Parasitic apparitions, the Dream Tempters are, most of the times, disembodied figures haunting the dreams of those that come too close to the Venlaken Enclave's borders in the southern Nybelmar. In case that the haunted is a man, the figure is usually feminine, and in case that the haunted is a woman, the figure is usually masculine. The Dream Tempters are adapting their appearance according to their victims' desires and thus it is said that "few things, if any, can match a Dream Tempter's beauty". These beings exhaust the vitality of their victims, tormenting them night after night until their deaths. The ones who die this way are also believed to become at their turn Dream Tempters.
Appearance. The Dream Tempters do not have a physical existence, as they appear only in the dreams of those that they are haunting. Therefore their specific shape is hard to be discerned. However most of the stories about them are describing disembodied faces of a rare beauty. Sometimes they look like they would float on fire whirls, sometimes they are depicted as winged humans and sometimes they are even described as appearing just as any other human being, and with the very same corporality. In every case though, the Dream Tempters are known to shape their appearance to concord with their victim's most inner desires and expectations.
Dream Tempters exhaust the vitality of their victims. Night after night, dream
after dream, they draw away the life of the sleepers until their deaths. If the
victims die while asleep, it is said that they also become such Dream Tempters.
The most common belief is that in order to stop a Dream Tempter, the body of the
deceased (if identified) must be found and burned - and the ashes thrown into a
fast river. But that is not always a viable possibility - since not all Dream
Tempters are connected to a dead body, some of them being so old that the bodies
of their former selves have long turned to dust. There are stories though about
people of strong will who managed to eventually take control of their dreams and
remove the wretched presence, and also it is believed that if the victims are
awakened just before their deaths, the "birth" of a new Dream Tempter may be
Territory. The Venlaken Enclave in the southern Nybelmar is believed to be a common place for such apparitions. The Anpagan expedition during the Dark Plague though did not return with many reports about Dream Tempters, so exactly to what extent they are haunting those cursed lands no one really knows. There are many reports of such Dream Tempters in the western Anpagan province of Lun, and sometimes they are reported from all over Anis-Anpagan. The Ansaran mages though doubt that every report about Dream Tempters is true and they strongly believe that the real ones are haunting only the lands of the Enclave and small parts of the territories bordering it.
Habitat/Behaviour. As their name states, these apparitions are trying to lead their victims into various temptations. They are insinuating in their victims' dreams, slowly taking control over them. If the victims fall to the temptations offered in these modified dreams the Dream Tempter gains more and more power over them. Soon they would start feeling tired all day long, wanting to fall back to sleep and plunge into the vitiated dreams. This is because the Dream Tempters can only manifest inside their victims' dreams, and thus they are always trying to bring them into that state again. Eventually the victims would lose more and more of their vitality and their dreams would slowly turn into nightmares. At this stage it was observed that, strangely, the victims show an even more intensified desire to dream. Even if those dreams always turn into nightmares, they strive for those first moments in which the Dream Tempter builds an illusory happiness for them. Though corrupted by the Dream Tempters, these dreams still belong to the haunted ones, and perhaps this is the reason why the temptation shows such a force. This is also the reason why the Dream Tempters are so hard to detect in the early stages of their haunting. But they always appear obsessively in every dream, at first as a foreign presence, always taking part in one way or another to a dream, and only then as a distinct individual.
Diet. Dream Tempters are drawing away the life force of their victims. The more their victims are weakened the more the Dream Tempters are stronger. But no one really knows if the Dream Tempters are really feeding on this life force, or that is just a side effect of their manifestation.
Mating. The Dream Tempters do not "mate", yet if their victims die while asleep, they will become Dream Tempters at their turn.
Myth/Lore. The fact that reports of such Dream Tempters appeared only after the emergence of the Daedhirian mages have led the Ansaran scholars to conclude that they must be a side effect of Daedhirian magics. However, Daedhirians do not seem to be able to control these apparitions since they have categorized them among the so-called "Lost Ones" - apparitions manifesting independently throughout the Enclave. Also, the Anpagans observed that the Dream Tempters seem to be more active only in certain times, their manifestation being quite erratic especially outside the Enclave. Such times for instance were the Year of Darkness, the Dark Plague, or the days after the death of Bartholomew DaLuna (that later became the Daedhirian Lord Asbavaer). There was no conclusion issued though about how the Dream Tempters are connected to such times.
The popular beliefs about the Dream Tempters differ a bit from the Ansaran scholars' theories. The common people usually tell the legend of two young lovers that lived in a distant past, in the times of the Anis-Anpagan Kingdom. Their story was one about an impossible love and about the barrier imposed on their feelings by the people around them. He was a rogue, a fugitive from his Lord's lands while she was the daughter of a local esteemed nobleman. One night he sneaked into the nobleman's house and took his daughter away. For a few days they traveled the woods trying to reach one of the Anpagan ports and sail away in search of a land where their love would be possible. The nobleman though riled up the local peasants and started to chase down the young lovers. Eventually the peasants reached them in a forest clearing and killed the young man with much cruelty, believing that they were actually saving the girl from him. With her lover bleeding in her arms and with her heart heavy, she stabbed herself to death, but not before throwing a curse at the peasants. It is said that the lovers' souls became two angry haunts, the first two Dream Tempters, always seeking revenge on the people that denied their happiness.
Information provided by Smith in Exile