Currently, I find myself researching into the boundless possibilities of parallel universes, alternate realities if you will. Such a pursuit is a headache. But, no matter! An explorer must persevere for the good of all! Throughout all means of realities, little pockets of truly wondrous strangeness hide in their own obscure places. For the time being, let me chronicle some travels to other strange places in the multiverse! Who knows what there is?
Author’s Note: It’s no secret, I keep coming back to the planes, especially Planescape. As always, many of these ideas are 3rd and 4th Edition concepts retrofitted into AD&D (rather than 5th Edition’s approach). This time around, a little more Shadowfell and a bit of Elemental Chaos get reshaped to (better) fit the Great Wheel. However, I wanted to pay homage to some other concepts from settings like Mystara, which takes a much vaguer approach to the planes. Also, H.R. Giger inspired nightmare fuel! Also, where details on original content were sparse, I twisted things around and added some of my own ideas.
Mordent, considerably more progressive than other domains by a distance. Curiously, its presence in the Mists is the fault of Strahd and Azalin. They devised a scheme to exploit an apparatus within the realm to free themselves from their imprisoned domains. This failed, sealing Mordent’s fate as well.
A fair share of oddities drift in and around the domain. The Darklord himself, Lord Wilfred Godefrey, certainly counts. Once a backstabbing aristocrat, he slew his own wife and daughter. He covered the incident up as it were an accident. But, their vengeful spirits drove him to suicide, forcing him into the ironic fate of a trapped spirit too. Since then, he has collected the souls that are beckoned to his house on Gryphon Hill. He has even used the trapped souls to his advantage at times, creating networks of informants and spies within his domain.
But, what is beyond the house? The Great Moors risk dense moss and trees to get lost in, while ghost towns just beyond prove to be less than salvation. The river ways and moors are mucky and thick, the perfect predatory grounds of the bog hound. A ways off the path was an off beat enclave of artists, creatives and non-establishment people who failed to fit in with the norm. Save for the waxworks, there is no more life here. No true life. Despite much of it burning down, wonders of art are mixed with the macabre to unveil an art show unlike anything before.
Author’s Note: Yet another double-feature! This time, the Domain of Mordent as the theme. The first creature is based off the Howls of the Night adventure, prominently featuring the Bog Hound. The second is from a homebrew pocket domain within the domain itself. It’s a meshing of wax museum horror tropes. And for added creepiness, some extra homage to one of my favorite parts of BioShock!
Heroes against the darkness, across spans of time
People who aren’t careful have a habit of vanishing in this city. The cops, they just don’t care. Hired hands, they’re hiding something. The likes of people like me, researching the truth on the side. If you’re careful, you’ll stay close and ask few questions. – Herman P. Finske, Attorney and Occult Reseacher
Even as times change and people progress, one things stays true… there are things that always go bump in the night. Your walled in lands of safety can still be infiltrated or outright broken down. And even without that, there are still dark forces at work from within. Mad experiments, mutants, things of the mind and more! Monsters are going modern for this week!
Author’s Note: More urban fantasy/modern horror creatures! This time, right out of the pages of D20 Modern with my own twists here and there.
͘ ͕̟͙̖̼͎ͭ̈ ̞̩̱͔̈͒̂ͧͮ͛̍ ̻͖̎̉͐̃́̽͡2̨͔̩͇̘́̐̚ ̰̝̦͔̰͙̞̏0͍̮̠͕͖͑̍̀ ̢̱̬̰̎̃̄̆̈́4̶̩̮͉͎̺̗̂ ̑̔̑8̘̮ ̱͎̭̠̬͠6̫̬̯̳͍̥͎͘ ̘̽̋ͬͩ̈̚3̧̥̟̬͎̈ͪ̾
We return, from yet another time gap, to exploring the strange terrors in and around the Bloodied Wyvern Peaks… and the multiverse of the Bloodied Wyvern Peaks. After breaking away from “Purple World” as the team calls it, everyone lounges at a royal lodge… Nothing suspicious at all! It all feels like a dream.
WELCOME TO PURPLE VIOLET! (Don’t sue me, Green Ronin!)
We’re back! Once again, the weirdness lifts off the material realm… or so it seems. We lose one of our dysfunctional heroes and gain another and more things seem off… if a tad off track entirely!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Yes, Utopian-Orvaldt is a slight spoof on Blue Rose, with the fashion and style of Hirohiko Araki to boot, even though players didn’t have a chance to explore the utopia too much. No, I don’t have a chip on my shoulder towards Green Ronin, even though I don’t particularly like Blue Rose. The idea was based on old notes I had sitting around for the sake of a light-hearted plane hopping game. I might do something more with that soon enough. Also, I’m sorry for killing off your character super quickly, Evan! Really, I am!
Stories of monsters changes through the ages, adapt to different societies and views. Some tales and creatures alike die out, while new ones are born. These can be from new developing trends or even tragedies. Wherever they’re spawned from, their dastardly ways will terrorize much like their predecessors before them.
In a world closer to our own, when the stories truly connect to us on some level, we truly begin to think about it… and when we dwell on the thought, then we get scared. This is the true effect of horror. Now please, look behind you so we can be properly acquainted…
“Corpses. Lumbering, rotting cadavers. What contrivance could have wrought this… this abomination!? Diseased science…? Blasphemous occult rituals? How can something so… so dead, be so alive?” – Maximilian Roivas, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
The Ancients are awakening, as they gather forces to fight in their onslaught on the grounds below. And what better army than the countless dead, reconstructed to work as puppets for more death. And once more are slain, they too are recruited to the shuffling mindless masses. This doesn’t even take into account other vile things, far detached from our own realities. Whether born of brutality, the esoteric or the absolutely mad; these zombies exist in agony and awareness that cosmic forces use them as toys. Worse yet, they often have no capacity to do anything about it. Many of these undead puppets are merely just that, puppets. They have no control over their actions beyond the necromancer-like orders that the old ones give. For the most part, they are told to attack the living as well as defeat any old one creature with a rival alignment.
While more numerous than the eldritch horrors conjured from the realms of the ancients, the undead are terrifying for a different reason… they were once us! They are but mere corpses reanimated and altered to serve their respective aligned ancient. They are often spawned where the lines between our world and the realm of the ancients tend to be weaker and where rifts can be more easily established. This is often the resting place of dark powers, sites of deranged rituals or former homes of those terrorized by ancient horrors.
Author’s Note: Eternal Darkness is one of my favorite games of all time. Some of the madness effects still give me chills. So, why not bring even more monsters from the game to D&D 5E? Here’s a handful of the variant zombies you encounter throughout the game.