So, what gives? I vanish from you fine people for a long time with barely a word. Well, I owe at least some explanation. In short, things have not been exactly exemplary, tearing me away from creative stuff. Lots of personal problems I may divulge in another post. On top of that, being hardcore burned out on D&D has made things a bit rougher in general. Either way, I’m back with a bit of an announcement. Without telling you too much about my life, things have been a bit hectic during my semi-hiatus from the page here. But, I’ve still kept busy with at least something.
So with that, I’d like to inform that my contribution for Threshold Magazine is nearing completion. The theme? More victims of the Dark Powers hailing from the world of Mystara. Read the frantic notes of the Black Rajah of Jaibul as he tries to make sense of his own situation. Dare to seek more on other prisoners of the mists, even a word on Meredoth of Nebligtod! While two of these domains are based on previous creations seen on my blog, this article expands a little on Vasfar and Ylar. Joining them is a domain that connects to the mysterious pocket domain of Acotlaza. This is the Scarred Crags, a mockery of Tiger Clan attempts to conquer their siblings of the Atruaghin Clans. While the themes of fighting lycanthropy, colonization and oppression are no strangers to the Demiplane of Dread, hopefully this new Darklord’s pain pleases the Dark Powers. And likewise, I hope that those reading this are just as eager as I am to make some more mad creations for the Demiplane of Dread. Should things prove popular enough, this might continue. Beyond Threshold, I might make a follow-up for Fraternity of Shadow’s Quoth the Raven or perhaps Threshold once more. Likewise, musings on converting Ravenloft content to BECMI. The Darklords and related creatures get only minimal mechanical considerations in the current article though. In the meantime, the mists are parting once more and something dark lingers nearby.
I’ve been in chats with the fine creators at Mistfactor Press, a group effort to properly update the Ravenloft Campaign Setting for the D&D 5th Edition DM’s Guild. Despite my misgivings towards the current edition, they’ve done a fantastic job and are more than deserving of a look over. They’ve even made 400 page volumes examining said domains in great detail. By all means, consider at least the digital copies. You can find more on their user page, looking under Van Richten’s Encyclopedia of Darklords and Domains.
And with the project leader’s permission, I’m also helping to launch an effort to convert mechanics to 2nd and 3rd Editions. This will only cover things not found in each respective edition, not the entirety of the books (as much of Volume 1 alone can be found in each respective edition). Furthermore, this project will not include any lore that isn’t tied into the mechanics somehow (such as the Darklord’s curses). And as a slight disclaimer, this project is not meant to take away energy or success from Mistfactor, but only help to spread interest and attention by opening the gates to classic fans who might not otherwise be interested in 5th Edition. Stay tuned as always, including for Threshold Mystara Magazine #29. This too will involve Ravenloft.
Seelie, Unseelie, Four Seasons and a few minor houses. There is more from there. And by all means, all of them scheme and dream. All of them seek to triumph over the rest. And worst of all, to see one of them fully succeed would spell the end of the fey. Even those devout to Rhiannon would bring about their queen’s deepest fear. In the end, the politics and ways of these creatures are too alien to fully understand. How would they avoid absolute destruction? How would they rebuild? It would take a lot of speculation to imagine how pieces would be picked up by such truly unique creatures. But, a mix of Real Speak and Chant alike has been formulated into some well crafted notes. So, by all means read ahead and dare to discover how much of it is actual truth. Normally, I strive for truly gripping information that holds the tests of scrutiny. But, for cabals and corridors this deep, such endeavors are impossible. Perhaps I have been mislead by rivals? It is the fey way, after all.
Author’s Note: The last of them, at least for now. These remaining sects, like the three before, hold less overall political power and tend to be less centralized. However, most of them are some level of crazy, even by fey standards. Also, huge shout-out to The Piazza forums. Their ideas helped really bring this to life.
One last trek through the mists, friends. One last trek is all it takes. Will it spell the end? A new land? Unsure. May something out there pity us.
Author’s Note: The year is ending and it’s almost Christmas… Will I do more Ravenloftian goodness? Well, someone has to in the face of Poseurloft! But really, we’ll see. I’m tired of D&D, as has been noted by the lack of crunch for a long time. The good thing about a lot of my creations is that I can rebrand them as something else, if it came down to it. Anyway, hope your days were jolly and nice. Or at least, more so than in the Lands of the Mists. Perhaps this is goodbye to the Demiplane of Dread, at least for now. Likewise, a few more metaplots are looked at here for now.
Some mad scholars and greybeards speak of the Demiplane of Dread in hushed whispers. But, this is not the only accursed place to float within the Wheel. No. Other planes have been covered, including rather lightly from Ramon the Planes Chronicler. But, his information is too sparse to be helpful to many. I, a humble scribe assisting “The Narrator” shall regale you with wonders and horrors alike. Know that the planes isn’t just dangerous at times, it’s an unending nightmare. Prepare to never wake up again and let us continue our journey.
Author’s Note: Happy Halloween from The Planes! I figure it’s time to mix things up. So, RavenScape madness continues as I also look at nightmares of the Great Wheel both canonical and fanon.
Autumn harvest draws towards a close as the heat dies down. A dull wind wraps along the lands, bringing in disquieting eeriness and a spine-chilling cold. The time of phantoms returns, as the bridge between worlds living and dead lowers once again. This is a time when spirits observe our realm, or so the stories say. Those within Darkon are clever enough to document and comment on such things. You would be wise to as well. Beware, for upsetting the souls of the damned is a fool’s task!
Author’s Note: Whispers of secrets always travel the mists, at least as long as I can think of cool characters and places. Also, more Prisoners of the Mists references. Likewise, my homage to the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. On one more note, please pardon the previous post, I was on vacation and was very tired. Hopefully, all of the goodies in here make up for it.
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.
Dare you seek shelter in places where solace cannot be found? They have roofs and walls, but they are not homes. They are prisons all their own, where cries of horror and derangement mix with the maniacal methods of their overseers. Enter through these doors and never leave, for your caretakers have other plans for you now. Below are a few buildings designed to ensnare, persecute and afflict. They are not prisons in the traditional sense, but the dark powers have a habit of changing all to accommodate the punishment of another. Some existed prior, such as a place of holy contrition and a house of state security. Others came about as domains are built from a darklord’s sins or as a consequence of them.
Author’s Note: This one slides a bit into mature content, warranting a word of warning. As it is, one of the domains was built on a dare to make something quite disturbing. It is disturbing. Is it wholly original? Not really, it’s basically The Golden Cat from Dishonored meets dark aspects of Planescape and Ravenloft; plus the House of Lament. Will I use it for something? I don’t really know, but it’s now a piece of the Demiplane either way. Likewise a few other things slide well into proper Ravenloftian grimdark. Debauchery, zealotry and totalitarian horror await. For what it’s worth, more Planescape and Mystara references are here as well. And while I’m at it, very very few WotC-era references, hehe. But, even if this version is slightly tamed down, some viewer’s discretion is advised.
The Darkness lasts forever! Don’t think the Light is still your friend though.
Author’s Note: Mystaran homage, more lands based on Philippine folklore, more on the undead of Rockbaecche and a native of Kalidnay experiencing Abaddon. Also, two more references to the excellent Prisoners of the Mist server for Neverwinter Nights. If you love the Campaign Setting, it’s one of the best sources that keeps it alive. Also, I’m aware that referencing Abrahamic religion in D&D is controversial, but thanks to Prisoners of the Mist, it could be a fascinating thing to examine in brief. I should really pick that up again, it was good fun.
“This is the Alleigosto Exploration Team, is anyone out there? Anyone on the Cog Auditory-Wave Line, please respond! We are lost on the Ichthyan Sea. We’ve observed and overheard terrible creatures. Send help immediately. These waters are dangerous, arm yourselves by all means. I repeat, arm yourselves. Air waves will remain open, in hopes of response.” – The distress signal of Her Heavenly Embrace, sunken wreck
It is time once again to gaze into the mists and see what gazes back. I bring you tales and people traversing the mists, woes of the occult, crime never paying, schemes of a warmonger and rising spirits assembling a demonic gallivant.
Author’s Note: More ambitious conquering for Drakov, Victorian spiritualism, Japanese ghosts and more on a thieves haven homage to Yojimbo. That is what to expect from this post! Also, I know I’ve griped about it before, but I feel like I should cover and flesh out my own worlds. I don’t really want to play D&D anymore, even though I like pondering about the settings. It’s this weird paradox for me. I have more posts I want to do, so we’ll see how quick I can get over this funk.