Lost in the Mists
Parting the Mists
Our heroes left the Vistani encampment and returned to the Blood o’ the Vine Inn in the village of Barovia. They met with Bray and explained to him that in the morning they would be moving on the Castle. They had a solemn meal and went to a well-deserved rest.
That morning they arose to find that Strahd had thrown one last obstacle in their path: the Castle had been enveloped in a thick fog. Bray explained drearily that the fog was magical and poisonous: no one could enter and survive. Bray told of a potion that the Vistani would occasionally sell that would allow a user to traverse the fog; unfortunately it was crafted by Madame Eva.
There were multiple options as to how to procure the potion, but there was a vast limit on time. Who knew what Strahd would be doing to Astrid and how he would take his vengeance on the country? The party decided to approach Arabelle and hope that, as the last remaining Vistani seer in Barovia, she would have the recipe for the potion.
The party set out for Vallaki and reached the Blue Water Inn around noon. Bram explained that Arabelle took walks to the lake every day at noon and the party could find her there. They went to the lake and found the lone Vistani staring off at Mount Baratak. She expected the party was there to kill her for aiding Strahd and was resigned to her fate. Our heroes explained that they meant her no harm and hoped that she would help them destroy Strahd.
Arabelle explained that she only recently learned that Strahd was truly a monster and was only serving her lord. With the information that Madame Eva was a hag and in league with Strahd, she realized that she was as much a slave to the vampire as the people of Barovia. Though fearful, Arabelle agreed to help the party by crafting the potion. But she expected it to take all night and they were certain to be attacked by Strahd’s forces. The party pledged that they would protect the town and Arabelle.
As the sun began to set, Arabelle began working in the kitchen of the Blue Water Inn, crafting the potions that the party would need to breech Strahd’s barrier and assault Castle Ravenloft. Sensing that Strahd would send dark forces against Vallaki, our heroes set out warning the villagers to take shelter. Most of the townsfolk sought refuge in the church under Father Lucien’s watchful protection; the remainder barricaded themselves away in their homes.
The dark descended and a starless sky hung oppressively above the town. Cold winds howled, threatening the arrival of an early winter, and all was quiet in the town. After an hour of this evil night, dull moaning could be heard with the wind. The party braced themselves as they expected a horde of the undead. They were not mistaken.
A throng of animated corpses shambled into the village and began marching towards the Inn. Behind them was a pack of rabid wolves, whose glowing red eyes betrayed an evil intelligence. And worst of all, swirling around the zombies was a swarm of disembodied ghosts screaming in their madness. The party met the this horrible force with righteous, holy power, striking down the undead quickly. Most shockingly, however, the dead did not remain destroyed! The zombies readily stood back and renewed their attack, even after suffering dismemberment. The heroes had never encountered such resilient undead and had to work together to destroy all of them.
Not wanting to give the heroes much rest, the forces of Strahd began a simultaneous attack on the church. Scores of the horrible zombies attacked the structure, threatening to break the barricades and slaughter the towns folk. Our players raced to the church and began cutting into the wall of corpses. They finished their work exhausted but, as more monsters moved towards the Blue Water Inn, they rushed back to the Inn to defend Arabelle.
Out of the darkness a group of horrible abominations rushed towards the tavern. Four mutated bat-like creatures, known as vargulfs, led the pack, each larger than a horse and behind them was a terrible monster that appeared to be part gigantic spider and part vampire. These foul creatures attacked with vicious tactics, trying to separate the party as quickly as possible. They inflicted grievous wounds to our heroes, but were ultimately defeated.
Taking a moment to rest and prepare themselves, the party checked on the villagers in the Church and left Zephrym to protect them. Returning to the Inn, our players saw another large group of zombies approaching, led by a cadre of armored wights. As they rushed to attack the undead, the night sky was pierced by a horrible screech. With a thunderous arrival, a massive, undead bat landed behind our heroes. Using quick-thinking and coordination, our heroes fought on two fronts, isolating the wights and attacking the massive bat creature in turn. They were able to destroy these creatures and end the undead invasion.
With Vallaki safe, and Arabelle completing the potions, the heroes now prepared to journey to Castle Ravenloft and face The Fallen: Count Strahd von Zoravich.