Over 200 years ago, the first indication that something powerful roamed the Dreaming was exhibited when several entities took possession of Elemental Lords (see Events 102). While it was never clear then who these dreamweavers were, it has now been revealed that they were members of the Circle of the Deep, a group of dreamweavers who were trapped in the Dreaming during the Taint in the times of the Celestine Empire. Though their physical bodies were ultimately destroyed, their power in the Dreaming increased exponentially, as time passed until they had the power of the gods themselves, at least in the Dreamrealm.
While these dreamweavers could make every desire manifest, they were bored and dissatisfied with their existence. They wanted more. Though the physical realm now disgusted them, they wanted to bring others into their realms, to have subjects over which to rule. In order to do this, they needed to increase their power to the point where they could force every mortal into the Dreamrealm and keep them there. Thus began an enormously complex campaign to build a device in the very centre of the Dreaming Depths, also known as the Heart of Vestera, that would channel the dreaming into mortal realm and capture the entire population of the Basin of Life. The device would come to be known as the Narcoponatrix.
To power the Narcoponatrix, they first sought to manipulate a geomancer to search for a jewel that held great power in the Dreaming (see Events 320). Next, they sought to steal power from the Aegis of Vestera (see Events 322, 323 and 324), which greatly enhanced the Narcoponatrix. From there, it was a matter of testing how far their powers could reach, from great manipulations such as assaulting the elemental planes (see Events 334) to small attempts such as playing with the mind of a tae’dae (see Events 335). Finally, the dreamweaver known as Sciomore tested the boundaries of the Narcoponatrix by manipulating Master Artist Miella Windwhisper in such a way as to place a device of his own design within the bounds of the city itself.
Now convinced that their plot could work, the Circle of the Dreaming did the unimaginable: they placed the entire population of the Basin of Life to sleep, pulling them into the dreamrealm which was an exact replica of reality as mortals knew it. They then orchestrated an elaborate illusion whereby the Soulless Gods destroyed the Elder Gods, but reality was saved by the Higher Gods, who were in reality the six members of the Circle of the Deep (see Events 336).
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Elder Gods were flummoxed that every mortal had fallen into a deep slumber from which they would not awaken. When they turned to seek the advice of Hoaracle, the Oak Whacher – for He was the Elder God most attuned to the Dreaming – they could not find Him. Unbeknownst to them, Hoaracle was caught in a trap by the Circle of the Deep, who feared his powers in the Dreaming. Fearing that all would be lost without Him, the Bloom of Serenity and the Silver Goddess sought the assistance of Mysrai, with Whose help they hatched a plan to free Hoaracle.
In the dreamrealm, many mortals could not distinguish reality from the dream illusion, so well crafted was the false Basin of Life. However, many began to suspect something was amiss – there had been too many mysterious happenings involving the Dreaming, too many clues to suggest that things might not be real – but there was no way of being certain. Unsurprisingly, mistrust of the so-called Higher Gods was immediately rife.