Returning from the distant lands of "Indiana," it seems only fair to talk about the far-flung regions of Vathak. The Colonies certainly qualify as far-flung, separated from the rest of Vathak by physical barriers, cultural divides, and sheer distance.
In its way, the Colonies are the perfect place to "stick your toe in" to Vathak. The dread of Vathak seems a little lighter there and its multi-cultural atmosphere let you drag in races from Rosuto-Shima or even further abroad.
Each region in Vathak has its own spin on horror. I personally see the Colonies as a great location for Dark Fantasy, showing the influence of Gothic and Cosmic horror without necessarily embracing the dread they evoke. Vampires and werewolves hunt in the night, but aren't so ingrained the necessarily represent the failures of humanity. And the Spawn of the Old Ones are distant, letting you paint cosmic horror with a light brush.
But the same comforting familiarity can act as a gateway to new realms. Adventurers can travel to the horror-stricken mainland or those horrors can finally make their way to the Colonies. Hints of corruption below the surface can become full-blown Gothic horror or even blossom into a brutal fight for survival.
Don't discount the Colonies just because their horror isn't as in-your-face as somewhere like Ina'oth. Beacons of familiarity and well-timed rests make the horrors that follow all the more chilling.
See you next week!
Landon Winkler, Shadows over Vathak Line Developer