v) Abianarin did not dream

Abianarin did not dream. Her sleep was a vast black expanse, with the barest smudges and pinpricks of light and random intervals — impossible to see, scarcely perceptible at the edges of her senses. She floated in this space, an eternity of gentle, motionless rest, until some ancient part of her knew it was time to wake up.

She stretched, yawned, and packed her things. The others were already up, and each one looked haunted — but none moreso than Abia herself.

iv) Fassn slept the night through

Fassn slept the night through. His eldest sister came to him in a dream, her listless, ephemeral form barely distinguishable against the undulating plants that rose up all around them. Fassn blinked. He appeared to be on the sea floor.

“Good to see you again, my brother,” Qulya said. “How many years has it been?”

“Two decades or more,” Fassn said. “It’s good to see me? Now I know you’re lying.”

Qulya chuckled. Air bubbles escaped her mouth and bounced trippingly upwards, to some unknown surface. “Old Ajralan treating you well?”

Fassn scoffed. “He is a father, a son, a wizened old sage. He knows what’s up.”

“Ah, Fassn,” Qulya said, shaking her head. “The question is not what is up, but where.”

A sudden rush of insight came upon Fassn; long-sought illumination, at last! He sat bolt upright in his bedroll, awake and alert, breathing hard, but could not remember what his realization had been.

iii) When Shyan took over his watch

When Shyan took over his watch, Cang dreamed of a great, glowing emerald, flawed but beautiful, fogged, murky, and big as the hills. He stood at its base, which seemed to descend deep into the earth. He rapped at it with his knuckles.

It addressed him.

“Cang,” the emerald said. “Many are the riches meant for you. I am but a trifle. Understand?”

Cang’s eyes were vacant — a thin line of spittle escaped from his open mouth.

“Yes,” the emerald intoned. The air around it seemed to vibrate with the sound. “Riches sure are great, no?”

All Cang could do was nod, gently, his head bobbing up and down in delirious agreement. Outside the dream, he nodded in his sleep, and continued to do so until he was woken by the rest.