It appears that this post did't get through before so I sent it back in.

>Date: Wed, 06 Aug 1997 19:51:50
>To: birthright@MPGN.COM
>From: Joao Medeiros
>Subject: Re: [BIRTHRIGHT] - A ravenloft link.
>See embedded notes.
>> Has anyone else noticed a definate link between Ravenloft and
>>Birthright? well, maybe link is a strong word. How about similarity. I
>>have a small thesis on this subject, and would like some feedback on it.
> Although the idea does sound a little far fetched I do have a few
things to suggest. First, there is an obvious similarity between the ability
of the Darklords of Ravenloft to use the mists to isolate their realms and
the realm spell "Warding"(Book of Magecraft p.115).
>> Superficially, Stradh von Zarovich sounds like a Vos name to me. If
>>that were all, I would discount this entire abtch of theories as I would
>>a Brecht agreement.
> To me the name sounds more Rjuven or Brect.
>>But, When Stradh took over the land of Barovia in a
>>war, he claimed that "He was the land, the land was he." or words to that
>>effect. Stradh also dabbled in magic, particularly necromancy. Now here
>>is where the theory gets a little rough. Assuming that Azrai did not die
>>when he was "killed" at Diesmaar, then it is possible that he
>>transplanted himself into another form. That of a demi-plane. Now, if
>>that is the case, then it's possible that he feeds on evil, much as an
>>evil god would. So, Azrai had planned an escape path, becoming a plane.
> If this is so then you might be interested in chapter 3 of Van
Ricten's Guide to Fiends. This chapter explains how fiends trapped in
Ravenloft can "absorb" some of the land's power in a ritual, and at the same
time binding themselves to the land. Perhaps they are investing some of
Azrai's bloodline into themselves. If so the powers that they gain afterward
can be described as blood abilities.
> This brings me to another point: in Ravenloft when a person
performs a nefarious act he is rewarded by the "Dark Powers" with some
physical transformation and special abilities. Do they recieve enough of
Azrai's blood to become Ravenloft's awnsheighlien?
>> Now then, it's a little hard to believe that no one on Cerilia knew
>>about all of this going on. It is possible, though, since a titanic war
>>was going on and those do make it a little hard to concentratre on other
>>things than the Oorog about to stick his pike through your liver. So, who
>>would be the most likely candidate to know about all of theis evil
>>foolishness going on? Probably the Matestians, as they were the most wise
>>and magically inclined of ther races. So, the Matestians saw what the
>>Shadow was up to, and realized that someone had to put a stop to it,
>>immediately if not sooner. So when Azrai went off to become the Dem plane
>>of dread, then they went with him, through other conduits in the
>>multiverse, and became the Visanti, wandering around on the plane, trying
>>to keep things under control. However, over the years in Ravenloft, many
>>generations, and a day or two in Darkon, it's likely that they forgot
>>their origins, and hve constructed the stories they now have.
> If you stick to this then another entity that knows about this
would be Nesirie, who was herself a Masetian. I recommend that in your
campaign her priests secretly search for a way to prevent Azrai's return, or
possibly even destroy him.
>> So, when Azrai/Ravenloft finds a particularly evil personage in the
>>multiverse, it pull them in and basically grants them bloodline like
>>powers and domains. As their evil festers and grows, so does their
>>power. And if Azrai ever wants to come back to Cerilia, the one that got
>>away, he could harvest the power on the plane and basically become a god
>> Let me know what you think about this. I'm thinking about working
>>this thread into my game at some point in the near future, and always
>>appreciate input.
>> Kurt N. Wiegel
> You may also want to consider that the Demi-Plane has already been
discovered, in the form of the Shadow World. The Atlas of Cerilia says on
page 9 that "this realm is populated by undead creatures; skeletons and
zombies serve as laboring peasants, ghouls run towns,and GHOSTS CONTROL
ENTIRE KINGDOMS (emphasis mine)". This describes some areas of Ravenloft,
you can assume that the parts populated by living beings just haven't been
explored yet. Another factor that supports this theory is that the shadow
world was discovered just after the Battle of Mount Deismaar.
> I propose that the "cold rider" described by the halflings after
their flight was actually Azrai's Brect\Rjuven\Vos general Strahd von
Zarcovich, sent to the plane to conquer for his lord and prepare for his coming.
> When Azrai arrived he rewarded Strahd with the rule of the first
darkrealm. Then as Azrai regained the power that he lost at Deismaar, he
drew more darkrealms into "himself", rewarding the cruelty of the rulers
with regency in his realm.
> If you accept this so far then assume that Strahd and the other
Darklords are the regents of the plane. Their powers and those of regents
are quite similar.
> As for the ability of Cerilians to get out of the Shadow
World\Ravenloft, I would say that since these two worlds are so tightly
linked, Cerilians are able to move between them with greater facility.
> Finally if you wish a direct link between Ravenloft and Cerilia
then I suggest the province of Sideath in the Gorgon's Crown, which is
described in the domain book for Tuarhievel as being "more in the
Shadowworld than not". If this is so the Sideath's Regent/Darklord would be
the elf known as the Lich, who made the connection accidentaly and has been
unable to undo thus far.
> I hope that this helps you.
> -Joao Medeiros