Curse of Strahd

The Pursuit of Hyappiness
Session 3

The party awoke the next morning and all met on the second story of the Blue Water Inn. Together in a single room they decided to have a change of heart. Perhaps they had been too rash in their decision to abandon Ismark and his sister Irenna. Hurriedly they departed downstairs to the main room of the inn hoping to catch them before they left.

On the party reached the bottom of the stairs they were met by an already busy hearth room. Rictavio, who Vertalas had already met the night before was already on his way out with a raw steak in one hand and apples in the other. In the darkest corner of the room and under a large mounted head of a dire wolf sat two dour men. They wore cloaks of wolf skin and had longbows perched in the corner of the room beside them. They were quiet and sipped their wine alone. Next to the hearth sat two brash and loud men who were obviously brothers. Despite it being the earliest part of the morning with the sun just beginning to rise, these two were already quite drunk. They spoke loudly of adventurers and their despise for the burgomaster.

Urwin Martikov spotted the party and beckoned for them to meet him at his bar. He was already talking to another feral looking man in a patchwork cloak and muddy boots, but it appeared their conversation was coming to a close and with a smile the feral looking man made his way to the door.

Are you headed out to the Wizard of Wines to see what the hold up is with that wine shipment, friends? said Urwin. The previous night Urwin and the party struck a deal that if they would investigate what happened to his wine shipment at the Wizard of Wines then he would give them free lodging. The party assured him they would be looking into it but that they were in a rush at the moment. Urwin quickly gave them some directions there and the party hastily departed, eager to catch Ismark and Ireena Indirovich.

They found them rolling their bedrolls in the stable of the inn. The party offered their condolences for their differences but the night before, but assured Ismark and his sister that they had a change of heart, and despite the obvious danger in accompanying them, that they would see them to off west to the village of Krezk.

The party all together once more traveled through the muddy streets of Vallaki. They noticed that by this point all of the wolf heads that adorned that palisade of the village
had been removed and that all the older flyers for the wolf’s head jamboree had been replaced with the new flyer proclaiming the festival of the sun. Through the town square villagers could still be seen stuck in stockades wearing plaster donkey heads, some local children called them names through the bars. In the middle of the town square today a stage had been constructed with a wooden scaffolding giving way in front of it.

The party passed through the square without trouble and began making their way through the west side of the town. During their travel they passed a peculiar sign shaped like a rocking horse with a “B” engraved on both sides. The signs hung off the front of a building with large windows to the building’s face. Peering through the party took notice of several odd and gothic toys, all of which wore a tag saying “Is No Fun, Is No Blinsky.”

It was at this point that the party bard, Dandelion of Streep. Noticed that the party was being followed. About twenty yards back a Vallaki commoner slowly lurched after them, with great interest. Dandelion shared his discovery with the other members of the party and quickly they all devised a plan to investigate. Belladonnä & Anon took a sharp left and began walking down a more secluded alleyway, Vertalas attempted to hide behind a dumpster, his elf ears betrayed him, sticking out from behind the dumpster like shoots of grass in an uncut field. Dandelion popped into the toy store to make a quick backstage costume change.

Inside Dandelion encounters a plump and friendly man with a monkey on his shoulder who introduced himself saying “Wyelcome, friend, to the House of Blinsky, where hyappiness and smiles can be bought at bargain prices. Perhaps you know a leetle child in need of joy? A leetle toy for a girl or boy?”

Inside Dandelion and Blinsky had a brief but informative conversation in which Dandelion learned that Blinsky was Vallaki’s local toymaker and a self-proclaimed “master of little wonders”. Through his clever social ways Dandelion quickly gained favor with Blinsky and told him that he would purchase one of Blinsky’s toys and be his friend if he would help him by allowing him to assume a disguise as a common Vallakian and then pretend he wasn’t aware of the change.

Blinsky was excited about the concept of having a new friend as he struggled with loneliness being a black sheep in the land of Barovia. Blinsky hoped that his toys would bring joy to the people around him, but in actuality they pushed the people away that he hoped to bring happiness.

Dandelion quickly searched around through the toys and purchased a doll that looked like Strahd Von Zarovich and a doll that looked eerily close to Irenna. Upon asking he discovered that Blinsky produces a doll that looks like Irenna everyday, though he doesn’t know who Irenna is. The dolls are for Izek Strazni who comes by everyday to pick them up. Blinsky doesn’t ask why. In return for making the dolls Izek provides “protection” for Blinsky’s store.

Before leaving Dandelion also learned:
– The Burgomaster has an enemy, Lady Wachter, who thinks that she should be the burgomaster in Vallaki and would like to replace Vargus.
– Vallaki has a festival every week (Blinsky makes most of the decorations)
– Blinsky’s monkey’s name is Piccolo and he was given to Blinsky by Rictavio, the circus ringmaster who stays at the Blue Water Inn, and Rictavio told Blinsky he has a tiger as well

Dandelion exited the toy store and returned to the street. At this point the stalker had begun following Anon and Vertalas down a nearby alley. Dandelion in the guise of a common Vallakian followed from behind and together the party surrounded and ambushed the follower.

Through their combined efforts the party intimidated that man into revealing that his name was Ernst Lansk and he was stalking the party on orders from Lady Wachter. Ernst was to follow the party of new adventurers and study them, and if they proved to seem worthy Ernst was to invite them to meet Lady Wachter for an interesting proposition…

The party declined the invitation at this time despite Ernst’s pleads for them to see Lady Wachter. However, he informed the party that when they returned to Vallaki if they wanted to meet with Lady Wachter he would facilitate the meeting. saying that “Lady Wachter has many eyes in Vallaki.” And with that, he hastily left.

An Opulent Dowry
Session 2

As the party of adventures continued west they climbed along the side of a mountain until they reached a large stone bridge, adorned on the ends of which were stone and lifeless gargoyles. A small dirt path led off to the right and steeply down an embankment to a river below following the river back to the east. The bridge overlooked a thousand foot drop below. The party effortlessly crossed and continued west toward their intended destination of Vallaki with Ismark and Irenna in tow.

A short while later they arrived at a fork in the road. The road to the right with wet cobblestone suggesting it was once an important thoroughfare, a large extravagant castle in the distance. Determined not to be distracted the party continued west. Once again they passed through a very large and ominous gate beset with enormous, headless knights to the of it; they passed without harm. Shortly later they past an old decrepit windmill off the main road on the journey to Vallaki but did not stop to investigate it. Finally the Svalich road led them to a palisade and the southern gate of Vallaki.


A mist pressed against the palisade, almost as if fighting to get inside the town itself. The gate was locked. Two men stood guard on a platform built along the palisade peering down upon the approaching party. Wolves heads were stuck upon pikes and adorned the palisade all around. “Who goes there?” Demanded one of the guards.

With a quick flick of his silver tongue Dandelion persuaded the guards to peacefully allow the party to enter through the southern gate, overcoming the guards’ obvious disdain for non-humans and wolves (Obviously uncomfortable with the sight of Ameron’s wolf.) The party agreed to leave the wolf in the stable of the Blue Water Inn to avoid any trouble. At a guard’s request, Dandelion also agreed to speak with the Baron about playing music for Vallaki’s upcoming festival.

And so the party gained access to Vallaki. They decided a logical safe place to take Irenna would be the local church, the Church of St. Andrals. On the way there the party passed through Vallaki’s town square where they saw a statue of a man on a fountain facing west, several stockades full of men, women, and children all with plastered donkey heads fastened to their heads, and several signs plastered throughout the square which read:

to the greatest celebration of the year:
Attendance and Children required.
Pikes will be provided.
- The Baron -

On the opposite side of the square two guards could been seen with a larger, brooding man. The larger of the guards had an obvious red and deformed devil-like arm. He placed a new sign on top of one of the signs in the square which read:

to the greatest celebration of the year:
Attendance and Children required.
Rain or Shine.
- The Baron -

Eyeing the Baron written on the bottom of the pages Dandelion of Streep took it upon himself to investigate and ask the leader of guards who the “Baron” was and where he could be found. The impatient and large guard regarded him with a grunt and a rude: The Baron is obviously going to be in the burgomaster’s mansioni to the north and is the burgomaster of Vallaki. Dandelion attempted to learn more but his attempt was met with more hostility from the guard.

And so the party continued to the church where inside the found the priest comforting an older woman who was sobbing something about her son Udo and how he was unfairly taken prisoner by the Baron. The party politely interrupted saying that they needed to speak with the priest on important business..

The priest agreed to give the party council and introduced himself as ‘Father’ Lucian Petrovich. With Ismark Indirovich’s aid they explained the situation with Irenna and requested the priest marry Delmirev and Irenna and allow her to stay her for the time-being for safe keeping.

Lucian seemed perplexed as to why a human would want to marry a dragonborn and made it known that he thought such a thing was strange and unnatural, but he agreed that he could perform the ceremony as he desperately needed the party’s help with something in return.

Lucian Petrovich then explained that the church was protected by the ancient spirit of Saint Andral, whose bones were buried underneath the altar of the church hundreds of years ago. He claimed that the bones created hallow ground underneath the church protecting it from evil, but that the bones were recently stolen.

Father Lucian kept the secret of the bones safe for the entirety of his priesthood but he confessed that a few weeks ago he told the secret to a local youth named Yeska in order to calm the frightened lad. After the bones were taken he learned from Yeska that the boy had told his friend Milivoj about the bones in passing. Milivoj worked for the church digging graves for the nearby cemetery and his temper was well known throughout Vallaki. Lucian wanted the party to confront Milivoj about the bones and recover them without cluing the troubled youth that the priest tipped them off about him.

The party headed directly to the church’s graveyard where they found the young man hard at work. Through their combined efforts Dandelion of Streep & Delmirev Balasar intimidated the young lad to discover that he had already sold the bones for a more the reasonable price to the local coffinmaker, Henrik Van Der Moort. With a bribe of two gold pieces Anon bribed Milivoj to lead them to the coffin shop.

Some few minutes later the party arrived at the coffin shop and Milivoj departed, gold in hand. A knock on the door of the shop was answered with a quick “We’re closed. Go away!” More knocking from the party received no reply and so the group easily forced the door. Inside they found a gaunt and elderly man. His knees were trembling.

With quick investigative conversation the group determined that Henrik Van Der Moort had hidden the bones upstairs in a cabinet. He warned though, that a nest of vampires was camping out upstairs in his shop and that they were very dangerous. After much deliberation the party determined that they would sneak upstairs and have just one search for the bag, with the others ready in the wings.

Belladonnä drew the short straw and stealthily (but not that stealthily) made her way over to the only cabinet this room had to offer, along the side of the room opposite of the stairs. All along the walls of this room were sealed caskets and the room itself emitted a deathly silence and dark presence.

With luck however Belladonnä discovered the bones in a hidden compartment in the bottom of the cabinet. With the bones retrieved the group hastily left the coffin shop and returned to the church. Henrik Van Der Moort was nowhere to be found.

The party delivered the bones back to Father Lucian who seemed very pleased to have them back in the church. With Delmirev’s insistence he happily agreed to perform a wedding ceremony for the dragonborn and Ireena Indirovich, even against his prejudiced beliefs.

And so the ceremony began. Dandelion provided a beautiful medley for the wedding and Anon agreed to be the best man. Irenna looked captivating and in a wedding dress all fixed up for the first time the party realized how incredibly beautiful she truly was. Irenna seemed skeptical about the idea of marrying a complete stranger, but knew that her brother Ismark wanted her to be safe, and she trusted in that.

At the officiation wound on the small party was joined by Milivoj and a stranger that he escorted in. The stranger was tall and exceedingly handsome. He wore a cape and elaborately embroidered clothes. He sat beside Milivoj along one of the back pews of the church.

The end of wedding had come. The officiation was almost over and Delmirev Balasar & Ireena Indirovich were about to be bound together for life when Father Lucian finally spoke: “If there is any reason these two should not be wed, speak now, or forever hold your peace.”. Gracefully the stranger stood and spoke. There was a confidence and coolness to his voice, he was well spoken and sounded like a nobleman with an educated upbringing, yet his voice had a harshness to it that made the room feel colder…


The stranger said, “I’m afraid I must object. You cannot marry her because this woman is my property.”

Not missing a beat Anon fired an arrow from his crossbow straight at the man. The arrow sunk right into his breast but the stranger barely regarded. He then reached across his chest and pulled the arrow out himself, and his lips pursed into a wicked smile, revealing fanged teeth behind them.

He hurled a fireball across the room singeing several party members and burning all of Delmirev’s retainers alive! Lucian Petrovich whispered: Morninglord help us. It’s Strahd Von Zarovich. In a flash he appeared all over the room. Strahd toyed for a moment with the party like a cat with a mouse. The party realizing the danger of their situation now took the quickest paths of egress they could out of the church, jumping through windows and sprinting down the foyer of the church.

On his way out Anon grabbed Ireena Indirovich while Strahd was busy with Delmirev Balasar. Anon escaped through a window and with a quick glance back witnessed Strahd Von Zarovich bury his fangs into Delmirev’s neck. Screams of terror and agony could be heard echoing from the church as the rest of the party fled the church.

A short while later the screams could no longer be heard in the distance. The party regrouped at the stable of the Blue Water Inn, where Vertalas Ameron had previously left his Wolf for safe keeping while the group stayed in Vallaki.

Ismark was crushed with the reality that Vallaki, and perhaps nowhere was safe from Strahd’s grasp. The party was angry with him, feeling like he had not conveyed the amount of danger involved in escorting his sister to Vallaki. Their lashing out upset Ismark and he relayed to the party that if they didn’t want he and his sister around, then fine, that he did not need them to keep his sister safe.

After some reasonable conversation the mood of changed to a more passive tone, but in the end the party and Ismark decided that it would be best to separate from here. Ismark & Irenna would stay low in the stable for the night and leave west with first light, headed for The Village of Krezk.

The party headed elected to pay for rooms for the night. They met with the Innkeeper, Urwin Martikov, and arranged lodging for the night. The party slept through the night to wake and face the next day in this strange land, ready for whatever lie before them.

Into the Mists
Session 1

It's a dark and unseasonably cold night. A thick fog has quickly settled in a quaint, unimportant province where we first find our…. protagonists? Inside the lone tavern of this town, The Slaughtered Lamb we find a bard entertaining the crowded inn with tales of his past, a loose association of elves/dragonborn and a singular cleric, with intentions unknown.

Due to the crowded nature of the inn tonight the bard, cleric, and known associates are forced to sit together. With ale and time the five grow to know each other's name and a little about each other when suddenly the door to the inn is kicked in and a man walks in with bright and flamboyant clothes of purple and blue.

A quiet falls over the inn and he walks directly over to the party stopping short of the table and crossing his arms to greet them. In an accented voice he says "I have been sent to you to deliver this message. If you be creatures of honor you will come to my masters aid at first light. It is not advisable to cross the Svalich Woods at night!" He then dropped a letter on to the table with a unrecognizable crest and beautiful flowing script.


"Take the road west from here some five hours march down through the Svalich Woods. There you will find my master in Barovia." He then strolled across the bar and dropped a purse of gold off to the barkeep instructing him to fill everyone's glasses. With that he left and the party investigated the letter.

Vertalas, the party's ranger picked up the letter and read it aloud for the rest of the party to hear and after some due consideration the group decided that they would spend the night at The Slaughtered Lamb and travel due west tomorrow to embark on this quest together.

With dawn the party met and began the journey west. As they marched through the Svalich Woods the forest turned from a normal temperate deciduous forest to a corrupted and haunted forest. The fog became thicker and the trees became gnarled and broken, many were dead.

After some hours the group came up two enormous stone buttresses with an iron gate between them. The heads of these statues lied at their feet respectively and the statues greeted the party with only silence. As the party approached the gates swung open on their own. The party passed through without trouble and the gate slowly shut behind them.


Another hour of travel passed and Delmirev & Vertalas noticed a stench of death on the air. They passed this knowledge on to the rest of the party and the party together decided that it would be wiser to continue traveling to their intended destination. The stench dissipated until they could no longer smell it at all. A few minutes later the sounds of wolves howling could be heard behind them toward the same direction of the foul stench.

After another hour of travel shapes began to form in the distance that were recognizable as buildings in the distance. The muddy ground underfoot gave way to cobblestone and the party finally arrived at their intended destination. A eerie, mournful sobbing could be heard coming from the village.


Wasting no time the party went straight to the local tavern, The Blood of the Vine Inn. Inside they found a somber man drinking wine by himself, a bored and dull, typical barkeep and three women in a corner of the establishment, huddled around a table talking amongst themselves. The three were dressed similarly to the man who delivered Kolyan’s Letter just the night before.

They started with the barkeep. Drearily he told the party the prices of the wines the inn had to offer. Dandelion of Streep offered his bardic services in exchange for free lodging with a flourish of fanciful speech. A twinge of amusement and excitement could be seen in the barkeep’s eyes, though he tried not to show it. “You’ll have to ask the owners bout’ dat.” The barkeep replied. After a short while longer Dandelion learned that the owners were in fact the three women in the corner of the inn.

The party made their way to the three and introduced themselves. Some talk of entertaining for free lodging and negotiations therein were had, but the notion of it was lost when the subject changed and the three women suddenly took on a more serious tone.

Reaching in his leather armor Vertalas showed the women Kolyan’s Letter and inquired if they had ever seen the seal before. The three were silent for a while and then the one who seemed to be the leader of the three replied that they did not recognize it. Dandelion could sense their hesitation and through his persuasive powers he drew from the lady that they could learn more about the letter by asking the authors son, the somber man drinking alone on the other side of the inn.

Naturally the party then gravitated towards this man who introduced himself as Ismark Indirovich. Vertalas offered the letter to Ismark who regretfully told the party that the penmanship was not that of his father’s and that the letter was a fake. Ismark had nothing to offer as far as who forged the letter or why, but he was glad the party was there; because he needed their help.

Ismark then proceeded to tell the party that his sister Ireena Indirovich was in grave danger. Wolves had been attacking the mansion for the past several nights and Ireena herself had been “visited” twice already by “the Devil Strahd” and he feared for her life if they were to meet again. Ismark pleaded with the party for them to assist him with moving his sister to the town of Vallaki. He said he didn’t have much, but that he would give them all he could, roughly 250 gold.

After careful consideration, the party agreed to help Ismark with his request; but with the exception that in addition to his gold they wanted a plot of land within The Village of Barovia and when the time was right, that Ireena Indirovich would marry Delmirev Balasar. With careful persuasion, Dandelion & Delmirev convinced Ismark to agree.

Wanting to waste no time the party and Ismark immediately left for the burgomaster’s mansion. With Ismark with them Irenna allowed the party in the mansion without resistance. Irenna cordially introduced herself to each member of the party and the brother and sister discussed leaving. Ireena agreed that it would be safer for her if she left the Village of Barovia and so she agreed to go, but only under the condition that before they could leave they had to bury their father, Kolyana Indirovich. Kolyana lied in a coffin awaiting burial in a nearby room.

Again seeing no reason to waste any time the party adapted to become pallbearers and began a funeral procession for the former burgomaster, their destination the village’s church graveyard. As they marched through the village the barovians sneered at them through dirty house windows and cracked doors. None joined in the procession.

A little over halfway there the party encountered an old crotchety lady who greeted them with a smile. She was pushing a cart with a very sweet smell wafting from it. The party continued through the village to the church, unwilling to be distracted; save for Anon who decided to stop to investigate the scent and strangely pleasant old lady.

After quick conversation Anon discovered that this lady was not a local villager but that she lived in a windmill outside of the town with her daughters. She came to the town to sell delicious pastries! Anon inquired to the price of the pasties to which the lady replied that they were 1G each. Anon was outraged by this price but negotiated that he would take a two for one gold deal. The old lady agreed. Anon stashed his loot and left to meet with the rest of the party.

The rest of the party went around the church straight to the graveyard where they began Kolyan’s funeral. Anon offered to use his clerical knowledge to do the eulogy. As the funeral was underway a blood curdling scream could be hear from inside the nearby church. The party continued forward with the funeral save for Delmirev & Belladonnä who stepped away to investigate.

They knocked on the door to the church, which was answered by Donavich, the local priest. Donavich attempted to make peace with the party, offering the he was sorry about all the noise and that it wouldn’t happen again. He even offered to assist in giving the eulogy saying he would offer prayers to the Morninglord in hopes for Kolyan’s deliverance from Barovia.

Donavich accompanied the party back to the graveyard and began to offer his own prayers for Kolyana, which Irenna seemed very pleased with. However, as he began the screaming from the church could be heard again. Delmirev Balasar took Donavich to the side to speak with him privately and through intimidation learned that the screams were that of Donavich’s son, Doru. Donavich confessed that his son had ran away with a small militia following a wizard a year ago in a failed attempt to overthrow Strahd. He said his son returned not himself, and he locked him away under the church a year ago, but Donavich insisted that he was taking care of the situation and had it all “under control”.

Delmirev told Donavich that he was leaving to transport his bride to be, but that he would return, and the two of them would be having a talk about Donavich’s “son”.

And so the funeral was ended. Ireena Indirovich was pleased and Ismark was happy to have it quickly over with so they could all move on and head west toward Vallaki.

An hour or so passed as they party, Ismark ‘the lesser’ Indirovich, and Ireena all traveled west. The road crested over a rise and the party came to a fork in the road. A sign post read to the left Vallaki/Castle Ravenloft and to the right Tser’s Pool. Behind the signpost stood a gallows with an empty noose, behind that was a still graveyard, cold and hard.

Suddenly, from the woods near the graveyard six werewolves appeared, looking full of malice and hunger. Remembering back to all her studies throughout many libraries in her search for knowledge Belladonnä recalled that werewolves had resistances to any non-silvered standard attacks and that they were formidable foes, even for a party of five experienced adventurers such as themselves. She quickly conveyed this to her party members.

Thinking quickly, Dandelion used Calm Emotions to place the werewolves in a passive trance followed right up by Vertalas strategically placing a fog cloud between the travelers and werewolves, blocking their route of egress from the lycanthropes’ view. The party made a hasty escape to the left heading toward their intended destination of Vallaki.


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