Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Order vs. Anarchy

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“Law and Chaos, two diametrically opposed sides, no one will refute this.  However, what oddities and secrets do they hold?  Why, I’m happy to show you.  While I have covered a little on Pandemonium and Acheron, it’s only fair to look at the other mostly-neutral planes of Law and Chaos… plus a few looks at other related realms, and a few returns to some less than savory burgs and blights.  But, all in the name of granting knowledge to you, fair scholar!” – An introductory speech for Ramon’s Lecture on Planes of Law and Chaos, at the Civic Festhall, in the Clerk’s Ward of Sigil

Planes of Law, rules taken physical form!  While Acheron has shown the order of war at its most harsh, there is far more to explore within the possibilities of Law.  One must account for concepts of atruism, unity, conformity and direction.  While these topics can overlap between planes; they all have their respective places.  Likewise, their inevitable counterpart is the eternal testament to disorder.  The Planes of Chaos are a lack of rules turned physical.  Chaos need not be just madness, like Pandemonium.  Plenty of free thinkers are driven by many other passions.  These don’t have to be completely selfish either.  Some people just want a good time, consequences be damned!  Others just want free reigns to express themselves, judgements be damned.  So, as these two forces butt heads, let’s take a deeper look at some overviews as well as some of my own dug up finds.  Join me as I return to the planes once again!

Author’s Note: More Planes!  This time Law vs. Chaos.  This was a fun chance to revisit my fey post from last Summer!  (Shout out to Brynvalk for partially inspiring this brief revival!) Also, yes, Augmental probably won’t see use in MOST sane campaigns, considering it’s supposed to be a blend of Phyrexia, Hellraiser and H.R. Giger art in a blender.  Though, I can hope some more tongue-in-cheek segments make up for my usual delves into grimdark.

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ZOMBIES! – Variants of the Dead (Reanimated)

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The living dead.  What brings about such perversions of life?  Rituals derived from dark sorceries imbue a dreadful force into corpses, creating a puppet bound in necromantic power.  These zombies are crafted by the spells and rituals of adept necromancers, aiming to create a slave or build an army.  Plagues created by the most vile of creatures corrupt and sicken victims, eventually overwhelming them and turning them into walking diseases of their own right.  These are often accidents, potentially prevented by proper preparation rather than giving into hysterical campaigns.  Even alien horrors have their means of parasitically bonding to a host, creating their own version of zombie.  Some of these victims aren’t just alive, they have some level of consciousness.  However, not all origins are evil.  Some were created as punishment at the hands of powerful spiritual priests.  However, the zombie created by necromancy is by far the most common sight.

No matter their sources, the terror of the zombie is a known one.  Shuffling corpses, either confused by their existence or enraged by it, find themselves at odds with the living.  Some of these abominations are at the whims of a mad master.  Others are distorted by outside forces, left to rampage against all in their wake.  And even worse, the zombie will never give up.  While it is devoid of emotion or any ideology, the zombie is relentless until it’s impossible for it to continue.  Some will fight until literally falling apart.  Converted into killing machines, these mockeries of life are a blight to all who are haunted by their presence.

Author’s Note: I’m back.  Pardon these disappearances.  Things have been a little rough, I’ll spare the details.  In addition, I haven’t been happy with a lot of things, hobbies included.  That’s made it a little harder to work on these posts.  Admittedly, one of things keeping me going is created content for settings that WotC has forgotten.  The people deserve to learn at least a little about these cool places!  Anyway, here’s my updated take on some variant zombies!  Ooooh, spooky!  Also, to the one of my friends who wanted me to tack on a tacky coronavirus reference on this?  You’re welcome.

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Humanity Restored

No, I’m not doing some conversion of Dark Souls.  Besides, I’d use either an OSR system or an entirely different one.  But rather, I needed time away from D&D, sad as that may be.  It helped a fair bit.  Plus, the recent announcement made me realize that it’s probably up to fans like me to keep classic settings alive. Granted, I’ve been doing that with the my slowly updated takes on various monsters from Planescape and Spelljammer.  Plus, I plan on both porting classic ideas while making some new ones…  Sub-Classes, Races, Planar mechanics (refit to make sense within 5E), perhaps even my own take on Spelljammers.  I don’t know.  I don’t want to get too ambitious, I’ve self-destructed from such things before.

And while I don’t bother buying anymore WotC products (and have admittedly sold most of my books), I’ll stick around.  In time, I’ll try to balance another system.  I’ve been shopping around for whichever feels right.  A generic system like the current edition of Savage Worlds might be the way to go, I won’t lie.

As always, thanks for sticking around.  And don’t worry, I’m not going hollow.

Ramon’s Guide to more Incredible Planes

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Some planar experiences are weird.

Salutations, friends.  Following my excursion into the depths and chronicling unseen sights of the lower planes, I return once more!  Consider this entry and future presentation and addendum to many previous treks across many realities.  At this point, I have become rather adept to the dangers beyond.  But, for the enterprising primer looking to handle all that the planes can offer, hopefully I can pass plenty of advice and knowledge on.  So please, travel with me (in spirit) as I unravel more mysteries and wonders floating beyond the prime material plane.

Author’s Note: More planes abound!  I wanted to return to my idea of the Hag Countess ascending, what an aftermath would be like.  Also, I recalled that 4th Edition touched on Evard a few times, so it’s worth taking some notes from various later creations (such as a somewhat obscure Dungeon adventure) for inspiration.  Hopefully, I can find myself back in the swing of things as well.  I haven’t been nearly as motivated in the new year, but I’ll see what I can do.

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Horrors of Xoriat – Daelkyrspawn

Xoriat, a realm of unspeakable evil. The native Daelkyr reside here, experts of sickening fleshcraft. Among their works were legions of warped and disfigured abominations, the daelkyrspawn. These things were once captured forces of Material plane fleets, the very races that attempted to repel the nightmarish plane. While Xoriat’s connection was ultimately severed from the list of coterminous planes, countless creatures were abducted and transformed into the sickening puppets of today. While many are simply stranded in the Prime Material, some seek methods of returning the tether to Xoriat and continuing the invasion from so long ago. Many of these atrocities prepare for battle in the depths of the dark realm of Khyber. From this hideaway, they all ready for an onslaught in the name of their aberrant creators.

Some, like the dolgaunt, for monastic cells to prepare a tactical strike. Other abominations are far simpler and mindlessly assault all creatures that may move too close to their grasp. Either way, their psychologies are far too detached from the mortal realm to properly figure what their current goal or aspiration is.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: More Eberron once more. Here is an updated take on my version of the Daelkyrspawn from a ways back. Also, if I may hop on my soap box. Please, support Exploring Eberron over Rising from the Last War. The former is purely Keith Baker’s voice, not the sanitized version released by Wizards of the Coast. So much was watered down to fit their new market model, but the guild allows fans to recapture what WotC decided to leave behind.  Back to this post, I realize an official Choker was published, but I always found them neat and weird… so they’re remade here too from their original days.

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Ramon’s Guide to the Lower Planes

Just… do as she says.  Fewer people get hurt that way.  Also, please don’t bring up Gehenna!  Other ‘loths anger her.  She won’t say why!

“The multiverse, she is a cruel mistress.  For much time, things have looked up for me.  But for so long, my luck is rather dreadful.  While my poems and records will be the stuff of legends, a break from this figurative and literal hells would be quite nice too!  I preferred my luck with just the King of the Cross-Trade in Sigil.” – Ramon DeLeon, Planar Traveling Bard

 

Of Bards and Bad Places

While I assure you that not all planes are mortifying and deadly, I tend to have rather bad luck.  This luck has sunk even lower, finding myself in the dark planes of the fiends.  Races of creatures built from pure literal evil, formed into physical manifestations.  Only the most noble and just and survive a trek into these wretched places.  As I can assure that I’m not, I have my work truly cut out for me.

Let us discuss The Lower Planes of the Great Wheel.  This is a place for not just creatures made of evil, but the most equally evil souls that find themselves punished or harvested for the creation of more fiends.  The most worthy petitioners even gain the chance to become fiends of their own!  To make matters more hostile, each plane has its own challenges within the environments themselves.  Acidic air, dueling erupting fissures, grey murk and more await the most intrepid and foolish of explorers.

Now, where do I fit into this?  A valid question!  An attempted escape from strange realities proved rather flawed.  My grasp on the planes is quite good, within my rules of reality.  Parallel versions of the Wheel has all sorts of alterations, to say the least.  With some level of luck, this is the “true reality”, however escaping the Lower Planes proves to be far harder than expected.  Even any portals and keys that should work mysteriously fail.  Well, through narrowly dodging fiends and escaping hostile environments, I’ve found my way across the Planes Below.  Impossible as it may be, I find myself not too damaged by this.  But, a Planeswalker has already seen a lot, no?

Author’s Note: I’ve been feeling a little down, so things have slowed a bit as a result.  Plus, I junked a previous post that I couldn’t find myself completing, which slowed things down more.  My apologies.  Anyway, here is something I have been sitting on for a while.  My Look at the Planes have focused too much on Ramon flailing about and finding danger, rather than describing locations and happenings in the planes, with Ramon as your guide.  Let me change that.  Also, I figure I may as well toss out a reference to the recent adventure.  In addition, plenty of references to classic D&D lore, as well as my own mad musings.

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Great Evils of the Underworld – Killer Fiends

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Behold, The Lower Planes!  These are places of divine punishment, the quarantine zones for the foulest evil next to Ravenloft, these lower planes are the birthplace of The Fiends and so much more.  It is inhospitable, destructive and the ultimate test upon the good soul!  Petitioners who find themselves upon these planes more often than not deserve their grim fates.  Those who fell into these lands of evil?  Far more sympathetic.  Many were merely curious travelers and clueless primers; now burning against the fiery walls of The Hells or within the acid swamps deep in Carceri.  – Ramon DeLeon, Plane Traveling bard

Within the Great Wheel, there are countless forces embodying equally countless ideas and visions.  Within the Lower Planes, evil thrives.  The Lower Planes contain Baator (the Nine Hells), The Smoking Towers of Gehenna, The Grey Wastes of Hades, The Tartaran Prisons of Carceri and the Endless Layers of the Abyss.  To some, the Eternal Battlefields of Acheron and the Howling Tunnels of Pandemonium certainly count too.  Whether or not they’re accounted for, the rest of this linked macrocosm is the most interaction forms of evil one could hope to find.  The Lower Planes are the home to true oppression, savagery, malice and more.  Each fiendish creature has their own way of causing ruin to all around them.

The powers of the Lower Planes are simply evil incarnate.  The Primer usually has a surface level idea of what horrors lie beneath.  Sure, some make their holy orders to fight off whatever might spill onto the prime, but that’s a mere trickle compared to the raging torrent on the Outer Planes.  Devils, Demons and other fiends have more than earned their dark reputations.  Even those who have prepared to take on these twisted adversaries have found themselves either falling in battle or falling in principles.  The pull of Evil is sometimes that strong.  Careful on your own journeys.

Author’s Note: FIENDS!  A lot of this post was because of the latest adventure for 5th Edition.  While I wasn’t a fan of the recent module, “Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus”, I always look for an excuse to tackle all means of demons, devils and more.  So, there you have it!  So, let’s dive into the worst places imaginable to ring in 2020!  As the new year continues, let us descend into the void.  Well, in gaming, at least.

EDIT: The url was “__trashed”?  Aww, come on!  I’m usually better at spotting things than that.  But, the cat’s out of the bag.  I originally wasn’t gonna do this.  But, I’m glad I changed my mind.  I don’t wanna screw with the URL though, as it’ll mess up all links.

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