RECAP: 5th Avengers, 5-23-21

By Tucker

Having met Krusk, the party must make a decision about what to do: they can go with Krusk to defeat the undead threat in Berdusk, or to continue their struggle against the Temple of Elemental Evil. Krusk is not very knowledgeable about the quest he has been sent on.

Our tab and expenses in Hommlet come to 50 gold. Elmo comes to tell us that he has heard that we may be moving on. He has been quite sober the last week, trying to sort out the issue with Jarry’s necromancy, which he cannot prove anything about. Caela tries to tell him that Spugnoir gave him the keys to his shop and is gone, which Elmo does not buy. She explains that he was going give us a discount at his shop but he died before we could rescue him from the Moathouse and we laid him to rest and brought back his belongings. Elmo says that it is a matter for the priests of Saint Cuthbert. Caela obliges. He invites us to return someday and encourages Jarry to seek therapy. By the time we leave, the shop is boarded up. Peeking in, the shelves are empty and it is very much out of business. We leave by the same route we arrived, through the southwest road on horse and wagon. Krusk is very impressed, because he had to walk all the way there. It takes us one full day and one evening before we get to Bardusk. We have not seen anyone on the road up to this point, set a camp with fire and watch, and the night passes without incident. We arrive in Bardusk the next day. Krusk knows the way, and they reach the Temple of Lathander without a problem. It is about two o’clock. Berdusk is not too big, but it is a thriving walled metropolis. The party follows Krusk through the city streets and the people at the temple welcome him. It is a working church, so everyone is shown to private rooms and asked to remain in place until the evening meal, with a way to call for assistance if needed.

Each room has a window but no balcony. Caela skillfully climbs out the window and scales the outside wall to reach the roof level. Looking around, she scans the surrounding city for anything she recognizes from her travels prior to joining up with her current accomplices. She is in a part of the city she has not been to before, but sees all the ordinary hustle and bustle of a city at this time of day. She attempts to re-enter her room. As she moves to the edge of the roof, she can tell she is making a racket. She loses her grip and falls 20 feet to the ground, taking ten points of bludgeoning damage. Being stunned ever so slightly, Caela sits there as two acolytes rush up to tend to her, and without asking questions they begin tending to her. A female cleric approaches and asks what happened. Caela explains that she slipped and fell while surveying the city and would appreciate a heal. The cleric says that they would have gladly answered any questions she had, and explains that they’ll help her back to her room and get her cleaned up and patched together.

Balyx is the only one who notices a commotion, and notes a humaniod-sized imprint in the dirt outside and returns to prayer. Soon after, Balyx and Jarry both hear a knock at their doors, and someone is at the door to each of their rooms to invite them to dinner with Patriarch Zaos. Caela is healed. We are seated. Krusk and the Patriarch offer a blessing for the meal, and dinner is served. The food provided to us is tailored to our species, including triple portions for Jarry. Conversation is casual, focusing on the Temple of Elemental Evil and life in Hommlet.

About halfway through the meal, Zaos leans in and asks what we know of the town surrounding Daggerford. Balyx replies that he knows nothing. The priest explains that there is a situation near Daggerford concerning undead. There may be something in Castle Ravenloft seeking to raise the dead for purposes presently unknown. The party did capture the eye of the Temple faithful, who saw them as appropriate heroes to deal with the situation, but they did not want to take them away from their quest at the time.

Balyx asks about the origins of the undead. They originate from somewhere in Barovia, where Castle Ravenloft is located. It used to be home to a since-defeated vampire. Some people they have sent is not returned. Our contact is Dutchess Morwen in Daggerford and we are to be paid fifty gold pieces to meet with her and identify the next step. If we are called to go to Barovia, know that there is much to be gained there. Jarry asks if the quest will be catered. Zaos laughs. He asks if Krusk knows the spell Create Food and Water, but Krusk replies that he does not know it but is an excellent cook and knows ten ways to cook rat.

Zaos slides a scroll over to Jarry. It bears the Harper emblem. Zaos says we are to be commended for being open and honest, which will increase our chances of success. The note concerns a metalsmith located in Barovia who will silver our weapons for free and also mentions children kidnappend by werewolves. The meal conversation concerns comparing and contrasting the faith of Bahamut and Lathander. Balyx speaks of how Bahamut came to him in a dream, and Zaos is extremely impressed. We are implored to be careful and escorted back to our rooms. The night passes without incident and absent additional requests, we are outfitted. Each party member with a ranged weapon is outfitted with a quiver of half bludgeoning arrows and half regular arrows. Each is also given a potion of Bless and a potion of Cure. After a brief sending-off ceremony, Krusk is given a pouch with 50 gold with the understanding that I am not to share it unless he is accepted into the party. He is also given a scroll, an invitation to dine with Duchess Morwyn. It is about a day’s travel to Daggerford, and when we arrive, we are escorted to the Duchess’ estate atop a hill, overlooking the rest of the area. Despite a sumptuous meal, the Duchess seems out of sorts. She mentions a band of travellers camped outside of the gate, who seemed harmless at first, but who demand coin and wine from passers-by and threaten to place hexes on them, and she had sent guards who came back speaking sympathetically of the travellers, apparently harmed. She asks us to deliver a message that if they do not leave by dawn, their wagons will be burned. Krusk asks if it would be bad if we just burned the wagon, which the Duchess says is not her first choice but is also ok. We set out to deliver the message. We approach the camp. We see a dozen men and women in good spirits, dancing and drinking around a fire. Three wagons are tied at odd angles, and a half-dozen horses adorned with bangles are grazing nearby.

Jarry seeks to join in the fun. He makes a good case for why he should be able to drink with him. The first couple of folks are really taken in by him. A couple of the others stand more reserved noticing the rest of the group. Krusk clears his throat and asks for their leader, and a man waves his hand, and Krusk notices, clearly a mage. He calls them over, and as they do, a woman and a young man approach to greet us. We are welcomed by Stannameir and Damia. both polite and greeting all of us. They ask why we are here. Balyx tells them that Jarry wanted to drink and dance. They ask what else they can do for us. Krusk hands them the note. After the first couple sentences, he begins chuckling and then laughs the more he reads.

He says not to worry, that they have no wishes to make an enemy of Lady Morwyn, and had caught word that a band of adventurers would be on their way. He says he has a story to tell and that if we do not like it, they will be on their way. He gathers us all around, except Jarry, who is preoccupied. Stannemeir fills his mouth with wine and spits into the fire, which turns green. A dark shape appears in the fire. He explains the story of a wounded prince who they rescued, who is now cursed, now a dread lord, and they seek to return to his land. They are called Vistani, and they never mention the name of the prince, only saying that Madam Eva, who they have invited us to see, has the answers they seek. Krusk and Caela report back to the duchess, who appreciates the result, and sends us off to Barovia.

Stannemeir is a wizard capable of casting spells up to fifth level, and his daughter Damia would have lots to discuss with Lauris, Ratka, his son, a secondary leader, and there are only nine or ten others, really. We go together, and other than a good supply of ale and wine their wagons contain nothing of value. We travel for several days, and nothing really approaches the wagon, until we find ourselves in a persistent fog. We ask about it and the Vistanti call it the Creeping Fog, just something that’s going on. We arrive in Barovia. We feel like the mist has something going on to it. Krusk and Balyx in particular do not like it. Caela agrees that the fog is abnormal. Balyx uses Divine Sense to attempt to detect sentience in the fog, which it does not possess, but it is being directed, as though it is there for a reason. Balyx asks the Vistani about the fog, to which he receives the reply that Madam Eva will answer all.

Eventually, the road gives way to a rutted dirt road. There is a clearing that widens to form a small lake several hundred feet across. Scattered colorful tents surround some barrel top wagons, and a larger tent sags near the lake, lit from within. A footpath meanders north between the river and the forest’s edge. Some people are singing and playing an accordion around a bonfire. Madam Eva awaits in the larger tent.

Gems (page 45 blast)
3 paintings worth 75gp each
234 gold
1079 silver
1891 copper
24 platinum
52 electrum
9 gems valued at 50 gp each
1 amulet of Saint Cuthbert
2 Potions of Animal Friendship
1 Potion of Fire Breath
3 holy symbols of Saint Cuthbert, valued at 150g apiece.
A jade symbol of Saint Cuthbert
A bag of material components
1 potion
2x Fine leather armor
1 heavy mace
Gold chain
A black scepter with violet gems
A small violet sphere
A black metal scroll case
+1 Shortbow
+1 Mace
An unidentified scroll

Geth was prepared to give up his ownership stake in Troskull Manor but when Caela expressed interest in it, he handed it over to her with the condition of free lodgings when he came into town infrequently.