Curse of Strahd

Prologue

The Price of Renown

     Though the feast was as magnificent and jovial as one would expect, it was clear that something was making Duchess Morwen uneasy. After feasting had finished, she called you all into a room to discuss a new problem that had already arisen. She explained that an odd looking group of wayward travelers had set up camp near the town walls and had started harassing towns-folk, demanding money and wine. At first it just seemed to be rabble, but coming right off of a barbarian invasion, the townsfolk were understandably uneasy. When the guards tried to chase them off, they threatened to cast hexes and charms on them. Their threats were not empty. They ended up sending court mages along with the guards, and the vagabonds finally left. 

  Now, however, merchants coming to town have turned up hexed, charmed, and carts half empty. The vagabonds had apparently now set up camp next to the Dragonspear Shaft Inn, down south along The Trade Way. The duchess was finally fed up, and entrusted you to handle it (offering reward, of course). She asked you send them far away, by any means other then killing them. She also gave you a letter threatening to burn their caravans and supplies if they did not comply.

     So you found your way to the Dragonspear Shaft Inn. A quaint little inn, though more crowded then most, being along the Trade Way. Symbols, trinkets, and arms of Dragonspear Castle adorned the walls, though most looked to be more lovingly crafted trinkets then officially sanctioned adornments. You hear a lute and a flute duet playing softly. As you take your seat at and await service, you overhear lyrics from the troupe. It would seem they already had a verse for your deeds in the Tribal Raid. Slowly you notice increasing numbers of glances and gazes. The waitress rushes over, wide-eyed with acknowledgement, but surprisingly containing herself. You order your drinks, they arrive and you begin to turn to an especially avid onlooker to ask about the vagabonds.

     At this the tavern door swings open violently, and all the gazes and glances shift. The music stops abruptly, the waitress barely stops a bottle dropped from crashing to the ground. Framed by a lamp-lit fog, a form strides through the doorway. His heavy, booted footfalls and the jingle of his coins break the silence. His brightly colored clothes are draped and loose folds about him, and his hat hangs askew, hiding his eyes in shadows. Without hesitation, he walks up to your table and stands proudly in a wide stance with folded arms. His presence dominates the room.

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