Curse of Strahd

The Fall of the House of Dearst

Adran peered out into the darkness. The thing seemed to have withdrawn for the moment, but with Lady Arimaka and Oscar essentially incapacitated, and the rest of the group in full rout, the outlook appeared excessively grim…

“One must die…” the chant repeatedly ceaselessly. Well, if his death would secure the release of the others, and particularly the salvation of Lady Arimaka, Adran was prepared to make the sacrifice, particularly if by doing so, he could take as much of the creature with him as possible.

A violent, reptilian part of his brain also drew some consolation from the fact that up until that moment, the creature had been engaging them upon its terms, overwhelming oozing force seeping through the narrow corridors. Now, in the dark, silent recesses of the crypt, Adran would be engaging it upon his terms, with a quarry unaware and shadows hiding wicked quarrels. Adran crept into the corridor, leaving his backpack as a message to the others.

Daisuke was worried, but it was a zen worry, so it was all good. Oscar and Lady Arimaka had ceased running, and Elga had disabled the blades in the attic, but Adran had failed to rejoin them, and the stairs leading down to the crypt were silent. Elga pushed past him, and a moment later, she was followed, more cautiously, by the sorcerer. Daisuke was unsure that this was the best course of action, but felt that his presence would be beneficial to prevent the others from coming to harm, so he descended after them.

Adran stalked the creature through the dark, back towards it lair, but was surprised when it turned down a different path. The target was too tempting, so he cocked his crossbow and let loose a quarrel to what looked like a sensitive appendage. The creature let loose with a mouthless roar while he took cover against the wall of the crypt.

At the same time, the sorcerer and Daisuke came upon the other end of the beast. The sorcerer conjured a gout of flame into the creature while Daisuke let out a yell and smashed the creature with a flurry of blows. The creature exploded in an orgy of fetid green mucus.

The party reassembled and continued their exploration. As they pressed through a corridor, the floor split open around them and grasping, desperate hands reached out. Elga went into a fury, hewing about her with her great axe. Lady Arimaka overcame the icy clutch of fear that held her in its thrall, and set out among the ghouls with her Warhammer. Even the sorcerer lobbed fiery death at them from the end of the hallway.

The group continued, out of breath, exhausted from the ceaseless combat. They took refuge in the room at the end of the hallway. The room had a queer stone sculpture resembling the mysterious stranger the party had crossed on the way to the Dearst manor. In its hand the sculpture held a peculiar glass orb. The orb seemed to exert a strange fascination upon Lady Arimaka. It held flashes of dark swirling smoke that seemed to reach out to her. Almost without knowing what she was doing, she touched the orb, which flashed. The shadows within the orb were no about her, screaming and screeching and grasping.

One of them sought to escape, flying out towards the exit of the room. Adran, keeping watch by the door, barely had time to turn as it came upon him. In a process that seemed to take a mere second, the shade leeched the life out of him, leaving him lying unconscious against the doorway. Elga’s axe and Daisuke’s fists seemed to slide through the shades’ form, doing little damage. With a muttered prayer, Lady Arimaka’s Warhammer was more effective. Oscar than began to chant, his holy symbol glowing with the light of a deity to be determined later. The harsh light of indeterminacy caused the shades to cower and flee, while Lady Arimaka, Daisuke, Elga and the sorcerer decimated the remaining creatures.

The gang barricaded the room and took time to recover the recent fights. Further exploration led the group back to the attic room where they had discovered the remains of Rosevalda and Thornwald Dearst. Overcome with a supernatural lethargy, Lady Arimaka and Oscar sank into the child-sized cots and descended into a stupor. Reflecting upon the odd behaviour of the possessed heroes, Adran realized that burying the bones of the child ghosts might bring them peace and cause them to dissipate. This led to a third (and final) descent into the crypt to bury the bones.

The plan was successful and Oscar and Lady Arimaka arose with their previous personalities restored. The group then emerged blinking, into the daylight.

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pkergin

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