Curse of Strahd Part 10.5: The Forgotten Dawn

A Conversation between Caecilius Ras and Donavich, Priest of Barovia Village
As we left the burning mansion of Ireena’s former home, I decided to go and speak to the priest. My companions and I were quick to cleanse his son of the curse that afflicted him, but we didn’t engage the only holy man we’ve come across. I have questions and I think only he can answer them. No one joins me, and that is perhaps for the best.

As I enter, I find the priest, Danovich, over the body of his son performing burial rites. I make my presence known, but quietly let him continue. He finishes and addresses me without looking.

“Here is my boy. My one treasure in this life, now stolen from me. This is the way of this place.”

“I am sorry for you loss. From what you say, he fought. There is honor in that and I am sure it pleases your god.” The man hesitated and looks up at me with a pained face.

“It was right of you to bring him some peace. If that peace can even exist in this cursed place.”

“It was right, but it is painful. That is our lot in this life though. The path of the holy and the righteous is a life of pain and denial. We are holy warriors raging against the darkness, you and I, priest. Others will never understand our path.” He seemed to gather some resolve as he shook his head and looked around his broken church.

“Perhaps you are right. I’ve been so tired for so long, it is hard to remember such things. I’ve always been a priest. My father and his father were priests. My son… would have succeeded me.”

“Who is this a church to?” I asked as I looked around.

“It is a church to the Morning Lord.”

“A god of light?” I asked.

“Yes. The god of the dawn.” He spit out a laugh as if this was irony. Then added “I don’t think he hears my prayers.”

“My companions and I came on the dawn to you. Did we not?” I looked him in the eye. Perhaps this is the will of his god. I would not blame him for enlisting the help of Bahamut and his holy warrior. It was a god of light that joined with Bahamut to banish Tiamat, after all. The priest’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open slightly.

“Yes. Yes you did.” He sat nodding and thinking to himself. “Still the souls here can not escape and there are no new ones. Certainly that would be a prayer granted if he could hear me.”

“My god cares nothing for prayers. Only for holy and just actions. In my world a demon god devoured the souls of thousands. They are only waste in the belly of a devil now. Yet, she was overthrown and banished back to hell through the strength of heroes.” The priest looked intrigued and sat on a bench more comfortably. As if polite conversation was a drink of water he had not had in some time.

“And may I ask. Who is your god?”

“Bahamut. King and creator of Dragons. The platinum Dragon. The justice maker.”

“And forgive me. I’ve never seen one of your kind. You are a dragon man?”

“I am dragonborn. Long ago Bahamut created dragons. All noble and covered in metal. Tiamat his daughter/ sister subverted some and created chromatic dragons. Evil and covetous. Later dragons mated with men and Dragonborn came to be servants of dragons. Again Tiamat transformed some into minions. Those are my people and my lineage. Though my family long ago committed to serving the good of Bahamut.”
“You say a war was fought?”

“Tiamat tried to rise and she was defeated by heroes and armies. There was a large loss of life. An apocalypse was prevented but the land is rebuilding.”

“Perhaps it is good you have come.”

“It will be the undoing of Strahd, or it will be our doom. This is the way of things wherever you are.”

“Yes. I suppose it is. What brought you to the church?”

“We came to bury Ireena’s father and brother. She is marked by Strahd. We mean to take her to Vallaki.”

“Poor girl. Burying her adopted father and brother and being marked is a heavy curse.”


“Oh yes. She was found in the woods as a small
Child. The Burgomeister took her in and loved her as his own.”

“Does she know this?”

“I don’t rightly know. I suppose she doesn’t. What do you mean to do with her and about Strahd.”

“We received fortunes and they are a mystery.” I went on to explain our fortunes and asked him if he knew anything. He said the abbot at Krezk could tell us more, but he did speak of a town with a home that had something to do with a silver dragon. He explained where it was and we will investigate as we can. As I looked around I asked him,

“How can this holy place still stand?”

“It is hallowed ground. The minions of Strahd have never been able to enter. The churches here are the only refuge from the night.”

“With the Burgomeister dead. You are now the only leader here. It is up to you to protect them and shepherd them.” His eyes had some light and focus return.

“I’m not sure I’m up to leading a town, but I will try. Come, you should sleep here tonight. You will be safe.”

“I will return with my companions and any villagers”

“Thank you, traveler.”

“Thank you, priest.” We departed as we should. Two men on missions from our gods. Resolute in what we must do.


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