I have once again traveled beyond the mists in search of my mentor. Van Richten, you have lead me to a domain of great power, a domain of ultimate evil. From Darkon to Forlorn, and across Kartakass I have mimicked your every move. You may not be my mentor in person, but I continue to learn from your mistakes, and the bread crumbs you leave behind. Your madness is causing you to become sloppy.
I’m not sure if the dread lords let you pass through the mists so easily. Your nuisance to them has probably led them to do anything to expel them from their lands. My Vistani heritage assists me, but something is strange about this land of Barovia. I was once told as a child that there was one lord that all Vistani obey, one that granted us the ease of travel to the lands beyond the mists, and to the land that are trapped in the mists.
I found you hideout, a tower overlooking a lake. Not a horrible defensive position, only one small strip of land to get to it. If not for that it would almost be on an island. I do not see you or your colorful wagon. From the litter of bones I can tell you still bring that beast with you. I hear you have fitted it with armor, I understand your anger, but can a saber-toothed tiger really wear armor? It’s growing its own mythology, the Vistani talk of a giant cat that can smell them from hundreds of yards way. Can it smell me? Are you willing to allow it to rip limbs off of my corpse as well?
I have heard of a great beacon of light, a abbot that lives in the walled village I came across when I first came to this land. They wouldn’t let me in with my wagon, so I’ll leave it here at this rickety old tower. I hope you take caution if you try to break into it. Though I’m sure your recognize the traps I have laid.
The burgomaster Dmitri Krezkov was pleased to let me entry as I showed him a corpse of a wolf I had killed during my travels. He believed it to be the skin a werewolf, when it was only a cloak I had bought long ago. Either way I can now spend some time looking for you Van Richten.
No one has heard of you or your deeds here. These people survive by not engaging in the world beyond these walls. Each family lives on their own in the cabins they build from the trees that are grown and replanted within the walls. They let no one in, and none of their common community goes out. It appears the only trade is with a local winery, in exchange for empty barrels. There seems to be no exchange of goods for value, just service. A true utopian community built on fear of what lies beyond it’s walls.
I have visited a holy shrine to the Morninglord. They claim that one drink from the waters in the pool at the monuments feet will cure any illness, but only once. This seems grand until another disease comes and you have nothing to turn too. Apparently this happened to the Burgomaster and his wife Anna. The day I got here they had just buried their son, Ilya.
I came her to learn more about the abbot of Saint Markovia. The villagers say that the Abbey of Saint Markovia is named after a priest of the Morninglord who once lead a group of devout to stand against this domain’s lord, Count Strahd von Zarovich. it is now occupied by one they just call the Abbot, who rarely visits the village. The villagers do not climb the road to the abbey due to horrible cries that can be heard from the place. Is this a place of hope or a place of fear and horror?
I have met the Abbot. A strikingly young attractive man who seems very devote to the Morninglord. That is what he appears to be, but the madness is clearly taken his mind. He claims to be hundreds of year old and has made mistakes in experiments to help other from the past of the village Krezk. He has turned a whole family into creatures hardly recognizable as people. These mongrels take on the aspects of various animals, most appear to be kind, yet he has a dozen or more locked up in cages.
His current work is that of a golem. Nothing I haven’t seen before, but this is truly remarkable. It’s stitches are nearly indistinguishable. They came from dead village women, created to trick Strahd into marrying it. Apparently Strahd is cursed to see a lost love, but it usually means taking a local Barovian woman that looks strikingly similar.
My people have told of curses upon all those of great evil. Is Strahd similar, is he the ally of my people, is he the devil that no one wants to speak of?
The Abbot has been a gracious host. Letting me stay here as I please, and doesn’t seem to try to hide anything. I found the remaining pieces of his work. I can say that I accept this as that of the Morninglord, but I must restrain as I am here to find Van Richten. If this Strahd is some great evil that is why he has come to this domain. Then I must allow some evil to happen to destroy the ultimate evil. Maybe I’ll deal with the Abbot later.
I was awoken from my nap to a large sound of thunder, and a booming voice that I could barely make out. Is this the domain’s lord threatening someone?
I overheard the abbot in an argument with a equally handsome figure. He was blunt in his claim that the abbot’s work was hardly that of the Morninglord. He accused the abbot of failing to protect a young woman by the name of Ireena. A more darker man, that only allows us to see his eyes said she disappeared into the pool, as if connected to her lost love.
As they talked another thunderous sound came from the abbey’s garden. As the guests left, I gathered my things. I need to know more about this travelers. I ran to the gates of the abbey to see a group of people gathered at the gardens, and what appeared to be undead laying at their feet.
They were here from another land. Their intentions were first to hunt a group of werewolves, but they got lost. I will say I’ve heard that story too many times. But they found themselves deep into the story of Ireena and Strahd. He was hunting her to make her his wife, but he has done great harm to people across Barovia in doing so. I understand my mentor’s intentions now, and I will do what I can to help him fulfill them. The brooding one that is good with a bow, has told me that we were destined to meet. Informed through the eyes a Vistani seer. If the fates have brought us together than I will continue my journey with them.