They Paved Paradise (And Put Up A Monsterous Monlithic Sacrifice To Their Demonic Gods)

Intermission

All who heard, good at heart and dark creatures of the night alike cringed at the bitterness in the unholy wail that carried through the forests and hills of Borovia.

Standing over a reading desk in the dusty library, the vampire lord Strahd struggled to recompose himself. At his feet lay thousands of glittering crystal shards from the chalice hurled there just moments before. His hands hung in tight fists by his side, the fury of his sudden and totally uncommon impotence slowly boiling over; already he felt the power once provided by the wilderness fane fading.

Drawing himself up to his almost regal height, Strahd breathed out – an utterly unncessary action in a vampire, but a habit that countless years had yet to suppress – and forced himself calm.

“It matters little,” he said to himself. “I need them strong if they are to do my bidding.” His eyes narrowed as he considered his long-term plan for the mortals who even now wandered through his lands like boys with wooden swords and dreams of glory. Those dreams would die soon enough…

He turned to the lithe female standing by his side. “Sasha,” he commanded, “seek the tainted one. Inform him they will soon arrive.”

The black-haired beauty before him bowed. “Very well, master.”

Strahd considered Sasha’s feminine form as it transformed into mistbefore his eyes. “When this is done find something dear to them.” A wicked smile crept across his thin ancient lips. “Give them a reason to grieve.”

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