Dream Cycle

The Dream Cycle is a series of short stories and novellas by author H. P. Lovecraft[1] (1890–1937). Written between 1918 and 1932, they concern themselves with the "Dreamlands", a vast, alternate dimension that can only be entered via dreams.

A map of Lovecraft's "Dreamworld" by Jack Gaughan (1967).


The Dreamlands are apparently divided into four regions:

  • The West contains the Steps of Deeper Slumber (descended via the "Cavern of Flame") and the Enchanted Woods, by which many enter the Dreamlands. Other points of interest include the port of Dylath-Leen, one of the Dreamlands' largest cities; the town of Ulthar, "where no man may kill a cat";[2] the coastal jungle city of Hlanith; and the desert trading capital Illarnek. Here lies the fabled Land of Mnar, whose gray stones are etched with signs and where rise the ruins of the great Sarnath.
  • The South, home of the isle of Oriab and the areas known as the Fantastic Realms (described in "The White Ship").
  • The East, home of Celephaïs, a city dreamt into being by its monarch Kuranes, greatest of all recorded dreamers, and the dangerous Forbidden Lands.
  • The North, location of the feared Plateau of Leng, home of man-eating spiders and the satyr-like "Men of Leng".[3]

Other locales include the Underworld, a subterranean region underneath the Dreamlands inhabited by various monsters; the Moon, accessible via a ship and inhabited by toad-like "moon-beasts" allied with Nyarlathotep; and Kadath, a huge castle atop a mountain and the domain of the "Great Ones", the gods of Earth's Dreamland.

Evidently all dreamers see the Dreamlands slightly differently, as Atal, High Priest of Ulthar, mentions that everyone has their own dreamland. In the same sentence he says the Dreamlands that many know is a "general land of vision".


  • The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death. Del Rey, 1985.[4][5]


  • Harms, Daniel (1998). "Dreamlands". The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: Chaosium. pp. 89–91. ISBN 1-56882-119-0.
  • Brian Lumley wrote his own Dreamlands books as well, beginning with "Hero of Dreams".
  • Myers, Gary (1975). House of the Worm. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN 0-87054-071-8.
  • Myers, Gary (2013). The Country of the Worm: Excursions Beyond the Wall of Sleep. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781484801970.
  • Jonathan L. Howard (2011). Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute. Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0755347995.
  • Multiple Authors (2016). Kill Those Damn Cats - Cats of Ulthar Lovecraftian Anthology. First United Church of Cthulhu. ISBN 978-1535073677.


  1. ^ James Turner (ed.) (1998). Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (1st ed.). New York, NY: Random House. cover blurb. ISBN 0-345-42204-X.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "The Cats of Ulthar" by H. P. Lovecraft
  3. ^ "The Hound" by H. P. Lovecraft
  4. ^ The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists
  5. ^ The H.P. Lovecraft Archive

External links


Azathoth is a deity in the Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle stories of writer H. P. Lovecraft and other authors. He is the ruler of the Outer Gods.


Bhole may refer to:

Bhole (Cthulhu mythos), massive fictional creatures of the Dreamlands in the Dream cycle of H. P. Lovecraft

Jyotsna Keshav Bhole (1914–2001), Marathi stage artist and singer

Keshav Vaman Bhole (1896–1967), Indian music composer and film critic

Suresh Damu Bhole, Indian politician, member of the 13th Maharashtra Legislative Assembly

Bhole, character from the 2008 Indian film Bhole Shankar


"Celephaïs" () is a fantasy story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in early November 1920 and first published in the May 1922 issue of the Rainbow. The title refers to a fictional city that later appears in Lovecraft's Dream Cycle, including his novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926).


Dylath-Leen is a fictional city in H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle and appears in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926) and Brian Lumley's short story Dylath-Leen.It is built mostly of basalt, and its streets are both dark and uninviting. It is one of the most mysterious cities in Lovecraft's Dreamlands. The citizens buy rubies from strange, turbaned men in sinister black galleys (whose rowers are never seen), though the famous dreamer Randolph Carter has advised against this practice. In the Lumley story this plot-line is continued, with a new dreamer discovering that the moon-beasts have finally taken over the city, despite Carter's warnings.

High Priest Not to Be Described

The High Priest Not to Be Described (Elder Hierophant, Tcho-Tcho Lama of Leng) is a fictional character in H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. He first appeared in the Lovecraft short story "Celephaïs" (1920).

Kenneth Wayne Bushnell

Kenneth Wayne Bushnell (born 1933) is an American visual artist, who was born in Los Angeles. He earned a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1958, and then moved to Hawaii, where he received an MFA from the University of Hawaiʻi in 1961. He taught painting at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa from 1961 to 1981, and was appointed chairman of the Art Department in 1991. He married fellow artist Helen Gilbert (1922 - 8 April 2002) in 1995. Bushnell is now a professor emeritus, living in Honolulu.

Bushnell is best known for his geometric abstract paintings, although his work also includes sculpture, light sculptures, wall reliefs, films, multimedia theater and environmental designs. His acrylic painting on cotton from 1982, Double Square Series No. 6 is in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art. It is typical of his geometric abstract paintings. For more than 25 years, Bushnell has been working on the Euclidean Dream Cycle which is built upon equilateral triangles and arcs of its altitude. The Bibliothèque nationale de France, the British Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) are among the public collections holding work by Kenneth Wayne Bushnell.


Kuranes (also King Kuranes) is a fictional character in H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. He was introduced in the short story "Celephaïs" (1922) and also appeared in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926).

Kuranes was a great dreamer and made frequent visits to the Dreamlands. In the waking world, he was of landed gentry in Cornwall, but as his fortunes declined he retreated into fantasy and drug use, eventually dying impoverished and homeless. In his dreams, he created the city of Celephaïs, the valley of Ooth-Nargai, in which Celephaïs was situated, and presumably the cloud city of Serannian, which was connected with Celephaïs. After he died he became the king and chief god of Celephaïs. He didn't care for the pomp and grandeur of Dreamland court life, and preferred to live most of the time in a nearby area he created to resemble the house and land in Cornwall where he had lived as a boy.

He is the only dreamer who has gone to the outermost void "where no dreams reach", that is the court of Azathoth, and survived with both life and sanity intact.

Kuranes has also appeared in Lovecraftian pastiches by authors such as Brian Lumley. Lumley's characters David Hero and Eldin the Wanderer eventually become agents for Kuranes.

Men of Leng

The Men of Leng are a fictional race in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft.Leng are the primitive, satyr-like inhabitants of the Plateau of Leng in the Dreamlands. They are mentioned throughout Lovecraft's Dream Cycle, especially in the novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926).

The Men of Leng appear in The Clock of Dreams and Mad Moon of Dreams, by Brian Lumley.

The ruined city of Sarkomand was their former capital.

The Men of Leng are included in the Pathfinder RPG, where they are known as the Denizens of Leng, a race of creatures who sail across the planes of existence in great black ships, trading strange, flawless rubies and exotic goods from the Realm of Dreams for mortal slaves, to be taken back to Leng for unknown reasons.


Moon-beasts are creatures in H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. They are “great greyish-white slippery things which could expand and contract at will, and whose principal shape — though it often changed — was that of a sort of toad without any eyes, but with a curious vibrating mass of short pink tentacles on the end of its blunt, vague snout” (The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Lovecraft). They live on the dark side of the Dreamlands' moon which, unlike the moon of the waking world, has great forests and oily seas.

The moon-beasts sail black galleys between the moon and the Dreamlands, trading rubies for both slaves and gold, at the port of Dylath-Leen. When there, they employ the Men of Leng, disguised in turbans, as their go-between and stay hidden below deck, lest the merchants of Dylath-Leen learn the terrible secret of with whom they are dealing.


Nightgaunts (also Night-Gaunt or night-gaunt) are a fictional race in the Cthulhu Mythos and is also part of H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. The creatures appear in the poem "Night-Gaunts" and the novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, both by Lovecraft.

Randolph Carter

Randolph Carter is a recurring fictional character in H. P. Lovecraft's fiction and is, presumably, an alter ego of Lovecraft himself. The character first appears in "The Statement of Randolph Carter", a short story Lovecraft wrote in 1919 based on one of his dreams. An American magazine called The Vagrant published the story in May 1920.

Carter shares many of Lovecraft's personal traits: He is an uncelebrated author, whose writings are seldom noticed. A melancholy figure, Carter is a quiet contemplative dreamer with a sensitive disposition, prone to fainting during times of emotional stress. But he can also be courageous, with enough strength of mind and character to face and foil the horrific creatures of the Dreamlands, as described in the stories of the Dream Cycle.


Sarkomand is a fictional city in H.P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle stories, first mentioned in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.A ruined city on the northern shore of the Cerenerian Sea in the Dreamlands, it is described as being inhabited by the Men of Leng and was supposedly the capital of this race's realm in the distant past before they were conquered by the moon-beasts. The most prominent feature of Sarkomand is the Winged Lions guarding the trapdoor beneath which a spiral staircase descends into the Dark Abyss of the Dreamlands' underworld.

The city's name may have been inspired by Samarkand.

Sleep cycle

The sleep cycle is an oscillation between the slow-wave and REM (paradoxical) phases of sleep. It is sometimes called the ultradian sleep cycle, sleep–dream cycle, or REM-NREM cycle, to distinguish it from the circadian alternation between sleep and wakefulness. In humans this cycle takes 1–2 hours.

The Doom that Came to Sarnath

"The Doom that Came to Sarnath" (1920) is a fantasy short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. It is written in a mythic/fantasy style and is associated with his Dream Cycle. It was first published in The Scot, a Scottish amateur fiction magazine, in June 1920.

The Doom That Came to Sarnath and Other Stories is also the title for a collection of short stories by Lovecraft, first published in February 1971.

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is a novella by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Begun probably in the autumn of 1926, the draft was completed on January 22, 1927 and it remained unrevised and unpublished in his lifetime. It is both the longest of the stories that make up his Dream Cycle and the longest Lovecraft work to feature protagonist Randolph Carter. Along with his 1927 novel The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, it can be considered one of the significant achievements of that period of Lovecraft's writing. The Dream-Quest combines elements of horror and fantasy into an epic tale that illustrates the scope and wonder of humankind's ability to dream.

The story was published posthumously by Arkham House in 1943. Currently, it is published by Ballantine Books in an anthology that also includes "The Silver Key" and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key." The definitive version, with corrected text by S. T. Joshi, is published by Arkham House in At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels and by Penguin Classics in The Dreams in the Witch-House and Other Weird Stories.

The Enchanted Wood (H. P. Lovecraft)

The Enchanted Woods is a fictional place in H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle, in Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath novella. Its main inhabitants are the zoogs. Located in the Dreamlands, it contains a unique, haunted tree whose seed originally came from the moon. This tree's sap can be fermented to create a potent drink. A stone trapdoor in these woods leads to the top of the Tower of Koth and from there into the kingdom of the Gugs in the Underworld. However, because of a curse of the Great Ones, no Gug may exit through this portal.

The House of the Worm

The House of the Worm is a collection of stories by author Gary Myers. It was published in 1975 by Arkham House in an edition of 4,144 copies and was the author's first book. The book is a stylistic pastiche of H. P. Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany, and may be seen as an expansion of Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. While presented as a novel of the Cthulhu Mythos, it is, in fact, a collection of linked stories.

The first of these stories, "The House of the Worm," was included (as "The Feast in the House of the Worm") in Lin Carter's anthology New Worlds for Old (1971), the thirty-fifth volume in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. All ten stories were included in Myers's 2013 collection, The Country of the Worm.


Ulthar is both a fictional town and a fictional deity. The town of Ulthar is part of H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle, appearing in such stories as The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926), "The Cats of Ulthar" (1920) and "The Other Gods" (1933).

The town is also the starting point for The Dream Quest of Vellit Boe, a 2016 novel by Kij Johnson which makes significant use of Lovecraft's Dream Cycle.


Yog-Sothoth is a cosmic entity in the fictional Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Yog-Sothoth's name was first mentioned in Lovecraft's novel The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (written 1927, first published 1941). The being is said to take the form of a conglomeration of glowing spheres.

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