Ravenloft: Curse of Strahd

Building The Devil's Bride

week 20 game log

While searching the rest of the abbey's madhouse the party came upon a cell which, unlike all of the others, was locked. They picked the lock of the door and entered to find the missing Ireena, alive and well. She explained that the Abbot had been forcing her to dine, dance, and all other manner of activities whilst his creation mimicked her every movement.

It was only when Ireena tried to leave the cell with the party did the golem move to intervene. As the group fought the construct, Clovin had arrived on scene. The two-headed mongrel immediately turned and fled, presumably to alert the Abbot.

After dispatching the golem the party exiting the madhouse with Ireena into the abbey's main courtyard. There the Abbot, and a half dozen mongrelfolk, stood to block the party's escape. The Abbot explained that he only needed Ireena for a few more months, and then she would be release completely unharmed. He pleaded with the party to see the greater good his plan could achieve, but the party was determined to free Ireena.

The Abbot then revealed his true form, with huge luminous wings of holy energy extending out over 10 feet in either direction. Rolen's summoned animals were the first to confront the Abbot, and with one swift motion of his mighty wing he picked up a massive horned beast and hurled it over the abbey's outer wall, directly 400 feet above the village below.

The Abbot lost the will to continue after his creation was destroyed in the fighting. He gruffly dismissed the party complaining that his work had been set back by years, and he flew off into the distance. The mongrelmen left in the abbey scrambled to their various hiding spots upon the Abbot's departure.

The party scooped up several clerical scrolls from the Abbot's workshop before departing back to Krezk. As the party walked the road down from the abbey, Ireena was hearing a voice calling out to her from the shrine at the northern end of the village. The party agreed, somewhat nervously, to accompany her to investigate. As she approached and touched the shrine, Ireena suddenly fell to the ground. As the group rushed to help her up, she told them about the strange vision she just had…

In life, Strahd von Zarovich was a count, a prince, a soldier, and a conqueror. After the death of his father, King Barov, Strahd waged long, bloody wars against his family 's enemies. He and his army cornered the last of these enemies in a remote mountain valley before slaying them all. Strahd named the valley Barovia, after his deceased father, and was so struck by its scenic beauty that he decided to settle there.

Queen Ravenovia lamented the death of Barov and was fearful of Strahd. War had made him cold and arrogant. She kept her younger son, Sergei, away from the battlefield. Strahd envied the love and attention his mother visited upon his brother, so in Barovia he remained. Peace made Strahd restless, and he began to feel like his best years were behind him.

Strahd scoured his conquered lands for wizards and artisans, brought them to the valley of Barovia, and commanded them to raise a castle to rival the magnificent fortresses of his ancestral homeland. Strahd named the castle Ravenloft, after his mother, to demonstrate his love for her. When it was complete, Strahd invited his mother and brother to come to Barovia and stay with him. Sergei eventually took up residence at Ravenloft, but Ravenovia passed away while traveling to her namesake. In sorrowful disappointment, Strahd sealed his mother's body in a crypt beneath the castle.

Strahd's attention soon turned to Tatyana, a young Barovian woman of fine lineage and remarkable beauty. Strahd believed her to be a worthy bride, and he lavished Tatyana with gifts and attention. Despite Strahd's efforts, she instead fell in love with the younger, warmer Sergei. Strahd's pride prevented him from standing in the way of the young couple's love until the day of Sergei and Tatyana's wedding, when Strahd gazed into a mirror and realized he had been a fool. Strahd murdered Sergei and drank his blood. He then chased Sergei's bride-to-be through the gardens, determined to make her accept and love him. Tatyana hurled herself off a castle balcony to escape Strahd's pursuit, plunging to her death. Treacherous castle guards, seizing the opportunity to rid the world of Strahd forever, shot their master with arrows.

But Strahd did not die. The sky went black as Strahd turned on the guards, his eyes blazing red. He had become a vampire.

After slaughtering the guards, Strahd saw the faces of his father and mother in the thunderclouds, looking down upon him and judging him. He had destroyed the family bloodline and doomed all of Barovia. The castle and the valley were spirited away, locked in a demiplane surrounded on all sides by deadly fog. For Strahd and his people, there would be no escape.

Shaken from her experience, but otherwise ok, the party were invited to spend the night within the safe walls of Krezk. They rested well before setting out early the next morning heading back east to Vallaki.

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