Ravenloft: Curse of Strahd

The Defenders of Daggerford
week 1 game summary

We were dinner guests of our benefactor, Lady Morwen of Daggerford, when she tasked us with rousting a band of disruptive travelers camped outside of town. We learned the people were a gypsy people called the "Vistani." They were exceedingly pleasant, and agreed to heed the Lady's order to move along… after we sat and let them share the story of their people with us.

Their leader, Stanimir, told an old tale about a noble prince who was rescued by the Vistani while deep in the territory of his enemies, earning his eternal gratitude. It was at that time we started to realize we were under some kind of strange influence, one by one we all started falling fast asleep around the bonfire. Our half-orc sorcerer, Thokk, says he was able to shake off the effects, but the last thing he remembers was being overcome by several men with staffs.

We woke the next morning the immediate are was unchanged, but the surrounding countryside had changed. There was no sign of Daggerford or the Vistani, just a gravel road extending in one direction to an opaque wall of fog, and in the other to a small decrepit village. Just as we started entering the outskirts of the village, two children in the street caught our attention and we went over to investigate.

The children, Rose and Thorn, told us about a "monster" in the basement, but when we entered the house (some by the front door, and via 2nd story window) the children suddenly vanished and the house sealed itself shut. Leaving us trapped in the quiet and well furnished home. By this time the same wall of fog that we had seen earlier had advanced and surrounded the house as well.

We thoroughly searched every room on the ground floor, but could find no signs of any kind of basement entrance, so we started redirecting our attention to exploring the rest of the house.

The 2nd floor was similar to the first, but we did find something interesting the library. In a hidden side room we found racks of books related to the the dark arts and fiend-summoning, and a cult called the Priests of Osybus. We also found some legal documents related to Gustav & Elisabeth Durst's properties, and that their children (Rose and Thorn) should inherit everything in the case of their deaths.

We then proceeded on the the 3rd floor, which stood in stark contrast to the rest. While the first two floors were in pristine condition, the 3rd floor was aged, dusty, and draped in cobwebs. As soon as we set foot on the landing, a suit of old armor against the wall loudly creaked to life as it began moving toward us.

The armor brutally pummeled us with it's iron fists. While we suffered several painful injuries, we were able to finally stop the animated horror. The healing potions Lady Morwen had equipped us with quickly got us back on our feet.

We're about to go on exploring the rest of the house to see if we can find any way out of this mess…

Death House
week 2 game summary

After taking a moment to tend our wounds, we found an unconscious halfling in a nearby closet along with a magical broom that immediately attacked us. We fell the animated object with a few quick strikes and turned our attention to searching the rest of the house with our new roguish companion.

We inspected an adjoining bedroom, which turned out to be the nursemaid's quarters. The room was quiet until Rolen opened the door to the adjoining nursery, causing the horrific spectre of the nursemaid to ferociously attack the party. It was tense, but we managed to disperse the ethereal creature.

We then discovered a secret door which revealed a flight of stairs going up to the attic. In the dusty attic we found a door locked from the outside that lead to a children's bedroom. In the bedroom were the skeletal remains of the two children, Rose and Thorn, that we originally saw outside the in the street.

While we looked thru the room's contents the spirits of the deceased children appeared before us. They explained that their parents had locked them in the attic, where they were left until they both starved to death. The children also told us that it was not them the party had seen out in the street earlier, rather it was just an illusion created by the house to lure them inside.

When we tried to leave the spirits became very upset. In a panicked attempt not to be "abandoned again" the two ghosts possessed Cora and Rolen. Thokk was able to intimidate the younger child to leave Cora's body, but Rose stubbornly insisted on remaining within Rolen while the party explored the rest of the house. Having no other options before us, we carried on.

In the attic's large storage room, we found the remains of the nursemaid along with a secret door to a narrow spiral staircase leading all the way down thru the house to a sublevel, where the Priests of Osybus conducted their depraved rituals.

At the bottom of the staircase we found ourselves in the family crypts, but all the coffins were empty… except for the swarm of giant centipedes that poured out from behind one of them. After dispatching the insects, we proceeded on to find the area housing the quarters of the cult's initiates and acolytes. The chests in several of the rooms held various treasures that we collected.

We then proceeded on to explore the westerns parts of the sublevel. We were ambushed by several ghouls clawing their way out of the earth at an intersection of narrow corridors. After slaying the evil creatures we have taken a moment to rest before continuing on.

Exploring Death House Dungeon
week 3 game summary

We secured the hallway after the ghouls ambushed us so that we could take a short rest before moving on. A strange (and perhaps delirious) man wandering the dungeon hallways stumbled upon us. Without much in the way of explaining his goals or what he was doing there, he took it upon himself to join in on our efforts to escape the house.

We then moved to an adjoining room containing a long wooden table along with evidence of some kind of cannibalistic banquet. Rolen went to investigate a darkened alcove at the far end of the room, but as soon as she approached a huge worm-like monstrosity viciously lashed out at her. The rest of the party moved to her defense, but the fight was quickly ended by the strange man now accompanying us. With a strength he seemingly should not possess, he seized up the wooden table and charged the alcove, crushing and killing the worm creature. Thankfully Cora was able to jump out of harm's way as the crazed man didn't seem to notice she was in his intended path.

We then came upon a large room festooned with moldy skeletons hanging from rusty shackles. This room appeared to be some kind of shrine and featured a wooden statue, painted to resemble a gaunt pale-faced man, in a wide alcove along the south wall.

While inspecting the room we found the secret door leading up to the first floor, as had been revealed by our examination of the doll house in the children's room. All was quiet until we disturbed the statue, causing five dark entities composed of living shadow to rise up from the floor surrounding us.

Mara had keen insight into the nature of these dark creatures and quickly took action to brightly illuminate the room, by way of setting the wooden statue aflame. The effect on the creatures was immediate, and while they persisted in their attacks, we were able to dispatch them in short order.

We saw a short hallway with a heavy door right off the shrine room, but as soon as Mara touched the handle, it's true nature was revealed. The "door" roared to life opening a gaping maw, and trapping Mara's arm with its' forceful bite. We fell the deceptive beast and moved on to explorer what looked like the quarters of the cult's leaders, Gustav and Elisabeth Durst.

In the leader's quarters was a footlocker containing several valuable treasures, but as soon as we disturbed them, the ghasts of the former cult leaders clawed their way from out of the earthen walls to attack. The stench of the undead creatures was overwhelming, nearly causing some members of the party to falter, but we managed to persevere.

Having fully explored this level, there is only one remaining option… a stairwell descending further down into the darkness. Hopefully we will find a way out of this damnable house soon.

Madam Eva's Card Reading
week 4 game summary

So after fighting the extras from The Walking Dead, we decided to go downstairs into the darkness (smart). Downstairs, there's a room with some rejected treasure. Apparently, the bone knife was not good enough for the cult. Around the corner from the reject treasure room, there was a little pool of water and a door leading to a room with even more water. In the middle of the water, there was a nice little island. For whatever reason, my little dire wolf friend (she's little because I am so tall) Rolen decided to jump onto the panel/island thing in the middle of the room. Of course because this is the Death House™, instead of just letting us have a second of peace and quiet, more stupid ghosts show up. They're staring at Rolen chanting about death and we just decide to ignore them because this house sucks and we just want to leave. Mara jumps onto the island thing with Rolen and nothing changes. So Rolen decides to jump off the panel and follow the weird rotting salad smell all the way to the giant lettuce monster, who is asleep. Because we are So Done with everything, we just figure, hey let's bribe this thing. Rolen gives it some jerky, hoping that Swamp-Thing's weird cult obsessed uncle isn't a vegetarian. The thing doesn't wake up, so we decide to just leave it alone. Then, I notice Mara stepping off the platform and I warn her that it's probably a stupid thing to do. Nobody ever listens to me, so of course Mara steps off the platform and awakens the veggie monster. We attack the thing a few times but we don't seem to be getting anywhere. So Thokk decides to lure it into the water and electroshock it. It sounds like a great idea but because this house is the actual worst, the electricity actually heals the monster. After what seems like forever fighting this stupid thing, it finally dies and we make our way back up the trap door into the first floor of this stupid house. We then realize that the house is trying to keep us in by blocking the door with swords. Joke's on the house because we're all master gymnasts (except Thokk, sorry man). We get through the swords alive and finally escape the house for good. However, we find ourselves in a small town where everything just seems shady and wrong.

For whatever dumb reason, the second we get into town, everyone wants to go right into the tavern that has "blood" in its name and take a nap. I talk everyone out of doing that because why… would we do that. I say that we should look around the town first and see what our other options are. Finally, everyone listens to me. We decide to stick together and take a stroll around the town. All of the townspeople look miserable and scared of us, which is odd, considering we just look like a bunch of circus freaks. We come across one weird lady who is rolling around a cart. She stops at a house and two parents answer the door. They give their little kid to her, and she shoves him in a bag. Obviously, that freaked us out so Rolen decides to question the parents. The parents just explain it away by saying they owed her a debt and they sit there and eat their pastry. We decide to follow the old lady, and she is shady as hell. She has meat pies with her and can't really give us a straight answer on anything. I tried to steal something off her, but she caught me. We let her go after I tried to get more info on the town from her and she didn't really have much to give. Then, we decide to walk around the town more until we got to the convenience store we saw earlier. We went inside, and the others spoke to the clerk. I tried to find something worthy to steal but there really wasn't anything we even needed. The clerk told us to go bother the Vistani at the blood tavern place, and then he kicked us out of his store by using his nephew to do his dirty work for him. Oh, he also tells us the weird old lady's pies are spiked with drugs that make people in the town all loony. Great.

At the blood whatever tavern, we approach the Vistani women and ask them for information about why we were dragged to this stupid town. They tell us we have to ask the magic Vistani lady who is a carriage ride away. Because I'm tired and annoyed, I ask if they serve food or coffee or anything but wine and they say no. I sigh and we sit at a table. The others drink their wine while I sulk in my chair because this really hasn't gotten any better since we left the murder house. We're then approached by some dudes who want us to help them because apparently we're Heroes For Hire now. One of the guys tells us that his sister needs to leave the village because this guy who is The Worst™  has a crush on her (we all know that feeling). Apparently, his crush thing is bad for everyone so she needs to leave ASAP. They offer us gold and the help of this dude named Rask. He seems alright and like he could be useful. We say that we need to go visit the Vistani camp first and then we will help them in the morning. Rask decides to tag along on our journey to the camp. Not sure why, but we like him so we don't ask.

At the camp, the old Vistani woman we were told about offers to tell us our fortunes. Because we have nothing better to do, we let her tell us. We're all given very vague fortunes. Mine had something to do with a wounded handsome elf guy. I've had a string of bad luck since I met these guys, so I hope this elf is worth my time (aka I hope he looks like Lee Pace nudge nudge).

Anyway, that's all I have. My memory isn't so great so someone else probably has a better side of the story than I do. I tried.

I demand at least 5 gold for this quality storytelling.

Madam Eva's Card Reading

This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy. Find the Mad Dog's crypt. The treasure lies within, beneath the blackened bones.

This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope. A wounded elf has what you seek. He will part with the treasure to see his dark dreams fulfilled.

This is a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight. Look for a wizard's tower on a lake. Let the wizard's name and servant guide you to what you seek.

This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness. Seek out the brother of the devil's bride. They call him "the lesser" but he is a powerful soul.

Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. This card will lead you to him. Look to the father's tomb.

The Old Svalich Road
week 5 game log

We meet Ismark and he tells us that there's a problem, his father has died and his sister is refusing to leave until he receives a proper burial.  So we load into the carriage and go to their house, grab the dead guy and head to the cemetery. When we get there I turn into a giant badger and dig a grave but then the sister is all insistent that her dad had to be buried at sunrise. We heard a scream from the basement and the priest told us it was his son Doru, turned into a vampire spawn by Strahd after following a wizard from a far away land on an assualt of Castle Ravenloft. we decide to go back to the inn for the night except for the lunatic and the ranger who stay in the church and come back the next day talking about ghost parades.

The next morning we bury the dead guy and get on with our trip. Everything's going good until we get to the woods and there's some creepy weirdo staring at us but he runs away. We travel for a bit until we come to an empty carriage sitting in the middle of the road, which we investigate and figure out belongs to Strahd. Obviously we don't get in and we et back on the road.

We're making good progress till we find some inured kid in the middle of the road. I give him some basic first aid and am about to leave him to find his own way home when the sister insists that we have to save him and the rest of the kids in the place he escaped from.So we split up.  Ismark, his sister, the kid, the rouge, and the sorcerer go onto the village while the rest of us scout the windmill.

On the way to the village the carriage gets attacked by some wolves but they manage to fight them off.They reach the village and the rouge stays behind to protect the sister while Ismark and the sorcerer return to help us. Along the way they see a ghost and a bundle of rags. 

Once we are all together we move on the windmill. The lunatic throws an axe through the window and a hag pokes her head out the window and starts screaming at us. I turn into a lion to attack her and then Roar roar roaaaar roaro roraooroaoraaaarrrrrr roar roaro roar rooooaaaar roar roar orarororoaroaororoa roaraaarrrrrr rawwa araarorwowowroar roar.

Old Bonegrinder
week 6 game log

Fought the 3 hags in very tight quarters. they tried to use sleep and paralysis spells on the party to no effect. the hags pummeled the paladin with magic missiles until he went down, but the battle had already been decided. sensing imminent defeat Morgantha used a stone in her possession to become ethereal and made her escape, followed immediately by her daughters.

the party freed Freek and Myrtle from their cages and did a quick search of the windmill before setting out for a midnight run back to Vallaki. they decided to shave some time off the trip by taking a shortcut through the woods, but just before leaving the road they were set upon by a small pack of werewolves. after a brief scuffle the werewolves ran off back into the night.

the party was allowed through the town gates by the night watch, and the children were taken to St. Andral's Church run by Father Lucian Petrovich.

The Stolen Bones
week 7 game log

The party stayed at the church after delivering Freek & Myrtle into Father Lucian's care. Assisting Father Lucian was an orphaned altar boy named Yeska, and a brawny lad with a perpetually furrowed brow named Milivoj who tends the grounds and digs graves.

Father Lucian confided in Zean (a paladin of the Morninglord) about a situation he needed help with.

Until recently, the church was protected from Strahd's depredations by the bones of St. Andral, which were sealed in a crypt beneath the church's main altar. But now the church was at risk because someone broke into the crypt a few nights ago and stole the bones. Until recently, Father Lucian was the only person in Vallaki who knew about the bones, but he recalls mentioning them to Yeska over a month ago to put the fearful boy at ease. After the bones were stolen, Father Lucian asked Yeska if he told anyone else about the bones. The boy nodded but wouldn't divulge a name.

Father Lucian correctly suspected Milivoj had something to do with the missing bones of St. Andral, but the priest was reluctant to confront him because the lad is so temperamental. Father Lucian has not reported the theft for fear of the distress that the news might cause, and he doesn’t want to ruin burgomaster Vallakovich’s festival

When questioned by the party Milivoj admitted that Yeska told him about the bones. He also admitted to passing along the information to Henrik van der Voort, the local coffin maker, and to stealing the bones in return for money to help feed his younger sisters and brothers.

Rask tried to get a sense of the goings-on of the town by eavesdropping on some conversation. He was able to learn several bits of Vallakian Lore.

The party traveled across town, made a stop at Arasek's Stockyard for provisions, and on to the coffin shop. Henrik looked exhausted and edgy and gave up the truth of the matter with little coaxing. He told the party where to find the bones (in the upstairs bedroom wardrobe) and about the vampire nest.

It was noon and the party, betting that the vampires were asleep, retreated across the street with Henrik to watch over the shop while Zean went to speak with the burgomaster about the situation.

Henrik said that one night several months ago, an imposing, well-dressed nobleman named Vasili von Holtz promised the coffin maker "good business" in exchange for his help. Since then, Henrik's workshop has become the lair of a pack of vampire spawn. The vampires seemed to be lying low for the time being and they ordered him to steal the Bones of St. Andral.

The Vampire Nest
week 8 game log

Zean went to the bugomaster's mansion where he saw a villager named Udo being escorted by guards through a side door. He then met briefly with the Baroness, before speaking with Burgomaster Vallakovich about the vampires hiding in Henrik's shop. The burgomaster wanted things handled quietly, so as to not negatively impact morale ahead of the upcoming Festival of the Blazing Sun. He dispatched 8 guards along, with his "right hand man" Izek Strazni, to assist the party in dealing with the situation.

The party members that remained behind searched the ground floor of the shop. Along the way they removed several lamps from the walls and doused the rooms in flammable oil. Henrik pleaded with the party to not "burn down everything he has" but they continued on with their plan. Henrik, apparently trying to pick between the lesser of two evils, fled upstairs to awaken the vampires in an attempt to save his livelihood.

The party set the oil ablaze as they fled the shop. They saw thin wisps of smoke coming from a few of the windows for a short time, but before long the shop was quiet and still once again.

Zean, Izek, and the town guards arrived some time later and knocked on the door of the shop. When nobody answered, Izek demanded that Henrik open the door or they would break it down. Henrik complied hesitantly.

Izek spoke briefly with Henrik, had him arrested, and taken to the burgomaster's mansion "to be purged of his evil." Half of the dispatched guards setup a perimeter around the house, while everyone else made their way into the shop.

Evidence of the small fire set earlier (now extinguished) could be seen on the first floor. The floor was thoroughly searched before everyone moved upstairs. A large neglected junk storage room with a dozen crates dominated the 2nd level, and when no evidence of vampires were found, the party decided to open up and search some of the crates. As soon as one of the crates was opened, the 6 hiding vampires burst from their concealment and attacked.

The vampires proved far too formidable for the town guards, who were cut down mercilessly. After putting up a brief fight, Izek made the call for everyone to retreat outside. While he left immediately, the remaining party members withdrew more slowly, trying to block the path behind them with flammable debris. Another fire was set, this time on the stairs, with the aim of trapping the vampires.

While this was going on, Zean had moved to search some of the other rooms of the 2nd floor prior to his escape. He found Henrik's bedroom, and the wardrobe Henrik had mentioned, but the bones weren't inside. Zean noticed a secret compartment in the bottom of the wardrobe that contained a dark, locked box with heavy iron fixtures. As he opened the secret compartment, a vampire, turned earlier by Zean, watching from outside the window let out a bellowing screech as an apparent signal to his comrades.

Zean dove out the window into the alleyway, quickly followed by 3 of the vampire spawn. He tried to open the locked box without success, so the paladin decided to make a run for St. Andral's with the vampires giving chase.

The remainder of the party joined Izek and the guards, along with a growing crowd on onlookers, across from the front of Henrik's shop as the fire inside began to grow more intense. Rolen in particular made a notable entrance before the gathered crowd when she, in the form of a ferocious lion, crashed thru a 2nd story window into the street.

The Massacre at St. Andral's
week 9 game log

The rest of the party saw Zean flee from Henrik's carrying a heavy wooden box, with three vampire spawn hot on his trail.

The chase took the party through the winding streets and back alleys of Vallaki as they made their way toward the church. Zean was able to deftly leap over a cabbage cart whilst simultaneously knocking it over, causing two of his pursuers to lose their footing and allowing the rest of the party to gain some ground in the chase.

As the party raced through the town they entered the crowded town square. At the north end of the square stood a row of stocks, locked in which were several men, women, and children wearing crude, plaster donkey heads. There at the apparent order of burgomaster Vallakovich.

Rolen transformed into a large sturdy horse, as Kharas hopped up on her back for an express ride. The horse lowered her head and charged, quickly catching up to one of the vampire spawn and brutally trampling him in the process.

After a series of twists and turns Zean was able to spot someone entering what looked like a private home. Being knowledgeable about vampire lore, he bolted directly for the residence before the occupant had a chance to close the door. He threw his full weight into the closing door, forcing it back open as he crashed into the home. The vampires stopped a few feet from the door, aware as Zean was that they could not enter the building without being invited. One of the vampires gestured to the other and they quickly turned and fled the scene, the party did not give chase allowing them to leave.

With the furious and stunned tenant yelling at them to get out, the party worked to force open the box from inside the commandeered home. After a few minutes of struggling they managed to force it open revealing an incomplete set of brittle, aged bones.

After liberating the bones, the party hastened back to the church, but as the building came into view it was immediately apparent that the church was under attack. Panicked parishioners could be seen frantically fleeing in every direction with horrid screams emanating from inside.

Upon entering the church, through doors now torn torn free of their hinges, the horror of the massacre was fully realized. A dozen bloodied bodies, including several children, lay strewn about the pews while the same three vampires from the chase were corralling the remaining survivors into the front corners of the room. Father Lucian was spotted slumped over a pew toward the front clutching a grievous mortal wound to his abdomen, quickly bleeding to death.

Rolen healed the priest while Kharas and Zean confronted the vampires, drawing their attention away from the trapped and helpless townsfolk. Zean called upon his deity, The Morninglord, to turn away the undead creatures, forcing them away to the back of room. Unable to come any closer, one of the vampires began muttering some kind of enchantment. Kharas noticed that the ground around the graves in the cemetery outside began to stir apparently as the bodies buried underneath began clawing their way to the surface.

With Father Lucian's guidance the party was able to find the bones' hiding place under the altar, and upon returning them the vampires were immediately driven from the newly re-consecrated grounds of the church, and the dead from the cemetery returned to their rest.

The bodies of the dead were gathered, and Father Lucian led the few remaining congregants in a prayer for the souls of the dead. Among the dead were Yeska (Father Lucian's altar-boy) and the siblings, Freek & Myrtle (the children rescued from the hag coven at the windmill). The children were apparently all playing together toward the back end of the church, and were the attacking vampires first victims.

A short while after the sun went down, Izek Strazni was seen standing in the doorway of the church. He made a insensitive sarcastic comment about "good times" following the party everywhere they seemed to go.

Izek was sent to communicate a message from Baron Vallakovich. He said that the burgomaster was very displeased with the evenings events; Several of his guards had died in the bungled assault at Henrik's, the party ignored Izek's instruction to withdraw from the fight, the fire the party started caused significant damage to a number of buildings and claimed the life of yet another guard, and finally a huge crowd of townsfolk had gathered that clearly saw the vampires, the party doing battle with them, along with a huge jungle cat (very rare for these parts) that came crashing out of the building before fleeing the scene.

The burgomaster "strongly suggests" that the party should quietly leave town by the following mid-day so the town could begin the process of healing from this series of tragic events ahead of the start of the Festival of The Blazing Sun tomorrow.

The party decided to set a watch to ensure the church remained safe during the night. All was quiet and still until a few hours past midnight, when Rolen could see breaks in the soft light trickling in through the gaps in the wood left after hammering the church doors temporarily back in place for the night.

Rolen quietly crept towards the door, trying to gain an angle from which she could see what was creeping outside. She had to get fairly close to the door to see, and there she she saw the devil Strahd himself. Standing motionless with his hands folded in front of him, head slightly cocked with an inquisitive look in his eye, sporting a barely perceptible grin. He met Rolen's gaze for as long as she held it, but otherwise made no movements.

Rolen slowly backed away from the door and roused her comrades. Zean began donning his armor, taking a few minutes before approaching the door to investigate. He could see nothing outside. He slowly opened the church doors and eventually stepped a few feet beyond the door. The air was very still and quiet. There was only the sounds of chirping crickets and wisps of fog clinging sparsely the ground. After remaining outside for a brief time, Zean turned to re-enter the church. At just that moment, an unusually loud and beastly sounding wolf's howl pierced the stillness. It was apparent that this howl came from a creature that was very close by, possibly just around to the side of the church. Zean opted to rejoin the others inside, and re-sealed the church door. The remainder of the night passed quietly and was uneventful.

The next morning the party woke and laid out their plans for the morning. They were to go see Ismark and Ireena at the Blue Water Inn, retrieve the discarded wooden box that held the bones (the box apparently served as protection from and scrying and other detection attempts), before meeting back up at the church ahead of the burgomaster's mid-day deadline to leave town. But upon leaving the church they immediately made a grim discovery, piled by the side of the church were the decapitated bodies of the same six vampire spawn from Henrik's responsible for the slaughter at the church.

The party decided to take these bodies to the burgomaster's mansion, to demonstrate that the vampire threat was now over. Kharas insisted on keeping the vampire heads as trophies, and he and Rolen had a brief disagreement when Kharas suggested tethering the severed heads to their carriage horses.

Carting the vampire bodies from the church across town to the baron's mansion caused a slight stir amongst the people. By the time they arrived at their destinations, some of the guards on duty had received some notice about what the party was up to. At the mansion gate you saw Lars Kjurls, a town guard you recognize from having spent time with him outside of Henrik's.

Lars stated that he was instructed to take possession of the vampire bodies and escort you inside. The party reluctantly agreed after initially making demands for the burgomaster to come meet them outside. Inside the house they saw the Baroness hosting another one of her infamous tea parties. Once noticing the party she excused herself from her company and approached. She offered sincere thanks to the party for stopping the massacre at the church and for saving the life of her brother Father Lucian.

The party made an attempt to appeal to the lady's decency to stand up in opposition to her husband methods of governance, but quickly realized that this poor woman had so thoroughly compartmentalized her emotions on this matter for so long that she was firmly entrenched in her myopia.

A short time later the party was greeted by the Baron, along with his ever-present mastiffs. While he didn't openly admit it, it seems that the events of the previous night had created a buzz amongst the citizenry. In the eyes of the public, these travelers new to the town had discovered the vampire nest at Henrik's, drove the creatures out of hiding, and finally slew the creatures after they descended upon the church. While opinion on the subject is not universal among the citizenry (some blame the party for the vampire's coming out of hiding to attack) public opinion is strong enough that the burgomaster is apparently trying to position himself as the party responsible for directing the heroes to deal with the vampire threat.

In the face of a potential public relations nightmare, the baron is trying to spin this as a great victory for the town ahead of the upcoming festival, scheduled to kick off at sundown. He wants the party to attend the lighting ceremony as his "guests of honor". He has asked if the party would be so kind as to provide a formal statement of events "for the record". The debriefing will be handled momentarily by the Baron's right-hand man, Izek.

In the meantime the Baron has other business to attend to and has offered one of his servants to provide you with a tour of the estate and something to eat while you wait.

Exploring Vallaki
week 10 game log

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…


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