The Morninglord continues to test my convictions, this time in greater measure than ever before. We have had dinner with Lord Strahd, Master of Castle Ravenloft, Dark Lord of Barovia and ancient vampire wizard. And I am still here to write about our conversation. A cynic, such as Lord Strahd, would say only because he let us leave his castle, but I would disagree. I think the Morninglord guided my companions and I safely through the dinner, ensuring our safety. Could he have killed us if he wanted to, then and there? Surely. But I believe he knew it would cost him dearly to do so. He is not a stupid man, Lord Strahd and I sparred with our words and I’ve taken his measure. One does not survive as long as he has by taking reckless risks. However his intelligence it matched only by his pride, and hubris shall be his downfall. He has been on top for so long, he has forgotten what it is to try, for anything. The Morninglord shall keep us in His light and we shall remind Lord Strahd of that. The fortune teller said dark things would befall me in the castle, and perhaps that’s true, but I am confident that I shall continue to hunt the darkest places of this land until, and hopefully after, I’ve drawn my last breath.
At the conclusion of our dinner, Lord Strahd revealed that he kept Saima’s daughter in his home, cared for and quite alive. This information I felt it prudent to reveal to Saima once we’d left the vampire lord’s presence, lest she take the rash actions I knew she would. She was unhappy with me, but I will bear that over the needless death that would have resulted in immediate action. Lord Strahd offered us a deal: we seek out and destroy Lyssa, a vampires whom Lord Strahd once commanded, that has now broken free and forged her own domain. In exchange, Astrid would be unharmed and we would have free passage through the country to do what we will, so long as we do not return the castle.
Hubris. He knows what we seek, but is so sure of our failure that he will let us take every step towards it. That is good, it will make our task all the more quickly resolved.