Shadow of the Vampyr

Act One

Barovian Nights

After taking an hour to rest and gather their resources the party continues their exploration of the catacombs beneath the mansion. They make the following discoveries.

  • There are more crypts – these ones with the names of Rosevalda and Thornboldt Durst.

    • Both crypts have empty coffins.
  • A set of stairs leads down towards a chamber with thirteen niches in the earthen walls.

    • Each niche has an item that looks ominous and potentially magical but each one appears to be mundane when investigated closely.
  • A ramp leads downwards into a room submerged in a shallow pool of murky water.

    • The next room is a large stone chamber with an ominous sacrificial altar in the center.
    • The ghostly chanting is revealed to be coming from thirteen shadowy figures in dark robes  – they are saying “He is the Ancient, He is the Land”
    • When Daraxis steps up to the altar the chant changes to “One Must Die!”

      • Daraxis steps down and the chant changes to “Lorghoth the Decayer, we awaken thee!”
      • A pile of refuse – bones, bugs, mold, fungus, slime – comes alive and attacks.

        • After several close calls the party successfully defeats it and the shadows disperse.
    • They explore the remainder of the catacombs.

      • There is a wooden statue of Strahd
      • There is a prison chamber
      • There is a bedroom with defeated adventurers’ equipment.

        • Gustav and Elisabeth Durst attack – they are Ghasts, a more malevolent form of Ghoul – and are defeated by the party.
  • Upon leaving the basement level, the house itself turns into a deathtrap but the mists have dissipated.

    • Fireplaces belch poisonous clouds of smoke, doorways turn into ghostly scythes, and the walls crack.
  • With some injury, the party manages to escape and the house grows quiet and suddenly appears to be in near-ruins as if it aged hundreds of years in an instant.
  • The party continues their progress westwards.

After several minutes’ travel they catch the smell of decay in the wind ahead and they discover a corpse clutching a crumpled envelope.

  • Darastrix speaks with a nearby Raven about the corpse and learns that several “bigwolves” killed the man and ran off without eating the body. The Raven agrees to help them keep watch as they travel in exchange for a “shinyshiny.”

They travel safely and soon reach civilization in the form of a small town in the shadow of an ominous mountain. They sell off some of their treasure to a local shopkeeper and they learn several things about the town of Barovia

  • Many of the townspeople are unnaturally dour and depressed.
  • They meet a woman who is weeping to an extreme degree over her daughter’s disappearance several days earlier. She is convinced that “the Devil Strahd” has taken her captive and is will turn her into a vampire.
  • They meet a young man named Ismarck Kolyanovich, the son of the recently deceased Burgomaster of Barovia.

    • He is drinking at a tavern, mourning his father’s death three days prior.
    • His sister Ireena has –for unknown reasons- become a target of Count Strahd von Zarovich.

      • For two weeks Strahd’s minions assaulted their home at night.
      • The stress eventually resulted in their father’s death.
      • Ireena was charmed by the vampire and invited him into their home.
      • Strahd has fed on her twice but all has stopped coming after the Burgomaster’s death.
    • Ismarck wants to escort Ireena to a better fortified town to the west called Vallaki.

      • Ismarck will not take her without protection from adventurers.
      • Ireena refuses to leave until her father is buried in the Borovian Churchyard.
    • The party agrees to help with the burial and act as Ireena’s escort.
  • At the church they meet a priest named Donavich

    • His son Doru is locked in the church basement.

      • He disappeared nearly a year ago when a mage inspired many Barovians to take up arms against Strahd. The Vampire defeated them all and Doru recently appeared at the church as a vampire spawn.
    • Donavich locked him in the basement and prays day and night for a cure to Vampirism.

      • He will not allow Doru to be hurt in any way.
    • Donavich agrees to bury the Burgomaster at dawn, as is their custom.

      • He also invites the party to see the cemetery at midnight.

        • Every night spectral ghosts of hundreds of adventurers march up to the castle Ravenloft and throw themselves into a chasm.
      • He advises that everyone who stands against Strahd meets one of two fates – they become like Doru or like the Ghosts.
    • He advises the party to take Ireena to the city of Krezk in the far east of the valley and shelter her in the Abbey that is located there.
  • With the Burgomaster buried Ismarck begins the preparation for their departure.

They decide to travel to Vallaki and there they will make a decision about staying there or continuing onward towards Krezk.



I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.