Slate and I visited an active pub, seemed to be a good place to see the movers and speakers in Waterdeep's underbelly. As we sat down to talk about our stratagem, some stranger clad in robes entered and made quite a scene. He called for all able-bodied and honorable folks to come to the aid of some far off lord. The man's daughter seemed to be in some sort of trouble. The stranger had plenty of coin, and made a big show of it, buying all the patrons their choice of alcohol. I'm not one to turn down drink, certainly not one to reject a plea for help. Slate and I made our way out of Waterdeep, headed north. Felt strange to be walking this road again.
The fog was thick upon us, but I kept my stride. I know I did. Yet the road became unfamiliar through what I must now assume to be black magic. Our minds failed us and we fell to the side of this alien path. When I came to, I saw Slate speaking to some familiar faces. The Naule cousins, the elf Draug from the emerald enclave and Kassandra, a half elf that had seen much in her years of seafaring. I feel for them, they lost quite a lot, just as I have. A dragonborn cleric accompanied them, Torrin, he called himself. I'm not sure how or why we met on this gods forsaken trail, but we reasoned there was strength in numbers and pressed on.
After a while we came upon a massive and ancient stone wall. Two statues silently guarded a great gate which seemed to swing open just for us. Seeing no real reason to turn back to the fog behind us, we ventured onward. I have faith in my companions, our strengths are varied, our goals aligned.
Another blighted omen! Not long after our entry to this foreign land we've found a body on the roadside. I prayed silently for some god to ease his pain in the ethereal. He seemed to be another adventurer like us, with a letter similar to our own pleading for aid. This lord must be in desperate need. We moved onwards for a time, passing by some unmarked grave.
We've finally reached Barovia, the oppressive black of night seemed to be the norm here. There was no movement, no action. I feared a plague swept through here until we found a family poorly barricaded in their home. They seemed terrified, and warned us of the dangers that the night held. A scream cut the silence and we rushed towards the source. Slate and Kassandra Naule found the woman alone in her home, weeping and mourning the loss of her child. This land is befouled by black magics, there is no doubt now. Unholy beasts come in the night to steal children away. The poor woman told us of the fallen lord Kolyan Indirovitch and some unknown Count Strahd. He seems to be the source of this evil.
We promised her our aid and she directed us towards a tavern to the north. We met a man by the name of Ismark. We learned from him that his father had passed away recently, the same man that requested our aid. He then told us that our letter was false, that some other soul drew us here. The damned Count Strahd, surely. I cannot respect Ismark, he hides in this tavern while his people suffer and live in fear. I know he did not ask for his father's burden but very few seek such things out. I see some good in him, however, as he seems to care dearly for his sister. Strahd wants her, though he is unsure why. He asked for our help keeping her safe, keeping Strahd from stealing her away.
We followed him to their home, larger than the surrounding hovels. Inside we met Ireena, she seemed a strong soul, honorable too. She held her ground, asking us to deliver their deceased father to the church north of the town. We slept there until morning. I'm certain Strahd knows we are here. I pray that Tyr keeps my blade steady for whatever infernal thing comes. Our group carried the coffin north.
Ambushed. One building on our path held a great many abominations. Undead, they're called. They swarmed us unexpectedly. Draug and Torrin were in danger, I curse myself for not being able to do more for them. They both took a beating and were felled, thankfully Kassandra brought them back. We eventually dispatched them all through sheer force of will. If Strahd has such unholy beings under his command, I worry for our souls.
We did make it to the church, though it was in disrepair. The preacher there seems to have suffered as much as any other we've come across. His son has been corrupted by the count. Strahd must be destroyed. The pain he's brought to these people is unforgiveable.