Nindra, the Dreaming Cage
It's as good a place for a last stand as any, wouldn't you say?Once a minor outpost for explorers and settlers that sought to brave the further reaches of Patala, Nindra has become the center of a desperate struggle for survival. After the Plague of Dreams nearly drove humanity out of Patala, a small group of survivors and fighters made Nindra their home and fortress, knowing that the plague and the thought-eating shrikes would come again. Today, it is a busy hub of roughly a hundred souls, where minds are sharpened into blades and made ready to battle nightmares.
Is it a fortress, or a cage? Well, why can't it be both?Nindra is situated on a crossing of canyon tunnels in Patala's grey halls, clustered around an oasis of water and mushroom. The large, waist deep pool at the heart of Nindra is ringed with a heavy coat of fungi and patches of mushrooms, with algae and weeds coating its floor. Small, make-shift farms and gardens form another ring around that, with chiseled channels siphoning water to the growing crops. It is wet and humid, with the heavy smell of mushroom and wet stone. As Nindra grows, homes, shopes, and forges have spilled out from the central caverns into the tunnels around it, with maybe half of Nindra living within the oasis and the rest around it.
Though the foes they prepare for are otherworldly, each tunnel ends with a barricade and sentry post. There are many hungry things lurking in Patala's dark.
At the far east end of central cavern, a small tunnel leads to a long, dead-end drop filled with filth-eating fungi that Nindra use for dumping garbage and waste, tended to by whoever lost the bet that week.Through a hidden path only a short journey away lies Nindra's greatest treasure and its most useful training grounds - the Singing Pit. An ancient monument of the folk who once called Patala home, it is a great pit with a web of Thought-Metal at the bottom. Such a concentration of thought-metal has made reality fuzzy there, a place where perception matters as much as reality. Here, would-be Dream-Eaters meditate and train to hone their dream-killing skills, and here they face Shrikes in mortal combat to become a true Dream-Eater.
The Singing Pit
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.
Against the Tide of Extinction
I've seen the bones of those who came before us. We'll join them, if we don't do something to change it.In the wake of the Plague of Dreams, most of Patala were keen to put the affair behind them before the corpses had even cooler. Others, especially those who had faced the Shrikes at the heart of their power, knew that the carnage had only been the beginning. Predators had caught the scent of blood now, and would not give it up.
Though usually united by a common purpose and terrors suffered together, some in Nindra have their own reasons to be there. A famed Cadaverurgist from far-away Dhanû, Akullur sees not unearthly terrors or the treat of extinction in the Shrike but, as she puts, it 'novel, raw material.'Though far from wealthy, Nindra receives support from survivors of the plague and some of the Merchant-Prince that rule Vicitra. Chief among them in both amount and eyebrows raised is Muradov the Merciless, a tyrannical merchant-prince who has seen fit to support the dream-eaters and their home to a degree many other find suspicious.
Patala, the Descent Nindra is a flickering light in the unknown dark of the recently discovered Patala region. A cavernous realm of great, winding canyon halls and abyssal descents into further darkness, it is home to horror and wonder in equal measure. As nightmares gather again in the shadows to extinguish humanity's light within Patala, the people of Nindra race to prevent it. Read More About Patala
ShrikesNightmarish moth-like creatures, Shrikes live within the thoughts and dreams of mortal minds. Awoken again from an ageless slumber by humanity's renewed presence in its realm, the Shrikes threaten to devour every mind there, as they may well have done before. These are the foes that Nindra were established to fight, no matter how impossible the task might seem.
Shrikes, the Thought-Eaters
Hungry things that live in the gaps and shadows of the human mind, dwelling and feasting and spreading through fear.
Plague of DreamsIt began as a rash of collective dreams, where the sleeping mind in the city of Vicitra began share the same dreamscape, night after night. There, unguarded and unsure, secrets were unearthed, illicit affairs and schemes exposed. It didn't take long for violence to follow, and with the blood came the Shrikes. The Plague of Dreams wracked Vicitra and pushed it to the edge of extinction. Even now, there are parts of the city that lie empty and abandoned, the blood dried and corpses unclaimed. Shrikes still haunt the nightmares of the wounded city, and people find their throughts slip away in the night, gnawed from their mind by lurking Shrikes.
Plague of Dreams
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.
For the leadership of Nindra, it isn't a question of if the plague might strike again, but when.