The Dreams of Ravens
This Domain is usually located close to the Dry River and at least one or two of the battle realms (Valhalla, for instance). Sometimes ravens fly back and forth between these realms, seeking something more exotic than the usual pickings found on the Battlefield of their own realm, but most tire of this after a time. Seen from the Marches, the Dreams of Ravens looks like a an expanse of brilliantly white cloud. When it is entered, one finds oneself in mid-air, flying or falling.
A chill wind always blows, bringing with it the scent of dead things and a distant cawing. The view from above is of sweeping vistas, and from that vantage point everything on the ground seems to be in sharp focus. The ground is covered with short half-dead grass in most places, with little or no undergrowth. There are plenty of places to perch — dead trees, rocky outcroppings, even a line of telephone poles that marches in a straight line across the whole Domain.
All the trees have good places to hide one’s cache of shiny things. Some of the outcroppings do too.
A few slow owls (usually figments) are occasionally briefly seen, soon before being mobbed by an enthusiastic unkindness of ravens. Other entertainments include games with sticks and stones, something like pick-up sticks, but with more swearing.
A complete replica of the Tower of London, with moat, stands at one edge of the Domain. A legend says that if the ravens ever left the Tower, the Tower would crumble and a great disaster would befall Britain. Ravens have been kept at the Tower for centuries, with their wings clipped. This Tower has no clipped ravens, but it does hold several figments of Tower Beefeaters, who have no legs below the knee. The legs grow back slowly, but they are continually pecked by ravens who were once kept there (or who were created from dreams of those ravens). Even by raven standards, they are a little mad — they are too obsessed with past injustices to mingle with the others, and indeed some of those who never left the Tower in life remain here as dream shades after death.
In a valley surrounded by grassy hills are the remains of a huge battle. Dead men (and some women) in uniform are scattered everywhere, from all time periods. There are also corpses of horses and mules. Eyes are a favorite delicacy, and there are always enough to go around.
One rocky valley is filled with the treasures of the ravens: shiny things. This is where the Diamond is supposed to be. It is a talisman that confers the Dream Skill/+3 to those who speak raven. The skill is limited to creating shiny objects out of dreamstuff. In this rocky valley shiny things have been piling up for thousands of years — anything a raven might want to own is here. And new things are created all the time.
To activate the Diamond, a raven must simply touch it, and caw out what he would like to have. On a successful roll, the object is instantly created. Objects are permanent unless created or taken outside of the Domain, in which case they fade away in check digit minutes. The Diamond is also a reliquary/1, and its Essence can be used for any purpose by anyone.
This is a relatively new structure in the Domain.
As of early 2000, unlike the Tower, it is an imperfect copy of PSINet Stadium — the scale is reduced by about a third and many of the bathrooms, etc. are not fully realized. There may be simply a door that won’t open. As the years go by, it’s possible that it may become more detailed and true-to-life, it is a crude imitation.
The seats are empty, though there are abandoned bits of food everywhere — popcorn, hot dogs, nachos, etc. In the middle of the field are a group of dead bodies with Raven uniforms. They are all similarly non-descript; the identities of the players cannot be deduced by either the faces or the numbers, which are simply random.
After the Ravens won the Superbowl in January 2001, considerably more detail was added. Some of the dead players are recognizable, and now there are also some dead fans in the seats. Most doors open, though the spaces beyond may be nondescript.
In the exact center of the field is a shuttered window, hanging in mid-air. It will only open from one side, and one must first “tap” upon it. Once open, it leads into a single room, lined with bookcases and lit only by flickering firelight and a single lamp. It is a richly furnished room, with purple silk curtains, an old but expensive-looking plush velvet violet couch, and a cushioned stool in front of a small wooden inlaid desk with pen and inkwell. The King of Ravens sits atop a brilliantly white bust of Pallas (Athena) placed above a door, which does not open; his shadow is cast upon the floor. There is an oppressive stillness within, and words are swallowed up as they are spoken.