Session Date: May 5, 2017
The PCs prepare an ambush for Kiril, who arrives shortly later accompanied by six other werewolves and nine wolves. Oona alerts the group to an approaching wolves. One is larger than the rest with black fur and white stripes. Assuming this is Kiril and his group, Tyrexia prepares an image of Strahd to welcome them back to the cave.
Kiril and the other werewolves bow at the presence of Strahd and are then caught by surprise as Talia drops a fireball in their midst, killing all of the wolves and severely injuring the others.
Blaze, Lor, and Solveig leap into melee while Eli peppers the werewolves with silver arrows. Talia and Tyrexia blast away with their spells and eventually all of the enemies dead. During the fight, however, Blaze takes a nasty bite that appears infected.
Taking the Tome of Strahd with them, the PCs leave the children with Zulieka with strict instruction that they are to be fed and should not be hurt. Zulieka agrees to do so, based on the PCs’ promise to return her lover, Emil.
The party then travels to Krezk to explore the mysteriously walled city. Outside of the gate, they are approached several wereravens, hiding in nearby brush with four barrels of wine having followed Tyrexia’s previous instructions.
The party approaches the gates and, upon announcing that they bring wine, are immediately introduced to Burgomaster Krezkov, leader of Krezk. He admits the group into Krezk, a rural village nestled into a forest. A switchback road winds up a cliffside, upon which a large abbey looks over Krezk. A somber bell rights out sporadically.
Krezkov invites the characters to dinner while sending a group of men up to abbey with the wine. Over dinner, the Krezkiov informs the PCs that the abbot has been here for some time. The abbey was considered haunted before that but, after the Abbot arrived, strange animal sounds came down from above. Those who have ventured inside tell of abominations that the Abbot treats as his children. After filling their stomachs with warm stew, the party heads up to the Abbey, meeting the other villagers on their way down. One of the villagers warns the PCs that the Abbot is mad.
The party finds the Abbey at the top of a rock promontory. It appears to consist of two wings, a North wing and a East Wing, both two stories, connected by a curtain wall. When the party opens the screechy front gate, two misshapen creatures appear, one with a wolf snout, leonine legs, and the tail and bray of a donkey named Otto and and another covered in patches of lizard scales and wolf fur named Zygfrek. A large courtyard fills the area between the wings, ringed with several chicken coops inhabited by more of the mutants. A bat-winged mutant chained to an iron post driven in the ground flies at the party, hissing through its spider mandibles.
When the party explains they were responsible for the recent wine shipment, Otto hops off to retrieve the Abbot. While waiting, Zygfrek asks Eli to join her that night, a request he politely refuses. A short moment later, a beautiful, ageless man with blue globes for eyes emerges from the North wing, accompanied by a woman who moves stiffly. Closer inspection reveals she is composed of several dead bodies sewed together.
The Abbot invites the PCs to dinner, which they accept even though they had eaten earlier. Dinner is served in the dining room on the first floor of the North wing. A plaintive melody from a violin sounds above. The Abbot agreed to give the PCs quarters on the second floor of the East wing, but warns them to leave his children unharmed and, further, not to travel beyond a door in the office. The Abbot also asks the PCs retrieve a wedding dress, offering to raise them from the dead three times for no cost in return.
Most of the party stays in the office and while securing Blaze in the barracks with manacles and ropes. As the full moon rises, Blaze transforms into a ferocious beast. Unable to control his savagery, he wrestles with his manacles until he breaks free in the wee hours of the morning. Tyrexia incapacitates Blaze with a spell before he can do any more harm.
Talia cures Blaze of his infection the next morning. The party then traverses the forbidden door to discover a hospital of sorts. Shadows detach from below the hospital beds and attack the PCs. The party dissipates the creatures before shadows drain anyone of their strength.
Searching the adjacent rooms, the party finds a ruined nursery. The silver hilt of a sword rests under the wreckage of one of the cribs. Blaze feels the weapon’s calls and, after he attunes to it, a bluish light blazed forth in place of a blade. This is clearly the Sunsword, foretold by Madame Eva.
In another room, the PCs sees a raven on a windowsill, which then flies down to a scarecrow in the Abbey gardens. When the party investigates the scarecrow, a half dozen undead creatures burst from the ground. They have glowing green eyes, wield longswords, and wear Strahd’s livery. With the assistance of the Sunsword and Talia’s radiant blasts, the party destroys the creatures. Inside the scarecrow, the PCs find an amulet of health.
The party leaves the abbey and, making good time on horseback, makes a side trek to Berez. They find a ruined village surrounded by a swamp. Scarecrows stand intermittently about the town. A small wooden fence, topped by skulls, surrounds a dozen goats. A small hut, only in slightly better repair than the rest of the village, sits on a huge stump in the center of the village. Cages filled with ravens flank the doorway of the hut.
Warned by the wereravens, the party preemptively attack the scarecrows. The constructs come to life and approach, pelted by arrows and spells. The hut suddenly rises from the ground and stomps forward ponderously, the roots attached to the huge stump serving as legs. An old woman with green-gray skin flies towards the PCs in a giant skull, blood sloshing about on the inside. This can only be Baba Lysaga.
The parties whittle the scarecrows down until several get close enough to strike fear into several PCs with their gaze. Most of the party focuses their attacks on Baba Lysaga, however, who casts deadly spells of her own. Solveig uses misty step to join her in the skull and maintains his balance long enough to split her head open with the blood glaive. Lor stands before the hut and is beat ferociously by the roots of the stump. Only Talia’s healing magic saves him from death. Blaze joins the fight against the hut and is similarly knocked out. Tyrexia channeling the dark energy of the Hellfire Wand finally brings the hut low.
Inside the remains of the hut, the party finds treasure, including the other missing gem for the Wizard of Wines Winery.
As the party is leaving the village, a ghostly figure emerges from one of the larger set of ruins. It approaches the party and explains it is the spirit of Lazlo Ulrich. The party recalls that Ulrich was the burgomaster who doomed the town by killing his daughter, Marina, instead of allowing her to become a thrall to Strahd.
Expressing hope that the PCs may be victorious in their fight against Strahd, he leads them towards one of the ruins and reveals one of the village’s greatest treasure—the Hunter’s Bow.