Dream Manipulation | E. Christopher Clark

Dream Manipulation


Dream Manipulation is the rare preternatural ability to draw upon the energies of the Undercurrent and use said energies to create illusions within a target’s mind. These hallucinations can be as generalized or specific as the adept desires, but the more specific the adept wants the hallucination to be, the deeper into the Undercurrent the adept must mentally dive. It takes much more effort, for instance, to conjure the image of the specific Bichon Frise who tried to rip a target’s hand off while he was delivering newspapers as a thirteen-year-old than it does to whip up the collective human fear of a non-specific dog snarling and frothing at the mouth.



The adept begins by plunging their mind into the depths of the Undercurrent, drawing either upon their own dreams and nightmares (the easiest choice), the dreams and nightmares of the collective unconscious (harder, but not particularly strenuous with practice and training), or the dreams and nightmares of the target (hardest, requiring the greatest effort).


After pulling the desired hallucination up and out of the abyss, the adept projects the illusion towards the target in a surge of green-hued bioelectrical energy.


The target of the attack is overcome with visions indistinguishable from reality and reacts accordingly—depending on whether they’ve been attacked while awake or asleep. The duration of the experience is highly variable, depending upon the level of tiredness/exhaustion in the target and their body’s need for an R.E.M. sleep cycle. The attack can render a target unconscious, but does not always do so.


The attack is most effective on targets that dream, though any living thing with fears or desires is susceptible to some degree.

Side/Secondary Effects

In the Earth-668 iteration of reality, victims of dream manipulation attacks were far more likely to require psychiatric treatment than non-victims. After learning of this, the most famous practioner of the ability—the costumed vigilante known as Nightmare—retired far earlier than he otherwise might have. Yes, most of the people he’d attacked in his life were murderers, rapists, and alien terrorists, but he could not live with the myriad of “what if?” questions which plagued him.


Beyond retiring and leaving the super-heroing to others with less dangerous powers, Nightmare donated his family’s fortune to mental health facilities, medical research, and to the establishment of a charitable foundation dedicated to prison reform.

Related Dimension


Effect Duration
10–60 minutes
Effect Casting Time
100–400 milliseconds
Known Adepts

Michael Silver 668


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Dec 5, 2023 16:04 by Chris L

That's a cool bit about "Nightmare" there at the end. This is a cool power, feels very "Dani Moonstar"-esque to me. Which is good, because she's one of my favorite X-Men.

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Dec 5, 2023 17:49 by E. Christopher Clark

Ooh, I'm honored by the Dani comparison. Thanks!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Dec 5, 2023 17:16 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is such a terrifying power. No wonder Nightmare had an early retirement.

Dec 5, 2023 17:50 by E. Christopher Clark

Yes, once I started thinking about the ramifications of it—something I only kinda-sorta did when I was a teenager writing about this power for my comic book—I realized that an adult Nightmare would never keep using it if he knew what potential harm he was causing.   I'm glad folks are resonating with that bit.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
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