As promised, another snippet from the current campaign.

"Murder is the Only Option"
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"So we are trying to find the Sunsword but we do not know where it is?" Ed asked, puzzled.

"If we can gain audience with Madame Eva, I'm certain she can tell us its location," Clarice answered for the third time.

"Once the girl is armed with the Sunsword we will set out for Castle Ravenloft and destroy the vampire lord within," Fluffy cackled.

"Wait, we're giving the sword to cutie here?" Shane asked in surprise.

"Ooh, is it because she is the best warrior in the party?" Ed asked excitedly.

"Of course not!" Fluffy snapped irritably. "She's the only one with Martial Weapon Proficiency."

Clarice sighed. These outlanders behaved so strangely. She was beginning to worry how well the meeting with the Vistani would go. The bronze-skinned woman balled her fists, vowing to do whatever it took to enlist the aid of the gypsies. This latest atrocity wrought on Barovia Village was too much for her to stand. She had to bring light to the shadowy Strahd Von Zarovich and make him pay for his crimes.

The Vistani caravan was camped near the edge of Tser Lake, a place that Clarice remembered as being a beautiful and charming place. However, the blackened skies and the relentless icy rain caused the lake to appear dark and sullen.

Though she had never met any Vistani before, they were exactly what Clarice had always imagined them to be: vibrant, colorful people so full of life and emotion. They were a stark contrast to the downtrodden villagers of Barovia.

"Remember, be on your best behavior," Clarice said to the outlanders. "We don't want to offend them."

"Vistani!" Fluffy cried out as he sprang atop one of the caravan wagons. "Take me to your leader!"

"Where's this Eva woman, eh?" Shane asked gruffly as he grabbed a nearby Vistani girl by the shoulders and tried to intimidate her.

Clarice hid her face with her hands in shame. This was off to a great start.

***

"Thank you for seeing us, Madame Eva," Clarice said as the group sat down at a table with her. "I'm very sorry for my companions."

"We would have been fine if Ed would have put ranks in Diplomacy and Bluff," Fluffy grumbled irritably.

"I do not have many skill points for things like that," Ed said apologetically. "I dump-ed-ed my Intelligence."

"I can tell," Madame Eva said flatly. "You may each ask one question, and I will answer to the best of my abilities. Be warned, the spirits are not always direct in their dealings with us. The answers you receive may be vague or seem strange for now."

"Ooh, can I ask about the average yearly gross income of Barovian chicken farmers compared to their net income of the same time frame?" Ed asked excitedly.

"Yes, you may."

"So what is it?"

"I'm sorry, you've already used your question."

Shane smacked Ed in the back of the head. While the priest discussed with Fluffy what their questions would be, Clarice silently prayed that one of them would ask about the location of the Sunsword. She knew it was selfish of her, but she wanted to ask about her past. With bronze skin and almost-white hair Clarice knew that she was not a native of Barovia, though she could not remember anything before being taken into the care of the Kolyan family in Barovia Village. She hoped that Eva would be able to at least give her a clue as to where she came from. Her train of thought was interrupted when Fluffy spoke to Eva.

"Do you have any magic items small enough for me to use?" the cat asked.

"Yes," Eva replied. "You boys certainly are fond of simple questions."

"You can't give us your mystic gypsy crap if we ask yes or no questions."

"Does Strahd have the normal weaknesses of a vampire?" Shane asked.

"No," Eva answered, looking slightly bored.

The three adventurers all turned their gaze to Clarice, and her heart sank. It seemed she would never learn more about herself. With a heavy sigh, she looked down at the table.

"What is the location of the Sunblade?" she asked quietly, her face hidden by her bangs.

A swirling yellow aura surrounded Madame Eva as she began to chant eldritch incantations, the light from the candles on the table growing strangely dim.

"I hate diviners," Fluffy grumbled.

***

A sudden scream from across the camp got Clarice's attention away from the card game a few of the Vistani women had been trying to teach her. She snatched up her sword and raced to the source of the disturbance, only to find the three outlanders standing over the body of one of the Vistani men as hundreds of mangy tabby cats began to devour him.

"You killed him??" Clarice gasped, appalled.

"He was charging double book price for his stuff," Fluffy replied nonchalantly.

"Yep, he was a swindler," Shane said with a nod of agreement.

"He was a bad man," Ed agreed.

"So you killed him?" Clarice asked, taking a horrified step back from the grisly scene.

"Murder is the only option," Fluffy said darkly. "He tried to cheat us, so I sent him to his ... kitty doom."

It was then that Clarice realized that a rather large group of angry and well-armed Vistani had them surrounded. She looked down at the body, up at the three adventurers, then back to the angry mob.

"I only met them yesterday! I don't know them! I'm sorry!" Clarice cried out.

"Like I said," Fluffy muttered. "Murder is the only option."