Recurring Dream - Death By Water

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All Echo Bazaar material is © Failbetter Games 2010, used by permission.

This page contains information that can be considered spoilers. You Have Been Warned.

Recurring Dream - Death By Water

This is one of the recurring dreams you can have from opportunity cards in Echo Bazaar. If you don't want it spoiled, don't read any further! Otherwise, this documents the progress of the dream and effects you may receive/suffer.

This set of dreams has a themes of drowning, a dirigible flight, a white desert, water and being cold. The description of the quality is "Dreams of drowning and worse".

Red-bordered cards

These cards will be automatically played if you have the action points spare. They require no choices and as far as I can tell, have no chance of "failure", so what you see is what you get. The number in brackets is the level of dream which unlocks the opportunity.

A dream about whispers

You dream that you're standing on the deck of a tall ship. It is night. Thunder rumbles in the sky, but the sea is flat as a mirror. From beneath the deck you hear a whisper, rising and falling: 'North...North...'

  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +

A dream about descending into darkness (1)

You dream that you're moving cautiously, a step at a time, down a steep flight of wooden steps from the deck of a ship to the darkness of the hold. One hand is on the wall: the other is in front of your face to ward off cobwebs. Thunder rumbles above. Below, a whisper rises and falls: 'North...North...'

  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +
  • Nightmares +
  • Fate +

A dream about the hold of a ship in a storm. (2)

You dream that you're staggering through a dark space, trying to keep your balance as the floor sways beneath you. Waves thunder and crash outside. You collapse sideways, on to what you think at first is a sack of wheat, until it suddenly moves beneath you, and whispers: 'North...North...

  • Fate +1
  • Nightmares +
  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +

A dream about being lost at sea (3)

You dream that you're sitting on a flat piece of ship's deck, on a calm sea, under a sky of brilliant stars. Heaped on the deck are piles of sand, silver in the starlight. You pick up half a handful and let it run through your fingers: and you see that someone has scratched on a deck, beside an arrow, the single word NORTH.

  • Nightmares +
  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +

A dream about a desert (4)

You dream that wading through thick dunes of white sand. It slips and sighs around your calves. You struggle up the slope of one dune: in the moonlight dunes extend much farther than you can see, calm as chess-pieces. You slide down the far slope of the dune, and water begins to well up through the sand, swirling around your feet, turning it to gritty mud. You fall to your knees. Water spurts from dunes all around you. In the sky above, the stars spell out a single word: NORTH.

  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +
  • Nightmares +

A dream about being lost at sea (4, Nightmares 6)

You dream that you're sitting on a flat piece of ship's deck, on a calm sea, under a sky of brilliant stars...

  • Fate +
  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +
  • Nightmares +

A dream about a night flight (5)

You sit in the gondola of a dirigible, looking out through the thick glass of the window at the moonlit scene below: utter devastation. A wreck of sand and mud, punctuated by splintered palm trees and floating scraps that might be bodies. But very calm in the white of the moon. You are safe above it in the luxurious cream and gold of the gondola. But it would be nice if there were someone else there. The dirigible purrs on, into the north.

  • Recurring Dream - Death By Water +
  • Nightmares +

White-bordered cards

These cards give you a choice when you play them, and you may opt out at no penalty. Once again, the number in brackets is the level in dream required to unlock the opportunity.

A dream about a dirigible (6)

You are sitting in the gondola of a dirigible, passing north above a flooded desert. The moon stands in the sky. It will never be day.

Stay where you are

It's getting colder. But the seat is very comfortable. Gold trim and cream leather. Doeskin, perhaps.

A lovely night

You sprawl across the seat and wait for someone to bring you wine. Or tea. Or even a glass of water. Come on. What are they waiting for? Your attention drifts. Someone has written NORTH in the condensation on the window.

  • 1 Fate
  • Watchful -
  • having Recurring Dreams: Death by Water +
  • Nigtmares +

Go and look for the pilot

It's getting colder. You can't be expected to wait here forever.

An eyeless scrutiny

As you walk north up the aisle of the gondola, the faces in the leather of the seats around you become apparent. They don't wail or scream. Nothing so gauche. They don't have any eyes left to watch you with. Nevertheless. You could ask for more talkative company. They leave you stammering. One of them mouths: NORTH.

  • Persuasive +
  • Watchful -
  • having Recurring Dreams: Death by Water +
  • Nightmares +

A dream about your home (7)

Back on the surface! How charming! The moon is rising outside your window! And all your dear familiar things around you. Warm firelight. Birdsong outside. It's been so long since you've heard birdsong.

But the view outside your window isn't right

The moon shines on a flooded desert. The waters lap around the wreck of a dirigible. The night breeze that flows through the open window is cold and salt and sad. Your stomach growls.

You begin to gather your things

It'll be a long journey, but someone has to do it. If you don't get up there, who else will arrange matters properly? You heft your luggage and leave a note on the table: GONE NORTH.

  • Nightmares +
  • having Recurring Dreams: Death by Water +

But the view outside your window isn't right

The moon shines on a flooded desert. The waters lap around the wreck of a dirigible. The night breeze that flows through the open window is cold and salt and sad. Your stomach growls.

  • Requires: Unaccountably Peckish 1

You begin to gather your things

It'll be a long journey, but someone has to do it. If you don't get up there, who else will arrange matters properly? You lick your lips. Perhaps you should take more supplies. You get hungry so drattedly quickly these days. You heft your luggage and leave a note on the table: WILL GO NORTH WHEN I FIND THE NAME.

  • having Recurring Dreams: Death by Water +
  • Nightmares +
  • seeking Mr Eaten's Name +
  • Watchful -
  • Persuasive -

Peril and pyjamas (1)

You come across a traveller in distress. Well, peril more than distress. He is dressed in elegant night attire and seems oblivious to his surroundings. He is about to walk into a bottomless mud-pit. You might save him. (Unlocked with having Recurring Dreams: Death by Water 1.)

Success:

Got you!

You grab the man moments before he plunges into the mud pit. He is obviously sleepwalking. He turns unseeing eyes on you. 'North!' he says. 'We must go North! We hunger so!' You guide him out of the marshes in a vaguely northward direction.

When he awakes, he is horrified by your tale. It turns out that he is a minor palace functionary, and he thanks you profusely and offers you future favours.

Dangerous +

Connected: Society + (mine went from 3 to 8!)

Failure:

Too late!

The man in the mud-encrusted pyjamas walks straight into the mud-pit and disappears with a sucking gobbling noise. You dive after him, but he's gone and you are left with soiled clothes and lungs full of sticky mud.

Royal Bethlehem Hotel Cards

These cards appear as opportunities in the Royal Bethlehem Hotel, where you go when you go mad.

The view from your room (1)

Tonight, the view from your room is of a waste of water stretching off to the polar horizon. On the very brink of the horizon, impossibly north, something blinks at you, painfully bright. An iceberg? An eye? You close the curtains and turn up the gas. It seems colder in here tonight.

  • Nightmares -