Hills of Barovia

A letter to Ismark

A story of three failures

Dear Ismark,

it is with great sadness that I send this letter to you, but I felt you deserve the truth and you deserve to hear it from me, because I gave you my word. We have failed you and Ireena in our promise to save Ireena from the Monster on the Hill.

We have guarded and protected her during our travel from Barovia to Kresk and she bravely fought side by side with us in a battle against a pack of werewolves, making you proud. We ensured that she would be allowed to enter Kresk, by helping the town to secure supplies and finally left her in the safety of the abbott of the temple of St Markovius. We deemed this a safer place than Vallaki but alas, that proved to be a fatal error in our judgement, being our first failure.

The abbot, a powerful Daeva in disguise, took her in and promised us to keep her safe and protected in his abbey. However as powerful as he was, he was also misguided and had removed himself from reality. While we saw it, we failed to recognize the danger, because by his nature he is a sworn enemy of the Monster. Our second failure.

The abbot believed that the monster could be appeased and the curse be lifted from the land by showing him love and compassion and the vessel he chose for that love and compassion was Ireena. So he called upon the Monster and offered him her hand in marriage and conducted the ceremony himself.
While we arrived in time to witness the vows, a foul stroke of fate by whatever evil gods are left in this realm, we were too late to prevent them… The Monster applied his final bite to her and turned her fully into her creature. All of us engaged him and his stewart in combat trying to kill him and free Ireena with the help of the abbot, but he prevailed. Only the power of the Daeva pulled us back from the brink of death and he sacrificed himself in doing so and in his final moments realized the error of his ways. This is where we failed you the third and final time.

Despite her body is still alive, she is now called Tatjana by the Monster and while she still might look the same and even recognize you, she is truly dead and lost to you. It is through our failures that she was taken from you.

For what it is worth I vow to not rest until the Monster is killed and your sister freed from the spell and the fate she is doomed to now. If you will accept me as a brother, then I will avenge her or be utterly destroyed in trying, because death holds no longer any sway over me and cannot stop me from exacting the revenge that the Monster so deserves in your name. That, I swear to you.

Vilrune Siegardson, Paladin of Hextor
Forever in your debt.

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HexIron Hanswurst

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