[MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

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[MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Havard » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:21 pm

In this thread about the novel Heaven's Bones it was speculated that this Ravenloft novel might be set in Ravenloft's Gothic Earth, as the novel takes place in locations such as London and the United States before the Civil War. At the same time the novel uses specific Ravenloft elements such as the Vistani and the Mists.

Upon further investigation it seems this was part of a series of novels from Wizards of the Coast.

Ravenloft Dominion Series


There is also a novel called Vampire of the Mists (Ravenloft The Covenant Book 1) by Christie Golden, buy this novel specifically takes place in Barovia.
Does anyone know whether all of these novels were actually published? Can anyone confirm that they all take place in a Victorian Earth like setting with Ravenloft elements incorporated? If anyone has read the books, what are they like? Do they add anything new to the Gothic Earth setting if we accept that they are part of that setting?

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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:16 pm

A Crown of Ashes was renamed Black Crusade and released as a free ebook. You can read it here.

The story is framed from the point of view of a group of Vistani in the Demiplane of Dread witnessing the birth of a new Domain of Dread and a new Darklord from the carnage of the Crusades, but roughly 15% of the book takes place in 1099 AD, during the First Crusade on Earth. The primary campaign book would be HR7 The Crusades, then, rather than Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales. The latter source mentions the First Crusade briefly, but only to say that the qabals were too disorganized to resist the evil taking place in that era.

There's an interview with Ari Marmell here where he explains that most of the novel takes place in the Demiplane of Dread, in the new domain of Malosia. So primarily this is a Ravenloft book rather than anything taking place in the Gothic Earth of Masque of the Red Death.

Ari Marmell wrote:Q Also, given the Gothic Earth speculation, is there any hint of the Red Death or anything specific to the Masque of the Red Death campaign setting?

Ari : Nope, or at least, not in my novel. I guess it's possible such details could appear further down the line, though.
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Havard » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:59 pm

Thanks Rip!

I was just talking to Ari about this as well. Your links are extremely helpful. I agree with you that HR7 would be the primary sourcebook for the non-Malosia part of the novel. Though I suppose it could also be an historical part of Gothic Earth. But since it is such a small part of the book, I am not sure how much it matters. I am also getting the impression that this novel is not really connected to the other novels in the series?

It is fascinating that Ari created an entire new domain for his novel.

Does the fact that most of the novels in my 1st post aren't listed at the Fraternity of Shadows website mean that those missing novels were not published?

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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:38 pm

Havard wrote:Does the fact that most of the novels in my 1st post aren't listed at the Fraternity of Shadows website mean that those missing novels were not published?


Yes.

Mithras Court has reviews on Amazon and seems to be available for purchase (the cheapest copy is over $100 USD there!). There's another review of it here that indicates it's available on Audible; apparently it's free with a trial membership or $21.95 without.

I don't see any evidence that Madness in Harmony or Black Damask exist. No reviews and not for sale at any price. Walter H. Hunt's website doesn't mention Madness in Harmony but he did write a novel called Elements of Mind that takes place in Victorian India and incorporates horror elements. That might be useful inspiration for a Gothic Earth campaign. It seems possible that some of the research intended for Madness in Harmony eventually helped inspire him to write Elements of Mind instead.

Scott Fitzgerald Gray has a series of stories called Tales of the Endlands that look like they incorporate dark fantasy/horror elements. The blurb for The Voices of the Dead describes the Endlands as "an epic-fantasy realm in which nothing is ever what it seems, and where only the purest hearts survive the touch of all-consuming darkness." One of the stories looks like it takes place during something equivalent to our First World War.

In this EN World thread, Ari Marmell wrote, "The Ravenloft line was canceled. Heaven's Bones (and possibly one of the others) were far enough along in the process that they're coming out anyway. But the line is still dead." That thread must have been from before Black Crusade was cleared to be released as an ebook, though.

Note that Vampire of the Mists was originally published in 1991, long before the rest of this series was announced. They must have decided to reprint and repackage it as part of the latter line.
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Big Mac » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:23 am

Are either of the first two novels connected to Malosia? Or does each novel introduce a different domain?

Does Heaven's Bones tie-in to Vampire of the Mists and Mithras Court to form the middle book in a trilogy?
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Cthulhudrew » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:55 am

As rip notes, Vampire of the Mists was one of the first (IIRC, the first) Ravenloft novels published. If it has any connection at all to any of the later books, then it is a matter of those writers spinning off ideas from that novel, as it was written over two decades before any of these other novels were. It is highly, highly improbable that there was any kind of tie-in with a series that hadn't even been conceived of yet.

That said, Vampire does have ties to some of the other early Ravenloft novels, such as Knight of the Black Rose in that they share characters and events. Vampire also crosses over with the Forgotten Realms, as the main character, Jander Sunstar, hails from there. There is a short story about Jander in one of the FR Anthology novels, set in his past (pre-Ravenloft).

Also, to answer another question, Vampire has absolutely no ties to Gothic Earth. Gothic Earth also hadn't been conceived of or at least published yet.
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby GMWestermeyer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:36 am

These Covenant novels are available on Audible, I was planning to listen to them.

http://www.audible.com/series/ref=a_search_c4_1_11_1srSrs_sa?asin=B00AYHV4TA

My Spelljammer Timeline has some minor discussions of Ravenloft, including Gothic Earth:

Laterre/Mystara

There is a final TSR campaign setting that should be addressed: Earth, or at least a fantasy version of Earth. This campaign setting was not detailed in a unified series of products by TSR, but nonetheless it was detailed fairly well. The earliest details of the various Earth cultures and mythologies were in Deities & Demigods, expanded on in 2nd Edition’s Legends & Lore. Each of the major European mythological and legendary periods was further detailed in the seven book Historical Reference (HR) series. The Ravenloft line produced a setting hearkening back to its original gothic horror inspirational material with Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales and The Gothic Earth Gazetteer, each set in ‘Gothic Earth’ in the 1890s. Finally, in the Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set The Concordance of Arcane Space (pp. 42 & 90) provided some very barebones detail on Solspace (including the name). Mythic/Gothic Earth did not have a single product line, but it was as well detailed across time as any of TSR’s other published settings.

In the article “Chronomancy & the Multiverse, version 1.1,” published online, Roger E. Moore explicitly linked the HR series books Mythic Earth with Gothic Earth. He went a step further, linking the Mythic/Gothic Earth with Laterre, the Earth on which the X2 Castle Amber and its sequel, Mark of Amber, placed the homeland of the d'Amberville family, Averoigne. Averoigne is one of the settings created by legendary fantasy/horror author Clark Ashton Smith.

As Rip Van Wormer has noted, this strongly implies that H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and Robert E. Howard’s Hyborean Age are both part of Laterre (aka Mythic/Gothic Earth). This connection neatly ties the Cthulhu mythos described in the 1st edition of Deities & Demigods and TSR’s Conan modules into the AD&D multiverse. Taking that thought a step further, this is likely the same magical Earth that Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser visit in the 1947 short story, “Adept’s Gambit” which Fritz Leiber retcons to their Lanhkmar tales in 1968’s Swords in the Mist, which also ties TSR’s Lankhmar setting into the larger AD&D multiverse. This also provides the world from which the original Mulan of Faerun are taken. From a Spelljammer perspective it is also possible to link Laterre/Gothic Earth with the Space:1889 universe in line with the articles in Polyhedron #73 & #74.

Linking Laterre/Gothic Earth is easiest to bring into synch with Mystara, due to the d'Ambervilles, but it is complicated by that family’s penchant for sorcery and time travel. X2 Castle Amber (p19) places Averoigne in the “High Middle Ages (c.A.D. 1100 – 1350)” Mark of Amber (handout IV) places the events of X2 Castle Amber specifically in 979 AC. Roger Moore’s article places Averoigne circa A.D. 1600, and Mark of Amber (handout IV) is dated 1012 AC. Polyhedron #73 dates the discovery of Solspace by elven spelljammers to A.D. 1886 but doesn’t link it to another date, though given the elves are fleeing a goblin flotilla it implies this occurs during one of the two Unhuman Wars. The 3rd edition work, Lost Empires of Faerûn (p61), dates the snatching of Mulan slaves from Mythic Earth to -4366 DR but Powers & Pantheons (p94) specifically states they were taken from two different regions and time periods (thus explaining why the Mulan follow both the Egyptian and Babylonian pantheons).

Given these difficulties, this timeline defaults to Roger E. Moore’s explicit 1012 AC = A.D. 1600. This provides A.D. 1600 linked to 5049 OC, which is 1367 DR. That would make 1361 DR equal to A.D. 1594. However, although this link is used to let us date the Elven spelljammers’ discovery of Laterre, the nature of contacts between Laterre/Gothic Earth and the rest of the multiverse makes chronological variety not only possible but probable. Since Laterre seems to follow different physical rules than the rest of the multiverse, this makes sense.
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Havard » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:41 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Mithras Court has reviews on Amazon and seems to be available for purchase (the cheapest copy is over $100 USD there!). There's another review of it here that indicates it's available on Audible; apparently it's free with a trial membership or $21.95 without.


The Fraternity of Shadows website mentions that sample chapters from this book used to be available from this link (http://ww2.wizards.com/Books/Downloads/ ... 397400.zip), but that now appears to be broken. Any way to figure out if there is a new URL for this file?

I have been able to find out that this book too l starts out in Victorian Era London and then moves to a place called Mithras Court in the Domains of Dread

I don't see any evidence that Madness in Harmony or Black Damask exist. No reviews and not for sale at any price. Walter H. Hunt's website doesn't mention Madness in Harmony but he did write a novel called Elements of Mind that takes place in Victorian India and incorporates horror elements. That might be useful inspiration for a Gothic Earth campaign. It seems possible that some of the research intended for Madness in Harmony eventually helped inspire him to write Elements of Mind instead.

Scott Fitzgerald Gray has a series of stories called Tales of the Endlands that look like they incorporate dark fantasy/horror elements. The blurb for The Voices of the Dead describes the Endlands as "an epic-fantasy realm in which nothing is ever what it seems, and where only the purest hearts survive the touch of all-consuming darkness." One of the stories looks like it takes place during something equivalent to our First World War.


It is disappointing that these were never published, but thanks for investigating the other works by these authors. I wonder if some of the works were effecively rewrites of what they were planning to publish through WotC.

In this EN World thread, Ari Marmell wrote, "The Ravenloft line was canceled. Heaven's Bones (and possibly one of the others) were far enough along in the process that they're coming out anyway. But the line is still dead." That thread must have been from before Black Crusade was cleared to be released as an ebook, though.


Ah yes. I talked a bit more with Ari yesterday and he clarified that the concept for each of these novels were that they would focus on people from historical eras of Earth were pulled into Ravenloft rather than people from the other D&D settings.

Note that Vampire of the Mists was originally published in 1991, long before the rest of this series was announced. They must have decided to reprint and repackage it as part of the latter line.


Okay, thanks. It is possible that the Ravenloft Covenant title is also a mistake at Amazon?

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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby apotheot » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:46 pm

Heaven's Bones and Mithras Court were the only two physical novels released for the series. But Dark Crusade was released piecemeal electronically. These also followed a stand alone short story released on the wizards site called "Before I Wake". Sadly this latter one has been taken off the Wotc site and is not available anywhere I am aware of... Perhaps Ari Marmell will host his work to his site at some point if he is legally able. Otherwise I know text copies can be found in various places online.
None of these stories have any relation to each other, it was just an attempt to reinvigorate the francaise novel line in the wake of the Twilight mania. There were two other books that I know of that were planned, but I cannot at the moment recall their names or authors. They are not the two listed for sure. They were also far enough along as to once upon a time have amazon pages for them...but even those are long since gone.

The Vampire of the Mists print you mentioned was not part of the Dominion series, but the Covenant series, which was their attempt to republish the better novels from the old Ravenloft line.

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Edit:> A quick search turned up this one which was also never publsihed https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Reason-Ravenloft-Dominion/dp/0786949937 No luck with the other one though.
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Havard » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:35 pm

apotheot wrote:Heaven's Bones and Mithras Court were the only two physical novels released for the series. But Dark Crusade was released piecemeal electronically. These also followed a stand alone short story released on the wizards site called "Before I Wake". Sadly this latter one has been taken off the Wotc site and is not available anywhere I am aware of... Perhaps Ari Marmell will host his work to his site at some point if he is legally able. Otherwise I know text copies can be found in various places online.


Ripvanwormer provided the link to Dark Crusade earlier in this thread so I wonder if the short story "Before I Wake" is also available somewhere?

None of these stories have any relation to each other, it was just an attempt to reinvigorate the francaise novel line in the wake of the Twilight mania. There were two other books that I know of that were planned, but I cannot at the moment recall their names or authors. They are not the two listed for sure. They were also far enough along as to once upon a time have amazon pages for them...but even those are long since gone.


Thanks for providing a bit of background on this. Do you mean two novels in addition to the ones I listed in the Original Post? I will add Before I Wake as well. Do you know if the short story was linked to Dark Crusade? I guess you said it was stand alone so maybe not...

It is a little disappointing that the novels did not have any connections to oneanother, but I guess that would have required a greater degree of coordination.

The Vampire of the Mists print you mentioned was not part of the Dominion series, but the Covenant series, which was their attempt to republish the better novels from the old Ravenloft line.


Ahh, thanks for claring up this. I was totally confused by the Covenant thing.


Edit:> A quick search turned up this one which was also never publsihed https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Reason-Ravenloft-Dominion/dp/0786949937 No luck with the other one though.


Great find!

I know the author, C.A. Suleiman a little. I will try to ask him how far he got in writing this one.

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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Havard » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:35 pm

Havard wrote:


Just talked to the author. He told me the book was written and he got paid for it, but then the line was cancelled before it went to publication.

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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby apotheot » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:52 pm

Havard wrote:
Havard wrote:


Just talked to the author. He told me the book was written and he got paid for it, but then the line was cancelled before it went to publication.

-Havard



Should have the author point out to WotC that they could releases it as a $2. ebook for practically nothing and recoup some of their expenses....
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby MidwayHaven » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:28 pm

I'd like to think that the "Dominion" novels take place not necessarily in Gothic Earth, but on an Earth that is easily accessible by the Mists; just because something Gothic happens on an Earth setting doesn't mean that it's automatically the Earth featured in "Masque of the Red Death.". :)
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Re: [MotRD] "A Novel of Mists" Ravenloft Dominion series?

Postby Havard » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:57 pm

MidwayHaven wrote:I'd like to think that the "Dominion" novels take place not necessarily in Gothic Earth, but on an Earth that is easily accessible by the Mists; just because something Gothic happens on an Earth setting doesn't mean that it's automatically the Earth featured in "Masque of the Red Death.". :)


Yes. It doesn't seem like that was anything WotC or the individual authors had planned, but it would be nice to have additional material for MotRD. On the other hand, there doesn't appear to be all that much information on the Earth these characters are drawn from anyway.

You could also make it so that this is the Earth of the AD&D HR-series or Mystara's LaTerre. Or you could have them all be the same world. Like so many things, it is all in the hands of the players now I guess :)

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