D&D 5E EB's Curse of Strahd IC (Year One)


Curse of Strahd
by ??

The Festival of Fools rages on behind you as you enter the tent of Madam Eva, a fortune teller by the sign out front. Getting your fortune read was not on your agenda, but perhaps a bit of insight into your future wouldn't hurt.

A strong incense fills the dark tent with a thin smoke and a spiky musk. In the center of the room sits a small round table with an ornate oil lamp atop it. Behind the table sitting on some red tasseled cushions is a middle aged gypsy in full regalia. Her hair is covered in a jeweled piece of cloth and her clothing is bright and seems to wrap around her lithe form.

"Please come. Come. I have been expecting you." She says as her hands beacon you in and to a cushion of your own. "You wish to see something of your future? You wish to know what destiny wishes of you? Yes, yes. I will show you. I will read the cards after you have cut them so." She demonstrates by cutting the cards into what looks like a cross in the center of the table. Three stacks across and one stack at the top and at the bottom. She then re-stacks the deck and starts to shuffle, mumbling arcane words as she does. After a long minute she puts the deck in the center of the table and tells you. "Now cut."

The stacks are uneven, but Madam Eva doesn't seem to care. She waves her hands above the cards and again recites some ancient anarchic ritual.

"The first card tells of history. Knowledge of his past will help you to better understand your enemy."


I see a fallen house guarded by a great stone dragon. Look to the highest peak for the knowledge you seek.[/sblock]

"The next card tells of a powerful force for good and protection, a holy symbol of great hope, that you will need."


I see walls of bones, a chandelier of bones, and a table of bones - all that remains of enemies fought long ago and now forgotten.[/sblock]

"The card of power and strength. It speaks of the weapon of vengeance: a sword of sunlight."


A wounded elf has what you seek. He will part with this weapon to see his dark dreams fulfilled.[/sblock]

"This card will shed light on someone who will help you greatly in the battle against the ancient darkness."


A werewolf holds a secret hatred for your enemy. Use her hatred to your own advantage.[/sblock]

"Your enemy is a creature of darkness, whose powers are beyond mortality. This card will lead you to him!"


He lurks in the depths of darkness, in the one place to which he must return.[/sblock]

"It can not be! Are you the ones? Leave! Go! GO! I say," she screams as she stands and ushers you to the front of the tent. "The Darklord has been drawn. He calls you to him, he waits for you to destroy him!"

Looking back and trying to ask questions as you are hurried along is no good. The gypsy seems scared and lost in what she has seen in the cards. She thrusts you outside into... the Mist.

The Festival of Fools is gone, the world is gone. All there is, is a thick fog and the ground beneath your feet. Turning around even the tent of Madam Eva is gone. The sun is muted as the Mist covers everything and everywhere. You start to move but are not sure in what direction you should go. Then a small breeze starts up and the fog starts to thin. Soon you can see more than a foot in front of you. There is the road your standing on before you, the Mist behind you, and three others along the road whose faces you know mirror your own.

OOC: And that is how you get a bunch of unrelated PCs together. Happy Halloween and happy RPing.

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Josiah didn’t like being at the carnival. Too many people, most of whom were just trying to make a buck, usually dishonestly.

But Tilly wanted to come. They got into town the night before, headed on to El Div, still another few week’s journey away. Her aunt, Josiah’s sister in law, was there. After what happened to Tilly’s mother...well, Josiah wanted to get the girl to her aunt’s as soon as she could. Young girls should have a woman in their life. Not a broken and scarred father with no clue how to raise a child, much less on his own.

They’d found out about the carnival, and Tilly had wanted to stay and come. He’d told her no, at first. Then her shoulders sank, and she went back to her bed in their room in the inn. She didn’t argue. She didn’t cry. She’d done enough cryin’ the last few weeks. She just accepted it.

It was then that Josiah realized that he her eyes had brightened at the thought of the carnival. He hadn’t seen her eyes brighten like that since her momma died. Hell, she was only 11. Kids needed some kind of fun in their lives, or they grow up too quick.

“Alright,” he had said at last, and Tilly’s head popped up. “We can stay for the carnival.

Now, even though he hated being there, he knew he’d made the right choice. Tilly smiled, laughed. She played games. Josiah had a few coppers to blow, so she could play some of the games. She needed that. He needed to see her like that. Almost felt like life could get back to normal. Now that his curse was gone...

He saw her, in the crowd. Only for a moment. Jessie. His late wife. She had been looking at him, a smile on her lips. Then she was gone. He closed his eyes, knowing it wasn’t really her. Knowing it was the after effects of having the curse lifted, a miracle, but not a miracle one returns from unscathed. When he opened his eyes, she was gone. But so was Tilly.

He scanned the crowd, his heart giving a little leap. He put his hand on his gun, then he saw her poke her head out of a tent.

“Come on, Daddy!” She said. “Let’s come get our fortunes told!”

She ducked back in before he could tell her to get out of there. That girl was so much like her momma.

He ducked his head entering the tent, seeing the woman. She beckoned them over. He watched as his little girl stood transfixed, listening to every word. To Josiah’s, it was just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Until she mentioned a werewolf.

Josiah’s ears perked up at this. Did this woman know something about him? Or was it just a coincidence?

Before he could ask questions, he was pushed out into the mists. For a moment, he floundered, drawing his gun.

“Tilly?” He called out.

“I’m here,” she said, coming towards his voice. “Where are we? Where did the carnival go?”

He looked around, making out a few other figures, but no carnival. He kept his pistol drawn in his right hand, but pointed down. His left hand took his daughter’s, to make sure he knew where she was.

“I don’t know, darlin,” he said, “But stay close.”

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Charwoman Gene

A festival. Positively quaint. Just a way for itinerant wanderers to fleece rubes. Good place for pickpockets to ply their tr... "Not today, young one," she says to the young lad with his hand brushing against her pouch, "and not me." She used a few slang words indicating her connections to the underground, the boy nodded and took off.

A "gypsy" fortune teller, of all things. The chances an actual diviner of the future would let themselves sink down to this level are slim, but could be fun. Irena grew curious as the fortune teller went right to the cards without trying to do the usual cold read. Perhaps the old woman was an expert at reading people visually. When the session ended abruptly, and Irena was shoved out into the mists, she was taken by surprise, something which never happens to her.

She quickly sized up the situation. Two men, one, a firearm at his side was accompanied by a young girl, the other loomed in the mist, his hat shading his face. Gods be merciful, is that woman a dwarf? To see one out of their mountain homes is a rare sight.

Seeing their startled expressions mirrored hers, she tries to get a grip on the situation.
"Hail and well met, travelers," she spoke, "Are you all newly arrived from out of the mist as I did?
[sblock=Mini Stats]AC: 15 Init: +3
HP: 15 / 15 Hit Dice: 2d8+2
Passive Perception: 22
Passive Investigation: 19[/sblock]
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"The dark wha..?" Halorafin tried to ask before being booted out on her arse like so many a drunken night in the cavernous alehouses of her under-mountain homeland. She had no idea what drew her to the gypsy's tent anyway, just some strange, persistent nagging in the back of her mind beckoning to her like a well-stuck gem begs to be freed from its rocky prison. The reading was interesting enough, though Halo didn't really understand much of it at all. But then the old woman's nut cracked, and suddenly Halo found her head swimming in this interminable blinding mist. Just when she thought the weight of it would soon crush her, the fog, mercifully, started to lift. She saw the strangers, heard the woman's words, but was speechless as the felt her armor upon her body. It was her own armor, an intricate mix of fine leathers and chain, but how did it get here? She hadn't worn it to the festival just to sell her wares; it was in a crate with the rest of her gear on a cart with...

"Piedmont? Where are ye boy?" She looked around as best she could in the fog, calmly at first but more frantic as the seconds passed. "Piedmont!" she screamed finally, near hysterics. She looked at the others, her damp red tangles hanging lazily over her eyes. "It's me pack goat, Piedmont. He's luggin' all me clan's wares; they're sure to give me the works if I lost it all. Not to mention me..." Halo's rant stops abruptly as she strips over something and lands face-first in the damp earth. She picks up the offending object. "Axe."

[B]AC:[/B] 18; [B]HP:[/B] [COLOR=#FF000]19[/COLOR]/19
[B]Initiative:[/B] +0
[B]Saves:[/B] WIS +4, CHA +1
[B]Passive Perception:[/B] 12
[B]Languages:[/B] Dwarf, Common, Elf
Darkvision 60 ft.
[B]Skills:[/B] History +2, Insight +4, Medicine +4, Religion +2
[B]Stats:[/B] Str 16 (+3), Dex 10 (+0) , Con 16 (+3), Int 10 (+0), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 8 (-1)

-[B]Inspiration[/B]? [ ] Yes, [[COLOR=#FF0000]X[/COLOR]] No
-[B]Channel Divinity (2 uses per short or long rest)[/B]? 1.[ ] 2.[ ]
-[B]Blessing of the Forge[/B] used? [ ] Yes, [[COLOR=#FF0000]X[/COLOR]] No

[B]Spell Slots:[/B] 3, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
[B]Slots Used:[/B]  0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
[B]Spells Prepared:[/B] (6)
[*][B]Cantrips:[/B] Guidance, Light, Sacred Flame
[*][B]Domain Spells:[/B] Identify (*), Searing Smite
[*][B]1st Level:[/B] Bless (*), Cure Wounds (*), Healing Word (*), Sanctuary
(*) can be cast at higher levels

[B]Money:[/B]67gp 0sp 0cp

[URL="http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?592543-EB-s-Curse-of-Strahd-RG-(group-2017-2018)&p=7261299&viewfull=1#post7261299"]Full character sheet[/URL]


First Post
Usually Digger would have stayed far from a congregation like the Festival of Fools. Not a people person, the solemn man couldn't think of a more appropriate name for the celebration as he looked about.
But some sort of instinct drew him here. Others may have dismissed such a feeling as a whim. But Digger knew better.
His feelings were confirmed as he found himself in the old Fortune Teller's tent.
One dark foreboding and a foggy transition later he stood with a strange mix of people. Stranger still, the lands were not the same.
Digger regarded the others slowly from beneath the brim of his hat. He stabbed the Earth before his feet, leaned upon his giant spade, and let out a slow rumbly growl of displeasure.

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The road is just a well used dirt track devoid of grass, but with plenty of hoof marks and thin wagon ruts throughout. Both the prints and the ruts are old and look to have been made in the mud before the ground dried a long time ago.

On both sides of the road stand large trees of oak, birch, and fir. The tops are obscured by a heavy grey mist and they are all so tall that they let in only a death-gray light. The trunks are also close together roots coiling from one atop another in a twisted mass. There is a silence to the forest like that of an old graveyard no longer in use, but you feel as if these woods did have a voice then it would start to moan like a poor man dying.

"Daddy I'm scared. Let's go home," Tilly says griping her fathers waste tight. She buries her face into his chest, so as not to look at the trees anymore.

[sblock=Perception DC 16]
Following the tree tops along the road you notice some sort of stone edifice barely above the tree line about a mile down the road. OOC: The road twists to the south so you cannot look straight down the road to this spot.[/sblock]
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OOC: The average 11 year old girl is close to 5 feet tall. She wouldn't be in Josaiah's thigh. Maybe chest high or so. Just FYI.

For reference, Harry Potter is 11 when he fist goes to Hogwarts.

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First Post
Digger bent over the tracks over the road and picked up a pinch of dirt and gave it a sniff. He grunted again and swung his shovel up and rested it upon his shoulder. He began to walk, taking long strides towards the structure.

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Lost and unaware of what else to do, Halo follows the big man down the road. Whatever is going on here, it seems evident that they should stay together.


First Post
The Tall Man replied. "A Fool talks. A Wise Man speaks." he growled as he continued down the path.

OOC: It is the 8 charisma gang! Welcome to long awkward silences broken up by snarky comments.


Josiah kept an arm around Tilly, not recognizing anyone here. "Don't suppose any of you know where we are? Or who that was?"

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Gates of Barovia

The group follows the road for almost a mile, the woods acting like walls due to their thickness. It turns southward and after the bend they see...


OOC: Read Aloud:
The fog spills out of the forest to swallow up the road behind you. Ahead, jutting from the impenetrable woods on both sides of the road, are high stone buttresses looming gray in the fog. Huge iron gates hang on the stonework. Dew clings with cold tenacity to the rusted bars. Two headless statues of armed guardians flank the gate, their heads now lying among the weeds at their feet. They greet you only with silence.

Following the arch of the rusty iron gates is the following script: "The Lands of Barovia, Conquered 347"

The old crumbling walls and state of the statuary tells you the date on the inscription must be true, considering the current year is 735.

OOC: History check
Everyone make a History check to see what they may have heard in passing of Barovia. DC vary due to occupation and backgrounds.

Irena has advantage on this check due to her background in cartography


First Post
Digger grimaced in displeasure. "A country...almost 400 years old. Yet I have never heard of it." He said in a gravel-y baritone. The big man shook his head. "We must have been transported far by that gypsy."

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[sblock=Irena]You only know that she has never seen any lands marked Barvoia on any map she ever saw. And she saw quite a few as she was learning a new trade to help get her out of the streets. And even the history books she paged through seem not to mention either Barvoia or the giant gate like monument. (and you think they would)[/sblock]

[sblock=Josiha] You have heard the name Barovia once in a legend being told in Arabel about Gondegal the Lost King. He was the first to use smokepowder and cannons. His inspiration coming from another story told about how a land was conquoered using such weapons was renamed Barovia. Gondegal did take the city of Arabel but his victoy was short-lived as the combined armies of Sembia, Cormyr, Tilverton, and several Dalelands rose up to defeat him. (Josiha loving a good war story and all)[/sblock]

[sblock=Digger] Sorry you have only heard a bad joke about being under a bar or over a bar, you didn't laugh then and aren't laughing now.[/sblock]

[sblock=Halo] Barovia?? Darklord?? This is one of the Realms of Dread, an ancient land that is no longer bound to your world. It is said to be ruled by a dark and evil lord and by his will alone are people allowed to come and go. It was an old female human mystic living among your people who use to scare the children with the tale of Barovia, only now are you coming to realize that those tales were not just made up. If the tales are true than others before this group have been brought into these lands as amusement for a monster that is determined to kill you all.

Stonework - Yes it is over 300 years old and since it looks to be made by humans it is falling apart. Strangest thing is, is that this wall wasn't meant to keep anyone out.[/sblock]


The group searches the area around the large gate, but find no guard house or nothing to indicate this place is maned at all. As a few of you near the rusty iron bars of the gate, they creak and clank as they swing open all on their own. Tilly gulps, and grips her father's hand tightly.
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