Morpheus, Phantasos, and Icelus-Phobetor are the three most recognized dream-personalities that appear in Greek mythology.
Morpheus, the Messenger: the oldest of the Oneiroi, the children and attendants of Hypnos, Morpheus is represented by the poppy in iconography. He is known by his appearances in the dreams of kings and leaders as a messenger from the gods.
Phantasos, the Apparition: child of Pasithea, the goddess of hallucination, Phantasos is as his name suggests, neither here nor there, and often takes on new aspects or likenesses when he appears in dreams.
Icelus-Phobetor, the Semblance and the Nightmare: He is known as Icelus to the gods for his ability to interact in the waking realm by taking the form of animals, and is called Phobetor, One to be Feared, by men, taking on the distorted image of monsters in dreams.
The siblings live together in the Demos Oneiros, and each night pass the gates of horn and ivory to bring dreams to the land of men.
I’ve had a handful of dreams in the last year that are very much out of keeping with the daily-recap/anxiety-based/semi-lucid balderdash dreams I usually have, and even further out of keeping with the dreams I had every night as a child and teen. Those more or less consisted only of me dying repeatedly in very unimaginative ways. I had those so often and for so long that I actually got bored with them. Believe it or not, I was quite chipper as a child.
These dreams are rather more fun, even when they are terrifying. Exhilarating, I guess, is the word. There are recurring characters, too, but not recurring situations. There’s Sheila, who keeps a knife in her boot and keeps me wondering if I’m her sidekick or if she’s mine; and then there is our Nemesis: in each dream, he takes a new form of monster and in each dream, but I know him as soon as I see him. The three of us have a revolving, ongoing game of cat, mouse, and cat to see who can outwit whom in each new scenario: sometimes we win, sometimes he does. Ever since the first dream, I’ve carried the sneaking suspicion that no matter what he does to us in course of any given fight for survival, at the base of it, he’s just fond of my and Sheila’s company. He’s not above the occasional prank, either, and those are actually the matches he wins most often. It would seem that what Sheila and I lack most is a sense of humor.
I’m writing out the first such dream a little at a time, titled The Dollmaker–it will probably be about novella length. Dollmaker is the name Nemesis went by in that particular dream on account of his ability to take a person’s essence into himself, leaving the original human a mindless husk while he draws on their memories, appearance, and personality to blend into society as he flees justice.
Should be fun!