stonegod's Expedition to Castle Ravenloft: Ch. III [OOC] (Completed)

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, my apologies for that. I'm just as much to blame for it as anyone.

Truth be told, as I think about it now I realize it's been 2 full years since I made the switch over to 4E as a game system, and that we started this Ravenloft game a couple years even before that point. It's hard to believe. But the point is... I'm so far removed from 3.5 gameplaying at this point that I can't even fake the ability to keep playing Jarrith once battles begin anymore. My fault entirely, but I can't help it. I'm past 3.5 at this point.

So as much as I'd love to be able to say "Hey, we played through the entirety of Return to Castle Ravenloft!"... I also know that I barely stop in to the PbP threads anymore because I'm beyond 3.5, and 4E PbP kinda sucks for me. So I am willing to just nod my head, give everyone a firm shake of the hand, and say "Thank you stonegod for an awesome game. It's been a blast. But I think it's time we turned out the lights."
 

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stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
sg's EtCR: 20061127–20100919

It is with sadness and gladness that I declare that our Expedition has come to an end. Almost four years of good gaming (with some delays, of course), but all things must end.

I'll have a big follow-up post later this week (I hope) with a bunch of spoilery bits. It'll answer things like "Who the hell was Lord Sergei?" (not in the original module, of course). I hope y'all come back and read them. I had a fun time coming up with them. :devil:

In any case, I want to thank all current and past players for their time. Especially DEFCON1 (the last of our originals) and Stormwind (for keeping track of everything, and being here pretty much since the beginning). You've all given this game its zest, and there was a lot of fine RP going on here.

As with DEFCON, I've left 3.x behind (especially with regards to DMing); this is the last of my 3.x DM ties. I kept it up because of the fun I was having here.

I still see most of you around the PbP board elsewhere, but for the rest: Happy Gaming! And thanks again!
 

ethandrew

First Post
Firstly, thank you stonegod for running this game and allowing me the opportunity to join in mid-go. I feel honored to be a part of it, even such a small one as I did.

Secondly, it's a shame to see this game go along, but four years is quite the accomplishment.

Good luck on future gaming and I look forward to playing with you again and seeing the wrap up.
 

Stormwind

First Post
@Everyone: I've had a truly great time playing Ashlyn with everyone still here, and with everyone else that participated during the last several years. I have a great many good memories of this game and give particular thanks to stonegod for his time and effort in running this game., and to DEFCON for providing so much RP opportunities (particularly between Khensu and Ashlyn). Of course the game wouldn't have lasted for so long if it hadn't had the great RP from all of those whom have participated. Thank you all. It's been a blast and I'm glad I've been able to be a part of it.
 




stonegod

Spawn of Khyber/LEB Judge
Secrets Revealed

Secrets Revealed!

I've got some time before Indian food, so lets spill the beans! From obscure to not quite so much!

What was up with that dwarf?

The dwarf that delivered the box that started all this? Thrall of Strahd. Brought to Barovia shortly after the discovery of the dig, he was interrogated by Strahd to figure out what had been up with the world during is long torpor. There was more evidence of him in the Castle, but it was never found.

Ireena mentioned the dwarf in passing, but there really wasn't enough info there to make the connection.

Who did Mateusz work for?

The Twelve, but also Regent Morgana of Karnnath. The regent, having read Mateusz's notes, dominated him to work for her and secure the Tome for her own use—specifically, to make use of the power Strahd harnessed for Kaius. More on that below.

Blood of Vol

They were there. Statted them up an everything. They were the ones that magic jarred Marot. She found Strahd and was "working" with him to get his secrets but he tired of her and killed her after she captured his spy (the werewolf in the dungeon). You found her very dead corpse in the laboratory.

BTW: The werewolf would have worked with you and fought the necromancer (as per his orders). Didn't work out that way, though.

Madam Eva

Madame Eva, long ago, was a seer of her people. But the ritual Strahd made to bind the Land to Him cursed her, and she is now an immortal hag. She is compelled to serve him, but there is enough leeway in her bonds that she can fight them. That is what she was doing with the party: Trying to help them. This, of course, would have bad consequences for her—namely, her death and Strahd's hands. Even if Strahd hadn't killed her, the removal of the wards would do so. And she knew this.

Why the Zombies?

Strahd felt the need for the townsfolk to need him, or, more specifically, Lord
Sergei. The zombies were to create a problem so great he would have to intervene and "save the day." Unfortunately, the party go to it first. Still, he used this to his advantage later.

Witches?

The witches were led by another hag, another product of the bond Strahd formed with the Land. The hag wanted to twist this bond to her own uses via the demon she was going to summon. Strahd thus did everything he could to subtly encourage the party to assault the witches. The party's destruction of the coven was part of his plan.

Werewolves?

Another part involved the wereshifters. The corruption of their node and turned them feral, beyond his control. He needed someone to deal with them. Strahd did not know the sunsword was in the node, and, if he had, would likely had stopped the party; without that knowledge, he was quite content with them dealing with the menace. When they attacked the village, Strahd was finally allowed to let Lord Sergei defend them. The remnants were then quickly turned to his will. A double win.

What Power did Strahd harness?

This was modified from the original. In the original, it gave Strahd various abilities (a powerful force screen, permanent nondetection (which is why Ashlyn never detected him), and some other abilities). In the modification, while it made him powerful, it had a drawback: It tied the Land to Him, but tied Him to the Land. He could not leave Barovia so long as the wards were up. Thus, we needed the party to destroy the wards: He couldn't do it himself for magical reasons. But he didn't want the party surviving afterwards. Thus, he needed to lure the party back to the Castle to conduct the ritual.

WTF? Sergei?

Ah, Lord Sergei, my favorite invention. You found the remains of the original Sergie—Strahd's brother killed in the act that turned him. The other, however, was as he said, and distant descendent of the line. Strahd found him through is dwarven contact and through guile led him to the Castle. Then, through a powerful and modified version of magic jar possessed him. Strahd could transfer between his original body and Sergei's at will anywhere in Barovia, but not outside. When not in possessed by Strahd, Sergei had some semblance of control, but couldn't speak up against Strahd directly (as if dominated). So, his warnings agains the Castle were sincere—when he was himself.

You met the "real" Strahd once: When he attacked you in the Chapel.

What was Strahd's plan?

Strahd had three goals:
- Turn Ireena (2/3 done by the end of game)
- Consolidate power (destroy the witches, heel the wolves, turn the villages to "him")
- Free himself of wards to leave Barovia and gain power in the wider world.

The party assisted him largely in the second and third goals. After defeating what the ward brought, the party really had just the confrontation with Strahd left. Of course, just getting there might have taken another half-year. :)

Well, that's the major points. Again, it was a blast. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Secrets Revealed!

Well, that's the major points. Again, it was a blast. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Thanx much for all of this, stonegod. Seemed like we were very close to finishing (as close as an 'every two months we finish another small section of plot' could be. :)

Once again, it was a wonderful 4 years and I'm very grateful for all of your hard work, as well as the awesome rp the rest of you had. Thanx again.
 

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