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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Worlds and Cosmos of Spelljammer – Fantastic Space!

 

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Arcane Space, a strange place for those not initiated.  Plus, for those lacking the essential tools of travel, it’s deadly.  There is no natural air here, likewise the heat is very unnatural.  This is especially the case within the traveling warp known as the phlogiston, a realm of burning energy that can shuttle protected spelljammers in rapid time.  Yes, it truly is wonderful.  And for many, it’s a far more logical alternative to the planes beyond.  Why discover what lies beyond life when you can learn all that life truly has to offer?  There are countless worlds already out there, all within the Prime material.  Plus, the metropolitan space hubs prove far less pretentious than the likes of Sigil anyway.  No weird slang to make yourself feel smug.  Or well, less of it.

Author’s Note: Spelljammer?  But of course!  October will probably make a shift back to Ravenloft, but Spelljammer always needs love.  And past that, more Docker’s Catch, crossover with other settings and a massive reference to Sea of Thieves (again). So with that, have a double post… IN THE SAME WEEK!  Give or take.

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Gazing upon a Misty Void

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“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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Of Lands Beyond Castle Ravenloft – Gundarak

“Ah, there you are” chimes a snide and sneering scribe, “I was hoping you weren’t too distraught from your assignments.  As it turns out, something of a thorn in the side of His Highest’s rival has resurfaced.  You know of whom I speak, the Devil Strahd of the County Barovia.  Tales tell of an enemy, Duke Gundar, that he has returned in revenge.”  The scribe lays out an assortment of maps, parchments and sealed documents.  “Be a good adventurer, by the master’s decree and look into it.  I suspect someone is imitating that bumbling lord who gave The Devil Strahd a hard time.”  The mysterious scribe rubs his hands, giggling madly as you are supernaturally compelled to gather the supplies and head out.  For some reason, you can’t remember what lead to your arrival at that building, save for that you were returning to Darkon.  You were always returning to Darkon.  But, what matters now is another land.  What matters is Gundarak.

Author’s Note:  Behold, more details to the underdeveloped Gundarakites, Gundarak and Duke Gundar.   My plan was to have plenty of things involving other domains, as well as a Planescape-inspired Cluster to build off of Reality’s End.  Anyway, that will be another post.  My stuff on Gundarak took over.  Also, once again a huge shout out to the Prisoners of the Mist community!  A minor character in this whole mess has its roots from there.  But, hopefully this will be my last post on that domain, so I can focus on other things?   Also, why was Jacques Renier never really brought up in canon after the Realm of Terror boxed set?

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Lost Chapters of the Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 3

More Forgotten Places and Hidden Realms

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“That is all from me.  I must close for the night.  Should you wish to aid my master in some other way, do not hesitate on it.  The Wizard King will not turn away valid support…”

Author’s Note: I was never interested in covering ALL known domains, mostly just the core and former core ones.  However, I wanted to use this to help flesh out a disliked domain or two.  Also, huge credit to Ryan Naylor for reinventing Jack Karn and being the basis of my Farelle post.  Likewise, shout out to the Fraternity of Shadows for making I’Cath so much better. Also, my take-that at the lack of appreciation for the Birthright setting only succeeded in making me sad, hehe.

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Lost Chapters of The Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 2

Forgotten Lands & Dark Seas

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“Of course, I have more notes.  It’s the least I can do for your glorious donations to our information treasury.  Of course, these are copies.  The originals reside with my master, or at least his own private resources.  Enjoy what I have to offer and don’t hesitate to ask questions.  But, be careful what you ask.”  The scribe continues to pour through his acquisitions, before giving a satisfied nod and granting you access to another set of information.  “This begs the question, since you’ve done so much for our fair liege, surely you have shown interest in recruitment?  He has sensed the future and knows one thing for certain…  Doom awaits.  Only his land and his hand can protect you.  But first, the Blighted city must be dealt with.  This “Death” is only an obstacle for greater victory.”

Author’s Note:  A look at more aspects of the Demiplane of Dread.  I never got around to this originally, as my focus was on the journey to Darkon more than anything.  Enjoy my take on some more canon domains of Ravenloft, reaching beyond the Core and into the Nocturnal Sea and Sea of Sorrows.  Also, since not much fleshed out Bluetspur, I got creative!  Surprise, it’s a Spelljammer inspired domain now!  Also, yes, I always thought Professor Arcanus was a stupid character.

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More Misty Rumors

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“Don’t worry, I have more to offer. After all, this trade appeases my true master. So, just as before, present your trade.”

Rustling into your pockets, you feel crumpled pieces of parchment, a cold sweat drips from your fingers to nearly stain the hidden papers. You realize what else you can offer, things far more taboo than prior offerings. Hesitant, you remove your clenched hand to reveal more documents. The scribe taps his fingers, quietly chortling to himself in dark glee.  “Ah, now there we go.  I’m a man of my word.  When you deliver good content, I will supply far more.  Ready yourself, more things we prepare for here within our great Darkon.”

Author’s Note: My first set of rumors and happenings were enjoyed, let me craft some more.  For the time being, there is no marked time on the Barovian Calendar.  As an aside, this isn’t my first reference to the Prisoners of the Mist server for Neverwinter Nights.  My hints of Gundarakite rebellion took notes from there too.  I should really get back into that, it was good fun!

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Lost Chapters of The Mists – More Domains of Dread Part 1

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If you have found these notes, then I am still most assuredly lost to somewhere else. I am not sure when I catalogued these notes, but apparently some facet of me did very recently. Perhaps I continued to work for the dread lich without realization. None the less, may these notes prove most useful to you. Within the Lands of the Mists, the power of knowledge can sometimes be damning. However, it is often very, very useful. Stay well and ultimately stay alive.  And should you find me, you too are likely doomed.

Author’s Note: I had more domains of the Core to cover and I honestly didn’t have much other direction at the moment. I still feel a little sick and that sucks. You would think you could trust your own neighborhood to get itself together, but sometimes that’s asking too much. No matter, I’m feeling better. So, with that, here is my look at those other domains. And should I feel up to it, I might toss in an Island of Terror or two. Many of them were cool after all. Hell, some were once part of the core.  Either way, I have more to ramble on in due time.  We’ll probably see another post with lost bard entries on The Mists.  Also, happy 2021.  May it lead to good things for all.

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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 even more Forbidden Realms (Raven-scape Monsters Part 2)

15 Best Cosmic Horror Movies Inspired By Lovecraft | Cultured Vultures

You awaken to find yourself chained against a damp and musty cave wall.  What you see before you was likely once a man, but his flesh sways and twitches in ways not befitting a natural creature.  As he glances at you, several copies of his face seem to project, as if to magnify his speech. Multiple uncanny smiles form in disjointed succession, as the space-warped thing speaks.

“You thought you escaped?  What a foolish notion!  The Mists are eternal and you are a puppet!  A wise adventurer would best research on things that dwell in darkness, lest they be another story of the Dark Powers.  In the end, you are all the same.  But, a fighting chance is too irresistible to ignore.  So, fight on and fight well, mortal.  If you were wiser, you could have read onward about the awful things that sprawl and crawl.  I was once like you, but then I was chosen to be beyond human.  The cosmic eternity takes the worthy, granting them a new story.  But first, allow me to do the honor of ending yours.” 

Shadowy projections of his hand reach over, to simply touch your forehead.  Protrusions and mockeries of the flesh extend from the tainted thing’s arm.  The mass plants itself upon your head, as you feel its horrid pull.  The force of a thousand realities tries takes your essence.  All goes black, the alien void has won.

Author’s Note:  I had more planned, I just wanted to space them out instead of cram it all into one post.  I’m still pondering where to go next.  But, the Stars are Right for… something.  And yes, The Thing was one of the inspirations behind The Paradox.  But, how would you conduct a blood test for it?

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