Attention all sages of the 'Loths -help a cutter find the dark on the Dream Reaver

Asha'man

First Post
My epic-level PCs are headed fast and surely for a confrontation with the Baernaloth known as the Dream Reaver, one of those wonderful creations of Shemeska's: The Demented.

Unfortunately, from what the extent of my google-fu could determine, the Dream Reaver has had very little light shed on him (her?), either by Shem or others, and since I'm not very good at the 'Loths, I thought I should ask ENworld for help.

Is there any information about the Dream Reaver out there that I've missed? If not, can anyone help furnish me with ideas?

Things like its name (Most of the Demented have such evocative names, the Dream Reaver is one of the few that is only known by a sobriquet. Is there a reason for that?), its preferred shape/appearance, typical modus of interaction with mortals, means of combat, etc etc? I don't need actual stats, I can make those myself. But I need evocative ideas. Why is the Baern called Dream Reaver? Does it wield its evil and corruption against dreams? With dreams? Through dreams? Does it use them as weapons, if so, how? If it were attacked, how would it defend itself? What are its relations with the other Demented? Does it have any "siblings" among them? Is it patient and stubborn, or whimsical?

And anything else along such lines.
 

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Baveboi

First Post
Hey cutter.

Don't know if I can help you out on this, but I can try.
I've had my share of the planes meself, being a planewalker at heart and all, and I saw many sods trying to scan the entire multiverse.
You know what I think about it? Pike it.

If you ever wanted to know every single gate or berk that is out there than you are acting like a clueless now, you should sooner try to find the center of the multiverse.
Hey, don't pike it with me, I'm just expressing myself here. There are maps out there and all but there ain't no size to the multiverse, no matter what Ann or the Lady or any other power or planeswalker have to say in the matter. Things just goes on and on.

Now, if I ever wanted a jink I'd say you are on the right track there, but in a wrong way. You see, those things you said are important, no doubt, but more important yet is to think of this: Are your gullies sodding bloodies, or just plain berks?
And I've seen my fair share of berks, believe me, I can tell. No one should be out there fighting such a power! Maybe it's proxies. That I can see happening. And why the sodding hells would a power like that be doing facing a potential threat on their ground?
He'd be long lost if he did so. With that light in mind, I have a jink for your braining.

Why don't you peel them? I mean, they could THINK they are facing the right thing, they could win, get away with it like everything went straight, the gullers. You could just come up with all holes that there are for the proxies you said, and the high-up is just a question of how they interpret it.
You could even have it happen inside their nightmares, like the Reaver does sometimes. Or so I've heard near Rashemen.

Anyways, I hope they give 'em the laugh. It's always good to wigwag with a spiv now and them.


Sorry for the ramble, hope I didn't give you the yawn.
My best wishes on your travels, and if you end hipped on Sigil, do me a favor and scan a visit to me and my kip, only the top-shelf for a well-lanned.
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
My epic-level PCs are headed fast and surely for a confrontation with the Baernaloth known as the Dream Reaver, one of those wonderful creations of Shemeska's: The Demented.

Unfortunately, from what the extent of my google-fu could determine, the Dream Reaver has had very little light shed on him (her?), either by Shem or others, and since I'm not very good at the 'Loths, I thought I should ask ENworld for help.

Is there any information about the Dream Reaver out there that I've missed? If not, can anyone help furnish me with ideas?

Things like its name (Most of the Demented have such evocative names, the Dream Reaver is one of the few that is only known by a sobriquet. Is there a reason for that?), its preferred shape/appearance, typical modus of interaction with mortals, means of combat, etc etc? I don't need actual stats, I can make those myself. But I need evocative ideas. Why is the Baern called Dream Reaver? Does it wield its evil and corruption against dreams? With dreams? Through dreams? Does it use them as weapons, if so, how? If it were attacked, how would it defend itself? What are its relations with the other Demented? Does it have any "siblings" among them? Is it patient and stubborn, or whimsical?

And anything else along such lines.

Is two years too late to be answering a question? :eek:

I don't know how I missed this the first time that you posted it, but here's some details on the Dreamer / Dream Reaver (I've described her with both titles).

The Dreamer does in fact have a full name, but since I never used her much and never got around to posted a piece of fiction revolving around her, she was one of several of the Demented that I never developed much. And thus, she only has a title rather than a full name.

I did name her at some point, because she played a roll very late in my second Planescape campaign, but for the life of me I can't find it in my notes, so it's probably something that I wrote down by hand as a notation in the printed out campaign notes for the several sessions that plot arc took to go through.

She's one of the few baern to actually have a distinct gender - being outwardly female- while most of them are pretty androgenous. She doesn't have any "siblings" among the Demented (such as Harishek ap Thulkesh and Daru ib Shamiq being described as "brothers") though I considered giving her a sibling that didn't fall among the 13 Demented (the otherwise undescribed Asudj ap Shaelloth who I toyed with giving a formative role in creating the shadow fiends in the Abyss).

I implied in my campaign that she either created the Night Hags of the Waste outright, or experimented upon hordelings on a pretty massive scale, and ultimately elevated one of them to a higher station and unique form, and this hordeling would later become the night hag goddess Cegilune. As far as servitors, the Dreamer actually tends to use self-mutilated and blind night hags rather than yugoloths, and it's hinted that she does so not out of love for her wayward creations, but contempt towards what they began as and their pretensions and/or ignorance otherwise.

I've described members of the Demented as choosing individual unique yugoloths and inhabiting them like metaphysical parasites (be the 'loth willing or not). The Dreamer was harbored within the flesh/soul of Larsdana ap Neut, the architect of the Tower of the Arcanaloths/Tower Arcane in Gehenna (elsewhere described as the Witch Queen of Gehenna and Magistrix of the First Furnace). I described this in a short piece I wrote years ago called 'The Dreamer and the Fiend', which was in the short-lived Knowledge Arcana webzine that was published on the WotC forums in late 3.x (edited by Penny Williams at the time, but I don't know precisely what official capacity that was and thus if it's to be considered in any way canon for the concepts involved here, but I'd err on no).
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
This is that short fic, 'The Dreamer and the Fiend', in which the Dreamer plays a small role. I wrote this -years- ago, so pardon the structure of it all. I like to think I've improved a whole heck of a lot since then.


Sleep is a mortal concept. For those who are immortal, sleep is less conventional, and it truly means little outside of having a common name to describe it. The experience is altogether different for beings who are not made of corporeal flesh and blood, but rather the physical manifestations of abstract evil.

Sleep was just such a different concept for Larsdana Ap Neut, designer and first Keeper of the Tower Arcane, first among the arcanaloth caste of the Yugoloth hierarchy of Gehenna. At first glance one might have thought her deprived of sleep. She was thin, anemically thin, and her tawny and gray fur was tight on her frame. The luminous violet eyes set into her jackal-like head with its shoulder length mane of raven black hair, blending to scarlet at the tips, seemed almost bloodshot, and they shimmered in the darkness as she descended from the apex of the Tower Arcane and down into its depths.

Her footsteps would have echoed on the stairs as she walked, but they did not as she hovered several inches above the ground. Her cobalt robes hung below her feet, their silver trim brushing upon stone, but even had she been heard it would not matter, it was her tower in its entirety.

She was descending to the depths for solitude, and in this way alone were her actions in any way familiar to a mortal. Compared to them, sleep was so very different a thing for her, and sleep was the reason that she walked down into the bowels of the Tower Arcane.

She drifted through the uncounted miles of caverns where petitioners bound to iron frames hung in rows like screaming books upon the infernal shelves of their masters. She walked further, beyond the archives and into the depths where the yugoloths had constructed the great engines that tapped the energies of the fourfold furnace. Blasphemies of engineering, they draw forth the metaphysical blood of Gehenna itself to refine and forge members of their own race, birthing mezzoloths by force, rather than waiting for the slow process by which their kind generated at random from the plane naturally. The engines were mirrors of those beneath the Wasting Tower of Khin-Oin, the birthplace of their race, and the symbolic crown of their domination of the Neutral Lower Planes.

She descended further till she stood on bare stone, rock that was the color of blood, striated like muscle, mineral deposits like marrow in the walls, the plane a living thing which their makers had copulated with and impregnated with their kind. It was there on the bare rock, surrounded in all directions by the plane itself like a worshipper stepping into the dark and tiny booth of the confessional, that Larsdana stripped, briefly touched her swollen stomach, and pressed herself against the searing walls.

She moaned, a sound not unlike that she might make when receiving physical pleasure, but this one more of pseudo-religious ecstasy. She pressed her lips to the stone, caressing it like a lover as she closed her eyes and began the process that was what passed for ‘sleep’ for her kind. Her body began to discorporate. She pushed herself into the boiling, hellish substance of the plane itself, feeling it embrace her like the slick and ready flesh of a partner, as she merged with Gehenna.

One final exhalation like a prayer, and she was gone with only her robes and jewelry left upon the floor to mark her passage.


***​


Her mind expanded as her essence scattered across the entirety of the infinite plane that she called home. She was Gehenna, and it was her. She experienced the march of six million Baatezu troops across the slopes of Khalas on their way to the Waste, there to die needlessly in a never ending war that her own people had begun and would extend till they ended it on their own terms. She heard the lament of petitioners huddling, freezing in the dark on the acid slopes of Mungoth. Everywhere it was the same: the strong holding sway over the weak, tormenting them not out of some rigid law or enforced hierarchy, but simply because they could. Gehenna belonged to her kind, and she held more power there than most gods, second only in true influence to the first Ultroloth, the General of Gehenna himself.

She washed herself in the simultaneous sensations the plane, her eyes and ears, fingers and tongue gave unto her a hundred million times over each timeless, eternal instant.

And then it spoke to her.

Welcome child of mine, creation of ours, chosen vessel.

The other’s voice was hypnotic, seductive, verbal strings of images like those seen on a dream before waking that haunted the mind for the remainder of the day with their poignancy. She knew its voice well. It came to her in her sleep, counseled her, shared its secrets, and instructed her.

“Greetings Father/Mother.” Larsdana said to it reverently.

It was a Baernaloth, one of the primeval fiends of the Gray Waste, the makers of the Yugoloths. They were a legend among the Yugoloths, long vanished back from whence they had come before the creation of the planes, living in isolation in the far corners of the Gray Waste, or descended into insidious madness and a compulsion to play puppet masters as much as parents to their children. Their ultimate aims were inscrutable, but they gave secrets and they gave power to those they chose to visit.

It was an honor to be given their attention; they only counseled the General of Gehenna, the Oinoloth, the most powerful Ultroloths, and herself. It was also a curse to be given their attention, an infection, and an infestation. Once touched by their malignancy you were never free of it, they were always with you, you were never again alone. You felt them under your skin, lurking in the back of your mind always, the walls would watch you with unseen eyes all their own, and this one, she was there in your dreams, always.

You have something to say child?

The Baern knew the answer already. Her mind was an open book to it. Larsdana was an archfiend by any measure, but compared to the Baernaloth she was like an insect.

“What we discussed before Father/Mother. I am with child.”

You put aside your loathing for the act. Good. Normally your kind finds that level of intimacy and closeness an abomination.

“There was no intimacy involved at all. It was rutting, insemination, nothing more.”

You don’t care for him? Truly? You do not love him?

She winced mentally. She hated herself for the admission. The question felt like a knife to her flesh. It cut deep.

“That does not matter in the least. If he stands in the way of what you instruct, then so be it, and he will suffer regardless of my emotional attachment to him.”

There was something like a smile that touched her mind, a sense of mirthless approval, a foetor like hot rancid breath blowing across her face from that rotting grin.

Then let me show you something.

Larsdana nodded mentally and waited.

Then let me show you what I have seen, what my brother/sisters have seen. Witness and decide what your role in this will be.

“Do I have any choice in the matter?”

Some things happen not because we choose for them to happen, but simply because they must. But for you my child, your future is undetermined. The grand scheme is pre-ordained as best it can be, but your roll in it is what you make of it for better or for worse.

“Show me Father/Mother.”

Another smile and her mind was opened. She shuddered and nearly screamed at what she saw. At once she felt both awe and horror. It continued as the Baern, the Dreamer, showed her what it wished to show her. There was no way to block her ears or shut her eyes, she was not physical, those organs of sensation did not exist.

Larsdana was afraid and uncertain. What was her role in the things to come?

You will know what to do when the time is right.

And with that last statement in her mind, she awoke naked and breathless upon the white-hot stone where she had slept. She shuddered slightly from the experience as she dressed herself, though her gaze and one of her hands seemed to routinely drift down to her stomach.

“I will know what to do?” She whispered to herself, pondering the implications. “Why ask about my lover when you already know the answer? What are you foreshadowing?”


***​


It took her days of reflection to fully appreciate the depth of her dream, and during that time she felt her pregnancy coming to term. As the Baern had told her, she would know what to do when the time was right, and something told her that time was fast approaching.

She embraced her apprentice and lover the next morning, kissing him fervently in the light of the lava flows that erupted along the tilted horizon of the second furnace of perdition, the glowing calderas hurling their liquid fury into the black void of the sky. She had arranged for him to oversee the negotiations between a powerful Ultroloth and a young Abyssal Prince eager to throw his lot against the Baatezu in the Blood War. It would keep him occupied for a week, possibly two.

“I will be waiting for you when you return.” She told him. “You are ready for this, and you will not disappoint me.”

She lingered on his golden eyes, pretty little facades over soulless voids. She loved him in some alien, perverse way. And then she watched him go.

“Do you love me Helekanalaith?” She whispered when he was gone.


***​


She gave birth to twin children in her lover’s absence. Normally their kind would give birth to a single child that would be raised with privilege and grace, carefully trained in the application of refined brutality, the truth of falsehood, and the sublime teachings of manipulation and corruption. Twins were not typical.

“You knew this was going to happen.” She said with a sibilant whisper, gazing into the light of a candle till the afterimages burned into her vision took the shape of the Baern’s face.

“Or did you cause this?” She asked, watching the colors of the collection of spots shift and alter, bleeding away and giving no answer in return.

Multiple births were more typical of Nycaloths, and among their caste they would watch as the newborns slaughtered one another to prove their worth, prove their purity, prove their right of existence.

Larsdana looked down at the faces of her two children as they nursed from her. She looked at them both and made her decision. She whispered to them, incantations and words of power, instructing them, telling them what she would do, and telling them what their purpose would be. She whispered to them for the next twenty-four hours before taking one of them and standing before a portal to the Gray Waste.

“You will be given your position.” She said with a kiss to the one left behind.

The one that she held and took with her to the Waste, it would not.


***​


Larsdana sat in the dust of the layer of Oinos in the shadow of one of the Loadstones of Misery. The hundred foot tall monolith, one of the ancient constructs of the Baernaloths, loomed over her like an emotionally distant parent. Her heart was heavy but resolute as she took her child’s head and guided their view up to where she pointed at the horizon where the Wasting Tower of Khin-Oin rose into the sky, the twenty-two mile high mark of Yugoloth dominion over the Gray Waste.

She gestured and instructed, talking to her child, teaching them just as much as she was preparing herself for the path she had chosen.

“Blood of my blood, you are everything that I am.” Larsdana finally said with bittersweet inflection as she looked into the lavender eyes of her newborn.

Twenty minutes later she stood up and flicked a single frozen acid tear from her cheek to sizzle in the dust of the Waste. She sighed and looked down, giving a cold smile as she walked away from the corpse, dead by her own hand. The blood evaporated from her talons and her fangs as she walked away without lament, without fury, without regret, their essence already devoured by the plane, tethered to her words. They would be reborn as a mezzoloth and they would play their role after she herself was gone.

Larsdana walked away and back to her place of power, back to her lover, back to her fate and back to her remaining child. Striding through the dust of the Waste she said but one last word to the dead.

“Just like me, you too are a tool.”
 

Asha'man

First Post
Is two years too late to be answering a question? :eek:

It is unfortunately too late to be answering this question, since the campaign in question ended last year, but who knows? It was fun enough that we might revisist it some time, and the Reaver is still out there, oh yes she is...

Integrating your material with what's been revealed about the Reaver during the campaign should be an interesting exercise.

For such an informative answer, you deserve to know the full story, assuming you're interested?
 
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Shemeska

Adventurer
It is unfortunately too late to be answering this question, since the campaign in question ended last year, but who knows? It was fun enough that we might revisist it some time, and the Reaver is still out there, oh yes she is...

Integrating your material with what's been revealed about the Reaver during the campaign should be an interesting exercise.

For such an informative answer, you deserve to know the full story, assuming you're interested?

Sure thing :)
 


Shemeska

Adventurer
Great stuff Shemmy - did any of the Demented get art?

I commissioned artwork for a number of them in the past several years. I'll see if I can find them and post them here. :)

Outside of stuff I snagged for home campaign use or just as desktop images for myself, the only published artwork are those pieces in 2e's Hellbound and Planes of Conflict. Nothing else so far since 2e, and even text mentions of them have been slim since then (3e's FC:I and some mentions in two or so places in the 3e magazines)
 
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Shemeska

Adventurer
Great stuff Shemmy - did any of the Demented get art?

As promised, here you go. At least these are the ones that I've managed to find so far.

Harishek ap Thulkesh - 'The Blind Clockmaker'
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Harishek.jpg

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Tellura Ibn Shartalan - 'The Dire Shepherd'
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Tellura1.jpg

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Tellura2.jpg

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Tellura3.jpg

Tellura4.jpg

Tellura5.jpg

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Tellura6.jpg

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