In an effort to better prepare your unusual band for their foray, Doyenne Nazena has decided to boil down a handful of lessons for your all regarding the Dreamscape. They are infrequent, as her schedule with the high council allows, but she is certain her teachings will be of use.
I’ll be writing these as in-character conversation between the Doyenne and your gathered allies, though the majority of the mechanical information contained in updated or newly revealed new pages on the wiki (my version of an Explain Everything, if you will). The in-character bits will be presented from a universal first-person perspective – not wanting to speak for your characters, I will not be using them in these conversation. However, 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 .
I’ll try to make these enjoyable reads, but, fair warning, I’m not a fiction writer, so my preemptive apologies if these feel rough.
You start with a jolt, feeling as if suddenly woken from a deep slumber. The room around you seems wrong and your mind is hazy, almost half-asleep. But you’re certain you weren’t here just a moment ago. The appointments of the room are harsh, though the menagerie of furs and the thick window drapes add an air of comfort. A few scattered candles and a small fire offer only faint illumination in the otherwise dark room. It’s familiar, but…
Of course, you’re in Nazena’s study. And you’re not alone.
Your many friends and allies that have agreed to join you to save the Dreamsage all sit near you, your large chairs forming a loose circle around the room. It swiftly dawns on you that the Doyenne must have brought you here in a dream, much as the Dreamsage did those years ago. You see your friends from Sanctuary making the same quick realization, though your allies less familiar with Dreambound magic struggle to make the jump.
“Not to be, like, super rude, but how the hell did I get back here? Neddy-poo, if you gated me here in my sleep I am not amused” Jessy’s bouncy voice finally breaking the room’s silence.
“You aren’t here. Not physically, anyway, as much as it may feel otherwise.” The Doyenne stands beside the fireplace, staring out the room’s large windows, looking onto the bleak, frozen lake below. She turns and walks towards the the only empty chair in the room as she speaks, “This is merely a dream – a pocket forged within the Dreamscape – and I have gathered you all here, not…Neddy-poo.”
“So…nifty, I guess. But, like, why?” The dragon – still guised in her merfolk form – pulls her legs up into the chair and leaned forward on her hands, appearing earnestly curious despite her perpetually flippant tone.
Nazena sighs and thinks for a long moment as she settles into her tall-backed chair by the fire. Finally, she speaks, in a very measured tone, “Kradak went into the Dreamscape with a small but powerful group of allies – those he could grab quickly. However, for as powerful as Kradak might be, he is not Dreambound, nor was I able to find one willing to aid him swiftly enough for his tastes. And so he left without one. Kradak’s group has now been gone for nearly a year, and I’ve heard neither word nor whisper in all that time.” The Doyenne pauses for a another moment to collect her thoughts, “Now, once again, I prepare to send a group into unknown dreams, and again I prepare to send them in without a dreambound. This time, however, I am working with a group that is, wisely, preparing for their journey, rather than rushing blindly in to save an old fool. This time, I have decided to be more than a travel guide. I will also be your teacher. I will educated you on the many mysteries of the Dreamscape, and hopefully you will all succeed where Kradak has failed.”
“Doyenne, that’s an incredibly generous offer,” Simon says with obvious enthusiasm, “How exactly…”
“Hang on,” Kamahl speaks up, interrupting Simon without a second thought, “Lessons are great and all, but why don’t we – crazy thought – just grab ourselves a Dreambound?”
“Barbarians, ever the advocates of simple solutions.” The Doyenne says towards Kamahl, a small but warm smile breaking her normally frosty demeanor. “I suppose there’s no point keeping it from you. The simple truth is, I can’t find any. Not any willing to aid the Dreamsage, anyways.”
“Did Bayul have no friends or allies among the other Dreambound?” Kamahl speaks with a hint of sympathy.
“A handful. Though, admittedly, more supporters than true friends or allies. Understand, we Dreambound are few in number to begin with, and many of us have wildly differing views on the Dreamscape. The Dreamsage holds a very particular vision that not all of us agree with, at least not entirely, and those disagreements have created deep rifts between some of us…” Nazena trails off, looking out the window, as if remembering a half-forgotten memory.
“But…I’m getting off track, my fellows are a conversation for another day. Another lesson. Back to your question – I cannot find any Dreambound willing to aid the Dreamsage because, simply put, they seem to have disappeared. Either they’ve run for the hills or…well, or they’ve already gone to try and rescue him, and they’ve obviously failed to do so.”
“The lack of a rescued Dreamsage being here with us fill me with confidence,” Ethan quips from across the room, earning himself a disapproving glance from Jayden. The catfolk holds up his hands, as if in surrender, “Sorry, just thought I’d point it out.”
“No, it’s a fair concern. However, I believe as dire this news is it doesn’t bode terribly ill for you all. For anything or anyone to capture the Dreamsage in his nightmare, they must have spent great efforts to craft the perfect trap for him. I’m not surprised my fellows failed to overcome a trap meant a much greater Dreambound for any of them – assuming they are in fact in the Dreamscape with Bayul. Fortunately, you are not Dreambound, thus any trap meant specifically for my fellows will pose no more danger to you than the Dreamscape normally would. In fact, in may prove easier to defeat.”
Nazena stands up and steps towards the center of the room. “In fact, that nicely transitions to the first of my lessons for you all. The Dreamscape itself. If you’re going to travel this realm, you need to be prepared. Before we begin, I must emphasize that the Dreamscape is a realm unlike any other, a place is farther away from Creed than any other plane and a world of mercurial form on the best of days. In fact, some Dreambound consider calling it a plane at all is a mistake …”
Nazena speaks at great length, teaching the party and all those gathered of the many mysteries and dangers of The Dreamscape. The page has been updated to reflect the party’s increased understanding of the dreaming world.
“So…I believe that about covers it. From a laymans perspective, anyways. Are there any questions?” Nazena sits back down in her tall chair, having spoken for what felt like hours, and looks questioningly around the room.
“Yes, about thirty” Ethan starts, flipping through an imaginary notebook.
Nazena sighs, pinching her brow in frustration, “Any real questions to which you’ll reasonably understand my answers among those?”
“Ah, well…no. I defer to my wizard.” Ethan smiles at the room then looks expectantly towards Simon.
“Oh, of course.” Simon reaches down, instinctively grabbing for his absent notebook. Flustered, he continues, “Well, er, yes, I can think of a few…”
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 Dreamscape’s page. Once Nazena has fielded all of the groups’ questions, she prepares to send the gathered home.
“No more questions? Very well.” Nazena stands up and moves once again back to the center of the room, “In the coming days, as my schedule with the Council allows, I will call you all back here for additional lessons. Once more to discuss myself and my fellows, the Dreambound, and our powers. After that, I believe we will discuss the Dreamborn creatures and their darker Nightmares cousins. And if time allows after that, I will spend an evening discussing the more benign denizens of the Dreamscape and some other phenomena that may be useful to you. Now then…I believe with that, we will call an end to this evening.”
Nazena claps her hands together above her head, a faint purplish-white light briefly coalescing between them. Your eyes grow heavy, a sudden exhaustion quickly overwhelming you. A nearly invisible but unmistakably mischievous smile breaks across her stony demeanor.
“Sleep well, students. Until we meet again.”
Sleep overwhelms you and the room fades.