03 - 2/15 : Shadow of the Father
With the bloated monstrosity vanquished, the manor heaved in anger, the walls began to close in and the ceiling crumbled. The group quickly made their way to the exit only to find the iron portcullis had slammed shut! Mofi's used her incredible strength to raise it and bend the bars enough to get by. In the undergrounds second level the group made a choice, deciding to head through the kitchen towards the stairs in the crypt which ascended to the attic. The kitchen now found itself with a man strapped to the table, screaming in agony as a horrific wound had been inflicted upon him. The cultists seemed to be drawing nearer, as if the screams of agony were drawing them in. Judge reacted quickly, deciding the best course of action was to put the poor man out of his misery. The group quickly made their way through the catacombs and up the stairs to the attic as the house continued to repulse the unwanted intruders. After making their way down to the third level, the bathroom door burst with water and threatened to send the group washing down the stairs! Wixley quickly looped a rope around the railing and threw it to her allies, allowing the group to weather the torrent of water. Hoping for an easy exit the group ran towards the third floor balcony, but the exits were entirely sealed up! The route closed, the group descended further down the manor looking for an exit. Upon reaching the second floor the group dashed into the nearest bedroom to see if an exit was available. The balcony exit was blocked by a wicked set of swirling blades, seemingly impossible to pass! On the bed a blonde haired women was surrounded by others and seemed to be giving birth, each contraction causing the blades to spin faster. Katrina thought quickly, and cast Sleep on the entire group. This slowed the blade down just enough for Judge to wedge the blades and open a path forward. Unfortunately as the group reached the edge, it seemed the ground had receded! The jump was suicidal, but Fabian thought it an illusion and cast light on a stone. After chucking it off the edge and seeing it stay in sight, it gave the group courage enough to risk the jump. Mofi was not as sure in her conviction as the others, and collapsed after landing on the ground. Thankfully Fabian was able to heal her up, and thee group scrambled madly towards the exit. The last obstacle appeared before the group, Penny and Lukas in their spectral forms demanded the group stay with them. Forever. After failing to rush through them, Fabian cast prestidigitation and distracted the children long enough to pass by. Mist poured from the house, threatening to choke the party as they scrambled for safety. Finally the group caught their breath, but did not appear to be in Saltmarsh any longer. The group now found themselves on a dreary path, with mist inching ever closer. A single path lay winding through the dreary woods. After collecting themselves, the party pushed onwards to seek out any signs of civilization. A short while later a large walled gate barred entry to the realms beyond, and seeing no other path the group pushed on into realms unknown.
Welcome to BaroviaAfter a few hours of travel the first signs of life were anything but, as the wretched stench of decay filled the air. A dead body was found aside the road, paw prints indicating that wolves or some lupine creature had caused the man to meet his fate. After searching his body, a note was found addressed from a nearby towns Burgomeister named Kolyan Indirovich, warning any coming to not enter these foul realms. The omen did not deter the group, as they trudged on to lands unknown. Finally the trail led to what appeared to be a small village that appeared from the mist.
The Town of BaroviaThe village was downtrodden and looked deserted, none walked the streets and the sounds of wailing could be heard in the distance. But it didn't look abandoned, so the group tracked down the nearest inn. Mofi and Fabian approached the three women in the corner, and after some flirtatious words learned a bit from them. The group now found themselves in Barovia, the domain of The Devil Morrigan. They were Vistani, able to come and go as they pleased, while the rest of Barovia seemed trapped in this wretched realm. They humored the two, and recommended they head to Tser Pool on the way east to talk to one of the Vistani leader. Arik the Barkeep gave a bit of info to the group, but was otherwise a bleak shell of a man, and pointed them towards the man in the corner after the Burgomeisters name was brought up. The man in the corner was glad to talk to the group, his name was Ismark the Lesser, current Burgomeister after his fathers untimely passing. He desperately sought help, and asked if the party would aid him and his adopted sister. It seemed that Morrigan had came for her, seemingly infatuated with the poor woman, twice had she drank her blood! It was only a matter of time before she took her or worse, Morrigan's minions came ever night, clawing and scratching at the manor. He knew not what Morrigan wanted, but wished to depart to Vallaki for safety. The group agreed, and let him lead to his manor. Ireena timidly let them in after hearing her brothers voice, where the group first met the innocent girl. She had mothlike features and a soft voice, the group instantly took a liking to her, before vowing to let no evil befall her. She told of the Morrigan's interest in her, showed the bite marks that had already been inflicted upon her twice. She knew not what horrible reason the Vampire had of her, but feared for her life. Her brother explained that the group was there to help, and she looked hopeful that the party would protect her. Ireena had already gathered much of her things, and the group prepared to depart. Before they would abandon their home she demanded the burial of her father. The townsfolk were superstitious and believed Ireena a blight on the town, no help would come from them, but surely the priest Donavich would help bury him. With a plan set, the group gathered their things and set off with Ismark and Ireena to the Church to bury the late Burgemeister.
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