Nightworld of Vlad Tolenkov

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Greyhawk Planet
Planetary Body Type Earth
Rotational Period
Orbital Period
Distance from Primary
Native Inhabitants Vampires, pseudo-undead, Aerials, gnomes, dwarves, mongrelfolk

The Nightworld of Vlad Tolenkov is a world accessible from the Demonweb Pits.


The Blackout

The Nightworld was an ordinary world much like Oerth until its sun entered a wildspace sargasso, a massive anti-magic region that suppressed the sun's connection to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Instantly, in an event remembered as the Blackout and the Time of Madness, the sun went dark. Seas froze and darkness descended over the land.

The Sacrifice

Many of the world's gods sacrificed themselves to ensure that geothermal energies rose to the surface, and as a result volcanoes and earthquakes devastated much of what was left. The extra heat managed to be the salvation of what life remained, however. As a result of the Blackout and the Sacrifice, wild magic horribly altered many living beings.

The Highslaying

At the same time as the Sacrifice, many of the good-aligned deities who remained died while destroying the world's evil gods, preventing them from taking advantage of the Blackout to conquer the world.

Those gods who remain in the Nightworld are now dwindled to mere demigods in power, but they are highly sought after and closely involved with their worshipers' lives.

About a thousand years have passed since the Blackout. Many people in the Nightworld no longer believe the sun ever existed.


Because of the volcanic activity created by the dead gods, the temperature in the Nightworld tends to be a constant 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds are rare, usually only manifesting due to magic or volcanoes.


Trees are extinct. In their place are giant fungi, thornbushes, mosses, carnivorous plants, and lichen.


Many new breeds of wild trolls sweep across the lands, and various slimes, jellies, and oozes have adapted to life on the surface. Cockroaches and giant insects are common. Birds are almost extinct. Bats, including magical bats, have taken their place. Bulettes, umber hulks, ankhegs, purple worms, and other large burrowing creatures have mutated into bizarre new forms.


Humans have been altered to become pseudo-undead creatures known as Stalkers. They closely resemble vampires, but hate them. Other humans have become pseudo-undead similar to ghouls. They are known as Gatherers because they prefer carrion to live prey. Still other humans have become non-undead beings superficially similar to mummies, wights, and other corporeal undead. The "mummies" are members of a particular religious sect who wrap themselves in bandages to mourn their world's losses.

Some goblins have been altered by their god to become a race of short werebat-like creatures known as Aerials.

Dwarves still survive underground, but nearly every kind of elf, including drow, has been wiped out. Gnomes survive in secret, concealed by stealth and illusions. Chaotic evil races were mostly wiped out, but some goblins and hobgoblins still survive. Mongrelfolk created by wild magic are common in the ruins. Jackalweres and werewolves are also known.

Features and settlements

Cities are normally inhabited by only a single race each, with denizens working and sleeping in three eight-hour shifts each day. Time is determined by watching the rotation of the stars. Vast dungeons beneath each city is used both for homes and agriculture. People tap underground rivers and aquifers for water and mine for a flammable coal-like rock for fuel.

The castle of Vlad Tolenkov

Vlad Tolenkov is a vampire magic-user allied with Lolth in her attempt to conquer the Nightworld. Because Vlad's castle is near the portal in the Demonweb Pits, planar travelers have given his name to the world around it. Vlad's armies are mostly undead, and within his castle are ghouls and ghasts who feed on his drained victims. Vlad's primary goal is to disrupt trade in the area in order to weaken it for Lolth's later conquest.


  • Moore, Roger E.. "Gates in the World of Greyhawk." Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995. Originally appeared in TSR's America Online folder, later moved to its website. Available online:[1]
  • -----. "A World of Your Own." Polyhedron #114. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1995.