[MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL?

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[MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL?

Postby Havard » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:11 pm

Is the Gothic Earth even in Ravenloft? AFAIK it is separate from the other Domains of Dread, and its own planet. How do the mists affect this subsetting?

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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:15 pm

From the Masque of the Red Death boxed set:
Gothic Earth is not cloaked by the mysterious mists of Ravenloft. There are no dark lords cursed to live out their unnatural lives trapped In domains that are at once home and prison. Are there ties between this realm and the Demlplane of Dread? That Is impossible to say. Certainly, the two places have much in common, but they are also different in some important ways.


I've read fan theories that Gothic Earth is actually a really, really big domain within the Demiplane of Dread, but there's no evidence of this, and there's evidence to the contrary (no mists and no dark lords). The connection between Masque of the Red Death and Ravenloft is that they're both AD&D horror and they use some of the same rules. There are also Vistani in Gothic Earth; it might be their world of origin, or they might have some way of traveling back and forth between the two realms.

I'm inclined to say that Gothic Earth is a world on the Prime Material Plane (especially due to the connections with LaTerre and the Historical Reference series), not part of the Demiplane of Dread.
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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby Havard » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:30 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:From the Masque of the Red Death boxed set:
Gothic Earth is not cloaked by the mysterious mists of Ravenloft. There are no dark lords cursed to live out their unnatural lives trapped In domains that are at once home and prison. Are there ties between this realm and the Demlplane of Dread? That Is impossible to say. Certainly, the two places have much in common, but they are also different in some important ways.


I've read fan theories that Gothic Earth is actually a really, really big domain within the Demiplane of Dread, but there's no evidence of this, and there's evidence to the contrary (no mists and no dark lords). The connection between Masque of the Red Death and Ravenloft is that they're both AD&D horror and they use some of the same rules. There are also Vistani in Gothic Earth; it might be their world of origin, or they might have some way of traveling back and forth between the two realms.

I'm inclined to say that Gothic Earth is a world on the Prime Material Plane (especially due to the connections with LaTerre and the Historical Reference series), not part of the Demiplane of Dread.


Ahh! I guess I confused those fan theories with canon. I think I prefer having the Gothic Earth in the Prime Plane as well. As you say, that makes the Gothic Earth / HRSeries / LaTerre connections easier to buy into. If one wants stronger setting connections to the Ravenloft (in addition to the Vistani), I suppose the Red Death itself (whatevver it is) could be from Ravenloft?

From what I understand the exact nature of the Red Death and its origins are kept vague in the published material. Do we even know when it first appeared on Gothic Earth, or has it always been around?

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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:55 pm

Havard wrote: Do we even know when it first appeared on Gothic Earth, or has it always been around?


The Red Death was accidentally summoned to Earth by Imhotep. He worked spells intended to protect the spirit of the pharoah Djoser in the afterlife, but as the boundary between life and death became blurred, the Red Death entered. Imhotep knew it only as a nameless horror. The plague of the Red Death spread slowly, so the Historical Reference series set in Europe could represent that part of the world before the Red Death infected it. The article "Seeds of Evil" in Dragon #249 detailed how the Red Death spread in the various historical eras.

My guess is that it was a way of using Nyarlathotep without naming him. The Red Death could be one of the Dark Powers of Ravenloft if you wanted it to be, but we know so little about them that it wouldn't provide a lot of clarity.
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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby Alzrius » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:47 pm

It's worth noting that Odiare, an Island of Terror in Ravenloft, was originally part of Gothic Earth before it was pulled into the Demiplane of Dread.
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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby Havard » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:31 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Havard wrote: Do we even know when it first appeared on Gothic Earth, or has it always been around?


The Red Death was accidentally summoned to Earth by Imhotep. He worked spells intended to protect the spirit of the pharoah Djoser in the afterlife, but as the boundary between life and death became blurred, the Red Death entered. Imhotep knew it only as a nameless horror. The plague of the Red Death spread slowly, so the Historical Reference series set in Europe could represent that part of the world before the Red Death infected it. The article "Seeds of Evil" in Dragon #249 detailed how the Red Death spread in the various historical eras.

My guess is that it was a way of using Nyarlathotep without naming him. The Red Death could be one of the Dark Powers of Ravenloft if you wanted it to be, but we know so little about them that it wouldn't provide a lot of clarity.


Aha, not surprised this went back to ancient Egypt. :cool:

The main reason why I suggested that the Red Death could be a Dark Power was to provide a possible deeper connection to the main Ravenloft setting in addition to the Vistani.

If we assume Averoigne to be part of Gothic Earth's past, then the Cthulhu Mythos would indeed be appropriate. Allowing for fan interpretations of Mystara's Laterre also would mean adding a link to the Outer Beings, which is not a far leap from the Mythos.

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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby Havard » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:39 pm

Alzrius wrote:It's worth noting that Odiare, an Island of Terror in Ravenloft, was originally part of Gothic Earth before it was pulled into the Demiplane of Dread.


Hmm...that would not be possible if Gothic Earth had been within the Demiplane of Dread I guess. Very interesting. Is it revealed where Odiare was on the Gothic Earth? Does Odiare feature 19th Century type technology? I wonder what that island on the Gothic Earth is like now.

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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby Alzrius » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:01 pm

Havard wrote:
Alzrius wrote:It's worth noting that Odiare, an Island of Terror in Ravenloft, was originally part of Gothic Earth before it was pulled into the Demiplane of Dread.


Hmm...that would not be possible if Gothic Earth had been within the Demiplane of Dread I guess. Very interesting. Is it revealed where Odiare was on the Gothic Earth? Does Odiare feature 19th Century type technology? I wonder what that island on the Gothic Earth is like now.

-Havard


It says that the people of Odiare speak Italian, so that makes it pretty clear that it was in or around Italy. Likewise, the cultural level is noted as having formerly been Renaissance, but is now Medieval (presumably due to its isolated nature and the domain's adults all having been slain); note that this is more of a shorthand for the level of technological advancement than a hard-and-fast rule saying that Odiare must have been drawn into Ravenloft during the Renaissance period, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

Also, an "Island of Terror" just means that that domain is isolated within the Mists, and isn't connected to the Core domains. It's not a literal island (e.g. land completely surrounded by water), and it doesn't seem like it was one on Gothic Earth either.
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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:48 pm

Havard wrote:Hmm...that would not be possible if Gothic Earth had been within the Demiplane of Dread I guess.


It's possible; part of one domain can be absorbed by another. Gundarak used to be an independent domain, but now it's part of Barovia.
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Re: [MotRD] Is Masque of the Red Death 's Gothic Earth in RL

Postby agathokles » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:12 am

Alzrius wrote:It says that the people of Odiare speak Italian, so that makes it pretty clear that it was in or around Italy. Likewise, the cultural level is noted as having formerly been Renaissance, but is now Medieval (presumably due to its isolated nature and the domain's adults all having been slain); note that this is more of a shorthand for the level of technological advancement than a hard-and-fast rule saying that Odiare must have been drawn into Ravenloft during the Renaissance period, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

Also, an "Island of Terror" just means that that domain is isolated within the Mists, and isn't connected to the Core domains. It's not a literal island (e.g. land completely surrounded by water), and it doesn't seem like it was one on Gothic Earth either.


Note that Odiare is a horror take on "Le Avventure di Pinocchio". The original book is likely set in Tuscany, at an undetermined time (the novel contains several anachronistic elements), so it is of little help on providing a time setting for Odiare.

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