Before the group retires to sleep an older Vistana who was sitting by the large bonfire walks towards Makaelis and brings her hand up to his face and traces its outline.
“You remind me of him, yes you do!”
When questioned by the others as to what that means she replied, “A mighty wizard came to this land over a year ago. I remember him like it was yesterday. He stood exactly where you’re standing. A very charismatic man, he was. He thought he could rally the people of Barovia against the devil Strahd. He stirred them with thoughts of revolt and bore them to the castle en masse.
“When the vampire appeared, the wizard’s peasant army fled in terror. A few stood their ground and were never seen again.
“The wizard and the vampire cast spells at each other. Their battle flew from the courtyards of Ravenloft to a precipice overlooking the falls. I saw the battle with my own eyes. Thunder shook the mountainside, and great rocks tumbled down upon the wizard, yet by his magic he survived. Lightning from the heavens struck the wizard, and again he stood his ground. But when the devil Strahd fell upon him, the wizard’s magic couldn’t save him. I saw him thrown a thousand feet to his death. I climbed down to the river to search for the wizard’s body, to see if, you know, he had anything of value, but the River Ivlis had already spirited him away.”
She turned away and began walking back to the fire, “An odd thing indeed! I wonder what the stars have in store for us.” <meta />
Eleint 30, 1489DR – The Fading (September)
The next morning they gathered their things and departed the encampment. They followed the river to the base of the canyon, at the far end of which a great waterfall spills into a pool, billowing forth clouds of cold mist. A great stone bridge spanned the canyon nearly one thousand feet overhead.
The group was not traveling for long before a band of berserkers surprised them. These wild mountainfolk were covered head to toe in thick gray mud, which is how they were able to sneak up on the party. They were able to take the enemies down and captured one man for interrogation. His name was Astor.
Astor was washed clean to better see his face and offered clothing, which he put on reluctantly. He revealed that his group had been ordered to follow and attack the party by the “master.”
Makaelis used a spell to read his thoughts but was unable to see who “the master” was. After some heated dialogue Dale was able to convince Astor to join them on their journey, offering coin, food, and shelter. Their show of strength was enough to win him over. Besides, who didn’t like adventures!
They pushed onward, camped for a night and suffered another encounter the next day. <meta />
Marpenoth 01, 1489DR – Leafall (October)
This time they found a pack of werewolves. Initially they only saw one man standing in the middle of the road, but it soon became apparent that he was part of a larger pack. In the midst of battle Bladehelm realized that some of these enemies he had seen before! They probably come from the same den that destroyed his village!
The fight was won. They healed their wounds and carried on. Soon they would pass the old mill, now occupied by the old pastry seller Morgantha.