TL;DR The party enters the town of Vallaki. They meet the wonderful Gadof Blinsky and drop off the children they saved from The Bonegrinder. The party meets the burgomaster, Baron Vargas Vallakovich, who appears to be agreeable with helping, however his bodyguard, Izek Strazni, attacks the group in an attempt to kidnap Ireena Kolyana claiming that she is his long lost sister.
Rolling out of the The Bonegrinder in a literal blaze of glory
The session starts with the party walking away from the The Bonegrinder leaving it aflame, with 3 young children in tow. As they are leaving, one of the party members sees a cart along the road coming from the direction of the Village of Barovia and believes they momentarily saw the lady selling dream pastries. However, as Killian sneaks up and investigates, she is nowhere to be seen. He pilfers 3 dream pastries before Steve Moonbeam sets the cart ablaze, as well, with a firebolt.
Approaching the town of Vallaki, the party finds a town surrounded by a high wooden wall and closed with a sturdy gate flanked by multiple pikes with wolf heads atop. Ismark Kolyanovich smooths the way past the guards who reluctantly let the party in. The guards inform the party that there is an upcoming festival and give basic directions towards the Burgomaster’s residence and the local inn.
On the way toward the Burgomaster’s residence, the party make a stop in the town square where they find a handful of villagers locked up in stocks wearing makeshift donkey heads. They find a group of guards hanging signs announcing the upcoming festival and learn that these villagers are being displayed as examples for not having enough fun at the prior festival.
A Detour to Blinsky Toys
One of the boys saved from The Bonegrinder, Lucian Jarov, learns that the party is near the Blinsky Toys shop and starts making a fuss that he wishes to visit. The group caves and goes to the toy shop.
Inside, they find the shop owner and regional super star toymaker, Gadof Blinsky. He is a colorful fellow with multiple macabre toys for sell.
Gadof Blinsky offers to take in the 3 children that the party has saved. Lucian Jarov seems ecstatic about this; he does not want to go back home to the family that sold him for dream pastries; he is excited when Blinsky offers to teach the young boy to make toys.
Enter the Burgomaster’s Mansion
The party approaches the Mansion for Burgomaster Baron Vargas Vallakovich. Upon knocking on the door, the maid easily invites the party in and offers to take them to the dining room where they meet the Baroness, Lydia Petrovna, entertaining a group of local women who are working on crafts for the upcoming Festival of the Blazing Sun. The party share some tea, cake, and wine with the group.
The party then inquire about the Burgomaster, and they are taken across the hall to his Den and meet with Baron Vargas Vallakovich. He is a serious man who surrounds himself with two large mastiffs and perpetually reminds the party that “All Is Well”. Ismark Kolyanovich tells his story about his sister, Ireena Kolyana, whom he fears is being targeted by Strahd von Zarovich and requests to leave here in Vallaki when Ismark leaves for home in the morning.
When the party begins the leave, the Burgomaster’s bodyguard and town captain of the guard, Izek Strazni arrives home. Immediately after he walks in the door, his eyes are caught by the sight of Ireena Kolyana and he goes into a rage rushing straight toward her in an attempt to grab her and take her away. The party is able to subdue Izek, at which time he pleas with the party that he “lost control” when he saw Ireena. He tells a story of going fishing with his father and uncle as a child along with his sister who happens to be Ireena. On the way home, they were attacked by dire wolves who killed his father and uncle, and chewing off his arm, before he was able to escape and run back to town. However, in the chaos of it all, he lost his sister who ran off in the opposite direction. The party choose to let him go. Ismark and Ireena go with the party to see them to the local inn.
Not long after leaving the Burgomaster Mansion, heading to the local inn, the party finds themselves in an ambush. Apparently, Izek Strazni, was able to rapidly call the town guard to his side and laid a trap in the street. The party is able to wall off half the guards and then kill the other half with a fireball. WIth Izek isolated, they are easily able to cause serious damage to him. However in a rage, Izek makes a last ditch attempt to rush Ireena again in order to try and wisk her away. The party subdue him, but he draws his dagger and kills himself instead of allowing himself to be captured. Upon investigating his body, Azriel goes straight for looking at the clawed right arm of Izek Strazni. In doing so, the arm detaches from Izek, and attacks Azriel, severing his own arm and then attaching itself to him.
On the body of Izek, the party finds a key. They choose to return to the mansion, and the Baron gives the party leave to investigate Izek’s room. They find the key a match. Inside, they are shocked to find dozens, and dozens of dolls. All in the likeness of Ireena. Amongst the dolls, there are empty bottles of wine labeled “Purple Grapemash No. 3”, but no treasure to speak of.