Sixteen of the Twelfth Moon, 347

Today I left my encampment outside of the village to journey to Castle Ravenloft, my new home. Alek and Ilona accompanied me once again, this time with a full contingent of soldiers. For the first time since defeating Slyarc I was excited. I had been warned that the Castle was in shambles, but I did not care.

We left early in the morning to make the journey; the only access to the Castle itself by following the winding Svalich Road, crossing the great Tser Falls over the massive stone bridge. It took two hours for our troupe to arrive at the Castle, all the while I gazed at the structure. The very walls glowed with an alabaster shine in the soft morning light.

When we arrived at the stone Tser Bridge Pass, I sneered at the bridge and the looming fortification beyond. Couldn’t Slyarc have held us off? Indeed, the bridge alone would have taken us days to bypass. At first I mocked his suicidal decision to face me in the valley below, but then I paused. All of his banner-men were slain; no one was coming to help him. Perhaps he preferred to face death as a warrior rather than wasting away from hunger in a prison that he once called home. I shrugged to myself. I would never be caught in such a predicament.

A short time later we arrived at the drawbridge of Castle Ravenloft., which bridged the gap between the hills and the side of the mountain. It was the only way into the Castle, and one had immediate vertigo peering over the edge to the river a thousand feet below. My companions mocked the shoddy state of the courtyard but quickly ceased their comments when they saw I was in awe. The Castle was enormous, the curtain wall was over fifty feet tall. It surrounded a stout keep surrounded by battlements. Three large towers rose above the wall, each growing taller than the last, with the last being over three hundred feet tall. The first tower was round and fat. The second was thinner and taller, connecting at the center to a third tower of dizzying height.

Inside was no less impressive, with dozens of gigantic ballrooms and halls. Scores of smaller rooms branched of these halls and additional wings, two large courtrooms and a large garden were also present. The basement and crypts were large too, for generations of von Zarovich’s were buried there. I was glad to find that Slyarc hadn’t desecrated the tombs. It was in shambles, most of the windows broken and leaves scattered about in the rooms. But it could be fixed.

Captain Eig and his men had secured everything and presented a full inventory. No doubt provisions would need to be brought quickly, but the Castle has enough to provide for it’s new master. Alek objected, for fear of the Ba’al Verzi assassin, but I would hear none of it. Today I would start my rule of Barovia from Castle Ravenloft.

I write this entry by candle light in my new quarters, my guards are outside my doors and Alek is patrolling constantly. Perhaps his diligence will save me; perhaps it is a ruse. My body aches after the hard ride up the mountain, the ravages of age are starting to fray at my warrior frame.

I care not. I am home. Finally I have a home.

Sixteen of the Twelfth Moon, 347

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna