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The Deep Dreaming is the part of the Dreaming furthest from the Waking World.

Overview

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One can no more properly describe the landscape of the Deep Dreaming than one can explain the texture of a rainbow. The Deep Dreaming is the very heart and soul of the Twilight Realm, the very essence of Glamour, and the center of faerie power. Within its endless borders lies Arcadia, where the true fae still dwell.

Beyond the farthest reaches of the imagination, on the steppes of fear, there are dark places where the Thallain gather to discuss how best to topple Arcadia. Within the depths of the ocean, Atlantis still stirs, and her denizens ponder what must lie beyond the shimmering edges of the great waters, in the place where people somehow manage to breathe air and live. In another part of the ocean, Ryujin, the Palace of the Dragon King, hides its secrets from all who would enter. Surrounded by the Palaces of Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Spring and connected to them all by the Hall of Seasons, far beyond the Wastelands, where the trees resemble toadstools and the ground swallows whole the foolhardy, the Pool of Counted Sorrows tells its secrets to Kithain who dare to listen. Past the ice fields of the Land of Endless Night, beneath the ruins of the Great Engine, is the last message left by the Tuatha de Danaan for anyone who can understand the cryptic words and solve the final riddle that can bring the world back to right and return the Spring forevermore. All these places, and more, are in the Deep Dreaming, lost in an endless cyclone of miasmic colors and chimerical legends. they await anyone brave enough to find them and determined enough to survive the search. The trods to most of these places are locked, lost, or broken. Here, the chimera rule.

But there are other places, too: towns and cities where changelings have made their homes, after losing all hope of finding Arcadia; places where the Kithain do battle against the Thallain in an endless dance of carnage and destruction, rebirth and renewal; lands where the songs of the past still echo, and the rainbow finally ends.

The Deep Dreaming is the purest, most primal place changelings know. Mysteries and riddles of every imaginable sort await the proper answers, and puzzles long solved find new ways to hide their secrets. The Silver Path is a faint memory in most of the Deep Dreaming, but the land is solid enough to hold a changeling walking here, just the same. There are no true boundaries to the Deep Dreaming. Every border exists there only for the present, until the time comes for new additions to build themselves. The Mythic Realm is strongest in this place, and the greatest legends of all dwell here, protected by the dreams of mortals who believe, only in their waking hours, that they've forgotten the days of giants. Mortals sleep and the Deep Dreaming is renewed in an endless cycle of change. Few places remain "in place," though many exist eternally.

Entering the Dreaming

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There are only two ways for Kithain to enter the Deep Dreaming, and both require passage through the Mistweir, the final barrier of the Mists of Forgetfulness, the one that protects the Deep Dreaming from the Waking World's Banality.

The first way to to follow one of the the few remaining trods that reach as far as the Deep Dreaming. Even those changelings who fly on chimerical wings must follow the Silver Path in order to find an entrance into the soul of the Dreaming. The second way is to follow a Path of Balor from one of the Deep Umbrae.

Any creature with Banality rating higher than a six is barred form entering the Deep Dreaming. There are no exceptions.

The Deep Dreaming & Changelings

There is no place where the Kithain are more powerful or more vulnerable to their own nature. the Deep Dreaming is the place where all the fae of all the lands were born. Glamour is so rich here that no changeling ever need fear running out of magic. The power of the Dreaming is so great, in fact, that the true nature of the Kithain is revealed for all to see. Here, trolls are truly giants, and the sidhe are so beautiful that they inspire terror in all who see them. The sluagh slip through the shadows of the Deep Dreaming, moving on currents of nightmare, and the nockers create wonders too incredible to exist anywhere else.

The rules are different in the Deep Dreaming. Arts and Realms works in ways never conceived by the changelings outside of the Deep Realms, and Birthrights and Frailties function constantly. Everything that is good and bad about the changelings is revealed for all to see, provided they know how to look, which is rare, and the moments of past lives stand revealed, if only for a moment.

Remembrance in the Deep Dreaming

While the Mists are beneficial, they are not always kind. Kithain who already have a powerful connection to the Dreaming might rapidly discover they've got access to all of their past lives, all at once. In these cases, it's not as if the flood gates open, but more like the dam simply vanishing and releasing all the water at once. A changeling with a Remembrance Trait of 4 or higher must spend a point of Willpower or be overwhelmed by the impact. Even those changelings who don't have a high Remembrance normally find themselves stunned for a few moments as they try to sort through the memories washing back into them.

Pursuing others into the Deep Dreaming is a risky game at best. Someone who has had time to adjust might well plan an ambush for anyone following. The disorientation changelings feel after passing through the Mistweir is a perfect time to attack an enemy.

Also, past associations that went unremembered in other realms come to light in the Deep Dreaming. An enemy who's sworn to destroy a character might change their mind when they recall a time in another life, a time when the character was their closest ally or even saved them from certain doom. While the memories often fade as the characters leave the Deep Dreaming, the feelings awakened by the Mists sometimes linger. Deadly rivals sometimes come back to the waking world as close friends and stay that way.

Arts & Realms in the Deep Dreaming

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The rules no longer apply in quite the same way when a changeling enters the Deep Dreaming. The Kithain are used to the ways of the waking world when they employ cantrips. Banality has had a profound effect on the ways Arts and Realms work in the Flesh Realm, and few changelings are prepared for the differences when they reach the heart of the Dreaming. Casual use of cantrips in the Deep Dreaming can often have results comparable to children playing with fully loaded assault rifles. The Deep Dreaming is a powder keg, and cantrips are often the fuse that lights the explosives.

Arts and Realms are not increased by the journey; a changeling doesn't suddenly know more than they did before. They might have memories of past lives, but those memories are still too disjointed to increase the character's statistics along those lines. However, the Arts and Realms the Kithain does know become far more powerful and far more chaotic. It's virtually impossible to botch a dice roll in the Deep Dreaming (storyteller's discretion, naturally), at least for Kithain. Even with a botch, their powers will still have a profound effect, though not necessarily the one the caster intended. Paradoxically, the more successes a character rolls while employing their Arts and Realms, the greater chance of getting entirely the wrong results.

A changeling casting a Chicanery cantrip might end up changing the emotions of everyone in a 5-mile radius, or might accidentally enchant themself, rather than their target. A Legerdemain cantrip is more likely to create a full-blown and fairly powerful chimera with a mind and will of its own rather than a simple effigy. The caster might want a perfect duplicate of a nearby rock and end up with a massive stone elemental instead. Here, the Storyteller is expected to employ their imagination to the fullest.

Bunks are no longer needed to ensure success when casting a cantrip. Instead, the changeling might want to use bunks to have a better chance of actually doing what they intended to do from the start. For example, a fae using the Wayfare cantrip Hopscotch to jump a tree might accidentally find themselves growing wings and sailing thousands of feet above the clouds unless they use a bunk to control their actions.

For the most part, cantrips aimed at another still have an effect on the target, but what that exact effect is may be entirely in the hands of the Storyteller. There are certain rules, though: cantrips cast by a changeling never cause that changeling direct harm unless a botch is rolled.

Glamour in the Deep Dreaming

Glamour in the Deep Dreaming is as pure as it gets. Untainted Dreamstuff flows constantly beneath the surface of the Mythic Realm, ready for anyone who can shape it to their will. The power of the Glamour here is enough to intoxicate changelings and dazzle mortals. Nockers are particularly fond of the Dreamstuff found here. With it, they can create almost anything.

The Deep Dreaming is the richest source of Glamour known to Kithain. It's not unusual for changelings to feed themselves on the Dreamstuff until they are gorged, so filled with Glamour that they almost break their connection to the Waking World. The main problem with this sort of activity is that it often promotes Bedlam when a changeling returns to the mortal realms.

Regaining Glamour

Obtaining Glamour in the Deep Dreaming is extremely easy. While in the Deep Dreaming, changelings regain Glamour at a rate of one point per hour. Additionally, the permanent Glamour of all changelings increases by one for as long as the character remains in the Deep Dreaming (with a maximum rating of 10, of course). Any food eaten in the Deep Dreaming also supplies the character with Glamour. The amount of Glamour that can be gained in this fashion is determined by the Storyteller. This chimerical food loses its Glamour-granting powers as soon as it is removed from the Dreaming.

Denizens & the Deep Dreaming

Not many of the Denizens dare the mind-rending depths of the Deep Dreaming, though the moirae do have connections to the Kingdom of Dán.

Banality in the Deep Dreaming

Banality is a disease to the Dreaming, a fact that is nowhere more evident than in the lands beyond the Mistweir. Each changeling carries within them a shred of Banality. It's this sliver of the mundane that bars them from Arcadia. Banal Shiver is evident from the moment they enter the Deep Dreaming. Where the Kithain walk, the ground blackens, save on the Silver Path, which protects the land. Trees touched by the Kithain are scorched as if by fire, and the very air around them sometimes smolders. While these blights are almost overlooked by the Kithain, they are noticed immediately by any true fae they should come across. For the changelings, there is no going home to Arcadia. Their presence near the closed gates would be the equivalent of an all-out assault in the eyes of the True Fae. most likely, Kithain would be attacked if they came within a league of their faerie homeland.

There are ways to obliterate completely all traces of Banality, but they are beyond rare. A changeling would have to wait centuries for the Mists to remove the Banal Shiver from their soul completely. It is likely, though, that by that time, they would be completely consumed by Bedlam.

The Augmen

Just as the Augmen makes changes in Kithain who pass from the Near Dreaming into the Far, it also works its wonders as they enter the Deep Dreaming. The memories restored to changelings become a driving force that shifts the reality of their forms, as they drift further and further from the waking world and become what they once were and were always meant to be. The changes are seldom subtle; a Kithain's form becomes nearly unrecognizable, even to their friends.

Beyond their significant changes in appearance, all Kithain in the Deep Dreaming increase their power in a more direct sense: their Arts and Realms expand again by the same factor as they did in the Far Dreaming. Thus, a troll would gain +4 additional dots of strength for the Birthright Titan's Power and a total of +4 Bruised Health Levels. No rolls of any sort are needed for Birthrights in the Deep Dreaming and all cantrips are automatically successful, if not necessarily in the ways the caster intended.

True fae do not suffer the same flaws as their Banality-tainted counterparts.

  • See the article Augmen for more

Unenchanted in the Deep Dreaming

  • No mortal can enter the Deep Dreaming without first being enchanted. The only exception are human mages, and even the Awakened Prodigals find the way difficult. Even if they succeed in breaking the Mistweir, they lose all recollection of the waking world unless they've been enchanted by a changeling.
  • Mortals viewing the Kithain in the Deep Dreaming suffer the full impact of the changes that the fae undergo. Seeing the changelings without the benefit of Glamour to protect them is enough to send even the bravest mortals fleeing in terror.
  • Those Dreamers foolish enough to consume the foods they find in the Deep Dreaming are enchanted for an extra 10 days per morsel consumed. Additionally, all suffer the results of being "fairy stroked": they lose all sense of self and often wander for months or years with no idea of who they are.
  • Mortal magic has no effects in the Deep Dreaming. Whatever they attempt is certain to fail. The Dreaming tolerates no conscious mortal influences, unless they follow certain rules set forth within the heart of Arcadia.

Arcadian Mortals

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From time to time, a changeling returns from a quest for Arcadia with tales of humans possessing incredible powers. Such stories are thought to refer to Arcadian mortals, the humans who traded places with the sidhe and developed powers to rival the abilities of true fae. Although no one can say for certain what these powers might be, clearly they would have to be prodigious to allow mortals to hold their own against the faeries in the homeland of the Kithain. As no changeling has been to Arcadia since the time of the Resurgence, there's no way to confirm or deny these rumors.

Many sidhe in the Deep Dreaming believe they can sense these mortal wizards. Perhaps there still remains a connection between these humans in Arcadia and the sidhe they displaced.

Depths of the Dream

Beyond even the vaguely charted waters of the Sea of Silver, the unfathomable depths of the Deep Dream continue onward until they reach the most primal secrets of the heart, the world, and the Dreaming. Here, in the First Place, there are bounded salt oceans and bright tunnels, great walls and pillars of fire. Sometimes, the depths are stormy; sometimes they are still.

Whatever you have forgotten is in the depths, as well as whatever you have not yet seen... echoes of the Kings and Queens of Arcadia, Gwydion and Ailil and all the rest, along with the founding and sealing of Arcadia itself. The explosive birth of the world is still going on here, as if for the first time, alongside the premonition of the world's end. Bang and whimper, whimper and bang. In the Deep Dreaming, time does not exist, and so the beginning and the end are always found here together.

Within the flood of echoes, the eleven crystalline realms of the Oneiroi whirl and ring, churning the stuff of Dreams in their wake. One of these realms was once known as Arcadia; now, it is sealed from within, and any who depart from it can never return. As for the other Oneiric Realms, those of Moros and Hemera, Aether and Ker, Hypnates and Dán, Charis and Momus, Diké and Protea, little is known. Few have ever entered them, and none have departed in the same fashion they came.

Beyond these so-called "lesser" Oneiric Realms (and whether they are truly less splendid than Arcadia, none can say), there are only Night and Silence, bringing the total to 13. Travelers report a strange phenomenon: Beyond Silence, at the deepest possible realm of the Dreaming, the world opens up upon itself and darkness becomes transmuted into wonder.

Here, all worlds are one, but changelings care little for such things.

Places of Import in the Deep Dreaming

References

  1. CTD. Dreams and Nightmares, pp. 51-61.
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