Day 10, 11, 12?
Not sure what day or time it is anymore between trips into the mist and the lack of sun to help track time. I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Regardless, I suddenly find myself sitting at the Blue Water Inn with Danica putting a plate of breakfast in front of me. I’m not really hungry, but I eat anyway. An old sargent once told me to eat whenever I had the chance. Inevitably, if I don’t eat, I’ll end up wishing I did later.
We chat briefly. She reminds me that the Barron’s festival is at noon and we should probably be there for it. She also says that there is a rumor that something is going to happen at the church this evening.
At that point Sorren comes down. Sorren fills me in a bit on what I’ve missed (quite a bit). He’s says that when he went to bed last night, Alewyn and Thalia had barely made it back after an encounter with some Mud Men while trying to track a missing Vistani child. When he woke up this morning, Alewyn, Thalia, and Sven vanished some time during the night. So right now it’s just me and him.
We decide since it seems to be a quiet morning in the Inn, we might have a chance to talk with Irwin a bit. We head into the kitchen to have a private discussion and lend a hand. Irwin provides us with some information about the Whispering Wall, Lady Fionna Wachter, and Argynvostholt.
Argynvostholt was most interesting to me given my reading by Madam Eva last week. Irwin told us the story of Argynvost, a Silver Dragon who came here to guard the Amber Temple, a repository of evil power. Argynvost also founded the Order of the Silver Dragon. The Order’s Knights opposed Strahd before Strahd ultimately prevailed. Irwin tells us that some of the Knights’ ghosts still ride the land, continuing to oppose Strahd. He also gives us a name, Valdimer Hornsguard, the greatest of the Order’s Knights.
After we finish chatting and helping in the kitchen, Sorren and I walk out to find Thalia and Alewyn sitting at a table with a stranger. The stranger introduces himself as Cyrus Crow, Inquisitor of the City Watch. I ask him of what city and he replies NeverWinter. Never heard of it, although it seems some of the others have. He tells a depressingly familiar story of appearing here and having no idea where he is or what’s going on. Looks like our merry little band is growing again.
We seem to have quite a lot going on
- The missing Vistani girl, who is apparently their leader’s daughter. The group told the leader that they would try to look for her.
- Anna and procuring the wedding dress for the Abbot from the Baron’s wife
- The festival that everyone is encouraged to attend and participate in
At that point we are interrupted by the sound of a man and woman arguing outside of the inn. Ricktavio, the performer we met last time, is arguing with a woman named Esmerellda. Ricktavio and Sorren apparently have formed a friendship so they go off to talk. Thalia apparently as formed a friendship with Esmerellda, who is a monster hunter, while I was in the mist. So Thalia goes after her. Alweyn, Cyrus, and I go back to our table until our two party members return.
We decide trying to find the missing girl is our priority. We do decide to send Ted, Ismark, and Irena to participate in the Festival and let us know what happens.
Bluto and Arabell
We head out of town. Alewyn and Thallia tracked her scent out of town last night before they were ambushed and had to return to the Inn. With additional numbers, we should be able to handle any surviving Mud Men if they decided to stick around. Hopefully they can pick up the girl’s scent.
They eventually track the girl’s scent to the edge of a lake. At the edge of the lake are three beached boats and you can tell where a fourth one was pulled up as well. We see a single figure out a ways on the lake who appears to be fishing. Cyrus calls to the man a couple of times, trying to get him to come in so we can ask him. However the man pretty much ignores us. Suddenly he heaves a bag over the side of the boat. It seemed to me that the bag appeared to be moving and certainly looked child sized.
Sorren jumped in one of the boats. Alewyn and I jumped in another and I started putting everything I had into rowing out to the bag. Fortunately I was able to get there, get a hand on it, and bring it into our boat. It’s definitely moving. I cut open the knotted rope tieing off the sack and there is a little girl in there. I called out for Alewyn to cover the guy while I get the girl out and cut her free of her bonds and gag. The girl, whose name is Arrablel, was in shock and frightened but I managed to reassure her that we didn’t intend to hurt her and would get her back to her father soon.
While that was going on, somehow Sorren ended up swimming and Thalia turned into a dolphin. Sorren was able to climb into the man’s boat and Thalia decided to attack the boat. I think she was trying to capsize it. She ended up knocking the man into the water.
Finally we got everybody back to shore, including the man, whose name turned out to be Bluto. We bound him with some manacles that Cyrus had. When we questioned him, he said that he was trying to provide for his family by fishing and wasn’t having any success. He believed that sacrificing the girl would change his luck. Sacrificing a girl didn’t seem to be a big deal since she was “only a Vistani”. He seemed a bit off in the head to me.
We decided to go back to Valaki and turn Bluto over there. I was all for handing him to the Vistani, but a couple of the group were concerned that the Vistani would kill him. No skin of my back if the Vistani decided death was acceptable punishment for kidnapping and murder. Thalia and Cyrus in particular seems to feel sorry for him. Thalia collects a lot of fish in her dolphin form, which she ends up telling us she wants to give to Bluto’s family. Whatever.
We head back to the city with the girl and prisoner in two. We encounter a disturbed grave in the woods on the way back, but whoever or whatever did it must have already left. There were just a few random bones floating in a small pool of water in the bottom of the grave.
When we get back to Valaki, we enter the gates and ran into a commotion. Something is clearly happening. We can hear shouting a screaming but can’t tell exactly what’s going on. Suddenly Rictavio appears and says his cat is loose in the town square. He asks Sorren help without killing it. We decide to head for the town square but drop off Arrabell and Bluto at the Inn, which is on the way.
As we are approaching the Inn, we see the “cat” (which is really a sabre tooth tiger) walking down the street towards us. When the cat sees Arrabell, it makes a beeline towards her. I pull my bow and shove Arabell behind me. Sorren manages to grab the charging beast and holds it back, talking a bite in the arm for his trouble. At the same time Rictavio scoops up Arrabell, gets inside the Inn, and gets the door shut. Thalia casts a spell on the Tiger. She announces that she’s got it under control.
At that moment a bunch of guards come running up ready to attack. We try to tell them that the situation is under control and that attacking will just set the cat off again. The leader is obviously furious and wants to destroy the cat. Sorren and Thalia try to reason with him, but it is clear that it isn’t going to work. I quickly stick my head in the Inn and tell Rictavio that he needs to get back out here if he cares about keeping the cat alive.
Rictavio comes back outside and says the cat is his. The leader yells for his men to arrest Rictavio and kill the tiger. Rictavio and the cat take off and the leader makes the guards chase. I might have “accidentally” got in the way of a couple of the more eager guards..
We decide that we need to find Ted and the others and get the whole story. About that time, they show back up to the Inn. Ted fills us in on the fiasco of the Festival. The guy doing all the shouting and threatening turns out to be Baron Vilokovitch. There is some suggestion that he might be suspicious of us because of the loss of his lackey. It was Strahd, but it is unclear if Vilokovitch knows it or not. Now he is pissed at us over the sabertooth incident.
We suggest to Anna that she (perhaps along with Ismark and Ireena) might be better off trying to get the dress without us, given that the Baron is likely hostile towards us. She agrees. I also ask Danica if there is another seamstress in town in case things with the Baron’s wife goes FUBAR (looking more and more likely). Instead of an answer, I get a warning about something bad happening at St. Andrell’s Church tonight. Great! One more thing heaped on our plate. Ismark and Ireena announce that they have decided to stay in town as they think this place is safest from Strahd.
Alewyn starts talking to the wolf hunters some more. He ends up making a deal with them to get his silver arrows fixed.
We decide that our next priority needs to be dropping our prisoner off, telling his family, and returning Arabella to her father. Leaving our prisoner with the guards is relatively painless, but the guards do confirm that Vilokovitch wants us arrested and/or thrown out of town. Interestingly they don’t seemed overly inclined to follow his lead, at least as long as it isn’t a direct order with him standing right there.
We also stop off at Bluto’s house to tell his wife that he’s in jail. We avoid the specifics, but we do provide her with some of the fish that Thalia caught as a dolphin. Cyrus also gives her some gold before we leave.
We leave there and journey to the camp. Luvash is happy to have his daughter back and offers us a reward. He offers each party member a potion that he says will help us leave the mists. He also offers the group a choice of 4 different rewards. We end up taking the chest with 650 GP after much debate.
His brother Arrigal very much wants to join our group. Apparently he talked with the others when they were here before. He offers us a second reward if we let him. He insists it will be alright with his brother and that he will “smooth it over” when we question whether or not he has the authority to offer us more than the agreed upon reward. Finally we convince him he has to tell his brother what’s going on before we accept. After lots of discussion and debate, Thalia basically makes him pay for his keep with the jewelry box and poison reward. I guess we’re adding another.
We then return to Valaki and head to the church as it is getting dark. As we approach, we hear screaming and people running out. Bats are swarming around the church. One of the people yells out the word “vampire”.