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Deep dream is a creation of milenia of dreams, stable in unusual ways, slowly reflecting the waking world as filtered through the fae realms, trailing what we think of as reality by five or six hundred years.  That stability molds intrusions to itself.  A pistol taken into deep dream might become a knife, a club, a crossbow, a dart or a slingshot.  An airplane might well turn into a sledge or a balloon or a kite.  in parts of dream that model the deeper Arabian desert, wheels go away.  Only so-called Da Vinci machines, technology recreated in the form and level of the times, sometimes survives or succeeds.

All of the stability gives way in places, generally where the negative energy of the nightmares below reaches up to the dreams of the surface.  Some of these places are chaos or magnethi tinged nightmares, the bruises where Upharsin's power and the elder gods bruised our world.  Others are fault lines or collisions between the differences in dreams, tectonic plates of dream colliding where a few billion Chinese dreams of gunpowder here, a million dreams of steel there, the remnants of man on the moon and Venus and Mars trickle back to the homeworld, and the madness that is the dreams of the dead elder gods mingling with the sludge-like dregs of ancient lost dreams, all in a world form shaped by old beliefs being drawn into new knowledge and generations of the Shidhe and others.

The forbidden lands are forbidden not to protect anything in them from the dreamers, but to protect dreams from the twisted forces in that desert.

The good king's ban was to prevent any more dreamers from being swallowed by madness or taints or by the hungry denizens of that land, forces that in the most kindly effect merely turn a dreamer inside out and leave them screaming mad.  But, the anchor had gone that way, so, perforce, did we.

The red guards the king sent with us carried swords bright with positive force.  The energy in them repelled the shadows of nightmare and much of the negative energy leaking out in that desert. The knights were also able to warn us of many of the perils of that land.

For example, Tindalasse had thought to fly through the air in advance.  After all, a desert provides little cover and we might well yet catch the one we tracked by airborne pursuit. The guards were able to  point to what looked liked clouds in warning.  A touch and an illusion went airborne.  As it neared the clouds tentacles unwrapped, revealing danger.  Anything that went more than fifty feet above the ground suddenly was surrounded by what had looked like wisps of heat distortion on the air, solidifying into writhing maws of hunger and wrath.

In places, subtle patterns revealed similar creatures in the sand.  We skirted those places, lest we enter into a fight that we might not win.

This barren land was the desert in dream that reflected a milena of dead dreams in the ancient depths of the waking world, where the elder gods, one of the many authors of Upharsin's intrusion, still lay dead and dreaming. Most of such places where in the depths below, far deeper than the Dholes and others, but this intrusion was on the surface and well labeled the forbidden land.

We came across some rolling hills, as we neared them, thousands of mouths opened in them, revealing rotted black tongues behind the scaled lips and broken teeth.  They spoke in maddened, booming voices and we fled them.

Two nights in we came upon a family dwelling in the land.  Much to our surprise they were not ogres or other evils, but served a penance and escaped a curse by being sheltered by the turmoil in the magic.  Feeding themselves from a cornicupia and reading and with each other for company, they were content, except they had grown careless and borne a child that they feared had been taken by the man in the moon, a bogey who actually stalked this world, like bloody bones, punishing and stealing disobedient children.

Michael's raven found the child's trail and we rescued the three year-old, who had been trapped by illusions and was lost.  His parents vowed to return to the city in three months time when the time would finally be finished and the curse's threat ended.

Further in, as we began to set a camp for the night, I smelled traces of the same smell that marked my first encounter with Indigo. Manticorea.  We fought them as a group, the knights guarding our rear from attack or surprise, and slew them, burning the bodies.

In the morning we passed a dreamer surrounded by twisted light and fragments of shattered glass.  We skirted it, and it ignored us. A lost soul, from some other realm.

We had made good time when we finally saw our target.  He/she/it rose from the air on a steam powered Da Vinci flying machine. The cloud beasts wrapped around him, but instead of destroying him (and letting the anchor fall to the ground where we could retrieve it), they covered her protectively and whisked it away even faster than the machine would have carried our target. The guards estimated that the transit would gain a week on us, if crossing the waste was the goal, but then we would catch up, as there was no place to go beyond it, the far shore being one that no ships traveled.

The level of peril was growing, but our experience and magic was adjusting.  We sent the guards back to the king, with our thanks and gifts.  We pressed on.

We came across a surly man, armed with a scimitar, who claimed to be a guide who traveled this waste, seeking the treasures that sometimes were cast forth along with the dross.  Since we found him in a small valley where he was harvesting golden mushrooms (real gold, shaped like mushrooms), his story made much sense.

But he led us into a terrible peril of a false oasis.  Our true vision revealed it and so we were not poisoned or taken by that creature, but the judas goat escaped justice while we were occupied.

We endured a rain of spines and scorpions, then a rain of sighs and sticky black ash.

At last we could hear the ocean, far distant, and saw some fruited plants.  As we neared them, it became obvious that the fruit was a lure and the plants were hungry spider creatures.  We slew them, then stopped for the night.

The next day we approached the shore, fanning out and looking for the missing dreamer.

Much to our surprise we saw a tower with several of the galleys from Leng tethered there. We knew them from our old encounter with the Wenelians, though we had never thought to see moonbeasts and men from Leng again -- nor to see them talking with the judas goat who had led us into the foul miasma masquerading as an oasis and one who looked like his brother.  

More creatures for those who are interested.

Creatures found in dream
Goat Men/Man from Leng Moonbeast Twisted Cloudbeast)
Rare in Dream and Waking Worlds: 3d6 Very Rare: 1d6+2 very, very rare 3d6
Armor Class 8 Armor Class 7 Armor Class 12
Move  10" swimming Move 12" Move 24"
Hit dice  d10+2 Hit Dice 5d8+ Hit Dice 30d6
%lair 10 %lair 35 %lair n/a
Treasure Type varies Treasure Type: k Treasure Type n/a
Attack d2 head but or weapon with STR 16 Attack 1d6 tentacle or 2d6 blast Attack  2d20 bite or 3d6 tentacle
Intelligence: medium   Intelligence: high   Intelligence: low to medium  
Alignment :  neutral evil Alignment: evil -- neutral and lawful Alignment:  chaotic evil 
Size: humanoid Size: medium to large Size:  gigantic
20 Psionic points: All attacks and defenses
One psionic power (roll randomly)
1 first level illusion spell.
190 psionic points, ego whip and tower
For 10 points may mind blast for 2d6 hit points
Power:  dominate Man from Leng.
Translucent until they attack, surprise on 1-5 on d6
Immune psionic attacks, charm/hold, suggestion
Sense invisible, control all wind and weather magic

Goat Men from Leng were once bred and enslaved by the Leng Spiders.  Now they are enslaved by the Moonbeasts.  They are goats raised to human size, stature and general appearance.  Leng Spiders enjoyed eating their brains.

Moonbeasts are a dream parasite from the dark side of the moon that have enslaved the Men of Leng and who prowl the realms of dream, purchasing and stealing slaves to eat and sell in other realms.  Allies of the Wenelians and allied with Upharsin and the dead elder gods.  

Twisted Cloud Beasts are found only in the forbidden desert, though their smaller kin are found in other places, untwisted by chaos. They initate attacks only those who are fifty feet or more above ground (unlike normal cloud beasts which can reach all the way to the surface) and are immune to wind.  They can not cast weather or wind magic, but any that is cast within 24" of them, they can control, and they control all winds within 24" and, in response to ranged attacks they can retaliate by casting winds that act as invisible stalkers.  Such winds last d3 turns, they can create d3+1 every melee round.  They do so only in response to being attacked.

There will be more footnotes added later.

Copyright 2005 Stephen R. Marsh and Heather N. Marsh
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