Curse of Strahd

Session 1

The Death House

After having rescued Duchess Morwena of Daggerford's corgi Tyrion, you are invited to dinner with her. She tells you of a strange group of travelers that have camped near the entrance to the city, but her guards have failed to evict them.  However, when you interview the guards, you discover they were charmed.

You arrive at the camp, and are welcomed warmly by their leader Stanimir. He tells you a story of a lord who was saved by his people, and ended their wandering by welcoming them to his lands. He confesses that their lord has fallen under a curse, and asks you to come free him from its grip. Heskin agrees immediately.

After three days of travel, they all awake to a dense fog. They hear Stanimir calling to them, warning them not to enter the fog and that he'll find a way to them. It quickly becomes clear he's heading the wrong way, and the sound of his wagons fade into the mist. A path opens through the mist, leading to a set of massive gates that swing open as the party approaches, and close after they all pass through.

The party makes their way down the road, pausing when An Lao catches the scent of death on the air. The smell leads off the road to a corpse, bearing a letter from Burgomaster Kolyan Indirovich. The howls of wolves rapidly approaching cause the party to get back on the road quickly, as the wolves don't appear to want to get on the road.

The road leads to a village, all closed up for the night. Two children are standing in front of a house, claiming there's a monster in the basement. The party enters the house. The first floor appears to be a well kept home of a wealthy family, though some of the wall carvings are disturbing at a second glance.

The second floor appears to be much of the same, and the party continues climbing up.  On the third floor landing, they are attacked by a suit of armor. The sounds of crying lead to a room with a crib, and a ghost leaning through the shroud overtop it, reaching for a child-shaped bundle. An Lao takes the bundle and steps away from the crib, enraging the spectre. The bundle turns out to be only blankets.

On further exploration, Gnomie is ambushed by an animated broom. He snaps it in half. No one believes him.

The party returns to the second floor, discovering a secret room in the library. It contains a letter to the owner of the house from Strahd von Zarovich, taunting him for his pathetic desire to worship him, along with a will and a deed to a windmilll west of the village.

With a key found in the library, the party discovers the ghosts of the children they met outside. Heskin, with a firm parental voice, convinces them to go to bed, and lays them to rest.

In the attic they discover the secret passage to the dungeon, the lair of the cult. They spend some time exploring the dungeon, discovering a statue holding a crystal ball. Tev takes it, summoning the guardian shadows which set upon him. Tev is killed, but a strange vision of a dark room and climbing onto his own funeral pyre returns him to the living, with the disturbing tendency to cough smoke.

Further exploration leads to the ritual chamber of the cult. The House demands a sacrifice, which it is denied, and wakes Lorghoth the Decayer. The party slays Lorgoth, enraging the House. They scramble up another secret passage to the first floor, discovering that all of the doors are filled with blades. An Lao nimbly passes through one, but is nearly cut to death on another. Heskin and Komogorov break through the wall (releasing a swarm of rats), and the party flees the house, with Kettle lighting a fire before they escape and watch it burn to the ground.

As they run out into the road with the moon high in the sky, Stanimir's wagon rolls up. He urges them in, shouting "The March of the Dead" is upon us. The cemetary fills with ghosts that begin swarming down the road, but Stanimir's wagon outruns them. A short time later, the party arrives at a Vistani camp. Stanimir expresses his happiness that they weren't lost to the mists, and insists they speak with Madam Eva. She performs a Tarokka reading for the party, while making predictions for each character.

  • Heskin: “Your family will never acknowledge your nobility”
  • Kolmogorov: "Who are you?"
  • Kettle: “She will never learn your name”
  • Gnomie: "You are only running from your own form in fear of what you did."
  • An Lao: "Will you ever see your home again?"
  • Tev: "You have been beyond the veil once, but it is not your last visit."

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