Ravenloft Domain: The Jaggard Fleet

Ravenloft Domain: The Jaggard Fleet

Listen here and come to know how Gentleman Bill Jaggard, the most polite pirate to ever sail the Summer Ocean, became a consort to a Storm Goddess, a pawn of the Mists and a wraith on the Dread Seas.

When he was living Gentleman Jaggard robbed the Summer Queen’s ships for the better part of a year from his ship, The Forbidden Folio. Her majesty put a price on his head, demanding that he be brought to her alive. The Queen wanted him alive as a courtesy for his mindful manners, as a method to enrage her jealous husband – the King, and as a centerpiece for one of her famous parties.

The King’s most leal captain was irate that he could not kill the pirate outright. Captain Robin “Puck” Goodfellow set a trap for Bill and captured him aboard the H.M.S. Merry Wanderer but could not kill him because of the Queen’s powerful magic. Instead, he took the captured pirate to a fell shrine honoring the Mother of Storms, a vicious stone statue of a mermaid as tall as a castle tower made of sharp stone and coral. The shrine was a finger of land only inhabited by vicious crabs and mocking seagulls. Captain Goodfellow put Bill in a crow’s cage hanging from the Storm Goddess’ trident. Puck spilled blood to the Mother, asking her to destroy any ships that approached to try and save the pirate.

And they tried. Pirates from every corner of the sea came to try and save Bill. Starving, dehydrated, hanging on the crow’s cage, Bill’s hope died as he watched familiar sails approach on the horizon and unnatural storms sink them one by one.

Finally, a young captain named Petra Quince, guiding his ship, the Roaring Lion, got closer than anyone had yet. Petra had been born on Bill’s ship and had come up through the pirate ranks and now had her own ship. When the Roaring Lion set anchor, an ugly laughter tried to escape Bill’s dry throat. The bloody laughter turned to agonizing sobs as a storm approached and smashed the rowboats into the Mother of Storm’s shrine, sinking the Roaring Lion under the waves.

As the crabs ate the last of his friends who had given their lives to try and save him, the Mists rolled in and Captain Jaggard’s Fleet was born. The Jaggard Fleet is made of the dead friends he watched sink trying to save him, now his undead armada.

They say he is not a gentleman no more. He likes to say that he is the Mother of Storm’s consort and often makes sacrifices to her, turning prisoners without use into chum.

There is no known way to kill Captain Jaggard or keep his fell fleet sunk. Since the Mists have adopted him he has been drawn and quartered, tossed into a Leviathan’s mouth, cut into pieces and fed to a Dragon Turtle and beheaded by a named Holy Avenger whose blade’s edge had been kissed by an angel. The only way to exorcise him and his fleet from the seas forever would be to capture him and bring him to the Queen of the Feywild.

But what crew could take and hold an undead pirate and what ship could survive the Mother of Storm’s wrath? It is said all of the elements of Jaggard’s bloody path to Ravenloft were captured by the Mists from the Mother of Storm’s fell shrine to the Puck’s Merry Wanderer. However the Summer Queen kept the Mists at Bay with her arcane might, despite her part in Jaggard’s rebirth. In order to exorcise the wraith pirate, he would have to be brought outside of Ravenloft to the Summer Court. No sailor has navigated the Domain of Dread’s seas (Sighs, Souls, Secrets, Storms, Shoals, Sorrows) into the outside world…not yet.

Until someone does, when mists roll in on ports and bloody laughter is heard by the City Watch, the Jaggard Fleet will follow, bringing death and devastation in their wake.

Captain Bill is a Wraith while his crew is a mix of Ghouls, Wights and Zombies.

Darklord: Captain Bill Jaggard

Hallmarks: Nautical Horror, Port and Island Domains

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Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and Remove Curse

Lich face!

I’ve been watching lots of reviews about the upcoming Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and Remove Curse taking away lycanthropy has come up in a few videos.

Here’s my Remove Curse house-rule as I wait for my local book store to get my copy of the new Ravenloft book to me.

“Magic is like language; context is everything.”

– Azalin Rex

When you cast remove curse, your deity will do what it can to help you remove the curse. If you are in the Golden Halls of your God, the curse might be taken away with a glimmer of sunlight. If you are in the mist-shrouded demi-plane of Dread, you might be filled with fell visions concerning what you must do to remove the curse or the sins that led to your curse with no clue as to how to make those wrong-doings right.

In other words…

When you cast remove curse, ask the DM how to remove the curse. The DM will tell you – this might mean they give you a map or a place you are drawn to or a riddle.

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Daydreaming about the upcoming Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft

A new book is coming out from Wizards of the Coast, a ton of friends have work in it that I can’t wait to read and it is a fun exercise to think: What would I do with it at the table?

I haven’t seen the book but…here’s an idea : use Godbound (Free or Deluxe) to drop demi-gods on it. Turn Ravenloft into a gothic-high-fantasy sandbox.

The Demi-Plane of Dread has been creating misery and fear throughout the planes for too long. It is time to end it. The Powers get serious and drop some heavy hitters into the Mists.

NOTE: I was going to make each character and post a pdf but that feels off. Below is a short take on what those characters could be, the Words of Creation that I’d use to power them and here’s a form-fillable pdf so you can do the rest.

The Arch-Angel of Hope

Words: Sky, Command, Health

Sphere with eight wings and a thousand eyes or belly-buttonless human with wings of fire? You tell me.

Swap out one Word for Sword if you want to go that route…


The Saint of Swords

Words: Sword, Alacrity, Death

I imagined Kaz, the vampire who cut off Vecna’s hand, but if that doesn’t fit, swap out Death for what fits your take on the Saint of Swords.


The Raven Queen

Words: Death, Winter & Birds (from Lexicon of the Throne)

I love the Raven Queen; she’s my favorite part of the D&D pantheon.


The Patron Saint of Paladins

Words: Sword, Sun, Command

Patron Saint of Fallen Paladins? Swap out Command or Sun for Passion or War or Deception.


Too on the nose? You want this to get a bit strange?

Yeah, I hear that.

The Githyanki Lich Queen

Words: Sword, Death, Sorcery

Maybe Command instead of Swords?


Grumsh

Words: Might, Passion, War

Grumsh SMASH!


Asmodea, Princess of Hell

Words: Sorcery, Deception, Underworld

Wanna to play a devil?


The Created God

Words: Artifice, Knowledge, Health

What if golems put together their own god from pieces of dead gods?

Maybe swap out Artifice for Engineering from Lexicon of the Throne if the game is going to have a more science fantasy vibe. Vengeance if getting back at the Creator is important…


I am assuming that the book will have rules for becoming a Dark Lord. We’d hack those to fit this. Maybe a way to call upon the mist for power but when you do you edge closer to becoming that which you hunt? Maybe a new word, The Mist, that one can take at any time in order to gain their own Domain?

And of course Godbound’s stripped down and solid faction rules so that Ravenloft becomes a big, messy, gothic sandbox.

Let me know what you’d like to play, what you think or if there are deities you’d want to play who aren’t listed above.

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 place our mind could comprehend.

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