Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (Mavrickindigo)

Evening at Ravenloft

CLICK
CLICK
CLICK

The sound echoes through the walls of the chamber. The ancient hands that hold the memento constantly opens and shuts it.

A hunched figure hobbles from out of the gloom, finding its way through the shadows and the light of the waxing Sun. “My master” he begins, bowing low. “She rests still and is not likely to wake.”

“No, not until the time is right,” the master says, lifting up the locket and peering at the images within. “And how are our other guests, this evening?”

“The dungeons hold them nice and tight, m’lord. They will not escape until their hour of reckoning.”

“That is fine,” the master says, closing the locket, clasping it in his hands and closing his eyes. “I feel our friends spent their day chasing ghosts and finding nothing. We shall see what the night brings us. They begin to bore me.”

The servant bows, not disturbing his master in this state, and turns, waddling down the path to whatever grim task is next for him.

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Journal Entry (Emen)
Journal Entry 5

     Many things have happened lately so I will try to get this record up to date in short order. We attempted to receive counsel from Madam Eva, a local fortune teller. It seemed harmless enough. On our way we encountered a brave knight being accosted by a group of Allips, a spectral undead. They harm others by sapping them of their wits. After the battle I did what I could to help Ireena and the knight. We slowly made our way to Madam Eva. While she did tell our fortune, and possibly reveal to us the location of the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, as well as the Sunsword, her true intentions were revealed as she signaled for her group of followers to ambush us. She hurried away in the confusion. From there we attempted to find the Sunsword, which seemed to be in a local graveyard. We were not expecting what happened there. We were visited by a horrible entity known as a Denizen of Leng. It did not make it’s intentions clear, but it does seem to want to observe us, although I do not know why. I have not said what it is to the others, and I can only hope we do not see it again.

     We then went to the Castle, in an effort to bring a swift end to this horrible situation. Ko’Jak and Davion decided to part ways with us, and follow the Knight we met earlier. I suspect they realize the danger of dealing with Strahd, and I do not blame them. However we were met with two new travellers. A ratling alchemist by the name of Kess, and an elf named Variel. I was glad for their joining us, as we proceeded to the castle.

     As we arrived we found the castle to be incredible in size, we were met with a woman named Sasha, Dubon says he met her earlier. We passed many sights along the way, Many suits of armor, high chandeliers. We finally made our way into the dining hall, and he were greeted by Strahd. Although much food was served none of us were hungry. He told us of his plans. Our suspicions were confirmed; he is indeed a vampire. He plans to start an empire it seems, and he wanted to recruit us to join him. However he saved his surprise for last. In a swift motion he opened the curtains, revealing the light of day on himself. He was miraculously nharmed by it. It seems he has surmounted a vampire’s greatest weakness. I would have learned more, but our new members began shouting obscenities at him, so we were forced to withdraw. In the chaos however I lost Ireena, when the smoke cleared I saw her running deeper into the castle. I wanted desperately to run after her, but Dubon insists that we are no match for Strahd as we are now. I regretfully agreed, but my temper almost got the better of me.

     We made our way towards a site we believed to hold the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind. We found a cave near a waterfall which fits the description, however we found nothing inside it. In a crevice we found a large maze where we have been accosted by minotaurs. I do not know if the Holy Symbol is here, but this is a much worse situation than we started out in. I worry about Ireena, leaving her in that castle. Leaving her behind wasn’t the right choice, but it was the only choice we really had. We have lost two compatriots in favor of two newer ones, but I do not know how much we can trust them.

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Variel's Version
First Entry

Today has been an interesting day to say the least. After traveling through a rather morose human village with my furred companion, we came across a group of humans eying some graves at a crossroads…and a damnable figure eying them.

There was something most alien of the hooded figure, and disturbingly he spoke of my damnable visions that I was a fool to follow in my youth. I have not spoken a word of my past or my dreams since my exile, not even to little Kess. How is it then that it was able to speak of them with such familiarity?

The figure’s taunting words filled me with fury and loathing, I wished to silence it before it brought more of my past to mind. The only thing that stayed my arm from releasing my bowstring today was fear. Fear, and a good bit of curiosity. I want answers, I wish to know how the figure knows of me. I wish to know why it is me who has these dreams. I wish to know if it is truly Ketephys who speaks to me, and if it is, why did he blind me to the plight of my brother?

Because of these questions, I have decided to travel with these humans, and involve myself in their quest, in hopes of confronting the mysterious figure again. Perhaps then, I can get my answers.

I will brood more on this later, we are approaching the castle now. It would seem the knight was invited to a feast, and we are to accompany him to it.

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Victory Shall Be Mine

The cowards flee from the walls of my fortress. They are wise to run, for they have not taken up my offer. It doesn’t matter where they go now, for I will always be watching. They think they are safe traveling the road, but my eyes and ears are everywhere.

What’s this? They travel belowground? There are many ruins and dungeons hidden beneath my land. Perhaps whatever lurks below them will see to it that my playthings are slaughtered?

Come, my Queen! For tonight you shall finally be mine!

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My Esteemed Guests

It was only a matter of time that the group of travelers in my domain would make it to my Castle. They wasted little time, I’m sure, on searches for ways to do me in, even though they did go to that fortune teller, I’m sure. Little did they know that their misguided sense of honor had led them right into my trap.

Ill prepared and not even knowing what true horror they faced, they had dinner with me, going so far as to bring my dear Ireena Kolyana to me. Doubtless she told them about our nocturnal encounters previously, yet they still brought her to me. For that, I must thank them.

However, their ignorance and stupidity cannot be ignored! I had to spell everything out to them, and it’s such a shame. I would hope that with the prodigal knight returning to these lands, that I’d have more of a challenge. No matter, they will all serve as an amusement as they fall one by one. And fall they shall, for the treacherous levels of my castle are a death trap to any who attempt to navigate them, and when they thought themselves clever by obscuring my vision, they only made it easy for me to make my exit and for my beloved to make her escape. Soon we shall have our rendezvous, and then… it’s on to them…

There is no escape, not when my greatest enemy is now powerless to stop me. With the power I possess, the warmth of the sun is mine at last. Eternal youth, power unimaginable, and free reign to wander where I please whenever I please. Never have I known such joys!

I must find that rat. Perhaps he has the key to the completion of my plan…?

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Leaving my Comrades Behind

I have stayed behind at the town square for a number of days, protecting the people from the threat of a zombie attack. Things were going well and I feel I was doing some good, however it changed when she came along. She told me that she was heading off on her own to seek a weapon of great power. Something spurred me on to join her, so I did.

We made great progress through the countryside, her and I, and even found the Vistani camp. Soon we will ask her where to go on our quest. I just hope my fellow adventurers are doing well in whatever venture they find to accomplish.

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Journal Entry (Emen)
Journal Entry 4

     There have been new developments. Finally, some tangible progress! It appears that that beast Dubon killed was a focal point for energy which reanimated undead in the region. Many undead have fallen still, and the air is refreshingly quiet. I think Ashlyn will appreciate this, as her companions have helped bring about this peace. We returned to he town square, and we decided it was time to investigate the house of Ismark the Lesser. I have the impression that it was him who persuaded Ko’Jak to return to our party as we traveled to the church.

     As we progressed we found a woman in mourning. It seems she has a daughter who has disappeared. Although we might find her in our travels it is possible that she is dead. Although pitiable, the townsfolk have given her the nickname “Mad Mary”. We continued onward, but her story does not bode well for the region. I fear there is more at work than restless corpses, and ill weather.

     We finally reached the house of Ismark the Lesser, previously the estate of the Burgomaster. It has seen some hardship, given the warped and battered gates, and signs of defense. There were concerns of meeting resistance inside, which was initially thought to be true when we found someone inside, irate that we would attempt to enter. We soon discovered that this was Ireena Kolyana, the woman we were supposed to rescue.

     It seems she kept the undead at bay, in order to keep her father’s remains from being desecrated. Her efforts were commendable. She revealed to us that the Count, Strahd is responsible for the her father’s death. She wishes to follow us to the castle so this can be settled. Truly, she possesses a courage I have rarely seen. When the other’s went outside to discuss this situation I stayed inside and inquired about her ulterior motives, sensing she was hiding something. She revealed an unusual bite mark on her neck, and stated that the count has been visiting her at night. She wants to join us in order to make sure he is dealt with, permanently. Count Strahd seems to believe that she is someone else, but nevertheless this is deplorable. I have promised to be discreet about her real reasons for joining us. However this became moot once we joined the others outside.

     While we discussed this inside the house it appears that Ashlyn, the Undead Hunter has discovered Dubon’s true nature. She is repulsed by his, current state and it was only out of either a sense of betrayal, or maybe some sort of respect that she did not attack him that moment. I do not know how Dubon feels about this, but Ireena quickly discovered his secret as well. She is not as disgusted, but nevertheless wary.

     Matters were made worse when that damnable thief spotted the bite on her neck and went into hysterics about vampires. He immediately demanded she been slain on the spot. Dubon says she is not evil, and I have another method of testing. We decided to wait however until after the funeral for her father. It was a quick affair, but I did what I could to give it some ceremony, some sense of meaning. In an act of both inexcusable behavior, and utter lack of decency, Ko’Jak had to be restrained for the duration of the funeral to keep him quiet. Such a horrible thing, to accuse a mourning daughter at her father’s funeral. He is unwilling to stay near her for the duration of the night, despite a test of using a holy symbol (which of course did not repel her, as he would have thought). Instead he decided to bother Mary, the grieving mother and intended to lie to her about the safety of her daughter in order to sleep in her house, like some sort of vagrant. I will find somewhere else to sleep, after I send a letter by courier. I hope that perhaps we can have some semblance of solidarity in this time of trouble.

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Betrayal

Journal of Ashlyn, Undead Hunter

Upon the destruction of whatever Foul Creature haunted the local church, I thought I had found a new friend and comrade in Dubon of Barovia. I could not have been more wrong, for although he was kind and generous in his dealings with helping to seek the daughter of a local woman, and he was polite when addressing Ireena Kolyana, he is, in fact, an affront to all things natural, a taint upon our world. I could not believe my eyes when that knight, that brilliant man in gleaming arms, was nothing more than a rotting corpse powered by the foul taint of Negative Energy. Already I feel myself corrupted by just associating with him, and yet… [scratched out]

No, my resolve must be clear. I must continue my search for the Sunsword, that I may use its power to smite all undead that walks upon our world and let the light of Sarenrae shine.

Dear Dubon, knight of valor, I pray we do not meet again, lest I will send you screaming into whatever Hell the Lady of Graves deems worthy of you.

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The Old Church

The newcomers have made their way to the church of that accursed Dawnflower and vanquished the mad priest that resided there. Now that he is out of the way, the livestock is now free to live their lives in fear of the only thing they should.

But to be able to vanquish the horror that was within that building, that unnatural mockery of life far inferior to a true immortal, shows their skill and valor. They will be useful, indeed.

But best of all, nothing stands between me and her, and I shall make use of that fact in due time…

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Journal Entry (Emen)
Journal Entry 3

     After we finished slaying the undead we spoke with Ashlyn, a paladin who was protecting the townsfolk. She told us that two of her companions went to investigate the church and she has not seen them in several days. We decided to help her, all of us save for Ko’Jak. He has decided that saving two lives and investigating the church would not be profitable and demanded additional payment. We eventually left without him, but he rejoined us a short while later. I do not know why. Perhaps he persuaded someone to give away their well-saved earnings. Either way we arrived shortly at the church, after only having to fight a handful of ghasts.

     The church was in a poor state of repair, and appeared to have been ill, maintained. After we entered we were attacked by a priest and a handful of undead. Dubon managed to take down the rogue priest, and Davion was most effective at hindering some of the more dangerous foes.

     After the short skirmish we took a moment to investigate the church, and find any sign of Ashlyn’s companions. However, while Ko’jak was investigating a hole in the floor, a portion of it collapsed. We jumped down to join him. What we found below was truly horrendous. We have since discovered that the priest had a son who died, and he was grief-stricken. In this grief he attempted to resurrect his son through, unsavory means. We fought what remains of his son. Worse yet we found Ashlyn’s companions, but it was too late. we might have suffered the same fate if Dubon had not struck down the creature. He even told us to leave so that he might hold the creature off. The monster was slain, and with that the church was silent.

     In the aftermath we discovered the priest’s mistaken attempt, as well as a book which instructed how to create such a monster. In the priest’s diaries we found references to the castle, as well as a mysterious entity named “Strahd”. Further investigation will be required.

     As we finished our investigation everything is quiet. It might be that the undead have been weakened. I know it will do little to console Ashlyn, but perhaps some greater progress against the undead might help. Such progress would no doubt make our task of aiding Ireena Koylana. I do not know what will await us when we meet her. She is held up with her father’s body, trying to hold the undead at bay. I hope we can be swift in our task, before the undead progress even further.

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