One of the restless dead, a wraith, has blundered its way into Arcadia, the land of the Dreaming. The wraith is a Sandman, and it attempts to haunt your dreams, depriving you of any rest and taxing your spirit. Discard this Waylay when it’s defeated.
This is another instance of a crossover with one of the settings of the World of Darkness. Wraith: The Oblivion was the least popular of the World of Darkness lines, and, ironically, the shortest lived. Wraith was launched in 1994—a year before Changeling—and ended in 1999. Wraiths are the spirits of the dead who are still bound to something of this world and can therefore not “transcend” or leave for the hereafter. They are trapped in the Underworld until they come to peace with their death, and roam there restlessly, trying to resist the pull of Oblivion. Not a very cheery setting for a role playing game!
Wraiths feed on raw emotion or Pathos, which gives them their spiritual arts or powers (Arcanoi). Wraith society is divided into 13 Guilds, each of which excels one of these arts of the dead. The Sandmen—one of the 13 Guilds of the Wraith—are Wraith who excel at the creative use of Phantasm, the art that manipulates dreams and creates illusions. They are the dramaturgists and actors of the Wraith world, who offer entertainment in the grim cities of the dead. The Wraith handbook (page 156) describes the Sandmen like this:
Charged with artistic fervor and a love for the dramatic, the Sandmen sculpted stages of dreamstuff and performed great works in the theatres of sleep. Deathlords and Anacreons bartered for their services, and the arts of Phantasm granted considerable prestige. […] Phantasm was more than a job to them, it was a labor of love. Even today, wandering troupes of Sandmen bring their shows to Necropoli across the world, recounting tales and rumors because they love nothing better. Sandmen clothe themselves in gossamer, a faintly incandescent material borrowed from dreams. They are also distinguishable by their often over-dramatic mannerisms and bearing.
Of all the Wraith, the Sandmen are most closely linked with the fae. The Sandmen Guildbook spends considerable time on their relationship (page 37-38). I quote a few passages from that here:
Though seeming so similar in origin, vampires and wraiths share few characteristics. The opposite question arises among those who know of changelings (fae inhabiting the Earth): What do Sandmen not have in common with changelings? Both exist in a world spun from the gossamer silk of dreams. Both live for their imaginations and dread the mundane. And both enjoy sharing their inspiration and artistic appreciation with others of like mind. However, most changelings whom we encounter fear us immensely—to them we are the terrifying stuff of legends, creeping out of the afterlife from our so-called Dream Pits to haunt the changelings and their kind. A silly, but understandable myth. […]
Changelings and Sandmen are often drawn to one another by their shared interest in the imaginative capacity of dreams. Amusingly, some Seelie fae speculate that we are but a by-product of their Unseelie kin; that we are but chimera created by twisted fae imaginations. They believe that, like ours, the Unseelie power over dreams is a dark one, often twisting mortal imagination toward change and madness, away from tradition and inhibition.
To the Sandmen, the fae offer both peril and pleasurable prospects. As the Guildbook continues (page 58):
I mention all this to give my warning context: Beware the fae, so seductive to such as we! By nature we are drawn to illusion, dynamism, unspeakable beauty and mysterious allure—all the things that changelings represent. So potent is their dreaming that we, who are more susceptible than most, become lost in their fae “reality”. Sandmen slipping into their dreams (an easier process than entering those of mortals, but far more dangerous) have reported sighting their chimera (their term for mythical monsters) following them long after the changeling awakened.
Horror stories of this sort abound: Regis Finbane, the well-known Sandman actor, is said to have entered a changeling’s dream one night twenty years ago and never returned. Others who have tried to steal changelings’ souls have disappeared as well. Some say that our lost Guild brothers have become monsters in these changelings’s dreams, but no one knows for sure.
On the other hand, dangerous as they are, these fae exude almost impossible amounts of imagination and can be valuable allies in the quest for drama. Changelings are said to produce Sands [the glittering dust harvested from dreams, which Sandmen use for their craft] far richer and more various than any mortal can—and on a nightly basis. […] But you are well-advised to harvest changeling Sand carefully: just as harvesting leaves mortal dreamers listless the next day, harvesting Sand from changelings leaves them strangely weakened come morning. Prolonged harvesting can kill them—but, be sure, once they find out you’re harvesting them, you won’t continue for long.
Of all the Wraith, the Sandmen are thus the most dangerous to the fae. As a Sluagh explains (in the Changeling handbook, page 286):
There are ghosts out there who drink the dream right out of you. They’re called Sandmen, and once one sinks his claws into you, he’ll never let go until you’re drained dry. Ever have one of those mornings where you just don’t want to get out of bed, and you can’t remember your name unless it’s written on the bathroom mirror? That’s a sign a Sandman’s been at you.
Then again, if you can get a Sandman to be your friend, you’ve got it made. Think about it—you get to go make dreams! It’s hard to get started on that type of friendship, though. It’s one of those “You-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter/You-swiped-the-creativity-that-fuels-my-existence” sort of things.
And now it turns out one of these has made its way into Arcadia—don’t ask me how!—and threatens to feed on the dreams of any fae it encounters. If you face this Waylay, you have to battle the Wraith with your willpower and pass a resolve test.
According to the Changeling handbook (page 286), a changeling who is affected by a Sandman loses Glamour “for every night of the wraith’s attention”. You could therefore argue that a Character who fails this Resolve test, should exhaust an Art if able, and may not unexhaust Arts until the Wraith is overcome again. The Character may try again each turn to overcome the Resolve test against the Wraith (which does not count as his encounter for that turn, and has no negative effect when failed). Or, if your Character is able to turn a Resolve test into a Savvy one, you could also try to convince the Wraith the dreams of another fae would be so much nicer than your own.