You may think you know the Sandman, but you are sorely mistaken. The story has been passed down throughout the years, but it’s been the wrong story. Yes, the Sandman comes while you slumber to sprinkle dust into your eyes so you might have dreams. The evidence of such is the grit in your eyes left over by morning time. But the Sandman is not one man nor does he just do this deed. He does far more than you can ever imagine.
The Sandman are multiple in number. They have to be to accomplish their primary goals every night: to make sure every man, woman, and child receives a dream. A dream is the most important thing a human can receive. Dreaming is what brought humans out of the caves and into the future. Dreams have given people hope, desire, and love for as long as there has been at least one Sandman. Dreams have also inspired and created a great many things in this world and the world of the Sandman. The Sandman are not aliens from another planet. They were once humans too, dead and gone from their world. When a human dies and if that human was of an uniquely creative mind then that former human can become a Sandman. They are moved into Somnium, the world of the Sandman, and decide from there whether to stay or not. When one chooses to become a Sandman, another Sandman moves out.
The only time this system did not work was during the Time of Little Dreaming, otherwise known by humans as the Black Death. Death and sorrow were so rampart that it caused another crack to appear in the world below the Sandman, what is deemed of as Inferis. Inferis is full of cracks created during times of great suffering. The Sandman police these cracks and the human world to keep at bay the demons that haunt humans while they dream. The monsters under human children’s beds, the thumps at night, the nightmares, the black figure that keeps humans paralyzed with fear, the lustful dreams that pull humans away from themselves… those and more are the crimes of the evil ones: Succubus, Incubus, Mara, and their king Phobetor. Generally, only a few run rampart every so often before they are caught and killed by the Sandman, but the suffering and sorrow was so great during the Black Death that the Sandman quickly became overwhelmed by the number of these evil entities. While the Sandman are already long gone from the pain of death these evil creatures, if they win in battle, can cause a sentence far worse than death: they can infect the Sandman and cause the Sandman to become an Epiales, the living nightmare. This is what happened during the Time of Little Dreaming. So few of the Sandman were left that they had to take quick action.
In Somnium there is a scroll that sits in the center of the valley. It details all of the Sandman from the first to the last ever. Humans names are wrote upon this cloth and when they die their name moves up. The humans are spaced apart so only one new Sandman appears every 50-70 human years. This is to keep a balance in Somnium, so never too many or too few are there. But during times of emergency a Sandman can cause the next human in line to gain his Sandman abilities early, because while the evil dreams can change a Sandman, they cannot change the humans while they still breathe. The chosen human becomes able to fight the demons and to enter the dreams of other humans. They can also see the portals to Somnium and travel between the two at will. They can also see the cracks that allow the demons to bleed through into the human world. The scroll was activated after the Sandman lost thousands of themselves to the demons.
And out of this activation, a young boy once named William was awoken. Together with the remaining Sandman, the lad fought against the demons. In the end, the causalities were plenty but the war was won. Phobetor was killed by William and peace fell upon the Earth. William chose to give up his status as a Sandman and returned to normal human life once again. His name disappeared from the scroll.
Many hundreds of years later, another young man appeared. He had died in the human world from overdose. He was the descendant of William, named James. James decided to become a Sandman and he trained with the Sandman. The adjustment was great for James for his soul, like other addicted ones, needed the toxins. Withdrawal was the hardest pain James went through, but he survived. He excelled in training and became a top candidate for the next ruler of Somnium. However, on his first assignment as a Sandman he experienced something no other Sandman has. A child died while James was trying to sprinkle the dust into her eyes. Her soul flew and merged with his. James became withdrawn from the other Sandman after that incident and wanted to be left alone. James did volunteer at a lot more shifts around hospitals, but as time went on he was rarely seen by any other Sandman unless it was during the times James came and went from Somnium into the human world. James also started taking longer and harder shifts at children’s hospitals. It was far too late when the activities of James was found out. James had been prowling the hospitals for more souls to take. The souls, when merged, become like a drug to a human. James had been stealing the souls in order to become high again. At his trial, James was sentenced to be removed from Somnium and moved to Inferis with all knowledge of Somnium to be erased from his memories, for his crimes meant that he could never move into the afterlife. Life resumed as normal following James’ eviction from Somnium… until James returned.
James had managed to migrate his way in Inferis to become their new King as they had long been without the guidance of one. James led the evil army to march from Inferis into one of the Somnium portals James managed to remember. Maybe it was from the high number of souls he stole or it might have been because James was a descendant of the most powerful Sandman to have lived and was the most powerful Sandman of his day. Whatever the case may be, James led a war against the Sandman and won. All the Sandman were turned into Epiales and they, with James’ help, devised a way to bring about great sorrow and suffering on Earth again so that the demons may reign on Somnium and on Earth. Humanity seemed doomed, but luckily I remain.
I am the last of the Sandman. Together with the scroll I stole from the valley I have hid in one of the caves in Somnium such as humans did before the Sandman arrived. I once activated the scroll to call for William and I have lived on Somnium for thousands of years, yet I am too afraid now to make my stand against the whole of the demonized army. I know I must call for help from the scroll, but I fear that the newest Sandman might not be great enough to stop James’ reign.