Ernat, Dide, Albergio, Eduare and Gari headed out of town over the winter-hard fields, over an ancient stone bridge and then up to the tree line to the West. They scouted a little into the forest, but there was something that unnerved them in the silent expanse and they pulled back till they could see the open fields again.
They curved around toward the North without catching sight of a single living thing. The forest broke around a road that wound up from the village and into a sheer mountain pass. It was soon out of sight as it traced a tortuous path into the mountains to the north. They crossed the rutted road and followed the tree line again until they came to the river. It curved away to the left into the mountains and, far above, they saw a impossible bridge spanning the gorge.
Smoke rose from a fire nearby and the party were drawn to it. Around this fire on makeshift camp chairs and a table sat three villagers and someone the characters had never seen before. (Using the Une tables and the Ravenloft encounter tables).
A) Confident Monk (power level 95, slightly stronger), B) Unsupportive merchant (PL Comparable), c) Delightful Priest (PL Slightly stronger).
a) Advise Pride, Manage Opulence, Discourage Slavery
b) Associate Family, Inform Strength, Advise Expertise
c) Undermine Enlightenment, Understand Contraband, Aid Myths
NPC focus – current story.
Complex question. What were these guys doing out here? Truce. The Mundane. They were out here negotiating for the continuation of the status quo.
Madam Eva, the witch ‘queen’ was with them and she glared evilly at the characters, but then appeared to warm to them and welcomed them. She had remarkable charisma for someone so ugly and cruel.
So what do we have here?
We have a priest of the new religion of submitting to the will of Strahd (Carlos). People are culled at the vampire’s discretion, and for this they get protection. The priest is completely convinced of the justice of this.
The monk is an aggressive administrator and supporter of the system (Estavan).
The merchant is there to ensure that new goods continue to be brought into Barovia via the gypsies (Roman).
The priests were wearing Ankh symbols instead of normal Christian crosses and said things that disturbed the characters. They spoke of sacrifice and submission. They referred to the Black Prince who comes and takes what he wants, but this is good as he makes sure that no everyone dies of, say, the plague. He is the arbiter of population control. He is clearly a god to these people
When the characters arrived the villagers concluded their business and make off, leaving the characters with the witch. She invited them back to the camp to read their fortunes.