You hold in your hand that which has brought you here to this place of sinister appearance and even more sinister reputation. A slender and innocuous roll of parchment, upon which crimson letters are traced, the color of rust -- or of blood.
"The Count of Castle Black requests the pleasure of your company on All Hallow's Eve..."
Why this invitatation came to you, you cannot be sure. It has been centuries, perhaps longer, since there have been visitors in Castle Black. It is rumoured that many have sought entrance without the Count's invitation -- but that of those who have succeeded, few, if any, have ever emerged again into the sunlight. And there are other whispers as well, that tell of the Count's many strange powers, powers that come from some unknown and unknowable source. Some say that it is the Castle itself which is the seat and wellspring of his dark magics -- others, that he has made a pact with the ancient Powers of the Night. Still others say that he is immortal, and may never die so long as the walls of Castle Black stand. The truth is a thing shrouded in the mists of times long past.
But it is not merely the invitation itself which has brought you here, to stand before the iron gates, seeking entrance.
You have come to Castle Black for reasons of your own -- and before the dawn arrives, you, too, will have become a part of the haunted myths and whispered legends which surround this place of magic and mystery.