Session 7: The Vampire went down to Barovia
As the paladin strode down from the manor house,the invisible Billy and the shape shifted Bruno would opt to scout the place. They would also be in time to hear the last words of Henry Sutton, who brought out a hand mirror and spoke to someone he called 'Anastasia' as he said he'd impose on her hospitality after all as soon as he switched on the defenses.
He then teleported away, though Billy and Bruno had no idea how far. But the pair then engaged in a battle against a Barbed Devil Hillbilly, wielding a golden fiddle as he played and with a burning dance floor, took both out.
When they woke up, stabilized and barely conscious it was to the sight of the Ghost of Strahd talking to the Hillbilly before they shook hands and the Hillbilly left. The Ghost then clapped both on the shoulder and proclaimed it was a shame before leaving as the strange, Flesh-Wearing Worms appeared from grates to approach the tied up duo.
Bruno would turn into a horse. Billy would use a lockpick planted on him from the Ghost clapping his shoulder to escape, the two fleeing off into the dark.
Meanwhile, the party below argued whether or not to go up,with Kalin and Alistair opting to do so, accompanied by Murica the drone before meeting the Ghost midway. After a brief talk about why bothering to do so, the Ghost decided to help them through the first part.
With him, they removed land mine traps and when the hounds came out to fight and bite, the Ghost made short work of them before they vanished. Within, Kalin and Alistair fought off a phantasmal killer trap and managed to defeat the Hillbilly, earning the golden fiddle though Alistair attempted to sell off Kalin in doing so, earning the rangers ire.
Around at this point, the rest of the party caught up to them and they had a choice of two places to go. Either through golden doors with musical notes engraved or beneath the wendigo dummy set up to hide a secret passage to the basement. After fighting off two giants, the party headed below, found the fallen Billy and Bruno and decided to retreat for the night.
The town due to their actions with the camp locked them out of the inn, the place closed to them leaving their only choice to be with the Vistani camp for the night.
There they spoke to Madame Eva, who was slowly dying due to the efforts she was making to protect them as she revealed her left hand-shriveled and black from the arcane attacks. She answered their questions, revealing and clearing up some of what puzzled them. From 'the beast with a weapon', referring to the Ghost and the tool he protected(the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, which was a bane to the undead as a whole). They also discovered more of Strahds past as well as information on the realm as a whole, learning that the demiplane was a prison for more than Strahd Von Zarovich as they learned of his rivals and peers. Other monstrous beings whose crimes in life swept them away to this cursed demiplane.
Including 'A Beast that fed upon minds that lurked below the earth'.
They also learned due to waiting too long, that they failed to retrieve and kill Sutton... Something that Strahd had words for them in the morning hours over. Thankfully, he had made one of them pay in blood for them all and casually tossed the still gas-masked head of Heinrich to the group, proclaiming to do better next time as he turned to leave. Yimir,fed up at this point mooned the vampire lord and then threw off his polymorph attempt. Strahd, deciding his willpower enabled a stay of execution nodded in respect and told them he expected them at his castle and would send his gamekeeper to retrieve them when the time came before he left on a Nightmare.
The party then headed back to the manor to clear it out. Discovering a Sending Stone with a connection to two places-one in the manor and one out to the forest, they found a Dwarven teenage girl-supposedly buried alive. She turned out to be a vampire spawn, recalling 'red eyes' and nothing more. Yimir put her to rest among a sober party and the Ghost spoke over the Sending Stone, expressing sorrow they killed her. Yimir, angered at this point proclaimed he would be coming for him next, the Ghost grimly satisfied as he said he would be waiting before the connection cut off.
The way before them is clear. Before Strahd tires of them further, they would need the tools and weapons to defeat him. Starting with the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind.
If they could get past the Ghost of Strahd first.