The Mists gather

Am I fully back to things? No. I’m still somewhat on hiatus. However, I am putting in something for Threshold Magazine Issue #30. This continued Mystara – Ravenloft crossover contains two more ancient domains. The first looks at the later years of Blackmoor, as a crusade against the Beastmen truly kicks off. And for a post-Great Rain of Fire realm, there is one taking from Taymora.

The former examines a torn apart colony besieged by endless war and enemies on all sides. A glorious admiral is not the man he once was, lacking the confidence and passion to truly bring a new age for Blackmoorians under his protection. And worse, he can’t even bare to fill his ego by looking at himself, as he only sees the beast that he acted like. However, in rare moments, he can muster enough of himself to gather volunteers to always fight back and uphold their sense of ancestral pride.

The latter explores a post-apocalyptic wreck, degraded from their days of glory, but still advancing and moving forward. This corruption of Taymora is a warped look at an old culture. And despite their attempts at pushing towards a better vision of the ways, they are viewed as backwards by the seas at large. As for their leader, once a great daughter of one of the many Vampire High Priestesses, she is cut down in both beauty and sanity. Still very powerful, she alienates and horrifies the public, as her gifts will never work as she desires them to again.

Likewise, I elaborate on some of the tortures facing the Black Rajah of Jaibul. Lifted right from the words of the Voyage of the Princess Ark, the Rajah faces new troubles in the Demiplane of Dread. Likewise, his call for allies falls on mostly no ears.

Stay tuned.

Threshold Magazine # 29 Now Available

As I’ve posted before, I have an article in the current issue of Mystara’s greatest fan magazine, Threshold. The article, “Beyond Nebligtod: Mystara in the Mists” explores three new Domains of Dread that have a distinctly Mystaran influence/perspective. Likewise, check out the other amazing contributions as well. Also, shout-out to the editors and layout designers for their amazing work.

You can find Issue # 29 here.

I LIVE… AGAIN!

“Open for Business!”

So, what gives? I vanish from you fine people for a long time with barely a word.  Well, I owe at least some explanation.  In short, things have not been exactly exemplary, tearing me away from creative stuff.  Lots of personal problems I may divulge in another post.  On top of that, being hardcore burned out on D&D has made things a bit rougher in general.  Either way, I’m back with a bit of an announcement.  Without telling you too much about my life, things have been a bit hectic during my semi-hiatus from the page here.  But, I’ve still kept busy with at least something.  

So with that, I’d like to inform that my contribution for Threshold Magazine is nearing completion.  The theme?  More victims of the Dark Powers hailing from the world of Mystara.  Read the frantic notes of the Black Rajah of Jaibul as he tries to make sense of his own situation.  Dare to seek more on other prisoners of the mists, even a word on Meredoth of Nebligtod!  While two of these domains are based on previous creations seen on my blog, this article expands a little on Vasfar and Ylar.  Joining them is a domain that connects to the mysterious pocket domain of Acotlaza.  This is the Scarred Crags, a mockery of Tiger Clan attempts to conquer their siblings of the Atruaghin Clans.  While the themes of fighting lycanthropy, colonization and oppression are no strangers to the Demiplane of Dread, hopefully this new Darklord’s pain pleases the Dark Powers.  And likewise, I hope that those reading this are just as eager as I am to make some more mad creations for the Demiplane of Dread.  Should things prove popular enough, this might continue.  Beyond Threshold, I might make a follow-up for Fraternity of Shadow’s Quoth the Raven or perhaps Threshold once more.  Likewise, musings on converting Ravenloft content to BECMI.  The Darklords and related creatures get only minimal mechanical considerations in the current article though.  In the meantime, the mists are parting once more and something dark lingers nearby.

Sylvan Strangeness – Weird Courtly Business

I've Seen Your Tears Before by Eriyal on Newgrounds

This is all I have to offer for now.  I assure you that much more lurks beyond.  There is much yet that they fair folk would prefer to presently keep hidden.  Is there something worse than a nightmare conspiracy, cross planar war or the elimination of countless lives?  Hard to say.  The fey will remain an eternal enigma to even most planars.

Author’s Note: Special thanks to King Corn and ripvanwormer of thepiazzaforums for some incredible ideas!  Anyway, that’s it for me in terms of fey politics, intrigue and factions.  Additional thanks to everyone who participated in the January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  More after the jump.

Continue reading “Sylvan Strangeness – Weird Courtly Business”

More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 3

Outlaws, Oddballs and Cultist Fanatics

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Seelie, Unseelie, Four Seasons and a few minor houses.  There is more from there.  And by all means, all of them scheme and dream.  All of them seek to triumph over the rest.  And worst of all, to see one of them fully succeed would spell the end of the fey.  Even those devout to Rhiannon would bring about their queen’s deepest fear.  In the end, the politics and ways of these creatures are too alien to fully understand.  How would they avoid absolute destruction?  How would they rebuild?  It would take a lot of speculation to imagine how pieces would be picked up by such truly unique creatures.  But, a mix of Real Speak and Chant alike has been formulated into some well crafted notes.  So, by all means read ahead and dare to discover how much of it is actual truth.  Normally, I strive for truly gripping information that holds the tests of scrutiny.  But, for cabals and corridors this deep, such endeavors are impossible.  Perhaps I have been mislead by rivals?  It is the fey way, after all.

Author’s Note: The last of them, at least for now.  These remaining sects, like the three before, hold less overall political power and tend to be less centralized.  However, most of them are some level of crazy, even by fey standards.  Also, huge shout-out to The Piazza forums.  Their ideas helped really bring this to life.

Continue reading “More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 3”

More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 2

“We are friends, come join us.”

Your journey went as well as ours?  Good, good.  At the very least, you have gained a larger understanding of the mainstream political groups that dwell within the so-called Good Kingdom, Wyld Realms and many other a name.  Regardless of what they courts may call themselves in that moment, they still hold sway and much command.  Do not let their chaotic forces fool you, those who fully oppose them can for the moment unite in near legion.  That Narrator is certainly not welcome within their grounds, letters within Sigil have made that clear.  Though, I’m not sure that this mysterious figure is as insensitive or cruel as many make them out to be.  That’s a matter that shall be discussed later.  In the meantime, let us form a lecture around more looks into the fey.  For the time being, we shall continue to look at the major power groups found within their realms, who they cooperate with and how they maintain a very tenuous cease fire.  After all, tales of the epic sylvan war resulted in no winners and no conclusion.  Fully realized organizations and groupings came from the schism.  But in the end, none came to a common consensus or attempted to reconcile in full.

What has been stated before covers the 4 primary courts of the seasons within the Deep Ethereal pockets belonging to the Fair Folk.  Many fey exist beyond the bickering of four seasons.  Once one leaves the Ethereal and reaches for the Outer Planes, they may witness conflict over two distinct “newer” courts.  The two so-called “traitor courts”, as they are called by the traditional fey of the Ethereal, act within Upper and Lower Planes.  They are the Seelie and Unseelie respectively.  For the Seelie, they are often found in Arborea, but not always.  Likewise, the Unseelie typically dwell within the most wicked pits of Pandemonium.  But, who are they?  Likewise, the Seasonal Courts aren’t alone in the Ethereal.  There are those who are not aligned with mainstream fey politics?  Why certainly!  There are tales of outsider societies as well as religious sects dedicated to ancient ways, ancient even by sylvan standards.  From obnoxious rebels to the fey equivalent to heretics, many divisions and groups have formed.

Author’s Note: Part 2 of my look at fey factions, politics and the like.  As I’ve said before, spirit type creatures needed more umph for the Planescape setting.  So, this is my way of accomplishing that.  So, let’s look at Upper Planes, Lower Planes, outsider societies and cults.  By all means, most of this is supplementary (and some minor degree of altering) to what has been written about Seelie and Unseelie via the Monstrous Mythologies as well as Planes of Chaos and Planes of Conflict.  In terms of outsiders and cults, that’ll need another post too.  Stay tuned for that!  This does not cover everything in detail, much like with part one.  Consider looking under this link for much more.

Continue reading “More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 2”

More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 1

Kips in the Cage: Custom Lifestyle Expenses for Planescape's Sigil - The  Planar DM

Ah, here we are again!  The Civic Festhall!  Some time ago, I was here to deliver my information on the fair folk, after a wondrous trip to Ecstasy.  Since then, I have been criticized and lambasted with an incomplete or biased take, especially by the mysterious Narrator.  After all, focusing on such matters can deeply upset the fey.  And that can cost one an eye *tap*… or even your entire being.  Just look at me, I’m a one-eyed cat man now.  But, I am not here to defame or bring attention to various characters.  Likewise, my own association to a bookshop should not paint any bias either. Let us speak on more joyous occasions, the realms of knowledge.  And specifically, let us study more on society and politics of the fey.  For you see, they are far more complicated and organized than we could initially fathom.

I speak of the faerie kind that span the many planes.  We know to some degree what they are, but how do they operate?  What can we learn from their daily directions and general politics?  Let us dive a little further into their own planes, as well as their own takes on our fair City of Doors.  I shall await all to seat and properly get comfortable.  I assure you that once I start my lecture, I shall continue through conclusion.

Author’s Note: The ways of the fey!  Why not?  I keep coming back to this topic one way or another, so let’s go!  At this rate, I may as well be making my own fey content for a new setting.  Also, it happens to coincide with the January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  Should you be interested, please jump on board.  Also, if you’re curious about my writing process, let this video explain it for you.  Also, accompanying each part is some artwork from DiTerlizzi.  This is mostly because I love his style and it’s perfect for this, considering he did artwork for Planescape, Spiderwick, Changeling and more.

Continue reading “More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 1”

Mirrors below Waterdeep – Alternate Realities Continued

Twilight Zone Opening - Modo 801 - YouTube

The Mad Mage, he holds a key to various incarnations of reality, jumping from one image to the next. This portal gateway is unlike any other, as it explores different timelines and possibilities rather than other planes and worlds alone. Should you make your way beyond Halaster Blackcloak and his minions, you may unlock countless possibilities.

Who I am is not important.  I leave all public record and identity to my humble guide, another reality traveler.  The bipedal feline creature, known as Ramon DeLeon, has had experience with dark mirrors adjacent of reality on the Prime.  The one I gaze upon, a Toril shredded by seemingly unending violence, this one frightens me.  However, his words are reassuring.  What is disconcerting is that “few will remember him”, whatever that is supposed to mean.  But, when one has a reputation that precedes them, events can transpire almost any way. 

Author’s Note: A post about the Forgotten Realms itself? Impossible! And yet, here we are! Many of my earliest gaming days were spent in Abeir-Toril.  This post was meant to be made and posted a while ago, but yet that didn’t happen till now.  Well, here is an expansion on an old post detailing parallel universes. The Torilian one, torn by war, is actually the version of the Realms I’ve played with for over a decade. Also, behold the final piece to the Antorek plot thing… even though it’s actually the first thing that started this whole mess.  Literally.  This is where the character came from.  Is this the last of my looks at D&D realities?  Probably not, but perhaps this is another sign I hope to move away.  Anyway, Happy New Year, to arms and battle stations!  Likewise, stay tuned for my January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  I have a few more tricks up my sleeve!  Also, thank last year’s Twilight Zone marathon for inspiring the thick of this!

Continue reading “Mirrors below Waterdeep – Alternate Realities Continued”

Dread possibilities and other heresies – A Last Look into The Mists

One last trek through the mists, friends.  One last trek is all it takes.  Will it spell the end?  A new land?  Unsure.  May something out there pity us.

Author’s Note: The year is ending and it’s almost Christmas…  Will I do more Ravenloftian goodness?  Well, someone has to in the face of Poseurloft!  But really, we’ll see.  I’m tired of D&D, as has been noted by the lack of crunch for a long time.  The good thing about a lot of my creations is that I can rebrand them as something else, if it came down to it.  Anyway, hope your days were jolly and nice.  Or at least, more so than in the Lands of the Mists.  Perhaps this is goodbye to the Demiplane of Dread, at least for now.  Likewise, a few more metaplots are looked at here for now.

Continue reading “Dread possibilities and other heresies – A Last Look into The Mists”

Troublesome Timelines in Sigil and Beyond

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Gather quickly, my free time is limited. I have dire and gruesome fortunes to unearth.

Alleissa, the protege of Midwife Mebbeth can do more than treat what ails ya and talk about the art a bit.  Did you know I have some knack for fortunes and looking at possible events?  Don’t just take my word for it…  Gaze into this crystal ball and allow me to show you.  Why are you reluctant?  Despite this adorable fuzzy rodent face, I swear I won’t call ‘The Us’ to you.  Between you and I, the Brain-Muncher Vampires from the Below make better friends than the Cranium Rats… at least the ones who aren’t too barmy.  Anyway, divination.  Sure!  Let me see likely scenarios and the unlikely… 

Hmm…  Hmm…  Oh my… All of these look rather grim.  Day to day in the Cage already brings its own ample bad news.  But, one always finds a way to adapt and perhaps normalize the horrors around them.  On a much better note, good can always come from these bad events.  After all, a mad tinker “pure blood” married I, a witch and a mutant.  I already know the next of kin will be healthy.  Plus, I’ve made sure many young in The Hive live and grow, in addition to seeing their own first light of day.  Even the aging and old, they’ve continued better thanks to my mentor and later me.  So, perhaps that’s a sign of positives among rather negative days.  But, onto the readings themselves, I warn you that the foreboding you sense is warranted.  Dark things lie ahead.  Do you still want to hear more?  Should you not want to, it’s understandable.  

Author’s Note:  Alleissa, the rat mutant, returns.  This is just a series of scenarios based on what CAN happen with the plot hooks I set up.  I don’t know if I’ll touch on them beyond this or the after effects.  After all, you’re all free to use my plot hooks as you’d like.  And yes, I straight up ripped off the Halo trilogy and a bit from Buckaroo Banzai!  Likewise, let’s tie up some plots with the Acts of Balance.  For now, I want to close the door on some Planescape metaplot.  And with that, have some Sigilian nightmares this chilly season.

Continue reading “Troublesome Timelines in Sigil and Beyond”