Blood for Blood

Death House Part 2 - The Murder of Locke
June 27, 2016

The party hurried towards the town of Barovia.

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Once again, they encountered the crossroad gallows. This time, everyone saw the phantom image of Crow hanging from the gallows and Saul standing by watching.

Miruna located the tunnel in the bushes and the party descended down the hidden tunnel to the secret Death House entrance. They encountered many dangers: the ghost with a deadly cleaver who protects the entrance to the caves, screaming darkness holding memories of a massacre, a haunted bone pile containing an old locket, an endlessly bleeding message from Strahd, the cavern of the gricks, and finally the ghost of a young Vistani woman at the bottom of the well.

Ascending into the basement of the Death House, the party made their way to the reliquary room and prepared for their battle with the shambling mound which held the remains of their lost friend.

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A tough battle later (and Skitter almost being consumed by the shambling mound), the players had recovered a piece of Lance Long Roddington (luckily not the piece for which he was named) and left the house through the grick caverns.

In the town, they sought out Donavich but were unable to find him. A young priest had taken his place at the church. Feeling the press of time before Locke’s curse would activate, the party began the trek back to the windmill.

Tensions came to a head when Locke and Crow reached the gallows once more. The gallows hung empty, but neither could forget the disturbing images they had seen in this hellish place. Ghosts surrounded the pair, silently watching the proceedings. Among the ghosts stood the murdered guard from Vallaki and Donavich. Locke and Crow fought and Locke was slain. Incensed, Skitter and Asher hurried on ahead to deliver Morgantha’s finger and begin the resurrection of Lance. Miruna and Crow burned Locke’s body before continuing on.

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At the windmill the next morning, Morgantha resurrected Lance. Miruna and Ezra were called away by their company and departed, taking Crow with them. The party has shattered but there is still a job to do. Will they make it to Krezk and deliver Ireena to safety before tragedy strikes again?

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Vallaki -> The Windmill
June 24, 2016

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The party fled the town of Vallaki, having disrupted the Festival of the Sun, killed a member of the town guard, and refused the request of Lady Wachter to assassinate the Baron. Hurrying on to Krezk, their way was blocked by a pair of werewolf thugs.

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Locke was bitten and nearly killed. A raven descended from the trees, transforming before their eyes into a young man. He advised the party to meet with the hags and have the curse reversed before it was too late.

The hag, Morgantha, lives in the Durst windmill. She agreed to remove the curse if the party retrieved her finger from within the depths of the Durst manor and told them she would also make a deal to resurrect Lance if the party was able to recover a piece of the monster that killed him. Since Durst manor is still collapsed after its recent cleansing. Morgantha drew a map leading to a hidden access tunnel through which the party could enter the basement.

Now, the party returns to this wellspring of nightmares, The Death House.

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Entry 2

Date: One day since Death House.

The evening after our jaunt through the Death House was spent in quiet deliberation with the other denizens of a tavern in the small town of Barovia. Donavich, the town priest, helped us to wash away our sorrows with generous libations.

Crow got particularly trashed.

Through events I cannot quite recall (due in some part to the consumption of Barovian Liquor which appears to be much, much stronger and more prevalent than regular liquor) we found ourselves at the homes of Ireena and Ismark, children of the former mayor of Barovia. Ismark wished two things of us: assistance with burying his father and the safe delivery of Ireena to a town called Krezk on the far side of this cursed realm.

We agreed, being upright and lawful individuals. Crow helped to carry the casket to Donavich’s Temple. Since the hour was late Ireena and Ismark wished to rest in the church until the morning when they could bury their father by light. Within the church, however, we heard dark things.

Scratching. Screaming. Moaning from beneath the boards. Donavich was dismissive and evasive. He drank and mumbled his way through any conversation. Crow located a trapdoor leading downward.

In the basement of the church we discovered a starving vampire. Crow, Asher, and I were attacked. The vampire nearly escaped but we were able to subdue it after it bit me. I hate monsters. Donavich called for mercy, claiming he could save his son. There can be no mercy for monsters. I ended the vampire’s life.

The next day we met once more with Ireena and Ismark. We buried their father with little incident and made an arrangement with two other guests of Barovia: Ezra and Miruna.

Ezra is a fighter of some great skill and talent at drinking. She does not care for nonesense. She will make for a fine ally.

Miruna is emotionally 6 years old and loves the sun. She is able to heal us. She will make for a fine ally.

We were bidden to visit the Vistani, traveling gypsy people, on our way to Krezk. By happenstance we managed to discover their camp and gain entry to Madame Eva’s tent, a fortuneteller. She answered many of our questions by reading Tarokka cards and offering us cryptic answers. I feel she has much wisdom.

Crow began freaking out on our trip to Vallaki. He apparently began to see his own face on every dead body we passed. I worry for his sanity.

As we made our way along a mountain pass we were assaulted by wolves. We fended them off but I was injured, just as I had been injured by the vampire. I hate things that have teeth.

We made the decision to camp above the village of Vallaki, near a dilapidated windmill that we may or may not own. Who knows what waits us there?

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Entry 1
The Absolute Worst House

Date, unknown. I shall try to number these entries appropriately.

My companion and I are trapped in this hellish nightmare from which there appears to be little hope of respite or rescue. Crow is optimistic in only the way an alcoholic can: drunk.

I’m transcribing these thoughts in the empty pages of a leathered tome I discovered during our adventures. I shall endeavor to keep a record of our passing, such that any who discover it can learn the things we have in the hope that Strahd, most accursed of walking beings, may one day meet the cold and dust of death.

I am Saul Locke, an inquisitor of the Church of Tyr. This church seems not to matter in this land known as Barovia. Still, there is comfort to know that I have a companion bearing the same symbol of comfort as I.

Crow is the only name my observer has ever given, despite our having traveled together for some time. I do not begrudge him our arrangement. He despises each slip of judgment I might allow. I despise his judgmental glare. I would certainly call him my dearest friend.

Skitter von Kaffe I have worked with before. His smell is acceptable and his pest companions are more helpful than harmful.

The ranger named Asher is interesting. He comes from the land of Barovia and seems to be in search of something. His understanding of the Mist saved us all from certain death.

The final member of our band is one Lance Long Roddington. I feel his name explains the nature of this man.

Allow me to begin by stating that I am writing his entry by candlelight in the tavern of the town of Barovia. I am transcribing our past escapade wherein we sought to assist a pair of young children: Thorn and Rose. At first glance they appeared in need of aid. They were simply bait set by a devious trap.

Honestly, I wish to maintain my prim and proper means of expressing this information, so that my words may be timeless and beyond the confines of vernacular. But to be quite frank those brats house needs to just die a painful, fiery death.

Honestly, fuck that house and all that it stands for.

We discovered much in the Death House. Here follows a detailed, if simplified account.

A stillborn child managing to hold the presence of a specter of some ferocity. Apparently the father of the house had been sticking the maid. This resulted in a child that died at birth. The maid was discovered shoved into a box in an attic. We were forced to fight her specter and defeated it. Burned the wrappings of the child. Hopefully cleansed her spirit.

A pair of neglected children. Rose and Thorn had been starved to death in the attic. They possessed myself (Rose) and Lance (Thorn). This experience has left me with great distaste for ghosts of all types. Rose and Thorn hopefully died when we burned down the house. They were otherwise non-hostile.

A secret cult that was sacrificing guests. A mass of flesh and corpses had manifested in the basement. The cult was sacrificing travelers to its maw. We refused. It claimed Lance while we fled. The House turned against us. We escaped with minimal injuries though one casualty.

A clear sign that Strahd wants to lure travelers into his waiting hands. We discovered a letter among the possessions of another adventurer. It appears that Strahd is drawing people to Barovia and his fortress for some nefarious purpose.

I will close this entry by stating very clearly: fuck the death house.

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