Brad's 5th Edition D&D

"One must die! One must die!"
... or, can we really make it out alive?

Our saga continues as the intrepid companions delve deeper into the underground dungeon sprawling out below the Death House. Dante roused a swarm of insects while investigating the tombs of Gustov and Elisabeth Durst. Upon opening the stone sarcophagi, everyone was shocked to find them both empty. But, where are the bodies?!

After some more investigation, signs of living things among the dead began to surface. The party had already discovered various foodstuffs, cots, clothing, and some kegs of ale and mead. Someone (or some*thing*) is living in the Death House basement.

Carefully creeping thru more of the underground labyrinth of a basement, several more barracks rooms and dining halls are discovered. In what looked like a bedroom, Daine and Ora happened upon two ghost-like forms that looked striking like Gustov and Elizabeth and were summarily attacked. The rest of the group quickly jumped into the fray, followed by Adriana, Nithtish, Dante , and Lark. After the undead creatures were put down, a few small valued possessions were found including a rare cloak that imparts additional protection to the wearer (which Dante was quick to snap up).

As the group explored deeper, they began to hear chanting coming from further on down the halls: “One must die! One must die!” Down a long hallway everyone almost fell for (literally) a pit trap in the floor – most made it over with no issues: Adriana and Lark in style, in fact, doing a mid-air flip. And then, there was Nithtish. Clad in full plate she attempted to make the jump several times in fact, each time finding herself too weighed down by her armor to clear the pit opening. With some rope and a helping hand from the rest of the party she was able to make her way across the pit without injury.

Inside the next room stood a large wooden statue of an imposing man with a wolf next to him on one side, and a swirling globe in the palm of his right hand. Lark (in his best Pippin impersonation) took the globe and attempted to use it. While he did feel as if he was being watched, there was nothing he could see or hear through the device.

Next, they walked into a room filled with waist-high pillars. On each one was what appeared to be some type of offering or relic ranging from a bag full of bat guano to a hag’s finger bone. The chanting here was quite loud, reciting “He is ancient – he is the land”. Two doors lead out of the room – one down a ramp into what appeared to be water. Thinking better of that, they pressed on through the other door.

Here, the sounds of the chanting grew louder and louder. The companions found a small area that looked like several prison cells, mostly empty with rusting chains hanging from the wall. A lone skeleton was chained to one wall. After relieving the corpse of it’s only possession (a ring), the group prepared to move on. Near one wall, Daine sensed a slight draft and upon further investigation the group opened a secret door directly into a large sacrificial chamber.

The chanting reached a fevered pitch, and changed to “One must die! One must die!” A large stone dias made of stone was raised up in the middle of the room, surrounded by a pool of water. A stone walkway went around the outside of the pool, and had several spots where a ramp descended from the path down into the murky water. On the central dias, a large pile of old rotten bones began to coelesce into a 7’ tall three-headed creature of animated bone! In rage, it began attacking the group. Dante took several swipes at it only to discover it seemed to be resistant to his attacks. Adriana was able to inflict solid bludgeoning damage, as the bones audibly cracked under her punches and kicks. Nithtish, scimitar blades whirling, pressed the attack to the undead abomination, making strike after strike count. Daine and Ora used flame and spell to damage the creature, while Lark shot crossbow bolts to little avail.

While the chanting reached almost deafening levels, Nithtish landed a critical blow that sent bone shards and splinters in all directions. Dark spectral forms appeared all around the outer walkway and told the group their sacrifice had been accepted. The cult seemed to be appeased, at least temporarily. Bruised, beaten, and out of spells the group made a hasty retreat back to a trap door they had found earlier leading back up through the room with many stuffed wolves.

Just as they left the old mansion, it began to quake and the room started caving in. Backing away quickly, the whole house seemed to implode and collapse into a large crater-sized hole full of debris.

And so the Death House died.

Once it had fully collapsed, a small pack of wolves surrounded our intrepid adventures, lead by the largest wolf they had ever seen. It had gleaming red eyes, and seemed to only watch from a distance, never openly attacking. The wolves were slain (much to Daine’s dismay). Finally having a moment to breathe, the party felt a new sense of accomplishment and power (aka, they leveled up!) and prepared to investigate the creepy, seemingly deserted village they have found themselves in.

But that is another story…

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The story continues...
... or, what possessed them to do that?! ...

Having explored the first two stories of the creepy, haunted house the group continued up to the third floor in order to find the missing children. Upon entering the landing area of the top of the stairs, an animated suit of plate armor attacked the group. Nithtish ended up getting a spiffy set of new armor out of the encounter however, as the group made quick work of the magically animated object.

Ora was then attacked by a broom when she opened a closet door, and Nithtish and Daine found a bedroom with an eerie doll who watched every step they took. Dante, Lark, and Adriana found a winding staircase in what appeared to be an old chimney stack and followed it down to the first floor where it ended in a large wooden trap door in the floor. They pulled on the iron ring, to no avail at which time they gave up and headed back upstairs.

By this time, Ora was able to unlock a large padlocked door using a nifty frost ray spell to break the chains. Inside she found a disturbing scene: the remains of two young children, a small scale version of the house in dollhouse form, and a toy chest. As she approached the toy chest, two ghostlike forms appeared to her. She talked with them and learned that Walter was their still-born younger brother, and that their mother hated him. They were locked in this room where they died so they would be “protected from the monster in the basement.” The specter of the nursemaid had attacked the group earlier, and it now made sense that the baby was hers and the husband’s (since there was a small nursery off from the nursemaid’s room). The specter called out “Walter!” as she vanished.

The ghosts of the children entered into Ora and Dante, then began to not-so-subtly alter their personalities and force them to act in ways that were not normal. The group picked up on what was happening, but not before Dante / the little boy had a total meltdown and refused to listen to Lark (or pretty much anyone else for that matter.)

Once the ghosts had taken over part of the group, the trap door to the basement opened and they proceeded to explore under the house. It was a much bigger area than a normal basement would be. There were several burial chambers set up for the Durst family, some empty and some occupied. Two empty ones in particular stood out: ones for Rose and Thorn Durst. Through prodding by the possessed Dante and Ora, the poor children’s bones were laid to a proper rest in their tombs.

After the children had went on to their eternal rest, the comrades felt newly invigorated and filled with a new influx of power. Which was needed since Adriana ran headlong into 4 ghouls and was promptly given a dirt nap. The rest of the party slowly came to her aid and saved her from a more permanent sleep.

Through more exploration by the party, it was obvious that this area has recently been inhabited by someone or something. There were sleeping quarters that looked used and some foodstuffs that were not spoiled or rotten. They took a short breather and prepared to investigate further. Curious-er and curious-er….

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Welcome to the Curse of Strahd campaign!
The on-going story...

Our first foray into the mists began this past weekend, and so far no TPKs!

The story so far is as follows:

While sitting quietly in an inn called the Vulgar Dagger, our soon to be heroes took in the local ambiance and were mildly entertained by a young lad of moderate talent. The lone dark stranger in the corner kept a baleful eye on everyone, especially a suspicious female dark elf (Ora) who seemed to be overly inquisitive. A woof elf monk named Adriana seemed to get visibly nervous when a bent-over old man with a large wooden walking stick started asking pointed questions to the half-orc barkeep, Orlen. Meanwhile a half-elf druid made friends with a loner Tiefling, talking about what the gods only know.

All Hades broke loose when the old man and the little entertainer had an altercation and a ball of fire fell from the old man’s palm to the wooden floor of the establishment, immediately starting the place ablaze.

The monk faced off with the old man, who began to transform into a large demonic form with red-tinged skin, bat like wings and glowing eyes. Orlen shouted instructions to get the locals out safely, and most people took to the rear exit out through the kitchen because by this time the front door was engulfed in flames.

The druid (Veralidaine) and fighter (Nithtish) grabbed a passed-out patron and lugged him out the back door, while the human rogue Dante and monk dared to face off against the demonic entity, only to think better of it and follow out after everyone else had left. In a huge explosion of fire, smoke, ash, and wood splinters, the demon took flight through the ceiling of the Dagger, destroying Orlen’s only means of livelihood. To escape the imminent threat, the party bolted into the woods under cover of trees and brush.

A strange mist began to envelop the newly formed group and while trying to find a way out of the gloom (after the boy Lark cut his own life line whilst searching for a wolf!) a huge bear literally tore into the group hoping to get a warm dinner. The druid soothed the bear just long enough for Lark to bop it over the head and totally piss it off again. Ora almost became bear food, but quick thinking by a flanking rogue and a super-timely critical slice from the fighter put a fast end to the melee.

The next morning after a spooky but uneventful rest, the comrades started out into the fog again. They happened upon a gravel road leading into a seemingly deserted village. A small boy and young girl appeared to them and begged them for help against a monster that was in their house.

Strange kids

Soon the group found themselves in a strange and foreboding old Victorian-style home. They explored the first two floors looking for the children, but have only found foot prints and trinkets of little to no value.

Creepy House

But then there was the books on necromancy… and the eerie family portraits with the baby… Oh, and the will and odd letter from a noble named “Strahd”…

Letter

What does all this mean? Tune in next time to see… if you survive!

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