The decay seemed to have a shamanistic bent, almost an omen. It decayed just as she was about to be attacked. The girl (already id'd as the deceased daughter of the enemy-mage (in another thread)) seems to be acting as a sort of spirit guide. Since (according to the April edition of Discover mag (a pop scientific pub) the brain turns off the governer and there ARE no rules when asleep, the spirit guide concept allows her to come to grips with the situation without freaking out in her daily "real" life. Perhaps she can 'dream learn' how to deal with the mage attacks? via her dream interactions of course.