On the Eyes of Midnight

The Jackal's Den

Dungeon by sexypuertoI awoke in our dirty hay filled sleeping quarters only to find Tabarast obsessing over some scroll he’d found and apparently didnt sleep all night. Do elves even do that? Apparently he’d gained some sort of knowledge from it, and was now able to see what the dead saw just before they died. There was a skeleton in the room we were in, so he gave it a go and told us that the vision he saw was a robed vampire killing another vampire with a steak, only after tearing out his fangs…

Amailia decided that she wanted to go back to the magical fire braizer where we fought all of those minotaurs and have her weapon imbued with flame. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of going back into the room with that fountain though. Meanwhile, Igor attempted to make a healing potion but instead wound up made poison, I swear I’m never going to drink a sip of anything that little blighter offers me. So i decided it was time to sit down and finish off the rest of the ale in my pitcher, it might not be cold and probably a little stale – but it least it wasn’t poison.

We decided it was time to go check out the door with the all of the magic ingrained into it, so Tabarast spent a few moments examining it and said it was no longer sealed. Naturally I was the first one to traverse into the next room with Amalia at my side, the “men” are always lagging behind because I suspect all of the folk from the feywild are afraid of doors.

Beyond this big scary door there was a long hall and two big burnin’ fires. Burned up papers littered the floor. Everyone decided to panic and get all worrysome, not sure what about. I’ve spent more time underground in stone corridors than any of these fey have spent wanderin’ around their magical forests talking to badgers an’ what have ye. The little one was most certain there were no traps around which seemed to ease everyones nerves a bit.

Tabarast and Amalia argued about which way we should go first for quite some time. Amalia wanted to go left and Tabarast wanted to go to the right. It sounded like a two field mice sqeaking over the last piece of cheese. Both of them were too stubborn to agree so they chose to split up. Igor flipped his coin and the results were to go with Amalia. I didn’t want Tabarast to go alone so I went with him to protect his frail backside.

I told Tabarast to stay back since he’s squishie as I led the way, at the end of the hallway we found a another fire brazier in the corner and a stone archway. The portal whirled with blue black clouds that spun into darkness. Tabarast spent a few minutes inspecting it and told me that he thinks it is a portal that leads deeper into the castle and looks to have been created recently. And so it was time for me to step in once again, testing the portal with a rope and a tied off throwing hammer, I gave it a toss through and nothing happened…(for now).

So we doubled back to the other side of the hallway to see what Igor and Amalia were up to. There is another portal on their side with elven writing on the archway. Amalia told Tabarast and I that the words said “Turn Back This Wall is Trapped.” So we decided to try the other side that the mage and I had investigated first.

After much bickering and lamenting about how the portal might blemish their sun kissed hides I just decided to give it a go. I remember walking through the portal only for a moment, and that’s where I draw a blank. I have a flash in my memory of Tabarast clutching his stomach something fierce and stairing at me as if I’d just killed his familiar. I told myself that my ale probably had gone a bit strange in my pack and was messing with me, I need to get some fresh when we get back to Barovia.

But then it happened…I knew it wasn’t some tinged ale anymore after my second go through the portal left me with a thick beard and calloused hands…I had been transformed into a man!

AND SO, we went back to the other side of the hallway, AGAIN. I swear I’m going to have a drinking contest with that gnome when we get back to town, all this trapsin’ about’s got me needin a swig of some strong dwarven ale. We noticed that a stone block was loosened from the floor and found a small bronze key beneath it. There was a small keyhole in the stone archway, to be safe the mage used his magic to create a floating hand that he used to turn the key.Magic scrolls by tsabo6 d2zdcbo

As soon as the key was turned the portal went out and there was nothing left but a stone wall. We were all pretty baffled at this point. Well, all of us but one. While Tabarast was distracted conjuring his mage hand I noticed Igor stole one of the scrolls from his robes and threw it into the fire down the hallway. He clapped excitedly and I could have swore I heard him murmur something about a ‘blue light special’ as the braziers changed to a magical blue flame. Quickly re investigating our surroundings showed that the portal that had turned me into a man was now changed…

I decided what the portal had to offer me couldn’t get much worse than it already had and decided to go through first again. As I passed through the darkness I could feel life being drained from me, I saw long dead adventurers and stretched, ghastly faces and frail hands reaching out towards me as I passed. Time seemed to slow, if only momentarily. I dropped with a clang as my armor hit the ground from an empty space about 3 feet from the ground, I saw the rest of them drop in through temporary whisps of portals from the ceiling as well.

This room had no exit, and only one direction to head – through giant iron doors lit bright by flame light from the other side, the heat drifted from under the door and warmed my boots for the first time in a while.

Listening at the door Amalia heard shuffling feet but when we looked under the door we could only see that the room was very large. Igor set up a trap to trip anything that entered the room and then crawled up like a monkey and hid up in a corner. Tabarast cast invisibility on himself, and just like every other door I’ve opened in the past week – I had a bold woman at my side with her trusty wolf, with our two “strategists” cowering somewhere in the shadows. If you ask me the best strategy is a good offense, anyway it was time to kick in this iron door and see what awaited us…

There he was, a twisted machination of a man, or an elf, or a clown…something awful for certain. He had a beholder gauth at his side, the room was surrounded by magical circles and swirling black portals. The portals began to pour skeleton soldiers from them faster than the ale spigot in my fathers Inn!

Igor climbed across the wall stealthily waiting for the most opportune moments to strike, while Tabarast was attempting to manipulate and subdue the magic that infested the chamber and put a stop to the skeletal hordes. The Jackal immediately went straight for me, and things felt rather grim at first, evil words ran through my head causing my mind to wrack with pain. Amailia had used one of the blue circles on the floor to teleport on top of the stairs aside me and come to my aid.

At this point Igor finally comes out of hiding and uses his grappling hook to swing over to the east portal messing up some of the runes and deactivating it. Tabarast is working on deactivating the west portal with his fancy words.

I managed to reach the Jackall and hit him as hard as I could, my craghammer splintered his leg like a tree branch in the dead of winter. Amalia stepped in to aid me and try and gain the beholder’s attention, I could hear tabarasts arcane prose in the background and in the corner of my eye eruptions of flame sent dozens of them backward into piles of ash and bone.

Before I could deal another blow to the Jackal, a whir caught my ear just before the sound of splattering blood and rended flesh – Igors dagger was lodged firmly in the jackal’s back, his veins coarsed with black poison and his skin erupted with blisters almost immediately. He fell dead to the floor while simultaneously the remaining skeletons clattered to the floor in a mess of bones and steel.

Baby beholder by drkavMeanwhile, without skipping a beat the boys took an immediate interest in attempting to convince the beholder to bend to their will. Tabarast seemed to be successful after speaking in some horrid tongue with the creature, all I know is I’m sleeping with one eye open from here on out. I’ve gotta admit though, the beholder is kinda cute. I sketched him out on a piece of parchment with charcoal. We leave this place as soon as possible tonight though, there’s no time for sleep, not here at least – it’s not safe. We must return to Barovia, hopefully some of the shadows have been lifted from this sad oppressed little town.

Skeletal Minotaurs...
they don't scare us.
I feel as though our adventures have not been logged with total accuracy in the past. I’ve taken it upon myself to log the series of events this time. I figure Igor could use a break from logging. And, in all honesty, I think he’s remembering some details a little, well, wrong.

So I’ll start off with the group of us following a child. We’ve seen him before and decided he may need our help. We followed him into a room only to find ourselves caught in a trap. As the ceiling lowered onto Gimlina and myself we braced ourselves and held the ceiling as Igor disarmed the trap. I suppose he has his uses… occasionally.

As we moved past that little “set back” we found an interesting iron door. It was a double door with five sphere shaped insets. The largest inset with no symbol was centered over both doors with half on the left door and half on the right. The other four insets had symbols: cloud, flame, skull, and droplet. After some thought we decide to open the door. I gave it a good push, but only managed to fall to the ground. No luck opening it.

Moving farther into the room we found another door. It’s locked, but nothing Igor can’t take care of. Upon opening it we find that it leads to a hallway with glowing blue floor panels. Tabarast realized those tiles are a trap. They’re electrically charged. Gnome tossing seemed like our best option for getting to the other end of the hall, but instead Tab decided to use his Mage Hand to test which tiles we could safely pass over. We moved on and Igor took care of that trap too.

Skeletalminotaur At this point we reach a door with similar symbols to the iron door only this door has a key hole. Gimlina sees light through the hole. I listen and hear fire, wind, and something… organic? We get the door open and I enter. The room has four brazers and a fountain in the center. As Gimilina checks the fountain we notice four skeletal minotaurs. We attack and soon realize that as they get to the brazers they turn to nasty fleshy, bloody minotaurs.

We also found out the hard way that the water in the fountain puts you to sleep and heals you. Gimlina showed us that. We killed all the minotaurs. They were tough, but no match for us. Gim, Tab, and myself did a good amount of damage, but I didn’t see much of Igor. It turns out he was checking the sarcophagi where he found a lever to pull. I found another tooth. We also found out we can enchant our weapons with the fire brazer. We’ll do that later.

We headed upstairs after all that and found a room with multiple cells. There was also a skeleton with a hole in his head. We heard the kid crying in the corner. I asked him his name and he says “The Jackal is using him. We can’t help him. This will be our tomb.” Then he flew through me like a ghost, leaving a trail of leaves. He’s fey. Elf or eladrin. And not the most honest.


Igor's Travelling Troubadors first big show!
Gnomish King Discovered

As your fearless ringleader, I shall tell the tale of our triumphant first show!
Hmmm.. lets see, how did it all happen? Well, lets start with the important facts. One, I have an order for some decent ale placed with the bartender at the tavern. It should be of higher quality then the regular swill- which is fine for an elf, but not really suitable for the refined tastes of humans, gnomes, dwarves, orcs, or goblins, dogs and rats.

Two, we found an ancient gnomish King’s sarcophagus! It proves, Im pretty sure, that I own part or all of castle Ravenloft. I took a charcoal rubbing of the stonework on the sarcophagus, then redrew it to be more realistic on a separate parchment. My drawing looks like it could be my great grandgnome! So, as soon as I figure out who to present these compelling legal documents to, I shall claim the castle and rename it castle Igorloft.
Whats that Diggles? My rat is reminding me that I skipped the exciting parts. So lets go back to the beginning…Igor curious

We were exploring down some passages, deep under castle Igorloft, when I smelled some gold. The odor was faint, but unmistakable. I boldly led the party into a darkened chamber, challenging any nasty dragons that might be lurking about with my fierce gnome battle cry. But the room looked empty, if memory serves, so I started looking for that shiny gold that I smelled earlier.

Once again, our crazy mage Tabarast thought it would be funny to use his necromancy to summon up a bunch of undead all around us. I need to remember to ask him why he keeps doing that. Anyway, I decided to make a strategic withdrawal and wait to deliver the crucial blow from my hidden vantage point.

While I was busy calculating the optimal grappling hook angle to use, our mighty dwarf charged into battle, supported by our fearless druid and her pet. Tabarast decided to play fireball catch with one of the undead he summoned, nearly singing Diggles’ whiskers!

I could see it was going horribly, so I made my move. I swung across the chamber on my circus grappling hook , launching boot first into the skull of the Vampire Emperor! He fell back, shaking one fist while screaming, “You have defeated me for now, Igor Nappovich, but I shall return!” Or something like that, I cant recall. I think someone accidentally hit me, because I vanished from sight and decided to start collecting those shiny things I smelled earlier. After all, I had already saved the party, again.

Afterwards we journeyed on and found that sarcophagus that I was talking about earlier! Lots of talking happened, and at the end of it all everyone decided that the coffin was for an ancient gnomish King, probably descended from the Nappoviches of Deglos originally, back generations ago. King Thelios Nappovich, I think was his name. I have already sewn a patch with the Igorloft Crest on it, inspired by the design on the charcoal rubbing. Perhaps I will sew it onto Tabarast’s backpack next time he falls asleep drunk in his chair.

Oh, and … the ghost appeared again, and said that it is good luck to buy a gnome an ale. Spooky, how ghosts know all sorts of interesting and TRUE facts, isnt it?

Diggles, quiet! Ok, yes, then Tabarast had his ventriloquist show! We were returning to the bar, when we came across two giants in the forest arguing. I snuck up to see what was going on, and the rest of the party followed at a safe distance. I started in with a bit I learned back in pre-school, using ventriloquism to start acting out a scene within a cave beside the giants. Tabarast jumped right in, provided character voices of his own and improvising the storyline! Our audience loved it! If I recall, they applauded so loudly that the cave collapsed on their heads. Thats a real shame, they could have provided some good word of mouth advertising for Igor’s Travelling Troubadors!

After that, we made it back to the bar, which is where I started this tale. And I am not going back to Castle Igorloft until I get some better hooch! Barkeep!

Igor Nappovich’s Account of the Adventure

Into the cellars
in pursuit of an innocent?

Lindsey messecar Precursor of note prior to reading this adventure log, Igor was a bit predisposed for the entirety of this exploration as he was searching for the now suspected ‘ghost boy’ in the strangest of places (wine bottles, the ceiling, inside his shoe, etc.) so the details of his actions are somewhat vague, perhaps even to him.

After a short rest, the party decided to venture forth and attempt to gain entry to castle ravenloft. Igor had to be rustled violently awake that night, as he was talking a lot in his sleep – something about chickens or a frying pan…something. Igor crawled his way through the crack in the castle foyer and raised the porticullis. Before them stood the massive walls of Castle Ravenloft, as forboding as it was imposing the castle’s walls stand some 40 feet high.

Short inspection provided they would not be gaining entry through conventional means, to the east was a cellar with it’s door hanging open, howling loudly as the wind passed over it like lips onto a bottletop. Tabarast had noticed some claw marks to the west, deep and massive claw marks in the cliffside, after some careful inspection and help from Amalia he was convinced the marks had came from a Dracolich.

As they entered the cellar door above them slammed shut, perhaps just from the wind, however none bothered to check if they were sealed in because immediately after entering were alarmed by distant child-like cries for help echoing through the corridors. They found themselves in a wine cellar and soon discovered not only was wine being bottled and stored here, but perhaps blood too…at least at one point in time.

Proceeding onward and inspecting what once was a functional kitchen area both Gimlina and Amalia both found themselves swarming with rats and spiders at one point in time or another. Luckily they were more of a nuisance than a threat.Tabarast, blasted each of his comrades with ice in order to “help” defeat the swarms, a dark grin spread across his lips if only for a moment.

Soon after, they found a secret passage behind one of the tables in the cooking area which lead down a short and narrow hall that opened into a crumbling, gaping chasm that seperated them from the other side of the path. After much deliberation, testing, and scepticism Tabarast took a leap of faith and walked onto the nothingness – it was just an illusion. However it’s not to say that his cockiness did not get him burned as he proceeded down the next corridor only to be struck by a gout of flames. The illusion proved especially cumbersome to Amalia as she was the most hesitant to traverse it.

Soon after disarming the trap via an invisible lever, the party met a dead end. An iron door, very polished and smooth, bearing the embossed depiction of a skull stopped them, the door was magical and if they wanted to press on any further, they’d have to find some sort of key.

GhostvisageThe next area they would explore used to be a small barracks and training area, hay from target dummies and old crumbling weapons littered the room. A draft was coming from behind one of the weapon racks, however after all manner of pushing, pulling and inspection they could not manage to gain entry, which mean it was time for Gimlina to step in and perforate steel with her fine dwarven weapon as if it were mere foil.

Inside they discovered a chest, and a finely crafted suit of magical full plate armor. The chest piece of the armor was detailed in solid gold which definitely caught Igor’s eye as well as Tabarast’s however upon even touching the suit of armor, a visage would appear and attack, only momentarily before receding back into the walls. This man is suspected to had been the captain of the Ravenloft guard, inside the locked chest was a locket with an engraved “V” on it and upon touching the locket, the same ghostly visage attacked and once again left as quickly as it came.

After breaking yet another lock due to Igor’s hang ups with finding the “ghost boy” and other shiny things, they found themselves in a small living quarter for soldiers. They did not find much aside from disheveled and rotting old beds and an old bath area. However they did find a love note under some of the bed sheets. It was from a woman named Veronica and addressed to her lover “Abdel”, it outlined plans to elope. “Abdel” is believed to the captain of the guard, as when this note was read – the same visage that once was attacking the players could be seen sobbing to himself only for a moment, before disappearing…

Check the Session Loot page for details on items and points of interest.

Igor Saves the DAY! (again)
Igor's account of the adventure

GhostWell… lets see. What happened. Yes. We were waiting for some ale, for what seemed like an awfully long time, when finally it appeared. We also ate some tasty food. Some people were playing an interesting card game but for some reason they were not gambling on the outcome, while an old guy was rambling on and on about his grandson, I think. Or maybe it was his pet dog. I cant recall.

Either way, we finally got the ale… hmm. Yes, it was cold and had a nice frothy head to it. The hops were a bit on the fresh side, but I cant complain since I didnt pay for it.

Blah blaah blah, Im pretty sure everyone else was gossipping or something, because before I could finish my 5th ale we were all heading out in the dark to find some old guys pet dog, I think. Or maybe it was a sword, I cant recall.

After riding for at least 2 or 3 nights, we came to an old battlefield. There was this really amazing looking contraption which I discovered, some sort of siege engine. I was busy loading the stone shot into the giant catapult when I think our crazy mage summoned up a bunch of undead for no apparent reason. I should remember to ask him why he did that. Oh well.

Anyway, two horrible, giant skeletons with dragon heads and firey fangs starting chasing me. I think a zombie or two might have attacked the rest of the party too, Im not sure. But I saved them all by distracting the giant dragon fire skellies, shooting the catapult at them and smashing them to bits!

Tabarast had been digging for worms, and he saved me some to try and make a poison from later. I was busy following that little boy, Oh YEA ! a little boy ran across the battle running away from the giant flaming skellies that I was single handedly dueling. I found the crack in the castle wall where he hid, and my rat friend saw what looks like a lever back in the tunnel. I might have to go pull that lever in the morning.

After the battle, everyone thanked me for saving them, again. Its tough being the responsible one, I tell you.

PS send more ale,


The Killing Fields
Barovia's last stand

100545With the creak of wood and pinging of iron your trebuchet lets off yet another volley of stones that come crashing down just short of the massive flesh golem that stands at the distant gates of the castle.

The men to the east are being eviscerated by wolves resembling men while the others are nearly the size of bears. The sounds of crossbow fire and the draw of steel are only intermittent now as your ranks grow thin, only a mere handful of soldiers still stand and the droves of undead only seem to multiply.

As the legions of the night bound and lumber toward the soldiers, a dracolich perched atop the castle foyer tower roars a deep black-purple necrotic breath from it’s bony maw. Lightning cracks the sky, momentarily giving you full view of the carnage.

The overwhelming sense of demise lulls hangs in the air, but just as the last shred of hope is ripped from fates threads he arrives. Dressed in brazen armor, and brandishing a shield of what looks to be pure gold – Lord William of Barovia dismounts from his ivory horse and unsheathes a blade that glows with radiance so bright it puts the lightning to shame

Ultimately, a brave battle was fought this day, but it was not a winning one. Lord William fell to a massive flesh golem that day, and the rest of his men fought to the very end. Barovia was completely enveloped in darkness that day, and has been ever since…

That was 100 years ago ~ Fade to black ~ Present day Barovia emerges.

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