Conclave Curse of Strahd

Gertak's Log: Day 7

We headed to the hill where the druids are said to reside and Anarane started hearing strange things. I’m not entirely sure she still had her sense about her but we followed her to see what she was hearing. She lead us to a cairn and started talking…… Eventually she started digging in it, crazy woman that she is, and pulls out a stone spear that Morwyn detects as magical. Anarane took the spear, stole it really. {Turns out the spear is +2 in her hands and if she kills a creature in melee gives her 2d6 temp hp}

I scouted the area with Reggie and found a copse of trees, dead, with a big tree in the middle that was oozing blood. It also had an axe in it, a skeleton near the axe, and a lot of blights around it. We advanced forward and attacked the blights. It was a tough fight but we managed to beat them off.

We studied the skeleton and it appeared it was a human that died to blights. I decided to carry the skeleton out to see if he had any family to bury. We found the battleaxe, buried in the tree, was carved with vines and looked well made. Rurik took the axe, which is good against plants apparently, and we evaluated the tree. We determined it is some kind of vampiric tree capable of creating these twig creatures. We agreed we will want to destroy the tree but this just isn’t the time with other possible enemies around.

In the distance, through the fog, we saw a city but it doesn’t seem there is an easy way to get there (due to the fog).

Gertak's Log: Day 6

We headed back towards Vallaki and encountered some Vistani sitting around resting. Made small talk with them for a while and headed on to Vallaki to deliver our goods. They did advise that a Vistani guide may be worth the cost.

We sold some of the items that people had found in our trip to get here, mostly stolen items so I took no part in that gold. I was able to sell one of the poisons we acquired from the winery and make some money of my own. I was then able to summon a companion to aid me in my travels, a beautiful owl named Reginald.

At first light we head back towards the winery, heading towards the hill where the druids are said to reside.

Gertak's Log: Day 5

We moved on through the brewery and encountered another druid in the east. We managed to dispatch him but took further wounds as he called upon the thunder to inflict signifigant damage. After we finished him off I called upon the every watchful eye and healed our wounds.

We proceed into another room, the basement, and there were more twigs with a druid here. We dispatched these foes without overly much effort and Rurik found a secret door. Morwyn proceeded ahead to search it for us but was felled by some mold that drained the heat from his body. Rurik pulled him out and I was able to restore him with a touch from Helm.

We proceeded through the rest of the building and found 1 more room with enemies, a room with a druid and two vine creatures. This fight also resulted in some substantial punishment to our team due to the close quarters and further thunder calling by the druids.

After we cleared all of the enemies Morowyn tried the wine they were creating and dropped unconscious by the poison in it. Aelous took care of getting him back on his feet and we took a rest and recovered. On one of the druids we had found a magic staff that had the ability to steal the life from your enemies and restore it to you and had some control over the twigs, including the ability to destroy them if the item was broken.

We took a vote and decided not to destroy the staff but to try to use it to get past the blights. As I was loading the wagon, though, Aelous proceeded out to try and take the staff from Rurik to destroy it but Rurik was already destorying it as Aelous had caught the attention of all the twigs and they were rushing up on him. Upon breaking the staff all of the twigs were destroyed.

After the twigs fell some people came from the woods, the original inhabitants of the brewery. We spoke with them and learned there were some seeds that had helped the brewery grow their grapes and that the druids had stolen them. We offered to go get them back…

Gertak's Log: Day 4

We passed on through the gates on our path to Valllaki. We passed the mill, planning to return after we drop off our charge, and finally arrive at Villaki.

We had food and drinks and found that the inn’s wine supply has not come in several weeks. We were asked to investigate and we agreed.

We meet a traveler in the inn who spoke of his home where dragons and feral cat women roam the world, taking travelers willy-nilly unless they know a tale. He also said he came to Barovia to start a circus but has somewhat lost that dream as there just isn’t anything around to create a circus with.

Early in the morning we head out to check on the wine supplier. Along the road we encounter a couple of trappers but they don’t know anything about the winery as they haven’t been there in some time.

Upon arriving at the vineyard a figure in a dark cloak and cowl beckoned us closer. We greeted the figure and he slipped back into the trees and beckons us to follow. We all agree dnot to follow him.

We made it to the house and are assaulted by a horde of walking bushes. We we inside the winery and barred the door.

As we began to explore we ran into a whole bunch of ravens and a women dressed in clothes made of animal hides. She attacks along with a number more twigs. Aeolous drops the druid easily and we finish off the twigs after a minute or two. Some minor injuries were sustained but nothing substantial. Interestingly the ravens did not attack us and did attack the plants.

Gertak's log: Day 3

Today we head out to the village of Vallaki, after having finished the burial.

On the way we come to a crossroads with a gallows and a sign giving directions. As we contemplate a direction the gallows that was empty suddenly had a corpse on it. Morwyn throws a dagger into it and the body melts. Shortly after this happens two large wolves attack the party but are readily dispatched.

We decide to take the shorter path that will also take us by some friendly people, the Vistani. We find their camp and Aelous asks to speak with their leader, at which point we are directed to Madam Eva, who has been expecting us. She greets us all by name before introductions are even made.

The lady reads our tarot and pulls these cards:

the knowledge of an ancient will help you better understand your enemy
the mill has treasure within
a powerful force for good and protection
That which you seek lies in the womb of darkness, the devil’s lair; the one place to which he must return
a card of power and strength. It tells of a weapon of vengeance; a sword of sunlight. A sleeping prince, a servant of light, and the brother ofdarkness. The treasure lies with him.
This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness.
A Vistani wanders this land alone, searching for her mentor. She does not stay in one place for long, seek her out at Saint Markovia’s abbey, near the mists.
Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. This card will lead you to him! He haunts the tomb of the man envied above all.

She could not help with much of this but said the mill is off the road towards Valkaki but it is quiet dangerous. When asked a bout the danger she said there are three women who are more than they seem.

She also said that to reach the abbey we follow the Svalich road past Valkaki and eventually we will come to Krezk and the abbey.

We come to a gate in the road and at the gate stands Strahd himself. He greets us nicely and most of the party is timid towards him but I call him out for what he is, no follower of Helm will grovel before such a fiend. Stand strong and protect those in need of protecting, no matter the opponent, that is the teaching of Helm.

I spoke my mind to Strahd, and called him out on what he is. The rest of the party didn’t much care of my tact and Aelous actually smacked me to try and make me shut-up. I suddenly remembered that Strahd is a dear friend of mine, I’m not sure what I had been thinking before. I turned to square up on Aelous, not appreciating his attitude towards me, and a large number of wolves come out of the forest.

It was a hard battle but we did manage to dispatch the wolves. Now what is to become of the party…

Gertak's log: Day 2

We headed down into the basement, it was pitch black, so I called upon Helm to light our way. We explored the northern section, found some cots and the like but nothing “living”. I stood guard at the entrance to the room while the others explored and attempted to loot from these poor people.

As the dwarf was bashing the locks, and the rogue picking them, to get into some chests we were set upon by ghouls. The dwarf blasted the first ghoul into dust to start the encounter. I called upon Helm and was protected by his glorious aura. Aelous and Anarane finished off a 2nd. The 3rd was engaged and dispatched by the group. The 4th ghoul was dispatched, but not before it dealt some signifigant damage to both the Morwyn and Aelous.

We continued to explore and found more remains in a dining area. I crushed some skulls of skeletons and said a prayer for their souls.

Exploring further we come upon a statue of a gaunt place faced man wearing a voluminous black cloak, his left hand resting on the head of a wolf that stands next to him. In his right hand he held a smoky-gray crystal orb. I moved past this area but Rurik decided to go forward and pick up the orb. Upon picking it up he was set upon by a host of shadowy figures and we all rushed to protect him.

I rushed to a door that appeared to lead to the dwarf’s location and the door attacked me. Let me rephrase that for emphasis…THE DOOR ATTACKED ME!!! The door beat me up thoroughly but Ikeyna’s magic protected me and we were able to fell the … door. Rurik went down during the fight but Anarane got him back up with some goodberries. Anarane later went down but Helms light shone through and brought her back to her feet. We finished off the shadows and took a quick break.

We tended to the skeletons of the children and buried them in their family crypts. I said a prayer to Helm that they find peace inthe afterlife that they did not have in this one.

We explored the rest of this level and found a large bedroom. I left after seeing there were no enemies and prepared to go down stairs but Aelous and Ileyna were beset by two other creatures, resembling the previous ghouls we faced but more powerful. Aelous went down during this fight but we managed to defeat the creatures. I used the last of my magics for the day to get him back on his feet. The thing I noticed that concerned me, though, was that the chest in this bedroom had been opened after I left. I do not know which of them opened it, but I should watch them closely.

The rest of the group set about robbing these poor people while Gertak lay the bodies of both Gustav and Elisabeth to rest.

We proceeded to the lower level and found a room with a pool of water and a dias in the room. We explored the area and there was a pile of trash in the bottom. Having encountered the killer door earlier, I smashed the pile with my mace. Much to my surprise the pile stood up as a large creature made of plants and vines. We fought the creature for a few seconds but were severly over matched and retreated. We barely made it out of the room with the creature but we did.

As we went up stairs into the house things had changed immensely, smoke was everywhere and the windows and doors were all impassable. We ran for it and made itout alive…

Escape from the cursed house

Well, I’d be a liar if I didn’t confess that I was completely wrong about that house. I thought it was a bunch of cry baby kids complaining about nothing when we entered, but it turned out to be the most bat shit crazy abode I’ve ever seen. And that includes those elven tree houses.
Armor coming to life, ghosts of little babes, undead corpses busting out of walls, walls turning into rats, and even a giant rotten plant thing chasing us outta there. Oh, and worst of all, a shiny orb sprouting shadow demons aiming to make me weaker than a rock gnome librarian.
By Moradin’s beard, I don’t know what we have gotten our selves into here. And from some stuff we were reading inside, it connects somehow to some vampire. And I’m thinking that the note that brought us here is too, especially after the letter we cound on that corpse on the road side.
I’m always one for a good wandering, seeing new places and all. And I’m still glad to be out from under the stagnant cave life me kin know, but I think we found our selves in damn strange land. My only hope is that the tavern has some good ale to help me forget about some of the crazy shit we just saw in that house.
On a side note, my connection with these forces of the storm seems to be getting stronger. Still not much better at predicting the weather (thought it would be storming for days now but hasn’t) yet the forces be coming to me easier in a fight than before. But I’m now struggling with a most dire dilemma; to hit me foes with a hammer or zap em with thunder and lightning.

Adventure log for first session

Gertak’s log, day 1:Helm blessed us with another day full of opportunity!

After some weeks of wandering, looking for opportunities to spread the word of the Watcher we ran upon some very bothersome weather. We had just entered into another small town when a fog rolled in and encouraged us to seek shelter for the night. The weather outside was dismal but the tavern we found was most welcoming and full of jolly folk enjoying an evening of drink and conversation.

We settled in for some drink ourselves, relaxing after the weary travel, and were just settling into some good banter betweengst us when a stranger came in and approached our table. He was an arrogant sort, some noble’s lackey, but he spoke of Barovia, and brought a message from that place of a lady fallen ill and in need of assistance. In my excitement at the opportunity to serve Helm I almost forgot to take a quiet moment to thank him for this opportunity!

The man was a bit aloof and answered not most of our questions but he carried a letter that gave us the basic information we needed. The man suggested we not travel at night as some evils lurk in the woods. I would have liked to travel through these woods and bring the justice of Helm upon those evils but a lady was in need of our help and her lord and called on us, it was not a thing to dally over.

Gertak’s Log, Day 2: Strange happenings

We headed to this new land of Berovia first thing in the morning. The travel wasn’t bad, excepting the incessant fog, and it was but a short 5 hour trip to the place. I had expected us to arrive at a keep or palace and be ushered in to see the ailing lady immediate but our welcome was much different than that. We arrived at a huge gate, one worthy for the Watcher himself to guard, but the stone guardians out front were poorly tended. This angered me but there were no guards or grounds people about for me to express this anger to.

As a note of interest: Rurik did some amazing dwarven trick and was able to open the doors without even touching them. It was pretty impressive I must admin and I asked him to teach me how to do so but it seems it’s a secret he plans to keep. I shall have to watch him more closely next time and see if it is some magic he employs or some trick of distraction.

With the gates open we advanced onward to meet with the lord and get his lady assistance as soon as we could, the letter sounded dire. Shortly through the gates, and up the road, we were set upon by a vile stench that seemed to originate from near the road. I was keen to move on past, having little interesting in finding the dead animal that made that stench, but Anarane insisted on checking it out so into the woods we went.

A short distance from the road we found the cause, a dead man. Upon inspection we found he had a note similar to ours but the message was quiet a different one. In this note the lord said his daughter had been bitten by a vampire and that the vampire had long been torturing this land. He asked the man with the letter to set holy wards all around the land so the vampire could never leave to bring it’s pain upon the rest of the world. It was good information to have, and I turned back to the road, but I did notice some of the party rifling through the mans belongings. A sad thing to steal the belongings of a man who had fallen in service to his lord, I shall have to keep an eye on those individuals.

As we proceeded on up the road the fog thickened to the point we could not even see what lay on the road ahead of us, and it was because of this that we literally walked right into the town without realizing it. The place looked deserted and a bit forboding in all of the fog. We had little time to take this in, though, before noticing two small children in the road. Fearing for their safety consider the corpse and the fog, I approached them and asked if they were alright and where their parents were. The kids replied their parents were fighting a monster in the basement. I presumed this to childish fantasy but was determined to reunite these children with their parents lest something happen to them.

I knocked loudly at the entryway to the house and yelled to those inside but received no response. With another yell that we meant no harm and were just trying to return the children we went inside. The house was well kept but appeared empty as room by room we found not on home. We searched through the first floor finding no one or nothing to explain where they were and not finding the sought after basement where the children’s parents should be. While searching the remainder of the first floor and heading up stairs Anarane lost the children outside somewhere. I will have to remember not to trust her with things that can be lost, apparently including people…
(As an aside, one of the party members picked a lock into a closet and took some items from within, a light crossbow, a heavy crossbow, and a hand crossbow. We questioned him on his actions and he said they were just to help in case we did encounter a monster. I did not like the act but as long as we returned them I do not believe the family will mind if it helps us reunite them with their children.)

Exploring the 2nd floor was just more of the 1st floor, though we did find a key in the library as well as a secret room with a skeleton partially in a chest. Very strange place here, I begin to feel the parents may have been up to no good, possibly some kind of torturing or black magic.

The party explored the upstairs and onto the 3rd floor while I continued to search down stairs for some secret compartment to lead to the basement. While I was searching there was some commotion up stairs that lasted but a few seconds. The party would later tell me that a suit of armor had come alive and attacked them but I consider it much more likely someone stumbled into it and caused a panic and a hapless set of armor paid the price for the fear.

There was very real danger in another room, though. Once the door was open to one of the side rooms a horrible incorporeal figure emerged and slapped Morwyn upside the head a good lick, sprawling him in 1 blow. The creature was dispatched before I could join the fray, having to come up from two floors down. The paladin tended to Morwyn’s wounds some bit, enough to get him conscious again, and I was ready to move on. Morwyn complained incessantly about his bruised face, though, so I bestowed upon him some healing light from Helm and he finally was ready to go onward.

We found a kids room behind a locked door, with twin beds and toys but it was the discovery of two skeleton bodies wearing attire that matched that of the kids outside that set us on edge. I believe it was Rurik that opened the toy chest and upon doing so, the two children appeared in the room once more. They must have been apparitions of some sort as they recognized that the skeletons on the ground were their own bodies and that they had died of starvation in the room. They were not aggressive but did not wish us to leave them.

After some insistence the kids did show us where the secret door to the basement was as long as we promised to come back for them after we had defeated the monster. As we left the room the kids disappeared again,m a bit unsettling the way they do that.

We finished exploring and set down for a reset before going down stairs. I feel the power of Helm growing inside me and know that I am doing the work he would have me do.

As a final note for this entry, we found an unsettling letter apparently directed to the owners of this house talking about torture, cheating, and entrapment and referring to them as servants. This serves to further my belief the parents were into something dark…

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