Nommi awoke with a start. “Where are they? Where are the Orcs?” he shouted as he looked around the campsite. His companions, all fellow refugees from Citadel Adbar sat in dour silence, eating their dinner by the fire. “We were overrun. We are headed to Citadel Felbar now,” replied Gogin.
Nommi stood up and announced “Well we better get started!” He took 2 steps forwards and promptly passed out again. After a night of banter and drink in the Cold Forest, the ragtag survivors decided to sleep. Nommi had come to by that time and claimed first watch, during which he passed out again.
The following morning, Ulfgar awoke with a start. the only thing that looked familiar was the road. The trees had changed from majestic pines to rotting, seeping, sickly things, and everything was blanketed in a thick, cloying fog. Attempting to wake everyone, Ulfgar found that Worl Stonewall, the stalwart Paladin, was conscious but in no condition for heavy activity. Thirig suggested they continue their journey, as this could be the work of demons trying to prevent them from succeeding in their mission.
After 5 hours of travel down the path, and a few scuffles with strange plants and dire beasts, the party arrived at a massive stone gate that opened upon their approach. Upon passing through the gate, it closed behind them, but there was not a soul to be seen or heard.
Continuing south along the road, Nommi found a rotting corpse clutching a sealed letter. Thirig opened it and read:
Hail thee of might and valor, I, the Burgomaster of Barovia, send you honor—with despair.
My adopted daughter, the fair Ireena Kolyana, has been these past nights bitten by a vampyr. For over four hundred years, this creature has drained the life blood of my people. Now, my dear Ireena languishes and dies from an unholy wound caused by this vile beast. He has become too powerful to conquer.
So I say to you, give us up for dead and encircle this land with the symbols of good. Let holy men call upon their power that the devil may be contained within the walls of weeping Barovia.
Leave our sorrows to our graves, and save the world from this evil fate of ours.
There is much wealth entrapped in this community. Return for your reward after we are all departed for a better life.
Confused by the letter’s contents, and spotting the gleaming of a river to the south, the homeless dwarves decided to take a refreshing swim. Thirig underestimated the current, and had to be rescued by Nommi. Though the day at the river was pleasant, the sun seemed dim in the sky, hidden behind a thick wall of clouds.
Heading north for the faint outline of some buildings, the group found a sad, vulnerable little town. Exploring within, they met an unhelpful barkeep, and some gypsy looking folk who informed them that there was a woman, Madam Eva, to the west of town that could read their fortunes.
However, the dwarves were hungry for food, not fortunes, and set out in search of this “Burger Master” they heard of in the letter. The town merchant was not a good cook, but he was a decent swindler, and swindled the party out of 1 sp for some stale hard tack. Stomachs partially sated, the Dwarves negotiated their way into the Burgomaster’s mansion, and agreed to help bury his recently deceased corpse in exchange for some food and the help of his daughter, Ireena.
Dragging the coffin along the streets, all was quiet until Nommi declared “We are going to bury the deceased Burgomaster!”
Suddenly rats swarmed out from every nearby building and assailed the party. Ireena informed the group that rats and other vermin are spies of the devil Strahd, and now he will know of the party’s presence in Barovia.
The Church had seen better days, and so had the priest and his son. The priest, Donavich, prays night and day for the salvation of his son, Doru, who was turned into a Vampire Spawn by Strahd von Zarovich. Donavich agreed to help bury the Burgomaster the following morning, but warned the party not to try to kill his son, as a vampire spawn would be too strong for the weary adventurers. Believing themselves to be more than a match for anything, the dwarves ignored the feeble old man’s warning, and quickly found themselves outmatched. Fleeing the basement to cries of “I’m so thirsty,” and “I told you so,” the group decided to rest for the night.
In the middle of the night, Worl awakes with a start. Peering out the window, he sees that an eerie green light suffuses the graveyard. From this light emerges a ghostly procession. Wavering images of doughty women toting greatswords, woodwise men with slender bows, dwarves with glittering axes, and archaically dressed mages with beards and strange, pointed hats — all these and more march forth from the graveyard, their numbers growing by the second. They head east toward the road and disappear from view in the thick fog.