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That Time I Accidentally Dreamt a Heroquest Gone Wrong


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This is a dream story, so be warned if you hate those. Additionally, there is some pretty disturbing matter of gore further down, so please exercise reader discretion. 

I dreamt that I was in a group of people wearing mostly early medieval clothing (sorry, Jeff). We entered through a large wooden door into a longhouse or great hall. It was lined with wooden columns and arches, with knotwork woodcuttings on the walls. More a Roman basilica by way of Stave church than a proper longhouse. It was well lit, a warm, yellow light that flickered only slightly, with a long fireplace along the nave of the hall, lined with neatly masoned rocks. 

In there we were met by a number of beings, and I instinctively knew they were gods, though I only half-understood they were Orlanthi. They wore decorated tunics and coats and the like. Among them were some who had the heads of animals. A lion's head, a bull's head, and others. I know lions aren't in the Orlanthi pantheon, but this dream was already taking creative lincenses, so I couldn't exactly draw the line there. 

They wanted us to do something for them. After some conversation that I can't remember, we agreed. The gods then let us to a series of stone steps down into a cellar or dungeon. Filled with a heroic purpose we went down. I somehow knew in my heart that we were about to do something important, and it felt empowering. 

Down below, there were several iron-barred cells on either side, and inside I saw something that disturbed me a lot. This is where you might want to stop reading if you're uncomfortable with gore. The dream turns into a nightmare here, which is why I remembered all of this to begin with.


In the cells were infants and babies. I did not know why they were held there. I cannot recall whether they were distressed or not. There was something down there with us. I cannot remember whether it was one of the gods that we'd seen before, or whether it had been down here before us. It walked up to us, menacingly, and in its hands it held the corpse of an infant. The other gods came up behind us. They urged us to consume it. The body was treated in a way that was highly graphic and that I'll refrain from going into detail about, but it was deeply horrifying to look at. I felt panic surge through me as I moved away from the gods and the corpse. All around me the babies were now dead, as if ready to be eaten. I put my arms in front of my face and closed my eyes as tightly as I could. The urging to consume the body grew more intense and insistent, aggressively so, but also mockingly. I was unable to do anything other than shield myself, falling into a squatting position. I screamed no again and again to the figures surrounding me. It felt as if there was no way out. The image of the small, human corpses was burnt into my vision even if I shut my eyes shut. I kept shouting no again and again. 

Then I woke up. 

I must admit I had to do some soul-searching for why this kind of imagery would get into my dreams, and I'm not entirely sure why. Could be lots of things, I suppose. 

But as I thought more about it, it felt very Heroquest-like. A quest that I felt like I failed. Although thankfully my horrified reaction was at least better than at least one alternative. 

I guess I lost some sanity or courage test or something, and got kicked out of the Heroplane - to put it in gamey terms.

Have anyone else had similar odd experiences?

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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So, you failed to become an Ogre?

i have had two HeroQuesty dreams.

In the first, which happened before I started playing RPGs, I was in a cave with glowing red stone walls. I was wearing a grey uniform of some kind. In front of me, on a red couch, was a woman. I walked up to her, as a conquering hero. In my hand was a spear made of ash, with the spearhead as a carved shape from the ash. I stabbed her with the spear and took her powers.

In the second, I dreamed Yelorna's Unicorn Quest, in which Yelorna goes out to find a mount, tracks through the wilderness, avoid rapey storm worshippers, finds a unicorn, jumps on its back and rides it until they join in a moment of joy. However, I dreamed it as a series of black and white images, like the Red Goddess plates, which animated. I recently got Simon Bray to draw the plates for an upcoming Jonstown Compendium supplement.

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Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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Good interpretations here. 

I think, if I were to take this as the kernel of a story and write something, that the quest would be about deception in some regard. Orlanth's Hall was not Orlanth's Hall at all, but some kind of evil glamour. I only realized that too late to do anything about it, albeit just in time to preserve my basic humanity, or something like that.

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