“Law and Chaos, two diametrically opposed sides, no one will refute this. However, what oddities and secrets do they hold? Why, I’m happy to show you. While I have covered a little on Pandemonium and Acheron, it’s only fair to look at the other mostly-neutral planes of Law and Chaos… plus a few looks at other related realms, and a few returns to some less than savory burgs and blights. But, all in the name of granting knowledge to you, fair scholar!” – An introductory speech for Ramon’s Lecture on Planes of Law and Chaos, at the Civic Festhall, in the Clerk’s Ward of Sigil
Planes of Law, rules taken physical form! While Acheron has shown the order of war at its most harsh, there is far more to explore within the possibilities of Law. One must account for concepts of atruism, unity, conformity and direction. While these topics can overlap between planes; they all have their respective places. Likewise, their inevitable counterpart is the eternal testament to disorder. The Planes of Chaos are a lack of rules turned physical. Chaos need not be just madness, like Pandemonium. Plenty of free thinkers are driven by many other passions. These don’t have to be completely selfish either. Some people just want a good time, consequences be damned! Others just want free reigns to express themselves, judgements be damned. So, as these two forces butt heads, let’s take a deeper look at some overviews as well as some of my own dug up finds. Join me as I return to the planes once again!
Author’s Note: More Planes! This time Law vs. Chaos. This was a fun chance to revisit my fey post from last Summer! (Shout out to Brynvalk for partially inspiring this brief revival!) Also, yes, Augmental probably won’t see use in MOST sane campaigns, considering it’s supposed to be a blend of Phyrexia, Hellraiser and H.R. Giger art in a blender. Though, I can hope some more tongue-in-cheek segments make up for my usual delves into grimdark.
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…
The Stuff of Childhood Nightmares
While we have all grown up and have faced many of our fears as youth, that haunting sensation of encountering fear as a child always rings true. That dreadful encounter with the grotesque, the macabre, the evil, the horrifying. Many the psyches of many children, the experience can be outwardly traumatizing. For some, that’s just part of the adventure. Many adventures alone came with twists that surprised and shocked us in ways we would never forget. In creative and interactive mediums, the chance to experience a story first hand allows us to take it further. Tabletop games enable us to experience the truly wretched and twisted; inducing madness, terror or revulsion. One medium grew out of the tabletop hobby, video games.
The world of the video game shows us visuals to help capture the world, allowing us to see a world and interact with it. While more limited than humans, as computers are the game master, they still give us that illusion of freedom. Back to the original idea, they can help to instill horror through a variety of creative visuals and audio. Maybe the intent was to scary us like crazy, perhaps it was something the developers thought they made an amusing gag… and it turned out wrong. (WARNING: TV TROPES LINK) No matter the intention, these interactions stick with us, they fascinate us, they disturb us, they chill us. Something that truly scared us leaves us not only horrified, but in awe. With that, I thought I’d break the usual take on things and revive some classic horrors from the gaming world that stuck with many of us. Or at the least, revive some encounters that stuck with me.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Have a little classic gaming nightmare fuel. I wanted to do a theme like this for a while, so here we go! Also, I’ll put up a disclaimer here. I wanted to get a little more experimental with this, meaning I’ll have to clean up the resulting mess I make. I was more eager to make homages to classic baddies, so this will probably be polished over the next couple of days. Stay tuned!