Curse of Strahd

To the Mists

  The party was sent south to get rid of some drunken travelers who had been robbing merchants and casting charms on guards by Duchess Morwen Daggerford. They stopped for food, drink and information at the Dragonspear Shaft Inn. Many eyes were upon them, due to their recent exploits, and the current bard troupes song was even about them. They ended up getting most of their information about the mischief makers from the very composed, but "star struck" waitress. Apparently no one was successful in sending them away yet, and the mists in the forest had grown so thick that most couldn't even find them. 

  Learning that they were camping out east, the group got ready to head out. On their way out, a man burst through the door, brining heavy mist with him. He was dressed very colorfully and elaborately. He strode right up to the party and handed them a letter. The letter was from Kolyan Indirovich, a Burgomaster. It pleads for the party's help with is daughter, Ireena Kolyana, who has been inflicted with an illness. He offers great reward if they come and help save her. The man then explains that you can find his master east, through the Svalich Woods, in the town of Barovia. The man was gone by the time they left the inn, nowhere to be seen. The mist that came with him had also receded back to the forest's edge

   After a little discussion, the party knew with certainty that the only woods east of here were The Misty Woods and there was no such town as Barovia. Still, the ones they were after were east, so that's where the party headed. The party had little trouble moving through even the mist-filled forest with Alexander paving the path ahead.

   Eventually they started hearing music. Alexander and Iodos snuck up further on ahead to scout it out. They found a clearing filled with Barrel-style wagons and many revelers. Alexander notched his bow while Iodos sent word for the party to move ahead. 

   The rest of the party were not so stealthy, though. An older man at the campfire saw them and welcomed them. Kieran, Tenera and Althea went down to meet them. The man identified himself as Viktor and was apparently waiting for the party. He told them he was sent to be their guide to Barovia and wished for the other two had heard of to join them. When questioned about the mist, he admitted that his caravan brings the mist, explaining that it was the path to Barovia. He promised to leave forever if they came with him for now. Despite being incredibly straightforward for someone who caused so much damage just to lead them to him, the party could find no lies in the man's eyes.

     With a mix of curiosity of what "Barovia" is (or if it's real in any sense) and a desire to finally clear the Trade Route of these drunken trickster, the party set off with them. It wasn't long before the mists started to thicken and everyone's eyesight grew very poor. With Darkvision doing nothing against the mists, everyone except Alexander soon fell behind the caravans, yet they did not stop. As the mists filled everyone's eyes, Iodos and Kieran froze a moment. Iodos growled, shook it off and moved forward, but Kieran fell to his knees, panicked. 

     A claw lashed out at Alexander, raking into him. A werewolf appeared between him and the caravans. As he backtracked to the group he fired off arrows, one hitting the enemy in the eye. Seeing (with the one eye still left) that his prey was surrounded by comrades, it fled.  Pushing forward in the direction they last saw the caravans, the group found their way out of the mists.

     

 

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Prologue
The Price of Renown

     Though the feast was as magnificent and jovial as one would expect, it was clear that something was making Duchess Morwen uneasy. After feasting had finished, she called you all into a room to discuss a new problem that had already arisen. She explained that an odd looking group of wayward travelers had set up camp near the town walls and had started harassing towns-folk, demanding money and wine. At first it just seemed to be rabble, but coming right off of a barbarian invasion, the townsfolk were understandably uneasy. When the guards tried to chase them off, they threatened to cast hexes and charms on them. Their threats were not empty. They ended up sending court mages along with the guards, and the vagabonds finally left. 

  Now, however, merchants coming to town have turned up hexed, charmed, and carts half empty. The vagabonds had apparently now set up camp next to the Dragonspear Shaft Inn, down south along The Trade Way. The duchess was finally fed up, and entrusted you to handle it (offering reward, of course). She asked you send them far away, by any means other then killing them. She also gave you a letter threatening to burn their caravans and supplies if they did not comply.

     So you found your way to the Dragonspear Shaft Inn. A quaint little inn, though more crowded then most, being along the Trade Way. Symbols, trinkets, and arms of Dragonspear Castle adorned the walls, though most looked to be more lovingly crafted trinkets then officially sanctioned adornments. You hear a lute and a flute duet playing softly. As you take your seat at and await service, you overhear lyrics from the troupe. It would seem they already had a verse for your deeds in the Tribal Raid. Slowly you notice increasing numbers of glances and gazes. The waitress rushes over, wide-eyed with acknowledgement, but surprisingly containing herself. You order your drinks, they arrive and you begin to turn to an especially avid onlooker to ask about the vagabonds.

     At this the tavern door swings open violently, and all the gazes and glances shift. The music stops abruptly, the waitress barely stops a bottle dropped from crashing to the ground. Framed by a lamp-lit fog, a form strides through the doorway. His heavy, booted footfalls and the jingle of his coins break the silence. His brightly colored clothes are draped and loose folds about him, and his hat hangs askew, hiding his eyes in shadows. Without hesitation, he walks up to your table and stands proudly in a wide stance with folded arms. His presence dominates the room.

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Prologue
Gaining Renown: Daggerford Raid

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     Thought it was not your first venture together, the raid on Daggerford was where your party had gained true renown. Originally formed in Waterdeep, the party set off south for Daggerford, finding Waterdeep's sea of adventurer's drowning any deeds they had done, dooming them to go unnoticed. They had finished up the last of their business in The Waterdeep Dock Ward, where work was abundant due to the mysterious and sudden absence of the "lovingly" nick-named "Barbaric Bouncer Tribes".

     Along the road south, you stumbled upon a raided trader's caravan. The horse was gone, as were most the goods, but the small bits of food scattered across the ground looked fresh. You tracked the caravan into the forest and stumbled upon a large tribe of barbarians. You could see from your hiding spot that the merchant was already dead and the tribe was too big to be to worth taking on. However you overheard talk that hinted to them being part of a larger tribe, and the last to "make their way to Daggerford."

     Once arriving in Daggerford, you alerted the authorities of your findings in the woods. Not fully content with the word of "another adventuring party from Waterdeep", the guards instead offered to help you find out more by sending you word if they saw or heard anything suspicious about barbarians. They also promised to grant you substantial payment if you were able to prove your word and bring the barbarians to justice. 

     Over the course of your inspections, infiltrations, and interrogations you found out Chief Hagar Hlutwigsson, outcast of the Bluebear tribe, had returned to the Waterdeep Dock Ward along with the remnants of the ancient Blood Wolf tribe. He united the Blue Bear, Black Boar and Boar Elk Tribes (Reduced to bouncers, bruisers, and thugs over the centuries)  in secret. They gathered all manner of brigands, bandits and tribesman in the woods the Blood Wolves called home, trickled into Daggerford (seeing it as easier prey) and planned to launch a surprise attack. 

     The evidence was delivered in time, and suspicion had grown naturally enough among the guard, that a proper defense was able to form in time. Cilivian casulties were next to nothing as they were evacuated and in hiding by the time the attack ensued. Leading the charge against the tribes was none other then your party and your importance in the thick of the battle was no less then it was in preparation. After the fighting had ended, the common folk started pouring out and praising you all as heroes. The guard that had promised you payment fulfilled his promise joyfully, now claiming you to be "like no other adventuring party from Waterdeep."


     Though many of the higher ups in the town guard had no doubt this raid would have been quelled without you, there's no denying it was thanks to your presence it was utterly crushed, and many lives saved. The Duchess Morwen herself took notice, further rewarded you, granted you honorary titles, and topped it all off with an invitation to the celebratory feast the following week.

    The party had found what they desired when they left Waterdeep far quicker then any could hope.

 

 

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