Domain of the Month
Hi Everyone! Another week, another domain. This week, let's look at an often overlooked domain, Souragne. This land is a lush, swampy island filled with bayou and dotted with plantations. This domain embodies voodoo themes, as well as Carribean as well as an Amercian Antebellum South / Louisiana flavour. Its lord is the dreaded Anton Misroi, zombie lord and embodiement of Death within the swamps. Ruler of the dead, Misroi is bound within the swamps and served by legions of zombie slaves. The only creature able to resist his Dance of the Dead is the Maiden of the Swamp, embodiment of life. The enigmatic Chicken Bone watches the struggle from the sidelines, granting favours to those who will pay his horrible price.
More information on Souragne can be found in the Realm of Terror Boxed Set, the adventure Night of the Walking Dead, the novel Dance of the Dead and the core rule book Domains of Dread, the 3rd edition books Ravenloft 3rd edition and Ravenloft Dunegon Master's Guide, and the FoS Souragne Survey and its web enhancement.
Joël of the Fraternity
And by the way, a cool story for Souragne is Fishhead by Irvin S. Cobb. You can find at http://gaslight.mtroyal.ab.ca/gaslight/fishhead.htm
I'm not sure if this is appropriate but my campaign is going to settle in Souragne for a while and I've constructed my own Port D'lhour...or however you spell it. The Port is a nobleman's paradise. It is run by the merchant's guild, which is run by the 9 most wealthy landowners. 3 of which have been infected by a pack of wererats that have discovered the Island. The wererats are led by a brother and sister, one a master rogue the other a sorceress. They pass themselves off as noblemen but are in control of the theive's guild. With the merchant's guild and thieve's guild working together the theives rob merchants who happen to come across the island but also fence their items through the merchant's guild, and those merchants find that they can buy items at a very cheap cost. Merchants travelling back to their hometowns speak of a wealthy Island that has great trading possibilities...and others aren't so fortunate but must be assumed lost at sea.
The wererats have changed all of the 'silver' coinage to fake silver and are amassing a large treasure trove of it in their sewer lair. They have managed to rid almost all of the silver from the town. The pcs can get silver in a few ways. The noblemen still have their silver jewelry, and one has an antique silver sword that he displays in his chambers. The merchants have silver of course when they arrive, mostly in coinage, if the pcs can get to them first then they can get silver that way. Also there are moneychangers at the gates and ports that demand free of charge to change your money...b/c you don't need that weird currency, and you wouldn't want to have any counterfeiters...hopefully the pcs will be smacking themselves in the head later when they find out their silver coins are fake.
And then there is the toy. The wizard/toy maker wanted to create a magnificant device since he retired, he still wants to create. However he could not get his toy working until he gave up 1 permanent con to the device. It still works on jems that power it, but a person has to sacrifice a temporary con to "commune" with the device and get it to give them what they want, this also comes into play with craft checks. The device has grown its own intelligence through this communion and now is hungry for blood. (There are 5 natural wererats in all).
When one of the lesser capable wererats was sneaking around in the wizard's shop he happened upon the device and now guards it secretly. He kidnaps people and feeds them to it to create the most wondrous items. Souragne is a perfect place for wererats, without a strong clergy. The people worship the lord of the dead of course but their clerics aren't very powerful. There is one 5th level cleric that could cast remove curse but he has stopped casting spells b/c his faith has faltered (the sorceress did a number on him and he is ashamed of it). He has left town to in disgrace and the pcs will have to find him and restore his confidence to get a remove curse. Also the wizard has the remove curse spell as well.
The citizens view the 3 days of the full moon as a sign from the lord of the dead, they all stay indoors now but they don't know that its really the wererats and their 20 infected people that make it unsafe to venture out. This is about what I've come up with so far as a plot...It ended up being longer than I thought it would but oh well. (I haven't really finished it, I've got 2 more weeks before the pcs get to the town)
Dion of the Fraternity
My adventure hooks:
The enemies of a young noblewoman have been dropping mysteriously dead across Port d'Elhour, with no murder witnesses. Most of them appear to have died with a single neat hole between their eyes, though some have similar punctures across parts of their bodies. The young woman seems as terrified as anyone else, and as the rumors of witchcraft mount, the PCs are requested to investigate.
In fact, the murderer is a young nobleman infatuated with the suspected witch. He has obtained a voudoun doll with which to maim and kill people from afar, and has decided to prove his devotion to his "beloved" by killing anyone she dislikes. His social connections give him ample opportunity to collect the materials he needs for his dark ritual: hair, fingernails, or personal possessions.
Even if the PCs can figure out his plot and stop him, the question remains: who gave him the doll? And for what sinister purpose?
Every year, the swamp folk around Port d'Elhour have open season on swamp 'gators, and in recent years the nobility has begun to participate in these brutal hunts as well. The PCs are hired as bodyguards for a foppish noble on his first hunt. As the trek into the swamps progresses, it becomes more obvious with each death that the noble and his entourage are the hunted instead of the hunter. The PCs must keep their charge and themselves alive until they can get back to civilization or kill the great alligator that hunts them with an almost human intellect.
The problem with Sournage is that it is too small! I would suggest that people make it larger. I would suggest that people make it 25 miles from side to side and add a few settlements, just small thorps around a manor. In Sournage there are powerful fey living in the swamps. Treat them as 5HD fey but ones that can cast spells as druids but can also prepare necromantic spells.
A Son of a noble family from the enlighted domains learning that Sournage has some empty space and a "law system" that suits him, desides to move in and settle some land in the swamps in order to sell herbs and swamp commodities to the core. He buys some slaves, hires a few guards and experts and gets to work. In a few months he has set up a small hamlet with 60 - 70 people and starts exploiting the swamp.
At first he has to face the moor men but with a party of adventurers (perhaps the PCs, perhaps not) he forces them away.
Becoming bolder he sends his men deeper in the swamp disturbing the Fey who start taking notice of him and harassing him and his village. The noble hires the PCs to take care of this problem.
Notice that neither the Fey nor the noble are evil in this scenario. Both sides want the same land for different reasons. You may make one of the sides evil, or just let the adventurers take sides or make a compromise. Perhaps the settlement will be found overcome by nature, devoid of people with just a strange sign in the middle of what once was a hamlet. Perhaps the noble is a violent, ambitious man that cares nothing for his people.
Perhaps both of the above scenarios, perhaps none.
Reginald de Curry
The party is hired by an aristocrat ("Marsha") to find her newlywed husband ("John"), who went missing two weeks ago. She believes that Chicken Bone is involved in her husband's disappearance, but won't say why.
In a small, isolated settlement the slaves have finally rebelled against their abusive leader. After a short and swift battle, the noble was captured and executed in a most terrible way. He was buried alive far from the village, where no one could hear his screams.
But death in such a manner is rarely final, and the villagers had little time to celebrate their newfound freedom before the noble returned as a Dread Revenant, unable to rest until the leaders of the rebellion were punished. Soon, the deaths began, and the leaders were killed one by one, each month, in the light of the full moon.
Now, only two remain, and both have locked themselves up in their houses. Panic has the village in its grip as the next full moon approaches slowly but surely.
Enter the PCs.
As the final hope of the rebellion's leaders, it is up to the PCs to find the source of the deaths and stop them. Easier said than done, of course, since the undead noble is unlikely to let strangers interrupt what he sees as his duty. While he cannot alter his pattern when it comes to killing the rebels, the PCs will have no such delays, and they are certain to be in a great deal of trouble if they agree to aid the village. In time, and with research, myths and superstitious shamans, the PCs will hopefully discover the true culprit. When they do, there are several ways to end the noble's undead existence:
ScS of the Fraternity
Maison Douleur looms above the village of Aboise in the sourthen edge of the island. Long ago the Douleur family ruled over Aboise with an iron fist, crushing all who disobeyed them. For many years the villagers lived in fear of the Douleurs, but fifty years ago their rule was ended when their Patriarch, Henri Douleur, creamated his wife (whom he murdered). For violating the law of the Lord of the Dead, the family and their servants were smote with a horrid, maddening disease. Their Plantation was quarentiened and none have entered it, until now.
A group of teenagers chanced upon the vine-strangled manor and, ignoring the warnings of their elders, explored the overgrown estate. The next day only one of the youngsters has been found, wandering in a haze through the fields. Though in a feverish dementia, she blurts out where she has been.
The spirits of the corrupt family still lurk in the rotting manor house. Bodiless, they yearn for the life that was stolen from them. Anyone they possess will succumb to the same wasting disease with which Misoroi cursed the Douleurs. Running amok in the shadows are the children, possessed by the ghosts of:
Unlike the rest of the spirits, Henri Douleur knows of a cure for the disease. He wants to find a healthy adult body to possess, and through it assume his mastery over Aboise.
The players have an unlikely ally in Maris Douleurs, the murdered wife of Henir. If they can collect her ashes she may lead the players to the children, the cure for their disease, or even help them destroy Henri.
Everybody knows to steer clear off the deep swamps, as they are the domain of the Lord of the Dead. But a proud aristocrat did not heed the warnings, and built his mansion at Anton Misroi's very doorstep. After a few months, any contact with the mansion stopped. Several dozen years have passed since then. The PC's are hired by a relative of the aristocrat to retrive an old family heirloom from the mansion. They enter the deep swamp, and find horror....
Joël of the Fraternity
Story told while back from the sugarcanes:
DM note: the existence and exact nature of Mama Crécré is left to you ...
Great quotes by Anton Misroi in Dance of the Dead:
Igor the Henchman
A new village is being colonised on an island among the swampland. Unfortunately, it seems that the Souragnian settlers have triggered some eldrich curse on themselves, and have been gradually turned into snakemen. If the PCs reach the village's location, they might find the curse is also affecting them. Only by exploring the half-sunken ruins of an ancient temple nearby can they hope to find the cause of (and the cure against) this strange affliction.
To contribute to the Domain of the Month, post on the forum.
Send your adventure hooks to Joel@fraternityofshadows.com