Ravenloft Campaign: Woven Fates

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...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Log Entry 30

8th October 751, 3rd Night After the New Moon

The following day, Irina and Yuri went again to Sandor's house, and they did so well that by the end of the day, Sandor told them they were free to move on, that the most complex part they had already achieved. "You can find the rest for yourselves", he told them. Meanwhile, the rest of the group idled time by, waiting patiently that the next day would come so they could finally be on their way.

9th October 751, 1st Night of the Waxing Moon

Early on, they made their way out of Vallaki. The road ahead, they knew, was difficult, winding up the mountain in the cold. As they advanced in the day, they climbed higher, breathing with more difficulty. The road was bordered by soft slopes here, dangerous cliffs there, but for most of the part, it simply advanced in the middle of plain. Everything was covered in snow, making their advance difficult.
In the afternoon, they crossed paths with a group that came in the opposite direction. Five men came on a covered wagon which trailed a cage with a curious animal inside: a huge cat, with white fur. Evangelina exclaimed
"Wow, it's, a panther! They come only from Valachan!"
Gregor stopped to talk to the men:
"Nice creature, you have there. Is she ferocious?"
"Yeah.... I wouldn't pet it, if I were you", the man grinned sarcastically. Then he added in a more serious tone:
"It's an albino panther, from Valachan. Very rare, even there. But hey, we're specialized in hard tasks"
The "we" referred, no doubt, to the company whose markings the wagon bore: the Red Vardo Traders. Gregor and Gheata shrugged, not recognizing the name.
Gregor asked for advice
"Well, we're going to Krezk. Any advice that you can give us? Can we come to meet wolves?"
"Well... the usual thing.... There's a nasty weather ahead of you. You won't get lost, Krezk is just the next stop. But stay warm. No, there are no wolves here, but you may cross white bears and there are those that speak of the Yeti."
"Can we scare the Yeti with fire?"
"Ahahahaha.... How should I know? Many people talk of it, but no one ever saw one or fought one, rather. So, if you do meet one, you'll have to try and experiment, right? Well, so long, we have to go."

The groups continued their ways. As night approached, they found a hunter's cabin who offered them stay and food for the night. He told them the story of the Queen of Ice, a spectre that lived around Mt Baratak, but which on occasion came down to this road. He told them as she had died freezing in the mountain, decades ago, and as since then she relentlessly came looking for the warmth of the living beings to cast away the unbearable cold that torments her undeath. Gregor shivered, remembering the one time he had been hugged by a ghost. He remembered the cold.
"We will mount guard tonight!"
"Hey, it was just a story", said the hunter, slightly admired with the impression his story had had. "Though in fact, to tell the truth, I think even I once was nearly taken by her. I was transfixed in place, she looked at me with her transparent, crystal-like eyes. I was fallen in the snow, and unable to move and she was nearly, nearly embracing me. I closed my eyes and awaited her cold touch. As it took a moment too long, I opened them again and saw her fleeing. Behind me, the sun was rising and gave my thanks to whatever god protected me that night, for I could have stayed there.... Like many others that are found in cold sunny mornings all frozen, sometimes like balls of ice."
This did not ease Gregor. They kept shifts and watched through the night.

10th October 751, 2nd Night of the Waxing Moon

The next day passed without incident, but the weather grew fouler. Wind became more intense, and the snow deeper. By the early afternoon, they reached a pass that cut between the Balinoks. Passes like these were the only thing that allowed the Balinoks to be crossed, and they only existed in Barovia, giving the country strategic importance. They saw no living soul, although during the day Irina thought she had seen the Yeti in the distance. Yuri and Eva also saw a shape, a white figure that moved quickly out of site apparently in upright position, but with all the falling snow, it was impossible to tell. When night came, the only viable refuge they could find were some caves in the cliff face. They chose one with adequate room for air, not too deep and which, apparently, was not being used by bears. Gheata, though, thought they would be safer if they set a fire at the entrance of the cave. He and Eva went to look for firewood. There were not much trees, but they were experts in this kind of exploration and returned with enough fuel for a good fire. As he was lighting it, Gheata saw a bear in the distance, walking in the snow.
"Hmmm... We'll have to keep watches yet again tonight."

11th October 751, 3rd Night of the Waxing Moon

When they awoke, the fire was out and the watch was asleep. Fortunately, nothing had disturbed them, but outside the wind had grown to a strength that wouldn't let them walk. Snow fell with heaviness and they anxiously watched the day grow old without their being able to move out. They set for another night in the cave.


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