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?

Image

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.

Continue reading “The Cluster Sphere: Spelljammer… in the Mists?”

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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Grim Rumors Eternal – More Ravenloft Plots and Places

The Darkness lasts forever!  Don’t think the Light is still your friend though.

Author’s Note: Mystaran homage, more lands based on Philippine folklore, more on the undead of Rockbaecche and a native of Kalidnay experiencing Abaddon.  Also, two more references to the excellent Prisoners of the Mist server for Neverwinter Nights.  If you love the Campaign Setting, it’s one of the best sources that keeps it alive.  Also, I’m aware that referencing Abrahamic religion in D&D is controversial, but thanks to Prisoners of the Mist, it could be a fascinating thing to examine in brief.  I should really pick that up again, it was good fun.

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Gazing upon a Misty Void

TAE _ - Sea Zombie-2

“This is the Alleigosto Exploration Team, is anyone out there?  Anyone on the Cog Auditory-Wave Line, please respond!  We are lost on the Ichthyan Sea.  We’ve observed and overheard terrible creatures.  Send help immediately.  These waters are dangerous, arm yourselves by all means.  I repeat, arm yourselves.  Air waves will remain open, in hopes of response.” – The distress signal of Her Heavenly Embrace, sunken wreck

It is time once again to gaze into the mists and see what gazes back.  I bring you tales and people traversing the mists, woes of the occult, crime never paying, schemes of a warmonger and rising spirits assembling a demonic gallivant.

Author’s Note: More ambitious conquering for Drakov, Victorian spiritualism, Japanese ghosts and more on a thieves haven homage to Yojimbo.  That is what to expect from this post!  Also, I know I’ve griped about it before, but I feel like I should cover and flesh out my own worlds.  I don’t really want to play D&D anymore, even though I like pondering about the settings.  It’s this weird paradox for me.  I have more posts I want to do, so we’ll see how quick I can get over this funk.

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Further Glimpses Upon The Mists

Tristram In Skyrim - A Homage To Diablo -- Project Shelved at Skyrim Nexus  - Mods and Community

Problems, we all have problems.  Day to day life is riddled with them.  This is nothing to say of toils beyond town walls, behind closed doors and just outside of the naked eye.  There are things that bring deeper problems, rooted in our own deepest fears.  Attempts to banish them are fool’s errands, adaptation and readiness is a more apt truth.  So, do not fear the problems of what lies beyond, but prepare.  The darkness always lingers and waits, so too must you.

Author’s Note: My continued take on Eberron meets Ravenloft, more Thief love, More BLOOD inspiration in the multiverse, ongoing agonies of new domains and more.

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Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 5

Ghost ship (Stephen Fabian, Ravenloft module RA2: Ship of Horror, TSR, 1991)
Dead Men Tell No Tales

“Ah, setting sails on the high seas?  Well, let me tell you of grim tall tales.  I speak of ghostly vessels rising from watery graves.  I have witnessed water beasts infused with the deadliest poisons known to man.  I have seen angered spirits more than capable of sinking your ship, even from a distance.  And this is to say nothing of the strange island you will find along the way.  The ones I fear the most are controlled by wicked sorcerers who reject the divine in favor of their own prospects.  And that’s to say nothing of the pirates.  Even in distant lands, the brigands will emerge.  One such heinous gathering caused me crew to run aground.  And that was to say nothing of the horrors to come.  I speak of flying creatures that resemble women, but only their top half!  The accursed harpies had slain too many good men.  I speak to you today, only thanks to some priests who witnessed the carnage.  The life of a sailor is no kind one.  Pray that it’s only nature you have to worry about!”

The old man, beleaguered by his past, sits back down.  However, for the rest of the evening, he maintains a glassy stare that is equal parts ominous and worried.  His staring is only interrupted by the loud slurping of grog from his mug, most of which staining his mostly white beard.  Even as you ready to depart, the solemn and sorrowful figure remains haunted and scarred through the terrors of his own past.  Pray that you do not suffer much like him.

Author’s Note: I’m back once more, since my previous post split off into another part all its own.  I wanted to tackle a look at Sri Raji, as well as stealing from the new book to make their new domain feel more Ravenloft (though that’s a common complaint I have with the book).  As a whole, I give my own remake to The Steaming Lands, now the Steaming Wrath, with the addition of two wholly new domains (one based off of a Bruce Heard article for Dragon of course).  Likewise, I have returned with more Ravenscape crossover, detailing the fate of Antorek and how it relates to the Wildlands.  Also, PIRATES!  I love me some stuff with pirates.

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Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 4

Alanik Ray - Dungeons & Dragons Board-Game Campaign (house-rules)

“Alanik, come quickly! I have found yet another one.”

A man in physician’s finery beckoned another to his side. A well-dressed man of elven descent followed, emerging from the darkness and into the lantern light. The two gazed down, a crumpled body laid at their feet, hastily disposes upon a cobblestone street corner. Alanik hunched closer, while reaching for a small viewing glass. His gaze met a symbol etched into the body’s shoulder, revealed through a series of gash marks.

“Indeed, it’s the same accursed occult symbol. But, what does it mean? All of these victims have similar traits in common. Each body was struck down in some means of brutal combat, holds torn up or destroyed parchments and carries this accursed mark upon their flesh. From what I can gather, they are some sort of messengers. Given the common origins of the clothing styles and some adorned belongings, they all likely share a common ancestry in Darkon.”

Joining Alanik the detective, the physician stoops forward with tools at the ready.  With tools in hand, he too examines the corpse and does so with medical precision.

“Astute observation, detective. But, the deaths. I must know. From a glance over at the wounds, it seems to follow yet another trend. All of these bodies faced similar slashing wounds from a particularly long blade. The marks indicate a similar fighting style or means of combat. Or at least, it would seem someone is good at replicating them. Did you know I’ve taken up a fair bit of swordplay in my youth? I’ve even had some goes at fencing. And… what’s this? A parchment that hasn’t been destroyed! It’s hidden in an insular breast pocket.”

The physician’s face rapidly changes from excitement to a rather grim shock. The letter addresses a Dr. Arthur Sedgewick, that the body before him was once compelled into the service of a scribe who serves the mighty Wizard-King Azalin. Even when not under control, he feels the tugging presence of magic upon his mind and that he isn’t alone. Countless other glorified slaves have found themselves gathering information in the name of a mad wizard and his lackeys. In the night before his death, he desired to seek the doctor out in hope that non-magical means could break his curse, since attempts from spellcasters have failed.

Author’s Note: Alas, poor scroll trader, now another victim of The Mists. And with that, let’s look at some more canon domains within the setting. Many of these are ones typically overlooked to some degree.  Joining them are some new domains, fit around various fan ideas as well.  Also, big thanks to the Fraternity of Shadows community as always, especially Ryan Naylor and John W. Mangrum.  Likewise, the extra eyes who brought a Philippines horror inspired domain to life.  And on that note, this is probably the longest concept for a domain I’ve made.  And yes, I used the silly trading card over the goofy looking new art, I’m aware.

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More ramblings in the Cage – A collection of letters and notes

Welcome to the Hall of Records. Surely, you have business, right? As well as rightful good means of being here. We’re quite busy, we don’t want free-lookin’ eyes peering and bobblin’ about! So, speak quick and have the right goods ready. Yer jink’s no good here, so don’t bother with that. As is, we’re in the midst of something rather heavy. Last thing we need is some busy-bustin’ basher bouncing about.

Author’s Note: This was fun, let’s do it again!  Ravenscape crossover, Simpsons references, all sorts of strangeness.

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In Which Calamity Reigns – More Planescape Lore

Street Riot | MTG Arena Card Library
“To the Armory, CHAAAAARGE!.”

“Those Anarchist twits, sparking more violence within The Cage.  They think they’re turning the people against the factions, all of them…  Not quite.  It all plays into our hands.  Besides, this has lead to our greatest dabbling, remote shops to distribute weapons from The Armory better!  Tuck them under the Legals’ noses, give ’em the laugh at the right moment!  The smell o’ fresh blood wafting along the Lower Ward smog, ain’t it just grand?  Besides, nasty things are brewing in the planes, it’s best for the locals to arm themselves.  Bloody shame with those pirates though, I wish they were working for us…” – From the letter of a Sinker, commenting on recent “acceleration” within Sigil

Horrible things transpire across the planes, but what do they mean?  Likewise, dread things from realms unknown have found their way into The Cage.  The few paranoid greybeards within The Dark point towards The Demiplane of Dread and its machinations.  But, they can’t say for sure and can’t say why.  Through the Prime Fabric, a version of Terra languishes at the wrath of the planes beyond too, something that should be impossible.  As it is, rising tensions within Sigil point to something grim.  Some figure that Factol Darkwood is up to something, but he has been on the hush since violence against any faction/non-guild has been on the rise.  Even laws passed and enforced by the “lawful three” have been subverted and sometimes abolished by outside forces.  The Lady, as always, has remained silent until her call to action draws near.  In the meantime, both Anarchists and Indeps are getting much of the heat of the blame, alongside various Guilds of the Guildhall and Market Wards.

Author’s Note: This post is all about two themes: darker things in the planes… and war.  By war, I mean urban warfare, world war, proxy war, war of ideals/words and war over technology.  But also, we have more Planescape content, as well as potential “Ravenscape” material.  As always, references galore!  This includes some personalities in real life.  Shout-out to The Foxy Bard of Renaissance Faire performance fame.  I still say if you toss on a monocle, you could rock a Harkon Lukas cosplay!  Mind you, Lukas was an inspiration for my character too.  Also, this one is a smidge rougher based on looks at an apocalyptic Earth, as well as uproar in the Cage.  Keep an eye out for many, many callbacks throughout the post.  I love to self-reference.

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