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Strahd von Zarovich is the lord of Barovia and the master of Castle Ravenloft. He is an immortal vampire, desiring endless power and control. His undead curse is linked to the curse of the land of Barovia that prevents anyone from leaving.

Prior to Dragon Friends

Before he was a vampire, Strahd was the young prince of the Freefolk, the people who refused to live under the damning rule of the Netherese Empire. Strahd was a key figure of the Howlers, the leading Freefolk resistance group fighting against Archmage Karsus of the Netherese Empire. The Howlers were successful in their quest and ended Karsus' rule, triggering the fall of the empire.

Sometime after, Strahd became the lord of Castle Ravenloft. His brother, Sergei von Zarovich, was in love with a woman named Patrina Velikovna. Much to Strahd's anger, for he loved her too and wanted her for himself. Strahd poisoned Sergei and Patrina at their wedding and cast the city of Carcosa in which they were married into another plane, creating Dim Carcosa. Since then, Strahd has been attempting every 100 years to open the Seven Gates to restore Carcosa to the world and claim his bride.

Season 2

Strahd's goal during the Dragon Friends' time in Barovia is to cast a spell that will summon an undead army from another plane. As a component for this spell, he needs to sacrifice the thing he loves most in the world. His trouble is that he has not loved anything since Patrina. He then sees Ireena Kolyana who looks exactly like Patrina and decides that she is Patrina reincarnated. He kidnaps her and keeps her at his castles, where the Dragon Friends go to rescue her.

He rules over Mad Moira and the Moptop clan of deep gnomes. He is very amused by the Dragon Friends attempts to stop him. He has the ability to change from his humanoid form to a swarm of bats.

He can only be defeated by the Name Sword of Sergei von Zarovich. His eventual death lacks drama, however, because he previously was having an uncontrollable diarrhea thanks to Freezo's Cursed Coins. He dies to a combination of being cut by the magical sword (after various swings) and being stabbed through the heart with a bedpost.

Season 5

Strahd stays dead for a long time. He is brought back to life by Grimm Saltback and the Order of the Lampwick in Undermining a Dracula (5.16), believing that returning from his own death may be what was required to open the sixth gate, the Returning, which he had previously tried and failed to open by simply walking back into town. Although a portal to Carcosa was opened, it did not persist or expand. The living Strahd escaped as a swarm of bats.

Shortly after, Strahd mounts an assault on the Sword Coast, becoming the undisputed lord over most of it as well as reclaiming his seat in Barovia.

Season 6

Three years later, the Dragon Friends return to the Sword Coast and successfully aid the Resistance in reducing Strahd's grip on the Sword Coast. Over time, the group learns that Strahd has taken a keen interest in something called a Lodestone, which supposedly will further increase his power. If he uses the Lodestone, however, he'll be much more vulnerable, thus easier to kill. As the Resistance prepares to do battle in the Red Run of Icewind Dale, the Dragon Friends and Jacob Undercourt make their way towards an old Netherese tower where Strahd and the Lodestone supposedly are.

The intel turns out to be correct. Strahd is hooked up to the Lodestone with a huge psychic helmet. He's clearly in pain, but the helmet allows him to control most of his forces in battle. Strahd taunts Bobby by reminding him of his offer from three years ago to join him and be granted a seat of power. He then reveals one who did accept that offer: the now human (and possibly Chinese) Freezo. The vampire lord watches as Bobby and Freezo are about to fight; his fun is cut short as Freezo immediately betrays him.

Even when weakened, Strahd puts up a good fight, nearly killing both Jacob and Lionshield Banknote and presumably killing Philge's familiar Flappy. He further taunts her by showing flashes of the battle at Red Run where Janos Meer and Greatheart Banknote becomes casualties of the fight. Eventually, the half-orc manages to hit the Lodestone a few times with her maul before using Strahd himself as a weapon against the Lodestone. Cracks appear in the Lodestone; Strahd panics, revealing Lodestones are not supposed to break. When it does, as the Lodestone's failsafe activates and forces everyone to travel back in time, Strahd himself disintegrates - laughing manically as it happens.

Season 7

A thousand years ago, Strahd von Zarovich is still a mortal man. Part of a resistance group called the Howlers, he's one of the key figures in the fight against the rule of Archmage Karsus and the Netherese Empire. As the Dragon Friends revisit the failsafe's checkpoint multiple times (due to constantly traveling forward and back into time to fix their previous fuck ups), Strahd's past, fate and future change each time.

Timeline one

During their first visit, the Howlers attack the flagship of Karsus. The Dragon Friends kill Skymaster Kyron by destroying his brain in a jar to prove they are on the resistance group's side. After the flagship crashes thanks to Freezo's amazing skill in flying ships, they are taken to the camp of the Howlers. En route they learn the Von Zarovich family are involved with the Howlers. When they arrive, they kill old man Paternias von Zarovich and only then realize that his heir - young Freefolk prince Strahd - is there to witness it. They escape the Howlers and take the medicine Merreline Vowell made for them to travel to the future.

In this future, Strahd is the absolute ruler. He got to power much sooner thanks to a book he acquired from Bobby's bag: The Lamentable History of the Family von Zarovich. Using this book, he could avert all mistakes the family made, kill this timeline's Dragon Friends and adopt Philge's brother Dilge, brainwashing him into believing his sister is evil. He contacts the Dragon Friends as they explore the museum Dilge built in his honor, revealing he long knew they would come to the future looking for a Lodestone. He then has the amulet Dilge wears trigger to kill the poor half-orc before the Dragon Friends can remove it. They then travel back to flee from Strahd and fix their mistake.

Timeline two

This timeline starts out the same as the first one. This time the Dragon Friends inform Kyron that the ship will be attacked. As the ship is attacked by the Howlers, the Dragon Friends encounter Strahd as one of the attackers. Philge poorly try to convince him that they're on his side in an attempt to befriend him. The turn then passes to Freezo who Eldritch Blasts him - as Strahd is a challenge rating 1/8th human, he dies. They strip Strahd and learn he has a belly-button piercing and a tattoo of a Barovian man which looks like Baston.

In the future, the Dragon Friends discover that with Strahd and the Howlers dead the Netherese Empire still exists and Karsus still rules thanks to his God Machine. They again travel back to fix that mistake.

Timeline three

The third time seems to be the charm. The Friends keep Strahd alive, don't crash the ship and convince the Howlers they are on their side - even telling them that they are from the future. They turn the flagship of Karsus around and sneak back into Ilenar. Thanks to Wildseer Itheria, Karsus is expecting them at his God Machine. There is a brief scuffle after which Lionshield Banknote from timeline two destroys the God Machine - and himself - by entering it and becoming the target of its energy discharge.

Strahd lunges at Karsus, but the latter casts a spell and manages to flee. Most of his Academic guard put down their weapons, ending the rule of Karsus and triggering the fall of the Netherese empire. Strahd decides it is time to celebrate whilst he discusses with the La Rune twins how to safely land the floating city of Ilenar. But the damage of the Howler's victory has been more extensive than expected - Karsus has raided the vaults of most of the Aether, making most of Ilenar's energy sources expirable.

Season 8

25 years after the victory, Strahd has made it past his 30's without becoming a vampire - he shows the rare signs of aging. Knowing the expiring energy will prematurely wake the Dragon Friends from stasis, he tasks Byron to await their awakening and bring them to La Rune's Landing. He explicitly instructs Byron to tell the Dragon Friends that no one is cross with them. When they arrive, he explains the energy crisis and that they woke 975 years too early as a result. At Vowell's funeral, he remarks how well she "could catch an egg".