Thursday Night Heresy

Fifth Outting
played 10/6/16

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.

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Fourth Outting
Played 9/29/16

3rd Sundas, Silyol 312 (continued)

After defeating Octavius and Doru in the wee hours of the morning, the players head off to check on Burnie Cinders. The fire mage has been poisoned with what he thinks is basilisk venom, and he will soon be turned to stone. Brother Lucian proves useless, and distraught upon hearing of Octavius‘s death, but he does not blame the players. Esteban, on the other hand, gives the players Burnie’s magical diviner, which allows them to track Elia, a great healer and musician.

The players then return to the inn to sleep, nomming on some drug pies in the process. They awake in the late afternoon to learn that Ireena Kolyanovich has been elected mayor of Barovia. No sign of Arnold Silverblood or Izek Strazni has been seen, but most Barovians suppose that they’re still in the manor cellar.

4th Middas, Silyol 312

After three days of travel, one dead bugbear scout and a bugbear party avoided, the players reach a cave entrance that opens onto a road. Upon entering, the players solve the first puzzle quickly. “Create that which is so fragile that to utter its name would break it.” Silence was created by muffling the wind and putting out the braziers, and the large stone doors opened.

The players are greeted with the scent of decaying flesh and the distant sound of a lamenting song. At the intersection of hallways just inside, the players search left, into “Ye Old Bar.” Three skeletons loomed over the slain corpses of this establishments patrons. Tirzin is suddenly compelled toward the distant singing, and lets out a shout when he is restrained, alerting the skeletons of the PCs’ presence. One is destroyed and the other two sealed in the bar with the immovable rod.

Before the players can get their bearings, they are assailed by a harpy, her magic song, and two large ogre zombies under the control of Karroleen. Callie and Quara pepper the harpy with arrows, but the group is forced to retreat by the huge undead monstrosities. They escape into the “Performers’ Quarters,” where they are able to lock the heavy wooden door behind them.

As one of the zombies hammers at the door, the players are forced to solve a puzzle involving a keyboard-based cipher and a poorly-crafted riddle concerning the past. As Callie figures it out, Drusilia and Quara see that the resident performing group has some connections to their respective pasts. In addition, two of the four musicians depicted in each painting in the room are the dragonborn and halfling that lay in the crypts of Karroleen’s previous base of operations.

The PC’s solve the puzzle right as the zombies break through, opening a secret door into Elia‘s room that is too small for the zombies to traverse. The PC’s then abuse the narrow passage to put free damage on one ogre zombie, use Elia’s invisibility spell to assassinate the harpy, but Karroleen turned invisible and ran into the theater before they could finish her.

Cornered and having failed with the ace-up-her-sleeve spell scroll, Karroleen gave herself up. The players interrogated her and learned some important tidbits of info: Kratos, the Greatest has plans to take over the capitol, he somewhat forced Karroleen into doing her evil deeds, and Faendal’s impersonator is a changeling named Domhal who is systematically removing powerful good guys from the face of the earth, including Elia and her son.

The players decide to let Karroleen live, but to cut off her hands and tongue to prevent her from casting spells in the future. Elia is happy to help after hearing that her son is in danger. As they depart the performance hall, it is discovered that Elia is the mother of Drusilia‘s half brother Damien. Elia and PC’s gear up and get read to track down a basilisk, as its eyes will be the key ingredient in the elixir that is needed to save Burnie Cinders, and potentially Pabst and Fenya Durgen.

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Third Outting
played 9/15/16

3rd Fredas, Silyol 312

The players awake in the Bluewater Inn and chat with Ismark and Ireena Kolyanovich over breakfast. The innkeepers inform them of places of note in Barovia, namely the mine, church, wizard’s tower outside town, and the Silverblood Mansion. The Kolyanovich couple also gives their opinion concerning the town’s lousy mayor, Arnold Silverblood, and his cruel thug, Izek Strazni.

The players then go to talk to Octavius, who appears busy, but discloses his opinion that the pox should be blamed on the Silverblood mining operation.

Then Drusilia chats with Barry, the mine foreman, who shares conspiracy theories concerning the church’s cremation policies. The players follow this up and, thanks to some expert sneaking by Callie and a careless undertaker named Thad, discover that something is definitely amiss. Bodies were being dropped through a trap door before being thrown back up.

Drusilia sits down for dinner with Brother Lucian. Lucian spills the beans on Octavius‘s recent past: his wife Krea died, his son Doru is missing, and it’s time for him to take a sabbatical.

The players head back to the Bluewater Inn and plot their next move, but not before Drusilia has a strange vision. At exactly 4:23 am, the PC’s gear up and head to the church, but not before waking the innkeeper.

The party enter the church basement through some creaky storm doors and open the trap door only to see a vampire spawn. The noise made by the fiend draws the attention of Octavius, who catches Tirzin and Quara in the basement while Callie and Drusilia manage to hide.

The vampire spawn is the Father’s son Doru, and Octavius is simply trying to keep him alive. He only feeds him blood from the dead. The bodies are then delivered to a secret door in the mines to Karroleen, though Octavius claims to not know why. He’s just trying to cure his son.

The players then head to the tower of the fire mage, Burnie Cinders. They are greeted by a “No flammable objects past this point” sign, chests for the safe storage of said flammable objects, fireproof robes, and a magmin named Esteban. After a brief exchange with the mage via a scroll with flaming ink being consumed by Esteban, the PC’s are invited into the oven-like tower.

The conversation is a pleasant one. Key pieces include the fact that Burnie Cinders misses Reginald Silverblood, dislikes his heir Arnold Silverblood, and he asks the players to deliver something for him. More specifically, he wants them to deliver a Manual of Iron Golem Construction to Vrothar, the red dragon up north. He gives the players a ring of fire resistance.

The players confront Arnold Silverblood. He shows his arrogance, dismisses the zombie threat, has his bodyguard Izek Strazni rough up Callie, confiscates the ring, and eventually sends a rider to investigate the supposed zombie threat. The players then return to the Bluewater Inn, where Ismark and Ireena Kolyanovich are proud of them for standing up to the “burgomaster.”

3rd Sundas, Silyol 312

The rider is late in returning, arriving after midnight, and he has a horde of goblin zombies (mentioned in Karroleen’s notebook) in tow. Drusilia fetches Burnie Cinders, who takes an arrow in the fighting but who “loves the smell of napalm in the morning,” so to speak. Quara has an odd encounter while rescuing Morgantha, her pies, and her friend.

Callie, Tirzin, and Drusilia kick some zombie butt, but then they SPLIT THE PARTY.

Quara and Drusilia go with Octavius to check on Doru, but then the priest betrays them, shoving Dru into the vampire’s pit!

In the meantime, the Kolyanovich’s have rallied the townsfolk against Arnold Silverblood, trapping him and his bodyguard Izek in the basement cellar safe room. Arnold’s wife is drugged out on one of Morgantha’s pies. Callie makes off with her ring, 4 other rings, and the deed to a windmill.

Back to the church basement, Drusilia narrowly escapes being eaten by the vampire spawn while Quara and Octavius trade blows. The priest feigns surrender before trying to free his son, but the effort is foiled by one immovable rod. Callie and Tirzin arrive just in time to miss the fight. The PC’s kill the traitor and the fiend, using holy water and fire to be sure. And thus ended the third session.

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Second Outting
played 9/8/16

With the trapdoor being triggered, wild combat ensues! Highlights include:

  • Quara immediately being helped back up the trapdoor and the bad guys wondering why they didn’t make a more dangerous trap
  • Tirzin freezing wine on the stairs to slow the zombie advance
  • Classic “barrels on the stairs trap” + Quara’s arrows effectively keep zombies at bay
  • Callie, Drusilia, and Tirzin jump back down the trapdoor (onto ice) and engage Karroleen and her lackeys through the cage bars
  • Lackeys die, Karroleen escapes on her goat legs!

After catching up with Spurtz and Constable Blackwater, the characters investigate the cult HQ, finding Karroleen‘s notebook, a goblin cook with a strong dislike for Drusilia, and some treasure. The PC’s quickly pursue through the tunnel and are attacked by the reluctant, yet dangerous spirits of the halfling and dragonborn from the tombs earlier.

The tunnel eventually ends in what the players soon discover to be the Silverblood Mine, near Barovia. The tunnel entrance from the mine is a “Platform 9 and 3 Quarters” style gateway. After some shenanigans with the smell of natural gas in the mine, the players escape the mine to Barovia, where a pox plague is in full swing.

Drusilia teams up with Brother Lucian and Father Octavius to begin combating the illness. The rest of the party gets some potions and holy water-dipped crossbow bolts before crashing at the Bluewater Inn.

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First Outting
played 9/1/16

3rd Morndas, Silyol, 312

The Player Characters begin their adventure as hired caravan guards working for Stu, Barb, and Sally, a family of travelling wine merchants.

After 10 days of peaceful travel together, combat ensues when the party is ambushed by goblins on the Forefinger Bridge. The goblins were routed, with one of them limping off to hide in a hut. Callie stalked him until a wolf-riding goblin came searching. Callie and Drusilia slew the approaching rider and his wolf. Drusilia then healed and proselytized the goblin, Durr, who offered information on the actions of a necromancer before departing.

The party then turned North from the bridge and headed to Lindell, a wooded hamlet build around the stone tower Summerhold. As the Player Characters arrive, Lindell is recovering from a zombie attack. Pabst and Fenya Durgen greet the PC’s and welcome them to Lindell, as the people there could use more defense after sending Constable Blackwater and other guards off to investigate.

The players stay at “The Bee’s Barb,” the inn of Lindell run by Sven. Tirzin earns some fans with his song horn and wrestling skills, and Drusilia gets rejected by Faendal, who speaks thieve’s cant. Faendal makes a deal with Callie and gets her to distract Pabst. She even gets a letter of recommendation from the mayor, but never sees its contents.

This works out great, and Kratos, the Greatest is released.

It’s revealed that it Faendal was an imposter, and everyone goes to bed.

3rd Tirdas, Silyol, 312

Fenya Durgen wants the party to follow the tracks of the undead to their source, and Pabst wants the party to follow the tracks of the undead to where they’re going. The players choose the latter.

Zombies are found attacking Mayberry, a small hamlet in the woods adjacent to a good fishing lake, and the players intervene. Gamwise Samgee and his friends are very grateful for the save, and he gives the players some magical items (bag of holding, boots of elvenkind, immovable rod, and nightvision goggles, as well as some potions) after reading Pabst’s letter.

The players then follow the tracks to their origin, a cave outside of Lindell. After surveying a series of tombs, and perhaps seeing a clue concerning Drusilia’s long-lost half brother, the players sneak through the underground cult headquarters. After donning disguises, the party investigates a room full of barrels. They discover wine that is poisoned, but only shortly before Quara fell through a trap door, ending the first session.

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