“All we really know of them is that we know very little. The Manifest Gods remember, and they are not speaking much anymore. The Vestiges remember, and to them we ought not listen.”
-from Meditations on The Spires by Francis Sumner
The Oneiri, commonly called “dreamers” or “knotmen”, were a species that populated the world thousands of years ago. They ruled over dwimmerlings and men with an absolute hegemony until they were all simultaneously slain through the power of the Anachitis in an event known as the Dreamfire Deluge. Despite the continued existence of many of their artifacts and even their cities, little is known of their culture or even what they may have looked like. Their art was entirely abstract, never representational. Even their true language is a mystery, as there is no evidence of them ever writing anything beyond commands to their enslaved population, the Dwimmerlings, written in the language of the slaves. Most information about the Oneiri comes from the religious texts of the Dwimmerlings and the word of Manifest Gods.
What is generally accepted is that the Oneiri, toward the end of their reign, recused themselves to sleep in great mausoleums, endeavoring to spend eternity in a shared dream while the gods they created carried out their will in the real world. They also created the Dwimmerlings from men, and used them as tools in the material world while during their slumber. heir dream was supposedly an infinite paradise, in which time passed so that in every human breath an Oneiri lived a lifetime of bliss. Eventually, all the Oneiri entered the dream, and for many centuries the gods and beings they crafted managed their massive bedchambers.
It is at this juncture that historians bicker. It is known that some tribes of men and castes of dwimmerlings united to commit deicide, shattering the Aspect Gods that sustained all the sleeping Oneiri. Four Manifest Gods marched with them, three of whom remain. What is unknown is why, who inspired the rebellion, and what the Manifest Gods strove to attain by murdering their creators in their beds.
The artifacts the Oneiri left behind indicate that they were far more advanced in both the practice of science and Tuning, being able to work wonders that are seen as impossible now. Several cities, such as Wyvar, are built on old knotmen cities to take advantage of some of the remaining structures, such as the dwimmerwells, a source of seemingly infinite energy. More than just their artifacts are the creatures and less corporeal beings that compose a great portion of their legacy— the dwimmerlings, linnorm, vestiges, gleam-whales, and other relicts.
Many theorize that the Oneiri had a number of strings in their soul greater than seven, usually guessing at nine due to the frequent occurrence of this number in their art and architecture, as well as “conversations” some wayward sorcerers have had with Vestiges. Those rare reports one has of conversations with Vestiges indicate that the dreamers treated their relationship with Dwimmerlings the same way men treat theirs with dogs, and their relationship to humans the same way one might regard a wolf in a land where you love your dogs. The Word of the Lord of Skies and Waters, does not indicate anything in particular about the Oneiri, besides that they felt their monstrosity perfectly justified and that they were “too lost in the web of their souls to see the skies and waters.”
There are some mystery cults dedicated to the Oneiri, most believing that the goal of the current forms of sentience ought to be to ascend to the status that the Oneiri did, and that the rebellion against their hegemony actually a great trick on the part of all or one of the extant Manifest Gods.