CoS Interlude 1: The Ferals

 

Night fell over the lands of Barovia, first over the Graenseskov, the thick mountain pines blocking the last motes of light passing over the horizon, then Barova village, as the shadow of the castle above grew across the valley, to the mountain passes, and then finally Vallaki and the west.

As Strahd peered into the scrying surface, he watched the last of the werewolves limp away from the tower, leaving the dead and dying members of her pack to the cursed doctor, the Vistana, and their newly-arrived allies.  He wore the anger on his face but for a second, and then his usual mask of stoic indifference was back.

Strahd closed his eyes, reaching out his consciousness to seek out a particular group of minds, somewhere within his domain.  He found them just where he had previously bound them.  With the flick of a mental switch, he released them, and then disconnected the connection, gazing up at the painting of Tatyana, and knowing that she slept safely under guard just a few rooms away.

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Across the land, lean, twisted humanoid shapes clawed their way out of shallow graves in remote places, far from the towns where the living huddled in fear of things that hunt in the night, things like the ferals.

As Strahd turned to leave the study, his eyes never took in the gleaming sword hilt softly glowing on the mantle, one that he had sought to destroy for centuries.  It was as if the thing existed in a place and time just slightly outside his awareness.

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