Dream-Eater

I like the idea of nightmares waking up screaming about me, for a change.  
— Luana of Vicitra
  Born from the horrors of the Dreaming Plague, Dream-Eaters have faced nightmares in their domain and come out victorious. Every Dream-Eater have slain one of the terrible Shrikes in their dreams, earning their name and title through a trial of terror and otherwordly scars. Known only within Patala, Dream-Eaters are both honored and feared, with superstition and legend already forming around figures who's deeds are still less than a month old.    

Plague-Born Dreams

My mind is a blade. I can cut any foe.  
  Chasing the Shrikes back to their domain began as a desperate gambit. Flitting between thought and tangiable, the Shrikes that came with the Plague of Dreams were difficult to strike and could easily escape when in trouble. Even worse, they would sometimes hide in the very minds of those who had fought them, re-emerging again when they were unprepared to wreck terrible vengeance.  
by Midjourney
It was during one such ambush, launched within the slumbering mind of a local Kaia named Aldara, that the idea to fight the Shrikes in dreams first took root. Though they were powerful and terrifying there, growing strong on their victims nightmares and terror, they were also vulnerable.   In those dreams, the Shrikes had nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. There, they were solid and could be struck. The Shrikes were anchored by the very feast of dreams they had come to devour.  
In other words, I'm not trapped in here with them...   They're trapped in here with me.  
  A few, desperate defenders made a gamble that they could control their fears and dreams, and slay the Shrikes that haunted them. Of the seven who sought the Shrikes out in their slumber, dreaming together at the center of the plague, only four would awaken. Two would die, and one remains in torpor still, unchanged by time.
  Of those four survivors, it would be Aldara who emerged as the first Dream-Eater, having slain - and some say devoured - the Shrikes in her dream. Though the exact number change with every retelling of the story, from a single terrible Shrike to an entire swarm and everything inbetween, the seven had done enough to drive the Shrikes back to the gloom. Dream-eater arose as a honor, first for Aldara alone, and then for those who followed in her footsteps.    

Chasing the Shadow

Easy, all you have to do is not die.  
What was once a gamble has now become strategy, though no less desperate. A small, growing group of brave souls take the plunge into dreams to fight the terrors within in a rite that has become known as Chasing the Shadow. Deep in Patala, hopeful dream-eaters descend into the Singing Pit to train, practice, and occasionally be devoured by the horrors of their mind.  
After the Plague, mankind have begun to take its first, fumbling step into a place beyond unknown. As they pierce the veil of slumber and peer into what lies outside its limits, something has begun to change and stir among the Dream-Eaters, and perhaps all dreamers.
 
Chasing the Shadow
Tradition / Ritual | Jul 27, 2022

An experiment and trial in equal parts, where the brave or foolish enter the darkness of the mind to fight manifest nightmares

  The title and the rite of passage are still informal, but to those who suffered through the Plague of Dreams, the mark of heroes. Dream-Eaters are few in numbers, perhaps less then a dozen, each one is honored in Patala and Vicitra in particular. Though there is no mark or badge of the Dream-Eater, all carry strange scars earned in dreaming wars and most have have trophies made from slain Shrikes.   Every Dream-Eater knows that the Plague that came to Vicitra will come again, like a storm building strength in the deep, terrible darkness. Shrikes haunt the abandon parts of the city still, consuming the unweary and unlucky. They've feasted once and hunger still, and so the Dream-Eaters wait and prepare for the terrible day when the Plague returns on the wings of nightmares.
Shrikes, the Thought-Eaters   Nightmarish moth-things that live somewhere between reality and nightmares, Shrikes haunt the caverns of Patala on rainbow wings. As humanity have entered Patala once again, so too have the Shrikes awoken from ancient slumber.   They hunger.   Read More About Shrikes
by Midjourney

Plague of Dreams

The plague began with dreams, shared between the slumbering minds of Patala. In them, unsure and unguarded, every secret and scheme, every illicit affair or true feeling was brought to the surface. People learned what was truly in the heart of their fellow kin, and violence followed.   With the plague came the Shrikes, drawn to the song of nightmares and the feast of shared dreams. Only through great bravery and greater sacrifice was the Shrikes and their dream-infesting presence banished from Vicitra... For now.  
Plague of Dreams
Military Conflict | Jul 26, 2022

A plague of collective dreams that soon turned into a living nightmares and invited monsters into the minds of every dreamer afflicted by the Plague.

 

The Singing Pit

Established after the Plague, the Singing Pit is an abyssal cavern ringed with Thought-Metal and filled with a cloud of incense.   The Pit is a place of meditation and horror in equal measure, the Singing Pit acts as a center of experimentation, training, and often battle. Mankind is treading grounds unknown, paying a great price in blood for every lesson they learn within the Singing Pit.  
The Singing Pit
Building / Landmark | Jul 27, 2022

There, in the darkness, surrounded by singing metal and dreaming choir, the brave and foolish train and experiment with ways to fight within their own dreams.

by Midjourney
Shrikes, and other nightmare terrors yet waiting to be found, are forced into the world near their would-be victim when their struggle is concluded. Many Dream-Eaters awaken, startled to find their hands wrapped around the Shrike's battered corpse.
 



Cover image: by Midjourney

Comments

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vivimorena
Vivianne Morena
16 Jul, 2022 12:35

I really love the wording of the text - it's very poetic and melodic. And the idea is quite interesting - to kill fear beings in dreams. I'm getting horror but colorful vibes from the images & overall - I totally LOVE it!

16 Jul, 2022 12:43

Aww, thank you very much!! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
vivimorena
Vivianne Morena
16 Jul, 2022 12:50

:)

16 Jul, 2022 12:44

I love this article. Very Lovecraftian. And one wee question, does The Dream Eater front the band Dream Theatre?

17 Jul, 2022 06:51

Thanks! And nope!


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
16 Jul, 2022 12:54

wow, they are very brave! and probably a bit mad

17 Jul, 2022 06:51

"There can be no bravery without a hint of madness" as they say in Darkest Dungeon :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Grandmaster tlcassis
Polgara Badass of Azeroth
2 Aug, 2022 01:46

What an interesting concept and world premise! Great styling and page design on short notice.

Humans! My competition entry for "On the Shoulders of Giants"   https://www.worldanvil.com/w/arrhynsia-tlcassis/a/humans-ethnicity   Author of the world of Arrhynsia https://www.worldanvil.com/w/arrhynsia-tlcassis  and Out of Darkness Book 1 of the Adenshur Scrolls     I will never understand surface dwellers.
2 Aug, 2022 06:24

Thank you! Definitely kind of funny considering your signature there about surface dwellers. :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Grandmaster tlcassis
Polgara Badass of Azeroth
2 Aug, 2022 13:56

It's a quote from one of my story protagonists :-) Thanks for following my reading article - expect to be reading a lot in the next week!

Humans! My competition entry for "On the Shoulders of Giants"   https://www.worldanvil.com/w/arrhynsia-tlcassis/a/humans-ethnicity   Author of the world of Arrhynsia https://www.worldanvil.com/w/arrhynsia-tlcassis  and Out of Darkness Book 1 of the Adenshur Scrolls     I will never understand surface dwellers.
4 Aug, 2022 14:32

Scaaaary! This is written so well, I envy your abilities xD The images are so cool, makes me want to use Midjourney too.

I hope you have a great day!   My most recent article!
  Spooktober is here!
4 Aug, 2022 22:27

Aw, thank you! :D   And... Go ahead, it's a fun tool! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
1 Sep, 2022 19:01

"In other words, I'm not trapped in here with them... They're trapped in here with me." Love it! Great work and interesting idea

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
1 Sep, 2022 19:08

Thanks! :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.