Borca is one of the Domains of Dread in Ravenloft and is a place where the noble families exploit the working classes for their own monetary gain so as to demonstrate their incredible wealth to the other noble families. The noble estates are decadent places, village-sized in scale and operate as the base for each of the noble families and their web of intrigue and gluttonous living. Common folk, on the other hand, must scrape away a living from the metaphoric crumbs dropped from the noble’s tables. Of course, the noble families are not without fear and tragedy as inter-family rivalries lead to deception and even subtle murders of one another.
Information About Borca
|Darklord||Ivana Boritsi and Ivan Dilisnya|
|Domain Characteristic||Domain of Desire and Deceit|
|Genre||Gothic Horror and Psychological Horror|
|Hallmarks||Political intrigue, poison, revenge|
|Races||Mostly Humans, some halflings|
Characteristics of Borca
Borca is split into the towns and cities of the poorer people who are barely able to make ends meet. These people either steer well clear of the schemes of the noble families, or attempt to garner their favour with sycophantic displays of affection and grovelling. The noble families each own an estate spread across the domain that houses their extended family. Status is crucial in Borca with the more distant relations in noble families occupying lesser positions within the family’s ranks.
The noble families each seek to outdo each other through political scheming, extravagant displays of wealth, spreading lies and even murder (poison being a popular method of eradicating one’s enemy). Rivalries run deep in Borca and old grievances die hard. Guile is respected while kindness is seen as a commodity no-one can afford. All through these devious machinations, the common folk act as pawns in the political games these noble families play with one another.
Darklords: Ivana Boritsi and Ivan Dilisnya
Borca is home to 2 Darklords; Ivana Boritsi and Ivan Dilisnya. The Boritsis are the most wealthy and influential family in all of Borca. Ivana was born first to her parents Klaus and Camille, but despite her clear intellect and acumen for business and politics, Klaus never saw her as fit to lead the family and this was made very clear early on. Instead, he favoured her younger brothers to inherit leadership of the family. Despite this, Ivana dedicated her younger years to learning the family business (and their secrets) making herself a strong candidate for this role. She was encouraged by her mother Camille in this.
Ivana only faltered when she met Pieter, a skilled chemist who taught her his trade and in whom she developed an affection for. But he was a commoner and Camille would not allow her daughter to throw her potential away with a commoner. Camille decided to discourage this affection by seducing Pieter and allowing Ivana to discover this act hoping it would help her see that this was not a romance worth pursuing. While Ivana did not pursue her romance with Pieter, she took a different lesson from this affair. Instead, she recognised the deep corruption of her family and instead decided to poison her mother and brothers with the skills she’d learnt from Pieter. The aromatic toxins she used were not only deadly over time, they meant that she was never suspected of poisoning her family.
With her brothers out of the way, Ivana expected to be named by Klaus as his rightful heir, however, Klaus decided to make Ivana’s cousin, Ivan Dilisnya, his heir instead. In her fury, Ivana poisoned the entire household including Klaus and all the manor’s workers, drinking the antidote herself. She now rules the family and its businesses but fears Ivan ever discovering her father’s will and revealing that Ivana is not in fact the heir of the family.
Ivan Dilisnya is the son of Boris Dilisnya and nephew to Camille Boritsi, Boris’ sister. They were also of the same world as Strahd Von Zarovich. Boris and Camille always had ambitions of taking the wealth of the Boritsi family and did this by camille seducing her way into the Boritsi family. Boris, on the other hand, groomed his son to become the new head of a united household. Unfortunately, Ivan did not have the acumen or the disposition for such a role. He was always wickedly childish, playing tricks and cruel games with his family and the staff of the household. “Accidents” frequently occurred around the Ivan, whether it was maimed or mutilated pets or destroyed property, the reality is that Ivan showed a callous disregard for life or the feelings of others.
Kristina, his younger sister, was the only person safe from his tricks. As she grew older, Ivan would confide these behaviours in her and she reciprocated by indulging his childish behaviours and way of speaking. However, one night, Ivan was told that Kristina would be sent to boarding school. Ivan couldn’t bear the thought of his one friend and confidant being taken away from him. He was thrust into a rage filled fit of anger, but slowly, that anger developed into a sadistic desire to kill all those that stood in the way of what he wanted. Ivan murdered everyone in the household that night and it was then that the mists of Ravenloft took Borca into its shadowy realms.
Now Ivan is completely alone apart from the clockwork toys and creations the Dark Powers provide for him. He hates the loneliness, and yet cannot develop friendships with others. He is wickedly childish and tends to use a child’s voice when he speaks, though he appears as an old man. He both resents his cousin Ivana for taking the position of head of the Boritsi household, and respects her as the only possible replacement for his sister Katrina, though she would never reciprocate those feelings.
Locations in Borca
Levkarest is the capital of Borca and a place at the pinnacle of culture and high society. Minor nobles squabble in the ineffective parliament while true leaders of the city make deals in secret locations to influence the direction of the nation. Commoners only experience this glamour from afar (or when a noble family needs someone to get their hands dirty).
The Great Cathedral in Levkarest is dedicated to the deity Ezra whom the commoners and the nobles petition for good favour. beneath the Cathedral, however, in the catacombs, the secretive Ulmist Inquisition maintain a cell, seeking to root out the evil in people’s hearts before it manifests itself. Despite their links with heroic tales however, the cell is dwindling in numbers.
Old Ilvin was once burned, but rather than rebuilding their homes, the people of Old Ilvin moved several miles down the road to build a new town called New Ilvin. On the surface, New Ilvin seems a peaceful town, but no one knows why Old Ilvin was abandoned and why everyone leaves the town alone (even building new roads around it).
Sturben lives in the shadow of the far more popular and stylish city of Levkarest. Here are found those that wish to be away from the pomp of the capital. The nobles of the town provide half-hearted justice to the criminals in the city. In response, the people have set up an ancient form of court in which anyone can bring a grievance against another to the Faceless Court of 5 masked judges. The judges change but the masks remain the same. All that are accused must be brought to face trial in the grim court and justice is handed out liberally.
Borca is home to 12 noble families, each with a lavishly decorated estate. The noble families constantly compete against one another, and no time is better for the political games, seductions, gossiping and embarrassments than the twice mandated balls that each noble family must host for all the other noble families. None of these estates is more glamorous than that of the Boritsi family who own the largest and most glamorous estate of all complete with Ivana’s awe-inspiring plants and her room-sized perfume organ.
Noble Families of Borca and their Estates