the end details my inspiration for this story (if the title didn't give it away), the Dreamcatcher. She's definitely one of my favorites on this site, to be sure, though she doesn’t get to use the extent of her abilities in this part -- the setting of which, I would add, might not be all that it appears to be...
I might continue it – I definitely left some loose ends on purposes for more story hooks, but I wanted to get this out there to see what you guys think. As always, thanks for reading.
Caught by a Dream
Grenn braced himself as the wagon kicked and buckled in the raging storm.
Whipping torrents of rain drummed hard against the cart’s worn canopy, with fierce winds threatening to rip the canvas straight from the overhanging posts. Seated with his knees propped up and his back against the wooden braces, Grenn was mindful to position himself in the way of any leaks that threatened to spill onto his book. He had long grown used to the cramped, tingling feelings in his legs and rear, but the increased turbulence renewed fears that their chariot may not last through the night. He grimly considered the prospect of bunkering down for the night with no suitable shelter.
A woman’s gentle voice broke him from his reverie. “It’ll be alright,” she spoke.
Grenn looked up from his book to his current traveling companions. For a moment, he thought the robed woman had been talking to him. But alas, her attention remained focused on her two children, a pair of young boys that worked to cram themselves even tighter against their matron as lightning flashed to the chorus of thunder. The redheaded lady – bearing a kind face worn by age and stress – never seemed to falter with her optimism in the three days their small caravan had been traveling the road to Woodrun. Especially now, against nature’s forces, Grenn admired her ability to keep her children in check despite their turbulent circumstances.
And yet, they had only spoken maybe once or twice since the journey began. Grenn was quick to notice her face falter when she spotted the spellbook tethered across his shoulder. The young wizard figured that she, like many throughout the countryside, had a predisposition against arcane mysticism. His suspicions seemed proven just hours ago after he cast a simple cantrip, summoning a small collection of twinkling lights to help him find his book tucked away in his bag. The lights inside the wagon illuminated the woman’s anxious expression, and Grenn was mindful to keep his luminescent spheres toward his side as he persisted their presence for the sake of his own nerves.
Seeming to notice that he was looking at her, the woman looked up from her children for only a moment, offering Grenn an uneasy smile before lowering her head to hum her children a wistful lullaby. Her song was interrupted briefly as the wagon again bucked against the mud-soaked road, jostling a few crates and a clatter of supplies across the wagon bed. Grenn turned his attention to the head of the cart as if hoping to see some sort of sign that this ride was coming to an end. Alas, only Alec’s back greeted him, as their caravanmaster’s attention was presumably focused on the road ahead – and less on the silvered iron flask that the man had seemed to taken a liking to in the last hour.
Grenn was soon bumped back into place by the cart, though he caught himself before his book landed in any damp spots or puddles. Pulling his dampened hood further over his head, the wizard mumbled a few words and flicked his wrist, conjuring a renewed quartet of dancing lights to guide his reading for but a minute before they would fizzle away to nothing. It was the thirty-seventh time he cast the spell – Grenn kept count as a manner of amusement. He tried to stay positive – it’s good practice, he told himself, though conjuring the starry pyres was through a spell he’s known since he was only a boy.
The shimmering spheres hovered over the pages of his tome, accompanying him on a most troublesome study of demonology. Grenn borrowed the tome from Vaedreth’s vast library following his graduation, bearing a strong curiosity regarding the mannerisms of Midara, a breed of demons from the outer planes. Whereas beasts and monstrosities ravage with strength and fear, Midara – beautifully deadly – prey on the weak-minded mostly through beguiling seduction, capable of destroying cities and alliances with their wit and charm.
“They are the most fearsome threat of our age,” they would say at the academy. And with word of increased sightings in the last year, Grenn thought himself mindful to learn what he could, the words of his professors stuck on his mind.
His studies ended another twenty-three incantations later as the horse-drawn wagon reined to a rough stop. Grenn anxiously slid his lore book to his satchel and scuttled to the back of the wagon, quickly climbing into the night well before the mother had even begun to organize herself and her children. Grenn let his lights fade to nothing as he settled into the mud and sop, taking in his surroundings. He watched as two other wagons slugged and sloshed up the trodden path to catch up to Alec’s lead wagon. Grenn’s mouth thinned as he squinted through the storm, looking past the second wagon and toward the darkened wooded path that they traveled. Whereas the caravan started with four, they were now down to three.
Grenn could nary linger long in the storm. He rounded the side of the wagon and looked ahead to their destination, expecting to see the sweeping farmsteads and rustic huts that characterized the charming village of Brannon. His frown deepened when he saw the muddy path turn to cobblestone road toward a wooden gatehouse protecting a small township visually unfamiliar to Grenn much to his malcontent. He barely noticed Alec slide to the side of his vigil to peer at him from around the wagon canopy, the horse’s reins still clenched in his hands with rain smattering his thick, bearded features.
“What’re ya doing?!” Alec hollered over the roar of nearby thunder. “Get back on the cart!”
Grenn had to squint to get a good look at the tavernmaster through the heavy rain. He held his ground, slightly flustered. “I thought we were heading to Brannon!” he cried, drawing the hood of his cloak close to cover up from the rain. “Where are we?”
Flashes painted Alec’s face, revealing a stoic hardiness befitting a traveled man. He met Grenn’s gaze evenly. “Gwendelvere!” he barked. “Gotta get outta this storm! Now get your ass back in the cart!”
The leathery man turned away without a word from Grenn, whipping the reins with a frustrated grunt. The wagon horse obliged to Alec’s command and began to trot forward one passenger lighter for only a moment. Indeed, Grenn tried to move quickly to catch up, mindful not to slip into the sinking mud and muck. He clambered back into the wagon with a struggled heave, falling at the feet of the mother and her two children. They only watched as Grenn groaned back to his original position dejectedly into a renewed puddle of rainwater and restlessness. And yet the cart trudged onward, stopping only for a gruff gatekeeper before rocking its way to the Gwendelvere stables, oblivious to Grenn’s uneasy thoughts.
If the crowd at the Cutler Lodge was any indication, Grenn’s was not the only traveling party forced off the road by the storm.
The wizard was mindful of his pockets as he moshed his way through the bustling abode, surrounded at all sides by all manner of folk. Clouds of pungent pipe smoke thinned the air and gave the room a swirling jovial haze. The droning chatter told their stories all at once as the Cutler’s denizens lost themselves to laughter and drink, the troubles of the day’s journey ebbing away through ale and burning liquor. Grenn was vaguely aware of a familiar presence behind him. Indeed, the mother pushed and bumped her way as well toward the head of the inn at the bar, all the while holding her two children deathly close to her body. Like Grenn, she made her way to the Cutler at Alec’s recommendation after disembarking not five minutes prior.
“We’ll leave at first light, get back on the road once the storm passes,” he had grumbled at the stables, taking another swig from his seemingly bottomless flask. “You can take a load off at the Cutler. Say hi to Nance for me.” The grizzled man regarded the other caravaners with a knowing nod as they passed. If he was concerned that they were one wagon short, Grenn couldn’t pick up on it.
“What about the rear wagon?” the young man asked. He looked over his shoulder and back out toward the gatehouse, as if expecting the lost wagon to file in at that moment. Nothing. His gaze turned back to Alec. “I haven’t seen them since we passed the Timbers a few hours back.”
Alec, leaning lazily against the worn wheel of his weathered wagon, merely shrugged as he brought a hand to his belt. His hand breezed over the handaxe at his hip, instead favoring a small satchel tethered to his belt. From it, Alec retrieved a small stone the size of a fist, and Grenn was well familiar with the arcane rune branded into the grey. The rock was enchanted to transmute messages once per day.
Alec nonchalantly flipped the stone in his hand with a heavy sigh. “That was Kale’s wagon. I lost ‘em in the storm,” he said. Grenn picked up a bit of helplessness in his voice. “I told him where we landed, where we’re goin’ next. Haven’t heard back.” He paused as he bobbled the stone on an errant toss, nearly losing his feet in the process as the drink caught up to his senses. “Kale’s a tough son of a bitch, though –and there ain’t much we can do in this shit.” A crash of thunder shook the stables, sending the horses into a light panic. Alec grumbled, as if cursing the timing. “Just get some rest,” he said, pushing himself up to tend to his own steed. “We’ll get to Brannon as promised, don’t worry. I got places I gotta get to, too, ya know. Hot date, can’t be late.”
He paused with a wry smile as he brushed a calming hand through his horse’s mane. “Hot date, can’t be late,” he mumbled, seeming to savor the rhyme. “Heh. Not bad.”
Alec’s words were far from Grenn’s mind by the time he found his way to the inn’s head. He squeezed his way to the bar between the backs of a particularly large half-orc and a human man Grenn had nearly mistaken as the half-orc’s brother or relative given his physique, though both regarded his presence as if his wiry frame was but a slight nuisance. Catching his breath, Grenn awkwardly hoisted his hand to catch a barkeep’s attention, be it a busybody elf delivering drinks at a rapid pace or a particularly chatty human woman at the other end. They paid him no mind.
“This storm shit ain’t so bad!” a man behind Grenn boasted to his lively buddies. “We thought about pullin’ the wheels up and ridin’ here like a boat!” His boasts paused for a laugh from the group as he took a swig of sloshing ale. “Would’ve liked to see one of those Midara bitches, though. Brought us some warm company eh, lads?”
Another round of laughter. “They’re saying there’s a pretty large bounty on one – the so-called ‘Kitsune,’” a second gruff man said behind Grenn, who turned his head slightly to better pick up on the conversation. “Heard she’s been hitting merchants on their way back from Hertz.”
“What do they got with them? Gold? Jewels?” said another man, seeming to scoff at his own notion. “Hertz is a fishing hole. Ain’t nuthin’ there but bait and scales.”
The first man chortled. “Heh, you should see the barmaids down there. Faces ain’t much, but they got tits the size of my –!”
His attention elsewhere, Grenn nearly lost his breath as he was shoved hard in the back by a stumbling passerby, jamming him into the wooden bar. The young man nearly lost his feet, but braced and kept his hood fixed over his head.
“Careful there, hun,” a cheerful voice chimed to his right. Grenn looked to the brunette woman behind the bar to see that she was staring at him with a pair of cat-like green eyes. Her smile was as lively and boisterous, seeming to feed off the attention some of the men gave her. She waited expectantly dressed in a tight attendant’s tunic with her brown hair tied back.
“Kind of young for a drink, aren’t you?” she teased as she set her elbows down, leaning forward against the bar. She seemed immune to the chaotic atmosphere that was the Cutler that night, though whether it was because she was behind the bar or if it was just her natural personality, Grenn couldn’t say. “Then again, you look you could use one. Poor thing; you’re all soaking wet.”
Grenn felt his cheeks grow slightly hot as she looked him over. Skilled as he was in other areas, talking to women was never taught in the academy. “I, ah, I need a room,” he started, but slowed as the woman leaned forward as if to better hear him over the loud raucous. “I need a room!” He mentally berated himself – awfully demanding tone, you twit – which left him stuttering to finish the request. “I-is there – er, are
there any available?”
The woman beamed at him and bounced off the bar with a spry step before looking beneath the wooden setting in front of her. She was quick to reach a dull iron skeleton key with a tag tied to the loop by a small string – Grenn caught the number ‘8’ on the parchment. She spun the key by her finger and offered him a wink.
“You’re lucky,” she smirked, catching the key with a quick flick of the wrist. “Last one we have. It’s yours for ten gold.”
A loud part of Grenn’s mind grumbled over the notion of paying ten gold for a single night’s stay. A very
loud part. But with his body pressed between an orc and a hard place after hours riding in a stormy, cramped cart, Grenn was quick to reach into his coinpurse.
He was happy to find it was still there as he retrieved ten gold coins. He gingerly set them to the bar, only to watch them disappear in a single smooth motion from the barkeep. She set the key in the same place with a smile.
“You need anything else, hun?” she asked, glancing over her shoulder at the wines and spirits racked behind the bar. Grenn shook his head. “Well then, enjoy your stay!” She pointed to her left at a set of stairs. “Make sure you come down for breakfast, yeah?”
Grenn stumbled through his reply – some sort of mix between “thank you” and “I will” – but the woman didn’t seem to hear him, having already bounced away to the next patron. He slid away from the bar and began to weave around the inns various parties, whether they were rain-soaked travelers, table-bound poker players, laughing socialites. He had nearly reached the stairs…
“Think we just sold the last one, I’m afraid, ma’am.” Grenn idly turned toward the conversation, seeing a slick man in a disheveled, but dapper tunic – a manager, maybe – speaking to Grenn’s redheaded traveling companion. Her two boys seemed a bit more relaxed, distracted by all the different things and strangers moving about the room. The mother’s sullen attention, meanwhile, was fixed on the man before her, who wore a calm, indifferent expression. “I’d point you to The Lord Peasant in Gwendelvere’s lovely south end.” When speaking of the place, the sarcasm in his voice was thick; the mother’s blanched expression seemed to tell the rest. “I’m sure you’ll be able to find…someone…to accommodate you…”
The attendant’s attention seemed to have been drawn away toward Grenn, making the young man nervous that he had been caught staring. But when the innkeep flashed a wink and a smirk toward him, Grenn was hardly surprised to hear a few giggles behind him. He glanced over his shoulder at a pair of twittering, lovely ladies cornered in a booth dressed in loose gowns – perhaps the man’s VIPs, since they managed to score such a large table to themselves with a bottle of very expensive-looking wine.
The ladies winked and blew loud kisses from their flirty vigil, which the man then took as his cue to leave. He skirted past the mother and her children and snaked his way through the crowd, blowing past Grenn and quickly finding his way back to the booth between his female companions. Grenn looked back toward the mother, who seemed lost in her thoughts for a brief pause – there was a foreboding shade to her eyes, whether from preparing to head back out into the storm…or perhaps something worse, Grenn wasn’t sure. The moment passed as she composed herself and wrangled her children, trying to guide them through the crowds and out the door.
Grenn was waiting for her halfway there.
She was surprised to see the hooded fellow again so soon, thinking quickly that he looked awfully shady with his hood up and a spellbook tucked away at his side. But there he stood, holding out a dull iron skeleton key – number 8 – toward the mother with a resolved expression. The redheaded woman was taken aback, her mouth slightly agape as words failed her.
“’Scuse me…sir?” her youngest said to her left, holding her mother’s dress with a tight grip. “Can you…can you do the lights again?”
Looking down to the young freckled ginger, Grenn chuckled lightly at the boy’s curiosity. He had forgotten how impressionable children were.
“Maybe next time,” Grenn said with a shrug. He then offered the key to the young boy, who looked to his mother for some sort of approval. There was a pause, again – perhaps surprised that her son had asked about this stranger’s abilities – but then a nod, and the boy unlatched from his mother to grab the key with both hands.
Grenn watched wistfully as the mother’s stress seemed to melt from her body. His smile slightly faded at the thought of his own prospects, but he shrugged them off and embraced the momentum. Turning on a heel without even a goodbye, Grenn moved much more quickly than he had entered through the Cutler’s cozy customers. The storm welcomed him again as he stepped out the door, and he began his slosh through the puddled cobblestone off to the south end.
Not even Grenn’s strongest magic could fix what ailed his eventual hotel room.
Indeed, the only “fixing” incantation he knew had no effect on smells, including the rank, sweaty stench purveying most of The Lord Peasant. Nor could his spells repair a completely shattered bedpost that caused Grenn’s bed to tilt off-kilter to his right side. And yet there he was, laying awkwardly atop sheets that may or may not have been washed in the last three months – he wasn’t quite sure.
His mind was elsewhere, his wandering thoughts dancing with the dim, flickering candlelight. The dying glow showed just how uneven some of the floorboards were, though left shadows over the room’s far corners – likely residences for a mouse or two in the recent past.
Grenn giggled at the thought of mousy neighbors. He was feeling rather silly at that moment. “How did I even get upstairs?” he thought to himself with a dopey grin, his eyes a bit glazed. The mystery compelled him to mentally revisit his circumstances. One thing was clear: He did not regret his decision to give up his stay at the Cutler.
Rather, the folks he saw downstairs in the Peasant’s sluggish first floor became loopy caricatures in his floaty candlelight visions. He started with the warty waitress, welcoming him with only a gruff grunt and a jerky point to a table with her pudgy fingers. The innkeeper himself followed: an elderly dwarf who looked perhaps a bit too surprised that someone wanted a room in the first place. He even offered Grenn a drink – “Blended it meself,” the innkeeper cackled with gaps to his smile – but the wizard politely declined, opting for water instead. As he waited for his drink, Grenn scanned the room and the few people left there that troubled night.
Three rugged men sat solemnly at one table with a deck of cards, though the game they played was unlike any Grenn had seen before. Beyond them, a hooded man – perhaps a bit more, maybe even a half-orc – minded his business with a flagon of ale, sipping every so often before staring straight ahead, seemingly mulling something deep in his mind.
It all made the giggling women in a far corner booth stick out like sore thumbs.
They were off in their own little world, veiled by the remnants of dying torchlight. One of the women was a warrior – unless her metal cuirass was just for show. The armor, a dull, rusted gray, was covered by a tabard colored purple with gold trimmings. Her skin was a dark like chocolate, certainly not as dark as her hair – cut short, he assumed, to keep from her eyes in battle. She looked strong; Grenn guessed the large two-handed hammer resting outside the booth was hers as well. A scar ran across the bridge of her nose, but she was long past caring about that – or much of anything, really. Not with a flagon of mead in one hand and her other arm tucked around such a winsome companion nibbling at her earlobe.
The warrior’s shuddering response seemed to make her friend pleased. She wore much less confining attire of simple make, yet composed with elegance. Indeed, her white cloth shirt was baggy, yet cut low enough to reveal large, fair-skinned breasts pushed high by a silky bra beneath. Letting her long cherry locks drift and wave at her shoulders, the woman smiled almost with a mischievous delight, as if she knew how captivating she was, whether it was her cleavage or her twinkling blue eyes, somehow shining like jewels across the room. Or her lovely red lips that glistened with a light, vibrant gloss. Every so often she would pucker, smirking, her eyes never leaving her armored friend as she brought her hands to her friend’s face, pulling her lips close…and capturing them in a long, deep kiss that seemed to make the ebony woman melt deeper into the corner of her booth with a soft, giggling sigh.
Grenn blinked several times to free himself from his sudden captivation. His face grew hot as self-awareness took hold. Staring. Good lord. “Did they notice?” he thought to himself in a fright.
Slightly panicked, Grenn sought to act natural, taking a far-too-deep gulp of his drink. He immediately grimaced – the water certainly had a funny taste to it. Pushing the tankard away in slight disgust, Grenn’s attention focused again on the others in the bar, but he found his muses scarce. One by one, the patrons in the bar slowly departed, whether to their abodes in The Lord Peasant or back out into the storm to wherever their lives truly were. Even the barkeep and his waitress had departed for the night, leaving only the pair of women and Grenn, who shuffled awkwardly in his barstool as he had considered his next move.
There was something discomforting about the notion of heading to his room, for the corner booth was in a tight spot for him: Right next to the small hallway that led to the stairs to his room. Getting to sleep meant passing the pair, but something – he decided it was general courteousness, as to not interrupt their sexual ministrations – held him back, but for only a few moments in his lonesome.
Rather, Grenn found himself chancing more and more glances toward the lustful pair, perhaps looking for an opening – they must be leaving soon, he told himself. With nothing to do with his hands, Grenn turned slightly and watched over his shoulder, observing the scene…particularly, the sultry vixen who, by then, had nestled very closely to the armored lass to kiss the bass of the woman’s neck. Her lover, leaned back a pleasant victim of her armor’s weight, was spread dazed and gasping as her lover kissed her neck with slow, deliberate smooches in all the right places.
Grenn shifted his body for a better look, still careful not to stare. The ebony woman was now lounged back, eyes closed in relaxed contentment as her companion fiddled with the straps of her armor. By then, her bracers had been forgotten on the booth’s table as the warrior was slowly stripped of her belongings. With a gentle tug, the redhead removed the woman’s tabard and worked quickly on the breastplate with practiced fingers. She gently blew the hair out of her eyes – sparkling strands that noticeably twinkled in the firelight and captured Grenn’s gaze. She spoke softly to her lover, and Grenn found himself straining to hear over the rumbling thunderstorm that shook the Peasant to its studs.
“Hey now, sweetie…” she purred, her luscious lips slowly inching into a smooth smile. “I can’t give you my special massage with all that metal on you, can I?” She grinned with a cutesy giggle. “You’ll feel so awesome after…like you’re floating on soft, sleepy clouds. How’s that, Eftala? Doesn’t that sound nice?”
Whomever she was, Eftala seemed to be enjoying herself. She moaned a soft affirmative as her armor was finally removed without the slightest fuss. The redhead gently placed it aside beneath the table without even looking in Grenn’s direction. Rather, her eyes were locked on the dark-skinned beauty before her now only dressed in a simple cloth undershirt and padded leggings. She reached somewhere beneath the table – out of Grenn’s sight – and quickly retrieved a small accessory: some sort of lip gloss.
She unfurled the cap and applied a renewed shine to her plump lips with light strokes, humming a soft, slow melody to herself as she readied. She soon finished with a soft smack of her lips, setting the gloss aside to focus herself on Eftala, leaning forward onto the woman’s now loose body. The woman was deliberate with her movements, sliding her breasts gently up Eftala’s chest in a rising motion, stopping only as she met her lover’s own lips with a soft, soft gentle kiss. Quickly the kiss grew more impassioned as the woman climbed onto Eftala’s eager lap and continued her kiss, her hands now planted against the sides of Eftala’s face as the women drowned in pleasure.
By then, Grenn had turned completely in his stool, his slumped arms resting on his thighs as he stared in their direction. The wizard, realizing where he was with the armored woman’s loud laughter, nearly fell from his stool to break from his curious vigil. Even with the loud squeak the stool made against the wooden creaky floor, the pair of lovers remained in each other’s arms – seemingly oblivious to the wizard’s presence. It all led to the young man’s grand idea.
“They look distracted,” his mind reasoned. Distracted. He snorted. That’s quite the understatement. Then again, his rationale brought him relief – his opening! What fortune! “Maybe now’s the time…”
He hardly finished the thought, rising from his stool with uplifted spirits. Excitement welled inside him as he began to take slow steps toward the table. The feelings surprised him. “Didn’t know how much I wanted to go to bed,” he thought idly, watching the pair of ladies all the while.
Grenn was halfway to the table when the woman broke her kiss with a fit of giggles. She dismounted Eftala who, after breaking the liplock, broke into breathy, loopy laughter with quite the dopey expresson on her face.
“That…was amazing…” she sighed as her arms flopped helplessly to her sides. Her head remained leaned back against the seat of the booth, staring at the ceiling with half-lidded eyes, her face flushed. “Maybe…maybe we s-should go to…t-to my…” Eftala stumbled over herself, caught in a great, big loud yawn. “…my room?” she continued. “I…I can barely keep…my eyes…”
The redhead seemed not to be listening to her lover as she applied another coat of translucent, shimmering lip gloss. She took her time with this one, slowly sliding the brush back and forth across her lovely red lips, smirking with satisfaction when she was finished. She then retrieved her long-stemmed pipe with a sly look to her eyes.
“In a sec, sweetie,” she chimed, biting her lower lip as she idly nudged her fingers to wave the stem of her pipe before her eyes. She then turned slightly to her right and looked Grenn dead in the eye as a triumphant grin then spread across her face. “Looks like we have ourselves a sleepy little guest!”
It took a moment for Grenn to realize what she was talking about.
He felt completely relaxed staring at the redheaded beauty – just less than a foot from her table. He felt light-headed as thoughts deserted him, while his body swayed ever-so-gently beneath her mischievous gaze. He was pleased with himself. It took a lot of courage to walk over, but Grenn certainly felt it was all worth it to get a closer look at the woman. Indeed, from the bar, he couldn’t take in the full beauty of her form. His eyes drifted between her deep, enthralling cleavage and her face, particularly her pouty, smirking lips.
Was there somewhere he had to be? He couldn’t remember.
“Hiya,” she chimed. She cutely propped her head up with her left arm. Her other hand toyed idly with her beautiful hair. “My name’s Dream. What’s your’s, sweetie?”
To his amusement, Grenn found his thoughts awfully loud in his own mind. “What kind of name is ‘Dream?’” he mulled to himself. His smile grew a bit wider as the thought lingered. “What a weird girl.”
The silence lingered as the storm continued to patter against the walls of the Peasant. Grenn felt even giddier to see Dream’s grin grow even wider. He caught himself slightly: What did she ask again?
Dream pushed herself to the edge of the booth and closer to the wandering Grenn, raising her hand toward his body. Her fingers glided over his chest. Tingling sensations danced across his body even through the material of his clothes at her gentle touch. Dream’s dainty hand painted massaging circles over his abdomen, causing hairs to stand up on the back of his neck.
“Look at you…so tired…” she cooed. “Isn’t my spell absolutely dreamy?”
Hearing the word “spell” may have shaken Grenn out of his reverie at any other moment, but the woman stole any thoughts from him with a swift, sudden grasp of his groin. She cupped his member with her soft touch that paralyzed him in place. Grenn’s voice locked into the back of his throat as his eyes went wide at the sudden, pleasurable pressure on his private parts. Dream seemed pleased.
for such a young guy,” she purred, sizing him up with her fingertips. She licked her lips. “It’s too bad I have things to take care of. Otherwise we would’ve had the best slumber party, hun.”
Dream tightened her grip around Grenn’s member, sliding her grip up and down through his pants. For whatever reason, Grenn didn’t feel too bad about the notion of a missed slumber party.
“But I’ll tell you what, hun,” Dream said with a smirk. She leaned forward a bit, and Grenn’s felt himself tighten further in her grasp at the sight of her captivating cleavage. Her smirk widened on her puckered, shining mouth. “How would you like a kiss goodnight?” She licked her lips, smacking them with a light, persuasive sort of smooch. “I promise it’ll be amazing –you’ll feel super floaty and warm and so, so sleepy.” Her voice then grew deep and seductive, silky like wine. “I’ll make sure you have the sweetest of dreams…”
Eftala, who seemed to have dozed off with the exchange, awoke with a light snort, gazing sleepily at Dream and her catch. There was a dopey grin on her face as her eyes struggled to focus on Grenn through layers of intoxication. “Who’zat Dream?” she slurred. Her head lolled backward against the wooden booth bench. She looked incredibly comfortable regardless. “We havin’ a threesome tonight or somethin’?”
Dream chuckled lightly at her lover’s assumptions. “It’ll just be us tonight, Ef,” she chimed, though her eyes remained on the dazed Grenn. “Our boy was just heading back to his room for a lovely sleep, now…weren’t you, baby?”
She tightened her grip around his hardened member, causing it to throb in her grasp. Through his pants, she began to rub him slowly up and down, up and down, up and down, beaming at the boy’s reaction. Grenn’s mind was a full mess as he shuddered with a pleasure he’s never felt in his life. He couldn’t answer even if he wanted to – and staring into her eyes that night with her hand around his groin, Grenn just nodded, content with agreeing with whatever she said. Just as long as she didn’t stop…
Dream giggled and released her grip, bringing her hand to the chest of Grenn’s shirt. She pulled him down gently toward her face, though stopped just a few inches apart. Her perfume tickled his nose: A strong floral scent, something like lavender.
“Well, then. Off to bed, honey. It’s way
past your bedtime, after all,” she said with a lick of her lips. Grenn could only watch with a dulled sort of expression as Dream teased him with soft, hot breaths that danced against his mouth and paralyzed his body in place. It was her eyes, however, that seemed to capture his gaze with a lustful stare, keeping him completely focused on her beautiful form and nothing else. Not Eftala floundering against sleep in the background. Not Vaedreth or that silly little book he borrowed from there.
At that moment, it was just Grenn and his Dream.
With a wink and a smirk, Dream claimed him. “Say goodnight…” she cooed.
She closed the distance with a soft, soft kiss against his lips, planting the taste of strawberry heaven against his mouth. Dream worked slowly and sweetly into the kiss – it was gentle and loving, her mouth caressing him with the force of feathery pillows on a sleepy, sleepy night.
After several seconds, however, it was over, and Dream broke the kiss with a gentle release, nudging the dazed Grenn backward, but kept her hand caressing across his groin.
He opened his eyes just as she pursed open her lips with a plump pucker, releasing a thick soft cloud of hazy pink smoke that swallowed his face whole, enveloping his senses with a candy sweet scent. The thick cloud made him cough slightly as Dream held him steady for that moment, trapping him within the smoke – making sure he breathed enough for her liking.
Through it all, Grenn felt his lips grow numb and tingly with the sensational remnants of her lips. Each breath of the smoke caused his world to sway and spin at syrupy speed, blurring all around him except the beautiful honey gazing at him, an expectant smirk dressed across those beautiful lips. His body felt entombed in molasses. As each second passed, Grenn felt the numbing sensation of her kiss spread with the taste of strawberry lipstick from his mouth and across his entire body. He grew number and lighter…drowsier and drowsier…so heavy....Every breath of the smoke further fogged his thoughts, the sweetness compelling his eyes to droop further…and further shut…
Somewhere, Eftala was laughing, though she sounded so far away. “Ha! Look at him!” she giggled. “He’s completely wasted!”
Dream, however, sounded much, much closer. "Aw...look at you..." she taunted. She gently swayed him back and forth, deepening his dazed dizziness with gentle tugs at his groin. "You're completely intoxicated. Guess it's time for bed, hun!" She pursed her lips, puffing another pink smoke ring into his face for good measure. “Sweet dreams!” she chimed with a wink, her voice dripping with confidence.
Softly, she pushed Grenn from their table, sending him stumbling backward out of the swirling cloud and into the hallway doorframe where he caught himself, but barely. He didn’t think much about the exit – bed sounded far too much like a good idea for him to be bothered by thinking. Everything happened so quickly as the sound of Dream’s light laughter quickly faded into but a memory repeating in Grenn’s mind.
He was engulfed in a sea of drowsy intoxication. He could barely keep his eyes open as he slogged his way to somewhere. There were stairs…another hallway…a door…a bed…sweet dreams…the phrase clouded Grenn’s mind and wouldn’t let go as Grenn’s thoughts became all about Dream…sweet Dream…he lost himself in the lingering visions of her beautiful form…the entrancing sound of her voice…her captivating eyes and breasts…the sensation of her lips as she kissed him…his hand drifting downward into his pants…
Grenn suddenly snapped back to reality at the crash of rumbling thunder. He felt hot, flushed – and startled, finding that his hand wrapped around his flaccid member.
He immediately noticed that he was without his pants, which were roughly discarded across the floor and nearly out his sight. Further, Grenn found himself slightly stunned at the sight of his dried…remains. At a point he could not very well remember, Grenn must have ejaculated, though the slight visible dampness to the mess between his legs offered only a slight hint of how much time had passed.
The candlelight around him certainly seemed very dim – he must’ve passed out. His breathing slowly settled as he tried to calm himself, reviewing the night in his head. There was no escaping the images of the girls in the corner – particularly Dream, that ravishing redhead. But there’s no way that could have happened unnoticed, right? Right?
He strived for a logical explanation. There were the odd fellows about the tavern…the water? Could it have been drugged? The more Grenn thought about it, the more he wondered if his “water” was even water at all, but some sort of alcoholic concoction. “Maybe…it was a hallucinogen…?” he said to himself.
He settled back onto the bed, his thoughts dancing with the candlelit shadows against the ceiling. The explanation seemed to sooth his senses, so much so that he found himself revisiting his lovely dream. His shock and confusion ebbed away as Dream’s words again echoed in his mind, taking him on a pleasant daydream that eased his body like a soft massage. His nose tickled with the phantom scent of her perfume and smoke. The feeling of her lips felt so, so real against his even after waking. It was all enough to cause Grenn’s member to stir once again. His thoughts beckoned the question: “How did I even get upstairs?”
But Dream was…only a dream, he told himself. Shaking his head and gulping some air with a few deep breaths, Grenn tried to take his mind off the sultry woman and worked to focus on something else.
His mind didn’t take long to drum up visions of sweeping, grassy hills and riverside farmland with wild horses and summer festivals. Indeed, home is where the heart is.
He thought of Gyre – his little village – and wondered if Dann had also returned just as he had promised all those years ago. His brother was always keen to make a dramatic entrance. He thought of father, though didn’t linger too long – not out of distaste, but rather the opposite, for the thought of his father’s baked goods was too much for his wanting stomach to bear. Visions of Grenn’s mother came last that night, as the young man thought only of her face, smiling and proud to see him off to Vaedreth – halfway across the world and on the way to a much more magical journey than that of a simple baker’s son.
The thoughts were enough to distract Grenn from gauging the strength of his leaky roof against the rainstorm, And after nearly an hour or so of his comforting nostalgia, Grenn finally felt himself calming down after such a long night.
Though just as he began to ease into his bedding, a chance whiff of the air gave his consciousness pause. A sweet scent…a hint of lavender…and the sounds of soft footsteps slowly tiptoeing toward his door.
Dreamcatcher | Medium demon | Chaotic Neutral
HP: 24 (5d8) | Armor Class: 12 | Speed: 30 ft.
Strength: 10 (0) | Dexterity: 14 (+2) | Constitution: 11 (0) | Intelligence: 14 (+2) | Wisdom: 12 (+1) | Charisma: 19 (+4)
Skills: Stealth +4, Performance +6
Senses: Darkvision (60 ft.); passive Perception 9
Languages: Common, Elvish
Challenge: 1 (200 XP)Innate spellcasting:
The dreamcatcher’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). The dreamcatcher can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: Friends
3/day each: Mirror Image
, Charm Person
1/day each: Alter Self
, Pass without TraceTricky Copies:
The dreamcatcher gets advantage on all Performance skill checks while Mirror Image
“That’s it, hun. Just rest your head on my soft pillows.” Smother. Melee attack:
+2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit:
1 damage and the target must succeed on an Athletics check (DC 12) or is Grappled as the dreamcatcher smothers the target with her breasts. The dreamcatcher cannot take any other actions while a target is Grappled in this manner. While Grappled, the target takes 1 damage at the end of each of its turns as it runs out of breath and finds its strength slowly ebbing away with each passing second. The target can spend an action on its turn to attempt to free itself with an Athletics check (DC 12).
“Aw…what’s the matter? Feeling a bit sleepy?” Sleepy Smoke (Recharge 5-6):
The dreamcatcher exhales a thick, perfumed cloud of dizzying pink smoke in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 12 Constitution save or are Poisoned for 1d4 rounds. Creatures within 10 feet or less of the dreamcatcher that fail the save are instead rendered unconscious by the smoke for one minute. Creatures poisoned by the dreamcatcher’s Sleepy Smoke must make DC 12 Constitution saving throws at the start of their turns. On a success, they are no longer Poisoned. For results of 7 or lower, they are considered Stunned, too drowsy to act that turn.
“Isn’t it so…relaxing
to watch me dance?” Hypnotic Sway:
The dreamcatcher spends her action with a Performance check, flaunting her body in a seductive fashion. She sexily sways her hips and breasts at dazzling and entrancing angles to cloud the minds of creatures around her. Targets within a 20-foot radius of the dreamcatcher must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. The save’s DC is equal to the dreamcatcher’s Performance check. Targets that fail the save are Charmed for one round. Creatures that make the save cannot be Charmed in this manner again for one minute.
“Say goodnight, sweetie!” Goodnight Kiss. Melee attack:
+4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. The dreamcatcher’s attack has disadvantage when attacking a creature not afflicted by any status conditions or has more than half of its hit points remaining. Hit:
: Target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or is rendered unconscious for one hour by the dreamcatcher’s dreamy lipstick as she plants a deep, deep kiss on the target’s lips, lavishing the feeling of her targets slowly passing out in her embrace. The target cannot be awoken by any nonmagical means.
“Sweet dreams, baby!” Dream Catching:
As a bonus action, the dreamcatcher can read the thoughts of any one unconscious target that she touches. When she does, the target takes 1d6 psychic damage and remains unconscious as the dreamcatcher deepens the target’s sleep, perhaps toying with the creature for fun or sifting through the sleeper’s dreams for any information she may deem useful. Targets reduced to 0 hit points in this manner are considered stable and become entranced in a deep sleep filled with lustful visions of the dreamcatcher, remaining unconscious for 1d8 hours or until they are healed.