[DnD] Curse of Strahd 09 – One Falls

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.

After spending the whole night reading and not resting, Rolen was exhausted. The party ventured downstairs, and were attacked by six Vampire Spawn. The sun sword decimated them, it wasn’t even a challenge. They were guarding three Amber Sarcophagi. Kasimir laid a hand upon one, then pulled it back saying it wasn’t the right one. Then he touched another, and his skin shriveled giving him a corpse like appearance. He spoke saying he was fine, that he had taken the Dark Gift of Tenebrous, which would allow him to raise his sister from the dead. He wanted to travel to Ravenloft and find her corpse in the crypts, but Rolen insisted they keep exploring.

Unbeknownst to the party, he had investigated and taken on two dark gifts from the other two Sarcophagai – one was the secret to becoming a Vampire like Strahd, the other to becoming a Lich. His mind was on a very dark path…

They entered by chance a treasure vault, guarded by a Stone Golem. It was a difficult battle, but they eventually defeated it. In the vault was more treasure than they normally could have carried, but on the golem they found a Bag of Holding. They had more money than anyone in all of Barovia, and if they left enough gold to keep them living lavishly for life. Diesa wanted to leave, but Rolen insisted they explore a little further.

In an alcove they came upon three Barovian Witches. They were barely a bump in the road and defeated fast. They had been trying to guess the magic word to open a sealed door. Rolen tried a few words from his night of studying, and the door opened.

Inside was three flameskulls, who attacked immediately. Rend and Diesa fell unconscious in the battle, but Kasimir and Rolen managed to finish off the skulls. Rolen then knocked Kasimir unconscious.

Rend woke up to see Diesa’s corpse on the ground, her throat torn open and blood licked from the floor. Standing over her, the creature that was once Rolen – his eyes glowing red, his mouth chin and clothes dripping with blood. “What have you done?” Rend implored. “Do you know how to become a vampire?” was the response, in a voice no longer Rolen’s. Rend swung his weapon at him, and Rolen with a smile didn’t even try to fight back. He was slain in a single blow. Rend went to behead him, but his body turned to mist and vanished into the ground – and with him the Holy Symbol. He roused Kasimiar, and they all agreed to leave – and to cash in one of their two remaining resurrections from The Abbot.

Kasimir wandered aloud about Rolen, and said that the only place he could really call his own in all of Ravenloft would be Old Bonegrinder, the windmill the party had the deeds too.

They travelled fast, not even stopping at Wizard of Wines but continuing straight to Krezek. As they approached the Abbey, they saw a funeral pyre out the front. The burning figure on it wearing a wedding dress – the flesh Golem. Inside, the Abbot was no longer trying to appear human. He was showing his full Deva form. The dining room was destroyed in a rage. He sadfully accepted that Strahd had corrupted him, that he no longer even remembered his God’s name, and that he was trapped here. That he had no idea how to end the suffering Strahd had caused. That Strahd had found Van Richten, and taken Ireena for his own. He rejected his flesh golem bride, sending his minions to murder her. The Abbot had killed them in his rage.

He raised Diesa from the dead, who as with Ireena was shaken with what she had seen on the other side. It faded for her fast, like a dream, but the sense that being alive was a better option stayed with her. They told him what had happened to Rolen, and this made him more sad. He told them that if they were to defeat Strahd, they couldn’t do it alone. He pulled from the wreckage the remains of a vampire spawn clad in paladin armour. He performed the same actions he used to raise Diesa, and the figure returned to life – but no longer as a Vampire Spawn, as a half elf. His name was Anton, and he was with a party of adventurers tricked into this land. But they fell, and Strahd had turned him into a Vampire Spawn. His memories of this time faded fast, but he was aware that he had done monstrous deeds for Strahd, and wanted nothing more than to slay him.

The Abbot said that this one was the one who had killed his creation. That they could stay the night, but in the morning he wanted them all gone.