Curse of Strahd: Session 8

Greetings everyone, it is time for another session break down. We have almost caught up to my group, as this was our second to most recent session!

Having established a good ruler in Vallaki, the party decided to rest and then investigate the mysterious mill, inside which they hoped to discover the first part of the prophecy from Madam Eva. Taking the winding Old Svalich Road thru the Svalich Woods the party arrived at a crossroad and could see the imposing peaks of Castle Ravenloft in the distance…

Veering away from that path, they traveled southward, back to the Old Bonegrinder Mill. They were hounded by the howling of wolves, however, the beasts did not catch up to the group (or they were merely herding them towards a darker evil).

Arriving in front of a dilapidated and ruined mill, the party stopped unsure how to proceed. Buttkiss, always eager to proceed forwards, knocked on the door. A haggard old woman, named Morgantha, opened the door and greeted the party, asking if they wished to buy any Dream Pastries. (The party recognized her as the old woman with the cart in the town of Barovia)

DMs Note: I had a lot of fun roleplaying Morganth, hunching over slightly cackling a lot and generally channeling every evil witch I had seen in movies. 

Buttkiss began to decline purchasing them, but Occulus, ever curious inquired as to what they were. Morgantha cackled responding they were a specialty of the mill, a pastry of delightful flavor, that would remind the consumer of better times.

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Haita’s eyes perked up at this, and Occulus, intrigued purchased two of the pastries. pocketing them for later inspection. Haita also purchased one of the pies, consuming it greedily.

At this point my memory is less clear of the exact progression of events. Haita, having consumed the magical pie fell into a dream like state, falling to the ground, rocking back and forth and grinning stupidly. The rest of the party initially unaware of what Haita had done entered the building behind Morgantha, stepping on the layer of bones animal and human coating the floor.

Morgantha began to ascend the spiral stairs of the mill, with Buttkiss, Eogan, and Tordek following, Mikhail, having noticed Haita on the ground slapped the Half-Elf out of his stupor. Occulus began to poke around the bottom floor. Hatia, greatly desiring another trance, attempted to pickpocket Occulus; however, the canny Rogue noticed, knocking the pie out of the Warlock’s hands shouting, “Stop that!” Unfortunately, the Warlock had noticed a whole tray full of the pastries and gobbled one up, collapsing to the ground, before Mikhail could stop him. Annoyed, the Ranger yet again slapped the Warlock out of his stupor.

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At roughly this same time, those following Morgantha heard the crying of a child, and the cackling glee of two more women coming from upstairs. Eogan, had some how gotten in front of Morgantha, and so was higher up the stairs (I can’t remember how or why). The Barbarian, enraged at the children in trouble, shoved the old hag down the steps towards Buttkiss and the rest of the forward group (I believe he also yelled something like, “Take that you old witch”). Eogan then begin to run up the second flight of stairs to help the children.

Buttkiss, unsure how to proceed, but also hearing the cries of the children swung his sword at Morgantha, dealing minimal damage. The hag, rising to her feet, let forth a tremendously powerful burst of lighting dealing massive damage to Buttkiss and Tordek, since they were both clustered on the stairs.

Hearing their fellow hag in trouble the cackling upstairs ceased, and two more hags rushed down the steps. Eogan, directly in their path entered into a rage and began a desperate fight against the hags.

This fight was extremely tense, with the party worried that Morgantha would fell them with another burst of lighting. The back row scattered, trying to spread out on the cramped stairs, while Eogan fought desperately for his life. Tordek reluctantly drew Only Friend and swung the powerful axe against Morgantha, assisting Buttkiss, bidning himself to the weapon.

With a little luck, the party was able to slay Morgantha, causing the 2 remaining hags to shriek in rage, but flee further upstairs. Chasing after them the party cornered the pair of hags in the attic.

The two hags cornered vindictively slew the two children in cages. Seeing this, Haita lost it, casting Hunger of Hadar over where the hags and the bleeding out children were. The hags, instead of shrieking in pain, oddly moaned in pleasure, seeming to enjoy the brush with the King in Yellow’s power.

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The hags then fled to the back of the windmill and began to try to claw their way out of the windmill, making some progress. Releasing his magic, Hiata let loose some Eldritch Blasts, while the remaining party members standing charged the hags. They managed to slay one of the pair; however, the final one slipped thru the hole it had created and glided out into the night.

Searching the windmill, the party found the stash of Dream Pastries which they quickly destroyed, except for a few which Occulus and Haita pocketed. They also found a chest filled with hundreds of toads, which Tordek quickly claimed, reasoning that killing a toad a day would count as the life needed to feed Only Friend (Creative I like it!).

The party also found the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, a powerful artifact capable of creating sunlight, and turning undead; however, only a Paladin, Druid, or Cleric could wield it, so Buttkiss claimed it.

Searching the kitchen, Occulus found three vials in the hag’s cupboard, which he took, hoping to identify later. Buttkiss and the group then set the awful mill on fire, with the group joking that they seemed to have a habit of setting places aflame.

Quickly returning back to Vallaki the exhausted party was glad to have a safe place to rest. Haita, excitedly ate a dream pastry falling into a deep stupor, while Occulus attempted to identify the vials. One he recognized as poison, the other two he did not know. Investigating an orange vial, he began to cackle wildly, soon several other of the party members also did so, with Mikhail and Eogan being the only two to resist the clutches of the dreaded disease Cackle Fever. Rushing to Saint Andral’s church, they persuaded the busy priest to cure the party, with the agreement to destroy any of the vials found in the hag’s home.

The party, having talked with the Innkeeper of the Blue Water Inn, agreed to investigate why the shipments of wine has ceased to arrive from the Wizard of Wines. Resting for a day, the party then left the town heading towards the Wizard of Wines.

Traveling uneventfully for several hours the party came to a bridge, in front of which two dirty humans lounged, demanding a toll from the party to pass.

Enraged, the party began to loudly refuse; however, Occulus, in a spark of genius, approached the pair of bandits, using soothing tones and suggested they discuss this over some pies. He then handed each man a pie (rolling a very high deception check). The two men, hungry, ate the pies, and quickly passed into a helpless stupor. The party, grabbing chains and rope bound the men, questioning one. They found out the pair were werewolves, and that they were part of a larger warren. After several more minutes of questioning the group realized they could care less what the prisoners had to say, chopped their heads off and tossed them in the river. That is one way to handle bandits!

Traveling another hour the party finally found the stretch of road leading to the Wizards of Wine. Moving down the winding pathway, the group came upon a huddled family of humans, who claimed to be the owners of the Wizard of Wines, recently driven out by a band of evil druids and their plant-like minions.

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The family’s leader, Davian Martikov asked if the party would be willing to help them, which the party agreed to. It is here we decided to stop the session. Next session will catch us up to where my campaign has currently progressed to!!

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