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Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd! 
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Evil Genius
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Post Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd!
Has anyone ever done anything with the Phantom Lover?

I ask because I've been struck by an idea, while Van Richten classifies the Phantom Lover as a 5th Mag Ghost, the original entry in Darklords suggests that he seems more closely related to a vampire.

So, what if Leederik was some kind of vampire?

The Darklords article states that his alternate forms are a mist (like a standard vamp) a black snake (not standard for a vampire but not absurd) and a SMALL BLACK DRAGON! (Which you might have guessed, by my capitals, I do not consider standard, not for a vamp, and not for a ghost now I think about it).

He also has powers over creatures who share his alternate forms, much like a vampire, and is able to summon black snakes and here is the interesting bit GARGOYLES! (again with the capitals) gargoyles which resemble small black dragons...

Now that got me thinking, where have I seen gargoyles that resemble small black dragons...


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Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:55 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd!
Co-incidence? Probably, but what if it wasn't?


Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:57 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd!
So what would be the connection between Leederick and Strahd?

Well the obvious choice would that Strahd spawned Leederick, but there aren't a huge number of male Strahd spawn about to compare him with, as most of them are female.

Of the top of my head I can only think of Leo Dilisnya from strict canon, and Besczu from the VRS Doppelgangers, and if you believe the Fair Barovia article in Dungeon, Leo has the alternate form of a manticore! Besczu as a doppel-vampire is already monstrous, so if we include Leederik then, maybe, a pattern begins to emerge, that might suggest a hidden possibility.

Strahd has a secret curse, any male vampire that Strahd creates himself (as opposed to a male vampire created by one of his "brides") has a monstrous alternate form, one that makes them dangerous to Strahd. Strahd will therefore only turn males in extreme circumstances, or if he is sure what form the monstrosity will take (as in the case of the doppelganger)

So, maybe, just maybe Leederik, the Phantom Lover, was an early victim of Strahd before Strahd was aware of his taint.

Maybe, then the human Leederik was a great seducer of women, perhaps he used illusion in his seductions, maybe that is what drew the attention of Strahd, who sought to learn his secrets (as Strahd was wont to do when he wished to progress as a mage) Thinking to control Leederik more easily Strahd turned him, but soon had cause to fear as Leederik discovered the power that his monstrous form had to harm his creator, it took every ounce of Strahd's strength plus the entirety of his undead servant staff to finally defeat Leederik once he began to fight.

Strahd's relief at victory was short lived, as he was attacked by the ghost of Leederik that same night, Strahd managed to keep him at bay, but the ghost could not be destroyed.

Strahd sought to free himself from Leederik's hauntings, he spent the next several months carving out a labyrinth from the living rock at the edge of his domain, and interred Leederik's remains at it's heart. He then tried to forget about it.

The peasants who herded goats near the labyrinth knew nothing of this, of course, the maze was entirely underground with no entrances or exits, so when a squat stone tower emerged from the soil one day, they had no reason to suspect that Leederik's will was re-entering the world.

Neither had they any way of seeing a connection when first one, then two, then three young widows wasted away with grief, for those deaths happened in villages miles away.

But they could see the tower growing, and that gave them reason enough to fear, until they in their desperation did what any sane Barovian would never do, they sent word to Strahd!

Strahd himself felt a twinge of panic when the peasant span his tale, imagine if you will, how that panic transformed when he arrived at the location of the tower to find it gone, swallowed by the mists, free...


Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:09 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd!
For Leedericks part his preying on mourning lovers is his plan of vengance, some day soon, he believes, his shadowy realm will open into the bed chamber of she who has mourned since the beginning of the world...Tatyana!


Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:16 am
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Conspirator
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Post Re: Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd!
Pretty interesting stuff.


Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:24 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Mad Idea: The Phantom Lover, Spawn of Strahd!
well, I was rereading the Darklords entry on the Phantom Lover, which said it acted like a vampire, and I remembered that VRGtG said he was a ghost, so if it's a ghost that acts like a vampire, then it's probably the ghost of a vampire


Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:52 pm
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