Of Lands Beyond Castle Ravenloft – Mad Plots and Grim Conspiracy

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Sitting around a polished oaken table, an assortment of well-dressed individuals act locked in place upon simple chairs.  Only when one shadowy figure emerged into dim lamplight do the other figures seem to respond.  A woman clad in red finery more suited to a special gathering or wedding emerges forward, the wrinkles on her face accentuated through her sneering expression.

“I’ve long awaited this gathering here.  Influences of the supernatural want to have their way with the villages, precious cities, establishments of higher learning.  Such things are abominations that attack Reason itself.  Despite my origins elsewhere, you know my dedication to Lamordia.  My aspirations of Ludendorf Academy of Science cannot occur without your aid, even with its rivals.  While nestled in a quiet land, the school would bring enlightenment to those who seek it.”

She glances around, none of the other members of this meeting look in particular disagreement or contradiction.  One figure arises to meet her gaze, raising from his chair.  His garb is far less ornate, but still of quality and professionalism.

“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Natalya Bogdanoff, former headmistress of Kantora University.  Fear not L’Académie des Sciences of Dementlieu either.  We are researching them as we speak…  But, where are my manners?  We welcome you to our organization and acknowledge your concerns wholeheartedly.  You are a friend here in Lamordia, and a friend of the Syndicate of Enlightened Citizens.  The Academy has had our backing since its announcement.  Should you be concerned about suspicious influences among staff and students, say no more.  We’re happy to provide you assistance.  And everyone else in attendance, let us please applaud our newest member.  No longer are you merely a guest of honor.”

The gathered company arise to clap for Natalya, who clasps her hands and twists her face into a devilish smirk.  After an appreciative nod, everyone returns to their seats.  Natalya unveils documents from a case, one of which entailing plans for the Academy of Science.  Passing the documents around, the members of the syndicate nod and chatter with each other in excitement.  As the papers make their way back to their owner, the mood turns from welcoming excitement to a sinister cabal of shadowy plots.

Author’s Note: 4 posts in a row?  I guess my disappointment and frustration is a good motivator after all.  Not a long-term one, but I’ve certainly felt pretty damn creative.  But in all seriousness, I’ve been more motivated to read the books I do like and it has inspired me.  Also, let me bring in some more Dawnsveil content from my prior DM’s Guild version.  And on a final note, let’s explore some of the motivations behind past weirdness, shall we?

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Of Lands Beyond Castle Ravenloft – Realms of Secrets

https://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/99147/anchorite.png“These notes, they are pulled together by a strange outlander. And yet, they make perfect sense. Why? Because it is part of the greater mysteries of Ezra! Consider that the wandering bard was sent to help us make sense of everything, a gift of the goddess to prove that we can prevail.  Perhaps even, he is an aspect of our goddess to help provoke thought and revelation!   We shall not fear the Mists of Death and their grim esoterica. A breakthrough is upon us!” – Brother Mellick, priest of the Dementlieuse Sect of the Church of Ezra

The Darkonese sect preaches of certain doom, but that is far from true.  In fact, many of these strange places can help preach hope.  But, this hope is hidden and requires diligent minds to seek it out.  Life in these realms is one of mystery and only in cracking that mystery can we achieve a brighter tomorrow.  Flickers of life in dying lands, a grim machine used in revenge against a corrupt system, the ways of planes beyond, cautionary tales of warfare.  All of these and more can give us vital insight into ourselves and our actions, they are lessons that Ezra can teach us.

Author’s Note: Split from a previous post.  Have some more concepts for domains.  I won’t turn down an opportunity to do a better ghost train idea than WotC.  And well, the same goes for an Eberron domain too!  I already made one, but Snaking Trenches were basic.  Let’s pull a city from Cyre instead!  And while we’re at it, cool new lady darklords and their own new domains.  Anyway, that’s enough petty jabs at the new book.  As always, please enjoy.

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Dark Visions of Ravenloft – Madame Eva’s Tales from the Time of Unparalleled Darkness

The prophecy foretold!  A Grand Conjuncture was only the beginning, the mad priests speak of the true sundering!  But, these visions of realms are just vague and inconclusive.  Only the lost Dukkar can reveal more, but Hyskosa is or will at some point be gone… supposedly.  I heed you to listen to this prophecy before going forward.  To have an audience of the Vistani, let alone hear the words of one such as I, is an honor you should not soon forget.  You take interest in the fates, let me tell you more.

First stance: The Forsaken Legion shall make their stand against The Darkest Son and The Original Tragedy, as The Wizard laments his Failed Doorway.Twilight's Children - Session 27

Second stance: The striking down of maidens shall break the dark messiah from a witch, so he may glorify a new King.  The King shall enact true change.

Third stance: He who Knits Life and He who is Scorned shall face each other’s fears, a new sin arises from love and another sin is invented.

Fourth stance: Nightmares will take flesh, courts will merge with the horrors of the mind.  Those who can’t fight it will be devoured.

Fifth stance: The Warlord will claim great victory, only for holy light to thwart him when it is too late.  A guiding angel will emerge for revolution.

Six stance: The Witch Daughter shall unravel the war plan, spiraling campaigns of death into a grim peace.  But, the Darkest Son shall gain new family.

Seventh stance: Only The Original Tragedy will endure and face a final test, after a father’s sins are resolved.

Know this, Giorgio, you gain a privilege granted to no others of your kind.  Heed the warnings and prepare loved ones around you…  End Times are upon us, perhaps even the Vistani.

Author’s Note: Nukes, All Out War, Skaven, The-Flood-meets-the-Eldrazi, Holy Vengeance, the Bride of Frankenstein and the Army of the Damned!  Here’s my take on an end all be all for The Mists.  Of course, none of it is said in stone and prophecy can be subverted… like with the Grand Conjunction.  Should you wish to make adventures out of the Time of Unparalleled Darkness, sample my ideas all you like.  After all, I can’t call mine wholly original.  Once again, major thanks to the Kargatane and Fraternity of Shadows for being an excellent font of inspiration.  Also, I remembered recently that the subject of “Dukkar” shouldn’t be brought up to “Giorgio”.  Though, thanks to the Grand Conjunction, the term might be more widely known.

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Time Marches On: Blog Carnival Wrap-Up

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Thanks for marching along with me, as we traverse the endless streams of time!  While I was hoping for a few more, I’m glad all of you took the time to see how time marched on in your games.

Here is the list of contributors:

Stay tuned for next month’s theme “Gamemaster’s Cut” from Codex Anathema!  If you wish to know more about the RPG Blog Carnival, please go here!

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July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Post-Apocalyptic House Rules

Most creations of the apocalypse are accidental.

The end of the world happened as we expected, too many people squabbling over too many things.  And with their super weapons, a new breed of terror was unleashed.  Not only did the radiation spread, it became aware, it gained its own life.  And what followed?  I dare not say…  All that is certain is the horrors of this war spawned all of them.  Protect yourself at all costs, should you run into such a mockery of life.

The post-apocalypse, a staple of darker science fiction.  There are few greater fears than not only one’s own death, but the death of the world we live in.  Or at the very least, the death of civilization.  In most cases, we wouldn’t have roaming raiders, so much as starved out and depressed barbarians.  But, since science fiction gives some leeway, we’re able to explore the grittier side with the likes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the more gonzo like Mad Max and all of the bootlegs and homages that it inspired!  (And ’70s/’80s Italian post-apocalyptic bootlegs are simply incredible.)  Or go even further with the likes of Adventure Time, especially in the more recent years as the old world was further expanded upon.  Even if settlements are rebuilding the old world and some semblance of stability comes to the wastes, there are still many hazards that roam the blasted out reaches.  Just like the dungeon crawls and treks of D&D fantasy, the world has regressed into an age of buried secrets, monstrous threats, lost knowledge and high adventure!

With that, today I’m going to focus on retooling some old ideas I’ve had for post-apocalyptic settings.  Effects of radiation, as well as enfeebled equipment and ruins of buildings are given some spit and polish.  Plus, I wanted to bring back a fair share of gruesome and ghoulish creatures I had worked on in the past.  Whether it’s an elemental power of radiation itself or the many mutants that is probably created, there are tons of familiar faces.  While I wanted to make a scrapping based craft mechanic, I couldn’t really settle on a base craft mechanic.  To be fair, neither has core D&D really.  And until we have an expanded idea, there are tons of concepts floating throughout the web.  So, I’ll likely come back to that in the future.

Author’s Note: Here’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while!  In fact, it’s part 1 for that matter.  Expect a heaping helping of horrifying mutants within the next couple of days to next week!  Stay glowing, my radioactive muties!

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