The Damned City of Rabenstadt

Centuries ago, on the eve of Winter Solstice, the city of Rabenstadt was swallowed in its entirety and placed in the Nether. The unfortunate citizens were completely oblivious to this event, damned to relive the same day and night in perpetuity.  A day and night of a merciless blizzard, bloody riots, strange rituals and a secret revealed deep underground. 

In this city, Baron Tiberius of House Hirschberg schemes to enchant the Count’s son through vampiric means. The Third Eye, a secret cult, works to complete a ritual to conjure an otherworldly material. In the shadows, devout servants from the Order of Saint Vidar hunt their sworn enemies - vampires and sorcerers. 

Inspiration: Neuschwanstein Castle. Source: Pixabay.


The City

There are four crucial locations in Rabenstadt. In the Castle, the nobility gather for their annual Winter Ball. The wealthy citizens in the Upper District have engaged the army to keep angry protesters out. At the University, rumors have it the staff is conducting a mysterious experiment. While below, in the Foundation, the archeologists are excavating an ancient catacomb. 

Time

The city  is stuck in a time loop that lasts a day and a night. Upon reaching the end of the night, time is rewound until the morning. The citizens of the city are completely oblivious to this. In the morning, the climate is pleasant, but towards the night a blizzard sweeps over the city. 

The Awakened

By chance, some individuals have come across artifacts from the Whispering Sphere. These artifacts changed something in them, allowing them to retain memory from loop to loop. Without aging more than a day, some have experienced centuries, while others have just begun to grasp their situation. 

The Instability

Due to the unstable nature of the curse, each loop has a chance of creating either anomalies or artifacts. Anomalies are instabilities in reality, which sometimes let horrendous creatures into the city. Artifacts are strange, ethereal objects that can allow an Awakened to wield supernatural powers. Both anomalies and artifacts can be reduced to essence, which the Awakened can use for their arcane purposes. 

The Ending

The Awakened can end the curse of the city by discovering the secrets of the Whispering Sphere. They must discover its true location, key and power source. 

Notes

Rabenstadt began as a collaborative project on the OSR Discord, but has since fallen into the pit of inactivity. I am using the spirit of the city and its gothic themes in my own Netherlight setting. Like weird stories of old, I want Rabenstadt to appear across many works and contexts.

I intend to post more posts about this adventure as I prep it for play.  

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