Far beneath the surface, under and dimensions away from the Earth, sleeps a crab-like monster little bigger than a puppy. It lies nestled in the arms of two people who love it more dearly than its own kind ever could, and its mind resides almost wholly in the Dream Dimension. Around them, for hundreds of thousands of miles, is the dream-self that those unfortunate to meet it in their nightmares have seen, a Nameless One little more horrible and soul-shattering than the Unspeakable One itself.
The monster doesn't know how or why it came to Earth-Prime, it only understands that all and everything that is not itself is terrible and strong. But the people, a Chinook couple from centuries ago, found and were kind to the strangely timid extradimensional thing. Both mystically gifted, they understood the danger it presented and took it into Sub-Terra. There they could sleep eternally, guiding the horror from its nightmares and into peace.
But they never anticipated the creation of the Emerald Cities, the desires of millions over the years that called to the Dreaming Deep and drew its drifting thoughts up into the humming astral hive of humanity. Feeding it with longing and dread until the little thing now dwarfs the Earth it cowers within.
Now the Nameless One slowly intermingles with the people of the city, reaching into the minds of those with unusually potent hopes or fears and making them come true. These threads are becoming a rope that will pull the Dreaming Deep out into the waking world and the Emerald Cities into the shadow of the Dream Dimension where nothing will be impossible.
The former Dragoneye Zhi was aware of this, but kept it secret in the foolish hope that he could use it as a status boost and leverage against the rest of the Chamber. With him dead, and no Dragoneye or local mage with the power of Ghorumazz to cast out the invader, the people of the Emerald Cities are entirely at the mercy of the monster.
The couple know about the danger, but can't do much more than send their own dreams out into the upper world and search for a way to warn someone of the coming disaster. Kale-Kalakala searches the northern shore of the Columbia while her husband Pilpil-Piah combs the south.
Children of Dreams, the Monsters
Most people in the area of the Atlas Range have a similar recurring nightmare of going deep under ground into suffocating darkness. Most of them wake up when it starts, but a few fail to or manage to press on and that brings them into the world-warping presence of the Dreaming Deep. Nobody who gets that far wakes up unchanged, some mentally and others physically or spiritually. The horror from beyond the void lashes out at these terrifying visitors and in the material world that often translates into bodily transformation. Most people who get altered aren't really different from how they were before, but the shock of their new, monstrous form and countless eons of expectations that anything so hideous as they often turn out must be evil has severe consequences.
They usually run from their old lives into the wilderness, where many of them meet and join one of the Cryptid Clans around the Columbia River delta. They are most comfortable with the wide-ranging and diverse Wood Clan. Unlike their new brethren, however, even other Changed Ones, they feel their very existence is intrinsically evil. Ironically, this is because of the Dreaming Deep's own biases and fears, but the result is that the Monsters(as they insist they be called) believe they are so because they were always evil, and that the Dream just made them on the outside what they were on the inside.
Monsters can look like practically anything, even nearly-normal people, though most meld the traits of various animals with bizarre supernatural gifts. Like their shaper, all of them can inhabit the dreams of others, and some use this to travel unseen through civilization. They tend to push others in their Clan to abandon any vestiges of humanity and are often responsible for attacks and disappearances of people in the mountains, forests and water around the Emerald Cities. However, some reject this and try to use their new forms and preternatural powers to protect humans from danger or from other Monsters. Either way they have few friends, even among the accepting Wood Clan and Unhumans.
[OOC] All Monster characters, in addition to their other traits, have the Power Super-Movement 1(Dimensional(Dream Dimension))[2PP]