Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Report from the Field

I can only hope that this will reach you, but I think things have settled enough that it has a good chance of arriving. It would not have been possible before now. As assigned, I was scouting the territory to assess it's profit potential. I'm afraid I have bad news on that front, as the entire area seems to be a dying backwater with no wealth to speak of. I don't see the Caravan gaining anything by spreading our network in this direction. However, there is news of a much stranger sort. While I was looking for purses to snatch in a tavern one evening, a messenger from a neighboring village arrived with a desperate call for help. Not seeing any reason to sit around and figuring those who responded to such a call would be the most interesting figures available, I joined in the rescue attempt.

We found the village of Borovia to be a town under siege by its own dead and nearly destroyed. It took a bit of investigative work and a few additional deaths, but we rooted out the source of the scourge and brought it to an end. Unfortunately, the town has little wealth and a offered a negligible reward for our help beyond relief and gratitude. I was glad to help, but there was little gain.

I suspect my adventure has just begun, however. We may have defeated the immediate threat, but a far greater evil (and, I believe, treasure) looms over the valley in the form of Castle Ravenloft and what appears to be a vampire lord. My companions have made it their quest to hunt and destroy this Strahd. I know it is beyond the scope of my mission, but I feel joining them provides the only possibility of making this venture worthwhile. We have gained the assistance of a fortune teller and are beginning to gather what tools may be available to us.

I am extremely puzzled by my companions, unfortunately. We normally think of the big people as loud, slow, and brutish, but this entire group lacks their usual boisterousness. So far I have been trying to remain in the shadows and escape much notice, but I fear we are destined to fail if something doesn't change. I honestly can't figure out what reason any of them have for being here and taking on this fight, for they have expressed no motivation or reason for their actions. In fact, if we weren't interacting with our actions, we might not interact at all. Conversation is non-existent, so all I know about them is a few simple traits each. The old elven mage is angry, withdrawn, and likes to burn. The young elven caster is mothering (and sometimes smothering) and considers herself knowledgeable, but lacks assertiveness. The monk is rigid--although he didn't even have the discipline to maintain his holy vows--and says little. The fighter fights. All of them are quiet and uncommunicative and no one seems willing to take the lead and make decisions.

I know I am but a warrior, would rather not draw attention to myself, and lack the wisdom and intelligence for the task, but I think it may be necessary for me to take charge of the situation in the absence of anyone else willing to take on the role. It is not our way, but I am going to allow myself to be known by my companions in an effort to draw them out of their shells. We need to gain knowledge of each other and build trust, or I fear we are doomed to fail.

I do not know when I will have another chance to report, but I will attempt to do so as the opportunity presents itself. I hope to make the Caravan proud and return with at least a worthy tale.


1 comment:

Degolar said...

And even though I'm not supposed to comment on my own posts, I'll step out of character here to provide a bit of background reading to anyone interested.

Oban's introduction.

This is a bit repetitive, but we did take a do-over with this adventure. Here is Oban's report from the first time we traveled into Barovia.

The Caravan of Shadows is an affiliation from the PHB2. It is a traveling network of Halfings who perform in public and thieve behind the scenes. Even though most of Oban's levels are in Rogue with only a few in Fighter, his main role in the clan is combat specialist (thus the big axe). They keep to themselves and don't trust the big people, but with his people he is somewhere between a Gypsy and a Feegle in personality.