Outdoors the storm raged on, because the Associates made their means right down to the crypt under Fort Ravenloft. A gut-wrenching howl pierced the night time, adopted by the sound of metallic scraping on stone flooring. They spiraled down and down till ultimately the heroes reached the shadowed, dank crypt under. Darkish, foreboding water lapped up towards the steps. The crypt was flooded.
Final night time was the 79th session of our on-line Dungeons & Dragons Curse of Strahd marketing campaign and our degree 9 characters started by exploring the flooded dungeons under Fort Ravenloft. Apart from the apparent environmental points, we additionally had to deal with some fairly extreme web connection points through the recreation as properly—our DM’s laptop computer was “having a moment,” and our Paladin hasn’t been maintaining his ritual sacrifices. So, as we pale out and in of communiqué, there have been a pair of moments the place no one actually knew what was happening as. Extra so than traditional.
Beforehand in Barovia…
Caught in Barovia and determined to go away, the one approach our heroes can get again house is by defeating the evil vampire overlord Strahd von Zarovich. To try this we’ve infiltrated his residence, the legendary Fort Ravenloft. Armed with the Solar-Sword, we destroyed his Coronary heart of Sorrow, however misplaced our teenage wizard, Victor, within the struggle. Now it’s time for us to go and face Strahd.
Final session we traveled from the very best level of the fort proper right down to the bottom, chased by some unknown armored fiend. Alongside the best way we picked up a straggler, Gertrude, a seemingly harmless lady caught in Strahd’s nefarious net. Our pious Dragonborn determined he couldn’t simply depart her to fend for herself, so he has been carrying her round like a fireman ever since. We advised him that she was his duty now.
Nepharon and Associates: The Kosef Division
Kosef – Human Rogue/Wizard, carries the Employees of Frost, performed by me;
Baräsh – Dragonborn Paladin, follower of St. Andell and the Morning Lord;
Gimble Timbers – Gnome Fighter, proprietor of the Solar-Sword, has a pet canine referred to as Kevon;
Brundle Swash – Gnome Druid, will get electrocuted quite a bit;
Ireena – Human Cleric, Strahd’s would-be bride, blessed by St. Andell, NPC.
The Kosef Division of Nepharon Associates. L-R: Ireena, Gimble Timbers, Barash, Kosef, Brundle Swash, and Victor
Brundle and Gimble reached the foot of the steps first and almost slipped on the slick, stone steps, straight into the darkish, foreboding waters. Forward, a hall, lit solely by the sunshine of Gimble’s sword, beckoned them on into darkness. It was flooded and smelt worse than the rancid swamp at Berez. Brundle tossed a pebble into the water, sending ripples throughout the floor. Not sure of methods to proceed, they waited for the others to catch up.
The session started with us eagerly ready for one thing to occur. Would the pebble rouse a many-tentacled beast from the watery depths? Would Strahd seem from the darkness? Would Baräsh slip on the moist stone and drop Gertrude into the water?
No. Nothing occurred. Nothing stirred.
A small dilemma
After a pair of minutes we have been positive nothing was coming to get us. However we nonetheless had a dilemma. The water was three ft deep. Our gnomes have been lower than three ft tall. They have been going to should swim. Gimble Timbers edged into the water. He submerged himself, step-by-step, till simply the tip of his prime hat was displaying. He rolled very low on his athletics examine and remembered he couldn’t swim. His prime hat bobbed up and down on the floor of the water. This wasn’t going to work.
Usually, underneath these circumstances, Brundle, our druid, would use his Wildshape capability to show into an aquatic or water-loving animal, like a crocodile, and carry the remaining of us on his again. Nevertheless, he had used each of his Wildshapes for the day and they might solely replenish as soon as we completed an extended relaxation.
So, it was time to attempt to sleep once more. Final time we tried this, we ended up beset by monsters and bumped into much more hassle. However we had little selection if we needed to discover the crypts. Which we did.
We went again up the steps to the Larders of Ailing Omen. Gertrude berated us alongside the best way, “I don’t remember this part of the story. Where the champions run up and down the stairs all the time. Are you sure you’re the heroes?”
Ignoring our DM’s taunts, we safely navigated the elevator lure, and went into the massive Ossuary. This bone room was the place we tried to sleep final time, and had additionally beforehand battled Strahd. This time, nevertheless, we went right into a smaller adjoining room: Rahadin’s Research.
Rahadin is a Nightfall Elf and one of Strahd’s minions. Through the earlier battle with Strahd, Baräsh discovered Rahadin right here, after which he mysteriously vanished.
However we needed to sleep, so didn’t assume an excessive amount of about that.
As an alternative we barricaded the door with a big writing desk and shortly investigated the room. Kosef rolled a important failure on his investigation examine, didn’t see something odd, and fell straight to sleep on a chair. Exhausted, Baräsh, Ireena, and Gertrude additionally fell straight to sleep—it had been an extended day!—leaving simply Gimble Timbers and Brundle Swash awake.
Brundle, fearing Kosef didn’t go searching very completely, determined to research the room for himself. He additionally rolled a one on his investigation, discovered nothing, and went to sleep. Gimble didn’t even hassle wanting; he simply snuggled as much as Brundle and drifted off.
Heads on spikes
So all of us slept. On the similar time. All of us. No guards. Simply sleep.
Amazingly, all of us awoke eight hours later, having had a full lengthy relaxation, and having fun with all the advantages: full spell slots, full talents, and most well being. We thought our DM should have been feeling very beneficiant.
That thought quickly handed. On the desk have been two severed heads. Skewered onto a receipt spike. Victor, our unlucky wizard, and Gertrude. Dripping blood onto the stone flooring. Lifeless. Each heads gazing us. Unblinking.
Clearly Strahd had been within the room with us through the night time and was toying with us. We panicked.
Baräsh took it notably badly as he had been given duty for Gertrude’s security. This bloody incident additionally made Gimble abruptly keep in mind Kevon, his pet mastiff, whom we had deserted in a banquet room once we first entered the citadel.
Nevertheless, all of us knew what we would have liked to do. And, if nothing else, this served to strengthen our resolve.
So, as soon as extra, we searched the room, this time for secret doorways. A way more profitable investigation verify from Kosef revealed the hidden door that all of us knew was there all alongside.
Brazier room (not brassiere room)
The door lead us down a decent spiral staircase. Gimble Timbers took the lead, charging and shouting, “For Kevon!” As he ran, he activated an phantasm. A picture of Strahd pointing clawed arms at us crammed the passageway. The phantasm spoke, “You have worn out your welcome. Whatever Gods you pray to, make peace with them now. I will suffer you no longer.”
Brundle stepped in the direction of the picture and, realizing it to be illusory, stepped proper by means of it and it disappeared.
On the foot of the steps, Gimble Timbers entered a big room. It had a lit brazier in its middle, flanked by two monumental iron statues of knights on horseback. An hourglass hung within the air above it, during which the sand had stopped falling. There have been seven coloured stones in a dish in entrance of the brazier and a riddle beneath:
Forged a stone into the hearth,
Violet results in mountain’s spire,
Orange to citadel’s peak,
Pink if lore is what you search,
Inexperienced is the place the coffins cover
Indigo to the Grasp’s bride,
Blue to historic magic’s womb,
Yellow to the Grasp’s tomb.
A teleportation thingamajig. Three of us took stones. However we didn’t know the place they might lead. As we argued over which one to make use of, Gimble Timbers absent-mindedly tossed one thing on the hourglass. It dinged off and landed on the ground.
Instantly the 2 iron statues shuddered into life and lurched in the direction of us. On the similar time, toxic fuel began to pour into the room. We every rolled structure saving throws to keep away from the fuel and we every failed, taking 44 factors of injury. Kosef solely had a most of 47.
Fearing imminent dying from both the Iron Golems or the fuel, Kosef tossed his stone into the hearth and dived in. The sand within the hourglass began to pour. Kosef vanished. The others all jumped in after him.
The Grasp’s tomb
Kosef had thrown the yellow stone into the brazier. Yellow to the Grasp’s tomb.
We appeared on the foot of a big black marble staircase in a darkish, cavernous chamber that was 50 ft by 30 ft. There have been tons of alcoves alongside the partitions and the odor of recent filth hung within the air. The sensation of purest evil permeated the bottom.
Within the coronary heart of the room was a refined black marble coffin. It had gleaming brass fittings that appeared to glow within the half-light. Seeing the casket, Brundle took out his spear and began sharpening the picket stake-like finish. Kosef held a a lot smaller picket stake, as he pulled the Employees of Frost from his again. Baräsh appeared round and forged a therapeutic spell on the group; Ireena did the identical. Gimble Timbers held the Solar-Sword up, shedding shiny mild throughout.
Kosef gingerly stepped ahead in the direction of the coffin. As he acquired shut, a hand shot up by means of the dust flooring and grasped at his heel. Then a second hand. Earlier than anybody had time to blink a 3rd and fourth hand rose up from the bottom.
Inside seconds, the palms had became absolutely shaped individuals. Three Vampires, sporting lengthy ornate clothes coated in blood and dirt stains, and with dust encrusted jewellery, attacked the social gathering. Kosef took some injury from the shock spherical, however the vampires quickly started to cower from the sunshine emitted by Gimble Timbers’ sword.
As quickly as we entered this room it felt like one thing huge was about to occur. And positive sufficient it did. The three vampires that attacked us have been Strahd’s brides and the protectors of his tomb. This may not be a simple battle.
Strahd’s brides snarled and hissed, spitting on the heroes. In spite of the brilliant daylight shining from Gimble Timbers’ sword, they rushed ahead, fearlessly attacking the get together. They need to shield the grasp. Inside seconds that they had separated, every one specializing in a special Affiliate. They grappled, bit, and clawed on the heroes, hoping to maintain them off guard. Then, from someplace within the Fort above, a distant scream went up and echoed across the chamber. It was adopted by the sound of low, mirthless, laughter. END
An awesome session with some intense roleplaying and an thrilling thriller. I’m so happy we opted for the yellow stone and never the purple or inexperienced as they might have teleported us out of the fort, probably again to the Amber Temple.
At first I used to be stunned that our DM had allow us to get an extended relaxation, however then, as soon as the carnage of the severed heads was revealed, all of it made sense. He, like Strahd, was simply toying with us.
What did we study?
DM Tip: Don’t be too disenchanted in case your well-laid plans get ripped to shreds. This WILL occur. Typically. Our DM clearly had not meant for us to seek out the key passage in Rahadin’s research and find yourself within the Grasp’s tomb. I simply hope he doesn’t determine to take out his ire on our unsuspecting, harmless characters.
Participant Tip: Don’t overlook to make use of your talents. This session noticed two class options we’d forgotten about come to the fore: the Rogue’s Uncanny Dodge and the Paladin’s Aura of Safety. Since fifth degree Kosef has had Uncanny Dodge, when an attacker you can see hits you with an Assault, you should use your response to halve the assault’s injury towards. And since sixth degree Baräsh has had Aura of Safety, everytime you or a pleasant creature inside 10 ft of you will need to make a saving throw, the creature positive factors a bonus to the saving throw equal to your Charisma modifier. Each have been often forgotten, however each have been used this session, to nice impact.
Subsequent week we conclude our struggle with Strahd’s Brides and probably start our last encounter with Strahd. It’s taken 80 periods to get right here, however the finish of the marketing campaign is now in sight. Until we die and need to re-roll new degree one characters that’s. However certainly that gained’t occur…
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