Road Trip + Vallaki I
I'm on my way from misery to happiness today
The Village II
Take me to church

Upon returning from the forest, Jolek joined Preacher to investigate the church at the top of the hill. However, they found not only that the door was magically locked, but the specter Marie was standing outside after having been released from the Death House by the party's actions. 

Meanwhile, Ekazi and Vandelev found an old rat-filled townhouse where a mysterious woman clutching a doll rocked, pleading with Vandelev to tell her daughter Gertruda to return to her and giving him the distended doll.

The four met up at the burgomaster's mansion, only to find that Ismark and Ireena's father was lying in a coffin on the living room floor. Unable to move their father alone and unable to contact the priest, they ask for the party's assistance and agree happily to leave immediately after the funeral. 

The party spent the night at the mansion, all but Ekazi awaking at midnight due to glowing green light through boarded up windows. They were told the next morning that the green ghostly people they saw slowly parading down from the cemetery and out of town were Fallen Warriors, immitating their past marches on Strahd. Ireena also confirmed with Vandalev that the mysterious red eyed, pale vision he saw before falling back asleep was Strahd, and that "maybe she didn't have the best wards after all," since his last two attacks.

At the church, they found the magical lock on the door worn off, and heard screamed demands to be fed from below the church. The priest Donovich was praying desperately, as he had been for the last 4 days since his long-missing son had come back a monster. Preacher convinced him prayers would not turn Doru human again, and Donovich agreed that when "his son was not a monster" he would perform the funeral.

In the giant undercroft the party found Doru, attacking him profusely as he scampered around the area, his wounds slowly healing as they fought. Partway through the battle Marie came shrieking back to the party's side, joining the fray to help her saviors. By the end, Doru died hanging from his claws off the wall, blinded, tormented with whispering curses, covered in cuts, bound with magic, burning with radiant light. The last drop of his life essence was pulled slowly by a sorrowful Marie through one long, spectral finger; he let out one last choking gasp before he perished.

Donavich, after falling on his son's body sobbing, was true to his word. He buried both the burgomaster and his son, praying alongside Preacher, before the party and their companions slowly departed town.

Death House III + The Village I

The party continued exploring in the dungeons of The Ghost House, opting to hop over the big scary pit to Jolek via guide rope (everyone was slightly surprised at Vandalev's graceful jump across).

The four of them, still accompanied by Marie, were reasonably over cautious as they continued onward, but eventually found themselves in the large lakey dungeon, the centerpiece being an bloody altar on a platform beneath many hanging corpses. The chanting they had been hearing throughout the dungeon started changing to whispered demands of "One Must Die," causing the emergence of thirteen ghostly cutlists after Jolek stepped off the platform. A shambling mound rose, attacking Ekazi who had been investigating it, and causing Marie to jump into a panic. Luckily, Preacher gave Jolek grudging permission to slay the bird Connie…which the lizardfolk proceeded to do by sitting on the altar and swallowing the bird. The chanting stopped, and the spirits said simply:

"I…guess that counts."

The mound went back to its resting place, and the party was able to easily open the portcullis and start making their way upstairs. They were met by the ghosts of Gustav and Elisabeth Durst. The two were very cranky and ushered the party quickly to a ladder to a trap door to get them out of their house, but Preacher wound up taking the time (after a mime conversation with Marie) to return Thorn and Rose's skeletons to their crypt, resting the children's souls.

When the five left the house, the fog swirled and the party found themselves back in the western entrance of The Village of Barovia, without their specter companion. They went on to Blood of the Vine tavern, where they met Ismark Kolyanovich and the Vistana tavern owners. They split up on separate ventures, agreeing to meet Ismark at his mansion after dinnertime.

Ekazi followed Vandalav on his search to find Morgantha, a woman who sold mysterious cakes he had heard of. They found her knocking on doors and discovered to their surprise that she was a night hag, but a very friendly woman. Ekazi bought ten of the dream cakes, giving two to Vandalev, and Morgantha encouraged them to pop by her home at the mill if they needed her in the future.

Jolek went off into the forest to seek out a owl familiar, and wound up running into a speaking raven. The raven sent him off to the northeast before flying off, changing for a split second to a humanoid beast before disappearing into the trees. After about a half hour's search, he located a very large brown owlet he bribed down from a tree, taking as his companion.

Preacher went to the general store [[Bildrath’s Mercantile]], meeting the aforementioned Bildrath. The prices were much to be desired at the place, but Preacher did manage to make some trades, swapping electrum and jewelry for javelins, religious amulets, a climbing kit, and a burglar's pack.

Death House II

After the conflict with the armor, the party continued exploring. While three members wound up getting attacked by a living broom in a closet (Preacher getting the daylight knocked out of him), Ekazi entered a large bedroom to see a mysterious figure of a woman staring out a window. When she retrieved the party, they looked around only to find nothing. It wasn't until they attempted to open the door to the nursery that a specter attacked them. 

In the midst of battle after attempting to suck out some souls, Preacher saw the specter mouthing "Don't hurt my baby," leading him to attempt to talk to her. The specter, all that remained of a nursemaid named Marie, calmed down a lot and proceeded to help the party locate both the actual Rose and Thorn, as well as the hidden staircase down into the dungeon.

She accompanied them into the dungeons as well, gazing sadly into the Durst family crypts, and being rather jumpy at various noises. The party looted the bedrooms of former cult members, and as they continued towards the sound of ominous chanting, Jolek managed to discover a spike pit…by only barely avoiding to fall in it.

Death House I
Day the ghost house

As the group was drawn into the house, they found it to be very well kept, though on closer inspection there were a lot of spooky elements in the decor. There was a fearful vibe as they went through, hearing a distant crying upstairs. Ekazi essentially led a charge up, as she was more interested in taking care of a trapped baby than exploring. 

They did, however, study a decent amount of the second floor of the house, especially spending time in the library;  Vandelev took particular interest in an alchemy book, which he quickly took to studying. In a cabinet of the den they had also managed to find a collection of crossbows, some health potions, and various books.

When they got to the third floor, they found the house's facade had dropped and it seemed to be dusty and still, betraying the home's true age. The party closed out this chapter of their adventure being attacked by a suit of animated armor, the three outlanders ducking it out as it oozed blood (while the bard studied on the staircase)

Mysterious Visitors
aka, Plot Hook Time!

Three outlanders walk into a bar…

Rather. PreacherEkazi, and Jolek were called together to dinner by a noblewoman who they had worked for in the past, who sent them off to go clear out a camp of strangers outside of her city gates. It turned out to be an adventuring band led by the Vistana Stanmir, who was looking for adventurers to help cure his beloved "Prince" of the curse that bound his land. The next morning as the party accompanied these fellows on their quest, it became more and more clear they were actually in the haunting land of Barovia.

When the group got to the Tser Encampment they met the Vistani troupe's elder, a somewhat mad woman of many magicks named Madam Eva. She gave them a Tarokka reading of where to find the Devil Strahd and the tools to defeat him, as well as her blessing to take valuables from the Vistani wagons and tents for the sake of funding their quest.

The group spoke to her as well as the siblings Damia and Ratka for some more leads, and after buying a horse with Vistani gold and getting a bird in a cage as a "friendship present," the party set off back to the Village of Barovia. Within, the mists seemed to encapsulate the town. However, they found Rose and Thorn who led the party to their mysterious, well-kept house, so that they could destroy the monster dwelling within…

Welcome to Barovia
The Water's Great!

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