Of Lands beyond Castle Ravenloft: Forgotten Domains and other Tales

These 5 Haunted Libraries Will Give You the Heebie Jeebies

“Bard’s tales for sale!  Scripted and sold by an honest book keeper!  All of the stories in these tomes are completely real!  I offer tales of bravery, terror, exploration and more!  Please, step inside for more!”  A familiar Darkonese man hocks various loud proclamations in the light of day, a fine market square acts as his stage.

Author’s Note: The setting is no stranger to B-Movie trash and neither am I…  So, there is plenty of that here too.  You have blobs of rotten food, plant hybrids, murderous ball ghosts and more.

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Of Lands Beyond Castle Ravenloft – Realms of Secrets

https://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/99147/anchorite.png“These notes, they are pulled together by a strange outlander. And yet, they make perfect sense. Why? Because it is part of the greater mysteries of Ezra! Consider that the wandering bard was sent to help us make sense of everything, a gift of the goddess to prove that we can prevail.  Perhaps even, he is an aspect of our goddess to help provoke thought and revelation!   We shall not fear the Mists of Death and their grim esoterica. A breakthrough is upon us!” – Brother Mellick, priest of the Dementlieuse Sect of the Church of Ezra

The Darkonese sect preaches of certain doom, but that is far from true.  In fact, many of these strange places can help preach hope.  But, this hope is hidden and requires diligent minds to seek it out.  Life in these realms is one of mystery and only in cracking that mystery can we achieve a brighter tomorrow.  Flickers of life in dying lands, a grim machine used in revenge against a corrupt system, the ways of planes beyond, cautionary tales of warfare.  All of these and more can give us vital insight into ourselves and our actions, they are lessons that Ezra can teach us.

Author’s Note: Split from a previous post.  Have some more concepts for domains.  I won’t turn down an opportunity to do a better ghost train idea than WotC.  And well, the same goes for an Eberron domain too!  I already made one, but Snaking Trenches were basic.  Let’s pull a city from Cyre instead!  And while we’re at it, cool new lady darklords and their own new domains.  Anyway, that’s enough petty jabs at the new book.  As always, please enjoy.

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More Words in The Mists

On Playing 'Dangerous' and Evil in D&D – Digital Ephemera

The shop has closed and the storekeeper ushers you out.  Along the way, he hands you a note though.  As you find yourself under the clammy evening following an afternoon shower, the letter seems to unfurl itself by magic.  The writing is unlike that of the scribe’s.  “For your service, allow me to provide some insight by my own eyes.  After all, any new information broker under my service should be given a proper welcoming present.  And yes, this means you.”  Lowering the letter, you notice a button materialize upon the right breast pocket of your shirt.  It’s a symbol, one swearing allegiance to Azalin.  Frantic, you continue reading.  “Now, please review this information.  It shall be relevant to your next assignment.  And please, don’t think of betraying me.  The last one who tried never made it to the domain’s border.  Now, inform yourself.  I shall test you the following evening. – A”

Welcome to Darkon.  You are from here, you have always been here, you will find your roots here and you shall always serve Azalin Rex.

Author’s Note: I forgot that I wanted to revisit Odiare. I never really liked that domain and the adventure that went with it felt too hokey. So, time to make Maligno’s existence a true nightmare. Mangiafuoco, a cruel puppet master from the original story, becomes his ultimate foil.  Big thanks to the Fraternity of Shadows forums for inspiration. Other than that, let me further rip off Thief.  Also, no one tries to get something out of the mighty lich without him getting something in return.  That said, as much as I love Azalin as a magnificent bastard, I’m done with him… save for one more thing.

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The Dark World of Tomorrow – The Broken Cog Cluster

“Meikridas Steamships, are they not marvels?” The hand of a flamboyant man outstretches towards his wondrous sea craft.  While he somewhat resembles a vistani in a few regards, he is clearly not of their ways.  The sailor man smiles with the genuineness of an eager salesman, “come friends!  The warm shores of Alleigosto are a mere boat ride away.  I offer you leisure and hospitality unlike what is seen here in fair Dementlieu.”  The pitch continues, as the showman distributes pamphlets detailing incredible works of art and technology, a history spanning empires of old and “magnificent” relations with nearby nations.  While the man’s vessel is spotless and a marvel of engineering, the owner of this enterprise comes across as insincere and just as full of steam as the ship.  “We board now, don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!”  It is at this moment that you can swear the man’s eyes bulge unnaturally, even for a second.  And at that, unblinking.  Such a voyage would indeed bring wonders, but also new terrors to behold.  What visions of the future does this “cog cluster” bring?

Author’s Note: I’m always good for more Ravenloft.  Cursed robots, a zombie apocalypse, manipulative shadows, killers on foggy streets, the successor to the Atlantean Neur-Maise, the refuse of industry, fanatic technophobes, the distant (and not so distant) looming shadows of totalitarianism, utopian idealism crushed by said dark tidings, Deep Ones and more haunt a new cluster.  Here is a new pocket domain, as well as a new cluster to house old domains (like how Fell Arts houses Farelle and Odiare).  Major props to ScS of Fraternity of Shadows for inspiration on Nosos and other advanced domains.  And with that, here’s my take on a Steampunk-ified cluster much like the proposal from Quoth the Raven issue 2, with The Shining Bay cluster.  But, unlike that mixture of just Paridon, Timor and Nosos; this adds in several Islands of Terror I devised many years ago… some more recent than others.  One is a plague-ridden urban sprawl taking notes from the 19th century United Kingdom, Prussian Empire and Northeastern Coastal U.S. (especially from the fiction of Lovecraft and King).  Another is a mix of drama, Luddites, robotic horror and more in a Mediterranean based land.  It is next to decaying Greek-inspired splendor spliced with The Shadow over Innsmouth.  And finally, a somewhat Balkans inspired fake utopia.  Plus, as an added bonus, an homage to the classic Thief games.  And with that, enjoy one of the longer posts I’ve made.  And should anyone be curious, I have no interest in anything Wizards of the Coast.  I don’t want their new book, as I don’t care for the Post-4E/Shadowfell take on things..

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Return to a Realm of the Strange and Gothic

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7a/65/87/7a65879a7d2e3010f5b63738aab3290a.jpg

I love gothic fiction, gaslamp fantasy and weird westerns, as has been known through various posts throughout the blog.  Plus, pages like Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque remain both awesome to visit and truly inspiring!

So, for the next month or so at least, I’m going to try to keep a wide variety of gaslamp, pulpy and gothic flair.  This can be anything from more expansion of Tomb of Annihilation or Curse of Strahd to more content inspired by Eberron to more Victorian and Wild West inspired fantasy and horror content.  And while I’m at it?  Good old Ravenloft, as in the Demiplane of Dread (instead of the module)!  I’ve been pondering making a small adventure in one of the domains… possibly Dementlieu, Richemulot, Nosos or Lamordia.  I might put it up on DM’s Guild while I’m at it!  Of course, this is all pondering based on whether or not I’ll get around to it.

 

IMAGE SOURCE: Vampire Victorian Age: London by Night – White Wolf Games