There was a time when anything seemed possible and a bright future seemed assured. Humanity was rising, reaching beyond the old limitations and searching for something greater – a new way of life. In those days, we were mostly concerned with the world around us, the air we breathed, the ground beneath our feet. There were those who travelled to the Dreamlands. But though their ideas had power, we did not understand that they had meaning – a meaning as powerful as our daily trials and tribulations. There was a time of confluence, and then the Dreamlands were much closer to our world; the worlds joined together. Parts of their worlds were touched by ours, and parts of our world were touched by theirs. They grew together, spliced together like a plant. There may be countless Dreamlands – defined as dreams shared by many and existing in their own right – but four of them in particular are the most known to humanity:
Clockwork – The embodiment of the old hopes of humanity, of Progress and Order, a Dreamland of precision and illumination based on a deep understanding. Clockwork is a realm of both hope and despair – shadowed, towering, poison-belching factories surrounded by scalding steam on one hand and soaring, magnificent airship cities on the other. The inhabitants of Clockwork seem to be limited to humans and self-willed automata. It lacks a deity as such but some refer to a Cosmic Principle or theorize that it is the destiny of a future, ascended humanity to reign there. Being resonant with construction and creation, Clockwork is associated with the element of Earth.
Neverland – Embodying dreams of hope and eternity, it is both similar and dissimilar to the world we live in. It is a shining island paradise of eternal youth and hope. The island itself is inhabited by unaging humans and Fae, but it is surrounded by the Principalities of the Merpeople and a sea that is far more forbidding and dangerous than our own. Though we call this Dreamland Neverland, most of its inhabitants will never see the Island itself, instead living in a pirate-infested version of our own Continent on the sea – the Pirate Kingdoms. The patron deity of Neverland is the great Hunter, Nodens, generally considered to be at least neutral towards humanity. Neverland is associated with the sea, and thus Water.
Wonderland – Representing dreams of a slightly darker nature, Wonderland is chaotic, strange and illogical, but loyal to their own dream-logic. Wonderland is a queendom, ruled over by two feuding Queens of Red and White. It is omnipresent – reachable by travelling down the right rabbit hole or by stepping through a strange mirror. Both queendoms incorporate elements of the strange and macabre into their geography and its inhabitants are much the same. Intelligent animals, game pieces, and even plants are commonly encountered. The patron deity of Wonderland is Hypnos, god of sleep and dream. It is associated with change, primal chaos, and Fire.
Kadath – It perhaps goes without saying, but not all dreams are fantastic or good. Nightmares, too, need a home. Kadath serves as a sort of capital for a large, sprawling cluster of independent dreamlands, some of which are ancient and primordial, but others of which are more recent, created by contemporary Dreamers of great power. It is primarily due to its patron deity that Kadath is so feared – Nyarlhotep, the Crawling Chaos, reigns over Kadath in the manner of a Pharaoh and takes active interest in mortals and their intrusions. Kadath is peopled both by humans and things monstrous and strange – a great variety of creatures, living and undead. Kadath soars in the air, unreachable by foot, and is associated with Air.
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