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[D&D 5E] Curse of Strahd
05-22-2018, 09:29 PM
Post: #1
[D&D 5E] Curse of Strahd
[spoiler]Apologies if this doesn't belong here; I'm under the assumption that RP journals can go here?[/spoiler]

Game: Curse of Strahd (Hardcover)
System: D&D 5E
Additional Rules: Adventurer's League
DM: Myself (Popestar)
Starting Heroes: Shan Hollerian (Human Fighter), Khyber (Dragonborn Paladin), Farrokh (Half-Elf Bard), Sir Valahad (Human Knight), Owyn (Half-Elf Warlock), Trix (Kenku Monk)
Current Heroes: Khyber, Farrokh, Owyn, Garona (Half-Orc Grave Cleric), Hummingbird (Tabaxi Druid)
RIP: Sir Valahad
PBP Location:

The Setup
I decided to give running Curse of Strahd, the hardcover, a go considering Ravenloft is one of my favorite settings. I read the HC from cover to cover several times, and finally decided that I'd give this a shot. There was some decent interest in running this, so off I went.

We've been on this for about the past 3 months, and the characters are still in the town of Barovia. Well, you'll see where they are at if you keep reading.

The Story
Our original band of heroes had just finished taking care of some giant spiders and a couple of ettercaps to save a sprite home in the Cormanthor when the mists decided to snatch them up and transport them to Barovia. The group walks west on the Old Svalich Road until they come across the eastern gate, at which point they see a skeleton riding a horse...trying to escape the mists. The rider pays zero attention to them, and the gate won't open while the rider is present. The skeletal rider moves along, at which point the gate opens and our heroes enter. The gate them closes behind them, preventing them from leaving. After checking the gate to make sure they are truly trapped, they continue west along the road.

After walking along the road for a few hours, Trix picks up the scent of death hanging in the air, close to the road. Our heroes go to investigate, and they find the body of a man lying, dead, among the mist and trees. He is holding a letter in his hands:

Hail thee of might and valor!

I, the Burgomaster of Barovia, send you honor with despair. My adopted daughter, the fair Ireena Kolyana, has these past nights been bitten by a vampyr. For over four hundred years, this creature has drained the life blood of my people. How my dear Ireena languishes and dies from an unholy wound caused by this vile beast! He has become too powerful to conquer.

So I say to you, give us up for dead and encircle this land with the symbols of good. Let holy men call upon their power that the devil may be contained within the walls of weeping Barovia. Leave our sorrows to our graves, and save the world from this evil fate of ours.

There is much wealth entrapped in this community. Return for your reward after we are all departed for a better life.

Kolyan Indirovich

The PCs get a bit freaked out and they head back to the road, at which point they are beset upon by a pack of ghouls. After a few rounds of combat, the man of the hour himself - Count Strahd von Zarovich - comes riding out of the mist with 4 death priests in tow, all on black horses. Strahd charms Farrokh due to his vampiric coolness, but releases the man after 2 rounds. Strahd and his priests leave, and the remaining ghouls flee as well. The PCs give the ghouls chase, but they don't get all of them. And so they continue west on the road after those who got paralyzed are back to normal.

As night falls on their second night here - the group had to make camp on the Old Svalich Road - they enter the town of Barovia, at which point they hear someone crying in absolute agony. They go to investigate and come to the house of Mad Mary. Being the good PCs they are, they commit several felonies breaking into the house and find the inconsolable woman clutching a doll made by Blinsky. They ask Mary what is wrong, and she tells them about her daughter, Gertruda. When they ask about Blinsky, she tells them he lives in Vallaki.

When they leave, they see Morgantha (a hag) walking door to door trying to sell her dream pies. They stop her and question what she's doing, and they get cryptic answers in return. They buy one and let her go on her way, and Sir Valahad takes a bite of it, getting lost in the dream trance as he fails his saving throw. Shan and Trix are found to be missing (both player attrition), so the remaining PCs drag Valahad to the Blood of the Vine tavern so they can try to get some bearings and figure out why everyone in this land is crazy or depressed. As they arrive at the tavern, a large raven lands on the sign and taps on it with its beak. To which they pay zero attention.

Inside the tavern they get food and drinks and begin talking to the 3 Vistani owners that are here. And instead of being nice, they end up insulting the owners after being told they can cure Valahad's trance for the small price of going to the Vistani camp at Tser Pool and telling them that Radu is still searching for Anabelle (both Vistani). Owyn decides to accuse them of being in league with Morgantha, at which point the Vistani owners tell them they will not help Valahad, and that they need to pay for their rooms or be kicked out. Hummingbird is in the tavern, and she makes nice with both the group and Ismark Kolyanovich, earning an invitation to his mansion the following evening.

The PCs wake the next morning to find Garona in the tavern, and she joins the group as they head out trying to investigate the town. They decide to go north, which leads them right to the church. They enter the church to find Donavich weak and weary, his voice coarse from constant praying. Someone - Donavich's son, Doru - is screaming at the top of his lungs from the undercroft, and so the group convinces Donavich that they won't hurt Doru but try to help him. Donavich opens the door that holds Doru in the undercroft, and Garona identifies that there are undead in the undercroft. 4 of the PCs rush down the stairs to deal with the monster, while the other 2 stay at the top of the stairs to prevent Donavich from locking the others in. Doru is a Vampire Spawn, and it takes everything the group has to kill him. Unfortunately, Sir Valahad loses his life, his maximum hit points dropped to 0 from being fed upon.

Donavich, after the fight, is completely crazed and saddened by both the loss of his son and the promise that the PCs wouldn't hurt Doru being broken. He goes back to the altar to keep praying while the group leaves the church, deciding to lay low until they have to go to dinner at the Kolyanovich estate.

And this is where they are at currently. They have just arrived at the Kolyanovich estate and knocked on the door, to which a young woman (Ireena Kolyanovich) screams from the other side of the locked door that they can go back to their evil master, and she won't go with them, and how they are just wrong and evil. Of course, the PCs have no clue what her story is...yet.

To Be Continued...
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06-05-2018, 04:16 PM
Post: #2
RE: [D&D 5E] Curse of Strahd
The Continued Story
After several tense minutes of arguing with Ireena, the group finally was able to get her to open the door. She talked with them for a few moments, and then she stood off to the side to let them enter. The group, at first, did not understand what was going on and asked her if they were invited in. Of course, vampires cannot enter a house uninvited, and Strahd is no different. She refused to explicitly invite them in, still fearing that they were minions of Strahd sent to bring her to him. But they eventually figured out they could just walk in, and so they did.

Ireena led the group through the house, which was completely darkened save for light in the dining room. They get to the dining room only to find every square inch of the walls covered in crosses and religious symbols, which Ismark and Ireena believe - for whatever cockamamie reason - will keep them from harm. The group sits down to enjoy dinner and drink, at which point they are told Ireena's story, from the point of view of Ismark. Strahd has, for a reason unknown to him, decided that Ireena is to be his for all eternity, and he's already feasted on her blood twice. He believes the only way to save her is to ferry her to the town of Vallaki, which is out of the watchful eye of the vampire lord, and he begs the group to help cart her there. After a few questions - not the least of which is "You'd leave your village to the depradations of this madman to save one woman" - the group agrees to escort them to Vallaki in the morning. Of course, the journey is going to be days - if not weeks - but they don't know how far it is yet.

During the night, Owyn has a rather prophetic dream. He sees the Wachterhaus, and he hears the scratching of a cat on a door (which is nothing more than Stella Wachter, who is insane to the point where she thinks she's a cat). He sees the interior of the master bedroom, as well as the wedding dress that needs to be taken to the Abbot (which is in the possession of Lydia Petrovna, the Vallaki burgomaster's wife). Because of this dream, Owyn's rest is a bit fitful, but he does get the benefit of the long rest.

Morning comes with Ismark and Ireena both awake and moving about before any of the characters can wake up. Breakfast is served, and they are about to head out of Barovia towards Vallaki.

To Be Continued...
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06-07-2018, 12:28 AM
Post: #3
RE: [D&D 5E] Curse of Strahd
Definitely allowed here. Thanks for sharing!
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