Zack: Fade in on a tavern. Bane Battler, giant and serene, is hunched over a bowl of boiled potatoes in the midst of a bustling tavern. The glow of hearth light and lanterns warms the room. Outside, the fog clings to the cobblestones and there is a chill in the air. The door to the tavern suddenly thumps open, bringing the room to silence. A figure steps inside, sees you, and walks straight over to your table. He is well dressed in brightly-colored gypsy clothing and he has a fat coin purse.
Steve: Bane gives him a serious look and slowly puts another spoonful of potato in his mouth. He talks around the food. “What you want?”
Zack: The man draws himself up and proclaims, “If you be creatures of honor, you will come to my master’s aid at first light. It is not advisable to travel the Svalich woods at night!” He pulls from his tunic a sealed letter, addressed to all of you in beautiful flowing script. He drops the letter on the table. “Take the west road from here some five hours march down through the Svalich woods. There you will find my master in Barovia.”
Steve: “Okay thank you.” Bane picks up the letter and looks at it. He furrows his brow.
Zack: The gypsy glances at the silent crowd in the bar. He tosses his coin purse at the barkeep and declares, “Fill the glasses, one and all.” He leaves as conversation resumes, although you see some people giving him ominous glances.
Steve: Bane thinks they must be friends with him. Bane is going to call the bar wench over and hand her the letter. “What this?”
Zack: She looks at it and says, “A letter, sir.”
Steve: “What do with?”
Zack: “You mean what do you do with a letter? You read it.”
Steve: “Read for Bane.”
Zack: The woman reads it and then summarizes it. “It says this lady, Ireena Kolyana has some sort of deadly affliction. This guy is offering you money to come cure her. Oh, and he’s her boyfriend, husband, dad or whatever. It’s signed the Burgomaster, Kolyan Indrirovich. I think that’s the Burgomaster of Barovia. You definitely don’t want to go there. You know how shitty this village is? Times ten. Times ten as shitty for Barovia.”
Steve: “Go see Burgermaster.” Bane pushes off from the table and goes stomping outside.
Zack: In the misty night, you see the gypsy guy climbing onto his horse. “What are you doing? It’s not safe to travel at night. Wait until the morning.”
Steve: I’m going to wander off down the road, but not before I hit the gypsy with some of my monk wisdom. “Night is only day without sun. The difference inside us.”
Zack: The gypsy says, “No, buddy, the sun part is a big deal. You better go back inside because there are foul beasts that stalk the roads and men of ill-intent.”
Steve: “The master of burgers want my wisdom.”
Zack: The gypsy shakes his head as you set off through the ominous, misty, Halloween spooky Svalich woods.