Strahd vs. The Gentlemen Bastards
Strahd von Zarovich
Vampire, wizard, and lord of Castle Ravenloft
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Strahd von Zarovich is a vampire, and he rules all of Barovia. The dark silhouette of Castle Ravenloft looks down on the village of Barovia from its perch atop a 1,000-foot-high column of rock known as the Pillarstone of Ravenloft.
The Barovian people believe the devil Strahd is a curse placed on the land because of a forgotten sin of their ancestors.
Strahd had a fascination with Ireena Kolyana, the adopted daughter of the Burgomaster of Barovia, he had visited their home and bitten her twice.
The Gentlemen Bastards met Strahd for the first time in a churchyard in the village of Barovia. When Strahd appeared to them, Ireena fell under the vampire’s charm and approached him against her will. Kylar interposed himself between them and defiantly challenged Strahd, but was also captured by the vampire’s enchanting gaze. Under Strahd’s domination, Kylar grabbed Ireena by the hair and tried to drag her through the cemetery gates. The charm broke when Strahd retreated to Castle Ravenloft in response to the mysterious explosion above.
Kylar encountered the vampire lord again a few days later, when Strahd attacked St. Andral’s Church. Strahd killed and drained the priest, then mercilessly killed Kylar following a sword fight.
Meanwhile, Strahd’s minions attacked the Blue Water Inn in an attempt to capture Ireena for their lord. Ireena was accidentally killed by Grimm Firewalker in the struggle. As soon as that happened, lighting struck and the following thunder sounded like Strahd screaming, “NO!” in an anguished voice. Strahd rode a flying black horse – its mane, tail and hooves were burning flames – toward the Blue Water Inn. He recklessly threw himself into a duel of magic with Grimm. Strahd’s body was destroyed in this battle against the Gentlemen Bastards, but only after spewing forth a red mist. The crimson cloud appeared to briefly take the form of Strahd’s face before it was carried away to the east – toward Castle Ravenloft.
With the help of two of the Gentlemen Bastards, the dark lord has satisfied his single greatest desire by turning Ireena Kolyana: granting her eternal undeath as his bride and queen.