The Dreadful Winter
CULTURAL LEVEL 7 (Medieval)
A harsh, rural domain held in the grip of tyranny and superstition. Its landscape is dominated by the Balinoks. These mountains run like a craggy spine down the center of the realm, spreading east and west to include the rugged hills on either side of the range. These mountains are particularly treacherous, characterized by jagged outcroppings and sheer cliffs.
With the exception of the upper reaches of the tallest of the Balinoks, the domain is dominated by ancient forests, broken only occasionally by mossy meadows. At night, hulking wolves stalk the woods, and the skies swarm with huge, screeching bats. Worse things are said to emerge after nightfall, but few want to believe those who claim to have seen them.
The people of Barovia are very ethnically diverse, but as a group they are a gruff, suspicious lot. They tend to be brusque with outsiders, and even the most amicable Barovian natives are no-nonsense and severe.
The dour attitude that seems to dominate Barovia may be partially attributed to the rampant fear of the supernatural that permeates the realm. The folk here are terrified of the creatures of darkness; doors and windows are securely locked at sundown, and most Barovian settlements resemble ghost towns by early evening.
Heldren is located right next to the Svalich Woods.