Ravenloft Campaign: Woven Fates

Greetings!
Tonight, I relate the story of a group of strangers that met here in the Land of Mists and, forced by destiny, wandered its roads in formidable adventure. Join us as I lead you from their first meeting along through their travels, their misfortunes and their shining moments. Grace them with your compassion in their losses; bless them with your support when the sky is dark and bleak. Do not forget to bestow your praise upon them as they vanquish terror and hold back the minions of darkness. Raise your arm to cheer for their victories!
And above all, share your glass with us for them, both in sorrow and elation, as you accompany them in the thorny road from lost adventurers to heroes of the mists.


Come, huddle with us by the fire here in the dark. The night is cold, but within the ring of Vardos, its evils cannot touch us. Tonight, you are a guest of the Vistani and nothing will harm you. Come, the Prastonata is over and now is time for the Doroq. Let the tales now unfold, let the revelations begin...

Monday, November 15, 2004

Log Entry 17

The breakfast had ended. With a new day beginning, they pondered on their destiny. It was not clear that they were a group travelling together. It was not even as much clear that they would continue the same way. The only one of them that really had a place to go was Gregor: he needed to go to Barovia to solve his... spiritual problems. And with the coming winter, he needed to go there at once. Nikola just wanted some place with lots of people where he could hide and try to start his life anew... again. Would he continue forever like this, running from kith and kin until some day he'd wake up dead in a gutter? Would he ever establish himself and truly begin to live a normal life, like everybody else? Gheata, on the other hand, just wanted to go down for a while, to hide from Lord Valdemar's goons and, probably, start a new life also. Vanna had told him he might be useful in Kleinstadt, but the journey there could take up to a week, and with an angry lord on his tail, he did not want to go alone. Yuri also felt cast away without a purpose. He had his overarching duty to the church: at least, the mysteries of Kirien's and Tersis' death would have to be solved. But there were other questions in his head: the mysterious dreams that had brought him from Ingelberg to Keshgel had stopped, but he still remembered them. They surely had purposefully brought him to Keshgel, but why? Right now, he felt Gregor could need his help. He was the person he was most comfortable with in the whole group, and had decided to help, but without knowing what the other two intended to do, he couldn't decide. As for Eva, she was home, so she probably wouldn't continue with them. At last, they all agreed they would continue together until Ingelberg, and they would see later what to do.

Meanwhile, the three men continued sat at the table eyeing them. Their next stop set, the band hesitated on what to do. Another fight was the last thing they wanted. Gheata was still in need of medical care, and Eva and Nikola went to see her mother looking for some salves and ointments that might be helpful.

In the room, Yuri conferred with the other two.

"Folks, it seems we're all a bit afraid that those soldiers will come after us, but it is ridiculous to stay here paralyzed by such fear. My religious duties call me to action: I must go bury Dinech, and I need your help. Well?"

Yuri's words were enough to rouse them. The three of them left the inn by a side door into the outside and proceeded to the barn where they had left Dinech and the cart.

Eva's mother gave them a few things and proceeded to give advice on how best to apply them. Nikola, feeling such knowledge was completely wasted on him, came back to the room, just in time to see their table empty and the three soldiers leaving by the front door. He quickly perceived the situation. Gazing through the window, he watched the four men conferencing and deciding on a course of action: three of them went to his right, surrounding the house by the same side Yuri and the others had done before and the remaining one followed in the opposite direction. He rightly assessed the situation and understood his friends might be in problem. Discreetly, he exited the inn by the same door the soldiers had taken and followed the trio at a distance. The barn was beyond the southern wall of the inn, but since its front was narrower than the inn's, it was completely hidden from his view. When the soldiers turned to the barn, they disappeared from Nikola's range and so he hid in the corner of the house, spying upon them. From his spot, he could well see the three soldiers trying to kick down the barn's door. He surmised Gheata and the others must be inside. Carefully, as silent as he could be, Nikola drew his pistol and set watch. If things got dangerous, he'd be ready for them.

After talking with her mother, Eva crossed paths with her father. They had barely had any time to talk so they conversed a while about her few days in Keshgel and why she had come back. He told Eva it was nice to have her in the inn again, that there was plenty of work to do and one extra person was never too much. Besides, with the fortnight fair beginning in two days, she couldn't have appeared at a better time. And, as her father told her at each opportunity, perhaps she could find a man to go home with.

Eva didn't know what to say. She had gone to Keshgel at the behest of her cousin. She had come back with him because the situation had grown bad to his side. And in the mean time, she had involved with four other men and began an adventure, of sorts. And now, what of her? She was at home, but they were probably moving on. And yet.... she felt like going with them. She was happier in the wild than with people around and the boring life at the inn was very short from her true expectations from life. But she couldn't decide just yet.

She left her father and came back to the room, but no one was there. She went outside to look for them and saw Nikola hiding, with a pistol in his hand. Understanding he was spying on the soldiers, she decided to go around the house to appear on the other side, and maybe help in sieging them.

Meanwhile, Yuri, Gregor and Gheata had arrived to the barn and closed and barred the door behind them. They barely had time to ready the horses when they heard an authoritarian voice outside

"In the name of Lord Valdemar Greyhound, open the gate"

They replied what was their motive, to which the captain of those men replied they merely wanted the bald muscled one. They refused to open the door and remained barricaded inside the barn. The captain then tried to kick the door open. Gregor and Gheata braced the door and held the first impact, but at the second kick they felt the wood cede a little. Yuri meditated for a while and commandingly said to the captain "Flee", his voice imbued with Ezra's authority. The man stopped in mid run, and incapable of controlling himself ran away from the stable door. The others looked at each other amazed and joined their leader.

"The command won't last more than a minute. They will be back after that" sighed Yuri.

"Then we have to prepare for them. This door won't hold, so I guess the best we can do is to fool them. Let's remove the bar. When one of them comes running again, he'll fall here inside and we gain the advantage."

Gregor's plan was sound. They prepared quickly. As Yuri had warned, the soldiers were back, but from the cracks in the gate, they only saw two. The captain, as Nikola from his hiding point had seen, had gone around the barn to the southern front, where there was a gate not a meter and a half high. Still, he had no means to warn his mates. Neither had he time to react. The first man came and with a kick threw back the door. He didn't expect it to open so easily and for a moment stood there looking in surprise. It was enough for Gheata to shoot at him, missing by a hair and closing later with his mace. The full brunt of the weapon hit him square in the face and the man fell dead. Seeing the situation was controlled and knowing of the captain's position, Nikola ran from his hiding point and gave him chase. Gregor and Yuri closed upon the other one who, outnumbered, proved little match for them. With another mighty blow of his mace, Gheata threw the second one down. Meanwhile, the captain had already turned around and, aiming from the south gate of the barn, shot his crossbow with certain aim. Yuri was hit, but survived the blow. Nikola arrived too late to prevent him firing but closed immediately with his rapier. Warned of the captain's presence, Yuri and Gregor opened the gate and joined the fray. Gheata, on the other hand, looking at the man at his feet, saw that he still breathed. With refined cruelty, he drew his dagger and knelt by the man's throat. Meticulously, he approached it from his neck and slit it open, blood gushing forth freely. Bearing wry smile, he carved a 'G' on the man's front with the tip of his dagger. A cloud covered the sky and a chill went up Gheata's spine. A distant thunder echoed, even though there were no signs of rain or storm. A cold haze numbed Gheata for a while, but he shook it off and stood untouched and unwavering. He took from the dead his crossbow and some bolts and then went back to the south gate, where his friends still held the captain.

Meanwhile, turning the western corner of the house, Eva had spotted the fourth soldier, walking with care not to alert anyone. Eva approached him but a misplaced step broke a dry branch and warned the soldier of his presence. Affecting innocence and pretending casualty in her being there, she gave him her most beautiful and enticing smile, accompanied with a sweet

"Hello!"

and slowly and nonchalantly passed him by, disguising her true intentions.

The man, however, taken by her alluring gaze and charming voice, forgot completely about his companions. Nor did he, in truth, think they were in any kind of danger, and as is usual with lewd men as Valdemar's soldiers mostly were, he gave in to his basest instincts and grabbed Eva and groped her.

Eva, sensing she could control him, turned back and with an appealing voice said simply

"Yes?"

and began to embrace him as well. The man was taken by surprise, her reaction so much beyond his expectations. But definitely forgetting why he was there, he became as charmed by Eva.

"Not here, darling. Let me take you to some place more private", she said. Holding his hand, she continued towards the south wall of the barn.

Meanwhile, the captain fought for his life with Nikola, Gheata, Yuri and Gregor. Nikola fatally pierced him just as Eva and the last soldier turned around the corner. What he saw broke off completely Eva's seduction. In a moment, he waved his sword at her, but she dodged it. Then he turned back and ran as fast as he could. Eva gave chase but couldn't run well in her dress and lost ground to him.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the battle, Yuri healed Gheata's remaining wounds, while Gregor once again looted the fallen soldiers, taking a crossbow, some money and some bolts.

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