Dr. Rudolph van Richten is one of the greatest and most well-known heroes of the Lands of the Mists. He was born in Rivalis in Darkon in 671 BC. He took medicine at the University of Il Aluk, completing his four or five year program of study in 693 BC. This humble man was spurred into a life of monster hunting when his son Erasmus van Richten was kidnapped by the Radanavich clan and sold to Baron Metus. Metus turned Erasmus into a vampire groom and Van Richten was forced to slay his son. In revenge, Metus killed Rudolph's wife, Ingrid van Richten. Van Richten eventually slew Metus, and then, with the help of Azalin, the entire Radanavich tribe.
Until his disappearance in 750 BC, he resided in Mordentshire, where he ran an herbalist shop, as well as wrote several of his famous Van Richten's Guides, and mentored The Weathermay-Foxgrove Twins, who regarded him as an uncle and took up his work.
Credited for marketing purposes with:
671 BC - Rudolph Van Richten born, son of Otto and Mrs. Van Richten
678 BC - Rudolph’s sister Maria Van Richten born
679 BC - Rudolph Van Richten sent to boarding school in Nartok. A childhood friend is Eldrenn Van Dorn.
680 BC - Casimir (not to be confused with Harkon Lukas’ son) starts working at Richten Haus as the gate keeper.
683 BC - The servants of Richten Haus are all killed while the family is away one day. (summer)
685 BC - Rudolph Van Richten meets Robert Tatenna, a fellow student at boarding school. (fall)
688 BC - The Crimson Death spreads across Darkon (winter); it claims Van Richten’s great aunt Helga, despite his efforts; Rudolph is even more driven into his medical studies.
689 BC - Rudolph Van Richten attends the University of Il Aluk. While there, he meets a fellow student, Dr. Harmon Ruscheider. (fall)
691 BC - Rudolph Van Richten marries his childhood sweetheart, Ingrid.
692 BC - Rudolph and Ingrid Van Richten's son Erasmus is born.
693 BC - Dr. Rudolph Van Richten finishes his studies; opens his practice back home in Rivalis.
693 BC - Dr. Van Richten travels to Lamordia, hears of the Loud Man.
696 BC - Dr. Van Richten meets Antonin Madren and becomes his mentor.
706 BC - Dr. Van Richten suffers the wrath of the Radanavich clan; the Vistani steal his son Erasmus; they sell Erasmus to Baron Metus, a vampire from Richemulot; with the help of an amused Azalin, Van Richten wipes out all but one member of the Radanavich caravan; Madame Radanavich curses Van Richten, although he doesn’t realize it until the end of his career.
Van Richten puts his Erasmus out of his misery, but in spite Baron Metus tears Ingrid van Richten to pieces; Dr. Van Richten destroys Baron Metus, starting his career of hunting evil. Unable to live with the memories in Richten Haus, Van Richten moves to Corvia.
707 BC - Dr. Van Richten researches vampires, and meets Aimon Davidovitch, a fellow scholar of the arcane.
710 BC - Dr. Van Richten encounters his first werebeast near Varithne, a small village in northern Darkon. Dr. Van Richten starts hunting werebeasts as well
711 BC - Dr. Van Richten meets Gedlan Ironheart, a fearless dwarven innkeeper in Corvia. Gedlan becomes a frequent hunting companion.
712 BC - Dr. Van Richten meets the mage Shauten; they bond when they are attacked by one of Azalin's patrols. Shauten opens Van Richten's eyes to the existence of the Lich.
713 BC - Dr. Van Richten is visited by the dying Dr. Ruscheider, who tells Rudolph all he can about several months spent as a lich's captive; Dr. Van Richten starts hunting liches.
714 BC - Dr. Van Richten receives a visit from his childhood friend, Eldrenn Van Dorn, who is now a ghostly slave to Azalin; Dr. Van Richten learns the terrible truth about Azalin Rex.
714 BC - Dr. Van Richten moves to Mordentshire, sensing it is politically unsafe for him to remain in Darkon.
716 BC - The evil spirit of Madame Radanavich and her undead retinue discover Richten Haus and claim it for their own.
718 BC - Dr. Van Richten and Shauten battle a creature they believe to be a priestly lich; it is actually Van Richten's first ancient dead.
724 BC - Dr. Van Richten battles the Bog Monster of Hroth, and meets Jameld. This is also Van Richten's first visit to both Kartakass and Sithicus.
726 BC - Dr. Van Richten visits Sanguinia with George Weathermay and Arametrius; they meet Claudia DeShanes; Claudia becomes Rudolph’s assistant, and it seems he had certain unspoken feelings for her.
727 BC - Merilee Markuza, the Child Vampire, kills Claudia. Van Richten pursues the creature relentlessly, but loses her in Lamordia.
727 BC - While hunting the Child Vampire, Van Richten witnesses the Thundering Carriage; Van Richten decides he must put an end to these ghostly horrors, too.
728 BC - Dr. Van Richten defeats the Phantom Army.
729 BC - The fiend Elsepeth enters Ravenloft via transposition in a small village outside Stangengrad, near the Grashen Falls (sept)
730 BC - Gedlan Ironheart killed while battling evil spirits.
731 BC - Elsepeth leaves Borca, having lurked there for years
732 BC - Antonin Madren writes to Van Richten about the death of Madren’s sister.
734 BC - Antonin Madren shows up on Van Richten's doorstep, and gives the good doctor his notes; Dr. Van Richten starts hunting the Created.
735 BC - Dr. Van Richten is forced to kill his old friend Shauten in self-defense, when Shauten tries to sacrifice Rudolph in a bid for lichdom. This "near-miss" may have inspired Van Richten to start recording his collected knowledge for heroes to come.
735 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to Vampires.
736 BC - Elsepeth goes to Nartok.
736 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts.
737 BC - The Vistana Cyrilla's niece Vassa is kidnapped near Corvia.
737 BC - Vassa returns as a clay golem; Cyrilla writes to Dr. Van Richten.
737 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to the Lich.
738 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts.
In 738 BC, Emil Bollenbach engineered the kidnapping of Dr. Rudolph van Richten to the end of seizing his brain for transplantation into a super-golem.
739 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to the Created.
740 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to the Ancient Dead (early spring).
740 BC - Dr. Van Richten inherits the library (Aimon Davidovitch) of Aimon Davidovitch. Dr. Van Richten starts studying tomes. (Sept)
741 BC - Dr. Van Richten and friends battle Drigor; they are defeated miserably. (Feb.)
741 BC - Dr. Van Richten publishes the Van Richten's Guide to Fiends.
741 BC - Dr. Van Richten is depressed; he consults with the diviner, Inarin Alster; Rudolph realizes he had been laboring under a curse all these years; Dr. Van Richten spends a year with Arturi Radanavich studying the Vistani.
742 BC - Dr. Van Richten writes his Van Richten's Guide to the Vistani and retires. (Oct.)
750 BC - Dr. Rudolph Van Richten dies (see Bleak House boxed set).
- ↑ John W. Mangrum's Ravenloft timeline
Data from the Ravenloft Catalogue
Realm of Terror
Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium I - p4
Bleak House:Heroes, Monsters, and Settings - cover, p4
Bleak House:Homecoming - p4,p16
Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts - p7,8
Ravenloft Campaign Setting:Domains and Denizens - p92
Realm of Terror - p114
Chilling Tales - p 5,11
The Created - p13
Van Richten's Arsenal - p5
Bleak House:Heroes, Monsters, and Settings - pp4-5
Ravenloft Campaign Setting:Domains and Denizens - p91
Dungeon #55: The Seawolf
Realm of Terror - pp114-115
Chilling Tales - p 3
Ravenloft Third Edition - pp14,17-18,27,176
Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium I - throughout
Bleak House - throughout
Van Richten's Guide to The Created - throughout
Dungeon #55: The Seawolf
Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts - throughout
Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts - throughout
Van Richten's Guide to Vampires - throughout
Ravenloft Campaign Setting:Domains and Denizens - pp91-93
Tales of Ravenloft: The Crucible of Dr. Rudolph van Richten - pp1-17
Realm of Terror - pp114-115
Chilling Tales - pp 2-3
Heroes of Light - p64
I, Strahd, The War Against Azalin - pp1-4, pp9-13, pp304-310