D&D 5E Ravenloft Previews of Dementlieu, Lamordia, and Har'Akir

WotC has been sprinkling previews of individual Ravenloft domains to various websites -- including Dementlieu, Lamordia, and Har'Akir. Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft is only a couple of weeks away, coming out on May 18th!


  • Forbes takes a look Dementlieu, which has inspirations like Cinderella, The Masque of the Red Death, and Dark City. "Dementlieu is one of over 30 domains of dread detailed in the book. It’s a sharp contrast to Barovia’s dark forest and looming Gothic castle on a hill. Instead it’s covered in a glamorous sheen of fine clothes and fancy parties. Everyone is dying to be invited to the Grand Masquerade held by Duchess Saidra d’Honaire every week on her private island. And, in many cases, killed if they are discovered at the ball if they’re not supposed to be there."
  • Syfy Wire looks at Lamordia, inspired by Frankenstein. "Many of the Domains of Dread are inspired by some horror tale or piece of creepy folklore, and Lamordia definitely has its roots in Frankenstein. But while the Domain is inspired by that classic horror story, its elements are then shot through the lens of D&D adventures and explored to dozens of horrific extremes. Mordenheim's land isn't just about resurrection gone awry, it's also the Domain for all different types of science gone wrong, bizarre experiments, body horror weirdness, and grim tales of society versus a frigid land. Just as there's more to Frankenstein than a scientist who abandoned his child, there's more to Lamordia than stitches and semi-dead flesh."
  • Polygon has Har'Akir, an Egyptian-themed domain. "Why is there a Domain that is a desert that is riddled with these ancient, inexplicable haunted monuments and ruined pyramids? How does a Domain like that exist? How does it make sense? To an extent it doesn’t, and it’s going to be the players that come and explore that, who are some of the only people that realize that the entirety of the domain is, to an extent, gaslighting them."

Ankhetop, darklord of Har'Akir

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I don’t think anyone is getting worked up about it. Literally, I don’t think it’s a problem at all that lots of Barovian names don’t make real-world linguistic sense. I just thought it was nice that Ankhetpot (apparently) does make linguistic sense, and then @Coroc challenged my assertion that Strahd Von Zarovich doesn’t make sense.

I’m not bothered by it not making sense. But if someone tries to correct me incorrectly, I’m going to respond.
it is ok, you clarified it quite good in your last reply, my assumption was partially incorrect. I thought that Slavic names follow the same pattern like Nordic ones, but obviously they don't. My guess is that someone thought it sounds eastern Europe like, and it does sound like it. In the end it is easy to remember for PCs, which is a rare thing in some published adventures.

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Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
Tolkien was an outlier. He was an actual linguist. Everyone else, before and after, just made crap up. That's the standard.
Hilariously, one of the other pioneers of gaming, M.A.R. Barker, was a professor of the Urdu language and South Asian Studies.

Also, all language is "made up." That's where it came from! :)

None of this stuff holds a candle to the hilarious nonsense they invented for the Warhammer Fantasy universe. One of the characters you meet early on in a WFRP adventure is Gustav Fondelburger. A potent necromancer from Araby is named Salladh-bar. A prominent lizardman is named Tiktaq'to.


the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
Language is absolutely no "made up" -- unless it is Klingon or Esperanto. It evolves, like an organism, out of need and circumstance.
Yes, but where did languages come from to begin with? The answer is someone, somewhere (actually, I guess lots of someones all over the place), made it up and others started using it.

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