Skarda’s Mirror

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Seethyr
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Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Seethyr » Tue May 28, 2019 3:44 pm

When I was quite young I bought (well, parents bought for me) this adventure. I remember reading through it and finding the mirror world to be a very cool place that I wanted to visit.

Has anything been written about the mirror realm beyond this adventure?
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Sturm » Wed May 29, 2019 9:25 am

Nope, nothing that I know of. And I've searched because my current PbP here has Skarda as main villain :)
The mirror was supposedly created by an unknown, maybe dead, Immortal as a portal to a secluded retreat, along with six others which got lost in the centuries. It works as a Mirror of Life Trapping, creates Magical monsters and has a serious penalty, infecting the owner with a mania of conquering the world. And mostly has a Mirror world inside where Skarda stored an army (and slaves). He also eventually ruins it by mining the place, and in the module the unavoidable consequence is the destruction of the Mirror world and its portal. This was clearly done in the module to avoid giving PCs such a powerful item :)
There are others interesting mirrors in Mystara, another strange black mirror which appears in B10 in the Isle of Lost Dream turning creatures chaotic and the mirror shield which imprisoned the alien (later Immortal) Benekander, but they do not seem similar or connected to Skarda's mirror, unless the DM decides so :)
A Golden Mirror of Ka is also mentioned as the only thing which could destroy the Mask of Bachraeus, another artifact of the patron of medusae, but nothing more, AFAIK, is said of its powers.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Seethyr » Wed May 29, 2019 3:06 pm

Sturm wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:25 am
Nope, nothing that I know of. And I've searched because my current PbP here has Skarda as main villain :)
The mirror was supposedly created by an unknown, maybe dead, Immortal as a portal to a secluded retreat, along with six others which got lost in the centuries. It works as a Mirror of Life Trapping, creates Magical monsters and has a serious penalty, infecting the owner with a mania of conquering the world. And mostly has a Mirror world inside where Skarda stored an army (and slaves). He also eventually ruins it by mining the place, and in the module the unavoidable consequence is the destruction of the Mirror world and its portal. This was clearly done in the module to avoid giving PCs such a powerful item :)
There are others interesting mirrors in Mystara, another strange black mirror which appears in B10 in the Isle of Lost Dream turning creatures chaotic and the mirror shield which imprisoned the alien (later Immortal) Benekander, but they do not seem similar or connected to Skarda's mirror, unless the DM decides so :)
A Golden Mirror of Ka is also mentioned as the only thing which could destroy the Mask of Bachraeus, another artifact of the patron of medusae, but nothing more, AFAIK, is said of its powers.
That’s too bad – I was hoping that it somehow made it into future products, but I’ll try to check out the others. I know a “mirror realm” or demiplane in D&D speak is a relatively common fantasy trope, but one I still enjoy. I think it was the artwork in Skarda’s Mirror that made me like that particular example so much, and I clearly remember being somewhat hesitant near my own mirrors at home because of that mirror fiend lol. The demiplane seemed perfectly boxy and exactly how I think a realm inside a mirror should appear. It wasn’t a particularly fantastic piece of work, but it certainly left an impression considering I’m remembering in now 30+ years later.

Perhaps there is an alternative to the mirror trope such as a reflective lake or some other pocket dimension led to by a reflective surface. I’m into the idea now.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Big Mac » Wed May 29, 2019 4:26 pm

Seethyr wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 3:44 pm
When I was quite young I bought (well, parents bought for me) this adventure. I remember reading through it and finding the mirror world to be a very cool place that I wanted to visit.
Is the mirror world some sort of clone of Mystara or is it something else entirely?

Would it work as it's own campaign setting?

Rich Baker's Blades of the Moonsea novels have the Shadowfell (the 4e name for the Plane of Shadow) being a sort of alternative history version of the Material Plane.

There is a section where someone goes to a Shadowfell town and has to fight a bunch of monsters while trying to get to a building that is heavily defended on the Material Plane.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by RobJN » Wed May 29, 2019 5:48 pm

One of the themes I've been playing around with in my work on Thorn's Chronicle is the notion that reflective surfaces are/can be portals, provided you know how to make them work... and different reflective surfaces lead to different "depths" of their various Mirrored Worlds (most commonly, the Fey/Faerie Realms, but sometimes the Aetheric (a demiplane of Knowledge [think a magical, Etheric-like internet]).

A still pool under a high sun might take you to the realm of the Sommersfey/Seelie, while that same pool under a new moon might take you to the Winter/Unseelie version of the same place. Visit it under a full moon, and you might find yourself in the Wild Court. And it will be different still if reflected torchlight or blackflame is present....
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Sturm » Thu May 30, 2019 8:57 am

BIg Mac, the mirror world is just about one mile long, three-fourths of a mile wide, and 500‘ tall. Enough for a small city and not more. It has water and sort of building material, hydroponics cultivation and about 4,000 residents (3,000 slaves). That's all.

RobJN this is a nice idea which indeed makes perfect sense in fairy stories. In my Mystara the faeries know of seven material worlds: Mystara proper, the Shadowdeep, the Hollow World, the Undersea, the Skies, Patera and Matera. The seven portals of the Mirror world could lead to them :) In each world faeries have their own realms and courts which are partially separated from the material world, yet connected, by pools, circles of stones, ancient trees and the like. I like the idea of the same portal leading to different courts/realms depending on conditions..
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Yaztromo » Thu May 30, 2019 9:30 am

Sturm wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 9:25 am
There are others interesting mirrors in Mystara, another strange black mirror which appears in B10 in the Isle of Lost Dream turning creatures chaotic and the mirror shield which imprisoned the alien (later Immortal) Benekander, but they do not seem similar or connected to Skarda's mirror, unless the DM decides so :)
A Golden Mirror of Ka is also mentioned as the only thing which could destroy the Mask of Bachraeus, another artifact of the patron of medusae, but nothing more, AFAIK, is said of its powers.
There are two classic Gary Ggax adventures (I think they are formally set on Greyhawk, but they are easy to drop a bit in any setting), Dungeonland and The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror, that are clearly heavily inspired by Lewis Carrol literature (probably just like all other adventures mentioned, although to a different degree), that are about entering alternate dimensions through magic mirrors. I'd imagine the little world in Skarda's mirror somewhat related to this.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by stanles » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:43 pm

There seems to be some thoughts placing it as an inner plane and others placing it as an outer plane but nothing substantive no.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:55 pm

A Plane of Mirrors is described as a variant Transitive Plane in the 3E Manual of the Planes; it is not so different from the plane described in Skarda's Mirror as to be incompatible (with the notable exception that that version creates an opposite alignment counterpart of characters entering it, like a clone spell gone awry). Information in that book could certainly be used to further define Skarda's Mirror (including a mirror travel spell that grants access to it).

As noted, there are other examples of mirror planes in both TSR canon as well as popular fiction; in addition to the Greyhawk modules and Through the Looking Glasls of Carrol, a Hall of Mirrors features fairly heavily in the second series of Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles and a few of the final short stories related to that series that he wrote before his passing.

If using the "mirror counterpart" idea of the 3E plane of mirrors, I'd be tempted to have the Heartstone (of module XL-1) be constructed out of material from the mirror universe, and create a link between the two (perhaps the same Immortal creator). I'm even tempted to link the mirror plane to the Rainbow Bridge and alternative Rainbow Planes (from modules CM7 and M3) just based on concepts of light refraction and color, but that's speculation for another time.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Seethyr » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:15 pm

Not to mention the mirror beast from Conan 2. Favorite scene from those movies.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:16 am

Seethyr wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:15 pm
Not to mention the mirror beast from Conan 2. Favorite scene from those movies.
You just reminded me of another Mystaran beast that could possibly have ties to Skarda's mirror; the Epadrazzil from Dungeon #2. Though that monster seems to be more explicitly connected to magic paintings, its appearance (ape-like) and modus operandi are very similar to the Mirror Fiends of module X12. Could there be a connection?
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by Seethyr » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:57 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:16 am
Seethyr wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:15 pm
Not to mention the mirror beast from Conan 2. Favorite scene from those movies.
You just reminded me of another Mystaran beast that could possibly have ties to Skarda's mirror; the Epadrazzil from Dungeon #2. Though that monster seems to be more explicitly connected to magic paintings, its appearance (ape-like) and modus operandi are very similar to the Mirror Fiends of module X12. Could there be a connection?
Oh man, that's going to be a tough issue to drag up, but now I am VERY curious lol.
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Re: Skarda’s Mirror

Post by ripvanwormer » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:20 am

I rounded up information on the Plane of Mirrors here.

One of my favorite takes on the idea is Silvergate from Penumbra's Seven Civilizations. Silvergate is a city constructed within a mirror-plane initially as a prison. Over the centuries the inhabitants learned how to use mirrors to cross into other worlds.

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