Hunter becomes the hunted
Valachan is one of the Domains of Dread of Ravenloft and is ruled over by the Darklord, Chakuna. Valachan is a domain of jungles and mountains creating a labyrinth of oovergrown plants, winding rivers and mountains. The Valachani build their villages within these jungles, sometimes even in the trees for safety, for the jungle is home to many wild and untamed beast. Even worse than these lurking beasts is Chakuna, the darklord of Valachan who spends her days hunting, and when she’s bored, will play games of cat and mouse against those unfortunate enough to wander into her jungles.
The terror of Valachan is in knowing that you may be the next victim of the hunt, and Chakuna’s eyes are everywhere. Somehow, she sees that which is seen by the beasts of the land, ensuring her prey is rarely lost for long.
Information About Valachan
|Domain Characteristic||Domain of the Hunter|
|Genre||Gothic Horror and Slasher Horror|
|Hallmarks||Diabolical traps, hostile wilderness, survival games|
Characteristics of Valachan
Valachan is an inhospitable environment, even the plant life might turn on those that wonder into the wrong parts of the jungle and displacer beasts roam the land in packs. These displacer beasts are led by Yana, a particularly cunning displacer beast who serves Chakuna, assisting her in her hunts and becoming here eyes and ears.
Despite the deadliness of the land, the people of Valachan, the Valachani, have thrived. While settlements are never able to become large in the jungles of Valachani, the people here have learnt to survive, and in such a lush environment, all the resources for survival are readily available, as long as you can survie long enough to enjoy them.
During certain full moons, Chakuna will host the Trial of Hearts, a battle royale in which unwitting participants strive to survive the hunt inflicted upon them by Chakuna. Sometimes, brave (or foolish) individuals will volunteer themselves to enter the Trial of Hearts, but this is rare, and often to stand in place of a loved one with even less chance of survival.
Chakuna is not the original darklord of Valachan. Originally, Valachan was ruled by Urik Von Kharkov, a wicked man that loved to hunt. Kharkov would rule from Castle Pantara, emerging regularly from its tormented walls to hunt in the jungles of Valakhan. To keep himself from growing bored, he would hunt increasingly rare and exotic creatures until, eventually, he began to hunt one of the rarest creatures of all; those afflicted with lycanthropy.
In Valachan, the Oselo tribe, of which Chakuna is a member, are lycanthropes and were hunted nearly to extinction. At this point, Kharkov’s hunts of the Oselo had become a formal tournament. Frustrated with the ever growing death toll of her people, Chakuna volunteered to enter the hunt, vowing to sacrifice whatever was required to kill Kharkov and be rid of him from Valachan. She was able to draw upon the prowess granted by her panther form to do this. She succeeded and kept Kharkov’s head as a trophy (much as any other hunter might keep the head of an impressive hunt).
When Chakuna killed Kharkov, she did so by placing her beating heart, ripped from her own chest, at the centre of the Yaguara Mountain maze and consumed Kharkov’s own heart in order to take his immortality and his grip upon the land. It means that while Chakuna has no heart, she is also connected to the land allowing her to see and hear what transpires all across its boundaries.
Of course, with her ascension as the darklord of Valachan, Chakuna discovered a terrifying secret. In order to maintain control over the aggressive landscape, the land must be fed with the blood of the hunted. If it is not, the land becomes even more hostile and will destroy all that walk it, including CHakuna’s own people of the Oselo tribe. In order to protect her people, Chakuna hunts and sacrifices others to the land in a hunt known as the Trial of Hearts. As far as Chakuna is concerned, her and her people deserve to continue to live as they are stronger, faster and smarter than those she hunts.
Locations in Valachan
The Eirubamba river flows through the jungles of Valachan, providing water for the wild and varied vegetation on its banks. In particular, wildflowers, fruits and medicinal herbs grow along its shoreline. Many predators avoid the rivers banks though, fearing the giant wasps that now swarm the plants nearby.
During the day, Oselo is a peaceful and relaxing village, but during the night, the people transform into their animal forms granted by their lycanthropy, often taking on the form of panthers and ocelots. In these forms, the villagers will assist Chakuna in her hunt for meat and spilling blood to satisfy the land. While the Oselo tribe appreciate the protection Chakuna grants and still remember the fear and oppression brought by Kharkov, they also struggle internally with the costs of that safety. Though they wish to help Chakuna and hold back the bloodlust of the land, they also desire a quiet, peceful life without having to obey Chakuna’s will.
When strangers enter the village, they are generally amicable and will occasionally even adopt an outsider into their village. Of course, to do so, the outsider must prove themself capable by undertaking ceremonies that involve surviving in the forest without tools for a week.
Pantara lodge is the location of the now overgrown Castle Pantara that once stood as the seat of Kharkov’s rule. It has now been reclaimed by the jungle, overgrown with vines, grass and trees. Hanging above it, suspended between the tall trees is Pantara Lodge, Chakuna’s new home from which she rules. It has the necessities required for her only such as an armory, an infirmary and a stable for her displacer beasts.
Somewhere in the heart of Pantara Lodge is housed the head of Urik Von Kharkov. Though he has long since been beheaded, his head continues to spew out curses and secrets into the night.
The people of Shuaran village are not granted the same protective privileges as those of the Oselo tribe, instead, they live in fear of Chakuna and her hunts. For them, little has changed since Kharkov’s death. They continue to be hunted by Valachan’s darklord and must remain vigilant against the threats of the jungle like that which comes from a group of howling apes that live south of the village near Yakum Beach.
The Shuaran people have a prickly sense of honour and can easily be provoked though they are generally friendly to outsiders and will even accept those of the Oselo tribe into their fold when one chooses to shun Chakuna’s protection.
To the southwest of Pantara Lodge is a complex maze, set in the midst of mountains. At the centre of this maze is Yaguara’s Heart. It is here, deep within an ancient temple, that Chakuna’s Heart continues to beat. An aspiring darklord might do like Chakuna and destroy her heart and replace it with their own, or they might even destory Chakuna’s heart and loose the rage of the land upon its inhabitants. The route to Yaguara’s Heart is a treacherous one however and is only known by von Kharkov’s head, Chakuna and Yana, Chakuna’s displacer beast companion.