Your sleep has been restless, of late. When your eyes close, you've been plagued by disjointed visions of an indistinct figure, a rider, upon a desolate, ice-covered road. While a sense of familiarity comes from the figure itself, the scene and setting is one that is foreign, distant...
Tonight's dream is more intense than ever before. You stand alone upon the very road that before you saw only as a vague image, an impressionist painting of a winter scene. Now, however, it is as though you have been transported to this place, and the dream has taken on a startling feeling of reality. Surrounded by empty, collapsing wooden buildings, and white fields, tinged blue by the starlight, the wintery landscape is visceral, and lonesome.
Alone in this frozen wasteland, your breath rattles loudly as it shivers out of you. The cloud of it lingers before your eyes, and you wonder at the shapes into which it twists itself before it dissipates into the night. Stuffing your hands under your arms, you make a vain attempt to warm your now freezing fingers, the tips of which tingle and smart with the cold, as though someone stuck them with needles. Your toes too feel leaden and heavy, stiff, sharp with the sense of the artic air around you. You are not well-dressed for this place. Why are you here?
As you stand wondering, another noise besides your breath snaps you out of your frigid reverie. Hooves- no, a pulley? A soft rustling, a swishing noise, like a rope being pulled through the grass. A sharp white light glimmers in the dark... and approaches. Like a ghost, the hazy, indistinct figure of your dreams rides up to you, upon a steed unlike anything you have seen before. Made of steel, with two wheels, it seems unweildy in all this snow, yet the rider before you masters it like a deity over the elements. He is clothed in layers, perhaps brown, but now grey in the dim starlight, amongst the drifts. The light upon his steed shines brightly, and you shield your eyes.
"I have ridden this rode many times, but always alone," says the Grey Rider. His voice comes from all around you in the dream. "Perhaps my journey may now be aided. Do you know why I ride this night?"
You do not speak. You do not know the answer to his question.
"It is for all those who also Ride, and for those who wish to learn. For the youth, mostly, for I serve something greater than myself, that which dwells in the Back Alley. They noble few seek to teach the young, and also the old, how to Ride, how to Build. It is for them I ride this frigid route. So I must ask, will you assist me?"
You feel compelled by the Rider's plea. Uncovering your face from the glare of his light, you reach into your coinpurse and remove...
If you remove a small amount of money, turn to Page 21
If you remove a large amount of money, turn to Page 72