"Season of Mists: Chapter 5": The faerie emissaries Cluracan and his sister Nuala arrive late to the gathering at the Ghost Castle of the Lord of the Dreaming, Dream. He greets them amiably, and invites them to join the

Quote1 You want the Hell that was Lucifer's. I cannot suppose that you came here relying on my good nature, or my sense of natural justice. What are you offering me, Azazel? Quote2

Sandman (Volume 2) #26 is an issue of the series Sandman (Volume 2) with a cover date of May, 1991.

Appearing in "Season of Mists: Chapter 5"

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Synopsis for "Season of Mists: Chapter 5"

The faerie emissaries Cluracan and his sister Nuala arrive late to the gathering at the Ghost Castle of the Lord of the Dreaming, Dream. He greets them amiably, and invites them to join the other visitors in the banquet hall.

In the hall, the various visitors interact with one another. Thor shamelessly flirts inappropriately with the cat-headed goddess Bast, while Odin keeps watch over Loki, who has chosen not to eat, but rather observe. Meanwhile, Shivering Jemmy demands more icecream.
Before entering the banquet hall, Cluracan admits that he has a private message from his masters, and Dream hears him out. The faeries have been required to sacrifice nine of their wisest and most beautiful to Hell every seven years by ancient pact. He pleads that it is in the faeries' interests that Hell remain empty. The faeries have sent Nuala as a gift to Dream, in order to help convince him. Dream promises to consider the offer, and sends them on their way.

Later, Odin catches Dream's eye, and the Norse god requests an audience. Dream promises to grant that audience later in the evening before walking on. Meanwhile, the sleeping humans whom Dream has drawn into the Dreaming are acting as waiters and waitresses, and one of them happens to become infatuated with another. Nearby, Choronzon and the Spider-Queen Merkin share a strange flirtation. Chronozon wonders what the other gift that Azazel intends to promise Dream might be. Merkin promises to tell him later. Not long after, Bast becomes upset with Thor's advances and scratches him across the face.

As entertainment, Dream arranges to have Cain and Abel perform magic tricks (though Cain is merely taking advantage of his brother's immortality when he saws Abel in half). During the show, Dream is approached by Susano-o-no-Mikoto, Azazel, Shivering Jemmy, and an emissary of the Lords of Order.

While Bast complains to Dream of the advances made by Thor, Merkin and Choronzon retire to her bedroom. Bast eventually admits that she also has an offer to make, and again, Dream promises to meet with her later. Choronzon and Merkin get closer, and begin kissing and peeling off each other's clothing. As Choronzon raises Merkin's dress, a number of spiders come from beneath it, and begin crawling up and down Choronzon's back. Before he can tell what's happened, Choronzon has become encased in a thick web. Teasingly, Merkin announces that Choronzon himself is the other gift that Azazel plans to offer Dream.

Once the magic show has ended, Dream announces that dinner is over, and advises his guests to return to their quarters before the banquet hall disappears. His human servants begin to return to their beds, and the infatuated man never learns the name of the woman he has come to love.

Eventually, a flame appears to guide Odin to Dream's room. Odin explains that he fears only Ragnarok, and he has spent a great deal of time trying to avoid it. Some years ago, he created a notional dimension in which he fashioned a tiny Ragnarok. Inside a small bubble rages the eternal last battle. However, recently, the little world has gained some further warriors. He indicates that his notional dimension has entrapped Wesley Dodds, a man who shares part of Dream's essence, and he offers the man in return for the key to Hell.

Next, Dream meets with Shivering Jemmy of the Lords of Chaos. Rather than offer any exchange, she grows monstrous and threatens that unless he gives them Hell, the entire host of Chaos will be at his throat until the end of time. Dream is unimpressed, and sends her on her way.

The emissary from the Lords of Order visits, bearing a cardboard box which contains the essence of Kilderkin of Order. The box manifests a message within it which offers the dream essences of the newly dead, having been collected by the Lords of Order for some time, all in exchange for Hell. Dream responds that he could have collected these things himself. The box provides another message which promises to plead the rightness of its claim on the next day.

Susano-o-no-Mikoto has come not as an emissary of his pantheon, but the gods of Japan are expanding, and they feel that Hell should belong to them. He offers that whatever price that Dream asks, he and the Japanese gods will pay it.

Bast offers information. Through the eyes of cats she can see many things. She has seen the location of Dream's missing brother Destruction. If Dream will give up the key to Hell to she and the other Egyptian gods, she will tell him where his brother is.

Azazel visits next, expressing his feeling that Hell belongs to the Demons by right, and demands that it be returned. In exchange, he offers the captured Choronzon - a chance at revenge for the theft of Dream's Helm. Additionally, he offers Nada, the woman that Dream condemned to eternity in Hell because she refused to be his lover. He warns that if Dream does not accept the offer, he will devour her soul. Dream's response is the same as for all others: wait until tomorrow. This, despite having travelled to Hell in the first place with the intent of rescuing Nada.

With many things to think about, Dream contemplates simply throwing the key away. He attempts it, but it somehow lands just at his feet. He has a decision to make.


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