Ed Stark wrote:

> I am still discussing the release of BR material online with the Brand
> Manager in charge of it. While I know it isn't particularly comforting, the
> fact that we haven't posted BOOK OF REGENCY, any of the "Shadow World"
> material, or the revisions to the BR HC online should indicate I'm not
> kidding when I say BR should be back sometime.

Sounds like a promising venture to me.... I'll start saving my game bucks! :)

> I've heard this, but not much more than you appear to know. As a huge
> Tolkien fan, I would love to see a decent movie version.

I've heard rumors of the movie too, and look forward to such a production. (I
liked the Ralph flick though....)

Now onto the purpose of the post:
I was thinking about the Shadow World last night, and I am curious to hear what
all of you (and Ed) think. Consider the following just a brain storm of ideas....

Now, if the SW is FULL of undead, and is "controlled" by these minions of the
nether world in the same manner that Cerilia is 'controlled' by Regents, where do
they come from? How do they repopulate? Are they free willed?

I would like to think (and hope) that a new approach to the undead is taken this
time around. I'm tired of the 'evil necromancer creating & controlling undead',
and the entire lich ideology is becoming old hat. How about some new angles?

I suggest that the undead of the Shadow World are in fact, legitimate, self aware
entities. Perhaps originally hailing from the abyss or similar dark hidey hole,
and maybe, just maybe, the Cold Rider has managed to further 'adapt' and 'educate'
these undead ghoulies. (Kind of like what Azrai did with the Vos).

So if the undead of the SW can rule kingdoms, how do they re-populate their lands?

Well, If some of the 'higher' forms of undead are capable of self replication
(wights & ghouls, for example) then these types could form the 'population
base'. I suggest that the lower forms, such as zombies and skeletons, might be
little more than the corpses & remains of travelers who have entered the SW in
some way. The remains of the ghouls & wights who have perished might also become
re animated as these lower forms. Perhaps the undead are so 'attuned' to the
shadow world, that they cannot truly be destroyed? Perhaps that's the ultimate
curse... anything that dies in the SW is fated to be 'reborn' again and again? So
the wight dies, and is 'reborn as a skeleton. The skeleton is 'slain' in some
way, and it only 'reforms' again in a day? A fortnight?

Ghosts might be the ultimate example of this endless cycle. After an entity has
been 'destroyed' so many times, that the physical body can longer be manifested
(burnt to ashes for example), perhaps results in the 'spirit' (I know, undead
don't have 'spirits', but bear with me...) being risen as a
ghost/ghast/spectre??? These guys might be sought out by the Cold Rider for some
evil purpose. Perhaps the Cold Rider 'collects' them for some dire purpose?

The Halflings.... perhaps the halflings are similar to the 'Vistanni" of Ravenloft
(:::ducks behind a flame proof shield:::) in that they still travel the land,
seeking to 'lift the shadow' so to speak. These small, under estimated guys (in
every campaign I have ever seen) might be the ultimate nemesis of the Cold Rider.
They might be organized into small 'cells' of resistance fighters, who venture
back and forth between the SW and Cerilia in order to further their cause.
Perhaps the halfling race is itself 'divided' into two 'races', ones who can
Shadow Walk, and ones who can't. Perhaps the halflings who are born in Cerilia
can Shadow Walk, as they were not 'born with the Cold Riders curse' in their
veins, while those unfortunate halfings born in the SW are possessed of this
'taint' and cannot leave. Thus, they form the main resistance, while the Cerilian
halflings work to free their 'lesser' kin.
A race of halflings who are as trapped in the SW as the Cold Rider gives the plane
the much needed 'innocence factor' that is needed in order illustrate the
'evilness' of the SW proper. What's evil without goodness to offset it?

When I think of the SW, I envision it very similar in flavor to 'Woody Hollow'
(the headless horseman tale... can't remember the name or author though). I see
blackened trees, Dry brown leaves flying through the night on a cold autumn wind.
All in all, a very 'halloween-ish' flavor. Replace the human factors of the tale
with undead, and you have the Shadow World.

At least, that's the way I see it.

- --
"I am your humble knight, and I swear allegiance to the courage and power in your
So strong it is, it's source must be Uther Pendragon."
The Draftmine (Home of the Brass Boar & other Oddities.)
Brenna's Blood Secret PbeM (A Haven's of the Great Bay PBeM.)