The Bardic Chef

Broiled Beholder and Other Dungeon Delicacies

Adventurers: Bom [Amanda], Tynnathier [Jeremy], Nicholas [Greg] EXP from this session: 1,350 total // 450 each Befriended Vistani: 2...

Session Recap - CoS - #03: The Mystical Cards

By 8:02 AM

Adventurers: Bom [Amanda], Tynnathier [Jeremy], Nicholas [Greg]

EXP from this session: 1,350 total // 450 each
Befriended Vistani: 225 EXP
Received Readings from Madame Eva: 225 EXP
Acquired Key Reading from Madame Eva: 450 EXP
Assisted in Burying The Burgomaster: 225 EXP
Acquired Ireena: 225 EXP
Treasure Found: None

After the destruction of the Death House, our party members Bom and Tynnathier decided that healing was kind of a requirement at this point. Everyone was worse for wear and had gone through hell. They sought out help at a run-down church in the village, only to find that the priest there was not exactly the friendliest sort, and looked at them with much suspicion, turning them away. They heard terrible screams coming from the floorboards of this building, but opted to walk away instead and leave in the direction of a colorful wagon they saw driving past town. They walked past the mournful cries they heard echoing in the street, and ignored the people who they witnessed darting into the seemingly abandoned inn. Instead they crept their way into the forest on the western edge of town. They encountered a small foot path that led into another section of the woods, but Bom decided to pass this completely, and make a note of it for later.

Down this winding road they found a small campfire with three dark-skinned men dressed in brightly colored clothing, adorned with a lot of gold-colored jewelry. They drank heavily, spoke light-heartedly to them - a very welcome change of pace for our adventurers. Bom inquired about some place to find healing nearby, and the group eagerly offered to take them to their people's camp by the river - a natural healer there could take a look at their wounded, and give them a place to rest their head. The party eagerly took them up on this offer and followed behind their colorful wagon.

Tents and more brightly colored covered wagons filled the clearing, lining the river bed as they came into the hidden campsite. A large group of what they soon learned to be Vistani were celebrating, exchanging stories, and drinking heavily around the campfire. Bom and Tynnathier were directed to a very young girl on the edge of town who stammered her way through a healing balm for Tynnatheir - not potent enough to regrow an arm, of course, but enough to heal her back up. They paid her 10 gold pieces for a small jar of that balm to use for later, and left the tent to go sit with the rest of the revelers. After a back and forth about where these new people came from, the group discovered that there were important people (namely an important woman) back in the village that they probably should have talked to, but bypassed completely. They exchanged stories - the party of the terrible ghost house (excluding the part about the deeds or the Strahd letter), and the eldest male Vistani of a wizard who tried to strike a vampire down, but failed. The group listened intently to this story, then Tynnathier inquired about Strahd, asking if he was a bad guy after all (and if said bad guy could maybe... repair an arm or something). The Vistani had little bad things to say about Strahd, remaining pretty neutral all around - he hadn't done anything to them, after all. They were also pretty certain that if the party went and ASKED about a new arm, Strahd would welcome them and figure something out. The party nearly went off in search of the vampire lord for just that reason, but were urged to instead go to the large tent at the edge of town, and receive the gift of a tarokka reading from one Madame Eva. On their way to the tent, they stumbled into another Vistani, well-dressed and who held himself more like a noble and less like the other Vistani - he was introduced to them as Nicholas. Nick didn't really talk much about himself, Tynnatheir still seems to think of him as some kind of "officer".

The three entered into Madame Eva's tent, greeted warmly by the woman (Nick being regarded as a spoiled little brat for his negative behavior). They sat down, and she offered them a rare treat - each could ask two questions and have them answered.

Tynnathier immediately inquired about Strahd's ability to give her another arm. The ghastly image of the Darklord card was revealed, a skeletal devil reaching, grasping for something - Tynnathier's very soul, Madame Eva warned. There are rarely more costlier things than making a deal with such a man, and it should be avoided at all costs. Tynnathier also inquired about the likelihood of her making it out of this place alive with only one appendage - something that was answered by The Innocent card, revealing that aiding and fighting along side a fair, red-headed woman would bring much luck in that regard.

Bom, much quieter and thinking about the inevitable fight of good versus evil, inquired wisely about how to best overcome the evil powers - mainly Strahd. With a splitting grin on her face, Madame Eva laid out five separate cards for the Half-Orc, each with very omnious prophecies. The first was The Illusionist, telling of history, knowledge, and ancient will to help one better understand their enemy - a man that's not what he seems, he comes in a carnival wagon - therein lies what Bom seeks. Second card was The Necromancer, telling of a powerful force of good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope - a woman that hangs above a roaring fire - find her and you will have the treasure. The third card revealed The Healer, a card of power and strength, telling of a weapon of vengeance, a sword of sunlight - and to look to the west, finding a pool blessed by the light of the white sun. The fourth card showed the Donjon - a card that shed light on the on who will help them in this battle against darkness - needing to search for a young man, troubled and surrounded by wealth and madness, his home is his prison. Finally, the fifth card was The Seer, showing that the enemy is a creature of darkness whose powers are beyond mortality, and that the card will lead them to him - he waits for you in a place of wisdom, warmth, and despair - great secrets are kept here.

Nicholas, thinking more of his own journey than the journey of this group, inquired mysterious about "Where can I find the name?", daring Madame Eva to prove her worth as a fortune reader by revealing this information for him. With a frown, she revealed The Raven, sneering at him about his "meandering with the birds", and revealing that he should look to the leader of the feathered ones who live among the vines - though old, he has one more fight left in him, and could lead him in his quest to discover this "name". His final question was what this old man would have him do, and The Priest card gave warning that he is to make great haste and fulfill the somewhat simple task that the man has for him - earning his trust would be key to gaining the information. None of the party knew what any of this meant, and Nick kept it to himself.

The next morning they set out for the village once more, determined to make some kind of sense of all of this, and begin to remove the evil from this godforsaken land. They opted to not go into a store they found lit up, and went instead into the inn. There they encountered a few Vistani, as well as a very handsome blonde man, brilliant in his aura, who introduced himself as Ismark the Lesser. He was very glad to see them, offering to buy them their drinks - he even offered them assorted work. The group heard that he needed a group of adventurers to take his sister, Ireena to the next town over - Vallaki - as he'd heard it was pretty well defended against the awful things that were going on here. A vampire lord - Strahd - had quite an interest in his sister, and he wanted to keep her safe. Tynnathier was a bit surprised to find out that this sister had red hair, just like her card from Madame Eva had talked about, and kind of freaked Ismark out with her excitement over it. Despite this, Ismark agreed to work with the odd group, and led them to the mansion on the edge of town. There they met the beautiful Ireena, flowing red hair and all, who absolutely refused her brother's wishes for her to leave the town. Not until their father, the town Burgomaster, was put to rest. He had unfortunately suffered a massive heart failure days before, after a relentless attack by Strahd and his minions. The team offered to take the siblings' father to the church immediately, no questions asked, which truly surprised Ireena - who would do such a thing for someone without even asking about who she was? She agreed to leave with them if her father was put to rest. 

Nick refused to help carry the make-shift wooden coffin, saying that he just didn't get his hands dirty. This annoyed his fellow party members, who tried to do this task themselves with three hands between them - Tynnathier's side promptly dropped and hit the floor, causing a nasty crack to emerge in the wood. Nick made quick work of the situation, walking right out of the mansion and down to the tavern where he persuaded the Vistani men there to come and do the task for them. They relented, eager to help one of their own. The group headed to the awful church, and were led by the priest into the graveyard. He urged them to stay there with him throughout the night and to dawn, when the proper burial rights could be done. They agreed without much fuss, and waited until midnight. They soon watched in awe as the midnight bell tolled, and what appeared to be hundreds of adventurers of different races and classes rose from the ground as greenish ghosts, and began a track up to the mountain to where the large castle was. Dumbstruck, none of them asked the priest what any of it was about, and instead sunk down with more alcohol to wait until morning. As dawn came, the old man was laid to rest, and the party was urged to get his daughter out of the town as quickly as possible. They rushed back, grabbed Ireena, and started their way out of the town once more.

As the adventurers carried on their way, back at the tent - unseen by anyone - Madame Eva drew six cards from her deck, laying each out next to each other. One for each of the party, the ones who were struck by destiny. She smiled to herself knowingly, then tucked the cards back into their satin pouch, a secret for only her own mind to know. Their fates were sealed, and time would tell what would come of them.

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