Posts Tagged ‘Ravenloft’

Part Four: Hallowed Visions

October 26th, 1990. Hallow-con, New York City

Victoria held Dan’s hand as they walked down the aisle looking at all the vendors. She spotted a group of guys sitting around a table with a few hardcover books, sheets of paper, and twenty sided die, “Oh look?” her black lipstick shined as she smiled. “Should we see if we can join this session?” 

“Sure, let’s check it out.” Dan said as they approached the area set up for a table-top role playing game. Every guy at the table shifted his focus as the couple approached. One of the guys nodded in approval of Dan’s shirt from the first Halloween movie. The rest of them grinned at the sight of Victoria in her tight leather top. “You guys playing?” she asked.

“You bet.” one of the gamers said as he stroked his massive beard. “We’re setting up for a Ravenloft session, wanna play?”

“Yeah that would be great.” Victoria said, excited as she and Dan sat at the table.

A pencil thin guy seated with the group looked sharply at Victoria and asked. “Do you know what Ravenloft is?”

Victoria’s pale face lit up as she said “No I don’t, can you tell me!?!”

“Well it’s like Dungeons and Dragons with some horror elements in it.” the man said. His voice was deadpan serious as he asked. “Do you know what Dungeons and Dragons is?”

Putting her finger in her mouth like a valley girl from the recently passed decade, Victoria said “Uh, yeah, like I think I heard of it.”

The man then condescendingly raised a sheet of paper in his hand to explain “Ok, well this is a character sheet that you use to play in the Ravenloft setting.”  While his eyes locked on her cleavage he continued to explain, “You have different skills and abilities, and..”

“And you encounter the Dark Lords like Strahd Von Zarovich, ruler of Barovia who wishes to win back is love Tatyana,”  the jaws of the nerds dropped, some out of surprise, some out of infatuation while she finished “or Vlad Drakov who’s military ambitions ar forever doomed to failure. It’s a pretty dark place, but at least Vecna and Lord Soth managed to escape.” Finally, two of her black nailed fingers pointed back to her face as she knelt toward him and yelled “And by the way, my eyes are up here asshole!” before storming away. 

“Nice job dipshit!” She heard behind her as Dan caught up. 

“Sorry about that,” Dan sounded so embarrassed. “You ok?”

“Nothing to be sorry about.” Victoria then looked at the large back blocking the aisle ahead and said “That guy’s gonna be sorry if he doesn’t stop blocking the way.”   

As the large man looked around, Dan squeezed Victoria’s hand and said “Hey I know that guy.”

Taking a few steps closer she heard him yell out “George! George!” The man turned around and waved as Dan asked, “George it’s really you?”

“Yeah it’s me.” the man answered. 

“Long time no see brother how are you?” Victoria watched Dan excitedly hug the man while other convention goers walked around them..

“I’m good, I’m good.” Dan’s friend said before eying Victoria up.

“This is my fiance Victoria.” Dan introduced. “She got to school after you were gone. She’ll be finishing up next year actually.”

“Nice to meet you.” he said smiling. Victoria then noticed the General Hospital picture he was putting into his black bag. “Oh, you got John York’s autograph!” she said excitedly.

“Yeah,” Victoria was a little confused as he now looked like he could barely hide his irritation. She then understood as he explained. “It’s for my sister.”

“That’s so sweet of you to do that. I’m sure you’re a fan of General Hospital too right?”

She realized by his facial expression he had no idea she was kidding. Thankfully Dan intervened with, “Last season of Werewolf!”

“I know, that totally blows.” Geroge instantly reacted. “I was talking to ‘Eric’ though, and he told me they’re wrapping the story line up. So at least there’s that. I hate when things end on a cliffhanger!”

“Awesome man!” Dan said. ” Well we’re gonna check out some posters at this venue here.”Dan pointed to a booth down the aisle.

“Cool, I want to get the new Friday the 13th poster.” Victoria now realized George would be joining them.

Making their way through the swarm of people, the trio came to a booth that had bins of posters, including several large posters on displays facing out towards the crowd. One of the posters facing out featured a ferocious looking werewolf chasing a young girl through a back alley. 

“Remember when we saw that back in school?” Dan remeniced.

“I do remember that.”  George answered.

Dan pumped his fist remembering. “Man, I was so excited that they finally put a Halloween movie back in the theaters.” 

“Are you a Halloween fan?” Victoria asked George.

“I liked the series,” he said, “but I’m more of a Friday the 13th fan myself. Halloween is cool, but you know, after the second one each entry was its own story.” 

“That was Carpenter’s vision man,” Dan chimed in. “Make it an anthology!” 

“I think that’s a cool idea.” George explained. “I mean, I thought they were good movies. Like that one up there,” George pointed to the ghostly image on the poster for Halloween Four. “That was scary, but I like following a series like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street that tells one continous story.”

Victoria pointed up at the display to the poster for Halloween Five, on which a quartet of red robed figures hold sacrificial knives over the near naked body of a voluptuous young woman. “Do you have that one hon?” 

“Yeah I got that one back at my mom’s place.” Dan said. “The only one I never got was number three.”

“I never saw that one anywhere.” George said. 

“That’s the first one they released direct to video,” Dan relayed to George, “and they didn’t make a lot of promotional material for it. Really sucks.”

“It’s in here somewhere.” The vendor poked his head out from behind the display while finishing a transaction with another customer. “If you dig around here long enough you’ll find it.”

“Cool,” Victoria looked back at him and asked “Do you have the poster for Night Skies?”

“It’s in there somewhere hon.” The vendor winked at her as he answered.

While Victoria started digging through the bins George pointed back to the poster for Halloween Six: Curse of the Werewolf, to say, “I heard there’s a producer’s cut of that movie.”

“There is,” Dan said with a devilish smile on his face before revealing “I saw it.”

“That’s so cool!” George said as he began looking through posters himself. “I wouldn’t mind seeing it.”

“Yeah it’s pretty awesome.” Dan recalled, himself now looking through a bin of posters. “Somebody on campus got a hold of it last year. They explain more of the lore and stuff, but maybe the coolest part is that there’s an extra scene with Donald Pleasance!”

“He played the priest in that one right?’ George asked.

“That’s right, Father John.” Dan answered. “There’s a scene where he mentions he has a cousin in..,” Victoria smiled as she knew Dan loved talking about this, “guess where…” George shrugged his shoulders. “Haddonfield!”

“What!” The wheels were turning in George’s head. “Wait, so it’s linked to the first one?”

“Well who knows,” Victoria looked up at them as she speculated. “It could be just a gag for the fans, just like how in each entry someone is always watching the previous movie.”

“Right?” George recalled. “In part three a commercial for the first one comes on in a bar, right?”

“Correct” Dan said, “and in part four they go see part three in the theater.”

“I can’t remember what happened in the last two!” George said in frustration.

“Part five they rent part four from the local video store,” Dan said, “and part six they are on the set of part five.”

Both Dan and George turned to Victoria as she squealed in excitement. At long last she’d found the poster for the Stephen Spielberg horror film Night Skies. It featured a creepy image of Extra Terrestrial aliens terrorizing a family on their farm, above the image of a little girl read the words “They’re here.” the move’s famous catch phrase. “This scared the shit out of me when I was a kid!” she recalled, as she pulled the poster out of the bin and went to pay for it.

Dan struck gold next. “Here you go George!” George rushed over to Dan who pulled out the last poster in the bin he was searching. It was a poster for last year’s Friday the 13th Part Eight. Dan admired the image of New York City in the background before he handed it off to George. Dan then walked over to the bin George had just been searching.

While George and Victoria paid for their finds, Dan finally struck paydirt. “Bingo!” His face lit up like a Christmas tree as he saw the silver letters that spelled out Halloween III at the top of the poster, on which red skies hung below a silhouette of a trio of trick or treating children. 

“Oh shit!” George excitedly quoted from the film’s poster. “The night no one comes home!” The trio high fived each other as Dan purchased the poster for Halloween Three: Season of the Witch. Victoria looked up at the displays of the other Halloween posters her fiance already owned. There was Halloween Four: Return of the Wraith, next to that was Halloween Five, Revenge of Samhain, then Halloween Six: Curse of the Werewolf. Victoria remembered how that was the first Halloween since number two to be put back in the theaters. It was a great movie, and it made werewolves cool for a couple years. She could see down the aisle where John Yolk was happily signing autographs, and mused that perhaps that cycle has come to a close. 

Victoria had only just met George, but she could tell already he wasn’t often quiet. He too was looking at the Halloween Six poster, and she assumed he must be reminiscing too, but she then realized George fixed his gaze on the woman, the woman and her bare legs, her bare legs and her skinned knee.

George finally stopped zoning when she asked him, “So how long have you been a horror fan?”