Strahd von Zarovich is the primary antagonist of Dice, Camera, Action and of the Curse of Strahd campaign. He is a once-human vampire who has been ruling the kingdom of Barovia for generations, from the greatly feared Castle Ravenloft.
A man of noble birth, Strahd spent much of his life serving causes of goodness and law, most notably as a warrior and leader of armies. Years of such service took their toll upon him however, and by the time he reached middle age, Strahd came to believe he had squandered his life and his youth. With this dark mood upon him, he took it upon himself to conquer a valley that held his enemies. He then named the valley Barovia, after his father King Barov. He assumed lordship there, taking as his residence the pre-existing castle, which he named Ravenloft. From this position of power and security, he called for members of his family "long unseated from their ancestral thrones" to join him, including his younger brother Sergei. However, en route to the castle named after her, his mother, Queen Ravenovia, succumbed to illness.
Some time after his period of mourning, he decided he needed a bride. He met many young women, but none of them were to his interest. That is, until he fell in love with a young Barovian woman, Tatyana. He lavished her with gifts and attention, but she rejected his affections in favor of the younger and warmer Sergei. Strahd soon was filled with despair and jealousy and a growing hatred for Sergei. He also began to seek magical means to prevent his death, after having witnessed his father pass away. In a moment of desperate frustration, he made a pact with the ancient dark powers contained within the Amber Temple in Barovia. On the day of Sergei and Tatyana's wedding, Strahd murdered his brother and drank his blood before pursuing the grieving Tatyana until she flung herself from the balcony of Ravenloft, plummeting to her death. Strahd himself was shot down by the arrows of the castle guard. Even so, he did not die, as the dark powers kept their end of the bargain he had made. He defied death and rose again as a vampire. He then went on to rule the land of Barovia as a dictator and a tyrant.
He was responsible for transporting the main characters from the Forgotten Realms to Barovia, as he is secretly searching for a worthy successor to Barovia's throne, wanting an end to the curse of entrapment he suffers by being forced to stay in Barovia. However, having gone through dozens of adventurers, he is at this point highly skeptical at best.