The Eternal Nightmare

By Charles E. Smith


The Servitors of Nightmares are known for being innovative when it comes to crafting horrific visions for their victims to suffer nightly, and some are known for invading the dreamscapes of the technophobic to visit scientific horrors upon them. However, the demons of Nightmares aren't really techno-savvy themselves, and this is to be expected given the hostility between their Dread Princess and Prince Vapula of Technology.

However, there have always been free thinkers, even among the demons (indeed, some would claim that the demons were the original free thinkers), and Carchemish is one of them. This demon has been around for several centuries, having fledged as a Calabite during the Purity Crusades. He saw the mass demolition of dreamscapes and Ethereals in that conflict, and he saw it as a waste. Oh, the destruction wasn't the problem. The problem was that people's lives were not being destroyed. Uriel was good at slaughtering, but he lacked perspective. Carchemish decided that there had to be a better way to ruin people's lives. Frustrated, Carchemish turned his attention to dreamscapes.

Mortal dreamscapes were the best target, of course. The problem with them (besides nosy Servitors of Blandine) is that mortals wake up eventually and the dreamscapes fade. There had to be some way to drag out the dreamscapes, but Carchemish didn't know how. He puzzled over this until the ninth century, until the answer finally came to him. It wasn't the dreamscape that should be focused on, but the dreamer! Forget modifying the dream, instead follow the nebulous link between the dreamscape and the mind of the mortal dreamer. The key lay in finding that elusive link. That's where rank came into play.

Carchemish spent the next five centuries currying favor with his Dread Princess, doing the jobs no one else would do. He fought cautiously, ambushing angels of Dreams (he picked on the recruits and trainees-especially Malakim) and built up a reputation as a powerful warrior. He earned Songs and attunements. Eventually, he made for himself by invading and warping one of the protected dreamscapes of Dreams, the ones that Blandine considers to be her personal space. For his work, he earned the wrath of Blandine but the favor of Beleth and his Distinction as a Knight of Restlessness. It is said that Carchemish attempted to seize control of the back door of Heaven, but in reality, he bullied a fledgling Shedite into scouting the path for him. The Corruptor had a little run-in with Blandine's Malakim and got soul-killed, so Carchemish never made the attempt.

From then on, Carchemish spent all his spare time trying to find the link between dreamers and their dreamscapes. He consorted with the remaining pagan deities and Ethereals, especially with the Unseelie Court and the Furies. It took him a while, but then he hit upon an idea. He used his rank to start using members of the other Bands in Beleth's service as test-subjects, using their Resonances to see how far mortals can be pushed. His experiments were not always looked kindly upon once Vapula came to power. It reminded some demons of his work and Beleth seemed poised to stamp down hard on the ambitious Destroyer...until success occured!

Carchemish discovered that the key to prolonged nightmares lay in the Impudite of Nightmares attunement. The Calabite Knight convinced Beleth that just by tweaking the resonance so that the Impudite's resonance increased the duration of the nightmare instead of granting a bonus to the Impudite's resonance use against the victim. He presented fourteen centuries of research and Beleth, intrigued, selected a fledgling Impudite for the task. During the experiment, the nightmare of the victim not only was more intense, but also lasted longer. That's when step two was employed. Carchemish used the Song of Forbidding to hold the Impudite in place, then gave it a relic containing the Song of Forbidding (an amulet). The amulet requires the Impudite to continue to apply its resonance whenever the dreamscape starts to fade and maintains the earlier Forbidding against any movement. In effect, this has created an eternal nightmare, locking the dreamer into an unconscious state on Earth. Beleth was so pleased that she made Carchemish a Captain of Headhaunters and ordered him to find ways to mass-produce this experiment. Word has not reached Vapula yet, but when it does, anger might be expected.

Calabite of Nightmares
Captain of Headhaunters

Corporeal Forces: 6
Strength: 12
Agility: 12

Ethereal Forces: 6
Intelligence: 12
Precision: 12

Celestial Forces: 1
Will: 2
Perception: 2

Attunements: Calabite of Nightmares, Terror, Dream Walking, Captain of Headhaunters

Songs: Ethereal Forbidding/5, Corporeal Forbidding/4, Ethereal Nightmares/6, Celestial Nightmares/6, Ethereal Motion/4, Ethereal Location/4, Etehreal Draining/6, Celestial Motion/4, Ethereal Entropy/5.

Skills: Fighting/6, Small Weapons/4, Large Weapons/4, Singing/5.

Vessel/Role: None

Appearance: A rather dimunitive Calabite at 4'2", with deep-red skin, crimson curved horns, and black eyes. He sports a goatee and a moustache, and his broad chest is ridged. His arms are corded muscle with spiky ridges, and his legs are squat and compact like the rest of him. He wears baggy black pantaloons and a black vest that leaves his chest bare.

Personality: Carchemish is a snarling, arrogant bastard at first glance (a.k.a. your typical Calabite), but he is far more intelligent than most of his breed. He long ago realized that tough head-bashers only go so far, so he uses the image of his Band as a shield to hide his intellect and cunning behind. He is very ambitious, but smart enough to appear to be a dumb and snarling Destroyer.


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