Ravenloft Character

Frantisek Markov

Universe Ravenloft
Homeland Markovia
Gender Male
Race Human
Age Unknown
Class Unknown
Alignment lawful evil

Frantisek Markov is a fictional character; one of the domain lords of the Dungeons & Dragons campaign Ravenloft.

Frantisek grew up on a small pig farm outside the village of Vallaki in Barovia. He married a young woman from the village and they opened a butcher shop there. Out of either curosity or sadism, Frantisek began to experiment with the animals, performing surgical amputations, grafts, and glandular injections. The animals invariably died within a few days, but his gruesome hobby cost him nothing, since he could still sell the meat. When his wife discovered his ghastly pastime, she was revolted and threatened to leave him and tell the villagers about the meat they were buying. Furious, Frantisek made her his next experiment, and she lived for three days. When her body was first discovered, the villagers thought it was the body of a horrible beast. When the truth was discovered, they exiled Frantisek to the Mists, where he became the darklord of Markovia.

Markov was given the ability to transform his body into that of any animal, although always retaining his human head. Due to the nature of his curse, he is completely unable to return to human form. He usually chooses to keep the shape of a gorilla, in order to make use of its primate hands in his experiments and surgeries. Anyone who is unfortunate enough to fall into Markov's clutches becomes fodder for his experiments, where they are converted into beastmen through a series of agonizing surgical procedures. Markov is frantically trying to find the key to human transformation in an effort to regain his form. He is unaware that he labors under a curse and is thus always doomed to failure. The beastmen he creates view Markov as a god, and worship him out of fear.

In the Grand Conjunction of 735 BC (Barovian Calendar)[when?], Markovia disappeared from the centre of the Core and reappeared in the Sea of Sorrows, west of Lamordia, thus cutting Markov off from a ready supply of experimental subjects. He now relies on shipwrecks, castaways, and unwary visitors to his island, and several colonization attempts have resulted in entire villages disappearing and a resulting surge in the beastmen population.

The character is based on the title character of the H.G. Wells novel The Island of Dr Moreau[citation needed].


  • Nesmith, Bruce; Andria Hayday (1990). Realm of Terror. TSR. ISBN 0-88038-835-6. 
  • Nesmith, Bruce; Andria Hayday, William Connors (1994). Ravenloft Campaign Setting. TSR. ISBN 1-56076-942-4. 
  • Grubb, Jeff (1995). Neither Man Nor Beast. TSR. ISBN 0-7869-0205-1. 
  • Connors, William; Steve Miller (1997). Domains of Dread. TSR/Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-0672-3. 
  • Cermak, Andrew; John Mangrum, Andrew Wyatt (2001). Ravenloft Campaign Setting (3rd Edition). Arthaus. ISBN 1-58846-075-4. 
  • Cermak, Andrew; John Mangrum, Andrew Wyatt (2001). Secrets of the Dread Realms. Arthaus. ISBN 1-58846-076-2. 
  • Mangrum, John; Brian Campbell, Carla Hollar, Rucht Lilavivat, Anthony Pryor, Peter Woodworth, Andrew Wyatt (2003). Ravenloft Dungeon Master's Guide. Arthaus. ISBN 1-58846-084-3. 

pl:Frantisek Markov