Red Moon Roleplaying

Dark worlds await

Curse of Strahd 07: Wallachia

The area known as Wallachia is a historical region of Romania that, under the leadership of the legendary voivode Radu the Black, broke free from Hungary in 1290. As the years passed the Ottoman Empire was growing rapidly on the southern border and came to dominate much of the Balkans, including Wallachia which was ultimately forced to become a vassal of the growing empire in 1417.

Accepting this status caused an internal crisis in the country that its leader, Vlad II Dracul, had to navigate carefully. The Ottoman Empire, knowing that Vlad had been a member of the ”Order of the Dragon”, a group of noblemen who opposed the Ottoman invasion, demanded Vlad II hand over his sons as hostages. He reluctantly accepted this and continued to rule an increasingly unruly nation.

In 1447 Vlad II was assassinated by Wallachian noblemen. To avoid the country spiraling deeper in to chaos the Ottoman Empire released Vlad’s son, Vlad III Dracul, to take the reins of the nation. Vlad III put the conspirators to death and brought order... but did so with an iron fist that spared no cruelty to those that challenged him. He earned the nickname “the Impaler” because of his favored method of execution.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  The principality of Wallachia.

The principality of Wallachia.

Curse of Strahd 06: Métis

The French word Métis is derived from the latin mixtus and refers to a hybrid or someone of mixed ancestry. The term is most commonly used for Canadians with dual Indian-White ancestry, typically tracing their lineage back to unions between European trappers and traders and Algonquian women.

After the fall of New France in 1763 a distinctly unique identity began to foment among the Métis and they even formed their own nation. This Métis nation resisted the colonization efforts of Canada, a country that didn't exactly offer equality. 

This culminated in the North-West rebellion, an uprising by the Métis and a few other aboriginal groups against the Canadian state. The uprising was crushed... but today the Métis are recognized within the Canadian constitution as an ethnic group with their own culture and given special aboriginal rights.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  The Trapper's Bride.

The Trapper's Bride.

Curse of Strahd 05: Alfr

In the Prose Edda, a book written in 1220 by the Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson, two kinds of elves are described. The Ljósálfar are the light elves, fairer than the sun to look at, dwelling in the heavenly Álfheimr. Then there are the Dökkálfar, dark and swarthy and living underground.

The light and dark elves have been interpreted to be Sturluson taking the Christian stories of angels and demons and incorporating them in to Norse mythology.  As the "Elucidarium", an encyclopedia of Christian stories had been translated to Icelandic in the previous century it is believed that this could have served as an inspiration for Sturluson.

While the duality of light and dark, good and evil, are not unique to Christianity, it is still believed the stories of the light and dark elves may be one of few early examples of Christian stories being "paganised".

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  The light and the dark.

The light and the dark.

Symbaroum: Lost in the Deep II / II

"In the ruins of Symbaroum a dream sight revealed
a well, a cauldron, a sinkhole.

Out of its depth a blightling came sidling,
filth forged in flesh, cruelty carved in bone,
a decoction of the World Serpent's marrow.

The blight beast ogled me hungrily
and in its burning eyes I saw the death of all"


Adventure: Lost in the Deep, Symbaroum. Part II of II.
Music: Iron Pact Orchestra, Sjellos and Halgrath

There is right now a Kickstarter going for the campaign module "Yndaros: The Darkest Star" for Symbaroum and you can make your pledge here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/449518387/yndaros-the-darkest-star-award-winning-symbaroum-c

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  The ruins.

The ruins.

Curse of Strahd 04: Cartomancy

Not long after playing cards appeared in Europe, around the 1400’s and 1500’s, they began to be used for fortune telling and divination. The tarot deck of playing cards especially became widely used for this purpose.

There were theories that the practice originated in ancient Egypt and the mysteries of Isis. The French priest Antoine Court de Gébelin even asserted that the name Tarot came from the Egyptian words "Tar" (road) and "Ro" (king), and translated to ”The Royal Road of Life”.

Other authors took this further and connected the use of the Tarot with the Romani people and asserted that, not only was the Tarot of Egyptian origin, so were the Romani people. 

The mistaken belief that Romani are in fact Egyptians is the etymology of the word “Gypsy”. That word, as well as connecting the Romani with the Tarot in popular culture, is something still very much alive today.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  The future is in the cards.

The future is in the cards.

Symbaroum: Lost in the Deep I / II

There has been a breach of one of the ancient taboos. Uldo, a young goblin from the barbarian village of Lobaram, has in an attempt to prove himself worthy decided to guide a group of Ambrian explorers into one of the ancient ruins in the forest of Davokar. 

Knowing that these ruins are grounds tabooed by the Huldra, his older brother, Uhuglas, who has been honored with title of the chieftain's personal guard, is very ashamed of his brother's actions. He, along with the village witch, Algaya, has decided to take things into their own hands in order to try and stop Uldo… before it's too late. 

Together with Algaya's fierce animal familiar, the boar Mortia, they have traveled for a few days in to the depths of the forest. However, there has been no sign of the rascal Uldo and the Ambrian company. Now Uhuglas, Algaya and Mortia are standing at the outskirts of the ruins, the ancient grounds where no one from the tribes have set foot, with the risk of suffering heavy corruption from whatever dark force might be lurking in there.

There is right now a Kickstarter going for the campaign module "Yndaros: The Darkest Star" for Symbaroum and you can make your pledge here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/449518387/yndaros-the-darkest-star-award-winning-symbaroum-c

Adventure: Lost in the Deep, Symbaroum. Part I of II.
Music: Iron Pact Orchestra, Sjellos and Halgrath

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Symbaroum.jpg
  Taboo.

Taboo.

Neotech Edge: Rentacops 02 / 02

The year is 2070. The world is ravaged by climate disasters, class division and war. From a devastated countryside and nations swallowed by the ocean a flood of refugees pours in to the bustling megacities. They become part of the kaleidoscope of subcultures that are constantly fighting to assert themselves in the overwhelming media buzz.

Automatization and AI bring prosperity to a new genetically modified social elite while the masses accept a corporately sponsored universal basic income and stream artificial happiness straight from the Layers right in to their optical nerves. The System, a symbiosis of AI-controlled corporations and states surveils and herds the masses to the temple of mass consumption. But in a world where everything is connected, hacking has become a new form of magic. The movement Anon is linked together through darknets where the System is beginning to be turned against itself.

It  doesn’t matter if your posse is made up of tech-savvy Anons, the Nomo environmental radicals, spaced out Orbitals, hardened Krims or glamorous Nymphets. The world is anyways rushing towards collapse… or towards a new post-singularity paradise.

Neotech Edge is being Kickstarted (Swedish only currently) right now and you can make your pledge here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/helmgast/neotech-edge-reboot-av-det-klassiska-cyberpunk-rol

Adventure: Rentacops, Neotech Edge. Part 2 of 2.
Music by: protoU, album "The Edge of Architecture"

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  2070.

2070.

Curse of Strahd 03: Renfield Syndrome

Renfield syndrome, or clinical vampirism, is the unusual obsession with drinking blood. The syndrome is named after Dracula’s follower R.M. Renfield who appears in Bram Stoker’s novel from 1897

The condition has appeared in psychiatric literature dating as far back as 1892 and has usually been mentioned in connection with extraordinarily violent crimes. It’s not, however, recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the very few cases that have been recorded could be regarded as forms of schizophrenia or paraphilia.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  "Love and Pain", Edvard Munch 1895

"Love and Pain", Edvard Munch 1895

Neotech Edge: Rentacops 01 / 02

Sentry PRD, OpC, Pact-district 143, New Kai Tak, 2070

This introductory mode of Sensei will with clear visualizations give you everything you need to know for a quick and painless start in the world’s largest security company, Sentry. Hong Kong and The Pearl River Delta is one of our premier markets and here 30000 others just like you, from all walks of life, have realized that correctly prioritized security and investigation is a service in demand throughout the middle class market.

You have already been placed in an optimized team of Patrol Officers, Incident Officers and Enforcement Officers in order to surveil, intervene, investigate and sentence perpetrators involved in breaches of the law against our clients. The market will be reassured that insurance with Sentry means a safe and secure every day...

At GothCon Craig and Hjalmar had the privilege of playing the scenario ”Rentacops” for Helmgast’s upcoming roleplaying game Neotech Edge. The Gamemaster was Ola Jentzsch and this time we were also joined by a third player, Jenny Bremberg.

Neotech Edge is being Kickstarted (Swedish only currently) right now and you can make your pledge here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/helmgast/neotech-edge-reboot-av-det-klassiska-cyberpunk-rol

Adventure: Rentacops, Neotech Edge. Part 1 of 2.
Music by: protoU, album "The Edge of Architecture"

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  Neotech Edge.

Neotech Edge.

Curse of Strahd 02: Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is believed by some to be the burial shroud that Jesus of Nazareth was wrapped in when he was buried after the crucifixion.  On it remains the negative image of what is believed to be his face. The true nature of the shroud is a controversial topic however with many studies coming out supporting the shroud’s authenticity, and many rejecting it.

A digital study in 1978 reported detecting the impressions of coins placed on both eyes. A two-lepton coin on the right eyelid and a one-lepton coin on the left.

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  Shrouded in mystery.

Shrouded in mystery.

Curse of Strahd 01: Beregost 1391 DR

The storm is raging tonight over the town of Beregost. Wind and rain pelt the town with a fury odd for this time of year. A thick mist has also descended upon the town causing many tonight to be staying firmly indoors.

The hour is late, yet there still seems to be some activity occurring at the old “Burning Wizard” inn. It is here that Dawnbringer Roman will meet the half-orc Roshik. It is here our story will begin.

Follow us… into the mist...

Campaign: “Curse of Strahd”, Dungeons & Dragons
Music by: Metatron Omega, Flowers for Bodysnatchers & Wordclock

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  Our story begins...

Our story begins...

The Black Madonna: Q&A

A big thank you to all who sent in questions regarding our playthrough of “The Black Madonna”. We answered every question we got and hope that you will enjoy our answers.
With this we close the book on “The Black Madonna” and bid it a fond farewell.

Next Friday it’s time for our new campaign, “Curse of Strahd” for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition with Craig as the Dungeon Master.

Campaign: "The Black Madonna", KULT: Divinity Lost
Music by: Atrium Carceri

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The Black Madonna: Postmortem

That’s it. It’s over. After 17 play sessions and 35 episodes we have finally finished “The Black Madonna” for KULT: Divinity Lost. The journey took us from Hamburg to Berlin, Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, Moscow and finally Leningrad, with stops in the Dream World and Inferno.

Listen to us talk at length about our experiences in this postmortem that was recorded two days after we finished the campaign, back in mid-December of last year.

Tomorrow we will be answering your questions!

Campaign: "The Black Madonna", KULT: Divinity Lost
Music by: Atrium Carceri

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The Black Madonna 35: Victory Day

The Great Patriotic War came to define the soul of the Soviet Union. It was a brutal, merciless slaughter and the Soviet war dead, both civilian and military, is estimated at 25 million people. 1.5 million of those died at the Siege of Leningrad. It was the sacrifice and perseverance of the people of the Soviet Union that ultimately defeated Nazi Germany.

But what followed the war was not peace, but a Cold War, a paranoid regime that murdered millions of its own people, tried to control their thoughts and worked them to death in gulags. A dictatorship that made slaves of the people they supposedly had liberated.  Half of Europe was plunged in to a repressive darkness… and dawn did not break until 1989.

Yet, the sacrifices of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War are celebrated every year on May 9th at Red Square. Victory Day.

This is the end. Apotheosis.

Campaign: "The Black Madonna", KULT: Divinity Lost
Music by: Atrium Carceri

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  Victory?

Victory?

  That which is guarded.

That which is guarded.

  The Crypts underneath the Black Cathedral and Kalenko's Palace.

The Crypts underneath the Black Cathedral and Kalenko's Palace.

The Black Madonna 34: Gorbachev

Mikhail Sergeyvich Gorbachev was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union. He launched the policies of glasnost and perestroika, allowed free speech and established elected legislatures at every level of power. His goal was not the destruction of the Soviet Union or the dismantling of the communist state, it was to modernize and reform the country. The communist system was a dictatorship with little regard for human rights yes, but Gorbachev insisted that there were many positive aspects that were worth saving.

“We were too late with our reforms… The Soviet Union offered lots of prospects to those who lived there, and it could have had a future if it had modernized and adapted to new challenges. Yes, I regret its collapse very much” he said in an interview in 2011.

Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War.

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  Savior or destroyer?

Savior or destroyer?

Interview with Gunilla Jonsson and Michael Petersen

A dream came true for us when we got the chance to have a lengthy conversation with Gunilla Jonsson and Michael Petersen, the designers of The Black Madonna and the original KULT that came out in 1991.

Today they are working on new material for KULT: Divinity Lost as well as a novel set in the universe, and we got an opportunity to talk to them about the history of the game, as well as the future!

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  Gunilla & Michael.

Gunilla & Michael.

Interview with Petter Nallo, Helmgast

The man behind the mythos in KULT: Divinity Lost is the acclaimed Swedish master of horrors, Petter Nallo. We had the opportunity to spend an hour with him talking about the process of making KULT: Divinity Lost, the vision that the team at Helmgast has and also some exciting thoughts about the future.

We hope that you will find this interview… enlightening.

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The Black Madonna 33: OMON

OMON, Otryad Militsii Osobogo Naznacheniya (the Special Purpose Police Unit) were created as the special forces of the Soviet police in 1988. It is a paramilitary force and used without hesitation to violently crack down on demonstrations and riots. They were also used extensively during the dissolution of the Soviet Union as well as the later conflict in Chechnya. Their signature is the black berets that they wear.

They were regularly deployed to disrupt the Moscow Pride parade and harass and arrest those participating. In 2012 a Moscow court banned gay pride parades in the city for the next one hundred years.

Campaign: "The Black Madonna", KULT: Divinity Lost
Music by: Atrium Carceri

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  Goon squad of the Kremlin.

Goon squad of the Kremlin.

  Missile Base M13.

Missile Base M13.

The Black Madonna 32: Chumak

Allan Chumak was a faith healer whose TV show was popular in the years before the fall of the Soviet Union. Having lost their faith in communism and their government the populace turned to the supernatural and the “extrasensory powers” of Chumak.

It was believed that he was capable of “distance-healing” and could make any liquid become a medicine able to heal illnesses. In anticipation of the show viewers across Russia would put jars with water, toothpaste and other liquids in front of their TV screens, waiting for Chumak to apply his powers through the airwaves.

At its peak his show had millions of viewers, viewers hoping that a former journalist turned healer could make them healthy and… perhaps even help alleviate their fears of the impending collapse. Allan Chumak died in 2017.

Campaign: "The Black Madonna", KULT: Divinity Lost
Music by: Atrium Carceri

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  Have faith.

Have faith.

The Black Madonna 31: Fulcrum

Mikoyan Gurevich 29, MiG-29. A beautiful killer, commissioned by Soviet High Command in 1969 specifically to dominate the air and counter the threat posed by the F-15 and F-16 fighter platforms. NATO designated it “Fulcrum”, one of the more flattering designations given to a Soviet aircraft.

When the wall fell and Germany was reunited, the new German state retained a number of MiG-29s from the former East German Nationale Volksarmee. This was the first time NATO was able to get their hands on one of these planes and the German squadron flying the Fulcrums found themselves bombarded with requests from NATO pilots for a chance to fly against them.

The biggest advantage the MiG-29 had was the monocular lens system the pilot could wear, giving him the ability to lock R73-Vympel missiles on targets far away from where the aircraft's nose was pointed to. Together with an excellent air frame this made the MiG-29 truly deadly in dogfights, humbling many of the foreign visitors in their first tangles with the Fulcrum.

Campaign: "The Black Madonna", KULT: Divinity Lost
Music by: Atrium Carceri

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  The support about which a lever pivots.

The support about which a lever pivots.

  Air Base F3.

Air Base F3.