Carnival of the Apocalypse - Mists of Ravenloft

March 2016 through September 2016 Recap Part 2
Death House - Part 2

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The “children” turned out to be apparitions, long-dead echoes unable to pass over into whatever afterlife awaited them. They pleaded with the party, begging them to enter the house and defeat the monster apparently lurked in the basement and to find their baby brother.

When questioned about their parents, the children would only say that they had been locked in their upstairs bedroom for their own protection, where they had been denied food or care of any kind, eventually leading to their untimely deaths centuries ago.

Seeing little choice, as the ever present mists hemmed them in on all sides save one, the group entered the house. The first couple of floors turned out to be immaculately appointed and clean, filled with tasteful though somehow unsettling paintings and portraiture.

-TBC

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March 2016 through September 2016 Recap Part 1
Death House

The erstwhile members of Feldspar’s Fables now found themselves trapped in a strange land. No one in the party had any inkling as to how or why they suddenly found themselves in the domain they now thought of as Barovia (so named for the only inhabited village they had thus far come across).

The Mists which permeated this grim land seemed to be an almost sentient presence, guiding and controlling their progress, and acting as a seemingly impassible barrier in some cases. Travel through this sparsely inhabited realm revealed few signs of life. Wolves howling in the distance and ravens perched on the treetops were the only living things encountered by the party until they reached the damned village of Barovia itself, nestled in the shadow of Castle Ravenloft, which crouched on a precipice hundreds of feet above.

Upon entering the village, the group found themselves hemmed in on all sides by the Mist and herded against their will down somber, rutted streets lined with decrepit houses which looked long uninhabited. Eventually, they found themselves in front of a well kept yet derelict manse which stood in proud contrast to its neighbors.

It was in front of this house that the party met the children Rosavaldt & Thornbolt Durst. death-house-exterior-217x300.png

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March - June 2016 recap - Into the Mist part 2
We're not in Kansas anymore...

The party was quick to notice that the landscape had changed in some not so subtle ways. The mixed deciduous and coniferous forest near Red Larch had inexplicably given way to towering evergreens that moaned and creaked in the breeze. Also notable was the lack of birdsong save for the distant cawing of a raven.

Unsure of how to proceed, the party set off in the direction that should have led to Red Larch. Breeze took to the air to scout ahead, but barely had he cleared the treetops when the mist began to swirl around him like a living thing, muffling sound and obscuring his vision. His wings began to feel as if they bore a leaden weight and Breeze soon had difficulty breathing as the mist got thicker still.

Frustrated, he landed back amongst the group and noted that the mist receded the closer he got to the ground. Clearly this was no natural phenomena….

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March - June 2016 recap - Into the Mist

Upon leaving the tomb, the party was attacked by a pair of goblinoid bandits; a renegade half-ogre and a goblin respectively. The poorly planned ambush was however easily thwarted by the increasingly skilled group.

Though less than a day’s travel from Red Larch, the party decided to camp rather than return to town in the dark of night. This proved to be a fateful decision, the ramifications of which are just now starting to unfold.

By morning, a thick fog had enveloped the surrounding trees, enveloping the campsite in a shroud of disorienting mist which reduced visibility and obscured the surrounding terrain. It didn’t take long to discern that several things were amiss…

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March 2016 Session Recap 2
Ghosts N' Goblins

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The heavy iron door slammed into the flagstone floor of the tomb with a resounding crash. Almost immediately, the temperature of the chamber dropped to an icy chill as an apparition materialized blocking the now open doorway.

The specter bore the countenance of a warrior clad in archaic platemail wielding a greatsword which it held before it. The visor of its helm was closed, but beyond the eyeslits, flickering pinpoints of blue light could be seen in place of eyes.

“That is quite far enough”, intoned the ghost. “I can not allow you to pass the threshold to my master’s tomb”.

The spirit did not immediately attack, so the party chose the diplomatic path for the moment. Upon questioning, it became clear that the ghost had no memory of who it was in life, nor who its master was, only that it was charged with guarding the tomb. It had not actually left the chamber behind the iron door and so knew nothing of the little girl or events which transpired outside.

Glimpsing a closed sarcophagus in the room beyond, the party grew impatient and attacked the specter. They were able to prevail and as the ghost dissolved into ectoplasmic nothingness, they proceeded to loot the tomb.

The sarcophagus contained a skeleton clad in ancient armor bearing a jeweled locket and clutching a gleaming longsword, untouched by age, to its breast. As soon as the sword was touched however, it animated and attacked.

The party was disappointed that their efforts were apparently in vain when the sword shattered upon finally being rendered inanimate. There was however still the matter of the locket, which upon inspection revealed a miniature portrait on an elven woman clearly created by the hands of a master artist.

Seeing no other exits, the group decided to leave the tomb, with Secomber Jon (“Sec”) Richhome leading the way.

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The Village of Barovia

Somber and melancholy would be putting it lightly. There is a palpable sense of despair and hopelessness that cloaks this village like a funeral shroud. The streets are deserted save for the occasional raven perched on an eve of the furtive movement from the shadows which may be attributed to rats. Most of the dwellings and shops are dark, but the odd bit of faint light can be seen from some of the windows.

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March 2016 Session Recap 1
The Barrow-Mound

With the conspiracy in Red Larch at least partially unmasked and most of the would-be cultists rounded up and brought to justice, the party was unsure of how to proceed. They were aware of a looming threat somehow connected to this “Earth Cult” they had uncovered, but leads were slim.

The Carnival was in disarray and Feldspar himself was still missing. Secomber was accosted by the wagon drivers who had been paid off by Ilmeth Waelvur while trying to track down his wayward direwolf pup, and general confusion reigned.

The decision was therefore made to follow up on a few more leads provided by the townsfolk while the Carnivlal made repairs from the quake damage and salvaged what was salvageable. The elderly woman who owned the local poultry business had mentioned that her grand daughter, a free spirited young girl prone to wandering, had recently spotted a “ghost” near an old burial mound close to town. The girl would simply not stop talking about it, so Grandma approached the newly appointed deputies to investigate and put the child’s fears and fancies to rest.

The party set out to find the location, which was located in a heavily wooded area about a mile from town. The forest was strangely quiet in light of all of the recent events, but the group took that to be a good sign as they neared the old barrow mound.

A trail of sorts led to the tomb, with signs that travelers or perhaps Red-Larchers had recently frequented the area. The entrance, a yawning archway leading into an overgrown mound looked forbidding, but given its proximity to Red Larch, the party reasoned that any real danger must have been dealt with years ago.

With the driftglobe providing light and Onika in the lead, the party descended into the burial mound down a narrow flight of debris-strewn steps which soon gave way to a large ante chamber. No ghosts appeared, but there were signs of recent occupation of the more mundane sort: the remains of a campfire, discarded trash, and other refuse revealed that the place was inhabited sporadically.

The only feature of any real note in the antechamber was a ancient iron door set into the wall, long rusted shut, it showed signs that indicated someone or something had attempted to force it open in the past with no success.

As the others searched through the scattered refuse for anything of use or a clue to the identity of the “ghost”, Onika Zordal cracked her knuckles and put all of her massive strength to bear against the door. Straining mightily, the barbarian gave a grunt of satisfaction as the door gave way and fell to the tomb floor with an echoing crash.

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Onika's Journal

Went in hole, killed rats, saved little boy from rock. Ask boy why he under rock. Boy say Dad did it. Need to have serious talk with Dad. Went to burial place cause some little brat said there were ghosts. Brat was right, but also stupid orc and little gobblin. Had to save fancy man, little man, horn man, holy man, and bird man AGAIN. When we go back to circus, mist come. Not by circus anymore. Don’t like new place. Smells bad.

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Adventure Log Post - Supplemental (said in Shatner's voice)
The Burgomaster's Letter

Hail to thee of might and valor:

I, the Burgomaster of Barovia, send you honor – with despair. My adopted daughter, the fair Ireena Kolyana, has been these past nights bitten by a vampyre. For over four hundred years this creature has drained the life blood of my people.

Now my dear Ireena languishes and dies from an unholy wound caused by this vile beast. He has become too powerful to conquer.

So I say to you, give us up for dead and encircle this land with the symbols of good. Let holy men call upon their power that the devil may be contained within the walls of weeping Barovia. Leave our sorrows to our graves, and save the world from this evil fate of ours.

There is much wealth entrapped in this community. Return for your reward after we are all departed for a better life.

-Kolyan Indinovich, Burgomaster
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