We left Tranquility and continued along the road for a day. When the time came to set up camp we bedded down just off the road. The next morning we discovered that the world around us was completely different! Instead of the road we had walked on the day before, a new, recently constructed highway stretched ahead into a landscape that was radically different. There were rolling plains and wooded areas, and towering high above in the distance were two mountains.
This Ravenloft is a baffling place.
We walked along the highway until we came to a farm. The farm was eerily quiet. It looked as though it had been abandoned for some time, and after a little investigating we found signs that the former inhabitants were likely murdered.
There was a scarecrow in the field, and five leather aprons hanging on a line by the scarecrow. We would later learn that the aprons were made of the skins of the family that once lived at the farm, but first the scarecrow and the aprons animated and attacked us.
After destroying the scarecrow and the aprons, we found a journal that one of the farmer’s sons had written. It spoke of some stranger who came to the farm for rest and provisions. As a gift for the help, the stranger offered a potion to the farmer that would help them harvest their crop. The potion brought the scarecrow to life so that it could work tirelessly in the fields. After all the crops had been harvested though, the scarecrow attacked the family and slaughtered them.
Besides the journal, we also found one of the fliers for the carnival that had been to Miredus.
We left the farm and continued onward, arriving at the town of Maykle. The town had a moat and a high wall protecting it. While no one in the town harassed us, they did eye us suspiciously. We learned that we were in the domain of Darkon and that the new King’s Road was the road we had been walking on. Those we spoke with told us that the king had been gone for some time, but had recently returned. During the king’s absence, undead had begun to wander the land of Darkon.
We secured rooms at the inn and turned in for the evening. During the night we all had the same bizarre dream. We left our rooms and found ourselves all drawn to the tavern. There was someone in the tavern with us. When Goodman tried to illuminate the room with the Morninglord’s light, the figure remained enveloped in darkness.
The mysterious figure introduced himself as Azalin Rex, the Darklord of Darkon. He found us very interesting, by his own admission. Vosk’s defeat at our hands was the particular event he found so fascinating. He wanted to help us in our quest to defeat Lord Strahd. As we suspected, the price of his help would be costly.
According to Azalin, seven years earlier there was some kind of cataclysmic event called the Requiem. The cause of the event, not known by many, was the result of Azalin’s attempt to escape Ravenloft. The explosion sent shockwaves throughout Ravenloft and, among other things, destroyed Azalin’s physical body. For five years he was left as only some incorporeal form, during which time a powerful entity calling itself Death took hold of Azalin’s capitol city of Il-Aluk. When Azalin regained physical form, he tried to reclaim his land. He reclaimed Darkon, but his capitol was now a new domain unto itself. This Necropolis was ruled by its own Darklord, Death.
The price for Azalin’s help in our quest to defeat Strahd would be to help him get his capitol back. We would need to defeat this Death. The worst part, though, is that the Necropolis is blanketed by some magical effect called The Shroud. It kills any living creature that enters the city and reanimates them as undead. We’ll all need to die in order to help Azalin. Azalin assured us all that he would be able to resurrect us after we destroy Death.
Despite the insanity of this plan, we have agreed. We have little to go on in our quest to destroy Strahd and we need all the help we can get. It also would serve the people of Darkon to destroy this large bastion of undead on their doorstep. But I fear what will happen to me because of this shroud. My kind is not normally subjected to this kind of fate, of being an undead monster. I will focus on my oath to Pelor and hope that I can avoid becoming corrupted by this transfiguration.