As the stars begin to dot the night sky, you reach a small hamlet. You can see the warm firelight trickle out from between the shuttered windows of the huts and houses. All around you is a feeling of peace and tranquility.
One building, slightly larger than the others, has its doors wide open. Light and laughter spill out through the doorway into the village streets. You enter it, hesitantly.
Inside the brightly lit tavern, you hear the sounds of laughter and conversation. Mugs clink,
voices sing, yet the chairs and tables are empty. You look around yourself in confusion, before
spotting a young woman standing behind the counter, smiling at you.
"It's been a while," she says suddenly.
You blink at her in confusion.
The woman continues. "Since a live one came in here, I mean. Live human. I'm not making much sense to you, am I?"
You shake your head.
The woman sighs. "Where to begin... This is the Valley of Dreams, where dreams come to rest and rejuvenate themselves before going out and visiting slumbering humans in the outside world. We don't get many humans here, other than myself."
"It's a nice place," she says, gesturing around the tavern. "The dreams and I get along fine... I pour the drinks, and they drink 'em. The good dreams make sure that the nastier ones leave me alone, and in exchange I make sure that no humans come in to steal them away... Apparently there used to be a problem," she explains, "where poachers would kidnap good dreams and try to corner the market."
"It's awfully lonely, though. Living here all alone." She looks at you shyly. "I don't suppose you'd like to stay? You seem like a nice enough fellow..."
"In any case," the woman adds, "it's terribly late. You might as well stay the night here... I have a guest room in the back. With a real bed. For humans."
She leaps over the counter, and takes you by the hand. As you follow her, you wonder what you've gotten yourself into. Is this the end of your adventure, or just the beginning?