D&D Encounters – Curse of Strahd – and out of Vallaki

Curse of Strahd CoverMy companions wanted to go and take another look at the remains of the coffin makers house and from there the caravan with the circus tiger in it. Arriving at the scene the guard were doing a reasonable job of holding back gawkers (including my companions) but they let a cloaked figure through. Bribing one of the guards I found out that it was the burgomasters right hand man, Izek. Another onlooker catches our attention, Lady Wachter, who appears to view the scene with disdain before leaving. My companions make comments to the guards which don’t go down well and so we make our way on to the caravan yard to see this circus beast.

I use my bag to call forth another animal, getting a giant Elk and choosing to ride it. As we approach the yard we can hear the growls and see the caravan lurch as whatever was inside throws its bulk at the walls, attempting to break out. There are two hired locals standing guard nervously I try to convince them it’s just the owners angry wife but they don’t buy it. The owners of the yard come out and talk to us, and my companions want to go and peruse their goods in the small shop they also run (though they buy nothing as the prices are once again extremely high).

We decide to pay the burgomeister a visit and see if there’s any further news on the pair of creatures that fled the coffin makers before it was brought under control. As we head there we come across a man carrying fishing gear stumbling along with a pair of guards that are pushing him and tripping him over. Pertinax wont hold with this intervenes, the guards eventually back off and we help the fisherman up. Turns out he goes out on the nearby lake daily but never catches anything, he blames it on a weird guy casting lightning in to the lake and scaring the fish away so he drown his sorrows  in the Inn.

Letting him stagger onwards to the Inn we get to the burgomasters mansion, the guards let us in and a serving girl goes to tell him we’re here. We get impatient at being made to wait, I begin flexing my clawed feet on the carpet, ripping up threads. A couple of my fellows begin opening doors inquisitively. Eventually the burgomeister appears, accompanied by  Izek and a pair of big mastiff hounds. We’re ushered into a meeting room, I take the seat directly opposite him but my companions remain standing. The talk does not go well and in short order we are asked to leave, but not before we find out that Izek has a demonic arm that can combust at will. Good to know, just in case.

We leave the mansion and head out-of-town to go and see the lake, hoping to find the lightning wielder. We find a handful of small rowboats, most are empty but one is drawn up on shore and has several empty bottles scattered around it with a large sack lying in it. As we approach the sack wiggles, Aris pokes it with his staff and it grunts. Opening the sack we find a bound and gagged girl, vistani by the look of her. Bluto, the drunk fisherman, had kidnapped her in the belief that she would bring him luck and was keeping her here until his fishing improved. Her family had a camp the other side of the town so we agreed to take her home. I reminded my companions of the fortune tellers words in our shared dream.

As she turned the fourth card she revealed the Tempter “This card sheds light on one who will help you greatly in the battle against darkness. I see a child-a Vistana. You must hurry, for her fate hangs in the balance. Find her at the lake!”.

This is gnawing at my soul as we trudge back to town, the girl riding on my elk. We don’t get far though before we hear the sound of wolf howls in the trees nearby and a thick fog seeps up around us. Pertinax puts some holy water on his blade and literally cuts through the fog  but we seem to be going in circles. Eventually it clears and we’re glad to see we’d actually made it further than we knew. However the guards are under orders not to let us back in to Vallaki. The girl tells us that its only a little longer to walk around to her camp so off we go, the guards seem to be following on the ramparts. I manage to slip away and hide until the guard has followed my allies, then discerning their patrol pattern I scale the wall and sneak into the town heading for the Inn.

The guards almost find me but I pull another furball, summoning a giant boar and command it to run amok down the street and distract the guards. I enter the Inn through the stables and wait in the cask room, the Innkeep soon comes in and doing my best to appear un-menacing I assure him i mean no harm but I’m looking for Bluto. The drunk has already left for his hut to sleep off his inebriation, the Innkeep tells me the hut just outside town (close to the Vistani camp), I give him a silver for his trouble and leave the same way I came.

Making my way back out-of-town wasn’t too difficult and once again scale the walls. I spy Bluto staggering along and my anger takes over, I charged down at the man who only seems to realise I’m real just before I barrel into him, tackling him to the ground. He hits hard and is knocked unconscious, a shame, I wanted him to feel this. Drawing my blades I take his head, wrap it in a rag and put it in my bag of holding, before heading in the direction of what I assume is the Vistani camp. My companions must have already arrived and forewarned the gypsy guards as they let me past and into the main tent. Sure enough my friends are there, as well as they young girl. She looks happier for being home. I take out Bluto’s head and toss it to her feet “He’ll not bother you any further little one”.

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My companions look at me a little shocked, but for us Dragonborn children are the most precious thing. We dont breed often or well and several of my kin have even adopted abandoned children of other races out of our sense of protecting the young.  The Zhentarim taught me that power is important but its in my genes to place “family” first, even if their not my actual family.

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