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...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Log Entry 31

During the day, snow had fallen incessantly, to the point where, by noon, it had accumulated to one foot. Thus, their only distraction and occupation during the day was digging the snow periodically so that it wouldn't rise too much. Mercilessly, it kept falling and falling and when night finally came, they decided it was better to leave some one watching through the night. They lit a fire with the last wood they had gathered and they prepared to sleep, hoping that the next day would bring improvement.
Gheata was the designated watch. Fighting bravely against sleep, he held through the night until one or two hours before dawn, he began digging the snow at the entrance of the cave, which was already acquiring a noteworthy height. Working diligently, he managed to reduce it back again but in the last few minutes he was already scraping against the rocky floor. Eva awoke with the noise, and still in the confusing border between dormancy and full awareness, she grabbed the nearest object, which happened to be a shovel, and threw it in Gheata's direction, adjoining with a loud cry
"Stop that noise and let me sleep!"

She had exactly the opposite of her wishes. The shovel missed Gheata by a large margin, but it clanged against the rock with so stridulous a sound, then amplified by the cave's resonance, that everybody woke in fright. They looked around to see what had happened. Gheata finished digging, held his shovel firmly and approached Eva with a determined step. Without hesitation, he hit her with it, making her cringe in place, and then turned his back on her and went to a corner of the cave and huddled to sleep.

Eva tried to reply, but her conscience told her she would best not to. Instead, she and the others got up and decided to defy the day that was still to come. Meanwhile, Eva and Gregor looked outside. It still snowed, although less steadily than on the eve. On the other hand, it was windier. Eva shook her head despondently

"The day won't improve today. It's still snowing and it will stay that way for some hours at least..."

Gregor was worried.

"You don't have food anymore, do you? How much food do we have, in fact?"

They gathered what they had and found it could last barely three days, with some rationing needed.

"But we're still one day away from Krezk, from what they told us. And that would be in normal weather! As it is, we'll need at least two days to get there. We're in a dire situation, it seems. If the weather doesn't improve today, we'll have problems."
Yuri nodded at Gregor's words, but Eva suggested

"We could go gather food and wood. Two of us could go outside, we have warm clothes, and see if we can find enough to hold one or two days more here in the cave, waiting for the snow to pass."
"I fear it won't stop so soon", said Gregor, "we're in the wintry season now, and it's against our best judgement to wait for sunny warm days. It's snowing outside, but it's no blizzard. Perhaps we'll have to dare the weather as it is."
"And what about the horses? We have no more food for them! There's no more wood and we'll freeze tonight if we don't light a fire. Anyway, we'll have to go outside, either to move away or to prepare for another night."

"Well, we have to pray meanwhile," said Gregor. "Give me and Yuri an hour and then we'll decide what we do. Perhaps our gods will give us protection from this cold."

Eva and Irina then went back to rest. After their meditation, Gregor and Yuri went back to the plans for the day. Dawn was upon them and the sun would be up soon, but the snow didn't show signs of relenting. Gregor looked at the new day and finally exclaimed, more for himself that for Yuri

"We'll have to move out. We have to dare the snow."
Yuri, at his side, acquiesced silently. "I will beg Ezra to protect Irina from the cold today. She is the frailest."

Gregor had thought of doing the same to himself. "I want to be prepared to go out for any task that is needed". He prayed fervently to the Morning Lord and this time his confidence was rewarded. Yuri invoked Ezra's protection on Irina and they informed the others of their suggestion. Eva agreed without difficulty.

"We should raise Gheata, then. He didn't sleep the whole night, but let's hope he will hold the day".

Some time later, they were out on the move, again. They dressed as warmly as they could and some of them tried to protect their horses with the blankets, but they were having extreme difficulty to support the cold. The day was long, and for the most part uneventful, but the cold was intense. Gheata and Eva suffered the most from it, and by midday, they were fighting against hypothermia. Twice in the morning, Eva had used her keen wilderness senses to the use of the group, as she found and gathered two armloads of firewood that now rested on the burdened horses.
Diligently, stubbornly, they continued to dare the weather, looking for opportunities to hunt, but no other living thing dared the cold whiteness of the mountain. And they went on until, by the middle of the afternoon, a sudden event came to disturb their monotony. It was snowing heavily, and visibility was reduced almost to zero. They could barely see the next person ahead of them and the horse by their side.

So, it was with sudden shock that coming out of nowhere, Irina's horse fell to the side with a thump. A feral grunt accompanied it, warning them that they were not alone, but only then they understood that it had been there for a while, only it was disguised in the ululating wind. They ganged together to understand what had hit them: a tall, furry, burly white humanoid stood in front of them, eyeing the horses covetously. It was hungry, and none were mistaken to its identity: the fabled Yeti, who once again howled in his distinctive manner as if trying to scare competition away. Irina had jumped to the side, alarmed, when her horse fell, but she was quick to respond. As soon as she could distinctly see the snow monster, she raised her hand and a thin silvery ray flickered from it. It hit the Yeti straight in the chest. It didn't seem to harm him, but he shook and it was visible he had been somehow affected. Gheata, meanwhile, gasped amazed. The others tried to fight the Yeti. Eva fired some arrows at it, but only the first one hit. This made the beast come against her and distract his attention from the horses. Irina kept attacking him from the distance: from her fingers, she shot a yellowish ball of magical energy that hit the Yeti on the head; with another silvery ray, the beast finally quivered and staggered. She fired yet another of the energy balls, but still the Yeti didn't fall nor change his target. Its feeble mind was focused on only one person: Eva. He hit her hardly with a blow on her head that sent her to her knees. Eva rolled out of the way, and stopped a moment to recover from the huge blow. She got up and swung wildly at him with her two swords. She hit, but still the beast held. Gheata approached the Yeti as fast as he could, while Yuri and Gregor offered their prayers to defend him and Eva and even strengthen their chances of attack. Eva got up and attacked the Yeti again, flanking him with Gheata. In the end, it was he who, with a mighty blow, plunged his sword in the Yeti's massive back killing it instantly. It fell over Eva, but with a quick reaction she plunged to the right and escaped the monster.

They rested at last. Irina's horse seemed dead, but they were not sure yet. And the Yeti promised lots of food and a valuable trophy: his skin. But dusk was pressing nigh, and with it, the extreme cold of the dark hours. A tough decision was upon them: lose time scalping and quartering the Yeti or move immediately to find a place to spend the night.


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