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Animate Dream

An animate dream coalesces from centuries of stray fragments of reverie and dream left behind as slumbering minds drift through the Dimension of Dreams. In most cases, these fragments simply disperse on their own, but when dreamers flee from nightmares back to the waking world, these fragments can take on a supernatural life of their own. They have little reasoning and intent except to seek similar fragments, absorb them, and grow. When enough of them gather together, they merge into a horrific form as an animate dream.

Individually, animate dreams can hold a wide range of appearances, but most take on rudimentary shapes akin to the living forms of the minds that spawned them. Animate dreams that rise from slumbering humanoids, the most commonly encountered, thus appear humanoid, but with distorted, nightmarish shapes that incorporate additional twisted limbs and frightening features. In these forms, animate dreams find their way out of the Dreamlands and into the waking world, only to discover they have no way of returning and suffer a relentless hunger that only new nightmares can sate.

An animate dream thrives on the terror fueled by nightmares and fear and uses its supernatural abilities to invoke such feelings in the minds of its victims, cursing its prey by creating a permanent link to that individual's dreams. Thereafter, the victim is subjected to all manner of reoccurring nightmares. As the nightmares continue, the victim finds it more and more difficult to remain awake. In the end, the victim plunges into an accursed slumber from which it cannot return. These victims provide the animate dream with the purest form of fear and are its preferred sustenance.

An animate dream can subsist on the ambient fear generated by regular nightmares, but these lesser fears aren't as satisfying, often driving the animate dream to seek out new victims. Left without a source of fear, an animate dream won't starve to death, but it will grow increasingly violent and desperate. Famished animate dreams are the ones most often encountered, as they have been forced to abandon subtlety to pursue more blatant methods of harvesting fear. Yet such animate dreams also tend to be the least powerful of their kind. Those who have grown metaphysically fat on fear have generally done so by adopting a specific nightmare theme, such as being buried alive, being swept away by ocean waves, or being consumed by wild beasts. Such animate dreams often have similarly themed innate spells to augment their powers.

Animate DreamCreature 8

UncommonNEMediumDreamIncorporeal
Source Bestiary 2 pg. 18
Perception +14; darkvision
Languages telepathy 100 feet
Skills Acrobatics +14, Deception +18, Intimidation +18, Occultism +12, Stealth +18
Str -5, Dex +4, Con +3, Int +0, Wis +2, Cha +6
AC 24; Fort +15, Ref +18, Will +14; +1 status to all saves vs. magic
HP 110; Immunities disease, paralyzed, poison, precision, sleep; Resistances all 5 (except force, ghost touch, or negative; double resistance vs. non-magical)
Speed fly 40 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action nightmare tendril +20 [+16/+12] (agile, finesse), Damage 4d8 negative plus endless nightmareOccult Innate Spells DC 26; 4th confusion, dimension door (at will), nightmare, phantasmal killer, sleep; 3rd fear
Endless Nightmare (curse, emotion, enchantment, fear, mental, occult) An animate dream's touch fills the victim's mind with terrifying visions; Saving Throw DC 26 Fortitude; Stage 1 fatigued (1 day); Stage 2 fatigued and stupefied 1 (1 day); Stage 3 The victim falls asleep and can't be awakened as long as they remain at this stage (1 day).

Sidebar - Additional Lore Enslaved Dreams

Night hags have been known to enslave animate dreams, forcing them to feed upon themselves. These captives break down into a fearful essence used for the hag's rituals, such as the crafting of heartstones.