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.