Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: A Vampire in Wolf's Clothing

  • Felicia (level 2 human thief)
  • Gamamyr (level 2 elf wizard)
  • Kyr (level 2 living star)
  • Mim (level 2 witch w/ familiar)

In the wake of their victory, Kyr and Mim discovered both that at some Rook had vanished without a trace, and Klaus had succumbed to his wounds. Well, with the source of the undead plague stopped he wouldn't be coming back.

Hopefully. At any rate, the church was a more fitting resting place than a street or someone else's house.

Kyr gathered up his weapons and armor; Klaus wasn't going to need them, and he could use them as a supply of nourishment or simply for backup. Once they'd searched the rooms for anything worthwhile, they opened the door and were relieved to see—in what meager sunlight that pierced the mist—the (un)lifeless corpses littered about the streets.

As they descended the church's front steps, Petru revealed himself from some nearby bushes. Wounded and thoroughly exhausted they asked him to take them to an inn. He objected, insisting that they had to get out of Barovia while the sun was up. They told him that they were going to stop Strahd one way or another, and that he was welcome to go his own way.

With no money, possessions, or capability to defend himself, Petru had no choice but to tag along. He lead them to the town square, only to find that the street leading there had been barricaded. They approached the barricade, and Kyr shouted out a greeting. A women responded, asking who they were, to which Kyr replied that they were the ones responsible for stopping the undead. She thanked them, but said that unfortunately they would have to make it over the barricade on their own.

Kyr picked up Mim and clumsily vaulted over, and when he landed saw the woman that had spoken: she was clad both in a layer of armor and filth, and a golden disk featuring a sunburst hung from her neck; one of her arms was wrapped in bandages that had been stained red and black; her shoulder-length blonde hair was filthy and disheveled; finally, aside from the dark circles under her eyes, her skin was an almost sickly pale.

She shook his hand with her one good arm, introduced herself as Ashlyn, and thanked them again. When Kyr asked if there was a place they could stay, she motioned at a tavern and said that whatever floor space they could find was the best hospitality they could offer.

Kyr told her of their intention to destroy Strahd, and asked her about the location of the castle. Ashlyn laughed humorlessly at this, and directed him to the road that would take them straight there; they simply had to take the left path when they arrived at a fork. When he asked if there was a way to sneak inside, she dourly told him that no one that has ventured into the castle has returned.

As Kyr turned to leave she bitterly told him that the vistani might be able to help, and that they were camped at the Tser Pool. All they had to do was follow the same road and take a right at the fork.

Kyr nodded, thanked her for her help, and with Mim close behind they entered the tavern. Inside they were overwhelmed by a smell that was only marginally more tolerable than the rotting corpses: there were a lot of people cooped up inside, a lot of people that had bodily needs to fulfill and a very small place to fulfill them in.

They were still scanning the place for an adequate place to sleep when an elf sprang from his seat to greet Mim. His name was Gamamyr, and he'd apparently first met Mim a long time ago when she had helped remove a fell presence that had been plaguing his village. He introduced them to his partner, a woman named Felicia; they had arrived a few days ago by ship, and were planning to infiltrate Strahd's castle in search of riches and ancient magic that they were certain could be found within.

At least their goals overlapped somewhat, and with the undead plague undone they could finally leave...as soon as Kyr and Mim got some much-deserved rest.

The following day Kyr and Mim returned to the entrance of the village, and were surprised to find that the horses they'd hitched to their wagon were still alive. Gamamyr wanted his own horse, so he charmed one of the few villagers that still had one, but when his magic wasn't sufficient also exchanged one of the silver maces Kyr and Mim brought back from the church. The man took it, told Gamamyr to make Strahd suffer, and went on his way.

Once Kyr and Mim restocked their food supplies they headed out, taking care to stay on the path as the mists were still quite thick: it would be easy to become lost, and who knew what lurked within it. They crossed a bridge shortly after leaving—which fortunately held their weight and harbored no monstrous creatures—and after about an hour arrived at the crossroads.

A wooden post was planted at the fork. A sign attached to it indicated that the right path lead to the Tser Pool, while part of the post—namely the part that would have featured another sign—looked to have been hacked at, possibly clawed. More ominous, to the right of the road was the ruined foundation of an old, overgrown building. A gallows was erected within the crumbling stone husk, from which hung numerous bodies.

Felicia, Gamamyr, and Kyr went to investigate the bodies, leaving Mim with the wagon. In the space it took Mim to glance their way and look back at the road, a large wolf had appeared. They stared at each other for a while, but when the wolf made no move she dared to turn and call out to her companions. When she looked back this time, a man stood there. The same man Kyr and she had encountered when they first arrived in Barovia.

He greeted Mim with the same sardonic tone as before, offering his condolences about her missing companions. Kyr and Felicia returned, while Gamamyr opted to stay hidden in the ruin. As they more or less exchanged words they learned that his name was Urik and little else. Mim became irritated by his evasive mannerisms, so tried afflicting him with a great illness in hopes of torturing information out of him.

Not only did it have no effect on him, but her magic reboundeded, causing her to vomit forth insects. Either he was somehow shielded from her magic, or he was not alive.

She managed to compose herself long enough to tell Kyr to get a piece of his clothing, which dead or alive would allow her to harm him with one of her poppets. Kyr brightly shone and blinded everyone but Gamamyr, who was mostly shielded by the ruin. He then sprang forward, and with one fluid motion slashed off a piece of Urik's clothes, snatched it up, and rushed it back to Mim.

Mim glared at Urik, trying to appear defiant despite the various insects that randomly emerged from her mouth, and noticed his eyes briefly dart to his left, almost as if he was signaling her. She turned her head slightly, not wanting to lose sight of him, and out of the corner of her eyes saw that the bodies had dropped to the ground and were silently stalking towards Gamamyr.

But she didn't say anything, and no one else seemed to notice them. Nor did they notice her drop the strip of Urik's clothing to the ground.

Behind the Scenes
The players playing Klaus and Rook just kinda dropped off. Not sure what happened, but fortunately we were able to pick up another pair pretty quickly. One is new, the other not so much, but were both patient and awesome (great for any game, but even better over a hangout). Really the only downside was that chargen and story-development ate up about an hour of time, but it's out of the way for next week.

The best line of the night went out to Melissa. She tried to hex Urik so that he'd barf up insects and rolled a 7. Normally this would be enough, but when nothing happened her eyes widened with realization as she said, "Oh shit...he's not alive, is he?" See, the witch's hex move explicitly specifies that the target must be alive (so that you cannot, for example, make an undead creature sick or transform a golem into a sheep), meaning that it did nothing at all to Urik.

Oh well, it was funny and she learned something.

We haven't had anyone play a wizard for an appreciate length of time (I'm really not a fan of it myself), so I am interested to see how it works out over an extended period of time. The only spell cast was when Gamamyr used charm person on one of the villagers. Now, it makes the target regard you as a friend, but I figured that no matter how close you are to someone, they probably aren't going to give you a horse that they desperately need, especially given that you probably aren't going to bring it back.

I did however allow him to take +1 forward with a Parley, which Mim supplemented with a 10+ aid move and a silver mace. In the end they got a horse at about half price, which is quite a bit better than them not being able to get one at all, or having to shell out many times it's worth.

I'd considered having something attacked them on the way (Barovia is a dangerous place after all), probably by werewolves, but it took a while to get the ball rolling and I had an encounter planned for the crossroads, so I figured I'd just wait until they got there.

Pretty glad I did, as it made for a perfect cliffhanger.

Various Sales Going On
There are a pair of sales going on: Melissa and I have been running a Trick-or-Treat sale, in which we randomly determine a class and discount, and Drivethrurpg is in general running a Halloween sale. So, if you're looking to pick up some of our Dungeon World products on the (even) cheap(er), get 'em while you can!


  1. Never in my life has the crossing of a bridge been as tense a situation than in this game. Kudos to David Guyll.

  2. Don't worry: there are other bridges.

  3. Ok well as long as it's nothing more scary than a bridge I can breathe easy

  4. I mean, there are vampires and werewolves, but at least with them you know where you stand.


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