(Player Aid) The Tome of Strahd

tomeofstrahdI am The Ancient, I am The Land. My beginnings are lost in
the darkness of the past. I was the warrior, I was good and just. I
thundered across the land like the wrath of a just god, but the
war years and the killing years 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 of Barovia and took power over the people in the
name of a just god, but with none of a god’s grace or justice.

I called for my family, long unseated from their ancient
thrones, and brought them here to settle in the castle Ravenloft.
They came with a younger brother of mine, Sergei. He was
handsome and youthful. I hated him for both.

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

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 death, a pact of blood. On the day of the
wedding, I killed Sergei, my brother. My pact was sealed with
his blood.

I found Tatyana 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. She taunts me! She taunts me! What
will it take to bend her love to me?

I now reside far below 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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