Game Central The gaming world of K. Fields

Back in 1993, our gaming group had just finished up a traditional Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. Upon the death of the party, the players still wanted to play more D&D. For a change of pace, we decided to give the Ravenloft setting a try. Ravenloft detailed a realm of terror, a demi-plane that epitomized the elements of gothic horror. We used material from the Realm of Terror boxed set and the following four TSR adventures: RQ1 Night of the Walking Dead, RM2 The Created, RA3 Touch of Death, and RA1 Feast of Goblyns.

The campaign ran from September 24, 1993 to November 26, 1993.

Night of the Walking Dead

The setting was Marais d'Tarascon, a small village on the edge of a great swamp. The village was founded by Pierre Tarascon, whose family still ran the nearby plantation. Some Tarascon family members were obsessed with finding a scroll left behind by the Vistani (gypsies). They eventually found the scroll of Hyskosa in an ancient burial crypt. Luc Tarascon read the ancient verses on the scroll and awakened an undead evil. Zombies attacked and killed Luc's older brother Marcel. Marcel was turned into a zombie lord, intent on creating undead servants in the old cemetery.

Our characters began the adventure lost in a swamp when the Mists of Ravenloft transported them into the Ravenloft swamps of Souragne. There, they fought for survival against a crocodile and giant frogs and encountered a Vistani camp. Eventually, they came upon Luc Tarascon who was in a trancelike state. They wandered about the swamp as a strange storm was developing. As they made their way to Marais d'Tarascon, they found a bizarre funeral procession in the village square. The coffin contained a zombie. As the approaching storm continued to grow, the adventurers explored the village and learned about the recent strange events. There were tales of gruesome murders, mysterious disappearances, and sightings of walking dead. A deadly combat ensued between the adventurers and the madman Jean Tarascon. The worst seemed to be over after Jean's death. However, the storm finally broke. Out of the storm came a horde of zombies, the army of Marcel Tarascon. The adventurers entered the old cemetery and fought their way to the zombie lord. Despite losing a party member (Talison), they defeated him in his lair in the ancient mausoleum. The village was once again returned to normal.

The Created

The characters were in Odiare where they found the town in the grip of darkness. At the home of Franco and Maria Sertino, they found the slain body of Franco and began to investigate the murder. Eerily, adults in the town began to disappear, leaving only children. Our adventurers went to a darkened theater where they were attacked by the evil puppeteer Guiseppe and his army of carrionettes (animated marionettes). Three members of the adventuring party (Rolland, Banner, and Morak) were unfortunately slain. Eventually, the characters went to Guiseppe's Toy Shop and did battle with various animated toys. The final showdown was at the Secolo Theater. They faced Maligno, the evil puppet that was Guiseppe's master creation. It was there that Maligno was finally defeated.

Touch of Death

This adventure had an Egyptian feel to it in both theme and mood. The characters found themselves in the burning wastelands of Har'Akir. They made their way through the desert to a small village by the name of Mudar. On their way, they had discovered a dead body in the sand. They questioned the villagers about it. The villagers told the tale of Anhktepot, an evil pharoh from many ages ago. The legends said that Anhktepot was buried in the Valley of the Pharaohs and sometimes walked the land of Har'Akir. Certain individuals felt that Anhktepot was murdering villagers. Unfortunately, the residents of Mudar were divided in how to proceed. Roughly half of the village was willing to help the adventurers in their attempt to stop the killings. The other half wanted to sacrifice the adventurers to the gods as atonement for this apparent punishment.

After enlisting help from a Vistani woman, the characters faced several attacks, including encounters with desert zombies and a mummy. Eventually, they made their way to the Valley of the Pharaoh's Rest. There, they entered the Tomb of Anhktepot. The Tomb presented dangerous obstacles, including combat against more mummies. They defeated Isu Rehkotep, evil priestess of Set. Isu was behind the evil in Mudar with the help of Senmet, a greater mummy who was a child of Anhktepot. Senmet made his way to the funeral barge in the tomb while the adventurers were there. They witnessed a mighty battle between Anhktepot and Senmet that shook the entire structure. The Walls of Ra that surrounded the realm and trapped the characters were now down. The characters were then able to leave this realm.

Feast of Goblyns

The characters made their way to the town of Harmonia. There, they tried to aid a jailor in trouble. In the process, they ended up getting locked up as well. They managed to explore the jail and encountered a werewolf in a secret area. Kalten was able to kill it. While in jail, they witnessed a young girl, Akriel, getting whipped by a man in the nearby alley. The adventurers broke free and rushed to help. The man ran off but several of his wolf companions rushed to attack. The group dispatched of the wolves and tended to Akriel. She told them that the man was a wandering bard and woodsman who was seeking her hand in marriage. She rejected him and had unleashed his violent temper. Akriel claimed that she loved another man, the good and kind Dr. Dominiani. She spoke of the Crown of Soldiers as her only salvation. It was an powerful ancient artifact that was lost by her ancestors. The adventurers agreed to search for it.

As they traveled from Harmonia to Skald, the group encountered a middle-aged woman named Maria. She was quite upset and explained that a large wolf had been terrorizing her family at night. In fact, the wolf had killed her son Joshua. The characters offered to help and went to her farm house. They managed to kill the wolf one night. However, it was not a simple animal. Upon its death, it reverted to the form of a human male. The family identified the man as Jackques, their neighbor. In return for their aid, Maria's family suggested that the characters plunder whatever they wished from Jackques home. In addition to some silver, a few gems, and a vial of oil, they found a list of names in a desk drawer. The list included Akriel, Harkon Lucas, and several others. They also discovered a trail map leading to Harmonia and nearby Bluetspur.

The adventurers met up with Akriel in Skald at the Old Kartakan Inn. She claimed that she had found the route to the resting place of the Crown of Soldiers. It was to the east, near the border between Kartakass and Bluetspur. She said that the Crown was in a dry desolate canyon where "the bones lie." Her request was for them to retrieve it and return with it to the inn. While staying at the inn, the characters were attacked by two werewolves. Kalten and Alreas killed one while Melkarin and Tyris killed the other.

As requested by Akriel, the characters went into the canyon. It turned out to be a very dangerous place. They had to fight a number of goblins, zombies, and a variety of skeletons. It was in the canyon that Alreas met his death. At the dead end of the canyon, they discovered cracks leading down into some catacombs. They entered the catacombs and explored its depths. Within the cavern, they faced more combat with many skeletons. They also faced other trials and traps before finally recovering the Crown.

The return to Skald was uneventful and they met with Akriel back at the inn. Akriel made another plea to the characters. She asked them to transport the Crown to Dr. Dominiani. They agreed to help once again and headed north to Gundarak to find Dominiani's keep. They presented the Crown to Dr. Dominiani and he treated them with utmost hospitality. However, they awoke the next morning to find the doctor gone. He left a note apologizing that he had to attend to some business. The characters explored the premises and found out that this was no normal keep. They were attacked by zombies in the kitchen and were attacked by shadows in the library. They had other battles as well before leaving the keep and returning to Skald.

Back at the Old Kartakass Inn, they met up with Akriel once again. Akriel was devastated and revealed that she had recently discovered that Dr. Dominiani was actually Daclaud Heinfroth, an evil vampire lord. He had exploited her love and tricked her into giving him the Crown. She implored the adventurers to return to Dominiani's Keep, recover the Crown, and present it to Harkon Lucas, Lord of Kartakass, for safekeeping. The characters retrieved the Crown and returned with it. Harkon Lukas convinced them that they must destroy it and advised them to go south to the village of Homloch.

Something sinister was brewing in Homloch. The weather was foul and there was a palpable sense of overwhelming evil in the air. The adventurers encountered a procession of goblyns in robes. The goblyns attacked the characters but were defeated. The group made there way to the Homloch church and went inside. They battled several evil creatures within, including skeletons, a spectre, and more goblyns. Unfortunately, there was a greater evil to be faced. Radaga, an evil priestess of the undead resided here and proved the ultimate challenge to the party. This was the one foe, their final foe, that they were unable to defeat.

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