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The work contained on the following pages is the property and copyright of Jared Rascher and is used with permission. 

The Region of Dreams in Toril's Cosmology

By Jared Rascher

The Region of Dreams is much as it is described in the Manual of the Planes as it appears in Toril's cosmology. There are very few naturally occurring portals to allow for physical travel to the place, and making portals that open there are particularly difficult, though not impossible. The Region of Dreams is composed of the dreamscapes, which is an ever changing section of the plane where anything is possible,and Dreamheart, a region of wildly shifting energies where abandoned dreams break down. At the edge of Dreamheart is a portal leading to a demiplane known as the Plane of Nightmares.

The Plane of Nightmares is much like the Region of Dreams, except that all dreams here shift toward insanity and fear. Originally, this plane was part of the Region of Dreams, but long ago, an ancient group of wizards sought out power by tapping into realms accessible only through their dreams. Eventually, this search for power allowed the dreaming wizards to contact the Far Realm, and drew its power through the Region of Dreams. This caused many problems within the Region of Dreams, and the influence of the Far Realm made twisted nightmares real, and eventually, the Region of Dreams was divided by the Nightmare Gate, and the Plane of Nightmares was separated from the Region of Dreams.

It is not known where the creatures that are now believed to be native to the Plane of Nightmares, the diabolus, came from, but they developed a wild, untamed, but largely benevolent society, fighting off the permanent effects of nightmares and intrusions from the Far Realm. Eventually, the Realm of Nightmares began to fall more and more into the influence of the Far Realm, and the diabolus sought a means to retreat from the madness of the alien plane. The Plane of Nightmares has two natural portals, one entering the Region of Dreams, and the other exiting into the Fugue Plain. All nightmares that run their course cannot reenter the Nightmare Gate to break down into Dreamheart, so they have to disperse into the Final Gate into the Fugue Plain.

The diabolus, since they were real, and not made of dreamstuff, could come back through the Nightmare Gate into the Region of Dreams, but the problem with this plan was twofold. The Nightmare Gate opened very close to Dreamheart, the area within the Region of Dreams where dreams break down into energy, and thus give off emanations that could injure the all too real diabolus. The second problem is that vicious species had entered the Plane of Nightmares and positioned itself as the guardians of the Nightmare Gate. This species is known on Toril as the Night Parade.

The Diabolus that exited via the Final Gate into the Fugue Plain found that the gate opened into the lair of Dendar the Night Serpent, who devoured the escaping nightmare stuff as it left the Plane of Nightmares (some sages speculate that the reason that Dendar's entrance into Toril may signify the End of Time is that she will be suffused with Far Realm energies, and that the longer she is on Toril, the more stress will be put on reality, causing it to rupture and fall into the Far Realm piece by piece). Thus the diabolus sought another means of escaping the failing plane they once called home. While some diabolus trained in war to fight the creatures of the Night Parade, the inhabitants of the Far Realm, and to defend themselves from ever more virulent nightmares, others tried to open gates that led out of the Nightmare Plane. Eventually several diabolus sorcerers found a means of enacting a spell that they quickly shared with others, allowing them to exit the Plane of Nightmares into Toril.

The diabolus that enter Toril do so in relatively small groups, usually familial in nature, with a particularly powerful sorcerer acting as the patriarch that opens the gate for the family to enter through. Such groups find it better to hide in the wilderness, observing the inhabitants of Toril from afar, though some find acceptance with communities of fey creatures. The diabolus find humans disgusting and deformed in appearance, and they (perhaps a bit short shortsightedly) blame them for their problems, reasoning that it is human nightmares that fuse with the stuff of the Far Realm to corrupt their home, and it was also the humans that drove the Night Parade back from Toril so that they have to use the Plane of Nightmares to hide themselves between their forays into Toril's cities.

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