Session 5: Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day.
Kalin the Wood Elve Ranger and Billy as the play went on would be preparing to help the resistance in the fight against the Toymakers forces. Together, the pair fought the mine overseer as well as his bodyguard , Billy close to death even as Kalin blew up dynamite to drive away the bodyguard as the coup initiated by Lady Volenta took place. Meanwhile, the party would fight the Puppeteer who used his wires and puppets to clash and slash. The Toymaker, revealing he had some power would take control of a puppet to help defend and in the end, as the puppeteer was dying he screamed in fear, about how he could See now. With this look of terror, he died and his prosthetics would be taken by the party. His body was strange, maggots en mass within him and his eyes had been sliced out.
But they would manage to escape Toy Town and together, they would all escape alongside refugees and resistance members, the elderly Toymaker at their side. Alana would find them, the group giving each other some choices as to what to do next before the party decided that the Black Kegs; the gunsmiths of Barovia were next. The journey would be far and as they considered what to do, the Toymaker suggested an idea. And with the party, helped establish a hot air balloon for them all. Before they left, Alana warned them that Strahd had conducted work up there fairly recently and to be wary.
For two days, the party lingered and the balloon took off as they flew towards the direction of the mountains, the party briefly seeing a strange floating structure in silhouette against the red moon of Barovia.
Three to four days passed, the party encountering nothing of any real significant danger though in the distance, they could see the storms that followed Strahd below in the lands away from them. The vampire lord seemed to be working if the storm was any indication, swiftly moving from one end to the other of Barovia as a whole. And then as they approached the mountains, a sniper below began to hit their balloon.
The party immediately scrambled to fix it, using a combination of mending, water spells and other things though the engine blew out and a scuffle ensued. Ashes and soot upon the wind would be tasted in the breeze ahead, down below the figure of a monster keeping pace in the woods sighted before vanishing.
Heinrich would fly off ahead, sighting the walls of a town and what looked like fortifications towards the woods.
As spotlights would be centered on him, he swiftly waved a flag of truce and managed to convince the people they were friendlies.
The balloon landed in the square of the town, more than a few among them intently happy to be on solid ground again. Though as they relaxed, they realized who the town belonged to now as on a flagpole, Strahds emblem could be seen flying in the breeze.
The people looked to be a mix of regiments, dating from 1863 it was discovered. Civil War regiments of both sides,caught up in the mists about three years ago from their perspective. When told it had been more than twenty years for the party, Officer Boone they had established relations with was shocked.
At the saloon, it was here too that they met other folks...A Felyne named John and a sleepy, Irish looking cowboy named Rob-both who introduced themselves after the party encountered the Lord Mayor with his bodyguards. Two golems and the Ghost of Strahds Black Fist-a burly rifleman who could turn invisible. Upon discovering Ireena, the mayor laughing would ultimately decide to wait. He would call Strahd and for the next three days, the party would be watched...But not molested, provided they behaved.
Between Boone, Rob and John(the latter two who claimed to be smugglers), they painted a grim story.
Dwarves were being made to work the factory, producing firearms and siege weapons by the score on Strahds orders. Starved to prevent rebellion by the mayor, a greedy soul who loved money and kept hostages-dwarve and americans to keep the town under his thumb. As he mentioned a curfew, the druid had long since left on a quest to find wood. With Vec following to make sure he was alright as both missed the last part of Boones warning.
Of something stalking folks in the streets and killing them.
The druid would almost die to it, the creature revealed to be a Wendigo as Komodo drove it off with holy light.
It also proved to be vulnerable to silver, a fact that came in good stead when the party(save for Rokai and Ireena who stayed in their rooms) were ambushed by three of them, learning as well that exposure to daylight would kill it for good when weakened enough to the point of death.
Though in their clash, someone had taken the time to kidnap Ireena behind everyone's back and left a calling card.
A rolled up cigarette, smoked to a stub. The same brand as left behind in their camp long ago.
The same one favored by Rob who got them to give him a light earlier. While the mayor claimed to have the Ghost on his payroll?
The REAL Ghost had been here all along. Following the party since Toy Town and managing to get ahead of the group at the Black Kegs Town. Now, as the party must figure out how to deal with Ireena, Strahds Agent and the Mayor's plots and a Wendigo infestation? The town gates open wide as a Vistani Caravan rides in.
Madame Eva, seer has arrived and with the Vistani allied with Strahd, will her presence bode for good....Or ill?
Time will tell....