Mist-cloaked Ways – Traditions, stories and beliefs of the Lands

Ravenloft by Stephen Fabian | Fantasy art, Concept art, Painting

Storytelling, it is a tradition.  For Vistani wanderers, there is no exception.  The spoken story has helped keep tribes and clans together.  And by all means, those of different clans have collected countless tales across travels.  Some speak of taboos, others of strange secrets, others purely bizarre.  Tonight, you are invited to hear some of these tales and decipher what is fact and what is mere myth peddled along for entertainment.

Author’s Note: Huge thanks to Matt Doyle alias “strahdsbuddy”.  His own creation got my own creative juices flowing, even if a few ideas were looted.  This one is a bit shorter, but that’s partially because I’m on vacation and need a break from life for a little bit.

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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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Ramon’s Guide to Positive Energy Planes

Libertad's Planar Revision Project

We have discussed all of this talk about fusion planes, however we have neglected two very influential and prominent parts of the Inner Planes, the Positive and Negative planes; forces of literal life and death.  And, as you’d expect, they too have their own alterations of the various planes beyond.  Travel forth if you dare, to witness lively and deathly versions of the elemental planes you know so well.

Author’s Note: I had to push things back.  I was gonna do a huge list of elemental things, and probably have a bunch of monsters by now.  But, I haven’t had the extra energy in me.  Plus, I’ve already referenced plenty of canon and custom monsters in previous posts, so that helps.  At the very least, with this one finished, I can create a bunch of cool elemental/inner planes themed monsters!  My own Planescape Monstrous Appendix III of sorts, if you will!  One last note, I have Negative Energy stuff split off into another post too.  Don’t worry, I’ll pop up a few days later.  I just needed to break things up…  It might prove to be a better format, to be honest.  And as always, classical and popular culture are mined and bastardized for idea fodder.

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Horrid Things From Beyond the Veil – Aberrant Evils

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Heroes of D&D meet their match!

Among the most foul creatures within the realms of D&D is the aberration.  Some hail these terrors of entities spawned from a distant realm unlike anything else; The Far Realm.  Others fear that they are perversions of our own reality, distortions that prove how horrible magic can truly be.  No matter the case, they lurk in dark shadows and hover beyond the veil, as the fabric of reality is slowly torn asunder.

Author’s Note:  I haven’t really tackled too many aberrations in a while.  Considering they’re among my favorite monsters, I need to fix that!  This time around, I have conversions of 3rd edition creatures, as well as some of my own creatures.  Star Vampires, Hulking Illithids, Dragon Illithids and one of the most nefarious parasites to show up in D&D!  Ready yourself for some truly menacing Elder Evils!

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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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Monsters of Reality – Yes, Even More Planar Creatures!

City of Doors by janroth

“Give ya the dark for some good jink! I know tons, lots of things about distant sights and travels. Don’t let the grungy look dissuade you, I know all about the realms beyond the cage!” – Lanky, Ultroloth-blooded Tiefling Rogue/Planar Fighter, The Hive of Sigil

I’m back at it once more, bringing in some more classic monsters of the Planescape Campaign Setting. While Wizards might eventually port all of these over, I thought I’d bring my take here in the meantime. While I’ve made a reference to the current layout, I should note that my take on Planescape looks back to the AD&D take on it, mostly ignoring any newer creations (such as Post-Spellplague Forgotten Realms, new cosmology elements a la Shadowfell and Feywild, newer takes on races like Tieflings and the like) outside of respective settings such as the Nentir Vale. But, I’ve tried to make that apparent as much as possible in previous posts.

Author’s Note: December is Planescape Month, I guess? Why? Because I love Planescape, that’s why! Also, I noticed I haven’t really tackled enough lawful monsters, so here’s some more from planes of law. Plus, I wanted the squeeze in the Hellcat and the Bladeling in last time, but ran out of time. Also, I wanted to convert a creature from the Dungeon Adventure, “Deep Freeze” (again). Enjoy! Happy Crimbo!

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Monsters in Space! The Sequel: Star Dragons (and Dragon Variants)

“How could such an environment lead to this?  Is this a dragon?  It barely seems to qualify.  Unlike others, it shoots a strange, destructive light from its mouth…  It baffles the mind.”- From the journal of a traveling scholar.

Star Dragons, born from the deep cosmos, are a rare draconic breed.  Some think they are crossbred between a true dragon from another realm and something truly alien.  Others believe that they are another reality’s manifestation of dragon.  They could very well be an evolution of primordial energy from the distant depths, gaining awareness as it gained form.  None the less, such a creature is capable of unleashing a fearsome power that is true to their kind.  Unlike any element, they can release a matter consuming light.  Few are sure if it is a kind of radiation, a laser beam or something else entirely.  On top of that, it is said that they hold the ability to phase through reality and travel among the stars themselves.

Those who have encountered them have either contended with a brutal foe or an incredible ally.  Indifferent to plights, powers and people; the star dragons prefer to distance themselves from conflict.  But, if one is convinced to aid, they will become an invaluable source as long as there’s something in it for them.  In fact, they’re more likely to remain away from plane jumpers and ships alike.  Those who interact with such travelers always have a personal agenda in mind.  Despite this, they are not typically egoistic, as they often have a communal aspect to them.  They travel the stars in pods, similar to whales in the sea, doing all they can to prevent anyone from falling behind in the galactic reaches.  Protection of clan and extended family is an important virtue for such creatures.

Author’s Note: I wanted to do a little bit more with my list of classic D&D monsters ported over into the realms of science fiction…  Well… science-fantasy.  Will these manifest in something else at one point?  Most likely, yes!  Anyway, here’s my take on a cosmic dragon that was scrapped from last week’s post due to time.  Also, I’m going to be taking a little break from planar/science-fantasy.

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