Currently, I find myself researching into the boundless possibilities of parallel universes, alternate realities if you will. Such a pursuit is a headache. But, no matter! An explorer must persevere for the good of all! Throughout all means of realities, little pockets of truly wondrous strangeness hide in their own obscure places. For the time being, let me chronicle some travels to other strange places in the multiverse! Who knows what there is?
Author’s Note: It’s no secret, I keep coming back to the planes, especially Planescape. As always, many of these ideas are 3rd and 4th Edition concepts retrofitted into AD&D (rather than 5th Edition’s approach). This time around, a little more Shadowfell and a bit of Elemental Chaos get reshaped to (better) fit the Great Wheel. However, I wanted to pay homage to some other concepts from settings like Mystara, which takes a much vaguer approach to the planes. Also, H.R. Giger inspired nightmare fuel! Also, where details on original content were sparse, I twisted things around and added some of my own ideas.
Enter a Domain of Dread born from paranoia and fearmongering, where your neighbor conspires against you and practices wicked sorcery… at least, by your observations.
Ruled by a once-beloved governor, now fear is there ruling force! The colony still expands and progresses, even as its appointed ruler acts from the background. However, his control is far stronger than most realize. Face an endless battle between a crazed governor and the dark witch that haunts the lands.
Domains of Dread – Dawnsveil is an expansion for the Ravenloft Campaign Setting. However, it is fully compatible with the Curse of Strahd adventure. Inside, you’ll find a history of a fallen trade colony, dark tales of a dark witch taken form and terrifying creatures that dwell in the darkness.
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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!
“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…
“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!
“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.
“Metal things, metal things, why do you get in my way? My favorite ditch, destroyed! They ate my gold! One of them stole one of my axes! Tin can bastards are going in my book, my book of grudges! Blasting that damned fox into near-dust was entertaining, but I still hate them! Back to the chained islands with all of you! A cursed land, of course it’s the place they crawled out of! I’ll make them crawl back!” – Boron, Unhinged Dwarf Warrior/Rune-Crafter, “Ally” of Geber, survivor of The Massacre of Ignis
Lesser Sheen models have proved to be quite destructive. However, far worse ones wait for their chance to strike. Some seek to hack through organic like, while others harvest whatever secrets they have to further help the sheen agenda. Their mechanical terror knows very few limits, expanding and changing at rapid rates. In fact, new forms of sheen have emerged from their studies of the prime material plane itself.
Author’s Note: Here are the rest of the Sheens from both articles. These baddies should prove to be far more formidable than the previous post, especially the massive power tree! That’s an end campaign boss, more or less! With the Sheen out of the way, I think I’ll slowly move towards my horror/dark fantasy theme I do every autumn.