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Gaffer

Dreamlands Gates

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Gaffer

Does anybody know of any reference for a gate between the Waking World and the Dreamlands? Or is there anything that specifically precludes it?

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wombat1

Do you mean gate in terms of the spell in CoC, or in the more general sense of contact point?

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HomoLupusDomesticus

I have wondered if there's any type of location specifically suitable as a contact point between the two worlds. It is said that Ghoul tunnels may connect to the Dreamlands directly in certain places. Not sure how this works exactly.

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wombat1

I don't think I have ever seen a formal description of how it works, though I seem to recall in Complete Dreamlands that there are a number of different ways to access the place--the most common being going down the steps of slumber, but implicitly that there are many other possibilities.  So, if one wants something, I imagine that one has considerable liberties of going and putting it in there--one could say that the ghoul tunnels reach the dreamlands if one walks long enough or one could say that it is intrinsically bound up with Mythos magic which the ghouls have created or found,, or one could say that one goes to a place where noxious volcanic fumes overcome the visitor and send them into a dream like stupor, similar to oracular sites in ancient Greece.  Any of those work for story telling purposes and one wouldn't have to be embarrassed to claim any of them if one wished to put it into a scenario or tale.

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JeffErwin

I don't think I have ever seen a formal description of how it works, though I seem to recall in Complete Dreamlands that there are a number of different ways to access the place--the most common being going down the steps of slumber, but implicitly that there are many other possibilities.  So, if one wants something, I imagine that one has considerable liberties of going and putting it in there--one could say that the ghoul tunnels reach the dreamlands if one walks long enough or one could say that it is intrinsically bound up with Mythos magic which the ghouls have created or found,, or one could say that one goes to a place where noxious volcanic fumes overcome the visitor and send them into a dream like stupor, similar to oracular sites in ancient Greece.  Any of those work for story telling purposes and one wouldn't have to be embarrassed to claim any of them if one wished to put it into a scenario or tale.

 

This relates to my post on the Silver Hand, but Greco-Roman temples (I've found references to them in temples of Nodens and Aesclepius) contained incubationes - as they called them - chambers for entering into the dream world and conversing with deities as a means of diagnosing diseases. The practice seems to have come from the cult of Imhotep in Egypt, who was identified with Aesclepius by the Greeks. 

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yronimoswhateley

As far as within established CoC rules, there's this:  the Dreamlands sourcebook p.11 has a reference to a "Gate of Oneirology" spell which "resembles the Gate spell... however, it opens a physical pathway to the Dreamlands..."  It's a two-way permanent Gate for investigators, but does not allow things of Dream to pass through it into the Daylands of the "waking world".  It's a permanent loss of 4 Power to cast, and requires the caster to be fairly familiar with the location at Dreamlands (and presumably the "Daylands") end of the intended gate for it to work (a caster awake in the Daylands can't try to create a gate to a Dream location he/she has never visited.) 

 

That said, there's not a lot of narrative consistency for the Dreamlands in Call of Cthulhu, Dunsany and Lovecraft left the relationship vague, and Chaosium doesn't appear to have defined the relationship between Dream and Day very clearly either.  The vague assumption seems to be that the Dreamlands is physical location somewhere in time and space which dreamers can travel to and materialize in via a sort of "astral projection" and thus a form of Gate spell would work as well in regards to a Gate between Dream and Day as it would to any two "Daylands" locations (and the 'does not allow Dreamlands beings to pass through it' part would seem to be a bit arbitrary in that case), but  I think there's plenty of room for a keeper to play things by ear and decide for themselves how things work for their own group.

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Gaffer

Thanks, yronimos.

 

Jeff, very interesting.

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Spoilers for Realm of Shadows

 

The cult of Mordiggian in that campaign has a gate between their temple on Earth to a parallel temple in the Dreamlands. The centrality of that gate to the plot implies that the spell to create such gates is exceedingly rare or well-hidden.

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SunlessNick

The Dreamlands supplement also refers to a few places where the boundaries between the worlds fog out a bit.  The Enchanted Wood is one of them, with the potential to walk in and out of it from the Black Forest (and a few other iconic forests).

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Angelman

There are (at least) a few places where Dreamlands and the Waken World overlap, but the information is often vague and unspecific.

 

HPL speaks of  two places where the Enchanted Woods overlaps with the Waken World (see Dream-Quest), but refuses to say exactly where. Zoogs are able to pass between Dreamlands and Waken World at will through these points and (as far as I can tell) through other gates/overlaping areas as well.

 

Kingsport is similarly closely alligned with Dreamlands, with Dream ships sailing past the coast every now and then (see White Ship, Dream-Quest [i think there's a mentioning], and possibly Silver Key [can't remember]). In addition, you have the Strange High House in the Mist there, through which one might access Dreamlands [or p*** off Nodens by trying]). Furthermore, the impossibly deep caves and tunnels below Central Hill in Kingsport, where Crawling Ones and other Tulzscha cultists conducted their vile centannial rites on the Winter Solstice of 1922 (see The Festival) are probably somehow connected to the Dreamlands as well; my guess/interpretation is that these tunnels runs down to the Dreamland's Underworlds, possibly to some remote section of the Vaults of Zin or somewhere in the Abyss proper.

 

And then you have Arkham, which is mysteriously connected to the Underworld through the ghoul tunnels.

 

I believe Waken World cats are able to visit Dreamlands at will too? Perhaps they know something we don't...

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Nescio

And then you have Arkham, which is mysteriously connected to the Underworld through the ghoul tunnels.

Not only Arkham I think - the impression I get from the Dream-Quest is that they feed from Waking World graveyards in general. Perhaps then any burial place (or at least any where the dead are interred uncremated?) is an actual or potential route between the worlds?

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TMS

In Lord Dunsany's "A Shop in Go-by Street" there's an often overlooked little shop in London whose back door leads into the lands of dream.

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ThisOldWoodenShip

There are a few things suggested in the sourcebook (most of them have already been mentioned):

 

Connecting the Enchanted Wood to some spooky woods in the waking world.  The sourcebook suggests the Black Forest, California Redwoods, Transylvania, or Roanoke Island.

 

Ghouls burrows may connect to tunnels under waking world graveyards.

 

Lomar may connect to some icy inhospitable place in the waking world, such as Alaska or Siberia.

 

"beyond the Tanarian Hills lie forbidden ways to the waking world"

 

Basically, these seem to all be suggestions.  The main similarity between these suggestions seems to be figuring out where you want the investigators to appear in the Dreamlands, then connecting that to a similar place in the waking world: snow with snow, underground with underground, forest with forest.  But, wouldn't it be more disconcerting to have them enter an abandoned mine in Siberia in full arctic gear and come out in the Dreamlands in a steaming hot jungle?

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JeffErwin

Lomar may connect to some icy inhospitable place in the waking world, such as Alaska or Siberia.

 

Lomar presumably connects to the region of Lomar which bordered Hyperborea, and hence the Canadian Arctic?

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ThisOldWoodenShip

Lomar presumably connects to the region of Lomar which bordered Hyperborea, and hence the Canadian Arctic?

 

Just paraphrasing what the book said, it also said Greenland but didn't mention Canada.  Again, though, it seems this part of the Dreamlands sourcebook is all suggestions... so why not?

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yronimoswhateley

I rather like to imagine that at some hideously ancient epoch of Earth's history, the now shattered and lost continent of Lomar might have consisted of the steaming jungles of what is now Siberia on one coast, and the soaring mountains of what is now Greenland on the other, ranged over by nomadic bands of Inuit barbarians mounted on dwarfish striped horses, and dotted with low, sinister stone barrows peopled by hairy, trollish Gnoph-keh cannibal tribes led by their blinded, raving berserker-wizards....

 

Sure, it's not consistent with any real-world theory of geography, but then I don't think I'd sweat "realism" too much, where anything bordering the ancient Dreamlands is concerned.... 

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Nescio

In "Polaris", the Inutos who conquered Lomar are implied to be the ancestors of the Esquimaux (to use Lovecraft's spelling), and are said to have appeared out of the West. This happens, apart from the time-depth, to match rather well with the real prehistory of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, whose previous "Dorset" culture was displaced in medieval times by the proto-Inuit "Thule" culture coming from the Bering Strait region. I don't know to what extent this was known, however, when Lovecraft wrote the story (1918) - the WP entry for "Thule people" seems to imply that the archaeology was only figured out in the 1920s - so maybe he just got lucky.

 

Somewhere to the North of Lomar was Zobna, so the former can't include the extreme northern reaches of Greenland or the Arctic Archipelago - unless, I suppose, Zobna has since sunk.

 

Incidentally, the name "Inuit" wasn't commonly used in English in Lovecraft's day, but it was known - the earliest attestation in English is apparently from 1765 - so the similarity of "Inuit" and "Inutos" is likely no coincidence.

 

ETA: Of course, the Thule proto-Inuit also displaced the Scandinavian settlers of southern Greenland, but the latter, as an historical people and relatively recent arrivals from the East, seem unlikely prototypes for the Lomarians: even more so as their settlements where south of the Arctic Circle (which Lomar is portrayed as north of).

 

It's also worth noting that "Polaris" places the fall of Lomar in a period of glacial expansion, during the leadup to the Last Glacial Maximum, so the ice marching south is accurate, so to speak. (Again I don't know to what extent this was known when Lovecraft wrote.) But it's the middle of an ice age already, with ice sheets overing most of Canada, so it's hard to find a location for Lomar that's both south of the glaciers and north of the Arctic Circle.

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