[DnD] Curse of Strahd 08 – Tsolenka Pass and into the Temple

Posted on

I’m currently DM’ing a Curse of Strahd campaign for some friends. These posts will act as a journal of their progression, challenges, and victories.

Read the whole series of posts here.

As the party left the tower, they saw the figure of a Giant Goat up the mountain. It charged at Rolen, and sent him flying off the side of the mountain pass. Rend cast feather fall on him, and he landed softly on a lower platform.

Diesa slew the giant goat, and they removed it’s pelt and horns. Rolen was assisted back up the cliff.

They approached a thin bridge over a ravine. In the center they saw Strahd, mounted on horseback. They yelled at him that they would get to him, and the image dissipated as if dust in the wind. As they crossed they heard a loud bird shriek, and a giant Roc swooped at them. Rend was clasped in it’s talons, but turned to gaseous form to escape. The rest of the party hid in guard towers until the creature left.

Further up the pass, they came to the front of a great temple cut into the mountainside. They saw a dusk elf leaving, and hid in the snow banks. Kasimir confirmed it to be Strahd’s chamberlain, Rahadin. Rahadin sighted Rend hiding in the snow and confronted him. He reminded him that they had an invitation to dine with his master, and the party attacked. Rolen cast Hold Person on him, but through Misty Step he escaped and fled. The party did not follow.

They entered the temple, where the malignant darkness hid many secrets. A large chamber held a giant statue of a faceless god. They entered a side room, which was filled with wild mountain folk. They reached for their weapons until they saw the pelt and horns of the the Giant Goat, and they referred to it by name as “Sangzor”. They were friendly, but there was an immediate language barrier. They pointed to a door the north and made gestures towards their heads, but there was no determining what they meant. They gathered their belongings and left.

Through an amber door, they saw the horrifically burnt remains of a person on the floor, before they were attacked by three flameskulls. It was a hard battle ultimately won, with Kasimir pouring Holy Water onto their remains so they would not reform. Rolen looted off the corpse a Frost Staff – unknown to the rest of the party the personality of the previous owner was imbued into the wood, and Rolen was irrevocably changed. His secret desire over all others was for power, and wanted to attain it at any cost.

In a side room they found a scale model of Castle Ravenloft’s exterior, which Rend committed to memory.

In another side room, they saw Kasimir approach a statue and fall to his knees transfixed. As the party tried to remove him from it, they too became transfixed. Time passed before the effect wore off, the party believes about ten days they spent worshiping the statue – sustained by wine and food from their own stores. Through a door they encounted countless skulls stacked floor to ceiling. They waded through these to enter another chamber. Inside a skeletal figure with glowing red eyes asked “Do I Know You?”. The party went to leave before the figure asked them to stay. He was a Lich, that much was apparent. But a shadow of his former glory.

He asked if they knew his name, that he had forgotten it. There was a spellbook on a lectern with a name on it, but it didn’t ring familiar with him. Rolen asked him questions about the place, and he spoke of the Amber Sarcophagi in this complex – each containing a small vestige of a dark god. That they all offered powers in exchange for a person being their vessel. That there was much hidden knowledge in this place. He led them through a secret door to a great library, where the Lich taught Rolen the keywords to read the texts. As the party rested, Rolen spent the night learning dark and horrific knowledge.