Curse of Strahd
STRAHD VON ZAROVICH
About Strahd, the Vistani believe the following:
Strahd comes from a royal bloodline. He died centuries ago yet endures as one of the undead, feasting on the blood of the living. Barovians refer to him as “the devil Strahd.”
Strahd has taken many consorts, but he has known only one true love: a Barovian peasant girl
named Tatyana. (The Vistani don’t know what happened to her.)
Strahd named his castle, Ravenloft, after his beloved mother, Queen Ravenovia. Strangers aren’t welcome at the castle without an invitation.
LAND OF BAROVIA
Vistani know the following facts about Barovia and Barovians:
Strahd conquered this land centuries ago and named it after his father, King Barov. Strahd uses wolves, bats, and other creatures to spy on all of his realm.
Barovians are simple, frightened people. Some have old souls, but many do not. The soulless ones are easy to spot, for they know nothing but fear. They have no charm, hope, or spark, and they don’t cry.
The Old Svalich Road passes through Strahd’s domain. Three settlements lie on the road like beads on a string: Krezk to the west, Vallaki in the heart of the valley, and Barovia to the east. Strahd has spies in each settlement.
There’s an old windmill on the road between the village of Barovia and the town of Vallaki. It should be avoided at all costs! (The Vistani refuse to say more.)
It is wise to stick to the road. Wild druids, wayward ghosts, and packs of wolves and werewolves haunt the Svalich Woods.
BELIEFS AND SUPERSTITIONS
The Vistani have deep-rooted beliefs and superstitions that they pass down from one generation to the next:
The souls of those who die in Barovia can’t escape to the afterlife. They are prisoners in Strahd’s domain.
Some Vistani women are blessed with prescience. Of all the great Vistani fortune-tellers, none compares to Madam Eva. If knowledge of the future is what you seek, Madam Eva will tell you your fate.
A prescient Vistana can’t see her own future or the future of another Vistana. It is the burden of the Vistani’s great gift that their own fates can’t be divined.
Vistani curses are potent, but they are invoked with great caution. Vistani know that to curse one who is undeserving of such punishment can have grave consequences for the one who utters such a curse.
Ravens carry lost souls within them, so killing one is bad luck.