Lost in the Mists
Assault on Castle Ravenloft
After protecting Vallaki from the raid of Strahd’s agents, our heroes now had a clear path to facing Strahd. They needed to bring the Sunsword, the Tome and the Icon of Ravenloft to the Castle and perform a ritual to awaken the artifacts. Only then could they be used against Strahd and truly destroy him. They also needed to save Astrid from the vile clutches of the Vampire.
Armed with the potion that Arabelle brewed, they followed the Old Svalich Road to the Village of Barovia. From there, they followed the winding pass through the dense forest up to the rocky ledge on which Castle Ravenloft was perched. The drawbridge was down and ominously welcomed the party to cross it. They set out on the slick bridge, precariously above the thunderous Tser Falls. In crossing the bridge, they entered the deadly fog but were able to transverse it thanks to the Vistani’s potion.
Breeching the fog, they saw an awe-inspiring sight. Having only seen the Castle from a distance, the size and design of the stone fortress was impressive up close. It loomed in front of them, towering over our players, beckoning them inside like a massive spider. Resolute in their quest, the party continued into the Castle.
They passed through the main gates and entered the greeting hall of the Castle. The room was full of guards, including two massive iron golems, gargoyles and a throng of zombies. Atop the grand staircase was the Master of the Castle. Strahd mocked the party and gloated that he would destroy them eventually, but not before inflicting great suffering on them. Our heroes responded in kind, and the hall erupted into a swirling melee. Strahd coyly struck at the heroes as they tried to fight they minions, abandoning the battle when it became boring. They party worked together to defeat the remaining guards, but the battle was arduous.
From the Great Hall, the party ventured down a hallway to a double set of stairs. They chose to ascend, realizing that they were at the base of the South Tower. They scaled the tower and arrived at the top of the South Tower. There, our heroes found a ghastly sight: the stone floor of the tower had been transformed into living, gray flesh! This tower was ruled by a terrible devil, who tried to trick the party into lowering their guard but our players saw through this deception and the devil attacked with her minions.
The party quickly defeated the devil guardians of the South Tower and secured the area. The bright morning sun filled the open tower roof and filled the heroes with hope. They then set about performing the ritual Madame Eva had described to them to awaken the Sunsword and the Icon of Ravenloft. They were successful with this, and both artifacts awakened to their full power.
With this completed, the party needed to ascend the High Tower to awaken the Tome of Strahd. They crossed the narrow bridge that connected the South and High Towers and began their ascent. The High Tower raced high into the sky, some two hundred feet above the Castle itself. From the top of the parapet our players could see the Village of Barovia below, appearing tiny from the height. As they prepared to conduct the final ritual, the heroes were attacked by the guardian of the tower: a dreaded, undead beholder! This monster attacked the party, threatening to cast them from the heights to their deaths. Our heroes fought bravely and were able to destroy the creature before anyone fell.
With the guardian destroyed, the players performed the final ceremony and activated the magical Tome of Strahd. With access to all of the Master’s secrets, they learned that Saima’s daughter Astrid was secluded to the Master of the Castle’s private quarters. Wasting no time, they descended the tower stairs and returned to the Great Hall. From there, the party moved up the grand staircase to the throne room—-where they were met with a stunning sight!
The throne room was alive with lights and sounds of a great feast. Ghostly apparitions of party goers danced throughout the room. But these weren’t true ghosts. The magic of the Castle was recreating a scene from its past. It was the tragic scene of the massacre that had long before occurred in the Castle. Though centuries old, the echoes of the murdered guests rang through the hall as a familiar face stood out. Then the light left the room and the players were left in darkness once more.
Our heroes continued through the throne room into the darkened corridor that led to the Master’s stairway. From there they ascended to the third floor which once held the private chambers of the Master of the Castle. They entered into the dining room and saw another ghostly scene. The phantoms played out a duel between two men: a nimble, skilled rogue and Strahd himself. The rogue apparently refused to strike at Strahd and was quickly overpowered. The scene faded and the party was suddenly attacked by specters. Goodman’s holy light burned the shades away and the party continued into the Master’s bathroom.
In the opulent lavatory, the party saw another scene play out before them. They saw a handsome, young man dressed in an ornate uniform, looking familiar to Strahd. The scene played out with Strahd approaching the young man and stabbing him in the back.
What a terrible prison this place must be if Strahd must watch these scenes play out over and over again!
The party continued into the Master’s chamber, and hiding behind the bed, our heroes found the long-lost daughter of Saima! Agonizingly, the girl did not recognize her mother and was afraid of the ruffians that stole into her chamber. Saimia, Lucas and Goodman were able to explain who they were and that Astrid had been stolen by monsters long ago. Astrid was confused, believing that Strahd would never harm her. Grimly, Garret agreed and subtly reminded the party that Strahd believed that Astrid was the reincarnation of his lost love. The party convinced Astrid to remain locked in the bedchamber until they returned.
Now that Astrid had been recovered, and the artifacts fully awakened, our heroes were ready to face the dreaded Lord of Ravenloft. They descended into the flooded basement of Castle Ravenloft to root out the vile Strahd and hopefully free the people of Miredus. The arrived in the dungeon of the Castle and faced the dreaded Galamoth, a gigantic guardian of the lower Castle. Defeating this creature allowed the party to continue deeper into the dungeon.
Knowing that the Master of the Castle awaited them in crypts, our heroes ventured deeper into the dark cellar. They encountered hordes of gigantic spiders and other foul creatures in the flooded vault, but they finally reached the forgotten crypts. In the darkness they heard darkly sweet laughter, beckoning them into the penultimate confrontation. Our heroes discovered that the Master of the Castle was far from lonely, as his three seductive brides crept out of the crypt. Patrina had returned from her defeat by the party, and was joined by a terrible succubus. Heartrendingly, these harlots were joined by a third: Lucas’s wife who had been raised from the dead as a vampire! These harpies were joined by a throng of powerful undead monsters and the heroes were quickly outnumbered. The monsters inflicted terrible wounds on our heroes, but using holy power they were able to destroy the undead and lay Diana to rest once again.
After this, the Heroes of Miredus entered the dark tomb of the Von Zaroviches. Strahd von Zarovich awaited them in the quiet darkness, contemplating the fight that was to come. Count Strahd mocked the party’s accomplishments, insinuating that they had done great evil on their quest for good. He recounted that he was once a great hero like they fancied themselves, and he had been tricked into wickedness. He claimed that just like the party, he had been manipulated by the Dark, and now the story would end. Bravely, the party offered Strahd to put him to rest without a violent confrontation. The Count was unmoved, full of hubris and anger, and the battle began.
The characters faced against Strahd von Zarovich in his fortress at the height of his power. His typical hubris diminished, Strahd was not taking any chances against these foes and he filled the chamber with poisonous, choking fog. The heroes braved this gas and assaulted Strahd with their most powerful attacks. They cut him down as quick as they could, hoping to destroy his evil once and for all. After repeated attacks, Strahd collapsed into a cloud of darkness—-only to emerge as a monstrous bat-like creature! The Fallen now assailed the party with vicious, life-draining attacks. The party now needed to renew their attacks against their most powerful foe. Working together, our heroes were able to defeat Strahd. He attempted to escape but Goodman wielded the Icon of Ravenloft and forced him back into his coffin. With Strahd now incapacitated, Zephryam delivered the killing blow with the Sunsword and vanquished Strahd’s evil for good.
They party rejoiced at their victory and recovered Astrid from the Castle. They searched the remaining rooms and found a vast treasure within the haunted stronghold. They set out of Castle Ravenloft to find that the land of Barovia had been replaced with an endless fog! They knew not where to go next, but bravely they marched deeper into the fog towards the unknown.