Mists of Shadow Moor

Session 14: The Lord of the Domain

Dictator.jpgExperience: 9,717

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Session 13: The Master of Castle Mormot

Illusionist.jpgExperience: 7,950

Tormon Guild Ledger, Page 12

:: After a great deal of debate as to whether and how to side with werewolves, returned to Castle Mormot and palavered with the lord, Kiril Stoyanovich, under power of Victor’s truth-telling spell. The Lord Mormot was uncomfortably forthcoming, not much easing the burden of our choices.

:: Determined to fight Emil Toranescu’s faction of werewolves. Lured them into the castle’s courtyard and fought them, working alongside the Stoyanovich faction of werewolves. Near the end of the battle, Pavel used his lightning to betray the Stoyanovich faction, deeply broadening our fight. A quick battle turned into a deadly affair, as our numbers were poorly positioned for defense, too much integrated into the ranks of the Stoyanovich faction. Despite killing many werewolves, the remainder seemed only determined to get at least one bite of each of our number before fleeing. The leaders of the Stoyanovich faction fled into the keep, locking themselves in.

:: During the battle, a mysterious masked stranger appeared, snatched up a werewolf, and fled over the wall. It seemed to know some of our names.

:: As the battle concluded, a great cloud of bats approached on the horizon, led by a flying black horse and a dark rider. The Master of Ravenloft approached.

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Trapped in Mormot Castle

Beast.jpgExperience:

From the Journal of Haldor Bargewright

5th of Balor, 1132

We are trapped in Castle Mormot. I will not try to hide my anger in these pages as doing so would be a disservice to my sanity. My confidence in my team has waned incredibly, and since the passing of my dearest friend Gregori, my spirits are left at an all time low. I have gone on at length in these pages about the many ways that I will exact my revenge on Inara for her role in his death, however after having dedicated several pages to the many ways I can watch her suffer and expire I find that my desire to further that cause has waned some. All that said, I do not know how much longer I can entertain a goodly nature and fear that if I do not quit myself of this cursed land I may suffer in the same fate as those that have passed before.

Back to Castle Mormot, from the outset it appears to be a relaxing respite from the depression we encounter elsewhere in the land. The lord of this castle, Kiril Stoyanovich appears to be accommodating and generous. However that does not reduce my annoyance at having been detained here due to the death of some inconsequential peasant whom I have no link to, nor a care for. Do they not know we are on an incredibly urgent mission back to Vallaki? Damn this contemptable land!

In the interest of expediting our escape from this situation, Pavel and Jacob have volunteered to assist in the investigation of this murder we have become witnesses to. As far as I can tell, the list of suspects are as follows Kresk who is an acolyte from a monastery, Abbis and Yafu who are merchants that became lost, Marto & Jim, woodcutters from Lake Luna, a mercenary named Gria on her way to Vallaki, and then a handful of servants and peasants. At this point I would be happy to put the screws to the lot of them until the first one squeals a confession, and be done with the whole affair. Of course we have to do the noble deed and actually investigate. What a crock.

From what was relayed, Pavel and Jacob were lead to the location of a very bloody murder, however no body was present. The room appears to be the castle commode, and after checking for deviltry (magic) and finding none they then check the throne and find that the structure has been damaged, widening the opening through a brute force action. Returning to the spot of violence they surmise that the murder was most violent and animalistic. As if a wolf had ripped the poor fool to shreds. Jacob then lowers Pavel down the chute and he checks the grounds for activity. He finds naked foot prints and wolf tracks heading into the woods.

Back at the Great Hall, Lord Stoyanovich approaches myself and Victor with a story of his poor Chamberlin Emil Toranescu. Out surveying the lands, he was bit by a pack of wild dogs and is now exhibiting signs of lunacy. The wolves carry some sort of infection that drives men mad, and he has banded together with others similarly inflicted to harass the Lords people. With this information all signs point to this Emil character as being the villain, Lord Stoyanovich gathers us together and charges us with ending this pox to his land. In exchange for our assistance he gifts us with his prized rifle and allows us passage out of the castle. So we gather up the remains of our Guild, and the new companions we have met and set out to expunge the blight of Emil so that we may finally be on our way. Lady Stoyanovich, the comely daughter of the Lord tries to join us in our task, however it is determined that she would be a detriment to the proceedings as she is quite young and as a woman is ill fit for such activities.

We head south of the keep to a river which is not far from the castle, and as we arrive we are soon engaged by a pack of rather hungry looking wolves. Pavel strives forward and due to his affinity for taming wild beasts attempts to becalm wolves. What strangeness occurs I am hesitant to detail. However I know not any other way to continue. One of the wolves separates from the pack and approaches our team. As it closes the gap a strange transformation occurs, its fur begins to disappear, and then it lurches up on its two hind legs. The strange transformation continues as the snout of this vile beast shrinks and compacts into a human nose and mouth, and the ears shift down to form unmistakably human ears. It is something I do not believe I can forget and hope never to witness again.

He introduces himself as Emil, and claims that Lord Stoyanovich has engineered these horrible acts, framing Emil and his people in order to chase them from their ancestral lands. He goes on to claim that Lord Stoyanovich is not the rightful Lord to the land and that it belongs to himself and his people. He then asks us to assist him in retaking the Castle and driving out the evil that is Lord Stoyanovich. I do not feel comfortable with this exchange. Anything that can do what Emil has done cannot be good, and we have received nothing but generosity from the Lord of the manor. However the rest of the party is immovable in their desire to assist this abomination, so I keep my trap shut on the matter. Best to go with the flow and end this quickly so we can be on our way.

Victor Von Schmidt, and Pavel feel they have some ability in curing these skin changers of their affliction, and so after securing the Wolf Mens promises, for what those are worth, we agree to help them if they all take the cure to return them to a state of normalcy.

So ends today’s entry.

Haldor Bargewright
Tormon Guild

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Session 11: Cleansing the Blight

Druid.jpgExperience: 6,500

:: Started off the morning at the Winery. Discussed a plan to proceed. It was decided that we should finish what we started and run down the Blighters that attacked the ravens. The hope was that we could catch them and retrieve the stolen artifacts. Haldor showed uncharacteristic guilt and readily agreed to the plan.

:: Before heading to the Druid mound south of the Winery, Victor asked The Lawgiver for his blessing and assistance. His prayer was seemingly answered in the form of a twisted Caliban Stag.

:: We headed at full mounted speed to Yester Hill. Muriel transformed into a raven to scout ahead. What she noticed was two Druids performing a ritual around a large tree (gnarled by decoration) and a large procession of Druids coming in from the opposite side of the hill. Pavel urged the group to interrupt the summoning and we charged up the hill. Combat ensued, but we were too late to stop Treebad from awakening. Inara massacres the two Druids that were attempting to run away. At which point, Muriel notices they dropped the artifacts we were looking for. Inara grabs the artifacts and we pile on the shambling tree until it falls.

:: Jacob and Haldor check out the Cairn that was calling to Haldor. They find the grave of a fallen warrior and proceed to fight over his spear. Haldor grabs it and runs. Victor and Jacob burn the Blight staves and Pavel starts to burn Treebad.

:: The party hides to create an ambush for the incoming procession of Druids. A significant amount of time passes, after distant sounds of battle, Davian emerges onto the mound. After a quick chat, the ravens head back to their winery. A dark cloud descends upon the hill, led by a dark rider. The party assumes it is Strahd and hides. At closer inspection, the cloud is actually a mass of bats. And after a brief pause at the top of the mound, the dark horseman and his bat entourage flies at full speed towards Vallaki. The group debates the urgency of heading off the dark cloud in Vallaki while Muriel flies back to the Winery (she receives an amulet).

:: We opt for the quickest, most direct path back to Vallaki. Muriel informs us that there is a manor house on our way that would be ideal to stay the night. The guard at the manor house is very welcoming. Informing us that this is the stronghold for Lord Mormot (aka Ceeral Stovanovich?). Victor notices this conclave still clings to the old ways, putting the Lady of the Night on equal or higher footing with The Lawgiver. The party settles into their rooms, experiments with their new found treasures, and argues the morality of inanimate objects. In the morning, at breakfast, we met the Lord who informs us that a child was ripped to shreds. Both Jacob and Victor convince him to let them assist in the investigation.

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Session 10: Winery and skulduggery

Miser.jpgExperience:

:: To Be completed…

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Session 09: Rescue and Unlucky

Avenger.jpgExperience:

:: Follow Vistani herb gatherer to forest where missing girl was last seen. Discover a scarf that Victor identifies as belonging to a drunkard fishermen.

:: Decided to go to Lake Zarovich where the fisherman has a boat. Upon arriving, we see a light out on the lake and head to the dock where we find new city guard that Victor does not recognize collecting a portion of fish from a fisherman. It is getting into the late evening.

:: We borrow a boat from the kind fisherman, who says he will be leaving when his family arrives with a cart to take the rest of the fish back to town. We row quickly out to the light on the lake after taking off our heavy armor.

:: Out on the lake, the light turns into a boat with person on it who upon seeing us heading toward him, tosses large bundle into the lake. Victor and Haldor jump into the water to go after the bundle. Meanwhile, Jacob shoots an arrow to stop the suspected fisherman from fleeing.

:: Victor dives deap and manages to locate the weighted bundle and tries to surface, but runs out of breath. Luckily, Haldor has followed and grabs them both and swims valliantly to the surface and all are brought back on board the boat. The bundle is revealed to be the missing Vistani child, who Jacob heals. Haldor is upset and leaps to the other boat and beats up the guilty fisherman.

:: The fisherman admits in fear that he thought that bringing the girl out to the lake would change his luck with catching fish, so he knocked her out and brought her out on the water. When he saw our approach, he says he panicked and decided he couldn’t explain himself and thought to drop the girl in the water to hide his guilt.

:: We tie up the fisherman and return to the dock and tie up the boat. The kind fisherman and the guard are missing. Due to the lateness of the evening, we decided to go thru town via the road instead of back the way we came.

:: Sadly, we come upon the kind fisherman’s cart, that Jacob determines was attacked by wolfes and it appears there are no survivors. We continue thru town and back to the Vistani camp.

:: The Vistani merchant is happy to see his missing daughter returned to them and they decide to throw a feast for the heroes. The guilty fisherman is locked up in one of the Vistani wagons to be tried later. The group questions him further and Inara uses fire to get his full confession.

:: A trial is held by the Vistani and the gilty fisherman is convicted and killed. The Vistani reveal their treasure wagon with 6 chests with the choice of one to the party as a reward. Victor is unlucky and chooses the 6th box that holds only potions. The other chests are revealed to have greater treasure.

:: After a night of celebration, the group heads back thru town to investigate the kind fishermans cart and run into the infamous captain of the guard. After a brief verbal confrontation, the captain threatens us and we leave after revealing his ineptness and investigating the attack scene.

:: We ride out to the Wizard of Wines Winery and hobble our horses upon seeing a field of scarecrows surrounding the winery. We approach on foot and carefully approach the winery while spread out. After getting to the inside, two of the scarecrows come to life near our horses and go after them. We luckily dispatch them with Inara’s fire attacks being the most effective. Luckily, the horses survive and the group takes a short breather.

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Session 08: Bone Hunt

Berserker.jpgExperience: 4,820

:: Morning in Vallaki, left the Blue Water Inn run by the Martikov family and decide to investigate the theft of the artifact from St. Andral’s Church. Our new Friend Victor has convinced us of the importance of recovering the artifact which are the bones of their saint, saying the town will not be safe without their protection.

:: Came across the Blinsky Toys shop and met Gadof Blinsky, a weird toymaker. Haldor discusses the repair of a family trinket and decides to buy a clockwork doll named Pidlwick II that the toymaker has been unable to sell with the intent to comfort Yeska; the boy who witnessed the theft of the artifact and hasn’t spoken since.

:: Returned to St. Andral’s Church. Met with Yeska, Haldor attempts to give Pidlwick to him, the boy reacts in fright and Victor knocks the toy out of Haldor’s hands into a puddle of water. Haldor picks up the doll deciding to keep it and attaches it to his belt. Victor questions the silent child who draws a picture of a shovel in the muddy ground when asked if he knew who had taken the artifact bones. Victor identifies the village laborer Milivoj as the likely suspect from the picture. Ireena is left behind at the church with Father Lucian. She should be safe staying there during the day.

:: Searched the town and see Milivoj on the main street with a friend. The group seperates to surround him and Jacob stops his escape by pointing a pistol at his head. Two nobles were also approaching Milivoj from the alley with ill intent, they run upon seeing Victor with the group. Milivoj reveals that the Coffin Maker paid him to steal the bones and that they are with him.

:: Across the street is the Coffin Maker’s Shop, which is strangely shuttered and locked up during the middle of the day. Inara opens the backdoor lock and the group enters to find the undertaker Henrik van der Voort cowering in the dark within. Haldor and Victor question him about the theft. The clockwork toy Pidlwick reacts to Haldor’s aggressive questioning of the Henrik and reveals his ability to shoot a dart, knocking Henrik unconscious. Victor wakes the man with healing, who confesses that he was forced to do it at the bequest of a stranger, who has two associates upstairs with the bones.

:: Proceeded cautiously upstairs to find two non-moving well dressed ladies. Victor senses undead evil from them and yells to attack. Our combined force of arms with the assistance of a Vistani’s spirit elixir and another surprise dart from Pidlwick vanquish the two undead woman. Haldor was revealed to be a target of choice to their blood lust and suffered near death embraces. Found the missing artifact bones after searching among the boxes on the second floor.

:: Back at St. Andral’s Church. The artifact is returned to Father Lucian and buried again under some floorboards in the church. He reports that the captain of the town watch has shown interest in Ireena, who looks like the wooden figures he is known to carve. Victor recommends keeping her out of his sight.

:: Decided to go to the Vistani market outside of town while still daylight. Talked with the potion merchant, when a Vistani returns from herb gathering in the forest and the merchant’s daughter is found to have not returned and is missing. We volunteer to assist in the search, concerned that the old woman from the “wind mill” may have taken her.

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Session 07: Vallaki by Night

Missionary.jpgExperience: 3,020

:: Decided to cut directly through the woods to Vallaki, hoping to save a day. Pavel believes he can see the right route. This may help us lose any potential pursuers from the wind-powered mill and its manor house.

:: The forest is thick, but manageable. Found a strange procession of three soldiers’ skeletons, mounted on the piles of their skeletal horses. A strange creature rose from the thicket, or was the thicket, and came roaring after us. Moved away from it in good time. It could not keep up.

:: Found a resident of Vallaki in the forest. He was searching for some missing children, and our rescued children seemed to know him. Went to Vallaki with him. Upon approaching the walls, noticed that some members of the watch seemed to show deference to our new friend, who names himself Victor.

:: Met with Father Lucian at St. Andral’s Church. Ireena is supposed to be delivered into the priest’s safekeeping, but he is worried; the artifact that protects the church (and the town of Vallaki) have been stolen. There are few clues as to what happened. Leaving Ireena here seems like a dubious plan.

:: Spent time at the Blue Water Inn. Noticed many ravens present. The town watch stopped by, looking for whoever allowed Udo out of the stocks. It seems that failure to be cheerful and enjoy the weekly festivals is a punishable offense here. Met Victor’s friends, Rictavio and Ezmerelda.

:: Stayed the night at the inn. Inara noticed a raven poking through her baggage. The bird was a wereraven boy named Brom, the son of Urwin and Danika Martikov. After conversation, discovered that the family’s oldest daughter was our friend Muriel. The Martikovs want us to help them investigate what has happened to their family winery, the Wizard of Wines Winery. The winery delivers excellent, cheap wine to inns across Barovia, one of the few sources of cheer in this dark land.

:: Once we prove our capabilities to the Martikovs, they will allow us to hold their sun-shaped amulet, the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind. This item of power was revealed to us in Madam Eva‘s Tarokka Reading. But that alone is not enough for their full trust. We must then return to the Argynvostholdt manor house to resurrect Muriel. If we succeed, they will tell us how to use the rest of the holy symbol’s power and reveal to us what their family has recorded about the Tormen Guild members who came to Barovia several generations ago.

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Session 06: Road to Perdition

Evoker.jpgExperience: 2,520

:: Purchased several potions from the Vistani camp before leaving in the morning. The Vistani claim these will be useful. Their veracity is suspect. At 10 marks a vial, a bit of snake oil is cheap enough to risk.

:: Came to a crossroads on the Old Svalitch Road. Immediately positioned on the eastern fork, pointed toward Castle Ravenloft, stood a strange black carriage drawn by two black horses. The carriage door opened slowly at our approach. Coach was empty. Declined to take a ride. Took the western fork instead.

:: At dark, stayed at the manor home of Happy Hengis and his band of woodcrofters. The stay was pleasant, as was the fare. Hengis asked us to keep an eye out for one of his missing people.

:: Discovered the body of what must have been Hengis’ missing woodcrofter. Took his rucksack which held rations and mincemeat pastries. Buried the man as well as possible.

:: At dark, declined to approach the run-down manor house in a nearby ravine. Approached a wind-powered mill of some kind, positioned near the road. A raven perched above the door flew at us, circled low around us while squawking angrily, and flew away. Decided to camp there.

:: Discovered the “wind mill” to be occupied. Greeted by a pleasant woman from upstairs. Overheard the woman instruct children to be silent. Noticed a few oddities as she came down the stairs. Oddities included child-size finger bones on the floor. Decided to fight.

:: Proved the efficacy of the Vistani’s spirit elixir and wasted a few magic bullets, but combined force of arms could not fell her. The woman proved incredibly resilient. She fled toward the manor house, promising to return with her sister and father.

:: Gregori fell in battle and drowned when a sludge-covered child, recently having crawled from a stinking barrel, tried to reach down his throat. Gregori mortuus est; en Arcadia habito. He carried the mail.

:: Rescued five children. Sampled some poisons from the wardrobe. Discovered that the highly-sought “mincemeat” pastries seen about Barovia are made here, probably from children. The mill seems to grind flour from their bones. Fled along the Old Svalitch Road.

:: Encountered a satchel of clothes hanging from a tree branch. Left it there, adding a ration to it.

:: Camped in the woods, taking care to hide tracks. Wolves patrolled the nearby road but did not find us. In the morning, Gregori’s body was gone.

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Session 05: House and Home

Charlatan.jpgExperience: 2,020

:: Fought the ghosts of the cellar in the Manor of Hanged Hope. Fled before we joined them. Lost two mail carriers and a crow.

:: Returned to Barovia and stayed overnight. Decided to leave the dread manor for later. Set out to take the burgomaster’s sister to Vallaki, as we promised.

:: Made camp on a hill beside the Old Svalich Road. Slight disturbance there. Rejoined by our two lost mail carriers. We thought they were dead.

:: Traveled on the next day. Decided to stay at the Vistani camp at Tser Pool. Madam Eva performed a Tarokka Reading. She seemed to know about a group of Tormen who came through here many, many years ago.

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