Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 5

Ghost ship (Stephen Fabian, Ravenloft module RA2: Ship of Horror, TSR, 1991)
Dead Men Tell No Tales

“Ah, setting sails on the high seas?  Well, let me tell you of grim tall tales.  I speak of ghostly vessels rising from watery graves.  I have witnessed water beasts infused with the deadliest poisons known to man.  I have seen angered spirits more than capable of sinking your ship, even from a distance.  And this is to say nothing of the strange island you will find along the way.  The ones I fear the most are controlled by wicked sorcerers who reject the divine in favor of their own prospects.  And that’s to say nothing of the pirates.  Even in distant lands, the brigands will emerge.  One such heinous gathering caused me crew to run aground.  And that was to say nothing of the horrors to come.  I speak of flying creatures that resemble women, but only their top half!  The accursed harpies had slain too many good men.  I speak to you today, only thanks to some priests who witnessed the carnage.  The life of a sailor is no kind one.  Pray that it’s only nature you have to worry about!”

The old man, beleaguered by his past, sits back down.  However, for the rest of the evening, he maintains a glassy stare that is equal parts ominous and worried.  His staring is only interrupted by the loud slurping of grog from his mug, most of which staining his mostly white beard.  Even as you ready to depart, the solemn and sorrowful figure remains haunted and scarred through the terrors of his own past.  Pray that you do not suffer much like him.

Author’s Note: I’m back once more, since my previous post split off into another part all its own.  I wanted to tackle a look at Sri Raji, as well as stealing from the new book to make their new domain feel more Ravenloft (though that’s a common complaint I have with the book).  As a whole, I give my own remake to The Steaming Lands, now the Steaming Wrath, with the addition of two wholly new domains (one based off of a Bruce Heard article for Dragon of course).  Likewise, I have returned with more Ravenscape crossover, detailing the fate of Antorek and how it relates to the Wildlands.  Also, PIRATES!  I love me some stuff with pirates.

Continue reading “Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 5”

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.

Continue reading “Ramon’s Guide to Gothic Terra”