Domain of the Month
Dementlieu info in 3e: RL3E / RLPH, Gaz 3. In second edition: Black Box (Realm of Terror), Red Box (RL Campaign Setting), Domains of Dread. Adventures: Chilling Tale (Taskmaster's leash). Novels: Tales of Ravenloft (The Vanished Ones).
Igor the Henchman
A famous explorer has recently returned from a dangerous expedition, bringing with him a bizarre monster he had captured. The creature – a dark naga, an evil genie, a demon or even dragon – has in fact let itself to be captured willingly, and, once it finds itself in the strange city of men, it escapes, more than ever hungry for human flesh…
Rumours tell of a great museum of Port-a-Lucine being haunted. In truth, the structure has been claimed as lair by a hungry pack of mimics. The evil creatures now use the museum as their hunting ground, dragging lonely innocents into their nest to be devoured.
Yaoi Huntress Earth
You could play with the aspects of psychological horror with Jean-Pierre Theroux's growing depression. When a foreign artist who is disgusted with how art that is truly meaningful and thought-provoking is being silenced exhibits a cruel and mocking portrait of Jean-Pierre at a salon, the PCs are left to help resemble the shattered pieces of the nobleman's sanity. For extra fun, throw in the Nightmare Lands wanting a piece of him.
Dominic's son is growing up to be quite the young man. It would be a shame if Jacqueline Renier's Becoming Plague were to claim him as a victim.
A madman is stalking and murdering beggars and other unfortunates who lived in Port-a-Lucine's slums district. Examination of the corpses shows the injuries were performed by a massive slashing weapon like a cleaver or an axe, and that the hits were directed to draw as much blood as possible. Also, all the killings were performed on soil rather than paved roads and were only performed in a certain part of the slums in the shape of a perfect square.
The truth is that the madman is a former Gendarme, driven insane by visions telling him to turn the slums' soil red with blood. As the blood is seeping below the earth it enters the crypt of an ancient, monstrous Vampire (at least of Eminent age category) driven into torpor by hunters in the domain's false history, who lay dead but dreaming for centuries.
As he feasts on the blood of the slain he slowly rejuvenates his devastated body, and only 2 people need to be murdered before he finally wakes up and unleashes his evil upon the unsuspecting world, an evil neither Dominic nor the Brain can hope to stop at their own. The murderer must be stopped in time and the PCs better discover the Vampire's crypt (well-guarded by magical traps and undead sentinels) and destroy him before he drowns Port-a-Lucine in blood.
Wiccy of the Fraternity
In the alleys a series or brutal killing are taking place, each time a body is found, parts of it are missing. The culprit has been suspected of being many things from a Ghoul to a madman who feasts on the flesh of his victims. Michelle LaBeau has recently taken to hosting extravagant dinner parties for a select few among societé, serving a host of unusual and imported meats. Those who eat this rare and expensive flesh have found themselves more vigorous and far healthier and stronger than they were before. Is a connection between these two seemingly separate acts?
The Butcher down the road was always a pleasant man, offering small pieces of meat to those who were destitute, but no one was it coming when he finally flipped after chopping up one to many sides of beef. They said he attacked a rude customer and killed all he met before the constabulary brought him down. They said he had Brain Poisoning. his shop has stood empty ever since, no one will live there, not with the strange noises of a meat being chopped at all hours of the days and night.
Stefanie Nagestsi is a wonderful, charming and joyous young woman, but she fears what chases her. Her twin brother, who was taken to be a vampire's bride and now he follows his sister wishing to give her the same gift he was granted. Stefanie would sail out to the islands but she fears the water as much as she fears her bother and she suffers from minor skin irritations from entering the sunlight, forcing her to spend only limited times outdoors during sunny weather. her favourite spot in the garden are the rose bushes, her she feels very close to the owners of the manor she now stays at while they tour the more barbaric eastern domains. Stefanie has recently become more paranoid of her brother's chase after killings where bodies are left drained of blood have begun in the badder parts of town.
The unthinkable has happened: Marcel Guignol, Lord Governor of Dementlieu, has died...of natural causes!
As the intelligentsia cries fowl, one of the non-Obedient members of the Council of Brilliance is appointed (by emergency vote) Acting Lord Governor (and it's not Dominic D'Honaire). A surface vacuum of power is thus set off, as the Darkord of Dementlieu must decide what to do next; to accept rulership of his domain publicly would arouse to much suspicion. A new Councillor must be appointed. The intricate web of alliances and manipulations d'Honaire has set in place have begun to fray at this unexpected turn of events.
The Brain, crimelord of Port-a-Lucine, begins machinations for the ultimate coup: to place one of his own agents on the Council of Brilliance to further toy with d'Honaire's mind.
Vlad Drakov also takes notice, and sends emissaries to find out if the rumours are true: Dementlieu is in chaos. An invasion force of Talons is placed on alert. Drakov finally believes that, with the death of the very visible 'leader' of the nation of fops will be finally ground under his heel, giving him access to more advanced weaponry he has long coveted. Dementlieu's traditional allies are touchy and refuse to commit themselves until the truth of the matter is solved.
Player characters could be contacted with a number of elite factions within Dementlieuse society who want the true story about the Lord Governor's death. Higher profile investigators such as Alanik Ray are passed over for less well-known, expendable (should the wrong information be discovered) foreigners, not tied to local police.
What the player character discover might mean the well-being of one of the most culturally significant domains of the Core, or its destruction.
Wiccy of the Fraternity
The growing number of raving homeless is on the climb, the sanatoriums are quickly filling and the number of the insane seem impossibly endless. The only clue is an insane man who claims to have escaped from an island inhabited by strange monsters with heads that look like octopi. He has been seen leaving the scenes where several have suddenly become insane. A renowned telepath under the order of the Council of Brilliance was sent to track down this madman but was in turn found hugging himself in the gutter, utterly insane and screaming delusions of a world inhabited with squidmen. Agents from Dominia have recently arrived in Port-a-lucine showing interest in rounding up this lunatic before his madness spreads to far, but their motives appear far less than noble.
Dementlieu has an RMR of 5. That means that the DC to resist spells gets a +2 and the saves against spells recieve a -2. So an adventure hook for low level characters could be:
In a village in Dementlieu with about 400 people, everything seems right. The people work the fields, the sheriff and 4 guards keep the peace, the mayor sends the taxes regularly to the noble family he serves etc. Until a beautiful woman arrives in the town along with her husband. She poses as a rich merchant but she is in fact a 3rd level wizard and he is a 3rd level rogue. She uses her spells to learn who is rich, help her brother steal him and then to cover the trail.
Give her a 16 intelligence and spell focus illusion. That would make the DC to resist her charm person spells 17 while the PCs and the NPCs have a -2 to their saves. Also give her a few powerful enemies. Perhaps she is hiding in the village because her brother stole something very powerful or valuable.
Nowadays, anyone who is anyone in Dementlieu attends the party-exhibitions of the famed artist Pavo. Everyone raves about Pavo, and everyone loves how his entourage of pet gossips, the Harpies, model dresses based off his paintings. In fact, it seems as if no one can say anything bad about Pavo.
Perhaps it's because of his flawless talent... Perhaps it's because of his saintly charity-work... Or, perhaps it's because that Pavo's Harpies see to it that those who do have bad things to say about him wind up as social pariahs, insane, or even dead.
In order to safeguard their patron's reputation and ego, the Harpies constantly manipulate events to destroy all those who run afoul of Pavo, whether they are hated rivals, annoying critics, or even rude street riff-raffs. Usually, they achieve this by spreading rumours, lies, or making subtle bribes and threats. If they need to hire thugs and assassins to get their point across, they don't hesitate to do so.
And so, it seems that an influential official, who is also a friend of the PCs, had recently attended Pavo's latest unveiling last month, and commented about how the exhibition was "the pinnacle of vapidity." Now, the PCs must prove that their friend is not the ringleader of a gang of kidnappers, despite a host of incriminating evidence, and discover who is responsible for framing him.
One more thing: while it is common knowledge that Pavo was once a mere portrait-painter who was barely able to eek out a living in Port-a-Lucine, no one seems to know anything about the Harpies' past, other than them helping to elevate Pavo. In fact, the best anyone can do is to shrug, and suggest they may have came from Richemulot.
The world of stage magic just got a lot bloodier. Everyone knows that stage magicians hate revealing their "tricks." Now, a mysterious masked magician is putting on public performances to blow open the magical world, explaining how every aspect of the illusionists' art works, from sleight of hand to the actual arcane sorcery. Le Societe de Legerdemain has decided that this rogue magician is a dangerous element and must be unmasked and then removed - permanently. The PCs can come in on either side of this, working for Le Societe to bring down the masked magician, or hired by the masked magician to act as bodyguards. He's quite good at narrow escapes, but even the best magician needs assistants...
DeepShadow of the FoS
Dinner Party in Dementlieu: Okay, I'm reworking one of my old games for my MENSA group this weekend, and I want to throw in lots of red herrings, gossip and distractions for them. The setting is a very exclusive dinner party in Dementlieu, and there will be lots of gossip around the table. So anyone got ideas? I know what the main plot will be (Jaqueline Montarri will be collecting heads) but I need a bunch of guests, each with a brief bio and a couple of rumors.
Nathan of the FoS :gonzoron did a pretty cool dinner party in Dementlieu--you could look at that for inspiration. As I recall it was a soiree in honor of eminent artists, and the werefox from CotN Werebeasts was there, as was the gunsmith caliban from the Gazetteer. So were Marcos Vedarrak and...er...some other Falkovnian general, as Falkovnian ambassadors.
gonzoron :Thanks for the compliment, Nathan! If you're interested, the relevant campaign journals are here:
(Part 1) http://www.themistway.com/Ravenloft-Session9.html
(Part 2) http://www.themistway.com/Ravenloft-Session10.html
The setup was an exhibition of artists, one of whom would receive a grant from the university. The complication was a bunch of behind the scenes intrigue and a murder mystery.
My guest list was:
The Giamarga:I found this nice thread of NPCs which lists a lot of them for Dementlieu. Not sure if they're canon, but if you need a name or some fillers perhaps. (it even has horse's names!) http://s7.invisionfree.com/Spiral_Safari/ar/t109.htm And then there are of course the "new" D'Honaires from LotB. Perhaps a stage magician would be a good entertainment at such a party? Stat up the guy in the picture next to the PrC.
gonzoron : isn't there also that wereboar painter guy from Cotn:W? (or is he richmuloise?) And maybe the Bastion of P-a-L, or one of her rival successors?
Culinary Carnage in Dementlieu
So I've come up with what I think is a very interesting MO for a serial killer. This is a recurring villain, indeed the grand mastermind of my campaign for them. They still haven't figured out what he is exactly, just that he can suck blood but doesn't scald from holy water.
Anyway, the Chaotic Evil Mnsr. Andre Fillacrioux has decided to test the PCs by arranging seven murders with each one actually being a pun off a pastry or drink.
All he wants to hear is the appreciative laughter for such wit from the human protagonists. In short, a quest for man's laughter winds up as a trail of manslaughter.
The main reason I bring this here (besides giving back for so many awesome ideas I've gotten from this forum) is I'm worried that some of them may be too vague for the PCs to get. My current solution to such a worse case scenario is just bringing Alanik Ray in. Thoughts?
(Eclaire is French for lightning) Pretty straight forward... But perhaps it should be done in some confusing fashion, like making the victim die in a crowd on a sunny day, or even more confusingly in a storm... The snipers perch should be a great clue to give but there needs to be some connect without the villian risking discovery too much... If detected to early by a magic user the PC's could possibly catch or discover him early... Of course this depends on your pacing... This maybe a good reveal point as well... This could be where the chase begins in earnest and trying to stalk the villian is more personal to the foe...
(Mostly as a hint to mean this was obviously from a crate; Tear Crates = Pear Crepes) Perhaps tear is not the best connect... Perhaps there should be a double murder as a step up event but also to fit the pun... Two is a Pair after all and if they are either known to be together often or are killed in the same fashion and/or posed in similar fashion then they could even be found in different parts of town... They may also be related to the destination of the crates or some conspiricy involving the crates such as smuggling which could be a red herring!
(Death's classic images = A Pale Rider = Apple Cider) Well the Pale Rider is a hard connect but it could work. Another addition could be to have only one 'side' of the victim be damaged to connect both rider and side into. Also you could have the damaged side have a riding boot on that is painted white... Could work as well! Apples however need to play into it perhaps... The scythe could come from someone related to apples in some fashion... Or you could also try and connect the location to a small area that while not obvious had some connection to apples in the past... An abandoned and long dead and overgrown apple orchard. A press house that makes multiple drinks but is perhaps the lone producer of Apple cider in town. Perhaps a home of someone with an apple tree in the yard or such...
The first death I plan on involving is the Crawler/Cruller one.
LONG ADVENTURE MATERIAL TEXT BELOW!!! The initial adventure for these 4th level characters has them doing a job as members of the gendarme. They're given instructions from Josephine Chantreaux (actually Andre in Disguise, he's got +47 to the check so it's pretty unlikely they'll notice), indicating they are to function as body guards for some anchorites who plan on converting some of the forest to the NE of Port-a-Lucine as a new graveyard. They're to serve as defenders against any encounters as well as to stamp out any nasties occupying the forested area to be sanctified.
The truth is this is one of Andre's ploys to have the PCs eliminated. The anchorite party actually consists of 2 conwomen with a thug posing as the coachman. Andre hired the thug to eliminate the two players, rewarding him with 100 gp a head (a simple daguerrotype capture will be enough for proof). The thug felt he couldn't do it alone so he offers the conwomen the job if they pose as anchorites. Eventually the players make it to the woods, and after fending off a large swath of bloodroses along the narrow trail they reach a densely-forested canopy area (akin to the Woods that housed the Master Sword in LoZ: a Link to the Past) which happens to be the den of a mated pair of Large monstrous trapdoor spiders.
Satisfied that the players are deep enough in the woods that it'll take a while to return to the coach, the coachman; whom decided to stay back and watch the coach "in case of brigands" will pull out his custom Mackie Rifle and take pot shots at the players. Of course, with that much cover/concealment from the leaves and trees it should take several rounds for the coachman to kill one of the players (enough time for the players to close in enough to see him). The coachman will panick when they close in and consume a special potion given to him by Andre. This potion is actually the agent that kills the coachman, as he screams in agony when the vermin squirm out of his body, shock killing him.
When the players arrive back at "base" (one of the players owns a home), there's a woven basket of crullers hanging on the door. Any ideas for what I should make as a note inside it?
I've been rethinking my murders and decided to try and stay away from rhymes and stick to homonyms or slight changes between the food's name and the murder.
1. A morbidly obese woman is killed, the only other characteristic that stands out is her face is made up more clownlike than a Peasant's Quarter whore might be caught in. (Blubbery Tart) Change: Instead of using a fat woman, the murder will involve a prostitute gone missing and found fed to death, the skin taking a bluish tinge as a hint.
2. A man is found dead pressed between 2 doors in a woodworking shop when it opens up for the day. A garrote also seems to be placed around his neck. The garrote's tightness is not quite to the point it would be impossible to breathe, only enough to make it very difficult to do so. (Rasp Bury Jam) Change: I like the ideas about the doors being like crackers with the blood oozing out enough to make that what I'll be using.
3. A young man is found dead, the only injuries are intense and prolonged burns along his back. (Back Lava) Change: Not going to use it.
4. Andre's hired hand dying after consuming an "aid" and spiders, maggots, and other creepy crawlies eat him from the inside out. (Crawler = Cruller). Change: I plan to keep this. Regarding Andre's MO, it's not so much that he's "cowardly" enough to rely on others to do his work for him so much as wanting to help someone out with their homicidal urges in a manner that helps himself in some way.
5. A man is struck by a sniper mage's lightning bolt. (Eclaire is French for lightning). Change: None, going to keep this one with some alterations as mentioned higher in the thread.
6. A dockworker is found dead with jagged plank of wood impaling him. Injuries point out he was beaten to death before he was impaled. The plank retains some of the shipping information painted onto it. (Mostly as a hint to mean this was obviously from a crate; Tear Crates = Pear Crepes) Change: Not going to use it.
7. A woman is found killed by a very sloppy murderer. She's decapitated, with a bloody scythe--obviously the murder weapon--only a few feet away from her body. A single set of footprints leads to and from the crime scene. Lastly, a black robe is loosely draped atop the scythe, the interior happens to be pale white. (Death's classic images = A Pale Rider = Apple Cider). Change: Definately not going to use it.
I've also come up with two new murders to break away from the pastry/desert monotony.
New Murder 1: 2 LOUD gunshots are heard, by the time the PCs track down the source, they find a dead body. 2 large caliber bullets are found in his torso, but even more disturbing is the fact his skull seems to be pulverized into the wall the body is slumped against. (Bangers and Mash)
New Murder 2: Just a concept right now, but I want to do something with "Toad in the Hole."
Any thoughts on these or ideas for a more rounded "buffet?"
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