Curse of Strahd

Blood and Wine

Following the advice of the coffin-maker who's home the vampire spawn were holed up in, the party waited until the sun rose to enter the attic. Once they did, the sunlight vaporized the waiting creatures, allowing them to easily locate the bones of Saint Andral. Returning them to the church, the priest vowed to keep Ireena safe within its walls. Out of gratitude, Ismark promised his aid to the party on a further expedition of their choosing.

Setting out to investigate the Wizard of Wines for Urwin, and prove their worth to the Keepers of the Feather, they left town after buying provisions and horses. That night as they rested, the watch detected the approach of three figures from the mist-veiled forest. Strahd came strolling casually into the camp, two vampire spawn at his side. He explained, as the party scrambled for their gear, that by interrupting his plans at the Church of Saint Andral, and by hiding Ireena from him, they had broken the terms of the deal they had struck, and must be punished accordingly. He sent his vampire spawn in to the fray, charging the paladin, while he locked eyes with the bard. Unable to resist, the bard found himself swayed to Strahd's charms. The cleric was able to send one of the vampire spawn fleeing into the forest with the might of his faith but, moments later, Strahd descended upon him, tearing out his throat. Ordering the bard to tend to his fallen companion Strahd moved on to the rogue, as the paladin fought desperately with the remaining vampire spawn. Strahd struck her down as well, again ordering the bard to tend to her. Finally, he latched on to the paladin and drained the life from him with another bite. At this point, Strahd ordered his vampire spawn to retreat, directed to bard to see to it that his friends survived and to pass on the message that they should not have crossed him. With a final warning that the game had begun, he shifted into a bat and flew away into the night.

With a new respect for their foe, and a heightened sense of urgency, the party pressed forward with their mission, making it to the Wizard of Wines with only minor resistance from a couple of needle blights, horrid plant creatures in their own right, but simple foes compared to the prior evening's battle. Arriving at the winery, they found themselves beckoned towards a copse of trees by a figure in a robe. Introducing himself as the father of Urwin Martikov, the aging man informed them of a group of druids leading a small army of blights that had laid siege to the winery. The rogue scouted the building, and found a side entrance in a loading dock near the stables. Slipping inside unseen she was able to get a basic lay of the ground before summoning her companions. As they made for the winery, a horde of the needle blights arose from the vineyard and began to converge on the winery. The party fled inside, barricading the door behind them. Pushing into the building in search of a defensible position, they came across a druid poisoning the fermenting vats. A quick battle ensued, as she summoned forth two dozen tiny blights to her aid. Quickly fighting through, the party found another exit to the vineyards propped open, through which several needle blights had already entered the building. The paladin and bard dashed to close the door and keep the rest outside, while the cleric and rogue moved to take the creatures out. 

As they wrapped up the fight, the sounds of more approaching footsteps set the party into a defensive stance. Finding themselves under attack from another druid and his needle blights, they entered another melee. Before they could finish the fight, a second druid and his minions, two large viney blights came from another direction, spreading the party thin. Thanks to some timely arrows from the rogue, and the defensive skills of the paladin they were able to drop the two druids without much fuss, leaving them just the blights to deal with. A final druid came from the upper levels, bearing a foul staff of some blackened wood. As he entered the fray, one of the vine blights managed to envelop all of the party save the paladin. Thanks to the paladin and the cleric's magic, they were able to overcome this final wave of attack. Upon investigating the strange staff they discovered its foul nature, and burned it- immediately unleashing an unholy screamed that rocked the winery, and splintered the horde of needle blights outside, freeing the winery of its attackers.

Returning to the Martikov family outside, they were informed that the druids had come seeking three magical seeds that were used in the process of growing the three varieties of grape that the winery relied upon. The Keepers of the Feather had located two of them, one on the druid stronghold of Yester Hill, the other in the ruins of a place called Berez, fabled home of a powerful being of unknown origin. They pleaded with the party to recover these seeds, and allow the winery to get back to its business. Agreeing, the party slept on the grounds for the night, before setting out for Yester Hill.

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