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Power Rituals for Darklords? 
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Evil Genius
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Post Power Rituals for Darklords?
So this idea occurred to me during a facebook chat with Steve Miller about some of the powers of Anton Misroi, which rather than being gifts of the Dark Powers were taught to him by the Maiden of the Swamp.

I suggested that the power ritual that Misroi used was related/similar to fiendish power rituals because the Maiden could be considered an Outsider, Steve said that he couldn't quite remember, but that it sounded about right.

Not needing much encouragement, I further suggested that other darklords might have also used power rituals to increase their bond to their domains.

Specifically I suggested that Strahd's choking fog might have been a result of a power ritual, based on a previous chat with P. N. Elrod where she said that Strahd's tie to the land was a consequence of his "I am the Ancient, I am the Land" blood ritual, this got a "like" which was all the confirmation I needed to put that into my campaign. :)

It has occurred to me that this might also explain why some darklords have more "domain" based powers than others, they have chosen to bond themselves further to the land in order to gain power, just as some fiends have done.

What do you think?


Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:10 am
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Invisible Menace
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
Well, I'm not adverse to Darklords gaining powers with rituals, like Azalin did when he blew himself and Il Aluk up.
But I'm kinda against power rituals, because that's the trick the Dark Powers use to entice fiends to bind themselves to the land. A fiend using more and more power rituals ends up without a reality wrinkle at which point he's immediately snatched as a darklord and trapped, while DPowers go "MWAHAHA".

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Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:16 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
This has probably been influenced by my own headcanon that Ravenloft is actually designed as a demon trap/prison and that the DLs are secondary targets since the original demon-god escaped (I know Gary said Ravenloft wasn't the demiplane of imprisonment, but I've never really bought it)

Again in headcanon, the DLs have proven themselves corrupted, and the semi sentient security system (try saying that drunk), has imprisoned them in a cell with distractions (curses, a population to rule, pesky PCs), but redemption is still possible (though unlikely) the power rituals bind the DL ever closer to the land, making redemption and escape even less likely. For some even the escape of death is denied them as their souls become so entwined with the land that it refuses to let them die.

Without the headcanon, I can see the sense in separating out the power rituals of fiends (and the power rituals of liches, for that matter) on a mechanical basis as the effects should be different from DL ritual magic.

From an in character perspective, though, they would all have the taste of fiendish magic, and might not the fiends among them be the ones instructing the less magically minded DLs in the required steps?


Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:17 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
You might be able to make the argument for darklord power rituals based upon Anton Misroi's dominance of the swamp through the Dance of the Dead and the other knowledge he reaped from his deception of the Maiden of the Swamp. And even though it wasn't really a power ritual, you might be able to emulate a failed power ritual after what to happened to Azalin as a result of the fallout from the Requiem.

Edit: This is setting aside power rituals coming from fiends, as the Maiden of the Swamp is obviously not a fiend. Rather, I am speaking of a darklord becoming further entrenched within his domain.


Last edited by The Lesser Evil on Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:04 pm
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
Not exactly failed. Azalin came back nearly omnipotent.

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Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:05 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
alhoon wrote:
Not exactly failed. Azalin came back nearly omnipotent.


I'm talking more about when his essence was dispersed throughout the land.


Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:08 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
The Lesser Evil wrote:
You might be able to make the argument for darklord power rituals based upon Anton Misroi's dominance of the swamp through the Dance of the Dead and the other knowledge he reaped from his deception of the Maiden of the Swamp. And even though it wasn't really a power ritual, you might be able to emulate a failed power ritual after what to happened to Azalin as a result of the fallout from the Requiem.

Edit: This is setting aside power rituals coming from fiends, as the Maiden of the Swamp is obviously not a fiend. Rather, I am speaking of a darklord becoming further entrenched within his domain.


Would that thing with the Well of Shadows or whatever it is called in the second Soth book that Inza made use of (no spoilers beyond what is known from Ravenloft cannon please have not finished it yet) be another good example for a "darklord power ritual" of sorts?


Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:46 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
alhoon wrote:
Well, I'm not adverse to Darklords gaining powers with rituals, like Azalin did when he blew himself and Il Aluk up.
But I'm kinda against power rituals, because that's the trick the Dark Powers use to entice fiends to bind themselves to the land. A fiend using more and more power rituals ends up without a reality wrinkle at which point he's immediately snatched as a darklord and trapped, while DPowers go "MWAHAHA".


Has this actually happened to any of the fiends in canon? IIRC the Whistling Fiend was gaining powers at quite a rate, but he would make a terrible DL imho.


Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:34 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Power Rituals for Darklords?
The Lesser Evil wrote:
You might be able to make the argument for darklord power rituals based upon Anton Misroi's dominance of the swamp through the Dance of the Dead and the other knowledge he reaped from his deception of the Maiden of the Swamp. And even though it wasn't really a power ritual, you might be able to emulate a failed power ritual after what to happened to Azalin as a result of the fallout from the Requiem.

Edit: This is setting aside power rituals coming from fiends, as the Maiden of the Swamp is obviously not a fiend. Rather, I am speaking of a darklord becoming further entrenched within his domain.


No the Maiden is clearly not a fiend, but as an Outsider (ish?) maybe her magic is similar enough?

Isolde of the Carnival is far from a fiend but she is subject to some of the same restrictions as them as an Outsider


Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:52 am
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