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The Vistani are a fictional race of mystical Gypsies native to the Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting of Ravenloft. Little is known about the Vistani, as they are essentially plot devices for the Dungeon Master, but some of what is known is summarized below:

  • Vistani are capable of controlling the Mists of Ravenloft, which allows them to transport themselves anywhere they desire without the risk of the Mistway drifting. They are the only beings who can enter the Mists and be guaranteed of exiting where they want, though the Dark Powers can always affect this.
  • Vistani possess a powerful wanderlust, and cannot stay within a mile of a given point for more than a week before suffering a condition called "Static Burn," where the Vistani is afflicted with an illness resembling the flu or a fever. When this occurs, the Vistani has between 2 and 7 days to cross the necessary ground or permanently lose all of their mystical powers, becoming an outcast known as a mortu, which translates roughly as "Living Dead."
  • Vistani possess powerful, innate magical abilities, most of which bear great resemblance of sorcery as well as three unique abilities: Curse Potency, the Evil Eye and the Sight. Curse Potency is self-explanatory: curses in Ravenloft have great power, and the curses of Vistani are more likely to come true. The Evil Eye is the ability to mystically blight another person's luck, whilst the Sight is powerful divination magic, allowing them to predict the future. The Sight is only allowed to exist amongst Vistani women; it does occur in Vistani men, but any male babe detected to have the Sight is slain.
  • There are several unique ranks in the Vistani: Raunie is the title of the female Vistani in the camp with the most power in the Sight. A Darkling is a Vistani criminal who has been cast out from the tribe, they hate and are hated by Vistani. A Dukkar is a male Vistani born with the Sight who has grown to adulthood. Such a being will inevitably bring great suffering to the Vistani. The only Dukkar alive is a half-fiend who rules the domain of Invidia (but is not the darklord for that domain). The Vistani who wrote the prophecy foretelling the Grand Conjunction was inferred to be a dukkar.

Vistani also appear in the Victorian Age campaign setting Masque of the Red Death.

The fictional character Rudolph van Richten, a famous Monster Hunter in Ravenloft notorious for penning a series of guides to hunting and slaying various monsters, had a great enmity for the Vistani for most of his monster-hunting career.

ReferencesEdit

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