Welcome to the Dreamscape!
You live in the Waking World, which is much as you might expect. Humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, halflings, goblins, beastkin, and serpentkin live in villages and cities: sometimes in peace, sometimes in strife.
Kingdoms and empires are a thing of the past, and in their ruins you can find ancient secrets and long-forgotten treasures. Guilds and merchant companies hold political, economic, and military power instead of nations or states. They keep the peace, for the most part, and most people accept them as a necessary part of society.
For the most part, life is difficult and grim. Those who seek comfort and solace often do so in the Dreamscape. People in the Waking World spend as much time in the Dreamscape as they can afford. There, they have found that they can live a life of grandeur and pleasure no matter how rich or poor they are in the Waking World.
In the Dreamscape, memories and emotions are currency. The people who are native to the Dreamscape will pay handsomely in goods and services in exchange for a brief memory or a burst of emotion. When visitors return to the Waking World, they keep their memories of the Dreamscape, but “spent” memories do not return. They are unable to experience any emotions they have “spent” for some time, usually at least a few hours but sometimes longer. This rarely stops visitors from returning as soon as possible, ready and willing to exchange more memories and emotions for another taste of luxury.
Currency in the Waking World is built on things that can be taken from the Dreamscape and what it takes to get there. The gold standard is dreamstuff: one ounce of dreamstuff is worth one gold coin. Dreamstuff can be use to fashion nearly anything nonmagical, and its use in enchanted items generally enhances the magical effect placed upon it. Gemstones and precious metals cannot be fashioned from dreamstuff, though quartz and copper can be.
Lost things from the Dreamscape are also generally valuable; sometimes they are personal treasures that people in the Waking World will pay handsomely to have returned. Often, lost things acquire strange magical properties when they are brought back into the Waking World.
Talismans are the tools people from the Waking World use to enter the Dreamscape. They are enchanted items that send the user’s dreamform into the Dreamscape. However, the nature of the magic used to enchant talismans means that they are very temporary. The average talisman lasts only an hour before the magic wears off and the physical item disintegrates. An unskilled laborer can generally afford a single, one-hour talisman per month, and a skill laborer can afford a one-hour talisman per week. Merchants and wealthy guildmembers often purchase talismans in sets, and they can afford talismans that last several hours or longer.
The Dreamscape is home to many species, including djinn, kenku, changelings, and rakshasas. While people from the Waking World can use talismans to visit the Dreamscape, inhabitants of the Dreamscape are unable to travel to the Waking World. Inhabitants of the Dreamscape live mostly in large cities in order to better cater their goods and services to visitors from the Waking World.
The lands in the Dreamscape are strange and unearthly, and outside of the magically regulated city of Aldez, the Dreamscape is very different from the Waking World. However, it is outside of these cities that dreamstuff and lost things are most abundant.
You are a someone with the skill to traverse the dangerous wilds in the Waking World and Dreamscape. You perform dangerous and adventurous jobs. Your motivations are your own, but you work as a group to accomplish things you’d never be able to do alone.
Now, get out there. You’ve got a job to do.