Those Who Walk Betwixt
Those who dwell in two realities are known as Those Who Walk Betwixt. The more common, much less of a mouthful term, is simply: the Bix. The Bix are Naturals who have Awakened: experienced the phenomenon of seeing the Darkworld for the first time. Once Awakened, Bix may not go "back to sleep", save by a Midknight, but those creatures simply kill as often as they play at being sandmen. The Bix all share some common traits amongst them, and can instantly recognise one another on sight. First, the appearance of a Bix is different, it changes, but only to those who have eyes to see it. The mundane world and, to a large extent, the supernatural will be unable to see this. In a way, it is the more pure face, the True Face, of the dreamer.
While those who still Sleep may see only a bum, or a non-descript human, Bix will see each other as a dreamed archetype, the Dreamed-Self. This self-image might be slightly prettier, cleaner, with wrinkles and other minor imperfections removed, or it might be terrifying to behold. It is rumored a lost Glamour, known only to powerful elders, allows Dreamwalkers to alter this form at will. Of course, Hypnomancers and Pookas are fully capable of this feat, simply directing Dreamshaping at themselves. This can be dangerous, however, for in changing the form they must keep the function in mind.
Another shared ability is the herd-mind of humanity. This isn't really a power, by strictest definition. It is a function of the human mind not accepting certain input in order to protect itself. This happens regularly, people every day walk around wearing psychological blinders to avoid the awful truths about the world screaming from every direction. It is just something that "isn't my problem." Most people simply "don't want to get involved," because it's "none of their business," right? Absolutely, right up until the moment they see and Darkworld in all its subtle ferocity falls into their tender brains like a bullet. In the simplest terms: The Unawakened will not recognise Bix for what they are. They will, in fact, barely see Those Who Walk Betwixt, most of the time.
Simply stated, when a Dreamwalker, or other Bix, Awakens, their Darkworld form takes precedence. Should Bix pull themselves fully into Earthly reality, even mundanes will see them for what they truly are. To create this image, the player of the Bix character simply creates a more fitting image for that personality. Meaning: thugs will *look* like thugs, while seductive womanizers will look the part in every way, etc.
For their own protection, those who still Sleep will not notice one of the Bix, save in passing, and will often never recall them later. For a Sleeper to take notice of the unnaturalness of Bix, the Bix in question must call attention to herself in some way, usually by doing something "impossible." If the action occurs in plain sight, the Sleeper must make a Difficult Awareness check. If the roll succeeds, the Sleeper will Awaken.
Those who shape, to fight, to kill.
Hypnomancers are the battlemages, the wizards of war. They use Dreamshaping for weaponry, for attack, for armor and defense. Hypnomancers are feared, and are thus persecuted by many Bix. Hypnomancers must be constantly vigilant, against outside threats, and the mind-warping internal struggle with Dreamshaping. Hypnomancers tend to be a bit grim, compared to the bravado of the Dreamwalkers and near-giddy insanity (inanity?) of the Pookas.
Though they may only affect one reality at a time, this does not make them weak, by any means. Hypnomancers fear Dreamshaping, even as they seek to master it, for Masters inevitably succumb to a crippling madness and irrevocably become a part of Darkworld. Hypnomancers refer to this as the Becoming. Indeed, the Hypnomancer gains incredible power and insight, forsaking the bondage of Earthly reality, but the price is great, indeed.
When a Hypnomancer reaches rank five in Dreamshaping, he must begin making daily Willpower rolls. Each failed roll earns him one point of Dreaming. A critical failure earns him two. If he ever accrues ten points, he slips fully from Earthly reality, becomes a part of Darkworld, and an NPC. These points can never be bought off. Such is the price one pays for power.
Those who shape, to trick, to thrill.
The Pookas, having chosen that name ignorant of those who practice the Changeling Way, have existed only half as long as the brooding Hypnomancers. They practice the mysterious Art as well, but to much different ends. There are those, among the Hypnomancers, who say that Pookas were once part of their group, but revolted against the dark regime. While the Hypnomancers live by a warrior's code, and are generally somber fellows, the mischievous Pookas have found a new appreciation for the fluidity of perceived reality. They are jesters among the Bix. Pookas tend to be darkly humorous, their gags and pranks occasionally life-threatening. Their saving grace comes from their ability to entertain. It is said a Pooka could make even a Bogeyman laugh. Unlike most of the Bix, the Pookas tend to be rather light-hearted, their peers claiming the Waking has broken their minds. But to the Jolly Ones, theirs is a sacred duty: to lighten Darkworld, to keep humanity's dreams fresh, to make sure Magick does not die. To this end, the Pookas thrill their audiences, captive or not, and have been responsible for the most Awakenings in the last several decades. Most of the other Bix are quite disturbed by this trend.
Dreamshaping works identically for Pookas as it does for Hypnomancers, aside from the risk. When a Pooka reaches rank five in Dreamshaping, she must begin making daily Willpower rolls. Each failed roll earns her one point of Waking. A critical failure earns her two. If she ever accrues ten points, she slips fully into Earthly reality, loses the Darkworld, and can never enter it, or see it, again. These points can never be bought off. Such is the price one pays for power.
Dreamshaping allows a Hypnomancer or Pooka to alter Darkworld reality on a whim. The Hypnomancer may make any change she desires, with an appropriate modifier, of course. (Willpower roll, difficulty 10 - # of dots in Art for inanimate objects. Opposed Willpower for living creatures.) Power spent on this feat is equal to 1 x level used plus 1-4 Power for a change in composition of the target (Add 1 to difficulty). 1 Power for a change in general shape (and another 1 to difficulty). The alteration lasts for a number of rounds equal to total Power spent on the alteration. The Hypnomancer or Pooka may spend two Power to make the change permanent (Add 1 to difficulty) for inanimate objects or 4 for animate beings (Add 1 to difficulty) and spend 4 Power. The levels of Dreamshaping effect greater areas as the list below illustrates.
1 cubic foot.
8 cubic feet.
64 cubic feet.
512 cubic feet.
4096 cubic feet.