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…