Ravenloft

To Vallaki!
But first, let's tie up a priest!

The party negotiated firmly with Father Donavich after destroying his undead son. They left him tied up and the church unlocked through the night with the body of burgomaster Kolyan Indirovich. Much to their surprise, Father Donavich kept his word and was prepared to bury the burgomaster in the morning. After the burial, the party secured two war horses and set out for Vallaki with Ireena under their protection. They made it to a bridge spanning a wide and incredibly deep chasm (kasm; my bad (English)). It was there that a flock of harpies sprung their trap to lure the party over the cliff edge with their enchanting song. While most of the party staggered towards the cliff edge, Rothwulf and Ezmerelda tried to break them out of their trance. Then harpies started firing arrows from their elevated position, in an attempt to drive them over the cliff; however, the party had little difficulty slaying the harpies once they regained their senses.

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Meanwhile in Barovia

Rothwulf, Booger, Ramas, and Ezmerelda followed Ismark to the Indirovich estate and met with Ireena. There they formed a plan to bring Ireena’s father’s body to the church to prep is for burial in the morning after prayers to the Morning Lord. Only after a proper burial would Ireena agree to be escorted to Vallaki, a fortified town west of Barovia. The party set out to the church and met with Father Donavich who was praying in a disheveled church. It wasn’t long before they heard inhuman screams calling from the basement. Despite Father Donavich’s pleading, the party found their way into the basement in search of Father Donavich’s son who was bitten by Strahd.

In the basement Ramas lit a torch and was immediately attacked by Doru, the vampire spawn. There was also a giant spider lurking that briefly trapped Rothwulf in some webbing. Booger went after the spider and Ramas and Rothwulf destroyed the vampire. Father Donavich resealed the trap door and barricaded it; however, Ramas used an ability which blasted a number of support beams and created a large hole in the church floor (the basement’s ceiling).

Now all the party has to do is make sure Father Donavich, whose son they just killed, is on schedule for burying the body in the morning so they can set out for Vallaki with Ireena.

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The Blood on the Vine

Ramas, Booger, and Rothwulf each began their evening in Invidia and unbeknownst to them, they wouldn’t be in that realm come the following morning. Booger set out to look for an Ussuri, but was presented with an opportunity to earn some coin protecting a Barovian woman for a powerful being. Luckily for him, the Ussuri, Rothwulf, was also heading to Barovia for his own reasons. Rothwulf was planning on ending his evening at the Laughing Maiden when a stranger set him on another course. Rothwulf was torn about putting his quest on hold in order to assist Ezmerelda with her mission of killing a powerful vampire. Ezmerelda had a lead on a Barovian woman that was of particularly interest to her vampire and they decided to start their investigation with her. Meanwhile, Ramas was contacted by a elder Vistana who asked for his assistance in freeing the realm of their dark lord’s curse. He was given information to find a Vistani woman that would aid him.

The three adventurers with different goals and motivations found themselves together in a tavern, the Blood on the Vine. What brought them together at that moment? Was it fate? Or something else, possibly something deceitful or even sinister in nature?

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A New Threat

Following the demise of The Dukkar, the Deepwood Trio went their separate ways, each drawn to their own destiny.

Rothwulf joined the Ussurian resistance and helped his people reclaim their land and the rule of Invidia. More of a feud that a war, the two lycanthropic dynasties fought tirelessly for two years, pushing their species to the brink of extinction. While Rothwulf’s experience in battle did teach him to master his shifting, it did little to prepare him for the horrors of war, but it was his memories of Rufias that would haunt him and render him unable to settle down.

Sam followed her hellbent heart into Barovia in search of that dying vineyard and her long lost daughter. Sam faced perviously unimaginable evils on her journey. She became hardened to suffering and merciless on the battlefield; a true survivor. Sam was prepared for anything and everything, except for the moment she laid eyes on her blissfully happy daughter. Nothing could have prepared her for such conflicted feelings.

Ramas reimagines the battle with The Dukkar nearly every night.He retraces the decisions that were made up to the point where he unleashed the Fist of Unbroken AIr that dispatched his foe. He struggled with the emptiness that followed. He returned to his hermitic ways in order to answer a defining question, “Was The Dukkar the great evil he was meant to vanquish, or is there another, greater foe out there that he must face?” Ramas found the question as troubling as either answer.

It would appear that the paths of the Deepwood Trio were only aligned for a moment, like three lines that intersected at one point and then continued in opposite directions for eternity. A Vistana would disagree, however. They would point out that the lines were never straight to begin with and probably compare them to the trails of light made by fireflies in the night sky. If you watch closely you can follow the paths and even predict where they will reappear.

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The End of the Dukkar

The party found themselves being stalked by a vampire spawn just outside of the cliffside mansion where the Dukkar resided. They were alerted to its presence by Vladimir, who turned out to be a fellow Ussuri. They party failed to sneak away from the threat, but quickly dispatched the foe. The battle made enough noise to draw the attention of the Dukkar, who released the (hell) hounds, causing further trouble for the party. Ramas was gravely injured by a hell hound bite, but Rothwulf pulled him to safety while Vlad and Sam held off the hounds and the approaching Dukkar, who revealed his true demonic form. The Dukkar made several attempts to charm the party and delay their retreat, but Vlad resisted and continues to maul the Dukkar. Sam stabilized Ramas and when the party hid in the forest they took a short rest which allowed him to regain consciousness. The Dukkar searched for the party by flying over the forest, but was unable to spot the party and teleported away. The party regained their strength and with a little inspiration from Sam, their resolve. They made their way back to the mansion for a final showdown, which ended quickly as Ramas pulled out all the stops and used his now signature Fist of Unbroken Air.

The Vistani were watching remotely and approached the party after they defeated the Dukkar to congratulate them. Marcella told Sam of another vision of her child, this time playing in a dying vineyard in Barovia. Rothwulf was encourage by Vlad to join the resistance in Barovia in overthrowing the vampire lord. When the party asked about Rufius, Marcella informed them that he had fallen into madness at the hands of Bane. Ramas was left with a little soul searching as he had completed an enormous personal quest.

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At Cliffside Mansion

The party found themselves under attack just before daybreak. Scar had tracked them from the dog fights and was out to kill the Ussuri (Rothwulf). Ramas went down early, but was revived by a fellow monk before joining the party in defeating the werewolves and capturing Scar. Rothwulf took Scar’s hands, but let him go free and the party went on their way to the Haptmeyer mansion to confront the Dukkar. They stopped at the Laughing Maiden to meet up with Matton Blanchard, but rumor had it that he left with Gabrielle the night before. Something had frightened her enough to leave Karina.

At the cliffside mansion, the party waited until nightfall when a dark figured, assumed to be the Dukkar, returned. Before they could confront him, several swarms of bats swept in.

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Finding the Dukkar
and saving Rufius?

Sam and Rothwulf made their escape from the Citadel and headed back into the heart of Carnival in search of Old Barovian ales… and maybe the Dukkar… and maybe Rufius? They followed Matton Blanchard to the Laughing Maiden tavern where he was working up some liquid courage to go find Scar Tabor, who Rothwulf was told would know how to find the Dukkar. After accepting a hefty sum of gems and coin, Scar informed the party that Gabrielle Aderre was the mother of the Dukkar and the both could be found in the old Haptmeyer estate on the cliffs. A mysterious stranger also approached Scar, but was turned away, discouraged. Sam took note of the man and followed him, leaving Blanchard and Rothwulf with Scar. Sam met the mysterious Ramas who invited her to join him at the local monastery to discuss his interest in finding the Dukkar. Eventually Sam found Rothwulf and the two of them agreed to help Blanchard search the mansion in the morning, and they then met up with Ramas at the monastery and discussed joining forces to deal with the Dukkar.

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Escaping the Citadel
Collateral

Rothwulf struck a bargain with Bane and promised to bring the Dukkar back to the Citadel in exchange for his freedom, there was just one catch… Rufius is being held as collateral. Bane gave Rothwulf a few clues to help track down the Dukkar before putting him to sleep in order to keep his location a secret. Sam did make her way further into the Citadel and found an unconscious Rothwulf lying outside of a cell. The two began working on a plan to escape which involved avoiding a very hungry large black puddle of goo, sacrificing various prisoners into said goo, and plenty of breaking locks and smashing doors. Eventually the two found a glimmer of hope in a partially collapsed vault. Now to find the Dukkar, capture it, and bring it back to bargain with a rather unsavory villain.

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The Citadel

Sam escaped an attempted mugging from her hired hands, but was apprehended in the scuffle after failing to charm the warden (again). She was locked in the haunted north wing of the Citadel and was visited by a ghostly figure. Meanwhile, Rufius and Rothwulf learned the true nature of their captor and attempted to escape.

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Apprehended... Again!
The Reluctant Heroine

It didn’t take the perceptive Rufius long to recognize there was some sort of “kerfuffle” at the Black Swan. It was probably the unconscious Rothwulf being carried by guards, followed by an angry mob. Rufius also spotted someone he recognized in the mob and approached them, and at that point Sam let him in on her ruse. The two followed the mob for about a block when Rufius, very spontaneously, shifted into a lion and pounced on the guards. Although, Sam was reluctant to join the fray, at least until Rufius started dragging Rothwolf away from the guards. Rufius quickly shifted back into his human self and healed Rothwulf who awoke to being chased by guards and an angry mob. Despite the occasional obstacle thrown (or EB’d) into the path of the guards, the two were apprehended, again.

Once again, Sam kept her distance and followed the guys to the Citadel. By then she was well on her way to plotting a master escape plan which involved gambling, hiring two questionably loyal thugs, wearing a convincing disguise to assume a false identity, and attempting to charm a clearly bribable warden. It was going fairly well until the last part, which did not sit well with the warden that was strongly hinting that she could venture into the prison and retrieve the boys herself that evening or wait until they are released in the morning. Sam chose to wait and trust the warden to keep his word. It could have been the fact that the prison is haunted at night, or more likely, Sam is reluctant to

What Sam doesn’t know is that Rufius and Rothwulf were abducted from their cells in the middle of the night. Well, Rufius was actually abducted from the hallway because he shifted into a tarantula to escape his cell. He wandered around the ceiling, but despite having eight legs, couldn’t open a locked door. While on the ceiling he saw a dark figure emerge from the wall who mysteriously caused everyone in the room to fall unconscious, and Rufius fell to the floor, which resulted in him shifting back into a human. When the awoke they were strapped to iron chairs in a dark room with a mysterious figure.

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