raveloft themesThe gypsy camp had twenty or more wagons drawn into a rough circle around a central cluster of fires on a flat bank by the gushing river. Madam Eva escorted the characters into the circle and instructed boys to look after the horses. A card table was set up for her by a quick-fingered villain with gold ear-rings and dirt baked into his face. A slim waisted girl padded over in purple and black slippers with a platter of roasted goat and a jug of wine. Had the men not already been satisfied they would have studied her more closely.

Madam Eva shuffled the dog-eared cards and laid them out:

This card is a symbol of great power. It tells of a powerful force for good and protection against the forces of darkness.
10 Hearts
This is in a place of dizzying heights that all loathe to travel. The road winds ever upward and the rocks themselves live in here. (High Tower Room K60)
There is a very good influence here. If you are there, the powers of good will aid you. (+1 AC bonus.)

This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient may help you understand a foe.
3 Spades
It is in a place of tranquillity, a harbour for the mighty and powerful. It is in a place of wisdom, warmth, and despair. Great secrets are there. (Study K37)
The Spade is a dark shadow of evil cast over that place. You fight under its influence there. (-1 AC penalty)

This is the object of your search! Ah! I see darkness and evil behind this card. It is a powerful man whose enemy is light, and whose powers are beyond mortality.
7 Spades
You may find this amid the ruins of a place of supplication. (Chapel of Ravenloft K15.)
The Spade is a dark shadow of evil cast over that place. You fight under its influence there. (-1 AC penalty)

This card is good for you. It is a card of power and strength, the victor’s card. It tells of a weapon of light, a weapon with a vengeance.
Jack Diamonds
This lies with a fallen prince of old. The brother of dark is light and he rests in this place. (Crypt of Sergei von Zaravich K85)
The diamond blesses your skill here, but bodes poorly for your protection. (+1 bonus to-hit, -1 AC penalty)

And here is the root card. Out of darkness and chaos, this card finds the reason and foundation for darkness and chaos. This card shows the purpose of all things. It is the key to life and death and else beyond.
King Clubs
The darkness loves a light and desires it. Great subtle plans are in motion about you; plans that the dead may find warmth from the living. (Strahd wants the love of Ireena Kolyana)

Gari crossed himself and flicked his eyes from side to side to see what the others were doing. Dide narrowed his eyes and cast his senses out, searching for any taint of magic in the air.

“Bullshit,” Ernat said.

Despite his cynism, Ernat was chilled by the experience. He ordered them mounted without any further interaction with the gypsys. They cantered back into town and shared the news with Jurisco who declared it the work of the devil.

NPCs:

Madam Eva (Gypsy witch)
Carlos (Delightful Priest of the religion of Strahd)
Estavan (Confident Monk)
Roman (Unsupportaive merchant)
Altivo (docile entertainer)
Antonio (pessimistic shopkeeper)
Beltran (curious officer)
Damian (conformist statesman) – Kolyan Indrirovich from canon Ravenloft
Elisio (insensitive hitman)
Fadrique ( established thug)
Fernando (barman – shrew villain)

Open threads:

* What attacked the child.
* Who is Ireena Kolyana.
What the hell does all that tarot mumbo-jumbo mean.
* What help do the villagers need.
* Why are their clothes and manner of speech so old fashioned. (closed – the characters believe it is because of physical isolation)
* Dide has critically not been to the eastern empire. What does that mean? (New character discovery: Dide does not like to appear ignorant. While he knows a lot of stuff if he does not know he just makes it up as he knows the others know no better.)
* What is the story with the mysteriously used Roman baths.
*What is the story with the destroyed schloss.
* What is beneath the floorboards at the schloss.
* Where are they that there can be high lands and coniferous forests in Flanders.
* Where have all the other travellers gone. (closed – the characters believe that the valley has been neglected by the war)
* What does Albergio’s dream mean.
* Will Eduare become a king and where is all this wine coming from.

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