More Forgotten Places and Hidden Realms
“That is all from me. I must close for the night. Should you wish to aid my master in some other way, do not hesitate on it. The Wizard King will not turn away valid support…”
Author’s Note: I was never interested in covering ALL known domains, mostly just the core and former core ones. However, I wanted to use this to help flesh out a disliked domain or two. Also, huge credit to Ryan Naylor for reinventing Jack Karn and being the basis of my Farelle post. Likewise, shout out to the Fraternity of Shadows for making I’Cath so much better. Also, my take-that at the lack of appreciation for the Birthright setting only succeeded in making me sad, hehe.
Cultural Level: Classical (4)
Darklord: Tsien Chiang. The Wu Jen Sorceress of I’Cath! A victim of her father’s dismissal towards women, this quickly fostered a great bitterness towards men at a young age. In addition to her father’s misogyny, the rest of the family was more concerned with tending to a holy grove of trees. It was said that they were blessed by not only the gods, but the holy trees of the sun and the moon. She quickly rose to higher ranks by magically crippling her family and imprisoning her own father, the latter of whom she tortured immensely in continuous fashion. And for a time, she let the trees wither, but she never mustered the strength to kill them. In time, royal suitors courted her in hopes of gaining noble prospects. But, in games of intrigue, they were slain while their daughters were raised in evil ways. However, the fourth daughter (referred in Core tongue as Nightingale) rejected the cruel ways of her mother and even sought favor from the Gods. Chiang found her to be a disgrace, but she still used her for various political ends. As she outwitted nobles and accumulated more stock and land, as she took to corrupting the very trees and holy relics of the land for her own ends. This lead to further games of intrigue, as she pitted suitors of her daughters against each other and against the three vicious daughters themselves. In time, her cruelty drew ire and warning from the Gods, who were especially displeased with the abuse against Nightingale. In time, the Emperor himself declared that Chiang must be destroyed, but he too failed. After slaying the emperor and mocking divinity countless times, she proved her disloyalty to the land and to the gods. The Mists finally responded. While the broken and crippled Nightingale is locked away, she is the key to the doom of the darklord. Should she be freed and her mighty song pierce against the darkness, I’Cath may be freed. Likewise, the sacred groves that dot the provinces are the key to much of Tsien Chiang’s power. While she had long since despised them as a symbol of her family, she recognizes that they too carry much power. As such, she has weaved her magics to ward the trees and use them as a means of spying around the lands. Because of this, they have quickly reflected her evil ways.
The Palace oversees a small clustered series of mostly abandoned buildings, once an impressive imperial city. All those within this immediate vicinity are known to the cruel noblewoman. The women of the households are relentlessly intimidated into compliance, while men are actively worked to death. Many of the women have had little luck in fleeing the city, but far more luck than the men of the city borders. Those who do other find themselves in one of the four provinces beyond or lost somewhere in The Mists. Many who are stuck in their homes or other nearby lands practice the Mandate of the Heavenly Gods to help keep their sanity in tact. While they wonder why the divine forces would permit Tsien to still exist, many of these citizens are empowered by this belief. Countless women of the city especially have found themselves with a direct divine connection, a change from previous older ways. This fact has intrigued the misandrist Tsien and also horrified her, as her subjects have been breaking her scare tactics. These priestesses (and some priests) practice virtues of purification and enlightenment, to the chagrin of the grim leader’s dwindling support. For a long time, Tsien’s blasphemous necromantic corruptions had kept the land in check, but tides have slowly been turning over time. However, the very thing they protect is also a large part of the darklord’s life force, the forests near the imperial palace and city. By their own beliefs, they could never harm the forests, thus they will never defeat the darklord on their own. Likewise, the darklord and her three evil daughters have infiltrated the four other territories with the intent of distracting and leading the religious organizations of the domain astray. Often, they’ll found themselves sent off to deal with some creation of the evils of the domain. This way, they don’t get involved with the troubles of the Palace of Bones nearly as often. And while she has had plans of stirring conflicts within the provinces and pitting them at war against each other, Tsien Chiang realizes that this would almost certainly lead to the deaths of the groves.
What people know of the domain of I’Cath is but part of it in reality. For a long time, I’Cath was the Palace of Bones, where the Darklord resided. And beyond that, the corrupted shrines and trees twisted by Tsien Chiang and her daughters. The palace grounds are indeed warded and have their own barriers, but these grounds are not all there is to the domain of I’Cath. Or rather, they were until until 750 BC. The unleashing of Necropolis also unleashed a number of ripples. The very same ripples that lead to Zherasia being reshaped once more also expanded I’Cath, as Mists lifted to reveal lands tortured by the wicked queen. Several homes across several villages speak the same tale, the young men of the house hold were confident in being royal suitors, only to vanish and never be heard from again. This is far from the only sorrows to blight the revealed territories. Families crying out for missing young men often line the streets, as misery hangs well over their heads. None are any of the wiser that they were seduced by propositions of the royal court daughters. Even then, while the people are weary and fearful of Tsien Chiang, they are none the wiser on the full truth, as they dare not question or act against her. Even then, she has unwilling aid to keep the four provinces surrounding her in line. Four corrupted beastly spirits circle over the lands, ensuring that Tsien and her 3 wicked daughters impose absolute control. The symbology of four can be seen around the domain, groups of angry spirits attack in fours, four groves of corrupted trees hold incredible dark power, curses unleashed upon the land often follow in four (as do the steps needed to break them), among many other things. She believes that this symbol carries ultimate power and will help push her beyond the skies themselves. Despite this corruption of enlightenment, she carries a curse and fatal flaw of her own. Tsien Chiang cannot fathom how this can and will be used against her. Priestly groups likewise assemble in four, lumber teams assemble in four and so on… well aware of the risks from potential taboos. Try as she may, she cannot defeat these groups when the power of four is turned against her. Thus, fights often become stalemates, with the lands around them suffering the damage.
Farelle (Fell Crafts Cluster)
Cultural Level: Chivalric (8)
Darklord: Jack Karn. A selfish and aggressive jackal of the Wildlands, he forsook the old teachings of the cowardly but clever ways of his kind. His bloodlust and aggression lead to the other beasts turning upon him, even his own. Fleeing certain doom, he found himself in a new land. Captured by a tinkerer, the man only sought to aid the beast. After learning he was intelligent, he tried harder. The constant attempts to reform the hateful creature always resulted in failure, wearing the real Jack down. Eventually, he gave up and gave him into Vistani custody. The jackal broke free, commanding other dogs and attacked. The true Jack was ultimately killed, but not before him and the tribe rauni cursed him for his deed. He awoke after fleeing, now stuck in the form of his enemy. Only for limited amounts of time, may he return to his true jackal form. Even a mixed form, which the beast detests, can only be held for a short amount of time too. Despite being a jackalwere, he is barely able to harness his own granted abilities, beyond his human disguise. The people have formed a strange recollection of the man known as Jack Karn, not knowing where he came from, but more than willing to trust him. Most say that the real man was from Barovia, but The Jackal attempted to erase that in slaying him. In the end, the jackal can find no peace until the nature he wants to dominate over is gone and he meets a final rest. Until then, those who try to escape his jaws find themselves meeting other hungry beasts as they flee the domain.
Farelle is a land of many extremes. The people tend to be very sensitive to issues and are willing to sever trust as such. This is partially from the high mortality rate, which translates into high family counts in hopes of the young surviving. Many attribute this to the many carnivorous beasts that roam the lands, especially wild dogs and jackals. Likewise, the very climates have impressive shifts. The beaches at the edge of the territory lead into balmy and often warm forests and towns. This humid, quasi tropics region changes as one ascends up the mountains. Very quickly, it changes to arid and cold climates. The mountains are well shared with Appleklein, who regard the Farelle Mountains as a lesser sibling. But, the people prove ever eager to adapt to not just extreme climate, but to harvesting the nature beyond. More and more, the natural world vanishes, as Farelle progresses. For the time being, forests still prevail in much of the domain. All the while, Jack Karn feels compelled to help fix and repair the many crafts and creations all around the land. And while he is known to complain and shout profanity amidst his job, he’s known to do it all well. It’s probably for that reason why he’s so adored by the lands, or at least one of them. To an outsider, the wandering tinker is a mad curiosity, an effective worker whose character is tainted by his own mania. While he won’t start a fight and gets sick easily, he seems to have no qualms with starting problems with those willing to listen. Much like the people in the region, he’s truly a mystery to others. Some say that he’s simply bored of a life of simple crafts and few other problems. Maybe he wants to stir conflict to add definition to a dull and mechanical existence. None can say, save for the man himself. By all accounts, he refuses to talk.
Accounts of false history tell of Jack, how he was once renowned as a traveling resource of repair and knowledge. He was said to wander around the Core without much issue, possibly due to friendly relations with the vistani. However, too much strain and stress caused him a nervous breakdown. He became unwilling to travel too far from the lands of Farelle, even though he seems to be uncomfortable there. His own behavior has also been marred by strange episodes of erratic outbursts. Feeling sympathetic, and acting as accomplices towards his mental spiral, locals have intentionally tried to be nice to him. They hope this will lead to his recovery as something of a legendary tinker. For some reason, Jack enjoys escaping to the wilderness to recompose himself. Some suspect that he still keeps the deranged jackal around in his care, but can’t prove it. There have been accounts of the strange beast appearing for brief moments once in a rare while. Many blame Jack’s madness on his futile attempts to care for the strange beast. In the main city centers of Kaynis and Mortilis, Karn can be seen growing increasingly uncomfortable, chafing under the busy streets and numerous buildings around him. By his supposed views, he just wishes to be a simple man who isn’t bound by greater society. Of course, this is only a veneer. On the subject of False History, Farelle had existed a long time as an Island of Terror and not part of a greater cluster. From its formation in 597 BC and up until the Grand Conjunction of 740 BC, going to and from the domain proved extremely risky. However, after being lifted due to the calamity, the land found itself near neighboring mountains and far off settlements. Following this, trade increased as did progress and interest in Jack’s talents.
Cultural Level: Chivalric (8)
Darklord: Marquis Stezen D’Polarno. Within East Riding, D’Polarno was as decadent and indulgent as a noble could be. His obsessions were in vain matters, through elaborate art exhibitions and chaotic orgies. The Mists have robbed him of joy and passion as his curse, with his only workaround being his beloved painting. Despite this unruly side of him, he was an advocate for the people around him, pushing them into revolt while arranging assassinations. The king of the land, Oderic, hired a mistress to use dark binding powers against the Marquis. His soul was promptly bound to a beloved work of his, robbing him of his magnetic personality. He responded by arranging for the king and his family to be poisoned. While the Mists took him, he was not yet a darklord. A domain was called to him after his maid was consumed by the painting and D’Polarno was restored to his old self for a time. Now, he seeks out foreigners to gaze upon his soul-devouring painting to have that emotional rush once more.
A dismal and grey land, devoid of feeling or flavor. Even the food of the land is said to have no taste to it, despite often fair harvest seasons. Curiously, the domain is a producer is part of a somewhat dangerous paint component called Umbral Gray. It is said to mix well with venom of a carrion crawler to become a rather potent poison. D’Polarno himself considers this an upside to the infestation that plagues the domain, alongside ghouls and ghasts. More intelligent ghoulish undead even try to masquerade among the nobility, finding their ways into the insane parties of the darklord. One of the royal retainers, Ronaldo, is a variant ghast capable of inflicting mental domination powers. Ironically, he himself is obsessively devout to the Marquis and will obey him at every turn. The nobles themselves of the land are cause for much conspiracy, some even attempted to end the Marquis out of jealousy and spite. This proved to be a boon, as he reinvented himself as an “up and coming descendant”, doing so again after faking a death during a boar hunt.
Originally, Ghastria was a land west of Sithicus. Following some time after the Grand Conjunction, it found itself in the Sea of Sorrows. Many older travelers who found their way through Sithicus have heard the stories of debauchery and madness within Ghastria, more than thankful that the awful land can no longer be found nearby. Several elves from Sithicus found themselves stranded for a long time upon the island, until an expedition was put forth, delivering them to Nova Vaasa and pushing onward. They aren’t the only visitors to the domain either. After the church of the land was raised, representatives of The Church of Ezra have subtly emerged and remained somewhat hidden. Some have witnessed the horror of D’Polarno’s parties for themselves, with parties sliding into absolute chaos and even death. Often this is from people who take the darklord’s published works too far. The madness of the degenerate darklord has caught the attention of outsiders. A fiendish but handsome gentleman has found himself as a recurring guest at the parties. However, he has consistently resisted the “charming gaze” of D’Polarno’s royal retainer in attempts to observe the darklord’s private art gallery. Despite being blamed for guests going missing, D’Polarno doesn’t seem to care too much. The only thing that truly makes him happy can be found in said private art gallery. And when it comes to his one painting, he’s more than happy to kill for it. And should he succeed with his portrait, his plans for great ambitions usually fall through. This is due to his own disorganization and lack of self-discipline. The times when he does act like his old self, the residents of the land expect something great in the works. Their constant disappointment has furthered negative opinions of him.
Cultural Level: Early Medieval (6), aspects of later
Darklord: Bluebeard. In his old realm, Bluebeard was an infamous rogue of the seas. Plunder and destruction followed in his wake, but his home of Blaustein saw him treated quite well. However, his goals of romance fell through either because of his own ugliness or wicked reputation. But, the few women who did give him a chance saw quite the different man… at first. Each of them were tasked with guarding the castle in his absence, save for one room to always avoid. He did hide one secret, any wife who proved disloyal to him in some way (always including the secret room) would suffer the fates as those within said room, a grizzly demise and addition to a macabre collection. Continuing this sick trend, The Mists responded by taking his land with him. However, his people became more devoted to him as his madness became equally more apparent. He does have a catch though, any local woman he tries to court will always resemble one of his dead former wives in some manner. Likewise, their ghosts continue to haunt him. While the land itself is extremely xenophobic, he is forced to find a foreign wife to cull the hauntings just a little. But, inevitably, the new wife will fall for Bluebeard’s cursed “test” and meet a similar end. Now, his land lurks in the Sea of Sorrows. While he is dedicated to his claimed turf, his pirates are known to harass anyone who gets too close to his island.
A violent haven of pirates. It holds a legacy of blood well before mentioning its darklord. Old Woodax, in particular, was a murderous member of Bluebeard’s original crew. While a skilled woodsman and repairman, he loved nothing more than hacking up victims with his axe. Upon his death at the hands of a naval patrol, Bluebeard found himself relieved that the mad killer wasn’t traced to him. But, Bluebeard is no man with a heart of gold. That is merely a facade he used to attract the public and a new wife to squeeze for funds and power. Despite the cruel rule of Bluebeard, the people seem to support him without fail. Just like with Bluebeard’s own pirates, the denizens prove extremely hostile and often violent to outsiders who visit the glorified den of villainy. Only a few ports lie around the island’s southern tips, with countless oceanic graves of shipwrecks littering the rest of the island. Towards the center is Castle Blaustein, where Bluebeard can be seen when he’s not off taking part in some acts of piracy around the island and its coasts. During some nights, one can possibly hear the screams of horror from Bluebeard. This is because the specters of his dead wives have been known to sometimes drag him into the secret room while he’s asleep. The irony of the wives’ sudden grim “loyalty” is lost on him. A number of small villages and towns dot the area, most of which are closer towards either the castle or the dockyards. While Bluebeard is by nature a serial killer, he isn’t the only on the island. Many brigands and scallywags turn against each other during their time here, even if they stay respectful to their mock “King”. It’s not uncommon for those turning traitor to stalk and slay former crewmen who broke their trust. Also curious is their ability to either evade the law or get away with the act. While little crime happens within the island, the penalty on striking traitors is quite loose. It may be for this reason that the island distrusts outsiders, who they feel might turn against them at any moment. Those who have broken from loyalty to their king feel that a paranoid fog clouds the minds of the citizens. To an extent, there is truth to that as Bluebeard can tamper with the memories of Blaustein civilians.
Bluebeard seeks a loyal wife and all of his victims have failed him in life. But, in death, they share creepy obsession. It’s for that reason why he finds himself waking up in the secret room filled with corpses at times. And when a new wife falls victim to temptation, she too joins this disturbing collective. While he keeps trying, there is more to him than his unhinged and disdainful secrets. His rulings vary in consistency. Some days, the act of merely offending him is a death sentence. Thanks to stolen loot from Dementlieu and Mordent, execution by firearm has become more popular. In the years beforehand, the island proved far more technologically backwards. None the less, the island filled with loyal brigands and blackguards is far from an enlightened or advanced society; just one that pays its dues to its aggressive and tyrannical leader. And for other days, one’s just publicly paraded in mockery. While no one knows the specifics, one’s fate is often dictated by how well rested the darklord looks. On the days where “the dragging” occurs, he is often blatantly exhausted. Likewise, locals know better than to ask him the status of his current wife. If they are lucky, they’ll be met with an incoherent grumble. Other times, he’ll mark them for “deathly offense”. Some suspect murders over dowries, general ownership of property or some other gains. But, not all of his victims come from wealthy lands. Plus, the pirate lord has quite a bit to his own name already. Plus, he’s infamous for being to spot a lie told near him. His paranoia towards any of his potential wives seemed to sharpen this ability when he’s on the move. While he is surrounded by loyalty, he will never be able to enjoy it.
Cultural Level: Early Medieval (6)
Darklord: Prince Ladislav Mircea. Like other corrupt nobles of the Misty Lands, decadent and uncaring towards their subjects. His concerns were over his status and the joys of his company, all the while a plague outbreak ravaged his lands. Commonfolk and even those who served under him would be tossed over the castle walls or slain outright if any signs of infection were caught. All the while, his allies and friends were thrown lavish parties and opulent events over the many months. In time, he couldn’t quell the plague within his own castle. And thus, he turned to alchemy using the powers of the humors to get rid of his blight. Ultimately, his ailment fused with his dark experiments, turning him into a kind of vampire. This strain, the Vrykolaka, drain through claws and sharp tongue, taking blood and humors. This unleashed a new plague of vampirism. At first, he thought it would destroy the plague, but quickly realized the error of his ways. His new undeath quickly turned him hideous and sent him mad in isolation. His focus is still not on his kingdom, but reversing the damage done to him any way possible. This usually leads to capturing subjects to experiment on, draining them of their blood and humors, failing to get anywhere and consuming the research to sate his anger and vampiric curse. And try as he may, his attempts at using alchemy to come across as a living creature consistently fail. Due to his vain obsession with looks, this especially cripples his self-image. On top of that, this quick slide into chaos showcases that he is an ineffective leader, eradicating a lot of his support base.
Sanguinia is a ravaged place, disease ran rampant and lead to untold damage. Majority of the “healthy” population isolate within their homes, when not busy with some mode of work. The seeming eternal winter rarely lead to much activity outdoors, but the outbreaks of disease only ensured this would be rare. During times of crisis, all three villages find themselves in total lockdown. Lacking the resources of the Prince or his fleeting inner circle, they must either rely on clever tactics to survive or starve to death. And even then, Mircea created a new bloodline of vampires to help him understand his own problem. This backfired, as the vampires only destabilized his land further and turned their backs on him. From Castle Guirgiu, Mircea leads troops to fight these other vampires while he hides in shadow to avoid suspicion. Both unrest and terror of the undead have normalized violence within the land. One village, Kosova, has taken after their leader’s harsh tactics by using violence to repel any outsiders. On top of that, anyone even risks illness is executed. The priests of the Church of Hala are terribly overworked in their services to protect and aid the villagers. More recently, attacks by vampires have also diverted their attention. None the less, said village appears to be the best off. Due to instability in the market, crimes of thievery and burglary are common, leading to even easier exposure to both the old plague’s problems and the new plague’s monsters. While the buildings are made thick to endure the relentless and raging frigid weather, they were never made to endure the chaos that uproots the domain. The few surviving scholars and advisors loyal to the prince fear that the nation is cannot be sustained like this. None the less, the citizens are a very expressive people with often large families. This is in reaction to the high mortality rate that haunts the land. And thus, they make both families and stories important, to ensure that their name always carries on. But, due to isolation and impoverishment, both are carried through mental and oral traditions, as literacy is very rare here. A nearby land, Vorostokov, has been contracted for any aid possible. While the natives of that land are unwilling to help the overlord of their nation, they have supplied some help to this one… if only because they sympathize more with these people, seeing the leadership as incompetent and aloof. However, this has sparked more issues and concerns as a result. Werewolves have found themselves immune to this land’s problems, opening up lots of potential hunt the lands. Likewise, the undead are not phased by the beasts that prowl Vorostokov. Those seeking to evade both have become trailblazers within Mount Ragu, a dangerous and jagged mountainside that only the most hardy and prepared should ever face. However, what looks to be an emerging settlement (also named Ragu) is protected under a branch of the Halan church. Despite horrible living conditions, this settlement seems to fair better than its siblings, growing rapidly. These comparatively more rugged folk have seen little issue with either plague, so far. However, they fear the northern reaches beyond the mountain, fearing other monsters lurking there. For now, the Patriarch Vampire tolerates the nearby settlement. But, should they become too strong, he might deal with them himself.
The doom of the prince is his apathy and laziness, the very same thing that ironically keeps him from reclaiming his humanity. Unbeknownst to him, a holy shrine has emerged in the middle of Lake Argus. Normally the flowing waters underneath prevent vampires from crossing to the center of the island. This is baffling, but not because the lake is mostly frozen, but something disables this weakness in the vampires. More fascinating is how the ice fishermen that frequent the area are completely unaware of the mystery shrine. And the fisherman who have visited the shrine rarely come back. While all things holy usually rebuke the undead, this one oddly enough provides comfort. Any Vrykolaka who has safely made it to the island finds their mental faculties cured and can be given a chance at redemption. This redemption, however, is a trick. The spirit of the shrine demands that they find a victim of the plague and bring them to the shrine. From there, the shrine will cure the vampire and the afflicted. In truth, both are vaporized by a harsh holy light. Due to leaving no evidence, the spirit continues on with its mad murderous practice. Many speculate that the shrine was created by a breakaway from the Halan church who went mad during the initial plague. What is known is that there was a priest who encouraged Mircea, as well as the village of Kosova, to murder those suspected of “uncleanliness”. Try as he may, Ladislav is terrified of the lake. He can’t prove it, but he knows it’s a lie. On top of that, he’s too callous to find out for himself and would prefer to seek an answer from within his castle. In the meantime, when not looking for an impossible cure, he rules with a petty distance. This can range from ridiculous taxes to absurd sanctions. While he never cared about rule, he only truly uses it now to make his subjects dance around like puppets for his amusement. And this doesn’t account for the prince’s militant police force, a band of thugs known as “Mircea’s Blood”, help to enforce policies and collect taxes.
Cultural Level: Dark Ages (5)
Darklord: Gregor Zolnik. The Grovinekevic forests housed a small duchy within the world of Cerilia, a world that is known by few even beyond The Mists. Brutal winter and seclusion devastated Zolnik’s lands, until he came up with a way out. Using a dark ritual, he took the power and the form of a wolf to hunt and revolutionize the struggling land. Resources flowed into the villages of Vorostokov and beyond, a new prosperity came to the land as a result. Slowly, people warmed up to his plans as they saw success. As his fame spread, the duke of the land met with him and he quickly fell in love with the duke’s daughter. Quickly, the two married and Gregor was granted a noble title in both marriage and for his service. However, his overuse of the wolf skin ritual called him to hunt in the new. His new wife suspected him of being unfaithful, taking up a noble of her own in revenge. When Gregor discovered this, he used his wolf skin to slay the rival, rather than explain the truth. When his love continued to this path, suspecting that Gregor didn’t learn, his wrath became far more potent. Not only was the second lover slain, but also his love, the duke and several staff. The Mists called upon him, revealing a version of his name cloaked in endless winter. The Mists gave him a final test, dealing with a land that offers little in resources or succumb to beastly instincts and turn against humanity. With little hope, outsiders were secretly slain and “converted” into meat, almost always billed as elk or some other animal. And with that, his corruption was fulfilled, as darklord of the land. Many who realized this went insane, such as family members who turned to dark witchcraft to aid him. Others tried to rebel, where the Boyar’s wolf form slain most of them. Those who pledged themselves as loyal thugs were given the gift of the wolf skin, allowing him to form his current regime.
A grim and frozen wasteland, filled with villages struggling to get by. Harsh winters lead to mass starvation and just as painful desperation for survival. Boyar Zolnik does what he can from his hall, in hopes of proving that he is still a worthy hero of his people. However, his inability to care for his people and his use of cannibalism has earned him deserved ire. He has used his current order to abuse other villages into offering coffers of food as tribute to his land, as he is cursed to always hunt humans. This inevitably leads to rebellion and uprising, which he is forced to put down. In the end, he realizes all the wrong he is committing, but much like the survivalism of his people is built on desperation, so is his desire to be seen as a hero again. His particular cruelty towards outside villages has established groups of enemies that conspire against him, even today. The more he plots on ways to be seen as a hero again, the more he damages his outside reputation. As it is, many within his own village suspect cannibalism and other travesties, but most are too afraid to vocalize. However, they don’t suspect the special lycanthropy that powers Zolnik or his order, but notice the darkness within their souls.
Life for the Boyar and his allegiance of the Boyarsky is one ruled by right through might, but this isn’t to say his personal life has improved. While he remarried and found himself with two children, his life began to turn around until his mother became distraught by this change in focus. Zolnik’s mother goaded his new wife, Sasha, to uncover the truth behind the Boyarsky dealings, after one of the suns was inducted into the order. Sasha discovered a den of shifting wolves and escaped in horror, only to fall from a cliff to her doom, as she ran for her home village of Torgov. Sensing his mother’s betrayal, Zolnik slew her and sent his loyal pack of sorts to contend with his sisters. The witches fled, allegedly to push neighboring villages to fight against the Boyar’s rule. Unbeknownst to Zolnik, his second wife never truly died, but only feigned death. This was because she stole one of the pelts while spying on the outskirts of the ritual grounds, performing the very same ritual in case her husband found out. Adding to Gregor’s fears and grief, her body mysteriously “vanished” as she was being prepared for funerary rites. He suspects his dark witch sisters, but the truth is his beloved is too ashamed to show herself to Gregor. The only times he has gotten close to finding her is after trying a mournful wolf howl in the distance. While one son was inducted into the order for his strength and courage, the other was seen as a meek outcast. He returned to his mother’s home village after she “died”, aligning with anyone who opposed Gregor’s rule. He has amassed a power base within the village of Torgov alone. Likewise, his sisters still linger as dread witches who want nothing more than for their brother to suffer. While the sisters are feared, their plans are known by only Sasha in secret. The attacks on their supporters is attributed to the Boyarsky or Gregor himself, as Sasha lies in mystery letting others think she’s dead. In truth, she has become the very corruption Gregor fears, as she has begun to target her home village and seeks to corrupt both her other son and her birth family.
Lamordia Addendum: Demise
An archipelago chain extends well beyond the lands of Lamordia, unveiling smaller islands all to their own. While one of the islands is claimed by Adam, several others are much more mysterious. Among them is the small island of Demise. It is here where a sprawling Labyrinth shifts, changes and uses illusions to trick all who dwell. Even the Darklord, Althea, is not immune. The gorgonite or “medusa” wanders in loneliness, in hopes loves will prevail over her curse to petrify. Her origins are unknown to most, but some scholars theorize her origins were from a colony of the Mystaran nation of Alphatia.
Kartakass Addendum: Daglan
A lesser known domain, destroyed by the Gundarakite Conspiracy. It was here that the The Crown of Souls resided, a profane artifact capable of making more Goblyns, much like the ones found in Forlorn. Radaga was the soul damned to Daglan, after her misadventures and dark deeds as a priestess of “The Undead” lead her to becoming a wight. The domain itself had several remote villages, all with various degrees of contact with each other.
Arak Addendum: Keening
The dead do not forget slights against them, seeking vengeance for wrongs done to them. Keening was formed from the Scourge of Arak that brought ruination to the domain’s overworld and forced it below. It is a deathly place that borders on where the Shadow Rift is now. Her clashes with Loht and the Spider Cult lead to her execution upon the lands above, where she declared doom upon the soil itself. As the light burned her and her infant, doom did come to Arak. Any creatures above ground were laid to waste as the land itself was burned barren. This apocalypse cost not only the overworld of Arak, but also the cause of this new pain. Tristessa was the cause of this nightmare, leading The Mists to intervene and split her off from her doomed land. The phantom presided over a city of the dead, a reminder of her deed. And worse, her infant never came to join her. She was alone, filled with an eternal rage that she will never find calm from. The living dare not go to this horrible place, lest she unleash her fury upon them.
IMAGE CREDIT: NJ Family – Asbury Park Paranormal Books & Curiosities