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Dreamspeaker (MTAw)

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Name: Dreamspeakers
Nicknames: Primals
Path: Thyrsus
Order: Free Council
Arcana: Mind

The Dreamspeakers are a Legacy that is dedicated to the Astral Space (which they call the Dreamtime). Dreamspeakers claim to represent the most primal tradition of magic. It existed before Atlantis and unless the Lie utterly crushes the human spirit, will survive after every other Legacy dies. Their unorthodox and often shamanistic methods often clash with those of the more "civilized" Atlantean Orders. Dreamspeakers have few traditions in common, but one is that their Legacy is almost always the predestined vocation for a few, special individuals. People chosen by the Dream experience what the uninitiated might call a psychological breakdown. Future Dreamspeakers suffer "delusions" (actually secret knowledge) and "hallucinations" (visions of the Dream). A Legacy tutor teaches initiates to understand their experiences and use them as magical aids. Without a tutor, an initiate's life usually falls apart, though there are rare stories about the Dreamborn themselves initiating mages.


Sleepers have known Primals for what they are ever since the first of them learned to communicate with the Dream. Dreamspeakers claim to have been the first mages and, among all others, closest to the original purpose of the Awakened.

Other mages call the Dream "Astral Space," and describe it as a place entirely separate from the rest of the universe: A kingdom of souls where powerful men and women can erect their own temples of fancy. Mysterium anthropologists have their own theories about the Dreamspeakers, but Primals pay those mages little heed. Drawing from Sleeper theories, mystagogues believe that a Dreamspeaker learns to communicate with the deepest parts of her own consciousness. These regions are inextricably linked with the Astral Plane, extending beyond personal dreamscapes into the primordial symbols of human consciousness. Scholars believe that Dreamspeakers learn to extend the Awakening into the so-called primitive regions of the brain, such as the limbic system. Dreamspeakers find this unlikely because, to them, the Dream existed before humanity. Human dreams reflect the Astral Dream, not the other way around.

Dreamspeakers believe this is an arrogant, ignorant and dangerous worldview. According to their legends, the whole Dream was once an intrinsic part of human existence. Hunters couldn't kill their prey unless they knew its place in the Dream, and to learn anything, a respectful person needed to walk the Dream until they found a place where that lore played itself out in living myths. Most importantly, the Dream's inhabitants were the creators and rulers of the world. Long ago, they walked the physical world, living out epics that the Dreamspeakers preserve through their oral teachings. After a time, the Dreamborn grew bored or tired with creation. They retreated to the deep Dreamtime where they were born. In the Fallen age, they might be slumbering even more deeply than when they dreamed the world. Alternately, they may have "awakened" into a place where no shaman can go. There, beyond the deepest Dreamtime, they might be gathering the power to remake -- or destroy -- all the realms. Dreamspeakers versed in Atlantean traditions believe that the Supernal Realms are these deep dreams or forbidden places. Spells call the Dreamborn into the world to unleash their creative powers. Dreamborn breathe, eat, and excrete power, and have no more control over where it all goes than a person can command the location of every stray hair or footprint. This is why ignorant mages can steal some of this power, using it without honoring its source.


Like the Shamans from which they hail, in order to join the Dreamspeakers, the aspirant has to undergo a ritual. Although great deeds vault a person into the ranks of the Dreamborn, these heroes are never envied. According to myth, most of them lived anguished lives. Elder Dreamborn hated those brave (or arrogant) enough to steal divine powers. Fire and the secrets of healing plants were holy secrets until ancient heroes uncovered them. These heroes won divinity inside the Dream, but not before suffering the wrath of the Dreamborn that made the world.

The soul-shaping to join this Legacy begin in anguish. The initiate suffers a mental breakdown characterized by hallucinations and extreme emotions. Most mages have already experienced an event like this during their Awakening, but for a potential Dreamspeaker, the breakdown runs even deeper. Other mages learn to accept and absorb the mad spark of Awakening. Dreamspeakers do not; the visions, symbols, and strange encounters never stop for long. If a potential Dreamspeaker sees this as a disease, he may look to psychiatry and drugs, but they won't help. If he doesn't seek initiation, he may spiral into drug addiction, institutionalization, suicide or joining the Banishers.

Sometimes, mages with stable psyches want to become Dreamspeakers. Such mages often believe that the Mysteries are overly intellectual, or have been obscured by politics and unnecessary rituals. Many Free Council members join the Legacy to sever all of their ties with the politics and myths of magic. They crave direct experience over study. They get what they wish for, but it doesn't come without a price. This form of initiation is the hardest of all, because the initiate's tutor must force open the gates of the Dream. This process can require physical ordeals, psychoactive drugs, and extended Astral journeys.


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