Our heroes went to the party & dinner hosted by Duchess Morwen for them, celebrating their return to Daggerford after the long wolf-filled winter at Secomber. Of course, Morwen was never one to settle for less, and used the situation to also ask the party to journey a few hours south to deal with some vagabonds who were harassing people.
Her reports said that a camp of miscreants were begging for wine and demanding money, swearing they’d hex anyone who didn’t comply. But the guards Morwen had sent after them came back swearing that the campers were friendly people and weren’t doing any harm. Morwen was convinced they’d been magically charmed and wanted the adventurers to go investigate.
Yenkin led the party to question the guards, who swore that they travelers in question were friendly people. One in particular was a grandfatherly old man who offered them some of the best wine they’d ever had and great stories to boot. Tobin paid a lot of attention to the guards, looking for signs that they’d been charmed, but found nothing.
After going back and talking to the Duchess, she explained she wanted the travelers gone by dawn. She handed the party an ultimatum to deliver to the travelers and sent the party on their way, even as evening was turning into dusk. Clearly she was in a hurry to remove any perceived stain upon the honor of Daggerford.
The party left and headed south to the crossroads where the travelers were encamped, thirty or so yards from the Waystone Inn. There they found the travelers, a group of Vistani led by an old man named Stanimir. Stanimir told them that they were travelers who enjoyed the freedom of travel and good drink, and he told you stories while his fellows danced around the fire. Stanimir used his spells as a mage (unknown to the party at the time) to make the fire part of the story, telling of a noble prince who fought in a long ago war. The prince was hurt and saved by the Vistani, and to reward them he blessed them with the ability to travel safely far and wide.Years passed, however, and the noble prince was cursed and turned into a tyrant. They were looking for brave adventurers to help break their dread lord’s curse.
The party agreed to help the Vistani after some discussion, but decided to sleep in the Waystone Inn instead of around a campfire, enjoying one last night in a bed before traveling.
At the inn, most of the part chose not to eat the sad food offered, but Tamar decided to bravely venture forth and try the potato and lentil soup. The rest of the party felt they had enough to endure, simply listening to the bad entertainment of an obviously drunken minstrel. A short while after, the doors of the inn slammed open and another colorfully dressed man (much like the Vistani that the party had just met) came inside. From the foggy night outside strode in Arrigal, with a missive from his master Koylan Indirovich, Burgomaster of the village of Barovia (not to be confused with the land of Barovia). He begs/tells the party to head 5 hours east and ride for five hours along the Old Svalich Road through the Svalich Woods to arrive at the village of Barovia. The party is confused, because they know for certain there are no woods named Svalich nor a village named Barovia within the area nearby. Before voicing their confusion, Arrigal dropped a heavy purse of coins to buy drinks for everyone in the tavern and left abruptly.
The party decides it seems like they really should head to Barovia before dawn. Morwen wants the Vistani gone, the Vistani want the heroes to help them, and Arrigal wants them to help his master.
While discussing the events of the night, they hear an irritable old man arguing with a much younger man about how wolf attacks had been increasing out towards the Misty Woods. The characters knew full well how many wolves were in that area, having just come back from Secomber after having dealt with them for a winter. But to hear the young man tell it, not only were the wolves back, but there were werewolves as well. At the the old man started yelling, because everyone knew there weren’t no damn werewolves around here.
Tobin tried to ask questions of the old man, but the irritable elder simply started complaining about how adventure’s were milking the Duchess, promising to take care of wolves but doing no such thing and yet still claiming a reward. That was the real problem. Tobin nodded blandly and went along with it, until finally the younger man took Tobin aside and whispered to him that the they thought werewolves were involved because of some missing people, and how the wolves seem to be having much more cunning that normal.
They call it a night, except for Yenkin had other ideas and stayed up later, drinking the strong wines of the Vistani before finally heading to the inn himself.
In the middle of the night a long ominous howl shatters the silence, waking everyone except Yenkin, who’d passed out from drinking the night before. Shortly after, screams can be heard coming from the Vistani encampment. Bogdan is the first to be alert and jumps out his window, running quickly to the Vistani. Brume, Tamar, and Tobin soon follow.
When the three arrive, Bogdan is already fighting a single wolf while several others are tearing through the Vistani camp. Several of the Vistani are already dead, but there is a stiffer pocket of resistance around Stanimir and his children. Stanimir is using his magic openly now, throwing fire at the wolves.
The party and Vistani managed to kill all the wolves, but just as they did Tamar heard some foreboding sounds. Werewolves had waited until everyone thought they were in the clear before charging in, slaughtering the Vistani. The characters quickly found that many of their attacks had no effect on the shapeshifter. Stanimir cast hold monster on one to keep it at bay while Brume and Tamar threw spell after spell of Thunderwave, keeping the monsters at bay. Eventually, the werewolves killed all of the Vistani, and the two not being held immobile ran off, laughing at the party as they did so.
Bogdan noticed that Stanimir’s daughter was still barely alive. Approaching, she whispered to “beware … factions of Vistani” before dying in his arms, moments before Tamar could reach her and heal here. Tobin and the other party members used the nearby fire to finally kill the werewolf after learning that they were simply doing their lord and master’s bidding.
Burying the dead Vistani and taking one of their wagons and some horses, the party set out eastward, hoping to find this Svalich Wood. As they trekked, the warm spring day became colder and foggier, gradually thickening, until soon they were surrounded by fog. Even worse, they were in a dense pine forest, in an area that should have been devoid of pine trees.
Stopping to explore, they noticed that the mists did not get to close to the road. It wasn’t just that they could see better nearer, it was simply that the road was clear of mists. Tamar at this point got a whiff of something putrid, and with a little looking found a dead corpse holding a crumbled envelope.
This letter contradicted the one they had received earlier. One stated that Ireena Koylana was the Burgomaster’s adopted daughter, the other that she was his lover. One said she’d been bitten by a ‘vampyr’, the other that she was afflicted with an unnamed deadly evil. The handwriting was clearly different, although they both had the same seal.
While reading this, the party was attacked by four wolves. Two ran snapping and snarling after Tamar and Bogdan while the others went after the horses pulling the carriage.
Suddenly a strong wind gusted out of nowhere, blowing Yenkin and Tobin over a dozen feet to the side. Bogdan broke a wolves back while Tobin ran backwards to clamber up on top of the wagon, while one wolf got stuck in a large puddle of mud. Yenkin hid and managed pot shots from cover.
A dire wolf approached, and sat and watched the party instead of attacking. Tamar studied it, realizing that it’s body language was off. This wasn’t some regular wolf, this creature had intelligence and cunning.
Tobin showed off the power of Brunhilda, his thunder cannon, and quickly dispatched two more wolves. Meanwhile, Brume tried to spear one and managed to somehow miss and pole-vault from the wagon’s yoke over the wolf, a sight funny enough that Tamar managed to miss herself.
As the last wolf died, the dire wolf charged the party, jumping in the air and heading straight towards Yenkin. Just before the imminent collision, the dire wolf seemingly turned into mist and flew through and around Yenkin, disappearing with the sound of mocking laughter on the wind.
For no reason and out of nowhere Yenkin started feeling sad about the wolves. The party was trespassing and killed these wolves for no reason. It just wasn’t fair. The other adventure’s though this was an absurd way of looking at things, but Yenkin knew they were wrong.
2 hand crossbows and 14 bolts
4 horses and a barrel-topped wagon filled with wine & travel supplies
50g from Duchess Morwen (or a single item in PHB up to 50g)
- For a werewolf dying while she was nearby (as part of her Emerald Conclave faction), Tamar is inspired
- For the best/worst accent ever and “caring” about the wolves so much as the end, Yenkin is inspired
- For having the decency to bury the Vistani and wanting to return their posessions, Brume is inspired.