Books in Barovia
Books in Barovia can be found in a variety of places. Below are listed some of the books that you may find across the land. Each book takes 2d4 hours to read and can help your party learn about more of the history, religions and various other things that may lie in Barovia.
History & Warfare
The Land before the Lord: A Brief History of Barovia
This book speaks about the history of the land before Strahd's reign. It speaks of the valley that was once known as Cerrunos by its inhabitants; a collection of nomadic and druidic tribes. These folk lived entirely off the land and were completely unsettled. These ancient cultures worshipped a trio of powerful archfey that has been lost to time.
The Liberation of Barovia
This book speaks of how the land of Barovia was originally conquered by the Kingdom of Delmor. The Delmorians easily conquered the land from the primitive nomadic tribes and absorbed the valley into the Kingdom of Delmor. They ruled Cerrunos for 200 years before they went to war with the Von Zarovich army. Lead by Strahd Von Zarovich himself, the army outmaneuvered and out-strategized the Kingdom of Delmor. Forcing his enemies to retreat into the valley of Cerrunos, the Delmoreans held their last stand here before Strahd Von Zarovich could completely and utterly defeat them. Having conquered Cerrunos, Strahd Von Zarovich named the land after his father King Barov.
Noble Houses of Barovia
This book lists the history of the rise and fall of a number of noble families throughout Barovian history. Some of these families consisted of the Buchvold Family, Cosco Family, Falinescu Family, Ivilskova Family, Kartova Family, Katsky Family, Krezkov Family, Petrovna Family, Romulich Family, Triksky Family, Vallakovich Family, Velikovna Family, Von Zarovich Family, Wachter Family and Wagner Family.
The Fall of Berez
The people of Berez gave some grave offense to Strahd, in response to which he opened the earth up and it swallowed the city. The book speculates on what the offense may have been, proposing several theories from rampant perversion to harboring a thief of some great treasure.
The War of the Silver Dragon
This book speaks of a war between Strahd Von Zarovich and an order of knights led by a Silver Dragon. It tells of how the Silver Dragon (who is purposely left unnamed) who opposed Strahd and went to war with him. He sheltered Strahd's enemies and won a number of early victories against the Lord of Barovia. However, the knights were ultimately overwhelmed by Strahd's tactics and reinforcements as they swept into the valley. The forces slew the last of the knights and killed the Silver Dragon.
The History of the Vistani in Barovia – Friends or Foes
This book tells of the history of the Vistani in Barovia. It mostly consists of wild conspiracy theories of why Strahd allows the Vistani throughout the land of Barovia. The reader can succeed on a DC10 Insight check to determine that most of these theories are probably unfounded based on how they are written and the inconsistency between the stories.
A Vintners Guide to the Vintages of the Baratok Mountains
This book speaks of the various wines in Barovia. It mostly speaks of the Wizards of Wines and that other vineyards no longer exist.
The Men of Modern Military
An account of "modern" military generals and their tactics. Includes a chapter on Strahd Von Zarovich, when he was a general in the army of King Barov.
Kazahn: The Art of Architecture
Autobiography and Life Philosophy of Kazahn, Strahd’s court wizard and chief architect of castle Ravenloft. He waxes poetic on his love of hidden doors and secret passages. Much of the book details his personal life, service under the Zarovichs, and eventually his quest for immortality.
Dawn of the Morninglord
This book speaks of how the religion of the Morninglord followed Strahd Von Zarovich to the land of Barovia. It tells that he once was worshipped under a different name that has been lost to time. The book tells of rumours that the Morninglord is believed to be part of a greater entity that is made up of two separate entities that act as two sides of the same coin. The Morninglord acts as one side of that coin whilst a deity known as Mother Night acts as the other. Supposedly the Morninglord was a deity of creativity, dawn, renewal, birth, athletics, spring, self-perfection, vitality and youth who drew his power from the sun.
Mother Night's Twilight
This book acts as a sequel to Dawn of the Morninglord and goes more in depth on the history of Mother Night. Mother Night was brought to the land of Barovia alongside the Morninglord. It is believed she was an aspect of a greater deity that has been lost to time. Mother Night was an almost polar opposite to Lathander in that she was a deity of fear, death, punishments, curses and shadows.
Saint Markovia's Rebellion: Life and Death
This book speaks of a cleric of the Morninglord who once ran an abbey and hospital in the town of Krezk. It tells that she stood against Lord Zarovich's reign and was swiftly punished for it.
Saint Andral: From Leader to Follower
This book speaks of Saint Andral. A priest who served in Strahd Von Zarovich's army and who was the driving force in bringing the religion of the Morninglord to Barovia. He was once rumored to be a close friend of Strahd Von Zarovich despite their philosophical differences. However, when Saint Markovia led her rebellion against Strahd, Andral was torn. After Strahd brutally punished Saint Markovia, Andral felt there was no alternative then to take up arms against Strahd himself and lead the remaining of Markovia's forces. However, Strahd was quick to put down his old friend after what he considered a great betrayal.
Geography and Biology
Barovia: The Natural Lay of the Land
This book speaks of the general layout of the valley in very broad terms. It speaks of how the evergreen trees of the Svalich Woods climb the sides of the mountains that enclose the valley. The largest of these peaks is Mount Baratok, with its snow-covered cap and rugged slopes. Baratok’s slightly smaller twin, Mount Ghakis, is mostly bald with tufts of trees here and there. Between these two mountains stands Lake Zarovich, which is fed by streams of ice-cold water pouring down the face of Mount Baratok.
Mud, Mist, and Menacing Eyes: A Travel log along the Svalich Road
This book tells of a traveler's journey along the Svalich Road. It details the journey from the Gates of Barovia, through the village of Barovia, past the River Ivlis Crossroads and onwards past the Tser Falls.
Ascent into Hell
A gripping account of a Vallakian expedition up Mt. Ghakis that went horribly wrong.
Scare de Lune
Recounting the Author's travels seeking out legends of lycanthropy and attempting to find the root of this infamous curse. Notably, the book is unfinished.
The Wolfe Among Us
This book is a study of the wolves of Barovia and their biology and their often unusual intelligence. It speaks of pack tactics and their keen sense of smell along with the different categories of wolves such as the Dire Wolf.
Alchemy & Crafting
The Art of Weaponcrafting
The tome detailed the various levels of magic that are stored in a variety of metals and how to remove impurities from metal before forging.
This tome details the intricacies of using Alchemical glassware. It speaks of how and where it is often made, it's uses (such as being used to brew potions) and the maintenance involved.
The Alchemical Primer
This book details the very basics of alchemy.
Dragomir's Guide to Better Potion Making
This book is a guide to making potions of a higher quality. However, to an expert's eye it is clear that many of these methods are very rudimentary.
Love and Love Again
A collection of poorly written poems. Many with spelling errors and few which rhyme. A particular favorite of the author seems to be;
We stuck together, our love was glue
The way she walked really boiled my stew
Too bad she'll never have a clue
That i've caught her sickness, the love struck flu
The Song of Despair
The author of this collection of poetry and dramatic writings is unlisted. One of the standouts of the piece that shares the name with the title of the book. It reads as follows.
'The memory of you emerges from the mist around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sky.
Deserted like my walls at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh forsaken one!
Cold bloody hands are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of Sergei, fierce grave of the betrayed.
In you the wars and the fights accumulated.
From you the wings of her death rose.
I swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the mountains, like time. In you everything bled!
It was the happy hour of assault and my kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a wild son.
Father's dread, fury of a late mother
turbulent drunkenness of hate, in you my empty heart drank.
In the childhood of mist sways my soul,
wingless and wounded. Lost brother ! In you my fate sank!
You wedded sorrow, you clung to her,
Love consumed you. And into you my curse sank!'
Ravens of the Mists
This song was written to explain why killing a raven is bad luck in Barovia.
Black on black, a raven’s wing
A pretty girl waits for a ring
A pretty girl waits for a feast
A humble glance before a priest.
Red on black, a boy lies dead
The Devil came and took his head
The Devil came down from the mists
His lightning blade, it never missed.
Black on blue, a raven soars
A boy is free of all the wars
A boy is free of all the lies
He pays a visit to his bride.
Black on black, a raven’s wing
A girl in white dress does not sing
A girl in white dress only cries
Of black on black up in the skies.
A series of poems about various types of specters. One of the central poems of the piece reads as follows:
A wailing howl
The pain, immense
It has no purpose, has no sense.
Her soul is now forever doomed.
A cradle stops
But no one weeps
A baby cannot smile or sleep.
An evil stare
A raging cry
She’s hurt but can’t remember why.
Bumblebee (A Vistana way)
A Vistana song.
How you fly carefree
Near a hop on a hot summer day
And Vistana bride
On a starry night
By her lover was stolen away…
So come and follow
A wandering star
To a rendezvous with a dawn
And don’t look back
With tears in your eyes
On the years that are now
Past and gone
So come and follow
A wandering star
Let the warm winds lead you astray
And don’t worry
If you end up
In heaven or hell
Only dead and fools choose to stay
A collection of stories that tell of the deal that was made between Strahd Von Zarovich and the Vistani people. A song from the book is the stand out that reads as follows.
Gather round and sit, boys and girls
Let the fire warm a way to your hearts
Peer in Green Flames yes, oh Green Flames
I’ma tell the story of our gracious Lord Strahd.
We were banished and beaten
We were pursued and bruised
We had no home, no land to live in
And we were free and loose
One night a horse neigh
Tore through the wind
A mighty steed that carried on his saddle
A rider in the rain.
He was bloody, he was dying, he had a royal face of white!
It was Strahd, the fallen knight.
We took him under our care
Tended wounds for weeks
And when he finally woke up
Firmly did he speak.
“I am a lord, I am a general, I give you my hand
Help me and I will gift you my land.”
We raised our forces and to the battle we’ve flown.
We stroke and we killed and we fell as he spoke
And the battle was won!
And with his head held high
He looked at us with fire in his eyes.
“You have battled, you have helped me, and I owe you my own life!
I’m a gracious host, and I never lie.
My land is yours! You can come, you can stay, you can leave when you choose! You will always safe be here, this is my will.
Peer at Green Flames, yes at Green Flames!
As they dance in our camp, gals and lads…
Remember the story of our gracious Strahd.