Ravenloft: Generations of suffering
In any world, mists and fog can plague travelers, blurring senses, concealing terrors, and leading ships to watery graves. It is also home to the Ravenloft mists – a force more deadly than any natural phenomenon. The mists of ravenloft appear to be a manifestation of the Border Etherial. They surround the demiplane at all times, creating the Misty Border. They do not radiate an aura of magic nor reveal any alignment or sign of life. To all eyes, they appear to be normal fog, but are anything but normal. The Mists can reach into the Material Plane and transport unsuspecting characters into Ravenloft. With time, they can surround an entire portion of land and consume it too.
No one can command the mists to perform in this fashion. Where the mist appears in the Prime Material Plane and who they carry into Ravenloft is beyond the control of anyone, living or dead. But when a character has a great enough need or desire, Ravenloft may respond to him.Usually, the mists are content to trannsport a few hapless travelers, leaving others behind. In some worlds, sages speak of entire armies that have vanished in a fog, and it is conceivable that the Mists of Ravenloft have swallowed their ranks.
Once the mists have engulfed any intelligent creatures outside of Ravenloft, there is no way to save him or her from their fate. Even if the person stands still, the Mists eventually lift and he finds himself in Ravenloft. The actual passage between planes is never witnessed. Anyone who is close enough to witness the transport of another person becomes an accidental voyager him/herself.
In nearly every case, the mists are indistinguishable from noble fog. Exceptions do exist. For example, if a person is travelling in the etherial plane, no mist fortells their fate. One moment, they are in the etherial plane. The next, they are in somewhere in Ravenloft with a few wisps of vapor snaking around their feet.
These mythical vapors are perminant fixtures in Ravenloft’s Misty Border, but they can rise from the soil anywhere in the Demiplane, creating temporary pockets of doom. As a result, a character may be transported from fog bank to fog bank anywhere in the realm and be helpless to stop it. This also means that any characters who attempt to enter, or get forced to enter, can be deposited anywhere in Ravenloft, stranded by the vapors which dissipate around him.
People in Ravenloft who willingly step into the Misty Borders can waunder within it. They walk in a bewildering, foggy dreamworld where time and space seem twisted and tangled. If their desire to remain in this limbo is strong enough, they can remain. When their will to stay within the borders falter, they find themselves deposited in one of Ravenloft’s domains within an hour. No one can predict or control where a waunderer emerges… that is determined by Ravenloft itself.
The Misty Border is not completely devoid of life. Small, temporary domains form within it. The border is also home to many waundering monsters. Just as a character can choose to stay in the mists, so can a creature, particularly one without the brains or personality to establish a domain. These creatures lurk within the Misty Borders, hoping to encounter travelers. Given such encounters, few travelers choose to remain in the Misty Borders for long.