Codex of Immortal Dreams
A group of talismans enabling its possessor to learn the Art of Dreamstrike. The Codex of Immortal Dreams is divided into 10 parts. Nine talismans (originally one for each House and one more for the FreeSpirit), and a Binder to assemble them. All parts are required in order to recreate the Codex of Immortal Dreams and learn Dreamstrike. The components of the Codex of Immortal Dreams are thought to be sentient and bearing a will to be united again. The Codex of Immortal Dreams and the Art of Dreamstrike are rumored to corrupt the dreamers who come in their possession.
The pieces of the Codex of Immortal Dreams are Artifacts that appear scattered across the City and typically remain in place for up to 7 days. In order to prevent hoarding of the pieces, they will reap back into the fabric of the City if held in one place for too long, and re-emerge elsewhere for someone else to find.
The parts of the Codex of Immortal Dreams took the appearance of ordinary talismans, each with a unique name recalling the original Dreamstrike Masters. Their function would vary from piece to piece, but all had infinite charges. These artifacts were identifiable as components of the Codex of Immortal Dreams in their description. Some dreamers were able to learn Dreamstrike with fewer than the required 10 components.
Before the Great Loss, Dreamstrike infected the dream until the Council of Elders called an end to it by shattering the knowledge of Dreamstrike into nine pieces: one for each house and one for the Free Spirits, Codex of Immortal Dreams. The Lyran Statx, a mute and a Seeker, appeared occasionally to give hints as to location of the fragments, and an explanation of what they were. The last appearance of Statx has been to Protectors of Radiance in the finding of Kenta's Light. If these pieces are ever reassembled, and the Binder present to bring them together, they will bring with them the power of Dreamstrike. All of the fragments are different talismans: artifacts, alterors, unlimited elements, weapons. Thus far Snowblind is Keeper of the Binder, Order of the Sable Moon holds the Alteror of Aprilic (the Freespirit piece, an unlimited resilience alteror) and Denak; Protectors of Radiance holds Kenta's light, a blind blade; Dreamers of Light holds the Alteror of Kelrith (the Order of the Sable Moon piece) and Jenak. The remaining pieces remain scattered in the chaos, until Statx returns again. Sources: Kard, Luinitari
Also See Dreamstrike Art.
Dark Days of Dreamstrike: An overview
This most intense period of history is possibly one of the most confusing. How do you know that a dreamer has been struck, if that dreamer is unable to return to verify it for his or herself? Due to the chaotic nature of the period, I have decided to take many dreamer accounts and weave them together into a story of best fit. I have come to realize that one story will not do for this particular topic. Thank you for all the wise dreamers who shared their information, to LightofDark, Patro, Tone, Bear Crusher, Samarina and Hrumm.
Firstly, we must know how Dreamstrike returned to the Dream after being absent for so many years. LightofDark explains this briefly:
"'Strike did not appear post-Loss until Telomir reforged and then shattered the Immortal Dreams."
So how did it appear?
"(Learning Dreamstrike) was not too hard. You had to have five pieces of the Codex of Immortal Dreams, give them to Cowled One at a set time once a week. For that you would be trained in the art. Trick to it was finding and collecting the pieces. They were Primes. The Cowled One came to the city once each week for half an hour, each time in a different place. It was the same time each week... so like a seek and find game. Locate him, get the pieces, get to him, get the art if you could... Soon after, the art and the pieces were possible to get. Some started to protect the Cowled One and Mind Blank him. Arts did not affect him, nor did any attacks. He would just extend a boney finger, hold up five, and wait."
"The first bunch of times Cowled One appeared I didn't bother trying to find him. I think, actually, that first time was in Gloom, where I met the wonderful people from Union and Calenture... and the little fatesender who I loved so much. Wait no, there was a time before that. In those moldy caves in Trinity. RavenXR had already used Strike against guardDog. I ended up a Soulsphere in the room with Raven. Was a bit... disconcerting. Probably the cause of a few grey hairs. Definitely some worry lines. There were a lot of dreamers there every week. Like, take every single dreamer in the city now, and triple it. And that was just those who could make it that one evening. And I'm probably low on the number."
"I recall quite a few times trying to find where the Cowled One was when he appeared. At first it was a random place. Then trying to keep a Freesoul from getting the art....or just trying to get there. I recall being force restored quite a few times at the order of a certain Union Senechal. And a certain current Gathering Ruler being quite happy to ask for more so she could gain from more of my collapsed. But do I hold a grudge? You betcha!"
"When the Cowled One appeared,, it would be a mob scene Just getting the pieces to him could be a chore. But, obviously, it was doable. And he used to extend one boney finger all the time...it was kinda creepy. I think one thing folks that got strike ever really figured on...was how much of a burden and the repercussions to them would be for using it Some of em left...outta guilt or remorse or just feeling hated. It was sad...Strike sometimes cost us more than the one struck."
"When Dreamstrike returned to the dream, Gerroz was one who learned that art and went on a spree with it." (He represented) Gathering of the Entranced. He's no longer a member of any house. He's known to have dreamstruck an elder named Kaive, and dreamers named Purple Lace and Clarity, and strongly suspected of having also struck a dreamer named Black Beauty. Clarity was one of the co-rulers of House Calenture at the time. House Calenture had been closed and Clarity and Kage were leading the effort to reopen it. Gathering was at war with them, so there was some reason for striking Clarity. Lace, I think he was jealous, or perhaps angry that she wouldn't teach him any longer, or there's also the theory that he did it to steal her key to the cache. It's said he struck the elder because he was paid to do so. There were two brothers, Knaive and Knash, who hated one another bitterly. Both were nasty specimens, but one of them paid Gerroz to 'strike the other. To be honest, I can't remember which was which at this point."
"(Purple Lace was struck) on Evernight Plateau... Lace liked to go there. You know where the Caches is on Evernight Plateau? Lace held a key to that one and was part of the Prenumbra. That room-- I believe was where it happened. The other was what is now called LadyBugs room.
"Do you understand that Dreamstrike is not a solo act? The art is slow unplatted, and this art was even slower, like the guild house art. Most would not just sit as a soulsphere, and wait on the art. So a striker would have to clock the art for evoke as another fought and floated the target as planned. But a few times a target just happened to float, and they were the new target. But Lace ... was a prime target, as were a few of us. She was Penumbra. She had a key none had. She would cut you to ribbons with her wit and then spit you out. She was nasty, but to me a good friend. Kaer Gerroz was was a ruler, but who was with him... I want to say LoneWolf was one. There was talk that they were all, well, a little under the influence that evening."
"Kaer Gerroz. Another of our cities former strikers. There were rumors that he used it on a few dreamers. Badger. He definitely had it and used it. I don't know where fact of what Kaer did starts and rumor ends. I don't know if anyone can tell at this point. I never saw someone use strike. I know badger struck Luthair from the testimony of eyewitnesses. He also struck someone else... Silent Stalker."
"After the city saw this art, it soon learned that the art should be lost again for the benefit of all. The art was stripped. I was one that said the art should never have been learned."
Who all learned the art?
Kaer, Star Scream, SerialKiller, Badger, Elspet, Starfall had it but never used it.
Who all fell victim to Dreamstrike?
"Cowled One himself as well. We were testing him every time. Any chance we had and then he spoke out. When he did that we evoked maybe twenty times art of razorwind and slowly collapsed him. There were about 50 dreamers who showed up that night. Jiovanni collapsed him and Serial Killer dreamstruck him in Ossuary of Dread."
To prevent the art from further spreading?
"That and we also hoped that once the servant of Telomir was no more, those with the art would lose it."
"Best person to have that art would be a person who would not use it. Sanity was put to the test. Sanity failed. We were shown, even if Illuminate, to be no better than Freesouls in our indiscriminate use of absolute power over peoples ability to Dream. With no care to the consequences."
Many years ago fragments of Mirii's writings were delivered from the chaos by Darkmares. Little is known of her except that she was a Freesoul, and one of the originals from the elite group of Dreamstrike Masters. Her story gives a few details from Dreamstrike's pre-great loss history.
"The Freesoul Alliance was reformed in those days to punish the Illuminates, primarily Dreamers of Light and Gathering of the Entranced, for their continued harassment and disrespect to all of us Freesouls. House Calenture and the Keepers of the Eternal Shadow fought to see who'd learn the art next, one of theirs, or one of ours. A deal was made. Whoever gathered three pieces first, would get the two from Order. Keepers arranged a trade with a houseless dreamer and was first to collect those pieces. So we learned it. They weren't thrilled it was me, but... it was decided by the others. I'm not sure why.
"Pertinax, Synteny, and I were Disciples then, with me as first. They agreed on my learning it, though I'm unsure why, except we worried over Pertinax, his being so young. Conveniently, Pertinax had located the Cowled One's presence the week before, but no one else had. We had him to ourselves, with the primary bulk of the Freesouls going to other planes. No one found us in Albino Caves until it was too late. And so I learned it.
"It was a few days later, or possibly even the night before, that Star Scream joined us. Nobody really knew who learned it, at least nobody outside of the leaders of the Freesouls. A few were convinced Darby had, I do remember that. She even lied on my behalf once or twice. Didn't do much good, not in the end. But very kind, still.
"I hid it reasonably well for awhile, until we were betrayed by Fang X. He emptied our armories, and betrayed secrets of ours to the Gathering, to a woman. He, who we welcomed into our home with open arms. He treated us so. It was determined then that we show that we were not afraid, that we will not ever tolerate traitors to the Shadow. He thought he was safe, when we went up to the Keep.
"I waited with the evoke up, during an attack. Waited until he walked in with others to battle. Waited until he collapsed. And then I used it on him. Him... I don't regret. He was a traitor, a thief, a liar, and worse. He earned his fate.
"The day Lace and the others were 'Struck, I walked Evernight Plateau on the arm of Knave. Foolish, but I didn't think Gerroz would dare use it on me in his presence. I don't think I had any better reason for doing that... than to prove it wouldn't happen. To this day I don't know if his presence kept me safe, or if I would have been safe anyhow. I don't remember if I knew the art then, or not. Time is so blurry now.
"Clarity... was a good woman. Not that the others weren't good people, but she was a Keeper at heart, though she was crested as a Calenturian. She belonged with us.
"Star Scream told you about Avrax? He saved us. Dreamers think so poorly of mares, but look what little Avrax did for us. He begged us to destroy him, once it began taking him over. I tried to forbid Star Scream from doing it, he'd be hurt already so much from using it... But he didn't listen, and he did it before I could. He didn't want me to use it, either.
"Have you seen a soul essence? Does anyone still have them? They have ninety-nine strength. Using corrupt essence on them turns them into something absorb able by primes, but with only one strength, whatever the level of corrupt. I don't recall whose we experimented on."
"Star Scream said that sometimes when Strike fails... it would drain a permanent, single Dreamsoul. I never could repeat that. It didn't matter if I was with other Dreamers, cursed, with soul spheres... I couldn't repeat it. It did improve, but I lost it before I was able to try to train self it to 10. I was very curious if I could."
Star Scream and I are together in Keeper's Celebration Hall, the many glowing yellow clocks looking over us, their numbers blurred and unreadable. They seem to constantly remind me that time presses on, yet their dials are frozen in an almost timeless stasis. He they call Disciple relates his story with devotion as I record it to my book.
"guardDog was a very close personal friend of mine, beyond that he was a mentor, and farther beyond that he was ruler of my house at that time. A house he and I both had a major hand in building and one that he had brought me into when I was a newly. At the time that Dream Strike was developing into a major weapon--actually being used by dreamers, the Union and the Gathering when at odds. RavenXR, a ruler of the Union, had already learned the art of Strike. guardDog, a ruler of the Gathering, confronted him. The story of how the situation came to develop varies slightly depending on to whom you speak, but the important detail is that RavenXR struck guardDog from the city. I was a Guardian of Gathering of the Entranced and when discussions came up within the house I demanded the opportunity to get revenge.
"To learn strike you needed 5 pieces of the Codex of Immortal Dreams. I do not recall how many we has at Gathering of the Entranced at that time but I want to say it was 8, which was more then enough to support one of us learning it. So, after discussing my request the rest of the leaders in Gathering of the Entranced]] at that time agreed to my learning it. After learning the art, which required us to locate the Cowled One and give him 5 pieces of the Codex of Immortal Dreams, we began our plans to strike RavenXR. The plans of course, never developed, as RavenXR was hard to find. He had become rather inactive and was an outlaw to most dreamers, nearly all houses having him as seek and collapse for his actions and even the Union was speaking out against him.
"The power of the art, for me, was very controlling. Perhaps it was from learning it under such vengeful circumstances, or perhaps it was just the nature of the art, but I changes tremendously after learning it. I was rude, power-hungry, and demanding. My loyalty to the Gathering did not sway at that time, but my treatment towards several of them worsened. Most specifically, ruler Munchkin. This led to my demotion from the Gathering. I was told that I would be demoted from guardian to initiate for my threats to Dreamstrike not only Munchkin, but a number of others, if they did not comply with what I felt were the proper moves to improve the condition of the house. I personally do not recall making these demands. However, it was confirmed by a number of sources. So, I agree to accept a demotion to initiate.
"Since I did not have an ID, (I had destroyed it ages before this time frame because I had been a loyal member of Gathering of the Entranced for several years and never thought I would need it), I allowed them to collapse me and use my essence to demote me. After being collapsed I was offered restore, I accepted, and my restoring was immediately followed by a chakram that collapsed me a second time. In shock I sat for several seconds, not even enough time to react, feeling them demote me not only to initiate but out of the house completely.
"I was furious. This only helped fuel the rage I already had building up. I tried to control myself, joining the city guard shortly after being forced from Gathering of the Entranced and vowing to use my ability to ensure the safety of the city.
"The first time I used the art it was against a Darkmare known as Grudash. He was a general of Tehthu, the most evil Darkmare known to the city's history. The Kotoke leader Tehthu vowed to destroy me for my actions and had his entire army seeking me at all times, something I was proud of at that time. I'd sometimes hide in sanctuary while their army ran through the city crushing those who tried to fight them, looking for me. Tehthu was known to have Dreamstrike as well. I was not going to allow him to make good on his word.
" I would eventually put myself on bad terms with the city guard as well. My issues with the Gathering had not been settled. I spent a short time trying to make amends with them and return but the house was divided on the issue which insulted me. I was a very proud dreamer with a huge ego. My powers often made me feel that I was above others. When the Gathering could not give me a straight forward answer after about a month on what they planned, I focused my war on them.The guard dismissed me for my actions against Gathering of the Entranced and for openly threatening to strike a number of them.
"I felt wronged at the time. Refused to acknowledge that I was digging my own hole. I was in a serious state of denial about my own actions and myself. I still thought I was a good man, even though I was being told about bad things I was doing. Really, my rage was just getting the best of me without my even noticing. Without any ties to the city guard or the Gathering, I began to take a look at my options.
" I was still on good terms with Dreamers of Light and their leadership offered me items in return for my ability. They were at war with other houses and had several targets for me. I agreed, as I knew it would help me with my efforts against the Gathering. Word spread of my hire and Rikku, a Freesoul not fond of me or the Dreamers of Light, confronted me. He was very upset. Threatened me, claimed I was not man enough to use my art on a dreamer, and claimed that he would see to it that i was brought down. I chuckled at first; as I stated earlier I thought I was nearly unstoppable. However, he was very serious and continued to test my nerves. Eventually, I was insulted. This man, in my mind at that time, was beneath me. To me he was not half the warrior I was or even half the man I was. Yet, he stood in front of me spouting off and making challenges.
"So, I made him an offer.
"'We'll fight right now, right outside. If you can defeat me I'll let you have the item I drop and if I win I'll Dreamstrike you from the city'".
"It was not a serious offer, I just wanted to scare him or shut him up. However, he thought it was a great idea. He reconfirmed his opinion that I would not use the art and was not man enough to collapse him. Outside we went. Threshold way, Upper Basin of Stars. Several gathered to witness. A crowd member random-ed and the battle began. Back and forth for a while, chaks missing and neither of us seemingly threatened. I tried to see what he would do if I acted like I was out of items and just stopped. When I did, he hesitated and began to ask me what I was doing. I jumped on the opportunity and slung three shots of a fastest 40, collapsing him. As he turned to run inside, I made good on my word and struck him. I, personally, was pleased. He, more then any other I regret today. At that time though, I was incredibly happy. I even gloated at how I was able to outsmart him.
"Honestly though, looking back, he was only standing up for what he believed in. Trying to make a difference against a dreamer that was truly corrupted by their own self-admiration. Dreamers of Light saw that my actions were getting major heat from the city after that and, just as everyone else had learned, broke all ties with me. Rikku's soul essence, that I had given Dreamers of Light as a gift, was returned to his loved ones at the Order of the Sable Moon. Dreamers of Light also public stated that they had nothing to do with Rikku or me to clear themselves of any heat after they gave Rikku's essence to Order of the Sable Moon.
"I started speaking to Elspet, ruler of the Keepers after that. Asked them if they would be interested in my services. Which, they for the most part were not. She spoke to me a number of times, but with my recent history with the city and the problems her and I had with each other in the past, she was reluctant. Patro, on the other hand, spoke to me about the faith. Discussed the Temple and the Shadow with me a great deal. I was less then interested but listened. I wanted my freedom from conviction. Hesperus, elder of the Temple at that time, also spoke to me. Eventually, I began to be more and more interested in learning of the Shadow. I was drawn to the Temple. Elspet and the other leaders at that time had me serve as a seeker, after finally agreeing to it, for about 6 months.
"The Shadow found me, saved me from myself, and gave my dreams true meaning. I used strike only twice as a Keeper and with good purpose. Once against Mace, who had been fighting Keepers of the Eternal Shadow and forcing a war to continue between our house and DoL. When I struck him it came by order of Elspet and it ended the war. The second against Avrax, a kind kotoke and close friend. Tehthu had managed to get dreamstruck using a art known as Tehthu's Oblivion. However, Tehthu's soul essence was stolen and it was said that the soul essence could be used to allow his return. Avrax got hold of Tehthu's soul essence and drained it in order to protect us from his return. Unfortunately, it did not work as expected and Avrax began transforming into Tehthu right in front of us. As he struggled to fight off the loss of control over his avatar he demanded us to collapse him and for me to strike him. I refused at first... he pleaded as the pain tortured him. In shame, I accepted his request and did as I felt I had to.
"Also, as a Keeper, I assisted Serialkiller33 and company in defeated the Cowled One and removing the art of DreamStrike from the city.. So, I cannot say what it is that the Shadow did to change me, but I do know that the Shadow can do the same to anyone and when it does, you give your eternal loyalty to it. It truly saved me from self destruction."
"It was a chaotic time with the pieces of the Codex of Immortal Dreams broken down further than they were in the past. There were nearly 15 pieces if I remember correctly. Shortly after the pieces started appearing, the Cowled One began to enter the city. He would be in Threshold Caves in the Ceremonial Hall. Its right up front there, with the semi circle on one side and the platform on the other. Which you must go through the maze to find."
"Regardless, I seem to remember him only being within the city 15 minutes, not a full thirty. Once a week. At the same time. I do believe a few weeks past, with nothing significant happening. He moaned a bit, moved around made some odd noises. Then disappeared. He would always hold up his bony fingers, all five of them. And one week he started dropping those fingers. Counting. It was unclear as to what was going on, and I don't know that many of us thought much of it.
"It is believed that this is when Loveslight learned the art. I have been told personally that her sphere crest was seen, stained red Which was the mark of Dream Strike. I am unsure how the stories emerged, but it was said that she did Hiro Ulee in on Mt. Illapse one day. He had a very...negative history with the home. And would have been a likely choice to test her new powers."
"As Centurion of the Covenant, and leader of the Freesoul Knights it was seen as a direct threat to have the leader of the Illuminate Front holding the dreaded art. As such, it was decided that if the Covenant were to obtain the necessary parts, I was to take on the burden of the Art. During this time the Front and the Knights had made a very strong reemergence And the Freesoul Illuminate beliefs were truly at the forefront. I am sure you have read about them and their battles of the past."
"The Union of the Covenant at the time, was rather close with the Keepers of the Eternal Shadow. As the Shadow too had emerged Freesoul, after some searching, the Union of the Covenant found numerous pieces of the Codex of Immortal Dreams... And was secretly supplemented with a few more by the Shadow.
"The original 8 or 9 pieces from the lore, were found to be broken into about 15 pieces. There were no duplicates. Some were re-found after they were used to learn Dreamstrike As the Cowled One seemed to disperse them about the city once again after he took them.
"Once the Covenant was in possession of five pieces, it was upheld that I would learn the art. And so, we planned. We used a decoy, emoting that they were handing over pieces. Naturally they were attacked. Meanwhile I was the one handing over the pieces, silently from the back. With each piece the Cowled One would identify it, and drop a finger. When the fifth was done his fist clenched, a rumble filled the room as he rose up and evoked train. I was then a holder of the art.
"Soon after I learned the art, he started appearing in random spots. There was no way to predict where he would show, so it became a race."
"Press forward in time. guardDog, ruler of the Entranced... a home that we at the Covenant had some issues with, began to come after me, and my family. He would come to our home with insults, and tales of Codex pieces that the Gathering held. Stating his intentions to learn the art, and to use it against us. So, two rooms outside of the Covenant on the Edgeward Barrows a fight emerged. The Entranced there were collapsed, as the wards remained. And I took the opportunity to prevent that home from learning the art in the form of taking the dreams of their prominent Ruler. It has left me with a burden that I continue to carry, however I stand behind my decision to this day.
"For many dreams following that I was not able to navigate the city without someone following me. Often I would have someone at my side spewing insults and hate within seconds of entering the city. I was attacked, constantly. Flooded with Soul Shield in attempts to prevent me from using Mind Blank. As heartless as I am portrayed to be, I still returned his soul essence to his family,public ally."
Dreamstrike could not be used on any of the House Planes themselves, nor in the Citadel. Ironically enough, it was not an aggressive art and it could be evoked in Sanctuary-- although the probability of it being used in Sanctuary was extremely low, given the absence of bared soulspheres in such a place.
"From the moment Dreamstrike was reintroduced, the Union of the Covenant wished to find a way to rid the city of it. It was under that guise that RavenXR learned it on behalf of the Union, but his intentions were clearly different as we soon learned, when he struck guardDog.
"Dreamstrike, like all destructive enterprises is something the Union opposes in principle, especially when it was so easy for so many bad actors to gain it. Besides the actual losses the art creates, it creates a sense of panic that is unneeded in the city. Its proper uses are so limited and its bad uses are so many that we found out it will almost always be used for evil when placed in the hands of dreamers.
"After the Union re-established itself, we again set out to learn Dreamstrike as part of our continuing effort to rid the city of mares, but ultimately to remove the art from the city. We had decided that Cowled One must be struck for this to happen.
"I cannot pretend to know all the process that led to Cowled One being weakened to the point of collapse, but when the moment arose, there was no doubt in my mind that I was oath bound to remove him from the city. On behalf of the Union, I dreamstruck the darkmare t'kkar who had taken possession of our old Seneschal, and Cowled One.
"I was able to see first-hand how debilitating the art can be when placed in the hands of justice, and how incompatible it was with dreamers who wished for justice and rebuilding rather than chaos and destruction. I became quite ill after using it, and I still carry the burden with me - even though I stand behind the effort."
"A dark feeling of wrong doing is the only way I could describe it. I do not know how anybody who struck another dreamer could continue dreaming with themselves. My feeling is mitigated by the knowledge it was necessary for the city."
Clash of Dreams Era
The parts of the Codex of Immortal Dreams all took the appearance of a codex identified as "Immortal Dreams" and bearing a page number in roman numerals, from I to IX. These artifacts all had an identical function, which drained Dreamsoul by -10 to 99. They were differentiated by their description, having different colored runes and auras, and different levels of wear. All had 3 circled binder holes.
When the components of the Codex of Immortal Dreams began re-emerging in the City, The FreeSoul Templar Xun'rok came in possession of the Binder and sought to complete the Codex of Immortal Dreams in order to vanquish the Illuminate Vanguard General Zaxun. The Pages began appearing one by one and were sought after by the Houses, either in hopes of helping Xun'rok complete the Codex, or preventing its completion. Allied Houses would exchange possession of the pages in order to circumvent the Reaping Process.
The Alliance of the Eclipse came in possession of the IXth page and attempted to destroy it in an effort to prevent the Codex's completion. Their attempt did not produce the desired result. While the page was in fact destroyed, its content was not. The blood-red runes inscribed on the page transferred onto the bodies of the 6 Alliance members who took part in the ritual and fed off their Dreamsoul, causing a number of afflictions to the bearers. Over time, some of the runes detached from their bearers and converged onto two of these dreamers before finally being removed and absorbed by the Binder.