Forest/ Jungle
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Rating: 3.6667
Condition: Normal
ID: 3886


May 2, 2007, 11:41 pm

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Dream Eater


A scourge of sweet dreams and good nights… and nothing more than a harmless fox.

Full Description
Dream Eaters, also known as Nightmare Foxes are a rare species, due largely to over hunting.  At first glance they resemble an average fox that’s been dipped in black paint.  They are small of build, about a foot and quarter at the shoulder on average.  As such they are fragile creatures, relying mainly on speed for protection.  What differs them from the average fox are luminescent white eyes with no visible pupil and a sticky black oil secreted by glands covering their skin.  The oil gives off a pungent odor, similar to that of decaying flowers.  No one can quite say what color a Dream Eater’s fur is, as the oil clings relentlessly to whatever it comes in contact with.

Dream Eaters are nocturnal, and notoriously curious.  When there is no sense of danger, they are apt to snoop around camps of sleeping adventurers or whatever else they com across in their wanderings.  Their namesake comes from such encounters, as the pungent oil they produce causes troubled dreams in many species.  The only known species who seem immune to this effect are Orcs.

The preferred habitat of the Dream Eaters are ancient forests with little light and scarce flora on the ground floor.  They are well suited to a life in the shadows, oversized ears and uncannily sharp hearing taking the place of eyesight as the most important sense.  Sent also plays a large factor in how they perceive the environment, as they share a sharp nose with other closely related fox species.

Dream Eater has but one use to the animal: deterring those who would otherwise consider it breakfast.  The rotting scent dissuades most predators from hunting the Dream Eater.  Nature never intended for human’s interest in the same oil, however.  While it has no known magical properties, it is useful in discouraging dangerous wildlife and masking scent.  While the user will undoubtedly suffer from unpleasant dreams, the scent effectively deters predators and hides scent trails remarkably well. 

Another strange characteristic of the Dream Eater is a magpie- like mentality.  They gather shiny or interesting objects, filling their dens with glittering trinkets.  Often times they make of with small valuable or merely shiny bits after a visit to a slumbering camp.  Following their keen sense of smell, they have a history of raiding food stores as well.  They will not, however, venture close enough to a slumbering adventurer as to wake him, even should a shiny object be visible. 

While not particularly vicious creatures, they pose a real threat to the moral of any adventurer.  They have a habit of following a source of food.  Once having discovered a plentiful food source, they will trail it for days and even weeks, visiting at night.

Additional Information

Troubled Dreams
A merchant caravan traveling along a well traveled road reports strange dreams and missing food rations, as well as an unsettling smell of decaying flowers.  According to the report, whatever phantom may be haunting them has followed the journey the entire way, never failing to visit every night.  No sentry has seen a thing, yet it is suspected that a mixture of long days and alcohol has made for sleepy sentries.  Adventurers are wanted to discover and vanquish the source of the assaults.

A Skein of Oil
Any merchant worth his salt sells skeins of Dream Eater oil, as its properties make it useful to many calibers of men, from adventurers and explorers to the common hunter.  As such competition for the Dream eaters is fierce.  One corpse provides a full skein of oil, nearly priceless.  Hunters are in demand in nearly every city that boarders a Dream Eater’s habitat- merely ask around with the local traders and merchants.

An ambitious young man has decided to tame a Dream Eater, and harvest oil from the creature without harming it.  Enlisting the aid of adventurers, he has formulated a rough plan on capturing the fragile creature without harming it.

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MindForge
May 3, 2007, 1:20
These are cool, good job. What about their social activity among one another? If they tend to congregate in areas that become hunting grounds, do they travel in packs or are they solitary?
Another thing, why is a single skein priceless, all it does is cover the scent of a creature, I would think that something that was priceless would be very, very rare and have more uses than that of masking a scent. Could their oily secretion also allow faster healing, like a salve, or maybe prevent infections and minimize poison, something else to actually make them a bit more valuable. Most hunters and campers know something so simple as a fire or even their own noise will scare off dangerous wildlife. I just think the pungent oil should have a little more use is all. Good job overall.
May 3, 2007, 19:27
Oh... wow. Big comment.
Thankee much dear. I will look into adding your sugestions whenever I get off my lazy rump.
Voted valadaar
May 3, 2007, 8:32
Is there a magical origin to this critter?

The Oil would be a good ingredient for crafting certain sleep-oriented toxins.
May 3, 2007, 19:28
Not intended to have magic origins, no. I'll go back in and clarify that. Thank you much
Voted Cheka Man
May 3, 2007, 14:32
Very good indeed. I like it.
Voted manfred
May 3, 2007, 17:56
A realistically described animal with that magical something that puts it back into fantasy. (Or does it? There _can_ be chemicals that interfere with sleep, so the animal might actually exist.)

MindForge has some useful suggestions, a little editing could be done, but yay, it is a very nice first submission. Welcome to the place, DarklingCandle!
May 3, 2007, 19:31
Heh... intended to be fantasy, yes. I based it off of reality, it can indeed be bent. There are chemicals that exist that mess with the brain in strange ways, yet I don't know enough about them to inculde it in this particular species.

I'll get to editing, then. Thank you kindly for the welcome
Voted Dozus
May 4, 2007, 17:25
Dream eating creatures aren't a new idea, but the twists you've given make them more unique and more believable. A very interesting beast indeed. I look forward to seeing more from you!
Voted Murometz
November 15, 2007, 13:30
I like these foxes very much. The tag-line and description captivated me. No magical origin is a great touch as well. Wonderful little details, the skin, the oil, the eyes, the smell of decayig flowers. From the pages of National Geographic and into the world of dreams. Kudos!

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: MoonHunter

Arkths or Ravagers: These are large landbound crablike creatures about the size of Grizzly Bears. They live partially in the astreal plane. Their food is magic. They can sense it at huge distances. Since spells and such are hard to eat (being in motion) and magical places are the equivalent of a sea of krill to them, they are looking for magic stashed in concrete places. Their primary food source is magic items, alchemical potions, and enchantments. They do a pretty good job of mangling/ eating the physical aspect of said items in the process of chowing down. These things will be the bane of dungeons everywhere, as they will slowly eat away much of the treasure (and the magical traps... so it can be advantagous to follow these things). Note: They will attack people with highly magical natures (i.e. high magic powers). They will probably kill the person in the process of sucking out the power.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | May 19, 2004 | View | UpVote 0xp

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