Strahd and the Vistani

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Radu fills his mouth with wine, then spits into the fire. The flames turn from orange to green. As they dance and sway, a dark shape appears in the bonfire’s core.

“We come from an ancient land whose name is long forgotten-a land of kings. Our enemies forced us from our homes, and now we wander the lost roads.”

The dark shape in the fire takes the form of a man being knocked from his horse, a spear piercing his side. Radu continues.

“One night, a wounded soldier staggered into our camp and collapsed. We nursed his terrible injury and quenched his thirst with wine. He survived. When we asked him who he was, he wouldn’t say. All he wanted was to return home, but we were deep in the land of his enemies. We took him as one of our own and followed him back toward his homeland. His enemies hunted him. They said he was a prince, yet we didn’t give him up, even when their assassins fell upon us like wolves.”

Deep in the bonfire, you see the dark figure standing with sword drawn, fighting off a host of shadowy shapes.

“This man of royal blood fought to protect us, as we protected him. We bore him safely to his home, and he thanked us. He said, ’I owe you my life. Stay as long as you wish, leave when you choose, and know that you will always be safe here.”’

The figure in the dancing fire vanquishes its final foe, then disperses in a cloud of smoke and embers. Radu’s face becomes a somber mask.

“A curse has befallen our noble prince, turning him into a tyrant. We alone have the power to leave his domain. We’ve traveled far and wide to find heroes such as yourselves to end our dread lord’s curse and put his troubled soul to rest. Our leader, Madam Eva, knows all. Will you return to Barovia with us and speak with her?”

Strahd and the Vistani

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