From his earliest days, Bambus was a vivid dreamer. His dreams brought him joy and concern. For the dreams of Telerians are a common doorway for supernatural forces to influence one’s mind and soul. Over the centuries. sleepers have reported seeming encounters with the gods. the Fae, Demonspawn, the Arbiter, and other mysterious entities. Some receive revelations, some compulsions, and others are outright controlled. Not all such tales are credible. but overall, the phenomenon is widely accepted among Telerians. That is why Teleria’s many cultures each developed numerous customs and rituals related to sleep — prayers, tokens. and rites to keep a sleeper’s dreams safe or enable a sleeper to into the power of dreams. This body of lore always fascinated the young Bambus.
But Bambus was a hard-working Ogryn longshoreman in a busy Yakai port, loading and unloading commercial goods and the spoils of expeditions to the Lost Isles and beyond. He had little time to sleep, but dreamt richly when he did, inhabiting a dream-world that he had been exploring and shaping since childhood. In the land of dreams, his best friend was a talking panda called Hocho, a little bear who never grew up. Hocho was clever and kind, if somewhat cowardly. Together, they had many fine adventures and explored fantastical dream-realms, the memories of which satisfied Bambus through his long days of hard labour in the waking world.
Over the course of months, troubling omens crept into Bambus’ dreams. Dark clouds grew larger on the far horizons of the dreamscape. The inhabitants of the various dream-kingdoms became cold and alien; in the end, only faithful Hocho remained to guide him. Bambus searched the dreamworld for the source of this malignant feeling, but no matter where he went, the evil emanation always seemed nearby, but out of reach.
While this unfolded in his sleep, during the day Bambus still worked the docks, and from sailors and merchants, he overheard reports of unease and radicalism among the Elves of distant Anhelt. Bambus never cared about the politics and cultures of the waking world, and paid it little mind, until a name emerged: the ‘Dreamwalker.’ It was said that Elves were being seduced into a cult led by this enigmatic figure — or, to hear others tell it, that a peaceful spiritual movement promising liberation and equality was being tyrannically persecuted. Either way. it was a being called the Dreamwalker at the centre of the drama. This ignited Bambus’ curiosity and suspicion.
Bambus went with Hocho to the top of the highest peak of his fantastical world and shouted to the Dreamwalker to reveal and explain himself. After this, he began to hear a faint, wicked laughter growing louder and louder and the skies above the mountain peak darkened as Bambus and Hocho stood side by side ready to defend their world.
Bambus has no memory of encountering the Dreamwalker, or anyone else — only a terrible blank. He awoke in a bamboo grove outside of town, wracked with pain, and he saw by moonlight that his body was no longer as it was. He was a clawed and hairy humanoid panda, and the terror of awakening in this altered shape scarcely had time to set in before Bambus saw another horrific sight before him: a young panda, dead. Aflame with fear and guilt, he returned to the bunkhouse where he lodged. He dared not admit to his fellows there what he had become, but he asked about who he had been. He was told that an Ogryn called Bambus was indeed lodged there but had left hours ago on a listless walk out of town.
Bambus had sleep-walked into becoming a Skinwalker. He was certain he had been perversely forced to slay the panda and trigger the curse by the awful being who roamed Teleria in the guise of the Dreamwalker. Desperate for answers, he indentured himself to a merchant company in exchange for passage to Anhelt. He yearned to confront the so-called Dreamwalker in the real world, but what gnawed at him most was the fate of his own dreamworld — forever since that terrible night, his sleep was empty and meaningless, and he had no idea what had become of his beloved companion Hocho.
While serving two years in servitude at sea, Bambus trained with the sailors to learn to fight, and drew on his knowledge of sleep-lore to prepare soporific concoctions in a large, distinctive bottle that he could use in battle to knock an enemy unconscious. Afterwards, he was deposited at an Aravian port and made his way to Durham Forest — but Bambus faded from history thereafter and the secretive Dark Elves are silent as to his fate.