Welcome to Castle Ravenloft
Home of Count Strahd von Zarovich.
Not the least glimmer of light escaped the castle’s tall black windows. Its broken battlements sketched a jagged line across the darkened sky. Castle Ravenloft brooded over a bleak, mist-shrouded valley. Constructed on the sheer side of a thousand-foot cliff, the terrible fortress was occupied by something ancient and evil.
A blot of night detached from the shadowed walls of the castle and moved out onto a narrow balcony. Lightning revealed the sneering countenance of Count Strahd von Zarovich.
His eyes, burning with a never-satisfied hunger, took in the drizzling twilight, the looming peaks, and the few sad lights of the village below. He clutched one hand to his chest and muttered, as if making a promise, or perhaps delivering a curse, a single name: “Ireena . . .”
Strahd grimaced, and his sharp canine teeth promised mayhem. A bitter wind spun dead leaves about him, billowing his velvet-lined cape.
Another fit of lightning burst from the storm’s underbelly, casting stark light across Strahd’s face. The angular muscles of his visage and the taut lines in his hands revealed a man accustomed to exercising complete authority. In that face, no pity lived—but, perhaps, hints of growing madness?
His eyes narrowed as he spied the newcomers. A group traveled down Old Svalich Road toward the village. His grimace transformed into a hideous smile. He knew they were coming, knew why they came, and relished what would be their ultimate fate. No plan could be called good unless blood was spilled during its execution. All the pawns were finally assembled; all the pieces, prepared for so long, were in place and waiting to play their parts. Even from where he stood on the balcony, Strahd heard the unceasing pulse of the Dayheart; its beat throbbed up through the castle stone into his rigid flesh. Its horrid semblance of life sustained Strahd with a vigor even more potent than the unholy existence he had enjoyed these many centuries. Precious few weapons could permanently harm him anymore.
Soon enough, Strahd would personally attend the newcomers.
Welcome to my Parlor, said the Spider to the Fly
Strahd. Ravenloft. A generation of gamers faced the horrors of the original I6 module. Strahd was voted one of the greatest villains in D&D history by the last printed Dragon Magazine. He was also the first truly developed villain in a published modul, where his actions and desires had a direct impact on the outcome of the adventure.
Thus, I welcome my players to both a very tough and very rewarding gaming experience. Bring your best dice and your best roleplaying, because you will need them both to survive!