After Itto vanishes into the Tree of Revelations or whatever, Team Trust discusses their next steps. Upon receiving some sagely advice from Old Neb Obi, they decide that none of the three factions of Barovia are truly virtuous, but all have their own selfish motives that will never allow them to work together.
Out of the mist appears Quinn, fresh from rescuing Archie and the Everyman from the clutches of Blackheart (rumored to be Rayne’s long-lost brother Crestus) at his stronghold which Quinn says is called The Fist, AKA the Church of Hextor. Also imprisoned were Lutervoc, a human woman calling for Itto (presumed to be his love Ellay), and finally: Prince Rhegan, brother to King Rhegar! However, this mission will have to wait…
Finally, Itto emerges from the Tree, his Paladin beliefs shaken to the core, and the group decides to pay a visit to each of the three Barovian groups and try to gather information and perhaps get in the inner circles of the three warring factions. Rayne and Yu’in (poorly disguised as a werewolf) travel to Valicia the werewolf’s cave; Slink and Gayher go to the Tser Camp where Madame Eva resides; Jil accepts her vampiric invitation to visit Count Varick von Strake (followed by an invisible Quinn and a super-inconspicuous Itto for backup).
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Rayne make it to Valicia’s cave, and are greeted by the ferocious Pack, who quickly see through Yu’in’s disguise and, despite some magical suggestion on his part, refuse to let them see Valicia unless they help on a “Bat Hunt” to murder some vampires. It seems the wolves are interested mainly in roaming the lands free. Rayne refuses, recalling Jil’s warning not to hurt any of von Strake’s minions, and after a brief scuffle, the beaten Lycanthropes agree to bring Rayne to see their leader…
Meanwhile, Gayher gets Slink into the Tser Camp, a New Orleans-style orgy-fest which Slink decides is the best place ever. They make their way into the Madame Eva’s tent, where she reads Slink’s fortune and tells him that he must confront his corrupt father Scroopel in the Gnome Kingdom, who is somehow in league with the Black Dragon! Only by doing this will he be able to make peace with his lost love Myst and perhaps gain the love of Lady Loraaga. Madame Eva further says that she had been meeting with Mad Moodey to try and overthrow Varick, but that Moodeey is nothing more than a pawn in her schemes to rule Barovia for the magical power pervading the land.
Finally, Jil follows a vampiric agent of Varick’s (Kavin the Grim) to the Crow’s Keep. Quinn and Itto are discovered and are forced to slay several vampires before finding their way to the Keep. Jil enters the Keep and meets Vlad, who poses as the Count, and asks her if she would be able to put aside her own vengeance in order to serve the “greater good”. She says yes, and Vlad reveals that he is not the true Count, whereupon the true von Strake emerges. He is a handsome man, who explains to Jil that they knew each other in a former life.
5,000 years ago, the von Strake family ruled Barovia (long before the Halflings settled the land), and Varick’s older brother Roderick was set to marry Jileena (the past life of Jilqwyn). However, his younger brother (the current count) was in love with her, and strangled his brother on his wedding day, tossing him off a cliff. In her grief, Jileena jumped off the same cliff and died. Riddled with guilt, Varick sought the help of Madame Eva, who informed him that his love would return but he would be long dead. Not liking her answer, he had her killed (although she seems to be very much alive) and burned her home, the Nightmare Spire, to ashes.. He fled Barovia in grief (during which time the Halflings settled the land) and sold his soul to give him eternal life as a vampire. He then waited for 5,000 years, re-conquering his family’s former homeland and turning it into a land of undead, in preparation for the eventual return of his long-lost love.
Jil, seeing the opportunity to use Varick’s love to save the world and her friends, agrees to join with the Count if he will go along with what she wants. He appears to agree, but just as they are about to seal the pact with a super-sexy kiss, Quinn and Itto barge in like morons and start beating people up. Varick is about to Force-choke them out until Jil screams at him to stop. He obeys, and allows the two gate-crashers to enter his abode. Pretty nice guy.
Before he retires for the day, Varick tells Jil that he would like to have a ball this evening in honor of her return. When Jil asks if Moodey will be in attendance, Varick assures her that there will be no violence tolerated at the ball and that Moodey will have to be on his best behavior or will be removed immediately. Jil consents, and requests that invitations to the ball and the castle be sent to her friends, which the Count sends off with some of his minions.
Having now infiltrated and met with the leaders of the three camps, who will Team Trust decide to ally with? Will they even be able to agree amongst themselves?? And if so, how will they do away with the other two groups and restore “peace” to this war-ravaged land? And what the hell about Lute and the other prisoners of The Fist?? And most importantly, will Jil and the Count EVER get to bone in the night? Get it? Bone? Like Bone Knight?