The long journey home

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Following the defeat of Count Strahd von Zoravich, the party recovered Astrid from the Castle and set out into the eerie Mist that enveloped the land. They quickly discovered that the world had vanished as the Tser Falls, and indeed all of the land of Barovia, had been replaced by an endless field of fog. The Castle had equally vanished and, with nowhere else to go, the party continued onward into the deepening mystery.

After what seemed like hours, our players saw a hazy, orange light burning through the Mist. Sensing that this was ominous, but having no other option, the heroes marched bravely toward the haunting light. The light was from a large brazier, burning alone in the fog. Standing before the brazier was a strange man playing a haunting melody from a lute.
The gentleman in the mists did not identify himself, but greeted the party and congratulated them on the destruction of the devil Strahd. As he played his tune, the Bard explained that the lands of the Mists were gone, returned to the various planes they originated from. Goodman was distressed, as this certainly meant that evil beings had been freed from their prisons. The Bard confirmed this, but assured Goodman that their dark power had been robbed from them.

Of course, even without their power, the former denizens of the Mists were still black-hearted villains. One wonders how the world would fair with that evil thus returned.
The Bard explained that for their great service with Strahd, the heroes could return to Miredus and see their kingdom returned to the land of Jura. Saima and Zephryam were excited to do so, but the others were lost. Lucas had returned to his homeland, put his love’s soul to rest and extracted vengeance. Goodman had made peace with Miredus and sought to continue his quest to rid the world of darkness. Lockhold was never from Miredus, and now very unsure with how to proceed following Strahd’s death. Garret, one from Miredus, was strangely quiet on the topic of returning home.

The Bard assured the others that there was still good work to be done. Certainly the people of Miredus would need further help adjusting to the world they had left behind. He also hinted that the Mists, and their horrors, were far from gone. He encouraged them to continue their path. After discussion, the heroes agreed. The Bard explained that they must be cleansed of the darkness they had inherited from their time in the Mists. They each must face a terrible trial before they could return. The Bard motioned forward and the party walked off into the Mists as the stranger played another haunting tune.

A few moments later, the Mists vanished and the party was in a dark forest. The smell of decay and death rose from the foul earth and the party realized they were in a moldy clearing. At the center of the clearing was a large, black tree that radiated undead energy. As heroes prepared for a melee, several root entwined corpses clawed out of the ground as the tree animated for an attack. Lucas was struck with terrible visions of death and rot, distracting him significantly during the fight. The party destroyed these foul monsters quickly, and the Mists returned.

The Mists parted a short time later, and the heroes found themselves on a city street bathed in cold moonlight. Disoriented from this change, the heroes could not tell in which urban center they now occupied, but it was terribly ancient and advanced. Lockhold was the first to notice that they were not alone on the street. A gang of evil-looking thugs attacked a child and a man on the street. The child vanished from view through some magic, but his guardian was not as lucky. The villains ran him through with cruel swords and the man crumbled to the street. Lockhold became enraged and launched at the rogues, with the party quickly joining him. Lockhold fought with uncharacteristic abandon, striking at the leader of this gang, while the other players avenged the fallen citizen. The party was shocked that Lockhold appeared to be on the verge of tears when they defeated the thugs and the Mist returned.

Seeing that these events were part of their grand trial, the party continued forward into the Mist. At the next clearing, our heroes found themselves on a lonely, moonlit mountain top. At the maw-like opening of a mountain cave was a throng of degenerate cultists, lost in mindless worship. Brought on by the cult’s chanting, a foul beast from the far Realms emerged from the cave. As the Moonbeast lurched forward with its writhing tentacles, Zephryam heard a voice in the night. A voice that reminded him that there were children in the cave that needed his help. The party attacked the eldritch horror and its loyal cultists, destroying all of them in a terrible fight. Zephryam charged into the cave the rescue the children, bringing them out onto the ledge. It was there that the voice returned and cruelly reminded Zephryam that this event has already taken place, far in the distant past of his many lives, and last time he had failed to save the children. The original scene of death played out in front of the party before the Mists clouded the heartbreaking scene.

The next scene found our heroes in a familiar city in flames. The characters that started their dark journey in Miredus recognized the city right away: the capitol of Resimir. They remembered that Vosk Fayden’s campaign brought the King’s Blade to the city to sack it. The Resimirians were exhausted from Vosk’s brutal assault and could not stop the city from burning. The heroes watched as a cadre of elite soldiers hacked through the streets, led by the living advisors of Vosk Fayden. Goodman recognized this memory and his old friends, who asked Goodman to rejoin their ranks. The party supported Goodman in his refusal and together they smote the ghosts of Goodman’s past. Before the Mists came to change the scene, Goodman heard a sniveling voice remind him that when the true city of Resimir burned, it was he that fanned the flames.

Once again, the Mists transported the players to another tableau. They found themselves in the city of Miredus, shortly after its arrival in the Mists. It was a dark night that Saima remembered well. Screams filled the air and packs of roving vampires were preying on the weak. The party watched as an aristocratic vampire left the ruins of Saima’s home with his vampire spawn. The Baron chortled evilly, noting that he would take the surviving child into the night with him. Saima raced forward with her glaive, slicing into the vampires with righteous vengeance. Her allies joined her and this time the vampires were easily defeated. Saima pulled Astrid’s form from the clutches of the vampire spawn, only to watch her daughter quickly vanish. As the night pulled in around them, a shrill voice chided Saima, reminding her that originally she had been unable to stop the vampires from taking Astrid.

The final scene rose around the party. They saw Miredus, but not as they had ever remembered it. The city was wreathed in bright red and purple flames. The very ground beneath them rumbled and split. Screams of the dying filled the smoky air and odd-colored lightning bolts lashed the buildings. Our heroes found a massive platform made out of strange, colored light with a mob of deranged cultists chanting around it. On the platform was a figure cloaked in the purple flame. The degenerate cultists were offering tribute to the being on the platform, and together they summoned a terrible creature from the Primordial Chaos! The heroes valiantly charged the monster, laying waste to it and the cultists. As the entity was swallowed by flames, the party was able to glimpse the face of the figure on the platform. They saw the face of Garret, twisted by terrible energy, before the Mists obscured the scene.

After this frightening ordeal, the party once again found themselves in the hazy fog. High above them, a bright sun burned away the mists and revealed a familiar countryside. Our heroes found themselves in the country of Miredus, but not the grim and haunted Miredus of the Mists. Instead they found themselves truly home, returned to the space and plane that Miredus once occupied. They saw their home in the distance and quickly made their way down the King’s Road. They were greeted by members of the Night’s Watch, who eagerly brought them into the city. They were finally home!

But this is not the end of their story. Instead, it is the start of the final act.

The long journey home

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna