Children of the Night: The Created (1999)

Children of the Night: The Created (1999) is one of the very last Ravenloft books, so late in the line’s life that it barely even has the logo on the cover. By this time, Wizards of the Coast was essentially shutting down TSR in preparation for the new 3E era. You can feel a lot of that 3E energy in this book. I mentioned on Monday that, to me, 3E excelled at finding ways to combine old concepts in new and exciting ways. That is very much on display here.

Here we have a clockwork man, a creepy wax work golem that recalls Vincent Price’s House of Wax (literally: that’s the name of the golem’s wax museum), a stained glass golem with personality, a golem made out of coins and more. My favorite is actually the cover golem, Azenwrath, a spell-rune construct made of sticks, paper and arcane symbols. It was once an evil treant that was killed, felled and turned into a number of wood-based products that retained fragments of its original personality and, gradually, came back together and reformed, not into a treant, but an insane eidolon forever searching for more pieces of itself. The adventure connected to it is very good, a nice bit of atmosphere whose solution nicely subverts D&D standards. The Lockwood cover is prettttty great. I like Kevin McCann’s work here as well — he seems to have developed quite a bit in the year since Werebeasts.

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