The Dreamcatcher imp is a construct given life that mainly resides in the darker swamplands of the forest, capable of moving nightmares into the realm of reality.
BiologyEditDreamcatcher imps are created from wooden, hollow dolls, brought to life with a demon's spell. They are roughly ten to fifteen centimetres tall not counting the tail, and are nimble and quick on their feet despite what their appearance would suggest. They feed on bad dreams and the emotions caused by them, gathering these things within their bodies. Their tail is made of energy and its length responds to how fed they are as well as the dormant negative emotions of their host.
The items tied to their branches, particularly the red glass orbs, focus their powers and help them gather dreams. It is thanks to these that they are capable of a very dangerous task; they are able to use gathered energy to turn someone's nightmares into reality. These nightmares are incredibly dangerous and often end in the host's death, as anything that happens in the dream causes real wounds.
Their life force seems to be tied to the branches on their heads; if all are broken or removed, the imp dies and resumes to be a regular wooden ward. Even if all branches are returned and the items upon them replaced, it will remain as a wooden ward until awoken by another imp.
Dreamcatcher imps lack intelligence and thus operate purely on instinct, communicating through jingling and chiming similar to that of a windchime. The only cries they emit are short and weak sounds in times of distress.
Often spread apart and alone, they can tell if someone is plagued by nightmares or traumas and will follow this person in secret, feeding on their nightmares when they rest. They get greedy, however, and with time they pull the person's nightmares into the real world in order to feed constantly. Often, the host is eventually killed by these dreams and the dreamcatcher imp moves on. Thankfully, as doing such takes energy from them, they only do this to those with particularly severe or horrible nightmares in order to gain more than they lose from doing so.
They are skittish and shy, and will keep away from groups of people and flee if too many appear. They need to focus and stay nearby to keep the nightmare up, so interfering in a nightmare will often make it dissipate as the imp runs from the area. They will run if found and avoid confrontation at any cost, but if cornered or too frightened may also spend a large amount of their energy to pull their pursuer's nightmares into reality in order to stall them and escape.
To avoid being found the dreamcatcher imps often sit in high places, using their tail to stabilize themselves by wrapping it around the item they sit on if it's narrow, as their tiny limbs don't do much for their balance.
They can sense if another has died from a very large distance, and killing one will attract others. This isn't to retrieve the body or mourn it - they can smell the nightmare energy filling the dead one's hollow body, appearing as an intangible black air, and are attracted by the free meal. If the dead imp's body is whole and its branches decorated the new ones will be drawn to speak with it and breathe a spell into it to bring it back to life; but if it is broken, or branches or decorations are missing, they will simply ignore what it is and eat the dreams it contains.
To be added.
In the town where they were created, Dreamcatcher imps were made to be nightmare warding dolls. They were to hang from the ceiling, thus the groove in their neck, and it was believed to be a blessing when they came alive. Not owning one was considered a sign of misfortune, as was harming or chasing them away. They are made there even now, although as the townspeople don't suffer many nightmares most of them leave.
As long as red glass orbs are part of their decorations, you could theoretically put any kind of decorations on your imp. It's fully possible to deck one out in christmas tree decor.
Dreamcatcher imps carry several different names and different information depending on the language they have been documented in. They have been named "Nightmare Voyeur", "Black Dream Creator", and many names like it. As well, often information in these tales are limited, making it difficult to properly research the creature.