The Chain of Nights
From Administrator Losandro's journal – 'Valhadis’s The Chain of Nights, a near-legendary collection of psycho-arcane studies and treatments focused on dreaming.' and 'The Chain of Nights is a marvel. It will take years of study to unravel all its possibilities, but already I’ve discovered a process by which chronic dreams might be drawn forth and disposed of like so much psychic gristle.'
Written in the late 1200s by the Keleshite doctor and seer Valhadis, The Chain of Nights explores the brain as an organ, as the lens of perception, and as the throne of something more. The Chain of Nights is first and foremost a text on the anatomy and workings of the brain, and the first several hundred pages concern themselves with diagnosing, analyzing, and treating—via therapy, drugs, and basic surgeries—numerous physiological and psychological afflictions. Only in the final third does the tome turn toward more esoteric topics, such as the source of nightmares, accounts of the Dimension of Dreams, and descriptions of the creatures that live there.
Any reader who spends 1 hour consulting The Chain of Nights can immediately after use the hypnotism occult skill unlock (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures 195) once per day even if that character isn’t capable of casting psychic spells or doesn’t possess the Psychic Sensitivity feat. Also, after 1 hour of consulting the tome, the reader gains a +2 bonus on a single Knowledge (planes) check related to the Dimension of Dreams. Additionally, the tome contains the spells dream, dream council, dream scan, dream travel, and nightmare.
Most notoriously, it contains an elaborate—and some say flawed—ritual for releasing one’s dreams. While the rite functions, the side effects of failure can create dangerous beings known as oneirogens.
School conjuration (creation); Level 6
Casting Time 60 minutes
Components V, S, M, F (a candle flame flickering in a darkened room), SC (up to 12)
Skill Checks Heal DC 28, 4 successes; Knowledge (planes) DC 28, 2 successes
Saving Throw Will save; SR yes
Backlash The primary caster is targeted by the spell nightmare every day for the next 1d6 days. The effect has the same DC as this ritual.
Failure The target takes 2d10 points of damage. If this kills the target, the target becomes an oneirogen rather than dying.
This ritual creates a small rift between the Dimension of Dreams and the target’s mind. If the target suffers from natural, reoccurring nightmares, the ritual conjures them into a viscous, physical substance that boils forth from the target’s mouth and nose, then congeals into an inert, coal-like lump of dead dreamstuff. After this, the target has no natural nightmares for a year and never has those specific nightmares again. This ritual dispels the effect of the nightmare spell and makes the target immune to that spell for 1 week. If the target is the victim of an outsider that can cast nightmare as a supernatural or spell-like ability, this ritual attempts to conjure that outsider. The target must have been affected by the outsider’s nightmare ability within the last 3 days. In this case, upon the ritual’s completion, the outsider must succeed at a Will saving throw or be summoned into a space adjacent to the target. If the target has been affected by multiple outsiders’ nightmare ability, the outsider with the lowest Hit Dice is conjured. The outsider is in no way controlled by the target or the ritual’s casters, and likely either attacks those who conjured it or attempts to flee. Outsiders having an ability similar to nightmare—such as a night hag with its dream haunting ability—might also be conjured by this effect.