CoS - Team Crit the Bitch

Session #16 - I was born in a small town

Shortly after arriving back from their trip to Krezek, the party found themselves back in Vallaki to try and find a wedding dress for the Abbott. It's been roughly a week since they were out of town and Vallaki's latest and greatest festival has been put on hold for some unknown reasons. Returning to town, they checked in with the Keepers of the Feather to update them on the wine and to help the party with the next part of their quest. Upon arriving, they also noticed a familiar face as Arrietty was seen being a waitress in new garments as she was adjusting to her new role in life as a wereraven and spy. 

The party was taking a nice needed rest as they had a drink or two and some listened to the telling of odd stories from a man named Rictavio. While Adran and Faerin went to check in with Father Lucian on the disappearance of a sacred item, the Bones of St. Andral which kept the church sanctified against any evil creature trying to step foot on it; including Strahd himself.

A lead was discovered that the bones could be in the Burgomaster's mansion, but it was too late as wind of Ireena being in Vallaki already caught Strahd's ears. By paying off a local merchant in a large sum of gold, he was able to secure an underground passage into the city through the local coffee shop. 6 of his vampire spawns attacked the city in search of Ireena. It was too no avail however but it did lead to a strong rebellious figure no longer protected by his church as Father Lucian and the refugees of the land were under brutal attack. Strahd took the form of a villager woman by means of a True Polymorph spell. Tricking the party into bringing her along, they did so in hope of learning any whereabouts of Ireena. But after seeing that they didn't know themselves, he revealed his true self and in turn was attacked by Malvious by means of a Heat Metal spell on his iron pendant. This did indeed burn the vampire lord, but he discarded his useless trinket and continued forward. 

By then, the party was fully immersed in battle with the help of their new friend Ezmerelda D'Avenir who also caught Strahd's eye as a troublesome person in his lands and tried to take control of her and take her away. With the quick thinking of Adran and his quick feet, this was averted. Beck to convince Strahd that Ireena was not here but somewhere else, heavily persuaded him to go to Krezek to find the Abbott for he said, "Your bride is there in his care". To which, Strahd mounted his Nightmare and flew off into the darkness towards the village of Krezek and the The Abbey to find his bride.

Villagers killed, many wounded and the party been taken for a whirlwind of events; the group begins to take a respite. New leads have been put upon them about the Burgomaster, Strahd, the Bones, and many other things on their to-do list.

But one question highlights all the rest…..Where the hell is Osrick Decken?

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Session #13 - Cheese with the Wine
"Tasty tasty death"

The party finally arrived to the Wizards of Wine Winery, located in West Barovia. After meeting the wereraven family who runs and owns the winery, the family leader Davian Martikov asked the party to please help them clear out the druids and blights that have overtaken the area. With some guidance through the forest by one of the daughters, the party arrived to the winery building. 

Beck approached the building stealthily and investigated a ways of entry, and using his grappling hook; he tried to get a better look inside. But with a fumble of his hand, the grappling hook made a loud clang against the wall, to which called forth a small army of blights. Retreating, they climbed in through the windows but didn't realize until it was too late that there was just as many blights inside as their was outside. 

A fight broke out. Druids commanding the blights picked up their weapons and attacked the party. Wizard Osrick Decken remembered about how Twig Blights were weak to fire and decided to casts his Burning Hands spell at the lot of them. Resulting in many of their deaths but also setting some areas of the Winery ablaze. 

Arrietty with her druid powers was able to shift in some of the rain water to help put out the fires but they were spreading rather rapidly, especially if left unchecked.

But the assault team continued on and cornered the druid in charge of the attack wielding a Gulthias Staff. Chanting something about something called "Wintersplinter" and how the Dark Lord would be proud of their creation, the party fought him. He attempted to escape by jumping out the window but was chased after and caught. A fight occurred by he was roasted and toasted by Osrick Decken and shot by Beck as well to take him out. The staff was destroyed despite Decken's attempt to keep it, and the staff let out a horrid scream that killed all the remaining blights.

The winery was recaptured by the party and returned to the family. It was then revealed that the magic gems which powered the lands for growth were stolen, one by the druids at Yester Hill and another by Baba Lysaga, a powerful hag, at Berez.

The party rested at the winery that night and begun to plan their next move.

Who was Wintersplinter? Why is he important? What is waiting for us at Yester Hill

They soon would find out.

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Session #12 - Dire Consequences

The Story So Far….

The party, freshly returned from their rescue mission from the Old Bonegrinder returned to Vallaki with the missing children. With this, the townspeople looked to the party as heroes and some hope was returned to the people. But not as much as you would think as the Devil himself still had its eye on the fortified town.

The next morning after a much needed rest, the party awoke to some breakfast and some restocking of supplies to the town of Vallaki.

Adran, an elven monk, was also in town offering his services to the local Church of St. Andral under the leadership of Father Lucian. Adran was doing this for the past few weeks as he too has been stranded in the lands of Barovia. Father Lucian also mentioned to Adran a secret, something that has happened in the church and  raises high alarm for the townspeople who seek refugee in there at night.

Back to the party, they over heard some people talk about Old Bluto and him going fishing at Lake Zarovich in which the party investigated the claims. It was said that the man went fishing every day at a lake in which no fish could ever be caught and they also saw him the day before dragging a sack to the lake in the early morning.

Upon investigation, they arrived at the lake and saw Bluto out on the lake on a boat rolling a sack over the side – in which the sake was moving. Springing into action, Arrietty using her druid powers of <u>Wild Shape</u> turned into a Reef Shark and swam out towards the sinking sack as Decken, Beck, and Kiran jumped into a nearby rowboat and starting to push it out to the boat in the middle of the lake.

The heroes made it in time and rescued Arabelle, the missing vistani girl to whom dusk elves were on the lookout for. Kiran took care of the child as the others dealt with the situation. Arabelle learned a great deal of the god Odin and His might and raw power. Decken and Beck took care of Bluto who was not entirely coherent or of the right mind. Beck took a crossbow bolt to his neck, spilling his blood and killing him instantly. His body now lies in the lake.

While the boys were taking care of Bluto, Arrietty caught a familiar scent in the water and swam down to investigate and to her discovery another sack was located in the same spot. With her teeth, she grabbed it and swam it to the surface. They opened the bag and saw it was a missing party member; Djohariah. Very much dead, the party took what valuables she had and without a second thought threw her back to her watery grave. That would be the last time she would ever be seen.

Upon returning Arabelle to the Vistani camp just outside of town, they ran into a dusk elf named Kasimir, whom introduced himself and said that he was a friend of the vistani and protector of the lands. Dusk elves by nature are good at navigating the Barovian woods. He saw them to the camp and to Arabelle's father, Luvash. Overwhelmed with joy, he rewarded the adventurers with a treasure from his wagon which they chose jeweled box filled with assorted jewelry.

Returning to Vallaki, they gather some more information about the Wizards of Wine winery, mostly it's location and begin their quest to see what's causing the hold up for the wine deliveries to the Blue Water Inn.

On setting out, Adran introduced himself and with some chatting, joined the party to accompany them in their quest. He, like the others, are on the same quest to rid the lands of Strahd.

Upon dusk, they approached a crossroads in which a gallows was setup on in a small clearing. The gallows itself was very weathered and extremely old, but it was Decken who saw himself hanging upon the noose, dead. The second time so far he has noticed such a terrible premonition.

"Is something wrong" Beck asked Decken to which he replied "I believe so".

Shortly after, they made camp a few miles outside of the winery because nightfall as come. As they set up camp and started a fire, it wasn't long before the party was surrounded by a pack of dire wolves, eleven of them. Which great difficulty, the party managed to dispatch the wolves and harvest their meat for rations. Weary from battle, they went to sleep quite quickly, but not before Adran did some potion brewing and Beck went out for a small herb walk.

Beck however didn't notice some barbarian looking humanoids walking around the forest late at night but was able to keep himself concealed in the shadows. Who they were, he doesn't know but they looked very formittable.

After his walk, he returned to the camp to which Adran was keeping watch before sititng by the fire and resting himself.

And so we go…..

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