Even before there were Gods, there were Spirits. Spirits inhabited and animated everything in the natural world: every tree had its Dryad, every wave in the ocean its Naiad, every Jungle animal its Loa, every mountain its Kami. Even after the rise of Gods and the realization of the One God behind them all, many people saw God or the Gods as too la-di-da to bother with mere mortals such as themselves, and saught intercession on their behalf by saints and spirits, rather than praying to the Gods directly. Western mages forgot these spirits as Christianity and Islam took hold, and as the Order of Reason slowly but surely gained its stranglehold over the collective subconscious, the spirits retreated to the less developed parts of the world. When the Council of Nine Mystical Traditions was founded in 1466, even most of the mages gathered to oppose the Order of Reason had been so infected by Rationalist thought that the mages who represented the Shamanistic traditions of Mongolian and African tribes, Native Americans, Polynesian islanders, Australian Aborigines, Southeast Asian Hill Peoples, and even the few remaining Pagan Vikings were all lumped together into one large and fractious catch-all tradition. Viewing this as racism, many representatives of these groups quit in disgust and tried to go it alone. But over the ensuing centuries, the growing power of the Order of Reason and the Technocracy forced most of them back into the arms of the Council, and into the ranks of the Dreamspeakers.
Decimated again and again by expansion of European Colonizers, and the Missionaries, Diseases, and Technologies they brought with them, the numbers and power of the Dreamspeakers steadily declined. Technocracy-inspired efforts to corral their tribes onto reservations, force them into Mission Schools where they could be stripped not only of their religion, but of the very languages they needed to talk to their spirits, sapped their power further. The fact that many of these spirits were the same ones spoken to by Werecreatures in seach of magical gifts explains much of the bad blood between Werecreatures on the one hand, and mages in general and the Technocracy in particular on the other. Finally managing to stabilize their numbers and make some inroads into modern society by piggybacking on the spiritualist and neo-pagan revival following World War Two, the Dreamspeakers remained one of the most disorganized, fractious, and least powerful wings of the Traditions.
Gehenna and BeyondEdit
When Gehenna suddenly increased their numbers and power once more, the Dreamspeakers leapt at the chance to fight their hated Technocracy enemies. But they had no more sucess against the modern weapons of the new Tech Infantry than they had found against the muskets and steel of the Conquistadores five centuries earlier. Cut down once more in massive numbers, the survivors were drafted into the Tech Infantry and forced to help rework their beloved Spirit Realm into the cold utility of Hyperspace. Those who could, fled to join the Resistance, but most dejectedly accepted their fate and became warriors for their oppressors, much as the Indian Scouts and Sepoys had among their ancestors. What little formal organization the Dreamspeakers had was destroyed along with the rest of the Resistance when Arthur Clarke crushed them after the Third Civil War.