Escape from Castle Ravenloft

The stones of the courtyard were slick with puddles, as the storm above drove droplets down like a rain of arrows on the small group as they fled Castle Ravenloft. The flashes of lightning and the clap of thunder combined to form a deafening attack as the five adventures stumbled across the drawbridge.

Mhardaveth, carrying the unconscious form of Carver over his shoulders, spared a glance into the abyss that separated the mountain from the castle. The ever present mists clung to everything, and yet he couldn’t help but think of the beautiful woman from his vision, plummeting into the depths below. The paladin pictured the parade of woman, young and vibrant, all taken and corrupted by Strahd.

“You need to move now.” Milo said, pulling gently on Mhardaveth. The paladin wasn’t aware that he’d stopped and stared at the long drop below, the rotting wood beneath his feet creaking as the wind howled around him and whipped his cloak around him like an angry specter.

“How long have I lingered?” Mhardaveth muttered to the halfling, as he turned to follow. Had he had another of his lapses? Yorword was there too now, gesturing for the paladin to move, his face full of barely restrained fear and anger.

“Please, move.” Milo said again, this time more insistent. The monk was smiling much less then when Mhardaveth had first met him. The four of them crossed, as Kethra waited patiently on the other side for them. Yorword paused. Even with the rain and wind, and the mud and dirt, there was no denying her poise and beauty. The rest of the group moved on and only Kethra and Yorword remained, staring back at the castle.

“We’ll have to go back in there.” she said resigned.

“Well, I… I guess. We could just stay in the cabin too. Maybe he’ll leave us alone.” Yorword mumbled. Kethra gave him a pitying look.

“Is the cabin that safe?” the sorceress asked. The druid sagged visibly, and shook his head.

“I… I don’t think so. I think that other druid, was not… was not all there. I don’t think anywhere is safe.” Yorword replied. He stared up at the sky, letting the torrential rain wash down on him, and remembered his simple life before all this. Before the mines. Before this hellhole. Despite himself, the druid smiled.

“The sun is rising.” Yorword said as he pointed eastward.

“He’ll have to rest now.” Kethra said, staring hard at the castle, “It will buy us the time we need to rest.” Yorword started to leave, and Kethra glanced at the lightening patch of sky to the east. The coulds were still a rolling tempest of black and gray, so she could hardly discern the difference in the sunrise.

Even with the sun up, it would still be dark in the valley of Barovia. Even with the sun up, the storm, and Strahd would rob them of sunlight. Day was finally breaking, and still, they would not see the sun.

Not for the first time, Kethra wondered if she’d ever see the sun again…

Author: Neil