Ravenloft: Curse of Strahd

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.



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