Werewolves in the Mist

Damn this fog

Damn this fog. I’ve never felt more cold or alone in my life. It seems like I’ve been wandering…no, stumbling around in this accursed fog for an age. It can’t be though can it? I wish I had never agreed to join those…what did they call themselves? Vish…vish…Vistani that’s right. By Deneirs inkblots they had such wondrous tales and such wondrous wine! They must have cast some curse on me or perhaps trapped me in some strange dimension? I’ve heard tales of such things but perhaps it is nothing more than me lost in the fog? The few travelers I have met don’t seem to perturbed by the fog though, so maybe it’s normal in this part of Faerun…though I hadn’t heard of any land perpetually blanketed like this. What’s odd is the usual songs seem new to these people and when I mention Waterdeep, I get blank stares. Their eyes show they know not what or where the sword coast even is! So I sing to them songs they’ve never heard and spin tales they know nothing of! Seems like a lifetime since I’ve had a good glass of wine or ale.

Damn this fog.

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Plant Creatures Yuck

If I never see another plant creature it will be too soon. Even the filthy stinky druids that seemed to be controlling them were just as bad.

Well, let me elaborate a little. Our group had gone to the Wizard of Wines vineyard to try to get some wine to take to the village of Krezk so that we could get rid of Ireena and Izmark.

Even before we got quite to the area we were set up on by a bunch of plant creatures and a human wearing dirty, smelly animal skins. It wasn’t too tough of a battle, but little did we know what was to come. As soon as we entered the vineyard area, we were attacked by more of the plant creatures, only this time there were two different types; the smaller ones that weren’t too much of a problem, and a larger variety that were downright nasty. The bigger ones could throw pieces of wood that were kind of like darts. They hurt.

I guess we took care of about 25 -30 of them before some of them were accompanied by a couple of druids. Finally we finished off all those that we found outside and proceeded to enter the winery proper. Inside we again encountered more of the plant creatures and druids. During this fight, we saw one of the druids pouring something into one of the large wine vats (it turned out to be poison).

It took a while and a few wounds, but we prevailed in the battle. One of the druids had this wooden staff and was facing off against Ven. A raven flew into one of the upper windows and told Ven to break the staff. It took a little time for others to get into the room to assist Ven, but they finally arrived and killed the druid. Ven told them to break the staff.

As soon as it was broken, all other plant creatures in the area died. When this happened, the owners of the winery came out of the woods and thanked us. This is when we found out that all wines in the vats were poisoned. Maylynn cast purify food and drink to salvage all remaining wine.

No more plant creatures please.

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interesting as we got to wizard of wines

We head to the wizards of wines, on the way we ran into some tree looking things and an old person that tried to attack. We dealt with them no problem and continued on our way.

We have Wizards of Wine in our sight, we start walking towards the building and got stopped by a man in the woods. He told us he was the owner and that druids and tree blites were taking over the building and the land which explains why the delivers have stopped. We told him that was why we were there and asked where these creatures were.

We headed towards the house when some tree looking things popped out of no where and started attacking. More and more of them came along with some druids. We dealt with them and then all got to the porch of winery to catch our breath before the next round of things come. We all know there is more….

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Ven's Journal Entry 42

Ever since I gained my power I have had this companion with me, in my head, always. But twice in the last day I have been overcome with memories that are not my own. Perhaps there is a connection between this land and my companion.

It was one such memory that brought me to the phoenix tree. Rogelio remembered the clearing, and the tree. So I remembered too.

The tower was the first time these memories became so real that I lost myself. These memories belonged to a young woman, nearly my own age. When the lead werewolf transformed into his human shape I remembered him. He told me he loved me and persuaded me to meet him in the woods for a secret rendezvous. As evening fell I made my way to the woods. I saw his handsome face for a just a moment before he transformed into the ugly beast that took my life. I was so overwhelmed with these memories and the lust for vengeance that I was ready to go after him, even if it meant dying by his hand yet again. My companions calmed me and helped me to break free of my reverie. I am lucky to be traveling with such people.

I can still feel Rogelio’s memories tugging at me. My name is… his name is Rogelio Andras and he worked for the Wizard of the Wines delivering goods. He was drunk and killed a child. He took his own life. His memories and mine seem to be blending together as if I could just reach in and take whatever knowledge I need. I don’t know how long this will last.

So many memories of death and heartbreak. I wonder how much more I can take.

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A Walk in the Park

We left the church in Vallaki shortly before noon. We had our original party along with Andor, Sasha, Ireena, and Ismark. The plan was to go to the Wizard’s Tower and find Rictavio.

Once out on the streets one of the first things we noticed was the abundance of Vistani walking down the street. It seems news travels fast. Several of them smiled at us and waved. It appeared that they knew us on sight.

With what had happened in town the day before, we were a little on edge as we made our way to the gate out of town. Each of us let out a sigh of relief as the gate fell behind us.

As we followed the road, it wasn’t long before there were trees along the sides of the road. I noticed that Ven kept looking off to one side after a short period of time. Soon, she called a halt and started walking toward the tree line that was about 30 feet off the road. The members of our original group all followed and asked Andor and Sasha to stay and guard Ireena and Ismark.

After walking through the trees for 15-20 feet, we saw a large tree and while we watched, the leaves turned brown and fell. In almost no time the fallen leaves turned to dust. Then the branches of the tree withered, died, and fell. Those also became dust in no time. Finally the tree trunk itself crumbled to dust. This all happened in the space of a few minutes. Then to our dismay, a sprout of a new tree started growing right where the last tree had stood. We watched for a few more minutes which was enough time to see the sprout become a new tree, grow tall and large, and finally start to shed its leaves just as the one earlier.

Someone picked a leaf off the tree. The leaf seemed to decay slower. I hope that whatever is affecting the tree doesn’t affect them. Weird.

It wasn’t too long after we had continued on our way, that I spied the strange rider on his horse again in the distance. He seemed to look at us for a short while, then drop something and ride off disappearing down the road. When we got to the spot, we found a small bottle of perfume with a picture of a happy Wolf on it and the word “Conjunction”. Not a clue what to make of this.

Soon we came to the road (path) that was to lead to the tower. In just a few minutes we could see out on the lake an island with an 80’ tower in its center. The tower was slightly shrouded in a veil of foggy mist. A narrow dike that went from the shore to the island had a narrow road on its surface. We could see that a wagon was parked on the island.

When we got out on the island, things really got strange. First, the wagon was not Rictavio’s. We also saw some scaffolding going up to a hole on the third level of the tower. It looked real rickety. The door to the tower had a word carved above the door “Kahzan” and had some weird symbols and lines embossed on the door itself.

Andor and I went up to the door and found that there was no handle or keyhole, only a large knocker below the symbol. I reached up and used the knocker. Andor and I were knocked over 10’ to the ground and took a bunch of damage from some kind of lightning.

Maylynn came closer to the tower and cast Detect Magic. She said that when looking at the tower it seemed to absorb the spell. She looked at the wagon and it showed that it was covered in magic also.

Then Ven, (our strange young sorceress) came up and looked at the symbols for a while, and then started doing this funny dance. It involved putting her arms in weird positions. All of a sudden the door opens. Thinking of it later, Ven was imitating the symbols on the door following the order of the lines.

Being wary I crept up to the door fully expecting to be zapped again. As nothing happened, I followed Ven and Andor into the first floor of the tower. Scattered around was a lot of debris, several crates, and what looked like four clay statues. The statues were each facing a chain that rose from the floor through a square hole in the ceiling. The floor above looked like it was pretty rotted. All three of us felt strange but could not put a finger as to what it was. Ven tried to cast detect magic and nothing happened.

I looked up through the hole in the ceiling and saw that the chains were attached to pulleys. I tried to pull on the chains and nothing happened, so I inspected the crates and the rest of the first floor. The crates were empty and the rest was nothing more than trash. Muttering to myself, I walked between the statues on my way outside. I must have said something that triggered the statues, because they began reaching up and pulling on the chains.

Ven and Andor had already left the tower so I ran to the door hollered that something was happening. Andor returned as a small platform attached to the chains stopped at the floor between the statues. The two of us got on the platform. Both of us said several different things hoping to go up. Then Andor said “Two” and the platform went up stopping at the second level. We could see that the floor here was very rotted and most like would not support our weight. We continued on to the fourth floor after noticing that the third was also highly rotted and had a hole in the wall.

The fourth floor was a complete change. It showed that it had been used recently. The floor was in very good condition and there were several arrow slits around the perimeter. There was a stove with wood, a bed, a writing desk, a chest and a set of armor in the room. Andor and I inspected everything in the room (aside from the chest) fairly quickly and found nothing. Being leery of possible traps I spent more time on the chest and happily found none. I carefully opened the chest and immediately jumped back. Inside the velvet lined chest was a well-preserved head.

It was about this time that we heard and felt to some extent a large explosion outside. Andor looked out and saw that the wagon had been blown to bits and people were sprawled on the ground. There was still stuff falling from the sky. He quickly got on the platform and said “One”. The platform started heading down. Andor made a leap when it was at the third floor trying to get to the hole so he could go down faster. He never made it that far as the floor crumbled under his weight. I called for the platform to come back, but it continued on to the first floor before returning to the fourth.

As I left the tower, I got there just in time to see Ismark catch Ireena as she fell a couple of feet. Several of the party appeared to be injured in one way or another. Wolf knelt by Ireena and cast a spell. Ven seemed to be down. Where the wagon had been was a hole in the ground and a wide field of debris.

After making sure that everyone was alive I spent a fair amount of time searching the wreckage looking for anything salvageable. Nothing.

By now it was late afternoon and the decision was made to spend the night in the tower. For some reason Andor didn’t want to have Ven on the same floor as Ireena, so he, Ismark, and Ireena stayed on the first floor and the rest of us went up to the fourth.

Now with more time I started searching the walls looking for anything odd or out of place. I found that there was a spot behind the armor that the mortar on the bricks was different. I could barely get my dagger in behind to scratch the mortar. It flaked away but removing the brick was impossible. I tried to dismantle the armor but it seemed to be welded together. I tried and even got help trying to move it and it wouldn’t budge. By this time Ven had awoken and said to the armor “Walk forward”. I jumped as it moved. She moved it far enough so that I could continue removing the last of the mortar and finally the brick. In the small opening is a book. It is later determined to be the beginning history of “Strahd”.

As we start to settle in, someone looks out one of the arrow slits and sees a pack of wolves coming down the dike road. As they watch, one of them changes into a man. The man and wolves look around the tower and the wreckage of the wagon for a while. Finally the man comes closer and looks up to the top of the tower. He says that if we come out, some of will not die. We say we will stay where we are.

He says something to one of his wolves and it comes up to the door. We hear a crackle and see the burned and mangled body of the wolf thrown to the ground. It is about this time that Ven seems to go into a trance. The guy says that they can stay out there longer than we can stay in the tower.

I try to shoot one of the wolves, but my aim was so far off, I don’t think I even hit the island. I’m not sure who it was, but someone else took a shot and hit a wolf. The leader gathered his forces and made a retreat back to the mainland. Ven came out of her trance shouting that we needed to kill the leader of the wolves now. After some shouting and scuffling she was convinced that we were in no condition physically to attempt a fight at this time.

Andor came up to the fourth floor and said that in the morning he, Ireena, and Ismark were going to Krezk to ask for sanctuary for Ireena and Ismark. There was some discussion with Ven being against it. Andor returned to the first floor and we settled in for a long rest.

What a laugh. The wolves howled for hours and some of us just couldn’t rest. Finally they got quiet and sleep came. Early the next morning, Andor, Adrien, Ireena, and Ismark headed to shore on their way to Krezk. As they set foot on the mainland, myself, Maylynn and Old Wolf started across the dike. Soon after, Ven followed. Everyone was wary, ready for an attack by the wolves and werewolves. As the first group entered the trees, they slowed and soon the entire party were reunited.

It was a little more than an hour to Krezk. Upon our arrival we found that we were kind of persona non grata. Ismark finally spoke with the local burgomaster and made a deal that if we could get them a wagon full of wine they would be allowed to enter.

Well, I guess it’s off to the “Wizards of Wine”.

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Bad news with the tower

All in the tower – some on the 1st floor and the rest on the 4th floor, getting ready to sleep. While getting ready to sleep we (people on the 4th floor) see the werewolves appear. Some of the group gets ready to fight and I am just wanting to sleep and heal from the explosion. Thad tried shooting at a werewolf, one of the wolves went up to the door and got zapped. I wasn’t paying that much attention but I believe Adrien got a hit on the main werewolf guy. When they would listen to me, I passed on my knowledge of magic and that the tower may collapse when the next thing touches the door, and that we should probably go to sleep and get out of this tower as soon as possible.

Next Morning:
Andor came up and explained his plan of taking Irena and Ismark to Krezk and that he was going to be leaving soon whether or not we are ready to leave. We let Andor, Irena, and Ismark lead the way to Krezk. Ven trailed behind very slowly.

Krezk:
We made it to Krezk no problem. We arrive at the gates and the burgomaster is not wanting to let us in. Ismark tried talking to him and then Adrien tried talking to him. We came up with a deal. We go to Wizards of Wine and figure out why the deliveries have stopped and bring some wine back, and they would give Ismark and Irena shelter. So off to Wizards of wine we go……

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After the Festival

We all grouped up in the church and took a little rest. Then we gathered all our things and started towards the tower. On our way there we met up with Sasha, and continued out of town. Just leaving the town Ven wanted to stop and leave the path to go check something out but could not explain what it was. Some of the group went with Ven, including me, and we saw a tree. The tree was growing and the leaves were changing colors and then dying all within 10 minutes of us standing there and then repeating after it died. We returned to the path and the rest of the group and continued on to the tower.

We got to the tower and noticed a wagon out front but not Rictavio’s wagon. We cast the spell Detect magic and learned that the wagon is somehow magical. Some of the group walked over to the tower, Andor walked up to the door and he tried to open it finding out it is locked and something hurt him. Then we noticed a photo on the wall near the door with little images on it. Ven started dancing like the images on the photo, the door opened after she was done. After the door, Andor, Thad, Ven, old Wolf and I went into the tower and only saw 4 like statues, and learned that magic is not allowed. So Ven and I went back outside since we are useless without our magic. Old Wolf also followed out and we joined Adrian, Sasha, Ismark, and Irena at the wagon.

We were all looking at the wagon and was curious what was in the wagon. We see a lock on the door of the wagon so Ven casted a spell that unlocks locks. It unlocked and Wolf went to take the lock off and BOOM goes the wagon sending all of us to the ground. Everyone that could move got up (besides me) and started walking around. Adrian was making his rounds seeing if everyone was okay. I see Wolf, Ismark, and Ven walking towards Irena. Then I heard Wolf yelling at Adrian to stop Ven. I look around me again and look back in their direction to see a body in the sky and then the body falling to the ground and Ven also falling to the ground.

After all that happened, we decided that we needed to sleep for awhile to regroup, so we all headed into the tower. Once in the tower we noticed some wolves surrounding the tower.

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Festival?

What a laugh, this festival is a farce. Children looking like frowning flowers, adults playing discordant drums and then the burgomasters’ wife coming in riding a white horse. The big pitch covered ball of wicker and burnables being pulled and pushed by some of the strong males from the village. Last but not least here comes that pompous ass of a burgomaster on his horse carrying a flaming torch.

As the fool makes his speech, the sky is soon darkened as chittering and screeches come from the sky. Looking up I see a cloud of bats filling much of the sky skimming the roof tops. Fear showing in his eyes, the burgomaster tried to ignite the ball. It all happened in a matter of seconds, then bats flew off and the skies opened up in a torrential downpour dowsing the torch and any possible chance for a fire.

Adrien cast a couple of his spells to try to get the fire going, but there was just too much water for it to take. The spell seemed to fizzle.

One of the guards laughed and people gasped and looked his way. The burgomaster said to arrest him. This is when all hell broke loose. Someone hollered “Now” and a fight broke out between loyal guards and some masked fighters. The burgomaster told his special guards to protect him and they moved off the square, most likely back to his house. His poor wife was left where she had been.

Andor and Father Petrovich ran to the wife and got her off the horse. It seems that the wife is the sister of Father Petrovich. The three of them headed out of the plaza most likely to the church.

Upon seeing the bats, Ismark started hollering to our group, “We must get to the church and protect Ireena.” All the others in the group except Adrien and I started running for the church.

I had also turned to go, but saw Adrien trying to get the children in the plaza to safety. I didn’t feel that it would be a good idea for him to be alone in the plaza, what with the fighting going on. Either of the two sides could decide that he would be their next target therefore I stayed and helped with the kids.

It was hard to tell who was on what side. Some of the guards were fighting other guards. We could at least tell that the ones with masks were going to fight only guards or so I hoped. Every once in a while when a masked fighter killed a guard, he would look over at Adrien and I and give us a thumbs up, as if we were assisting them in their fight.

After a short while we had the kids moved away from the fighting. Now seeing a clear chance we took off at out top speed toward the church. It didn’t take long, but as we came in sight of it, we saw that the fighting at the plaza hadn’t been the only fight going on.

Several of our party were on the ground, there were the corpses of some wolves also lying about. I could see that the windows in the church were broken out. I think I caught a glimpse of a swarm of bats flying, off in the distance.

We definitely have to get out of this place.

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Day of the Festival

Andor and I get up and head to the Inn early. Once we got to the Inn, I got some food and we talked to the others about what we were going to do about the festival. Sasha joined us and was saying sorry for not meeting with us last night. Old Wolf started asking Sasha what she thought about lady Wachter and Sasha didn’t know anything about her.

Danika closes the Inn and we as a group head to where the festival is taking place. We all there waiting and we see children dressed up as flowers appeared and the burgomaster’s wife on a white horse came out. Some guards came out pushing a cart full of burnables. Then the burgomaster came out last on a horse. The burgomaster made a speech and had a torch in his hand to light the cart on fire. After his speech thousands of bats start flying over us and as the bats flew away. The burgomaster went to light the cart on fire, heavy rain appeared out of no where putting the flame out.

Someone in the crowd laughed a little and the burgomaster figured it out that it was a guard and yelled out “Spite! Malicious Mockery! Arrest him!”, another guard went to arrest him and that is when someone else yelled “NOW”. After that about 12 masked people pushed through the crowd and went to attack the guards. The burgomaster yelled “Guards, Protect me!” as he rode off on his horse, leaving his wife behind.

Old Wolf got my attention to realize that Andor and Izmark were headed toward the church. So I start heading that way with Sasha and Old Wolf.

By the time we got the church in our sight, we saw more bats, some zombies and some wolves around the church. As we got closer, we notice Strahd is there. We engage in the fight with the Zombies, bats and wolves, all while moving closer to the church. And our Healer (Old Wolf) slowly joins the fight and trying to heal people.

As the fight is happening, Strahd yells out to Andor giving him a choice of his friends or Irena. The fight continues and we learn that Andor’s friends got turned into Vampires and started attacking Andor. Izmark dies while trying to protect his sister. I managed to get a really good hit on Strahd before he took off. After Strahd left Old Wolf finally got up to the fight and revived Izmark.

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Festival of the Burning Sun

The Festival kicks off as a parade of unhappy looking children trudge through the dusty streets, dressed comically as flowers; their faces painted garishly yellow. A rag-tag assemblage of townsfolk beating not quite rhythmically on drums follows. In turn, this group is followed by Lydia, the burgomaster’s wife, on a white horse. She is covered in strands of yellow strings and garlands that trail behind her. Her fragile smile threatens to crack as she waves to the crowd. Cradled in her arm is a large bouquet of wilted flowers.

Behind them labor a group of sorry looking men, hauling and pushing a cart with a massive sphere of laced wood, vines, wicker, and rope. It must be fifteen feet across. The smells of pitch and oil precede it, wafting across the open square.

Finally, surrounded by a ring of guards, the burgomaster himself rides into the center of the square. His face is painted yellow like the faces of the children. He holds aloft a gruesome torch – a wooden sword with one of the old rotten heads from the Wolf’s Head Jamboree impaled on it, enveloped in flames.

Coming to a stop, the Baron shouts with an uncomfortably high-pitched voice, “In our safe mountain town of Vallaki, we reject the Dark Prince. By the light of the blazing sun, ALL….WILL….BE….WELL!!”

As the burgomaster wheels his steed to face the wooden sphere with a haughty grin on his yellow face, a single chirping screech is heard from above. Only a few Vallakians seem to notice it at first, but it is followed by a rising chorus of dozens, then hundreds of clicking, chittering screeches and the sound of leathery wings on the air as a wave of thousands of bats pours across the sky, casting the town square into a surreal twilight darkness. The large bats swoop across the sky, low, but not dipping below the rooflines of the sad buildings of the town.

There are gasps and shouts amongst the crowd. The people seem rooted in place. The burgomaster, face illuminated by the blazing torch in the sudden dark, prods his horse towards the sun sphere and defiantly leans down to thrust the flame against the wooden structure. However, as the bats pass, flying out of sight, the sound of their wings is replaced by the sound of rain – heavy rain chasing the bats’ progress from east to west, blanketing Vallaki in a torrential downpour. Before he can light the pitch-soaked sphere, the rain extinguishes the burgomaster’s torch.

A singular laugh erupts from the crowd, drawing the burgomaster’s fiery gaze as well as gasps from the townsfolk. All eyes turn to look at the source of the laughter, one of the guards in the Vallaki militia. The guardsmen flanking him are aghast at his ill-timed outburst.

Baron Vallakovich cries out, “SPITE! MALICIOUS MOCKERY! ARREST HIM!”
After a second’s pause, the other guardsmen turn and seize the man who laughed.

Immediately, another shout bursts from somewhere in the crowd, “Now!” At that signal, about a dozen masked individuals push through the crowd and set upon the town guard. The chaos is sudden and complete. In addition to the melee between the guards and their assailants, the entire assembled town seems to panic and people are rushing in every direction to escape the fracas.
The burgomaster, terror in his eyes, screams out, “Guards! Protect me!!” and whirls his horse to flee the scene. Clearly not caring about who might be trampled in the process, the burgomaster spurs his horse away from the square, escorted by eight guards. You notice that he left his wife behind. Fr. Petrovich reaches his sister and pulls her away from the brawl. They rush away from the square heading west through town.

Ismark rushes through the confused throng of townsfolk and rushes up to Andor. He clearly has a panicked look in his eyes. He shouts, “Ireena! At the church. Please help me!” He is imploring you to come with him.

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