Episode 16: Ravenloft

ravenloft1

Swallowed by the “Mist”, the Company of Targos find themselves in Ravenloft, the Domain of Dread ruled by the Overlord Count Strahd Von Zarovich. As soon as the vampires swooped and took the body of Briggs, the party are in hot pursuit. Soon they will be embroiled in a mystery which involves zombies, fortune tellers, witches and of course, vampires!

EPISODE 16 “Ravenloft”

  • Game Date: Dec. 1, 2012 (Saturday), San Juan
  • In-Game Date Start: Hammer (Jan) 26, 1373 DR
  • In-Game Date End:   Hammer (Jan) 29, 1373 DR (3 days)

STARRING (DRAMATIS PERSONAE)

  • Keith Morales as Daemon Frost, Ranger of the North, Level 10
  • Nil Caruncho as Findar Hammersonn, borne of King Connar IV, bearer of the Dragon Armor, Bearer of the Anulus Ingenium, Level 11
  • Alex Mena as Skyclad Nimblewind, The Last Burrfoot, Bearer of the Anulus Mentem, Level 10
  • Chase Gosingtian as Lysandros, Harper Paladin, Level 10
  • Iggy Javellana as Adrianne, The Inquisitor (Vampire Slayer), Level 8

ALSO STARRING (NPCs)

  • Arik, the barkeep of The Blood of the Vine tavern
  • Ismark Indirovich – son of the Burgomaster
  • Friar Donavich
  • Ireena Kolyana – daughter of the Burgomaster. Twice bitten by the “Devil Strahd”
  • Madam Eva – matriarch of the Vistani of the Tser Falls encampment
  • Dimitri Kirov – Strahd’s captain of the guard
  • Sasha Ivliskova – Dimiti’s assistant
  • Count Strahd Von Zarovich
  • Baba Zelenna – leader of the Witches’ Coven

===

BAROVIA

After Briggs’ corpse was taken by the female vampires, our party is immediately in hot pursuit. Daemon Frost uses his tracking skills to find the safest path through the bogs. Hope finds a scroll hidden amongst dead bodies on the trail.

Clytie and Isaac Cross excuse themselves from the group by telling everyone that they would go on a separate quest of “utmost importance”.

The remaining heroes soon arrive at the village of Barovia where they settle at the Blood of the Vine inn. There they meet Ismark Indirovich. They show the letter that Hope found – where the Burgomaster, Ismark’s father pleads to help him cure the madness that has afflicted his daughter, Ireena Kolyana.

barovia

A Vistani patron whispers to Lysandros to “visit Madam Eva”.

Ismark assures the group that the letter is a well done forgery. Although it is a forgery, it is true that Ireena has been bitten and has been “acting strange” lately. For the safety of his sister, Ismark hid her in an encampment at the outskirts of Barovia. He pleads the party to help him unravel this mystery and to help his sister. Ismark suspects that Strahd is the cause of all this madness.

Soon the town is attacked by a zombie horde. After defeating the undead (with the help of Adrianne), Arik suggests that this daily attack must come from the Church of Ezra. Adrainne offers her services (and her knowledge of how to combat the Undead and about the Vistani) to the group.

The party go to the Church. There, they encounter Friar Donavich, who has gone mad due to the death of his son. Skyclad, through the powers of the ANULUS MENTEM, performs Psychic Surgery which restores the priest’s sanity.

Once sober, Donavich confesses about his encounter with Strahd and shares the history of the Church of Ezra and an artifact known as the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind which may be used to combat the powerful Strahd.

The two priests, Donavich and Findar, perform a Consecration ritual on the church grounds.

Ismark then brings the party to the hidden sanctum where he kept his sister. There, they finally meet Ireena and get to hear her tale about her encounters with a “dark being”.

Findar leads everyone to the Vistani encampment. There, Madam Eva performs a fortune telling which reveals 3 important things which must be gathered to defeat Strahd

madameva

  1. “What you seek is a blade of light, a weapon for vengeance”
  2. “This symbol is a powerful force for good and protection against the forces of darkness”
  3. “The tome you seek holds knowledge of the ancient and knowledge of the land”

After the reading, Findar orders the group to stay the night at the Vistani camp.

By midnight, a garrish four-horse drawn carriage arrives.

“Ah!” says the Vistani crone, “Your ride has arrived. The Lord has invited you to his Castle!”

They all (with Ismark and Ireena) ride the carriage towards Castle Ravenloft…

CASTLE RAVENLOFT

castleravenloft

At the castle, the Count receives the party as guests and treats them to a lavish dinner. (and yes, they spot the 3rd Signet Ring worn by Strahd)

Ismark quickly accuses Strahd of biting his sister. Strahd laughs it all off and proves to everyone (by drinking the Holy Water from Ireena, given by Findar) that he is NOT a vampire and all these tales and rumors are caused by Baba Zelenna and her coven of witches.

Strahd explains to everyone that the witches (perhaps aided by his nemesis, Lord Soth) aim to rid him of his lands and topple him from power. He asks the party to aid him defeat these witches which will also rid Ireena’s “disease”.

Lysandros insists that no pact nor contract be finalized. He asks Strahd that the group be given a chance to go to the coven to “see for themselves” if his claims are true before deciding to help him defeat his enemies.

Strahd agrees and asks them to stay the night at the castle.

Skyclad, in vain, fails to disarm the magical traps that bar the door of their bedrooms. Our heroes elect to cancel their plans of escaping and looking for the artifacts in the castle that night.

The next morning, Strahd meets everyone in broad daylight! After luncheon, the party proceed to the Vakkhis Planes to investigate.

THE STANDING STONES

standingstones

The party arrive before the witches begin a summoning ritual. They do not attack but instead, tried to reason with Baba Zelenna and her witches.

Findar suggests that he and his group can help the witches defeat Strahd since they know the layout of the castle and his weaknesses. The party also claim that they have come from Krynn, homeworld of the hags.

“Prove this!” spat Baba Zelenna.

With this, the Kender, Skyclad Nimblewind, steps forward and pulls out the Rabbit Slayer, Tasslehoff Burfoot’s legendary dagger!

“Ah, you speak the truth then,” said the leader of the hags. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend. How and when do we attack”.

Findar coordinates a diversion. The witches will attack the castle and the vampire guards while they talk to Strahd and convince him of the death of Baba Zelenna. With this, Zelenna magically decapitates one of the party’s horses and “transforms” it into a replica of her head.

BACK TO THE CASTLE

strahd

Findar presents Baba Zelenna’s head to Strahd as proof of her death. Strahd sees through the illusion and orders his Blood Guards (vampires in red, full plate) to attack. Ismark is killed in Strahd’s Cloudkill spell.

The witches begin their assault of Castle Ravenloft!

The rest of the heroes cast invisibility spells (Hide from Undead, Invisibility, etc) and rush towards the Castle to seek the various relics needed to defeat the Overlord of Ravenloft.

They discover the Tome of Strahd (his journal, which reveals his past and his scheme) at the entrance of the catacombs where Strahd appears and confronts them in combat. SkyClad launches the Rabbit Slayer and hits the Strahd squarely in the chest! The dagger pierces through the heart.

The vampire staggers, clutching the dagger. A tear falling from its eye as it whispers to Skyclad “No! Do not kill me! Please. Not me!”

Strahd falls silent to the ground.

Findar rushes in a for a coup de grace!

At this point in time, Adrianne breaks down into maniacal laughter. “Strahd’s” body transforms into that of the Inquisitor and the “Adrianne” transforms into Strahd!

“Hahahahaha! You cannot kill me THAT easily!!!”

With that, Strahd enters his mist form and leaves the party stunned and silent.

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