I had a dream tonight and sat down to write it. I tried to keep the writing simple so I won't mess up the memory of the dream so there isn't much editing or thought for fancy language stuff. I offer it as a story, as my dream offered it to me. This dream presents one of the deities in my D&D world: Queen of Sand ________________ There was a duke in the southern part of the kingdom. The Duke's lands were poor with minerals but fertile with crops and fruit and exported to the rest of the kingdom. The duke had a son and the son's name was Hakon. Hakon accompanied his father in his endeavors, absorbing the manners and transactions of court, business and politics as he grew to inherit his father. One day the duke fell under a curse and could no longer run his fief. When Hakon heard he stood in front of his father's councilor and the master of servants. He told them that he will find a way to lift his father's curse which meant he'll have to travel to far, to another kingdom. The duke's chief councilor and right hand took the duke's seat while the adolescent heir equipped himself as a warrior and took a horse to the castles' yard. He saw the master of servants and approached to great him before his departure. The man who helped treat the boy since birth offered a word of concerned advice - Hakon should go east to a nearby town and seek a man famous for being a local warrior named Waren, to enlist to his journey. Hakon took the advice and got on his horse. On his way out, just as he passed the gate, he felt the body of someone behind him. When he saw the hand that came over his shoulder and hung loose in front of him he relaxed, recognizing his friend Joey. The teen was always fast, preemptive and cunning. He pressed his face to Hakons' from the side opposite to the hand. "Where are you going?" the scrawny kid asked. The situation wasn't a secret and Hakon replied "To save my father." "Then I'm going with you!" Joey announced with a tone that meant to tease. Hakon knew better than to argue with the mindset of someone that nothing could stop if he decided he wanted it. And off they rode. On their way to the town on the east they went through a forest. There were no bandits in these parts and they rode with confidence. In the thickest of the forest a woman stopped them on the road, asking for help to save her home which wasn't far away. The request seemed strange at first but the two accepted. They soon found the monsters though, and fought their way to the monsters' nest, vanquishing their source. When they came back to where the womans' house was said to be they found an enormous hollow tree, and the woman waited for them with a pair of horses. She presented herself as Shearly and offered her services, claiming that since her home was now safe she and her forest magic could aid them. Hakon accepted the offer and the two became three. When they reached the town Waren was easy to find. Sitting in the bar they found a loud man who was short of stature but as thick as the two teenagers combined. Though balant Waren proved to be good natured as the rumours claimed and when hearing the duke needed his help he emptied his mug, grabbed the wide-bladed greatsword that rested at his side and joined the quest. Almost two years passed and the four were back after facing many perils and mysteries. Their return wasn't in vein - the duke was still alive, though he wasn't better than when Hakon left. That changed quickly when Hakon removed the curse. The news spread as fast as when the curse first came and a celebration was announced the next day. The day after the celebration the four sat in the castle yard, spending time together before they'll give in to their homes' calling. At some point Waren said that being so close to his town again made him feel weird. He walked away but barely made it through an archway when his body twitched, his hands grabbed at his stomach and he collapsed. His three friend hurried to his side. They dragged him from the shadows of the structure back the the table they sat at, but when they turned the veteran to his back the man who must've been the greatest warrior in their kingdom was dead. His face was of unblinking eyes, tense jaw and tight lips. The fair druid let her hand rest on her deceased friends' chest but even her magic was unable to sway the events. In tears, she told Hakon that there was nothing they could do. Joey didn't agree with her statement, no matter how knowledgeable she was. He pointed at her with the dagger he used to cut the bread from their lunch saying "No way! I saw something hit him! I saw it! We can't let it happen this way." Hakon thought about his friends' words. They were both right and he knew he had to give them his word in this. He squeezed Shearly's shoulder, turning her from her tears to look at him. "I'll look for a way." he promised both of them. Back in the castle the duke was sitting on his thrown again, catching up with everything he missed. Him and his advisers, who were happy to hear their lords' son and savior announced, fell to silence when they saw his face. Hakon approached the duke and quietly explained what happened. It was the councilor that replaced the king who replied. "There's someone..." His words trailed and he glanced to the duke "...Some... Thing. That can help you." The duke, spotting his servants' hesitation boomed "Speak!" The councilor continued "I've heard of a creature far in the desert, who can grant wishes. It is said to be a being so powerful it has its' own kingdom. We call her--" "The Queen of Sand." It was the Duke who finished what the councilor said. He seemed to stare into a blank space, remembering something from beyond the moment. "You will need a guide and an offering, and you will have to approach alone. I know a man, I will arrange for him to be here by evening." "My lord!" The councilor protested. The duke raised his hand in an order of silence and Hakon nodded "I understand father." The duke's eyes glittered with burden and restraint "Go. Follow your heart." After two months of travel Hakon and the guide reached the desert. The guide knew where to find the nomad clans and how to travel in this harsh environment. On their last stop they made sure to get as many water skins as they could carry and set off to the depths of the desert. They walked for days... Something made Hakon blink and retract from the trance of walking without saying a word for a few long days. His step felt difference somehow. He looked to the yellow sand and saw that his shoes sank deeper, the sand was softer. He looked around to see smooth sand around him, as though the wind didn't want to move it. In the sun, it looked like a blanket of yellow cream. "Wait for me here." He ordered the guide, took his pack off and kept one of the still full water skins with him. The well-tanned man nodded "Hurry my lord. There is no water in these lands." Hakon walked the rest of the day, and then through the night. He collapsed in the next day, his water skin empty. He woke up because he felt something against his skin. A movement of the sand. When he opened his eyes he saw a great spire of sand reaching to the sky untill it disappeared in a cloud. The sand was pouring down, spreading from the spire to it's surrounding. Hakon walked to the spire, his feet sinking deeper and deeper into the sand as he got closer and he had to plant his legs with every step so the moving sand won't sweep him away. When he got to the base of the spire he looked up to the sky, where a light, white cloud high up in the sky reached down to meet the spire, creating a hourglass shape. Different eyes met his. He saw a woman bigger than the biggest tree or tallest tower he'd seen hanging from the cloud, the cloud reaching after her and engulfing her body all the way to her shoulders as though holding her in the sky. Her skin was grey and rotten, her eyes black and red and her hair was long and straight as though being pulled up by unseen gravity. From a mouth that was too wide open for a human sand came pouring out like a waterfall. Thin, elongated arms with long fingers reached and moved around the sand as though weaving it. "You areee....." The words were a loud, rough whisper in his mind yet carried in the air, and the sand did not stop pouring from her mouth. They were beginning, compelling him to continue. The young warrior stood tall "Hakon, a son of a kingdom far away." He shouted, looking at the skinny, horrid, magnificent woman in the sky as though his words could go that far. However, the woman seemed to acknowledge his answer. "What do you seek, son of a kingdom far away?" "My friend died before his time. I seek to bring him back." He looked up. The distance between them combined with the hot air made everything blurry, but somehow his eyes kept in contact with hers as though pulled to her. "And what do you have to offer for his life?" Hakon reached to his neck and removed a fine pendant of platinum with a large blood-red gem. "This necklace is the keepsake of my bloodline. I offer it for his life." The Queen took a moment to observe the necklace. "Very well." A hand reached down and took the pendant. "It is done." Hakon bowed and thanked her, then took his leave and started his long way back. A day passed and the evening came. Hakon didn't have his skin with him and he found himself crawling, trying to make his way back. He was thirsty, more than he ever had been, and he was tired. The sand was warm and soft, inviting him to rest. He went on for as long as his strength allowed him, but his eyes didn't stay open to see the night. He took a deep, panicked breath. Something touched his face. It was freezing, searing, spreading to every pore on his skin. He saw a man clad in black haunching over him and holding a water skin. The guide sprayed more water on the mans' face, smiling "Your father will be proud." The water skin was at Hakon's lips before the sentence was done, the warrior coughed and tried drinking again, slowly this time. The guide took his leave when they got to the border of the duke's demesne and offered for Hakon to call him again if they needed his services, saying that not every man can meet the Queen. From there Hakon continued to the castle, to celebrate another saved life.