Zack: You reach a fog-shrouded gateway flanked by crumbling statues. As you pass through the gate, it slams closed behind you.
Steve: “Time is gate slams closed behind everyone. Except time elemental.”
Zack: The bat seems incredulous, but doesn’t say anything. You and Wendy continue through the spooky forest until you come upon a dead body tangled in the undergrowth. The man appears to be a villager who was mauled by animals and there are wolf prints all around his body. He holds a letter partially crumpled in his stiff hands.
Steve: “Letter. I know this thing.” Bane picks it up and studies the letter. He squints his eyes as though he might discern the strange symbols on the paper.
Zack: Never again, Steve. Never again make a solo character like this that is illiterate. Wendy will read the stupid letter for you.
Steve: Okay, but how did a bat learn to read?
Zack: Really? You’re going to look a gift bat in the mouth?
Steve: It’s ruining my immersion.
Zack: This is a land of terrors and you know what the scariest thing is to most people? An educated bat.
Zack: Wendy reads the letter for you. She says the Burgomaster of Barovia wrote the letter and announces that his adopted daughter Ireena has been bitten by a vampyr. The vampyr is too powerful to be fought and you should turn away and leave.
Steve: “We go to Barovia. Peace to you, master of burgers.” Gonna head for this village that lurks in the fog. A regular Joe adventurer might not be able to handle some vampire, but Bane is the Master of the West Wind. He will metaphorically blow away these mists and remove the evil that hangs over this land like a mist. Also Ireena sounds like a babe.
Zack: Barovia is much as the bar wench warned: shitty. Ancient buildings tower in the fog. Your feet shuffle on the wet cobblestones. The dark houses stare silently at you and a distant sobbing echoes in the night. It’s horrible and spooky.
Steve: Sure, now, but I bet it comes alive at Christmas.
Zack: The message of Christ has not reached these benighted lands.
Steve: I can’t help them there, but I can bring the message of Hruggek and that message is about becoming one with the universe by having your head ripped off.
Zack: A single shaft of light thrusts into the main square, its brightness like a solid pillar in the heavy fog. Above the gaping doorway, a sign hangs precariously askew proclaiming this the “Blood on the Vine Tavern.”
Steve: Yes, Bane is parched after all this mist. He’ll have a drink to warm his belly such as hot water.