The Ravenloft Files

The Ravenloft Files, Vol.19, Chapter 10

Tales of the Mistborne: Dark of the Moon
Chapter Six

Clint could tell that whoever was following them, he was not particularly adept at sneaking about. So Vadolus decided to hang back behind one of the homes they were passing, while the others continued on. He then tried to creep up behind the man and take him by surprise. Unfortunately, Vadolus did not do a very good job of moving stealthily either, and when the man saw Vadolus coming up behind him, he let out a yelp and began running, threatening to alert the boyarsky of our presence in the village…

Excerpts From the

Journal of Waylan
Mage of the Mistborne

Day 14, July 6th, Year 1127 of the Patriarch’s Calendar:

We got through the night in Gregor’s old house with no sign of Gregor or his men and no return visits by the ghost of Gregor’s mother Antonina. So this morning, in an effort to gather up everything we thought we might need to defeat Gregor without drawing too much attention to ourselves, we divided the group up into two halves, each of which would take care of a part of our plan.

Peg and I followed Baldo across the frozen Trau River to the home of Marik the Mouse-eater; so named because he refused to eat the meat provided by Gregor. We did what we could to stay hidden from the boyarsky. But if we were spotted, it was our hope that our smaller numbers and the fur parkas recently given to us would be disguise enough to keep us from being identified.

Fortunately, we did not have far to go and the fence, the river banks and the nearby bridge provided a great deal of cover.

Peg slipped and fell on the ice covered river, which cracked beneath her and gave her a nasty bruise. But other than that, we arrived at the hedge wizard’s home without incident. Marik, as it turned out, was a rather strange man who was reluctant to open the door for us until we made an offer of trade with him.

When he did let us into his home, we saw that he was dressed in ragged hides and that his home was filled with all kinds of things, which I am sure anyone unfamiliar with arcane magic would consider bizarre. Much of the items appeared to be useless junk, but among these were jars and various containers of herbs, potion ingredients and spell components. We told him that Andrei the Furrier had mentioned his name as a possible ally in our quest but were hesitant to reveal anything more than that, though we did ask him if he had any wolfsbane. He did have some wolfsbane but wanted to know what we intended to do with it. It appeared that he had some idea of our purpose but that he too was reluctant to reveal too much for fear that we might be working for Gregor. Eventually however, we came to an understanding and he told us that he was aware that Gregor and the boyarsky were werewolves. Apparently he was the only one in the village who knew this. He, in fact, told us about an old legend which said that if one performed a certain ritual and donned the skin of a wolf, one could then become a wolf.

He suspected that about twenty years ago, Gregor had become desperate during that first harsh winter and performed this very ritual in order to become the black wolf. It seems however, that at some point, Gregor resorted to hunting creatures of the two-legged variety, and because of this, the dark powers of this world saw fit to make him the darklord of this realm. He was granted the power of invulnerability while in wolf form and given command over all the wolves and werewolves of the forest. But in return, he became a prisoner in a land of never-ending-winter.

We told Marik that we needed the wolfsbane in order to make Gregor vulnerable, and he admitted that he did not know this could be done. But to aid us, he gave us a few potions and a sling with a dozen silver bullets. With these things in hand, we then returned to Gregor’s old house where we waited for the return of the other half of our group.

The rest of us meanwhile, snuck off towards the west where we had first entered the village yesterday. Along the way, Clint spotted someone who was trying to follow them…

…Realizing the man was about to draw a lot of unwanted attention to us, Vadolus tried to calm him down and approach him non-threateningly. This worked well enough for Vadolus to then hit him with a touch spell that temporarily lowered his intelligence to that of an infant and effectively pacified him. The rest of the group then doubled back and helped lead the man to the smokehouse, where they hid. Aware that the man’s cry and the ensuing struggle may have been witnessed by people in the nearby homes, Clint looked about as they made their way to the smokehouse and saw movement in one of the windows.

So, while they were hiding in the smokehouse, they discussed what had just occurred. According to Mikhail, the owner of the house where Clint had seen movement was called Oleg the Woodcutter. From what Mikhail knew of the man, he believed that Oleg generally kept to himself and while he probably would not side with us in our struggles, neither would he be likely to run and tell the boyarsky if he had seen anything suspicious.

The man who attempted to follow them and obviously spy on them however, was an entirely different matter. Mikhail said his name was Pavel Cherensky and that he was the owner of the village’s tavern. He, on the other hand, would almost certainly run and tell the boyarsky if he had seen anything suspicious. It was clear then that they could not let Pavel go, but they were unsure of what to do with him. Eventually they decided to gag him, securely tie him up, knock him unconscious, and leave him in the smokehouse. They realized that his presence would surely be missed tonight when he failed to show up at his tavern. But this could not be avoided.

While in the smokehouse, my companions also found some salt which, according to the ghost of Antonina, when combined with the wolfsbane and sprinkled on Gregor’s wolf skin, would make him vulnerable while in wolf form.

With this done, they then made their way to the home of Ivan the Strong. Ivan’s daughter Eva lived in the same home along with her four children and was the wife of Turik, who was one of the boyarsky. So speaking with Ivan had a certain amount of risk to it. But it was hoped that Turik would not be at home during the day, and this proved to be the case. My companions were then able to speak with Ivan in private and with his being a good man, he was willing to lend us his magical bastard sword. With this in hand, they returned to Gregor’s old house and met back up with us.

For the remainder of the day then, we stayed hidden inside the old abandoned house, too afraid that any more movement through the village would surely bring the boyarsky down on us.

Already, we had some real concerns as it was that we would be discovered before the day’s end. Surely when Pavel failed to show up at his tavern there would be some kind of search for him and from what we could tell this may have been the case, for we did see some activity in the village after sundown. But two things I think may have worked in our favor and kept us from being found. First of all, Pavel was tied up in the smokehouse where his scent would have been masked by the smell of the place. And secondly, I suspect that others in the village were aware that Gregor’s old house was haunted, and therefore were probably very hesitant to investigate the place after dark. Chances are, we probably could not make it through another day in the village without being discovered. But fortunately, we only had to make it halfway through the night, and whether or not there was any luck involved, this we somehow managed to accomplish.

Day 15, July 7th:

It was about one o’clock in the morning when we snuck out of Gregor’s old house and made our way towards the bridge that spanned the frozen river. The village for the most part was dark and quiet. The sky was clear but all we could see of the moon was a faint sliver, serving us as a reminder that the dark of the moon was fast approaching, and with its arrival our only chance of defeating Gregor and his curse of lycanthropy would slip beyond our grasp.

After crossing the bridge, we made a wide skirt around to the east and north of the Boyar’s Hall, using a line of trees and a low mound of snow for cover. Without any source of light, but with a darkvision spell cast on Baldo to help guide us, we slowly approached the hall. Seeing that there were no guards posted along it, we climbed over the 12 foot high palisade. Its height and the sharpened points at the top made the climb difficult for some of us. But with assistance from the others, we all made it over the wall. On the opposite side there was a catwalk and a ladder that made the descent very easy.

Once inside the stockade, and seeing that we still had not been detected, we crept around a small shed and made our way up to the hall and a porch on its backside. At this point, Garret cast a locate object spell and searched for his missing shield. As hoped he detected it inside the hall. So he moved around the building a get to a better fix on the shield’s location. With that done we took a look at two doors on the porch. One of them was locked and without any tools Baldo could not pick it. The other door, however, was not locked. So Baldo opened that door and looked inside.

There he found a kitchen and several servants asleep on pallets. We were able to sneak past them and into a hallway beyond. From there we moved in the direction of where Garret had detected his shield and came to a door at the end of the hallway. Opening the door there we found a great hall with a large table, several benches, a wooden throne on a raised dais, and laying on the floor, five sleeping men.

Afraid that we would not be able to sneak past the sleeping men undetected. Baldo quietly closed the door and looked for an alternate route. He checked another side door then, only to discover that it was a bedroom which was currently occupied by two men which were none other than Gregor Zolnik himself and his right-hand man Dmitri Dneprov. They were standing there looking at a map and talking. Fortunately, their backs were turned to us and did not take notice of Baldo as he peered through the crack in the door. Baldo closed the door and we immediately fell into a silent debate, using hand signals and body language, on whether or not to attack them now. We decided however to hold off on attacking them until we had recovered our equipment.

We then decided on a plan where Garret would cast a silence spell on us and we could sneak past the men in the hall. This we did, but beyond the first door we came to was an armory with just ordinary weapons and none of our equipment. So we had to sneak over to a second door and past the sleeping men without the use of a silence spell. Fortunately we were successful and behind the second door we find our things. We then took the time to don our armor and ready our equipment, after which we once again snuck past the sleeping men.

From there we gathered outside the door to Gregor’s bedroom where we devised another plan. With this plan worked out, we then prepared ourselves and set our plan into motion. At this point, we threw the door open and began our attack.

The room was dark save for a crackling fire in the hearth. Gregor was now sitting before the fire and brooding. A weathered warrior in chainmail, whom we recognized as Dmitri, stood beside him, still scrutinizing the map. Before we either of them could do anything, we pounced on them with our weapons flashing. Baldo meanwhile, who had been rendered invisible by a spell, quickly snuck past both of them and jumped on Gregor’s bed, where he began sprinkling the salt and wolfsbane mixture on the wolf skin which Baldo had seen earlier hanging over the bed.

Despite our attack by surprise, Gregor and Dmitri recovered quickly, drew their weapons and counterattacked, calling out for the guards to come to their aid as they did so.

“I should have known that there was more fight in you yet,” Gregor said as he worked furiously to defend himself. “Dmitri here thought that you had found a place to freeze to death in the forest, but I didn’t believe you had died so easily.”

“We’ll be sure of it this time,” Dmitri said with surprising confidence, his voice hollow and sinister.

But Mikhail shouted back at his father, “Your tyranny ends today, Gregor!”

By this point, I had managed to work my way into the far side of the room where I was able to line both of our combatants up perfectly. I then let loose with a devastating lightning bolt spell that, when combined with the injuries they had already received, took both Gregor and Dmitri down.

Clutching his horribly burned chest, Gregor toppled with a great cry. For a moment he glared wickedly, his wounds seeping blood. “You have not defeated me,” he snarled. “I will kill you all!” Then he died, still cursing.

As soon as Gregor fell, an eerie mist filled the room, rising from the flagstones of the floor like the icy breath of some unseen monster. It swirled around the boyar’s body, and the image of a white, frost-covered wolf seemed to glare from the vapors. Then, as quickly as it had come, the mist dissipated and we saw that Gregor’s body had vanished!

His sword began to sparkle, and it too, dissolved into silvery mist that poured back down between the cracks in the stones. Finally, the black wolf pelt nearby began to sparkle with the same silvery light. In a moment it vanished as well.

At this point, our objective was to get out of the hall as quickly as possible. We did not want to fight any of the boyarsky, many of whom had wives and children who needed their protection and who would not have become boyarsky if they had had any real choice. Thanks to a grease spell that I had cast earlier, and a barricade that we put up in the doorway leading to the hall, the boyarsky were delayed just long enough to let us make our escape.

We ran back the way we had come, through the kitchen and past the startled servants who were just now rising from their pallets. Once we were outside we ran to the back of the palisade, quickly scaled the ladder and jumped over, using the snow on the opposite side to cushion our fall.

From there we headed back into the woods as fast as we could go and began circling around to the south, where we hoped to find Gregor’s secret cave, and where we hoped to have our final confrontation with the Great Black Wolf of Vorostokov.

Comments

arkhemedes

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.