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Radiation

Introduction + Question about The Dreamlands

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Radiation

Hello Everyone, I'm your average Gamer and Lovecraft Enthusaist, Pleasure to meet you and praise the outer gods.

 

Now, On to my question, I've been reading lately about the DreamLands and have a minor question, is their a good step to step guide to visit the dream lands? I have heard it's very similar to the astral realm. I would love to investigate and witness an seemingly interesting dimension.

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GBSteve

It's a wide a varied place. Make of it what you will, but the Dreamlands supplement is a good place to start. Read the first link in my sig for a rather weirder end of it.

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Radiation

Alright, I'll have a look then! Thanks for your reply!  :-D

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yronimoswhateley

In a lucid dream, a dreamer must go on a quest to find a hidden stairway, the Seventy Steps into the Cavern of Flame, occupied by the bearded priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah, who will prepare the dreamer's way through Deeper Slumber with suitable attire, strange ointments and incenses, sonorous chanting, careful blessings against the various known denizens of Nightmare and a few unknown, and directions read from the Scroll of Wonder that a dreamer must follow carefully, for deviation from those instructions is dangerous and there are many, perhaps countless strange worlds beyond Deeper Slumber other than the Dreamlands, some less friendly to Earthly folk than others, and many dreamers who lose their way in Deeper Slumber have never found their way back; and, the priests will warn, some of those who have come back have returned changed in ways that dreamers ought not to be changed.  The priests will then lead the way to the Seven Hundred Steps of Deeper Slumber, which must be descended in the appointed order, until the dreamer emerges through the Gate of Deeper Slumber into the Enchanted Wood of the Dreamlands.

 

The Seven Hundred and Seventy Steps are hard to find, and many who once knew the way lose the knack of finding it over time, as the lures and peculiar wonders of the waking world become too strong and deeply ingrained.  For some who have lost their way into Deeper Slumber, there are only drastic measures and many false hopes left, such as strange powders and dangerous drugs, some brought to the waking world by agents of nightmares for the purpose of ensnaring and misleading dreamers by directing them through lands held in nightmare before stealing through the weak places bordering nightmare and Deeper Slumber, accompanied by creeping things of nightmare disguised as things of dream, to torment and bedevil the dreamer and lead him astray.

 

Some powerful and imaginative dreamers have the rare talent of simply walking between the Dreamlands and the waking world; there are said to be seven hundred and seventy doors in London alone, set in brick walls of grim factories and shops or in stone garden walls or in basements and in attics which the wise dreamer can see and open into dream.  Lord Dunsany knew where to find a few of these doors.  The furtive and wicked Zoogs know them all, especially those that lead between dream and the closets of young children and the spaces below children's beds.  The Zoogs also know of the thin spots and cracks in the walls between dream and day which can be followed by those who know those dangerous cracks and tunnels and have the courage or madness to creep through them; even Zoogs will not creep through all of those, though.  The Zoogs can sometimes be bargained with to reveal the locations of some of those doors, but who would bargain with the Zoogs, but the most clever and brave, or the most foolish?

 

Powerful wizards and priests know spells which can violently rip holes between the worlds of Sleep and waking and countless others besides, allowing the sorcerers to travel vast distances between the worlds in an instant through hideous angles outside both.  Yog-Sothoth will reveal the secrets of such spells to you for a terrible price, but there are many wizards and priests who are well accustomed to paying terrible prices for what they want.  Great Cthulhu is said to own a tablet upon which several such spells have been carved, and the tablet rests with Cthulhu in his vast, hideously-carved house and grave at R'Lyeh; a very brave dreamer might undertake the terrible journey to R'Lyeh, open the door to the crypt of Cthulhu, creep down the steps into shadow and stench, and feel about in the dark to discover the location of this tablet, inscribing the runes that record the spells before fleeing back into sunlight, and thus steal these secrets from Cthulhu - many dreamers have attempted this quest, and have even claimed success, after a fashion:  the few living dreamers who have succeeded sit at this very moment dreaming and raving in padded cells around the world, troubling the work and sleep of their caretakers with dreadful babbled tales of their unspeakable deeds and achievements in the Dreamlands of Leng and Oriab.

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Radiation

This the exact Answer/Response I Needed, Thank you so much!  :-D

 

Edit: Also, How do i return back to the waking world when i'm done with my visit to the dreamlands, I would assume that since you require to be lucid to even enter the dreamlands, you can just pinch yourself or something to return you back the waking world? please do correct me if i'm wrong.

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yronimoswhateley

You're quite welcome :)

 

For the record, I made it up, for the most part.  The first paragraph was mostly stolen from the first couple paragraphs of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath" (link), the second paragraph refers a bit to HPL's "The Silver Key" (link), the third paragraph a bit to Dunsany's stories "Idle Days on the Yann" and "The Shop on Go-By Street" (link) (Dunsany was more or less the original creator of the Dreamlands as Lovecraft fans know them), there's a little of John Carter of Mars in the third paragraph somewhere, too.  The references to the Zoogs were my adaptation of Lovecraft's version of the critters into mischievous little bogeymen, and the fourth paragraph is pretty much my own pastiche of Lovecraft.

 

Lovecraft and Dunsany were kind of vague about how the whole thing worked:  it's kind of like astral projection, kind of like interdimensional travel, kind of like Alice going through the looking glass, kind of like CS Lewis's wardrobe (and all the other ways the kids got to Narnia), kind of like John Carter of Mars' weird journey to Mars by stepping into the right cave at the right time to teleport to another world, kind of like just a dream, kind of like a day-dream.  Feel free to make up your own version of how it works, and then feel free to contradict it later - it's fun :)

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GBSteve

In Dreamhounds of Paris there are several ways, the traditional sleep yourself there but there's also a phyiscal entrance in the catacombs, guarded by the ghoul Nicolas Flamel, and you can also walk yourself there whilst wandering the streets like a flaneur, as in Breton's Nadja or Aragon's Paysan de Paris. In fact Magritte has learned how to do this, but not on purpose and it might become a problem for him as it happens more frequently.

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Radiation

But Then Again, If i go the Physical Route, Can't i possibly die while if i do the Dream Route, if i die in the dreamlands, i just come back to my body?

 

Something Relevant, Son Of Yog Sothoth, Is a video i made summoning your dad xP:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OY5PuR08lQ

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GBSteve

If you die in the Dreamlands in spirit, you just lose the ability to enter the Dreamlands ever again.

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yronimoswhateley

Before anything else, I'll say up front that I'm an almost complete materialist - my interest in the subject of Astral Projection is generally limited to a source of material for weird fiction.  So:

 

 

What GBSteve said is the way I remember the Dreamlands supplement handling it.

 

Though, it seems like there ought to be a bit more to it than that:  effectively, your astral body has been destroyed if you are killed in the Dreamlands, which seems like it ought to be a far stranger and involved thing than simply not being able to get back into the Dreamlands again through astral projection.  That's something that seems like it should be quite traumatic (some spiritualists and mystics seem to believe it can even be fatal!)

 

In Lovecraft's and Dunsany's versions of the Dreamlands, I don't remember if the subject came up at all, but I do seem to recall that Kuranes was a (powerful!) waking-world dreamer whose body died in abject poverty in the waking world, but lives on in Dream as a benevolent and wise king of a pleasant, earth-like manor he built there, and it seems that the astral and physical bodies (waking and Dream bodies) can exist independently of each other in the fiction, perhaps as a result of a skill or spell known only to the more powerful dreamers. 

 

And that makes some internal sense in Lovecraft's fiction:  after all, the minds of wizards, human and otherwise, are able to live independently of physical bodies, and take over living bodies (as seen in "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", "The Shadow Out of Time", "The Thing on the Doorstep", and others), perhaps re-animate physical bodies with the help of Weird science (which might be one way to interpret "Cool Air"), or even "fatten and instruct the very worm that gnaws" until the wizard lives again after a fashion as a Worm That Walks (as hinted in the Necronomicon!)

 

Then, too, there was a fascinating exchange in one of Dunsany's Dreamlands stories in which an Earthly dreamer speaks with a witch residing in the Dreamlands, who instructs the dreamer on illusion, and asks if the dreamer knows that Reality is an illusion; when the dreamer objects that Reality and London are real, the witch laughs, and later tells the dreamer (in so many words) that the people of the Dreamlands know London well, and dream their way into Reality as often as the dreamers of Reality find their way into the Dreamlands:  for Dreamlanders, Reality is the dream.

 

So, some ideas I might eventually get around to playing with in Dreamlands campaigns or adventures include:

  • Astral Attacks and Possessions:  from witches and wizards, ghosts, Dreamlands people and creatures, and "demonic spirits" (which can as easily be Mythos monsters as anything else)
  • Death of the Dream/Astral body:  Traumatic, but perhaps not a permanent separation from the Dreamlands:  with time to heal, and great care, or alternatively with magic, I should imagine the Astral body could be regenerated.  (Strangely, that might imply that those who live on in Dream after their Earthly bodies die, might in time see their Earthly bodies regenerated or reincarnated... and why not?  Why wouldn't powerful Dreaming wizards be able to regenerate their earthly bodies?  At the very least, Dreamers without living bodies in Reality might appear there in an incomplete, ethereal form:  ghosts....)
  • Possession of someone else's Dream/Astral body:  One might imagine that evil or insane wizards and cultists whose Dream bodies have been destroyed might not want to wait around for those bodies to regenerate, and might instead steal an Astral body from a Dreamlands denizen - perhaps Dream folk might come to the investigators for help in exorcising the evil Dreamer, and then confronting and restraining his waking body in Reality.
  • Ghosts in the Dreamlands:  Perhaps those whose bodies have died in the Dreamlands are not necessarily completely dead to the Dreamlands... they might, from time to time, appear in Dream as ghosts, disembodied spirits....
  • Dreamers from the Dreamlands should, perhaps, appear in Reality far more often than they do.  Perhaps at least occasional Mythos monsters are, in fact, creatures of Dream which find themselves dreaming they are Reality, maybe with the help of the spells that summoned the beasts.  In ancient times and even today, perhaps human (or mostly-human, and occasionally monstrous) Dreamlanders have appeared among the people of Reality, and account for some legends of elves, goblins, ghosts, doppelgangers, devils, familiars, imps, Djinn, and such.  More often, such Dreamers might today appear in the streets of Reality as those eccentrically-dressed wanderers, misfits, homeless folk, and other strangers who blend into the background of cities everywhere, mistaken as peculiar foreigners, rubes and hayseeds, schizophrenics, or members of colourful youth subcultures, if they are ever noticed at all.
  • Reality as a Dreamlands Setting:  most, if not all, the published Dreamlands scenarios have been made for either investigators from Reality to adventure in the Dreamlands, or adventurers from the Dreamlands to adventure in the Dreamlands, and this is natural:  those are the best emulation for the classic Lovecraft and Dunsany stories.  But, perhaps there's just as much Weird fun to be had with Dreamland folk dreaming their way into adventures in Reality, for adventures among the strange and surreal backdrop of Waking World cities like London, Arkham, New York, etc., distorted into menacing urban nightmares populated by Mythos monsters normally unnoticed in Reality.  One might borrow a bit from Neil Gaiman's stories for the mood and atmosphere - the wonderful novel Neverwhere seems like an excellent place to start.

 

Curses: I really wish I had more time to spend on gaming: I'm really wanting to try some of these ideas out now!

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deuce

Before anything else, I'll say up front that I'm an almost complete materialist - my interest in the subject of Astral Projection is generally limited to a source of material for weird fiction.  So:

 

 

What GBSteve said is the way I remember the Dreamlands supplement handling it.

 

Though, it seems like there ought to be a bit more to it than that:  effectively, your astral body has been destroyed if you are killed in the Dreamlands, which seems like it ought to be a far stranger and involved thing than simply not being able to get back into the Dreamlands again through astral projection.  That's something that seems like it should be quite traumatic (some spiritualists and mystics seem to believe it can even be fatal!)

 

In Lovecraft's and Dunsany's versions of the Dreamlands, I don't remember if the subject came up at all, but I do seem to recall that Kuranes was a (powerful!) waking-world dreamer whose body died in abject poverty in the waking world, but lives on in Dream as a benevolent and wise king of a pleasant, earth-like manor he built there, and it seems that the astral and physical bodies (waking and Dream bodies) can exist independently of each other in the fiction, perhaps as a result of a skill or spell known only to the more powerful dreamers. 

 

And that makes some internal sense in Lovecraft's fiction:  after all, the minds of wizards, human and otherwise, are able to live independently of physical bodies, and take over living bodies (as seen in "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", "The Shadow Out of Time", "The Thing on the Doorstep", and others), perhaps re-animate physical bodies with the help of Weird science (which might be one way to interpret "Cool Air"), or even "fatten and instruct the very worm that gnaws" until the wizard lives again after a fashion as a Worm That Walks (as hinted in the Necronomicon!)

 

Then, too, there was a fascinating exchange in one of Dunsany's Dreamlands stories in which an Earthly dreamer speaks with a witch residing in the Dreamlands, who instructs the dreamer on illusion, and asks if the dreamer knows that Reality is an illusion; when the dreamer objects that Reality and London are real, the witch laughs, and later tells the dreamer (in so many words) that the people of the Dreamlands know London well, and dream their way into Reality as often as the dreamers of Reality find their way into the Dreamlands:  for Dreamlanders, Reality is the dream.

 

So, some ideas I might eventually get around to playing with in Dreamlands campaigns or adventures include:

  • Astral Attacks and Possessions:  from witches and wizards, ghosts, Dreamlands people and creatures, and "demonic spirits" (which can as easily be Mythos monsters as anything else)
  • Death of the Dream/Astral body:  Traumatic, but perhaps not a permanent separation from the Dreamlands:  with time to heal, and great care, or alternatively with magic, I should imagine the Astral body could be regenerated.  (Strangely, that might imply that those who live on in Dream after their Earthly bodies die, might in time see their Earthly bodies regenerated or reincarnated... and why not?  Why wouldn't powerful Dreaming wizards be able to regenerate their earthly bodies?  At the very least, Dreamers without living bodies in Reality might appear there in an incomplete, ethereal form:  ghosts....)
  • Possession of someone else's Dream/Astral body:  One might imagine that evil or insane wizards and cultists whose Dream bodies have been destroyed might not want to wait around for those bodies to regenerate, and might instead steal an Astral body from a Dreamlands denizen - perhaps Dream folk might come to the investigators for help in exorcising the evil Dreamer, and then confronting and restraining his waking body in Reality.
  • Ghosts in the Dreamlands:  Perhaps those whose bodies have died in the Dreamlands are not necessarily completely dead to the Dreamlands... they might, from time to time, appear in Dream as ghosts, disembodied spirits....
  • Dreamers from the Dreamlands should, perhaps, appear in Reality far more often than they do.  Perhaps at least occasional Mythos monsters are, in fact, creatures of Dream which find themselves dreaming they are Reality, maybe with the help of the spells that summoned the beasts.  In ancient times and even today, perhaps human (or mostly-human, and occasionally monstrous) Dreamlanders have appeared among the people of Reality, and account for some legends of elves, goblins, ghosts, doppelgangers, devils, familiars, imps, Djinn, and such.  More often, such Dreamers might today appear in the streets of Reality as those eccentrically-dressed wanderers, misfits, homeless folk, and other strangers who blend into the background of cities everywhere, mistaken as peculiar foreigners, rubes and hayseeds, schizophrenics, or members of colourful youth subcultures, if they are ever noticed at all.
  • Reality as a Dreamlands Setting:  most, if not all, the published Dreamlands scenarios have been made for either investigators from Reality to adventure in the Dreamlands, or adventurers from the Dreamlands to adventure in the Dreamlands, and this is natural:  those are the best emulation for the classic Lovecraft and Dunsany stories.  But, perhaps there's just as much Weird fun to be had with Dreamland folk dreaming their way into adventures in Reality, for adventures among the strange and surreal backdrop of Waking World cities like London, Arkham, New York, etc., distorted into menacing urban nightmares populated by Mythos monsters normally unnoticed in Reality.  One might borrow a bit from Neil Gaiman's stories for the mood and atmosphere - the wonderful novel Neverwhere seems like an excellent place to start.

 

Curses: I really wish I had more time to spend on gaming: I'm really wanting to try some of these ideas out now!

 

Some really great ideas there. B)  

 

IMO, there many issues that need explored regarding the Dreamlands.

If you die in the Dreamlands in spirit, you just lose the ability to enter the Dreamlands ever again.

 

Other than what the CoC book says, should that be it? Are all dreamers equal? For that matter, what about "natives" that are born and then die there?

 

I'm not being facetious at all, Steve. Simply asking questions I've been pondering for decades.

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Radiation

Some really great ideas there. B)

 

IMO, there many issues that need explored regarding the Dreamlands.

 

Other than what the CoC book says, should that be it? Are all dreamers equal? For that matter, what about "natives" that are born and then die there?

 

I'm not being facetious at all, Steve. Simply asking questions I've been pondering for decades.

 

And This is why this now my favorite forum, These Replies Are Basically The Equivalent Of The Birth Of Cthulu And Yog-Sothoth (This is a good thing, meaning, these replies are amazing! :D) And this is coming from a person who worships Yog Sothoth On A Day To Day Basis.

 

If i can, i would possibly enter the dream lands and give a hello to King Kuranes, He Seems like a sweet king ;P

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yronimoswhateley

...IMO, there many issues that need explored regarding the Dreamlands....

 

Thank you. 

 

And I agree completely:  there are many, many odd/eccentric, mysterious, hand-waved, unexplained, and contradictory little things going on in the Dreamlands; it's not a very consistent, orderly, well-defined, logical setting - it runs on inconsistency, vagueness of key details, and dream-logic.  And that, I think, is most of the charm of the setting, at least for me:  it's still largely unexplored territory full of wonders and mysteries that could welcome some explanation but never really need it, a wide-open frontier-land where so much is still left to the imaginations of keepers and scenario designers and players and authors/playwrites/poets/scerenplay-writers to fill in.

 

There are definitely many issues that beg for exploration regarding the Dreamlands - and in a setting that wide-open and colourful - where each of the countless questions about the Dreamlands can prompt so many "What If?" answers - that should surely excite the imagination and curiosity of the explorers and creative writers in all of us!

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GBSteve

Other than what the CoC book says, should that be it? Are all dreamers equal? For that matter, what about "natives" that are born and then die there?

 

I'm not being facetious at all, Steve. Simply asking questions I've been pondering for decades.

 

I'm right there with you. The fiction and the rules are just the start. Go wherever you like with it, to what makes sense for your group. The Kadath Quest of a Dead Dreamself would seem a great follow-up to someone dying in the Dreamlands and searching to get back there.

 

My Dreamlands usually doesn't look anything like HPLs which I find too whimsical. Much as I enjoy whimsy in other settings, the Dreamlands to me would look much more like a de Chirico painting.

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Nick Storm

Wow, ANOTHER excellent thread found only here on the 'Yog' - facebook be damned!

 

Radiation - That audio clip is superb! Are you the voice?

 

Yronimos - Spot on Dreamlands lore! I'm in Central Pennsyltucky currently and not heading back up to New England for another couple weeks. Since we are close, I'd like to buy you an Eldritch sized Starbucks coffee sometime - sent you a PM

 

Our group entered the Dreamlands a couple times via powerful narcotics. Lotus flowers, and REH would be a good one for that, as well as locally sourced common opiates did the trick as well. 

 

Check out 'Dreamer' / Trancer Edgar Cayce:

 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce

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