's 2016 Horror Write-off:

The Dreamlands:Introduction

Submitted by TheRedRage

There is a world inside the minds of men, a world where reality is an intruder and all dreams are true. If you think about some of the things of which man has dreamed, you will come to realise that the Dreamlands is not entirely a pleasant place. And then you come to understand that their are alien minds as well, and that all dreams become part of the mysterious and terrible world beyond sleep.

To be succinct, the Dreamlands is a place of wonders and terrors, as vast as the universe itself. Those who have read The Dream Cycle know of but a small part of this world. There is the city of Ulthar, where no man may kill a cat, and the surrounding lands of the Zoogs. Somewhere lies the ruins of the city of Sarnath, whose people evoked the wrath of Bokrug the water-lizard for destroying the inhabitants of Ib. There is the plain of Leng, inhabited by horned men, and beneath the ground lies the Underworld, where the Gugs and Ghasts fight their never ceasing wars and Night-gaunts circle in the skies. On the dark side of the moon, there are great forests and oily seas, where the Moon Beasts worship the dark god Nyarlthotep. And somewhere in this realm lies the lost city of Kadath, for those who dare to seek it.

This much is known of the Dreamlands, but still there is more. All of man's dreams make up the Earth of the Dreamlands and, in the vast cosmos beyond, not just the dreams of man, but of all minds in the wakeful universe. Do we dare imagine what strange visions an alien mind might create? No one knows the cause and effect; whether,if our dreams come to form the Dreamlands or whether all dreams exist already, waiting for a somnambulant traveller to enter into them.

Travellers in the Dreamlands must take care, for it is not easy to control where you might enter. Although you may generally be directed to your world of origin, inexperienced travellers may end up as far as the other side of the universe. There are other dangers as well. Know, intrepid venturer, that Nyarlthotep, the Crawling Chaos, is jealous of those who enter his realm, and often attempts to ensnare them. Know too that the Dreamlands is as dangerous as the waking world and that those who perish here do not always return.

Know, however, that the Dreamlands is not only Nyarlthotep's domain. As much as he thinks so, he doesn't control all of it. There are other gods here, whose motives, while not entirely benevolent, are not always inimical to mankind. Learn the names of the Other Gods, oh traveller, that they might be motivated to intervene and save you from the worst of the Dreamlands.

I invite you to read of my journeys to the Dreamlands, fellow traveller, and wish you good luck in your own wanderings within this most mysterious of realms.