We decided to head out to the waterfall to see what we could see. A powerful mage fell to his death there, so it was worth a look and our imaginations supposed that a waterfall would be the ideal place to hide a secret behind as well. We spent quite a large part of the afternoon jury-rigging a raft that we could use to access the pool directly beneath the waterfall. We decided that the raft building experience had taken too long so we stashed the raft in the undergrowth on the bank of the river to retrieve later, and headed back to Barovia.
We collected Uphir’s axe from the smith and, as it was the end of the day and we were definitely reluctant to travel at night through this cursed land (under the gaze of Strahd), we headed once again to rest for the night. When we got to our rugged hidey-hole we found it occupied by a few downtrodden townsfolk. We invited them to stay the night and break bread with us in the safety we could provide. They accepted our offer and we all settled in.
I love children and seeing their bright faces light up when I entertain them, so I did just that. It became quickly and painfully obvious after a short while that something was wrong with some of these villagers. One mother looked fine and was communicative in her shy and wary way, but the other mother held dead eyes and did not participate in anything.
For myself, the interaction with the children is what caused alarm. Only one of the children would engage with me – the other two held the same vacant look in their eyes. They lived; moved; breathed; and seemed aware of their surroundings, but seemed lost. We had heard that some of the villagers were “Soulless” and that truly is the best description for their state.
Janlynn and others tried to engage with the one mother and tried to determine what caused this soulless state, but could not get a helpful answer. They were seeking shelter here because they were evicted from their previous home because of the nature of the soulless ones. One can only hope and pray that the Morninglord will shine upon them with the rays of the morning sun and bring to them the hope of a new beginning. We will try and bring that to them if we are able. But we must succeed in the daunting quests ahead of us.
Entry 14 – Day 10
This morning we were all saddened by the poor state of these people with the dark and hollow eyes, not even capable of expressing the despair of their situation, but this encouraged us to go forth without delay and finally start on the next part of our journey to not only escape, but to hopefully save this land. To do that we must pass through the blockade of the werewolf Skennis.
We headed off for the bridge and waterfall and then beyond to the forested heights of the mountain. This land decided to bring us a forlorn rain to see us on our way. My companions were steadfast and resolute this time. They knew that the only solution was to go forward and that meant going through Skennis and his canine minions. I am proud to say that we walked bravely into the wolfs den and as we passed the road leading up to the castle (The carriage was not there this time) we soon saw wolves gathering in the forests around us. They were not going to negotiate this time – the wolves were attacking!