The Fading 11th - 1503
Duchess Morwen of Daggerford has asked me to form a team for a task to get rid of some travelers who are harassing people on the road towards Misty Forest. She had already send out some mercenaries who failed on the task, so I suspected there was more to it.
I want to bring along a good mixed team so I started out with Dunstan, with an age-old reputation who, I think, could need the challenge. Next I considered an orc who was rumored to be a legend on the battlefield. I had heard numerous stories from free Company members visiting the brothel. This orc, named Urgoth, would never join them going there, but in battle he was always in front leading the charge. A guy to trust and build upon.
Haemir and Ulf I had quite often seen in Daggerford when they were visiting after spending a lot of time in the Misty Forest. With their knowledge of the forest they'd form worthwhile assets. The final person to complete the group is a new visitor to town, a travelling wizard called Lowna. With all her experience from travelling, combined with her magic skills, she can really come in handy.
They were all invited for diner where the Duchess told about the task at hand and if we would fail, she'd send out a crew to burn down the wagons of the travelers and thus chase them away.
I'm glad my judgement was right about this group as everybody agreed to join. So shortly after diner, after getting ready we go down the road towards the Misty Forest. After about two and a half hours we pass Leans hold and see the sparkling of a campfire in the forest edge.
I hide in the undergrowth, while Haemir and Ulf stay behind near the horses. Dunstan, Urgoth and Lowna walk up to the travelers. An old man, Stanimir, welcomes them to the camp and invites them for a drink. Dustan and Urgoth explain why we are here and that they should leave. Stanimir responds that it should be no problem if they are willing to listen to his story.
They agree and join Stanimir beside the campfire. He spits some of his wine into the fire which instantly turns green. There's a shimmer of a horseman being chased by a group of bandits in the fire. Stanimir tells the story of this horseman who is saved by the prince of Barovia. Somehow this prince gets cursed and now rules Barovia as a tyrant. This group of travelers somehow escaped his clutches with the help of Madame Eve, to search for heroes to help the country to rid the prince of his curse and bring peace to Barovia again.
This is the kind of adventure I've been longing for after these past years in Daggerford, so I join the others at the campfire and explain to Stanimir we'd gladly help them out. The others luckily don't need too much convinving and they agree to join aswell. I send my pony back to the duchess with a note explaining that we've solved the issue and the'we hold up for a while with another task.
The travelers pack all their gear in the wagons and start the journey towards the Misty Forest. I wonder where Barovia can be found as Stanimir tells us it's only a few hours from here but neither Haemir nor Ulf or any of the others have ever heard about Barovia being this close to the forest. Come to think of it, I've never heard or read about it at all?
The mist, according to Ulf is thicker than usual, but we continue onwards into the forest, following the road. Then all of a sudden our surroundings start to change, the trees look different, the smells and sounds aren't familiar anymore. Ulf doesn't feel too happy about this. When I question Stanimir about this, he responds we're in Barovia now, in the Svalich woods.
Haemir, Ulf and Lowna jump of the wagons and walk back towards what they think is Misty forest. But the mist stops them in their tracks and they quickly return to join us at the wagons. We continue our journey along the weird road. Haemir occasionally detects a waft of undead smell in the wind.
The Fading 12th - 1503 / Day 1
In the morning it's a little bit lighter, but the sun is nowhere to be seen. In the distance we see a small village. Beside the road I see a man, who introduces himself as Erlich, fixing a fence. He calls out to us and hands me a small box to be given to Edward Durst and nobody else! I reluctantly accept and we continue towards the village. Some of us notice Elrich suddenly vanishing and a raven flying away where he had been just a few seconds ago...
We reach the dark village. A castle can be seen on a hill behind the village. Stanimir tells us this is the city of Barovia. It's really not a happy place. This feeling is strengthened by the sound of sobbing we hear. All of a sudden we meet a whimpering boy and girl standing in the middle of the road. Rose and Thorn, as those are their names, tell us about a monster in the cellar of their house.
They point out their house and Dunstan leads our group towards it. Urgoth stays behind with the travelers but quickly joins us, as if he has been forced by the mist somehow.
We investigate the ground floor looking for a stairs towards the cellar. In one of the rooms I notice a cupboard with a large lock. I hope I get the chance to go back alone here soon. The house seems recently occupied with fresh goods in the pantry and fresh fruit in the kitchen. But there's something weird in the woodwork and some of the paintings. Creepy veins and creatures pop up occasionally.
In the hallway there's a large portrait of an old Edward Durst. As the painting is also not that young anymore, I suspect that Edward can't possibly be alive anymore, so I wonder what I should do with the box I got from Erlich. I might just have to check the contents myself
We continue to the first floor, where four suits of armor welcome us. The most interesting room here is the study. A large oak desk on one side with children's drawings on top. Lowna all of a sudden yells out that she found a secret room. There's a trapped chest inside with a skeleton hanging out of it. It's holding a letter...