Madam Eva

Madam Eva

Madam Eva was a fortune teller who lived amongst the Vistani wanderers in Borovia. She provided a reading for the party that was cut short by the appearance of the Others. Prior to her death she revealed her true form: That of an Annis Hag.

The Reading

The party met the Vistani, hostile stares following them as they move from their encampment in the forest clearing to a small shack nestled in the woods. The party enters.

“Greeting Prophets. You are here at the expected hour. Please sit”.

You sit around a table. On the table are stubs of candles and a deck of cards. Madam Eva begins to lay out the cards into a pattern upon the table.

“I already know why you are here. My name is well known outside these mountains. You wish to know about your enemy in the castle. You wish to know the location of the item you seek, but cannot name or describe. So, a reading.

“But first, you must agree, yes, to a bargain. I can tell you what you want to know, but at a price. Agreed?”

The party agrees.

“Good. Here is the bargain. I will give a reading for you, yes? But, no matter the outcome, you must find Baba Zeleena the witch and kill her. Agreed?”

Each party member slowly nods.

“Excellent. Now about the man, or what you think is a man, you seek? You know his name? If not, it is sure I do.”

In front of Eva the cards have been laid out in a circle. They are arranged in four sets of three vertical, then one horizontal (the “cross” card). There is a card in the middle.

“Count Strahd”

Eva turns the first card.

The tarot card is in bold

Devil – “This is a card of a conflicted soul. For although he is descended from an enemy of light, he himself is not of the same form. There is a constant struggle between the desires of the blood and the plans of the mind. It is young Strahd; yes he is alive, for surely you know the greatest trick the devil has played”.

Mage – “The card speaks to the powers the one whom you seek wields. He is versed in powerful magic. It is these powers that drive his actions”.

Strength – “This card stresses the discipline of he who you ask of. He is a creature of many layered plans, drawing his strength from his family’s centuries old stranglehold on Borovia ”.

Eva turns the first card that lays across.

Four of Swords“This card that lay across tells not only of battles, but also the opportunities for conflict. Though you may encounter him many times, he will only make his stand here. You will find him amid the ruins of a place of supplication. A chapel stands on the grounds. There is a growing darkness among its ruin”.

Wheel of Fortune – “This is the symbol of a sudden and unpredictable change. The lands of Borovia will be greatly changed due to what transpires in the castle. The nature of this transformation is not revealed to me”.

Justice – “This card denotes balance. You will do well to remember that no deed goes without reward - or punishment. Beware! The sword cuts deeply, no matter whose hand wields it”.

Tower – “A bad omen this card; it tells of chaos and ruin. The tower here is sundered by a flash of lightning – whatever, or whoever, is destined for a downfall will meet their doom quickly”.

Eva turns the second cross card

“Here we find the influence that will hold sway over you as you are locked in mortal combat with your foe”.

Ten of Wands – “The powers of death and darkness that surround your foe will strip away your protection during the confrontation” [Party takes a -2 to AC during encounter with Strahd]

“These cards tell of the nature of things that brought you here”

The Fool – “The Fool knows nothing. He is on a journey to gain knowledge. You too are on a journey, and destroying the monster in the castle is but your first step. You have a long journey ahead of you”.

The Chariot - “The chariot, bridled for war, ready to ride forth, to join in conquests …there [Madam Eva suddenly seems as if stunned]…there is a war you are part of, a conflict the extent of which one, that is us mortals, can only guess at now. Could this be what I have seen? It all…fits. You are locked in secret combat, one that will play out in part within the wall of Castle Raveloft”

Hermit – “Something must be hidden or must be brought forth into the light. Something crucial to your ultimate struggle. I see both here – there are conflicts…yes… [Startled] it is something, something that is here, here in Borovia. [She laughs] To think, something of such importance, right here beneath my watch”.

“You may find what you seek – with the element of… “.

Six of Cups – “…Water. Seek it where the river flows into the land. Search the marsh downriver”.

“But there is a catch; there is a protection that surrounds this item, and only the lord of the castle has the means to bypass it”.

Eva begins to turn the last set of cards.

“Now friends, you know whom you face and that you must do so to recover that which you seek…but what of the ultimate outcome, what of the consequences of success…or failure. These cards will tell more of the future. But beware…unlike the others, these cards shine a light upon that which most wish to stay shrouded in darkness”>

The Moon – [Madam Eva is clearly surprised at this card] “The Moon soothes the savage beasts, the nameless savagery inside of everyone – beneath them an unspeakable horror strives to crawl from the abyss…I see… [Madam Eva is unnerved] I’m sorry, I’ve seen this meeting many times, but the meaning of this card is new to me… [She quickly turns the next card]

Hanged Man – “This, this cannot be. The Hanged man connects the heaven and the earth…the eleventh house holds that which is threatened… The link, the connection is in danger…the earth itself can…the spirits, all…their cry has but one voice, one message. They all fear they will be silenced… The very gods themselves fear that their connection to this world can be, and is in danger of being, broken.

Judgment – [Eva takes a huge intake of breath; she seems to be fighting against survival to continue] “If that is not the consequence, I dread to turn this card. Judgment…and…the deeds are weighed… We are asked, no commanded, to bow before new gods…All hangs in the balance, dependent on the outcome”.

[She fights to turn up the final cross card]

One of Staves “It means…It means..They are here!”

Eva is suddenly flung against the far wall; the table and cards scattered everywhere. The walls of her shack crumble. A nebulous creature enters, its mind suddenly attacking yours.

[The party kills it]

After the fight, Madam Eva lies mortally wounded, her shriveled human form shed away. She is her true self; a large blue creature with tangled and matted black hair. Her limp hands hold the last card.

“The last card! In all my visions it is blank! No. No healing; let me go – All has gone as my visions have, for many years I have played out this evening in my mind, such is the curse of the oracle…but, in all my visions…I didn’t see this. Unforeseen; yet welcome. Quick. Show me the card…”

Timon holds the card before her face. She smiles.

Empress – “Is the Empress. Of course. She holds the power over life, the mother, the giver…you will be the difference between life and death…”

With that she dies.

The party turns away from her ruined shack and body to find the Vistani have scattered. The little forest clearing is empty and in the distance, the howl of wolves.