Session XVII – Trip Advisor: A Dance with Wights

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Dramatis Personae:

Aife, Lvl 3 Female Human Paladin (Lucy)
Girth Greatcraic, lvl 3 Male Halfling Rogue (Archie)
Eliza, Lvl 3 Female Elf Wizard (Patrick)
Loony, Lvl 2 Male Gnome Druid (Sam)
Baccarat, Lvl 3 Gender-Neutral Human Rogue (Thom)
One night, the murky mists of Ravenloft returned to Kasdall Hold — with Baccarat and a brightly coloured, borrowed wagon of the Vistani with whom they had been staying. Their time yielded much knowledge of Barovia and it’s cursed inhabitants. As his wagon came close to Kasdall Hold, Aife, Girth, and Eliza felt their respective curses infensify. Ravenloft beckoned. And Baccarat lifted their elbow and presented their hand in an aggresively ready handshake.
Eager to lift the curse placed on them, Girth, Eliza, and Aife almost attacked Baccarat in their barely contained rage at the Vistani curses. Girth, only a fortnight prior, had nearly died at the maws of a sharkenbear because of his bleeding eyes. His stitches were still healing. Eliza’s sickly neck bite was quite easily covered by a scarf (a large collection of which she had amassed). Aife, it seems, suffered no ill-will from being bald per se — but the assault on her bodily autonomy offended her and her war-god Morrigan. Loony watched all of their rage, but mostly was bored. It would be for the best that he had come!
They traveled through the night, which Girth occupied by carving a Baccarat-esque phallus on the wagon. Upon arriving at the Tser Encampment, our heroes headed directly to Madam Eva to search for the Vistani who cursed them. Or, y’know, publically execute a few til they found someone who knew. Baccarat told them that he had discovered the Vistani were divided, only about a third served Strahd directly. But Eliza remembered the scar which ran down the side of the face of one of the Vistani who had cursed them. Eva told them of an encampment of dusk elves outside of Vallaki which typically houses a few Vistani.
And off the heroes went to incite tremendous retribution and wrath upon — I mean, lift their curse. They met with their contact at the Blue Mountain Inn in Vallaki, where they learned that the dusks elves were a broken people. Strahd had ensured that all the female dusk elves were killed centuries ago–leaving them with no way to propogate. The encampment itself was a circle of small cottages surrounding a mound atop which sat a circle of Vistani wagons and tents. Ignoring the dusk elves almost entirely, they surged ahead to exact vengence.
They saw two elder Vistani whipping a teen, who was tied up to a post in a central tent. After a short altercation, wherein Loony’s entangling weeds also began affecting the party, and Eliza’s magics accidentally caused the teen to vomit unto unconsciousness, the whole party and assembled Vistani were stunned into silence as none other than Strahd Von Zarovich, master of Barovia, arrived. Wolves encircled the tents, and Strahd proved his might by charming Girth, who managed to break free long enough to stab Arrigal, one of the Vistani who had cursed the three. Girth found himself pressed onto the ground, Strahd’s other hand digging into his sharkenbear stitches.
“Let me be clear: You live, because I find you…mildly¬†amusing.” Strahd indicated. Baccarat, eager to show deference to royalty, approached Strahd, only to be backhanded into unconsciousness and flung 15 feet away. In the inky blackness, they felt Strahd probing their mind asking “Where. Is. The. Hunter?” But it was to no avail–Baccart knew of no hunter in the valley. Though he had suspicions.
Strahd mounted his horse, taking Arrigal and the other Vistani in tow, and demanded “FIND. ME. THE HUNTER.” With a shriek, the three were gone.
****************
Next, the heroes found their way to the final of the three major towns of Barovia: Krezk, located in the northwest, north of the WIzards of the Vine Winery. Krezk is the most militarized town of Barovia; it is fortified and the townsfolk rarely leave, for fear of werewolf attack, and trusting in the strength of the ageless Abbot who took up abode in the Abbey of St. Markovia, and abbey around which the town sprang up. There they found out from the Burgomaster, whose four children were buried in the front yard of his modest cottage, that the wine had run out. But, ignoring that plot point, they sought for Ireena Kolyana, whom the escorted to Vallaki during their last visit.
She was in hiding at the Abbey, though the heroes ran into the Abbot and his flesh golem Vasilka, who he was teaching all the fine points of court ettiquette. Oddly protective of her, the Abbot asked them to find a wedding dress befitting her so that he could present her to Strahd and he would lift the curse off Barovia. Beginning to understand the depth of the Abbot’s insanity, the party separated from him, following the divine sense of Aife, who detected an item of great power nearby.
In the vegetable garden, they found Ireena, who they mistook(?) for being pregnant. Their ensuing investigations revealed the legendary Amulet of Ravenkind, one of three items required to end the reign of Strahd. It also provoked the appearance of four wights.
Under their continued assault, Girth, Aife, and Baccarat were all rendered unconscious, revived by Loony (whose healing spells quickly became absolutely vital). Eliza revealed her magical banner, which temporarily aided the characters, and Aife, toward the end of the fight, realized the immense power she carried. Calling on Morrigan and holding aloft the Amulet of Ravenkind, Aife helped turn the tide of the battle and allowed the beleaguered characters kill the remaining wights.
*******************
Claiming the amulet, they clamoured into Baccarat’s wagon and left Barovia, in the hopes of keeping it safe until they should return, claim the final items, and kill Strahd.
Everyone (sans Loony) leveled up to lvl 3, gained 50 gp each, and Aife has gained the legendary Amulet of Ravenkind, a magical amulet she can use in lieu of a holy symbol. But, she did notice it’s power diminish as they crossed the threshold and increased distance between them and Barovia…


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