October 28th, 2010: Happy Halloween Greyhawkers. The saga of the cultists continues as does the question of their identities. Last week they were mysteriously pulled into the Ravenloft setting. Let's see how long it takes them to get accustomed to their new surroundings...

Reminder: check after the comic for my usual annotations plus some helpful hints to solve the case of the Cultist's identities.
-mortellan






Halloween would be the best time to walk around openly for a cultist of Tharizdun or any other evil deity if you think about it. Let's ponder some other maddening facts:
1. As with any hero or villain who first arrives in this gloomy land, there is a period of adjustment to everything from new geography to new cultures or even new game rules. Ravenloft like most D&D extra-planar settings has it's own list of spells that don't work or unique environmental effects like Horror and Madness checks. There is also a "dark powers" check when player characters commit impure acts that can lead to their becoming darklords as well.
2. To this day I think the nature of the Dark Powers is still a mystery.
3. Darklords are the evil rulers of the various Domains of Dread. While none can leave their prison-realms, they are considered the most powerful within these boundaries, even to the point they can prevent others from leaving their borders at will.
4. Count Strahd Von Zarovich of Barovia was the first Darklord of Ravenloft. Many Greyhawk fans have tried to place Barovia in the Flanaess at various places most popularly around the Yatil Mountains.
5. Azalin Rex lich and wizard-king of Darkon is originally from the Greyhawk setting, specifically Knurl in the Great Kingdom.
6. Lord Soth, undead Knight of the Black Rose is from the Dragonlance setting. Don't ask how the cultists know about him, it's not important.
7. Vecna's stay in Ravenloft is documented in the modules, Vecna Reborn and Die Vecna Die.
8. Vistani are gypsy-like folk of the Ravenloft setting. They have a special ability to enter the Mists of Ravenloft and arrive where they wish. This means they can appear in just about any domain, including the cultist's newly formed realm. Interestingly, a theory from 2nd edition holds that the similarly gypsy-based Rhennee of the Greyhawk setting could have originated from the Domain of Dread before appearing in the Flanaess.
9. Madames Ilka, Maruschka, Eva and Yvonna are canon Vistani NPCs from the Ravenloft setting. More on Vistani can be found here.
10. Last but not least, here is some more hints to the cultist identity mystery: Cultist #2 has been wearing special infravision goggles ever since the two ventured into the Vault of the Drow. Cultist #1 however does not need to wear a pair to see in the dark. Since cultist #1 is a spellcaster, it's still not conclusive if that makes him a demihuman or not, but he did make a comment once that he was happy the elven-ruled Vesve Forest got despoiled, so that could imply a familiarity with demihumans at least. Finally, as some of you readers have correctly picked up by now, cultist #2 is indeed, literally a Prince. I'll give you a hint, he is from a nation between the Icy and Azure Seas, and the Dramidj and the Solnor Oceans. Muahaha!

-mortellan



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