More Misty Rumors

Thief 3: Deadly Shadows", full walkthrough + 100% loot, Mission 1 -  Checking Inn, Cashing out - YouTube

 

“Don’t worry, I have more to offer. After all, this trade appeases my true master. So, just as before, present your trade.”

Rustling into your pockets, you feel crumpled pieces of parchment, a cold sweat drips from your fingers to nearly stain the hidden papers. You realize what else you can offer, things far more taboo than prior offerings. Hesitant, you remove your clenched hand to reveal more documents. The scribe taps his fingers, quietly chortling to himself in dark glee.  “Ah, now there we go.  I’m a man of my word.  When you deliver good content, I will supply far more.  Ready yourself, more things we prepare for here within our great Darkon.”

Author’s Note: My first set of rumors and happenings were enjoyed, let me craft some more.  For the time being, there is no marked time on the Barovian Calendar.  As an aside, this isn’t my first reference to the Prisoners of the Mist server for Neverwinter Nights.  My hints of Gundarakite rebellion took notes from there too.  I should really get back into that, it was good fun!

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Lost Chapters of The Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 1

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If you have found these notes, then I am still most assuredly lost to somewhere else. I am not sure when I catalogued these notes, but apparently some facet of me did very recently. Perhaps I continued to work for the dread lich without realization. None the less, may these notes prove most useful to you. Within the Lands of the Mists, the power of knowledge can sometimes be damning. However, it is often very, very useful. Stay well and ultimately stay alive.  And should you find me, you too are likely doomed.

Author’s Note: I had more domains of the Core to cover and I honestly didn’t have much other direction at the moment. I still feel a little sick and that sucks. You would think you could trust your own neighborhood to get itself together, but sometimes that’s asking too much. No matter, I’m feeling better. So, with that, here is my look at those other domains. And should I feel up to it, I might toss in an Island of Terror or two. Many of them were cool after all. Hell, some were once part of the core.  Either way, I have more to ramble on in due time.  We’ll probably see another post with lost bard entries on The Mists.  Also, happy 2021.  May it lead to good things for all.

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Bloody Dark across the Planes – The Editor’s Grim Findings

Dear reader, I admire your dedication to my works.  But take heed, such dedication also puts your life in danger.  No doubt, when these scrambled notes become an elaborate codex, such books will see ban in no time.  You wouldn’t believe the among of jink offered to hack my head and serve it on a Lady’s grade platter.    As always, their hunt continues.  Mine continues in the expanse of knowledge.  Plenty of conflict bubbles and oozes beyond your surface.  Ready and prepare, the safety of the multiverse always hangs in the balance.  Let me serenade you with many tales.  But, these aren’t tales of joy or triumph, no!  Tales of woe await you.

Author’s Note: “The Editor” is back, not content with simply The Factol’s Manifesto!  Plenty of things going on, the fall and rise of deities, more on the fey, dark conspiracies of intrigue, a look at my old table’s post-2008 take on the Forgotten Realms, a further looks at my zany Ravenloft-Planescape crossover and more!  And of course, Baby Vecna!  And as always, The Editor proves an ever unreliable narrator, as some details might be fabricated or stretched for his convenience.

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Misty Rumors – Dread Tales of Ravenloft

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A clamminess completes the foggy night sky of Karg, refuge of Il Aluk’s intellectual schools of thought.  But your journey has lead you to a simple building, hiding place of a scribe in service to Azalin Rex himself.  In lieu of recent events, Toubirj the Quickened Hand has found himself waiting the darklord returning to “normalcy”.  But, a network of underground thieves, vindictive academics and disgruntled mages has lead you to an otherwise humble abode.  A short, meek and disheveled looking man answers, his ill-fit body frame moving like a tower of junk ready to topple.  A gangly left arm extends to usher you inside quickly, as he soon slams the door and closes several locks.  And with a few muffled words and motions, a spell further seals the way out.  Shuffling to a chair, he lurches over while placing his head upon his hands.  He studies you, inquisitively before cracking a smile.  Rather than speaking, he simply hands over a piece of parchment.

“Hail to you, reader.  You sought this scroll expecting that strange bard, yes?  Pity, he still has not been found.  I am but a humble scribe, commissioned by his mighty majesty, Azalin.  Divination boons have gifted me with the joys of deeper knowledge, if only to satisfy my liege.  While he has returned to a period of deep contemplation, I continue to collect and gather.  Times in Darkon have been an overflowing cauldron, bubbling and dripping, awaiting tipping point.  That time is passing, as my master returns to dark recesses.  Should you have particularly juicy information, less vulnerable information can be extended in trade…  Just, do it quick.  I know he listens, my arcane senses have made this known!  But, you care for Ramon.  Luckily, I have a few of his journals in my possession.  Allow to extend some of his knowledge to you.  But first, I simply desire to know what you offer in return.”

The frail and strange man finally opens his mouth, “Well, I’m waiting.  If you’re here, you have good information to share.”  He taps his fingers together, expectantly.  Reaching into your bag, you open a carrying case for various parchments, handing them in the direction of the squat man.  His grin widens as he gracefully accepts the documents.  Scanning them in rapid pace, he quickly jumps between pages of notes.  “Ah, this will do well.  First edition notes from the bard.  Let me offer some fine bits of my own in return.  And mark my words, we are safe from interlopers.  Do not fear these secrets being overheard… save for by his highness.  That isn’t an issue, is it?”

Author’s Note:  Am I done with Ramon?  What does the future hold in general?  I’m still not sure with either.  In the meantime, let’s return to various domains of dread.  And with that, plenty of secrets and rumors!

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The Gathering of Unholy Fire – A Confrontation in The Mists

Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist - About the World

The Mists choke figuratively and literally, standing as an ever oppressive and overbearing force.  But, what are they?  This is a mystery that will continue for all time.  What is known are the more tangible entities that haunt the endless realms of this demiplane space.  Many of these are tragic figures who fell from grace, while others are condemned for absolute wickedness.  As I have already uncovered, many places in the Prime Material have either fallen victim or been alleviated of their worst…  This depends on your perspective. What is certain is that those removed have become the things of myth and legend in their home world.  But here, they are forever trapped.  The few who have escaped are anomalies, truly lucky.  Of course, this could be just weavings of The Mists.  After all, tales tell of Vecna’s paradoxical victory and failure.  But, what could foil a demigod?https://i0.wp.com/www.talonart.com/images/ww/ww014_l.jpg

As for me?  Not certain.  Beyond some vague words and promises, it would seem that I should seek out Darkon.  However, it would appear that The Mists have other places to “distract” me with.  Or at the very least, slow me down.  Either way, I continue through the clouding vapors, until I see sites anew.  I still mull over the fact that I wasn’t taken this time by some trap of the Powers.  No, instead of going back to Gloomwrought, I found myself a prisoner of Azalin’s very contemplations.  But, again, why would his own minions be found in the Prime or even the Planes beyond?  It baffles the mind.  What has stuck with me is the tarot card given to me prior to the ritual.  It is a symbol of Death.  But, why is that significant?  I have heard of the pocket realm caused by Azalin known as “Necropolis”.  Is “Death” somehow involved too?  So many mysteries, so many questions.  In time, I hope I will find some answer or be consumed trying to understand.  Let us hope for the former, shall we?  And with that, we venture onwards.

Author’s Note:  One more trek into the demiplane of dread, at least for Halloween.  Also, I wanted to think of a possible outcome for yet another mad plan of Azalin…  Or rather, a plot made by outside help.  In addition to a look at more core domains, I made two cluster contributions originating from Mystara (including the Hollow World).  Plus, even a tribute to Planescape makes its way here.  There is an homage to the “Set Wands to Warpdrive” game I played in, back before this blog made it over to WordPress.  A heavily abridged version of that is noted in the darklord story, but that might appear in a future post instead.  Also, enjoy a reveal that pays homage to the Gazetteer series.  Of course, I might say that.  Also, I realize the picture I used for Darkon is from Night of the Walking Dead.  I couldn’t find proper art… oh well.

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Traversing the Mists – Ramon’s Research of Ravenloft

Castle Avernus | Tertius: Ravenloft Redux | Obsidian Portal

The journeys through the lands of the mists continue.  I find myself lost after leaving the dark clutches of Inza.  It wasn’t my place to fully stop her.  While the Black Rose is distant and gone, maybe someone else will thwart the usurper.  In the meantime, the strange powers that be seem to carry me, as if they too wish to see my quest for knowledge fulfilled.  But, they have an ulterior motive, for they never help one for free.  Perhaps I can be of use to help put Darklords in their place?  Given how I haven’t done much of that before, this is likely not the case….  But, something to ponder about later.  Something to deeply ponder about.

The meddlings of displaced Kargatane is most disconcerting.  Tales tell of Azalin’s meddling in an attempt to escape.  And yet, I have successfully escaped… all the more reason to use me in an experiment.  I’m not sure if I’m at the agenda of the dread lich or the Dark Powers.  Either way, it’s likely that little good will come from this, save for me documenting these awful places for posterity.  With any luck, I will be granted the same courtesy as before.  Every time though, it feels like escape was from sheer luck of nothing bad happening or just the smallest window of survival.  We shall see what awaits me then.  With any hope, I can evade these agents of the lich for as long as possible.  If I benefit with learning along the way, that’s certainly a positive, no?

Author’s Note: Ravenloft had a tendency to make crossovers with other settings.  So, let’s pull from their dip into Dark Sun as well as Spelljammer, even examining a possible domain from Eberron!  In addition, I look at a cluster I very much enjoy.  Also, what is Ramon seeking?  Why does he hide from Azalin?

 

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Drawn back to The Mists – Ramon’s Return to Ravenloft

The Ravenloft (setting) thread | RPG PUB

The Demiplane of Dread, house of the Castle Ravenloft and the prison of countless conniving souls.  It called to me once more.  I find myself not in the known lands, but a different cluster set.  Words and people tell of creatives whose processes lead to their own dooms.  Tales of toy makers, playwrights, sculptors, painters and even bards…  All of these haunt me more than they would the layman.  But, what goes beyond this troubled region?  Whose to say?  With any luck, I’ll find my escape beyond the Lands of the Mists in due time.

Author’s Note:  I wanted to bring things back to Ravenloft, as last post showed.  Like before, I wanted to bring in a mix of my own content and the classic domains of the campaign setting.  In time, I might supply more from my own, fleshing them out much like I did for Dawnsveil.  In the meantime, take a look at a domain cluster dedicated to artists and other crafting geniuses gone horribly wrong.  And on top of that, my summary of some other domains that I love.  Also, another shout-out to Knott’s Berry Farm!  2020’s Scare might be cancelled, but you remain an amazing inspiration for me.  Some day, I’ll actually be able to attend the Halloween seasonal attraction…

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Blackmoor Week 2020: Blackmoor, Into the Future

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Blackmoor week celebrates the birth of Dave Arneson and his creation of the Blackmoor setting.  As the co-founder of the game and other grandfather of roleplaying games, he deserves some love as well, hence this week on the web.  You can click the image above to see more of what Blackmoor Week has to offer.  But, should you be interested in my own mad ramblings and homages to Arneson’s setting and beyond, do continue here as well!  Doc’s Laboratory awaits!

Since its inception, there have been a number of iterations of the lands of Blackmoor.  The ones most tied to Arneson were the first and last incarnations.  And to an extent, even the alteration into Mystara’s history counts.  My experience with Blackmoor started mostly with the final versions, the 3rd edition and 4th edition source books provided by Zeitgeist Games at the time.  While I knew it was put into the distant past of The Known World and beyond, I never had a chance at the Mystara friendly version of it for a while.  None the less, I favor a blend of the classic vision with the Mystaran one.  It even factored into a game friends took part in long ago.  Said game was a multiple campaign arc in Mystara, with tons of crazy time travel and other antics with reality.  The last game ended after our travels back and forth into Blackmoor’s history.  For numerous games, we were called to deal with progressively evolving threats in the kingdom-turned-empire.  However, our final threat was something we weren’t prepared for, a Blackmoor in the modern age.  Sadly, the campaign ended as we caught a glimpse of an imposing and bleak city over the horizon.  Mind you, this was during the days when many of us still thought Blackmoor would be fit in the Broken Lands, before we realized that later developments changed that.

This isn’t the end of Returned Blackmoor, just it in active campaign form.  Years and years passed, before the Mystara Reborn Facebook group became the encouragement I needed to give life back into this new Blackmoor.  With old notes in hand and scrambled bits from the rest of the old table, I cobbled together an image of what a Blackmoor might look like if it used time powers to survive its doom in the Mystaran world.  It turns out, having your land rotated into a frigid wasteland can massively throw one off.  This, combined with plague and political instability lead to a trusted member of the military staging a coupe and establishing a harsh dictatorship.  While the arcane-infused high technology of Blackmoor recovered and developed anew, the culture became far more stagnant and stale, as leadership forbid it to develop further.  As the decades passed since it leapt into the near-present, the leader began to lose a grip on reality as well as physical health.  Ultimately, he would become something of a quasi-undead cyborg, a major campaign reveal.  (A brain-in-a-jar piloting a robot body, a staple science fiction trope.)   Meanwhile, movements arise in the shadows to oppose him, some more extreme than others.  Other forces stir, many of which driven by wicked ends.  All sorts of enemies roam this new Blackmoor: wasteland raiders, rogue robots, mutant animalmen, atomic undead, acolytes of new dark Immortals or even the slumbering Egg of Coot!  Those are only a few examples.

Now, how does this involve the players?  Well, many games could involve them in the mayhem and wonder of this forbidden land.  For starters, they could help shape an uprising against the corrupt usurper state.  Heroes may choose to help remnants of the old ways help restore classic order within the realm.  They might consider radical change instead, favoring one of several other factions, ranging from reformists to new potential overlords.  They might even earn the trust of the regime and become ambassadors to the greater world.  Over time, the current ways of Blackmoor may become less extreme in their own way.  For the more Arneson approved old school experience, there are a number of dungeons both classic and infused with gonzo science-fantasy, even Castle Blackmoor has received modifications over the eons.  It seems with time that many of the kinks that caused Blackmoorian tech to go haywire are more properly ironed out too.  Or at least, more attention to potential sabotage.  Potential for larger plots exist too:  Blackmoor trying to integrate safely into the greater world, the Immortals having none of it and punting the land into the Hollow World (alongside the Blacklore Elves), a massive war risking a Greater Rain of Fire, the rise of a new Blackmoor Empire and much more.

To dive more into Returned Blackmoor, check out Threshold Magazine!  Issues 20, 22 and 26 (Coming Soon) have articles by me.

Ramon’s Continued Notes on the Multiverse

Means of transport in Sigil by Deusuum on DeviantArt

Allow me to recant and give you words of caution.  Remember, only take jobs that you can verify first.  If you don’t, you might find yourself bound, gagged and stuffed in a warehouse in the Lower Ward…  And from there?  Well, read on and find out.  Take it from a personal experience, at least I got some jink from a Sensate interview out of it.  But, if you are more streetwise than I, then you will ahead of whatever challenges and traps lurk behind every corner.  And yes, this includes the countless wonders of Sigil, the City of Doors.

Warning bashers and berks isn’t the purpose of this little session for today.  No!  Rather, I’m picking up where I left off from before.  I’ve continued to take notes of all sorts of wonderful places and things in the multiverse.  As always, revisiting a few places while finding new ones.  So, let us find old friends and seek out new ones.  Off I go, to places unknown and places barely known.

Author’s Note:  As always, I love adding places to Planescape and beyond.  One of my creations was actually a series of notes from years ago.  If I found it before, something would have been said on it in the past.  But, here’s my cobbled together take on developments on top of The Slags, the most infamous part of The Hive Ward!  Joining that is a return to some previous concepts that I failed to really flesh out.  And as always, a few other ideas are tossed around.  Enjoy!  As always, reference nods usually get a tag.

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The Editor’s Expansive Sigil Expose – Part 2

The Factol's Manifesto | Forgotten Realms Wiki | Fandom

Not satisfied the first time, eh? Well, I have things for you. Not all sects made the glorious jump into our Cage. But, far more exist on the planes than you know. Let me tell you of a new list of sects that fill plenty of planes; Olden Glory, Moving Progress, The Burned, Front of Greatness, Glorious Subversion, Positivists, Educatorium and The Guardian Primers. Mind you, the last one is more of a guild. But, technicalities are important! You want details on the inner workings of these people, after all.

So, with a careful glance around and ducking into the right alleyway, please read onward and discover more things to know about the many Factions and Sects that hover around our spheres of influence and beyond. After all, you read the scribed words of a very banned author. And as such, you only place yourself at risk here. Stay safe, friend. And always, and I mean always, watch yourself for onlookers. And with that, do enjoy.

Author’s Note: So, besides the previous faction, only two other concepts here came from games themselves. One of them is just a nod towards a classic work of fandom, while another is based on said classic work. The rest? Additional philosophies through a fantastic and tongue-in-cheek window mostly.

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