CHAPTER

2:

THE LANDS OF BAROVIA

HE IDYLLIC VALLEY NESTLED IN THE

Balinok Mountains was a slice of heaven
to those who knew of its existence before
Strahd's arrival. The serenity of the place
was forever shattered when Strahd led a
bloody crusade against the enemies of bis
family that ended here with the slaughter
of hundreds. Struck by the scenic beauty of his most
recent conquest and eager to escape the shadow of his
father's legacy, Strahd made the valley his home and
named it Barovia after the late King Barov, his father.
The land now called Barovia is no longer part of the
world that Strahd once tried to conquer. It now exists
within a demiplane formed by Strahd's consciousness
and surrounded by a deadly fog. No creature can leave
without Strahd's permission, and those that try become
lost in the mist.
Strahd allows the Vistani to come and go as they
please because he admires their lust for life and their
willingness to serve him when he needs them. He also
owes an ancient debt to the Vistani people. As a soldier
centuries ago, he suffered a grievous injury in battle,
and the Vistani tended his wounds and returned him
safely to his family without making any demand for pay­
ment. The Vistani claim to possess potions that allow
them to leave Strahd's domain, but the potions are false
concoctions with no magical power. Nevertheless, the
Vistani are willing to sell them for a hefty price.
Native Barovians have been terrorized for centuries
by the one they call "the devil Strahd." Only a handful
of them have the will to oppose him. Barovians congre­
gate in the valley's three main settlements-the villages
of Barovia and Krezk and the town of Vallaki-for fear
of falling prey to wolves and other beasts that prowl
the woods. Among these people are the Keepers of the
Feather, a secret society of wereravens. Not powerful
enough to defeat Strahd on their own, the Keepers read­
ily assist adventurers who find themselves drawn into
Strahd's domain.

LAY OF THE LAND
Rolling thunderclouds cast a gray pall over the land of
Barovia. A deathly stillness hangs over the dark woods,
which are patrolled constantly by Strahd's wolves and
other servitors.
The evergreen trees of the Svalich Woods climb the
sides of the mountains that enclose the valley. The larg­
est of these peaks is Mount Baratok, with its snow-cov­
ered cap and rugged slopes. Baratok's slightly smaller
twin, Mount Ghakis, is mostly bald with tufts of trees
here and there. Between these two mountains stands
Lake Zarovich, which is fed by streams of ice-cold water
pouring down the face of Mount Baratok. On the south
side of the lake rests the town of Vallaki, enclosed by a
palisade. West of the two mountains, atop a hill, stands
the Abbey of Saint Markovia, around which the Barovi­
ans built a walled village named Krezk. Between Vallaki
and Krezk lie the ruins of Argynvostholt, the fallen
bastion of a knightly order called the Order of the Silver
Dragon, wiped out by Strahd and his army. East of the
mountains lies the village of Barovia, shrouded in mist
and bereft of walls and defenses. The dark silhouette
of Castle Ravenloft looks down on this village from its
perch atop a 1,000-foot-high column of rock known as
the Pillarstone of Ravenloft.

MISTS OF RAVENLOFT
A deadly fog surrounds the land of Barovia and engulfs
any creature that tries to leave. Even flying creatures are
subject to the fog's effects, which are as follows:
A creature that starts its turn in the fog must succeed
on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw or gain one
level of exhaustion (see appendix A in the Player's
Handbook). This exhaustion can't be removed while
the creature is in the fog.


MY ARMY SETILED IN THE VALLEY

of Barovia and took power over the
people in the name of a just god, but
with none of a god's grace or justice.
-Tome of Strahd

23