Dramatis Personae: Stefania Martikova

Stefania is the adult daughter of Davian and Angelika Martikov, living at the Wizard of Wines winery with most of her family and the “inner circle” of wereravens. Stefania and her husband have four children also detailed in chapter twelve of Curse of Strahd.

Like the rest of her family, Stefania is a wereraven, but she is also a (mostly) self-trained mage. She learned the fundamentals of arcane magic from an outlander wizard when she was a young girl, and continues to study the scrolls, notes, and scribblings they left behind. Stefania will do her best to hide her magic from the party until they have gained the family’s trust.

In My Campaign

Stefania’s teacher was a mage from the Marquet region of Exandria who found herself pulled through the mists into Barovia many years before the present day. This mage eventually gained the confidence of the Keepers of the Feather, and helped apply some of the enchantments that keep The Nest safe.

Stefania has the stats of a wereraven, with the following adjustments:

  • She has an INT of 14 (+2)
  • She is proficient in Arcana
  • She is a 1st-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). She has the following wizard spells prepared:
    • Cantrips: ray of frost, firebolt, prestidigitation
    • 1st Level: burning hands, disguise self, shield

Carefully utilizing her control over fire and cold spells, Stefania controls and cultivates the brown mold that keeps the wine cellar cool (W15). If the mold is destroyed in the course of the players’ investigation or combat with the druids, Stefania will ask the party to harvest brown mold from elsewhere in their travels (it might be found in the castle, Berez, the Amber Temple, or elsewhere in the mountains) and bring it to her to re-establish her colony.

Stefania is eager to learn more about magic, and will attempt to befriend any wizard or artificer in the party. Given the lack of options to further her own magical education, she does not pass up the opportunity before her— she tries her best to remain respectful, but her enthusiasm can get the better of her. Her spellbook is a compilation of scraps of paper, vellum, and misprinted bottle labels bound and sewn together with colored thread and shiny bits of tinsel.

Among the notes, scrolls, and books Stefania has, there is a partial spellbook that contains three first-level spells, two second-level spells, one third-level spell, and one fourth-level spell. Stefania has not yet learned all of the spells, but a wizard with enough time and materials could transcribe the additional spells per the Wizard class’s “Your Spellbook” sidebar. Stefania will allow a visiting wizard to study and copy the spellbook in her presence, but she will not let it leave The Nest.

In My Campaign

The outlander who left these materials to Stefania was a Dunamancer (See chapter four of Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount), and the spellbook included spells usually limited to that world.

Stefania knows of a number of locations where magical secrets may be found, including:

  • A ruined tower on the shores of Lake Baratok was supposedly build by a great wizard
  • The Abbey of St. Markovia contains an extensive library, that likely includes arcane texts (I based this library on the Teodorus Archives described in Hearing Secret Harmonies)
  • More than twenty years ago, the outlander that had taught her magic left to investigate rumors of “a great library deep in the southern mountains”
  • Strahd von Zarovich knows powerful magic, and there is little doubt the library of Castle Ravenloft is full of magical secrets if it can be reached.

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