Tales of Caledonia

Mmmm, Warg jerky

Og carries the tome. Nedreama makes two canoes for us to use. The Vistani agree to watch over our wagon. Falkner proposes that we build a raft and float it between the canoes. Hawk prepares food for the journey (warg jerky). We travel down the river for a day and a half. I use the raven to spot—he reports that he sees lost of bats (including dire bats). It is dark by the time we reach the shore. Hawk casts light. We take the raft and create a lean-to from the materials. Nedreama informs us that dire bats fly by during the night.
Around midnight the clouds part, and there is a full moon. A dire bat attacks Falkner and Og. It misses and screeches as it flies away in an unknown direction. We begin to see eyes watching us from the forest: some are wolf height and some are human height. Hawk casts light on the lean-to. There are 2 vampire spawn standing near Ireena and two wolves flanking the camp. They’re all working together. The two that are human height are humanoid-hybrid werewolf archers.
We kill them all and rest for the remainder of the evening.

Load up the wagon

From room with coffins:
Battle with ghouls (2) and a harpy
-Elenya is initiated into Knight of the Raven: get celestial raven companion
-Elenya acquires the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind
-acquire Harpy talons (6) and abundance of feathers-enough to have two Harpy feather pillows
Go to burgomaster’s home to rest (and pray) 16 hours.
Load up wagon and head to the Tser Falls. Headed up a switchback trail that leads around and behind the falls. Turn corner and see torchlight. Elenya sees four wargs sleeping in a large cavern, and humanoid sized furniture. Near a fireplace are two dire wolves. We battle and one warg appears as well. All are killed in battle. We find a tome and a ladder that leads above the falls. There’s a trail leading to a bridge over the river and leads to the other side of the falls and the path leads down. Something else got away—speaks dwarvish and strong enough to move the boulder blocking the path above the ladder.
The tome talks about ancient places—fanes have power in this country. They are sources of natural power. There are three fanes: one in the forest (south west), one in the mountains (north of the castle), and one in the swamp (south of the castle). The fanes have guardians each site has a relic that is a part of a ritual. The tome also has rituals written in it, and the tome has some magical properties. The ritual we found from before came from this book.
We skin the direwolves and wargs. Nedreama gets one direwolf skin the other is gifted to the Vistani and we camp with them that evening. I keep one warg skin for a cloak. Ireena takes a warg cloak, as does Falkner and there is one warg skin left.
We rest for the next session.

Into the night

Gordaz and Elenya are found in an underground area and saved by the party. We’re trying to find a way into the castle but there are vampires on the loose. We are attacked on the way back to the Burgomaster’s house (where we were going to rest). The vampire says that Ireena is who he wants and that she is the master’s future wife.
This vampire is able to walk around in full daylight—he says that it is a gift from his master.
We beat the vampire and head into town (he is not killed, just defeated). There are less zombies now, and the ones that we do see are “old” ones—they’re more rotten.
Og is cured—no longer undead.
Ireena and Ashlyn give us info on the werewolves. Ashlyn was attacked by some on her way in. The tracks to the body were wolf, but the ones leading away were human.
Falkner and Elenya head to the inn to talk to the gypsy. Hawk stays with Ireena. The soldiers are no longer overwhelmed.
Falkner and Elenya ask about the Vistani camp location. It’s near the Tser Falls which is on the road that leads to the castle, near a large pool of fresh water—two hours away.
Falkner and Elenya, along with the party (minus Hawk), go to the Gypsy camp and ask for Madame Eva. We’re taken to a large tent with a large (giant) woman inside. Need to ask about Strahd- Lord of the Castle, the zombies, and the werewolves. Also need to ask how to invigorate the Sunsword, the page from the book on the Tome of Strahd, and the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind.
Madame Ava does a reading for us.
—Lord of the Castle: his enemy is light and he has power beyond mortality. He finds us many times, but we’ll find him only once: where his birth lies dead. Seek the crypt of his mother beneath the castle.
—Great Sword of the Sun: bring it to the dizzying height all loathe to climb, above the clouds to the castle’s highest tower.
—Tome of Straud: water and air; seek where the river flies. Find a cave beneath the river and find how to rid the lord of his strength.
—Holy Symbol of Ravenkind: powerful force-protection against darkness. Seek it among the dead. The symbol is buried. The holiness has fled, it needs holy hands to touch it and take it to the last sacred ground in the castle.
—Zombies: death leads to death and stems from the first death. The lord of the castle is the source.
We go back to the church with the underground tunnel (where Gordaz and Elenya were found) and we follow the tunnel to a room with three coffins in it. We can hear breathing from one of the coffins.

And so it begins
The story from 11/03/2013 to 12/30/2013

Our intrepid adventurers having successfully completed yet another quest retire to the Weary Horse Inn for a night of drinks and relaxation when a young Vistani boy delivers a note.

Hail to thee of might and valor:
I, a lowly servant of the township of Barovia, send honor to thee. We plead for thy so desperately needed assistance within our community. The love of my life, Ireena Kolyana, has been afflicted by an evil so deadly that even the good people of our town cannot protect her. She languishes from her wound and I would have her saved from this menace. But I fear the only cure lies within the dreaded walls of the castle, where none may enter without risking their lives. There is much wealth in this community. I offer all that might be had to thee and thy fellows if thou shalt but answer my desperate plea. Come quickly, for her time is at hand! All that I have shall be thine!
Kolyan Indirovich,
Burgomaster of Barovia

Upon reading of the plight in Barovia the party decides to journey to the township to offer their “very specific set of skills” to the Burgomaster. Upon arriving at the gates to Barovia the party encounters an unusual gate that opens (and slams shut) on it’s own. After entering the town proper the ever present fog clears enough to make out the husks of abandoned homes and businesses. Shambling through these abandoned structures are undead of many shapes, sizes, and states of decay and apparently quite hungry. Upon dispatching a small group intent on making a snack of our intrepid crew, the party makes it’s way to the center of town following the glow of an apparent bonfire. Upon arriving at the center of town through a thoroughly destroyed barricade they witness a single Paladin engaged in combat with a horde of hungry zombies and a creature covered in grave dirt. Rushing to assist the embattled warrior the day is soon won but not without cost. Ashlyn, the Paladin, lost one of her remaining allies. She speaks of her other allies who have gone to secure the towns Church. When the party inquires of the location of the Burgomaster’s home, Ashlyn offers to lead them there. Upon arriving at the Burgomaster’s mansion the party is informed of the untimely passing of the Burgomaster by his daughter Ireena Kolyana. The party feeling pity on the grieving young woman offer to assist her in delivering him to his final rest in the Churchyard Cemetary. Upon arriving at the churchyard they find the gates locked. Ashlyn indicates that this is a standard precaution her allies use when securing an area. The party opens the gate and proceeds onto the grounds. Ashlyn and Ireena take the burgomaster’s body to the crypts while the party goes to fetch Farher Danovich and Ashlyn’s allies. Upon entering the church they are greeted by an eerie chant and a near pitch dark building. Approaching the altar they find Father Danovich to be the source of chant and upon his realization of the party’s presence he unleashes the spell he was forming summoning a circle of darkness and pain outright killing and possessing a trusted ally with a lesser demon lord, He Who Walks Behind. The ensuing battle defeats both Danovich and the Walker. Leaving the party weakened and hearing moans and creaks from the basement below.

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