4th Fredas, Silyol 312
The party travels east via travel montage along the road outside of Elia‘s domain for two days, following her lead, until they reach a man-made cave leading into the mountain. The sign reads "Frimpydock’s Collection of Wonders." Elia explains that Frimpydock is a gnome that has amassed a collection of magical beasts and monstrosities that he now keeps in a large sanctuary with a variety of habitats.
The players encounter Fatty B, an obese minotaur, and Frimpydock at the end of a long stone bridge elevated hundreds of feet in the air which acts as an entrance to the sanctuary. After requesting to hunt basilisk, and paying the fee/signing the wiavers, the players are allowed to descend the towering shrine and enter the bio-diverse valley below.
On their way through the shrine, in a market section, the players encounter Durr, who is now an accomplished paladin of Lathander. The players learn that it is not basilisk eyes, but their intestines which are required to cure petrification. Also while in the market, the players purchase a pair of roosters which will act as bait for the basilisks, one of which is named Rufio.
The basilisk hunt is successful, and the players even capture a baby basilisk, who they name Twofio, or Rufio 2, as Rufio did not survive the ordeal. Drusilia, Quara, and Tirzin are determined to raise Twofio to be a loyal watchdog/basilisk thing, but Callie wants no part of it. The training consists of feeding guinea pigs which have been turned to stone as a reward for good behavior.
The players, after another travel montage, return to Barovia to heal Burnie Cinders. Burnie’s tower no longer emanates heat, his lava fountain has hardened, and Esteban is found dead. As the players ascend to the second floor of the tower, they find the corpse of Brother Lucian with fang marks in his neck. They tie him up just to be sure before heading up to Burnie’s bedroom, where he was last seen.
Sitting next to Burnie on his bed is Kratos, the Greatest, who casually confronts the players about their mutilation of Karroleen. Kratos is adorned in red dragonplate armor. Thad observes the exchange quietly. Kratos also informs the players that he knows they killed Octavius and Doru, but that he understands why they did what they did after the PC’s explain the betrayal.
Kratos, impressed with their resolve and ability to meddle, invites the PC’s to undergo a series of tests, with the idea that they might join him in his goal to overthrow the false and betraying god, Lathander. In the first test, the players are presented with the family of Stu, Barb, and Sally… and another Stu. They must discern which Stu is real and which is an imposter, which they do successfully. The imposter, is Domhal, Faendal’s abductor and freer of Kratos. Domhal leaves after the interaction.
Even more impressed, Kratos invites the PC’s to participate in another test: a fight with Brother Lucian, the vampire spawn released from his bindings by Domhal. The loser of the brawl will provide Kratos with two hands and a tongue, as was taken from Karroleen.
Kratos exhibits extraordinary control over Lucian, who raves madly at his desire for the players’ blood. The fight occurs outside the tower, allowing the players access to their gear, and results in Doru’s defeat. Lucian, under the control of Kratos, receives the removal of his appendages without flinching. After Kratos releases him, he writhes in agony before being put down by Drusilia. Kratos laughs at her mockingly, calling her “perfect for this role.”
“I want you to know that every village and hamlet in range of my den, lying under the earth is a vampire spawn under my control just as much as Lucian was. Should I feel the need, I can release all of them. At some point you will have to choose between me and Estokos, a Knight Radiant of Lathander. The knights will come in response the army of the undead that I have unleashed, which was never meant to do damage, but only to attract their attention. Should you pledge your loyalty to me, ”/characters/drusilia" class=“wiki-content-link”>Drusilia will succeed publicly where Estokos fails, and Dru shall ascend through the order of the Knights Radiant. From this position, we will be able to reform the Church of Lathander into what it was truly meant to be."
After parting remarks concerning Vrothar and the manual of iron golem construction, which the players successfully conceal from Kratos, he departs.
The players head back up the tower and heal Burnie Cinders, who recovers from petrification without issue. After the recounting from the PC’s, Burnie replies that “revenge is a dish best served hot,” and that Esteban’s brother Lorenzo will be taking his place in the tower. Elia elects to stay with Burnie as he recovers.
Wearied from their journey and troubles, the players descent the mountain stair to Barovia and come upon the swinging corpses of hanged men: Arnold Silverblood and Izek Strazni. The Silverblood mansion had been burned down. Ismark and Ireena Kolyanovich welcome the players as they enter the Blue Water Inn, concealing Twofio.
4th Sundas, Silyol 312
The next morning, 24 riders under the banner of Lathander arrive in Barovia seeking information on the recent necromantic activity in the area. Their leader introduces himself as Estokos, and there ends chapter 1 of Thursday Night Heresy.