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/qst/ - Mitsuba Archive


The fog spills out of the forest to swallow up the road behind you. Ahead, jutting from the impenetrable woods on both sides of the road, are stone buttresses looming hundreds of feet overhead. Massive iron gates hang on the stonework, dew clinging to its rusted bars. Two headless statues of armed guardians flank the gate, their heads now lying among the weeds at their feet. You feel for the hilt of your longsword at your side, finding comfort from its grip as you regard the statues silently.

You are Aranuel Caniella; 18-year-old human girl, Cleric of Kossuth, and novice swordsman. Ever since the moment you were old enough to carry a weapon and a backpack, you have been traveling alone, foregoing your doomed house to pursue the one person your heart longs for: your elder sister Joannus, who was kidnapped by a mysterious group of traveling merchants when you were very young.

You had no notion of the world back then. But now, a decade later, after years of exploring the world, gathering anecdotes about wandering merchants in colorful robes, and cross-referencing details collected from hundreds of tavern stories, the clues have all converged here: to an ancient land known as Barovia, a valley that does not appear on any map, that innkeepers, adventurers, and bards across the realm have only spoken about in cautionary tales and warnings. Some have said the valley doesn't even exist. Others have said they had friends who went looking for the place and never returned. You had meant to keep track of your travels and record the location of this elusive place, but, in a cruel twist of irony, when traversing the Svalich woods, you became lost, and emerged here at the gates.

Alas, you've traversed continents looking for your sister. This is your last respite. "If you're not here," you say, "the Lord of Flames would've known my search was useless, and corrected my path. This is where I'm supposed to be!"

You step toward the gate, and the wind causes your torch to flicker and dim. The towering trees, whose tops are lost in heavy gray mist, block out all but a death-gray light. The tree trunks are unnaturally close to one another, and the woods have the silence of a forgotten grave. You feel unwelcome here, as though the darkness itself is warning you, urging you to turn away and go home. But you didn't make it this far by turning back every time your mind perceived danger. You touch the holy symbol of Kossuth around your neck for comfort, and continue down the road.

Character/Quest Info
Info / FAQ: https://pastebin.com/sTurBdHZ
Stats, Spells, Inventory, Character (updated in real time): https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW
>>
On your travels, you carry with you a memoir of your youth. A token that helps you stay focused on the purpose of your quest. What is it?

>A picture of your family you and Joannus drew together as a child.
>A necklace that used to belonge to your grandmother.
>A rusty old key. No one ever figured out what it opens.
>A tiny clockwork figure of a dancer. It's missing a gear and doesn't work.
>A little black book that your sister used as a journal before she was taken.
>The very holy symbol of Kossuth that you wear around your neck.
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195344
>A picture of your family you and Joannus drew together as a child.
>>
>>5195344
>>A little black book that your sister used as a journal before she was taken.
>>
>A little black book that your sister used as a journal before she was taken.
>>
>>5195347
>>5195354
You look fondly at Joannus's journal. It's full of idle fancies, a young adult's thoughts on travel and adventure. She romanticized heroism, citing the legendary exploits of drow adventurer Drizzt Do'Urden, or the chronicles of travelling scholars like Volothamp Geddarm. A few months before she was taken, she was talking about backpacking out on her own, uncovering treasures across the coast, facing unknown dangers, making a name for herself. This wanderlust is something you always admired about her, but didn't have in common with her growing up. If she could see you now...

The final pages contain some shorthand notes about the price of adventuring gear, followed by sketches of tents and wagons, then nothing. The last pages have been instrumental in helping you track down Barovia, as innkeepers and bards you've sought advice from all over the world have oft claimed that the tents depicted belong to the travelling merchants Joannus was hanging out with before she vanished.

The mist begins to encroach, and you pace quickens. There is something unnatural about this fog; it's almost as though it's following you. That seems like a crazy notion, but when you look the way you came, the fog is thicker, obscuring the way back toward the gates. It opens up ahead of you, allowing you to see the muddy read, which seems to continue endlessly.

Eventually, the fog reveals tall shapes looming in the distance. Your heart quickens as the tall shapes become recognizable as village dwellings. The valley seems to open up as you step out of the Svalich woods atop the hill, hundreds of miles of valley land sprawling before you.

You have a pretty good look from here. The village is at the foot of an impossibly steep cliff. Thousands of feet above the village, you can just make out the silhouette of a castle that overlooks the whole valley.

It also begins to rain. From what you can see from here, the buildings down there wouldn't provide very good protection from the elements.

Still, some shelter is better than none.

(cont.)
>>
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As you reach the end of the trail to the village, the muddy ground underfoot gives way to slick, wet cobblestones. The windows of each house stare out from pools of blackness.

You hear a sound from up ahead, and you freeze. Small, wooden wheels rolling across damp cobbles. Squinting, you trace the lonely sound to a hunched figure bundled in rags, pushing a rickety wooden cart through the fog. Whoever they are, they are making their way down the road in your direction. You have no time to get your bearings. What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Call out for help
>Approach civilly
>Approach with weapon drawn (Intimidation)
>Hide and slip away into the village (Stealth, DC 10)
>Hide, but stay behind a building and observe (Stealth, DC 15)
>Try to discern more information about the figure from afar (Perception, DC 15)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use another skill (specify)
>Other (specify)
>>
==== Abilities / Skills ====
(* = proficient)
STR: 15 (+2)
Saving Throws
Athletics
DEX: 12 (+1)
Saving Throws
Acrobatics
Sleight of Hand
Stealth
CON: 9 (-1)
Saving Throws
INT: 13 (+2)
Saving Throws
Arcana
History
Investigation
Nature
Religion(*)
WIS: 16 (+3)
Saving Throws(*)
Animal Handling
Insight(*)
Medicine(*)
Perception
Survival
CHA: 10 (+0)
Saving Throws(*)
Deception
Intimidation
Performance
Persuasion(*)

==== Inventory ====
Wearing:
- Leather Armor
- Amulet of Kossuth
- Common Clothes
- Backpack
Carrying:
- Longsword
- Shield
- Light Crossbow
- Bolt (20)
- Coin Purse (11 GP)
- Blanket
- Candle (10)
- Tinderbox
- Incense (2)
- Rations (10 days)
- Waterskin (filled)
>>
>>5195369
>Approach civilly
What could possibly go wrong?
>>
>>5195369
>Approach civilly
Cautiously of course
>>
>>5195369
>Hide, but stay behind a building and observe (Stealth, DC 15)
>>
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>>5195374
>>5195377
You figure, as a stranger in this land, it's your responsibility to approach civilly. Remembering the sword at your side, you step forward.

The figure is an old woman bundled in a rags. She stops her cart when she spots you approaching. "Oh, outsiders!" she says, her voice weak and crackly. "There hasn’t been this many outsiders here in all my life, but now? Ah, first that bard fellow, then the wizard. Now you! Welcome!"

At a glance, she doesn't appear to be carrying any weapons. Her cart is covered by a cloth. A savory smell of baked wheat & flour wafts from the cart, making your stomach rumble.

You eye the cart suspiciously.

"Hello," you say. "I'm Aranuel." You pause. "Are you... selling food?"

"Why yes I am," she says with a motherly smile. "Pastries, fresh from the oven. Would you like some?"

Suggestions:
>Say "no!"
>Say "yes please!"
>Say "how much?"
>Say "what's in them?"
>Say "I am looking for my sister... [...]"
>Ask for directions to the nearest inn
>Ask her about Barovia
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195383
>Say "how much?"
>Ask for directions to the nearest inn
>Ask her about Barovia
>>
>>5195386
Agreed but also ask the kind lady her name
>>
>>5195386
This. We only have a mere 11gp though.
>>
>>5195386
>>5195391
>>5195393
"Sure provided they're not too expensive," you asy. "But first, could you answer some questions for me?"

"Oh, excellent! I think you will find them so very pleasant and appetizing!" she says. "Please, ask whatever you wish."

"Can you tell me more about this place? Where exactly am I??"

Her expression grows dark. "Oh, this is just a silly little town. Not the place one would want to go for a vacation." She begins laughing at her own joke. "Oh, don't mind me," she says. "It's good that you asked for advice. This place can be very dangerous for those unprepared. You should stick to the road if you plan on travelling farther into the valley. If you take the branch west, it will take you to a city by the name of Vallaki. And to Krezk after that."

"I see," you say. "And where else does the road lead?"

The old woman points up to the castle that looms thousands of feet above the village. "Castle Ravenloft. our Lord's domain."

Something about the castle feels like bad news. "Why did he have to build it that far above the valley?" you ask.

"Oh, just to keep an eye on his subjects, I suppose... He really is not that bad, despite what many of the residents here will say."

"I see," you say, smiling. "I appreciate the help."

"Of course," she says.

"So, what is your name?"

"You can call me Morgantha," she says. "I come here sometimes with my sisters. We live out of town, making coin here and there with our little pastry business." She chuckles.

"That's great," you say. "Business is going well I assume."

"As well as it can be, given the times, I suppose! Hahaha!"

"Yeah... One more thing," you say. "Where can I find the nearest inn?"

She points to the town square. "There's a tavern just up the way."

"Great!"

She reaches under the cloth of the cart and pulls out a small pie.

"How much were these again?"

"One gold piece for a pastry," she says.

(In your inventory is a Coin Purse containing 11 GP.)

Suggestions:
>Say "1 GP per pastry? That's obscene!"
>Buy pastries for 1GP each (how many?)
>Try to barter the price down (Persuasion)
>Threaten her (Intimidation)
>Politely decline and thank her for the help.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use another skill (specify)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195397
>Buy pastries for 1GP each (how many?)
1
We should probably just buy a pastry, seeing as she did help us. That's like nearly 10% of our wealth though...
>>
>>5195397
Alright we need to save as much as we can for the inn so I’m saying we buy 1 ask about the price bid our farewells and pray the inn isn’t expensive
>>
>>5195397
>Buy pastries for 1GP each (1)
>Go to inn
>>
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>>5195405
>>5195406
>>5195407
You wince at the price, but, given the advice and kindness she gave you, you can't help but return the favor in the form of coin. You reach into your coin purse and pull out a single gold piece, placing it down onto her cart.

"Thank you," she says, "and enjoy your food!" She tears a piece off of a small cloth and covers the pastry partially before handing it to you.

"If you don't mind me asking," you say, inspecting the pastry, which appears to be some kind of mincemeat pie. "Why are they priced so high?"

The conversation is interrupted momentarily by the approach a sad-looking man hobbling down the street. Morgantha immediately engages with him, and you watch, stunned, as she just... sells him a pastry, no words exchanged. He seems hollow; no emotion behind his eyes. He pays no attention to you.

The woman smiles on you as her customer begins shambling away. "Oh," she says, "be careful asking too many questions around here, dearie. You never know who might overhear."

"Yeah... But, the pastr-"

She winks at you. "You best be heading along now," she says.

What is her angle? You're puzzled. Maybe food is scarce around here? Maybe it's some type of secret recipe that she doesn't want to reveal?

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Thank her for her advice and hospitality, and continue to the inn.
>Insist that she explains why the pastries are so expensive. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>Follow the customer.
>Ask her if she's heard any rumors about a woman about your age entering the village 10-or-so years ago.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195417
>>Insist that she explains why the pastries are so expensive. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>>
>>5195417
>Ask her if she's heard any rumors about a woman about your age entering the village 10-or-so years ago.
>>
>>5195417
>Ask her if she's heard any rumors about a woman about your age entering the village 10-or-so years ago.
>>
>>5195417
>>Follow the customer.
>>Stay quiet
>>
>>5195427
>>5195431
"Hey, before I go," you ask, "I am here looking for someone. And, well..."

"Hmm?" she looks at you expectantly.

"You seem to be familiar with this village. Do you know if a woman might've come here 10 years ago? Same likeness as myself?"

Morgantha thinks for a moment. "You will have better luck talking to Ismark," he says. "He makes it a point to know everyone who comes into the village. You might find him at the tavern at this hour."

"Thanks," you say.

Morgantha gives you a dark look. "Adventurers who come here through the mists tend to meet their end quickly. Oh, I don't mean to be a downer, but... if you came here looking for someone... I'm afraid you may be disappointed, you should understand."

You nod non-committally. You've heard this kind of talk before - your family wrote off Joannus as dead not even a year after she vanished. But to hear it from a citizen of this valley is disconcerting. You have to accept that she's here and alive, no matter the likelihood of the contrary, because without that assumption, your quest would be meaningless. "If she were alive," you ask, your voice crackling slightly, "Where might she be?"

"Not here," she says. "Far east. Past Vallaki." She gestures up to the castle. "Away from him."

"Thank you," you respond, swallowing as you glance up at Castle Ravenloft, magnificant yet oppressive.

"Do not travel by night. Travel with a companion, if you can."

You nod. "Is there any reason why?"

"Creatures of the night." She chuckles. "Take care, dearie. And remember to come back if you would like any more of my pastries."

"I shall."

She pulls her cloak over herself and once begins pushing her creaky cart down the street, disappearing into the fog.

You look down at the pastry you bought. It's pretty small. You wish she had more information about your sister, but she gave you a lead. You shouldn't complain.

(cont.)
>>
You begin to make your way down the village's main road, where she said to find the tavern.

From here, now that the fog has cleared a little bit, you can see what looks to be a church in the far distance, sagging against the roots of the cliff on which Castle Ravenloft stands. A bell tower rises toward the back.

You look back to the village street. The sparse light from a building spills out from behind drawn heavy curtains. A sign over the door, creaking on its hinges, reads "Bildrath's Mercantile." A shop.

You continue down the road to the main square. A single shaft of light thrusts illumination into the road, its brightness looking like a solid pillar in the heavy fog. Above the gaping doorway, a sign hangs precariously askew, proclaiming this to be the "Blood on the Vine" tavern. Close inspection of the sign reveals that it originally read "Blood of the Vine." (An "n" has been scratched over with the "f.") You can tell at a glance that this tavern would've been magnificant in its prime, but it's grown shoddy over decades, maybe even centuries.

You take a deep breath and enter the building. A blazing fire in the hearth gives scant warmth to the few huddled souls within. At a table near the entrance, three robed figures - women, at a glance - sit together with their backs turned away from you, their clothes sporting intricate, rich red-and-purple embroidery. Your stomach turns at the way they're dressed. The merchants who set off with your sister Joannus were wearing designs exactly like those, if your memory serves right.

You scope your surroundings before making any sort of move. The barkeep is a pudgy man. He pays you no regard, as though he doesn't see you. He is cleaning a glass at the counter, cirlces under his eyes. His movements seem robotic and lifeless.

It takes you a moment to notice the final patron: a finely-dressed young man with his head down, sitting alone at a table in the corner sipping wine, hidden out of sight. He has golden hair.

What do you do?

Explain your approach if you vote for any of the Approach options.

Suggestions:
>Approach the barkeep.
>Approach the robed women.
>Approach the lone young man.
>Use a skill (specify)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195456
>Approach the robed women.
Just, like, swagger up to them. How long has it been since we've had any leads at all?
>>
>>5195456
>Stand near the hearth, for "warmth"
>Perform Perception check with our Wisdom(?), see if we can glean any information by sight or eavesdroppping

Question about the "Calm Emotions" spell, if we were to cast it in a place and time like this, before acting, would it be noticeable and make us stand out? Or be concealable/imperceptible?
>>
>>5195470
>How long has it been since we've had any leads at all?
More or less, never. The only time you saw anybody resembling the merchants who spirited away Joannus was... around the time they spirited away Joannus, when you were no more than eight years old. A strange folk with colorful garments. When showing Joannus's drawings to prospecting adventurers throughout Faerûn in your early adventuring years, those who recognized the designs of their wagons described them as traveling merchants, appearing occasionally throughout the realm and leaving as quickly as they came. This is the closest thing you've seen thus far to evidence that they exist.

>>5195476
>Question about the "Calm Emotions" spell, if we were to cast it in a place and time like this, before acting, would it be noticeable and make us stand out? Or be concealable/imperceptible?
Calm Emotions has a Verbal and Somatic component (V, S) which means it requires making a physical motion with a free hand, and speaking a magic incantation (can be done quietly/under breath). There is nothing in Calm Emotions that would alert somebody that it's being cast, as long as they do not see you cast it.
>>
>>5195478
I'll switch to
>>5195476
Then, but let's not let them leave without talking to them first.
>>
>>5195476
>>5195479
>Perform Perception check with our Wisdom(?), see if we can glean any information by sight or eavesdroppping

Wisdom (Perception) Check

Roll 1d20+Wisdom (1d20+3) to perform a check with Wisdom (Perception).
Using the best out of 3 rolls. (How is this decided? https://pastebin.com/sTurBdHZ)
>>
Rolled 12 (1d20)

>>5195483
>>
>>5195485
+3 (15)
>>
Rolled 18 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>5195483
We're coming, Joannus!
>>
Rolled 2 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>5195483
>>
>>5195490
Well, atleast they'll be calm when we talk to them AND we'll be warm.
>>
>>5195493
Yeauh boiii
>>
>>5195493
Oh, we're not casting whoops nevermind.
>>
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>>5195493
>>5195495
Well, maybe they won't be calm or nice to us, but at least we're gonna G L E A N something from them
>>
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>>5195485
>>5195486
>>5195490
>>5195491
(Rolled 21.)

The women have their heads down, and are engaged in a quiet conversation between themselves. You can only make out bits of what they're saying from here.

"... Vallaki ... Tser Pool ..."

They are speaking about locations - you recognize Vallaki as a city up the way, thanks to Morgantha - for what purpose you cannot gather.

"... adventurers ... good business ... Urwin Martikov ..."

They seem to be speaking about business.

"... shipment ... wizard ... wine ..."

Something about late shipments of wine and... a wizard?

It takes a sharp ear, but after listening for a couple of minutes, you think you've determined, at least, that they are the owners of this tavern. What to do with that information, you're not sure exactly. They are caught up in an argument over whether it's lucrative to have business here in the village, concerned about a rival tavern owner from the city, and distraught about late wine shipments.

Even though the subject of their conversation sounds stressful, they seem to be at ease. It's clear they aren't paying much attention to you; none of them have even looked up at you since you walked in.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Cast Calm Emotions at the cost of a 2nd level spell slot (2/2) and approach the women.
>Just approach the women.
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195498
>Just approach the women.
If they're arguing and angry, then they might slip up if they're unwilling to share any information with us. I thought they may have been acting supsicious or paranoid.
>>
When approaching the women, will you...
>Ask them about Joannus outright, explaining that she is your sister
>Try to ask about Joannus without revealing the nature of your quest
>Take a hostile approach, accusing them being kidnappers
>Question where in the valley their people are from
>Other (specify)
>>
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Going to sleep. Will continue tomorrow, 10-15 hours from now. Vote on how to approach the table of women while I am away (what to ask them, etc.). If possible, decide what you will do after speaking to the women assuming the conversation goes well. Thanks for participating in my quest.
>>
>>5195509
Thanks for QM'ing

>>5195504
>Ask them about Joannus outright, explaining that she is your sister
Assuming the conversation goes well,
>Ask about nearby adventurers who might accompany you
>As well as any particular dangers we need to keep an eye out for
>>
>>5195504
>>Try to ask about Joannus without revealing the nature of your quest
>>
>>5195513
Support
>>
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The women stop speaking as you approach them. They look up at you expectantly. Their eyes are a strange shade of blue that you have not seen before, and their expressions imply an unspoken wisdom.

One of them speaks in a thick accent you don't recognize. "You're a new face," she says.

"We are in the middle of a conversation," the woman in the middle says. "You are free to speak to Arik." She gestures to the barkeep, who is still polishing the same glass, with the same cloth, in the same position as when you walked in. "Or Ismark," she says, gesturing to the golden-haired man drinking wine in the corner.

"Actually," you say, "there is something I hoped I could ask you abouty."

"We have a moment," says the one on the left.

"My name is Mirabel," says the woman in the middle.

"I'm Sorvia," says the woman on the left. "And that over there is Alenka."

"I'm Aranuel Caniella. I will be concise. And please, don't take what I am about to say as an act of hostility. I want peace." You out Joannus's journal, turn it to one of her sketches of the wagons, and gently lay it on the table facing the women. "Ten years ago," you say, "my sister Joannus Caniella disappeared. I tracked her here, to Barovia, partially with the aid of the things she drew in this journal."

"Ah..." Alenka says as she peers down, her head propped up by her elbow. "The spirit of travel claims many lives."

"I am a cleric of Kossuth," you say, "and a proponent of truth. I mean you no harm. However... if my memories of that day serve me right - and if my Lord of Flames has not lead me astray - I think you may know something about my sister's disappearance."

Sorvia says something sharply to Mirabel in a harsh language that you don't understand. Mirabel nods, and replies in the same language. This goes on for a couple exchanges. If they speak another language, why were they speaking in the common tongue when I was eavesdropping? you think.

Mirabel then looks at. "Travel up the Svalich road," she says in Common. "When you reach a trail that splits off northeast toward the lake, follow that trail to the Tser Pool. You will meet somebody there who I think will help you."

Your heart races at the possibilities. Could this have been the lead you needed? Before you even catch yourself, you are asking more questions. "The wagons she drew," you say. "You recognize those?"

"Caravan wagons," Alenka says.

"The locals here call us Vistani," Sorvia says. "We are travellers. We use those wagons to carry goods and living supplies."

"This is not our home," Alenka adds, "just one of the few places we are welcome."

(cont.)
>>
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"My sister Joannus," you say. "You know what happened to her?" You are just barely managing to keep your voice steady. You so badly want to beg them, to accuse them, but you know now just by looking at their faces that they would've been around the same age as you when your sister was captured. Nonetheless...

"We know nothing about the woman you speak of," Alenka says.

"We have done everything we can for you," Mirabel adds. "Please allow us to return to our conversation. You may come to us if you have any concerns about the establishment."

"And we will come to you if you don't pay your tab," Sorvia says. She punctuates it with a smile, but you somehow you can tell she is telling the truth.

You still have so many more questions bouncing around in your mind. You have to remind yourself that you have a lead now: Tser Pool, down the Svalich Road, and up a trail that branches northeast.

"Actually, I did have one more question," you say. "Two, actually. I will leave you to your business. But first, please tell me where I may find another adventurer who can accompany me on my travels, and whether there are dangers I should watch out for on the road."

"Dangers?" Alenka says. "Do not be anywhere near the Svalich woods at night."

"And do not get on Strahd's bad side," Sorvia says.

You cock your head inquisitively.

Sorvia pauses a moment, then elaborates. "Strahd von Zarovich," she says. "Our Lord." She points upward with her finger. "He rules Barovia from Castle Ravenloft. He often takes an interest in adventurers who stumble in through the fog."

Thinking of your sister, this notion makes you feel uneasy.

"Do not defy him if you wish to stay long," she continues. "He is a very exacting man, and his gaze extends far."

"Adventurers are rare here," Mirabel says, acknowledging your other inquirey. "You are the first in a few years."

"I see..." you say. "So that's a no to fellow adventurers?"

"No. You may have more luck up in Vallaki."

"Ah... and..."

Their heads are turned together once again. They don't seem to be interested in continuing the conversation. That's okay.

Your mind turns to the Svalich Road, and to this Tser Pool they mentioned. The night is late, however, and they said not to travel at night.

That golden-haired man in the corner is still sipping his wine. He seems to have noticed you now, and he gives you a brief nod when you look over at him.

What do you do?
>Talk to the barkeep about a place to sleep. This is a tavern, not an inn, but it's worth a try.
>Order food. It was a long road to get here. Need to keep your energy up.
>Go to Bildrath's Mercantile, the shop outside. It seemed to be open, despite the late hour.
>Approach the lone man who is sipping his wine in the corner.
>Seek the church you saw at the foot of the cliff on which Castle Ravenloft stands.
>Set out on the road. You have been traveling alone for years.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (Specify)
>>
>>5195874
>Talk to the barkeep about a place to sleep. This is a tavern, not an inn, but it's worth a try.
Then
>Approach the lone man who is sipping his wine in the corner.
>>
>>5196015
+1
>>
>>5195874
>>Seek the church you saw at the foot of the cliff on which Castle Ravenloft stands.
>>
>>5196015
>>5196057
"Hey," you say, trying to get the barkeep's attention. He has been fixated on cleaning that glass with that cloth ever since you walked in - well over 5 minutes now. It takes a few attempts to even catch his attention. His eyes are sunken and hollow, like you're looking into a void.

"Small wine costs a copper," he says, enunciating every syllable slowly in a dull voice. "A silver for a pitcher."

"I'm new here," you say. "I need a place to rest. Is there maybe... a room I could rent, perhaps?"

He continues cleaning the glass, staring at you, as if waiting for an answer to his question.

"Oh," you say. "I'm not interested in a drink. Not right now."

He continues staring, waiting expectantly for... something.

You reach into your packpack, find your coin purse, fish a couple of gold pieces out, and show them to him. "Money," you say. "For shelter? Would two gold pieces suffice for a few days, maybe some accomodations?"

His expression doesn't change. You simply stand there, defeated. You've met some strange people, but...

"Excuse me," you hear, directly from your left. You nearly draw your longsword by instinct, but stop when you turn and see who it is: it's the young man who was drinking alone in the corner, wine glass no longer in hand, standing non-threateningly. He's a tall fellow, but his posture sags slightly, and his face bears some burden. "Would you mind having a word? Over at my table."

...

(cont.)
>>
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>>5196015
>>5196057
It's only now that you are sitting that you realize just how sore your legs have been from travel. You could fall asleep in this chair.

"I cannot divulge much information here," he adds, gesturing over to the group of colorful-robed women who you were just speaking to. "Never know who's listening."

"So what would you have me do?" you reply. "I tried getting a room, but the locals here aren't as helpful as I would have hoped. I suppose that's to be expected though - I am a stranger after all."

"You're new here. I can help you get your bearings. Give you a place to rest. In the safety of my manor, we will have the freedom to speak."

The man you've been speeking to is Ismark, the burgomaster of Barovia. Where you're from, he would've been called a mayor. You never would have guessed from looking at him that he runs this town. He appears to have a lot of free time. The locals have nicknamed him Ismark the Lesser, because he has spent his life living in the shadow of his late father, who, according to him, passed away only three days ago. He refuses to divulge specifics here on how his father died.

"Nothing comes free here," you say, "or at least from what I've seen thus far. How much would I have to pay you?"

"Nothing," he says, plainly.

"What?" you say, your eyes wide. "Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt your integrity - you seem quite charitable - but I know how these things work. There has to be a catch."

"The catch is that I need you to help me with something."

You tap your hands on the table. "I need help with something too, you know. I am here for a purpose."

"I know," he says. "And you're heading down the road to Vallaki. I was listening."

"Ah..."

"There is somebody in my manor I'd like you to meet. I can't say more until we have privacy."

"What exactly is it that you need help with?" You lower your voice. "Your father. Is it... related to him?"

He nods, but holds up his hand to silence you, looking suspiciously over his shulder. "Please, follow me if you are interested. We can go there right now. I will leave first, then you wait a few minutes and follow me."

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Accept, and follow his instructions.
>Deny his request. You will head to the shop to stock up, then set out on the road.
>Ask him to come along with you to Vallaki. You will aid him when you are finished your business.
>Insist that he explains more. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>Flirt. (Charisma)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use a skill (specify)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5196083
>>Deny his request. You will head to the shop to stock up, then set out on the road.
>>
>>5196083
>>Insist that he explains more. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>>Flirt. (Charisma)
>>
>>5196106
+1
>>
>>5196106
>>5196118

Charisma (Persuasion) Check: Convince Ismark to divulge more information about his request.
Roll 1d20+Charisma+Proficiency (1d20+0+2) to perform a check with Charisma (Persuasion).
(Best out of 3.)

Charisma Check: Flirt with Ismark.
Roll 1d20+Charisma (1d20) to perform a check with Charisma.
(Best out of 3.)

Charisma: +0 (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>>
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>5196127
>>
Rolled 13 (1d20)

>>5196127
>>
>>5196128
+2 (5)
>>
Rolled 1 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5196127
>>
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>>5196148
Fuck
>>
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>>5196148
>>5196150
Sucks to suck. Remember to roll for the second check as well.
Current tally:
Convince Ismark to divulge more information about his request (d20+2): 5 (2/3 attempts)
Flirt with Ismark (d20): 13 (1/3 attempts)
>>
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>>5196170
Oh thanks for reminding me
>>
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>>5196173
Oh boy its like I'm playing with my group.

Also I hope flirting doesn't become a regular thing we choose. I've heard stories of quest going under because the coomers take over and i like this quest so far.
>>
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>>5196178
Without railroading I will do my best as QM to shepherd the quest toward resolution of character arcs and avoid appealing to coomers. There is only so much I can do.
Some disastrous failed Charisma checks might do the trick for me later down the road.

Still need 1 more person to roll (1d20+2, then 1d20) before the next section.
>>
Rolled 15 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5196188
>>
I will roll the final roll to speed things along:
>>
Sorry guys I'm retarded.
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

There we go.
>>
I feel like the QM rolling a 20 is cheating.
I refuse to use this result. Still need another roll.
>>
Rolled 10 (1d20)

was it natty tho
>>
>>5196225
I don't think it is that big a deal, but you probably shouldn't say you are going to do a roll to speed things along, roll a 20, and then refuse to use it out of some intuitive feeling of it being "cheating" because you were the one who rolled it on our behalf. If anything you could say we were cheated out of a 20.

Just caught up, I like the quest so far.
>>
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Results
Convince Ismark to divulge more info: 15
Flirt with Ismark: 18

--

You look over at the group of Vistani tavern owners you spoke to earlier. They are still engaged in their argument. The tavern is empty save for them. You admire Ismark's caution, but you are positive that it's safe here. You may be a stranger to Barovia, but you would rather have more information about his request before walking into his home.

"You've taken an interest in me?" you ask. "Am I to infer something from that?"

He gives you a stone-cold look, then looks away after a brief moment. "No."

"In my home town, someone like you - golden hair, an air of mystery..."

"Unfortunately, I have given you the wrong impression."

"I apologize then," you reply.

"No need."

"But listen... if I'm honest, I really don't know if I am able to accept your plea for help. The details you've given me are too scarce. I wouldn't fault you if you had simply hoped to chat with me."

He breathes a sigh of defeat. "Listen," he says. "You are not the first adventurer I have asked for help in this matter. But I am getting desperate."

Here we go. He's finally going to spill the beans. Maybe if you accept whatever this problem is, in return for helping him, he will offer assistance in your quest for your sister.

"The problem is regarding my sister," he says.

You almost feel compelled to ask him to repeat himself, just in case you heard him wrong.

(cont.)
>>
"She is currently staying in the manor. It is not safe for her to go outside."

"Hang on," you say. "I thought this issue was about your father. Is it really about your sister, too?"

"Yes," he says. He is clearly paranoid, shooting side glances to the other table. "What do you know about Strahd? The Lord of Barovia, in the castle?"

"I haven't heard much about him," you say. "I was told he's maybe not as bad as he seems."

"A lie," he says, his voice quieter than before. "Strahd is no mortal man. The villagers call him the Devil. He has lived for an abnormal amount of time - centuries, perhaps, covered up."

"What are you implying?" you ask. "That he is a demigod? A demon, perhaps?"

"No," Ismark replies. He keeps his voice low, but speaks with grave ugrency. "He is a Vampyr."

Your heart quickens. Your god Kossuth, Lord of Flames, and your domain being the study of Light, holds great power over undead. But an undead being this powerful is an evil you have never heard of. You suddenly feel a great weight come over you - much of what you've seen in the village suddenly makes sense to you. There is a pervasive evil here. "I understand," you say. "How does this have to do with your sister and your father?"

He slouches over in his seat, speaking with great sorrow now. "I understand how ludicrous this may seem," he says, "But, for reasons beyond my understanding, he has taken a personal interest in my sister." He looks down. "I have done my best to protect her from him. In retallation, he has brought torment to my family."

Your stomach turns hearing this news. "I understand," you say. "The need to protect family." You wish you could have done more for your sister. Her bravery, her heroism... these are traits you do not have, personally; you have simply been wearing them, emulating them, as it is the only way you can muster the ability to track her down. Had someone simply prevented her from being taken to begin with...

"It pains me to ask an outsider for help," he says. "But as you are travelling to Vallaki anyway, I had to ask. I meant to present this information to you in the manor, with Ireena to advocate."

"If I help," you say, "what part am I to play?"

"I would be relieved if you could take Ireena with you on your travels. Deeper into the valley. And away from Castle Ravenloft. To the safety of Vallaki, or even to the abbey in Krezk."

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Accept his plea for help. The issue seems urgent, and you need a travelling patner.
>Politely decline. You have your own problems - you simply cannot play bodyguard for his sister against a powerful creature like Strahd.
>Tell him you would like to meet Ireena, and that you will consider his offer afterwards.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use a skill (specify)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5196261
Yeah my bad. The roll was an 18 anyway, so you're fine. I think I will just keep my cursed hands off the dice moving forward.
>>
>>5196273
>Tell him you would like to meet Ireena, and that you will consider his offer afterwards.

We need to judge her character for ourselves.

>Ask for any materiel aid he can offer, if we are to be protecting his sister, and if what he says is true and Strahd is indeed a vampire and is specifically interested in Ireena, then it seems that the task of protecting his sister would be an extremely dangerous prospect. So dangerous that it seems like Ismark could hardly ever repay us, the least he can do is provide us with a horse and carriage, whatever supplies and tools he has available and whatever part of the family coffers Ireena is entitled to, if not more.
>>
>>5196300
Supporting
>>
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It's a relatively short walk to Ismark's manor, but a chill runs down your back, and you feel as though you are being watched from the moment you step outside. The adventurer hero facade is beginning to crack, far too early. The new information you have about the Lord of Barovia has you unsettled, and you hate to admit to yourself that you may be in over your head. You simply have to try.

You tame your nerves as Ismark leads you through a set of twisted iron gates. Weeds choke the grounds and press with menace upon the house itself: his home is a weary-looking mansion, straining by its own weight. Yet, against the walls, the growth has been tramped down to create a path all about the domain. Heavy claw markings have stripped the once-beautiful finish of the walls. Great black marks tell of the fires that have assailed the mansion. Not a pane nor a shard of glass stands in any window. All the windows are barred with planks, each one marked with similar stains of evil assault.

There are weeds trampled all around the mansion, and in the dirt, you spot scores of wolf paw prints and human footprints.

Ismark takes you around the mansion to a side enterance. He knocks on the door 4 times in a practiced rhythm. A few moments later, a voice appears from the other side - that of a young woman. "Who goes there?"

"It's me," he says through the door. "I've brought with me a new friend. An adventurer from out of town. She needs a place to stay. She might be able to help. I've already filled her in on some of the details."

There is a long pause, then the voice speaks again. "Say the password."

Ismark clears his throat, then speaks clearly: "I swear on our father’s soul that I hate the devil Strahd von Zarovich and I will gut him when I am given the chance."

(cont.)
>>
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A pause. Then a bolt shifts, then another one, and the door opens a crack. Peeking through the door is a young woman dressed in full plate armor. Her hair is a striking auburn, but her face is a sickly pale, and she looks weak. She looks at you up and down, hesitating when she sees your longsword.

"It's okay, Ireena," Ismark says. "I know for sure she isn't a servant of Strahd."

Ireena regards you with a cautious warmth, and moves out of the way so you and Ismark can enter.

She closes the door behind you. "I am Ireena, as I'm sure you have gathered," she says. "We have been facing a predicament."

"I can see that," you say. "I have a bit of a predicament of my own. You see, I came here searching for my own sister..."

Ismark nods in understanding. "And the Vistani told you that you may find answers at the encampment up at Tser Pool, correct?"

"Yes," you reply.

"Let's talk for a while," he says. "Follow me."

The interior of the mansion is well furnished, yet the fixtures show signs of great wear. Noticeable oddities are the boarded-up windows and the presence of holy symbols in every room, for which you cannot recognize the deity.

Eventually you are lead to a side drawing room. Ismark and Ireena's father - the town's previous burgomaster, three days deceased - is in a side drawing room on the floor. He lays there in a simple wooden coffin surrounded by wilting flowers and a faint odor of decay.

"Oh," you say. "Why..."

"Every time we've went outside to try and bury him, we have been attacked by wolves. Being on the outskirts of the village, our manor is quite vulnerable to the wildlife of the Svalich woods."

"But wolves do not typically act this way," Ismark adds. "Make of that what you will."

"In the weeks before his death," Ireena says, her voice sounding weak and out-of-breath, "terrible creatures attacked the house night after night for weeks. His heart couldn't stand the constant assault, and he died three days ago."

"Strangely, since his death, the house has not come under attack," Ismark adds. "No one from the village has been brave enough to help escort his coffin safely to the cemetery for proper burial."

Ireena clenches her hand into a fist. "I would go myself," she says, "but my brother no longer feels safe having me outside alone."

(cont.)
>>
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"You should be able to," you say. "He is your father."

"No, I understand the need."

"You look pale," you say to her, matter-of-factly.

She nods, looking down.

"Strahd is a Vampyr," Ismark says. "There is no question about it. And he has taken an interest in her personally. Twic-"

"Twice he has bitten me," she interrupts him, tilting her head and pointing to her neck. There are 2 sets of puncture wounds, like those of a snake bite. "And twice, my memory has failed."

Your face goes quite pale as well from the thought.

"I have no memory of inviting him in," she says. "All I remember is his face. The blazing hunger in his eyes. And a piercing pain in my throat."

You shudder at the thought. "Why?" you ask. "Why you?"

"That's just it," Ismark says. "Barely anybody in this village has even seen Strahd personally. He rules from above, occasionally sending a representative down to collect taxes and deliver his usual threats. There is no discernable reason why he is doing this to my sister."

Ireena slouches over to a couch and sits, exhausted. "My brother is right," she says. "I need to get out of the village. And I am in no shape to travel by myself."

"So," Ismark says. "What will it be? I will prepare a room for you, regardless of your answer. But if you could do this for me - for Ireena - what remains of my family would be in your debt."

"I could," you say, your tone carrying a cautious empathy. "I understand the urgency. But if I am to be protecting his sister, and what you say is true, that Strahd is indeed a vampire and is specifically interested in Ireena... I am worried about the dangers this will add to my trip."

"I understand," he says. "I will do anything in my power to help, save from leaving the village. I am the only one left. My duty is here, else I would take her myself."

"Do you have a horse and carriage I could use?" you ask.

"No," Ismark admits. "I'm afraid I don't have access to anything of the type. This is part of why Ireena is still here."

"Supplies? Tools?"

Ireena stands up. "I'll be right back." She leaves momentarily, then returns with a small sack. She walks up to and hands it to you.

You look inside. It's full of gold pieces and silver pieces. The coins ancient-looking, crafted with the likeness of a young nobleman's visage. There is easily 60 GP worth of coin here.

What do you do?

>Accept. You will stay the night, buy supplies in the morning, then disembark with Ireena, escorting her to safety away from Castle Ravenloft.
>Accept, and also pledge to help bury Ismark's and Ireena's father by the church before you go. He deserves a proper burial, under Kossuth.
>Decline. You cannot escort Ireena, even for 60 GP. It would put you in too much danger, if what he says about Strahd is true.
>Say you will return later, but that you cannot commit to helping right now.
>Propose an alternate plan. (specify)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5196396
>>Accept, and also pledge to help bury Ismark's and Ireena's father by the church before you go. He deserves a proper burial, under Kossuth.
Ask about the church, in fact, ask about the holy symbology in this place while you're here. Then prepare for wolves, see what the locals use to hunt or ward them away with.
>>
I am going to bed now. Vote on the course of action. I will be back to post the next updates within 15 hours.
>>
>>5196396
>Accept, and also pledge to help bury Ismark's and Ireena's father by the church before you go. He deserves a proper burial, under Kossuth.
Do we actually bury people? I don't know about Kossuth, but I assume he'd cremate.
>>
>>5196396
>>Accept, and also pledge to help bury Ismark's and Ireena's father by the church before you go. He deserves a proper burial, under Kossuth.
>>
>>5196396
>Accept, and also pledge to help bury Ismark's and Ireena's father by the church before you go. He deserves a proper burial, under Kossuth.

Well, it is certainly not much, but I suppose it can get us some rations and travelling supplies, I hope not everything in this town is as expensive as that pastry.

>Try and use our Religion skill to identify the which god the holy symbols we couldn't identify at a glance belong to.
>>
>>5196396
>>>Accept. You will stay the night, buy supplies in the morning, then disembark with Ireena, escorting her to safety away from Castle Ravenloft.
>>
Rolled 19, 15, 4 = 38 (3d20)

[Intelligence (Religion) check to identify the holy symbol: 1d20+Intelligence+Proficiency (1d20+4).]

(cont.)
>>
Funeral ceremonies for worshippers of Kossuth tend to involve cremation: the fire is said to cleanse the body, preparing the soul for entry into the Elemental Plane of Fire. Kossuth's blessing can be extended to other faiths as well, however, offering his boon to those who don't have the luxury of proper burial rites. Apparently the priest in the church has stopped peforming funeral ceremonies, for reasons unknown to the village. That's where Kossuth comes in: Ireena's father will not become a petitioner of Kossuth in the afterlife, but the blessing of light should him to where his faith demands.

You make the preparations to help with the funeral. Ireena, thankful for your help, informs you that fire is a good ward against wolves, should you need to fight them off. You reassure her that the faith of Kossuth is on your side: if worst comes to worst, you can call upon his wrath, as you have done many times before, summoning holy fire to banish evil.

Even though you sleep in a comfortable bed, your night is uneasy, as you are plagued with thoughts that wear on your soul. You don't want to stay in this place longer than is necessary. *Only until I find my sister,* you think. But what if she's not here..? Have you wandered into this place alone? A terrible prospect. And a useless one, until you have answers. And so, you banish the thought, and manage to sleep soundly enough for now.

In the morning, you took a look at the holy symbols scattered throughout each room of the mansion. They depicted a sunburst symbol. When you are sitting with Ireena in the dining room, eating a lightly-seasoned lamb stew, you think you are able to place them to a faith: it is undoutbedly the symbol of Lathander, the God of Dawn. You're not sure why you didn't see that before. "His worship emblematizes the warmth of the morning, as well as symbolizing youth, fertility, and creation," Ireena says. "We call him the Morninglord here."

You can't help but think about that new information when you walk outside, and see only dark clouds, blocking out the sun and giving the morning a dull ambiance. You haven't seen the sun since you arrived in Barovia.

(cont.)
>>
You and Ismark haul his father's coffin toward the chapel through the gray morning mist. Ireena follows closely behind. You notice a few villagers are watching anxiously. They seem nervous. But the wolves do not attack. Ismark is on edge; he seems surprised that there is no sign of danger.

You make it to a fence of wrought iron with a rusty gate, which encloses a rectangular plot of land behind the dilapidated church. Tightly packed gravestones shrouded by fog bear the names of souls long passed. All seems quiet.

It is a relatively mundane ceremony. During the ceremony, as Ireena is saying her words of prayer, you keep a sharp eye on the horizon, one hand clutching your holy symbol, looking out for signs of danger. That's when you spot it: a dark humanoid figure is standing alone in the woods outside the church, watching from afar. It's wearing a large cloak, obscuring its form. It seems to be looking right at you, but it doesn't react.

"Wait," you say. Ismark follows your gaze and sees the figure. Ireena pauses her prayer. The figure definitely wasn't there when you began. It's probably not a villager either, as it's on the far side of the church.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Continue with the ceremony, but watch the figure. There's no problem as long as it keeps its distance.
>Approach the figure with Ismark, weapon ready. You will try diplomacy, but you can't take a risk.
>Same as above, but approach alone. Ismark should stay behind and guard Ireena.
>Cast the Guiding Bolt spell at the figure at the cost of a 1st or 2nd level spell slot.
>Call off the ceremony and return to the safety of the manor
>Cast another spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use a skill (specify)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5195343
Someone became inspired by Elden Ring
>>
>>5196949
>>Continue with the ceremony, but watch the figure. There's no problem as long as it keeps its distance.
>>
>>5196949
>Continue with the ceremony, but watch the figure. There's no problem as long as it keeps its distance.
No fear
>>
>>5196949
>>Continue with the ceremony, but watch the figure. There's no problem as long as it keeps its distance.
>>
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You keep your eye on the figure, one hand by your side at all times, ready to draw your longsword if anything happens. The figure just stands there, looking on from a distance. When the ceremony is over, the final prayers spoken, the figure disappears into the woods. You, nor Ismark, see any other signs of danger. You can only guess what it wanted. Was it a servant of Strahd, keeping tabs on us as we go about our business? Could it have even been Strahd himself, disguised in that cloak?

By the time noon comes around, you have already completed the ceremony. It was quiet, and concise, but essential. It takes you and Ismark quite some time to bury the coffin.

Ireena places a hand on your shoulder - a wordless thank-you. "I am not sure why we weren't attacked," Ismark adds, "but given our failed attempts over the last three days, I believe your presence is what made Koylan's burial possible. I am in your debt, not only for that, but also for your pledge to keep my sister safe. I pray she makes it to Vallaki."

When asked what business keeps Ismark bound here in Barovia Ismark, he responds, "not all is well. As you saw today, the town priest has stopped doing burial ceremonies. I need to get to the bottom of why."

And that is far from the only issue at hand. The people here seem miserable. Even if Ismark is wrong about the nature of the Lord of Barovia, one thing is certain: he keeps his subjects desperate, and does not offer aid.

"Be careful," Ismark says. "Stock up well." He gives you an extra 20 GP out of his own pocket, and tells you to spend it at the general store, claiming he would give more if he had it.

You consider investigating the woods where the figure was standing. You may still do that before you leave, though you question whether it's worth it.

There are hugs, warnings, and well-wishes.

(cont.)
>>
A couple hours after noon, you and Ireena stop at Bildrath's Mercantile. You will buy the supplies you need, then either investigate the woods, or disembark immdeiately.

Ireena tells you that Bildrath trades with the Vistani when they pass through. She warns you that his prices are steep. He is happy to make a profit from any strangers unlucky enough to find themselves here. He serves his own interests and offers no sanctuary. He never bargains since, as he says, "If you want it badly enough, you'll pay for it." He has no competition in the village.

"Welcome to Bildrath's Mercantile," he says, barely looking up. "Just got a new shipment in. Purchase what you want. I will answer whatever questions you have about my merchandise."

You have 90 GP. Reach consensus on what itmes to buy. Disagreements on quantity can be resolved by averaging.

(cont.)
>>
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Abacus, 20 gp, 2 lb.
Acid (vial), 250 gp, 1 lb.
Alchemist's fire (flask), 500 gp, 1 lb.
Arrows (20), 10 gp, 1 lb.
Blowgun needles (50), 10 gp, 1 lb.
Crossbow bolts (20), 10 gp, 1½ lb.
Sling bullets (20), 4 cp, 1½ lb.
Antitoxin (vial), 500 gp, —
Crystal, 100 gp, 1 lb.
Orb, 200 gp, 3 lb.
Rod, 100 gp, 2 lb.
Staff, 50 gp, 4 lb.
Wand, 100 gp, 1 lb.
Backpack, 20 gp, 5 lb.
Ball bearings (bag of 1,000), 10 gp, 2 lb.
Barrel, 20 gp, 70 lb.
Basket, 4 sp, 2 lb.
Bedroll, 10 gp, 7 lb.
Bell, 10 gp, —
Blanket, 5 sp, 3 lb.
Block and tackle, 10 gp, 5 lb.
Book, 250 gp, 5 lb.
Bottle, glass, 20 gp, 2 lb.
Bucket, 5 cp, 2 lb.
Caltrops (bag of 20), 10 gp, 2 lb.
Candle, 1 cp, —
Case, crossbow bolt, 10 gp, 1 lb.
Case, map or scroll, 10 gp, 1 lb.
Chain (10 feet), 50 gp, 10 lb.
Chalk (1 piece), 1 cp, —
Chest, 50 gp, 25 lb.
Clothes, common, 5 sp, 3 lb.
Clothes, costume, 50 gp, 4 lb.
Clothes, fine, 150 gp, 6 lb.
Clothes, traveler's, 20 gp, 4 lb.
Component pouch, 250 gp, 2 lb.
Crowbar, 20 gp, 5 lb.
Sprig of mistletoe, 10 gp, —
Totem, 10 gp, —
Wooden staff, 50 gp, 4 lb.
Yew wand, 100 gp, 1 lb.
Fishing tackle, 10 gp, 4 lb.
Flask or tankard, 2 cp, 1 lb.
Grappling hook, 20 gp, 4 lb.
Hammer, 10 gp, 3 lb.
Hammer, sledge, 20 gp, 10 lb.
Healer's Kit, 50 gp, 3 lb.
Amulet, 50 gp, 1 lb.
Emblem, 50 gp, —

(cont.)
>>
Reliquary, 50 gp, 2 lb.
Holy water (flask), 250 gp, 1 lb.
Hourglass, 250 gp, 1 lb.
Hunting trap, 50 gp, 25 lb.
Ink (1-ounce bottle), 100 gp, —
Ink pen, 2 cp, —
Jug or pitcher, 2 cp, 4 lb.
Kit, climber's, 250 gp, 12 lb.
Kit, disguise, 250 gp, 3 lb.
Kit, forgery, 150 gp, 5 lb.
Kit, herbalism, 50 gp, 3 lb.
Kit, healer's, 50 gp, 3 lb.
Kit, mess, 2 sp, 1 lb.
Kit, poisoner's, 500 gp, 2 lb.
Ladder (10-foot), 1 sp, 25 lb.
Lamp, 5 sp, 1 lb.
Lantern, bullseye, 100 gp, 2 lb.
Lantern, hooded, 50 gp, 2 lb.
Lock, 100 gp, 1 lb.
Magnifying glass, 1,000 gp, —
Manacles, 20 gp, 6 lb.
Mirror, steel, 50 gp, 1/2 lb.
Oil (flask), 1 sp, 1 lb.
Paper (one sheet), 2 sp, —
Parchment (one sheet), 1 sp, —
Perfume (vial), 50 gp, —
Pick, miner's, 20 gp, 10 lb.
Piton, 5 cp, 1/4 lb.
Poison, basic (vial), 1,000 gp, —
Pole (10-foot), 5 cp, 7 lb.
Pot, iron, 20 gp, 10 lb.
Potion of healing, 500 gp, 1/2 lb.
Pouch, 5 sp, 1 lb.
Quiver, 10 gp, 1 lb.
Ram, portable, 40 gp, 35 lb.
Rations (1 day), 5 sp, 2 lb.
Robes, 10 gp, 4 lb.
Rope, hempen (50 feet), 10 gp, 10 lb.
Rope, silk (50 feet), 100 gp, 5 lb.
Sack, 1 cp, 1/2 lb.
Scale, merchant's, 50 gp, 3 lb.
Sealing wax, 5 sp, —
Shovel, 20 gp, 5 lb.
Signal whistle, 5 cp, —
Signet ring, 50 gp, —
Soap, 2 cp, —
Spellbook, 500 gp, 3 lb.
Spikes, iron (10), 10 gp, 5 lb.
Spyglass, 10,000 gp, 1 lb.
Tent, two-person, 20 gp, 20 lb.
Tinderbox, 5 sp, 1 lb.
Torch, 1 cp, 1 lb.
Vial, 10 gp, —
Waterskin, 2 sp, 5 lb. (full)
Whetstone, 1 cp, 1 lb.
>>
Currency conversion:
1 silver piece (sp) = 10 copper pieces (cp)
1 electrum piece (ep) = 5 silver pieces (sp)
1 gold piece (gp) = 10 silver pieces (sp)
1 platinum piece (pp) = 10 gold pieces (gp)
>>
Current inventory: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW
>>
I know we have a torch in the opening, but did we lose it? I'd take a torch (89), maybe a bit of rope (79), a crowbar (59) if we need to break in somewhere with our pretty good but not fantastic str, I guess Ball bearings too (49) - but is that too tricky for a cleric of Kossuth? We've got incense, do we need to do regular rituals to regain spells? We probably don't want to be outside while it's dark, but it might be worth getting a bedroll too (39) and just keep our cash in case something comes up.
>>
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>>5197039
>I know we have a torch in the opening, but did we lose it?
The torch in the opening was used up when traveling through the Svalich Woods to Barovia.

>I guess Ball bearings too (49) - but is that too tricky for a cleric of Kossuth?
Ball bearings can be thrown to create tricky terrain for walking creatures. Aranuel would have no problem using them for that purpose.

>We've got incense, do we need to do regular rituals to regain spells?
Yes. Mechanically, spells are regained after a long rest, which is any rest of at least 8 hours.
>>
>>5197042
Clarification: buying incense isn't required to regain spell slots.
>>
Regarding torches, Aranuel also has the Light cantrip, which can be used like this:
>You touch one object that is no larger than 10 feet in any dimension. Until the spell ends, the object sheds bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. The light can be colored as you like. Completely covering the object with something opaque blocks the light. The spell ends if you cast it again or dismiss it as an action.
>>
In addition to purchasing supplies, please decide on how to proceed after stocking up:
>Stop by the church and look for the priest before leaving. Maybe you can help Ismark get to the bottom of this problem.
>Investigate the woods before leaving, where the strange figure was standing during the burial ceremony.
>Just leave for Tser Pool and Vallaki. You are here to search for your sister, and tasked with ensuring Ireena's safety - everything else can wait.
(Posting this choice now instead of later so I can put out the next update faster.)
>>
>>5197018
>>5197019
Best stock up, sounds like a dangerous road ahead.

>For Aranuel Caniella:
Crossbow bolts (20), 10 gp, 1½ lb.
Rope, hempen (50 feet), 10 gp, 10 lb.
Caltrops (bag of 20), 10 gp, 2 lb.
Manacles, 20 gp, 6 lb. (Two scrawny youngsters on a dangerous journey, you never know when you may need to bind someone)
3 torches, 3cp, 3lb.
Whetstone, 1 cp, 1 lb.
Signal whistle, 5 cp, —
Oil (flask), 1 sp, 1 lb.
Flask or tankard, 2 cp, 1 lb.
Chalk (1 piece), 1 cp, —
2 Candles, 2 cp, —
Sack, 1 cp, 1/2 lb. (to hold small stuff and help separate the flammable supplies)

50gp, 2sp, 4cp, 26lbs

>Buy these for Ireena to hold/use:
Clothes, common, 5 sp, 3 lb. (Leave her old outfit home if it's flashy)
Pouch, 5 sp, 1 lb.
Chalk (1 piece), 1 cp, —
Waterskin, 2 sp, 5 lb. (full
Soap, 2 cp, —
3 torches, 3cp, 3lb.
Tinderbox, 5 sp, 1 lb.
Rations (4 days), 2gp, 8 lb.
Signal whistle, 5 cp, —
2 Candles, 2 cp, —
Tent, two-person, 20 gp, 20 lb.
Bedroll, 10 gp, 7 lb.

32gp, 8sp, 3cp, 50lbs.

(Maybe we can switch off carrying the tent and sleeping supplies? As well as take regular breaks if the area permits. How much weight can Ireena hold? And Aranuel? I know Aranuel already appears to be wearing/carrying dozens of pounds of gear)

If my math is correct, we'll have 6gp, and 7cp left over. I could be off.
We'll also be adding 76lbs. worth of stuff onto our other gear. [If it's too much to carry between the two, drop the manacles, Ireena's rations and Ireena's torches. (17lbs. worth of stuff) Also buy another sack or two or another pouch if needed to hold the stuff.]

Whew. I think we're ready to go to Vallaki.

Hopefully stuff like chalk, the bell and the whistles, along with the torches, candles and separate tinderboxes will keep up from getting lost. And maybe we can have Ireena control the caltrops, in case we're fleeing pursuit or need to make a stand somewhere, or for extra security around our tent at night.

>>5197062
>>5197062
this one is somehow harder to choose than that list of inventory i just went through
>Investigate the woods before leaving, where the strange figure was standing during the burial ceremony.
>>
>>5197103
>the bell
Nevermind, I didn't leave enough money for the bell. Noisy thing, anyway. Better off not attracting the attention to ourselves or scaring away the animals you could hunt.
>>
>>5197103
That's probably good. I didn't even see the tent on the list for some reason.
>>
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A bright star shines from the sky. It appears to be growing in size. As the star grows larger the wildlife begins to flee. The "star" crashes into the planet's surface. After the smoke clears, and the dust settles... a metallic orb can be shine. The chamber latch opens slowly with a mechanical sound....

ENTER
>>
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>>5197103
>>5197128
The exchange takes quite a while, but Bildrath happily counts his money. You and Ireena spend quite some time packing your new gear, organizing and categorizing items (e.g. separating flammable and non-flammable items, deciding who carries what, etc.).

The full price of everything purchased costs 84gp, 3sp, and 5cp. (Somebody may correct me if I'm wrong, but I double-checked this math.)
That leaves the party with 5gp, 6sp, 5cp.

The full list of items purchased (save from those being carried by Ireena) can be reviewed on Aranuel's character sheet: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW

The amount of weight one person can carry is 15 mulitplied by their Strength score. That means Aranuel can carry a total of 225 lbs worth of gear. Her equipment load before the new supplies was very light; I have not calculated her exact equipment weight, but the heaviest items by far are her weapons and armor, which total 24lbs. Therefore it's safe to say she can carry the new gear.

Same with Ireena, who, with a Strength score of 11, is capable of carrying up to 165 lbs.

Ireena is used to wearing fine clothing, but doesn't have much issue leaving her typical outfits at home and opting for common clothes. She understands that it's best to lay low, and plans to spend most of her time on the road in full armor, which means there's little merit to bringing anything more than throwaway wool attire. She doesn't know how to use caltrops, but you give her a quick demonstration of how they work, and she catches on very quickly. She is confused about the purpose of the chalk until it's explained: "It will be useful if we need to mark things like trees or rocks," you say. "I have personally used it before when exploring the woods to create landmarks and avoid getting lost."

Finally prepared to leave, you fill your new flasks with water from the well, haul your packed gear over your shoulder, and set out.

Before leaving, however, you decide to investigate the woods where that figure was standing. Just one quick peek, in case you discover something important.

(cont.)
>>
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The fog is inescapable in the Svalich woods. Even here on the outskirts, you are terrified at how little visibility there is. You wouldn't want to be lost out here. Stick to the road, indeed.

You kneel in the dirt where the strange figure was standing during the ceremony. You don't see anything out of the ordinary. Careful not to disturb the ground, you scan with your eyes, trying to find signs of the path they might've taken to get here. That may provide a clue as to who they were.

Wisdom (Survival) Check
Roll 1d20+Wisdom (1d20+3) to perform a check with Wisdom (Survival).
(Best out of 3.)
>>
Rolled 12 (1d20)

>>5197195
>>
Rolled 20 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>5197195
>>
Rolled 19 (1d20)

>>5197195
>>
Result
Track the figure: 23.

Disturbed twigs and leaves make an obvious trail. Following it for a good few meters, you look around, and once again see signs of the path the figure must have taken.

It's not long before you realize the figure took a straight path. Following it for 10 to 15 minutes into the woods, you check every once in a while to catch sight of more disturbances, and, miraculously, even in the dim fog of the forest, you manage to continue picking up the trail.

"Where did you learn to do this?" Ireena asks.

"It's a useful talent," you say. "I was never formally trained in tracking. But one time I was traveling on the road south of Neverwinter with a group of highwaymen, and..."

"Why?" she asks.

"It's a long story. Turned out they were actually good people. Just fell in with the wrong crowd."

"Huh..."

"Hunting game is an essential skill when you're traveling on few resources. And tracking people is no different."

You make it to a reclusive location far northwest of the village. Above the tree line here, carved into the side of the rocky mountain pillar on which Castle Ravenloft stands, is a wide, torchlit cave. There is a steep hill leading up to the entrance, which looks like the gaping maw of a great wolf.

From your angle below, in the cover of trees, you can see torchlight flickering against the rocky cliffside. There are guards up there. Adjusting your angle, you think you can count 2 humanoids.

"This is bad," Ireena says. "I don't know if we should be here."

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Take Ireena's advice. This isn't worth the risk. You can always come back another time.
>Approach the entrance openly
>Try to sneak past the guards with Ireena. (Stealth, DC 20, Disadvantage)
>Try to sneak past the guards, but leave Ireena behind. (Stealth, DC 18)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
Result
Track the figure: 23.

Disturbed twigs and leaves make an obvious trail. Following it for a good few meters, you look around, and once again see signs of the path the figure must have taken.

It's not long before you realize the figure took a straight path. Following it for 10 to 15 minutes into the woods, you check every once in a while to catch sight of more disturbances, and, miraculously, even in the dim fog of the forest, you manage to continue picking up the trail.

"Where did you learn to do this?" Ireena asks.

"It's a useful talent," you say. "I was never formally trained in tracking. But one time I was traveling on the road south of Neverwinter with a group of highwaymen, and..."

"Why?" she asks.

"It's a long story. Turned out they were actually good people. Just fell in with the wrong crowd."

"Huh..."

"Hunting game is an essential skill when you're traveling on few resources. And tracking people is no different."

You make it to a reclusive location far northwest of the village. Above the tree line here, carved into the side of the rocky mountain pillar on which Castle Ravenloft stands, is a wide, torchlit cave. There is a steep hill leading up to the entrance, which looks like the gaping maw of a great wolf.

From your angle below, in the cover of trees, you can see torchlight flickering against the rocky cliffside. There are guards up there. Adjusting your angle, you think you can count 2 humanoids.

"This is bad," Ireena says. "I don't know if we should be here."

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Take Ireena's advice. This isn't worth the risk. You can always come back another time.
>Approach the entrance openly
>Try to sneak past the guards with Ireena. (Stealth, DC 20, Disadvantage)
>Try to sneak past the guards, but leave Ireena behind. (Stealth, DC 18)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5197285
>>Take Ireena's advice. This isn't worth the risk. You can always come back another time.
>>
>>5197285
We'd need a 17 with our Dex to sneak in, right? I don't know if it's safe to leave Ireena behind if these are the guys who may have been coming for her in the past. If Ireena feels like she won't get caught hiding, I say we
>Try to sneak past the guards, but leave Ireena behind. (Stealth, DC 18)
to see what they're up to.
>>
>>5197285
>Take Ireena's advice. This isn't worth the risk. You can always come back another time.
>>
>>5197300
Yes, Aranuel has no proficiency in Stealth, so a 17 minimum is required for the base roll (+1 to Dex).
However it seems like we are heading to the Old Svalich Road, unless we get a tie.
>>
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"Whoever was watching you during your father's burial ceremony is in that cave," you say. "Don't you think this is worth it?"

"I know," she says, "but this is why we are leaving the village, isn't it? Once we make it to Vallaki and beyond, I am safe from whoever this is. We shouldn't take the risk."

"You're right," you say. "I thought maybe we could find an easier explanation in the woods, but this is an unknown. Let's go back."

"You're bold at least," she says.

"I can see how it seems that way," you reply.

You begin heading back...

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 6, 3, 7 = 16 (3d20)

[Wisdom (Perception) check: 1d20+Wisdom (1d20+3).]

(cont.)
>>
Result
Spot the spring trap: 10

--

You trip over your own feet to avoid a spring trap, that you just barely saw at the last moment. Racing with adrenaline, you climb to your feet and look over your shoulder. The flickering torchlight up the hill and through the trees does not move. They don't seem to have heard you. "Oh Lord..." you say, scanning the ground for other traps. There are a few more down the way.

"That was close," you say. "Point taken. We're sticking to the path from now on."

"That's okay," she says. "It's like I said."

You mentally note this area down. You may return here later if you are ever back in the village, provided you haven't already found your sister and left.

This detour may have almost killed you, but the thrill of adventure has your senses heightened. You're glad this lesson was a merciful one - being snapped into high alert will certainly benefit you if you face trouble on the road.

...

(cont.)
>>
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Finally you make it back to the main road.

"The Vistani take the Svalich road all the time," Ireena says, hiking up a slight incline. "Those who do it for a living know its dangers. We're sticking together; we will make it through, just like they do."

You've been on the road for almost two hours - about one hour and forty minutes, to be precise - when you finally come to the river that runs south of the village, and a bridge crossing it. The river flows as clear as a blue winter sky through the valley. On the other side of the bridge, the road leads into the Svalich woods proper. "This isn't the most dangerous part of the woods we're entering," Ireena says, "but we must keep our wits about us. That place the Vistani told you to go - Tser Pool is - it's within a day's walk, I think, as long as we move quickly. It could serve as a checkpoint before the more harsh stretch of woods leading up the hill, and to the main road that connects Castle Ravenloft to Vallaki and Krezk."

"I hope there are signs of my sister there, at Tser Pool," you say. "They said there'd be someone there who might know what happened to her. What if they're the ones who took her? I've gone so long without answers..."

"You will figure it out," she says. "You should tell me about your sister. When we camp, we will need to fill the silence with something. I can tell you some stories about Ismark, that's for sure."

"She was brave," you say. "Braver than I. This... is certainly a lot for me." You smile, holding back a laugh. Ireena stifles a chuckle as well. It's the least you can do in a situation like this.

Ireena does remind you of Joannus a little bit when you are here walking side-by-side with her - it's something about the way she carries herself, the confidence in her stride despite her current physical ailments. Your sister would be much older now, of course - she would have been about Ireena's age when she was taken.

All of this effort is hard work, but you know you are going to see her again, so it's all worth it.

(cont.)
>>
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Across the bridge, the sound of the Svalich road would be calming if it weren't equally as disconcerting: dead silence, punctuated occasionally by the breaking of twigs or the cries of ravens and crows. You have been in the woods before, but this is different - it's eerie, like a presence standing over you and watching you. Most of the trees stand tall, blocking out the sky, yet they carry little life on their branches. You feel almost as though you're too alive to be here.

Eventually, after nearly three hours on the road, the woods thin out a little bit, and the river becomes visible again to your right. You've arrived at a small scenic landmark before the road is thrust back into the darkness of the woods. The road splits northwest and southwest here. Ireena sits on the ground, and so do you.

It's not the prettiest place to rest. An old wooden gallows creaks in a chill wind that blows down from the road, which seems to climb at a steep incline ahead. A signpost opposite the gallows points off in three directions: Barovia Village to the east, Tser Pool down to the northwest, and Ravenloft/Vallaki up to the southwest. The northwest fork slants and disappears into the trees, while the southwest fork clings to an upward slope. Across from the gallows, a low wall, crumbling in places, partially encloses a small plot of graves shrouded in fog.

"We're almost at Tser Pool," Ireena says. "We might be able to stay there, if the Vistani will let us. Then we have a lot of road to cover. But I'm not sure if the Vistani will welcome us."

"I wonder if it's safe," you say.

"What if it's a trap?" she replies.

What will you do?

>Continue to Vallaki. You will find a spot to camp before nightfall.
>Stop at Tser Pool like the Vistani tavern owners suggested.
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5197380
>>Continue to Vallaki. You will find a spot to camp before nightfall.
>>
>>5197380
>Stop at Tser Pool like the Vistani tavern owners suggested.
We can always camp out there if worse comes to worse, if there are people around it should be safe.
>>
>>5197380
>>Stop at Tser Pool like the Vistani tavern owners suggested.
>>
>>5197380
>Stop at Tser Pool like the Vistani tavern owners suggested.
>>
>>5197173
holy kek
>>
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"It's worth the risk," you say. "I have no other leads toward Joannus. We can always flee at the first sign of danger."

"I'm with you," she says.

You get up and hoist your gear sack over your shoulder, deciding on the downward-sloped path that leads northwest.

You stop in your tracks. Something inexplicable is unsettling you.

Ireena seems to sense it too. "There's something on the wind," she says.

She's right. Not even the cloying fog can hide the stench of death that descends upon you. Something evil approaches, and footsteps betrayed by the sound of snapping twigs.

You see movement in the trees. There is no time to hide.

(cont.)
>>
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Combat Encounter

You are surrounded on all sides by undead humanoid creatures. Your heart races, your mind swirls.
Ireena, to your left, stands back-to-back with you, and draws her longsword defensively.

You have 33/33 HP, and enough magic for 4 first-level, and 2 second-level spells.

Suggestions:
>Draw your longsword and attack the first creature that stumbles too close.
>Draw your crossbow and shoot from afar.
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Turn Undead, or Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Help Ireena to a defensive position, hoping to escape.
>Throw caltrops (bag of 20).
>Cast a spell or use another item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
You do a quick count - there are 4 of the creatures, 3 spread out in the woods to the north of you, and 1 behind you, blocking the other road.
>>
The closest undead creature is 20 feet away. The farthest is 35 feet away.
>>
>>5197497
>>Cast a spell or use another item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Scorching Ray (2d6 fire damage on hit)
Let's hit the one behind us twice, and the next closest undead in front of us, once
>>
For combat encounters, I will update quick.
15 minutes for the next vote. Otherwise the highest voted option will win (>>5197515)
>>
>>5197515
Yeah, this
>>
You remove the holy symbol around your neck and clutch it in your left hand. You shout a holy incantation to Kosstuh, causing white flames to materialize in your palm.
Compelled by divine grace, you hurl the flames at your foes.

Roll 1d20+Wisdom+Proficiency (1d20+5) 3 times to land 3 ranged spell attack against the undead creatures' armor classes of 8.
If any roll beats the target's armor class, roll 2d6 for damage.
(Best of 5. Keep track of which roll is for which attack, since each attack can only deal damage once.)
>>
Rolled 9 + 5 (1d20 + 5)

>>5197555
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>5197555
>>
Rolled 2, 1 = 3 (2d6)

>>5197565
>>
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>>5197563
Scorching Ray creates 3 rays, remember to roll twice more for the other 2 rays like >>5197567 did.
>>
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d6)

>>5197563
>>
Need 3 more people to roll 3d20.
Alternatively let me know if I should be rolling these dice myself to move the game faster. I have avoided it until now, but it is a preference that is up to the players.
>>
>>5197583
Don't worry about the speed, /qst/ is quite slow nowdays
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>5197601
Oh whoops
>>
Rolled 5, 20, 14 = 39 (3d20)

>>
Rolled 12, 18, 15 = 45 (3d20)

>>5197583
>>
Rolled 6, 2, 4, 4, 2, 5 = 23 (6d6)

>>5197640
>>
Rolled 18, 14 = 32 (2d20)

>>5197604
>>
Rolled 1, 6 = 7 (2d6)

>>5197643
Second ray will land a critical hit (>>5197640) due to landing on natural 20
Here is the extra damage for that ray, added to the 4, 4.
>>
Rolled 16, 1, 16 = 33 (3d20)

And here's the last set of dice to conclude the turn.
>>
Rolled 16 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled
>Ireena vs. Undead Creature - Rapier Attack (+3)

(cont.)
>>
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Combat Resolution (Party)

Your holy bolts of fire strike the undead creatures, causing them to stumble.
You strategically targeted the creature behind you first. It took 30+14 (44) fire damage* from the attack, and was instantly incinerated.
Another bolt strikes the closest creature in front of you. It takes 16 fire damage* from the hit, falling to its knees as the flames singe its flesh.

Ireena fights to keep her nerves.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, she rushes toward the creature you struck, dealing 10 piercing damage*.

(*For those who did not yet read the FAQ - all damage output is doubled: https://pastebin.com/sTurBdHZ)

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 16, 12, 1, 3, 15, 1 = 48 (6d20)

Rolled
>Undead Creature vs. Ireena - Bite (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. Ireena - Claw (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. Ireena - Claw (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Bite (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Claw (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Claw (+3)

(cont.)
>>
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Combat Resolution (Enemy)
The creature Ireena stabbed lashes out in a fear-fueled rage.
He bites the arm that stabbed him, dealing 6 piecing damage.
It lashes out with its claws. Ireena uses her reaction for this round to Parry the creature.

(Parry: Ireena adds 2 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, Ireena must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.)

Its second attack whiffs as she backsteps, holding her arm and flinching from pain.
She is moderately wounded, and cannot continue taking damage.

One of the farther away zombies in front of you stumbles toward you, using all its movement for the round. You raise your weapon defensively.
You avoid its bite with a swift movement, but are struck by the unpredictable assault of its claws.
You take 8 slashing damage, bringing your HP down to 25/33.

(cont.)
>>
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Combat Round

Ireena is engaged with 1 undead creature. Both are heavily wounded.
You are engaged with 1 undead creature, which has not yet been struck.
The third creature is stumbling toward you. By the time you take your action, it will be 10 feet away.

You have 25/33 HP, and enough magic for 4 first-level, and 1 second-level spell.

Suggestions:
>Attack the zombie you are engaged with.
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Turn Undead, or Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Disengage and run to create distance.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
Guiding bolt on the one attacking Ireena aught to take it down, right? We should be OK for another hit, but I'm worried she may be harmed.
>>
>>5197648
(Meant to quote >>5197626)
>>
>>5197669
>>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Turn Undead
Let's move in close to Ireena
>>
>>5197674
I'm thinking if we take down one, and Ireena doesn't take down the other, then the remaining undead might get a kill shot on Ireena
>>
>>5197669
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Turn Undead
>>
>>5197759
It's shambling towards us though, right? We'll have another turn to attack if it starts moving towards Ireena after we kill the one attacking her
>>
>>5198012
Idk, I figured it was within range and that we wouldn't have the time/initiative to avoid an attack, wasn't entirely sure
>>
Rolled 18, 7, 4 = 29 (3d20)

Rolled
>Undead Creature vs. Turn Undead - Wisdom Saving Throw (-2)
>Undead Creature vs. Turn Undead - Wisdom Saving Throw (-2)
>Undead Creature vs. Turn Undead - Wisdom Saving Throw (-2)

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 16, 8 = 24 (2d20)

Rolled
Ireena vs. Undead Creature - Rapier Attack (+3)
Ireena vs. Undead Creature - Attack of Opportunity (+3)

(cont.)
>>
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Combat Resolution (Party)

You thrust your holy symbol in front of you and rebuke the undead creatures in the name of Kossuth, conjuring visions of death by radiant fire.
The undead in front of you, crazed and thirsty for blood, ducks away from your symbol, managing to just barely avoid its effects.
The other two creatures (the one engaged with Ireena, and the one that was stumbling toward you) are not so lucky. Screaming in terror, they turn tail and run away.

Ireena attacks the creature in front of her, dealing 10 piercing damage, killing it outright.

(cont.)
>>
Rolled
>Undead Creature vs. You - Bite (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Claw (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Claw (+3)
>>
Rolled 2, 3, 9 = 14 (3d20)

Rolled
>Undead Creature vs. You - Bite (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Claw (+3)
>Undead Creature vs. You - Claw (+3)

(cont.)
>>
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The pitiful creature in front of you lashes out at you as its friend runs away in terror.

You draw your longsword defensively, pushing the creature's mouth away with the blade as it tries to bite you. But, as you take a step back to try and create distance, it grazes you with one of its claws, causing you to take 8 slashing damage and bringing your HP down to 17/33.

(cont.)
>>
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Combat Resolution (Enemy)

The pitiful creature in front of you lashes out at you as its friend runs away in terror.

You draw your longsword defensively, pushing the creature's mouth away with the blade as it tries to bite you. But, as you take a step back to try and create distance, it grazes you with one of its claws, causing you to take 8 slashing damage and bringing your HP down to 17/33.

(cont.)
>>
Combat Round

You are engaged with 1 undead creature. The creature that used to be approaching is now fleeing in terror, its mind filled with visions of death by radiant fire. The other 2 creatures are dead.

Suggestions:
>Attack the zombie you are engaged with.
>Disengage and run to create distance.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5198225
>>Attack the zombie you are engaged with.
>>
>>5198225
>Attack the zombie you are engaged with.
>>
>Attack the zombie you are engaged with.

Roll 1d20+Strength (1d20+2) to land an attack with your longsword against the Undead Creature's armor class of 8.
Best roll out of 3. (how this is decided: https://pastebin.com/sTurBdHZ)
After all rolls, if any of them beats the target's armor class, roll 1d8+Strength (1d8+2) for damage. Or if any roll is a natural 20 (20 before modifier) roll 2d8+Strength.
>>
Rolled 2 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5198318
>>
Rolled 7 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5198318
>>
Rolled 20 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>
Rolled 6, 7 + 2 = 15 (2d8 + 2)

FOR KOSSUTH!
>>
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>>5198390

Combat Resolution (Party)

The creature stumbles back and prepares for another strike. You rotate your stance, bringing your weapon back into a raised guard position. The rotting creature bares its teeth and pounces at you, and you are suddenly overcome by an instinct to strike at this exact moment. You have no time to think about the logistics - taking advantage of the slightest weakness, you step forward, bringing your weapon across the zombie's chest and using its own momentum to cut into its flesh. You deal 30 slashing damage, killing the undead creature.

The zombie falls to the floor in a clump of rotting blood and severed flesh. Its only living friend has disappeared into the woods entirely, its terrified shrieks no longer audible.

The combat encounter is over, you didn't die.
You gain 800 XP, putting your total XP at 1700.
(1,000 XP remaining until 4th level.)

(cont.)
>>
You and Ireena clutch your wounds, recovering both physically and mentally from the unexpected attack.

"What if there's more?" Ireena says, nervously scanning the treeline for hints of danger. "Do you think that was his doing? Why would those terrible things have attacked us?"

"I don't know," you say. "But what I do know is, if they come back, we will just send them back to where they came from again." You don't actually feel this way, of course - you are trembling to the point where you need to use both hands to sheathe your sword - but your confidence is enhanced by the adrenaline still coursing through your body, and the grace in which you ended that final zombie. You were never formally trained in the longsword, but you have faith in Kossuth, and putting on a guise of fearlessness has carried you through nearly every challenge you have faced until arriving in Barovia But the way these creatures attacked felt unsettling to you. They filled you with a sense of dread, and you're not sure what you would do if they were to return while you are in this state.

"I think this bite wound will be alright," Ireena says.

"You should wear your armor," you tell her.

"I know. I had planned to. I will don it as soon as we find a place to rest."

"Do you know how close we are to the Tser Pool?"

"A two hour walk, maybe," she says. "Less if we hurry."

So you disembark. You're glad you decided to go to Tser Pool. All bets are off now - the woods are dangerous, and anywhere with people in it is bound to be better than the alternative, no matter the circumstances.

...

(cont.)
>>
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Nearly two hours later, you are still walking, and the day is getting late. "Don't travel on the Old Svalich Road by night," you remember being warned.

And so you are relieved when you begin to see signs of nearby human life. The road gradually disappears and is replaced by a twisted, muddy path through the trees. Deep ruts in the earth are evidence of the comings and goings of wagons. You and Ireena exchange a glance, knowing that you must be close to your destination.

The canopy of mist and branches soon gives way to black clouds boiling far above. There is a clearing here, next to a river that widens to form a large lake several thousand feet across. The water is perfectly still and dark, reflecting the black clouds overhead like a monstrous mirror.

Five colorful round tents, each ten feet in diameter, are pitched outside a ring of four barrel-topped wagons. A much larger tent stands near the shore of the lake, its sagging form lit from within. Near this tent, eight unbridled horses drink from the river.

The mournful strains of an accordion clash with the singing of several brightly clad figures around bonfire. A footpath continues beyond this encampment, meandering north between the river and the forest's edge.

"There are people there," Ireena says, the relief palpable.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Approach openly.
>Draw your weapons and approach. (Intimidation)
>Do not approach. Make camp here, close to the shore of the lake.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
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Note: The wagons seen around the Tser Pool encampment are identical to those drawn in Joannus's journal. You feel an overwhelming sense of urgency - you have definitely found what you set out to look for. How do you approach this situation?
>>
>>5198416
>>Approach openly.
>>
>>5198416
>>Approach openly.
>>
>>5198416
>Approach openly.

Just binged through the quest, I really hope that pie wasn't what I think it was.
>>
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>>5198427
>>5198466
>>5198467

"I came to Barovia to look for my sister," you say. "If we don't talk to these Vistani, I will regret it."

And so, you and Ireena approach the encampment, your approach muffled by the sound of music and singing. Twelve Vistani men and women are standing and sitting around the fire, talking loudly and drinking wine. They seem to be having a great time.

Your approach is halted when a man sitting on the back of one of the wagons shouts at you. Most of the Vistani around the fire stop singing and look at you. They don't draw their weapons - in fact, once they see that you are wounded, one of them beckons you toward the fire, a small group of men and women approaching to help you.

"Strangers," says the man who beckoned you, "We do not know who you are. But you are welcome to share our fire!" Finally a welcome sight. Kossuth would be happy. The crowd cheers as you are brought into the circle and sat on the wet ground in front of the blazing fire.

Your eyes scan the encampment as you cross into the ring of wagons, looking carefully at every tent, every face. A part of you hopes you're just going to see your sister among the crowd, looking the exact same way as when she left. But you know there's not yet any cause for celebration. You don't know where you are, or who these people are. You only know that your sister left with people like them.

You are offered flasks of wine and invited to join the reverie.

Ireena is put at easy very quickly. You remain skeptical as the sound of chatter overtakes the quiet of the forest.

You hate being the one to brood and feel miserable at a party, but it's true: you didn't come here for fun. Years of bottled-up pain and frustration over a lack of answers over your sister threaten to overwhelm you. But you stay collected. "I was wondering," you begin, "if anyone here would be familiar with... the comings and goings of other outsiders like me?" You look at their faces, illuminated by the light of their fire.

"Comings," says a man who has introduced himself as Antonio. "But not goings!" He gives a hearty drunken laugh. Everyone seems to think he told the greatest joke in the world.

"So, what? Do adventurers not leave?" you ask. You kidnap them, don't you? You'd love to straight-up ask it out loud, but you know presenting yourself as the enemy seems non-conductive to finding your sister, and that accusing them of being kidnappers wouldn't go over well even if it was true. Instead you just say: "Do you... keep people here?" (In retrospect, it comes out just as bad.)

His face scrunches up. "No!" he says. "No, no... that is quite the suggestion!"

You wince at your own callousness, but still aren't satisfied with this answer. You know Joannus was kidnapped. Kidnapped and brought somewhere by these merchants - the Vistani - for reasons unknown to you. These ones seem so jolly and lively, but there has to be more to it, right?

(cont.)
>>
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"The mists of Ravenloft keep them," says a woman from across the campfire. "It is the curse of our Lord Strahd."

Ireena nods. You are surprised to see this - her nor Ismark told you of this when you arrived. Could this be a common Barovian spiritual belief?

"Adventurers who become lost in the mist often emerge here in Barovia," Antonio says. "And the mist keeps them here forever, body and soul."

You find yourself thinking back to the mist that encroached on you as you entered the gates of Barovia. The way it seemed to be following you as you walked the trail into the valley. You imagine it as a malevolent force, luring in adventurers like a sinister trap. Could it be possible that she was compelled to come her, and just never found her way home?

You decide to simply say it. "I'm looking for my sister." Everyone turns to look. "Ten years ago, she disappeared with people with wagons and colorful robes. Yours are the only ones I've seen in ten years that look similar."

"Ahh... so that's why your here," the drunkard says. "I knew it would be something like that. No one comes to Barovia unless they are searching for something." Everybody laughs again.

"A mighty wizard came to this land over a year ago," says one of the other Vistani men drinking across from you. "Ah, I remember him like it was yesterday. He stood exactly where you're sitting, in fact. A very charismatic man, he was. He thought he could rally the people of Barovia against the devil Strahd!"

A few Vistani men and women around the fire lean in to listen to his story, but you are still distracted by how this all relates to Joannus. There are more questions you need to ask before the night grows too late.

"When the Lord appeared," the man continues, "the wizard's peasant army fled in terror. The ensuing battle between the Wizard and the Lord of Barovia flew from the courtyards of Ravenloft to a precipice overlooking the falls."

You look at Castle Ravenloft across the lake in the distance. Even here, it's visible, its massive ramparts piercing the sky atop the cliff overlooking the village. There really is no escape from its imposing sight.

"Thunder shook the mountainside," he continues, "and great rocks tumbled down upon the wizard. Yet, by his magic, he survived! Lightning from the heavens struck the wizard, and again he stood his ground!"
>>
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The whole crowd is now engaged with his story, the sound of crickets and crackling fire filling the brief silences in his telling.

The man's expression grows dark. "When the devil Strahd fell upon him, however, the wizard's magic couldn't save him. I saw him thrown a thousand feet to his death." He points toward the base of the castle. "I climbed down to the river to search for the wizard's body, to see if, you know, he had anything of value... but he was nowhere to be found. Carried away by the River Ivlis." He leans back and takes a swig from his flask, clearly satisfied with the presentation of his story.

Great adventurers have entered Barovia seeking to defeat the devil Strahd, it seems. But none of them have returned - either because they are slain by the Lord himself, or because of this "curse" they speak of, wherein they literally cannot leave. What role do you play here? You came here for one thing, and you are not making the progress you had hoped for.

You quietly stand up. Ireena has been completely engrossed in the festivities, participating in conversation and paying little attention to you. You decide to step away from the campfire for a little bit, seeking a break in the silence so you may clear your head.

Antonio catches sight of you, and he discretely follows. "We did not take her," he says as he catches up to you. "We promise you that much. But we cannot say she was not compelled. Speak to Madame Eva in the morning. I believe she was expecting you."

You cock your head at that suggestion. But before you can think of something good to ask in response, he is already starting back to the party around the campfire.

You look over at the big tent at the edge of the encampment. The red glow of light pours out from within it.

Suggestions (you may vote for multiple at once if they do not conflict with one another):
>Listen to his suggestion. Go to sleep and speak to the woman in the tent in the morning before leaving.
>Don't let this go. Track down Antonio and demand more information from him. (Persuasion or Intimidation, DC 18)
>Rejoin the festivities. You'd like to spend some time talking to Ireena, and you need to find some enjoyment in this trip.
>Go for a walk alone to clear your head.
>Sneak around the camp. Maybe there is valuable information they aren't telling you. (Stealth, DC 17)
>These folks seem rich. You wonder what they are keeping in their wagons. (Sleight of Hand, DC 18)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5198467
Also, one more option:
>Eat the pie.
>>
Reach a consensus on the approach to take on the camp. More updates will come tomorrow.
>>
>>5198529
>Rejoin the festivities. You'd like to spend some time talking to Ireena, and you need to find some enjoyment in this trip.
>>
>>5198529
>>Rejoin the festivities. You'd like to spend some time talking to Ireena, and you need to find some enjoyment in this trip.
>>
>>5198529
>Listen to his suggestion. Go to sleep and speak to the woman in the tent in the morning before leaving.
>>
>>5198529
>Listen to his suggestion. Go to sleep and speak to the woman in the tent in the morning before leaving.
>>5198551
AAAAAAAAAA
>>
>>5198529
>Rejoin the festivities. You'd like to spend some time talking to Ireena, and you need to find some enjoyment in this trip.
>>5198551
>Eat the pie.
>>
>>5198529
>>Rejoin the festivities. You'd like to spend some time talking to Ireena, and you need to find some enjoyment in this trip
>Eat the pie

Taste the forbidden pie
>>
>>5198551
>>5198529
>Rejoin the festivities. You'd like to spend some time talking to Ireena, and you need to find some enjoyment in this trip.
then
>Listen to his suggestion. Go to sleep and speak to the woman in the tent in the morning before leaving.
>Under no circumstances do we eat the pie... Alright, fuck it, eat the pie.
>>
-rejoin the festivities
-eat the pie
-speak to the woman in the tent in the morning
Update in a couple hours.
>>
(I will be writing those 3 options, voting is closed, I'm just being assaulted by real-life)
>>
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It takes some time, but eventually you manage to put your anxieties to rest and find solace in the festivities. You and Ireena set up your two-person tent - a great investment, a little hard to set up, but quite spacious - and you find yourself comfortable beside the fire. You find it interesting how the Vistani manage to make their home here - merrymaking in nothing but a bunch of tents around a dreary lake in a dark valley. They carry an energy about them that you have not seen since elsewhere in this land so far. Even the color of their outfits is a stark contrast from the blacks, browns, greens, and grays.

The dozen-or-so men and gathered around the crackling bonfire are in very good spirits. A few of them sing and dance around the fire while others find happiness in their flasks and wineskins.

Without Ireena, you would not be enjoying this night. And the storytelling spirit of the Vistani is infectious. You find yourself at the fire, sharing vignettes of the experiences you've had back home, outside of the valley; the sunlight on the Sword Coast making even Waterdeep's Dock Ward look pretty during the early hours of the morning, the unceasing city life of Neverwinter and the shops on every street corner. To the Vistani there is nothing new about this, but Ireena is fascinated by these tales, claiming the village is all she has ever known.

You are hungry. You decide you will finally eat the "pastry" you purchased from that nice woman. A mincemeat pie of some kind, it has preserved perfectly. Maybe that's why it was so expensive - there is something strange about it, for sure. But you paid a fortune for it. Food is food. You take your first bite.

As you eat, it occurs to you that the Vistani have a lot of experience travelling outside of Barovia. They had said the curse of the fog traps adventurers, preventing those inside Barovia from leaving. So what makes them the exception? You bring this thought to Antonio.

"Our people are Strahd's historical allies," he replies, as you take another bite from the pie. "He owes us a great debt. We are not affected by this land's curse."

Ah. It suddenly makes sense to you why Ismark was so wary of the Vistani tavern owners back in Barovia. Nonetheless, these men and women are offering you shelter - how bad could they bey? "You don't talk like allies of Strahd," you say.

"No," he says, "but it's the story of our people. This is one of the only places we are welcome. I could tell you the story, if you wish."

"Of course," you say.

Stanimir fills his mouth with wine, then spits into the fire. The flames turn from orange to green. As they dance and sway, a dark shape appears in the bonfire's core. Interesting.

(cont.)
>>
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"One night," Stanimir says, "a wounded soldier staggered into our camp and collapsed."

Most of the Vistani grow quiet to listen to his tale, despite having likely already heart it a thusand times. You watch silently, taking another bite of the pastry, which is beginning to taste quite delicious.

"We nursed his terrible injury and quenched his thirst with wine. He survived. When we asked him who he was, he wouldn't say. All he wanted was to return home, but we were deep in the land of his enemies. We took him as one of our own and followed him back toward his homeland. His enemies hunted him. They said he was a prince, yet we didn't give him up, even when their assassins fell upon us like wolves."

Deep in the bonfire, you see the dark figure standing with sword drawn, fighting off a host of shadowy shapes. You become enamored with the fire. There is a whole world in there, separate from your own.

"This man - Strahd von Zarovich, merely a boy - fought to protect us, as we protected him. We bore him safely to his home, and he thanked us. He said, 'I owe you my life. Stay as long as you wish, leave when you choose, and know that you will always be safe here.'"

You are now completely fixated on the dancing figure in the fire. When it vanquishes its final foe, it disperses in a cloud of smoke and embers.

"And thus we alone have the power to leave his domain. This is a promise that predates the curse that has since fallen over our noble prince."

"A promise that existed before he became a tyrant," adds an old man from the crowd.

The Vistani nod in agreement. This makes sense to you; a historical agreement, woven into the nature of the curse that affects the valley. "Does that mean the Vistani could help somebody leave?" you ask, taking another bite from the pie.

"No," he replies. "But worry not. You are safe with us here. The evils that typically lurk the Svalich woods at night avoid us. Strahd's promise is extended to you, as long as you are with us."

(cont.)
>>
In this moment, you are not worried. For one, this pastry is delicious. But secondly, it doesn't matter that you are thousands of miles away from home. You exchange more tales with Ireena and the Vistani. You dance, and you tell jokes, and Ireena laughs. It's almost like you are back in your home village again. You barely even realize that you are already halfway through the whole pastry, even though there is enough food there to last for multiple days.

A strange feeling begins to come over you as the night grows late and you take another bite of the odd mincemeat pie. At first it feels unnatural, but it quickly becomes pleasurable: a smothering warmth, nostalgic, like being in your mother's arms as a child. For a moment, you can see your mother standing beside you. "Go to sleep," she says. "Have wonderful dreams. Your sister is here today, you can spend the day with her."

You smile. "I'm going to sleep," you say. Ireena looks at you quizzically, but doesn't intervene. You head to your tent.

You're very glad to spend time with your sister as your mother told you. It feels like you have been spending every day with Joannus these past few weeks, but it's so nice to finally have some downtime and to hear so many stories about her adventures across the Sword Coast. The months where she is away feel far too long.

You can smell something cooking in the kitchen - bread and stew, lightly seasoned. Is it morning already? Sunlight is shining thruogh your window, so it must be. You wander to the kitchen. Your sister is already there eating. "Hey!" you say to your mom, who stands at the stove. "She always wakes up before me. You better not have given her the good bits of the stew."

Your mother smiles. She knows you are just teasing. But for some reason, she says "Aranuel, are you okay?"

"I'm fine," you reply. "I'm doing fine!" You turn to your sister. "Mom says you will be staying today."

"I will be!" she says. "Do you want to go for a walk in the grove today?" You love walking with your sister. It's pretty much your favorite thing in the world to do. You imagine adventuring alongside her in a dark forest, facing unknown dangers. You look up to her a lot. You hope to be like her when you are her age.

"Yes," you reply to her, without hesitation. "Let me just finish my stew."

(cont.)
>>
There is something odd about the sun today. It's like a flickering fire. Similar to the one you saw in your dream last night. But that's a minor inconvenience - you are just enjoying the tranquility of the day. When you are older, and your sister is grown, you and her will inherit this home, and what to do with it will be up to the two of you. Maybe you will turn it into tavern or an inn, serving adventurers who stop by your small town on the way to or from Neverwinter - adventurers like your sister! Or maybe not - you have everything you need here already, more or less.

You can see a look of concern in your sister's face as you walk with her through the grove. You feel a little bit annoyed. You know that you are feeling perfectly fine, so it's frustrating that you are apparently giving off the wrong impression. Is there something on your face? You wipe the tears away. "I-" you begin, "I'd love to spend more time with you," you say. You are just barely choking out the words now. You aren't sure what's wrong with you. It's a perfectly fine moment.

She stops and kneels down. "You really don't look to well," she says. "Are you sure everything is alright?" Of course everything is alright - you feel as happy as you have ever been! She grabs your shoulders and shakes them, and there are tears streaming down your face, but you can't stop it. But that doesn't mean anything...

The world slowly comes crashing back. You are in the Vistani camp, kneeling in front of the ashes of the fire. Ireena, looking on you with concern, is shaking your shoulders violently. A warm afterglow in your stomach is all that remains of the pastry's effects. There are sores on your hands, apparently from kneeling here in front of the fire for... you don't know how long. The Vistani are all in their tents, and the fire has gone out, just flickering embers. The sun is low in the sky, but visible - maybe about five in the morning.

"I'm fine," you tell her. You really are crying, though. You wipe your tears away with the sleeve of your tunic. You stumble over to your tent, repeating yourself to Ireena a couple times for good measure, and you look down at your bedroll. The pastry is there, half finished.

You pick up the pastry, and though you are exausted, you clamber outside. You stand in front of the massive lake, looking out at the earliest reflection of the dull sunrise.

Suggestions:
>Throw the pastry into the lake.
>Keep the pastry. Store it safely.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5199641
>Throw the pastry into the lake.
>>
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

Rolled:
>Constitution saving throw to avoid progression toward addiction to the pastries. (DC 16)
>>
>>5199644
Feel free to Best Out 3 this.
>>
>>5199644
Feel free to Best Out Of 3 this.
>>
Rolled 8 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

okay
>>
Constitution should be -1 (CON score of 9, available on the character sheet) but I guess the roll option here doesn't support that.
>>
Rolled 11 - 1 (1d20 - 1)

>>5199692
I think there's a way to do negatives in the dice rolls.

For this post I typed dice+1d20+-1
>>
>>5199715
Excellent. Thanks anon.
>>
Rolled 2 + 1000 (1d2 + 1000)

>>5199715
You don't even need to do the +- bit. It works with just a -.
>>
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>>5199761
Huh. I could swear it did. Now I look like the fool instead.
>>
>>5199692
--1 or +-1 works
>>
>>5199641
>Keep the pastry. Store it safely.
>>
>>5199641
>Throw the pastry into the lake.
>>
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After hesitating for what is perhaps a full minute, you throw the pastry into the lake. It lands a good 50 feet away, sending ripples through the lake.

"What was that for?" Ireena asks.

"That's an evil pie," you say. "I don't know what that old lady put in there, but whatever it was, it caused me to see a messed-up vision of my childhood."

"Oh," Ireena says. "That explains the way you were behaving."

You probably did look pretty miserable. The hallucinations were causing you to view Ireena as your sister.

"Well, I'm glad you figured that out while we were here, and not out where it would've been more dangerous."

"Yeah," you say. You still feel quite drained from the effects of the pastry. You don't really feel rested at all, unfortunately.

A part of you feels remorseful for throwing the pastry away. The vision made you feel like you were really back home. The emotional effect it had on you in the real world was... odd, but is that really such a bad thing? You shake off the feeling, what's done is done.

...

Long Rest
The party rested for 8 hours.
Ireena returned to max HP, but you didn't benefit fully from the long rest, being affected by external circumstances. You regain up to 1/2 of your max HP instead, putting your total at 18/37 HP. You can still compensate for this by having a short rest (1 hour) later before leaving the camp and recovering HP at the cost of hit dice.
You regain all of your spell slots, Channel Divinity uses, and expended hit dice (for which none have yet been spent).

You also gained 1,200 XP for arriving at Tser Pool, putting your total XP at 2,900.
This increases your character level to 4. The next target, for 5th, level is 6,500 XP.
Changes at 4th level:
- Increased maximum HP by 5 + CON (5 + -1 = 4)
- 1 additional 2nd level spell slot
- 1 additional spell memorized
- Ability Score Improvement

You now have 4 1st-level spell slots, 3 1st-level spell slots, and a max HP of 37.

Vote on how to spend 2 points to improve the following abilities:
>Strength: 15
>Dexterity: 12
>Constitution: 9
>Intelligence: 13
>Wisdom: 16
>Charisma: 10
(You can improve 1 ability by 2 points, or 2 abilities each by 1 point.)

Also vote on a new spell to memorize:
>Hold Person (https://5e.tools/spells.html#hold%20person_phb)
>Zone of Truth (https://5e.tools/spells.html#zone%20of%20truth_phb)
>Gentle Repose (https://5e.tools/spells.html#gentle%20repose_phb)
>Prayer of Healing (https://5e.tools/spells.html#prayer%20of%20healing_phb)
>Augury (https://5e.tools/spells.html#augury_phb)
>>
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>>5199843
>3 1st-level spell slots
3 2nd level spell slots*
>>
>>5199845
>Gentle Repose
>+1 constitution
>+1 strength
>>
>>5199874
Yeah, this. I was thinking Zone of Truth but it feels a bit like cheating if people can't lie to you, you know? Plus seems that there's undead about, so probably a safe pick.
>>
>>5199843
>>5199845 +1
>>
>>5200071
That was meant to be>>5199874 +1 not >>5199845
>>
>>5199843
>>5199874
Support

WHY DID YOU FUCKERS EAT THE PIE AAAA
>>
>>5199843
>Prayer of Healing
>+1 Constitution
>+1 Intelligence
>>
>Gentle Repose
>+1 constitution
>+1 strength
>>
>>5200278
We were hungry? We paid a whole GP for it, you'd better believe we were going to eat it. I'm still stick we wasted half a pie.
>>
>>5200526
Not only that the pie could unlock some memories that will lead us to our sister.
>>
>>5200526
>>5200549
Fellas, fellas... We can buy more pies.
>>
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>>5199874
>>5199982
>>5200073
>>5200278
>>5200451
Increased Strength to 16, and Constitution to 10. Added gentle repose spell to spell list.
The ability increase puts her Strength ability modifier at +3, and her Constitution ability modifier to +0.
Aranuel's increase to her CON score gives her +4 max HP, and adjusting her partial HP gain after the long that puts her at 20/41 HP.

Next updates (meeting with the woman in the tent) coming in the next couple of hours.
>>
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"That pie you ate," Antonio says. "It must've been from that witch. The one who visits Barovia at night."

You and Ireena are packing up your tent and belongings for your journey later. It's just after sunrise, and the camp is now abuzz with activity. Antonio is leaning on the side of a wagon, chewing on a celery root.

"That sounds right," Ireena says. "She did say an old woman in Barovia sold it to her," Ireena says.

"Morgantha was her name," you add. "At least, that's what she said."

"Had I known, I would have warned you," Antonio says. "You don't want to know what goes into making those pies. She calls them 'dream pastries' and sells them to sad Barovians."

You don't want to say it out loud, but part of you still regrets ridding yourself of the other half of that pie; something tells you if you had more, the vision would've been even stronger than the first one. More real.

"I don't suppose you know where one would find more of them?" you ask. You don't plan to act on that knowledge per se, but you can't help but inqure.

Antonio hesitates for a moment. "On the road to Vallaki, near the top of the hill, before the western gate of Barovia, you will come across an old windmill. You will probably find the witch or her sisters there."

You nod quickly, wishing to move on from the subject.

"Just know though," he says, "if you plan on doing anything besides buying pastries, you are putting yourself in danger. Do not underestimate those women. If I were you, I would avoid the place entirely."

Ireena nods.

It's almost time to leave. But first, it's time to see the person you came here to speak to.

(cont.)
>>
Antonio claims that many Vistani women are supposedly blessed with prescience: the ability to glimpse the fate of non-Vistani men and women. And of all the great Vistani fortune-tellers, none compares to Madam Eva. This is who the Vistani tavern owners in Barovia sent you here to speak to.

You and Ireena duck into the tent at the edge of the encampment. Magic flames cast a reddish glow over the interior, revealing a low table covered in a black velvet cloth. Glints of light seem to flash from a crystal ball on the table as a hunched figure peers into its depths.

As she speaks, her voice crackles like dry weeds. "At last you appear!" Cackling laughter bursts like mad lightning from her withered lips. "Aranuel, the blind traveller! And Ireena, the unfortunate vessel, the flower of the curse!"

You and Ireena exchange a glance.

"I... what?" you ask.

"Oh, your destiny here is strong. I can see it already. And yet you do not trust! Why would you? It is as they say! Be careful as you seek knowledge, that you do not reveal your own hand."

You stare at Madame Eva blankly, as if waiting for more information. You can't really think of a good response to what she said.

"Uh," Ireena speaks, "we were told to speak to you. Aranuel said two Vistan-"

"Yes," she says. "Please, take a seat. We will begin immediately."

After a brief pause, you and Ireena take a seat at the stools that have been placed in front of the table.

The woman pulls out a deck of cards. She begins shuffling them, and you notice that they have strange illustrations on them that you have not seen anywhere else - depictions of knights, wizards, monarchs, priests, and horsemen.

She pulls out a smaller deck and shuffles it as well, laying them out on the table to your right. Closing her eyes, she places her right hand over the surface of the larger deck.

(cont.)
>>
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The crimson flames dim and swirl in eldritch patterns as her lips move silently, a distant tension spreading through the air. The sounds of the rustling trees and rippling pool beyond the tent's walls begin to dim, the external world growing mute and insubstantial as the space within grows more solid - more real.

Slowly, reverently, the crone draws three cards from the top of the deck, laying them face down separately on the table, with the second laid between and above its partners. She then moves to the smaller deck, drawing two more cards.

The first, she places below the first three, forming a cross. The second, she places in the center. The lights of the candles sway like silhouettes, leaning in toward the cards like anxious watchers - yet the air in the tent is perfectly still. No light intrudes through the seams in the tent's walls; no voice rings out in the silence.

Shadows and mist swirl at the boundaries of the tent, and the table at the center of the tent takes on a warm glow, like a campfire, with nothingness all around it.

(cont.)
>>
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The woman moves her wrinkled hand to the left-most card - the first. She closes her eyes and tilts her head, as if listening to an unspoken word. The arcane lights swirl and then shift, their colors changing to a deep, piercing blue.

"This card tells of history," she says. "Knowledge of the ancient will help you better understand your enemy."

She flips the card. Warm light dances across its table, revealing an illustration of a wizard on the face of the card.

"The Master of Stars - the Wizard," she says.

Her dark pupils shift from side to side, as though reading from an unseen text. "Look for a wizard's tower on a lake. Let the wizard's name and servant guide you to that which you seek."

A wizard's tower on a lake. That is a very specific suggestion. Part of you was expecting something more vague. You can't guess what role the elder believes this wizard's tower takes, but you are satisfied.

(cont.)
>>
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She moves her hand to the second card, this one at the top of the cross. As she closes her eyes and listens once more, the candlelight flares, its color bursting into a fierce, cheery yellow.

"This card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope."

She flips the card.

This time, the light reveals a new illustration: an enchantress casting a spell.

"The 3 of Stars - the Enchanter," se says. Her eyes stare deep into the shadows that lurk in the corners of the tent. "I see a kneeling woman - a rose of great beauty plucked too soon. The master of the marsh knows of whom I speak."

A rose of great beauty... she called Ireena "the flower of the curse" earlier, did she not? At the very least, she seems to be fond of floral metaphors, that's for certain.

(cont.)
>>
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She moves her hand to the third card, at the right arm of the cross, her eyelids closing like a trance, her lips pursed in quiet contemplation. The candlelight vanishes, for a heartbeat - and then returns in a nova of fierce, burning white, so pure and strong and clean that it hurts to look at, burns to see-

Madam Eva's eyes snap open, burning with an intensity she has not displayed since you walked in.

"This is a card of power and strength," she explains. "It tells of a weapon of vengeance: a Sword of Light."

You lean in close. You think you can feel Kossuth lean in close as well.

She flips the card.

The light reveals a third illustration: a woman holding a sword, unsurprisingly. "The 1 of Swords - the Avenger." Her voice is strong with purpose now. She speaks the next prophecy even more reverently than the last. "The treasure lies in a dragon's house, in hands once clean and now corrupted."

You can't help but feel uneasy at this prediction. You had one encounter with a dragon during your time exploring on the Sword Coast. The last thing you want is to encounter another, if you can avoid it.

(cont.)
>>
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She is now onto the final two cards, the ones from the smaller deck of fourteen. They have a different design on their backs - fuller illustrations, more luxurious than the bigger deck.

She moves to the fourth card, at the bottom of the cross, and listens once more, tracing small circles across its back as she hums. The magic flames leap and dance upon their wicks, now casting swirling violet embers into the air and causing the walls of the tent to appear as if they are shimmering with starlight.

"This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness. I see a great bond torn between two realms, a companion lost. A journey destined by blood. One flame snuffed out, another ignited."

Is she talking about who you think she is talking about? Your heart races faster at the thought.

She flips the card.

This time, the illustration revealed is that of a graveyard, the base of their stones obscured by fog. "The Mists," she says. She leans forward. "A crestfallen woman wanders this land alone, searching for a home she does not remember. She does not stay in one place for long. You will meet her in a holy place touched by the sky."

You fixate on her words. This divination magic seems quite powerful. You don't want to jump to conclusions... but could she be talking about your sister? Could she really be here, somewhere in Barovia?

Ireena looks at you, seeming to sense the urgency on your face.

You almost forgot about the last card, laying in the center of the table, its back drawing your attention as Madame Eva moves to flip it.

(cont.)
>>
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When Madame Eva's hand hovers over the fifth and final card, she nearly recoils, her brow furrowing until the wrinkles split her forehead like a trench. Behind her, shadows encircle the candlelight, threatening to thrust the interior of the tent into darkness.

When next she speaks, Madam Eva's rasping voice is scarce above a whisper. She speaks with an intensity that rivals all of her previous four predictions. "The enemy you will face is an agent of death, a creature of darkness beyond mortal comprehension. Oh, it's terrible... I cannot say more without inferring things that should not be inferred directly. Listen carefully."

Her hand trembles above the card for a silent moment - and then her fingers flip it deftly, reveal its opposite side. In the darkness, the fifth and final illustration is only barely visible through the smoke and unnatural murk.

The card depicts a jar on a stand inlaid with gemstones. Inside the jar is a human skull carved with intricate regal patterns.

Madam Eva slowly exhales. "The mists obscure the events that will lead up to to this grand confrontation," she says. "But the card representing your enemy is The Artifact." She closes her eyes, and her voice takes on an otherwordly, authoratative tone. "He lurks in the darkness where the morning light once shone - a sacred place of ruined stone."

As the last syllable passes her lips, the old woman freezes - and then rocks back in her chair, her eyes rolling until their whites gleam like pearls in the darkness - and then she snaps back, the candlelight burning down to its ordinary crimson glow.

The sound of the outside world returns - the voices of the Vistani, the crackling of the bonfire, the whisper of the wind, and the lapping of the waves against the shore of the pool. Light, grey and insubstantial, filters in once more through the canvas walls of the tent, and you feel yourselves breathe for the first time since the reading began.

Madam Eva says nothing. She only regards you silently with dark, heavy eyes. She seems exhausted, completely drained of energy.

(cont.)
>>
Suggestions:
>Thank Madame Eva for her reading. Take your leave with Ireena.
>Ask her specific questions about Barovia. (specify) (Persuasion, DC 20)
>Before leaving, you will scout to see if this camp has anything worth stealing. (Stealth, DC 17)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5200763
>Before leaving, you will scout to see if this camp has anything worth stealing. (Stealth, DC 17)
>>
>>5200764
>Thank Madame Eva for her reading. Take your leave with Ireena.
>>
>Thank Madame Eva for her reading. Take your leave with Ireena
>>
>>5200764
>>Thank Madame Eva for her reading. Take your leave with Ireena.
>>
>>5200879
>>5201190
>>5201225
"So," Antonio says. "What did you learn?"

"Honestly, I'm not quite sure," you say. "The fortune tellers where I'm from tend to be more of a performance, or act. I wasn't expcting something quite so... serious. I thought she would have some concrete advice."

"Madame Eva has been reading adventurers' fortunes for almost as long as she has been alive. She got the gift earlier than most. There is no other like her. Her words will prove useful to you on your travels, I'm sure."

The sun is high in the gray sky now. Ireena is chatting with of the Vistani around the fire. You and her are prepared to hit the road and start on your way to Vallaki.

"Why does she do it?" you ask. "I'm just curious is all... if you Vistani can enter and leave Barovia any time you want, why does she stay here and read fortunes? And, why does she do it for free?"

"A question only she knows the answer to. She claims her duty is here, but has always been secritive as to why."

"Why do you choose to stay here, then, if there are places that are far less dangerous??"

Antonio shrugs. "Our home is where we make it."

Ireena finishes saying her goodbyes and gestures you over. She's heading back to the trail that leads to the Old Svalich Road.

Antonio puts his hand on your shoulder. You look at him. "Good luck finding your sister," he says.

You look down. "I wish I had a clearer lead."

He looks at you closer. "Outside Vallaki," he says, his voice low, "there is another camp. Lead by a man named Arrigal. Vistani."

You look back at him inquisitively. "What about it?"

"I didn't say this before because I didn't want to start any problems. But it might be a good place to check. Just, be careful."

"Why is it be a good place to check?"

"Arrigal used to be part of this camp. The caravan he fell in with is known to... travel outside of Barovia, luring in adventurers."

You think back to that fateful day the caravan appeared outside your home.

"They are doing errands for Strahd. We do not work directly for Strahd - we simply follow Madame Eva."

"How do you know they are bringing in adventurers? And for what purpose?"

"Many of Arrigal's adventurers get directed here, so Madame Eva can read their fortunes. For what purpose, I'm afraid I'm not sure."

Your anxiety is back. But now you have a direct lead. A new reason for your travels.

You thank him. He gives you the camp's regards.

A few minutes later, the Svalich woods have overtaken the path behind you, and the tents and wagons are no longer visible through the trees. You and Ireena are once again at Barovia's mercy.

(cont.)
>>
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It took you a few hours to make it back to the crossroads with the gallows where you were attacked by undead creatures. You and Ireena crossed that area warily, making sure to walk quietly and stay alert for danger.

Thankfully, your travels were relatively uninterrupted. The main road, though, is proving to be a challenge. Branching west, then circling back up around north, the hill quickly turns into a mountanside. The hike that began with you and Ireena talking idly about your experiences with the Vistani and the possibilities of lands ahead of you, quickly turned into pressing forward, warding off exhaustion in hopes of making it out of the forest to somewhere safer before nightfall.

...

It takes you approximately seven exhausting hours on foot before the hill levels off and you find yourself emerging from the trees.

(cont.)
>>
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(After ~7 hours of travel.)

Following the dirt road, you find yourself emerging at an arching bridge of mold-encrusted stone. The road continues to cling to the side of the mountain, and the bridge spans a natural chasm.

To your left, a huge waterfall spills into the a massive chasm nearly one thousand feeet below you. The misty river most likely feeds the Tser Pool lake that the Vistani are camped at.

Ireena holds out her arm, signaling you to stop. You look where she is looking and spot the source of her concern.

Four gargoyle statues, coated in black moss, perch on each corner of the bridge. Their faces are carved with weatherowrn frowns.

"I don't trust it," Ireena says. "People travel this road all the time. But what if we're not in the right place?"

What do you do?

>Cross the bridge.
>Does this bridge think you were born yesterday? Shoot the gargoyles with your crossbow.
>Abandon the road. You are out of the forest. Cut west, through the rocky mountain terrain, and find another way forward.
>Camp here. We need to camp anyway, and it's only a few hours until sunset.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5202246
>Does this bridge think you were born yesterday? Shoot the gargoyles with your crossbow.
>>
>>5202246
>Does this bridge think you were born yesterday? Shoot the gargoyles with your crossbow.
>>
Ranged Attack Roll
Roll 1d20+Dexterity (1d20+1) to land an attack with your Light Crossbow against the gargoyle statue's armor class of 18.
(Best out of 3.)
>>
Rolled 18 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>5202358
>>
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>>5202370
(Success; no further rolls necessary.)

The crossbow bolt flies through the air and hits the gargoyle statue, knocking bits of stone off it. Your bolt ricochets into the water below. (19 bolts remaining in inventory.)

The statue is now visibly damaged. "Huh, I guess they really are just statues," Ireena says. Thankfully, nobody was around to see you vandalize the statue decorating the bridge.

>Cross the bridge.
>Abandon the road. You are out of the forest. Cut west, through the rocky mountain terrain, and find another way forward.
>Camp here. We need to camp anyway, and it's only a few hours until sunset.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5202382
39 bolts*
You purchased more in Barovia. The correct number is being kept track of on the character sheet: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW
>>
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>>5202370
(Success; no further rolls necessary.)

The crossbow bolt flies through the air and hits the gargoyle statue, knocking bits of stone off it. Your bolt ricochets into the water below. (39 bolts remaining in inventory.)

The statue is now visibly damaged. "Huh, I guess they really are just statues," Ireena says. Thankfully, nobody was around to see you vandalize the statue decorating the bridge.

>Cross the bridge.
>Abandon the road. You are out of the forest. Cut west, through the rocky mountain terrain, and find another way forward.
>Camp here. We need to camp anyway, and it's only a few hours until sunset.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5202388
>Cross the bridge.
>>
>>5202388
>Cross the bridge.
>>
>>5202388
>>Cross the bridge.
>>
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You cross the bridge. It's quite a sight to your right: miles of valley, a thousand feet below, with the Ivlis river running through it. If this valley only wasn't so foggy, it might be beautiful. You say this to Ireena and she agrees.

You are 25 feet across the bridge (about halfway) when you hear footsteps behind you. Startled, you swing your head around to see what it is.

A humanoid figure stands alone on the south end of the bridge, where you were standing not even 15 seconds ago. Clad in rusty armor, it clutches a gleaming longsword in its pale hand. Though its head is obscured in shadow, its eyes are glowing a shade of crimson red.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Run away (continuing north).
>Attack with your crossbow.
>Draw your longsword and engage.
>Say something to the figure. (specify)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5202594
>>Say something to the figure. (specify)
"Who goes there?! How long have you been stalking us?! Identify yourself now!!"
>Try to determine if it is alive or undead
>>
>>5202741
At first the figure remains in an aggressive stance, seemingly unfazed by the demand.

However, after a silence, he speaks in a middle-aged male voice, crackly, the words sounding ethereal, as though spoken by a ghost.

"I am a Knight of the Order of the Silver Dragon. My post is here at this crossing. I have been tasked with the defense of this bridge, and you are strangers carrying weapons. So I offer you a fair choice: state your allegiance, or face my blade."

He remains in a threatening pose, his sword drawn. You cannot see his face, making it hard to determine with certainty whether he is undead.

>Say/ask something else. (specify)
>Attack him.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Turn Undead. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5202783
>>Say/ask something else. (specify)
I serve Kossuth and I seek to find my lost sister!
>>
>>5202783
>Say/ask something else. (specify)
"I am allied with Kossuth. Do you need a sending, friend? Or are we free to continue our journey?" (Perception/Persuasion?)
>>
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>>5202824
>>5202839
"Kossuth?" he replies. "Ah, your medallion."

He kneels, pointing sword to the ground in a reverent salute. "Servant of light, forgive my hostility. We share a common enemy. Most in this land are my foe." After a moment, he rises, his guard now lowered.

"We are heading to Vallaki," Ireena says. I am Ireena Koylana. Daughter of Koylan Indorovich. And-"

"And I am Aranuel Caniella," you say. "Cleric of Kossuth."

He looks at Ireena. "Ah... you're the girl."

Ireena looks puzzled. "Forgive me," she says, "but I don't believe we've-"

"Do not worry. You two need not say more. Together, we will keep Strahd's forces at bay, and stem the tide of darkness!"

"I think you misunderstand," you say.

He raises his sword at you skeptically.

"No!" you raise your arms. "Listen, I do serve the light, through Kossuth. But I am not here to defeat Strahd's forces. I do not have the strength for a feat like that."

He cocks his head inquisitively. "Why are you here then, outsider?"

"She is accompanying me to Vallaki!" Ireena says, "by order of my brother Ismark, who is now the burgomaster of Barovia Village."

"I am looking for my sister. My search has lead me to this valley," you add.

The knight sheathes his sword, shaking his head as though trying to snap out of a dream. "I see," he says. He steps closer to you, making it clear that he poses no threat. "Forgive me. I fear I am quick jump to conclusions. My judgement lately has been... suffering."

"It's fine," you say. "May we pass?"

"Yes. But listen, outsiders. I don't believe you will be able to complete your mission easily."

He looks at you, and the red glow in his eyes seems to warm your soul. He seems to be asking you something.

You nod - as you said, you are a servant of light.

His hand (which is pale, and sickly-looking) reaches toward your face. You jump, but you allow it.

The instant the tip of his finger touches your forehead, a vision assaults your mind's eye.

You see a great fortified hold sitting under a blue sky, adorned with silver reliefs and banners bearing the insignia of a dragon. Then the vision changes - gray skies, ruins, and an abandoned hold, crumbled statues and corpses underneath the rubble.

He pulls his withered hand away. The vision ends.

He turns a glance to Ireena as he says, "If the time comes when you two find yourself facing evil, you may want to seek Argynvostholt. The home of my order, who once protected Barovia from darkness. We need help. And, in turn, we would help you."

You have many questions. But one of them continuously bothers you. "Are you... alive?"

"No," he says, matter-of-factly.

Your stomach turns - how can a creature of the undead be a servant of light?

"When we were destroyed by the conqueror Strahd, centuries ago," he says, "we left unfulfilled promises. Those promises tether us to the material world. And until vengeance is delivered, we walk in undeath."

(cont.)
>>
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>Inquire about Argynvostholt and the Order. (specify questions)
>Thank him for the tip, and continue on the road.
>Ask if he can come with you on your travels.
>Attacks him. You can't trust him.
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5202913
>>5202919
I like the use of the bridge here as an introduction to the Order of the Silver Dragon.

>Inquire about Argynvostholt and the Order. (specify questions)
Where is Argynvostholt?
>>
>>5202919
>>Inquire about Argynvostholt and the Order. (specify questions)
Where? What can we expect to find? Origins of the Order?
>Ask if he can come with you on your travels.
Was every man's promise the same or were they unique? Why do you keep vigil on this bridge?"
>>
>>Inquire about Argynvostholt and the Order. (specify questions)
Where? What can we expect to find? Origins of the Order?
>Ask if he can come with you on your travels.
Was every man's promise the same or were they unique? Why do you keep vigil on this bridge?"
>>
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>>5202966
>Where is Argynvostholt?
"Much further down the road, on the other side of the town Vallaki, you will find a crossroads. Continue west beyond that crossroads. After seven miles, you will see a smaller road that branches off south. Take that path to find the ruin of Argynvostholt."

>>5202975
>What can we expect to find? Origins of the Order?
Argynvostholt was originally the home of a silver dragon, who went by the name Argynvost. It is said that in order to avoid the attention of the valley's locals, he disguised himself as a human noble, and built the hold to serve as a base of operations. He stayed in Barovia to protect it from a great buried evil, but guarded the nature of that evil, never outright revealing what it was.
Like many silver dragons, Argynvost was extraordinarily wealthy, and he he used his resources to attract other champions of good, and valorous knights flocked to the valley to join Lord Argynvost's prestigious Order of the Silver Dragon. Only those of us who were initiated into the order were told of Lord Argynvost's true form.
Then Strahd came as a conqueror, waging war for ownership of the valley. Serving the Order, we defended our area of the valley, to prevent Strahd from unearthing the unholy secret Argynvost was protecting. As the war continued, we provided protection for Strahd's enemies, who were victims of unjust cruelty.
But the early victories of the Order didn't win the war. Even with our leader Argynvost, we were ultimately overwhelmed when Strahd's reinforcements swept into the valley. Those forces slew the last of our knights and battled the dragon inside Argynvostholt.
Since our leader's death, Argynvostholt has become a haunted ruin, a former bastion of nobility and light turned into a place of desolation and unrest.

>>5202975
>Was every man's promise the same or were they unique? Why do you keep vigil on this bridge?
We all share the same promise - the promise of Vladimir Horngaard, the greatest of the the Silver Dragon's knights.
Unfortunately, he has been consumed by hatred, and I fear our minds are becoming corrupted. I have nearly lost mine.
You see, Horngaard swore to avenge the destruction of the Order. His zeal is so strong that it also brought back the spirits of several other knights, myself included. As much as it pains me to say it, without his hatred, I would not be standing. I can not peacefully leave this world until his promise - and by extension, our promise - is fulfilled.
I stand vigil at this bridge because it was my post in life. I protect the road to the Village of Barovia to keep innocent lives from Strahd's forces coming down the main road. I have not received an order from Vladimir since the day I came back from death; I only know what the other knights have told me. I have been standing here for centuries, waiting for orders. The only way I can be relieved of my duty is if Vladimir himself in Argynvostholt commands it.
>>
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>>5202966
>Where is Argynvostholt?
"Much further down the road, on the other side of the town Vallaki, you will find a crossroads. Continue west beyond that crossroads. After seven miles, you will see a smaller road that branches off south. Take that path to find the ruin of Argynvostholt."

>>5202975
>What can we expect to find? Origins of the Order?
"Argynvostholt was originally the home of a silver dragon, who went by the name Argynvost. It is said that in order to avoid the attention of the valley's locals, he disguised himself as a human noble, and built the hold to serve as a base of operations. He stayed in Barovia to protect it from a great buried evil, but guarded the nature of that evil, never outright revealing what it was.
"Like many silver dragons, Argynvost was extraordinarily wealthy, and he he used his resources to attract other champions of good, and valorous knights flocked to the valley to join Lord Argynvost's prestigious Order of the Silver Dragon. Only those of us who were initiated into the order were told of Lord Argynvost's true form.
"Then Strahd came as a conqueror, waging war for ownership of the valley. Serving the Order, we defended our area of the valley, to prevent Strahd from unearthing the unholy secret Argynvost was protecting. As the war continued, we provided protection for Strahd's enemies, who were victims of unjust cruelty.
But the early victories of the Order didn't win the war. Even with our leader Argynvost, we were ultimately overwhelmed when Strahd's reinforcements swept into the valley. Those forces slew the last of our knights and battled the dragon inside Argynvostholt.
"Since our leader's death, Argynvostholt has become a haunted ruin, a former bastion of nobility and light turned into a place of desolation and unrest."

>>5202975
>Was every man's promise the same or were they unique? Why do you keep vigil on this bridge?
"We all share the same promise - the promise of Vladimir Horngaard, the greatest of the the Silver Dragon's knights.
"Unfortunately, he has been consumed by hatred, and I fear our minds are becoming corrupted. I have nearly lost mine.
"You see, Horngaard swore to avenge the destruction of the Order. His zeal is so strong that it also brought back the spirits of several other knights, myself included. As much as it pains me to say it, without his hatred, I would not be standing. I can not peacefully leave this world until his promise - and by extension, our promise - is fulfilled.
"I stand vigil at this bridge because it was my post in life. I protect the road to the Village of Barovia to keep innocent lives from Strahd's forces coming down the main road. I have not received an order from Vladimir since the day I came back from death; I only know what the other knights have told me. I have been standing here for centuries, waiting for orders. The only way I can be relieved of my duty is if Vladimir himself in Argynvostholt commands it."
>>
>Ask if he can come with you on your travels.
>>
>Ask if he can come with you on your travels
>>
Don't feel like he'd be willing to abandon his post. One more question for the road.

>Thank him for the tip, and continue on the road.
>>
>Offer to visit the ruin and see if Vlad has any orders for him in case we have to swing back this way anyway
>>
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>>5203106
>>5203171
>>5203341
>>5203353
>Ask if he can come with you on your travels.
"I have stood here for centuries, waiting for orders. I will not stop now. I'm afraid I cannot accompany you - but feel free to come back here to speak to me anytime. I will offer advice, or aid you in slaying Strahd's minions."

>Offer to visit the ruin and see if Vlad has any orders for him in case we have to swing back this way anyway
"Yes... if after traveling to Argynvostholt you receive information about the order, or an explanation from Vladimir Horngaard for why I have not received any orders, I, and many other knights, would be deeply in your debt. The Order of the Silver Dragon may yet stand for something once again. Please do return with news."

>Thank him for the tip, and continue on the road.
"Keep strength in your faith in Kossuth. The powers that rule here are terrified of fire."

...

Confident that you are not an enemy of the land, nor a threat to the Order, the undead knight opts to return to his post guarding the bridge and await your return with news, or lack thereof. Ireena asks for his name, but he admits, with great sorrow, that he no longer remembers his name - only his purpose defending Barovia from evil.

Thanking him for his well-wishes, you take your leave.

(cont.)
>>
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You continue a ways east. The road begins to level out, and you are much more comfortable on foot.

The road begins to widen again as you find yourself on an upper plateau of the valley. Much of the lower segment, below the mountains, is visible to the southeast of you.

Even here, in the mountains, the forest and the fog are inescapable. Ahead, the dirt road splits in two, widening toward the east. There you see patches of cobblestone, suggesting that the eastern branch was once an important thoroughfare.

"The western gates of Barovia are to our west," Ireena says, "if my knowledge of this area holds up. And the road to our east leads straight to Catsle Ravenloft."

Regardless of which direction you go, you have a decision to make.

(cont.)
>>
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You have been traveling on foot all day, and cannot continue traveling into the night without pushing yourself. You can force yourself to continue traveling (forced march) or stop and find a place to make camp here.

>Make camp. Risk being surprised by random encounters.
>Continue pushing on, at the expense of physical exhaustion.
>>
>>5203998
>>Continue pushing on, at the expense of physical exhaustion.
Westward bound!
>>
>>5203998
>Make camp.
>>
>>5203998
>Make camp. Risk being surprised by random encounters.

Don't particularly care for disadvantage on everything
>>
Scoping out a little ways west of the main road, you find a place to rest and erect your spacious 2-person tent, setting up your bedrolls inside it. You and Ireena gather some stray twigs and branches, then use your tinderbox to light a comfortable fire just as the sun is setting.

"All these camping supplies are proving useful," Ireena says. "You made a good choice stocking up." It's true, they were overpriced, but you may not have survived this trip without it.

You both consume 1 day worth of rations. (9 days worth left in your backpack, 3 days worth remaining in Ireena's inventory.)

"So," Ireena says. "We are almost there. What will we do once we arrive at Vallaki?"

"I suppose we will scope the place out," you say, warming your hands by the fire, "try to see if there's any place you can stay. If we deem the town to be a safe refuge, maybe you can live there. Otherwise Krezk is the next destination Ismark mentioned, right?"

"Right," Ireena says. She is finishing a piece of dried jerky, clearly dissatisfied with its texture.

The mountain path you've been following took you very high. The way the fog obscures the lands below you makes you feel even higher, almost like you're above the clouds.

You decide the safest bet is to sleep in shifts. You and Ireena spend some time working out the details: if you take a 12 hour rest, each with a 3 hour watch, that still gives you each 6 hours of sleep.

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 2 (1d20)

Rolling for random encounters at night (1/2)

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

Rolling for random encounters at night (2/2)

(cont.)
>>
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The night passes without incident.

Ireena wakes you up from your second sleeping shift. You are groggy, but adequately rested. The sun shines high in the sky, though obscured by fog - there are no clear days in Barovia, it seems. However that doesn't detract much from the beauty of the land. The view looks even better now that there is some light from the east shining on the valley below.

...

Long Rest
The party rested for 12 hours.
You returned to max HP. Ireena didn't gain any HP, due to already being at max HP.
You regain all of your spell slots, Channel Divinity uses, and expended hit dice.

(cont.)
>>
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After a brief rest to wake yourself up, you resume your travel, taking the western branch.

It's not long before you come upon the barrier that separates the domain of Castle Ravenloft from the greater valley of Barovia. Another set of gates, nearly identical to the ones you saw when you entered Barovia for the first time just a few days ago.

The grand scale of these gates is not lost on you the second time. It conjures an image of power and reverence, but its grace has been lost entirely, its likeness crumbled and decrepit. Why have the heads been decapitated? Is it part of Strahd's curse? Did Strahd himself do this? You consider asking, but you doubt Ireena has the answer, and you must focus on walking if you hope to make it to Vallaki by the end of this day.

You continue west down the road, through the gates.

(cont.)
>>
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You travel west on the road for 3-and-a-half hours.

The Old Svalich Road transitions here from being a winding path through the mountains, to a lazy trail that hugs the mountainside as it descends into a fog-filled valley. In the heart of this valley, far off on the horizon, you see the walls of a large fortified town near the shores of a great mountain lake, its waters dark and still. That must be Vallaki. It's a good 8 or 9 miles away, but the path to it is windy, requiring you to branch east to descend into the valley once again, which means you will probably be traveling much further than that.

A branch in the road leads west to a high point in the mountain, atop which is perched a dilapidated stone windmill, its warped wooden vanes stripped bare.

You suddenly remember what Antonio told you when you were at Tser Pool. "On the road to Vallaki, at the top of the hill, by the western gate of Barovia, you will come across an old windmill. You will probably find Morgantha or her sisters there."

You remember the visions provided by the pie you purchased in Barovia Village, and Antonio's warning about Morgantha and her sisters. This could be your only opportunity to purchase another pie for a long time.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Continue to Vallaki. We want to arrive there today.
>Go to the windmill. It may add time to your trip, but it's a worthy detour. What will you do there? (specify)
>>
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>>5204154
(There was two 3-hour watches here each, by the way, interposed with 3-hour sleeping shifts. A total of four 3-hour watches and four 3-hour sleeping shifts. Just thought it wise to correct this typo so no one gets confused.)
>>
>Continue to Vallaki. We want to arrive there today.
>>
>>5200761 and >>5203023

Argynvostholt is probably the location mentioned by the third prophecy
>>
>Go to the windmill. It may add time to your trip, but it's a worthy detour. What will you do there? (specify)
Explore
>>
>>5204168
>>5204180 +1

>>5204179
It also sounds like Vlad himself wields it
>>
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You detour to the hill on which the windmill stands. It's farther away than it seems, taking you a good 20 minutes or so to get up close.

The mill leans forward and to one side, as though trying to turn away from the stormy gray sky. You see gray brick walls and dirt-covered windows on the upper floors. A decrepit wooden platform encircles the windmill above the door.

Perched on a wooden beam above the the windmill is a raven. You glance up at the raven. It hops about and squawks at you, seemingly agitated.

...

When you make it to the door, you notice it's slightly ajar. Carefully, telling Ireena to stay back, you peek inside...

The ground floor has been converted into a makeshift kitchen. Warmth issues from a brick oven against one wall, and a crumbling staircase ascends the wall across from it. The room is filthy. Baskets and old dishware are piled everywhere. Adding to the clutter is a peddler's cart, a chicken coop, a heavy wooden trunk, and a pretty wooden cabinet with flowers painted on its doors. You can hear the clucking of chickens coming from the chicken coop, and the sound of toads croaking.

The sweet smell of pastries takes you back immediately, memories of your experience in Tser Pool impossible to resist. It blends horridly with a stench that burns your nostrils. You turn your head to where the odor seems to be coming from: an open, upright barrel in the center of the room. You can't see inside it from here.

You hear the sound of an old woman cackling. It's coming from up the stairs.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Sneak inside and investigate. (Stealth, DC 12)
>Knock, or call out to the woman above.
>Leave. Antonio warned you about these women.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5204286
>Sneak inside and investigate. (Stealth, DC 12)
>>
>>5204286
>Leave. Antonio warned you about these women.
>>
>>5204286
>Leave. Antonio warned you about these women.
As someone who has played a good portion of Curse of Strahd, I'm trying to make good decisions on what our character will do rather than based on the outcome I know will happen but do we really need to check out the windmill? It seems out of character.
>>
>>5204286
>Leave. Antonio warned you about these women.

Please don't go to the windmill
>>
Give me a QRD on what a cleric of Kossuth is supposed to be like, please.
>>
>>5204286
>>Leave. Antonio warned you about these women.
>>
>Leave. Antonio warned you about these women
>>
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>>5204524
There may be many interpretations. Kossuth is the Elemental God of Fire. Worshippers view fire as an unstoppable force of both life and destruction, seeking to use it to purify everything they can. To some churches, darkness is an analogue for evil and light is an analogue for good, which would mean Kossuth's flame cleanses evil by merit of being a provider of light. In all cases, fire takes on a life of its own, and interfering with its natural course is frowned upon. Worship of Kossuth can be good or evil.
>>
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>>5204369
>>5204376
>>5204500
>>5204706
>>5205078

"I don't think we should be here," you say to Ireena. "I get a bad feeling about this place. Besides, Antonio warned us about Morgantha's sisters - he called them 'witches'."

"If you are sure," she says. "I am only here because you are here. What about the pastries?"

The raven on the wooden beam continues jumping around, screeching at you.

"I don't think those pastries will help me find my sister. Besides, I think that raven is trying to tell us something."

Ireena glances at the raven. "Ravens are good luck. Let's listen to its warning."

Taking a mental note of the location of the windmill, you return to your travels, hiking back down to the road to Vallaki. There's still a long way to go, but you should arrive before nightfall if you keep up the pace.

(cont.)
>>
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You continue on the road for 4 hours. Descending the mountainside, following a windy trail, you are lead back into the Svalich Woods.

"I hate it here," you say to Ireena.

"Me too," she says.

And you have good reason to: night is falling.

If your estimate from your view up high earlier is accurate, you still have another 3 to 4 hours on the road before you reach Vallaki. Your legs are starting to fail you. This has not been an easy hike. If the night were so dangerous, you wouldn't feel so bad about simply taking a rest; but you can feel the exhaustion biting at your heels, threatening to stop you in your tracks, and time is against you.

...

The sun indeed falls. And when it does, the woods are thrust into such obscuring darkness that you can barely see 20 feet ahead of you.

You see a clearing in the trees to your north. In the distance, the reflections of the moon on a a great lake is visible; even more colossal than Tser Pool, it's undoubtedly the lake you saw from up on the hill, that Vallaki is connected to. You are definitely close.

But you and Ireena are stopped in your tracks by the sound of rustling leaves ahead of you, just in the forest to your left.

(cont.)
>>
"Hello?" Ireena calls out.

The wind seems to pick up in response - and you hear the dissonant sound of a voice carrying on it, whispering, though you cannot understand what it's saying.

You don't know what is in front of you, but you can feel its presence is hostile. A spirit of some kind, perhaps. Your religious background makes you canny to such beings. You can tell there is definitely something there, because Ireena clearly senses it as well.

Ireena seems petrified. Does she have more reason than you to be afraid? You've been told that the Svalich woods are haunted. You nudge her, and she begins taking steps back, reaching to her waist for the handle of her rapier

Everything in these woods has been hostile to you thus far. But if this spirit attacks, how do you fight it? You have never fought something incorporeal before.

"Hello?" call out, but there is once again no response.

When you look in the direction of the presence, you can sense a distorted face in your mind's eye, the twisted visage of a human, mangled and in pain. You feel a pang of fear in your stomach, and you understand, as if telepathically, that this presence wants to kill you.

There is a vengeful spirit blocking your way. What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Attack it with your longsword.
>Attempt to understand the spirit, so you might calm it or allow it to move on. (Religion, DC 20 / miss first turn if check fails)
>Say something specific to the spirit. (specify)
>Simply run away.
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
"Hello?" Ireena calls out.

The wind seems to pick up in response - and you hear the dissonant sound of a voice carrying on it, whispering, though you cannot understand what it's saying.

You don't know what is in front of you, but you can feel its presence is hostile. A spirit of some kind, perhaps. Your religious background makes you canny to such beings. You can tell there is definitely something there, because Ireena clearly senses it as well.

Ireena seems petrified. Does she have more reason than you to be afraid? You've been told that the Svalich woods are haunted. You nudge her, and she begins taking steps back, reaching to her waist for the handle of her rapier

Everything in these woods has been hostile to you thus far. But if this spirit attacks, how do you fight it? You have never fought something incorporeal before.

"Hello?" call out, but there is once again no response.

When you look in the direction of the presence, you can sense a distorted face in your mind's eye, the twisted visage of a human, mangled and in pain. You feel a pang of fear in your stomach, and you understand, as if telepathically, that this presence wants to kill you.

There is a vengeful spirit blocking your way. What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Attack it with your longsword.
>Attempt to understand the spirit, so you might calm it or allow it to move on. (Religion, DC 20 / miss first turn if check fails)
>Say something specific to the spirit. (specify)
>Simply run away.
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Turn Undead or Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5205160
>Attempt to understand the spirit, so you might calm it or allow it to move on. (Religion, DC 20 / miss first turn if check fails)
>>
>>5205160
>Use Flaming Sphere, and ram it into the creature!
This'll save our Channel Divinity in case things get thicker out here, and also light up the area a bit more. Take care not to light any trees aflame!
>>5205163
>DC 20/miss first turn if check fails
Madman
>>
Ahh fuck it, if it burns, it burns. It's wicked wood anyway.
>>
>>5205163
+1
>>
>>5205219
This. Burn it!
>>
>>5205160
>Attempt to understand the spirit.
>>
>>5205160
>Attempt to understand the spirit, so you might calm it or allow it to move on. (Religion, DC 20 / miss first turn if check fails)
>>
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>>5205163
>>5205400
>>5205425
>>5205503
Intelligence (Religion) Check
Roll 1d20+Intelligence+Proficiency (1d20+3) to perform a check with Intelligence (Religion).
(Best out of 3.)
>>
Rolled 25 (1d100)

>>5205508
>>
Rolled 14 (1d20)

>>5205508
Apologies. Wrong sort of dice. I'll delete that shortly.
>>
>>5205510
+3 (17)
>>
Rolled 19 (1d20)

>>5205508
>>
>>5205521
+3 (22)
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>5205508
>>
>>5205533
+3 (9)
>>
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Results
Attempt to understand the spirit: 23

--

You will handle this the way you know how: diplomacy, just through communion with spirits. You have a vague understanding of ghosts, having learned about the afterlife during your study of the elemental deities. Those who fail to pass after death and become petitioners for their deity often end up in the ethereal plane, a realm that connects physically to the material plane via a middleground known as the border ethereal. Usually there is something that keeps them here, bound to the material world, that prevents them from moving on to another plane.

You know what you have to do. You gesture at Ireena to stop. She looks at you skeptically, but you insist, and she stops backing away. Carefully, you step forward, arms open, careful not to appear threatening to whatever presence is ahead of you. "My name is Aranuel Caniella," you say. "You seem upset. I may be able to help you."

The presence stays put. It takes quite a lot of effort to swallow your fear - the closet you get to it, the stronger you can feel its gaze, watching you with interest from the ethereal plane.

You grasp your holy symbol. As you do, you can feel the presence's hostility rise. You speak quickly: "I am a cleric of Kossuth. It is my understanding that those who fail to move on after life often fear Kossuth, as his flame purifies, and rebukes rot and undeath. But his guiding flame also leads lost souls to salvation, and allows proper rest."

You see the visage of a man 10 feet in front of you, standing in the shade of the forest. His likeness is like looking through frosted glass, blurry and unfocused. He looks as though he should be emitting light, but the forest remains dark - like he is an illusion. He is regarding you silently.

You look back at Ireena. She is staying put, mesmerized by what you are doing.

The presence seems to call out to you. You cannot hear its voice, but you can see images flashing in your mind's eye, like when the undead knight touched your forehead.

You see the sun shining on the valley. Village houses in a marsh. The laughing of children - offspring, two boys and one girl. The touch of a loving wife, cuddling by a fireplace. Visions of friendship: a pudgy man in dark blue robes, sat on a desk and writing on parchment. A strange dark-skinned elf, the likes of which you have never seen. Screaming children. Knights clashing with the undead, the death cry of the wife. Searing pain, houses turned to rubble. An unstoppable blanket of fog.

You look away - you can't bear to witness all of this spirit's memories. But you step closer. The spirit is clearly visible now. You almost feel as though you are entering the border ethereal yourself, the rest of the forest fading away around you.

"What is your name?" you ask.

"Livius," you hear.

"The fog traps you, doesn't it?"

"Yes."

"You are stuck here, in Barovia?"

"Yes."

"Where is Barovia?"

There is no response.

(cont.)
>>
The feeling passes, and the sights and sounds of the forest come crashing back, like you were just woken from a dream.

You are confounded. You're not really sure what you did. You feel empty, as though you did not really resolve anything.

Ireena stands stunned, like you just did something impossible. You seem to agree.

"I guess we can continue," you say, unsure. Ireena steps forward, returning to your side.

You clearly made peace with the spirit, but you can't help but feel like there was subtext to your conversation. Why did it leave? Does it pity you?

You focus on the vision. The place you saw - the village. You feel like you are accessing memories that do not belong to you, and they are fading quickly.

"The village is far southwest of us, 20 miles away," you say.

"What?" Ireena asks.

"There is a trail from it that leads to a crossroads, which connects to the main road west of Vallaki."

Ireena gives you a questioning tilt of the head.

"Nothing," you say. "Just a place I saw in the vision."

"What vision?"

You look at Ireena with an expression of anxiety and tiredness. She decides to stop asking questions until you make it to town.

...

(cont.)
>>
The road continues for another couple hours. You don't run into any challenges on the way, and the spirit that accosted you doesn't return.

It's been a long journey, but you're finally here. You can feel your pace increase, last reserves of energy kicking in as the eastern wall of Vallaki becomes visible at the end of the woods. The wall is a great palisade, fifteen feet high, made of logs held together with thick ropes and mortar, and the top of each log is sharpened to a point. Thick fog presses up against the wall, as though looking for a way inside, hoping to catch the town aslumber.

The dirt road ends at a set of sturdy iron gates. Planted in the ground and flanking the road outside the gates are a half-dozen pikes with wolves' heads impaled on them.

A pair of shadowy figures stand behind the gates. As you get close, they hail you. The gate is closed, and locked shut with heavy iron padlocks.

"Hail," says one of the guards. They look like commoners, dressed in chain mail shirts, holding pikes."Keep your distance, and identify yourselves."

"I am Aranual," you say, "Cleric of Kossuth. And this is Ireena, brother of Ismark Kolyanovich, the active burgomaster of Barovia." The relief is palpable in your voice. "We have travelled from Barovia, and seek to enter the city for safety."

"Vallaki is closed at night," the guard says. "You cannot enter. Return in the morning."

You reach for a response, but you can't find one. The town is right here, you walked all that way to reach it before nightfall... and now you are denied entry right at the gate?

Ireena steps forward. "We've been traveling on foot for 3 days," she says. "I am fleeing from the influence of Strahd von Zarovich, traveling with this cleric adventurer under the recommendation of my brother. Your town is out of the view of Castle Ravenloft. We have been attacked on the road several times. We would appreciate it if you would let us through the gates."

"You could be servants of Strahd," the other guard says. "Creatures of the night, disguised as lost burgomasters' siblings. Surely, if you walked this far, you can wait another night to gain entry."

Ireena looks at you, waiting for you to make a call.

Suggestions:
>You are furious. Attack the guards.
>These guards are just commoners doing their jobs. They will let you in if you reason with them. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>Kossuth burns all who oppose his followers. Warn the guards not to cross him. (Intimidation, DC 17)
>Pretend to obey their command, but sneak into the town. Surely there is a way in somewhere. (Perception, DC 15, followed by Stealth, DC 15)
>Offer a bribe to enter the city. (Charisma, DC 15 / maximum 20 GP value worth of items)
>Camp outside the city. You will enter first thing in the morning.
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5205549
For anyone confused, I'm tired as fuck, I made a typo, the actual roll was 22, which still beats the DC. (23 would have been the maximum possible roll with a modifier of +3.)
>>
>>5205607
>These guards are just commoners doing their jobs. They will let you in if you reason with them. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>>
>>5205607
>These guards are just commoners doing their jobs. They will let you in if you reason with them. (Persuasion, DC 20)
>>
>>5205613
>>5205616
Charisma (Persuasion) Check
Roll 1d20+Charisma+Proficiency (1d20+0+2) to perform a check with Charisma (Persuasion).
(Best out of 3.)
If the check fails, the other options will still e available.
>>
Rolled 5 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5205623
>>
Rolled 13 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5205623
botheration.
>>
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Going to bed, make decisions for when I return.
Aranuel gained XP for dealing with the spirit in the forest earlier, I will add that now (tracked in the character sheet)
You gained 1,100 XP, putting your total XP at 4,000.
(2,500 XP remaining until 5th level.)
>>
Rolled 4 + 2 (1d20 + 2)

>>5205623
If not,
>Pretend to obey their command, but sneak into the town. Surely there is a way in somewhere. (Perception, DC 15, followed by Stealth, DC 15)
>>
>These guards are just commoners doing their jobs. They will let you in if you reason with them. (Persuasion, DC 20
>>
>>5205607
>>Kossuth burns all who oppose his followers. Warn the guards not to cross him. (Intimidation, DC 17)
>>
>>5205607
>>Kossuth burns all who oppose his followers. Warn the guards not to cross him. (Intimidation, DC 17)
>>
>>Kossuth burns all who oppose his followers. Warn the guards not to cross him. (Intimidation, DC 17
>>
>>5205607
With how the persuasion roll went, sounds like they aren't going to let us in. I say we:
>Pretend to obey their command, but sneak into the town. Surely there is a way in somewhere. (Perception, DC 15, followed by Stealth, DC 15)
>>
Ireena doesn't have like, a signet ring or anything we could use to prove who she is?
>>
>>5206329
I doubt these guards would know if its real or not and would likely still deny us entry
>>
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>>5205625
>>5205627
>>5205670

Results
Persuade the guards to let you into Vallaki: 15

--

"Please, we are exhausted," you say. "What if we stay out here one more night, and we die?"

"She is right," Ireena says. "The purpose of a walled city is to protect people. If we die because you denied us entry, the blood is in your hands."

"I know it must be policy not to let people in at night," you add, nodding at Ireena's suggestion, "but please, if you make an exception for us, we will not tell anyone. We will go straight to an inn and sleep, thankful for your protection."

"We cannot open the gate at night," the guard says. "It would require calling the guard captain. You cannot enter, as you said, it is policy."

"Could you call the one who has the key, then, so I may plead my case with them?"

"No."

The guards are not receptive to this approach. It looks like a new angle will be necessary.

...
>>
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>>5205814
>>5205816
>>5205995
Charisma (Intimidation) Check
Roll 1d20+Charisma (1d20+0) to perform a check with Charisma (Intimidation).
(Best out of 3.)
If the check fails, some options might not be available anymore.
>>
>>5206329
Unfortunately not.
>>
>>5205670
>>5206246
If you want, you can roll these checks in advance to cut down time if the Intimidation approach fails.
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

>>5206546
>>
Rolled 4 (1d20)

>>5206546
Wish we knew Thaumaturgy, might have been able to get advantage. Although best of three is really way better than advantage, isn't it?
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

>>5206546
>>
Rolled 16 + 0 (1d20 + 0)

Step aside as I burn the barn down
>>
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>>5206575
>>5206619
>>5206678
Intimidation check failed!
>>5205670
>>5206246
Roll for this option (Perception +3, Stealth +1, best out of 3 for both) and I will write the detailed update tomorrow featuring the conversation with the guards, the subsequent stealth entry (or lack thereof) to Vallaki, and developments.
Two DC 15 checks stand between you and the city tonight. Don't fail Ireena!
>>
Wisdom (Perception) Check
Roll 1d20+Wisdom (1d20+3) to perform a check with Wisdom (Perception).
(Best out of 3.)

Dexterity (Stealth) Check
Roll 1d20+Dexterity (1d20+1) to perform a check with Dexterity (Stealth).
(Best out of 3.)
>>
Rolled 16, 6 = 22 (2d20)

Trying again
>>
Rolled 4, 8 = 12 (2d20)

>>5206841
>>
Rolled 17, 4 = 21 (2d20)

>>5206833
I feel as if this is going to blow up in our face, but it might still be better than risking camp.
>>
Uh oh. Hope we don't get caught inside the gates and labeled as pyromaniacs.
>>
Results
Intimidate the guards into letting you into Vallaki: 16

--

"Let it be known that I am a devout follower of Kossuth," you say, stepping forward and gesturing to the holy insignia on the pendant around your neck. "Those who wrong followers of Kossuth often face his wrath. If you are hurt by his flame for leaving me out in the cold, that is not my doing, it would simply be him delivering justice."

The guard lowers his spear and points it toward you, its tip through th gate. "Last warning," he says. "One more word and I'll call the rest of the town guard to arms."

You hesitate. "Letting us into the town is not that monumental of a task..."

Ireena gives you a cautious glance, clearly not wanting to be denied entry altogether.

"Okay," you say, stepping back. "But we will be back."

This is not ideal. The woods press against the city from all around you, save for the lake to the north, which the wall hugs.

"So where will we camp?" Ireena asks. You're a distance away from the guards now.

"We're not," you reply. "We're going to find another way into town."

Ireena looks surprised.

"It's the only way," you say matter-of-factly. "We can't stay another night out here in the woods."

(cont.)
>>
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Results
Try to find another way in: 20

--

"You're right," Ireena says. She looks at the town wall and ponders. "What about the lake? Vallak ihas a dock. We could swim around the wall."

"It's possible," you say.

"As long as nobody is watching," she adds.

The more you think about it, the more excellent of an idea it seems. "Common predators at night typically don't swim, so it might be far less guarded," you say. "Can you swim with your armor?"

"It should be fine."

"Alright."

You're going to do it. After waiting a while to fend off suspicion, you and Ireena re-enter the woods east of Vallaki, cut across the trail, then approach the north of Vallki, out of sight of the main gate.

You catch sight of your reflection in the massive lake. The waters are still. Tiny ripples distort your reflection, making you look older and more decrepit.

"Good luck," you say. "If we run into trouble, we swim back and run into the woods."

Ireena steps into the lake. Once she's beyond the shore, you follow closely behind her.

(cont.)
>>
Results
Avoid detection: 9

--


It's going well. You are paddling along, not making much noise, sticking close to the shore. The dock is ahead, and pulled up along the shore are three small rowboats.

Then you hear a guard call out. They are at the dock - for something unrelated to guarding the city, it seems, as is you luck.

You try to paddle away, but you can't swim fast enough. The guard disappears momentarily and another takes its place. By the time you can see the shore east of the wall, the guards are already exiting through the main gate, bows and arrows drawn. You look back at Ireena - she has already surrendered, two guards with bows trained on her, she makes her way to the dock.

The moment you climb ashore, you are inspected thoroughly. "Probably not a lycanthrope," one of them says. "Put her in the big cell just to be sure."

You have a choice. You think you could probably fight these guards, but you can't challenge every guard in the town. If you do it, you will be abandoning Ireena.

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Fight your way out, and run away. You will return for Ireena later.
>Accept your fate. Come morning, they will realize you're not a threat, and let you and Ireena out of jail.
>Say something (specify)
>Cast a spell or use an (excluding spells that have an "S" component, you cannot cast them while restrained) (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>Accept your fate. Come morning, they will realize you're not a threat, and let you and Ireena out of jail.
>>
>>5207965
>Accept your fate. Come morning, they will realize you're not a threat, and let you and Ireena out of jail.
>>
>>5207965
>Accept your fate. Come morning, they will realize you're not a threat, and let you and Ireena out of jail.

We're in it now. Next time, QM, I'd suggest another vote before deciding on a new option instead of going down the list.
>>
>>5207965
>Other (specify)
>Get teary eyed and be all apologetic (performance?) and express how Vallaki was the only safe refuge you knew about
>>
>Accept your fate. Come morning, they will realize you're not a threat, and let you and Ireena out of jail.
>Get teary eyed and be all apologetic and express how Vallaki was the only safe refuge you knew about
>>
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It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust once again to the darkness of the cellar. The night in the jail was terrible. Ireena is in a room next to you - you were able to talk to each other when the guard left for the night - but you cannot see each other.

You can't figure out what they want with you, or why they decided to throw you in a cell if they are uncertain about your humanity. Does this town in the middle of a foggy valley have a justice system? Will you get a fair trial? If not, they could have just killed you and Ireena in the water.

Footsteps approach. Great, just my luck you think, the guard is returning before I even get the chance to wake up. You considered coming up with an escape plan, but were too tired to reason clearly after the journey you took to get here.

The cellar door opens. It's not who you were expecting.

"Greetings," says the woman as she strides toward your cell, the light from her lantern filling the chamber, a ring of keys in her left hand. She wears a crimson red outfit tailored with intricate patterns, complimented by streaks of gray in her hair, which betray the youthful energy she seems to carry herself with. "Apologies on your uncerimonial entry to Vallaki. In spite of everything they purport to accomplish, the Baron's men lack the ability to make a good first impression to those with unknown reputations, or whose presence could prove to be a boon to the town's present obstacles."

You stand up straight. "Nice to meet you," you say. You look at her set of keys. "Are you... letting us free?"

"Not exactly," she says, and begins unlocking your cell. "My name is Lady Wachter, but you can call me Fiona. And you are a cleric from outside the valley. What is your name?"

"Aranuel, cleric of Kossuth," you say, nodding at her politely. "So, what is this about, exactly?" you ask, as you carefully open your cell door.

She hmms as she moves onto Ireena's cell. "An adventurer from outside of Barovia arrives, and is immediately arrested? That is a wasted opportunity." Ireena's cell swings open effortlessly, and Ireena steps out. "I've negotiated with the captain of the guard to have you freed," she says, "but there is a condition to this arrangement." There's not a single hint of pretense in her voice.

This uncomplicates things. If she asks some kind of undoable favor, you and Ireena can just flee, right? These people wouldn't follow you into the Svalich woods. At least, not with how terrified of it they seem. Still, this woman freed you, so doing what she wants may not be the worst way to repay her, depending on what it is.

"You're doing us a big favor," Ireena says, echoing your own thought on the situation. "And it is nice to meet somebody who is on our side. I would be happy to entertain your condition, and I'm sure my partner would as well."

Fiona makes room for Ireena to step out.

(cont.)
>>
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Fiona stands straight, addressing both of you.

"You are free to explore Vallaki at your leisure," says Fiona, her tone taking on a commanding air. "As you do, take careful note of what you see here. My condition for freeing you is that you will meet me at my manor for dinner two days from now. There, we will discuss your discoveries. I have a proposition that will make more sense once you have formed a first-hand view on current happenings."

Not what you were expecting. A sneaky trick - she didn't outright say what she wants from you, and now you don't know whether you and Ireena would be best to hightale it to the next settelement. What is the safest option here?

You exchange a glance with Ireena, and she gives a subtle nod.

"Understood. Thank you, my Lady," Ireena says. "My name is Ir-"

"Ireena Kolyana, daughter of Kolyan Indirovich," Fiona says flatly. "And you are travelling West in the company of this foreigner. I would be very interested to hear an explanation for why you are moving so far from your villagee."

"I..."

"Oh, no," she says, raising her hand. "There will be plenty to talk about at dinner. You may save your story, and I will save mine."

"We are most certainly in your debt," you say, burying any suspicion you have at the moment out of courtesy.

"It's no problem," she says. "Just remember the terms. And sorry again about your trouble. Rest assured, the guards won't bother you anymore. Just keep a low profile so you don't accrue the attention of the Baron."

A guard enters the room carrying several items over his shoulder: a backpack, and the sacks containing yours and Ireena's items. You accept it enthusaistically, rummaging through yourbackpack briefly to make sure everything is still there.

"Thank you," Ireena says. You echo the sentiment.

What do you do?

Suggestoins:
>The fools! You have your holy symbol now! Kossuth will have his vengeance! (Attack Lady Wachter, and her guard)
>Be escorted out. You will find the nearest inn and check in immediately, then spend the day integrating into the town, meeting locals, eating, and trading.
>Same as above, but leave town at the first opportunity instead of checking in at an inn. Continue west to greener pastures, back on the road.
>Investigate this woman. Spend the day stalking her and collecting information. You won't have time to do anything else. (Investigation, DC 17)
>Same as above, but follow her to her home, at risk of getting caught and losing your only ally. (Stealth, DC 17)
>Investigate this "Baron" Lady Wachter told you about. Maybe you can go to his manor and explain the misunderstanding. (Charisma, DC 20)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5209885
>>Investigate this "Baron" Lady Wachter told you about. Maybe you can go to his manor and explain the misunderstanding. (Charisma, DC 20)
fuck it, i believe
>>
>>5209885
>Be escorted out. You will find the nearest inn and check in immediately, then spend the day integrating into the town, meeting locals, eating, and trading.
>>
>Be escorted out. You will find the nearest inn and check in immediately, then spend the day integrating into the town, meeting locals, eating, and trading.
>>
>>5209885
>>Be escorted out. You will find the nearest inn and check in immediately, then spend the day integrating into the town, meeting locals, eating, and trading.
>>
>>5209885
>Be escorted out. You will find the nearest inn and check in immediately, then spend the day integrating into the town, meeting locals, eating, and trading
Can we also do
>Investigate this "Baron" Lady Wachter told you about. Maybe you can go to his manor and explain the misunderstanding. (Charisma, DC 20)
>>
>>5209958
>>5210227
Who is in favor of doing both? A la >>5208157
>>
>>5210483
Aye
>>
>>5209885
>Be escorted out. You will find the nearest inn and check in immediately, then spend the day integrating into the town, meeting locals, eating, and trading.
>>
Your first impression of Vallaki is that it's far more lively than the village of Barovia. The walls provide a feeling of safety from the woods outside, and people seem quite... festive? There are decorations - banners, ribbons flowers, clearly fresh but damaged and trampled, as though there was a celebration here just yesterday.

Peasants in patchwork clothes eye you suspiciously as they use cups and vases to draw water from a crumbling stone fountain in the town square. Standing tall at the center of the fountain is a gray statue of an impressive man facing west. All around the square are posted proclamations:

>Come one, come all,
>to the greatest celebration of the year:
>THE WOLF'S HEAD JAMBOREE!
>Attendance and children required.
>Pikes will be provided.
>ALL WILL BE WELL!
>-The Baron

You and Ireena stand and watch while, with perfect timing, as if by divine intervention, a guard appears, tears the proclamation down, and replaces it with a new one:

>COME ONE, COME ALL,
>to the greatest celebration of the year:
>THE FESTIVAL OF THE BLAZING SUN!
>Attendance and children required.
>Rain or shine.
>ALL WILL BE WELL!
>-The Baron

They just finished a celebration, and now they about to do it again, not even after the decorations from the old one have been taken down.

"No loitering" - a guard ushers you along, and you pick up your pace, walking down the main road.

"Let's look for an inn," you say to Ireena.

You note the buildings you see. A set of cramped-looking shops with low roofs and display windows advertising trinkets and toys. A row of residential houses that stretch toward the northern gate. A stockyard full of sheds. And far to the west, a church up on a hill, visible to the whole town from a distance.

Finally, after much exploring, you come to what appears to be an inn. Gray smoke issues from the chimney, and several ravens are perched on the roof next to it. A painted wooden sign hanging above the main entrance depicts a blue waterfall.

(cont.)
>>
You enter. Black cloaks hang from pegs in the entrance portico. The tavern is packed with tables and chairs, with narrow paths meandering between them. A bar stretches along one wall, under a balcony with a staircase leading up to it. Another balcony overhangs another entrance to the east. All the windows are fitted with thick shutters and crossbars. A few people are huddled at a table near the front, but the rest of the taproom is mostl yempty, most likely due to the hour.

You are immediately greeted by the innkeeper as you enter. He is a tall, lean musclar man wearing a thick black cloak, with a beard just as black.

"Welcome to the Blue Water Inn," he says. A woman stands behind him; likely his, wife by the way she is dressed. "My name is Urwin Markitov, I run this place. What can I help you with?"

"We are here for food and shelter," Ireena says. "We may be staying a while."

"We also have some questions about the town, if you please," you add. "We are new here. Looking for safety, among... other things."

You are thinking of your sister Joannus, of course. She hasn't left your mind. Antonio told you at the Tser Pool that there was another Vistani camp outside Vallaki, and that they might have information on your sister. You will be hot on her trail as soon as you're certain Ireena is safe. And so far, this place is looking pretty good, save for your run-in with that strange noblewoman and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding it.

"Indeed," Urwin says. "Take a seat. I will be right over."

Urwin appears a few moments later with bowls hot soup and bread. He places them in front of you and gives you a nod.

"How much will this cost us?" you ask.

"Nothing," he says.

You are taken aback slightly. He's not going to ask for a favor like Ismark did, right?

"Free?" Ireena asks, clearly sharing your uncertainty.

"Yes, free! Unless you'd prefer not to eat it. This is a sanctuary, of sorts. We feed the hungry at no charge. However, if you're feeling generous, or want something tastier, a gold piece will get you two servings of wolf steak."

Amazed, you begin eating. You did not realize how hungry you had become, and you're almost finished before know it. It's unseasoned, and not the best tasting soup, but that scarcely matters - it's better than the rations you've relied on at least, which consist of dried jerky and nuts.

(cont.)
>>
After the food, you negotiate with Urwin about your stay. It looks like two beds will cost you one gold piece per night. That's doable, for now, but you'll need to find some way to bring in money if you plan to stay for more than a few days.

You chat with some locals to learn more about the town and pick up leads that may help you secure Ireena's safety... or lead you to your sister. Nobody really talks about the festivities (the upcoming festival, and the festival that just ended) and many of the locals give off the same drab vibes you felt in Barovia, despite the initial appearances of the town. But you do meet a few interesting people who lend you useful information.

Among them is a strange half-elf (the only half-elf you have seen in Barovia, in fact) who claims to be a carnival ringmaster from a far-off land. He wears a colorful outfit and a silly hat, and proudly introduces himself as Rictavio.

"Ah yes, this land is home to many dangers, dangers that I've adapted to. I've seen many dangers on my travels, and none faze me, not even those in a place such as Barovia!" He emphasies each word with dramatic body language and wide gestures.

"What dangers are there in Vallaki?" Ireena asks. "Are the residents here safe?"

"The danger that encroaches on Vallaki is the Vistani," he says, a serious tone undercutting his voice. "Servants of Strahd, they are. The wolves at night are simple beasts, easy to put in their place. But the Vistani... never trust them! They can leave this land, so why would they be here, but to scheme? They are devil incarntae."

"Even the Vistani at Tser Pool?" you ask. "We met them when we were on our way here."

"Whatever they told you, expel it from your mind. They can curse you, with just a glance. Horrible magic. Ah! But I love their lifestyle... nomadic, free. It's their one redeeming quality!"

"I see," you say. "So aside from the Vistani, there is no danger that threatens those inside the walls?"

"None at all, so far as I can see," he says. "And hey, if you're looking for a refuge from both the human and the undead, the church is a good place to start."

"Thank you," you say. The church was the tip you needed. This may well work. Free of Ireena, you would be able to resume your mission once again. You are really starting to like her though.. might be sad to leave her behind.

(cont.)
>>
Soon the day grows late. When you return to the inn, Urwin Markitov pulls you aside.

"Listen," he says. "I understand you are an adventurer. If you are looking for a job to undertake, there is something you can do that would be a great help to my establishment."

"Is this because we accepted the free food?" you ask cautiously, a guilty tone in your voice.

"No! No, I promise not. It's just a matter that must be dealt with by somebody, so I decided to offer the task to you, because, well... you seem like the problem solving type."

"Of course," you say. You're not sure how to take that.

"The problem is that the inn's supply of wine is nearly gone, and the next shipment is overdue. An inn in the lands of Barovia running out of wine is... well, it's a bleak state of affairs, to put it gently."

You nod. "So you want me to investigate and bring back your wine?"

"Yes," he says. "If you could do that, I will be in your debt. The vineyard and winery is a few miles west of here. Just follow the Old Svalich Road and the signs."

"What would you offer in return for this job being completed?" you ask.

"Favor with me, and with my family," he says, his confidence dropping. "Sadly, I can offer no more than I already offer to everybody who walks through my doors."

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Tell Urwin about your arrangement with Lady Wachter, and that she said you musn't leave the town.
>Decline, and tell Urwin about your mission to find your sister. Ask for his help.
>Accept his offer. Tomorrow, you will investigate the Vistani camp to learn about your sister, then you will investigate the winery.
>Same as above, but investigate the winery tomorrow. The Vistani camp can wait until all else is taken care of.
>Decline his offer. You came here on a mission. Maybe you will do this job another time if it's still available, but not right now.
>Ask for his help on another matter, or ask him specific questions. (specify)

If declining, decide what you will do tomorrow instead (choose up to 2):
>Seek permanent refuge for Ireena in the church, as the half-elf ringmaster suggested.
>Seek an audience with the Baron of Vallaki. Maybe he has answers to some of your questions.
>Same as above, but also tell him about the arrangement Lady Fiona Wachter made with you, and ask for help.
>Investigate the Vistani camp outside of Vallaki.
>Nothing. Just continue your plan to hang out in town. Maybe visit a shop.
>Flee Vallaki with Ireena, and continue west. You have a bad feeling about this place.
>>
Soon the day grows late. When you return to the inn, Urwin Markitov pulls you aside.

"Listen," he says. "I understand you are an adventurer. If you are looking for a job to undertake, there is something you can do that would be a great help to my establishment."

"Is this because we accepted the free food?" you ask cautiously, a guilty tone in your voice.

"No! No, I promise not. It's just a matter that must be dealt with by somebody, so I decided to offer the task to you, because, well... you seem like the problem solving type."

"Of course," you say. You're not sure how to take that.

"The problem is that the inn's supply of wine is nearly gone, and the next shipment is overdue. An inn in the lands of Barovia running out of wine is... well, it's a bleak state of affairs, to put it gently."

You nod. "So you want me to investigate and bring back your wine?"

"Yes," he says. "If you could do that, I will be in your debt. The vineyard and winery is a few miles west of here. Just follow the Old Svalich Road and the signs."

"What would you offer in return for this job being completed?" you ask.

"Favor with me, and with my family," he says, his confidence dropping. "Sadly, I can offer no more than I already offer to everybody who walks through my doors."

What do you do?

Suggestions:
>Tell Urwin about your arrangement with Lady Wachter, and that you shouldn't leave the town yet.
>Decline, and tell Urwin about your mission to find your sister. Ask for his help.
>Accept his offer. Tomorrow, you will investigate the Vistani camp to learn about your sister, then you will investigate the winery.
>Same as above, but investigate the winery tomorrow. The Vistani camp can wait until all else is taken care of.
>Decline his offer. You came here on a mission. Maybe you will do this job another time if it's still available, but not right now.
>Ask for his help on another matter, or ask him specific questions. (specify)

If declining, decide what you will do tomorrow instead (choose up to 2):
>Seek permanent refuge for Ireena in the church, as the half-elf ringmaster suggested.
>Seek an audience with the Baron of Vallaki. Maybe he has answers to some of your questions.
>Same as above, but also tell him about the arrangement Lady Fiona Wachter made with you, and ask for help.
>Investigate the Vistani camp outside of Vallaki.
>Nothing. Just continue your plan to hang out in town. Maybe visit a shop.
>Flee Vallaki with Ireena, and continue west. You have a bad feeling about this place.
>>
As a cleric of a fire diety I think we should offer to perform at or otherwise take part in THE FESTIVAL OF THE BLAZING SUN
But
>Tell Urwin about your arrangement with Lady Wachter, and that you shouldn't leave the town yet
If we think it’s doable, we could go there and double back, but it might be better to just visit the camp tommoriw then return for the meeting. Seeing that he has asked so many already it mustn’t be that imminent a problem.
>Agree, but tell him we have some business in the area and can’t go immediately
>Potentially see the baron about the festival, ingratiate ourselves to the town so we don’t get locked out again
>Visit the Visanti if reasonable
>>
>>5211108
>>Decline, and tell Urwin about your mission to find your sister. Ask for his help.
And
>Seek permanent refuge for Ireena in the church, as the half-elf ringmaster suggested.
Ask her about it first, see how she feels, if she's happy
And
>Same as above, but also tell him about the arrangement Lady Fiona Wachter made with you, and ask for help.
Maybe Baron or Lady can assist with the wine drought.
>>
>>5211129
>As a cleric of a fire diety I think we should offer to perform at or otherwise take part in THE FESTIVAL OF THE BLAZING SUN
+1
>>
>>5211108
>>5211129 +1
>>
>>5211129
+1 to all of this
>>
>Seek permanent refuge for Ireena in the church, as the half-elf ringmaster suggested
>>
>Same as above, but also tell him about the arrangement Lady Fiona Wachter made with you, and ask for help
>>
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Sorry there was no update today, fellow clerics of Kossuth. I'm a contract worker with a weird schedule so duty calls. Expect an update or multiple tomorrow. The quest isn't dying anytime soon as long as there's players... we're not even out of Act 1!
The option being selected is, of course, >>5211129 but there's still time to vote. Enjoy the Festival of the Blazing Sun.
>>
"Lady Wachter?" he says. "I see. Yes, you should make sure you see her, then. But if you want my advice, you should keep your guard up. She is part of an old noble family with a a history of serving selfish interests. I pray what she wants of you is something simple and ethical."

You pay Urwin for your stay for the night, and head to your room. Ireena follows shortly after you. (You lost 1 gold piece.)

Two cozy beds with matching footlockers rest in the far corners of the room room. Wolf furs are heaped atop each bed. Between the beds, a lamp sits on a table under a shuttered window. Two tall black wardrobes stand against the wall by the door.

The footlockers and wardrobes are empty, of course, and serve as storage. The footlocker is secure. You will store things here as you explore Vallaki - no need to haul your stuff around everywhere anymore.

You and Ireena spend some time chatting before you go to sleep. You mention the prospect of her staying at the church. It's an idea she likes, assuming she be promised obtain long-term refuge there, as her worship in the Morninglord is strong and she believes his blessing may keep her safe from the evils she is running from.

(cont.)
>>
In the morning, after some more soup in the taproom, you chat idly a little bit with the Rictavio the ringmaster (whose room, you've discovered, is directly across from yours). An interesting character with many tales, you wonder how many of them are exaggerated and how many of them - if any - hold true. He seems to have taken a great interest in you and Ireena. There are a few more common patrons of the inn as well - some typical Barovian commoners, and a couple tough looking fellows who claim to be wolf hunters. No Vistani though. Why not, you wonder?

Shortly after the sun has risen, you set out to the Baron's manor.

--

Your goal is to have an audience with the Baron as a way of integrating yourself into the town. It's as much a fun endeavour as it is a strategic one - it would be hard to get locked out again after making a good impression on the townspeople and the town guard. Being a cleric of a fire deity, you believe the Festival of the Blazing Sun is a perfect task for you, either via performance or just helping out with the festivities.

You find the right place on the south side of town, connected to a small residential street that leads a ways around a bend from the main square.

This mansion has walls of plastered stone that display many scars where the plaster has fallen away from age and neglect. Drapes cover every window, including a large, arched opening above the mansion's double entrance doors.

You arrive just in time to see a man being dragged out of the mansion by guards, his arms cranked behind is back. You watch as they take him toward the main square. Not the greatest omen, but a town this big is bound to have wrongdoers from time to time, you suppose... at least the guards seem capable of doing their jobs.

You approach the front door and knock cautiously. A mintue later, a woman in maid attire answers. "Welcome!" she says.

"Hello!" yo usay. "I'm a new arrival to the town. I'm here to see the Baron."

"What shall I say the meeting is about?"

"Uh, about the Feestival, and some other matters."

She smiles. "Right this way, please!"

(cont.)
>>
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You are lead through a beautiful main foyer. Framed portraits adorn the walls, and the vestibule features a wide staircase with a sculpted railing. A long, carpeted hall stretches almost the length of the mansion and has several doors leading away from it, including one at the far end. Bundles of twigs are heaped against the walls.

The maid brings you to the first door on the right. Padded chairs and couches line the walls of this cozy, carpeted den. The room reeks of pipe smoke, and mounted on the east wall is the head of an angry-looking brown bear.

"I will let Vargas know you are here," she says. "He can take a little while sometimes... just stay put. You can find me in the main foyer if you have any questions."

You look around. Something stirs in your stomach... an inkling of a feeling, a question. You remember what Lady Wachter said: keep a low profile, don't accrue the attention of the Baron. She seemed to hold a low opinion about him. Why?

Could there be something in this manor to discover? Or is it too much of a risk? It's hard to put these thoughts to rest, but what matters is whether you listen to them, or fall back to common sense.

A decision with potentially significant consequences stands before you:

>Wait for the Baron. Stick to the original plan.
>Sneak out and explore the mansion. You will be back in this room before he arrives. (Stealth, DC 18)
>>
>>5213959
>Feestival
I think you mean the feets of all hehehehe jk

>Sneak out and explore the mansion. You will be back in this room before he arrives. (Stealth, DC 18)
Tempting not to, because it may look bad if we're caught snooping, and interfere with buttering up the town. Or who knows what consequences may come. That's why I pick this option, mystery!!
>>
>>5213961
>>Sneak out and explore the mansion. You will be back in this room before he arrives. (Stealth, DC 18)
>>
>>5213961
>Wait for the Baron. Stick to the original plan.

Now if we were a rogue, this would be a horse of a different color.
>>
>>5214196
We have a +1 to Stealth. Everyone knows all you need is a +1. In many ways, it's better than a +3 or +4.
>>
>>5213961
>Sneak out and explore the mansion. You will be back in this room before he arrives. (Stealth, DC 18)
We can always just bluff and act like we got lost if we get caught or just laugh it off
>>
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Dexterity (Stealth) Check
Roll 1d20+Dexterity (1d20+1) to perform a check with Dexterity (Stealth).
(Best out of 3.)
>>
Rolled 6 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

Sneak, sneak, sneak!
>>
Rolled 4 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

Oh boy
>>
Rolled 3, 6 + 1 = 10 (2d6 + 1)

>>5214675
>>
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>5214833
Oh whoops
>>
We ain't never gonna make it.
>>
We're just not a stealthy person. It's okay, we can just tell him guests have right of house where we're from unless told otherwise, or just overwhelm him with questions or something. He'll get over it.
>>
The suspense is killing me!

Let's look into the Command: Forgive spell, if we think we can out-Wisdom him!
https://5e.tools/spells.html#command_phb

The Calm Emotions spell also looks perhaps more useful, though I don't know if we can make him forgive us or be kind to us with this spell, just calm him from any anger. He could still calmly and politely ask us to leave, probably, it's his mansion. He'd also have to beat Charisma rather than Wisdom, so let's take into account what kind of leader he is and if he's susceptible to either approach. He could also choose to fail his roll just because he's a nice Baron and forgive us anyway, and we can then charm or frighten him.
https://5e.tools/spells.html#calm%20emotions_phb

Either way let's hope we get a chance! The Calm Emotions spell works on groups of, say, hostile mansion guards, while Command is single-target.

Not sure how much craftier we can get. Maybe appeal to religion or something else we think he would buy in to? Like looking at his hunting trophies or architecture or art collections?
>>
It's not often you get an opportunity like this. You have a meeting with Lady Wachter tomorrow, and you know very little about her. She expressed a distaste of the Baron. Learning about her enemy may be the best way to get an upper hand on her, and gain insight into what she may want from you.

Carefully you step over to the door, looking out to see if the maid is still there. She isn't. The hallway is silent, save from some idle chatter coming from further down the walkway. The maid doesn't seem to be by the main entrance hall anymore either - the staircase is wide open, visible here from the doorway.

Acting as nonchalantly as you can, you stroll out the door, quickly but inconspicuously, and make your way to the stairs. You climb them swiftly but cautiously.

The staircase climbs twenty feet. You find yourself in a beautifully appointed gallery that continues toward the west, running almost the length of the mansion. Framed landscape paintings line the walls, and red silk drapes cover a ten-foot-tall arched window of leaded glass. On the far side of the gallery, hugging the wall, is a more narrow staircase that leads back down to the main floor. There is a hallway here that cuts to the right, and another on the far side by the staircase.

You pick a hallway: the one closest to you, to start.

You think you can hear footsetps above you. An attic? You look around for a potential way up, but can't find one. Instead you choose a door. It's locked... damn.

Taking a detour for now, you sneak to the other the hall. You try the far door. It's open - it leads to a master bedroom, its grandeur mostly faded. The furnishings have lost some of their color and splendor. A short pull-rope hangs from a wooden trapdoor in the ceiling. There's the attic, you think. There's definitely something up there. A useful place to return to, if you have enough time.

Wanting to cover more of this floor, you check out the other hallway. You think you can hear somebody in the room to your left. You're too far in now to go back without making as much noise as if you open the far door. You continue with great care, hoping the door might lead you to another room or corridor that leads through the mansion.

You try the handle. It's locked. It seems like a pretty small door, maybe one that leads to a closet or a small storage chamber rather than a full-fledged room.

You try the handle again, and you hear muffled cries from within - a man, gagged by the sounds of it, and the rattling of chains. Somebody is inside!

Before you can react, one of the doors you passed earlier opens!

(cont.)
>>
Dogs are barking. You look around frantically, and your heart pounding: there is nowhere to run to, you have backed yourself into the end of the hallway, and this closet door won't budge.

Two mastiffs enter the hall. Following them is a surly looking man, wearing noble garments, who holds the dogs back on leashes. He appears nothing short of predatory as he spots you with your handle on the closet door, his face pulled into an angry frown, and he begins storming toward you.

"Wait!" you say. "I am a guest, I was just looking around! I... I was told you would be waiting for me!"

"You are not welcome here!" His dogs follow at his heels as he closes the distance, his hands clenched into fists. He seems upset, nearly to an irrational degree. "This is not your home!"

>"Stop! I can explain!" (Deception, DC 16)
>Same as above, but try to charm him. (Persuasion, DC 16)
>Draw your longsword and strike the handle of the closet door, freeing the man inside. (Strength, DC 18 w/ Proficiency)
>Look for an opening as he approaches; slip past him and his dogs, and bolt out of the mansion. (Dexterity, DC 16)
>Same as above, but head to the bedroom you saw instead - maybe you can make it to the attic and pull up the rope and/or ladder so he can't follow! (Dexterity, DC 16)
>Draw your weapon and defend yourself.
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Cast another spell. (specify, and describe what actions to take if the spell succeeds)
>Say something. (specify, Deception DC 16 if it involves deception)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5215459
>>Draw your longsword and strike the handle of the closet door, freeing the man inside. (Strength, DC 18 w/ Proficiency)
We should at least try.
>>
>"Stop! I can explain!" (Deception, DC 16)
>>
>Other: Own up to it."I don't know who to trust. I was snooping around. I have no right to ask anything of you but a few minutes of your time may be an investment that benefits you."
>>
>>5215700
Aranuel smash! Let's see what's behind door #2!!
>>
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Strength Check
Roll 1d20+Strength+Proficiency (1d20+3+2) to use your Longsword like a hammer and break the locked door handle.
(Best out of 3.)
>>
Rolled 2 + 5 (1d20 + 5)

>>5215866
>>
Rolled 3 + 5 (1d20 + 5)

>>5215866
>>
Rolled 17 + 5 (1d20 + 5)

>>5215866
>>
>>5215892
nice
>>
>>5215892
Thank goodness. Although, we like >>5215341 said we could have tried calm emotions. Nevermind.
>>
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Acting quickly, you draw your sword and bring it down on the door handle with all your might. There is a loud clang and the handle tumbles to the floor, making the locking mechanism useless.

You pull the door open and a terrified man in rags stumbles out, his mouth covered with cloth, and his arms bound behind him with chains that attach attach to the wall of the closet. His face is covered in scratches and bruises.

You turn to face the nobleman, who is still charging toward you, and rise your weapon defensively. You have no more time to react. His face contorted into a blind rage. He throws his arms in front of him to grab you, the two mastiffs at his heels growling and jumping.

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

Rolled
>Baron Vargas Vallakovich vs. You - Grapple (+0)

(cont.)
>>
Combat Round

Using your longsword, you shove away the Barron's attempt to grab you bare-handed with ease. Your mind spins with possibilities: you only have time to make ONE decision.

The man in the closet is still gagged and bound in chains, but the door has been opened, and he is using every opportunity to try and escape his binds. The nobleman and his two mastiff dogs have you cornered in the hallway. You have 41/41 HP, and enough magic for 4 first-level and 3 second-level spells.

Suggestions:
>Attack with your longsword.
>Say something to de-escalate. (specify)
>Threaten. (Intimidation, DC 16)
>Finish freeing the man. You will be vulnerable for a turn, but at least you will have help.
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>>
>>5216376
>Cast a spell or use an item
>Calm Emotions (2nd level spell)
Then we can get to the bottom of this captive, very politely. There could be a perfectly logical reason why he was chained in a locked closet.
>>
>>5216376
>>Finish freeing the man. You will be vulnerable for a turn, but at least you will have help.
>>
>Finish freeing the man. You will be vulnerable for a turn, but at least you will have help
>>
>>5216394
>Then we can get to the bottom of this captive, very politely. There could be a perfectly logical reason why he was chained in a locked closet.
I doubt it. They have a prison here, it strikes me as odd.
>>5216376
>Say something to de-escalate. (specify)
"Just as I suspected, you're the one who's been snatching people from town!" - It might throw him for a loop, or force him to try and explain and give us a chance to surprise him or cast on him uninterrupted.
>>
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>>5216491
>>5216564
While the nobleman is recovering from your shove, you yank the cloth out of the prisoner's mouth, and give a strike to his chains with your longsword. The fashion in which the chains are attached to the closet wall is flimsy, and the simple leverage of your blade is enough to destroy what holds them, little bits of splintered wood flying in all directions.

You struggle to stay on your feet as the nobleman's mastiffs try to tackle you, your back turned, as the nobleman tries to grab you once again.

(cont.)
>>
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Rolled 7, 3, 11 = 21 (3d20)

Rolled
>Baron Vargas Vallakovich vs. You - Grapple (+0)
>Mastiff vs. You - Bite (+3)
>Mastiff vs. You - Bite (+3)

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 4 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled
>You vs. Bite - Strength Saving Throw (+3)

(cont.)
>>
Combat Resolution (Enemy)

You manage to kick away one of the mastiffs, but you are overwhelmed - the other sinks its teeth into your leg as the nobleman grabs you. You take 4 piercing damage bringing your total HP down to 37/41, and you are knocked prone (failed Strength saving throw).

The nobleman tries to hold you down and rears his fist to strike you, and as he does, he shouts at the top of his lungs: "Wastrel! Good-for-nothing whores of the Devil! You will not bring unhappiness to this town!"

The prisoner has just barely come to his senses; he takes a deep breath now that his mouth is clear, and looks around frantically for something he can do to help. He seems to be split between running and helping you fight his captor.

(cont.)
>>
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Strength (Athletics) Check - Grapple Contest
Roll 1d20+Strength (1d20+3) to perform a check with Strength (Athletics).
Beat Baron Vargas Vallakovich's roll of 7 to avoid being grappled this turn.
(Best out of 4. https://pastebin.com/sTurBdHZ)

Grappled: A grappled creature's speed becomes 0, and it can't benefit from any bonus to its speed. (This also prevents Aranuel from standing up from a prone position without consuming an action to break free.)
>>
Rolled 2 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>5217236
Cur! Explain yourself!
>>
Rolled 14 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>5217236
>>
>>5217495
(Success; no further rolls necessary.)

You push the nobleman off of you, stumble backward, and clamber to your feet.

(cont.)
>>
Combat Round

You are cornered in the hallway. The nobleman's dogs are barking and growling. The prisoner you freed will now act each round after you - he is ready to follow your lead depending on the decision you make, whether it be to run or to fight.

Half of your movement was expended standing up, so you have 15 feet of movement remaining; there is 40 feet of hallway before the main second floor chamber, and 25 feet of hallway before the door the nobleman and his dogs came through.

You have 38/41 HP, and enough magic for 4 first-level and 3 second-level spells.

Suggestions:
>Attack with your longsword.
>Say something. (specify)
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Radiance of the Dawn. (https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Disengage and run through the hallway (where to?)
>Other (specify)
>>
>>5217517
>Use Channel Divinity (1/1) for Radiance of the Dawn
The damage from the big hit might scare off the dogs and force the baron to surrender. If not, we'll be dealing a lot of damage to three foes in one big hit right?
>>
>>5217517
>>5217619 +1
>>
>>5217619
+1
this is what Kossuth would want
>>
>>5217517
...Cast Calm Emotions.
>>
Rolled 11, 20, 7 = 38 (3d20)

Rolled:
>Baron Vargas Vallakovich vs. Radiance of the Dawn - Constitution Saving Throw (+0)
>Mastiff vs. Radiance of the Dawn - Constitution Saving Throw (+1)
>Mastiff vs. Radiance of the Dawn - Constitution Saving Throw (+1)

(cont.)
>>
Rolled 1, 10 + 4 = 15 (2d10 + 4)

Rolled:
>Radiance of the Dawn - Damage (+4)

(cont.)
>>
>>5217619
>>5217676
>>5217866
Enough is enough, you think. You hold out your holy symbol of Kossuth and speak a holy invocation.

For a moment, everything goes silent. Then the hall is illuminated with a white light. A white flame burns in the eyes of the nobleman, the mastiffs whimper and back away, and you can feel the heat against your skin as Kossuth burns all who oppose you.

The mastiffs take 30 radiant damage and 15 radiant damage respectively, destroying them outright - they burst into flames, whimpering as they burn, their bodies charred to the point of being unrecognizable.

The nobleman takes 30 radiant damage and falls to the floor, screaming in agony. The light grows so strong that you yourself have to look away, and then the light fades. The nobleman's screams stop.

The prisoner looks on with equal parts shock and awe. Breathing closer, you look down at the nobleman - his body is motionless, and his body looks like a spiderweb, his veins all visible, glowing a bright white that slowly fades like embers from a fire, plumes of smoke rising.

"You..." the prisoner says. "You just killed the Baron..."

(cont.)
>>
>>5217619
>>5217676
>>5217866

Combat Resolution (Party)
Enough is enough, you think. You hold out your holy symbol of Kossuth and speak a holy invocation.

For a moment, everything goes silent. Then the hall is illuminated with a white light. A white flame burns in the eyes of the nobleman, the mastiffs whimper and back away, and you can feel the heat against your skin as Kossuth burns all who oppose you.

The mastiffs take 30 radiant damage and 15 radiant damage respectively, destroying them outright - they burst into flames, whimpering as they burn, their bodies charred to the point of being unrecognizable.

The nobleman takes 30 radiant damage and falls to the floor, screaming in agony. The light grows so strong that you yourself have to look away, and then the light fades. The nobleman's screams stop.

The prisoner looks on with equal parts shock and awe. Breathing heavily, you inch closer, and you look down at the nobleman - his body is motionless, and his body looks like a spiderweb, his veins all visible, glowing a bright white that slowly fades like embers from a fire, plumes of smoke rising.

"You..." the prisoner says. "You just killed the Baron..."

(cont.)
>>
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"What? No..." That was the baron himself? you think. If you killed him... oh Lord, this won't look good for you. What about the meeting with Fiona Wachter? What about Ireena? What about finding your sister? If they arrest you for this, have you messed this whole thing up?

You turn over his body and his face is contorted in an expression of agony, his eyes still open, but sunken into their sockets. You listen put your ear up to his mouth; he is not breathing. His body is unnaturally warm, but he no longer lives.

The baron and his dogs were killed, granting you 75 XP.
This puts your total XP at 4,075.
(2,425 XP remaining until 5th level.)

You immediately stand up and grab the prisoner by the shoulders. "Listen!" you say. "We need to get out of here. But first, you need to answer some questions, quickly."

You can hear some commotion downstairs - somebody will be running up to investigate in a moment.

"Why were you here!?" you ask.

"I was arrested and taken here!" he says. "B-by the baron! For..."

"Why were you not taken to a prison?"

"He tortured me!"

"For what?"

"Malicious unhappiness! I... I spoke out about the festival! He dragged me here himself!"

You've heard enough. You you look around frantically for a way out. The door the Baron came out of seems like your best bet... you will sort out the implications of this mess as soon as you're safe, but for now, you need to make sure you get out of this alive.

What is the course of action you will take?

>Just run. Abandon the prisoner and escape in one piece. (Stealth, DC 16)
>Escape with the prisoner. (Stealth, DC 18)
>Surrender. If they don't kill you on the spot, you will find a way out.
>Go out the way you came in. You will fight your way out if you must.
>Other (specify)

Before running, you may also take 1 action:
>Cast a spell or use an item (list: https://pastebin.com/chuTtwgW)
>Other (specify)

Guards will be closing in momentarily. Kossuth may guide you, but this decision will drastically alter the course of the mission nonetheless; choose very carefully...
>>
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Attached is a compulsory map of the room where this conundrum is currently taking place. Each square represents 5 feet. The O represents you and the prisoner, and the X is the Baron's corpse. White rectangles are doors. The question mark represents the trapdoor you saw earlier that leads to the attic. The door highlighted red is the door the Baron came out of; it's slightly ajar.
>>
>>5219546
>>Other (specify)
Why Calm Emotions when you can burst dogs into flames and kill the Baron. Fuck it, let's have the prisoner help us take the baron through the trapdoor and learn more about everything. Better late than never.
>>
>>5219526
>>Other (specify)
Would Spare the Dying work here? If so, let's cast it
>>
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>>5219620
Unfortunately Spare the Dying only works to stabilize living creatures who are at 0 HP. Typically when a creature drops to 0 HP there is a chance to resuscitate them, but the excess damage dealt to the Baron after he reached 0 HP exceeded his maximum HP, which causes instant death in D&D 5e rules, and no chance of recovery.
>>
>>5219620
>>5219626
You could, however, cast Gentle Repose which you picked up here >>5199874 which would prevent his body from decaying further, affording a slightly learned caster more time to revive him before resurrection becomes impossible.
>>
>>5219629
Meant to look that one up as well but had to run an errand. I vote for using Gentle Repose in addition to absconding with the prisoner and the baron into the trapdoor for now
>>
>>5219526
>>5219637 +1
>>
Had to be done, boys. You can only push a cleric of Kossuth so far.
>>
Just thought of a lie, boys. If anyone asks we can say "We were doing some prep for the festival, and the Baron wanted to light up. He insisted we cast this spell on him but it went wrong..." well, if we get caught it might work. Obviously he takes his festivals very seriously. We should, of course, try to hide this as best we can.
>>
>>5219785
Obviously, no regerts dude.
>>
...Just, escape with the prisoner. Good fucking god.
>>
>>5220235
There's no need for fear.
>>
>>5220235
I take it this is your first time interacting with nobility. No need to build them up, they're people, just like you and I.
>>
>>5219637
>>5219669
You hesitate a moment before leaving. The Baron may have attacked you, but...

You kneel over the Baron's corpse and whisper a prayer. A soft light washes over his corpse. You can hear multiple sets of footsteps running up the stairs now; there is no more time, you must move immediately.

"What did you do?" the prisoner asks.

What you did was cast Gentle Repose, a blessing to preserve his corpse - with luck, a powerful cleric or wizard in the town will have enough time to revive him before the blessing wears off. But you don't tell him that; you simply grab the prisoner's hand and run, cutting through the main room as fast as you can, making sure to hug the walls and keep your steps swift but quiet.

All you need to do is make it around the corner before the guards reach the top of the stairs... Kossuth got you this far, so he'd better have your back now!

(cont.)
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