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 Ravenloft

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Zaylas



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MensajeTema: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:14 am

Bueno aqui les traigo un poco de informacion de este setting que en lo particular me gusta mucho porque las historias que hay tras cada personaje y la ambientacion de terror es genial. Cuidense de los poderes Oscuros.... espero les guste.
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MensajeTema: Re: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:20 am

Ravenloft, o "La tierra de la Niebla," como la conocen sus habitantes, no es una realidad natural. Sin embargo mantiene todas las caracteristicas encontradas en cualquier universo, y unas otras de mas.

La naturaleza de estos Reinos es una cuestion de misterios y supersticiones. Son Tierras Maldecidas que comparten sus limites una con otra. Diversos reinados con tantas semejanzas como diferencias comunes. La vida gira entorno a hermosos paisajes, extrañas costumbres y lenguas foráneas, pero sobre todo una tenebrosa y abrumadora fuerza paranormal que cobija todo lo existente: La Neblina.

Esta manifestacion singular es el elemento mas significante en esta realidad. Ravenloft es un demiplano ( lo que ello significa es otro asunto ). Las Nieblas son instrumento del augurio y el tiempo, ellas atrapan viajeros de este y otros mundos, tanto culpables como inocentes han sido atrapados por ellas; como estas actuen o lo que son realmente nadie lo sabe.

Lo que es definitivo a su respecto es la influencia que tienen sobre cualquier evento inexplicable que aqui suceda, aun cuando hallan actuado en referencia a algun acontecimiento del todo, pues el peso que tienen en la tradicion supersticiosa es validado por cualquier nativo con veracidad innegable.

Todo habitante de estas tierras sufre ciertamente un cruel destino, pues aqui en Ravenloft, el demiplano del terror, todos son prisioneros.

Origenes del demiplano


Ravenloft es el nombre de un castillo en los montes Balinok, en el condado de Barovia. Una tétrica y ruinosa construcción, que se cierne vigilante sobre el poblado que hay a sus pies. Monumento a la maldad de este lugar, da nombre a todo el Demiplano.

El demiplano de Ravenloft no puede ser entendido como un mundo normal. Las leyes naturales que rigen en otros lugares, como Toril, Oerth o Krynn, no son aplicables aquí, pues el Demiplano del Terror tiene su propia retorcida naturaleza.

Ravenloft frota en el corazón de las nieblas del Plano Etereo. Su materia y su forma están en continuo cambio, estirándose, menguando y retorciéndose siguiendo pautas que se encuentran fuera del entendimiento.

Así pues, no es de extrañar que en un principio no hubiera nada en Ravenloft y que sus perversas nieblas estuvieran vacias. Por tanto, la palabra "origen" tiene aquí mucho más sentido que en un los mundos del Material Primario...

Sin duda el hijo predilecto de la Tierra, Strahd von Zarovich, conde de Barovia, dio origen al Demiplano, con sus abominables actos de maldad. No hay mejor manera de describirlo que con sus propias palabras:

"Soy el Anciano, soy la Tierra. Mis orígenes se pierden en la oscuridad del pasado. Fue el guerrero, fui bueno y justo. Atroné por la tierra como la ira de un dios justo, pero los años de guerra y todas las muertes demenuzaron mi alma como el viento convierte la piedra en arena. Todo el bien se deslizó fuera de mi vida; descubrí que mi juventud y mi fuerza se habían ido, y que todo lo que quedaba era muerte.

Mi ejército se aposentó en el valle de Barovia y tomó el poder en nombre de los dioses, pero sin divina gracia o justicia. Llamé a mi familia, arrojada desde hacía mucho de sus antiguos tronos, y la traje aquí para que se aposentaran en el Castillo Ravenloft. Acudieron con un hermano mío más joven, Sergei. Era apuesto y juvenil. Yo lo odiaba por ambas cosas.

Sergei había elegido de entre las familias del valle una muchacha cuyo espíritu brillaba por encima de todos los demás: una rara belleza, que era llamada "perfección", "alegría" y "tesoro". Su nombre era Tatiana, y yo ansiaba que fuera mía. La amaba con todo mi corazón. La amaba por su juventud. La amaba por su alegría.

¡Pero ella me desdeño! "Viejo", era mi nombre para ella, y también "hermano". Su corazón fue hacia Sergei. Se comprometieron. Se fijó la fecha.

Con palabras me llamaba "hermano", pero cuando miraba dentro de sus ojos estos reflejaban otro nombre: "muerte". Era la muerte de la vejez lo que ella veía en mí. Amaba su propia juventud y gozaba de ella. Pero yo había malgastado la mía. La muerte que ella veía en mí la apartaba de mi lado. Y así empecé a odiar a la muerte, mi muerte. Mi odio era muy fuerte; no me dejaría llamar "muerte" mucho tiempo.

Y así hice un pacto con el propio Diablo, un pacto de sangre. El día de la boda, maté a Sergei, mi hermano. El pacto quedó sellado con su sangre.

Hallé a Tatiana llorando enel jardín al este de la capilla. Huyó de mí. No me dejó explicarme, y una gran ira creció dentro de mí. Tenía que comprender el pacto que había hecho por ella. La perseguí. Finalmente, desesperada, se arrojó desde las murallas de Ravenloft, y yo contemplé todo lo que siempre había deseado caer fuera de mi alcance para siempre.

Eran trescientos metros por entre la bruma, pero jamás se halló el menor rastro de ella. Ni siquiera sé cúal fue su destino final.

Las flechas de los guardias del castillo me atravesaron hasta el alma. Pero no morí. Como tampoco seguí viviendo. Me convertí en un muerto viviente, para siempre..."

Del Tomo de Strahd

La búsqueda de Tatiana atormenta a Strahd desde entonces, aunque esto, es otra historia que será contada en otro lugar. Lo que nos interesa ahora es que con estos actos, Barovia entro a formar parte del Demiplano.

Todo esto ocurrió en el año 350. El año actual es el 740, con lo que han pasado casi cuatro siglos. Nadie recuerda donde estuvo ubicada Barovia originalmente; la Tierra ha borrado todas las señales que pudieran situarla y susrrado palabras para adormecer la memoria de aquellos que pudieran recordarlo.

Una vez un dominio entra en el Demiplano del Terror, este se adapta completamente a la Tierra, de forma tal que, cualquiera que lo habite o lo visite pensará que siempre ha formado parte de Ravenloft.

Strahd es un personaje clave en el Demiplano. Es el primer lord oscuro, y, aunque hay otros más viejos que él, traidos de más allá de las brumas, es el Primer Vampiro.
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MensajeTema: Re: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:23 am

De Las brumas y Los poderes oscuros

¿Qué ímpia inteligencia dirige los acontecimientos del Demiplano? ¿Qué terrible fuerza configura los dominios de Ravenloft y ordena las brumas a su antojo? Porque detrás de cada acontecimiento, por minúsculo que sea, subyace una inteligencia terrorífica y malvada.

Se la ha dado en llamar los poderes oscuros, aunque realmente nada se sabe de ellos. También se suele hacer referencia a ellos como la Tierra, porque la identificación con el Demiplano es total.

Podría ser un dios desterrado de tierras lejanas, que tiene Ravenloft como parcela de poder. Podría tratarse del Mal en estado puro, un sumidero creado por todos los pensamientos oscuros, los crímenes desatados y las pasiones ocultas de la Humanidad. O podría ocurrir que todo fuera una simple coincidencia y que los poderes oscuros no existieran en absoluto.

Los sabios y eruditos jamás se pondrán de acuerdo sobre su verdadera naturaleza. Lo que si parece cierto es que, sean lo que sean, los poderes ocultos muestran un manifiesto interes por la maldad, tanto fuera como dentro de Ravenloft.

Aunque nunca hace tratos, nunca se manifiesta, aquellos predispuestos a hacer actos horribles son de su agrado, y los recompensan para que sigan por ese camino, hasta que, cuando gobiernan en un dominio de Ravenloft, ya es demasiado tarde para ellos. El orgulloso tirano se convierte en la más miserable de las víctimas de un poder enorme que le sobrepasa.
Ahora bien, Ravenloft, como todos los demás otros mundos, posee nieblas y vapores, que dificultan la visibilidad del marinero cuando navega por la costa y que llenan los valles más profundos de los territorios boscosos al amanecer.

Sin embargo, existe una bruma mucho más terrible, un vapor dotado de una terrible voluntad, movido por la mano de los oscuros poderes, y ante el que nadie puede escapar.

Lo que viene a continuacion es una presentacion relevante a aspectos mundanos para cualquier jugador de Ravenloft, son puntos de partida para establecer caracteristicas ordinarias de lo que representa el habitar en La Tierra de La Niebla. Cualquiera de las siguientes estadisticas definen generalmente a cualquier poblador.


En los Dominios de Terror, un hombre ordinario envejece hasta apenas pasados los 40, y usualmente son extraños los que han logrado llegar a los 60. Las mujeres por su lado, viven hasta los 50, y eso si no han fallecido dando a luz (8 de cada 10 mujeres perecen de esta manera). Los Infantes pasan de los 5 años la mitad de las veces (3 de cada 5 llegan a la adolecensia), y una joven adolescente ya se ha casado y esta embarazada entre los primeros 5 años de esta etapa.

Los recien nacidos son traidos al mundo desde sus hogares, en ocasiones con asistencia de una criada casera o cualquier familiar femenino. Una de estas mujeres tiene 60% de posibilidades de morir, ya sea debido al agotador ritmo de vida combinado con la malnutricion que es parte de la vida diaria, o de cualquier problema relacionado con el daño que conlleva dar a luz. Un bebe malformado puede que sea o no bautizado, esto antes de que sea dejado a morir afuera, o ahogado, o abandonado. El bebe sano dormira en la misma cama de su madre descansa y se le dara leche cada noche, hasta que cumpla dos años.

Durante el resto de la niñez aprenden los chicos a ser silenciosos frente a todos; la educacion familiar contiene duras reprimendas en ocasiones y la educacion escolar es algo inexistente. Al llegar a los 11 años apenas conocen labores caseras y valores morales aprendidos a traves de historias casuales narradas por sus familiares (desde luego basicas como no salir de noche ni hablar con extraños o caminar siempre en senderos).

La adolescencia masculina se desarrolla en los campos y aprendiendo responsabilidades regulares del que sea el negocio familiar. A los 15 es la mayoria de edad, esto implica ser adulto, crear familia o hacer las de aventurero, pero este camino es duro y macabro. En cuanto a las señoritas refiere, son educadas en al arte de manejar los hombres antes de que alcanzen los 13 años, donde estan listas para criar familia y tener un marido, alrededor de los 15 años ya han dado un niño a luz y estan con vida si han tenido suerte.

Como se ha dicho antes, la vida no alcanza muchos años. En ciertas locaciones los hombres a mitad de sus 40 y las mujeres a mediados de sus 30 se dejan perder en los bosques para ser victima de lo que disponga la suerte. Otros se envenenan, o mueren al dormir y hacer esto ultimo implica un respetado ritual para los que habitan en estas sociedades. La clase noble y la elite social le agregan unos 10 o 15 años de vida a estas estadisticas, y desde luego una mas productiva educacion en otros aspectos.

En fin, una corta vida con mucho trabajo y pocos feriados; usualmente los solsticios de verano e invierno, y talvez un par de dias religiosos. Contratiempos existenciales reducen ademas la poblacion, de 10 a 12 pobladores mensuales dejan de existir en cada reino por consecuencias inexplicables.

La Niebla de Ravenloft es la prisión definitiva, y rodea el Demiplano para que los condenados a vivir en él no puedan escapar. Pero la Niebla no se limita a retener. No solo es carcelero, sino también encarcelador.

Carprichósamente a veces, de forma selectiva otras, la Niebla arranca de sus mundos natales a ciertas criaturas, normalmente favoritos de los poderes oscuros, que quedan condenadas de por vida. Los infortunados no pueden evitar el viaje a Ravenloft, por mucho que intenten huir de los dedos brumosos.

El campesino gotico es supersticioso y el hombre ordinario encontrado en el "demiplano del terror" es muy propenso a asustarse, ocurrencias fortuitas tienden a asustar a la gente y atribuirlas a la Niebla no es suficiente para calmar los miedos. La siguiente entrega refiere a lo que se cree conforme a los Demihumanos en La tierra de la Niebla.

Al jugar en este modulo muchos jugadores seleccionan todo tipo de razas, las encontradas dentro del manual del jugador son aceptadas y cualquier raza "poderosa" puede usarse, sin embargo para jugar en "Ravenloft" es mejor limitar la seleccion desde el comienzo. La mas productiva y conveniente eleccion para un jugador en un modulo gotico es el humano; no trae muchos problemas realmente. Pero cualquier "demi-humano" debe sufrir otras tribialidades: cosas como golpizas y acusaciones, pedradas sinnnúmero, infinidad de linchamientos o palizas, prohibiciones, denegaciones en permisos, intercambios o negocios y ventas rehusados...en fin cualquier perjuicio aplicable e inmaginable puede provenir de las gentes.

Esto es lo que creen:

• Hadas, duendes y trolls roban pequeños y los reemplazan con malos trueques.

• Dedos anulares mas largos que indices, cejas que se unen sobre la mirada, abundancia de cabello corporal, orejas puntiagudas y caninos excesivamente largos son señal de licantropia.
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• Largos y delicados dedos, piel pálida o blanquezina y orejas puntiagudas acompañadas de sombrios detalles señalan a cualquier vampiro.

• Un troll es un gran hombre malformado con asperas cualidades, largo y grasoso cabello de grandes manos. Un mediano tiene piel humana, pero el verdadero troll la tiene verdosa y ambos lucen oscuros y profundos ojos.

• Los gnomos son pequeñas criaturas de buen corazón, miden apenas 4 pulgadas y se visten de azul con sombreros conicos rojos. Los enemigos jurados de los trolls ellos son, y hacen lo mejor que pueden para proteger a los humanos.

• Los elfos son pequeñas hadas que habitan an pequeños montículos rodeados por un circulo de hongos, se les vera bailando y la musica de sus instrumentos llama a los viajeros distraidos a sus circulos, de donde nunca vuelven. Los elfos cuidan celosamente sus bosques y usualmente encuentran desagradables a los humanos, pero sin embargo los apoyan cuando es necesario.

• Los enanos, tambien llamados "detractores," pequeñas criaturas del tamaño de un niño con masiva musculatura, solo visten en sus largas barbas. Ellos viven entre las minas, roban las mejores gemas y emboscan mineros por la espalda con sus mazos. Invitan viajeros a cavernas que desploman con sus mazos y se comen sus victimas.

Como es notable, las creencias anteriores llevan a la desventaja social del demihumano en particular, el denotar la capacidad de ver en la noche o alguna virtud extraña puede despertar rumores entre las personas. Esto puede causar para ellos duras consecuencias como ser colgado, desconfianza de sus camaradas o incremento en el precio de casi todo bien (si no es que se hacen inaccesibles).

Cualquier señal de violencia será duramente afrontada, colgar o quemar al individuo es una viable solucion. Solo largas asociaciones con humanos o asistencia a largo plazo con ellos va a permitir paz para los demihumanos. Pero siempre habra desconfianza. A la larga, un demihumano viajando con humanos por ejemplo, apenas sobrevive. Pero lo hace con la suficiente desencia para no ser maltratado del todo.

Desde luego que lo presentado aqui arriba señala como maneja la sociedad las relaciones interraciales. Pero siempre existe la excepción y sobra decir que en una region tan significante encontremos lugares donde las gentes sean menos ariscas, o donde esten mas acostumbradas a tratar con demihumanos.
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MensajeTema: Re: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:33 am

Strahd von Zarovich

A man of noble birth, Strahd spent much of his life serving causes of goodness and law, most notably as a warrior and leader of armies. Years of such service took their toll upon him however, and by the time he reached middle age, Strahd came to believe he had squandered his life and his youth. With this dark mood upon him, he came to conquer the region known as Barovia, and assumed lordship there, taking as his residence the pre-existing castle known as Ravenloft. From this position of power and security, he called for members of his family "long unseated from their ancestral thrones" to join him, including a younger brother named Sergei.

Some time after this reunion, the Count himself fell in love with a young Barovian woman, Tatyana, though she rejected his affections in favor of the younger Sergei. Filled with despair and jealousy, and brooding a growing hatred for Sergei, Strahd sought magical means to restore his youth. In a moment of desperate frustration, he "made a pact with death - a pact of blood." On the day of Sergei and Tatyana's wedding, Strahd murdered his brother and pursued the grieving Tatyana until she flung herself from the walls of Ravenloft. Strahd himself was shot down by the arrows of the castle guard. Even so, he did not die, but went on to rule the land of Barovia as a vampire.

Strahd has ruled his domain for the longest of any darklord, and as such his knowledge of the workings of Ravenloft are without equal. When Strahd chooses to close the borders of his lands, poisonous mists arise and suffocate anyone attempting to pass through them. There are only two ways to avoid the poisonous fog: immunity to poison (magic does not help, but creatures that are innately immune to poison, like elementals, constructs, and undead, have nothing to fear), or by ceasing the attempt to escape. In addition, the Vistani know a secret antidote which renders the drinker immune to the closed border. This fog permanently rings the village of Barovia as well.

Strahd's curse is that although he is absolute lord and master of Barovia, to the point where he can enter private homes unbidden because he owns them, once every generation he will meet a woman whom he believes is Tatyana reincarnated. He always tries to woo her, but the scene of his damnation is replayed, and the woman inevitably dies.

Strahd is perhaps the most difficult of all darklords to face. His mastery of necromancy is so great he has produced a kind of "super-zombie," one that is capable of seeing invisible, regenerating like a troll and whose appendages continue to fight on when severed.

Strahd has had to battle at least two darklords who had entered his domain in the past; Azalin Rex the lich, and Lord Soth the death knight.

While Strahd realized that he could defeat Azalin physically but when it came to a contest of magic, it was clear who was the stronger among the two. It was made known when one of Azalin's experiment exploded and both he and Strahd were knocked unconscious. Strahd awoke first and saw Azalin as he truly was; a lich, due to Azalin's illusion being dispelled when Azalin was knocked unconscious. Also, when Azalin was transported by the Mist to his own land, it was mentioned that Azalin's domain of Darkon was much bigger than Barovia. The size of the domain is in a way linked to the power of the darklord, although this is not a predictable or linear relationship, as many inarguably (in terms of power) weaker darklords have domains that are similar in size to Barovia. A more accurate description of domain size might be that the domain of a darklord reflects that darklord; the size may be a reflection of force of personality, narrowness of focus, raw power or even simply a facilitation of the darklord's curse - as in Barovia, where Strahd's intimate knowledge of his lands facilitates his search for the newest incarnation of his lost love.

When Lord Soth was in Barovia, Strahd realized Soth's power as truly a match for his the moment he arrived in Castle Ravenloft. Armies of Strahd's servants fell before Lord Soth and the havoc and damage caused by Lord Soth caused even Strahd to waver. To be rid of Lord Soth from Barovia, Strahd had to give Lord Soth that which Lord Soth was searching for; the traitorous retainer Caradoc, for fear of Lord Soth causing more damage to his beloved land.
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MensajeTema: Re: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:37 am

Rudolph van Richten

Rudolph van Richten was born in the year 671 in Rivalis, Darkon. He spent most of his early childhood in the family estate of Richten Hous, picking up the typical education of a noble as well as learning herbalism from his grandmother. He eventually attended a boarding school in Nartok, graduating in 688. Medical school at the University of Il Aluk followed. He married his childhood sweetheart during this time, and his son - Erasmus - was born shortly before his graduation.

Medical license in hand, Dr. van Richten returned to Rivalis to practice medicine. Many years passed, and van Richten became an established and valued member of the community. In the year 706, members of the Vistani Radanavich clan that were traveling through the area brought a seriously ill boy to Dr. van Richten for treatment. Though the doctor tried numerous remedies and medicines, he was unable to save the child. Enraged at his failure, the Vistani kidnapped Dr. van Richten's son and disappeared into the night. The doctor gave chase immediately upon learning of his son's disappearance, following the Vistani into Ravenloft's enchanted mists.

While evil lurks in all corners of the land, rarely is it as powerful as it is in the gloom of the mists. Van Richten soon found himself followed by shambling horrors - undead guardians that eventually guided him through the mists and to the Vistani camp. There, supported by the undead creatures that seemed to know his will even though no words were spoken, van Richten confronted the Vistani leader, Madame Radanavich. A woman far too proud for her own good, she was enraged that she had been hunted down. The Vistani callously revealed that the clan had already sold Erasmus to Baron Metus - a sadist whose cruelty was legendary. The Vistani delighted in telling van Richten about the pains the Baron would inflict on his son - both in this life and the next. For it was rumored that Metus worked the dark arts...

Van Richten exploded into a frenzy of violence. Somehow attuned to his rage, the undead guardians that had followed him to the camp also attacked, slaughtering the Vistani. With her dying words, the clan's leader cursed Van Richten to live amongst the monsters and watch all those he loved die by their claws. Snapped out of his rage by her demise, van Richten rode towards where he felt his son would be - and ended up at the estate of Baron Metus.

When the anguished father arrived at the estate, he found himself unable to penetrate its walls and rebuffed by the Baron's servants. Unable to figure out another course of action, he camped near the property. When night fell, he was visited by his son - or what remained of him. Baron Metus was, in fact, a vampire - and had turned Erasmus into one of his dark minions. With what little free will he had left, Erasmus told his true father what little he knew of his condition. Van Richten, filled with sorrow, was able to dispatch his son with the coming dawn.

Demoralized, Van Richten began the journey back home. The mists, however, were not as cooperative as before, and the path took much longer. When he arrive back at his house, he discovered the body of his wife. She had been slaughtered by Baron Metus, who had used his powers and the mists to get ahead of van Richten. His sanity driven away, van Richten sworn an oath to destroy Metus and all his kind, then charged back to the vampire's estate. Using the tales he had learned in his childhood and the knowledge the encounter with his unliving son had imparted to him, he was able to end the Baron's existence permanently. Thus began Rudolph van Richten's career as a vampire hunter and expert on the supernatural.

Van Richten always carries a holy symbol, a vial of holy water, a small mirror, a silver dagger, and a wooden stake. When hunting prey, he carries other appropriate items, too. He rarely faces an opponent in direct combat, preferring to outwit the evil creatures and use their inherent weaknesses against them.

Bueno aqui unas palabras del heroe pero en español...

"Durante la mayor parte de mi vida he luchado contra la oscuridad que impregna esta terrible tierra. El Mal tiene muchas formas, y difícil es estar prevenido contra todas ellas. He estudiado cuales son sus métodos, pero también cuales son sus debilidades.

Soy Rudolf Van Ritchen. Para muchos este nombre les resultará conocido, y aunque yo jamás he buscado esta inmerecida fama, el ser conocido por otros que, como yo, sufren en esta maldita tierra, es algo que me llena de esperanzas. Durante años, he luchado contra las horribles monstruosidades que corrompen y destruyen todo hálito de bien y bondad en este mundo, contra las criaturas que, muchos años ha, me arrebataron a mi propio hijo. Pocas veces el éxito ha sido pleno, siempre acompañado de amargura y pesar.

A todos aquellos que leen estos viejos pergaminos, les advierto. ¡La lucha contra el Mal solo es posible para los más fuertes en fe y espíritu! El Mal nos tienta sutilmente, inclinándonos hacia sus dominios, corrompiéndonos desde el interior a través de nuestras propias virtudes. No, solo los que son suficientemente fuertes tienen alguna posibilidad de éxito. Si albergas alguna duda, en tu alma o en tu corazón, no sigas leyendo esto.

Muchos son los secretos que poseo sobre la Tierra y sus mortíferos habitantes. Y al hablar de la Tierra no lo hago con en el mismo sentido que un rey habla de sus dominios, o un labrador del suelo que le sustenta con su alimento. La Tierra, y este es el primero de estos secretos, es una entidad viviente y sintiente, dotada de una poderosa, sutil y abyecta inteligencia. El Mal puro, aquello que sustenta este terrible lugar, la fuente de toda iniquidad y perversión; con todo esto se identifica la Tierra.

Mucho sé sobre los hijos de la Tierra, aquellos que reinan en este lugar oscuro, los hijos predilectos de la noche. Con solo esta pluma y varios pergaminos más, podría hacer mucho más daño que con la más afilada espada y el más poderoso de los conjuros. Pero la herida infligida sería demasiado dolorosa para la Tierra. Si revelara todo lo que sé sobre los señores de los dominios, lo cual es mucho más de lo que los que creen conocerme suponen, no solo pondría en peligro mi vida, sino la de cientos de personas inocentes que tendrían que ser sacrificadas para mantener ocultas las terribles verdades. No, los más horribles de los secretos deben permanecer en la oscuridad que los ha engendrado.

Sin embargo, no has de atacar al mal en ese campo. Es su terreno, lo que mejor domina y persiguiendo a los señores de los dominios con la única intención de destruirlos solo ocasionaras tu propia destrucción, consumiéndote en una hoguera de odio y frustración, o algo peor, acabar convertido en uno de ellos.

El golpe más contundente que puede asestarse a la Tierra es escapar de ella, huir de sus largos dedos de niebla. Me refiero al sueño de todos lo que aquí estamos atrapados en esta tierra de pesadilla: escapar de Ravenloft."
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MensajeTema: Re: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:43 am

Azalin Rex

As an undead wizard, Azalin's true appearance resembles a skeleton or mummy. In his everyday appearance, however, Azalin maintains the illusion of a live king, closely mimicking his late-life persona: an elderly man with aquiline features and a piercing gaze, with unkempt dark hair topped by a heavy iron crown. However, he can alter his appearance to resemble many humanoid individuals, even that of a different race or gender. Perhaps as a result of this in-game flexibility, official portrayals of Azalin differs greatly from artist to artist, much more so than portrayals of characters such as Lord Soth or Strahd von Zarovich.

Early life

Firan Zal'honan was born in the earldom of Knurl, a city-state in the eastern Flanaess. As the second of three sons of Lord Turalitan Zal'honan, his political future was decidedly dim from his birth, and he spent much of his childhood overlooked by his parents. From an early age, Firan demonstrated a keen intelligence, marked with a distaste for his fellow men and their deviation from discipline and order—a revulsion that manifested itself in self-loathing several times for his own perceived weaknesses. Firan respected his father's strict rulership, as well as the prior claim to succession exercised by his older brother Ranald, but disliked his father's superstitions and his bans against magic. Perhaps in a display of rebellion, Firan entered the underworld of Knurl's mages, studying under the wizard Quantarius.

As a youth, Firan seems to desire control over others and of himself above all else, although he also is given to angry outbursts and quick decisions which he later comes to regret. Even into his later lichhood and rulership status, these attributes recur, painting the portrait of a ruler demanding fealty and promising order, but secretly and constantly frustrated by the failings of his fellow men and of himself.

The only family member he loved without reservation was his younger brother, Irik. Where Firan was quick to anger and slow to forgive, Irik was the opposite. Firan pursued his studies and thirsted after knowledge, but occasionally displayed an inability or ignorance of the potential repercussions. The death of Irik would prove a telling example: At 15, Firan summoned a demon that broke loose from his power and killed Irik. Firan's actions caused his father to expel Quantarius from the city, and Firan chose to follow him into exile, continuing his studies. In time, he would learn magics that few other mages could master (and which are actually largely beyond reach of normal D&D characters): he could permanently heal himself by stealing others' life forces, he could read minds and steal magical information—completely learning new spells with a thought, he could extend his own life by draining the vitality of enemies.

Rulership of Knurl

Ranald Zal'honan died as a result of a dissipate and gluttonous lifestyle, and Firan returned to his home, assuming the seat of power and ruling as "Azal'Lan," or wizard-king. His credits include reversing the decline that Knurl suffered under Ranald's reign, and returning it to economic and military significance. Also, under his reign, magic once again became an important part of Knurl's daily life.

Firan swore allegiance to the distant Malachite Throne of the Great Kingdom, but conducted many unsanctioned military campaigns against the surrounding tribes, adding handsomely to Knurl's holdings. His reign was marked by prosperity and growth, but also by violence and dissent from the conquered tribes.

Firan was 60 when he married, as his life-extending spells started to fail and he needed an heir. His loveless marriage took 18 years to produce a son, with some saying his wife even sought magical wards against bearing his child. Olessa died in childbirth, cursing him. Firan named his son Irik, after his brother—but the name would carry greater resonance. His son inherited the kindness and generosity of Firan's brother, and would not follow his father's harsh footsteps, a trait Firan saw as weakness. When Irik was caught freeing political prisoners, Firan was faced with a choice: to pardon his son, or to kill him. In accordance with his own laws and as a symbol of his strict devotion to them, Firan not only permitted the execution but wielded the headsman's blade himself.

Although this act impressed upon his citizens the strictness of his rule, Firan himself was plagued with doubts over his own actions. He became obsessed alternately with finding a means to live forever, or finding a means to bring his son back from the dead to try to train him anew. As he lamented his failure as a father, a dark and nameless force presented him with the secret of lichdom.

Firan shed his mortality and changed his official title to Azal'Lan, ruling for 60 more years. During this time, Knurl became a major power in the Flanaess, even daring to renounce fealty to the Malachite Throne. Azal'Lan's military and trade power began to infringe on the territories of surrounding kingdoms, who sought ways to eliminate Azal'Lan. Assassins and armies alike seemed unable to topple him, but the course of his downfall would come from the minor tribes he had defeated early in his reign.

Azal'Lan was finally lured out of his defenses by the promise of a new magical spell that could allow a mage to restore true life to a corpse. Blinded by his hopes for restoring his son, Azal'Lan went forth with a small retinue of guards, and was then ambushed by a group of mercenaries. Fleeing their pursuit, he entered a dense fog to lose them. He was never to see Knurl again.

Arrival in Ravenloft

He appeared in Barovia, whose inhabitants called him "Azalin" upon hearing his name. Continuing in his insatiable quest for knowledge, he terrorized several local boyars searching for magical texts. During this time, he apparently discovered something similar to the life restoration spell he sought, but whether he could learn it at all is unclear (see Memory anomalies below).

It was not long before he drew the attention—and grudging respect—of the domain's dark lord. Trapped in Barovia and suffering from a strange malady that prevented him from learning new spells Azalin entered into an uneasy alliance with Strahd. Azalin, who was a more powerful spell caster than the vampire, would instruct Strahd in the magic arts in exchange for his help in Azalin's experiments which were aimed at returning the lich lord to his own plane. This collaboration led to the first concerted attempt to break through the misty border surrounding Barovia and escape using an apparatus of Azalin's design.

This attempt resulted in the pair arriving in the outworld realm of Mordent, which bore striking similarities to the town of Whitby in Britain, also a setting for Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. There, the Apparatus split Strahd's personality into good and evil manifestations: Alchemist and Creature respectively. Azalin's role in this adventure (House on Gryphon Hill) appears to be largely observational. The Alchemist and Creature's attempts to destroy each other caused the escape attempt to fail, and forced Mordent into joining the Demiplane of Ravenloft.

Memory anomalies

After the failed Mordent incident, the already-tense relation between Azalin and Strahd frayed further. When the domain of Mordent actually appeared beyond Barovia's borders, Azalin deduced that the Misty Border of Ravenloft might hold other lands, free from Strahd's authority. He entered the mists alone, and emerged in a realm of his own: Darkon.

Here, the exact nature of Azalin's existence is unclear, on two counts. The first count is the issue of a personality split—one source (King of the Dead, a canonical novel) maintains that a traveling wizard named Firan appeared at the border, while an undead lich-like creature named Darcalus materialized in Darkon's central castle, Avernus. Firan, a just and good adventurer, eventually sought out the depraved tyrant Darcalus and confronted him, rather as the Alchemist Strahd and the Creature Strahd did in Mordent. However, few other Ravenloft products refer to this (although they do not explicitly contradict it). According to King of the Dead, Firan stumbled about Darkon with no memory, and did not regain his memory until he defeated Darcalus, whereupon the undead essence merged with his own and made him Azalin once again. The novel also depicts his rage at realizing he had come so close to escaping his despicable undead state as well as the burdens of rulership.

The second count is the question of Azalin's memory. As with many Darklords, Azalin suffers a curse tailored to his personality, granted by the The Dark Powers of Ravenloft. In this case, one dimension of his curse is the inability to learn any new magic at all—a crippling blow to any wizard, and downright unbearable for a lich, especially one who has knowingly sacrificed his living self so he can pursue new magics for all eternity. All sources cite this handicap, but they disagree on the time it manifested. Some sources, including King of the Dead, imply that he could not learn new magic from the moment he arrived in Barovia (such as the resurrection spell he found); others, such as the Gazetteers and campaign setting books, imply he must have been able to learn new magic while helping Strahd penetrate the Demiplane's magical secrets. The fact that he invented Bone Golems and Zombie Golems during his time with Strahd suggests that he had some ability to innovate after arriving in Ravenloft. I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin maintains that the curse struck Azalin immediately upon entering Barovia, and that the lich tutored Strahd in the arcane arts. Azalin had the vampire lord learn and cast any spells that Azalin devised but could not personally master.

What is certain is that by the time he assumed lordship of Darkon, his curse was firmly in place. Also, a similar curse strikes all travelers to Darkon, who eventually lose their memories and gain false memories of a lifetime spent in Darkon within three months' time. Azalin's domicile, Castle Avernus, houses the Book of Names—a magical tome that records these true memories as they are lost—and it is implied that Azalin himself only rediscovered his true past after reading the book.

Rulership of Darkon

After a few years spent assembling the Kargat secret police, Azalin prepared for a massive invasion of Barovia to unseat his nemesis. The invasion was thwarted by Strahd's minions, who struck at the Kargat leadership and disrupted Azalin's chain of command. Afterwards, the effort of rebuilding the Kargat, and the appearance of intervening domains such as Falkovnia, put an end to Azalin's military interest in Barovia.

Azalin's rule over Darkon was absolute: all political, military, and Kargat matters ultimately reported to him. His rule was strictly lawful to the point of ruthlessness, but based in large part on deception—both in terms of Azalin's illusion of being a mortal king, and also in the artificial docility that his civilians displayed, thanks to their false memories. However, this concentration of power has its weaknesses, especially when Azalin has demonstrated several times his willingness to abandon his people and realm at a moment's notice if it means a chance of escape from Ravenloft.

Militarily, Azalin recognizes the futility of attempting to extend his borders through conquest. In defense, too, he has little to fear. On no fewer than four occasions, the neighboring country of Falkovnia to the south has declared war, and Azalin's mastery of undead has easily repulsed their soldiers.

Escape attempts

In the last 30 years, Azalin has tried to escape Ravenloft twice more.

The first attempt was in manipulating the Grand Conjunction, wherein he sent powerful heroes back in time to steal key artifacts from the formation of Ravenloft. Azalin's actions split the Demiplane open, freeing all the Darklords to terrorize other worlds. However, his hatred for Strahd proved to be his undoing: Azalin returned to face his nemesis, giving the heroes their chance to reverse the Grand Conjunction and reform the prison of Ravenloft once more. Some Darklords escaped permanently; Azalin and Strahd were not among their number.

(The actual history of the Grand Conjunction involves six tenuously-related adventures, tied together by a poetic hexad. Later source materials claimed Azalin's flaw was to disrupt the verse order of the hexad's last two couplets, although the "correct" order of the verses themselves frequently changes from product to product.)

Azalin then initiated a side project aimed at circumventing his magical curse: he magically impregnated various women with clones of himself, then tried to harvest the clones' magical knowledge when they reached adulthood after a childhood of magical tutelage. Although this experiment failed, it did result in the creation of Lowellyn Dachine, a clone (of sorts) of Azalin, and an important figure in later day Darkon.

He then toiled for 10 years in creating his "doomsday device", which would turn him into a demilich and allow his immaterial essence to escape. The prototype device turned Lowellyn Dachine into a negative planar elemental known only as Death.

The second and full application of the machine caused the Requiem, killing all life in Il Aluk, the capital city, and shattering Azalin's essence across Darkon. He remained in that state for five years before pulling himself together and taking over the corpse of his son, which had been lying in Castle Avernus for almost two hundred years. To this date, Irik's spirit haunts Azalin, reminding him constantly of his actions and urging his father towards redemption. Needless to say, Azalin gives this counsel limited heed.

During his absence, Il Aluk became an undead Necropolis, ruled by Death, and his Kargat lieutenants ran amok. Mortal agents loyal to Azalin helped to foil usurpation attempts by a rebel Kargat leader (Tavelia) and also by the new ruler of Il Aluk, Death. Although reinstalled as ruler of Darkon, Azalin's current concerns are the re-centralization of his power, the elimination of rebel Kargat officers, and the future of Necropolis, whose mere existence is a daily challenge to his own power.

Current sketch

Today, Azalin's experiments seem to focus on more than just escape. The lich lord appears to have recovered some limited ability to expand his knowledge ever so slightly, by formulating new magic as long as it is strongly related to knowledge he already has—though this process apparently takes much longer than for a human mage. He also has gained several salient powers, including the ability to look into the mind, and alter the memories of, anybody in Darkon. His control over undead is still absolute, with no apparent limit to the number or power of slaves thus controlled, and his spellcasting largely seen as being second to none.

Azalin's phylactery is an enormous golden dragon skull, which is almost immovably heavy. It also appears near indestructible. His dependence on it may be equal to or even less than most liches—some sources maintain that he will be instantly killed if it is destroyed, while others imply that he will survive as long as his physical body is not destroyed along with it. Like most liches, Azalin is extremely protective of his true name, although whether this is out of any true weakness (perhaps to spells such as Trap the Soul, which require the true name to be spoken) is debatable.

Currently, Azalin has commissioned the services of a scholar to travel and research the domains of Ravenloft. Speculation indicates that he is still searching for a method to escape Ravenloft. According to several products released recently, his current plan to escape Ravenloft involves discovering a method to undo the magical bonds tying the Dukkar, Malocchio Aderre, to the domain of Invidia. Once free, Malocchio would have the ability to travel freely within and outside the plane of Ravenloft, unstoppable to the Dark Powers and, most importantly, able to take even darklords with him. As well as finding a method to free the Dukkar, Azalin is also working towards making a deal with (or enslaving) Malocchio to ensure that he will allow Azalin to return to the world of Oerth.
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MensajeTema: Re: Ravenloft   Dom Jun 20, 2010 12:49 am

Vistani
The Vistani are a race of mystical Gypsies native to the Ravenloft.

-Vistani are capable of controlling the Mists of Ravenloft, which allows them to transport themselves anywhere they desire without the risk of the Mistway drifting. They are the only beings who can enter the Mists and be guaranteed of exiting where they want, though the Dark Powers can always affect this.

-Vistani possess a powerful wanderlust, and cannot stay within a mile of a given point for more than a week before suffering a condition called "Static Burn," where the Vistani is afflicted with an illness resembling the flu or a fever. When this occurs, the Vistani has between 2 and 7 days to cross the necessary ground or permanently lose all of their mystical powers, becoming an outcast known as a mortu, which translates roughly as "Living Dead."

-Vistani possess powerful, innate magical abilities, most of which bear great resemblance of sorcery as well as three unique abilities: Curse Potency, the Evil Eye and the Sight. Curse Potency is self-explanatory: curses in Ravenloft have great power, and the curses of Vistani are more likely to come true. The Evil Eye is the ability to mystically blight another person's luck, whilst the Sight is powerful divination magic, allowing them to predict the future. The Sight is only allowed to exist amongst Vistani women; it does occur in Vistani men, but any male babe detected to have the Sight is slain.

-There are several unique ranks in the Vistani: Raunie is the title of the female Vistani in the camp with the most power in the Sight. A Darkling is a Vistani criminal who has been cast out from the tribe, they hate and are hated by Vistani. A Dukkar is a male Vistani born with the Sight who has grown to adulthood. Such a being will inevitably bring great suffering to the Vistani. The only Dukkar alive is a half-fiend who rules the domain of Invidia (but is not the darklord for that domain). The Vistani who wrote the prophecy foretelling the Grand Conjunction was inferred to be a dukkar.
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