A minor tradition related to the Cult of Ecstasy and Dreamspeakers
By Anders Sandberg
Copyright 1994 by Anders Sandberg. Version 2.0. This text mentions lots of things White Wolf has trademarked.
"From my experience I cannot doubt that man, when lost to the terrestrial consciousness, is indeed sojourning in another and uncorporeal life of far different nature from the life we know, and of which only the slightest and most indistinct memories linger after waking."
Lovecraft, "Beyond the Wall of Sleep"
The Dreamers are a minor tradition, closely tied to the Cult of Ecstasy, Dreamspeakers and certain Orphans, which deals with the magick of dreaming and the dreamrealms. Other mages do this too, but the Dreamers specialise completely in this area. In fact, they have forsaken practically all of their power over the waking world for the ability to control the Chimerae.
The Dreamers have realised that dreams are as real as the waking world, if not more real. Outside consensus reality is a sea of changing dreams which give it colour and meaning. New ideas and concepts are created in dreams, and trickle down into reality where they become real. By changing the dreams of people the real world can be changed. But many Dreamers have no interest in the grey and dreary waking world, preferring to create magnificent realms in the kingdom of sleep instead. It is so much easier to work magick in the free and loose reality of the dreams or the Chimerae that many Dreamers don't find it worthwhile to try to influence waking reality.
The Dreamers are not a true sub-tradition of the Cult of Ecstasy. While they share much of the same philosophy and anarchistic attitude to magick, they have diverged somewhat. While the Cult tries to awaken the sleepers to the joys of the world and make them conscious of the possibilities beyond, the Dreamers try to make sleepers see the power of dreams and fantasy. Another group which has influenced them a lot is the Dreamspeakers. The shamans of ancient times knew the power of dreams, and often used them. However, the strongest difference between the Dreamers and the two traditions are the Orphans among them. Sometimes sleepers spontaneously awaken in their dreams and find that their ability to shape them extends much further than anybody has ever told them. These Orphan Dreamers form a vital and heterogeneous group among the Dreamers. And there is so little difference between the Orphans and the "Tradition" Dreamers that its virtually unimportant.
While the origins of the Dreamers are manifold, their goals and methods are even more numerous. Some Dreamers are content to create beautiful realms in their own realms or sight-see in other peoples dreams. Others work to change sleeper society and support the Traditions by manipulating the dreams of people. But others have no compunctions about manipulating or even killing people in their dreams. And a few use their magick to gain power in the Chimerae and seek to become Dream Lords themselves.
Dream magick is both far more powerful and far inferior to normal magick. It is usually quite limited to work only within the dreams, making it rather hard to use in the waking world. On the other hand, inside the dreamrealms it is close to omnipotence. Dreams can be changed, be given reality, destroyed, linked and warped. A Dreamer can perform great magickal feats without fear of paradox, limited only by his own imagination. Powerful Dreamers can even cross the border between Dream and Reality, using their powers to affect the waking world from beyond the wall of sleep.
Dreamers are seldom interested in the waking world, since it is such a pale and dreary place compared to the reality of dreams. All Dreamers are tempted to stay as long as possible among the dreams and ignore the demands of waking life. Many use drugs to extend their sleep (note that they shun sleeping-pills, since they inhibit dreaming), and most Dreamers seem fairly lethargic in their daily life. Appearances can be deceiving. Many Dreamers have low- paying day jobs to keep themselves alive, and spend all free time dreaming.
Dreams and DreamingBearbeiten
Apropos of sleep, that sinister adventure of all our nights, we may say that men go to bed daily with an audacity that would be incomprehensible if we did not know that it is the result of ignorance of the danger.
Dreams are transitory. This is one of the axioms of dreaming. A normal person will dream several independent dreams every night, often forgetting them even before awaking. A dream which is forgotten will quickly begin to dissolve. Dreams which are remembered are given some permanence, but the waking mind will order it and rationalise it into a linear patter, essentially calcifying it to a memory. However, a dreamer can keep a dream alive for some time, or try to give it some independent existence.
The most important thing for a dreamed dream is it's dreamer. The dreamer is its creator, ruler and upholder, and the dream only exists in his mind. The dreamer (or rather his subconscious) is almost all-powerful in the dream, being able to dictate its course and its laws. Most people are so dream-illiterate that they cannot influence their own dreams, and the dreams become images created from their subconscious. This means that the realities they create are formed by their own fears, expectations and desires, often making them highly individual. The reality is quite often not that far from static reality, although significant changes in the axioms often occur (like the ability to fly or breather underwater). A Dreamer can easily get paradox by trying to do work magick effects in sleeper dreams if they are not allowed by the current paradigm. It is essential for a good dreamer to quickly be able to understand the often strange laws inside a dream to be able to use magick.
The use of magick in the realm of dreams is not entirely straightforward, since its realities are so varied. A mage is nearly omnipotent in his own dreams, since he can decide the laws of reality (and thus give it a rating of (say) 5 in Forces at a whim). All magick inside his own dreams is coincidental as long as it doesn't involve anything from the outside. As mentioned above, inside other peoples dreams the mage is limited to what is currently allowed, although clever mages usually can manipulate the dreamer to dream reality into the desired form. Magick is generally needed to create changes in other people's dreams. To magickally influence across the barrier to the waking world or into other dreams, the mage must be careful to create coincidences. To kill somebody in his sleep is entirely possible as long as its done coincidentally (e.g.. the mage suffocates the person under a mountain of dust, and in real world he is suffocated by a pillow or his own tongue). Reality in the free dreams is usually rather stable, although generally free, and in the Chimerae most magick is coincidental, as long as no Dream Lord vetoes it.
Dreams doesn't contain much Quintessence, and dreamed Quintessence isn't real. Real Quintessence is quite powerful in the dream-world, since it can make dreams more real, but is not necessary to create a dream. For that imagination is enough. The person who dreams a dream sustains it by being aware of it, and if he lapses it will fade. However, discarded dreams have their uses. Some are remembered and will generally calcify. Others are collected by Dreamers and sustained by Quintessence. If enough Quintessence is fed into the dream it will become a permanent realm in itself.
However, the great majority of surviving dreams drift off into the Deep Umbra where they join the aptly named Chimerae, the dream- lands. The dreams of the Chimerae are stable for some unknown reason. Some attribute this to the existence of a powerful being, a true Dream Lord, who is aware of them all and thus keep them in existence. The dreams in the Chimerae link up together into a complex agglomeration filled amazing denizens and fanciful places. They all seem to link up a bit according to content, creating large areas of roughly similar content (like great cities, archetypal forests, infinite oceans and the labyrinthine dungeons where the nightmares live).
The inhabitants of the Chimerae range from the beings and persons of peoples dreams over Dreamers (both Awakened and Asleep) to the Dream Lords, as they call themselves. These powerful mages or beings all seek to control at least their part of the Chimerae. Some, like the Warlord of Khem, seek to gain supremacy over the entire Chimerae. Their fights are legendary, wrecking dreams and ripping apart the loose reality of the Chimerae. Usually they have to restrain themselves to avoid creating too much damage, or risk incurring the wrath of the hypothetical True Dreamlord. Most such Dreamlords were originally powerful Dreamers, and often seek to snare unwary Dreamers to suit their own purposes.
Finding the way among the dreams is very tricky. Just orienting inside a single dream can be rather complex, as the landscape constantly shifts and changes according to the whims of the dreamer. Correspondence is very popular among Dreamers not only to find their ways, but also to move to their destinations. Another way to reach a dream is to travel into the Chimerae and try to find a way into the destination dream. This requires much intuition, and the profession of being a dreamguide is popular among many inhabitants.
To dream is dangerous, although only the Dreamers understand it truly. While a normal dream at most can frighten a person awake or make them feel uncomfortable for the rest of the day, a magickal dream can kill. In a normal dream the dreamer cannot be killed, he will just regenerate and continue dreaming (unless he is sufficiently scared about death, which will awaken him with fright). This is often true for other inhabitants of his dream too, which is quite safe. A mage whose dream-self is killed in a sleeper dream is usually thrown back into his own dreams with little real damage, and often he can return immediately. But weapons and objects enchanted a la Empower Dream can do "aggravated dream damage"; while they still cannot hurt the person in the waking world, they can hurt even the dreamer of a dream and give him real pain (although most sleepers are so incompetent dreamers that the pain is not felt as strongly as usual). If a dreamer is "killed" with empowered weapons he will start awake, briefly filled with pain and fear. Usually some phantom pains persist for some time (coincidentally explained by muscle stretchings or minor cramps).
However, a mage can also use magick in the dream to reach out an actually kill a person in real life. This is not completely easy to do coincidental, but creative mages have found ways to make people coincidentally die in their sleep (the Euthanatos have discovered that an amazing number of people have heart problems, and there are persistent rumours of a sect of Euthanatos causing sudden baby death). A special danger to Dreamers are sleeping mages, who can use their magick against them in their dreams, and even accidentally kill them. Meeting another mage in his own dreams is very dangerous.
Another danger is the strange creatures which live in the dreams. Some have their own powers, and can be quite dangerous. Many of these beings originate in the Chimerae but range into the dreams of sleeping people. Most are of course harmless, like the rotund Gluttony who appears wherever it can find dreamed food and voraciously devour it. Others are more insidious, like the mind- controlling Cuckoo, which plants "eggs" into the dreams of people, forcing them to dream its young into existence until they can hatch into new dreams. Even worse are the mental parasites which seek out dreamers, imprison their dream-selves and possess their bodies to experience the pleasures of the physical world.
Spheres and magickBearbeiten
"We may guess that in dreams life, matter and vitality, as the earth knows such things, are not necessarily constant; and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves comprehend them."
Lovecraft, "Beyond the Wall of Sleep"
The Dreamers concentrate on Mind. Mind is the sphere which allows a Dreamer to change dreams in general, especially it allows the Dreamers to control their own dreams, and also influence the minds of other sleeping people. This ability is more powerful than most non-Dreamers realise, since it allows clever Dreamers to control the dreams of other people.
To supplement this, many Dreamers also study Prime. Since Prime essentially is the sphere of "realness", it can be quite useful in the dream-realms. An object in a dream which is infused with prime gains much power, and can start to influence the waking world.
Many dreamers also study Spirit with great interest, to be able to cross between different realms and into the waking world. Spirit is mainly used to go "up" or "down" among the realms, while Correspondence is used to move between dreams of the same type or in the Chimerae. Spirit also enables them to turn dreams into "real" realms and summon dreambeings. Correspondence is naturally very useful to get around and find one's way.
The Pattern Spheres are very useful for Dreamers, mainly because they are so free in the dreaming. To create a pattern in a dream, no Prime is required (if it is used, the resulting pattern will become empowered and superior to normal objects and beings in a dream). This naturally makes it much easier for Dreamers to work complex patternmagicks and to change the worlds around them. Since many are so used to the ease of this, they find magick in the waking world a nasty chore.
Sleep: all spheres. The Dreamers magick works by manipulating "the stuff dreams are made of", and this naturally requires them to be asleep to be able to work their magick. Some Dreamers experiment with other altered states of consciousness, mainly drug intoxication.
This is also one of the reasons Orphans are accepted into the group. Although the Dreamer Orphans do not require sleep to do their magick, their interest is usually solely directed towards dream- magick, which make them use sleep too. Even the more advanced mages who no longer requires sleep to work their magick use it, since they must enter the dreaming somehow.
"Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely a virtual phenomenon."
Lovecraft, "Beyond the Walls of Sleep"
"You say dreams are just illusions. You are right. They are "just" illusions, but illusions are what reality is built of. Open your eyes, and see how the waking world is just a pale reflection of the dreaming. It contains all secrets, all possibilities and all freedom that there have ever been, are or will be. It is the dreams of humanity which shape reality, not their thoughts."
The Dreamers are even less organised than the Cult of Ecstasy. Many are solitary mages, working alone and belonging to no chantry. Most Dreamers form loose cliques or associations, often congregating in some collective dreams and working together.
No central chantry exists. However, there are several dreamed chantries, mainly in the Chimerae. Most famous is the alabaster- walled city of Thran, placed where the singing river Oukranos flows into the Cerenerian Sea. To enter the city a Dreamer must tell three dreams beyond belief to the red-robed sentries who guard its hundred gates. The city itself is fabulous, with golden spires and towers reaching into the clouds and the strange tangles of mists above, great wharves of marble with ornate galleons of fragrant cedar and calamander, undulating streets filled with music and light and temples to unknown gods. The city is a centrum of trade and magick for a good part of the Chimerae, but staunchly neutral in the wars between the Dreamlords. Somehow it has retained its independence.
There are no central meetings or any holy times for the Dreamers. However, sometimes a Dreamer or a group of Dreamers call for a gathering to discuss matters of grave importance, like imminent Dream Warps, intrusions from the Umbra into the dreamlands or the activities of the Dream Lords. These meetings are held in specially crafted dreams, usually masterpieces of dreamweaving and magick although etiquette does not allow any Dreamer to hold dominion over the dream the meeting takes place in. In the Chimerae the Dream Lords hold court, and often gather their subjects to show their adoration and gratitude to the being which they can thank for their existence.
Artists, Dreamers, New Agers, Psychologists.
Weirdo, Junkie, Writer, Visionary.
"The City of Illusions is rather nice, but don't go too close, or you will fall down to the underside of the world. Now we shall go and meet the inhabitants of that tower. Do you have your green toga with you?"
Good, although overly disciplined dreamers. They dreams are almost always tranquil, elegant and meditative but far too restrictive for our tastes.
The Dreamers deny their waking side. To reach balance one must learn to be both awake and asleep.
Ah, oriental exotism! Most of them are first-rank dreamers, and we often journey together. If the myths about their Mount Qaf are true, they had created the greatest dream-realm ever.
Nice people, most of them. They lack direction and purpose, but many of them are fine dream-crafters.
Visionaries of the first rank. Unfortunately their aspirations have been crushed and tarnished, and this reflects in their dreams, which once were among the most glorious of all.
What use is dreaming when the future of mankind is in the balance?
Cult of Ecstasy
I think no other Tradition has as beautiful and flagrant dreams as the Cult. Their dreams are something special to experience. No holds barred, no inhibitions, no fear of enjoying themselves when asleep.
The Dreamers miss too much of the waking world. It ain't so bad, you know?
We respect them. They were the first Dreamers, and many of them are still first rate Dreamers. They have taught us almost everything we know.
The Dreamers play with serious things. Dreams are as real as the waking world. Doesn't that mean they should be taken as seriously?
Their dreams are filled with death, grief and darkness. We generally avoid them.
Happy dilettantes who play around with things they should leave alone.
Marauders dream constantly. They live in their own confusing dreams, and quite often wander into the more chaotic corners of the Chimerae. Random and dangerous, but very creative.
They open vagabond portals into boring reality for us. Perhaps we should thank them bubbling, or maybe show them some ring- shaped dreams?
There are Nightmares, and then there are worse things...
The Dreamers are innocent. They play at the shores of the Sea of Dark Power, and doesn't notice it. They shun nightmares of aesthetic reasons, and play petty wars over a few scraps of discarded fantasy!
Order of Hermes
Their dreams are filled with arcane symbolism, signifying secret relationships in the universe. Or so they think. They take their dreams too seriously, paying attention to minor details and forgetting the importance of the whole.
The Dreamers are playing with Illusions, just like the Virtual Adepts.
Sons of Ether
Few people are more stubborn in their dreams. A piece of advise: don't challenge them in their dreams, they will immediately crush you. Beside that, they are often rather entertaining in their own baroque sort of way.
Dreams and visions is what True Science should be based on! Just playing with them is almost criminal, when they could be controlled and used to demonstrate the shining truth to mankind!
Their dreams are dead and grey with fear. In fact, they fear their creativity and subconscious so much they try to eradicate their own dreams! But we slink in despite their attempts and show them how dreams should really be!
Dangerous magickal terrorist, concentrating on arousing elements of the subconscious.
Not as black as the Euthanatos, but still very dark. They have nightmares far more often than anybody else, so we usually keep away.
They are more dangerous than most people realise. The power to control dreams is far too dangerous to be used, yet the Dreamers play with it. Many of them misuse it badly to manipulate or enslave innocent people through their dreams. They must be stopped!
Their dreams have the vibrancy of life, and are often more realistic than anybody else's. A bit down-to-earth, but that's often nice.
Dreams are a part of us. The Dreamers just go a little bit too far in concentrating on them too much.
The only technomancers who dare to dream! And what dreams they dream... unfortunately we don't understand these dreams very well, many are too filled with mathematics or computer languages for us to understand. But they are converting their dreams into reality... or rather virtual reality. A good sign that the waking world and the dreaming is merging.
Dreaming is fun, and quite often educational. But its not that different from Virtual Reality.
This is the basic ability which makes Dreamers Dreamers. They can control the reality of their own dreams. They have an almost godlike power in their own dreams if they choose to use it. They can decide what will happen, how things will look and the "laws of nature". However, while their dreams are much more vivid than normal dreams they will still dissolve as soon as they are not dreamed.
(Mind 1 Prime 2)
By infusing an object, a being or a place in a dream with quintessence, it is given independent existence. This will empower it greatly, and give it some permanence. Even if the dream which contains it dissolves, the object will often survive by becoming a permanent part of the subconscious of the dreamer.
(Mind 2 Prime 2)
This rote gives the Dreamer power to temporarily sustain a dream even after the dreamer has ended dreaming it, preventing it from dissolving or calcifying. It will continue to exist as long as the mage feeds it quintessence (a quite heavy task for greater dreams). The dream will continue as it would, except that the original dreamer is now absent (and thus the rules will remain the same). If the dream is sustained enough it will become completely independent and permanent. More powerful dreamers collect beautiful dreams from people and then store them, or leave them as nice surprises for sleepers.
Thread of AriadneBearbeiten
(Correspondence 2 Spirit 1 Mind 1)
One problem most Dreamers have is to find their way through the shifting Chimerae and other dreams. By concentrating on the destination, the mage can find a path leading to it. This path is by no means the easiest or safest, just the shortest possible path.
To travel in the dreaming many mages employ the services of the Dream-Stead, beings which will happily work for the mage in exchange for Quintessence. They can look like anything, ranging from horses to fantastic creatures only possible in a dream. They are often quite well oriented in the dreaming, and know many secret pathways and odd corners. Some are even intelligent enough to hold a conversation. Over time many become loyal to their mages, and become constant companions.
(Mind 2 Time 2)
By reaching back into time and into the subconscious of a sleeper, a Dreamer can make him remember a forgotten dream and begin to dream it again. This is seldom entirely perfect, since it often decay when not actively dreamed, but is sometimes the only way to restore a destroyed dream. Some dreamers have whole libraries of memories which they can whip up and create new dreams of.
Any Dreamer can control his own dreams, but actually creating dreams from scratch requires much skill. The Dreamer first empties his mind of other images, and then focuses it on creating a dream. Creating a full-scale dream takes a lot of time and concentration, but is usually worth it. Some mages channel Quintessence into it to make it permanent.
Bridge the RiftBearbeiten
To teleport into the dreams of other people is a common trick. Usually the mage concentrates briefly on the person he want to meet, and if that person is dreaming the mage will appear in his dream. This is usually coincidental, as long as the mage starts from his own dream.
Walking forth by dayBearbeiten
It is possible for a dreamer to cross over from the dream realms into the waking world by breaking through the gauntlet of the realms into reality. The mage appears physically in the world, and now has to follow its laws. At the same time his real body lies asleep somewhere, and cannot awake until the dreamer returns into its dreams. However, there is a risk that Paradox can sever the link between the dreamer and his body in this state, and then the body will awaken. Apparently the body is possessed by a paradox being with exactly the same abilities and powers as the mage, bent on making sure its the only one. More than one ambitious Dreamer has fallen victim to himself in this fashion.
Blur the BarrierBearbeiten
(Mind 3 Spirit 3 Entropy 2)
This rote is a favourite among the more dynamic Dreamers, who are not far from Marauders themselves. They reach into the dreams of a person or a place and then blur the line between dream and reality. Things, situations and people from the dreams will appear coincidentally in the lives of the victims, strange events and odd hallucinations will follow them. Life becomes a slightly surreal affair, where nothing is certain and everything is possible.
To cause plain chaos and disorder in a dream is quite easy for a true Dreamer (many just do it for fun with the dreams of unsuspecting sleepers), but to actually destroy a dream is hard. The mage has to dissolve the connection between the dreamer and the dream, not only on a conscious level but also from his subconscious, and finally erase the dream itself. On the whole it is a dangerous operation, which is bound to make other inhabitants of the dream- realms vary of the mage.
Sometimes Dreamers need to get hold of people outside their own dreams. One way is to literally teleport them into the dream of the Dreamer from their own. This can be quite an advantage, as they no longer reside in a dream of their choosing, and the mage is able to run the show instead.
This rote allows a Dreamer to try to sever the link between the person dreaming a dream and the dream itself. If it succeeds the dream will become free, hopefully without damage.
[The number of successes denote the damage the dream took in the process. One success means that the dream was heavily damaged, with major sections missing and many things changed. With two successes the dream only took some medium damage, loosing some minor locations and objects. Three successes ensure only small damage and minor changes, and four and more successes will generally leave it almost completely intact.]
Not only is it possible for a mage to sever the link between a dreamer and his dream, he can claim dominion over a free dream. To do this he must extend his mind into the dream and encompass it, essentially learn to dream it. The mage must understand the dream well, and at least have seen most of it. This way Dreamers collect interesting or beautiful dreams from people when they awaken and build and improve on their own dreams. Less ethical dreamers wrest control of dreams from their owners and take them. This is also the way the Dreamlords try to gain supremacy over the Chimerae, by constantly subtly infiltrating the dreams of each other and then suddenly striking, grabbing as many dreams as possible.
In dreams you are often able to do things you are unable to do in the waking world, or have new skills. Dreamers are able to actually give themselves (or others) new abilities, at least inside their own dreams and often inside other dreams too. They can also gain knowledge about things they should not have any knowledge about, like what other people are planning or what have happened to them. However, this will work only in their own dreams or in dreams which allow it (usually Sleeper dreams).
[Each success will give the Dreamer one dreamed dot in a ability. This dream-skill is only applicable inside the dream, and cannot work with things from the outside (have you too woken up with a feeling you had just managed to solve a hard problem, and the solution turns out to be just nonsense?) ]
Open the Ivory GatesBearbeiten
(Spirit 4 Mind 3)
Most Dreamers are solitary and prefer to contact other mages in their dreams, but sometimes they have to bring them in bodily into their dreams. Adept dreamers are able to open gates into their dreams, or other dreams. They can also open portals into the Chimerae by their own choosing, not having to depend on the whims of the dreams themselves.
(Correspondence 4 Mind 3)
The ability to link together dreams by portals or smooth transitions is an important skill for any budding Dream Lord. It requires that the mage moves them together and find a point or place where they fit together somehow (like having two doors connect or different sides of a lake). When the dreams merge, the results can sometimes become rather unpredictable. Another problem is of course that the dreamers of the different dreams now suddenly share the same dream, which can lead to conflicts.
(Mind 4 Spirit 4)
Many Dreamers are quite paranoid about intruders into their dreams, and seek to both hide them from other dreamers and to raise barriers against them. By using Mind the dream can be shaped to reject intruders, and by using Spirit the Dreamer can prevent the opening of portals from the Chimerae.
[ Each success will remove one success from any attempt to get into the dream, or even detect its existence. An intruder inside the dream will not be hindered, but the dreamer will be instantly alerted by the breach. ]
Dreams into RealityBearbeiten
(Spirit 4 Prime 3 Mind 3)
A dream can be turned into a real realm by weaving it into the spiritual fabric of the Umbra and feeding it quintessence, just like in the creation of a normal horizon realm. This requires that the dreamer of the dream cooperates or that the dream is free. The resulting reality has axioms determined by the dream, but also frequently quirks and odd properties not readily apparent, based on the quirks of the original dreamer. Most such realms have a distinct resonance.
The Dream Masters can sever the link between a dreamer and his body. As long as he doesn't find his way back, he will not be able to awaken in any way, and if he is killed in the dreams he will die (the body will remain alive but in coma). This is used by unscrupulous Dreamers and other beings to imprison sleepers in the Chimerae, often in a dream controlled by the mage. Since most sleepers are rather helpless in the dreamworlds, they are easy prey for this.
Break the Chains of WakefulnessBearbeiten
To actually leave one's body completely behind and permanently take up residence in the dreaming is a dream most Dreamers share. While some Dreamers accidentally do this as their bodies are killed during sleep or taken over by other beings, they find they quickly loose power and begin to fade away along with their dreams. The only way to survive is to have some very powerful Dreamer dream them constantly into existence. The Dream Lords are naturally only too happy to help them out, in exchange for eternal service. The Dream Masters who actually leave their bodies behind are however independent, and can act freely. This naturally makes many Dream Lords irritated, and they sometimes test new arrivals by sending their nightmares against them.
The Flowers of Heaven and the Sand of Dreams by Kenneth Scroggins.
H. P. Lovecraft: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and his short stories Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Hypnos and Celephais are very illuminating.
Neil Gaiman: The Sandman is of course a must to understand the strange world of the Chimerae and the One True Dreamlord.
The descriptions of Dream-magick and the Dreamlords in KULT are also quite useful.
Another excellent source of material is your own dream diary. I actually reccomend keeping one for any Storyteller. You will soon realise that your mind is a much bigger and stranger place than you ever expected...