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Tome of Strahd

Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:23 am

I am The Ancient, I am The Land. I was the prince, I was good and just. I remember...

My father ruled the lands, and ruled them well until the treasonous act that cost him his life! The ingrates that slaughtered my father! My hate for them burns like glowing coals to this very day! My father saw the City-State of Perdaith, and wanted it.  It would be the shining gem of his kingdom. But the citizens of Perdaith refused to submit to him.  Their pride and envy!  In a treasonous act they travelled to our ancestral home and ruthlessly slaughtered my father and burned our palace.  My family was forced into hiding...

How I seethe at their act!  I thundered across the land like the wrath of a just god, uniting the remaining forces of Naduum against my enemies.  My dark army laid seige to Perdaith for years. We chased survivors across the Alyrran Plains into the Arrocian Mountains. In that time, I had grown from a skilled warrior into a great general. But the years of war and killing wore down my soul as the wind wears stone into sand... All goodness slipped from my life; I found my youth and strength gone and all I had left was death. My army settled in the valley East of the Alyrran Plains.  I named it Barovia in memory of my father. I took power over the people in the name of a just god, but with none of a god’s grace or justice. I instructed my people to build a great palace for my family.  I called for my family, long unseated from their ancient thrones, and brought them here to settle in the castle Ravenloft. My mother came with my family to these new lands and brought my younger brother, Sergei.  He had grown into a handsome and youthful man since I had last seen him. I hated him for both his youth and his beauty...

From the families of the valley, one spirit shone above all others. A rare beauty, who was called “perfection,” “joy,” and “treasure.” Her name was Tatyana and I longed for her to be mine. I loved her with all my heart. I loved her for her youth. I loved her for her joy. But she spurned me! “Old One” was my name to her – “elder” and “brother” also. Her heart went to Sergei. They were betrothed. The date was set...  With words she called me “brother,” but when I looked into her eyes they reflected another name – “death.” It was the death of the aged that she saw in me. She loved her youth and enjoyed it. But I had squandered mine. The death she saw in me turned her from me. And so I came to hate death, my death. My hate is very strong: I would not be called “death” so soon. I made a pact with the Dark Powers I had come to know; a pact of Blood. On the day of the wedding, I killed Sergei, my brother. My pact was sealed with his blood, his... divinity.

I found Taryana weeping in the garden east of the Chapel. She fled from me. She would not let me explain, and a great anger swelled within me. She had to understand the pact I made for her! I pursued her. Finally, in despair, she flung herself from the walls of Ravenloft and I watched everything I ever wanted fall from my grasp forever. It was a thousand feet through the mists. No trace of her was ever found. Not even I know her final fate. Arrows from the castle guards pierced me to my soul, but I did not die. Nor did I live. I became undead, forever...

I have studied much since then. “Vampyr” is my new name. I still lust for life and youth, and I curse the living that took them from me. Even the sun is against me. it is the sun and light I fear the most. But little else can harm me now. Even a stake through my heart does not kill me, though it holds me from movement. But the sword, that cursed sword that Sergei brought! I must dispose of that awful tool! I fear and hate it as much as the sun... I have often hunted for Tatyana. I have even felt her within my grasp, but she escapes me! She taunts me! She taunts me! What will it take to bend her love to me? I now reside far helow Ravenloft. I live among the dead and sleep beneath the very stones of this hollow castle of despair. I shall seal shut the walls of the stairs that none may disturb me.
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