Musings of the Dark Powers – GM’s Notes
Zurik was satisfied with his success in aquiring Alikain’s corpse and planned to leave without his prisoner until he considered that he did not know the way to return to Barovia. He headed back to the cruddy hotel to consult his guide. Brehnna offered him two routes. There was a portal rumored to be deep in Lake Amenta that could take him out of Nidala. A band of Vistani were known to avoid the law far from the capital, to the south east. Zurik chose the later option.
After he secured a pair of excellent horses and fine riding gear, Zurik and Brehenna embarked for the Vistani camp near Oneire. They chose to circumnavigate the fortified city of Ricochet and payed a nominal fee at a toll bridge. After the group checked several small paths along the road, they stumbled upon the circle of colorful wagons that the local Vistani traveled in. Sareena dismissed Brehnna and told her to live in the rebell-sympathetic city of Oneire. The young bard regretfully obeyed.
As Zurik and Sareena approached the camp, a young Vistani man stoped the pair and asksed to meet them privately. They negotiated passage through the mists in exchange for the two horses. The Vistani took the horses by their leads and walked them through the mist. Zurik and Sareena arrived near the gate houses outside of Castle Ravenloft.
The candles were lit and Zurik was expected. The front door hung open. He entered and found Count Strahd von Zarovich standing atop a grand staircase. After a few words, Zurik removed Alikain’s dead body from his portable hole. He explained to the Count that the former paladin would rise as a vampire in a night or two. The Count ordered a few of his servants to bury the half-drow’s corpse near the stables, in filth and muck.
A few hours later, Cyrus, one of Count Von Zarovich’s servants, met Zurik to tell him that he would responsible for watching over the paladin’s journey to undeath. Zurik was to make sure that Alikain would be ordered to stay in one of the cells of the dungeon, not far from Zurik’s laboratory. Zurik continued to study in the laboratory and poured himself into the books there. He sent Sareena and Rekhan to watch over the shallow grave that Alikain’s body occupied.
It was not long before Rekhan informed his master that the paladin was clawing her way out of her grave. Sareena controlled the newly risen Vampire and Zurik ensured that she was placed in her cell and ordered to stay there. Shortly after, the paladin’s screams filled the lower levels of the castle. The noise distracted Zurik’s studies.
The last occupant of this laboratory did not have anything remotely interesting for necromancy spells as her skill was far beneith that of Zurik’s. Her Divine Magics were completely confounding to him, however. All of the writings about her clerical spells were puzzling and unreadable.
Zurik requested an audience with Count Strahd Von Zarovich. The Count was in as good as mood as possible for himself. Zurik soon found himself seated comfortably in Count Strahd Von Zarovich’s private study. Zurik received the keys to the necromancer’s laboratory and name of a cleric that might be able to help him with matters concerning Divine Magic. The cleric happened to live in another realm, Darkon. Count Von Zarovich offered to send Zurik on his way immediately. He provided a pair of horses and a map for Zurik.
As Zurik traveled through the day, he and Rakhan encountered a strange creature. A very large wild bore, that was apparently a lycanthrope attacked them on the road. With the help of his minions, Zurik dispatched the foul creature, but not before it was able to draw blood against him.
In the night, Zurik and Sareena continued to travel without rest. The horses had been slain and risen as undead so that they would not need to rest or eat. Briggands blocked the road with crude craps of rope nets. They were quickly dispatched, especially the caster. Zuriks party continued along the road to Darkon. It was still a far journey to Nevuchar Springs, where Etori, the cleric was to be found.