Eyeballs Deep in Scarlet Emerald


Gambrel Manor, the Holy Ziggurat, and the Nine Orders of Witches

Jose Gabriel Alegria Sabogal

I had a dream of being indoctrinated into a sect of witches.  We were at the bottom of a large canyon, but one made into a pleasant modern street: there were street lights, quaint signs, wrapped up kiosks and carts.  People seemed to do business there, and it was daytime, but there was no one around except the aspirants of the sect.  Anyway, the group was led toward a ziggurat pyramid fashioned of natural stone blocks, some two stories tall.  When it was my turn, I was instructed to ascend the pyramid and look inside a shallow dish mounted at the top, where they told me a magical object waited.  It would change shape according to who looked at it, and reveal which of the nine orders of witches I belonged to.  

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Each of the orders had one or more of what was called Charismatic Powers, the typical abilities ascribed to witches.  The dish was mounted on a slim stone block, faded bronze below, silvered and polished on the inside, and there sat the object, what looked like a crystalline charm radiating bright white luminescence.  As I stared, it took shape and revealed my order.  The item took the shape of what looked like an open book, or a set of wings.  Mine was the Fifth Order, called Adabolath, and ours was the power of flight. This name and the information seemed to be delivered via mental knowing and seeing the name scribing itself in fine yellow-white sand beneath the object, which I was holding at one point.  I began to levitate and could guide myself at will through the canyon.  I went around exploring it and reveling in my new powers.  On one of the cliff paths, I saw a bright roan-colored horse with a black mane and a polished saddle made of gold, a beautiful animal, although whose it was I couldn’t say.  

I guess I was called back to the group, because the next thing I knew, we were headed off on a trip via old black cars to a large manor.

Edit: I've found out the type of car since they appear frequently in my dreams, a 1941 Mercury Coupe, always black. My padded psychopomp chariot awaits...

It was daytime and slightly overcast, the two-story building set at the top of a low hill with preened lawns, shrubs and large Southern trees, the Spanish Moss-draped kind you often see in the Panhandle or Alabama.  The manor itself was comprised of five connected two-story buildings with porches, gambrel projections, widow’s walks and cupolas, an old style residence which hooked around a central paved drive.  Some paths ambled off the main to various parts behind or around the grounds.  The whole seemed to have been added to and expanded, having started out as one building and now served as the office of a bed-and-breakfast.

Apparently, there was an objective during our stay, and there were lots of people staying here, maybe a dozen or more – all witches, although whether these were part of my sect or others I don’t know.  The object of our quest was to find a hidden grimoire (of course, heh!) and we could foil our competitors with wards, tricks, and other legerdemain. 

I remember being with two others at a window facing east, at the end of a hallway.  We could see the lawns and hedges directly beneath, but couldn’t see too far off because the moss covered trees blocked a larger view.  The “contest” took a more serious turn, however, because a large groundskeeper, presumably charmed by or working for our competitors, placed a ladder at the window and was climbing up to attack us.

We defended ourselves with garden/farm tools: no idea where we got them, I think a broom closet on the northern wall, but we menaced him with hoes, rakes, a shovel and a pitchfork.  When the gardener advanced too close, we started hurling the tools and someone threw the pitchfork through him, which skewered him through his torso and knocked him to the ground, but he still seemed unnaturally alive.  We fled and split up.  I went down a stairwell outside to the opposite end of the four southern buildings, wandering around for awhile.  I think I was just running blind, but I apparently was still determined to find the grimoire.  I saw an open two-story window with white gauzy curtains streaming out of it, so I used my powers of flight to go up and into it.  I could see it was a woman’s room by the trappings, and I peered at the personal items and magical charms along a dresser. I remember a large mirror backing it, but I don’t remember seeing myself. Then again, I didn’t stop to comb my hair...

            The woman seemed to be down the hall taking a shower, and I noticed a closet.  I went in and started parting the clothes, searching it.  I noticed the back wall was badly patched with sheetrock and plywood, possibly a secret compartment or entry to an access.  When I started to open it, I heard something stirring inside and a voice, what sounded like the gardener, who sounded well, too zombie-like for my tastes.  After the pitchfork incident and all this witchcraft, I assumed the worst and got the fuck out of there.

That’s all I can remember.