Session 2. 'Come Little Children.'
The party made it to Anarky, a town of near ghostly silence as a counterpoint to the nightmares that drove Cedric away into the blood night. There,they met an old woman who was selling Mince Meat Pies in town. Though she creeped out some of them, others accepted the pies and she gave them directions to the Burgomeisters House. She also upon being asked, mentioned how she had seen Dorian Gray and a gentleman with 'strange eyes' alongside the description of a Hyde. All of whom had apparently entered Castle Strahd some weeks prior to them.
The manor looked as though it had endured a siege and only fortune spared the house survivors. Ismark and Ireena, son and daughter of the Burgomeister who had perished from fright. His body in a coffin, they wished to bury him in a churchyard, in sanctified ground. Staying overnight, Vec the Bounty Hunter and Billy the Gambler both experienced strange dreams of a nightmarish person, rotting from the inside out reaching for them and woke up with maggots in their bed from the dream intruder. Yimir, priest of Anubis would experience a vision of a storm swirling in black and hungry in the desert, as he prepped the body for worship. Escorting the body to the church, they met the priest and his son-a vampiric stricken man whose sanity was kept alive by the constant prayers of a fellow worshipper. After they buried the father of Ireena and Ismark, they heard the sound of a carriage.
And they sent Ireena and Ismark into the chapel, as they met Strahd and his jester, Piddlewick. A wooden puppet with a sadistic tone and wicked humor. Strahd himself seemed respectful, placing a flower on the headstone of Ireena's father and talking politely to the party. Taking their measure in whether or not they'd bow to him, all seven remained straight and he seemed approving, even in the way all of them decided to protect the Ireena from him.
His response was to corrupt one of his horses into a monster to deal with them and ride away. The party engaged in a fight then, repelling the creature as it came!
But in the aftermath of the fight, the creature in it's death throes managed to desecrate the chapel and it was agreed they could not stay. For Ireena to be safe, she would need to go to the Abbey of Markovia on the other side of Barovia.
The second night as they traveled had them encounter in passing a hut with legs, walking in the distance as it carried it's load of children, sobbing in fear. Though only Ireena heard them, oddly enough. The old lady they had encountered in the village then suddenly appeared in their midst, offering to invite them home as soon as she saw Ireena.
The party warily accepted and at the windmill, they discovered the doors were magical in nature, the final one bringing them to a shrine to Strahd atop the mountains, though the image seemed warped and twisted oddly enough.
The alarm spell she had set on the door they broke through tipped off the Hag, prompting her to trick them with an illusion before she tossed in a fireball spell.
In the fight, she alerted Strahd to their presence and as he came, Vec killed the witch with railroad spikes after a weakness to radiant damage was found and the witch severely injured. The last they saw of the windmill was the presence of a single figure, landing on the ground from the skies.
They then ran into Professor Vasili, a scholar and a traveler who helped them. Providing sanctuary and company, he made good company and discovered a tracking spell among them, throwing away the object which had it on as well as alerted them to a town in the mountains run by a Gun Smith and his company. The Black Kegs were among those like them, brought in from the mists and so they ultimately decided to visit later.
At Lake Zarovich, they parted ways with the professor and learned of a process the village uses to protect themselves from Strahd...Which required a sacrifice to the God of the Lake of their children. They left the night before the sacrifice, believing their mission came first and vowed to return to deal with this when they could.
Upon the road, they ran into a trio of werewolves who attempted to question them about Ireena and were blasted by the Warlock, prompting a deadly fight. In the end, they killed all three and discovered that Strahd had put out a reward for Ireena, with information about her or her whereabouts to be rewarded.
Loot: One map of Barovia, one tarp, a week's worth of supplies, fifty feet of rope, crude tribal amulets ×3