Knight Of The Black Rose (Ravenloft)
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Dark powers transport Soth to Barovia, and there the death knight must face the dread minions of Count Strahn Von Zarovich, the vampire lord of the nightmare land. But with only a captive Vistani woman and an untrustworthy ghost for allies, Lord Soth soon discovers that he may have to join forces with the powerful vampire if he is ever to escape the realm of terror.
Knight of the Black Rose is the second in an open-ended series of Gothic horror tales dealing with the masters and monsters of the Ravenloft dark fantasy setting.
nothing to the casual observer. To the scarred fingers weaving intricate patterns upon it, however, the crystal ball had much to say. “Urrr,” the ancient mystic groaned pensively. He closed his blind eyes and rubbed his fingers over the globe with more urgency. The light from the crystal grew more intense, casting ominous shadows over his wrinkled face. The old man removed his hands from the glass suddenly, almost as if he’d been burned. With jerky movements, he reached for the parchment and the
babble, a cacophony of screams, curses, laughter, diatribes, and pleas. The stone walls echoed the waves of sound, doubling them, then doubling them again. Azrael, who was closest to the thing, threw his clawed hands against his ears. His muzzle rippled with a snarl of pain, but he remained rooted in place. The voices called to the dwarf. They exploded in his mind and summoned his most vivid fears and dreams. Through a vague haze of pain, images flashed through his consciousness, one after
creature and wrenched the blade from his grasp. Before Magda or Azrael could take a step toward Soth, a single tentacle, this one as thick around as a jungle snake, encircled the death knight’s waist and pulled him to the thing’s side. The creature’s milky flesh pushed up against the knight’s armor. Pulsing skin filled the gaps in Soth’s helmet, sealing out the air. With his face pressed so close to the monster, Soth could see the ebb and flow of the thick ooze that made up its body, the play of
them, but his bare hands. While his fingers were too short for delicate craft work, they were blunt and strong enough for murder. Because his sister had managed a shriek before he killed her, Azrael found a politskara at his door. Such watchmen spent their time breaking up feeble quarrels over who could craft the most perfect arrowhead, so this one was totally unprepared for the bloody sight that greeted him. Azrael almost got away, too, but the politskara had enough sense to call up a mob. The
get in his way. He found his wife straightening things in the nursery. Isolde started at his appearance, and Soth felt part of his soul wither at her fear. She was afraid of him. “Please, Isolde,” he said, falling to his knees. “Come to the chapel with me and pray. I want to be free of this burden.” She came to him then and held him close. When he looked at her face, he saw tears streaming down her cheeks, drops of purest silver against the dark bruise on her cheek. “Help me win my honor,” he