Heart of Barovia

A Fated Hand
Tarokka Reading at Madame Eva's

Our adventurers gathered in a small, festively-adorned tent to listen to a tarokka reading from Madame Eva, a Vistani Seeress of some sort. Extorting each of the party to handle the deck in some way, she laid out five cards; three from a 'low' deck, and two from the 'high' deck. 

The first card, the 5 of Glyphs (also known as the Druid), spoke of history. Eva advised the party to seek out The Tome of Strahd, the vampire's lost journal. Apparently ravens will be the key to finding this location. 

An evil tree grows atop a hill of graves where the ancient dead sleep. The ravens can help you find it. Look for the treasure there.

The second card,  the 3 of Swords (also known as the Soldier) told of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope, The Holy Symbol of Ravenkind.

Go to the mountains. Climb the white tower guarded by golden knights. Watch the goat.

The last card of the low deck, the Healer (3 of Glyphs), provided the location of a weapon of vengeance, a sword forged of the fury of sunlight itself, The Sunsword.

Look to the west. Find a pool blessed by the light of the white sun.

The first card of the high deck - the Beast - promised that an ally could be found in the werewolf Zuleika Toranescu, if we could find her. 

A werewolf holds a secret hatred for your enemy. User her hatred to your advantage. 

The final card – the Beast, Inverted – warned us of our foe's nature and the location of our final battle.

Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. Though you are fated to strike the final blow in the grand throne room of his castle, be wary that he will strive to flee to his coffin to recover and exact revenge!

Curse of Strahd - Part 2
  • After a long night camping in the fog-shrouded forest, the Party awakens to discover they and their campsite has been teleported to another, unnervingly similar-looking fog-shrouded forest.
  • The Cleric attempts to test the wall of fog blocking the road to the north-east, gets cold feet and a level of fatigue.
  • Paladin detects the vague presence of a possible malicious evil-aligned entity nearby, Tiefling Mage looks innocent.
  • Back at camp, the Mage finds a discarded letter written by a Kolyan Inidirovich, Burgomaster of Barovia, calling for help for his wife Sreena who has been afflicted by a deadly evil. Kolyan promises all that he has to whomever can save her life.
  • The Party decides to follow the road to the south-west since that is in the opposite direction to the wall of fog. They notice the wall of fog following after them.
  • Soon the road brings them to a ancient ruined gate in a impressive but also ruined stone defensive wall, about 10 to 20 ft high. The gate is guarded by 2 large statues of armoured warriors flanking either side of the gate. The statues have both been decapitated, their wolf-helmed heads lying at their feet.
  • As the group approaches the gate, its iron doors creak open just enough for the party to pass through.
  • Fighter tries to strike up a conversation with one of the stone heads, gets only stoney silence in return.
  • The Party passes through the iron gate. The Ranger – the last one through – hears the creaking sound of the gate's metal hinges, and turns to see the wall of fog rush towards the gate before the iron doors slam shut against it.
  • Past the wall, the Party continue to follow the road. The Ranger goes scouting ahead into the dense forests on either side of the road and finds a half-buried corpse underneath a tree, clutching another letter in its hands. As the Ranger takes the letter, the corpse disintegrates into dust, and the howl of wolves can be heard in the distance. The Ranger decides to climb the tree as a defensive position.
  • The rest of the Party hear the wolves approaching, and withdraw back to the gate. Back in the forest, the wolf pack stream past underneath the tree the Ranger is hiding in, leaving only the pack leader – a large black-furred dire-wolf with glowing blood-red eyes – under the tree, standing and watching the Ranger.
  • The wolf-pack attack the Party at the gate, eventually injuring the Cleric when one dire-wolf rips at her throat with its fangs, tearing open her jugular vein and spilling her blood to the ground. As the blood is spilled, the wolves suddenly break off their attack, and disappear back into the forest the way they came, leaving the Party to heal the downed Cleric and recover.
  • The Ranger attempts to shoot the dire-wolf pack leader with their arrows but can't hit the creature. As the rest of the wolf-pack withdraw around them the pack leader shoots a beam of fire from its maw at the Ranger in the tree before dissolving into a swarm of black vampire-bats that fly past the Ranger and disappear into the forest.
  • The Ranger eventually returns to the rest of the Party and shares with them the new letter they have found, another letter signed by Kolyan Inidirovich but in a different hand and style than the last. This letter implores the reader to stay away from Barovia, claiming the land is cursed by a vampire that has also bitten his daughter Ireena, and that the land should be sealed off to contain the monster.
  • Now sealed in the land of Barovia with no way back, the party continue moving forward again.
  • Eventually the road leads out of the forest into a large plain about 5-6 miles across. A river flows to the south-west and a small town can be seen directly west. The party follow the road towards the town.
  • The town is surrounded by a dense fog, and all the buildings are barred shut, and the only sound that of a distant child's whimpering. As the party enters the town they find 2 children standing alone in the middle of the road, one a small boy crying and clutching a small doll while his older sister tries to quiet him down.
  • The Party introduce themselves after a subtle Divine Sense check, and learn the children's names are Rosavalda & Thornboldt. After talking to Rosavalda for awhile she points to a nearby mansion and claims that there is a monster inside and their younger brother is still inside.
The Curse of Strahd - Part 1

Quick Summary -

  • Traveling through wilderness guarding Trading Caravan
  • Wood Elf Ranger is pursuing
  • Nightfall approaches, caravan stops for the night
  • Cleric demands more wine, when not receiving any they teleport around camp in protest using Magical Skeleton Fog
  • Wood Elf Ranger sees Cleric using Magic Fog, is perturbed.
  • Wood Elf Ranger tries to infiltrate camp site
  • Fighter tries to defend camp from Wood Elf, fails
  • Paladin tries to play dice, fails
  • Wood Elf successfully infiltrates camp
  • Cleric sets fire to tree
  • Cleric sets fire to fire
  • Cleric goes to sleep
  • Ranger is further perturbed by Fog.
  • Tiefling Mage plays imaginary fetch with Dog
  • Dawn comes, Magic Fog has teleported group from one Forest to another eerily similar Forest.

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