Precis: Tibet/theocracy through a Gothic lens.
Conspectus: A dying island ruled by the priests of Zhakata, the beast-god; Yagno Petrovna is the spiritual and political leader of G'Henna; all aspects of life in G'Henna revolve around the worship of Zhakata—starvation is considered an honorable death as it proves one's devotion to the beast-god; the typical home in G'Henna is filled with religious artifacts, including a drinking vessel made from the skull of a family member who starved for Zhakata which is offered to all visitors; because death is so prevalent in G'Henna children are not named until they reach the age of six; heretics preach the gospel of Zakhata the Provider—these heretics are turned into mongrelmen by a ritual performed by Petrovna when they are caught by his soldiers; it is rumored that Zakhata recently walked the world in the form of the Devourer, and left massive devastation in his wake; Zhukar is the principal city, as well as the religious and cultural center of the island; Yagno Petrovna's grand cathedral is located within Zhukar; Dervich is the other important city in G'Henna, but while it was once a busting trade city it has fallen on hard times and is haunted by a multitude of phantoms; each spring ushers in a period of deadly mudslides—this time is known as the “Season of Zhakata's Banquet.”
Commentary: I'm betting that G'henna's point of inspiration flew under the radar for most Ravenloft fans. G'henna has its basis in pre-Chinese invasion Tibet. And despite what white people with dreadlocks want to tell you, pre-Communist Tibet was a deeply fucked-up place. You see, the Western world and the Middle East don't have a monopoly on using religion to do horrible things. The Dalai Lama's Tibet was a theocracy and history tends to bear out the idea that theocracies are always a bad idea. In the 20th century Tibet was still a feudal country with massive power inequalities. TIBET STILL HAD LEGAL SLAVERY AND SERFDOM, FOR EXAMPLE. So yeah, Free Tibet! indeed. Tibet doesn't really figure into any Gothic literature that I know of, but hot damn is that place ripe for Gothic adventure; makes a nice alternative to the usual Evil Catholics, right?