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stonegod's Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: Ch. I [IC]

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Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
The group, having recovered the skittish horses, push on down the northern trail towards the Tser Pool camp. Soon, the canopy of mist and branches overhead give way to open sky---though the sky is black with roiling storm clouds. A circle of colorful wagons and a scattering of tents are ranged about a dancing bonfire, and a handful of men and women in colorful garb sit quietly near the wagons. Beyond the camp, a small lake reflects the angry sky overhead.

As the group rides into the encampment, the Vistanti stare at the group cooly, sharing glances between them. Bringing the horses to the middle of the camp, the party notices one particularly large tent set aside from the others nearer to the lake's water. Two other Visanti visibly guard it.

As they ride into camp, Sir Khensu takes a moment to stare intently in the direction of the gathered Vistanti.[sblock=Sir Khensu]Though Khensu only glances quickly, the touch of moral decay is present within the camp. He is not certain of the presence of evil on any particular Vistanti, but it touches at least one of them.[/sblock]
Before the party can speak, one of the colorful men separates from the largest group and approaches the riders, hands in front of him. Like the other Vistanti you have seen, his speech is thicker than even those of the village. "You travelers? New people to Barovia, yes? You seek Madam Eva? She there." He points to the tent. Any questions directed his way are met with a shake of his head. "I no speak village language well. Speak Madam Eva."

The group dismounts, leaving there horses near the large tent, and push inside. It is quite roomy, though the various collections of beads, feathers, and other arcane leavings make it feel more cramped than its apparent size. What little furniture there is is lavishally colored, as gaudy as the rest of the camp.


At the far side of the tent is its only inhabitant, presumably Madam Eva. The old woman is enormous, for a moment seeming more like an ogre of small giant than the ancient, wrinkled human she is. She hunches over a table that is dwarfed by her bulk, and her black eyes gleam as she shuffles a deck of weathered playing cards. her hands are bony and spotted with age. When she speaks, her voice crackles like dry weeds.

"At last, you come to see Madam Eva. She has waited some time. What shall Madam Eva speak to you about, hmmm?"


Jarrith glances back at the rest of the folks in the group, his eyebrows raised in a "this is a little odd, isn't it?" kind of manner. He turns back to her and takes a second or two to get a bearing on the woman, then pipes up in reply.

"Walking death. It infests these lands. There has to be a reason... and we've heard that you might know why."


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
DEFCON 1 said:
"Walking death. It infests these lands. There has to be a reason... and we've heard that you might know why."
"Death is the land, and the land is death. They are bound together. As for the why... Madam Eva sees the future and the past, but that is a past long past." She smiles a small smile.

James Heard

"Nevertheless, those who do not make a study of the past often find themselves doomed to repeat it - and that is a particular friend of fate I do not care to travel with," Janis says curtly, looking around at the paraphernalia in the tent.

"You obviously expected us. Can you help us, or do you seek to comfort us only with mysteries and riddles?" Despite her words though, Janis has a twinkle in her eye. Perhaps she recognizes a kindred spirit, and the joy that could come of a lifetime spent toying with the emotions and destinies of hapless adventurers and ne'er-do-wells.

Mayhaps I should find a haunted barony or such for retirement, and ingratiate myself with the locals... she looks around. I'll have to go shopping. These are really quite nice looking colors, and they'd match my eyes. Janis muses in silence.


Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
The large woman chuckles. "Ho, ho. The rat-charmer wants answers, she does! The wanting of things gets her where she is now, but what costs, hmm?" She twirls one of the cards around in her hand idly. "Madam Eva may be able to provide what they want, but not what they need. But what do they want? Do they know, hmm? Questions? Answers? Tellings?"

James Heard

"Colorful mumblings and evasions it is then, and an admission that she doesn't have what we need?" Janis sighs and begins to turn to leave.

"I don't have time for wants. I don't know about the rest of you, but I think it's clear we're done here. Maybe some other random recommendations from the brutally suspicious townspeople will pan out, perhaps they know some wise old clowns or poleturners."


First Post
As she dismounts, Ashlyn empathically communicates with her mount, telling it to guard itself and the other mounts from the Vistani if necessary.

She walks into the large tent with the others and sits quietly as the others begin conversing with the old woman. After Janis's little outburst she speaks calmly to the old woman, "I seek to learn of legends long past, and of events of the recent past. Two items were carried by Lugdana, a blade imbued with the power of the sun, and a symbol of Ravenkind. I would learn of these. Also, a recent plague of undead troubles the village of Barovia, I would learn of its source."

Ashlyn then waits patiently for whatever answers she might gain.

Isida Kep'Tukari

Maraat finds the Madame Eva fascinating, though somewhat in the way one finds a swaying snake fascinating. She was a little like some of the spookier sar'malaan of the other Ghaash'kala tribes, often speaking in riddles in order to make one learn the answers themselves.

"Indeed, I would also wish to learn of the shadow that lies over this land, and what the future might hold to those who try to lift it," he chimes in to Ashlyns words.

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