Misty Rumors – Dread Tales of Ravenloft

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A clamminess completes the foggy night sky of Karg, refuge of Il Aluk’s intellectual schools of thought.  But your journey has lead you to a simple building, hiding place of a scribe in service to Azalin Rex himself.  In lieu of recent events, Toubirj the Quickened Hand has found himself waiting the darklord returning to “normalcy”.  But, a network of underground thieves, vindictive academics and disgruntled mages has lead you to an otherwise humble abode.  A short, meek and disheveled looking man answers, his ill-fit body frame moving like a tower of junk ready to topple.  A gangly left arm extends to usher you inside quickly, as he soon slams the door and closes several locks.  And with a few muffled words and motions, a spell further seals the way out.  Shuffling to a chair, he lurches over while placing his head upon his hands.  He studies you, inquisitively before cracking a smile.  Rather than speaking, he simply hands over a piece of parchment.

“Hail to you, reader.  You sought this scroll expecting that strange bard, yes?  Pity, he still has not been found.  I am but a humble scribe, commissioned by his mighty majesty, Azalin.  Divination boons have gifted me with the joys of deeper knowledge, if only to satisfy my liege.  While he has returned to a period of deep contemplation, I continue to collect and gather.  Times in Darkon have been an overflowing cauldron, bubbling and dripping, awaiting tipping point.  That time is passing, as my master returns to dark recesses.  Should you have particularly juicy information, less vulnerable information can be extended in trade…  Just, do it quick.  I know he listens, my arcane senses have made this known!  But, you care for Ramon.  Luckily, I have a few of his journals in my possession.  Allow to extend some of his knowledge to you.  But first, I simply desire to know what you offer in return.”

The frail and strange man finally opens his mouth, “Well, I’m waiting.  If you’re here, you have good information to share.”  He taps his fingers together, expectantly.  Reaching into your bag, you open a carrying case for various parchments, handing them in the direction of the squat man.  His grin widens as he gracefully accepts the documents.  Scanning them in rapid pace, he quickly jumps between pages of notes.  “Ah, this will do well.  First edition notes from the bard.  Let me offer some fine bits of my own in return.  And mark my words, we are safe from interlopers.  Do not fear these secrets being overheard… save for by his highness.  That isn’t an issue, is it?”

Author’s Note:  Am I done with Ramon?  What does the future hold in general?  I’m still not sure with either.  In the meantime, let’s return to various domains of dread.  And with that, plenty of secrets and rumors!

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Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 3)

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Once more, let us tell tales of mighty heroes and frightening monsters.  From steppes below to mountains above, tales of high adventure await.  And with them?  Great foes and allies alike.  You thought you only had to worry about the Baba Yaga?  You are quite wrong!

Author’s Note: I wanted to make some Slavic inspired monsters with a lower CR rating, especially considering the rest have been pretty strong.  Also, here’s a bonus heroic NPC to accompany these troublesome treks!  Also, a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to my readers!

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Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 2)

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“You understand the risks of joining our hunting team, yes?  There are many things in the woods that would stop our enterprise, but we’re among the most elite in the lands.  Our skills are legendary.  Some angered spirits don’t threaten us!” – The last words of a foolish trespasser

The forest holds many mysteries beyond the fabled Grandmother of the Witches.  Life grabbing wolves, tree-like giant men, three headed dragons!  Such terrors and more lie over the mountain side and into the forest.  Travel with caution and tact.  And of course, show respect to the spirits around you.

Author’s Note: My exploration into Slavic folklore creatures continues.  Also, I’m gonna cover some weaker monsters for lower tier adventures later.  So far, all of these have been at least pretty strong.

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Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 1)

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Looks friendly enough.

 

Behold, the mother of hags! And with her, a cadre of mythical companions and foes.  As the autumn months roll on and witches gather, the foul mother of them all beckons you to her door.  Seek out the dancing hut and experience the horror of Baba Yaga!  And joining her, a cadre of creatures both benign and truly vicious!  And there are more where that came from, as always.

Author’s Note: Here is something long overdue! The folklore of Eastern Europe and beyond hasn’t been represented in media too much. So, let’s fix that. Speaking of fixing, here’s my new take on Baba Yaga and her magical dancing hut!  More creatures based on Slavic folklore will soon follow.  Also, both the Dancing Hut and Baba Yaga are extremely strong creatures!  As a rule of thumb though, don’t mess with Baba Yaga!

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June 2019 Blog Carnival – Ramon’s Look at the Fey

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Ramon speaks to guests in the Gatetown of Ecstasy

The marvel and whimsy of the fair folk, is it not breathtaking? Ah, magnificent! Incredible! I tell you, there is much to tell. However, the Primers have it all wrong. That is something I wish to set straight, for all of you. Please, indulge me a moment as I tell you all there is to know!

The fey, alien and majestic. They follow a sense of wonder that is mostly alien to material plane denizens. However, despite being distant from the creatures of the mortal realm, these spritely spirits embody many emotional extremes and ideals. But, where would such creatures dwell? A Mirror Plane, some say. That is poppycock, mere propaganda made by Lords of the Courts to seem akin to true deities. That isn’t to say that fey gods don’t exist, but many of the leaders of the courts are far from gods themselves. Sure, you can find them on Arborea, Ysgard, Limbo, Pandemonium and even the Abyss… But, what other such wondrous places might they hide? I have just the answer for you!

Author’s Note: Another post for the June RPG Blog Carnival? Why not!? Find out more here!  And by all means, this might be one of the longest things I’ve made yet!  As in, Wall of Text long!  Why?  Because I like to challenge myself with new ideas and new things to tackle.

This time, my relatively grognard-y ways revive an old character of mine while trying to figure out a greater place for the fey in the Planescape/AD&D Great Wheel. As I’ve made it clear, I don’t care for the 4th edition take on things and care less for stuff like Feywild being in the Great Wheel.  Okay, that’s a lie…  I like to modify some things when I do the Nentir Vale, especially with making the planes more alien and hostile. Despite being a curmudgeon for old school lore, I figure it’s time to make do and repurpose things!

In this, I try to sample the Fey Wild books themselves, alongside Planes of Chaos, Legends & Lore and The Tall Tales of the Wee Folk (from BECMI); in order to build my own Planescape-y proof of concept. Plus, this allows me to tie in some new ideas brought in through 5th edition as well!  So, for those who’d like to indulge my experiments in world building, here’s a lengthy prose about the life of the fey in the Great Wheel.  Enjoy the words of Ramon DeLeon, Priest and Planes Traveler.

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June 2019 Blog Carnival – Creatures of Faerie

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The Fair Folk.  The Good Kingdom.  The Sidhe.  The Far Wanderers.  Whatever you want to call them!  They’re a blight!  Sour my milk and rot my crops, snatch up the neighborhood infants, turn the trapper inside out like a dinner food dish.  Can’t stand ’em, they must be pure evil!  You seen the mad witch beyond the hill?  Surely, she’s in league with them!  SHE IS! – Jerick Cormant, local farmer and general curmudgeon

The Fey, a description for mythic spirits of many kinds.  There’s even overlap with other planars and creature types too!  The undead, fiends, celestials, even elementals.  To some, fey is just a label for the spiritfolk from ethereal realms beyond, fascinated by our mortal world.  Many have taken permanent residence beyond the mainstays of mortal civilization.  Often hidden, the fey watch and observe for a variety of reasons… some more benign than others.

Author’s Note: Faith of Brynvalk is hosting the June 2019 RPG Blog Carnival with a Fae theme to it.  So, I figure that it’s not too much of a divergence to make a fey themed post in the middle of my planar theme.  You’ll see a mix of updated old monsters and a few new ones!  Enjoy!

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Dark Descent into Dawnsveil

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FIND THE CURRENT VERSION OF DAWNSVEIL ON DM’S GUILD!
IMAGE CREDITS. F. Marion – L’Optique

Don’t Go Out At Night – More Monsters on the Road!

Traveling at night on an unfamiliar path can prove to be particularly treacherous.  Beyond the threat of bandits and wayward brambles lies the supernatural.  Thick forests and foggy meadows often carry dark creatures lurking about.  Ranging from the bothersome to the lethal, these dastardly foes take glee in anyone foolish enough to get lost at night, far off the beaten path.

Author’s Note: I’m trying to get some updates to old projects ready.  New spells and monsters will hopefully be made available soon!  In the meantime, I really wanted to make more monsters along my “lost on the road” theme.  This time, I sample a mix of folk tales and horror movies.

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Horrors by Gaslamp – Gothic Creatures and Tales of Woe

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“Why do they always faint when they see me?”

The streets are seemingly cast in a dark and gloomy shade among the lit up lamps.  Flittering insects cast sinister shadows on the cobblestones below.  However, the chill down your back is far from a winter wind.  You feel it, don’t you?  A cross between a clacking of razor blades upon your coat mixed with the sharp feeling of exposure to ice.  It’s right behind you.  As to what it is?  You dare not find out, but your doom is likely spelled out for you, regardless.  Before you can react, the words, “I have use for you” buzz in your mind before all turns to black.

Author’s Note:  Weird Western stuff is fun, but it’s only a single flavor of the Gothic.  I’ve always been one for horror in an urban environment, such as jolly old London.  Plus, I wanted to switch gears to something a little more traditional D&D.  Also, I was really eager to bust out some references to Castlevania!  (Yes, most of them are Symphony of the Night.)

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Weird Western Monsters – Odds ‘n’ Ends

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“So, boys.  Do we rob a bank, steal some mighty fine booze or feast upon some good old fashioned brains?”

“Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.
Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you,
Keep smiling until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.”
– A local favorite song written by a traveling group of musicians, known to many saloons across the frontier.

Sure, tomes and bestiaries aren’t as easy to come by out west.  But, plenty of folks are filled with tall tales and plenty are still recorded in a helping of journals and logs.  These stories might some day become traditions, passed down to both entertain and frighten listeners.  But beware, many of these tales are quite true.  They exist as warnings to watch your back and that your fear of the dark is probably a legitimate one!  And sure, lots of the local tunes folks write are pretty cheery, but that’s just a means of keeping people with it.  Now, when you have outsiders start dying off by the droves?  They’ll either make songs to mourn you or outright mock you.  The western frontier is a harsh place, the residents are almost as harsh as the monsters.

Author’s Note: Outside of a tie-in here or there, I’m gonna wind down on the weird western content as the summer begins to close.  Of course, I’m down for going a bit longer, having the more traditional gothic wait till the Fall (or as I call it, “Halloween season”)!  Either way, this is the last of my weird western (or rather, Weird America) monsters for now.  I’ll have a few more in the future, in other posts… probably.

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