Your wagon has been traveling for several days, winding thorough forest paths in wilderness that may by all rights be uncharted. The farther you go, the more you are given an unsettling feeling. As creepy and ominous as the journey is, it is an important one.
You have tracked the object of your desire to the small hamlet of Barovia; a place far from city comforts and war-torn battlefields alike. Where the land itself seems to have been exiled from the rest of the world, lies an ancient artifact. Many legends exist surrounding this item, its previous owners, and their heroic deeds. You believe with all of your soul that this artifact belongs in your hands, and with it you will forge your destiny. To that end, you will brave any perils to see your goal through.
As you sought passage to Barovia, you met an interesting individual. He claims to be a lorekeeper for a Gnomish chapter of Lightbringers. He refers to himself as Barnaby, stating that as the name his best human friend calls him, and therefore the name he uses in human lands. He offers a few gold pieces and free entertainment if he may accompany the party to Barovia.
His presence makes the trip go much faster. His songs, jokes and pleasant conversation keep the mood light, and everyone's mind off all the unpleasantness. He gives great conversation on history, nobility and works of fiction. His knowledge of lore and spellcraft are enough to keep even the most learned wizard engaged. He has a vast knowledge of the sword coast, and even has tales of exploits that would make a master thief envious. He makes a genuine attempt to cater to his audience, and play music they like. He takes requests, and plays the songs flawlessly.
After getting to know the party in almost no time, he seems quite open. He sees himself as somewhat of a clergyman or mission. He is quick to open up to strangers, which causes them to open up to him. As somewhat of a traveling problem solver, this helps him help others. He has with him a letter. It arrived when he was resting at a Lightbringers-friendly temple. After scribing several copies for them, he kept one and decided to personally respond. He is more than willing to show whomever he meets, and makes a point to show every other Lightbringer he comes in contact with.
Hail to thee of might and valor:
I, a lowly servant of the township of Barovia, send honor to thee. We plead for thy so desperately needed assistance within our community.
Our village is nestled in the Svalich Woods, an ancient forest that has long laid quiet with the weight of ages on its shoulders. But recent nights have brought the howls of wolves to our ears, and the night of the last full moon brought far worse out of the forest. Enormous wolves attacked with unnatural savagery, killing many of us and leaving many more wounded.
The love of my life, Ireena Kolyana, was one of those wounded, and I fear for her. Her injury refuses our healing remedies and she languishes abed.
There is much wealth in this community. I offer all that might be had to thee and thy fellows if thou shalt but answer my desperate plea.
Come quickly, for I dread the rising of the next full moon! All that I have shall be thine!
Burgomaster of Barovia