Chapter Four – Madam Eva and the Vistani Camp

Chapter Four: The Vistani Campsite and Madam Eva

Who can aid the Adventurers naviagte and the survive the land of Barovia, maybe Madam Eva can?

Again Mirafir draws his mysterious cards of astrology from a worn leather pouch, intent on gleaning a clue as to our fates in this cruel and senseless land. Thora, however, sniffs her disapproval of such hokum and turns her back on proceedings.

What she misses is truly spine tingling

Ireena Kolyana draws her four cards and lays them on the scarred wooden table as the Wizard directs her. To everyone’s visible shock they all represent the Dark Lord, but with that image replaced by that of Count Strahd. This is beyond impossible and the adventurers shrink from the obvious conclusion.

Darklord Strahd Card
Darklord Strahd Card

Father Tobias is next to draw from the pack.

His first is the Diviner card but the image replaced by that of a Vistani

Diviner Madame Eva Card
Diviner Madame Eva Card

This card represents aid that may be provided to you, though you are reluctant to allow yourself to be guided by other forces other than that of St Cuthbert. Hidden to me is the true nature of this foresight and I perceive their power is greater than mine when dealing with matter of divination.

The second is The Mists card, but with the image replaced by Barovia shrouded in mist.

Mists of Ravenloft Card
Mists of Ravenloft Card

The Mists card can mean many things when drawn. However, I sense that all thing encounters in the castle will be shrouded and misleading. Good and Evil, Light and Dark, High and Low, Hot and Cold, Hidden and Open and of course Truth and Lie.

The third card is The Artefact card, but the image is replaced by the image of a ‘Sun Burst’ medallion with a ruby in its centre

Artifact Symbol Card
Artifact Symbol Card

With this card I can foresee that you will be seeking tools to aid you in your quest to destroy the Darklord. Where they are and if you do acquire them is somehow shielded to me, yet therein lays your salvation.

Next Tobias picks up the Dark Lord, this too appears as Strahd.

Darklord Strahd Card
Darklord Strahd Card

Again this final card appears and it tells me that Count Strahd has near total dominion over these lands.

Mirafir: “I see your end here Father Tobias in Darkness, facing he who we first encountered in the Graveyard, as Total Darkness engulf you completely. Wait, one second…. Yes, YES…. I SEE A SHAFT OF BRIGHT SUNLIGHT BURSTING INTO EXISITANCE AND CONSUMING THE DARKNESS. Then Darkness again, so Black and infinite.”

Were we successful, I am unsure.

Journey to River Ivlis Crossroads:

An old wooden gallows creaks in a chill wind that blows down from the high ground to the west. A frayed length of rope dances from its beam. The well -worn road splits here, and a signpost opposite the gallows points off in three directions: BAROVIA VILLAGE to the east, TSER POOL to the northwest, and RAVENLOFT to the southwest.

The Northwest fork slants down and disappears into the trees, while the southwest fork clings to an upward slope. Across from the gallows, a low wall, crumbling in places, partially encloses a small plot of graves shrouded in fog.
The gallows stand atop a rotting platform 5 feet high, with wooden stairs leading up to it. Eleven graves are here with blank gravestones.
The forgotten people buried here were hanged from the gallows.

The Hanged One:

We hear a creaking noise behind us, coming from the gallows. Where there was nothing before now hangs a lifeless, grey body. The breeze turns the hanged figure slowly, so that it can fix its dead eyes upon you.

However, we have gained some insight as to what to prepare for and what to seek.

Frimly sees him-self hanging from the gallows. The other characters see an unfamiliar Barovian. The corpse looks and smells real.


G. Tser Pool Encampment
G. Tser Pool Encampment
G1. Madam Eva's Tent
G1. Madam Eva’s Tent

Tser Pool Encampment:

The road gradually disappears and is replaced by a twisted, muddy path through the trees. Deep ruts in the earth are evidence of the comings and goings of wagons.

The canopy of mist and branches suddenly gives way to black clouds boiling far above. There is a clearing here, next to a river that widens to form a small lake several hundred feet across. Five colourful round tents, each ten feet in diameter, are pitched outside a ring off barrel-topped wagons. A much larger tent stands near the shore of the lake, its sagging form lit from within. Near this tent, eight unbridled horses drink from the river.The mournful strains of a violin clash with the singing of several brightly clad figures around a large bonfire. A footpath continues beyond this encampment, meandering north between the river and the forest’s edge.

The eight draft horses drinking from the river are used to pull the Vistani wagons and aren’t easily startled.

Twelve Vistani (male and female human) are standing and sitting around the fire, telling stories and guzzling wine.

Barovian Gypsy Camp
Barovian Gypsy Camp

Vistana’s Tale:

“A mighty wizard came to this land over a year ago. I remember him like it was yesterday. He stood exactly where you’re standing. A very charismatic man, he was. He thought he could rally the people of Barovia against the devil Strahd. He stirred them with thoughts of revolt and bore them to the castle on masse. “When the Vampyrappeared, the wizard’s peasant army fled in terror. A few stood their ground and were never seen again.

“The wizard and the Vampyrcast many spells at each other. Their battle flew from the courtyards of Ravenloft to a precipice overlooking the falls. I saw the battle with my own eyes. Thunder shook the mountainside, and great rocks tumbled down upon the wizard, yet by his magic he survived. Lightning from the heavens struck the wizard, and again he stood his ground. But when the devil Strahd fell upon him, the wizard’s magic couldn’t save him. I saw him thrown a thousand feet to his death. I climbed down to the river to search for the wizard’s body, to see if, you now, he had anything of value, but the River Ivlis had already spirited him away.”

The Vistani storyteller doesn’t remember the wizard’s name, but recalls that it sounded important.

NPC - Barovian Gypsy
NPC – Barovian Gypsy

Vistani: “It was fated that you would visit our humble camp. Madam Eva foretold your coming. She awaits you.”

The Vistani then points to the largest tent. We take the hint and head there to find what awaits.

G1. Madam Eva's Tent
G1. Madam Eva’s Tent

Madame Eva’s Tent:

Magic flames cast a reddish glow over the interior of this tent, revealing a low table covered in a black velvet cloth. Glints of light seem to flash from a crystal ball on the table as a hunched figure peers into its depths. As the crone speaks, her voice crackles like dry weeds.

The Adventurers enter to find an old woman sitting behind a low table.

Madame Eva: “At last you have arrived!” Cackling laughter bursts like mad lightning from her withered lips.

Madam Eva draws the cards for each party member and makes some reference to that individual’s past deeds.

NPC - Madame Eva
NPC – Madame Eva

Tarokka Card Reading:


Madame Eva: “I can see how your activities have caused many complications to you and your fellow adventurers.

You are young and enjoy the thrill of the adventure and seek its rewards. Yet, first into the unknown you are always sent first.

Ah, a Dagger, an Evil Dagger that nearly cost the lives of all is still playing on your mind. Is there a spark of remorse in the burglar?”

Frimly coughs and starts whistling a jaunty tune….a folk version of ‘Why always me?’

Frimly - Anarchist
Frimly – Anarchist


Madame Eva: “This brings me to you Wizard. Kelthas is a name that appears to me and I can see his tie to you is forever.

Fear now stalks you as you as you refuse to be captured ever again.

You feel vulnerable, however, the great Dwarven City of Illefarn has been generous to you and I see great power and knowledge in you.”

Mirafir - Necomancer
Mirafir – Necomancer


Madame Eva: “Strong and mighty Thora, I can see you have chosen friends and families over reputation and position.

Your hand and leadership has returned Illefarn to its rightful owners, yet your wards have become emboldened and unruly.

You must return to leadership and unite if you wish to survive these lands.”

Thora - Shepherd
Thora – Shepherd


Madame Eva: “Torn between your attempt to please your father, the Great and Noble Paladin, and your gentle mother, the acolyte, your life is, as your chosen profession, divided.

The evil in this land will concentrate your mind, focus you to your duties as a Paladin and allow you to become the complete person you truly are.

Pivotal will be your part in this saga.  You have ‘Beautiful Strength and Strength in Beauty’.”

Sigune - Avenger
Sigune – Avenger


Madame Eva: “Father Tobias is a strange title for one so young. You have now become your friend’s protector in this land of evil.

Though heed well the teachings of your Father Superior, Bamaal Dunster, and remember that religion need not be a serious undertaking all of the time. Otherwise, why would he have said that Maerovyna, priestess of St Cuthbert, was a jolly soul?

Faith will guard you, as it has done so in the halls of Illefarn, and your healing ways aid in your quest.”

Farther Tobias - Monk
Father Tobias – Monk


Madame Eva: “Troubled and annexed was your past; bright is your future now. A weapon of flame and might you have in your possession and an enemy wishing to be absolved.

However, your duties to St Cuthbert and to Paladin-hood means you can bring military order and discipline to the use of prayer as another weapon to wield.

Evil will come so prepare for it as best you can, a bad plan is better than no plan at all.”

Sir Ly - Ghost
Sir Ly – Ghost


Madame Eva: “‘If you are an executioner, don’t expect to have a friend closer than a gallows!’

But now that the Trolls are dead and your vow is fulfilled? Yes, I see you seek to re-join the civilised world, but the world may not understand you.

Evil from Dragonspear Castle is uppermost in your restless dreams and your path is laid out before you. You are no longer alone.”

Galan - Executioner
Galan – Executioner

She then asks the characters if they want their fortunes read. Madam Eva consults the worn deck of cards again.


Madame Eva: “This card is a symbol of great power. It tells of a powerful force for good and protection against the forces of darkness.

It is in a place of tranquillity, a harbour for the mighty and powerful. It is in a place of wisdom, warmth, and despair. Great secrets are there. A woman hangs above a roaring fire. Find her, and you will find the treasure.”

Priest Card
Priest Card


Madame Eva: “This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient may help you understand a foe.

A king’s throne is the place to find this.”

Warrior Card
Warrior Card


Madame Eva: “This is the object of your search! Ah! I see darkness and evil behind this card! It is a powerful man whose enemy is light, and whose powers are beyond mortality!

This lies with a fallen prince of old. The brother of dark is light and he rests in this place.”

Darklord Strahd Card
Darklord Strahd Card


Madame Eva: “This Card is good for you. It is a card of power and strength, the victor’s card. It tells of a weapon with a vengeance.

Find the mother-she who gave birth to evil. This is in the mother’s place.”

Avenger Card
Avenger Card


Madame Eva: “And here finally is the root card. Out of darkness and chaos, this card finds the reason and foundation for darkness and chaos, this card shows the purpose of all things. It is the key to life and death and else beyond.

Here is a high and noble card. One of you carries a weapon that is stronger than any other against the evil in this land. Only one piece is missing from this weapon.”

Illusionist Card
Illusionist Card

The old gypsy, Madame Eva, hag has much knowledge and as far as we can ascertain she tells the truth about Strahd, Barovia and much more:

  • Strahd conquered these land centuries ago and named it after his father, King Barov. Strahd uses wolves, bats, and other creatures to spy on his entire realm.
  • Barovians are simple, frightened people. Some have old souls, but many do not. The soulless ones are easy to spot, for they know nothing but fear. They have no charm, hope, or spark, and they don’t cry. So, those with some colour about them still retain a soul?

Madame Eva mentions Frimly’’s first sexual conquest and implies it may help him not being a virgin!

  • The Old Svalich Road passes through Strahd’s domain.
  • It is wise to stick to the road. Wild creatures, wayward ghosts, and packs of wolves and werewolves haunt the Svalich Woods.
  • The souls of those who die in Barovia can’t escape to the afterlife. They are prisoners in Strahd’s domain.
  • Some Vistani women are blessed with foresight. Of all the great Vistani fortune-tellers, none compares to Madam Eva. If knowledge of the future is what you seek, Madam Eva will tell you your fate.
  • A psychic Vistana can’t see her own future or the future of another Vistana. It is the burden of the Vistani’s great gift that they cannot divine their own fates.
  • Ravens carry lost souls within them, so killing one is bad luck.


We follow the river to the base of a canyon, at the far end of which a great waterfall spills into a pool, billowing forth clouds of cold grey mist. A great stone bridge spans the canyon nearly one thousand feet overhead.

Following a rugged dirt road clinging s to the side of the mountain it ends before an arching bridge of mould encrusted stone that spans a natural chasm. Gargoyles cloaked in black moss perch on the corners of the bridge, their frowns are weather worn. On the mountainous side of the bridge, we come level with the perilous cataract that spills into a misty pool far, far below. The Tser pool feeds into a river that meanders into the fog-shrouded pines that blanket the vertiginous valley.

The party stands some 100’ feet from the ancient stone bridge, catching their breath and admiring the breath taking view. Mirafir rubs his ring of feather fall absent minded.

Monster - Gargoyle
Monster – Gargoyle

Thora is first to speak:

Thora: “I dinnae trust those Gargoyles on the bridge….remember Illefarn…take care for an ambush, and thee weapons readied, this place smells of trap.”

The fighters follow her advice and no sooner has the sound of steel upon scabbard ceased then the red glowing eyes of wolves blink malevolently in the gloaming of the silent pine forest.

The large, horse sized, grey beasts let out ear splitting howls, savage and wild they advance in gathering momentum, encircling us in a cunning attempt to pick off the weaker spell casters and Frimley.

It is barely a surprise to see their master, Count Strahd, stood amongst yet more Wolves, across the ancient bridge, directing his minions with arch cunning. The echoing roar of the thunderous waterfall, diluting all sound.

Monster - Wolf
Monster – Wolf

The Thief along with Galan the Elven Ranger are isolated at the rear and assailed by two beasts each. The speed of Frimley’s little sword seems to mesmerise his assailants and he keeps them at bay long enough for Galan to finally slay his quota.

Elsewhere, Mirafir is forced to, having cast ‘Fly’. take to the air flying the muffled grunts and angry cries and growling.

Soon the tide of battle turns our way and the wolves succumb to brutal Sword, Cudgel and Axe play. Then, as Thora had feared, two Gargoyles quickly begin to come to life flying up and seemingly toward the Wizard. Galan springs toward Mirafir to aid him and is involved in a thrashing closer quarter melee that sees the stone construct attempt to lift the Elf with his embedded talons. Within moments he tens of feet above us, is crying out for aid himself. With a last desperate thrust of his fist he breaks the Gargoyle and its grip. But rather than plunge to the ground he is held aloft by a ‘Feather Fall’ spell, and thankfully drifts slowly and unharmed to the ground.

During this high drama, we hear Mirafir; shout above the torrent of noise.

Mirafir: “Catch me if you can, Strahd!”

At which point he uses a spell, ‘Blink’, we have never seen before, flitting randomly from point to point…indeed uncatchable.

The rest of the party have acquitted themselves well and slain the lupine beats with little cost.

Monster - Wolf, Winter
Monster – Wolf, Winter

But where is Count Strahd!? He has left his vantage point and so have the rest of his beasts!

The Forgotten Realms Wiki