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Thursday, 18 April 2019

#RPG Chapter Five: Dude, Where's My K'Ao?

The Tuesday Knights (minus Erica) settling in to their new home.

In the wake of our last adventure, there was a confusion of spectral smoke and doorways of gnashing teeth (or knives) as the party retrieved the skeletons of the two children and their nanny and laid them to rest in the family crypt beneath the haunted house.

Finally making it outside, the group came across a massive tree strung with corpses that resembled their own appearance.

Investigating closer, four of the bodies dissolved into smoke, leaving only the simulacrum of K'Ao, the elf ranger (Erica's character).

Strahd von Zarovich
Simultaneously, K'Ao, who was standing in the midst of the party, morphed into the form of the vampire lord, Strahd von Zarovich, ruler of Barovia (he domain we found ourselves in) and the object of the Durst family's obsessive worship.

Before being whisked away in a Hammer Horror carriage, driven by Ragar's blank-faced cousin, Gundram, the vampire welcomed the adventurers to his lands, thanking them for ridding it of a "leprous pustule", and gifted them a map of Barovia.

The ever-present mists had receded slightly and the group could better see the run-down village they were in (also called Barovia - Strahd may be a mighty vampire lord, but he's clearly not that creative).

With the terrifying vampire gone, we realised that K'Ao had been taken, but when and where? After much soul-searching it was decided that it was very unlikely she was still in the Death House, so we made our way into the village to find somewhere to rest and gather our thoughts.

Calling upon the crafting capabilities of Clare and her mother-in-law,
Simon presented the group with a pair of paper wagons, as miniature props, for use with our figures.
Above, you will see the party's own covered wagon (which we brought with us from The Forgotten Realms).

At the heart of the village of Barovia was a tavern invitingly named The Blood On The Vine, in which we befriended a miserable man called Ismark, whose sister, Irene, had become an object of Strahd's fascination.

He invited us back to the house of Burgomaster - his father - to meet his family.

Unfortunately, we arrived at their near-derelict abode just in time to discover that the Burgomaster had passed away.

Castle Ravenloft - in the mountains beyond the village of Barovia. Very inviting and not at all scary!

Ragar (Kevin's dwarf cleric) said some words over the corpse, then we ritually bound it in preparation for burial the next day. Ragar also checked over the pale Irene and found a pair of tell-tale bite marks on her neck.

The following morning we carried the corpse, in our wagon, to the village church, where we found a gibbering priest, consumed with grief over his undead son in the cellar (because Ravenloft!).

Madam Eva
It seems a wizard had come to Barovia about a year ago (possibly from The Forgotten Realms) and whipped the locals up into a rebellious frenzy against their vampire overlord.

He'd led a group up into the mountain to assault Castle Ravenloft, Strahd's home, but despite a mighty sorcerous duel, the only 'survivor' was Doru, the vicar's son... and he'd come back as a member of the undead.

Priest Donovich said we needed to get Irene and Ismark away from Baorovia, out of the grasp of Strahd, but upon learning we had lost one of our own, he suggested we visit Madam Eva of the Vistani, the local Romani people.

He directed us to an encampment on the outskirts of the village, where we were welcomed into Madam Eva's luxurious caravan (see below).

As she spread out her tarokka cards before her, it became very clear she had been expecting us and knew all about our group and our troubles.

Ragar and Syr Edvard approach Madame Eva's caravan.

To be continued...

The Tuesday Knights
:

  • DUNGEON MASTER - Simon
  • Rufus Longhole - Pete
  • K'ao - Erica (absent)
  • Dolly Spartan - Clare
  • Ragar - Kevin
  • Syr Edvard of House Dobbin - Me

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