No Hippocratic oaths here
Lamordia is one of the Domains of Dread of Ravenloft and is ruled over by the Darklord, Dr Viktra Mordenheim. Lamordia is covered in snow making it a harsh place to survive. Food is often scarce and warmth is even scarcer. The desperate fight to survive has led the denizens of this wretched place to throw themselves at scientific pursuits to solve their problems. Unfortunately, in their desperation, the people turn to increasingly amoral forms of experimentation to discover what they need. And no-one in Lamordia exemplifies the pursuit of science at any means necessary than its Darklord, Viktra Mordenheim.
Information About Lamordia
|Domain Characteristic||Domain of Snow and Stitched Flesh|
|Genre||Body Horror and Gothic Horror|
|Hallmarks||Amoral science, bizarre constructs, frigid wilderness, mutagenetic radiation|
Characteristics of Lamordia
For the people of Lamordia, life is cheap. Life can be created simply by merging the correct chemicals together with the correct reactions and for many of the denizen’s brightest minds, they have discovered how to artificially create life in the form of constructs and homunculi. Of course, such beings only demonstrate a certain resemblance of life and the great mysteries of developing complex personalities that are the hallmark of intelligent lifeforms still eludes them.
Within the frigid wasteland that is Lamordia are the occasional city, filled with mechanised machinery powered by steam and the bright minds of Lamordia that have found ways to improve life with technology. This still brings little reprieve from the harsh climate where little grows and starving creatures scrap for the smallest morsels in order to survive. But continue the people do, innovating and inventing their way towards survival. Unfortunately, desperation often drives people to do things they might not ordinarily do under better circumstances. Often, the bright minds of Lamordia put people to the scalpel in search of greater knowledge and understanding in a manner that is more butchery than medicinal. The secrets of existence are believed to hold some kind of key to how to survive with such limited resources.
Darklord: Dr. Viktra Mordenheim
Viktra grew up as a minor noble, with enough wealth to support a voracious curiosity in humanoid anatomy. Viktra taught herself medicine as a child and as the prodigy she was, earned a doctorate in medicinal science while just a teen. She secured a position as a researcher at a local university and began to research and experiment to further her knowledge. She did so without emotion or moral compass; she cared little for her patients, despite helping many, but cared only to learn more at any cost.
Over time, Mordenheim became more and more convinced that she couldn’t just preserve and create life but that she could even cheat death itself. She began researching how to breath life back into a dead body, thus creating a stronger, less fragile shell. Because of her amoral nature, Viktra had no qualms with stealing bodies from their graves and began hiring thieves to steal bodies from local cemeteries for her to perform her experiments on. This is where she met Elise, a body snatcher with a care-free attitude that she found enticing and developed a deep affection for.
Grief struck however, when Elise developed an incurable wasting disease. Viktra worked rapidly to find a cure for this disease, fearing the worst. She hired anyone that could provide the bodies she required for experiments, whether they were dead or alive, descending Viktra into even greater levels of immorality. She would return freshly dead corpses back to life, only to see them die over and over again, causing a cycle of increasing torment for her subjects.
Eventually, Elise fell into a sleep from which she couldn’t be awakened and Viktra worked day and night on an organ that could never be diseased or cause the ceasing of life. She called it the unbreakable heart. Carefully, she sewed the heart into its place, replacing Elise’s own heart, but as she did this, constables broke into her laboratory and arrested Viktra for her body snatching crimes. Viktra did not even get chance to see if her new organ had worked, but through the smoke and the confusion, she could see the heart glowing from Elise’s chest before being knocked unconscious.
It was at this point that Viktra was pulled into the mists of Ravenloft, finding herself in Lamordia. Her genius here was celebrated as her inventions helped the people survive, but Mordenheim could never understand their adoration. But her greater focus was on Elise who had seemingly disappeared beyond Viktra’s awareness, knowing not if she was alive or dead. However, rumours talk of a woman spotted hiding in the frozen tundra from all prying eyes, confused and shocked at her strange living state, not quite alive and not quite dead. She does not want Viktra to find her, but Viktra continues to invest huge resources into finding where, if anywhere, Elise might be, but never finding her beloved.
Locations in Lamordia
Ludendorf is anindustrial city filled with cramped housing, tunnels of steam (for powering the mechanised machines) and foul smelling sewers. A port harbours great iron ships and cranes are operated to move goods more effectively.
At the heart of Ludendorf is the University, the heart of study and knowledge, bankrolled by wealthy and corrupt entrepreneurs, each swaying research in directions that will benefit their own business interests and demanding rapid result at any cost. The University has study focused on esoteric study, alchemy and speculative anatomy including cutting edge medicine and even re-animation and the creation of constructs. The push to discover lucrative findings that will net the University large sums of money is high and people are offered money for the rights to their bodies when they die, using them as cadavers in increasingly complex experiments. There’s even a secret society that idolises Dr Mordenheim and her works, especially her darker and more mysterious discoveries, including her unpublished works.
Neufurchtenburg is primarily a mining town in which precious and important minerals are mined to support the factories and technology in Ludendorf. Refineries create a suffocating smog, worsened by the sometimes radioactive materials and other harmful minerals being smelted there. Radiation in the area also warps creatures into terrifying beasts that roam the area nearby. The miners typically use cutting-edge firearms, clockwork machines and alchemical explosives to protect themselves from these threats.
The Aubrecker family have long ruled over Lamordia from their wind-whipped, island castle. It is there that Baron Rudolph Von Aubrecker now lives and rules, though he hasn’t been seen in public for about 20 years since he alone survived a shipwreck. Dr Mordenheim helped him survive his injuries, but preserving him only as a brain in a jar, exacting all his rulings through his mouthpiece, his butler, Gerta. The Baron is in great pain and physical ineptitude in the state the Mordenheim has left him and he works tirelessly at his three endeavours; rule Lamordia, create a body with which he can become mobile again and take his vengeance on Dr Mordenheim for leaving him in such a wretched state.
Schloss Mordenheim is the family home of Dr Viktra Mordenheim, found in the Southern portion of the Sea of Secrets. She lives in a small portion of the Castle, a turret, leaving most of the rest of the Castle to others. These include her asssistants, servitor creations beyond the skill of any other to create and mercenaries hired to guard her castle and obtain materials she needs for her work, which is often cadavers. Mordenheim is willing to receive very few guests, but once a year, she does allow the University of Ludendorf to send her some of its best and brightest students to become her new lab assistants.
The Sleeping Beast
In the south of Lamordia is a large mountin range inhabited by strangely warped beasts. These creatures have been transformed by the natural radiation emitted from veins of radioactive material within the mountain itself. Only desperate miners will dig here searching for rare materials obtainable nowhere else and available only for a huge price. Of course, legends tell that the mountain range is actually a gigantic beast whose bones and blood make up the mountains. For this reason, it’s forbidden for anyone to dig here for fear of waking the beast, an act that would surely lead to the destruction of Lamordia.