The Bardic Chef

Broiled Beholder and Other Dungeon Delicacies

Adventurers: Tynnathier [Jeremy], Bom [Amanda], Rose [Kiel], Euphemia [Deborah], Nicholas [Greg] EXP from this session: 3,000 total // 6...

Session Recap - CoS - #11: The Reunion

By 8:27 AM

Adventurers: Tynnathier [Jeremy], Bom [Amanda], Rose [Kiel], Euphemia [Deborah], Nicholas [Greg]

EXP from this session: 3,000 total // 600 each

Captured Van Richten alive - 375 XP
Rescued Prince Nicholas - 375 XP
Returned to Vallaki SAFELY - 375 XP
Returned Stella's mind to normal - 750 XP
Discovered Victor's destiny - 1,125 XP
Treasure Found: Rictavio's cart, a Hat of Disguise, and a new healer in your party!

The party - well, most of it - awoke in their guest rooms in Castle Ravenloft. Each had their own, coated in dust, most of them having just fell onto the beds instead of getting underneath the blankets. It appeared that whatever they'd drank at the moonlit forest festival the night before had some major effects. Bom and Victor awoke to see all new colors - bright, neon shades of pink, lime, yellow, and orange danced over most surfaces, which frightened Victor, as he'd never seen anything more bright than red or deep purple before. Rose, who must have hit the booze harder than everyone else, found herself in a bit of a bind - everyone looked like animals, just... on their back legs, standing, walking, and talking. They sounded like her party, but... yeah, they definitely didn't look like them. She'd probably have to sleep that off.

Euphemia, the party member who went without the partying, dreamnt that Orcus sat her down for dinner, and told her to find a paladin, and then await instruction. There were multiple roaming the valley that would be perfect for what he needed.
They gathered for breakfast, but no breakfast was served. In fact, the palace appeared to be empty, leaving them to wander as they pleased. Tynnathier, completely hungover from this mess, stomped around looking for more liquor after the wine in the dining room had a unique... coppery taste to it. They made it out to the main entry hall, and then felt a deep, disturbing presence coming from the courtyard. Heading that way, they saw that very same colorful carnival wagon pulling up to the castle, and rage boiled in their veins as they remembered the massacre on the Vistani outside of town. They decided to hide inside and see what the man wanted.

Peering down from the stairway landing's window, they watched as he hopped down, holding the very same crossbow that Prince Nick had stolen from him some days ago. Their blood ran cold this time, and they watched as he opened up the back of the cart, barked something into it, then locked it. Turning, he walked into the castle.

The party tried to be sneaky, deciding to ambush him and make him pay for what he did to their Vistani friends. Euphemia fumbled, tripping over herself and falling into clear view of the hunter - but he saw nothing, as a quick-fired Invisibility spell by Victor saved her. Van Richten had heard it though, and that was enough to send him stalking over, suspiciously. Shots by the party, followed by a very large fireball spell kept the man at bay, and he was soon tied up and in their custody. He ran his mouth a lot, telling them about how the Vistani worked with Strahd, how they could come and go as they pleased, and revealing to them that they were indeed stuck here until Strahd let them go - if they ever did. He said a lot of awful racist things that made them angry. Most of the party wanted to kill him, but Euphemia remembered, when he mentioned his ties as the Knight of the Morning Lord, that this was possibly the exact kind of person Orcus was looking for. A prayer to Orcus confirmed it - they weren't to harm him, he was needed for future events. Euphemia convinced the others to leave him be, just keep him tied up, and they decided to split off into three groups to get some stuff done. Euphemia, Victor, and the tiger decided to stay on the landing between the two floors, Tynnathier went off on her own to the second floor to try and locate alcohol, and Bom and Rose went downstairs to investigate the cart.

Bom and Rose discovered Prince Nick, naked and bound in the back of the cart. He was not too happy to be without his things, but was happy to get his pretty crossbow back from his party members. Nick was surprised that he'd been taken to the very castle he'd wanted to go to, but was disheartened when a search around the cart revealed no clothing or belongings aside from what was given to him. He stalked inside to reunite with the others.

Tynnathier, after looking through a few guest rooms, managed to not be attacked by anything, and also managed to find an old bottle of Dragon's Crush wine to nurse, before heading back too.

Victor and Euphemia had a really good conversation about what he planned to do with his life, what he wanted, and what he was capable of. She even got to see his full spellbook, something he'd not shown to any other party members. He responded really well to her, actually, about pretty much anything. He even took her direction, asking what her opinion of things were to everything, instead of asking his wife. Oops.
[Euphemia now knows he can cast: Fire bolt, light, mage hand, prestidigitation, detect magic, mage armor, magic missle, shield, misty step, suggestions, counterspell, fireball, fly, greater invisibility, ice storm, cone of cold, acid splash, animate dead, blight, cloudkill, darkvision, glyph of warding, levitate, mending, remove curse, and thunderwave. That's a lot.]

Together again, Nick fired a bolt into the hunter's face, which surprisingly didn't kill him, and then decided to take all of his clothes. Removing his hat changed his apperance entirely, from an old man to someone much younger, and suddenly all of his toughness despite his age made a lot more sense. He had a hat of disguise on him the whole time! Nick put all the clothes on, and they decided to go back downstairs, leave a note for Strahd, and head back to Vallaki before nightfall.

The tiger, however, instantly saw a yummy Vistani snack in the shape of a prince, and it's trained instincts fired up. Before it could attack, Nick pulled off the hat of disguise and revealed himself, using one of his amazing prince powers to instantly blind all that were looking at him. That included the tiger, Bom, and Rose. Instantly blind, the three fumbled around, the tiger particularly afraid, and Victor particularly angry that his wife was put in this condition. They determined that now they absolutely had to double-time it back to town, and find someone who could fix the conditions. They decided not to use the rare healing salve that the Vistani girl Tatyana had given them, and save it for something more life-threatening.
They made it back without further incident, and just as the gates were closing, barely squeezing inside. It appeared, as they glanced around, that the town had been perfectly fine in their absence. Like life had gone on as it had when they weren't there. The work day had come to a close, people were either heading to the inn for a drink or going home, and they made the decision to go and find Emeric.
Emeric was up in the attic of the Blue Water Inn, playing a game of marbles with Stella to keep the poor girl occupied. He greeted them all, told Nick that he had expected that he was dead, and was glad to see him alive after all. His belongings had been gathered from the stockyard, where the fight had gone down the night before, but the Tome of Strahd was missing. He quickly said a prayer to the Raven Queen, asking if she knew where the tome was, only received a short, snappy response of "It's safe". That bothered him, so he went to sulk in the corner.

Emeric informed the group that the Raven Queen would only heal those who served her, and as most of the party were Orcus followers, or followers of nothing at all, this was not going to fly. He could give it his best shot, of course, but the Raven Queen might see it fit to punish them for their transgressions, and maybe burn their eyes out. He reluctantly pointed out they only had two other options to heal this blindness. Either find the natural healer girl Tatyana, or they would have to find a way to heal Stella, who had shown promise with healing magic before rendered insane under the curse. Euphemia remembered Victor's spell book, turned to him, and pointed out that he could cast Remove Curse. Emeric stared death at the boy for not having brought this up earlier, but Victor stood his ground, taking his time to agree to something he obviously didn't want to do. But if the party members wanted him to, and his wife needed care, then he'd just... have to do it. He told them he had some things to go and get from his workshop above the mansion, and he'd be back to cast the spell.

Van Richten was tossed into the mostly abandoned prison in town. He could stay there until they figured out what they needed to do with him. Tynnathier decided to drink, heavily, and ended up passed out in an alleyway where she would wake up being poked by curious children the next morning. 

Stella bounced around happily between the remaining party members. Rose was asked about her condition, what had happened. Nick was bugged far more, as the almost child-like sixteen year old poked and prodded at him for information on why he was so upset. He confessed that his precious possession had been taken from him and lost. Stella tilted her head at him, as birds often do, and chirped out "But... it's safe!". She refused to give up any information, denying knowing where the book was, or how she knew about it in the first place, skipping off to go find something shiny to poke at for awhile.

It was morning by the time Victor came back, and everyone was all too aware that it shouldn't have taken him THAT long to gather ingredients for a spell. He looked tired, eyes dark and heavy from exhaustion and stress... but he had come back like he promised. He cornered the frightened bird girl, and reluctantly, and with a lot of angsty sighing, removed the curse from Stella Wachter's mind. 

The party did their best to catch her up to date on things, informing her of her mother's home burning down, how she had been involved in dark things, how her brothers were alive but really drunk all the time, and how they had protected some of her family's assets so she wasn't destitute. Her heart was shattered by this news, but the first thing she really asked was where Victor was, as the boy had turned and stormed out the second the spell was cast. She ran out after him, with Euphemia, Nick, and Rose hot on her heels. They stopped her in the middle of the square, before she got a chance to see the wreckage that was the baron's former mansion, and told her about that hell too. Stella spoke gently, and with more sorrow about how she and Victor were now orphans, and how terrible that must be for him. When asked about the curse, she revealed very little, but did let slip that she was aware that he had placed it on her... but she didn't seem all that bothered by the idea, more concerned about getting to him now that the curse was lifted.

Following her into the home, the party was surprised to see that she knew her way up through the secret attic passageway, to Victor's workshop. She called out to him, refusing to go touch the trapped door - and after a few minutes of him being stubborn, he finally flung the door open, surprised to see more than just Stella standing there. Sighing dramatically, he relented, letting them all inside.
The boy was hard at work on that teleportation circle again, and seemed to be more determined than ever to fix it. Stella asked, gently, why he had broken the curse he placed on her, and he snapped off a "They told me to." rather unhappily. The two went back and forth, exchanging apologies, Stella ribbing Victor over his distant and emo personality, Victor getting angry at her, and both behaving a lot like the teenagers they really were. Victor exclaimed that he had major work to do, he had to run the town now, be the baron in his parents' place, and he would have to call what was left of the city council together to make some plans. He also revealed to Stella that he was now married to Rose, which caught her off-guard, and she didn't seem very pleased about it. In fact, their relationship appeared to be a lot better than anyone in town had made it out to be up until now. Well, except for Lady Wachter, who had been the only person to suggest that the two were inseparable.

The party made the decision that they needed to go find the Wizard of Wines next, after some business was attended to in town, as that was a quest Nick was on. Stella, referring to the man as "Papa Bird", exclaimed that she knew the way, and had gone a few times in her youth with the inn keeper's family. She could take them there. Turning to Victor, she urged him to come along - as did the rest of the party - after all, no-one could stop them from running away now, could they? He accepted the offer, at least temporarily. Whether or not he'd return and become all political was to be seen. Things could get pretty weird, given that there were two... no... maybe three women in his life that he would now have to travel with. Weird.

Euphemia let the two teenagers bicker back and forth about how many skeleton cats Victor could bring along, and pulled off to a corner to set up a small shrine to Orcus. She prayed, asking him a question, curious to find out if Nick, the "Knight of the Raven Queen", was going to be harmed in any of these orders by Orcus. Orcus responded with a no, he wouldn't be, so long as Richten was used properly.  She turned back around to rejoin the group, only to find a really dark, confused look on Rose's face.

As Euphemia had been praying to Orcus, awaiting his reply, Victor had stopped mid-conversation, eyes glazing over, face checking out. Once her prayer had been answered, he'd come back around, continuing to bicker as if no time had passed at all. Rose pulled her aside nervously, and asked the major question: "Is Victor the chosen one of Orcus?"

With Stella healing up all issues with what appeared to be cleric magic, and Victor's spellbook under his arm (and a skeleton cat on his shoulder), the party set off for a new day with their two new party members. Hey guys, you've got a healer now!

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