The burgomaster's mansion was abustle with various servants preparing for the latest festival. After meeting with Baron Vargas, the party discreetly went about checking out the upstairs of the mansion. They found a lavishly-appointed bedroom with a trapdoor opening up to a spacious attic.
This attic was full of forgotten things draped in white sheets, and old furnishings covered with cobwebs and dust. The party noticed a clear set of footprints in the dust winding between the various barrels, crates, and trunks. The trail lead to a heavy wooden door with large skull design carved into it. Hanging from the doorknob was a wooden sign that read "ALL IS NOT WELL!" The party noticed a nearly invisible glyph of warding etched into the skull's forehead, but before they could decide how to proceed they heard someone coming up into the attic from behind them.
It was the burgomaster's 17-year-old son Victor. The party hid among the clutter waiting for Victor to open the magically guarded door. As soon as the door was opened, the party stepped out from the shadows to speak with him. While the boy was startled, the party got a look inside of the previously locked room and could see several items of concern/interest.
Most notably in the room were the animated skeletons of several cats wandering about. There was also a crudely drawn teleportation circle, and a partially sewn wizard's robe. The young man was outraged at the intrusion to his privacy and demanded the party leave immediately. Zean responded to his objection with a backhanded slap, which caused Victor to immediately yell out for the guards.
The party made no attempt to flee, and rather waited for the guards to arrive. While the guards were curious as to what the party was doing uninvited up in the attic, they also seemed to delight in the fact that Victor had been "put in his place". The guards diffused the situation and escorted the party downstairs, leaving Victor to his seclusion. The party confided in the guards about the teleportation circle and other items they observed in Victor's room. The guards admitted they were "generally aware" of Victor's magical aspirations, but that they had also determined he was incapable of doing any serious harm.
The party decided to leave the burgomaster's mansion and made their way over to the Blue Water Inn. There they encountered several different individuals; The Martikov family (owners of the inn), the hunters Szoldar & Yevgeni, Ricatvio the bard, and Nikolai & Karl Wachter. After speaking with everyone in the main room, the party went to speak on current matters with Ireena & Ismark in their room.
Before the party left the inn they were approached by a shifty looking man who introduced himself as Ernst Larnak, faithful servant of the Lady Fiona Wachter. Ernst was delivering a letter that Lady Fiona was asked to relay to them. The letter was an dinner invitation from Strahd.
The party opted to visit Lady Fiona at Wachterhaus to try and learn more about her and/or the invitation letter. Lady Fiona explained that the Wachter family were long-time allies of the von Zarovich's. She has spent the last few years scheming to oust the current burgomaster so that she could assume control of Vallaki. She had even gone as far as trying to arrange a marriage between Victor Vallakovich and her daughter Stella, but that plan fell apart after her daughter went mad and had to be locked away in Wachterhaus.
The party examined the poor girl and while they were not able to provide the cure themselves, they seemed able to identify the correct treatment needed. Lady Wachter said she would be "indebted" to the party if they were able to help her daughter.
From there the party reported back to Izek Strazni for the "formal interview" regarding the vampire nest at Henrik's and the attack on St. Andral's. The pre-drafted paperwork was worded in such a way as to show Baron Vargas in an undeserved positive light. Disagreeing on several pertinent details, the party decided to not cooperate and a visibly annoyed Izek showed them to the door.
With just an hour to go until the Festival of The Blazing Sun kick-off ceremony, the party decided to pay a visit to the local toymaker, Gadoff Blisnky. The heavyset man was sitting behind the counter of his shop talking to a small monkey wearing a tutu. Blinsky believes the burgomaster is right – that the only way to escape from Barovia is to make everyone in town "hyappy." Blinsky is trying to do his part by making sure that all the children in Barovia have fun toys.
While investigating Gadof's collection of creepy toys, the party noticed a doll sitting on a shelf that bore a remarkable resemblance to Ireena. Gadof explained that Izek Strazni has been a loyal customer of his for years, ordering at least 1 new doll every month in the likeness of woman that Izek says haunts his dreams. The party happened to be in the store when Izek arrived to pick up his latest commissioned piece.
The day is starting to grow late, and the party is scheduled to join in the kick-off ceremony in the town square before long…