Campaign of the Month: February 2023

The Domain of Dread Council Meeting

What's In a Name?

Koran learns a valuable lesson

Koran had no idea how long he had been fighting, but he had no intent to slow down as he rushed towards the the Pit Fiend blocking the hall as it slowly punched at the ground – destroying the stonework in it’s effort to dig into the lower floor of Castle Ravenloft.

So much evil, so little time! But even broken and wounded Koran would not give up a fight – even as he knew that a Pit Fiend would have been almost his equal at full strength, and having lost a arm and bleeding heavily this was very much not a equal match.

But if he had to die fighting, no matter – he would do it gladly! Striking out at the monster his speed would have to be enough to strike hard before he turned on him.

His divine light burned bright as the creature was half-pinned by the narrow hallway screaming in the dark infernal language over it’s shoulder to the witch who called back in that same foul infernal, demonic language.

Whatever evil they spoke was no matter, for he was single minded in his dedication, still in command of the clockwork animated armor he instructed them to attack the monster, even as their slow blows were ineffective.. Koran could see that his divine blows burned deeply into the monsters flesh.

It felt good, what was more fitting then for a Solar to Fight a Devil… it felt a pure moment.. a clarity that was only interrupted as behind him he saw the witch draw out a thick book…. as she spoke his true name he saw as the page unfolded… again and again to open a portal that tore at his soul.. commanding him to be banished from this plane entirely.

He resisted..
once again he saw her twist fate.. drawing him ever so closer as they fought over his soul.
He felt the pressure slacken, he was going to win but then there was a second voice.. different but ever so familiar calling to him, calling to him by name and as he listened he felt something beyond the portal…
The light was so bright, he’d been trapped in this dark hell for so long that in a moment of weakness he let go.. to be banished back to the upper planes where he belonged.

Tasha watched in shock, she knew binding a Solar would be difficult but she was sure that she had failed.. yet as the portal closed she looked down at the book as the ink traced a portrait of Koran, his name written neatly above his image as he became the newest addition to her book.

Down below Strahd von Zarovich was looking though the remains of the Giff crew who he may have trapped within a bead of force to die but that was in the past, today was a new day and Strahd found himself holding Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley’s wrist-device that he had seen her get messages on. Maybe it was some kind of Sending Stone? Neat! Having found a fine knife and a tiny cube that folded out into a miniature Spelljamming skiff he at last remembered that they were currently hurtling out of control towards who knew where?

Of course! The Helm.. he remembered now that he was supposed to be fixing the ship now that he had Dunena Ried and the Mad Ultraloth under control, and Koran? Strahd realised in that moment that the divine sense of the solar was gone.

Oh – he was dead? No matter! With less competition Strahd drew upon his dark powers to try and gain control over the rest of the Castle, feeling his presence expand to encompass the entire floor – all except the Larder of Ill Omen that remained immune to his charms. Never mind.. “Come!” he called to Dunena venturing back into the Giff Spelljamming Ship and looking at the mess of cables that was the result of his prior ‘handywork’.

This would take forever to solve.. except that he happened to have the perfect tool for the job! at first it seemed a simple matter as the Multi-Tool brought up a complex display highlighting what cable to connect to what, reshaping itself into a laser screwdriver perfect for joining wires.

Strahd was not impressed with all these diagrams and explanations, so reading his mind the display shifted to show a simple mini-game of connecting coloured wires using a basic grid pattern.. this way Strahd could do the job while still feeling like a genius for solving a basic puzzle.

With Dunena’s help reading the display it didn’t take too long to complete the work, but there was still a logo on the display that seemed to indicate a problem.

“Read that for me” Strahd commanded, for of course he had expected Dunena to act as his personal assistant the entire time.

“No chair” Dunena explained as Strahd only then remembered that he’d left the Spelljamming Helm with Tasha! No matter, he’d seen a chair in the other room – and so commanding Dunena to follow they left the Helm and went back into the Castle room where Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley’s wooden chair was burned but still mostly intact.

However when Strahd tried to use The Multi-Tool a series of errors appeared. He was a doer, not a reader so gestured to Dunena who explained that the chair was incompatible.. before mentioning that he’d seen two thrones down below.

Strahd half listening then tried to make the Muti-Tool create a new chair, only for a new series of error messages to appear.

“It says only a Chief Safety Officer or Engineer First Class can do that” Dunana explained, Strahd irritated by this had a simple solution.. drawing upon his vampiric powers he found the bones of Captain Adelaide Cholmondeley and filled them with necrotic energy, raising her from the dead in the form of a skeleton.

“There!” but putting the Multi-Tool in the skeleton’s hand had no effect.. he had risen the body, but the skeleton had not passed the exam needed to wield such a powerful tool.

How difficult could it be? Strahd thought.. before gesturing for Dunena to give it to him. Attuning to the Multi-Tool he ignored the prompt to begin the training program and went straight to the exam.. a complex babble of astrophysics, engineering and spelljamming jargon presenting itself in his mind as a timer started to tick down.

As much as Strahd considered himself a super-genius there was no way that he could bluff his way though the three hour Jiff officers exam.

There was no hope, they would have to study. “You do it” he said to Dunena, forgetting that only one person could be in control of the Multi-Tool at a time.

But it was better then admitting to being a nerd and having to study.

“Am I dead?” For a moment Koran was sure that the Witch had tricked him, but then he found himself sitting in a room, a ghostly figure before him.. grey of hair, a psudodragon curled around his neck asleep.. black robes with purple trim.. warlock? Maybe.. Dead.. absolutely.

“Oh no, not at all .. you are simply a guest”.

This wasn’t what Koran expected, a table set with tea and little cakes, a fireplace setting a warm glow and walls that seemed not entirely there.

“No need to fear, come have some tea” the stranger said gesturing to the teapot.

Koran didn’t know what to say for the moment, he had expected to be killed, to be sent back to the upper planes.. not to be sitting here having tea with a ghost.
But before he knew it he found himself talking, telling this stranger all about how he was so sure about who he was, but now looking back he felt something was missing.

The old man, Madryck was his name listened, Koran expected judgement and yet he felt heard, really heard for the first time as the man explained how he too had made a choice, first to pledge himself in return for magic, then to become a adventurer and finally in his old age to remain in ‘her’ service.

Time passed, the fire burned low and before he knew it Koran found his eyes drawn to a doorway.

Leaving the old man he stepped into a hall, the walls transparent and ghostly as he saw other rooms, other creatures, a goth vampire lying on a bed with strange things on her ears, a trio of witches, some Akanaloths in what appeared to be a lab.. a library.. gardens.. Koran wandered trying to find a answer to a question he’d never before thought to ask.

Who was he? Really..?

All his life he’d considered himself good but though the halls that seemed to glow with their own prismatic light he found himself standing at the end of the hall staring at a full length mirror, his broken wings, missing arm confirming that this was real but for the first time he saw his aura.. it was pitch black!


This couldn’t be! He was a solar! He was good!? He had to be!

He felt a hand on his shoulder, in the reflection a face looked back at him, white hair with a streak of black, the same eyes and strange tattoo of Tasha but he felt the strong sense of Fey magic.. powerful and raw coming from “Her”.

“It is not who you are, but your choices that matter” … her voice was softer, gentle even as Koran looked at himself, truly seeing himself for the first time.

“I wish… " Koran said to the mirror, trying to find the words to express the conflict and regret he wished he could change, to repent, to be better.

“I will grant you that wish” she said, her voice the same as the one that had compelled him into the portal. One he felt knew him better then he knew himself.

Gently she drew him away from the reflection and back towards the hall where on heavy footfalls.. he saw the bleeding figure of the Pit Fiend heading towards them.
Koran felt his stomach lurch as instead of the harsh words in infernal for the first time he heard it speaking as if in common

“Mommy..!?” "It hurt me oh it hurt me so bad… " the monster said it’s heavy voice totally at odds with the simple words.
The monster was looking not at Koran but at the women who looked like “Her”.

Guilt, Koran had felt so sure of himself during the fight and yet looking at the wounds he’d inflicted, hearing it speak he realised that he had attacked first, assuming that the Pit Fiend was out to cause evil and yet as he saw the creature wipe away a tear and shuffle towards them he could not find any excuse for what he’d done.

Hanging his head Koran could only say “I’m sorry”, the bulky form of the Pit Fiend looking down at him.
Just moments ago such a thing would of been impossible, a solar apologising to a pit fiend? No way!

Yet the creature’s mouth opened wide.. “It’s okay” the creature said, eyebrows knitted in deep thought “sometimes we have to go fight and hurt people but that doesn’t mean we have to be mean all the time”. The Pit Fiend turned it’s eyes from Koran to the women who looked like Tasha, feeling boisered as she nodded.

“Do you like Ice cream?” the Pit Fiend asked, Koran was taken aback. Not only because he had no idea what Ice Cream was, but .. was this Pit Fiend wanting to be his friend?
Koran admitted he didn’t know, surprised as the Pit Fiend explained how he had been sent from the Hells to take Mom away but then they’d gone and had ice cream instead.

So instead of fighting Koran found himself accepting the Pit Fiends hand as it guided him down the hall, away from the strange women and towards the sound of a ice-cream truck.

Amongst the many unexpected things Koran had discovered about himself during the hour he was away, it turned out he very much indeed liked Ice cream!

Inspiration Log

Koran lost 1 point using Dark Powers to fight Tasha and the Pit Fiend in the Hallway of Castle Ravenloft
Dunena gained 1 point for convincing Strahd to join him and get everyone to go to the Happy Funtime Dungeon
Strahd gained 1 point for trying to trade with Dunena and the Llamas – apparently Strahd has visited the Domain of Minecraft in the past?!
Dunena used CHARM MONSTER on Koran – Koran is Charmed for the next hour.
Strahd used VAMPIRE CHARM on Dunena – Dunena is Charmed for the next 24 Hours (payback is sweet!).
Strahd lost 1 point using Dark Powers to regain control of the lower floor of Castle Ravenloft
Koran gains 1 point for willingly being banished by Tasha.
Koran gains 1 point and whole bunch of spoilers for Wild Beyond the Witchlight! ;)
Koran gains 1 Wish from “Her” – used to heal all wounds and restore his lost limbs and hit points.