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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Monsters of Forbidden Realms (Raven-scape Monsters Part 1)

The Mists have spawned all manner of atrocities and abominations to traverse its foggy murk.  These creatures are usually the physical embodiment of either a darklord’s sins or the horrors of our very existential condition.  Some are merely pulled into the Demiplane of Dread and enhanced into something so much more, even replicated to bring new methods of terror to the native populace of the lands.  No matter the origin, they stand in opposition to heroes who challenge the everlasting darkness.  Whether they are pawns of the dark powers or operating on their own accord is up for debate, but their haunting presence shall be known to those unfortunate enough to encounter them.  In fact, some creatures are capable of removing you from known reality.  All the more reason a monster hunter be readied and prepared for such evils.

Author’s Note: Nightmare Fuel, Body Horror, Terrors of the Cosmic and more!  Yes, Halloween is done and plenty of real life horror may get in the way, but nothing a little pretend horror can’t distract from. So, let’s take a moment to enjoy the monsters of some chilling tales.  After all, it doesn’t matter if it’s Halloween, they always lurk and await new victims.  Here are a bundle of monsters inspired by the Planescape/Ravenloft posts, from various domains or dimensional spaces.  Also, the inclusion of the Wolfwere was done in support of the November RPG Blog Carnival, hosted by Faith of Pratfalls and Pixies.  Find more here!  Also, look out for part 2 soon.

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Monsters of the Elements: Creatures of the Inner Planes

Planescape Finders: Planes

The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms.  These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others.  Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane.  Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new.  From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.

Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while.  I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games.  I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago.  Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things.  Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.

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Creatures of Law and Chaos

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Law, Chaos, diametrically opposed forces!  Is it not splendid?  To me, this is the true clash in the end.  People speak of the everlasting fight of Good vs. Evil, but just look at The Blood War!  It is multiple ideologies of badness competing for supremacy!  Simply fascinating!  But, of places less outwardly malicious, what of them?  Well, I would be happy to pop up this nice bestiary, which can be yours for simply a handful of jink-jink, chummer! – Gilbert Marazmus, Gnome scribe and former ghostwriter

The multiverse as plenty of mysterious forces, the forces of darkness and the light have already been discussed at length.  The means of order, disorder and everything in between.  These things can be quite concrete but also vague in other areas.  Here’s a sampling of monsters that exemplify the planes (and demiplanes) they call home.

Author’s Note: I know everything is taking a long time, I’ll do what I can to get back on track.  Recent times haven’t been easy.  That said, I hope many of you have found ways to still play from a distance.  Even if it’s through a digital space, doing things with people matter.  Stay connected and stay cool!

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ZOMBIES! – Variants of the Dead (Reanimated)

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The living dead.  What brings about such perversions of life?  Rituals derived from dark sorceries imbue a dreadful force into corpses, creating a puppet bound in necromantic power.  These zombies are crafted by the spells and rituals of adept necromancers, aiming to create a slave or build an army.  Plagues created by the most vile of creatures corrupt and sicken victims, eventually overwhelming them and turning them into walking diseases of their own right.  These are often accidents, potentially prevented by proper preparation rather than giving into hysterical campaigns.  Even alien horrors have their means of parasitically bonding to a host, creating their own version of zombie.  Some of these victims aren’t just alive, they have some level of consciousness.  However, not all origins are evil.  Some were created as punishment at the hands of powerful spiritual priests.  However, the zombie created by necromancy is by far the most common sight.

No matter their sources, the terror of the zombie is a known one.  Shuffling corpses, either confused by their existence or enraged by it, find themselves at odds with the living.  Some of these abominations are at the whims of a mad master.  Others are distorted by outside forces, left to rampage against all in their wake.  And even worse, the zombie will never give up.  While it is devoid of emotion or any ideology, the zombie is relentless until it’s impossible for it to continue.  Some will fight until literally falling apart.  Converted into killing machines, these mockeries of life are a blight to all who are haunted by their presence.

Author’s Note: I’m back.  Pardon these disappearances.  Things have been a little rough, I’ll spare the details.  In addition, I haven’t been happy with a lot of things, hobbies included.  That’s made it a little harder to work on these posts.  Admittedly, one of things keeping me going is created content for settings that WotC has forgotten.  The people deserve to learn at least a little about these cool places!  Anyway, here’s my updated take on some variant zombies!  Ooooh, spooky!  Also, to the one of my friends who wanted me to tack on a tacky coronavirus reference on this?  You’re welcome.

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Horrors of Xoriat – Daelkyrspawn

Xoriat, a realm of unspeakable evil. The native Daelkyr reside here, experts of sickening fleshcraft. Among their works were legions of warped and disfigured abominations, the daelkyrspawn. These things were once captured forces of Material plane fleets, the very races that attempted to repel the nightmarish plane. While Xoriat’s connection was ultimately severed from the list of coterminous planes, countless creatures were abducted and transformed into the sickening puppets of today. While many are simply stranded in the Prime Material, some seek methods of returning the tether to Xoriat and continuing the invasion from so long ago. Many of these atrocities prepare for battle in the depths of the dark realm of Khyber. From this hideaway, they all ready for an onslaught in the name of their aberrant creators.

Some, like the dolgaunt, for monastic cells to prepare a tactical strike. Other abominations are far simpler and mindlessly assault all creatures that may move too close to their grasp. Either way, their psychologies are far too detached from the mortal realm to properly figure what their current goal or aspiration is.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: More Eberron once more. Here is an updated take on my version of the Daelkyrspawn from a ways back. Also, if I may hop on my soap box. Please, support Exploring Eberron over Rising from the Last War. The former is purely Keith Baker’s voice, not the sanitized version released by Wizards of the Coast. So much was watered down to fit their new market model, but the guild allows fans to recapture what WotC decided to leave behind.  Back to this post, I realize an official Choker was published, but I always found them neat and weird… so they’re remade here too from their original days.

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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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November 2019 RPG Blog Carnival – Electronic Terrors

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From thresholds and barriers, many terrible things break free to cause mayhem. Among them are things from a digitized and electronic world. These monsters may have strange origins, but the evils they unleash are no less dangerous.

Welcome to the realms of electronic terrors, creatures that originate from incredible devices known to some as “video games”. These creatures hail from a variety of supposedly fictional universes and realities, where they do all in their capacity to torture brave and cunning protagonists within a digital landscape. These tales may just be works of fiction, but they could very well be alternate worlds held back by a pixelated veil. Perhaps this could mean an expansive frontier within the Prime or perhaps a demiplane of its own.

Author’s Note: Another blog carnival post! This time, it’s a bunch of monsters from horror (or at least suspenseful/horror-related) video games! Yes, the Zombie Dog is a repost…

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