Continuing to prepare your group for their upcoming journey, Doyenne Nazena gathers you all for another lesson. As before, please feel free to post any in character questions or comments down below and any out of character questions or comments in the forum thread .
You find yourself once more in Nazena’s study. Your weary mind again struggles to grasp how you arrived here, but you would be hard pressed to forget this room after the hours you’ve spent here. As before, you see your friends have been gathered along with you, each of them slowly working through the brief confusion. The Doyenne is across from you, already sitting in her tall-backed chair. Her snowy owl sits perched beside her, watching the room with interest.
“Good evening, everyone.” Nazena says, “It’s time for our second lesson.” The Doyenne rises from her chair and moves towards the center of the room. “However, before we start, a question for you all. What does the word ‘nightmare’ mean to you?”
“Oh, oh!” Gurk’s bladed hand flies up as he shouts. Nazena’s owl hoots and flutters its wings at the sudden gesture. “Gurk know! Nightmare is very cuddly – but very angry – horsey demon! Also, very bad dreams, but Gurk rarely have. Gurk very happy slaadi.” Gurk shares a very toothy smile with the room, as if to emphasise this fact.
“Yes…bad dreams, of course.” Fire-Feather says, thinking carefully. “And I believe Rattick mentioned that dementia casters conjure nightmares, didn’t he?”
“Chainer always called them his ‘nightmares’, but Skellum always referred to them as horrors.” Kamahl says, speaking towards Fire-Feather. “Though I’ve never seen a dementiaist conjure anything I wouldn’t call a nightmare, so…” The large barbarian shrugs.
“There’s the Nightmare spell, of course.” Simon says, “And I believe there are a few professions which draw connections to night terrors, most often those dealing with phantasms, illusions, or the like. Some number of monsters have similar connections to nightmare, though Cayden would know better than I on that.”
Nazena nods as she listens. “All good examples, all circling around the core facets of the Nightmare. As we discussed before, the most powerful of dreams arise from strong emotions. And while joy and lust and the like can certainly muster such dreams, darker emotions have a far easier time doing so. Hatred, disgust, anger, and, principle of them all, fear, such emotions hold a powerfully primitive control over every living being’s mind. Over time, these dark dreams have given rise to a storm within the Dreamscape. Many dreambound consider it the dark twin of the Sapanvar, for it is created in much the same way despite manifesting in a much more tangible form. We know it simply as the Nightmare, a force able to corrupt minds and darken dreams, and even the greatest of dreamborn flee before it…
Nazena speaks at length, teaching the party and all those gathered of the Nightmare on the Dreamscape. The page has been updated to reflect the party’s increased understanding of the dreaming world.
“Given everything I’ve heard, I find it very likely you’ll contend with the Nightmare and those warped by it more than once on your mission. I believe understanding how this force works will be vital to your success while facing it. ” Nazena sits back down in her tall chair and looks questioningly around the room. “With that all said, are there any questions?”
“So, like…to be super clear here, I’m not any safer from the Nightmare given I’m a dragon or whatever, right?” Jessy asks, a hint of concern noticeable in her voice.
“No. While the Nightmare shares many similarities to the Dreamtide, it is a very different phenomena. Beings with little emotion or with a strong resilience to anything that would affect their emotions – such as dreambound and paladins – they can undergo training to harden themselves to the effects of the Nightmare, but it is not a natural fortitude we possess. Fortunately, the effects of the Nightmare abate fairly quickly while outside of it and it’s most corruptive effect can only affect the dreamborn.”
“Doyenne, what if we should find ourselves trapped within the Nightmare? Or what if we must stay within it for some other reason?” Fire-Feather asks, her militaristic mind already thinking though contingencies. “You mentioned that most dreams are unaffected by the Nightmare. I assume we could find shelter within those?”
The Doyenne nods, “Yes, quite correct. However, if necessary you could also seek shelter within a dream touched by the Nightmare. You would have to drive out its influence – that is, destroy the elements of the dream twisted by the Nightmare – much like benevolent dreamborn do to aid dreamers they believe vulnerable. If successful, such a dream can be made safe, and will even prevent the Nightmare from influencing the dreamer.”
“Excellent questions,” Nazena says as she looks to both Jessy and Fire-Feather, then looks up to the rest of the room. “Any others?”
In character questions for Nazena can be raised in the comments section below, out of character questions can be raised in the forums. Any questions raised by the NPCs have effectively been answered already and included in the Nightmare section on the Dreamscape page. Once Nazena has fielded all of the groups’ questions, she prepares to send the gathered home.
“No more? Then I believe that will do for this lesson.” Nazena stands up and returns to the center of the room. “Next time we gather, I will discuss the nature of both the dreamborn and the nightmares they can become. Until then, I wish you all the best with your preparations. Sleep well, students.”
As before, Nazena brings her hands together, and the wash of dreaming energies quickly sends you back to your own dreams.