“I came to, a willingness to survive kicked in. When I swam above the waterline, I wasn’t greeted by Lamordia, by a mist-cloaked land anew. Surely, this was but a trick of The Dark Powers, once more?” – Ramon DeLeon, wandering bard and planes traveler
Planet Terra. It has been referenced in many planar logs. Many worlds tell of a mythic world of great humans who fled the oppressive horrors of their old world of many names. LaTerre, Uerth, Gothic Earth. These names and more have been given to this world by many a scholar of Wildspace and The Planes. Despite its mythic past, much of its fantastical glory days are over, with only dark shadows looming over the present. The present, according to the widely used calendar of its people, is 2012. The common people either mistranslate old calendars as prophecy or completely brush off any fear. The reality of the matter is so much worse…
Author’s Note: Credit where credit is due! A big thanks to Rucht Lilavivat of the Fraternity of Shadows community for his creation of Gothic Earth Eternal, a pathfinder mod that brings Masque of the Red Death into the Modern Age. In my case, this is my means of highlighting a variety of chilling tales. In the world of Gothic Earth, they’re most likely true! Also, this is not the Earth you are used to, but one more akin to the gothic settings of the World of Darkness roleplaying game. Life is deadlier, the aesthetics are grimmer and the world in general is far more sinister. Plus, I have an excuse to tie in Alternity Dark*Matter RPG’s Hoffman Institute and the forces of Shadow from D20 Urban Arcana, which are both canon in D&D. I know Masque of the Red Death doesn’t traditionally have standard Domains, but this concept takes place over 100 years after the main campaign. Anything can happen, right?
Also, this gives me the chance to showcase some disturbing stories through a supernatural lens! The fate of the SS. Morro Castle, Jane and the Starving Period of Jamestown, fell curses in the Payton Randolph house, the murder of George Wythe, tavern tales of devil pacts and their supposed results, government conspiracies, southwestern ghost towns, real life camp killers and the infamous murder hotel. Now, save for a tavern tale or two; the majority of the topics mentioned in this are real or are based on real events. I don’t mean any offense or disrespect when adapting these events to horror fiction. If anything, reality is far scarier than any fictional tale we could come up with. None the less, I realize this one will be rather controversial.