The Waking Nightmare (Exterreri exsomnum) is a fearsome beast, literally: its primary defense is its ability to petrify its enemies with fear. They are shape-shifting beasts and will change into whatever scares their opponents the most. The idea is to give the terrified heroines or heroes the illusion that they're trapped in a nightmare from which they cannot escape, a nightmare of the day, a waking nightmare…
There are only a few ways to beat these guys:
- Fight them in a team, as while the not-too-smart Waking Nightmare won’t be able to decide which of you to scare first, you will have some time to deliver a few blows. (Don’t do this if you both have the same fears.)
- Be completely blotto, as this makes one fearless, leaving the Waking Nightmare with absolutely no moves. This method is however very tricky, and potential dangerous, as a drunken heroines or heroes will most likely fall of a cliff, wander around or fall asleep next to the Waking Nightmare, who will calmly wait until the heroine or hero wakes up sober (and with a huge headache).
If a heroine or hero ever comes across a Waking Nightmare without a friend nearby or a bottle of cheap booze, she or he should either run away as fast as they can (this only works if they are afraid of slow creatures, like gigantic snails or something), or lie down in the fetal position, thinking of happy things, and pray that their god is nearby enough to save them (or more likely to resurrect them a bit later, since that is easier and cheaper).
- Fangs and claws, poison or huge muscles, since nobody is afraid of weaklings, whatever form Waking Nightmares may take they will never be without deadly weapons.
- Has the ability to foresee upcoming attacks, unless they are distracted by something they have never seen before. Since they live extremely long, it’s hard to come up with something original. (Things like donkeys in togas and heroes in tutus are already used more than once.)
- Almost always has thick armor and a lot of HP, which means that, if you have found the courage to fight him, you will have to do so quite some time before he is actually defeated (there are reports of battles that lasted 3 days in a row).
- In a circle 84 feet wide, they can control the environment, like making roots appear out of nowhere to make the heroine or hero trip.
- Not the smartest creatures alive, if you are able to stay calm (which is extremely unlikely) you can easily fool them.
- They have to change into your worst nightmare, so if you encounter one in a narrow cave, while being afraid of giants… (Lets not get too explicit, there might be little children reading this.)
- Extremely insecure. Tell them they suck at scaring people and they might run away crying. (Or rip you into tiny pieces.)
- Although it won’t actually help in battle, the Waking Nightmare is known to feel uneasy if surrounded by smileys.