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Odenwald Forest (Interest Check/Sign Ups)

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Odenwald Forest (Interest Check/Sign Ups)

Tips: 0.25 INK Postby Mabus_Thumbnail on Mon Nov 29, 2021 1:07 am

Welcome to Odenwald, the land of childhood fairytales.

Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Frog Prince, Alice in Wonderland, Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, Thumbling, Puss in Boots, Gingerbread Man and many other childhood fairytales originated here in the Odenwald Forest, and that's just the beginning.

The basin on which this land stands was created 200 million years ago. Back then it was very different and would be hardly recognizable today. 50 million years ago it was very volcanically active and although there was no life, those volcanoes and earthquakes created many of the mountain ranges, land rifts, peaks and valleys that you see today. One important rift was the Rhine River valley, which extends from the Mediterranean Sea in the south all the way up to Norway, with the land of Odenwald Forest being located in the middle between them.

Although there are no noticeable megalithic sites, hunter gatherers migrated all throughout the land until around 2500 BCE when pottery emerged. Then in 400 BCE, many Celtic tribes arrived from the east. Very little is known of their activities in the Oldenwald Forest, but myths and legends surround many of the obscure natural rock formations and magnetic anomalies in the area. Reports have been made of ghostly apparitions, glowing orbs and lights, faeries and other strange supernatural occurances. Some say the Odenwald is the birthplace of the Druids and their mysterious nature gods, or that it is the place where magic was first introduced into Europe.

In modern times, these glowing anomalies have been likened to UFO phenomena, or Nazi occult science experiments, sometimes accompanied by sightings of extraterrestrials or strange otherworldly beings. One famous account recalls many times people witnessed the Wild Hunt, or a phantom knight named Wodenstein who can still be seen in the forest traveling with his ghostly army. In other words, such legends and fairytales still persist today and continue to haunt the dense rarely travelled wilderness of Odenwald, which is precisely where the following story and adventures take place. Only you were born before modern times, when the world was still a mystery.

The current year is 1820, and you have come to Odenwald Forest to make a name for yourself. By this time, the Odenwald is a remote and fantastical setting filled with gothic lore and romantic escapes. It is less popular than the nearby Black Forest, so the overlooked Odenwald Forest is off the beaten path, a place for the more wayward travelers and adventurers who dare to brave the wilderness. Some parts of this mountainous forest are so dense, it appears like late evening on the forest floor even during midday or summer. Electricity is a natural phenomenon which exists, but has not been harnessed or domesticated yet, so you live in a time without electricity, without lightbulbs, radios, televisions, microwaves, telephones, satellites or computers.

You've just been informed that a famous author, Mary Shelley, just recently visited these remote woods about 4 years ago. She is currently traveling throughout Europe and promoting her new best seller, Frankenstein, which takes place here where you are now. Odenwald Forest is a place of many ruined castles and forgotten kingdoms. Clovis I was once the King of the Franks who ruled this land. The very term Frankenstein itself means the Stone of the Franks, and it was here in the Odenwald Forest where Burg Frankenstein was built.

Indeed, the world you have entered is filled with magic and witchcraft, alchemy and devilry, necromancy and paganism. Castle Frankenstein itself is known to be haunted. Aborgast von Frankenstein lived here with his family from 948 CE to 1602 CE when the family died out. From that time it became a hospital and refuge for travelers. Johanne Konrad Dippel von Frankenstein was born in the castle in 1673, over a hundred years before you were born. According to the archives at the chapel in the local City of Darmstadt, one cleric referred to Dippel as the blood brother of the Devil, stating that he had created a monster in the castle with the use of lightning. Dippel himself was an alchemist who died from poisoning inside the castle after drinking his own elixir.

Burg Frankenstein is a point of interest to you, as it is the birthplace of modern science and medicine, including genetic research and engineering, the most dangerous and controversial field of study for occultists, doctors and professors of academia. But there is so much more that interests you. Legend has it that Johanne Konrad Dippel von Frankenstein was an alchemist and a grave robber. Alchemists have the goal of turning lead into gold, and discovering the elixir of life. Dippel's Oil, an elixir made from human bones, snake oil, animal ivory and leather, is a huge commodity in these parts, where locals are still very superstitious and not welcoming to outsiders.

Castle Frankenstein has a chapel made of two types of stone, one that is magnetic and one that is not. This only adds to the ere of mystery surrounding the magnetic anomalies in the area. The chapel features many statues, sculptures and paintings that are reminiscent of pre-Freemason artwork and Illuminati suggestions, dating back to a time before the Freemasons were formed. One particular statue near the altar is actually a tomb which contains and portrays the last knight of Frankenstein, a young man who fell off of his horse and broke his neck, and whose ghost still haunts the chapel, looking for his lost love.

The Don Jon, or dungeon, is actually not a prison but a wine cellar and storage room for the castle during winter. Yet this is where Dr. Frankenstein supposedly kept the cadavers and bodies he dug up, and visitors still report strange voices and sightings in the cellar. The castle itself is said to be haunted by Konrad Dippel, who still roams the premises as if still alive and conducting his experiments, perhaps still trying to discover a cure for death and his elixir of immortality.

Anna Marie Tower is part of the castle. It is here where Dippel von Frankenstein had his secret lab, and where according to legend, his famous monster was born. But the tower itself was actually named after one of the cadavers or corpses whom Dippel von Frankenstein had excavated during his experiments. Anna Marie's ghost sometimes appears naked in the tower, young and beautiful. There she weeps, and mourns for her lost boyfriend, who some believe may have been the last knight of Frankenstein entombed in the chapel.

Welcome to Odenwald, the land of childhood fairytales.

Odenwald means Odin's Wood, and this dense dark mountainous forest is held to be the birthplace of the Nordic gods Odin and Thor, among other legends. This forest is also said to be the setting of Sigfried and the Dragon, yet nobody knows the exact location where this saga took place. Odenwald is associated with witchcraft, wild women who manifest as giant hideous pigs, paganism and necromancy. Many natural rock formations are referred to as the Devil's Chairs, and even now in 1820, there are many cults and isolated rural families who do not take kindly to visitors. The Romans once tried to conquer the Odenwald but never succeeded, instead being driven back across the Rhine River, and Christianity never quite took root here, so that many old ways and practices can still be found in the region even now.

There was a werewolf problem at one time, to the point where wolves were literally hunted to extinction. Only recently has their population increased due to migrations from Poland, but some locals now fear that at least one werewolf now roams the woods, a superstition inspired by a series of grotesque serial killings which happened recently in the forest. There are also stories of witches and revenants, a sort of zombie-like vampiric corpse which is anything but romantic. Walpurgisnacht is a big Halloween festival which occurs in Odenwald once a year, when locals try to scare away these evil spirits and sometimes offer gifts in order to ward them away from the living. They also practice Yule, a sort of Christmas tradition which involves the belief of a demon-like being called Krampus who kidnaps naughty children and takes them away into the dark forest.

Welcome to Odenwald, the land of childhood fairytales.

This is not a place for the feint of heart, or those who scare easily. Odenwald is a land of magic and mystery, a place of gargoyles and frightening statues, horror stories and suburban legends. The year is 1820, and all the roads are made for horses and chariots. You are here on a quest to solve a mystery, to become a doctor, or to get a job at one of the local taverns and breweries. You are a normal mortal human being, which only adds to the excitement of your adventures. Perhaps you wish to become a teacher, a baron, a ranger or a knight. Or maybe you're a traveling merchant, a trader, a thief or cleric. Whatever the case may be, now you are here at the Odenwald Forest, the very last stop and the place of your final destiny.

Pettycoats, cuirasses, scarfs, veils, flamboyant dresses and top hots are the dress code of the era. There are no lightbulbs or power plants, so you must rely on torches, candles and lanturns. There are no motor vehicles, no steam engines or air balloons, so you rely on horses, chariots and canoes or merchant ships for transportation. Hunting wild game and taxidermy is still quite popular in these woods. Rumors of unicorns are quite popular, featuring white horses with cloven hooves and goat-like beards, having long ivory horns, hairy legs and goat-like timid attitudes which are difficult to tame or hunt. Legend has it that the unicorns were once noble women who fell in love with commoners of the forest or sold their souls to the devil for witchcraft. Only virgins who are unmarried are said to be able to ride them.

There is a lot of superstition in the Odenwald Forest, followed by a lot of mischief and deceit. Many fake unicorn horns, and snake oils passed off as elixirs of immortality can be found in the town of Darmstadt, where merchants and craftsmen try to persuade unweary travelers into buying their exotic merchandise. There are vampire hunting kits, amulets for warding off demons and all manner of other trinkets. Dibbling and dabbling in the occult seems to come from the name of Konrad Dippel himself, for it is here that the birthplace of modern science and medicine originated and where the boundaries of life and death seem to have merged and become obscure over time.

Practically every pub, cabin, tavern, castle and inn in this region is ancient and rumored to be haunted. The surrounding rivers, mountains, swamps, valleys and forests are no exception. Many of the castles in Odenwald are in ruins, while some are still inhabited by barons of noble families. You will encounter many NPC's on your adventure who are not normal mortal human beings like yourself, and who will pose a challenge for you on your quest for fame, honor, riches and glory. It will be up to you and your companions to write the story and direct the course of these events throughout the campaign.

But be warned. The journey ahead is long and treacherous, full of excitement and hidden dangers. You are in control of your own destiny. Should you fail to complete your mission, you may succumb to illness or even death itself, and you will forever be just another lost soul or ghost who wanders aimlessly in the dark forest, searching for the life you could never achieve. But should you succeed, you will be immortalized for all time in the very fairytale you created, the story you are currently reading, which takes place here in the Odenwald Forest.

Welcome to Odenwald, the land of childhood fairytales.


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Re: Odenwald Forest (Interest Check/Sign Ups)

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Mabus_Thumbnail on Mon Nov 29, 2021 2:31 pm

This is the official Interest Check and Sign-ups for the Odenwald Forest campaign. This thread is not an IC forum so please don't post here unless you are interested in joining or have any questions. This is a good place for a Q&A so feel free to ask any questions. I am also always open to suggestions on how to make this RPG better. I'm a laid back, semi-lazy GM so most of the writing and lore will be up to you and your companions to flesh out. I will only be controlling the NPC's and becoming involved from time to time. In essence, this is your story, not mine. I'm just here to guide you and answer questions.

All playable characters must be mortal normal human beings in the year 1820, meaning no non-human or hybrid charas, no genetically modified human beings or immortal characters. Your character is still made of flesh and blood, still susceptible to old age, sickness and death. No magical abilities are allowed.

Of course, some of the NPC's on your adventure will be faster, stronger, stealthier and more powerful than you are, so you will be allowed certain weapons and items to help you level the playing field. Gunpowder for example. Gunpowder is allowed and does exist, but remember the year is 1820 so there are no HMGs, SMGs or fully automatic weapons. Most guns at this time period are flintlock single shot pistols and muskets with shorter range and accuracy. Such firearms are only good for one shot before being reloaded or discarded. So aim precisely and make every shot count.

Swords and crossbows are still the most popular weapons in this time period. Duels are not uncommon, and hunting wild game is still quite popular in the dark forest. But the NPC's are not the only threat in this story. You must be mindful of your own companions as well, for some of them might be thieves and assassins, or counts and barons who seek to take your land and your wealth.

You can expect to find werewolves, witches and revenants in the forest. You may encounter ghosts or daemons and otherworldly spirits. So be alert and tread with caution. You never know what you might run into. You might even run into Frankenstein's monster himself. So pack well and be prepared. Character sheets are required.

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