Lost in the Mists
Located in the domain of Barovia, Castle Ravenloft is the seat of power for Count Strahd von Zoravich from which he rules his land.
The castle is located near the village of Barovia, perched over a thousand feet above the hamlet on a rocky ridge. Easily one of the most impressive structures ever created, the Castle is all but impenetrable from ground attack due to its location and design. The Castle is surrounded on all sides by jagged, steep cliffs cut out by the Tser Falls. The rocky outcropping is connected to the hilly region by a drawbridge and this bridge is the only way to directly enter the Castle. Scaling the cliff walls is all but impossible for any large force.
The Castle itself is a massive structure, and in its hay-day was a wonder. Courtyards and exquisitely decorated ballrooms were plentiful; grand feasts were held yearly and people came from across the world to view the Castle’s splendor. It was always a busy place full of life, and could accommodate a staff of dozens and house a hundred guests.
As the Castle has fallen to gloom, its true purpose has become more evident. The Castle is one of the best fortresses the world has ever known. It is surrounded by two layers of incredibly dense, tall curtain walls made of hard stone. These walls could host dozens of archers and anti-siege equipment when fully manned. Three large towers rise above this wall, each offering their own defenses and vantage points.
The Castle was created over a thousand years ago and was the seat of power for the Von Zoravich clan. They lost control of the Castle through treachery when the Terg took over Barovia, forcing them to flee the country. Almost eight hundred years ago, the Von Zoraviches returned when Strahd the First assaulted Barovia to reclaim his home. It took him over thirty years to conquer Barovia and cut the Castle off from any reinforcement.
Indeed, the only time the Castle was ever assaulted was when Strahd the First laid sige to it. The Tergian warlord Slyarc held out in the Castle for over two years before running completely out of supplies. Faced with the choice of death from starvation or death on the battlefield, the warlord chose to face Strahd and was defeated.
Strahd the First did not get to enjoy his reclaimed home for long. At the wedding of his brother, a group of assassins killed dozens of wedding guests and left the Castle in ruin. Since that time, the Castle has been a crypt and no one willingly goes there. The rulers of Barovia have had the yearly taxes dropped off at the drawbridge and offered little other contact. For generations no one has entered the Castle and lived to tell about it.
It appears that something has changed. Several people from Barovia have been recruited to work at the Castle, and orders for supplies have been sent to the burgomaster of Barovia. The long dark Castle has had some of its fires burning in the recent years. It is unknown as to what kind of an omen this truly is.