Strahd's Home Plane?

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Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:46 pm

Over in this thread, I am speculating to whether the world Strahd originally came from could be Mystara. Regardless of what you might think of that theory, what do we really know about the Prime Plane version of Barovia?

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:44 pm

Probably now in the Prime it's just crumbled walls...
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:44 pm

Yaztromo wrote:Probably now in the Prime it's just crumbled walls...
No, the nation of Barovia is thriving in the Prime Material Plane as of RM1 Roots of Evil, currently ruled by the lawful good King Barov von Zorovich VI and Queen Kristiana.

Arguably this can't be Glantri, since Kristiana is a high priestess as well as a queen (and she's not a high priestess of Rad, since their faith is said to be lawful good). The presence of a high priestess suggests that despite the queen's name, this isn't Earth, or at least not an Earth where Christianity took hold. Not an orthodox circa 1861 Christianity, anyway. Kristiana always refers to the gods, plural, too.

(If it was Earth, then if modern Barovia is 385 years after 1476 (approximate death of Vlad Tepes), then it's currently 1861 in Roots of Evil.)

(And there aren't any Tergs by that name on Earth, and Earth has Vlad Tepes instead of Strahd von Zorovich, but I'm just covering all the bases.)

Averoigne is pretty definitely Christian-dominated, which is why the wizards had to flee to Mystara. King Barov VI has a court wizard, so his society is different from Averoigne but I suppose it might be on the same planet.

Barovia might conceivably be on Ærth.

Karameikos might be a reasonable place to put it. If you set Roots of Evil in AC 1010, then Strahd became a vampire in AC 625.

Note that modern Barovia has Vistani in it, which the people mistake for "common gypsies."

There's a pretty good article fitting Barovia into Greyhawk here, though this presumes that the original Castle Ravenloft module exists on Oerth rather than in a demiplane.

I've spoken to people who were absolutely certain that Castle Ravenloft was set in Aquaria, based on the premise that all the I series is set in Aquaria.

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by agathokles » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:56 pm

I think Barovia is set in an independent prime world, not part of the existing campaign settings.

First, there is no sound connection to any existing world. Even the Aquaria connection is stretched at best. Most modules in the I series are independent, and were later retrofitted to FR or GH. Tracy and Laura Hickman's modules don't share much with the others. Even the Desert of Desolation series shares little with the Ravenloft series, and indeed the Ravenloft Egyptian lands use a different setting from those of Desert of Desolation.

Second, the design of Ravenloft assumes that the characters are not native to Barovia -- the design of Ravenloft is "week-end in hell", and this was only changed in the actual campaign setting.

Third, the peculiar history and culture of Barovia don't really match with any of the existing settings -- there's no King Barov von Zarovich in any of the campaign settings, and slavic or german/slavic cultures are already quite common in all settings (Traladara, Rashemen, Vosgaard, etc.)

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by night_druid » Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:39 pm

I kinda doubt, at the time I6 was written, that any consideration was given towards "Barovia was located here in this setting". It was a pretty generic adventure. But I see no problem with dropping it in a given setting and making it part of that setting's backstory. Heck, no worse than Isle of Dread being dumped in GH. ;)
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Yaztromo » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:34 pm

night_druid wrote:I kinda doubt, at the time I6 was written, that any consideration was given towards "Barovia was located here in this setting". It was a pretty generic adventure. But I see no problem with dropping it in a given setting and making it part of that setting's backstory.
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Havard » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:08 pm

In this thread, as opposed to the one in the Mystara forum, I am less interested in speculations to where it may be located and more about finding out how much we know about Prime Plane Barovia.

So far I get the following:
  • Slavic-like culture
  • "Currently" ruled by a Queen Kristina
  • Neighnouring enemies referred to as Tergs
  • Vistani living in Barovia are mistaken for common "gypsies".
  • Has a religion which allows for women to become priestesses.
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by agathokles » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:40 pm

Several kings of Barovia were named Barov, including Strahd's father and Kristina's husband. Strahd's mother was Queen Ravenovia.
The religion had a solar theme (the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, wore by the high priest, has a sun symbol).

Note that the Slavic culture also has some Germanic influences, including the use of "von" prefixes and "burgomasters" as town leaders.

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by night_druid » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:52 pm

Also remember that I10 House on Gryphon Hill is also originated on the same world as Ravenloft, although located far from Barovia.
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Havard » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:17 pm

night_druid wrote:Also remember that I10 House on Gryphon Hill is also originated on the same world as Ravenloft, although located far from Barovia.
I know very little about this module. Whats it about? :)

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by night_druid » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:28 pm

Havard wrote:
night_druid wrote:Also remember that I10 House on Gryphon Hill is also originated on the same world as Ravenloft, although located far from Barovia.
I know very little about this module. Whats it about? :)

-Havard
Its I6's sequel. Basically it involves a device that does brain swaps (sorta like classic monster movie "swap your brain with that of a chicken"-sorta story). It involves Strahd somehow but I don't remember how. Been too long since I last read it.
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Cthulhudrew » Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:58 pm

Havard wrote:I know very little about this module. Whats it about? :)
Was formerly located on the WotC free "older edition" downloads portion of the site, though that part seems to not have weathered the 4E migration too well.

Fortunately, the wonders of the Wayback Machine have kept it preserved here/
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Havard » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:12 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:I know very little about this module. Whats it about? :)
Was formerly located on the WotC free "older edition" downloads portion of the site, though that part seems to not have weathered the 4E migration too well.

Fortunately, the wonders of the Wayback Machine have kept it preserved here/
Thanks! :)

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by agathokles » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:23 pm

IIRC, the second module involves what would become Mordent in the Ravenloft Setting (although the Darklord is a different one and the events of I10 never happened in the RL continuity. Besides, the role of Strahd is rather different in I10, with him being an alchemist who splits himself into a "good" and an "evil" part, rather than a warlord.
As to Mordent, it might or might not come from the same world as Barovia (but probably doesn't -- there are many prime worlds).

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by kristhomas » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:29 am

We can assume that in Prime Barovia events panned out pretty much as the "false history" section of the ravenloft gazeteer entry suggests up until the night of sergei's wedding, that is mountainous region bordered by Borca (possibly still called Borjia) to the west is invaded by Tergs (Hun/Turk/Mongol Horsemen) Strahd leads a victorious campaign and then vanishes from history with his family and the leading families of Barovia and Borca. I would suggest that as in Ravenloft, Prime Barovia would blame the Borcans (the Dilisnya clan WERE planning to assassinate the wedding after all) with a Charismatic Zarovich cousin to take up the title and unfettered by the mystical bonds which make a war against Borca impossible in the Demi-plane, a ruthless expansionist policy may explain why Barovia is ruled over by a King and Queen rather than a Count which it was at the time of Strahd I. Their God is Andral a solar deity with some link to ravens? I'm unfamiliar with this god and don't know if it's in any other products, we know that it's worship is going strong in Prime Barovia despite it's being extinct in Ravenloft since pretty much the first year of the demiplanes creation. It could potentially be on the same plane as Mordent the original two adventures were clearly referencing the novel Dracula with I6 being the first section of the novel with the adventurers taking the place of Harker trapped in Dracula's castle and I10 being where Dracula moves to England, and given that both adventures were written long before the demiplane was even thought of you'd have to assume that a method of getting from one to other that didn't include planar travel or spelljamming would be available. However placing Mordent in any of the known worlds would be tricky as the level of technology is quite advanced (almost early victorian) and reliable snaplock and matchlock firearms available (also need to find some where where a tribe of orcs can remain hidden in a small cave network less than an hour out of town, yeah the existence of orcs suggests it's definatly not Earth, probly not LaTerre either)

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by blackaeon » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:28 am

I've actually toyed around with the idea of setting Barovia as a city-state of sorts in Ustalav of old (Age of Enthronement era Golarion, prime setting for Pathfinder). The Varisians themselves share some similarities with Barovians (relative swarthiness, dark hair, etc) for the most part, and there's a Slavic/Germanic feel to Ustalav in general. Adapting it to the 'prime' Barovian setting would be a little harder, though. Given my love for all things Ravenloft, this aim to 'fit' PM Barovia may become an obsessive quest of mine.
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:05 am

Havard wrote:In this thread, as opposed to the one in the Mystara forum, I am less interested in speculations to where it may be located and more about finding out how much we know about Prime Plane Barovia.
Shouldn't you be writing about Baroviaspace in the Spelljammer forum? :P
Havard wrote:
  • Has a religion which allows for women to become priestesses.
I would generally assume that every single D&D society allows both women and men to be members of the priesthood, unless a book specifically stated that the area either had an oppressive society, or on where men and women each ruled different aspects of society (like the Sherem-Lar/Sherezem-Lar in Barazeen in Ghostwalk). Are men blocked from being priests in Barovia? :?
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:27 pm

kristhomas wrote:We can assume that in Prime Barovia events panned out pretty much as the "false history" section of the ravenloft gazeteer entry suggests up until the night of sergei's wedding, that is mountainous region bordered by Borca (possibly still called Borjia) to the west is invaded by Tergs (Hun/Turk/Mongol Horsemen) Strahd leads a victorious campaign and then vanishes from history with his family and the leading families of Barovia and Borca.
There are some details about Barovia (before and after it was dragged into Ravenloft) in the Barovia article on Mistipedia. The year system seems to be based on the creation of Barovia. I think you might as well grab the entire timeline from that article, and check out the associated articles, to see what (if anything ) they can reveal about the past.

There is also a map of Barovia. That has some greyed out mountains, roads and locations outside the Barovia area. I'm not sure if they are supposed to be other parts of Ravenloft or a depiction of the original Material Plane that Barovia was removed from. :?
kristhomas wrote:I would suggest that as in Ravenloft, Prime Barovia would blame the Borcans (the Dilisnya clan WERE planning to assassinate the wedding after all) with a Charismatic Zarovich cousin to take up the title and unfettered by the mystical bonds which make a war against Borca impossible in the Demi-plane, a ruthless expansionist policy may explain why Barovia is ruled over by a King and Queen rather than a Count which it was at the time of Strahd I.
Would many people be aware of the plan the Dilisnya clan had? What would they see when they went to investigate?

I know there are some crossover settings within Ravenloft that connect to more documented D&D worlds. Can we use them to infer what sort of "hole" the events of 351 BC might leave behind in the original world? Would all of Barovia have been "sucked in" or would a duplicate of Barovia have formed around a smaller area that got sucked in? Or could the entire domain be a duplicate, with the original Castle Ravenloft being left behind in the Material Plane?
kristhomas wrote:Their God is Andral a solar deity with some link to ravens? I'm unfamiliar with this god and don't know if it's in any other products, we know that it's worship is going strong in Prime Barovia despite it's being extinct in Ravenloft since pretty much the first year of the demiplanes creation.
I went searching for Andral and couldn't find anything about the deity except on Mistipedia (where there is both an Andral article and a, slightly more useful, Church of Andral article - which also acts as a category).

The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind and the Icon of Ravenloft seem to be artefacts of the Church of Andral, so presumably, the god had some sort of influence on the form of the Demiplane. (Or maybe Andral could be "brought back" to "save" Barovia.) :?
kristhomas wrote:It could potentially be on the same plane as Mordent the original two adventures were clearly referencing the novel Dracula with I6 being the first section of the novel with the adventurers taking the place of Harker trapped in Dracula's castle and I10 being where Dracula moves to England, and given that both adventures were written long before the demiplane was even thought of you'd have to assume that a method of getting from one to other that didn't include planar travel or spelljamming would be available. However placing Mordent in any of the known worlds would be tricky as the level of technology is quite advanced (almost early victorian) and reliable snaplock and matchlock firearms available (also need to find some where where a tribe of orcs can remain hidden in a small cave network less than an hour out of town, yeah the existence of orcs suggests it's definatly not Earth, probly not LaTerre either)
There is some information about Mordent on Mistipedia. The article also has a fan-map, created by the Mordent Cartography Society, before the 3e Ravenloft product line came out. From what I could see, that has a few conflicts with canon, but it could be used as the basis of a combined Mordent-Barovia Material Plane map.

I'm also wondering if Curse of Strahd would be any use to Havard. :?

Did Curse of Strahd retcon Barovia back from a demiplane back into a Material Plane location? Did it include any additional history, leading up to 351 BC? Did it include any useful maps that might work as the "true map of Barovia" (with the previous maps working as the Ravenloft reboot of Barovia)? :?
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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Marco Fossati » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:59 am

I think Barovia came from an prime material plane different from those official published by TSR and WoTC.

If designers ever thought to relate Barovia to another official setting they would surely have placed at least some hints in the published modules, adventures or sourcebooks

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Marco Fossati » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:03 am

Big Mac wrote:
kristhomas wrote:Their God is Andral a solar deity with some link to ravens? I'm unfamiliar with this god and don't know if it's in any other products, we know that it's worship is going strong in Prime Barovia despite it's being extinct in Ravenloft since pretty much the first year of the demiplanes creation.
I went searching for Andral and couldn't find anything about the deity except on Mistipedia (where there is both an Andral article and a, slightly more useful, Church of Andral article - which also acts as a category).

The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind and the Icon of Ravenloft seem to be artefacts of the Church of Andral, so presumably, the god had some sort of influence on the form of the Demiplane. (Or maybe Andral could be "brought back" to "save" Barovia.) :?
In Curse of Strahd Andral is not a god but a saint of the Morninglord (just like Markovia, the day of light and peace opposed to Mother Night.

In Vallaki you can find the Church of St.Andral where rest his bones which protect the church, as per hallow spell

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Re: Strahd's Home Plane?

Post by Marco Fossati » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:06 am

Big Mac wrote: I'm also wondering if Curse of Strahd would be any use to Havard. :?

Did Curse of Strahd retcon Barovia back from a demiplane back into a Material Plane location? Did it include any additional history, leading up to 351 BC? Did it include any useful maps that might work as the "true map of Barovia" (with the previous maps working as the Ravenloft reboot of Barovia)? :?
Curse of Strahd has a beautiful color map of Barovia and many other maps of some locations (Barovia, Vallaki, Castle Ravenloft).

It didn't reconnect the demiplane to other known location but there are some references to FR (how FR factions could be used in the adventure) and to GH (the mad mage of baratok)

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