Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
The dreaming mind paints entire worlds every night. It creates enrapturing stories that scribes regularly struggle to equal and forges wonders that reality often pales against. But…have you ever noticed something in your dreams that felt disjointed from the rest? Something impossibly out of place, even in your wildest fantasy? A velvet man who moves silently behind you as you dream of gardening, or perhaps a dream of a past lover ending suddenly when a glass cobra struck you down? Perhaps you only briefly saw it in the corner of your dreaming eye, or maybe it ruled your night like a grand conqueror – you simply couldn’t imagine your mind creating it? The truth is, maybe you didn’t. Maybe it was there before you even fell asleep.
Dreamborn creatures are known in legend to every race to ever slumber, thought few other than the Dreambound know the truth of them. As their name implies, dreamborn creatures are beings born in dreams that remain in the Dreamscape after the sleeper awakens. Ranging from animals, to humanoids, to even the undead, the form and nature of these dreamborn creatures is entirely dependent upon the dream that birthed them. Magical beings by their very nature, dreamborn creatures tend to form in particularly emotional dreams and survive only by feeding upon the energies of fading dreams. By entering a dream, the dreamborn creature taps this power as the dreamer awakens,though they can also interact with the dreaming world much like a dreamwalker can. As more powerful and emotional dreams offer greater sustenance, dreamborn often flock to these dreams. The life cycle of dreamborn creatures is not well understood. Their lifespans vary wildly from creature to creature, though tend to reflect the normal life span of their base form. Their reproduction is poorly understood, though given these creatures are born of dreams it seems they may simply not need one. However, it has been found that dreams in which a dreamborn dies are far more likely to spawn one or more new dreamborn, especially if that dream is powerfully emotional.
While most dreamborn will simply observe dreams they enter, some benevolent dreamborn will actively attempt to improve bad or dull dreams. This behavior proves mutually beneficial for both the dreamer and the dreambound, improving the dreamer’s sleep and creating a richer feast for the dreamborn when the dream ends. In fact, many Dreambound believe that the concept of a childhood “imaginary friend” owes its roots to such dreamborn creatures. Unfortunately, some cruel or glutenous dreamborn will take a very different tact, terrorizing and often killing the dreamer – the panic improving their feast while the kill quickly ends the dream and lets them move onto a new one that much faster. The darkest of these cruel dreamborn are often twisted by the forces of the Nightmare, and become nightmares themselves (see below).
For more information, see the Dreamborn Creature Template.
Dreamborn corrupted by the forces of the Nightmare, these beings are able to turn others’ dreams into nightmares and sow fear even in the waking world. Twisted by dark emotions, they become evil and use their abilities to abuse dreamborn weaker than themselves and prey upon dreamers. Their connection to the Nightmare warps the creature’s appearance into a bizarre caricature of its original form, often colored only with blacks, sickly whites, and dark violets. The most powerful of their number are known as nightmare lords, horrifying creatures able to trap a sleeping mind and even steal it away into the Dreamscape.
For more information, see the Nightmare Creature Template.