Werewolves in the Mist

Ven's Journal Entry 36

I found this verse in a book of Borovian poetry. I wish I had time to inscribe the poem in its entirety.

Nights of bliss with thee I spent
You left, my love, I do lament
You traveled to a faraway land
Caught in Talos’ mighty hand
And drowned within the raging sea
So I brought your soul inside of me

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Journal Entry 2: Woebegones and Wonderings

Ivo,

Message decrypt: Use crystals 86B, with accompanying cantrip (you know the one). And tell Rhalin to stay out of my study!

Needless to summarize, this new dimension has major instabilities, and damn near fatal poltergeists at every turn. Are we in the realm of the dead? Is this hell? If it is, its nothing dear Ivo, as our forefathers have described. If it isn’t, then there is nothing on record I can think of that remotely hints at our current predicament.

Nevertheless, we lost someone today, a dwarf of mixed heritage. He was damn near reckless and impulsive, but no amount of tactical advice helped the situation. It was a shame, he had the bravery of a mountain bear, but the wits of a canary with syphilis. He was knocked down, ass over tit, by some creature and devoured. We simply couldn’t get to him. Perhaps it was his orc upbringing, they are a rash, impulsive and barbaric…I simply lay the blame at his clans feet. But, nevertheless, I will bring the news to his clan once we are released from this ghoulish utopia. His name is presented here, but will remain in code. Please identify his clan so, with my hopeful return, I may bring my condolences, to what I assume to be, his next of kin.

Thus concludes my ruminating and reflection. I hope to see you again soon, dear brother. My next letter will use crystals 73xV for authentication and decrypt. And again…if Rhalin borrows yet another journal from my library, I will tan his hide with the broadside of my war hammer upon my return. He may be smart, but he’s a damn nuisance and his mother should know better.

Till then, may the Shields of Faith prevail!

Valko

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Letters to home

Naneth,

I hope things have been going well back home. How is little Lillian? Is she doing well?

So my first stop was a large city called Waterdeep. I took a tour through it trying to get a feel for the place but I didn’t find anybody worth while. Then made my way down to Daggerford. I met with the local nobility and manage to get a good relationship with them. Got a rumor of a pack of werewolves terrorizing the country side. Some adventurers and myself decided to track them down and put and end to the threat. We thought it would be simple; we were wrong.

We tracked them to a local forest and proceeded to follow them in. It was a mistake. After many hours in the forest we came across an very large and old human ruin (well old for humans). After fighting some… fascinating zombies, the possible lord of the realm came to meet us. We’ll he seemed to only want the females in our party.

From there we manage to get to a town to try and find lodging and get our bearings. The town is deserted. We’re now about to help these two human children out with a “monster” in there basement. Hopefully we can find some answers to where exactly we are.

Oh and there is a name I need you to research, Barovia. It is the name of the land I think that these werewolves are from.

Your son,

Adrien

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Andor's Adventure pt 3

When you open your eyes several hours later, it is dawn and the fog is thicker than even the day before. Ergan bids you good morning and starts to prepare breakfast. You stand and let him know that you need to, um, step into the woods for a moment. He reminds you, unnecessarily, to bring your sword with you. “Remember that time a goblin caught me with my pants down last year?” You step into the fog-cloaked woods, but only go a few yards reasoning that the added fog affords you all the privacy you need. A few minutes later, you turn to return to camp. You walk back several yards in the direction you came from, but the camp is not there. You figure you just got turned around in the fog and move a little ways to first your left, then your right, looking for your camp, but you see nothing. Feeling quite foolish, you call out to your fellows. But there is no reply. Surely you can’t have traveled so far away in just a few moments walking! You attempt to retrace your steps again, but nothing seems familiar. A few minutes pass, then more time. You estimate that an hour or more has passed and you are more lost than ever. Lost, separated from your friends, even your stout heart is feeling the encroaching panic. Finally, after 3 or 4 hours, you stumble from the woods and onto a road, likely the very road that you were following the previous day. You want to laugh and cry from the relief. Looking left and right, you decide that you will jog along the road to your right for a bit to see if you can find any recognizable landmarks. After about 10 minutes, you come upon your campsite, now empty save for a note pinned to a tree. Taking the note, it reads:

Andor,

Ergan and I waited for you for quite a long time. This fog is damnably thick, so I suppose you might have gotten lost. We are setting out to look for you. We will continue along the road on our path. If we don’t find you along the way, we hope and pray to Kord that he delivers you safely to this place, Barovia where we expect to see you. I’m sure we will be laughing about this tomorrow, but DAMN YOU ANDOR! How dare you worry us like this!

Please be safe. Please.

-Martess

While you are disappointed at not finding your friends, you are extremely relieved to have found your bearings. Your friends have taken all of your supplies. All you have are your weapons, armor, coin purse. Everything carried in your backpack is gone. You hurry after your friends. Several times along the way, you spot evidence of recent travel along the road, and once you find one of Martess’ hair ribbons tied to a tree. Martess; she really is quite clever.

After several hours of rapid travel, you emerge from the woods into grasslands. The fog has cleared significantly and while the day is still gray and overcast, it is much less wet here. The road is no longer muddy and you haven’t seen tracks from your friends for the last mile or so. It is early evening. You see a low house in a field off the road. You head over to investigate and find that it is deserted and dilapidated. But, good news! You do see another of Martess’ ribbons tied to the handle of the door. Though you would very much like to press on, you haven’t eaten all day, and have been pushing yourself for hours. You decide to take advantage of the empty shelter and rest for the night. Searching the small home, you find a meal of cold chicken, hard-tack bread, and a skin of wine, along with a note.

Andor, thought you might be hungry ☺

-Martess

Clever girl! You tear into the food. Belly full, you settle in for the night.

During your evening prayers, and over the course of the night, you hear a great deal of howling from wolves. There is so much howling, that, while you do get a full night’s rest, you still feel a bit tired in the morning.

You are in such a hurry to get going, you almost neglect your morning stretching, but skipping two days in a row would really be an affront to Kord, and besides, you always feel better after limbering up. Morning routine complete, you head out, continuing west toward Barovia.

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Andor's Adventure pt 2

You set out the next morning to follow the directions provided. The day is overcast and foggy. You walk a full morning in the cold, somewhat wet weather before you find the path into the woods that the stranger spoke of. The morning fog hasn’t lifted and indeed seems to linger and cling to the trees along the path.

Black pools of water stand like dark mirrors in and around the muddy roadway. Giant trees loom on both sides of the road, their branches clawing at the mist.

You march on for an additional five hours.

The fog spills out of the forest to swallow up the road behind you. Ahead, jutting from the impenetrable woods on both sides of the road, are high stone buttresses looming gray in the fog. Huge iron gates hang on the stonework. Dew clings with cold tenacity to the rusted bars. Two headless statues of armed guardians flank the gate, their heads now lying among the weeds at their feet. They greet you only with silence.

As you approach, the gates swing open. Ergan stops short. “Was that the wind?” Martess laughs. “Big strong fighter jumping at every sound! Don’t worry tough guy, Andor and I will protect you.” With that, she winks at Ergan and walks forward through the gates. You notice that she is speaking something quietly and moving her fingers in complex patterns, so maybe she’s not quite as fearless as her words would suggest.

Ergan, taking the bait, hurries to be the first through the gates. He always did have an over-developed protective streak where Martess was concerned. You wonder, not for the first time, if there is something going on between them. Well, no time to worry about that now. The three of you pass through the gates and continue on the road.

You travel on for the last few hours before what light there is begins to fade with the approach of dusk. Ergan spots a bit of a clearing on the side of the road that looks like a good place to camp for the night.

As you go about the well-practiced tasks of setting up camp for the night, you see signs that this spot has been used recently. Martess calls that a good sign. You spend a companionable few hours eating and conversing around the campfire. Ergan breaks out the shawm that he acquired from that merchant in Daggerford. Gods! will he ever learn to play that thing? He ‘plays’ for a time and Martess encourages him. Yeah, something going on there.

Finally it’s time to turn in. Martess offers to take first watch. Needing very little time for your own meditation, you sit up with her for her shift. When midnight comes, Martess puts away the spellbook she’d been studying, bids you good night, wraps herself in her bedroll, and quickly falls asleep.

You spend the next few hours praying, reading, perhaps making notes in your journal, and making sure that the fire stays going strong. When the time comes you waken Ergan, then lean back against a tree trunk for your meditation.

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Journal Entry 1: Peregrination and Predicament.

Ivo,

Forgive the deep encryption of this recent correspondence. The decrypt crystals in my study should assist in any complications you might have while attempting to decipher. The mixing of giant and goblin might seem to be excessive, but one can never be too careful. Remember the incident at Rahn-Lo?

We don’t need another repeat. I certainly learned my lesson, and the last thing I need is another scar.

You know the pretense in which I embarked, and there is no change in my scutwork. However, I have found myself, quiet possibly, in another dimension. Perhaps an astral plane? How would I guess with such foolhardiness? Trust me it has nothing to do with my dotage, which I’m sure is your first instinct. How can I blame you? However, it namely has to do with the planeta and stars, including various mountain ranges we’ve grown accustomed too: they simply do not match any known formations. When did I cross over? Where was this sigil, or necrotic entryway? How did we cross it without experiencing minor neurological side effects? It has left me scratching my beard. My companions seem unaffected, with the exception of one dewy eyed elf, who I believe is only present physically.

But we’ve come to expect this from elves.

I will contact you further upon the revelation of new artifacts or musings. Here are the coordinates and bearings of where I believe such an astral re-configuration might have happened. A simple scouting party will suffice to ascertain any known necromorphic anomalies.

May the Shields of Faith prevail!

Valko

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Andor's Adventure Begins

Andor, you, Ergan, and Martess are sitting in a tavern in Secomber. You’ve just returned from a trip to the Greypeak Mountains where your group was fighting goblins who’d been kidnapping people from nearby settlements.
You were successful in your efforts and are celebrating your newly acquired wealth (162 GP) and looking forward to a bit of a rest.

Outside the tavern, a fog lies over the town this evening. The damp, cobbled pavement glistens as the lights of street lanterns dance across the slick stones. The fog chills the bones and shivers the soul of anyone outside.
Yet inside these tavern walls the food is hearty, and the ale is warm and frothy. A fire blazes in the hearth, and the tavern is alive with the tumbling voices of country folk.

Suddenly the tavern door swings open, and a hush falls over the room. Framed by the lamp-lit fog, a form strides through the doorway. His heavy, booted footfalls and the jingle of his coins shatter the silence. His brightly colored clothes are draped in loose folds about him, and his hat hangs askew, hiding his eyes in the shadows. Without hesitation, he walks up to your table and stands proudly in a wide stance with folded arms.
In an accented voice, he says, “I have been sent to you to deliver this message. If you be creatures of honor, you will come to my master’s aid at first light. It is not advisable to travel the Svalich Woods at night!” He pulls from his tunic a sealed letter, addressed to all of you in beautiful flowing script. He drops the letter on the table. “Take the west road from here some five hours march down through the Svalich Woods. There you will find my master in Barovia.”

Amid the stares of the patronage, the gypsy strides to the bar and says to the wary barkeep, “Fill the glasses, one and all. Their throats are obviously parched.” He drops a purse heavy with gold on the bar. With that, he leaves.

The babble of tavern voices resumes, although somewhat subdued. The letter is lying before you. The seal is in the shape of a crest you don’t recognize.

Burgomaster-letter.jpg

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The Adventure begins

It all started a few days ago. My faction rep, Davra Jassur, sent a message to me to have a meeting. It seems that I wasn’t the only one in the area. There appears to be a problem east of Daggersford that involves werewolves. Davra says that there is a group of adventurers going to go and try to fix the problem. Davra’s husband was in a caravan that is missing and she fears the worst and would consider it a personal favor if we would do what we can to get an answer for her. We said we would do it.

The meeting of the adventurers was in a local tavern and included two dwarves, an elf and three half-elves. It looks as if there will be a barbarian, a cleric, and three other magic users beside myself. We were told that the werewolves were coming out of the Misty Forest and attacking people on the night of the full moon. It is about three days til the next full moon. No time to lose.

As a group we decided to leave the next morning. One of the magic users had a local source and was able to get one weapon for each of us silvered at no charge. This will be helpful as silver will be needed to kill the werewolves.

We took off the next morning heading out to the area where an attack occurred. After entering the forest, the mist seemed to close in. I was able to find and follow the tracks for several hours. Finally the tracks disappeared. We traveled a ways further and came upon a massive set of gates. Our barbarian went right up to the gates and opened them and entered pretty much without checking anything. About all the rest of us could do was follow.

Once we had all gotten past the gates and were looking around, the gates closed on their own. At that time I spotted a rider a distance down the path. As I looked closer, I could see that both the horse and rider were skeletons. I called out to him and he sat there for a short period and then turned and rode away. I saw something fall as he took off.

We talked and decided that we were still looking for the werewolves so we should continue on down the path. We traveled for a few more hours when four creatures came shambling down the path towards us. Before we knew it we were fighting the zombies. We noted that these zombies were different than those that had been fought before. They still fought when limbs and heads were cut off. Even the unattached limbs fought. Very strange.

We spent the night on the trail in the mist rotating watches for safety. On my watch I smelled death and ended up finding a mauled body. All that was found on the remains was a letter.

In the morning we continued down the path. The only tracks I could find were of shod humans and wagons and none were fresh. Not long after starting a carriage came down the trail toward us. The driver was an elf that seemed to grey skin, not as dark as drow, but still grey.

-————————— to be continued -——————

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