Darkon

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Darkon
Jester-Darkon.png
Culture Level Dark Age to Chivalric
Ecology Full
Climate & Terrain Temperate forest, hill, plain, swamp
Year Formed 579 BC
Population ~120,000
Races (%) Humans 75%, Halflings 14%, Gnomes 5%, Elves 3%, Half-Elves 1%, Dwarves 1%, Other 1%
Languages Darkonese, Halfling, Gnome, Elven, Dwarven, Falkovnian, Lamordian, Mordentish, Tepestani, Vaasi
Religions The Eternal Order, Ezra, the Faith of the Overseer
Government Feudal monarchy
Ruler(s) Azalin Rex
Darklord(s) Azalin Rex
Nationality Darkonian
Analog European High Fantasy; USA
Related Categories
Locations in Darkon
Transportation in Darkon
Inhabitants of Darkon
Former Inhabitants of Darkon
Flora of Darkon
Fauna of Darkon
Native Monsters of Darkon

Emergence and Azalin

A feudal fantasy nation ruled over by the lich-king Azalin Rex, Darkon is the largest domain in Ravenloft. Physically, it takes up the northern third of the main continent, the Core, and its population easily exceeds that of any other single domain. Politically, Darkon is stable but not very influential, with its various nobles kept in check by Azalin's machinations.

In a real sense, Darkon's history is Azalin's history. After being driven out of his original homeland and finding himself in Ravenloft, Azal'Lan (originally a title meaning simply "Wizard King") was briefly befriended by Strahd von Zarovich, the darklord of Barovia. They were experimenting with a few magic spells to help each other escape until eventually Azalin gave up, and wandered into Darkon. After leaving, Azalin found himself the master of a sprawling domain that reflected his cruelty, his obsession with order, his cunning, and his greatest frustration: the inability to learn new magic.

Due to Azalin's desire for unswerving loyalty, Darkon has the most obvious and unique curse in Ravenloft. After spending from one to three months within its borders, anyone not native to Darkon loses all memory of their original homeland, instead believing themselves to have always lived in Darkon. Additionally, they lose all personal desire to leave the country, though some do so anyway out of necessity or circumstance. The memories include a whole new life history and victim often adopt gravestones at the local cemeteries as graves of their ancestors. The lost memories return upon leaving the domain. In From the Shadows, it is shown that their memories are magically recorded in a book in a library in Avernus.


This feature leads some to believe that Darkon is an unsuitable realm for an outsiders-based campaign. Some players have experimented with campaigns of rediscovery, where the players have no clue as to their "real" histories but can discover them through investigation. (Inspired by the movie Memento and the video game Planescape: Torment.)

Some possible workarounds exist, but these involve doctoring the books in the library. As a plot device, it is possible that Azalin may bargain with powerful outsiders to restore their memories in exchange for a service. For low-level characters, another potential plot device is to have a "finder's agency" investigate their lost memories, which could uncover many events in neighboring Ravenloft domains. Also, the aimless vulnerability of individuals newly mind-wiped lends itself to interesting slavery or gang-related plots.


Azalin's desire to escape Ravenloft led to the disastrous Grand Conjunction in 740 Barovian Calendar, nearly destroying the Demiplane of Dread. His next escape attempt resulted in the equally catastrophic Requiem, destroying his physical form and turning the capital city of Darkon, Il Aluk, into a city of the undead, now called Necropolis. For the five years of Azalin's disappearance, Darkon itself was known as Necropolis due to the influence of that city's darklord, Death. Azalin was restored to his body and his throne in time, and now plots a third escape attempt, the details of which are unknown.

Darkon is one of the few domains of Ravenloft to accept demihumans such as elves and dwarves as equal citizens, and one of the few to embrace arcane magic openly. Darkon is often considered decadent by its neighbors, appropriate enough as Azalin encourages his citizens to debase themselves as a means of salving his own ego.

Things, Creatures & Personnages of Legend

Biology

Flora

Fauna

Native Horrors

Geography

Darkon map by the MCS. Note: Since this fan-made map predates 3rd Edition Ravenloft, there are some inconsistencies with the more recent maps.


Weather

Terrain

Mountains & Hills

Forest

Lakes

Landmarks

Communication

Rivers

Roads

Mistways

Frontiers

The Shadow Rift

Falkovnia

Lamordia

Sea of Sorrows

Misty Border

Nocturnal Sea

Nova Vaasa

Population Distrubtion

Cities

Towns

Villages

Authority

Darklord

Temporal Ruler

Spiritual Ruler

Church and State

Government

Law

Law-Enforcement

Extra-Judical

Information Gathering

Military Footing

  • Any corpse in the land may rise to fight at the command of Azalin Rex.

Law-Enforcement

Language & Culture

Darkonese

Inns & Taverns

Chronology


This page incorporates content from the inactive Mordent Cartographic Society. Used with their express permission. 200px-Reinel compass rose.svg.png

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gazetteer II p. 23
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gazetteer II p. 22
  3. Gazetteer II p.135
  4. Gazetteer II p.9
  5. Book of Sorrows p.60
  6. Gazetteer II p. 19
  7. Gazetteer II p. 20
  8. TSR Jam 1999 Heart's Final Beat]]
  9. Gazetteer II p.16
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Gazetteer II p.143
  11. Gazetteer II p. 57
  12. 12.0 12.1 Darklords p.54
  13. 13.0 13.1 Ravenloft Third Edition p.17
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ravenloft Player's Handbook p.19
  15. Domains of Dread p.17
  16. Bleak House: Homecoming p. 29
  17. The Book of Souls (Netbook) p.74
  18. The Book of Souls (Netbook) p.73
  19. 19.0 19.1 Gazetteer II p.117
  20. 20.0 20.1 Gazetteer II p. 21
  21. Gazetteer II p.92-93
  22. Gazetteer II p. 13
  23. Gazetteer II p. 29
  24. The Baron's Eyrie, Dungeon Magazine #58, p. 50; "over 50 years ago" from 749 BC
  25. 25.0 25.1 Gazetteer II p. 93
  26. Book of Sorrows p.56
  27. [[Van Richten's Guide to the Created p.6
  28. 28.0 28.1 Gazetteer II p. 94
  29. Van Richten's Arsenal, p. 11
  30. Gazetteer II p. 132, was born 40 years ago from 757 BC, the current year of Gazetteer II
  31. Gazetteer II p. 21
  32. The encounter is canon, being described in Van Richten's Guide to the Ancient Dead (Book) p.5-6. The date is speculation taken from John W. Mangrum's Unofficial Ravenloft Timeline (p. 26 based on several references in the official source material.)
  33. Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts p. 91
  34. Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium II
  35. Book of Sorrows p. 77
  36. 36.0 36.1 Carnival p. 40
  37. Carnival p. 49
  38. Gazetteer II p. 47
  39. Requiem: The Grim Harvest - Necropolis p.15
  40. Gazetteer II p. 48
  41. Gazetteer II p.147
  42. The Forgotten Children p.55-56
  43. Carnival p. 44
  44. Bleak House: Heroes, Monsters, and Settings p.25
  45. Champions of the Mists p. 57
  46. Gazetteer II p. 23
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 Domains of Dread p.17
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Ravenloft Third Edition p.18
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 Ravenloft Player's Handbook p.20
  50. Gazetteer II p.138
  51. Requiem
  52. Gazetteer II p. 23-24
  53. [[Domains of Dread P.137
  54. Gazetteer II p.39
  55. Champions of the Mists p. 57
  56. Gazetteer II p.41
  57. Book of Secrets p.127
  58. Gazetteer II p.24
  59. Book of Sacrifices p. 118
  60. Undead Sea Scrolls 2002 p.129
  61. Gazetteer II p.24
  62. Gazetteer II p. 24
  63. Gazetteer II p.55
  64. Gazetteer II p. 53

Data from the Ravenloft Catalogue

Rldb domain.jpg Rldb primary.gif

Ravenloft Third Edition
Domains of Dread
Requiem: The Grim Harvest - Necropolis
Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II

Rldb stats.gif

Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II - pp8-53

Rldb desc.gif

Secrets of the Dread Realms - pp7,17,19-21,24,55
Ravenloft Third Edition - pp13,15,16,19,110,116-117
Domains of Dread - pp33-35
Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium I - pp 106-107, 241-242
Requiem: The Grim Harvest - Necropolis - pp1-32
Van Richten's Guide to The Created - p12,50-51,55
Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts - p5
The Ravenloft Campaign Setting:Domains and Denizens - pp11-13
Realm of Terror - pp67-68
Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II - pp8-53
I, Strahd, The War Against Azalin - p234, 256

Rldb map.gif

Secrets of the Dread Realms - pp8-9
Ravenloft Third Edition - inside cover
Domains of Dread - pp26-27
Requiem: The Grim Harvest - poster map
The Ravenloft Campaign Setting - poster map
Realm of Terror - poster map
Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II - p12