The Warlock and the Lands of Dreams
Once upon a time, before the times of fertile lands, and long before your great grandparents were babies, the stars fell day and night without ceasing. As the stars fell, they shone brightly in the sky—red during harvest time, white when the snows fell, and green during the growing time, just like the star showers today. Most of those falling stars never struck the ground, leaving only emblazoned trails across the day or night sky. Sometimes, though, as the stars burned in the sky, they left behind their metallic hearts. And sometimes their metallic hearts set fire to the trees—the heart of a star is very hot.
In the times before dragons, before giants, when the gods themselves walked upon the lands, the three most active gods, Harvester, Gardener and Dormancy spoke with veneration and awe of three other worlds they visited in their dreams. The fourth of the gods, Void, did not speak. They called these three other worlds Boundless, Confusion, and Depletion. We know of these worlds today when we visit them in our own dreams. When we awaken filled with emotion and energy after a dream , we have been to Boundless. When we awaken, sure of new and amazing ideas which turn out later to be perplexity and bewilderment, we have been to Confusion. And when we awaken drained of emotion and energy after a dream, we have been to Depletion.
Those worlds gave power to the gods. When the gods visited those worlds in their dreams, they would return and awaken with greater power—even when they visited Depletion. These powers were sometimes surprising, granting the gods capacities that they themselves had been unable to previously imagine. Each of the speaking gods would sometimes intentionally sleep longer during the starshower they most loved, seeking long periods of time to spend in those other worlds, learning of the creatures and lands in those other worlds. The starshowers existed in those other worlds as well, and the gods knew that all the worlds were connected by the stars, and they enjoyed experiencing the showers from within those other worlds.
Sometimes when the gods awakened, they would dream together and visit the same world together. The gods expressed themselves in different ways in the other words. In Confusion, they had bodies of unspeakable dimensions, shapes and designs. In Boundless, they were larger and faster, more playful and curious, but they were also sometimes more angry or more jealous. In Depletion, their bodies were drained of color and energy, and sometimes their feelings and thoughts were dull. In both Boundless and Depletion, the gods who spoke would recognize that Void was there as well, though they believed that Void did not sleep or dream, and Void’s form and energy never changed in these worlds. In Confusion, the realm of impossible measure and magnitude, Void appeared simply as a silent, cloaked, faceless man. As great magic would be required for Void to overcome the power of Confusion to assume a simple form, they referred to Void as The Warlock when Void appeared this way.
And we know this because we still dream of these things. We have dreams that give us boundless energy and enthusiasm, we have dreams that sap us of happiness or joy, and we have dreams that fill us with confusion. Most importantly, of course, we have dreams of a silent, cloaked, faceless man, and so we know that The Warlock still visits us.