Intro Session - Death House
The game begins with Kenya's character arriving in the town of Daggerford after her dream with the old woman. Guards point her in the direction of the Nightmare's Stable tavern where she finds the pub to be empty except for the bartender and 3 other individuals (the other PCs). They discuss their dream and if they dont ask about the colorful man, a poster is noted by the player who gets the highest Perception roll. The poster or flyer talks about Stanimir and the bartender can point them in the direction of their camp.
Upon arrival at Stanimir’s camp, the PCs are greeted warmly by Stanimir’s children, as if the party’s arrival has been expected. After introducing himself, Stanimir invites the PCs to sit by his fire and share a story or experience “that can make a man laugh, or make a man weep.” Vistani trade in stories, not money ,and this is an ages-old custom for guests invited to sit around a Vistani fire. As a roleplaying exercise, each PC may then relay a personal tale of joy or sorrow, keeping it as brief and vague as desired.
Stanimir is a man in the mid 40s and is joined by his daughter Damia and his son Ratka. There are 9 other Vistani and six horses pulling the wagons.
When each PC has delivered their tale, Stanimir then relays his own story of Barovia’s “dark prince,” as depicted in the Mysterious Visitors hook of the original module.
Stanimir fills his mouth with wine, then spits into the ifre. The flames turn from orange to green. As they dance and sway, a dark shape appears in the bonfire's core.
"There once was a story about an ancient land whose name is long forgotten-a land of kings. The people of the land were oppressed and driven from their homes by foreign invaders" The dark shape in the fire takes the form of a man being knocked from his horse, a spear piercing his side.
Stanimir continues. "One night, a wounded soldier staggered into a camp, not unlike the one you all find yourself in tonight, and collapsed. The people of the camp nursed his terrible injury and quenched his thirst with wine. He survived. When asked him who he was, he would not say. All he wanted was to return home, but alas the soldier and the people were deep in the land of the conquerors. The people took him as one of their own and followed him back toward his homeland. His enemies hunted him. They said he was a prince, yet the people didn't give him up, even when their assassins fell upon them like wolves."
Deep in the bonfire, you see the dark figure standing with sword drawn, fighting oﬀ a host of shadowy shapes. "This man of royal blood fought to protect his saviors, as they protected him. They bore him safely to his home, and he thanked them. He said, 'I owe you my life. Stay as long as you wish, leave when you choose, and know that you will always be safe here."' The figure in the dancing fire vanquishes its final foe, then disperses in a cloud of smoke and embers.
However that did not always stay. A dark curse fell upon the land that the people now called home. An evil which blighted the land, devoured the people and tainted all hope they once had. Even the prince, as noble as he might be, was no match of the Hell that descended upon the land. This Darkness Incarnate took shape and form becoming the Dread Lord. At his side were his most hated and cruelest of minions, his Unholy Death Knights who destroy the land and reap the people for the amusement of their Master. Few heroes have risen to face the Dark Prince, but none have ever succeeded. Some say the Dread Lord still walks the ancient, forgotten land, waiting for new souls to claim. Others say the people that once helped the old prince escaped the Dread Lord, yet are cursed to never find a new place to call home.
Stanimir will invite the players to sleep in the camp and in the morning they will all head east to Madam Eva's hut 3 days pass. The PCs will be asked to do some tasks on the road and in one occasion, will fend off a pack of wolves.
Sleeping for the evening, the PCs wake in the morning to find fog covering the land and their equipment and the Vistani missing. A survival check shows that the forest they are in now is different than the one they were in originally. Heading west along the road will lead them to a house and as they see it it begins to rain heavily.
They meet a young girl name Rose and a boy name Thorn. Thorn is scared and Rose asks the PCs for help. She informs that her parents are inside dealing with a monster in the basement and they were told to go upstairs to take care of their baby brother Walter. However, Thorn got scared by the monster's cries and they ran outside, leaving Walter inside. She asks the players to check on Walter for them, they are too scared to go inside.
When the players go inside, the doors close. They explore Death House and finding the children's room reveals they died. Rose and Thorn appear and she explains that she remembers things a bit more now. Her parent's locked them in the room and they starved to death. She still doesnt know the truth but she explains she thinks her mother took Walter into the basement with her. They will both try to possess a player each until their body is buried in a cemetery.
When the players reach the ritual chamber, they must sacrifice a living thing. Whether they do or not, the cultists summon Walter in the form of a Shambling Flesh Mound. After the fight, Walter's corpse is left behind. The house begins to collapse and players must escape. Upon doing so, the house is destroyed.
The fog has cleared a bit and a coffin is found in the middle of the road with a note. The note says
Thank you for cleaning this vermin off of my domain. Your efforts are appreciated, even if for just one night. Please accept this small gift to help your recovery. Welcome to Barovia. -SThe box contains 4 healing potions and one equipment from each person (Jacob's violin, Darius spellbook, one weapon or armor for Kenya and ENdy
- Plot type
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