Her house was neat. Impossibly so, especially considering the stagnant state of town and the cavalcade of needy that shuffled through her arched doors. It was midday as her sons, foolish boys that looked more like a memory everyday, were out inflicting their presence out on the town, even as daily the town inflicted it’s way back through fools and the fearful.

Her house was neat. A by product of immaculate attention and wealth that the town had mostly forgotten outside the Baroness. The town always felt like it expected to be older money than it was, and she was happy to be one source of whispers. Both in, and out. And today the whispers grew louder.

Her house was neat. Because she needed it to stay that way. Follow the rules. Do not stand out despite name and deed seeming so loud before that fool of an inquisitor and her bold strokes that left cloven into her two narrow categories of the world with a fervent bloodlust. It’s a shame that the lady inquisitor made such a mess.

Her house was neat; before he came to visit. He knew subtlety when he wished, though a vampire’s subtlety is not the same. He spoke in honeyed words, the same as the first time he spoke to her as such a young girl with no view of the world but sadness. And suddenly Lady Wachter remembers, all those years before when she first knew the beauty and the idyllic danger of her lord… And how their house had been… So messy.

It had been years before the signs of blood left the bedroom. But those years were buried under more. Now his confidant voice leaves again, leaving her alone in the midday dark of a briefly empty home, a powerful woman of rumor exhaling to herself. She whispers something to the obscure space of the passing day. And though I apologize, I do not know it’s contents dear listener, because for once on Innistrad, no one heard it.

For when they’d come, the house would be neat.

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It is with caution dear listener that I must remind you of the shadows that fill every waking moment and breath in the Outland Valleys. My contrition for sharing this knowledge is deep, for every moment of these brave and foolish adventurers lives must be riddled with at least one salient thought: Who, or what, is watching them? There is no moment of respite for those who fate takes a shine to. And in Pallas behind ruffled papers and chilly tones, a short scruffy man in an ill fitting suit over his ill fitting skin is the first observer. It’s quiet words he shares with those higher, but those words become like gold as it travels up the chain, and reaching up to the top as unto blood.

But the pale haired woman at the end of the valuable words smiles a decadent smile that conveys a surplus of self confidence drowned in opulence, but bearing the features of someone all too familiar. “They certainly never stop being entertaining. I can’t wait to see her.” she says to no one despite the sycophant at her heel. She stands, a cascade of shimmering red fabric and too artful motions. “We’ll see what they can do.”

And then she was gone.

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The hunters, the farmers, the smiths and the sellers…  Were they proud? The city of Pallas, greyed over from sky and age, lives under the low hanging light of the harvest moon, a forest of a town where the hawthorn trees poke from the roofs.

But here they were between everything: The wilds and civilization, riches and desolation, the church and those outside.  And to many those disparate images had little left. Though that band of road hardened travelers, mystics, warriors, fools had roamed into town, they paid it little mind. What was one more party of strangers in a city under thumb of fiend and zealot.

Yet still beneath the branches and painted signs, the sounds of the ravens still caw…

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This is a “get to know the characters” sort of episode recorded on a night when there wasn’t really enough time to play a proper game.  If you want to listen to the players of Curse of Innistrahd explain how they came up with their characters, listen in.

The sound of howling was something the folks of the outland valleys had grown accustomed to as the misty nights scraped the mountain sides. High Inquisitor Seeta Venlis, frowning in a solemn silence, knew this was where she would start. Pallas was an active town, still alive and busy, if aching and scared as it’s workers and shops endured working day to day in the lands forgotten by the church. And this is why it came to her.

Someone who would take action. The ridges and cliffs, fingers of stone wrapping around the heartlands like the grip of the fiends who held it… They would be free. One step at a time. And so they must feel safe. She thought about this, heavy black garb bound with silver glistening in the candlelight of her patron’s chambers. She was not a woman to leave well enough alone. Her hands tensed for the handle of a blade or the tightness of a quill, something for a solution. But the nervous tension wouldn’t break. A snort of inconclusive concern broke her silence and she surged to her feet, stomping through her aimless fervor. And then she saw it. A flash in the darkness, a marble of green light over the city walls. And as the howling followed the fleeing beast, she smiled. The first thing they needed was an enemy.

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