Session 5: Pies & Prayers

Upon exiting the Durst home, the party realized that Deesqo had disappeared into the mist yet again. Aya, Corwyn, and Marbas discussed what to do next, deciding that their first order of business should be finding a resting place for the bones of the children. Aya attempted to coerce Rose into providing more information about their surroundings by returning into the house, but as she crossed the threshold she sank to her knees, unable to move forward.

So the party set forth into the town, noting that the streets were oddly silent except for the faint sound of a small bell. Investigating the jingling, they turned a corner to find an old woman pushing a cart laden with pies. She greeted the party, welcomed them to the village of Barovia, and asked if they would be interested in purchasing any of her pies. Marbas quickly purchased half a dozen; Corwyn purchased a single pie, and fed half to Lancelot, who hungrily devoured it. The party asked the old woman if there was a place they could rest, and she directed them to the Blood on the Vine tavern at the center of town. They asked if there was somewhere they could perform a burial, and the old woman directed them to the church and cemetery at the edge of town.

Continuing onto the cemetery, the group first entered the church. The church was in a state of disrepair, the only occupant was a priest kneeling at the altar, surrounded by candles, repeating a prayer. As the party approached the priest, the prayer was interrupted by pained screams coming from below: “Father, I am hungry!”

Father Donavich explained to the party that his son, Doru, was locked below in the basement; a decade ago, a mage had come through the town and rallied a group of villagers, including Doru, to march on Castle Ravenloft to attempt to free the land from the Demon Strahd. Doru was the only one that returned, and he was changed; turned to a vampire and hungry for blood. Donavich had tried everything to cure his son of this affliction, and now spent every moment praying to the Morning Lord, though his prayers had yet to be answered.

The party asked if they might perform a burial on the church grounds, and Donavich shrugged and said they were welcome to do what they thought best. The party left the man to his prayers, and ransacked the rest of the church, taking several books and three sunbursts carved of wood, the holy symbol of the Morning Lord. They also discovered a padlocked trap door in one room, but chose to leave well enough alone.

Heading out into the graveyard behind the church, they located a vacant plot and an old, weather-worn shovel, and dug a single grave for the bones of the two children. Marbas placed one of the holy symbols as a headstone, and Corwyn intoned a prayer from one of the books taken from the church, and the spirits of Rose and Thorn stepped out of Aya and Marbas and sank into the ground, looking back at the party with smiles as they did so.

With the light coming through the haze in the sky growing dimmer by the moment, the party returned into town to seek lodging at the tavern.