Stanimir laughed and shook his new coin purse at the group as they walked away covered in that pale moon light. “He would get pleasure out of swindling us, no way a map of this place is worth 25gp, I bet we can find one in Barovia for 5!” Zara exclaimed as they walked.
” Well either way we know where were going now, but do we leave tonight? it’s always more dangerous at night, more animals lurking about” Ilaryon asked, but the entire group looked around, hoping someone else would speak up. “Yes we have to leave now, I can’t stand it here for another second, besides would it even be safe to stay here? I feel like the longer were here the more these people hate us!” Andareta exclaimed as she shook her hand, she clearly had some strong objections to what the others were thinking. “Honey, they don’t hate us” Hoheniem said as he took her gently into his arms, “We’re outsiders in a camp of misfits, they don’t trust anyone, Madam Eva gave us her blessing simply by inviting us, her people won’t harm us” he continued. “No, maybe it comes down to that I just don’t want to be here! I won’t stay!”Andareta responded back. “I agree, something about this place… these people, I don’t like it either, besides it doesn’t look like I’m making much money here” Zara interjected as she began packing up her wagon, hey absent minded assistant Lia helped but as usual wasn’t much help. The two men looked at each other, from the looks on their faces, they agreed, It was time to leave, even if it was only because the women were.
With their belongings squared away they group sat down to look at the map, It looked detailed enough, but Zara still had a few comments to make it its quality, It showed a road that connected all three of the towns of Barovia, and the dreaded castle that loomed not far north of their current position. The Old Salavich Road, formed a highway, it went east to the town of Baroiva, and then onward to the edge of the domain. If you followed it west it hugged the curve of a mountain in the south, Mount Ghakis, which peaked south of the map’s border. Continuing west on the Salavich road, brought you to a fork, in which one path cut back to that dread castle, and the other to a town called Vallaki, following that brought you to the city of Krezek. All of this was a mystery to the four adventures, none of the cities sounded familiar, except Barovia, and the Natural lakes and mountains were all foreign. It was odd, when they met these Gypsies, near the Triboar trial outside the city of Phalandever, everything seemed as normal as it could be given the circumstances, and they knew well the areas around there, in fact the had a rich caches of maps and books of the area. So that when Zara check them as they traveled along on the Salavich Road. None of these place on the new, gypsy, map were mentioned. But it only took a day until they had reached this new place, how could they have never even heard of it?
“Where, Exactly are we headed?” Asked Von Hohenhiem as he sat next to Ilaryon at the front of the cart, it seems they were also stuck on first watch. “Well” the ranger responded “We’re not really sure, but if we take this short route here, we’ll make it to the main road, from there I was thinking the town of Baroiva, it’s the only place we really know about, and Madam Eva did suggest we check it out” Ilaryon continued on about the merit of his plan until they reached the Salavich road, by then Hohenhiem was convinced. The wagon started East, and as soon as the back wheels hit that ancient dirt, the Howl of those creatures in the forest started up again. “Have you any idea what beast that is? it seems to follow us when the moon shines” Hohenhiem asked, his hand resting on the glowing long sword in his lap. After a moment on concentration Ilaryon gave a gesture of frustration, ” I cannot figure it out exactly, it sounds like a wolf, or bear, but not quite, I’ve tracked a lot of strange things in my day, but whatever this is, I have not seen it before” “Well whos to say what it is, before now, we didn’t even know this place existed. At least it wasn’t on any of our maps, or in any of out books, maybe these creatures are new as well, as long as we can kill it, I don’t much care” Hohenhiem replied. After that, they sat in silence for a while, contemplating what ever is in the Salavich woods that now surrounds them.
Day was breaking as the wagon groaned near the first buildings of the huddle of shacks called Barvia.It was the sun that let them know day had come, but rather the absence of the strange sounds in the woods around them. Things got brighter but only barely, it seemed day wasn’t much different from night in the dark and depressed land. Every house looked like a warn pile of old boards nailed together, except for the doors, which had a surprisingly strong and clean character about them, most windows were boarded shut, and in almost every home the barking of dogs seemed constant. The wind sounded hard and heavy, but as the adventurer’s disembarked from the wagon, the sound cleared up and it was obvious gust and storms were an infrequent occurrence. The Sounds was a low, heavy, depressed sobbing, it floated through the streets as if coming from everywhere, and yet nowhere. The Few villages out didn’t seem to notice it, but Andareta knew it was that of a women’s voice, someone was alone and defeated.
(Photo Credit: BoardGameGeek)