A dashing swashbuckler
The last scion of the once powerful Van Holtz family from Zeidenburg, Vasili was driven from his home when an angry mob burned down his family mansion. Vasili escaped and eventually reached Vallaki. There he took up monster hunting, obtaining a license from the burgomaster. He secured a small apartment in the city and was often seen at the Blue Water Inn.
A young man, Vasili was always well dressed. Although his access to his family fortunes was forfeit, he still tried to live with a certain level of nobility. He carried a silvered rapier and also wore a magical amulet that protected him from being found by the Zeidenburg mob.
Vasili met the party at the Old Bonegrinder windmill. He had accepted a bounty to clear out the windmill from the giant spider infestation. He immediately took a liking to Kitara. He travelled with the party to Vallaki and helped them obtain a hunting license. He took Kitara on a date and their relationship seemed to be growing.
When Ireena was kidnapped by Izek, Vasili tried to stop the guardsman and his troops. He fought a group of guards in the alley behind Blinsky's Toy Shop, where the party arrived to help him. Together they discovered that Izek had taken Ireena to Burgomaster Vargas Vallakovich's mansion.
After the party escaped Vallaki following the assassination of the burgomaster, Vasili tracked them down to an abandoned farm house on the western Old Svalich Road. He had a private conversation with Kitara where he asked her to run away with him. She turned him down, which clearly hurt him deeply, but he allowed her to go.
Shortly after this, Magdalen discovered that Vasili was a false name used by Strahd in the past. She waited to share this information when the party was in the Sanctuary Tower to ensure Strahd would not discover that she knew this secret. The party has not seen Vasili since the abandoned farm, but they did find that Kitara had somehow been bitten once by Strahd, and most of them blamed Vasili as Strahd in disguise.
Three weeks later, the party encountered Vasili at the Cathedral of the Morninglord in the village of Cuzau. Vasili claimed to have not seen the group since Vallaki, and that he had escaped after witnessing Fiona Wachter taking control of the city, spurring riots that led to parts of the town being set ablaze. Vasili claimed to have wandered southward, fearful of returning to his home but also wishing the relative familiarity of the south. He planned to go to Hoessla from Cuzau, but had spent several days in the cathedral studying the rare books it housed.
The party (specifically Jack) accused Vasili of being Strahd in disguise. Vasili was shocked and hurt by this, and Father Luther vouched for him not being the vampire lord, saying that such a being could never stand inside the hallowed walls of the Cathedral. Vasili gave up his magical pendant that prevented detection and Kitara was unable to detect him as undead with her Eyes of the Grave ability. Soveliss and Magdalen, however, did detect illusion magic on Vasili. They both agreed that he was clearly hiding something. Nothing in his behavior, though, indicated that he was lying. Zenzin managed to pickpocket the magic amulet from Father Luther.
The next morning as the group was gathering in the Rusty Pail after a good night's rest, Magdalen convinced Soveliss to attempt to dispel magic on Vasili. As Magdalen distracted him, Soveliss unraveled the magic around Vasili, and to everyone's shock, he began melting! Within seconds, Vasili was reduced to a puddle of water on the inn floor, his clothing and gear a damp pile. The innkeeper, fortunately, didn't see what happened, but the group quickly left the scene, taking the gear with them. Soveliss postulated that "Vasili" had been a similacrum, a type of magical puppet, and that this version probably did not know it was a fake.