The Far Dreaming is the part of the Dreaming corresponding to the collective dreams of humanity.
The Dreaming changes the deeper you go beyond its borders. As the influence of humanity's consciousness fades, as the the more powerful dreams present themselves, the Dreaming becomes more irreal. The Dream Realm called the Far Dreaming no longer holds any reflection of the Flesh Realm and surrenders instead to the endless possibilities of the imagination. The Far Dreaming is undiluted by banal influences, though it, too, is created by mortal dreams.
The Far Dreaming is home to many of the collective dreams of humans. There are even more Stable Points here than in the Near Dreaming, and they change less often then the structures and shapes of those dreams closest to the human heart.
The Far Dreaming is less fragmented by the Shattering than the Near Dreaming. The bubbles of Dreamstuff that forge the Dream Realms here are larger and often more ponderous, less volatile. Although the trods are less frequent here, they still occur and still breathe life into the ever-changing reality of the Dreaming.
The Far Dreaming is closer to the true power of dreams, older and far more established than the Near Dreaming. Most of the ideas within this region are hundreds or even thousands of years old, established in the time before the Shattering, where anything was still possible. The chimera of the Far Dreaming are more likely to be dragons and manticores than simple images of lost loves and bullies who terrorized us when we were young. The Dream Realms truly hold a part of the Mythic Age within them and still have the strength to alter changelings who journey into their depths.
Although there is no correlation between the Far Dreaming and the waking world, the two still bear many similarities. The weather here is less mercurial than in the Near Dreaming, though far more powerful in its essence. A wind that might blow gently in the Near Dreaming fairly howls through the trees of the Far Dreaming. Further removed from human influence, the mountains and streams of the Far Dreaming are larger than life, harsher to cross, and purer.
There's mystery to the Far Dreaming. Far fewer changelings ever dare the forests and glens here than risk the ones in the Near Realms. Even those sidhe who've traveled the Far Dreaming repeatedly sense the difference in the very air they breathe. Here, the Kithain are closer to the source from which they all came so long ago, so many lifetimes in the past.
Between the Near Dreaming and the Far is a place called the Vale of Mists. No matter how a changeling passes into the Far Dreaming, they inevitably pass through the Vale. This mystic border is part of the Dreaming's natural defenses and cannot be bypassed, not even by the most powerful Kithain or mortal mages.
Entering the Far Dreaming
The ways into the Far Dreaming are limited. Under normal circumstances, the only way to enter it is by following a trod from the Near Dreaming or a Path of Balor from one of the Umbrae. Even the trods beneath the waters of the Seas of Dream lead here eventually, though the course is often a longer one than anyone ever expects.
There are, however, other accidental ways to get here. Chimera from the Far Dreaming often move through the Mists to seek entertainment or food in the Near Dreaming where prey is less deadly and easier to capture. Several Kithain have found themselves on a one-way trip to the Far Dreaming on the claws of a dragon or the talons of a roc.
On rare occasions, the Firchlis can push a changeling into the Far Dreaming. This occurs only if a changeling stumbles off a trod or when a Kithain is trapped in a Madness Realm. Individuals who end up in the Far Dreaming in this way often find themselves just as lost as they were before and perhaps in far greater danger. Every threat found in the Near Dreaming is a hundred times worse in the Far.
The last way to get here is to fall into the realm. Many Kithain try their hands a flying in the Dreaming where Banality can't destroy their creations and threaten their lives. Even the meekest of changelings understands that the Dreaming allows wonders as a matter of course, and the chance to ride a flying carpet or sail in a flying ship is a temptation too great to resist. Sudden storms brought on by the Firchlis can send changelings who travel by such means spiraling from the Near to the Far Dreaming with ease, even if the closest entrance to the Far Dreaming is hundreds of leagues away. As with all cases in which the Kithain fail to reach the Far Dreaming by way of a trod, there's no guarantee of survival for an airborne Kithain suddenly whisked into the Far Realms.
The Ways of the Far Dreaming
Beyond the Vale of Mists, the Far Dreaming awaits, ready to embrace the fae like lost children. Many changelings find a few unexpected surprises when they arrive here.
The first of the Far Dreaming's surprises is the return of Kithain memories, of experiences from previous lives, which come back in flashes and fleeting images. This experience is almost as powerful as the Chrysalis and is often called the Second Chrysalis to reflect that knowledge.
The Chrysalis Revisited
The Mists protect changelings from Banality more than they ever realize. What they see as a curse, the loss of memories and the disparities in time itself, are actually blessings. Even minds as open as those of the fae aren't designed to remember the glories of the Far Dreaming. Left with their memories of the Dreaming intact, most Kithain would feel Banality's cold poison more than they already do.
When a changeling enters the Far Dreaming, the Mists of Forgetfulness part to reveal even more of their past. These returning memories are fragmented still, but they hold hits and clues as to the lives a changeling lived in earlier times.
This second layer of restored memories is almost as overwhelming as the First Chrysalis, though no changeling has ever been driven insane by the returning memories. Most of what is recalled comes in snippets and pieces. No one can learn "forgotten" Arts and Realms as a result of passing through the Second Chrysalis. They might more clearly recall once having known other Arts and Realms, but the recollection does not deliver with it the skills necessary to use such abilities.
Secrets can still be relearned, nonetheless. In some cases, memories of where a Kithain hid something in another life return upon emergence from the Second Chrysalis. The locations of ancestral swords or items of power can return in an instant, as can lengthy episodes from past lives. These remembrances often leave a changeling dazed for several minutes, as they collect their thoughts and sort through the onslaught of old memories made new. Once again, there is a serious risk of ancient rivalries and loves resurfacing, both of which can make life far more difficult for a questing motley.
What the Dreaming gives, it also takes back. New memories are lost when the Kithain leaves the Far Dreaming and passes through the Mists. Unless a changeling writes down notes about what is remembered, nothing can be recalled after leaving the Far Dreaming. Sometimes, even written notes will fade away upon leaving the Twilight Realm. The Dreaming is very protective of the knowledge it holds, and it works in subtle but powerful ways to defend itself against Banality.
See the longer article Augmen.
Rules of the Far Dreaming
The Far Dreaming has several other interesting effects on changelings.
- All effects gained from entering the Near Dreaming remain in effect in the Far Dreaming.
- Cantrips are even easier to cast here. All Cantrips are considered Wyrd, but no cantrip requires the use of Glamour to cast (though Glamour can still be used to reduce difficulties, etc...) Additionally, the difficulty for casting all cantrips is lowered by two with a minimum difficulty of 2.
- Temporary Glamour replenishes at a rate of one per hour for as long as a changeling remains in the Far Dreaming. Food and drink can occasionally restore temporary Glamour as well, at the Storyteller's discretion.
Denizens & the Far Dreaming
Denizens are more common in the Far Dreaming than in the Near or Deep Realms. Most of the Denizens who live here have largely forgotten, or at least downplayed, the importance of the Autumn World. It was quite a shock to many when the great storms that tore through their realms in due to the Week of Nightmares seemed to emanate from Earth. While few, if any, of the Dark-Kin in the Far Dreaming know exactly what happened, recent events have forced them to look away from their old agents and once again consider the human lands.
Mortals in the Far Dreaming
On occasion, though very rarely, mortals or even some supernaturals manage to enter the Far Dreaming. only a few can survive the Near Dreaming to actually reach this far into the Mythic Realm. Any who aren't simply driven mad by a world that adamantly refuses to follow their preconceptions often learn the hard way that trods tend not to work as well for them as they do for Kithain.
The trods were created by the fae, and a certain natural affinity exists between them and the Silver Path that simply can't be duplicated. Mortals were never meant to venture the trails made by Kithain powers. Trods seem to grow soft beneath mortal feet, unable to hold the weight of their mundane flesh. While trods usually hold in the Near Dreaming, the farther into the Mythic Realm a mortal goes, the more likely the Silver Path simply won't support their weight. Mortals enchanted by Kithain are the first exception to this rule. Once under enchantment, the Glamour that infuses the mortal protects them from the mundane nature of their existence, if only temporarily.
The only other exception to this rule are the rare mortals who experience the Chrysalis for the first time while physically in the Dreaming. Mortals who awaken to their faerie nature while here are a rare and wondrous sight. These lucky few do not suffer the ill side effects of the Chrysalis, as they are protected by the Mists. Most come into the full nature of their existence as if waking from a dream. Even after leaving the Dreaming, these fortunate Kithain suffer no ill effects beyond the usual risks all changelings endure in the mundane world.
Madness & the Dreaming
The laws of the Flesh Realm do not apply within the Dreaming. The only rules that matter are the ones the Dreaming imposes. The proof of this simple fact lies in the nightmares that haunt even the most powerful mages. Even those adept in the Mind Sphere have no sway in the Dreaming, where their knowledge, will, and talent mean nothing.
Humans, both Awakened and Sleeper alike, are somewhat familiar with the Dreaming. They visit it in their own way on a haphazard basis. They are inspired by what they see there and are responsible for its existence. Even the mages of the Technocracy visit the Twilight Realm when they are truly asleep and their minds are drawn back to the childhood times they try so hard to forget... when they knew Santa Claus was real and monsters lurked in their closets.
Most humans feel a certain sense of deja vu upon entering the Dream Realms. They know they've been here before, but nothing is the least bit familiar. The Mists work on mortals, too, and are not forgiving of mundane intruders. Despite the odd familiarity they feel upon entering the Near Dreaming, all of them also feel a sense of dread that reaches back to a time before the Shattering. Fae and human have seldom been friends. From time to time their paths crossed. Some Kithain treated these encounters as games and managed to remain surprisingly friendly (most notably the pooka and boggans), but any illusion of friendship was just that: an illusion.
The Dreaming is created by the minds of mortals, but is far beyond mere human comprehension. It goes outside the beliefs of Jung, and light years past the concept of quantum physics. By its very nature, the Dreaming is, and will remain, an enigma to the human mind.
Look at the Delirium of the Garou and the Fog of the Restless Dead. Both these reactions are defenses, ways the human mind has of dealing with concepts too frightening to explore. Those humans with extremely high Willpower ratings are less affected by the Delirium and the fog than most people are. They control themselves, force themselves to remember what really happened.
Mages are "will workers." By the very strength of their belief and their Willpower, they can alter reality to suit their needs, though they often have to pay a price fo their actions. By their very nature, they are immune to the Fog and the Delirium, because of an enlightened state of mind that they refer to as being Awakened.
Mages can grasp the concept of the Dreaming, but they can never truly manage to accept the reality of it. The Mists see to that. The Delirium and the Fog are defenses to the mortal mind. the Mists are a defense of the Dreaming. Just as the Mists protect changelings by hiding from them the parts of their own psyches that could be damaged by Banality, the Mists protect the Dreaming from invaders who could do harm to its existence.
No Technomancer stands a chance against the Mists. Putting aside their high Banality levels, which work as barriers to stop them from gaining entry, the Mists would assault their minds through their subconscious, through their connection to the Dreaming.
Reason is shattered by the very nature of the Dreaming. The Mists enforce that simple law of dream physics. Reason must be surrendered, if only temporarily, or conscious mortal minds are not permitted to gain physical entry. should the Mists ever fail to work their subtle influence n a mortal mind, for instance on the mind of an Awakened human, the Dreaming responds in a more direct way.
Rational minds with the ability to resist the powers of the Mists are attacked by the Dreaming itself. No mortal, Awakened or not, has ever existed who can defy the Dreaming's will. What cannot be removed by way of the Mists is removed otherwise. All who refuse to surrender their rational mind have it taken away from them. Permanently.
Mages simply cannot leave the Dreaming with more knowledge than they had when they entered. Despite their awesome abilities in the Waking World, even the Awakened are susceptible to dreams.
There are other denizens of the Flesh Realm who, from time to time, attempt to reach the Dreaming. A few among the Garou and the Restless Dead have actually managed to enter the Mythic Realm. They, too, suffer the effects of the Mists. Vampires do not believe in the Dreaming. Perhaps the force which gives them their perpetual half-life also robs them of the ability to Dream. In either case, their Banality-ridden forms can't reach into the Mythic Realm: the Dreaming won't permit it. The only known exceptions are a few Malkavians, who seem capable, by virtue of their insanity, of entering the Dreaming.
It should be clarified here that the Mists of Forgetfulness do not eradicate the memories of beings who enter. Instead, they mute memory. Leaving the Far of Deep Dreaming is like waking up from a very deep sleep. The memories are there, but they're slippery. They fade quickly and seldom come back until a person returns to those realms. Most mortals who've been to the Dreaming are changed by the experience. Even though they don't consciously remember their travels, they feel the impact of them just the same.
Places of Import in the Far Dreaming
There are Stable Points in the Far Dreaming, as in the Near, though the definition of "stable" is less clear. Most of these permanent structures still tend to move about and seldom remain in the same place for very long. The geography of the Far Dreaming is not as connected to the geography of the Waking World as that of the Near Dreaming, though there are still certain constants. There are always oceans, mountains, forests, deserts, and other aspects found in the Flesh Realm, but they are no longer dream-enhanced reflections of what humans see as reality. They are more fantastic in their scope, and likely to exceed anything found in the mundane reality of humans.
- The Vale of Mists
- Spawning Fields
- The Great Forest
- The Splintered Mountains
- Arawn's Forge
- The Sea of Sorrow
- The Slumbering Oceans
- The Winterweir