Forgotten Lands & Dark Seas
“Of course, I have more notes. It’s the least I can do for your glorious donations to our information treasury. Of course, these are copies. The originals reside with my master, or at least his own private resources. Enjoy what I have to offer and don’t hesitate to ask questions. But, be careful what you ask.” The scribe continues to pour through his acquisitions, before giving a satisfied nod and granting you access to another set of information. “This begs the question, since you’ve done so much for our fair liege, surely you have shown interest in recruitment? He has sensed the future and knows one thing for certain… Doom awaits. Only his land and his hand can protect you. But first, the Blighted city must be dealt with. This “Death” is only an obstacle for greater victory.”
Author’s Note: A look at more aspects of the Demiplane of Dread. I never got around to this originally, as my focus was on the journey to Darkon more than anything. Enjoy my take on some more canon domains of Ravenloft, reaching beyond the Core and into the Nocturnal Sea and Sea of Sorrows. Also, since not much fleshed out Bluetspur, I got creative! Surprise, it’s a Spelljammer inspired domain now! Also, yes, I always thought Professor Arcanus was a stupid character.
Cultural Level: Hints of Medieval (7), but mostly ruins and Iron Age (3) societies surrounding them
Darklord: Tristan ApBlanc. Cursed from birth, his origins come from the Forfar hero Rivalin and his wife Flora. During an epic battle, Rivalin was cursed to be a vampire, one of the walking dead. Ashamed, but refused to fully give to darkness, he stayed by his love. Flora allowed some blood to be drained from her, even while she was pregnant. This tainted Tristan, making him a dhampir. Townspeople found out and eliminated both parents by a sacred tree, but not before Tristan was handed to a circle of druids. The priestess Rual oversaw his development, worried about his corrupt bloodline. A particularly violent conflict lead to Tristran trying to drink his surrogate mother’s blood, but she had prepared by drinking holy water. Both were deathly wounded, as she cursed him to always stay near the sacred tree. This altercation also made him into a “living vampire” known as a vampyr. His curse later lead to his demise, where he burned and became a ghost. Upon the next day, he would return to being a vampyre. He hid this as he started a family, with his evil leading to the demise of most of those around him. However, his final damnation was starting and prolonging a war against Clan ApFittle for supremacy over Forfar. Their collapse sealed the fate of the strange and cursed being. The Mists twisted majority of friends and foe alike into soulless abominations, the goblyns, to further the consequences of Tristan’s actions.
Forlorn is of little consequence to the greater Core cluster of domains, despite being the second domain in existence to manifest. Within the keep built around the sacred tree, Tristan plots to finally wipe out the druids associated with his adoptive mother. And more so, destroy the ghost of Rual to finally end his strange curse… or so he thinks. Tristan is only partially aware of his fate, as he will attempt to persuade interlopers to attack Rual to free the land from its curse. Other times, he will question the meaning of the strange mists and weird powers that manifest around his lands. None the less, he’ll do anything to at least escape into more of his homeland, what’s left of it. However, his missions to hunt down druids and intentionally destroy the forests make this less certain, at least if he can’t dissociate himself from the enslaved goblyns that carry his orders. His own castle suffers a unique curse though. Besides his jump between vampyr and ghost forms, the castle itself warps around time. Each room could jump between some distant past, the modern days of the Mists and some strange future. Some visitors have tried to warn the caretakers of the castle’s past about its future, but these attempts remain always futile. Doom is inevitable for the people of the land, with even the future making sure of that. Rooms and spaces within the domain’s future show a forgotten ruin where not even the Darklord can be found. Could this imply that his mission was a success? Perhaps he is defeated and his domain is lost.
Beyond Castle Tristenoira, there is little in the ways of civilization. The only thing that could be claimed nearly as such as the roaming druids, who claim ties to the land. By their claims, ancestral connects to sylvan lands and their spirit devotion saved them from the curse upon the lands. All others were far less lucky. Other than the druids, the accursed goblyns plague the ruins and beyond. The goblyn is a tragic creature of Forlorn, a dark magical slave reshaped and rebranded into a device for evil. Their dark secret has been claimed by many, including through the domains of Kartakass and possibly Barovia. The sinister realm of Daglan too sought its use during its brief time in The Mists. Little of the victim’s past life is remembered once they’ve been given their new green and disfigured body. It becomes little more than a vessel to perform and extend wicked deeds with. But, some have avoided this. The village of Forfarmax has built itself along the border of Kartakass, though some would claim it has appeared in Hazlan. It is very much a refuge of Forfar culture. While little develops within Forlorn, save for the plots of the druids to end their suffering and Tristen’s plot to end his curse, a couple things of note have occurred here. Barovian agents of Strahd caught rumor of ApBlanc, meeting him within his castle over a potential agreement. Should this come to pass, the druids will likely be doomed. Also, one pitiful creature lives in isolation within the domain. She is Ella the Half-Twisted. Half-Human and Half-Goblyn, a ritual prevented her from being fully consumed by the domain’s curse. Constantly at odds with herself, she researches methods to undo the goblyn curse, either liberating the affected with real life or with final death. Somehow stable enough to research for seemingly seven decades, her curse somehow preserves her alongside her many methods of strange incantations. However, she is still fearful of outsiders and isn’t against pushing them away. Another icon of note is Jander Sunstar, the cursed elven vampire who found himself awake int his domain after a great battle with Strahd von Zarovich. His whereabouts are mostly unknown, save for brief chronicles spotting him throughout the lands of the mists. Though, he did briefly return to this domain to fight alongside another cursed monster hunter by the name of Carnagan Wolfe. Some stories tell of the cursed elf in other realms, even beyond the Mists. But, considering this variations lack the burned hand, they are merely copies… and those who follow the copies often wind up in Barovia or this domain. One pulled victim proclaims that they were in Baator, the Nine Hells. It’s arguable that such a wicked place is worse, but The Mists are more subtle in their torment.
Cultural Level: Stone Age (1), with Markov’s residence being mostly Medieval (7)
Darklord: Dr. Frantisek Markov. Once a renowned surgeon of great skill and repute, something occurred to the doctor one day. To him, the flesh could be malleable and all things could be improved! Natural philosophy, anatomy and physiology were all things to play with and twist, and so Dr. Markov did. He was once born of a humble Barovian farming household. While daily tasks were a bore, he took great interest in slaughtering the pigs. Being butcher work, he’d enact all sorts of experiments, including vivisection. This lead him into his current study, where he often hid the gruesome details about his research. In time, his wife, Ludmilla, discovered him in the middle of his savage techniques. Realizing that he would be revealed, he captured and experimented on her. Eventually, her mangled body was found and he was chased from his home. It was here that the Mists granted him Markovia, once a nearby plot of land from Barovia.
Markovia, while still immensely intelligent, is very much a puppet of The Mists. He gained an uncanny knack for taking animal forms. But, his face remains the same. Worse so, he always seems to fail at something fully human. Thus, he uses a gorilla’s body to function adequately enough. His goals have shifted into experimenting on animals, in hopes of making them human. Through this, he can fully restore his own form back to normal. However, most of these beast-men degenerate back to their original selves. None the less, his mad surgery continues to rearrange flesh, bone and possibly even soul. The victim is twisted to something between man and beast, depending on what they were originally. Almost no humans can be found within the island, either because they were chased off, hunted or used for heinous experiments. And worse, he applies no means of anesthetic, making the procedures especially pain racking. However, the most loyal and most human-like can find themselves within “Dr. Fran’s” private court of sorts. The most hated are billed as forces of evil, like the rebel Akanga was. In the end, any friendliness is false. Dr. Fran seeks to exploit visitors into taking a fabled table of life from a society of eerie monks confined to their monastery. Should that not be enough, he’s liable to use any guests for his cruel and painful tests in the end.
A travel across story seas brings one to a remote and tropical island, jutting rocks emerge the deeper one goes. This island retreat is not one of salvation, but of mad butchery and diseased science. Markovia was once a cold and hilly retreat, near the Balinoks of Barovia. The Grand Conjunction removed the land, placing it in the far warmer Sea of Sorrows, where its current state resides. Grim cliffs still oversea much of the island, but this has shifted to the overlooking bay, rather than more sprawling rocks beyond Barovian territory. Within this new island, there are still many fascinating sights to see. Beyond Markov’s own manor, a beached wreck known as The Sunset Empires leaves much in the way of mystery. The Ludendorf captain embarked on an expedition that would claim most of the crew, save for a few explorers who took to venturing around the island. A shrines were erected in tribute to Markov, where Beast-Men revere Markov like a dark god. But, as for the Monastery? Many say it is a place of lost souls, within what was once Mt. Baratak. The guardians who oversee it have lost as much humanity as many of Dr. Fran’s victims, turned ancient dead in their devotion to protecting old artifacts. Terrifying stone statues of drowning people line the coasts, which remain a mystery to all, even the old monks of the monastery. While no settlements belonging to outsiders exist, one curious exception has made its case as of late. Following Akanga’s failed revolution against the doctor, an Outlander emerged onto the island. The man was a Priest and Mage who “walked the planes”. The mad acolyte of strange powers took to the ruined monastery, to the horror of the Guardian order still in the operating one. The priest believed in splitting the worst parts of one’s self from their best. This grew worse when the failed colony attempt of Lamordia brought news of the Alchemist Apparatus. The mad priest worked feverishly to create their own, especially from the scraps of the ruined settlement, while using his own divine gifts to thwart the angry beast-men and Markov alike. Testing it on a captured Broken One, he managed to pull the two into a halfling woman and a red fox, both imprisoned. His newest concern is how both have remained completely insane since the procedure, which he finds as a step to “curing” the “ailment” suffered by the Broken Ones. As of yet, Father Frozeki is disliked by all of the island, but retaliation against him has been low… for now.
Cultural Level: Classical (4) through Dark Ages (5)
Darklord: Yagno Petrovna. High Priest Yagno was born in 674 of the Barovian Calendar, to a family who held some sway within dominion borders. He was considered far more frail and awkward than the rest of his family, leaving a viable target for bullying and abuse from those around him. He attributed this to the internal madness of the family’s isolation as well as generations of incest. Delusions and trembling were early symptoms of Yagno’s worrying problems, worsening after his brothers left him stuck outside in the Barovian wilderness. After passing out in a cave, he awoke to the word “Zhakata”, which he interpreted as a force of protection. In truth, this was a practical joke of one of the brothers. But, for Yagno, it was a divine calling complete with rituals and sacrifices. When said brother was killed during one of his travels, Yagno was blamed. This worsened as more disappearances occurred until he was discovered preparing to sacrifice the infant of one of his sisters. Fleeing towards the mountains that once housed Markovia, he found himself in a new domain that understood his religious methods. While an all powerful theocrat, he is cursed to find himself in moments of doubt.
Zhakata lives! Or so, the high priest says! The Cult of Zhakata and the deity are both the delusion of Petrovna, not that he’s any the wiser, as he still gains clerical abilities. In ages past, two aspects of this religion were respected, that of the Destroyer and that of the Provider. The former was a harsh teacher, dedicated to self-sacrifice and fasting in order to become worthy. The latter involves the rewards of such virtue and saw much decline after strange events strained the mind of the High Priest himself. As such, the denizens are informed that the time of Providing will one day come after enough fasting and starvation is accomplished. They say when a non-believer or heretic is about to suffer the mongrelmen curse, strong windstorms kick up and violently batter the land. Doctrines from this and more make up the brutal theocracy that assumes order within this domain. While no longer found within the core, the domain maintains a cold and distant reaction to the potential unholiness of outsiders.
The hunger, desperation and zealotry can be seen throughout the lands. Awful mongrelmen, magically cursed mutants with mixed features, roam in madness and hungers of sorts. Many recall the pain that Petrovna and his ilk have inflicted on them, but many are also too lost within themselves to properly do anything about it. The Dun Pudding is another native horror, a disgusting and ominous ooze driven by malice and hunger. While rarely enjoyed by most of the common people, grapes are a common crop within the domain. Particular brands are wine are a specialty within the domain, but these are rarely used for celebration or indulgence within domain borders. Places like the Fertile Valley and Famine’s Fastness both speak to the cruel ironies of the domain, the latter filled with statues of this fabricated god. The House of Bones, a horrifying building constructed of literally bone, holds many dark secrets far beyond even the High Priest’s Cult. Rumors tell of a book housing details on a dark influence inside. It’s said that a wicked creature is responsible for souring the name of The Provider. This dark spirit has been known to reshape minions called “Altered” to do its bidding. The truth is this is that Petrovna hired a magician to conjure an aspect of Zhakata, only succeeding in summoning a fiend. While the mage was killed, the fiend was bound to the House of Bones, until he escaped for another match against the theocrat. This hasn’t helped his curse, causing him to compensate through more extreme rigidity.
The Nightmare Lands
Cultural Level: Incomprehensible (???), Stone Age (1) for Abbeer Nomads
Darklord(s): The Nightmare Court. The Realms of Dream were once normal playthings of the Court. But, this wasn’t enough for them. Through Dreams, they could access all. And through all, they could take hold of reality as they saw fit. Through Demiplanes of Dream and Dimensions of Nightmare, plots were stirred and preparations were made to rewrite not only the slumbering dream, but create a waking nightmare. Before they could bring their visions to the light, the Mists forced them into a distinct plot of land within the Core cluster. While they could still influence dreams well into distant demiplanes, they were no longer able to travel freely and experience their creations first hand. None the less, they remain among the most powerful forces within the demiplane as a whole. And should one escape their domain, they’ll still have you in their sight. In fact, minions beyond The Mists can still possibly heed their words, should one be lucky enough to even break from the mists. None the less, little is known of the court, save for The Nightmare Man being the most powerful of them all. However, he has been robbed of creativity and his own dreams, forcing him to leech from others and depend on his cohorts.
Many exotic and grim locales are found throughout the strange and somewhat amorphous realm, some of these places are more constant. The Terrain Between is among the well known spaces of the domain, housing the much maligned City of Nod. It is here where one can find Dr. Illhousen’s fated sanitarium, snatched away by the Nightmare Court. In fact, much of the Court can be found within the city; The Grieving Cathedral, the Theatre Macabre, the Spire of Sleep, the Ghettoes and the Tree of Suspicion within the Park Primeval are such places. Their danger is well known to even wicked denizens of the city. Not far is a pocket domain controlled by Davion the Mad, a strange land that changes with its crazed darklord. The Ring of Dreams house the Dreamscapes, incredible sleep visions turned quite real. The outlands seems dull and barren to the untrained eye, but the expansive plain has just as much potential for torture when one drops their guard. The Forests of Everchange not only earns its name, but houses Morpheus of the Nightmare Court. The Rocky Shoals enclose the domain within a great barrier. And much like with Markovia, a curious shipwreck is found along rocky borders, in this case the Rocky Shoals. Within the various pockets of changing land, creatures like the Living Tattoo, Dream Stalker and many shadows call the Nightmare Lands home.
The Nightmare Lands is a rather strange domain. Originally, this was a huge swath of land on the eastern part of the Core. However, the Grand Conjunction liberated the lands into something of a traveling Island of Terror, with pocket-like qualities. It still retains connections to the Demiplane of Dreams, even if the Darklords can’t escape through it. That hasn’t stopped the only native mortal group to traverse the wasteland, the abbeer nomads. These tribal people commune with and are at peace with the dream, thus able to endure whatever terrors the Nightmare Court sends their way. Not entirely alone, the Dream Fey are mutant Arak denizens who managed to break into the Nightmare Lands prior to the Grand Conjunction. They have schemed a means of pulling the Shadow Rift into this domain, regardless of the dangerous fallout that would bring. Messages have broken from the Nightmare Lands and into the Shadow Rift by strange circumstance, making their way to Loht in an attempt to sway him over towards the Nightmare Court. Their reach extends throughout all things dream, even reaching to other dimensions through the prime and beyond. The Dreamlands has its way of connecting to the Nightmare Lands. One can see awful dream creatures, such as the Mi-Go on occasion within this realm.
Cultural Level: Incomprehensible (???)
Darklord: The God Brain. The God Brain was an impossible project on some far off world. The Illithids had begun their ascendancy among the stars, the final preparations to take hold of Wildspace, Phlogiston, et al. However, a supreme command was needed far beyond the mind flayer ranks ever seen before. An efficient hivemind was needed to construct the ultimate authority, an ingenius force that could lead to untold eons of illithid supremacy. To do this, slain illithids were reshaped through advanced biomancy to meld into an ultimate god brain form, a collective pool of knowledge and power needed to command a supreme empire. The God Brain’s first demand was to enslave whole systems of creatures to rip apart and consume, further spreading their psychic tyranny throughout the stars. One the ways it could weasel its ways into new worlds and start new campaigns was through other psionic users, infiltrating their minds and turning them into the perfect thralls for next stage invasion. To test its ultimate power, the God Brain proposed a new experiment to see the extent of its power, Omnicide upon a Crystal Sphere or the extinguishing of all life. As countless creatures were brought to extinction, the God Brain was lifted from its vessel, the armies quickly falling into disarray and calamity claiming the whole sector. The Mists had taken the mad leader, placing it into a glorified subterranean saline pool where it would never escape.
A desolate rock of lurking alien horror. The very surface rock seems at times squamous and amorphous, beyond comprehension of the feeble humanoid mind. Like an active mind, violent electrical storms plague the above grounds at night time. But, this is hardly the most worrying thing about the domain. This is a realm overrun by vile creatures known as the Illithid. They dwell within sloping caves of absurd geometry, leading to cyclopean cities of impossible angles, horrid materials and ever tortured slaves. And deepest in the center, their God Brain stirs with incredible psychic might. This is a domain liable to make visitors go irreparably insane, out of revelation or trauma. Some say this evil is truly antediluvian, watching the Mist lands over the eons as new races began to overtake the lands of slumbering ancients. But now, lands like Bluetspur prove that the ancients are awakening and they crave the people of The Mists. In the case of the Illithid, they hunger for brains. And should that not be enough, they spawn by letting a tadpole consume a subject’s body and replace it. Beyond that, their God Brain demands they enact all means of heinous experiments. Their specialties of biomancy (biological engineering) allow them to create new forms of slave stock to abuse, mutilate and render unfathomably mad.
Before the Grand Conjunction, the rocky crags that made most of the domain could be found in the southern reaches of the core, beyond Barovia and Kartakass. A looming eldritch shadow hung upon its neighbors from the south. A cursed place, it inspired great fear from all near it. Before it vanished, all sorts of abominations are rumored to have leaked from the borders of the wretched domain. Atrocities known as “chuul”, one of many breeds of psychic horrors, are rumors to have crossed into Hazlan from the original Bluetspur borders. Likewise, horrible mutations and divisions of Illithid have been created here. Among them is a vampiric illithid! Their creation is credited to both biomancers of the domain and Lysa von Zarovich, in an effort to thwart both Lysa’s relative of Strahd and the Illithid God Brain. This did not transpire as expected, as all of the subjects went insane, preferring to increase their own numbers out of petty rage and madness rather than being a help to either party. Some say a strain of cerebral vampire has mutated, after an escapee of Heinfroth’s sanitarium found themselves within Bluetspur.
Cultural Level: Early Medieval (6) through Medieval (7)
Darklord: Meredoth. A former Baron of Norwald, he served the greater interests of the Alphatian Empire, in the world of Mystara. More so, he served out of self-interest and for his own grabs at quick power and knowledge. The enacting head for Norwald entrusted Meredoth with much land, lording more or less as he pleased. Much like himself, he was born to a family more interested in finding the time to practice magical crafts than take care of other matters. However, the politics of nobility frustrated them and divided their time. Much like them, he cared more for perks of power and the potential to experiment with resources more than actual rulership. But, unlike them, he was far from competent in any leading. At first, Meredoth came to terms with this when granted Nebligtode. His desire to create and experiment was impeded by the “squabbles” and “distractions” of those under his gaze. The disgruntled baron grew to demand that his subjects leave him alone, as more problems arose. Those he appointed floundered in their attempts to pick up for Meredoth’s negligence. Finally, these issues became far too much to bear, as legions of the starving begged their baron for aid. Having snapped from failure to complete his greatest experiment, he held a grand feast at the start of a harvest season. Unbeknownst to the public, he used a recent magical experiment to poison everyone. Even the noble Graben family was slain by his fit of mania. The Mists soon followed, as Nebligtode was taken from Alphatia.
Nebligtode is a grim land, overseen by a cruel and isolationist necromancer. Undead servants make up most of this land. In reality, this isn’t one land, but a series of three islands: Graben, Todstein and Krammen. The first and third are directly next to each other, while Todstein is a slight sailing distance away. Graben deals with issues that make it harsh to live in; always clammy and cold weather, with often unwelcoming waves nearby. The people are hardened to this, following the Graben family for council. However, few get attached to the ruling family. Majority of the populations nearby are uncomfortable around them, with only the youngest of the clan being seen in villages or towns. In truth, the Graben family are a unique type of undead created by Meredoth. Besides being appointed as the rulers of the land, they supply all means of corpses to the darklord. The act of slaying and reanimating subjects is why Meredoth became a darklord in the first place, but the Graben familly were victims soon after Meredoth arrived into the mists. Despite the eerie uncanny nature of the ruling family, the rest of Graben island endures its frustrating and poor living conditions. Meanwhile, Todstein is a rather empty place. There is a great mausoleum where Meredoth can be found, but otherwise there is not too much of distinction or note. Curiously, despite not being far from Graben, Todstein has an arctic climate where blizzards aren’t uncommon and temperatures are deathly frigid. A series of lairs, research stations and crypts otherwise make up other sites around the island.
Meredoth’s biggest personal flaw is isolationism brought upon by a deep misanthropy. He’d rather have lumbering and mindless undead servants than the living to pester him with needs. Never meant to be a leader, he tries to hide away and pass his time with his own crafts. However, he has found himself frustrated over never being able to perfect his new ideas himself. Whether its because he’s always distracted by the lands around him or because he simply can’t, he often has to swallow his pride and ask for aid when he’s not forced to take up some other task. Even his ensnared Graben family has the habits of bothering him. While they are his undead servants, The Mists have a habit of creating a life-like annoyance that Meredoth will always fail to banish. And, should his projects actually lead somewhere, he has found himself using the Graben family to smuggle a live subject or visit his spaces around the Nocturnal Sea himself. But, he has become aware of lands beyond. His attempts to harness The Necropolis for himself backfired as Death took control of his undead minions, followed by Azalin sending troops to question and slay any obvious undead they found in the areas leading down to Nebligtode. Meredoth has pondered revenge, but he has seen signs of how this Wizard King can benefit his own knowledge. Should all work out, he can crush his rival and return to his work more powerful than ever.
Cultural Level: Classical (4) through Dark Ages (5)
Darklord: Easan the Mad. This poor elf was the subject of horrible abyssal experiments. In fact, this Darklord proves that there is indeed a realm of demons beyond The Mists. On Oerth, he was part of the war against Iuz. The crumbling elf kingdom started resorting to underhanded and extremely despicable tactics that even horrified Iuz. During his campaigns of bloodshed and indifference to life, Easan became possessed by a demon. This was caused by his capture by Iuz, who bound a fiend to him in retaliation. His goals shifted to ridding the possession and curing his madness, still not caring who died in the process. Expulsion magic and prayers of St. Cuthbert’s church failed. Later attempts from island mystics only suppressed the power for a time, but everyone except Easan ultimately perished. In truth, Iuz began to panic over Easan’s seeming triumph. His primary methods turned to soul transference and other perverse experiments, as his desperation grew. Eventually, the Mists claimed him. His very inner demons have erased his memories as to why he started this research, but he continues onward. Furthermore, the land reveres him like a dark god, which he only pays so much mind to.
This is a reshaping land commanded by Easan the False God, an elf-like supernatural force driven by strange projects and absolute madness. Among his projects is a soul bound mechanical golem, taken from the very essence of another outsider to the mists. The lands of Abdok act as one of the few hospitable settlements within the region. Venture too far, towards Vesanis or beyond and the land itself becomes far more malleable. Within Abdok, Easan’s Palace can be seen. It was formed by the “Mad God” himself when he arrived. However, he is more often seen in his own manor well east of the city. But, none of that truly matters to him, as nice as the chants and praise might be. He still tries, without reason, to continue his soul experiments. But, recent years have brought up visions and ideas to him. Most aren’t related to his past or abyssal corruption, but means of expanding his methods further. In recent times, he has learned of a nearby Oerth denizen, King Azalin. Also, for much time, he wasn’t sure why Malocchio Aderre, the ruler of Invidia, became an interest to his research.
But, one matter should be of some concern, a dread possibility, if you will. Iuz is a cambion, a half-fiend with the blood of a demon. His bloodline is from Iggwilv and the Demon Prince Graz’zt. How might this be relevant to The Mists? Some say that the Immortal evil that haunts nearby Furyondy also has six fingered hands. This is a trait found upon The Gentleman Caller and in Malocchio Aderre. It’s more than possible that The Caller was a fragment or aspect of Graz’zt that was captured into the demiplane. This could mean a whole new planar conspiracy reaching from the Demiplane of Dread and into The Abyss, stretching Prime worlds to Oerth, Toril and others. Some on the planes speak rumors of his involvement with the ascension plans of the Hag Countess. Could it all be part of a long game? A greater concern connects to this, revolving around the seemingly random ability to shift his domain around, making its map accounts and general structure unreliable. This has become of great interest to Azalin Rex, who desires to reshape Darkon for some nefarious purpose, perhaps even the Mists themselves. Easan has been made aware of something in recent years, the sharp decline of Iuz. While his addled mind no longer fully knows what this means, it pleases him. More and more, he has begun to recall Oerth. In recent years, he has learned of Azalin and that he too originates from Oerth.
Gundarak Addendum: Dominia
Doctor Dominioni, the former servant of Duke Gundar and victim of a family bloodline prone to insanity. While serving under the duke, he helped to enact all means of cruelty upon Gundarak; whether through its unreasonable taxation, its attacks on the birth of girls or other despotic policies. Gundar was infuriated when the experiments of Doctor Heinfroth, alias Dominioni, used the brain fluid of a vampiric bride to help cure his madness. This made him undead, like the darklord, but a new strain of “cerebral vampirism”. However, a conspiracy that united him with the daughter of Harkon Lukas, Akriel, changed that all. Said plans were partially foiled, with Gundar dead soon after and the strange doctor taking over until the Grand Conjunction. He was ripped from his chair and placed within his sanitarium, in an otherwise and insignificant literal island west of the core domains. He is mocked by his own madness and strange powers for overseeing such a small land, as well as a madness he will never treat. Try as he may, the grim torture of the inmates and their brain fluid harvesting will accomplish nothing.
Gundarak Addendum: Carnival
This isn’t so much a domain, as a society. But, it operates like a traveling pocket domain due to its mysterious proprietor. Isolde the Mistress of Carnival acts as the owner and head operator. Her mostly calm and welcoming demeanor masks a greater supernatural influence. All in all, she will reveal very little. However, some have been able to extract that her arch-nemesis is the nefarious Gentleman Caller. The Carnival itself has the influence of a reality wrinkle, implying that Isolde or someone else is a being of much power. This wrinkle manifests as “The Twisting” or an effect that causes one’s inner self to become their outer form. As such, the carnival is mostly populated by freaks. Those who don’t stay for an extended time can free themselves from the twisting’s influence in time. However, other enemies bid their time against the carnival as well. Darkonese researcher Professor Pacali seeks to not only remove the Twisting on himself, but upon all. His mission is the destruction of The Carnival. Should this succeed, the true nature of Isolde will be revealed and destruction will come to The Mists. How Gundarak relates to all of this is because of the bumbling of “Professor Arcanus”, a lumbering drunk who became a weregorilla after violating a Vistani woman. But, he somehow became a carnival showman of the strange and occult. By a miraculous purchase, he obtained a staked corpse that he proposed to be Gundar’s corpse, but mostly for show. Unbeknownst to him, it actually was Duke Gundar. When a miscreant removed the stake from the body, the skeleton regenerated into a fully vampire, slaying the responsible party and starting his muddled quest for revenge.
IMAGE SOURCES: Ominous Seas – Georgios K. Kleitsiotis
2 thoughts on “Lost Chapters of The Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 2”
I honestly like your origin story for the godbrain better than the one the FoS guys came up with, where it was just gothic transhumanism gone wrong. And I love how you connected the Caller to Graz’zt, though personally my theory always was that he was a powerful son of Graz’zt.
With the Nightmare Court now having more eldrich origins and thus powers on par with the likes of Gwydion (or at least in the same ball park), that makes them all the more terrifying. Considering potential ties to H.P. Lovecraft’s dreamlands, I suspect the Nightmare Man is either an aspect of Nyrlethotep that managed to fragment off of its sire only to be snatched up by the mists, or a Nightgaunt that got to big for its britches.
And on a final note: I kinda like Arcanus. Yes, he’s a rapist and thats inexcusable. But his sheer performance and personality just makes him so much fun. Cause seriously, who can’t love a traveling show of the bizzare run by an ape-man?
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I’ve always injected Lovecraftiana into Gwydion and the Nightmare Court alike, likewise the space opera meets HPL like origin of the God Brain. Also, I’m not against a sideshow of the weird, I just never got Arcanus as a character… at least, not letting him keep a good alignment. I didn’t know whether or not to tie Graz’zt, but I figured “why the hell not?” At least, as a means of connecting the whole Vecna fiasco with Iuz getting pulled into that.