[Editor’s Note: The pseudo-plane of Dream is closely linked to the Wall of Color of the Ethereal. It has been theorized that this plane is a sublayer of the Ethereal, but no evidence along those lines has been provided. Active attempts to reach the plane of Dream at the Wall of Color have failed miserably, but at least one traveler I know of has slipped into a realm that seems to match the descriptions of the pseudo-plane. Her method of traveling there? She got very bored waiting for her party to catch up with her at the Wall… and simply took a nap. Unfortunately, I have not made it out to test this technique myself.]
Hey, hey, hey. Um, let’s sit, yeah, and have a drink. Been a while since I was in the ol’ “City of Cages”, are whatever ya call this burg now. Did it always smell this bad? Sorry; spend enough time in the Dream, and you forget just how ugly the waking world can be. But then you want to know all about the Dream, ‘eh? Planning on giving this place the laugh? Well, I can’t encourage you more. A body can spend their life eating the same meal over and over again, or hit the all-you-can-eat buffet, ya know?
So let’s cover the basics, ya? The Plane of Dreams is trivially easy to get into; go to sleep, and there you are, your own personal dreamscape! But that don’t do you a ton of good, cause then it’s running the show and you’re just along for the ride. This is the first of many reasons to master the fine art of lucid dreaming. With some work, you catch on that you’re in the Dream, and with a bit more effort, you can take control. Affecting your own dreamscape is fairly easy, and with that, you can make your own personal paradise! Sweet deal, ya know?
While you’re sleeping, there’s not much that can happen in the Dream that’ll do any harm to ya. ‘Course, problem being you’re gonna wake up eventually, and then you’re in this crap-pile of a multiverse again. Moving physically into the Plane of Dreams is the answer, though it ain’t easy. There ain’t any natural portals to my knowledge, just the occasional rifts that occur once every few centuries when something really strange happens. Some berks go on about the Ethereal, but I don’t know anything about the Inner Planes, and I don’t wanna. So, that leaves a good ol’ plane shift. There’s a catch, though: it’ll take you right to the Dreamheart.
The Dreamheart is sorta the center of the Dream, where all the dream-stuff runs wild and the dreamscapes themselves are born and die. However, it’s not nearly as malleable as the rest o’ the plane. If you don’t have protection from everything—and I do mean everything!—you’re gonna take a beating. And once you’ve actually moved into the Dream, well, then things can hurt you. ‘Course, everything follows the rules of the dream world, and they hardly stay the same for long. And if you’re really unlucky, some nightmare creature beyond reason will just show up and swallow you whole.
Supposedly there’s an eye to the tempest, a safe spot from the wild dream-stuff, but none of the dreamwalkers I’ve bantered with have the same thing to say about what’s there. Me? Me, me, me…I saw a pair of doors, real big, sitting quietly in the storm. Looked like a gate to another cosmos, it did, but I didn’t go through. There was this snake to end all snakes hanging around it, and I wasn’t too confident ‘bout sneaking past. I’m mighty curious, ya know, but then, I can always just imagine what’s on the other side, and be there!
That’s the beauty of the Dream. With some practice in that lucid dreaming I mentioned, you can escape the Dreamheart and enter someone else’s dreamscape. And then ya can take it over and make it what you want! Soon as the dreamscape bursts, or gets boring, hop over to another and start over. It’s not like most dreamers even know what’s going on, let alone can fight you for their dreams! And when they try it’s a real laugh. Really though, it’s the best sort of adventure available. The Dream gives ya access to the entire multiverse’s wildest dreams, and there’s no short of variety. Sure, a few berks call me a “dream-harvester”, as if that’s something bad, just cause I’m acquiring a dreamscape or two. But I figure I’m doing a service for ‘em, adding some twists to their usual dreams, ya know?
In my dreams, the Lich-Queen lives. In my dreams, the githyanki hunt traitors such as myself to the ends of the multiverse, burning everything in their wake. They are not pleasant dreams. My former mentor, dead by my hands, would have said that these nightmares are a sign of weakness, that my soul is troubled by the crimes I have committed against the Lich-Queen. Perhaps that is how it started, but now…now my dreams do not die when I wake. Now they are with me always, a living tormentor on the edge of my consciousness, waiting for my mind to drift, to slide into the Region of Dreams. This I know.
Dreamscapes are the product of our minds, mental spaces conceived into existence and contained within the Region of Dreams. The Dream itself is less a plane than a horizon; picture the dreaming minds of a plane drifting away to create a place unfettered by nature or reason. Like bubbles rising to the surface, these dreamscapes are transient, fragile. But for that brief time, the multiverse is exactly as the mind makes it. The Region of Dreams is the collection of these pocket realities, side by side, yet rarely interacting. This I know.
Somewhere, in that plane that is not a plane, there is a dreamscape which owes its existence to me. Most dreamscapes are short-lived, existing in the lifespan of those ephemeral moments of sleep or daydreaming. But some grow too strong, and refuse to die. I have heard that phantoms can escape from such dream worlds and become real. Other times, the dreams simply go on and refuse to allow the dreamer to depart. I have escaped mine…but it waits for me, and should I sleep I will return to that hell, a nightmare of my mind’s creation. Why do our own dreams give birth to such dangers? This I do not know.
So I remain awake, and soon I will embark upon a quest to slay my dreams. It is said that the Wall of Color that separates the Deep Ethereal from the Border Ethereal Plane holds a path to the Region of Dreams, and that one can find the oldest and largest dreamscapes there. If that is true, then I will find my dreamscape, my tormentor, and tear it apart. It must be true. What I have created, I can destroy. This I know.
So, you finally wish to have a fey’s perspective on the Dream? You’ve been looking around for some account from us to add to your little book, have you not? My son’s view a little too ‘simple’ for you? Yet, only now do you come to me. Are the Unseelie so untrustworthy, so distasteful to you? No, do not answer, your discomfort is a sweet elixir, and I relish its taste. I shall tell you of the Dream, so precious to those of the twilight world, and so mysterious to your simple readers. It would be cruel not to repay you for your generous offering, after all.
Wonder, change, chaos, dynamism, flux. All of these things describe the Dream, but none do it adequate justice. It is not one more plane to be added to models of the Great Ring, it is the Great Ring itself, the multiverse in its natural form. In time before time, when no mortals or gods muddied existence, there was just the Dream. Impossible and imaginary had no meaning; reality was raw and unrestrained, a portrait that had yet to be framed. Bit by bit, the planes were born, and that which was came to be and that which wasn’t was forced away. That is how the Dream became what it is, slowly pushed away from an emerging Creation until it existed only at the edges, or in small oases sheltered from simple minds.
I hope your readers will not be insulted, my words are but the simple truth. It is best they know the truth, for it is your kind that has lost. The Dream is as it has always been, filled with the most unimaginable wonders and terrors, a refuge for unexplored hopes and fears. They are given free reign, unbound by logic or will. Yes, I have heard silly tales of planewalkers said to have mastered the Dream and made it their own. Fanciful stories, perhaps inspired by my kin. Even we do not deign to rule the Dream, but befriend it, and enjoy it’s bounties.
Now listen here, cutter, the Plane of Temporal Energy is just a fancy name for something that’s been a part of every plane in the multiverse since time began. It’s not really a separate place at all, but another dimension that we’re traveling through all the time. That’s why they call it a pseudo-plane, ya know? Which isn’t to say I haven’t been there! Oh ho, you can certainly make your way there, just like you can go to all sorts of places that aren’t really places (the Astral comes to mind). The trick is to get your bonebox in the right frame of mind and look at the movement of time as something other than a one-way road.
Ever experience time moving faster when you’re having a good time, or slowing down when things are boring and tedious? How about those brief moments when you know what’s going to happen before it does, or when you remember the past so strongly it seems to become real? Traveling through Temporal Energy is just like that, only you harness the feelings to move in any direction you please, freeing you to see the past or future or even witness alternate timelines that never actually happened. It’s not easy, and very very few Sensates have tumbled to the dark of it. But then, that’s what makes me so special!
Now, just as moving through Temporal Energy is a matter of perspective, so is its appearance and nature. I know one blood that views it as a chaotic realm of whirling sand where visions of different places and times can occasionally be seen through the storm. Someone else once told me it was a great river running through a star-filled black expanse. Me, I envision it as a winding stairway with doors to different time periods running around it. What you’re capable of doing and what dangers there are seem to adapt to how you view the plane. There’s not much consistency, and no apparent way to change it, but then, it’s all your mind trying its hardest to interpret the plane to begin with.
Before any would-be time travelers get any barmy ideas, you can’t actually travel to different times through the Temporal Energy Plane, only project your mind to sense events as they happen then. Maybe if there was some magic to physically enter the plane, but then that’d required some major power. And if it were possible, wouldn’t the gods be doing it all the time?
A Strange Letter
[Editor's note: This letter was discovered by an associate of mine some years ago on the body of a young man in the woods of Shurrock in Bytopia. While divinations were able to establish some level of authenticity, its true meaning or the identity of the author remains a mystery. Perhaps one of my readers will have some insights, and so I include it here for all to decipher.]
There’s something strange going on with the timestreams of Bytopia. I’ve been studying the threads of Dothion’s potential futures, attempting to determine if there’s any point where the cycle of expansion and settlement will end and the nature of the plane itself will change. No luck so far, but I’ve noticed something even more interesting. Of the thousands of timestreams I’ve noted, a significant number of them are abruptly terminating. You are of course familiar with what that indicates: the destruction of every sentient creature on the layer, perhaps even the destruction of the plane itself.
This would seem to indicate some sort of mass cataclysm. I’ve heard of such things happening on prime worlds, but on an Outer Plane? I have difficulty contemplating the implications that might have on the Great Wheel. The mist-smoke prevents me from plotting the repercussions on other planes from my position in Temporal Prime, which is why I’m leaving this message for you to find. I need you to try to get in contact with Bytopia’s division of the Order, and to bring me Saxrin’s notes, the stuff he left behind before he was Mazed by the Lady of Sigil. He had more experience with the Temporal Prime for the Outer Planes, I’m hoping something of his will be useful.
It’s looking like the hand of fate at work. The farther I look ahead, the more timestreams seem to converge. I haven’t attempted to enter and see what happens myself; the last thing I want is become caught in a temporal flux as the world’s ending. What’s more, there’s a swarm of time dimensionals feeding off the disturbances in the timelines, and one warned me against tampering. For now I’m searching for any lifelines that play a common role in the timestreams, trying to identify any individuals that may be responsible for what’s to come. I’ll leave the question of interference to the Order. Either way, it should make for a very interesting study.
Once upon a time there was a Demiplane of Time sitting idly in the Deep Ethereal. Not many people sought it out or tried to enter it because it was surrounded by all sorts of temporal anomalies, and who wants to be aged into an old man or reduced to a child in a few miserable moments? Greybeards argued back and forth about its true nature and whether it was a real plane, a gateway to another era, or a place outside time as we know it. All in all, everyone ignored them though, cause really, what did they know of it?
Then some berk takes a look at a model of the multiverse and decides it’s not good enough anymore. Not enough rings and not enough groups of three. So the model is twisted some, a few planes are stretched or invented, and then we have the new and improved Great Ring. Best of all are these new pseudo-planes that aren’t really planes - that stretch around the entire multiverse and have all sorts of weird properties to them. Now we have a hidden Plane of Time, and every sodding planewalker thinks they can start hopping around time, while the truly barmy want to start rewriting history.
Listen here, there’s no Plane of Time, or if there is, it’s not a place you can go to. There are no portals leading to it, no spells that take you there. The closest thing is the Demiplane of Time—it’s still the Deep Ethereal, by the way. But if you don’t want to end up in the dead-book, leave it be. I’ve been there, I know. There’s these chords and threads shooting off in every direction, some glowing brightly and others emanating darkness itself. And all sorts of things there that will make your head burst and blood if you try too hard to think about them. Chronovoids, temporal gliders, temporal stalkers, time dimensionals, and worse things.
Still, folk think it’s all worth the risk, wager they can travel to the past and do things over. Guess what, berk? They can’t! I’ve seen enough buddies grab onto those threads and disappear, never to be heard from again. Meanwhile, I get reduced to the age of a small child, defenseless and forced to go through some of the worst years all over again. Some things just weren’t meant to be explored!
Chapter Release Information
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Release Version: 1.0v 10/27/2007