Our adventurers met traveling the roads to the north of Ostodeu, and after a quick battle, sat down for drinks at a local tavern. They were come upon by a garishly dressed man with an air of danger around him. Buying drinks for the whole tavern, he passed off a letter onto the party, a letter beseeching their aid in the then unknown land of Barovia.
Deciding to help, they set off, finding a thick fog blocking every direction except the one they needed to take. Walking for hours, they soon found themselves in a strange land, surrounded by mist.
Passing through the massive gates of Barovia, the players came across the eponymous village. Drawn by the mists to a tall gothic row house (SPOILERS: haunted), the group agreed to help a couple of children (SPOILERS: ghosts) find their parents (SPOILERS: dead) who were seemingly somewhere in the house. Clearing the way through the haunted house owned by creepy cultists, they stopped the monster down below and escaped, watching the house crumble behind them.
Some of the party went to explore, following the sounds of weeping to a home. Inside, they met “Mad Mary”, distraught over the loss of her daughter Gertruda. The rest went to the local bar where a group of local Vistani hang out, also meeting the son of the town’s late Burgomaster, Ismark Kolyanovich.
Ismark’s adopted sister, Ireena Kolyana, had recently become the principal interest of the ruler of these lands, a known vampire by the name of Strahd von Zarovich. Concerned for her safety, Ismark asked the adventurers to escort them to Vallaki, a town beyond the gates of Barovia, where Ireena would hopefully be safe.
Before departing, the adventurers sought out Madame Eva, a Vistani Seer not far from town. She read their cards, informing them of the locations of the different tools and allies that would help them slay the man who trapped them here, the Devil Strahd.
Setting off with Ismark and Ireena, the band stopped by at a mill to acquire some “dream pastries”. Learning the mill was run by a coven of hags who ground children’s bones for their tasty treats, the hags were slaughtered and their windmill burnt to the ground, rescuing two children from cages inside.
In Vallaki, Ismark, Ireena, and the children went to the church, while some of the players became fascinated with the local toy maker, Blinsky. The others checked in at the local inn, The Blue Water Inn.
Heading to the church the next day, Father Lucian Petrovich informed Ajani that the bones of St Andral that once lay under the altar had been stolen. Learning they had been stolen for Henrick, the coffin maker, the players reclaimed them, but not before soundly destroying a number of vampire spawn in the attic.
Woodrow had set off to follow a mysterious figure, and it paid off. Revealing herself to be Sasha, one of Strahd’s brides, she informed Woody that she was looking to kill her husband so she could again be free. The two arranged a meeting outside the city following the Festival of the Blazing Sun.
Rictavio made his appearance next. At first presenting himself as a bard hear to tell stories, the group quickly learned his was secretly a vampire hunter by the name of Rudolph van Richten. Giving them aid as best as he could, he also agreed to join them for their forthcoming meeting with Sasha.
Our group next ventured to the town of Krezk in search of one of the relics foretold by the cards. However, their entrance to the town was barred, but promised if they returned with wine. So the group went to the Wizard of the Wines Winery, where they learned the wereravens that operate the establishment had been forced out by a group of nasty druids.
The druid problem was very efficiently exterminated, and the ravens once again were owners of the winery. Davian, the patriarch was impressed and grateful. He also agreed, if the characters could return just one of the missing magical plant growing gems that had been stolen, the ravens would be by their side when they inevitably went to fight Strahd.
With the plan to bring the wine to Krezk at a later date, the players returned to Vallaki for the Festival of the Blazing Sun.