Shadowlands

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Overview

A group of small planes which share some similar physical properties. Alternately, the area occupied by and surrounding those planes.

The planar area of the Shadowlands contains an unknown number of small planes or planelets varying in size from modest sized countries down to single buildings. The boundaries of a number of these small planes adjoin, so that a traveller may walk from one to another without special skills or magics.

The various realms differ in their nature, culture, magics, levels of technology, and in many other ways, although most appear to be grim and twisted shades of the more usual mortal realms; Alusia and similar words seen through a glass, darkly.

The realms do however share certain attributes in common. Each appears to be the home of a single, powerful Realm Lord, and it is easier to get into the Shadowlands than to leave.

Surrounding the edges of the planelets (except where they join other realms) is an area of interdimedsional mist, that may be a specific manifestation of, or sub-area of, the Astral Plane. It is through this mist that travellers from mortal worlds most commonly find access to the Shadowlands; the mists sometimes rise in mortal worlds during times of conjunction and people entering the mist may find themselves exiting into one of the realms.

Over time some of the realms appear to move within the mists and their borders can change, forcing travellers to seek alternate routes between them, or having to attempt a crossing of the mists.

Leaving the Shadowlands can be difficult. Some of the Realm Lords are known to be able to remove mortals from their lands, but other means of exit either work inconsistently or not at all. Banishment magics are known to only take travellers as far as the edge of a realm, and will not transport them to their home plane. Planar transport magics used in the mists may have even less desirable outcomes: there are accounts of travellers attempting escape this way being deposited in the Underrealms, a place that makes the Shadowlands appear pleasant by comparison.

Realms

Several Shadowland realms have been encountered by Guild members.

Borovia

Encountered durng the Heedless they... adventure in the Spring of 799 WK, this was a Shadowlands facsimile of County Borovia from Alusia. The realm's lord was apparently trapped in some form of coffin-like device, and the realm was in the process of being taken over by another would-be ruler.

Through the actions of the party the new ruler gained a device that drained the previous ruler's powers; he was subsequently slain by the party and the realm of Borovia disintegrated back into the mists.

Dominia

First encountered during the Crown of Souls {pdf} adventure in Summer of 781 WK, Dominia appeared at that time to border Kartarkas and another (unexplored) realm named Gundorak. Later experiences of the realm suggest that it has moved, as it now appears surrounded by mist.

Dominia is a very small realm, comprising a single large manor house and its grounds. The house is a sanatorium for the mentally ill, and home to the realm's master: Doctor Dominiani.

Doctor Dominiani

Also referred to as Herr Doktor, Dominiani appears as a handsome and urbane middle-aged man with dark hair swept back from a pronounced widow's peak, above a well trimmed goatee. He affects clothes that appear odd to most Alusians; long frock coats over high collared shirts. Although magical detections show him to be human, Dominiani is well known to be a powerful vampire, with one particularly notable twist: he eschews blood in favour of cranial fluids.

Dominiani is an expert in madness of all kinds and has a special interest in collecting patients with unusual forms of madness. He is an expert healer, and while he is quite capable of curing madness he prefers instead to cultivate it; the cranial fluids of the insane gaining distinctive palate.

The Doctor has a number of other vampiric healers working for him (these appear to have the usual taste for blood), along with mostly human staff.

The basement area of Dominiani's house has numerous corridors which appear to grant access to buildings in the mortal realms. He can apparently open doorways into asylums and mental hospitals; places where the concentrations of madness are high enough, giving rise to speculation that his powers are in some way derived from madness.

Falkovnia

Originally encountered durng the Heedless they... adventure in the Spring of 799 WK, Falkovnia is a grim realm ruled by a madman with a fetish for impaling traitors, criminals, foreigners, elves, poor people, and anyone else who catches his eye.

Katarkas

First encountered during the Crown of Souls {pdf} adventure in Summer of 781 WK, Katarkas is a heavily wooded country ruled by rough nobles who are also werewolves.

Meg Mell

Encountered via the Fae Ethereal one of the features noted was a large set of standing stones.

The Stones

The Standing stones on the plane of 'Meg Mell' are arrayed in three circles each with a chalk path on the inside of the circle. Four chalk paths head in cardinal directions from the centre circle to the outside.

The whole leveled area is over 300 yards across, and surrounded by a ditch some 20 yards across and over 10 yards deep. Earth is mounded up on the external side, the land then dropping away down heavily wooded slopes until the hill vanishes into the mists making the hilltop seem an island in the fog.

One one of the paths a black shimmering liquid-like substance has covered the path and expanded out to encompass the grass and stones on the edges of the path. Grass and stones in contact with the oild substance appear to be melted although the substance is extremely cold.

Due to the lack of a definable north we arbitrarily assigned north to the path with the black substance. This was later shown to be reasonable as it became lighter in the east a bit later on.

Investigation (hugging) the stones of the outer rings showed that some sensations could be gained from the stones. Continuing this investigation into the 16 inner stones found the sensations were strong enough to determine sex and affiliation of the stones (or presumably the entities that either formed the stones or became them.

We assigned letters to the stones based on the first two we checked which bounded the path 90 degree's sunwise to the path consumed by the black substance. From there we went deiseil round the stones.

The information below has been garnered from Pent, Haann and Dramus hugging rocks. Repeated test found that Pent had strong feelings but they were erratic, Haann had weak sensations but they were consistant, and Dramus had very strong feelings that were reasonably consistant.

The Possible Seasons and aspects are figments of Dramus' imagination and may or may not be accurate in any way.

Stone

Sex

Alignment

Possible Season

Possible Aspect

A Male Sharp/Powerful/Angular Autumn Air
B Female Sensuous/Womanly/Earthy Autumn Earth
C Male Fresh/Revitalising/Energising Autumn Water
D Female Fantasy/Overt Sexuality Winter Unknown
E Male Death/Passing of Life Winter Unknown
F Female Fates/Possibilities Winter Unknown
G Male Unsurity/Ambiguity/Changing Winter Unknown
H Female Depth/Unknowable/Inscrutable Spring Water
I Male Energetic/Of the beasts/Wild Animal Spring Fire
J Female Energy/Driving Force/Flowers Spring Earth
K Male Stormy/Wet Spring Air
L Female Gentle/Compassion/Mildly Moist Summer Water
M Male High Breeze/Call of Birds Summer Air
N Female Mature Beauty/Light(Star) Summer Fire
O Male Masculine/Raw Energy/ Courage/Bravery/Chivalric Summer Earth
P Female Elegant/Knowledgable/Graceful/Poetic/a Bard in the sense of an entertainer and loremaster Autumn Fire

Newport

Created during the events of the Mystery of Missing Suitors (pdf) in Winter of 804 WK, Newport was a short-lived attempt by Victor D'Amberville, estranged son of the Baron of Newcourt to steal a large portion of that Barony and transport it into the Shadowlands. The realm collapsed and Victor's spirit or soul was handed over to Doctor Dominiani.