5E Lenora's Journal for Our Phandelver Campaign Transition into Curse of Strahd

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 39 – Defeating the Druids at the Wizards of Wine Vinyard

Inside the basement, we took a quick breather, finding some wine called Purple Grape Mash #3. We didn’t drink any for fear that it had been tainted by the Druids. Then we made our way up to the 2nd floor of the building to check rooms for the remaining Druids. ‘

One of the first rooms we went into was a balcony room overlooking the garage where the horse cart was stationed below. There was a winch and pulley system and a large opening in the middle of the room. There was also a cackling Druid on the other side of the room. He held a gnarled staff and spoke in his Druidic Cant. Bynn could understand his curses. The Druid jumped down on to the wagon below, and then called to the needle blights that were outside to come to his aid. Fid jumped down to give chase, followed closely by Syvrina. Instead of jumping down, I ran to the back ramp and followed that down to a door that opened into the garage area. Bynn and Brigby stayed up top and tried to peer down. Bynn casted a spell to entangle the Druid in a patch of briars, and it worked. Soon after, Brigby came running down as well.

Fid positioned himself next to the Druid and hacked away. Then Syvrina stepped up and took the Druid down before I could even get into the garage. When I got there, I saw a number of needle blights ganging up at the garage entrance. Fid and Syvrina held their positions by the garage entrance to keep the blights at bay. As the foes stacked up in front of the garage door, I climbed up on to the wagon and readied a fireball, waiting for more of the creatures to shamble into the blast radius. When the time was right, I let loose the fireball and engulfed 18 of the creatures in the blast. None of them survived.

Soon after, more needle blights gathered by the garage entrance and although only a few could scratch and claw at Fid and Syvrina, others fired needles. Syvrina took a number of hits from these nasty needles. Fid got smacked a few times, but he stood more resolutely. Bynn was able to call forth his Healing Spirit on top of Syvrina to bolster her, but soon other blights took her down. The Healing Spirit brought her back from unconsciousness. She disengaged from the others as I casted Haste upon Fid and then jumped down into the Healing Spirit to gain some vitality and make a stand. Brigby was able to step forward and blast a bunch of the blights with a thunderwave, but it only took down a few. Bynn moved the Healing Spirt back to keep it on Syvrina since she was badly hurt, and she fired at the blights with her bow. Fid, Brigby and I fought at the front rank now and I was able to down one blight and injure another with my Greenflame Blade. Fid started hacking with extra speed and agility, and he took down three of the blights very quickly, hacking away using his longsword with both hands.

Eventually, we took down the rest of the blights and Bynn used his Healing Spirit to heal Syvrina nearly to her full strength. Brigby had taken some damage and the Healing Spirit also bolstered him a little.

We picked up the Druid’s staff and quickly searched his body. Then we raced upstairs to other rooms we had not explored. At the top of the steps we entered another room and found a fourth Druid with two vine blights. She was ready for us and as soon as Fid opened the door, Fid and I got hit with a Thunderwave. Fid was knocked down from the blast, but I kept my footing and didn’t suffer as badly. Syvrina quickly dodged by us and jumped into the room to attack the Druid hitting her twice and injuring her pretty badly. I jumped into the room next to Syvrina and stabbed the Druid with my Greenflame Blade and she went down as the green fire spread to one of the vine blights. Fid, who was fighting one of the blights got wrapped in its vines, which grappled and restrained him. Brigby tore away at the vines on Fid and manage to loosen them slightly. Bynn lashed out with his Thorn Whip, but stumbled. I also tripped on some of the vines in the room and was unable to hit the blights that remained. As Brigby continued to assist Fid, trying to tear away the other vines that wrapped up the fighter, Fid was able to kill one of the blights with his sword as Syvrina killed the last one.

After these battles, we quickly went down the hallway looking into other bedrooms on the second floor. They were all empty. We looked out of the windows to see if there were any more blights outside, but all looked clear. Then as we prepared for a rest, we saw Davian and his family coming back to the home. While the others spoke with Davian, I stayed in one of the rooms to Identify the staff. I found that this was an evil item called the Gulthius Staff that could be used as a magical weapon, but it was also an item that seemed attuned to blights. It was a vampric item that could bestow healing upon the attuned wielder, but more importantly, if it were broken or burnt to ash, it would release a horrible scream that would kill any blights that heard the scream within 300’ and all blights created by the Druid who was attuned to the item. We decided to let Fid carry the item so that he could break it when the time was right. We had a feeling that it would help us when we made our journey to the Gulthius Tree, where we expect to encounter more of the Druids and their blights.

The Martikoffs thanked us for our help and offered us coin, which we refused to take. We did accept a few bottles of wine for our journey and took them up on their offer for us to spend the night. With a good night’s rest we felt we’d be prepared to travel to the Gulthius Tree and then to Krezk so that we could meet Esmeralda by nightfall the next day.

As we rested, I noticed that Fid was training extra with his sword, so was Syvrina. Brigby and Bynn both seemed rapt in prayer. (Everyone hit 6th level)
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 40 – Wintersplinter and the Gulthius Tree

Bynn worked to purify the wine in the large casks as soon as we woke up early in the morning and then we set out south on the path toward Yesterhill. As we got deeper into the forest path, we saw a flaming horse fly above us toward the area where we were headed. All of us were spooked by this except for Brigby and Bynn, who urged us forward even though we felt the dread of Strahd.

Bynn as wolf and Syvrina both scouted ahead as I maintained contact using my message spell. They saw the hill and the cairns that surrounded it making two concentric circles. As we neared, a storm above blasted lightning into the area atop the hill where our scouts saw a strange statue in a small clearing surrounded by muddy, mossy burial stones. Around the statue, we also saw a circle of druids and berserkers chanting and dancing, and as we got closer we saw that the statue was a gigantic image of Strahd made from sticks, at its center a green gem glowed with strange power. Again, lightning struck down from the sky as if called by the druids themselves and some of the statue fell away.

Quickly I called out to our group as I prepared a fireball. Syvrina notched and fired an arrow at one of the druids and then I lit up the entire top of the hill with flames. The druids suffered a lot of damage, but the berserkers not as much. Additionally, my spell seemed to make the green gem flare and the statue of Strahd crumbled down even more than before. Brigby called to his god and unleashed a sleet storm of his own that blanketed the top of the hill in a 40’ radius, making it tough for the foes to keep their feet. A few druids fell and were unable to continue their ritual, but a third steadied himself and called for more lightning to strike the gem. With that, the statue of sticks toppled completely and the ground beneath the gem broke as tree limbs and roots burst from the ground, freeing a huge nasty tree creature. Bynn could hear the foes chanting “Wintersplinter, Wintersplinter, ravage the land.”

Bynn as wolf bounded toward a druid and took him down with one nasty bite. Then Fid, rummaged through his possessions to find the Gulthius Staff. He tried to break it, but could not muster up the strength on his first attempt. With extra reserves of energy, he managed to try a second time, succeeding. The staff itself screamed a high pitched dying sound and from the outskirts of the forest we heard the sound of more high-pitched screams mixed with the sound of cracking branches. Then, from the south we saw an even larger tree creature emerge from the forest, this was the Gulthius Tree for sure.

The Gulthius Tree moved toward the center of the hilltop, and we were uncertain if it was friend or foe. Fid stepped aside and let it pass. As it got to the top of the clearing, pushing berserkers and Wintersplinter away from its path, it called to the storm above and the clouds roiled in torment. This did not seem friendly.

Bynn and Syvrina attacked a few of the berserkers near them, as Fid ran through to get to the Gulthius Tree. I detonated another fireball before Fid got to the tree, which took out most of the druids and injured the berserkers, but did very little to the two tree creatures. Bynn the wolf ran back taking hits from Wintersplinter and a berserker, the damage from the tree forced him to take his Half-Elf form, but he put some distance between himself and the foes. Then, our druid called down lightning from the storm, killing a berserker and injuring Wintersplinter too.

Some berserkers tried to move, but they slipped in the ice storm that Brigby maintained. Then Brigby shot off a potent shatter spell which injured The Gulthius Tree and killed two berserkers. Fid hacked once at the tree doing some damage, but then he stumbled and hurt himself in a second attack.

Realizing that the trees were resistant to fire, I opted to cast Haste on Fid, and then Brigby shot off another empowered shatter that hurt both trees. Syvrina, hurt by Wintersplinter and wrapped in roots wriggled free and pulled herself out of combat to a safer position as Wintersplinter grabbed Brigby with grasping roots. Fid, hit by a berserker, gathered his second wind, called upon his fighting spirit and took out his cursed blade. With two hands, he hacked at the Gulthius Tree, hitting it three times in succession, taking advantage of his great weapon mastery to chop out huge chunks of the nasty tree creature. Right after that, The Gulthius Tree drew in the storm and the air around us and it became harder for us to breath. We were not sure what was happening, but it felt horrible, and we didn’t know what would happen next.

Bynn unleashed another lightning bolt as Syvrina fired arrows at our foes. Wintersplinter went down, but The Gulthius Tree remained and continued to draw in the oxygen around us. Seeing an opening, I rushed up to a berserker and stabbed with rapier, but missed the mark. Dropping the ice storm so that Fid could wade into battle more effectively, Brigby moved up on two berserkers and hit them with a thunderwave; then I jumped up to greenflame blade attack two of them. Finally, Fid hacked again and The Gulthius tree crashed to the ground.

After finishing off the final berserker, we searched the area atop the hill. A strange spirit of a long dead god, pre-dating Strahd, spoke to Bynn and chose him to find a magical Blood Spear buried in a cairn. Then to the south, we spotted something white poking out of the ground. We moved over to investigate and found a skeletal hand poke out from the ground clutching a tome. Fid grabbed the tome and tossed it gently to me. I inspected it quickly to find that it was an ornate tome, very old. Nearby, we also found another dead body and a battle axe with its blade buried into the side of a tree.

Before traveling back to the vineyard, we took an hour to heal using healing spirit and I was able to indentify the items we had found. The Blood Spear was magical (+2) and could grant temporary hit points after striking a foe. The axe was an Axe of Pruning, designed to do extra damage to plant and plant creatures alike. The tome was The Tome of Strahd, a magical book created by Strahd himself. I spent some time reading through it and found Strahd’s own account of his own history, his love for Tatyana, his murder of his brother, Tatyana’s fall, and his own conversion to vampirism. He spoke of the sun sword and how he was seeking to find and destroy it, and he spoke of his own resting place under Ravenloft, in a sealed chamber. This item may be one of the items that we will need to eventually face the devil, Madame Eva’s prophecy guiding us to our first major victory. I quickly stashed the tome in my pack as Brigby took the battle axe and Bynn attuned to the Blood Spear, and we made plans to jog back to the Wizards of Wine and then on to Krezk to meet up with Esmeralda to share our victory and aid Esmeralda to remove the curse from Fid’s cursed blade.
 
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Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 41 – Krezk, Ezmeralda and Removing the Curse from Fid’s Sword

After a short rest at the winery, we took to the road. After an hour, we realized we were lost. Luckily, Fid and Brigby kept sharp eyes open and saw a nasty pit trap before we stepped into it. Then, we came upon some hunters. We were able to speak with them and they pointed us back in the direction of the path, so overall, we only lost about 30 minutes time. The rest of our travel was uneventful although we felt the cold weather as we got nearer to Krezk.

At the gates of Krezk, we had to wait a long time until the guard, Aldre, got the Burgomaster Demetri. We spoke with the suspicious Burgomaster, and Syvrina was able to put his worries at ease. We found out a lot about him, his wife Ana, and the sadness he had for the passing of his son, Illya. He died of some disease a little while ago at the age of 14. He also told us that the Abbott said something about bringing Illya back, but although Ana wanted to allow the Abbott a chance to do that, Demetri didn’t trust the Abbott because he lived an unnaturally long life and true name was unknown. Additionally, the priests at the Abby of St. Markovia had all gone mad and become cannibals (at least that was the story he told).

After Brigby promised Demetri that he'd go talk to the Abbott and see what he could find out, Demetri let us enter town and directed us to the inn. Soon after, we found the “Old Tavern and Inn” and the shimmering pool that Ezmeralda and Rictavio had spoken about, the same pool that Fid saw in a vision. As Bynn, Syvrina and I ate and drank in the Inn waiting for Ezmeralda to make an appearance, Fid and Brigby walked up the winding path toward the Abby. Brigby told me about the journey later that evening. Evidently, as they walked closer and closer to the Abby, it got colder and colder. At the gate, which was unlocked, they saw two strange creatures inside. They were both a mismatched mix of animal parts – part dog, part lizard, part humanoid and other strange beasts. Brigby asked to see the Abbott, and one of the creatures said he’d get him. But, before the creature left, Brigby had second thoughts and told the creature that he’d return tomorrow.

On their way down, near the pool, Brigby and Fid saw Ezmeralda who told them they had to start the cleansing ritual before sunset. With that Brigby hustled to the inn to get the rest of us and when we arrived back at the pool, Fid was already naked and in the water up to his chin. Ezmeralda told him to keep the sword under water for as long as he could and she warned us that attempting rituals that thwart evil and go against Strahd’s plans can often be quite dangerous. We spread out around the shore near Ezmeralda and Fid and kept watch with weapons drawn. Not so long after Ezmeralda started chanting, a black, shadowy figure bubbled out of the water and rose into the air near us. It was a ghostly spirit of Fid, an “evil Fid” as Ezmeralda said. She told us we had to keep it away from Fid as long as possible.

First, the spirit tried to claw at Ezmeralda while she was conducting the ritual, but she was still able to avoid it. Syvrina tried to stab at it with both her silver short sword and her dagger, but both missed. Bynn focused a moonbeam upon the entity and hurt it slightly; then Ezmeralda jabbed it with her rapier and did some damage, but not much. Brigby attempted to turn undead, but that did not work against the spirit. Then the creature flew around our group and into my body. I felt the cold presence of this evil entity. My mind and spirit was consumed with a mad desire to expel the creature, but I was not strong enough to force it out. It drained some of my life and I spent the next moments reeling just trying to push it out. The others were unsure what to do since the creature was not visible to them.

As I took more draining damage from the spirit within me, Ezmeralda tried to cast some spell to purge it from my body, but that didn’t work either. She tried a second time, her last spell of that kind, but it did not force the creature out. Brigby casted a successful Hold Person on me so that I could not be controlled by the evil spirit. Then Ezmeralda told my friends that the entity would feast on my life form and if it could kill me, I would turn into an evil spirit as well. I looked at my friends and told them to kill me before the creature killed me and they started to attack me. By this time, Ezmeralda told Fid and the others that Fid’s sword and Fid were now cleansed, so Fid slashed me twice with his magical blade. I felt the blade slice me nearly into two pieces. I hit the ground blood spurting everywhere. The creature left my dead body and then the others put it to rest with combined attacks, and before I could slip even closer to death, Bynn conjured his Healing Spirit on me and I felt life re-enter my body. Right after that, Brigby came to my side and cured my wounds and within a minute the combined healing from the druid and cleric brought be back to full health.

As we got ready to go back to the inn, we asked Ezmeralda to join us and we told her about the Tome of Strahd. She said it could be some sort of talisman that would help us against Strahd when the time was right. We spent the night talking, resting and I played my violin to try to get my mind off of the near death experience I had just a few hours earlier.
 
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Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 42 and 43 – Chat with Ezmeralda and a Visit to the Abby, A Wedding and A Resurrection.

We spoke with Ezmeralda and asked her questions about the Abbott and the readings that Madame Eva gave us. We learned a little and it helped us plan our future travels. When we asked how to contact her in the future, she said we could leave a message at her wagon. We also told her we’d like to investigate Van Richten’s tower, and she said it would be dangerous but we seem more capable and perhaps it would help us. Fid asked about he werewolf den and the incident she investigated earlier. She told us that the pack was led by Kiros Stoyonovich, and she was concerned that a new power was at the cave – something to do with Mother Night. Ezmeralda left that night and we stayed the night at the inn.

In the morning, the innkeeper gave us a note from Ezmeralda, which told us that she had to go to Strahd’s Castle, something was wrong and she needed to investigate. We felt bad for the Vistani woman, but knew we could not go up against Strahd yet, so we walked back to the Abby of St. Markovia. At the gate we meet the mongrel men, Otto and Zigfrek. They were jolly and quite personable. Syvrina got them talking, especially Otto, who took a fancy to our Strahd-touched lady. Apparently, the Belviews were a family who were transformed into their misshapen forms by some perversion of the Abbott’s prayers. Otto said they adapted, but some like the screaming one chained in the courtyard (Marzena the spider/bat hybrid), and Mishka, the spider creature in the well, who still had a taste for humans, were less than happy and comfortable in their new forms. Otto took us to the inner building to the north and went in to get the Abbott.

Inside, we got to meet the Abbott. He was handsome, in monk robes, but his skin did have a bluish tint. There was some bulging in the back of his robes, which probably were the wings that others had told us about. It did indeed seem like he was some sort of Celestial creature. He introduced us to his consort, a woman named Valiska. Valkiska was pale, beautiful, but not very responsive. Otto had told us that the Abbott made her from parts of dead people, but she did not look like a construct. We noticed that the Abbott wore a wooden holy symbol that depicted the sun. After speaking with us for a little, he began to share some of his plight with us. He railed against Strahd and even the powers he had once worshiped. He told us of his wish to marry Valiska, and asked us to procure him a wedding gown. He said he could not leave the Abby. He also told us that he had the power to bring the dead back to life and would be able to do it three times if we would get the wedding gown and help him complete the marriage ceremony. We thought about and although we were worried, we decided to help. We wanted to see if the Abbott could really bring life back from death, and we planned to speak with Demetri, the Burgomaster, to bring his dead son, Illya, to the Abbott to see if the Abbott really could do what he said.

We left the Abbott and made our way back to the Burgomaster’s home. We spoke with Demetri and he said his wife would let us borrow her gown if she could meet the bride and groom so I said I’d pretend to marry Brigby. She could see me and my “groom.”

Syvrina chatted with the woman and finally got her to lend us the gown. Before we could leave, we asked Demetri if he would let us take Illya’s body up to the Abby with us. He was distraught and refused to part with the body, demanding to go with us. We thought we would spare him the pain if the Abbott’s power went awry, but he wanted to come with us any way. Truth be told, I’m glad he came with us. If something bad happened, I wanted him to see it for himself rather than hear it through the grapevine and blame us for the mishap.

We dug up the coffin, which was in an unfinished gravesite. Brigby, Bynn, Fid and I carried it up the hill while Syvrina held the wedding gown in front of us and Demetri waked behind us wringing his hands and muttering prayers all the way. About half way up, we felt the biting, unnatural cold of Barovia, and the clouds above got darker and formed a huge face of Strahd. His voice burst forth and screamed, “Nobody Shall Marry Tatiana.” I yelled for Syvrina to give me the gown, and Syvrina yelled out to Strahd that nobody was marrying her, silly. A golden glow surrounded Syvrina, something that looked like a protective spell. Then lightning struck down and hit both Brigby and Fid. Brigby crumpled to the ground unconscious, but Fid withstood the blast. Then a shadowy figure appeared only 15’ from us and five hearty zombies erupted from the earth. Bynn immediately conjured his healing spirit and revived Brigby. Brigby stood and called upon his divine power to turn undead. I waited to see which of the creatures were affected as Fid unleashed a flurry of attacks upon the shadowy figure. His magic blade cut into the creature twice doing massive amounts of damage. Syvrina threatened to kill herself if the creature didn’t back off, but it said that although Strahd would prefer she were alive, he would also be with her even in death. It seemed as if 4 of the 5 zombies were affected by Brigby’s turn undead so they vanished back into the earth. The 5th one just watched. With that, Syvrina lashed out with rapier, missing her target, but then struck with her off-hand dagger. The creature disappeared.

I was able to jump forward and strike the last zombie twice and then bound back to guard Syvrina. Brigby stepped up to it and hacked it with his magical axe, striking it down.

We gathered our wits, the coffin and calmed Demetri and hustled to the Abby after using the rest of the healing spirit to bolster Brigby and Fid. Otto was at the gate and he let us in.

We brought our whole party into the chapel building and spoke with the Abbott. We saw the symbol of the Morning Lord above the fireplace in that building and the was music coming from the air around us. Valiska was there and when we showed the Abbott the dress, he asked if one of us could help Valiska change into it. I accompanied Valiska to another room and helped her dress. I couldn’t help but notice her perfect figure. I was looking for scars or signs that she was made from other body parts, but she was flawlessly smooth. It was strange. I also noticed a smell of animal, like the zoo I remembered from my youth, coming from down the hallway. I didn’t want to find out what was down there so I quickly helped Valiska dress and then we exited the room.

Brigby performed the marriage ceremony for the Abbott and he was in a state of bliss. Some of the mongrel men witnessed the wedding and after the Abbott invited us to stay for a feast and celebration. We joined him, danced, ate, and made merry for a little while. Then when Demetri asked me about Illya, I asked the Abbott if he could really bring the dead back to life. We told him we wanted to restore life blood to Illya so that the town could become more prosperous. He agreed and we all went outside while the party continued inside.

In the courtyard, the Abbott conducted a ritual and although it looked as if Illya’s body was streaked with shadow, he eventually rose to life. Brigby said a few prayers over him casting lesser restoration to help his recovery, and Demetri burst into tears as the boy asked for his father. We thanked the Abbott and he reminded us that he could do that 2 more times if we ever needed it. We told him to enjoy his life with his bride, keep the Belviews happy and we’d return if we ever needed his help again.

Demetri and Illya walked down to their home as we walked back to the Inn and rested for the night.

Fid, Syvrina, Bynn, Brigby and I spoke about our next move and we decided that we’d double back to the east and visit Van Richten’s Tower to explore that before going south to Arginvastinholt. Undoubtedly we’d be facing dangers in both places, but perhaps we’d find more items or clues to help us finally take our fight to Strahd.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Session 45 – Van Richten’s Tower

We made it to the Tower without incident. At the door, I noticed runes that were different from the first time we had visited. The inner edges that used to be golden, where then separated from each other. Now they were dark and touched each other. We assumed that Ezmeralda kept her word and deactivated the runes so we could explore.

Before entering, I started to cast a ritual detect magic spell, but Syvrina just pushed the door open and went inside. She said she saw four statue like figures, gollums holding chains that could raise a central platform. All around her was only debris. While Syvrina was exploring the ground florr, and before I could get very far into the ritual, we saw a menace in the sky, a young blue dragon was heading straight for the Tower. When the dragon got within 120’ or so, he inhaled deeply and a bolt of electrical energy shot from its mouth and hit the tower. The tower lurched from the impact. It started to crumble too. Syvrina had to dodge the falling debris, which she partially avoided as she dashed for the exit.

Outside, we studied the dragon. I had bad experiences with chromatic dragons so I was reluctant to launch a fireball at it. As we hid by the wagon and the tower, the dragon spoke out and told us that the master did not want anyone inside this tower. Then, the dragon flew into a new position only 40’ from us and inhaled once more. His electrical breath surged forth and hit Bynn, then it hit the wagon, then it hit me and Fid behind the wagon. Even with cover, both Fid and I took enough damage to knock us unconscious. Bynn was able to dodge it and avoid the full effects of the discharge.

Bynn was able to create a healing spirit and get Fid up on his feet. When the dragon landed, Fid took his second wind and charged the beast and Syvrina jumped up to attack as well. Syvrina and Fid did some damage to the beast, but it looked as if it could take a lot more. Brigby called lightning from the sky to strike the beast, but it was immune. Soon after, Bynn moved his healing spirit on to me and I regained consciousness.

The dragon did not breathe again. I was able to cast haste on Fid and Bynn moved the healing spirit over to Fid as well. Fid went crazy on the dragon attacking three times with his magical greatsword. He cut deeply into the dragon and the dragon roared. Brigby casted shield of faith upon himself and moved up to the battle as Syvrina continued to jab at the creature with her rapier and dagger. The dragon realizing that Fid was the most dangerous opponent unleashed a claw, claw, bite and took Fid down. Bynn’s healing spirit restored Fid to consciousness and then fid stood and faced the dragon with Brigby and Syvrina by his side. Fid mustered up his strength and hacked three times. The third time, he struck the beast in the neck as the beast leaned forward to bite him once again. His sword cleaved through the dragon’s neck and the head of the dragon fell to the ground. (Critical hit) Soon after, the body disappeared. Perhaps it was some kind of trick, a phantasm or creation that Strahd controlled.

Bynn’s healing spirit and Brigby’s cure spells helped us regain our strength before we set out to explore the Tower, which was still in the state of collapsing.

We ran inside and when Fid stood on the platform, the statues holding the chains started to pull the chains to raise the platform. One of the statues was damaged so the chain on his side was slack which tipped the platform slightly. Fid jumped off and I got on as Fid went to the broken chain and tried to pull. It was too much for him and the platform tipped again throwing me off.

All this time, debris was still falling around us so we knew we didn’t have a lot of time. Seeing the 2nd floor of the tower through the center shaft, I misty stepped up there. Then I was able to hop on the platform once more as it continued to go higher. There was not much in the tower going up, two, three, four floors, but at the top I hopped off the platform and saw a bedroom with a rune etched suit of armor standing in one part and a rune etched chest about 20’ from there. I studied the chest and could tell that a high level mage worked this magic. It was powerfully warded so I did not want to touch it. Still, debris falling, and being hit a number of times by some of it, I knew I’d have to get out quickly. I looked out the window and misty stepped to the ground to meet with the rest of my party.

We discussed our situation and decided that we’d wait for the tower to fall, then we’d try to dig for the chest and the armor. Bynn called forth some lightning to strike the tower and hasten its demise, and as the tower fell, behind us a battered Ezmeralda appeared from invisibility. She was nearly unconscious and exhausted, and said, “Strahd is after me. Now he wants to kill me.” Bynn and Brigby tended to Ezmeralda’s wounds and we all rested and healed as night started to fall.
 

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