Mythic/ Historical
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Comments: 11
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Rating: 3.25
Condition: Normal
ID: 6376


July 6, 2011, 2:17 am

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Ram, the Dread Castle Incarnadine.


Welcome to my humble home. Feel free to stay as long as you like, if you remain at all. Do be warned, though, the place is a bit... unstable...

The master of Castle Incarnadine is often described as an enigmatic fellow, with an even more enigmatic agenda. But, in order to understand the nature of the man, one must understand the nature of the castle itself, for the two are truly one and the same.

Castle Incarnadine is very much a real place, however shrouded in mystery its past may be. It appears to be a castle of blood red sandstone backing onto a sheer cliff, covered in gleaming towers and buildings. Searching for a door yields nothing, for the castle has no drawbridge, and no gates.

Like the fabled town of Sigil, entry to the dread castle is by portal, unlike that city however, the portals of Incarnadine are ever shifting, and completely unreliable. The castle is said to have an infinite number of portals, opening to the planes, to the lands below, as well as anywhere else that you may wish to go.

The lord and master of this castle is Ram, a tiefling warlock of untold power and secrecy. He alone may navigate the castle with ease, and he alone may command the portals. He is ever youthful, never growing even a year older, though the centuries drift past. Removed from the ability to truly discern the passage of time, he is trapped in an endless present, ever aware of the past, but incapable of feeling any form of regard for the future.

Ram rules no lands, and holds no income from the surrounding lands. He and his castle simply are, an immovable and immeasurable part of their surroundings. Despite a lack of funds, or even major economy, Ram and those he entertains never want for food, water, or any amenities. Recognized by the local major powers as a neutral body, Ram and Castle Incarnadine are often called upon to host peace treaties and delegations, though he makes sure to warn his guests of the castle's deceptive nature.

Ram's history is long, but his origins are strangest of all. Once a powerful human warlock from millennia past, he changed himself into a great and terrible beast, neither smoke nor substance, all consuming and unfathomable to mortal eyes, in a bid to conquer the world. In doing so, he lost control of the spell, becoming the terrible aberrant his magic had created. Decieved by an opposing mage, his form was bound into the substance of the castle, and his mortal form forever twisted by the dire magics he had once wrought.

Cursed to remain forever, untouched by time, until he had fully absolved himself of the deeds that he had wrought, Ram works tirelessly to aid those in need, in the hopes of finally dying, freed from his dual existence as castle and lord.

These days, Ram's past is far behind him, and he scarcely gives it a second thought. Though ever polite and kind, his concepts of danger, logic, and time are skewed by the aberrant nature of his second form. He is described as aloof, though well meaning, subject to a set of mad laws that include only himself in their design.

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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted RGTraynor
July 6, 2011, 7:43

Solid sub.  I'd like to see more on what Ram looks like and what precisely he can do now, as well as a writeup about the interior of the castle, which sounds like a perfectly good spot for some plot.

July 6, 2011, 9:17
I never thought to ask. All I can tell you is that the interior looks new.
Voted Cheka Man
July 6, 2011, 13:24

Good but could be much better. 3.5/5

Voted MysticMoon
July 6, 2011, 18:27

I really like the potential I see in this. Having said that, it feels more like a summary than a sub to me. There is just enough detail to get me intrigued but not enough to really sink my teeth into.

For instance, the description of the outside of the castle is evocative, but the inside is a complete mystery (as RGTraynor pointed out already.) There is only a single paragraph detailing the history of the castle and only one sentence about the enigmatic, deceitful mage who opposed Ram's world-conquering ambitions. Who was this mage? How was he/she/it aware of what Ram was doing and why be the one to derail Ram's plans? This history seems, to me at least, to have a strong bearing on the nature of this stronghold and therefore important to understanding it.

There is a hint of who Ram is but no real examples. He went from power-mad to blase? There must be a deeper story there and I'd love to read it. And what is the "deceitful nature" of Castle Incarnadine? I love the idea of a sentient, untrustworthy castle (the better to torture my players with), but I need to have a better idea of what that means in this context.

In other words, the "why's" are as important to me as the "what's."

Perhaps I would understand this better if I was more acquainted with the Planescape setting (I left D&D behind some time ago.) I am vaguely aware of what Sigil is and that portals play a role in the setting, but not much more beyond that. I've seen pictures of Tieflings but know little about them as a race and/or culture. A little more context would give me enough to translate this into my own game.

A tentative 3/5, but this has the potential to be so much more (and I will happily reread and revote if it gets expanded.)

July 7, 2011, 1:19

I often leave ideas half finished and full of plotholes, in part to allow me to fill it in on my terms, in part to make sure that other people can fill it in as they like.

I actually based both Ram and the castle off of the books Castle Perilous, which is another reason that I don't want to add too much detail. It's fine to borrow ideas, or be inspired by a location, but if I go into too much detail, I might be tempted to make it too much like its inspiration.

A lot of the lack of detail stems from the fact, though, that I haven't really got a clue as to what the castle looks like, how Ram got where he is, and so on and so forth.

I don't play the planescape setting (I didn't even know it had a name), but I did read about the city of Sigil in one of my books.

As for culture and history for tieflings, I don't know a ton either. My style is mainly to make stuff up on the fly, so I rarely look at stuff beyond general descriptions, and pick and choose what sounds cool.

Sorry it's so lacking in detail, I know it isn't a top-knotch post like some of the ones on the site, but until I myself know more about Castle Incarnadine, I can't really expand it.

Ancient Gamer
July 7, 2011, 4:41
Strolenites have contributed to this site with great articles that could be just what you are looking for! Just guide your mouse pointer up to the "articles" menu under the header graphic of this site, and pick a sub category of your choosing. "Scenario", "Setting Building", and so on should be right up your alley.

We have some pretty decent stuff in here that can help you out!

Check it out, I recommend it! :D
July 7, 2011, 8:44
Well ... the simple answer is: flesh it out. You created the Castle, you get to invent what details suit you. One trick I use for such things is to hit up a basket of sites (including Wikipedia and to delve into real world castles, manors and the like for ideas. For instance:

Malachite Room: The walls are covered in sheets of malachite, as are most of the furniture, while the floor is done in mosaic tile of shades of green, upholstery is in rich green velvet and even the glass of the lamps is tinted pale green. Such contrasting trim as exists is muted gold. Recently restored, and used as a formal audience chamber for situations not calling for the use of the Tinaiglos.

That's a chamber in the Vinarian imperial palace; I was inspired by reading about the Amber Room of St. Petersburg's Tsarskoye Selo ( Detail like that's easy to knock off, especially for something that's an important campaign element.
Voted EchoMirage
July 8, 2011, 6:02

As said, it is a summary, and needs to be fleshed out, with cool locales inside, plots and more detail in general about the castle and Ram.

July 10, 2011, 19:50

  Well, I see the vagueness as an open canvas - though not everyone wants that.  This feels to me like a good start for your megapatron that sends PCs on their adventurers.  I tend towards sandbox style play - pc directed - so this is less useful to me, but I can see how this can be useful to others.

As for the details, Add them - this sub is open for amendments.

Tieflings are basically (half-demon/devil/etc)/half humans - major feature is they are intrinsically magical due to their mixed heritage. I don't think this aspect is that critical to the sub - it really only enlightens D&D based games as to some additional mechanics available to that character type.  Being a tiefling does impose some metaphysical constraints on the game world - half demon crossbreeds being possible at all, for example.

Were I to do it, I'd create a race of my own that captured whatever aspect I wanted to bring to the character, or leave him as generically human.

Voted valadaar
July 10, 2011, 19:50
Only voted
Voted Silveressa
July 11, 2011, 9:59

An interesting place to toss into the local surroundings and watchthe PC's run themsevles ragged tyrign to learn all they can about this "mystery" and make sense of it. 

I would like to see mroe about the Ram and his dire deeds that led to his entrapment within the castle. Perhaps having the PC's helping to free the Ram so he may rest in piece could lead to a small series of adventures or even an entire campaign?

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       By: EchoMirage

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