Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Curse of Strahd - Session 8
The Curse of Strahd campaign is only advancing slowly, due to European Summer holidays. In the previous session, the group gained an ally in Rudolph van Richten, a famous vampire hunter. That was lucky, because in this session a new player joined the group, and he is now playing Rudolph (by name, I still let him make any character class etc. that he wanted).
The largest part of this session was taken up by a long battle against Baba Lysaga, a witch and former nursemaid to Strahd, who thinks of him as "her son". In order to help Strahd, Baba Lysaga orchestrated the attacks on the Wizards of Wine, as the Martikov family of wereravens are enemies to Strahd. So she has the third gem that produces the best wine if brought back to the vineyard. But she planted that gem into the heart of the large tree in which her hut is built, and that brought the tree to life. So the combat was against the witch flying in an upturned giant dragon skull and a ginormous tree who hit very hard. But the group managed to kill them both.
In Baba Lysaga's hut, they found a surprise: A crying baby. It was even more of a surprise when the gnome found the "baby" to be too heavy to lift. It turned out to be a clay golem with orders to behave as a baby. Creepy, but otherwise harmless. The group recovered the gem, and then also found the second artifact they were looking for against Strahd. As their fortune reading had told them, it was hidden in the monument to a local girl which was a previous reincarnation of Strahd's love Tatyana. The locals had killed the girl, rather than give her to Strahd, which then made Strahd destroy the whole village.
The group brought the gems to the vineyard, and then remembered another task they had been asked to perform: Bringing a wedding dress to the abbot in Krezk. However, two sessions previous to that, they had brought a young werewolf to the abbey, not wanting to bring him to Vallaki. They new that the abbey was full of crazy mongrelfolk, former humans who had accepted "help" from the abbot, who had made them "better" by replacing various of their body parts by animal parts. You must imagine these mongrelfolk as being very open to gaining animal power by scarifying their humanity. So when the group came to the abbey, they found the place full of 80 werewolves, with a somewhat angry abbot. That turned out to be a fight they couldn't win, and they had to turn and run. [None of that is planned in the module, but it seemed a logical development, as well as narrative gothic horror gold.]
The group then decided to go towards Amber Temple, the location of the third artifact against Strahd. That artifact is the Sunsword, which is also the patron of the Hexblade / Paladin of the group. To get to Amber Temple, the group needs to go over Tsolenka Pass, which is what will be upcoming in the next session.