The Sacred Dreamers
In Kerani, worship of the Goddess of the Moon is second only to worship of Bhanu. Perhaps that is why Kerani is blessed with the Dreamers.
At any given time, there are about two dozen of the Dreamers; people with the gift of prophecy. Sometimes the ability manifests late in life. Other times it begins when the Dreamer is very young. Most of them first experience the prophetic dreams during puberty. Whatever their age, the Dreamers soon find themselves at the Temple of the Moon. They are taken in, consecrated to the Goddess, and cared for. They are given everything they require, and their prophecies carefully recorded.
As they age, the Dreamers become more powerful. The dreams and visions come more often, and are clearer. Eventually the Dreams overcome them. They slip into madness, or they slip into the Dreams and become catatonic. Intense emotions and sensations can help keep the Dreamer anchored in reality, delaying the madness. Most of the Dreamers eventually become sacred prostitutes, bringing pleasure and comfort to those who seek them out, while finding relief from the Dreams.
The Dreamers cannot, legally, be denied any request. (There are exceptions for children, of course, but they are under the expert care of Matrons of the temple.) It is also illegal to harm a Dreamer, an act punishable by death. The Dreamers are revered, as well as feared, and few people would ever think to bring them harm. However, Lalikan spies have repeatedly targeted the Dreamers, seeking to kidnap one, or destroy them, or both. Twice, with Bhanu’s permission, Tarlah has tried to relocate a Dreamer to Aamin so that Devidhyaan could benefit. Both times the Dreamer died soon after leaving Jarayu. Bhanu has sworn to the temple that he would never again allow someone to take a Dreamer from their care.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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