Session 6: Ismark & Ireena

“I hope they let the dog in here” Marbas said as he stepped into the tavern.

Three women clad in gold jewelry and brightly colored clothes were seated at a table by the door; “Hey, you can’t bring that thing in here!” One exclaimed as the party stepped through the door. “That devil is not welcome in here,” she said, blocking Marbas’s path.

Aya and Marbas argued their case with the three women, while Corwyn walked up to the bar, paying for 3 coppers worth of wine with 2 gold pieces. The bartender called the women over, and after a quick conference amongst themselves, one of the women led Marbas out of the tavern and around the side, while another announced that the tavern was closing early, and everyone needed to leave.

While Marbas and the woman stood outside, Deesqo appeared, accompanied by a winged reptile; Marbas assured the woman that he was a member of their party. A few minutes later, once all but one of the patrons had filed out, the woman led Marbas and Deesqo into the tavern. The women apologized for the fuss, explaining that the locals were somewhat prejudiced and that they did not want to cause a fuss for such prestigious guests. The party asked after the one patron who remained, and the women explained that Ismark was not quite as closed-minded, and also more trouble than he was worth.

Purchasing many flagons and bottles of wine, The party sat down to their first proper meal since arriving in this land; Marbas and Aya each happily consumed one of the pies Marbas had purchased, while Deesqo and Corwyn chose to subsist on the rations in their packs. As the party ate and drank, they began to discuss what their next move should be, and how they might escape this land that was apparently ruled by this “Count Strahd.”

Upon hearing mention of Strahd, Ismark joined the conversation, suggesting that they may have a common problem; he explained that Strahd had been showing great interest in his sister, Ireena, attacking their home nightly for the past several weeks. Their father, Kolyan, had recently died of fright, and he was now looking for help to escort his sister out of the village and to the town of Vallaki, which he hoped would be a safer location for her. Once his sister was safe, they could join forces in finding a way to deal with Strahd. The four agreed that this seemed a reasonable proposal, and Corwyn shared the note that they had found at the gates of Barovia; Ismark recognized his father’s handwriting, and was alarmed to learn that his father and sister had kept hidden from him that Ireena had already been bitten by Strahd.

With renewed urgency, the five departed the inn, bottles of wine in hand, and headed to the Burgomeister’s mansion. Ireena unbolted the door and allowed them all in, agreeing to the plan of departing for Vallaki, once her father was buried. It was agreed that they would all spend the night in the mansion, then bury him at dawn and be on their way, hopefully well away from the town before the next nightfall.

The next morning, Aya and Marbas awoke exceptionally well-rested, having had a night filled with wonderful dreams. The party headed back up the hill to the cemetery, bypassing the church altogether this time, and found another plot in which to bury Kolyan. Corwyn again read a prayer from the Hymns to the Morning Lord; Ismark snorted at this nonsense, and Ireena glared at her brother before turning to Corwyn and thanking her for the kind words.

Aya noticed a figure silhouetted in the mist at the edge of the cemetery, and approached, calling out to ask what it’s business was. The figure stated it was there to pay it’s respects. Ismark, thinking he recognized the silhouette, grasped the flask at his belt and drew his sword. The figure turned it’s gaze on Ismark and said “You have nothing to fear from me now; I do not wish to interrupt this ceremony. But do not worry, Ismark, we shall meet again soon,” before vanishing back into the mist.

The party returned to the mansion, gathered their things, and departed the village of Barovia, heading west along the road towards Vallaki.