Go to sleep

There is a valley out there, in some world or another. It is a sunny place, full of growing things. The woods are dotted with meadows, spotted in turn with the bobbing blooms of tansy, poppy, daisy and more. The surrounding hills have gentle slopes, allowing the forest and its accompanying meadows to climb high up on them, some have even been completely engulfed by the trees. Odd things lurk in this place, hidden in the roots, in the branches, even in the hills themselves.

But none are stranger than the guardian and ruler of the valley, at least to our way of thinking in this time and place. In the center of the valley, at the heart of the largest and loveliest meadow, by the banks of the stream that wends its way out of the hills and on, there the guardian of dreams dwells. His duty is a strange one, and not as it seems, but he does as well as he may and cares very much for the valley and all within it.

Rarely does the Dream Guard venture forth from the valley, rarer yet does he sleep. For there is much to do, and always there are dreams in danger. His valley is a safe-house, a shelter from dangers unseen and unknown. Those who dwell in the valley, whether hooved, winged, scaled, clothed in air or cloth, have come here to seek asylum, or aid. Driven out of their birthplaces they seek his protection, and if their homes still exist, some will also seek his aid in returning to them.

It is because of these refugees and emigres the Guardian sleeps little.  He and they speak a common tongue, but it is not our own.  Unsurprising perhaps, as many of those who dwell in the bright and dark places of the valley do not speak as we do.  Nor do they hear as do you and I.  The whisper of fear, the brazen tooting of pride, the sweet chime of love, gentle murmur of adoration.  These are languages spoken in the valley, for the inhabitants of the valley are dwellers in dreams.

Born in dream, they live in the valley only when their dreams are lost, shattered, changed.  Some lucky few only visit, momentarily unneeded at home.  But these vacationers are the least of the population.  The guardian’s duty is not just to these disenfranchised beings.  His greatest burden, hardest duty to fulfill, is to maintain the dreams everywhenwhere, even perhaps to find new homes for some among his wards.

Mostly he simply seeks to prevent a drastic increase in their number.  Unfortunately for him, when minds awake, their dreams fade, and the valley is flooded with new visitors.  A carefully managed schedule of waking and dreaming is the only way to keep the valley livable, uncrowded and safe for those rare creatures born there.

So if you ever feel as though someone is whispering to you to sleep, to lie back and close your eyes, do not fear.  The guardian of dreams is simply hoping you will help him, that you will provide one more safe refuge for the people of the valley.

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