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Other Darklords

    Gwydion the Sorcerer-Fiend, Darklord of the Shadow Rift 

Gwydion the Sorcerer-Fiend, Darklord of the Shadow Rift

Former ruler of a vast domain on the Plane of Shadow, Gwydion sought to create an army of servants by drawing the ellefolk into the Plane of Shadow and transforming them into the shadow fey. That done, he ordered them to create a planar gateway through which he would escape the Plane of Shadow and conquer the lands beyond, which they did over the course of centuries. Once the Obsidian Gate was complete, Gwydion ordered his armies forth, but as he watched, he slowly realized he'd been tricked, seeing through the illusions the shadow fey had woven around the Gate, disguising their mass exodus as his departing armies. In a fit of rage, he rushed into the Gate, where he was confronted by the shadow fey's ruler, Arak the Erlking, who managed to hold him off long enough that all of the shadow fey could escape. Ultimately, Gwydion paralyzed Arak and advanced on the Gate, only to have the shadow fey seal it on him, trapping both him and Arak.

As it turned out, the Obsidian Gate led into Ravenloft, where the Dark Powers created the domain of Arak to hold Gwydion. When he attempted to escape during the Grand Conjunction, he tore Ravenloft's planar fabric, pulling the shadow fey's realm from under Arak into a new position as the Shadow Rift. Arak's surface was absorbed by Darkon.


  • Chaotic Evil: His official In-Universe alignment.
  • Dream Weaver: But only in regards to the shadow fey.
  • Eldritch Abomination: In one published adventure, bits and pieces of him start coming through a portal. Even the ones that recognizably correspond to earthly anatomy are... wrong.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Notably, he dropped everything to punish the shadow fey for escaping from him — and got trapped as a Darklord.
  • Necromancer: Not one of his better-known powers, but he can control any undead in the Rift.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: He's trapped in the Obsidian Gate, unable to directly affect the Demiplane, but he can mentally influence the shadow fey and throw out the occasional magical effect.
  • Viral Transformation: Can transform "normal" fey into shadow fey at will, but can't compel their obedience.
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    Lady of the Lake, Darklord of Castle Island 

Lady of the Lake, Darklord of Castle Island

Lake Kronov, in Tepest, holds a tiny island that also happens to be a pocket domain, wherein the tragic sirine known as the Lady of the Lake is imprisoned.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: The Lady's Start of Darkness was kicked off when the paladin Ione Demarch slew the Avanc, who was unable to convey his humanity.
  • Axe-Crazy: Her life consists of calling people to her island so she can torture and starve them to death.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Happened to her lover, the Avanc, transforming him into a hideous reptilian monster. She vowed to restore him, but she didn't get the chance.
  • Blatant Lies: After Ione's wife caught him with Katherine, the Lady offered the despairing woman solace in a fairy kingdom beneath the waves. It turned out to be a one-way trip.
  • Charm Person: With her songs.
  • Cool Sword: A magical speed-enhancing sword she swiped from Ione Demarch.
  • Deal with the Devil: Made a deal with a covey of hags, who mutated her unborn daughter into an instrument of vengeance.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Killing Ione to avenge the Avanc would have been proportionate. Sacrificing her innocent child to destroy Ione's friends and family first and then condemning him to an eternity of physical and mental agony might be considered a stitch too far.
  • Enfant Terrible: Her daughter Katherine was born a rapidly-aging sorceress, who seduced Ione and gave birth to Madchen, a monster who killed everyone in Ione's castle and ultimately died in combat with his father.
  • Evil Knockoff: The Dark Powers have placed a new Avanc in the lake to torment the Lady with its presence. This one is a beast in mind and body, however, and shall be replaced infinitely, so long as the Lady lives.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Her revenge culminated in tricking the mortally-wounded Ione into drinking a potion that would deny him death without actually healing him or easing his pain. When the Dark Powers drew Ione's castle into Ravenloft, he was left little more than a pile of bones... hopefully not a sentient one.
  • Filler Villain: In Servants of Darkness she's just a bump in the road on the way to resolving the plot. Netbooks and 3rd edition expanded her background considerably.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: She's been stuck on Castle Island for fourteen years. It hasn't done wonders for her temper.
  • The Hermit: In better times, she and the Avanc were quite content in their solitude. Nowadays, she doesn't have a choice.
  • Interspecies Romance: With the Avanc.
  • Invisibility: Her preferred method of dealing with guests is to turn invisible and touch them until they're helpless simpletons.
  • Lawful Evil: In-universe.
  • Rapid Aging: Her daughter and grandson, as a result of the hags' spells.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Her thirst for revenge kept her from seeing her offspring as anything but weapons to destroy Ione Demarch...and now she has nothing left of the Avanc.
  • Rip Van Winkle: Ione's Castle was shifted forward in time until it became a ruin when it became Castle Island. The Lady, however, was unaffected.
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: As a sirine, her touch can cause this.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: As a sirine.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: As a fey, she may change her appearance at will. At present her anguish makes her default form a beautiful drowned corpse with kelp-like hair.

    The God-Brain, Darklord of Bluetspur 

The God-Brain, Darklord of Bluetspur

A most ungentlemanlike gigantic brain that rules over the illithids of Bluetspur.

Given a backstory in the Book of Sacrifices netbook, in which its core personality was a human psion known as Seldrid, whose people were at war with the illithids. During the war, Seldrid came to admire the discipline and power of the illithids and sought to find a way to merge humanity with them. When the illithid ceased attacking due to their own Elder Brain beginning to die, Seldrid willingly sold out his own people to continue the war, merging his own consciousness into the dying Elder Brain and becoming its dominant personality. However, as the illithids sacked his city and brought its people as prisoners into their midst, their country was drawn into the mist. And Seldrid found his curse was to be unable to incorporate new consciousnesses into himself. Denied any new human experiences, with his dreams of a merged human-illithid race in shambles, and unable to successfully transfer his consciousness into a more mobile form, Seldrid has spent that last several centuries going quite mad.

It reappeared in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft with an entirely different backstory and motivation. The God-Brain was once an ordinary Elder Brain which discovered "malignant truth for which existence was unprepared," and was spurred by this revelation to devour its kin, in the process contracting a kind of fatal disease. This caused the other Elder Brains to attempt to expel the God-Brain from existence, and would have succeeded had the Dark Powers not plucked the dying elder brain and planted it in Bluetspur. Ever since, the God-Brain has dreamed and desperately indulged ever more demented schemes as it seeks to save its own life and give action to a thought alien even to it.


  • Alien Abduction: The specialty of its servants in Fifth Edition. Illithids from Bluetspur will leave the demiplane to abduct people for experimentation or to extract spinal fluids to preserve the God Brain's life just a little longer.
  • Depending on the Author: The exact details vary depending on the book, with the God-Brain's most recent appearance being so different it's basically a totally separate character with the same name.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: In 5e, its madness was caused by unexplained "malignant truth for which existence was unprepared," which is to say that it stumbled upon a thought so alien it could not fully comprehend it.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The illithids of Bluetspur seek to create a better slave race through experimentation, and/or to merge aspects of humanity and themselves together, depending on write-up.
  • Immortals Fear Death: In its 5e incarnation. It's noted that its death is likely still millennia away, but to a normally ageless creature even that is unimaginable.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Visitors who find themselves drawn into Bluetspur might suddenly remember that they've been here before.
  • Lawful Evil: In-Universe — it's the official Character Alignment given in its profile writeups.
  • My Brain Is Big: That or it's a bunch of normal brains stuck together. No one knows for sure.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: Those few who've escaped Bluetspur describe the God-Brain as constantly digging the darkest thoughts and fears from their minds.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Most sources are uncertain of anything regarding the God-Brain, though some netbooks have elaborated upon it a bit.
  • Worthy Opponent: A very dark version: Seldrid came to respect his alien opponents so much that he willingly sold out his own people to them rather than win the war and destroy them.
  • You Will Be Spared: Knows that the High Master Illithid is plotting against it, but seems to find its efforts entertaining enough to spare it.

    Jack Karn, Darklord of Farelle 

Jack Karn, Darklord of Farelle

Mentioned in canon in the Black Box, he received an expansion in the Kargatane's Book of Sacrifices.Originally hailing from the Wildlands, he despised that his people were forced into the role of cowards and scavengers, arguing that they should be respected killers. He tried to prove his point by tricking the other animals into warring, then leading a growing band of young jackals to attack and eat the children of the animal bands who were off fighting. Eventually, they realized what was going on and chased the jackals into the swamp; there, the survivors violently drove him away, before being eaten by King Crocodile.

The jackal who would not be a coward wandered off into the Mists and was caught in a trap, only to be rescued by a kindly tinker, who tried to befriend him, hoping that together they could stop the destruction of the wilderness. Instead, the jackal drove off the tinker's customers until, driven by desperation, the tinker decided the only course was to offer him to a Vistani troupe, who he hoped would give him a comfortable life. Pleasantly surprised by the tinker's great heart, the Vistani invited him to spend the night amongst them. During that time, the jackal used his powers to control the Vistani dogs to set him free, after which he started killing the Vistani's children and ultimately murdered the tinker himself. The tinker cursed the jackal to become "the thing you and I most despise" with his dying breath, and so the jackal became the darklord of Farelle.

Trapped in human form and unable to indulge his bloodlust, he can only watch as humans multiply and thrive in his domain, slowly destroying its ecology; only when nature has been destroyed will his cursed existence finally end.


  • Animal Stereotypes: He comes from the Wildlands, where these are all true, and he revolted against this fact.
  • The Beastmaster: Commands dogs and jackals, which he uses to close his domain's borders.
  • Fantastic Racism: He believes that jackals are great killers and mighty hunters, the "pinnacle of creation", and he yearns to prove this. His curse, of course, is that he never can.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: He repaid the tinker's kindness with murderous treachery.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: He cannot stay in jackal form for more than a few minutes before he is compelled to return to human form. Likewise, although he can remain in his hybrid form longer, he is still compelled to return to human form as well, though this may be less because of his curse and more because of his arrogance-fueled disgust for the form.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: A jackalwere, a sapient jackal that can transform into a man or a half-man half-jackal, created from a talking jackal by a dying curse.
  • Restraining Bolt: His curse makes him overwhelmed with crippling nausea if he tries to initiate an attack against a humanoid, even covering humanoid shapeshifters like werebeasts and red widows. Only if such a creature attacks him first can he fight back to defend himself.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Effectively dropped after the Black Box, though the netbooks gave Jack and his domain expanded coverage, and plans were for the Gazetteer series to cover Farelle had they got to the final volume.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The eventual root of his damnation; he continually betrayed the tinker who tried to help him, and ultimately murdered him. The Vistani were so appalled by his actions that they lent their own powers to the tinker's dying curse, causing him to receive his damnation.
    • Also, part of his curse is that the humans of his domain love and adore him, treating him with endless kindness. Only his curse keeps him from brutally killing them all, and his constant illness is in fact the manifestation of that curse stopping him acting on his violent urges.

    Yagno Petrovna, Darklord of G'Henna 

Yagno Petrovna, Darklord of G'Henna

Scion of an isolated and severely inbred family, Yagno was messed-up even by their standards, and began sacrificing animals (and implicitly people) to Zhakata, a false god. Fled into the mists when his family caught him trying to do the same to his sister's baby, and found himself in G'Henna (Not to be confused with Gehenna, Outer Plane of Lawful Evil-Evil), where he started a cult to Zhakata.
  • Badass Preacher: Since the adventurers were retconned out of Circle of Darkness, this means that Yagno managed to beat a demon by himself.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Can turn any humanoid who believes in Zhakata into a mongrelman.
  • Cain and Abel: May have sacrificed his brother.
  • The Chessmaster: Fosters in-fighting among his underlings, to keep them in check.
  • Compelling Voice: Particularly when in range of his Altar.
  • Corrupt Church: Most of the food "sacrificed" to Zhakata goes to his priests and their soldiers, while the people of G'Henna starve. Yagno actively encourages corruption among his ranks and oppression of the people, so that he can play the part of a kindly priest, helpless to stop it.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Was unable to bring himself to destroy the ghast of Jugo Hesketh, driving him into Tepest instead.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Inverted, amusingly enough. He worships a god, however, his god is one of the few that so far explicitly does not exist (In a world where the existence of most gods can be proven beyond doubt).
  • From Bad to Worse: The cult of Zhakata wasn't exactly a bed of roses before Yagno's crisis of faith, but at least the people had hope that if they sacrificed enough Zhakata would return to earth, change from his Devourer aspect to his benevolent Provider aspect and reward their labors. Since his failed attempt to summon Zhakata, though, Yagno has declared Zhakata's only aspect is that of The Devourer, and declared belief in both to be heresy, punishable by death.
  • The Fundamentalist: Even more so because he's starting to doubt his faith.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Petrovna is the female form of a Slavic patronimic.
  • Gradual Regeneration: When in range of his Altar.
  • Have You Seen My God?: Knows that priests are supposed to commune with their gods, but Zhakata has never spoken to him (his powers come from the Mists), and following his failed attempt to summon Zhakata, he's having a severe Crisis of Faith—and everyone around him is suffering for it.
  • Human Sacrifice: In his homeland, an awful lot of people near Yagno started disappearing when he discovered Zhakata and he was fleeing from his family after being caught trying to sacrifice his sister's baby when he was swept to G'Henna by the Dark Powers. In modern times, Zhakata cult members are encouraged to starve themselves for their faith.
  • Knife Nut: Described as a master of the dagger.
  • Lawful Evil: In-Universe — it's the official Character Alignment given in his profile writeups.
  • Martyrdom Culture: In G'Henna, all food grown goes to Zhakata first with the leftovers going to the populace. In addition, the false god demands that at least one member of each family starve themselves to death in his name, with their skulls becoming venerated heirlooms.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: A couple of the outcomes of his module end this way.
  • Retcon: The Circle of Darkness module describes an adventure wherein the PCs confront Yagno and potentially end his reign. Domains of Dread treats the events of the module as having happened, but without the interference of adventurers.
  • Summoning Ritual: Paid a wizard to summon Zhakata. Instead the wizard summoned a demon who told him Zhakata wasn't real. Yagno reacted badly.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Jugo Hesketh, who helped him establish the Cult of Zhakata. They drifted apart after Jugo was tortured to death by mongrelmen and rose as a ghast, though.

    Tsien Chiang, Darklord of I'Cath 

Tsien Chiang, Darklord of I'Cath

A wicked necromancer who was sent to Ravenloft for trying to kill her daughter and killing her emperor, she and her children are the only residents of I'Cath.
  • Arc Number: She is utterly obsessed with the number four.
  • Black Widow: She bore one daugher with each of her four husbands, and then killed them.
  • Does Not Like Men: She can only tolerate men if they bring gifts and swear subservience. Then her three evil daughters try and seduce and destroy them in her name. All sorts of artifacts around I'Cath are made to illustrate the failings of men.
  • Engagement Challenge: Had her daughters' suitors fight to the death, then personally killed any survivors.
  • Four Is Death: The main motif of the domain and Chiang's curse.
  • Hated by All: She was the most hated person in the East before the Mists took her.
  • Human Resources: She killed her daughters' suitors and made carpets from their hair and clothing from their skins, and painted the walls with their blood. Her Palace of Bones is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and features a huge backgammon court with dice made from fingernails and skulls for markers.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Hot enough to get four men to marry her, one after the other, even with her Black Widow tendencies. Her features got sharper and more dour as she aged, with her hatred of men waxing as her appeal to them waned.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Her evil daughters Scream, Hate, and Spite.
  • Nay-Theist: The gods loved the songs of her good daughter Nightingale, and began sending ominous storms whenever Tsien beat her. As she tried to beat Nightingale to death, Tsien, certain the gods were withholding the secret of the number four, mocked them even as the Mists claimed her.
  • Neutral Evil: In-Universe — it's the official Character Alignment given in her profile writeups.
  • The Oath-Breaker: She despised her emperor, but her oath of service was so strong even she feared breaking it...until he tried to strike her down for her blasphemy.
  • Soul Jar: The Bells of Evil and Lament, for each of her daughters, and partially for herself.
  • Transflormation: Can turn herself into a treant.
  • Transplant: From Kara Tur in the Forgotten Realms.
  • Would Harm A Child: Tried to beat her only good-hearted daughter to death, and trapped her in a tower.
  • Wutai: One of the very few Asian-themed Darklords.
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    Thakok-An, Darklord of Kalidnay 

Thakok-An, Darklord of Kalidnay

Templar of Kalid-Ma, Sorcerer-King of Kalidnay on Athas, she serves her eternally sleeping lord and tries to keep the city from falling apart.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Because of the way magic works in Kalidnay, fuelled by draining the life-force in the surrounding environment, wizards (particularly defilers) could screw up Kalidnay's delicate ecosystem beyond repair.
  • Fantastic Racism: Versus wizards. It may be justified, since magic on Athas has horrible effects on the environment. However, we don't know if it works the same way in the mists. Seems very much like the Dark Powers to have her racism be based on rules that no longer apply.
  • Gender Swap: When Kalidnay first appeared in the setting, Khalid-Ma was female and Thakok-An was male. When Domains of Dread came out, there was a Retcon which switched their genders, presumably because Khalid-Ma had been referenced to as male in the actual Dark Sun setting. That's how it's been ever since.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half-elf.
  • Irony: The act of sacrificing her family to help the Sorcerer-King brought Kalidnay into Ravenloft, ruining his ascension ritual and putting him into a coma.
  • Lawful Evil: In-Universe — it's the official Character Alignment given in her profile writeups.
  • Psychic Powers: Like everyone in Kalidnay.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Murdered everyone in her family in order to try and help her lord ascend to dragonhood.
  • Transplant: From Athas.
  • Yandere: For the Sorcerer-King. He's all hers, now. Too bad he's comatose.

    Malus Sceleris, Darklord of Nosos 

Malus Sceleris, Darklord of Nosos

The one-time son of an emotionally-distant druid, whom he murdered with poisoned blankets just as the old man was trying to rebuild bridges with him. Swallowed by the mists and cursed with a druid's ability to always hear the voices of plants, Malus became a ruthless robber baron and turned Nosos into an industrialized hellhole to desperately try to snuff out nature's calls forever. He now keeps an iron-hard control over the land with vast wealth and cunning.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He publically styles himself as a modest "man of the people" with a social conscience that sets him apart from the many Corrupt Corporate Executives that comprise the upper classes of Nosos, but is secretly even worse than they are.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Nosos runs every sort of industry imaginable, from manufacturing to mining, and Malus has his fingers in all of them.
  • The Gilded Age: A clear inspiration for Nosos, where the rich live a luxurious lifestyle of parties and Conspicuous Consumption, while the downtrodden poor toil away in dangerous mines and pollution-spewing factories.
  • Hookers and Blow: One of his unique diseases, "Dum Dum Fever," causes intelligence drain, and Malus has used his information network to spread the idea that it comes from prostitutes. Thus, using it on his rivals damages their wits and their reputations.
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: No matter what, Malus can feel new life sleeping beneath Nosos, and he is driven to continue striving to pollute his domain further in a useless quest to stamp it out forever.
  • Last-Second Chance: The night before he murdered his father, the old druid embraced him as a son, admitted his failings as a father, and pledged to do better. Interestingly, this was a Last-Second Chance for both of them; Malus almost decided not to go through with using the infected blankets to kill him, but ultimately did it anyway.
  • Lured into a Trap: Malus has repeatedly pretended to arrange for labor meetings among the lower classes of Nosos, only to capture and arrest or murder all those involved, to crush dissent to his rule.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Malus is a Latin word that can mean "evil" or "apple tree", and sceleris is the genitive case of scelus,"crooked" or "villainous". His name could be translated as something like "Apple Tree of Villainy", which would manage to be simultaneously ironic (given his hatred of plants) and apropos (the fruits of his labor are all quite vile).
  • Neutral Evil: His In-Universe alignment, reflecting his ruthless self-interest and lack of attachment to any ethical ethos.
  • Nightmarish Factory: He runs lots of 'em, pretending to regret their poor conditions, but privately not caring so long as they despoil the land and fill his hands with gold.
  • Poisonous Person: A callback to how he murdered his father. Malus's body cannot be infected with disease or poisoned, but he sometimes infects others by deliberately contaminating himself.
  • Polluted Wasteland: His unending quest to destroy every trace of nature in Nosos that he can has ensured that the only parts of his domain that aren't empty deserts strewn with industrial refuse are urban nightmares full of trash, smoke, and soot.
  • Talking to Plants: The reason for his frenzied hatred of all nature. He is effectively using a druid's speak with plants ability all the time, and bigger plants like trees whisper about his crimes. Smaller plants, like grasses, don't communicate as well, but they still form a kind of buzzing, which is why those who want to have lawns (mostly upperclass citizens showing off) must pay heavy taxes by the square yard.
  • Terrified of Germs: Nosos's upper classes all fall into this trope thanks to his influence and willingness to use disease as a weapon of terror to keep them in line.
  • Typhoid Mary: He is completely immune to all forms of disease and poison, but can still act as a carrier to infect others. He usually wears gloves to avoid doing this, but if he decides to remove them to, say, shake hands with a fine young gentleman...

    Maligno, Darklord of Odiare 

Maligno, Darklord of Odiare

A Carrionette (evil sentient puppet) created by the toymaker Guiseppe, who desperately wanted a son. Maligno was hated and mistreated by the adults of Odiare but liked by the children, and because of this he manipulated Guiseppe into creating an army of carrionettes, then ordered the killing of all the adults of Odiare. This act caused the Dark Powers to bring Odiare into the Demiplane of Dread and choose Maligno as the darklord of the domain.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Has the ability to animate toys.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason why he spared the children of Odiare. Not that his way of ruling is nice to them though.
  • Chaotic Evil: His official alignment.invoked
  • Complete Immortality: No matter how much damage he takes, he can still talk and use his magical abilities, and even if reduced to zero hp, he can be repaired unless burned to ashes. (But only by Giuseppe.) Even then, he can survive if Giuseppe builds another body for him. Unless Giuseppe is killed, it may not be possible to get rid of him.
  • Expy: Of Pinocchio with some traits of Chucky.
  • Meaningful Rename: Originally, Giuseppe called him Figlio (Italian for Son), but when he ordered the massacre of Odiare's adults, he renamed himself Maligno (Italian for Evil).
  • No-Sell: The only spells that work on him are those that affect areas, cause burning damage, or affect wood.
  • Perverse Puppet: A puppet Darklord.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: While most carrionettes are able to switch bodies with humans, Maligno's curse from the Dark Powers means that, despite desperately wanting to take a human body, he's stuck as a puppet.
  • Shadow Dictator: The nominal rulers of Odiare are the two oldest surviving children, who are now young adults. Maligno is rarely seen, those who were infants when he became a Darklord being skeptical he exists. He does exist, of course, lurking in the cellars of the town but rarely showing himself, usually only doing so to make sure that Guiseppe is still being fed and cared for.
  • Synchronization: One-way: anything that harms Giuseppe harms Maligno, much to his chagrin.
  • Transplant: From Gothic Earth.
  • You're Not My Father: He despises Giuseppe, but must protect him to survive.

    Haki Shinpi, Darklord of Rokushima Táiyoo 

Haki Shinpi, Darklord of Rokushima Táiyoo

In life, Shinpi was a daimyo who twisted the tenets of bushido to destroy his enemies, using treachery and murder to eventually claim an empire, all the while secure in the knowledge of his own clan's solidarity. Shortly before he died, he divided his lands between his six sons, only for them to start arguing about it before his body was cold.

That was when the mists came.

Two of Shinpi's sons were killed within weeks after Rokushima entered the demiplane, the islands they ruled sinking into the ocean. The others now live on their own islands, paranoid and suspicious of their brothers.

Shinpi may well be the weakest darklord on record. He's a geist, the weakest form of undead spirit; while he can't be hurt, can become invisible, and the sight of him causes panic, he can't touch the world. His sole gift from the Dark Powers is the ability to close his domain's borders. His curse, meanwhile, is never to achieve peace between his sons, forced to watch as they tear his empire apart.

The Fraternity of Shadows fan resources change him significantly though, making him much more of a Non-Action Big Bad. In their version of Rokushima, he is largely responsible for his sons' feud, having beaten them into the same paranoid, Machiavellian style of governance he practiced as shogun. In death, the failures of his sons spurred him into believing he was the only competent ruler from his line and is actually the primary reason why his sons can't get along, as he torments them in their dreams. When one of his sons is killed by another's soldiers, his respective island is drawn into their father's pocket of the Ethereal Plane, where his new samurai subdue its still-living populace. His new curse is an extension of his life-he trained his sons too well. The Dark Powers have confirmed their suspicions that murdering the other brothers will sink all of Rokushima, and Shinpi is now fighting a losing battle to turn the Enemy Civil War hot again before they die of old age, freeing Rokushima from his grasp forever.


  • Adaptational Badass: His canon self is a powerless wimp completely upstaged by his own offspring. The Fraternity made him a cunning Manipulative Bastard with a real shot at taking back his domain and a demonic army to subtly force the issue.
  • Expy: The Fraternity version is a dead ringer for supernatural versions of Oda Nobunaga.
  • Genius Bruiser: Fanbook version. He was this in life, unlike many of his contemporary military darklords, and an excellent statesman. It's why he's still a problem despite being bodiless.
  • Invisibility
  • Lawful Evil: His official In-Universe alignment, as a lord who abided by a code of conduct but twisted it to evil ends, and ruled with an iron fist.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Not that he's in any position to appreciate it. The fan version gives him a decent shot at turning it into an Unishment, though (since he has full control of the monstrous army in his netherworld, and is still quite intangible).
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: He's seen and heard in people's minds, rather than with their physical senses. Magic can reveal his presence.
    • Fanbook version makes him more similar to the villains of kaidan ghost stories; he's largely intangible in the living world, but his rage and focus on regaining his political power have twisted a bit of the afterlife into his personal world, with a legion of Yōkai who were drawn to his negative emotions and now serve as his minions.
  • Wutai: Rokushima goes a bit further than most examples in that it actually is in a Jidaigeki-type period.

    Anton Misroi, Darklord of Souragne 

Anton Misroi, Darklord of Souragne

Misroi was a powerful and ruthless plantation owner who would have those who crossed him taken into the swamps and drowned. When he found his wife in the arms of a neighboring plantation owner, he assumed they were lovers and ordered them to be drowned in quicksand. His wife cursed him as she sank, and the Dark Powers took heed. Misroi's victims pulled him in to share their fate, and he pleaded with someone, anyone, that he didn't want to die. The Dark Powers answered by turning him into a zombie lord and giving him the domain of Souragne.

Seeking to regain his lost humanity, Misroi learned many secrets from the spirits of the swamp, secrets of life, death, and the nature of the Demiplane of Dread, which he used to become one with Souragne, transforming him from one of the weakest darklords to one of the most powerful, and even granting him a semblance of humanity — at the price of restricting him to Souragne's swamps.

Now, Misroi is Souragne's undisputed master, known to its people as the Lord of the Dead, chief among the loa.


  • Animal Eye Spy: He may employ the senses of any zombie in Souragne as though he were standing in their place.
  • Ban on Magic: Bans all forms of magic in Souragne aside from divine and necromantic.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He begged not to die... and was answered by being turned into a zombie lord.
  • Brown Note: Misroi has an aura of death which may inflict a disease of Misroi's choice on whoever fails a check after coming within 20 yards of him. Those who fail particularly badly die on the spot and rise as zombies.
  • Domain Holder: Has sufficient power over Souragne that he can prevent it joining with other domains, not being fond of the idea.
  • Druid: His spells are drawn from the druid list, though they count as arcane.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Much like Strahd, he can be very civil and nice.
  • Geo Effects: Misroi can melt into the trees and ground of the swamp and reappear anywhere in Souragne he wishes. This also restores his hit points.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: He sought desperately to become human again, and managed to regain a human semblance — at the cost of restricting him to Souragne's swamps, restricting his opportunity for human contact.
  • Lawful Evil: His official alignment In-Universe.
  • Magic Music: According to his unpublished 3rd edition stats, his sorcerer spells don't require material components, but he does have to sing and dance to cast them.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: His wife wasn't cheating, but unburdening herself about her unhappy marriage, with the other plantation owner providing a sympathetic ear.
  • Necromancer: Can cast any necromantic spell via the dance of the dead.
  • No Cure for Evil: Although he casts druid spells, he can't use any that cure or heal.
  • No-Sell: Although technically not dead, he has all the immunities undead creatures do.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: He is a Zombie Lord, and he has control of and can see through the eyes of all of the zombies in Souragne.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: As noted, restricted to Souragne's swamps.
  • Talking to the Dead: He may telepathically converse with the dead, or cast speak with dead at will by touching a corpse.
  • Technically Living Zombie: Zombie Lords are living creatures who have taken on the attributes of the undead.
  • Telepathy: He can sense and mentally contact and control all the zombies of Souragne.
  • Zombify the Living: He can attempt to do this with a touch.
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    Sir Torrence Bleysmith, Darklord of Staunton Bluffs 

Sir Torrence Bleysmith, Darklord of Staunton Bluffs

The Bleysmiths were once a minor noble family who ruled the county of Staunton. Torrence competed with his brother August for the attention of their father the count, a rivalry which eventually grew so intense that Torrence eventually arranged to have August killed by enemy soldiers from the rival duchy of Avergne — only to find that the Avergnites weren't content to stop with his brother, but thanks to the information he had provided, rampaged into Staunton and killed many of its inhabitants, including the rest of his family. Torrence tried using black magic to compel the survivors of the attack to become a makeshift army to drive the invaders out, but it only resulted in their slaughter. The vengeful, guilt-ridden Torrence hanged himself — only to find that the Mists had claimed his family's lands as the domain of Staunton Bluffs, with himself as its ghostly darklord.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: After becoming a Darklord, those Torrence kills — even indirectly — return as corporeal undead (i.e. ghouls, ghasts, skeletons and so forth). Those whose deaths he was responsible for before becoming a darklord have become incorporeal dead.
  • An Arm and a Leg: After a stone block from the decaying Castle Stonecrest fell on the arm of his skeleton, the arm of his ghost self became crushed and now hangs uselessly at his side. He eventually tricked a looter into burying it in the basement in exchange for the Bleysmith's treasure—only to lock him in a cell until he died.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Convinces people to help him out — whether or not that help is actually needed — then betrays them, enjoying the feeling of violating someone's trust.
  • Haunted Castle: Castle Stonecrest, his family's castle.
  • Lawful Evil: His official in-universe alignment.
  • The Mole: In the name of getting August killed.
  • Never My Fault: His current situation isn't his fault, no. Fate has it in for him.
  • No-Sell: Can't be turned. Vice versa, he and his undead servants can't harm the Avergnite residents of his domain.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: During the day, he can't harm anyone, only being able to move around and get the castle to produce spooky effects. At night, however, he comes into his full powers.
  • Shoplift and Die: The ruins of Castle Stonecrest have a smithy inside with a few very nicely crafted swords resting in the hands of the skeletons of the smith and his assistants. And they would very much like to keep them.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With his oldest brother August, motivated by the desire to get their father's attention.
  • Super Intelligence: Intelligence score of 19, just above the human maximum.
  • Synchronization: Downplayed. Damaging his skeleton causes him pain (and can seemingly cripple him), but it can't be used to permanently destroy him without a fairly complex set of condtions.
  • Talking to the Dead: There's a dining hall filled with the ghosts of the Bleysmith family who float around the room. If someone can talk to the dead, they'll explain what happened and how to stop Torrence. You can even rest safely in the room, since Torrence refuses to enter—as long as you don't care about ghosts watching you all night. Just don't disturb anything. They don't like that. They really don't.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Don't bother trying to help him, because he'll betray you no matter what you do.

    Kas the Bloody-Handed, Darklord of Tovag 

Kas the Bloody-Handed, Darklord of Tovag

Kas was once the chief lieutenant of the notorious lich Vecna (he of the Hand and the Eye), effectively ruling Vecna's empire in his name. In time, however, he turned on his master, and they clashed in a mighty battle that resulted in Kas being imprisoned in Vecna's planar citadel for centuries, where the negative energies slowly transformed him into a vampire. When Vecna was claimed by the Mists as he sought to conquer Oerth, Kas was brought along as well, given a domain of his own and the chance to seek revenge on Vecna, but denied his mightiest artifact, the Sword of Kas, which remained on Oerth. His fate in Ravenloft canon after Vecna's escape is unknown.
  • Abusive Parent: Back when he was human and working for Vecna on Oerth, he had a bunch of bastard kids, whom he never really bothered with. However, one of them proved to have a powerful talent for sorcery, so strong that it caught the attention of Vecna himself. The jealous Kas shoved the kid into a magical ouibliette and forgot about him. As for the kid, he botched the spell he was using to try and get out and turned into an insane slime creature.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Kas, as a vampire death knight, is a very powerful combatant and his grip over his own realm is strong. His army is disciplined and powerful. And yet, the only opposing force he can reach is Cavitus, home of the phenomeonally powerful Vecna, whose power dwarfs his own.
  • Animorphism: Unsurprisingly, this vampire can turn into a bat.
  • Arch-Enemy: Vecna, Darklord of Cavitus.
  • Chaotic Evil: His official In-Universe alignment.
  • Cool Sword:
    • In life, he was awarded the Sword of Kas for his loyalty to Vecna. Unfortunately for both of them, Vecna unintentionally made the sword sapient, telepathic, and possessed of a burning desire to destroy undead—its creator in particular. It slowly wore away at Kas's mind until he attacked his former master.
    • Although he lost his original sword when pulled into Ravenloft, the replica he uses still has a +3 enchantment.
  • The Dragon:
    • He served as Vecna's chief lieutenant until his betrayal.
    • Tejen the Grim, a 15th level avenger, is the master of Kas's state police and his right hand. Tejen is loyal to Kas, because he's sworn an oath of vengeance against Vecna for ruining his family. Kas trusts him in return...but recalls that he, too, once loyally served a lord.
  • Enemy Summoner: He can call forth swarms of rats, bats, and wolves to harry his foes.
  • Fights Like a Normal: He craves the thrill of battle so he'll forgo using his vampiric powers in combat...unless things should start turning against him.
  • Flying Weapon: When he wishes to close his borders, Kas summons a storm of flying swords and daggers.
  • Forever War: In spite of Kas's large army, the only way into Cavitus is through the paths of the Burning Peaks, which limits the number of people he can send to try and conquer the domain. Fortunately, Vecna can't send all of his undead through at once, either. Kas is aware that he's trapped in a stalemate, but all he can do is perpetuate it as he cannot let Vecna win.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Centuries trapped in Cavitus turned his love for combat and conquest into a burning drive for chaos and destruction.
  • I Have Many Names: Kas the Bloody-Handed, Kas the Terrible, and now Kas the Destroyer.
  • Immortal Ruler: Both a Darklord and a vampire.
  • Insane Admiral: Kas turned his entire domain into a militaristic nightmare. Every available resource is utilized for his endless war against Vecna. Everyone is expendable, and he would sacrifice them all if he didn't need some people alive to raise crops and build things for his troops.
  • Intangibility: If brought to zero HP, he'll assume wraithform and escape.
  • La Résistance: There's a plucky band of rebels secretly recruiting people and fighting a guerrilla war to sabotage and overthrow Kas's domination of Tovag...and it's led by Vocar the Obediant, a 16th level priest of Vecna who wants to give the realm to his vile master. The Daggers are constantly searching for them, and Vecna's so bad its hard not to be Rooting for the Empire.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Kas' people don't actually complain all that much given his Insane Admiral status. While Kas' realm is a very unpleasant place, being conquered by Vecna and absorbed into his land of Cavitus would be far worse. One the one hand, a militarized dictatorship. On the other, a supernaturally hellish life-draining desert where the tiny pocket of civilization is a group of soul-crushed slaves ruled by an evil demigod.
  • MacGuffin: He believes that the only thing which will turn the tide in his war against Vecna is the true Sword of Kas, which he believes is hidden somewhere in his realm. It's actually still on his old homeworld of Oerth, so all his desperate searching is for naught.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Kas pays a good bounty for each child a family has.
  • Mind Control: He has a hypnotic gaze and voice, and is so powerful that those he uses them on save at a -4 disadvantage.
  • Must Be Invited: He must be invited by the owner of a dwelling or structure before he may enter. Like Strahd and Barovia, however, he owns every building in Tovag.
  • No-Sell: Unlike normal vampires, holy water, holy symbols, garlic, mirrors and running water mean nothing to him. He also has no need to maintain a coffin and is immune to spells intended to control his mind or body (sleep/hold/charm). Even the sun only temporarily kills him. Stake through the heart? Only if that stake comes from his homeworld of Oerth. Finally, as an ancient vampire, he's immune to weapons of less than a +3 enchantment (unless they're a Holy Avenger).
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Like Strahd, he became a vampire through magic, not from another vampire.
  • Police State: Tovag is in a state of constant war, and life consists of constant searches and interrogations at the hands of Kas's state police, the Daggers, whose duty is to find criminals and spies whether they're there or not. This is, unfortunately, necessary because any traitors could tip the war to Vecna's advantage, which would be even worse for his domain's people.
  • Rapid Aging: In order to support Kas's Forever War against Vecna, the people of Tovag age more quickly, with most reaching maturity by age nine. Stay more than a month, and you'll start aging quickly, too. Once out of the realm, people age normally.
  • Secret Path: Unlike most Darklords, Kas cannot completely close his borders, leaving the paths to Cavitus via the Burning Peaks open. This is where Vecna attacks Tovag from, and from which Kas attacks Cavitus, since Vecna cannot close this border, either.
  • The Sociopath: He's incapable of seeing his citizens as anything but tools for his war on Vecna, and has no investment in them besides rewarding them for breeding more soldiers.
  • The Starscream: To Vecna.
  • Super Smoke: Can assume a gaseous form at will, due to his vampiric nature.
  • Vampiric Draining: Another vampire power.
  • Wall Crawl: You guessed it, yet one more vampire power.
  • We Have Reserves: Thanks to its large families and their rapid aging, Kas has a huge army to fend off Vecna's undead hordes. And thanks to that huge army, Vecna always has more bodies to animate. Fun times for everyone.

    Davion the Mad, Darklord of Davion 

Davion the Mad, Darklord of Davion

Ruler of the pocket realm of Davion; a foolish wish led to this wizard sharing his body with three of his adventurer hirelings.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Whatever ails Boromar (who talks to himself, hears voices, acts reclusive and paranoid, and whips around constantly to make sure no one's following him) is never spelled out directly, but seems to be schizophrenia. Given that this was 2e D&D, though, it might just be called "being Chaotic Neutral".
  • The Archmage: Prior to his little mistake, Davion was a master of all eight schools of magic. That wasn't nearly enough for him, though.
  • Bag of Spilling: Anything you purchase in one of the villages (even services like healing, horse stables, or blacksmithing) immediately vanishes when the village shifts, never to return. Your money (and horse, if you stabled it) stays gone.
  • Blessed with Suck: Davion is outwardly quite pleased about his new situation. The state of Thornewood, however, is said to represent his subconscious anguish and horror over his fate which he denies even to himself.
  • Butterface: As long as she's a part of Davion, Narana apparently strongly resembles him, although the rest of her body is decidedly female. This isn't mentioned for the others, which makes one wonder if it wasn't added in her case to keep the players from getting certain ideas...
  • Chainmail Bikini: Narana wears one of these. Justified in that she basically serves the Goddess of S&M.
  • Chaotic Evil: Davion and Narana, in-universe.
  • Chaotic Neutral: Boromar, in-universe.
  • Cool Sword: Boromar has a +4 longsword (defender).
  • Crazy-Prepared: Prior to the merge, Davion discovered a ring of two wishes and spent over a month composing a wish that would get him everything he wanted without any Literal Genie shenanigans. The wish ended up being over a hundred words long. It didn't do him any good, though.
  • Cursed With Awesome: Outwardly, Davion thinks so, given that all he wanted was power and knowledge. Indeed, he's even looking to merge more souls within himself.
  • Fisher King: The domain of Davion is a small village of about five square miles. Its nature changes randomly depending upon which personality is presently controlling the body.
    • When Davion is in control, the village is Thornewood, which looks like it was recently hit by an earthquake, with pleasant (if brusque) survivors rebuilding and picking through the ruins. The season appears to be late summer, with the trees beginning to change.
    • When Augustus rules, it's Arcanon, a clean and quiet town where wizards can find any spell component, magical artifact, or piece of research they need, the people are well-mannered and polite, and the weather is always overcast and pleasantly cool.
    • Boromar forges it into Boromar's Knoll, a freezing-cold frontier village with log cabins and dirt roads, populated by hardy settlers.
    • Narana's dominance turns it into Pallatia, a village of sadomasochistic hedonists where it always seems to be late spring and breezy.
  • Fusion Dance: Power Booster variant. Davion has access to the spells and skills of the others.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: If the four personalities are separated from Davion, Boromar and Narana will immediately wig out upon realizing what happened to them and start attacking either their former, er, roommates or anyone nearby. Augustus, who suspected something like this was going on, will stay sane.
  • Good Shepherd: As a priestess of Loviatar, Narana is always ready to help those in suffering and pain... to suffer even worse.
  • Implausible Deniability: If confronted, Davion denies everything about the personality merge and claims not to know the others. Given that the people confronting him have probably been through several village changes and even talked to the other personalities at this point, it doesn't really work.
  • Insufferable Genius: Augustus.
  • It's All About Me: It's mentioned that Narana is unable to think of anyone else but herself and if separated, she demonstates this by sadistically attacking the P Cs for her own pleasure.
  • The Lad-ette: Narana.
  • Lawful Neutral: Augustus, in-universe.
  • Literal Genie: Davion, was using a ring of wishes ("I, Davion, wish..."), when his hirelings startled him by walking in the door, laden with all the goodies they'd gotten on their quest. ("...give me everything you've got!"), and that was that.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: With every random personality change, a new set of shops selling different things for incredibly cheap prices pops up. They're not to be trusted.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: The sudden influx of power and knowledge drove Davion insane.
  • Only Sane Man: He may be nuttier than an outhouse rat, but Davion is the only personality that realizes exactly what happened to the four of them, or indeed that anything happened at all. (Although Augustus has his suspicions.)
    • Augustus was this for the hirelings, pre-merge, and remains the most reasonable and rational of the personalities. Still a kind of Jerkass, though.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Pre-merge Davion sent adventurers out to get power and knowledge and bring it back to him while he stayed at home and worked on his own studies.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The hirelings pre-merge consisted of a mentally-unstable fighter, a stand-offish mage, and a brutal priestess of pain.
  • Retcon: The Book of Crypts module where Davion can be encountered provides a means of separating everyone. Domains of Dread mentions a group of adventurers that tried to help, who were all killed by Davion in order to keep his power.
  • Sadist: Narana.
  • Sharing a Body: The four personalities share a single body, which changes to match each one.
  • Skewed Priorities: One outcome of the Book of Crypts module has Narana separating herself from Davion. She immediately begins whipping and scourging the PCs, rather than fight Davion or run away. It gets her killed.
  • Split Personality: The four constantly-changing personalities controlling the domain consist of:
    • Davion, a power-mad lunatic of a mage.
    • Augustus, a blunt and impatient mage.
    • Boromar, a reclusive and paranoid fighter who hears voices.
    • Narana, a bawdy, selfish, priestess of Loviatar (Goddess of Pain)
  • Squishy Wizard: Averted. Davion and Augustus have a Strength of 14 and a Constitution of 15, which is actually quite robust.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Pre-merge Narana was this, being Chaotic Evil with the other two being Neutral. (Post-merge, Davion is also Chaotic Evil, so this doesn't quite apply.)
  • Torches and Pitchforks: The people of Boromar's Knoll believe all visitors to be possessed by fiends, and will capture and burn them at the stake come sunset.
  • Whip It Good: Narana wields Loviatar's favored weapon, a scourge.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Davion.
  • Wraparound Background: How Davion closes his borders. Those who leave the village find themselves walking right back into the village.

    The House of Lament, Darklord and Domain 

The House of Lament, Darklord and domain

The House of Lament is the only known darklord which is its domain (though Domains of Dread reports it's not alone in that). It came into being after an aging lord offered his daughter Mara in marriage to a bandit leader as a peace offering, who agreed, then attacked the caravan, kidnapping Mara, and claiming she had never arrived.

The bandit lord then proceeded to inter Mara alive in one of his keep's towers as an offering to the gods... only to find that she kept on screaming days after she should have died, and reopening her tomb revealed no body within.

Then he and his men started hearing a woman's voice calling to them... and days later, they were all dead. The same fate has befallen anyone else who moves in.

While not identified as a darklord or domain in 3e, it does appear on maps of Borca.


  • Death Is the Only Option: Mara is an eternally lonely spirit who seals the house anytime a group enters, making escape impossible (windows cannot break and doors cannot be knocked down, even with magic) and trying her best to kill them, forbidding anyone in the group from leaving until she succeeds in killing at least one. (The guidebook where the House is detailed recommends to the Dungeon Master that the actual victim should be an NPC, unless...)
  • Expy: Of Hill House.
  • Genius Loci: Mara's ghost has merged with the spirit of the house.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: It is rumored that Mara will be laid to rest forever if a selfless hero volunteers to be her victim, but as yet, no-one (at least canonically) has offered...
  • Human Sacrifice: Mara's fate.

    The Nightmare Court, Darklords(?) of the Nightmare Lands 

The Nightmare Court, Darklords(?) of the Nightmare Lands

The enigmatic masters of the Nightmare Lands, of whom little is known.

The Nightmare Lands provides writeups for six members of the Court: the Nightmare Man, the Ghost Dancer, Hypnos, Morpheus, Mullonga, and the Rainbow Serpent. A seventh, the Redheaded Child, appears in A Guide to Transylvania for Masque of the Red Death.

They were finally given a backstory in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. The beigns known as the Nightmare Court are actually the subconscious creations of Caroline Dinwiddy, a potent psychic who sleeps in the empty city of Nod, afraid to wake up and face the consequences for her horrible deeds.


  • Big Bad: The Nightmare Man is the leader of all of them, and regularly invades the others' dreams if they become bad enough to interest him.
  • Chaotic Evil: Morpheus' official In-Universe alignment.
  • Charm Person: Hypnos can plant a command in the minds of dreamers who visit the Nightmare Lands, which they are compelled to fulfil when they wake. Physical travellers to the Nightmare Lands, however, are brought under his powerful charm effect.
  • Creative Sterility: The Nightmare Man's curse— he has no imagination or dreams of his own, and so must borrow others'. Whenever he tries to paint, the paint turns to blood, sending him into a rage.
  • Dream Walker: All of them, though they can't escape Ravenloft.
  • Dream Weaver: All of them. The Nightmare Man alone, however, can make nightmares real, bringing them into the waking world as an Anthropomorphic Personification.
  • Driven to Madness: All of them have the power to try and drive people to madness (represented as a madness check), which each of them can use on one particular person a day.
  • The End... Or Is It?: A nasty subversion is a favorite trick of the Rainbow Serpent— he feeds on feelings of vengeance and resentment, the more unjustified the better, so a favorite trick of his is to induce a dream of something horrible a friend of his current victim did... then change the dream to a vivid one of waking up to find evidence that really happened. It's not true, of course, but the Serpent thinks it's hilarious.
  • Healing Factor: All of them regenerate damage automatically so long as their connection to the Web of Dreams is intact.
  • In the Hood: The Nightmare Man.
  • Lawful Evil: The official In-Universe alignment for the Ghost Dancer, Hypnos, Mullonga, the Nightmare Man, and the Rainbow Serpent.
  • Shrouded in Myth: No one knows much of anything about the Nightmare Court, such as where they came from, how they came to rule the Nightmare Lands, or even how many of them there actually are (The Nightmare Lands suggests there may be more beyond those it covers, supported by the Redheaded Child in A Guide to Transylvania). The Nightmare Man is apparently a darklord, but the status of the rest of the Court is unclear— are they partners in crime, fellow darklords, or even perhaps manifestations of aspects of the Nightmare Man's mind?
  • The Speechless: The Ghost Dancer, who uses her dances to communicate instead.
  • Teleportation: In their areas of influence, the Court's members can teleport at will, but in other parts of the Nightmare Lands they can only do so three times a day.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Morpheus can transform into any creature of 12 HD or less, gaining its powers, abilities and weaknesses.
  • World of Chaos: The Nightmare Lands, due to it being partly composed of the substance of dreams.

    Lemot Sediam Juste, Darklord of Scaena 

Lemot Sediam Juste, Darklord of Scaena

A mad playwright and director who rules Scaena, a unique traveling domain and theater house, which can pop up anywhere in the Land of Mists. Cursed never to be able to believe in what's happening on his stage, always seeing the actors and props for what they are.
  • Comedy Ghetto: In-Universe, he is obsessed with achieving the artistic cachet of tragedy, despite his success in comedies and regular dramas.
  • Compelling Voice: All the better to force his actors into the roles he wants them to play.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Killed his recalcitrant actors for sabotaging his plays, and burned down a theater with an audience that booed him inside.
  • Driven to Madness: By his failure as a writer and director of tragedies. These days, he prefers to inflict this on his unfortunate performers.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Almost canceled his deadly play...but then he remembered how they'd all laughed at him.
  • Irony: The "tragedy" he'd just dashed off as an excuse to kill his actors was apparently a very good play after all. Ironic in that 1) he hadn't been trying, 2) the audience hated it anyway—they'd been expecting better from him, and 3) if he'd only realized that the actors were on board (for once) and that he had a good start, he could have abandoned the "kill everyone" part, put some actual work into the play and gotten the tragedy he'd always wanted.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Scaena is a traveling domain and theater house that can pop up anywhere in the Land of Mists.
  • Mad Artist: Actor/Playwright/Director variant. He is so obsessed with achieving feats of great "art" that he is perfectly willing to torture, maim and kill people in the pursuit of either realism or as punishment for not enjoying his efforts.
  • Master of Illusion: Juste can make whatever he wishes appear on his stage.
  • Meaningful Name: "Le mot juste". And his middle name is "Medias" reversed.
  • Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: Out of spite, he designed a play that would murder his actors.
  • Press-Ganged: If you touch the stage in Scaena while Juste is still writing, you'll be sucked into the play as a performer. If he's not writing, you'll be an audience member — unless he decides you aren't enjoying his play enough and tricks you onto the stage.
  • Renaissance Man: Wanted to be this for theater. Unfortunately, while he was extremely adept at writing and acting in comedies and regular dramas, his attempts at tragedy invariably came out as Narm. Even when he directed, his actors insisted on playing up the comedic aspects of each piece, since they could tell that his work just plain sucked and it was the most positive spin they could put on it. Clearly, there was only one thing to do.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: If a play proves unsuccessful by his standards (and most plays do), he'll mentally lock Scaena up and burn it down with everyone inside, himself included. For him and Scaena, it's only temporary, but still hurts.
  • Teleportation: Juste may move through the very fabric of the theater itself to appear anywhere he wishes.
  • Time Master: Juste can control the way people on stage experience time—a person who thinks he slept for eight hours from his perspective might only have been asleep for five minutes to the audience.
  • Tom Hanks Syndrome:invoked His intense desire to invoke this trope and escape the Comedy Ghetto, coupled with his complete failure to do so, is his motivation for his awful deeds.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: When Juste deigns to appear onstage, he can take any human form he pleases.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Although Juste's illusions affect all five senses, every time there's a scene change there's a slim chance that his victims can disbelieve them, thus taking themselves out of the play. Unless they concentrate on disbelieving, however, they can get sucked back in.

    The Headless Horseman, Darklord of The Winding Road 

The Headless Horseman, Darklord of The Winding Road

The Winding Road is a pocket domain which can supersede any road, whose only permanent residents are a mysterious rider and his grotesque army.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The First to Follow savagely attack until they're destroyed or until up to six rounds pass, whichever comes first.
  • Cool Horse: He rides a frightening phantom steed.
  • Flunky Boss: He commands an army of living severed heads to fight for him, and he doesn't join battle alongside his heads.
  • Flying Dutchman: The Winding Road can appear in any domain, and the Headless Horseman is cursed to ride it forever, as it never reaches its end.
  • Flying Face: The First and Last to Follow, respectively an army of severed heads and a quintet of medusa heads specifically, which he took from his victims and animated into his service.
  • From Bad to Worse: Think your problems are over when the Horseman passes? Think again.
    • The First to Follow, an army of jeering severed heads, follows in his wake. These remnants of his former victims gnash and tear at hapless travelers for several minutes before making way for...
    • The Last to Follow, a group of four medusa heads and one maedar (male medusa). Although the heads have lost their petrification abilities, they can still paralyze and poison travelers, and the maedar can use any spell used against the Horseman or the First to Follow.
    • During the Grand Conjunction (in the From the Darkness module), the Last to Follow was replaced by a group of beholders.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: One of the reasons he's so disliked by fans is that he has absolutely no backstory to justify his Darklord status. In-Universe, the three major theories as to his origins are that he was a man executed wrongfully by Vlad Drakov, that he was a traveler who cut his own head off rather than be taken by minions of Strahd, or that he was a bard who was forced to entertain Ivana Boritsi as she bathed, who found his efforts so boring that she promptly chopped off his head and ordered his body dumped in the river whilst she continued her bath in his blood.
  • Headless Horseman: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but he also comes with an army of his own.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In From the Shadows, the DM is encouraged to cheat on dice rolls to make this happen, if they have to. The entire point of the encounter is to die and be brought to Azalin.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Although they're much more powerful than the First to Follow, if the Last to Follow are met with sufficient resistance, they'll flee.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: The Winding Road can superimpose itself on any road within the Core Domains... and outside the Mists, as well.
  • Losing Your Head: The First and Last to Follow.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Picked up medusa heads apparently from somewhere outside the Mists. In From the Darkness, he had a bunch of beholders following him.
  • Mook Maker: His human victims join The First to Follow. (Presumably other medusa victims would join the Last)
  • Nightmare Face: Or lack thereof. His appearance induces a horror check.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Strictly speaking, he is in possession of several heads, he just happens to not have one on his neck.
  • Off with His Head!: The one thing certain about his past is that this happened at some point, and he tries to inflict this on others with his sickle.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: From the Darkness has him working for another darklord, namely Azalin.
  • Retcon: The Winding Road was reinvented as The Endless Road for the 4th edition, with Eli van Hassen as the darklord and the Horseman as his curse. Many fans approved of this, as none of the Horseman's origin stories really gave him a reason to claim the "Darklord" position.
  • Shout-Out: Flying medusa heads, you say?
  • Shrouded in Myth: Nearly every domain has a story about his origins, although Borca's is most complete (involving a brief affair with Ivana Boritsi).
  • Stay on the Path: Inverted, The Winding Road stays on you. Try to run off it, and it'll appear under your feet. Try to fly off it, and it'll drag you down.
  • Super Strength: The Horseman has 18/00 strength, which (in D&D terms) is as strong as you can get without being considered superhuman.
  • Walking the Earth: The Winding Road is endless, and the Horseman's ride eternal.

    The Last Passenger, Darklord of The Mourning Rail 

The Last Passenger, Darklord of Cyre 1313, the Mourning Rail

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cyre1313.jpg
The Mourning Rail
At the tail end of the Great War on Eberron, a mysterious event known as the Mourning slew the entire population of the nation of Cyre. Some few lucky souls managed to escape on the lightning rails. The Cyre 1313 line was very nearly one of them, had a single VIP passenger not arrived late, dooming the train's passengers to whatever fate the Mourning had in store for them.

As the Mourning slew the Last Passenger, whose true identity remains a mystery, the train, tracks and all, were scooped up by the Dark Powers and transformed it into a traveling Domain, forever fleeing the disaster that already killed everyone aboard.


  • Ambiguous Gender: Nothing about the Passenger's true identity is known beyond being from Cyre, being incredibly selfish, and having a great deal of influence. Everything else, including sex, occupation, and even species is undetermined.
  • Arc Number: Carrying on with Eberron's arc number of 13, with one missing or destroyed, Cyre 1313 was the thirteenth lightning rail that escaped Metrol, but it was taken by the dark powers.
  • Dead All Along: The Passenger, and all of Cyre 1313, were killed by the Mourning and were made undead by the Dark Powers. Being unable to realize this and living in constant fear of the Mourning is all but outright stated to be the Passenger's torment.
  • Ghost Train: Cyre 1313 is essentially one, although the train itself is perfectly normal (by Magitek standards). Its passengers, on the other hand...
  • It's All About Me: The Passenger held up Cyre 1313 and had many others kicked off the train to make more room, all in a desperate, doomed bid to save themselves.
  • Transplant: From Eberron

    Ramya Vasavadan, Darklord of Kalakeri 

Ramya Vasavadan, Darklord of Kalakeri

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/image_3_34.png
The True Heir
Ramya was the chosen successor of the previous maharana of Kalakeri, until the day her father died and her brother, Arijani, attempted to usurp the throne. Though Ramya defeated him, the urging of their sister, Reeva, convinced her to be merciful. This proved a mistake, as Reeva was too a traitor, and the ensuing civil war was brutal. As the war waged on, Ramya became more and more merciless, throwing suspected traitors to ravenous tigers or burning them alive to set an example. She was finally slain by her brother when Reeva lured her into a trap, and her corpse thrown at the sea. Afterwards, a terrible storm arose, and with it, came Ramya, risen as a death knight with an army of dead at her back. She reclaimed the throne, slaying her treasonous siblings, but just as she did, Kalakeri was claimed by the mist.

Now, Ramya is Maharana once again, but she cannot rest. Her siblings have risen again, just like she did, Arijani as a Rakshasa, and Reeva as an Arcanaloth, and they continue their campaign against her. Ramya constantly has to defend her throne, and hide her true undead state from her subjects, lest they join her hated brother's rebellion.


  • Animal Motifs: Ramya's symbol is the wyvern, a noble but savage and venomous being. Likewise, Reeva is an arcanaloth, which are visualy based on the deceitful jackal, and Arijani is a rakshasa, visually based on the noble but savage tiger.
  • Cain and Abel: Threeways, between Ramya (the rightful heir), Arijani (the usurper) and Reeva (the manipulator who plays them against each other. In fact, reading between the lines of Kalakeri's 5th edition writeup implies that all three are the Darklord, though Ramya gets the most depth.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: In case the "Maharana" title didn't make it obvious, Kalakeri is based on the Guptan and Mughal eras of Indian history, before the British arrived.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Her personal flaw is, ironically enough, a positive trait, her trust and love of her siblings. Despite both having shown themselves to be extremely untrustworthy, she can't help but fall for their scheming because she truly does love them.
    • On a less personal level, Ramya is extremely paranoid, which led to her damnation. The scheming of her siblings have caused her to jump at every shadow and see traitors everywhere.
  • Forever War: Kalakeri's entire schtick. It has been stuck in a civil war since before it entered the mist, and the Dark Powers are sure to keep it going for the sake of tormenting Ramya and her siblings.
  • The High Queen: Once she was a textbook example of this trope, merciful and compassionate while she led Kalakeri into a golden age. War makes monsters of heroes, however, and the civil war has turned her into a paranoid tyrant.
  • The Necrocracy: Kalakeri is technically one, since Ramya is a Death Knight, but she keeps it secret.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Every being that dies in Ramya's service is brought back as an undead under her command, though she can never seem to beat the rebels anyway.
  • Nothing but Skulls: Ramya takes the skull of every traitor her undead soldiers kill and add them to the Tower of Traitors. She somehow believes that when it is completed, she will have purged all evil from Kalakeri, and does not see the irony of it.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Ramya is a Death Knight, the physical figher equivelant of a Lich.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The primary colors of Kalakeri, and therefore Ramya, are purple and gold.
  • Rightful King Returns: Ramya is essentially a deconstruction of this trope. She is the rightful heir of Kalakeri's throne, fighting against usurpers. But war makes us all lesser, and she is no longer The High Queen she once was.
  • Succession Crisis: Ramya's Start of Darkness was her brother's attempt at usurping the throne.

    The Phantom Lover, Darklord of Leederik's Tower 

The Phantom Lover, Darklord of Leederik's Tower

When a woman has lost someone close to her, a man she loved deeply, the Phantom Lover may come in answer to her grief, extending his domain into her bedchamber and taking the form of the one she loved — even should she be outside Ravenloft. Over the course of several nights, he will visit her again and again, slowly draining her life, until finally he asks her to come with him to his domain through a portal in a nearby graveyard. She does not survive for long.

The Phantom Lover's domain isn't canonically named, so the fandom calls it Leederik's Tower.


  • Charm Person: On his victim. The Phantom Lover's charm effect can't be magically detected or dispelled.
  • Lawful Evil: His official In-Universe alignment.
  • Red Right Hand: Well, black left foot.
  • Resurrective Immortality: As long as there is great sorrow and grief, the Phantom Lover will return, even if slain.
  • Shrouded in Myth: All that's known of the Phantom Lover are his modus operandi and powers. Who he is, what he is, how he earned his domain, and his curse are all left open (It's noted he's known as Leederik in Ravenloft, though whether this is a name, a pseudonym, or a title is unknown). Darklords says that some have classed him as a vampire, while Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts identifies him as a ghost. Some fans have noted similarities to the demonic Gentleman Caller, and wondered about a connection.
  • Vampiric Draining: Drains the Strength of his victim, although whether he's sustained by it is unknown.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Able to take the form of a lost loved one, a deceased husband, fiance, or boyfriend, save for his left foot, which always looks like that of a small black-scaled dragon. He can also turn into mist, a black snake, or a gargoyle in the form of a small black dragon.

    Addar, Darklord of the Phantasmal Forest 

Addar, Darklord of the Phantasmal Forest

Mentioned in the writeups for the Shadow Unicorns, Addar was promoted to Darklord status in the Kargatane's Book of Sacrifices netbook. Hailing from a sylvan forest on an unknown Prime world, Addar chafed against the traditions of unicorns submitting to elven maidens as bonded steeds, seeing such an act not as a bond of partnership and purity, but a symbol of humiliation and servitude. Though the other benevolent fey spirits of his forest recoiled from such bitter, poisonous prejudice, darker spirits rejoiced in it. Most prominently, a female nightmare, who began to contact Addar in his dreams, seducing him with stories of a new forest, far away, where he would become a great champion and worshiped like a god, much like the guardians of his own forest. Even as Addar's ego grew on this noxious fuel, the elder fey strove to break him of his arrogance; they arranged for an elven princess of unparalleled purity and grace, a mighty paladin-in-training, to be given his name and told she was to invoke the pact with him. When she came to summon him, however, Addar fought with all his might, recoiling against what he still saw as an attempt to enslave him and reduce him to a mere beast of burden. His defiance allowed the nightmare to slip between the worlds and attack the elf-maid, setting the forest alight with her burning mane and hooves. Free of the spell, Addar began to flee, only to realize the elf-maid was caught by the flames; choked by the smoke, she couldn't hope to escape on her own... but Addar's pride would not allow him to let her ride to safety on his back. Instead, he turned and abandoned the screaming princess to her death, following the nightmare into the mists. Upon her, he fathered the first Shadow Unicorns, and became ruler of the Phantasmal Forest; a foul and dismal place of dead, dying trees whose black, noxious soul nourished only weeds and evil plants, inhabited only by dark fey and predatory beasts.
  • A God Am I: He wants to be worshiped and revered, but his blind fury and madness prevents him from attaining such respect and so he tends to simply kill any mortals he encounters.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride, all the way. Addar's arrogance alone can be blamed for his damnation.
  • Hellish Horse: A corrupted and defiled form of unicorn, with appropriately twisted magical powers; he can ignite his horn and use it as a flaming weapon, injure or poison others with a touch, he can induce unnatural terror with the sounds of his hoofsteps or a terrible scream, and craft areas of baleful supernatural gloom at the expense of healthy trees.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Addar wants the respect and adulation due to a mighty forest guardian, but instead inhabits only a small, twisted, near-lifeless woodland.
  • Unicorn: A tainted and corrupted one, but he can still pass for one at first sight, unless you see the blood stain-like red markings on his coat and the madness in his eyes.
  • Unicorns Are Sacred: Thoroughly averted, and played for horror; he was a force of good, once, but now he's a self-damned spawn of evil and corruption.

    Madame Irena Radanavich, Darklord of Richten Haus 

Madame Irena Radanavich, Darklord of Richten Haus

The Raunie of the Radanavich tribe of Vistani, Madame Radanavich met her end when she attempted to gain favor with a vampire named Baron Metus by procuring a young man to become his Groom. When her first attempt resulted in one of her children being mortally wounded, she led her tribe to force their way into the surgery of Dr. Rudolph van Richten, demanding that he save her son's life. When he failed, he offered her anything she wanted if only she would not harm him, terrified of the Vistani's Black Magic. She took this as an excuse to kidnap Van Richten's son and give him to Metus. This backfired when the vengeful Van Richten tracked her tribe down and ultimately slew them with the aid of a horde of cannibal zombies. As she died, she cursed him, and then rose from her grave as a vengeful ghost attended to by the undead remnants of her tribe, transformed into ghouls and cannibal zombies. She began haunting Van Richten's ancestral estate, which he had abandoned after the death of his family, watching her curse at work. When Van Richten broke her curse, she was furious; visited by the Gentleman Caller, with his aid, she was able to revive Baron Metus and command the ghosts of Van Richten's allies who had perished because of her curse to obey her, forming an alliance with Dr. Dominiani to try and destroy her enemy. Her plots form the backbone of the adventure "Bleak House".
  • Curse: She cannot use her precognitive powers to tell her own fortune any more.
  • Eaten Alive: She was devoured by a swarm of cannibal zombies.
  • Evil Gloating: She has a tendency to gloat and posture, which was even what got her killed in the end.
  • Madame Fortune: She's a fortune-telling old gypsy woman; of course she's called "Madame".
  • Moral Myopia: She put a dying curse on Van Richten that would see all his friends die horribly, and came back from the grave out of sheer hatred for his having killer her. She never acknowledges that her family wouldn't have died if she hadn't destroyed Van Richten's family first.
  • Retcon: As of 5th edition, she's not considered a vistana anymore, having been retconed as merely a darkonian who claimed to be vistani. Ez d'Avenir, a new character introduced in Curse of Strahd, was also revealed to be her daughter, though they do not get along.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the "Doll" ending of Bleak House, she is bound within Richten Haus forever, held prisoner by the house's spirit and the ghost of Van Richten. In the other endings, she is rendered Deader Than Dead.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Taunted Van Richten about having sold his only son to become a vampire's Sex Slave to his face... whilst he had an army of cannibal zombies obeying his every word. Needless to say, she didn't live to regret her foolishness.

    Eli van Hassen, Darklord of the Endless Road 

Eli van Hassen, Darklord of the Endless Road

A nobleman who used to rule over a quiet hamlet called Tranquility — much to his disdain, for he had grander ambitions. When his lands were ravaged by a hydra, a wandering hero known only as the Horseman came forth and slew the beast. Eli was overwhelmed by envy as his people lavished praise on their dashing saviour; that his daughter became infatuated with him was the final straw. He forced his daughter to give false confession that the Horseman had raped her, and then swiftly executed the innocent man after whipping up the denizens of Tranquility into a frenzied mob. He is now trapped on the grounds of his estate, for should he ever step foot beyond its walls, the Headless Horseman will claim his life. Furthermore, on the estate, he has the power to inflict bad luck on whoever earns his ire. A 4th edition darklord of the Nentir Vale who appeared in Dungeon magazine #174, he was an attempt to rework the rather infamously dubious Headless Horseman and his Winding Road pocket domain.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He killed the Horseman simply because he was jealous of how much the denizens of Tranquility admired him.
  • The Jinx: He can cause misfortune to befall anyone he doesn't like, so long as they remain in his estate.
  • Retcon: Of the original Winding Road domain and its Headless Horseman Domain; Eli replaces him as Darklord, due to actually having a reason to be punished by the Dark Powers, whilst the Headless Horseman is downgraded to his nemesis.

    Baroness Ilsabet Obour, Darklord of Kislova 

Baroness Ilsabet Obour, Darklord of Kislova

Introduced in the novel Baroness of Blood, Ilsabet is the last(?) scion of the Obour family, former rulers of Kislova until the disastrous invasion of Sundell toppled their rule and caused the latter country to annex Kislova. Charged by her father to gain vengeance for their downfall, her ambitions have availed her little.


  • Ambition Is Evil: More than anything, Ilsabet wants to avenge the execution of her father and put Kislova back under the rule of the Obours (that is, herself and Lekai if he's still alive). Unfortunately for her, Baron Peto (who conquered Kislova and executed Baron Janosk) keeps coming back to life. Therefore she can accomplish neither of her goals.
  • And I Must Scream: After her attempt to kill him, Baron Peto is conscious, but paralyzed, barely able to nod or make expressions. And try as Ilsabet might to kill him, he comes back. And he remembers everything. This is likely due to intervention of the Dark Powers when Kislova was drawn into Ravenloft.
  • Bad Boss: She finds that servants make excellent test subjects for her poisons.
  • Battleaxe Nurse:
    • After her sister Marishka failed to heed her warnings and stop her relationship with Baron Peto, Ilsabet dosed her horse with a chemical that made it throw Marishka, then slowly poisoned her as her nurse.
    • She attempted to do the same to Baron Peto, but Jorani's sudden attack of conscience prevented his death. Poor Baron Peto.
  • The Cat Came Back: No matter how she tries to kill or get rid of Baron Peto, he's back in his bed the next morning, still alive, still paralyzed, and still ruling the place in law if not deed.
  • Daddy's Girl: She's motivated in her vengeance by her love for her father—but even he would never have wanted to see his family harmed the way she ends up doing.
  • Emergency Transformation: After her son Lekai seemed to have been bitten by her pet poisonous spider, she prepared to give him the potion which would turn him into an Alchemical Vampire—but when Jorani was instead killed, she used it to bring him back.
  • Emotion Eater: Although she inherited the wasting disease which killed her mother, Ilsabet may be sustained by feeding upon pain and despair, and so she regularly takes a subject from her victims for Jorani to torture and feed upon while she and Peto watch.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Jorani was dismayed at how far she was willing to go for her ambitions, having befriended Peto, but she managed to seduce him into going along with them, until it came to actually killing Baron Peto and Lekai, when he gave Peto a strong stimulant to counteract her poison. After she transformed him into an Alchemical Vampire she ordered the now-enslaved lord to drain Peto to death, and being forced to do so basically broke him.
  • Evil Mentor: Technically, she had a mentor in evil, as her father Baron Janosk noted her interest in intrigue with pride and had his friend Lord Jorani teach her all about statecraft, poisons, and alchemy.
  • Forced to Watch:
    • By ordering the vampirized Lord Jorani to drain the helpless Baron Peto to death, she essentially did this to him, since he retained his personality but was compelled to obey her nonetheless. Fortunately for him, the trauma seems to have wiped his memory of the act itself. Or he could be in denial.
    • Since she can't kill Baron Peto permanently, she makes him watch as she and Jorani torture and feed upon victims.
  • Ironic Hell: For the sake of avenging her family's loss of power and her father's execution, she has destroyed said family, lost her child, and ruined the only man she ever loved. She accomplished her goal to rule, but only in a frustrating secondhand manner as the paralyzed Peto remains the temporal ruler of Kislova.
  • Loving a Shadow: After his conversion into an Alchemical Vampire, Lord Jorani has become a joyless, empty shadow of his former self. The bitterness he feels about his lot as her slave and a monster has destroyed both his love for her and for life. And she...still loves the man he once was.
  • Made a Slave: Those she turns into Alchemical Vampires are compelled to obey her while retaining their consciousness.
  • Mad Scientist: Mad alchemist, technically.
  • Maker of Monsters: She chanced upon a book one day which details the creation and enslavement of Alchemical Vampires, and has converted several people into those monsters, including Lord Jorani.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Her child Lekai may be the child of Baron Peto or of Lord Jorani. She ended up hating the boy because of the former possibility.
  • Mentor Ship: She had had a Precocious Crush on her tutor Lord Jorani since she was a child, and he fell for her as she grew older. She loves him too, but was all-too-willing to seduce him into lower and lower acts of treachery.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: The ghosts of her family intervened to delay Ilsabet from catching up to the servant who'd fled the palace with her son. Even her father, glaring at her reproachfully.
  • Offing the Offspring: After learning that Lekai was more likely to be Peto's son than Jorani's, for a moment she grew to hate the boy enough to allow her pet poisonous spider to bite him—but once the deed seemed done, she was overwhelmed with regret and sought to turn him into an Alchemical Vampire to save him. Fortunately, the boy's thick sleeping shirt had saved him from the spider, and her servant managed to escape the castle with the child before he could be transformed.
  • Regent for Life: As Baron Peto is near-completely paralyzed, she rules the country in his name. And he just won't die for good!
  • Replacement Goldfish: As her plans dictated, she killed her older sister out of revenge for falling in love with Baron Peto, them seduced the mourning lord for herself.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Although the body of the servant who fled Kislova with Lekai was discovered, the whereabouts of the boy—who could topple Ilsabet's regency—remain unknown.
  • She Is All Grown Up: As she grew and developed into an Emotion Eater, her (unknowing) feedings made her healthier and more attractive, enough to seduce Baron Peto and Lord Jorani.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Sagasse the Seer told her about the fate which awaited herself and her son if she continued on her path of vengeance and that she knew all of Ilsabet's plans, so she killed the seer in order to keep her secrets.
  • Sibling Murder: As mentioned, Marishka is just one of the family members who died to Ilsabet's machinations, or to test her poisons.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Rather than kill the rebel leader known as Dark, she instead advised her father Baron Janosk to cripple him, blind him, and tear out his tongue. If he died in the wilderness, he died. If he lived, he would be an example for other would-be rebels. However, a young servant took pity on Dark and led him to fellow rebels, and with their help he managed to warn the neighboring land of Sundell that the Obours were planning to invade. The invasion was thus a failure, and Baron Peto of Sundell toppled the Obour rule over Kislova, although Janosk brokered a surrender deal that spared his family in exchange for his own life.
    • And Janosk entrusted avenging his death to Ilsabet, unknowingly dooming his remaining family.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After people started noticing the depredations of her first two Alchemical Vampires, she had Jorani kill them.

    Klorr, Darklord of Klorr 

Klorr, Darklord of Klorr

The domain of Klorr is forever on a slow path to destruction. Each hour, one of its thirteen stars blink out. Each hour, one of the domain's floating islands are drawn into the gruesome maelstorm at its center. Each hour, each other island moves forward, one hour closer to destruction. The people of these islands live in terror, not only of the innevitable fate that awaits them, but of the mad clockmaker Klorr, who obsessively rules the realm as its darklord.
  • Ascended Extra: Klorr first appeared in 2nd edition as a minor background character, creator of a few magic items with just enough backstory to explain where the items came from. In 5e, he became a Darklord (albeit a minor one).
  • Clocks of Control: Klorr is an obsessed clockmaker who's domain works in perfect harmony; Every hour, an island is destroyed, and he cares nothing about the suffering this inflicts.
  • Life Drinker: In 2e, Klorr created a clockpiece that would let him live forever, but only if he continously supplied it with murder. His time literally ran out when he botched a planned murder. Assuming this backstory remains for the 5th edition incarnation, he was presumably drawn into Ravenloft after that.
  • The Spook: Klorr is only described as an "obsessed clockmaker", hidden somewhere in his domain, yet no-one knows where or who he is.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Every being in the Domain aside from Klorr himself. Each hour, the floating islands move one step closer to destruction.

Netbook Darklords

    Virindus, Darklord of the Drowning Deep 

Virindus, Darklord of the Drowning Deep

Introduced in the fan-created Nocturnal Sea Gazetteer. Virindus is the god-king of the mysterious undersea city of Xalot (SHAY-lot), condemned to sink for his megalomania and repeated Human Sacrifice in order to become the Top God of his world's pantheon. Just before his old patron Oceanus managed to sink Xalot, however, he was able to complete most of the ascension rituals, so becoming a god... of a sort. Now, he and his many aquatic servants scheme at the bottom of the Nocturnal Sea to conquer the surface, and fulfill the dark destiny he believes is his birthright.
  • And I Must Scream: His curse. He's a kind of god, but a horrifying one nobody feels any love for, and more importantly he's sealed within his own high temple, unable to truly exercise his power except through soft influence.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He's a warped merman-shoggoth-thing whose tentacles are the size of men.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He actually wrote the Gazetteer entry on the Drowning Deep, and yep, he's quite melodramatic.
  • Expy: Of Cthulhu, if Cthulhu was not actually a godlike alien native to an uncaring cosmos but a deluded megalomaniac not half as important as he would like to believe he is. Similarly, Xalot is a combination of R'lyeh and the classical idea of Atlantis (its culture even uses Greek words).
  • Lovecraft Lite: Xalot and anything to do with it. He has the thematic, being a giant aquatic pseudo-god who corrupts all he touches in his ruined home... but he's just another darklord when it comes down to it, albeit a powerful one.
  • Narcissist: He even capitalizes first person pronouns, so self-important is he.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Most people spell Xalot as "Shay-Lot", like how it's pronounced.
  • The Virus: Three times a day, he can fashion anything he gets his tentacles on into a perfectly loyal Sea-Tainted minion, including unwilling captives. Given what we see of an "unwilling captive", it's probable the unwilling ones probably would find death a mercy.

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