Fear of the Dark

16 and 17th...Probably into the 26th night.
Tsolenka Pass and The Amber Temple

Uther, after chasing Rudolph van Richten away, summoned a horse with a spell and chased him down.

His progress impeded, van Richten stopped to address Uther.

Bastian and Karlotta met with the group.

They interrogated him a little bit. He mentioned that he had come to Barovia to attack Strahd, that he had a theory that Strahd my slumber at times, and that he had an assistant, Ezmerelda, who had Ireena in a safe place.

During this interview, Bastian had a memory of seeing van Richten after class. Bastian was going to see him about a project. Upon seeing the boy, van Richten said, “Ah, come in my boy!”

Baz saw a 19th century style lab full of boiling concoctions as the scientist moved from station to station. Upon the stuff Baz passed by was a map that read, in part:

…That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons even death may die. Their dead remains tell secrets in dreams. Here the shadows of their true shape screams; made not of matter, yet their whispers shatter

There was also a Vistani woman in an expensive looking red coat in a corner studying an old parchment.

“Don’t worry about Ezmerelda,” van Richten had said, “She’s one of the good ones. An assistant that I’ve had for a long time.”

Baz remembered that he was looking for blood. A bit of vampire blood for an experiment that he was trying.

van Richten moved to a station where a plant, bloody to the touch, was sitting in water. “A cutting from a gulthias tree,” van Richten explained, fawning over it for a moment. “The blood that flows through is vampiric, but has its own unique properties. You cannot kill a gulthias tree without the prolonged use of a hallowed spell over time.”

van Richten moved to another station, “This is the blood of a vampire spawn. It is almost identical to that of a master vampire. However I suspect that it is different. The spawn changes with the death of the master. It may even become inert. This particular sample is from a spawn from Bavaria.”

Baz remembered words from books or from van Richten, he could not remember, “Kill a vampire spawn and nothing will happen…Kill a master vampire and he will return to his crypt where he must be staked to the ground to die. In this way, he is like the gulthias tree.”

Baz remembered taking the sample from the vampire spawn. And he was back in the rain, sitting with Karlotta and Uther, questioning his old mentor.

Van Richten also mentioned that he had had a powerful and vivid dream in which he was talking to the wizards Kazahn and Exethanter. While doing so, the brother of Strahd’s bride Tatyana approached him. He was named Remington, but in the world of dreams, Remington looked exactly like Bastian.

Wet and tired they let van Rirchten return to the Abbot.

The group left immediately. Upon leaving the city gates they found Arrigal, waiting in a cart and ready to go.

They went quickly back to Kasimir’s home, and with him as a guide, they decided to head toward the Amber Temple.

The trek was steep. Barovia had never been hospitable. The endless smoke colored skies, the lack of sunlight, and the damp that bore into your bones.

But this was different. They left through relatively normal, if rough road. The first two days, a rain washed much of the road out. They put their pelts on to stay dry, but it caused a sweat under the skin that made them lightheaded and hot, even as the rain poured around them. Their feet took longer to move in the mud as they began to see the huge mountains ahead coming at them.

The steep hills here were clearly rarely accessed, and why would they be? The gloomy trees became fewer and fewer as they continued for days, and the road became steeper and rockier.

On the first day of seeing snow in the air they were almost relieved that the pelts may have been useful instead of violently warm. But that night, when they found a small alcove between the jutting mountains to build a fire, they barely slept through chattering teeth as the snow continued to fall.

They continued on. The snow became all that they saw as the ground became hard and frozen one day, slippery and icy the next. Finally they were forced to raise their feet up far more than they would have liked to trudge through the endless snow. Constantly, always falling, the snow continued to fall from what gray sky was visible between the mountain peaks.

The rings of warmth kept them warm in the way a fresh belt of whiskey may have. It felt good. On occasion, they one could not help but to take off the ring to see mow miserable and cold it was being waist deep in snow along a pass. But immediately the chill would force the ring back onto finger and the sudden warmth would cause a violent shiver.

They learned to dig into the snow, to make crude snow caves in which to sleep. Sometimes they hoped the protection of ice would preserve their own heat more than a fire could give them. It was an excuse to not start a fire, they all knew, as they were exhausted and miserable.

They came to a path clinging to the side of a mountain, hugging the wall as close as they could, for they could not tell where the snow had built upon air and where there was road beneath.

The shelf of rock on which the road clings grew more narrow, but to their left the icy hills rose until meeting their feet. Ahead, through wind and snow, they saw a high wall of black stone lined with spikes and topped by statutes of demonic vultures with horned heads. In the center of the wall, as they approached, they spied an iron portcullis, behind which random explosions of green flame attempted to ignite. Behind this a tower of whit stone stood, covered with golden statues of warriors covered in snow.

As they left the road to the clearing in front of the wall, a sign in an ancient and harsh looking language became clear.

Baz, being an academic, could make out the ancient words:

By proceeding you leave the placid island of ignorance, a mercy in the midst of the black seas of infinity; magic here pieced together the terrifying vistas of reality: That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons even death may die. Their dead remains tell secrets in dreams. Here the shadows of their true shape screams; made not of matter, yet their whispers shatter

Uther tried to walk through the gate, dodging the stuttering flames. He remembered, suddenly, a year ago when he had been here before. He was with The Incorruptible, the Corrupted, and a thief named Ginny Tealeaf.

Back then it wasn’t a sputtering of green flame, but like a wall of green lava flame pouring down from the top to the bottom. Ginny had provoked Uther to try and walk through the flames on faith alone. He tried, and just as he started on fire, he felt a searing pain and then it over as he momentarily lost himself. The Incorruptible had seen Uther on fire and pushed him all the way through, beating Uther’s flames out. He put a healing spell upon Uther. The dwarf upon looking down upon Uther commented, “You’re supposed to be a rock upon which the Raven Queen relies. It doesn’t mean that you are a rock.” He helped Uther up and dispelled the magic in the gate. Making sure Uther was alright, The Incorruptible said, “Let’s go get ”/characters/mysterious-female" class=“wiki-content-link”>your daughter."

The group passed the tower and went directly ahead to a bridge. There they saw Strahd upon it. Arming up they attempted to attack, only to find it was an illusion. From there it was across the bridge to the temple. In what looked like a mountain, covered in snow, they saw a facade of a amber above.

The front of the structure was at least fifty feet high with six alcoves containing twenty foot tall statues. Each of theses statues was of amber, depicting a faceless hooded figure in prayer. Between the two innermost statutes was a stairway that led down into the dark.

At the bottom of the stairs they found themselves on a black marble balcony with shattered railing overlooking a large floor. To the right and the left the balcony disappeared into darkness, and ahead of them a large staircase went to the darkness of a big floor.

But upon seeing this, Uther remembered a year ago when he had been running toward the spot he was now standing.

There were a lot of people with him, faceless, as they ran across the temple floor toward the stairs he now faced. Fire rained down on them as everyone scrambled. He remembered now the voice of Urwin Martikov shouting, “It’s a goddamned killing floor!”

Urwin ran with the others as people were struck down in fire. He felt pain like he had never felt before. The people in front of him were struck with the same lightning that had just torn through his own body. He dropped to the ground and heard the chaos around him. People were on fire, screaming, dropping, and burning. You couldn’t move as you smelled the burning flesh.

“Leave the dead!” Urwin shouted, “We need to get out of here!”

Uther was sure he would be among the dead left behind, but then felt a hand grab his and help him to his feet. He looked up, seeing the young face of the huntress Murual Vinshaw help him to his feet. “You’re damned lucky you won’t remember this,” She said, “Let’s go…”

And then Uther was back there in the present, looking down at the floor.

The group, wisely, decided not to go down the stairs and instead took a left and went into a room. Here they ran across some people that had slipped through a hole in the ice to camp in a large room.

A huge woman, built like an Inuit sumo wrestler stood in front of them. She declared that she was Malice the Magnificent and that this was her place and she wouldn’t give it up for anyone. Behind her were six other figures. A bulldog looking barbarian with dark skin named Sucramad; a wall white older Viking named Eerffeg; a fit and fast young warrior named Elk; a big slow, tubby barbarian named Tap; a female in black with an Innuit look to her named Enij; and a dire wolf.

The group engaged in battle. For a moment it seemed as if Kasimir was going to cowardly run away the way they had come. But he had actually left and come back through the other opening to attack the group of warriors from the far side.

With the room to themselves, the group rested.

Thus ended the first night in the Amber Temple.

The group woke up and decided to double back and investigate the way that they had come. They moved past the stairs, again wisely not going to the killing floor, and then into another room opposite the one they had fought the warriors.

One the way they ran into a spectacled man with a kind of Austrian accent. He introduced himself as Heinrich Stolt and mentioned that he didn’t remember anything. He seemed to have the same kind of amnesia that Uther had been suffering from. He asked if they could join their party in order to figure out what had happened to him. They agreed.

Here they ran across three flame skulls, which they defeated with relative ease. Part of this was that Heinrich had a powerful lightning spell that seemed to be a surprise to him.

In the room they were in was a hole that seemed to go to the lower floor. The group opted to explore the rest of the East balcony. There was damage in the hallway where the balcony was cracked severely. They decided to pass by a door to their right as they continued on to find a room with a broken wall and, beyond that, a balcony that overlooked a statue at the far end of the killing floor. A little more investigation revealed nothing so they decided to double back, again skipping the door on the east, and to the hole in the ground.

They slipped down the hole into a hall that had a few doors facing them. They opened up the door to their south. There were three slabs of amber, each with a fleck of something incredibly black, blacker than anything they had ever seen within. Kasimir warned the party not to touch the amber and certainly not to commune with the spirit within. Heinrich wasn’t having that and so touched the southernmost block of amber. His head dissolved into mist leaving a jackal’s head that was devoid of muscle strength on one side, leaving a disfigured look to it. He touched another one, to the east, and his eyes grew a sickly yellow and grew lazy.

He wondered if this was a good idea after all.

The group checked the other two doors in this hall. There was a bedroom covered in cobwebs that seemed to have nothing of interest, so they passed it by.

There was also a room with a shield guardian sitting there, long since inactive and seemingly broken, that they passed by.

The only thing left from here was to hug the large statue on the killing floor, opposite the stairs. Since they had momentarily killed the flame skulls on that side, they decided they were probably safe to try and sneak across.

They passed by a very well sealed door to their right, and continued behind the statute, successfully sneaking past the statue and another door. This second door was shattered. Uther remembered walking to that door with the Corrupted, the Incorruptible, and Ginny Tealeaf.

A year ago, a little ahead, they had pried open the room that they wanted to get into. After opening the doors, Ginny Tealeaf said, ““I shall I shall, ain’t nothin’ no door like me shan’t slag like a bugger! This is all ye now, I say, I say. Ye need the two of you lot for the ceremony and old Uther here to watch your keister. I’m off to find some treasure!”

Now all that was left of Ginny Tealeaf was the smashed remains of her and her cloak in front of an open vault door.

Deciding not to go in, the group continued to the other side, under the balcony on the west side.

Here they found the door that Uther had opened a year ago. Still wide open. They walked inside.

Uther remembered walking in there with the Corrupted, the Incorruptible, and Ginny. Ginny had opened the door and, apparently, gotten herself killed when she left to open a nearby door.

Uther had gone in first to make sure everything was safe. There was nothing there but the amber sarcophagi with the dark specks buried within them.

“Will this do?” The Incorruptible asked the Corrupted.

“Oh yes, oh yes,” The Corrupted responded, nearly with a sexual thrill that Uther didn’t like. The Corrupted knelt to look at the perfect blackness inside. “You will see it?”

“We both will,” the Incorruptible said as he began to lay out supplies. Uther listened while he watched the door. The Incorruptible continued, “It’ll draw toward you, and as it moves, I will see its old form and sever it at the right place, assigning it to the black infinity where it came from.”

The Incorruptible and the Corrupted worked to put a white powder around the sarcophagus and changed until the powder erupted into white flame. The Corrupted stoked the flame from outside the circle, his hands and eyes glowing, his hair beginning too and, and chanting words just under his breath.

The Incorruptible sat inside the circle, chanting holy words.

The sarcophagus began to hiss, like iron growing to hot, and then cracked. Then cracked again. And again.

The Incorruptible moved to the middle, looking at the cracks as the amber fell away while the Corrupted peeled blackness from the light in front of him.

Uther remembered looking at the Incorruptible as his eyes changed from that of a saint into a fury.

“My God,” The Incorruptible stammered, “It’s full of stars!”

He continued as darkness in the form of light illuminated him, "a shadow of horror is risen
In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific!

“Self-closed, all-repelling: what Demon hath form’d this abominable void…

“This soul-shuddering vacuum…Dark revolving in silent activity: Unseen in tormenting passions; An activity unknown and horrible.”

The Incorruptible ran his dwarf hands through his hair, his eyes never blinking, speaking words not his own "A self-contemplating shadow, In enormous labours occupied…Eternals beheld his vast forests…Age on ages he lay, clos’d, unknown Brooding shut in the deep; all avoid The petrific abominable chaos…His cold horrors silent.

“The mocking endless cry, the daemonic shoggoth, life given pattern by ancient ones with no language, no voice but the imitated accents of our byonge masters!”

He began to weep pathetically and fell to a fetal position, pulling the hair from his head muttering about a blissful blank before we existed, bleeding and broken.

Before the white fire extinguished into the darkness of the Incorruptible’s wailing sobs, Uther saw the Corrupted push his nails into his own forehead and, with a demonic grin, try to tear his own face off as tears rolled down his cheeks.

But now Uther walked into the black room with Kalotta and Baz…

13th, 14th, and 15th Night
Village of Krezk and the Monastery

The adventurers took their absinthe back to the cart.

Arrigal called up some reinforcements to guard the valuable cargo on their way to Krezk. Three figures joined, the Vistani Eddie and Tyler, as well as a Dusk Elf female named Nymeria. They brought news that the children of the Vistani had disappeared, aside from Arabelle.

As they travelled, they came across a Will o’ the Wisp that Arrigal encouraged them to ignore, and they followed the advice and moved forward.

Arrigal appeared before the gates of Krezk and through a bottle of absinthe to one of the guards. Overjoyed, they opened the gates.

Eddie and Tyler unloaded the two barrels of absinthe and began taking them into the mist to go back to the Vistani.

Karlotta immediately objected.

Arrigal tried to mediate, explaining that they still had five crates of bottles, more than enough to secure entrance into the commune.

Uther stepped up against Eddie and Tyler, both of which drew their knives.

Arrigal again tried to intervene.

Nymeria took the opportunity to walk into Krezk, letting the doors shut behind her.

Sabastian started to hulk-out and prep for a fight.

Tyler took both barrels and started rolling them away while Eddie got into Uther’s face and asked what he was going to do about them taking the barrels. This helped move Uther’s decision to simply get access into the commune and the others followed.

The adventurers entered Krezk. Immediately they were questioned about whether they were Vistani or not. Uther lied successfully about Karlotta’s heritage, while Arrigal agreed to wait outside the walls with the cart.

They were directed to the burgomaster, Dmitri Krezkov. Meanwhile guards took the absinthe they brought and distributed it through the town.

Upon arriving at the burgomaster’s place, Dmitri offered to let them spend the night.

Inside the house was a wedding dress being made. When Karlotta questioned about it, Dmitri simply said that someone they met named Keesya had retrieved it for them.

The group had plenty of questions for what had happened to their former comrade, but there weren’t many. Just that she had come, offered to get the dress, and then disappeared again.

The dress itself triggered memories for Karlotta, however. She remembered poking around in Varga’s house in Valaki on the sixth night.

The vision was as such:

When Karlotta looked into the mirror, she first saw herself. Then herself in a wedding dress. This changed to a reflection of herself as Ireena—wearing the same wedding dress. Seeing that it was not the same wedding dress in the room, she realized that she was both herself and Ireena a third wedding dress. In a horrible panic she saw that she was the bodies of both Ireena and herself, stitched together, to make someone new wearing the wedding dress in the room. She saw the reflection scream in an inhuman voice as blood poured from the stitching binding the body parts together. And then the vision ended.

The wedding dress in this room was the wedding dress the corpse version of her and Ireena wore.

And now, of course, she realized that it wasn’t Ireena’s reflection she was seeing, but that of Tatyana.

Dmitri’s wife, Anna, was making dinner and stretched what they had to accommodate the guests. The meal was mushrooms, dried goat, chicken, and a few root vegetables.

Nymeria’s hood was blown off by Baz (I think?) who then questioned Nymeria about her parentage. She mentioned that she was a Dusk Elf that was under the training of Kasimir. The fact that there are explicitly no female Dusk Elves didn’t seem to warrant any further questions.

Though friendly, Dmitri was most excited about the absinthe he asked Uther about the Raven Queen and made sure Uther was drunk. He then asked Uther to go to a sacred pool on the far north side of town and give a prayer for Dmitri’s dead son, the last of his line.

Uther agreed and Karlotta insisted on going too.

Once the two were away, Dmitri turned his attention to Baz and Nymeria. He asked them if they had any sympathy for an old man’s dead family.

Baz was mostly taken aback, but agreed it was a tragedy.

Dimitry then asked if they were parents, and they lost a child, would they do anything to get the child back.

Both Nymeria and Baz agreed that they would.

Then Dmitry asked for their help. A few moments went by and there was a knock on the door.

Upon opening the door, a beautiful, though weirdly distant, figure barely wearing the robe of an Abbot emerged.

The Abbot slid into the room and asked where the boy was. Dmitri led the group upstairs to a dark loft.

Baz was having none own this and stayed downstairs while Nymeria peaked into the darkness.

There was a strong stench of death and fresh dirt. When a dim lantern was lit, the decaying corpse of a boy was on the bed.

The Abbot asked everyone to bind the corpse to the bed. They did so, and then the Abbott put his hands upon the corpse and reanimated it. The corpse made horrible sounds and struggled to get off the bed, gurgling and kicking violently.

“”/characters/ilya-krezkov" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ilya!" Anna cried.

“He is back with you,” The Abbot said coldly, “Show him love and he will return as he was.”

Going back downstairs Nymeria confronted the Abbot.

“What gives you the right,” Nymeria asked.

“The greater call,” The Abbot said, “The call of love.”

Baz pushed back on the Abbot too, demanding to know what the wedding dress was for. Again, there was a cryptic response about love beating all.

Baz and Nymeria were not having this in the least, and so they demanded to know if the Abbott could get the rings of warmth. The Abbott agreed and invited them up to the Abbey in the morning.


Karlotta and Uther got to the holy pool which was an unnaturally beautiful shimmering color. Uther made a ceremony and asked the Raven Queen if he had done the right thing by coming to this pool and leaving the others behind. The pool turned black.

Karlotta and Uther argued over whether that was a good thing or not.

Karlotta and Uther joined the others at the Burgomaster’s house to find that furs had been laid out for them to sleep in. Baz told Uther about the Abbot having resurrected Ilya, and Uther confronted Dimitri about it but decided that it was the Abbot that he should deal with

The next morning the group got up and made their way to the monastery outside of town.

They climbed the hill and, in front of a wall, were confronted with Zygfrek Belview and Otto Belview

The party was sufficiently creeped out by the Belviews and were brought to a courtyard to wait for the Abbot. The courtyard was full of people that had parts of animals grafted onto them. Some were held on leashes and in cages.

Eventually Zygfrek Belview returned and led the group to meet with The Abbot.

The Abbot was in a kitchen dictating to a beautiful woman. He introduced her as Vasilka. Looking closely, Uther noted that Vasilka, who never spoke, was a very well made flesh golem.

Nymeria pushed The Abbot further demanding to know why the residents in the monastery were partially part animal. The Abbot said that he did it to them because it’s what they wanted and that, as an act of love, he gave them what they desired.

The adventurers decided to continue to find the rings of warmth and asked where they were. The Abbot told them upstairs. When pressed as to why he was doing what he was doing, the Abbot again said everything was out of live.

Uther threatened the Abbot, who then turned into winged figure in raining gold; His body was like beryl, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the roar of a multitude. The adventurers backed off after that.

So the group went up the stairs, bypassed Clovin Belview, went into some rooms, and pretty quickly found the rings.

But they also came into an office where Rictavio was sitting. As always, he was interested in the Vistani more than anything else, though he slipped a piece of paper to Bastian Steele (Baz).

The adventurers decided not to look at the rest of the monastery after finding the rings with relative ease. They returned to Krezk and there they saw that Dmitri Krezkov’s house was guarded.

Still having absinthe, they decided to open up a table and try selling it. Krezk, having just received booze, was in something of a hangover mode, but the adventurers kicked things back into a kind of party.

Bastian Steele (Baz) opened up the note to find that it read:


But they wanted a place to stay for that night. Bastian Steele (Baz) solved this problem by finding the most beautiful woman in the town he could see, Jessica, and seducing her.

To do this, Uther and Karlotta Szardos had to distract her husband Jeffree.

This worked neatly and, staying on the ground floor of Jessica and Jeffree’s house, they waited until around midnight.

Bastian Steele (Baz) went to the gazebo and waited while Uther and Karlotta Szardos climbed nearby trees and waited.

Eventually Rictavio showed up, but upon taking off his hat transformed into ’s mentor, Rudolph van Richten.

Rudolph van Richten explained that he had a dream about Bastian Steele (Baz), that they had been wizards at a wedding. He explained that he had come to Barovia in order to kill Strahd von Zarovich, as he had a theory about a master vampire of his status. He then explained that he had possession of Ireena Kolyana and that…

…Then he abruptly put his hat on and hurriedly walked away with a look of disgust on his face as he left Baz.

Uther had jumped down from the tree and come to join them—something Rudolph van Richten evidently did not like.

12th Night
Tser Pool Encampment / Ruins of Berez

The group sat with Kasimir Velikov, who looking suspiciously for a moment at Karlotta, asked her to give a seance. This is far more powerful than was ever intended.

The Seance
Karlotta was sitting on a blanket on rolling green hills in a beautiful valley. With her was a stranger, a young man, who looked nothing like Baz, but in the dreamlike logic of the vision, she knew was Baz.

They spoke a little bit how odd this all was, but did see a castle being built atop a mountain. Long before the mountain, they saw a mansion. While attempting to figure out what had happened, a handsome young man came up on a horse, with another fine horse in his hand.

He hopped off when he saw Karlotta and Baz, his dark look lightening with delight at seeing Karlotta. He handed her the reigns.

“This is our best horse Lady Tatyana,” He said. He affectionately touched the horse, who was clearly well loved and trained, “She’s the best I’ve ever trained. On behalf of my brother, Count Strahd, I’d love to give you this horse as a small token of his affections for you.”

Seeing Baz, Sergei made very clear that the intentions of his brother were good and that the von Zarovich family had nothing but respect and admiration for the Remmingtons.

Baz pushed further and found out that this brother’s name was Sergei. The Remmingtons were a new house, elevated because of their loyal service to the von Zaroviches in the recent war to take Barovia.

Sergei made his exit, giving a lingering look at Karlotta, whom he called Tatyana.

Baz and Karlotta decided to make their way back to the mansion.

The back of the mansion had a deck over the door, and upon that balcony sat Uther—utterly confused at his lavish surroundings. But, in the same dreamlike logic, he knew that the two people walking toward the mansion—Who looked like Ireena and her brother—were Karlotta and Baz.

He then dissipated and Karlotta found herself back in the mansion with the others. They surmized that Uther was in the body of the father of the two and tried to get their bearings, understanding eventually that they were in Barovia, north of the village of Barovia. They also figured that Uther was disappointed in his son as being something of a fop as opposed to the old-school soldier that the father was. But the sun was shining and things seemed happy and bright.

At about this point, Karlotta found herself in a black room across a table from Mr. Wilcox, who said: “Madam Szardos, I’m warning you that you are dealing with powers you don’t understand. You never should have been able to do this.”

It’s many years later. It’s a sunny day. Karlotta had a wing in a great castle. There’s a bright balcony window and a large wooden door. Servants are around you gushing about how lucky you are to be marrying Sergei (and how you two even look a bit alike and will have beautiful children running around). When she looks into the mirror, she sees Ireena in a wedding dress looking back at her. This is the mirror reflection for part of a vision she had in Vallaki.

Baz-as-Remington, and Uther-as-the-father were in another wing at a pre-wedding party.

Uther got to know some of the other soldiers he had fought with in the war, though still didn’t remember much. Still, as a father himself, he was able to fall into the role of complaining about how spoiled the next generation was going to be. He started to get drunk.

Baz noted that Von Richten, his old teacher, was there as in a dream— But as a wizard speaking to two other wizards. Baz went up and talked to his old teacher and learned that the other wizards were Exethanter and Khazahn, who leads the group to Strahd in his workshop. They explain some very exciting magic that they’ve been learning about. The Von Richten wizard seemed less interested in magic and said that mechanical and chemical sciences would be the future.

Back with Karlotta-as-Tatyana, there was a knock at the door where she was getting prepared for the wedding. A servant opened it. In walked Strahd. There’s something handsome about him, but he’s stonefaced. And Karlotta’s realized that in seeing him that she’s not Karlotta, because the darkness in him frightens you about something in yourself.

And for a moment she feared Sergei for the same reasons.

She look into the mirror to check and see something too horrible to imagine, for just a split second. She’s left not sure that you see it before it’s gone.

Strahd opened a small box and handed it to Karlotta. It was a beautiful ring. “I wanted you to have it,” He said sadly, almost stammering, “I got it from my mother…She would have wanted…She always wanted me to give it to the woman I loved most in the world. But it’s for you and…Sergei. My only brother. I’m happy for him…Happy for you both.”

One of the servants, who looks like Miss Mason, takes Tatyana to the wedding.

Baz-as-Remmington, Uther-as-drunk-father, Von Richten, Exethanter, and Khasahn file to the place of where the marriage is to take place. In the same castle they’re in, on a huge balcony overlooking Barovia. Uther finds a piece of metal and jams it behind a flagstone.

Karlotta comes out and stands next to Uther to be given away to Sergei. But Sergei does not come.

Karlotta looked absently out at the field and can just see the horses below, that Sergei and her were going to ride off on. She also looks into the crowd and sees herself, Karlotta, young and dressed as a maid, in attendance of the wedding.

The priest looked patient, but the crowd was getting antsy waiting for Sergei. There is an electric feel to the air. This was taking too long.

The crowd murmured and everyone looked up to a balcony high above in a tower. Sergei is standing there. Looking concerned. He mouths something, but it’s unclear what. Things become tense.

Behind him, Strahd stands. He takes Sergei’s neck and pulls it back. Looking at Karlotta, he bites into Sergei’s neck like an animal, and blood gushes as Sergei falls limp.

Sergei, being the only person that really loved Strahd doesn’t resist. You know that he’d have done anything for his brother. Now he is falling to his knees, involuntarily holding the gushing wound. Strahd looks down at the panicking crowd and, blood dripping from his mouth, orders his guards to force the crowd to stay seated.

He leaps from the balcony and lands on the ground, too easily to be natural. Strahd begins coming toward Karlotta, Sergei’s blood around his mouth. He is angry. Violent. Hateful.
“I hate Sergei for making me do that,” He said, “And I will force you to love me instead. In time you will have no choice.”

Here Uther rushed at Strahd, but before he got two steps, guards, panicking, shot him full of arrows. The crowd erupted into screams.

Karlotta ran to the back, where railings protected a long drop to the ground. Sergei and her horse were panicking, far below and away, sensing the commotion. Servants tried to hold them there.

“Kill them!” Strahd said, matching Karlotta’s gaze.

Guards with crossbows shoot the horses down.

“Hold her down,” Strahd commanded other guards.
One hesitantly held her arm. Another other rearmed his crossbow…And then shoots Strahd. This set the tone, and the other guards began shooting Strahd.

There was a glimpse of something horrible, something unexplainable, like that in the mirror.

Strahd fell to his knees and back. The sky clapped. Clouds rolled over the blue sky and turned the bright world first to silver and then to black. Strahd stood in the darkness. He looked different now.

He extended his hands and mist began rolling out from the castle.

“There is no escape for you,” He said violently, but added somewhat lovingly, “I know you’ll love me as much as I love you.”

Karlotta jumped from the railing to escape him, far below, to her death. In that moment, she knew that she would do anything not to be his.

karlotta faintly heard Mr. Wilcox.

The ground came up at her, she felt the impact, but she kept falling.

Mr. Wilcox announced as darkness consumed her, “I will reveal the demon evocations; the very same that drove the other away. But you, you will lean into their unwholesome relief. You will revel in their forming.”

Darkness consumes her as she continued to fall

“Parasites of Yigolonac
“Ammutseba, devourer”

The black seas of infinity touch where she had just left, grazing her for the shortest of instants before she felt the eye close.

And all three were back at the seance table across from Kasimir.

Kasimir’s Story
Kasimir gave them the following information:

““I am one of the last of the dying race of Dusk Elves. I am about a thousand years old, and will die far sooner than see that many days again.

“Long ago, long before me, long before anyone I ever knew, long before the race of man, the Fey Wilds had an elf that lived amongst the stone. Built with stone. And then they emerged from the Fey Wilds to other worlds and found them empty hell scapes with only the dying aberrant races upon them.

“These elves, used to working with stone, immediately poured into the world and built great cities and developed magic that could not be imagined and travelled to many worlds. They became known as the Dawn Elves, for they opened up the conception of civilization to many on various planes as life as we know it awakened.”

Kasimir continued to explain that when his ancestors came from the Fey many thousands of years ago, they came across an already ancient structure that had been sealed. It was sealed and temples built around it to keep what dread horrors existed at bay. Long before Kasimir was born, these too were abandoned.

It’s unclear why, but the Dawn Elves receded into the night and became a lost civilization, thenceforth known as Dusk Elves. He is almost a thousand years old, and has always lived not far from the Amber Temple.

He explained that it was Rahadin, one of our own, that first left to make his name upon the humans.

Upon his advice, three humans, powerful in magic, came here about six hundred years ago to find the temple. These were Baron Von Strahd, then a young general; his teachers of the mystic arts Exethanter, and Khazan.

These three humans entered the terrible ancient structure.

When asked, it was revealed that Khazan went on to build a tower in Barovia, Strahd became the creature he was, and nobody knows what happened to Exethanter.

Things were fine for a while, but Kasimir and the other Dusk Elves felt the realm shift. The mist came rolling in.

Kasimir said that the group needs to go to the Amber Temple to try and fight off Strahd’s source of power.

This triggered a memory for Uther. He remembered standing there, looking at an amber wall. There was a saintly dwarf called Donovan that everybody called the Incorruptible next to him, and a wicked human everybody called the incorruptible. A halfling with a thick Cockney accent was in the reflection too. Uther remembers the scene well, but nothing else—aside from a feeling of panic and shame, like everything went terribly wrong. He told this to Kasimir.

Kasimir explained that he was vaguely aware of Mordenkainen’s plan a year ago, but advised Mordenkainen against it. Kasimir and Uther put together that this was about a year ago—and whatever happened on the mission Uther can’t remember—that’s when the dreams started for Kasimir.

At about this time, Arrigal came in to join the group. He mentions that he just heard back from Madam Eva, who told him to go along with the group.

To get to the temple, Kasimir explains that the group needs rings of warmth and heavy furs.

He suggested Barovia, but the group has been exiled from there.

Then he suggested Vallaki, but the group has been exiled from there too.

So…The hamlet of Krezk it is.

Arrigal informs them that if they’re going to get into Krezk, they need something. And since the winery stopped shipping alcohol, booze is the most important thing for all Barovians right now.

Kasimir tells suggests options, while Arrigal gives the danger to each:

1.The ruins of mansion Argynvostholt, where ancient stores of brandy still populate liquor cabinets all over the realm

Arrigal- “It’s picked pretty clean, and there are some nasty people there.”

2. The ruins of the city of Berez. It’s where the Martikov dynasty originally came from. After the city’s destruction the family distributed wine, but some still remain there to make absinthe that the wealthiest amongst Barovians drink.

Arrigal- “The place his haunted and the Martikovs are cursed.”

3. The Wizard of the Wines. This is where all the wine in the region was grown and, until recently, where it came from. There will still be wine there.

Arrigal: The Martikovs run it, and they’re cursed. But they’re nothing to be jeered at. If something took them down, you can bet it’s not something you want to deal with.

After some discussion, the group decided to depart to Berez.

The Venture
Arrigal has a small cart with a horse. He could ride the horse while the other three sat in back.

As they travelled to Berez, they came across a skeletal rider. Arrigal told them that if they didn’t bother the rider, they would be fine. However, Uther was committed to destroying the undead. Much to Arrigal’s annoyance, they fought the skeletal rider. And won.

Everything became even more foggy and humid. The road moved down, but Arrigal informed the group that they needed to leave the cart and proceed on foot. As they scaled down a ledge from the road into the soupy fog, they heard a chain-gang. They then heard a work song. And as they came closer, they saw the ghosts of bearded slaves, chained together. They were singing the following song:

Lead: Good God,
Chorus: It’s a dead world.
Lead: Good God:
Chorus: He’s the one that brought the fire
Lead: Good God
Chorus: It’s a dead world.
Lead: Good God
Chorus: He’s the one that brought the fire
Lead: Good Lord!
Chorus: It’s a dark world
Lead: Good Lord!
Chorus: It’s the world that brings the fire
Lead: The riverbed will run red with the blood of the saints and the blood of the holy
Chorus: He’s the one that brings the fire
Lead: The riverbed will run red with the blood of the saints and the blood of the holy

When seeing the adventurers approach, the leader introduced himself as the Kavan, Son of Bratt. Kavan explained that he was the chief of native Barovians that opposed Strahd. After Strahd took control of Barovia, they were forced into slavery, building roads and whatnot.

One day, because a girl was killed in Berez, Strahd sought to destroy the city. The slaves were ordered to divert the river. The conditions were terrible, and probably inflicted for the sole reason of making sure none of the slaves survived the project. When it was completed, the river poured into Berez, washing it out and making it uninhabitable. The Martikov dynasty poured into the rest of Barovia, though retained power in the winery.

The reason that the ghost of Kavan explained this was because in Baz, he saw something. Not the outside, but inside was finally a form he could trust to take revenge. He said that buried in Yesser Hill was a blood spear that would put the slaves to rest finally, if used to fight Strahd. The ghosts then vanished.

Arragal led the rest of the group into the ruins of Berez. The adventurers set off a screaming scarecrow and fled into the river. There they saw a steady light blinking.

Following it, they came to Muriel, a huntress that seemed to know a great deal about them. She mentioned that she was in Berez to keep an eye on the Baba Yaga—and that she had friends that were divided on to whether to help the group or not. She was very much on the side of helping, but reluctant to go too far without checking in with her friends.

The adventurers continued into the city, getting lost, running into scarecrows that had to be quickly dispatched, and not able to rest as flies kept landing on them and biting them when they stopped.

At one point they came across the Baba Yaga’s lair. Crows were caged on each side of it. It seemed to be empty. Arragal went stealth about this time..

They pressed on, Arrigal eventually coming back into the fog. Choosing a random direction, they came across a fence covered in human skulls containing goats. Karlotta wanted to release the goats, but Uther talked her out of it.

They continued, eventually coming across the ruins of a mansion.

In the mansion, they found the mutilated ghost of the last Martikov Burgomaster. He explained that he was cursed by Strahd to stay there in that condition. A long time ago a woman was born in Berez that was beautiful. Strahd took special attention to her and, to save her from being damned, he ordered her executed. This caused his curse and the destruction of the town. He told the adventurers that what they were looking for would be under her grave.

The adventurers continued to the graveyard, eventually finding an elaborate grave to the girl—who looked identical to Tatyana and Ireena.

A trick door led under the grave where they found an old couple arguing and making cases and cases of absinthe.

The adventurers grabbed as much as they could carry and proceeded up the stairs. Arrigal, who was last in line, saw something and acted.

The adventurers do not know what it was.

Tenth and Eleventh Night
Svalich Woods / Vallaki / Confrontation with Strahd

In another world, darker than ours, Bastian Steele walked silently alone, hoping that one of the methods he had procured to travel to Barovia would pan out. The Vistani had taken his money, but left him behind. Other explorers dismissed its existence. In the thick fog and cobblestoned streets Steele walked, remembering his attempts to find the monster. The reincarnationist, the wold woman with a teleportation spell.

Steele came to his laboratory and was suddenly gone.

Uther awoke in a fine bed made of silk and feathers. He stood up in a large, bright room. He got to his knees, pulled out a flail, and began to whip himself in penance to Kord. His old hands were familiar with the procedure, the old cracks and calamus had shaped his hands for this purpose. His back ran red with blood before he got dressed.

Enthusiastically, he got up and opened the door to reveal a giant hall made of marble so smooth that he could see himself reflected in the floor. To his left were innumerable other gaudy doors like the one he had just come through, to his right was a railing for the balcony that extended from the stairs he had climbed the night before in exhaustion.

Karlotta woke up, undressed in bed, and immediately began to explore the giant room she found herself in. After dressing, she threw open the shades to the window, only to find illuminated glass on the far side. This was an illusion, not another place.

She left her room and immediately found Uther in the hall. “Breakfast?” The once hulking old man asked simply in a gravely voice.

“Of course,” Karlotta said, “And where is ”/characters/keesaiya" class=“wiki-content-link”>Kessyia?"

“The room between outs,” Uther said simply.

But that door opened and there was no Kessaiya. A well put together dandy named Bastian Steele emerged. Far too measured to show his panic, his wonder that he found himself in a new place he simply made his introductions.

The party moved downstairs where some barely caporal servants showed them into a dining room where Mordenkainen was waiting for them, reading through an old tomb at a long table.

He explained to the Party about how he was part of the last group of adventurers to come fight Strahd.

Shredd, Nyxis Nine, and Ginny Tealeaf (a warrior, a teleporting wizard, and a thief) covertly stole the Eye of Vekna, which some previous adventurer had foolishly brought to Barovia.

Fu Hao had led a militia with Mordenkainen to attack Strahd.

—During the attack, Uther, The Incorruptible, and the Corrupted (and late addition Ginny Tealeaf) were to go to a lost temple, the source of Strahd’s power according to Mordenkainen’s reckoning, and cut him off from the dark powers during the attack. Something went wrong, and Uther can’t remember what.

Uther made breakfast for everyone and they got to know Bastian a little bit before the spell wore off and they found themselves sitting in the woods. Mordenainen excused himself to find his relics and spell book.

The adventurers were back to where they started, and were worried about returning to Vallaki to face Izek, who they were contracted to kill.

They eventually did, and coming down the road to Vallaki in disguise they saw a stream of guards lying dead in the mud, arrows in their back as if they had been fleeing. Getting closer to the city, they saw the corpse of Vargas, dead, crucified, and disembowled, dripping in the rain—but still with the hideous grin that he had worn before.

The new guards were wearing red cloaks, the same kind that they had spied in the house the day before. They did not open the gate, but did summon Ernst to explain to the adventurers what had occurred.

Ernst explained that the festival was rained out last night, and seeing her chance, Fiona Wachter and her supporters—cultists with the slogan, “Hail Satan! Hail Strahd!”—rose up and took the city. Ernst wasn’t particularly happy with the adventurers having not killed Izek, but showed them Izek’s deformed arm that he carried as a trophy. Ernst then excused himself after asking, “Do you know anything about the saber-toothed tiger last night?” He then walked back into the city.

Sitting in the rain, barred from another city, the adventures wondered what to do next.

That is when they saw a bit or light flashing at them from the bushes.

In the bushes was Lars, who explained the battle a little further, explaining that Strahd and some other vampires had attacked the church and made a great slaughter out of everything The guards tried to stop him, but cultists appeared out of seemingly nowhere and started killing the guards. Panic happened, and then a saber toothed tiger came running through the city. Many of the guards broke rank and fled, only to meet an arrow storm on their way out. Having been injured, Uther healed Lars. Lars then said that, since Strahd had been in town, it was a good bet that Victoria was going to meet with him. He invited Uther and the other adventurers.

Lars led them to a little cabin. All having come in, Lars walked around the bright room, lighting lamps. As the room became lit, they could see a body on a table at the center—the mutilated body of Lars.

“Lars,” who had been lighting the lamps stepped through a shadow and revealed himself to be Strahd. A fight broke out.

Strahd did little, simply waved his fingers at Karlotta and let himself get hit. He turned to mist and disappeared.

Almost as soon as that happened, the girl in the skull makeup, Victoria, came in with another girl, Gertruda.

Victoria was horrified to see her father, covered in blood, sword drawn, standing at the table where her friend Lars was mutilated. She screamed and said that she hated her father.

At this, Strahd’s guards came pouring into the cabin, surrounding everyone.

That’s when Gertruda realized she recognized Karlotta as one of the people that had murdered her mother for sport.

Disgusted and angry, the girls screamed venom at the adventurers until Strahd came in behind them, feigning disgust at the party.

When Uther tried to explain, Karlotta—under Strahd’s control from the fight—said, “But Master! You said that we were to punish anybody in your daughter’s life so she would remain forever isolated!”

Horrified, Strahd was forced to compel the girls to leave before they fought the adventurers in an angry fury. He told his guards not to kill the adventurers as he left.

With little else going for them, the group returned to the VIstani camp. They briefly checked in on the Vistani before being invited into the homes of one of the Dusk Elves in robes around the camp…

Eighth and Ninth Night
Vallaki / Lake Zarovich / Svalich Woods

The three sat through several moments in the dank lobby of Fiona Wachter’s house.

The old woman said, “Well, if you’re not the murderers, come to finally visit me.”

Usher objected, “I am no murderer!”

“Yes, yes,” Fiona said, moving toward the stairway, “If you would come with me.”

The group followed, coming to a room door. Fiona openened it without much of a comment, revealing a naked young girl on her hands and knees, moving with a feline touch. The rest of the room looked like it had been a mental hospital, complete with a bed with restraints and no hard are sharp objects.

“Meow!” The girl said, “Kitty smells new people! Kitty doesn’t know the new people!”

Fiona shut the door. “That’s what Victor did to my daughter,” She said. She continued back down the stairs to the parlor, “The ”/characters/baron-vargas-vallakovich" class=“wiki-content-link”>Vallacovichs are the only other nobility in town. I tried to get my poor daughter married to Victor. And he used dark magics to return her to me like this. I’m glad that you killed him."

“Oh right,” Uther commented, “I forgot about that.”

Fiona invited the group to sit down again. “I’ve had ”/characters/ernst-larnak" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ernst remove and hide the body of Victor. Anybody that runs across the room will assume that Victor died in a teleportation accident.

“But I need something from you in return.” The old lady looked more stern, "You know that the Baron of this town is quite insane. Not withstanding what he did to my daughter, he braced his mouth into that horrible smile, runs these kinds of constant festival, and has created a society that is dangerous to everyone within these walls. I need your help to stop this madness and save us all.

“Further,” She continued, “I will have Ernst tell you everything he found out about ”/characters/ireena-kolyana" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ireena’s location."

“What is it that you want?” Karlotta asked.

“You need to isolate and kill ”/characters/izek-strazni" class=“wiki-content-link”>Izek.

“Why don’t we just kill the Baron?” Uther asked.

Fiona swatted him gently on the head, “Think with your brains instead of your arms. If we kill the baron, there will be chaos in this town and it will plunge into disorder. This needs to be controlled, and the best way to do that is to slowly remove the power structure around him before dealing with him in a civilized way. If you take care of Izek, the gaurds will be in enough disorder that my followers can do the rest.”

“How do we isolate him?” Uther asked.

“Easy enough,” Ernst said, moving in from the shadows, “You know that there is something that he’s ashamed of — his doll collection. And you know that two of them are for pick-up at the toy store.”

“Okay,” Uther said, suddenlly getting up and racing out the door. He explained his plan to Keesya and Karlotta while he walked out of the Wachter property.

The first stop was to case Blinsky’s toy shop. They found a house next door, looked into the window, and saw strange figures in red robes conducting a ceremony.

The second house they looked into seemed empty. Keesya entered, and there was a great scream. Scores of rats covered her. Uther and Karlotta entered the house to fight the rats.

It was a grueling battle, and at one point Uther was on his knees as the rats worked themselves into his armour and began chewing inside of him. But they won.

Inside the house they found a shrine made up of animal heads on stakes around a blood pentagram in the kitchen that Uther destroyed. Upstairs was a bedroom with a few items including a hair pin and a corset.

The group decided to rest and keep an eye on Balinsky’s from the roof of the kitchen, which was accessible through the bedroom.

At night, when it appeared that Balinsky had gone to bed, the group decided to try and rob the dolls.

Karlotta used a disguise kit and other bluffs to dress as an old peasant woman. She knocked on Balinsky’s door. After several moments he answered, giving her enough time to summon a ghost servant to get inside the shop. Balinsky was happy to make a sale, but was baffled that the old woman didn’t want toys. He shut the door on her and pet his four-armed monkey downstairs telling him to guard the place.

When the ghost retrieved the dolls, the monkey began to scream. However, the ghost made it out of the store quick enough before Balinsky saw what was going on.

In the old house, the group was ecstatic. They decided to hide one of the dolls under the stairs of the house they had just taken over, and put the other in their room at the Blue Water Inn.

At the Blue Water Inn, Uther hired the two wolf hunters, Szoldar and Yevgeni, to help him assassinate someone. Not having revealed who, the wolf hunters agreed that they could “walk” at any time the deal went bad and keep the 200 gold that they were given as a retainer.

After that, Uther got very drunk. Urwin seemed very particular about keeping an eye on Uther, making sure one of his sons interrupted Uther any time something of substance might come up in ranting and raving conversation.

The next morning, the group got up from the house they had cleared the rats from. Today was the day of the festival, and they decided that they were going to do their best to assassinate Izek before the festival started later that day.

The group gathered the wolf hunters, who questioned the ambush site. They suggested they use the old dock on Lake Zarovich, suggesting that it’s more isolated from travelers and a more natural choke point.

In going to look at the docks, the group saw decrepit boats tied to a rotting dock. The woods around the lake were very heavy and dense. Out in the middle was a boat with a man and a little girl on it.

The adventurers hopped onto the boat and came to the side of the other boat, just as a man threw a girl into the water. Uther dove deep into the water and pulled the girl out, who looked identical to Karlotta—had Karlotta been a little girl.

Karlotta questioned the girl a little bit. She liked magic, she was Vistani, all attributes that Karlotta had had. Uther suggested that perhaps the mists don’t just work to change place, but also change time. However, nobody else seemed to support that theory.

The girl’s name was Arabelle, the drunk was Bluto, who had nothing on his mind aside from more drink and did nothing to anybody in the party when they attempted to yell at him.

The wolf hunters led the way to the Vistani camp to return Arabelle to her father, Luvash.

The camp was built atop a hill. Around the hill were hobbit holes, each with a closed door and a thin guard with a gray cloak in front of them. On top of the hill were 12 carts around a series of horses, and inside that pack of horses was a great tent.

Arabelle led the party into the main tent where her father was drunk and whipping a VIstani against a pole. The inside of the tent smelled like old wine and other alcohols. The Vistani here were mostly young men, all doing some kind drugs. Some were smoking, some were making some kind of powder drug that they were snorting. There was someone in a corner playing a strange looking instrument trying to make music.

It was Arrigal that did most of the talking since his brother Luvash was drunk.

He had Eddie run off and get a few hundred gold as a reward for bringing back Arabelle.

Uther noticed a container of booze from his home world of Aqua on the floor. Arabelle gave it to him and asked if he wanted to ax-guitar hybrid that the last person from Aqua brought with him. This was declined and the party continued with their plan.

Though, however, they took note that Arrigal was the person that Madam Eva had said they would need in their party if they were to defeat Strahd.

The party spent the rest of the day building screens and preparing the trap. They wrote a threatening note in a hand imitating that of Strahd saying that they had the dolls and would expose Izek as a pervert if he did not retrieve them from the dock. Giving the note to a bookish girl that Ernst said they could trust (and some silver) they had it delivered and fell back to the docks.

There, behind screens, they waited for Ernst to arrive at dusk. The wolf hunters went into the woods a bit to make sure that there was no flanking by wolves of Ernst’s guards. And they waited.

At dusk, it began to heavily rain.

And it continued to rain.

At one point, they heard a magical sound from around the lake, but did not look.

For hours it continued to rain.

Ernst never arrived.

After several hours, after exhaustion had set in, Uther sent the wolf hunters home, hoping to see if there was a counter-ambush waiting. So far as they could see, there was none.

Keesya noted that the eyes of wolves began to be seen in the forest. Debating their future, the party decided that they would get into a boat and see if they could find the fabled “Mad Mage” before the wolves or guards found them.

Karlotta got a whiff of smoke, but saw a fire in the opposite direction. She followed up with the visible fire she saw and motioned the others to join her.

There was a cave with a fire in it, and what appeared to be a door behind the fire. Approaching it, Uther realized that it was not a door but something mocked up to look like a door. As he realized that he heard a familiar voice yell, “You will never get me alive!”

And magic misses, of a familiar type, came pouring into the adventurers flanked from all sides by the cave walls. Uther told everyone to lower their weapons and reasoned with the figure he was speaking to. His broken mind kind of remembered seeing him, in Barovia, inspecting troops that Uther and Fu Hao had trained.

“Uther? Is that you?” The wizard said, stepping into the light.

“It’s me, ”/characters/mordenkainen" class=“wiki-content-link”>Mordenkainen."

He ran a spell that opened up a door with a dry, warm interior of a palatial mansion on the other side. “Come with me, come with me,” Moredenkainen said, stepping through. The party followed.

Seventh Night

The party awoke in the Burgomaster’s house. They paid Blinsky another visit, and then came back.

Uther built a beautiful sun sphere that had gas components and everything to run perfectly.

Karlotta and Keesiya helped build the other arrangements.

While outside, someone passed them a note that said simply, “Wachterhouse.”

Taking a polite leave, they walked to a broken-down-once-was-great Wachter house. There a maid was about to turn them away when Ernst interceded and allowed them in. He showed them to a parlor where they were to sit. And in walked Lady Fiona Wachter.

Sixth Night
Town of Vallaki

The adventurers woke up and went downstairs to continue their hunt for Ireena.

They had a chat with Urwin that had him ask of they could check the supply of wine to the west. Supposedly wine is the lifeblood of Barovia, the only thing that keeps everybody functioning.

Uther seemed most interested in doing this.

The adventurers commissioned Szoldar Szoldarovich and Yevgeni Krushkin, two wolf hunters, to be their guides.

There was also a rather annoying and flamboyant ringmaster named Rictavio they shrugged off when he tried to initiate conversation.

The adventurers, eager to find Ireena, were about to leave when Lars came into the bar. Lars explained that they should go to the Festival of the Blazing Sun in a few days, “It’s fun, but it’s a bit of camp. Baron Vargas takes it extremely seriously, so don’t let him know how hokey these things are. He thinks it’s what keeps Strahd away from Vallaki. But, if you ask me and a lot of the other men, it’s St. Andral’s Church that keeps Strahd from having control of the town.”

He also mentioned that there were eleven women and nine men that came into town the day that the adventurers arrived. One of them may have been Ireena.

He told them to keep an eye on Rictavio, who seems to be up to something. When pressed for details, Lars explained that Rictavio always says he’s going to see the toy maker, but doesn’t. He slips off somewhere else.

He asked about the Incorruptible, one of the members of the Swords of Eight. He said that, like most people, it was the Incorruptible that inspired him to fight. When this topic came up, Urwin interrupted. Lars said that, like most people, he believes that the Incorruptible is out there preparing to return to them when they prove themselves good and strong enough to defeat Strahd. Urwin asks why he would try to change that and to not talk about these things.

Lars also mentioned that the girls would probably be happier in the Vallaki camp outside the city gates.

Finally, he mentioned that he meets every now and then with Victoria, the daughter of Uther. Uther presses for a lot of details. Apparently Uther asked Lars to meet with her and make sure she’s alright. They meet at a little cabin about once a month. He just met with her a little bit ago, but when he hears from her again, he’ll let Uther know.

Uther changes his mind and decides that they’re staying in the city.

Karlotta decided she wanted to see what Rictavio was doing. She summoned a ghost to go sneak into Rictavio’s room and finds nothing of real interest.

Keesyia decided that she was going to engage Rictavio in conversation. Rictavio seemed to be very interested in finding out everything he could about the Vistani. Including their defenses and how many of them there were.

They decided that they were going to go around Vallaki and ask if anybody had seen Ireena.

On their way, they came upon a toy shop.

Entering very carefully, the adventurers opens the shop to find Blinksy waiting for customers.

Blinsky was almost overly friendly, obsessed with gold, and made scary toys. When Uther asked why he made such creepy toys, Blinsky responded, “Is that why business hasn’t been good?”

Among the toys were dolls that looked identical to Ireena. The adventurers tried to buy one, but Blindky told them that they were custom made for Izek, the sheriff.

The group commissioned Blindky to make an Ireena doll for themselves, and then went outside. Once there, they went to an alleyway and made a fake brick wall in hopes of catching Izek when he came to pick up the doll.

Their plans were partially foiled by being discovered by a mysterious man named Ernst that walked right through the wall illusion and introduced himself. When asked how he knew it was an illusion he replied, “I walk by this shop every day. There’s not a wall here.”

He explained to them that he was working for, “a friend,” and that he could help them out. He also advised the adventurers that they could find Izek in the town square.

Ernst took his leave and the adventurers went to the town square. Here Izek was directing soldiers to take down the posters for the last festival and putting up ones for the new festival.

The party confronted Izek and asked him what the deal with the Ireena dolls were. Izek, with his twisted gross arm, started to spark, and looked to soldiers. “Who have you been talking too?”

When they explained it was Blinsky, Izek relaxed and told them to mind their own business.

The group decided to go to the Burgomaster’s mansion. There they were welcomed in by the serving staff. They met Burgomaster Baron Vargas, a huge man with a fake smile stuck onto his mouth.

Vargas would continually proclaim, “All will be well!” And was so impressed by the bullshit the adventurers plied him, that he made them honoured guests at the festival and asked them to help both with the festival and find his missing lady-in-waiting and butler. They agreed. They also met his wife, who was meeting with peasant women and attempting to make good humor of one kind or another.

At night, when everyone should have been asleep, the adventurers prowled the house, looking for anything interesting.

They found Izek’s room, which was full of hundreds of Ireena dolls.

They also found a room that Karlotta had been dreaming about with a wedding dress in it.

When Karlotta looked into the mirror, she first saw herself. Then herself in a wedding dress. This changed to a reflection of herself as Ireena—wearing the same wedding dress. Seeing that it was not the same wedding dress in the room, she realized that she was both herself and Ireena wearing the dress in the room. In a horrible panic she saw that she was the bodies of both Ireena and herself, stitched together, to make someone new wearing the wedding dress in the room. She saw the reflection scream in an inhuman voice as blood poured from the stitching binding the body parts together. And then the vision ended.

In the attic, they found a forgotten room that had, “All is not well” scrawled upon it.

Breaking into the room, they saw seven skeletal cats and weirdly lifelike models of children facing a wall. In this room there was also a crudely made teleportation circle. Karlotta figured out that there was someone in the room that could cast an invisibility spell and tried to fix the teleportation device to work.

Victor, the son of Vargas, appeared and had a brief exchange about how he was attempting to escape Barovia with the teleportation circle. He admitted to accidentally killing the butler and lady-in-waiting after mind controlling them to getting into the teleportation circle and trying to make it work.

Now that Karlotta had corrected a few parts, Victor provoked Uther to attack him. Uther sent his dog, Buddy, to attack. Jumping over the teleportation divide, Victor activated it and incinerated the dog.

Uther then attacked, as did the rest of the party, and murdered Victor.

Having heard the commission, Izek came upstairs. In order to try and avoid him, Ernst came through a window and tried to provide an escape route to our heroes. Failing the rope check, they instead talked their way out of trouble with Izek, who was very suspicious but ordered to stand down by Vargas’s repeated assurances that, “All will be well!”

The party then got some sleep.

Fifth Night
Vistani Camp / Windmill / Vallaki

When the adventurers woke up, they discovered that Ireena was gone. She provided a note to Uther that warned him that the other adventurers were murderers that killed Mad Mary in cold blood, tried to kill the priest, and threatened Ismark. She warned him not to follow the adventurers as they were thugs and killers.

Karlotta came up with a plan to capture Ireena and use her as a hostage to provoke Strahd.

Uther, worried about his daughter in Strahd’s hand, agreed. Keesiya played things pretty close to the vest.

They left the Vistani camp and raced to find her.

They tried to take a shortcut through some brush and ended up getting hurt by a rather ineffective punji trap. So there was that.

They next ran across a couple of Vistani, Eddie and Tyler, who were looking for something. Taking the adventurer’s money, Eddie and Tyler agreed to act as guides.

On their way to Vallaki, the adventurers came upon a windmill that looked like the one from the haunted mansion.

Deciding to investigate further, they walked toward the tower. When doing so, a black Irish Wolfhound came walking over to Uther, who seemed to recognize it.


The adventurers, Tyler, Eddie, and the Wolfhound (Buddy) walked into windmill.

There was a kitchen, sounds of women from the floor above them, and pastries sitting about. Karlotta grabbed a pastry.

Then the group left.

They raced to get to Vallaki and hopefully find Ireena.

When they got there, Eddie and Tyler left a bit to the south. Nobody wanted to let the adventurers in at night, but someone at the gate recognized Uther by the name, “General.”

His name was Lars, and he ordered the guards to let the adventurers in and pointed them toward the Blue Water Inn.

As they walked to the Blue Water Inn, ravens began to fly over them, shitting all over Karlotta and Kessyia. After shitting, the ravens would go find shit on the ground, pick it up, and drop it on the women. Covered in shit, they came into the Blue Water Inn. The room fell silent and people spat at them.

There were two rowdy boys, probably college age, making crass remarks that stood out.

Uther walked to the bar and met with the bartender, Urwin.

When asked why the crows were shitting on the girls Urwin gruffly replied, “They’re smart animals. They probably don’t like it when murderers try to justify their killing with a display of gods and crows. But they’ll cease.”

The adventurers got rooms for relatively cheap and set up shop.

Fourth Night
Vistani Camp

Keesya woke up in a Vistani cart. It was very similar to the kinds of Vistani carts that she was used to, but with plainer colours on many things, and the use of paper was made for barriers. Wearing black clock is a girl named Hannya,

Hannya immediately mentioned that Keesya was a little too old to go through the ascension, and that she went through it when she was 15.

When asked what the ascension was, Hannya, in an overly dramatic way, explained that it was where the VIstani chose their paths.

Keesya asked where her friends were. She was told that Maddox was dead and that Karlotta was seeking recovery and may or may not be back.

Hanna led Keesyia out of the cart, explaining that the fleeing from Greenglen caused a lot more Vistani f from a lot more realms than usual to come into Barovia, where they are treated safely.

The camp is, indeed, swollen. There are all kinds of games that Keesyia can play. She leaves the Sasserinian Roulette, and goes right to the drinking contest. In doing so, she cheats her first round, but ends up maintaining her composure so well that she ends up getting a lot of money.

SHe also ran into drunk guy that went into some detail about a wizard and a group of adventurers, the Circle of Eight, that had come a year ago to the camp, got their fortunes read, and went to face Strahd and died.

She also ran into an awkward boy named Cal who was in love with a beautiful Vistani named Esmer. Cal asked Keesyia for advice and she told him to be honest.

There was also Samesh, a guy that was frantic that his wife was dying as they escaped Greenglen. He wanted to bring her body into the camp instead of the graveyard where she was dumped, but the old crones in the camp won’t let him. He asked Keesyia to speak on his behalf. She refused, and he was found having hanged himself later.

Later on, Keesiya was taken to a grotto. There most of the Vistani women were, with curious wolves on a ridge watching on. They painted her face, taught her the Sign of Vestani, and some curses she can use. She was formally inducted into the Vistani people.

Karlotta seemed to make up. She remembers concentrating and seeing the Githyanki explain to her that she needed to concentrate. Mr. Wilcox emerged as well, asking if she had ever had visions before.

In the dream though, this background faded. She found herself in a room that smelled of powder and fine perfume. A vanity with a mirror stood against one wall and a faceless wooden mannequin wearing a white bridal gown was there. Mounted on the other wall was a full length mirror.

In the mirror, she saw her self, young, in a wedding dress.

Then she saw Ireena, very clearly, in the wedding dress.

Then she realized that she was the same as Ireena, and that they had been torn apart and stitched back together.

Finally, she realized that Ireena, Karlotta, and a lot of other people had been butchered and made into the corpse of a woman in the mirror wearing the wedding dress.

Very clearly the words called out as she looked in the mirror:

Magic mirror on the wall
Summon forth your shade
Night’s dark vengeance, heed my call
And wield your murderous blade.

She woke up with some confusion in a graveyard.

Karlotta got up and saw gallows near the graveyard. She also observed several other people in white sheets. One was a shaking boy, another was a woman covered in parasites. There were a few dead people, and some sheets left behind from people that had woken up and moved.

Karlotta felt the pull to go either into the woods or along the road. She chose the woods.

Uther heard a voice and saw a woman in front of him behind light. “Do you remember? Do you remember?”

He began to think of Veruca, his wife in Innisfarne. On the salt flats. He remembered having a play-fight with his young son, Vurn.


He remembered Vurn as an adult.

“Do you remember”

He remembers the Black Paw growing irate and throwing a chair when the human mediator couldn’t satisfy the orc to the answer that Uther gave.


He was on a ship in the fog…


Strahd’s asking him to take apart a sword. There was a kind of magic, the hilt was the only thing he couldn’t break down. Uther pretended that he could and hid the hilt from Strahd.


Uther came back to the cabin one day and found a note from Victoria, his daughter, about her leaving with Strahd. Strahd left some gold for the payment.

In dispair Uther went to the woods and screamed for Kord, his god from Innisfarne who had not answered him since the fog took up.

But out of the fog a black dog, he later knew as the Mark of Cain, emerged. He was under the protection of the Raven Queen, the goddess of death and thus the only one with a faint presence in this land, from then on out.

Then he remembered.

Looking around, Uther found himself in a decrepit cabin. He reached for a bottle of wine and found it dusty and made of vinegar. Vines were growing in through the walls. It looked like months since he had last been there. Maybe years.

Fu Hao stood in front of him. He had a vague memory of both of them teaching a militia how to fight. But the last year or so was completely lost for him. And fu Hao looked awful now.

“Palor’s light has yet to penetrate Barovia, even after the ”/characters/the-incorruptible" class=“wiki-content-link”>Incorruptible graced these lands.

You hear barking wolves. It seems odd.

Fu Hao told Uther, “I came to this cabin assuming you were dead. Do you know what happened to the incorruptible?” Uther did not. “If you’re still alive a year later, maybe there’s hope for him too. There is so much for you to know.”

Uther became aware of another woman in the cabin.

“This is ”/characters/ireena-kolyana" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ireena," Fu Hao said, “We must protect her from Strahd. His wolves are after me. Please protect her—take her to Vallaki where she may be spared from Strahd…”

With that, Fu Hao ran into the woods and let the wolves come after her.

Uther walked into the woods with Fu Hao and tried to understand what was going on. It was about then that a sound of rustling came about. Behind Uther and Ireena stood several of Strahd’s undead guard.

Little known to them, behind them was Karlotta. Karlotta, Uther, and Ireena killed the creatures.

As it got to evening, Karlotta, Uther, and Ireena saw something in the sky that looked like Palor’s symbol about to break through the clouds. Curious, they followed it, finding it hovering over the Vistani camp.

At the same time, Keesiya was emerging back to the camp and saw a giant fire, where the Vistani were burning Fu Hao alive.

She said that in her death, her soul would go to Palor, who would need to break through into this world. However, her soul was absorbed into a a bag made out of the remains of Maddox

Eva invited the adventurers into her cart.

She sat down and announced that they were part of a plan that started a long time ago, and whether they like it or not, it was something that had to be seen through.

These were her specific instructions:

She took the adventurers in and gave them these specific introductions:

To Kessiya:

Sweet child, we are so happy to have you home. You lived your life away from home, but in the midst of the dragon in Greenglen have found yourself back here. Back home. We are all very happy to have you with us again, as your parents were before you.

You sold your soul to gold under the eyes of a vampire as a child, and it is right that you are with us under a vampire’s eyes. What I am going to ask of you is hard, but you should always remember that these are plans put into motion long ago that you shall cultivate. What fate calls for you to do is what’s best for you, best for the Vistani, and ultimately best for Strahd.

To Uther:
I remember you. When the Swords of Eight came to me, they were but seven. Your card was pulled by these withered hands for the Fourth Space. Take heed of the fate of the seven and of Maddox; fate moves in a direction, but it is not straight.

You long to return to the dead salt flats that made you a man. They were taken from you, and in the damp forest you lost all that you were; out of the reach of your god, another found you. It is not time for you to go back to the nothingness yet. Two daughters still have beating hearts. Even if they no longer beat for you, so long as they continue, they may one day return.

To Karlotta
Sweet sister, I tried so hard to keep you away, and yet you found your way back. Did not Mr. Wilcox warn you to stay away from this place after that Githyanki foolishly opened your eyes?

But how I enjoy seeing my old eyes reflecting back in what could have been. Have you come to see…Oh…You don’t know?

…How interesting.

There is much that you don’t know. You are not quite the same as the last time we met. You honestly don’t remember…

And how could you?

I can see no further in you than you can see in me—Or you yourself for that matter. What your friends think you are is false, this you know; but what you think about you is more false. Your blood is but background to this realm, and I can see no more.

The Predictions
1. This card tells of history. Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy.

I see a sleeping prince, a servant of light, and the brother of darkness. The treasure lies with him.

2. This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope.

The thing you seek lies with the dead, under mountains of gold coins.

3. This is a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight.

The treasure is hidden in a small castle beneath a mountain, guarded by amber giants.

(this triggered a memory with Uther)

4.This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness.

A man of death named Arrigal will forsake his dark lord to serve your cause. Beware! He has a rotten soul.

5. Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. This card will lead you to him!

I see a secret place—a vault of temptation hidden behind a woman of great beauty. The evil waits atop his tower of treasure.

After that, the adventurers were given a cart to stay in. Uther made noodles and kept confusing Kessyia with the name of another woman.

They got to know each other and only slept late..

Third Night
Village of Barovia / Old Svalich Road

The party awoke the next day. Maddox was up first, then Keesya, and finally Karlotta was up last.

Ireena gave Keesya a dress that was fully cleaned of the blood from Mad Mary.

Ismark made a big breakfast for the party and proposed that they bring Ireena to Vallaki. Ireena refused until the burgomaster was buried.

Maddox demanded more money. Ismark explained that the town didn’t have much money, and then Maddox turned demonic and with a deep voice and dagger in hand, demanded double the gold.

Ismark got up and insisted that he would not give into threats.

Maddox compromised, saying that they would help to bury the body and negotiate afterward.

The party left to the graveyard with the body, and though typically reserved, the Barovians showed respect to the dead burgomaster.

At the church, the part came across Fu Hao. She explained to the party that the priest, Donavich, had a son that she had trained in a militia to attack Strahd a year ago. The son, Doru, had returned a vampire spawn now captured in the basement screaming for blood while Donovich felt sorry in the church.

Fu Hao convinced the party to go into the basement and fight Doru. A few things were learned:

-Fu Hao buffed, but did not use weapons on the vampire spawn.

-The sunlight was too dim to harm the vampire, but did interfere with its healing.

Defeating the vampire, the party (now with Fu Hao) went up to bury the burgomaster with a short ceremony.

Ismark explained to Fu Hao the plan to take Ireena to Vallaki. She agreed. As the party left to the escort Ismark had prepared with the remaining militia that Fu Hao had helped to train. Keesya wanted to go get supplies to help.

However, Maddox stayed behind and attempted to murder Donovich. Dodging, Donovich ran to Fu Hao and the rest of the group, who protected him.

Karlotta tried to help Maddox by summoning the illusion of a vampire, but little occurred.

Having been threatened by Maddox, and having had Karlotta come to the house covered in blood, and having had Maddox try to kill Donovich, it was decided that they should be kept away from Ireena and everyone else.

Ireena, Ismark, and Fu Hao, escorted the party out of town.

Maddox climbed on top of balcony and attempted to get the town on his side. Karlotta prepared illusions of ravens and the Morning Lord and Mother Night to try and persuade the town that only the party could kill Strahd, and that they would do everything in their power to kill him. This, however, failed spectacularly and the town turned fully against them.

The militia escorted the party out of Barovia forever.

The party, at dark, went walking along hoping to get somewhere safe. The many wolves that were following them in the woods at the burgomaster’s house were thick in the woods and attacked.

Outnumbered, they fought the best that they could. But it was not enough.

Karlotta was pounded upon, her life torn from her body.

Maddox was ripped apart by wolves.

Keesya fled into the woods, running in a panic, then back in the road where she came across a Vistani cart. There, some children she had seen back in Greenglen before coming into Barovia, helped her into a cart. Nearly dead, she rode along the rocky road…


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