World of Dreams

The World of Dreams is the collective unconscious of the intelligent races of the World of Isles. It includes everything that people believe in, and nearly everything they have heard of. It is a strange and wonderful place, inhabited by archetypal figures, such as Mother, the Desirable Woman, the Bully, Death, and the Great Old Man; well-known figures from history and legend like La Beale Ettarre, Arion the Minstrel, and Theseus Clubfoot; and the popular conceptions of such famous living persons as the great dragon Khlorophane, the megalarkh Arkhidamus, and Alkinous the Last Unborn.

Also in the World of Dreams are well-known fantasies, such as allegorical figures and the various afterlives (Hel, the fields of asphodel, Tartarus, the Elysian Fields, Tir na Nog etc. (properly inhabited by people known to be dead)), and the Valley of the Blind, the Land of Lost Things, and so forth.

Generally, people make visits in spirit to the World of Dreams during periods of sleep, but their wanderings within are random, and their recollections on waking are patchy and confused. Some people (dreamers) can make deliberate journeys into the World of Dreams, and can take others with them. This they do to gain knowledge or wisdom, therapeutically, and for ceremonial reasons.

Most of the contents of the World of Dreams are there because people know of or believe in them. The more widely known, the more accessible. An archetype familiar to everyone, such as Mother, is easily found (but see Lena). Knowledge private to a small group will generally require a long and arduous quest in the World of Dreams to find. When people visit a land of the dead in the World of Dreams to speak with the ghosts there, they will, in general, only be able to obtain information known to some still-living person—the ghost will be the person as he or she is remembered, not as he or she was, if that is different.

You see that the World of Dreams is largely a creation of popular belief. This is, however, not a complete description of it, certain things in the World of Dreams have lives of their own. This includes fiends, the Dreamer Whose Dreams Come True, and the oneiroi.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.