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Dungeons and Dragons – Curse of Innistrahd Episode 35

In the memories of granite peaks and gray-green pines, Strephan Maurer was a fixture of Stensia. Not a god, though that was a word lost to the minds and lips of its people. He was a force, like the capricious wind and rains. Eternal, inexorable. Yet some people, crazy all of them, thought he could be killed.

In the Inland Valleys they wrote him off as a loss. The vampires were a menace to all, but the grace of angels could only be asked for so much. And where his domain stayed nestled in the outland valleys, away from the cities and homes that comprised much of the province. He was a bad dream, but not the nightmare the Markov or Voldaren families were. And so he was a thought for those inside.

Krezk stood resolute, recognizing his might but shying from his shadow. It was too hard to hold your ground against someone you fear. The Baron and Baroness would not be cowed however. Their voices were for their people, their prayers were within their hands, and their blood was of the mountains. They were Krezk, in name, body, and soul. But they were defenders, not warriors. And a bet was too much to take.

Still smelling of burnt Hawthorne and collared by martial law, Pallas was fraying at the seams. It had been a long time since it had been whole, unmarred by the stains of blood and dribble of sycophants. Long enough that the folk expected it. And endured it. The shell of the Wachter clan had no sway any more, and barely enough thought to contemplate their twice cursed fate. The family Martikov maintained their inn, hoping drink and passion could bring some light into this darkness. But a gentle glow does little to an abyss. And the Inquisitor Seeta feared a flash in the pan, a misleading light to drag those further into the dark like a corpse candle. That fiend was too much for anyone, despite her prayers to the otherwise. But she wanted to stand for this town and these people. A shield. An aegis. But she could only hold for so long.

And sunken below the castle’s reach was the broken town of Shadowgrange interred in the vampire’s grasp. The people there were husks, barely living their day to day. The shopkeeper had forgotten kindness, relying on foolhardy folk and need to bring him business. The priest lost to uncertainty and fear. And the man known as Ismark was worried and perplexed in the rising dawn. And in the weary hearts of those warriors of ours at the church perhaps there was uncertainty too.

But despite the pain and fear, there was still a truth: They fought off his wishes, maybe his best: And won. So here we are. The final hour. And it’s approaching dawn.

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Dungeons and Dragons – Curse of Innistrahd Episode 34

Raya and Izolda were always together. Twins in shape and spirit. Blood of their blood. From birth under the azure skies of Gavony to their abroad studies in Nephalia and travels with stuffy parents. And when one fell, their carriage turned and destroyed, they fell together. And there was nothing that Strephan Maurer liked more than vanity. A matched set, immaculate but for the blood marks against their feet. He put care in, his focus on his new pets, soldiers, dolls. Eventually he grew bored, and moved on. But Raya and Izolda were still together, still strong together. And the world was so weak to the wills of those willing to put in the effort. And the charms of young children, a hidden vampire was more than enough for most. But they learned their might, of magic and skill. They had eternity to learn. As long as they were together, they would never fall.

As long as they were together.

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Dungeons and Dragons – Curse of Innistrahd Episode 33

It’s happening dear listeners. A break in the shadows. A bastion that held against the hawks swirling around our sheep and vigilant wolves. Hurt. Tired. Empty. But alive. And with life comes strength, weary or no. And with strength, victory is made possible. Even now I ache as I lean over my journals, recounting their tales and pains. They have come so far, nearly broken and failing, my words spilling unbidden in attempts to salvage them. But here the resolute are made, and directions are chosen.

Here we begin to see heroes, and see their cloying burgeoning chance to cling at hope.
Please join with me to pray that it does not strangle them.

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Dungeons and Dragons – Curse of Innistrahd Episode 32

The dark was not something that frightened most folks of Innistrad. The dark’s embrace simply held most things that one should rightly be scared of. But it was in this setting sun that the chiseled visage of Strephan Maurer surrounded by splendor flickered the telltales signs of fear. We know it not to be terror of the fight before him, his fervor and slick confidence could never escape him before a fight. Yet in this velvet chamber flickering with the lapping tongues of candlelight he seemed at a loss. It was something less than anger but greater than sorrow. Selfish, wallowing, and haughty. Yet there was still such pride in this man, that he swallowed it all. And with a sweep of his hands snuffing his bothersome flames, submitted himself to the night.

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Dungeons and Dragons – Curse of Innistrahd Episode 31

Bone dust, bone dust… The Church folks wanted bone dusts. The vile siblings stirred in their home, the scent of sickly sweet pastries and dried fungus melding in their breaths. Whispers amongst them, some wordless, some stated to express the feeling. Bone dust he wants. The church folks step back at the word of the witch boy, but sit idly by at the works of their magics. The black mana, seeping from the swamps and fetid places of the valleys, the fallen cities and graves. More scoffs. More shuffling. But then the question comes: Would we avoid such magic?

The crones had persisted. They were practically features of the land, though not all visited their decrepit home for fear and rumor, let alone the avoidant signs of life on the inside. Peddling pastries made from questionable things, things the consumers wouldn’t want to know fueling their dreams and peace. But what was persisting in the face of change. What was existing against the path of magic.

Morgantha, oldest, grown brazen in her fell confidence leaves first. Her sisters follow after, packing their goods and ingredients with low grumble. There would be no home to return to in the face of these slayers. They want to argue, to trap, to plot. But Morgantha is not one to lose an argument. They know her answer as it echoes painfully through their shriveled minds:

“The stirrings of the dead and the rise of hungry magic are the change in this land. And that change will bear us to greater heights. Be patient sisters. And for now: Serve.”

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