Dream Slips

A Bad Dream...
Hmmm...well this was an interesting predicament he found himself in. One moment he was sleeping, taking a well-deserved nap he thought, and the next there was a strange imp creature made of fire and wax bouncing around his study. "Crap! A Dream Slip!" he yelled throwing off his sheets and jumping from his bed.   A Dream Slip, a literal manifestation of his dreams come to life. What had he exposed himself to cause this he thought, was it the off-shelf magical tinctures he took? And when did he dream of a weird little wax demon? He'd have to figure it out later, the imp manifestation had to come first. He watched it frolick about the room, cackling and casually setting books and papers alight with the flames that licked from its wispy tail. Normally, he would just wait these out, Dream Slip manifestation typically only lasted a few minutes, but when one manifested made of actual flame it would need to be snuffed immediately or else his entire tower may go up in flames.   He approached the imp, as close as he could get, it was currently setting fire to a set of pens he had left out the night before. "Stop, you vile manifestation!" he bellowed, stretching out a hand he cast a quick cantrip at the creature and snuffed out the flames running across its body. Appalled the imp looked at himself then scowled at him, flexing its tiny arms it flung its head backwards and yelled as mightily as it could. With its tiny arms bulging and an almost adorable holler, it somehow reignited his body's flames, which now felt even hotter. It smirked at him and bounced off to its next target, a table covered with various papers and books.   "Oh no you don't!" he yelled at the imp, "you want to play this tough, then tough it shall get for you creature!"   He took a few quick steps to his desk and grabbed a single leather glove adorned with several magic runes across it and donned it on his left hand. He spun towards the imp, which was finishing its work on the table and was currently in the process of launching itself from the wooden table across to one of his large bookshelves with a devilish cackle.   He snapped his fingers on his gloved hand and the chaotic sound of magic filled the room. A large set of double windows behind him suddenly flew open and an immense gust of wind began to vacuum everything out of the room. He braced himself against his nearby desk, holding on for dear life. The imp, caught in mid-air by the sudden force of wind began to soar towards the window, his arms and legs flailing chaotically. Papers, books, pens, and anything not tied down began to fly towards and out of the window as well.   The imp snarled and clawed at him as it sailed by him, its tiny flames sputtering in the intense wind before they and the attached imp were catapulted from the tower via the open window. The moment the imp was out the window he snapped his fingers once more and the wind abated, and his remaining possessions dropped to the ground. He looked out the window just in time to see the imp hit the ground and dissipate in a puff of purple-coloured smoke, amongst a variety of possessions that now lay on the ground outside of his tower.   He looked around at the still slightly smouldering mess of his room. Sigh...what a nightmare he thought. He better get to cleaning this mess.
Dream Slip Manifestations
A Dream Slip is a physical manifestation of a thought that occupies the mind of an individual during sleep. The manifestation typically takes the form of a small creature, whether real or imagined, that is then able to physically interact with the world around it for a limited time. The form taken, time manifested for, and ability to interact with its environment are dependent on the inherent magical strength of the individual suffering from the Dream Slip, whether trained or natural and the severity of the magical event they encountered during their waking hours that helped spark the Dream Slip occurrence.   The form, as was previously stated, is typically a smaller creature of no more than palm-sized, examples are things like fairies, woodland creatures, or small bipedal humanoids or imps made of light, shadow, fire, etc. These small-sized creatures often don't last longer than a few minutes but can cause significant harm if ill-tempered or mischievous.   Rarer forms of manifestations can take the shape of people, most often they resemble someone in the individuals waking life whether they are alive or deceased. Though details of their form always seem to be somewhat off and their personality is skewed by the afflicted's perspective of that person and the manifestation doesn't actually share the memories of the real-life individual they have taken the form of. Instead, they may repeat phrases or moments that are strongly implanted in the afflicted's mind that are associated with the manifested form. And much like the smaller more common manifestations, it is hard to tell how these manifestations will act and its level of danger can vary. It can be quite a traumatic experience to witness a friend, family member, or loved one suddenly manifesting from your dreams and then begin to act strangely or cause mischief or harm.   In extremely rare cases, usually associated with both extreme magical exposure and with those who have a wealth of natural or built-up magical abilities, large manifestations can take form. Only a handful of examples have been experienced, some of which are detailed below in the (In)Famous Cases section. On record, large manifestations have included a miniaturized dragon (which was arguably still quite large), a gigantic housemaid, and a comically large house cat. Will some of these may seem comical in nature, they can cause severe damage if not dealt with accordingly.   The exact nature and temperament of these manifestations are seemingly random, with some being kind and helpful and others being tricksters or outright harmful and mean-spirited, actively seeking to cause mayhem and damage. The latter ones can pose quite the problem, especially if it ends up being a larger manifestation that could cause significant damage to its surroundings and those in it, regardless of how long it keeps its form. Some theories purport that the manifestations temperament depends on the afflicted mood whilst sleeping, or their demeanour and opinions regarding the manifestation in real life.  
Mages have studied Dream Slips extensively, for a variety of reasons, including possible weaponization (see below section), as such, they have come up with several theories on the causation of these events. Often times those that suffer from Dream Slips are individuals that have been exposed to intense magical energies shortly before their Dream Slip event. Smaller manifestations are believed to be most common, mostly amongst those with little inherent magical abilities or those that have only come into brief contact with a minor magical event or have only slightly overexposed themselves with magical imbuements. Examples may include, unknowingly spending extended time near a rift in dimensions or naturally occurring magic reservoirs like Ether Crystal caves, over-imbibing in enchanted potions or spells, or finding oneself the victim of various mind and/or body-altering spells in a short period of time.   In any case, the common element is prolonged exposure to the chaotic energy of the Cacophony, the source dimension that fuels magic on Fyria. But not in intense enough doses to cause madness, as in cases of Cacophony Madness just enough to cause magical imprints of the sufferer's mind to dislodge themselves and wander freely. In rare cases, it is possible that people who are not used to even the lowest levels of magical exposure may suffer from both Dream Slips and Cacophany Madness.
Treatment for Dream Slips are typically simple, just allow the manifestation to run out its reserves of magical energy and dissipate. In most cases, a small manifestation will dissipate within a few minutes, and no real action is required other than to simply ignore the creature. However, if the manifestation poses an immediate problem the manifestation can be dispelled by a mage who has the ability to dispel magical energies.   Also, even though these manifestations are caused by magical energy they are temporarily physical beings, which means they can be dealt with by force and will dissipate after a certain amount of force has been applied. But, physically interacting with the manifestations can be dangerous as the manifestations can turn on their attacker and attack them in kind. If possible, it is best to leave the manifestations caused by a Dream Slip alone until they dissipate on their own. Though some mischievous can become violent and may require immediate remedying, as they may cause damage to those around them, even in their short time in existence.
(In)Famous Cases
The Not-So Kind Maid
This event occurred in a small village in the northern regions of The Empire of Aldelgis along The Gilded Mountains. The Dream Slip occurred after a child had been found after they had been missing for several days. According to reports of the event, the child had run away from home due to their fear of the family's rather ornery housemaid, the child hid in a nearby cave for several days subsisting off of a small satchel of goods they had swiped from home. However, what the child didn't know was that the cave was ripe with activated Ether Crystals a material known to hold great magical energy in certain circumstances. The child laid and slept there over several nights before being found and brought home, his small body being bombarded with magical exposure for many hours.   During the first night back at home, the child tossed and turned as if having a nightmare, suddenly appearing from his mind was the gigantic-sized form of the maid that he feared so much. They woke the boy and chastised him for the state of his messy room before setting off to clean the room and the rest of the home. Sadly, due to the maids increased size it did more damage to the home than good. Luckily, with the quick action of the other residents of the home, everyone was evacuated without issue and the maid dissipated without harming anyone. Though the house certainly had certainly seen better days. What was strange was that most mundane citizens, even when exposed to large magical energies did not manifest Dream Slips of this size, and furthermore, this manifestation took several hours to dissipate. This indicated that the child may have some innate potential at the magical arts.   Once word of the event reached The Crown City of Elric a group of mages representing Ayer College, the countries premier college for magical and military training arrived in town and interviewed the child. By the end of the day, it had been decided that the child would move to Elric and join Ayer College for training.
The Minature Dragon
This Dream Slip manifestation took place when a Mage of the Royal Court of Sumner spent a few too many nights experimenting with self-administered enchantment spells and enhancement potions. The mage had gone several sleepless nights, usually, mages are able to keep their guard up and prevent dangerous Dream Slips from materializing, but the mage was too exhausted and had accumulated too much magical buildup within himself. After he had fallen asleep that night he experienced a Dream Slip, and springing from his subconscious came forth a miniature and rather upset Red Dragon, one that did not care for his current situation.   And despite being described as miniature this manifestation was still easily the size of a large wagon. Before the mage could awake and take action the dragon destroyed the mage's home, killing him in the process, it then went on a rampage causing significant damage to the surrounding neighbourhood before representatives of Sumner College of Sorcerors could intervene and detain the dragon before it dissipated. The whole incident occurred over the course of about an hour, many buildings were damaged and several dozen were injured. Showing how dangerous these Dream Slips can be.   Ever since this incident stricter practices have been implemented on research that mages in Sumner can conduct on themselves. Mages are only allowed to cast a small number of experimental spells on themselves in a given span of time. Anything above this could result in fines or imprisonment.
Research Into Weaponization
Due to rare events as described above, certain countries and enterprising individuals have begun researching ways to control and force manufactured Dream Slips. With the thought being that if Dream Slips, especially those sprung from the minds of powerful mages, then a near-limitless source of military might could be taken advantage of for use in battle. Even if these manifestations only lasted a few minutes, the amount of damage the sudden and unexpected appearance of a Red Dragon, for example, could do to an opposing force would be an incredible advantage for any army.   However, there hasn't been much success in this research thus far. The mages conducting experiments in this field have found that they cannot reliably induce Dream Slips with the same results as prior occurrences. They are also finding the process of exposing people to magical energies, the cause of these occurrences, rather unpredictable and dangerous as overexposure to magical energy from the Cacophany can cause extreme reactions including cases of Cacophony Madness.
This condition is when someone's dream or nightmare slips from their mind during sleep and takes on a life of their own. Usually, the aspect taking form is only able to keep its shape for a few moments, a few hours at most, but depending on the aspect it could pose a significant danger to those that may be near. Depending on the individual caught in a dream slip, along with the area and any other magical occurrences the individual has found themselves in the slip will either be extremely weak and barely able to keep its form, or extremely powerful and able to deal significant damage. Unfortunately, mages are common sufferers of this affliction due to their frequent exposure to powerful magics. Dream Slips are a direct casualty of the nature of magic in Fyria and its chaotic nature.


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1 Feb, 2022 05:40

Great article. I like how the dream manifestations can be dangerous if they aren’t handled properly.

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