Webcomic / The Dreamland Chronicles

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Once upon a time, a boy fell asleep and dreamt of a land of elves, fairies and dragons...

The Dreamland Chronicles is an entirely computer-generated, three-dimensional webcomic with over sixteen hundred pages and counting. The Dreamland Chronicles is almost entirely suitable for all ages, with no outstanding adult themes.

As a child, Alexander had adventures every night in Dreamland with his mythically-inclined friends, flying across Dreamland. One 'day' in Dreamland, Alex found an ancient temple housing a magic sword, which practically leaps into his hand. A talking dragon assaults the young boy, and he wakes up with a strange sword necklace.

College-bound Alexander, dreamless since that fateful night, thinks that he was just having normal dreams until he suddenly returned to Dreamland one night; he had fallen asleep with the sword necklace his mother sent him. Returning to find his friends now adults, he finds Dreamland in dire need of a hero, ruled by the tyrannical dragon who had been guarding that sword years ago...

Less clichéd than it sounds.

For technical reasons, as of chapter 21, the comic switched to being traditionally produced (drawn by a guest artist as opposed to rendered).

Tropes

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Sword of Kings can cut though anything, including solid stone.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The merpeople and the fairies.
  • Annoying Arrows: In the Arthur flashback, Percival is knocked down by an arrow... And gets back up again, shrugging it off and remarking, "I'm fine, my king. 'Tis but a scratch." Though the arrow seemed to barely penetrate his skin, and wasn't anywhere near any vital organs. Of course, he has an impressive build, so it helps.
  • Art Evolution: While it was always look good, thanks to the advancement of computers it has gone from from this to this. I mean, come on dude. That's just going over the top. Attention to detail indeed. Ultimately however, when the final arc was made, the technology used for the previous chapters was out of date and proved very difficult to upgrade. As a result, the final arc uses cartoon style instead of 3D CGI.
  • The Atoner: Dwarven King Bognok after defying Nicodemus from years of loyalty.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Happens on both sides, with the four rulers Alexander (King of Dreamland), Nicodemus (Evil Dragon King), Nastajia (Queen of the Elves) and the dwarves' King Bognok all being the most skilled fighters.
  • Blade Brake: Alex does this, leaving a good 50-foot slice in the Big Bad castle.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Nicodemus and Felicity debut in this manner.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes Alex about Dreamland at first. Dan comes around early one, only because Alex is his brother. Nicole only does after discovering that Alex is dreaming about her childhood friend Felicity.
  • Chiaroscuro: Alex in Nicodemus' prison, meeting Felicity for the first time. Also, Nastajia, Felicity and Kiwi finding Alex in a dark cave, illuminated by Kiwi.
  • Children Are Innocent: The main reason it's easier for children to fly in Dreamland. You only have to believe, but adults are by nature jaded and know they can't fly.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Nastajia brings this up on her responsibilities as Queen of the Elves to Alex who she believes is still as irresponsible as back in his childhood.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: When Felicity is injured and loses the will to recover, Alex does quite a bit of this. So does Nicole, via a letter.
  • Curse: Nicodemus put a curse on King Arthur's first-born descendants (rightful heirs to his throne in Dreamland) that takes away their ability to dream to prevent them from entering Dreamland so as long as King Arthur is alive, usurping human reign over Dreamland for the first time.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Somehow, Nicodemus, all this time, was under the impression that King Arthur was still alive, despite 400 years ruling Dreamland. When the Sword of Kings tells him otherwise, along with the fact that Alex is Arthur's successor to the throne, able to enter Dreamland through a loophole in the rules, the dragon doesn't take it well. Nicodemus actually had reason to believe this, as Arthur had been trapped in a state between life and death for centuries. But when Alex drew the Sword of Kings from the stone, Arthur passed on.
  • Divided We Fall: The Elves vs. Dwarves dilemma perpetuates Nicodemus' rule over Dreamland as the two strongest races are swamped by infighting instead of working together creating an opportunity of rebellion. It's no surprise their collaboration is key to Nicodemus' downfall, and they are the ones kicking the most ass in the final battle near Gilgamesh.
  • Dream Land: Obviously.
  • Dumb Is Good: Poor Nicole. Alex goes braindead every time he sleeps, and wakes up in perfect health afterwards. He even claims to have vivid, recurring dreams. The characters treat her desire to study this incredible phenomenon from a scientific or medical perspective as entirely unreasonable. Her mean attitude towards their belief in Dreamland helps, but they joke about her like she's a nutjob and wants Alex "labotomized" [sic].
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Downplayed. The rivalry is political, not racial— the Dwarves always side with the king of Dreamland, even though the Elves know the current king to be a traitor. Both view each other as traitors, but once Nastajia convinces King Bognok he's wrong, they get along.
  • Empathic Weapon: Alex's sword, The Sword Of Kings. It was created to record the lives of the kings, that their successors may learn from them. Thus it is sentient to provide Alex with the information about former kings.
  • Enemy Mine: When Nicodemus learns of Abbadon's plans to invade Dreamland, he offers a truce with Alexander to protect Dreamland.
    • While he comes off as a Well-Intentioned Extremist in the Arthur flashback, he evidently has been keeping things from Arthur before his betrayal - before reading Merlin's letter, he hadn't told him something as important as how fragile the peace between Dreamland and Nightmare Realm really is.
  • Excalibur: Excalibur is a separate sword from the Sword of Kings, and naturally, King Arthur once owned both. As in the legend, the sword and its scabbard have powerful magical qualities, such as preventing the owner from dying of wounds. After the Sword of Kings rejects Alex due to his more suitable brother finally being available, Alex takes Excalibur for himself.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: When Abaddon exclaims bewilderment at Dan's Nigh-Invulnerability, Dan gives a Badass Boast, explaining that thanks to lucid dreaming, his dream form is invulnerable. Abaddon later points out that his physical body is vulnerable, resulting in an Oh, Crap! from Dan.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Pretty much the essence of Dreamland being the home to a plethora of mythical creatures.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Fear is exploited by the Pirates to render the children powerless, becoming easy kidnapping targets.
  • A Friend in Need: Felicity saves Alex and in return he and his friends save her from the Kraken.
  • Good Old Ways: Entertaining the human children who visit Dreamland in their sleep. Nicodemus instead wants them driven away.
  • Green-Eyed Monster
  • Happily Ever After
  • Hive Mind: Abaddon is actually a collective of different Nightmare Realm beasts, sharing a single mind.
  • Honorary Uncle: The Elder of the Fairies, Pistachio to the human children.
  • Hostage Situation: The Pirates hold Joey in this after learning he is Alex's cousin.
  • Human All Along: The Guardians are descendants of Ancient Egyptians who crossed over to Dreamland after they built a portal.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Nicodemus and several of his followers believe this is the case. Seeing as Nicodemus worked personally with several of the worst people humanity has to offer, he's speaking from experience.
  • Humans Are Special: Before Nicodemus came into power, only a human adult (always a prominent figure from human history) could rule Dreamland.
  • In Medias Res: After being shown that The Guardians have something "special" for her to do while her friends venture off into the Nightmare Realm, Felicity re-appears about to begin her quest in the outskirts of Dreamland. She flashbacks to her briefing by the Guardians: she is to retrieve their Tablet as she is the only one who can do so.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Whether on purpose or out of stupidity, Abbadon gives Daniel information about it's true master, the Dreamer, even as it denies telling him anything.
  • Irony: Felicity has to retrieve the Tablet of the Guardians as only a Tigrin like her could do so, in order to safeguard the tablet from thieves by its own people due to its tempting magical properties. Only problem is, she is a thief herself too. The Guardians are much aware.
  • It's Personal
  • It Was a Gift
  • Kick the Dog: The guards of Astoria, working under Nicodemus are appropriately mean-spirited. Once they deflated a child's ball and mocked her just for it being in their way.
  • King Arthur: Alex's ancestor, who not only ruled Camelot (in the 14th century, surprisingly), but Dreamland as well, having used Astoria as a template for Camelot, and was the king who was betrayed by Nicodemus.
  • King in the Mountain: King Arthur and Merlin. The former was forcibly in this situation by Nicodemus up until Alex drew the Sword of the Kings and the latter until Felicity incants the spell from the Tablet of the Guardians.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: In chapter 6, the heroes sneak into a Kraken's cave while it's away to find one of the tablets... Surprise, surprise, the Kraken shows up.
    • They encounter even more sea monsters when searching for the Lady of the Lake in chapter 17.
  • Like a Son to Me: Oberon considers Alex as this in a childhood flashback.
  • Made a Slave
  • Malicious Slander: The Elves are accused by the Dwarves of conspiring with the Nightmare Realm, particularly deploying an army of Nightmare Realm creatures in their place.
  • Master of Illusion: Abaddon is said to be one of these, and it has used this power to taunt Alexander with illusions of Nastajia. Likewise it taunted Daniel with illusions of Nicole but failed miserably.
  • The Medic
  • More Hero Than Thou: The Dwarves would rather Alex & Co. run off to safety and die trying to fighting the King Nicodemus they just betrayed after almost-constant loyalty.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The Dwarves always side with the king of Dreamland. At first.
  • Narnia Time: A short period of time with an inconsistent amount passes between Alex's appearances in Dreamland but his friends managed to age into adults in his prolonged absence.
  • Not a Game
  • Not Now, Kiddo
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: The comic occasionally makes use of overlapping panels.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The Dwarves don't look really diverse.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The Elves are a formidable and intelligent race compared to others (well, the latter until we know of the more technologically advanced Guardians) but alone they cannot defeat Nicodemus whom they dislike the most.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The mermaids of Naroobi have blue and purple skin, and can temporarily turn other creatures into mermaids via a kiss. Mermaids can go above the surface, but have to remain immersed in water to survive.
  • Parental Abandonment: Nastajia's parents disappeared searching for the tablets with Dreamland's true history recorded on them.
  • Pirate: Yep. Whole crew of 'em. With Airships.
  • Plot Coupon: The tablets. Quickly derailed when Nicodemus destroys the last one.
  • Portal Network: Abbadon builds one, linking the Nightmare Realm to places all over Earth as part of Gilgamesh's plan to Take Over the World. Merlin proceeds to destroy it.
  • Power Glows: Felicity coincidentally stole an amulet that allows the gang to find the Plot Coupons only because of this.
    Felicity: Well it was glowing too! Kind of hard to miss!
  • Power of Friendship: Hearing of Nicole's letter causes Felicity to finally regain the will to live and get better.
  • Power Nullifier: Fear causes powers humans have such as flying in Dreamland to be ineffective. The Pirates rely on this to kidnap many children easily.
  • The Promise: Alex makes one to Orion to train into a better warrior fit to battle Nicodemus. He also makes a crucial one to Nastajia's parents to bring Nastajia back safely to Ashendel for a reunion, this proves to be his ultimate undoing as in response to his stubbornness on upholding it, Nicodemus revokes the very curse that allowed Alex on Dreamland in the first place by loophole.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: As mention, all royals are key figures in the major battles occurring throughout Dreamland.
  • Sacred Hospitality: The Mermaids treat Nastajia well even though she is a controversial figure in wider Dreamland politics.
  • Saying Too Much: After fatally poisoning Felicity in the temple where The Tablet of the Guardians is kept wraiths of the Nightmare Realm who destroyed nearly all of the Tigrin indulge in some Evil Gloating, telling the golems guarding the temple trying to protect the last one that they are invulnerable so long as they are wrapped in shadows. Guess what the golems do next.
  • Shining City: Ashendel, The city of the Elves. Its view from a distance is truly gorgeous.
  • Shown Their Work: The author knows his dreams.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Fraternal twin brothers Alex and Dan. Alex puts up a good fight in Dreamland and springs to action easily while Daniel is more of a tactician and is reserved.
  • Sky Pirate: Pirates from the Nightmare Realm get around in flying wooden ships. They go about Dreamland kidnapping children and selling them to Abbadon.
  • Some Call Me "Tim"
  • Subject 101: Dan recommends Nobility 101 to Alex to improve his relationship with Nastajia.
  • Tell Me About My Parents: Nastajia learns her parents visited the mermaid king on their quest for the tablets.
  • Title Drop: Alex's brother Dan wrote up his stories as The Dreamland Chronicles.
    "I remember these! You called them my Dreamland Chronicles! Ha ha!"
  • Thicker Than Water:
    • Daniel is the first one to believe in Alex's experiences despite lack of actual proof because he's his brother.
    • Alex goes for the pirates the instant he realises that they are attacking where his cousin Joey is right now.
  • True Companions: Alex says that he, Kiwi and Paddington are these to her as long as her parents are absent.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Dan, Alex, and Nicole. Starts off with the two brothers and then Nicole gets introduced a few chapters in.
  • Unhand Them, Villain!: Alex tells the captain of the pirates this when he threatens Alex's cousin Joey to a sheer drop.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend
  • Weakened by the Light: The wraiths appear to be among the most powerful of the Nightmare Realm's forces. But they can be rendered vulnerable by ordinary sunlight.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In the flashback to Arthur's time, both Arthur and Nicodemus seem like this. Arthur just wants to show his enemies the peace in Dreamland to demonstrate they can make their own utopia, however, he knows all to well this could cause a war with the Nightmare Realm, but he at least demonstrates an attack of conscience, being forced to make a choice between potentially seeing Camelot fall and potentially causing a war in Dreamland. His eventual decision to go through with the plan comes with a heavy I Did What I Had to Do vibe. Nicodemus is firmly stuck on making sure the latter does not happen at any cost, ultimately betraying Arthur. While neither are fully in the right, Arthur is a lot more sympathetic, being idealistic and actually considering his options while Nicodemus is fully convinced that Arthur's plan will not work anyway as he thinks Humans Are Bastards by nature. It's later revealed that Ramesses II had attempted a plan much the same as Arthur's which ended in disaster, making Nicodemus' position more understandable...but Nicodemus had been deceived by Abbadon as to why it had been a disaster.
  • We Will Meet Again
  • What Is Evil?: Nicodemus muses on evil and good after Alex recalled that, in response to Nicodemus demanding where the Sword of the Kings is, he referred to it as "evil" when they first met. He uses it as Evil Gloating to prove his authority as he gets to decide whether something is evil or good.
    Nicodemus: Evil? Who is to say what is good and what is evil? Good to one may be considered evil to another.
  • You Are Not Alone: Orion, the leader of the Centaurs pledges this to Alex given that with being King of Dreamland Comes Great Responsibility in both the real world and Dreamland. He then gives him a medicine bag that allows things from the real world to be transferred to Dreamland.

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