The High Murder, Mapping Ravenloft, and the Gatecrasher

Ravenloft is said to be a sentient demi-plane. Some say it is a prison but it is more accurate to say it is a kind of planar gutter, where a very specific type of Evil runs and gathers so that it doesn’t flood the rest of the prime material plane.

It is ruled by Dark Powers. When those powers gather to send the mists out into the planes to ensnare a new member or to treat with other Great Powers, they manifest as the High Murder, a group of ravens whose feathers eat light. There is said to be a tome that would allow one to summon them as a summoner might summon a Demon Lord or demi-god, with similar risks and rewards. The complete tome is not currently on the shelves of any great library that is willing to admit to owning the item in its vaults.

I interviewed several adventurers who had visited the Demi-Plane of Dread and made it out. They were reticent to talk about their experiences beyond the mists but after a few drinks they admitted to me that in their darkest hours they feel the High Murder’s fell gaze upon them.

My recent journeys have allowed me to venture around the edges of Ravenloft and once I even saw the mists at a distance but before they could get a hold of me I used several charges on a Greater Teleport Key. I was able to make my way back to Sigil, where I can get a decent cup of tea and the writing implements necessary to document my findings thus far. Mapping the planes is difficult at best but Ravenloft’s place in Creation is becoming clear to me. Some day my life’s work, my Map will be done.

Adapted from The Gatecrasher’s Song, a planar wanderer’s journal.

His map was never finished. Some day the mists finally caught up with him. Others insist he died in one of the Heavens or Hells. Some say he is farther still, in a Far Realm no map has ever documented in a way our mind could comprehend.

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