Costica seems startled, either by the magic or by August's generosity. "Thank you, young master," he says simply.

"I can't honestly answer you, I'm afraid. I know only what I've heard from the older members of our village and the occasional visitor from the town of Barovia. The last one I heard about was, ah, 23 years ago, I believe. It may be he's found a new object for his affections, but I don't know."

"I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question either, sir," he says turning to Isaac. "I imagine the count might have one in his castle, but I don't imagine he'd let you poke around. Barovia's burgomeister might have some books."

Just as the farmers make a hurried exit—Aswin crushing the table, or the sudden appearance of a wolf in the tavern may have had something to do with it—the barkeepers's son returns leading a tall, lean man. His features resemble nothing so much as a hawk's, with predatory eyes, a hooked nose, and stern mouth. His clothing is far richer than the farmers', and wears pieces of jewelry here and there.

"Ah, speaking of the town of Barovia," Costica says, recovering from the shock Aswin gave him. "This is Liviu, a merchant who is stopped in town for a few days. He has a message, I believe, from the burgomeister of Barovia that you might be interested in."

"Mmm yes," Liviu says. "I came from, mmm, Barovia town. The burgomeister gave me this letter, mmm, and said to give it to anyone who looked like they could, mmm, handle themselves in a fight." He looks the group up and down exaggeratedly. "You should do, I, mmm, imagine. The job may suit you, mmm, particularly well," he says to Aswin.

Liviu digs through his jacket pocket and pulls out a letter sealed with red wax and hands it to Isaac.

The Letter:

The spell seems to ease the farmer's discomfort, but his skin does not heal, nor do his cataracts lessen. This is quite unlike any disease you have heard of.