Anislan

The First Adventure
An Angry Presence

The PCs meet in the village of Fellhaven and soon discover that there is something in the woods watching, waiting, but for what? Encounter wolves, thugs, Lord Fyr and a hound turned fiendish and a wendigo (page 187 FF).

Searching in the forest Marishka finds the ranger who has been traveling on the outskirts of the forest and wilderness on his way to Willowtown. Together they realize that there is something in the woods watching the village. It scares the wilder animals of the woods and has already claimed a victim in the form of a traveling peddler. The victims remains are bloodied and torn, missing flesh from wicked bites with long incision marks in formations resembling a claw. The victims’ innards have been eaten from within. Tracks disappear in the outlying fields with human tracks. These tracks lead to the manor estate of Lord Fyr. Lord Fyr is out hunting when they arrive and cannot see the PCs. They are asked to return another day. On their way home they encounter a small group of 3 men and a woman who attempt to rob them. It seems they have lain in wait for the rich Lord Fyr but mistake the PCs as his guests. If they return they will be invited as guests to his manor for the next party.

Back at the village villagers are distraught at the death of some of their community members. Two woodsmen were killed, frozen to death although it is not yet winter. One of them has rending marks in its flesh and is missing pieces of flesh from as though something has eaten it. Two other woodsmen, who were nearby when they heard them yell out in alarm, found them. The corpses are brought to the mortuary with aid from Nathaniel. The ranger is welcome to stay with Nathaniel. Marishka hears whispering voices and feels an angry presence. The ranger may feel it also. Nathaniel is unaware.

The real killer is a wendigo, a malevolent undead spirit. The wendigo is hunting for the man who wounded it to feast upon his flesh in an innate sense of vengeance for it’s unhealed angry wound, dealt by an enchanted sword.

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Adventurers in Anislan

In Anislan, seldom do people rise to great power, martial skill or heroism. People who do are often mistrusted. Spell casters are limited by lack of knowledge and even when not, by lack of appropriate tools or components. There are many adepts and experts who often act as healers, diviners and potion makers. They are considered saintly helpers or creepy dabblers depending on the individual. The ability to heal terrible wounds, cure disease or perform other miracles has been heard of in the past but is uncommon. Those who have been able to perform such miracles never seem to be around long enough or be able to aid enough people. Powerful spell casters of the arcane art are severely mistrusted. Everyday in Anislan someone is arrested, tried or executed for being a witch, at times the accused are even guilty. It is ironic that at times the most well known questionable and potent spell caster is not acted against for fear of their powers. More often than not the innocent are tried for strange omens, behaviour or conditions. The unknown or suspect is a fearful motivation for the folk of Anislan, as long as their own life or soul is not at risk. Those who possess great skill at arms are mistrusted for their ability to slay, lead and conquer. Often it is said that fiends grant powers of magic, battle and riches when someone sells their soul to hell. In the past holy knights have been known but invariably fall in battle to evil, for they have a great a passion and yearning to seek out the greater evils and vanquish them. Some also whisper of holy warriors whose faith is lost or stolen and turned to evil.

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Religion in Anislan

Ilmater is the only known deity in Anislan. He is the martyr and worshipers pray to him to ease their own sufferings or seek to in some small way emulate him and ease the sufferings of other where they can. Hypocrites and false believers are many. The church of Ilmater meets every third day in an organized mass, but many worshippers pray everyday and visit churches whenever they can.

The Sisters of Ilmater are a nun like sect of worshippers. They offer help and aid to the sick and injured in much the way of nurses and midwives. They also run sanitariums and orphanages.

Outside of the general belief in Ilmater, there are those who worship devils in depraved, debauched cults or coveys in secret. Fiends, demons, devils and other diabolical creatures are at times held in reverence by some folk through, rebellion, ignorance or worse. Frighteningly some of these worshipers are granted powers and magic through their worship. Superstition is rampant in Anislan and local superstition or beliefs vary from settlement to settlement.

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About Anislan

When the elves created the island of Evermeet, they tore a sizeable chunk of land away from the main continent using high magic. Thousands upon thousands of people and creatures lost their lives during the creation. The potent concoction of high magic and megadeath combined to create an island of parable opposites to Evermeet. In stark contrast to the elven land of dreams was created a land of nightmares. The elves contained and suppressed knowledge of this isle to a small number of elder elves, almost all of which have died and taken their secret lore to their final wandering rest. It is a land of dread secrets where every closet contains a skeleton down to its’ very core even reaching beyond into it’s cosmology.

Anislan is an Island of largely unexplored dimensions. It remains for the most part uncharted and unexplored outside of its civilizations and better-kept roads or trails. There are a handfull of large settlements located across the island. These towns are centers of knowledge and learning, yet also of decadence, debauchery and crime even though there is a strict enforcement of laws and order. In these towns there are people with knowledge and experience of geography, ecology and also of forbidden lore.

Between the towns and elsewhere there are countless small settlements. They are ruled by independent local governments, or nobles and lords who often have manors outside of the settlements and are accountable to no one. These villages and hamlets contain the vast majority of the population of Anislan between them. Many are located on main roads but there are unknown numbers of settlements away from the roads or found only by following little known and dangerous trails through forests of gloom and hills or mountains of oppressive dominance. Wild animals roam these wilderness areas seeking prey, at times human. Wolves, bears, and sometimes worse predators call these lands home. Deeper into the wilderness are creatures that strike morbid fear into the people’s hearts; goblins, elves, shape-shifters, dwarves, giants and ogres, fey and men or women with broken minds and evil natures, such as witches, devil worshipers, criminals and hunters or trappers. The wretched undead haunt abandoned and ruined villages and buildings, lonely graves and graveyards, crossroads and execution sites in search of souls and vengeance,flesh or blood. Sentient undead are among the most feared for their ability to trick, manipulate, contrive and sometimes assimilate with society undetected. Fiends ply their trade in murder, souls and violence and thrive upon the face of Anislan at times in their true forms and other times undetected.

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Why Create Anislan?

Anislan came about from a love of D&D, horror and history. My wife and I are avid fans of all three genres and of certain bands such as Cradle of Filth and H.I.M., who have very much a gothic horror theme in their lyrics and image. We had wanted to play a horror game that suited our own personal tastes and was free of the constraints that we felt were in place in the Ravenloft Campaign setting. We are also big fans of the Forgotten Realms but the realms were not (generally speaking)geared towards that kind of theme. Because we wanted our cake and eat it, we decided that we could set something up in the realms. I came up with an interesting back story that I felt was consistent with the Forgotten Realms setting while allowing me to create the setting and theme that we had been looking for for so long.

Anislan was the first genuine effort that I have ever made in creating a home brew setting. It’s ties with the realms allow me to still use elements from the realms and give it a spookier feel because things that were familiar have been restrained,subdued or twisted and warped. Overall we are all very happy with how it has turned out and has given us hours upon hours of enjoyment. I hope you the reader, can find something in this for yourself, be it in your own games or just for entertainment value in reading my blog.

Enjoy and ‘ware the spooks!

Justin the Big

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