- The Carnival
- The Kargatane of Vallaki
- The Fraternity of Shadows
- The Great Families of the Core
- Faiths of the Demiplane
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Dr. Rudolph Van Richten
Once a humble doctor in Darkon, who lived happily with his wife and son. That all came to a crashing the night that a Vistani tribe, the Radanavichs, burst into his home and demanded he treat a badly wounded member of theirs. Van Richten worked on him with all his skills, but it wasn't enough and the boy died on the operating table. Terrified of the (justifiably) infamous temper, mercurial nature and dark magic of the Vistani, he begged them to take whatever they wanted from his home but leave him unharmed. To his horror, they did so by kidnapping his son. Desperately he raced out into the night, where he encountered Azalin; for his own amusement, the Lich not only shielded him from the monsters, but allowed him to command an army of zombies. With their help, he caught the Vistani and demanded his son back... only to find he had been sold to Baron Metis, a vampire nobleman. Commanding the zombies to feast upon the Vistani, he went to the vampire and tried to get his son back, but was rebuked. His son escaped before morning, but it was too late; he had already become a "bride", a vampire created by another of its kind as a lover and soulmate. He staked his son, after spending the last hours of his human self together, and then returned home — only to find that the vengeful Metis had slain his wife in kind. This set him upon the road to become the greatest monster hunter, and authority on slaying monsters, in the Demiplane of Dread.
- Badass Normal: He never wanted to be a monster hunter, but he adapted quite well.
- Barrier Warrior: In the 5e remake of Ravenloft, Van Richten can cast spells as a cleric, and he seems to prefer magic which wards off the undead as opposed to direct damage.
- Direct Line to the Author: The Van Richten Guide sourcebooks are framed as being the exact same texts that he wrote In-Universe as guides to other aspiring monster hunters.
- Doomed by Canon: Van Richten's demise is the centerpiece of the adventure module "Bleak House", in which there are three endings where he dies and one ending where he is de-aged to childhood and forced to stay in Richten Haus, where the house's incarnate spirit promises to raise him to become a great hero once again.
- Doom Magnet: Van Richten lost many of his adventuring friends throughout his career. In his Guide to the Vistani, he recounts learning that he had been cursed by the Raunie he had slain to always bring doom, death and suffering
- Expy: Of Abraham Van Helsing.
- Fantastic Racism: Held a rather justified abhorrence of the Vistani for years as a monster-hunter. He eventually got over this.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Averted. He always took great pains to avoid becoming as bad as the creatures he fought against, wrote often in his guidebooks of the dangers of relying on just blindly attacking the most likely subject, and is known to have a great deal of contempt for Wyan of Viktal, whose own attempt to publish a Fey Hunting Guide resulted in a work that is more likely to result in the users killing innocent people than dark fae.
- Hunter of Monsters: The most famous In-Universe example of this, having literally written the book on hunting monsters. Several books, in fact; the Ravenloft monster sourcebooks, The Van Richten's Guides, are based off of (and written as, in the player's sections) In-Universe texts that Van Richten wrote to help others take up hunting creatures. Vampires, werebeasts, liches, ancient dead, ghosts, hags and Vistani are all covered by Van Richten himself. His successors, the Weathermay-Foxgrove Twins, would later add to the library with texts on the walking dead, fae and the general spawn of the Mists.
- Lawful Good: Official alignment.
- Master of Disguise: In Curse of Strahd, Van Richten has a hat that lets him cast Disguise Self at will. It is possible to go throughout the campaign without ever realizing he's in it.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Averted when it comes to his murdering an entire tribe of Vistani; he doesn't shed a tear (and few readers would) over killing them in the first place, and even when he does learn that all Vistani are not evil, he doesn't regret killing them all so much as he admits that it was an immoral act.
- Overrated And Under Leveled: In spite of having hunted numerous vampires and other evil monsters, he's somehow no higher than third level.
- Dr. Van Richten has been given stats across several game editions. His original stats in 2nd edition had to bend the rules because the character generation system at the time could not account for an elderly scholar with some interesting skills and he was a mid-level thief with an emphasis on reading language skills. His stats fluctuated from sourcebook to sourcebook, often with the explanation that his constant fights with undead had exposed him to permanent level drain (a very real danger fighting vampires under the rules at the time). In 3rd edition, with the advent of NPC non-combat classes that could account for much of his adult life as a doctor and not an adventurer, he was rewritten with a much more believable stat block for his status.
- Thankfully Averted in the Curse of Strahd module. He isn't strong enough to fight Strahd head on, but he's a powerful ally with a good arsenal of tools and spells at his disposal. As an ally, he practically is required to defeat Strahd due to his usefulness.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: When he caught the Vistani who had kidnapped his son and sold him to the vampire Metis, he set a horde of zombies on them, killing every last one of them. Considering they took van Richten's son and sold him to be a vampire's undead child paramour, and the fact they only took van Richten's son because their first target was defended well enough to repulse them with violence, it is very hard to see them as not getting what was coming to them.
- Staking the Loved One: He had to kill his own son who had been turned into a vampire. This is, along with the murder of his wife by the same vampire that turned his son, what set off his monster hunting career.
- Sword Cane: In Curse of Strahd, he has one. The sword is silvered.
- Vampire Hunter: Though he also hunts ghosts, werebeasts and anything else that goes bump in the night, vampires are his specialty.
The Weathermay-Foxgrove Twins
Nieces of George Weathermay of Mordent through his sister, the twins Laurie and Gennifer were enamored of their monster-hunting uncle and his dear friend Van Richten from a young age. Even when they were caught up in the machinations of one of Van Richten's old enemies, a female werewolf named Natalie who seduced their uncle and took Gennifer hostage, it failed to dampen their enthusiasm. Ultimately, after Van Richten disappeared, they took up his legacy and appointed themselves his heirs.
- Brains and Brawn: Both girls are smart, but Laurie's a warrior specialized in the rapier, whilst Gennifer is a budding wizard.
- Hunter of Monsters: They don't just study monsters and keep Van Richten's Guides in print, they actively go out and slay monsters as well.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Some of their immediate family believe their monster-hunting to be a passing fancy, and that they will eventually settle down and take their roles as heirs to Mordentshire seriously. Similarly, several young Mordentish noblemen seek to be the first to "tame" one of the twins and secure rulership of Mordent by marriage. The twins themselves are having none of this nonsense.
- Zombie Infectee: In-Universe, George Weathermay believes that Gennifer is an afflicted werewolf, as a result of a bite she took from Natalie during that childhood attack. Where she is or isn't is left to the choice of the individual Dungeon Master.
An elven vampire who originally lived in the Forgotten Realms, he fell in love with a woman in an insane asylum who was actually a plane-lost reincarnation of Tatyana. When the Mists stole her back to Ravenloft, he followed her, and found himself in the role of teaching Strahd what it meant to be a vampire before turning on him for his evil ways. He tried to commit suicide under the sun after failing to kill Strahd, but the Mists stole him away, so he failed.
- The Cameo: He made an appearance in Descent Into Avernus... Crucified in hell.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Or his case "Crystal Vampire Elf", since he became the indirect inspiration for the Church of the Morninglord though his true nature as a vampire is a closely guarded secret.
- Dirty Coward: If Descent Into Avernus is to be believed, he followed Zariel on her crusade into hell, but he and a few others panicked and fled, sealing the portal behind them and condemning their fellows.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: Alongside his companions, the cleric Sasha and the thief Leisl. Jander is the fighter, due to his superhuman strength and abnormal powers as a vampire.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: He is perhaps the only nice vampire in the entire setting.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: After his survival, he has vowed to wipe out vampirism in whatever form it may come.
- Mistaken for Gods: He is mistaken for the Sun god Lathander in Vampire of the Mists. This even influences the artwork produced by the Church of the Morninglord in Ravenloft, as the Morninglord is depicted as looking like him.
- Non-Human Undead: A vampire elf.
- Our Elves Are Different: He is a sun/gold elf to be exact.
- Rage Against the Heavens: When he realized that he was tool of the Dark Powers against Strahd, he tried to commit Suicide by Sunlight as an act of defiance, but they put a stop to this. After his survival, he swore to fight against evil in this plane and view this as a crusade against the the Dark Powers themselves.
- Religious Vampire: He was a priest of Lathander in life and retained some of his faith after becoming a vampire, even taking refuge in a sacred grove.
- The Scourge of God: His entire purpose to be in Ravenloft is to constantly torment Strahd for the Dark Powers.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: His last canon apparence has him crucified in Hell for his treachery of Zariel.
- Suicide by Sunlight: Attempted to kill himself this manner, but the Mist aborted it. Descent into Avernus implies that he might have succeeded in the end, but was condemned to Hell for his efforts.
The Gentleman Caller
An incubus, and the mortal nemesis of Isolde. Tricked her into following him into the forbidden Demiplane of Dread in an effort to destroy her, only to find that he too was trapped within. Now, he moves through the mists, always just ahead of Isolde, siring fiend-blooded children for his own evil purposes.
- Arch-Enemy: To Isolde. In a twist, he is no longer a match for her in a fight, but her own curse and his constant efforts ensure nothing of the kind ever happens.
- Chaotic Evil: In-Universe. He is a demon, and demons are literally Made of Chaotic Evil.
- Charm Person: His incubus powers manifest this way. The Gentleman Caller is surrounded by a palpable aura of romantic allure, and he's managed to seduce both the experienced temptress Gabrielle Aderre and the iron-willed agent "S" simply by gazing at them. He also has access to an array of mind-affecting magic and may even be able to tap into the Demiplane itself to cast suggestion.
- The Chessmaster: He's a skilled plotter. While his attempt to destroy Isolde backfired, and left him weakened and trapped on the Demiplane with an implacable enemy who can easily destroy him if she ever catches him, the original Carnival supplement features a clever plan to destroy her by infiltrating her troupe with his agents, and he may be playing the long game in his attempt to escape the place.
- The Corrupter: He sows misery, evil, and corruption everywhere he travels in the Lands of Mists, which honestly don't need much help in that department.
- Greater-Scope Villain: He sired Gabrielle Aderre's Dukkar son, turned the wicked nun Marla into a hideous penanggalan, and taught Madame Irena Radanavich many of the evil powers she used to torture van Richten.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Not all of his children are evil, but they are all affected by his demonic taint. Many are physically monstrous or have obvious physical deformities and strange powers, and those tend to be the kinder ones.
- Horny Devils: One of the confirmed facts we have about him is that he is indeed an incubus.
- I Just Want to Be Free: Subverted. His potential long-term goal is to escape the Demiplane of Dread, but he also enjoys the pain and sorrow he causes for their own sakes.
- No Name Given: We never did learn what he's called beyond the name he gave.
- Power Perversion Potential: Deconstructed. His abuse of his Mind Control to seduce women has left a mile-wide trail of destruction and pain.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of the most vile characters in the setting, and it doesn't shy away from the horror women go through when he forces himself on them, even when he bothers using his powers first.
- Shrouded in Myth: Based on the official sources, anyway. The writers have shared many of the plans they had for him after the fact.
- Super Breeding Program: Has been engaging in one with Vistani and part-Vistani women, siring children with strange powers and appearances in an effort to escape the Demiplane and leave his nemesis there forever.
A Mad Scientist, and Adam's "father". Damned with his creation, he toils constantly to try to "fix" his wife, but has thus far only succeeded in prolonging her agony.
- Affably Evil: Mordenheim is not a cruel man. He despises death, and would save everyone's lives if he could. But he is also largely unbound by the strictures of morality, and when he can't get enough dead bodies to keep his wife's going, he arranges painless deaths with anesthetic chemicals.
- The Ageless: It's been centuries. Mordenheim doesn't age beyond his mid-thirties, and no one finds this strange.
- And I Must Scream: His wife's current condition is one of constant misery and suffering, such that she is ready to die... but Victor's pride and hatred of death will prevent him from ever shutting down the torturous machines keeping her alive.
- Anti-Magic: Not Mordenheim himself, but, an option presented in the 3rd edition version of the setting is that Mordenheim's sheer dismissal of magic has led to a phenomenon in Lamordia that mages dub "The Smothering of Reason", making the entire domain a place where magic is at some risk of spontaneously failing to work.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Mordenheim staunchly believes magic is inferior to science and dismisses it. The tie-in novel "Mordenheim" attempts to justify this by detailing an event where Mordenheim tried to switch his wife's mind using necromantic magic, but it backfired on him, leading to him denouncing magic as treacherous and unworthy. Although he has genuinely achieved some spectacular scientific feats, what his science can do still pales in many ways compared to the power of arcane magic.
- Curse: Even before the mists swallowed Lamordia, the gods had cursed Mordenheim for his arrogance by allowing him to re-animate Adam in the first place. Many fans feel he, not his creation, is better understood as the true Darklord of Lamordia.
- Dr. Fakenstein: A transparent Frankenstein pastiche, though much darker and less-sympathetic than the original.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all his many flaws, Victor did love his wife and daughter, two of the only real emotional connections he ever formed. To the extent to which his vanity allows him to do so, he regrets ignoring their pleas for him to rein in Adam before it was too late, and he works constantly to keep one of them alive. However, because of his vain, selfish nature, he refuses to accept that he is only prolonging her suffering, meaning that his love for her is still abusive and twisted by it.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Downplayed, but Mordenheim is a Mad Scientist who "neither worship[s] nor believe[s] in any power higher than man," and disdains arcane magic as a "diversion" from "real science." Despite coming from a world where, at the least, arcane magic is very real and its power is very demonstrable.
- Foregone Conclusion: Without the intervention of the gods that have spurned him, his quest to save his wife is hopeless. On some level, he is aware of this... but he keeps doing what he's doing anyway, because to do otherwise would be to admit to himself that he is as much at fault as Adam.
- Frame-Up: Mordenheim, for all his faults, is usually rather harmless. But the superstitious people of Lamordia are afraid of him, crediting him with powers he does not possess, and they blame him not merely for the grave-robbing he actually engages in but with his creation's murders.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a big one right over his left eye.
- Healing Factor: An extremely powerful one. He will regenerate From a Single Cell if necessary. Even the complete physical destruction or disintegration of his being will only ensure that his undying soul possesses a fresh male corpse, which, over the course of a week, comes to resemble him and takes up his work.
- In the Blood: Mordenheim has no direct children, but his family legacy does continue on through myriad cousins and their progeny, and optionally through the bloodline of his adopted daughter. Those who bear the blood of Mordenheim invariably are brilliant, love knowledge (especially scientific knowledge) and are prone to Arbitrary Skepticism, in the form of a disdain for religion and/or arcane magic. The antipathy towards religion is particularly justified because all Mordenheims have inherited Victor's Curse of Godlessness, which in 3e prevents them from ever taking levels in any class that learns divine magic.
- Lawful Evil: His In-Universe alignment, representing his detached, pragmatic mindset and his selfish, proud nature.
- Mad Scientist: Obviously, but a strangely calm one, who does not suffer from Science-Related Memetic Disorder.
- Magic Versus Science: He comes down quite firmly on the side of Science, doing his best to ignore that many of the things his science can do, magic can do cheaper and more easily.
- Non-Action Guy: He can't fight at all, but there are certain catches embedded in there...
- Pride: His tremendous, overbearing arrogance has damned him just as surely as if he had actually been a Darklord.
- Stone Wall: Can't fight, but he has the hit points of a flesh golem, can regenerate from just about anything short of disintegration, and there's even a timer involved, in that hurting him will quickly see Adam intervening to spare himself the pain.
- Synchronization: He's technically more a feature of Adam's curse than a Darklord in his own right, and neither can die while the other survives. Trying to kill Mordenheim will get Adam involved in short order, since they feel one another's physical injuries.
Stelios, Glyptar of Demise
An NPC introduced to the canon in the netbook Quoth the Raven 21, a preview of material for the fan-netbook on the Sea of Sorrows. Althea's husband in life, his treatment of her led to his death and her damnation to the Demiplane of Dread. He escaped death by binding his soul to an amethyst and becoming a glyptar, using his powers over Demise's rock and soil to torment his former wife and protect his heir, Leftheris.
- Asshole Victim: His existence sucks almost as much as his widow's, and he deserves every bit of it.
- Death by Woman Scorned: Murdered by Althea for the emotional abuse he put her through. Overlaps with Karmic Death.
- Death of Personality: As the caldera cools, Stelios's sapience and powers are cooling with it. Soon, there'll be nothing left of him but the mindless desire to torture his widow and protect his son.
- Dishing Out Dirt: As a glyptar, he has the ability to manipulate earth and stone. His powers have been enhanced by the fact Demise is still an active volcano, and possibly some subtle boosts from the Dark Powers, but his enhanced powers are slowly dwindling as the volcano cools, and eventually he will be reduced to the level of an ordinary glyptar.
- Domestic Abuse: As mentioned above, he was a cruel and callous spouse to Althea. In undeath, he dedicates himself to tormenting his wife, and has tried his hardest to terrorize his son Leftheris into hating his mother so much that he will continue doing so once Stelios' powers are nullified.
- Entitled to Have You: He took Althea to wife simply because she was a rebellious soul and he was convinced that he could "tame" her and make her a "proper" wife.
- Fantastic Racism: He sneers at the idea of breeding with "cattle," a category into which he places all other sapients besides medusae and maedar.
- Golem: Interacts with the world around him by using an animated stone statue, functioning as this. His body is becoming increasingly unreliable as his powers wane, however.
- Master of Illusion: In life he was a master illusionist, but his magical skills are fading in his undead state.
- Medusa: In life, he was a male variant called a maedar, which appears as a bald human who is immune to medusa venom and petrification and which can undo the Taken for Granite effect of a medusa's gaze attack. In undeath, he has become a glyptar, an undead maedar whose existence is bound into a gemstone, giving him powers of nearby rock and metal.
- Never My Fault: Refuses to accept any responsibility in his fate; as far as he's concerned, his wife was a blasphemous heretic and a madwoman who deserves his constant tormenting of her for her "profane" attitude.
- Offing the Offspring: Not directly, but, he refused to use his powers to transform any of his petrified human children back to flesh and blood, even as his wife was devastated by this. It's also implied that part of Althea's misfortune in having new children by her human "paramours" is that Stelios frequently intervenes to kill his wife's captive lover, her latest egg, or both.
- Papa Wolf: Only when it comes to Leftheris, but he's truly dedicated to it, to the point he clings to undeath out of two goals; to gaslight his former wife, and to keep his son alive.
- Power Incontinence: A symptom of his approaching Death of Personality. Sometimes, his illusions short out and go on the fritz.
- Rule-Abiding Rebel: He was something of an iconoclast in life for choosing to study illusion rather than the traditional warrior path. But he was still faithful to the general rules and beliefs of his culture, which was why he refused to ever change any of his human children back even as it drove his wife mad.
Althea and Stelios's maedar son, born into one of the most dysfunctional families ever. Raised by his undead earth-elemental father after his mother tried to murder him, he has long since come to the eminently reasonable conclusion that both his parents are jerks who deserved what they got and presently just want to leave Demise for good.
- Abusive Parents: He hasn't had a good upbringing from either of them. Althea hates maedar too much to ever not try to kill him, and his dad mostly keeps him alive to protect his "legacy" and to spite her rather than out of any real affection.
- Directionless Driver: When he runs into visitors, he offers his services as a guide, only to lead them aimlessly through the island, feeding his starved need for conversation, before attempting to kill and eat them.
- Fantastic Racism: His father's teachings include the belief that all other sapients are little better than livestock for their superior kind.
- Friendless Background: Raised in almost total isolation, with only his Dysfunctional Family for company. He's not crazy, but he is absolutely desperate for someone to talk to.
- Lawful Evil: In-Universe, as his official write-up reveals. He is after all, a maedar.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Doesn't know much about his father's condition, including his fading mind.
- Master of Illusion: Years of training under his father have made him similarly talented. It's noted that he's both smarter and less physical than most maedar as a result.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Averted. He's a rational being that can be reasoned with and willingly lets people go who offer things he wants.
- White Sheep: Downplayed. Leftheris is a racist who sees most sapients as nothing but cattle to use and feed upon... but it's entirely a product of his upbringing. The netbook notes he would happily let any human go who offers something besides a meal... such as a way off the island.
Once a beautiful thief, when the signs of aging began to show up on her face, she became desperate for some way to stay young forever. One dead Vistani matriarch and failed attempt on Castle Ravenloft later, she's not doing too badly for herself in this regard, though having to change out her head every so often is a bit inconvenient.
- Cool Sword: Ironfang, her +2 vorpal sword. She prefers to use this to sever heads because of its clean cut, but it's by no means necessary. Even when she's wearing the head of a class that can't use swords, she's capable of using this one.
- Cranium Chase: Her original head has apparently been all over The Land of Mists, even passing into the hands of at least two darklords (who apparently had no idea what it was) on occasion, with her in hot pursuit.
- Cursed With Awesome: Her ageless body slowly regenerates even from death, and actually being headless imposes no penalty upon her vision or hearing, nor her abilities as a thief. She also gets all powers, skills, feats, save throws, and class abilities of any head she dons, is highly resistant to magic thanks to the powerful magic that created her, has no need to eat or sleep, and cannot be poisoned, paralyzed, induced to sleep, or infected with illness. The downside? The heads age quickly while she wears them, she gets migraines if she wears a particular head more than three days in a row, and in 3rd edition she accrues negative levels for every day without a head (which immediately vanish when she puts a new one on). Did we mention that she has anywhere from dozens to hundreds of heads on hand at any point, as of 3rd edition runs a large trading/criminal organization that can get her heads anytime she needs them, and has no issues going and getting one herself if she has to?
- Evil Is Petty: Had no reason to kill Madame Eva.
- Expy: Of Princess Langwidere.
- The Fashionista: Dresses to perfectly accentuate whichever head she's wearing.
- The Fog of Ages: It's been so long since she's seen her old head, she can't even remember what she used to look like.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: According to her backstory, she's an expert thief, but in her first writeup she didn't have a single thief skill. 3rd edition fixed that.
- Gypsy Curse: Her nature is the result of a Vistani curse.
- Have We Met Yet?: Madame Eva likes to pop up and mock her once in a while, thanks to being sort of Unstuck in Time and precognitively aware of her death.
- Immortality Seeker: What started her on her dark path to begin with. If she can find and put on her original head, she'll have the eternal youth she's always wanted.
- LEGO Body Parts: She can wear any female human's head, as long as she attaches it with her red ribbon.
- Losing Your Head: The heads she wears remain alive, fully aware of their former existence, and unable to age or die naturally once she takes them off. This means that she has a basement with hundreds of screaming, sobbing, babbling heads that are slowly succumbing to insanity in the darkness. Pleasant dreams!
- Made of Indestructium: The crimson velvet ribbon she uses to attach heads to her body cannot be destroyed by any means.
- Magic A Is Magic A: She can only wear female human heads. No demihuman race, even if it has partially human heritage, will do.
- Narcissist: Absolutely refuses to wear anything but the most beautiful of heads, no matter what useful talents they may have. Fortunately, thanks to the sheer number of heads she keeps, this doesn't really hamper her, as she's sure to find something of use in her massive collection.
- Neutral Evil: In-universe.
- Off with Her Head!: Suffered from this, and now inflicts it on others.
- Omniglot: Can speak the languages of any head she's wearing.
- Phantom Thief: Once one of the best thieves in Barovia.
- Power Copying: Jacqueline uses the abilities of the former owner of whichever head she puts on.
- Properly Paranoid: Her profile notes that if someone should turn up in possession of her original head, she'll immediately regard them as a dangerous enemy — after all, they're literally holding her life in their hands.
- Rapid Aging: Her stolen heads age a year for every day she wears them.
- Really 700 Years Old: She's been seeking her old head for centuries now.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Incinerating her original head is the only thing that will kill her off for good.
- Shoot the Messenger: Slashed Madame Eva's throat after the elderly Vistani told her to search Castle Ravenloft for the secret to eternal youth.
- Shout-Out: Her name is so similar to Joaquin Murrieta's that it's unlikely to be a coincidence.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Oh, she was a pretty darned good thief. That's why she decided she could take on Castle freaking Ravenloft.
- Stealth Pun: She lost her head and can't find it? I guess she's...stumped!
- Swiss Army Appendage: Her collection of heads grants her a vast array of potential abilities.
- Unishment: Yes, the best way to punish an immortality-seeking murderer is to give them immortality and an incredibly versatile superpower based entirely around murder. For a race known for their skill in casting curses, the Vistani seem to have seriously dropped the ball here.
- Who Needs Their Whole Body?: Even without a head on, Jacqueline can still see, hear, and get around perfectly well. Heck, in Third Edition, she has to be headless in order to use her own 8th level thief skills.
Once a handsome, kindly young assistant to Sir Edmond Hiregaard, his decision to investigate a Serial Killer of prostitutes changed his life irrevocably.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Thanks to his hideous appearance.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: His mind has two wildly different thought patterns, torn between life and death, and inflicts madness checks upon those who try to read it.
- Blessed with Suck: Desmond only needs to eat once a day, sleep for an hour each night, is unaffected by the temperature, regenerates rapidly, can't be paralyzed, charmed or induced to sleep magically, and his left side has all the benefits of a flesh golem. On the other hand, his face induces horror in all who look upon him, and he's prone to berserk rages.
- Brown Note: His appearance is such that even looking at him can cause terror. (As in, a Fear Check.) Even if his appearance is described to someone, that person may still be frightened. However, in this case, succeeding a Fear Check gives one a bonus for next time. (Not as scary when seen twice.)
- Chaotic Evil: In-universe, although it probably just refers to his golem half. At least one source lists him as True Neutral.
- Continuity Snarl: His entire backstory hinges upon Sir Hiregaard's original Jekyll/Hyde/Jack The Ripper characterization.
- Cool Sword: Phantom, a +1 silver rapier.
- Emergency Transformation: When Desmond was hurled into a rack of chemicals and beakers by Malken, Hiregaard was at a loss to save him until he realized that he could raid cadavers in order to restore the damaged parts. Unfortunately this inspiration came from Malken...
- Expy: Of Two-Face. Word of God has stated The Mudman of Bergovitsa (mentioned in Gazetteer V) was intended to be his 3rd edition incarnation, in which case he'd be a loose Expy of Clayface.
- The Hermit: The revulsion he inspires in others has led to this.
- Hollywood Cyborg: He's a Half-Golem, the D&D "fantasy" equivalent, where a human has various body parts replaced with magically animated construct parts. Specifically, he's a Half-Flesh Golem, due to having his damaged flesh replaced with magically animated corpse flesh.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Exposing his left side to electricity heals him, even after death.
- Nightmare Face: So horrible it induces a horror check even in people who have been warned about it.
- Split Personality: One side is the decent young man he used to be (although now rather embittered), the other half is a violent berserker.
- Super Strength: His left arm has this.
- Two-Faced: His human and golem halves are split down the middle.
The Midnight Slasher
A serial killer who stalks the streets of the city of Karina, in Invidia.
- Calling Card: Writes short poems in her victims' blood.
- Chaotic Evil: In-universe.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Wears a magical cloak and boots that make her invisible in shadows and inaudible.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Her entire technique is based around surprising a lone person and killing them quickly. If this fails, she usually has to leg it.
- Dirty Coward: Won't attack anyone who looks like they can put up a fight or who is part of a group, and usually won't attack if she can't get the element of surprise.
- Enigmatic Minion: Operates as this in The Evil Eye, occasionally helping the heroes out so she can stop the Dog Fights and get close to Gabrielle Aderre.
- Even Evil Has Standards: A subplot in The Evil Eye involves her efforts to break up the Dog Fights, a sadistic event in which vicious attack dogs are set upon defenseless humans. She even helps the prisoners escape.
- Evil vs. Evil: Against Gabrielle Aderre.
- Knife Nut: Comes with the territory.
- Knight Templar: Ostensibly, she limits her killings to those who she perceives as harming children or disrupting families. Being insane, however...
- The Navigator: Her knowledge of the city's darkest corners is unmatched, making her an excellent stalker and hit-and-run killer.
- Retcon: The Monstrous Compendium implies that she only kills once a month, but according to The Evil Eye she's much more active. Her actions also seem a lot bolder and broader in scope in The Evil Eye, having killed a number of soldiers in the Falkovnian quarter of Karina and gone after their leader in the past as well as having a subplot involving stopping the Dog Fights.
- Samus Is a Girl: Her wide-brimmed hat and cloak hide this well.
- Serial Killer: Unlike her inspiration, she doesn't restrict herself to prostitutes, and seems willing to kill anyone foolish enough to walk the streets at midnight.
- Shrinking Violet: When not in Midnight Slasher mode, she's a very retiring sneak thief.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Chooses her victims very carefully, waiting until they're vulnerable to strike. She's also been stalking Gabrielle Aderre.
- Start of Darkness: When she was five, Gabrielle Aderre seduced her father and turned her parents against each other For the Evulz, until they brutally killed each other in front of her. Gabrielle then gave the near-catatonic child a kiss on the forehead, utterly destroying her sanity.
- Street Urchin: Her life when she's not killing.
- You Killed My Father: Cries out "For Mother and Father!" when she attacks Gabrielle Aderre in The Evil Eye.
Yagno Petrovna's first friend in G'Henna, he helped to establish the cult of Zhakata, and then seemingly met his end at the hands of the mongrelmen he'd spent his life abusing. To Yagno's horror, however, he turned up as a ghast, leading a group of ghouls in a series of attacks and grave robberies. Yagno drove him away from G'Henna, but he and his pack of ghouls now roam Tepest.
- Ascended Extra: His connection to Yagno was enough to warrant his own writeup, but apart from that he's a bog-standard ghast in every way. Whee.
- Came Back Wrong: Whether due to his own cannibalistic tendencies or a curse from his victims, he rose as a ghast, an advanced form of ghoul.
- Chaotic Evil: In-universe.
- Cold Iron: Does double damage to him, and protection from evil spells need to include cold iron in order to repel him.
- Elite Mook: As a ghast, compared to ghouls.
- I'm a Humanitarian: In life he secretly cannibalized the corpses of those he tortured and sacrificed in the name of Zhakata, killing and devouring untold numbers of G'Henna's mongrelmen and unbelievers. Now, he's not human any more, so it doesn't count.
- Mook Maker: Any human or demihuman killed by him will raise as a ghoul, if the body isn't blessed or destroyed.
- The Paralyzer: Like all ghouls, he has a paralyzing touch.
- Stink Bomb: As a ghast he gives off a stench of rotting flesh that can make people violently ill.
- Villainous Friendship: With Yagno Petrovna, in life.
- Wolf Pack Boss: Runs with a pack of ghouls which he made himself.
Ivana Boritsi's dearest friend and advisor, and the first of her ermordenung. Ivana set her to kill Camille Dilisnya, her mother, so that she could ascend to rulership of Borca.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: The only toxin that can affect her is the touch of an ermordenung.
- The Beautiful Elite: The ermordenung are part of the aristocracy of Borca, and she's the head of them all.
- Can't Have Sex, Ever: Will kill any partner she touches, and ermordenung are vulnerable to each other's poisons.
- Charm Person: Her deep, husky voice acts like a charm spell.
- The Dragon: She's this to Ivana, pretty much.
- Female Misogynist: She cannot abide the touch of other women, and shuns them, other than Ivana. Mostly this is due to nightmares she has had her whole life where she is tormented by Camille Dilisnya - the woman she betrayed. Thus, while she'll gladly use her Kiss of Death to slay men, she always uses her dagger on female targets and foes.
- Honey Trap: All ermordenung are beautiful assassins.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: The intimacy denied her as an ermordenung gnaws at her soul.
- Kiss of Death: How she killed Camille Dilisnya.
- Lawful Evil: In-universe.
- Monster Progenitor: Although as an ermordenung, she cannot breed, she is the first of Ivana Boritsi's ermordenung and their leader. She has a power other ermordenung lack (her charming voice), which may be the result of her experimental nature.
- Older Than They Look: Each new moon, she uses an elixir of her own devising (which is said to require the harvest of at least three young men), to stay young. Otherwise, she'll age at an accelerated rate.
- Painful Transformation: The transformation process is so agonizing that only the most robust individuals survive becoming an ermordenung.
- Poisoned Weapons: Her dagger is filled with a solution made from her own blood.
- Poisonous Person: As an ermordenung, her slightest touch is a deadly poison.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Like all ermordenung.
- Retcon: The assassination of Camille and Nostalia's role in it weren't detailed upon until the Monstrous Compendium.
- Start of Darkness: Was a perfectly ordinary young lady until Ivana asked her to kill her mother and infused her body with poison. These days she feels no remorse for killing and has come to enjoy the misery she sows.
- Supersoldier: Particularly in 3rd edition, where the ermordenung transformation process acts as an overall enhancement, increasing all the subject's stats, with an emphasis on strength.
- Super Strength: As a female ermordenung, in 2nd edition she has 18/50 strength—that is, borderline superhuman, especially for a woman.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Had no particular dislike of Camille, but her devotion to Ivana overwhelmed any qualms she may have had about killing her.
- Villainous Friendship: With Ivana Boritsi.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Is still haunted by the feeling of Camille Dilisnya's lips upon hers as she died, and is horrified and disgusted by the thought of touching a woman. That's what the dagger's for.
A ranger from Oerth; he ran afoul of Easan the Mad and wound up trapped in the body of a mechanical golem.
- Blessed with Suck: Has all the benefits (minus the immunity to mind spells) of a mechanical golem and is virtually immortal — at the expense of everything he held dear.
- Chaotic Neutral: In-universe.
- Friend to All Living Things: As a ranger. These days, though, Animals Hate Him, fleeing when he comes within fifty feet of them.
- Golem: A mechanical golem.
- The Hermit: Has isolated himself in a cave in the forest.
- Mercy Kill: Has devoted himself to wandering the forests of Vechor, ending the suffering of Easan's other experimental subjects.
- Nature Hero: As a ranger. Although he's lost most of his powers, he still has a few nature-based spells left.
- Nature Lover: One of the most tragic aspects of his new life is that he's lost his connection to the wildlife and beauty of the wilderness.
- The Needless: Doesn't need to eat, drink or sleep.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A magical mechanical golem ranger.
- Sense Loss Sadness: No longer able to smell, taste, or touch, and so can no longer enjoy nature as he used to.
- Shock and Awe: Can shock people he hits with his claws or who hit him with metal melee weapons, and can generate a powerful electrical aura that will hit any living thing within twenty feet.
- The Speechless: Utterly unable to talk.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Fell in love with a Vistani woman, and tried to follow her group into the Mists, but wound up alone in Vechor.
- Super Strength: As a golem.
- Transplant: From Oerth.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Via Brain Uploading.
- Wolverine Claws: On his fingers.
Ravenloft's first, last, and only Bardic Lich, Andres was an ordinary bard until his curiosity got the better of him and he ended up on Azalin's doorstep.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: He thought he'd gotten out of Castle Avernus alive and intact... right up until he realized his heart wasn't beating anymore. Within a week, his skin was dried and stretched upon his bones, and people were running away from him.
- Arch-Enemy: Azalin is his, though the power disparity between them means that so far Andres's actions against him are limited to wandering around Ravenloft gathering allies and weapons.
- Blessed with Suck: Has all the physical benefits of a lich, but is forever a horrific monster.
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Discovered a fragmentary account of Azalin's rise and became so fascinated by the story that he had to visit Castle Avernus in person. As Azalin's guest, he was convinced that he wasn't getting the whole truth, so he investigated Azalin's inner sanctum, raising his captor's ire.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Azalin treated him as a guest as well as a prisoner, regaling him with his life story and demanding nothing save that Andres sing songs and tell tales for him.
- Emotion Bomb: Generates an an aura of fear.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half-elf, but such a charming person that he was spared the usual Fantastic Racism. It's rather academic now, of course.
- He Knows Too Much: His knowledge of Azalin's secrets has made him one of the darklord's most hated enemies.
- Improvised Armor: When Azalin shot a lightning bolt at him, he grabbed one of the lich's most potent spellbooks to shield himself and escaped unscathed. Or not.
- Magic Eater: His only form of sustenance. He can absorb spells cast upon him, or touch a magic user and grab a spell from their minds.
- The Needless: He no longer has any need to eat, sleep, or breathe, although he does have to absorb magic once a day.
- Neutral Good: In-universe.
- Nightmare Face: As a lich, his face is so terrifying that people flee from him.
- No-Sell: Any magic cast upon him is absorbed, restoring his health and providing sustenance.
- Odd Friendship: With Azalin, who seemed almost grateful for his company.
- Our Liches Are Different: The text repeatedly notes that he's not a "true" lich (for one thing, he doesn't have a phylactery), but that he's close enough to count.
- The Paralyzer: Has a chilling, paralyzing touch, like other liches, although his is less powerful.
- Single Specimen Species: Due to the fluke which created him.
- Spoony Bard: Although he's lost most of his abilities in that regard, he retains his ability to cast arcane spells, and to use thief skills and bardic lore.
- Technically Living Zombie: Transformed into a lich without actually dying first.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's sided with enemies of Darkon several times in his efforts to bring Azalin down, and might even be able to stomach working with a rival darklord like Strahd if he has to.
Toben the Many
If Toben ever had a past as a human, he doesn't care about it. What he is now is far grander than any single life; as his title implies, Toben is not a single creature, but a single mind that inhabits the bodies of all those killed by his Grinning Sickness or anyone killed by one of his bodies. Either way, the corpse develops a rictus grin and a fiendish intelligence, capable of coordinating its actions with all of Toben's other bodies to a degree most necromancers would commit genocide for. Beyond that, though, he's not really a macro-scale threat like a darklord; he's far too self-centered and lazy for that. He is, however, a sadist; seeing as how he has nothing to do with his immortality, he enjoys making a game of it. A very cruel game of it.
- A God Am I: Perhaps not a god, but he does think of himself as superior to everyone with only a single body.
- Ax-Crazy: Of a more subdued manner, but he's exactly as insane and sadistic as his symptoms suggest.
- Break Them by Talking: He loves tormenting people psychologically.
- Cursed With Awesome: The dominant theory as to his origins state he was a soldier who used a disguise to provoke a massacre of a Vistani caravan, and is now a Hive Mind due to what was probably intended as an Ironic Hell of Loss of Identity. He really doesn't mind.
- For the Evulz: A bored Toben is a terrifying thing.
- It Can Think: Toben is what happens when you give a Zombie Apocalypse the mind of a high-functioning and very clever Serial Killer.
- Slasher Smile: All of his bodies' lips shrink and their eyes bulge, leading to this as a permanent expression.
- Zombie Apocalypse: He's not planning on taking over any time soon (it'd get lonely), but anyone facing Toben quickly faces this in short order.
Born Randal duPree to a modestly wealthy family in Port-a-Lucine, his fate changed forever when his family went to see a Vistani travelling show. Randal was instantly smitten with the granduer of the entertainer's lifestyle... and, more fatefully, with Nadja the seer. Drunk on too much wine, he couldn't resist speaking to her after the show and confessing his love to her; when she mockingly refused him, he tried to force himself upon her. The rest of the band promptly captured him, and cursed him for his deeds. Soon afterwards, Randal learned that rage or pain caused him to risk turning into a hulking beast, and so he reluctantly left his home to protect the people he cared for. A naturally extroverted person, he began travelling the world, searching for a cure and taking up the identity of Professor Arcanus, using the various artifacts he gathered — real and fake — to run a travelling curio show. He entered the Ravenloft canon in Children of the Night: Werebeasts, and also starred in the fan netbook Quoth the Raven #3.
- And I Must Scream: Not the Professor himself, but anyone whom he bites; those who succumb to his therianthropic curse are transformed into Carnivorous Apes permanently.
- Big Fun: Professor Arcanus is a very round-looking individual, but also a highly personable and extroverted man who loves showmanship.
- Chaotic Good: His canonical in-universe alignment. He's a showman and a rogue, not averse to lying if it makes a story more interesting, but he's also a good man who just wants to entertain and amuse.
- Charm Person: In 2nd edition, he can mimic the effects of a Mesmerism spell at-will if he has a focus. The large gem on his cane serves just fine.
- Killer Gorilla: He turns into one when he transforms.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His attempted assault on Nadja was completely out of character for him, and he deeply regrets it. His appearance in Quoth the Raven has him admit that he still blames himself for assaulting her and believes he deserves his punishment.
- Our Were Beasts Are Different: Not only is he a maledictive werebeast, meaning he was created by magic, but he also breaks what Van Richten thought were the rules of therianthropy (only carnivores or scavengers) by turning into a Killer Gorilla. He only has human or beast forms, and completely loses control of himself when he transforms.
- Stout Strength: Most people take a look at the short, heavily-built man and his round face and assume he's overweight. In fact he's simply stocky and barrel-chested; all of that bulk is pure muscle.
- Super Strength: Some of his gorilla-like strength leaks through even in his human form, making his strikes more dangerous.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Because some of the items in his collection are more dangerous than he realizes, he can serve as this. His tie-in adventure, Missing Bones, is based on the fact that he learns his skeleton of Duke Gundar is real only after someone pulls out the stake and revives the dread vampire. In his named items, he also has a crawling claw (which would start attacking any living thing around it if released) that he presents as "the hand of Vecna", and his "soul blade" is actually the cursed weapon/pocket domain of Aggarath from The Forgotten Terror.
- The Virus: Like many lycanthropes, he's contagious. Unlike many lycanthropes, his infection turns people into a peaceable Carnivorous Ape, which is simply a very big, very smart omnivorous gorilla which is not contagious.
- Weaksauce Weakness: All werebeasts have some material that can harm them, even when mundane damage fails. Professor Arcanus' is wood. That's right, you can theoretically beat him to death with a tree branch.