The Bardic Chef

Broiled Beholder and Other Dungeon Delicacies

Adventurers: Tynnathier [Jeremy], Bom [Amanda], Euphemia [Deborah], Nicholas [Greg], MURK [Daniel], Thia [Sara] EXP from this session: 7...

Session Recap - CoS - #12: The Really Bad Day

By 8:28 AM


Adventurers: Tynnathier [Jeremy], Bom [Amanda], Euphemia [Deborah], Nicholas [Greg], MURK [Daniel], Thia [Sara]

EXP from this session: 750 total // 125 each

Took over majority of the town - 500XP
Converted the baron's mansion into your headquarters - 250XP
 
Treasure Found: None

A great commotion flew up all over the town of Vallaki, noticable to the party members, and their two new companions (Stella and Victor). The two teenagers seemed very happy with whatever was going on, as even the innkeeper and his wife hustled and bustled to make a wide variety of pies and treats this day. The innkeeper, once asked about what was going on, informed them all that the Festival of the Falling Leaves was upon them, and people from all over Barovia traveled here each year to sell their wares in the town square. Usually food - feasting was a massive part of this festival. The Blue Water Inn was famous for their delicious wild berry pies they put out each year, decorated with tiny pie crust leaves on the top. The party were welcome to take part in the festivities, this being one of the only festivals that the people of town actually enjoyed, and would continue on even after the Baron's death.
 
Outside, Blinksy set up a stall of masks - wooden, and beautifully painted to look like various creatures that were common to these parts. Wolves, herd animals, bats, ravens, and oddly enough: witches with twisted and warped faces. It wasn't long before citizens of Vallaki were streaming into the inn wearing these masks, it seemed to be big part of festivities. Nick was delivered a special package from Blinksy - a gorgeous wooden raven mask with silver laid into it, and a silver-dipped beak.
 
Curious about what to do or where to go next, Euphemia set up a little altar to Orcus in the corner of the room, and said a quiet prayer to him, asking for guidance, and wondering if Victor was indeed the chosen one of Orcus. Verification, it's very important, and Orcus had a ritual he wanted her to perform. Maybe this ritual was the thing to put Orcus in his new body? That wasn't something that anyone really wanted, not even Euphemia.
Orcus confirmed her question with a simple "yes", that came from Victor's stunned mouth instead of echoing in Euphemia's head as usual. This sent a shiver up their spines, and they gathered around the table to discuss what to do about it.
 
It was during this discussion that Victor got to hear some interesting things about himself. He had only grown up with the Morning Lord, and sometimes the Night Mother in the stories, as the Morning Lord's opposite. The idea of there being some raven god was hard enough for him to swallow, but now he was being told there was another, and that he was going to turn into him? His sixteen year old brain, still reeling from his entire life being turned upside-down, couldn't cope with the concept of this. He rushed out in an overwhelmed huff, leaving the party behind him. Stella felt they should let him calm down, there wasn't any real talking to Victor when he got like this, he'd probably just go cast some spells in his work shop, or go pet his cats or something.
 
Nick and Euphemia immediately went up the stairs and told Emeric about what was going on. The moment Emeric became aware of who Orcus was destined to be, the party noticed a huge shift in the man's demeanor. Gone was the kind-hearted, jovial man they had grown so attached to, and in his place was something extremely ruthless, who was demanding Victor's head on a pike. He asked Nick, the Knight of the Raven Queen, why he hadn't killed the boy yet, and received an unsatisfactory "he may prove useful" in response. The Raven Queen demanded that all followers of Orcus be destroyed, something Emeric hadn't been very strict about for... obvious and possible Euphemia-related reasons until now. But this... the actual physical representation of Orcus? That, he was certain, could not be ignored, and must be destroyed. Nick warned Emeric to not raise a finger against Victor, but Emeric shot him down, telling him that if Nick wasn't going to kill the boy, then Emeric was going to have to find someone who would. The Raven Queen would not be pleased to know that Nick had turned against her like this. Emeric then made it very clear that if they were so obviously against everything the ravens stood for, that they could no longer stay at the Blue Water Inn, and would have to find somewhere else. The party, saddened by this turn of events, then turned to Stella, who exclaimed that this was the only family she had left, and she wouldn't be able to go with them. They reluctantly agreed, and parted ways, deciding to enjoy the festival and maybe find Victor too.
 
The festival was already in full swing. Dozens of carts and stalls were set up around the perimeter of the town square, music was being played by a half dozen bards, people were dancing, and all were masked. Tynnathier spotted a carriage pulling up, one of many that were coming and going from other towns today, and caught sight of Ireena's blonde-haired brother that they had left behind in Barovia Village. Rather than going to say hi, she let him go off and wander on his own, obviously looking for his sister in the crowds.
Bom and Euphemia caught sight of their companion Rose, donning a super cute bat mask, currently talking with a stall keeper who didn't seem to be doing a whole lot of business. It was no wonder, the pies of the Blue Water Inn were famous, and her own pies were probably seen as pointless by comparison. Rose, though, seemed to reaaaaaalllllllly like them. Tynnathier called out to her, but got no response, which was pretty strange to all of them, so they approached. The woman, wearing a witch mask, lifted it off her face to reveal a tan-skinned, blonde-haired half-elf underneath it. She was lovely, had a warm, inviting smile, and offered them a free taste of any pastries they liked. Rose didn't even notice them, too caught up in finishing off her pie to care. Each of the other three received their treats, ate them, and noticed some strange effects. Both Tynnathier and Euphemia instantly realized the magical qualities about these pastries, and refused another. Bom, on the other hand, was absolutely enchanted, and accepted more when they were offered, sitting himself right next to Rose to consume everything this woman had to offer. Many pies and treats later - far too many to be healthy - the woman suggested that the two of them come along with her to her home outside of town, and sample all of her newest recipes. Rose eagerly agreed, and was already helping to pack up the stall and climb into the woman's wagon. Bom, however, managed to snap out of it at the last minute - but took a large pie anyway to give out to his companions later, at the woman's request. He watched the cart, with Rose inside, pull away from town, out the eastern gate.
 
Nick, Thia, and MURK ran off to the baron's mansion to go and find Victor. They made it all the way up to the attic and were met by a closed door that they already knew was significantly trapped. They called out, but Victor didn't answer, nor did Thia hear any cat mewing or howling like they usually did. They divised a plan to try and tie a rope to the door handle, and pull it open, avoiding touching it to set off any traps. However the rune traps Victor put up had a radius, and Thia was slammed into the wall behind her companions with a powerful electricity spell. With it discharged, Nick went forward to open the door, and was hit by a secondary one as it opened, sending him flying back too. With the door finally open, they wandered inside, scouting around.

Victor and his cats were missing, as was his spell book, a very large piece of luggage, and a lot of particular spell components. While Victor had grabbed a little of all of them, he took everything that would create invisibility, protection, and other sort of "hide and run" type of spells. Frustrated, Nick said a little prayer to the Raven Queen to try and figure out where the boy had run off to - but found that his goddess had broken up with him, furious about what Emeric had told her, and was no longer communicating. He summoned his celestial raven, a gift that had been from his goddess in exchange for all the Orcus members he'd killed - and found that the raven was refusing to listen to him. The Raven Queen no longer held any favor for her knight.
 
The festival went on into the night, everyone getting way too full of delicious food, and way too sugar high at the same time. Tynnathier, in a bout of extreme sugar highness, got up on one of the stands and gave a loud, rousing speech about the town needing new leadership. She managed to sway over 2/3 of the town immediately, quite impressive all things considered, and she immediately set everyone to doing particular tasks. Securing the gates, finding the best men and women to seek out Victor. All in all, it was a pretty sound take-over that impressed a lot of people. Everyone claimed rooms in the baron's ruined mansion. They now had a major party headquarters of their very own. It would cost them a lot of money, and a lot of time to fix it up and improve it to decent livable conditions, but at least now they had a place to go back to, and to store their crap.
 
Euphemia got Orcus blowing up her psychic hotline not long after, demanding to know why she hadn't followed his instructions - she hadn't taken Van Richten to the old basement of the remains of Wachterhaus like he'd told her to. She asked if this was to bring him into this world, and pointed out that Victor was missing. Orcus didn't seem too worried, and told her that the ritual was to prove her loyalty, as it had been wavering recently. Once communications had ceased, the party decided that killing Van Richten in a way that wasn't Orcus related was a probably a better idea. Tynnathier demanded that he be hung, and his new followers went through with it, getting out the noose, escorting Van Richten to the podium in front of the crowd (who was already getting restless - this felt too similar to the ways of the last baron). Tynnathier informed the crowd that Van Richten was a follower of Orcus - or rather, he WAS Orcus in this case - and it was up to the people if he should be killed for this crime. The crowd responded with unexpected confusion - who was Orcus? What the hell was this woman talking about? Tynnathier lost a great portion of her followers in that moment, and the people didn't want Van Richten hung after all.

It was decided that they had to kill Van Richten in his cell. The only problem: the guard with the keys had now run off somewhere, and they didn't know where he was. It took a very awkward amount of time, and many different attempts to break the lock on Richten's cell, while the man sat quietly and watched in deep amusement. When they finally got the door open, the battle began, with Nick tossing the old man his sword cane to make the duel "fair". Bad decision. After a painstaking, grueling fight, where Van Richten healed himself far too often and stabbed way too many times, all that were fighting him were knocked unconscious, save for Tynnathier. With a huff of frustration, Tynnathier decided to let him go, rather than risk people being killed over this. With that, Van Richten fled into the darkness, leaving the party with no actual way to fulfill Orcus' request, and the ramifications of that were unknown.
 
On the rooftop of the baron's mansion, MURK played a soulful song about how sucky the day had been.

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Victor had never been outside of the town walls, aside from that one trip to Castle Ravenloft. That had been the plan. Go to the Castle, go talk to the vampire, who had been one of the only people who thought he had any actual potential, and see if he could just... crash there for a bit. Surely a vampire needed a wizard, right? For something?
The only problem was that Victor had gotten lost along the way. His anxiety and fears about being on foot outside of Vallaki's walls had taken over and got him disoriented, especially when he had gone off the main path, trying to avoid detection by the travellers on the road. Now it was dark, pitch black, with no moon above to light his way. He didn't dare fire off any kind of light spell, just in case wolves or vampires were out prowling around at this hour. He was thankful that the skeleton cats were sound asleep in his luggage bag he pulled behind him, if they had made noise that would've just set off a lot of predators to hone in on him.

The wizard boy finally broke into a clearing, and a look of confusion settled onto his face. Lit up, with a small stream of delicious-smelling smoke pouring out of a smokestack, was a windmill. It turned ever so slowly in the breeze, creaking and groaning from the effort. For whatever reason, he found it inviting, like a safe haven when surrounded by so much danger. He didn't know who lived there, he didn't know what this was for, but something deep inside of him desperately wanted to see what it was.
He uncloaked his invisibility spell, and pulled his luggage behind him, it clattering on the cobblestone walkway that led up to the front stairs. He knocked, and heard a lot of sounds echoing from inside. The door was opened, and the warm, intense smell of baked goods smacked him in the face to an overwhelming degree. He blinked up at the pretty woman before him, dress covered in flour, fingers stained with berry juices, and felt his body ease as she smiled at him with genuine happiness.

"Oh, mon pauvre..." she cooed at him, leaning her body against the doorframe as she looked over his pathetic form. The twigs in his hair, the mud attached to his pant legs. "It's too dangerous in these parts at this time of night. Please, come in."

Without any added coaxing, Victor stepped into the front room of the windmill, and stopped short, just as she closed the door behind him. His eyes widened at the sight he was taking in.

"... Rose?" he squeaked out, deep confusion on his face.

The woman behind him just smiled blissfully, fingers wrapping over top of his shoulders. "Tell me, mon chou, do you like pie?" 

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