Curse of Strahd: Session 10

Hello everyone! It has finally happened, after this session recap you will have caught up with my Curse of Strahd Campaign, I hope you have had as much fund reading these as I had writing them.

If we remember, at the end of the last session the party had narrowly defeated the demented druids of Yester Hill, preventing an evil ritual that was meant to summon Strahd and perhaps more…

Having rested in the haven of the Wizards of Wines Winery the group returned a magical gem to the extremely grateful Davian Martikov. As their reward, Davian dramatically transformed into a wereraven and then back in front of the party.

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Davian then informed the party that he was a leader of a secret band of wereravens known as the Keepers of the Feather. They are a group sworn to fighting against Strahd, Davian son in Vallaki was as part of the band, and his inn served as a safe house to group members.

Several party members immediately began to ask about the possibility of themselves being turned into wereravens. While hesitant to reveal more of the secret society’s rules, Davian informed the party that only those that have been sworn into the society will be gifted the raven’s blessing. The party had to continue to help the Keepers, and if they proved to be valuable and true, then they would get offered to join the group, being given the blessing of the raven.

DM’s Note: Tordek had some great moments roleplaying his bitch face, with the player screwing his face up tight while asking pleasant and reasonable questions.

In the meantime, Davian told the party that the society’s agents and members would be on the look out to help the band of adventurers, as they had proven themselves friends to the Keepers of the Feather.

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The group then began to plan their next step. Initially, they had planned to return the second gem from Baba Lysaga, the ancient witch. Asking Davian about her they found out that Lysaga was as old as Strahd, and was a witch of formidable power. She had sent scarecrow minions to hunt and slay ravens where ever they were found, and it was them that stole the gem. Little was known about Lysaga’s true powers, as the witch rarely intervened directly in battle, instead sending her minions to fight.

 

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Intimidated by this information, the group decided to try for the seeming safer choice, and instead continue onto the town of Krezk, which contained the Abbey of Saint Markovia. The party, analyzing their fortune hypothesized that this abbey must be the resting place of one of the artifacts they sought. (Their fortune is found here)

DM’s Note: I honestly expected my group to charge widely towards Baba Lysaga’s lair, and was more then a little surprised that they one asked for information on her, and two reacted to that information with caution. I was pleased, as this showed that some of the lessons of the dangers of Barovia (and D&D in general) had sunk into the party.

Concerned about the eventual conflict against these scarecrows, Occulus, in a moment of sound decision making, asked Davian if he had any potions that dealt fire damage. The plucky Rogue (who passed a high Persuasion check) was rewarded with a Potion of Firebreath.

Leaving the safety of the Wizard of Wines the party moved down the winding and overgrown roadway heading North to Krezk. Along the road, the party ran into a band of three worn Vistani, who claimed to have recently been attacked by some beast of the woods. They had narrowly escaped, and were making their way to the safety of Vallaki, but since they had fled their wagon in such haste they had no weapons or gear. They begged the party for gear that could be spared.

Butkiss gave the beaten trio a dagger and two day’s trail rations, Haita gave a dagger, a light crossbow with 20 bolts, Occulus gave a waterskin. Tordek, who was suspicious of the band gave the group nothing, while Eogan and Mikhail were unconcerned with the trio’s problems.

Wishing the trio the best of luck the party continued on their journey. After about 30 minutes of travel, they began to hear the flapping of many wings in the distance. Worried, the majority of the party moved off the road, hiding beneath the trees, Buttkiss; however, stubbornly (and sort of foolishly) refused to move off the path, and instead continued his horses pace down the road.

Soon, a large swarm of thousands of bats was rushing overhead, which was especially odd, since it was the middle of the day. Releasing some energy from the Amulet of Raven’s Kind, Buttkiss had the medallion shed the bright light of the Sun, shining out in a circle around him. He hoped this would keep the bats fended off, if they decided to attack.

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The bats, avoiding the bubble of bright light, continued to flap and glide above the party, seeming to follow them for 15 or so minutes. The party found this very suspicious and began to believe that these bats were spies of Strahd.

Picking up the pace, the party pushed their horses to a near gallop. After another period of travel, they came upon a mist shrouded bridge. Occulus and Mikhail heard the clip clop of hooves, and the jingle of mail on the bridge. Worried, the party moved at the ready, waiting to see what moved out of the thick fog.

After several tense moments, a skeletal rider, carrying a lantern rode out of the mists slowly. The being raised its lantern, peering left and right, seeming to be searching for something. The tense party split, allowing the rider to pass, hoping that the creature wasn’t searching for them. The undead rider soon passed out of sight, leaving the party untouched. Several of the party members were amazed that Buttkiss could restrain himself from attacking the being;however, the Paladin stated, “Well that guy was looking for something, and since it didn’t seem to be us I figured lets just let it keep going.”

With the tension having broken, the party continued their hurried ride towards Krezk. They estimated the hopeful haven of the town was only about a half hour away; however, an odd mist began to creep onto the road, from either side. Trying to stay alert, the group continued to move along the road; however, Occulus soon became aware that several large creatures were moving alongside the road in the mist. The rogue was able to give warning to the group only a few moments before the trap was sprung…

4 Dire Wolves the size of grizzly bears strode into sight of the party, two on either side, and alongside them was the horrifyingly familiar well dressed form of Strahd Von Zarovich.

The amused vampire stated, “I like what you did with the Bonegrinder Mill, that place was always an eyesore. Though I dare say that Bella Sunbane is not pleased with what you did to her sister and mother.” Strahd then smiled widely gesturing for the fun to begin.

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Springing into action the party and the wolves began a close and brutal fight, with multiple of the party members wondering who would be the first to run.

Strahd, reacting lightning fast, burst towards Buttkiss, placing the Paladin in a iron choke hold. The Paladin, stubborn, urged his mount to move; however, Strahd used another legendary action to slam the paladin to the ground. Occulus, suddenly the main rider, was caught off balance and also fell off the horse only a dozen or so feet from Buttkiss.

Buttkiss, terrified, called the last of his amulet’s power, and a circle of bight sunlight formed around the Paladin. Strahd’s face scorched and burned under the brightlight; however, the ghastly wound healed nearly instantaneously. The vampire smiled at the horror in Buttkiss’s eyes. The vampire rained a series of blows down onto the Paladin; however, his thick armor, shield, and bright sunlight fended off the vampire’s blows.

In the meantime, the Dire Wolves darted among the players, biting and trying to pull some of them from their mounts. Tordek quickly slew his wolf, while Occulus, already on the ground rolled and dodged another of the beasts, striking when he could with his gleaming red shortsword. Eogan, annoyed that the wolf might threaten Steven, clobbered his foe. Mikhail, one hand wielding a crossbow, the other a scimitar, cut and fired a flurry of blows at his foe, wounding it, but not slaying it. In return, the giant wolves bit and hurt several of the party.

Haita, somehow escaping the notice of the wolves, darted out of the melee, and tried to draw a bead on Strahd. The vampire, not wishing for anyone to leave the party early, used more of his legendary action to let go of Buttkiss and rush to the side of Haita.

Horrified that his escape had been seen, the plucky Warlock unleashed a Hunger of Hadar at his feet, and then urged his mule onward, away from the savage vampire. The party, meanwhile, slew the remaining Dire Wolves fighting them.

The dark whispering of Hadar had minimal effect on Strahd, who strode out of darkness and gestured towards the closely packed party, releasing a powerful fireball. The massive blast caught Buttkiss, Occulus, Eogan, and Mikhail. The firey destruction dealt a great deal of damage to the group, but perhaps worse of all cooked Steven and Mikhail’s new mount alive.

Mikhail, who was about 10 feet away from the closest party member turned towards Strahd, annoyed at the death of the mount he just purchased. Unfortunately for the Ranger, Strahd had also taken notice of him, and used his legendary actions to deliver a crushing blow directly to his chest. The Ranger then collapsed unconscious into Strahd’s arms, and the vampire used his final legendary action to begin to sprint away from the party, ranger in hand.

The party gave chase; however, before they could catch the vampire he had drank the blood of Mikhail, slaying him instantaneously (this happened because Mikhail was already at 0 HP when the vampire bite was delivered).

At this point, the party entered a state of horrified shock, one of their number had just been slain. Amazingly, as the party caught up to Strahd, they rolled a series of really lucky attacks dealing a great deal of damage to the vampire. They also all immediately snapped together to work as a team, rather then each worried that the next person would run.  The group began to draw comparison of this moment to when Gandalf falls in Moria.

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In a moment of hilarious roleplaying, while the rest of the group was screaming in rage about Mikhail’s death, Eogan ran into combat yelling, “For Steven!!!!”

The vampire, though not yet showing damage, decided it was time to leave and shape changed into a bat, and began to try to fly away. Haita, unwilling to allow the vampire such an easy escape, blasted the bat from the sky with a well placed Eldritch Blast. Removed from his bat form, the “human” form of Strahd tumbled from the sky, crumpling to the ground. The vampire dusted himself off, only to be greeted by a raging Eogan and pissed off Buttkiss who together dealt a series of blows to the vampire.

Again using his legendary action, Strahd fled from combat, and then took his turn, turning into a thin mist. While Haita continued to blast at the fleeing vapor, the rest of the party returned to Mikhail, to tend to their fallen comrade.

Buttkiss gave the Ranger his last rites and wrapped up the body. Worn, and emotionally exhausted, the party continued on the short journey to Krezk. Once arriving at the town; however, the party were greeted by the gruff and uninterested town Burgomaster, who did not want to allow the party to enter. The only way he would allow it, was if the party brought back some much needed wine from the Wizards of Wine. After a great deal of arguing and attempts to cajole the burgomaster, the party agreed to leave and return with wine.

The group arrived without encounter back at the winery. Here they decided to take a long rest, rather then risk traveling damaged close to night. Haita, especially annoyed at Krezk’s leader, found a bottle of finer vintage in the winery, and pissed in the bottle, setting it aside, along with some other bottles, specifically for the burgomaster.

Going to sleep, the party hoped that the remaining day would be uneventful; however, they would be disappointed. They were jolted out of their sleep by the screaming of Davian’s wife. Rushing to the distillery, they saw that Mikhail had risen from his resting place, his skin pale, and his eyes glowing with hatred… he was a vampire

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The party prepared to capture and slay their friend, in return the Ranger fired a bolt, striking Buttkis for 15 damage. The vampire spawn then moved behind Davian’s wife, hoping to use her as a shield. Buttkiss, rushed forward and used Turn Undead, allowing Mikhail to Spider Climb up the distillery wall and jump out a window.

Shocked, the furious group asked Buttkiss what had happen, they thought he had given Mikahil his last rites to prevent him from turning. Buttkiss shouted back that he thought he had, but apparently it didn’t take… The group asked what kind of a paladin would make that mistake, and the Buttkiss replied back that he was a Street Urchin, formal religious training wasn’t his strong suit!

DM’S Note: I had secretly rolled a Religion check for Buttkiss to know that performing last rites wouldn’t be enough to keep Mikhail from rising; however, without a decent score in the skill, and a roll of 5, I determined Buttkiss wasn’t aware, which led to this amusing situation!

The party was annoyed that Mikhail had escaped, as they felt that was yet another person out to get them, however, there was nothing that could be done about it now…

The next day, the party took the wine and entered Krezk. Still angry over being denied entry to first time the group rushed past the town and headed straight for the Abbey.

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Two extremely odd being greeted the party as they entered the Abbey ground, they looked like horrific mixes of human and animal; however, they said they would take the party to the courtyard to speak to their master. The party agreed, while Buttkiss muttered, “Are we just going to ignore how weird these things are!” It is here we ended the session, I hope you enjoyed it!!!

 

Curse of Strahd: Session 9

Hello everyone! Time to try to get all of you even closer to caught up with my Curse of Strahd campaign. If we remember, when last we left off, the party had just arrived at the Wizard of Wines Winery. On the road, to the winery, they met Davian Martikov and his family, who were huddled and hidden from sight along the side of the road.

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Davian informed the party that an band of crazed druids and their minions had attacked the winery and driven the family out. He asked the group if they would be willing to drive the druids out of the winery. The party agreed and began to approach the lonely Wizard of Wines.

DM’s Note: Two of my six players were not at this session, so both Eogan and Mikhail were missing from the action. This left Buttkiss, Occulus, Haita, and Tordek to deal with whatever the session threw at them.

As the band moved towards the multistory building, they saw many shapes moving towards them from the woods. As the forms drew closer the party saw that they were weird humanoid like creatures, made out of clusters of vines! Seeing dozens of the creatures approaching from woods, the party fled into the Wizard of Wines, barricading the door behind them.

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Glancing around the building, Haita saw a crazed, feral looking human, pouring some liquid into one of the giant fermentation vats in the main room of the winery. A combat quickly ensued, with Haita attempting to blast the evil druid. Much to the party’s worry, about 15 small Twig Blights rushed out of the nearest vat, attempting to swarm the party.

The diminutive creatures had little success damaging the heavily armored Tordek and Buttkiss; however, Occulus took several cuts and scratches from the creatures. Haita, fed up sprinted to the right of the melee and cast a spell, flinging a series of grasping and smashing tentacles into the mass of enemies, slaying about 8. At the same time, Tordek wielding Only Friend sliced left and right, hewing a Twig Blight apart with each strike.

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The melee appeared to be going well, until Buttkiss and Haita heard the vine-like humanoids breaking into the vat room. Buttkiss, heroically moved to intercept, hoping to hold the swarm of enemies at the door; however, the Half-Orc reacted just a little too slowly, and the Vine Blights began to pour into the large room.

The combat turned from nearly over, to a desperate fight, as a dozen or so Vine Blights began to bog down and attack the party. Haita, blasted the Vine Blights with Hunger of Hadar, hoping to disorient and damage the mass of foes.

Occulus, damaged and hurt, began a furious battle for his life, as his darting rapier attempted to slay the several foes he was in combat with.

Tordek, feeling Only Friend vibrating in a dark joy, charged into the mass of Vine Blights, with the dark energy of the axe helping the dwarf slay foe, after foe. With each foe slain, Only Friend began to tremble and throb with an energy of its own!

Buttkiss, at the center of several Vine Blights, used his trusty Protection Versus Good and Evil spell, to allow himself to survive a flurry of blows struck at him, as he attempt to slowing fight back away from the group of enemies.

Haita, began to hunt down the evil Druid, blasting Eldritch Blasts his way, eventually felling his foe.

Occulus, failing in his frenzied battles, was knocked unconscious falling to the ground. His foe, wrapped a vine around the Rogue, and began to try to drag him away. Tordek, barely containing the rage Only Friend was feeding him, rushed further into the combat, attempting to cut a path to Occulus.

By this point only a handful of foes remained; however, Tordek was tied up in combat with two Vine Blights, and Buttkiss had fought his way to the other side of the room to protect Haita. The Vine Blight dragging the unconscious Occulus had nearly left the large room, and it was up to Haita to fire off a final few Eldritch Blasts, in hopes of saving his friend.

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Luckily for Occulus, the Warlock’s shots remained true, slaying the Vine Blight. Attention then turned to the few remaining Vine Blights fighting Tordek. The dour dwarf quickly slew his foes and gained control of himself and attempted to reach Occulus, to drag him to safety.

However, the noise of the sprawling battle had gained the attention of the remaining evil druids in the winery. A trio of them, along with several Needle Blights, that began to fire their needles at the party.

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The druids, shape changed into bears, rushed Tordek, hoping to quickly slay the dwarf. An intense confrontation began, with Tordek smashing left and right at his foes, while Buttkiss sprinted forward to help his friend.

Haita, feeling confident after his series of successes, shot into the melee, hoping to help the dwarf. However, a poorly timed natural one meant that his shots instead slammed into his friend, who was already battered from his extended combat. The plucky dwarf fell to the ground unconscious. Shortly later Buttkiss and Haita slew the remaining enemies, and amazingly Occulus passed his saves versus death to stabilize!

Searching the druid’s remains, they found a Gulthias Staff, which could have been used to control the blights, with the risk of madness.

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Buttkiss, seeing it for the evil artifact it was, destroyed the staff. They also discovered that the wine had been poisoned by the druids.

Returning to the Martikovs, the party told them their home was now druid free. Thankful, the family returned to their home. The party, hurt and exhausted, took a long rest in the safety of the winery. The next morning, Davian, now having a reason to trust the party, told the group the secret of the Wizard of Wines. The founder of the vineyard had enchanted three gems, burying them in the ground allowing wine grapes to grow in this desolate land.

Several years ago, one of the gems went missing. At the time Davian’s son was supposed to be watching the vineyard, and Davian blamed his son’s a lax watch for the gem going missing, causing a rift to develop in the family. A few weeks ago, another of the gems went missing, Davian believed at the hands of Baba Lysaga, the ancient witch. Finally, a few days ago the druids came and stole the final gem, bringing it to their lair on Yester Hill.

Davian explained to the party that without these gems, the grape plants would shrivel up and die, and there would be no more wine coming from the vineyard, the only source of alcohol in Barovia. Wine was one of the few joys left to the Barovian people, and Davian begged the party to help him. The gem that went missing years ago was as good as gone, but they could still retrieve the other two. In return, Davian would supply the party with information essential to defeating Strahd.

Buttkiss, already feeling sympathetic to the family agreed to help them, and the party made plans to head to Yester Hill.

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Arriving at the hill, the party saw that it was a rather large hill, with a small circle of stranding stones in the center, and a small copse of trees on the other side. The hill was surrounded by mists, and the group swore they could see the hints of a wonderful looking city within the mists, they made note that this made no sense, as Castle Ravenloft, the only place that could closely resembled this faced in the other direction…

Cautiously advancing forward, the group got to the top of the hill. Occulus noticed that the hill was covered in small graves, and warned the party to proceed cautiously. Creeping forward, Haita saw that within the circle of stones was a large crudely made statue, made of sticks, twigs, and mud, which looked a little bit like Strahd. A gleaming gem rested in one of the statues eyes. Sneaking back to the party Haita told them what he had seen.

Buttkiss, feeling confident, strode into the circle of stones and began to climb up the statue. Tordek, Occulus, and Haita watched cautiously from outside the stone circle.

Once Buttkiss began climbing, five fur-clad humans, in pale face paint rose out of some of the graves outside the stone circle. The humans began frothing at the mouth and charged the party. At the same time a feral druid rose up from a grave within the stone circle, with four more moving up alongside the human berzerkers.

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Scrambling to react the party watched as the five berzerkers charged them, striking a series of blows. At the same time, the evil Druid at the center of the stones began a weird chant, which was causing a flow of dark energy from him to the odd statue.

The party quickly found out that the berzerkers were extremely tough, with all but Tordek quickly being driven back. Haita, seeing the dark energies flowing from the druid, began to fire blast after blast at the ritual caster, hoping to stop it. At the same time, Buttkiss, having jumped down the statue, rushed alongside Tordek to help him.

The evil druids for the time being seemed content to let the berzerkers fight for them, and they watched. However, after 2 berzerkers were slain, they changed form into bears and charged the party. Occulus, feeling overwhelmed and battered, fled the melee, but was ran down by three of the druids.

At this point things were looking desperate, with the party battered and outnumbered. Haita, continued to blast the ritual druid, ignoring a charging bear to strike the final blow of the ritual caster, before being smacked unconscious himself.

Falling closer to death, Occulus heard a voice in his head…

DM’s Note: While I would love to share what took place in Occulus’s head, I don’t want to spoil things for Occulus’s player, who has kept this secret.

The nearly dead Rogue muttered, “I agree,” and suddenly burst upwards, rippling with muscles that he had not had moments ago. His horrific wound closed, and he wielded a blood red shortsword, hewing left and right slaying his druid foes, while shouting “For the Whispering Well.”

This sudden change turned the combat in the party’s favor, and they quickly slew their remaining foes. Occulus, passing out, reverted back to his regular form, and only Tordek had seen a hint of what happened.

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After being revived by Buttkiss, Haita realized the druid he had killed was attempting to call to Strahd, and had nearly succeeded…

Exploring the hillside, the party found a foul, mutated Gulthias Tree, with a silver axe near it, just out of reach of a long dead adventurer. Picking up the silver axe, Tordek chopped the evil tree down ending the blight threat on Barovia.

For good measure, Buttkiss, pushed over the crudely made Strahd statue, after taking the gem from it.

Battered, worn, and worried about what had happened to Occulus, the party limped back to the safety of the Wizard of Wines to rest and heal. Buttkiss muttered to Haita,
“Between Occulus and Tordek I am worried we are going to have to start taking peoples’ toys away, shit is getting real…”

 

Curse of Strahd: Session 8.5

Hello readers! My party informed me that in my Session 8 recap, I actually missed a segment of our session. So lets rewind just a little bit, to right before our band of adventurers left Vallaki.

Realizing that they would be traveling for sometime, the party concluded they did not want to be outside at night for more time then necessary. Preferably, they would like to dart from one safe haven to the next, in hopes of avoiding Strahd and his minions.

In order to facilitate this quicker travel, the party decided that they would need horses. Now Eogan already had Steven, and Buttkiss had Bastion, so this left Tordek, Occulus, Mikhail, and Haita to find mounts.

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Unfortunately for the party, Vallaki, a rather isolated and impoverished town, had a lack of anyone selling horses. The party was pointed to a Vistani camp, which was right outside the town, alongside a small settlement of Dusk Elves. Figuring this was their only chance for steeds, the group moved outside the safety of Vallaki’s walls, and headed towards the camp.

They saw several small wooden houses, built surrounding a hill, at the top of which was a circle of bight and colorful Vistani covered wagons. A Large tent sat at the center of this circle.

Walking into large tent, the group saw a young Vistani man, tied to the center tent pole, being beaten. They were torn on whether or not to intercede, but Tordek, ever the pragmatic man, argued that they do not know what the man did, and to allow the group to use discipline as they saw fit. Agreeing the band waited, until the beating was done. They then approached the two adult males Vistani to inquire about some horses.

Haita, asked about a mule, and promptly bought one for 20 some gold pieces, and left the tent happy. Occulus, taking the lead for horses, fumbled quite a bit with the bartering process. The Vistani, offered to sell two horses to the group, each for 200 gold. Outraged at the astonishingly high price, Tordek stomped out of the tent, muttering how dwarves didn’t need horses anyway.

Occulus, not to be dissuaded, continued to try to negotiate a better price. The Vistani, in an act of “kindness” offered the Rogue a horse for 75 gold; however, when he walked out of the tent to see the horse he saw it was a worn, old, illkept nag that most likely couldn’t survive a single hard gallop, much less fleeing from enemies in the wilds. Annoyed, Occulus left.

Mikhail; however, continued to ask, and the Vistani man, with a glimmer in his eye, offered the Ranger a steed, for 75 gold, in return for a small favor. He wanted Mikhail to pour a small vial of potion into Occulus’s food. This would, he claimed, make the Rogue go bald, humbling him. Mikhail smirked, and agreed pocketing the vial.

Leaving the hill, the party saw a Dusk Elf man, sadly sitting in a chair. Interested, Occulus and Mikhail walked over to the elf, while Tordek grumbled about pointless side tracking.

The melancholy Dusk Elf introduced himself as Kasimir Velikov, and invited the pair into his home for tea. Occulus intrigued agreed, while Mikhail decided to rejoin Tordek. After a brief conversation Occulus learned that the Dusk Elves were a dying race, as Strahd had killed all the females of their race hundreds of years ago.

Lately, Kasimir had been haunted by dreams, he believed to be sent by his dead sister. Kasimir told Occulus that the key to breaking Barovia from Strahd’s curse, and ending the beast’s life, rests in the Amber Temple to the South. He wished to accompany the group if they head there, as he believed the temple holds the key to bringing his sister back to life. Occulus thanked the elf for the food and information, and told him he would consider the offer, leaving.

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During dinner that night, Mikhail passed a Sleight of Hand check, pouring the vial of liquid into Occulus’s drink. The party then went to sleep. The next morning, the party was greeted by an irate Occulus, who has lost most of his hair, as well as grown several patches of gross scaly skin over night. Laughing hysterically, Mikhail’s player stated, “It was only supposed to make you lose your hair!” Outraged at his appearance Occulus refused to leave town until he was cured, which the party concluded would take a further day. Annoyed, but finally agreeing to wait for the Rogue the party spent another day in Vallaki uneventfully until finally leaving the next day…

Hope you enjoyed that quick recap, I am going to try to get the final recap done before my next session this Sunday!

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!!

Curse of Strahd: Session 7

With the party having narrowly avoided death at the hands of their undead nemesis, they took a deep breath and realized that they needed to regroup. The majority of the town guard had been slain, and after a brief scouting mission the party discovered that that the Baron of the town was ruthless and could probably be replaced.

Having taken one cultist prisoner, the party questioned the captive and learned that there was someone in the town interested in replacing the baron. Lady Watcher, the head of a family that had long lived in Vallaki. My party immediately began calling her THE Lady Watcher, and asking what sort of ladies she preferred to watch.

While the party was hesitant to approach her, due to her clearly being the head of a cult, they didn’t want to get embroiled in a long term political struggle in the town and thought she might be a way to avoid this.

Approaching the Watcher mansion the party was struck by the impression that it once must have been grandiose, but was now aged and slumped. Fast forward thru some amusing interactions with the mansion’s butler, and Buttkiss purposefully spilling wine on the carpet, the party was led into the building’s basement, where they were confronted by a number of robed individuals, including Fiona Watcher, THE lady watcher herself (now they have me saying it).

Talking with her, the party quickly realized she was a big fan of Strahd, and not a person they wanted in control of the town. A combat quickly ensued, and expecting a tough fight the party fired on all barrels; however, the cult was actually rather pitiful and quickly wiped out.

DM side note, during this encounter I went against my judgement, and kept the stats as written in the module. I figured a easier encounter might let the party feel like they had made some growth. Instead, it ended up being a rather lack luster combat after the build up. In hindsight I should have followed my instincts and buffed up the Watcher cult to make them a bigger challenge. Even my party commented, “Wow, well that was a lot easier then expected,” not exactly a stellar impression. If I were to do this again I would boost Watcher’s stats and give her a cooler more powerful demon friend. 

Having vanquished the Watcher cult, and party then decided to confront the Baron, determined that he also was ill-equipped to lead the town. On the way to the baron’s house, they came upon Izek and the few remaining town guards beating an elderly woman in a alleyway (what a bunch of jerks!).

Incensed, Buttkiss, Occulus, Eogan, and Haita jumped to attack the gang (I suspect Eogan just wanted revenge), while Tordek grumbled if this really was in line with their goals, but acknowledging the beating was pretty messed up.

The party pretty quickly dealt with the guardsmen, while Izek wielding a wickedly curved dark blade sliced left and right dealing quite a bit of damage. Eventually, the vindictive captain of the guard went down under the combined effort of the party, with Eogan spitting on his corpse as a parting gift.

Looting the corpses the party found their first two pieces of magical gear, which Haita was able to identify.

Only Friend

+1 Battle Axe which does an additional 2D10 Necrotic Damage.

Additional Effects: After someone has wielded only friend in battle that person officially becomes it’s bearer. If, Only Friend doesn’t take at least 1 life before nightfall then the “bearer” takes 8D10 necrotic damage, as only friend drains their life force, whether or not the axe is on that person.

Additional Effect: Only Friend causes it’s bearer to have disadvantage on all Persuasion checks due to a constant grumpy/sour expression (resting bitch face according to my players) BUT they get advantage on all Intimidation checks

Life’s Essence 

A gleaming golden medallion

Effects: By shouting “Master Save Me” the wearer is able to cast Cure Wounds as a 2nd level spell 2/day, or a 3rd level spell 1/day with +3 to the roll.

The wearer also gains advantage on checks vs. poisons and diseases

These items were additions to the adventure by me. I wanted Izek to feel like a true accomplishment to have defeated, since he had cause quite a bit of trouble for the players. I like to try to give magical items personality and character, so expect more of this in the future. I was particularly happy with “Only Friend,” as it is quite powerful but won’t effect several Undead types AND has some pretty apparent drawbacks. Plus it allows for some really fun roleplaying.  

Tordek took Only Friend, while Eogan took Life’s Essence. After defeating the Baron’s most powerful follower the party had little trouble breaking into his home and demanding he turn himself over to the judgement of the town. Unfortunately for the Baron, the town wasn’t feeling particularly forgiving, hanging him and his family.

The party then pushed forward Father Lucian Petrovich as the new town leader, reasoning he was the only person truly qualified for the job. The priest reluctantly accepted. The party, also realizing that there was next to no one to protect the town, asked Ismark to remain in the town as the new guards captain, and to protect his sister Ireena. Ismark agreed, disappointed to miss out on further adventures, but content with the potential to help the town.

Satisfied they had untangled the knot of issues in Vallaki, the party decided to investigate the Bone Grinder Mill next session, as they suspected it contained one of the artifacts of power they sought.

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It is here our session ended, next write up will cover the very exciting session of Bone Grinder Mill!

Any questions or comments? I would love to hear feedback.

Curse of Strahd: Sessions 5 and 6

Welcome back to another catch up post of my Curse of Strahd campaign. Word of warning, for some reason these sessions are not as clear in my memory as the past ones I detailed, because of this some events won’t be as well described as I would like.

Session 5:

Right, so the party had just gained entry to the walled town of Vallaki.  Waking up after a mostly fitful sleep, the group decided to head to the church of St. Andrals. Their theory was this could be a safe haven for Ireena. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the church the kindly priest confided in Buttkiss that the holy protection for the haven was gone. Someone had taken the saint’s bones, which had protected the church for years.

After some investigation, and a little intimidation on Eogan’s part, the party discovered that the local coffin maker had bought the bones off of a grave digger, who had stolen them. Angered, the party rushed to the coffin maker’s house, they had 30 ish minutes of sunlight left, so they reason it would be enough time.

Outside of the house Buttkiss used sense evil, and sensed a great deal of evil radiating from the home. The party knocked on the door; however, they were ignored. Growing impatient, Eogan kicked down the door, and they were greeted by the cowering coffin maker, who pleaded with the party to leave. The party shoved past him, beginning to search the two story house.

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At this point, Buttkiss and Eogan began to head to the second story, and seeing his chance, the coffin maker attempted to sprint out of the house. Mikhail, reacting with lightning reflexes shot the man thru the ankle, pinning him long enough for the party to tie him up.

This is where things started to get hairy, Occulus, convinced the coffin maker was hiding something (he would be right) began to question the man. While Buttkiss followed his divine sense, finding the center of the house’s evil aura radiating out of a specific room. Being the impetuous paladin he is, Buttkiss kicked in the door charging in to vanquish the evil, while Tordek loudly protested behind him. Unfortunately for him, the room contained 4 Vampire Spawn, who began to rise out of their coffins.

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Eogan, ripped the door off its hinges and rushed into the room, attempting to pin one of the vampires in its coffin. Buttkiss cast Protection versus Evil on himself and strode into the dusty room, swiping at a vampire. Haita, began to shoot blasts of energy at the foes, while Tordek moved to support Buttkiss. Hearing the melee upstairs Mikhail rushed up to help his friends; however, Occulus remained downstairs, questioning the prisoner.

The vampire Eogan was pinning punched thru the door, and began to try to claw the Barbarian. Buttkiss, glowing with holy energy used a divine smite on a vampire, causing a great deal of damage, unfortunately, the rest of the party lacking magical weapons was dealing half damage to their undead foes. Fast forward several rounds, with a little luck the party had vanquished one vampire, while Buttkiss desperately fended off two, one in his front the other on his back, the Protection versus Evil combined with a high AC was saving him, though he continued to take damage here and there. Occulus had finally joined the battle, but he was struggling to make a meaningful strike.

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One of the party had fallen unconscious to severe damage, I can’t remember which. At this point Haita missed narrowly with a Eldritch Blast and blew a hole in the poorly thatched roof, letting a line of fading sunlight stream into the room, striking an enraged vampire. This gave the party the idea to destroy even more of the roof, allowing a great flow of light. Eogan, enraged, gappled a vampire, pushing and pinning it into the sunlight. After several more tense rounds of combat, the party was victorious, but only narrowly. The group found and took the saint’s bones, and then walked downstairs to question their prisoner.

The party then questioned the coffin maker, who had been working for Strahd. The coffin maker had been housing the vampire spawn, who were going to attack the church, now that its protections had been removed. Viewing the man with disgust, the group agreed to bring him alive to be tried by the town, but first, with night quickly approaching, and the party very weak, the group would rush to the church and rest there.

Session 6:

After returning the bones to the grateful priest, the party took a much needed rest. The priest agreed to give Ireena shelter. Ismark, eager to continue to pursue vengeance on Strahd volunteered to join the party, they agreed. Disrupting the party’s planning, they heard a loud clanging of a hammer in the town proper. The group walked to see what was happening, Ireena, not one to stay clueless in the church, also joined.

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Entering the town square, the party saw Izek Strazni, the vindictive henchmen of the baron of the town, along with a squad of town guards nailing in a sign, proclaiming an upcoming festival. The party immediately was put on edge by Strazni, as he had a mutated demon claw for a left arm.

Izek, glancing at the party became hyper focused on Ireena, demanding that she come with him to his room in the Baron’s home. Ismark and the party drew protectively around Ireena, keeping her from being taken. A scuffle broke out between Eogan and Izek, with Izek insulting the barbarian and striking him. Unfortunately for Izek, Eogan’s short temper wouldn’t allow such insult and he attacked the Izek. Calling for the guards to slay the party Izek and the party clashed.

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Buttkiss yelled to his recently summoned Paladin steed, Bastion, to take Ireena to the safety of the church. Ismark, enraged at his sister yet again coming under attack slew two town guards, while Eogansliced left and right, trying to cut his way to Izek, who was drawing behind a line of guardsmen. Tordek and Mikhail, torn between helping their friend and slaying the guards attempted to fight dealing non-lethal damage.

Slaying many guards, but unable to catch Izek, the party withdrew to the church. Unfortunately, soon a group of 20 guards came to arrest the party. Haita, seeking to come peacefully, left the refuge of the church, alongside some hesitant party members, while Mikhail hid in the church, Buttkiss disguised himself as a member of the town congregation, and Tordek smashed out a window to flee with Eogan.

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The guards, enraged at the party, slapped Haita to the ground and began to shake him. Unfortunately, the Warlock loss control, unleashing a vortex of unholy energy, slaying the majority of the guards, and causing the rest to flee. The party, horrified at having slain 90% of the town’s guards fled the church, hiding in a nearby town house. While attempting to hide out the night roving mobs of townsfolk searched for the party; however, they remained hidden.

As the night progressed it was Occulus’s turn on watch. The Rogue heard some movement outside the home, and peaked out the window to investigate. He saw a horrifyingly familiar, well dressed nobleman standing by the window, Strahd! I secretly rolled a save versus Strahd’s Charm; however, the inquisitive Rogue was not known for his high Wisdom (in fact none of the party had a great Wisdom). Strahd kindly asked Occulus to open the door and invite him inside, to which the Half-Elf was more then happy to oblige.

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Passing a Perception check, one of the party (I can’t remember who) woke up and saw Occulus heading for the door. Failing to beat the quick Rogue’s initiative they watched in horror as Occulus opened the door and invited Strahd in. The vampire strode into the haven, nodding his head in a slight bow of thanks.

At this point the Charm spell wore off and Occulus was horrified at what he had done. The one party member awake yelled a word of warning to the group, while comically scrambling for the back door (In real life total chaos ensued at every party member began to quickly yell out variations of “Cheese it,” “I get the fuck out of there,” or “oh shit, oh shit”). While the party scurried for the back door,  Strahd used one of his legendary actions to deal a deadly blow to Occulus, knocking the Rogue out.

As the rest of the party fled, Buttkiss, seeing his friend in danger cast Protection versus Evil and uttered a prayer to his god, then charged into combat, unwilling to abandon his friend. Striking a mighty Divine Smite (I think he crit), the Paladin cut a deep burning hole in the vampire’s side.  Despite the horrific damage, Strahd smiled, and the majority of the wound closed up. Strahd then began a flurry of strikes, one of which landed denting Buttkiss’s armor and dealing a great deal of damage.

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Meanwhile the rest of the party fled into the alleyway behind the abandoned house they had sought refuge in. Most of the party used a large hole in another house, fleeing into the building, while repeatedly telling each other “Don’t look out the windows no matter what, if he can’t see you he can’t charm you!” As random chance would have it, this house had a trio of cultists attempting to sacrifice a child, which the group quickly put a stop to.

Haita; however, feeling bad at abandoning Buttkiss and Occulus began to look for a way to circle back behind Strahd. During this time, Buttkiss had used all his Lay on Hands and was on his last leg, with Strahd still going strong. Things were looking grim for the Paladin, though Occulus had managed to stabilize himself. Buttkiss managed to survive yet another round of combat, literally only thanks to the Half-Orc toughness ability, staying up with 1 hitpoint! At this point, the gallant Paladin apologized to Occulus, making a break for the street, leaping on the back of his plucky mount Bastion, galloping off into the distance. Strahd, amused drew back to suck the life from Occulus; however, at this point Haita shot two well aimed Eldritch Blasts which struck the fiend of Barovia, distracting him from feasting on the Rogue.

Haita yelling out, “Oh shit,” quickly turned tail and ran from the advancing vampire, ducking into a nearby house. Scanning his new surroundings Haita saw a family having been suddenly awakened by the intruder. The frightened Warlock put his finger to his mouth to shush the family; however, outside they could hear Strahd approaching, taunting. The vampire began to chant an arcane spell, and Haita started sprinting for the front door trying to get the family to flee too. Suddenly the side of the building was blasted apart by a fireball, consuming a side of the house in a fiery orgy of destruction. Terrified the majority of the family survived fleeing for the alleyway, leaving behind several family members, including a small child. Haita, looked back guiltily; however, he saw a second fireball streak forward and dove into the alley way, just as the second ball of fire consumed the rest of the house, collapsing it.

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Shaken, the Warlock ran back into the original hideout, dragged Occulus’s unconscious body back into the building for the rest of the party, and rocked back and forth terrified, as he heard Strahd walking thru the alleyway taunting. Soon the vampire grew bored and left, flying away on his nightmare.

Relived but shaken, the party regrouped in their new hideout, and were soon joined by Buttkiss. And this is how I ended my 6th session of Curse of Strahd and seems like a good stopping point for this recap, I hope you enjoyed it.

Curse of Strahd: Sessions 3-4 Recaps

Alright, so continuing on the Curse of Strahd recaps… when we last left off, Strahd had just attacked the party, with a combination of terrified running, deception, and playing dead saving the party.

Session 3:

Resting well into the day to heal, the party eventually healed and set out for the town church, ran by Donavich the priest. There goal was to give the burgomiester’s remains a proper burial. While Ismark and Ireena both wanted to accompany the group, the party convinced Ireena to remain in the mansion, while the party ventured out into the town. Many of the buildings in town appeared to be abandoned and desolate.

As fate would have it, the path to the church yet again crossed the path of the house with loud crying echoing out from it. When the party asked about the house, Ismark told them that was Mad Mary’s house. Buttkiss , intrigued by the pitiful wails approached the building, while the rest of the party, specifically Mikhael and Tordek loudly opposed such unnecessary and dangerous investigation.

Buttkiss, ignoring his team’s words of caution, knocked on the door, which squeaked open on its own, with no one at the door, and the cries of sorrow echoing around the house. Leaving Buttkiss to their explorations, the rest of the party continued onto the church, arriving their safely.

As Buttkiss  entered the dark home, sitting on a chair in the hallway was a creepy toy doll. Buttkiss picked up the doll, examining it, and saw that it had a lable “Is no Blinsky, Is no Fun!”  Seeing nothing of interest Buttkiss put the doll back on the chair.

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The cries were coming from further inside the house, and Buttkiss found the distraught Mad Mary, who informed him that her daughter had gone missing. Mary had kept her daughter shut inside her entire life, for protection, but now the girl was gone and she didn’t know where. Unable to solve the mystery immediately, Buttkiss promised the woman he would try to find her daughter and left the house. Oddly, the strange doll was on the ground, rather then the chair where he thought he had placed it….

Catching up with the party Buttkiss also arrived at the church. The church was odd, and rundown, with shrieks coming from the basement. Talking to Donavich the party realized they would be able to bury the burgomeister’s body, but after that it would be dusk, so they wanted to stay in the church for safety. The priest avoided mentioning the shrieking coming from the basement, and initially the party ignored it as well. As it continued; however, Buttkiss and Occulus’s interest was piqued so they asked about it. After some persuading Donavich admitted it was his son, who had gone off years ago with a wizard to confront Strahd; however, the group he went with was slain. Days later his son returned, but he was changed, since then he has had his son imprisoned in the basement.

Wanting to see if he could help, Buttkiss and Occulus entered the basement, with Haita and Mikhael reluctantly following behind. Tordek and Eogan, seeing no point in the exercise lounged in the church.

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It quickly became apparent that Doru was a vampire spawn. The frantic starved creature fought ferociously, feeding on poor Occulus; however, the combined effort of the party managed to use nonlethal damage and restrain the boy, thanks to Buttkiss carrying a set of chains and manacles. After being restrained, the rest of the party quickly loss interest; however, Buttkiss chose to interrogate the creature for several hours, not finding anything of too much interest. They then left the basement, leaving the creature “alive,” while they rested in the church.

During Occulus’s watch, he noticed something odd, Buttkiss was cradling an odd doll in his arms while sleeping. Shrugging his shoulders Occulus continued his watch, and turned to see the doll had disappeared…

When asked about it, Buttkiss reacted quite fearfully stating they had to stop by Mad Mary’s on the way to the manor. (I believe his exact words were, “Oh fuck no…. shit… guys… um we need to stop by that house again. I can’t have this…)

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The party stopped by Mad Mary’s house again, this time Occulus also accompanied Buttkiss. The doll was yet again in the chair; however, the crying was mysteriously gone. While peering around Buttkiss heard movement coming from upstairs. Moving the investigate, Occulus stayed to examine the doll. The rest of the party stood at the entrance to the house, annoyed at what they viewed as a time waster.

Once upstairs, Buttkiss found Mad Mary’s daughters room, which had a form appearing to sleep in the bed. Creeping forward Buttkiss realized it was Mary’s body, covered in blood! The door behind him slammed shut, while at the same time the creepy doll burst into life clawing at Occulus.

Turning towards the door Buttkiss saw a ghostly visage in a aged mirror. Occulus freaking out threw the doll to the ground, Eogan, already bored, strode forward and smashed the doll to pieces, after which the door Buttkiss saw also opened up.

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Figuring better to be safe then sorry, Buttkiss and Occulus set the building on fire, cleansing it of any evil. Annoyed at the distraction, Tordek and Mikhael were glad to continue onto the manor; however, while traveling there, they saw a haggard old woman pushing a sweet cart door to door.

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While the majority of the group wanted to ignore the woman and continue on, Buttkiss, again intrigued, moved towards the woman, asking what she was selling. She told them she was selling dream pastries, and asked if he wanted any. When Buttkiss said no, she shrugged and continued moving door to door. As he was walking back to the party, they saw the old woman stop at a door, walk in, and come out dragging a child, which she stuffed in her cart. After which, she handed several dream pastries over to the adults in the home.

Enraged, Buttkiss began to stride forward; however, Tordek, refusing to allow another distraction, pushed the paladin onwards to the manor. Arriving, the party gathered some materials and left the town of Barovia, planning to follow the road to the walled town of Vallaki.

Session 4:

Traveling on the road, the party had several minor encounters including Occulus seeing a ghostly figured hung from a tree, and a fight with 8 demonic scarecrows.

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After several hours on the road, the party again heard the howling of wolves. Soon they saw a trio of large dire wolves rushing to attack them. As they drew closer, it became apparent that one of the wolves had a long freshly healed cut on its side, yup it was the same trio from a few nights before. This time; however, after a brief combat, the party was victorious, slaying all three of the canine foes.

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Continuing onward, the party saw a large dilapidated wind mill on a large hill. Assuming this was one of the locations from their fortune, the party wished to investigate; however, Tordek argued it made more sense to get Ireena somewhere safe, and then come back.

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Agreeing, the party continued onto the walled town of Vallaki, arriving just before dark, only to find the gates shut and barred. Grabbing one of the guardsmen who strayed too close to the portcullis, Buttkiss used an amazing intimidation check to convince the guards to open up.

The party quickly sought refuge in the Blue Water Inn, and figured they were safe enough for a rest. While in the Inn, they found out the store of wine from the Wizards of Wine had ceased, and the party agreed to investigate, in return for free room and board.

This is where we stopped our 4th session, and is where I will stop my recap. Whew!