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, November 21, 2005

Log Entry 4

It was perhaps an hour before dusk when the group met all again at the temple and they of their findings to each other. Tersis, on the other hand, had news of his own: two girls had appeared that morning with a strange feebleness, even though on the eve they had been with perfect health. Neither of them was of sickly completion, so people found the fact odd and reported it to the search. Their symptoms were similar: paleness, general weakness and deliria. Tersis had been taking care of them for some hours.
After considering all they had found, they naturally asked Tersis if he knew anything of the records of The Order. The priest hesitated for a moment, and then said he had forgotten about them completely and that he would look for them that night. He made an involuntary movement of his eyebrows, a nervous twinge that only Nikola captured, but which revealed him that Tersis was not comfortable regarding that subject. Nikola kept this for himself, but remained intrigued and decided to investigate later when he had the chance.
That evening before dinner, as Tersis went to his room, Nikola followed him, taking great care not to be detected by the priest. He was not, and even caught a worried look from Tersis in the direction of a painting hanging on the wall in front of his door.

They had all dinner at the temple and discussed the matter of the ill girls. Yuri and Gregor suggested they could keep a vigil at their homes that night, to try to sustain the onset of the supposed disease, and Tersis agreed. Right after dinner, he went to the house of one of them to warn her parents that he would be taking two assistant priests later that night to assist the young girl.

While he went on this errand, Yuri and Gregor escorted Evangelina home. Alone in the temple, Nikola decided that was the right time to further his enquiries and try to understand Tersis' worries. He went to the corridor where the Priest's room was and gave a good look at the painting.
"Nothing out of the ordinary", he thought, but his trained senses and intuition clearly told him something else. He touched the frame, examined all its area and removed the painting carefully. As he thought, there was a small switch behind and he pressed it without thinking twice. A panel on the wall, just in front of Tersis' door, slid to the side, revealing a small chamber that looked like a private office. It was well kept, without dust and everything ranged perfectly. A small window let in the light, just enough to keep a small plant in a vase alive. A trunk leaned against the opposite wall. Nikola approached it: it was locked, but with his nimble fingers and a small set of tools he always carried with him he managed to open it without too much difficulty. Inside, he found many reams of papers, old looking, all of them, and a cursory glance revealed that they related to several different matters. Nikola didn't study them, he was focused on only one thing: obituaries. He rummaged quickly by them and after a while found what he sought --- a simple
sheet with the sayings:

Passed away: Minesta, Aged 57, Widowed, Resident in Wooden Gate Lane, 6;
Buried by: Dalia, Aged 23, Daughter
Date: 17th March, 699

Nikola tried to put everything back as he had found inside the trunk, and then tried to lock it again. It wasn't easy, as his training was more on opening locks than closing them illegitimately, but at the end he managed... more or less. In fact, a trained eye could easily perceive things had been disturbed, but Nikola didn't even consider that hypothesis. He slid the panel back to place and went cautiously to his own cell.

"Well, Evangelina's home safe. Now, it's time for us to go take care of that girl."
Yuri nodded at Gregor's words and they quickened their pace. Tersis had given them instructions on how to get to the house, but before they reached it, an unmistakable sound reached their ears: a desperate cry for help. They ran in the direction of the sound and two blocks later found a man being attacked by two wolves. He was down on the ground, but not too wounded yet. Gregor and Yuri charged forward, the first grabbing his rapier, the second his mace and attacked the wolves. These stopped their attack and focused on the new menace that threatened them. This moment of respite was enough for the man to get up and run away. But the two priests were in for much more than they had expected. The wolves were savage, cruel and agile. Yuri was surprised by one and hit so hard that he fell unconscious on the floor. Seeing this, Gregor forewent his attack and praying with all his strength to whatever god happened to be listening he pressed his hands strongly on Yuri and prepared to channel and release the divine energy. Tears came to his eyes as he felt it flow indeed from his body to Yuri, and this one recover. But Gregor kept his guard down for too long and one of the wolves stabbed him deeply with one of its claws. Yuri rolled aside, from underneath Gregor, and with a violent blow of his mace, he smashed the wolf's head. He looked at Gregor quickly: he was down, out, and breathing heavily. From the corner of his eye, he saw the other wolf leap at him ready to tear at his throat. He had no time to react and closed his eyes almost instinctively, as a bright white light coming from behind the wolf obfuscated him. He heard the hooves of a heavy horse at gallop, he heard a blade swoosh and the disgusting sound of flesh being cut in two. A warm humid mass fell by him. He opened his eyes, hesitatingly looked aside and saw the other wolf cut in half, its entrails splattered on the street and spilt onto his own clothes. He nearly threw up, but controlled himself. Looking back, he saw no trace of the horse he'd heard, nor of the white light he'd seen.
"So it was no trick at all, yesterday. That knight I saw really exists!"
Yuri then turned to Gregor. He was alive, and with Ezra's blessings, Yuri restored him back to consciousness. He helped Gregor get up, held his arm around his shoulder and said
"We're both ragged and spent, friend, but we have a work to do tonight. Come, let's go."
Gregor replied
"You're in no better shape than me, Yuri. I can walk, let's just go as fast as we can..."
They both went through the street, at as brisk a pace as they could muster.
"I don't think there will be more wolves tonight, Gregor."
"Yesterday, I saw two of them pacing around the streets. That's odd enough, wolves never come near civilization unless they're hardly pressed, but these were looking for something. I suspect these two we killed tonight were the same ones."
Gregor nodded, in silence. Some minutes later, he broke up
"And what do you think this means?"
"I don't know, I still don't know. There are a lot of strange things around.... Hey, look, we've arrived."

Tersis was awaiting them. He found their appearance surprising and discomforting for the people of the house, so he quickly introduced them without giving much time for thoughts and led them to the poor girl's room. She was called Enira, and had been in a steady state that night. She was cold and felt tired, and had remained in an intermittent state of sleep and vigil for most of the day. Yuri and Gregor spent the night with her, while Tersis, deeming it too late to return to the temple alone, chose to sleep in a room on the ground floor.
Nikola, in the church, slept uneasily. The night was filled with the howling of the wolves, lending an ominous feeling to its darkness. He rose and looked at the moon. It would be full soon enough, and for some reason, Nikola dreaded that. Then, he noticed that night the sky was full of bats.
"So many bad omens, what will this mean?" he thought, before going again to bed.

17th September 751, 7th Night of the Waxing Moon

When day dawned, Enira's condition was stationary. At Yuri's behest, they called for her mother and asked her to perform an examination on her daughter's body in search of some strange mark, something that could suggest how the disease could have been contracted.
"Should I look for something special?" asked the poor woman.
Yuri replied:
"Yes, parasite bites, for instance, mosquitoes, other insects or larger animals, like mice or even snakes. All these can pass a disease, and any of these things could have somehow attacked your daughter."
"We'll be waiting here outside, Madam", completed Gregor.

Some minutes later, Enira's mother returned.
"I found nothing, sirs."
"Thank you, that's all we can do for the moment. We'll be back later. Take good care of her."

They woke up Tersis and left the house.
"What now?" asked Gregor.
"I'll be going back to the temple. I have duties there", said Tersis.
"Very well... we'll follow later, I think we should give a look at the other girl. It was really stupid of us to have stayed both in the same house when we could have divided our efforts."
They went quickly to the house of the other girl, where they introduced themselves and asked how the poor infirm had passed the night. Her mother said that Miayla had held well, and her condition did not worsen.
"Ezra be praised", said Yuri, "I'd never forgive myself if anything had happened to her that we could have avoided."
Gregor then asked Miayla's mother to perform the same exam they had suggested Enira's. She did and she came later in alarm:
"I found two points in her thigh, just by the groin."
"What kind of points?"
"They look just like two punctures, two tiny holes. Here, like this."
She made a gesture signalling their shape and size. Yuri was pensive and then said
"We can't help more, and those marks might even not have anything to do with this, but we'll study that fact and tell you later if you should be worried about it. For now, keep her warm and resting."
The mother said she would and they left, going back to the temple.


Anonymous Susan Graham said...

Beautifully done! Thanks for sharing how you did it. So lovely I'm sure your guest will love it. My personal favorite is the addition of the ornaments. Thanks for posting.

6:54 pm  
Anonymous rustic living room furniture said...

Ah! I bought the exact same shelves from Target and had the EXACT same problem! I actually tore up my receipt from Target, rolled it into a few small balls and shoved it in the holes on the back of the shelf. Worked like a charm. Great minds.... :)

Susan Graham

10:01 am  

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