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Forlorn info in 3e: RL3E / RLPH, Gaz 1 (and its web enhancement).
Second edition: Black Box (Realm of Terror), Red Box (RL Campaign Setting), Domains of Dread, Castles Forlorn.
Adventure: Castles Forlorn (a must, really!)
Other selected interesting sources: Book of Secrets (Sword of the Clan ApBlanc)



Goblyn fiance campaign

This is a game I ran for about 20 game sessions and the epic finally was set in Forlorn. Here it is!

Background of the story

About 100 years ago in Forlorn, lived a druid named Kain Asthon-Smith. He was a druid who was all for the destruction of all goblyns and led many raids upon them with his comrade in arms, another druid named Connor Noitide. Both felt like brothers and they swore never to betray one another.

Unfortunately, the daughter of Kain was captured by goblyns so Kain set about to rescue her. Connor followed his friend and swore not to return unless it was with the young girl. But, the goblyns had took her deep into their territory near castle Tristenoira and never had the two adventurers set foot so deep into goblyn territory.

A terrible fight followed as the two were assaulted from all parts by goblyns. Despite their fighting prowess and magical skills, they couldn't win and Connor fled knowing it was a useless battle. Kain wouldn't run away, not without his daughter. Upon seeing his friend betraying him he cursed him: "You coward! Everyone of your kin on this cursed land shall strike you down like I am here!" The darks powers heard and Connor was cursed.

When he returned to his home with other druids, Connor didn't feel like he betrayed his friend. He felt he simply couldn't save him and that he also should have returned. The last time he saw him, Kain was cleaving goblyns with his mighty scimitar but one of the beast finally grabbed his face and the feast began as the others ran down the druid. Then Connor ran for good.

A few years passed and no one held Connor any resentment so it was forgotten. He took a wife and soon she was pregnant. When the nine month came to term, his infant was born goblyn. Believing some faul magic from the land caused this, he slew the child with no after thought. Two years later, another child was born goblyn. His wife wanted to know if it was her fault and using magic, they discovered a cursed was upon him. His wife was horrified and wanted to betray him to other druids so he silenced her forever.

Connor, fearing the other druids would find out and knowing the curse only worked in the Dread Realms, managed to find a way out of Ravenloft and on a Prime Material world. He began a new life, took a wife and became a father and died peacefully. His great-grand-child would also become a druid.

Enters the PCs

Now this descendant of the druid was a PC. This whole backstory was created long after the character for the player didn't give his druid a proper background so I took advantage of it. The druid was half-elven and named Snomur Noitide. He and other PCs entered Ravenloft and he survived through many adventures within the Mists. He survived Feast of Goblyns and killed Duke Gundar to name a few of his accomplishments.

Then, in between two adventures, Snomur was in the forests north of Forlorn and heard a calling in the wind. He followed his instincts and discovered a woman druid going by the name of Viviane. She was born in Dementlieu but used to be a druid in another life. She was in love with one another druid who Snomur used to be (in other words, she has the Reincarnated feat). Love soon once again united the two former lovers. She told him about the druids fight against evil in Forlorn and Snomur followed her back there. For three years, he live a harsh life with other druids but was happy with Viviane.

Then struck the Grand Conjonction and Snomur like many others was briefly sent back from where he came. He returned to the Prime and found his old home abandoned. And upon visiting his ancestor's grave, he realized that Connor, the first Noitide, came from Forlorn. Before he could find out more, the Conjunction collapse and he was taken to Hazlan. After about a year of wandering, he reach Forlorn again and found his beloved Viviane transformed into a goblyn. Other druids did all they could to discover how it happened but to no avail. Snomur took her with him to find how to cure her.

For eight years he wandered until he found his old adventuring companions (other PCs) and a few swore to help him get his wife back. After a few treks through Darkon, Cavitius, Nova Vaasa and Barovia, he discovered she labored under a self-inflicted curse. He had to go back to Forlorn to find why.

Having fought the cold barovian nights of winter, they arrived (Snomur, two PC fighters and a gypsy NPC) within Forlorn and had to fight Death Head trees, poisonous plants and goblyns hunting packs. All the way with Viviane in chains behind them. After a perilous journey, they reached two druids who gave them shelter.

Now with the help of an hermit seer, they discovered the truth about Snomur's ancestor and how Kain died. Not knowing what to do, they investigated where Viviane went during the Grand Conjunction and they discovered she was trying to find Snomur when something happened. No one knew what exactly. The last man to have seen her claimed she searched some ruins nearby. Investigating, they discovered that a powerful known as the King of Worms (Daggerfall ripoff!) lived their. He did see Viviane 10 years ago and made her into a goblyn. He agreed to change her back. Snomur found her Viviane back to her original self but learned the truth.

When the GC struck, she was with child. Despite that, she set to search for Snomur and soon the infant was born but goblyn. She found the Worm and convinced him to switch the curse which he couldn't lift. So wherever his son was, he was back into goblyn form. When Snomur had returned, Kain's cursed once again took into effect and any Noitide ancestor born would be a goblyn. Snomur and the others set to find him and they found him. He had been cared for by a druid and he suddenly turned into a goblyn. They took him back to safety from zealous druid who slaughter all goblyns they find.

Now, how to lift the curse. Snomur had but one choice, find the remains of Kains and use evil necromantic spells to talk to him. Despite the risks of doing that, they set about to find his corpse. They managed to go unnoticed (it was 1 am, I didn't feel like putting more encounters) near castle Tristenoira.

They found that were Kain fell, a huge cavern had been dug by the water and that no goblyn, plant or animal was to be seen anywhere near. They entered and soon found that he was a Restless Dead. He wanted to be left alone and when Snomur introduced himself, Kain went mad, treating Snomur like COnnor.

I made Kain quite powerful, he was customized using the VRGttWD and had the Dead Zone aura surrounding him. He also had a huge damage reduction from all save druids and his dire enemy was any of Noitide blood. But he was killable, which wouldn't have lifted the curse.

They fought but it was almost useless in their minds. But the other PCs told Snomur to talk to him and he did. The trick was to prove to Kain that he wasn't Connor and needed the curse lifted. He had to tell him that unlike Connor, he didn't flee the curse and did all he could to save his loved ones like Kain tried to do with his daughter. When Snomur managed this, Kain stopped to attack and asked that they kill him so that he rest in peace.

Then, they returned and indeed, Kain made peace with Snomur and his wife and son were both humans.



  1. The PC's get ahold of some treant seeds (A&EG, new magic item) and learn through sages and others in the know about the corruption of treants in Ravenloft. Their one chance is to plant the seeds in Forlorn on one of the equinoxes or solstices, when the rapid growth effect would have the additional benefit of keeping the fledgling treants sane. Pulling off this mission is only the beginning, because the treants will eventually go mad from their connection with the Land, unless the PC's and the newborn treants can unearth an ancient druidic ritual that will protect them. 
  2. Shelaugh has been having dreams of Lananguis, the Green Man. Having nearly been slain by him herself, she relives her horrors at night, but his whispers contain a horrible secret: he seeks a bride. Somewhere in the Northern Core is the Green Maiden he seeks, and when they are reunited, all the green things of the earth will rejoice, and Life will reign forever. After one of her nightmares, Shelaugh woke up calling for her parents. Could the Green Man and Green Maiden be the tortured spirits of her murdered family?
  3. Lionna Apmorten of Forfarmax has tracked some of her family's lost magic to Tristenoira, and through the time dilation there has discovered her ancestor Lucy ApMorten in the Castle B timeline, together with the lost books. Lionna has brought Lucy a manual of golems with which the two hope to rebuild Tristen's wife and thus change the past--or at least the present.
  4. Rual is furious that Tristen is not suffering as much as she was. She has taken it upon herself to stir up several druidic factions, with varying results. A trio of NE druids have started worshipping in the "phantom grove" she creates with her illusion powers. The NE druids are castoffs from the Rowan faction, who believe that only Arawn can destroy Tristen's evil.
  5. Herrd Ap'Kie has struck a bargain with the Fraternity of Shadows, and has been sneaking Fraternity members into Tristenoira to study the time travel effects.
  6. PC's are traveling through time on one of the solstices when a shift to timeline B allows them to interfere with the execution of Andrew, the last ApFittle and a powerful paladin. Tristen is powerless to stop them from rescuing the man, but could this actually prevent him from becoming a DL?
  7. A sizeable group of goblyns arrives in Barovia carrying the severed head of a human man. Upon inspection it is clear that the man's hair has been dyed, though only a goblyn would be fooled by it. The goblyns are insulted at being used this way, and before they flee back to Forlorn, they warn all the humans they see that they will no longer be their pawns. Could someone actually be using the goblyns to commit murder?


Forlorn is easy for hack and slash adventures in a haunted forest! You can throw almost anything at the PCs and still maintain the atmosphere.

For low levels (2-4): A Barovian herbalist hires the PCs to delve in Forlorn and bring back a rare plant that can be used to make healing salve (instantly heals 1 hp and doubles the normal healing rate for one day). She promises to pay 10 gp for each root of the plant.

The plants' roots aren't very small however weighting 1/4 of a lb. and 8 of them taking up 1 cubic foot of space. There can be found 30 - 40 healthy plants in one place. So if the PCs want to make the trip profitable they should spend much time searching Forlorn.



Well, something weirder: How you enter Forlorn.

Let's imagine you are in the Highlands. I mean, the real Highlands (see 7thSea / Swashbuckling Adventures or just a history book for details) and you roleplay there. And then there are some bandits driving you away from the street while you were heading west, you follow them and you are lost in to the never-ending mists. And when you find some druid in a Forest you ask him "where am I?" "In the Western Highlands". Everything seems ok. Even the first goblyns attacking you could be just some unseelie.

Until you realize you cannot find the city you were searching for and you cannot go back.


Arif Sayeed

  1. The PCs are approached by a provost of the University of Dementlieu. One of the college's more exceptional scholars has gone to Forlorn to collect a sample of a strange fungus for further study. He should have returned about two weeks ago. The University has attempted to acquire the services of Alanik Ray, but he is already preoccupied and has recommended the PCs instead.
  2. A gentle word from Heather House brings the PCs to the gloomy realm of Mordent. A visibly dying Lord Weathermay informs the PCs that he has heard of a great weapon (Holy Avenger type) that is currently in the castle of Forlorn. He offers the PCs virtually anything he can for its recovery.
  3. A pack of beast men have somehow escaped from the island realm of Markovia. Normally, the emancipation of such unfortunates would be laudable, but this particular band is lead by a mongrelman of singular depravity. A former student of Markov's, this creature has made the mistake of abducting a prominent (if somewhat distant) relative of the Renier family. Jacqueline Renier knows that the band is hiding out in the forests of Forlorn and has put the word out that the destruction of the beast men would be rewarded.


An idea involving Arawn's cauldron from which goblyns are created (ripped from the Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander), is that it can only be destroyed when someone willingly descends into the Cauldron, sacrificing himself to destroy the cauldron. Or, even better, only an Innocent who willingly puts him/herself into the Cauldron can destroy it.


Jonathan Winters

  1. Gaz I introduced Arawn's Cauldron to create Goblyns. What if PCs realize another item exist to transform back Forfarians into humans? I think this would be a quest worth realizing, I think.

    DeepShadow adds: Absolutely! I forgot about Arawn's Cauldron! Yes, destroying this would be a great quest, as would reversing the effects. What might be a possible reversal process? OTOH, perhaps the cauldron could turn people back if the right ingredients are added, but then again, why would an evil artifact work like this? I can see two possible reasons:

    1. This is a weakness of the cauldron, specifically designed to torment the cauldron's master.
    2. It's actually an extension of the cauldron's evil purposes (perhaps those changed back are still evil?) but the price is too high for Tristen (those changed back are no longer loyal to him?).
    3. Jonathan Winters: About the Cauldron thing, OTOH, I was thinking of an ''anti-cauldron'' thingy... I haven't planned out anything yet... It just sort of popped in my head and has stayed there since... No history, nothing...

      The authors of Gaz I obviously wanted to explain the Goblyns in Forlorn and how come the domain never runs out... Which was a good idea IMO... But then again, after reading the boxed set, which talked about them never getting old, and the only way to get rid of them was to kill them, I always felt the Land would replenish their numbers... Not just let them go extinct like it was implied or said... The anti-cauldron thing is exactly that my friend: to annoy / torment / worry(?) Tristen! and to a lesser extent, the Goblyns.

      Thinking of this, what if the Goblyns get out of control for a while? What if they realize this thing can undo them? Would Tristen's mind prove stronger than their survival instinct? What if a group of PCs manages to get the anti-cauldron across the border? Or maybe they get into a race against time because the border closes as they tried to cross it and they decided to get it to Sanctuary, the druid's home before all the Goblyns of Forlorn find them?

  2. I think someone mentionned NE Druids in Forlorn... What if they come to some sort of compromise with Tristen? Wouldn't that be worse than the present situation?
  3. What if the monster in the Lake of Red Tears has managed to snatch something the PCs need? Feel like going on an aquatic adventure?
  4. What if the Wild Hunt manages to cross over borders of Forlorn (always coming back) ? Are they after someone? They know that Forfarians are outside of Forlorn and want to bring them back / punish / kill them? Why the change all of a sudden?

Mortepierre adds: Actually, if I am not mistaken, according to Gazetteer I, the Wild Hunt can appear in any domain of RL but does so mostly in Forlorn.

Jonathan Winters responds: I checked Gaz I and you're right about the Wild Hunt (thanks!), but I think it was changed there... I don't think the Hunt could go across domains in the boxed set? In my campaign, I haven't made up my mind yet, but I think the only way the Hunt will ride outside of Forlorn, will be when they bring / chase people to the domain. It sure beats using the Mists (again)!



An unseelie nymph enchantress has taken up residence in Forlorn (she could either have been unseelie and brought here by the mists, or been corrupted by the land, or even a combination of both). In the time that she's been there, she's managed to enchant several weak minded young druids and started her own faction called the mushroom faction. The mushroom faction believes that evil corruption is the natural state of the land and as such should be condoned and even encouraged. They are still members of the two main factions on the surface, but meet in secret to undermine the efforts of their infiltrated groups. The nymph has not yet had to deal with Tristen but is frustrated by her inability to affect the goblyns. It is however only a matter of time before the two come to a head. Will they work together? Or will they work toward each other's mutual destruction.


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