Thirtieth of the Seventh Moon, 471

At the very least, the monotony of this place has given way to intrigue and guile.

I’ve sent mortal servants into Mordent to survey it. They have returned with reports that it is the place of my dream: a land of misty moors and a dark sea. They seem to be a simple folk, not unlike the denizens of Barovia. The servants I sent into Darkon had yet to return, until tonight.

I sensed it shortly after arising, and knew necromantic magic was at play. I left the Castle and went to the guardhouse. My scouts had returned and they had clearly met Azalin, for all of them had been tortured to death and reanimated. My former henchmen offered no violence, and beckoned me to follow them. I did so, flying above them as they tore through the forest, for the dead travel fast.

After hours, we arrived at the border of Barovia. Previously, an endless wall of fog blocked an exit, but now only more forest lay beyond. I knew the path was still blocked and I could not pass into the new domain. I watched as the dead walked freely through what would be an invisible wall to me. Azalin stepped out of the shadows and bowed mockingly.

“Took you long enough, Strahd,” he said.

“You couldn’t have just sent a raven? Killing my loyal living servants is annoying.” I said.

“Simple scouts? Armed to fight a lich it seemed. No matter, they were only loyal until I started my interrogation. I did you a favor,”

“Hardly. So what of it, lich?”

“I know all about you, Strahd, and I know the extent of your power. For I now share it,”

“You arrogant knave, you know nothing of me or my power. I am the Land!”

“Pish posh, leech. You are a lord of a domain. As am I. I must say my domain is much larger,”

“Did you come here to gloat?”

“No,” Azalin said and then after a pause, “maybe a little. But I wanted to know what you remembered about Mordent.”

I clenched my teeth at the thought of Tatyana. “I had dreams. Nothing more.”

“They were hardly dreams, Strahd. We escaped from the Mists,” Azalin said.

“Escape seems to have been short-lived. What do you remember?” I asked.

“Dreams. Nothing more. But I know that it was real. And that means that the walls of this prison can be broken. I will escape,” the lich said.

“Be sure to write to me when you do,” I mocked as I turned back into my domain.

“Strahd,” the lich started. I stopped.

“Know this,” he continued, “before coming to Barovia I was a king, greater than you ever were. The dignity you showed me during my time with you will not be forgotten. Mark my words, I will destroy you.”

“I look forward to the entertainment,” I said

Thirtieth of the Seventh Moon, 471

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna