Lost in the Mists
The Darklords are the rulers of the various domains of dread with The Mists. Each Lord is unique and there are countless legends about each of them. Some of them are clearly supernatural, others mortal and some are very mysterious. There are minor Lords and major Lords. Their powers vary greatly, and their domains are practically unique planes in and of themselves. But each Lord has similar traits or themes.
All of the Darklords share a sinister history. Though every lord is unique, each one has a sordid back-story full of treachery, betrayal and depravity. Often there is a common theme of a fall from grace or wicked behavior prior to the Lord’s arrival in Ravenloft. Simply evil isn’t enough for these creatures, but true debasement and ignominious acts are what fuels their power.
Rudolph van Richten believed that each Darklord was connected to a series of fetters, items connected to the Darklord’s arrival in Ravenloft. Each Lord seems to have some kind of curse, though the legends about this are unclear and contradictory.
Each Lord is connected to some form of Realm, an area (or building/item) where they hold ultimate sway. The size of the realm and/or the amount of influence the Lord has over the Realm is related in some way to the overall power of the Realm. Each Realm is bordered by the Mists, and sometimes the Lord has their own barrier at the border. These unique barriers take the form of undead hosts, poisonous gas, tempests and other kinds of obstruction. The Darklords can call up these barriers to impact egress if they wish. Curiously, they do not seem to be able to leave their own Realms.
The Darklords are feared to be immortal. Indeed, many have ruled for centuries. There are very few legends of any one ever killing or destroying a Darklord. Those legends often have another character taking up the mantle of the Lord.