Sometimes I wonder… how much of our imagined worlds are based in reality?
The following flaw is available in Vampire: the Masquerade for character development:
Bound to the Earth (2 point flaw)
Some vampires are inextricably tied to their domains of origin, and they must rest in the proximity of at least two handfuls of native soil: earth from a place important in their mortal days. This earth may be the soil from your birthplace or earth from the graveyard where you underwent your Embrace. Each night spent without this physical connection to that land inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty to all of your attack test pools (to a maximum of -5). These penalties remain until you rest for a full day amid your earth once more.
My MES (Mind’s Eye Society) character has this flaw, because we thought it’d be interesting. It means that my character would technically be exhausted from the visit to Houston’s Court (and feature game) this weekend. Here’s the funny thing, though.
If I’m sleeping in someone else’s bed, be it a spare or a hotel room, I don’t sleep well. It doesn’t matter how comfy or quiet or undisturbed or perfect the room is; if I’m not in my own little nest, I toss and turn all night. The only remedy is to bring one of my pillows and/or a blanket from my house. I used to do so religiously as a kid for sleepovers.
I wonder if I’m bound to my own house? Is it the smell of my bedding? Is it the air pressures and currents created by room sizes, windows, doors? Is it an issue of sleeping in close proximity of different people than usual, like a change in energies?
Taking this thought-train out there, really far out there.
Maybe I’m more empathic when I’m asleep. When I’m awake, I can ignore and avoid being affected by the emotional goo of others. Perhaps my barriers have just grown so instinctive that I don’t recognize my inner empath; I’ve often told people that I used to be one, but I thought I’d grown out of it. Maybe my shields fall when I go to bed and I’m left wide open to whoever and whatever is around me.
Or maybe it’s true that insomnia is caused by someone dreaming of you. What if, the closer the dreamer is, the less likely it is that you’ll sleep?
Or maybe some people and places are live wires. Maybe being around certain open energy sources, or sources that resonate with me, causes my senses to be overwhelmed and unable to shutdown for sleep.
Or maybe the Oneroi can’t find me when I travel, leaving me unrested due to dreamless sleep. After all, dreams decompress our minds and help us maintain our mental health. If my Oneroi couldn’t locate my sleeping self, maybe they couldn’t trigger the dreams I needed to actually feel rested.
Or maybe my bad habits are the issue. Eating at weird times, going to bed hours past my usual routine… maybe my body just gets confused. It’s like a mild form of the disassociation you experience after traveling from America to Europe; suddenly you’re hours off of your biological clock’s schedule, and nothing feels right for days.
Or maybe a radioactive spider bit me, but he did a half-assed job and left me with mild spidey senses. I can’t sleep in strange places, because my inner superhero is sensing someone’s troubled tummy and thinking they need salvation?
Or maybe I’m getting too set in my ways. I’m too used to always being around my sister, always having a jersey knit sheet as a blanket, always listening to Netflix as I doze off. If a baby is kept in quiet spaces every naptime, she’ll only be able to sleep in silence; alternatively, if a baby is kept in loud shared spaces, she’ll learn to sleep through the noise and have trouble with silence. Maybe I’m too used to my specific patterns and need to change things up a bit to avoid sleep issues on the road.
Or maybe a La Sambre was hiding in the shadowy corner of the room, and my Oracular Ability was picking up on their presence. I couldn’t sleep, because instincts required that someone keep a weary eye out for attack.
Or maybe I actually need 2 handfuls of dirt from my home in order to sleep properly, just like poor Othala (my character).
I’m being silly (mostly). But the real question remains. How much of fantasy (in its various forms) is directly based on reality? Curious…