Some time later we began to hear the baying of wolves and began to see a few of them gather on ledges in the cliffs above us. With our nerves frayed to the limit, and the wolf sightings becoming more frequent, we saw a small fire just off the road ahead in the trees with a dark figure beside it. Standing upon the roadway were a few very large and malicious looking wolves. Could this be Skennis, and what would that mean for our troupe?
From a distance we announced ourselves and engaged in conversation with the stranger. It was Skennis and Uphir stepped forward to be the one to dialogue with him as she had spoken to him at length previously at the Durst’s barn. Skennis would not allow the Burgomeister’s children to pass – he demanded that they return to Barovia. He wanted to make us a special offer to gain some allies in this land. He was offering us the chance to become part of his pack, to become a werewolf!
This sparked an emotional debate amongst our group. Many more wolves were gathering in the shadows and this was looking to be a battle that we would be hard pressed to win. Skennis was offering us (Beyond becoming werewolves) the chance to go backwards and avoid any battle, and some in the group thought that was the wisest choice. Others within the group, myself included, thought that we should fight Skennis and his wolves now and resolve to make it to Vallaki and refuge for our new companions.
I felt a growing rage as I stood there with the group debating, with Skennis looking on. Death very well awaited us if we chose to fight through and continue our quest. Going back still left us at the mercy of Strahd at the time of his choosing. All of our solutions lay in front of us, not behind. Fear gripped my heart and I felt as if a bristly noose were being drawn slowly taut around my neck.
Our actions in the Death House and Barovia came from a pure place of goodness and knowledge of what was right. I strongly felt that some fate has brought my heroic friends and I here, to make a difference and perhaps lift the curse upon this land for all of these downtrodden souls. My rage built until I burst a few feet ahead of the group and screamed at Skennis, with all I could muster, to stand aside – calling him a knave and whatever other names came to my mind. I have never felt so strongly about anything, we cannot go back on our word to Ismark and the Lady Ireena. The only way to salvation was to go forward and fight the evil that lay ahead.