Curse of Strahd
Dr. Rudolph van Richten, aka "Santiago Montoya"
A vampire hunter and foretold ally against Strahd.
NG Male Human (Malanian)
60 years old
In the Campaign:
Chapter 2: Death House
Elizabeth was informed that someone matching her father’s description was seen speaking with a man dressed in a bright orange jacket in the Blood of the Vine Tavern two years ago. They were seen heading east.
Chapter 4: City of False Smiles
Montoya was at the Blue Water Inn the night Elizabeth’s company arrived in the city. He observed silently across the room.
He was mentioned by Blinksy as having been the one to give him the monkey Piccolo (this was when Elizabeth began to suspect it was, in fact, Montoya).
Later that night, Elizabeth and Milton accidentally walked in on a cult ritual of some sort while trying to burn a bunch of dolls that look like Elizabeth and were attacked by them. Montoya leaped in with his sword cane to help them stop the cultists.
Elizabeth and Montoya spoke afterward, at Elizabeth’s insistence and she discovered his complexion and identity as a Nevarran was a disguise; he was really from Malania and a former adventuring ally of Edward Talbot. He revealed that it was he who had sent the assassins to scare her away and that Strahd was the one to send the letter that drew her to Borovia.
He refused to help Elizabeth, citing either Elizabeth’s interpretation or Madame Eva’s reading was incorrect. He revealed he had tried stopping Strahd before and lost his apprentice and his leg in the attempt, and now works as a vigilante protecting people because he has to do something.
Montoya directed them to the Tower of the Mad Wizard, where he knew one of the three Treasures was located, before vanishing into the night.
Chapter 5: Festival of the Blazing Sun
Montoya’s wagon, which parked outside of the warehouse where the wereravens provided shelter to the party after they escaped the Baron’s manor, began to shake once the fighting with Izek started, as if a large creature inside were being disturbed.
Montoya was not present for the Feast of St. Andrel, to his regret. Knowing Strahd had gotten too close, he agreed to take Ismark and Ireena to Krazk. Before they left, he spoke with Elizabeth and gave her a great deal of equipment that can be used to defend herself against vampires, especially a silvered rapier with a pearl-inlaid handle.
Chapter 7: The Mad House of St. Markvovia
Elizabeth and her party were attacked by zombies at the Ravenhollow Crossroads, which were a distraction caused by a vampire known as Esmerelda. She attacked Elizabeth, demanding to know where “Van Richten” is and claimed Elizabeth’s sword was hers.
When Elizabeth’s company arrived at the gates of Krazk with the children they had rescued from the Hags, they found Montoya’s wagon. They had been there at least a day but had been denied entry. After Elizabeth had negotiated their way into the village, Montoya and the others were also allowed in.
It was mentioned more than once that Montoya had been asking after her, but they didn’t run into each other until the night they raided the Abbey. He and Elizabeth spoke at length and despite his reluctance, he agreed to help them and decoded Madame Eva’s reading:
- The Tome of Strahd was in the Amber Temple.
- The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind was somewhere in the ruins of Argonvostholt.
- The Sunsword was in the possession of the great Hag Baba Lysaga.
Not much is known of Dr. Rudolph Van Richten. He has been masquerading as the Navarran Circus ringleader named “Santiago Montoya” for years, hiding from Strahd’s spies.
In reality, he is from Malania and was an adventuring companion of Pennyworth and Edward Talbot. He was not on good terms with Edward over the past few decades, but the two seemed to have worked together on something two years ago, though he has not revealed what that was, exactly.
Van Richten is a broken man who has lost everything ta the hands of the vampire. He is cursed by the vistani for his loss of Esmerelda, his former apprentice, and he is angry, bitter and utterly without hope. Elizabeth, his god-daughter, is slowly bringing him back to the light, however, despite his grumpiness.