Ramon’s Guide to Realms of Order vs. Anarchy

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“Law and Chaos, two diametrically opposed sides, no one will refute this.  However, what oddities and secrets do they hold?  Why, I’m happy to show you.  While I have covered a little on Pandemonium and Acheron, it’s only fair to look at the other mostly-neutral planes of Law and Chaos… plus a few looks at other related realms, and a few returns to some less than savory burgs and blights.  But, all in the name of granting knowledge to you, fair scholar!” – An introductory speech for Ramon’s Lecture on Planes of Law and Chaos, at the Civic Festhall, in the Clerk’s Ward of Sigil

Planes of Law, rules taken physical form!  While Acheron has shown the order of war at its most harsh, there is far more to explore within the possibilities of Law.  One must account for concepts of atruism, unity, conformity and direction.  While these topics can overlap between planes; they all have their respective places.  Likewise, their inevitable counterpart is the eternal testament to disorder.  The Planes of Chaos are a lack of rules turned physical.  Chaos need not be just madness, like Pandemonium.  Plenty of free thinkers are driven by many other passions.  These don’t have to be completely selfish either.  Some people just want a good time, consequences be damned!  Others just want free reigns to express themselves, judgements be damned.  So, as these two forces butt heads, let’s take a deeper look at some overviews as well as some of my own dug up finds.  Join me as I return to the planes once again!

Author’s Note: More Planes!  This time Law vs. Chaos.  This was a fun chance to revisit my fey post from last Summer!  (Shout out to Brynvalk for partially inspiring this brief revival!) Also, yes, Augmental probably won’t see use in MOST sane campaigns, considering it’s supposed to be a blend of Phyrexia, Hellraiser and H.R. Giger art in a blender.  Though, I can hope some more tongue-in-cheek segments make up for my usual delves into grimdark.

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Horrors of Xoriat – Daelkyrspawn

Xoriat, a realm of unspeakable evil. The native Daelkyr reside here, experts of sickening fleshcraft. Among their works were legions of warped and disfigured abominations, the daelkyrspawn. These things were once captured forces of Material plane fleets, the very races that attempted to repel the nightmarish plane. While Xoriat’s connection was ultimately severed from the list of coterminous planes, countless creatures were abducted and transformed into the sickening puppets of today. While many are simply stranded in the Prime Material, some seek methods of returning the tether to Xoriat and continuing the invasion from so long ago. Many of these atrocities prepare for battle in the depths of the dark realm of Khyber. From this hideaway, they all ready for an onslaught in the name of their aberrant creators.

Some, like the dolgaunt, for monastic cells to prepare a tactical strike. Other abominations are far simpler and mindlessly assault all creatures that may move too close to their grasp. Either way, their psychologies are far too detached from the mortal realm to properly figure what their current goal or aspiration is.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: More Eberron once more. Here is an updated take on my version of the Daelkyrspawn from a ways back. Also, if I may hop on my soap box. Please, support Exploring Eberron over Rising from the Last War. The former is purely Keith Baker’s voice, not the sanitized version released by Wizards of the Coast. So much was watered down to fit their new market model, but the guild allows fans to recapture what WotC decided to leave behind.  Back to this post, I realize an official Choker was published, but I always found them neat and weird… so they’re remade here too from their original days.

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Wretches of Ravenloft – Mordent

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Mordent, considerably more progressive than other domains by a distance.  Curiously, its presence in the Mists is the fault of Strahd and Azalin.  They devised a scheme to exploit an apparatus within the realm to free themselves from their imprisoned domains.  This failed, sealing Mordent’s fate as well.

A fair share of oddities drift in and around the domain.  The Darklord himself, Lord Wilfred Godefrey, certainly counts.  Once a backstabbing aristocrat, he slew his own wife and daughter.  He covered the incident up as it were an accident.  But, their vengeful spirits drove him to suicide, forcing him into the ironic fate of a trapped spirit too.  Since then, he has collected the souls that are beckoned to his house on Gryphon Hill.  He has even used the trapped souls to his advantage at times, creating networks of informants and spies within his domain.

But, what is beyond the house?  The Great Moors risk dense moss and trees to get lost in, while ghost towns just beyond prove to be less than salvation.  The river ways and moors are mucky and thick, the perfect predatory grounds of the bog hound.  A ways off the path was an off beat enclave of artists, creatives and non-establishment people who failed to fit in with the norm.  Save for the waxworks, there is no more life here.  No true life.  Despite much of it burning down, wonders of art are mixed with the macabre to unveil an art show unlike anything before.

Author’s Note:  Yet another double-feature!  This time, the Domain of Mordent as the theme.  The first creature is based off the Howls of the Night adventure, prominently featuring the Bog Hound.  The second is from a homebrew pocket domain within the domain itself.  It’s a meshing of wax museum horror tropes.  And for added creepiness, some extra homage to one of my favorite parts of BioShock!

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More Gothic Terra – Even more frightening foes

Heroes against the darkness, across spans of time

People who aren’t careful have a habit of vanishing in this city.  The cops, they just don’t care.  Hired hands, they’re hiding something.  The likes of people like me, researching the truth on the side.  If you’re careful, you’ll stay close and ask few questions.  – Herman P. Finske, Attorney and Occult Reseacher

Even as times change and people progress, one things stays true…  there are things that always go bump in the night.  Your walled in lands of safety can still be infiltrated or outright broken down.  And even without that, there are still dark forces at work from within.  Mad experiments, mutants, things of the mind and more!  Monsters are going modern for this week!

Author’s Note: More urban fantasy/modern horror creatures!  This time, right out of the pages of D20 Modern with my own twists here and there.

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Mage Vs. Machine – The Sheens

Todd Lockwood - Mech Hunter

Rumors tell of impossible machines, constructs built by the bashers of an exceptionally accursed prime space.  Such a place was long buried deep in the dead book by its own hubris and acceleration, despite the warnings of their Powers.  The barmies kept on going, crafting up one of the most heinous things to pollute the multiverse.  I speak of the Sheens.  Baator-fed buggers seem to self-replicate and thrive, despite attempts to wipe them out.  They’re not just constructs either, but true thinking machines!  They lack souls, but have the mind and bone-box alike to surpass most eggheads.  Needless to say, this place burned down hard.  The Land of Blackmoor was no more!  However, their creation escaped far beyond its Crystal Sphere and beyond.  So, go ahead and kill one, multiple will show up out of no where to take you down!  The Metal berks burnt my tail bad too! – Geber Reynardt, Kitsune Alchemist and Sensate, survivor of The Sheen Invasion of Ignis

Who says sci-fi and fantasy don’t mix?  It’s been a thing for decades, eons, at least a century!  Even in D&D, we’ve had all sorts of strange crossovers.  The aforementioned Blackmoor has been around since the beginning.  That setting was a somewhat dirty and gritty medieval world that contended with a crashed alien space ship.  The result was an AWOL officer starting an uprising with a “frog cult”, as well as the ship thrown into other forms of turmoil.  The end result of the mess caused Blackmoor to experience technological leaps before ultimately blowing itself up.

And in the case of the Sheen, one of my favorite articles from Dragon Magazine (complete with a follow-up), they’re very much science-fantasy too.  The articles tell of the sheen, a strange and mysterious menace.  These constructs were made by a society more advanced in technology and probably magic too.  Their genuine origins are a mystery to most, but their desire to consume and conquer makes them a massive threat.  Plus, they have numerous forms that can adapt to different situations.  And while the sheens tear through organic life, they don’t do so out of malice or hatred, but a survival for their own “machine kind”.  Fortunately, countless defenders have learned enough to fend them off and even reverse engineer some of their own contraptions too.  In a sense, think like Horizon Zero Dawn!

Author’s Note: This one has been a long time coming!  The Sheens are by far one of my favorite obscure D&D monsters (or set of monsters).  Beyond two magazine articles, there hasn’t been too much buzz around them.  Hopefully, I can help to change that!  Here’s the first part of that, with a mix of both articles.  Sure, I’ve made robots already, but I really love these ones too!  Plus, should I find the time, I might be interested in converting the Kits and Spells introduced by the article too… eventually… hopefully.

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The Eldritch Unity – Amalgamated Horrors from Powers Beyond

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Unification.  Usually, this concept is seen as a positive.  Coming together for a common cause.  However, not all things use it for the betterment of all life.  Some use it for the betterment of themselves, sometimes to literally propagate themselves; an all out cosmic domination campaign.  For survivors sane enough to resist its curse, they will recant tales of an entity more than capable of unraveling all reality… and rebuilding it in a gruesome image.

Despite hailing from some alien dimension, accessed through planar loopholes and demiplanes, this entity is not driven by chaos or randomness, as we might assume.  Scholars believe that this thing has taken interest in our takes on law, order and of course unity.  However, it strives to perfect it.  To material plane minds, the result is a sickening perversion that inspires madness and revulsion.

Author’s Note: The culmination of all sorts of cosmic and body horror.  Here are a few powerful creatures that could make for some truly horrifying end game baddies, short of an elder god itself.  Mix a little Dark Souls, Halo, Innistrad and Warhammer 40K and you have these abominations.  Also, I realized that my homage to Hanweir is quite similar to Kor-Artificer’s.  Great minds think alike, I guess.  Either way, I can certainly say that I’ve created one of he most horrifying things I can imagine.  All for a part of the Unity!

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Diseases and Plagues – Sinister Sickness for D&D 5th Edition

EDIT: So, I might clean this up as part of a DM’s Guild post in the near future.  Also, be sure to check out the various creepy creations I’ve made besides this by clicking here.

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Journal Entry 183

Illness.  A force capable of wiping out an entire city, if not civilization, if left unchecked.  My superiors theorize that it is the result of the machinations of the lower planes.  I know better though, I’m well aware that life so evil need not come from other planes, but from our prime material.  Sicknesses come from small germ-like creatures, accidentally bred through hosts and environments, but that’s as far as I can gather on my research.  By all means, I’m sure fiends can create their own diseases though… and I shudder at the thought.

That said, I will never rule out an element of the supernatural in plagues.  I’ve witnessed many things while acting as a physician: pustules emitting acidic vapor, coughing fits leading to burning alive, previously rotting and wasting victims returning as the undead, demonic incubation.  The list continues onward.  In fact, some of these cases I plan on covering more in depth, in addition to some new discoveries I’ve made.  I must go back into plagued lands to dive deeper.  However, one can’t venture into these dark depths without proper protection.  As unnerving as it may be to the public, the plague suit has proved quite effective.  Aromatic contents treated with protective wards is helpful enough, after all.  Now, I ready myself for travel throughout the planes, in hopes of understanding disease throughout all realities.

Author’s Note:  My avatar on many of my pages tends to be a plague doctor.  So, what could be more appropriate than analyzing diseases with such a character.  Also, I guess this marks a return to planar and sci-fi content, right?  Plus, one of the things that inspired this was Russet’s Mold and Vegepygmies from Expedition to Barrier Peaks… a module I had previously converted!

Also, be warned!  If you do not like Body Horror or other forms of Medical Horror, I do not recommend continuing.  While I don’t go into grotesque detail, I’ve still tried to capture both to the best of my ability.  And even then, many of the diseases here are quite deadly and have the capability to kill an entire party.  As such, use them sparingly.

Also, please pardon the lateness of this post.  I’ve been under immense stress for the past month and a half.  Things haven’t been going too well for me and I’m doing my best to manage.  That said, things are getting better and I’m trying to make things go back to normal.  As always, thanks for understanding.

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