|#1zombiegleemaxFeb 26, 2004 5:15:07||What is the name of the planet that Raven is set on?|
|#2zombiegleemaxFeb 26, 2004 10:16:34||As far as I know it doesn't have one-- locals refer to the place as "the Land of Mists" sometimes, and it's possible that outsiders who know of its planar existence call it the "Demiplane of Dread", but that's about all.|
|#3zombiegleemaxFeb 26, 2004 11:40:18||Indeed, it's been largely inferenced that Ravenloft is not actually a planet, let alone located on the Prime Material Plane in the D&D Cosmos. Rather, it's an actual Demiplane floating amidst the Border Ethereal controlled by mysterious Dark Powers who have remained completely anonymous. Most hardcore fans of the setting have been debating as to who or what the Dark Powers are ever since the setting was introduced back in 1990.|
But the simple answer, as Brandi said, is: There is no name because there is no planet.
|#4zombiegleemaxFeb 26, 2004 18:46:04||I've always assumed it is something simple, like Terra Firma, or The World. |
But there is no official answer to the question.
|#5zar_nilnFeb 26, 2004 21:49:40||In our campaign, a Vistani elder actually called it Ravenloft. I didn't mind because she was Vistani. ^_^|
|#6zombiegleemaxFeb 27, 2004 10:21:00||I posted this reply in a similar discussion on the FoS board. See what you think of it:|
I think the most likely planetary structure for the Misted lands would be a dead empty planetoid, possibly water-covered(Sea of Sorrows), possibly a gas giant(Mists), to which large land masses are continually magically transferred. Hence the omnipresence of the Mists around Barovia prior to the creation(transferrence?) of Darkon and the uniform gravity across the Misted Lands as well as the same basic uniform daily timetable(sunrise/sunset)across the lands. The demiplane probably isn't large enough yet to require time zones. Another possible model would be a planet on which all sentient life annialated itself leaving behind dozens of different ruins of the dead civilizations. Hence the large number of dead cities lying about.
|#7zombiegleemaxFeb 27, 2004 13:09:47||Yup, Ravenloft apparently is not a planet and even if it were, there's not way anyone can tell. And as the setting manual by Sword and Sorcery puts it, Ravenloft is indeed a demi-plane located in the ethereal plane and apparently with ties only to the ethereal and the plane of shadow. |
It seems that natives indeed call Ravenloft "Land of Mists", but it's rarely used. After all, Ravenloft is so boxed in that most totally ignore the existence of other planes. What's the point in having a word to identify your own plane, if you think of it as they only one existing. Think of it in real-life terms. If someone asks you where you're from, you're more likely to say "USA" or "France" for instance, than say "Earth" :D
|#8zombiegleemaxFeb 27, 2004 18:00:04||It's called the "Land of Mists" usually, scholars (from the outside, generally) call it the Demiplane of Dread.|
|#9zombiegleemaxFeb 28, 2004 3:14:45||The Terra Firma is a nice one. I have used the Land of Mists so far, though.|
|#10gottenFeb 28, 2004 6:28:58|
Originally posted by VNM
It isn't the border ethereal by the way. Ravenloft is a bubble of matter, self enclosed, somewhere in the deep ethereal plane.
If you say 'border' it is in reference to a prime material plane, and Ravenloft isn't close to one of them in particular.
|#11rotipherFeb 28, 2004 12:59:04||Note that in "When Black Roses Bloom", large cracks appeared in the landscape of Sithicus due to Lord Soth's having 'abandoned' his realm for magical, virtual-reality-style daydreams. Creatures that fell into these crevices literally fell *through* the demiplanar ground, dropping into the Mists after several seconds of freefall. The clear implication is that the lands of Ravenloft are ultimately sitting on *Mists*, not a planet or other surface.|
While there are indeed ancient ruins scattered around Ravenloft, most seem to have been "Mist-napped" much as characters are. Certainly ruins like the feline, pseudo-Egyptian tomb from "The Awakening" and the well-shaped dungeon from the Requiem modules don't seem to have come from the same culture, or even from remotely-related cultures, despite their present geographic proximity to one another.
|#12rotipherFeb 28, 2004 13:14:52||Note that the natives of the Core *do* seem to make use of that term -- "the Core" -- when describing geography in the broadest possible terms. Where an IRL person might say "I'm from Europe", good ol' S would say "I'm from the Core". The Clusters also have names "in-character"; it's not just we gamers who call them "the Verduous Lands", etc. |
Given that RL natives don't seem well-informed about the wider cosmology of the multiverse -- some don't believe what outsiders tell them (e.g. Lamordians); others have been fed contradictory information (Is there a Great Wheel a la MotP or a Great Tree a la FR?) -- and that they generally *can't* escape to go elsewhere, they haven't had much need to distinguish their homeland from other settings. They're accustomed to their world being bounded absolutely by the Mists, so they don't need to *name* a world they can't exit, any more than you or I feel a need to name the universe.
|#13zombiegleemaxMar 03, 2004 9:25:02||this is sort of related- a lot of fans have been going with the concept that blutsper is now on RLs moon (in those domains that have one white moon|
at any rate ita an interesting concept- and could go along the lines of the old B&w movie where they shoot a capsule from a big gun at the moon, or maybe even take a hot air balloon up? if a DM decides that invention can exist (or a spelljammer ship, if one were to get sucked in)
if thats so, what does the sky above blutsper look like now?
i would think its gray mists and you can see the islands of terror and core floating up in the sky.. maybe even see the pocket domains through a haze of mist
|#14zombiegleemaxMar 03, 2004 9:58:01||Intriguing concept, and an especially creepy madness check moment if you looked up and saw mountains, lakes and rivers in the distance above you.|
But wouldn't people on the core be able to see the lightning storms on their moon?
|#15zombiegleemaxMar 04, 2004 11:33:37||They wouldn't necessarily see storms on the moon. Not many domains would have the telescopic technology to determine the moon is anything other than a big disc that flies through the night sky.|
On a side note, what would happen if a character capable of making spelljamming helms ended up in Ravenloft? I used to own a second edition Spelljammer sourcebook that made mention of this, but it had a cop-out answer of, "The Mists don't let them spelljam beyond the night sky." I hate that answer. Why shouldn't there be whole realms of terror in the darkness between the stars?
--any thoughts on this? NB
|#16rotipherMar 04, 2004 12:15:29||AFAIK, photos of Earth from the IRL moon missions indicate that it's too far away to see Earth's storms "light up" from the lunar surface. The opposite would also be true. OTOH, I believe at least some of the Ravenloft artwork shows the demiplane's moon as having craters on its surface, and Bluetspur's thick cloud cover would obscure those features from view.|
Of course, the illithids' domain could be hidden away on the moon's "dark" side....
|#17zombiegleemaxMar 06, 2004 14:10:38|
Originally posted by Rotipher
I'd cast that as one more vote for a gas giant. I remember reading someplace that the surface of the planet Jupiter is made up of densely compacted gas particles that are so close together as to seem solid but lack the chemical bonds between solids or liquids. This would make it easier for large land masses to be moved around during great conjunctions and such. Placing the domains on a gas giant means that the Dark Powers needn't provide gravity or sunlight which are two elements necessary to support the life present in the Misted Lands. To do it any other way would be wasteful.
Originally posted by Rotipher
You may have a point there. They could still come from the same planet but your theory seems more likely.
|#18rotipherMar 08, 2004 15:15:41||It'd be a pretty weird gas giant that would have a breathable atmosphere and a 24-hour day/night cycle, but I guess it could work if the DPs are being frugal. Seems like you'd lose a lot of the saved effort, having to *float* the domains high enough in the atmosphere for sunlight to reach, though. |
Now you've got me curious, Manofevil. What's your pet "DP theory", that would make it necessary for them to conserve energy in this way? I'd have thought they had ample world-building power to spare, given how many of the domains have piles of surplus acres the local darklord never so much as bothers to think about, let alone visit. If they were really "hard up" for domain-creating energy, I'd've thought they'd have routinely omitted such window-dressing as a surface for Bluetspur, and trimmed non-urban domains like Lamordia or Mordent down to little more than the lord's lair and any closely-associated NPCs' homes.
|#19zombiegleemaxMar 08, 2004 15:38:30||Speking of the sky above the Core... it appears differently from domain to domain.|
For example, the sky of Nova Vaasa has multiple moons in it, while no moons are visible in Darkon or Sithicus.
The rest of the domains have one moon, if I recall correctly, or nothing has been said. I would guess that the sky above Hazlan appears like the sky above Thay of the "Forgotten Realms."
(I confess to only being certain about Nova Vaasa, Sithicus, Darkon, and Tepest, because I recently read up on those places.)
I am not usually a subscriber to the explanation "because it's magic," but in the case of the Ravenloft world, I don't think physics and reality as we know it applies.
I think the Ravenloft world is indeed flat. I think the land masses that exist within it are drifting on etheral mists, and the entering those mists at the edge of the land masses will get you dropped in some other place... maybe right back where you came from, maybe somewhere (or somewhen entirely different. I think time and space mean nothing within the Mists of Ravenloft.
I think the Mists appear solid or water-like depending on your mode of transportation--enter them in a boat, and you'll sail as if on water. Enter them on a horse, and you'll continue as though on solid groud. If you enter them while in flight, you will remain in a misty, moist and airy environment until the mists part and you find yourself flying through the air above a countryside or a city.
And speakig of Spelljamming... I wanted to do a Spelljammer domain that consisted of a single ship; it was mistbound and could never reach any destination. As for normal spelljamming, though, I don't think the ships could access Raveloft... but then I've always felt Spelljammer should be its own setting that remained clear of other established settings. (Except maybe FR, but then that's the "everythign but the kitchen sink" world.)
|#20zombiegleemaxMar 09, 2004 3:28:41||Personally, I think Ravenloft is flat and rests on the back of a giant undead turtle.|
|#21hida_jiremiMar 09, 2004 4:10:32||Not to be picky, but as of the most recent Gazetteer, Sithicus *has* a moon. It appeared during the Night of Screaming Shadows (or thereabouts) and appears differently to each person. S hasn't said anything about variable moons in the Gaz's, so I would think that newer canon is eliminating the "different skies" of Ravenloft (which I think is kind of lame, actually - I loved PCs' reactions when they found out that the moon was changed when they crossed domain borders!).|
|#22zombiegleemaxMar 09, 2004 11:29:02||You are correct... I was trying to say that there are no *visible* moons.|
And I rather second your opinion. It would be shame if the differing skies have been dumped. It's something that can be used with great impact, if only once in a... blue moon.
|#23zombiegleemaxMar 10, 2004 2:19:33||Different skies made a mess with Astorlogy profession, that's probably one of the reasons.|
But the new Ravenloft has the same sky all over it, that's correct.
|#24zombiegleemaxMar 10, 2004 10:18:41||Rationale?|
|#25zombiegleemaxMar 10, 2004 13:10:59||I suspect it was handwaved with the Grand Conjunction.|
Interestingly, I think the RCS implies that that sky is only consistent for the Core, and that it might well be different for the Clusters and Islands-- but I don't feel like getting the book out right this second to look. :P
|#26zombiegleemaxMar 10, 2004 13:21:37|
Originally posted by Writer of Stuff
It is now, actually.:D
|#27zombiegleemaxMar 10, 2004 23:30:33|
Originally posted by Brandi
Actually, "The Awakening" specifically mentions Nova Vaasa's five moons. No handwaving there... unless EVERY land of the Core has five moons.
And that doesn't seem to be the case with Darkon at least.
|#28zombiegleemaxMar 10, 2004 23:34:44|
Originally posted by Writer of Stuff
Ah, but we haven't seen Nova Vaasa's Gazetteer writeup yet! It's possible that we'll be told the moons fused or such during the Great Upheaval...
Edit to add: Hm, looks like The Awakening takes place just after the GC. Well, it's not as if Nova Vaasa hasn't had self-contradicting info before...
|#29zombiegleemaxMar 11, 2004 1:29:20||As far as starscapes go, my pet theory is imported from DragonLance. The Krynn night sky consists of exactly 108 stars in various constellations, 5 planets, and three moons. Now looking at our own sky, the number of stars seems infinite so how can the Gods of Krynn limit what's seen? Answer: enclose the solar system in a large envelope of material dust that allows only the light from certain stars (determined by the gods) to pass thru it. A similar technique can be used by the Dark Powers in RavenLoft. They needn't even show true stars, just some points of light in the sky that are far enough away that they resemble stars. Similar illusionary moons and planets can also be provided, all of which would vanish at sunrise.|
|#30zombiegleemaxMar 11, 2004 13:11:45||I belive that every Domain still has it's own different sky.|
For me RL works best when you play upon alienation and paranioa.
If the DP can enclose the sky, why can't they "filter" the sky in every domain?
|#31zombiegleemaxMar 19, 2004 0:14:07||whoops, I quoted instead of edited.|
|#32zombiegleemaxMar 28, 2004 14:04:54||I like the idea that ravenloft is a series of domains cobbled together and not planetbound at all. Especially given the fact that new domains can arrive underneath others. Example Paridon and Timor.|
|#33zombiegleemaxMar 30, 2004 2:00:03||I'm not sure what the current official ruling is for the sky. I too will look for any information pressented in Gaz V on the topic. My own personal taste is one sky for each cluster. The core and the wastes don't have the same stars in my personal interpretation, but the night sky looks the same in barovia and mordent for example.|
I really like the idea of Bluetspur as the moon. i hadn't heard that before.
RL floats in the ethereal. Its not a planet. But if it was I'd vote to call it planent DOOOOMMM!!!! Bwah-hah-ha-ha!!!
|#34zombiegleemaxMar 30, 2004 2:08:44|
Originally posted by Irve
The Bluetspur has neither day nor night in the classic sense, but rather lightning bolts, or no lightning bolts.
Never made sense to me.
|#35john_w._mangrumMar 30, 2004 10:06:35||R3E pg. 19, under "Geography of the Mists." I don't have it in front of me, but I assume it's in the same relative spot in the RL PHB:|
"The domains of a given cluster all typically share the same night sky and general climate."
Unless the reference was cut or changed in editing, Gaz V makes a specific, if passing, reference to Nova Vaasa's single moon.
|#36zombiegleemaxMar 30, 2004 21:18:10||It's not difficult to grasp the notion of Ravenloft as not being planetbound. Indeed, how many people of scientific bent were branded "insane" or "heretics" up well past the Middle Ages for daring to suggest that the Earth was round, or that it was not the center of the cosmos?|
The peoples of Ravenloft all live in a world magic is very real. And remember that the Domains form a sort of prison. Many people in Ravenloft never leave their home town, much less wander across the Domains. Those that do, like Dr Van Richten, know that their "world" is, in reality, many little worlds tied together. Hence the dramatic differences in everything from culture to environmental conditions as one crosses from Domain to Domain. And of course there is the strangeness that ensues whenever a Lord chooses to seal their border.
Natural philosophers (what scientists used to be called) in the Middle Ages on Earth put forward "scientific" notions that often included heavy does of theology, astrology, alchemy and general occultism into their theories about the world. The ones in Ravenloft simply have more substance to back them up.
The fact that the place is a demi-plane explains both it's isolation and it's expansion. Floating in the Ethereal, it is easier to seal off than a planet in the Prime. And because the Ethereal Plane holds the all the raw material from which hold worlds are formed, the Dark Powers can easily expand it. They're simply casting a deific version of the Genesis spell.
That's what they did when they created Barovia. They photo-copied the original and made a duplicate into which they Strahd and his people.
|#37rotipherMar 31, 2004 15:34:39||More to the point, why would the average Ravenloft native know there *was* anything weird about the landscape just fading away into Mists if you walk far enough...? It's how their world has always been constructed. The Core, Clusters, and Islands all conform to the same pattern, so it's logical for someone who's never been outside the demiplane to assume that'd be the norm for *any* world.|
Outsider: "I'm from a place called [insert world name here]."
Ravenloft native: "Oh, yes? Is that on the same Mistway as Sri Raji? Strange realm, that one, not like home at all...."
Outsider: "No, no! I'm from another plane of existence!"
Native: "Picked up some of that odd herb they smoke in Sri Raji on your way here, then, I suppose. Those odd little folk there claim it puts them in touch with the spiritual realms too. My word, such queer ideas they have in foreign lands...."
Outsider: "No, blast you, I mean another planet altogether!!!"
Native: "Easy there, sir, perhaps that herb's gone to your head a wee bit, or the Mists have addled your wits for a moment. Really, I'm surprised the folk in [insert world name here] didn't teach you not to venture into the Mists, any lad should know better than that...."
So there's really no need to transplant Ravenloft to a planet, merely to make it more credible or to make it seem 'normal' to the natives. They're like fish who've lived their whole lives in a fish tank, so don't comprehend that blue gravel and little ceramic scuba-divers aren't 'normal' for a streambed.
|#38zombiegleemaxMar 31, 2004 20:23:16||This is an excellent point. Natives of some Domains, such as Darkon, have their memories subtly altered over time so that even people descended from planar travelers believe that they and their ancestors have always dwelt in their land.|
And who is to say otherwise? History can quickly give way to myth without evidence to support it. Since it is not possible to simply leave Ravenloft at will and return to the real Barovia back on the Prime, who is to say that Strahd's Barovia is anything less than real itself?
People recently arrived from worlds in the Prime can try to explain how life on a normal planet is. But big round spheres of land and sea unbounded by misty borders probably sounds as preposterous to a native of Ravenloft as, well, the idea of a round Earth sounded to a Medieval European.
|#39mindshredApr 05, 2004 12:28:40||Bluetspur on the moon?! Oh gods, that's just perfect....|
Will have to steal that idea for the upcoming (horribly, horribly modified) Thoughts of Darkness module
|#40rotipherApr 05, 2004 12:58:50||Not to mention that not all of the *outlanders* would be from "round" worlds, to begin with! The D&D multiverse provides for all kinds of planetary and astronomical configurations, some of which are even weirder than the misty borders. Imagine a Hollow World native's attempt to explain what a world is "supposed to" look like ... and then imagine such an outsider getting into an argument with another outsider, as to whether people in so-called "normal worlds" are supposed to live on the outside of a sphere, or the inside! Who could honestly blame the Ravenlofters, if they dismiss such contradictory tales as delusions or myths?|
|#41zombiegleemaxApr 06, 2004 0:38:13|
Originally posted by John W. Mangrum
I guess I'll renew my question as to "Why?"
Where did the other five moons go?
And if all the Core has the same sky, what about Darkon? Or Sithicus?
|#42zombiegleemaxApr 06, 2004 22:27:07|
Originally posted by Writer of Stuff
Sithicus still has Nuitari, albeit with white and red mixed in now. I never realised Darkon had a different sky to the Core (I don't have the GH).
My question is if they weren't allowed to mention Soth, why Nuitari?
|#43zombiegleemaxApr 07, 2004 1:07:39|
Originally posted by Drinnik Shoehorn
Demands of the folks who granted the license? I doubt they demanded: "The sky must be the same over the Core."
I could be misremembering, but I thought there was something in the GAZ about Darkon's moon not being visible--it came up previously in this thread as well, I think.
Of course, if there is just one moon mentioned in the Nova Vaasa sky, I suppose the other four could have been non-visible, either at the extreme end of waxing or waning.
|#44zombiegleemaxApr 07, 2004 15:21:10|
Originally posted by Drinnik Shoehorn
Well, as of Gaz2, the moon inexplicably disappears/fails to rise over Darkon on Darkest Night (the winter solstice), but I get the impression they would see the same set of stars as other Core residents. Actually, a map of the constellations of the Core would make for a right interesting article...
|#45bob_the_efreetApr 07, 2004 16:13:46|
Originally posted by Drinnik Shoehorn
I seem to recall one of the authors mentioning that they were allowed to mention Soth by name, they just weren't told about it until after the Gazetteer was written. Since any statement beginning with 'I seem to recall' will earn certain wrath from the King of Darkon, though, I wouldn't trust my statement until someone more reliable (like the person who said it) confirms that I'm correct.
|#46zombiegleemaxApr 07, 2004 21:56:39||Actually, at least previously in the Domains of Dread book it was noted that the sky in Sithicus has the Constellations of Krynn, except that Paladine's constellation has been torn apart and Takhisis's is brighter.|
The only thing that differentiates the Core from the Islands is that it is possible to move from one domain to another without having to traverse the Mists. Unless a lord has sealed their border, there is no other impediment.
But that doesn't mean that crossing from one domain to another isn't a shocking experience, and it would certainly explain why many people in Ravenloft don't travel around very much. Each domain is essentially a demiplane within the demiplane.
This fear (a common thread in Ravenloft) explains why residents of "low magic" domains like Lamordia aren't more aware of and involved with magic, despite the nearby presence of domains where magic is much more common, such as Darkon. To all intents and purposes, it's practically another world.
A simple thing like the sky need not be the same. Heck, on Earth the Southern and Northern hemispheres look out on completely different parts of the sky. The Alpha Centuri system forms one of the brightest stars in the night sky, but I cannot see it from where I live. So it's not inconceivable for people to believe that there's different views of the heavens in different parts of their "world", especially if they've never seen anything else.
|#47john_w._mangrumApr 07, 2004 22:38:35|
Originally posted by Bob the Efreet
Specifically, throughout the years we wrote for Arthaus, one of the only clear statements we ever received about what the licensing agreement with WotC would allow us to say, despite numerous requests for further clarification, was "No Soth, no Vecna." In a more general sense, no overt connections to other settings, since the license allowed us to reference Ravenloft and the core materials only. And the latter part of that was something we by and large pieced together on our own through trial and error.
Then, at this year's Gen Con, after work on Gaz IV had come and gone and we'd had to bend over backward to avoid using Soth's name, the developers said, I think when we asked again for clarification, "No, Soth is fine." Then they kindly explained to us the policy of downplaying other settings that we'd established with their predecessor before they came along.
As for why some names were used and some weren't, that traces back to R3E. We purposefully changed the tribal name of Vorostokov's inhabitants from the Vos to the Voros, assuming that we wouldn't be allowed to directly reference the Birthright connection Domains of Dread had tacked onto the domain. We initially overlooked the names of the ethnic groups in Hazlan, however, so the original Forgotten Realms names went into the first draft unaltered. We expected a request for a name change to come in our redlines, so we whipped up a pair of replacements, but the request never came. Thus, the book changed one ethnic group's name, but left two intact. After that we decided to take a much more wait and see approach, occasionally leaving a term in the book just to see if it would make the cut, since that was our only reliable way of discovering whether it could.
|#48zombiegleemaxApr 08, 2004 3:55:13|
Originally posted by John W. Mangrum
Sounds like a real mish-mash of policies. I find it incredible to believe that the developers made such little attempt to tell you the stipulations.
|#49jinntolserApr 13, 2004 14:46:59||If the rules were that much of a mess, it's no wonder you didn't want to write for them anymore.|
|#50zombiegleemaxApr 13, 2004 22:42:19||When I first realized that some of the core domains had different skies, I tried to figure out what it would like like if you were looking up as you crossed into a new domain. I decided that there was probably always mist obsuring the sky near the borders.|
I also thought about spelljamming in Ravenloft. There was a reference somewhere that said spelljaming does not work....but yet we have some "Spelljammer" monsters that supposedly appear in Ravenloft. (including one that cannot appear inside a crystal sphere)
I thought it would be neat for the PCs to find a spelljamming ship and to try to escape from Barovia using it........they would end up on Barovia's moon and find out that the entire moon was alive!
I do like the idea of Bluetspur being on the moon....but perhaps if there are indeed different moons, then Bluetspur could be on one of them.
It sounds like the designers want to make the core have only one moon now.......that does make more sense, but I also want to know "what happened to the others?"
Well, the moon is only one problem.........now what are the stars?
|#51rotipherApr 14, 2004 11:54:43||FWIW, I'd always assumed that Ravenloft's moon(s) and stars -- and sun for that matter -- are just images "painted" on a distant backdrop of Mists. Kind of like "The Truman Show", except that if you tried to fly high enough to reach them, you'd hit a point where you just kept flying in place, like foot-travellers at certain sealed domain borders.|
|#52zombiegleemaxApr 15, 2004 0:07:26||I just reread this thread and it occurs to me that what a native of RavanLoft thinks is the structure of his world and what that structure actually is have very little to do with one another. Indeed, this entire topic involves us, the players and readers of RavenLoft, offering theories of what this structure may be based on canon events and established rules. As far as the residents are concerned, they can believe the moons are made of green cheese.:D|