Black Crusade: New Ravenloft fiction

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Hey, guys. I wanted to let you know about this, in case you didn't see the links from the WotC publishing page.

A while back, I was contracted to write a novel entitled Black Crusade, as part of the new Ravenloft: Dominion fiction line. (For those who don't know, the point behind that line was, at least in part, to draw characters and setting into Ravenloft from Earth history, rather than other D&D setting.) Alas, that line was canceled before the novel could be published in hard copy.

However, the novel is still going to see the light of day (or maybe "the dark of night" would be more appropriate for Ravenloft). It's appearing as a weekly serial, published on the WotC site. The prologue is up here--http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090116--with new chapters supposed to appear on a weekly basis.

Hope you all enjoy.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
i was looking for this thread ever since i read the prologue.
amazing work. i bought the first two dominion books but this was the one i really wanted.:D

thank you!
In case people missed, it, chapters one and two are up now as well.

One: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090123

Two: http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090130
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Chapter six (with one of my favorite lines in the entire book) is up: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090227
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
I'm very happy that they are at least releasing this. After the way the book department fell down on the new novels. (didn't advertise them, failed to follow through with scheduled ones etc) at least we got two new ones out of the deal (Heaven's Bones and Mithras Court) but even those didnt have the ravenloft logo so no one knows about them.
at least this one is being seen by the fans.
-ashy
Glad you're enjoying it, Ashy.

Chapter eight: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090313
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Chapter fourteen, in which we rejoin Diederic on his hunt... http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090424
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Mouseferatu,
Just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying the "Black Crusade" so far!

I started out reading it on the WotC site, thinking at first it was just some fiction set on Earth. Then it quite clearly became very much *not* on Earth, but it still didn't click with me that it was Ravenloft, even after the "mists" were mentioned a couple of times. Only recently, when you started talking about "domains of dread" and their lords did I finally go "Oh, hey -- that's Ravenloft!". I was never really into Ravenloft, but I knew of it.

Yeah, I'm a little slow ;)

Anyhow, great story so far. I look forward to reading each new chapter (very fast paced too, which is good for an online distribution model!)

I'm secretly hoping that we'll see a twist at the end, as so far I'm liking the "good guy, but with evil tendencies" and "bad guy, but with good intentions" characters.
Mouseferatu,
Just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying the "Black Crusade" so far!

Thank you. Hope the last bits don't let ya down.

Chapter eighteen up now: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090522

Only one more to go.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
That was fantastic. Man, can you write cosmic horror or can you write cosmic horror?!

Is Agents of Artifice anywhere near this awesome? I might have to pick it up.

(On another note, I was really glad that Diedric didn't kill the Redbreast the High Confessor sent with him to get Lambrecht. I like how Diedric is really badass and no-nonsense, but when he attacked that particular Redbreast I thought he was going to murder him in cold blood. I'm glad that Diedric still remains grim and somewhat cutthroat, but is still unwilling to be entirely evil.)

I'm almost sad to hear there's only one more chapter. I won't have anything to do on fridays now. :P (And I'm really worried that Lambrecht will win. I don't know if bad endings are par for course in Ravenloft, and Lamchrecht is one slippery bastard.)
Planes Wanderer
Is Agents of Artifice anywhere near this awesome? I might have to pick it up.

Well, I'm probably not the most unbiased source to answer that question. ;)

It's a different sort of story, more fantasy and less horror. But I think there's a pretty good chance, if you liked the writing on Black Crusade, that you'll enjoy Agents of Artifice as well.

I'm almost sad to hear there's only one more chapter. I won't have anything to do on fridays now. :P

Well, if you pick up Agents... ;)

What might interest you, if you're not already aware of them, is that I've got two short stories also available for free on the WotC web site.

"Pyre": http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20081027a

"Before I Wake": http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20071031a

"Pyre" is a slightly dark fantasy tale, while "Before I Wake" is another Ravenloft story, deliberately written as an H. P. Lovecraft pastiche. (But knowledge of Ravenloft isn't necessary; in fact, if you went in not knowing it was a RL story, you'd probably never even realize it.)

(And I'm really worried that Lambrecht will win. I don't know if bad endings are par for course in Ravenloft, and Lamchrecht is one slippery bastard.)

Well, I won't give away the ending, but I will say that, in a setting like Ravenloft, it's common for characters to get the ending they deserve, not necessarily the one they'd have wanted.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Well, I won't give away the ending, but I will say that, in a setting like Ravenloft, it's common for characters to get the ending they deserve, not necessarily the one they'd have wanted.

....Diedric is going to be the Dark Lord of Malosia, isn't he? :P

I'm going to check out Before I Wake right now!

EDIT: HOLY CRAP! That was awesome. Please, please continue writing cosmic horror stories. Man! The way you described the Nurse... like... hollowed out with the back missing.... uhg! *shudder* Man, you seriously need to pitch an entire series of cosmic horror novels because I'm sure every last one of them would fly off the shelves.
Man, do you like Eberron? I would kill for an Eberron novel written by you, focusing on Dealkyr stuff. (Okay, maybe not kill... don't want to come off as creepy as your stories :embarrass )
Planes Wanderer
(Okay, maybe not kill... don't want to come off as creepy as your stories :embarrass )



No worries. I'm not a big enough name yet for me to have gotten creeped out by fans. ;)

I'm actually a big fan of Eberron. I've worked on a lot of the gaming books, and I do have an a short story in the Tales of the Last War anthology. There are no current plans for me to write an Eberron novel, but schedule permitting, I certainly wouldn't turn the opportunity down if and when it comes up.

I do have an original novel coming out from Bantam Spectra early next year, called The Conqueror's Shadow. It's a fantasy novel, not horror--which makes it closer to Agents of Artifice than Black Crusade--but it's certainly got a lot of dark aspects to it. It's not quite what you were asking for, but I think you might enjoy it.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
You're in Tales of the Last War? I'll have to dig that up, I read the whole thing. ...was it the Xen'drik/warforged story? Just guessing off the top of my head.

I'll definately have to keep an eye out for your books. Talent like yours should be supported.
Planes Wanderer
was it the Xen'drik/warforged story? Just guessing off the top of my head.

Nope. Actually, mine was the very last story in the book, "The Flight of the Righteous Indignation."

I'll definately have to keep an eye out for your books. Talent like yours should be supported.

I appreciate that.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
And so the Crusade comes to an end.

Chapter nineteen: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090529

While I'll always regret that this book never saw actual print, I'm delighted that you were able to see it in some form. I had a blast writing this one; I hope you all had as much fun reading it.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
By the way, for those who are interested, the editorial calendar says that they'll be putting up a compiled version of the whole book next Friday.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Wow didnt find this thread til I finished the book. WOW. I have been reading this since the 1st one, and I have come back everyweek for the new installment. I loved it. hope you write more Ravenloft fiction.

Neil
Wow didnt find this thread til I finished the book. WOW. I have been reading this since the 1st one, and I have come back everyweek for the new installment. I loved it. hope you write more Ravenloft fiction.

Neil

I'm really glad you liked it. :D

While there's no more Ravenloft fiction currently on my schedule, I do have other novels written in a somewhat similar style. Agents of Artifice is a Magic: the Gathering novel, but it requires no real familiarity with M:tG; it was written to appeal to newcomers as well as old fans. And I've got a completely original novel, called The Conqueror's Shadow, coming out from Bantam Spectra in February. (You can find links to both in my sig.)
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
By the way, for those who are interested, the editorial calendar says that they'll be putting up a compiled version of the whole book next Friday.

Cool.
....Diedric is going to be the Dark Lord of Malosia, isn't he? :P

Called it! :P

Ari, that was amazing. And suddenly, the whole Empyrean Church being so foul on the inside makes sense. A reflection of Diedric.

Simply amazing.
Planes Wanderer
Called it! :P

Indeed you did. I sort of had to bite my tongue--well, I guess "my fingers," since this is a messageboard ;)--not to say anything.

Simply amazing.

Aw, shucks. :embarrass

Seriously, thank you. I'm thrilled people enjoyed it so much.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
i want to say that i also enjoyed it much.

have started to read every friday until the story was focused on lambrecht. then i stopped and had read now the rest. it fits better my normal reading - normally i read a fantasy novel in a tenday or fewer.

i'm happy that it was for free. i would never have picked i up in the store because i normally only reading forgotten realms novels. but i like your writting, so i could imagine i will pick up a few books of you in the future. not the magic one because i have nothing to do with magic, but your original one sounds interesting - waiting for this...
Anything like a Ravenloft Gazetteer focusing on Malosia coming up? :D
Anything like a Ravenloft Gazetteer focusing on Malosia coming up? :D

No current plans of such, but if I ever decide I have the impetus and material to do a Malosia write-up, I'd certainly propose it--as a DDI article, if nothing else.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Oooh, like a Domain of Dread? That would be amazing. You could even phrase everything so it only hints at Deidric's earthly origins. (A knight from a far distant land, etc.)

Malosia could join the ranks of Sunderheart and Graefmotte as 4e domains. (Though it'd be quite a bit larger than those two domains, since they're more or less one city and its immediate surroundings each)
Planes Wanderer
:D just wanted to say i finished reading your ravenloft story, and was a bit disappointed when it wasn't going to see print. i bought the magic books you did recently wrote and will give them the try though i do admit i have little intrest in magic, i wanted to figure out a way to support you, so i bought myself and friends a couple of copies, and link anyone who i know whos into the genre your black crusade.
Well, I very much appreciate that.

I hope you enjoy Agents of Artifice. It was written to appeal to new folks, as well as Magic fans, so I think you'll get something out of it even if you're not into Magic.
Ari Marmell aka Mouseferatu --Rodent of the Dark www.mouseferatu.com Twitter Facebook
Hey, guys. I wanted to let you know about this, in case you didn't see the links from the WotC publishing page.

A while back, I was contracted to write a novel entitled Black Crusade, as part of the new Ravenloft: Dominion fiction line. (For those who don't know, the point behind that line was, at least in part, to draw characters and setting into Ravenloft from Earth history, rather than other D&D setting.) Alas, that line was canceled before the novel could be published in hard copy.

However, the novel is still going to see the light of day (or maybe "the dark of night" would be more appropriate for Ravenloft). It's appearing as a weekly serial, published on the WotC site. The prologue is up here--http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4dnd/20090116--with new chapters supposed to appear on a weekly basis.

Hope you all enjoy.

How is it different from Masque of the Red Death then?