Iridescence [The Prologue]

Iridescence [The Prologue]

An attempted CYOA based on a certain storybook game called Fallen London, as well as an assortment of other things like my interpretations and many deviations from canon. I apologize for the...Odd spacing, at times. I take no credit for any images used, nor the elements from Fallen London, only my OCs and my spin on things. In which you take the role of a Dreamwalker living in the Fifth City. Depending on how it goes, will depend on whether or not it continues.

published on September 142 responses 4 5.0★ / 5

Svapna Samsara. That was one word for...Your kind. One rarely used, but certainly there. Sometimes it was simply Samsarians. It was a word you heard of from long ago. Sanskrit, or something if you recalled. Svapna meant the Dream. Samsara meant....Many things. It meant a Wanderer, but it also meant the cycle of Life and Death.

Yes, you were a dreamwalker, one who tread the boundary of the conscious and subconscious. Or at least, one in halted-training. The last you've heard of your mentor before they suddenly disappeared, was that they were heading North. To where, perhaps one day you'd find out.

Svapna Samsara. That was one word for...Your kind. One rarely used, but certainly there.  Sometimes it was simply Samsarians. It was a word you heard of from long ago. Sanskrit, or something if you recalled. Svapna meant the Dream. Samsara meant....Many things. It meant a Wanderer, but it also meant the cycle of Life and Death. 

Yes, you were a dreamwalker, one who tread the boundary of the conscious and subconscious.  Or at least, one in halted-training. The last you've heard of your mentor before they suddenly disappeared, was that they were heading North. To where, perhaps one day you'd find out.
You couldn't care less as to what had happened, whether they were dead or alive. Sure, it'd certainly been an
adventure to find them, but their own actions had gotten them killed. They'd abandoned you, cut off all ties.
You'd be damned if you let the same thing happen to you, whatever that was.
You were regretful, that such a thing had happened. And as curious as you were, and as grateful to them for
teaching you, you weren't curious enough to risk life and limb to find them. Not when you had no idea what had
happened. Not at your current level of skill. You'd find out one day, though. One day.
It was unfortunate, but finding them was a task that was nigh impossible. And would be for a long time. For
now, you'd focus on your day to day life.
You were disappointed, but you weren't going to focus on one connection and try to save a damsel in distress,
not when you had other things to do. (They were far from being a damsel, you knew, but why bother with one
insignificant connection when you had many more to make?)
Your mentor was your guide, had been. And as selfish as it was, they weren't done yet. You'd find them.
Besides, they headed North for a reason, just what was so interesting about it?

The most skilled dreamwalkers could slip seamlessly into a slumbering mind, to subtly manipulate what was there, and temporarily blur the lines between reality, desire and illusion. Then they could leave as quickly as they came. They were an existence to be feared, or held in reverence. Of course, they were rare, and even less than that revealed their identity without strong connections. The unknown were never favoured. Not down here.

Take the Rubbery Men for example, or even the Tomb Colonists. Still, you weren't sure how many Samsarians came to the Fifth City, but sometimes you felt the faintest tug at your subconscious whilst asleep, the pull of another of your kind, or a ripple in the fabric of the Dreaming due to another's manipulation. It was...hard to explain, but it was there.

The most skilled dreamwalkers could slip seamlessly into a slumbering mind, to subtly manipulate what was there, and temporarily blur the lines between reality, desire and illusion. Then they could leave as quickly as they came. They were an existence to be feared, or held in reverence. Of course, they were rare, and even less than that revealed their identity without strong connections. The unknown were never favoured. Not down here. 

Take the Rubbery Men for example, or even the Tomb Colonists.  Still, you weren't sure how many Samsarians came to the Fifth City, but sometimes you felt the faintest tug at your subconscious whilst asleep, the pull of another of your kind, or a ripple in the fabric of the Dreaming due to another's manipulation. It was...hard to explain, but it was there.
You longed to meet them, to share experiences and knowledge, techniques. But you knew it'd be unlikely.
It was nice to know that more of your kind were here, that you weren't alone. It gave you hope, but other than
that, you had little to no other thoughts on the matter.
It was a pleasant feeling, but as much as you wished to meet the, you knew that doing so would be reckless.
Without proper backing, it'd be like herding a flock of sheep in one place, waiting for the wolf to slaughter.
You could care less. Knowing them wouldn't do you any good and the last thing you wanted was to pay for their
screwups.

Your ability wasn't something you openly shared. Instead, you kept your abilities to yourself and rarely used them, slipping into a monotonous routine. It was no wonder they became weaker; a blade left in dust would eventually rust.

But dreamwalking was in your blood, running through your veins. It was like riding a bike, a skill you'd never forget - even if your skills withered away, you'd always know how.

Ah, but it was both a blessing and a curse. A Samsarian never saw colour, no, their world was a monochromatic myriad of greys. Grey and grey and grey. It was only in your dreams that you'd have the semblance of colour - the initial dive - before that too, faded. Still, you were taught to distinguish some, by your mentor before they left to better hide your identity.

Your ability wasn't something you openly shared. Instead, you kept your abilities to yourself and rarely used them, slipping into a monotonous routine. It was no wonder they became weaker; a blade left in dust would eventually rust.

 But dreamwalking was in your blood, running through your veins. It was like riding a bike, a skill you'd never forget - even if your skills withered away, you'd always know how. 

Ah, but it was both a blessing and a curse. A Samsarian never saw colour, no, their world was a monochromatic myriad of greys. Grey and grey and grey. It was only in your dreams that you'd have the semblance of colour - the initial dive - before that too, faded. Still, you were taught to distinguish some, by your mentor before they left to better hide your identity.
At first, it was fun deciphering all the shades of grey, figuring out which was which. But over time that lost its
spark. Still, you'd accepted it and moved on. It was simply a side effect of your abilities, that ran in your blood.
(But if given the chance to see colour once more, you knew you'd take it.)
Grey was boring. Monotone. Dull. Just the way you liked it. Grey was the shade caught half-way between black
and white. It made it easy to blend in, you were more than fine with that. Sure, you liked the splash of colour.
As would any sane-minded Samsarian, but you knew better than to get addicted to the dive.
It was tedious, and you hated it. You longed for the dive into the realm of Dreams, not necessarily because of
the colour, although it was certainly nice, but for the sudden thrill. Akin to a burst of adrenaline.
It was simply a part of your life. You'd long since come to terms with it. And that was that. Nothing more,
nothing less.
You loved vibrant colours, the liveliness it brought. The energy, the passion, the sheer splendour of it all. But
grey? Grey was the opposite. It was dreary, bland. That was why you loved the dive. Even if only a short while.

And yet...

Lately, you've been having...strange - or rather stranger - dreams. Dreams with splashes of colour. There were seven and seven only. You recalled the colours, but couldn't remember the names. Did they even have names? They seemed familiar.

And yet...

Lately, you've been having...strange - or rather stranger -  dreams. Dreams with splashes of colour. There were seven and seven only. You recalled the colours, but couldn't remember the names. Did they even have names? They seemed familiar.
In the initial dive, when Dreamwalking, you saw colour. Never in your actual dreams, never in the waking world.
As would any curious scholar, you wished to decipher the meanings. Why you saw them. Where you saw them
from.
It was the sort of dreams any Samsarian would long for. So you should be happy, right? And yet...Something felt
off. It gave you an uneasy feeling. You wouldn't pursue it any more than you had to.
It was due to these dreams that you avoided sleeping. It had you on edge, because it shouldn't be happening.
Couldn't. And yet it was.
At this rate, you spent more time in the Dreaming or trying to sleep than reality. It was probably becoming a
risk. Still, you may not know what those colours mean, but colours were colours.
You weren't sure what they meant, but you'd lose no sleep trying to find out what they did. If you found out,
you found out.

There was an indigo hue, a dark purple. You remember waking up in a cold sweat, from a dream of a dense indigo mist that swept over you and then that the chill seeping into your bones and, and - blankness.

There were scenes of a letter. The words themselves were blurred, all but one written in cobalt-violet ink. It burned itself into your memory, was hard to forget. North. What it meant, you weren't sure. Not entirely.

There was another colour too. A golden brown that felt...Comforting, warm, and yet burnt if one went too close. You remembered a sphere, a ball of fire in a vast expanse. But then it fell.

There was an indigo hue, a dark purple. You remember waking up in a cold sweat, from a dream of a dense indigo mist that swept over you and then that the chill seeping into your bones and, and - blankness.

There were scenes of a letter. The words themselves were blurred, all but one written in cobalt-violet ink. It burned itself into your memory, was hard to forget.  North. What it meant, you weren't sure. Not entirely. 

There was another colour too. A golden brown that felt...Comforting, warm, and yet burnt if one went too close. You remembered a sphere, a ball of fire in a vast expanse. But then it fell.
...
[Continue]

There was a murky blue, what felt like the darkest blue you've ever seen. Not that you actually knew what was blue, not other than That. You remembered laughter, a wink of coy blue eyes, as if they were the embodiment of a storm itself. You remembered drowning in those murky blue depths, shutting your eyes to the darkness that overcame you. When you opened your mouth to scream, no words came out. And as you ran out of oxygen, you woke up.

There was another blue too. A single chessboard, a King with a broken crown, sitting on a dark tile, fallen comrades all around them.

There was a vibrant and vivid green. You were in a garden of wilted roses, of ashes and dust. But there was a flash of green and suddenly there was life once more.

Finally, there was a colour amidst a mist of grey. There was a boat, and a place where Zee-Beasts were dying one by one.


Your dreams had been getting stranger for sure. It was the first thought you had, as you awoke to the sound of footsteps on the roof.

There was a murky blue, what felt like the darkest blue you've ever seen. Not that you actually knew what was blue, not other than That. You remembered laughter, a wink of coy blue eyes, as if they were the embodiment of a storm itself. You remembered drowning in those murky blue depths, shutting your eyes to the darkness that overcame you. When you opened your mouth to scream, no words came out. And as you ran out of oxygen, you woke up.

There was another blue too. A single chessboard, a King with a broken crown, sitting on a dark tile, fallen comrades all around them. 

There was a vibrant and vivid green. You were in a garden of wilted roses, of ashes and dust. But there was a flash of green and suddenly there was life once more. 

Finally, there was a colour amidst a mist of grey. There was a boat, and a place where Zee-Beasts were dying one by one. 


Your dreams had been getting stranger for sure. It was the first thought you had, as you awoke to the sound of footsteps on the roof.
[Play On]
[Next]

They had stilled for a moment, before picking up once more. Peering out the window, there was the faintest streak of grey sky. Of course, it'd be grey. You were in the world of consciousness once more. But it was the shade of grey your Mentor associated with blue, as you did too.

The footsteps picked up again. There was a shout in the distance, something about a thief? Odd. An Urchin perhaps? And in broad daylight? Well. You supposed they had to make a living somehow. Still, they tended to stick to the streets of Spite, most pickpockets do. And yet here one was at Ladybones Road.

You supposed it wasn't something to ponder on too much. It probably meant nothing, right?

They had stilled for a moment, before picking up once more. Peering out the window, there was the faintest streak of grey sky. Of course, it'd be grey. You were in the world of consciousness once more. But it was the shade of grey your Mentor associated with blue, as you did too. 

The footsteps picked up again. There was a shout in the distance, something about a thief? Odd. An Urchin perhaps? And in broad daylight? Well. You supposed they had to make a living somehow. Still, they tended to stick to the streets of Spite, most pickpockets do. And yet here one was at Ladybones Road.

You supposed it wasn't something to ponder on too much. It probably meant nothing, right?
Yeah, nothing but another damn thief, probably on the run from the constables. Drawing attention when they
didn't need to.
Footsteps? An amateur thief, most likely. You've heard of a place, amongst the rooftops where the best of the
best reside. Thieves who traverse the roofs with the grace and ease of cats, and as silent as the wind. Well, the
good ones anyways. (And you could never trust rumours. Not entirely.)
Whatever they were doing, it was quite noisy. Well, you were awake now. No point wondering about them,
though, you did pity them for having to steal.
It was strange, that they had come so far. But perhaps they fell into a difficult situation? You wondered what
they'd stolen, but thought best not to ponder on it too much.
It was a surprising occasion, but nothing that you thought was too improbable. Thieves were everywhere.
Ladybones Road tended to be for the poets and those of creative minds, so you could see the appeal. Still, Spite
was usually their home. Or rather, the Alleys.

Your name is called from downstairs, by the owner of the shop. Mrs Flores. A lovely woman, really. Wrinkled, yes, but she always seemed so cheerful. That is, unless you got on her bad side. Then she was like a Deviless herself. She was a widow, and had a darling son in University. He didn't visit much, but she spoke highly of him. Clearly she adored him. And yet, perhaps she was lonely. That could've been why she first let you stay. Or was it out of mere pity? You don't particularly recall if you had attempted to manipulate her dreams either.

Regardless, in exchange for practically living upstairs at the bookshop, you occasionally help out when it gets busy. As said, mundane. Having said that, it rarely is and it was an equal trade considering most of the time you spend doing whatever you'd like.

Your name is called from downstairs, by the owner of the shop. Mrs Flores. A lovely woman, really. Wrinkled, yes, but she always seemed so cheerful. That is, unless you got on her bad side. Then she was like a Deviless herself. She was a widow, and had a darling son in University. He didn't visit much, but she spoke highly of him. Clearly she adored him. And yet, perhaps she was lonely. That could've been why she first let you stay. Or was it out of mere pity? You don't particularly recall if you had attempted to manipulate her dreams either.

Regardless, in exchange for practically living upstairs at the bookshop, you occasionally help out when it gets busy. As said, mundane. Having said that, it rarely is and it was an equal trade considering most of the time you spend doing whatever you'd like.
It was by chance, really, and a bit of observance on your part. Passing by, you had seen she was on her own
and, well, you needed a place to stay. You had offered her your assistance in exchange. It was simply business.
Despite that, Mrs Flores easily accepted, though, she rarely called on you.
You don't quite remember what had happened, but were thankful that you were here.
A subtle hint, the slightest and smallest shift in the fabric of dreams. Simple work for one of your calibre. And it
wasn't as if she wasn't lonely. You just manipulated her desire for companionship. Sure, you felt guilty, but it
was better than the streets.
You had weaved a mournful tale, enraptured her with a fable of lies, betrayal and deceit with you the poor
victim. She'd taken pity on you and welcomed you into her abode, and you being the kind and generous soul
that you are, insisted on helping out in exchange.
It didn't matter how it occurred, though, you faintly recall a bit of...persuasion on your part.

Today, however, was different. It was different from the moment that another sentence had been uttered.

"There's a guest for you at the door!"

A guest? How peculiar. You hadn't recalled setting a meeting with anyone.

Today, however, was different. It was different from the moment that another sentence had been uttered. 

"There's a guest for you at the door!"

A guest? How peculiar. You hadn't recalled setting a meeting with anyone.
“I’ll be down in a moment, thank you." You called out, planning to get changed first. Of course, you weren't
going to greet them in your nightwear. You had standards, after all.
"Yes, thank you." You were distracted in your reply, as you got dressed. You couldn't help but wonder, who was
at the door? And why?
A guest? Without you knowing? You kept your guard up, reaching for the dagger you kept under your pillow . A
skyglass knife, a gift from your mentor, and slipping it into the pocket of your jacket before you headed down.
Just to be safe.
You briefly debating on slipping out through the window, but figured that'd attract attention. Especially in your
nightwear. So, without a reply, you got dressed and made your way downstairs. All the way, wondering who
was there. You hadn't committed any crimes, right? (And if you had, you hadn't been caught yet.)
It was strange, and you felt that the day would only get stranger. Still, you thanked Mrs Flores, got dressed and
made your way down.