Chimares are dream realms in the Umbra; dreams made flesh.
Some Garou believe that every dream has a Chimare representation. This is not true; the Penumbra isn't big enough. They’re also not representative of every dream, but they do occur any time a dream reaches a degree of prominence in the cultural subconscious. Popular variations receive their own Chimares as well. An entire cluster of Chimares represents variations on “performing while naked” and “falling” dreams.
Chimares are often moldable, depending on how powerful the dream is. Prominent dreams tend to have solidified conditions. Fleeting dreams can be manipulated by a strong will, or a Theurge using the Rite of the Dreamtime. Dreamstuff is like clay, and a well-baked dream needs a lot of work to return to its softened state, if it can at all.
Chimares are an excellent way for a garou to find what they need. If he or she knows what they're looking for, they can find an appropriate dreamer and trace the threads of their subconscious back to a Chimare. But nothing’s ever that simple. If he or she doesn’t know their dreamer, their dreams, and their symbolism, they could be wandering into a place with unknown dangers. Sure, they can get a long-extinct flower from a dream meadow, but if they haven't done their research, they might end up eaten by the carnivorous dirt beneath the meadow.
More troubling, some mages seek out and latch onto Chimares. These sorcerers treat Chimares with the same reverence Garou treat caerns. The dreamstuff holds great value for their magic. Such mages are a true threat within a Chimare, since they can mold its contents far better than any Garou could ever hope to.
Affecting Dreamers Edit
Changing dreams can subtly affect dreamers. Most people expect certain things of their dreams. If a dream-walker shakes those foundations, they can damage the dreamer’s subconscious and if the shift is too great the damage can be permanent.
While not a common tactic, some Black Spiral Dancers invade Chimares as a sort of guerrilla tactic, where they’ll warp a dreamer into a violent, confused mess for whatever reason they have. The easy approach leaves a person completely debilitated, and liable to lash out violently. The challenging approach creates a complex, ticking time bomb that destroys lives around the victim, and ends in a well-placed conflagration. Kinfolk are ideal targets for this type of invasion, since they have ready access to sept resources, and often direct access to sleeping Garou. This is a risky proposition with high risk and high reward.
Rules in Chimares Edit
Since perceptions in a Chimare are determined by the rules of the dream in question, they’re as varied as the dreamers. A few recurring themes pop up in many Chimares, though, because the human brain works in certain similar ways among people. Dreams are highly dissociative. Often, perceptions in a Chimare are synesthetic: a visitor might see a smell, or taste a sensation across her skin. This can be a jarring experience if the dreamwalker isn't expecting it. Even with extensive research into the dream, these sorts of senses can’t exactly be trained. The best the Garou can hope to do is test the waters with lesser Chimare before any extended campaigns in the dreamtime.
- WTA. Umbra: The Velvet Shadow, pp. 22-23.