It’s some kind of magic
Hazlan is one of the Domains of Dread of Ravenloft and is ruled over by the Darklord, Hazlik. It is a place that has long since been ruined by magical experiments. Not only do abominations roam the land, created in some laboratory or another, but the land itself and the very fibres of magic that run through it has become cracked and erratic. These combine to make a domain that is hugely dangerous, especially if you have no magic with which to protect yourself.
Information About Hazlan
|Domain Characteristic||Domain Doomed by Magic|
|Genre||Dark Fantasy and Disaster Horror|
|Hallmarks||Amoral spellcasters, magic-ravaged environment, magical experiments, wild magic|
|Races||Mainly humans with some halflings and gnomes|
The Fleshless Forest
Mound of the Worm
Characteristics of Hazlan
In Hazlan, magic is the ruling force and also the justification for what is done. Hazlik, the Darklord, seeks only greater magical power and knowledge and is prepared to justify any method in order to accomplish this. Those without magical acumen are considered of little worth and are often used as test subjects in this gigantic, living, mage’s laboratory.
Throughout Hazlan, the aftereffects of experiments gone wrong (or even experiments gone right, where the collatoral damage has been viewed as inconsequential) can be easily seen. Mysterious fogs create hidden dangers, toxins are released into nature and the laws of magic barely seem able to hold together. Hazlik watches all of this from his palace, Veneficus, through the Eye of Hazlik; a magical eye-shaped symbol that can show Hazlik all of his domain, its people, its abominations, its cities and everything else.
Hazlik is not concerned by the plight of his people, but he is paranoid and controlling and bends all to his will. While his apprentices spread throughout the domain, his people squirm at their presence, fearful that they might be the next victim of some terrible experiment. Some of Hazlik’s victims continue to persist in the land as abominations that terrorise the countryside. Mages themselves are given great authority to do what they want, as long as they don’t interfere with Hazlik’s own desires. Often, they live in whatever fanciful dwelling they can fashion, whether it be travelling palaces, floating towers or anything else that pleases them.
Hazlik originally hailed from the nation of Thay in Eastern Faerun. He was raised by the Red Wizards who taught him magic and allowed him the opportunity to rise through the ranks of the magocratic nation. But whatever he learned was never enough and he obsessed over gaining more knowledge and power, in particular, achieving the perfect mortal form and visiting the dream realms of another’s psyche.
As he rose in power, he made many enemies through petty rivalries and vicious betrayals. He won more of these contests than he lost but there was one adversary he could never beat, the mage Indreficus. He became fixated on their fierce rivalry, each trying to gain the upper hand on each other, until, eventually, their relationship evolved into that of passionate lovers. In this relationship, they drove each other to increasingly greater feats of magic and capabilities.
This did not last however. Hazlik eventually discovered that Indreficus had gained the attention of the ruling council of Thay, the Zulkirs. Hazlik believed that Indreficus planned to betray him and take his place among Thay’s ruling elite. Hazlik decided to gain the upper hand and captured and transformed Indreficus into a nightmarish living portal. The very impact of this spell had an endlessly painful effect on Indreficus’ body.
Hazlik planned to present his efforts to the Zulkirs to impress them but instead, they were horrified by the abominable act he’d performed and revealed that Indreficus had not betrayed him but rather, the Zulkirs sought to undermine the pair before they became more powerful. Hazlik’s crime was deemed irredeemable and he was punished to have an act of penance made by everyone that Hazlik had wronged but before any could punish his misdeeds, Hazlik escaped through his portal.
Hazlik emerged from the portal in a grim netherworld of fog that he named Hazlan. But he was to be forever tortured. His body became branded with golden tatoos naming Hazlik as a traitor in the language of Thay. He also hears the voice of his former lover, Indreficus who condemns him mercilessly, even to this day.
Locations in Hazlan
Ramulai is a village located near a mine filled with rare elements and stones required for magical experimentations. For this reason, Hazlik’s apprentices have built laboratories and refineries nearby. The waste from these refineries is dumped into the Burning River, so named because it frequently ignites from all the toxins poured into it. The people of Ramulai are often made sick from the tainted water. The nearby wildlife has also been transformed by the strange chemicals mixed into the river, transforming some of the nearby area into a swampland known as the Brew.
Sly-Var is located near Veneficus in order for the many apprentices and magic-wielders living here to gain the favour of Hazlik through impressive magical feats. The wizards will build houses that defy the normal laws of physics such as homes suspended in the air or that are larger on the inside than the outside. It’s a dangerous place though for non-magical folk who often get mistaken for a threat by magical guardians, are killed by escaped experiments or are taken to become the next test subject of some experiment or another.
Toyalis is the largest city in Hazlan. Found at the base of a chasm, it is a place where the poor, non-magical people congregate. People here work hard and live fair lives but are often intruded upon by Hazlan’s mages. Several times a year, Hazlan’s apprentices will lead a procession through Toyalis where they’ll show off new inventions and discoveries creating a carnival-like atmosphere. This is to entice new people to become serveants and helpers for the wizards. Talent shows will be used to assess capabilities and those that show the most promise will be taken with them to become serveants.
The Lacuna is the remnants of an experiment that went terribly wrong many years ago. It is an area in central Hazlan that is covered up to the ankles in a thick fog similar to that which borders the domain. Any who step into it fall as if don a chasm and few ever emerge from it’s thick mists. The Lacuna seems to be continually growing and spreading like tentacles across the land.
Veneficus is Hazlik’s palace and place of residence. No-one else lives here other than the constructs Hazlik has created to attend and serve him. Those few that do enter the walls of Veneficus tend to be Hazlik’s favoured and most trusted allies, though apprentices that have disappointed Hazlik, tend not to return from Veneficus.
Many disastrous experiments have scarred the land of Hazlan. Some have caused far more damage than others creating disaster sites. These disaster sites include:
The Brew – A toxic swampland created by the toxins and chemicals taken downstream from Ramulai, a mining village
The Fleshless Forest – Everything, including plants, in the Fleshless Forest has been turned to stone with a magical malady that’s contagious.
Moonstone Valley – Every new moon, this wasteland becomes littered by new meteors and otherworldly creatures.
Mound of the Worm – A mesa was formed here long ago and from it, emerged purple worms onto the surface that now inhabit this area.
The Orbitoclasts – Several areas of floating rock formations can be found in Hazlan, including the Orbitoclast, which looks a little like tools used in lobotomies.
The Playas – This area once featured lush lakes, but these have now become quicksand that is a breeding ground for purple worms.
Seething – This area crumbles into the mists, having no life here anyway.