Lost in the Mists
Eight of the Twelfth Moon, 347
There can be no rest for the wicked.
We have remained in camp and sent messages to the neighboring villages, telling them that I am now their ruler. Squads of my men are now searching the country-side for Terg remnants. We will know no peace until they are all dispatched. And I cannot summon my family until they are gone.
Alek came to me this morning to tell me that there were traitors in my camp. I scoffed and told him there are traitors in every camp. As my man-at-arms, Alek is used to my jeers. He noted that they had captured a Terg warrior who, in his dying breath, tried to batter for aid. The Terg said that the Ba’al Verzi were coming for me. A weaker man would shutter at the notion that the clan of masterful assassins was coming for him, but I did not. All I needed to know was who had hired them.
Who indeed? Perhaps the Terg, but they have no real connection to the assassins. Perhaps it was one of the neighboring kings. Certainly a mighty Barovia lead by a great king would change the political climate against their liking. But they were far away and Slyarc was far worse than I. Why let him rule for decades and not claim him? Could it be one of my own people? A notion filled me with rage, but Alek noted that a lifetime of warfare makes many enemies.
But who could it be? Alek himself? Hardly an intelligent assassin to warn me of his approach, but perhaps it would by him some fame to increase the challenge. The entirety of the Dilisnya clan despised my father, but Leo Dilisnya had been second only to Alek in loyalty to me. The list of potentials there was long, for I no doubt displeased the other houses by telling them that I would be the sole ruler of Barovia. Could it be someone I least expected, like my priest Lady Ilona or one of my brothers? Truly troubling thoughts.
I put these to rest and gazed up at the castle. It dominated the skyline, towering over a thousand feet above the village of Barovia. My father’s castle, named after my dear mother. Castle Ravenloft. It was in ruins, but I had luckily expected that. Even in decay it was splendid: perched high on the ledges of the mountain side, overlooking the roaring Ivlis River. It would be grand again.
And it would all be mine.