View Full Version : There I Go...Turn the Page...

06-02-2009, 04:53 PM
This is kind of a collaborative effort with the P&P Fiction Group that i also contribute to and i thought it would be a chance for everyone to stretch their creative muscles...

Since Ravenloft is a very narrative oriented setting...giving rise to many possible stories and such...i wanted to invite everyone to post their own brief stories and narratives to the page....

Of course it has to be set in Ravenloft...has to be PG-13 in nature, try and limit your work to, lets say 750 to 1000 words...and i also invite everyone to comment on the works posted...and be respectful when you do so...no one likes a spoil sport...

06-07-2009, 12:01 PM
In preparing for my weekly game whether it's Ravenloft or not, but particularly for Ravenloft, much of my time is spent writing a review of what took place the week before which also serves as an introduction for the next game night. In Ravenloft, as in many classic gothic novels, I usually chose one of the PCs (or main characters) to be the narrator of the story. The following then is a typical example taken from a campaign I ran several years ago. Note that in my campaign I decided that the three Shadowlands and the realm of Forlorn were all derived from the same prime material world (as they are all based on cultures of the UK and have followers of the Celtic god Belenus). Several of the PCs in this group, called the Shadow Walkers, hail from that world:

The Cast of Characters

Angus Shadowborn - Human paladin of the Great Kingdom of Avonleigh and closely related to Kateri and Alexi Shadowborn.
Gohan - Half-elf fighter/druid of the Great Kingdom of Avonleigh.
Vassago ApVay - Human bard of the Great Kingdom of Avonleigh but descended from the (Scotsman-like) people of Forfar (complete with a bagpipe and kilts).
Gemini - Human shaman of the Abber Nomads of the Nightmare Lands.
Marco Black - Human warlock from Nova Vaasa.
Felip Blanc - Human anchorite of Ezra from Dementlieu.

Excerpts from the Journals of Vassago ApVay, Shadow Walker:

"Once again we are lost in the Mists. Though we believe it is preferable to being trapped in the accursed land which, over the past couple of centuries, has come to be known as Forlorn. In fact, it was from that forsaken realm that we had escaped just yesterday, after destroying its evil Darklord, Tristen ApBlanc. Felipe had carried the monster's severed head across the border into Gundarak, and tossed it into the dense, fog-enshrouded forest that now surrounds us, hoping it would help to insure that the the Darklord will never again return to haunt the land.
"But according to Felipe, the woods around us no longer appear to be those of Gundarak. And between the six of us, he is the one who knows most about these lands; in particular, the strange mists that border and connect them. So it is to Felipe that we must now turn to for guidance. For we remember the last time we became lost in the mists and ended up wandering through them for a month before finally escaping!...

"...Another of the strange and unexplained phenomenon that puzzled us, was the sudden and dramatic acceleration in the apparent passage of time, which began immediately following the death of Tristan. It seems that the time-shifts we had experienced in Castle Tristenoira were linked to Tristen in ways we could not even begin to imagine. Tristen's death appeared to have set off a rapid aging of the land, as though it were suddenly paying for all of the years that Tristen had avoided feeling the effects of.
"At the time of Tristen's demise it was shortly after mid-day on the Autumnal Equinox, the 20th of September, 2125 by the Forfarian calendar. By the Barovian Calendar, the year would have been 738. By the time we crossed the border however, we had no idea of the actual date, not even the year.
"Since finishing our meal, Felipe and Angus have tried to get some sleep, though Angus is still troubled by nightmares. The rest of us however, are taking turns meditating for a few hours. After completing my meditation, I regained spells, then began to update my journal. I wanted to record the events that had occurred on the previous day while the thoughts were still fresh in my mind. And thus, as I now write these words, my tale is nearly complete. But as with many a good story, there often lies at the end a summation of its theme, or a point to the telling. Here, I can only be certain of views from my own perspective, as well as how I was affected by the events that occurred:

"When we first entered the land of Forlorn, and for a long time afterwords, I refused to believe that the goblyns were what had become of the ancient clans of Forfar. Then came a day when I could no longer deny it. From that day onward, I have looked upon the Goblyns as a mockery and an insult to my ancestors. At first, the mere thought that they were allowed to live and breath another day, would fill me with a rage so fierce that I could not control myself if goblyns were nearby. However, in time, I learned to control the hatred I have for them, when I realized that the goblyns are not my kin. For they have been stripped of all humanity and all that is good, leaving only the dark, twisted sides of men. Each of them has retained a few faint and scattered memories. But they no longer understand them. And they have twisted their culture with ignorance and evil, to a point where it bears little resemblance.
"In time, we discovered that the curse which had been laid upon the land of my ancestors, was primarily caused by the actions of Tristen ApBlanc, although it was Rual who called down the original curse, and the Dark Powers that made it a reality. Tristen was the reason his land had been ripped from its home world, and altered to become the abomination known as Forlorn. It was Tristen then, who became the object of my hatred, the one to blame, and the one who must be punished. Unfortunately, by this point I had been through a lot emotionally and psychologically, and I was feeling the effects. The strain had begun to take a toll on me and contributed to few critical errors in judgment on my part, which in turn only further increased my mental distress.
"By confronting Tristen as the Minstrel with our accusations at the wrong time, I later realized I had made our tasks more difficult than they already were. But more crucially, I may have ruined our last chance to prevent the highland realm of Forfar from being torn from its home world, by delaying our final attempt to rescue Sir Andrew ApFittle. The thought that, not only had we failed to save my ancestors' homeland, but that I was the reason we failed, weighed heavily upon me. And on top of all that, we discovered that we might still be able to prevent the entire disaster from ever happening, but only if I were willing to give my life in order to save the land and the thousands of ancestors who would and did do the same for me. It soon became a burden of guilt that threatened to crush me in despair and rob me of my sanity. When Madame Ursula had read my fortune and foresaw torture in my future, I was certain my doom was assured.
"But, though I still saw more sights that filled me with horror, overall I fared better on our last visit to the castle, and I feel my mental health has actually improved. Recently it has been Angus who has suffered the most mentally, from visions to nightmares, to an explosive temper. He is fortunate that his faith is so strong. Anyone less sure of himself and his god's support might have already given in to a mental collapse of some kind.
"I, on the other hand, have finally found something to take comfort in, and relieve myself of some of the guilt I have been feeling for such a long time now. It was a realization I had made early in the day yesterday, when we all traveled back to the year 1594. There, it would have been a simple matter to kill the baby Tristen, and prevent the disaster from ever occurring, though it would probably mean the nullification of my existence. But none of us ever made any kind of motion that even hinted we were considering the idea. And I think it had very little to do with the possibility of putting my existence at risk. I think that even if my life were in no danger at all we still would not have done it. Why?
"Because, regardless of how many lives it might have saved as a result, when it came down to it, and we had the opportunity before us, we all realized that killing a baby for crimes it was not due to commit until it became a teenager, would be murder just as fowl as Tristen's murder of Rual. I realized then that I was not the reason my companions and I chose to interfere with the baby's future. Surely we were passing up the one sure method of preventing the disaster from ever taking place. But it was simply not a method we found acceptable.
"Perhaps on a piece of paper, it would make seem to make sense to sacrifice one or two lives in order to save thousands. The difference though, is that we would have no direct part in the taking of the thousands of lives, and would only be guilty of turning our heads. But if we had killed the babe Tristen ourselves, the blood of an innocent would forever stain our hands. It would mean the compromise of our values, leaving a blemish for all eternity. It would almost certainly draw the attention of the Dark Powers as well, and be the start of a journey down the road to damnation.
"I will also add that I can take comfort in the fact that we did the next best thing, by destroying him in the present day and removing the Sphere of Taliesin from his lands. Now finally, I can feel some of the burden being lifted from my shoulders."

Keep in mind that Vassago here is trying to convince himself that they did the right thing. But you might ask yourself, are his arguments sound? Did the Shadow Walkers do the right thing? It's not a simple matter. My campaign often focuses on tough choices like this. The Sphere of Taliesin by the way is a powerful artifact I made up.

Nikodemos (called Torch)
06-14-2009, 03:45 AM
"Keep in mind that Vassago here is trying to convince himself that they did the right thing. But you might ask yourself, are his arguments sound? Did the Shadow Walkers do the right thing? It's not a simple matter. My campaign often focuses on tough choices like this."

Twas a tough choice indeed....but the right one for us. When u have a paladin in ur group (especially as the leader), the option to murder a child (regardless of his fate or eventual evil) just isnt there....lmao.

06-14-2009, 09:01 AM
Agreed. But consider this, if you had the chance to go back in time and kill Adolf Hitler as a baby would you do it? To be honest, I think some members of the Shadow Walkers did not kill the babe Tristen when they had the chance because they were frozen with indecision. And before they could decide the chance had passed them by. But who could blame them? I probably would have done the same.

Nikodemos (called Torch)
06-14-2009, 09:31 PM
hehe, true.

But I tell u...even tho Marco and I were Neutral, I just couldnt bring myself to do it. Even knowing his destiny to be what it was. I think u said it best, that probably would have lead us irrevocably down the path of Damnation....lol. Im sure even Adolf Hitler justified his own madness by such compromising at first.

I left Forlorn, thinking I did the BEST I could to saving that realm, without damning myself in the end. After all, had Visago (or anyone) slain the child, who is to say what the Mists would have done to that individual...perhaps that realm would have endured even worse, by the very murderous act itself. Who knows, a new Darklord might have arisen on such a foul deed.

Was not to be me, brother.....lol. Gemini had enough personality problems without adding that black stain to his soul.

06-14-2009, 09:46 PM
So true, so true

It's kind of like the butterfly effect. Any attempt to change the past might actually make things worse instead.