The Dreamlands are an alternate plane of reality created and continuously shaped by the collective imagination and dreams of humanity, the product of the collective unconscious. It is a plane of insubstantiality, deception, wild imaginings and distracting visions. Many witches believe that the Dreamlands contain the sum total of all human knowledge, belief, and experience (albeit shrouded in metaphor, symbolism and subjectivity), and some devote their entire lives to studying it and gleaning as much information from it as they can. The Dreamlands are usually harmless to sleeping travellers, as "dying" there only results in them waking up, but anyone who travels bodily to the plane is in real danger from the hazards of the subconscious.
The geography of the areas of the Dreamlands generally reflects the geography of the areas in the real world they exist adjacent to. This extends to the location and appearance of buildings, towns, and cities. However, due to both the passage of time and the effects of people's memories, there can be discrepancies. For example, a city's reflection in the Dreamlands can hold buildings and locations that were destroyed years, decades, even centuries ago. Areas considered wilderness are even worse about this, as aside from a few notable landmarks, the landscape can be either constantly shifting or seemingly frozen in a single state.
The Dreamlands are prone to sudden bouts of unusual weather-related phenomena. This can be due to either the shifting nature of the Dreamlands themselves or the mental state of residents and travellers. These phenomena can range from the mundane, like rainshowers brought on by depressive states, to bizarre, like monsoons of blood and meat, to outright dangerous, like shards of glass raining sideways at 100mph. Fortunately, most instances of these types of weather pass as quickly as they pop up, but they can still be a pain to get caught in at best.
Unusual non-weather-related phenomena also frequently crop up in the Dreamlands. Bodies of water can suddenly turn into giant whirlpools, forests can get up and walk around, and even whole mountains can start bending and swaying in the breeze. It can't be understated just how dangerous and unpredictable the Dreamlands can be, and it's recommended among even the most experienced witches to use the utmost caution whenever physically travelling there.
Fauna & Flora
Being an immaterial realm, the Dreamlands are home to all manner of fantastical and otherworldly creatures. Most of these creatures are either some flavor of spirit (beings composed of spiritual energy) or fairy (beings naturally born within the Dreamlands), but the deeper one delves into the Dreamlands, and by extension into the collective unconcious, the less defined the creatures become until they become outright undefinable. Some other inhabitants include ghouls (corpse-eating shapeshifters that can take the form of their past meals), djinn (beings born from the raw stuff of magic), and even some lesser primogens (beings designed based on the blueprints for the archprimogens used by the original Creator)
Tips for Traversing the Dreamlands
By Leila Katz-Kashif
Before you go:
While you're there:
- If you're on any brain meds, take them before you go. The Dreamlands can and will respond to your mental state and change accordingly, so make sure you're in a good state. Or at least a stable one.
- Going off of the above, DO NOT take any mind-altering substances before you go. Having a bad drug trip in the Dreamlands is infinitely worse than having one in the real world.
- For a dream trip, think twice before attempting lucid dreaming or an out of body experience. Sure, you'll have more power in the Dreamlands, but you'll also be a massive target for anything and anyone looking for a vulnerable puppet.
- For a physical trip, bring stuff to ward off the Dreamlands' more aggressive inhabitants: Salt for the spirits, mustard for the ghouls, iron for the fucking fairies. Better safe than sorry.
- When in doubt, keep your mouth shut. If you don't trust something or someone's intentions, give them just enough information to cover the bare minimum of interaction and nothing more.
- Never judge a book by its cover. Just because it looks big and scary doesn't necessarily mean it wants to hurt you. Conversely, just because it looks small and cute doesn't necessarily mean it wants to be your friend.
- Take any information you get with a grain of salt. If you can corroborate it with someone on the outside, it's probably trustworthy, but otherwise, think twice.
- For the love of G-d, do NOT trust the fucking fairies! The second a fairy opens their mouth, turn around and walk away! You'll get screwed over just from listening to them!
Dreaming, Akasha, Anima Mundi