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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Modern Masque of the Red Death – Some Horrors of Gothic Terra

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Here at the Hoffman Institute, we specialize in chronicling the strange, the distant, the shadowy.  Xenoforms and other horrors have found methods of breaching through thresholds and corrupting our very world.  Unless we’re prepared, a whole otherworld of monsters could bring Earth to its knees.  However, the future lies in both our veteran members as well as readied recruits.  Through honor, teamwork, diligence and knowledge; the forces of darkness will not prevail over the best humanity has to offer against evil.

We have a few notes from some upcoming assignments.  These will tell you what to look out for.  Above all, while protecting the public, we must keep these incidents secret.  We can’t let too much paranormal news get out to the public.  After studying these cases, be prepared to secure and contain the threads that they are attached to.  The Hoffman Institute is counting on you.  Best of luck.

Author’s Note.  So, some of the monsters here take inspiration from the previous post.  And no, I’m not trying to cheapen what I made before by giving creatures stats.  A few of these are directly tied to one ghost story, bu that’s okay.  Also, keep on the lookout for some more foes of gothic earth!  (A mix of Masque and D20 Modern inspiration.)

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Ramon’s Guide to Gothic Terra

Masque

“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.

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Creatures of the Mists – Dark Denizens of the Domains of Dread

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“Chroniclers from “some outside world” kept babbling about Shadow Powers and Fell planes.  These people are fools.  They know not of the mists, they know not of true nightmares.  I live in them, just as I do in the rare dream.  Some day, our people might escape through these gates, through the endless worlds of dream and into paradise.  Perhaps these outlanders can take our place…  As far as I’m concerned, they don’t truly exist anyway.” – a rather rude Aabber Shaman of the Nightmare Lands, according to Ramon.

The Mists house many untold and unspoken evils and perils.  They’re usually the results of twisted minds and nefarious plots.  Some are just sad souls that have long since fallen from grace.  In more than one instance within the demiplane, some were merely evil souls from the beginning.  Such a twisted menagerie exists within the Domains, it’s a miracle that they haven’t escaped to torment the outside worlds.

Brace yourselves and survive the monsters of the night!

Author’s Note: While Ramon bumbles in Ravenloft, let’s bring in a mixture of classic monsters and some new creations!  Since I already have various Ravenloft critters in my Vampire and Were-beast books on DM’s Guild, I have not included them here.  Also, please pardon the rampant song references…

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Ramon’s Guide to The Mists

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Ravenloft!  The Demiplane of Dread!  The Mists!  All names for the same prison dimension for the foulest in the multiverse!  Those within the clutches of the Dark Powers must suffer, whether or not they deserve it.  These Dark Powers overseen all sorts of truly awful Domains of Dread, plots of artificially constructed spaces where the Powers observe the truly damned in the places of their own damnation.  The Darklords are those who have doomed themselves through acts of ultimate evil.  They preside over the aforementioned domains to remind them of their sins.  Usually, they don’t take kindly to visitors like myself.

Author’s Note: The Lovable World Traveling Bard vs. The Demiplane of Dread!  I always love writing bits on Ravenloft and this is a good way of introducing some of my favorite domains to players who might not be as familiar with them.  Of course, there are MANY domains that I wish I could ramble about, but I have only so much space and time to play with, unlike the Dark Powers.  In fact, their ability is limitless!  Plus, this is a good way of building up my own domains, Dawnsveil, Within the Woods and Feuer!  (Yes, the second one is Evil Dead 1 & 2.)  Keep an eye out for those new domains, by the way…  Also I continued a piece cut from my prior post.  The Black Lanterns was part of my Shadow Fell to Planescape conversion concept from before.

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Eerie and Sinister Monsters – Creatures of Dark Realms

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“Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper”

Many creatures were described in my previous travels.  It would be only fair to elaborate on them slightly.  Ready yourself for those who lurk in darkness and dread, friends!  Allow this small bestiary to inform you on the powers and potentials of these morbid friends and foes.  Or should this fall into more diabolic hands, beware of the heinous horrors that you so choose to wield.  Righteous comeuppance will likely find its way.

Author’s Note:  A companion piece to Ramon’s explorations!  Here are some monsters referenced in the post or in their respective planes and dimensions.  Enjoy!

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Ramon’s Guide to Places of Shadow and Sorcery

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“They’re already dead, they just don’t know it yet!”

Instead of a normal lecture, I figure I’ll just chronicle my own travels and recant later.  The realms of dream proved invigorating, mortifying, thrilling and so much more!  However, my desire for adventure has taken me to far more chilling places.  Lands of Death, Darkness, Disaster and so on!  As always, I am forever devoted to pursuits of knowledge.  And through my travels and magical catalogue of thoughts and sights, you too may travel with me to parts unknown and dreadful.  Should anything unfortunate happen to me, let this document be a word of warning!

Author’s Note: I did an old school reorganizing of 4e’s (and I guess 5e’s) Feywild, I figure it’s the Shadowfell’s turn.  Many of its ideas were appropriated from past sources already, so that makes things a little easier.  As for the other stuff?  Well, once again, time to improvise!  Also, keep an eye out for some crunch that relates to this post.

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