Mists of Shadow Moor

Session 01: The Broken Road

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Tormon Ledger, Page 01

:: Traveled 6 days via High Pass route.

:: Encountered railway blockage (bridge out also), unable to continue by locomobile to Mount Ghakis. Locomobile appears to have been misdirected for several days on an unknown railway branch. Way-station here is abandoned. It was marked with an old Tormon sign carved onto one of the porch’s support columns. A recent letter was found in the outgoing letter box. The locomobile lacks sufficient wood and coal to make the return trip.

:: Encountered a switchback trail, a long road out of the mountains. Signs indicate “Barovia” which resembles the “Baroviom” of the recipient of our package.

:: Encountered a colossal stone gateway with massive iron gates. The gateway was carved with two warriors, both missing heads. The gates appeared 80 or more feet tall, the sentinel statutes even taller.

:: Encountered a wolf-killed human in the snow, just off the road. Recovered a letter. The sender seemed to be the same as the one we found in the abandoned way-station, but the handwriting did not match. This one gave a very different set of instructions for anyone who found or read the letter.

:: Found the town of Barovia. Attacked by wolves en route. Killed and drove off the attackers. Made it to the walled town after sunset. A lone guard let us in before retiring for the night.

:: Located and knocked at the home of the burgonmaster. The building is boarded up and appears to have been assailed by a large force in the recent past.

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Prologue: Into the Mist

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You are part of the Tormon Guild, a highly-respected society of mail-carriers. Your people transport letters and packages through the long, dark stretches between points of civilization. You have received special training and equipment from your society, tools necessary to protect your cargo along the way. You and the other mail-carriers in your squad have all been members of the society for at least a year. You all know one another, and each of you has worked with each other squad member at least once before this mission.

For your current delivery, you were assigned a package, a wax-sealed wooden crate with the dimensions of a large book. You immediately suspected it to be a spellbook or some other tome of forbidden lore. As typical, you were given no information about the sender’s identity. You were to deliver the package to “the Burgomaster of Baroviom” in “the Shadow Moor below Mount Ghakis.” A bounty of 800 gold marks awaits the delivery.

For three days, you rode toward the mountain border that bounds the vast northern baronies, braving cold winter rains and lurking highwaymen. At St. Lukesburg, your guild paid passage for your team and your horses on the old locomobile line called the High Pass. A six day ride on the ancient rails saves several weeks of difficult travel through the high mountain passes. Since trade resumed with the northern baronies, the High Pass route has run twice monthly with increasing custom, particularly from those eager to open new markets.

For five days, you watched silent snowfall out the windows of the locomobile as it rolled across the High Pass. Elaborate bridgework carried the rails over impossibly wide chasms, their deep depths obscured by the misty swirl of snow. Inside the comfort of the railway cars, meals were simple but served hot with mulled wine. A minstrel played the harpsichord periodically, providing an atmosphere of seasonal cheer. And sleeping cars allowed you to rest in relative comfort.

In the early morning hours of the final day of the passage, the locomobile stopped abruptly on its rails. The lurch woke you from your sleep. It did not feel like a normal stop for a coal-engine of this sort. You and your fellow mail-carriers dressed and left your sleeping car, readying yourselves for the unexpected.

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