The Coven

sf254_1_uyhudi9876.jpg

Our heroes, flush from their victory against the Strigoi, set out to attack the three fanes of power that bound Strahd to Barovia. They realized that Strahd would almost certainly be aware of their attack once it began and sought the farthest fane to focus on first.

The heroes journeyed to the swamp fane, a foul place of power located in the Ivils swamp at the mouth of the river. They moved quickly and reached the tepid swamp by midday. Our players were created by a breathtakingly beautiful maiden swimming nude in the unwholesome water. She coyly called to our heroes, but they saw through her magical veil and realized she was a horrible, putrid hag. The cruel witch mocked the heroes and summoned a venomous hydra to defend the fane. The party worked together to quickly dispatch the witch, but had more difficulty with the hydra. Saima’s firey powers allowed the party to lop off the creature’s heads, destroying it before it could inflict too much damage.

With the Drowned Lady dead, the party was able to locate the fell runestone under the murky water. Over the next several hours, our heroes performed the ritual to sever Strahd from the runestone, disrupt its control over the land, and finally destroy it. As the sun set, the deed was done and the swamp fane was purified.

Wasting no time, the heroes rushed to the dreaded Lysyga Hill. As they approached, the players saw that there was some activity on the hill near the runestone. Ascending the hill, they were greeted by the foul cult that had been whispered about in town. Another disgusting hag ruled this cult, and she spat insults at the party for trying to attack her. The hag Baba Zeleena knew that the players had killed her “sister” and offered a truce if they were to journey to the Tser Pool and kill the third witch. The party was not willing to let such an evil creature continue its schemes and attacked.

As the battle began, Baba Zeleena summoned demons to aid her in defending the runestone. Our heroes smote these foes soundly, forcing Zeleena to call out to her grim master Chernovog. In a wave of shadowy flame, an avatar of the demon lord appeared in the summoning circle. The demonic aspect unleashed terrible force on the players, but Goodman’s holy power conveniently rendered the avatar impotent. Save from any real danger, the party made short work of their foes and purified Lysaga Hill.

With the second runestone destroyed, the party rushed to the forest fane: the Tser Pool. They wisely avoided the village of Barovia and the Vistani encampment and went straight for the pool. Lucas found the runstone and they began securing the area. Soon afterwards, a throng of ogres thundered out of the woods to face them. These beasts where led by Madame Eva of the Vistani! Madame Fortuna’s prophecy had come to pass and Eva revealed herself as the third witch in the coven bound to the runestones and serving Strahd. By eliminating her sisters, the players had placed her in a position where she could seize their power and topple Strahd. The players attempted to sway her to their side, but correctly guessed that she would become as horrible a tyrant as Strahd with the power of the runestone.

With nothing left to discuss, the heroes fought against the last of the Barovian coven. Madmae Eva used underhanded incantations to force several of the party into a deep sleep. The giants too this opportunity to savagely attack our sleeping players, inflicting horrible wounds before they could shake off the spell. Garret and Saima were gravely injured by Eva’s psychic attacks and it took the concentrated effort of the entire party to minimize her effect. One by one the giants fell, leaving the witch alone to face the Heroes of Miredus. She tried to flee once she was badly injured, but the combination of Lockhold and Garret ended her treacherous existence.

The party tended to their wounds and began to conduct the final vigil at the Tser Pool runestone. They were interrupted by a group of Vistani from the encampment who had been drawn by sounds from the battle. The Vistani were shocked to learn that Madame Eva was dead, and she had been a vile hag the entire time. The story of her alliance to Strahd was too much to bare and the Vistani almost attack the heroes. Sadly, they were able to negotiate out of a fight by convincing the Vistani that they had been duped and used.

Discouraged, the Vistani yielded and vowed to never share the terrible truth of Madame Eva with their people. They returned to the camp to mourn Eva’s “loss”, inviting the party to rest and celebrate. Our players did so, and Lockhold took the opportunity to search Eva’s caravan. He found some riches and magickal items, but most importantly he found a powerful crystal ball that allowed him to communicate with Strahd.

Strahd mocked Lockhold and brought Saima’s daughter Astrid into view. The girl was confused, but obedient to the vampire lord. The Count then gave Lockhold a message to deliver to the party: he would be eagerly awaiting their return to Castle Ravenloft!

The Coven

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna