The true nature of the Dream City of Dormanthalas has been widely debated by scholars of the Ninth World since visitors return with differing stories that run the gamut between the serene and tranquil to the turbulent and disconcerting.
The city is supposedly found at odd times of the day, and possibly “in dreams,” in northern Iscobal.
The often-rumored rulers (and some say manipulators) of the city are called the Dream Masters of Dormanthalas who, with the help of the automaton”Devastators,” guard the kingdom from any type of being or dream that may cause massive disruptions to the city which some say happen often due to an unknown entity or entities.
Visitors who claim to have lived a great length of time in Dormanthalas say the city is constantly changing with the most dramatic transformation transpiring as the seasons change. Aeon priests have documented hundreds of reports of this phenomenon from visitors with one, the Nano Jalathoron, asserting that he was not only a witness to the event but asserts he was also changed temporarily in a most unusual and alarming way.
Jalathoron lived in Dormanthalas in an awe inspiring home complete with a waterfall streaming through the center of his home. His residence was one of many living quarters comprised of gigantic purple and green spheres that were connected by ornate bridges of blue glass.
According to Jalathoron, he was in Dormanthalas looking for inspiration to write his latest book on the plant life found in Iscobal.
When the first day of winter had arrived, Jalathoron awoke to find himself in another city, or so he had thought. He found himself in an apartment with blue glass walls that emanated soft glowing orange light. When he looked outside, he saw long blue and red towers and spires reaching towards the skyline which was in hues of yellow, orange and blue.
For reasons that he himself cannot explain, he slowly came to the realization that he was still in Dormanthalas and somehow knew the city had changed because spring had arrived.
Jalathoron said at that moment he thought to himself that he would also like to change as the city did. When he looked at his reflection against one of the blue glass walls, he saw himself changed into the very idea he had in his mind.
His clothing was still the same, but now he had light green hair, leaf-like skin and muted red eyes.
With the change of appearance also came the change of thought, which troubled the Nano since it was not something he willed. Jalathoron told the Aeon priests that following his physical change he began to have thoughts on deadly plants that he had encountered through his studies in the Steadfast, and began to write the names and location down on a sheet of paper.
Several minutes later, he found himself with the paper in hand walking towards a blue spire and hearing a voice that he could no longer recall any details of. He found himself sweating and panicking which must have triggered something in himself since he immediately stopped, looked quizzically at the blue spire and ran back to his home.
Jalathoron told the Aeon priests he quickly left Dormanthalas and has never returned, re-focusing his studies to the real world and away from deadly plants.
Not all visitors who have been guided by the mysterious within Dormanthalas leave; some welcome the change no matter the danger to others and themselves.
Kalateleka Aquiel was born during the latter years of Iscobal’s deposed Queen Whenith Sarromere’s reign. Kalateleka’s father, Govalin, served the queen by experimenting on prisoners who were set to die, with most receiving their sentence due to questioning the queen’s sanity.
Govalin was among those who thought of his queen’s behavior, but was smart enough to keep his thoughts to himself. Besides, his studies were at the forefront where he was about to make a breakthrough by successfully merging the minds of two men together to create a single being who kept the same advantageous attributes, but devoid of the less unsavory qualities.
Govalin accomplished this by manipulating numenera, mainly artifacts, to capture properties found in his subjects and produce “his accomplishments.” Unfortunately, as a rebellion against the queen mounted, Govalin was forced to use inadequate tools and subjects which led to failures, one of which led to the death of his wife.
Kalateleka saw her father suffer much during this time, but he continued relentlessly until his own demise after the only living subject he would willingly experiment fell upon himself.
Ever the good daughter, Kalateleka continued her father’s studies even after the Sarromere’s lost power in Iscobal, which eventually led Kalateleka to Dormanthalas. Walking day-and-night and observing things that could only come from the dreams of the denizens of the Ninth World gave her more inspiration and much needed hope in her attempts at her father’s failed experiments.
In the first day of summer, Kalateleka woke to an unfamiliar city made of hundreds of tiers of shining red metal and floating orange and yellow islands of odd palaces. Like Jalathoron, she came to the realization that she was still in Dormanthalas and the city had changed from its springscape to its summer form.
On her floor stood a metallic grey and yellow laboratory with two humanoids, who were frozen in terror, in the center.
Kalateleka recognized both.
The young man had recently made a name for himself, becoming the youngest general of Iscobal through his uncanny intelligence and excellence in battlefield strategy. The second subject was another well-known figure, a woman of science who had come to the attention of Aeon priests due to her extraordinary advances in the manipulation of numenera.
Kalateleka became aware through unknown means that both had arrived weeks before for a recess from their acclaimed lives. As Kalateleka began to process her thoughts, instruments and numenera that she had dreamed of before had begun to materialize in front of her.
She was more than successful in her latest experiment, so much so that she placed both of the subjects’ minds within herself, with no apparent physical deformity of any kind to herself.
Kalateleka now had the ability to access thoughts of war stratagem and numenera theories within her own mind.
The only side effect is that the character dispositions of her two subjects sometimes “bleed” over to her own; a side effect that she is desperate to hide from her new found allies who like herself have found new ways to manipulate themselves using Dormanthalas, all done seemingly without the knowledge of the city’s masters…or so they think.