The Creation Myth and The Nameless.
It is said that in the beginning off all things there was nothing. The great void, so unfathomably vast in its emptiness that not even darkness dwelt there.
It is impossible for nothingness to exist forever, as if something cannot be perceived, how can it exist? So from the void came The Nameless and The Dream. It is not clear which came first; did the Nameless come first and create the dream, or did the Dream conjure the Nameless into existence? Perhaps they appeared at the same time, for it seems one could not exist without the other. The Nameless, is it is so referred to, is called as such, because how can we possibly label such an infinitely vast entity with so simple a title as 'God?' This is the being responsible for all things that ever were or will be, and no mere title could possibly do it justice!
The Nameless wielded The Dream as naturally as our hearts beat, and from it, Light and Dark was born. Planets and suns were birthed and made to dance and spin around one another like a grand play. Galaxies swirled for the Nameless one's amusement and the Void was filled. Like the artist behind a blank canvas, the universe was drawn; a great masterpiece, and all was good. But then as dreams are wont to do, a whispering of doubt and a gasp of uncertainty turned the Nameless's Dream sour. Then came the Nightmare.
It could not be stopped; as with all Nightmares, the negativity fed upon itself, growing larger and larger until there was no control left; all that could be done was to watch and cower; and since existence was the Nameless's Dream, it was within the Universe that it's Nightmare played out.
Stars burned themselves out and exploded! Worlds collided, sending debris across the dark! Countless planets grew sores and boils in the earth, growing until magma spewed forth across the lands! Lightning struck and winds howled! And on at least one planet - perhaps more - strange things clawed from the seas and walked onto the land! From the Great Nightmare, life was borne to Asydia.
The Universe was tearing itself apart and the Nameless One was caught in the madness, Driven insane by it's own Nightmare. Once it was in motion, nothing could be done to stop it! In desperation borne from it's deranged state, the Nameless saw but one way to stop the utter destruction: It called upon what little control it remained of the dream, and with utter despair, tore itself asunder.
The Nameless one slew itself; the great sacrifice to preserve its art. A resounding Crack thundered throughout reality as The Nameless Ceased to live, followed by silence. With no entity to direct The Dream, the universe hung in a limbo of beauty and horror. The damage was done and much chaos was brought to existence, but the wonder that is our reality remained. Some say that the scar left by The Nightmare has made the world more beautiful. And it seems indeed that us mortals were a by-product of that sorrow.
And so, thus were the events that bring us to here and now, clinging to a ball of rock in the vast emptiness, and somewhere, hidden behind the suns and beyond the stars, the corpse of The Nameless floats, its body decomposing and breaking apart throughout the aeons. But can such a being as uncomprehendingly vast and powerful as that entity truly remain just a lifeless corpse, leaving us uninfluenced by its touch forever?
I do not think so.
Musings of Mal'gan Thulros, Esgol Prophet and Philosopher.
The Fallen Star.
I saw it fall from the night sky; it was beautiful and yet somehow left me feeling forlorn: it appeared as though a star, streaking through the sky, was rejected by its fellows and cast down to Asydia. Banished to this world; it trailed a flaming streak behind it as it plummeted down alone. I was in the streets at the time, wandering home in a drunken stupor. Those around me pointed to the skies and exclaimed their theories to one another - ia giant bird!/i one claimed! Another scoffed and replied, i Nay, see it glow? T'is a piece of the moon come loose, dropping to the ground!/i I shook my head and spoke in a sagely manner, "iAh, ye fools! Assuredly it does be an Angel of Zevoah, who has't fallen from high and been cast down. Can you not feel it's sadness?"i They all nodded and agreed with my portent; after all, under pale light of the falling star, we all were weeping.
It didn't strike the ground until dawn: i remember being woken by the thunderous crash, rocking the foundations of my hovel! The previous night's revelry had left my mind in a stupor, but i soon recalled the falling star and arose from my bed to investigate. Before i had even left the house a voice whispered within my head: bCooome to meee, Faithful of Zevoahhh./B thinking back, i should have been terrified of this voice; it sounded like the skittering of spiders behind a shroud of mist. But feeling this voice inside me, i was washed over with a wave of warmth, and the alcohol-induced stupor was shed from me. I felt compelled to obey, and so i left the confines of my house into the street. All around me, the folk of Rowhyn were leaving their homes as well - were they compelled as I to follow the voice?
We travelled north for perhaps an hour, the sunlight dimming as we drew nearer to our destination due to an odd, purple haze which permeates the air, letting only the occasional ray shine through, which flickered and danced strangely - it felt as though walking into a dream - silent and eerie.
Finally, we reached Owan's farm, and where there once was just wheat fields lay a massive crater. The air around was misty and hard to peer through, but once i closed in on the crater I realized the impossibility of what lay before me: the massive chunks of earth which must have flown to the air from the impact of the celestial body remained, suspended in the air! Giant rocks floated lazily around in the sky above the crater, ranging from fifty feet to several hundred high; spinning gently in a clockwise direction. Each of these stones were weeping a crimson liquid, the smell of which identified it as blood! The blood dropped down into the crater, creating a massive lake.
I remember feeling the same sense of sorrow that i had felt the night before upon reaching the crater. I reached the edge of the blood lake and felt compelled to peer up. How i missed it earlier, i do not know, but in the centre of the lake, suspended in midair by spiderlike silken strands attached to each of the swirling rocks, was what could only be a massive heart! Tinged with purple and blue, the heart beat lazily above us, each pump spilling rivulets of blood into the lake from its tubes and arteries.
I hesitated for some time - my faith in Zevoah giving me pause. Many of the other townsfolk walked into the bloody pool, however. They disappeared for a short while, fully submerged by the opaque liquid, but when they stepped back out they were no longer human!
Visions from a nightmare, all; the unholy lake had turned my countrymen into skittering amalgamations of spider and man! There is but one word I can label the horrors with - monsters from the old tales: Demons.
The compulsion held on my mind shattered at this sight, and i screamed in horror and stumbled backwards as my warped fellows stalked from the pool towards me.
A hail of arrows hummed passed my shoulder as I fell back, striking the Demons and slaying them. They each released an unearthly squeal as they succumbed to the attack and sunk into the blood lake. From behind me, a contingent of Zealots rode on horses, shortbows humming as they charged! An enigmatic figure rode at the forefront in full plate, his tabard emblazoned with an insignia I had not seen before: An opened eye, with the pupil replaced by an image of the full moon.
The Demons were quickly slain by the onslaught, and the leader of the attack dismounted from his horse, along with a grizzled, old man dressed in no armor. I knew what this man was - the myriad of scars and cuts on every visible part of his skin denoted him as a Bleeder - a foul Blood Mage, capable of using his own life force as a magical energy to manipulate others!
The leader removed his helm and spoke a couple of quiet words to the Bleeder, before kissing the man on the forehead. Then, to my horror, the Blood Mage drew a knife and plunged it into his own neck! Arterial blood sprayed forth, covering the ground, and then the Bleeder's chest cavity exploded outward! A gaping hole appeared in his chest as he fell to the ground, clearly dead. At the same time though, the giant suspended organ also erupted, blood and flesh spraying over and into the lake in a shower of gore. Moments later, the floating stones dropped from their suspension, splashing into the liquid below and creating great waves of blood. The purple haze surrounding the land slowly began to dissipate.
Shakily, I made my way over to the captain of the knights and spoke with him; "What wrong did we commit this Zevoah would send one of his angels to do this to us?" to which he replied, "This was not the messenger of the Zealous God, friend. Thank the gods it was dormant! Come; i will tell you of what has occurred here."
He took me aside and spoke to me of The Dreamers, and my blood ran cold. To think, we mortals, so obsessed with such trivialities as life and death, have such a small grasp on the enormity of what lies above our world, hidden behind the stars.
They come from the darkness beyond the sun and moon. Tiny Shards of The Nameless One broken off as it's lifeless corpse decomposes. The Dreamers travel the dark aimlessly until they happen upon a world. They streak from the sky like a meteorite, striking the land below with a great crash. Fragments of flesh from the Nameless, they carry with them a portion of the power of The Dream, untempered and wild. With unfathomable motives, they wield The Dream to alter the world around them, sometimes permanently. Some speculate that there IS no motive behind their actions; that they are caught up in their own dead slumber, as unpredictable and as changing as the Nightmare in which they are trapped. To the uneducated peoples of Asydia, The Dreamers often go by a different moniker - they are the harbingers of chaos and danger, mysterious, deadly and all-powerful: They are Devils.
Incredibly rare, The Dreamers nonetheless pose a high threat to Asydia and its peoples - they are able to make the impossible possible, disregarding mere things such as physics and laws of reality; the very nature of their power is the ability to bring dreams and thoughts to life.
Each Dreamer is unique; their is no uniformity to their appearance or their abilities. Some can even be communicated with, sharing a near-omniscient dearth of wisdom about the universe; though if they speak it will often be in cryptic ramblings not unlike trying to rationalize with a sleepwalker.
Though their forms are many, The Dreamers can generally be classified into one of two categories: Dormant or Awakened.
Sometimes referred to as Sleepwalkers, Dormant Dreamers are the shards of the Nameless that have not achieved any kind of consciousness. Slaves to the Dream, they act without rationality or cognitive reason.
In fact, they are but dead lumps of flesh from The Nameless's corpse; but the nature of The Nameless is such that even it's dead meat is fully capable of wielding The Dream. The Dormant Dreamers have no direction or motive to their power; like a mortal trapped in a Nightmare, the dream changes and warps, unbidden by its desires. The only difference is that it's Dream-world is our reality, and the world is swept up in its wake.
Dormant Dreamers usually appear as grotesque, unrefined organic masses: from Organs to bloodied flesh, unblinking eyeballs to shapeless lumps of skin.
Active Dreamers - The Awakened.
All Dreamers begin Dormant - pieces of decayed flesh from the Nameless which still exudes potent Dream Magic. Should a Dreamer remain unattended to for long enough, there is a chance they may dream themselves awake. This Dark Resurrection breathes life and consciousness into their being; a tiny incarnation of The Nameless One itself. Wrestling control of The Dream back, the Awakened One will create a form more fitting for life on the planet in which it landed. This form is unique to the Dreamer and is limitless in it's variety. Some appear as forms of scale and claw; others as ethereal beings, mistaken occasionally for ghosts. Living Shadow; a wolf of crimson-flecked obsidian; a giant, rooted tree; all are forms in which Awakened Dreamers have taken. The form itself is largely arbitrary; what matters is the intense sentience in which these Devils possess. With a Cosmic intellect and deific wisdom - not to mention absolute control of The Dream - Awakened Dreamers represent the greatest threat there is to Asydia.
It is as well that their attentions rarely turn to man - they treat reality as their plaything; like scientists unbound by any laws or regulations or any concept of good or evil. The world is their Laboratory, and we, their mice.
A Dormant Dreamer, though dangerous, is able to be slain by destroying it's vessel. An awakened Dreamer has overcome the power of The Dream, enslaving it and bending it to it's will - The threat it poses is immeasurable. To date, no Active Dreamer has been slain by any normal method.
It is said that one was defeated, once: Samoah Forgewrith, a simple dwarven hunter encountered a great Devil high in the frozen mountains of Esgoloth, and he used trickery and wordplay to convince the Dreamer to tear itself apart.
It is strongly advised not to attempt to seek out or converse with a Dreamer, however. If you encounter one; Run.
The Dream is a concept difficult to grasp for many mortals: The fact that we are just a by-product of some entity's imagination is something which is innately rejected by most.
At it's core, The Dream is a simple idea: It is Everything. Our entire universe is just a dream. To harness the power of The Dream is simply to alter reality; to play with the building blocks of life.
It's power is without boundary and exacts no toll on those who can wield it. It is just as well mortals cannot access this power, as this is the stuff by which worlds are made and stars die.
When we sleep, we allow ourselves to be touched by The Dream, creating our own layer tempered by our memories, fears and experiences. While we sleep, this world we have conjured seems so real, and yet once we wake, we know it to be just in our heads. But have you ever spared a thought to those people you dreamed to life while you slumbered? To them, that was their reality and all the strangeness you dreamt was real to them.
This is the nature of The Dream and indeed The Dreamers. The only exception is that they live within their own dream: there is no place for them to wake up to.
There is one other question which must be asked: When the people you dream up whilst you slumber go to sleep, do they dream as well? How many layers does The Dream hold?
The Nightwatch Vigil.
In Asydia, there is a small group of individuals with Knowledge of The Dreamers, passed down from their ancestors. Charged with watching the skies for signs of their arrival, they remain ever vigilant, for they know that once a Dreamer is cast down from the heavens, time is of the essence to find and destroy it before it before it becomes active. A thankless task, they remain secretive and do their best to clean up the mess that the Dreamers leave in their wake and hide the facts: for mortal kind is not ready to know the truth of things; they must remain deluded that their lives mean something.
It is a task frought with danger and with little reward, which is why each generation sees less and less members of the NightWatch Vigil. Though centered within Valor's Vigil in Southern Ralkhara, the Nightwatch Vigil has agents from all lands and nationalities.
Current Asydian Speculated Locations.
R'kysmolth, the Tree of Dreams
Location: Ralkhara - Forest of Wretched Souls
Deep within the tangles of the dark, hostile rainforest stands the Tree of a thousand splintered mouths, which towers over the canopy. In the land below, shadowy things and dark sprites flit and glide amongst the trees.
Prophecy of the end of all things:
The night of a thousand falling stars.