Curse of Strahd

All will be well...
Saving lives and taking names.

After pleasantries and introductions, with Vulre back in the group, they quickly discussed what to do next. They spend a little time attempting to decipher the clues received from the old fortune teller. Vulre believe he may know where two of them lead: 1) the were-ravens he met with in Vallaki and 2) the windmill where children met their unfortunate end. They decide to first head to the windmill Vulre previously burned down. They decided to not go through town and follow the forest line around the village. Howls of wolves were imminent but none ventured close enough to bother the group. As they traveled up the long up-hill dirt road, they decided to cut through the woods to cut a corner and save some time. As they ventured through the wood, they happened a group of dire wolves who were quick to attach a fresh meal.

It was a close call, but they manages to survive the attack. The heroes decided to take a short rest to recuperate, before heading onward to the windmill (or what was left of it). They managed to arrive at the windmill without any further encounters. There they asked their warlock, Amnon, to perform a ritual to determine if there were any magical items that were left that Vulre missed. It took him a moment, but after performing his ritual he was able to determine that nothing was missed. Upon exploring the area a bit further, they stumbled upon 4 strange looking stones standing out of the ground at cardinal directions, each depicting a city with one of the 4 seasons, which they were also curious about. Another detect magic ritual was performed with little luck. Frustrated and weary our intrepid team decided to head back to Vallaki.

Traveling a bit faster down hill, the group arrives during the evening and find that the festival of the sun has begun. As they enter town, they notice the Wachter brothers tampering with Rictavio’s wagon. Before any of them can step in, they see the lock drop off the wagon and the door swing off—a saber-tooth tiger stepping out of the wagon. The brothers run off, while the tiger turns its attention to the group. They see it approaching, but it seems to be non-aggressive. Vulre attempts to lead it back to the wagon with no avail. Amnon heads to the inn to let Rictavio know and Gaelic heads to the guards to warn them. Once Gaelic arrives at the gate, he decides perhaps he shouldn’t betray his friendship with Rictavio and tell the guards about what happened, so he returns to the stockyard and with some quick-thinking, turns around some people who are approaching toward the tiger. Amnon makes it back to the Inn and warns Rictavio who immediately shows his worry and takes off toward the stockyard with Amnon. They pass Gaelic who is walking with a few people from town toward the festival, and quickly arrive at the stockyard. Rictvaio quickly leads the tiger back to its cage, re-seals the door, and connects the wagon up to a horse from a nearby stable. He thanks the adventurers, telling them he is heading to a tower in the west, and takes off through town, quickly.

Amnon and Vulre head back toward the center of town, where they meet up with Gaelic who has shaken the festival goers from earlier. When they finally get back to the center of town they find guards blocking the road as a parade is heading toward the town shopping district. They see unhappy kids dressed as flowers carrying a wicker ball and leading the Burgomaster and his wife who are smiling and waving to the crowd that has gathered to watch. The three heroes decide to follow the procession to the district as they pass by empty stockades and into the center of the district where the wicker ball is hoisted up by ropes and pullies. As the burgomaster takes a lit torch and moves toward the ball, a crack of lightning hits and the rain begins to pour dousing the torch. The crowd falls silent as one man in the back of the crowd begins laughing. The burgomaster quickly looks his way, as Vulre quickly thinks and casts a flaming sphere at the wicker ball, igniting it. Before the Burgomaster can begin to make his way to the man and have the guard arrest him, the crowd begins cheering and the Burgomaster turns his attention to the happy crowds clapping and yelling ’All will be well!".

As the three managed to avoid an innocent man being persecuted, they decide to have a drink at the festival under a tarp that was put up for festival goers to stand out of the rain. After a bit of chit chat, they are approached by Ernst Larnak once again. This time in a formal leather armor, black cloak, with a long-sword at his side. He greets the adventurers and informs them that Lady Fiona Wachter would have them visit her in the morning for brunch. The group having questions about this, is informed that the Lady would like to speak in private and not have her affairs broadcast amidst a number of ears at the festival. Larnak gives them directions to the ladies house and goes on about his business.

Weary after a long day they return to the Inn to have a nice meal, pint of ale and head to bed after confronting the wereravens who run the in about one of the items alluded to in the fortune. Uric pulls them into the back room where he agrees that he knows what they speak of, but they must show that they are able to protect the relic and ask the crew to investigate why their last shipment of wine is late from the Wizards of Wine Winery and bring him his shipment—in exchange he will hand over the relic.

In the middle of the night, Vulre and Gaelic are awoken to a curdling scream in the streets below. Vulre runs out and downstairs to see what is wrong while Gaelic rouses Amnon. Once outside they see townsfolk fleeing from the west. Vulre stops one and asks what is going on. The lady mutters the word “V-Vampires!”. They head to the west at once at a staggered pace making their way to the church that is currently on fire. Outside they see six vampire spawn attacking guardsmen and townsfolk. Inside they see swarms of bats fluttering in the chapel through broken windows—screams ring out from in and out of the church. Vulre runs inside and finds the bats attacking townsfolk kneeling and hiding inside and Lord Strahd Von Zarovich at the altar with the priest by the neck raised into the air. Strahd turns his head and smiles at Vulre as he breaks the priests neck and turns into a bat and flies out the nearest window. In the meantime, Gaelic and Amnon show up and begin attacking the closest spawn as the shouts of “To Arms!” begins ringing out throughout the town. Inside Vulre attempts to divert the bats attention to let the innocent people escape. He succeeds in this and himself manages to escape in just the nick of time before the fire brings down the roof of the church into the chapel. Outside he sees guards showing up and attacking 5 of the 6 vampire spawn and Gaelic and Amnon handling the last. Vulre helps the guards which turns the tide of battle in the guards favor allowing them to begin killing them off. Gaelic and Amnon are struggling in their fight as the vampire spawn seems to quickly regenerate from her wounds. Once the guards are sure of victory, Vulre joins the fray against Gaelic and Amnon’s foe and with the three of them working together are able to down the fell creature.

After the battle, the group, is approached by the captain of the guard who thanks them, and tells them they will take care of the clean up from here. If they desire to speak they should seek him out or stop back by here tomorrow. Spent from a long day, they decide to head back to the Blue Water Inn and crash.

Think of the Children
and the dangers they face

Vulre woke up late. His friends no where to be found. He decided to explore the town a bit, armor-less and weaponless. No where else to turn, he headed toward the church, where he heard screaming from under the floor. After speaking with Father Donavich and offering his assistance, Vulre followed Donavich to the undrecroft where he found a starved young vampire spawn, whom smelling a fresh meal, ran toward Vulre and quickly attacked. Donavich intervened, throwing Doru, his son, into internal conflict, allowing Vulre to quickly dispatch the abomination with little damage to himself. Donavich reeling in pain both physical and emotional, thanked the scarless cleric and offered a suit of scale mail to him in return for helping his son find rest.

Leaving the church, Vulre wound around alleys previously unexplored on his way back to the inn, when he finds an old lady peddling her wares door to door. As he approaches, he finds these wares are truly delectably looking meat pies and pays the exorbitant 1 gold the old lady asks for her pastries. Vulre partakes and quickly slinks into a vivid dream. He finds himself in a lush forest clearing full of waist-high grass and white poppies. Five hours later he snaps out of it and finds himself still sitting outside the house where he encountered the woman. As he rights himself on his feet, he heads back toward the main road and the inn. As he approaches the main stretch of road through the village, he hears a woman weeping and investigates. He finds a man and woman crouched on the floor of their humble abode, the woman weeping. He questions the two and learns their son was taken by a woman selling pastries in payment for the woman’s addiction.

Vulre questions the boys friends and attempts to track down the woman, but is unable to do so. It seemed as though something was shielding her trail from detection, but with the help of some keen ravens, Vulre followed the road out of town to an old decrepit windmill. Vulre approached with his sword drawn and barged right in. He found himself inside with nothing in sight but a brick oven and a cart filled with delicious-looking pastries. He called out posing as a customer for more desserts. As the woman he recognized from earlier approached from above, descending stairs from an above level, he attacked. The ravens who led Vulre here rushed in and surprising transformed into humans helping Vulre in his assault as the woman was revealed to be a green hag. Two more, the rest of her coven, quickly came from above to aid her. Though a harrowing battle, Vulre was triumphant with the Ravens’ help.

After the battle was concluded and any wounds tended to. Vulre searched the windmill and found the young boy whisked away from the village. The Ravens’ offer to return him and protect him, allowing Vulre to set fire to the mill and watch it burn as he camps nearby overnight. In the morning, he is greeted with guards from the nearby town of Vallki as they came to investigate the great fire seen from the town below. After hearing and being persuaded by Vulre’s story they offer him a ride into town, where he asks around about his friends and finds them in the Vistani encampment outside town.

and Spies...

After Vidwen, Gaelic, and Ismark returned to the inn to catch up with Amnon, Gaelic and Ireena, they found their rooms empty and themselves no where to be found. They decided to head to the Vistani encampment after stopping by St. Andral’s Church for some much needed healing. There they met Father Lucian Petrovich and his altar boy Yeska. Father Petrovich healed Gaelic and Vidwen of as many of their wounds as possible. He wished to further speak with them in his office, but the two were in a hurry and bid him adieu. They then proceeded to the nearby gate where they learned a pair, resembling their friends, had headed toward the Vistani camp.

Amnon, Gregoris, and Ireena arrived at the Vistani encampment where they see the camp atop a hill surrounded by several hovels, each with a guard in a dark cloak standing watch outside. As they approach, they notice the guards are in fact dusk elves. They proceed up the hill where they find the leaders of the Vistani camp, Luvash and Arrigal. The older, larger Vistani, Luvash, is whipping a young man as the heroes approach. Luvash cuts him down after a few strikes and he runs out of the tent. The three walk in and speak to them regarding armor and items they had wished to purchase to find that many of the Vistani were passed out drunk or out of the camp searching for someone.

Shortly thereafter Vidwen, Gaelic and Ismark catch up to Amnon, Gregoris and Ireena. Gregoris remains behind at the makeshift camp as the reunited team go back to the tent to figure out what is going on. Seeing other teams of Vistani coming in and out of camp reporting to Luvash, they approach to ask what is wrong. They find that Luvash’s daughter is missing and get a scent and a doll as clues that are mostly useless for them.

The heroes attempt to track her down but are unsuccessful, so they return to town, as their dinner with the Baron and his wife is nearing. They enter town, go back to the inn, get cleaned up and head back out. They have a bit more time, so they visit the toy store nearby the Baron’s mansion to check it out. Inside they find a number of creepy toys, as well as a doll that looks remarkably like Ireena. Vidwen and Gaelic submit requests for toys and are told they can pick them up in a week. Afterward they head to the mansion for their dinner.

At the mansion they are greeted by a manservant who takes their cloaks and shows them a packed dining hall, filled with women. The group is ushered in and introduced. The baron is summoned and dinner begins. He asks the butler to break out the best bottle of wine for the group as they chat over dinner. The women become keen with certain members of the party. Two in particular take an interest in Amnon and Vidwen. Amnon show no interest back, even though the woman is quite intent, but Vidwen courts the interest of the other to attempt to gain knowledge on the way back to the inn. They walk the women home as they share what information they have.

When they get back to the inn, they drink and meet the two Wachter brothers who are a bit noisy and handsy, Nikolai and Karl; as well as, two wolf hunters, Szoldar Szoldarovich and Yevgeni Krushkin; and lastly Amnon surveyed the half elf carnival ringleader Rictavio, who earlier that evening they witnessed sneaking food into the stockyard to a carnival wagon. Gaelic uses his persuasion to convince the wolf hunters to help them search for the Vistani girl in the morning after he has breakfast with Rictavio.

In the morning, they have breakfast with Rictavio and the hunters, then set out to the Vistani camp begin the search anew. After a while the scouts pick up on a hidden trail they determine was utilized to abduct the girl. They track her to the forest north of the Svalich road back toward town. They find an area of a scuffle and found fresh tracks from this morning, that led them to the road north of Vallaki toward Lake Zarovich.

They arrive at Lake Zarovich, finding a beach with 4 boats and a 5th floating on the lake with a lone fisherman aboard. The tracks stopping, they search the beach looking for any clues, as Gaelic looks up and notices the fisherman stand up, bend over and pick up a hidden sack off the floor of the boat and throw it overboard—the sack appearing to be moving. Gaelic points it out and Videwen jumps into the lake swimming quickly toward the boat and the sack. He grabs the sack and pulls it to the surface as he hears the squirming and voice of a young girl. He grabs the side of the boat and throws the sacked girl inside after intimidating Bluto Krogarov, the drunk, dim fisherman who does not interfere with Vidwen.

They row back to the beach and begin the trek back to town. On the way back Gaelic notices a ‘shadow’ in the forest line that seems to be following them. Gaelic stealths into the forest where even his own group doesn’t see him slink away and gets behind the ‘shadow’ and discovers it is someone following them. Gaelic, with a sword at his back, surprises this ‘spy’. He introduces himself Ernst Larnak and tells the group he is just following them to make sure they are no trouble, and that he follows everyone new in town. The group escorts this man back to town and corroborates his story with the guard to whom they also turn over Bluto and explain what had happened. The guard thanked them for their service and took Bluto away. Ernst also took this as his moment to leave, after threats to never follow the group again were delivered by an angry Vidwen.

Finally they were able to return the girl, Arabelle, to her father. When they reunite the two, the father is grateful, provides armor to Vidwen free of charge and offers the group one treasure from their treasure wagon. The group settles on an onyx jewel box filled with various pieces of jewelry along with a vial of a viscous green liquid that appeared to be magical. Before the group left, Luvash thanked them again. He mentioned that before the group heads back to town, since they were quite helpful and seemed very capable, they may wish to speak with the leader of the dusk elves, Kasimir Velikov, who has been plagued with bad dreams. The group left back to their makeshift camp outside the Vistani tent, to meet up with Gregoris and determine what they want to do next…

New Town. New Problems.
Into Vallaki

After having their fortunes read by a cackling Madame Eva, our heroes came up with a plan of travel. They left the vistani encampment and returned to the main road which winded its way around through the forest and up onto a mountain trail. They followed the road, tracing their route along on the map, until they came to where they wanted to go off road, only to realize just how large and treacherous the mountains of Barovia actually were.

They decided to stay on road and traveled on. They crossed an eerie stone bridge flanked by horrendous stone gargoyles, came to an intersection with the road that seemingly led to the ominous Castle Ravenloft, journeyed through another giant Barovian gate that had seen better days, had a near deadly encounter with plant monstrosities that barraged the group with deadly needles, saw a weird flickering torchlight in the forest outside town and finally arrived in Vallaki.

The journey, long and arduous, took its toll. Gregoris was able to persuade the guards to let the group inside, but was less lucky in seducing the female guard present who may have rolled her eyes one of two times in the process. The group found lodging in the center of town at the Blue Water Inn. With ravens perched atop the inn, the group managed to get the horses stabled, have a nice hot meal, and provide some entertainment for the local denizens.

The next morning they went into the town square where they saw men, women and children in tattered clothing locked in stocks wearing donkey masks. They saw posters for a festival that ended just last week, while a crew of guards with an in interesting looking man with a strange right arm, putting up posters for another festival that is slated to begin in just 3 days. The crew chatted with some Vistani traders where they found out about a camp just outside town.

Suddenly they heard a cry for help from the other side of the plaza, where the man with the strange arm was attempting to kidnap Ireena who was under their care. The group chased him into the alley where they managed to catch him and rescue the young woman. A fierce battle ensued. Gregoris swept Ireena away back to the Blue Water Inn, where he met up with Amnon, disguised Ireena, and fled the town toward the Vistani encampment. Gaelic and Vidwen stood their ground and fought the brute. After a grueling back and forth, the battle was broken up by the town guard and the local Burgomaster, Baron Vargas Vallakovich, and his wife, Lydia Petrovna. After the guard took Izek, the brute, away, the Baron apologized for the incident, unsure of why it actually took place, and invited the two and their friends to an evening dinner in their honor. He also told them that perhaps they should have their wounds attended to by Father Lucian Petrovich at St. Andral’s Church along with directions to said establishment. Finally after breaking away from the Baron and Baroness, the two headed back to the Blue Water Inn to check in.

Fortunes of the Faithful
Or not so faithful...

The Rogue
“This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy. I see a nest of ravens. There you will find the prize.”

The Philanthropist
“This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope. Look to a place where sickness and madness are bred. Where children once cried, the treasure still lies.”

The Anarchist
“This is a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight. I see walls of bones, and a table of bones—all that remains of enemies long forgotten.”

The Darklord
“This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness. Ah, the worst of all truths: You must face the evil of this land alone!”

The Seer
“Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. This card will lead you to him! He waits for you in a place of wisdom, warmth and despair. Great secrets are there.”

The Story So Far...
Quick Summary

After signing up for a mission in their home town, 16 villagers traveled into the Misty Forest. There they were tasked with surveying a mysterious tower that had somehow gone unnoticed throughout the ages. This venture proved to be quite deadly for some of our adventurous team, but with the help of a long dead, evil wizard, who had found it in his best interest to inhabit a PCs body and lead the remaining band through the ritual he had prepared, cleared the tower of its peril.

Upon completion of the ritual, killing an angelic guardian of a nearby magical lake hidden by magical forces, those who survived and participated were granted wishes. The wishes ranged from honor and glory, immortality, being unmatched in certain skills, to permanently obtaining a new body, in the case of the dead, evil wizard, and bringing back their fallen friends to life. Unbeknownst to the group of how their wishes affected themselves and the realm of Faerun, the band of heroes decided to recuperate within the walls of this tower.

After a long nights rest, the wizard, Titandaril, persuaded a small number of the group to check out the strange mist surrounding the tower. Four adventurers journeyed forth; Gaelic the Human Rogue, Amnon the Tiefling Warlock, Vidwen the Human Barbarian, and Vulre the perfect, elven cleric.

After getting lost in the dense mist that seemed to be following and surrounding them, they stumbled into an old, gothic village where two children, crying in the streets, caught their attention. The children led them into an old house that from initial inspection quite normal. Yet as our heroes investigated, they soon realized the house was empty and quite morbid in nature. As they reach the higher levels of the house, the clean, neatly kept atmosphere was traded for one of dust and non-use. They found two bodies, belonging to children locked in a room, and were able to speak to their ghosts, which they were later able to lay to rest. Before that however, they helped the group find the secret stairway to the basement of this wretched place, where they found a prison and treasury used to house prisoners and trinkets collected by a long-gone cult. After being joined by a local Vistani, Gregoris the bard, the group found themselves in an alter room as specters began appearing around the outside edge, chanting “One must die!”. Rather than obeying the chanting specters, the group took a more barbaric approach, as Vidwen laid into the altar with his warhammer. This displeased the specters as the chanting changed, awakening an rotting, shambling plant monster, that quickly engulfed our barbarian hero. The group, heavily wounded, managed to defeat the monster and save their ally, barely. During the fight, they had heard stone scraping against stone and the creak of wood above, from the house. As they go up to try to leave, the cult haunting quelled, they found the house had changed in a last ditch effort to destroy our heroes. Now filled with smoke, slashing scythes in the doorway and screeching and clawing coming from the walls, the group used their wits and reflexes to make it out of the house in one piece.

While they stood in the street, catching their breath, they were approached by a mysterious black carriage. Out stepped a noble-looking, pale man, leaving a beautiful brunette young woman behind and seated within. He introduced himself to the group as Strahd von Zarovich and took in each of the heroes who conquered the haunted death house. Using his charm he seduced Vulre into drawing closer so that he could take in the scent of the elven cleric’s blood, just before releasing him and stepping back toward and into his carriage, promising the group they would be sure to see him again.

The group was finally free to find a place to stay and recover from their wounds, physical and mental. They journeyed to the center of town where they found the Blood on the Vine Tavern and was able to get a room.

The next morning, they went across the street to the local merchant’s shop to view his wares. After realizing the prices were much higher than they were in Faerun, they quickly left, to hear sobbing echoing in the street. They tracked the sobbing to a nearby house and learned that the woman sobbing was most like a woman by the name of ‘Mad’ Mary. They decided to leave it at that and let the woman cry alone in the house. They spent the rest of the day trying to backtrack to see if they could find the tower from whence they came or any sign of their friends. They traveled for a few hours as the road led them across the land to the east and into the Svalich Wood. There they found a corpse and a letter from the Burgomaster of Barovia (village) and a giant gate that seemed as though it was shut by a very powerful magic (on the other side a dense thick mist).

Beginning to realize they were stuck, they followed the road back to the village and went in to call it a day. They ordered a hot meal as Gregoris and Vidwen chat up three lovely Vistani ladies, and Amnon and Gaelic sat and chatterd with a man named Ismark.

Looking for information, they learned that Ismark was looking for help of his own and that he would be willing to trade information in exchange for helping him protect his sister and get her out of the village and to the town of Vallaki. Before divulging too much information, he asked they they return to his home to avoid unwanted listeners. After the meal the group joined back up and proceeded to Ismark’s home, which turned out to be the burgomaster’s manor, which seemed to be struck by some type of siege. Once inside, they met Ireena, Ismark’s adopted sister, and the burgomaster, who was dead. They learned that Ireena had taken the interest of the Strahd, the local lord, who was a Vampire, and the he would lay siege to the manor nightly. On the last siege their fathered suffered a terrible heart attack and died.

Ismark and Ireena chatted with the group and Ireena was very adamant about not leaving until their father was buried. Everyone decides its best to wait until morning, so they began making arrangements of where everyone will sleep this night, when there is a knock and familiar voice at the door. Strahd is there and attempting to get someone to open the door and invite him inside. There are the sounds of wolves outside the manor’s walls, as well as the low moans and scratching of zombies at the doors and windows. The boards and holy symbols hold as nothing is able to make it inside, but the night the proceeded was tense.

The next morning, group goes to the local church to have the burgomaster buried. They meet Father Donovich in the church, where they hear screams coming from under the floor. Ismark and Ireena fill in the group as to what had happened to Donavich’s son, and they continue to bury their father. One complete, the group leaves and heads toward Valliki in a horse drawn wagon.

They travel west, crossing a river and coming to a fork in the road. The group is attacked by 15 wolves under the gallows overshadowing the road. The horse wounded in the fray, the group decides to head to the nearby Vistani encampment to let the horse rest and attempt to heal its wounds with the long trip before them. As they leave, Vidwen sees himself hanging from the gallows before high-tailing it away from the fork. When the group arrives at the camp, they relax and get situated. Gaelic joins in the fun, while Amnon gets told a story of an old Wizard who once fought lord Strahd. The others lie down and get some rest after getting the horse attended to.

The next morning, they head to see Madame Eva before they depart.


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