May. 14th, 2017

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Recap of our last D&D session. Basically it was a short dungeon crawl with some murder hobo action, followed by minor plot advancement.

Immediately following the events of Wine Wednesday (freeing von Richten, getting him him out of Valaki), the party decided to settle with Fiona, Watcherhaus, and her "book club." So Rolen, Varis, Perrin, Johan, and [Bard character I can't remember the name of]

We were admitted into the house at the appointed time by her butler and asked to wait in the foyer. We however did not wait in the foyer and opted instead to head straight for the basement because where else would an vaguely sinister book club meet? We came across a door adorned with skulls. It didn't seem to open, but after messing around with it we found it needed four people messing around with the door mechanism to get it open. This led us to another set of stairs that led to a dirt floor and additional set of stairs going down even further. Perrin noticed a set of foot prints going through the dirt into the wall. He went down to investigate.

As soon as any of the group set foot on the floor it began shaking and a group of skeletons emerged. After a little bit of adjusting to arrows not being effective against them and being able to reform themselves when broken, they went down fairly easy. After Johan left the last few in flaming ruins, another set of skeletons emerged. This time they were considerably larger and and better armed. They were reanimated minotaur skeletons each with an axe whose blade was the size of Perrin. They did huge amounts of damage, throwing party members across the room and then goring them. After a much harder fight, the three dropped. But the ground kept on shaking again as something even LARGER appeared. Everyone decided that we were probably not going to be able to deal with something worse than minotaurs so we made for the wall where the foot prints disappeared and looked for the exit. We made our escape as a dragolich's head began is come into view from underground. Varis was the last to leave the room and herd a voice say, "Let the dead stay dead." Or something similar. No one caught onto what this meant.

Behind the wall we came across the book club. Four people from the town were seated in chairs around a pentagram in robes. When they rose to ask who we were and why we were there, Varis shot the speaker in the face (because he was talking) and another fight broke out. We ran through these four faster than we did with and of the skeletons and examined the room for a bit. We did find copies of FIona's manifesto about why it's in the town's best interest to side with Strahd and how awesome he was. The pentagram appeared to have no significance, though the cultists definitely believed that it did. We noticed the secret entrance opening behind us but we didn't see what it was. We felt we may as well finish off the entire coven, so we ran through the dirt floor room up to the first floor to search for Fiona on the second floor.

Up there, the party decided to exercise an abundance of caution after we came across a locked door with the voice of a young child saying "Little kitty wants to play." That freaked everyone out so we left it alone. Another room led to a library full of cats who were not happy to see us, so we passed that one for the moment so we wouldn't get mauled to death by cats. Another room had a dead body with the spell Gentle Repose cast on it, for reasons we didn't fully understand though pictures around the room seemed to indicate that he had a relationship with Fiona (I think this was her husband). We couldn't find her though so we went back to the first floor. We finally found her in the dinning room.

She invited the party to sit. We declined and started asking questions about her intentions and trying to figure out her plans. After a lot of dodging questions on either side, she eventually got up and announced that she had more company coming. She left the room while and while the party decided what we were doing to do next (the answer was just let Varis shoot her in the face), she returned. With Strahd.

He compelled most of the party to sit at the table. Perrin resisted for a moment and had some verbal jousting with Strahd, but eventually was forced to submit, to the point where he was willing to follow any commands. Strahd was actually fairly civil with us, serving a pleasant ham dinner. Perrin got a special dish though: Lemmy the Warpig. Served bloody and raw. He forced Perrin to eat some of him. While all this was going on, he formally invited us to visit him in his castle. He was looking forward to seeing us. Additionally he asked if we had seen the vampire hunter Rudolph van Richten, though we didn't give up any information to Strahd. He didn't seem bothered by our refusal and bid us farewell. He, Fiona, and the vampire spawn all left the house and the spell he had on us was broken.

A furious Perrin began smashing every lantern in the house dumping lamp oil everywhere. As part of his path of destruction he dragged the corpse in repose from the upstairs bedroom to the basement and fed it to the dracolich. The rest of the party very quickly explored the rooms for anything we might have missed. We freed the girl from the room. She ended up not being a demon like we had feared, but Fiona's own daughter. She had some kind of mental break and believed herself to be a cat. She attached herself to Rolen and allowed herself to be taken from the house. We also found a trapped box on a mantle that contained the bones of a holy warrior who almost defeated Strahd. They'd been stolen from the church in Barovia, where ghosts would attack Castle Ravenloft every night at midnight. I forget if we found anything else in the house. We probably did.

Once everyone was clear, Perrin burned the house down. It began to rain out of spite, but the house still collapsed as the interior burned. We buried what was left of Lemmy and decided to leave Valaki for a little while. We brought the girl to the local church and the priest there promised to look after her. We decided to return to Barovia for the first time since we arrived in this plane to take care of some business. We needed to warn the burgomaster of that town that sending his daughter to Valaki would not protect her from Strahd and possibly put her in even more danger due to Creepy Guy Isaac. Additionally, we wanted to return the bones to church as soon as possible since having them on us make us a huge target for Strahd's minions.


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