"Chapter One": The planet had three species. A fur-bearing race of humanoids; a horde of insect-like creatures who worked in tandem to make shapes and forms; and a race of intelligent, carnivorous plants. One of those plants was called Quorian, and Quorian dreamed. The flower dreamed of a tall,
- A call is, itself, unusual. A call that cannot be resisted is unique. I am curious.
- — Dream
Appearing in "Chapter One"
- Ian Stewart
- Georgt Portcullis
Synopsis for "Chapter One"
The planet had three species. A fur-bearing race of humanoids; a horde of insect-like creatures who worked in tandem to make shapes and forms; and a race of intelligent, carnivorous plants. One of those plants was called Quorian, and Quorian dreamed. The flower dreamed of a tall, white flower who spoke of something wrong. Quorian could not understand the white flower's concerns, but recoiled when that flower suddenly caught ablaze, and burned away. When Quorian woke, he had gained a sense of his own death - and a certain inkling that someone had died screaming. Who might it have been?
In London in 1915, Ian Stewart, was visited by the Corinthian. The strange man explained that he had come with something Mr. Stewart needed, and Ian hoped it would be news from his brother in the war. Obligingly, the Corinthian agreed that he did have news of Ian's brother, and arranged for them to meet later that night at a nearby bar. As he left, Ian inquired about the dark glasses his visitor wore, wondering if, perhaps, he had been a victim of a gas attack. Grinning, the Corinthian responded that Ian would find out all about his eyes at their meeting.
From his domain, Destiny watched those events, and indeed all events within his Book of Souls. As he turned the page, he had the rare surprise of reading about himself. He saw himself in his gallery, calling upon his sister, Death, though he did not know why. She had wanted him to call her. She was worried about their brother Dream, whom she just took, a hundred galaxies away. She wondered if she should warn him, though Destiny reminded that he would find out soon enough.
George Portcullis' name was only that in his dreams. But when he was George Portcullis, he was an office manager in London, with the sole duty of preparing that office for its owner's return. Occasionally, customers would come asking to see his employer, and he would have to say that the master was not receiving visitors - however, he had no idea who the master was. It came as a surprise, then, when the master finally arrived, expecting a guest shortly. That guest was the Corinthian. The master had created the Corinthian as a nightmare, meant to show humanity everything about itself that it did not want to see. Indeed, the Corinthian had been quite successful in that respect, but he had violated an important rule: those who belong to the realm of Dreaming do not crossover into the real world, and they certainly do not kill mortals for pleasure. Intuitively, the Corinthian guessed that he had been called away to the rarely used London office so that Dream could confront him away from the other nightmares - so as not to give them similar ideas. Morosely, Dream responded that he had called this meeting outside of his castle in order to spare the others the sight of his uncreating the Corinthian. The nightmare demanded a trial by jury, but a sudden matter of importance called Dream away, and the sentence was left undelivered. As Dream left, the Corinthian resolved first to kill Ian Stewart, and then to run until the world resembled him entirely.
Dream found himself unable to resist the call that drew him back to the Ghost Castle. There, Lucien and Merv Pumpkinhead were working in the library, when a sudden shock drew their attention to the throne room. Uninvited, Lucien decided to investigate. He found Dream prepared for a battle, and worried that his master may not return from the "state visit" that Dream spoke of. Dream meant to reassure his librarian, but mid-sentence, he was pulled halfway across the universe.
He found himself late to a gathering of other Dreams. Other versions of himself, from all corners of the universe. Though he had thought himself prepared for what he would face, this sight filled him with confusion.
- This book was first published on October 30, 2013.
- Dream's failure to uncreate the Corinthian before being called away leads directly to the story The Doll's House, beginning with Sandman #10
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