You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Stefan Kulinic  (Read 957 times)


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Stefan Kulinic
« on: November 13, 2014, 06:37:59 PM »
For most of his life the young Stefan had never left the farm but for the odd occasion his father would take him to Vallaki with him to sell their produce, a rare adventure for the boy. For eighteen years his life had been that farm, his world beyond it no more than the simple dirt track that led to the city of Vallaki, and the city itself, or to be more precise, the Market Square of the city. 

For all of his life so far his story had differed little more from that of the countless other families of serfs tilling the land for their uncaring masters, surviving on a day by day basis, with just enough coins left over after the annual visit from the tax collectors to repair or replace the tools damaged over the year. He had married young, only two years ago at sixteen years of age to a girl he had known all of his life from the neighboring farm by name of Adriana and had his first child soon after, a delightful little boy that he named Grigori after the brother that died when Stefan was a child.

His mother had died during the Great Famine, and so the farm nowhad only to support Stefan, his wife and child, his father and his younger brother Sergei. Life was hard, but life was hard for everyone.

Yes, his story was no different from any other hard working serf of Barovia.

Till the day two month agos the tax collectors came once again for their annual visit.

The family had struggled through the Great Famine with Sergei being too young and his father too old to do any of the heavy work, much of the day to day running of the farm had fallen on Stefan, resulting in the family growing behind on their debts. This time the tax collectors had come in force and taken the farm from them, the only home he had ever known.

Worse things were to come.

With no where else to go the family had moved to Vallaki, living in a hostel overflowing with former farmers forced there after similar events. Eight to a room in the four bedroomed hostel was not uncommon, and Stefan's family shared their own room with another small family. They lived off the meager coins he managed to earn each day working in the warehouses in the city, but there was never enough food.

A mere week after arriving in Vallaki his son, the lovely little Grigori, such a happy, laughing soul despite the hard times he had been born into...died of an infection. Two weeks after that his father was killed in a drunken argument, the killers never being found...or even searched for by the corrupt Garda. Then finally the final blade in his heart a scant three days ago, when he came back to their little room after a hard days work to find his wife, the beautiful Adriana, laying dead on the bloodsoaked bed, her arms slit from wrist to elbow and the bloody dagger she had used to take her own life laying on the floor beside the bed. Ever since the death of their child she had slowly faded, and now it seemed she could take the pain no longer.

Since that day he had some how carried on, turning up at work each morning and somehow managing to make it through each day of back breaking labour to stagger home and collapse into the bed his wife had killed herself in...but someday soon things would change.

One way or the other...things would change.