Barovian history in brief

“…Barovia’s early history is murky and incomplete, yet it is without a doubt the oldest nation of the core. The fact that the world calendar is based off of the Barovian Calendar (BC) is proof of this. One of the earliest known conflicts involved an invasion by a barbaric people known as the Neureni in 230 BC. Their hordes conquered and razed much of Barovia, until the legendary General-Princess Nicoleta von Zarovich halted the Neureni’s advances and sent them back out of the passes in the Balinok mountains that they had used to enter the valley…”

“…Barovia enjoyed eight decades of peace and prosperity after the routing of the Neureni hordes, until court intrigues among the noble houses of Dilisnya, Katsky, and Petrovna sparked a bitter struggle called the War of the Silver Knives in 314 BC. This inter-family war of assassination and revenge lasted for two years before Count Barov von Zarovich intervened and ended it, placating the families with parcels of new land. Unfortunately, this conflict drastically weakened Barovia, and they were unprepared for the invasion of the Tergs some four years later in 320 BC…”

“…Unlike the Neureni, the Tergs were not destroyers and raiders, but conquerors and settlers. In less than five years, the Tergs displaced many of Barovia’s noble families, including the von Zaroviches themselves. Their shame would not last long, however. Strahd von Zarovich, eldest son of Barov, vowed to drive the Tergs from Barovia and rebuild his parents’ nation at all costs. After twenty-seven grueling years, Strahd did just that, though his parents did not live to see the day. In their honor, he constructed Castle Ravenloft (named after his mother Ravenovia), and called to his family to settle in the castle…”

“…when in 351 BC, tragedy struck. On the day of the wedding of Strahd’s youngest brother Sergei, assassins struck and murdered all the guests, as well as Strahd and his brother. The assassins, known as the Ba’al Verzi, were under the employ of a noble from the Dilisnya family, Leo Dilisnya. Leo wished to usurp the throne of Barovia from the von Zarovich line, though his actions, according to legend, cast a curse upon Barovia that still lasts to this day. Fortunately for the von Zarovich family, Sturm von Zarovich, Strahd and Sergei’s brother, was unable to attend the wedding, and thus the von Zarovich family has lived on to this day…”

“…The von Zaroviches have continued to rule Barovia, each one taking the name of Strahd in honor of the the man who freed their nation from the Tergs’ iron grip. Curiously, each one resembles him as well. In the centuries since the wedding massacre, Barovia has seemed dismal and stagnant, perhaps a result of the curse placed upon the land by Leo Dilisnya’s actions. Strahd’s heirs have become increasingly despotic, seizing control from the nobles until they had all but disappeared from Barovia…”

“…in 470 BC the Vistani appeared in Barovia, and Strahd IV formed an allegiance with them that lasts to this very day. Strahd IV declared the life of the Vistani to be sacrosanct, and they were to be considered under his complete protection. It is assumed that in exchange for this the gypsies provide some sort of service to the von Zaroviches, but neither the Vistani nor the von Zarovich family will discuss the matter…”

“…but in the years directly following the tragedy of Sergei’s wedding, Barovia seemed to be surrounded by a thick, almost impenetrable white fog. In 542 BC, the wizard Azalin emerged from the mists, and formed an uneasy alliance with the von Zaroviches, though this alliance ended by 579. In 550 BC, the mists to the southwest of Barovia parted and revealed the land of Forlorn. In 585, the mists to the south parted to reveal the blasted landscape of Bluetspur. In 593, the western border revealed the nation of Gundarak, believed by many Barovians to be inhabited by the descendants of the Neureni. In 684, the mists to the northwest parted to reveal the nation of Borca, ruled by the descendants of Leo Dilisnya. To the north of Barovia, the nation of Markovia was revealed in 698 BC. To the east, Hazlan was revealed by the mists in 714. And in 715, the nation of Dorvinia appeared to the northwest, between Borca and Markovia, also ruled by Leo’s descendants. Rumors spread of other nations beyond the borders of Barovia’s neighbors, including one ruled by Azalin, far to the north…”

“…and this geographical arrangement was forever changed in 740 BC, during a powerful supernatural event called the Great Upheaval. The horrid land of Bluetspur disappeared from Barovia’s southern border, and Hazlan somehow moved from the east to take its place. The landmass that was once occupied by Hazlan was now part of the nation of Nova Vaasa, once Hazlan’s northern neighbor. The nations of Borca and Dorvinia merged into one nation, though it kept the name of Borca. The nation of Markovia disappeared from Barovia’s northern border, along with Markovia’s northern neighbor G’Henna. In their place was left a deep chasm called the Shadow Rift. No one knows exactly what lies at the bottom of the chasm’s festering black shadows, though many rumors persist of a land haunted by dark fey, where time flows differently. Finally, to the west, the nation of Gundarak lay in anarchy when its ruler, Duke Gundar, was assassinated. Strahd XI seized this opportunity by conquering much of Gundarak and annexing it into Barovia. After a brutal nine-month siege, half of Gundarak was annexed and brought under the rigid control of Barovia. The rest of Gundarak was seized by the nation of Invidia to the west…”

“…and the Gundarakites are an oppressed people. Openly resented by the Barovians, their spite has brewed over the last decade and a half into a full-blown rebellion. The rebellion’s leader, Ardonk Szerieza, believes in a vision of Gundarak that never truly was, often ignoring or revising history to fit his patriotic ideals. Ardonk moves back and forth between Barovia and Invidia, leading the rebellion in both nations…”

A collection of dry whispers among professors regarding the heretical histories of Brother Ionescoe as overheard at the Blood o’ the Vine tavern in the village of Barovia

Barovian history in brief

Ravenloft: The King is Dead... nykrat_1 nykrat_1