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Quoth The Raven

24
Front Matter

Quoth the Raven #25

This product is a work of fiction.

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Table of Contents
Introduction ........................................................ 4
Verbrek .............................................................. 5
The Conferences of Victor Gagné .............................. 14
Fifty Shades .......................................................37
Mistlands Tourist Guide ....................................... 45
On the Subject of the death knight ...........................53
Richemulot ........................................................60
A Hundred Shades of Dark ...................................... 71
Lilliend ............................................................ 94
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ........ 188
Legal .............................................................. 202
Back Cover ....................................................... 205
Introduction
The end of October again? Where did the time go? I blame the Mists, shifting when I am and
sending me to uncertain futures.

Here is another issue of Quoth the Raven, the Ravenloft netbook/ e-magazine. By the fans
and for the fans.

This is my fifth issue of Quoth the Raven, and I barely knew what to write in the introduction
of the second through fourth. So I’m going to stop writing here and let you delve into the pages
of this digital tome, exploring Verbrek and Richemulot again, for the first time. Or looking at
death knights in a new and interesting way. Or perhaps even incorporating a certain
cannibalistic barber into your campaigns.

Enjoy!

"Jester" David Gibson


October, 2018

4
Verbrek
Land of predators and opportunity
by Mistmaster

When you are a sheep in a land full of River lay the towns of Ludlow, on the north,
wolves who can you trust? This is a Dread and Fylfot, Alyssum and Tricco in the south.
Alternative to Canon Verbrek. Ludlow is the third main city of the nation,
and hosts also the University of Ludlow,
Tropes renowned learning center in the frontier, in
The evil of civilization against the evil of particular on Werebeasts, especially
savagery. In Verbrek you can see both; who Werewolves and Werepanthers. Alyssum is
are more dangerous, the wolves who hunt the only all-werewolves open community in
in the forest or those who hunt in the Verbrek. Fylfot and Tricco are thriving
business trade? Some werewolves are mining and wood-harvesting centers. Siel, in
acknowledged, someone prefer to keep it a the Northern Musarde River Valley, is
secret, who can you trust? currently the only fluvial city in the Free
State not owned by a private company;
Domain Overview Fang's Circle is the holy land for Fenris
followers, Lady's Den is the same for the
The land included between the two followers of Lady Moon; The two religions
rivers, the Arden (with the Wolfen River) are equally discouraged by the government.
and the Musarde (with its sources and Appropriately the two towns are pretty
tributaries included: the Arkan and the much insulated, as the Free state
Noisette) is covered in thick forests; rocky government is very weak far from the
hills dot the otherwise plain land. rivers.
The City of Arkandale Town sits at the Duskpeace is another fortified village,
conjunction of the rivers Arkan and home of various Werebeasts worshipping
Musarde, at the mouth of the eponymous Lady Moon near the Valachan Borders.
Dale.
It is one of the most important trading
hubs of the western Core; In the North,
The People
near the Wolfen River, sits Amoria, the Verbrekers are a hard people for a hard
second largest city of the domain in land and Werewolves have lived here since
population; The Wolfen River has been before human colonization began. For a
recently linked to the Arkan River and to the period the two races hunted each other,
Arden River with a channel, allowing easier until they reached a standstill, and a
communication between Amoria, Ludlow common threat, that of an Invidian
and the capital. On the banks of the Arden invasion, presented itself; Invidians had
their chosen champions, the Wolfweres, and

5
only Werewolves' help saved the colonists
Culture level: Chivalric
from annexation. From then on, the two
Ecology: Full
people mingled, even if many werewolves
Climate & Terrain: Temperate river
preferred, and still prefer, insulation in their
plain along the Musarde River, the
forested communities; Humans are still
Noisette River , and the Arkan River
wary about Werewolves, and so few of
Languages: High Mordentish,
them declare it publicly if they live among
Dementlieuse.
human communities, with the principal
Religions: Church of Ezra (LN), Cult of
exception being the Arkandale Pack whose
the Wolf God, Cult of Mother Moon.
members are a very powerful faction in the
Races: Human (Verbrekers)
Arkandale City government. While they are
47%,Werewolves 50%, Other 3%.
wary of strangers, once you get the
Governement: de jure Parlamentary
friendship of a Verbreker, it will last forever.
Republic (Each village and town
Usually Verbreker clothing is practical and
elects a number of representatives in
simple, even if the richest landowners and
the General Congress), de facto
mineowners and their relatives can afford
Oligarchical Plutocracy,
more elegance. Small weapons with silver
(landownership and property are
blades and silver heads for arrows and
required to vote and to be voted into
quarrels are fairly common, but frowned
public offices.)
upon in mixed communities. Avoiding
Ruler: Chairman of the Musarde River
carrying silver items is seen as a sign of
Company and President of the
trust regarding werebeasts.
Executive Council of the Free State of
Verbrek, Captain Nathan Timothy.
Darklord: Nathan Timothy. Religion
Lightlord: Noah Timothy The two main religions are the Cult of
Analog: American Frontier, end of Fenris (CE, favored weapon: dagger/bite,
eighteenth/start of the nineteenth symbol: a wolf head, Domains: Animal,
century. Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Madness,
Capital City: Arkandale Town (LE, Non- Strength.) and the Cult of Mother Moon
standard, 82,000) (NG, favored weapon: short bow, symbol: a
Important towns: Amoria (Standard, Full moon, Domains: Change, Charm, Good,
N, 22,000), Lady's Den (Non- Healing, Protection, Weather ).
standard, NG, 9,000), Tricco (N, The Cult of Fenris promotes hunting and
Standard, 17,500), Gillsburg (N, savagery, and preaches the superiority of
standard, 20,000), Alyssum (NE, the beast over humanity. Other than
Standard, 18,000), Fylfot (LN, werewolves, it also appeals to savage
Standard 13,500), Fang's Circle (CE, hunters and poachers, who dream to be
Non-standard, 7,900), Ludlow (N, turned and work as spies for the cult.
Standard, 17,000), Duskpeace (LG, The Cult of Mother Moon favors
Non-Standard, 6,500) integration and adaptation, sees change as
Borders: North-East:, Borca; East: a positive thing, promises prosperity and
Invidia; South: Sithicus; West: fertility for the merciful and the generous,
Valachan; North-West: Mordent; and is favoured by woodcutters, farmers,
North: Richemulot.

6
good-aligned werebeasts, midwives and Werewolves could oppose them; following
travelers. the defeat of the Invidians, the Werewolf
The Cult of Ezra has a small but well- Packs and the Human settlers made a
organized following concentrated in the treaty, under the auspices of Mother Moon's
main cities. Cult, who gave werewolves equal rights in
the then nascent state, and granted the
History packs full possessions of their hunting
Verbrek folktales talk about the age of grounds.
creation, when Fenris, the Wolf-God, and In recent times, werewolves managed to
Mother Moon fell in love, and generated two even take over the major trading companies
children: Freki, the First Wolf, and Freya, of the human settlers, and at least two
the first human woman; Freki and Freya acknowledged werewolves, Captain Nathan
loved each other, so, their mother gave Timothy and Alderman Meogon Whiteye are
Freya the ability to turn in a Wolf. Their son the Presidents of two powerful companies.
Timothy was the first Werewolf; however, in
the age of heroes, when empires were born The Famed and the
and died, Fenris grew jealous of the human
descendants of Freya, and urged the wolves Infamous
and the werewolves against them; Mother
Moon gave mankind the gift of silver, and
Argent Whitmoor
urged werewolves to defend their brethren. (LG Adult Male Human Werewolf Paladin 7)
From the bloodline of Timothy, twins were Argent is the scion of the Whitmoor Clan,
born, Cain and Abel Timothy; Cain Timothy a clan of Werewolves who worships Mother
chose Mother Moon, while Abel choose Moon. He is also the Alderman of the town
Fenris. Cain slew Abel and bound Fenris’ of Duskpeace. He and his wife Celia reside
spirit in the circle of Fangs. in the fortified estate of Duskpeace Lodge,
In the age of darkness, when the Tergs near the Valachan Border.
invaded the core, the Werewolves and Adventure Hook: Valachan authorities
human tribes lived in relative peace, have protested incursions of Verbreker
intermingling and turning werewolves poachers in their territory; as the Alderman
quickly into the majority. of Duskpeace, Argent is offering rewards to
Packs and Clans established themselves, any brave adventurer who can help him to
with the Timothy, the Whitmoor, the stop the poachers.
Whiteye and the Brightfur clans being
Patrick Connor
among the most influential.
In the modern age, two centuries after (NG Adult Human Barbarian 8/ Ranger 5)
the expulsion of the Tergs, the discovery of Patrick is a trapper and an enemy of
gold in the waters of the Arkan and both the Cult of Fenris and of the corrupt
Musarde rivers brought human colonists Government; a worshipper of Mother Moon,
into Verbrek; the werewolves initially fought he is feared both by evil Werebeasts and by
the invaders, but, the colonists and natives human poachers.
had to join together against the Invidian Adventure Hook: A woman runs into the
invasion of Verbrek. Invidians had their own adventurers, claiming to be stalked by an
champions, the Wolfweres, and only the evil brute; in truth, the woman is a cultist of
Fenris, and the stalker is Patrick Connor.

7
Broderick Bonebreaker other packs or humans. He has the aspect
of a white-haired, white-bearded old man,
(CE Adult Caliban Werebear Barbarian 10)
with penetrating auburn eyes, dressed in a
Broderick is the head of a small clan of
silver tunic, wearing the moon shaped
Werebears and he has managed to bully
symbol of his faith; in wolf form, he is a
into submission the majority of the other
towering white wolf, slowed by age but still
non-wolf clans of Werebeasts in Verbrek, to
exuding majesty. While Alfred Timothy is
form the Brood of the Purple Moon, which
more magically powerful, and surely
rules the desolate hills of the
younger than Ambrosius, his lack of control
Bleedingbarrows in the north-east.
in wolf form and his weaker physical body
Adventure Hook: The Brood of the Purple
have allowed the older wolf to get the
Moon is starting to raid beyond their
upper hand in many a confrontation.
hunting grounds, disturbing mining
Adventure Hook: Ambrosius is dying;
operations sponsored by the Musarde River
knowledge of his weakness will upset the
Company; an officer of the company
balance of the packs and cults in Verbrek,
approaches the adventurers offering a
as his heir apparent is still too
generous sum to help defend the mine.
inexperienced; thus he is trying to keep this
Meogon Whiteye news a secret as long as it is possible; but
(NE Adult Male Human Werewolf Ranger 8) someone has stolen proof of his illness and
The Alpha of the Whiteye Clan, and the intends to reveal it at the next packs’
Alderman of Alyssum, Meogon is cunning meeting. The adventurers are tasked with
and diplomatic. He is interested in keeping finding the traitor and recovering the stolen
the Noisette river under the control of the proof.
Noisette River Company, his family being Alfred Timothy
the major share-holders. He has developed
(CE Adult Human Werewolf Cleric 11)
Alyssum into one of the mayor trading point
The firstborn son of Captain Nathan
in the nation, and he appears as a
Timothy, in his youth he was a gentle soul,
competent and reliable manager, however,
who sought to free Verbrekers from his
he still has a sentient-eating habit, which he
father's iron grip; he joined the Lady's
tries to satisfy with discretion.
Children Pack, and became a priest of the
Adventure Hook: The adventurers meet
Moon Lady. However, his disgust for
by chance a frightened, ragged boy who
civilization grew and not even the love of
claims his little sisters have been abducted
Elaria Brightfur could quench this hate;
from their slum. In truth, the girls’
when he destroyed a village who was
abductors work for the Alderman.
negotiating settling rights with the Pack, he
Ambrosius Brightfur lost the lady's blessing along with his family.
(NG Venerable Male Human Greater He ran into the heart of the forest, where
Werewolf Cleric of Mother Moon 10) he arrived at the Circle of Fangs, the circle
The Alderman of the Lady's Den, Pack- of blood-stained dolmens, where, legends
Leader of the Ladychildren Pack, leader of said, Mother Moon chained a force of evil.
the Brightfur Clan and Arch-Priest of Lady He killed the two guardians and entered the
Moon, Old Ambrosius is ailing, but his circle, where he was blessed by the
leadership is still uncontested; his wisdom is imprisoned deity, Fenris, the Lady’s first
sought by many, even by werewolves from mate. Since then, he has been the

8
Archpriest of the Fenris Cult, and the leader Noah Timothy
of the Bloodfang Pack; however, the Lady
(NG Young Adult Male Human Greater
cursed him for this betrayal, and now, he
Werewolf Barbarian 13)
reverts to human form every time he feels
The Champion of Mother Moon, he is the
strong emotions.
son of Alfred Timothy and Elaria Brightfur,
Adventure Hook: Alfred Timothy is
and believes in peaceful coexistence
marrying again; his new mate is a daughter
between Humans and Werewolves, between
of the Redpaws Pack, Lara. She is unwilling,
Werewolves and other Werebeasts, and
and her mother has paid the adventurers to
between Civilization and Nature. Noah does
rescue her; doing that they would also foil
not resent his father nor his grandfather for
the pernicious alliance between the
their sins; instead he is a firm believer in
Bloodfangs and the Redpaws.
the idea of offering them a chance for
Natalia Vhorishkova redemption. When all attempts for a
peaceful resolution have been made and
(CN Adult Female Human Werewolf Slayer
have failed, then he turns into his 10 feet
9)
tall, white- and gold-furred hybrid form, and
The Alpha of the Vhorishkov Clan, a Clan
allows the Lady's righteous fury to be
of Darkonian origin, and the second largest
unleashed on her enemies. His own burden
shareholder in the Musarde River Company,
is also his strength: a merciful heart; not
Natalia is a dangerous predator, not only as
even when the righteous fury possesses him
a Werewolf and as a bounty hunter, but,
will he finish off a sentient being, no matter
more so, as a business woman. Even
how dangerous they are.
Nathan Timothy affords her an ounce of
Adventure Hook: During their first night
respect. Her cruelty and her underhanded
in the forest, the adventurers are attacked
tactics, combined with her cunning and
by a pack of wolves. A white- and gold-
cold-bloodedness, make her an effective
furred direwolf saves their life and starts to
negotiator.
follow them from a distance; with time they
Adventure Hook: The adventurers are on
will learn that their faithful companion is
the trail of a smuggler from Mordent; they
something more.)
want him alive, but someone else wants
him dead, and has paid Natalia to be sure Yellowfang Sisters
to have that man killed.
(Amanda Yellowfang, N Young Adult Female
Tremeur Hollowmore Human Werewolf, Expert 3, and Caroline
Yellowfang N Adult Female Human
(LN Adult Male Human Fighter 5)
Werewolf Expert 4)
Tremeur is Arkandale Town's City Watch
The Yellowfang sisters are the
commander, a native of Fylfot. He is honest
bartenders at the Gorging Wolf Inn, the
and zealous - too much so for the job,
most frequented Inn in Ludlow. They are
maybe.
not widely acknowledged as Werewolves,
Adventure Hook: Tremeur is
and they prefer to keep it this way.
investigating the murder of a wealthy
Adventure Hook: Amanda Yellowfang is
shareholder of the Musarde River Company;
kidnapped, and her sister pays the
as he is getting pressure to close the case
adventurers to rescue her, but she tries to
quickly, he intends to task the adventurers
prevent them from uncovering their little
with investigating in his stead.
furred secret.

9
"Madskinner" Lyle Harks Woodcutter's Axe and swiftly became its
unofficial leader.
(NE Adult Male Human Skinchanger Hunter
Adventure Hook: when the village the
7)
adventurers currently reside in is attacked
Lyle "Madskinner " Harks was once a
by Fenris' Fangs, Noella come to
member of the Woodcutter's Axe, but today
investigate.
he is a poacher, a serial killer of both
humans and werewolves, and a rapist.
Thanks to his many crimes, the Mists gifted Organizations
him with the ability to steal the appearance
of people and animals he kills; he is,
The Musarde River Company
however cursed with a strong bloodlust This LE Trading Company is the owner of
which, if not sated at least once a week, 74% of Verbrek's land; The Timothy Clan
turns him into the last predator he killed and Arkandale's Pack's leader Captain
until he quenches the thirst. He is Verbrek’s Nathan Timothy is the majority share-holder
public enemy number one, with a bounty of of the company, its Chairman, and the de
10,000 Golden Fangs, dead or alive. facto solo candidate in every Verbreker Free
Adventure Hook: a man matching State's Executive Council Presidency
Madskinner’s description has been spotted election (since the company has the
in Flyfot; a manhunt patrol has been majority of the seats in Verbrek General
organized by the Alderman. The Congress, the legislative Assembly). The
adventurers have been invited to join. Musarde River Company employs a squad of
300 Werewolf thugs, the River Boyz
Mathias Frand (Human Werewolf Warriors 4) commanded
(CN Middle-aged Male Human Werewolf by 6 Werewolf Betas (Human Werewolf
Ranger (Tamer) 3) fighters 7), usually orphans taken in by
Frand is the owner of the Pit, a casino on Captain Timothy. The organization can also
the banks of the Arden, in Tricco. His afford the services of bounty hunters,
activity includes an arena of fighting dogs, poisoners, mercenaries, and elite crafters.
fighting humans, and fighting werebeasts; Dread Possibility: The River Boyz are
while greedy, Mathias is far less malicious all orphans; their parents died before they
than he used to be in his prime, and he could remember; but how did they die?
tries to avoid useless deaths. Captain Timothy killed them; if he can't
Adventure Hook: Someone has stolen the trust his children, he will have children not
prized champion Hound from Frand's of his blood to rely on. But some of the
kennel; the aged Werewolf wants it back Boyz’s parents did escape from Nathan's
and he pays very well. fang and they are still looking for their
childern.
Noella Marshfold
(LG Adult Human Paladin (Holy Liberator The Woodcutter's Axe
(see below)) of Mother Moon 4/Ranger 6)) This CG secret society, whose members
A former follower of Ezra, Noella are recognizable by the silver axe tattoo
converted to the Cult of Mother Moon after they bear on their chests, works to protect
she was almost killed by cultists of Fenris, Verbreker citizens from evil Werebeasts,
and saved by Noah Timothy. She joined the and from the Cult of Fenris. It has no official
structure, and any member can induct

10
another; the Axes have three duties: mutual Special Attacks: Sneak Attack (+7d6), Disease
assistance, protection of the weak, and (Lychantropy, only with Bite Attack) (DC 22
killing of evil werebeasts and their allies; Fort Negates), Howling (Fear) (Frightened
their unofficial leader is Noella Marshfold. 1d6 round, Will Negate, DC 22, 24 on the
Virago)
Dread Possibility: The Bloody Axe is an
Attack: Melee: +3 Dagger +21/+16/+11
extremist fringe of the brotherhood, whose
( 1d4+4) (+2 Hit Rolls and damage Rolls in
goal is the extinction of werebeasts, no Hybrid form, +2 on The Virago),
matter their behavior. Their members sport Ranged:+3 Hand crossbow +21/+16/+11
a second, red axe tattoo on the interior of (1d6+3) (+2 Hit rolls in Hybrid form, +2 on
their legs. They are currently helping in HR and DR on the Virago). In Hybrid form
hiding Lyle "Madskinner" Harks. he also has a natural attack, Bite + 17
(1d6+3+Desease Fort Negates DC 22).
The Darklord : Nathan Skills: Bluff (+27), Diplomacy (+27) Intimidate
(+31), Perception (+34), Sense Motive
Timothy (+26), Swim (+25), Profession (Sailor)
(+26).
LE Middle-Aged Medium Humanoid Feats: Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus
(Shapechanger ) Rogue(Rake) (Crossbows), Weapon Focus (Light Blades),
Hit Dice: 14 (128/146 HP) Greater Improved Feint, Greater Improved
Speed: 20 Trip, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative,
Initiative: +7/+9 (+8/+10 on the Virago) Improved Trip, Weapon Finesse, Iron Will.
Armor Class: 22/26 (+4/+6 Dex, +8 Armor , Challenge Rating: 18
-/+2 Natural Armor) (+2 Deflection on the Proprieties: +3 Hand Crossbow, 20 Quarrels,
Virago) +3 Dagger; Key to the Engine Room of the
Space/Reach: 1 square /1 square Virago.
Combat Maneuver Defense/Combat
Maneuver Bonus: 28 (32 vs Trip)/+17(+21 Background
Trip)//32 (36 vs Trip)/+19 (+23 Trip) (+2 on
The son of moderate, conservative
the Virago)
Str: 13/17, Dex: 18/22, Con: 14/16, Int: 17, Werewolf Alpha Eowin Timothy, whose
Wis: 14, Cha: 16. greatest concession to integrationism was
Saving Throws: Fort: +9/+10, Ref: +15/+17, marrying a human woman, Emily Gerhardt,
Will :+8 (+2 on The Virago) Nathan’s werewolf nature stayed latent,
Special Qualities: Shapeshifter Traits, DR making him an outcast in his own
5/Silver and Magic, SR 28, Invisibility Field, community. At sixteen, he left his village in
Mastery 2. Sinkhole of Evil 2, Evasion, the forest, and decided to integrate himself
Alternate Form (Wolf or Hybrid), Alpha, with the human community, in the capital,
Howling (Calling, 6 miles, 1d8 round, call
Arkandale Town. Back then, he was
3d6 of Werewolves of the River Boyz), Scent,
blissfully unaware of the legacy of the
Lowlight Vison, Bravado's Bade, Rake's Smile
(+4), Improved Uncanny Dodge, Uncanny Timothy clan, and of the brothers Cain and
Dodge, Rogue Talents [Another Day, Abel Timothy, his many times great-
Befuddling Strike, Charmer (2/day), Honeyed Grandfather and many times great-
Words (2/day), Redirect Attack, Skill Mastery Greatuncle, respectively.; Cain Timothy VI,
( Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perception, Nathan's Grandfather was the first Werewolf
Sense Motive, Swim), Surprise Attack]; Curse to fight alongside humans during the
of the Darklord, Regeneration 5 (on the Invidian Invasion. While his sister Irene
Virago), Control Virago. took over the mantle of bridge between

11
human and werewolves from their escape, but fell in the water and was
Grandfather, Nathan worked hard to thrive mangled by the Virago's paddlewheel; He
in the human world, and, starting as an could have saved her, but doing that would
humble sailor, he became a successful have meant losing the money, the Virago,
businessman. However, belonging to such a and all the things he had always wished for.
notorious werewolf family, Nathan was He decided that his greed counted more
shunned by many in the human elite; his than his love for her, and thus sealed his
seething resentment for his werewolf family fate as the mists crowned him as new
grew stronger; plus, he started to develop Darklord of Verbrek.
an unhealthy fascination with gambling.
However, in spite of these problems, he Current Sketches
managed to hit the bigtime, entering into Using his dead family connections,
society with a progressive trade leader and Nathan took control of the Musarde River
landowner called Jacob Lee. At the age of Company, and through that, of Arkandale;
26, he met Annabelle Lee, 20 years old, and he appealed to the most ambitions of the
fell in love with her, and with the flagship of Sheepskinner werewolves clan and quickly
Lee's fleet, the Virago. He managed to woo extended his influence in all of the Free
her and got her hand in marriage from the State. He is the richest man in Verbrek and
ailing Jacob; Nathan’s sister took part to the one of the richest in the Core, he has
celebration, bringing him the clan's married again and had several sons and
felicitations. Wiishing to reconcile with the daughters; all of them, as part of his curse,
Werewolf side of his family, he decided to revolted against him. His primary concern is
celebrate the marriage on the night of full to extend his control on the totality of
moon. It was in the moment he kissed Verbrek; the other one is to satisfy his
Annabelle, that, under the bright eye of the greed and his compulsive gambling. Nathan
Lady, he started to turn, for the first time. Timothy conducts himself as a proper
Jacob quickly fell victim to Nathan jaws. gentleman, but under the façade, a
Only his sister’s swift action prevented a predator lurks, ready to tear apart any
worse tragedy from happening, but opposition.
Annabelle was understandably shocked by
this turn of the events andstricken with grief
for her father's death. Thinking she would
surely file for divorce, he blamed his sister
and the werewolves for his plight, and with
a cold-blooded fury, he poisoned them with
aconitum, and then killed them, skinning his
own sister alive with a silver dagger. In
truth, Annabelle was not going to leave him,
because, with Irene’s counsel, she had
found the strength to forgive her husband
for something he could not control. But that
changed when Anabelle discovered what he
had done willingly; they were alone on the
Virago, when she found the horribly
disfigured corpse of Irene. She tried to

12
Combat Holy Liberator Paladin Archetype
Nathan usually pays people to do his
Alignment must be Chaotic Good, Substitute
dirty work for him, but, sometime,
Knowledge (Nobility) with Bluff as a class
circumstances force him onto the field;
ability.
when it happens, he concentrates on the
Holy Liberator Code: The Holy Liberator
stronger opponents, trying to demoralize
must fight oppression and defend freedom; she
them. He assumes wolf or hybrid form only
must oppose authority every time this authority
if forced to. In wolf form he is as black
does not have the approval of the people, as
furred as he is black-hearted.
long the people are not manipulated in any
Special Abilities sense against a just authority; she must refuse
bindings and obligations, while not hurting
Howling (Su) Only in Wolf or Hybrid
innocents. She must work with lawful people
Form, Standard Action, effects: Calling or
only as long it is necessary for her cause. This
Fear (See Special qualities and Special
replaces the Paladin Code.
Attacks).
Level 3: Resolve: The Paladin is immune
Control Virago (Su) Nathan Timothy
to Charm Spells and spell-like abilities This
can move, fuel, and repair the Virago with
replaces Aura of Courage.
a move action.
Level 5: Holy Ally: the Paladin can invoke
Curse of the Dark Lord: Nathan's
an Holy Ally similar to a Druid’s Animal Ally, but
Curse is threefold: 1) He can never win in
with the celestial template and the intelligence
any gambling he does if he does not
of the Paladin’s Mount. This replaces the Mount
gamble the Virago itself, which he is
Holy Bond.
always loathe to do; 2) He wishes for
Level 11: Righteousness: A Paladin is
stable mates, which invariably leads to
immune to Compulsion Spells and Spell-like
children who will rebel against him, and
abilities. This replaces Aura of Justice.
ultimately the suicide of those mates; 3)
Spell List: Replace Zone of Truth with
each time he leaves the Virago (going
Invisibility at 2nd level, and Mark of Justice
more than 600 feet away from it) he is
with Freedom of Movement at 4th level.
forced into his Hybrid form; should he go
more than 3600 away, he will be forced in
his wolf form instead. He utterly dreads this Closing the Border
circumstance, but to keep his business If someone tries to cross the closed
going, he is often forced to do so. borders of Verbrek, they are attacked by
3d6 Wolves + 1d4 Werewolves, +3 Wolves
Lair every Round they advance; People can,
The Virago is the paddlewheel boat and theoretically, force through the borders,
the primary home of Captain Timothy; He fighting off the wolves and Weres, or
keeps a skeleton crew of ten River Boyz on escaping from them. Nathan can close the
it, but he can control it at will. The Virago is border up to a maximum of two days, every
a rank 2 Sinkhole of Evil, which can bestow week.
the Rage and Despair condition (DC 21 Will
negates).

13
The Conferences of
Victor Gagné
Part the Second: The Wormbringer
by Benjamin Bauml

Many years ago, when I attended the to put forth explanations of why Nikolai
University of Dementlieu, I came to know a disappeared. Even the most irrational of
bright young scholar by the name of Nikolai them did not approach the truth, not that I
Kazić. He greatly desired to travel the world, expected to ever learn it.
so he primarily studied history in order to
familiarize himself with the development of As misfortune would have it, the very
foreign cultures. He and I were good night I fled from Qualensturm was the night
friends; we debated academic topics, I found the answers I had been sure were
divulged details of our personal lives to one lost to me. As I said, I emerged from the
another, and even got away with a few wood out of sight of civilization, with naught
childish pranks that embarrassed the most but a campfire in view. Scrambling and
stodgy of our professors. tumbling with what little energy I had left, I
Sadly, something changed. One day, hastened to that small sign of life,
Nikolai seemed particularly bitter, and he normality, and sanity. Thinking back, I
wouldn’t tell me what was the matter. He realize with no small amount of irony that
became withdrawn and obsessive to the none of these awaited me.
point where I scarcely saw him, despite my As I drew nearer to the light, details
most valiant attempts. Eventually, he simply came into view that had been obscured by
vanished. An investigation was launched, distance. A sturdy, closed carriage of oak,
but neither hide nor hair was turned up. hitched to a large, dark draft horse—
In the aftermath, I traveled to Levkarest perhaps one of the Vaasi Jernryge, but I am
and broke the news to his parents. Needless not an expert in the finer points of equine
to say, they were incomparably breeding—stood off the left side of the
heartbroken—the loss of a child brings a road. By the edge, defiant tongues of flame
pain no parent should have to bear. Seeing writhed in the detritus of wood. A lone man,
their grief struck me, and the fear of their clothed in drab traveling attire, sat with
suffering, which I carry to this day, has crossed legs by the fire, his neck craned to
prevented me from having children. It was set his gaze firmly in his lap. Closer still I
horrid enough to lose my comrade. came, and I saw a foot-long churchwarden
Early on in the time which intervened pipe bridging the gap from his left hand to
between then and now, I had known myself his mouth. His other hand turned pages in a

14
heavy-looking book that sat in the cradle of him. In spite of his swift concealment of the
his legs. In that moment, I supposed he tome, I glimpsed its blackened cover of
was skimming its contents, for he was parched, split leather and felt a glimmer of
flipping through at a rate no human could the unease I had become acquainted to in
read. Untenturm. The man rose and closed the
When I entered the nebulous edge of the distance between us. Whatever he smoked
controlled blaze’s glow, he looked up at me had the aroma of fenugreek, but with
with eyes the same dark brown as his something acrid in the background. He
clothing. No concern or surprise escaped his came to my left and used his right arm to
visage; if eyes are indeed the windows to guide me to the fireside, wordlessly
the soul, his was unfathomably deep within. continuing to puff forth that sweet smoke
Patiently, silently, he took in and expelled with something vile hidden inside.
smoke with rhythmic precision as he waited After getting me to sit, he walked to the
upon my next move. His lips sealed tight on carriage, stooping to collect the book on his
the inhale, but they flared wide enough on way. He vanished into the vehicle’s interior,
each exhale that I could see his small, leaving me a few moments to collect
orderly teeth clamped down on his pipe. myself. The fire was a comfort against the
Just before I launched into a gale of chill of the night, and I even began to feel
babbling, I took note of the fact that his safe and calm. The horse lazily turned to
forehead was unbranded. look me over, its dull gaze disturbingly
I think I was trying to warn him about reminiscent of Qualensturm’s servitors. It
the spectral horror I had left behind. was a look I only saw in sedated beasts.
Perhaps I was just explaining that I wasn’t As its detached scrutiny passed from me,
dangerous, only lost. Or maybe I the man emerged, a wooden bowl with a
endeavored to interrogate him as to spoon sticking over its edge in one hand,
whether he meant me harm. More than and a wineskin sharing the other with his
likely, I believe I tried to do all three at the pipe. He sat on my left and passed me the
same time. For the first span of those bowl, which brimmed with a stew of root
awkward moments, he registered no vegetables and red meat. The wineskin
change in expression. I stumbled closer as I stayed on the earth to his left, beyond my
kept up my deluge of mad locution, and his reach, and he presently resumed his fuming
eyes widened slightly. He drew the clay pipe as I gratefully, albeit slightly uneasily,
out of its resting place, and I observed that began consuming the succulent fare. He
its end was jagged and cracked. Distressed simply watched for a short while, lips closed
though I was, I suddenly realized that it had as he pulled smoke in and parted as he
probably been significantly longer, but his expelled it, then he released his dental
tight jaw had worn at it for a long time. His death-grip on his pipe and asked, “What is
break from pattern caused me to trail off, your name?”
and in the silence, he began to speak I gulped down the mouthful I had been
Mordentish. working on, and replied, “I am Victor
“You’re …” Gagné, citizen of Mordent. I—” An abrupt
Then he jammed his pipe back in place crack from his pipe startled me into silence,
with an audible, clicking crunch. His free as the staccato report came from the bowl
hand levered the book shut and deposited it in his white-knuckled fist.
on the ground as he got his feet underneath

15
As the tortured mouthpiece of the the evening. You can sleep there, and I will
churchwarden slid back toward its home, he stay out here.”
interjected another query, “Why are you on “I am most thankful,” I replied, then I
the Scythe Road?” took a good swig from the wineskin as he
Attempting to collect myself, I inhaled turned on his heel and went back to his
deeply with the intention of slowly exhaling, mobile residence. The concoction was some
but the smoke in the air around me turned sort of mead, and it had an eerily familiar
my relaxation technique into a disappointing flavor to it. Thinking back, I now remember
dry cough. Eventually, I got my lungs under where it came from, a small Borcan brewery
control and elaborated, “I was invited to with beehives on its roof. Whenever a term
Falkovnia by an alchemist, however he began at the University and the few
turned out to be a spectre which could wear students who took the liberty of visiting
a man’s face. I have only just escaped from their relatives were called back, I would be
his execrable domicile.” given a bottle of the stuff, and it would be
With a sharp pull, the pipe grated out gone within the week. Never had I actually
from between his teeth. A look of slight been to the establishment that produced it,
concern played across his visage. “Was this though I had heard it was a unique and
place nearby?” he said as he tapped the curious place. I saw it on my only trip to
ashes out of his pipe and stowed it in his Borca long ago, and I could not bear to
clothes. “It may not be safe to linger here.” enter with the memories weighing so
My brow furrowed as I thought on the heavily on my mind.
matter. “I traveled north from Silbervas for For this reason, though I did not know at
an hour before I found that place, and I am the time, the fine mead from that wineskin
exhausted almost to death after my flight. I made me slightly melancholy. My now
expect we are comfortably removed from somber repast continued for several
it.” minutes, with almost nary more than the
“An hour north from Silbervas …” the fire to occupy my eyes. Occasionally, my
man repeated contemplatively as his benefactor would lean out of his carriage
cavernous pupils strayed out of focus. long enough to dump out some container,
Together, they looked through me at first, alternately dusting the ground with dregs of
then his left eye deviated from their united powders or staining it with murky fluids. A
fettle. I had started to feed myself again, few I recognized as compounds that should
but the spoon slowed to a stop before it be handled with greater care, and no small
reached my mouth. Strange looks were amount of alarm arose when a greasy liquid
becoming far too prevalent of late. that had been spilled over some crumbling,
Suddenly, the focus returned to his gaze, dry mushrooms gave rise to a blue vapor.
then his eyes slid back into kilter. There was Before I could swallow and call out, he
a deliberateness to the motion that made smothered the reaction with a dash of ochre
his correction seem more conscious than sand. He seemed to know what he was
automatic. Casting his sight to his left, he doing, but he evinced little regard for the
spotted the wineskin and finally passed it to long-term consequences of leaving a mess
me before rising one more time. “I daresay of reagents in the environment.
you need a better rest than I do, so I will After perhaps a score of careless
make the inside of my carriage habitable for disposals, he came forth from his dwelling
with a bedroll under his arm and returned

16
to the fireside. He began to spread the cloth pipe, this was not altogether unlikely, but it
bundle out next to the dwindling flame, still appeared an unusual practice.
addressing me concurrently. “You may go in Ultimately, exhaustion won out over
now. Be respectful of my possessions and suspicion, so I began the process of
privacy.” situating myself. First, I looked around for a
“Again, you have my gratitude,” said I, place to stow the bowl and wineskin. There
and I stood with my now empty bowl and was not much in the way of free shelf
half-empty wineskin and walked to the space, and I did not feel like braving the
carriage. Its iron-banded door stood open, chain web to secure them. The tabletop was
but it was not inviting. Rather, somewhere the best of my options. Using a mild cantrip,
deep inside of me, I felt as though that door I sanitized the bowl, then I placed the
waited to snap shut like a rat trap, and wineskin in it and set both before the black
though I would be safe within from that book. It was as though I thought whatever
which is without, I would never leave the was within could be held at bay by
coming confines. I shrugged this off as barricading it behind food paraphernalia. I
residual paranoia and claustrophobia from then removed my outer layers of clothing
my short stint in Untenturm, then mounted and continued to apply my magic to the
the back step. effort of making my clothes clean. Soon, I
The interior of the carriage—visible in the felt ready to rest—until I remembered what
glow of a single lantern hanging from the else I had failed to do recently.
middle of the ceiling—was Stepping out of the carriage after
claustrophobically compact. It couldn’t be garbing myself more completely, I glimpsed
very big in any case, given that it was my host sitting at the fireside. His back was
meant to be pulled by one horse, but the turned to the blaze, and he looked out into
austere furnishings choked its space further. the forest on the far side of the road as the
Metal shelves stood out like ribs on the smoke of his pipe billowed about his head.
walls. They were made shallow to be The utter lack of motion he demonstrated
slightly less intrusive, so thin chains with made him look like a stylized furnace rather
hooked ends were lashed across bottles and than a man. I elected to avoid bothering
jars that otherwise would have teetered him as I slipped into the privacy of the
precariously upon their perches. The end of treeline for a few minutes.
the vehicle opposite the door was When all was taken care of and I had
dominated by a stomach-height, wooden returned to the carriage, I stood at the tips
worktable with its top surface plated in of my toes and gave a sharp blow to the
brass. The back of this table was packed lantern, plunging all into darkness. Gingerly,
with a row of thick tomes, the black book I got on all fours while keeping my head
among them near the left end. clear of the workbench. Once I was sure I
Stretching from beneath the workbench was safe, I turned over and lay back,
to my feet at the door was a plump bedroll. causing my cranial vault to thump hollowly
It seemed new and unused, which struck against the wall. As I massaged the ache
me as quite odd. The roll he had taken and adjusted myself toward the door, I
outside for himself had been far thinner and supposed the emptiness which I had caused
more ragged. Was this a replacement? Did to reverberate was the space beneath the
he plan to use the other one to exhaustion driver’s seat. The pain faded soon enough,
before he moved on? The way he used his and I was able to drift off in short order,

17
entering the mysterious, primeval vales that taunted me from behind his wiry spectacles.
linger beyond the mercurial veil of the No one leaves Untenturm. Not against my
subconscious. will. I looked to my right—the end of the
road. Indeed it is, Victor. My gaze turned to
I was running. Running through the the left. Miraculously, the road now
forest with the abandon of the terrified. At stretched beyond the limits of my sight,
the back of my heels, upon my shoulders, though it had gone back to the underbrush
on the nape of my neck, I could only moments before. A figure clad in
intermittently feel an attempt at a gelid ragged hides stood in the middle, his face
grasp. I knew it too well, though I had felt it aimed away from the scene of my terror. A
only once before. Knotted roots made me stitched skin cowl removed all distinction
stumble. The Voice, the Voice of steel upon from his head, but it turned as though he
stone, called from the nadir of my mind. I were trying to listen to the silent menace of
heard it as I precariously kept upon my my assailant. The figure rotated on his heel
feet. Stop hiding. The chill of the night and began to approach. Under his hood, his
faded from my senses as the icy fingers of face was concealed behind a cracking mask
the Voice slashed at me. Do not make this of stretched leather, with only unrevealing
difficult, Victor. Charging headlong, a break slits over the presumable locations of his
in the trees came into view. I veered toward eyes, nose, and mouth. What are you
it, and the Voice followed. I see it too, gawking at, Victor? I returned my focus to
Victor. You cannot get away that easily. My Qualensturm, who in turn set the intent of
run broke for a second when a low branch his hateful eye-sparks upon the interloper.
clipped my upper arm. My stride never This one is mine, worm. Leave us be. The
falters. Nearer the break came, not as fast well-wrapped stranger raised its thick-
as it should have. Can you feel the futility, gloved hands toward Qualensturm, and
Victor? I could have reached it twice in the streaking bolts of energy leapt from his
time that passed, yet it remained distant. twitching fingertips to punch holes in the
The prickles of his cold hands slid over the spiteful spectre. The spirit’s Voice howled
back of my skull. Not ahead for long. I with pain and rage, then he gathered his
pushed, and the forest edge came within a focus. Winds screamed about him, and
few steps of me. Look familiar? I burst suddenly Qualensturm’s assailant began to
through, leaping onto a road. Looking up jerk and convulse, as though some unseen
and down its length, I saw that it crumbled pugilist were returning the attacker’s earlier
and vanished into the wilderness at its favor. Once the assault came to an end, the
ends. Only then did I notice what lay Man of Hides lifted his arms back into
directly before me. You do not leave, Victor, position. I will break your mortal shell under
you only return. A burned-out campfire the heel of my intellect! Again did force fly
stood before a dilapidated carriage. Are you from the hands of the Hide Man, but this
not going to welcome me? My feet skidded time the missiles came in the shape of
across the dirt as my static body spun and fanged jaws that tore incessantly at
rushed to the carriage. Vision blurred as I Qualensturm. No! Let me go! LET ME GO!
impacted and was held fast, then he came Red light seeped from his bones and
into view. Rather impolite. Across the road, gathered about him, taking the shape of
the fleshless wraith was suspended in some horrid fiend, and some unseen agency
midair: Qualensturm. His perpetual grin knocked the Man of Hides to the ground

18
and wrestled his arms to his sides. You fight an alchemist or wizard could cause the
a losing battle, worm! Unable to gesture buildup of fluid, and I had slept in the
forth his sorcery, the Hide Man began to confines of a minor cache. I had cured a
emit a hissing whisper, and from the oral few such illnesses before, but when
slit of his mask came even larger force reagents were at play, I knew better than to
bolts. Even as the disembodied jaws act uninformed. I needed to know what I
gnashed and rent at Qualensturm, these had been exposed to. My torso heaving
new weapons struck him with explosive uncomfortably, I delicately rose to my feet
force. With each hit, he shrieked and and made my egress from the carriage.
wailed, his ghostly body shuddering and Outside, the early morning scene had
fading out. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO… The final changed little from the night before. The
blow tore his form asunder, leaving nothing dazed horse lolled its head over to glance at
but ectoplasmic wisps that fled back into me as I surveyed the now dead coals and
the forest. By this time, I had quite the stock-still back of my host. His bedding
forgotten my own existence, but my sight was unrolled and unoccupied by his side,
shifted toward the Man of Hides. Now and his head bowed forward, as though he
released, he rose to his feet and looked at simply fell asleep sitting up.
me. With one hand, he reached to peel back I called out moderately as I approached
his mask. Instead of completing the action, him, partially to ease him out of slumber,
however, he collapsed into a pile of tanner’s and partially because I did not have the air
scraps. Self-awareness returned to me as to speak much louder. He did not react by
my breath caught, and I stared at the the moment I came to stand right behind
refuse transfixed. My lungs jerked back into him, so I gripped him by the shoulder and
action as something stirred among the attempted to jostle him awake.
hides, and my breathing became more To my horror, he fell back upon my shins
laborious with apprehension. I felt stifled, and stared up at me with a face more dull
paralyzed. I tried to squirm, and though than that of the horse. The stench of blood,
Qualensturm ceased to hold me, I could not previously barely concealed behind the
move. Panic rose, wracking itself into a lasting stink of his clinging pipe smoke, now
hideous crescendo—then I awoke. came to my attention as my eyes locked
upon the gaping wound that laid bare his
Wheezing and self-humidified by the abdominal cavity. I backed away, tangled
dread of my dream, I came to blurry my feet together as I stumbled over the
cognizance and sat bolt upright—halted by remains of the campfire, and landed hard
the underside of the workbench. I lay curled on my back. What little wind I had was
into a ball, clutching my head for several knocked from me, and all I could think to do
minutes, the dream banished to the back of was to roll to one side and pull my feet from
my mind by the pain. the ashes. Outwardly, I am sure it looked
As the throbbing subsided, I became identical to my morning posture that
more acutely aware of a tightness in my followed my knock to the head, but this had
chest. Every breath I took was somewhat the additional effect of keeping my shoes
shallow, as though there was not enough out of whatever warm core may well have
room for my lungs to expand all the way. I sat among the bones of the fire.
thought perhaps that it was a manner of Slowly, a few sobbing breaths came back
effusion—any number of materials kept by to me, and I got to my hands and knees.

19
Not yet ready to assume a standing The horse continued to watch me sedately,
posture, I crawled back to the side of the registering no concern at my antics.
corpse. Bile rose in the back of my throat, Trying to think a question back at the
but I choked it back to get a gulp of air. voice won me another jolt of pain, this time
Though his cause of death was likely right in the right side of my abdomen, causing
before my eyes, I needed to examine him. me to forsake my movements. Apparitions
I sat on my haunches and proceeded to of gnashing teeth, accompanied by guttural
unbutton his shirt, then I peeled it back to roars and the taste of a monster’s breath in
survey his torso. He was strikingly thin, with my face played over the angered voice.
his ribs protruding almost akin to the Don’t think to m e. If I w ant som ething
shelves in his carriage, but what truly out of your head, I’ll take it. I can
captured my attention was the panoply of barely stand to hear hum ans talk
bruises that marred him. He looked as anym ore. But your voice is one I have
though he had been on the losing side of not heard in a long tim e. Let m e m ake
brutal fisticuffs with a gang of thugs. The using it a little easier on you.
imagery of my dream returned to me—the At that, I had the grotesque feeling of
sight of the Hide Man being battered by something moving inside me, making more
Qualensturm’s rage—and then a voice broke room for my lungs to draw in air. As I
into my thoughts—the Voice that sounded gasped down a deeper breath, I came to
like a blade against a whetstone: the disturbing revelation of my
That was much less a dream than you predicament: at that very moment, some
thought it to be, Victor. unnatural creature had physically taken up
Surprised, and still lacking enough residence in my body. I took a few more
coordination to rise up, I awkwardly breaths as flickering images of dark,
scrabbled backward with my chest to the windswept wastelands danced in the back
sky, my head whipping back and forth to of my head, augmented with the sound of
scan for the fossilized presence of whispered utterances and the feeling of fur
Qualensturm. Suddenly, a stabbing pain and scales under my fingers. The inhabitant
carved its way across my shoulder, and I shifted again, and I sensed it was getting
went down for the third time that day. impatient. Hauling myself into a seated
I told you that you would never escape, position, I took a shuddering gulp of air and
that no one leaves Untenturm. The Voice spoke. My voice was cracked and tentative,
cackled, and that is when it broke into a as I feared more torment. “What are you?
new form. Instead of a grinding malice, it What do you want?”
became a kaleidoscope of piecemeal sights, I could feel it squirm as it considered its
sounds, and other sensations. Under the response. I am a traveler, and I want you to
chaos, a deep voice—a voice even less escort me on my errands. After all, we must
human than the Voice of Qualensturm— catch up after all these years.
hummed forth a continuation of its train of My brow furrowed as I tried to imagine
thought. Credulous vermin. The dream and how this thing seemed to know me. As a
the welts are my doing alone. parasite, it seemed possible that I could
Disoriented with fear and confusion, I have been in its presence without knowing,
endeavored to pull myself in the direction of but there was no way to narrow down the
the carriage, but I ended up inching at an number of people it could have infested.
angle that pointed squarely at the treeline.

20
Trying to identify m e? The voice chance of catching it by surprise. Until the
resounded beneath familiar snippets of moment came, I could only bide my time.
conversation and locales, fragments of
experiences that my unwelcome passenger Clearing away the campfire was simple
and I both seemed to share. Don’t you enough, but deciding how to deal with the
rem em ber our tim e at the University? body was a slight conundrum. Burying it
Don’t you rem em ber Nikolai? deep would take quite a while, and I
My psyche reeled from this impugnment certainly did not want to be caught in the
of my old friend’s memory. The thought act by the Falkovnian military. However, I
that a being this cruel could have violated couldn’t stomach burning it to a cinder with
Nikolai so was beyond abhorrent. “No,” I magic. Eventually, I settled on conjuring a
said. “You lie. You are stealing my small pack of wolves out of the woods. They
memories and using them to torture me.” dragged it away, and I am certain they
The voice chuckled under flickers of made good use of it.
Nikolai’s face and the wafting scent of Though I had no bond with the horse, it
decay. Believe w hat you w ant. The flow was extremely obliging, setting off to the
of thoughts began to recede, and visions of north at the lightest flick of the reins. I
impalement groves and the touch of blood- suspected that the influence of my invasive
dampened wood slid into focus even as they rider was what made the creature so
faded away. W e are going north to strangely docile.
Lekar. Clean up and shove off. At that, With every breath I took, I could still feel
the roiling transmissions left my mind. the creature within, pressing on my organs.
I sat there for several minutes, too I wrestled with the temptation to address it,
offended by the circumstances to muster to ask about Nikolai. I knew I could not
any will. When I finally managed to take trust it, yet the mystery that had nagged at
action, that action was to weep. The my soul for so long demanded that I
abomination within me did not interrupt. I investigate. I desperately wanted to hear an
suppose it took some diseased glee from it answer, but how could I expect anything
all. but agony? Truth was not the monster’s
Eventually, I found my resolve and set obligation.
about erasing the campsite. This may sound After at least an hour of travel—during
like submission, but I prefer to think of it which I had been regarded with suspicion
more pragmatically. I did not know what by a few passing merchants, a mounted
this monstrosity was, nor did I have any courier, and three lepers begging on the
idea of how to be rid of it, but I did know roadside—I broke my silence. “How did you
things that gave me a form of grim hope: It come to know Nikolai?”
was arrogant, and it was keeping me alive. The rustling of pages and the smell of
Perhaps it needed to preserve me, and must preceded the voice in my mind. Nikolai
perhaps it did not, but regardless, it sought wanted the same thing I want now: to leave
to harrow me for its amusement. To me, this world. Once he found out that he could
this seemed like a recipe for its downfall, as not, he asked my master for help. I was
it had left plenty of time to make a mistake, sent to assist him. The thing writhed, and I
to tell me too much. I knew it could read forced myself to hold down what remained
my mind, but if human thoughts were as of my evening meal. Fog banks took form in
distasteful to it as it implied, then I had a my mind’s eye, and a distorted argument

21
rang in my ears. His plan got me stuck in subordinates. “Fang der Überprüfung an!
this place. All of this—my plight and yours— Mach voran!” They split into two lines of
is his fault. The external thoughts stuttered three men and made their way down the
into the shape and sound of armored men. sides of the carriage.
Pay attention. A team of men is coming I shivered with terror, frozen before the
around the next bend. I suspect a troop of iron-eyed man before me. I doubted they
soldiers. could identify any of the compounds on the
Indeed, as I returned my attention to the shelves, nor even necessarily read the
world around me, I heard armored boots books therein, but I fully expected them to
becoming audible even as the noises and assume the worst, burn the carriage, then
simulacra surrounding the evil voice slunk drag me behind my borrowed horse all the
out of my brain. Through the screening way to the Central Prison in Lekar.
trees, I could see hints of scale armor and As this brutal vision of the end of my life
brown tabards, and soon enough a squad of pranced before my eyes, the phantom of a
six soldiers was led into view by a tall, dark-walled town and the odor of a
scowling officer with a long white scar in butcher’s shop emerged from the shadowy
place of a left eyebrow. Spotting me, he crevices of my mind. The barest glint of a
appraised me with a cold glare, then moment afterward, the voice of the parasite
pointed at me with a three-fingered hand, followed. Touch your hand to the side of
yelling first in Falkovnian, then in Balok, and the horse. I hesitated, unsure of the
finally in Mordentish: “Papiere! Scripte! purpose and unwilling to move before the
Papers!” livid Falkovnian that was staring me down.
Pulling the horse to a stop and looping Touch. The. Horse. NOW !
the reins around my wrist, I scrambled for Momentarily more afraid of the creature’s
my travel papers, the ones Qualensturm ire than the steel barely an inch from my
gave me before the outset of this terrible throat, I jerked my arm outward and
voyage. Once I found them, I undid the connected with the horse. Simultaneously, I
leather ties and handed them over with an heard a buzzing chant through my bones,
“Absolutely, sir.” vibrating from my chest. Alarmed by my
He inspected them with a furrowed brow, sudden motion, the officer tensed his arm
not registering the normal aversion that had and prepared to drive the sword into me.
come with the papers before. Suddenly, his Just before I could feel the bite of the
eyes widened, and he cast the bundle of blade, the world bent around me, and a
pages to the ground. There, I saw the ink tunnel of curled light spirited my body, the
running and making patterns, turning into a horse, and the carriage away.
swirling skull—Qualensturm’s protection
withdrawn. Baring his longsword and Several tall, dark columns swirled into
stepping back, the officer hollered, “Steig being from the warped space. Shortly
ab! Get down!” beyond them, muddy colors coalesced into
Fright and uncertainty dancing through great blobs and a network of spidery lines.
my mind, I climbed down from the driver’s A dot of blackness shot out to the sides to
seat. Whether I would be arrested or simply form a horizontal band that curled away
cut down right there, I did not know. into the distance. Directly adjacent to me,
The officer kept me at the point of his the horse—lazily unfazed as always—and
sword, then issued orders to his the carriage were perfectly clear. As reality

22
unrolled, definition came to each feature of and it reshaped itself into a simpler, dun-
my surroundings. The columns branched colored outfit. I touched the epicenter of
and took on a woody appearance, the blobs the effect and found an irregular patch of
became more angular and peaked, the lines raised skin above my eyes. Running my
took on the appearance of a lattice of hand through my hair, it felt slightly shorter
skeletal totems, and the black band took on than I was accustomed to. As the tactile
a rugged, stony countenance. When the last perception faded, the voice broke in again.
of the distention receded, fine details came Now that you look live a native, w e
into focus. I realized that I stood in the m ight just avoid suspicion. If a soldier
edge of a forest, on ground covered in does ask for your papers, I’ll get
patchy grass, but a stone’s throw away creative. Don’t fret, it w ill w ear off.
from fenced fields and farmhouses. Behind I was still unsatisfied with the situation—
it all stood a tall wall of black stone. From to say the least—so I straightened up and
the wisps of smoke that curled from the persisted with my questioning. “How is it
ground beyond, I was reasonably sure I that you don’t know Stangengrad or Lekar
was gazing upon a walled city. well enough to teleport there? You have to
W elcom e to the Butcher’s Burg. The pass through one or the other to reach
voice emerged among images of hanging Morfenzi on the road.”
meat, the scent of tanner’s supplies, and A disjoint procession of forest scenery
the nervous lowing of cattle, all sloshing and University workrooms marched through
about in my brain. W hat sort of stupid my mind before the voice answered. Go
m aneuver of yours nearly got m y into the carriage. I w ant to show you
carriage inspected? som ething. I moved to acquiesce, and it
I placed my hands on my knees and took continued. Before I becam e involved,
several deep breaths before calming down Nikolai had done plenty of research on
enough to respond. “My travel papers. They his ow n. He believed that it w as
were given to me by Qualensturm. I possible to leave this w orld by trading
suppose he decided to cease easing my places w ith a being on another. Not
passage.” just any being, m ind you; it happened
Phantasms of buildings packed like naturally w hen a creature of evil
crowded teeth and the sounds of urban life sought to spread its corruption, and
danced in my mind. We must get back on overex tended itself. I mounted the back
the road. I traded some time to arrive at step as the smell of musty books billowed
Morfenzi, but now Lekar can be avoided. into my imagination. He couldn’t w ait for
Only Stangengrad stands between me and it to just happen, so he acquired m y
Darkon. help in speeding along the process.
“How do you expect me to get about Now inside, I tentatively stepped over to the
without travel papers?” I queried in a workbench with its complement of tomes,
frustrated tone. lighting the lantern with a magic phrase as I
Another buzzing incantation arose within passed. My eyes locked onto the black
me, and the impression of itchiness spread book, still impotently restrained by the bowl
from the center of my forehead, slowly I had set in front of it. Under the bench,
encroached upon my entire face and scalp, you w ill find a loose board in the
then flowed over my whole body. Looking
down, I saw the color run from my clothing,

23
Dread Possibility: The Biding Codex
After Nikolai and his parasitic acquaintance parted ways, another group intent on plumbing the
mysteries of the Demiplane arrived from outside the Mists: an octet of keepers (Fiend Folio page
111). Following a pattern known only to them, they began to dissect every aspect of the Domains
as best they could, slowly building up a trove of lore.
This relentless inquisition swiftly drove the Dark Powers to engineer the demise of the
keepers. After a year spent granting false security, the shrouded masters of the Dread Realms
sprung their trap during an examination of a Mistway, scattering the keepers across the plane.
One keeper was deposited in the Valachani town of Hebelnik, bewildered and distressed at
being cut off from the minds of its companions. As it got its bearings among the streets at night,
it happened upon a local woman. Strangely unperturbed, she brought it back to her house,
offering to shelter it. In truth, the woman was inhabited by Nikolai’s former colleague, which
recognized the keeper for what it was. It knew that keepers never revealed their secrets, so it
concocted a scheme to extract them by magical force.
Busy examining maps and books provided by the woman, the keeper failed to notice her
weaving a powerful spell. Too oblivious to resist, its body and essence were sealed into an old,
black book—the Codex.
With the Codex in hand, a reader may peruse the knowledge of the imprisoned keeper,
gaining otherwise inaccessible wisdom about the planes. Bound within, the keeper can only wait
until the magic fails or it is released. It believes that its fellows may still be out there, looking for
it. Woe to anyone in possession of the Codex should that be true.

forw ard w all. Stop adm iring the Codex Slowly, I pulled it open, and an amber
and get to it. glimmer replaced the fleeing shade of the
Mystified though I was, I did as I was rising lid. Within, lying on a bed of green
instructed. After I found the right panel, a velvet just beneath the lip of the chest,
little jostling got it out of the way, and I were several long crystals, each engraved
realized that a secret, enclosed space with a nearly incomprehensible word. I saw
existed under the driver’s seat. I had found them twice—once before me, and once
it with my head just a few hours prior, yet I again as flickering precedents to the voice.
did not attach surreptitious notions to my Together, Nikolai and I created the
discovery at the time. I reached in and took first contact crystal. It w as supposed
hold of something hefty and solid. It was to initiate the connection betw een a
too wide to make it through the gap I m ortal and another being.
made, but I found that this access point
allowed me to loosen a couple more boards. Suddenly, the sensations sent by the
Soon, I had prized a small, sturdy chest voice overwhelmed my actual senses, and I
from the hiding place. Allow m e to knock saw Nikolai before me, his black hair and
that for you. The buzzing reverberated dark brown eyes glaring out of a dour face
through me yet again, and the chest, which that I had only seen in the last year before
had no obvious sealing mechanism, just he disappeared. He held out a slim crystal,
seemed to sigh, as though it were relaxing which I took in a hand that was not mine.
after some effort. He couldn’t leave his studies for an
ex tended period, and it w as not safe to

24
be the test subject, so I needed to use
Contact Crystal one of his subordinates to get close to
Price (Item Level): 3,300 gp (8th) him . Then I stood in an office, handing the
Body Slot: — crystal over to a pockmarked man with
Caster Level: 11th metal bracers welded around his arms.
Aura: Moderate (DC 20) Divination Vocalizations that were not mine came out
Activation: Standard (Command Word) of my throat, telling him I found it on a
Weight: — traveler whose papers were in disarray. I
then asked what the word on it meant.
This slender, hand-length, translucent Low er echelon soldiers are only
crystal bears an unfamiliar word etched along passingly literate, so he believed I w as
its side. genuinely curious. The Talon cupped his
A contact crystal is a vile device created to chin in one hand as he held the crystal in
initiate fiendish transposition. If a person the other, his eyes boring into it. They
holding a contact crystal speaks the name of narrowed, and he mumbled a single word:
the fiend etched upon it, he or she enters the Pauthrael.
first stage of transposition with the named The crystal shattered in his hand, raining
fiend. Following successful activation, the glittering shards over his desk. W ith that,
crystal shatters. he w as bound to the dem on. At its
Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, goading, he becam e even m ore
interplanar telepathic bond (Spell Compendium excessive in his savagery. I saw the
page 125), a fiend’s name. Talon flash before my eyes in a plethora of
Cost to Create: 1,650 gp, 66 XP, 4 days. different venues, and in each one, he
Crafting this item requires a powers check with seemed to take on a physically darker cast.
a 12% chance of failure. Progressively, his skin turned to pitch. His
fingers became claws. Horns peeked from
test the crystal nearby, so I stole the his temples. It took several w eeks for
body of a beggar and struck out for the transform ation to set in this far.
M orfenzi. W e figured that any … Ultim ately, he w as too pained by
incidents that arose w ould be sunlight to rem ain in M orfenzi, so he
associated w ith the infam ous M orfenzi fled to this forest, the Vigilia Dim ortia.
m urders. The smell of dead leaves and the His blood lust w as trem endous,
sound of them rustling in the wind though, so he m ade a habit of slinking
manifested as the scene shifted to a walk back into the tow n at night to slake it.
through an autumnal forest. I had no R um ors spread, insinuating that this
papers, so I forged through the w as another M orfenzi m urder spree.
Seelew ald. I suspect I passed rather Surprisingly, those w ho stepped in to
near to the hom e of Qualensturm , end the Talon’s reign of terror w ere
based on the estim ate you gave. Once not all soldiers.
again did I see the farms surrounding Then I was in the forest, the barest
Morfenzi, but now a weathered, starved crunch of leaves beneath creeping feet
corpse laid at my feet, its belly torn open by audible ahead of me. I spied several men
a monstrous exit wound. Upon m y arrival, dodging from tree to tree, pursuing a
I traded the beggar for a soldier. I had
selected a particularly brutal Talon to

25
shadowy shape. Soon enough, they had it
pinned against the side of a towering fir Exacerbation Manacle
tree. From my vantage point behind a rocky Price (Item Level): 6,000 gp (10th)
outcropping, I slowly came to recognize the Body Slot: Arm
dark, ephemeral monster the men had Caster Level: 15th
surrounded as the former Talon, now Aura: Strong (DC 22) Conjuration
literally but a shadow of his old self. They Activation: —
had been gathered by som e other Weight: 2 lb.
m ysterious force, another being of
shadow . Together, they fought the The surface of this crude iron wristband is
Talon, and at the height of the writhing with dark runes of calling.
conflict, the transposition com pleted. I
saw the men, standing around and An exacerbation manacle forces the bond
watching as a winged fiend of pure between a transposing fiend and its host to
darkness tore into a wingless shadow deepen at an alarming rate. Every week that a
figure. Their m aster seem ed ill person on the path of transposition spends with
equipped to fight som ething like itself, an exacerbation manacle on his or her wrist
and likely w ould have been destroyed advances the transposition process by a stage. No
if Pauthrael had not cut its magic can reverse a transposition when an
punishm ent short w ith the rising of exacerbation manacle is spurring it on. An active
the sun. exacerbation manacle is difficult to remove. It
The visions of the umbral conflict clamps down on the arm painfully, and few things
retreated to the back of my mind, and I can put the barest scratch into it, let alone break
was able to see the inside of the carriage it. Severing the extremity might free a person so
again. Anyw ay, story tim e is over. Get afflicted, but there are less severe methods. If the
onto the road. The depths of my manacle is broken by a holy surge weapon (Magic
consciousness went quiet, save for the echo Item Compendium page 36) upon the sanctified
of the parasite’s dictum. altar of a good deity, the victim is free. It would
I knelt in silence for a few minutes, be best to melt down the remains of the manacle
feelings of betrayal washing over me. How in a brazier, then drench the molten metal and
could Nikolai have been an accessory to glowing embers in holy water, just to be safe.
bringing such heinous damnation? How The Dungeon Master may consider other
could he have changed so drastically? methods, such as those tailored to the incoming
Blankly staring at the chest with its crystals, fiend.
my mood shifted to despair. This horror Afflicting another person with this item is
within me was orchestrating something surely an act at least as evil as creating it in the
truly awful—something I could not allow to first place, if not far more so.
happen. Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, greater
My resolve regained, I quickly planar binding.
inventoried my assets. They were few, but Cost to Create: 3,000 gp, 120 XP, 6 days.
they presented a slim chance. First and Crafting this item requires a powers check with a
foremost, I remembered what magic I had 20% chance of failure
prepared for the trip into Falkovnia, the
majority of which remained unused. Most
applicable now was a spell of sending,

26
which I had felt to be an important unbearable agony. As I toppled over
precaution when traveling abroad in a backward to the ground, it took every
hostile state. In an episode of truly ounce of my concentration to maintain the
fortuitous foresight, I had readied it to be spell.
cast silently—a gesture and some innocuous My mind erupted in the sound of a
odds and ends are more easily hidden than ghastly, bestial roar, pairing nicely with the
speech when under scrutiny. However, I very real taste of blood that came into my
lacked any acquaintances whom I could call mouth. Do you care to retract your
upon for aid. Therein lies the importance of m eaningless dem ands?
my final asset, that which the parasite had The pain became my advantage, forcing
so conveniently let slip: the name and me to wait a significant amount of time to
appearance of the demon. If the creature respond. With the progression of my magic,
residing among my innards thought this I could feel the copper wire degrading in my
world to be a prison, perhaps Pauthrael hand.
would be resentful about being brought Feeling the agitated twitch of the
here. The rough sketch of a plan which creature again, I felt I could postpone no
formed was hare-brained and likely to end longer. “No,” I breathed.
with my death, but it was all I could do to The howling assault on my audition
stop my enemy. abated, replaced by a low growl. Flashes of
The biggest hurdle was the sending angry eyes swam in my vision, and from the
itself, which would take time to work. The midst of it all the voice came again, now
monster stirred impatiently, for I had not even lower pitched than normal. Very w ell.
moved since it issued orders to me. Gently Pull back the velvet and see for
springing into action, I teased a bit of yourself.
copper wire out of my pocket with my right Had I put effort into it, I might have
hand and began making the arcane signs been able to rise up then and there, but I
with my left. Of the myriad ways I could elected to gather my strength for another
have possibly stalled my gruesome guest, I couple of minutes. Once I was more than
opted for the least wise way—open halfway done with my spellcasting, I rolled
defiance. over and spat blood onto the floor before I
“Story time is not over!” I said just below weakly got back to my knees.
the level of a shout. “I am not taking you Back at the side of the chest, I did as I
anywhere until you tell me what became of was asked, using the copper-bearing hand.
Nikolai!” Beneath the layer of crystals sat an equal
Stillness reigned in my thorax, stillness number of poorly made iron bands, each
that menaced like a watching serpent. For decorated in runes. I had previously seen
an eternal moment, I anticipated a sudden similar symbols in conjuration treatises, so I
end to the wait. I almost forgot to keep guessed at their purpose. “Do these speed
moving my fingers, but I managed to avoid along the transformation?”
freezing up. I was making progress, but I Jumbled snippets of Nikolai’s voice
was still far away from the end. bubbled forth in my psyche, and I could
In an instant, the situation changed vaguely see him and a stranger working in a
dramatically. Without warning, I felt candlelit chamber. After I returned in the
something coil about my lungs and squeeze body of a foreign traveler, he decided
hard, winding me and subjecting me to nigh to leave the University and focus on

27
his project. W e stow ed aw ay aboard a taking a crystal in his hand. He spoke an
ship bound for Ludendorf, then spent almost unpronounceable name, causing the
tw o years w orking in the basem ent of crystal to fragment and the band to tighten
an inn—the proprietor w as very in response. I had been preparing my own
obliging after I took his body. By the crystals. Crystals naming not fiends, but
end of our stay, w e had developed brethren further removed from human
w hat you see before you: the understanding. Nikolai passed by me in
ex acerbation m anacle. lapsing time, his limbs becoming distorted
and tentacular, insectoid legs extending
Nikolai recognized the need to test it, from his chest. His face lasted the longest,
and I could not agree more. With a little but even it eventually lost its eyes and
dominating magic, he could not agree more became an unrecognizable lump fused to
with my proposal. Now I saw Nikolai, a what had been his torso. The vision was so
vacant expression upon his face, slipping hideous, that I barely managed to keep up
one of the iron bands onto his wrist and the ritual motions of my hand. The copper

Far Realm Transposition


Stage One: A psychic bond between the victim and a Far Realm aberration is formed. The
insane whispers that slip through this connection cause the victim to take a -1 penalty on all
Wisdom based checks. This stage also brings minor aberrant features that can be covered up with
difficulty, plus minor aches and pains.
Stage Two: The aberrant features become glaringly obvious, and the pain causes the victim to
take a -1 penalty on all skill and ability checks (thus bringing the Wisdom based check penalty to -
2). The growing connection with the disturbing mind of the aberration causes the victim to become
psychologically damaged. One possibility is that the victim experiences periodic episodes of the
“unhinged” minor Madness effect. In any stressful situation, the character must make a Madness
save (DC 10 + half the aberration’s HD + the aberration’s Charisma modifier) to avoid having an
episode. Alternatively, the character could gain the “nightmares” or “revulsion” moderate Horror
effects on a more constant basis.
Stage Three: The victim gains unmistakable aberrant traits. The victim also gains the
“pseudonatural” template. Additionally, the victim’s madness deepens. He or she gains a moderate
Madness effect in place of the Stage Two mental afflictions.
Stage Four: The victim is heavily warped by the alien pressing in on reality. The
“pseudonatural” template is replaced with the “half-farspawn” template (Lords of Madness page
151). The Dungeon Master should feel free to alter the template to better represent the specific
aberration that the victim is bonded with. Madness effects should thematically deepen, or perhaps
progress to the “schizophrenia” major Madness effect.
Stage Five: The victim is siphoned into the Far Realm, and the aberration spills into Ravenloft.
Far Realm transposition can be reversed in the same way as fiendish transposition. A reversed
Stage Three transposition results in the loss of the “pseudonatural” template, but physical changes
remain. Formerly Stage Three victims also retain their Madness effects, and take 1d6 points of
damage to their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Once these points of ability damage
are cured through standard moderate Madness recovery procedures, the Madness effect is
removed.

28
had practically dissolved, but I still needed a slow plod, keeping to the shade of the
more time. After but four weeks, he was set trees for as long as possible.
drifting in the Outside with the Nine-
Tongued Worm. In deference to his sacrifice I managed to waste twice as many
and his responsibility, I have used his name minutes approaching the road as I spent in
ever since. Soon, more will join him, and I my casting, but still nothing came. Worry
will break free as the walls of your reality began to set in, for my internal captor
come crashing down. Maddening images surely could tell the difference between
frothed in my head. Impossible colors mixed riding over rough ground and trundling
with polyphonic sounds and a smell like the across the logs of a corduroy road. Any
burning of preternatural flesh. Still I minute, it might confront me, and I would
maintained my focus. Barely a quarter of be forced onto the sunlit road where the
the requisite time remained before I could demon likely could not follow.
finish the spell. Failure was unacceptable—I In the throes of panic, I could barely tell
could not let this thing’s dreams of whether the movement in my body
apocalypse continue. Even more belonged to the parasite or my own twisting
importantly, I could not let it continue to innards. To make matters worse, it turned
use my old friend’s name, no matter what out to be the former. I felt surrounded by
he had done. I would not stand for it. fluid, the scent of ammonia burned my
Unless suffering is your greatest joy in nose, and I could hear something sizzle.
life, I suggest you put the chest back and The voice was coming, and my guess as to
start driving. Or maybe you would like to what it would say was uncanny. Get to the
see the majesty of the Far Realm yourself? road. Now .
“It’s just ahead. Not much longer.” I
The alien scenery dissipated, and I don’t know why I kept stalling, since I was
shoved the chest back into darkness. sure it was over. Some new plan would be
Dropping the last corroded dregs of copper, needed. My idea had been too desperate.
I crudely reset the boards, one hand being The phantom fluid became warm, and
insufficient to replace them properly. the sounds and smells intensified. Soon is
Standing up achingly, I triggered a fit of not good enough. Go now ! It must have
hacking coughs. More blood stained the been talking to the horse too, because the
floor. By the time my composure returned, animal began to quicken its pace before I
and I stepped out the back of the carriage, could consider flicking the reins.
my hand traced the last sigil. Feeling the At first, I thought the thing was
magic gather, I pushed a thought into the expressing anger, but something in the tone
air. Pauthrael, I carry the creature that was different. That is when I was seized by
brought you here in the forest by Morfenzi. the lunatic notion that my enemy was
We are heading toward the road. Catch us. panicking too. But why? What could
There was no reply. possibly cause this unnatural thing to show
Whether the spell had failed to reach the fear?
fiend, or it refused to address me, I did not Then it came to me: a familiar mind.
know, but I still held out hope—a I launched myself from the seat, leaping
desperate, practically suicidal hope. I took into the deeper shade further from the
my seat behind the horse and urged it into road. With all the energy I had left, I
hastened away from the life, normality, and

29
sanity the road would normally have
connoted. If Pauthrael was coming, I From a blessedly dreamless sleep, I
wanted to give it a chance. woke at the touch of deadly cold tracing
I managed to sprint a fair distance along my jawline. At first, I thought it was
before I was disabled by pain. It was on the the dead of night, for my field of vision was
same scale as the harm inflicted upon my consumed by inky blackness. Strange
lungs earlier, but it roiled and tore in my features in the shadow played with the
stomach. My buckling legs caused me to depth cues of my mind. I felt surrounded.
hurtle headlong into the roots of a tree, but When my focus finally snapped in
the feeling was entirely eclipsed by the correctly, it gave me a start to find I was
agony in my gut. Screaming, I rolled onto staring directly into the face of a demonic
my back to look—a hideous mistake. My shade, its dark wings walling me in against
abdomen undulated and bulged. Wicked the side of a knotty maple tree. It regarded
spines ripped through my skin, slashing a me in total silence as its clawed finger
deadly hole. Emerging from the gore was a pulled away from my face.
spiny snarl of tendrils, a knot of malevolent, My jaw worked up and down for a few
alien flesh that pulsed and contracted as it seconds, then I found my voice. “Is it
slid to the earth. The abomination was dead?”
abandoning me to escape. It was hard to make out, but the fiend
From the central morass extended scowled. “No,” it replied hollowly, “the
several smaller, tangled appendages, which writhing wretch barely escaped into the
dragged the creature toward the carriage light, clinging to the side of its limping
and the road at a frenetic pace. Most of horse.” I deflated greatly, sorrowful that the
these twisted limbs bore a passing thing was still at large, still dangerous. The
resemblance to claws, but one strained demon cocked its head. “Your gambit was
forward, acting more like a degenerate impressive. I would never have expected a
head. A mouth, built somewhat like a mortal to risk its life in such a way.”
fanged flower, hissed and buzzed at the I locked eyes with it. “I couldn’t let it
forefront. Blood loss blurred the scene, but continue. It is trying to wreak havoc beyond
my vision did not fail before a large, dark even the wildest imagination of your kind.”
shape swooped down upon the wretched It smirked. “It is a race, then. All worlds
thing. come to an end, but the honor is up for
I was fading fast, so I felt around in my grabs.” Pauthrael laid a chilling hand upon
coat feebly. My hand clutched at a glass my shoulder. “I think you have earned the
bottle—a fortunately unbroken glass privilege of meeting the winning team.”
bottle—and I managed to bring it to my
mouth. I almost lost consciousness as my Without regard for my protests, I was
teeth did battle with the cork, yet I carried away.
succeeded in opening it and spilling the
warm, lifegiving quintessence down my The End
throat. It was enough to knit the cavernous
wound with tender flesh, but I was still in
no condition to do much more. Amid the
shrieks of the nearby conflict, I succumbed
to my exhaustion.

30
Climb checks. They can always choose
“Nikolai Kazic”(Zaxxott to take 10 on Climb checks, even if
Ssentroi) rushed or threatened. Tsochari have a
+4 racial bonus on Use Magic Device
Tsochar Wizard 10/Geometer 5: CR 17;
checks.
Size S aberration; HD 4d8+16 plus
Feats marked with an asterisk are from
15d4+60; hp 135; Init +4; Speed 20 ft.
Complete Arcane.
(4 squares), climb 20 ft; AC 27 (touch
Languages: Tsochar*, Balok, Mordentish,
19, flat-footed 23); BAB +10, Grapple
Darkonese, Draconic
+10; Atk Tentacle +10 melee (1d4);
Wizard Spells per Day: 4/5/5/5/5/4/3/2/1.
Full Atk 4 tentacles +8 melee (1d4);
(Base DC = 16 + spell level)
Space/Reach 5 ft/10 ft.; SA Constrict,
Spellbooks: Nikolai’s spellbooks contain all
improved grab, poison, powerful
wizard spells of zeroth to eighth level
spellglyph, take spells, wear flesh; SQ
from the Player’s Handbook, plus the
Book of geometry, damage reduction
following spells from published
5/adamantine, darkvision 60ft., pass
Ravenloft materials:
sigil, resistance to cold 5, sigilsight,
1st — dead man’s tell, insatiable thirst; 2nd
spellglyph, spell resistance 14, telepathy
— insight, locate mark, protection from
100 ft.; AL CE; Saves Fort +9, Ref +9,
curses, rheumatism, siren song, Strahd’s
Will +22; Str 10, Dex 18, Con 18, Int
baneful attractor, wall of gloom; 3rd —
22, Wis 21, Cha 16.
allergen, augment undead, death sight,
Skills and Feats: Bluff +7, Climb +12,
diminish undead, immerse mind, see
Concentration +19, Craft (Alchemy)
ethereal resonance; 4th — anesthesia,
+10, Decipher Script +16, Disable
bone seizure, corpse whisper, eyes of
Device +15, Hide +8, Knowledge
the undead, induce lycanthropy,
(Arcana) +21, Knowledge
shackle, suppress lycanthropy; 5th —
(Dungeoneering) +10, Knowledge (The
dark sentinels, lichbane daggers; 6th —
Planes) +21, Move Silently +8, Search
reanimate, steal vitality; 7th — mystick
+15 (+34 to find magic traps based on
cage, inviolate soul.
runes), Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft
Nikolai also bears the 2nd level spell
+21, Spot +9, Use Magic Device +11;
whispercast and the 3rd level spell
Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Weapon
permeable form from Lords of Madness
Finesse, Scribe Scroll, Mindsight (Lords
page 129. Furthermore, his spellbooks
of Madness page 126), Practiced
contain the following spells from the
Spellcaster*, Craft Wondrous Item,
Spell Compendium:
Sudden Silent*, Sudden Still*, Sudden
0 — amanuensis; 1st — backbiter, dead
Maximize*, Craft Contingent Spell*,
end, spontaneous search; 2nd — baleful
Energy Substitution (Acid)*, Energy
transposition, bonefiddle, chain of eyes,
Admixture (Acid)*.
dark way, entice gift; 3rd — anticipate
Tsochari have a +8 racial bonus on Climb
teleportation, chain missile, manyjaws,
checks and use their Dexterity modifier
skull watch; 4th — assay spell
instead of their Strength modifier for

31
resistance, force missiles; 5th — impressive, that he was actually sponsored
indomitability, reciprocal gyre; 6th — to attend. As part of his interest in the
interplanar telepathic bond, probe world around him, he chose to study mainly
thoughts, ; 7th — synostodweomer; 8th in the College of History. His interests were
— avascular mass, blackfire, spell wide, however, so he spent plenty of time
learning independently in libraries across
engine.
the campus.
Permanent Spells: detect magic, read
It was in one of these libraries that he
magic, tongues
came across the journal of a man who
Contingent Spells: assay spell resistance claimed to have come from another world.
when spell resistance foils one of The fanciful ideas contained therein
Nikolai’s spells; backbiter when a two- enthralled Nikolai, and he spent many an
handed, wooden-hafted weapon hour perusing and considering the contents
damages Nikolai; indomitability when of the journal. He hunted for other
Nikolai falls below half his hit points; references to other worlds, and he
shackle on a spellcaster who successfully discovered enough books on the subject to
affects Nikolai with a spell, unless the convince him that other worlds must exist.
spellcaster has been touched on each However, his research also taught him that
shoulder by Nikolai within the last no one can simply leave the Dread Realms.
His dreams of travel to every place
minute.
imaginable curtailed, he came to consider
Possessions: Bracers of the Entangling
what had been his wide and wonderful
Blast*, Wand Bracelet* (contains four home to be a vile and contemptible prison.
spellbooks), Bracers of Armor +4, Fateful ideas such as these can lead a
Retributive Amulet*, Spellsink Scarab*, bright mind to darkness and ruin, and those
Periapt of Wisdom +4, Ring of swiftly became Nikolai’s destiny. He became
Protection +4, Ring of Nine Lives*, obsessed with escaping the Demiplane of
Ring of Animal Friendship, Ring of the Dread, but his inquiries turned up very little.
Forcewall*. Having run through all of the reputable and
Items marked with an asterisk are drawn safe lore on the matter, he turned to
from the Magic Item Compendium. blacker subjects, fiendish transposition
among them. He gathered that the process,
Background if taken to completion, yielded a certainty of
slipping into the worlds beyond, but he
As a young boy, Nikolai was enamored
solitarily bemoaned the uncertainty of
with the idea of travel. He wanted to see
initiating a transposition—if it were as
the world—and then some. He was born in
simple as frequent gross misbehavior,
Levkarest to Balok Barovian parents, and
surely the world would be overrun with
when he was sixteen he traveled to
demons.
Dementlieu with their blessing to attempt to
Obviously, he needed an assured method
gain entry to the University of Dementlieu.
of causing transposition, but his research hit
He had studied relentlessly in his free time
a dead end. He needed knowledge that his
to pursue what he perceived to be an
books could not provide, so he sought the
important step in his dream, and it payed
advice of something he had read about
off. His entrance examination was so
before he fell into this dangerous fixation.

32
He called upon Thlagderr Thraal, a the Demiplane of Dread and allow it to slip
gruesome and primordial tsochar great its bonds.
noble. Thraal forged a warlock’s pact with For all its alien horror, Nikolai has started
Nikolai, granting him the magical might to exhibit more comprehensibly human
necessary to explore the arcane secrets of traits. Whereas most tsochari inhabit
transposition. In addition, Thraal assigned a humans out of hunger for power and magic,
tsochar arcanist named Zaxxott Ssentroi to Nikolai has come to sadistically enjoy
assist Nikolai in his endeavors. Nikolai grew snuffing out and tormenting mortals. This
to absolutely detest this parasite for the causes it to take actions which are not at all
pains it gave him, and Zaxxott grew to productive with regard to its ultimate goals.
loathe Nikolai for causing Thraal to send it Perhaps more distressing to Nikolai, should
to the Demiplane. it ever register, might be its newly acquired
In spite of this mutual animosity, the habit of smoking—and its newly acquired
collaboration was extraordinarily fruitful. pipe which mysteriously follows from body
Within a few months, they developed the to body. Nikolai fancies itself to be a perfect
first contact crystal, which Zaxxott took to impostor, but for reasons unknown to any
Falkovnia to test. The observational but the Dark Powers, this strange tell has
experiment took a few months more, and it latched onto it, jeopardizing its secrecy.
ended with the Tsvtieyft Schattendertodd
convening a small group of Lustmorde Combat
members to deal with what it felt to be an Nikolai views combat as a dangerous
encroachment upon its territory. When waste of its time, and it avoids it whenever
Zaxxott finally returned with the full report, possible. In case it is unavoidable, however,
Nikolai left the University to focus on his Nikolai frequently carries numerous combat-
project. oriented scrolls and spellglyphs (see below),
They labored in Ludendorf for two years, in addition to whatever magic items it stole
at which point they successfully made the from its host. It holds onto harmful spells its
prototype for the exacerbation manacle. host had prepared, saving them for truly
Zaxxott turned on Nikolai and used him as a dire situations. Its personally prepared
test subject, forcing him through spells tend to be largely for subterfuge and
transposition with a monstrosity from the the avoidance of obstacles, though it knows
Far Realm. Upon arrival, the creature stole a that it is prudent to keep a few violent
few people in the dead of night and spells handy. It particularly enjoys using its
vanished into the sea. Armed with its seventh level spell slots to prepare an acid
discoveries, Zaxxott appropriated Nikolai’s fireball and an acid lightning bolt (using its
name and took its work to the road. Energy Admixture feat). While in the
process of making more Exacerbation
Current Sketch Manacles, it uses its eighth level spell slot to
“Nikolai” desires two things: escape and prepare greater planar binding. If it thinks
vengeance. It believes that by using contact that assault is likely, it prefers to prepare
crystals and exacerbation manacles to call avascular mass. It always has permeable
certain aberrations—in particular, a form prepared, and it takes much glee from
collection of dread entities associated with using bone seizure.
the Nine-Tongued Worm—it may trigger a
major Far Realm incursion that will destroy

33
disappearing into the victim. The victim
Special Attacks:
must be the same size as Nikolai or larger,
Constrict (Ex ): In its true form, Nikolai and the process requires 1 minute. Nikolai
deals 2d4 points of damage with a can choose to replace or inhabit the victim
successful grapple check. When it deals (see below). Incorporeal creatures and
damage by means of its constrict attack, it constructs, elementals, oozes, plants, and
injects its victim with poison. undead are immune to this ability.
Im proved Grab (Ex ): To use this Nikolai can abandon a body it has
ability, Nikolai must hit with two tentacle inhabited or replaced with a full-round
attacks. It can then attempt to start a action that deals 3d6 points of damage to
grapple as a free action without provoking the host. Nikolai can be forced to abandon
attacks of opportunity. If it wins the grapple the body by a remove disease or dispel evil
check, it establishes a hold and can spell (the caster must succeed on a DC 20
constrict. caster level check to expel Nikolai, which
Poison (Ex ): Injury, Fortitude DC 16, deals damage as described above) or a heal
initial and secondary damage 1d3 Dex. The or limited wish spell (which automatically
save DC is Constitution-based. Nikolai’s succeeds and causes no damage to the
poison is delivered by dealing damage with host).
its constrict attack. Inhabit: Nikolai leaves its victim alive
Pow erful Spellglyph (Ex): When and aware. Any time it cares to, it can inflict
Nikolai prepares a spellglyph for a spell, it indescribable agony on its host as a
knows how to strengthen the spell beyond standard action, dealing 1d6 to 6d6 points
its normal effects. Its caster level is treated of damage and requiring the host to
as 1 higher for any spell it casts with the succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or be
use of a spellglyph. nauseated by the pain for 2d4 rounds.
Take Spells (Su): While replacing a Nikolai chooses how much damage it deals
spellcaster (see below), Nikolai retains any with this attack.
arcane spells prepared by the dead Nikolai can take no physical actions while
character and can cast them as if it had inhabiting a host, but it can use purely
prepared the spells itself. It must meet the mental actions (such as communicating with
minimum ability score needed to cast the its host by means of its telepathy power and
spell based on the type of caster replaced threatening to injure or kill the host unless
(Intelligence for a wizard, for example), or the host does as it wishes).
else the spell is unavailable to it. If it When the host takes damage (other than
replaces a spontaneous caster such as a damage Nikolai inflicts on it), Nikolai takes
sorcerer, it retains the available spell slots half that damage. For example, if the host
of the dead spellcaster and can use any takes 28 points of cold damage from a cone
spells the dead host knew. In either case, it of cold spell, Nikolai takes 14 points of cold
cannot regain spells or spell slots it expends damage.
from the dead character’s spellcasting While inhabiting a humanoid’s body,
ability. Nikolai feeds on the creature’s blood and
W ear Flesh (Su): Nikolai can bore its tissues, dealing 1d3 points of Constitution
way into a helpless living creature’s body, damage per day. A successful DC 15
slipping its ropy tendrils into the spaces Fortitude save reduces this damage by half.
between organs and muscles and Over the course of days, frail hosts sicken

34
and die, although Nikolai is clever enough to 5 for nongeometers (see page 178 of the
direct its hosts to acquire curative magic to Player’s Handbook).
keep themselves alive indefinitely, if the Pass Sigil (Su): Nikolai can temporarily
situation calls for it. negate magical wards based on written
R eplace: Nikolai bores out the victim’s symbols, sigils, runes, or glyphs. As a
nervous system, killing the victim. It then standard action, Nikolai can attempt to pass
animates the body, effectively acting as the such a sigil. It must succeed on a level
nervous system of the dead host. The body check (DC 6 + the sigil creator’s caster
remains alive, hosting Nikolai. level). If successful, it can suppress the
This functions like a polymorph spell into effects of the device for as long as it
the victim’s exact form, except that Nikolai maintains concentration (which might make
can remain in the victim’s form for up to a it possible for others to pass the sigil safely,
year, and it leaves the victim’s corpse too). Nikolai must be able to see the device
behind when it chooses to end the effect. to be passed.
Nikolai uses the victim’s physical ability Sigilsight (Ex ): Nikolai can use a
scores in place of its own, as described by Search check to find magic traps based on
polymorph. Nikolai can remain in this form runes, glyphs, sigils, symbols, and other
indefinitely, but once it abandons the form, writings as a rogue can. It gains a bonus
it cannot reanimate the body. equal to its caster level on all Search checks
After replacing a humanoid, Nikolai to find traps of this sort. If it merely comes
slowly devours its new shell from the inside within 10 feet of a magic rune, glyph, sigil,
out. A replaced body takes 1d4 points of or symbol, or the threshold of danger for
Constitution drain per month, which does such a device, it is entitled to make a
not heal naturally and can be restored only Search check as if it were actively searching
by magical means. A successful DC 15 for a magic trap.
Fortitude save reduces this damage by half. Spellglyph (Su): A spellglyph is an
Naturally, Nikolai chooses to abandon arcane diagram that substitutes for a
bodies it has replaced before they become specific spell’s verbal and material
too weak to be serviceable. components (if any). When a geometer
casts a prepared spell in conjunction with a
Special Qualities: spellglyph scribed for that spell, it can cast
Book of Geom etry (Ex): As a the spell as if it were affected by the Silent
geometer, Nikolai uses a unique system for Spell feat. The spellglyph replaces any
recording the details of a spell that material components (other than a focus)
drastically reduces the expense of normally required by the spell.
maintaining spellbooks. Every spell it learns A geometer chooses at the time of
requires only a single page in its spellbook. casting whether to use a spellglyph. An
It still takes 24 hours to scribe a spell into a expended spellglyph disappears, just like
spellbook and materials costing 100 gp per any other material component.
page. Spellglyphs are normally scribed on
A geometer’s spellbook is difficult for parchment, much like scrolls. Preparing a
nongeometers to decipher and use. The spellglyph requires 1 hour and the use of
spellcraft DC to decipher or prepare spells rare inks costing 25 gp per spell level. If the
from a geometer’s spellbook is increased by spell normally requires an expensive
material component (with a value of more

35
than 1 gp), exotic inks and treatments of The Conferences of Victor Gagné. I used
equal cost must be used in the preparation the word “vernier” (a form of measurement
of the spellglyph. aid) instead of “veneer” (a thin coating). As
Telepathy (Su): Nikolai can a grammar fascist, I beg forgiveness for
communicate telepathically with any failing in my self-appointed duty of fighting
creature within 100 feet that has a the decline of the English language,
language. whether it is real or simply imagined by me.

Author’s Note
It is with great shame that I admit to a
grammar error in the previous installment of

36
Fifty Shades
50 NPCs who are not what they seem
By Jack the Reaper

1. Melisa, a beautiful, haunted looking


woman, is always on the run, never sleeps 5. Goatrix
twice in the same place, for her undead the black goat-headed creature looks like
former lover she killed is following her a devil. He has gathered around himself a
relentlessly, in slow but steady pace, group of amateur witches, taking part in
intending to tear her apart. their rituals in the forest and enjoying their
offerings. Actually he is just a mongrelman
2. The Hollow Knight from G'Henna who knows some magic and
an intelligent, animated suit of armor showmanship.
with great magical power, is traveling the
domains disguised as a knight, searching for 6. Colin
the meaning of its existence and musing is an orphan child, raised by the priests
philosophically between battles. in a monastery in Borca. Unbeknownst to
him, he is actually a powerful demon; the
3. Alan and Helen priests couldn't kill him, so they forced him
look like pair of adventuring twins into the shape of human child, making him
working in perfect harmony and seemingly forget his identity and believe he is indeed a
telepathic. They are actually a single mind child. Now they strive to keep him from
born in two bodies, using this condition to recalling his demonic identity (e.g., by
great advantage (see "Cheruvim", Quoth explaining away his strange nightmares, in
the Raven 18, pg. 52-54). which he does terrible things), while
members of his former cult try to reach him
4. Mighty Maximus and make him remember and re-awaken as
is a stage magician claiming to be a their lord.
great wizard; the gullible believe him, the
clever see him as a trickster and con-artist. 7. Guy Dartmoor
In truth, he is indeed a most powerful good- is a noble, lawful-good and valiant
aligned wizard, hiding behind the guise of knight in the light, but his personality shifts
charlatan showman. He keeps his true to a chaotic-evil, sadistic maniac when he's
identity top secret, casting spells without in darkness. He tries to stay away from
anyone's notice, and leading the suspicious society and keep many light sources at
to "debunk" his real magics as elaborate hand to stop his evil side from emerging,
tricks. but doesn't always succeed.

37
8. Sir Alonso 12. Deadboy
the Knight of Sorrowful Countenance, is is an evil undead child. He looks like the
an aging, self-proclaimed knight who sees withered corpse of boy about 8 years old,
monsters and demons everywhere, charging but can change his appearance to any living
at windmills and attacking innocent people boy about the same age. He loves playing
and animals. He is considered a pathetic, with children and murdering them; he also
deluded lunatic by almost everyone. In fact, loves to frame adults as murderers, by
he has a Truth Sight, and the monsters he pretending to fall dead after a staged public
sees beyond their illusionary disguises are skirmish, or by dropping clues pointing to
all real: the windmills are indeed giants, the someone as a murderer, then sneaking into
merchants are hags, etc. He has been his house and waiting in corpse form for the
driven close to insanity due to his police to find him. After he's buried again,
frustration in being unable to convince he'll crawl out to continue his fun and
anyone else of the truth of the invisible games.
threats.
13. Jack the Reaper
9. Abigail is a mysterious, stoic young man in
is a succubus who redeemed herself black robes. He stalks specific persons for
after she fell in love with an angel, became reasons only he knows, killing them with his
a paladin, and eventually was drawn to silvery sickle which turns their flesh into
Ravenloft. She struggles hard to keep her dust, or with his never-missing hand
newfound virtues against all temptations, crossbow. When he is about to kill, his
fight evil, and find a way to return to her visage changes to that of a grim reaper.
beloved angel.
14. Father Byron Silverhand
10. Black Tamanous is an anchorite leading a temple of Ezra.
looks like a savage man with long black The young, good-looking priest works
hair and a skeletal face. He can only eat the tirelessly to elevate the moral and spiritual
flesh of cannibals, so he usually locks state in his community, and has achieved
several people together in his basement great success: thanks to his preaching and
without food, waiting for cannibalism to activities, the local people have becoame
settle in, then eats the survivors. much more pious, giving more charity,
caring for the poor and sick, and even
11. Shavrir refraining from drinking. Father Byron
the sentient sword convinces its owners oversees those endeavors, guiding his flock
they were chosen by the gods to save their personally on the path to purity, and
people or the world, showing them "divine" making sure to stand beside every member
visions to persuade them. It might tell them when he or she dies.
some other people are demons they must After all, the purest souls are so much
kill, or order them to rally a rebellion against more delicious for a soul-eater like him.
the local darklord, helping them with
"miracles" at first, but then abandoning 15. Hazel
them to the painful retribution. can make herself not invisible, but
unnoticeable; when she wishes it, nobody
pays any attention to her. She can empty

38
the bank, walk into an exclusive conference, 19. Nuriel
or kill someone on broad daylight, and no
Is an elven aasimar priestess, who uses
one will notice or remember her afterward.
her cloak of elvenkind to move unseen in
No wonder she is such a successful criminal,
the slums of Morfenzi, at great peril to
leader of the thieves' guild in her town and
herself, healing the sick and bringing them
a dealer of secrets and information.
some light and hope. Those who've seen or
16. Shang glimpsed her gave her the title "the
Morfenzi Angel".
is a giant, muscular man, master of the
martial arts, and one of the cruelest, most 20. Don Girano
notorious bandit leaders and mercenaries in
the infamous crime lord, carries in vials
Ravenloft. He was actually a weak lad, until
the distilled personalities and memories of
he got his strength and power from the
several "useful" people - servants, guards,
spirit embodied in the black dragon tattooed
courtesans, etc. When somebody drinks the
on his body. If he dies, the dragon spirit will
essence or is injected by it, that personality
pass to the one who defeated him.
takes him or her over with all the proper
17. Mara abilities, and thusly Girano can recreate his
entourage anywhere he goes.
is a silent, reclusive child. Her parents
were brought to Ravenloft by the Mists one 21. Kami
stormy night, and sought shelter in the
is a charming Rokuma maiden, and also
House of Lament. As the storm raged
a deadly assassin and a special breed of
outside, the mother went into labor and
vampire able to control her hair, make it
gave birth to a girl, dying in the process.
grow almost limitlessly, and use it in many
The father left the house with the baby,
ways. She might grapple people or objects
whom he felt compelled to name Mara. Part
with it, make strands grow to a hundred
of the soul of the original Mara is in the girl,
meters' length and strangle victims in their
and therefore some part of the House
beds, or make her hair fill an entire city
followed her too, and it wants her back. As
block, transforming it into impassable tangle
she grows older, scary phenomena manifest
trap. She can also control others' hair, make
around her with greater frequency, as the
it grow, and turn it against them. Kami has
House superimposes itself on her
honor and some compassion though, and
surroundings. Unless something is done,
will not kill innocents… usually.
she and the people around her will
eventually find themselves transferred into 22. Switch
the House of Lament. has an emerald wand with the power to
18. Cain switch minds between persons, transferring
one's mind into another's body and vice
is a strong-looking vagabond with wild
versa, which he/she uses to create lots of
hair and beard, stone knife, accompanying
havoc. It is unknown who was Switch
dog, and a strange red sign on his
originally, as he/she shifts frequently into
forehead. Any damage he should suffer as
new bodies.
the result of attacks returns sevenfold on
the attacker, while Cain remains unharmed.

39
23. Zak suits. He lives in Nova Vaasa and is a
collector of strange items and artifacts,
is a young man with inexpressive face,
often hiring adventurers for that purpose.
short cropped hair and the mindset of
Though leaning toward villainous
devoted secret agent. Since childhood, he
undertakings, Khan is a practical person
has heard a buzzing voice talking to him,
whose only interest is expanding his money
giving him information, orders, and
and power, and he'll side with heroes if he
warnings, and he has always obeyed it, no
can profit from it.
matter how strange its instructions seemed.
The voice may sometimes speak through 27. Eddie Shanks
him to others, and occasionally take him
is the one to call for the dirtiest, vilest
over, transforming him into an insectoid
jobs no other mercenary or assassin would
horror.
take. A werehyena, he is a dandy, charming
24. Sleer man in his 20s in human form, and a
terrible beast in his animal and hybrid
Being an evil monster doesn't mean you
forms. He has a dirty humor and absolutely
can't do good. The creature calling himself
no morals and is always happy to colorfully
Sleer (or The Sleer) is a kyton-like monster,
describe his former profane jobs. In his
a being out of madmen's nightmares, able
beastly forms he can hypnotize his victims
to assume human shape. Though evil itself,
and breathe foul stinking clouds.
it prefers killing only evil villains and
monsters, considering them more 28. Evelyn
challenging for its taste. That makes it a
is a half-Vistani of Zarovan origin, who
powerful ally for heroes, if they can
can change her age to become younger or
stomach its vicious cruelty toward its foes.
older at will. Her touch can change others'
It loves playing the hapless victim, only to
age too; she can return youth to virtuous
turn the tables on its captors and savor
people, make villains old and fragile, or
their shock and horror as it changes and
return them to infancy for a second chance
tears them to shreds.
at better choices in life.
25. Pitz the Mouse 29. Mary Jane
is an anthropomorphic talking mouse,
is a lovely girl with sad eyes. The
fearless and jovial. He is a scholar and
invisible poltergeist of her possessive father
adventurer, ever looking for people who
accompanies her everywhere, eager to
need the help he is able to grant, along with
break the bones of anyone who treats her
his sparrow friend and mount, Chip. Many
unkindly, but also of anyone who shows
times he has proven himself much more
signs of romantic interest in her, dooming
useful than expected.
her to a life of loneliness.
26. Marcus Khan 30. Morton
is one of the richest, most powerful
was somehow affected by Necropolis'
business tycoons in Ravenloft. He is a cold,
Shroud. Now he is surrounded by an
calculated, and arrogant rakshasa, always in
invisible field that kills instantly any being in
control and never seen surprised. In his
a 10 meter radius around him. He lives
human guise, he is a tall, impressive man
alone in a secluded forest to avoid hurting
with thick silvery sideburns and expensive

40
people. Strangely enough, his sister Lenoria 34. "Jane doe"
is not only immune to the death field, but
looks too perfect to be a real woman.
nullifies it while she's in the radius, so they
She seems to be confused or shocked when
always stay close together when he has to
encountered, wandering aimlessly and only
travel. (See Radius film)
repeating several short verses, including the
31. Dolores Boudoin name "Endymion". She doesn't eat, drink,
sleep, or bleed, healing instantly from any
is a tomboyish young woman with
wound, and obeying most orders given to
chocolate skin, curly black hair and a top
her. In fact, she's a mindless golem, created
hat, who loves drinking, smoking, partying
by the hedonistic sorcerer Endymion who
and adventuring. She claims to be the
works ceaselessly to create the "perfect
daughter of the Souragnian loa Baron
woman", and he'd like to have her back.
Samedi, often styling herself as "Baroness
More experiments of her kind can be found
Samedi", and painting a white skull on her
in his house.
face before battles or rituals. Her innate
voodan powers and control over the dead 35. Gecko
give credit to her claim, and like her alleged
is a short, strange looking teenage boy,
father, she combines love for the pleasures
with pockmarked face, wide mouth, black
of life with affinity for the morbid and
bulging eyes, and wild hair which color
macabre.
shifts frequently. He was transformed into a
32. Rainbow werelizard by Dr. Vjorn Horstman, but
escaped his lab using his new chameleon
is the stage name of an elf dancer of
camouflage and wall scaling abilities. Gecko
unearthly beauty, whose hair is colored like
loves to shock both his friends and enemies,
the rainbow. She performs in several clubs
and make harmful pranks against the
in Nova Vaasa, and her dances are
Talons. He knows every corner in Lekar,
extremely popular. She seems to be a
and has a small lab where he creates stuff
frivolous girl, but secretly she's a Cloaked
like stench bombs, shocker rings, itching
Dancer (see Complete Scoundrel) who can
powder, and a solution that removes hair
affect the minds of lookers with her dance,
permanently. He always carries some of
a capable assassin and a member of a
these in his utility belt that fits all his forms.
secret organization working to bring down
corrupted noblemen and criminals. 36. Gantia
33. Seth and Marion the hag developed a potion that makes
its drinkers grow permanently to gigantic
look like couple of dirty, sick junkies,
proportions, many times their original size.
which they are; but when they consume
She uses it to create giant animals, insects,
drugs, they can project their souls out as
and humans wherever she travels, enjoying
incorporeal spirits, helping people, fighting
the resulting havoc, confusion, and misery.
evil beings, gathering useful information
She especially loves ruining weddings by
and doing much good. They know the drugs
changing the bride or the groom into a
ruin their health, but they are willing to
giant just before the ceremony.
make the sacrifice. Nobody suspects those
two poor drug addicts are the fabled "good
ghosts" of Nosos.

41
37. Hirsch Volf knows what would happen if he would
finally get it right, but some bizarre
is a travelling trapper and fur merchant
phenomena occur occasionally around him,
from Verbrek, a heavily built man with a
and it's better to keep him away from
wild grey beard and characteristic fur hat
corpses.
and pipe. He has been everywhere and
seen everything, and loves fascinating 42. Enrique
listeners with tales of his adventures.
Bards sing about the deeds of this
Though rough-looking, he has kind heart
handsome, heart-breaking womanizer.
and is always willing to help the needy.
Originally from Invidia, Enrique was cursed
38. Francine Beaumont to have every woman and girl who sees him
fall irrevocably in love with him. Now strife,
the prestigious Dementlieuse fashion
tears, and ruined relationships follow him
designer, is well known for the high-quality
everywhere, as women fight each other and
garments she makes for those who are able
their men over him. He was forced to pick
to afford them. These clothes have
the career of a highwayman and to travel all
personalities of their own, though, which
over Ravenloft to run away from all the
gradually affect their wearers.
angry men and desperate women coming
39. The Inevitable after him. Though his curse has obvious
is a marut (of the 3.5th ed., not the 4th), advantages, it gives Enrique much more
programmed to enforce the universal law headache.
"All that lives, must die". He was summoned 43. Nebuchadnezzar Mason
to Ravenloft by Falkovnian wizards to be put the Prophet of Evil, is a man even
to fight against Azalin, but the presence of darklords fear. He looks like a pirate, with
so many darklords and undead who cheat dark, tattooed skin, coins for earrings, a
death, plus the influence of the Dark black beard, and shaved head with several
Powers, drove him insane. Now he believes braids in the back. He reads people like
his purpose is to end all life, period, and he open books, knowing their deepest secrets
is working on some grand plan to bring the in a glance, and has such an aura of evil
apocalypse. He rumbles constantly like a charisma and genius that everyone feels like
doomsday prophet about him being the foolish children around him. Only the most
inevitable end of all life, and he is indeed an strong-willed can resist his compelling voice
almost unstoppable force. and consider disobeying him. He loves
destroying people's beliefs, showing them
40. Lady Dulcinea that there's nothing but evil in them and in
is a Borcan patron of the arts, especially the world, and everything else is self-
statuary. It helps a lot that she can change delusion. Even a short conversation with
at will into a medusa, petrifying her models him can scar one's soul for life.
in the desired positions.
44. The Sisters of Vow
41. Old Makhluf are the embodiment of mental illness in
is a feebleminded, crazy old man, womanly shape. Their names are Paranoia,
presumably a former wizard from Pharazia, Schizophrenia, Insomnia, Mania-Depressia
always muttering to himself, trying to recall etc. A Sister enters into relationship with a
some forgotten arcane verse. Nobody man (romantic or not), becoming his perfect

42
friend and soulmate - she seems to return her to her normal size (maybe
understand him like nobody else does, Gantia's potion). In fact, it's a very bad
always saying the right thing, etc. In a short idea, for she is not a human but an evil,
time, he will develop the symptoms of the human-eating titan from another world,
Sister's respective disorder. He'll probably who ruled tyrannically until her enemies
talk about it with her, which will only managed to defeat her. If returned to her
worsen his condition. Only by cutting his normal size (25 feet height) she'll seek to
relationship with her can he be healed, but reestablish her bloody reign.
that's easier said than done.
48. Shirley
45. The Headsman One may wonder why such an innocent-
is a notorious serial killer, a brute of a looking girl is hanging out in the company
man with hangman's hood and big axe. He of villainous and corrupted men. Shirley is a
murders mainly youngsters, children, and True Innocent (see Heroes of Light), her
even babies, though strangely enough, soul so pure and her love for every being so
some witnesses have reported hearing him strong, that she can actually drain evil with
sobbing afterward. He is cursed with her kiss. The greater the evil, the longer it
foresight, and kills those he knows are takes - but in the end, the target's soul is
going to become exceedingly evil when they purified, his alignment shifts to good, and
grow up, believing he's doing the gods' all his sins are absolved. She seeks out
work with those preemptive killings. wicked people to cleanse them of their evil.
Her power has no effect on undead,
46. Madam Luka monsters, and darklords.
is the patron of the Grave Pleasures
"funhouse", located in the vilest part of 49. Dan Jonah "Dungeon"
Martira Bay, in which all the "entertainers" looks like a normal man, though there's
are zombies. Regular visitors perceive them something unnerving about his eyes and
as living humans (though the illusion falters smile. He has a mystical prison inside his
occasionally, which could be quite body, and can inhale people or creatures
shocking), but the VIP clients get to see inside, and exhale them out when he wants.
them as what they are. Here the most Victims find themselves in an organic-
debased, the necrophiliacs, cannibals, looking maze from which there's no exit.
psychopathic, and the undead can slake Dan can hear them and speak to them
their foul desires. Madam Luka herself is an mentally. There are some real villains inside,
avolakia in human disguise, animating the some innocents who happened to upset
dead with her powers and using them as Dan, and some monsters he releases when
servants, food, and means to spread rotting it serves him. Though not a truly evil
diseases. person, Dan enjoys too much playing the
judging and punishing god, and his sanity is
47. Miranda questionable.
is a diminutive warrior woman, clad in
ancient-looking armor, her height about 15 50. The Man Who Wasn't
cm. She tells adventurers she was shrank to There is a figure you never meet in the
this size by evil wizard, and asks their help present. People only recall meeting him in
to find a means to dispel the magic and the past, whether it's one minute or 10

43
years ago. They'll remember his grey suit people seldom or frequently, but no matter
and hat, and that there was something what they do, they can never experience
disturbing about him, and but never his the encounter at real time, only as a vague,
face; and they may recall things he told eerie memory afterward. Nobody knows
them - information, clues, threats etc. who or what he is, or whether he's a single
Sometimes they find themselves having being or one of many.
objects he gave them. He might visit certain

44
Mistlands Tourist
Guide to The
Frozen Wastes
By John Berndt

This job has some downsides as well as and potatoes are the main dishes here as
its perks and I was recently sent to they are the most readily had. Borscht,
Vorostokov, certainly not my first choice to which is a kind of beet soup, is commonly
visit, though not as bad as I feared. made here, as beets grow very well.
The first myth there is about Vorostokov This said, hunting is very important here
is that it is always winter. It may seem that and is the main source of food and income.
way, but the fact is there are six months of Fur is very big here. Not only do the natives
winter followed by six months of summer. dress in fur all winter and for most of what
For the first two months of summer, the ice passes for summer here, but they sell a lot
melts, causing floods and lots of mud. The of it abroad. They sell bear skins, deer
farmers manage to plant potatoes in the skins, and rabbit skins all over the Mists.
hills during those months along with some They are the best furriers in the Mists and
vegetables. It is tiring work, but they people are well aware of it. Merchants all
manage. A lot of quick growing plants over the Mists trade food for their fur.
sprout during this time and the animals They not only sell the fur itself but fur
slowly come out of hibernation. I visited in clothing of all sizes. They ship them
high summer, of course, as I am no fool. throughout the Mists where they are further
There is no way I am going to go here in fitted by local tailors. While here I bought
the dead of winter, guide or no. rabbit skin gloves and a fox fur coat. They
The second is, as shown above, that the were beautifully tailored as they have lots of
only way to get food here is by hunting. In experience working with fur. Where there is
fact, many root vegetables are grown in a lot of game there is also usually a lot of
summer such as potatoes, carrots, beets, wolves and that is certainly the case here.
and radishes. The food is stored in root You can hear their howling everywhere at
cellars for winter. There are wheat fields in night. Along with the normal wolves there
the plains as well. There is also fishing, as are dire wolves. Dire wolves are rare in
well as whaling. The sea fish here are large most places, so I will tell you they are the
and tasty. The domain also imports a lot of size of horses. I wouldn’t have believed it
food, paying for it via the fur trade. Meat myself, but I have seen their pelts here and

45
they are indeed that size. Thank the gods I accompanying me, I might have been
didn’t see one face to face. There are also assaulted.
rumors of werewolves in this realm. I don’t The only inn here is the Boiled Cod. Like
know if they are true, but I certainly don’t the name implies, codfish is the big dish
want to find out. here. It is quite good but like all
Vorostokov has a number of small Vorostokovian food, plain. Food here is
villages and hamlets, but it has only four simple, plain, salty, and expensive. Although
towns of any note: Kargo, Nodvik, Torgov, people don't usually starve, there isn't a big
and Vorostokov City. Although it is called a surplus and so food is expensive. Along with
city Vorostokov City is a city in name only as the fish I had potatoes with reindeer butter.
it is just a large town of 2,000 people. Not the tastiest meal I ever, had but it stuck
Kargo is right on the coast and is the to the ribs. The innkeeper is a crusty old
main trade and fishing port, of 1,500 salt (N Ftr 3) named Pieter Lebronski. Still
people, and it is also important for its salt the place is reasonably clean. The national
production. Mining is very difficult in the drink here is vodka. This is a very strong
permafrost of this land, so all the tasteless liquor that goes down like fire. Be
inhabitants’ salt is made by boiling sea careful with this stuff, as it will lay you flat
water. They have a bucket and pulley in no time. I have to admit I drank a bit too
system that is hooked to oxen, which much of it the first night and woke up with
dumps the water in huge 8000-liter tubs. the worst hangover of my life the next day.
They boil it using the very large quantity of Nodvik is the lumber center of this realm.
wood they have, as the realm is covered in Although hunting is vitally important as well,
forest. That produces 300 liters of highly most wood sold abroad is cut here as the
saline water per tub, which pours out a surrounding timber is tall and strong. The
sluice into open barrels where they allow lumber is traded mostly for food to various
the water to evaporate naturally before islands. The timber mill on the nearby
sealing and shipping. Kuzov River is always busy. It is then taken
It is a very efficient operation, with straight to Kargo by wagon in summer and
scores of tubs. It supplies the entire realm stored in big warehouses in winter, when
with plenty of salt to last the year through, the passes through the mountains are
even with the heavy salting of meat that is closed. Although its lumber is shipped to
common here to preserve it over winter. Kargo, raw timber is not, as it isn’t used for
Even in summer, the food is heavily salted firewood to boil the salt there. This wood is
here, as that is what people are used to. I too valuable, they cut down the less
drank a lot of water, despite the cool valuable wood nearby for that. I have heard
weather, due to the great deal of salt they that the wolves and dire wolves are
cook with. particularly thick here and everyone I saw
There are a number of pirates nearby had some sort of bow on their back when
that the locals haven’t caught yet, so you leaving town.
should be careful when taking passage The Timber Wolf is the only inn here, as
here. I didn’t encounter any, but the fur the town only has 1,200 people. It serves
trade cargo must be hard to pass up for venison with potato bread and carrots. The
pirate ships. Aside from that, the people venison is good and tender as the people
around here can be pretty rough. If I didn’t here do know how to tenderize meat well,
have two big bodyguards from Richemulot having lots of experience. The potato bread

46
came with reindeer butter as well and was on vodka. However, that is common enough
quite good. The place is a bit rustic, but the in this place that I just fit right in.
people are nice enough. The innkeeper is a Vorostokov City is the capital of the
woman named Natasha Belinski (N Com2). realm and the seat of Tsar Gregor Zolnik II,
She is a quite attractive human with long, who is a large, rowdy man with a great
black hair and brown eyes. beard. He is loud and boisterous and prone
Torgov is the farming center, such as it to drink. I met him when I was at the
is, of the realm and, surprisingly, the capital and he does have some charm, but it
wealthiest place to live, for the average is of the loud, overbearing kind. I guess it is
person. Although there are richer people in fitting for such a backwards realm. In any
the capital, the average man here is case he has the reputation of being a fair
wealthier. Considering how expensive food ruler but an inept hunter. Puzzling as it is to
is here, it might not be that surprising after me, this seems to lower his esteem in his
all. The big potato and wheat fields are subject’s eyes. Maybe it is because so much
here. It is not Falkovnia by any stretch of of the domain revolves around hunting but,
the imagination, but it usually grows aside from his overloud manner, he seems a
enough food to help prevent the realm from decent enough fellow.
starving. Like the rest of Vorostokov hunting The rich in Vorostokov City are really
is also a big thing here. The woods nearby rich. The fur trade is run out of here and is
provide enough caribou and moose to help very profitable. People often move here for
feed the people over the winter months. In a year or two to make some quick money
those woods, it is rumored that there are a hunting and selling the furs and then return
number of complete maniacs running home. Sometimes this works out and entire
around killing people at random. Due to fortunes have been made this way. More
these rumors, the people around here now commonly they manage to make little
only enter the woods in armed parties. money as better hunters get most of the
The inn here is the Smiling Farmer, game and they wind up on the derelict side
which is as rustic as it sounds, and which is of the city, if not frozen or starved to death.
run by a halfling woman named Elise There are a number of hostels around
Tunnelbury (NG Rog 3), who originally which I won't go into as I never visited the
moved here for the fur trade. She is now dives but there is one great inn, The Great
looking to sell the place as she has made Caribou. It has a caribou motif, but aside
her money and is looking to move back to a from that it could pass as a good inn in
place that is warmer and has better food. almost any part of the Mists. It is the only
Apparently, she has had a number of offers place with genuinely great food. The prices
and is in negotiations. The 800 people living are sky high but worth it. The inn is run by
in Torgov spend their money here, as the a pretty elf woman named Lalia Woodly (NE
place is fairly busy, which is probably why Sor 4), with gold hair and pretty, blue eyes.
she is finding the place easy to sell. I had There are rumors that people around here
the potato soup with rabbit. It was quite have come out of a daze with their money
good although under-spiced. Vodka flows missing and unable to remember anything
freely here, and I admit I got more than a about it. I asked the innkeeper and she said
little tipsy. I thought I had learned my that she has heard the rumors but doesn’t
lesson, but it is shockingly easy to get drunk know what to make of them.

47
In short, this realm is a backwater that here to party. Along with vodka from
has little to recommend it. The only reason Vorostokov there is wine from Richemulot,
to visit it, as far as I can tell, is to try and beer from Falkovnia, brandy from
make quick money off of the fur trade. Dementlieu, and ale from Mordent. As such,
However, be warned that this plan is a crap alcohol flows freely in this realm.
shoot. In any case, it certainly isn't a place There are also many brothels, theaters,
to visit on a whim. In winter it is cold, dark, and opera houses. The women here have
and deadly. In summer it is cool, muddy, the reputation of being unusually free with
and dismal. their affections. And in fact, it is not
Sanguinia, on the other hand, isn’t that uncommon for an attractive young woman
cold along the coast. Inland it is a frozen of even the lower upper class to prostitute
wasteland where almost no one dwells, but herself when young in order to provide for
along the coast there is a very warm ocean herself when older. Nobody seems to think
current that keeps things within a there is anything wrong with this, which
reasonable temperature up to 50 km inland. makes the area popular for certain tourists.
It keeps getting colder the farther you go Any offspring that come as a result are
inland, of course, but where people actually usually fostered out or sent to nurseries.
live it isn’t any worse than the mountainous This isn’t the most moral thing to do, but
regions of Bavoria. Because of this, they the natives are a hedonistic lot.
grow plenty of food year-round and export If the theaters are not as sophisticated
their surplus to Vorostokov in exchange for as Dementlieu, they are quite good in a
its fur. The fur is then traded all over the ribald sort of way. I saw a comedy there at
Mists. the Drunken Stag Theater about Vlad
The only city is Mirceaovnia which is Drakov. He was shown as the strutting
named after the prince's father and is a city buffoon that he is. Outside of him
of 15,000. There are a number of farming commanding one doomed assault after
villages as well that support the main city, another, it shows the many bastards he has
as well as provide food for the export trade. had over the years. Unlike the by-blows
The city is a bustling merchant port town. here, his bastards are largely due to rape,
Its main source of wealth is the fur trade of something not tolerated here. The morals of
Vorostokov, as that domain has no harbors this domain are pretty loose, but rape is
large enough to handle enough ships to treated seriously. The implication of the play
export all of its fur and lumber and to was that this man can neither control his
import all of the food it needs. Three blood lust or his sexual lusts. The theater
quarters of all the fur and lumber sold by itself was quite nice with fine furnishings
Vorostokov goes via Mirceaovnia. and the acting was quite funny.
Mirceaovnia is known as a real party If the singing there is not as good as
town and it lives up to its reputation. There Karakatass, it is more sophisticated.
is a weeklong festival at the end of every Karakatass might have fine singers but their
month which, by local superstition, keeps music is rustic. The opera I saw was The
away the “Grey Death”. It might just be an Tale of the Milkmaid, performed inside the
excuse to party. That said the tourist trade Hans Falcor Opera House. It was the story
that comes in because of that fact more of a milkmaid in Richemulot who surprises a
than pays for the festival. Nobles and rich nobleman in the embrace of a common
merchants from all over the Mists come street prostitute. She uses this information

48
for blackmail and climbs her way up. But concerts and juggling. As the week goes, on
what goes up must come down and the the festival gets wilder and the concerts get
nobleman uses his own machinations to ruin more numerous, the theaters conduct more
her. She winds up in the end the same plays and the alcohol flows freely. For some
milkmaid she started out as. It is a popular reason the natives spend the last day
tale in Richemulot and it was turned into an indoors; they still have parties but I noticed
opera here. that no one who was native to the city left
The best inn is the Golden Perch. It has the inn during the entire last day of the
fish you can die for. It is run by a cute festival. Something felt wrong about this, so
halfling woman (CG Exp 3) who has a really I stayed in too. I was by no means
sunny smile. Her place is quite upper class forbidden to leave the inn. In fact, there
and expensive. It has the best wine and were plenty of people on the streets, but I
brandy The Mists have to offer. The rooms noticed no one who was native to the place,
are finely furnished and there are nice although I had seen them frequently during
paintings on the walls. the earlier days of the festival walking
For more middle-class customers there is around. Some even had favorite spots, but I
the Tipsy Maid. It is a nice clean didn’t see them there that day.
establishment run by a male dwarf (NG Ftr Sanguinia is a good place to vacation for
6). Like most dwarves, he is a bit dour but those who are on the hedonistic side. You
has a good heart. His establishment is quite had better be able to handle loud noises, as
well run. It has good beer and ale and the this place is loud. The morally upright will
rooms are clean and the furnishings decent. be uncomfortable around here as this place
On the other side of town is where the is known for its loose morals.
tanneries are, and you can smell it for
miles. The stench there is overwhelming. Tsar Gregor Zolnik
The people in this area are quite CE (LE in human form) Male Loup de Noir
impoverished as they aren’t paid very much. 4th level Ranger
Muggings are common here and I would Wolf Form: AC 18 hp 80 Atk +12 Dmg
stay out of this area at night. There are 1d6+2 Bite +4 vs Humans
rumors of dangerous “things” that come out Str 14 Int 12 Wis 8 Dex 18 Con 17 Cha 12
at night. SQ : Track, Trip, Wild Empathy, Damage
The ruler is a handsome young man Reduction 10/silver and holy, Low Light
named Prince Ladislav Mircea. He is quite
Vision, Scent, Endurance
the ladies’ man from what I hear but he is
Feats : Handle Animal +10, Hide +11,
also well liked. He is charming to a fault and
Move Silently +12, Survival when
is the height of culture and sophistication.
When I talked to him, I was impressed by tracking by scent +4, +6 vs Humans
his knowledge of the arts and sciences. His Human Form: AC 21 HP 48 Atk +15 ,+16
tutors seem to have done a fine job. His Within 30' Dmg 1d6 arrow +5, +7 vs
palace is well staffed and is quite bright and Humans
well furnished Str 12 Int 12 Wis 8 Dex 14 Con 13 Cha 12
The Festival of Life happens every month Favored Enemy: Human
between the 23rd and the 30th. Tourists Unlike most rangers he is unable to track in
come in by the boatload during that week. human form due to his curse
The festival starts out slow, with outdoor

49
Feats : Combat Style Archery, Endurance village. He was even married off to the local
Animal Companion: wolf duke’s daughter.
Weapon Focus: Composite Long Bow, But the call of the skin was too powerful
Quick Draw, Rapid Shot , Point Blank for him, because such dark magic is
Shot addictive and he would sneak out at night
and use it to hunt in wolf form. His wife
Skills : Climb +9, Handle Animal +9, Hide
assumed he had taken some peasant girl as
+9, Move Silently +9, Knowledge:
a mistress and found a lover of her own. He
Nature + 9, Bluff +5, +7 vs Humans,
found them in bed together and, in a
Survival +7 jealous rage, killed them and everyone else
Possessions : +4 Chain Shirt, +4 Mighty in the house and then fell asleep due to
Long Composite Bow with +1 Strength exhaustion.
bonus He found himself in a palace the next
Immune to charm and hold, +4 to all day as Tsar Gregor I. At first, he was quite
other mind affecting saves pleased but he soon found out that
Gregor can summon 1d6 wolves or 1d3 although everyone recognized him as Tsar,
dire wolves 3 times/day he was considered the lesser offspring of a
Gregor can close the borders by causing greater man, Boris II. According to the false
history of this land, his grandfather Boris I
sorrow in anyone who crosses it. The
conquered this land after discovering it in a
person hears voices telling him about
long sea voyage. The land was almost
every inadequacy he has, getting more
empty, and the natives were forced under
embarrassing and intense with every his rule, with his prowess as a hunter well
step forward, until he turns back. known. His son was Boris II, a great hunter
of renown, who also formed the legal code.
As a young man, Gregor was a great His father was known for his vast intellect
hunter, the best in the village. One year, and his charismatic personality. Although
winter came early and it was hard to find neither stupid nor meek, Gregor is not
game, as the game was dying from outstanding in any way. Worse yet, he is
starvation themselves. Occasionally people cursed to have no luck in hunting while in
came upon wolf leavings but that was about human form. In wolf form, he can find
it. One day Gregor saw a wolf dying beside plenty of prey but in human form all large
a bull elk that had fatally wounded him game flees from his presence and even
when it was taken down. Gregor thought, small game is scarce. The best he can find
“If I were a wolf I could feed myself and my is rabbit and the like, which bring little
family.” He thought of an old tale his prestige. His lack of hunting ability greatly
grandfather told him. It was a ritual one lessens the people’s respect for him in this
could use to turn into a wolf. He used it that hunting-centered domain.
night after killing the dying wolf and Worse yet, his curse is to never be the
skinning him, while preforming the ritual. hero. Gregor loved the time he was seen as
The ritual worked, and he was able to find a hero and longs for it. However, due to his
enough food to feed himself and his family. curse, no matter what he does he is never
Eventually he found he could feed the entire seen as a hero. He either fails outright,
village. As a result, he became a hero to the succeeds in a way that appears
unimpressive or looks downright

50
dishonorable. People follow him due to the When he died, he rose as a Vrykolaka
respect they have for his forebearers, but Vampire. That state lasted one day, after
he has little respect in his own right. This which he regained his humanity, but only
grates on his nerves exceedingly. The one for a month. On the 30th of that month, he
thing he craves most, hero worship, is went back to vampire form and that has
denied him and even absolute rulership happened every month since.
pales in comparison in his eyes. He appears to be a very handsome man
in his mid-20s and is quite charming except
Darklord Prince Ladislav Mircea for the one day a month when he changes
10th level human Aristocrat (On the 30th into a Vrykolaka Vampire. He has a very
of each month, he changes into an Old good reputation with the locals as a result
Vrykolaka Vampire and adds its and is a hit with the ladies. He is far more
template) upset about his ugliness once a month than
AC 11 hp 92 the murders.
Str 12 Int 16 Wis 8 Dex 12 Con 16 Cha 18 On the 30th of every month, which is the
SD: Undying, immune to aging, poison, same day of the month as the day he died,
he turns into a Vrykolaka Vampire and has
disease, level, and ability drain even in
to drain one person that day and pass on
human form.
his disease. He then drags them away to
Feats: Skill focus: Diplomacy, Bluff, Gather
use them in his experiments to cure himself.
Info and Hide, Atk +8/+12 as a He conducts his experiments for an entire
vampire, Disease carried is Grey Death week and then gets discouraged. He goes
(DC20 for non-natives, natives out partying, but it feels hollow; it is more
automatically fail. incubation: one day, to forget his plight than for real enjoyment.
damage 1d4 Str and 1d4 Con) He throws himself more and more into the
Skills : Bluff 18, Diplomacy 18, Gather Info festivities until the 29th when he returns
18, Hide 17, Move Silently 20 (Boots of home dreading the next day.
elvenkind included) He always attacks the first person he
sees alone and out of sight. He sticks to
shadows and wears his boots of elvenkind.
Prince Ladislav Mircea was a selfish
Due to his curse there will always be one or
young prince, when a plague hit his
more people out alone. The town has not
kingdom. He locked himself away from the
figured out that there is a vampire out
peasantry along with many nobles of the
there, they think the town is cursed. He
kingdom to avoid the plague known as the
conducts experiments over the next week
“grey death”. For the first month, things
and the survivors are broken ones, who he
went well for him. He was partying with his
discards in the worst districts to keep them
friends, feasting and drinking while the
out of his sight. Those who don’t survive
commoners wasted away from the plague.
are vampire spawn under his control. If
Then the plague started affecting the nobles
they become too numerous, he simply
and he had them thrown over the wall once
destroys a few of them.
they were infected. When he was infected
He is quite the ladies’ man and has a lot
himself, he tried using dark magic and the
of luck with them. If he sleeps with a
untainted blood of his guests to stave off
woman, she needs to make a DC 10 Fort
the disease but nothing worked.
save the next day or contract the Grey

51
Death, on the 1st of the next month. This The Darklord can try to pass the Grey
DC rises to 13 if his attraction to her is Death onto anyone he chooses, even in
strong and 20 if very strong. The population human form 3 times/day with a DC 20 Fort
will not connect it with him but instead save. He also can close the borders, making
blame the curse, as she will fall prey to it it so that anyone who tries to cross the
the same day that she would have if he border immeditately becomes ill, causing
passed it to her on the 30th. He has noticed 1d4 Con damage each round until they turn
the pattern, however, and is upset that back.
women who he is attracted to tend to end Thanks to MistMaster for helping me.
up with the curse.

52
On the Subject of
the death knight
by Tomokaicho

Dearest George, undead ruler in the domains of the core, or


I have come across these notes, hidden any domain known to…
under the floorboards of Dr. Van Richten’s … and we were led into the throne room of
old residence. The notes I found are not Nedragaard Keep by the dwarf, who opened
intact. I think that they were partially eaten the door, motioned us inside, and left, closing
by rats. the door behind us. Entering the throne room,
I myself cannot make head nor tail of it so I have never been so dismayed, or regretful of
I am leaving it entirely in your hands. my error. That Lord Soth is undead was
Your friend, true; his retinue were also undead – skeletal
Gregor warriors, and ghostly banshees wailing such
obscenities that I felt as if I were covered in
Here’s what I could read from the filth. Lord Soth’s eyes were burning red orbs,
ravaged papers : somewhat like that of a lich, yet different…
From the fragmentary notebook of Dr. … we were in Lord Soth’s hands, and
Rudolph Van Richten, “On the subject of utterly helpless. With a pointed finger and a
the death knight” single word Lord Soth froze Shauten in
… in Sithicus. My comrade Shauten and place. To my utter shame, I was frozen in
I had arranged an audience with Lord Soth place by my own fear, with no magical
through his retainer, a dwarf of wicked compulsion from the undead knight…
disposition that my intuition tells me may be a … it was only the courtly manners that I
lycanthrope. If the rumours of this Lord recalled from old Mordentish romance
Soth are true, then he is the only openly stories about knights and ladies that saved us.

53
Had I offended Lord Soth he no doubt secrets of our land has convinced me that the
would have slaughtered us on the spot… outlanders are indeed from other worlds…
… returned to Mordent. I fear for … gave me a description of his encounter
Shauten’s health. Since our encounter with with a death knight on his world…
Lord Soth, Shauten is overly concerned “… battle was joined. We were certain that
with his mortality, as if death may come to we would win the day. We had ten mages
take him at any time. Perhaps a mermerist from the Great Academy of Sorcery in
could help Shauten overcome this traumatic addition to our knights…”
experience… “… and I despaired. The death knight
… Lord Soth. How could it be that an strode confidently through the flame, ice, acid,
undead ruler can rule openly and be known to and lightning that our mages cast at it. When
be undead to everyone in Sithicus, and yet the spells of our mages got close to the enemy,
this fact be unrecognized in other domains? the spell simply winked out of existence
An undead knight that openly roams his without even touching or harming it in the
land with a retinue of skeletal warriors and least. As the death knight approached within
terrifying banshees - the idea of it is so absurd striking distance, one of our mages brought
and all the more vexing that I cannot get into being a wall of force to vex the death
anyone in authority to take this matter knight and block its advance. A few
seriously. Or perhaps they do know and moments later I realized that it was all for
publicly deny it out of fear, for they surely do naught. The death knight raised its fist and
not wish to face Lord Soth and his undead with a waving motion brought down the wall.
legions on the battlefield… In that instant I felt the mighty strength
… and with Shauten away I was granted to me by the spells of my comrades
compelled to conduct the interview myself. leave my limbs and looking around I could
The arcane arts are not my forte. Had I see that the protections that the mages had
Shauten to assist me… armoured themselves with had also been
… name was Lamarc. He is an outlander, defeated. Every single one. Then the slaughter
from some place beyond the mists. Outlanders began…”
are deemed by alienists to have unhealthful “… and so, I turned tail and ran. A
humours of the mental sort but everything that betrayer of my knightly vows and a coward.
I have discovered in my time learning of the It is an irony among ironies, for the death

54
knight that we fought had been cursed by the acquire salient abilities as it grows in power
(increases in level). This is not a radical
gods for that exact sin. Is eternal damnation reimagining of the death knight, it is a
what awaits me? I fear it is so for the gods vision of the death knight as they appear in
the novels. Each salient ability was carefully
have abandoned me in this strange land…” considered, and all the salient abilities are
what you might expect from a death knight.
The death knight. When we read the As Dr. Van Richten’s fragmentary notes
tales of Lord Soth in the Dragonlance and reveal, facing a death knight is foolhardy
Ravenloft books, we were awed at his great even when prepared. Beware, for no two
power and mighty presence. The showdown death knights are alike.
between Lord Soth and Strahd Von Zarovich
is one of the great evil-on-evil battles. Yet Creating A Death Knight
mechanically the death knight template is
"Death knight" is a template that can be
weak compared to the vampire template,
added to any evil humanoid creature of 6th
whether the Monster Manual version or the
level or higher (referred to hereafter as the
Dragonlance Campaign Setting version. In
character), with a BAB of +6 or higher. The
Ravenloft it is even worse – vampires have
character's type changes to undead. It uses
age categories and salient abilities that
all the character's statistics and special
greatly enhance their power. Going strictly
abilities except as noted here.
by the rules given, Strahd Von Zarovich
Hit Dice: All the character's Hit Dice
would have made quick work of Lord Soth
(current and future) become d12s. Death
in their confrontation during the events of
knights also gain bonus hit points using
Knight of the Black Rose.
their Charisma modifier in place of their
This is begging for correction. Death
Constitution modifier (Former Valor).
knights deserve a better treatment, a
Speed: Same as the character.
Ravenloft treatment. This Ravenloft-ized
template allows for the death knight to

55
AC: The death knight has +5 natural feet of a death knight must succeed at a
armor, or the character's natural armor, Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 death knight's HD +
whichever is better. death knight's Charisma modifier) or be
Saves: Same as character. affected as though by a fear spell cast by a
Abilities: A death knight gains +6 to sorcerer of the death knight's level. A death
Strength, +4 to Dexterity, +2 to Wisdom knight may suppress the effect if it wishes.
and +4 to Charisma. Being undead, it has Undead Followers: A death knight
no Constitution score. receives the benefits of undead leadership,
Skills: Same as character. as if it had the undead leadership feat. A
Feats: Death knights gain Alertness, death knight may choose to receive a living
Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved cohort or an undead cohort. A death knight
Initiative, and Lightning Reflexes, assuming never receives leadership penalties for
the base creature meets the prerequisites mistreating undead followers, or for causing
and doesn’t already have these feats. their deaths. These creatures are in addition
Climate/Terrain: Any land and to any undead creatures the death knight
underground. may command or rebuke if it has that
Organization: Solitary or troupe (see ability. If a death knight’s leadership score
undead followers, above). exceeds 25, treat this ability as epic undead
Challenge Rating: Same as character leadership.
+3 +1/2 CR per salient ability Spells: A death knight can cast any
Treasure: Double standard. spells it could while alive, unless alignment
Alignment: Same as character (always restrictions prohibit the casting of a
evil). particular spell.
Advancement: Death knights continue Spell-like Abilities: Death knights
to advance in level as per their original receive the following spell-like abilities at a
class. caster level equal to their HD. 3/day -
Epic Death Knights: Death Knights animate dead, detect magic, dispel magic,
that reach epic levels (21 HD) continue to fireball, see invisibility, wall of ice; 1/day -
acquire salient abilities normally, with the power word stun, symbol of fear, symbol of
following differences. Upon reaching 21 HD pain.
the death knight gains a bonus salient
ability. Additionally, any epic general feat Special Qualities:
that a death knight gains through leveling A death knight retains all the character's
may be used to instead to acquire a salient special qualities and gains those described
ability, if desired. When being an epic death below.
knight alters a salient ability, it is noted in Death knight’s aw areness: See
the salient ability entry. invisibility and detect magic are a constant
effect for the death knight. This ability may
Special Attacks: be taken twice. If taken twice, true seeing is
A death knight retains all the character's a constant effect for the death knight.
special attacks and gains those described Additionally, the death knight is never
below. considered flat-footed.
Fear Aura (Su): Death knights are M agic breaker: The death knight may
shrouded in a dreadful aura of death and use greater dispel magic 3/day, and
evil. Creatures of less than 5 HD within 15 antimagic field 1/day. This ability may be

56
taken twice, if the death knight has at least 3/day, along with forcecage and wall of
16 HD. If taken twice, the death knight may force 1/day.
use mage’s disjunction 1/day. Additionally, Unholy knight: The death knight gains
uses of antimagic field increase to 3/day. bull’s strength, prayer, and holy sword
W ordsm ith: The death knight may use 3/day. Holy sword is subject to the following
power word blind and power word kill modifications: The weapon acts as a +5
1/day. This ability may be taken twice. unholy weapon (+5 enhancement bonus on
Taken a second time, the death knight attack and damage rolls, extra 2d6 damage
gains use of power word sicken 3/day and against good opponents). It also emits a
uses of power word blind and power word magic circle against good effect (as the
stun increase to 3/day. Additionally, once spell). This ability may be taken twice twice
per day a power word may be used as if it if the death knight possesses at least 12
was subject to quicken spell-like ability. HD. If taken twice, holy sword is a constant
Gravedigger: The death knight uses effect on any single held melee weapon.
animate dead as if cast in a desecrated Additionally, the death knight may also use
area, as per the effects detailed in the true strike 3/day.
desecrate spell. Note that this does not Form er Valor (Ex ): A death knight
actually desecrate an area, nor may the gains a bonus to its hit points equal to its
benefits of this ability be had in a Charisma bonus (minimum +1) times its Hit
consecrated area. In addition, the death Dice.
knight gains the ability to use create dead Dam age R eduction (Su): A death
1/day. This ability may be taken twice if the knight's undead body is tough, giving the
death knight possess at least 12 HD. If creature damage reduction 15/+1.
taken twice, the death knight may use Im m unities (Ex): Death knights are
create dead 3/day and gains the ability to immune to cold, electricity, and polymorph
use create greater undead 1/day, and both in addition to those immunities possessed
create undead and create greater undead by undead (see undead traits, below).
are affected by a desecrate effect the same Spell Resistance (Su): A death knight
way as animate dead as described above. has SR equal to 10 + its HD
Sym bol scriber: The death knight may Sum m on M ount (Su): A death knight
use symbol of sleep and symbol of has the ability to summon a mount, typically
weakness 1/day. Additionally, uses of a nightmare, though it may be of any other
symbol of fear and symbol of pain increase species normally used as a mount. The
to 3/day. This ability may be taken twice. If mount may have no more Hit Dice than half
taken twice, the death knight may also use the death knight's levels. If the mount is
symbol of persuasion, symbol of insanity lost or killed, the death knight may summon
and symbol of death 1/day. another one after a year and a day.
Battlefield tactician: The death knight Turn Defiance (Ex ): A death knight
gains wall of fire and stinking cloud 3/day. affected by turning, rebuking, or
Additionally, wall of ice is used as if subject commanding is not turned, rebuked or
to the extend spell feat, doubling its commanded; instead the death knight is
duration. This ability may be taken twice. If instead prevented from attacking the
taken twice, the death knight may also use turning creature for 10 rounds (1 minute).
transmute rock to mud and hold portal During this time the death knight may not
approach within 10 feet of the turning

57
creature although the death knight may deity. The creature has darkvision (60-foot
stand its ground if approached. A death range).
knight may not attack the turning creature
by any method, including physical violence Salient Abilities:
or spell-like abilities, although it may still A death knight gets one salient ability by
attack the turning creature’s allies (but may becoming a death knight ability plus one
not use an area of affect attack if the area salient ability for every 4 HD that it
includes the turning creature), and it may possesses.
order its servants to attack the turning
creature. If the turning creature attacks the Ability score bonus
death knight, this effect is broken. The death knight’s physical or mental
Undead Traits: A death knight is characteristics improve.
immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, Prerequisite: None.
sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death Benefit: +2 to an ability score of the
effects, necromantic effects, and any effect death knight’s choice. This ability may be
that requires a Fortitude save unless it also taken multiple times.
works on objects. It is not subject to critical
hits, subdual damage, ability damage,
Rebuke Undead (Su)
ability drain, energy drain, or death from The death knight may exert its influence
massive damage. A death knight cannot be over other types of undead.
raised or resurrected by anything less than Prerequisites: Cha 14+.
a Benefit: The death knight may rebuke
or command undead as an evil cleric of a
level equal to its Hit Dice minus 4. This
ability may be taken twice. If taken twice
the death knight may rebuke or command
undead as an evil cleric of a level equal to
its Hit Dice plus 4.

Shadow Walk (Su)


Prerequisite: None.
The death knight can travel through
shadows.
Benefit: As a standard action, the death
knight may enter an area of shadows and
emerge in another shadowed area, as if it
had cast dimension door. If there is no
shadowed area to emerge from, the ability
fails harmlessly. The death knight may bring
one additional creature, per dimension door.

Combat Mastery
Prerequisite: None.
Benefit: The death knight may select a
fighter bonus feat for which it qualifies. This

58
ability may be taken multiple times. Note: spell-like abilities is gained unless otherwise
An epic death knight that selects this ability stated.
receives two non-epic fighter bonus feats.
Alternatively, the death knight may select Image credits :
one epic bonus fighter feat. Thank you to the artists for sharing your
Fast Healing (Ex) work on the Internet. We strongly suggest
the readers of this netbook to peruse the
Prerequisite: None.
artists’ galery. Please contact us at
Benefit: The death knight gains fast
qtr@fraternity of shadows.com if you wish
healing 3, as if he had the fast healing
your art to be removed.
[Epic] feat. This ability may be taken
Redrawing by Supergeo of Keith
multiple times and its effects stack.
Parkinson's famous painting in colored
Enhanced Spell-Like Abilities Suite pencils :
https://www.deviantart.com/supergeo1/a
(Sp) rt/Lord-Soths-Charge-Original-by-Keith-
The death knight gains some new spell- Parkinson-371376402
like abilities or may improve existing Picture by Raistt of Soth and Kitiara :
abilities. These spell-like abilities are used at https://www.deviantart.com/raistt/art/Kit
a caster level equal to the death knight’s iara-Lord-Soth-443123485
HD.
Prerequisite: 8 HD or stated in text.
Benefit: This ability may be taken
multiple times, each time a different suite of

59
Richemulot
Land of gossip and decadence
by Mistmaster

A land of crowded cities, where the barony. The central part of the nation is a
walls have ears, a lot of ears; trust is a rare marsh, dotted with overcrowded villages.
and precious coin, here. (This is my Dread The City of Rien, near the Borcan border, is
alternative of Richemulot) the cultural center of the state, with two
prestigious Universities: the Claude Renier
Tropes Gentlemen’s Institute for superior learning
Overcrowded cities and villages, the and the Isabel Museau Ladies’ College; The
constant sensation of being listened to, cathedral de la Dame Oubliée is the main
subtle oppression through blackmailing and temple of Richemouloise Ezran sect. Going
the supernatural wererats who lurk and West we find, near the fork of the Musarde,
mingle. The domain explores Agoraphobia the city of Della Mirandola, a bustling
and Musophobia but doesn't give any safety market town. Closing the circle, and linking
in the marshes and in the forests, where the capital with Della Mirandola, we find the
worse threats lurk. fortified town of Mäusenburg, created by
Falkovnian exiles. It sits just on the edge of
Domain Overview the Whiskers Forest.

The Musarde River, and its tributary, the


River of Sacrifice, create the marshy ground
The People
of Piper's Bog. Richemuloise see themselves as
The City of Pont-a-Museau, where a little anhappy, developed people, for whom
Cathedral of Ezra (Notre dame de la Peste advancement is not tied to birth but only to
designeé) is dwarfed by the twin Domes de personal achievement; every peasant could
les Rats Soureignes, bridges the Musarde be promoted to aristocracy, if he earns it,
near the border with Falkovnia. somehow. However, there is a price; Every
It is the main access for river-ships to Richemuloise knows that walls have ears,
the Krieglake in Falkovnia and it's a very too, and a lot of them. Thus, Richemuloise
important trading hub. Further South, near are always mindful of what they say unless
the edges of the Piper's Bog, sits the third they have taken all precautions.
city of the barony, Ste. Ronges; the mainly
human city is also its main industrial center.
Furthest South we found Mortigny, the
second largest city in population, and the
grain basket of the barony, where one can
find Granny's Lair, the main temple of
Grandmother Rat, the holiest site in the

60
Mice and Rats have a double role in
Culture level: Renaissance Richemouloise folklore; they are seen as
Ecology: Full spies and agents of revenge from the evil
Climate & Terrain: Temperate plain deities, but they are also the bringer of
and marshes, in the western and gifts, and the sign of plenty and good luck;
northern part, along the Musarde as the saying goes "there are no mice in
River; the River of Sacrifices, which empty pantries."
forms the Piper's bog, is born from Technically, there is no law against
the hills in the Eastern/Southern part wererats, which, on principle, are citizens as
of the domain and it enters the much the others; in some of the more
Musarde near Ste. Ronges, Forests insulated villages in Piper's bog, however,
(The Whiskers Forest, The Wormtail acknowledged wererats risk lynching.
Forest, and the Whiterat Woods) dot Not all the wererat packs are scheming
both the western and the eastern and treacherous murderers; Some of them
part. live peacefully alongside humans; like in
Languages: Dementlieuse, Balok, Verbrek, the lack of a silver weapon is a
Falkovnian. sign of trust.
Religions: Church of Ezra, The Hidden Richemouloise humans, even the working
Cup (LG), Church of Hala, The class, like large, extravagant, frilled vests,
Grandmother Rat (NG), Church of but usually the working clothes can be tied
Zakhata, The Rat King (LE), Cult of up, becoming more practical.
Mouserinks, The Rat Queen (CE), Cult
of Erlik, The Withered Rat (NE). Religion
Races: Human (Richemoulois) Other than Ezra, a relic of the
77%,Wererats 20%, Other 3%. Dementlieuse domination, the
Government: De jure elective, de Richemouloise worship four deities, three of
facto hereditary for the head of the which are aspects of other deities.
Renier Family, monarchy. The Grandmother Rat cult is a NG branch
Ruler: Baroness Jacqueline Renier of the cult of Hala; her favored weapon is
Darklord: Jaqueline Renier the dagger, and her symbol is a wheel of
Lightlord: Jacques Renier cheese with the head of a mouse in the
Analog: XVII-XVIII century France center. Her domains are Animal,
Capital City: Pont-a-Museau Community, Good, Healing, Knowledge, and
(Standard, NE, 190,000.) Nature. She teaches the importance of
Important towns: Ste. Ronges family and collaboration, and urges her
(Standard, LN, 70,000), Mortigny faithful to improve themselves and their
(Standard, NG, 97,000), Rien (Non- environment, mindful of everyone. She is
Standard, LE, 69,000), Della worshipped by smallfolk, humans, and
Mirandola (Standard, N, 49,700), Wererats alike.
Mäusenburg (Standard LE, 45,000) The Church of the Rat King worships a
Borders: North: Dementlieu and LE aspect of Zhakata, and his symbol
Falkovnia, East: Falkovnia, South: consists of five rat heads crowned in iron.
Borca and Verbrek. South-West: His favored weapon is the scourge, and his
Valachan, West: Mordentshire. domains are Animal, Community, Evil, Law,
Nobility, and Strength. He teaches his

61
followers the importance of teamwork and
hierarchy; they must strive to dominate History
their community with their numbers, In the beginning, Grandmother Rat
because the majority wins, thus, become birthed the world, and all the gods with it.
the majority, and stay such. That was the Creation Age; in that age
His followers are bureaucrats, wererats, Zakhata and Erlik fought to marry
and aristocrats. Grandmother Rat. Erlik won, but Zakhata
The Cult of the Withered Rat venerates a killed him, and married the daughter which
NE aspect of Erlik; its favored weapon is the was born from Erlik and Hala's union. Erlik
scythe, and its priests have access to the body withered but returned to life as the
Darkness, Death, Destruction, Earth, Evil, Withered Rat; his daughter, the Rat Queen,
and Madness Domains. The Withered Rat filled the world with Wererats.
teaches that life is suffering, and only death In the Age of Heroes, a great bard,
is the end of it; the deserving ones, though, called the Pied Piper, scourged the eastern
may earn themselves immortality in the part of Dementlieu of rats and wererats,
form of undeath. He is venerated by which settled in the marshes of Richemulot.
necromancers and aristocrats obsessed with Ezra decided to be born as a mortal, and
death; assassins pay him homage, too; left descendants in Richemulot.
wererats see him as the god of disease and During the Age of Darkness, Della
thank him for their resistance to it. Mirandola, a Lady coming from a southern
The Cult of the Rat Queen, Mouserinks, land, managed to assassinate the
is totally native to Richemulot; Mouserinks is commander of a Terg army, Zanifar Khan,
CE, she uses a crowned rat head in a winning the war for Dementlieu.
pentacle as her symbol, and her domains In the Modern Age, after the
are: Animal, Arcana, Chaos, Evil, and Dementliuse Revolution, which abolished
Trickery. She teaches that only the cunning the Monarchy in Dementlieu, the already
ones prevail, and that if you wish for autonomous Counties of Richemulot
something you must be shrewd and ruthless seceded, and elected Jean-Claude I Renier
to take it, no matter the cost; the only other as the first Baron of Richemulot, more or
things which count are your family and even less three hundred years ago.
for them, only so long as they do not hinder Claude I Renier, Jean-Claude's youngest
you; the women of the Renier family son, succeeded his father after his 40-year
venerate this goddess, alongside evil reign following a short, bloody feud with his
arcanists, and savage wererats. siblings.
The Richemouloise sect of the Ezran faith Jacques I Renier removed his father but
venerates her as the Hidden Cup, and uses was then removed by his brother
a cup as a Symbol. They believe that Ezra Jean-Claude II. Jean-Claude II’s long
incarnated, lived, and died as a mortal to reign is seen as one of the most prosperous
give the world her holy descendants. Her in Richemouloise history; he codified the
domains are Community, Good, Healing, current meritocratic criteria of access to
Law, Nobility, and Protection. The major nobility, and kept the nation free from
tenens of the Church are the centrality of strife, internal and external. He was one of
family ties, the duty which comes from the few Renier barons to die a natural
birthright, and the escatologic waiting for death. He was succeeded by his grandson
the return of the scions of Ezra. Claude II, who had a likewise long but far

62
less pacific reign; Claude reigned both the trigger Jacqueline’s curse, and she does not
country and his family with a strangle-hold; want to be alone.
he managed to discourage the nascent Adventure Hook: When news of the
Falkovnian Kaiserreich from invading; he legendary Pipe of Rats comes to her, Louise
also accepted refugees and exiles from sponsors the adventurers, in secret, to
Falkovnia, using them to create a fortified manage to get her hands on that powerful
city near the border. The current age began item.
with Claude II’s death, and Jacqueline I’s
accession; Jacqueline distinguished herself Simon Audaire (LN Human
by ruling with a soft hand, and building Mummy Fighter 9)
strong diplomatic ties with many other Simon, the scion of a minor noble family,
countries. was Jacqueline's father; killed on the order
of his father-in-law, he was recently
The Famed and the Infamous resurrected as a mummy by Gerard Renier,
in the name of his blasphemous deity, the
Jacques Renier (LG Young Adult
Withering Rat. Luckily for Simon, something
Human Natural Wererat Paladin of went amiss, and he retained his free-will; he
Grandmother Rat 9) has gained the help of Pierre Renier,
Gerard's far more moderate brother, a
The son and heir of Baroness Jaqueline is
member of the Rat Catchers, who keeps
also her complete opposite; trusting and
him well sheltered. He is trying to build a
forgiving where his mother is paranoid and
network of opposition against his daughter.
vengeful, Jacques follows the teachings of
Adventure Hooks: Arriving in Ste.
Grandmother Rat with honesty and
Ronges, the adventurers are contacted by
enthusiasm. His own burden is his
an agent of the Rat Catchers; meeting with
unconditional love for his family, which
Simon, they must decide whether they can
often blinds him to their wickedness.
trust an undead.
However, Jacques is neither slow-witted nor
naive, and his firm resolve has kept him on Fabian Perigneux (LG Middle-aged
a narrow and difficult path.
Adventure Hook: When a plague hits
Cavalier Order of the Star 10)
some villages in the Piper's Bog, Jacques The Count of Rien is a big sponsor of the
pays the adventurers to investigate and find local Ezran branch, the Cupbearers, who
a solution. believe that Ezra incarnated and left a
descendance in the world. He believes
Louise Renier (NE Adult Human himself to be one of these scions, and that
Natural Wererat Sorcerer (Arcane his newborn son Marcel is the Chosen of
Ezra, and he dreams of forming a righteous
Bloodline) 8) theocracy, with his son as the leader.
Baroness Jacqueline’s twin sister, and Adventure Hook: Marcel gets
her only close relative, she is bound to her kidnapped, the Adventurers are among
sister by mutual spite and distrust; Louise those tasked with recovering him.
hopes to undermine and replace her sister,
while Jacqueline keeps her close because,
as much as she detests her, she doesn't

63
Carelia Douzains (LG Adult Human Adventure Hook: Pierre pays the
adventurers for escorting a transport of
Cleric of Ezra 10) cheese, hiding secret weapons against
The head of the Richemouloise sect of wererats.
the the Ezran faith, Carelia is credited with
descendance from Ezra; this is validated by Gerard Renier (CE Human Cleric of
her enhanced protection and healing the Withered Rat 8)
abilities.
His hate for his wererat kin turned
Adventure Hook: When the holy
Gerard in a merciless mad priest; the head
Chalice of Ezra is stolen, the Adventurers
of the cult of the Withered Rat delights in
are involved, whether they like it or not.
surrounding himself with undead rats and
Martine-Gabrielle de la Queurose wererats, under his control.
Adventure Hook: To advance his
(NG Old Human Natural Wererat agenda, Gerard sets a swarm of undead
Cleric of Grandmother Rat 10) rats against the village the adventurers are
This wrinkled old woman, able to turn residing in.
into a big white mouse, is wise and witty; Jules Audrix (LN Young Adult
she is the head of the cult of Grandmother
Rat, and she resides in Granny's Lair in Human Fighter 8)
Mortigny. She is the matriarch of a large Loyal but, somewhat naive, Jules is a
warren of good aligned wererats, Granny's cadet member of a noble family, and he
Paws, and she is the great-grandmother wishes to build fame and glory for himself.
and advisor to Countess Emilie Traidou. As the watch commander of Pont-a-Museau,
She spends most of her days taking care he feels himself shackled, and wishes to
of the sick and the poor; she is most shake things up.
beloved by the local populace. Adventure Hook: Jules enlists the
Adventure Hook: One of the adventurers to root out a band of
adventurers’ loved ones falls prey to a smugglers; he does not know that those
terrible disease and they seek Martine- smugglers take orders directly from House
Gabrielle's help to treat that person; Renier.
however, the ancient wererat has
disappeared; thus begins a race against Narcis de Veyrines (CG Human
time to find her. Hunter 12)
An high ranking member of the Rat
Pierre Renier (N Human Hunter 8)
Snatchers, Narcis is more a solo operative
A human member of the Renier family,
than a decision maker; after her parents
Pierre was mistreated and discriminated
were killed by a savage warren, she
against by his wererat kin; he joined the Rat
dedicated herself to root out the evil were-
Catchers society for revenge, but Simon
rats. She does not trust any wererat,
Audaire, the Mummy he freed from his
though, and that puts her in opposition to
brother's blasphemous control, has
the Grandmother Rat Priesthood.
managed to change his focus from revenge
Adventure Hook: The adventurers are
to protection.
paid quite well to help in capturing the most
notorious outlaw of the Barony, Narcis de

64
Verynes; are they informed rightly about Quinault Sumene (LN Middle-aged
the woman they are hunting down?
Alchemist 7)
Tecin "the Pebble" Quickfoot (CN Quinault is the most famous Botanist
Halfling Wererat Rogue 6) ever to teach in the Claude Renier Superior
Learning School in Rien. He is famous for
A rare example of non-human Wererat,
discovering many properties of the Piper's
Pebble is neither malicious nor aggressive;
Bog Moss;
he is, instead, quite eager to help for an
Adventure Hook: When his hired
honest fee. Obviously, his honesty does not
escort deserts, unwilling to help him to
stop him from managing to satisfy his
reach the deepest, most dangerous part of
customers in finding any kind of item, more
the Piper's Bog, Quinault offers a generous
cheaply than in a shop.
sum to the adventurers.
Adventure Hook: After their quite
pleasant first meeting with the jolly halfling Valeray "The Meek" Colverne
with the long mustaches, the adventurers
find one of their items missing. (CG Youth Human Rogue 3)
A boy of sixteen, wise beyond his years,
Emilie Traidou (NG Human Adult and seen as the leader of all the urchins of
Wererat Oracle 7 of Grandmother Ste. Ronges, Valeray is cunning and patient.
He never lets rage get the better of him,
Rat) preferring to bide his time before acting; his
The plump countess of Ste. Ronges, cunning has allowed him to get ahead of
Dame Emilie is lame, but she still arrives bigger and older people.)
wherever she wants to go. With a good Adventure Hook: When the son of an
heart and a keen mind, she rules with a adventurer's friend get lost in Ste. Ronges,
light hand, and with generosity, financing they must seek Valeray's help to find him.
several charity funds, and she is cherished
for that. Bahlinda Malvoisine (CE rank VI
Adventure Hook: after discovering that Annis Hag Oracle of the Rat
one of her charity funds was robbed, Dame
Emilie tasks the adventurers with an Queen 4/Barbarian 4)
investigation. This evil Hag was once a human follower
of Grandmother Rat, and she lived in
Bethilie Bresson (N Adult Human Mortigny. The death of her only daughter
Magus 7) made her mad with grief, and she started to
kidnap, maul, and eat children as part of a
The most famous swordsmith in the
monstrous sacrifice to the Rat Queen; she
Barony, Mademoiselle Bethilie is also an
turned in an Annis Hag, and started to hide
expert fencer, and, secretly, a practitioner
herself in the Piper's Bog, Recently, she
of arcane arts. She sponsors a school of
decided to occupy the Sanctuary of the
fencing which secretly also teaches the way
Forgotten Lady, under the guise of a blind
of the Magus to the worthy.
priestess of Grandmother Rat; her short-
Adventure Hook: A noble from
sightedness does not makes her less
Mordentshire wishes to purchase a blade
formidable.
from Bethilie; the adventurers are offered a
reward to escort the delivery of the item.

65
Adventure Hook: When children from used to belong to his father; it disappeared
Mortigny start to disappear near full moon in Piper's Bog when he was still a little boy.
nights, the adventurers must investigate, Adventure Hook: someone wearing a
and Bahlinda offers to help.... Vistana's clothes has been sighted in the
Ste. Ronge countryside, near where the
Evrard Lavigny (LN Adult Human Piper's Bog starts; Mabile enlists the
Fighter 5) adventurers to find out the truth about it.
The Count of Mortigny is a very rich Delia Mirandola (LG Adult Human
man, and the head of the second most
powerful family in Richemulot. A cautious Ninja 9)
man, he has seen what tends to happen to Dame Delia, the Countess of Della
families that defy house Renier, so he keeps Mirandola, is the direct descendant of the
a low profile, and focusses on increasing his eponymous heroine who stopped the Terg
assets. He is also a sponsor of the Maison Invasion. The House of Mirandola, since
des 100 Papillion, the main astrological (and then, has trained its scions with the secrets
arcane) learning center in Richemulot. Dame Della learned in Rokushima Taiyoo.
Adventure Hook: When the Estimé Delia is married to, and has four sons
Capitale, Mortigny's city hall, is ruined in a and two daughters with, Jean-Paul Renier, a
fire, Seigneur Evrard must discover the distant cousin of the Baroness.
perpetrator and the motive; so he enlists Adventure Hook: Marco Mirandola,
the adventurers to investigate with Delia's eldest son, is a natural wererat; he
discretion. keeps this a secret, but, when he starts his
training as a ninja, he must infiltrate a
Isodard Yvoire (LN Adult Human, warren which controls the black market in
Wizard (Diviner) 5) the county. When the constable of Della
The head of the Maison des 100 Mirandola hires hunters to kills the
Papillon, Monsieur Yvoire is a practical wererats, Delia enlists the adventurer to
academic who knows that finding funds is help her son, without exposing him.
fundamental for the institution he chairs. He Fritz Grunnenberg (LE Old Human
has started to sell the privilege to name
stars to the highest bidders. Wererat Rogue 7)
Adventure Hook: Someone is selling The Count of Mäusenburg is not a
false star-naming papers, signing it with pleasant person; he opposed Drakov’s
Isodard's personal seal; the diviner can't militarism, preferring a more bureaucratic
find exactly who that person is, but he approach, and he was forced to leave with
knows that person is still in Mortigny, and his warren after his takeover of Silbervas
he pays the adventurers to stop the fraud. was discovered. He managed to secure an
alliance with Claude Renier, and he has
Mabile "The Crimson" Uznatovich served the Renier Family faithfully since
(CN Half-Vistani Bard 9) then. He rules with a heavy, yet fair, hand.
This bard is the celebrity of the moment, He is paranoiac, and tasks his security
filling the theaters in Richemulot to the forces with rooting out any possible
brim, at every exhibition. In his spare time Falkovnian spies. He is also a firm believer
he researches about the Vistani vardo that in the Rat King and promotes that religion.

66
Adventure Hook: When a Falkovnian Dread Possibility: A bunch of
spy is found in possession of sensative data, extremists inside the Ratcatchers wants to
Fritz needs to find the spy’s accomplice destroy every wererat in Richemulot; to do
before he escapes, without setting the city so, they are working on a poison they want
in a frenzy. He tasks the adventurers to to mix in the water supply. It won't kill only
investigate discreetly. wererats, though, but also the weaker
humans, the non-were kin of any wererats,
Arguis Groissiat (LG Adult Brute and a lot of the wild lifeforms in Richemulot;
Caliban Alchemist 6/Fighter 4) cooler heads have prevailed, but the
The leader of the Lock and Key believes Solution, as the poison is called, exists,
in equal opportunities, especially for those, and is protected in a vault in Mortigny.
like him, who suffer the scorn of the world Les Éleveurs de Saleté
because of their looks. Unlike others in
A CE wererat sect devoted to the
authority, he gives anyone an opportunity.
spreading of diseases and pollution, the
Adventure Hook: When someone starts a
Filth-breeders want to wipe out non-
riot in Mortigny, the adventurers are
wererats from Richemulot. They are on the
involved, and must try to convince the Lock
payroll of Jacqueline Renier.
and Kay, and Arguis especially, that they
Dread Possibility: The Filth-breeders,
are innocent.
on Jacqueline’s order, are working on a
Organizations disease which will transmit wererat
lycanthropy through the bite of common
rats. This is called the Becoming Plague,
La Serrure et la Clé (The Lock and
which would give Jacqueline absolute power
Key) over the domain, and on the wider world on
This Lawful Good association is made up which she would release it, as well.
completely of masked Caliban, and they
form the most disciplined and stalwart force The Darklord : Jacqueline
of order in the Barony.
Dread Possibility: Corruption of the Renier
worst kind has made his way in the ranks of CE Middle-Aged Medium Humanoid
the Lock and Key, by means of a demonic (Shapechanger) Rogue (Charlatan)
cult, the cult of Baphomet. The members of
this secret group, call themselves The
Hit Dice: 11 (77/99 HP)
Opened Lock, and believe Baphomet will
Speed: 30, Climb 20.
heal their deformities, if they pay his price.
Initiative: +8/+11 (+4 in Chateau
Les Chasseurs de Rats Delanuit)
This Neutral organization was formed Senses: Lowlight vision, scent, Perception
primarily to fight off the savage warrens of +12
Wererats living in the marshes and sewers. Armor Class: 19/21 (+4/+5 Dex, +8
The Ratcatchers, nowadays, fight every Armor, -/+2 Natural Armor) (+4
menace in Richemulot, rat-shaped or not, Deflection in the Chateau Delanuit)
but they are a loose bunch, which only Space/Reach: 1 square /1 square
shares a few goals.

67
Combat Maneuver Defense/Combat Ranged: +3 Double Barrel Pistol +12/7
Maneuver Bonus: 28(32 vs (1d8+1, crit x 4, range 20’, touch)(+2
Trip)/+17(+21 Trip)//32 (36 vs Hit rolls in Hybrid form, +4 on HR and
Trip)/+19 (+23 Trip) (+4 in Chateau DR in the Chateau Delanuit). In Hybrid
Delanuit) form she also has a natural attack, Bite
Str: 11/13; Dex: 16 (18)/18(20); Con: + 17 (1d6+3+Disease Fort Negates
15/17; Int: 15; Wis: 10/13; Cha: 17 (19) DC 22).
Saving Throws: Fort: +5/+6, Ref: Skills: Acrobatics +13, Appraise +11,
+11/+12, Will: +3/+4 (+2 in Bluff +16 , Climb +17 , Diplomacy
Chateau Delanuit) +15, Disable Device +13, Disguise
Special Qualities: Shapeshifter Traits, DR +11, Escape Artist +13, Intimidate
10/Silver, Evasion, Alternate Form (Dire +18, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +11,
Rat or Hybrid), Summon Swarms (Rat), Knowledge (local) +13 , Knowledge
Scent, Lowlight Vison, Natural born liar, (nobility) +9 , Perception +12 , Sense
Evasion, Uncanny dodge,Change shape Motive +9 , Sleight of Hand +15,
(human, hybrid, dire rat; polymorph), Stealth +20. (+4 in the Chateau
Lycanthropic empathy (rats and dire Delanuit)
rats), Bloodlust, Disease (non-human Feats: Ancestral Legacy (Renier), Exotic
form; filth fever DC 18), Curse of Weapons Prof (firearms), Improved
lycanthropy (non-human form; DC Initiative, Persuasive, Mobility, Spring
20/24 in Chateau Delanuit), Spider Attack, Weapon Finesse.
climb, Gnaw (ignore hardness), Challenge Rating: 14
Gaseous form, Chemical Bane (Dove's Property: (62,000 gp/82,000 gp) Rat's
feathers), Rogue Talents [Convincing Tooth (Human bane rapier +1), double
Lie, Charmer, Coax information, Canny barreled pistol +1, bracers of armour
observer, Terse threats, Good name, +3, brooch of shielding, cloak of
Flee, Unwitting ally, Rumourmonger, resistance +2/cloak of elvenkind, ring
Natural born liar, Skill Mastery (Bluff, of mind shielding, ring of protection
Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perception, +2, elixir of love, headband of
Sense Motive, Climb) ]; Curse of the charisma +2, belt of dexterity +2,
Darklord, Regeneration 10 (in Chateau sheath of bladestealth, amulet of mighty
Delanuit), Mastery 4, Sinkhole of Evil. fists +1
Special Attacks: Sneak Attack (+4d6),
Disease (Lycanthropy, only with Bite Background
Attack) (DC 20 Fort Negates). Jacqueline was born, along with her twin
Attack: Melee:+1 Rapier Human bane sister, the daughter of Marie Renier (third
rapier +12 (1d6+1; crit 18+, Daughter of Baron Claude Renier) and Ser
+2/+2d6+2 vs humans and human Simon Audaire (with the Audaires being of
lesser nobility, they took their mother's
wererats; invisible until drawn) (+2 To
more influential surname). While intelligent
Hit Rolls in Hybrid and Rat Form,
and perceptive enough to swiftly learn the
+1DR, +4 in the Chateau Delanuit),
rulers that governed her treacherous family,

68
she was a bright, innocent and romantic
Current Sketches
child, if only a bit ambitious, never
accepting defeat graciously. Her Jacqueline wants one thing, and only
Grandfather, the Baron, took a liking in her, one, to abolish the rules and have her way,
and she soon became the only member of without having to dance around it; she
the family whom Claude trusted; when her wants to do away with subtilty and honeyed
mother initiated her into the mysteries of words, but to do that she must take control
the Rat Queen, she refused to partake, in of them all. In doing so, she has managed
horror. But then, after her beloved father only to add more rules; her ambition, and
left the family, she felt betrayed; her her desire to prevail makes her continue to
mother thus coaxed her to betray her play the game, waiting, biding her time,
father’s location and then sacrificed him to striking in the right moment. She is still
her dark goddess. Enraged and embittered forced to obey them, no matter how much
by her sense of guilt, Jacqueline turned on she has learned to bend them, as without
her mother, and manipulated her sister into the rules she can't win, and she wants to
killing her; this transformed the previously win. She also wants to be loved, but
childish rivalry between the twins into a sometimes, you need to concede to win in
mortal enmity. love; that is a lesson she still has not
However, a part of her sought learned.
redemption and freedom, and she thought
to have found it in the form of the man she
Combat
married, Henry du Bois, the father of her Jacqueline detests losing, so she attacks
children. But she was naive in thinking that only when she is sure to win, and she
she could simply step out the arena and employs any available resource to win:
leave it; her sister tried to seduce her minions, poison, hostages, playing on every
husband, failing, but managing to known weakness her foes possess; if on the
apparently kill the man. Claude Renier, in verge of losing, she takes gaseous form and
this circumstance, declined to help his flees. She knows the value of patience and
favorite grandchild, thinking that it was time can wait years before she attacks. She likes
she resolved her issues with her sister in the to humiliate her enemies and prefers to
long honored way of the Renier family. But torture them rather than killing them.
Jacqueline was tired of the rules and games
of her Grandfather; she decided to turn to
Special Abilities
her mother’s cult, the same Louise followed, Curse of the Dark Lord: Jacqueline
and which she soon controlled, once again automatically changes into her rat form
gaining the upper hand on her sister, every time she is close to a person she
without killing her. But to ensure that Louise loves; She feels at a disadvantage for that,
could never make herself pass for and prefers to keep her foes closer.
Jacqueline again, she cutt off her ear;
finally, she decided that she wanted to
Lair
change the rules, and so, she brutally killed Chateau Delanuit is the large palace in
her ever cautious Grandfather, exploiting his the center of Pont-a-Museau, the heart of
only weakness, Jacqueline herself; thus she the city, and the ancestral home of House
inherited both the Barony of Richemulot and Renier. Decorated with the pack of white
the mantle of Darklord. and black rats which is the blazon of the

69
house, the palace has been the theater of rats are so many that they can form a wall
hundreds of horrible acts of kinslaying, and attack even flying enemies. People can
bloody coups, and murders and is, for that pass by killing off the rats and shielding
reason, a Rank Four Sinkhole of Evil, which themselves from their attacks; it takes 100
can bestow the Rage, Despair, Fear, and minutes to traverse the area covered by the
Greed conditions. rats; those immune to swarm damage can
Its walls are home to thousands of rats, also pass unscathed. Jacqueline can keep
and its dungeons connect to the vast the borders closed for up to one year at a
sewage system of the city. time.

Closing the Border


When Jacqueline wishes to close the
borders, millions of rats surround them; the

70
A Hundred Shades
of Dark
100 new darklords and domains ideas
By Jack the Reaper

Darklords are the central pillars of Surrounded only by ghosts and skeletons,
Ravenloft. We know of several dozens of he is fully aware that the other races thrive
them, but many, many more lurk out there while he belongs to history - but still dreams
in the mists, each with his own domain, that his time will come...
powers, and curse. The following are 100 3. Archimenes, The Nihilist, was a
seeds for all-new darklords, who may be philosopher who preached so convincingly
found at pocket domains, islands of terror, his philosophy of nihilism and
clusters, new cores, or expansions of the meaninglessness, that the people in his
original core. The details are left for any DM kingdom were all persuaded to end their
as he or she sees fit. Adding these darklords lives, and he was left alone, unable to die
and domains to the campaign can make himself. He has the power to convince
Ravenloft a larger, much more varied anyone of his pessimistic philosophical
setting. views (nihilism, immoralism, determinism,
1. Gorthaur, The Gargoyle Lord materialism, etc.) with logical and scholastic
is the darklord of a great gothic city full arguments; those visitors he doesn't
of gargoyles and statues of all types, many persuade to kill themselves, he sends to
of which come to life at night. Evil and cruel other domains to spread his destructive
as those gargoyles are, their presence is the ideas.
only thing keeping away the evil spirits 4. Jezebel, The Harpy Queen. She
threatening to annihilate the city. wanted so much children of her own, that
2. Gulgolatha, The Skull Lord, was a when she found out she couldn’t conceive,
supremacist elven king (eladrin) who led a she stole others' babies and children, taking
genocidal campaign against all other races, them to her castle and never letting them
seeing them as inferior and impure. His out. Cursed to become a harpy, she and her
plans backfired, resulting at the destruction harpy clan now terrorize the people of her
of his kind. Now he is a skeleton warrior domain, many of whom bind their children
with long white hair and ornate armor, to heavy, weighted chains or lock them in
sitting on his throne among the ruins of his cages in an attempt to keep them from
once magnificent city, his sword, which being taken away.
turns flesh into dust, clutched in his hands.

71
5. The Man in the Yellow Hat. dead, or inanimate bodies, or instead
Mastermind of crime, the white-skinned, torture, sell, consume, or anything else.
ever-grinning Man in the Yellow Hat is a Some whisper that the ravens bring her the
truly bizarre, creepy character, able to souls of the deceased. Though everyone
grotesquely twist and change his body, fears Lilith, many yet come to her, asking to
control his surroundings, pull strange have their beloved ones' souls instilled into
objects and creatures out of thin air, and new bodies, or with other requests, which
perform other cartoonish feats, ignoring she might grant - for a price.
physics and logic. He has a sick sense of 7. Anita, the Lady Wasp. This insect-
humor and absolutely no morals, and themed domain is swarming with all kinds
always plans insane crimes to shock and of insects, normal, giant, and monstrous.
terrorize the city. Nobody knows his identity The darklord Anita is a werewasp, and
and background, and nobody suspects that sadistic priestess of Calistria, who tries to
the real lord is not the man but the yellow keep the balance of power between her, the
hat possessing him - a hat containing the assassin weremantises, and the
soul of a mad artist, a failure in life but all- conspiratorial werespiders (see
powerful in his death (Inspiration: imagine a "entothorpes" in Pathfinder Bestiary 6).
combination of Judge Doom from Roger 8. Graf, The Unseen Troll. The forests,
Rabbit, Jim Carrey's The Mask, and mountains, and under-bridges of this Nordic
Batman's Joker). domain are inhabited by ravenous trolls.
6. Lilith, the Mistress of Souls. It is However, the human denizens don't believe
uncommon to see a whole domain holding a in trolls, considering them nothing more
10-year-old old girl in than a children's
such awe and fear, legend. When cattle
but it is or people are missing
understandable when or found devoured, it
this girl is the current will always be
reincarnation of Lilith attributed to bears,
Lathenus, the bandits, or natural
matriarch of the noble causes. Even if
Lathenus family, who someone actually sees
has been a troll or is attacked
reincarnating through by one, he will forget
her granddaughters it a moment later,
for hundreds of years. believing the
Ever calm, controlled experience to be
and unemotional, something else. When
Lilith has the power to troll dies it becomes a
manipulate souls; she stone, so no evidence
has a collection of is left to his existence.
thousands of souls It is all part of the
stored in bottles, curse of the dread
dolls, and other troll lord, who wants
vessels, which she humans to fear and
may instill into living, respect trolls, but

72
(though many more might exist), each with
a unique character and behavior; some are
just weird or embarrassing and others are
extremely malevolent and dangerous. When
a possession is recognized, the people
around will usually try to contain the
possessed or simply avoid him until the
event is over. The darklord is a greater
possessor who knows to disguise himself
well, and may inhabit anyone at any time,
forwarding his malicious plots gently or
brutishly at his will. His (or her, or its)
nature, background and goals are mystery.
(Inspiration: the book Pandemonium by
Daryl Gregory)
can't make them even acknowledge their
11. Tor-O-Gon, The Caveman. On a
existence. (Inspiration: the movie Troll
world of advanced technology, Doctor Egon
Hunter)
was a scientist who abandoned all morality
9. Kazan Khan, the Great Conqueror,
in name of scientific progress. The Dark
was once the great Khan of the vicious
Powers made him a chief of a cavemen
Neureni Horde on the prime material world
tribe (who mispronounce his name as Tor-
of Barovia. He was a ruthless conqueror
O-Gon). Now he is forced to lead his tribe in
who razed cities and slaughtered whole
a dark, Paleolithic domain, teeming with
populations, piling up huge pyramids of
prehistoric beasts and primal spirits, forever
severed heads and offering their souls to
devoid of progress.
the demon lord Irlek-Khan. He believed his
12. The Empty Woman. Somewhere in
people were destined to rule the world, but
the mists stands The Empty City, a large,
his great empire came to an end by when
abandoned, decaying city, inhabited only by
he was assassinated by the Baal Verzi. Now
the souls of the lost and the damned.
he exists as a giant ghostly head, hovering
Visitors tend to get lost in the city,
inside an oriental palace full of maddening
wandering for days without finding the way
illusions of exotic grandeur and horrors,
out. Somewhere in the city is the dreadful
issuing commands in a thundering voice.
Empty Woman. The black holes of her eyes
The tribes of the Neureni live in the vast
and mouth, and the cold emanating from
plains of the domain, still proud and
her, reveal that she has done things that
ruthless, but now just a shadow of their
would make other darklords go pale -
former glory, to the great dismay of the
culminating in deicide. She is looking for
Khan.
several hundred items scattered and hidden
10. The Grand Possessor. People of
about the city, the gathering of which will
this domain are often possessed by
enable her to complete her unfathomable
mysterious entities. Each possession lasts
goal. She might send visitors to search for
from several minutes to a couple of hours,
them for her, offering them freedom if they
during which the possessed behaves like a
agree, and devouring their souls if they
completely different personality. There are
don't. The search for the items requires
about 20 documented recurring possessors
terrible tests and prices though, almost

73
domain. She dwells in a hideous temple in
the heart of the swamp, surrounded by
smaller nagas, snakes, and serpentine
monsters she despises. More than all she
hates all other women, whom she has
grown to see as competitors, and for whom
she saves the worst tortures.
15. Zarizinia, The Gremlin Princess
was an elven princess who always loved
making harmful pranks and embarrassing-
to-deadly mischiefs on anyone around her.
When her mischievous behavior became too
evil, the Dark Powers gave her the hideous
face (which she often hides behind a veil)
and scaly skin of a gremlin. Now she rules
the humans, elves, and gnomes in her
domain from her heavily booby-trapped
palace, served by her hosts of gremlins and
gremishkas, and no one is safe from her
mischiefs.
16. Kasar, the Centaur was once a
surely damning the seekers (see The human warlord, the champion of the Bright
Holders series on the net for inspiration for City, who led his troops against the savage
such tests, and The Lost Room TV series) human and demihuman tribes of the
13. Emil, The Scarecrow. This small wilderness. He slaughtered them
town is populated by grotesque, crudely- mercilessly, seeing them as nothing more
made animated scarecrows, mannequins,
patchwork folk (see Book of Shadows),
and other animated objects. The scarecrow
darklord rebelled against his human
creators and killed them, leading his
"people" into this land of their own, where
they "live" in a mockery of human lives. He
can animate and command any artificial
object, and hates true humans more than
anything else.
14. Vashti, the Naga. Beginning her life
as a human slave, Vashti worked her way
up into a concubine, and then the king's
mistress, using seduction, manipulation, and
lies. She poisoned the queen and strangled
her children to ensure her own position as
the new queen and mother of the heir. The
Dark Powers transformed her into a giant
naga, making her the lord of a small jungle

74
than animals. An ambush drove him into a 19. The Great Fog. This once thriving
quagmire, where he sank with his horse; he metropolis is locked now in a perpetual
emerged as a giant, black-horned centaur. heavy fog, obscuring sight and making
Kasar is now cursed to roam the ever- breathing difficult. There is no escaping
darkened wilderness of his domain, from this foul, dark miasma. The population
surrounded by monsters and wild creatures has greatly dwindled, and the remaining
that he loathes. In a role reversal, he tries denizens are struggling to survive in this
in vain to lead them against the Bright City, hellish atmosphere, find supplies, and fight
in the center of domain, the only place against madmen, bandits, wild dogs, and
where the sun still shines, but he is unable obscure monsters. The fog itself is the
to enter it. darklord, feeding on the fear and despair of
17. Hagatha, the Spectral Hag. The its prisoners, though who or what is it and
people of this small domain burn every how it came to be is unknown. (Inspiration:
woman at the stake on the short story The Fog,
her 40th birthday. Most by Morley Roberts, in
women go willingly, Strange Tales from
though tearfully, to the the Strand, and the
stake, knowing that movie The Mist)
every day past this age 20. Uzhos, The
the chances grow for Ogre. He was a brutal
them to transform into bandit, taking by force
monstrous hags and anything he wanted:
devour their beloved money, objects, women.
ones. The source of this Now he is an
curse is the spectral hag unstoppable, horrid-
lord of the domain, who looking giant ogre, who
was burned at the stake can easily take
herself, and only by everything… but all those
destroying her can the things are simply too
curse be lifted. small to be of any use
18. Louis, The Rat for him. He terrorizes the
King. The rightful heir to villagers in his domain,
the throne, he was thrown away to the bending his frustration on them in cruel
sewers as a child due to his deformities, methods.
while his good-looking brother inherited the 21. Daniel De Silva, The Lord of Sin.
kingdom. Growing in the company of rats, The horns on the head of this vile tiefling
the Rat King - now a truly twisted, three- force people to tell him their darkest secrets
headed giant rat-thing - returned with a and desires, which, at his bidding, they act
revenge and an army of disease-infected upon. Whenever someone in this domain
rats. Now he rules his plague ridden, debris gives in to his or her desires, he or she
filled kingdom from his crumbling castle, becomes more fiendish-looking, sprouting
never seen in public. His domain reflects horns, tails, scales, forked tongues, etc.
Europe during the Black Death, when fear Many denizens revel in their fiendish looks,
and superstition ruled, and vile magic and while others struggle to resist temptation
twisted creatures abounded. and keep their purity. The darklord believes

75
all humans are perverted inside like himself, 23. The Fly. The smallest darklord in
and coming upon pure souls, he will do Ravenloft, this priest of Baalzebub has
everything to corrupt them and prove his committed such horrible atrocities that he
point. (Inspiration: the book and movie was cursed to become a fly. He is still very
Horns) dangerous, though, and may inflict illness
22. Gustave Tooms, The One-Eyed and whisper madness, possess people
King. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed temporarily by crawling into their brain
man is king. This darklord, who lost his eye through the orifices, and control swarms of
as a child, infected all of his kingdom with flies. His most horrifying power is a curse
mystical plague, making everyone but him that transforms people into man-fly
permanently blind. He now rules the abominations. His domain is a city
community of survivors, using and abusing surrounded by marshes, heavily infested by
them at will, since they know they utterly flies, mosquitos, and other insects.
depend on him to find food, medicines, and 24. Lazaralin, The Wish Giver. When
supplies. His eye is playing tricks on him, anyone makes a wish in this enchanting,
though, showing him things that aren't Arabian-Nights- style city of delights, the
there, and his greatest fear is to lose his beautiful female genie darklord makes it
sight or connection with reality. come true - in a dark and twisted way, of
(Inspiration: the books The Day of the course. The city is in a state of constant
Triffids, by John Wyndham, and chaos due to all the wishes and counter-
Blindness, by José Saramago) wishes made by all its dwellers and visitors
all the time. No matter how harmful the
results, people never give up and always try
to remedy the situation by more wishes
(everyone can use up to 3 wishes a day).
The only wish the genie can't grant is her
own - to be free from her enslavement to
those pesky humans.
25. The Faceless. This mysterious
woman has white gown, long black hair,
and no face, only two wild eyes. She's got
powerful psionic talents and is completely
insane. Visitors in the abandoned, rusty
town of her domain will be subjected to
vivid hallucinations drawn from the darkest
recesses of her and their subconscious and
deepest fears. The closer they come to the
Faceless, the more powerful and horrifying
their hallucinations become, manifesting as
phantasmal killers. But there are hidden
messages in those mad hallucinations as
well, and figuring them out might supply
the key to escape. (Inspiration: Silent Hill
and the movie Re-Cycle)

76
26. The Wendigo. An shaman has sudden death, attributed to illness. The
channeled into his own body the evil spirit horrible truth, however, is that this pleasant
of the deer-skulled Wendigo in order to reality is a façade, a constant mass
drive away the invaders threatening his hallucination broadcast into the denizens'
people. He has succeeded, but now his evil minds by an artifact from the alhoon
is tainting his vast Native-American-styled darklord's tower, superimposed over the
domain, and the lands of the tribes are actual reality. In reality, the city is
plagued by evil spirits, demons, and the crumbling ruins, the air is filthy, and
undead. (Inspiration: Totems of the Dead everything is dirty and decaying. Some
and Deadlands RPGs) individuals might get glimpses of the truth,
27. Heidrich von and even notice the
Aizenshtat, Governor of illithids monitoring the
the Living and the people, but they'll be
Dead. In this large city, treated as insane if they
the upper class and speak of it. (Inspiration:
nobility are vampires, the the movie Virtual
hard-working lower class Nightmare. Note that
are slow-minded (though unlike the Matrix, the
sentient) zombies, and the people here live bodily in
middle class are mortal the physical reality, only
humans and demihumans their perceptions of it are
of several races. The twisted).
mortals and the undead 29. Sasha Orlov, The
live in coexistence, and Transmogrifist, wanted
most of the mortals dream to be free of all categories,
of the rarely given and gradually changed his
promotion to vampire body surgically and
status (so there is no lack magically into a truly
of volunteer blood donors) grotesque and alien shape.
and dread the punishment Now he/she/it wants to
of demotion to a zombie. share with others his
There is a constant tension "freedom". He flies in his
however, between the floating domain, the
different factions, derived Cathedral of Flesh (which
from envy, fear, hatred, looks like an abominable
suspicion, and prejudices, which often organic spacecraft, made from the twisted
erupts in violent ways. The lord governor, a flesh and sinews of thousands of creatures),
cynical business-like necromancer, and his abducting people and using his power of
council of necromancers have hard time fleshwarping to help them "ascend beyond
keeping the peace and balance in the humanity", causing lots of misery and
domain. madness.
28. The Alhoon. Everything looks 30. Sharana, the szarkai. This female
peaceful in this lovely, sunny town. People szarkai (albino drow), the ruler of a
live their lives happily, facing no unusual powerful drow city, is cursed by a trait most
problems other than occasional case of uncommon among her kind: a conscience.

77
She tries everything to rid herself of it, monstrous vampiric slaves (see Buffy's
indulging in great depravities in her Turok-Han), but is endlessly frustrated by
attempts to silence its voice, but it only having to do everything all over again.
makes her feel more merciless pangs of 33. Griffith, The Invisible Man,
guilt and shame. wanted to be famous and popular, but now
31. The Amalgam. For many years, a no one can ever see him, and his frustration
crazy mage collected the evilest, most drives him to extreme violence. He rules a
powerful ghosts and spirits from all over the small clan of invisible men and women,
world, trapping them in his Well of Souls, formed when someone goes ignored and
where they fought, devoured, consumed, unnoticed for too long.
mixed, and merged with each other. When 34. Alex, The Nerd. This large city is
the final result finally burst out of the Well - frequently terrorized by horrifying monsters
an amalgam of dozens of murderous, and bizarre villains. Nobody suspects that
insane ghosts - it was such a powerful and the real darklord is an outcast, reclusive lad,
horrid being, that the Dark Powers with vivid imagination and the ability to
immediately made it the lord of the make his imaginary creations come to life
surrounding city. Having since killed all the temporarily (as in the Shadow Conjuration
living citizens (making many of them lesser spell, but more powerful), which he uses to
ghosts and undead), the Amalgam still avenge himself on the society he doesn't fit
haunts the empty city, waiting for more into.
souls to torture, kill and add to itself. It has 35. Luciano, Lord of the
just about all the salient powers from Van Masquerade. In this large, colorful
Richten's guide to Ghosts, and more. Venetian-styled city, everyone wears masks
32. Melchizedek, the Eternal King. of all types at all times; being seen
This unbelievably publically without a
ancient, withered- mask is outlawed
looking vampire ruled and considered
his kingdom for utterly immodest.
10,000 years, leading There are several
it from the bronze noble houses in the
age to the space city, guilds, cults and
age, from a savage other groups, each
tribe to a galactic with their own style
empire. The Dark of masks; intricate
Powers returned him conspiracies,
to his starting point; schemes and plots
now he again rules a abound everywhere,
bronze-aged, biblical- and one can never
styled domain, be sure who (or
populated by tribes what) is behind the
of idolators and masks. Many
demon-worshippers. inhuman beings are
He rules like a god- drawn to the city as
king from his city Ur- well, easily
Shalem, commanding camouflaging

78
themselves among the masked population. is abandoned now. Visitors will experience
The prince darklord is a Master of Masks many unnerving signs of demonic haunting
(see D&D Complete Scoundrel) with a - shadows, sounds, hooved footprints, etc.
huge collection of magical masks, each The phenomena are scary, and intensify
granting him some powers and traits of the with time, but the real danger is mirrors.
role he is currently playing - but he is The moment anyone on the island looks
tormented by his inability to figure out his into a mirror, he or she will see the demonic
own true identity. lord's face peering behind his shoulder, and
36. Nekhbet, the Sphinx. The villagers its horrific sight will drive them immediately,
in this small, arid domain practice all year completely insane.
long to sharpen their minds and wits - 39. Rothbart, the owl-headed
talking in riddles, playing intelligence wizard, terrorizes this forested domain,
games, and learning philosophy and logics. helped by his daughter Odil, owls, owlbears,
It is all a preparation for the annual riddles and giant ravens. He has affinity for birds
contest, in which every denizen who has and polymorph magics, and among other
come tof age must walk into the Maze of crimes has turned the local princess and her
Riddles inside the sphinx's temple and maidens into swans, who can assume their
survive it. The sphinx lord plans the maze true shape only at night. Many princes have
and riddles during the year, hoping to find tried to save her but failed. He also cursed a
some humans with brains… and hungry to beautiful woman to change into a hawk
devour the others. every sunrise, and her lover to change into
37. The Mothman. Shadowy figures a wolf every sunset, so that they'll never
with wings and burning eyes, strange lights meet as humans. Rothbart hates humanity
in the skies, haunting whispers inside and takes pleasure from causing misery and
heads, weird sounds coming from nowhere, suffering.
crop circles, memory loss, time behaving 40. Griselda, The Wicked Witch is the
strangely, a second moon appearing, classical evil crone: wrinkled face, black
unnerving dreams of disaster, odd patterns dress, tall hat, flies on broomstick, cackles
of weather and animal behavior, mementos maniacally, etc. She only wanted to do good
from the past reappearing, madness, and be helpful, but people always treated
bizarre behavior, laws of nature lapsing - all her like an evil witch and accused her of
of these eerie phenomena and more haunt everything bad that happened, so she
the rural, Twilight-Zoned domain in the actually became one in return. The villagers
shadow of the mothman. The domain is of her forested, mountainous little domain
actually locked in a time loop of 3 months fear her and still accuse her of every blight
and then destroyed by some calamity and that falls upon them - and now they are
restarted again. Nothing is known on the often right.
enigmatic mothman, and whether he is 41. Jolly Roger (the original one), also
trying to stop the disasters or initiate them. known as the Pirate King, is a skeletal pirate
(Inspiration: the movie The Mothman ghost. He rules a large tropical skull-shaped
Prophecies, and Pathfinder's Mystery archipelago, used by countless pirates'
Monsters Revisited) captains as their home and operations base.
38. The Haunter of Demons' Island. He draws the cruelest pirates from many
This stormy little island near Dementlieu worlds to his domain, offering them the
was used in the past as a penal colony, but opportunity to use the mists to raid many

79
worlds and escape back - in return to their about him… well, better not think of them.
souls. When such ships drown, their crew (Inspiration: the short Story It's a Good
become undead under his control. His curse Life, by Jerome Bixby)
is never to sail again himself. 44. Dumas, The Angel of Death. The
41. Brutus, the Pig. Huge, obese and domain known as the Valley of the Shadow
filthy, this crude and boorish man of Death has been the scene of a great
nicknamed "the Pig" takes a particular battle, followed by the brutal massacre of
delight in giving offense, violating taboos, all the local population. Now it's a misty,
and defiling anything sacred in the most shadowy wasteland littered in bones,
degrading, repulsing ways imaginable. He haunted by the ghosts and shades of dead
works ruthlessly to corrupt and debase his troops and civilians, whose keening of
surrounding, scorning any kind of faith, lament and dreadful spectral visions fill the
morality, and decency. His domain, a hearts with despair. Only the foolhardiest
stinking, lawless countryside of swamps, enter willingly to the valley, tempted by the
farms, and criminal dens, is populated by forsaken treasures allegedly found there.
inbred crazy farmers, vicious bandits, cruel The lord is a memitim psychopomp (see
slavers, and the worst human scum from all Pathfinder Bestiary 6), who betrayed the
over the domains (and beyond). Even the souls he was supposed to deliver to the
local animals and livestock are twisted and afterlife and left them behind, and now is
corrupted. cursed to dwell forever among them.
42. The Shogul. The mysterious Shogul 45. Borash, The Demon Bear was an
are seven powerful entities (or one entity ancient Celtic-like king given to fits of rage,
with seven bodies). They are the rulers of a in the course of which he slaughtered his
dark Lovecraftian-Chinese domain of wife, son and brothers. He was cursed to
ancient cities, pagoda temples, bizarre become a terrible dire bear, and has been
stone monuments, odd people, and eldritch roaming his country for centuries by now,
cults, where everything is done according to feared by all and unable to return to his
ancient traditions. The Shogul look like throne. Many warriors and hunters died
hooded figures in black or yellow robes, the attempting to slay him, and he seems to be
only parts seen of their bodies are six invincible. (Inspiration: Mor'du from the
glowing eyes for each and withered hands. movies Brave and The Legend of
They have the powers of wu-jen, but their Mor'du).
true nature is unknown. Any wizard 46. The Phantom of the Manor was a
anywhere who knows the secret key of the rich frontier settler who strongly objected
Shogul, may access their collective minds’ his daughter's wedding to a simple man. An
network and learn their dark secrets and earthquake collapsed his gold mine and
spells. The more he learns, though, the killed him before the marriage, but he
more the Shogul's influence takes over him. returned on the wedding day as a phantom,
43. Anthony, The God Child. It is not lured the groom to the attic, and hanged
clear how this little pampered boy became him. The bride remained alone within the
nearly omnipotent, but now all the denizens decaying house, never removing her
of his small, secluded village domain live in wedding dress and clutching her bouquet,
constant fear of him, doing their best to waiting forever for her beloved's return,
keep him happy and pretending to be happy singing softly while ghosts and spirits revel
as well. Those who even think unpleasantly around her in an eternal party. The laughing

80
phantom haunts the manor, summoning Lords of the Night: Zombies, pgs. 53-56,
more undead spirits to the house and the and Resident Evil game)
nearby ruined town. (Source: Disneyland 50. Heartless. Evergloom is a darker
Paris' Phantom Manor's background story. version of Everglow (from Ponyfinder
Dread Possibility: the groom somehow RPG), a mystical, colorful domain full with
became the Phantom Lover, cursed to lure magical races, talking and humanoid
countless women to their doom but never animals, satyrs, fairies etc. The good races
return to his true love.) must fight for their freedom and lives
47. Andrew, Lord of the Castle of against the forces of shadow and darkness.
Horrors. The Castle of Horrors is a huge The darklord, a dark veiled sorcerer/fiend, is
dark castle the size of a small mountain, known as Heartless, and his wish is to wipe
with countless rooms, halls, towers, all emotion, happiness and love from the
dungeons etc. Virtually any monster, world. (Inspiration: a combination of No-
creature, trap, or puzzle might be Heart from Care Bears and Quellor from
encountered within its walls. Many Teddy Ruxpin, in a more mature version,
adventuring parties are drawn to the castle of course)
and might spend weeks inside exploring it 51. Gebbeleth, The Eye Tyrant. The
without seeing everything (assuming they darklord of this Sword & Sorcery domain
survive that long). The darklord was a (think Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy
Dungeon Master from earth, who believed style) is a cruel genius giant beholder. It
Ravenloft to be real, and used to murder his rules the ancient, magnificent cities with its
players when their characters died, as a nobility of beholder underlings and
sacrifice to the Dark Powers. Now he is a monstrous minions, though in the
demilich skull in the top of the highest wilderness some barbarian tribes still hold
tower, waiting for worthy heroes to reach to their freedom. The domain has a large
him so that he can consume their souls, and share of aberrations, demons, and terrifying
is fully aware of his strange situation. monsters of all types. It embodies the
49. Honoria, The Pallid Lady is a mute horror of being oppressed by truly inhuman
zombie lord, brought to unlife by her monsters (See Neil Gaiman's A Study in
desperate alchemist husband after many Emerald for inspiration on such society).
failed experiments. Her domain is known as 52. Khamil, the Shadow King. In the
the Mansion of the Dead, a vast and cities and the forests of this perpetually
dilapidated mansion set in the middle of a shadowed domain, every shadow is a
sprawling, crumbling cemetery, shrouded by threat. In addition to the large number of
green-tinged mists and eternal gloom. The shadow-creatures and shadow-monsters,
Mansion and the dungeons underneath are the Shadow King controls all the natural
home for many walking dead, mutants, and shadows and may spy through them and
necromantic experiments. It is a floating animate them at will. He was once a great
pocket domain which may appear emperor, but now he is the power beyond
temporarily everywhere, and the Pallid Lady the scenes, pulling the strings of mortal
is constantly looking for new consorts and society and conspiring to bring it and the
servants, while spreading the undead physical world under his absolute control.
infection. She fully controls the house and 53. Shadrakh, The Black Dragon,
can move the walls and chambers at will. rules its coastal city and its business harshly
(Inspiration: Bottled Imp Games' The but efficiently, ever increasing its wealth

81
and power. It is stuck in human form, to its for those who survive his games come out
great dismay, but can send its draconic soul changed, scarred in body and mind but with
into other people, haunting and killing its better understanding of themselves.
victims inside their minds (they alone see (Inspiration: movies like the Saw series,
the dragon as if it was real, while others Cube, and Would You Rather)
around them only see the victims staring 56. Lodin, the Siren (mermaid), has
and struggling with thin air, though wounds had her heart broken by a human prince,
do appear physically on their bodies). Every and now lures sailors with her singing to her
victim "sees" the dragon somewhat little iceberg domain, sinking their ships and
differently, its shape reflecting their inner killing them.
fears. The people of the domain have no 57. Ordelia, the Perfectionist. This
idea that this frightening phenomena has glorious, golden-haired aasimar, in her
something to do with their charismatic ruler. forties (think Nicole Kidman in The Golden
54. Ludwig Hecht, The Skeptic. This Compass) demands perfect order from
ex-priest who lost his everyone, in
faith wants magic, everything, all the
miracles, and the time. Everything
supernatural to be must be clean,
real, to have a hope polished, and well-
for the afterlife; but trimmed. She has no
he is so skeptical that tolerance whatsoever
his very presence for poor manners,
dispels every magic bad grooming,
and nullifies any offensive language,
unnatural or anything she
phenomena, making defines as immorality
him angry toward his - including impiety,
"foolish, irreverence,
superstitious" disrespect for elders,
denizens. He and his use of alcohol, and
men persecute any sexual promiscuity.
religious believers and people claiming to Any flaw or breaching of the rules results in
have supernatural powers, punishing them punishment and "correction", which may
severely if they can't prove their claims include turning the offender into a statue,
under scientific examination (which painting, or other piece of art. Ordelia's
obviously they can't in Hecht's presence). domain and manor are truly beautiful and
55. The Gamemaster. All around radiant places, but everyone lives in
Ravenloft there are legends about the constant fear of her frequent surveys, trying
dreaded gamemaster, about men and in vain to match her impossible standards of
women awakening to find themselves in his perfection.
dungeons, forced to participate in a cruel 58. Honeytongue, the Liar Fairy. This
game of puzzles, choices and traps, putting mischievous pixie is a masterful liar. She
to the test their wits, morality, views, and looks like a diminutive and beautiful elven
willpower. The stoic Gamemaster sees his girl, 1 foot tall, with an impish smile. Her
work as educational, and maybe he is right, lies have incited wars, ruined families and

82
lives, and caused endless strife, which only his golem and other unearthly servants. The
makes her laugh. She has the power to Jews in the shtetl try to cope with the
make anyone believe anything she says as hardship of their lives and the occasional
long as it's a (sensible) lie; when she says dybbuks (devils) and bad spirits. Rabbi
the truth, however, no one will believe her. Mendel is a most powerful kabbalist, who
She flies around her domain, spying on can control reality on the basic levels of
people invisibly and looking for the best time and space. With his wild, grey hair and
ways to lie them to their doom. The beard and burning eyes, he has an
denizens are all suspicious of each other, atmosphere of awe around him, and few
and accusations of lies and cheating are dare approach his room.
common, but still they all fall for 61. Zelig, the Shrinker. This twisted
Honeytongue's every word. gnome hated to be the smallest of all, so he
59. Sabag, the Ghoul Lord. This is devised a ray that shrank all the people in
truly a domain of dread, with shadowy town to 2-inch size, making him a giant in
cities, forests of gnarled, twisted trees, vast comparison. Now they try to survive in the
creepy graveyards, and frequent domain composed of his messy house and
thunderstorms. The people live in constant surrounding garden, searching for
dread of the ghouls, ghasts, and other resources, fighting mice and insects, and
undead who reach everywhere through the trying not to fall prey for Zelig's experiments
tunnels crisscrossing the land, and whose and abuses. Visitors to the domain will
attacks seem to be orchestrated to create quickly be shrank as well by the crazed
maximal terror. The demonic-faced Sabag, gnome, but perhaps they'll be able to find a
a serial killer and artist of the grotesque, for cure in his dangerous lab…
whom the whole domain is his playground, 62. Ozymandias, the King of Kings.
can assume the shapes of his former Compared to this egomaniac, even the
victims, and haunts his victims both in their other darklords look meek. The dark-
dreams and in reality; many poor souls have skinned giant of a man known as
awakened from a nightmare in which their Ozymandias feels nothing but contempt
bedmate turned out to be the ghoul lord, toward all other beings, utterly convinced
only to see it coming true. that all must obey him. He ruled a huge
60. Rabbi Mendel, the Kabbalist. An African-like empire, forcing his subjects to
aging Jewish rabbi and master kabbalist worship him and construct colossal statues
from Gothic Earth's Poland of 17th century, in his image, starting a process of
Rabbi Mendel came to despair at the apotheosis. But eventually a rebellion ruined
hopelessly corrupted world. After years of his kingdom. He found himself in a copy of
studies and preparations, he tried to his capital, where he is all-powerful indeed,
perform a ritual to retrieve all creation into but he knew at once that none of this was
nothingness, but found himself instead real. The people in his domain are just
surrounded by the Mists along with his dream stuff, without real consciousness and
Jewish shtetl (little town). Convinced he feelings. Though he tries to pretend
was trapped by the Qlippoth (forces of evil), otherwise, he knows there is nobody here
he delves deeper into the secrets of the to truly acknowledge his superiority… unless
kabbalah, searching the mystic formula to some outsiders arrive.
end all existence. He almost never comes A ruined, colossal statue of Ozymandias
out of his room, nor lets anyone in, except might be found in the Amber Wastes.

83
Reading the writing on it and touching it diabolism in his obsession to rescue his
draws those who do so into his domain, suicide son's soul from hell. Others say he
from which one may escape only by was the leader of the lost Order of the
realizing that it is just Ozymandias' dream. Blood sect (see Parfinder's Path of the
63. Tash, the Rooster from Hell. Once Hellknight for details).
there was a good hearted farm boy, who 65. Blind Paul, the Monk. What
wanted to stop the killing and eating of greater curse can befall a scholar who lied
animals by men. He found and performed a and murdered in order to gain possession of
druidic ritual intended to give the ability of a grand, ancient library, than being struck
speech to all the animals in the area, with blindness, forever unable to read the
believing humans wouldn't kill talking countless books surrounding him? Blind Paul
animals. The ritual worked, but some of the is now the lord of the floating pocket
animals changed more than he intended, domain known as the Library of the Mists,
becoming twisted, demonic, and evil. The rumored to contain all kinds of arcane
evilest and most dangerous was a fierce knowledge. He eagerly waits for visitors so
rooster named Tash, who became a giant, that he might capture them and force them
human-sized pyrolisk (a variation of read for him, hoping to find a cure to his
cockatrice whose gaze can burn victims to blindness in some book. Though blind, he is
ash). He led the other animals against the very dangerous, and may darken the library
humans, killing them all. Now Tash and his at will and use his sharp hearing and other
lieutenants (Grogar the ram and Taurus the senses and his monk's fighting skills to
bull) rule tyrannically over the other talking overcome his foes.
animals in the farm and surrounding lands 66. Horacio, The Silent Bard, is a bard
and woods - some of which wish for and assassin who loves music and singing
humans to return and rescue them, while as much as he enjoys killing, but now rules
other develop strange religions and rituals. a domain engulfed in perpetual magical
(Inspiration: books like The Book of the silence, where no one can hear you sing…
Dun Cow, Watership Down, The Wind or scream. Unable to sing, at least the
in the Willows etc.) silence makes his assassinations in the
64. The Dreadknight Lord. This vast service of the three noble houses so much
domain is ruled by the cold, emotionless easier. The population has adapted to life in
Dreadknights, an order of heavily armored the silence, communicating through sign
knights, mercilessly devoted to their language and writings.
unflinching vision of absolute law and order. 67. Vor-Tola, The Worm that Walks,
The Infernal affects all aspects of life in the was a mad sorcerer who believed worms to
domain, and all denizens are forced to take be the ultimate life form and the destiny of
part in diabolical rituals, knowing from an the world. Now his body is made of
early age that their souls are bound to hell. thousands of worms, and he is the darklord
Little is known about the leader of the of a post-apocalyptic domain drawn from a
Dreadknights, an awe-inspiring figure in reality where the fabled Age of Worms has
blood-red full plate armor, only that he come to pass. The remnants of humanity
formerly belonged to the Hellknights in struggle to survive in a ruined wasteland
Golarion; some whisper he is no other than crawling with wormspawn - giant worms,
Daidian Ruel, the legendary founder of the avolakia, ulgurstasta, wormdrakes, sons of
Hellknights himself, who descended into Kyuss, other worm-like aberrations, and the

84
undead. This domain is part of the Weeping themselves: make them see, hear and feel
Ruins cluster, composed of several post- things that aren't there, believe they are
apocalyptic domains. somebody else, perceive him differently or
68. Varus, Herald of the Apocalypse. not at all, etc. He can make a woman
Cold, indifferent, and utterly analytical believe she's his wife, or make a father see
(think Agent Smith or Albert Wesker), Varus his children as demons. But Jess is
leads a society of scientists, necromancers, delusional himself, frequently having
and arcanists devoted to the Xammux - a revelations of angels and demons giving
group of six alien entities representing him orders or threatening him. He sees
forbidden knowledge (see Book of Vile himself as an agent of higher powers, "the
Darkness 3.5). In their quest for Left Hand of God", and uses his powers to
knowledge and world dominance they twistedly punish those who "deserve it".
opened a gate to another dimension, The domain has a large share of madmen,
summoning an eldritch electrical storm that religious fanatics, criminals, and self-
animated the dead all around the world, proclaimed prophets and messiahs, so
resulting in a zombie apocalypse slaying trying to figure out the truth may cause one
most of humanity. Varus and his followers lose his mind.
reside now in their secret bunker while the 71. The Pumpkin King, a pumpkin-
storm still rages outside, and the remaining headed being ruling a big city where
survivors fight against the undead hordes humans masked as monsters and monsters
and other eldritch horrors. This is one of the masked as humans mingle under the
domains in the Weeping Ruins post- orange moon in an eternal Halloween night;
apocalyptic cluster. joy and horror overlap, and everything is
69. Ricardo, the Zombie Master. possible. (Inspiration: the RPG Worlds
Another post-apocalyptic domain from the Numberless and Strange, pgs. 64-71)
Weeping Ruins cluster. Survivors from the 72. The Animal Lord. Grown among
zombies' holocaust are concentrated in this the apes and taught to despise humankind,
fortified city under the cruel governor the white man known as the Animal Lord is
Ricardo, a half-Vistani with an innate ability now the terror of the jungle tribes, using his
to control the zombies, who feeds them skills and control over animals to make sure
with anyone who fails to obey his whims. they know who really rules the jungle. He is
The survivors must bend to his rule, cursed to lose his ability to speak, becoming
knowing his will is the only thing keeping mute like the animals he loves.
the undead hordes at bay. Recently 73. The Fear Itself. The sewers of
however, some zombies have started Timor might have been relocated to
developing sentience and breaking his Paridon, but the city remains, and now it
control, banding into groups and organizing has a new darklord: a 5th rank fihyr (see
attacks on the city, causing Ricardo much Quoth the Raven 11, "Report on Fihyrs"),
concern. Other local governors might rule manifested from the collective, continual
similar city-domains in the wastelands of fears of the Timorians. This abomination
the Weeping Ruins. uses its vast powers and intelligence to
70. Jess, the Left Hand of God. further increase the fear level in the city,
Corrupted sheriff in a wild-west styled thus creating even more of its kind.
frontier land, Jess can psionically change 74. The Big Boss is a crime lord who
people's perceptions of reality and even of reached the top of the criminal hierarchy

85
thanks to his genius and psionic powers and horrible rumors about him. Actually, he is
ruled his metropolis with iron fist. Now his just a non-evil man suffering from
city is secluded from the rest of the world, deforming disease and sensitive to sunlight.
shrouded in perpetual night, and almost all So are the other "monsters" haunting the
color has drained from it, leaving the domain - the "vampires", "werebeasts",
domain in hues of black, gray, and white, "hags", and "ghosts", though scary-looking,
with only some flashes of bright color here are all pathetic and harmless creatures, or
and there. This is a noir/Sin City styled just diseased humans. That doesn't stop the
domain of existentialistic despair, where real darklord, the venerated monster
countless criminals, antiheroes, gangs, huntress Theona Bell, of the glorified Bell
guilds, mafia families, and other factions dynasty, from hunting and killing them
fight to achieve dominion, money, and mercilessly; though she knows the truth,
meaning. The supernatural is also present her hatred for monsters goes beyond
in the forms of vampires, succubi, and other reason. She fancies the baron to be her
inhuman beings. The Big Boss, a large, bald arch-nemesis, but her plans to destroy him
man with a wrinkled face, is still the most always fail.
powerful and feared man in the city, but he 77. The Tall Man. Few understand
must struggle to keep his position, and he death better than this silent, thoughtful
suffers greatly from the lack of lively colors tomb giant (Pathfinder Bestiary 6) death
in his world. delver (Heroes of Horror), but now he
75. Prince John doesn't look the stuff of wants to understand human life as well. The
a darklord. Sure, this thin, straw-haired, people of his gloomy, sparsely populated
freckled young man is far from being a domain speak fearfully of "The Tall Man",
pleasant person; he is sour, rude, whose shadowy cloaked and hooded figure
pampered, short-tempered and capricious, roams the land, looking for victims to
but not more so than average princes of his abduct or just watching from afar. Those he
teen age. He is never known to have killed abducts he takes to his underground
or tortured anyone, and is not even overly caverns, where he subjects them to
debauched. What he embodies is just that - incomprehensible psychological and
evil that comes not out of acting, but rather physiological experiments, trying to figure
out of neglect and lack of caring. Prince out how the human mind and emotions
John doesn't care about anyone or work. He doesn't look malicious, only
anything; the people in his kingdom often curious, but his tests are often horrible
suffer from raids, floods, failures of crops, experiences. The Tall Man's height is 4
and other problems, but even though John meters (12 feet), but he has the power to
could solve them with his magical power to assume a semi-corporeal shadowy form and
create matter and objects out of nothing, he become much, much taller.
just doesn't bother to do so, keeping this 78. Hanako, the Yurei. The people in
power to himself and complaining about this small Japanese-style domain rightly fear
how other people are such a nuisance. the night, for their land is haunted by yurei
76. Theona Bell, the Monster (Japanese ghosts), noppera-bo (faceless,
Huntress. The dreaded baron of this corporeal ghosts often masquerading as
domain seems to be a grotesque nosferatu, humans), kuchisake-onna (slit-mouth
brooding in his dark castle and hardly seen women who cut your face if you fail to
in public. The people spread all sorts of answer their questions properly), and other

86
horrors from Japanese folklore and movies. folk, sensitive and romantically inclined,
The darklord is a powerful yurei of a easily falling deeply in love with each other
murdered girl, seeking revenge. or with nymphs, dryads, and other fairies
(Inspiration: J-horror movies like The Ring, and spirits of the forests. But romance and
The Grudge, The Eye, Dark Water, tragedy walk hand in hand here, and those
Shutter, One Missed Call etc.) love affairs lead too often to suicide, death,
79. King of the Underworld. Very little or other disasters, thanks to the influence of
is known about this grim dwarf (if a dwarf the jealous darklords.
he truly is). Presumably he is a Theiwar or 82. Lovinia, The Ugly Queen. This girl
Zhakar dwarf from Krynn, who rules an maimed and disfigured other girls in order
underground kingdom of darkness and to be the most beautiful. The Dark Powers
strange purple light, and possesses a made her stunningly beautiful indeed, but
magical crown with the power to command the people in her domain are all ugly and
almost every creature in the Underdark. His horrid to look at, and they have reversed
servants and soldiers are a mishmash of aesthetical standards - they see ugliness as
duergars, derro, troglodytes, fomorians, beauty and beauty as ugliness, making her
cave giants, kuo-toa, and many other as utterly disgusting in their eyes as they
underground races and monsters, which he are in hers. Visitors to the domain will
sometimes sends to raid the surface world quickly become ugly like the locals until they
for his nefarious purposes. He is overly leave it.
paranoid about his crown, always fearing 83. Chomolungma, Spirit of the
someone will take it from him. Mountain. This princess was cold and
80. Papa Santos, the Dealer, is a aloof, seeing herself far superior to all other
flamboyant, jovial, and heartless dealer and humans. Now her undying, skeletal spirit
pimp, who keeps the people in his domain lives far indeed above anyone else - on the
on his leash by addicting them to various top of the highest mountain in the world
types of "stuff" that only he can supply. (Everest style), swept by fierce winds of ice
Even the most virtuous men and women and snow, where very few adventurers dare
can be reduced by him to slavering beasts to climb. Legends warn everyone of the
who will do anything to get their next ration wrath of the mad spirit, combined with the
of bliss and ecstasy. His domain is a city natural hazards of the ascent, but also tell
filled with shining casinos, fun houses, and of some rare treasure hidden at the top - a
drug dens, bright façades hiding dark alleys most powerful relic, or a gate out of
and terrible corruption. Papa Santos himself Ravenloft.
has his own inner demons tormenting him, 84. Taitachak, the Last Winter.
but no amount of his own wares can free Thought that Vorostokov is cold?
him from their grasp. Apparently, you haven't visited this
81. Leo and Rose, The Ghosts of Lovecraftian-arctic domain of black ice,
Love, were in life two passionate lovers polar bears, wild barbarian tribes (some of
whose love became dark, possessive and them cannibals), ancient temples buried
obsessive, leading to their mutual poisoning under the ice, yetis, orcas, winter wolves,
of each other. Their domain is a truly and ancient horrors. In the heart of the
beautiful landscape of stunning sunsets, domain, Taitachak is trapped in the ice, an
shining stars, and intoxicating flowers. The ancient xixecal (see Epic Level
people are a beautiful, deeply emotional Handbook) who brought an ice age to his

87
world and wishes to expand it further. His them information and perform errands and
evil thoughts and dreams affect the domain a little magic for them. Thanks to the imps'
and its denizens. help and advice, the domain has advanced
85. Archbishop Lacosta, the significantly… but so has corruption. The
Hypocrite. Lacosta is a lecherous, imps coordinately manipulate their
disgusting, spidery old man. He holds the individuals and society into depravity, slowly
reigns of both religious and political power, but surely. The darklord Shimdon is the
preaching publicly about piety and virtue ruler of all the imps and the personal imp of
while hardly trying to conceal his lustful and the governor, pulling deviously all the
greedy behavior. By doing so he makes strings from his position.
people lose their faith in the church, gods, 88. Anabubali, Mother of Dinosaurs.
and human virtue, pushing them to A powerful witch-doctor, Anabubali created
corruption as well. His ability to cast priestly dinosaurs on her prehistoric homeworld by
spells and create miracles for his benefit using foul magic to defile reptilian eggs,
only helps to convince the populace that the making herself an army of monsters. She
gods themselves must be hypocrites as he ruled her world tyrannically until a meteor
is. Shortly put, he embodies the worst of strike directed by her rivals destroyed her
organized religion, using faith and the gods kingdom and creations. Her domain is
as a thin plaster to further his basic urges. known now as the Isle of Monsters, full of
He suffers from an ugly skin disease which dinosaurs, giant insects, and other
no prayer can cure, though. monstrous abominations. Anabubali is a
86. The Minotaur. Many years ago, the blackened lich, covering her skeletal frame
people of this city used to sacrifice young with black robes and a heavy ritualistic
men and women to the terrible minotaur mask and headdress, her voice a chilling,
who dwelled in the labyrinth beneath them. raspy whisper. She rules a city of tailed
The minotaur was slain, but his spirit lives humanoids, worshipped as a bloodthirsty
on, looking for a proper vessel. When goddess, and rarely leaves her temple.
someone in the city gives in to strong anger Though cunning and powerful, she has a
or acts violently, sometimes the darklord primitive mindset, superstitious, and pagan.
might possess him, transforming him into a Visitors from more advanced lands make
monstrous, demonic-looking minotaur with her jealous, suspicious, and envious of the
a half-skeletal head. The sound of alarm sophistication beyond her reach.
horns will be heard then in the city, and the 89. Kiran Darkstorm, the Storm
labyrinth itself will manifest all over it, Bringer. Kiran was born on a particularly
superimposing itself on the houses and stormy night and abandoned as a baby for
streets. Then the minotaur will go on a unknown reasons. He was found and raised
hunting spree. by an order of mystic monks, and his soul
87. Shimdon, the Imp. Every man, was stormy as well, always in turmoil, trying
woman, and child in this domain have an to figure his place in the world. He found he
imp as familiar. The imp appears soon after can actually call down winds and lightning
birth, telepathically bonding with his patron when in an emotional state, sometimes
and becoming his or her closest friend, unintentionally. Kiran became a wandering
assistant and advisor. The imps assume any hero, but tragedy seemed to follow him;
small shape desirable by their patrons unknowingly he killed his father and married
(cherubs, fairies, small animals, etc.), give his sister, becoming the Lord of the

88
giants, and so on. The denizens all
know and respect the Storyteller, a
kind old hermit who lives with his
talking dog and seems to know the
stories of all the denizens of the
domain. Little do they suspect that he
is the one who brought all these
horrors to life with his stories, and
whatever he tells becomes true.
(Inspiration: Grimm RPG and The
Storyteller TV show)
92. Sir Hugo, The One-Woman
Man. This black-hearted, bass-voiced
nobleman led a life of debauchery,
exotically beautiful Dusk Islands. Upon until a meeting with a beautiful
discovering the truth, he killed her and their vampiress changed him into a vorlog. Now
children in a burst of emotions manifesting he is constantly looking for a surrogate to
as lightning bolts - followed by a raging his dead vampire lover. Unfortunately for
hurricane that laid waste to the city. Kiran is him, all the denizens in his domain are
a strikingly handsome man, with an athletic perfect doubles of this maiden; even
body, shoulder-length blond-white hair and newcomers (regardless of their sex, age,
grey eyes; many women seek his company, and race) are transformed overnight to look
but his tortured soul and turbulent passions exactly like her. The sight of his lover's face
make him a very dangerous man to get everywhere drives the vorlog mad, and he
emotional with. tries hopelessly to find out which one is his
90. The Mimic. This super-dangerous "real" lover. He replaces his surrogates
domain looks like an abandoned town, but often, convinced every time that this time
actually is full of mimics of all sizes and it's the real one, but eventually gets
shapes, including house hunters (giant frustrated and murders them viciously.
mimics disguised as whole buildings), and 93. The Illusionist. One can never
animators of every rank. Every object or know what is real and what is not in this
structure might turn out to be a deadly domain. Any person, animal, object, or
killer. The darklord is a mimic who tried to structure might be an illusion, temporary or
ascend into human shape and failed, permanent, harmless or dangerous, and
becoming a huge shifting mass of tendrils either not exist at all or be different from
and melting human visages (see how it seems. It is all the handiwork of the
Pathfinder's Dungeons Denizens mysterious Illusionist, but very little is
Revisited). known about this enigmatic figure: is it a
91. The Storyteller. The Black Forest in man? A woman? Is it human at all? What
this domain is the home of the dark and are his goals? How can the truth be found
twisted Grimm's fairy tales (and others), under so many layers of illusions?
where one may encounter a vampire Little- 94. Dom, the Jailor. The muscular body
Red-Riding-hood, seven evil dwarves, of this bald, hulking half-ogre is covered in
undead Rapunzel, a children-eating witch in scars and tattoos all over his grey skin. Born
a house of candy, petty kings and queens, and raised in one of the worst prisons

89
his sadistic underlings. If he can't be free,
nobody will.
95. Nikolai the Terrible, the Tsar.
With his mane of gray hair, long drooping
moustache and feral looks, Tsar Nikolai
Ivanovich is an impressive and frightening
figure to behold. He rules over a large
Russian-styled domain, where humans and
fairy folk from Slavic lore once lived
together in happiness. But when Nikolai
came to power, not only did he become a
cruel tyrant for mankind, he started
persecuting and destroying all the magical
and mystical creatures as well. As a result,
his kingdom became a cold and dark land,
devoid of joy. Many magical beings are still
hiding in the woods, and Nikolai's campaign
against them is ongoing. He is not above
recruiting the darkest of those beings to his
side as an assistance against their brethren.
Nobody knows for sure what motivates his
hatred, but it seems it has something to do
with an encounter he had at an early age
with Baba Yaga. Some speculate he is some
unnatural being himself.
96. Maia, the Amazon, is a beautiful,
red-haired warrior woman who hates men
with all her heart, the result of all she has
suffered from their hands. Her domain is a
imaginable, Dom has never set foot in the women-only island, and women from all
outside world for single a day in his life. over the domains are drawn to it, where
Thanks to his exceptional strength and they are trained to be powerful warriors,
cunning, he became the head of the able to defend and avenge themselves.
prisoners, eventually leading them in a They are also indoctrinated to see all men
bloody riot against the jailors. But when he as inherently evil and despise them. Every
finished exacting his terrible revenge and man setting foot on the island is killed,
was about to finally step out of the prison, tortured, or transformed by Maia's powers
he found the Mists surrounding it. Now the into a predatory animal under her control
prison is his domain. He is both curious (reflecting how she sees them). But for all
about the outside world and tortured by her efforts to make her domain a safe
dreams about it. The Mists keep bringing haven for women, Maia is cursed to see it
him new prisoners, some are vile criminals falling time after time before male invaders
and others truly innocent. Dom doesn't - pirates, bandits, troops, agents of other
care; he does his best to make their darklords etc. - who always manage to
imprisonment a living hell, with the help of defeat the amazons in spite of all their

90
training, and kill or enslave them. In the he leads a huge university devoted to the
wake of each such invasion Maia is left practical studies of everything dark, and the
alone, determined to make her disciples population around supplies everything the
stronger next time - and her hatred burns students need. Doriath is convinced now
even hotter. that the Dark Powers hold the key to his
97. Doriath the Dark is a stunningly destiny, but no matter how much he learns
handsome half-elf, with midnight-black hair, and tries, it still seems to be beyond his
golden hypnotic eyes, and white skin reach.
covered with many runes and strange 98. Sebastian, the False God. These
symbols. Doriath has always believed a islands look like a tropic paradise populated
great destiny awaits him, and was willing to by happy, friendly tribes - until one finds
go to any length to find it. During the out that the greatest desire of the local
hundreds of years of his life, he has studied people is to be eaten by the White Gods,
and worshipped countless evil gods and who live in the Jungle! They strive to keep
deities, archdevils and demon lords, their bodies in perfect health and shape, to
reaching quickly to the highest ranks and be as tasty as possible for the gods.
then moving on when he wasn't satisfied by The "gods" are actually Sebastian and his
the results. He learned the darkest secrets, friends - normal sailors who came to the
performed the darkest rituals, and achieved newly discovered islands, pretended to be
countless boons and banes. He seems to be gods, made a show of power and convinced
able to look into the darkest pits of the the awestruck locals to care for all their
abyss or hell without losing his calm. Now needs while they live debauchedly in the
luxurious villa they built. But when the
Mists came, the "gods" found that they
have indeed became godlike - invulnerable,
powerful, and beautiful - but now they
must eat human flesh to survive. The locals
became all too eager to donate their own
flesh, but it pushed Sebastian and his
fellows to the edge of madness. Some of
them believe now they are actually gods.
99. Yorak, the Barbarian. Several
savage barbarian tribes are constantly
fighting and raiding each other in this
chaotic evil domain, each trying to exceed
the others in atrocities and cruelty. The
domain embodies the horror of pre-
civilization society without any semblance
of morality or order, where compassion is
seen as weakness and brutality is equated
with strength. Yorak is the leader of the
strongest tribe. He relishes destruction and
death, eating the hearts of his foes and
making drinking cups from their skulls.
Every day he passes without a killing he

91
loses some of his mental attributes and Christopher Reid for picture of witch girl -
becomes stronger in physical attributes, for Lilith, the Mistress of Souls.
gradually transforming into an ogre-like Source:
monstrosity (like the curse of the Sword of https://www.dmsguild.com/product/244806
Arak from Realm of Terror). Sometimes /The-Witch
he does so intentionally before great
battles. Wotc, for picture of spectral hag - for
100. Sheila, the Wight Queen. The Hagatha, the Spectral Hag.
queen of this truly dreadful domain and her Source: https://i.imgur.com/s6xkLgH.jpg
court are true were-wights, able to
shapeshift at will from living humans to Rik Cameron for picture of Doriath the
hideous wights, gaining the advantages of Dark.
both mortals and the undead (some are Source: https://the-dungeon-and-the-
were-ghouls, were-vampires, etc.). Many dragons.obsidianportal.com/characters/laret
people in the domain are infected were- h-the-beautiful-4
wights, living most of the time as regular
humans but transforming into evil dead WotC for drow picture for Sharana, the
when triggered (their undead aspect has all szarkai.
their memories and intelligence, and might Source:
resume illusory mortal shape for short time, http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Szark
adding to the confusion. Think Evil Dead). ai
Queen Sheila is a decadent hedonist,
making the most of both of her shapes and Aerilworks for picture of Melchizedek, the
savoring the shock and horror of her victims Eternal king
while she devours their souls (take some Source:
inspiration from Pathfinder's Urgathoa, https://www.deviantart.com/aerilworks/art/
Inner Sea Gods). In this domain, Withered-Vampire-176100840
normalcy is an illusion which might be
ripped away at any moment, revealing a Neroredqueen for picture of Kiran
horrific undead reality. Darkstorm
Source:
Images Credits https://www.desktopbackground.org/wallpa
Thank you to the artists for sharing your per/devil-may-cry-4-nero-wallpapers-by-
work on the Internet. We strongly suggest nerosredqueen-on-deviantart-727378
the readers of this netbook to peruse the
artists’ galery. Please contact us at Magnus Noren for picture Graff the
qtr@fraternity of shadows.com if you wish Unseen Troll
your art to be removed. Source:
ChrisRallis, for picture of evil centaur - https://www.artstation.com/magnoren
for Kasar, the Centaur.
Source:
https://www.deviantart.com/chrisrallis/art/K
ingofEvilBeasts-Reg-408189910

92
Picture for Ordelia the Perfectionist is a a
photo of Nicole Kidman from the movie The
Golden Compass.

Ilacha for picture for Dom the Jailor


Source:
https://www.deviantart.com/ilacha/art/Hug
e-Orc-58408377

Blog.Sina.com for picture of Gustave


Tooms
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/2992079689
87602552/?lp=true

Artali for picture for The Empty Woman


https://www.deviantart.com/artali-
artist/art/Empty-Eyes-CM-531155786

93
Lilliend
by Mroark Bartels aka Rock

FoS warning: mature themes!

Sometimes they lurched out of the Mists


Prologue
and challenged me, obliging me to run... or
“I only smile in the dark to walk along, after, gore-stained footprints
My only comfort is the night gone black fading into pointlessness behind me.
I didn't accidentally tell you that None of it mattered. None of it seemed
I'm only happy when it rains to matter, anyway. I could not be certain.
You'll get the message by the time I'm Of anything.
through Despair had come to me, only to be left
When I complain about me and you behind like a bawling child, sitting on the
I'm only happy when it rains.” featureless ground in this chasm of mobile
'Only happy when it rains', Garbage white and grey. For a time, I had raged
blindly at everything, but anger had
I walked in the Mists. exhausted itself to a tattered memory.
There had been a reason for me to come Madness had come then, and perhaps it still
here, I knew. I thought. I
seemed to recall. Dimly. It had
been so long ago, my entry into
these billowing gulfs, it was hard
to remember. At least it felt as
though it had been long ago.
My awareness of time had
been one of the first things to
leave me. My ability to judge the
distances I had travelled, a close
second.
I walked in the Mists, based
on that dim inkling that there
was some purpose to my doing
so, that I should not simply stop
and let myself fade away.
I was not always alone.
Sometimes things stalked
alongside of me, whispering
vileness or seeking comfort.

94
lingered, did I but have the awareness to tree until I had acclimatized. The thousand-
notice its presence. Or absence. But there and-one scents of a forest; moist earth,
seemed to be no point. If your whole leaves live and dead, bark, flowers, animal
universe is insane, how can you recognize dung. All the sounds of the wind in the
madness in yourself, and why would you leaves, of tiny creatures scampering along
even bother to find out? the undergrowth, of birds squawking in the
At a certain point, I found myself flanked heights. And oh, the sights... greens,
by two great animals. On my right hand, a browns, blacks, greys – but all of them alive
hyena with eyes that glowed like fire. On and potent, not like the bleak horror I had
my left hand, a lion whose breath stank of been plodding through.
fresh blood and honey. The lion spoke to Slowly, so painfully slowly, I adapted.
me in a language I could not understand. Processed. Found myself capable of
The hyena told me things I intimately standing tall and interacting with this
understood because it was perfectly gloriously live world again. Found myself in
soundless. They, too, faded into the myself again.
distance eventually. And I found you when I got to the core
But after they went, the whispering of me, my Master; rather, your instructions
started. to me when you sent me into the Mists. It
I dully ignored it at first. The Mists were was you who subjected me to who knows
sometimes full of whispers, and they were how long a span of time, walking through
either meaningless or hideously disturbing. that void. You, who subjected me to despair
They always went away – except these did and madness, followed by that utter
not. Meaningless they certainly were, but numbness...!
constant. Constant and growing stronger. You, who had given me my orders, which
Stronger... and familiar. I must obey.
My mind was like an old clockwork, gears I must still obey.
grinding against disuse and caked dust and The first of your commands, I have
grime, in desperate need of some oil. obeyed and now completed, I trust to your
Familiar. A sound I had heard many satisfaction.
times. If only I could make that essential In accordance with the mad ramblings
connection of input to meaning! The sound you found in that dusty old grimoire from
of... sound of... Kalidnay, I awaited the correct astronomical
A glint of colour in the Mists, startlingly and astrological convergences, performed
bright after the greyness that had devoured the blood sacrifice by the dark of the moon
and saturated me down to the bone. on Midwinter Night, and walked into the
Green. A flash of green... That Mists from the southernmost point of
whispering – the sound of wind in trees! Sithicus, seeking to locate and interact with
The clockwork started to spin smoothly the Mistway there described.
for the first time in what felt like an eternity, Mad, the author may have been – mad, I
just as the Mists parted like rotting cloth am sure he or she was! – but their
before the edge of a surgical scalpel. description of the Threefold Path was
Out of the featureless void, I stumbled painfully correct. I walked through despair.
into a living, breathing forest. All the I walked through madness. I walked
impressions overwhelmed me for precious through emptiness. All to arrive here, in
minutes, and I was forced to lean against a new lands on the far side of the Misty gulf.

95
Huzzah.
The second of your commands, I shall
now commence to obey.
I shall scout. I shall catalogue. I shall
question. I shall compose reports of all that
I find. You shall have knowledge of
landscapes, histories, peoples, politics,
cities, magic, monsters and science, my
Master.
All that I discover through base guile, Regards,
through peerless application of magic and Ciska
alchemy, through diplomacy and barter and
strength of arms, shall be yours to know.
Yes, you shall have your very own
Report One: Lilliend
Gazetteers, alike unto the ones you copied “Love will destroy the world.”
from the notes sent to King Azalin, by which 'Wolves of the Calla', Stephen King
you incurred his... But I digress.
I shall finish these reports with my As I mentioned in the Prologue, when I
personal recommendations for your grand arrived in the first land I was to encounter
project, your towering ambition: conquest. of the Wartorn Cluster, I found myself in a
Here, on the far side of the Mists, where forest.
there is no King Azalin to persecute you for Oh, you may scoff, my Master. You are
theft of his belongings, no Fraternity of yourself a child of Dementlieu, that culture
Shadows to hunt you for betraying the capitol of the Core. Moreover, whenever the
order's vows, you may finally unleash your time came to have someone go far abroad
twisted genius in bending peoples' wills to and actually perform the dull grind of field
your whim, in shattering nations and work to further your studies, you always
reforging them to your own design, in sent me or one of your other servants. I
violating the cycles of nature to raise doubt you ever so much as camped out in a
armies, in molesting the sanctity of life and field, let alone slogged your way through a
sanity in your quest for... wilderness equipped to resist you.
Ah, but I digress, and you take offence, Therefore, I hypothesize that you have
my Master. Remarkable that I can still feel no basis to understand what a proper old
such, when we are so far apart. growth forest is, my Master. This was no
To the third of your commands: I shall dainty little park, all the trees growing
commence the planting of the first seeds of neatly in rows lest they be trimmed down to
your conquest. May I once again remind size, replanted, or simply cut and removed
you...? No? Very well. The planting shall for fear of displeasing the wrong art critic.
proceed as you have commanded, just as No, this was a wilderness that had grown
soon as I find the necessary base materials proud and mighty in its age. I saw trees big
and locations. enough that if felled, one could have
Onward I go – to compose the first of provided all the lumber needed to build a
your Gazetteers on the Wartorn Cluster. villa. The undergrowth was so thick and
May it please you well. tangled that I had to draw my sword cane
and hack a path to proceed by. I was

96
constantly aware of the way little sounds on the highest of a series of irregularly
would fall quiet at my approach or – and descending plateaus. Also, I had the good
this more worrying – continue unabated, as fortune of falling where there was another
if my nature were an unknown to the plateau of a size to support me reasonably
usually timid creatures of the green, or as if close by. From where I sat, I could see the
they considered my presence of no edge I had fallen from, obscured as it had
importance. been to me by plant life when I was on the
Already, I anticipated the need for a fire higher plateau... and safe places to fall
come the night. My eyes were casting about down or climb down to were in short
for dead branches, and so I missed a supply.
warning sign – to my deep regret at the I climbed back up to the first plateau, my
time, but ultimately to my benefit. One Master, cut myself a clearing and lit a fire.
moment I was ambling along, chopping at Finding myself bereft of spells, even though
plants, and the next my foot was sticking I could not recall casting any while in the
out in empty air, and I found myself taking Mists, I spent a restless night keeping watch
a fall before I realized what had happened. against predators and other dangers. Only
While painful – as I recall, I landed on a when dawn had come and I had the time to
bramble bush – my fall was not fatal. And it study my book and spend some quality time
was highly instructive. with my portable alchemy lab, did I set
Finding myself on a small patch of about finding a way down to lower levels,
horizontal ground, just big enough for the and hopefully civilization.
aforementioned bramble, I realized that the Already, I could see that this land was
land was not as flat as I had believed. treacherous, with hidden edges promising
Rather, I had the good fortune of arriving death to the unwary.

Lilliend at a glance Landscape


Cultural level: Medieval (7) As mentioned above, Lilliend is a land of
Ecology: Full descending mountain plateaus, which can
Climate/Terrain: Temperate forests and be roughly divided into two areas.
mountains The western half of the land, that which
Year of Formation: 613 BC abuts the Mists, is called L'Haut by the
Year of Joining the Cluster: 740 BC natives. Here, vertical spaces vastly
Population: 30,041 outnumber the horizontal. The plateaus end
Races: Human 80%, Elves 10%, Half-Elves 4%, sharply and without warning, their edges
Fey 3%, Ogier 1%, Undead 2% obscured by the plant-life that crowds every
Human ethnic groups: Lilliender 80%, other available inch – and does everything in its
20% power not to give up that inch.
Languages: Lelender*, Elven, Ogier, Sylvan Construction of anything larger than a
Religion: Artemis*, Athena, Thunderfather, shack is either impossible, given limited
Ashar, il Demonio, Coralin, Carilon, space, or inadvisable, given that the larger
Brightwell plateaus would need to be cleared of trees
Government: Monarchy before anything could be built – and the
Ruler: Queen Alexandra Lenkherr trees are the only barrier against the gale-
Darklord: Camille Churnstone force winds that pick up most nights.

97
Without a grapnel, a stout rope, and vulnerable. At the end, my conflict with the
preferably access to feather fall, levitate and gryphons turned into a running battle, and I
even spells of flight, I would dare say that grew concerned that the predators would
the place is highly hazardous, even run me to exhaustion while they simply
impossible to get around in. And even if one changed shifts.
has all of these things, there is danger in I was deeply relieved to leave them
ample supply. Apart from the behind me when I did L'Haut …
aforementioned winds, L'Haut is subject to L'Haut is also the place where the
nocturnal rainstorms and snowstorms, domain's two great rivers – the
which can cause small but vigorous floods Wittwentraen and the Bitterflut – are born.
and avalanches. Some of the smaller The 'Traen is the result of run-off from
plateaus are fragile, crumbling underfoot. the regular snow- and rainstorms which lash
Predators frequently lunge out of the cover the mountains every night, the waters
provided to them by the dense undergrowth gathering in great basins on plateaus that
– and though these are mostly snakes and have been worn concave by centuries of
wolverines, they are fearless and vicious – erosion. Streams spill forth to gather into a
and I discovered to my discomfort that mighty white-water flow, which cascades
there is a kind of mountain goat which down the mountainsides.
traverses L'Haut with insolent ease, and In contrast, the 'Flut wells up from
takes apparent offence to intruders into its underground, as subterranean wells send
turf. Worse, the whole area appears to be forth rivers which burst out through great
the hunting range of giant eagles and a cracks in the mountainsides, gathering
type of gryphon, both of whom are likely to together into a single stream which seems
pounce on any creature they judge to be tranquil on the surface. I must stress
too occupied safely descending the plateaus 'seems'; I took soundings along my way,
to defend itself. and discovered that the Bitterflut's placid
Of special note are the gryphons, who surface hides strong currents underneath.
are a serious threat for all that they are As the two rivers snake their way down
smaller here than my studies had suggested the mountains, countless little streams split
they should be. Quite apart from being off from the main flows. These are
exotic creatures, I feel they are more collectively known as the 'Widow's
intelligent than one would expect. Daughters' and the 'Bitter Daughters',
When accosted by my first gryphon, I depending on which mother river they
drew my pistol and fired at its wings – and descend from. You might wonder how the
the thing cursed at me as it fled! Do not be locals tell one river's 'parentage' apart from
mistaken in this, my Master; while I was not another when encountering it, my Master,
familiar with the creature's language, I and the answer is very simple: by taste and
cannot be mistaken about the difference smell. The Bitterflut, with its plutonian
between words and an animal's cries of origins, carries along a wealth of minerals
pain. and minute flecks of ore, which give its
Worse, the gryphons I saw after that waters a distinctive, bitter taste and scent.
were clearly testing my capacities in an Indeed, I was warned by locals that
intelligent manner, working in groups to drinking too much of the 'Flut's water was
determine the range of my pistol and bad for the health, although they swore that
attacking me when I was at my most bathing in it was highly recommendable.

98
The fallacies of the vain never cease to Bas. While still a land of mountain plateaus,
astound me. at least Le Bas features increasingly larger
plateaus, until one comes to the Letztafl –
the greatest plateau of all, which sits at the
eastern edge of Lilliend.
The Letztafl commands a magnificent
view of the lands to the east, as it sits at
the final edge of the domain. To its eastern
end, there is only a steep incline as one
slithers and slides past bracken, brambles
and saw-edged ridges to the land's
immediate eastern neighbour, Conquista,
and its neighbour to the southeast,
Masogan.
Descending further, one comes into the In addition, the Letztafl may take pride
eastern half of the domain, known as Le in having the largest concentration of
civilized life in the entire domain. Le Bas as

Dread Possibility: The Many-Wings Clan


Exiles from the domain of Umbrash, far to the east, the Many-Wings Clan of Gryphons is
indeed intelligent – and belligerent in the extreme towards any humanoid creature they spot in
L'Haut.
The Many-Wings nurse a deep ancestral grudge; they are the descendants of Gryphons who
fled Umbrash in the face of one of King Stefan Szerán's attacks on the Gryphon Aeries. For their
cowardice, they were forbidden to return by the Gryphons who had stayed to fight and defend
their ancestral lands. Their own pride stopped them from seeking a new existence in the human
or Qin lands of Umbrash, and so they left in search of a new home.
Migrating from one domain to another in search of a place to lair, the Many-Wings banded
together, clan lines blurring and eventually fading away. For a time, they dwelled in the high
peaks of the Wrathwall in the domain of Conquista, but here they found themselves prey, and
to humans and humanoid abominations at that! They attempted to conquer the great Father-
Peak of Masogan, but the domain's curse obliged them to move on lest they die out.
Having finally settled in L'Haut, finding its harsh landscape to their liking and being too
fearful of the Mists to go further, the Many-Wings are determined never to be uprooted again,
and so react with immediate violence against incursions into their territory.
Moreover, they have an ambition to make Lilliend their own. Once their numbers have
sufficiently grown to form an army, the Many-Wings plan to descend from L'Haut into Le Bas
and tear 'the two-legs' to shreds.
Camille is aware of the Gryphons' burgeoning forces and their ambitions, but has not taken
direct action against them. Rather, she allows her progeny to harry the arrogant creatures,
murdering the young, the infirm and lone Gryphons they come across, and destroying any
stockpiles or aeries they find with fire. Should the Gryphons manage to overcome the constant
sabotage and assassinations and assault the lower reaches of Lilliend, they will soon discover
that the winds they rely upon to fill their wings will turn against them at a Darklord's whim...

99
a whole is more densely inhabited than
L'Haut, with the increasingly larger plateaus Flora
home to logging camps, farms and small As I mentioned in the section on
villages, but only on the Letztafl have the Landscape, L'Haut is covered in dense
people of Lilliend built cities. plant-life. Great trees, all of them
As in L'Haut, so do the great rivers and deciduous, have risen on every scrap of
their daughters run through Le Bas, and land that will support them, their roots
they are well-appreciated by the natives. cracking the rock underneath to improve
Some families make a living from sifting their grip. Various types of underbrush
the waters of the Bitterflut and her struggle to survive in the shadow between
daughters for minerals, precious ore and their trunks, sacrificing light for shelter;
even small gemstones. In the cities, unlike the hardier brushes that dominate
enterprising engineers have created spas for smaller plateaus, they are at least shielded
the wealthy, where the mineral waters of from the harsh winds and snows by the
the 'Flut are caught and heated for the trees.
customers' delight. While I did not stay in L'Haut long
Farmers are far more delighted to guide enough to witness this phenomenon myself,
the life-giving waters of the Wittwentraen's a particularly daring mountaineer told me
daughters to their crops, using a series of that in autumn, the flanks and plateaus of
dams and trenches to direct and regulate L'Haut appear to be dipped in blood as the
the flow. As you might imagine, my Master, leaves turn. She assured me that this is a
the dams are subjected to considerable sign that even the bravest explorer should
strain during the spring thaw, when the leave well enough alone; once the leaves
Wittwentraen's waters swell enormously start to fall, the footing in L'Haut becomes
and carry along copious amounts of debris ten times as treacherous, and cover against
from L'Haut. It is not unheard of for people the weather and predators is far scarcer.
in search of farms that have fallen Edible plant-life is freely available in
mysteriously silent to discover those farms L'Haut, in spite of its treacherous nature.
to be in ruins, their inhabitants swept away Much of the undergrowth produces safely
by the flood after a dam burst. edible berries, the better to entice the
When I asked the locals whether this did native fauna to assist in spreading their
not make them feel a different approach to seeds. Travellers should however make very
irrigating their crops might be advisable, I sure of what they are eating; there is also a
was given the fatalistic answer that 'Li Mêre wide variety of berry-bearing bushes whose
gib, li Mêre nim', which translates roughly fruit looks and tastes virtually identical to
as “the mothers give, the mothers take”, the safe ones, but whose effects range from
and means that nature sometimes demands abrupt attacks of diarrhea to death. Various
a price for its bounty. Apparently, only a mosses can be scraped off of the trees to
fool balks at paying when the bill is be boiled into nourishing soups and teas,
presented, for the bounty is 'always' worth which can sustain a traveler when all else
it. fails. One should be careful to stay away
from Autumn Moss, however, a growth
which displays a festive orange coloration,
but conjures disturbing hallucinations. I
regret to report that I had noticed the

100
growth in question, but neglected to collect eagles – some of which reached truly
a sample at the time, due to my escalating prodigious size! – falcons, hawks,
conflict with the gryphons. sparrowhawks, and buzzards in flight. I had
In Le Bas, the plant-life is much the to struggle for scraps of food against mice,
same as in L'Haut, with the possible voles, shrews, wild hamsters, and
lemmings. More vipers than I care to
Dread Possibility: Autumn Moss toxin throw a stick at obliged me to do just that.
Type: Contact, ingested Weasels, ferrets, ermines, and the highly
Fort. Save DC 15 aggressive wolverines all defend their little
Onset: 1 minute patches of territory with zeal. Curly-horned
Frequency: 2/day for 2 days wild sheep and long-bearded goats leap
Effect: Lesser Confusion-effect up and down the mountain flanks with an
Price: 2,000 gp offensive ease and are forever eager to
headbutt intruders over edges and into
difference that it does not have such a oblivion.
grimly determined atmosphere to it, and While many of the same creatures
there is actual space between the bushes appear in Le Bas – especially during winter,
and trees for grass to grow. when many of them are forced to travel
Oh, I can see you rolling yo ur eyes at down the slopes to find unfrozen water and
my description now, my Master! But rest food – they are markedly less aggressive
assured that it is accurate; in L'Haut, every here, where the living is easier. Wild sheep
plant that does not cower in the shadow of and goats are wholly absent, but I noticed
a greater plant for its survival is a rugged, that the domestic varieties show a distinct
deep-rooted thing that spends every living kinship to their up-slope kin.
moment fighting for survival. In Le Bas, Horses, donkeys and mules are not
where the weather is far more clement, unknown on the Letztafl, but they are rare
nature seems more relaxed. Certainly, the and considered to be expensive. First, an
soil goes deeper here than it does on the aspiring horse-owner needs to make the
high plateaus. purchase of breeding stock. Second, said
Local farmers take advantage of this to stock needs to be shipped up the steep
plant crops of various types of wheat and incline and past all of the border stations.
vegetables, which they sow in autumn and Third and finally, the animals need to be
harvest in summer. Crop rotation is very watched at all times, lest they come to grief
important in Lilliend, where arable soil is ascending or descending a plateau. Truly,
literally prized higher than gold, and both the people of Lilliend consider anyone who
wild and domestic edible plants are rides a horse to be showing off the fact that
cherished and nurtured where possible to they have too much money on their hands.
thrive. In contrast, donkeys and mules, which can
be more easily trained to navigate the
Fauna vertical landscape, are highly prized both as
mounts and beasts of burden – where I
As I mentioned above, the sheer flanks should like to add that they receive superior
of L'Haut are home to various types of treatment to what they might expect in
snakes, martens, raptors, wild goats and many other places I have visited. A stout
small vermin. During my stay I spotted donkey is considered not just useful in

101
Lilliend, but potentially a lifesaver, as there hours of the day and night. I located the
are many harrowing tales of travelers tree in question by checking for ethereal
caught in a snowstorm who only made it resonance, but waited to approach it until
back home because their donkey stolidly after sundown, when I could be more
trudged through the snowdrifts and certain of uninterrupted and unobserved
unfailingly found the way home to its stable. discussion.
While large aerial predators are a While I anticipated some difficulty in
common nuisance in Lilliend, the domain coaxing the tree's occupant forth, she
does not have a large amount of large land proved to be alert and presented herself the
predators. The lower slopes of L'Haut are instant I set foot on the carefully-tended
the domain of cougars, but they are not lawn which covered the earth around her
numerous, and only descend to the Letztafl tree: A Dryad.
during the worst winters. If at all possible, We had a brief discussion, which I did
they prefer to hang onto what to them must not find altogether satisfying, after which
be a narrow strip of safe ground, caught she dismissed me from her presence. The
between raptors on one hand and humans fact that I did not even question this
on the other. command gave me pause only once I had
left Lilliend. The entries in my personal
Unnatural hazards journal suggest that I considered returning
By your command, my Master, I have for another attempt several times, but
compiled a catalogue of monsters both always found reasons not to – many of
mentioned and observed during my stay in them highly dubious. I would conclude that
Lilliend. I trust you will be pleased with the this particular Dryad is a force to be
thoroughness of my work, though possibly reckoned with.
not its results. In truth, I doubt you will find
this information very useful for your goal of Q: “Greetings. My name is Ciska. What is
conquering the land. yours?”
A: “I have no name. Once, I had a name,
Fey but no more.”
For all its faults, Lilliend seems like prime
Q: “You are a Dryad, correct?”
Fey territory. As far as I was able to
A: “In your language, I am a Dryad. You are
human?”
determine, over half the domain is free of
settlements, and possesses a lush, savage
Q: “That is correct. Your tree is magnificent.
It is old?”
beauty. I duly enquired of the locals
whether there were any legends of
A: “Old. Yes. Yet not. The land is older. You
creatures which shared the most common
are not so old.”
known traits of the Fey – and nine times out
Q: “Of course. You are of Fey. Are your
of ten, I came up empty.
people many in the land?”
A (agitated): “No. My little sisters sleep in
Finally, during my investigation of the
domain's capitol city, Luzander, I met a
L'Haut. But not many. There are more of
toothless old grandmother who recalled a
them than there are of you, though.”
tale about a certain tree in the Queen's
Q: “But of course. Are there others of Fey in
Gardens. In spite of the name, this proved
the land?”
A (agitated): “Some. But most fled towards
to be a public park, which was open at all
the sun, once the other lands appeared.”

102
Q: “Are you lonely?”
A: “Lonely. … No. No. I am waiting.” I obeyed her command without question,
Q: “What are you waiting for?” my Master. As unsatisfying as this
A: “Death. Why are you asking questions?” encounter was, I dare say you may
Q: “I am a seeker of knowledge. Why do –“ eliminate the Fey as a serious factor in your
A: “Why are you seeking knowledge?” plans to conquer Lilliend. A handful of
Q: “So that I might know the truth. Why do Dryads, unable to travel very far from their
you -” trees – and apparently too timid to reveal
A (agitated): “Forget the truth. Embrace themselves to me while I was in L'Haut –
lies. They are softer, your roots will dig will hardly make an army. I never
deeper. The truth is bedrock. The truth is encountered other Fey during my survey,
the land. The land will hold you fast so suggesting 'the others' are even more
you can never escape, and you will be retiring in nature. Of course, magically
trapped with the abomination.” dominating any Fey found could make them
Q: “What is the abomination?” useful stewards of territory you wish to
A (agitated): “I cannot say. I must not say. hold, but L'Haut is hardly worth the effort of
I will not say. Its roots dig deeper into taking, and that one Dryad I found in
the land than mine. Its ears hear more in Luzander seems to be insane, or something
the winds than my leaves. I await death, close thereto.
but to anger the abomination would deny And yet. In spite of her... confusion, I do
me even that sweet release. Go. Leave not believe that she was lying to me.
here. I await death. My little sisters in Gryphons:
L'Haut await death or lie to themselves I know I already mentioned the domain's
that they are safe there, dreaming. Most suspiciously intelligent – and surprisingly
others fled. You should flee. Run, while small – Gryphons in my section on
you still may. Go. Go away! GO NOW!” Landscape, but wish to add a few tidbits
more, which I only discovered after I
had made my way to Le Bas,
established my first laboratory in the
domain and found time for a little
light scrying and crafting.
To augment my further research,
I created my first homunculus. I do
not doubt that you would find many
faults with Firstborn, but it has
repaid the costs of its creation
tenfold just in this first stage of my
research. A combination of direct
scrying and stealthy reconnaissance
by Firstborn brought to light that, far
from living like the beasts they
appear to be, the Gryphons have at
least one proper settlement in
L'Haut! Through my magical sensor
and Firstborn's eyes, I saw the

103
creatures go in and out of a crudely my cottage's floor, sending my mind out to
assembled, but nevertheless stout, fortress scout and map and spy – and I made a
of rough-hewn wood and stone, built on discovery.
one of the larger plateaus of L'Haut, On several occasions, my magical
carrying in freshly-killed food and bowls of sensors just …. winked out, leaving me back
water. in my own body, startled and confused. I
What is more, there was smoke rising experimented, determined my grasp of the
from the fortress' chimneys, and I swear to magic was solid and confirmed the duration
you on the grim patrons of the Eternal of the spells, leading to the conclusion that
Order that there were gryphons wearing either someone was interfering with me, or
armour who stood guard at the entrance! In there was some kind of passive ward I had
hindsight, my escape from the high reaches chanced upon. As none of my other magical
was far luckier than I had realized. Any or alchemical experiments suffered any
attempt you make at conquering Lilliend, interference, I decided to consider the
my Master, should take these creatures into second explanation the more likely.
account. A predator capable of hunting both Through tireless effort, while the autumn
in the air and on land, intelligent enough to winds rattled the roof-tiles above me, I
construct shelters and handle tools, and plotted out the locations where my magic
quite likely gifted with problem-solving had failed me. In the end, I determined
intelligence can only be considered to be there were a round dozen of them within
deadly competition – at least, until you find my range, four of them located on plateaus
some way to bring them to heel. close to the Letztafl which had not been
cultivated and had an unsavoury reputation
Dead Zones & Ogier – although, tellingly, no one I questioned
The seasons turned to autumn during my could tell me exactly why this was so.
stay on the Letztafl, making the notion of I overcame my reluctance to travel in the
ascending the higher plateaus a hazardous steadily worsening weather, my Master,
one. Even if the mountaineer I questioned thanks to the compulsions you have so
had not warned me outright, I daresay I thoughtfully placed in my mind, and trekked
would have deduced it from the way people out physically to investigate these 'dead
started trickling into the city; loggers, zones'. I do hope you appreciate my efforts;
trappers and others who spent much of the I had a miserable time ascending to the
year on the higher plateaus were seeking higher plateau, half-blinded by driving rains
shelter within the embrace of city walls. and in constant danger of losing my footing
Regrettably, my knowledge of the or being swept away by a surprise
wilderness on the higher plateaus still mudslide. Even when I was under the cover
seemed lacking, and so I devised an of the forest canopy, cold water continued
alternate method of reconnaissance. I to leak and drizzle its way down to me,
rented a small cottage on the outskirts of smothering any fires I tried to set.
town to have some privacy, furnished a I found the 'dead zones' easily enough,
laboratory which allowed me to start a thanks to my flawless attention to detail and
couple of alchemical processes, and superior documentation, but found myself
reacquainted myself with the section of my unable to enter.
spellbook that deals with scrying. For hours My first attempt to do so sent wracking
on end, I sat cross-legged in the middle of pains through every part of my body until I

104
retreated a stone's throw from the 'zone's' mustache, the other female and graced with
edge. My second attempt, augmented by long, braided hair. Both were deep in
every abjuration I could conjure at short discussion in a low, rumbling language I did
notice, 'merely' made me feel so violently ill not recognize. To be precise, they appeared
that I could not think and found myself to be arguing about something, but in a
stumbling away, my spells gone as surely as genteel, civilized sort of way.
though they had never been cast. All my Fortunately for me, they were so
attempts to identify the nature of the effect engrossed in their discussion that I was able
through the finest efforts magical and to trail them with relative ease. I made
alchemical failed miserably, as everything I copious running notes on their discussion
tried to send into or touch upon the effect while they walked and talked – and, as it
winked out or went inert on the instant it turned out, harvested late nuts and fruits
touched the 'zone'. from the forest, which the female collected
I pitched my tent a fair distance from the in her apron. To my regret, my focus on
'zone', camouflaged it to the best of my transcribing was a little too absolute, and I
ability, and retired to rest and recover. Of did not notice the creatures' path had gently
course, I was not completely idle; I used my looped around.
spyglass to look as deep into the 'zone' as I Quite unexpectedly, I found myself
could, taking copious notes well into the wracked by hideous pain and I cried out,
night. I was just comparing the flora I could stumbling blindly away from the edge of
see inside the 'zone' to that outside it – and that accursed dead zone. By the time my
I hasten to add I found no noteworthy sight had cleared up, the creatures were
differences – when I spotted the creatures long gone, but I had a terrible sense of
striding towards me through the trees. foreboding. I grabbed as many of my notes
Fortunately, they had apparently not as I could reach without subjecting myself
noticed me. I blew out the sole candle I had to the dead zone's dread touch and packed
used to write by and put away my spyglass, up my tent, then ran for the edge of the
allowing my eyes to get used to the dark plateau. I was halfway down the incline
while I observed the strange beings. when instinct made me look up, and I saw
Both stood head and shoulders above a them outlined against the cloud-filled sky by
human and, at first, I thought them a lightning bolt: five of the hulking
unusually well-groomed Ogres. As they creatures, each one armed with an axe with
passed by my shelter, however, I noted the an unusually long handle. We stared at each
differences in anatomy. This was no pair of other in the dark, and I fancy we were all
gnarled Giant-bloods in search of carnage frozen by indecision. In the end, I shimmied
and brutality; these were tall, straight- further down. As soon as my boots hit the
limbed creatures with dignity and purpose. ground, one of the creatures very
They wore proper clothing, fit for their size. deliberately brought his axe down on my
While their features were not human, they grapnel, causing my rope to fall limply down
were not wholly hideous. The tufted, at my feet.
pointed ears which swiveled in response to Message received, I retreated to the
noises might suggest animalistic tendencies, security of my cottage to rest and recover,
my Master, but I found them merely and refrained from making any further
appropriate to the creatures' features. One personal forays into the dead zones. I did,
was noticeably male, sporting a long however, translate the notes I had taken

105
and performed follow-up scrying on the The Ogier's grand dream of one day
area around the zones, using the smothering the influence of the Darklords
opportunity to spy on the creatures as throughout the Wartorn Cluster came
opportunity allowed. crashing to a bitter halt once they reached
Please find enclosed my notes on these Lilliend, however.
tall, axe-wielding creatures, who name Like other Darklords, Camille Churnstone
themselves Ogier. If they can be tamed, sensed the rise of stedding in her land;
they would likely make a useful fighting unlike the other Darklords the Ogier had
force. The effort needed to extract them encountered to that point, she was neither
from the dead zones is currently impossible too weak to respond, nor dismissive of the
to calculate, however; my best efforts did effect a few magic-dead and 'numb' spots
not even tell me what causes them, let could have on her mastery of the land. She
alone how they could be deactivated or arranged for a few lone Ogier to be
circumvented. captured when they ventured out of their

Dread Possibility: Ogier and stedding in Ravenloft


Although Ciska is unfamiliar with Ogier and stedding at this point and classifies both under
Unnatural Hazards, anyone who has read Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time-series is likely to be
familiar with them.
An AD&D 3.0-compatible ruleset for roleplaying in this setting has been published by Wizards of
the Coast, although this is no longer in print. Several fan-made online resources exist, however,
allowing for people to engage in the setting in accordance with the D&D 3.5- and Pathfinder-rules.
Personal recommendations include, respectively, Under the Dragon's Banner and Wheel of Time
Pathfinder RPG. The second of these provides character creation rules for Ogier.
While the Ogier of Lilliend are generally loathe to interact with any other species within the
domain, sometimes daring youths feel the urge to explore the wider world, and might join an
adventuring party headed for the border.
Ogier have come to Ravenloft with the appearance of the domain known as the Broken Wheel,
to the southeast of Lilliend. They suffered several nasty surprises upon their arrival. They are a
gentle, erudite people in tune with the world around them and deeply respectful of nature, who
suddenly found themselves in a place where malice and corruption lurk in every shadow and the
land is bound to evil through its connection to the Darklords and the Dark Powers.
The Ogier once hoped they could escape the malice they sensed all around them by migrating
to other domains. Unfortunately, they only found different types of evil. At one time they hoped
they might ride the danger they sensed all around them out by opening their prized artefact, the
Book of Translation, but discovered the priceless item would no longer carry them forward in time.
All it would do was to create new stedding, the magic dead areas where Ogier must retreat to
at certain intervals to stave off death.
An Ogier who holds the Book of Translation in Ravenloft can create a stedding by performing a
week-long ritual. The size of the stedding is dependent on the Ogier's personal power, typically
creating an area with a radius of 50 ft. per level. The Ogier must be at least of fifth level before the
Book will activate for them.
The stedding were – and continue to be – welcome havens from the evil that the Ogier sensed
all around them, although their nature has changed in the Demiplane of Dread.

106
Inside the stedding, no spell can be cast, and no spell can be cast into it. Active spells that enter
stedding are automatically dispelled without save. The effect of permanent magical items is
suppressed until they leave the stedding, rendering magic weapons merely masterwork, wondrous
items powerless objets d'art, and potions and alchemical extracts bottles of coloured water.
Constructs fall dormant as soon as they try to pass the boundary and remain so until they are
carried out. Animated dead like zombies likewise fall dormant until removed – but greater undead
like ghouls, vampires and wights can weather the effect, even though they cannot use any
magical, spell-like or supernatural abilities they have while within the stedding. Summoned
creatures retreat as soon as they touch a stedding's border and refuse to enter, regardless their
summoner's orders.
Spellcasters themselves become nauseated and blinded with pain as long as they are inside,
even if they are normally immune to these conditions. In addition, a stedding functions under a
constant, permanent magic circle against evil effect.
Also, the touch of the domain's Darklord is much reduced inside a stedding, toning down from a
strong pulse to a distant, muted buzz.
Unknown to Ogier, a Darklord can sense the presence of a stedding in their domain. The rise of
a new stedding gives them an annoying feeling comparable to suddenly losing sensitivity in a part
of one's body. Although this sensation soon passes, the Darklord can thereafter pinpoint the 'spot'
without any great effort, meaning that any Darklord with the means and desire to do so could
clamp down on the Ogier settlements in their territory with little trouble.
In addition, any Darklord who manages to get their hands on the Book of Translation can use it
to reverse the process that created a stedding, returning a stedding of any size to normal land by
means of a 24-hour ritual.
Well-intentioned as they are, the Ogier thought they might save the land from itself by creating
more stedding in key places, and perhaps one day expanding the stedding-effect to cover whole
lands. One thing about the Demiplane of Dread that came as a pleasant surprise to the Ogier was
the way their birthrate suddenly spiked, allowing them to not only travel to new lands as they
appeared adjacent to the Broken Wheel, but also to create new colonies there. As their colonists
carried the Book of Translation with them, they created new stedding to house their burgeoning
villages.
safe haven, and personally tortured them The Darklady used the Book to destroy
for information until she knew enough to two stedding and personally lead the
set her plan. vampires who descended on the terrified
Although Camille could not enter the Ogier attempting to flee to other safe
stedding herself, she could and did drive an havens. Otherwise, she has refrained from
unprecedented number of vampiric spawn using the artefact …. because, like so many
into each of the stedding. The Ogier, forced of her other treasures, she has forgotten
to fend off wave after wave of vampires, where she hid it. The Darklady is content
struggled to protect their people. As a that at least the Ogier cannot use the Book
result, they were less alert when it came to of Translation anymore and takes a dark
protecting their precious Book of glee in the knowledge that the gentle giants
Translation, which was stolen from its place exist in a state of muted desperation to
of keeping by Camille's agents. retrieve their prized artefact, while they

107
know even less of where it might currently Every time Thunder-Father came to her,
be found than she does. Haurau would weep, for she felt keenly the
If a brave adventurer were to discover death of each of her children. Also, her
the location of the fabled artefact and mate was not a gentle lover and would
return it to the Ogier, their name would leave her crying when he was done. She
surely go down in the long-lived giants' tolerated it all, though, for she loved
legends and history as the greatest hero of Thunder-Father in spite of his flaws and
all time. On the other hand, anyone who so knew that he loved her above all others (of
aids the Ogier would also incur Camille whom there were many), and knew she
Churnstone's undying enmity... needed him so she might bear more
Until such time as the Book is returned to children and also to keep at bay the
them, the Ogier in Lilliend live in self- dreadful Mists.
imposed isolation. They have not dared One day, as he was looking about for a
report their failure to protect the priceless new lover to wile away a stray moment (as
talisman to their people in other domains, he often did), Thunder-Father happened to
they avoid contact with the other creatures cast his roving eye beyond his blue orb of
inhabiting Lilliend, and much of the joy has sky.
gone out of their lives. There, suspended in the endless waves
of the Mists, he saw the sleeping Brightwell,
History - Creation Myth who had once been as a sister to his mate.
According to a body of mythology shared Now Haurau was dark as the earth, old
in one form or another by all the current and, to be blunt, fat, sagging and wrinkled
purveyors of organized religion in Lilliend, after her many pregnancies; but Brightwell
there was once a time 'when all the lands was pale as cream, fresh with youth, and
were one', and the land was a goddess her hair was a halo of fire about her
named Haurau, who hung suspended in the dreaming face. No sooner had Thunder-
blue orb of the sky. Haurau was the earth, Father spotted Brightwell, than his desire
she was the water, she was the forests, she flared and he flew forth from the blue orb of
was fire, she was the mother of every living sky, cracking it in his urgency.
thing that walked upon her surface, and she And while Brightwell slept, Thunder-
loved all her children. Father threw himself upon her just as he
always hurled himself upon Haurau, and the
Haurau's mate, the father of all her pain of his assault woke her from her
children, was Thunder-Father, who held dreams, crying out so all the Mists rang with
together the blue orb of the sky that it. This did not dissuade Thunder-Father,
surrounded Haurau and kept the Mists at who visited his lusts upon her and then got
bay. Thunder-Father was the sky, and the up to return to his blue orb of sky. But he
clouds, and the wind, and the rain, and the noticed that Brightwell's belly was swelling
lightning, and the thunder. Thunder-Father with the child he had made with her, and he
did not care about the living things that paused, fully proud of his virility.
grew and moved on Haurau. Whenever he A second time, Brightwell cried out; and
lusted for his mate, he would hurl himself the evil one who would come to be named il
upon her without caring how many 'little Demonio burst forth from her womb, dark
things' he crushed. and full-grown, a terrible reflection of his
father's worst aspects and his mother's

108
power. Before Thunder-Father's disbelieving “Have mercy on me, oh father
eyes, his son hurled himself upon his mine,” the evil one pleaded. “Let me take
mother just as he had done, causing her to refuge in your blue orb of sky, for my
cry out in pain a third time – and he did sister-daughter seeks my life, and my
nothing, so confused was he by what was mother hates me. Please, oh please
happening. save me, oh father mine, whom I
And as Brightwell's belly swelled with the love.” which was a damnable lie, for il
child of her own son, her green eyes locked Demonio loves no one save himself. But
on Thunder-Father's blue eyes and she Thunder-Father was a fool, and he was
spoke terrible words: “Bew are. For the feeling sentimental, and so he swallowed
nex t m an to touch your m ate, m y the lie whole.
sister Haurau, w ill break her, w orse Through the crack in the blue orb of sky
than you and your son have broken they passed, and Thunder-Father reached
m e, and you shall be alone!” up to close it. But il Demonio stayed his
Then she drew up her legs and kicked hand, whispering: “Oh father mine, what
out, driving il Demonio off of her so her if my sister-daughter or my mother
second child could be born, and she cried follows after? Should we not leave a
out a fourth and last time at her pain. Bright little door by which we might escape
Ashar exited her mother and immediately their wrath? ”
engaged her father-brother in brutal battle, At il Demonio's words, Thunder-Father
and the screams of pain and the roar of remembered how Brightwell had been there
combat were such that Thunder-Father fled with Haurau and him before the beginning,
back to his blue orb of sky, terrified by the and how she ruled the Mists just as he ruled
consequences of his actions. the blue orb of sky …. and how small the
orb was compared to the Mists. He grew
very afraid of the wrath of Brightwell
and Ashar then, and agreed, turning his
back on the crack in his blue orb of sky.
And so he did not notice the evil things
of the Mists, Brightwell's nightmares,
creeping in through that crack,
blaspheming in honour of il Demonio as
they went to hide in the shadows of the
world. But he did notice the way Haurau
squirmed with discomfort as evil seeped
into the cracks in her skin, making itself
at home and leering at her children with
murderer's eyes.
Again, il Demonio whispered to
Thunder-Father, saying: “Your mate
But the Mists were vast, and the journey
Haurau is looking about for the man
was longer going back than it had been
who shall break her, oh father mine,
going forth, and while he fled, Thunder-
just as my mother her sister
Father noticed il Demonio fleeing at his
prophesied. Do you not see her fear
side.
and discomfort? Do you not love her,

109
oh father mine? Do you not wish to not, even now. All he cares about is the
save her, oh father mine? You should terrible loss he feels for the lover he
go to her and lie atop her, oh father murdered. He does nothing to close the
mine. Choke out all the little wriggling crack in the blue orb of sky, that lets in
things that might otherwise do her Brightwell's nightmares. He does not try to
harm, and she will be safe in your find a new mate from among the throng of
arms forever!” goddesses that govern the many lands.
To Thunder-Father, this sounded like a From time to time he raises his tired and
very good idea; and so he hurled himself sorrowful face to look for his son, or his
atop Haurau, crushing animals and plants granddaughter, or even faerie Brightwell
and people by the millions. And in his fear, and her halo of flame.
he hurt Haurau until she cried out for the But all he hears is his son's mocking
very first time for him to stop, but he would laughter, or his granddaughter's clarion call
not listen. to righteous battle …. or Brightwell's silence
So it came to pass that Thunder-Father, as she sleeps away eternity in the cradle of
wishing never to lose the one he loved the Mists.
above all others, shattered her in his grip. And so Thunder-Father sits alone and
And Haurau was no more, and the land was weeps, and his tears are the rain and the
no longer one. snow, and his broken voice is the wind that
From the Mists, Thunder-Father heard lashes Lilliend every night.
the powerful voice of Brightwell, saying
simply: “I had w arned you !” Recorded History
All the new lands slipped through Just as Lilliend's creation myth is shared
Thunder-Father's fingers while he tried by all the land's organized religions –
desperately to fit them back together, and although they each give an individual
the face of his one true love shattered into interpretation of the events therein – the
a multitude of younger goddesses, who land has a unified history, accepted by all
sprinted away from him to govern the many the local humans. In fact, the noble families
lands, rather than endure his touch or his take pains to ensure every citizen knows the
presence for even one moment longer. 'true course of events' which lead up to
Thunder-Father looked about him, Lilliend being as it is.
hoping to see his son, that he might I was happily surprised when
comfort him, but il Demonio was gone to investigating my first Lilliender city to
bedevil the new world. All that lingered was discover that history books were available
his mocking laughter, and so Thunder- for a negligible price. While my copy's
Father knew himself to have been betrayed penmanship was less than optimal, the
by his own blood ... and alone. shopkeeper who sold it to me explained this
Alone and wounded to his core, Thunder- was so because the cheaper history books
Father sat upon the highest mountain peak are the fruits of writing lessons given at the
he could find, the highest peak of what is domain's boarding schools. Young women
now Lilliend, and there he stayed; thus the learning calligraphy are ordered to copy the
sky remains always above the land now, nation's history, and the fruits of their
instead of crashing down upon it, and the labour are then sold, with the profits
animals and the plants and the people may channeled into their school's coffers. (After
live – but Thunder-Father cares for them a reasonable deduction for the benefit of

110
the shopkeepers, who must after all find a between mortals erupted there, at the site
way to shift the stock.) where the first city stood, which would later
My delight at such easily-accessible become the nation's capital: Luzander.
history turned to disappointment soon Blood soaked the earth and the dead
enough, and not just because the so-called were stacked like cordwood on both sides,
author had the disagreeable habit of leaving but in the end, humanity prevailed and the
inkblots in the margin of every other page, Elves fled back into the wilderness to lick
rather than regularly clean the nib of her their wounds and plan their next attack.
pen. Four great, human heroes had
Lilliend's history flows forth organically distinguished themselves above all others
from its creation myth. during the battle, and their names were
The Lilliender believe that after Thunder- Churnstone, Lenkherr, Lockstone and
Father retreated to the highest mountain Weisücher. Hailed by their fellow humans
peak – probably the plateau where I first as natural leaders, they would go on to
entered the domain – some of the found the four great noble families of
goddesses born from Haurau took the Lilliend. They agreed among themselves
domain in hand. Proud Artemis ruled the that in future, the nation's kings would be
wilderness and the spirit of woman; wise elected from among their leaders, and that
Athena governed the urges to create and every time a king died – for whatever
learn; and faerie Carolin was the nursemaid reason – the four families would elect a new
of the Elven people, who set themselves one, based on wisdom, strength, skill and
apart from the humans favoured by her two power.
sisters.
Artemis first taught humans to hunt, A brief breakdown of the
gather and fight to protect what was theirs.
Athena taught humans to build homes four families, as they
and villages, then cities. She also taught
them to weave, smith, write, and all the came to be known:
other skills needed to rise from the wild into
civilization. Churnstone
Carolin crept up the mountains and Heraldry: A raven, spreading its wings
forced herself on Thunder-Father while he over a rampant lion upon an obelisk.
slept, later giving birth to a son she named Motto: 'Kraft, gegründet auf Dauer'
Coralin and took for her consort. Family seat: Karnbrunnen
While the humans, under the guidance of Traditionally, the Churnstone family
Artemis and Athena, strove to make a place governs the city of Karnbrunnen and the
for themselves in the world, Carolin and surrounding territory, closest to L'Haut. The
Coralin taught the Elves to envy and covet family made its fortune by managing the
while they lurked in the wilderness. Just as domain's quarries and the guilds of masonry
the humans of Lilliend completed building and engineering. Although no Churnstone
their first city, the Elves erupted from the recorded in history has been an architect or
deep forest, carrying bows and arrows engineer of note, their territory has
made for them by their incestuous patrons produced them, and thus they claim the
in their hands, and carrying hatred and glory such men and later women earned as
greed in their hearts. The first battle their own.

111
Regrettably, the two things the word. As a result, even today their name is
Churnstones are known for which might be considered to be a byword for
called their true achievements are the untrustworthiness and shameless
tendency for poetic genius which crops up exploitation.
from time to time, and the fact that the While the Lenkherr may claim their motto
main family has gone extinct through an is 'to excel in all things', even their own
unidentified malady or weakness. serfs are more likely to mutter 'trust a
Lenkherr to betray you'.
Family traits
Heart of Poetry. Prerequisite: Family traits
Churnstone family member, human Dark Charm. Prerequisite: Lenkherr
ancestry. family member, human ancestry.
A member of the Churnstone family with A member of the Lenkherr family with
this trait receives a +1 to Perform (oratory) this trait receives a +1 to Bluff when
or Perform (sing) and Perform is always a interacting with any creature sexually
class skill for them. attracted to them, and Bluff is always a
Voice of the Land. Prerequisite: class skill for them.
Churnstone family member, human Embrace of the Land. Prerequisite:
ancestry. Lenkherr family member, human ancestry.
A member of the Churnstone family with A member of the Lenkherr family with
this trait receives a -1 to all Powers checks this trait receives a +1 to all grapple checks
made when levelling a curse against against medium-sized or smaller opponents
someone, cumulative with other modifiers regardless of their own size, cumulative
that affect the laying of curses. with other modifiers.

Lenkherr Lockstone
Heraldry: A hunting hound, running Heraldry: A hyena, glancing over its
next to a lion, both their tongues lolling. shoulder and baring its teeth.
Motto: 'Exceller en toutes choses' Previously: A lion, rampant, roaring at
Family seat: Malkort the moon.
Traditionally overseeing Lilliend's wine Motto: 'Sed nunc liber'
country, the Lenkherr made their fortune by Previously: 'Ehre durch Pflichtsamkeit'
establishing the nation's first vineyards and Family seat: Schlotstein
breweries. Unto this day, Lenkherr wine, Overseeing the lands closest to the final
beer and spirits are considered the finest of edge of Le Bas and responsible for
all Lilliend, and the produce of their lands is patrolling the final descent to other lands,
one of few things exported – to a very the Lockstones were traditionally concerned
select clientèle. Sadly, more than their wine, most of all with the nation's defence against
the Lenkherr are known for being invasion by 'heathen foreigners'. The
sycophants to whoever is in power, and Lockstones excelled in military training and
debauched lechers when at home. The the forging of metal, having crafted the
Lenkherr are born politicians and courtiers, finest weapons and armour, but also the
keen on spinning webs of intrigue and finest tools in all of Lilliend.
deceit to get ahead and consider their serfs Recognizing the need for soldiers and
to be at their disposal in every sense of the knights to be able to trust the people who

112
supplied them with food and labour, the tended to mutter that it is easy to look to
Lockstones made the revolutionary move of the future if you can effortlessly fill your
ending the serf system in their lands, plate and your cup on any day of the year.
declaring all commoners within their Despite the criticism levelled against
holdings to be free folk. As a direct result, them by other noble houses that they
the Lockstones were among the most tended to ignore the struggles of their
beloved nobles in all the land, as well as the neighbours so long as they could fill their
second wealthiest; the commoners under own plate, the Weisücher are indeed known
their protection offered their best efforts to to have produced some of the greatest
make the Lockstone lands thrive and paid philosophers and scholars of Lilliend's
their taxes freely. In return, the Lockstones history. Certainly it was a Weisücher queen
held strong to their notion of 'noblesse who founded the nation's educational
oblige', with nobles unhesitatingly offering system, which is a great boon to young
aid and comfort to commoners in time of people who manage to meet the entry
need, just as they received aid and comfort requirements.
in times of plenty.
Family traits
Family traits Child of the Land. Prerequisite:
Undaunted Hyena. Prerequisite: Weisücher family member, human ancestry.
Lockstone family member, human ancestry. A member of the Weisücher family with
A member of the Lockstone family with this trait receives a +1 to Stealth,
this trait receives a +1 to all Will saves and cumulative with other modifiers, and Stealth
Concentration checks. is always a class skill for them.
Wrath of the Land. Prerequisite: Memory of the Land. Prerequisite:
Lockstone family member, human ancestry. Weisücher family member, human ancestry.
A member of the Lockstone family with A member of the Weisücher family with
this trait can go into a rage, similar to a this trait has been initiated in the family's
Barbarian, for one round each day, secret lore, and may select the Dark Ones
whenever they see an ally or an innocent as a patron, either individually or as a
victim threatened by an enemy, and gain all collective.
the benefits associated therewith. They
suffer the same consequences as a The four great families did as they had
Barbarian afterward. decided, dividing the nation of Lilliend into
four provinces and governing them in
Weisücher accordance with laws passed down by the
Heraldry: A rampant lion, crowned, kings they elected from among their own
roaring at the sun. number. While the history does not say so
Motto: 'Sois entendu, et c'est tout' outright, there are ample hints that some of
Family seat: Luzander the kings were but puppets, their edicts
The historical wardens of the nation's given to them by coalitions of two or more
capital of Luzander and consequently of the of the great families and temples. All that
nation's richest farming lands, the stood in the way of permanent alliances
Weisücher boasted that they were the most governing the whole nation was the endless
far-sighted of the noble houses. Others, bickering between the Lenkherr and
particularly the Lenkherr and Lockstones, Lockstone families.

113
In Lilliend's early history, the Lockstones Arthus III coveted his neighbours' wealth
were a byword for honour and dutiful and hoped to revitalize his economy with a
behaviour, whereas the Lenkherr were judicious infusion of plunder.
known to be shameless debauchers who The flower of Lilliend's nobility rode out
abused their own serfs. As both families to attack the unsuspecting heathen, driving
jockeyed for power over the other and commoners recruited at sword-point to
alternatingly swayed the Churnstones and serve as soldiers before them …. and
Weisücher to join their side, power shifted Lilliend was left without its farmers and
in Lilliend and politics remained ... dynamic. craftsfolk. While Arthus Weisücher III was
As you might imagine, my Master, the gallivanting about the world, playing the
common people suffered most whenever paladin and butchering 'enemy' commoners
the constant conflict flared up, with young by the cartload, the industry and economy
nobles gathering bands of brigands to burn, of Lilliend sank to all-new lows. The only
pillage and murder in enemy lands, and ones left to tend the home fires were the
knights staking pieces of land and the old men, the infirm, young boys …. and all
people living on it on the outcome of duels the women.
of honour. And when the common people Some five years before the 'war' –
suffer, so does the land; the constant actually the largest raid ever committed in
internal strife meant that farms could not Lilliend's history – ended, queen-consort
produce food, workers dared not travel, Helena Weisücher convened a council of the
payments were not made in time, and all of ranking women from all four great families.
Lilliend's economy suffered. Her speech is considered to be very moving
King Arthus Weisücher III, last king of and inspirational by the locals, but really
Lilliend, concocted a ruinous plan to save boils down to a series of forthright
his nation from poverty; he called the four observations of how king Arthus III had
great houses together and bound them botched his one job: the protection and
together by declaring war on a careful management of Lilliend. Helena
neighbouring nation for its 'ungodliness'. As went on to brutally point out the flaws of
the king had the authority to suspend all every other male ranking member of the
conflicts of honour during wartime, the rival four families and warned her sisters in
Lenkherr and Lockstone elders reluctantly nobility that if the men were allowed to
swore peace among themselves for as long continue on their path, they would ruin
as Lilliend was at war. Lilliend.
The history does not name this Surprisingly, the various consorts and
neighbouring land, but the author had wives agreed wholeheartedly, and voted
added a footnote that suggested the Helena in as the first ruling queen of Lilliend
massed armies of Lilliend were sent directly on the spot. By the time the war ended and
east, and so the 'ungodly' folk must be the the survivors of king Arthus III's army came
people of Conquista. She further speculated limping home, their mounts laden down
the Conquistan refusal to acknowledge with loot, their wives, mothers, daughters,
Thunder-Father may have been what set off sisters, cousins, aunts, and grandmothers
King Arthus Weisücher III, as the worship of had been digging in and preparing for five
Thunder-Father was apparently still years. Troops that marched into cities and
widespread and vital in his time. On the fortresses expecting a hero's welcome were
other hand, it seems more likely that king quickly disarmed and locked up. The officer

114
corps and the ranking male heads of the against one another when the opportunity
four families were imprisoned separately in presented itself. Commoners still needed to
the dungeons under the royal palace at live under the control of the four families,
Luzander. providing the food and labour that kept the
On a sombre, misty morning, these nation going, and the queen ruled all.
prisoners were dragged out of their cells A profound social shift had taken place,
one by one and brought to the square however; men were no longer in charge.
before the royal palace. Despite their Rather, men were now treated as necessary
pleading for mercy, their tantrums about for the long-term well-being of Lilliend, but
how the natural order was being defiled, they were a necessity that needed to be
and in many cases their absolute disbelief managed and guided by women, who were
that this could happen, each of the army naturally wiser and more capable of
leaders was executed by means of governing their emotions.
beheading. Queen Helena Weisücher I sat While one might argue the point whether
in state and watched the whole process one gender is innately better suited to rule
from start to finish without flinching once than another, my Master, the threat of civil
and without shedding a single tear. war was much reduced. This is not because
It is said that when king Arthus the Lenkherr and Lockstone families hated
Weisücher III's head tumbled into the each other any less, but because women
basket, the whole land shook and Mists rose generally have different methods of settling
on the horizon. conflicts than men do. Brave knights no
While the people fell to their knees and longer challenged one another to joust at
begged for Thunder-Father to seal the blue dawn, nor did petty lordlings round up
orb of sky and protect them, queen Helena bands of farmers to burn enemy
I rose to her feet and publicly denounced homesteads to the ground and butcher their
Thunder-Father for failing to do his duty of retainers. Rather, dowagers spread
protecting the world, even in the absence of disturbing rumours about their
Haurau. counterparts, and fine ladies bedecked with
“Are we not women?” she shouted at the lace and jewels paid assassins to pay quiet
massed civilians and her own troops. “Do visits to their enemies in the dark of night.
we not know greater courage than any
man, every time we dare to make new life?
Bow not to Thunder-Father, for he is the
worst of them; foolish, cowardly and
covetous. No; recall Artemis who gives a
woman her fierce and unbreakable spirit;
and recall Athena who gives a woman all In any case, the new way of doing things
the tools she needs to get the job done!” was much easier on the commoners than
Her words were met with ever louder the old way and allowed them more
cheers, and the women of Lilliend rose to opportunity to actually do their work. Queen
their feet, saluting Helena as the mother of Helena I introduced the notion of formalized
the nation's new era. education and funded the building of
Under Helena Weisücher I, Lilliend boarding schools, where the nation's young
continued much as it had done before. The women could 'improve their minds and skills
four great families still ruled, conniving without the distraction provided by boys

115
and other foolishness'. Educated young preferring to spend his time in the family
women returned to their homes and families library over the practice court and the
after graduation with fresh, new ideas hunting range. Also, his sister Amarthe was
which stimulated new trades. The nation's a little girl more interested in her dollies
coffers benefited from all these changes to than the needs of the Lockstone estate, let
the point that they started to 'overflow with alone the rest of the land. Seeing the needs
gold', or so claims the history. of the Lockstone holdings as more
Lilliend became so prosperous that important than following social dogma, the
queen Helena I felt she had made good on elders installed Maximilian on his mother's
her promise to save the nation, and she seat as head of house.
passed away peacefully in her sleep after Most of Lilliend laughed, and the history
having ruled for sixty years. She left to the books mention bets were made in Luzander
four families a united and prosperous by lesser nobles as to how long it would
Lilliend. take Maximilian to ruin his family, and for
As in days of old, the heads of the four the Lockstone cousin branches to take over
ruling families came together to elect a new control of the family seat at Schlotstein.
queen, and Magda Churnstone was elected Instead, the nobility and commoners
over Elka Lockstone by a narrow margin. were surprised to discover Maximilian was a
The Lockstone delegation was noticeably cold-blooded, distant, but highly efficient
disappointed, but as they still held duty and administrator. The young man turned out to
honour as their key virtues, they be well-learned, contrary to the trend to
congratulated the new monarch and teach young men only so much as they
departed for home with their dignity intact. needed to know not to bore the
Their dignity lasted until they were noblewomen they would one day be
halfway home; assassins paid by either married off to, and to give their sons their
Lenkherr or Churnstone gold fell upon the first instruction.
delegation and butchered all, leaving house Although he was not charming, nor even
Lockstone with the uncomfortable choice very diplomatically inclined, the young
whether to promote to head of house a five master of the Lockstone estate could
year-old girl, Amarthe, now the last recognize these qualities in others and sent
surviving daughter of their fallen liege-lady out his more silver-tongued cousins to
as all the other daughters had died at her mend fences with the Churnstones and
side during the ambush – or instead Lenkherr, offering formal apologies for
promote her twenty year-old son, ancient slights and presenting favourable
Maximilian Lockstone. trade options. He also managed to keep the
By Lilliend's new laws and standards, Lockstone estates running smoothly and
Maximilian was a ridiculous choice. As a improved the efficiency of their famous
man, he was not actually entitled to inherit forges by introducing new technologies he
anything, and should be expected to be a had read about in his beloved books.
dullard who thought with his muscles and Maximilian continued to serve as the
was governed by his passions and foolish soft-spoken and retiring head of the
whims. The Lockstone family elders Lockstone family, rarely leaving his study,
acknowledged the young man was anything let alone the family seat of Schlotstein,
but those things, however. Rather, he was during the reign of Magda Churnstone I.
known to be studious and thoughtful, Only when Magda died, according to some

116
rumours to poison, although the official dominate the political landscape of Lilliend.
story was that she had succumbed to spring 'Blasphemous' tongues whispered in the
fever, did the lord of Lockstone travel to shadows that perhaps, the way forward lay
Luzander to attend the election of the new not in any one gender dominating, but in
queen. For the first time in recorded history, the installation of a meritocracy.
Lockstone and Lenkherr did not bicker when The Lockstone delegation returned home
their chiefs met; Maximilian's diplomatic to Schlotstein, where Maximilian and
efforts had borne fruit, and his Lenkherr Canelle continued their courtship and, in the
counterpart, lady Olivia Lenkherr, was fullness of time, married and conceived
willing to bury the hatchet. their first child. By all accounts, their union
Instead, Maximilian's presence was was at the very least a companionable and
vocally objected to by the head of house friendly one, even if it was not a grand love
Weisücher, Helena, granddaughter of queen affair, with man and wife admiring each
Helena Weisücher I (and rumoured to have other's qualities and forming an efficient
arranged the untimely death of queen team.
Magda Churnstone I). On behalf of her Lilliend was at peace, with the noble
house, she demanded that Maximilian houses no longer at each other's throats
immediately remove himself from office in over conflicts best left in the past, and it
favour of his younger sister, Amarthe, who seemed that the bright goddesses smiled
was now of age to rule. When Maximilian upon the land and its people. Even the
politely – though somewhat coldly – Elves of the forest were less prone to
refused, Helena called upon the other heads attacking lone travelers and labourers they
of house to join her in declaring a vote of spotted near their sylvan territory, and
non-acceptance against Maximilian and fewer wild animals came storming out of
force him to abdicate. L'Haut to attack children and cattle when
To her shock and fury, both Olivia the weather turned towards winter.
Lenkherr and Magteld Churnstone refused Predictably, this was the moment where
to do so. Instead, lady Olivia offered everything went straight to Hell.
Maximilian her hands in friendship, and the The official history claims that Maximilian
hand of her eldest daughter Canelle in Lockstone, who had always been 'unusual'
marriage. for a man in that he preferred to be
“By your example and good faith, let us governed by his mind over his muscles,
move beyond the past. Let us forge a new succumbed to the paradox he embodied; a
future of peace and prosperity between us,” man who fostered peace instead of conflict,
she said, or so claims the official history. and reason over passion.
The election continued, despite Helena As a result of this internal schism, the
Weisücher's grumbling, and Magteld history books claim he went mad and
Churnstone was elected as Queen Magteld I murdered his pregnant wife. When his
by a majority vote of Lenkherr, Lockstone retainers came running to investigate the
and Churnstone versus Weisücher's one source of his gut-wrenching screams, they
vote in favour of Helena. During the found him in his wife's chamber, bathed in
coronation festivities, Maximilian Lockstone her blood and wielding 'a terrible blade,
and Canelle Lenkherr were introduced and bright as the moon'. Behind him lay poor
formally engaged to each other, adding to Canelle's gutted corpse.
the air of joy and goodwill that had come to

117
Howling hideous slander which vilified family estate for the sake of maintaining the
house Weisücher, Maximilian called for his nation's security and economy. Sadly, this
loyal retainers and knights, shrieking that proved to be insufficient.
war was upon them. Such was his frightful Shaken by recent events, the Churnstone
passion, his madness, that he managed to and Lenkherr animosity towards Lockstone
infect his entire household. House had been kindled afresh, and Lilliend's
Lockstone, nobles and commoners both, economy suffered accordingly. The forges
took up arms and stormed forth from their at Schlotstein lay cold as the land's finest
rightful seat at the edge of Le Bas into smiths had died fighting for their mad liege-
Lilliend's heartland. Instead of their old, lord, and the other noble houses were
admired banner of the Lilliender lion loathe to supply them with coal and ore.
challenging the symbol of darkness, they Savages from beyond the border dared raid
flew a hideous new flag that showed the the Letztafl, now the Lockstones were no
hyena, the scavenger who contests the lion longer able to beat them back.
its rightful prey, and a dark motto which What made everything worse, was the
betrayed their desire to cast off all their old fact that Lilliend was struck by a drought
values and the rightful rule of the queen. after the Lockstone Rebellion. A drought
When she heard of the approaching that lasted for years.
army, queen Magteld Churnstone I suffered Much to her frustration, queen Helena
a fatal schism of the brain and collapsed, Weisücher II spent most of her reign
dead. The only ranking noble in position to reinforcing the Lockstone holdings with her
replace her was Helena Weisücher, who own troops and nurturing the estate's trade,
was hurriedly crowned queen Helena and personally funding a far-reaching
Weisücher II by the lesser nobles which irrigation project to keep the nation's farms
infested the court even at the best of times. alive, rather than focusing on her
Her first order was to call upon the other grandmother's policy of stimulating the
noble houses to come to the defence of the whole nation by building up the education
nation's capital and strike down what would system. On the occasion of her death,
become known as the Lockstone Rebellion. Lilliend was still suffering the repercussions
After a year of running battles, which of the Lockstone Rebellion, and her closest
ended in a siege of Luzander itself, the confidantes claimed the queen might have
coalition of Churnstone, Lenkherr and taken poison to speed her end, rather than
Weisücher finally managed to defeat the continue the daily grind of rebuilding the
Lockstone horde, ending that house's main lands of an enemy and reaping nothing but
family line. Maximilian Lockstone died in contempt from the rest of the nobility for
single combat with Olivia Lenkherr, who her work.
later died of her wounds while being tended Helena II's death occasioned the next
by nuns of Athena. Amarthe Lockstone, who election, but attendance was low.
had served as her mad brother's squire, was The Lockstones were wholly absent,
executed in his stead for treason and owing to the fact that their main line was
warmongering. now extinct, and the law forbade cousin
After the war, Queen Helena II imposed branches from placing a vote.
stiff penalties on the Lockstone cousin The Churnstones declined to attend, as
branches but did allow them to take over they were now suffering some odd malady
the family seat and authority over their which was gutting the numbers of the main

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family line. They wished to focus on kill off the whole Lenkherr family, main line,
cleansing their house, rather than risk cousin branches, consorts, man, woman,
contaminating the rest of the nobility. and child, all.
Many of the lesser nobles also failed to History also records the Night of Blood,
make a showing of themselves due to the when the assassins descended on Malkort
continuing drought, which was having a during one of the many depraved Lenkherr
terrible impact on the nation's food celebrations. Although many of the
production and was even causing the Lenkherr died that night, the assassins
Wittwentraen and the Widow's Daughters to ultimately failed; the family of whom it is
dry up. still said 'Trust a Lenkherr to betray you '
The Lenkherr and Weisücher was itself well-prepared against treachery,
representatives eventually swore in queen and the army of assassins was ultimately
Yarsinde Weisücher I, but the omens were cut down by a combination of troops
against her from the start; she was simply moving through the secret passages of the
the eldest representative of her family at Lenkherr estate and a series of vicious
the time, not known for any excellence. Her traps.
reign limped on, with one mistake following While the halls of the opulent Lenkherr
another and lacklustre attempts at fixing the estate ran with blood, the moon above
damage to Lilliend's economy and social turned red and stormclouds gathered.
development. According to the people who survived that
In time, Yarsinde abdicated, quoting ill night, it was 'obvious' that Thunder-Father
health – while her own family's serfs and had finally deigned to notice the actions of
her own servants muttered her nerve had the little creatures who still infested the
finally broken in the face of general lack of shards of his lover's body, and their actions
approval for her reign – and was succeeded had filled him with wrath.
by Helena Weisücher III, her daughter. A thunderstorm to end all storms erupted
Helena III tried to restore the nation's over Lilliend, shattering buildings, scattering
agriculture by having dams built and canals humans and beasts alike, laying waste to all
dug, but none of her good works managed that was known. When finally the wind
to save the Churnstones, whose main line subsided and lightning-bolts no longer fell
died out due to their still unidentified like raindrops, the devastation was beyond
malady. belief. Even proud Luzander was in ruins,
With two of the four houses now and queen Helena Weisücher III and her
ineligible to vote in the next queen, and the immediate family had died, crushed by the
drought failing to let up, tensions started to collapsed roof of the royal palace.
rise between Lenkherr and Weisücher. With the Weisücher in disarray, their
Although the Lenkherr remained as main family line extinct, house Lenkherr
sycophantic as ever, Helena III grew moved in to claim the throne. For the past
increasingly paranoid that the Lenkherr five generations, all queens have been
were getting ready to kill off her main members of the Lenkherr family, with the
family line, leaving themselves as the only current queen Alexandra no exception.
available rulers of Lilliend. Many of the Lenkherr queens have
History records that Helena III paid half disgraced themselves and their office by
the royal treasury to foreign assassins, that indulging in their hedonistic appetites,
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119
and the company of young men and women recorded it. While ferreting out the truth of
of dubious morals, but it must be admitted this land's history would be a worthy
that they have gradually restored the nation challenge of my skills and powers, I am
and worked hard to restore the quality of its sure you do not wish to spend the time I
boarding schools. Troops once again patrol would need for such an undertaking, and
the edge of Le Bas, trade flows from city to other lands beckon.
city, the schools churn out educated young
women, and there is a certain quality of life Populace : Appearance
throughout the land. The common folk even I vividly recall how you scoffed at my
believe that the gods have blessed the interest in the subject of comparative
Lenkherr dynasty, as the rains once again anthropology, my Master. Your main
fall and the Wittwentraen flows freely. interest in people lies, after all, in finding
Of course, the troops guarding the ways to control, rather than understand,
borders and patrolling the cities are now them. Be that as it may, I believe you would
predominantly Lenkherr troops, with the benefit from reading my notes carefully and
other noble houses keeping their women-at- giving my theories all due consideration.
arms confined to their estates. The taxes After having spent a few months
demanded annually from the commoners all interacting with the humans of Lilliend,
flow into Lenkherr coffers. The officials who what struck me was how ethnically diverse
execute the queen's edicts are all lesser they were. Just among the noble class,
Lenkherr nobles. which (officially, at least) prefers to breed
There are no longer any Churnstones, mostly with itself, I discovered four broad
nor Weisücher, nor even Lockstones from strains, which differed as much from one
their families' main line to contest the another as possible while remaining true to
Lenkherr the crown and throne, the the human form. The commoners are even
surviving cousin branches are afraid to more diverse, displaying traits one might
question Lenkherr edicts, and many voices expect in the most cosmopolitan cities of
throughout the domain mutter: “Trust a the Core and any of the Clusters drifting
Lenkherr to betray you.” In spite of this, through the Mists.
there has been no further rebellion, nor Attempting to make a record of the
internal strife; Thunder-Father's wrath has various ethnic strains of commoner in
shown what might happen the next time Lilliend is a fool's errand, and so I will move
someone causes a bloodbath as Maximilian on to the more easily quantifiable nobility.
Lockstone and Helena Weisücher III did. You may recall from my recounting of
Here ends my summary of Lilliend's the domain's Recorded History that there
recorded history. You may note, my Master, are four great houses, which once passed
that nowhere does the history mention around the throne and crown among
when the Mists receded, revealing new themselves. Having delved a little deeper
lands beyond the borders. From the into the subject, I can say with some
author's footnotes, it seems clear the locals confidence that each great house has traits
are unaware that the neighbouring lands unique to it, although two are closely
have not always been as they are. related, and that the nobility of Lilliend
Consequently, I have serious doubts that today tries with quiet desperation to
this 'history' is worth the vellum it was maintain these traits through judicious
written on, but I have nevertheless dutifully

120
selection of husbands and wives. Lesser neighbours, they are more likely to display
noble houses are especially frantic to do so, the colourations associated with the noble
as though sporting the traits of greater families who govern the area where they
houses grants a veneer of glory and were born and raised. To me, this
legitimacy to houses likely founded by suggested that the noble families may once
women who were born on the wrong side of have been rather friendlier with the
the sheets. domain's Elven population than the creation
The Weisücher family and its myths would indicate.
descendants distinguish themselves through For the most part, Half-Elves live as their
pale skins with a tendency to freckle, red to human relatives and neighbours do. All
brown hair which tends toward tangled Half-Elves I found were commoners, plying
curls, and pale eyes. The typical Weisücher a craft or toiling as serfs on the land of local
is not blessed with height, but their build is nobles. So long as they keep their heads
solid and stable. down and do their job, they are left in
Lenkherr descendants display great peace. Any Half-Elf who makes trouble,
beauty. I say this from an objectively however, is likely to meet their fate at the
aesthetic viewpoint, rather than one of end of a rope. In fact, any Half-Elf found
subjective interpretation. Wavy hair which near the scene of a crime, any crime, is
ranges from pale to dark blond, eyes either likely to be lynched on the spot. Some
brilliantly blue or a surprising shade of gold, careful questioning brought no better
and fair skin which tans are all combined explanation than simple racism; even today,
with a tendency to regular features and tall, the humans of Lilliend feel that the Elves
lithe figures. I did not have the opportunity are vile monsters bent on exterminating
to perform a dissection and comparative them, and any creature that carries their
tissue study, but I suspect some measure of blood must 'naturally' be inclined to evil
Elven heritage in the bloodline. Maybe you acts.
will take the opportunity once you arrive, Finding pure-blooded Elves to study was
my Master? a nuisance and a half, my Master. My
Churnstones and Lockstones strongly Firstborn flew far and wide and I cast my
resemble one another; they are neither scrying spells as often as I could, and yet
exceptionally tall nor very short, their hair they remained as elusive as the Ogier. I
tends to be dark and straight, their skin scanned the area surrounding the dead
tone and eyes are naturally dark. The main zones in hopes that the Elves might be
difference, as far as I can see, is in small making common cause with these axe-
details; Churnstone features tend to be wielding Giants, but no such luck.
slightly more regular, the eyes larger and Only after I had plied a Half-Elf in
more expressive than Lockstones'. In Karnbrunnen with drink until he was nearly
contrast, Lockstone features are stronger, unconscious did I get a lead on the location
giving the impression they possess greater of an Elven village. Mindful of Elves' aloof
willpower. nature and expecting a siege mentality due
I discovered fairly quickly that a to the local humans' hatred of them, I kept
subsection of the populace consisted of my distance and spied on the village from
Half-Elves, who are more-or-less integrated afar, using magic and spyglass.
into the human population. While they tend Lelender Elves appear much like their kin
toward slighter builds than their human in Darkon and Sithicus in build and facial

121
structure. They are perhaps better attuned with the materials used shifting in
to the forested areas where they hide from accordance with the seasons.
humanity, possessing surprisingly earthy I was mildly surprised to note that such
skintones, which they painted to resemble dresses are largely free of embroidery;
the texture of bark and leaves, and braiding there appears to be a bias that anyone who
their hair with bits of moss and small plants, stitches patterns onto their clothes is
allowing them to fit in with their announcing to the world they are actually a
surroundings. commoner or serf. One exception which is
tolerated in Lilliender noble society, though
Fashion certainly not applauded, is the tendency to
Fashion is not a subject of great concern embroider the holy symbol of one's goddess
to the commoners and serfs of Lilliend. Men of choice onto the left shoulder. Piety
and women both wear tunics of rough-spun trumps society's bias, it seems – or at least
cloth, typically wool or hemp depending on the show of piety. A cynic might suggest
the season, and leggings, boots, and that the tendency to only embroider holy
bracers of thick, sturdy leather in all symbols advertises the nobles' belief that
seasons. While Lilliend's summer heat might they are second only to the gods...
be more pleasant with lighter footwear and The hennin was women's headwear of
clothing, the prevalence of venomous choice, and also an easy indicator of relative
snakes in wild areas – not to mention their status; only women with demonstrable links
tendency to slither into farmland in search to the four great houses of old are allowed
of edible vermin – makes the discomfort of to pin a veil to their hennin, typically in
sweaty feet an easy price to pay. house colours. It is highly uncommon for
Broad-rimmed hats with hemispherical the veil to be used to actually shroud its
tops, made of dark felt, are a common wearer's face.
accessory in all seasons; during summer For men from noble and/or wealthy
they keep off the sun, during autumn and families, sleeveless vests of velvet over silk
winter they keep off the sleet and snow. shirts were the fashion. Rather than wear
Commoner clothing is generally adorned hose 'like a peasant', men of quality are
with small markings representing the expected to wear kilts over silk stockings.
wearer's family, their home town, in some All in all, male clothing is more diverse in its
cases the guild they belong to, and the colouring, their vests and kilts displaying
noble family they answer to. In contrast to tartan-like patterns which indicate family
the rest of their clothing, these little badges allegiance. In a sense, every well-dressed
and sigils, typically affixed to the left man is colour-coded so his allegiance and
shoulder, can be delightfully intricate and ancestry are immediately apparent – a
artful. custom that put me in mind of branding
Among the nobility, clothing is more cattle in this case. Male headwear is
elaborate, and divided strongly between typically a more flamboyant version of the
what is appropriate for men and women. peasant's hat; wide-brimmed with a
Wide-skirted, sweeping gowns with laced hemispherical top, but the brim is curled up
bodices were the fashion of choice for on one side of the hat, and gemstone
women during my stay in Lilliend. Primal amulets and feathers are attached to the
colours dominate, and fine fabrics like upcurled side of the brim.
brocaded silk and velvet are very popular,

122
Both men and women of means wear a Lelender can be distinguished in 'Pure'
kind of ridiculous shoe with a curly tip, and 'Vulgar'. Both are quite obviously creole
typically crafted of velvet or some other languages, possessing a rather tortured
material inappropriate to rough terrain or grammar and an uncomfortably expansive
providing arch support. I was vividly vocabulary, which borrows from no less
reminded of the ballerina's shoes I saw than four distinct parent languages and
during that disgusting incident when you possesses numerous words to describe the
sent me and your other servants to the very same thing.
Grand Opera to fetch that young dancer, Pure Lelender is not in common usage,
who …. but I digress. even among the nobility; it is the language
From what I saw of the Ogier and Elves, of important contracts, legal decrees, noble
fashion is even less of an issue to them mottos, and religious ritual. Most, if not all,
than it is to the human commoners. citizens of Lilliend can understand it, but
Ogier tend to wear dresses and aprons only trained experts like professional scribes
for women, hose and sleeveless vests over are expected to ever use it. The only thing I
shirts for the men. Both genders wear solid can say in its favour is that Pure Lelender
boots, and elders held in esteem wear wide somehow manages to combine its disparate
robes. Regardless of the rest of their elements into a more-or-less harmonious
clothing, all wear hose underneath. All Ogier whole. It is not exactly easy to master, but
clothing is decorated with leaf patterns, not it offers the aspiring student certain
for camouflage purposes (though they could handholds by its highly rhythmic structure.
be used as such) but apparently out of love Assembling a sentence in Pure Lelender is
for the theme; during my magical as much like writing a poem in accordance
espionage, I saw Ogier sporting leaf with antiquated rules as it is
patterns which resembled no foliage I found communication.
during my study of the domain's flora, some In contrast, Vulgar Lelender is the
of them quite fanciful and most likely everyday language of commoner and noble
imaginary. alike. Contrary to what one might expect, it
Elves tend to a unisex dress code; hose is the more difficult form to learn, despite
and soft, knee-high boots with soles the fact that it shares much of Pure
moulded to leave prints which resemble Lelender's vocabulary. What makes it
animal tracks; long-sleeved shirts and especially troublesome, is the existence of
gloves; and sleeveless vests that trail into six distinct dialects in Vulgar, where the
divided skirts which fall down to the knee. Pure has only one.
All these clothes are painted and Vulgar Lelender displays one dialect as
embroidered to fade into the natural spoken by children, amongst each other and
background, enhancing the wearer's ability to adults (I); one as spoken by adults to
to hide from hostile eyes. children of either gender (II); one as
spoken by men or foreigners to men or
Language foreigners (III); one as spoken by men or
My analysis of Lelender, the main foreigners to women (IV); one as spoken by
language of the land, supported a theory I women to women (V); and one as spoken
had started to develop during my analysis by women to men or foreigners (VI).
of Lilliend's ethnic diversity. Note that it is illegal for a foreigner to
speak any dialect other than III and IV.

123
III and V are very different, they have a
Lelender Primer tendency to incorporate the same, highly
Base Dialect III Dialect IV specific, rhyme scheme and cadence in
Greetings! Bondië / Getag Seigrüss / common.
Venaro Regional dialects also exist, muddying
Goodbye Gewohl / Gesegn / the linguistic waters even further, but to my
Arevoir Wiedergabe slight relief I discovered that these generally
Yes Ha Sicert boiled down to local preference for certain
No Niëe / Oah Ela parts of the vocabulary over others. So long
Help! Asemoi! / Zuhil! Seignede! as one manages to master a goodly section
Love Amret / Liëe Mädegabe
of the vocabulary and remembers in which
Magic Brighfäde Ortîllatrîe
part of the Letztafl one is, there need be no
Men Gaster/ Om Rûck / Sevée
Women Freigabe / Höhgabe trouble. Of course, using pieces of the
Hohhabe vocabulary commonly associated with other
areas tends to irritate people and can be a
reason for poor service and general
Therefore, I will only include these in the
antagonism in the larger towns, and for
primer. Any attempt to break this law was
public humiliation and beatings in the
punishable by horse-whipping when I was
smaller settlements.
staying in Lilliend; a fate I barely managed
to escape after making a faux pas in a little
Lifestyle & Education
hamlet near Malkort.
Some differences between the dialects On the surface, Lilliend's daily life and
can be subtle and confusing, as they social structure looks predictable.
depend less on vocabulary than they do on No matter the airs the nobility gives
pronunciation, tone, inflection and what I itself, or the locals' insistence that theirs is a
can only describe as linguistic flourishes. thriving and civilized nation, I found the
Some dialects show a strong resemblance land woefully backward even at the best of
to one another, while others almost seem to times. Lilliend's nobility is clearly the
be completely different languages. Dialects degenerate offspring of succeeding waves
II and VI are almost indistinguishable to the of military conquerors, who settled in what
untrained ear in their tone and vocabulary, must have seemed to them a fat and
whereas dialects III and V observe distinct wealthy land, enslaving such locals as they
grammatical rules. found to become their servants or else
Dialect IV is never spoken at great coming to arrangements with them.
volume and requires the speaker to use a The supposedly grand cities of Lilliend
high tone; dialect VI is spoken with are, to someone who has visited Dementlieu
exaggerated care and a slightly raised voice. and Darkon, crude settlements. For some
Whispering in dialect IV is encouraged; reason, although the natives have managed
whispering in dialect VI is considered to be to build dams and aqueducts to irrigate
rude and cruel. their fields and feed their spas, they do not
Dialects I and II are, as one might have sewers.
expect, the most simplistic of the six. III, IV Luzander, the nation's capital and oldest
and VI are more complex, and V is city, is so bound by tradition that it is
indisputably the most complex of all. While forbidden to raise a building made of stone
in the inner city!

124
Lilliender cities and large towns are novelties, reserved only for officers and
trapped inside defensive walls, which stifle master markswomen. Were it not for the
expansion and oblige the citizens to either advantages offered to them by their terrain,
keep piling new levels onto old ones, or else and their admittedly ferocious loyalty to
let shanty-towns spring up outside their queen and country, I am convinced these
walls, with vague notions of one day swaggering brutes would be hard-pressed
building a new, larger wall to surround to keep out even a small battalion of well-
those as well as the inner 'city'. One can trained gunners. Just I by myself could
easily see that this style of 'strategic' probably have made stew of most of the
thought was instrumental in all the patrols I saw plodding about their duty.
supposedly 'great' cities of Lilliend, with the
sole exception of Karnbrunnen; the cities
are divided into inner and outer tiers by the A fair assessment.
remnants of circular walls, which have Lilliender society is stratified and, by and
largely been cannibalized for building large, ossified, with attempts at
materials (with the exception of Schlotstein, advancement thwarted in all ways save one.
which keeps all the walls intact), and once
The queen may originally have been as
served as the outer wall of original, smaller
close to an elected official as a backwards
settlements.
country like Lilliend could come, but her
Although the nobles of Lilliend claim
office is now an inherited one, and firmly in
sophistication, they observe the same
the grip of the Lenkherr family. Officially,
festivals as the commoners and serfs,
the queen rules all Lilliend absolutely, and
gathering to dance and share meals to
her word is law. In truth, her power is
celebrate the harvest; to drink, sing and tell
absolute only within the reach of her loyal
stories on the first eve of winter; to honour
soldiers and nobles, and she often needs to
the gods of Lilliend with puppet shows and
check up on the actions of her more
ritual on the first day of spring. The only
intractable nobles to make sure they are
real difference is in the amount of money
following her orders.
squandered on entertainments, the quality
The nobles rule their holdings as
of the food and drink provided, and the
absolutely as they dare within the limits set
quality of the feelings displayed. In my
by the queen's law and draw on the savings
personal estimation, visiting a commoner's
of their ancestors and the labour of their
festival was far more pleasant in spite of the
inferiors to support a lavish lifestyle. While
relative meanness of the fare and simplicity
the four great houses once stood at the top,
of the entertainment offered.
all but one have crumbled, and numerous
Armed troops may be encountered
lesser houses have sprung up to clamour
anywhere, enforcing the law and ensuring
about their own virtue. The nobles give
everyone knows the queen is in charge
themselves airs based on their impressive
(there was no distinction made between the
pedigrees and bicker among each other,
army and a civilian peacekeeping force), but
wasting money on appearance and other
lumber about in heavy armour, carrying
foolish expenses to show just how rich and
broadswords and axes. What ranged
noble they are. The only time I could
weaponry they possess is limited to the
determine that the current crop of nobility
longbow, with firearms unknown and even
does anything close to being useful is when
crossbows considered to be expensive

125
the queen calls upon them to serve her by wield any power save from the shadows.
performing various tasks. Any cleric who is caught at gathering
Freeborn commoners toil from dusk till influence is likely to be defrocked and
dawn to stay free, feed their families, and executed on the spot, and the easiest way
maybe advance their station a little. to rid oneself of a troublesome priest is to
Generally speaking, the nobility prevents accuse them of maneuvering to occupy a
the freeborn commoners from scraping position of power. On the other hand,
together enough money to buy actual priests and priestesses are supposed to be
influence, even if they join into guilds, by inviolate to mundane law, so long as they
levelling surprise taxes. do not violate them too openly. Many a
The army is composed equally of the young man has fled into the priesthood,
more patriotic and martial daughters of the rather than accept a marriage proposal they
nobility and of freeborn commoners who found intolerable, and was allowed to live in
feel armed service is their best chance of spite of the insult this presented to their
advancement. Lilliend's armed forces prospective bride's family.
occupy a kind of social no man's land. While Serfs live their lives tied to the land of
the more traditional nobles scoff at the their masters, whole generations trapped in
notion that they should show respect for the same flyspeck village and toiling every
someone who was born the daughter of a day to keep the very same patch of dirt
greengrocer, they only scoff when that fertile and profitable. There is supposedly a
heavily-armoured and well-armed warrior is possibility for an industrious serf to earn
not within hearing distance. The army, at enough to buy their freedom, but the
least, appears to be fanatically loyal to the nobility collect the majority of the serfs'
office of the queen, and it is rewarded by harvest in taxes and charge the earth for
receiving the finest equipment put out by anything their subjects might need to do
the Schlotstein forges and the cream of the their job, from tools to medicine. Thus, they
Weisücher's crop of horses. Patrols can be keep the people who nominally depend on
encountered anywhere in the country, them for protection impoverished and
either escorting nobles tasked to check up enslaved in all but name, and everything
on local luminaries or providing the queen's stays the same.
people with protection against brigands, Or it would, if not for the nation's
Elves, foreign invaders, and revolutionaries spectacular educational system.
born of their own ranks. For generations now, the crown of
The clergy of Lilliend's acknowledged Lilliend has been striving to provide quality
gods is likewise composed of both nobles education to every woman, from the
and commoners, but also offers positions to queen's daughters down to those of the
both men and women, depending on the meanest serf. Every settlement, even ones
god or goddess. Taking up holy orders is too small to have their own shrine to the
not seen as a solid career move by anyone, gods, has a school, even if this is but a
given that priests and priestesses are not ramshackle hut with a dirt floor and a single
allowed to marry, reproduce, or wield blackboard.
political or financial power themselves. Even While boys are required to work if serf-
priests who find themselves blessed with born or freeborn commoner, and noble boys
advisory or educational positions in the are expected to acquaint themselves with
homes of the mighty are unlikely to ever the ways of armed combat, hunting, dance,

126
polite conversation, and other methods of hundreds of scribes may be employed to
appealing to young ladies of quality, all make copies.
female children up to their twelfth year are I noticed during my stay in the city of
taught to read, write, and some simple Malkort that the most successful merchants
maths. Any girl who consistently excels at to specialize in the sale of books lowered
her lessons, outperforming her fellow the production costs by employing illiterate
students, can qualify for an official serfs, who they need not pay in person and
scholarship and full education at one of who can be requisitioned from ranking
Lilliend's famous boarding schools, paid for nobles by the dozen. In the case that
by tax money. straining to copy texts under adverse
Located outside the cities, well away working conditions, especially poor lighting,
from “boys and other distractions,” these causes these workers to fall ill or even go
lucky girls receive as full an education as blind, they can be turned out into the
Lilliend can provide on the subjects of streets to become beggars or die, and the
history, politics, advanced mathematics and merchants only need to pay a token sum as
language, as well as skills supposedly apology to the serfs' owner.
beneficial to married and professional life. I would like to say that the cost of
(Frankly, I was not too impressed with the human life is at least validated by an output
quality of this schooling, but allowing for the of valuable books on scholarly subjects, but
nation's obviously provincial and backwards I must honestly say it is a complete and
character, it is admittedly thorough.) Upon utter waste. The most popular kind of books
graduation, these students are released for sale in Lilliend are so-called 'romantic
with a fair-sized stipend, which can serve as novels', which are basically puerile fantasies
seed money to start a business of their about courtship and physical contortions.
own, or else as a dowry to start married life The main themes of these 'romances' has
off with. I was assured that many a not even caught up to modern events;
moderately successful freeborn family was noble knights still court their ladies with
taking pains to hide the fact that their flowers and pubescent poetry before riding
founding mother had been born in a serf's off to battle in the name of the King,
miserable hovel. whereupon the lady fair finds solace in the
It should not surprise you to learn arms of her closest friends whilst waiting for
however, my Master, that I discovered there the return of her knight. Expect more
is a price to be paid for this grand puerile poetry and purple prose, followed by
opportunity for social and financial idealized portrayals of the physical act. At
betterment. But more on this later. the end, there is either an amicable parting
As a result of this initiative, literacy is upon the knight's return, the defeat of some
common in all layers of society, and Lilliend dastard seeking to spoil 'the sweet milk of
has a surprisingly robust literary industry. beautiful friendship', or else a message of
As the country lacks a printing press at this the knight's death in battle leading to
time, all books are written by hand, and intensified 'friendships'.
consequently more expensive than they Frankly, I consider the whole of Lilliender
would be in the lands of the Core. If any literature to be a pitiful waste of trees, ink
particular book proves popular enough that and human potential.
there is a market for it, dozens and even One more institution of social life in
Lilliend on which I feel obligated to expand

127
further is that of marriage, childbirth, and they rarely if ever live to a ripe old age –
romance. unless they escape into the clergy, which
As you can probably imagine, my Master, means they are disqualified from marriage
the people of Lilliend are keen on and siring offspring for life. Boys are born,
maintaining their numbers. Although no one grow up, and if they do not display any
would say it out loud, I got the distinct defects their brides are arranged for them
impression that Lilliend as a whole feels that before they are old enough to shave. Serfs
it is surrounded by enemies. are especially unfortunate in this, as they
The official written history fails to reflect are in most things, because their owners
the fact that Lilliend has suffered several basically breed them, arranging for an
attempts at invasion, mostly from Masogan exchange of what amounts to breeding
to the south-east, but also by troops from stock with their allies and assigning
Conquista to the immediate east and by husbands and wives at their own whim.
forces from even further out than that. Get Some nobles, it is whispered, are running
old, mutilated soldiers drunk enough, and long-standing breeding programs, just as
you soon learn the people of Lilliend are lesser men and women might do with
afraid of their neighbours. You may recall horses, pigs and other cattle, hoping to
my assessment that skilled wielders of produce the perfect serf.
firearms could make easy work of their
troops? One doddering old grandam Dread Possibility: The Bloodlines
slurred out a gruesome story of black-
Some of the nobles of Lilliend really are
uniformed troops who “wielded sticks
breeding humans to a specific purpose.
that roared like thunder and spat small
Especially the Lenkherr and Weisücher families
stones that killed” before her friends
show an unfortunate enthusiasm for this practice.
shut her up and hustled her away. The
While the Lenkherr are breeding for beauty and
old dear assured me that this relatively
energy, hoping to make their serfs not only
small group of Demonio-men had only
capable of working harder and of being aesthetic
been stopped because the full border
playthings besides, the Weisücher are breeding
contingent rushed them at once, and the
their serfs to be hardy and strong. Eventually, the
survivors still had to clamber over the
Weisücher hope to offer their serfs up to replace
corpses of their fallen sisters before they
their own daughters when the time comes to
could cut down the invaders.
send children to the nation's boarding schools and
In spite of the frankly understandable
appease Camille's infernal appetites while their
fear Lilliend holds towards its more
precious children are spared.
advanced neighbours, the land is highly
Meanwhile, individual ladies and some of the
dependent on the outside world, for a
more intellectual lords may be breeding soldiers;
reason also not reflected in the official
their serfs' villages are murder holes, where
written history:
hyper-aggressive creatures only barely still human
Lilliend does not have enough men to
train and prepare for the time that they are called
keep it going.
to battle. Any stranger who wanders into such a
Oh, boys are born of marital unions
town without knowing the right passwords is
as well as illegitimate trysts, with a
likely to be torn to shreds and eaten. Any
steady number of Half-Elves born even
accidental interaction between these serfs and
today 'because young women took a
their neighbours tends to be …. unpleasant.
walk in the forest', but I discovered that

128
Once married, a young man is expected his own living-room! Another man took out
to obey his wife, her mother and older a knife he had hidden up his sleeve and slit
sisters (if any are available in the his own throat once he heard the cry of his
household) absolutely, and to devote newborn child, causing the neighbour-
himself to the production of children. At no women some considerable distress.
time is he given the idea that he is the If the father fails to make a successful
master in his new home; neither he nor any exit, once the baby is born he is brought
sons he sires stand to inherit if his wife unto his wife's bed, and required to carry
passes away; he is to consider himself the child outside so his neighbours can see
wholly at the disposal of his wife, her it.
female relatives, and any daughters he sires If the newborn is a boy, then everyone –
for as long as he lives. In spite of Lilliender men and women both – cheers. The lucky
literature's endless yammering about the father is shaken by the hand, treated to
beauty of romantic love, marriage is a drinks and food, and generally dissolves into
utilitarian thing, aimed solely at the a great big puddle of happy relief. If the
production of offspring and the forging of child is a daughter, the festivities are even
alliances. wilder and more widespread, but they ring
If a marriage produces a son, the boy is hollow. The firm handshakes are solemn, as
left to his father's care for all occasions befit someone who is freshly bereaved,
which do not strictly require a mother. If rather than a young father. Drink still flows,
the marriage produces a daughter, there is but the father gives every impression of
much rejoicing – and the husband/father trying to drink himself into oblivion. Women
soon dies. avoid the father as much as possible, and
I investigated the phenomenon most the men are his only company.
carefully once I became aware of it, my And on the morning of the very next day,
Master, I assure you. Once a married priests come to the couple's home to gather
Lilliender woman gets pregnant, her up the father's dead body.
husband tends to become progressively I tracked over a dozen pregnant couples
more nervous the further her pregnancy during my stay in Lilliend, my Master, and it
proceeds. His friends may visit him and take was the same for everyone regardless of
him out regularly to get drunk or otherwise social standing and wealth. If a man has
soothe his nerves, but any relief he finds in sired a female child in Lilliend, he dies in the
the bottle usually evaporates by dawn. I following night. The locals could – or would
observed grown men reduced to nervous – offer no explanation for the phenomenon,
wrecks while they watched their wives' and in fact refuse to acknowledge it in word
swollen bellies, fear radiating from every or writing. No matter how drunk I got the
pore like an unclean stench. old soldiers or how skillfully I tried to probe
Married men hover close to the birthing- the natives' minds, no one would speak of it
chamber once their wife's time comes, in and their minds resisted thinking of it.
some cases because neighbour-women I regret having to report that I was
gather for the happy event and ensure the unable to secure one of the bodies for
man does not run. One fellow I observed dissection; they are almost immediately
snapped under the strain and tried to fight cremated after collection by the clergy, this
his way out; the neighbour-women clubbed in contradiction of the local custom to bury
him over the head and tied him to a chair in the dead as deep in Haurau's earth as is

129
feasible, 'so they may return to the
Mother'. Rather than be offended by the Dread Possibility: Wanted Men
custom of burning those who had sired Adventurers – specifically male adventurers –
daughters, the men of Lilliend mutter it who wander into the Wartorn Cluster and first
is 'the final freedom' to be removed from arrive in Lilliend might find themselves
the grasp of the dead goddess. surprisingly popular with the locals. Local
As you can imagine, remarrying is a noblewomen may offer them profitable marriage
common practice in Lilliend so long as contracts; the tavern wenches may be more
the woman is still of child-bearing age, friendly than normal; Lilliend may seem like it's a
and adultery and unmarried pregnancy fine place to put down roots and return to.
are not so much frowned upon as they However, if they accept any such contracts or
are carefully ignored, just so long as the other offers, Lilliend's smile soon turns to the
resulting baby is healthy. scowl of authority. If an adventurer accepts a
But still all married men die as soon marriage contract, they will be expected to stay
as a daughter is born in their home, and at home and serve their wife; going off to
so Lilliend is in the unenviable position adventure, especially if that threatens to take
of having to look outside its borders for them out of the country, will lead to increasingly
replacements. The queendom does send aggressive efforts to make them stay. Worse, if
out merchants to sell fine Lenkherr wine an adventurer sires a child with a local woman
– and to spread rumours that in Lilliend, and the news gets out, locals may try to force
a man of ambition and drive can find a them to return to the side of their baby's mother.
bride to suit his tastes and a plot of land And if the child is born and is a girl … death
to call his own with no great difficulty. will loom.
Every year, fools and thieves come An adventurer is more capable than most of
crawling up the final slope that thwarting what stalks the men of Lilliend, but
separates the Letztafl from the rest of should they fend off one attack, the next will not
the world, keen to claim a beautiful be far behind. And the next. And the next. And
woman and start a little farm or a store the next.
of their own. Those who cooperate with likely, you will share them as soon as you
the authorities are introduced to have finished reading my report.
commoners or lesser nobles as befits their In contrast to marriage, which was, in all
station, education and skills, and may the cases I have managed to document, an
indeed make a choice. Men who try to go entirely deliberate and even chilly affair,
around the government's back, having rape romance is considered to be an exquisite
and brigandage in mind, are chased like gift from the gods. As I have mentioned,
rabid dogs, but captured alive. Upon local literature is infested with the notion of
capture, they are put in a lottery system men making grand gestures and serenading
and given to any woman willing to buy a lot, women with (bad) song and (worse) poetry,
as little more than a slave. giving her flowers to compare unfavourably
And they, too, die as soon as their first to her beauty, and generally making an ass
daughter is born. of himself trying to win her hand.
As I have mentioned, I was unable to I observed young boys being given strict
identify the cause of this phenomenon, my instructions to be 'gallant' to girls their own
Master, but I have my suspicions. More than age, and I will admit I derived some wry
amusement from their clumsy attempts to

130
imitate the books. The girls were told to such relationships are called in Lilliend)
respond with proper manners, but to be suffer no noticeable bias, so long as they do
judicious as to who they showed their not let such affairs interfere with their duty
favour to. Those who enjoy the darker to one day bear children. I did note that this
forms of humour would probably enjoy theme exists in the foul romantic literature,
watching little princesses lord it over barely hidden by strained metaphor.
gaggles of confused and uncomfortable
boys while giggling together. Attitudes Toward Magic
As soon as a boy is old enough to shave Magic is not popular among the human
and is told about the realities of marriage, population of Lilliend, to put it mildly.
reproduction and (so I assume) their death Clerics may be sought out to cure
after the birth of their first daughter, all disease, heal wounds, and perform all the
romantic drive seems to be leeched out of other little miracles for which mortals
them. Any sign of impoliteness towards beseech the gods, but only as a last
their female counterparts is disapproved of recourse after mundane medicine has failed.
and strictly punished, but no one with even The locals claimed this is because the gods
a lick of sense to their name seems to should not be bothered to do things mortals
expect them to behave like the courting can do for themselves.
knights of old anymore. Should any young Given how the gods are portrayed as
women feel the desire to repeat the games mighty, terrible and above all fallible in the
of their youth, they are likely soon cured of nation's creation myth, it should surprise no
it by the sullen lack of interest displayed by one that the people of Lilliend tend to fear
their former playmates. attracting the focused attention of their
Given the grim realities of what may gods. I heard whispered fireside tales of
await them if they reproduce, yet given the people who had gone to the clergy of
baleful influence of the biological Artemis to have broken bones healed, only
imperative, one might expect boys to to walk away with antlers upon their heads,
perhaps turn to one another for the sake of or how a traveler who prayed for health and
experimentation and release. I did not strength at a stone circle of Brightwell was
observe any such acts, but I did witness the transformed into a creature, half-man and
results of what happens if any men are half-boar.
caught at 'wasteful' acts of love. To wit, any I suspect that Clerics retain their
man caught at engaging in amorous activity privilege of being inviolate to mortal law
with another man is publicly flogged for the largely due to a mixture of fear for their
first offense. A second results in being power and awe of their willingness to take
burned at the stake. Both the flogging and on the attendant risks of dealing directly
burning are overseen by the clergy of with the gods for the sake of the rest of
Athena, who make use of the opportunity to Lilliend's people.
preach to the spectators that a man has If possible, arcane magic suffers even
one important duty in this world, and that more distrust than clerical magic, given that
any who shirk their duty lose their claim to it is referred to as 'the dreams of
life. Brightwell', which should not exist in the
In contrast, girls turning to natural world.
experimentation with one another, and even The land has no wizardly tradition, nor
adult women who have 'close friends' (as schools where magic is taught. Stories exist

131
of mad hermits who pray to Brightwell in and the gods must remain strong, so that
the depths of forest and mountain and learn they may perform their assigned tasks.
how to cast spells, but these are morality While Lilliend's Clerics tend to focus on
tales which end badly for the spellcaster or one god to the exclusion of all others, lay
the fools who seek them out for magical worshippers may wander into any shrine as
boons. their concern of preference demands.
The fear of arcane magic's ability to Athena and Artemis are considered to be
pervert the natural order is so prevalent the reigning queens of Lilliend's spiritual
that I did not even encounter magically- landscape, but they do not rule over all
skilled Bards during my stay in Lilliend, and aspects of creation, and the other gods are
I heard more than one harrowing tale of part of the order they champion – with the
children who clearly displayed sorcerous sole exception of Brightwell, who comes
potential being dragged out of their homes from Outside, but must nevertheless be
to be driven into the wilderness or stoned to honoured for her power.
death in the village square. A description of the gods follows, divided
As so often happens, fear breeds in the human, Elf and Ogier pantheons.
ignorance, and I found proof that there are Artemis is Lilliend's goddess of women's
at least some arcane spellcasters in Lilliend pride, the patron of the bright and proud
who survive because they are able to hide flame of self-respect that keeps women
their existence. Such stone circles dedicated going where men fall by the wayside,
to Brightwell as I managed to locate and whimpering about their woes. She is also
investigate were radiant with arcane auras, the scourge that lands upon the back of any
and more than one 'herbalist' shop offered man or woman who fails to properly honour
curative tonics that their creators swore her or the other gods, or otherwise sins
were extracts and blendings of natural against the natural order. Both pestilence
herbs, but which I sensed were minor magic and healing are firmly within her domain,
potions.

Religion Human Pantheon


Although the gods of Lilliend are
somewhat lacking in the departments of Artemis
wisdom and dignity, with the possible Titles: Moon Maiden, Wildest Heart
exception of Artemis and Athena, and Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
some of them are outright dangerous Portfolio: Hunting, disease, the moon,
and threatening, their worship is very wilderness, women, women's pride
much alive. Small shrines are built in any Symbol: A woman holding a longbow, ready
town wealthy enough to support one, to fire
larger temples are points of pride for the Worshippers: Druids, hermits, hunters,
great cities. In spite of the danger the midwives, Oracles, Rangers, women
gods represent, they are also seen as Cleric alignments: CE, CG, CN
guardians. The very power which makes Domains: Animal, Chaos, Darkness, Healing,
them perilous allows them to support Plant
the pillars of the world and let creation Subdomains: Decay, Fur, Growth, Moon,
exist; mortal prayers are food to them, Night, Restoration
Favoured weapon: Longbow

132
and so every sickness is seen as her than temples of stone. What few images
punishment for some misdeed, and every exist depict her as an eternally youthful
time someone survives a sickness they are woman with moon-pale skin, dark hair and
said to have been forgiven by Artemis. eyes, and slender antlers. She is forever
The Moon Maiden is especially popular in armed with her longbow, regardless of
rural areas and among those who frequently whether she wears her signature tunic and
travel in L'Haut. In the more settled areas, sandals or not.
her faith and those who practice it receive a The oldest and most famous painting of
carefully measured amount of respect, but Artemis is located in the throne room at
little encouragement; Lilliend's urban Luzander; it shows Artemis rising from a
dwellers are more fond of Athena and her forest pool, one arrow nocked on her bow,
message of civil order, than they are of while the rest jut from the corpses of a
Artemis and her prideful boasts that a hundred men who had come upon her in
woman's spirit can her bath.
overcome all Dread Possibility: The Hunt of Artemis' clergy
opposition – even are often hunters
the rule of law.
Acthaeon themselves, proud
Artemis has few Although the faithful of Artemis are not and strong women
dealings with the responsible for even half the number of who live in the
rest of Lilliend's disappearances in wild areas every year, they do wilderness even
pantheon, and have a tradition of taking at least one man at the during the worst of
what little she has end of every summer, and another at the end of Lilliend's winter –
tends toward the every winter. This chosen one is taken into the or else die there.
negative. She deepest wilderness, stripped, has a headband All of Artemis'
actively and vocally with antlers nailed to his head, and is given the clergy pride
despises Thunder- order to run back to civilization. Theoretically, if a themselves on
Father, Brightwell, chosen man ever makes it back to the safety of being trained
and both of their town limits, any town limits, the faithful would midwives and
get. Whenever reward him with a sack of gold and heal all of his healers. While they
possible (so claim injuries. In practice, there has never been anyone are welcomed in
her priestesses) who survived being hunted down by the collective any rural
she hunts Carolin priesthood of Artemis. community,
and Coralin as especially when
though they were a pair of stags – or men there is a difficult birth taking place, they
who had wandered into her hunting range. are usually kept at a careful arm's length; in
Only Athena receives Artemis' love and spite of their reputation for treating even
respect, and according to many folktales the most difficult ailment, there are
even more than that. While Athena's clergy persistent rumours that they become as
deny such claims, the wild priestesses of good as they are by abducting lone
Artemis claim that the two goddesses are travelers and wandering children to use as
lovers, finding a joy in each other's arms test cases for novice priestesses. In spite of
which no male deity could ever bring them. this, they never lack for young women who
Images of Artemis are rare, given that are eager to join the faith and abandon
her faithful prefer to dedicate forest home and hearth for rigorous training in the
clearings and caves to her worship, rather domain's wilderness.

133
Hailed in Lilliend as the only goddess
who is purely good, Ashar is quite Ashar
popular with the commoners. Her Titles: The Bright, Burning Girl, Daughter of
dominant sect in Lilliend is the Chaotic her Own Brother, the Ferocious Dawn, the Good
Good one. Lady, the Honourable, the Kind
Especially, serfs are fond of the Alignment: Neutral Good
goddess who calls for mortals to be Portfolio: Battle against evil, compassion,
compassionate and kind, and who works goodness, kindness
tirelessly to burn evil out of the world. Symbol: The sun, rising out of the Mists
Among the nation's more well-educated Worshippers: Bards, Cavaliers, doctors,
and affluent, however, she is not held in Paladins, people who value kindness and
as much favour. Pedantic philosophers compassion
are fond of saying the existence of both Cleric alignments: CG, LG, NG
il Demonio and Ashar is what leads to Domains: Charm, Destruction, Good,
human suffering, as good cannot exist Protection, Sun
without evil, and they agitate each other Subdomains: Catastrophe, Day, Defense,
to cause ever more violence. The Light, Love, Purity, Rage
nobility at large is not fond of Ashar Favoured weapon: Longsword
because of her priesthood's call to
abolish the serf system and for nobles to herself suffers, as she stands alone against
acknowledge their obligations as well as the forces of evil and the hatred of her own
their privilege. family.
Ashar's relationship with the rest of Just like Ashar herself, her all-woman
Lilliend's pantheon is mostly negative; she clergy is most popular among the common
opposes her father-brother il Demonio as people. They are healers and midwives,
her arch enemy, denounces Thunder-Father they conduct weddings and burials, pray for
as a rapist and the one who shattered the the safety of those who cannot defend
barrier protecting Lilliend from the Mists, themselves, and when necessary draw steel
and opposes the society Athena and Artemis to augment their prayers. And just as their
gave their mortal followers because of its luminous patron herself, they are generally
inherent unfairness and exploitation. Her unwelcome in the courts of the wealthy and
clergy claim the only goddess for whom powerful. The Lockstones were once the
Ashar holds true affection is her mother, exception to the rule, and Lilliend's only
Brightwell – and she ignores Ashar known cathedral to Ashar still stands in
whenever she can. Schlotstein, but it has been locked and
Icons and paintings of Ashar show her as unused since the Lockstone Rebellion.
a young woman dressed in chainmail, a
breastplate, gauntlets, greaves, and a
helmet. Her skin, short-cut hair, eyes, teeth,
and armour are all the same burnished gold
in colour. Ashar is always depicted grinning
and holding aloft her silver longsword, but
there is a hint of pain and pity in her eyes
to indicate her depths of compassion – and
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with being the divine inspiration behind
Athena the strategy used to waylay King Arthus
Titles: The Exalted, the Golden Weisücher III and his officer corps.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral According to her priestesses, Athena
Portfolio: Civilization, crafts, warfare, pursues polite but distant relationships
women's supremacy with all other gods and goddesses of
Symbol: A Gorgon's head on a shield Lilliend. They preach that Athena sits
Worshippers: Politicians, Monks, craftsfolk, exalted over all other gods and
women-at-arms goddesses like a righteous queen,
Cleric alignments: LE, LG, LN sending out missives to convey her
Domains: Artifice, Earth, Knowledge, Law, commands in order to maintain the
War proper order of things. When the clergy
Subdomains: Memory, Metal, Tactics, of other faiths protest that Athena is in
Thought, Toil no way the superior of their own
Favoured weapon: Longspear patrons, Athena's priestesses smile
knowingly and say nothing.
Priestesses of Ashar tend to preach not Imagery of Athena is very common in the
from holy books in fixed temples, but from domain's cities; she is depicted as a young
the heart wherever they are needed. woman with dark, intricately curled hair,
Worship sessions are more about listening dressed in archaic armour and wielding both
to the problems of the gathered faithful and a longspear and a great shield with the
trying to help them in accordance with head of a Gorgon affixed to it. While her
Ashar's commandments to 'be kind, be features are not excruciatingly beautiful, her
compassionate, and be brave' than by expression is one of careless confidence and
giving rote instruction and demanding superiority.
unthinking obedience. Any barn or open Athena's all-female clergy boasts one of
field can be a holy place, although the the most rigorous training programs of all
clergy will happily build small, stout priesthoods in Lilliend; her priestesses are
buildings more like miniature fortresses than all graduates of one of the nation's boarding
temples anywhere the people ask them to schools, and must follow a post-graduate
do so. program offered only by the temples of
Hailed in Lilliend as the goddess who Athena afterward. Those found worthy of
teaches women the skills they need to stand calling themselves priestess often become
at the top of society and who designed the advisors to political leaders, ranging from
very idea of civilization, Athena is most the mayors of prosperous towns to the
popular in the cities and larger towns of the queen herself. Those who are not found
domain. It is a point of pride for any settled worthy, however, are rarely if ever seen
community to have a temple or shrine to again by their families. While the clergy
the Exalted, and having such a place of insist that this is because those who fail the
worship is indeed a requirement for being exams for the priesthood prefer to take
acknowledged as a settlement of any vows in one of Athena's nunneries, there
significance. Additionally, she is seen as the are always spiteful whispers that those who
patron goddess of the domain's boarding fail to please the goddess are sacrificed to
school system – and of its warriors. As the her in secret, underground ceremonies.
tactician of the gods, Athena is credited

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Acknowledged in Lilliend as one of
the oldest gods, Brightwell is Brightwell
considered the sister and opposite of Titles: Aunt Thirteen, Dancing Vixen,
Haurau, who once embodied the Dreaming Vixen, Fire-Tresses, Fox Woman,
material world and natural law. As such, Mother of All Evil, Mother of All Good, the Misty
in the minds of the people of Lilliend she Well, Vixen Who Dreams, Vixen Who Speaks,
embodies the ethereal world of the Vixen Who Walks
Mists, the supernatural, and to a lesser Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
extent the immaterial qualities of Portfolio: Dreams, magic, the Mists, the
dreams, thought, knowledge and moon, night, nightmares
emotion. Symbol: A sleeping vixen with fur all the
Haurau chose to dwell within the colours of the rainbow, curled up with her tail
limits set by Thunder-Father and bring over her nose
forth life, but Brightwell elected to Worshippers: Alchemists, Loremasters,
remain in the unformed void of the Mists painters, poets, scholars, Sorcerers, teachers,
and sleep away eternity. Her beautiful Vixens, Witches, Wizards
dreams crystallized in the form of magic, Cleric alignments: CE, CG, CN, N
but her nightmares took on a hideous Domains: Chaos, Darkness, Knowledge,
half-life and became the monsters which Madness, Magic, Rune
lurk in the darkness. Subdomains: Arcane, Insanity, Language,
As long as Thunder-Father kept the Loss, Memory, Moon, Night, Nightmare, Thought
barriers between the two sisters firm, Favoured weapon: Swordcane
Brightwell's dreams and nightmares aspects at all is that Thunder-Father failed
could not touch the material world. Now to ward out the Mists. Even the raging
that the blue orb of the heavens is cracked, conflict between her children il Demonio
however, Brightwell's dreams and and Ashar would not exist if Thunder-Father
nightmares leak into the world, subjecting had not raped her in her sleep.
mortals to the depredations of monsters, Distant as she is, Brightwell apparently
but also giving them the gift of magic to does not have strong connections to the
combat those horrors – if they have the will other gods of Lilliend.
and the wit to do so. Her clergy claim younger goddesses like
Brightwell is not a popular goddess in Artemis, Athena and Carolin do not interest
Lilliend; magic is held in low esteem, her her, or that she may not even have noticed
Clerics are few and far between, and all the their existence yet.
terrors of the night are considered to be her It is said she holds Thunder-Father in
creations. Her worshippers prefer not to disdain, both for the course of events
advertise their allegiance, seeing as most during which he raped her and killed
people consider Brightwell a source of Haurau, and also for his failure to uphold
danger to and disruption of the natural his vow to keep the material and
order. She is not actively hated, however; it supernatural worlds separate.
is generally understood that the Dreaming Brightwell hates her children Ashar and il
Vixen does not wish to take an active or Demonio equally; one of them violated her,
even an indirect hand in mortal life, both hurt her when they were born, and
preferring to stay in her dreams. The only their endless conflict disturbs her sleep. Her
reason the world suffers from her negative

136
Dread Possibility: The Dark Dreams of Brightwell
In Lilliend, one particular sect of Brightwell, consisting of mostly Chaotic Evil and Chaotic Neutral
faithful, is just as eager to analyze dreams as the others are, but their purpose is different. Rather
than hear and discuss the dreams of the faithful to see what they might tell them so as to better their
lives, the Dark Dreamers are searching these messages from beyond the veil of sleep for pieces of a
terrible puzzle.
The Dark Dreamers believe that, as il Demonio warned his father in Lilliend's creation myth,
Brightwell will one day take her revenge on Thunder-Father for what he did to her and her sister –
and her faithful have a part in the plan she has set in motion. Sect-founder Alzabeth Becker
discovered a fragment of prophecy in her dreams over a century ago; she frenziedly studied
necromancy and affected a ghoulish transformation so she might extend her existence long enough
to gather more.
Under Alzabeth's guidance, the Dark Dreamers have assembled a frightening message which
suggests Brightwell is massing a host of nightmares to storm the mortal world – nightmares profound
enough to kill Thunder-Father and erase the world as it is known today. If her cultists perform the
right actions – evil rituals, murders, acts of devastation – in the right places at the right time, the
Mother of All Evil will shatter the blue orb of the heavens and unleash her army.
Some of the cultists are nihilists who believe the world is innately corrupt and life is a foul joke;
they embrace the oblivion they expect is coming. Others believe that as they assemble a more
complete picture of the prophecy and their instructions, they will be told of the new world Brightwell
will create on the corpse of the old. In that world, they expect to be elevated to a place at their
goddess' right hand.
Regardless, whether there is a genuine prophecy in effect or the Dark Dreamers are merely a band
of deluded believers, the danger they pose is very real. They could commit atrocities at any time,
anywhere in the Wartorn Cluster, for no reason anyone outside the sect would understand – or be
able to anticipate.

clergy claim her hatred manifests in the closed, symbolizing her wish to sleep
form of neglect; the Mother of All Evil and forever.
All Good simply ignores her children's The goddess' second most common form
existence and refuses them all aid and is that of a vixen with fur all the colours of
comfort even if they travel out into the the rainbow.
Mists to visit her. Her third form is a hybrid of both; a
On the rare occasion that she is depicted woman with hair all the colour of the
at all, Brightwell is most often cast in the rainbow, with the tail, ears and legs of a
image of a young and curvaceous human great vixen. This latter form is the subject
woman with pale skin and wavy, shoulder- of fearful whispers and speculation, given
length hair all the colours of fire. Her only that it is connected to an ancient prophecy
garment is the Mist, which billows around that one day, Brightwell will depart the
her like a veil, turning from opaque to Mists to walk in Lilliend in this very shape.
transparent moment by moment. Her Given that most of the prophecy has been
expression is neutral, even distant, and she lost to time, it is uncertain what the
is almost always shown with her green eyes goddess will actually do when she finally
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137
you ask, you may hear speculations ranging All in all, Brightwell's worship is wide-
from mass-murder to the creation of a new spread, but thin on the ground. Her only
blue orb of the sky. temples are ancient stone circles set out in
Brightwell's clergy is unique in Lilliend in the wilderness, and people are more likely
that it allows both men and women to join; to tell children who suffer nightmares to
theirs is one institution where faith in the pray to her, than they are to beseech her
goddess trumps gender roles. The priests themselves for insight into arcane magic,
emulate their goddess' disdain for the other bring them knowledge, or protect them
gods by remaining aloof from their from the Mists.
priesthoods, and hide their identities by The Dancing Vixen's faithful believe in
adopting the smocks and leggings of the importance of dreams as omens and
commoners as their holy robes. They also warnings, and many of their secretive
hide their holy symbols under their clothing, ceremonies resemble alienist sessions, with
except when engaging in worshipful ritual at members of the congregation recounting
the ancient stone circles dedicated to their their dreams and the priests attempting to
patron. They maintain an oral tradition, interpret them to the benefit of the
rather than write the goddess' teachings in individual and the congregation at large.
a holy book, the better to hide their Every congregation keeps a Book of
allegiance. While the oral tradition is not Dreams, in which the priests pen down the
freely shared with outsiders, it is known that creation myth of Lilliend and the dreams
Brightwell's teachings include whole they find either impossible to interpret or
chapters on the subject of various types of highly significant, believing these to be
arcane magic, alchemy, and methods of messages sent to them by Brightwell for her
acquiring and refining knowledge – not all own reasons. Faithful of Brightwell may
of them supernatural. copy their community's Book of Dreams for
their personal use, be it completely or in
part, and people moving to new
Il Demonio locations often elect to do so; when they
Titles: The Cruel, Father of his Own Sister, arrive at their new home, they may give
the Insidious, the Laughing Fiend, the Sick, the their version of the Book over to local
Treacherous, the Wicked priests of Brightwell to add to their
Alignment: Neutral Evil Book, or if no local community exists
Portfolio: Evil, cruelty, madness, murder, yet, use it as the cornerstone of a new
pestilence, poison, rape, selfishness, treachery circle of faithful.
Symbol: A black sun, rising from the Mists Known as the architect of all that is
Worshippers: Alchemists, Anti-Paladins, known as evil in the world, il Demonio is
Aristocrats, Assassins, Fighters, mad scientists, the uncontested patron of monsters,
Necromancers, Rogues murder and exploitation in Lilliend. He is
Cleric alignments: CE, LE, N, NE also one of three acknowledged male
Domains: Charm, Darkness, Death, Evil, deities worshipped there, and is
Trickery considered to be an object lesson of
Subdomains: Deception, Loss, Lust, Murder, what happens when men become too
Night, Thievery, Undead ambitious and abuse their power.
Favoured weapon: Dagger Although no one in their right mind
would trust il Dem onio , his True

138
Neutral sect nevertheless has a strong with the followers of other gods and
presence in the capital of Luzander, as well goddesses, making a big show of being
as several of the other great cities on the understanding and respectful and oh, so
Letztafl. Only in Schlotstein is it completely eager to help the person or persons they
forbidden for people to worship him or build are talking to understand the necessity of il
temples in his name. Demonio for society, nay, the universe to
Portraying their god as the patron of run properly and for people to live the way
pragmatism, the True Neutral sect preaches they want.
that il Demonio is a champion not of When not engaging in philosophical
malicious, but of necessary evil. Patient debate with nobles and priests of other
Clerics will talk long hours about the many gods, the followers of il Demonio happily –
ways a person needs to compromise with and secretly – brew and sell poisons, run
their own morals and ethics to survive in small cabals of assassins, and commit any
this imperfect world, and argue that evil is a number of atrocities great and small. They
regrettable necessity. are especially fond of masquerading as the
Without il Demonio to manage evil and priests of other gods, particularly those of
keep it in check, they say, the world would Ashar, and giving people advice calculated
be a far worse place as unthinking malice to do the greatest possible amount of harm.
raged out of control and mortals would be Ruining courtships, friendships, and
unable to restrain their basest urges. marriages are some of their favourite things
Certainly, their message that a certain to do to pass the time.
amount of wickedness is acceptable and In Lilliend, il Demonio is depicted as an
even natural, so long as it serves the androgynous being, the exact details of its
greater good, has caught on with a large figure hidden by a baggy, black robe that
section of Lilliend's nobility. There are resembles a cloistered monk's. His pale face
furtive whispers that il Demonio is the borders on the angelic, and his features
house patron of the Lenkherr family. closely resemble those of his parents' icons,
Il Demonio's clergy claims their god has but his eyes are pure black; sclera, irises,
nothing but love for his family, and that he and pupils, all. The face of il Demonio is
considers all the deities of Lilliend to be depicted as smiling to the point of
family. simpering, his eyes wide and feigning
Certainly, they say, he adores his parents innocence. There exist some images which
who gave him life, even though they do not are denounced by the clergy, showing the
understand his actions or his ethos. He even Laughing Fiend with a draconic tail, which
loves his sister-daughter Ashar, although drags out from under the hem of his robe.
she is misguided in seeing him only as an Il Demonio's clergy is all-female, as the
enemy to fight, when he is actually priesthood of the land's ruling goddesses is.
necessary for her existence and the This causes some confusion and grumbling
existence of good itself. Like a loving father, to this day, as people object to a male deity
he waits for the day she grows mature emulating the goddesses seen as Lilliend's
enough to understand. rightful rulers, but the diplomacy and charm
Regardless of il Demonio's feelings taught to his Clerics tend to silence most
towards the rest of Lilliend's pantheon, his objections.
clergy are certainly very sociable. They are The deity's temples tend to be small,
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139
compared to the rest of the architecture amount of evidence that he was once king
surrounding them. It is rare for a temple of of the pantheon and the most respected of
il Demonio to appear in anything less than a gods. Old titles no longer spoken, but still
large town, but his priestesses make a point recorded on his temple walls, call him
of travelling out to every thorp in Lilliend Guardian of the World and Father of Life,
over a course of seven years – usually in alluding to his essential role in fertilizing
disguise, the better to cause trouble and Haurau and keeping the natural and
pain. supernatural worlds separate.
Worship services to il Demonio center As the creation myth relates, Thunder-
around readings of select passages from his Father failed in his duties because he
holy book, the Fourfold. Surprisingly to carelessly killed mortal life as he sated his
some, this mammoth book of lessons and lusts, and because those same lusts lead
advice contains many passages 'borrowed' him to break the very barriers he was sworn
from the oral tradition of Brightwell. There to uphold. Today, his priests are some of
are many admonitions in the Fourfold on the most accommodating of all the religious
the subject of honouring one's mother, orders, as if they might undo the harm to
which strikes some who read them as their patron's reputation by rushing to
amusing, given the subject of Lilliend's attend even the most insignificant of
creation mythology – and others as problems and to help anyone who comes to
disquieting and deeply sinister. It is not them for aid. To their credit, the priests of
unknown for prospective converts to change the Father of Storms have at least never
their minds once they realize how deep the denied their god's failings.
Laughing Fiend's obsession for the Cathedrals to Thunder-Father once stood
Dreaming Vixen seems to run... in each of the great cities on the Letztafl,
Thunder-Father is one of the oldest and statues of the god stand at the head of
gods of Lilliend, and there still exists a great many acres so that he may bring fertility to
the crops. Alas, there is also much
evidence of his fall from grace; the
Thunder-Father cathedral in Luzander, arguably the
Titles: Bringer of Gentle Rains, Father of greatest of them all, was closed during
Storms, Father of the Winds, Father of the World, the reign of Helena III and partially
the Gaoler, Killer of the World demolished to provide building materials
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral for the city's expansion. The cathedral in
Portfolio: Fertility, men, protection, weather Karnbrunnen collapsed during the same
Symbol: An old man in archaic, bronze landslide that destroyed the ancestral
armour with a long beard, holding a handful of Churnstone hall. The cathedral in
lightning-bolts, standing in a blue sphere Schlotstein holds services only irregularly
Worshippers: Barbarians, Druids, farmers, and receives poor attendance. Only in
Fighters, men, Rangers Malkort is the temple in anything
Cleric alignments: CE, CG, CN resembling regular use.
Domains: Air, Chaos, Charm, Destruction, Thunder-Father's priests say their
Protection, Weather patron still loves the other gods, but his
Subdomains: Catastrophe, Cloud, Defense, grief over the consequences of his
Love, Lust, Seasons, Storms, Wards, Wind actions and the betrayal he suffered
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140
all the centuries that have passed, his from bronze and heavily decorated with
greatest love still belongs to his dead mate primitive patterns. He wields a shortspear
Haurau – and so he adores each of the shaped like a lightning-bolt.
younger goddesses who fissioned off from His priests claim it is sacrilege for any
her. part of Thunder-Father's face to be shown,
It is said that Thunder-Father still lusts other than the strong chin, sensuous mouth
for fiery Brightwell, but belated guilt over and beard left bare by his helmet. His critics
the way he mistreated her and fear of her whisper that the once-mighty god is
power and wrath stop him from seeking her ashamed to show how haggard his face has
out, so that they might both move on from become with grief and guilt, and how his
Haurau's death. His priests are taught to tears have worn permanent tracks in his
avoid the followers of Brightwell when face. Certainly, his hair and beard are shot
possible, but also to give them every through with grey and white, in spite of his
possible hospitality and aid they might ask immortality.
for. Some priests speculate this may be Thunder-Father's dominant sect in
their god's clumsy attempt to win Lilliend is a mixed bag of Chaotic Good and
Brightwell's favour. Chaotic Neutral. In sharp contrast to all the
It is also said Thunder-Father adores his other gods of the land, his clergy is all-
son and granddaughter, seeing in them the male; it is forbidden by law for any woman
energy of his own youth, but he is appalled to worship Thunder-Father outside his
by the way they fight, and still saddened temples and shrines, and also forbidden for
that his own son lied to him and caused the any woman to take up holy orders in his
death of his one true love. Should il name. Most people scoff at the priests of
Demonio or Ashar ever seek him out as the fallen god, and many claim that the
penitent and obedient children, he would orders of the Father of the Winds are now
welcome them; until they do, he will not little more than a hiding-place for selfish
stretch out his hand. Consequently, the boys desperate to avoid marriage and their
priests of Thunder-Father tend to keep duty to their families.
clergy of il Demonio and Ashar at arm's While once the priests of Thunder-Father
length, forbidding them access to their were advisors to kings and family heads,
temples and shrines. today they are most active among the
Artemis, Athena, and Carolin confuse commoners, offering blessings for the
Thunder-Father; he is uncertain whether to sowing of new crops, healing to workers,
consider them his daughters to watch over, farmers and cattle, praying for gentle rains
or aspects of his lover to woo, even after to nurture the land, when necessary casting
Carolin used him to sire her mate/son. spells in attempts to soothe the fiercest
Consequently, priests of Thunder-Father are storms, and when needed drawing their
instructed to leave their clergy well enough shortspears to defend those who flee to
alone and not attempt to disrupt their them in search of sanctuary.
control. The amount of respect Thunder-Father
In Lilliend, Thunder-Father is portrayed and his servants receive is minimal. Among
as a tall, muscular man with a square-cut nobles, it is understood that the only reason
beard and short, curly hair. He wears only the god has not been completely driven
greaves, gauntlets, a breastplate and a from the land is that he is still mighty and
helmet of an antiquated design, all forged might retaliate, not to mention because he

141
is part of tradition and worth preserving for can Haurau be weakened enough that
that, if for no other reason. Thunder-Father can strike the final blow
and end this foul world once and for all.
Dread Possibility: The Once that is done, he will lay down
Brightwell in the place where Haurau once
Daughters of Doom was and lie with her husband to wife.
Maintaining rigorous secrecy and hiding Brightwell will give birth to a new world and
their existence even from other followers of new life, which will be free of flaw in all
Thunder-Father, this highly illegal, all- things. The souls of the Daughters of Doom
woman cult operates out of the catacombs will reincarnate, perfect beings in a perfect
beneath their patron's ruined cathedral in world, but all others shall be cast into the
Karnbrunnen. Mists, lost forever.
Composed mostly of disillusioned Of course, the Daughters must assist
commoners and serfs, but counting several Thunder-Father and Brightwell in their
nihilistic noblewomen among its number as blessed work of ending the current world if
well, the Chaotic Evil cultists believe that they wish to be worthy. Daughters
the destruction of Haurau and the deliberately foster and assist creatures of
shattering of the land were not accidental, the night, seeing them as Brightwell's tools
but deliberate, and only the first step in a for ending corrupt life; they murder
process necessary to purify creation. travelers on the road; they call on their
The Daughters of Doom believe that god's dark power to help them bring
Thunder-Father did not abandon Haurau sickness and poison to the unsuspecting; at
and go in search of Brightwell because he all times, they are looking for ways to
was foolish and lustful, but because he saw foment mass death.
that the goddess of the earth had become The only reason Lilliend has not suffered
corrupt with age, and the life she brought more from the Daughters' depredations is
forth was flawed from the start. In the that their numbers are small, and they roam
mythology of the Daughters, il Demonio and far and wide; as the Mists receded and
Ashar are either lies, or else fragments of other domains appeared, the Daughters of
Haurau that exist only to bedevil her mortal Doom considered it their sacred duty to
children – just like Artemis, Athena, and spread the gospel and bring death in the
Carolin. According to their myths, Brightwell lands beyond Lilliend's borders. Years can
is the one true love of Thunder-Father, and pass between gatherings of the faithful,
is poised to give birth to a new world free of where they chant prayers to Thunder-
exploitation, cruelty and flaw, but first Father, bring live sacrifice of sentient beings
Haurau's remains need to be swept out of and animals alike, and boast of their
the way. successes to their sisters.
Thunder-Father started the work by
striking down his diseased mate, but her Elven Pantheon
power was yet too great for her to die, as While the human population of Lilliend
she could draw on the lives of all her believes Carolin is one of the goddesses
children, and she shattered into many born from the death of Haurau, the Elves
goddesses who continue to champion deny this claim. In their mythology, Carolin
corruption and cruelty. Only by eliminating was born from the Mists at the same time
the current, flawed life infesting the world as Haurau, Brightwell and Thunder-Father,

142
and is an equal to them – or so they insist and eye. She is dressed in patches of moss
on the rare occasion that they are willing to and hunks of fur, as well as copious
discuss their mother goddess with outsiders. amounts of mud and woad. Her expression
The truth is, the Elves feel deeply is one of vicious, even deranged joy, giving
conflicted about their wild and mercurial her a predatory aspect only reinforced by
goddess, who teaches the Elves that in her tendency to wear the claws and teeth of
order to survive, they should make all her prey as jewelry. The only things about
matters secondary to survival. Matters such her that conforms to the Elves' love of
as honour, mercy... hope. While no finely-made and civilized equipment are her
Lilliender Elf will deny that Carolin has their longbow and quiver full of arrows.
best interests at heart, the sheer Carolin's clergy are a mixed lot in the
ruthlessness of the goddess goes against all grip of paradox: Elves who embrace the
they have managed to preserve of an essential wildness of their goddess and
ancient tradition of nobility. And yet they accept her twisted character for the sake of
dare not deny Carolin her due, for to do protecting their people and giving them
such would invite some peace of
her wrath and Carolin mind. Few of the
might deprive the Unfettered's clergy
Titles: The Unfettered
Elves of her serve her with a
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
concealing glad heart, but
Portfolio: The Elven people, the wilderness
shadows. those who swear
Symbol: A trefoil leaf
According to her to her do serve,
Worshippers: Elves, Anti-Paladins, Assassins,
mythology both and serve loyally.
Druids, Rogues, Wizards
among humans The faithful of
Cleric alignments: CE, CG, CN
and Elves, Carolin Carolin raise no
Domains: Chaos, Charm, Darkness, Magic,
cares little for the shrines to her,
Plant
other gods, preferring to
Subdomains: Arcane, Decay, Growth, Lust,
preferring to ignore consecrate forest
Night
them when at all clearings, and
Favoured weapon: Longbow
possible – with the there are no set
sole exception of her son and lover, Coralin. holy days or rituals. Chaos is Carolin's very
While the Elves claim she once had a essence, after all, and her followers hold
different mate who was murdered by ceremonies to please her whenever their
Thunder-Father, obliging her to take their hearts tell them it is time to do so. The rites
son for her new mate, and the humans of Carolin are wild, involving much dancing,
insist that she deliberately conceived Coralin the roasting of freshly-killed prey for the
for that purpose, all agree their relationship sake of the gathered faithful, and the
has its disturbing aspects. Carolin herself consumption of a great deal of wine. If any
does not seem to care about this, and her Wizards are among the Elves gathered for
clergy have standing orders to work these impromptu ceremonies, they are
together with those of Coralin as closely as expected to cast spells for the
possible. entertainment of the others. Only one rule
What imagery of Carolin exists, depicts is set in stone; any creature not a full-
her as an Elfwoman of indeterminate age. blooded Elf who witnesses the rites of the
She is limber and slender, yet grey of hair Unfettered must be slain on the spot, and

143
roasted and eaten as would any other but his grey eyes convey a mixture of
animal... ancient sorrow and dutiful determination.
Regardless whether you ask Elves or Coralin's clergy are welcome in any Elven
humans, all agree that Coralin is the son of settlement, and even in some of the human
fey and wild– and her lover. Although villages that lie closest to Elven lands,
humans tell many lewd stories of the where Half-Elves are more numerous. They
Shining Elf freely indulging in this are healers and diplomats, teachers and
relationship, the Elves tell a different story; confidantes, and their rituals are open and
to them, Coralin is the long-suffering prince friendly affairs aimed as much at bracing up
who must endure the whims of a powerful the morale of their community as the
and capricious queen so that he may serve glorification of their god. While their first
his people. To them, he is the deity most duty is to the Elven people and the
concerned with preserving their tradition preservation of their culture, they also tend
and legacy in a land where all hands are Half-Elves and can even be found helpful to
turned against them, no matter the cost to humans who refrain from pursuing the Elves
his own dignity and peace of mind. – during times of peace.
The Elves believe that Coralin shuns the In times of war, the clergy of Coralin
company of all other gods and goddesses, reluctantly sharpen their longsword, and
but there is a secret story that he makes an woe upon any creature not a pureblooded
exception for dreaming Brightwell. As the Elf who gets in their way.
oldest surviving goddess, so whisper his
priests among each other when they are Ogier Pantheon
absolutely certain that no clergy of Carolin Unknown to both humans and Elves, the
is close enough to hear, she is the rightful Ogier of Lilliend have their own spiritual
queen of Lilliend's pantheon and a fitting tradition. Their belief, however, is not in any
bride for the Elven Prince. Brightwell's hand deity, but in a dynamic opposition of cosmic
in marriage would be Coralin's key to a true forces. The Shadow and the Light
kingship which would free him from represent the forces of creation and
Carolin's mad whims. Alas, Brightwell destruction, good and evil, forever at war
remains as distant as the moon stays from yet also forever dependent on the other for
the sun, and so Coralin must continue to existence. To the Ogier, these twin and
pursue her while taking care to hide his entwined forces are what has given rise to
interest from his mad mother. creation by virtue of their eternal conflict –
Artwork of Coralin is everywhere in the and in time, they will be responsible for the
Elves' settlements; his statues stand at the destruction of everything as well.
head of every acre, they grace the libraries,
they watch over storerooms and schools,
they stand watch over homes and small
versions are worn as jewelry by young
children and newlyweds. The Elves depict
their Shining Prince as a handsome young
Half-Elf, dressed in a white tabard under
golden armour, his golden longsword
always at his side. His face is as beautiful as
could be and his hair is long and golden,

144
did not come for free, however; blood
The Shadow and the Light sacrifice was needed to win her favour,
Titles: The Shifting Balance, the Wavering and all the sacrifices mortals could bring
Balance her were not enough to maintain her
Alignment: Neutral favour forever. As autumn came,
Portfolio: Creation, destruction, balance, Harbrye's malice grew in her breast and
elements, magic her womb closed; when the land was in
Symbol: A double spiral, half black, half the grip of winter, Harbrye was the
bluish-white moon, and her cold eye was upon the
Worshippers: Ogier, Kineticists, philosophers land and all life that struggled upon it,
Cleric alignments: CN, LN, N, NE, NG hungry for its death.
Domains: Air, Artifice, Chaos, Darkness, Only through the annual sacrifice of
Destruction, Earth, Evil, Fire, Good, Law, Magic, her consort-son, Kurhan, was Harbrye's
Plant, Sun, Water disposition sweetened again, allowing
Subdomains: Arcane, Catastrophe, Cloud, for the return of spring.
Construct, Day, Decay, Divine, Growth, Ice, Light, What imagery of Harbrye exists,
Loss, Metal, Night, Smoke, Wind shows her in one of two guises.
Favoured weapon: Katana / Nodachi In spring and summer, Harbrye is
portrayed as an obese giantess dressed
The Shadow and the Light require no in a crude loincloth, her skin and hair dark
worship, and Ogier have no spellcasting as night, her breasts and belly swollen with
traditions that would allow them to draw continuous pregnancies. Deosil spirals of
divine spells from them, but they hold them blood are painted on her skin, symbolizing
in the highest respect, above any god or mortals' devotion to her, and she has a little
goddess worshipped in Lilliend. Any human, smile on her face, indicating her favour.
Half-Elf or Elf introduced to the faith and In autumn and winter, Harbrye is
willing to commit themselves to it could, portrayed as a Fey creature, easily as tall as
however, become a Cleric of the Shadow her other guise, but far more dignified. This
and the Light as normal. form is slender and pale as ice, except for
her black and merciless eyes. Widdershins
The Dark Ones spirals of black tar a re painted on her skin,
Ancient deities believed dead or seen as indicating the reversal of life and the threat
elder demons by the people of Lilliend, the of annihilation unless she is appeased – and
Dark Ones were the spiritual guardians and quickly. While Harbrye is more beautiful in
scourges of peoples now lost in the Mists of autumn and winter, she radiates a cold
time. Only the oldest branches of the malice.
Weisücher family currently retain knowledge
of the rituals and mythologies associated
with these primal and perilous patrons.
According to the myths still preserved by
the Weisücher family, Harbrye is the
original mother goddess of Lilliend. During
spring and summer, she was the earth, her
fertile womb yielding up all animals, all
plants, all people and all magic. Her bounty

145
In ancient days, his life and power
the ranks of Harbrye left him, and the
Harbrye's Titles: The Hungry Mother, the Mother Dark land grew cold and
priesthood were Alignment: Chaotic Evil deathly. When
filled by village Portfolio: Creation, destruction, fertility, the winter was at its
wise women and earth, magic, the moon worst, Kurhan
wise men. They Symbol: A red spiral, turning widdershins would go onto his
were the healers, Worshippers: Spellcasters, farmers, mother and lover
the teachers, the midwives, rulers, smiths Harbrye to lie
midwives, the Cleric alignments: CE, CN, NE down with her one
crafters of items, Domains: Animal, Chaos, Darkness, Earth, last time, ending
the soothsayers Evil, Fire, Magic, Plant their coupling by
and also the ones Subdomains: Arcane, Ashes, Caves, Decay, tearing out his own
who performed the Divine, Feather, Fur, Growth, Metal, Moon, Night, throat and bathing
blood sacrifices to Smoke her in his own
keep their greedy Favoured weapon: Dagger blood.
goddess 'sweet'. As Harbrye's
They raised no temples to her, but did womb quickened with Kurhan's seed, life
desecrate altars to her name, whereupon returned to the land, and when the first day
they brought live animals and even humans of spring arrived, Kurhan was born anew to
to be torn open, bled to death and finally lead and nurture the people.
burned. Kurhan was and is portrayed by his
In the current age, only Weisücher faithful as a giant being, strong and straight
women have the distinction of serving the of limbs and back, with the head of a proud
Hungry Mother; while the goddess herself stag. During spring and summer, he would
would not object to having men serve her wear a cloak made of the furs of all the
as priests, the Weisücher matrons make creatures he slew with his trusty shortspear
sure to deny their male relatives access to to serve as the blood sacrifices of Harbrye,
the ancestral deity whose power remains and he bore a golden crown upon his
constant throughout the year.
Priestesses of Harbrye identify Kurhan
themselves through their unholy Titles: The Hunter Dark, the Many-Horned,
symbols and, especially when such the Reborn
symbols must be kept hidden, by Alignment: Lawful Evil
wearing red gloves to symbolize their Portfolio: Creation, destruction, fertility, the
having brought the blood sacrifice to earth, the hunt, kings, seasons
Harbrye. Symbol: A black stag's head with impressive
To the ancient people of Lilliend, antlers
Kurhan was the god of the sun and the Worshippers: Chieftains, hunters, warriors
seasons, who helped them grow food Cleric alignments: LE, LN, NE
and also watched over them in battle Domains: Animal, Charm, Evil, Law, Strength,
with their neighbours. As the year Sun, War, Weather
waned, so did his strength; he was Subdomains: Blood, Day, Feather, Ferocity,
young and vital in spring, mighty and Fur, Light, Lust, Resolve, Seasons, Storms,Tactics
virile in summer, but as autumn arrived Favoured weapon: Shortspear

146
wise old farmers who taught younger men
Dread Possibility: Revival how to coax the best yield from the earth,
The Weisücher have maintained their dreadful and they were experienced hunters who
spiritual traditions in spite of centuries of religious passed on the tricks of their trade. In the
and military oppression at the hands of first the current age, the men of the Weisücher
Elves, and thereafter their fellow human beings. family secretly honour Kurhan as a mighty
Not all members of the family have been initiated fertility god, and pray to him to lead them
in the faith, but enough have to keep it going – in a holy war which will end with the hateful
and growing. Although they used to select people goddesses of the 'new people' dead or
they were reasonably certain will not be missed enslaved to his will.
for live sacrifice, the Weisücher have been Traditionally, the priests of Kurhan made
growing bolder since the Lenkherr took the live sacrifices of prisoners of war to their
throne. Maybe it is a symptom of resentment, god, who they worshipped in the open air.
maybe it is a sign that they feel they have little Currently, the Weisücher tend to worship
left to lose, but the Weisücher have begun him in catacombs and cellars, where they
abducting Lenkherr soldiers patrolling the bring travelers they have abducted from the
countryside, and even minor nobles. In addition, roads to die in agony as they are
they have started proselytizing; Clerics of the disemboweled alive.
Dark Ones now offer prospective sacrifices the
chance to swear binding oaths to their dreadful The Realm
gods instead of dying on the altar. Those who
agree are initiated on the spot, and required to Government
bring a live sacrifice themselves, after which they Power in Lilliend flows down from the
are allowed to return home. Few dare speak to top; a rigid pyramid structure that refuses
their neighbours of what they have been forced change in the name of tradition and holds
to do, and those who do are soon whisked back tradition to be more holy than divine writ or
to the underground shrine to be killed – often at common sense.
the hands of whoever they dared whisper the While the current Queen divides her time
course of their adventures to. Those who keep between efforts to maintain the quality of
their mouths shut are still not out of the woods. the education system, attempts to improve
Inevitably a night will come when someone the quality of life in her realm, and some
knocks on their door in the dead of night and fumbling stabs at diplomacy, the nobles
orders them to take action on behalf of the faith. who must enforce her will generally see
And though they might wish to forget afterward, little value in innovation on a national or
another night will come, and another knock. And international scale. Unless they feel
another. And another... absolutely compelled to make the Queen's
antlers. When autumn and winter ruled the plans a reality – say, because a platoon of
land, Kurhan lost his youthful glamour and loyal soldiers has 'coincidentally' decided to
his crown, and he needed his spear to serve camp quite close to their estate – the
him as a cane, but he retained an iron nobles have gotten quite good at
resolve and a terrible dignity. sabotaging initiatives for improvement
In ancient days, the priests of Kurhan without leaving any clear evidence of their
were the chieftains of primitive villages and involvement. To be blunt, there are not
the war-leaders of tribes moving out to raid, enough soldiers in Lilliend to enforce any of
pillage and burn, but they were also the

147
The land provides sufficient food and raw
The Lilliender Hero materials to sustain the local populace, with
This section presents information potentially enough to spare so reserves may be
useful in creating PCs native to Lilliend. maintained for lean years, but nothing it
Races: Humans, Half-Elves, Elves, and Ogier produces is exactly exotic – unless one
are the dominant races of the land, with humans counts the toxic mosses and berries of
outnumbering all others by a significant margin, L'Haut. Even such items as are produced by
with the Elves suffering a siege mentality and the the artists and craftsfolk of the domain,
Ogier being in hiding from all others. Still, a rare many if not all of whom were educated in
rebellious Ogier youth could strike out for the latest techniques at the domain's
freedom and adventure, rather than lurk in hiding boarding schools, are considered to hardly
and shame, and an Elf might decide enough is be noteworthy or even novel across the
enough and flee for greener pastures. borders.
Classes: Antipaladin, Cavalier, Cleric, Fighter, Trade is further hampered by the
Hunter, Monk (typically Nuns of Athena), Oracle, difficulty in moving large quantities of
Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Witch. Sorcerers are anything out of Lilliend and down the final
born on occasion, but are quickly murdered by slope to the rest of the Cluster. Only
their communities unless they learn to hide their Lenkherr wines and spirits are considered
gifts from an early age. special enough by epicureans outside the
Recommended skills: Bluff, Climb, Craft, country to justify the huge expense required
Diplomacy, Knowledge (history, nobility), Perform to safely move the stuff across the border.
(dance, sing, wind instruments, wood All in all, trade with the outside world
instruments), Profession, Sense motive, Survival, ends up as a survivable tie; there is
Swim. negligible export, but also little need for
Recommended feats: Acrobatic steps, vigorous import. Equines of various types
Acrobatics, Athletic, Combat reflexes, Dodge, are the most popular ware to be acquired
Mounted combat, Nimble moves, Skill focus, abroad. For the most part Lilliend can tend
Stand still, Weapon focus, Weapon specialization. to its own needs – apart from its need for
Lilliender male names (Human): an influx of men to keep up the population's
Alexander, Anfried, Anselfried, Anselmus, numbers, which is satisfied by different
Bertrand, Maximilian, Tomas means.
Lilliender female names (Human): The local coin is hopelessly crude, its
Alexandra, Belfleur, Bonfleur, Camille, Mellime, value measured by (recognized) metal and
Nimorte, Theadora weight. The golden Royal, the silver Dux,
and the copper Frei bear one stamp, that of
the Queen's visions for a better, brighter the royal mint, and have no kind of edging
future, unless they were to start executing to prevent the crimes of clipping, sweating,
the nobility en masse, and that would or other styles of forgery. As a result, there
probably lead to a new rebellion. are any number of fake coins in circulation,
their weight made up with tin or pot iron;
Economy the royal mint's seal is hardly difficult to
Lilliend has never been a contender on duplicate.
the international market, not even in its
early history.

148
in Lilliend mirrors the curse of Masogan
Diplomacy
which strikes down women in childbirth, and
Lilliend's relative isolation and the two nations have a potential for
xenophobic tendencies have left it lacking in meeting each other's need.
allies across the border. The siege mentality Or they would have, if they would see
most Lilliender citizens entertain, their belief each other as anything other than
that theirs is a land surrounded by enemies, blasphemous enemies to be conquered
is unfortunately not wholly incorrect. It is so and/or exterminated.
easy to see how more positive contacts with Vieuxlyons and Lilliend do not share a
neighbouring domains could increase the border, but renegades from Vieuxlyons have
quality of life in Lilliend in short order – but made the long voyage through Conquista
also why that is never likely to happen. for the sole purpose of invading Lilliend in
Conquista is a nation which possesses the past. The black-uniformed gunmen did
truly modern technology, and whose people great harm without any provocation, and so
share Lilliend's admiration for higher Lilliend as a whole considers Vieuxlyons to
education. Conquista could benefit from be a nation in the grip of pure evil, to be
Lilliend's bountiful mines, and Lilliend could denounced and if possible destroyed.
incorporate many innovations from Fortunately for the much smaller
Conquista. Vieuxlyons, Conquista lies squarely between
Regrettably, the people of Conquista lack it and Lilliend, and so the chance of an army
Lilliend's actual devotion to acquiring higher marching down the final slope to crush it
learning, and the Lillienders believe that out of existence seems slight to nonexistent
Conquista is the ancient nation of heathens – at the current time.
and blasphemers against which King Arthus Umbrash to the far northeast is a
Weisücher III rode out. As a result, Lilliend surprisingly steady mercantile partner to
holds Conquista at arm's length so as not to Lilliend, in the sense that it exports most of
incur the wrath of the gods, not to mention the horses and donkeys passed along by
due to the scandalous prices demanded by ways of Conquista. While the Lilliender
Conquistan merchants for horses and nobility boasts that the distant horse-
donkeys, Lilliend's most popular import. merchants are eager to curry favour with
Conquistan protests that the prices are high their 'obviously superior' nation, more keen-
because horses and donkeys 'do not do well minded politicians suspect there is an
in Conquista' and must therefore be ulterior motive to Umbrash's apparently
imported from lands even further abroad, friendly interest which remains unknown.
tend to fall on deaf ears.
Masogan is a land of rampaging,
chauvinistic barbarians, eager to invade,
Sites of Interest
rape, pillage and enslave, or so believe the
Lillienders. While for the most part this is
Karnbrunnen
perfectly true, there are parts of Masogan Northernmost of Lilliend's “great cities”,
with which Lilliend is unfamiliar – and in Karnbrunnen is the ancestral seat of the
which it is completely disinterested – after Churnstone family. The city sits at the very
countless attempts by Masogani savages to edge of L'Haut, with its onion-domed towers
scale the final slope and conquer their land. seeming to peek at the next plateau up.
Ironically, the odd tendency for men to die Due to its proximity to the higher slopes,

149
the city has suffered from more than one Even now, many generations after the
avalanche or landslide in its history, with Churnstones first ordered their servants to
the most recent one demolishing the dig into Haurau's earth here, Karnbrunnen
ancestral seat of its ruling family. It is still oversees the nation's largest quarries.
perhaps fortunate that it was already Having visited the area where stout working
abandoned at the time. men and women dig into the earth to cut
While Karnbrunnen follows the general granite, marble and other building stone
Lilliender design for cities – concentric into blocks for transport and excavate rare
circles which show newer architecture the but highly welcome pockets of jewels, I can
further out one goes, with the gutted say that the city is productive, likely to
remains of old city walls separating the remain prosperous for a long time to come,
layers of development – its onion domes and clearly assigns little value to the lives of
only appear in one other city, and it is one its workers. Working conditions in the
of few places where the local nobles at least quarries are appalling, with many of the
attempted to keep the older parts of the city people forced down into the pits
up to date. succumbing to dust-lung, blindness, or
The fact that Karnbrunnen has first other maladies before they are cast aside by
access to the produce of the great the quarries' administrators.
Churnstone quarries certainly does not hurt. Another sign of the Churnstone
I must grudgingly admit that the city's supremacy over the city and its surrounding
administrators have done a fairly good job. area is found in a popular local pastime: the
Buildings old and new are kept in good declaration of poetry. The Churnstones
repair, stone is the building material of were famous for producing great poets
choice, and the affluent have their walls every few generations, and they even
decorated with intricate carvings and founded a school for the art in
paintings which display stories of national or Karnbrunnen. Although this Academ Rimant
familial significance to edify, entertain, and had to close its doors when the boarding
of course to boast their wealth, influence schools first opened theirs, the people of
and good taste. Karnbrunnen still boast that the spirit of
Regrettably, all the good intentions and poetry is alive and well in the city. Any
effort to maintain and upgrade the buildings teenager with delusions of artistry is free to
cannot change the fact that the streets of declaim poetry in public, with citizens often
the inner city are too narrow to pausing a moment to sample the fruits of
accommodate modern (Ha!) traffic. The their angst. If a poet displays true skill, they
absence of proper sewers in the inner are often rewarded with donations of small
circles is also a problem, which leads to coin.
regular outbreaks of disease during the The Churnstones still have controlling
height of summer. The only way interests in both city and quarries, but
circumstances could be improved at this everyone knows their power has waned.
point would be to knock down several Most telling of all the signs is the fact that
historic buildings and start afresh. the Churnstones no longer inhabited their
Unfortunately for the people of ancestral home, Schlot Reimaustein in the
Karnbrunnen, such would fly in the face of oldest part of the city, at the time of the
tradition as strong as law. landslide that buried it. Even though other
parts of the city that were damaged have

150
long since been rebuilt, the castle was gate has a finer kitchen and drinks
simply left in ruins. Such Churnstones as selection, but its rooms are unpleasant. I
remain in the city now occupy a series of discovered why when the innkeeper reacted
lavish villas in the outer ring. In fairness, I with confusion to my question as to her
must note that no one has yet managed to weekly rates. As it turns out, her inn and
explain the malady that wiped out the her comely servants cater to soldiers
family's main branch, and the possibility moving through, and she is more used to
that it still lingers in the stones of the renting her rooms out on an hourly basis. I
ancestral castle weighs heavily on the minds am sure I do not need to paint you a
of all Karnbrunnen's citizens. As a result, picture.
there is a very new, very tall, and very thick The Royal Poem (good quality rooms,
wall around the ruins of Schlot Reimaustein, excellent quality food) in the old part of the
which is checked for breaches on a weekly city is a magnificent structure which boasts
basis and added to on an annual one. As the finest qualities of both accommodations
the wall grows, it blots out the sun for the and dining and demands payment that
surrounding buildings and slowly advances reflects its quality in full. While it is by far
towards them, encouraging many families the finest establishment of its kind in the
to relocate to newer parts of the city. In city, I would not recommend it to anyone
time, Reimaustein and its wall may come to who does not have a purse bulging with
occupy the whole of the city's oldest circle gold and silver. If money is not an object,
in grim solitude. however, you should definitely go and try
one of the 'themed' suites, which are
Where to stay in Karnbrunnen decorated and equipped to imitate
The Open Arms (good quality rooms, establishments from other lands, both real
common quality food) is a small, but clean and unreal, ancient and modern. The
inn right next to the city's north gate. The servants who attend the guests of the
innkeeper opened the establishment in the themed suites even dress in period costume
expectation of custom coming down from which reflects the suite!
L'Haut as the year turns to winter, when
trappers, loggers, and other folk who spend Dangers in Karnbrunnen
most of their time in the heights come down Mindful of your instructions to 'plant the
to hide from the winter snows. Certainly seed', my Master, I poked around in areas
Mrs. Rachante and her three daughters not much frequented by the citizens of
keep the place rigorously clean and the Karnbrunnen. I was unable to gain access
beds are very comfortable, but the dishes to Schlot Reimaustein, which seemed to me
served and the contents of her beer cellar an excellent place, so I investigated some of
leave something to be desired. the oldest, exhausted quarries. Regrettably,
One long-time customer whispered to me many of these had collapsed in on
that the food was at its best when the first themselves when the workers removed the
Mr. Rachante was still alive and in charge of supports, so that they might be used in
the kitchens, but his firstborn was a girl, future projects, but I thought myself
and so he has not been around for a long fortunate when I discovered there was a
time. mineshaft that had never been
The Sister's Devotion (poor quality disassembled.
rooms, good quality food) at the city's south

151
I will spare you the details of my After placing a minor spell to warn me of
cautious descent into the depths of Lilliend's approaching danger, I attempted to perform
underground, my Master. Most of my an autopsy on one of the corpses to
reconnaissance was quite tedious, mapping determine the cause of death. Barely had I
abandoned tunnels and carefully testing the laid hands on the collar of the corpse of my
passages ahead of me, ever mindful of the choice when it grabbed my wrists and sat
dangers of sudden collapse. up! As it opened its eyes to look at me, and
The part that was not tedious, and which then its mouth to address me, I saw the
I will now relate to you, was heart- telltale signs: a damned vampire! I had
stoppingly perilous. ambled into a vampire nest!
I had entered the mine under cover of You know of my skill with combat spells
night and been at work long enough that and my careful preparation, my Master. I
the sun had already risen above. As you would have blasted the disgusting thing
should know by now, I am no stranger to with lightning, had not its words given me
burning the candle at both ends, and so I pause.
decided to continue mapping until my watch “The sun,” it said. “Is it still in the sky?”
told me I could venture above once more When I nodded, it let go of me, got out
without needing to fear easy discovery by of the niche and limped out into the
locals. I delved ever deeper into the earth tunnels. I followed at a careful distance,
and found – a chamber.
While its atmosphere was akin to that Dread Possibility: The Churnstone Wells
of a crypt, it had none of the trappings The chamber Ciska discovered in the
associated therewith. The room had abandoned mine is but one of many which litter
clearly been excavated fairly recently, the underground near Karnbrunnen; Camille
was roughly circular, and had niches Churnstone, Darklady of Lilliend, uses the tunnels
carved into its walls, each large enough to store those of her vampire spawn which she
for an adult human body. does not decide to murder outright, when she has
Which, predictably, they were filled no need of their services. Locked in slumber until
with – or so I assumed at first. Women, they are either called forth by Camille to perform
all of them at least young adults, all a mission – mainly to murder men who have
dressed in the same livery of black on successfully fathered a daughter – or stirred from
black, lay there in a position of rest, their sleep by an intruder, the spawn are locked
their hands crossed upon their chests. I in nightmares of starvation and despair.
was uncertain what to make of it. All of If an intruder does wake them, the spawn
them appeared to be dead, their faces have a brief grace period before Camille becomes
gaunt and sunken, their skin withered, aware of the fact that they are moving without
but there were no grave markers, and her instructions and reaffirms her control of them,
they certainly did not seem to be ranging between one and four hours. During this
related. At first, I thought I might have time, they are free to act on their own impulses,
stumbled on the larder of some whatever these may be.
especially foul creature, or else the The number of chambers occupied by starved
trophies of an incredibly industrious spawn is unknown even to Camille, and she has
serial killer, but I was soon disabused of forgotten about some of them. If ever the
this notion. Darklady feels like it, she can mobilize a small
army of ravenous vampires to do her bidding.

152
one hand on the hilt of my sword-cane, the waters of the Bitterflut to be pumped into
other ready to sketch the gestures of one of the city's resorts and spas. As a whole, the
my more potent battle-spells, but the city is well-suited to its current role as a hub
creature never even looked my way. With for business, but it also reflects the
slow, almost painful - but certain – steps, it essential Lenkherr character. Yes, the
advanced by the shortest available route to streets are wide and the buildings are
the mine's exit, and there stepped into the beautiful, but there are many little alleys
light of day without a moment's hesitation. that provide shortcuts, and the gleaming
I am not often surprised, my Master, but façades have cleverly camouflaged spy-
I was this time. The vampire stood in the holes and crenellations that can provide
sunlight and laughed, laughed while the sun excellent cover to snipers. Honest
shone down upon her. Rather than catch businesses and grand theaters stand next to
fire, she seemed to change phase states, brothels and ale-houses, and there are
going from a solid abomination to a cloud of sections of the city where the guard never
gently expanding, golden dust that sparkled comes – by arrangement, and in return for
in the light. Finally, there was nothing left of hefty bribes paid on a regular basis.
the creature – and I abandoned caution and Surrounded on all sides by thriving
returned to Karnbrunnen as quickly as my vineyards and lush orchards, Malkort is
feet would carry me. I departed the city enriched by the trade in fruits and the
shortly thereafter, my Master; I had not spirits distilled therefrom in the city's great
expected a vampire lair in that mine, so I breweries, which are located in the
had not taken precautions to prevent their innermost circles. On a fine summer's day,
kind from tracking me down. the various smells of the breweries hang
heavy over the city's inner circles – both
Malkort smells fair and smells foul. In recent years,
Travelling south from Karnbrunnen, one as literacy has spread across the domain,
soon meets the white-water flow of the enterprising merchants have founded great
Wittwentraen and its many 'daughters', copying-houses and 'modern' spas in the
which irrigate and nurture the farm country city's outer rings. During working hours,
of Lilliend. Travel long enough through the there is a constant movement of raw
fertile farmland on a straight line south from materials into Malkort, and of finished
Karnbrunnen, and one inevitably comes products out of it, while the temple bells of
upon the ancestral seat of the current – and the great cathedral of Thunder-Father ring
as matters stand, only – royal family, the out the hours.
Lenkherr: Malkort. It should come as no surprise that the
It soon becomes apparent to the trained Lenkherr family has its estates in the middle
eye that Malkort is far older than rings, and well away from the main
Karnbrunnen, but whoever designed this thoroughfares that guide the commerce that
city had a better head for the needs of has made them rich. The original seat of the
business and the desires of the rich and Lenkherr, Zinnentanza, still stands within
powerful. Malkort's streets are wide, its bowshot of the cathedral of Thunder-Father
buildings artistic in design, and it has a and is freely accessible to anyone who is
sewer system that accommodates the whole willing to pay five gold coins for the
city, as well as a secondary network of privilege of touring the labyrinthine halls
tunnels that allow for the mineral-rich where the Night of Blood took place. No

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Lenkherr would live there now, however; their Lenkherr masters, to allow for violence
Queen Alexandra is the head of the main and depravity to move all unseen behind a
branch, and she and her closest relatives smiling façade of peace and order.
now live in Luzander. None of the cousin
branches has the right to occupy the main Where to stay in Malkort
seat, and in any case the people of Malkort The Eye of the Storm (common quality
believe there is a curse on the entire rooms, good quality food) is Malkort's oldest
building. inn, and is practically an outbuilding of the
It should not surprise anyone, least of all cathedral of Thunder-Father. Priests are in
you, my Master, that I checked for the truth and out of the place at all hours, providing
of this belief while I toured Zinnentanza. blessings for anyone desiring of such in
The Lenkherr seat is nothing short of a return for small coin or a mug of ale, which
palace, its hallways still lined with fine the innkeeper brews in his own cellar
paintings and other pieces of art, the gilded beneath the building. The inn may not be
furniture and velvet paintings kept spotless the most comfortable in Malkort, but it
by servants who were not called to serve in distinguishes itself by having the reputation
Luzander. As far as I could tell, all traces of of being the very safest establishment. All
the Night of Blood have been competently those priests moving into and out of it at all
erased, and the only pall that yet hangs hours probably discourages petty and more
over the building is that which the visitors severe crime.
bring there. The Queen's Favour (bad quality rooms,
On the other hand, what lies beneath the bad quality food) was built near
building and behind its walls is foul enough Zinnentanza in response to the crowning of
without any curses. I managed to slip away the first Lenkherr Queen. While it is easy to
from the group of curious visitors and the see the building was once beautiful, it has
tour guide to which I had been assigned consistently failed to live up to the hopes of
and accessed the network of secret its owners; with the main Lenkherr branch
passages that allowed the Lenkherr to turn in Luzander, and none of the cousin
the tables on the assassins that had been branches allowed to move into Zinnentanza,
set on them by Helena Weisücher III. My the expected flow of custom from Lenkherr
time in that disused labyrinth was far more servants and petitioners failed to
instructive than the time I spent being materialize, and the inn's profits are
nattered at by my tour guide. There were insufficient to the needs of upkeep. The
armories, laboratories, torture rooms and only reasons I could give for voluntarily
what I can only assume were 'play rooms', staying at the Queen's Favour for more than
where I found traces of orgies and one day are a desperate yearning for
festivities that verged from the banal to the indigestion, or a love of small vermin, as
abominable. can be found living in the bedding.
More interesting than the Lenkherr's The Delight of Princes (excellent quality
secret pastimes, however, were doors I rooms, good quality food) is one of the
found to even deeper passages. Malkort's city's newer establishments, strategically
sewer system turned out to be a network of positioned near both a spa favoured by the
wide tunnels, easily big enough to Lenkherr family and a theater currently in
accommodate secret troop movements. The vogue with the rich. Although the prices
architects of this city truly were inspired by demanded for room and board are lavish,

154
they reflect the quality of the suites and spend the night (be it alone or with
fare provided – as well as that of the company), while she celebrates her
impending invitation to move to Luzander
Dread Possibility: The Delight of Pain and live in splendor in the Queen's court. As
The Delight of Princes is indeed one of the the invitation continues to fail to arrive,
finest inns of Malkort, and it is popular with the more and more people whisper how the
rich and jaded nobles of the city. The innkeeper, regular debauch and growing despair are
Mellime Malvert (NE Expert 2 / Rogue 3 / Assassin withering Lady Ilzabeth before her time.
2) is always on the lookout for new ways to tempt More furtive whispers suggest the invitation
and delight the best-paying clientele. For this will never come, due to some crime Lady
purpose, she makes a habit of befriending all who Ilzabeth committed first against her mother
seek to room at the Delight, finding out and later against her sister. Until the time
everything she can about them. Over ninety that the Lady finally snaps or just gives up,
percent of all customers leave completely however, her estate provides excellent
satisfied, but anyone who is both beautiful and is hospitality.
discovered to lack people who might miss or seek
to avenge them are served sedatives with their Schlotstein
wine, and are likely to wake up in the secret Venturing south from Malkort, the lush
'cattle pens' underneath the inn. landscape gradually grows less hospitable to
Here, the prisoners are kept until Mellime finds farms as the daughters of both
a customer or customers willing to pay for the use Wittwentraen and Bitterflut converge into
of her 'play room', where her prisoners are broad streams. Located on a broad wedge
subjected to depravity and pain and finally of land between these rivers is the grim city
murdered. of Schlotstein. Connected to the rest of
Never one to miss a trick for making money, Lilliend only by two bridges, the city
Mellime has the broken bodies of her victims practically screams of its siege mentality
turned into a special dish. long before one comes within hailing
distance of the first guard station.
No matter whether one takes the
beautiful and 'accommodating' servants Widow's Bridge or the Bitter Bridge, the
available to serve as 'company' to paying traveler must pass three such stations
customers. I would recommend the place before even coming to the city's outer wall.
warmly if not for the fact that I caught a During my approach, I could see guards
disturbing rumour that some customers armed with longbows patrolling behind the
never come out again, and that their crenellations, and I saw the silhouettes of
personal effects had turned up for sale in siege engines primed to destroy the
the marketplace. bridges, making it excessively difficult for
Lady Ilzabeth's Hospitality (excellent invading armies to approach.
quality rooms, excellent quality food) is an In Lilliend, Schlotstein is known variously
oddity. Instead of being an inn, this is the as 'the traitor's city' and 'the city of a
estate of the lady Ilzabeth Lenkherr, older thousand towers'. The former name is of
sister to Queen Alexandra Lenkherr. The course due to the Lockstone Rebellion, but
Lady holds regular revels, during which time the latter is a far older name that dates
she opens the doors of her estate to anyone back to the Lockstone habit that each
who wishes to wander in, partake and even independent son or daughter should build –

155
or at least oversee the construction of – The cathedral of Ashar, which is located in
their own tower, complete with the onion- the third circle out, chimes the hours, but its
shaped domes I also saw in Karnbrunnen. bells are forged of iron and their tone is
As a result, there is indeed a multitude of dark and harsh. Wherever you go in this
towers springing up left and right city, you see armed and armoured troops:
throughout the city, as many of them royal forces carrying the Lenkherr crest, and
abandoned after the demise of the main troops carrying the old Lockstone crest,
branch as are inhabited by members of the backed up by Clerics of Ashar, both factions
cousin branches. openly eyeing each other and just barely
I found Schlotstein to be a bleak and pretending that they are not looking for a
inhospitable city, my Master. Its people walk reason to kill the other in cold blood.
tall and stand proud, but they never seem The city's claim to wealth, its great
to smile in public, and conversation is forges, creates most of the urban noise.
muted, quickly cut off if a stranger is The ring of hammer on anvil and the creak
noticed. The grey buildings fit almost of cartwheels as coal and ore are moved
seamlessly together and are unadorned on into the city, and finished weapons and
the outside, with most windows remaining tools are moved out, should create a lively
shuttered and barred throughout most of atmosphere of industry, but alas only serve
the year. The logic is acceptable; the homes to underscore the baleful silence that hangs
of Schlotstein's people form walls that force over the rest of Schlotstein. Even the carts
invaders to use the main roads, allowing that bring in food from the farms in the
defenders to build up choke points and Lockstone sphere of influence and the
barricades without needing to fear their patrols constantly moving in and out of the
enemy will come upon them through back city as they go to patrol the final descent or
alleys. That said, nothing is built with return for rest and relaxation seem to be
beauty in mind, only with an eye to siege moving on tiptoe.
and invasion. Every moment that I spent in Schlotstein,
The roads of Schlotstein are wide, but I felt a great tension lurking beneath the
they are so to accommodate troop surface, as if violence might erupt at any
movements. A secondary network of roads moment. I discussed this with a merchant
runs across the roofs of the squat, blocky who had travelled here from Luzander, and
buildings, and is beholden solely to archers she confirmed the sensation.
in service to the Lockstone cousin branches “The Lockstones and their servants,” she
that currently run the city. One would said, “they are all as crazy as their dead
expect thieves and general layabouts to lord. They haven't returned to normal just
abuse this network, but I learned during my because the Rebellion was beaten down. I
stay that the penalty for misusing the 'high wouldn't risk coming here if they weren't
road' is stiff; three corpses were swinging the best smiths in the land.”
from the city's outer wall by their neck as I
first approached the city, each with a sign Where to stay in Schlotstein
reading simply 'Criminal Trespass' nailed to The Queen's Embrace (reasonable
their chest. quality rooms, reasonable quality food) is
The cathedral of Thunder-Father stands the city's newest and arguably most
in the city's inner circle, its bells melted welcoming inn. Built after the Lockstone
down for their metal and its doors sealed. Rebellion, its proprietors wanted to open a

156
safe haven for visiting merchants and group's commander to lieutenant. One of
dignitaries, where they could rest and eat the soldiers, a young woman newly enlisted
'without having to be confronted by and fresh out of Luzander, got quite rascally
Lockstone scum'. It soon became clear that drunk on the inn's ale and slapped the
this attitude would not fly, as locals innkeeper's son on the backside, ordering
noticeably detested the place and visitors him to, and I quote: “Run and get us
felt threatened by their attitude, causing another round, serf-boy!”
them to shun the inn and profits to drop A hush fell over the common room at
sharply. Since the proprietors have dropped once, and the boy in question fixed such a
their militant attitude, changing their glare on the soldiers as I had not seen any
message to 'the Queen welcomes all her man give a woman in Lilliend.
subjects', business has picked up Rather than object to his being smacked
somewhat, but profits have not yet risen to on the bottom, however, he said: “There
the point that the inn can improve the are no serfs in Schlotstein.”
quality of its service beyond the merely The soldiers' lieutenant immediately tried
acceptable. to apologize for the behaviour of her
The Howling Dog (poor quality rooms, underling, citing the quality of the Backward
excellent quality food) is a soldier's inn Glance's ale and her inexperience. For a
located near the Widow's Gate. Royal troops moment, this seemed to work, with the
moving into the city make up the majority tension ebbing – and then the young fool
of its clientele; locals do not room there. shot to her feet and started shouting how
The 'Dog might well have suffered like the she was a warrior of the queen, and no
Queen's Embrace if not for the fame of its 'damned filthy rebel' was going to tell her
food and drink. Even the staunchest anti- what she could and could not say 'in
royalist will sit shoulder to shoulder with a conquered lands'. She finished by slapping
horsewoman wearing the queen's colours the boy in the face, and repeating her order
for a chance at one of the 'Dog's famous of another round, finishing with a
banquets, complete with libations drawn maliciously gleeful 'serf-boy!'
from its cherrywood ale-casks. I could see the soldiers' lieutenant turn
The Backward Glance (good quality pale, and for a moment she closed her
rooms, reasonable quality food) is an inn eyes. Then she very demonstratively turned
located in the oldest circles of the city. It is her back on the young fool and started
not notable for the quality of its room and talking to the rest of her troops in a loud
board, but more for its strategic location tone of voice. Other customers present,
near several government offices and army merchants and government workers,
barracks. On a good evening, one might likewise made a show of ignoring the
overhear muted conversations between civil bewildered drunkard and talking very
servants relaxing after a long day's work, loudly. In contrast, the locals rose as one
catch snatches of soldier gossip, or even the and converged on the soldier in a mass. She
dark whispers of Lockstone loyalists cried out once and tried to draw her sword,
growling about the insults to their people but she was knocked to the ground,
that they perceive every day. disarmed and gagged in short order. The
During my stay, a group of royal soldiers locals dragged her out into the night,
dropped by for a round of drinks, pausing only to drop her sword on the table
celebrating the recent promotion of their

157
in front of the lieutenant, who winced – and anything. Even burdened as I was, it proved
did nothing. easy enough to break the seals without
Not ten minutes later, the local leaving obvious traces, and I let myself in.
customers returned and went back to their The interior of Maximilian's Tower proved
meals as though nothing had happened. I to be cold, dusty …. and 'charged',
found an excuse to go outside and look somehow. It was simplicity itself for me to
around. The soldier had been hung from a discover why the atmosphere felt so
lamp post, with admirable neatness and in oppressive; there were spells spun
complete silence. Someone had pinned a throughout the building, made permanent
piece of paper to her face on which was by a powerful practitioner. A quick analysis
written, in large letters: SED NUNC LIBER proved that these were protective spells,
– as you may well recall, the rallying cry of meant to secure the building's construction
the Lockstone Rebellion. and defend its occupants against magical
It seems, my Master, that the spirit of assault from outside. There were a few
insurrection is not quite as dead in the magical tripwires as well, one of which had
Lockstone lands as people would like to duly been triggered when I entered the
believe - or at least the Lockstone position building, but as it appeared to be set to
that there are no serfs in their lands is not. alert someone inside the abandoned tower,
I felt confident that I could go about my
Dangers in Schlotstein business without interference.
Having now acquired the 'seed' I needed Locating a suitable chamber was easy
for your purposes, my Master, I decided to enough; the tower's wine cellar (which,
investigate what I personally consider to be judging by the state of the barrels, had
the most interesting party in the Lockstone never seen much use) was ideally suited to
Rebellion: Maximilian Lockstone himself. the task. I laid out the body of that young
As for so many failed families in this fool who got herself hung outside the
benighted land, the main estate of the Backward Glance and produced the clay pot
Lockstones was sealed and forbidden for full of charnel soil, the scroll, and the
their cousin branches to occupy. Unlike required gem. I let myself slip into the
those other families, the Lockstones never necessary trance and performed the ritual
really occupied one central building; their as you have taught me – and with the usual
custom that each scion should oversee the level of skill and aplomb, you need not
construction of their own tower means that doubt. When I left the cellar, your 'seed of
there are numerous buildings throughout conquest' was briefed on its purpose and
the city that have been closed off. Too had declared its acquiescence with my
many buildings, really, to allow for an equal commands. I decided to make a visit to the
amount of protection for all. late Lord Lockstone's private quarters and
Shortly before my departure from see whether there were any remains of his
Schlotstein, I found an opportunity to arcane writings that I might put to use.
approach what is now called by some 'the Alas, the instant I left the wine cellar I
Hyena's Tower', by others simply realized something had gone wrong; there
'Maximilian's Tower', but by most 'the was a dense fog rolling through the tower's
Tower of the Last King' – this in spite of the corridors, a fog that resisted my best
fact that Maximilian Lockstone was never attempts to dispel it, and which somehow
crowned and never named himself king of snuffed out my divination spells as soon as I

158
cast them. My first attempt to reach the desk itself was riddled by woodworm, and
front door and beat a quick retreat came to other vermin appeared to have gotten at
nothing, as I realized I had somehow gotten the papers within through their tunnels.
turned around …. and I was, after all, not I have transcribed such fragments as
alone in the tower. Something was moving survived for your perusal, my Master. The
through the fog, just outside the circle of first selection:
light cast by my spells. Whatever it was, it “... Beleregon reluctantly admitted that
was intelligent and fast, and it kept up with the First People were not the Elves,
me as I tried to make my way through the regardless of their claims, but the fire-kissed
fog. people who …. Weisücher. Their gods were
I was just about ready to forego caution twain, their names forgotten, but ….
and try violence when I chanced upon a resemblance to Thunder-Father and not
pair of double doors. Passing through them, Haurau, but Brightwell. The Elves invaded
I found myself in what I can only describe during the …. Second Wave of Invasion
as a cozy combination of a library and consisted of the Lenkherr ancestors, who
personal study. Sensing no immediate brought a recognizable form of Thunder-
danger therein and feeling the need for a Father and attributed their victory over the
moment to recover my sense of direction Elves and their fire-haired slaves to him ….
and devise a plan, I locked the doors behind actually access to bronze armour and arms,
me, shutting out the weird fog and my as opposed to flint and …. Third Wave of
pursuer. Magical lights not of my creation Invasion b ... own ancestors, who brought
immediately winked on, and a small fire …. iron and later steel, and the drive to
erupted in the hearth. It was clear enough build with stone and mine for …. ms and
that Maximilian Lockstone had not only ore. Hints I have found unde …. Malkort
been a skilled practitioner, but also one who and Luzander suggests my ancestors
did not hesitate to use the Art to provide brought dualistic belief in good and evil,
himself with creature comforts. Ashar and il Demonio, but …. cannot explain
And why not? The magic serves the why …. seamless integration of faiths ….
caster, not the other way around. whereas integration of …. nologies makes
I spent some time investigating the more sense. Mingling of the blood ….
bookcases in this comfortable room, and unavoidable, of course, with wa ….
had to draw the conclusion that if the late conquest, but why did the faiths merge inst
Lord Lockstone had read even half of them, …. ival of the strongest, demonisation of ….
he had truly been a scholar worthy of my ers? …. wish to spea …. to Elves when next
regard. A few of the most choice volumes I visit them in …. anemere. Perhaps they
found their way into my backpack before I may also explain why there are not even
even bothered to look at the desk. Here, I stories of ancient battles between …. of
found neat folders of correspondence and invasion. Almost as if history has …. ed over
bound folios of notes compiled by the late to hide ancient battles, even though there
Maximilian. are …. w evident stresses in our soci ….
Alas, neatly collected and organized as 1
they were, they were …. damaged. The ty.”

1 overly long in Lilliend when other lands lie


Lord Lockstone's conclusions mirror my own.
While I know you do not wish me to spend waiting, I did keep my eyes and ears open – and

159
my letters to read them to me (as though I
were borderline illiterate, like the typical
The second selection: inbred male scion), I have expanded my
“... udy of arcane magic is interesting, studies into the …. inding of minor servitor
and has been helpful in some aspects of my creatures. The spells were not available in
research, but alas does not offer many any of the shops that cater to …. Art in my
hopes of real-world applications. People are city, nor could or would any of the Clerics
simply too fearful of magic for me to offer assist me, save those of il Demonio, who
to use it for the good of the people, and so are unacceptable …. stroke of such good
I have not told Mother …. minor fortune that I find myself harbouring
breakthrough in warding my rising tower. I suspicions. News came to me of gypsies
shall continue to apply the fruits of my requesting permission to …. trade in the
studies as the tower grows and my main marketplace, offering …. for good
understanding grows apace. When Lockstone steel. A tribe of gypsies who
complete, I expect my home shall be the name themselves the Vistani. The name fills
most secure, magically speaking, in all of me with foreboding, but when I went to see
Schlotstein and perhaps in all of Lilliend. them for mys …. selection of spell scrolls
When next I visit Granemere, I hope to and minor items. Damn tempting. The very
exchange impressions with my friend scroll I required among them. I fear a trap,
Beleregon, who was likewise struggling with but ….”
the second permutation of...”
The fourth selection:
The third selection: “... great strides in the Art, in spite of my
“Grandmother and my great-aunts have earlier foreboding, and in spite of my other
come to me with news. Dire news. Terrible obligations. The estates are running
news. Awful news. Sweet Ashar, I cannot smoothly, security is tight (or so report my
find the words! How could anyone find the generals – it still feels alien to say that they
words?! My mother, my sisters, my cousins, are mine, instead of Mother's), and the
all of them dead! They are saying I have to citizens seem content and prosperous.
Sweet Ashar, how could you abandon them Further trade with the Vistani …. expanded
so?!” my spellbook and learning. Even found ….
“I must be calm. I must be in control. I unity to invite Beleregon here, to my study,
must be calm. I must be in control. I must where we consulted with the Vistana Carola
feel nothing. I must be ice. I must be stone. and all three of us learned much. I happily
Yes. I am the bedrock of my House, now. I anticipate ….”
am calm. I am in control. I am. I am. I am.” “... all three of us should have the same
“... isk to my correspondence with my foreboding dreams as the convocation of
friend Beleregon. To make sure there is no noble families draws closer? The odds are
more danger of overeager servants opening …. ave attempted time and again to

take archaeological soundings along my way. stone circles and other monuments. Amazingly,
The Waves of Invasion Lord Lockstone writes of there is no official record of these Waves, nor
are confirmed by the ages of the four 'great even so much as a folktale. Instead, locals cling
cities' and in carvings I discovered on ancient to their recorded history.

160
interpret the dream, but nothing works! I “... Could have asked twice, if you hadn't
have even, for the first time since Mother's wasted the first tabot and half the flowers
death, visited the cathedral of Ashar, but on your experiments,” the Vistana hissed.
the priestesses were unable to help. One of “I had to be certain. I had to know,” the
them had the temerity to suggest this might man countered. “They could have been
be because of the distance I had allowed to laced with hallucinogens. I had to be
grow between myself and the goddess …. certain. I had to know. I need true
felt the inclination to anger, but resisted it. knowledge.”
After all, it is true. Ashar did nothing to “Both of you, stop fighting. It's ready.
protect my kin, so why …. no luck with Max, you lead. You cast the first chant and
Thunder-Father. Frankly, this Lenkherr god we'll fall in after the second and fourth
whose true ancient mythology, as verses,” the Elfmaid said.
uncovered by my studies, shows him …. I heard them chant, saw them cast a
traipsing through the world in many beautifully complex spell that seemed to
disguises for no better purpose than …. burn itself into my memory. On the hearth,
ducing any woman he …. cannot take him the flames blazed bright silver and the tin
seriously, so no wonder his priests were no and its loathsome contents were consumed.
better help than …. Carola is back in The fire flared – no, light blazed out of it,
Schlotstein. She believes she has found well in excess of its size – no, there was a
what I need; the Fourfold Oracle of radiant being in the flames, a woman
Brightwe” chained in light, her aspect so beautiful, so
perfect that my eyes teared up in self-
At this point, my Master, a ghost-pale defense. I caught myself crying out with
spider ran across the page. I swiped at it pain and terror, for she was simply too
and caught only fog; looking up from the much, too much! I covered my face with my
page, I realized the mist had poured in hands and wept, but her voice still tore its
under the door while I was engrossed in way past my defenses:
Maximilian's journal entries, and now I “The answer to your question is Yes. You
could barely see the desk I was sitting at! must be wed, as your friend Magteld has
I poured the papers into my pack, turned counselled. You must be wed so the Silver
in the Lockstone Lord's chair and – froze. may awaken, and in its own time the Ruby.
Dancing upon the hearth were flames of Do this, or else this land is truly damned for
purest silver, and pale ghosts moved in eternity.”
front of it, their voices coming to me as Light stabbed right through my hands
though from a great distance. and eyelids, and I heard the ghosts cry out
A human man, with classic Lockstone at the same time I did. Darkness fell –
features, dressed in unadorned robes of relative darkness. I heard the crackle of the
black wool, a longsword hanging from his flames, the sizzling of flesh in the fire, and
belt. An Elfmaid, dressed in leathers and someone gasped with shock. Miraculously, it
woad. A Vistana in her baubles and colours. turned out that I was not blind, for I could
They were boiling something over the see the three ghosts and, beyond them, a
flames, a tin full of flowers, soaked in tar- voluptuous succubus, writhing on the
thick blood that they squeezed out of a hearth. She was wrapped in thick chains
mummified rodent of some sort. and she moved as though the fire pained
her – but then she became aware of the

161
three spellcasters and her face split in a completely, and in that love will your heart
wide, malicious grin. and soul be redeemed, for you will be loved
“Two came one and one came three,” in turn. But in that love, you will also be
she said in a mocking, singsong voice, “and damned.
three fled where their enemies could not Now let … me …. go...!”
see. But come three four then out the door, The silver fire flared one last time – and I
flies one who was, was not, for evermore. was alone in the late Lord Lockstone's
When two come three anew and the old is study. The fog was retreating into the
done, then three committee shall become. corners of the room, leaving me in a circle
And in their glory shall they be bound, while of illumination cast by my own spell. That
the one who made two one is the one stuck light revealed a shadow on the hearthstone,
in the ground.” roughly the shape of a reclining woman.
She threw her head back, laughing – and I sensed a presence close to me in the
became a red-haired woman. Beautiful, room, and suddenly felt myself in the grip
buxom, but still …. a mortal woman, lying in of terror. It was a stern presence, one that
the fire, chained in writhing coils of Mist. judged me, knew me, and found me
Tears ran down her cheeks and even I felt a wanting. Disapproval crawled along my skin
stab of pity for her naked distress. like fire. I fled before it, running down stairs
“Oh, Anointed!” I heard her sob. “Oh, without knowing how I had ascended them
beloved Anointed, why? What have I done in the first place, and flying down corridors
to deserve this fate? Why can't I rest? I as quickly as my legs and a judiciously-
would welcome even death at this point. applied extract would carry me.
Please. Release me. Please.” Fortune favoured me at least until I was
The man started to move, to reach out out the door and back at my inn, where I
to the woman on the hearth, but both the retreated into my room, cast every
Elfmaid and the Vistana reached out and defensive spell at my disposal and locked
grabbed him by his arms to hold him back. the door. Nothing came to challenge me
To hold him fast, while the woman in the that night, but I did not feel like taking
fire cried and writhed in the grip of a chances.
torment that seemed more spiritual than Having completed my investigation of
physical. Schlotstein, I departed to visit the last of
Then she spoke: “I know someone is Lilliend's great cities before I made
there. I must answer questions two, arrangements to travel on to other
unasked. countries; I would go to investigate
First, the question you do not want to Luzander.
ask. You will not be the one to redeem your
homeland. But you are … as an apprentice, Luzander
preparing the forge for the day's labour. As I have mentioned before, Luzander is
Others must come after you to do the job, supposedly the greatest city of Lilliend, and
but without your best efforts they will fail. its capital. Having hitched a ride on a
Awaken the Silver. Help your friend awaken merchant's wagon out of Schlotstein, I
the Ruby. The means will come to you, expected to be at least moderately
though you will not like it. impressed as we came within view of the
Second, the question whose answer will supposed 'Jewel of Lilliend'.
bring you sorrow. You will love again, love

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Instead, I was bitterly disappointed. against need, but most for repairs and
Luzander lies at the heart of thriving maintenance that are either urgent or
farmland, so one would expect it to be overdue.
affluent, Instead, the local populace so Luzander has no sewer system of any
rigidly adheres to local tradition that their kind, again by 'virtue' of tradition and law.
city is utterly backward. By royal and temple Officially, citizens are required to give their
law, the only building materials allowed in waste to the dung wagons that make a
the city are wood and thatch, both circuit of the city every evening and ferry
slathered with tar; small amounts of stone the city's byproduct out to the farms, but
and metal are allowed where strictly many lack the patience and just empty their
necessary (one needs to be tired of life to chamberpots in the street, without any
make a hearth and chimney out of wood), regard for passersby or the fact that the city
but not where they can easily be seen. draws its water from wells dug into the soft
Local construction is markedly different earth of the alluvial plains – which their filth
from that in the other cities; single-story seeps into over time. I was glad to arrive in
homes are the rule, typically with rooms the city during autumn, with the weather
added in the extension of the main building turning cold; the smell was bad enough
when family growth or increased wealth then that I shuddered at the thought of
demand more space. Only members of the studying Luzander in the summer. It need
nobility and royalty have homes with as not surprise you, my Master, that the
much as one or two more stories, and yet summers are known to bring disease to the
their homes' general shape is the same as city. Disease and vermin. Lacking sewers to
any low-born oaf's, and their roofs are still dally in, rats can be seen running across the
covered in thatch – and if they are not streets in broad daylight, often chased by
meticulous about replacing the stuff on feral dogs or cats, or by urchins who seem
time, mold. just as feral as any abandoned pet hoping
While homes in Karnbrunnen, Malkort to earn a few coppers by harvesting rat
and Schlotstein are sturdy and secure, tails.
Luzander is in constant danger of being I asked locals whether they were not
wiped out if just one person is negligent in afraid of disease ravaging their families, and
the tending of their hearth, and the whole why they did not at least consider installing
place has an unpleasant smell after every sewers. Most if not all proudly pointed to
rainstorm. The roads are unpaved, which the twin temples of Athena and Artemis,
means that even a moderate rainshower proclaiming that the goddesses kept the city
can reduce the city to a swamp, and the safe, and the righteous would never fall to
coming of winter turns the roads smooth disease. Confronted with their glowing zeal,
and slick, causing many accidents for I chose not to press the issue. You and I
people and for carts. Only in size does both know how unreasonable strong
Luzander surpass the other cities, and its believers can be, do we not, my Master?
need for building material has denuded the Ah, but I fear I have given you offense...
landscape of trees for miles around, which May the grim patrons of the Eternal Order
at least has allowed the free peasants and find it in their dead hearts to forgive me, my
serfs to cultivate large tracts of land. Even Master. I know, after all, that you will not.
today, carts of lumber are constantly I have not been complimentary of the
rumbling into the capital, some to be stored cities of Lilliend, I know. Karnbrunnen is in

163
drastic need of civil overhaul and infested proper research, its walls in need of
with mediocre poets; Malkort is a filthy constant shoring-up due to flaws in the
place, full of 'entertainments' fit to turn the foundation; the Queen's Gardens are laid
stomach; while Schlotstein's citizens barely out haphazardly, with what signs are
talk to strangers, their city growls at them. available placed incorrectly. I interviewed
Nevertheless, I would judge each of several locals on the subject and received
them to be superior to Luzander. When smug responses which indicated the people
walking through this collection of log cabins, of Luzander did not need 'new' ideas, and
I often had trouble determining whether I that they fully expected these projects and
was in the affluent section of town or in its other 'new-fangled nonsense' to eventually
slums! I interviewed some of the locals, be forgotten by the Queen and her
who proudly stated that the inner city has descendants in favour of 'good, old-
not changed since its initial construction, fashioned values', whereupon they can be
which I assume to have been before the demolished and overgrown by the festering
invasion by the Elves several centuries ago, city.
and any 'new ideas' had to be put into I regret to report that I only saw the
effect by adding a new outer ring to the royal palace from the outside. Despite my
whole city to give them room to exist in. best efforts, I was turned away at the gate,
Even the most brilliant monarch could not and as the guards patrol accompanied by
overhaul this festering log pile in the face of packs of hunting hounds, I did not favour
its inhabitants' willful backwardness, which my chances of breaking and entering under
they have the gall to call civic pride. cover of illusion spells.
The royal palace of Luzander, center of This city was a disappointment in every
power for all of Lilliend, is a sprawling way – to me. It sucks in the goodness of
complex at the very heart of the city with a the land surrounding it in the form of food,
whopping three floors, setting it head and timber, and finished products of all kinds,
shoulders over its neighbours and making it and all it breathes out are edicts passed on
the easiest target imaginable for enemy by the Queen and her courtiers, and the
siege. One ballista, a couple of haybales occasional regiment of Queen's soldiers
soaked in pitch and naphtha and a spark recruited from the local populace. While the
would serve to reduce this 'city' to a pile of loyalty of these soldiers is beyond reproach,
char within a day, my Master, and I doubt the same cannot be said for the rest of the
anyone who does not live there would citizenry. In public, they will extol the
greatly miss it. virtues of their monarch and boast about
Even what should be the city's greatest how Luzander is her seat of power. In
charms, the park known as the Queen's private, local nobles and other dignitaries
Gardens and the public library built by order scheme and connive to make sure their
of Queen Alexandra herself, are but privileges remain untouched, and to ensure
pinpricks of light in an ocean of murk. the city remains in the grip of status quo. As
Worse, it is easy to see how little I have mentioned before, efforts at
enthusiasm the builders had for bringing improvement are sabotaged both subtly and
about what should have been conveniences overtly.
for all the citizens, or more likely how free I fully anticipated that having to winter in
they felt to sabotage their own work. The Luzander would be a miserable affair, but at
library is a shoddy structure unsuitable to least expected to be able to focus on

164
compiling my notes and indulge in some servant wearing the livery of the Grafleur, a
alchemical and magical crafting while I minor noble family which has been
waited for the snow and ice to melt. As jockeying for status ever since the Night of
soon as that happy time arrived, so I Blood and the ascension of the Lenkherr
promised myself, I would make my way family, brought me an invitation to visit his
beyond Schlotstein to the final descent and mistress' estate.
follow one of the caravan paths to the lands Included in the invitation was an offer to
east of Lilliend. attend a dinner of ten removes, followed by
This land never pleased me, my Master, finest cigars and brandy, as well as tours of
not with its hidden edges and brooding the estate's prized gardens, great library,
tensions, and seeing its corrupt and and private museum.
backwards heart had been the last straw. I Food and spirits hold little sway with me,
was well and truly done with this place and my Master, as well you know, but the
ready for my next challenge. opportunity to perhaps study some genuine
historical artefacts and books of scholarly
Where to stay in Luzander merit proved irresistible. Not to mention, I
In keeping with omnipresent tradition, was growing bored with waiting out winter
citizens are required to offer hospitality to in my cottage.
any strangers they take a fancy to in Having packed my belongings against
Luzander. The concept of an inn is not the possibility of betrayal – or an extended
unknown (how could it be, given that inns stay – I took a coach arranged for by the
are readily available in the other cities and Grafleur family to reach their estate, which
even in villages not a day's travel from the the liveried servant told me was a day's ride
city), but it is considered to be grotesque, outside Luzander. I settled into the
an attempt to taint the ancient traditions of surprisingly comfortable cushions and
hospitality with greed. Personally, I would whiled away the time with one of the books
recommend any traveler in need of shelter I had …. acquired …. from Maximilian
to forego finding a place to rent a room for Lockstone's tower. At the same time, I
a few days, and just accept the expense of maintained an open line of communication
renting a cottage in the city's outermost with my homunculus Firstborn, who was
ring as I did. Such cottages are not following us from the air, and surreptitiously
impossibly expensive and are in ample kept one hand on a pistol hidden in my
supply – at least until the next generation is skirts. Hospitality may be sacred, but blind
ready to move out of its parents' homes and trust reaps its own reward.
seek their own, whereupon a new ring will The night passed comfortably enough,
be added to the city, as the land's forests but dawn brought new annoyances. The
take another heavy blow. coach lurched and halted abruptly amid
unpleasant grinding noises. Not to mention,
Athenaean Boarding School it was listing heavily to one side. The
for Young Ladies liveried servant and the coachman opened
the door and made many apologies,
Autumn had progressed far enough that
showing me the wheel that had broken free
winter was on the horizon when I received
of the axle. I asked them how far it was yet
a surprise visitor to my cottage on the
to the Grafleur estate, only to be told that it
outskirts of Luzander one evening. A
was too far to walk.

165
Most fortunately, so they said, there was perceive perfectly well. And wished I did
a different place nearby where I could wait not.
while they sorted out the coach: one of the The walls appeared to be slathered with
domain's prized boarding schools, to wit the a pale slime of some sort, a viscous ooze
Athenaean. that trickled down from the battlements,
No, my Master, I did not think it all just a swirling and roiling as it went. In some
remarkable coincidence. The fact that places, it thickened enough to become
neither one of those two buffoons dared opaque – and there it warped itself into the
meet my eyes was hint enough that shape of screaming faces. I heard not a
something was not as it seemed to be. Still, whisper, even as those faces flowed into the
I had not found an opportunity to earth and were lost, but their eyes seemed
investigate one of Lilliend's boarding schools to follow me and beg for a release I could
before then, so I decided to spring this not grant.
measly excuse for a trap and enhance my I managed to banish the grotesque
knowledge while I did. imagery from my senses and advance.
'Nearby' turned out to be an entirely Above the rumble of the river, I heard the
relative term. It was dark and I had spent distant growl of thunderclouds as Lilliend's
hours struggling uphill by the time the nocturnal rainstorms moved in to denude
liveried servant had guided me to the the land and bring life to both forest and
boarding school in question. The Athenaean acre but drive all righteous men and women
was a tall building, clearly once the fortress indoors.
of some less than sociable noble, which sat My guide hammered on the boarding
perched on the edge of a cliff that school's doors for quite a long time before
overlooked the white-water flow of one of someone came to open them. Fat raindrops
the Widow's Daughters. were already pelting the earth, and yet the
The dull rumble of that river had been a servant made no attempt to enter; rather,
rather unpleasant companion on the road he bowed to the woman who had answered
up the incline, my Master, especially as I the door and handed her a letter he drew
was in the company of a man who I did not from within his velvet jacket.
trust. My feelings of anxiety grew a little “If it please you, my lady,” he said, “my
less when I saw the boarding school ahead mistress, the Lady Grafleur, sends her
– and then returned tenfold. I ignored the compliments.”
servant's unctuous inquiries as to whether I Then he turned and dashed into the rain,
was not feeling well and looked the heedless of the dark and the uncertain
structure up and down. I remember vividly footing on the road that had delivered us
how much you like to scoff at my here.
'emotionalism', my Master, my Oh, yes. Nothing to worry about here.
'impressionable character', but you must The woman who had answered the door
admit that my sensitivity to the uncanny has introduced herself as sister Mariette, a nun
been useful from time to time. Standing of Athena and one of the teachers here, at
there in the dark, looking at a building the Athenaean. (Hardly unexpected.) She
which my eyes could only see as a dark welcomed me in the name of her order,
silhouette outlined against the night sky, my enquired politely what had brought me to
other senses overlaid it with imagery I could her doorstep and expressed her sympathies.

166
“You must be our guest,” she decided. me, was the headmistress of the
“Come, the evening's meal has just been Athenaean. She welcomed me in a
served. Partake and be welcome among charming enough manner, offering me the
us.” hospitality of the school for as long as I
She guided me through passages that cared to stay, and inviting me to sit at her
were poorly lit, with not a carpet nor even a left hand and share the evening's meal.
layer of fresh rushes underfoot. When she I have dined in many locales, and
noticed my looking at the floor, sister recently I had the dubious pleasure of
Mariette informed me that students sampling Lilliend's kitchen, my Master. By
scoured, swept and scrubbed the main the standards of even the rest of the nation,
corridors every day, in order to learn the food served at the Athenaean was
humility, receive exercise and serve the dreary. Chunks of coarse bread, a lentil
common good. The theory struck me as soup with pine nuts and what were
serviceable, but odd; it is not every school supposed to be hot peppers but were barely
that makes highborn young ladies get on lukewarm, and a drink that might have been
their knees and scrub the floor with hot beer four or five doses of water ago. No
water and lye. meat, little flavour. I minded my manners
Sister Mariette brought me to a vast and ate what was given to me, of course,
room, which I had no doubt once seated but did notice that neither the staff nor the
the castle's lord and his band of brigands students showed much enthusiasm for their
knights, but which had been converted into meal – and yet they ate every last drop and
a clean, but rather sterile dining-hall for the crumb as though they were starving. Or
school's staff and students. Hard benches afraid there would not be another meal.
and unadorned tables divided the room into After dinner, matron Grafleur appointed
manageable quadrants, with one bench and her right-hand woman, sister Aster, to lead
table set up on the platform from where the the students in a prayer-song to Athena,
castle's lord once looked down upon the thanking the goddess for the bounty
revels he had ordered. What decorations civilization had reaped out of Artemis' wild
may once have adorned the walls looked to earth. I must admit the sister had a fine
have been scrubbed away, with only some voice, which she used to great effect. Her
faded and smoke-darkened paintings on the looks were aesthetically pleasing as well,
high ceiling remaining. The room was very and I suspected she might originally be
quiet, with no conversation louder than from the Karnbrunnen region – or if she
mutters and whispers, all easily drowned was not, then she might yet make her
out by the clink of cheap cutlery against fortune if she abandoned her nun's habit
earthenware bowls. and fled this unpleasant castle.
My entrance caused a muted buzz, but The matron claimed there were no guest
the students in their drab uniforms of grey rooms available, for the simple reason that
dresses and sandals turned their attention the Athenaean currently suffered a lack of
back to their meal almost at once. Sister fuel to stoke its fires. “A terrible thing,” she
Mariette guided me to the high table, which said, “the negligence that our suppliers are
was predictably the seating for the showing. I suppose this is what comes from
teachers. being so close to Schlotstein; those people
Matron Grafleur, who professed to being have always been contrary. Do you know,
a second cousin to the lady who had invited the order of our blessed goddess has to

167
actively go there and check the school do the same. My bedmate was a little
records to see which young women qualify mouse of a girl with large eyes, the face of
to attend boarding school? Most of the an angel, and a mop of tow-headed curls
people there don't bother to claim the that were one giant tangle. She introduced
privilege! Now what kind of woman would herself as Veronique.
not want such a golden opportunity for her “I hope you do not mind, Miss,” she
daughter?” whispered when the candles were blown
Looking at the girls in their drab dresses, out and we lay there in the dark. “But I am
shuffling out of the dining-hall under the happy you are here. We have an odd
watchful eye of sister Bollager, the school's number of girls in this hall, and it gets so
hatchet-faced disciplinarian, I carefully cold at night.”
refrained from answering that question. I I made a noncommittal noise. When a
also refrained from complaining when the thin little hand crept into mine, I refrained
sisters asked whether I would mind sleeping from commenting and simply closed my
in the students' dormitory, rather than share eyes to sleep. No need to rock the boat, as
a room with one of them. it were; come the dawn, I would either find
“Slightly less luxurious, I'm afraid,” as something of interest here or be on my
matron Grafleur explained, “but the way.
dormitories are currently warmer than our I woke in the middle of the night, alerted
own rooms. I'm sure everything will be by a tug on the string around my wrist,
better soon, when the next shipment of which I had tied to the handle of my travel-
wood arrives. The merchants can't ignore bag. There was a brief scuff of sound and I
our needs for much longer; I've even sent a thought I smelled something unpleasant, a
sister to Luzander to plead our case.” sense of a presence …. but it went away.
I cannot say whether the dormitories I lay there in the dark, waiting, listening.
were any more comfortable than the Around me, there was only the noise of the
teachers' suites, my Master. All I can say is girls' regular breathing as they slept. Quite
that they were plenty uncomfortable. The close to me, there was the breathing of
hall I was admitted to must once have been Veronique, who had curled up against me in
one of the castle's wine cellars. It was her sleep. When I was certain none of them
roomy, but cold and dank; I swear I could were awake, I muttered a single Word of
hear the roar of the river through one of the Power and made the accompanying
walls. gesture, but the only magic I sensed was
As in the dining-hall, the space here was what I had brought in with me.
subdivided by furniture; in this case, large I waited until I fell asleep again.
cots with threadbare blankets and sheets. Dawn came, and with it, sister Bollager,
Although the size of the beds initially braying at the girls to get up with all the
appeared to me as a token of generosity volume and eloquence of an army drill
not in keeping with the rest of the sergeant. Apparently, guests were no better
arrangements, I soon understood this was than lazy students, and the woman tried to
not the case; the students exchanged their chivy me along out of the dormitory and up
drab uniforms for equally drab sleepwear to the scullions' closet, where the girls were
and doubled up in the beds, sharing body to receive the equipment they needed for
heat to make it through the night. To my morning chores.
immense chagrin, I myself was obliged to

168
When I reminded the sister that I was She also showed me all the 'secret
not a student, and declared I had no places', as she called them; doors to the
intention of being put to work, I thought keep's dungeon and towers which were not
she might break some of her vows by using as securely locked as sister Bollager had
profanity at me. In the end, she stormed thought. I quite enjoyed the view and the
off, bellowing at her charges all the louder cold, bracing wind at the tower's high
while I took my time getting dressed – and crenellations, and was pleased to see at
studying my spellbook. I also made use of least some of the castle's original wall-
the opportunity to study the dormitory in paintings had survived down in the disused
greater detail, now that it was empty of dungeon. Veronique also showed me the
people. I particularly checked underneath servants' passages, in disuse since the
the bed I had slept in for any traces of what sisters had converted the castle into a
might have attempted to rob me in the boarding school. I assume there must once
dead of night, but came up empty. have been spy-holes, but these had been
Sister Mariette came to collect me for shut off, turning the passages into a
breakfast before I could try tapping the lightless maze, which Veronique traversed
walls in search of secret passages and the with the aid of a stub of candle and an
like. While we walked to the dining-hall, she excellent memory.
expressed her regret that I would not be “If you listen at the walls, you can hear
allowed to sit at the head table on this all sorts of things,” she told me, and then
occasion, citing school protocol, but invited suffered a giggling fit. “You have to be
me to attend any classes that might have careful where you come out, though, and
my interest, or else to tour the school. I not to make too much noise. The sisters
opted for the latter and asked whether I would be very cross if they knew I came
might have a student guide – a request here between lessons.”
which was graciously allowed. After these clandestine outings,
After a breakfast of cold porridge without Veronique guided me to classrooms not
sugar or butter, accompanied by a mug of currently in use, and introduced me to the
weak and watery milk, I was given the full school's garden and the library.
freedom of the Athenaean – with the As gardens go, the Athenaean's is more
exception of any unused and therefore functional than aesthetic, my Master,
locked rooms – under the guidance of the harboring as it does a selection of plants
meek little Veronique. useful for medicinal and culinary purposes,
The child crept along behind me like a but little in the way of pleasant blooms. I
pale shadow at first, but as I continued to did manage to replenish a few of my
pelt her with questions she gradually dwindling supplies of ingredients there, but
opened up. In the end, she chattered otherwise found the experience too
happily about everything she knew about utilitarian to be interesting.
the Athenaean. She confirmed my suspicion The library, however, was a delight. I
that the castle had once been the keep of a fear I spent more time perusing its tall,
lesser nobleman, whose line had died out mahogany shelves and the wealth of
when he was executed on the same day volumes there than I should have; by the
King Arthus Weisücher III was executed for time Veronique managed to tear me away,
the crime of being a sub-par king. the time for evensong and supper had

169
already come, with much of the castle still showing you around. Classes can be so ….
unexplored. Well. I mustn't be ungrateful. My Mama
No matter, I told myself. I could leave would be sad if I was ungrateful and was
tomorrow as easily as today, and now I sent home. You see...”
knew of the treasure this keep held. For Quite unasked, I was treated to a story
treasure it was and is, my Master; countless about three generations of innkeepers
works of scholarly insight greeted me there, striving to get a girl into the famous
as well as a handful of books of genuine boarding schools, where she would get an
arcane power. While Veronique busied Education and return to improve the
herself studying a book of maps, I made
some stealthy copies and pilfered some
especially promising volumes for later study.
Dread Possibility: The Radiant Eye
I could not for the life of me imagine how Hailing from outside Lilliend, the symbol of the
genuine grimoires had found their way Radiant Eye is the mark of a secret society known
here, to a state-sponsored school in this as the Viejos Sagrados. At this time, Ciska does
magic-fearing land, but I was glad of it at not yet have knowledge of them, but theirs is a
the time. group that believes in the supremacy of magic
Amusingly enough, I fancy my removal and the superiority of its wielders, and specializes
of those volumes as something of a good in the schools of Conjuration, Divination and
deed. They were incredibly precious, but Necromancy.
also …. advanced, and of a dark slant. By various means, the Viejos Sagrados are
Should any of the wilting blossoms attempting to spread knowledge and mastery of
imprisoned in this cold keep have chanced the Art, and one of those ways is to secretly
upon them, they might well have been 'seed' foreign libraries with instruction manuals
struck blind or ma d, if they even survived and grimoires of spells. Many who stumble upon
dabbling their pale fingers in these waters. the books left by agents of the Viejos Sagrados
The more I think on it, the more I are indeed struck blind, go mad, or even die due
wonder who put those books there, where to attempting things beyond their power, but this
any innocent fool could stumble across is of little concern to the society. To them,
them during a bored exploration of the superiority is something which must be proven by
stacks. More puzzling still, they all appeared action, and those who fail to master the Art are
to be part of a series, or so I judge from the clearly not worthy of it.
fact that they all bore the same sign on the family's fortunes, bursting with vital
front cover and flyleaf; an eye before a knowledge and new ideas.
solar disc. “Except I don't see how I'm supposed to
The evening meal was no better than it do that with what they've taught us so far,”
had been the prior night. A thin pea stew Veronique whispered. “History is wonderful,
which hinted of bacon without containing of course, and I'd love to learn more
any, accompanied by a wine clearly geography. The world is so much bigger
uncorked before its time, followed by more than I ever thought, and I'd love to see...
prayer-song to Athena and a return to the But I think my Mama and Grand-Mêre
cold dormitory. meant I was to study numbers, only the
“Did you enjoy the school, Miss?” sisters say the numbers teacher died five
Veronique asked me in the dark, her hand years ago, and there isn't a replacement
creeping into mine again. “I …. I liked yet. Do you like numbers, Miss?”

170
We actually wound up discussing Then something attacked my magic,
mathematics - “numbers”, to a simple snuffing it out and returning darkness to the
innkeeper's daughter – well into the night, hall. By the time I cast a lesser spell of light,
my Master. I am allowed to instruct a child the beast was gone, but around me all the
in that subject; it is not magic, it does not girls were in an uproar, crying and wailing.
say anything of your grand designs of I got out of the bed, snatched up my
conquest, and the girl was... Well. She was sword cane and walked down the aisle, girls
like parched earth, drinking in the clear parting before me as though I were some
waters of knowledge. It was a delight to dread figure of out of their most frightening
instruct her; she asked intelligent questions legends. But for all of that, they fell in
and she retained what I taught her. I do not behind me, the screaming and sobbing
think I have ever met a young person so turning to worried whispers. I stopped at
eager to learn, so determined to better the bed where I had seen the beast and
herself. looked down on the two girls who had slept
I could almost have been fond of little there.
Veronique. Technically, they still slept. But their pale
Again, my sleep was disturbed. No tug faces and the bleeding wounds on their
on my string, but something else. I looked chests told me this was not proper sleep.
about, seeing nothing... but there was a Something had drained their blood.
scuff of sound, and a stench on the air. Dawn came, but the whole Athenaean
Only when I felt Veronique trembling was already awake and in an uproar long
against my side did I realize how cold it had before then.
gotten – cold far in excess even of a The sisters were not well-pleased to find
converted wine cellar in a draughty old a 'witch' in their company – no amount of
keep. correction could convince them to see me
There was a sound of whimpering in the as anything other than some savage
air, whimpering and muted sobs. follower of Brightwell – but the discovery of
The smell … Sulphur and blood. the mauled students trumped their
My vision doubled, and I saw slime pour discomfort.
down the walls, saw the faces screaming It certainly trumped the students'
without sound, the eyes mutely begging me misgivings. They had become downright
to do something. The little hairs on the back garrulous, compared to their muted chatter
of my neck stood on end and I – acted at meals so far, and I seemed to have
impulsively. I sat up, declaimed the Words become a minor celebrity, all the more for
of a spell I use rarely, but always keep in applying quick medical aid to the afflicted
reserve. Light, the bright and golden light of girls, who were now resting more naturally
day, blazed on the palm of my hand. in a separate room under the gentle care of
At the far end of the dormitory, I saw a sister Mariette.
feline shape standing with its front legs on Matron Grafleur questioned me at some
top of one of the bunks, its head bowed length, sister Bollager glowering at me over
over one of the occupants. It flinched when her shoulder the whole time. I kept my wits
the lights came on, snarled at me with red about me, managed to deflect questions
hatred in its eyes and blood on its fangs. Its that threatened to probe too deeply into my
voice was hideous, as was its appearance. origins, and spun the tale of a scholar on a
grand quest for knowledge of the wider

171
world. My presence at the Athenaean, I sister Bollager, starting with the dormitory
reminded the sisters, was due to mischance and moving outward from there.
and the fickle weave of fortune, not by my Quite obviously, the sound advice offered
own design. No tool nor spell I had in my by Dr. Rudolph Van Richten has not
possession could have drained the blood managed to pierce the misty divide between
from those girls, not to mention the fact Lilliend and the Core. My own
that I had dozens of witnesses that I had recommendation that we start by more
only gotten out of bed after the attack closely examining the wounds on the girls
occurred. who were attacked or questioning the other
students as to whether they had ever
noticed any nocturnal incursions were
ignored in favour of 'prompt action'.
My feelings on the matter were not at all
improved by learning that the sisters were
not possessed of any kind of magical nor
martial training. I felt slightly mollified by
the fact that, once we arrived at the
dormitory, they allowed me to take the lead
in the investigation.
A broad sweep of minor divination spells
brought nothing to light. No spells other
than my own had been cast in the
dormitory. A careful examination of the
walls, however, brought to light a section
Finally, the sisters admitted I was that looked the same as all the rest, but
unlikely to be the culprit. Unfortunately, I rang hollow. Using my peerless skill in the
found myself drafted into their planned location of hidden passages, I found a
effort to smoke the beast out, wherever it trigger that caused a section of wall to
might lurk. I suppose I could have refused swing inward, revealing a corridor that
point blank and simply departed, but your looked rather different from the servants'
instruction to learn as much about this passages that Veronique had shown me...
benighted land as I could prevented me And then the lights went out for me.
from doing so; I was confident that I could When I regained consciousness, I found
handle a single night-stalker, and there was myself in a chamber without doors, only
always the possibility that it could be dimly lit through narrow windows high
shackled to your purpose, my Master. above. My equipment – sword cane, travel
Therefore, I feel confident in deflecting bag, pistols – were all gone. In their stead,
most of the blame for what happened away I had been gifted with a fine headache and
from myself. I shan't be so crass as to say a lump on the back of my head. I
who is truly to blame. discovered I had been sharing the space
In spite of my reservations and advice to with an ancient skeleton, which was chained
the contrary, the sisters insisted on locking to the wall. Being not so encumbered
the students in one of the classrooms, and myself, I started looking for the way out.
then moving through the castle in pairs, I lacked the thick, velvet roll with all the
with myself partnered with the unpleasant little knives, rods and other tools of the

172
lockpicker's trade, and whoever had hit me much more familiar with the tunnels. For
– indubitably one of those sisters, whatever that reason, I cannot find it in myself to
their reason might have been – had truly blame her for getting us lost when she
managed to discover the little pockets sewn tried to find us the way out. Even the finest
into my sleeves, which contained my memory suffers from stress, and it was a
emergency picks. I had no trouble finding stressful situation.
the hidden door that could let me out of this Again to her credit, she realized quite
wretched oubliette, but I did not have the soon that we had gotten turned around,
means to open it, lest I hit it with my and she tried to guide us back along our
strongest blasting-spell – which would be steps.
unwise in such confined quarters! Unfortunately, her candle burned out
Frustrated, I beat my fists against the before we got to a point she could
door – and it opened, tumbling me into a recognize, and I had not bothered to study
dark passage. Startled, I rolled and sprang my light-spell this morning. We wound up
to my feet, only to see little Veronique blindly groping our way through dark
standing there, holding her stub of candle corridors, both of us straining our hearing
and looking very pale. for anything that might hint at a way out –
“I snuck out,” she told me. “When the or pursuit.
sisters locked us in the classroom. There's a In the end, we stumbled onto the door
servants' passage that … I snuck out. Some entirely by accident.
of the other girls went, too, but they I recall the rough grain of the oakwood,
wanted to know the way to the castle gate. the thick iron bands, and the intense relief I
I think … I think they wanted to run away felt when the thing opened at a push and
home. Their families will be so disappointed. light spilled into the corridor we had been
But I … I wanted to know what you were feeling our way along. We hurried inside,
going to do. About the monster cat. So, I which was my second big mistake of the
followed you all back to the dormitory. day, and the door slammed shut behind us
There's a spyhole. I saw them hit you and without either one of us touching it.
carry you into the tunnel. I'm sorry it took “This is,” Veronique whimpered while she
me so long, I didn't know these tunnels tried to hide behind me. “What is this?”
were here.” It was, simply put, a suite of luxurious
She had just saved me, and yet she was rooms. Thick carpets on the floor, luxurious
almost in tears because she had not found tapestries on the walls, furniture that would
me sooner. I forgave her most graciously have fetched a pretty penny even at an
and suggested we follow the lead of her auction in Dementlieu. Everburning torches
fellow students, taking our leave from this in wall-sconces illuminated the scene, and
fetid castle. I may have used stronger silver censers hanging from the ceiling
language than 'fetid'; it made her blush. spread clouds of scent to perfume the air.
And giggle. So far, it all sounds pleasant, does it not,
To her credit, Veronique had managed to my Master? It was not.
find me despite having to navigate tunnels The predominant colour in these rooms
she was completely unfamiliar with, was red. Red carpet. Red cushions on the
following subtle cues like scuffmarks and furniture. Many of the tableaus depicted on
bits of thread caught on the brickwork while the tapestries were in shades of red and
dodging the sisters, who were presumably shocking pink. I shan't bother you with the

173
details, but Veronique was not the only one Again, I point out her hair, and remind
who tried not to look too closely at the you that she seems to favour redheads of
pictures. Suffice it to say, they all involved late.
women. The smell coming from the censers If this one is not compensation enough
was … earthy, rather than sweet, and for her, tell her I will send more, many
cloying. It reminded me of peasants burning more.
fungus-riddled dung they did not dare Just please let me keep my last
spread over the acres. daughter. I can have no more children.
I might have tried to force the door open Please.
and try the tunnels again, if not for a Yours,
familiar sensation. With Veronique clinging Évalie Grafleur
to my skirts like a frightened child – which
she was, really – I traced the feeling So. I was to be a sacrifical lamb, 'toxic
through two more luxuriously crimson personality' and all? But not with my
rooms into what I might generously call a equipment restored to me, not when I had
study. Unlike the one I encountered in the my wits about me and a dash of good luck
Tower of the Last King, however, this study to speed me along my way!
was all display and no content. The With a triumphant smirk, I slung my bag
furniture was of the highest quality, but the over my shoulder, took up my cane and
books in the cabinet against the back wall wound my holy symbol's chain around the
were either untouched, or else specimens of handle – and I felt the pulse of energy as a
Lilliend's odious romantic novel, or even minor ward was triggered. Veronique did
worse: bundles of juvenile poetry. None of not need telling that it was past time to go,
that mattered, however, when I saw my and we made our way back towards the
trusty travel-bag, holy symbol of the Eternal door. I grabbed one of the everburning
Order and sword cane lying on the desktop, torches on our way, thinking we could use it
next to a small pile of letters There was to guide our steps outside. Veronique
some debris littered around my prized moved ahead while I was judging the
items; someone had tried to use magic to correct angle at which to hold the torch so
analyze my property, and they had my travel-bag would not slip off my
struggled to break the seal on my travel- shoulder – and I heard her gasp and start
bag. to scream.
I took a brief moment to look at the I say 'start', because her voice was
topmost letter. As I recall, it read as follows: almost immediately cut off.
No doubt you will sneer and roll your
Dear Cousin, eyes to hear that I ran after her at once, my
I beg you, have mercy on me! There is Master, but the girl was useful to me.
only one daughter left in my house; she has Without her, it would take me far longer to
to be my heir. In compensation, I beg you navigate the passages and make my way
accept this offering. outside. Oh, I did not doubt that I could
She is of no royal blood that I could turn those worthless sisters into mince if I
discover, but she has looks, and her red could see them coming, but I did not feel
hair is very fine. The girl's personality is ready to do it at that time.
toxic by all accounts, but she appears to And so it came to pass that I ran into the
have a sharp mind. anteroom of the red suite, just in time to

174
see sister Daisy sink her teeth into “In the name of the final end, BE GONE!”
Veronique's chest. The sister looked I thundered, holding up my holy symbol so
considerably less drab than the last time I it caught the illumination from the
had seen her, all decked out in red velvet, everburning torches, and gleams of light
edged with red lace, with rubies sparkling at danced across the vampire's face.
her ears, fingers and throat. For a moment, she cowered; then she
grinned hideously, Veronique's blood still on
her teeth.
“That takes more than words, you filthy
little peasant,” she taunted me. “It takes
faith!”
I freely admit my faith in the Eternal
Order's grim patrons is not as great as
yours, my Master. I am, however, much
Bloodsuckers. They can be so frightfully quicker on the draw when it comes to
cliché'd. wielding combat-spells, and with my travel-
The sister lifted her face to give me a bag in my possession I had access to my
disinterested look, then lowered it again to spell components once again. While the
continue her feast, grunting and snorting filthy undead was still laughing at me, I
like a wild boar, digging for food. Veronique peppered her with a barrage of force-
hung in her grip like a puppet with its missiles. And while she was still screaming
strings cut, her eyes seeking mine, full of at the pain, I turned and ran.
wild terror – and then there was a brief look My thought was to find a place where I
of shock in them, followed by relief as the could put my back against a solid wall and
life faded from their depths. rake the undead with battle-spells until she
Sister Daisy made a wild noise of denial was weak enough that I dared close in with
and dropped the still-warm corpse, hissed my sword cane. Instead, I found myself
at me with her vampire's fangs bared while running from one room to another, always
I edged back, bloodied sword cane held up with another doorway opening up ahead,
between us. making the place unsuitable for what I had
“That was mine!” the sister growled, her in mind. I needed a place with only one
eyes Hell-bright and her hands curved into access, or the filthy beast would circle
claws. “She was to be mine!” around as a wisp of fog or a rat or
“She served me,” I countered. something.
“Therefore, you were trying to steal what Onward I ran, the screams and curses of
was mine, and I was within my rights to the vampire behind me – and darkness
terminate it.” racing to catch me up. The everburning
That seemed to annoy her; she yowled torches were going out as the vampire
and leapt at me like a great cat. I ducked passed them. I found I did not want to fight
out of the way and stabbed her, she tried to this beast in the dark, not with my second
bat my blade aside – and suddenly sight showing me that the walls in this suite
screamed and leaped back, clutching at her ran with more screaming slime, more girls'
smoking wound as the pain caused by faces telling me without words to run, run!
ensorcelled steel got through to her. Terror gnawed at my heels, and almost
cast me to my doom. Abruptly, I burst into

175
a room with natural light. What purpose it
originally may have served, I do not know, Dread Possibility: Our Children Pay For
but the back wall had been shattered, The Future
allowing the cold, crisp air of autumn in,
Most if not all boarding schools in Lilliend serve
and affording me a glorious view of the
as feeding grounds for the first of the Lilliender
Widow's Daughter that flowed past the
vampires: Camille Churnstone. Sometimes
Athenaean. I turned, triumphantly outlined
generations pass without a single disappearance
by sunlight, to face the vampire in its aura
at any boarding school. Other times, gir ls
of darkness. Our eyes met, and I felt an
disappear on a weekly basis from several schools
influence claw at my will; I beat it aside
at once.
with hardly any effort.
It all depends on how hungry Camille is, or
“Step into the light, vampire,” I taunted
whether she has taken a fancy to one of the girls
the beast while I mentally rehearsed the
and is feeding to enhance her powers and appeal.
strongest spell available to me. “I will end
Regardless of what happens, as soon as a girl is
your suffering.”
admitted to a Lilliender boarding school, she is in
She snarled at that – and cast a spell I
very real danger of becoming Camille's meal or
did not recognize. Its effects were
her thrall.
immediate and obvious, however; from the
Worse yet, many people, especially those in a
ghastly pallor of the undead, her skin
position of power, know this is so, and yet they
turned pink; her fangs receded; her eyes
still keep sending girls to the boarding schools.
ceased glowing and she did indeed step into
The last time people started to balk at sending
the light without any sign of pain or fear!
their daughters and granddaughters to Camille's
The shock of it disrupted my concentration.
larders, never knowing whether they might get
Seeing that the creature's wound, inflicted
them back in one piece, was in the wake of the
by my trusty sword cane, had started to
Lockstone Rebellion – and that resulted in the
bleed like a proper mortal wound
long drought, which only ended when the
completely flummoxed me. I had heard of
Lenkherrs took the throne and the 'supply route'
magic capable of restoring the dead to life,
to the boarding schools was normalised.
of course, and I had heard of spells that
Faced with the threat of another drought, one
allow clever undead to mimic the living. But
which could last even longer and potentially
I had never seen them being cast right in
decimate all of Lilliend, people continue to
front of me, and with such quick ease!
sacrifice their daughters to the beast.
“I,” she said, “will end yours.”
I started to gabble out the Words that Then I hit the freezing cold water of the
would fill the air in front of me with fire. She Widow's Daughter, and the current had me.
beat me to the punch, casting a spell that All was pain, all was confusion, and I did
hit me like a charging bull … and hurled me not have any attention to spare for the
out into empty air. As I hurtled downward, I beast that had defeated me by exploiting
saw the vampire – the creature, whatever my surprise.
she was – peer after me. I heard her
hateful laugh.
Parting Thoughts
The bloodsucker underestimated me.

176
I am bruised and battered, bloodied from this benighted land, all who have fight in
where my body was dashed against rocks them will rise up to do battle – and you will
both sharp and blunt, but I survive. know them, will be able to target them.
I found myself washed up on the bank of While the fools fight, insinuate yourself
the river. The moon was just peeking over into their precious cities, the monuments of
the horizon. In the distance, I could barely the history they cuddle like a stuffed toy
make out the many towers of Schlotstein. against the night. Make them rot and die
My Firstborn was guarding me, and was from the inside out, let panic and war rip
keeping watch over my travel-bag, my cane this land asunder. When the 'noble' families
… and a letter written in your hand, my fail once again to protect them, I guarantee
Master. I compliment you on somehow that the common people will embrace any
getting it to me, past the misty divide, and I leader who offers salvation.
wonder as to which method you might have With all the magic you can bring to bear,
used to pull off this feat. my Master, you can easily be that leader.
While I vehemently disagree with your You can be their hero – until you decide
criticism that I had put myself forward too that role has served its purpose.
much during this initial investigation, not to Regards,
mention your slanderous claim that I had Ciska
made a dog's dinner of my duties, I do
agree with your command to leave Lilliend Attached Notes: DM's
post-haste.
Night is upon this foul land, with its Appendix
many unseen edges, and the beast is no
doubt sniffing along the river, hoping to find
my corpse.
Warped History
Schlotstein is nigh, therefore so is the False and true history in Lilliend are
great slope that leads down and out of hopelessly muddled, reflecting the flawed
Lilliend. I will sneak past the Lockstone and memory of the Darklady around whose mad
Lenkherr patrols under cover of darkness selfishness the land grew.
and the spells remaining to me. The land of Although both Maximilian Lockstone and
Conquista comes next on my tour of this Ciska have found archaeological evidence
Cluster; I find it hard to see how the place that there have been several waves of
could be worse than this one. invasion, starting with the Elves, followed
When you come through the Mists, ready by the Lenkherr, and finally the ancestral
to invade, I recommend you move Lock- and Churnstones, there is no historical
forcefully, my Master. Forcefully and record that reflects these events.
quickly. Shatter the dams that control the That the Lockstones and Churnstones
Widow's Daughters and the Bitter were once one people is fairly evident from
Daughters, let the waters bring death and their resemblance to one another, but
destruction to herald your coming. memory of the fact is mostly forgotten – in
Next, find a way to ally yourself with the no small part because Camille Churnstone
Lockstones. Rouse them to battle once hates the Lockstones for trying to change
again. The people of Lilliend still live with the land.
the memories of the first Lockstone Visitors to Lilliend may unearth the same
Rebellion. If you set them at the throat of evidence the characters of this Gazetteer

177
have done. If they reveal it to the public, number of Hit Dice of undead servants it
they may be met with any reaction ranging can have under its control – unless it is
from scornful denial to wide-eyed wonder – woken again.
but they will almost certainly reap the wrath Not only the master can rouse the
of a Darklady who does not want her people enspelled thrall from its slumber; any
to compare the past to the present or creature that chances upon and touches it
consider the future, but to maintain the can break the spell. Many a thrall displays
stasis she is used to. unusual gratitude to anyone who wakes it,
even before giving in to its hunger; the
New Magic sleep inflicted upon them by Artificial
Hibernation is full of terrible nightmares.
Spells
Artefacts
Artificial Hibernation Two items, secrets so carefully guarded
Render a slave comatose so it does not use that Ciska only unearthed one hint of their
up resources. existence during a year of investigating
Necromancy [Evil] Lilliend, lie hidden somewhere in the land.
Level: Alchemist 5, Cleric 5, The Lenkherr Ruby
Sorcerer/Wizard 5 Although this ruby, which is the size of
Components: V, S, M* the last joint on a grown man's thumb, is
Casting time: 10 minutes now named for the Lenkherr family, legend
Range: Touch indicates it was once the property of the
Target: One undead spawn of the caster's Weisücher, who considered it to be a drop
own making of Harbrye's blood, fallen upon the earth
Duration: Until dispelled after the first birth of Kurhan. It radiates
Saving throw: Fort. negates powerful Divination magic if quickened, but
Spell resistance: No when dormant appears to be a normal –
albeit extremely valuable – stone. The stone
Sometimes an undead master has a need also reacts to spells of Detect Undead and
for a batch of new slaves but does not wish similar effects, as it appears to be haunted.
to give up control over existing thralls. The same family legends claim the first
Artificial Hibernation allows them to have Lenkherr either stole the Ruby or won it off
their cake and eat it, too – metaphorically of the Weisücher family in a bet whose
speaking. terms have been lost to history. Regardless,
By braising the brain and heart of a full- the Lenkherr were the stewards of the Ruby
grown humanoid creature of the sire's own at the time that Lilliend was drawn into the
base type into a stew, and feeding it to a Mists along with its dread Lady, and they
thrall while chanting the lengthy spell, the were aware of its power.
master can force their slave to enter a state If awakened by a gift of heart's blood,
of hibernation from which it cannot wake which must be given freely by two members
itself. The thrall appears to be simply dead of the four great families of Lilliend, the
and is helpless while it remains in this state Ruby grants to its owner the gift of
(although it still registers as undead to any knowledge once a day: knowledge of the
magic used to investigate it), but no longer full name, current appearance and current
counts against its master's maximum location of the land's greatest enemy.

178
Olivia Lenkherr awakened the Ruby on ancestral Lockstones and Churnstones,
the field of battle when she met Maximilian when their turn to invade the land had
Lockstone – but history does not record that come. When the Churnstones split off to
Maximilian had already suffered mortal settle at the edge of L'Haut, the ancestral
wounds and was dying in agony, nor that blade remained at the very edge of the final
he asked Olivia to strike him down so that descent, 'to defend against the evil that
she might use his heart's blood to quicken might follow'. Although neither Churnstone
the Ruby. In the name of their friendship nor Lockstone family lore records what evil
and in order to know the truth of things, this might be, the Lockstones treasured the
Olivia did the deed and then slit her own sword as the true symbol of their family and
palm over the stone. The Ruby was duty towards the people, more than any
quickened, and Olivia became aware of the flag or other symbol of authority. Only
existence of Camille Churnstone – and the Maximilian Lockstone, the first Wizard to be
fact that she had been masquerading as a born into the family in generations,
high-ranking servant of Helena Weisücher. discovered the true qualities of the sword –
Wounded in mind and body, Olivia was and he hid his findings from all save Olivia
taken into the care of the nuns of Artemis – Lenkherr, and that at the day of his death.
who poisoned her due to Camille's If awakened by a gift of heart's blood,
machinations. Unfortunately for her, Olivia which must be drawn from two members of
had taken precautions, and the Ruby had the four great families of Lilliend, the Silver
already been delivered to her daughter, becomes a +2 holy silver longsword. If
along with instructions to combine it with wielded against the greatest enemy of
the Lockstone Silver. Lilliend, it will suppress that enemy's
The Lenkherr Ruby is currently set on the supernatural, spell-like, and extraordinary
pommel of the royal sword of Lilliend, and abilities so long as its bearer has a clear line
in the possession of Queen Alexandra of sight on that enemy.
Lenkherr. It is also haunted by the ghost of Olivia Lenkherr arranged for the Silver to
Olivia Lenkherr. Sick with grief over the fact be hidden among the possessions of her
that she fought against her old friend, when own family before she was murdered by
what the Ruby taught her meant she should nuns of Athena, and left instructions for her
have battled at his side, Olivia is unable to daughter. Currently, the Silver masquerades
relinquish her ties to the mortal world and as the royal sword of Lilliend, and is in the
lingers in the stone, awaiting the day that possession of Queen Alexandra Lenkherr. It
someone will wield it to defeat the true remains 'awake' and ready to slay the true
enemy of Lilliend and set the people free. enemy of Lilliend because the ghost of its
Ten times, thieves have attempted to steal last Lockstone master, Maximilian, still
the stone from the sword. Ten times, Olivia dwells in the land.
has driven them away in madness or cast Bound to his tower home even now, the
them into death. And as long as she haunts lord of Lockstone retains his grip on the
the Lenkherr Ruby, it will not go dormant... world of mortals so the blade will not fall
asleep before it can slay the land's greatest
The Lockstone Silver enemy.
This masterwork silver longsword, which Unfortunately, this may not last much
has no other name than 'the Silver', longer; Maximilian is tormented by his
travelled into Lilliend along with the memories of quickening the blade. As

179
Maximilian had conceived his first child with
Dread Possibility: Queen of the Sword his bride, Camille had sent an assassin to
Queen Alexandra Lenkherr (female human dispatch him. She did not know – could not
Aristocrat 8) is not the only person in the know – whether the child was to be a boy
government of Lilliend to know of the true or a girl, but frankly did not care, so long as
darkness that festers at the heart of her nation. she could be rid of the only man in Lilliend
But she is the only person who can, with to hold political power.
complete certainty, say where Camille Churnstone Maximilian was better able to defend
is at any given time, and who she looks like. As a himself than most men would have been in
consequence, the Queen of Lilliend can, with little his position, and he managed to severely
difficulty, compile a full and accurate list of all of wound the vampire who attacked him in his
Camille's crimes by combining her knowledge of study with magic. The undead fled – and
the Darklady's movements and reports of chanced upon the heavily pregnant Canelle
disappearances and deaths. Lockstone-Lenkherr. Before Maximilian
In addition, Queen Alexandra suspects she is could catch and dispatch the assassin, she
also the only one who has the means to put an had already disemboweled poor Canelle –
end to the Darklady's reign; the royal sword she and Maximilian understood the full meaning
carries with her would cut off most of Camille's of the oracle's warning that he would have
unnatural advantages just by being near her. The to wed to awaken the Silver, and that love
problem is, Alexandra cannot find in herself the would destroy him as well as save him. As
courage needed to challenge the monster; too the empty days and nights pass, the lord of
much could go wrong, and Alexandra knows that Lockstone relives his memory of bathing the
the vampire's revenge against all of Lilliend would Silver in the mingled blood of his bride and
be catastrophic. his unborn child, and how it came alive in
Far from being a typical self-indulgent his hands, as well as the horrors of the war
Lenkherr monarch, Alexandra's days and nights that followed. If the pain ever becomes too
are filled with terrible feelings of guilt as she much for him to bear, Maximilian is free to
watches her land devoured from within by corrupt depart for the afterlife any time he chooses
nobles, its youth preyed upon by a selfish – and the Silver will fall dormant and need
predator, and she is too afraid to lift her hand and to be quickened all over again.
do anything. As time marches on, Alexandra fears
that her window of opportunity is closing; if she New Monsters :
grows too old to wield the royal sword, someone
else would have to take her place, and she is Lilliender Vampire
horrified by the notion of charging one of her This slender, black-liveried beauty lifts
daughters with the knowledge and guilt that have her head from the blood-stained chest of
made her life a living hell ever since her dying the child you came seeking, and smiles at
mother entrusted her with the blade. you, baring her fangs. As she starts to sway
If only someone could support her, reassure in your direction, her form shimmers and
her that they could back her up if she were to shifts into that of a great cat, its eyes Hell-
challenge the true enemy of Lilliend, be a shield bright.
against the vampire's spells and block off her Lilliender Vampires are a strain of
ways of escaping... If only. vampiric undead which arose in the land of
Lilliend with Camille Churnstone's rise to
power. They are undead humanoid

180
creatures that feed on the blood of the positive hit points; it is helpless until that
living, inflicting wounds on the chest of their time.
victims with their sharp eye-teeth, and Weaknesses: Lilliender Vampires
sucking blood therefrom. display a strong allergic reaction to the
All Lilliender Vampires are female, not blood of male creatures and avoid feeding
only because of Camille's preferences, but on it whenever possible. If they drain the
due to an inability to process the blood of blood or the life force of a male creature
males (see Weaknesses). While most unto the victim's death (respectively by
representatives of this vampiric strain still blood drain and the energy drain associated
dwell in Lilliend, slaves to its Darklady, a with its slam attack), the Lilliender
few have managed to escape beyond the Vampire is herself destroyed the next
domain's borders – and thus the control of round, disintegrating into dust. In addition,
the Darklady – and into the wider world, they cannot tolerate the scent of roses or
where they can 'breed' in quiet corners. wild thyme and will not enter an area laced
Creating a Lilliender Vampire with it. Similarly, they recoil from mirrors or
“Lilliender Vampire” is an acquired strongly presented holy symbols; these do
template that can be added to any living not do the creature any actual harm, but
female humanoid with 5 or more Hit Dice merely force it to stay at least 5 feet away
(referred to hereafter as the base creature). from the offending item, and they cannot
The Lilliender Vampire uses the base make touch or melee attacks against the
creature's stats and abilities except as noted one wielding them. Holding the Lilliender
here. Vampire at bay requires a standard action
CR: Same as the base creature +2 every round.
AL: Any Evil. Lilliender Vampires cannot enter a
Type: The creature's type changes to private home or dwelling without invitation
undead (augmented). Do not recalculate of the inhabitant(s), or the express
class Hit Dice, BAB, or saves. permission from a local ruler or Darklord.
Senses: A Lilliender Vampire gains Sunlight is a lethal bane to them; the first
Darkvision 60 ft. If the base creature round of exposure to sunlight staggers
already has Darkvision, increase its range them; the second consecutive round
by 60 ft. destroys them unless they manage to
Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to escape or shield themselves against the
d10s. Class Hit Dice are unaffected. As light. Driving a wooden stake through a
undead, Lilliender Vampires use their helpless Lilliender Vampire's heart renders
Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit the monster dormant; it will not be able to
points instead of Constitution. rise, even if summoned by its sire, until the
Defensive abilities: A Lilliender stake is removed. To truly destroy the
Vampire gains channel resistance +4, SR creature, however, its head must be
10, DR 10/magic and silver, and resistance severed from the neck and the mouth
to cold and electricity 10, in addition to all stuffed full of bread, which has been
the defensive abilities granted by the consecrated by a Cleric of any alignment.
undead type. A Lilliender Vampire also gains When killed in this manner, the Lilliender
fast healing 5/round. If reduced to 0 hit Vampire's body immediately becomes
points in combat, a Lilliender Vampire falls subject to the decay its undead state had
dormant until its fast healing restores it to held at bay and is destroyed.

181
Speed: Increase the base creature's Change Shape (Su):A Lilliender Vampire
speed by 20 ft. can assume the form of a normal or half-
Melee: The Lilliender Vampire gains a fiend cat, cougar (as leopard) or lioness.
slam attack if the base creature did not Shadowless (Ex):A Lilliender Vampire
have one. Damage for the slam attack casts neither shadow nor reflection in any of
depends on the Lilliender Vampire's size, her forms.
and also bestows energy drain damage. The Spider Climb (Ex):A Lilliender Vampire
slam (but no other natural attack) is treated can climb sheer surfaces as though under
as a magic weapon for the purpose of the effect of a spider climb spell.
overcoming damage reduction. Ability scores: Str +6, Dex +6, Wis
Special attacks: +2, Cha +8. As an undead creature, the
Blood Drain (Su): A Lilliender Vampire Lilliender Vampire has no Constitution score.
can suck blood from a grappled or Skills:Lilliender Vampires gain a +8 racial
otherwise helpless victim. If the Lilliender bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate,
Vampire establishes or maintains a pin, it Perception, Sense Motive and Stealth
can drain blood, dealing 1d4 points of checks. They are savvy manipulators who
Constitution damage. The vampire heals 5 are forever alert to threats.
hit points or gains 5 temporary hit points Feats:Lilliender Vampires who qualify for
(up to a maximum number equal to its these feats gain Dodge, Hypnotism,
normal full hit points) each round it drains Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes,
blood. Mobility, Spring Attack and Toughness as
Create Spawn (Su): A Lilliender Vampire bonus feats. If they do not qualify for any of
can create spawn out of female humanoids these feats at creation but later manage to
with at least 5 Hit Dice it kills with blood meet the prerequisites, they gain access to
drain or energy drain. Males and females the feat(s) in question.
with less than 5 Hit Dice simply perish and
remain dead. The creature rises from death
as a Lilliender Vampire in 1d4 days and is Who's Doomed : Camille
under the command the creature that
created it until the time that its sire is Churnstone, Darklady of
destroyed. A Lilliender Vampire may have
no more quickened enslaved spawn than Lilliend
twice its own Hit Dice, with any spawn Female human Lilliender Vampire Sorcerer
which exceed this limit becoming free, but 15 (Maestro bloodline)
clever sires use magic or alchemical poisons CR 17
to render any spawn they do not
Size Medium
immediately require in an artificial state of
Init +1; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.;
hibernation, keeping them in reserve.
Perception +10
Energy Drain (Su): A creature hit by a
Lilliender Vampire's slam attack gains two Defence
negative levels. This ability only triggers AC 18 (+3 Dex., +1 Dodge, +4 mage
once per round, regardless of the number of armour)
attacks a Lilliender Vampire makes. HD 15d6+135+15; hp 198
Special qualities: Fort +5, Ref +8, Will +11

182
Offense wounding; hand of glory; 1d4 potions
Speed 50 ft of flesh to stone; 1d4 potions of gaseous
Melee +10/+5 Dagger of wounding; form; 1d4 potions of touch of the
1d4+3+bleed; 19-20/x2 +8/+3 Slam; doppelganger; ring of freedom of
1d4+1+2 negative levels; x2 +8/+3 movement; ring of mimic mortal; ring of
Unarmed strike; 1d3+1; x2 protection from acid; ring of protection
Ranged +12/+7 Dagger of wounding; from fire; ring of protection from
1d4+3+bleed; 19/20/x2; 10 ft. lightning; ring of protection from sonic;
Statistics Str 13, Dex 16, Con –, Int 10, Wis signet ring (Churnstone); 1d4
15, Cha 29 smokesticks; tanglefoot bag;
Base atk +7/+2; CMB +8; CMD +21 thunderstone; unholy water
Feats Brew Greater Potion*, Brew Potion, Magic Spells/day: 9/8/8/8/8/7/5
Dodge, Empower Spell, Eschew Save DC: 19 + spell level, 20 + spell level
Materials, Forge Ring, Hypnotism **, for all Enchantment and Necromancy
Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, spells, marked by the +-sign.
Improved Unarmed Strike, Lightning Spells known:
reflexes, Mobility, Persuasive, Run, 7: Control weather, Power word blind +,
Silent Spell, Spell Focus (Enchantment), Prismatic spray
Spell Focus (Necromancy), Spring 6: Circle of death +, Flesh to stone,
Attack, Toughness Forceful hand, Mass suggestion +
*This feat is taken from the 3.5 supplement 5: Artificial hibernation**** +, Beast
'Dark Tales and Disturbing Legends'. shape III, Dominate person +, Shadow
**This feat is taken from Ryan Naylor's evocation, Teleport
Ravenloft-Pathfinder conversion guide, 4: Charm monster +, Mimic mortal*,
Domains of Dread. Shout, Stoneskin, Touch of the
Skills Bluff +25, Craft (alchemy) +13, doppelganger**
Diplomacy +22, Fly +11, Heal +12, 3: Fireball, Gaseous form, Protection from
Intimidate +25, Knowledge (arcana) energy, Slow, Suggestion +
+8, Knowledge (local) +5, Perception 2: Blindness/Deafness +, Disguise
+10, Perform (poetry) +18, Sense other***, Flaming sphere, Haunting
Motive +10, Spellcraft +8, Stealth +11 mists***, Hideous laughter +, Knock
Traits Anatomist; Heart of Poetry 1: Disguise self, Ear-piercing scream***,
Special qualities Beguiling voice 12/day DC Expeditious retreat, Mage armour,
19; Blood drain; Cantrips; Change Ventriloquism, Vocal alteration
shape; Create spawn; Energy drain; 0: Arcane mark, Bleed, Daze +, Detect
Fascinate 3/day DC 26; Fast healing 5; magic, Ghost sound, Light, Mage hand,
Inspire 1/day; Perfect voice; Mending, Read magic
Shadowless; Skilled; Spiderclimb
Languages Lelender* * This spell is taken from Ryan Naylor's
Equipment 1d4 Alchemist's fire; alchemist's Ravenloft-Pathfinder conversion guide,
lab; crystal ball; +2 dagger of Domains of Dread.

183
** This spell is taken from the 3.5 to turn the tide. She spent her not
Ravenloft supplement, 'Dark Tales and inconsiderable allowance on arcane texts,
Disturbing Legends'. hoping for new magic and wisdom - and in
*** This spell is taken from Ultimate one of these tomes, she found horror and
Magic. abomination in the form of the Rite of Living
**** This is a new spell, provided in this Death.
Gazetteer. The ritual promised her immortality,
unaging beauty, great power - and the
Background ability to claim anyone she wanted for her
Once, in a land far distant and barely lover. All she would have to do was ritually
recognizable as the precusor of the Lilliend end her mortal life and lie in state for three
that exists in the Demiplane of Dread, there days. Camille gathered the components she
was a family known as Churnstone. This needed and slit her wrists in the family
family belonged to the lesser nobility of its chapel at the right time. Life flowed out of
Lilliend, a nation forged by generations of her, death flowed in... and was driven out in
invasion, war, and finally through peace and turn when undeath replaced it.
diplomacy, which drew its wealth from the But Camille had miscalculated; her body
great marble quarries on its territory. In one was found, and her grieving relatives laid
generation, the family was blessed with her not in state, but sealed her remains in
twin daughters: Camille and Amaranth. an airtight tomb to hide the shame of her
Amaranth was vivacious and outgoing, a suicide and prevent it from influencing the
people-person, levelheaded but joyful. upcoming nuptials. Camille lay dormant, her
Camille, on the other hand, was lazy and undead body hibernating until it once again
listless. She cared about sleep, writing felt the touch of living air. The day came - a
gloomy poetry for her own entertainment, good century after the fateful day of her
and only one person besides herself: her suicide, when the distant descendants of
beautiful sister, who looked most like her. her sister were forced to leave their family
Camille's parents were very surprised home due to debt and the family crypt was
when their withdrawn poet displayed a new being opened so its occupants could be
fire, right after Amaranth's engagement, to moved to humbler resting-places.
a handsome young man from a family of Camille tried to drain the workers who
the high nobility, was announced. Camille had disturbed her, but the taste of their
screamed, she cried herself sick, she blood was foul on her tongue, obliging her
whined, she nagged, she argued endlessly, to kill these men by hand and spell, instead.
all to the effect that the engagement should After this first battle, Camille investigated
be cancelled, and Amaranth should stay at what had happened during her dormancy.
her side. None of it succeeded, and The sure knowledge that her beloved
Camille's heart was broken when Amaranth Amaranth was long dead and beyond her
firmly told her that the engagement was her reach drove her nearly to insanity, but she
will and she would brook no further held out a twisted hope; from the workers'
interference from her sister. paperwork, she learned that Amaranth had
Camille had always possessed sorcerous descendants. Surely one of them could be
ability, but she had simply accepted it and trained to replace her beloved sister.
let it lie fallow. Now did she strain her Camille's influence on her family passed
powers to the utmost in a last-ditch attempt down the generations of the Churnstones.

184
From time to time, she would kidnap Weisücher. The insane vampire has never
promising candidates, drag them to her lair understood what happened, but she did not
in the family crypt and try to train them to truly care. She knows instinctively that she
be perfect replicas of her Amaranth. When is the supreme power of the land, and that
they failed, either in life or as vampires, she she has a chance to find her one true love.
would spitefully murder them. As the history of her new land indicates that
She would grudgingly allow Churnstone the Churnstones have intermarried with
women to marry, but then murdered their other great families and even with
husbands as soon as they were pregnant, commoners over the centuries, her pool of
obliging them to return to their birth family. potential candidates has simply expanded.
When these troubled mothers gave birth to
daughters, Camille rejoiced. When they Current Sketch
gave birth to sons, Camille abducted them Camille staves off a descent into full,
and threw them to their death in Lilliend's bestial madness only through her obsession.
deep ravines. Always, she haunted her She is preying on the boarding schools of
family, fed on them, waited for her perfect the domain, looking for girls who are
lover and “punished” those who failed to suitable candidates to replace her beloved
please her. Amaranth. In the guise of teachers and
Finally, Camille's depredations had left even students, she sifts through the wide
her with only one living relative: Melusinde selection of prey, judging girls by
Churnstone, a virtuous young woman who appearance, disposition, and behaviour. In
managed to find a man brave enough to the role of tutor or comrade, she can subtly
look past the terrifying stories of ill fortune adjust candidates' behaviour to more closely
that had come to haunt the Churnstones reflect poor, dead Amaranth. Many times
and who had fallen in love with her. Camille now, Camille has believed that she has
knew, intellectually, that she should let found a suitable replacement for her lost
events play out as they would. Emotionally, sister, and has turned the girl into her
she latched onto the child growing in vampiric companion - only for the resulting
Melusinde's womb. Here was her last slave to disappoint her as its personality
chance, or so claimed her black heart. changes.
The day of the birth came, and Camille kills all girls who fail to be her
Melusinde and her husband rejoiced in the perfect beloved in a brutal rage. The spawn
birth... of their first son. she allows to continue existing are never
Camille's madness, never far beneath the candidates to be her “one true love”, but
surface, erupted. When it finally abated, she simply the victims of her hunger and tools
lay in the abattoir she had made of her last she keeps against an uncertain future. Most
living relatives' home, and she realized that of these, she subjects to the effects of
she had singlehandedly erased every last artificial hibernation, and stores in the
trace of Amaranth upon the earth. Churnstone Wells, as though they were toys
The blood turned to mist, and mist she does not want to play with at the
turned to Mist, which enveloped Camille. moment. As a result, she does not receive
When it faded away, she found herself the her spawn's loyalty or affection – only the
Darklady of a new Lilliend – which also obedience she can enforce through her
contained a whole Churnstone family, as status as their sire or through intimidation.
well as Lockstones, Lenkherr and

185
Although Camille continues to care for no assassins use the opportunity to gorge on
one but herself and her idealised lover, she male blood and destroy themselves, just to
maintains a rigid control over the rulers of be free of her.
the land; through her magic, she controls
the weather in the domain, and she is Combat
blackmailing the Queen and anyone else Camille does not often fight - not out of
who knows about her into complying with fear or pragmatism, but out of indolence;
her wishes by threatening to keep away the combat brings with it the risk of pain and
rains that give life to the crops, animals, requires her to spend energy she would
and people. So long as the authorities rather channel in different directions. So
continue to send young girls out to the long as she is not assaulted, she prefers to
schools where Camille lurks and hunts and let her spawn or other lackeys handle the
keep the secret of her existence, she allows bleeding, dying, and killing.
the people to survive. If they should ever In addition, Camille is physically weak for
try to thwart her... a vampire, and her combat technique is
In addition to enforcing the continued shoddy, putting her at a disadvantage
function of the boarding schools, Camille against armed opponents, as opposed to
uses her power over the Lilliender frightened young girls already half in thrall
government to enforce stasis. Social change to her spells and hypnotism. As soon as she
confuses and angers her; she gleefully takes even the slightest injury, she puts as
champions the supremacy of woman over much distance between herself and her
man, encourages nobles to sabotage efforts opponents as she can, using beast shape
to alter or improve the great cities, and III, gaseous form, or teleport to break
stamps on efforts to abolish the serf system away, or else using a combination of
that keeps so many people locked in disguise self and disguise other to have her
servitude. That the Lockstones once defied enemies chase a lackey or an innocent
her wishes in this regard sparked her victim while she escapes.
undying hatred of the family, which only If given the opportunity, Camille will
grew worse when Maximilian Lockstone was happily rake her enemies with evocation or
chosen to be the head of his house in spite circle of death from a (to her) safe distance,
of his gender. delighting in the various options given to
Camille also exerts her control through a her by empowered applications of shadow
program of assassination whose insanity evocation. If enemies flee, she pursues
boggles the mind. The Darklady of Lilliend them, confident that she has the upper
knows that men as well as women are hand. If enemies manage to survive the first
needed to maintain the numbers of her prey few rounds of combat in spite of her best
and conceive new candidates for her “love”, spells and start to close on her, she flees
but she still wakes up her vampiric spawn again – and seeks the opportunity to attack
and sends them to murder any man whose from the shadows later. Given the time,
wife has given birth to a daughter. In her Camille can coerce the authorities of Lilliend
mind, such men have served their sole to arrest and detain enemies on trumped-up
purpose in life and must not be allowed to charges. If she wants to take a more
influence any girl who might one day personal revenge, she uses disguise self or
become a candidate for her 'affections'. She touch of the doppelganger in combination
ignores the fact that most of her vampiric with mimic mortal to get close to her

186
enemies in some innocuous form, like a their noticing. Camille rarely uses this
servant at an inn, and laces their food and power, but knows that she need only use it
drink with potions of beast shape III, flesh long enough to fool people into returning to
to stone, slow, or touch of the her territory; the authorities know full well
doppelganger. what the reason for such storms is, and will
make quiet arrangements to have these
Lair people captured so Camille can pick them
Camille has numerous lairs in the up or murder them at her leisure.
domain's boarding schools, but her first and
most important is located in the ruins of the Darklord's Curse
Churnstone family home. The Churnstone Camille is forever seeking a perfect lover,
crypt is a murder hole, full of traps that only a replacement for her long-lost twin sister in
she could navigate without setting them off. appearance and manner -- but her memory
Here, Camille keeps the bodies of those of Amaranth is flawed, grows ever more
failed lovers who came closest to her ideal, distorted with the passage of time, and she
preserved through flesh to stone. Every cannot refresh it. She used to have pictures
time Camille visits her home, she views of her twin sister, but these rotted long ago.
each face and burns every detail of her Even learning the spell mimic mortal, which
previous failures into her mind - and vows allows her to see herself in the mirror, is
that the next lover will be the one. useless due to her tendency to change
identities using touch of the doppelganger.
Closing the Borders More than half-mad, Camille is forever
If Camille wants to close the borders, a seeking a perfect reflection of herself -- a
thunderstorm erupts over Lilliend. Driving self which she keeps changing to hide from
rains obscure all sight, thunder eclipses all potential enemies and in order to fit in at
hearing and the winds drive those who the schools where she seeks her next 'one
would escape back into the land without true love'.

187
Sweeney Todd, The
Demon Barber of
Fleet Street
An adventure in Gothic London
By M. T. Kelly

Depending on the day, the keepers may


Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd
whistle along or try to shut them up. None
His skin was pale and his eye was odd
ever sing along. They are too chilled by it.
He shaved the faces of gentlemen Who
never thereafter were heard of again
He trod a path that few have trod The Tale of Sweeney
Did Sweeney Todd
The demon barber of Fleet Street Todd
Some tales are too terrible to be told in
He kept a shop in London Town
anything but whispers, even in the city that
Of fancy clients and good renown
spawned Jack the Ripper, but the details of
And what if none of their souls were saved?
this story can be found if one can figure out
They went to their maker impeccably
where to look. It is a tale both so
shaved
scandalous and so horrible as to be too
By Sweeney
disturbing for even the most perverse
By Sweeney Todd
London audience of the time period. Shows
The demon barber of Fleet Street
and published stories based on it have
Swing your razor wide, Sweeney! Hold it found audience outside of London but none
to the skies! of them know the truth of it. It's moral
Freely flows the blood of those who might be 'Before embarking on a quest for
moralize! revenge, first, dig two graves' but Sweeney
Todd would have had to dig dozens.
The keepers of Fogg's Asylum in Bedlam In 1831, a corrupt Judge named Turpin
have all heard this dark tune sung by the of depraved appetites became sexually
strange white-haired man in the cell at the obsessed with the wife of a Fleet Street
end of the hall. The inmates know it just as barber named Benjamin Barker. When his
well. Sometimes they sing it with him. attempts to lure her into his embrace

188
proved fruitless, he approached the barber before taking her back in ruined condition to
directly, offering to pay him for his wife's her home and leaving her addled on the
favors. He prudently brought along two street for all of her neighbors to see. She
powerfully built henchmen and the Beadle, was found by her neighbor, Mrs. Nellie
Bamford, who was his right hand, in case Lovett, who was a piemaker. If her
the barber reacted violently, which he in prospects were bleak before, they were
fact did. Barker warned the Judge to never destroyed now. Mrs. Lovett tried to counsel
darken his door again lest he get a shave her in this but just after breakfast, Judge
far too close. The Judge and Beadle weren't Turpin's police arrived with a warrant to
the kind to back off, however. It was fairly seize the baby Johanna, as Mrs. Lucy Barker
simple for them to have the barber accused had been declared an unfit parent due to
of some relatively minor offense that would loose morals. The Judge had volunteered
get him shipped off to Australia as was the himself as the child's guardian in the
practice. This left his wife, Lucy, alone with meantime. If anyone saw Mrs. Lovett steal
their one-year old daughter, Johanna, to away with Mr. Barker's old collection of
provide for. The woman did her best to find sterling silver straight razors, no one said
honorable work but a woman alone in anything.
London was always suspected of being Unable to live with the shame of
hunting a husband and since only women everything that had happened, Lucy Barker
hired women for anything besides ran down the street to the apothecary and
prostitution, they avoided hiring their own used her last pennies to buy some arsenic
competition for men's affections, especially which she immediately swallowed. Sadly, it
when there was a Beadle and a Judge wasn't enough to kill her, but it was enough
making sure every prospective employer to cause permanent brain damage. Judge
knew of the scandalous circumstances of Turpin had taken the child to use as
her husband. leverage over her mother and expected Mrs.
As her situation grew more and more Barker to come begging him for her back,
desperate, The Judge and Beadle finally offering him whatever he wanted for her.
made their move. The Beadle called on her When he learned of Mrs. Barker's attempted
politely one day, saying that the Judge was suicide, he gave her up for dead. Since his
feeling contrite about her as he blamed adoption of the baby was a matter of public
himself for her dreadful plight. She was record, he had to keep her for a while, lest
invited to come to the Judge's house that there be a scandal. Against his own
night to discuss what he might do to expectations, he actually took to the child,
alleviate her troubles. and became an adequate parent to her.
When she arrived that night, however, Everyone who knew what had happened
she found herself in the middle of a considered this a strange stroke of luck for
depraved masked ball filled with people she the child. Members of the local church took
didn't know. She wandered through the in the poisoned Lucy Barker, but were
house asking, "Oh where is Judge Turpin?" unable to do anything for her. Between the
to anyone who would speak to her. Finally, trauma, the shame, and the poison, all she
she made the mistake of drinking something could do was lie in bed. They tried to get
someone handed her. The Judge and her put into a hospital, but the courts had
Beadle descended on her in her drugged her committed to Bedlam, instead. As was
condition and raped her multiple times also common practice in those days, when

189
she proved otherwise incurable and space Todd's reaction to this story revealed to her
was needed in the asylum, she was simply that he himself was Benjamin Barker.
put out onto the street. Mrs. Barker became Promising to keep his secret, Lovett
one of the lost people of London, living off explained that Lucy poisoned herself and
whatever she could she could scrounge that their then-infant daughter, Johanna,
from the garbage, beg from passersby, or had become a ward of the Judge. Todd
earn by prostitution. It didn't help that she swore revenge on the Judge and Beadle,
couldn't even remember her own name. and Mrs. Lovett presented Todd with his old
In 1846, a young sailor, Anthony Hope, collection of sterling silver straight razors,
was standing watch on the good ship which persuaded Todd to take up his old
Bountiful when he spotted a poor castaway profession.
pitching and tossing on a raft and, being a Elsewhere, Anthony spied a beautiful girl
good Christian, gave the alarm. The singing at her window, and immediately
Bountiful pulled the castaway aboard with became enamored with her. The same
young Anthony taking the lead. When the Beggar Woman from the dock came upon
castaway was finally able to speak and him and begged him for more coin. In
asked to identify himself, he gave his name return for his kindness, the woman
as Sweeney Todd. answered his questions. She told him that
When the ship docked in London a few the house belonged to Judge Turpin and the
weeks later, Anthony and Mr. Todd girl's name was Johanna. She also warned
disembarked together as friends. Anthony him to stay away if he knew what was good
was very pleased to be back in the great for him, lest he incur the Judge's wrath. He
city of London, but Todd was noticeably was beyond her warnings, however, and
melancholy. The first thing that happened bought a songbird in a cage from a passing
to them was that a crazed Beggar Woman street vendor, approaching the girl to
sexually solicited them, appearing to present it to her. She seemed as taken with
recognize Todd for a moment before Todd him as was he with her. Sadly, their
shooed her away. For some reason, this moment was interrupted by the Judge's
induced Todd to relate some of his troubled bellowing. When Anthony tried to reason
past to Anthony. Without naming names, he with him, the Judge ordered the Beadle to
revealed that he had been a naive barber, 'dispose of him'. When the young sailor
banished by a crooked judge who lusted tried to reason with the Beadle, the Beadle
after Todd's wife. pulled the songbird from the cage that
Leaving Anthony, Todd made his way to Anthony was still holding and broke its
Fleet Street where he entered a meat pie neck. Getting the message, and still
shop, the owner of which, the slatternly unaware that Johanna was his friend Todd's
widow, Mrs. Lovett, fussed over him like a daughter, Anthony pledged to return for
mother hen, while lamenting the scarcity of Johanna, no matter how many times the
meat and customers. When Todd asked Judge and Beadle chased him away.
after her empty upstairs apartment, she Meanwhile, in the crowded London
revealed that its former tenant, Benjamin marketplace, Todd and Lovett came across
Barker, was transported on false charges by flamboyant Italian barber, Adolfo Pirelli, and
Judge Turpin, who, along with his servant, his simple-minded young assistant, Tobias
Beadle Bamford, then lured Barker's wife Ragg, pitching a dramatic cure-all for hair
Lucy to the Judge's home and raped her. loss. Todd exposed the elixir as a sham,

190
challenged Pirelli to a shaving competition, immediately flew into a rage, swore to have
and easily won. He then invited the Johanna locked away, stormed out, and
impressed Beadle Bamford to his shop for a vowed never to return. Todd drove Anthony
free shave whenever he should choose. away in a fit of fury and resolved to Mrs.
At the same time, Judge Turpin struggled Lovett that he would murder all his future
with his growing lust for the rapidly customers, since all people deserve to die:
maturing Johanna. He tried to beat it down the rich to be punished for their corruption,
by flagellating himself into a frenzy but and the poor to be relieved of their misery.
succeeded only in further exciting himself. When Mrs. Lovett slyly suggested that they
He instead resolved to marry her himself, use the flesh of Todd's victims in her meat
no matter what her feelings on the matter pies, Todd joyously agreed.
may be. Several weeks later, Mrs. Lovett's pie
Meanwhile, Todd awaited the Beadle's shop had become a thriving business, and
arrival with mounting impatience, despite Toby was now working there as a waiter.
Mrs. Lovett’s attempts to soothe him. When She had even acquired a slightly singed
Anthony arrived and told Todd of his plan to harmonium from a burned-out chapel. Todd
ask Johanna to elope with him, Todd, eager and Mrs. Lovett also acquired a specially-
to reunite with his daughter, agreed to let designed mechanical barber's chair that
them use his barbershop as a safehouse. As allowed Todd to kill his clients and drop
Anthony left, Pirelli and Tobias entered. their bodies directly through a chute into
Mrs. Lovett took Toby downstairs for a pie, the pie shop's basement bakehouse. Todd
leaving the two men alone to talk business. was not so frenzied as to kill anyone who
Alone with Todd, Pirelli dropped his Italian walked through his door, however. Some he
accent and persona and revealed that he would shave once or twice and let go before
was Daniel O'Higgins, Benjamin Barker's killing them, the better to build his
former assistant, and knew Todd's true reputation. He would also never kill in front
identity. When O'Higgins attempted to of witnesses, so when a customer brought
blackmail his former employer, however, in family members to wait while he was
Todd injured and hid him, later slitting his shaved, Todd would never be able to bring
throat. Meanwhile, as Johanna and Anthony himself to harm them. These customers
planned their elopement, the Beadle would become a loyal customer base that
recommended Todd's services to the Judge, would return again and again. This was
so that he could better win Johanna's especially true of those who brought in their
affections. children, for whom Todd would keep
Panicked at first on learning of Pirelli's lollypops to give them. This didn't keep him
murder, Mrs. Lovett swiped his leftover coin from finding at least one or two to kill a
purse and asked Todd how he planned to day. As he casually slit his customers' necks,
dispose of the body. When the Judge Todd despaired of ever seeing his daughter
suddenly entered, she made a quick exit again. The only person who could see what
and Todd quickly sat him for a shave, lulling Todd and Mrs. Lovett were doing was the
him with a relaxing conversation about old Beggar Woman who tried valiantly to
pretty women. Before Todd could kill the warn all the passersby but couldn't make
Judge, however, Anthony re-entered and herself understood.
blurted out his elopement plan to Todd, Meanwhile Anthony prowled the streets
accidentally informing the Judge, who of London, looking for the place where

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Johanna was imprisoned. When he finally prophesying the end of the world, while
discovered her locked away in a madhouse Todd and Mrs. Lovett hunted for Toby in
by the Judge, he raced back to Todd's shop their basement, and Anthony and Johanna
and begged Todd for help to free Johanna. fled for their lives. The two (with Johanna
Revitalized, Todd devised a plan to rescue now disguised as a sailor) arrived to find
her by having Anthony pose as a wigmaker Todd's shop empty. Anthony left to seek a
intent on purchasing inmates' hair. After coach after he and Johanna reaffirmed their
Todd taught Anthony everything he knew love. Left alone, Johanna heard the Beggar
about wig-making and sent him off, he sent Woman outside calling for the Beadle and
a secret letter to notify the Judge of hid in the barbershop. The Beggar Woman
Anthony's plot, hoping to lure the Judge entered and seemed to recognize the room.
back to his shop. She sang a lullaby to an imaginary baby as
Meanwhile, in the pie shop, Toby told Johanna quietly looked on until the enraged
Mrs. Lovett of his uneasiness with Todd and Todd burst in and demanded she explain
his own desire to protect her. When he herself. The madwoman tried to tell him
recognized Pirelli's coin purse in Mrs. about the evil woman downstairs and
Lovett's hands, she distracted him by seemed to recognize him again, but the
showing him the bakehouse, instructing him frantic Todd, hearing the judge
how to work the meat grinder and the oven, approaching, lethally cut her and sent her
before locking him in and going to find down the chute just a moment before the
Todd. Upstairs, though, she encountered Judge burst in. Todd assured the Judge that
the Beadle at her harmonium. He had been Johanna was repentant, and the Judge
asked by Lovett's neighbors to investigate asked for a quick splash of cologne. Once
the strange smoke and stench from the pie he had the Judge in his chair, Todd soothed
shop's chimney. Mrs. Lovett stalled the him with another conversation on women,
Beadle with "Parlor Songs" until Todd but this time he alluded to their "fellow
returned to offer the Beadle his promised tastes, in women at least". The Judge
"free shave". Mrs. Lovett then loudly played recognized him as "Benjamin Barker!" just
her harmonium to cover the Beadle's before Todd slashed his throat and sent him
screams from above as Todd dispatched hurtling down the chute. The disguised
him. In the basement, Toby discovered Johanna finally rose, horrified, from her
human remains in a pie, just as the Beadle's hiding place, surprising the man she didn't
fresh corpse came tumbling through the know was her father. Todd moved to kill her
chute. Maddened and traumatized, he too, but before he could, Mrs. Lovett
descended into the sewers of London to shrieked from the bakehouse below,
hide while Mrs. Lovett informed Todd that providing a distraction for Johanna to
Toby had discovered their secret, and they escape. Downstairs, Mrs. Lovett was
resolved to kill him. struggling with the dying Judge, who
Elsewhere, Anthony arrived at the clawed at her. She then attempted to drag
asylum to rescue Johanna, but could not the Beggar Woman's body into the oven,
bring himself to shoot Jonas Fogg, the but Todd arrived and looked at the
asylum owner. Johanna grabbed Anthony's madwoman's lifeless face clearly for the first
pistol and murdered Fogg herself, freeing time: the Beggar Woman was his wife Lucy.
the whole of the asylum by this action. The Todd was shocked and accused Lovett of
freed inmates poured out into the streets, lying to him. Lovett frantically explained

192
that indeed, Lucy did poison herself - but Plymouth and never looked back. They
she lived, though the attempt left her didn't even stop to get married before they
insane. Lovett confessed that she loved reached Plymouth. Tobias Ragg was only
Todd and always had. Todd then feigned barely able to tell his story on the stand and
forgiveness, dancing manically with Lovett would constantly drift back into nursery
until he pushed her into the raging fires of rhymes. Only the patience and clever
the oven, burning her alive. Full of despair, questions of the attorney drew out all the
Todd embraced the dead Lucy. Toby, now terrible things he'd seen in the bakehouse.
quite mad and white-haired from shock, By the end of the trial, the entire court was
crawled up from the sewer babbling nursery in agreement that the asylums at Bedlam
rhymes to himself and, picking up Todd's were the best place for him. Those asylums
fallen razor, cut Todd's throat. At that same became much more livable after the
moment, Anthony, Johanna, and some corruption was exposed by the investigation
constables broke into the bakehouse just in and certain ladies groups got involved in
time to see Todd fall dead and Toby drop improving conditions there.
the razor, heedless of the others, while
absentmindedly turning the meat grinder. London and Sweeney
The Investigation Todd
With the Judge dead, there was no The difference between this and other
greater authority to order an investigation penny dreadful stories is that this one is
shut down. The above story was verified both true and far reaching. Mrs. Lovett
according to the testimony of Anthony served her meat pies to dozens, possibly
Hope, Johanna Barker, Tobias Ragg, various hundreds, of people and Sweeney Todd's
older residents of Fleet Street, verified court victims also numbered in the dozens. Each
records, and papers found in Judge Turpin's of these people had family and/or
house. Anthony Hope, Johanna Barker, and neighbors, which brought this particular
Tobias Ragg were all found not guilty of any horror home for a great number of
crimes committed due to the circumstances Londoners. The London press told this story
under which they were living at the time. but didn't harp on it the way they would
This happened largely thanks to a lawyer become famous for doing with the Jack the
who had been a political rival of Judge Ripper case a generation later. Whenever
Turpin for some years and had taken up this tale rears its ugly head, it tends to raise
their cases pro bono. a lot of low feelings in London. As such,
Londoners who know the tale can be very
The Survivors unwilling to discuss it.
Once the investigation was finally over,
Johanna and Anthony lost little time leaving Forbidden Lore
the city. They had seen more of London Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker, Mrs.
than they wished to. The one stop they did Nellie Lovett, Judge Turpin, and Mrs. Lucy
make was at Judge Turpin's house to gather Barker have all become haunts. They are
her few belongings, free her pet songbirds, unusual in that they are bound not just to
and smash their cages in the house's the place where they died but to certain
fireplace. They caught the first coach to objects that were important to them in life

193
and they can all cast geas. The Red Death similar to that of Anthony Hope, Johanna
has doomed them to reenact their terrible Barker, Beadle Bamford, and Tobias Ragg
tale while possessing other people, perhaps are found by the haunts (see below) and
innocent, perhaps not, and forcing or are forced by geas into playing the roles of
drawing in other people, again perhaps the three survivors and the Beadle. The
innocent, perhaps not, to play the other ensemble then relives the terrible ordeal all
roles. The haunts are also bound together, over again, claiming any number of victims
so when one gains a host, passersby are along the way. It can take months as did
drawn to the other haunts until those the original time. 1863 was the first time
haunts have possessed hosts and the cycle the cycle was completed entirely. Only if all
can be repeated. Things can get very four hosts of the haunts are killed is the
complicated if those hosting the haunts or cycle stopped, if only for a week, when the
under their geas have family. The only ones four haunts rise again back where they
that might be able to break the curse are were. Somehow, the objects all find their
Anthony and Johanna Hope or possibly their way back, too. (This is what happened in
descendants. Since 1846, this terrible cycle 1849.) If one of the haunts completes its
has been repeated twice, once in 1863, and task, the cycle completes and all the hosts
once again in 1886. and those under geas are released, while
the haunts rise again a week later. (This is
1849 what happened in 1863 and 1886.)
The building on Fleet Street which
housed the pie shop and barber shop were The Haunts
fairly universally shunned during the years With the exception of Lucy Barker's
after all the deaths there until, in 1849, a haunt, any person who enters one of the
gang of thieves and murderers broke into haunts’ fixed domains is immediately
the pie shop to avoid the police. They found attacked by the haunt. The haunt will attack
their way down to the bakehouse and were the person until the haunt is destroyed, the
set upon and possessed by the four haunts. person escapes or is possessed, or the
The thieves had just robbed a house and haunt forces or tricks the person into
murdered the owner by mistake. The entire grabbing one of the objects to which it is
police force was out hunting them, when bound. Once the person has one of them in
each of the four haunts and hosts were their hand, the haunt is in complete
surrounded by the police in their current possession of the host. If the potential host
locations. Each of them committed 'suicide' is someone as good and pure as Anthony
binding the haunts to their current Hope, Johanna, or Lucy Barker, has no
locations. (see below) hands, or is the wrong gender, they're
attacked until they're driven away, feeding
The Cycle the reputation that the place is haunted. If
Once all four of the haunts have hosts, any of the haunts' hosts are killed by
the cycle begins. The four haunts remember circumstances outside the cycle, the haunt
only up to the murder of Signor Pirelli, the which has lost its host is still bound to the
Judge commanding Johanna to marry him, objects and possesses the first person who
and the Beadle recommending Todd's touches the object and, if they aren't an
services to the Judge. People of a character

194
acceptable host, forces them to take the and that person will relive Todd's memories
object to the nearest person who is. of Anthony Hope throughout the cycle.
Todd will try to restart his business on
Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker Fleet Street under the name of his host, but
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is now if customers are too afraid to come there,
bound to his barber shop and his fancy he will set up in another location until he
razors. When the police cornered the has a customer base loyal enough to follow
haunt's first host in Sweeney Todd's barber him there. Todd is nothing if not if not
shop in 1849, the haunt used Todd's fancy patient, as he was in life, though his
razor to slit its host's throat, binding itself to patience can be easily tried.
both the shop and the razors, and rising If Todd, in his host, sees the host
again there a week later. There is still a containing the Judge on the street, he will
large blood stain on the floor from that recognize the Judge but the Judge will not
night. When Todd gains a host, he will then recognize him, and only if the Judge is
shout out, 'AT LAST! MY RIGHT ARM IS extremely isolated, which almost never
COMPLETE AGAIN!' Meanwhile, Tobias happens in London, will Todd try to make
Ragg, still in Jonas Fogg's Asylum in his move. If he sees the host containing
Bedlam, sings the first verse of the song Mrs. Lovett on the street, the two will
that he's known for. He doesn't need this to immediately recognize each other and begin
happen for him to sing it, but when this to discuss quietly how they will 'get rid of'
happens and triggers it, no keeper can shut Signor Pirelli and agree to meet later on
him up no matter what they do. He'll spit it Fleet Street. If he sees the host containing
out through bloody teeth if he has to. This Lucy Barker on the street, he will recognize
only happens when Todd gains a host. If her only as the old Beggar Woman and if
the others find hosts first, Tobias won't she begs him for money or propositions him
know anything about it. for sex, he will drive her away with harsh
Once Todd has a host again, he will words.
launch himself back into his work. His task
is to kill the Judge and Beadle to avenge his Mrs. Nellie Lovett
wife and to reunite with his daughter, or in Mrs. Lovett's haunt is now bound to her
this case to kill the hosts of the Judge and pie shop and her kitchen utensils. When the
Beadle and find whatever girl is under geas police cornered the haunt's first host in her
to play the role of Johanna. If it succeeds in pie shop in 1849, The haunt used Mrs.
doing this, it will dissipate and release its Lovett's meat ax to slit its host's throat
host, rising again as a haunt a week later. while it was also holding her rolling pin,
His first move will be to go out onto the binding itself to both the shop and the
streets with his razors, suds cup, and brush, utensils, rising again there a week later.
and give free shaves to any man who will Once Mrs. Lovett has a host again, she
have them. Regardless of the age of the will launch herself back into her work. Her
host or the state of their hands, they will be task is to rebuild her pie business under the
able to shave a cheek with all the dexterity name of her new host and gain the
of Sweeney Todd. Todd will walk the streets affections of Sweeney Todd/Benjamin
until he finds a man enough like Anthony Barker, or this case the person playing host
Hope that Todd can cast his geas upon him to his haunt. If it succeeds in doing this, it

195
will dissipate and release its host, rising immediately recognize each other and begin
again as a haunt a week later. to discuss quietly how they will 'get rid of'
Her first move will be to make pies as Signor Pirelli and agree to meet later on
best she can. After the cycle, only the Fleet Street. If she sees the host containing
corpses are ever removed from the shop the Judge on the street, she will curtsy to
and bakehouse. Everyone's afraid to touch him and do her best to get away from his
anything else, so there are old ingredients company. If she sees the host containing
still where the original Mrs. Lovett stored Lucy Barker on the street, she will recognize
them. Though, as all corpses were her only as the old Beggar Woman and if
removed, there's no meat to put in them she begs Mrs. Lovett for money, she will
except perhaps the leftover meat in the drive her away with harsh words.
forgotten pies on the table, which no insect
or rodent will go near, nor mold grow on. Judge Turpin
She is not above doing this, of course, and Judge Turpin's haunt is now bound to his
once she has her first batch finished, she office and library in his house on Kearney
goes out onto the street to sell them. Given Lane and to his fancy cane. When the police
the ingredients, it shouldn't surprise anyone cornered the haunt's first host there in
that these are the worst pies in London. 1849, the haunt used the cane to defend
Anyone who bites into one and doesn't itself until one of the police shattered the
immediately spit it out must make a save host's skull with his nightstick, causing the
vs. poison or suffer extreme stomach host to be bound to both the office and
cramps. Once Mrs. Lovett is driven back cane, rising again there a week later.
penniless from the streets, she will fall back Once the Judge has a host again, his first
into the state she was in before thought will be of Johanna. He'll be
Barker/Todd came back from Australia, consumed with desire for her, in spite of his
trying to sell her pies with so little in them consultation of his bible and his attempt to
to anyone foolish enough to try them, whip the lust out of himself with his own
hoping to gather enough money to get belt. Once his frenzy has passed, he'll
better ingredients. She will do this until she resolve to marry Johanna 'for her own good'
and Todd find each other again, at which and finally launch himself back into his
time they will launch themselves into the work. His task is to find Johanna, or in this
same cannibalistic scheme they were both case the girl who is under her geas, force
so famous for. Once this has begun, Mrs. her to marry him, and if she refuses, have
Lovett will go out onto the streets to find a her committed to the Fogg asylum until she
young man similar to Tobias Ragg upon agrees. If it succeeds in doing this, it will
whom she will cast her geas. Once the two dissipate and release its host, rising again
of them return to the pie shop, Todd has as a haunt a week later.
usually claimed his first victim, and Mrs. His first move will be to check Johanna's
Lovett sets Toby to cleaning up the shop room in the house. If there is a girl already
while she goes down into the bakehouse to under the geas, she may well be there. If
begins butchering the 'meat' and making there is not or she hasn't found her way
pies. Before long, she's serving the best there yet, the Judge will go out onto the
pies in London, or so the customers will say. streets with his cane. He will walk the
If Mrs. Lovett, in her host, sees the host streets until he finds the girl currently under
containing Todd on the street, the two will the Johanna geas, or until he finds a man

196
enough like Beadle Bamford (usually a cop) a woman who is not as good and pure as
that the Judge can cast his geas upon him, Lucy or Johanna Barker (or perhaps has no
from that pointonward, that person will hands) or is a man, it is attacked until
relive The Judge's memories of Beadle driven away, feeding the reputation that the
Bamford throughout the cycle. If the Judge place is haunted.
finds a Beadle Bamford replacement before There's another object beneath the tree.
he finds Johanna, he will order the Beadle It's a reticule Lucy Barker originally owned
to search for her, while he returns to the and gave to her daughter Johanna when
house on Kearney Lane. Once he's there, she was a baby. Johanna kept it her whole
he'll begin reading his collection of Victorian life as her only memento of her mother until
erotica. that terrible night on Fleet Street when both
If he meets any of the other haunts in of her parents died. When she accidentally
hosts on the street, he will recognize none dropped it in that basement abattoir and
of them. didn't notice until later, both she and
If he sees any of the people under geas, Anthony were both too horrified to return
he will only recognize Johanna, whom he there to look for it. So, it lay there until
will scold and order home causing her to 1849, when the haunts of Benjamin and
scurry there. Lucy Barker and Judge Turpin all gained
hosts and grabbed it at the same time. The
Mrs. Lucy Barker reticule now carries a geas of all three of
Mrs. Lucy Barker's haunt is now bound to their memories of Johanna.
a shadowy street corner that beggars are Once Lucy Barker has a host again, the
known to frequent, and to her shawl which first thing she will do is go out looking for a
she used to cover her head. When the girl like Johanna. She will solicit anyone she
police cornered the haunt's first host there meets with her cry of 'Alms, alms for a
in 1859, the haunt tried to flee, and the miserable woman'. Once she finds a girl
shawl caught on a passing carriage, who is exceptionally kind to her, she will
breaking its host's neck and binding the give the reticule to the girl, immediately
haunt to both the corner and the shawl, placing her under the geas. The first thing
where it rose again a week later. One of the the girl will do is realize that she is not in
police threw the shawl away when they the Judge's House and quickly start home.
took away the body and it's lain beneath a Once this happens, the old Beggar Woman
tree ever since. Somehow, it always finds its loses her focus. She is the most incoherent
way back. When any woman who is as pure of all the haunts. None of them remember
and virtuous as Lucy or Johanna Barker gets every part of what happened in 1846, but
too close to it, they are immediately Lucy Barker still can't even remember her
attacked by Mrs. Lucy Barker's haunt. The name. The poor woman's brain damage has
haunt will attack the person until the haunt followed her even into death. The haunt will
is destroyed, the person escapes or is still only remember certain people and
possessed, or the haunt forces or tricks the places. She will remember Judge Turpin,
person into grabbing the shawl. Once the Beadle Bamford, Johanna, and Mrs. Lovett,
host has it in her hand, Mrs. Lucy Barker is the Judge's house and the pie shop, but she
in complete possession of the host. She will won't remember what her own relationship
then cry out, 'ALMS, ALMS FOR A is to any of them. She never knew Tobias
MISERABLE WOMAN.' If the potential host is Ragg so she'll never recognize him. When

197
she sees Sweeney Todd, she remembers... all this decaying food attracts neither insect
something, but can't quite think of what it nor rodent and grows no mold. At the far
is. If she enters Todd's barber shop, she will end of the shop stands a counter with
flashback to her life as a young mother and various mixing bowls, plates, more decaying
even sing lullabies to the empty crib. If pies, a petrified lump of dough, a rolling
Benjamin and Lucy Barker were ever going pin, and a meat ax. In the deepest corner is
to recognize each other, they would a metal door to the basement where Mrs.
probably do it there. If someone besides Lovett had her bakehouse. Down the steps
Mrs. Lovett, either inside the cycle or is an unlit stone basement with a huge oven
outside it, were to figure out who the both big enough for a fully-grown person to
of them are, and were to attempt to inform stand in, which is connected to a chimney.
them both, the best place to do it would There's also a second set of steps that lead
definitely be the barber shop, though Mrs. down to large lift-able grates that open into
Lovett, if she knew, would do her best to the London sewers, and a large table for
prevent it. Lucy Barker will only remember butchery upon which sits an enormous meat
her purpose as a haunt once Todd and Mrs. grinder. On the upper level of the building is
Lovett begun their murder/meat pie an abandoned barber shop in which may be
business again, at which time, her purpose found a lavabo, a fancy chair, a mug for
will become to expose the terrible things suds, a leather strop, an apron, a towel, a
happening on Fleet Street. If the haunt pail, and a mop. If one were to thoroughly
succeeds in doing this, it will dissipate and search the room, a crib with a framed
release its host, rising again as a haunt a picture of a woman and a baby in it would
week later. Unfortunately for the host, the also be found, as would a leather case,
haunt will also sexually solicit every single within which may be found a set of straight
man she meets, which, depending on the razors with chased silver handles and blood
host and the men in question, may mean crusted blades. There's also a large blood
that some of them say yes. Luckily, the stain on the floor.
shawl doesn't smell too good and tends to
drive away prospective customers, but the Kearney's Lane
behavior can mark the host as a loose In this quiet residential street stands
woman for the rest of her life, assuming she another shunned place related to the one
survives. on Fleet Street. A fairly large two-story
house stands abandoned and avoided by all
Fleet Street who know of it. If explored, the first level
In Fleet Street stands an empty two- has a sitting room, a man's bedroom with a
story building which no Londoner will go closet full of suits and judicial robes, a
near, believing it haunted. Many don't know kitchen with no food (but fully stocked with
how true that is. On the lower level is an cooking equipment), a bathroom, a dining
abandoned pie shop in which may be seen a room, and a library with a collection of
slightly singed harmonium, just inside the books fairly evenly divided between law
door, and a long table surrounded by books and Victorian erotica. All the rooms
benches, which has the remains of half- are furnished. The second level contains a
eaten meat pies and mugs with various girl's bedroom and bathroom and a few
volumes of forgotten ale in them. Strangely, storage rooms. Perhaps the most peculiar
thing one might find on closer inspection

198
are several large birdcages smashed and killed by circumstances outside the cycle,
thrown into the fireplace. the corresponding haunt immediately knows
and goes out to find another person to put
Johanna and Anthony Hope the geas on as the cycle continues.
Now in their late 50s and early 60s,
respectively, Johanna and Anthony have led Beadle Bamford
a fairly happy life together since 1846. They Those under the Judge's geas believe
still have nightmares about the Asylum and themselves to be Beadle Bamford, who did
what they learned afterwards, but they're and does the main job of carrying out the
there for each other every night to comfort Judge's orders. He is quite easily flattered,
one another. They've even gone back a few but can also be quite cruel. He'll take sick
times to pray over the graves of Benjamin pleasure in giving a beating or in seeing the
and Lucy Barker, which Johanna ironically Judge rape a woman. He definitely shares
used her inheritance from the Judge to pay his master's depraved appetites. He is also
for. They've never told their children or pompous in his position and deeply loyal to
grandchildren about what happened. The the Judge.
two both agreed that it was more than they
needed to know. They want more than Johanna
anything to put the horrors of London The girl under the old Beggar Woman's
behind them. They've done their best to geas will believe herself to be Turpin's ward,
discourage both their children and Johanna. She is a spritely girl, full of
grandchildren from going to London and innocence, constantly yearning for freedom.
have been mostly successful, but children She fears and dreads the one she believes
are always curious about the forbidden. to be Judge Turpin, but loves Anthony
Their schoolmates and neighbors often hear deeply.
stories of opportunities in London for both
employment and marriage and are torn
Anthony Hope
between their own ambitions and the fearful The man or boy under Todd's geas will
stories their parents/grandparents tell them. believe himself to be Anthony Hope, the
Johanna and Anthony are on in years but sailor who rescued Todd/Barker at sea and
still spry enough to travel and if any of their became his friend. He will trust the man he
children or grandchildren were to find believes to be Todd implicitly and will love
themselves in trouble in London, Johanna the girl he believes to be Johanna deeply.
and Anthony would be very capable and He will go so far as to lay down his life for
willing, even desperate, to race to their them and fearlessly, but is a gentle soul,
rescue. and will balk at killing someone else.

Tobias Ragg
Those under geas The one under Mrs. Lovett's geas will
While the haunts will choose the first believe himself to be her employee, Tobias
person who reminds them of their (Toby) Ragg. He will have a childlike air
friends/servants for their geasan, people about him regardless of age. He will believe
who knew the hosts prior to the geas may that Mrs. Lovett's host rescued him from the
notice changes in their behavior. It depends cruel Barber, Adolfo Pirelli, and sees her as
on what relationships they maintain from his surrogate mother. He has similar
their original lives. If people under geas are

199
feelings initially for Todd, but has no idea
what the two are up to. As he slowly finds The Song
out, he'll try to blame it all on Todd and act If PCs can cultivate a relationship with
to get Mrs. Lovett away from him, at which people or even inmates at Fogg's asylum,
time she will take advantage of his they may gain access to these particular
innocence to keep him occupied until she clues. Different verses are sung at different
can get Todd to do away with him points in the cycle.
This verse is sung after Sweeney Todd's
host claims its first victim:
His hands were quick, his fingers strong
It stung a little but not for long
And those who thought him a simple clod
Were soon reconsidering under the sod
Consigned there with a friendly prod
From Sweeney Todd
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
See your razor gleam, Sweeney. Feel
how well it fits
As it floats across the throats of hypocrites
This one is sung after Todd and Mrs.
Lovett begin putting Todd's victims in pies:
His voice was soft, his manner mild.
He seldom laughed but he often smiled.
He'd seen how civilized men behaved.
He never forgot, and he never forgave.
Not Sweeney...
Not Sweeney Todd...
The Demon barber of Fleet Street
Lift your razor high! Sweeney! Hear it
singing! Yes!
Stick it in the rosy skin of righteousness!
The following is sung after Todd kills the
'Beadle':
The engine roared, the motor hissed,
And who could see how the road would
twist?
In Sweeney's ledger the entries matched:
A beadle arrived, and a beadle dispatched
To satisfy the hungry god
of Sweeney Todd,
The Demon Barber of Fleet. ..Street.

200
The rest of the verses are sung if
Sweeney Todd's host is killed or the cycle
completes and Todd's host is released:
His needs are few, his room is bare:
He hardly uses his fancy chair
The more he bleeds, the more he lives
He never forgets, and he never forgives
Perhaps today you gave a nod
To Sweeney Todd
The demon barber of Fleet Street
Sweeney wishes the world away
Sweeney's weeping for yesterday
Hugging the blade, waiting the years
Hearing the music that nobody hears
Sweeney waits in the parlor hall
Sweeney leans of the offices wall
No one can help, nothing can hide you--
Isn't that Sweeney there beside you?
Sweeney wishes the world away
Sweeney's weeping for yesterday
Is Sweeney! There he is, it's Sweeney!
Sweeney! Sweeney! There! There! There!
There! There! There! There! There!
Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd!
He served a dark and a hungry god!
To seek revenge may lead to hell
But everyone does it, though seldom as
well
As Sweeney
As Sweeney Todd
The Demon Barber of Fleet . . Street!

Author's Note:
Inspired by the famous musical. This
adventure can be very complex for a GM
with all the NPCs to keep track of, but a
theatrical GM might also use all of the other
Sondheim songs if they so choose. It all
depends on how ambitious the GM is. To
those who try, Break a leg.

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Open Game License v 1.0a © 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. System Reference Document
© 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc; Authors: Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams,
based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors
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Thompson, Peter Lee, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Sims, and Steve
Townshend, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
System Reference Document 5.1 Copyright 2016, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Mike
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