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The Land: Dementlieu is a coastal domain on the Sea of Sorrows. Port-a-Lucine, the domain's largest settlement and capital, sits on the shore of Parnault Bay. This walled town of five thousand people with clean streets and neatly arrayed townhouses is built around a small fortress. The fortress has been seized by the government, however, since no owner has stepped forward to claim it. The guilds of Port-a-Lucine have made recent attempts to turn the fortress into a joint headquarters, but a rash of accidents made them abandon that project. The neutral temple of the Church of Ezra is located on the outskirts of Port-a-Lucine.
Nearby lies Chateaufaux, a trade village along the eastern border with some fifteen hundred inhabitants. At one time, the town was home to almost two thousand souls, but hundreds of citizens left for Port-a-Lucine or other domains when the mayor of the town lost his mind.
Dementlieu is a flat land that grows progressively more hilly as one travels northward to Lamordia. The land is covered by forests and heaths, and the earth is sandy. The only things that grow properly in Dementlieu's soil are potatoes.
Cultural Level: Renaissance.
The Folk: On the surface, the people of Dementlieu are among the most civilized people in the entire Demiplane. They produce some of the finest portraits and landscape paintings in the Core, and as a group, they are logical and guided by a belief in scientific principles. Additionally, the people of Dementlieu try their best to take care of the poor, so most citizens have both food and shelter. Still, despite their progressive appearance, most gentry treat the poor as slaves to be ordered about. Poverty, disease, crime, and even murder are common at the lower levels of society. The gentry of Dementlieu set the fashion trends for the stylish inhabitants of the Core. Currently, the men of the domain wear dark woolen pants and cotton shirts or silk shirts with tailed coats. Gentlemen wear black top hats, while men of the lower classes wear simple cloth caps.
Most women wear somber-colored, long dresses, high-button boots, and hats. Women of the lower classes wear simple bonnets, but the hat of a lady is large brimmed and elaborate.
The language of Dementlieu is the same as that which is spoken in Mordent. Similar dialects are spoken in Richemulot and Borca, and it is a language that students learn at the finer boarding schools of Ravenloft.
Native Player Characters: Dementlieu is a genteel realm where resolving disagreements through violence is frowned upon. Most player characters from this domain are rogues. Wizards are few and far between, and most of those who dwell here are enchanters or illusionists. (This kind of magic is used mostly for entertainment.) Warriors and rogues from Dementlieu may use weapon proficiency slots on firearms if the player is so inclined. This is also a highly literate domain, so each native hero receives the reading/writing proficiency for free.
Personalities of Note: If a citizen or visitor to Dementlieu wants to expedite dealings with the law and government, it is well known that the man to speak with is Dominic d'Honaire, leader of the lord-governor's advisery counsel. A pleasantly-humored man in his early fifties, D'Honaire lives near the lord-governor's palace in Port-a-Lucine and has his ear in all matters. D'Honaire's wife recently bore him his first son.
Another important figure is Dr. Vilhelm Mikki, one of the Core's most famous specialists in nervous disorders and mental illnesses. He runs a sanatorium located in the tranquil countryside outside Chateaufaux.
The Law: Dementlieu is ruled by lord-governor Marcel Guignol. He is assisted by a council of five advisers, which is headed by the aforementioned D'Honaire. The lord-governor writes laws and adjudicates important trials.
The city militia helps the lord-governor and his advisers enforce the law. Most of them are 2nd-level fighters equipped with studded leather armor, short swords, and whips.
Encounters: Dementlieu itself does not have many monsters, but deer are fairly common in the wooded areas. A small community of kobolds exists in the northern hills near the border of Lamordia. Also, a few evil marine creatures. like reavers and sea spawn (see the Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium) . have been known to prey upon the land dwellers, but this is an uncommon occurrence. Typically, characters have only a 15% chance for an encounter here, day or night.
Further Reading: The AD&D Historical Campaign Reference A Mighty Fortress is a treasure trove of inspiration for running adventures in cultures at the same level as Dementlieu. The domain itself is featured in the Chilling Tales anthology.
Dominic is about five feet seven inches tall and slightly plump. He pulls back his graying red hair into a short, well-groomed ponytail and wears a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. He can control his apparent Charisma, allowing it to range from 7 to 14. His usual score is about 11.
Background: Dominic is the grandson of Dr. Germain d'Honaire, a mesmerist who was in Mordent when it became part of Ravenloft. Dominic's mother died in childbirth.
Even as a child, Dominic could suggest an idea so subtly, so skillfully, that most people would believe it was their own. Often he would pit one person against another, sometimes causing serious damage but never taking the blame himself. The more chaos, anger, and hate his intrigues generated, the happier Dominic became. He was a handsome child, especially flirtatious with the ladies, who found his behavior harmless and charming. These women lavished affection on the poor, motherless boy, not suspecting how twisted and advanced his little mind actually was.
When his grandfather died, the family decided to leave Mordent. This was actually Dominic's idea, although his father Claude thought it was his own. Claude decided to brave the Mists of Ravenloft and see where they took them. New lands opened up for little Dominic. Unbeknownst to his family, he became the darklord of a new domain, Dementlieu.
Current Sketch: Dominic is a master manipulator and schemer. He lives like a spider weaving a complex web of plots. Like most domain lords, Dominic received a curse along with his lands. The more romantically attracted he becomes to a woman, the uglier she finds him. To others, his appearance is unchanged, but to her, he becomes repulsive. The curse leaves him bitter and frustrated. He actually killed his first love in anger, for she could not bear the sight of him. Thus, his marriage is one of political convenience, with no emotional bonds.
Closing the Borders: D'Honaire can seal his domain with a mirage. Standing at the border, a character sees the lands of Dementlieu before and behind him. No matter which way the would-be escapee walks, he moves farther into the domain. In a forest, characters might not notice the effect until they emerge from the woods to find themselves back where they started. At the coast, the Sea of Sorrows disappears from view.
Combat: Dominic has the combat abilities and spell effects of a 7th-level enchanter, but he cannot actually cast spells. Rather, his voice can act as a suggestion spell at any time, and his gaze can act as a domination spell. Dominic himself is completely immune to any sort of mental attack. He avoids personal combat at all costs and has several powerful protectors who will fight for him if necessary.