Sylvan Strangeness – Weird Courtly Business

I've Seen Your Tears Before by Eriyal on Newgrounds

This is all I have to offer for now.  I assure you that much more lurks beyond.  There is much yet that they fair folk would prefer to presently keep hidden.  Is there something worse than a nightmare conspiracy, cross planar war or the elimination of countless lives?  Hard to say.  The fey will remain an eternal enigma to even most planars.

Author’s Note: Special thanks to King Corn and ripvanwormer of thepiazzaforums for some incredible ideas!  Anyway, that’s it for me in terms of fey politics, intrigue and factions.  Additional thanks to everyone who participated in the January 2022 RPG Blog Carnival!  More after the jump.

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Burn out never, Steam Forever – More Steamspace

The Aftermath by RhysGriffiths on DeviantArt

Steamspace, that which holds the greatest minds in the greatest crystal sphere.  Should you seek glory, invention and the power of a new age; Steamspace is for you.  Consult with the Steam Corps Recruitment Agency, found next to Lorenzo’s Museum of Wildspace Weaponry.
– From a flyer posted around The Rock of Bral

Steamspace is an odd land of many extremes.  There are miniature worlds with diametrically opposed harsh weather.  There are havens for artifice, but one of the most hostile refuges of nature found in the multiverse.  Ideal landscapes for urban empire exist in some realms, such as the Moon of Victoriana or the world of Valiance.  For the rest, it is a testament to ingenuity and innovation; powers of arcane engineering battling the deadliest that nature and the supernatural have to offer.  Beyond deserts of sand, icy tundras, wastelands under darkness and strange seas of green; there are other perils too.  Shadowy drow conspire while ancient elves channel forces of the light.  Battles still wage for the powers of lightning to some day overthrow dependence on steam.  Many mysteries line the sphere too.  The most advanced of the people here are actually ancient tribes that once belonged to a unified world, long blown up by mysterious tragedies.  Numerous societies hoard secrets on the creation of deadly weaponry that could risk annihilation of whole regions.  Many hide the literal deeper layers and depths to even their cities.  None the less, this does not dissuade brave souls looking to reinvent both themselves and reality around them.  Should success come to all and peace ring true, then there is hope for these wondrous creations to spread to the multiverse.

Author’s Note: One more for Steamspace!  Yes, I realize that Bashar and Destiny Expanse are getting a fair bit here.  Beyond that, references to silent horror cinema, Stephen King and various dystopian fiction.  Just because I’m not letting this get too dark doesn’t mean I won’t stuff plenty in there.

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Spelljammer’s Steamspace – Beyond Steam Titan

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The Steam Titan is a curious host. The world itself is hostile to most life, but its moons offer a diverse array of habitats and beings. None the less, the gases within the world have proved most useful in propelling already technical societies far forward, with fascinating innovations. But, what of other worlds within the sphere?

Author’s Notes: To keep in line with the fiction of the era, many of the worlds refer to various dime novel/pulpy tropes and then some, such as the lost world, masked heroics, divine revelation, proto-cosmic horror and then some.  Likewise, a poke at the genre mashup and rules-Frankenstein needed to make all of this possible.  Hell, one of the worlds is even more tie-in to my RavenScape stuff.  Anyway, here’s a post JAM PACKED with content!  Enjoy!  Perhaps at some point, I’ll return to Steamspace.

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Of Lands Beyond Castle Ravenloft – Gundarak

“Ah, there you are” chimes a snide and sneering scribe, “I was hoping you weren’t too distraught from your assignments.  As it turns out, something of a thorn in the side of His Highest’s rival has resurfaced.  You know of whom I speak, the Devil Strahd of the County Barovia.  Tales tell of an enemy, Duke Gundar, that he has returned in revenge.”  The scribe lays out an assortment of maps, parchments and sealed documents.  “Be a good adventurer, by the master’s decree and look into it.  I suspect someone is imitating that bumbling lord who gave The Devil Strahd a hard time.”  The mysterious scribe rubs his hands, giggling madly as you are supernaturally compelled to gather the supplies and head out.  For some reason, you can’t remember what lead to your arrival at that building, save for that you were returning to Darkon.  You were always returning to Darkon.  But, what matters now is another land.  What matters is Gundarak.

Author’s Note:  Behold, more details to the underdeveloped Gundarakites, Gundarak and Duke Gundar.   My plan was to have plenty of things involving other domains, as well as a Planescape-inspired Cluster to build off of Reality’s End.  Anyway, that will be another post.  My stuff on Gundarak took over.  Also, once again a huge shout out to the Prisoners of the Mist community!  A minor character in this whole mess has its roots from there.  But, hopefully this will be my last post on that domain, so I can focus on other things?   Also, why was Jacques Renier never really brought up in canon after the Realm of Terror boxed set?

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Quiet Ramblings and Sinister Tidings – A Return to Planescape

ThePlanarDM on Twitter: "#DND #Planescape Image of the Day Sure your PCs  have won battles and tournaments, but have they ever won a debate contest?  Let them wage a war with words
The Harmonium will always get their word out, making sure that you listen.

In which we explore most horrific occurrences and rather surreal surroundings within The City of Doors and beyond. 

But, who might I be?  Call me Garrick, a humble Tout at your service and former Guild of Planar Exploration member, depending who you ask.  But first, let’s get away from that Hardhead speaker, yes?

You’ve given me more than a helping of jink, so if want The Chant…  I can help!  If you want the Real Dark of the Matter?  Well, best find a cloaked alley and keep your senses about.  The Cage is never a friend to its visitors, especially Prime-based folks such as yourselves.  But, that’s why you have me.  Call me chummer?  Not so sure of that, but I owe you assistance and provide the work I shall.  Particularly juicy topics, that might cost extra.  But, I assure you, I have heard it all… and yet, here I am to tell you about them today.  Also, cough up more jink and I’ll subdue The Cant… as best as I can.  Trust me, it’ll make understanding me be a whole lot easier!

As for topics, I know plenty of things within the Cage and without.  Do you want to talk Inner Planes?  Perhaps planar misconceptions across various worlds?  Maybe a good conspiracy or two?  In all cases, I have plenty to spare.  Of course, such a business takes time and time costs.  You understand of course.  So, let us do commerce so I can share whatever it is you might need for your journeys.

Author’s Note: This one is partially a shout-out to Mr. Welch!  I have, to an extent, enjoyed Mystara.  However, I never knew too much until I had the chance to delve deeper not only through carefully examining more books, but through his channel and chatting with him.  One of his recent teasers for a book, exploring the Knights of Ebony, helped to inspire this return to the planes!  Also, if you haven’t checked out his channel, please do!  (He’s one of the few gaming channels I openly recommend.)   Also, yes, I didn’t just rewrite the newer planes, I just rewrote the internal logic of the 4e universe a bit… even if that means literally killing off aspects of it.  But, my focus was on making things work more for Planescape anyway… even an April Fool’s Joke from ages back.  One can still sample those 4e locales and settings, but information here would supersede any conflicting details.  And as always, I bring plenty of pop culture references.

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Lost Chapters of The Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 1

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If you have found these notes, then I am still most assuredly lost to somewhere else. I am not sure when I catalogued these notes, but apparently some facet of me did very recently. Perhaps I continued to work for the dread lich without realization. None the less, may these notes prove most useful to you. Within the Lands of the Mists, the power of knowledge can sometimes be damning. However, it is often very, very useful. Stay well and ultimately stay alive.  And should you find me, you too are likely doomed.

Author’s Note: I had more domains of the Core to cover and I honestly didn’t have much other direction at the moment. I still feel a little sick and that sucks. You would think you could trust your own neighborhood to get itself together, but sometimes that’s asking too much. No matter, I’m feeling better. So, with that, here is my look at those other domains. And should I feel up to it, I might toss in an Island of Terror or two. Many of them were cool after all. Hell, some were once part of the core.  Either way, I have more to ramble on in due time.  We’ll probably see another post with lost bard entries on The Mists.  Also, happy 2021.  May it lead to good things for all.

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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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The Gathering of Unholy Fire – A Confrontation in The Mists

Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist - About the World

The Mists choke figuratively and literally, standing as an ever oppressive and overbearing force.  But, what are they?  This is a mystery that will continue for all time.  What is known are the more tangible entities that haunt the endless realms of this demiplane space.  Many of these are tragic figures who fell from grace, while others are condemned for absolute wickedness.  As I have already uncovered, many places in the Prime Material have either fallen victim or been alleviated of their worst…  This depends on your perspective. What is certain is that those removed have become the things of myth and legend in their home world.  But here, they are forever trapped.  The few who have escaped are anomalies, truly lucTalon Dunning - Deathky.  Of course, this could be just weavings of The Mists.  After all, tales tell of Vecna’s paradoxical victory and failure.  But, what could foil a demigod?As for me?  Not certain.  Beyond some vague words and promises, it would seem that I should seek out Darkon.  However, it would appear that The Mists have other places to “distract” me with.  Or at the very least, slow me down.  Either way, I continue through the clouding vapors, until I see sites anew.  I still mull over the fact that I wasn’t taken this time by some trap of the Powers.  No, instead of going back to Gloomwrought, I found myself a prisoner of Azalin’s very contemplations.  But, again, why would his own minions be found in the Prime or even the Planes beyond?  It baffles the mind.  What has stuck with me is the tarot card given to me prior to the ritual.  It is a symbol of Death.  But, why is that significant?  I have heard of the pocket realm caused by Azalin known as “Necropolis”.  Is “Death” somehow involved too?  So many mysteries, so many questions.  In time, I hope I will find some answer or be consumed trying to understand.  Let us hope for the former, shall we?  And with that, we venture onwards.

Author’s Note:  One more trek into the demiplane of dread, at least for Halloween.  Also, I wanted to think of a possible outcome for yet another mad plan of Azalin…  Or rather, a plot made by outside help.  In addition to a look at more core domains, I made two cluster contributions originating from Mystara (including the Hollow World).  Plus, even a tribute to Planescape makes its way here.  There is an homage to the “Set Wands to Warpdrive” game I played in, back before this blog made it over to WordPress.  A heavily abridged version of that is noted in the darklord story, but that might appear in a future post instead.  Also, enjoy a reveal that pays homage to the Gazetteer series.  Of course, I might say that.  Also, I realize the picture I used for Darkon is from Night of the Walking Dead.  I couldn’t find proper art… oh well.

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November 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Welcome to the World of Survival Horror

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The opening text to the first Resident Evil game.  Those words present a theme and a mood.  You are leaving your own world.  You are entering a dark and foreboding world where you must use your wits and preserve what little resources you have to endure a horrible nightmare.  And with that,

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SURVIVAL HORROR.

Author’s Note: Let’s add some atmospheric music, shall we?  Ah, there we go.  Anyway…
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Also, I welcome you to the November RPG Blog Carnival for 2019.  The festivities may wind down in most places, but they continue well till Thanksgiving here at Daemons & Deathrays!  You can have your extremely early Christmahanukwanzica, Doc keeps the Halloween vibe going strong!  And with that, the survival horror begins…

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The Eldritch Unity – Amalgamated Horrors from Powers Beyond

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JOIN US!

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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