While Rorik, Pertinax and Heimlich examined the large symbol above the fireplace, myself and Eldon descend into the basement. The halfling can’t see in the dark so I light a torch. As we move lower we can see a barrel towards the centre of the room with stands of wine racks towards the outer walls. There is a scrabbling noise coming from the barrel so I move a little closer and toss the torch in.
An angry little creature leaps out, its fur aflame and I skewer it on my shortsword. Once sure that nothing further of interest is below we head back up and in the light I can tell it used to be squirrel. Most of its fur has been singed away, but I put it in my bag of holding for now.
We decide en mass to ascend to the upper floor. There is a bed and table which the others go to examine and I move to look up at the bell in the small tower above the centre of the room. I hear some commotion behind, turning to see Heimlich, our paladin, trying to gorge himself on what looks to be chopped up body parts while Pertinax attempts to restrain him. Not my problem. I try to climb the rope attached to the bell but it proves beyond my capability.
Judging the distance up to the beam holding the bell to be within my range I step slightly aside and loose my acid breath upward in a volatile stream. It covers the top of the bell and the beam where it was attached, theres is a fizzing, sizzling noise and then the whole bell drops – crashing not only to but through the wooden floor of the room we’re in and down to the stone floor of the room below. Thankfully we all manage to avoid being hit on its way down, and this seems to have brought the paladin back to his senses.
We head back down stairs and purely out of spite I take the clanger out of the bell and dunk it in the large pot of whatever the hells is cooking on the fireplace. Strange that no-one has come to investigate the crash, and we’ve still not located our battlerager.
We return to the “prison” side of the abbey and ascend to the upper floor, its grimy and looks like it’s not been used for some time. Opening the first door we found a young woman dressed in a style very similar to Vistani though when I mention this she seems to take great offence. She’s armed with several weapons (many of them silvered) and has a wooden leg carved to match her other boot. She says that the Abbot has been dealing with Strahd and his due to meet him at midnight, when she intends to strike at them. We offer our help which she grudgingly accepts.
Rather than go in blind Eldon and myself decide to scout ahead as the sky darkens and night falls, a pale moonlight filters through the windows and their ragged curtains. Not willing to risk a torch I decide to sneak ahead and pull open the curtains to allow more moonlight in to aid the halfling. The first area appears to be some form of reception area, maybe some sort of office. A door leads further on, neither of us can discern any trap upon it or noise coming from beyond it and so we cautiously open it.
The room beyond looks somewhat akin to a hospital ward or dormitory. More curtained windows along one wall to our left and a number of doors leading off to our right. Again I move forward to open the curtains but as I open the first set rather than get lighter the darkness seems to flow around me and coalesce into five shadow creatures. Their strikes upon me not only drain my health but seem to sap the strength from my body too. I realise that I’m seriously outmatched and cut off from the doorway so take the only exit possible – and dive out of the window, luckily my agility allows me to land in a roll undamaged. I regain my feet just in time to hear Eldon shouting his little lungs out “Undead! Help!” and within moments I see the windows of the room burst with a radiance akin to sunlight and realise that Heimlich must have activated the amulets powers.
With the sounds of combat from above I make my way , albeit slowly, back to the courtyard and to my companions, arriving only moments after they had successfully dealt with the shadow creatures. Many of us are injured and we ask Rorik for healing. He’s reluctant as he still doesn’t trust that myself and Eldon had nothing to do with the amulet being in his backpack, so he asks us straight out if we did it. Both Eldon and myself tell him we didn’t and he believes us, calling upon the powers of his god to heal our wounds. The young woman has gone, whether she meant for us to fall into the trap or not remains unclear, but with our spirits and resources low we decide to barricade ourselves in the room and recuperate for the remainder of the night.
In the morning we search but find no sign of the Abbott nor his auburn haired “companion”, so after giving the keys to the more sociable of the prisoners and telling them they were free we descend back down to the village of Krezk. While we sit once more beside the shrine pool we discuss our next move and destination, do we follow one of the other clues from the card reading (and head to the werewolf shrine) or do we head back towards Vallaki and the mysterious wizard by the lake? Vallaki seems to be a majority choice, not least because Pertinax still holds a grudge against their burgomeister and his fiery armed henchman. Rorik has dragged the golden sun symbol from the Abbey with us so maybe we can use that as a “gift” to regain access to the town.