Every time Callum Grave stepped out of The Morphiomancers’ Guild into the cold winter air of The Dark Moors, he felt as though he were being reborn: escaping from a hazy, claustrophobic womb, riddled with vague fantasies into a clear, crisp world that never seemed more real than in that moment when the ancient, warped door creaked shut behind him. Though he had been their willing test subject for nearly two months, he knew he would never get used to the Dream Weavers’ stuffy little home. The rooms were dark and cramped, and the air was always thick with a dizzying variety of cloying incenses; and, the acolyte who had been assigned to studying Callum’s reactions to the new compound always put him on edge. He had refused to divulge his name, spoke very little and rarely opened his eyes, as though he was the one under the influence of sleep inducing drugs and not Callum. He had grown to loathe the purple eyes tattooed on the man’s eyelids, the marker which unified all Morphiomancers. They seemed to follow him around the room, narrowing and bulging every time the Acolyte moved a facial muscle. The new compound, Callum had been told when he first signed up for these trials, was designed to grant dreams of the sleeper’s single greatest wish. “Heart’s Desire”, the acolyte had called it. A cruel joke; today’s session had been more akin to a nightmare than a dream.
“A simple mistake”, the acolyte had told him when he had finally broken free of that hellish illusion, screaming and sweating, a wet patch spreading outward from his crotch and running down his thighs. “An impurity in the bottle led to a decomposition of the compounds, which altered the intended dream state.” Simple? Well that simple mistake was going to haunt Callum for the rest of his life.
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