D&D 5e Ravenloft

Session #4
Run away!
TL;DR The party makes it to a ritual chamber where they are commanded by the spirits of long dead cultists that “ONE must die!”. Before understanding the depth of this command, the party denies the cultists their sacrifice, thus summoning Lorgoth the Decayer who decides that they ALL must die! The session ends at a stalemate in battle, but not before 3 party members go down; one dies, yet to be touched by The Dark Powers who resurrects Grom of Nesmé.

The Reliquary

Starting the session, the group goes down the stairs where the chanting has been coming from. As they descend, the chanting takes form as a rhythmic and repeated chant of “He is the Ancient. He is the Land.”

At the bottom the stairs, they find a large room with 8 pillars and 13 niches within the walls. Within those niches, they find 13 seemingly random items. The party does not investigate any further.

The Prison

From the Reliquary, the party enters a small hallway, where they find a rune etched into the floor. Gemini’ decides to casually walk across it, finding that she is hit by an icy beam of energy. Recovering from this, they enter the Prison to find the body of a long dead cultist chained to the wall. They also find a secret door, which they enter, taking them into the Ritual Chamber.

The Ritual Chamber

Upon entering the Ritual Chamber, the chanting of “He is the Ancient. He is the Land.” Suddenly stops. They find a very large chamber. They are on a ledge 5 feet up and extending over their side and the opposite side of the wall. Below this, they find 2 feet of murky dark water, with a large octagonal dais rising up in the center. Upon the dais is an alter that is obviously covered in what appears to be old dried blood. Chains hang down from the tall ceiling over the alter.

Eryn boldly enters the room and steps upon the dais in order to investigate further. Upon stepping on the dais, the chanting resumes, but now to the chant of “One must die!”. Also, 13 dark apparitions in dark robes appear floating in the air. An attempt to attack them reveals that they are incorporeal.

Carric Oakenheel explodes a sacred flame upon their alter, destroying it and then Eryn steps off the dais. Denying the cult of their demanded sacrifice, their chant changes to " Lorgoth the Decayer, we summon thee!" and then a large shambling mound surprises the group with a brutal attack on Eryn, instantly knocking him out and then engulfing him.

Bravely, Grom of Nesmé is able to pull Eryn out of the shambling mound before he could be fully consumed. Later on, he is able to summon the will to return to consciousness.

The party continues an attempt to take down the large shambling mound. In the process, Steve Moonbeam easily goes down and then is engulfed. And, again, a party member bravely pulls him out from certain death. This time, by Carric Oakenheel. Behind the scenes, Killian sneaks around the chamber… to find no hint of treasure…

However, bold Grom of Nesmé finds Lorgoth the Decayer to be a juggernaut of death and is fully consumed within the shambling mound. As Grom feels his soul separate from this existence, he experiences the horrible reality of this place. His soul can not move on. With this realization, he experiences a supernatural presence that introduces itself as The Dark Powers. They offer to bring him back… but at a price. Grom accepts, and finds himself infused with an extreme strength that allows him to pull himself out of the behemoth shambling mound. However, as his senses return to him, he finds that where his eyes once were, there are now only deep empty sockets. He finds that he has a surreal connection to Lorgoth, and that even though he has no eyes, he “sees” in a blind fashion that he feels akin to the shambling mound’s vision. He is also overtaken by an extremely deep sense of apathy as he realizes the futility of existing in this forsaken land.

After a lengthy brawl with a seemingly invincible mound of rotting death, they finally separate the group behind a portcullis. The session pauses here as the party realizes that either, they find a smarter way to slowly take down this lumbering beast, or run away and see if they can find a different way out of this Death House

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Session #3
There's no "I" in Team
TL;DR Exploration of the first level of the dungeon in The Death House continues. Carric Oakenheel fears a pack of Ghouls into two other rooms full of mobs and nearly wipes the party after a brilliant bout of stategery results in splitting the party. A lone survivor (Svatela) from another recent group of adventurers joins the group.

The dungeon crawl

Our session began with a pack of Ghouls crawling out of the ground right in front of our brave adventurers. Immediately, Carric Oakenheel) is successful in channeling his divine power and turning these horrid undead down two unexplored halls. One of the running Ghouls is easily dispatched, but only after paralyzing Steve Moonbeam. Then the group split in two as one group chased down one hall and the other down a different hall. In the chaos of battle, our group is joined by a newcomer, a death domain cleric who later reveals himself to be Svatela.

As Eryn chases down a ghouls down one hall, he realizes that the fleeing ghoul has alerted a pack of Shadows, but not before he launches an arrow at the Ghoul, breaking it from it’s undead turning. Shortly after, this Ghoul connects with it’s wretched claws to paralyze Steve Moonbeam.

Another group chases down the opposite hall, pulling back a separate Ghoul as the second in this group continues to flee around a blind corner away from the group.

Now, with a battle on two fronts, there is an attempt to retreat, bravely pulling the paralyzed wizard to the the safety of the back of the group. Holing up in an old dining area, Eryn throws up a barricade with a very large table. A couple rounds later, brave Steve Moonbeam pulls from his paralyzed state and realizes that the remainder of the group is trapped on the other side of the table, so he pulls it down in order to rejoin the fight.

As the fight ensues, the remaining Ghoul that had fled, returns with two Ghasts in tow; apparently it’s flight had alerted these undead as well. As these Ghasts come into view, they are recognizable as the undead forms of Gustav and Elisabeth Durst.

During the fight, there are various moments of success, and failure. Aaachkt craftily forms an illusion which confuses the enemies a few times; probably saving his skin by doing so. However, the Shadows prove to be a difficult enemy to best. Spell attacks by Svatela are found to be completely ineffective, and all melee attacks are resisted.

As the battle rages, two members are knocked out, Killian and Carric Oakenheel. However, on the verge of final death, the party prevails in time and are able to stabilize their fallen.

A new member and finally some loot

Svatela introduces himself as a member of a similar group that was also brought to this land by The Mists. He is the only survivor and his description of his lost party members match the bodies found previously in The Death House. He tells the party of stairs near where he met the party which lead down. He has not explored on his own for fear of the louder chanting coming from below.

At the conclusion of the session, a trunk is found which holds some much needed treasure in the form of a magic cloak, a few healing potions, alchemist fire, and a spellbook.

It is here that the party took a much needed rest. But, is that one more chest I see that was not noticed?

And, is it safe to rest here?

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Session #2
Exploration of the basement begins
TL;DR An elf is possessed by the ghost of an 11 year old girl and none of the group members can tell the difference. The dwarven cleric finds divine inspiration in dark places. And, after a surprise attack by a swarm of many-legged-danger-noodles, the dog doesn’t make it

A very odd dream

Picking up from the prior session, our intrepid adventurers spend the night in Rose and Thorn’s bedroom where it did not seem to phase our brave fellows to be sleeping in the same room with two dead bodies and their ghost. The night was filled with strange goings on within the house, but no incident within the room. Just prior to dawn, the two children started asking those on guard if they will be leaving in the morning. When it is confirmed that the adventurers would be moving on, the children panic; they try to possess them but their guard was up, and so they entered the two closest sleeping adventurers, twisting their personalities.

Exploration of the remainder of the house

In a storeroom, near the children’s bedroom, the dead body of the Nursemaid is found, with multiple obvious stab wounds found in her skeletal chest. Upon disruption of the body, her Spectre is released with a blind and voracious fury nearly resulting in our first Deceased Player Character before she was released from her ethereal torture by a well placed Moonbeam spell followed by only a cry of “Walter” A nearby baby’s room and crib is found, but there is only a vanishing glimpse of a dead baby. Afterwards, the group make their first foray into the basement.

Into the basement

Exploration of the basement begins, and what is discovered, is that this is not a simple basement. There entire area is large, there is a background of faint chanting, and there are multiple corridors and living quarters below ground. Also discovered are the empty crypts for Gustav Durst, Elisabeth Durst, Rosavalda Durst, Thornbolt Durst, and Walter Durst. The quick thinking dwarf cleric concludes that a proper burial of the children’s remains may release their possession of his comrades. He performs a brief, yet divinely inspired internment for Thorn. After seeing the immediate effect, the Elven rogue asks for similar treatment, but the dwarf states that he prefers to see the Elf behave with a girly personality to match his girly appearance. Not to be outdone, the Elf buries Rose himself, which frees her from his psyche.

The party finds a swarm of insects, which the Dwarven Cleric cursedly names “Many-Legged-Danger-Noodles” within these crypts which leads to the first death of the party, Milo Saggywacker’s beloved Mastiff, Buttercup. Though, not a proper Player Character (PC), Buttercup will be added to the List of Deceased Player Characters to commemorate the first death within the party. The party chooses not to carry the corpse of this pup out with them.

buttercup.jpg

The group discovers a dining hall, with another dead adventurer’s body. They conclude that the body appears to match a similar level of decay as the adventurer found in the house. They also discover the monster that killed this poor chap, and a battle ensues, which our party emerges the victor. After the Dwarven Cleric dissects this beast looking for clues, he dubs this version of monster a “Danger Tube”.

Our session ends with the group exploring a hallway where the background chanting seems louder and as they approach, 4 sets of decayed hands begin to claw up from the ground towards them.

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The First Adventure
An atmospheric introduction
TL;DR: 6 adventurers accept a quest from a stranger to help a damsel in distress (and a promised reward!), only to find that they are transported by The Mists to a dark land. These mists guide them to a mysterious house with a morbid history that they are only beginning to unlock.

The Adventure Begins

After completing a caravan escort job from Waterdeep to Neverwinter, 6 adventurers decide to stick together and travel North to Luskan on the tip that there will be more work for a rag tag band like them. And, so they set off on an inland route hugging the Neverwinter Woods.

Halfway to Luskan, our adventurers stop at a modest roadside inn to rest for the night. But, of course, they find that they’ve already spent all the gold earned from their last job. As the group downs what they believe to be their last pint of ale before camping out in the woods, a swarmy character in brightly colored clothes enters the inn and heads directly to their table. In a heavily accented voice, he says,

“I have been sent to you to deliver this message. If you be creatures of honor, you will come to my master’s aid at first light. It is not advisable to travel The Svalich Woods at night!”

He pulls from his tunic a sealed letter, addressed to all present in the group, and in beautiful flowing script. He then drops the letter on the table, and tells the group,

“Take the west road from here some five hours march down through The Svalich Woods. There you will find my master in ”/wikis/barovia" class=“wiki-page-link”> Barovia."

Afterwards, the strange character drops a small pile of gold coins on the table, walks over to the barkeep dropping a bag full of coins in his waiting hands and tells him to pay for the entire inn’s evening and put the adventurers up in a room for the night.

The letter is sealed with a crest that no-one in the group initially recognizes and reads:

Hail to thee of might and valor,

I, a lowly servant of Barovia, send honor to thee. We plead for desperately needed assistance.

The love of my life, Ireena Kolyana, has been afflicted by an evil so deadly that even the good people of our village cannot protect her. She languishes from her wound, and I would have her saved from this menace.

There is much wealth in this community. I offer all that might be had to thee and thy fellows if thou shalt but answer my desperate plea.

Come quickly, for her time is at hand! All that I have shall be thine!

Kolyan Indrirovich,
Burgomaster

After some discussion regarding accepting a quest from a stranger who suddenly disappears from a tavern out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night; our brave adventurers agree to turn in for the night with a plan to head west in the morning after restocking supplies.

The following day, the group leave the small roadside stop with sunny weather. However, as it became close to noontime, there was the rapid descent of a fog, and after only an hour, the group found that they could barely see for than 5 feet in front of them.; the Elven mage even lost track of the group momentarily after he went after a rare herb he spotted on the side of the road. Nevertheless, our brave adventurers went forward without even once considering to go back.

The mist soon started to recede, if only slightly, and before long certain members of the group, such as Grom of Nesmé who grew up close to this Sword Coast region immediately realized that their surroundings had changed dramatically. It was concluded that they simply were not where they had started out before. As if the entire group had been transported elsewhere.

Soon, the group came upon a very large gate, flanked by tall headless statues and then an enormous wall which went on in either direction as far as they could see (given the limitations of the mist). These gates opened spontaneously as the group approached and then closed on their own after they passed. A futile attempt was made to try and open the gates again. Upon further investigation of the area a dead body was spotted about 15 feet off the road. On this body, the group found a second letter, signed by the same Kolyan Indirovich from the letter received back at the inn, however this letter strictly warns any reader to stay away from Barovia. It is noted that this second letter has a very different seal.

The road then opened into a valley which the group spotted a small town in the distance. As the group approached the town, The Mists began to rapidly close in on them again, such that as they approached the town, they could only make out a few houses in their immediate vicinity. As they walked to the first intersection, there was a whimpering noted in front of a fancy row house. There, they found two children, Rose and Thorn. Rose emphatically pleaded with the group to enter their house and take care of a “monster” in the basement. Apparently, their parents had not been seen all day and there is also mention of a baby, Walter, who may also be found on the third floor. An attempt was made, by the rogue, to tie up the children, but they immediately vanished. As soon as the group entered the house, The Mists closed off any escape and the outside double doors slammed shut.

The first floor of the house was noted to be in good shape. Clean. Fireplaces and lamps lit. Strangely, it was obvious that the inside of this house is clearly larger than would be expected by any initial outside investigation. The house was empty and seemed quite harmless. Decorating the house were various emblems of a windmill and various paintings that, upon closer inspection, revealed a spookier side to the initial artistic impression.

The second floor was also clean, however it was darker. No lit lamps. No fireplaces lit. Again, no signs of life, but no danger found. Again noted are various paintings that show a hidden and morbid style. It was on this level, that the group stumble upon their first clues to the origin of this odd house. It is owned by a Gustav Durst and Elisabeth Durst. Apparently, they also own a windmill nearby. This family seems to have a hidden and darker side as well. It is in a secret study that a multitude of arcane books are found with topics related to the dark arts. It is here that they discover that other adventurers may have been here recently; at least one is dead after an unfortunate encounter with a few poisoned darts.

It was upon climbing the stairs to the third floor, that our group of fine warriors have their first encounter. It was with a living suit of armor! After getting in a good whack on the halfling fighter, Milo Saggywacker, our deft group of adventurers take it down without much trouble. This floor is clearly in disarray. Not at all like the two prior floors. Dusty, cobwebs, musty smelling. In the first room investigated on this floor (what appears to be a maidservant’s bedroom), the group finds a secret door leading to a stairway that takes them up to the attic.

Taking the hidden stairway to the attic, the group enters the room directly in front of them, revealing a bedroom clearly for children. And on the floor in front of them are two small skeletons. Also in this room was a realistic replication of the very house they stood. A cursory investigation of this doll house revealing that every detail was present. However, the ghost of the small children did not seem to like them toying with their doll house and their apparitions appeared before the group. Rose and Thorn tell the group of a more horrific tale than was previously revealed. Their parents had left them in the attic to starve to death one day. Like may times before, they were left in the attic so that they would be “safe” from the “monster” in the basement, however this time, nobody ever came back. Their spirits have never left since.

Our intrepid group decided to take a rest at this point. They believe it is safe to rest in the children’s room. After an atmospheric, but mostly uneventful investigation of the first two floors, they’ve barely explored the upper levels which are clearly more dangerous. What will they find in the basement?

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Welcome to the Ravenloft!
Hello World!

Please explore what has been posted so far. There is MUCH more that you don’t see… all will be revealed in game!

This adventure log will be updated by the DM after each gaming session with a narrative of the in-game events.

As players, please feel free to enter your own, first person narratives regarding anything from the game. That includes your own adventure log posts and/or comments to the DM posted logs.

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