On the second night of your stay in Portend Hollow, you close by the warm blazing fire. It burns high due to the constant care and feeding by Friendly. Another pot of another stew simmers in it’s flames. It fill the room with the smell of onions, potatoes, carrots, and a delicious roast which you assume is infused with Norman’s favorite condiment. When Friendly later opens the door to fetch more kindling, you hear the sound of a heavy rain, and a cold gust of air reminds that you of the damp fog outside which lies over Portend Hollow and the surrounding forest.
At one point, the door suddenly swings open, a hush falls over the room. Even Cassyt stops talking. Then framed by the fog and light that escapes the inn only to be swallowed by the mist, a form strides through the doorway. His heavy, booted footfalls and the jingle of coins shatter the silence. His brightly colored clothes are draped in loose fold about him, and his hat hangs askew, hiding his eyes in shadows. Without hesitation, he walks up to your table and stands proudly in a wide stance with folded arms.
In an accented voice he says:
“I have been sent to you to deliver this message. If you be creatures of honor, you will come to my master’s aid at first light. It is not advisable to travel the Svalich Woods at night!”
He pulls from his tunic a sealed letter, addressed to all of you in flowing script. He drops the letter on the table.
“Take the west road from here some five hours march down through the Svalich Woods. There you will find my master in Barovia.”
Amid the silent stares from all present in the room, the gypsy strides to the bar and says without hesitation to the hulking barkeep,
“Fill the glasses, one and all. Their throats are obviously parched.”
He drops a purse heavy with gold on the bar. With that, he leaves.
The babble of conversation resumes, although somewhat subdued. The letter lying before you. The seal is in the shape of a crest you don’t recognize.