The Dream Catchers

As we dream pieces of our lives manifest into a comprehensive whole, one which we can understand and apply to the difficult or confusing moments in our lives. Yet how do our dreams know which problems or concerns are the most important? How does it know what we value most? The answers we seek?
We are not the only ones seeing what we dream…

We called them the Dream Catcher’s and they helped us to organize our lives through dreams.

They never revealed themselves to us. We still do not even know when they come to us in our dreams. They only want to help us by offering suggestions and guidance to us when we need it most.

A long time ago an evil fire demon named Korak started to plan of depriving humans of their ability to dream. Korak was jealous of the human capability to tap into their subconscious when he, an elemental made entirely of shadow and fire, could not. His jealousy caused Korak to become obsessed with humans and for centuries he watched them with a critical and jealous eye.

Humans only knew and accepted what they saw before their eyes when they were awake and never looked below the surface of things. Reality for us, back then, was what we saw and felt; anything beyond that was unimportant and did not hold our interest.

We were living zombies. We did what was supposed to be done; no more and no less.

One day, when we were still hunters and gatherers, a far superior race flew over the Earth and took a special interest in us. They called themselves the Budari but we refer to them as the Dream Catcher’s: after the webbed and sometimes jeweled pendant that hangs above our bad to catch the bad dreams and lets the good dreams through. When they passed over the Earth they thought it was odd that humans were not able to dream even though they had a subconscious of which humans were not aware.

And while the Dream Catcher’s watched the human race, they were being watched themselves.

The Budari could not sense Korak’s presence at first because of his ability to willingly make his identity known if he so chose. Korak had never encountered beings like the Dream Catcher’s before and was more curious than angry at first when the immortal beings first encountered Earth.

The Budari, seeing as how humans lacked guidance, decided to share their wisdom with us through dreams. As time went on and the Dream Catcher’s continued to observe the humans, Korak became jealous and angry that such powerful and awesome beings would take an interest in what he considered to be a weak and cowardly species.

Korak began to devise a plan to end the human race and make the Dream Catcher’s grant him not only the ability to dream but to tap into the dreams and subconscious of every single living being in the universe.

Korak disguised himself as a human being named Haziezal. He charmed his way through the hearts of the most powerful and influential humans and soon became a lord over many kingdoms and had thousands of loyal subjects. Korak made himself the most charming and idealistic human being on Earth to appeal not only to the humans but the Dream Catcher’s as well.

It wasn’t long until the Dream Catcher’s decided to make contact with the human race.

The leader of the Dream Catcher’s, who was the oldest by five million years, decided to make contact with the human beings who showed themselves to be true leader’s to their people and could therefore choose for the rest of humanity to accept the gift of dreams.

The Dream Catcher’s chose humans who met these qualities from every continent. Korak, human alias Haziezal, was one of those humans. A meeting place was established on the far side of Earth’s moon in an ivory palace built especially for this meeting between these immortal and mortal beings.

The Budari told the humans and Korak that they were from the far side of the universe and in their exploration to map out the universe and establish contact with races that showed potential they noticed that the human race could use some guidance which would be given to them through dreams directly from the conscious of the Dream Catcher’s themselves. However, to do this the Dream Catcher’s needed the human’s permission to tap into their subconscious whilst they were asleep. They were an older and more powerful race but free will was a sacred thing among them that was not to be forced upon in any way.

The humans and Korak accepted the offer with extreme pleasure and gratefulness. It was truly a gift from the gods.

The dreams started that night and the humans showed great enthusiasm for the wisdom of the Dream Catcher’s upon first awakening.

Korak kept his ability from the Dream Cather’s even in his dreams and he learned many things from them. However, the more the Dream Catcher’s shared their connection with Korak the more he was able to delve further into the immortal beings’ subconscious and thus learned how to master the subconscious and, eventually, free will.

His plan was a simple one: learn as much as he could of how the Dream Catcher’s maintained control and then take the control from them by attacking their subconscious and free will one by one.

The immortals, at first, could not fathom that a young race like humans were able to take control over more advanced beings like the Budari. So Korak struck fast and he struck hard. He showed no mercy.

Needless to say many immortals fell underneath the unseen onslaught of this ruthless fire and shadow god. 

The Budari scattered and abandoned the humans. Whatever guidance they gave the humans in the beginning was lost the moment they left the Earth to the mercy of Korak.

A few thousand years passed and Korak acquired many human slaves out of fear but also to his newly acquired powers to bend free will to his might. 

The Earth became a sea of ash, fire, and decay. Thousands upon thousands died. Only a few hundred had the courage to stand up to Korak; none survived. It seemed all hope was lost and the human race was destined for extinction. Korak’s plans were complete and many worlds waited to be ruled.

However, one thing which Korak did not account for was an attack from the remaining Budari. 

One secret the Budari were able to keep from Korak was the legend of the Guardian. The Legend went that in times of great need a Guardian from the oldest race in the universe, older than the Budari themselves and so old that the name of that race was lost with time, would come to their aid. The Guardian had been floating through space for many millennia just to serve this specific purpose but no one other than the Dream Catcher’s were able to summon this great Being. There was only one catch: the elder’s among the Budari were the only ones who could do the Summoning but they were scattered across the universe.

Each Budari elder had a piece of the Summoning tattooed on their bodies which, when combined with the other tattoo’s, would awaken the Guardian from anywhere in the universe. The Budari elder’s only remembrance of this ritual was a vague idea in the back of their heads that these were put on their bodies when they were thousands of years younger as a sort of initiation mark. The meaning of the tattoos only became apparent when the need for the Guardian was a desperate one. And Korak was making them very desperate.

The Budari elder’s were scattered across the universe in hopes that by creating distance from each other they could keep their secrets of the universe from Korak as well. Then the tattoos made their meaning clear: each mark burned against the skin of the elder’s until it could no longer be ignored. And just like that the memory of the elder’s was returned to them and they knew what they had to do.

Korak’s attention was consumed with the destruction of Earth so he never noticed the gathering of the Budari elder’s in a nearby solar system. The elder’s raced to each other across the universe until, near death even for immortals, they found one another and the Summoning began.

The Guardian awakened with an explosion of suns and stars; uninhabited, lifeless planets erupted in flames. A monolith of power and raw energy made up the form of the Guardian and its anger was something to be feared if you were the cause of it. Korak unknowingly would rue the day when he decided to attack the Budari.

The attack was just as sudden on Korak as Korak’s had been on the Budari. The shadow and fire demon had no time to create a defense from the Guardian. The war itself lasted for a thousand years and Korak was cowardly enough to employ his human slaves against the Guardian. Many human lives were lost this way but as the years went on the humans began to realize that Korak was losing his control over them. The Guardian, with the help of the newly invigorated Budari elders, was able to distract Korak long enough for the humans to shake off the control of the demon and they began to fight back.

Korak was alone in his fight now and he could not maintain his control any longer against the Guardian, the Budari, and the humans. The fire and shadow demon was losing…and he hated it. Being made up only of fire and shadow each attack on Korak diminished his demonic powers and his elemental form until he was a whisper of the mighty being he once was.

The Guardian banished Korak to the farthest and coldest part of the universe with no habitable planets and where Korak was not able to regain the strength and power he once had. 

Humans, with the help of the Budari, returned the Earth to a livable state. The Guardian, its job now complete, returned to its slumber to wait the time when it was needed again.

The Budari told humans that they could no longer reach them in their dreams and provide them with words of guidance and wisdom. However, they have never truly left us. The Budari secretly left a gift for us: dream catcher’s that hang above the beds of every human so we can still communicate to them…but the webs prevent us from ever communicating back.

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