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.
—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…