When the caravan stopped for a rest, Wesley had a dream:
You see you are on a ledge protruding from the interior of a great metallic sphere, as if it was a mountain. The surface of the sphere is irregular, blocky, and angular. It seems unnatural, mechanical. You can see it stretching out and around impossibly far. On the dimly lit interior, there are dull little metallic dots moving around, they stick to the inner side of the sphere, never falling off. Once in a while a dot will puff out of existence in a little wisp. Every so often you see a piece of the sphere move, as if a panel slid to a new position.
Towards the center there is a great cloud of darkness. From it, you can see shafts of various colored light that occasionally shine forth to illuminate the sphere. When they touch the metallic dots, they take on that color. You feel an affinity for the golden colored dots.
As you watch the darkness will reach out to the surface, tendrils reaching towards the ground. Wherever they touch, the darkness begins to spread. But before it spreads far, you hear the clicking sound again, and shiny metallic shards launch from the surface like fighting kites and slice the tendril. The tendril retreats and the darkness on the surface fades.
You also see dots of pure radiant light flit through the darkness and alight on the surface. Watching them, every so often you hear the mechanical click and watch one disappear below the surface as a pit opens or a section of the landscape snaps down over it. A dot in the open might be sliced by one of the flying shards.
Then you see several of the colored dots pulse strongly. The sphere shakes and a vast majority of the metallic dots are flung into the air. They are hurled towards the darkness at the center but lose their momentum mid-flight and inch forward at different speeds. Hundreds of tendrils of darkness whip past them and impact the sphere. Thousands of metallic shards fly from the surface and slice the tendrils, but the darkness continues to spread. Many of the metallic shards wobble and crash. You see the remaining shards return into the surface.
You hear the clicking sound and see the surface trying to arrange itself to stop the darkness, but soon it covers a fifth or more of the sphere. The metallic dots where the darkness spreads behave erratically, crashing into each other or breaking apart. The darkness seems to chase the colored dots, turning them into darkness and then they disappear.
Suddenly, there is another launch. Metallic shards fly from the surface once again, this time they carry the radiant dots they had been destroying before. they fly towards the central darkness. As they do, the suspended metallic dots in midair begin moving again. Most take on bright colored glows. They all crash into the darkness, and it parts momentarily.
You can see that there is a five pointed star in the center. Each of its arms glowing a different color, but the center is a patchwork mishmash of other colors with a dim solid light peeking through.
The shards and dots crash into that patchwork and the darkness closes behind them.
There is a long moment where nothing happens. Then a radiant light bursts forth, dispersing the cloud of darkness until it’s barely a mist and continuing to cleanse the surface of the sphere. The ambient light turns from dim to bright and cheerful.
Dots from the center rain down on the surface. Now, when the little dots on the surface disintegrate, the wisp flows up to the star in the center. And you see wisps flowing in the other direction as well.
You get a feeling of strength and vindication. A firm brassy voice speaks in your mind the words, “This must happen.”
The world shifts backward in time. You’re looking at the spreading darkness once again. The shards and lights launch again, but this time they are absorbed by the cloud in the center and disappear.
The darkness is spreading up the protrusion to your ledge. There’s nowhere for you to go. Your magic doesn’t respond to you. As the certainty you are going to die hits you, you hear a whispered voice say, “This must not happen.”
You wake up.