Saporé Incorporated

The Wizard's Tower

Appearing an elf’s age in the past, the party finds themselves in a manor house protected by traps and guardians galore. Statues of warforged warriors line the walls and as the adventurers continue towards the door, a few of the statues heads turn [warforged guards encounter]. Approaching the door, a mouth appears and a booming voice says “You have invaded the home of the wizard Acererak. Proceed in this direction at your own peril!” Walking though the door into the heart of the house, the adventurers realize that the door closed behind them and a strong arcane field blocked them from passing through.

The next room appears as the wizards workshop, having tables and shelves holding jars, ink, quills, books, pages, arcane components, and tools of all kinds. Something seemed off about them though – the jars were holding biological parts of multiple beings. Two Boneclaws lurked about ready to attack any intruders. Upon a battle commencing, from down a hallway attached to the workshop came three arcane assassins, each able to sense arcane presence and taught to eradicate the source as long as it was not from their master [arcane assassin encounter]. The monsters were unwilling to fall, as if affected by some sort of life preservation ritual. Upon Lanin sneaking down the hallway, a mutilated goblin body was found on a table with his chest ripped open and obviously missing some body parts. The heart, though, appeared fresh, new, and almost out of place. Removing the heart carefully caused the corpse to scream in agony, startling Lanin as he severed the once living from the source of false life. An assassin came down the hallway to find what the scream was about, but as Lanin advanced with his sword, the monster retreated – showing emotion for the first time. Finding the blood of the corpse was the reason for fear, the room was finished off swiftly and without a moment to lose.

The double doors out of the workshop open in the side of a hallway just across from another set of doors encrusted with an ornate letter A written in old common. Down the hallway further, a large single door stood locked. On the other side of the large A rested the wizards library full of books and manuscripts covering arcane theories, wizard treatises, and necromancy. Three scrolls were found among the shelves: Shadow Walk, Passwall, and View Location. In the center of the room, a table held three different views of the same complex. These models showed variations of deadly traps and obstacles. A large Bone Naga lay sleeping on the floor and on the shelf at the farthest wall, two flameskulls watched the adventurers. Mocking almost everything the party does, the flameskulls enjoy themselves as they laugh at the foolish intruders for invading Lord Acereraks home and insult them one at a time. They get into a brief argument over what name is better, “Place of Peril” or “Den of Demise” as the party sneaks into a secret room behind a bookcase. The room is small and holds a piece of sky metal on a pedestal in the center surrounded by statues of an adventuring party: a human male wizard, a human male paladin, a female dwarf cleric, a female human rogue, a warforged ranger, and a male goliath barbarian. Finding a key behind the dwarven cleric, the party forms a truce with the flameskulls in the form of a raincheck for battle, and heads to the end of the hallway to the large locked door. Opening the door and ascending the staircases beyond it, the party found themselves at the top of the wizards tower; but he knew they were coming.

Acererak did not turn away from his work as the adventurers neared the top of the tower. “I offer you one chance to avoid my wrath. If you throw yourselves from my tower, I will leave it to fate whether you live or die.” Making their way through an arcane cage trap, the party confronted Acererak in a long and taxing battle.

After defeating Acererak, his body was enveloped in shadow as it seeped into the floor. The adventurers searched the room to find a hidden entry to Acererak’s personal workspace. Inside was a series of dark potions smelling of rotting foods, a 2 inch metal cube, a small bright green crystal, tools scattered about, a locket, and papers scattered across a desk. Among the papers lie rituals of gentle repose and disenchant magic item – both written in draconic, an abyssal sheet of scratch notes about hardening shadows into walls, a dwarven stone delivery receipt, and letters of political address trying to keep Acererak’s nethermantic research under control written in elven. After pocketing a few potions, the party headed down the tower for the exit. The door’s previous arcane gate now flickering as it’s power source had died, the party left the wizard’s tower in search of an inn to rest for a few days and figure out how to get home.

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A Letter From Barovia

Wandering around the landscape, the adventurers come across a group of buildings in the wilderness along a trail. They entered the inn to request rooms to stay. Being primarily a travelers pit stop, the owners were happy to oblige. During their stay, the owners requested stories of their adventures and games to pass the time all while the party worked at finding where and when they are located and how to get back. After staying for a week, a Visanti messenger walked in and immediately saw the adventurer’s gear and approached them. “Are you the adventurers who defeated Acererak? I have been searching for days to find you! Here, my master wrote this letter and required me to give it to you sight unseen! Now I can finally rest that my work is done.” The party was then handed and read the Letter from the Burgomaster of Barovia and planned what actions to take. After asking which direction to take, the party headed off.

Arriving At the edge of Barovia, everyone immediately noticed the severe lack of of people and the abundance of silence all around as the village was completely barren. Walking through town, it appears as it was completely abandoned. A low groan blew with the wind across the tree line. As it grew louder, Lunia noticed something moving quite fast towards them. Zombies surrounded the party in high numbers. As the zombies fell, more came to replace them. The party had a brief moment to rest when they heard a woman screaming. Running to the middle of town, they came across a make-shift barrier that was broken down in a few places. Flying out from behind a building and landing on her back was the familiar scream they heard before. A zombie hulk stepped out and tried to slam the victim it already threw. Seeing the party, she asks for help. As it became safe in the town square, she rallied some villagers hiding in their homes to come out and repair the barrier to keep back the hoards of zombies. She then introduced herself to the adventurers as Ashlyn, a paladin of The Lightbringers. Ashlyn came to Barovia in order to slay all the undead that have recently plagued the city. She also explained that her two companions went to the church of Barovia to investigate what has been rumored as the source of the infestation. The party agrees to escort her to the church and help her find her friends.

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The Church of Barovia

Arriving at the church and not a moment too soon, Mako barred the door behind them as zombies tried to break their way in. Turning around, they noticed a black reaver zombie, a ghast, and a banshee standing in the room coming for them before the adventurers could catch their breath. The party was almost knocked out before Ashlyn delivered a fatal blow to the banshee. She used lay on hands to heal the party as they looked around the church. Near the front of the church, a door each lie on each opposing wall. To the East, the priest Dannovich’s study. To the West, the stairs leading to the basement.

Downstairs had a dirt floor and brick walls, nothing like the elaborately furnished main floor. Four doors stood wrapping around the room. One lead to a black reaver zombie and his friends and a locked door. Lunia and Zaruth did not enter that room, however. After they listened to the other remaining doors, they wanted to see what was held by door number two. The feminine groan heard from outside was easily transferred to the tied up Eladrin in the closet. Myra Grimjow introduced herself and asked about her companions. Taken to Ashlyn, her wounds were healed as the friends caught up on recent events. Myra conveyed that she was locked up by Dannovich to keep her from interfering with any of his rituals to raise his dead son. The adventurers then ventured into the other rooms to destroy a hoard of zombies compacted into a small space and to find a key to enter Dannovich’s chamber.

The priest was surprised to find anyone entering the deepest part of the church, and was instantly frightful that the party was out to hurt him and his son. Strapped to a table was the priest’s son, obviously plagued as he sprawled about. Appearing hostile out of fear, Dannovich tried to get the party to leave him alone as he had the situation under control and would return his son to normal in a few days once the rituals were competed. After being approached, he went to plan B – attacking the party by pushing them back and knocking them over, but not doing damage. As the party still came closer, he resorted to using his divine blessings against them. Fighting vigorously out of passion and hysteria, he finally fell as did his son. The zombie plague seemed to be over as all the bodies began deteriorating.

Ashlyn and Myra stayed behind to care for the church, as the party sought rest for the night at The Blood of the Vine Tavern.

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The Fortunes of Ravenloft

Waking in The Blood of the Vine Tavern, the party walked down the stairs and began talking to people in the bar. Arik, the owner and bartender, was not interested in their questions and told them to go visit the wise woman in the Tser Pool Encampment. A noble looking man was also not very helpful if even responsive. Upon the party showing him the Letter from the Burgomaster of Barovia, the man was much more talkative. He introduced himself as Ismark the Lesser, the son of the Burgomaster Kolyan Indirovich. He informed the party that the writing did not look like his late fathers, and told them to show it to his sister, Ireena Kolyana, if they did not believe him.

The party went to the Tser Pool to see the wise woman everyone in town kept talking about whenever questions were asked. They searched around and found Madame Eva. They entered her tent and she read the fortunes of what they sought after. She reveled great truths about the Sunsword, Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, and even Strahd himself. With the information, they ventured around Barovia to find these treasures and more information in order to bring down the mysterious Strahd.

Back at the church, Ashlyn repaired the building and looked around Dannovich’s study for more clues about the zombie plague he started. Ashlyn reported to the party she found a few interesting things in his journal, but was not sure how to handle them yet.

Later that night, a burial was held for the Burgomaster. The party stayed the night in Ireena’s house instead of paying the high price of a bed at the tavern once again.

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