Traversing the mists with Mistfactor Press

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.

More Politicking and Intrigue of the Fey – Part 3

Outlaws, Oddballs and Cultist Fanatics

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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.

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Dread possibilities and other heresies – A Last Look into The Mists

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.

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Troublesome Timelines in Sigil and Beyond

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Gather quickly, my free time is limited. I have dire and gruesome fortunes to unearth.

Alleissa, the protege of Midwife Mebbeth can do more than treat what ails ya and talk about the art a bit.  Did you know I have some knack for fortunes and looking at possible events?  Don’t just take my word for it…  Gaze into this crystal ball and allow me to show you.  Why are you reluctant?  Despite this adorable fuzzy rodent face, I swear I won’t call ‘The Us’ to you.  Between you and I, the Brain-Muncher Vampires from the Below make better friends than the Cranium Rats… at least the ones who aren’t too barmy.  Anyway, divination.  Sure!  Let me see likely scenarios and the unlikely… 

Hmm…  Hmm…  Oh my… All of these look rather grim.  Day to day in the Cage already brings its own ample bad news.  But, one always finds a way to adapt and perhaps normalize the horrors around them.  On a much better note, good can always come from these bad events.  After all, a mad tinker “pure blood” married I, a witch and a mutant.  I already know the next of kin will be healthy.  Plus, I’ve made sure many young in The Hive live and grow, in addition to seeing their own first light of day.  Even the aging and old, they’ve continued better thanks to my mentor and later me.  So, perhaps that’s a sign of positives among rather negative days.  But, onto the readings themselves, I warn you that the foreboding you sense is warranted.  Dark things lie ahead.  Do you still want to hear more?  Should you not want to, it’s understandable.  

Author’s Note:  Alleissa, the rat mutant, returns.  This is just a series of scenarios based on what CAN happen with the plot hooks I set up.  I don’t know if I’ll touch on them beyond this or the after effects.  After all, you’re all free to use my plot hooks as you’d like.  And yes, I straight up ripped off the Halo trilogy and a bit from Buckaroo Banzai!  Likewise, let’s tie up some plots with the Acts of Balance.  For now, I want to close the door on some Planescape metaplot.  And with that, have some Sigilian nightmares this chilly season.

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Planes of Terror and Madness: Dark Shadows of the Wheel

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.

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Rumors in Mists, Endless Whispers

skulls | Skeleton art, Art, Skull art

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.

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Mist-cloaked Ways – Traditions, stories and beliefs of the Lands

Ravenloft by Stephen Fabian | Fantasy art, Concept art, Painting

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.

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Within Doors of Darkness Everlasting – Misty Prisons within a Misty Plane

Horror House by Metalius666 on DeviantArt

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.

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The Cluster Sphere: Spelljammer… in the Mists?

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Fantastical Space would be one of the last things people associate the Demiplane of Dread with, but it exists even there.  The recently discovered “Castle Darkspace” is a testament to that.  While T’laan stews and broods in nihilistic apathy, he knows that it’s possible to break the veil into greater space.  But, this is but a facade meant to give false hope.  And by all means, others who have touched a Spelljammer have fallen to the Dark Powers.  Even the maligned and much ignored “Port Barmy” has its roots in a Spelljammer ship.  Save for the latter domain, all things Spelljammer have found their way into a unique “Cluster” or rather “Mist Sphere”.  The Mist Sphere works much like a Crystal Sphere, complete with Wildspace connecting the worlds.  However, there is no true world, solely the domain and lands trailing off into mists.  However, they can be accessed by spelljamming.

Be warned though, for those who sail their incredible ships in this sphere cannot leave normally.  Trying to seek the Phlogistan has disastrous results.  Consistently, a spelljammer will explode upon impact.  Likewise, entering other domains and clusters beyond this one spells doom.  Doom already comes for all who dare to trifle with the mists.  As of 740, even arcane space (excluding the phlogiston beyond) was not immune.  Tower Darkspace was taken into the mists.  By 743, Rogerport and Gnomonia had joined.  Primordium Station was taken in 748 and The Chariot fell in 757.  By 758, these were no longer islands of terror.  The Mists unveiled that the spelljamming days of yore had returned, but with a dark twist.  A new Sphere of sorts revealed itself, but those within were very much trapped.  And worse, new locales and minor domains continued to appear, such as the Sparkling Halls in 759.  Perhaps the Arcane Space is doomed to fall to the Dark Powers in due time?

Author’s Note: Spelljammer in the Mists! They said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong! Ahahahahah!  I know Ravenspace has been a thing for years, but here is my own take on a cluster in the style of a Crystal Sphere.  Also, there is plenty of opportunity to reference bits of space horror, such as System Shock!  Also, more Eberron crossover!  And even more crazy, Returned Blackmoor makes a cameo as a domain all its own.  Is it canon for my Threshold series?  Hard to say, but it’s certainly a possible ending for it!  Also, Port Barmy remains a joke.  I have no plans to do much else with it, maybe I’ll add it to here one day.

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Conspiracies and Terrors of Wildspace and More

I realize that my lesson started and shifted a but abruptly.  But, you seek the worst and weirdest that arcane space has to offer.  Why would I slouch on a golden opportunity to explain all that is delightfully dooming in the stars beyond?  Ah, yes.  Do stop me at any moment.  As much as I relish spreading nightmares, it could be bad for the tutoring contract.  So, young one, let us talk particular subjects involving space today.  After all, fear not when being taught by the famous Jermaine the Arcane.  I always provide means of rescue advice.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer, at last!  All the same, October kinda of usurped a bit of that.  And so with that, have some RavenJammer!  Likewise, conspiracies and mysteries within the setting too.  Also, the largest heresy to the alternate cosmologies, they’re just Crystal Spheres with Planar elements…  Don’t be mad at me!  Plus hey, I love a good conspiracy angle, the retcon fits the Great Wheel and its many mysteries to some extent.  Primers be damned!  (But, mostly Clueless.)

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