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.