Mists of Shadow Moor

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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Session 04: Argynvost Hall

Hooded_One.jpgExperience: 2,020

:: Convinced Ismark to stay behind when we escorted his sister to Vallaki. Agreed to work two days in Barovia helping the villagers repair the palisade, then detour for a day to check the old manor house called Argynvost Hall. Having this place clear will allow villagers to travel safely between the coal caves and the village.

:: Discovered everyone at Argynvost Hall dead, hanged in the manor, hanged on the walls, hanged in the stables, etc. The few horses there had died of starvation about two weeks before. Camped in the manor house and woke to a battle with spectral warriors of some sort. Some members of the party were in the midst of trying to hang themselves at the time.

:: Our raven ally turned out to be a wereraven named Muriel Vinshaw. She seems to know a lot of information about this land.

:: A mysterious zombie knight escaped our attention, leaping from a balcony to get away.

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Session 03: The Baron of Baroviom

Darklord.jpgExperience: 1460

Tormon Ledger, Page 03

:: Met with the Bariovian villagers. Agreed to work 2 days for them helping guard the workers repairing the palisade. Will then travel south about 1 day to investigate a fortified manor that has gone silent. The manor represents a strategic stopover, a safe waypoint between the village and the caves bearing the seams of coal. Will then travel west to Vallaki with Ismark’s sister Ireena. Ismark will remain in the village of Barovia.

:: A raven has begun to follow the mail carriers.

:: Some carriers decided to risk the sunset in order to view the march of the specters. Villagers say these incorporeal warriors are all the dead who came to this land and tried to oppose the Devil Strahd. Nightly they march from the cemetery in Barovia, around the mountain, and up the dangerous road to Castle Ravenloft, determined to finish their task. No one knows if the spirits get close to the castle or not.

:: The sun set more quickly than anticipated and the Devil’s wolven minions attacked the mail carriers in the street outside of the burgomaster’s home. A dozen wolves were slain, but the Devil himself made an appearance to taunt the Kolyanovich family and the carriers. He dropped a bottle of wine before he went, one bearing the label of the Wizards of Wine winery. Ismark states that this winery is near Vallaki, where he hopes to find safety for his sister.

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Session 02: Life and Death in Barovia

Experience: 1310 Bishop.jpg

Tormon Ledger, Page 02

:: Found the burgomaster of Barovia. He is dead. The man’s son, Ismark, has taken over the duties temporarily but he knows nothing of the delivery. He even questions whether Barovia and Baroviom are the same place, although this village is within sight of Mt. Ghakis.

:: Ismark wants us to take his sister to Vallaki to get her away from the nightly attacks by Strahd’s wolf minions. He promises a 180 gold marks and the contents of an old chest that has been in the town hall’s cellar for at least a generation. All but 20 of the marks are in the form of letters of credit drafted against a financing house in Vallaki. The chest is marked with Tormon signs. It contains a letter written by someone named Ulamosh and some fine equipment that, according to the letter, once belonged to someone named Gormon. These appear to have been members of the Tormon Guild.

:: While investigating the village, discovered that a priest of the Lawgiver named Donavich was having trouble with his son, Doru. The boy was locked in the basement. After initial concern over mistreatment, we discovered that the young man was indeed possessed of supernatural powers. He attacked us as we tried to investigate him and his cremated remains were left with the priest.

:: Arranged with the Bildrath’s (the old proprietors of Bildrath’s Mercantile) to put together a group of laborers to collect coal at an abandoned mine in the hills. Coal used to be collected regularly for a smith’s forge operated in town. This endeavor is likely to take two or three weeks. We need a large wagonload of coal to be sure we have enough for the locomobile.

:: Discovered an old mail carrier outpost in the village. It might have once been used by Tormon carriers or others but has long been disused.

:: Witnessed a strange fight between villagers over what seems to be… a pastry. The villagers were insensate when we tried to question them.

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Session 01: The Broken Road

Experience: 950 Horseman.jpg

Tormon Ledger, Page 01

:: Traveled 6 days via High Pass route.

:: Encountered railway blockage (bridge out also), unable to continue by locomobile to Mount Ghakis. Locomobile appears to have been misdirected for several days on an unknown railway branch. Way-station here is abandoned. It was marked with an old Tormon sign carved onto one of the porch’s support columns. A recent letter was found in the outgoing letter box. The locomobile lacks sufficient wood and coal to make the return trip.

:: Encountered a switchback trail, a long road out of the mountains. Signs indicate “Barovia” which resembles the “Baroviom” of the recipient of our package.

:: Encountered a colossal stone gateway with massive iron gates. The gateway was carved with two warriors, both missing heads. The gates appeared 80 or more feet tall, the sentinel statutes even taller.

:: Encountered a wolf-killed human in the snow, just off the road. Recovered a letter. The sender seemed to be the same as the one we found in the abandoned way-station, but the handwriting did not match. This one gave a very different set of instructions for anyone who found or read the letter.

:: Found the town of Barovia. Attacked by wolves en route. Killed and drove off the attackers. Made it to the walled town after sunset. A lone guard let us in before retiring for the night.

:: Located and knocked at the home of the burgonmaster. The building is boarded up and appears to have been assailed by a large force in the recent past.

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Prologue: Into the Mist

Experience: 900Mercenary.jpg

You are part of the Tormon Guild, a highly-respected society of mail-carriers. Your people transport letters and packages through the long, dark stretches between points of civilization. You have received special training and equipment from your society, tools necessary to protect your cargo along the way. You and the other mail-carriers in your squad have all been members of the society for at least a year. You all know one another, and each of you has worked with each other squad member at least once before this mission.

For your current delivery, you were assigned a package, a wax-sealed wooden crate with the dimensions of a large book. You immediately suspected it to be a spellbook or some other tome of forbidden lore. As typical, you were given no information about the sender’s identity. You were to deliver the package to “the Burgomaster of Baroviom” in “the Shadow Moor below Mount Ghakis.” A bounty of 800 gold marks awaits the delivery.

For three days, you rode toward the mountain border that bounds the vast northern baronies, braving cold winter rains and lurking highwaymen. At St. Lukesburg, your guild paid passage for your team and your horses on the old locomobile line called the High Pass. A six day ride on the ancient rails saves several weeks of difficult travel through the high mountain passes. Since trade resumed with the northern baronies, the High Pass route has run twice monthly with increasing custom, particularly from those eager to open new markets.

For five days, you watched silent snowfall out the windows of the locomobile as it rolled across the High Pass. Elaborate bridgework carried the rails over impossibly wide chasms, their deep depths obscured by the misty swirl of snow. Inside the comfort of the railway cars, meals were simple but served hot with mulled wine. A minstrel played the harpsichord periodically, providing an atmosphere of seasonal cheer. And sleeping cars allowed you to rest in relative comfort.

In the early morning hours of the final day of the passage, the locomobile stopped abruptly on its rails. The lurch woke you from your sleep. It did not feel like a normal stop for a coal-engine of this sort. You and your fellow mail-carriers dressed and left your sleeping car, readying yourselves for the unexpected.

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