Twenty sixth of the Fourth Moon, 558

Peals of thunder echo across the land as I look out at the darkened sky.

The last storm of winter as turned into heavy rains. The lower parts of the Old Svalich Road have completely flooded out and travel through the country will be difficult until early summer. It matters not to me, but it will keep the cattle in their pen. The castle is damp and cold; I keep the candle by this tome unlit as to not disturb the ambiance.

Time marches on, though I do not feel its effects. Barovia grows with the years, but little changes. So many projects and schemes occupy most of my time. As more domains appear in the Mists, the need to learn about my adversaries increases. And, as always, there’s my overreaching goal of escape from this dark realm. I’ve been here for so long, lived almost a half dozen lifetimes. Some nights the memories are so hazy, but her face never fades; the pain never goes away. When will I see her again? Will I be able to keep her this time?

Lyssa continues to annoy me, but her machinations allow me to keep my mind sharp. I often send her on long treks through the Mists to uncover new secrets about the other domains. She always returns with a deeper devotion and hatred of me. She was incensed when I took Dorina as another “Lady of the Castle”, but Lyssa could only accommodate me. It is quite humorous.

Last week she returned with news of Nova Vassa, a large land that has appeared over the mountains to the east. It is very different than Barovia, with vast plains instead of dense forest. Lyssa says that the land has beautiful wild horses, and far darker beasts prowling the land. They are ruled by an aristocratic collective known as the “Cycle of Stewards” and have a strong religion dedicated to “The Lawbringer”. How quaint. It is curious that I cannot detect the dark lord of this realm.

Lyssa is far from my only spy, though they have a permanent camp here in Barvoia, the local clan of Vistani still wanders throughout the land and reports back to me regularly. Their leader a seer— a “Raunie “—- named Eva is particularly helpful to me. I know the dark secret she is hiding from her people. This knowledge gives me power over her clan.

The vistani’s information allowed me to identify several key informers in Barovia for Azalin’s secret police force: the Kargat. Their torturous deaths amused me and no doubt proved to be a great setback to the lich.

Schemes upon schemes.

Twenty sixth of the Fourth Moon, 558

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna